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Attorney General Mukasey Hospitalized After Collapsing; Hillary Clinton Nomination on Track; Can the President-Elect Deliver Promises?; Basketball Great on Secret of Success

Aired November 21, 2008 - 07:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour and to breaking news now. The latest on the condition of Attorney General Michael Mukasey. The video is disturbing. Mukasey collapsing last night while giving a speech in Washington. He was kept overnight at George Washington University Hospital. Here's one witnesses accounted what happen.

AARON SILLETTO, EYEWITNESS: He was giving a very impassioned speech. He was fairly well into it. It seemed like he was kind of winding down. It was near the end of his speech, near the end of his remarks.

He started kind of stuttering and repeating himself a couple of times, and kind of lurched forward and hit the rostrum. And before he could fall to the ground, someone came to his aid.



ROBERTS: Shocking to watch that video. Our Jeanne Meserve is following the story. She's live in Washington for us this morning.

I know that we don't have a real update on his condition. But according to our Dr. Sanjay Gupta, seems to be that he suffered from some sort of transient neurological event at the very least.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We do not have a diagnosis yet, as you mentioned. Justice Department officials still not giving us an update this morning. But one official very early this morning did say to CNN that there was "no reason to believe that the attorney general had had a stroke."

As you mentioned, he was giving a speech, he was at a Washington hotel addressing the Federalist Society, which is one of the prominent conservative legal groups. He was in the middle of that address when, as the witness described, he started slurring his words, appeared to slump forward.

His FBI detail came to him to minister to him. We're also told there was a doctor in the auditorium who came up and treated him before the ambulances and rescue crews came and took him to George Washington University where he was kept overnight as a precaution. After he was taken there, the Justice Department did issue a statement saying, "The attorney general is conscious, conversant and alert. His vital statistics are strong and he is in good spirits. He is receiving excellent care and appreciates all of the good wishes and prayers he has received. The doctors will keep him overnight for further observation."

We are told that was a precaution. That's why he was kept there. He's a 67-year-old man. We believe he's in good health. We're told that he regularly works out. We're still waiting to hear what it was that made him stagger and fall last night -- John.

ROBERTS: Well, certainly, all of our prayers are with the attorney general this morning.

Jeanne Meserve, thanks for that -- Kiran.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to bring in our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who joins us from the CNN Center this morning. You know, the Justice Department officials saying there's no reason to believe that he suffered a stroke. He also wouldn't confirm any diagnosis. But what can you tell us about what might have happened to him looking at that video?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a couple of things that jump out to me certainly as a neurosurgeon. And I can tell you, this is a rare look. Even as a neurosurgeon, you hardly see something like this captured on film.

There's a few things that I think were important, you know, and I know we've been showing this video a lot. So I'll just quickly point out a couple of things.

One is when you're watching this, when you hear it more specifically, he starts to have some difficulty finding words, saying some of these words. And that's relevant because it indicates that something suddenly happened affecting some of the speech centers in his brain. He sort of fell a little bit to his right side and then he passed out. So those three events suggest that something sudden happened. It was probably related to some of the blood vessels in his brain.

Now we have an image of the brain and I can show you specifically what we are concerned about specifically. Some of these blood vessels in this area can sometimes get a little blood clot in them. Sometimes they can cause, have a little bleeding around them, putting some pressure on areas of the brain.

There's also two blood vessels up here called the carotid artery, which supply blood through the brain and sometimes they can get a little blockage in them as well. If the blockage goes away, things clears up, you can have someone who just has a transient ischemic attack or a TIA. Some people call that a mini stroke. And the person that their symptoms go away pretty quickly.

A stroke really can't be diagnosed until about 24 hours after the person has had the episode. A stroke means the neurological problems they came, they stayed, they didn't go away even after a day. So that's probably what doctors are sort of trying to figure out right now, Kiran.

CHETRY: So what are they going to be doing to try to figure that out? And once they do, what type of treatment might he be getting?

GUPTA: Well, I think one of the things that happens first if a patient like this comes to the emergency room is we can a CAT scan of the brain to try and figure out again was there any bleeding in the area of the brain that could be causing the symptoms that he had. They may also take an ultrasound and actually look at the carotid artery here to see if there is any blockage in the carotid artery, if there is any problems with the carotid artery overall. And sometimes they'll look at the heart as well to make sure the heart either wasn't beating abnormally or doesn't have clots in it that could have also caused the problem.

Those are the three major tests. As far as what they do about it, it may be as simple as putting him on some sort of blood thinner, even something like an aspirin or a little bit more powerful blood thinner.

CHETRY: I also know people that are diabetic and if their blood sugar is off one way or another, a similar looking thing happens. Is there any way it could be something other than, you know, stroke related?

GUPTA: It certainly could be. And someone who just, for example, is either very dehydrated, has a very low blood sugar, that could cause that sort of thing as well. The only thing that's tipping me off a little bit differently here is that he had some pretty discreet symptoms.

