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North Korea; Credit Crisis Talks; Campaign Trail

Aired October 11, 2008 - 12:00   ET


ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sean McCormack saying that the U.S. really got what it wanted here, inspections, sampling, interviews, documents really all to put a picture together that North Korea is, in fact, telling the truth. So, really, the focus here is it appears that the administration is buttoning down on Pyongyang, on the plutonium that's used to produce nuclear bombs and really focusing its inspections and its verification activities there. Other sites that have been undeclared, like explosive sites, laboratories, nuclear test site, that is not what is going happen immediately. That's probably going to be something that will have to be negotiated down the road.
Other questions remain about North Korea's highly enriched uranium programs, its proliferation activities with Syria. Again, that's not being dealt with right now, that's something that's going to happen down the road. But, the administration point man on this, Christopher Hill, really flying to North Korea to really save this deal that was almost a about to fall apart -- Naamua

NAAMUA DELANEY, CNN HOST: All right Zain, thank you very much, for keeping us up do date. Dramatic developments today. Appreciate it. Zain Verjee.

Well, before the government's formal announcement on North Korea, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain issued a statement on early report of a policy change with North Korea. In the statement he said, "I am also concerned that recent negotiations appear not to have addressed the issue of North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens, a serious omission and directly relevant to any decision about North Korean support for terrorist activities". He went on to say that he expected more of an explanation from the Bush administration.

Well, world leaders huddle in Washington looking for a way out of the global financial crisis. Our Elaine Quijano joins us from the White House with the latest.

Good to see you, Elaine. What do we know?

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Naamua. Well, this morning, here at the White House it was really about trying to send the message that the Bush administration is united in other countries around the world in tackling this financial crisis in a very coordinated way. President Bush this morning holding a rare Saturday morning meeting with the president, of course, and top administration officials sitting down with finance ministers at the group of seven industrialized nations. Now, they were already in town for the weekend, but coming here to the White House to address this crisis. The meeting itself lasted about 30 minutes. Afterward, President Bush in remarks in a rose garden reiterated what we heard him talk about yesterday, that is outlining the steps that the U.S. government is taking in order to shore up the U.S. economy, but also with those finance ministers standing behind him. President Bush reiterated that the countries are working together to try and deal with the situation.


GEORGE W BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In my country it is important for our citizens to have understood that which affects Wall Street affects Main Street, as well. And all of us recognize that this is a serious global crisis and therefore requires a serious global response for the good of our people.


QUIJANO: Now, the bottom line, no specifics were unveiled as to an international, coordinated strategy. Rather, we heard the president talk about just sort of broad principles guiding any kind of decisions that they might make. So, certainly the takeaway, at least from the White House's view is really the image here, that is what officials wanted to project. This image of a united front, essentially. The Bush administration standing with the other representatives of other nations trying to deal with this crisis in a coordinated, comprehensive way -- Naamua.

DELANEY: All right, Elaine. So, we've got the image now, we're just waiting for the substance. Elaine Quijano live for us at the White House.

Well, the word from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on the financial crisis. The U.S. can be a lone ranger no more. He'll meet today with leaders of the G-20 made up of industrialized and emerging market nation including India and China.


HENRY PAULSON, TREASURY SECRETARY: This is going take active engagement by everyone. The thing is clear to me, and I think it is clear to every member of the G-20, is never have all of us been more dependent on the others and more interconnected. This is a truly a global marketplace. It's truthy a global economy. Growth or strength in any one of these nations helps all of us, weakness hurts all of us and we need to work together.


DELANEY: Will GM and Chrysler become one company? Reports in the "New York Times" and "Wall Street Journal" say the auto giants have held talks about a merger or acquisition. The talks are described as preliminary and the "Journal" reports the discussion is stalled because of the turmoil in the financial markets. "Forbes" quotes a source as saying, "no deal is imminent." And this about troubled automaker Ford. Japanese media is reporting that ford plans to sell its shares in Mazda Motor, but Mazda said no decision has been reached. Ford owns one-third of the Japanese motor company.

And today on YOUR MONEY, the heart stopping week on Wall Street and what next week will bring. YOUR MONEY today at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

To the campaign trail now and an unwanted distraction for the McCain/Palin campaign. An Alaska bipartisan investigation has found Governor Palin abused her power and violated state's ethics law in trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state police, but it found she broke no laws when she fired his boss, the public safety service commissioner, therefore her event in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, this morning Palin responded to questions.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, did you abuse your power?

SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, and if you read the (INAUDIBLE) you will see that there was nothing unlawful or unethical about it.


DELANEY: A little hard to hear, there. The ethics investigation is distraction for a campaign that needs very much to stay on message, but that message is already changing a little bit by taking out some of the bite. CNN's Dana Bash has more.


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a week of escalating anti-Obama rhetoric from supporters at his events, John McCain suddenly tried to turn the temperature down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We would like you to remain a true American hero. We want you to fight.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I will fight. But we will be respectful. I admire Senator Obama and his accomplishments. I will respect him. And I want...


MCCAIN: No, no. I want everyone to be respectful.

BASH: Nothing like getting booed at your own event. And it didn't stop there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't trust Obama. I have read about him, and he's not -- he's an Arab. He is not...

MCCAIN: No? MCCAIN: No, ma'am. No, ma'am. He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're scared. We're scared of an Obama presidency. I'm concerned about someone that cohorts with domestic terrorists, such as Ayers.

MCCAIN: I want to be president of the United States. And, obviously, I do not want Senator Obama to be. But, I have to tell you, I have to tell you, he is a decent person, and a person that you do not have to be scared as president of the United States.

BASH: But McCain may be trying to put the genie back in the bottle. Ever since last weekend, when Sarah Palin first accused Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists," referring to 1960s radical William Ayers, rowdy crowds have called Obama...


BASH: And even worse. And now, McCain released this new TV ad on Ayers.


NARRATOR: When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill Ayers. When discovered, he lied.


BASH: Yet, he doesn't talk about Ayers unless asked, and then insists, it's about Obama's rhetoric vs. reality.

MCCAIN: Senator Obama said that Mr. Ayers was a guy in a neighborhood, when, in reality, Senator Obama's political career was launched in Mr. Ayers' living room.

BASH: And while McCain may now be trying to tamp down on over-the-top rage against Obama, he's still careful not to extinguish enthusiasm he needs to win.

MCCAIN: I don't mean that has to reduce your ferocity.

(on camera): The boiling emotions this week present McCain with a dramatic balancing act. He's trailing and needs every ounce of energy we can get, but clearly sees a risk in not stopping those he believes are crossing the line.

Dana Bash, CNN, Lakeville, Minnesota.


DELANEY: All right, speaking of a balancing act, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is with Obama, following Obama in Philadelphia and we're going hear from her shortly.

Well, this afternoon we want you to join the best political team on television and a learn about the candidate' plans from the contenders themselves. Tune in for BALLOT BOWL, today at 2:00 Eastern.

And tourists scatter as a Category 2 hurricane moves in. Mexico's Baja, California peninsula, the bull's eye.


DELANEY: Welcome back on what is shaping up to be a busy weather day. We've got an earthquake, a hurricane, snow, rain and here to kind of put it all in context for us is Reynolds Wolf joining us live from the Weather Center.

Hey Reyolds, how are things looking?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is a weather potpourri.

DELANEY: Yes, a smorgasbord.

WOLF: The absolute. We're going to get things started with the tropic then we're going to switch gears and go from something that is kind of a warm core system to, well, just cold weather, a bit of winter, if you will.

Let's zoom in first to Baja, California and this, of course, is that tropical system that we've been watching about to make landfall and this storm is actually a Category 2 storm. This is Hurricane Norbert with winds of 105 miles-an-hour. It has been gusting a bit strong up to 125. This storm expected to continue its march to the northeast, eventually moving over the Gulf of California and back into Mexico where it's going to be a big rainmaker. In higher elevations you're going to have the orographic lift, that's an enhancement of the rainfall, you could have a bit of, say, flooding in many areas in northern Mexico, possibly even some mudslides.

As we make our way back into the northern Rockies, we're seeing something different. Not rain, but rather snow. Computer models show that over the next 48 hours we could see in some places, in excess of one to maybe even two-feet, highest elevations could see even more. And it's all due to this system, all of this moisture coming in from parts of the Pacific, the Gulf of California. This area of low pressure is going to be the big lifting mechanism and that is, of course, the high Rockies we're going to be seeing in some of that snow really begin to stack up.

