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AMERICAN MORNING

New Details Emerging About Relationship Between Stacy Peterson and Husband; More violence in Afghanistan Today

Aired November 6, 2007 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Easy crossing. A new report reveals stunning holes at border crossings. Why are thousands getting let in?
Free ride. Hotly debated in New York but standard issue in New Mexico. How other states give illegal immigrants a license to drive.

Plus supermarket surprise. A mom finds her son's smiling face on a package of diapers. How it got there and what she's doing about it. The great diaper caper on this AMERICAN MORNING.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: How did it end up there?

CHETRY: I don't know. Imagine that you're just rolling through the supermarket with your shopping cart picking up diapers, and your son's face is on one. He didn't pose for it, or did he?

ROBERTS: Got a job on the side, buddy? What's going on there?

CHETRY: We'll get to the bottom of that. Meanwhile, it's Tuesday, November 6th. I said bottom of that. Pretty bad. I'm Kiran Chetry.

ROBERTS: And I'm John Roberts.

We begin with an alarming discovery about security at our nation's borders this morning. The Government Accountability Office reporting that thousands of people's were allowed to enter -- thousands of people, rather, were allowed to enter the U.S. last year. Some had no documents whatsoever. Others simply walked or drove by empty booths where border agents should have been sitting. CNN homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve joins us live from Washington. Jeanne, this is a pretty incredible story.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: John, we all hear about people who enter the country through the back door, sneaking across the border illegally, but this new report says tens of thousands of people come in through the front door.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MESERVE: Illegal aliens don't have to climb over fences or swim rivers to get into the U.S., sometimes they can ride or walk right through an official U.S. border crossing. According to a new Government Accountability Office report, customs and border protection acknowledges several thousand inadmissible aliens and other violators entered the U.S. through ports of entry last year. According to a source who has seen an unredacted version of the report, the number is 21,000.

RICHARD STANA, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE: If the agents and the officers at the border are not doing their job, we're all a little less secure.

MESERVE: When GAO investigators arrived at one port of entry, there were no CBP officers at the inspection booth. At other locations, officers didn't ask for travel documents. And according to the report, alien smuggling organizations have trained operatives to take advantage of these weaknesses. The report says that CBP staffing shortage hurts its ability to carry out inspections and use new facilities and equipment intended to help fight terrorism. But the GAO also found more mundane explanations.

STANA: Either agents aren't paying attention, they're not focused, they're complacent. It's because supervisors aren't demanding the agents do their job and ask the right questions and look at the right documents.

MESERVE: Customs and border protection says at busy ports of entry, it has to balance security and commerce.

JAYSON AHERN, CBP DEPUTY COMMISSIONER: Today there's currently not a requirement either statutorily or regulatorily requiring everyone to have a document coming across the border. So, no, they're not all being checked.

MESERVE: That means the bad guys could get in potentially?

AHERN: That means potentially there is that vulnerability.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MESERVE: The 21,000 number an extrapolation from random CBP inspections. There is really no way to know how many inadmissible people are waved on into the country by border authorities. John?

ROBERTS: There's another controversy going on this morning surrounding a Halloween party that was thrown by the head of I.C.E, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. What's that all about?

MESERVE: The Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff says he will conduct an inquiry after some employees were offended by a Halloween costume at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Halloween fundraising party last week. A man dressed in a striped prison outfit, dreadlocks and darkened skin makeup was cited for originality by a panel of judges, which included the head of I.C.E., Julie Myers. Myers has since sent a memo too all I.C.E. employees saying, "It is now clear however unintended, a few of the costumes were inappropriate and offensive. I and the senior management of I.C.E. deeply regret that this happened." Also, one or more photos of Myers with the costumed man were deleted from an official photographer's camera. An I.C.E. spokeswoman says the costumed employee was wearing which what she described as a skin bronzer intended to "make him look African American." The spokeswoman claims that most people in the room did not even realize the man was wearing makeup. Others clearly did realize it and found it offensive. John.

ROBERTS: I remember, when she was nominated for the job, there were some questions about her qualifications. Those questions arising again as a result of this?

MESERVE: Well you know, she still hasn't been confirmed. She has been approved by the panels on Capitol Hill, the committees who believe she has proved she does have the qualifications for the job. But the final vote hasn't been taken. I suppose it's possible this could come up. Certainly some members of the hill have expressed to us some displeasure at these latest events.

ROBERTS: I would say so. Jeanne Meserve for us in Washington. Jeanne, thanks. Kiran.

