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On Heels of U.N. Condemnation For Nuclear Test. N. Korea Fires More Test Missiles; Hausers Return Back Home Facing Treatment and Courts; Gas Prices Inch Higher; Cyber Bullying Goes to a New Level With YouTube Posting; North Korea Fires More Missiles; Extreme Job Hunting; Bill Calls for 1 Week Paid Vacation; 18,000 Marriages in Limbo
Aired May 26, 2009 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Just a minute before 6:00 here in New York. Welcome to AMERICAN MORNING on this Tuesday, May 26th. I'm Kiran Chetry.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And hello to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes in again for John Roberts this morning.
And more breaking news this morning; more from North Korea. They are two days in a row now really saying - giving, I guess, a slap to the rest of the world.
North Korea reportedly test firing a new round of missiles overnight. The launches come after Monday's apparent underground nuclear tests. Our Pentagon team is up, has been up throughout the night working their sources. We'll be going live for the latest.
Also this morning, the politics of fear. North Korea is not making any new friends, of course, with these tests. But how do you get the secretive nation to come to the diplomatic table? Our Christian Amanpour, she has been to North Korea. She has seen its nuclear program firsthand. She will join us with her unique insights in just a few minutes.
Also developing this morning, home at last. The teenage cancer patient and his mother returned to Minnesota after a week on the run. This morning we're hearing from both of them and looking at what's next legally and medically.
CHETRY: We begin, though, with our breaking news and that's North Korea again reportedly test firing a new round of short-range missiles. Happening early this morning, a defiant response to countries around the world. It comes less than 36 hours after an apparent underground nuclear test.
This morning we're following this latest missile launches and the political fallout that's certain to follow. Barbara Starr has dialed into her sources at the Pentagon, and senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth is here in New York with us.
We start with Barbara. And what is the respond this morning, Barbara, to this new reported round of test firing of the short-range missiles?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kiran, good morning to you.
Indeed, North Korea according to news reports now firing another two short-range missiles after the three-day fired yesterday when they conducted that nuclear tests. Here at the Pentagon, sources indicating overnight there will be no major muscle movements by U.S. military forces in the region.
But, indeed, at Kadena Air Base in Japan, there are now pictures that we are seeing of aircraft, U.S. military aircraft moving around, the kind of aircraft that the U.S. sends up to collect air samples after a nuclear test and try and determine if they can sample radioactive gases that would be in the atmosphere after that.
That really still continues to be one of the key tasks here, to absolutely collect the intelligence data and determine that it was a nuclear test, what kind of test it was, and then, of course, the other issue here is the diplomatic action to try and convince North Korea to turn away from its nuclear weapons.
A couple of quick new details, though. We are learning about that underground nuclear test if you will. A seismic station in Texas picked up that rumble underground. So it was picked up that far away, half a world away. And the White House administration officials confirming the White House was notified that North Korea was going to conduct a test and it turned out to be just one hour before the test actually happened. The White House having enough time to notify countries in the region -- Kiran.
CHETRY: All right. And again they say it could be days, even weeks whether or not they can actually determine first of all whether it was a nuclear detonation and also how successful it might have been.
Barbara Starr for us at the Pentagon this morning. Thanks.
HOLMES: And reporting in from around the world, President Obama saying North Korea is recklessly challenging the international community and the United Nations Security Council unanimously condemns Sunday night's nuclear tests.
Joining us now, CNN senior U.N. correspondent Richard Roth. Richard, this all sounds familiar. And the world tells North Korea what not to do, they do it anyway.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: That's right. But these reported missile launches is not going to help North Korea's case at the United Nations. Usually things take a little slower pace at the United Nations, but didn't take long for the Security Council last evening to condemn North Korea.
ROTH (voice-over): The United Nations Security Council didn't waste any time in blasting North Korea for its nuclear test. Just one hour after convening an emergency meeting, the council issued a nonbinding statement to the press.
VITALY CHURKIN, PRESIDENT, U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL: The members of the Security Council voiced their strong opposition to and condemnation of the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on May 25, 2009, which constitutes a clear violation of Resolution 1718.
ROTH: The Security Council is not pleased that North Korea detonated a device just six weeks after being told by the same council to halt any nuclear or missile tests.
BAKI ILKIN, TURKISH AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: We don't feel that this is the way that would lead to the reunification of the incident.
ROTH: Passing a statement of criticism, though, is easier than adopting a legally-binding resolution with potential additional sanctions aimed at the North Korean government.
The nuclear test did seem to spur unity among countries who usually have sharp differences over how to punish North Korea. The council announced it would quickly start work on a resolution though its content is not yet certain.
SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: The U.S. thinks that this is a grave violation of international law and a threat to regional and international peace and security. And therefore, the United States will seek a strong resolution with strong measures.