When someone has low blood sugar, for example, they may just pass out. He has these word finding difficulties which suggest that the speech center of the brain was affected specifically, at least in the beginning of whatever happened here, and that's a little bit more suggestive of some sort of vascular, some sort of neurological thing. You know, we don't know for sure as Jeanne Meserve mentioned. There's no official diagnosis. But again, just looking at the video that's what I'd be concerned about.

CHETRY: All right. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.

GUPTA: Thank you.

ROBERTS: And breaking news this morning on Barack Obama's cabinet picks. Three aides to the president-elect telling CNN that Obama is on track to nominate Hillary Clinton as his secretary of state. It would happen after the thanksgiving holiday. Clinton's aides are keeping tight-lipped for now.

Our Jessica Yellin has been working her sources. She joins now live from Chicago. So, is this a done deal or what? JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, not quite done but it seems like it's headed to being a done deal, John. What I'm hearing is that Barack Obama's aides feel that the vetting process has gone so well that these usually tight-lipped folks are blanketing news organizations with word that they think this is headed to consummation.

All this comes after former President Bill Clinton agreed to some extraordinary concessions in this vetting process allowing the Obama team to review who his donors have been, top donors to his foundation, something he has not made public before. Also agreeing to allow them to review any future earnings he might make from foreign trips, foreign employment and future speeches. All of this a way to sort of open the books and say, look, there will be no conflicts of interest on my part, meaning the former president, should Senator Clinton become secretary of state.

This is also the first time that the Obama team has publicly acknowledged that she was, in fact, she is, in fact, under consideration for this role. It really does seem that they feel this is headed, barreling toward a nomination after thanksgiving. But we have to caution, we have not heard from Senator Clinton and what her decision will be so that is still a big unknown -- John.

ROBERTS: When you look at everything surrounding this, Bill Clinton coming out in the last couple of days saying I will accept transparency, I'll clear all my speeches, I'll clear my international dealings before I do them so that it doesn't conflict with what she is doing there as secretary of state. I mean, they're going extraordinarily out of their way to give the appearance that she really, really wants this job. But you got to wonder, knowing the Clintons for a long time, knowing Washington politics could this be an elaborate head fake to get her a better position in the Senate?

YELLIN: Well, anything is possible. And you know, a lot of things can fall apart on the way to the altar. You raise an important point which is that the Senate has -- she actually did.

Senator Clinton approached the Senate leadership before Barack Obama made any kind of offer or had any discussions with Senator Clinton about a cabinet post or any role in the administration. Clinton approached senior Democrats in the Senate saying she'd like another role in the Senate, and this week those Senate Democrats are making it clear they have a position for her. They'll create one if she wants to stay.

What it seems to me is everybody on every side wants to say, look, it's Senator Clinton's choice. Don't blame us for her decision to leave the Senate, her decision to stay in the Senate. Everyone wants to have their hands clean and let Senator Clinton make her choice on her own if that makes any sense.

ROBERTS: I mean it's a tried and true negotiating tactic that if you feel that the person that you're working for doesn't love you, find somebody else who does. And suddenly the original one will come back and give you what you want. Well, we'll see what happens. Jessica Yellin, thanks.

CHETRY: Well, an ultimatum for the auto industry coming from Capitol Hill.


NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Until they show us the plan we can't show them the money.


CHETRY: At least for now there's a plan, for a plan. The latest on the bailout just ahead.

Plus, Obama's cell phone records breached. Find out Verizon is looking at its own employees for answers.

It's nine minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: All right. Welcome back. We are talking to Christine Romans. She's "Minding Your Business." Yes, I was hiding the red bull. And --

ROBERTS: We're actually arguing about what to talk about, aren't we?

CHETRY: Yes. Because, you know --

ROBERTS: There's just too many negative things.

CHETRY: There's a lot of gloom and doom out there.


CHETRY: A lot of concern, but we were trying to tick off some of the bright spots. Gas prices now under $2 a gallon nationwide. And also some good news from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about a moratorium on some of these foreclosures.

ROMANS: Finally, finally a moratorium on some of these foreclosures. If you've got a loan that is backed by Fannie or Freddie, I think, right now around November 26th all the way to the beginning of January, they're not going to foreclose on that home. They're not going to have foreclosures.

So this is going to leave people in their homes over the holidays. And I think what it says -- what it says is they know that there's kind of a tsunami in foreclosures coming and they got to get ahead of it. They just can't be throwing people out of these houses.

CHETRY: Right. In the meantime, they're going to try to figure out a way to help them restructure them, right? Or they can work. ROMANS: That's right. And there's a real feeling like all of the different ad hoc ways have been trying to keep people in their houses just didn't work. And there's not a lot of participation. It's been very hard to actually do it, so they're going to have come up with some new way to do this.