CHETRY: We're also talking about extreme weather this morning. In southern Mexico, as many as 16 people feared dead after a wave of water and mud swept through the remote village of Villahermosa. It follows a week of heavy rain and flooding that has forced about 500,000 people out of their homes. Now, back in this country, strong winds, even flakes of snow in the Midwest. Powerful gusts, up to 45 miles per hour, knocked down two light poles in downtown Milwaukee. This is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We're also seeing lake effect snow in other parts of the Midwest today.

And there are some dramatic shots of a storm rolling right through Charleston, West Virginia. Thunderstorms brought drenching rains as well as fierce lightning. You can see the lightning strikes lighting up almost the entire bottom half of the sky right there.

Rob Marciano is at our Weather Update Desk. He's tracking this extreme weather, including below average temperatures in parts of the northeast as well.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN WEATHER UPDATE DESK: You're going to see it, Kiran. It's going to get chilly there. You're getting wet right now. Most of the northeast cities are underneath some rainfall, and it's rush hour. I'm sorry about that. But it will be moving through fairly rapidly. From D.C., Baltimore, Philly, Trenton, Newark, New York, Hartford, all the way up to Boston, we're seeing a fair amount of rain that's sliding eastward. This is all part of a cool front. You can see quite vividly right here. It's just moved through D.C. Notice how it's 39 degrees right now in D.C. and 51 degrees in Boston; in the 20s in Pittsburgh; in the 20s in Buffalo; trying to get out of the 20s in Detroit, definitely cold air behind this. This is some of the coldest air of the season.

Show you that video earlier out of Wisconsin, wind damage there. These are some of the wind gusts, not only Wisconsin, but Holland Beach, Michigan, 57-mile-per-hour wind gusts yesterday; Milwaukee, 54, Waukesha 47 mile an hour winds, certainly some damaging winds. And these strong winds coming off the Great Lakes. Not only bringing lake effect snow. We have a winter storm warning out. But some of the waves rolling in off the Great Lakes, 15 to 20 footers slamming into the shoreline of the U.P. of Michigan. These are where the winds are coming from in Milwaukee, northwesterly winds at 30 miles an hour; Grand Rapids, 29 miles an hour; Detroit, south westerly winds at 21 miles an hour. You can see the lake effect snow that's piling up because of that. We've had reports of two to five inches so far.

No snow expected for the northeast, but you will get rain and feel a bit of a chill in the air beginning tonight. Kiran, back up to you.

CHETRY: All right. Rob, thanks so much. John.

ROBERTS: Eight minutes after the hour. In just a short while, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to approve the nomination of Michael Mukasey as the nation's Attorney General. The full Senate will then get to vote. Mukasey's nomination had been in jeopardy because he refused to say the interrogation tactic known as waterboarding could be viewed as torture, but two Senate democrats agreed to approve Mukasey.

What do Americans think about waterboarding? A CNN research poll found 69 percent of people surveyed do consider it to be torture. 40 percent said, yes, it should be used to get information from terror suspects, 58 percent say no, it should not be used. Kiran.

CHETRY: Looks like reruns across the board for the late night comics. It was the first night of the writers' strike, and we didn't see Leno, Letterman, Conan, Kimmel, Stewart, Colbert, all of them aired repeats last night. And Jay Leno showed up at the picket lines with donuts to show his support for his writers.

JAY LENO, "TONIGHT SHOW" HOST: I've been working with these people 20 years, so I support them. People kind of get the wrong idea how much writers make. I know I'm real cheap, and I don't pay them anything. So unless they get anything from these DVD sales and the other stuff. I mean, I think it's a good cause.

CHETRY: Tina Fey, who's also writer and producer of "30 Rock" and used to be the head writer for "Saturday Night Live," picketed along with fellow writers here in New York. Writers want a bigger cut from thee sale of those DVDs and downloads. The studios say it's impossible to predict how much the digital content will be worth.

In Illinois, cadaver sniffing dogs and teams on horseback are joining the search for 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, who disappeared under very mysterious circumstances. She was last seen by her husband, police sergeant Drew Peterson, a week ago Sunday. Her family says she told her husband she wanted a divorce two days before she disappeared. Stacy is Drew Peterson's fourth wife. He's a 29-year veteran with the Bolingbrook, Illinois Police Department. While he's not considered a suspect, there are new questions being raised about the drowning of his previous wife Kathleen Savio. Savio's sister discussed that relationship last night on Nancy Grace.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUE DOMAN, SISTER WAS DREW PETERSON'S WIFE: In the beginning, everything was fine, and then after a few years, it did start up. He would always ask, who are you on the phone with? And she would say, just, you know, a friend or a family member, and then he would just smirk and laugh, and he would say, who were you on the phone with?

NANCY GRACE: But Sue, let me ask you, did she ever express a fear? Did she ever say, this guy scares me?

