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Mike Gravel 101; Sex & Spirituality: Pastor Tackles Tough Subject; Football's Hard Hits

Aired December 2, 2007 - 07:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hey there! Good morning, everybody, from the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. This is December 2nd. We're in December. It's almost over, isn't it? Hey there, everybody.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: The year, that is.

HOLMES: The year. I'm T.J. Holmes. Glad you're here.

NGUYEN: Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. It's 7:00 a.m. in the east. 6:00 in the Midwest where you're waking up to some extreme weather. We are going to fill you in on that.

Also this, there are new developments in the killing of NFL star Sean Taylor. A fourth suspect appears before a judge this morning.

HOLMES: And on a day when Taylor should be taking the field with his team, the Redskins will play this afternoon and a tribute to him.

NGUYEN: Also this morning, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at it again, wait until you hear what he says about CNN now. I think it's what you said.

HOLMES: He was upset before I said anything.

NGUYEN: Is that what it was?

HOLMES: Of course. Of course, it's Sunday morning. Maybe you attended a wedding last night. Well, I'll bet the first dance you had to sit through was not this good. Check it out.

NGUYEN: Oh, my god. He just smacked her, he likes big butts and he cannot lie

HOLMES: How you get down at your wedding. That is marriage material. You want to marry that woman right there.

NGUYEN: Oh, my goodness. He just smacked her on the back side.

HOLMES: A little backside smack.

NGUYEN: He likes big butts and he cannot lie.

HOLMES: Folks, you can tell like this video. We're going to have more on this favorite video. I know. I know.

NGUYEN: We could keep this going all morning long. Whoa! Hey.

HOLMES: OK. I'm sorry. We've got weather to get to, Betty.

NGUYEN: Yes, something serious.

HOLMES: Can we get this out of -- thank you.

NGUYEN: Back to the news, shall we?


NGUYEN: Weather across the U.S. today can be summed with some four-letter words.

HOLMES: Which ones, Betty?

NGUYEN: Snow, rain, what were you thinking? Well the first major winter storm as you can see blanketed the country from the southwest to the Great Lakes.

Look at this. Forecasters expect more today.

HOLMES: They had cars crashing like bill yard balls, actually left three people dead. This is deadly weather we're talking about here. Planes getting off runways, more than 425 flights canceled and some presidential candidates getting the cold shoulder for different reasons, this time. It was weather-related. Some campaign events had to be shut due to the storm.

NGUYEN: Right in the thick of it, our Susan Roesgen she is all bundled up this morning. She is out there no biggy right?


NGUYEN: Good morning, Susan.

ROESGEN: Good morning. You and T.J., Betty, talking about a wedding. I'm thinking how about a honeymoon in the Caribbean after this. It's still here this morning. Work crews have been out with the snow plows all night, trying to clear those runways and trying to clear the roads. You can see the roads behind me. Traffic is moving smoothly. It's what you can't see, what came after the snow, the freezing rain that has made it really tough to get around.


ROESGEN (voice over): This is what worries people a lot more than snow. Ice. Ice on cars, ice on roads, and ice on power lines, 14,000 people, at least, lost power when the lines went down. It was even too icy at airports. Planes slid off the runways in Des Moines, Iowa and Madison, Wisconsin. Dozens of flights were canceled. And driving in some spots wasn't much easier. How could people who always get snow forget how to drive in it?

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE): You know how us Minnesotans drive. We act like we don't go through this every year, everybody driving so slow. The cold, I went to Target and got my gloves and my hat. I wasn't ready for it at all.

ROESGEN: From Minnesota to the wind-swept roads of South Dakota. For some, driving was just a hassle. For others, as it was for drivers in Detroit, it was treacherous. More than 100 car crashes in Wisconsin Saturday, and at least one person was killed there. The first winter storm of the season in the Midwest came in fast and furious. And only guys with big shovels felt superior to the snow.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I went through blizzards of 1976.

ROESGEN: So this is nothing?


ROESGEN: But it is rough for drivers out there.

(UNIDENTIFIED MALE): I was one of them. Trust me; it was really, really rough.

ROESGEN: It could be rough for a while. It is only the start of December.


ROESGEN: And it is pretty to look at. It will be fun for the kids today to make snow angels and snowballs and snowmen. But if you don't have to drive in this area, they're saying today, don't go out, take it easy on this Sunday. Sit by the fire and try and warm up. We have expecting perhaps more snow later today. They said between 4 and 8 inches here in the Minnesota area.


NGUYEN: Is that all? 4 to 8 inches? Oh, cake walk. Come on, Susan.

ROESGEN: Not bad. I've seen worse.

NGUYEN: My goodness, especially on a Sunday when people are trying to travel, that's not what they want to hear.

Thanks for bringing us up to speed. We appreciate it.

Well CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf is in the Severe Weather Center with a look at where the snow and ice warnings are and you know they are out this morning Reynolds.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, they are. I will tell you one thing though, things are looking much better now than they were yesterday at this time. Yesterday, the big issue was the ice. For heaven sakes, the airport in Des Moines, we had to close down the airport. They closed down because of all the ice. They had about a half inch of ice on the runway throughout town. It was a tremendous problem. Today, not so much an issue. The reason why is there's a lot of warm air that is affecting it to the south. Temperatures well above the freezing point in Cleveland and Columbus. We got a lot of rain there.

However, on the other side of that, we got a little bit of cold air to say the least. A lot of cold air coming into the north. With that, we're seeing the snowfall. That was the situation yesterday in Detroit. Take a look at this video that we have compliments of WXYZ. I believe we have that coming up in moments. Icy conditions on the Live Treeway that is the heart of the main thoroughfares that goes downtown. Sure enough people moving in a hurry on slick surfaces, not a good combination and this is normally what happens. I can tell you from personal experience living there for three years, it is an icy mess. The first wintry blast of year can cause all kinds of havoc on the roadways.

I believe we have another shot that shows the current situation. This is from WDIV this camera is actually in Windsor, looking northward across the Detroit River. There you see the Renaissance Center on the right-hand side of the screen. It's going to be a better day for you in Detroit. We're expecting sunshine there.

Now, as we go back to the weather computer, the focus of that wintry weather will be moving into New York State, back into Pennsylvania and we're going to talk about that coming up during our next update. Back to you at the news desk.

NGUYEN: Hey let me ask you this. With all this snow from 5 to 8 inches there, have we made it to winter just yet?

WOLF: Actually, you know, it's funny that you say that. It was actually at the end of hurricane season, the meteorological winter began. So yeah, we're right on queue. I mean, you fire up the starting gun and the horses start running, same situation here today. You don't have the horses but you have the snow and the ice.

HOLMES: There's a meteorological winter? Is there another winter?

WOLF: You know what? In my world, it's always summer. So I guess to some people, you have that start of the meteorological winter.

