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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Presidential Candidates Campaign in Anticipation of Super Tuesday Showdown; Violence in Chad

Aired February 3, 2008 - 07:00   ET

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


BETTY NGUYEN, CO-HOST: Hi, good morning, everybody, from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, it is February 3rd, Super Bowl Sunday. Are you ready for some football? How about some news? We'll start you out with that. Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen.
T.J. HOLMES, CO-HOST: And I'm T.J. Holmes. Yes, in fact, it is Super Bowl Sunday, but you know what, this ain't ESPN, this is CNN. So, our super bowl is on Tuesday, Super Tuesday. We have a lot going on to tell you about, including the new developments overnight in central Africa, more than 2,000 armed rebel soldiers battling troops in Chad. We get an updates on effort to get Americans out of there.

NGUYEN: Also: Coast to coast the candidates are on the trail, working hard to get your vote and your money. We are Keeping Them Honest.

HOLMES: And of course, like you we're getting ready for the big game. Don't place your bet though until you hear from Sister Jean.

NGUYEN: The Super Bowl Queen. She has got some predictions for you, divine intervention perhaps? Not really sure but she has a pretty good record.

HOLMES: All right. Though you we start with this one of the stories. Up first: We will talk more about a deadly shooting at the strip mall outside of the Chicago. This strip mall here and several victims here.

NGUYEN: Yes, five women were killed in the back room of a women's clothing store. Now, police say, it was a robbery gone wrong. This morning the search is on for the suspect. Christian Farr is in Tinley Park, Illinois, and I have to ask you, first up, any idea as to where the suspect may be this morning? Are there any clues?

CHRISTIAN FARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT, TINLEY PARK, ILLINOIS: Betty, at this point police have absolutely no clue where the suspect might be. They still have the shopping complex where the shooting took place roped off. They are still of that store, searching for evidence connected to the shooting and they're still searching for the gunman who killed these five women.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FARR (voice): It started as a robbery but ended with five women shot and killed in the back room of this store in this suburban Chicago strip mall.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Through (ph) the investigators inside, they were able to determine a pretty substantially that the motive in this case was a robbery and that at some point, it went rather poorly.

FARR: Police locked down the shopping center briefly but determined the gunman had already fled the area. Now the manhunt is underway and authorities are asking the public for leads. They have a description of the suspect. A witness that saw him leave the store says, he's as an African-American male, roughly 5'9" tall and weighing between 230 and 260 pounds. He was seen wearing a waist length black winter coat, a black cap and dark jeans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FARR: Now, we do know the name of one of victims in the shooting because her family came forward and released her name. She is 33- year-old, Carrie Hudak Chiuso, a popular social worker at a high school, she was shopping inside of the store at that time, and names of the other victims have not yet been released. Betty?

NGUYEN: Oh, it's just a tragic story. I want to ask you this though, any clues I guess been taken from surveillance video, whether it's inside that particular store or the stores around it?

FARR: Well, unfortunately there were no security cameras inside of the Lane Bryant store but they are looking at surveillance video from stores that surround that Lane Bryant store. There's a Super Target here, there's also a Pet Smart and other stores. They're going to try and get some leads from that video.

NGUYEN: OK. Christian Farr in Tinsley Park, Illinois today, for us on just the horrible story that we have to bring to you. Thank you, Christian for the latest on that and we want to tell you about this. We are getting reports of more violent clashes this morning between rebel forces and government troops in Chad. A French military spokesman says, government troops appear to be gaining ground against rebels who entered the capital city yesterday. Meanwhile, the U.S. embassy is evacuating employees, their families and any Americans who want to leave. We'll have more on the violence from Chad from our senior international Nic Robertson, his report is less than 20 minutes away.

Into some politics now and we are into this home stretch, well, if you want to consider a Super Tuesday the finish line.

HOLMES: Yes, we haven't seen front-runners emerge at any point. So, no reason to think we might see it on Tuesday either. But yes, no more of the state by state voting stuff. We are doing 24 states. Voter in 24 states have the chance to make their choices. A national primary first thing we've ever seen like this maybe, closest all we've come to something like this. And we're going to start our coverage this morning with the Republicans and CNN's Mary Snow covering Mitt Romney's campaign today. She joins us live from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Good morning to you, ma'am. MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT, GLEN ELLYN: Good morning, T.J. and you know, the candidates are just crisscrossing the country, you mentioned, Mitt Romney is going to be here in Illinois and the final push. The big question though: Will Super Tuesday be decisive? Mitt Romney is saying that he plans to push on beyond Super Tuesday. A lot of questions about whether or not he will stay in this race because he hasn't really been winning huge states so far and John McCain has been the front-runner. Mitt Romney though, doing well in Maine. It's having its caucuses this weekend. He has the commanding lead, although yesterday, he declared victory, 18 nonbinding delegates at stake there; that has really been the strategy to pick delegates up strategically around the country.

Senator John McCain is vowing that he believes this contest will be decided after Super Tuesday and he believes that he will emerge the Republican nominee. He was campaigning yesterday in the south. Some of the points that he's been stressing, he told crowds yesterday, touted his record on opposing abortion. He's really trying to solidify his credentials with conservatives who've been very critical of him. But also, Senator John McCain hitting hard the theme he's been consistent on that he will not support a withdrawal of troops from Iraq any time soon, and he criticized the Democrats for suggesting to get the troops out of there. And Mike Huckabee has been vowing to fight on, he's really been concentrating on the south and he said to reporters yesterday, you know, if this was a boxing match, you're going to have to pull him out of the ring. He says, this is not a two-man race and he is vowing to fight hard up until Tuesday. T.J.?

HOLMES: Pull him out of the ring, well, we hope he's not too battered and bruised and bloody when they pulled him out of that ring. Mary Snow is covering things for us from Glen Ellyn in DuPage, Illinois. Good to see you this morning, Mary.

SNOW: Sure.

NGUYEN: Let's turn to politics now: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama clash over experience and who can best protect the country. Well, they weren't exactly face-to-face but they are going toe-to-toe in the final days before Super Tuesday. A story from senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice over): Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were nearly 2,000 miles apart on Saturday but they still managed to get in each other's faces.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not asking you to take a leap of faith. I'm asking you to hire me to do the hardest job in the entire world.

SCHNEIDER: A leap of faith? Sounds like an echo of her husband's suggestion in December that electing Obama would be taking a risk. A suggestion Obama recalled with derision. SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The roll of the dice selects him because he has not been in Washington long enough. And we need to -- we need to season and stew him a little bit more and boil all of the hope out of him and maybe then he will be ready.

SCHNEIDER: I'm ready now Obama insisted and so, is the country.

OBAMA: The American people all across the country are standing up and saying we want something new, we want something different. We want to turn the page. We want to write a new chapter in American history.

SCHNEIDER: Clinton drew an implicit contrast with Obama on national security.