ROTH: Japan is glad the Security Council is now ready to act. Last April when a North Korean missile fell nearby, Japan was unable to win support for a tough resolution against its neighbor.
YUKIO TAKASU, JAPANESE AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: What's the real meaning of the Security Council passing the resolution and then acting in this way and then let it go? I think there should be a very clear consequence to that.
ROTH: The French delegation says this resolution should have sanctions in it, that the North Korean behavior must come at a price -- T.J.
HOLMES: All right. Richard Roth for us, U.N. correspondent, thank you so much.
Meanwhile, you need to stay with us this morning because coming up next hour, we'll talk to the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, about what kind of response the Obama administration can take.
CHETRY: We're also following developing news in the case of a teenage cancer patient who went on the run with his mother to avoid court-ordered chemotherapy. This morning 13-year-old Daniel Hauser and his mother, Colleen, are back home in Minnesota and talking about their week in hiding. Of course, their homecoming is also raising new questions about what's next both medically for Daniel and legally for his mother.
CNN's Jason Carroll has been following the story since it first broke. He joins us live this morning.
And this video also -- how are we getting this video? This was shot by a private media company that chartered the flight for them home?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. Shot by a private media company, still trying to get a little bit more information about them as well as the condition of Daniel. Did his condition get any worse?
As for his mother, it now appears Colleen Hauser is ready to follow whatever course of action the court decides in terms of treatment for her son. She also explained the motivation behind taking him on the run.
CARROLL (voice-over): No longer in hiding, Colleen Hauser and her cancer-stricken son Daniel are speaking out, talking to a media company that arranged for their charter flight home. Hauser is saying the decision to take Daniel on the run was made to stop him from running.
COLLEEN HAUSER, DANIEL'S MOTHER: He used to run away. Danny was going to run away. Then what do I have? I mean, he was going to run.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are people who are saying that this was your mom's decision. Your mom was the one who basically convinced you not to do chemo. What would you say to those people?
DANIEL HAUSER, TEEN SICK WITH CANCER: I'd tell them to back off.
CARROLL: It's not clear when or where the interview was conducted, but Hauser says running was better than having her son forced to endure another round of chemotherapy.
C. HAUSER: And he knew he could not eat. He couldn't even drink. He was helpless. He was literally helpless. And then to get him to where he is today is like, why? Why would you want to do it again? Why would you want to start over again?
CARROLL: So why then did Hauser finally decide to turn herself in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they want to come back home. They want to get together with their family and they were ready to be home.
CARROLL: The Hausers arrived in Minnesota on Monday. Local law enforcement officials did not confirm where they had been, saying the family's attorney helped to arrange their return. The company that brought mother and son home, Asgaard Media, describes itself as founded and advised by a group of forward-thinking, positive-minded individuals. Calls to Asgaard were not returned.
Once home, doctors examined Daniel. So far, no word on his condition. His father says he wants his son home, not in a hospital.
ANTHONY HAUSER, DANIEL'S FATHER: I was told that he would be back and that's what I believe should be.
CARROLL: The question now, what will his parents do next? They want to treat their son's Hodgkin's lymphoma with natural methods. Doctors say conventional treatment is his best chance of survival.
The Hausers' attorney says, "Colleen wants to put her best case forward for her son to have a chance at alternative treatment. But if the court overrules that, she will abide by the orders of the court."
CARROLL: And because Hauser agreed to turn herself in, there is no longer a warrant for her arrest. Her attorney says it is her understanding the court does have custody of Daniel, but he will remain in his parents' care as long as they continue to cooperate with the court.
CHETRY: All right. And do we know if we're going to find out any word of his condition? They were concerned that perhaps some of these tumors were growing.
CARROLL: Right. It's unclear at this point if doctors are going to release any of that information. As you know, initially, he responded to that chemotherapy back in February.
CARROLL: But a lot of doctors are saying that his condition would get worse if not treated right away.
CHETRY: All right, and he was supposed to.
Thanks a lot, Jason.
CARROLL: You bet.
HOLMES: Developing right now, North Korea reportedly test firing new missiles despite a global slap down for the apparent underground nuke test. So how do you get the secretive country to come to the table? We'll be talking to Christian Amanpour. She's been inside the country. She joins us next.
HOLMES: And good morning, everybody. Good morning, specifically Boston, courtesy of our friends at WHDH. A live look this morning, 50 degrees. It's going to be up to 61, mostly sunny. Nice day there in Boston.
Checking our stories new this morning. President Obama set to fulfill a campaign promise this week by appointing a so-called "cyber czar." A senior White House official says the cyber security chief will have broad authority for protecting both public and private sector computer networks. The announcement will coincide with the release of a report evaluating the government's cyber security initiatives and policies.
