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O.J. Simpson Charged in Armed Robbery; U.S. Security Banned by Iraqi Government after Firefight; Michael Mukasey Nominated as Attorney General; Hillary Proposes Mandatory Health Insurance
Aired September 17, 2007 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BETTY NGUYEN, CO-HOST: Well, it's been a long time since O.J. Simpson sat in a jail cell, facing the possibility of decades in prison. But, here we are, again. Simpson says the truth surrounding his alleged sports memorabilia heist will come out.
T.J. HOLMES, CO-HOST: Also, they work inside the war zone, under the radar. Some say outside the law. Today, though, after a deadly shootout in Baghdad, Blackwater bodyguards are out of a job in Iraq.
Hello to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes, sitting in today for Don Lemon here at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
NGUYEN: Hi there, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen in for Kyra Phillips today. And you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Once acquitted of murder, now accused of armed robbery. O.J. Simpson facing multiple charges in a violent confrontation at a Las Vegas hotel. The incident, apparently caught on audio tape, and we do warn you, the language is very raw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
O.J. SIMPSON, CHARGED IN ARMED ROBBERY: Don't let nobody out this room. (expletive deleted). Think you can steal my (expletive deleted) and sell it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SIMPSON: Don't let nobody out of here. (expletive deleted), you think you can steal my (expletive deleted).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: So, with that said, let's go to Las Vegas and CNN's Ed Lavandera.
Ed, what do you know so far in this case?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now we're waiting to get final confirmation as to when exactly O.J. Simpson is going to make his initial court appearance. Now we're understanding that that won't happen until tomorrow.
And O.J. and his attorney probably very anxious to get into this court hearing and start talking about the bail situation, because O.J. Simpson was arrested Sunday afternoon here in Las Vegas. It is at the Palms Casino in his hotel room. He was taken into custody without incident, authorities here say. But he is being held without bail.
And even though another man in this case has also been arrested and already released on bail, you can imagine that O.J. Simpson's attorney wants to try to get him released from jail as quickly as possible. But at least that won't happen, a judge won't make that decision until -- for the next couple of days.
But O.J. Simpson is facing some very serious charges, six counts in all. Two of those counts could send him to prison, if convicted, for up to 30 years each. So at the age of 60, the former football star, the infamous football star, at this point now faces the prospect that these charges could send him to prison for the better portion of the rest of his life.
So many people here watching this closely and, of course, everything that this country went through 12 years ago, watching the O.J. Simpson trial. Twelve years ago, it's almost hard to imagine that it's been that long. Everything starting to resurface here and people wondering if, exactly, this will kind of take on the same tone that that did 12 years ago -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Yes, we're all watching very closely. Let me ask you this. Arrest over the weekend. Now O.J. Simpson has been arrested. What about the other people allegedly involved? Are you expecting more arrests in this case?
LAVANDERA: Well, authorities here say that they are still looking for four other men that were involved, that were part of O.J. Simpson's entourage.
Of course, this stems into this incident that happened on Thursday. O.J. and these men say they walk into this hotel room, trying to reclaim some sports memorabilia that O.J. says belonged to him. And O.J. says that this incident has been blown out of proportion, that there were no guns drawn.
However, police say that there were guns blown out there -- shown there in that hotel room. So they will continue to look into that.
But O.J. and his people saying that all of this is being blown out of proportion and that, eventually, they hope the police will get to what O.J. calls the truth in this situation.
NGUYEN: Yes. All right, we'll be standing by. Ed Lavandera joining us live from Las Vegas.
I do want to remind you that the charges now facing O.J. Simpson carry the potential of decades in prison, as we heard Ed say. So the question is, can he fight the law and win this time around? We're going to talk to a defense lawyer and a former prosecutor at the half hour right here on CNN in the NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: A major American security firm now banned by the Iraqi government. Baghdad blames Blackwater contractors for a deadly firefight that killed eight Iraqi civilians yesterday. And just moments ago the U.S. State Department has commented on the situation.
Here now, CNN's Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, with the new developments. Hello there.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, T.J.
Well, the State Department and the U.S. military now launching an investigation into what happened yesterday in Baghdad when shooting broke out shortly after a car bomb apparently went off in an area where a State Department convoy was moving through.
Its security was being provided by Blackwater USA, that private security contractor, operating in Iraq. Although security contractors always a matter of controversy, they move through the city, very heavily armed.