Sheila Bair of the FDIC has got some ideas that are really gaining some traction there. And there's a feeling that the next administration is going to go take this up right away and try to figure out what to do.

Something that this administration is doing and as Congress is doing, they've extended unemployment benefits. We know a lot of people are going to lose their jobs over the next and the coming months. Congress knows that too and they're making sure of that.

You usually get about half a year of unemployment benefits. And you get I think about half of your pay. It depends on where you live, but you get about half of your pay. This will extend it seven more weeks for people. And if you live in one of those states that has six percent or higher of jobless rate...

ROBERTS: They're getting another 13.

ROMANS: You get another 13 weeks. So that's going to tie people over for a while. And we've seen falling retail prices. We talked about that consumer price number earlier this week.

I keep saying seniors are going to get their bigger check next year. Their cost of living adjustment to their Social Security check based on the higher inflation number from earlier in the summer. The seniors are getting about six percent bump even as prices are falling.

ROBERTS: And gas prices at least the temporary relief for a lot of people. You know, I never believed it will probably go back up but for now, at least.

ROMANS: At least for the family budgets that are really pinched right now, that's going to be more money in the pocket. I mean, some of these -- some of these things are happening at just the perfect time for the family budget.

You know, the overall problem, of course, is the banking system and the financial system, and is it stable? And, you know, what's going to happen next. But there's a lot of hope that maybe the confidence can try to come back sometime next year.

CHETRY: Looking at the gas numbers on -- look at the prices on the numbers on the gas pump, not your 401(k).

ROBERTS: Exactly.

ROMANS: But Dow futures are up today, but, of course, it's been two terrible days.

ROBERTS: Let's not talk about the market, OK? ROMANS: John is so tired of the crazy market. It's too crazy to even understand.

CHETRY: I know. I saw these gold bars stacked up in his office and didn't know what was going on.

ROBERTS: Ron Paul was stacking them up for us.

CHETRY: Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

CHETRY: Well, a basketball legend making his mark in the world of business. The man with the magic touch. Magic Johnson joins us now. He'll be here to share his secret of success.

Also, in search of aliens. We're kicking off our special investigation with Miles O'Brien. The sign behind extraterrestrial life.


ROBERTS: It's 18 minutes after the hour now. And turning campaign promises into lasting change. It's something that always easier said than done. But President-elect Barack Obama has got a big job ahead of him if he plans to deliver a new deal for America in the new year. And our Frank Sesno joins us now from Washington to take a look at all this.

Good morning to you, Frank.

FRANK SESNO, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Well, a new deal becomes a hard deal when you're, you know, going up against this kind of economy. I've been listening to you talk all morning, you know, about deflation and the markets and all the rest. That's what Barack Obama is up against.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I promise you, we as a people will get there.

SESNO (voice-over): Promises, promises. But as the economy stumbles and markets slide, Barack Obama's job is getting tougher by the day and his promises are in danger of being overtaken by events. There is energy.

OBAMA: We'll create five million new energy jobs over the next decade.

SESNO: Price tag $150 billion over 10 years. There is health care reform.

OBAMA: We are going to let you get the same kind of health care that members of Congress get themselves.

SESNO: Estimated cost, a trillion dollars or more over the next decade.

There is education.

OBAMA: We're going to recruit an army of new teachers. We will pay our teachers higher salaries, get them more support.

SESNO: Another $18 billion a year. But all of this is getting overshadowed by --

Which has led to another promise.

OBAMA: We have to do whatever it takes to get this economy moving again.

SESNO: Some of the ideas to get the economy moving are breathtaking in their scope and desperation. A huge, new stimulus package, maybe $300 billion or more, billions more to bail out the auto industry or help states with big building projects.

Some want to suspend the Social Security payroll tax to put money in the pockets of workers and businesses. Estimated cost there, nearly $700 billion. Who would have imagined the promises and the price tag would collide like this?


SESNO: Well, John, the change we need may become the change we can spare. And as you can see, with all of these stimulus packages and ideas to get the economy moving again, it's big, big bucks. And where all these dollars come from and how they collide with not just the economic realities but the political realities of getting some of these other things done, it all adds up to a very, very big job for Barack Obama in just a few weeks.

ROBERTS: I remember in the last year, the Clinton administration, they were talking about retiring the debt. Our good friend Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia attended a bunch of meetings where they were talking about, well, gee, how do we, you know, change our monetary and fiscal policy when nobody is buying our treasury bills. But you know, I guess they don't have to worry about that any more.

SESNO: No. The politics of surplus has become the politics of survival here.


SESNO: That's the problem. The scary part here is, is that nobody has actually dealt with a situation like this before. This is a globalized economy, a globalized recession.

And as we've seen and we heard here in Washington just yesterday with this anger directed at Treasury Secretary Paulson for the way this bailout package is going, it seems like they're always sort of one step behind this gigantic snowball that's rolling downhill. And that's the problem -- trying to get out in front of it, anticipate it and stop it. ROBERTS: Yes. Well, we'll see what happens. Professor, it's always great to see you. Thanks for being with us.