The Taliban urging Pakistani civilians to return to the main town in the Swat Valley where government forces have launched an offensive to expel them. A Taliban spokesman says insurgents won't attack security forces out of concern for trapped residents. Pakistan's military dismisses that gesture as a ploy saying it would allow insurgents to blend in with residents. More than two million people have fled the Swat Valley and surrounding areas.
What we have here is a failure to communicate. That could be dragging down U.S. efforts in Pakistan and Afghanistan. "USA Today" reporting the State Department employees, just 18 foreign service officers who are fluent with the main language spoken in the rugged border region where the Taliban and al Qaeda recruit and operate.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is asking for budget funding to hire 1,200 additional diplomats but, of course, that will take time to train them.
CHETRY: Thirteen minutes past the hour. We're following breaking news this morning. North Korea trying the world's patience by reportedly test firing more missiles this morning.
According to South Korea, the North test fired two short-range missiles off its east coast launch pad. The latest test comes just a day after Pyongyang conducted an apparent nuclear bomb test underground. It set off seismic disturbances and triggered global anger.
Joining me now, CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour. Last year, Christiane was granted unprecedented access to North Korea's nuclear facility.
Good to see you this morning. So what are the North Koreans hoping to gain in your opinion by this defiance?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in terms of analysts and diplomats who I've spoken to, generally, what they're trying to do is get concessions, get perhaps money, fuel, energy fuel, which they need, food, plus attention. They want to say, here we are, deal with us.
Many also are suggesting that perhaps they're doing this for internal domestic consumption. They are under a succession struggle right now according to all the North Korea watches and maybe this is some way to say, for instance, to have this succession struggle and appease the military and sort of do this while this is going on at this time.
But you know, it's really difficult to read why they're doing all of this. And it always points out, according to analysts, how one needs to keep North Korea engaged.
CHETRY: And, you know, quite a turnaround from when you were there in 2008 when there seemed to be a thawing in this type of standoff that was taking place. They were detonating the cooling tower as sort of a gesture. And then what happened?
AMANPOUR: Well, several things happened. The United States took North Korea off the terrorism list.
AMANPOUR: They lifted some sanctions. And then they wanted to have this regime that was to, really, to be able to search and see and make North Korea accountable for all of their nuclear activities, that plutonium, were they enriching uranium. What did they have? And North Korea balked at some of the very intrusive searches that the U.S. was asking for.
In addition, North Korea says that they hadn't received the sort of quid pro quo from blowing up the cooling tower from disarming, rather dismantling and disabling Yongbyon which we witnessed. They said they were still waiting for the fuel oil that they were promised and that kind of thing.
But the truth is that most people believe they're just -- because so little is known about that secretive and isolated regime, there are quite a few options. And right now it really depends on whether the Chinese and the Russians are going to get strong if the Security Council wants to have punitive measures in terms of sanctions or other diplomatic means.
CHETRY: And that is the big question today. North Korea's nuclear tests, by all accounts, were a violation of the Security Council resolution that was passed back in 2006, requiring the country not to conduct any further nuclear tests. The Security Council set to be working on a new resolution today. But how effective, first of all, are they willing to go in terms of any type of increased sanctions?
And number two, how do you get North Korea to abide when they've ignored resolutions in the past?
AMANPOUR: Well, again, it's difficult to see because some U.S. officials are saying to reporters that, look, North Korea is a poor country any way. It's hard to see how much more sanctions can be effective. They're apparently not going to put them back on the U.S. list of state-sponsored terrorism because this was not specifically a terrorist act according to these officials.
After the April missile test, they did manage after a week to get a statement from the Security Council. And then they put some sanctions on several companies that are seen as dealing with North Korea and helping produce revenue.
Right now, the South -- South Korea says it's joined the proliferation security initiative, which means this sort of web, this flotilla to try to interdict any kind of trafficking of nuclear material. So we'll see what happens. But in general, there's not a huge number of alternatives beyond trying to get them back to the Six- party talks and try to, again, diplomatically hammer out some kind of deal where they would disarm.
CHETRY: All right. Christiane Amanpour for us this morning. Thanks.
HOLMES: All right. Time for us to turn now to Christine Romans on the other side of the desk here.
Good morning to you.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'm talking about gas prices, you guys. And this is really firing everybody up on Twitter, on Facebook, on our e-mail.
Gas prices now at $2.42. We're going to tell you how much more they can go, what they're going to look like for the rest of the summer. Why so many people are a bit wrong about gas prices.
And we want you to look at our "Romans' Numeral." The number driving today's action, 60, it is.
You can twitter us at amFIX. You can send us an e-mail. You can go to Facebook. We're going to tell you what 60 has to do with what you're paying to fill up the tank.
HOLMES: All right. Christine Romans here keeping an eye on things. And we're smiling. Is there something good to smile about this morning, Christine?