A shootout broke out. When it was all over, eight Iraqis dead, 14 wounded, apparently many of them civilians. The State Department just a short while ago offering its first public comments on the matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN MCCORMACK, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: It was a chief mission convoy that was going outside the international zone. And as you know, recently, there have been some car bomb explosions outside the international zone.
So, again, I urge people to keep that -- keep that in mind. We are going to make this as open and transparent an investigation and, inasmuch as we can, share the results, so that people know what we know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: But this is a very serious matter for so many reasons, of course. Iraqi citizens apparently killed now by these private security contractors, according to the initial read of what happened.
If Blackwater remains banned from operating in Iraq, it will cause the United States to have to rethink some certain things. Blackwater is one of the largest security contractors. It provides security at many reconstruction sites across Iraq and major security for State Department operations across the country. These are the things that they do so U.S. troops don't have to do them.
So, people will be looking at this situation very closely. First to see if the company remains banned, but also at the same time, of course, to see what the legal disposition of this matter may be -- T.J.
HOLMES: Absolutely. Barbara Starr for us at the Pentagon. Barbara, thank you very much. Meanwhile, the United States' key ally in the war in Iraq getting briefed on the war in Iraq. Just days after they testified before Congress, General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are both in London. Meetings today with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and members of his government. Brown is facing growing pressure to pull all of his country's troops out of Iraq.
NGUYEN: President Bush has reached beyond his inner circle to pluck a former federal judge as the next attorney general. You saw it here on CNN.
Mr. Bush introducing Michael Mukasey to lead the Justice Department through the end of his term in office. Mukasey's nomination appears to be geared toward mollifying the Democrats now controlling the Senate.
And joining us from the White House with the latest on this is CNN's Kathleen Koch.
And we were getting word of Mukasey's nomination over the weekend, and today the president made it official.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That he did. And, Betty, what many believe this is, is a case of President Bush choosing to take the path of least resistance, selecting a nominee who really appeals to both sides of the aisle.
A 66-year-old retired federal judge, Michael Mukasey. He's described by those who know him as being thoughtful, independent, a conservative, but not a right-wing ideologue.
The bulk of his experience comes as -- when he served as a federal judge in the southern district of New York. There, he dealt with numerous, very high-profile terrorism cases. And President Bush this morning, in naming his nominee, cited the judge's anti-terror credentials.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Judge Mukasey's clear-eyed about the threat our nation faces. As a judge and a private lawyer, he's written on matters of constitutional law and national security. He knows what it takes to fight this war effectively. And he knows how to do it in a matter that is consistent with our laws and our Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOCH: Now, Mukasey for his part said that he was looking forward to returning to head the department where he had worked as a young man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MUKASEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: The department faces challenges, vastly different from those it faced when I was an assistant U.S. attorney 35 years ago. But the principles that guide the department remain the same: to pursue justice by enforcing the law, with unswerving fidelity to the Constitution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOCH: Outgoing Alberto -- outgoing attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, was not present this morning, though President Bush did praise him, describing him as a man who was honorable and decent, who had served with distinction. He said that he would miss him.
Now, since the naming of Mukasey this morning by President Bush, reaction has been coming fast and furious from Capitol Hill, most of it largely positive, again, from both sides of the aisle. Republicans, many Democrats also, praising his intellect, his experience, his independence, one of them calling him an ideal candidate.
And, Betty, President Bush is calling for the Senate to approve him before it leaves on its October 8 recess.
NGUYEN: All right, CNN's Kathleen Koch joining us live from the White House today. Thank you, Kathleen.
KOCH: You bet.
HOLMES: Flight data recorders from yesterday's deadly plane crash in Thailand are being sent to the U.S. for analysis. They were pulled today from the wreckage of the Budget airliner on Phuket Island.
The jet crashed shortly after landing, killing 88 people, at least four Americans among those dead. Frantic passengers described the chaos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT BORLAND, AUSTRALIAN PLANE CRASH SURVIVOR: We were preparing to land. He came through the clouds, and I think he realized that either the runway was too close or it was too fast or the wind that hit him or the rain. There was so much rain and wind that he accelerated and tried to pull out.
And I thought, "Oh, he's going around again." And then the next thought was, everything went black, and was a big mess. And we had -- we had hit the ground. People were screaming. There was some fire in the cabin.