NGUYEN: Winter didn't wait, that's for sure. It came in with a blast.

WOLF: Just the opposite of last year.

NGUYEN: That's true. Thank you, Reynolds.

Well we want to share some pictures of snow and ice that we received from some of CNN's I reporters. Check this out, Giovanni Sanchez took this picture outside his house in Utah. Look at all that snow. It's about 30 degrees outside which he describes as not too cold. I would describe it as cold.

And Paras Bhandari took this picture of icy trees outside his apartment in Omaha, Nebraska. He says there's about a half inch of ice on everything. Take a look at this. Paul Emmerick sent this photo of the ice where he lives in from Blair, Nebraska. He says there have been no power outages that he knows of. It's important to note when you see that kind of ice on trees, it really weighs down those trees, those trees fall over on to the power lines and then you have the rest of the story.

HOLMES: All right. We will certainly stick with weather. Weather will be a theme of ours this morning. The meteorological winter is upon us.

But another big story we've been following for the past several days now. The Sean Taylor case, today we have another suspect in court. The NFL in mourning. This fourth person charged with the killing of NFL superstar Sean Taylor is expected to be before a judge in less than three hours.

NGUYEN: Grief over Taylor's death hangs over the NFL on this Sunday. The Washington Redskins will where patches with his number 21 on their jerseys. Taylor will also be remembered with a moment of silence at games around the NFL. As for the men accused of killing him, they're facing the harsh reality of the charges against them. Let's get some details now from CNN's John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Seventeen -year- old Eric Rivera stood expressionless before the judge in a Ft. Myers, Florida courtroom. The teenager his attorney says faced drug charges in the past, but nothing like this.

WILBUR SMITH, ATTORNEY FOR FIVERA: He just went along for the ride, so to speak, and he -- he's -- obviously, he was way over his head.

ZARRELLA: Rivera is one of four young men, all with prior records, now facing charges of killing Washington Redskins football star Sean Taylor. Charges that could send him to prison for life. According to court documents, Rivera admitted to traveling to Miami to participate in armed burglary. Soon, all four will be turned over to authorities in Miami.

JUDGE HUGH STARNES, LEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: For security, which I will, and just provide that he may be released to Dade County.

ZARRELLA: Then Jay Hunt and Charles Wardlow appeared on a video link from the jail. Jason Mitchell will appear Sunday. Along with the murder charges all four men face burglary and home invasion with a firearm charge. Wardlow's attorney says his client did not pull the trigger.

JOHN EVANS, ATTORNEY FOR WARDLOW: A lot of the facts are going to show that my client may have been inside the house, but was not, in fact, the trigger man.

ZARRELLA: Police have still not revealed how the alleged attackers knew Taylor. The gun used has not been found.

EVANS: And I don't believe that it will be recovered.

ZARRELLA: Why do you say that?

EVANS: From things that I've heard from law enforcement and people involved in the case.

ZARRELLA: Wilbur Smith, who represents Eric Rivera, says these kinds of crimes are a sickening reality he's been dealing with his entire career.

SMITH: It's a tragic story you see over and over with young black men killing young black men.

ZARRELLA: In the neighborhood where Rivera lived, folks are having a hard time digesting that he was involved.

JERRY DAVIS, RIVERA'S NEIGHBOR: You see him more trying to do something with his life, going somewhere and do positive things and then he did something like that and it's like, wow, how could he be involved in something like that?

ZARRELLA: It's possible some or all of the defendants could be in Miami and go before a judge there on Monday, the same day and in the same city that thousands of mourners are expected at Sean Taylor's memorial service.

John Zarrella, CNN, Ft. Myers, Florida.


NGUYEN: Well the man behind that hostage drama at one of Hillary Clinton's campaign offices will face a judge tomorrow.

HOLMES: Yes, authorities say Leeland Eisenberg will be arraigned in New Hampshire on charges of kidnapping and reckless conduct. We are now learning more about this man, Eisenberg. In 2002, he filed a lawsuit against the Boston arch diocese claiming he was raped by a parish priest.

NGUYEN: Friday's standoff at Clinton's Rochester, New Hampshire office ended peacefully after more than five hours. Police say Eisenberg took five hostages and before he surrendered, he complained that he hadn't been able to get mental health treatment.

HOLMES: Well missing wife, husband a suspect. This morning, a new piece of information about the Stacey Peterson case. Police say husband Drew Peterson may have asked two truckers to carry a package for him the day his wife was reported missing. According to police, the truckers say two men asked them to take a package to an undisclosed location. They now believe one of those men is Peterson. In a statement, Peterson denies any encounter with truckers ever took place. Volunteers meanwhile continue the search for Stacey Peterson, but yesterdays search was cut short because of bad weather. NGUYEN: All right. We know when politics occur, things get heated, people get upset, and politicians get heated themselves. Check this out. An argument among rival politicians gets really heated. Is that somebody doing a -- your ma" somewhere?

HOLMES: Is that John Edwards in the middle?

NGUYEN: Oh stop it.

It is not. This debate obviously turned into a fistfight. Competing parties, slugging it out.

HOLMES: Also some slugging if you will, talk show host behaving badly. Montel Williams taking some jabs at journalists? What in the world happened here? Stick around.


NGUYEN: Working hard here at the CNN Center.

HOLMES: We're going to talk about Venezuela here for a minute. Crucial vote going on right now in that country.

NGUYEN: And here is what it could do, it could expand President Hugo Chavez's power. Voters are deciding on constitutional changes that would do away with term limits and possibly allow Chavez to stay in power indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Chavez has been on a rant about CNN. Check it out.


PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELA (Translator): CNN has been instigating with fascination and I am going to sue them. Of course I am going to sue them.


HOLMES: OK. Chavez, he's angry with us about an on-screen caption on our Spanish language network last week that read, who killed him? This was referring to a story on Washington Redskins football player Sean Taylor who, of course, was shot last Monday. CNN has acknowledged that this was an error and we did apologize for this. Hear still what Chavez has to say now about CNN.


CHAVEZ (Translator): I watch CNN a lot. I watch CNN and I respect the good reporters there. I think it's the channel that I watch the most, CNN.


NGUYEN: Well good morning Chavez.

HOLMES: Make up your mind. Do you love us or hate us? Good morning, Mr. President. CNN is Tierney, so kind of love hate thing we got going on.

NGUYEN: I think it's going to continue for quite some time.

In the meantime though, Russians they are going to the polls.

HOLMES: That's topping our list of quick hits today.

NGUYEN: They're voting in parliamentary elections. The results could clear the way for President Vladimir Putin to stay in power after his term expires in the spring. By law, he can't run for a third consecutive term as president, but he has raised the possibility of becoming prime minister.

