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YOUR WORLD TODAY

Results of 20-Month Probe on Major League Baseball Drug Use Due Out Today; Last Debate for Republicans Before Iowa Caucuses; Moammar Gadhafi Visits France

Aired December 13, 2007 - 12:00   ET

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


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Foul play. Professional baseball players sweat it out as they await the release of a major report on the use of steroids.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Verbal jousts. U.S. Democratic presidential candidates gear up for a debate in a key campaign state.

GORANI: Controversial visit. France lays out the welcome mat for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but not everyone is pleased.

CLANCY: And toothpicks are OK. Forks are out. The Ethics Committee puts a cap on lavish end-of-the-year parties by lobbyists in the U.S. Capitol.

It's noon in Washington, 6:00 in the evening in Paris.

Hello and welcome, everyone, to our report seen around the globe.

I'm Jim Clancy.

GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani.

From Davenport, Iowa, to Tripoli, wherever you are watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.

CLANCY: Baseball fans, wherever you are, brace yourselves. All of us are about to find out which of our heroes have been hiding something.

GORANI: The results of a 20-month investigation into the illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs will be made public in exactly two hours. Names will be named. Some of them big names, including, according to an ESPN report, seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens.

Sources say the report, the conclusion of a $20 million investigation, is 300 to 400 pages long. We are awaiting the report. We will be sifting through it, of course. It was compiled by former U.S. Senate majority leader George Mitchell, seen here, who's planning on posting it online right after this afternoon's news conference.

CNN's Allan Chernoff joins us now from New York, where Mitchell will drop his big bombshell -- Allan.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT: Hala, yet another embarrassment for the sport of baseball and also for fans of the New York Yankees because as you said, ESPN this morning is reporting that Roger Clemens, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, as well as his Yankee teammate and friend, pitcher Andy Pettitte, will be named in the Mitchell Report. They, in fact, have shared the same trainer who reportedly did cooperate with the Mitchell investigation and reportedly provided them with performance-enhancing drugs. ESPN is also reporting that as many as 80 ballplayers will be named, and one of the local stations here in New York, WNBC, is reporting that another Yankee, Johnny Damon, also is going to be named in this report.

Now, Major League Baseball and the players' union will certainly be getting some very sharp criticism in this Mitchell report, as would be expected. Now, according to some newspapers, the Mitchell investigation does lay blame from top to bottom for use of performance-enhancing drugs in the game, and recommends that baseball outsource drug testing to an independent organization, upgrade its testing, and also improve transparency of the process to the public.

Senator Mitchell, as you said, will be releasing this report at 2:00 local time -- Hala.

GORANI: All right. Thanks very much for that report.

Allan Chernoff in New York -- Jim.

CLANCY: All right. Well, we want to check in -- we have been following a late-breaking story that is developing in the U.S. state of Florida, where a small plane has gone down. It's unclear right now -- we do, we have these pictures.

You see the small plane there. We're losing some of that satellite signal. It's coming off a helicopter. I apologize for that.

At least two people still in the water involved in that plane crash. A helicopter trying perhaps to relocate so that they can restore this signal.

You can see the plane is submerged there, perhaps sinking. And you've got the U.S. Coast Guard standing by. Earlier, two people were seen in the water with life preservers on.

I apologize once again. These are live pictures that are coming to us out of Florida, and they're showing a small plane crash there in Florida.

Two people in the water. Unclear if there were any casualties in this plane crash. We will bring you details as soon as we get them in. We'll keep you updated on that, but a pretty desperate situation, at least there for some fliers in that small plane.

Let's go back to our top story here about baseball, and specifically about the man who's behind this report. He's a familiar face on the world stage. Here's what you need to know about George Mitchell. A former U.S. senator, yes. In fact, he was the Senate majority leader from 1989 to 1995. A special envoy to northern Ireland, Mitchell has been instrumental in the peace process there.

He is also the chairman of the DLA Piper, the world's largest law firm. Mitchell was once briefly chairman of the Disney Company, and is currently director of the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Quite a resume.

GORANI: Well, let's take a look at the history of baseball steroid scandals now.