My -- my clothes caught fire, my -- my trousers. I was able to drag my self across to the other side, which is where the exit row was. A person was able to assist me out of -- drag me out of the aircraft.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: The crash is raising questions now about the safety of discount airlines flying older aircraft in Southeast Asia. NGUYEN: Six felony charges, the prospect of decades in prison, and so far, no bail. More on O.J. Simpson's latest run-in with the law. That is ahead.
HOLMES: Also, of course, we know when Alan Greenspan speaks, everybody listens. But the Bush administration not really liking what he's saying right about now.
NGUYEN: And could a stomach virus be to blame for chronic fatigue syndrome? Well, there's new research that might lead to a new treatment.
You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
NGUYEN: It's 1:14 Eastern. Here are three of the stories that we're working on here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Searchers are looking for more bodies in the wreckage of a Thai passenger jet which skidded off a rain-soaked runway on a resort island yesterday. At least 88 people are now confirmed dead, and among them, four Americans.
Former federal judge, Michael Mukasey, now hoping the Senate gives him a big promotion. President Bush has named Mukasey as his pick to replace Alberto Gonzales as attorney general.
Also, banned and under investigation. The Iraqis have banned U.S. security firm Blackwater from operating in their country, blaming the country (sic) for a Sunday gunfight that left eight civilians dead. The State Department plans to investigate.
HOLMES: Hillary Clinton wants everyone in America to have health insurance. And this time, she says she'll get it right. Today, candidate Clinton unveiled a health package shaped by the failures of her effort as first lady.
Live now to Des Moines, Iowa, and CNN's Candy Crowley.
And Candy, she says she's got it this time.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely. They believe that they have hit on something that is a lot simpler than what was seen as the bureaucratic plan that she put forth as first lady.
It has at its core something very simple, which is giving -- which is requiring every American to have health insurance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Much like drivers in most states are required to purchase car insurance, all Americans will have a responsibility to get and keep health insurance in a system where insurance will now be affordable. The sad reality is that the uninsured don't just struggle with costs themselves; they impose costs on the rest of us. It's a hidden tax.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Now, of course, the problem is, how do those in low- income groups pay for this? Clinton says that there will be federal subsidies. She says that those who like their health care plans now will be able to keep them. There is a requirement that businesses either offer a health care plan to their employees or pay into a system so that those employees can get health insurance.
So, it's a very detailed plan that has been under study for some time. The Clinton people say so much has changed since the last time she tried this, that she believes and they believe that the American people are ready for this kind of plan, because things have gotten so much worse over the past decade-plus -- T.J.
HOLMES: OK, Candy, she's not the only one talking health care today. John -- John Edwards, a Democratic candidate, as well, says he would like to cut off health care to the president, to Congress, and all political appointees if universal health care is not put in place by 2009.
Is he for real? Is that going to fly?
CROWLEY: Well, I have difficulty believing that, actually, Congress would go for such a thing.
But nonetheless, look what's happening here is that health care is a very important issue for the campaign. Hillary Clinton getting the spotlight today. Edwards, who introduced his plan many months ago, coming back in and saying in a speech, "Listen, she still wants to sit at the table with big insurance companies and drug companies, the people that have really made the system the way it is today. I don't want to sit at the table with them."
So -- and then he brought up this idea of how to force Congress and how to force the administration to get something done by saying, well, we'll just cut off health care for Congress and for the president and political appointees if we don't get universal health care.
So, just a time to try to sort of share the limelight here.
HOLMES: All right. And finally here, Mitt Romney, I mean, I don't know if he got an advanced copy of their health care plan, because he didn't waste any time coming out and criticizing those plans.
But does he need to be criticizing them? Doesn't he have some Republicans to be worrying about right now?
CROWLEY: Well, absolutely. But, you know, the fact of the matter is that both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney have targeted Hillary Clinton. Obviously, this is something that really helps the Republican Party.
So, what they're saying is basically, in fact, what the Clinton people thought would happen. They're saying this is another big bureaucratic plan. It relies on the federal government instead of the private sector to bring health insurance to people, that they believe that the marketplace should provide the incentives, that sort of thing.
So it is a fairly predictable Republican response to this. They all say -- and some of them have put out partial health care plans. Most of them are going to do it later in the year.
HOLMES: All right, pretty typical, you're absolutely right. Candy Crowley for us. Always a pleasure. Thank you, ma'am.
NGUYEN: Well, the legal system gets another crack at O.J. Simpson. And we're going to talk with a defense lawyer and a former prosecutor about those charges and Simpson's chances.