Iraq, the U.S. death toll is growing. The latest from Baghdad, an IED that explodes near a combat patrol. One U.S. soldier is dead, two wounded. The U.S. death toll in Iraq now stands at 3,882.

HOLMES: Look at this! Hot and spicy politics. This is what happens when we get Republicans and Democrats together for a joint debate.

NGUYEN: Is that what happens?

HOLMES: This is the joint CNN/youtube debate. No, actually, folks, this is the Mexican state legislature of Tabasco. Lawmakers turned into a shoving and slugging match. Nobody was seriously hurt. Yes, they settled back down, got back to the business of law making about an hour later. They needed to blow off some steam.

NGUYEN: Yes, so you duke it out, you get those differences out there and boom, its back to order. We should try that a little more often.

HOLMES: Congress, just fight it out and get back to work.

NGUYEN: All right. Let's get you on to a serious story.

He's the last brother left, the sole survivor of three. This is a really sad story. But now he's actually telling his story about growing up with HIV and the loss of his brothers and his future.

HOLMES: Also, packing the pews at one church in Michigan. How do you do that? Sex. The taboo topic. One pastor is talking about it and he is packing them in.


NGUYEN: Rocking out World Aids Day 2007 in Johannesburg. Look at Annie Lennox on stage right now. The concert, organized by former South African president Nelson Mandela was seen by millions. This was a huge, huge concert yesterday.

HOLMES: The fourth year, I believe they said, activists, world leaders use the day to warn against complacently, the fight against Aids. And President Bush called World Aids Day a day of sadness and also a day of hope. Sadness because the lives lost and hope because of the improving prospects for those living with HIV.

Still casting pretty long shots. The Ray brothers, you may remember them from Florida, a lot of people familiar with this story, really played an important roll in the whole Aids story back in the '80s. Those Ray brothers had to live with this nightmare of this stigma every day of their lives.

NGUYEN: CNN's David Mattingly recently spoke to the soul surviving brother about his family's painful ordeal.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It should have been an age of innocence. But for three young brothers who were HIV positive life's hard lessons came early.

Do you feel like part of your childhood was taken away?

RANDY RAY: Yes, I would say by a big part.

MATTINGLY: Was this by the disease or was this by the prejudice that came with it?

RAY: I would say both.

MATTINGLY: Randy Ray is the only surviving brother of the siblings who were once the face of Aids in America. And a symbol for all the fear and intolerance that followed. In 1986 all three were infected with HIV through contaminated treatments for hemophilia. Instead of finding compassion Rick, Robert and Randy were shunned by their hometown of Arcadia, Florida. They were kicked out of school. In 1987, someone burned down their house. Twenty years later, Randy Ray agreed to speak to us in a rare interview from his home in central Florida. We find that the legacy of the Ray brothers continues to influence how others might think about Aids. It's a legacy that began all those years ago after that one unforgettable act of violence.

You were just 8 years old at the time. Did it make you angry?

RAY: Yeah.

MATTINGLY: Were you afraid?

RAY: Yeah. I didn't know if they were going to try to do something to us next.

MATTINGLY: Out of the ashes of their destroyed home, Randy says the world found an activist. Older brother, Ricky, made it his mission to educate people about Aids. In his last days, he was in front of the camera asking everyone to watch and listen.

RICKY RAY: This is what Aids is and what it does to you.

MATTINGLY: What was he trying to accomplish?

RAY: I guess to solve the prejudice of it. He was hurt throughout the years as the rest of all of us and his way of fixing that there was to educate people.

MATTINGLY: Ricky Ray died at age 15. Robert died eight years later. Now, 28, we find Randy is out of the public eye and on a mission of his own. In 1986, Aids was considered a death sentence. His way of coping was to take life one day at a time.

RAY: I live every day just like it was the last one, you know, just trying to do the best that I can do, you know. I may not die of Aids. You know, I may die in a car wreck or, you know, hit by a car. You never know how you're going to die.

MATTINGLY: Randy is determined to succeed at having the kind of life his brothers were denied. He's been married eight years. He has a stepdaughter and he and his wife will soon adopt a baby girl. Thanks to improved treatments, Randy's only reminder of Aids are the pills he takes every morning and evening. Thanks to improved public attitude, his life is no longer defined by a disease.

Do you think about the future?

RAY: Yeah, I do now. I hope to see my grandkids. That's what my future is now. I've been a dad, so now I want to be a grandpa. No time soon, but --

MATTINGLY: Where his older brother tried to show the world what it's like to die with Aids, Randy says, he wants to show how to live and live well.

David Mattingly, CNN, Orlando.


NGUYEN: What a great story of a family trying to make difference when it comes to the face of Aids.

HOLMES: Those kids went through a lot. A lot of fear at the time back then and people didn't mind turning that venom on three innocent little kids.

NGUYEN: Thinking about it today when we know so much more and the medications are so good.

Reynolds Wolf joins us now. You have something that you want to show us dealing with World Aids Day.

WOLF: Yeah. Take a look at this I-report. This is from Auburn University. The students formed the shape of the Aids emblem. Right in the very middle you'll see the Auburn mascot. This is one of the few times you'll actually see Auburn University students wearing red or something resembling crimson. That will never, ever happen. By the way, I know that my Auburn Tigers did not play the Texas Longhorns, but if memory serves, I think they did play the Arkansas Razorbacks this year. T.J., how did that game turn out?

HOLMES: You're in a mood this morning! Isn't there severe weather going on somewhere? NGUYEN: Don't you have something better to do?

WOLF: There's always time for Auburn football.

WOLF: What was that score T.J?

HOLMES: It was 7-6. Do you remember? Because we were at your home watching the game.

NGUYEN: Close, yeah.

HOLMES: And we appreciate you being such a nice host.

WOLF: Yeah, but I'm rubbing it in now.

HOLMES: We know where you live now.

NGUYEN: Take your wins when you can.

HOLMES: We might come back to you, Reynolds.

WOLF: Maybe so.

HOLMES: Folks, this guy we're going to tell you about here now, I wonder if you recognize him. He's stuck at the bottom of the polls, but he is not giving up. Our close-up to the candidates continues with former Senator Mike Gravel.

NGUYEN: So you're going to go from unchained melody at your wedding, keep the video rolling because they are about to change it up. We'll show it to you to "Baby Got Back" can you imagine that as playing that as your first song out there as a newlywed couple? You have to see this video. It's viral video and it's coming your way, next.


HOLMES: The Democratic presidential contenders took their show to Iowa last night, braving the winter weather across the Midwest. The candidates faced questions from mostly an African-American and Latino audience at the Brown & Black Forum happening in Des Moines.

NGUYEN: In one of the forum's lighter moments, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson asking Senator Hillary Clinton if, based on her husband's resume, governors make good presidents. Well, Clinton said they make good vice presidents.