DOMAN: Definitely. She said it many times. She said many times, she told family, friends, anybody she could tell, I'm scared to death of him. He's going to kill me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHETRY: And we're going to talk with Stacy Peterson's aunt coming up in our next hour. She was one of the last people to see Stacy before she disappeared. John.

ROBERTS: 11 minutes after the hour. Time now to check in with our AMERICAN MORNING team of correspondents for other stories new this morning.

Sky high oil prices driving up airfares. Wouldn't you know it, just in time for the holiday travel season? Ali Velshi at the business update desk for us this morning. Ali, where's that $60 a barrel of oil you were talking about?

ALI VLESHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's coming, John. It's a long- term trend. Here's the thing. When oil goes up, gasoline prices go up, jet fuel also tends to go up. We see these increases of $10 a trip here and there. It's always one of those questions because I can never make sense of airfares anyway. How do you price in the increases? I just want to take a look at how it's been this year. Six fare increases in the last six months. Ten of them all together this year. Last week American introduced a $20 increase on a round- trip fare, and most of the airlines that track the same routes offered that increase. Some of them tend to pare these things back. Fundamentally we've seen a fairly dramatic rise in airfares in combination with a summer season where we saw a lot of delays and cancellations.

As Alina Cho has been reporting this morning and will continue to report, we're actually seeing a better performance from the airlines in terms of on-time departures and cancellations, but we're still seeing increased fares. I should let our viewers know, the peak in airfares in the United States was in 2000. We're still about 10 percent to 15 percent below that right now, but these oil price have a direct effect of on airfares. You really are, if you're traveling, you're seeing that impact. You're also particularly seeing that impact when you travel overseas and you're hit by the low dollar. For travelers for the rest of the year, it's not looking like a great picture, John.

ROBERTS: Maybe as all the prices go up, fewer people will travel.

VELSHI: And they'll spend the money right here.

ROBERTS: And more arms will be on time too. Ali, thanks very much. Kiran. CHETRY: You guys can dream. All right. Call it a heart attack in the making, a sign of future heart disease in kids as young as the age of 7. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen is at the medical update desk with more on this. Hey, Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kiran. Kiran, usually we think of heart disease starting with steak and cigarettes, but actually it might start with mac and cheese. That's right. Researchers looked at heavy 7-year-olds and found actual changes in their hearts and not good changes, changes in things like high blood pressure, other kinds of risk factors for heart disease. And so the bottom line here, of course, is that parents need to make sure that their kids stay at a healthy weight. If your child is heavy now, don't panic. Some damage might have been done, but it's never too late to start getting your kid down to a healthy weight. Kiran.

CHETRY: Besides diet, this study also identifies or rather another study, a new risk factor for heart attack patients. Tell us about that.

COHEN: Right. What they looked at is how quickly do you need to get to the hospital after a heart attack? I think people know you ought to get there as quickly as possible, but you need to get there really quickly. These statistics are quite stunning. What he they found is that, if you get to the hospital within one to two hours of a heart attack, you have a 70 percent chance of getting life-saving treatment. If you wait longer than that, your chances go down with each passing hour. Now, for example, if you get there within 11 to 12 hours, you are twice as likely to die. So get there as soon as possible. Every hour counts. Now, of course, some people are going to wonder, how would I know if I'm having a heart attack? Is you don't always know. You don't clutch your chest and fall to the ground. Certainly chest pain is one of the signs. But also pain in the arms, the back, the neck, and the jaw could also be a sign possibly of a heart attack. And also shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting. Those last two, I should note, are especially true for women. Women and men have different signs for a heart attack. Women need to be aware of that.

CHETRY: All right. Thanks so much. Elizabeth Cohen talking about kids and heart disease and some of the other risk factors. Thanks.

COHEN: Thanks.

ROBERTS: Major chaos in Pakistan this morning. More clashes between police and attorneys leading to more arrests. We'll get the latest from CNN's senior international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.

That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Welcome back to the most news in the morning here on CNN. Chaos in Pakistan, an estimated 25 percent of Pakistan's lawyers are behind bars today, protesting President Pervez Musharraf's crackdown. He has suspended the constitution, held off on elections. Word of what's going on is becoming increasingly difficult as private news organizations have been booted off the air. It's all being received by strong condemnation by the United States but not much more than that.