ROMANS: No, it's gas prices. They're up. And a week ago I sat right here and I said, I know gas prices are up and everyone is concerned about what's the conspiracy behind gas prices. And I told you that every expert that I've talked to said, oh, don't worry, the peak is behind us.
CHETRY: Right. So what happened?
ROMANS: And they were wrong. They were wrong. They were wrong.
Oil prices are continuing to go up. They're above $60. They're about the highest they've been in the past week. They've hit the highest they've been since November. And that's just the assumption, the three months or twelve months out, the economy is going to get better, and there's going to be bigger demand for oil. And that's what's driving up oil prices.
But gas prices keep moving higher. Right now, the gas price is about $2.42 a gallon.
OK, think of this. This is 12 cents above the government's projected peak for the summer. So it's already surpassed what the government expected for gas. This is a big -- kind of unprecedented rise for the past month. And then compare it with a year ago. So you're still not paying that almost $4 a gallon you were paying a year ago but it hurts. This is $6.00 or $7.00 more every tank of gas for most people.
Now, Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service said his best guess for the driving season -- so this -- OK, listen up, everybody. This is what he says you can assume for the driving season, which is really about June to September, $2.00 to $2.75 a gallon for most of the country. So $2.75 is the top end of this.
Although, the people who last week were telling me no way would we have $3.00 a gallon gas, now they're just saying no way are we going to have $4.00 a gallon gas.
ROMANS: I know. I know.
CHETRY: It's time now for "Romans' Numeral." This is a number we give you every day. It's a number that Christine gives us that's driving the story about your money. And today's "Romans' Numeral" is 60. Tell us about it.
ROMANS: OK, 60, and this is a number that is the only way that you can control what you're paying for gas. You know, gas is not -- you go and you fill up and you pay what they tell you to pay. Sixty, any guesses?
HOLMES: Mine was going to be how much we were paying for oil -- a barrel of oil now.
ROMANS: Actually, it is also what we're paying for a barrel of oil.
ROMANS: So now I've got a "Romans' Numeral" that is two different things. So, you are right.
CHETRY: We have George Haag (ph) who guessed "Romans' Numeral" 60 is the speed limit.
ROMANS: That's a pretty good guess. It is the optimum highway speed for the best fuel efficiency. So the only thing that you can do to try to get the most out of your gallon of gas is drive 60 miles an hour on the highway.
CHETRY: Right. You'd get run off of the road, are you kidding me? 60 miles an hour.
ROMANS: It's not good for your marriage or for the back seat driver. But 60, this is the best way to...
CHETRY: Come on, the bigwigs are going 80. You just got to -- you got to go fast just not to... ROMANS: If you're trying to milk every drop of gas, that's the way to do it, 60.
But look, a lot of people have been asking me why are gas prices so high. Why are oil prices so high? Demand is not up, and I feel your pain. Demand for oil and gas is not up, but the prices are rising. It's been an uncomfortable seasonal push here. It is the assumption that the economy is eventually going to get better. So I guess that is in a way a good thing.
HOLMES: We have something to smile about a bit this morning. Christine Romans, thank you as always.
And a sign of the times in today's economy -- having to wear a sign around your neck to get a job.
Yes, forget the job fairs and firing off dozens of cover letters. We'll talk to one college grad who's taking his job search in a new direction.
Also, a sixth grader in Washington State, have you heard this? The target of cyber bullying by classmates. You're not going to believe, though, how far this taunt went.
It's 24 minutes past the hour.
CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.
How to kill a classmate? It was a subject of a cartoon video set to music and then posted on YouTube by a group of 11 and 12-year-old girls in Washington State. It takes cyber bullying to a disturbing new level.
Carol Costello is following the story for us this morning.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kiran, and they say politicians can be a nasty bunch. They're nothing compared to girls on the cusp of entering junior high school. Some of this mean girl behavior is sadly normal, but the psychologist I talked with said what you are about to see is not normal.
COSTELLO (voice-over): It looks like a cartoon, except it's not funny or cute. It's titled, "The Top 6 Ways to Kill Piper," literally. With a gun, suicide, a good push off of a cliff, you get the picture. It's especially ugly because Piper is a real girl.
PIPER SMITH, BULLIED ONLINE: It was beyond funny stuff. I mean, it really, really hurt my feelings. I mean, if somebody hates me that much to make a video about me like that, it can make me feel like really bad. COSTELLO: Piper is a sixth grader at Elk Plain School of Choice in Washington State. The girls who made the YouTube video are classmates, ages 11 and 12. And while you may be shocked by this, those who work with children are not. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, cyber bullying is the biggest threat kids face, especially girls.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's this queen bee wannabe syndrome that happens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dawn Shryster (ph) has a huge ass? Who would write that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who wouldn't write that?