Also, we are expecting a live news conference from Las Vegas in just a few moments. We're going to get more details about the timeline of events that will happen in court this week. Stick around for that, and much more, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: Fire crews in the Big Bear Resort area of Southern California are getting a boost from the weather. The winds have shifted, and temperatures have dropped.
Still, though, the fire in the San Bernardino National Forest is far from contained. It's charred more than 15,000 acres, shut down portions of two highways, and forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. Six schools are closed today as a precaution.
And what a scary sight in Southwest Florida. This funnel cloud in Cape Coral touched down and became a tornado. The town's fire chief says about 40 homes and buildings were damaged. One person was slightly hurt.
Folks are cleaning up today. The twister tossed cars around, knocked trees down, as well as power lines. Some 3,500 homes lost power. But most of that has since been restored.
So, let's get the latest on the weather outside today on your Monday. Meteorologist Chad Myers is keeping an eye on all the weather outside.
What do you have for us, Chad?
NGUYEN: All right, Chad, thank you so much for that -- T.J.
HOLMES: All right, well interest is rising in Alan Greenspan's new memoir, along with some eyebrows. The former head of the Federal Reserve and lifelong Republican, or libertarian Republican, as he calls himself, he fills the pages with criticism of the spending habits of President Bush and the GOP.
Greenspan also claims oil was the inspiration for the Iraq war.
Andy Serwer interviewed Greenspan for "Fortune" magazine and asked him about the powerful job he held for almost 20 years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Any presidents ever call you up or members of their office and ask you to cut interest rates?
ALAN GREENSPAN, FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Not directly, but (UNINTELLIGIBLE) intimated it. What I will tell you is no politician ever called me up and asked me to raise interest rates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, in addition to his political commentary, Greenspan's economic views are creating a stir on Wall Street. Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange with the latest on some worrisome predictions from the former Fed chief.
Is that all anybody can talk about today, Susan?
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pretty much, T.J. But you know, here the difference is, is that, you know, we can understand what Alan Greenspan says now, which is quite refreshing after 18 years.
Investors are hoping for a rate cut at tomorrow's Federal Reserve meeting but the former fed chair, Alan Greenspan, of course, is talking about rates moving in the other direction.
As part of his book tour, he told "USA Today" that he thinks double-digit interest rates are on the horizon as the Fed continues to battle inflation.
Greenspan also, of course, spoke to Andy Serwer and says the housing slump is not over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREENSPAN: The real issue is whether house price declines by contracting wealth in home equities spills over into consumer expenditures, as it did on the upside, obviously, and causes the economy to shrink.
I said a while ago that I thought the probabilities of a real recession are about 1 in 3. I don't think it's changed all that much.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LISOVICZ: Mr. Greenspan goes on to say that the Fed is once again caught in a pickle, trying to keep the economy moving, while not allowing inflation to get out of control.
And you can hear more of Andy Serwer's talk with Alan Greenspan in the next hour at NEWSROOM, live at 2:30 -- T.J.
HOLMES: Yes, we will have that here.
Also, of course, as we know, Greenspan speaks. Everybody listens. But also when he speaks markets move. Now some of his comments now having an impact on Wall Street?
LISOVICZ: No, not so much today. Because, you know, it's really about what his successor is going to do tomorrow. So he doesn't have the same power to move the markets as he once did when he was chairman of the Federal Reserve, when he was called the second most powerful person in the world, T.J.
But when he made that comment that he referred to about the economy's chances of going into recession, when he first made that comment in February, the Dow dropped 416 points the next day. He's still got some oomph.
Still, most investors much more concerned about tomorrow's Fed meeting. At one point, a half-point cut seemed likely. Now many investors believe a quarter point is more likely. And this, of course, will be the first cut of interest rates in four years because of concerns about the ongoing housing slump and the tightening credit.
Meanwhile, overseas, we've got news there. The British treasury chief says the government will guarantee all existing deposits at troubled Northern Rock Bank. That's one of the largest mortgage lenders in the U.K. Another example of how that credit crisis has spread across the pond.
LISOVICZ: And in the next hour of NEWSROOM, some drama as well, talks between General Motors and its union shifting into overdrive. I'll have the latest on that.
In the meantime, I'll turn it over back to you, T.J. and Betty.
HOLMES: Thank you, kind ma'am. We'll see you again here shortly.
LISOVICZ: You got it.
NGUYEN: Well, the legal system gets another crack at O.J. Simpson, and we are going to talk with a defense lawyer and a former prosecutor about the charges and Simpson's chances.