Our chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour joins us live from London. Christiane, what more can the west do really besides issue condemnations and strongly urge Musharraf to get back to the democratic process? I mean, isn't there a risk here that, if they push him too hard, they topple him off the edge of a cliff? And what's left if that happens?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's precisely the dilemma that the United States and others face. Here you have in conflict two imperatives by the U.S. and by others; the path to democracy, which is what they want in Pakistan, and the war on terror. And here's a dramatic example of how their ally is now in the center of this dramatic conflict between those two goals. If you carefully read and listen to the commentary that's coming out of the -- of Washington, you can see the State Department saying one thing and the Pentagon saying another; basically, the State Department saying that we need to get democracy back on track. These human rights and opposition and lawyers, these activists need to be released, and the democratic process needs to get back on track. While the Pentagon saying similar things but also not threatening to cut off the aid that the United States is earmarked for Pakistan for the war on terror. $10 billion have gone from the United States to Pakistan since 9/11, and most of that for fighting terrorism. So Musharraf embodies what the U.S. and the west want and what they think -- who they think can help them in that part of the world. And now they're confronted with this no best option situation. What is the other option to what's going on right now?

ROBERTS: Musharraf is trying to placate western governments by saying, hey, listen, I need to take this action to fight the war on terror, but some western diplomats think this could actually hamper his ability to do that by increasing the instability in Pakistan. And from the pictures we've been seeing, they haven't been rounding up extremists. They've been rounding up lawyers.

AMANPOUR: That's right. Basically, no matter what President Musharraf has said, the general analysis and the general view is that he cracked down because he expected the Supreme Court to come up with a ruling declaring the last elections unconstitutional and preventing him from taking his seat for president for a third time. That was meant to happen on November 15th. And what Musharraf and Bhutto and the United States had come up with, it appears, according to many analysts, is a way forward, that Musharraf would take off his uniform, continue to be president, but that Bhutto would face elections and perhaps become prime minister. And Musharraf would have the political legitimacy of a genuine political leader in Pakistan as a team to go forth and combat the extremists because, as you've seen over the last year and several months, certainly, increased attacks on the police in Pakistan, particularly in the Waziristan, northwest frontier province, increased amount of suicide bombings and attacks against Musharraf himself. So he thought that he had come up with this path towards fighting terrorism, giving himself more political legitimacy by bringing Bhutto on board, and the constitutional court, the supreme court, he feared, was go to say, no, sorry, that plan is not going to go ahead, and you can't take up your seat. So he's just declared emergency laws, and they've so far anyway put off any notion of parliamentary elections which were scheduled for a few months from now.

ROBERTS: And certainly opposition against him seems to be rising now. Christiane Amanpour, our chief international correspondent from London this morning. Christiane, thanks. Good to see you.

CHETRY: Still ahead, a license for illegal immigrants to drive. It's been debated in New York. Our own Lou Dobbs even weighing in on it. It's already happening in many states; illegal immigrants walking up and getting a driver's license. Don't have to show proof of citizenship. Don't need a social security card. We're going to be taking a closer look at that.

It's also our Quick Vote question of the morning. Should illegal immigrants be given licenses? Cast your vote CNN.com/am. We're back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Seems everyone's online these days. Even my dad has an e-mail account. In the United States, four out of five adults use the internet. That's 178 million Americans. They spend on average 11 hours a week there, according to a new Harris Poll. Harris began tracking internet use back in 1995, and back then, according to the polling, only nine percent of people went online. My, how times have changed.

Well, four female roommates in Seattle are fighting back after getting some unannounced male callers. They were turning up at their door, responding to what turns out was a fake ad posted on Craigslist. The women don't know what the ad said, so they didn't know what to expect or what the men were expecting when they showed up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had a bottle of wine and was definitely dressed to the nines, so to speak. And I was like, OK, what's going on here?

CHETRY: The roommates have created an e-mail account, stop this jerk@yahoo.com. They're hoping someone will turn in the person responsible for posting the ad.

ROBERTS: A story coming up in the next half hour that you just can't miss. We meant to do this yesterday, but the developments with Oprah forced us to postpone it until today. The best inventions of 2007.

CHETRY: That's right. In one of the ones we featured high heels that converted to low heels. I wore these all day on the show.

ROBERTS: You torture tested them. Unfortunately, you tortured this one. It's not functioning properly.

CHETRY: Even John couldn't fix it. I think I ran around on it too much. I ended up splitting the heel.

ROBERTS: Is there's a little rod inside of it.

CHETRY: But for somebody who's much less bull in a China shop, I'm sure these things would work great. And we had an umbrella that actually was aerodynamically resistant to the wind. And we'll show you the number one invention of 2007, according to "Time" magazine is.