But not only are you going to be dealing with some heavy snow, but some very strong winds, especially in those mountain passes. So, if you happen to be driving a high-profile vehicle, say like a semi truck, maybe a bus, something of that nature, it's going to be tough up there. And eastern seaboard conditions could not be better as we wrap things up. New York, high temperatures today, it's going to be fantastic for you, high of 71, 76 in Washington, D.C., 43 in Salt Lake city and 64 in San Francisco. Naamua, back to you.

DELANEY: Oh yeah, good day to be out there on the east coast. Thanks ever so much, Reynolds. We'll see whether things are stormy or otherwise on the campaign trail, as you can see Senator John McCain getting an even under way in Davenport, Iowa. Let's listen in.

MCCAIN: ...are you ready? By the way, it's been a great honor and privilege to travel around the country with Sarah Palin and introduce her to the county and I can't wait to introduce her to Washington, D.C., my friends.


Change and reform is coming with John McCain and Sarah Palin, it's coming to Washington and it's coming to America.

My friend, the stakes couldn't be higher not only for our nation's security, but for our economy. We need to get the American economy back on the path of recovery and growth and job creation for American workers and middle income families and my friends, I've traveled all over this great country, and one thing I hear from Americans at every stop is that they're angry. They're angry. They are angry, they're angry about the mess in Washington and Wall Street. They're angry about the failure of leadership that the hour of national crisis. They are angry that our leaders are more interested in pointing fingers at each other and advancing their own political interests than in coming together, Democrats and Republicans to solve the big problems we face.

You're angry and I'm angry, too, and when Sarah Palin and I get to the White House we'll turn Washington upside down. We'll change this culture of greed, corruption and incompetence. I have a record of reform and a plan for the future. I will fix our economy and getting our country back on track, I know how to do that.

My friends, at this...


MCCAIN: That the time of crisis, you know the heart of the problem and right now that problem is a housing crisis which has spread to all of our economy. And so in the debate this week with my opponent I proposed a plan to help homeowners across America. If I were pres -- as president of the United States, I would order the secretary of the Treasury to carry out a homeownership plan. The United States government support the refinancing of distressed mortgages for homeowners and replace them with manageable mortgages. The funds aren't new, but the priorities will be. When we put the financial strength of our government back on the side of working families and homeowners, that's the American dream is owning your home and staying in your home.

With so much on the line, the moment requires a government act, and as president, I intact -- intend to act quickly and decisively. We must also protect investors, especially those relying on their investments for retirement. Current rules mandate investors have to sell off their IRAs and 401(k)s when they reach 70.5, to spare investors from being forced to sell their stocks at just this time the market is hurting the most, the rules should be suspended. We have to have -- help every American family. In so many ways, Washington is still on the wrong track. We need change and I know how to deliver it. The status quo is not on the ballot. We're going see change in Washington; the question is in what direction will we go? Will our...

CROWD: We want John! We want John! We want John!

MCCAIN: Will our country be a better place under the leadership of the next president, a more secure, prosperous and just society? Will you be better off in the jobs you hold now and in the opportunities you hope for? Will your sons and daughters grow up in the kind of country you wish for them? Rising in the world and finding their own lives, the best of America and which candidates experience in government and life makes him a more reliable leader for our country and commander in chief for our troops? Which one?

In short, who's ready to lead? In a time of trouble and danger for our country, who will put our country first? In 21 months, my friends, during hundreds of speeches, town halls and debates, traveling all over this great state of Iowa and across America, I have kept my promise to level with you about my plans to reform Washington and get this country moving again.


MCCAIN: You know.

CROWD: We want John! We want John! We want John! We want John! We want John!

MCCAIN: You know, my friends, there's a perfect example of some people that just don't get it.


You know, as people are trying to stay in their homes, keep their jobs and get healthcare is what they want is for us to yell at each other? No.

They want us to sit down, together, Republican and Democrat and work together in this terrible time of crisis, the largest financial crisis in our history and, by the way, my friends, as you know I've had hundreds of town hall meetings, I always give people a chance to talk. I don't always enjoy it, but I give them a chance to talk and that's what it's all about.