Whispers first emerged in the late '90s as more and more hallowed records began to fall. In September 2002, baseball and its players reached an agreement on testing for steroids.

A new stricter policy was implemented. That was in 2005.

The next spring, Major League Baseball announced Mitchell's investigation. Today's release of its findings comes after a pivotal year. Barry Bonds became baseball's all-time homerun king. Hong rumored to be a steroids user, he was later indicted on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about steroid use.

CLANCY: You know, in all of this, one of the key players -- not a player, not a member of the players' union, not an owner, a man called Victor Conte. He's the founder of a San Francisco Bay area laboratory called BALCO.

That was the facility that has been linked to the illegal distribution of steroids to a number of high-profile athletes. Now, Conte himself served four months for giving illegal drugs to various athletes. Today he told CNN though he's changing his ways. He wants to clean up the problem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR CONTE, FOUNDER, BALCO: I was a part of this problem for a long period of time, and obviously there were some consequences for my behavior and bad decisions, and so I did the crime and I did the time. And I've decided now that I would like to be a part of a collective team that can help to come up with solutions for the problems that have existed for decades.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Now, Conte says step one for the Major League Baseball owners and players is for the organization to hold itself to a higher standard. He says the sport leaves itself wide open to illegal steroid use.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONTE: The WADA List, the World Anti-Doping Agency List, has 60 stimulants on that list. For whatever reason, baseball has chosen to put 30 of those stimulants on their list. What that basically tells the players is that the front doors to the barn are closed, but the side doors and the back door are wide open. So if you choose to use steroids, don't use these 30. But it's OK to use these 30.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: OK. Good point.

GORANI: Well, we want to remind our viewers, George Mitchell will hold that news conference in a little less than two hours from now, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, and that translates as 19:00 hours GMT.

CLANCY: For our international viewers, we're going to carrying that news conference. We'll bring it to you live.

GORANI: Also, George Mitchell will join CNN for a live interview, and that will happen at 0:00 GMT on Friday. So tune in for that.

GORANI: Well, it is the Democrats' turn to take center stage today in Iowa after the Republicans yesterday. It's the final debate before the state's caucuses, now only three weeks away.

CLANCY: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards especially feeling the pressure, with polls showing all three of them locked in a very tight battle for the lead.

All right. Let's take a closer look.

Jessica Yellin is joining us now from Des Moines with a preview of what we can expect during this critical last debate in Iowa.

What do you think, Jessica? Have they gotten a good idea by watching what happened -- OK, I understand we're having some trouble communicating with her. We are going to come back to Jessica when we can.

But let's go on and talk a little bit more about what's going on in this race.

GORANI: Right. As we -- as we wait for our signal to reconnect there with Jessica Yellin, Democrats might play naughty in Iowa, as some have said, but the Republicans chose to play nice in what was by most accounts a bland debate, maybe you want to call it?

CLANCY: Yes, a little bit bland. Who better to give us an assessment but John King, who tells us how it went for the Republican candidates in their final encounter.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Feisty it was not. This early exchange on taxes providing one of the few mild flash points.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm concerned about the taxes that middle-class families are paying. They're in a lot of pressure.

FRED THOMPSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My goal is to get into Mitt Romney's situation where I don't have to worry about taxes anymore.

ROMNEY: Five percent are in your situation.

THOMPSON: You know, you're getting to be a pretty good actor, actually.

KING: The prospect for fireworks faded at the outset when the most emotional dividing line of the Republican race was taken off the table.

CAROLYN WASHBURN, EDITOR, DES MOINES REGISTER: We won't talk a lot about issues like Iraq or immigration.

KING: Congressman Tom Tancredo tried, taking aim at Iowa front- runner Mike Huckabee.

REP. TOM TANCREDO, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to ask you a question, and the question is, how are you going to convince America that you have, in fact, changed your mind on the issues immigration from when you were governor?

KING: No answer allowed. So few sharp exchanges, but some risky snippets. The farmers in Iowa and elsewhere; this from Senator John McCain.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I will also eliminate subsidies on ethanol and other agricultural products. They are an impediment to competition, an impediment to free markets, and I believe that subsidies are a mistake.