SESNO: Thanks, John. Good to see you too.

ROBERTS: Love the no-tie look too, Frank.

SESNO: Likewise. Likewise.

ROBERTS: Twenty-one minutes after the hour. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."

CHETRY: Alien encounters.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The (INAUDIBLE) power and control.


CHETRY: Is someone or something out there? Miles O'Brien tracks down compelling evidence that aliens do exist.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was some design of an aircraft by some space alien.


CHETRY: You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


CHETRY: Welcome back to the "Most News in the Morning." Well, he's part of the Dream Team and remains a legend in the NBA and beyond. But these days, instead of jump shots and rebounds he's inking deals and building an empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Former L.A. Laker Magic Johnson owns more than 100 coffee shops, movie theaters, restaurants and fitness centers, and he's talking about his success in his new book "32 Ways to be a Champion in Business." And we're lucky enough to have him with us today.

Great to see you.


CHETRY: Thanks for being here.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

CHETRY: "32," the number, right, when you played with the Lakers?

JOHNSON: Of course.

CHETRY: I want to ask you about this economic crisis because you're a business owner, and I'm sure you're feeling the pinch as well. We had more bad news yesterday. The Dow in the past two days, I think, has dropped nearly 1,000 points. We're always seeing unemployment filings reaching a 16-year high. What needs to be done to get our economy back on track?

JOHNSON: Well, I think that President-elect Obama first agenda has to be the economy and getting people back to work. Because as I look at my business, the same store sales are down, foot traffic is down. But at the same time, we're encouraged about his new presidency and hopefully that he can get some things happening in the country so that we can all benefit, because at the end of the day if we keep losing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs, now the economy really going to tank and we're already at an all time low.

So we need to turn things around. And especially small business owners, they need to focus in on them because the small business owners make America go, and I'm one of those guys.

CHETRY: Exactly. Well, I want to ask you about Barack Obama because there was a lot of hope on his administration. Now you initially supported Hillary Clinton...


CHETRY: ... but then you had a very powerful reaction when you heard the news about Barack Obama. Here's what you said to Larry King. Let's listen to a little bit of it.


JOHNSON: Oh, man, last night I cried like a baby, Larry. It was a truly unbelievable night. And just to see America, the real America that we all love just forget color, forget race and they just said, you know what? That's the best candidate.


CHETRY: Why was it so powerful to you? And why did you cry on the news?

JOHNSON: Well, I remember my parents going through racism and, you know, couldn't go to the same movie, the same bathroom as whites. So -- and I thought about them and then I thought about him being the first African-American president.

It's still powerful today. I just hope that people are patient with him. Give him a chance and an opportunity to get his agenda and get his team in place so he can turn this economy around as well as the mortgage crisis. He has two big crisis that he has to deal with right away, and hopefully we'll give him enough time to do it.

CHETRY: Who knew that the NBA could be a launching pad for political aspiration but you got the mayor elect of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson.


CHETRY: You have Charles Barkley expressing some interest in possibly becoming the governor of Alabama. What about you? Are you running for anything?

JOHNSON: I'm going to stay in the private sector. I can help all those guys from the private sector. I went up to Sacramento and campaigned for Kevin. And so, I'm so happy for him and I think he's going to do a wonderful job for the city there. I'm going to try to bring some of my businesses there to create jobs for the people in Sacramento.

But Charles Barkley, I think he has a great chance of winning if he ever ran. The people love him. He's serious.

CHETRY: Right.

JOHNSON: He's smart. And he wants it. But I just don't know when he's going to do it.

But I'm out of politics. I just like to help people win who's going to do a good job for the people of America.

CHETRY: Right. One thing you've been is a tireless advocate for HIV funding and research and AIDS research, and you really were the first example in popular culture of somebody who was beating it, living with HIV but leading a totally normal life. Do you think we're going to see a cure in our lifetime?

JOHNSON: I think it (ph) will be a cure sometime down the line, years away. But at the same time, when I first announced there was one drug, now we have 30 drugs.

CHETRY: Right.

JOHNSON: So the medicine has gotten better and better and better. And so, I want people now to go out and get tested. Go back and get your results, especially in the minority community. We make up 50 percent of all the new cases. And I will work with whoever President-elect Obama, their aides are. Whoever he decides to put in that position, I will work with them to make sure that we do a better job of raising awareness level and educating people about HIV and AIDS in the country.

CHETRY: All right. Earvin "Magic" Johnson, always great to have you with us. And the new book is called "32 Ways to be a Champion in Business." Thanks for coming by.

JOHNSON: Thank you. Good to see you.

CHETRY: Great to see you.

JOHNSON: Thank you.


ROBERTS: Great to see you again.