ROBERTS: I wonder if Ali Velshi has an idea. We'll have that and the top story of the day coming up when AMERICAN MORNING returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN, ANCHOR: Nice aerial view of Massachusetts State House in Boston. Thanks to our friends at WCVB. Not a very nice election day there today, the municipal elections in Boston and 53 other cities and towns across Massachusetts today. It's only 53 degrees right now. It's going to be only 54, and lots of rain and wind. But you know, municipal elections are important. Get out to the polls there.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN, ANCHOR: Plus they have the Red Sox and the Patriots. They've got a lot to be happy about there.

ROBERTS: Exactly. What's to be sad about if you live in Boston?

It's Tuesday, November the 6th. Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. Thanks for being with us. I'm John Roberts.

CHETRY: And I'm Kiran Chetry.

New this morning, 2007, the deadliest year for U.S. troops in Iraq. Five more soldiers were killed Monday, that brings the total to 854 U.S. troops killed this year according to a CNN count of Pentagon figures. But death totals for September and October were actually much lower than months earlier in the year.

Brutal beatings and arrests for anyone protesting Pakistan's military crackdown. Lawyers are taking the lead in opposing President Pervez Musharraf. The country's judicial system suspended as well as the constitution. One of every four lawyers in Pakistan is in jail. President Bush telling President Musharraf to restore democracy. Washington is reviewing its aid package now to the Musharraf government. $10 billion of U.S. money has been spent to help Pakistan fight the war on terror.

The U.S. is trying to get China on board with sanctions against Iran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is meeting with China's President Hu Jintao in Beijing this morning. Both sides called the talks candid and friendly. China says it's strongly opposed to a nuclear-armed Iran but is against more sanctions to get Iran to back off of its nuclear program. Speaking of nuclear disarmament, North Korea off to a good start. First reports coming in from U.S. nuclear specialist in North Korea, the American team working on disabling the North's nuclear weapons facilities. The U.S. saying it hopes to negotiate for the complete dismantling sometime in the near future.

ROBERTSS: Britain's chief intelligence officer is warning today of a growing domestic terror threat in the country. Jonathan Evans, he is the director general of MI-5, that's the domestic intelligence service, says at least 2,000 people in Britain pose a direct threat to national security and public safety because of their support for terrorism. Evans also says British extremists are grooming young people, including children, to carry out attacks.

NASA engineers are poring over photos of "Discovery's" wings. There's a shot of the shuttle arm as the shuttle heads back to earth. They're checking for any damage from debris sustained while the "Discovery" was docked at the International Space Station. "Discovery" is scheduled to return to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida tomorrow.

And all of the F-15s in the Air Force have been grounded indefinitely after a crash. There you can barely make out the outline of an F-15 there on the ground. It crashed during a training exercise. It was flown by the Missouri Air National Guard. It went down last week. The Air Force said preliminary findings show a structural problem with the F-15 may have been the cause. They've been flying these things for decades too. The 676 F-15s flown by the Air Force were all built by Boeing.

CHETRY: And all volunteer Texas team expected to lead search efforts this morning for Stacy Peterson, the Illinois woman who disappeared more than a week ago under mysterious circumstances. This comes as new details are emerging about the relationship between Stacy and her husband. Police Sergeant Drew Peterson. CNN's Keith Oppenheim is in Bolingbrook, Illinois, where he spoke with Stacy Peterson's friends and family members. You know, they've been saying Keith that there's no way this 23-year-old would leave her two children, her 2 and her 4-year-old behind.

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Two young kids. And a lot of people are looking for her now, Kiran. We're at a command center. It's a church, which is really going to be sort of a volunteer command center where the search is going to be under way today. And we are hearing a lot of suspicion about Drew Peterson, particularly from Stacy Peterson's family. She's 23. He's 53. He's a police sergeant. They have been married four years. She was last seen Sunday a week ago when she didn't show up for a meeting for her sister, Drew Peterson, the husband and sergeant, he says that he does not believe that she's missing and that she ran away with another man. But Stacy Peterson's family discounts that. In fact, one friend released an e-mail, and in it she wrote that she described her husband as controlling, manipulative, and abusive. We also spoke to her aunt, Candice Aiken, and she described their relationship this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE CESARE, STACY'S FRIEND: I knew they had problems. Her phone calls were limited. So we had to keep distant, you know, over the summer and what not. But the part where it says that he was becoming abusive, that concerned me. I didn't know what to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OPPENHEIM: Correction. That was Steve Cesare. He was the friend who received the e-mail from Stacy Peterson. In the meantime, the local prosecuting attorney is looking into old police files about Drew Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, who died in 2004. She drowned in a bathtub and that was ruled accidental. But her family is also suspicious of Drew Peterson. In the meantime, there's a big search going on. Police have used tracking dogs, and they have had search parties in a number of places. But so far, Kiran, there has been no sign of Stacy Peterson.