Also, we're still expecting a live news conference any minute now from Las Vegas. And we're going to get more details about the timeline of events that are going to happen in court this week. You definitely want to stick around for this and so much more.
HOLMES: All right. Hello, there, everybody. We're live at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm T.J. Holmes, sitting in today for Don Lemon.
NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen, in for Kyra Phillips today.
Well, he is facing six felony charges and the possibility of a lengthy stretch in the pen.
HOLMES: Yes, but how strong is the case against O.J. Simpson? We'll ask a former prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer to weigh in with the odds here.
You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
All right. Serious charges. An explosive legal drama. O.J. Simpson's faced it before. Now he's facing it once again. You're seeing his Las Vegas police mugshot after his arrest in an alleged armed robbery. We are right now awaiting a press conference we're expecting out in Las Vegas. There we're expecting officials to give us an update really on what we can expect the rest of the week. O.J. Simpson expected in court, I believe it is tomorrow, to hear possibly about bail and hear maybe an explanation of the charges against him. But when that press conference happens, we will take you there.
Also, police say Simpson and a group of men burst into a hotel room demanding the return of some of his sports memorabilia. Police also say guns were involved in the incident, which was apparently caught on audio tape. We're going to warn you before we let this play for, it's loud, violent and it is profane.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BLEEP) you. Mind your own business.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this (BLEEP).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get over there.
SIMPSON: You think you can steal my (BLEEP)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Backs to the wall.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was trying to get past you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk your ass over there.
SIMPSON: Think you can steal my (BLEEP)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike took it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, against the (BLEEP) wall.
SIMPSON: I know (BLEEP) Mike took it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Search him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I know what Brian's trying to prove.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm cool. I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your (BLEEP) asses up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand the (BLEEP) up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, all right. Simpson says no guns were involved and there was no robbery, but he's still facing the prospect of no bail, at least for now. We're expecting a court hearing this week, though, which could be the first of many in this case. We're going to bring in former prosecutor B.J. Bernstein, a defense attorney, and Drew Findling to talk about this case. We just heard that audiotape. I'll start with the prosecutor.
B.J. BERNSTEIN, FORMER PROSECUTOR: That was evidence number one right there.
HOLMES: That was number one.
BERNSTEIN: I'm opening with that tape. Let's just start there.
HOLMES: Lick your chops right there. How damaging is that thing?
BERNSTEIN: It's terrible because it shows that O.J. is actively involved. I mean, you hear his voice in going into this room, demanding the items, using profane language and it all lends itself to the discussion that there are guns there because of the way it went down.
HOLMES: Now, surely, do you see it the same way?
: I really don't and I'll tell you why.
DREW FINDLING, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What's suspicious to me is, somebody that accompanies him there gives or sells this audiotape to TMZ.
FINDLING: That's a problem right there because if you're part of and you're knowingly part of a robbery, why are you taping it and then turning it over to a news organization unless O.J.'s not really knowing what's going on? Remember O.J. said right from the begin there were know guns involved. And everybody makes money off of O.J. Hey, we have two lawyers that lost a case in 1995 and they're millionaires for losing. O.J.'s a profit base for everybody.
HOLMES: OK. But does the tape leave any doubt in your mind that -- sure the voice that is presumed to be his, that sounds like the person in charge on that tape. That can't be good.
FINDLING: Well, if there's no guns involved and you knock on the door and you come in and you say, I want my stuff back, that's not technically robbery. If O.J. did not know guns were involved and he's saying, hey, I want my stuff back and he's screaming and yelling, not many people are going to prosecute that, of course unless you want to become famous for prosecuting him.
HOLMES: OK, B.J., you hear that part about technically it's not robbery. I mean break this down for folks. If you take my iPod and you leave with it, can I bust up in your room and say, hey, give me that? And I s that still considered robbery with a gun or not? Can I still threaten you in a way in which it's still robbery?
BERNSTEIN: Absolutely not. I mean you threaten me, I'm going to pick up my cell phone and call 911 and call the police. I mean, you can call somebody and ask or demand or you can even yell to get your stuff back. But at a certain point when you make a threat or you bring a weapon or someone you're with brings a weapon, which is what's alleged here, then you've got a problem and you've got the kind of charges that O.J. Simpson's looking at. I mean I've had other clients who in the past try that self-help method. It's not the way to go.
HOLMES: Why did he not initially get bail?