So, so, so if there's if there is anyone else who has a problem I'll be glad to talk to you. Come to the next town hall meeting, we've had hundreds and hundreds of them around the country, but my friends, as a senator, I've seen the corrupt ways of Washington and wasteful spending and other abuses of power and its corruption. We now have former members of Congress residing in federal prison, that's how bad it's gotten. As president, I'm going to end these abuses, whatever it takes. Never again -- never again will you spend $3 million of your money to study the DNA of bears in Montana. DELANEY: And Senator John McCain there hitting those familiar themes of reform and change and focusing on the economy, really hoping that people listening will channel some of the anger they feel towards Wall Street and channel that toward a vote for the McCain/Palin ticket.

Of course, Senator Barack Obama has other ideas. He's doing multiple stops in Philadelphia this morning and during the first of his four events, Obama responded to Senator McCain's change of tone. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is following the Obama campaign in Philadelphia. She joins us live now.

What are you hearing there, Suzanne?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello. Barack Obama is actually criss-crossing the state of Pennsylvania making multiple stops. He is being shown he is slightly in the lead when it comes to this critical state. As you heard before, some of rhetoric from John McCain talking about how people are angry. Barack Obama also saying that the people that come to his rallies, voters are also frustrated with government, but he's trying to cool down the rhetoric. We saw this earlier today in Philadelphia in an earlier stop. And also we saw it yesterday in Ohio, that is really kind of a do or die state for these candidates, who is going to grab Ohio. Barack Obama trying to stress the need to talk about the economic crisis in some of his solutions.


(voice over): In the make or break state of Ohio, the town of Chillicothe usually signals the outcome. So, Barack Obama is here, in the heart of the community that twice elected President Bush. Ross County has a 8.6 percent unemployment rate. This year, 12,000 Ohio voters lost their jobs. Obama linked his call for unit to economic reform.

BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can come together to restore confidence in the American economy. We can renew that fundamental belief that in America our destiny is not written for us, it's written by us.

MALVEAUX: Obama accused John McCain of using the economic cris to divide.

OBAMA: Nothing's easier than riling up a crowd by stoking anger and division. But, that's not what we need right now in the United States.

MALVEAUX: A McCain spokesman responded that Obama is using the crisis to deflect legitimate criticisms of himself and his record. Both candidates are competing to come up with new ideas to address the financial crisis. On this day, Obama proposed a small business rescue plan which would provide short-term loans to help pay for immediate expenses. For some voters, Obama's message resonates.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm a single mother. I took a 40 percent pay cut in my job, I'm a flight attendant and I work two jobs, I substitute teach on my days off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is the better of the two people and he can give us something that we need and we want. Where the other one, I'm afraid, will still go with the upper echelon or the rich.

MALVEAUX: But, other voters are not convinced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is almost like the old story about the South American dictators who promised a chicken in every pot and that's kind of where he's coming from, promising everybody is, but I wonder if they'll be able to deliver on any of it.


MALVEAUX: And earlier today, Barack Obama acknowledged John McCain's effort to try to cool down the rhetoric. It was just yesterday that John McCain addressed several of the people in the audience. There had been numerous TV ads also suggestions from the McCain campaign that Obama is risky when it comes to his policy. John McCain yesterday at a rally saying that Barack Obama is not someone that voters should be scared of if he becomes on president. So, Barack Obama, earlier today said he appreciated that. That this is really still a campaign where the two can disagree without being disrespectful, but he also made the point that he believes that John McCain just doesn't get it when it comes on the economy and how to deal with the economic crisis. That, of course, has been what he's been hammering on John McCain for the last week or so since the crisis began. They believe that is essentially what is going get him over the top -- Naamua.

DELANEY: Suzanne, a truth, but a very short-lived one, by the sounds of it. Thank you very much for joining us, Suzanne Malveaux, live in Pennsylvania.

Well, Republican running mate Sarah Palin under an ethics cloud. Today she's denying she abused her power as governor. We'll talk about it with our legal panel.


DELANEY: Welcome back, good to have you with us. Results from the long awaited inquiry into Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Trooper- Gate. The finding: Palin abused power and violated state ethics law by trying to have assisted ex (ph) husband fired as a state trooper. Palin's attorney disagrees, saying the investigative quote "failed to identify any personal gain."

It is just one of the stories we are discussing with the legal guys. Avery Friedman is a civil rights attorney and law professor. And Richard Herman is a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor. Good to have you guys with us.


RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hi, how are you? DELANEY: All right, so let's get this ethics investigation. I mean, the reports state that Palin did abuse her power by trying to get her ex brother-in-law fired as a trooper. Her lawyers say she didn't violate any ethics laws.

So, let's start with you, Richard. Was there a finding of wrongdoing here?

HERMAN: Oh, there was a finding of wrongdoing by the investigation. And Naamua, you must know that this was begun by a Republican legislature in Alaska before Sarah Palin was even on the map running for vice president. They began the investigation, it was a bipartisan investigation.

And as a result -- by the way, she did not participate in the investigation. She refused to be interviewed, she refused to be deposed, and so did her husband. Last minute, the former -- the last dude or dud or whatever he's called, he submitted a written response obviously prepared by his lawyers. They found she couldn't control him, he was running wild in the office there, and that's why she was criticized.

DELANEY: All right, so obviously there, you're taking out that accusation of this being a partisan attack. Avery, what do you have to say about this?

FRIEDMAN: Well, actually, that's quite true. This was a bipartisan effort, Naamua. What happened here was that both Republicans and Democrats hired a guy named Steve Branchflower, a universally respected former district attorney. And results were that Sarah Palin violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act. It's a finding that she violated ethics.

Her remark today that she didn't do anything unethical referring to the report is ridiculous. The fact is that that's exactly what the finding is. What's interesting here though in particular is Walt Monegan, who is the guy who's head of public safety who was fired because -- because he wouldn't fire the -- Sarah Palin's sister's ex- husband might actually have a federal civil rights claim based on this report. A very, very significant legal development today.

DELANEY: All right, Avery. So, what you're saying is we have not heard the last of this ...

FRIEDMAN: Exactly right.

DELANEY: ...even if Sarah Palin would like it to go away.

All right, let's move on to the fraudulent registration forms. We've had forms filled out for dead people in multiple forms, for the same person and even forms in the names of the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

FRIEDMAN: Among others.

DELANEY: Yes, we believe that one. All right, it's all traced to the community organization Acorn, so is this a big deal, Avery?

FRIEDMAN: It is absolutely a big deal for people to do it. But you know what, these are the people that signed up Jive Turkey. Now in reality, when either Mr. or Ms. Turkey show up at the voting booth, today there is a built-in protective mechanism. So, although it sounds like a big deal, and I think some of the partisans are trying to paint it that, for those people who get minimum wage, who have quotas, those people are in trouble for doing these kinds of things. But the bottom line is that the system will work. I don't think Jive Turkey will be voting this November.

DELANEY: OK, so do you feel as confident, Richard, about Jive Turkey and his access to the polls?

HERMAN: I don't know. You know, after the Gore election, Gore/Bush, people's, you know -- everybody's rocked by the whole election scandals, and that's all we need right now in a race that looks like it's going to be tight, coming down to the end.

It goes to the very heart of our demcracy, the election procedure. I just hope it's not corrupted. I don't know how these states allow these registrations for being filed, I don't know what back-up mechanisms they have to confirm, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, but bottom line is you know, I guess we're going to see how this thing unfolds. But it's a little scary at this point, seriously.

DELANEY: All right. Well, Richard, we're going to stay with controversial states here for a second with the Caylee Anthony case continuing. Of course, Casey Anthony, a suspect in that little girl's disappearance in Florida, so the big question now is can a grand jury get a homicide indictment against her? This case just seems to go on and on, doesn't it, Richard?

HERMAN: Naamua, I don't how much money you have, but whatever money you have ...

DELANEY: Well, not right now.

HERMAN: ...whatever money you have, put it on Tuesday. She's going to be indicted for homicide Tuesday ...

FRIEDMAN: Right, right.

HERMAN: That's the last day the grand jury can meet. You can indict a ham sandwich, it's been said. They're going to indict her for homicide on Tuesday. You can guarantee it's coming.

FRIEDMAN: Well -- but Naamua, there's also significant evidence. I've been predicting this, it's going to go to the grand jury. There is a lot of evidence that still remains to be developed, but sufficient enough to get the indictment. They're running out of time, they have to do this Tuesday. I agree with Richard, look for the indictment coming down.

DELANEY: OK, so Avery, you're saying the case is stronger than a ham sandwich.