Twenty-nine minutes after the hour. And here are this morning's top stories.

New information shows even with advances in HIV testing, many infected patients still fall through the crack. Specialists say only one of every 500 hospital emergency rooms routinely check those who are not critically ill for the virus that causes AIDS. And it is believed that 20 percent of HIV carriers do not know that they have it.

A London court has passed what's called a preliminary decree in pop superstar Madonna's divorce from her husband of eight years, film director Guy Ritchie. It cites the reason for divorce Ritchie's unreasonable behavior.

Either Madonna nor Ritchie appeared at the short -- they didn't appear in today's brief court session.

We're back under 2 bucks. The national average for a price of gas has fallen below $2 a gallon just barely $1.99. That's down nearly 52 percent since mid July. Prices have now dropped for 65 days in a row.

Well, first, Sarah Palin's e-mail gets hacked. Now, the records of a cell phone that Barack Obama used earlier this year were breached by a number of Verizon employees. Our Jason Carroll has got the latest both from Verizon and the Obama team.

Good morning, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. A bit of an alarming development there. Obama's transition team was notified by Verizon Wireless records from a cell phone the president-elect no longer uses has been breached. The records are for his flip phone, not the BlackBerry that we oftentimes see him on. Meaning no e-mails could have been accessed. The internal investigation launched by Verizon will determine if the information was shared among employees or if the info had been given to anyone outside the company.

Verizon released a statement saying all employees who have access to the account whether authorized or not have been put on immediate leave with pay. Employees who have accessed the account improperly and without legitimate business justification will face appropriate disciplinary action. Verizon apologized to Obama and said they will work to keep the trust of their customers.

Robert Gibbs a spokesman for Obama said the Secret Service has been notified, but is not aware of any criminal investigation. Gibbs believes that anyone viewing the record would have been able to see phone numbers and frequency of calls and that nobody was monitoring those voice mails but this isn't the first time. Did you know John that we've seen these types of security breaches. What we saw Obama's campaign headquarters, the computers there as well as John McCain's, those computers were hacked. And remember - when was it? Was it last March that someone in the state department had those unauthorized looked at his passport. So a little bit of alarming news there.

ROBERTS: Do we know how this happened? Did somebody get a hold of the phone and downloaded the numbers or did they look at the account?

CARROLL: I don't know. I think that's still part of the investigation that they're looking into that internally. So they are obviously try to get to the bottom of who was looking at it and why.

ROBERTS: Jason Carroll this morning. Jason, thanks.

CARROLL: All right.

CHETRY: One more reason they may make him ditch the blackberry.

Well hi-tech terrorists are looking to use the internet to dismantle America's infrastructure. It's the new wave in terror. And the incoming administration needs to have the tools to stop it. Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve has our latest "Memo to the President."


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Mr. President, the White House you will soon occupy, the Pentagon virtually every agency of government has come under cyber attack. The extent of the hacking may never be known. Experts including the nation's top intelligence officials say you have to secure the country against this threat and fast.

MIKE MCCONNELL, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The United States is the most vulnerable nation on earth to cyber attack. The most vulnerable. For a simple reason, we're the most dependent.

MESERVE: Cyber attacks could halt transportation, freeze finances, knock out water, sewer and most frighteningly electricity.

SCOTT BORG, U.S. CYBER CONSEQUENCES UNIT: We shut down the electric power for a third of the country for three months. This causes tens of thousands of people to die. It causes major social dislocation. It's just a level of damage that we've only talked about before when we've been discussing limited nuclear exchanges.

MESERVE: The U.S. must now launch a cyber race, experts say, training top notch cyber security talent in our graduate school, encouraging development of more secure computer software and hardware and enlisting in the fight businesses who controls so many of the country's critical computer systems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really need to recruit the private sector folks as part of what I call a cyber militia to be standing ready to defend our country against strategic attack.

MESERVE: Financial incentives and regulation should be used as tools many experts say to motivate business to protect critical infrastructure and intellectual property. The risk of doing nothing they say is too high.


MESERVE: The web is a global phenomenon. And experts say international cooperation on cyber security is a must. Experts also say there has to be a coordinated approach across the U.S. government. And the one place with the authority and clout to lead the effort and get the results is the White House. Kiran, back to you.

CHETRY: All right. Jeanne Meserve for us. Thanks.

ROBERTS: Our "Memo to the President" series will continue next week to a start things off. AMERICAN MORNING's Jason Carroll will look at race relations in America for the country's first black president. That's Monday on AMERICAN MORNING. And we also want to hear from you. Send us your "Memo to the President." Go to and click on the I-report link. Give the president-elect a piece of your mind.

CHETRY: And we're going to have more on a teenager's heart transplant surgery. She survived nearly four months without a heart. How doctors kept her alive?

Also did you ever sit and watch the stars wondering is there life beyond earth? You're not alone. But are we alone? Wondering about that anyway. A preview of next week's search for alien life just ahead. It's 34 minutes after the hour.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get away from her you bitch!