KING: Absent fireworks, the last GOP debate before Iowa votes in three weeks became a competition to show conservative credentials, cutting taxes was popular.

RUDY GIULIANI, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A flatter tax is simply a tax that you could file on one page as an option would be a good idea.

KING: Cutting spending, too.

ROMNEY: And the sacrifice we need for the American people, it's this. It's saying let the programs that don't work go.

WASHBURN: Thank you.

ROMNEY: Don't lobby for them forever.

REP. RON PAUL, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We maintain an empire we can't afford. We have 700 bases overseas. We are in 130 countries.

KING: When the topic turned to improving education, former Senator Fred Thompson took aim at the nation's largest teachers union.

THOMPSON: The biggest obstacle in my opinion is the National Education Association, the NEA.

KING: Governor Huckabee knows his record on immigration, taxes and crime faces tough scrutiny in the next 21 days. So he looked to build goodwill.

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the first priority of the next president is to be president of all the United States. We are right now a very polarized country, and that polarized country has led to a paralyzed government.

KING: Along with immigration, another campaign controversy that did not come up was this Huckabee quote to "The New York Times" magazine when asked about Romney's Mormon faith.

HUCKABEE: Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?

KING: But as soon as the debate was done, Huckabee told CNN he had approached his rival.

HUCKABEE: I went to Mitt Romney and apologized to him because I said I would never try, ever, to try to somehow pick out some point of your faith and make it, you know, an issue.

KING (on camera): A spokesman for Governor Romney said he accepted the apology and believes that the candidates should focus on their policy differences, not questions of faith. But three weeks to go until Iowa votes, it's safe to assume those policy differences will get plenty of attention.

John King, CNN, Johnston, Iowa.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

CLANCY: A lot of the talk today has been how there was not quite the edge on that debate on the Republican side that they had seen in previous debates, simply not as interesting, not as much back-and- forth. The Democrats were looking on, the format was a lot different. Is it going to be any different when the Democrats face one another in Des Moines a little bit later?

Let's go to Jessica Yellin, who's in Des Moines, and ask her.

Democrats watching this. Certainly, the format doesn't lend itself to some of the tactics that have been used in the past. How could this change things?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you're absolutely right, Jim, there has been a lot of criticism since yesterday about that format because it didn't allow candidates to question one another or for them to even respond to attacks by the other candidates. So we're not sure exactly how it will shape up today. We know this for certain -- the pressure is really on for Senator Hillary Clinton when she enters that debate room for her to try to regain the lead that has vanished for her in this state. Right now in Iowa, Senator Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards in most polls are in a virtual dead heat here. And for Senator Clinton, the challenge today is for her to try to distinguish herself from the other main front-runner, Barack Obama, without seeming to go negative, because more than the others, she is perceived by voters to be more negative. And so that's a real challenge for her, especially when voters say they don't like negative campaigning.

Now, if we do see Clinton and Obama go at one another, the person who could most benefit from that actually is John Edwards. If he gets to seem above the fray, that's a big plus for him, and no doubt he will be hoping that that can be his -- his strategy during this debate.

Now, again, we don't know how this format will affect all of this, but we're waiting to see. All the candidates right now are on their way here. Four of these candidates are also U.S. senators, and they had to vote in Washington, D.C., this morning, and are hustling back on planes into Iowa to try to make this debate on time right now -- Jim.

CLANCY: Jessica, any indications of tensions within the Clinton campaign? After all, they are the ones that have given up the lead.

YELLIN: Well, there have been a number of reports that there is disarray in the campaign, finger pointing, anger about what some call a muddied message by Senator Clinton. Her campaign aggressively denies it.

Some of those advisors who are close to, in particular, former president Bill Clinton have said on the record -- in particular, James Carville said on the record to "The Washington Post" that he expects some people to be changing positions, moving around the campaign in the coming -- in coming weeks and months. But no, there is no acknowledgment by the campaign that that's going on.

When CNN saw Hillary Clinton this morning in the Capitol, in fact, they said, you run a very well organized campaign, and she sort of rolled her eyes and laughed and said sometimes that's a myth -- Jim.