FRIEDMAN: I agree.

DELANEY: Maybe a ham sandwich with mustard?

All right, you guys. We appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much, Richard and Avery. Have a fabulous weekend.

FRIEDMAN: Take care.

HERMAN: Naamua, you too. We just love your accent, I must tell you, we love it.

FRIEDMAN: So long.

DELANEY: Oh, thank you very much.

All right, well, moving back to the financial situation, the IMF, the G-7, it's an alphabet soup, all bureacrats working overtime in Washington this weekend on the global financial crisis. We'll be right back.



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DELANEY: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have been awfully busy today, meeting with the leaders of the G-7 countries and the 185 nation International Monetary Fund.

CNN business correspondent Maggie Lake is in Washington with more. Good to have you with us, Maggie.


You know, there's usually a sense of urgency, or there is rather a sense of urgency surrounding these meetings, I have to say, we haven't seen in years. The IMF, World Bank, does hold (ph) this annual conference every year. But this year, the talks are dominated by the global financial crisis.

As you mentioned, the cheif (ph) finance ministers meeting, starting their day very early at the White House with President Bush. They have now scattered around this town, holding individual country bilateral talks to try and find some way to bring calm to global markets.

Late Friday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that global leaders remain committed to finding a common solution.


HENRY PAULSON, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: It's going to take active engagement by everyone. The thing that is clear to me, and I think is clear to every member of the G-20 is never have all of us been more dependent on the others and more interconnected. This is a truly a global market crisis. It's truly a global economy. Both are strengthened (ph) by any one these nations helps all of us, weakness hurts all of us. And we need to work together.


LAKE: Now Naamua, there is a -- we know that they met last night. They're meeting individually now, but we do understand that Paulson will be meeting with his G-20 counterparts later this afternoon. There's going to be a -- they're going to take a picture together, a photo-op around 6:00. And then, there is going to be a briefing at 7:30. We're not sure what's given yet, but certainly world investors hoping that we'll hear something concrete, a concrete plan from these leaders at that time as to what they're going to do to restore stability.

DELANEY: Absolutely, yes. We are looking forward to that concrete plan because all lenders (ph) want to know that there will be a plan, but what the details are what we're all really thirsting for.

So Maggie, thanks very much. Appreciate your time.

Well, we have just received a statement from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and the U.S. State Department taking North Korea off its list of states that sponsor terrorism.

Obama says, "It is now essential that North Korea halts all efforts to reassemble its nuclear facilities, place them back on the IAEA supervision and cooperate fully with the international community to complete the disablement of Yong-jong (ph) facility."

And a rude vacation wake-up call. An earthquake jolt the Carribean paradise (ph) when we return.


DELANEY: Connecticut says "I do" to same-sex marriage. The state came in third to allow it behind Massachusetts and California. Connecticut's Supreme Court knocked down the idea that civil union could be a fair and equal substitute.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't express in words what it means to us. I mean, we're just so joyful with gratitude to the Supreme Court justices, pride that we leave in the state of Connecticut that treats us like all of our neighbors, all of our friends, all of our family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's bad for children, it's bad for marriage, it's bad for religious liberty, and it's bad for society overall.


DELANEY: Same-sex marriages are expected to begin in the stated in less than a month.

A deadly earthquake rattled Russia's (INAUDIBLE) region this morning. The quake registered a moderate 5.3, but local emergency officials say 12 people have been killed and more than 100 people have been injured. There are also reports that several buildings have been destroyed somewhere in the capital of Bosnia, which is about 25 miles from the quake's epicenter.

The Caribbean also getting a jolt today. A strong earthquake shook the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this morning. No significant damage or serious injuries are reported. The 6.1 mega-earthquake was spent (ph) off the Virgin Islands about 18 miles underwater.

Lessons learned from 9/11, how it could keep us all safer.


DELANEY: A major lesson learned from 9/11. First responders (ph) must be able to communicate. CNN's Rob Marciano looks at a high- tech study aimed at improving disaster response.


ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Electronics engineer Kate Rendley (ph) watches buildings implode, conducts tests in abandoned mines, and works in this odd-looking echo-less chamber. Her research will improve radio communications began after 9/11.