COSTELLO: The queen bee syndrome is so pervasive in school, Hollywood made a movie about that. In "Mean Girls," popular yet insecure girls band together to attack those they deem different.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEAN GIRLS")
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And if you break any of these rules, you can't sit with us at lunch. I mean, not just you, any of us. Look, if I was wearing jeans today, I would be sitting over there with a bunch of freaks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Some psychologists say this kind of behavior has only gotten more vicious because it can play out on-line anonymously.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Often, teenagers have a deep sense of self- hatred and often lack in self-esteem, but they're not even consciously aware of. And what happens is they place that on someone who they consider different from them.
COSTELLO: Mort (ph) says Piper Smith did exactly the right thing. She stood up to the bullies, exposed them, and most likely saved herself more emotional pain.
COSTELLO: We hope so. I know you're going to be talking to her a little later, Kiran.
Now, it is important that mean girls face consequences. The school did discipline the girls who made that YouTube video, although for privacy reasons, it won't say how. Police were called, but they decided no charges would be filed because there was no malice.
So, everybody's back at school and hopefully they're all playing nice.
CHETRY: Yes. And Piper's mom actually claims that there really wasn't enough discipline in this case. They're going to be joining us in a couple of hours, Carol, to talk more about what she wants to see happen. She thinks that there should be some mental health evaluations taking place as well. So we'll be joining them. They'll be joining us in a couple of hours.
But a story a lot of people are talking about. Thanks, Carol.
And we do want to hear from you as well. We'd like you to call our show hotline, 1-877-MY-AMFIX. What do you think about the case? We'll try to get some of those calls on the air.
And again, as I said, we'll be talking with Piper Smith and her mom coming up at 8:30 Eastern Time here on AMERICAN MORNING.
It's 6:30 here in New York.
We're following breaking news -- another reported act of hostility by North Korea. Just hours ago, a South Korean news agency reported that the North test-fired two more missiles off of its east coast. One of these missiles is a reported surface-to-air missile, another a ground-to-ship missile.
Word of today's firings comes on the heels of the country's apparent second underground test of a nuclear device, an act the U.N. Security Council quickly and unanimously condemned yesterday in an emergency session.
In just a few hours, the California Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether to overturn Proposition 8. It banned same-sex marriage in the state. If the justices uphold the ban, they will also have to decide whether to dissolve the marriages of some 18,000 same- sex couples who wed before the November 4th election. Back in May of last year, the state's highest court ruled that state law banning same-sex marriage was discriminatory.
Well, parents listen up. A new study suggesting kids who aren't vaccinated against whooping cough are 23 times more likely to catch the highly contagious virus than kids who were immunized. Whooping cough cases have exploded in the past few years. Health experts recommend a series of five shots including three by age 6 months to prevent it. The study is published in the June edition of "Pediatrics."
HOLMES: And turning to our special series, "Life After Graduation."
Now, it's a harsh reality facing the class of 2009. Many employers are cutting the number of college graduates they hire. That means many are now hard pressed to find work. But some grads are taking their search for work in a whole new direction. One of those is Michael Volpe. He joins us this morning outside of the Judiciary Square Metro stop in Washington, D.C. And when I say he's gone a different direction, you can see what I mean there.
Michael, good morning to you, sir. You are a guy who has a degree in physics. You're a former Peace Corps volunteer. You're a pretty impressive guy. Explain to the viewers what exactly you have resorted to doing. MICHAEL VOLPE, COLLEGE GRAD LOOKING FOR A JOB: Well, I was frustrated with the Internet job search and just writing cover letter after cover letter and sending off resumes, attending career fairs, using networking, pretty much any means I can try to get work here in D.C.. And I was tired of it all, so I came up with the idea and hung a sign under my neck.
HOLMES: Well, Michael, why this idea? I'm sure there are couple of other directions you could have tried first. But this is one that really puts you out there.
VOLPE: Yes. I chose this way because this way I can see people, they can see me, they can see I'm a clean-cut guy, ambitious, creative, obviously, by the sign. And I just wanted to get that interpersonal relations working for me, and...
HOLMES: Are people -- yes, I was going to ask -- are people taking you seriously? I know you're starting to see some of the same people at some of these stops and they're saying hello and good morning. But is it yielding interviews? Is it yielding a good job lead yet?
VOLPE: I've gotten a lot of interest. I'm starting to get a lot of e-mails and people are generally supportive. Probably the most impressive lead I'm working on right now is with the State Department in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. So we'll see how that pans out.
HOLMES: That sounds pretty good. But what have you been doing in the meantime? I think you've been looking for a job since at the end of last year. So, what have you been doing to get by in the meantime?
VOLPE: Well, I moved down to D.C. in November. And every since then, I, you know, I started job searching full time. But when that wasn't yielding any results, I took up a part-time job so I'm waiting tables to pay the bills.