CHETRY: A scene that strikes terror in the heart of all of us.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Don't mess with Sigourney. Do not mess with her.

CHETRY: Welcome back to "the most news in the morning." For as long as humankind has been on earth we've looked to the skies and asked this question -- are we alone in this universe. All next week we're going to try to answer that question. Our space correspondent Miles O'Brien is here with a preview.

O'BRIEN: Well, Kiran, I would love to promise you an answer to that question. That would be a scoop. But we might say we landed a little south of smoking gun proof that we are not alone. We did, however, meet some amazing interesting people who are convinced the truth is out there. Here is a sneak peek.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) O'BRIEN (voice-over): We met Milton Torres in Miami who 50 years ago spotted a huge fast-moving object in the cross hairs of his fighter jet. No doubt in his mind.

MILTON TORRES, FORMER AIR FORCE PILOT: It was some design of an aircraft by some space alien.

O'BRIEN: We talked to the sixth man to walk on the moon, Edgar Mitchell. He is sure aliens have visited us and the government knows.

EDGAR MITCHELL: The real reason it's still a secret is power and control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... is the man who discovered this.

O'BRIEN: We went to the scene of the granddaddy of all UFO sightings, Roswell, New Mexico and met Frankie Rowe who said she played with some remarkable metal from an alien craft.

FRANKIE ROWE, ROSWELL RESIDENT: When you would wad it up and put it in your hand it would disappear.

O'BRIEN: In New York City we met Mark. Just Mark. Who claims he was abducted by aliens.

O'BRIEN (on-camera): Do you have any idea what they wanted?


O'BRIEN (voice-over): We traveled to the earth's listening post in northern California also known as the search for extraterrestrial =intelligence where they are listening for alien signals. Yes, I said alien signals. We spoke with Jill Tarter.

JILL TARTER, DIR. SEARCH FOR EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE: Are we alone? How might we find out? What does that tell us about ourselves and our place in the universe?

O'BRIEN: We spoke to an intrepid astro biologist Chris McKay who is helping to hunt for life on Mars.

CHRIS MCCKAY, ASTROBIOLOGIST: Everything I know about the universe suggests that yes life should be common.

O'BRIEN: And we talked to a spacecraft designer who wonders if this picture from Mars may be the holy grail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not 100 percent no doubt in my mind that it's not life. It's going to rock the world when life is found off of the earth.


O'BRIEN: Who knows, maybe that little routiny-shaped object is a fossil and maybe that's an answer to the question. You've seen it with your own eyes. What do you think? CHETRY: I can't just look it a and say definitely life but -

O'BRIEN: But doesn't it make you want to look a little more?


O'BRIEN: Let's send another spacecraft back there. There it is. You decide. That was shot by the Opportunity spacecraft on the 23rd of February, 2004. Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do. They had to just move on because they didn't have the scientific instrumentation to do any further exploring. So I guess we need another mission but maybe just maybe that's the holy grail.

CHETRY: Believe me, I think about it a lot. It's very interesting. I'd like to just see you know a V-shaped Martian head though. I mean as proof.

O'BRIEN: That would settle it, would it?

CHETRY: Yes. Exactly. Small little tiny worm in some rock I don't know.

O'BRIEN: If I get that you'll be the first to hear it right here on AMERICAN MORNING. Breaking news.

CHETRY: Well it is. All next week Miles is going to be here and we'll talk about all of these interesting sightings and different you know theories about whether or not we do, we are not alone.

O'BRIEN: Yes. It's a fascinating look at some interesting people who have a lot of conviction about this. We'll leave it at that.

ROBERTS: Jimmy Carter swears he saw a UFO.

O'BRIEN: Yes. In an interview with you. He talked about it. He doesn't believe it was alien. You know, it's hard to imagine, given the expanse of the universe, travel at that distance. But, you know we have little pea brains by comparison. We've been studying physics for 500 years. Do we know everything?


O'BRIEN: I don't think so.

ROBERTS: Barely scratching the surface.

CHETRY: Miles, we are riveted. Can't wait to see you next week.

O'BRIEN: It should be a fun week.

CHETRY: Thanks, Miles.

Also we want to know if you've seen something funny in the sky. If you're convince that aliens exist or you think its all science- fiction, we do want to hear from you. Send your pictures and video, please video if you got it to Just click on the I-report link.

ROBERTS: A lot of people will be starting the holiday in the coming minutes and hours no wind and artic air ahead. What a happy weekend it's going to be. Reynolds Wolf tracking some extremely cold weather right now. Hey, Reynolds.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Always a good time there, John. Take a look at the temperatures. It's a rude awakening for people in Duluth this morning with six degrees. In the twin cities you got 10 right now. Marquette with 16. Detroit currently with 20 degrees. That and coupled with the wind and the snow, we got it all for you, coming up right here on CNN. CNN, you're watching "the most news in the morning."