CLINTON: I believe that we can have an election this time where all of the issues, including national security are ones that Democrats can stand and proudly promote.

SCHNEIDER: Her followers even had to reply to Obama's battle cry, yes, we can. Like most Americans the candidates have a relatively light schedule on Super Bowl Sunday. It's their spouses who will be doing the heavy work. Michelle Obama will appear with Oprah Winfrey and Caroline Kennedy at a Los Angeles rally. A Super Bowl counter-programming? Bill Clinton will also be in Los Angeles doing a Sunday morning tour of African-American churches and an official that will be joining him, describe it as Bill Clinton's mea culpa tour among black voters. Many of them continue to resent his criticisms of Obama last not. It's absolutely not a mea culpa tour, a Clinton spokesperson said. Maybe the former president is just going to church. Actually, a number of churches in black neighborhoods on this Sunday before Super Tuesday. Bill Schneider, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: So, before you tune into that other bowl, how about you check out the CNN BALLOT BOWL? It's today and your chance to hear from the candidates unfiltered. BALLOT BOWL is coming up at 1:00 p.m. eastern, 10:00 a.m. pacific only on CNN. And you want to be right here on Super Tuesday, the best political team on television covers every race all day, all night. It is 40 straight hours of coverage. It all gets underway at 6 p.m. eastern Tuesday. In fact, T.J., you're doing a lot of that coverage as well.

HOLMES: Yes, the overnight coverage here on the east coast.

NGUYEN: Forty hours straight.

HOLMES: I'm putting my part in on that 40. I guess about four or five. But hey, everybody's got to contribute.

NGUYEN: This is true.

HOLMES: All right. But putting in some hours today as well, Super Bowl.

NGUYEN: Yes, the big game.

HOLMES: The big game. Now, everybody bets -- not everybody bet on the game. But a lot of people bet on the game. Betting on the game is one thing, but you can bet on the color Gatorade that is going to be on the cooler.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's fun to be stupid and bet money on dumb things, I guess.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's fun for people that don't like football but being forced to watch it with their boyfriend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: So, watch the Super Bowl.

NGUYEN: There's always the commercials.

HOLMES: Also something else. How long will it take to sing the national anthem, you can bet on that. Folks, it's time to hear about some wacky wagers.

NGUYEN: It's time to lose some money, essentially is what that is. And Reynolds Wolf is betting on some cold weather. I think that's a pretty sure bet.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It really is especially out west to California and back into Nevada, even into portions of Utah and Colorado. We're going to see some rain, not only that, possibly, some heavy snowfall. We're going to talk about that coming up in a few moments and let you know what you can expect for your Super Bowl forecast. That's coming up in just a few. We'll see you then.

HOLMES: All right, thank you. Also: a raffling off of four- bedroom house. Yes, it's creative financing for a troubled housing market.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Now, that's one way to wake up: The roar of dynamite. In fact, it's becoming a familiar of Washington Snoqualmie Pass. Highway crews are battling one of the area's highest avalanche risks in years. In fact, Interstate 90 was briefly shut down during last night's blasting. It's now reopened with, get this, six feet of fresh snow in the Cascades, snow slides kept Interstate 90 closed for much of last week.

HOLMES: And everybody is getting a little snow. Well, not everybody but several places. This is not the only one.

WOLF: Yes, you know, that would be kind of alarming to do that any other place. Thankfully, they use those explosives you know, in high altitude areas, they don't that in, you know, can you imagine doing that in downtown Denver? What was that? Many of that boom. NGUYEN: A snow slide, what's the difference between that and say an avalanche?

WOLF: Well, I mean, it's pretty much the same thing. But the reason why they're doing this Betty that you see, it's kind of like the same principal when you see a snow plow on the freeway, you know, it goes moving the snow. What they're doing now is they're getting rid of the snow so, the additional weight on it won't cause -

NGUYEN: Got you.

(WEATHER REPORT)

WOLF: But what you can anticipate and, it's kind of cool animation, isn't it? Mostly cloudy skies and chance of showers, high temperatures warming up into the low 60s, all things considered much better than the weather just a few weeks going both in Boston and of course in Green Bay for the championship games. That's of course the Super Bowl. Let's send it back to you, guys, at the news desk.

NGUYEN: The grand daddy of them all.

WOLF: Yes, it's a big deal.

HOLMES: Green Bay, where you were. You spent some time up there before that game.

WOLF: Yes, I kind of recall that.

HOLMES: Yes, we all do. Good work. What you guys, your beverage of choice for the Super Bowl, what is it?

WOLF: It's a family show.

(CROSSTALK)

NGUYEN: Fruit punch.

WOLF: There you go. Cookies and punch.

HOLMES: Well, apparently a lot of people will be having cookies and milk and punch because of course, it's time to kickback and watch the big game, yes.

NGUYEN: I think with a little extra I would suppose and also a big day for gamblers. Reynolds, you're betting on the game?

WOLF: You know, I'm going to bet, I think I follow the lead of some of the other people. I'm going to bet on games inside the game like how many times it takes for my friends to get up and use the facilities during the game or that kind of thing. They are secret like who cares about the contest on the field. There's so much more -

NGUYEN: There's so much more surrounding it. Well, you know, Legal Super Bowl bets, which I don't know if yours is, the ones in Vegas, they are expected to reach $100 million. HOLMES: And yes, and like Reynolds is mentioning there, you're not betting on how many times your friends go to the bathroom but pretty much anything else you can bet on, you can bet how many times will Eli Manning's father be seen on the game. (INAUDIBLE) How many times they'll say Peyton Manning's name, that's going to come up somewhere. Also, with Super Bowl commercials, what's going to be the highest rated. All of that stuff. And CNN's Allan Chernoff has all of the other odd ball bets.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A Super Bowl bet, how long will it take American idol Jordin Sparks to sing the national anthem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm losing last year on the Billy Joel bet; I'm not doing it again.

CHERNOFF: You did it last year?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

CHERNOFF: What color sports drinks will players pour on the winning coach.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably green (ph) which is my favorite.

CHERNOFF: Football fans and those who couldn't care less about the game are laying down serious money on such proposition known as props in the betting world.

(on camera): The wacky props bet are offered online on gambling sites that are illegal in the United States but very popular with Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's fun just to be stupid and bet money on dumb things, I guess.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Makes it more fun for people who don't really like football but are being forced to watch it with their boyfriend.

CHERNOFF: Who will be the MVP of the game thank first?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably his mom.

CHERNOFF: So, you'll take the bet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I probably would, yes.

CHERNOFF: Bet on mom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody bets on mom.

CHERNOFF (voice over): It's true. Mom and dad are odds on favorites and God had a long shot. Even in Las Vegas, gambling on such propositions is illegal. Props here have to have something to do with athletic competition and there's no shortage of those permutations.