HOLMES: Waiting tables. A lot of people do have to do that.
Tell me -- you certainly are in a place. You're using these transit stops and you know there's a lot of foot traffic. People see you. How much of doing this was getting that foot traffic, getting those eyeballs on you, but also a bit of a publicity stunt, knowing that maybe local press would pick up on you locally and also nationally. Here you are talking to us on CNN.
VOLPE: You know, I never expected it to get this big. I guess you could say, I didn't look past putting the sign around my neck. So I just went out there and did it and then kind of reaping the benefits, I guess.
HOLMES: And my man, how much pride did you have to put aside to do this? VOLPE: Well, it was -- it was tough at first. Obviously, it's a vulnerable position that I put myself in. But, you know, there's a lot of -- a lot of things happen when you really put yourself out there and go out on a limb. I think people have been supportive. They've given me a lot of encouragement. Some people who pass by and just say, oh, good luck, you'll get something soon. So, it's actually built my self-esteem more than the Internet job search has.
HOLMES: Well, my man, I am going to, the last 30 seconds I have here, hand it over to you and let you do a sales pitch. If someone's out there looking to hire, you go right now. Give us your resume. Give us the pitch why they should hire you.
VOLPE: OK. Well, you can see on the back here -- Bachelor in Physics, two years in the Peace Corps and some of my interests are in the following areas. And I'm a creative, talented, hardworking guy and got a lot of discipline and I think I'd be good at any company or firm.
HOLMES: Well, man, that sounds pretty good. And I think we need to let the people, potential employers, know we can get you a resume that's not written on that card board there around his neck. Also, spit out your e-mail real quick in case someone wants to get a hold of you.
VOLPE: OK, my e-mail is email@example.com.
HOLMES: At ymail.com. Young fellow, congratulations for, I guess, putting yourself out there like that. It takes a lot to do that. And good luck to you, Michael Volpe. We appreciate you this morning.
VOLPE: All right. Thank you, too.
HOLMES: And, of course, with jobs scarce in the private sector, a growing number of grads turning to Uncle Sam for a paycheck as well. We'll tell you why in our special series, "Life After Graduation," coming up at 8:24 Eastern.
But you got to hand it to the guy. He's not really outgoing -- he doesn't really describe himself as being really outgoing. It takes a lot to stand out there and do that.
CHETRY: It sure does. So, good for him. Hopefully, he'll get a couple of job offers out of this one.
HOLMES: Or maybe he'll -- maybe somebody who's watching is going to hire him. Maybe he will give us credit for that favor.
CHETRY: Hopefully, he'll keep us posted and let us know if he gets hired.
Meanwhile, reports this morning that North Korea launched two more short-range missiles after an apparent nuclear test. Just how big of a threat is North Korea? And what options does the U.S. have when it comes to dealing with the secretive state? Coming up in our next hour, we're going to talk to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice.
Also, here's something completely different. A New Jersey grandmother on a record-setting roll at a craps table in Atlantic City. We're going to meet the lady who defied all the odds.
It's 37 minutes past the hour.
HOLMES: Not my playlist, but that's OK. Some of the top videos right now on cnn.com to tell you about. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the hairiest of them all. The national beard and mustache championship held in Anchorage, Alaska this weekend. Hairy hometown hero David Traver walked home with the trophy, who wore beard champion. He was also the winner of the freestyle competition. What does that mean?
Also a video game store at New York City hijacked by bees, though. Thousands of them. Tens of thousands of them, trapping workers inside for hours. Police say the store had a large beehive running up its wall and something disturbed it. The city's resident bee expert used the scent of a queen bee to capture all these little guys and, luckily, nobody got stung.
Also hundreds of cheese enthusiast scattering in Coopers Hill, England for the U.K.'s annual cheese roll. They are risking it all, throwing themselves down a steep hill. For what? An eight-foot wheel of cheese.
CHETRY: It's really the pride that comes with getting down first. You know, it's not the cheese.
HOLMES: Right. Right. It's not the cheese.
CHETRY: There you go. All right. No broken bones. Wow.
Well, you probably spent the holiday weekend barbecuing, maybe going to the beach visiting some relatives. One New Jersey grandmother was busy breaking a nearly 20-year record for shooting craps in an Atlantic City casino.
And as CNN's Jeanne Moos tells us gaming experts are in shock and awe.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She may not have the dice tossing moves of, say, Frank Sinatra.
MOOS: But she had the luck.
PATRICIA DEMAURO, CRAPS WORLD RECORD HOLDER: They were chanting my name and it was like -- and I was jumping as we won. MOOS: New Jersey grandma Pat DeMauro was on a roll -- a four- hour straight roll. That's how long she held the dice at Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino. Despite the mathematical odds that say a seven is going to show up every six rolls of the dice.