ROBERTS: They need the sound to crank to warm them up a little bit this morning because it is cold, and cloudy and 23 degrees right now in Chicago. Later on today, they will transpose those numbers. It's going to be 32 degrees and sunny for the rest of the nation. Our Reynolds Wolf down there in the weather center in Atlanta. You're looking slick this morning, my man.

WOLF: Yes. See I didn't get the memo about the tie or lack thereof.

ROBERTS: I didn't get the mock turtle memo either. We'll trade.

WOLF: Thanks, man. I tell you what, Chicago as you've already mentioned, it's certainly going to be a chilly day there. One thing that's great about Chicago this morning, not only a beautiful city but they happen to be snow free. But if you look across on the other side of Lake Michigan we're seeing the snow begin to fall in Grand Rapids southward to South Bend. As you move out a little bit further out across the Great Lakes we're seeing some lake-effect snowfall that is going to affect many places including parts of New York state even back over to just a sliver of Pennsylvania and into Ohio. Some snowfall totals as we make our way to the rest of the day and into the afternoon could be fairly impressive. In fact some locations getting up to a foot of snow especially near Syracuse right along (inaudible) near the campus of Syracuse University. Other parts of southwestern Michigan anywhere from four to eight inches of snowfall.

Hey not only are we talking about the cold air that's surging in from the north but that area of low pressure that is setting off the eastern seaboard, high pressure building over parts of the central plains, that's going to create quite a bit of wind. We got a breezy morning in Atlanta at this time. Temperatures today only warming up to 45 degrees. For Kansas City 41. Las Vegas 74. 79 in both Los Angeles and Phoenix. Meanwhile for Chicago 32 is the high as John mentioned and 37 in New York. That is a look at your forecast. Let's send it right back to you guys in the studio.

ROBERTS: Chilly all the way down where you are. WOLF: Exactly.

ROBERTS: Reynolds, thanks so much for that. Good to see you back.

CHETRY: All right. John, thanks. Well what do successful people have all in common? It may have something to do with intelligence but more to do with perhaps the month that you were born. And other secret success of best selling author says he knows.

Also Barack Obama's presidential role model. Another guy from Illinois who talked to his rival while putting together a cabinet. But can he govern like Lincoln? You're watching "the most news in the morning."


CHETRY: We're back. A teenager in Miami is recovering from a heart transplant. The surgery that she survived after nearly four months literally without a heart. Doctors were forced to come up with a way to keep the child alive. Here's what the 14-year-old D'Zhana Simmons said about her own experience. Let's listen.


D'ZHANA SIMMONS, HEART TRANSPLANT PATIENT: It was like I was a fake person, like I wasn't really here. But now I know that I really was here and I did live without it.


CHETRY: CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now from Atlanta this morning. First of all, just so fascinating that they were able to do this. She's had some heart transplants that did not take and they just had to do something really remarkable to keep her alive. How did they do it?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: They really did do something remarkable. Kiran, what they did is they said, all right, she failed on a human heart transplant, maybe we can give her an artificial heart, but that didn't work either because she was too small. So what these doctors did is for want of a better word, they McGyvered a heart for her. They took some spare parts that are usually use to assist the heart but not replace it. They kind of jerry-rigged them together and gave her this heart - this artificial heart that lasted for four months. It really truly is amazing. Kiran.

CHETRY: So tell us a little bit about what she was able to do, how she was able to move. I mean, what you know, what was life like for her during that time?

COHEN: Life was incredibly difficult for her during those couple of months. She didn't really have the energy to move, first of all. And you could hear it in her voice, how weak she was. And even when she did feel like going for a little stroll, it would take four people to assist her because of all the machinery that had to go with her and all the support that she needed. There was a 40 percent chance that she was going to die from the operation that she had. The fact that she lived and the fact that she lived for four months on this jury- rigged device is really quite amazing, Kiran.

CHETRY: It is amazing when we saw her crying there, that's when she had a chance to thank the doctors who did saved her life. So now she has a donor heart, and what's her prognosis?

COHEN: You know her prognosis is she's not 100 percent out of the woods yet. You could hear that she was weak. She had to have a kidney transplant as well as a heart transplant. So far, so good, but doctors are definitely keeping a watchful eye on her.

CHETRY: Got a lot of people praying for her. Brave little girl for sure. Thanks a lot, Elizabeth. It's 51 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS (voice-over): Attack of the republican rivals. Mike Huckabee slams Mitt Romney. Payback time? We're live on board the Huckabee bus for answers.

Plus, marketing to moms. French fries are good for you. Say what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If a mom told you that McDonald's French fries would be good for your kid, would you believe her?

ROBERTS: And to tie or not to tie?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is very last century, darling.

ROBERTS: After I ditched mine, do you have opinions? You're watching the most news in the morning.