HOLMES: Got you there...

NGUYEN: Exactly.

HOLMES: ... Governor Richardson.

Well, not sure who you should be backing in the presidential race? Here's an idea that might help you out. Head over to Fill out the candidate calculator. NGUYEN: And let's say you strongly support abortion rights, you also vigorously oppose the Patriot Act, you are against building a border fence, and you want to end the war in Iraq immediately. For good measure, let's just also say you support the Fair Tax.

HOLMES: OK. Well, if you agree with all that, you might be surprised when this guy pops up, because he's your guy.

NGUYEN: Really?

HOLMES: Democratic Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska, he's your man.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Mike Gravel.

HOLMES (voice over): It's fair to say the man who has been running for president the longest has the least to show for it.

MIKE GRAVEL (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That brings me here today to announce my candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

HOLMES: Since announcing in April of 2006, former Alaska senator Mike Gravel has been stuck at the bottom of the polls for the Democratic presidential hopefuls, mainly making headlines for his antics, not his politics.

GRAVEL: Some of them people frighten me. They frighten me. When you have mainline candidates that turn around and say that there's nothing off the table with respect to Iran, that's code for using nukes.

Barack, who are you wanting to nuke?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not planning to nuke anybody right now, Mike. I promise.

GRAVEL: Good. Good, we're safe then.

HOLMES: The two-term senator is the son of French-Canadian immigrants. He served in the Army in the 1950s and sold real estate before going to Capitol Hill.

As a senator, he gained notoriety in 1971 when he read the Pentagon Papers, classified documents on the U.S. military's movement in Vietnam, on the Senate floor in an effort to get them into public record. He also staged a five-month, one-man filibuster to end the peacetime draft that led to the draft's expiration in 1973.

Not surprisingly, Gravel opposed the Iraq war from the start and calls for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. He supports the Fair Tax and setting up a legal path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. And though his fund-raising totals have kept him out of several recent debates, that hasn't kept him off the Web, with sites on MySpace and Second Life, as well as clips on YouTube. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former Alaska senator Mike Gravel served in the Senate from 1969 until 1981. He joins me now.

Senator Mike Gravel, thank you so much for joining me.

GRAVEL: Happy to be here.


HOLMES: Wow. We should get him on the show.

We've got another candidate profile still ahead. Next hour, folks, we look at former New York mayor, Republican Rudy Giuliani. And then in our 9:00 a.m. hour, we'll take you live to Iowa, where both Republicans and Democrats, of course, busy campaigning this weekend.

And CNN has the best political team on television. They're all on the trail, following the candidates.

NGUYEN: Well, an early blast of winter just snarls travel throughout the nation's midsection. Check this out. Snow, ice, making for treacherous roads. Detroit's famed Motor City is left spinning its wheels.

The skies also ground to a halt. Hundreds of flights were canceled across the Midwest. And the winter-hearty folks of Minnesota are digging out of their first storm of the season. Much of the state got five or six inches. Some areas got even more.


HOLMES: The BCS mess.

NGUYEN: Oh my.

HOLMES: You thought things are crazy already. Some people want to take the "C" out of he BCS and call it what it is.

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: But if you thought things were crazy already, we have got another tailspin.

NGUYEN: OK. We are going to talk football with Rick Horrow in just a few minutes. Hopefully he can try to sort all of this out.

But in the meantime, we're also going to be talking about sex.

HOLMES: It's Sunday morning, Betty. Please.

NGUYEN: Sunday morning and sex. And it's in church, mind you.

HOLMES: Oh Betty.

NGUYEN: Yes. That's in today's "Faces of Faith." Don't miss it.


HOLMES: Well, we don't usually have our "Faces of Faith" graphic come up and then the first thing out of my mouth be "sex," but...

NGUYEN: Oh my.

HOLMES: But sex, of course, can be a touchy subject pretty much anywhere. But how about tackling from the pulpit?

Yes, our "Faces of Faith" today. Meet a pastor who approaches the topic with a focus on spirituality, as well as humor.

NGUYEN: Lovely.

CNN's Mike Galanos introduces us to the author of "Sex God."


MIKE GALANOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When Michigan pastor Rob Bell traveled the country promoting his new book, he packed colleges from Kentucky to California.

PASTOR ROB BELL, AUTHOR, "SEX GOD": I mean, sexuality is central to who we are as human beings, so it would make sense that we would discuss it.

GALANOS: In "Sex God," the Michigan pastor explores the endless connections between spirituality and sexuality with chapters like "God Wears Lipstick" and "Leather Whips and Fruit." But he still encourages young people to wait for just the right person.

BELL: So I would say, you wait for some man who would lay down his life for you, who would say to you, 'till death do us part. Like, that's just a beautiful idea. You wait for that, because that's what God -- that's God's best for you.

GALANOS: Talk like that is making Bell a very popular pastor. His esoteric short film series, "Numa," which means "spirit" in Greek, became an underground hit in Christian circles, selling more than 750,000 copies.

BELL: We're fragile and vulnerable. We come from the dust.

GALANOS: And the kids, as they say, are tracking with the message.

KIRK STEVENS, STUDENT: Sex is all over the bible. It's not just hush, hush in the bible, but it is contextual.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he just basically says sexuality is connecting, like, creation to the creator. He's coming out in a different angle, and I think that's revolutionary.

GALANOS: But it's not just college students who come to hear him. Every week, 10,000 people attend his church in a former shopping mall in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His unorthodox approach to sexuality is something Christians aren't used to hearing.

BELL: I think that a lot of times what happens is, because something can get really destructive and painful, what a lot of Christians do is, OK, then we just push it out. Just don't have anything to do with it. And so the whole thing just gets pushed out, just avoid it, as opposed to the hard work of discerning, reflecting, sorting through, how do I think about this?

GALANOS: Bell is not ashamed to be a pastor without all the answers.

BELL: And I would make a distinction between being the moral police of culture, which is a bad idea, and being the kind of people who thoughtfully reflect and engage about the things that matter most.

GALANOS: Which to Bell is a positive message not focused solely on what's right and what's wrong.

Mike Galanos, CNN, Atlanta.


NGUYEN: The message is resonating.

HOLMES: He's packing the pews, as we said a little earlier.

Well, folks, is your work schedule making you sick?

NGUYEN: Oh, come on. I think mine might be, though, because -- and yours, too. New studies finding a possible link between when you work and your risk of not a common cold, but of something even more serious, cancer.


NGUYEN: That's coming up in the next hour.

HOLMES: You need to stick around for that.

But first, tributes to Sean Taylor. We'll talk about that coming up next with our Rick Horrow.


HOLMES: A very simple college football championship equation has just become completely complex. Last night, all we needed to have was the number one team in the country to win, the number two team to win, and they would play for the national championship next month. They both lost.