KATE RENDLEY, ELECTRONICS ENGINEER: One of the big issues was -- is emergency responder radios did not transmit from inside the building to outside the building. Also, at Ground Zero, some (INAUDIBLE) robots were deployed to try to find survivors. The radio signals were lost rapidly.

MARCIANO: Besides the challenges of how radio waves function, equipment for first responders must work in dangerous spots.

RENDLEY: Things like collapsed buildings, burning buildings, tunnels, basements, other difficult communication areas.

MARCIANO: Commuters know that in a subway, cell phone calls often get dropped, but researchers have now identified sweet spots in mines and tunnels where radio signals travel farthest. That may help them design more robust, wireless systems.

RENDLEY: The radio sweet spot really depends on the dimensions of a tunnel.

MARCIANO: Engineers are testing radio signals in other structures as well, from apartment buildings to sports stadiums.

CHRIS HOLLOWAY, NIST ENGINEER: We carry these transmitters through the buildings and try to get a radio map of the building.

MARCIANO: Equipment is also put into structures that will be imploded to see how it holds up when the building blows up. Strange- looking labs at the National Institute of Standards and Technologies help scientists with their tests.

RENDLEY: This is anicoke (ph) chamber which means without reflections. We can measure the received signal levels very precisely in this chamber because there are no reflections off the walls.

HOLLOWAY: It's called reverberation chamber and the idea here is to get as many reflections as possible. It would give a researcher and engineer a very quick and dirty (ph) way of testing how a system might work.

MARCIANO: Engineers want to make sure new technologies are robust and reliable for the dangerous work of first responders.

Rob Marciano, CNN.


DELANEY: Well, you may know CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield's father as an Olympic hero, but did you know he's also a military hero? The Tuskegee alum (ph) received a long-awaited honor for fighting the Nazis. -


DELANEY: Many of the countries' first African-American military pilots were reunited this week, coming together at the Alabama field where they trained was named a national historic site.

CNN's Sean Callebs has the story of the Tuskegee airmen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The honors came late in life for the Tuskegee airmen, trail blazers who once easily hoisted themselves into the cockpit, today gingerly made their way to a dedication ceremony.

DAN KEEL, TUSKEGEE AIRMEN: And then, we have overcome a lot.

CALLEBS: Moton Field, where the nation's first African-American fighter pilots trained is being recognized as a national historic site.

COL. ALEX JEFFERSON, TUSKEGEE AIRMAN: I'm so thankful, I'm so thankful, I'm so thankful.

CALLEBS: Lieutenant Colonel Alex Jefferson came to Tuskegee at age 22.

(on camera): At the time, did you realize you were making history?

JEFFERSON: Hell no. I was surviving. I was surviving. The war is going on.

CALLEBS (voice-over): Until then, no one had given blacks a chance to fly in combat.

JEFFERSON: You're too dumb. You're too ignorant. You're too stupid. When you tell me I'm stupid and I'm crazy and I'm black, but I'm a college graduate, something is wrong.

CALLEBS (on camera): It doesn't add up, does it?

JEFFERSON: It doesn't add up.

CALLEBS (voice-over): Like other blacks in the military at that time, Jefferson was a victim of discrimination. Of the 110 students in Jefferson's class, only 25 graduated. Jefferson flew 18 combat missions over Germany, but on the 19th --

JEFFERSON: We were straffing, trying to knock out radar stations and as I went right across the top of the target, the damn shell came up through the floor.

CALLEBS: Jefferson spent the next nine months as a prisoner of war.

(on camera): Jefferson is one of 994 men who became pilots here at Tuskegee, but this ceremony is really to honor all 16,000 people who trained or worked here from 1942 to 1946. Originally, this ribbon cutting ceremony was scheduled for March of next year.

(voice-over): But the survivors are in their mid-80s and every week ...

JEFFERSON: Chairman Willis (ph) just died. Chairman Rose (ph) just died. CALLEBS: The photos, the displays, the planes. They aren't going anywhere, but the legacy of living history is precious.

JEFFERSON: I tell everybody, the Air Force is the best thing that ever happened to me.

CALLEBS: The Tuskegee airmen overcame racism to help defeat Germany. And say, they didn't just open doors for others, they knocked those doors off their hinges.

Sean Callebs, CNN, Tuskegee, Alabama.


DELANEY: Beautiful story. Well, stay with CNN for all the news as it happens. "YOUR MONEY" starts right now.