CHUCK ESPOSITO, SPORTS BOOK DIR., CAESAR'S PALACE: You name it, they're on the board, the cross board props are a big part and are extremely fun for the betting public.

CHERNOFF: Vegas this year features multi-sport props. Will Kobe Bryant score more points in tonight's Lakers game than the Giants and Patriots combined total? Back online, you can put money on the halftime show? What songs will Tom Petty sing? Might he smoke a joint and could he have a wardrobe malfunction as Janet Jackson did four years ago?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that's hysterical.

CHERNOFF: Will you take the bet?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I take a bet because I'm a girl, that's what I live for, halftime.

CHERNOFF: Even if the game is a bore, there's plenty of action for those wagering on Super Bowl Sunday. Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Let me just say this, I love Tom Petty, he's great but let's hope the man doesn't have a wardrobe malfunction.

HOLMES: But the song that year, was have him (ph) naked on the song, it was the lyrics, why were we surprised?

NGUYEN: They delivered.

HOLMES: All right. We're still talking Super Bowl and super coverage here. Coming up next: Josh Levs, he'll be take a look at the upcoming Super Bowl commercials. Will they live up to the hype this year?

NGUYEN: Plus: In less than 30 minutes, we're going to talk with Sister Jean: The Super Bowl Queen. Have you heard her somewhere? Have you heard of predictions this year? She's a nun with a divine knack for predicting Super Bowl winners. We'll see how she fares.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Heavy fighting is being reported this morning between government soldiers and rebels in the central African nation of Chad. The rebels are claiming they have the president trapped in the presidential palace.

NGUYEN: Yes, Chad's ambassador to the United States disputes that though. He says, the government is still in control. CNN senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson has more on the situation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Overnight, French troops secured the airport's in Chad's capital in N'Djamena. Already alerted, rebels we're on their way. The French army which has several thousand troops permanently stationed in the country was securing one of the only military assets in this poorest of African nations. By daybreak, French and Austrian troops were protecting an estimated 700 westerners hold up in a handful of international hotels. An estimated 400 rebels fought running gun battles with government forces.

CAPT. CHRISTOPHE PRAZUCK, FRENCH MIN. OF DEFENSE SPOKESMAN (translator): Fighting is still taking place this afternoon. This morning three armed columns entered N'Djamena. Fighting has been taking all day and it's taking place as we speak.

ROBERTSON: Rumors in the capital were right. The president had fled but denied earlier in the day by Chad's ambassador to the U.S.

MAHAMOUD ADAM BECHIR, CHADIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: The situation is under the control of the government and the president is in his palace and the Chadian security forces and the military are chasing the rebel groups.

ROBERTSON: The attackers came from the east but they were hiding along the border with Darfur and Sudan. A group saw them coming and evacuated some stuff.

ANNETTE REHR, UNHCR SPOKESWOMAN (voice over): All United Nations nonessential staff has already been evacuated yesterday and will be evacuated today out to Cameroon. And so, the situation is really very serious for us.

ROBERTSON: More than a quarter million Darfur refugees and close to 150,000 internally displaced Chadians depend on the aid groups for their survival. Chad has long blame Sudan for supporting the rebels, suspecting their latest attack may have political motivations.

BECHIR: Regime of the Khartoum trying to stop the arrival of the international forces, stop the arrival of the U.N. forces to protect the refugees.

ROBERTSON: African leaders meeting in nearby Ethiopia had mass condemnation for the attack.

PRES. JAKAYA KIKWETE, TANZANIA: If the rebellion succeeds, certainly, we will excommunicate them from the African union until normalcy and their democratic institutions are restored in that country (INAUDIBLE)

ROBERTSON (on camera): Chad's government has long been fragile. Only a year and a half ago, the President Idriss Deby saw off a similar rebel attack that also reached the capital by giving a rebel commander a top ministerial position. But in the meantime, the rebels have grown stronger, beyond his reach along the border with Sudan. Nic Robertson, CNN, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Of course, we'll continue to follow that developing story and this one for you as well. She returned to her home town of New Orleans to serve and protect. Then she was gunned down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very kind, very quiet person, you wouldn't even think would be a police officer if you would not see her in uniform.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: A police officer killed in the line of duty. Her death though is showing a city that crime isn't the only thing that needs to be fixed.

HOLMES: Also: We'll bring in Joshua Levs, he's keeping it real for us this morning and this morning, he's on the money trail. Good morning, sir.

JOSHUA LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, good morning to you. You know, two days until Super Tuesday, I have so much to reality check for you guys. I can barely even keep track. But here's a deal, we're hearing a lot about campaign funds in recent days, right? Well, how do the candidates really stack up? I'm going to tell you the figure you should listen out for, not the one they want you to hear. That's coming up right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: All right. We've got results to tell you about. Early republican results. Super Tuesday is still Tuesday but we are in the middle of a three-day Maine republican caucuses and right now Mitt Romney holds the big lead with 68% of the precincts reporting. He has 52% of the vote, John McCain second with 21% and Ron Paul third with 19%. We have not called this race here at CNN just yet. The rest of the Maine precincts expected to wrap things up later today.

NGUYEN: But you know with so many delegates and so many states in play on Tuesday, it can be hard to keep all of them straight.

HOLMES: Yes. Josh Levs. That's why we got him in here. To keep things straight for us. Keep it real. Good morning, sir.

LEVS: Good morning to you, guys. You were just talking about Maine. Well, every state has such complicated rules.

HOLMES: Yes.

LEVS: Almost every state and I think a big part of the reason that a lot of people don't realize is that primaries and caucuses are not run by the government, they're run by parties. So, in every state, you got these individual private groups that gets to decide OK, let's do it this way. That's why there's so much complexity out there. What we want to do is boil it down for you because obviously it's the closest thing to a national primary.

Reality check, if not one but it's the closest thing to a national primary we've ever had with something going on in 20 states, more than half of the population. Let's go to that map right now. This is available to you at cnn.com. If you take a look at this map right here, what you can do is click on any of the states that are taking part in Tuesday's elections or caucuses and you can see what's going on in your area. You can also see what's going on elsewhere. Purple means both parties and blue is just democratic race. Red is just the republican race.

For example there, West Virginia, only deciding on republicans that day. It does get confusing, but we obviously, as you know, in our 40-hour marathon, I'll be here with T.J. overnight actually. We're going to be tracing you through everything as it comes in.

Now, let's get to that money. Because we've been hearing a lot in recent days about for example the Obama campaign pulling in $32 million in January. The figure you're not hearing that really shows a campaign's financial health is called cash on hand. And this page right here, the numbers are tiny on your screen. I'm not expecting you to look at it. What you can do is go to cnn.com later today because we are now today getting brand-new figures that show cash on hand for the major candidates as of December 31st.