CHETRY: You know, a lot of curious things working here. So the husband's not been named any type of formal suspect. Have police been questioning him, first of all? And also, police are talking about searching seven distinct areas of interest, they're calling it. So do they have any reason to believe that she is not alive?

OPPENHEIM: Well, they are searching actually, it's gone up to nine different places now. And they are talking to him. They say he's being very cooperative, but officially he's not being called a suspect in this case. But you know, when you talk about missing people cases, they can often turn into criminal investigations, but that officially has not happened in this one.

CHETRY: All right. Thanks so much for joining us about that. We'll talk more about that a little later, Keith. Thanks.

ROBERTS: Coming up on 37 minutes after the hour. Rob Marciano down in Atlanta checking on extreme weather across the country. We happen to be in the crosshairs today, Rob. Good day to be at work in New York.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: Yes, I know. It's going to be a rough go in New York. Not only New York, but down through Baltimore all across the i-95 corridor up through Boston also. We're looking at rainfall trying to punch through. Not quite raining that heavily right now in Bean town, but you go into central and western mass and much of the state of Connecticut, we got a pretty decent shot at rain. Some of these rain showers have some embedded thunder and lightning, which we saw a lot of as the system moved through yesterday.

But the Big Apple, all five boroughs, down to Philly, Wilmington and D.C., you're about to clear out of it. Temperatures have dropped. Now, the front right there, and temps have gone down about five to ten degrees in D.C. just the last couple of hours. So, there's your front. Definitely cooler air to the north and west. 34 degrees right now in Cincinnati and temperatures near freezing and cold enough for snow. We got our first batch of lake effect snow of the season. Temperatures on the lake is actually warmer than normal. It was a very mild October. Along the immediate shorelines, some of that snow is mixing in with rain, not accumulating. We've got reports anywhere from two to five inches of snowfall in many areas. Look at these winds right now. 28 mile an hour wind gusts in Grand Rapids, 31 in Milwaukee, 28 to 31 in Green Bay. So, wind chills down here, in some cases well below the freezing mark. And waves across the lakes piling up 15 to 20 footers. So, kind of like an angry ocean, those lakes can be this time of year. And some of that cold air, all of that cold air actually is moving to New York. So, once you get through the wet stuff, John, you'll get into the cold stuff. Enjoy.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Rob. Just looking at the FAA's website. Looks like serious delays in Boston and Atlanta but not much else at this point in terms of air travel.

MARCIANO: We'll see what happens later on today. I would think that list would start to grow.

ROBERTS: Yes, when somebody sneezes La Guardia closes down. Thanks, Rob. We'll get back to you soon. Kiran.

MARCIANO: You got it.

CHETRY: Your "Quick Hits" now. A California national guard unit being investigated for allegedly taking donations intended for wildfire victims. The guard launched its investigation after volunteers reported troops taking away cartons of snacks and diapers. Items that were intended for displaced fire victims near the U.S.- Mexico border. One soldier has already been relieved of duty.

Kelsey Peterson, the middle school teacher accused of having sex with a 13-year-old student and taking him to Mexico now faces a court hearing in California tomorrow. It will determine if she'll waive extradition to Nebraska. Peterson faces charges there of kidnapping, child abuse, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She also faces federal charges for transporting that minor to Mexico for sexual activity.

Well, some states allow illegal immigrants easy access to driver's licenses. Is it a smart move or bad judgment? We're going to take a look at how it's working in one state ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Breaking news to tell you about this morning. More violence in Afghanistan today. The sugar factory north of Kabul, a suicide bomber, according to the press, blew himself up and detonated a bomb while some lawmakers were about to tour that facility. According to the Associated Press, 20 people dead, 6 of them lawmakers. We'll get more on this breaking story. We'll bring it to you just as soon as we have it in hand. Kiran.

CHETRY: Also, another story we're working today - illegal immigration and how (inaudible) driver's licenses should illegal immigrants or undocumented people here in the U.S. be able to get them? It's been a huge issue with a lot of attention being paid to the debate in New York. In fact, we spoke with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer about that right here on AMERICAN MORNING last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ELIOT SPITZER (D), NEW YORK: We want security. We want our roads to be safe, which is he initial impetus behind letting them get a license so we know who they are, where they are. They can get insurance. Everybody is safer. Security experts agree with that premise. Seven other states do it. That is the initial objective.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Although it is meeting with a lot of disapproval as well in many circles, but as Eliot Spitzer said, the governor of New York, seven other states do it, one of them New Mexico, where they do not require social security numbers or any proof of citizenship to get a license. CNN's Ed Lavandera takes a closer look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN, CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fernando Vazquez can't legally drive the streets of Santa Fe, at least not yet. In New Mexico, this illegal immigrant can show his Mexican passport, and the paperwork to get a license begins.