BERNSTEIN: I think part of it is that his -- is where his fame is hurting him. And he's not from this location. Although it is a little interesting because the co-defendant was -- who was arrested on Friday was released on his own recognizance. In other words, he just had to sign something. But that says to me, the prosecutors have made a deal with that person to come testify possibly against O.J., leaving O.J. standing there with no bail right now.
HOLMES: What are the chances, though, Drew, if he goes in there with this group of folks that he didn't know they had guns? Can you really make that argument?
FINDLING: Well, you know, we just don't know yet, because all we know is that people are profiteering at his expense right now. I have no doubt that this gentleman sold this tape or somehow anticipating selling this tape. I have, for over 20 years, never heard of a case where somebody is part of a robbery and then turns it over to an agency. Law enforcement didn't even look over this. Do you know that witnesses were interviewed by the Goldmans' family before O.J. was even arrested? It's just a crazy case. It's a dirty case. It's a weird case. And prosecutors usually aren't so successfully, especially when you get to a place that's known as sin city.
BERNSTEIN: But welcome to law in the celebrity and YouTube age. And the fact that, you know, before, you wouldn't have had even a tape or a cell phone available. Now with almost any situation it's there. So I'm not finding it -- it may be new, but it's not necessarily just because of people trying to profit.
HOLMES: Help people understand here as well how serious the charges are. People might hear a robbery, even an armed robbery, and I guess they're comparing to it what he was charged to before. Everything does seem as serious as the murder charges before. But, still, armed robbery, how serious are these charges and how much jail time is he really looking at?
BERNSTEIN: You know, robbery in Nevada is two to 15 years. If a firearm is found connected to it, then you double the time. If they convict him of just the conspiracy charge, that's one to six. Not as serious. And then the burglary charges, I believe, are one to 15. So, I mean, he's looking at some serious possible jail time in this case.
HOLMES: Finally here, Drew, how much of your defense would be, this is O.J. You know who O.J. Simpson is. He's infamous. Aand all of this is hurting him. And you're piling on because of who he is. How big of the defense will that be?
FINDLING: Can I get over 100 percent? Can you work with me there?
HOLMES: All right. It's that big of a deal. It's that big of a deal?
FINDLING: Absolutely. And some lawyers, I mean, would probably be contacting Ford right now to get some ambond (work out a white Bronco deal. I mean he so loved Bronco.
BERNSTEIN: Oh, and see, this is just the beginning. And we haven't even been a day arrested and the jokes roll in.
HOLMES: Well, nobody wants the O.J. Simpson edition Bronco, do they?
All right, Drew Findling and also B.J. Bernstein. Always a pleasure to have you all. This thing will be going for some time. I'm sure we will see you all plenty.
And, of course, we want to let our viewers know that we are watching for that press conference. They're hoping it's going to start -- or expecting it to start actually -- it's supposed to be at the bottom of the hour, a few minutes behind here, but any moment now going to get an update on exactly what will be happening with O.J. this week legally. Expecting a court appearance at some time, at some point this week. So when that press conference does begin, we will take you there live.
Again, want to thank our prosecutor and our defense attorney for joining us here.
Betty. NGUYEN: Well, right now let's focus our attention on Jena, Louisiana, because the folks there say they just want outsiders to stay out. But this week there might be more outsiders than insiders and a lot more. Thousands of people could be there Thursday to support the so-called Jena 6. African-American students accused of beating up a white classmate after nooses turned up in a tree outside their school. Now an appeals court overturned the aggravated battery convection of one of the six, Mychal Bell, you see him here, ruling that he should not have been tried as an adult. Bell has been in jail since December. The other five haven't been tried. Protesters don't feel the punishment fits the crime and that race trumped justice in Jena. An advisor to the six, Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School, talked with CNN's Heidi Collins this morning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN NEWSROOM: You know, you have to wonder as you watch sort of the process and the way that this story developed, if there was any responsibility that should have been placed on the adults in this case. The adults at the school. People in the community to help sort of diffuse tensions between the kids at the school before it got to this point.
CHARLES OGLETREE, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Well, I think Jena never imagined that this case would have the national, international attention it has generated. They never imagined that you'd see civil rights leader, national press coming and watching. And if you look at the school board, which revoked -- reversed the principal's decision to punish those who hung nooses in the tree, if you look at the apathy of the community when these black kids complained about being treated differently, adults played a significant role.