CLANCY: All right. Jessica Yellin.

Well, no myth, it is cold in Des Moines where Jessica is.

That's why we had a little bit of communications problems with you earlier, Jessica. Our apologies for that. Good to have you with us.

GORANI: You know it's cold when the satellite freezes, right?

CLANCY: That's right.

GORANI: Handshakes in Paris raise more than a few eyebrows.

CLANCY: Coming up, visiting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gets a warm welcome from the French president but a cold shoulder from some in Nicolas Sarkozy's government.

Also ahead, fuzzy costumes speak louder than words. Protesters in Bali find more ways to deliver their message on climate change.

CLANCY: And closer to a coveted prize, contenders for the Golden Globe Awards are announced. We'll have all the details ahead on YOUR WORLD TODAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CLANCY: The United States and Britain moving to defuse a rare diplomatic disagreement. British foreign secretary David Miliband says three U.K. residents held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are going to be returned as soon as possible. The men are among five British residents being detained in that camp. The U.S. refusing to release the other two. The detainment of U.K. residents in the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay sparking protests in Britain in the past.

GORANI: A Palestinian doctor held with five Bulgarian nurses in Libya for five years is now accusing the Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi, of torture.

CLANCY: And to make matters worse, the doctor filed the lawsuit Wednesday in France, where Gadhafi is currently on a state visit.

GORANI: The visit has brought billions of dollars in contracts for French businesses, but as Jim Bittermann reports from Paris, some feel the visitor is maybe overstaying his welcome.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): There's no doubt the French know how to pull out all the stops to welcome a head of state, but there are heads of state, and then there's Moammar Gadhafi. The Libyan leader who's long been linked to deadly terrorist attacks, including the downing of American and French airliners in the 1980s, has been trying to clean up his and his country's image since 2003, when he has as much has admitted responsibility by paying damages to families of the crash victims.

But for many French, when the man the Libyans call "The Guide" pitched his traditional Bedouin tent across the street from the presidential palace and started doing business, it was just too unseemly. Even members of President Sarkozy's government protested the welcome given to Gadhafi, a welcome spread out over six days and including traffic-snarling trips with his entire entourage to many of Paris' top tourist attractions.

French President Sarkozy defended the state visit, saying Gadhafi had swore off terrorism and that he had personally urged the Libyan leader to improve human rights in his country. But then Gadhafi made a speech questioning why any former colonial power had the right to lecture anyone on human rights, and he told an interviewer he had no recollection of the French president's tete-a-tete on the subject.

Opposition politicians, including Sarkozy's formal rival, Segolene Royal, have had a field day with the controversial drop-in. Still, government advisors are quick to point out that Gadhafi's visit means more than 10 billion euros, nearly $15 billion, in trade deals with France. And some say Sarkozy's political opponents are forgetting that a former socialist president made a special trip to Crete just to meet Gadhafi and refused to permit American planes to cross France on a bombing run against Gadhafi's headquarters.

But some Gadhafi events seem beyond good taste even for Sarkozy's button-down supporters. One, the Libyan leader, surrounded by his personal all-women bodyguards and a woman dressed to symbolize France, met with 1,000 invited female guests to speak out on women's rights issues. He was cheered in parts but drew some puzzled looks when he said he wanted to "save European women."

(on camera): Gadhafi planned to visit the Louvre Museum and the Palace of Versailles before folding his tent and moving on. Not soon enough for most here. According to a public opinion poll, more than 60 percent of the French disapprove of the welcome that's been given him.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: I wonder if they disapprove of the billions of dollars, though, in plane contracts.

(CROSSTALK)

CLANCY: I don't think we're going to get a comment on that today.

GORANI: All right.

CLANCY: There's going to be plenty of comment, though, in the French media, I'm sure, about that.

Mr. Sarkozy, for one, defending this visit by saying Colonel Gadhafi is an important figure in the Arab world, Paris should have an open dialogue with him -- or open wallets.

GORANI: Right. There are two schools of thought. Right. There are two schools of thought.

Should you talk to those people that you oppose, or just to those you agree with?

Here's what you need to know about Gadhafi's relationship with France.