Here we go again.

Rick Horrow, our sports analyst -- "Pretty Ricky" is what they call him -- he's here with us this morning. Rick, here we go again, the BCS blowup. Are they ever going to get rid of this system?



HORROW: We don't have time to answer that question. We will in a minute. But here is the most important one.


HORROW: I have my West Virginia/Missouri national championship hat.

HOLMES: Are you serious?

HORROW: Oh, they lost. Yes.


HORROW: This is it. By the way, the last six weeks in a row, number one or number two...


HORROW: ... have gone down, throwing this in a great frenzy. And we talk about it every year and we talk about a playoff. It ain't going to happen. So we can talk about which teams are going and not.

HOLMES: Wait a minute. Why won't it ever happen? You're saying this definitively, it will never happen.

HORROW: Well, it won't happen because the current conferences share about $600 million in total payout over the last five years.

HOLMES: Oh, it's money.

HORROW: And not -- yes. Well, what kind of segment is this? OK?

HOLMES: Oh, OK. Sorry.

HORROW: So it's all about the dollars and the Benjamins. And if you think this is the way the system looks right now, it ain't going to change in the near future, so suck it up and watch some football.

HOLMES: OK. I will do that. Thank you, sir.

Does the NCAA like the controversy? I know they like the money, but do they like the controversy? Do they like stirring things up? People are talking about it. We're talking about it on this segment this morning.

HORROW: Thank you. Yes, and here is the reason why. Who are you going to take? Well, why not conference champions that had who losses?


HORROW: Oklahoma played a great game last night. How about Virginia Tech? How about Southern California? How about LSU?

Oh, we can only take two. So what happens today? I know. How about Hawaii? They were undefeated.


HORROW: They ain't going. How about Kansas? That's one loss. They ain't going.

You know what is going to happen? Ohio State leads everybody in football revenue, and Georgia is number six in all of sports revenues. And some people say those are the guys that are going to go.

Eleven split national champions in 40 years when they had the writers vote and the coaches vote. No matter how messed up this system is, two things are factually true. One is it's better than it has been before. And second is Arkansas, your school, and Texas, Betty's school, they ain't going.

HOLMES: OK. Look, I don't even want to get into that because it will take too long, but -- I've got a "but" in this stuff.

HORROW: Yes, right.

HOLMES: Are you telling me money will come into this equation when they're deciding who is going to be playing for this national championship? Because Georgia is going to be upset if they get passed over. USC could make a case. A lot of teams could make a case for being in there.

HORROW: I'm saying it's a pretty interesting coincidence that the top two teams that seem to be favorites are two of the top 10 in all revenue. That's not the controversy. It's they perpetuate, they have the contacts, they play the schedule, and then all the other teams that don't make it, look for the fallout, look for congressional hearings, look for, you know, world peace investigations.

That's not happening. But it is good for college football that we're all talking about it.

HOLMES: All right. Well, let's wrap up here. We'll turn to the pros.

And of course it's going to be a sad day around the NFL today. Sean Taylor, what kind of -- how does this affect, really, the NFL family? I mean, this is an exclusive club here.

HORROW: Listen, the NFL is a $6 billion business. Twenty-five years ago, we were just coming out of a major labor stoppage. Franchises are worth $1.5 billion, including the Redskins, nearly $1.2 billion. But it has a human side, too. This isn't a Michael Vick issue, this isn't a Belichick cheating issue. This is an all-pro safety whose become -- getting his life together with some kind of an investigation happening. We don't know all the facts, but the NFL is tastefully deciding to honor Sean Taylor in stadiums all over America, and I personally think it's a very, very good thing.

HOLMES: All right. We will all be watching today.

Rick Horrow, Betty just got back in her seat. She wasn't here to hear your comments about Texas...

HORROW: Oh, she didn't hear that? Didn't hear the shot?

NGUYEN: I did hear it, and he will take a shot at us any time he can.

HOLMES: Any time he gets a chance.

But Rick Horrow -- again, "Pretty Ricky" is what they call him, our sports analyst. Always good to see you. Well, sometimes good to see you.

NGUYEN: And there's always next year, Rick. So go ahead.

HORROW: It's a long story. We've got a lot to do about the bowls. We'll deal with it next weekend and beyond.

HOLMES: All right, my man.

NGUYEN: All right.

Take care.

Hey, Joshua Levs is here with a look at what people are clicking on the Web.

Good morning.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Betty, is T.J. giving you a hard time over there again?

NGUYEN: Well, Rick is.


NGUYEN: We're united on this front, for once.

HOLMES: We're cool today.

LEVS: Really? All right. Yes, we'll start (ph) down the day.

OK. So check out what people are picking on today.

We have got a reality dating show called "Who Wants to Marry a U.S. Citizen?" An incident involving Montel Williams that we have got to tell you about. And also, I-Reporters remembering Evel Knievel.

All that coming right up.





NGUYEN: Oh, man, that's a jam.

Hey, you may recall we recently showcased this video in our segment about a contemporary Christian Web site called GodTube.

HOLMES: OK. Now, keep the jingle in mind. It's practically viral these days. But a different version coming up here.

Check out this wedding video now.

NGUYEN: See, it starts out pretty normal. The newlyweds dance to the song "Unchained Melody." You know, it's what you would expect. But just wait.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god. I like big butts and I cannot lie.

NGUYEN: Oh, shake it. This is at their wedding, T.J.

HOLMES: That is perfect. That's the perfect couple. And I'm sure they will make it some 50, 60 years together.

NGUYEN: I know they will. If they can have this much fun doing The Sprinkler and then smacking on the backside, my goodness, you can just imagine what the next 50 years are going to be like for this couple.


NGUYEN: They might just me.

HOLMES: Can you imagine them just -- and they were in the hotel room, they were at home, they were somewhere practicing.

NGUYEN: Practicing. And you know they practiced for a good -- oh, and Ali Velshi trying to get in on it.

Yes, his moves aren't as smooth, though. I don't see him doing that, whatever that thing is on the left. What do you call that?

HOLMES: We call that embarrassment.

NGUYEN: Yes. For all parties involved, especially Ali Velshi. I don't know what that is.

HOLMES: Ali, I used to be proud to call him a friend. No longer.

NGUYEN: Well, he looks like he's dirty dancing with himself, you know? Or that vest there. I don't know. It's a little frightening, isn't it?

HOLMES: Josh Levs, please tell me you are not dancing over there.

NGUYEN: Rescue us from this, Josh.

LEVS: Can I just ask you, will the stereotype of unlikely people dancing to "Baby Got Back" ever expire?


HOLMES: It won't.

LEVS: Come on, people.

NGUYEN: It works every time, Josh.


LEVS: Well, fine. Now all my time is gone. All I get to do now is tell you guys one hot thing that's all over online.