And adults are going to have to cure it. If they don't think there's a problem of race in Jena, they're not living in the 21st century. And I think hopefully the good news is that black and white families will come together, live together and they'll be a positive result after this case is resolved, hopefully in the next couple of months.
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NGUYEN: Now, prosecutors haven't yet filed new charges. Ogletree think the Jena 6 should have been suspended for a schoolyard brawl, not charged with serious crimes.
Well, again, this Thursday, the day of the march, more perspective on the case that has thrust this tiny town into a national stage. CNN SIU premieres the hour long documentary, "Judgment in Jena." Kyra Phillips reports this Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.
HOLMES: A seven-year-old boy shot dead. His 15-year-old sister, shot and wounded, in a place they were supposed to be safe. Their own beds. Today, detectives near Atlanta are trying to figure out who apparently went into a home to kill children as they slept.
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MEKKA PARRISH, DEKALB CO., GA POLICE DEPT.: Armed gunmen entered the home, immediately went upstairs to an upstairs bedroom where both of those children were located and opened fire and then fled the home.
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HOLMES: And the children's mother, grandparents and two other children were asleep downstairs at the time. They weren't hurt. Right now detectives simply stumped. No suspects, no motive.
NGUYEN: Well, are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? There's new research and it points to a possible cause. Could that mean a possible treatment? Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen reports on chronic fatigue syndrome. That is ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: All right. So it has long frustrated people who suffer from it and their doctors. Now a new study, though, on chronic fatigue syndrome may provide a gut check on its origins. Here's CNN's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There was a time when people with chronic fatigue syndrome were told it was all in their heads. Well, we've come a long way since then. Researchers in California say that they have found a virus that could possibly be at the root of chronic fatigue syndrome.
What they did was they took stomach tissue samples from people with chronic fatigue and more than 80 percent of them had very high levels of the virus in their stomach. When they looked at people who didn't have chronic fatigue syndrome, they didn't find levels that were nearly this high.
Now, you can't go and get this test right now. It's not quite there yet. But what you can do if you think you have chronic fatigue is go to your doctor and talk about your symptoms. Certain symptoms could mean chronic fatigue.
The most important one is severe fatigue that lasts for longer than six months. This is really crucial. Fatigue that's so bad that you can rest as long as you want and you're still tired and it goes on for more than six months.
Also, doctors will look for memory impairment, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint pain, and also poor sleep and malaise. In other words, even though you're exhausted, you feel like you're not sleeping well and you also just don't feel well.
Now, again, you can't go out and get this stomach virus test right now, but doctors think that in the future it could possibly lead to better treatments for chronic fatigue. Back to you.
HOLMES: Well, the American Cancer Society ads are usually pretty straightforward. You know, stop smoking, get a mammogram, that kind of stuff. But this year the organization is spending its advertising budget on a different kind of campaign. One that spotlights the many Americans without adequate health insurance. Some critics say the ACS is pushing a political agenda here and wasting money that could be spent on education. And while its CEO admits these ads are unprecedented, he says they are vital.
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JOHN SEFFRIN, CEO, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: The important thing is, is that we're not taking money from one program, such as research, and putting it into this. We have a regular, recurring, paid ad budget. We were the first voluntary health organization to start that about a decade ago. But this is the first time it's been on an issue that goes beyond just cancer. So the last one was on colon cancer. This one's on access to care. And the reason for that simply is that people are dying needlessly because they can't get in to the health care system to get the treatment they need.
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HOLMES: And you will be seeing these ads on numerous networks, including CNN, from now until Thanksgiving.
NGUYEN: Five months after his near fatal car crash, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine went back into the hospital for more surgery. In a procedure that wrapped up just a little while ago, he had excess bone growth removed from his femur. The governor will recuperate in the hospital for a few days. Senate President Richard Cody is running the state government in the meantime. And Corzine, as you recall, was critically injured back in April when the SUV he was riding in slammed into a guardrail. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
HOLMES: And we want to let you know again that we are keeping an eye out for a press conference that's expected to happen at any minute now out in Las Vegas about the O.J. Simpson case. O.J. Simpson now has been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged armed robbery that happened. He was trying to get some of his sports memorabilia back he says. That's expected to happen. We were expecting it at 1:30. So a little behind. So we're expecting it at any minute, coming to us from the Clark County Court. They're supposed to give us an update on what's going to happen really with the legal process this week. When that happens, we will bring that to you.