So, clearly things changed in January but you know the campaigns have not told us the actual cash on hand as of now. So, when you hear we raised so much money in January, clearly that's something but it doesn't show you how much they have to spend. Same with the republicans too, all of them there - Mitt Romney, Giuliani, Paul and Huckabee. We're following all of their financial results today as it comes in. We're going to tell you the actual cash on hand as they have available. So keep an eye out for that. And guys, just one last thing I wanted to just jump on for a second, if we can. Fact check.org which is outside of CNN is now doing a look at what they're calling the "L.A. love fest," which is the democratic debate the other night. This is now up on fact check.org. We linked to it from cnnpolitics.com. They are piecing through some things that each side said, particularly about claims about Obama that are not exactly accurate. We are linking to this outside group, fact check.org which is looking at the CNN debate, always a good thing to do. So, a lot of resources for people as they, a lot of people today are making their decision on what you're going to do on Tuesday. We encourage you to go there and learn some basics, learn the realities and take it from there.

NGUYEN: Very quickly. The cash on hand, is that after expenses? I mean, what do you mean?

LEVS: Yes, cash on hand has a lot to do with how much has been spent already, how much they have that's already in debt and sometimes you have this huge figure that doesn't mean it's all been collected. It doesn't mean it's automatically sent. They can call now call the networks and say we're doing this massive ad buy. I mean, this is how much they believed they have pulled in and that's huge. But they can't actually spend that money right then until it's physically on hand. Plus because of legal rules about transferring cash.

NGUYEN: All right. Thanks for explaining that to us.

HOLMES: Waiting for some checks to clear. All right.

NGUYEN: Make sure that they do clear.

LEVS: Yes.

HOLMES: Appreciate it, Josh.

Well, folks, there is a bowl game today but there's also another bowl going on the "Ballot Bowl" here at CNN. It's your chance to hear from the candidates unfiltered. "Ballot Bowl" coming your way at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific only right here on CNN.

NGUYEN: And we're also giving you another chance to hear from the candidates. You can always catch replays of this week's democratic and republican debates from California. And here's how you do it. It's the last debate before super Tuesday and we'll be showing them back to back starting at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

HOLMES: Turning back to some weather, this time in China, where they're getting a bit of a short break today that could bring some relief to the hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded by heavy snow. More snow is forecast for tomorrow, also for Tuesday. The problems haven't just been on train stations, it's an I-report we got from Shanghai airport. A photo sent to us by Michael Bruce who was stuck there for 17 hours.

NGUYEN: Look at that crowd. Can you imagine going through an airport here in the U.S. and just seeing crowds like that? And a lot of these people have been stuck there for days.

HOLMES: For days, trying to get home for the new year. A lot of them not going to make it, didn't make it.

NGUYEN: And it's really unfortunate, because a lot of the migrant workers. This is their only time to go home and see their families.

Let me tell you about this sad story. The funeral for a fallen police officer in New Orleans. Actually, it has brought officers from as far away as Denver to pay respects.

HOLMES: CNN's Sean Callebs explains her senseless death in the line of duty underscores the risk police face each time they report for work.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN, CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In New Orleans, a somber, solemn farewell to 24-year-old police officer Nicola Cotton killed in the line of duty. Cotton had weathered Katrina and was proud to be in the first graduating class of rookies after the storm. John Raphael is a former cop and was Cotton's pastor. REV. JOHN C. RAPHAEL JR., NEW HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH: Very kind, very quiet person that you wouldn't even think would be a police officer if you wouldn't see her in uniform. But she was committed to her job and to serving this city.

CALLEBS: In many ways, Cotton's death shines a glaring light on two of the problems plaguing post Katrina New Orleans. Crime and what many in the medical field call a woeful lack of medical treatment. She was killed after stopping a man who fitted the description of a sexual assault suspect. Police say Bernell Johnson who had a history of mental illness pounced on Cotton during questioning and wrestled her gun away. Johnson described as a paranoid schizophrenic first beat Cotton with her night stick then allegedly shot her 15 times.

DR. JEFFREY ROUSE, CHIEF DEPUTY CORONER: When people like him fall through the cracks, they don't just go quietly. Unfortunately, people like him when they fall through the cracks, they can cause havoc.

CALLEBS: Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the city's deputy coroner had Johnson committed recently. Johnson could have been held 15 days, but Rouse says the mental health facility decided to release him earlier. Clearly, treatment is a huge problem in the city and one Mayor Ray Nagin can only address with the same explanation he offers for so many problems.

MAYOR RAY NAGIN, NEW ORLEANS: Well, we're working with the resources that we have.

CALLEBS: Rouse is angry and frustrated.

ROUSE: And the fact of the matter is that until all the systems can get together and have the resources to handle these kinds of problems, I fear that things like this will just continue to happen in my hometown, and that is unacceptable.

CALLEBS: Cotton was unmarried. The autopsy showed she was eight weeks' pregnant when she was killed. New Orleans has become a more violent city in the aftermath of Katrina. Cotton's bosses say she followed procedure, but Johnson was twice her size, and it turns out, he wasn't even the man police were looking for. Now, however, he is being held on a charge of first-degree murder. There were 209 murders in 2007, many of them in the low-income area of central city, where Cotton was patrolling by herself in broad daylight the day she was killed.

RAPHAEL: There's not going to be any change until the community decides we have enough.

CALLEBS: Another unwanted legacy of a storm that punished the area nearly 2 1/2 years ago. Sean Callebs, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: A lot to be done in that city still. HOLMES: All right. We're going to turn to this now. Trouble for troops. Returning home from the war in Iraq. Who is most at risk for not adjusting to life away from combat? The answer may surprise you here.

NGUYEN: And take a look. She is right a whole lot of the time. No, there's no she right there. We're going to give you a shot of Sister Jean McKinney because she predicts the "Super Bowl" every year. There she is. We're going to find out what her prediction is this year. That is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: All right she's 17 and 5.

NGUYEN: That's not bad.

HOLMES: That isn't bad. Sister Jean Kinney. She has a real knack for picking "Super Bowl" winners. In other words, she's been right 77% of the time since she started making predictions in 1986.

NGUYEN: Oh, you know what, you might even say it's a bit of a higher calling. There she is, Sister Jean.

SISTER JEAN: Good morning.

NGUYEN: Good morning. Joins us once again on this "Super Bowl" Sunday with her predictions and in fact, you also have a poem. But let's get straight to it because there are people in Vegas counting on you, Sister Jean.

SISTER JEAN: I'll do my best.

NGUYEN: What do you say? Whose going to take it home?

SISTER JEAN: We'll I'm going to take the Patriots by a score of 33-27.

NGUYEN: OK. I got to look at your record. Even though you're what, 77% of the time right. Last year you went with the Bears. And it wasn't so good of a pick. They lost to the Colts 29-17.

SISTER JEAN: Exactly and that was one of my five losses, very disappointing because it was the Bears but life goes on.