Colonel Gadhafi was named in a lawsuit over the 1989 bombing of a French passenger jet that killed 170 people. But in 2001, France's highest court ruled that Gadhafi could not face legal action as a serving head of state.

CLANCY: Now, President Sarkozy is the first western leader to offer an official state visit since Gadhafi's falling out with the West in the 1980s.

GORANI: All right. A short break here on YOUR WORLD TODAY and CNN.

When we come back, media reports in Britain say they know who will be England's new football manager.

CLANCY: Yes, we'll tell you what country he's from. Look Italian?

Ahead on YOUR WORLD TODAY, he does have a proven track record in the sport.

GORANI: Also ahead, new ethics rules on Capitol Hill say bah, humbug to holiday parties.

(NEWSBREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JIM CLANCY, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Welcome back. Joining us now from more than 200 countries and territories all around the globe, including right here in the United States.

HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome, everyone. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Hala Gorani.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. We want to go over the headlines with you right now.

Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell's much-anticipated report on illegal drug use in Major League Baseball is going to be made public in about 90 minutes time. It's expected to include dozens of players. Some of them marquee names. ESPN, the U.S. sports network, says pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte are both named in the report.

GORANI: Also, Democratic candidates for U.S. president about to battle for Iowa. In just over an hour, they'll take part in their final debate before the Iowa caucuses in three weeks. The latest polls show Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards locked in a three-way race in Iowa.

CLANCY: A Palestinian doctor held in Libya for five years, along with five Bulgarian nurses, accusing Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi of torture. Colonel Gadhafi is in France on a state visit. The doctor filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Paris to coincide with Gadhafi's six- day visit.

GORANI: Well, let's talk more about baseball and the hard- hitting Mitchell report expected at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. CLANCY: That's right. It is our top story. And it's not just people in the news rooms or in sports clubs that are talking about this in the United States. This story has got everybody from Wall Street to Los Angeles talking about it non-stop.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the buzz. It's the word. They don't call it America's past time for nothing, do they? Thanks very much, Hala, Jim.

Now, yes, we understand that as many as between 60 and 80 players named could be linked to performance enhancing substances. And plenty more information is poised to emerge that would expose some severe problems afflicting the sport. As I say, as you hinted, Jim, they call it America's favorite past time.

Now this release coming at the end, of course, of the year when San Francisco's Giants outfielder Barry Bonds broke the career home run record, only to then be indicted 100 days later on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about steroid use. The countdown continues to the release of that report.

GORANI: And what types of recommendations might we expect from the report as far as the future of the sport is concerned? Because this is not just hurting players, it's hurting the business of baseball.

SNELL: Absolutely. And this is the key thing, what people want to see coming out of this report. OK, yes, the tiffle (ph) taffle (ph). They want to know the names, the shames, the big name players that have been implicated. But they also want to see something developing for the future of the sport that can give hope to it. That it can clean its name up. That's why what we're going to get in this report, I understand, is the fact that they're calling for beefed-up testing. Now that's by an outside agency.

Dick Pound, the outgoing world anti-doping agency chairman, the Canadian lawyer who's been so vocal about other sports falling into line when it comes to universal drug testing programs, says that basically if things don't develop from this, if there isn't an agenda which manifests itself for the good of the sport, then it's been a complete waste of time. Interesting comments from Pound basically saying that basically he's hoping that the players' association will dig in and continue what he calls its steel town union approach to life, he says, the management side that probably would, he hopes. But that's just something that Dick Pound is pushing for and baseball hopefully will learn from this.

CLANCY: Well, all right. Let me ask you something. When baseball doesn't outlaw all the steroids -- we heard one of the steroid manufacturers say, look, they only banned 30 out of a known 60 drugs. I mean, how can you then come out and say, oh they use those drugs -- how can they punish the players for that?

SNELL: Well, these are the inconsistencies, the in discrepancies, if you like, and that's why we all talk about, yes, people want to know the names. They want to know the big names. But this is what Dick Pound is saying. If nothing benefits from this, if there's no way forward, then are we just going to get the same scenarios for the five, 10, 15 years down the line.