DEMAURO: The whole four hours was thrilling, exciting, overwhelming.
DOMINIC LORIGGIO, GOLDENTOUCHCRAPS.COM (via telephone): Unbelievable.
MOOS: That's the reaction of Dom "The Dominator" Loriggio.
MOOS: Said to dominate the craps table.
LORIGGIO: That's just out of this world.
MOOS: It's a roll record, breaking the old one set almost 20 years ago, breaking it by more than an hour.
Dom the Dominator says it's the equivalent of, say, bowling three perfect 300 games in a row or...
LORIGGIO: Shooting 500 free throws without missing one shot.
MOOS (on camera): Oh, come on, 500?
(voice-over): And to add to Pat's accomplishment, it was only the second time she'd ever shot craps. Her friend was teaching her.
That kind of luck inspires visions of Ocean's 13-style dice rigging. But unlike Brad Pitt's, Pat's dice weren't electronically fixed.
(on camera): After four hours and 18 minutes of rolling, rolling, rolling, Pat finally rolled a seven -- at the wrong time. They call it "sevened out." She wouldn't say how much money she actually won.
DEMAURO: Oh, I wouldn't say tens of thousands, but it was good.
MOOS: As for the rest of the table, mostly bigger betters than Pat...
DEMAURO: And they started clapping, right, and saying my -- and everybody was ecstatic.
MOOS: Five or six players tipped her with black $100 chips.
DEMAURO: I said this is my stimulus package for everybody.
MOOS: And speaking of stimulus packages...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, I'm Plenty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But of course you are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOOS: James Bond got rave reviews on his dice shooting and he never even came close to Pat's 154 rolls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You handle those cubes like a monkey handles coconuts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOOS: And that's no crap shoot.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
HOLMES: I'm going to remember that line.
CHETRY: Wow. I'm here.
HOLMES: All right. I thought she won -- and I thought she really came out millions of dollars or something.
CHETRY: Not at all. It was breaking that record.
HOLMES: OK. Just that she didn't crap out.
CHETRY: It was just how unbelievable it was to be able to roll for four hours plus and not roll a seven.
HOLMES: What time? Shouldn't she be in bed or something?
HOLMES: At some point, don't you just stop!
OK. Well, congratulations to her. That is fascinating.
CHETRY: That's right. Her own personal stimulus package.
HOLMES: Stimulus package.
CHETRY: There you go.
Well, this morning after the unofficial start of summer, we're going to tell you about a congressman's new push to give you what you want -- a guaranteed week of vacation with pay.
Also, as people hit the road, heading back and forth after the holiday weekend, extreme weather could slow you down in some spots. Our Rob Marciano will tell us where.
It's 44 minutes past the hour.
HOLMES: All right. What time we get over there?
It's about 13 to the top of the hour. Let's fast forward now through the stories that will be making news later today.
This evening at 10:55 Eastern Time, it's President Obama, the fundraiser-in-chief. He'll hold his first major fundraiser in Las Vegas, where Senate Majority leader Harry Reid who is in a bit of political trouble in his home state. New poll numbers showing 45 percent of voters want to replace Reid.
Also today, marking another significant deadline for GM. Either the bondholders will reach a massive restructuring agreement or the car maker will be forced to file bankruptcy. The Obama administration had said they would continue to give funds to the company based on those conditions.
Also today, at noon, Rapper T.I. has to turn in that 10,000- square foot home in Atlanta for a jail cell. Expected to turn himself in and begin serving out his one-year and one-day sentence in a low- security prison in Arkansas. The 28-year-old rapper pleaded guilty back in March to federal weapons charges in Atlanta.
Also, what would you do? You're going to be going to jail for a year? What do you do? The night before, you throw a big party. And that's what he did in Atlanta. On Sunday night, he had a big going- away concert at Philips Arena.
CHETRY: There you go.
HOLMES: Big party, 16,000.
CHETRY: Pick all your favorite foods, I guess. You know, because they're not going to get anything good for a while.
HOLMES: But going to Forrest City, Arkansas.
Did you know that's about 35 miles from my hometown of West Memphis?
HOLMES: Yes. I'm familiar with Forrest City.
CHETRY: Love it.
No. I mean, I just love that about you.
HOLMES: All right.
CHETRY: Forty-eight minutes past the hour. Rob Marciano is following the weather for us this morning.
So how about T.J.'s hometown there. Are they going to get any good weather?
HOLMES: All right. Rob, appreciate your kind, sir.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: All right.
HOLMES: And this time of year, of course, vacation sounds great. Now one congressman thinks everybody should get a paid week off. But is a government-mandated vacation a really good idea?
CHETRY: How about a four-day work week?
HOLMES: How about a four-day work week? That sounds great as well.