Meanwhile, stay here for the CNN NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: Work hard, study hard, try to stay healthy and reap the rewards, right? Well, most of us take those rewards on faith, but for some low-income families in New York, they are immediate. It's a pilot program that some consider revolutionary. Others, insidious. Here's CNN's Jim Acosta.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Get a library card, $50. Graduate from high school, $400. Get that annual physical, $200. Just a few of the everyday tasks that can earn cold, hard cash as part of a New York City social program aimed at rewarding low- income families for good behavior. Just do the right thing and . . .
CHERYL NICKS, "OPPORTUNITY NYC" RECIPIENT: A blessing. A small blessings for us underprivileged families.
ACOSTA: How so?
C. NICKS: How so? Because I'm getting paid for things that I already do as part of my regimen, part of my family living.
ACOSTA: One of the program's recipients, Cheryl Nicks, can make thousands of dollars if her sons can pass their school's assessment exams.
URI NICKS, CHERYL'S SON: My mom is struggling check to check. I mean little food in the house. But, I mean, we was always good, it just added -- I mean it helped out more, you know what I'm saying?
ACOSTA: The anti-poverty initiative, called Opportunity NYC, comes at no cost to taxpayers. The city's billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and a few private foundations have pumped $27 million into the program.
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: We have set an ambitious agenda for reducing poverty in New York City and it's going to take all of us working together to achieve it.
ACOSTA: The critics of this program want to know, where does it all end? They ask, want's next, paying people to eat their vegetables?
HEATHER MACDONALD, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: I think this could be the most destructive welfare program ever devised because you are creating the expectation in people that they should take moral actions only when they get paid.
ACOSTA: And as New York's public school chancellor discovered, Opportunity NYC has opened up opportunities for late-night comedians.
JOEL KLEIN, NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL CHANCELLOR: A fourth grader could make $250, a seventh grader could make $500.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A seventh grader with five large?
KLEIN: He's got to do well. He's got to do well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got to do well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. Well, I got -- let me ask you something. Is this only limited to students? Because I best I could ace some of those fourth-grade exams?
ACOSTA: Kid all you want, says Cheryl Nicks, who's counting on the program to help her train for a new job.
C. NICKS: We should get our first incentives about Christmastime. It will help a lot.
ACOSTA: But before they can say "show me the money," they'll have to show some results first.
Jim Acosta, CNN, New York.
NGUYEN: All right. Well you have to wait for this news conference because we're expecting it at any moment now. And as soon as it does, we'll bring it straight to you. This is out in Las Vegas, Nevada, where we are expecting to hear more about the court procedures, that is, dealing with O.J. Simpson. And as soon as that takes place, we'll bring that straight to you.
But back to something that you really need to take a look at. Attacked by an alligator. Look at this. And living to tell the tale. One man's story of survival. That is ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: A South Carolina man is a very, very lucky man today. While snorkeling in a lake where alligators are known to lurk, he was attacked. I know, he doesn't sound so lucky right now. But, he is alive. That's the good thing. Thanks to a party of nurses just who happened to be picnicking nearby. We'll get the story here from Nicole Johnson of CNN affiliate WCSC.
NICOLE JOHNSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): People picnicking at Short Stay say they saw the man snorkeling in Lake Moultrie before the alligator attacked.
JEROME BIEN, WITNESS: Decided (ph) we had a commotion and we found -- we saw a guy right here. He's bleeding profusely and we thought he was just kidding.
JOHNSON: But what happened to Bill Hedden was no joke. A 12 foot long, 600 pound gator bit his left arm off, ripping it from the shoulder socket.
CAPT. BILL SALISBURY, BERKELEY CO. FIRE & RESCUE: He was able to come to the bank and ran up to a picnic area where a lot of our people were picnicing and they saw what was happening and called 911.
JOHNSON: Luckily, at least five registered nurses were part of the group nearby. They knew exactly what to do to stop the bleeding.
JO MASAUDING, NURSE: One of the members to was keep on encouraging him to breath and -- because he was turning blue.
JOHNSON: The nurses took care of Hedden until EMS arrived and medevaced him to the hospital.
MASAUDING: He was very conscious and he was just asking for his wife. Call his wife and to make sure that she knew what happened to him.
JOHNSON: DNR agents killed the gator and they say they removed the arm from the animal's stomach. The arm was placed in an ice cooler and taken to the hospital where doctors will determine whether it could be reattached.
HOLMES: And we're still waiting to hear whether or not that's going to be a success.
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