LEVS: Let's just take a look at this. You do need to hear about this before we close the show.

This is about a new reality show that is in talks right now, potentially could be an actual show. It's called "Who Wants to Marry a U.S. Citizen?" And what they do is they hook people up with someone who has a legal visa to a U.S. citizen, who is the female, and these immigrants who are -- or not necessarily immigrants, but they have legal visas to be inside the United States.

They're looking for a distributor right now. People are all over this, and we'll be telling you more about it.

Keep an eye out for that, guys.


HOLMES: OK. I know Lou Dobbs is not going to be hosting that one.

NGUYEN: That is one thing you can bet on.


NGUYEN: Boy, reality all new levels.

LEVS: My eyes are still burning from that wedding video.

NGUYEN: Yes. Mine are, in fact, bleeding.

OK. Thanks, Josh. We'll talk to you later.

Good morning, everybody, from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. It is December 2nd. Thanks for starting your day with us. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HOLMES: And hello to you all, I'm T.J. Holmes, 8:00 here in Atlanta, Georgia, 6:00 am in the Midwest. A lot of you will be waking up to some wintry weather. That includes snow, rain, and bitter cold, following some problems for travels. So stick around if you have plans to hit the road, work, play, whatever you may be doing, you need to see this.

NGUYEN: Also, want to tell you about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez always outspoken. That's nothing new, but waits until you hear what he is saying about CNN this time around. His rants just continue. They go on and on.

HOLMES: Yes. Keep them coming. We ain't going anywhere.

Plus, we have a story that has everyone on other show talking and complaining, maybe asking for more money. A possible link between working the overnight shift and cancer. This is some serious stuff. May have a serious links here.

NGUYEN: And coming into work at 3:00 a.m. isn't bad enough, the big talker today is that -- and we are going to get you some details on it and what it can mean for your health if you work on that overnight shift.

HOLMES: But up first here happening today. NFL mourning, a little process moves forward today in the Sean Taylor case. The fourth person charged with killing the Washington Redskins star is expected to go before a judge in Florida in the next hour this morning.

NGUYEN: Charges against Jason Scott Mitchell and the other three suspects could lead to life in prison. Let's get some details now from CNN's John Zarrella.


ZARRELLA (voice over): Seventeen 17-year-old Eric Rivera stood expressionless before a judge in a Fort Myers, Florida courtroom. The teenager, his attorney says, faced drug charges in the past, but nothing like this.

WILBUR SMITH, ATTORNEY FOR RIVERA: He just went along for the ride, so to speak, and he, obviously -- he is way over his head.

ZARRELLA: Rivera is one of four young men all with prior records now facing charges of killing Washington Redskins football star Sean Taylor. Charges that could send him to prison for life. According to court documents, Rivera admitted traveling to Miami to participate in armed burglary. Soon all four will be turned over to authorities in Miami. JUDGE HUGH STARNES, LEE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: Just provide that he may be released to Dade County.

ZARRELLA: Then Jay Hunt and Charles Wardlow appeared on a video link from the jail. Jason Mitchell will appear Sunday. Along with the murder charges all four men face burglary and home invasion with a firearm charge. Wardlow's attorney says his client did not pull the trigger.

JOHN EVANS, ATTORNEY FOR WARDLOW: A lot of the facts are going to show that my client may have been inside the house, but was not, in fact, the trigger man.

ZARRELLA: Police have still not revealed how the alleged attackers knew Taylor. The gun used has not been found.

EVANS: And I don't believe that it will be recovered.

ZARRELLA: Why do you say that?

EVANS: From things that I've heard from law enforcement and people involved in the case.

ZARRELLA: Wilbur Smith, who represents Eric Rivera, says these kinds of crimes are a sickening reality he's been dealing with his entire career.

SMITH: It's a tragic story you see over and over with young black men killing young black men.

ZARRELLA: In the neighborhood where Rivera lived, folks are having a hard time digesting that he was involved.

JERRY DAVIS, RIVERA'S NEIGHBOR: You see him more trying to do something with his life, going somewhere and do positive things and then he did something like that and it's like, wow, how could he be involved in something like that?

ZARRELLA: It's possible some or all of the defendants could be in Miami and go before a judge there on Monday, the same day and in the same city that thousands of mourners are expected at Sean Taylor's memorial service.

John Zarrella, CNN, Ft. Myers, Florida.


NGUYEN: This will be a tough day for the Washington Redskins. Their game starts in just a few hours. The players will wear patches on their uniforms and details on their helmets with Sean Taylor's number 21. Other teams will also wear the helmet decals and pause for a moment of silence. Taylor's memorial service is tomorrow.

HOLMES: Well, a lot of winter weather to talk about now. An icy blanket across much of the Midwest today. Snow, freezing rain, cold temps. Traffic accidents killed at least three people as well. NGUYEN: Airports were snarled with cancellations. Two jets even skidded off the runways. Some presidential candidates got the cold shoulder as campaign events were shut down due to that storm.

HOLMES: You know it's serious when they pull out the word snarled in the weather.

NGUYEN: Blizzard-like conditions.

WOLF: Hey guys.

HOLMES: Hey there. We love that shot there. You at your work station. You got a lot of work to do this morning.

WOLF: Yes we do, it's been a weird, weird busy weekends. We've really had plenty to talk about weather-wise, and we've had great contribution with I reports. Let's go ahead and start with those and show you what some of our viewers have been able to get from the field and send to us which we, of course, can send with all of you across the nation this morning.

This one is from Giovanni Sanchez. This is in Salt Lake City, the snowfall there. Pretty significant to say the least. We go from this image to--do we have any more of Giovanni's? Here is another shot that we have beautiful thing to see here. Snow that is not ice, ice that covered many of the power lines and the road ways across portions of the pacific plains yesterday. Caused all kinds of headaches.

And of course as we go back to the weather computer, it caused all kinds of issues at the airport in Iowa. The same system now moving into parts of the Ohio Valley northeast, and it really is interesting. Some spots we're seeing mainly in the form of rain showers. Other places we are seeing some snowfall this morning, and what we're going to be dealing with is more snow moving into parts of New York from just in the north of Cleveland back over to Buffalo. A lot of this is going to really spill over into parts of the Finger Lakes regions, back up into the Adirondacks. Some could be heavy, and several inches of snowfall.

We won't see a full-fledged blizzard, but certainly treacherous driving conditions for many people in parts of Pennsylvania or back over to, say, Boston. Looks like this may be sticking around also for late night tonight and into tomorrow morning. If people are getting out on their Monday and getting ready to start the workweek, quite a few headaches. No question about it.

If you don't mind, if you are able to during your busy day when you are out and about, take a few pictures for us and send them to us with the Ireports. Don't do anything that will get yourself hurt or in trouble. We want you to stay safe. No question about it. If you can send them to us, we would be astounded to share those with everyone else. Let's send it back to you guys at the news desk.