He says it's very helpful to get a driver's license so I can drive to work.

New Mexico is one of several states where illegal immigrants can get a driver's license.

KEN ORTIZ, DIRECTOR, MOTOR VEHICLE DIVISION: It brings them out of the shadows. I feel that they're probably more likely to report a crime, less likely to flee the scene of an accident or a crime because we know who they are.

LAVANDERA: State officials here in New Mexico say they don't know for sure how many illegal immigrants have been given driver's licenses, but in the last four years some 34,000 people have applied for a license using an identification other than a social security number. New Mexico says illegal immigrants can use a foreign passport and two forms of proof that they live in the state.

Motor vehicle employees can also tap into a Mexican government database to verify someone's identity. New Mexico is the only state that can do this. Fernando's picture popped up in seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're verifying the card with the issuing agency, Mexican consulate, verifying the name, the photo, date of birth, and the consulate of which we accept all match.

LAVANDERA: Officials here say they're not in the business of proving citizenship. They just want to make sure people are who they say they are. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

CHETRY: So we want to know what you think. We're asking, should illegal immigrants get licenses? Cast your vote, CNN.com/am. We had some of you weighing in. Boy, right now 11% only saying yes, 89% saying no. We're going to continue to update your votes throughout the morning.

ROBERTS: Your "Quick Hits" now at 45 minutes after the hour. A police officer for the Houston school district was fired this week for creating and distributing a "ghetto handbook" to fellow officers last spring. 34-year-old Roby Morris is a gang investigator. He was on a paid leave since August after handing out an eight-page pamphlet with ebonics definitions. He told district investigation that he did it to get back at one of his bosses.

Well, some prominent Barack Obama supporters may have helped end Steven Colbert's bid to enter South Carolina's democratic primary. Party officials say they urged state democratic leaders to oppose putting the comedian's name on the ballot. Colbert lost his bid by a 13-3 vote last week.

Ahead, what were the best inventions of the year? We'll take a look coming up on AMERICAN MORNING.

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ROBERTS: It's 49 minutes after the hour. More breaking news just in to CNN. Remember that slaying of a police officer we told you about at a doughnut shop in Philadelphia last week. Well, police have apparently made an arrest. They have apprehended who they say is the perpetrator in the slaying of that police officer. He was apprehended at a shelter in Florida. More details coming in on this. We'll get them to you just as soon as we have them in hand.

Meanwhile, 20 suspected terrorists arrested in Europe this morning. 11 of the arrests were in Italy where the investigation started. They are suspected of recruiting suicide bombers to send to Iraq and Afghanistan.

No end to the chaos in Pakistan today. Another day of clashes between police and attorneys outside of courthouses in several cities, about a quarter of the country's lawyers have been arrested. President Pervez Musharraf suspended the constitution.

President Bush is once again promising to help Turkey defeat Kurdish rebel in northern Iraq. During a meeting yesterday with Turkish prime minister, President Bush offered to share intelligence. Turkish troops are amassed along the Turkey-Iraqi border. The White House has expressed concern that an incursion could destabilized the entire region.

Attorney-general nominee Michael Mukasey is expected to clear a major hurdle today. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to approve Mukasey's nomination and then sent it to the full senate. Mukasey's reluctance to define water boarding as torture even though he called the interrogation tactic repugnant put his nomination in jeopardy. Two key senate democrats agreed to vote with republicans on Mukasey. Full senate vote likely to happen next week. No idea what will happen during that though. And New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is apologizing to the father of a police officer and ground zero worker for saying that his son was "not a hero." Bloomberg made the comment after a city medical examiner ruled that James Zadroga died from abusing prescription drugs, not from dust inhaled at the World Trade Center site. The family insists Zadroga did not abuse any drugs.

CHETRY: Well, they're ideas that are supposed to make our lives easier, maybe a little bit more fun, maybe a little bit more convenient. The editors of "Time Magazine" put together the list of the best inventions in 2007. AMERICAN MORNING contributor Pauley Labarr is here with some of her favorites this morning. Hey Pauley, good to see you. One you possess yourself, which is the iPhone.

PAULEY LABARR, CNN, CONTRIBUTOR: This was the best invention of the year according to "Time Magazine." It certainly is the most hyped invention of the year. 1.4 million of these have sold since June. I love it. I think, after using it for three months, the critics of it are right, and the fans of it are right. It's got wonderful qualities. It's a game-changing product, absolutely, that's going to change the way we think about phones. Just the way Mac changed the way we think about the computer.

CHETRY: Let's talk about this helmet, which looks just like a normal football helmet.