CLANCY: They all know what performance enhancing drugs are. They all know what the problems are. All right.

We're going to have a lot more on this coming up. In fact, right about now. We need to get some insight because I think a lot of times people think that this is, you know, something that -- excuse me, we've got to wrap.

SNELL: We're going to -- I'm actually going to move on and actually just reflect to sum it all up, Jim. You know, there is no doubt that the steroid scandal as a whole has stained the whole sport's reputation, if you like. And for more on this, when you look at the big picture, you know maybe people shouldn't be too surprised overall. There was cheating in baseball, of course, long before there were drugs on the diamond. Jon Mann now with some more insight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JON MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Americans love baseball and, as they say, love is blind, which is why in the current controversy it's easy to overlook the long and colorful history of cheating in the game. So here's a little baseball cheating 101. Let's start with the ball itself and the classic, everybody knows it, first day of school kind of cheating.

If you change the surface of the baseball, it actually flies differently, even erratically. All time champ at this, probably hall- of-famer Gaylord Perry. He used to rub on a little Vaseline that he kept under the brim of his cap. Extra points if you refrigerate the ball in a moist environment. Then you get a kind of humid, heavy ball that won't fly as far.

The bat. Another classic. Drill out the center of a bat and replace it with cork, you get a lighter, faster swing. All time champ, well, let's give that to Norm Cash who won the batting title back in 1961 using a corked bat the entire season. Advance placement. If you add extra layers of lacquer to the surface of a bat, you can make the wood almost as hard as metal. And really hit that ball.

Then let's look at the field. Grounds keepers can help the home team with the way they paint the lines on the field. For example, so what would be fair balls go foul or the batter's box is just a little bit bigger. All-time champs of that were actually people you've probably never heard of called the Basard (ph) family. Over three generations in Cleveland and then in Chicago, too, they performed tricks like watering down the field and softening the baseline paths so players couldn't get to top speed. They also actually moved the outfield fences in and out to favor their own guys.

Then, finally, there are the drugs. Not the hard stuff like steroids, but stranger stuff. There was the Yankees pitcher back in the '50s or '60s, I guess it was, who used to try to intimidate hitters by playing drunk. The all time champ here, though, Doc Ellis, who threw a no-hitter back in 1970 on LSD. He says the scariest moments in his career was the one time he tried to pitch sober. Serious stuff, but you know, it really is just a game after all.

Back to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CLANCY: Jonathan Mann, thank you very much for that insight.

Now we want to remind you, our viewers, that George Mitchell is going to be holding that news conference about 90 minutes from now. Not quite that much. That's 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. For our international viewers, that's 19:00 hours Greenwich Mean Time. A response from Major League Baseball then is expected about two and a half hours after that, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern or 21:30 hours Greenwich Mean Time.

GORANI: A short break here on YOUR WORLD TODAY. When we come back, talks at the United Nations climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, are deadlocked a day ahead of the end of the summit.

CLANCY: Delegates are struggling over the language of the summit's final statement. It's going to serve as a framework for replacing the Kyoto protocol when it expires in 2012. The document asks rich nations to cut emissions 25 to 40 percent by the year 2020.

GORANI: And I said it was after we come back from our break. It's sooner than that. It's right now. The U.S. is objecting. The European Union is threatening to boycott separate climate talks in the United States. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUMBERTO ROSA, EU DELEGATION: We are disappointed that having reached this stage of negotiation, we still haven't heard from the United States what is their exact level of ambition or of engagement in the Bali road map.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: Making an appearance at the meeting, Nobel Peace laureate Al Gore, saying the world must take strong action to fight climate change with or without the United States. The former U.S. vice president, a Democrat, says he's going to speak the "inconvenient truth," referring to his climate film that won him an Oscar.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE: My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali. We all know that. We all know that. But my country is not the only one that can take steps to ensure that we move forward from Bali with progress and with hope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: All right.

GORANI: Al Gore there. Well, outside the conference, protesters from around the world have gathered in large numbers.

CLANCY: They say they want to see some real action, not just talk about climate change, and they're going to do just about anything they can to get their points across.