NGUYEN: All right. Reynolds thank you.

WOLF: You bet. NGUYEN: The man behind that hostage drama at one of Hillary Clinton's campaign offices faces a judge tomorrow.

HOLMES: Authorities say Leeland Eisenberg will be arraigned in New Hampshire on charges of kidnapping and reckless conduct. We learn a bit more about Eisenberg. In 2002 he filed a lawsuit against the Boston archdiocese claiming he was raped by a parish priest.

NGUYEN: Friday's standoff at Clinton's Rochester, New Hampshire, office ended peacefully after more than five hours. Police say Eisenberg took five hostages, and before he surrendered he complained he hadn't been able to get mental health treatment.

HOLMES: President for life? Not talking about the president of the United States here folks. Voters in Venezuela casting ballots right now deciding whether to make sweeping changes to the constitution. The results could allow President Hugo Chavez to stay in office indefinitely. Ahead of the vote the president has some choice words for us here at CNN. Going to go live now to CNN's Harris Whitbeck in Caracas. Good morning to you, sir.

HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, T.J. 16 million voters will go to the polls this morning to decide whether to give more powers to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Many of those voters were awakened this morning by a loud barrage of firecrackers and also trucks driving through different neighborhoods playing very loud military music.

On Friday Chavez had asked people to get up very early to go to the polls which will be open for several hours today. Again, people will be voting on 69 amendments to the Venezuelan constitution that would allow President Chavez to re-elect himself for life. They will also give him sweeping economic powers. Tools he says he needs to steer Venezuela toward full socialism.

Now yesterday Chavez met with foreign correspondents at the presidential palace here. He had some choice words as you said for CNN. He accused CNN of being part of a conspiracy to destabilize Venezuela, and at one point he said CNN was part of a plan to carry out his political -- his physical assassination. This is what he said about CNN.


PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ, VENEZUELA (Translator): CNN has been instigating with fascination and I am going to sue them. Of course, I am going sue them.


WHITBECK: Chavez did say, however, that he is addicted to CNN. He says he watches it every morning. He did worn reporters that if anything was done to destabilize -- we would be kicked out of the country. T.J.

HOLMES: We don't want to you get kicked out of the country there. Harris Whitbeck reporting for us. Appreciate you, sir, and a lot of folks keeping an eye on this. We might see you back here sooner than expected, we appreciate your report.

NGUYEN: We will see how that plays out.

In the meantime, Russians are going to the polls, too. They're voting in parliamentary elections. The results could pave the way for President Vladimir Putin to stay in power after his term expires in the spring. Now, by law he can't run for a third consecutive term as president, but Putin has raised the possibility of becoming prime minister if his party wins by a landslide.

HOLMES: All right. This story here. Missing wife. The husband a suspect. A new twist if you will, another piece of information coming in to us. It's not clearing anything up about the Stacy Peterson case. Police say her husband, Drew Peterson, may have asked two truckers to carry a package for him the day his wife was reported missing. According to police, the trucker say two men asked them to take a package to an undisclosed location.

They now believe one of the men was, in fact, Peterson. In a statement Peterson's attorney denies any encounter with any trucker ever taking place. Meanwhile, the search continues for Stacy Peterson. Volunteers still turning out for yesterday's search, but it was cut a bit short because of some bad weather.

NGUYEN: All right. Well this next story will have you talking. Erratic driver, police pursuit, taser, fire, and the suspect is only 10 years old. That was the scene in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our affiliate WSOC reports police were following a suspicious car at 2:00 a.m. Saturday. The driver pulled into a gas station parking lot and hit three police cruisers. Officers then deployed a taser, and when they finally got the driver out of the car, they realized he was only 10 years old. Now, we are told that there's no indication taser -- the taser actually hit the child. The boy was taken to the hospital.

HOLMES: Strange story.

NGUYEN: We keep hearing a lot about tasers these days.

HOLMES: This report here apparently some local affiliates reporting that only one of the two prongs hit the kid, and apparently you have to have both prongs to hit for it to be effective, so only one hit him is what they're reporting. Strange.

NGUYEN: I don't -- did they see that he was 10 years old before they fired that? That's the question here, too.

HOLMES: Why was a 10-year-old driving a car around?

NGUYEN: Exactly. The bigger point.

HOLMES: Well we're going to turn back to some politics. Rudy Giuliani, a lot of people know him for cleaning up the streets of New York City.

NGUYEN: But can he clean up the whole country? Our close-up of the presidential candidates continues.


HOLMES: All right. Not sure who to back in the presidential race. Only got, what, 72 candidates to choose from.

NGUYEN: You got a little time still.

HOLMES: Maybe this will help you decide. Go to, fill out what they call the candidate calculator.

NGUYEN: All right. So say, for example, that you favor abortion rights. You support the Patriotic Act. You want to build a border fence, and you approve of the war in Iraq, but you are opposed to same-sex marriage.

HOLMES: The survey says New York City, Republican and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani might be your guy.


RUDY GIULIANI, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe very, very strongly that the choice that you make in November 2008 is going to make a very, very big difference in whether America remains safer and stronger and better.


HOLMES: Rudy Giuliani talks often about security and keeping America safe. While well know as New York City's mayor, Giuliani gained national respect following 9/11.


GIULIANI: Today is obviously one of the most difficult days in the history of the city and the country. The tragedy that we're all undergoing right now is something that we've had nightmares about.


HOLMES: Born in Brooklyn, Rudy Giuliani went to Manhattan College and graduated from New York University Law School and began working for the U.S. Attorney's office. Quickly became a rising star during Ronald Regan's presidency, Giuliani was appointed associate attorney general and he then went on to become U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York.

On his second try Giuliani beat incumbent to win the mayoral seat in 19393. He served two terms. He is known for cleaning up the subways and welfare roles and also for bounding the city's budget. Giuliani survived prostate cancer and a bitter divorce before marrying a third time and setting his eyes on the White House. On the issues, he is against a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq and opposes federally mandated health coverage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GIULIANI: I'm against abortion. I hate it. I wish there never was an abortion, and I would counsel a woman to have an adoption instead of an abortion. I ultimately believe it's an individual right of a woman to make that choice.


HOLMES: Despite his pro choice stand Giuliani got a huge endorsement last month from evangelist Pat Robertson. Giuliani also believes marriages between a man and a woman, but supports domestic partnerships. He also supports the Bush tax cuts.

All right. Let's talk Democrats in the presidential race. Winter weather not slowing them down a bit in Iowa. Issues important to blacks and Latino voters. Last night's Brown and Black Forum in Des Moines. One of the events lighter moments. The Mexico Governor Bill Richardson asked Hillary Clinton if - governors make good presidents.