NGUYEN: But you're in Chicago. Do you think you were just picking the home town favorite? Was this with your heart instead of that divine intervention?

SISTER JEAN: It was both but that fourth quarter did them in.

HOLMES: Sister, what do you think about, people are really - I mean, people look for all kind of superstitious things and they're trying to predict and they found a bet on the game. They got a sister here. A woman who has the ear of god right now. And they are listening to you and they are really putting big money on it. What do you think about that? That there are some people out there who put a lot of.

NGUYEN: Faith.

HOLMES: And faith into your predictions, not necessarily your record. But that's Sister Jean.

SISTER JEAN: Yes, and I always tell people who ask me, you know, if you win, I'm happy for you, but if you lose, I don't want to hear about it.

NGUYEN: Exactly. Well, let's find out how you're able to get such a great record of 77%, that's right, you know, most of the time. Do you read the papers? Do you look at sports magazines? Or you just pray?

SISTER JEAN: "Pro Football Weekly."

NGUYEN: That's it, huh.

SISTER JEAN: It's outstanding and it really, really helps me. I read "USA Today," "The Chicago Sun Times," "The Chicago Tribune" and by the time Sunday comes I'm well read and ready to prognosticate.

HOLMES: Have you always been a football fan? How did you get into it in the first place?

SISTER JEAN: I wrote a poem in 1985 on William Perry when he was called the fridge for the Chicago bears. It was called Hurricane William and I won an award on a TV show and then Monday night football came to my high school where I was teaching in Mother Theodore Guerin High School and interviewed the children and myself.

HOLMES: But before that, I mean, just growing up were you a football fan?

SISTER JEAN: I was more of a baseball fan but then friends took me to my first football fan in the '80s and to be at Soldier Field at an autumn afternoon was awesome.

NGUYEN: Oh, men. You were hook. So, do you make predictions in other sports or is it strictly football.

SISTER JEAN: Well, I did when the White Sox won in 2005 and they won the World Series. So that was a lucky year for Chicago as well.

NGUYEN: I know you have a poem. Every year you do a poem. So, let's have it, sister.

SISTER JEAN:: OK. This year's poem is called "Picture Perfect Patriots." And I just want to tell you one thing before I read the poem. I coined the phrase for "Super Bowl XLII," the road to perfection versus the road to perdition. So you know where I'm going.

NGUYEN: I hear you.

SISTER JEAN: Welcome football fans to the Grand Canyon state, see Bob Kraft's perfect Patriots dominate. Tom is terrific and knows when to concentrate. Brilliant Belichick's team continues to celebrate. Coughlin's resilient G men are on the road once more. Eli, Hochstein caused a small uproar. The desert sun gets to stray hand and Figals unable to roar. These NFC champs won't have the winning score. Do your job is the Patriots mantra every day. Maroney and Faulk twist and turn then run away. Bruschi, Mason, Walker are primed and ready to play. Their dynasty continues as they win it all today. Go Patriots! 33-27.

NGUYEN: There you go. We'll see how it plays out. Sister.

SISTER JEAN: Thank you, Betty and T.J.

NGUYEN: And have a good time today.

SISTER JEAN: Thank you, I will.

HOLMES: Enjoy the game, sister. Enjoy the game.

SISTER JEAN: We should ask, what did she serve at her "Super Bowl" party?

NGUYEN: I don't know, maybe some divine intervention. I don't know. Not devil's food cake. I tell you that.

HOLMES: She's always good to talk to.

NGUYEN: She's great.

HOLMES: So, we'll see how it works out. It's true, a pick that you can put your faith. More though on "Super Bowl." That is still ahead because we are live in Arizona with a look at another Manning brother. You know Peyton and Eli, but you're going to meet Cooper. Also, ahead this morning.

CYNTHIA MOLER, REALTOR: If they sell 5,000 tickets they'll hold the raffle, if they don't --

HOLMES: One family's unique way to deal with the mortgage mess. Make their home a prize.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOLF: I'm Reynolds Wolf. This is a look at the cold and flu season report. And all across the nation we've got plenty of cases of the cold and the flu. In fact, right behind me, the map is virtually covered with states that are shaded in purple, even blue or red, which would indicate local activity, regional activity or even widespread activity. There are however three exceptions. Those exceptions being Florida, West Virginia and Maine, at this point but they only have sporadic cases. That is a look at today's cold and flu season report.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Well, call it the ripple effect in the mortgage crisis. Lenders now making it even harder for buyers to get loan which means sellers are stuck in the middle unless they are creative. CNN's Kate Bolduan has that story from Maryland.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Touring the still empty home in Maryland, Karen Crawford is reminded of the on-going struggle that she and millions of Americans face -- the mortgage crisis, the credit crunch, the troubled housing market.

KAREN CRAWFORD, RAFFLING HOME: The house was on the market about a year and a half. We had a lot of interested couples but they were unable to get financing after this debacle with the mortgage situation in the country.

BOLDUAN: Last month, the National Realtor's Association reported 2007 saw the biggest drop in the face of single existing family home sales in 27 years. Year-end sales of new homes were also down, 26% from 2006.

CRAWFORD: We lowered the price another time and that still didn't help.

BOLDUAN: So, with the help of her realtor, Crawford started looking for alternatives.

CYNTHIA MOLER, REALTOR: We've sold about 1,500 tickets so far.

BOLDUAN: That's right. She said tickets as in raffle tickets. The Crawfords in coordination with a local children's home have now decided to raffle off their farm house about two hours outside of Washington. It's a $100 entry fee, a bargain deal for this.

CRAWFORD: It has four bedrooms and three full baths and it's a spacious home.

BOLDUAN: The Crawfords just want to break even at $390,000, every dollar on top of that goes to the San Mar Children's Home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This project if it's successful would give us about $300,000 that we could begin moving forward with a new gymnasium, new multi-purpose center for the kids.

BOLDUAN: First prize is of course, the house, other prizes include a car, furniture and cash. But it is a gamble, not only for the people purchasing tickets but for the homeowners as well.

MOLER: If they sell 5,000 tickets, they'll hold the raffle, if they don't.

BOLDUAN: If they don't, they have to give it all back and start back at square one. But the Crawfords have high hopes this it raffle will finally be the ticket to selling their house and in the process giving someone a new home sweet home. Kate Bolduan, CNN, Big Pool, Maryland.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOLMES: You can learn more about the mortgage mess and the housing crunch later on in "Your Money." It's financial security watch meets America votes 2008. You can join CNN's Ali Velshi and Christine Romans when they look at the presidential candidates and what their economic proposals could mean to your wallet. "Your Money" comes today at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

NGUYEN: And Reynolds Wolf keeping an eye on the rain and also the snow out west from the severe weather center. Good morning.