GORANI: But amid the wacky stunts, are people really getting the message? Dan Rivers takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): This is the traditional way to grab some headlines at a big political conference. But in Bali, placards and slogans only get you so far. True eco- warriors will do anything for some coverage.

Dressing as a polar bear in the oppressive sauna heat of Bali really shows true dedication. Penguins came next and seemed to be suffering for their cause. But surely the men dressed in silly costumes would soon get boring, right? Wrong. The fancy dress shop must have been making a fortune. Snails seem a rather tenuous link to climate change, but this was a jibe at the slow pace of action.

Greenpeace baked a cake, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Kyoto, and the press went crazy for it. Perhaps expecting Al Gore to burst out from inside.

One pressure groups went one better, using real live animals to make their point. Releasing baby turtles was a sure-fire winner with the press. The turtles are ridiculously cute, but they're also under threat.

RUSSELL MITTERMEIER, CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL: If you increase sea level by a couple of feet or a couple of meters, you wind up wiping out most of these beaches. And, secondly, if you increase temperature, you get all females.

RIVERS: But as the conference comes to its climax, the publicity stunts seem to be getting a bit desperate. Meet Kurt (ph), the cowboy, from Norway.

KURT, THE COWBOY: This is a brand for Mr. Bush, to brand him in the butt.

RIVERS: An interesting suggestion for solving climate change from Kurt and his cattle iron.

But some media stunts are getting genuinely good PR here, like this solar-powered car that's come all the way from Switzerland, using only the power of the sun. The owner, like everyone else, using the intense media spotlight here in Bali to get his message across.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Bali.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Some of Hollywood's best and brightest are recognized.

CLANCY: After we take a short break, this time for real, highlights of the Golden Globe nominations.

GORANI: Also ahead, hanging by a thread. A driver in the U.S. finds himself in a precariously dangerous situation. That and more after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUENTIN TARANTINO, FILM DIRECTOR: Best motion picture drama. We have seven nominees, so don't bum rush us. "American Gangster," "Atonement," "Eastern Promises," "The Great Debaters," "Michael Clayton," "No Country For Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood." Thanks, everybody. Congratulations!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CLANCY: That's film director Quentin Tarantino announcing the golden globe nominees for the best dramatic films.

GORANI: Well, you'll see some familiar names on this year's list, but also some old favorites that have been left out.

CLANCY: That's right. Brooke Anderson takes a look now at some of the main nominations.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is tremendous star power and talent among this year's Golden Globe nominees announced this morning by Quentin Tarantino, Hayden Panettiere, of "Heroes," and also actor Ryan Reynolds. We're talking Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks, both of whom are nominated for "Charlie Wilson's War." Also Angelina Jolie up for best actress in a drama for "A Mighty Heart." She'll go up against Jody Foster for "The Brave One," Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age." Blanchett actually nominated in the supporting category as well for "I'm Not There." In that movie she played Bob Dylan.

Now a few of the notable films that were honored with nominations include "American Gangster," starring Denzel Washington, "Michael Clayton," starring George Clooney, "There Will Be Blood" with Daniel Day Lewis and also "No Country For Old Men."

Now over on the comedy and musical side, "Hair Spray," "Juno," "Sweeney Todd" among the nominees there. I have to say, "Juno" could be this year's "Little Miss Sunshine." It's fresh. It's witty. It's entertaining. It stars the young Ellen Page. She's a newcomer. She also received an individual nomination as well. It is a terrific film. Over on the television side, things have definitely changed. Not one "Desperate Housewife" was nominated. Also "Lost" and "Heroes" were left in the cold. But "Grey's Anatomy," a familiar name, was nominated in best drama, as was "House." And "30 Rock" leads the way in the comedy category. Up for best comedy fresh off an Emmy win.

Reporting from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, I'm Brooke Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: All right. Well, certain holiday traditions in the United States Capital will be a thing of the past, apparently.