Also coming up this morning, we'll be talking about the teen cancer patient and his mom. They're back home now. New details on their homecoming, and hear what the mom said on camera about why they took off in the first place.
It's about nine minutes to the top of the hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHEVY CHASE, PORTRAYING "CLARK GRISWOLD": We're on our way to California in the morning. The big vacation, the whole family at Walley World.
ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL, PORTRAYING "RUSSELL 'RUSTY' GRISWOLD": Walley World, very exciting.
Drive careful now, Clark!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better watch out for the (INAUDIBLE).
Watch those freeways!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bye.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good-bye!
Oh, I know I've forgotten something.
CHASE: Walley World, here we come!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Yes. It's the Griswolds heading off to their vacation to Walley World, in the movie we all know and love.
CHETRY: He's never seen it.
CHETRY: But other than T.J., I think everyone has seen it.
HOLMES: I never saw the movie.
CHETRY: Now, I know what to get you for Christmas? National Lampoon's DVD box set.
HOLMES: Please give me something else.
CHETRY: All right. Fine.
HOLMES: All right. We're talking about time off from work with pay. That's what a lot of people would love.
CHETRY: Yes, it sounds good, right?
Well, now, one congressman is saying that, you know what? This is exactly what the country needs right now.
Here's CNN's Kate Bolduan.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As millions hit the roadways this holiday, Americans definitely have vacation on the brain. And days away from the office are something Congressman Alan Grayson says people need more of.
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Study after study has shown that people with vacations not only have higher productivity the week afterward, not even the month afterward, but for the whole long here.
BOLDUAN: Grayson, a Democrat whose Florida district is home to popular tourist destinations, including Disney World, has introduced legislation that would require at least one paid vacation for all workers of companies with 100 employees or more.
GRAYSON: A hundred and forty countries around the world have paid vacation laws, and we still don't.
BOLDUAN: You won't find any argument here in Orlando...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a great idea.
BOLDUAN: ...or on Hollywood Boulevard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just good business, though. You take care of your employees, your employees take care of you. BOLDUAN: But that would come at a cost, and some say an unfunded mandate from Congress is one businesses large and small can't afford right now.
Mike Aitken is with the Society of Human Resource Management.
MIKE AITKEN, SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT: We have employers struggling to continue to provide health care to their employees. You have employers struggling to continue to provide pension benefits and other types of leave proposals. There's only so much compensation money out there to do all of those things and continue to stay in business.
BOLDUAN: Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.
CHETRY: We'll see how that pans out.
Meanwhile, a 13-year-old boy. He's a cancer patient, and his mom are back home. They were on the run for a week. Now they're back. But what kind of treatment will he be getting. We're going to have the latest on this medical standoff.
It's 56 minutes past the hour.
HOLMES: Well, D-day for 18,000 same-sex couples in California. A decision coming from the California Supreme Court this afternoon could void their marriages.
Carol Costello following this live from Washington this morning.
Carol, these married couples could, literally, this afternoon be told you're not really married.
COSTELLO: Whatever the court decide, it's going to be a mess in California today, T.J. That decision as you said expected this afternoon, about 1:00 Eastern Time today.
Now, the court is ruling on several lawsuits, too, looking to overturn Proposition 8. Remember, 52 percent of voters approved Prop 8 in November, defining California marriage as a union of a man and a woman. Thus outlawing same-sex marriage in California.
Now, many legal experts expect the court to uphold Proposition 8, but the next big question is this -- what do you do about those 18,000 same-sex couples who got married while same-sex marriage was legal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love each other. We love each other just as much as my parents loved each other. Just as much as my brothers love their wives. That's what matters is love. And that's what our relationship is all about. We are hoping that the justices will overturn the Prop 8 decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: The couples rallied at a prayer service last night in san Francisco. They argued that Prop 8 was improperly put before voters causing a drastic change to the state's constitution. That they say must first gain the legislature's approval before becoming law.
It's complicated, I know. Today's ruling will come just over a year after the same courts legalized same-sex marriage. That is until Prop 8 reversed it. You might remember scenes like this after Prop 8 passed thousands of people hitting the streets in protest.
Look at that. They even rallied in front of our CNN bureau in Los Angeles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTORS: Equal rights! Equal rights! Equal rights! Equal rights! Equal rights! Equal rights!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Oh, there are already plans in place for civil rally today. Police are preparing for large demonstrations throughout the state. Same-sex marriage advocates said they are prepared to block the streets and be arrested if the court upholds Proposition 8. Now, if Proposition 8 is struck down, California will become the sixth state to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.
Of course, T.J., we'll be following this throughout the day. It will be wild whatever way the court ruled.
HOLMES: And whichever way they rule, it's not going to be the end of it in California.
Carol Costello for us.
Thank you so much.