(WEATHER REPORT)

HOLMES: That is awesome. You had to be on the London tube recently to see it. Coming up next hour on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Take a look. U.S. security forces are stepping up their presence throughout Baghdad. The city still reeling from bombings Friday at markets. And according to Iraqi officials almost 100 people were killed. U.S. officials say it does appear the female bombers were mentally disabled and were used by Al Qaeda in Iraq to carry out those attacks.

Well, you have some disturbing news out of the Pentagon today. The Army says more of its troops are committing suicide than ever before. And it's not just men but women and older soldiers too. The reason? The war and its impact overseas and at home. CNN's senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN, SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The army believes the explanation for the dramatic jump in suicides is the stress of war. Not so much on the soldiers but on love and marriage.

LT. COL. RAN DOLINGER, U.S. ARMY CHAPLAIN: The real central issue is relationships. Relationships, relationships, relationships.

MCINTYRE: Army Chief Chaplain Ran Dolinger has seen it firsthand. A dear John e-mail or phone call can be the trigger.

DOLINGER: One of the guy who just went through a suicide class got a phone call right afterwards. He walked right through the unit, he went into an armored personnel carrier and shot himself.

MCINTYRE: So, the war breaks up families and causes post traumatic stress disorder and those things in turn lead to more suicides. Both the raw numbers and suicide rates are steadily climbing. The estimated rate for 2007, 17.5 per 100,000 soldiers is the highest since the military started keeping records. And suicide attempts, according to the army's figures are skyrocketing from 375 back in 2002 to more than 2,100 last year. And no longer is the typical victim a young male.

COL. ELSPETH RITCHIE, CHIEF ARMY PSYCHIATRIST: Now, we are seeing more women call killing themselves and we're also seeing older soldiers killing themselves.

MCINTYRE: The army says more than half of the suicides are among troops who are never deployed or been home from the war zones for more than a year. And officials say the biggest problem is that victims don't seek help.

RITCHIE: The really tough area here is the stigma. We know that soldiers don't want to go seek care. They're tough. They're strong. They don't want to go see a behavioral health care provider.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE: One thing soldiers are good at is protecting their buddy. So the Army is stressing how important it is to see the danger signs and to help others through tough times. This playing card, the Ace of hearts, is given to soldiers to stress some of the key points such as asking soldiers straight out if they feel suicidal and never leaving them alone. Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.

HOLMES: Hey there, everybody, from the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. It's Sunday, February 3rd. There is something happening out in Arizona today.

NGUYEN: It's a game, right? I can't recall what that is? It's a game right?

HOLMES: Something like that. We'll come up with it and bring that to you a little later but hey, I'm T.J. Holmes, in the meantime.

NGUYEN: Yes, good morning, everybody. We are focus on news today, I'm Betty Nguyen. We do want to thank you for starting your day with us. Just two days to go until Super Tuesday, that other big day that we want to talk about. The candidates crisscrossing the country trying to get your vote and we are live on the campaign trail.

HOLMES: Super -- that's what I was trying to come up with. Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, we know it's not just about the game. We got the commercials that's creating the most buzz. Like this silent ad from Pepsi. We'll be chatting about this stuff a little later this morning.

NGUYEN: Up first: We are learning more about a multiple deadly shooting at a strip mall just outside of Chicago.

HOLMES: Yes, five women killed at a Lane Bryant store there. Police are describing it as a robbery gone wrong and this morning, the search is on for a suspect. Christian Farr is in Tinley Park, Illinois. Good morning, sir. What's the latest?

FARR: Good morning to you. Police still have a presence out here at this Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park. This is about 45 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. They are looking at surveillance video from surrounding stores, hoping they can find some leads to finding the man responsible for killing these five women.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FARR (voice): It started as a robbery but ended with five women shot and killed in the back room of this store in this suburban Chicago strip mall.

UNIDENTIFIED POLICE OFFICER: Through the investigators inside, they were able to determine a pretty substantially that the motive in this case was a robbery and that at some point, it went rather poorly.

FARR: Police locked down the shopping center briefly but determined the gunman had already fled the area. Now the manhunt is underway and authorities are asking the public for leads. They have a description of the suspect. A witness that saw him leave the store says, he's as an African-American male, roughly 5'9" tall and weighing between 230 and 260 pounds. He was seen wearing a waist length black winter coat, a black cap and dark jeans.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FARR: Now, one of the victims has been identified by the victim's family. She is 33-year-old Carrie Hudak Chiuso, a popular social worker who used to work at one of the most popular high schools here in the area. The other victims have not been identified because police have not released the information. We know, at least one them was an employee. Now, Tinley Park Police plan to hold a press conference at 2:00 o'clock central time, and we hope to get more information about the shooting and the search for the gunman. T.J.?

HOLMES: And Christian, is there any word - people are trying to understand this. Why did five women have to be shot and killed in a robbery like this? If he was armed, I mean, do we have any sense of what went down in that store?

FARR: No. Police don't know that because there was no security video inside of the store at the time. The only person who possibly saw this gunman was a witness who called 911 to report what had happened. Police of course went inside. Found the five women in the back of the store. We still don't know why this happened.

HOLMES: Man, All right. Christian Farr for us in Tinley Park, we appreciate you this morning, Chris.

NGUYEN: Armed rebels are battling government forces again this morning in the central African nation of Chad and we are getting word that government troops appear to be gaining some control. Rebel forces made their way into the capital yesterday. Right now, the U.S. is trying to get its citizens to safety. We'll take you live to Washington and CNN'S Kathleen Koch with the latest on these developments. So, what did you heard, Kathleen?

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON: Betty, right now there are 500 Americans in the country of Chad, and the U.S. government obviously, is watching the evolving situation very carefully. State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack condemning the armed rebels attempt to seize power saying, quote, "We call for calm in the capital an support the African Union's call for an immediate end to armed attacks and to refrain from violence that might harm innocent civilians." A travel alert has been issued and it's warning Americans to put off all travel to Chad. And it's also encouraging U.S. citizens in Chad to consider leaving. The U.S. embassy has decided to evacuate its dependents as well as selected employees. And on the embassy Web site, it does tell any American wishing to leave to call the embassy, and to that end, a U.S. military official tells CNN that arrangements are being right now to send the U.S. military team to the region to begin final planning to assist just in case a mandatory evacuation of all 500 Americans is needed. Departures are still possible there, since French troops are in control we're told, of the airport in the capital of N'Djamena. Now, the military official says that the U.S. military right now is trying to identify C-130 aircraft in Europe or on the Middle East that could possibly be sent to Chad. Now, Americans we are told are not thought to be direct targets of the ongoing violence in Chad. Still, the State Department is encouraging Americans who choose to remain there to stay indoors in safe locations. Betty?

NGUYEN: And they're also asking them to call the embassy if they want to get out. So far, the French government was able to get 400 foreign nationals out yesterday. They're hoping do another 400 today. And as you say, they are in control of the airport. So, those flights are getting out. That is good news for the Americans and those others who want to get out of Chad which a lot of people being urged to do right now. Kathleen Koch joining us live from Washington. Thank you, Kathleen.