ROBERTS: 54 minutes after the hour now. What do the Beatles, Bill Gates, and Canadian hockey players have in common? They're all considered outliers, according to writer Malcolm Gladwell in his new book. He looks at success and explains how little control we actual have over some of it. Malcolm Gladwell joins me now.

So we always think that it's the smartest people that become the most successful. You postulate in this new book, it's a fascinating read, it's not always intelligence that leads to success. You say "it's not the brightest who succeed, it's rather a gift. Outliers are those given opportunities who have the strength and presence of mind to seize them." But there are also some commonalities with these outliers.

MALCOLM GLADWELL, AUTHOR "OUTLIERS": Yes. I'm really interested in things like the effects of generation. So what does it mean - I have a chapter that looks at some of the most powerful people in Silicon Valley. And almost all of them are born in 1955.

Steve Jobs at Apple, Bill Gates at Microsoft, Bill Joy, who is one of those famous programmers, a bunch of guys at Sun Microsystems. The argument there is that they were 21 when the computer revolution hit and that's how old you want to be when you're confronted with a new revolution.

That's the kind of pattern that you see, over and over again when you look at the lives of very successful people. That it's not just their own abilities, it's being in the right place at the right time, it's coming from a certain kind of culture, it's having certain built- in advantages.

ROBERTS: There were also some happy accidents along the way. For example, if Bill Gates hasn't been put into a private school, which actually had a computer, one of the first schools to ever have a computer, perhaps he may not have become the mogul that he was.

GLADWELL: Yes, he has this incredible childhood where he has a series of I talked to him and he was going through the extraordinary one in a million lucky breaks that characterized his childhood. He got to start programming on a computer in 1968 as a 13-year-old when nobody was programming. So he was way ahead of the crowd by the time he starts Microsoft.

ROBERTS: You and I both lived in Canada, developed a love for Canadian hockey, and you found by looking at Canadian hockey teams that there's a certain commonality between all of the best players, at least in the junior hockey league system, which I imagine translates to the pros as well.

GLADWELL: Oh absolutely, it translate an extraordinary number of hockey players are professionals are born in January, February, and March. And that's because the cutoff date for age class hockey is January 1st. So when they go to look for, to recruit kids for all- star teams when they're eight or nine years old, they think they're choosing the most talented ones, but actually they're choosing the biggest ones. Because if you're born in January and you're eight, you're a lot taller, more mature and taller and bigger and stronger than someone born in December.

ROBERTS: Because development is much faster there -

GLADWELL: At that age and so that advantage you get as an eight- year-old, you get plucked out and given proper coaching and more games and more practice and by the time you're 18, you actually are better.

ROBERTS: Another fascinating finding is that you are more likely to be in a plane crash if the pilot comes from a particular country. What's that all about?

GLADWELL: Yes. That's a fascinating thing. The single most important variable in determining whether a plane crashes is not the plane, it's not the, you know, the maintenance, it's not the weather, it's the culture the pilot comes from. Planes are flown safely when the pilot and copilot are in open and honest communication. And in cultures where it is difficult for a junior person to speak openly to a superior, you have lots of plane crashes.

ROBERTS: And you said the Aviante (ph) crash here in Oyster Bay -

GLADWELL: In Long Island.

ROBERTS: In JFK is a very clear example of that.

GLADWELL: Where the copilot was so intimidated by air traffic control, he could not tell them they were running out of fuel and they crashed. They just go around and crashed.

ROBERTS: There are other great things, I'd like to have the time to get into your senses why Asians are better at math than western people are. That it takes 10,000 hours to really become proficient at some thing. But some of the ideas of this book were criticized by "The New York Times" which said the book "is glib, poorly reasoned, thoroughly unconvincing. Much of what Mr. Gladwell has to say about superstars is little more than common sense: that talent alone is not enough to assure success, that opportunity, hard work, timing and luck play important roles as well." What do you say about that? that your conclusions are really obvious -

GLADWELL: I don't think - I start from a very common sense premise, but it takes you in all kinds of interesting areas. I wouldn't say that you know the stuff about pilots, the stuff about hockey players being born in January, it doesn't sound like common sense to me. So you know I think what's interesting about this book is I take a series of ideas which we all know, and then I say, look, it's more complicated and more interesting and more fascinating than we would have ever imagined.

ROBERTS: Right. Anything we can do to try to employ some of these techniques?

GLADWELL: Well at he end of the book talks about what we should be doing as a country. It's less about what we can do. When we understand that success is so much a part of the world of which we're a part, we move away from this idea that's about self-help and we move towards this idea that it's time for us to be providing opportunities to a group.

ROBERTS: The book is called "Outliers, the story of success" from Malcolm Gladwell. It is a fascinating read as all of your books. Malcolm, it's good to see you here. Thanks for dropping by.

GLADWELL: Thanks so much.

ROBERTS: Take care. Kiran.