CLANCY: Well, that's what they say. Coming up, new ethics rules supposed to change how hosts can treat their holiday guests in Washington, in particular.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Spice Girls update. No, no, the British award-winning group that introduced girl power into popular culture now back in London. There they are. The Spice Girls are getting ready to kick off their U.K. leg of their world tour. They'll perform in London's O2 (ph) arena Saturday. They were a '90s pop sensations. Currently on a reunion tour. They performed in Las Vegas and New York this week. And this -- the lady with the microphone is Baby Spice, Emma Bunton. She sprained her ankle in Las Vegas, which is why she's on crutches, but she says nothing will keep her from the stage. Nothing.

CLANCY: Wow. What dedication.

OK. Let's see, moving along from girl power to party power. Who knows better than schmoozing politicians in Washington. It's a year- round job for lobbyists that culminates at this time of year with a flurry of lavish holiday parties.

GORANI: But new ethics rules could put a cap on that. As Chris Lawrence reports, some of those restrictions may surprise you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): New rules for Christmas in the Capitol. Forks are out. Finger foods in. Lobbyists aren't allowed to wine and dine like Christmas past, so congressional staffers who go to their parties won't sit down or eat lavish meals. They can't even use silverware.

LINDA DARKE, CHARLIE PALMER'S STEAKHOUSE: No, we can't have a fork. I mean we had one group here that they didn't want to see a fork in the place.

LAWRENCE: Catering manager Linda Darke is trying to comply with the new so-called toothpick rule, which means senator so and so will be eating french fries, not fillet.

DARKE: Because then they can pull it out with their fingers versus putting a fork in it. You know, it's a finger food.

LAWRENCE: This season, the ethics committee is putting a cap on how lavish these parties can be. So Washington watchdog Melanie Sloan says lawmakers are under the microscope, as well as the mistletoe.

MELANIE SLOAN, WASHINGTON WATCHDOG: Staff and members are going to the ethics committee and asking whether or not they can go to these kinds of parties.

LAWRENCE: Toothpick parties are OK, as well as so-called widely attended events.

SLOAN: If you have such a party, then you can serve whatever you want.

LAWRENCE: The catch. The lobbyist has to bring at least 25 other people to the party who don't work on Capitol Hill.

SLOAN: If they have to drag in their own children and friends to that event, they are not going to screw that up.

LAWRENCE: It's supposed to ensure lobbyists don't get all this private time with staff members. And a lot of invitations spell out exactly why it's OK to attend.

So what happens if a member of Congress goes to one of these banned parties? Probably nothing. Now Melanie Sloan says only a member of Congress can file a complaint with the committee and that just doesn't happen too often.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Well, before we go, we wanted to show you some great video clips we've gotten right here at CNN.

CLANCY: They include images that they can make you cringe, they can make you smile. Well, we hope that you enjoy them. Here are the pictures of the day.

This is a car dangling off a parking garage in Atlanta, Georgia. The cringe department, definitely. Seven stories above the ground. The driver holding on only by a few guard wires. He was knocked unconscious, apparently, when the car's air bag deployed, and then firefighters had to go down the side of the building, repelling -- this was a parking garage -- reach him, put a harness on him and pull him out.

GORANI: Well, talk about defying your natural instincts. Some Japanese scientists have genetically engineered a mouse that is not afraid of felines. The scientists removed the mouse's sense receptors that told it a cat was nearby.

CLANCY: What did they do with his eyes? GORANI: So -- but, wait, but my question is, have you genetically engineered the cat not to eat the mouse? So does this signal a new era in cat-rodent relations? Maybe, but first they'd have to get the cats, as I just said, to stop chasing. This cat seems to be quite friendly with the little fellow.

CLANCY: Yes, he's just had lunch.

All right. How about adding a dancing robot to your Christmas decorations? I mean, you need this, don't you? Shoppers stop to watch these robots grooving to the Christmas music at a Hong Kong mall. These mobile machines don't just dance. They also can do hand stands, and acrobatic moves, all while wearing festive little santa hats. Wow. Remarkable. No word yet if you'll be able to buy these rocking robots, though, any time soon. It's was just there to kind of draw the people into the mall and spend their money on everything else.

GORANI: Just yet another thing you don't need.

That's it for this hour. I'm Hala Gorani.

CLANCY: I'm Jim Clancy. This is CNN. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Republicans yesterday. Democrats today. Three weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

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