HOLMES: Let's turn to politics now. Super Tuesday is just a couple days away. Decision time for a lot of folks, those of you of those 24 states who's going to be voting for your presidential nominee.

NGUYEN: Yes, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, well, they are in the Democratic race, they're both talking about the importance of their health care plans and of course, their experience.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That is why I've said, we are going to set up a plan so that everybody can get health care that is at least as good as the heath care I have as a member of Congress. And nobody will be excluded for preexisting conditions and we'll negotiate for the drug companies for the cheapest available price and we will emphasize prevention so, we have a health care system and not a disease care system.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think that, you know, my strong advocacy for universal health care puts me in a much better position for say, John McCain. You know, John McCain is going up there, his health plans cover a lot of people. I mean, how many will your plan leave out? Well, I don't know. More or less than your plan? That is a losing argument for Democrats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Here's what you can see or where you can see the two candidates today. Obama in Delaware. Clinton stops in Missouri and Minnesota. But their surrogates are staying put in California. Bill Clinton has events in four different cities, while, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey are holding a rally in Los Angeles.

HOLMES: While, the Republicans are also one the road today, although the fact that it's Super Bowl Sunday, may be shortening their schedules just a bit. CNN's Mary Snow is covering Mitt Romney's campaign, her schedule is never shortened and she joins us now live from Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Good morning to you, again, Mary.

SNOW: Good morning, T.J. You know, it comes down between Super Bowl and Super Tuesday, football is going to win out even for the candidates out here on the campaign trail. As you've just mentioned, Mitt Romney is focusing on the Midwest today. He's going to be campaigning in Illinois. He said that he does not believe that Super Tuesday will decide a decisive winner in the Republican race and he is vowing to go on. He declared victory in Maine. The caucuses are going on today, but he said he was glad to pick up 18 delegates there. Mike Huckabee is concentrating on the south. He says, he's going to fight to the finish, courting conservative voters. And Senator John McCain, the front-runner is in the northeast today but yesterday, he made a sweep through the south. He touted his opposition to abortion in an attempt to court conservative voters and also took a jab at Democrats for suggesting that a withdrawal of troops is need in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will never say -- never set a date for withdrawal which is a date for surrender. Senator Obama and Senator Clinton want to wave the right white flag of surrender. I will never surrender. They will surrender, my friends.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When the economy is shaky, I think it's actually helpful to have somebody who's a job in the private sector be the president. Senator McCain said that the economy is not his strong suit. It is my strong suit. I can tell you that.

MIKE HUCKABEE, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If this were a boxing match, you are going to have to completely knock me out and have me carried out of the ring, because I'm not throwing in the towel. I'm actually not going to leave the ring and I'm going the distance and that's the only way I know to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: Mike Huckabee there, vowing to fight to the finish and speaking of sports, it will put a dent in the schedule today. Senator John McCain is going to be making his way to Boston, that's Mitt Romney's home turf. Senator McCain is going to be watching the Super Bowl from there. And Mitt Romney will be having a kickoff party for the Super Bowl tonight, that would be later in Missouri before he heads to Tennessee. He might be missing a lot of the game but apparently he's taping it and will watch it when he lands in Tennessee. T.J.?

HOLMES: The game? Who tapes a live sports event? It's the Super Bowl? NGUYEN: It's the granddaddy of them all. I know, with today's technology, he can also catch it maybe hopefully, he won't hear who actually wins before he has a chance to watch it.

HOLMES: And Mary, we appreciate you. We don't know if you still hear us. But we thank - oh, there she is. We thank you and you're going to get a chance to see the game today?

SNOW: Yes, I'm taking a break from my schedule to watch it.

HOLMES: All right then.

NGUYEN: That's the Mary we know and love. Thank you, Mary.

HOLMES: Mary, thank you this morning. Well, folks, before you tune in to that Super Bowl, check out the BALLOT BOWL today. Your chance to hear the candidates unfiltered. BALLOT BOWL coming your way, 1:00 p.m. eastern, 10:00 a.m. pacific only right here on CNN.

NGUYEN: Also today, we are giving you another chance to hear the candidates. You can catch replays of this week's Democratic and Republican debates from California. They're the last debates before Super Tuesday and we will be showing them back to back starting at 5:00 p.m. eastern, but before all of that, we've got much more political coverage ahead here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING. Next hour, we'll talk about the Super Tuesday delegate count and CNN political editor, Mark Preston, he's part of the best political team on television, he's going to break it down for us.

HOLMES: It's a complicated thing, this delegate count.

NGUYEN: Yes, he's trying to figure out who is ahead, who is getting what.

HOLMES: Superdelegates: pledged, unpledged, OK. He's going to help us through that. Reynolds Wolf is helping us through a lot of snowfall we're seeing in the sierra this time.

WOLF: Absolute. You know, yesterday was Groundhog Day but today, that is going to be the repeat performance. The rain, the sleet, the snow, once again in the Golden State of California, right along parts to central coast, there is the possibility of some flooding behind. High in the mountains, heavy snow. We're going to let you know how long it's going to last and how it may effect you across the nation for Super Tuesday in just a few moments.

NGUYEN: Yes, we'll see if that groundhog was right. Although, I heard Reynolds just very briefly that we have the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, and there's also a Georgia groundhog -

WOLF: There's a Georgia version and they did not agree

(CROSSTALK)

WOLF: While, I understand the dialect for the Groundhogese, you know, the accent, you know the groundhog - (CROSSTALK)

HOLMES: And what's the name -- what did you say?

WOLF: Boarhound (ph) is the Georgia. And Punxsutawney Phil is the one most people know I suppose. Maybe they should have a little groundhog summit before they get together and they make their predictions. All right, thank you, Reynolds.

And people in Tennessee, well, they may be saying so long to Sheriff Billy Long's career. Why he got a taste of the other side of the law?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: You know, it seems likely we can't say it enough. Cold weather is really creating extremely difficult times in China. Millions are struggling to get home for the lunar New Year holiday.

HOLMES: I'll show you this one particular in the southern part of the country. There are riot police called in to deal with thousands struggling to get space on trains. Winter weather brought a lot of the country to a total standstill.

NGUYEN: Blizzard conditions have lasted nearly three weeks now. Millions are simply stranded on roads, at airports and in railway and bus stations in south, central and eastern China. So, it's taking up a whole lot of the country, a lunar new year holiday is the only chance many Chinese get to visit their families during the entire year. It's supposed to be a celebrated time. Well, right now, they don't have a whole lot to celebrate.

HOLMES: They're just trying to make it through the season right now. Not trying to celebrate a thing. Reynolds Wolf over the weather center talking about snow for folks in the U.S. Getting a lot of it here as well.