Clinton responded, they make good vice presidents.

NGUYEN: Back at you.

HOLMES: Hint hint there, Governor Richardson.

NGUYEN: Coming up in our next hour, we'll take you live to Iowa where both Republicans and Democrats are busy campaigning this weekend. CNN has the best political team on television just in case you didn't know, and, of course, they're also on the trail following the candidates.

HOLMES: All right. Well, the writer's guild strike still going on, but last night they stopped picketing.

NGUYEN: And you would too if the great Elizabeth Taylor asked you. Or would you? Find out why she asked for this big favor in just a few minutes.

LEVS: Could working overnight increase your risk of cancer? Another world health organization and the American Cancer Society are both weighing in, and it's surprising a lot of people. I'm Josh Levs. That's coming up from the dot com desk.



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Watching you weight and counting calories, well listen up. Research shows alcoholic drinks may help pack on the pounds. Registered dietitian Molly Paulson explains.

MOLY PAULSON, DIETITIAN: The calories, we're going to store them as fat. In the night if you are consuming quite a few cocktails and you have had a dinner and maybe desert, you can be up 3,000 calories.

COSTELLO: Red wine, beer, a mixed drink or a daiquiri how do you choose?

PAULSON: I would say beer is your best alternative. Having a light beer and when I say light, that's in calories and not light in color.

COSTELLO: You decide on the margarita, and it is the most caloric drink weighing in at up to a whopping 800 calories a glass. If you truly want a sweet tasting drink but are trying to lose weight, keep it simple. Use diet soft drinks as mixers and don't forget to count alcohol in your calories budget. Choose beer or wine and drink water in between drinks.

Carol Costello, CNN.



NGUYEN: Here are some of our quick hits this morning. Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board are trying to determine why an Amtrak train and a freight train collided in Chicago.

HOLMES: More than 70 people were sent to hospitals after Friday's accident. Investigators are using the train's recorded data and pictures to learn what in the world caused this accident. Heck of a picture when we saw that coming in Friday.

Also, a daycare nightmare here. A Milwaukee mother wants some answers from her former daycare center. Denise Lindsey says daycare workers left her 1-year-old daughter unattended in a van for hours.


HOLMES: Yes. She says she panicked when her daughter was not returned home as scheduled. She got no answer from the daycare center when she called. Police later found the child sleeping in the back seat of the centers van. Former daycare.

NGUYEN: They're really lucky because if you leave a child like that, especially in a vehicle and, you know, thank goodness it was fall, winter, whatever you want to call it, according to Reynolds, but had it been hot, that child may not be here today.

HOLMES: This would be a totally different story we were talking about this morning.

NGUYEN: All right. Well listen to this story. Elizabeth Taylor still has some star power and some serious star power. Taylor asked striking writers in Los Angeles not to picket so that she could perform last night in a play benefiting World Aids Day. You know what, they didn't picket. The 75-year-old actress had said that she would not cross the lines to perform. The goal of the one-night benefit was to raise $1 million for Taylor's Aids Foundation.

HOLMES: Nice people to make the compromise on that one. NGUYEN: Benefits the Aids Organization there.

HOLMES: This story has a lot of our attention here at CNN.

NGUYEN: We're living it.

HOLMES: The grave yard shift.


HOLMES: That name might mean a whole lot more than we thought. World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society on the verge much declaring the overnight shift a likely cause of cancer.

NGUYEN: It's true. Well, if true, we should say, it could have profound impact on the American workplace. Especially to companies like CNN that operates 24-7. Josh Levs has been looking into, it and I guess the big question is, you know, is this indeed true?

LEVS: Well, apparently -- yeah, what's about to happen, you guys have it there, the World Health Organization is about to start listing it. This is one of the top stories on right now. The World Health Organization will be calling it a probable cancer cause, and the American Cancer Society has indicated that it's going to do the same thing. A lot of people clicking on this story.

As you are pointing out, this could have tremendous medical effect and legal effects. It could have massive effects all over the country if this is, indeed, classified as a probable cancer cause, which is now expected widely. People looking at this all over the world, too. I will tell you a couple of things here. Kind of a caveat.

The high cancer rate, we're told, does not automatically mean -- if it's higher for people who work overnight, it doesn't mean it's because of where they're working. It could be other factors that go along with the lifestyle of working overnight. However, we are also told that because if you aren't sleeping at night, it can kind of mess with your natural rhythm. They think that might be one of the reasons. Yep, a lot of people on that story.

NGUYEN: I know that you have another story, too, that's going to have a lot of people talking as well dealing with Montel Williams. What's this about?

LEVS: Yes, that is right. Let's touch on that. Montel Williams, this is really interesting. This is one of the hottest stories on right now. Montel Williams allegedly said to a group of reporters in Savannah, Georgia, "Do you know who I am? I'm a big star. I can look you up and find out where you live and blow you up." He has to apologize for what he says, which was an over reaction. This steps from a tour that he is on involving giving prescriptions to elderly Americans who are low income.

Apparently some reporters had asked him a question he didn't want to answer. Later on he saw the same group of reporters at his hotel. He thought they were there for him, and there was this incident. Right now people trying to get to the bottom of did he really say that? What did he mean if he did say that? Stories not going anywhere for a while, guys.

NGUYEN: All right. He was on tour for prescription drugs, huh?

HOLMES: And the reporters --

NGUYEN: He needs to calm down a little bit.

HOLMES: Kind of a funny quote from a reporter. He said I didn't know if he was going to blow me up, like blow up my career, or if he was going to blow me up. We'll get to the bottom of that. Josh, glad to know about that this morning.

LEVS: Got it.

NGUYEN: Interesting stories, Josh. We'll be talking about that overnight shift for quite a while. Maybe we can get some incentives because of the latest study that's out.

HOLMES: Hope the bosses are listening.

NGUYEN: Maybe a later shift. I don't know.

If you are looking for a gag gift for your holiday office party? We have got you covered.

HOLMES: Always looking for something. It's called a road kill toy. Already got the tweezey picked out for you. This might work as well. We'll explain this one next.


NGUYEN: All right. Are you just scratching your head trying to figure out what am I going to get those kids for Christmas? What is it that they want? Well, if you need a gift for, say, a naughty kid on the list, which I'm sure T.J. was on that list, check this out.

The road kill plush toy could be perfect.

HOLMES: This is exactly what the name says. Comes with its own body bag. Yes, that's road kill. It has a toe tag as well to indicate its demise.

NGUYEN: Here's the worst part.

HOLMES: The inside will be stuffed back inside and secured with a zipper.

NGUYEN: Can you just imagine the look on that child's face?

HOLMES: Some kid would love that toy.

NGUYEN: Like you? I might have to hook you up with a road kill plush toy.

HOLMES: I'm happy with any gift you would give me Betty.