LABARR: It's called the revolution IQ HIT helmet, which stands for head impact telemetry system. And it was built out of a growing concern around the fact that football players, whether high school players or pros, were getting repeated concussions undetected that could lead to severe or permanent brain damage. So, if you look inside here, there are a bunch of sensors that actually can report the magnitude and the location of these hits. And then you download the data to a computer. You can analyze it with a web-based application later, and to find out if you need medical attention.

CHETRY: That's very interesting. Let's talk about the Xerox paper. Because I think this one's pretty strange but interesting. It could be helpful. You print on this paper, and then what happens?

LABARR: Looks like a plain piece of paper. It's magically embedded with material that, when light is projected on it and used with a special inkless paper or copier, creates a document that disappears in 24 hours.

CHETRY: I'm actually wearing the next intention that you guys sent over here. It's these shoes that start off as flats. And then can be turned into heels. Let's see.

LABARR: This is the chameleon shoe. The creator of this was inspired by watching his sons play with toy transformers, and he wanted to solve that problem of we all love to wear high heels that cause us endless pain, and we suffer in silence. So, here's a way to actually, you know, make your commute easier, run to the subway or bus in the low heel, and when you're going out to dinner or get to the office, you can flip it back. CHETRY: Last but not least, this is one is the wireless phone charger. Instead of untangling one of these things, you know, your various chargers that you got to plug in. This plugs in the wall, and you just slap your devices on to it.

LABARR: We say these are wireless devices. They're only wireless when data is concerned, not when power is concerned. So, right now it only works for the razor. Here's the razor phone. What you do is you slap on their little adapter here. It magnetically sticks and it charges and powers up right there on the - just as fast as it would be if it was plugged into the wall. Soon, iPhones and blackberrys will work on that too. This is available now, where some of those things are prototypes like the football helmet and the paper.

CHETRY: Pretty cool. So, these are some of the best inventions of 2007. As voted on and decided by "Time Magazine." Of course, you give the endorsement to your iPhone.

LABARR: Yes, it's a keeper.

CHETRY: Pauley Labarr, as always, thanks.

LABARR: Thank you so much.

ROBERTS: It's a girl. And a boy. Twins for "Headline News" Nancy Grace. They were delivered early because Nancy developed a serious condition over the weekend known as pulmonary edema. We're going to take a look at just how common that condition is and hear from the proud dad. That's coming up on AMERICAN MORNING.

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CHETRY: Three minutes before the top of the hour. And Ali and I were saying you barely clear the hay and the pumpkins off of the display tables, and, boom, it's time to think about Christmas and holiday shopping.

ALI VELSHI, CNN, "MINDING YOUR BUSINESS": The fake snow and the gift sets which is always good. I enjoy the gift sets. You get things you can't get the rest of the year.

ROBERTS: This is a man who loves to shop.

VELSHI: I do like to shop. I'm a bit of a sucker for advertising. I'm the guy whose watching TV and I see an ad on pizza and guess what, I get a pizza. I buy all those made, you know, just on TV things.

CHETRY: The pancake biscuits. You know, I've got to get them.

VELSHI: And this is the point, they're hoping people are like me. Because we've talked so much about how the holiday shopping session might be weak because of the questions people have about the economy that retailers are pushing it out already. We are seeing sales, holiday style sales at Wal-mart, Target, JCPenney, Kohl's, even Saks, upscale stuff, 30 to 40% off on on-line purchases. Take a look at what I'm talking about. The type of sales you'll see at Wal- mart. Wal-mart is offering the kind of thing that you usually saw as sort of a door buster or a black Friday type of sale. 14-inch Acer laptop. $348. Sanyo 50-inch plasma HDTV, too bad I just bought one of those a few months ago on that kind of sale and they're trying The problem is everybody isn't doing this, so it could be hard for some retailers. We're going to have to keep an eye on this because this is what's going to decide whether or not we keep on going. Does the American consumer open their wallets up for the holiday shopping season? I certainly will.

ROBERTS: All right. You obviously started...

CHETRY: Thanks, Ali. That's why we're glad we're you're friends.

VELSHI: That's right.

CHETRY: Thanks Ali.

ROBERTS: Looking forward to a nice present this year.

Next, story coming up next half hour that you can't miss. A mom goes to the store to buy diapers. She's walking up and down the aisle, and there on the diaper package in front of her is a photo of her young son on the package.

CHETRY: There it is. She's wondering how did this happen since they never talked to me about it. Well, she's going to join us along with her son. That's coming up. We'll have that and all the other day's top stories when AMERICAN MORNING comes right back.

Breaking news, five soldiers killed in Iraq and a deadly new milestone for U.S. troops.

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