(WEATHER REPORT)

NGUYEN: All right, Reynolds. We do thank you. Well, some people watch the big game just for the commercials, and Josh Levs, he has a preview. I'm really looking forward to that.

LEVS: Yes, hi. You know, in this political season, I guess it's really to be expected that at least one of the ads is taking on politics. See what happens when political enemies share some caffeine. Also, we have a silent ad to show you, and Bridgestone takes on Richard Simmons, no kidding. All that about the ads coming up right after these no less worthy ones.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Take a look at some other stories in the news today. The sheriff of Hamilton County, Tennessee, is facing some legal trouble this morning. The FBI arrested Billy Long, seen right here. He allegedly took payoffs from ethnic Indian store owners to protect their video poker businesses and other illegal activity. Long faces bribery, money laundering and other charges.

HOLMES: And the report is not good following a sewage spill in parts of San Francisco bay. Health authorities say, water from Richardson Bay, is testing positive for fecal contamination. Nearly 3 million gallons of partially treated waste water was released into the bay on Thursday. It happened when rainwater overwhelmed a treatment station. People are being warned not to swim or fish in the bay.

NGUYEN: Yes, you may catch something that you don't want.

Well, they maybe a break in talks between the striking writers and the Hollywood studios. A source close to the negotiations tells the Associated Press, the two sides have reached agreement on the toughest issue. The major is one pay for projects distributed over the Internet. A source said, the deal could be reached as early as this week. And I know a lot of people are looking forward to that. We'll see if it comes true.

HOLMES: All right. And a lot of people don't like football. Don't know football. Don't care.

NGUYEN: Could care less.

HOLMES: They are watching this game today.

NGUYEN: Yes, they are, forget about the game, show me the commercials. Joshua Levs of the dotcom desk has a few of them that we should be watching out for. I am so excited about this segment.

LEVS: I know, we're going to talk this out. Because we all have ads we remember from the Super Bowl, don't we?

NGUYEN: The forty Doritos ads (INAUDIBLE)

(CROSSTALK)

HOLMES: The Godaddy.com.

NGUYEN: Of course you to.

(CROSSTALK)

LEVS: We'll start off in this one. I think you guys are going to like this. This one is a coke ad that they are going to be presenting tonight. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans up to their own trick

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are just plain wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chiefs, buy me a coke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEVS: OK. Now, political enemies go out in the street because they jinxed each other in the Sunday talk shows, become best friends, get hugged and of course, have a coke and a smile. Trying to play up the political enmity in the air. Maybe if we're just get along, Democrats and Republicans are going to be best friends.

NGUYEN: Take a tour together, right?

LEVS: All right. Let's go to their competitor now, speaking of competition. Let's go over to the Pepsi side and this is a big deal ad about the deaf community. It is actually designed by deaf employees at PepsiCo playing on a joke, you know, on that community that if you can't find which house you go to, just honk your horn a lot and the one that doesn't turn on the lights is the house that you're going to. (INAUDIBLE) When I first saw that I was like is that rude? Are we saying deaf people don't mind waking people up in middle of the night? But apparently, it's already a joke in the community.

NGUYEN: It's a joke, yes, OK.

LEVS: OK. One more for you guys to give your opinions on. Are you guys big fans of Richard Simmons? I know T.J. is.

NGUYEN: I met Richard Simmons before, he's a character.

(CROSSTALK)

NGUYEN: Thankfully he doesn't wear them around here.

LEVS: See, the guy waits until the last second to wait to decide to crash into Mr. Simmons, unfortunately, the Bridgestone tires are so powerful, that in the last second, he can still swerve and can avoid him.

NGUYEN: Did you say unfortunately they are so powerful that he swerved away? Or fortunately?

LEVS: I'll have to check the transcript. If I went that far though.

HOLMES: He's helped millions of people.

NGUYEN: Yes, he is and he's still sweating to the oldies or something like that? You know, I can't remember. I can't get past the look, the screams, and the hair.

(CROSSTALK)

LEVS: And we can vote. After the Super Bowl tonight, we can get on dotcom and you can vote on which ad is your favorite, you'll see it on the main page, CNN.com. You can vote which one you liked best and to the next couple of days, we'll be telling you the results at CNN.com. -

NGUYEN: And you win a pair of Richard Simmons' shorts if you - ? LEVS: I have a feeling if we can contact his folks, he'll send some shorts to whoever -

NGUYEN: I'm sure he would. All right, Richard, call us. Thank you, guys.

Well, would you strap an engine with propellers to your head and take off?

HOLMES: Well, there is a guy who would. Video buzzing through cyberspace, coming your way next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: All right, folks. Here is one that we found on the Internet just another day on the underground. Not quite.

HOLMES: OK. Man in front is going at it in the suit.

NGUYEN: They are all going at it. They know these moves.

HOLMES: Yes, this is a group of passengers just got up and started performing the dance from Michael Jackson's "Thriller". I'm sure you recognized. Obviously, they have rehearsed this together and of course, they had folks ready with video cameras.

NGUYEN: Now, the best part, though, is at the end when they all went back to their seats and got off the train like nothing ever happened.

HOLMES: That's good stuff. All right. Some of the stuff we found on the Web, not quite as entertaining but the poor man's helicopter. I don't know whether you find this hat at the store, but we certainly don't recommend trying this at home.

NGUYEN: I think he's just going around in circles, not very high off the ground. But this is a twin blade helicopter, probably not practical. But you can see, he only dares to hover a few feet off the ground. And any higher, gravity takes over and the engine fails. So, I guess, that's a good thing.

HOLMES: Not real safe. That's a time where you could lose literally your head if you don't do this thing right.

NGUYEN: Yes, I wouldn't try this at home. I don't think there will be many human trials on this one.

(CROSSTALK)

NGUYEN: This is a story we've really been talking about. OK. Vanity tags, they're all the rage in the U.S., but in parts of the Persian Gulf, the vanity tag is an obsession. The United Arab Emirates sold 300 vanity tags at auction last year for a total of this, are you sitting down? $56 million.

HOLMES: OK. NGUYEN: For a license plate, folks.

HOLMES: I don't get it, but there apparently the lower the number, the higher the cost. A guy actually paid almost $7 million to get the number five. He says he'd pay up to $20 million for number one.

NGUYEN: Well, I guess, you know, we have to clarify, because the thing is, part of the proceeds do go to charity, so they are helping folks. But hey, there are people dying around the world, could use some food, and they're buying license plates!

HOLMES: For $20 million.

NGUYEN: $20 million.

HOLMES: All right, folks, well, keep it right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING. Government battling armed rebels in central Africa. Story we've had our eye on in the past couple of days here, happening not only in Chad. We'll keep bringing you the latest on the situation.

NGUYEN: And sure, it's Super Bowl Sunday, but we're also on a road to super Tuesday. We are live with the candidates on the trail. That's at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

HOLMES: But first, "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta starts right now.

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