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Cuba: The Other Cold War 'Wall'; More Americans are Going Hungry; '30 Second Pitch'
Aired November 19, 2009 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: And we are pushing forward on the hour's top stories. What can we learn from Fort Hood?
The Senate Homeland Security Committee opens a review aimed at preventing a repeat of what happened two weeks ago today. Most Americans think that the shootings could have been prevented in the first place.
Save lives, save money, save Medicare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's pitch for the health care reform plan that he stitched together from two others. Reid says a health care overhaul is closer than ever, but Republicans still aren't buying.
And it's a beautiful day for a space walk. Two astronauts from space shuttle Atlantis are putting up an antennae, hooking up some cables and taking care of other odds and ends on the international space station. They're due to work another two hours, but their they're well ahead of schedule.
Last week, we observed the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's demise, and today, we're talking about a Cold War barrier that's still standing after all these years, even though you can't see it. A travel ban from the U.S. to Cuba, just 90 miles away, but you still can't get there from here. Those who say it's time to tear down the invisible wall, Castro or no, trying to convince the House Foreign Affairs Committee they've got the chairman on their side.
Now, there are plenty of others who think that invisible wall needs to stay up, including a Republican congresswoman from Miami who says Cuba needs to become a democracy first. There aren't many Americans left who even remember that Cuba was a very hot vacation spot pre-Castro -- casinos, hotels, dance clubs, cigars, froo froo drinks, beaches, you name it. Baseball teams even trained there, before it turned into a kind of East Germany by the sea, a place where time seems to have stopped, around 1959.
The subject of ending the travel ban didn't just come up. Just a few months ago, a senator proposed ending it and getting things back to normal.
CNN's Jim Acosta reported on it at that time.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tessie Aral, the owner of this Miami travel agency that specializes in trips to Cuba, is in a good mood these days. Ever since Washington loosened the travel restrictions on Cuban-Americans visiting the island, Aral says non-Cuban-Americans have been calling in wondering when they can join the party.
TESSIE ARAL, ABC CHARTERS: I think most Americans are going to want to try to travel to Cuba because it's been the forbidden fruit for so long.
SEN. BYRON DORGAN, (D) NORTH DAKOTA: We allow Americans to travel to China, to Vietnam; both communist countries.
ACOSTA: North Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan wants to do the same for Cuba, with a bill in Congress that would end all travel restrictions -- yes, all of them -- for Americans visiting the communist nation, arguing the Cold War-era policy aimed at the Castro government has failed.
DORGAN: Seems to me, if something has failed for nearly five decades, you might want to take a look at it again and see whether you should modify it.
ACOSTA: Dan Erikson, the author of the book "The Cuba Wars," says there's one problem with lifting the ban: the embargo which stops U.S. companies from doing business in Cuba.
DAN ERICKSON, AUTHOR, "THE CUBA WARS": So, you have American tourists traveling on to Cuba to drive around on Chinese buses, stay in Spanish hotels, eat Canadian food.
ACOSTA: They wouldn't be able to stay at a Marriott, at a Hilton. They wouldn't be able to use their Delta Sky Miles.
ERICKSON: There's no Hilton. There's no miles. The only drive- through McDonald's I've ever seen in Cuba was at the military base at Guantanamo Bay.
ACOSTA: President Obama has hinted at changes in U.S. policy on Cuba, but never mentioned how much. On a trip to Chile, Vice President Joe Biden indicated support for the embargo, but added...
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We thought there was a need for a transition in our policy toward Cuba.
ACOSTA: That transition would have to get past Cuban-Americans in Congress, like Senate Democrat Bob Menendez.
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ, (D) NEW JERSEY: The government is, pure and simple, a brutal dictatorship. The average Cuban worker lives on an income of less than a dollar a day.
ACOSTA: Travel agent Tessie Aral is one of a growing number of Cuban-Americans who say it's time to move on.
ARAL: For our country to tell us we're not free to choose where we want to travel to, I think that's just archaic. ACOSTA (on camera): Supporters of the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act believe they can get this bill to the White House. Plus, the measure has the support of Indiana's Republican senator, Richard Lugar, whose foreign policy views have had a big impact on the president.
Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.
PHILLIPS: So, there's a lot of money that could be made. It could help bring a lot of people into the 21st century. Yet, you don't want to empower a dictator. So what do you do?
Let's push this forward with Ann Louise Bardach. She serves on the Brookings Institution's Cuba City Project and is CBS News special correspondent on Fidel Castro.
Let me focus on that for a second, empowering a dictator. Even Chris Simmons (ph), a foreign intelligence agency analyst, writes that, "The Cuban government runs most of the island's tourism sector, and allowing U.S. tourist travel would enrich the regime and make it easier for it to recruit Americans as spies."
What do you think about that thought about enriching the regime?
ANN LOUISE BARDACH, BROOKINGS CUBA STUDY PROJECT: Well, there's no question that Cuba looks forward to having increased travel and contact with the U.S. There's no question that tourism is the cash cow. That said, there's a lot of benefits for the U.S.
One, there is a constitutional right to travel, and it would be a benefit to all Americans. Plus, the Obama administration really does understand. They see the wisdom that more contact instead of less contact is going to likely facilitate Democratic change. And that's a big -- that's a big plus for us to be considering. So, there's two sides to this equation.
Certainly, the Cubans are in very dire financial straits. There's a global recession going on which, for Cuba, is particularly dire. And they need and want and look forward to having more tourism with the United States. But we also get a lot of neo-diplomatic benefits out of that.
PHILLIPS: Well, Human Rights Watch continues to report on Fidel and Raul, and just recently came out with this report about Raul Castro being just as ruthless as Fidel. So, you lift the travel ban, you say -- there's so many American businesses that are ready to jump on this, too, by the way. They're on the border or an the edge of the water there ready to jump in and go.
How does that all play into this, this ruthless nature of this dangerous duo?
BARDACH: Well, there are differences between Raul and Fidel Castro. Raul is less ideological and more pragmatic than his brother. He has openly espoused the Chinese or the Vietnamese model. So, there have been openings, certainly politically, socially, and even in certain areas involving the Internet.
At the same time, there have been real crackdowns on dissent, on dissidence. It's sort of been like a whiplash for the Cuban people, alternating openings and closings. But, you know, we have to look at this in total and what's good for the U.S.
And the policy of the last 50 years has not benefited the U.S. At the end of the day, the greatest superpower in history will likely walk away from this table close to being empty handed. So we need to move on at this point and recognize we haven't gotten our stated goals, which was to bring democracy to Cuba the other way, which was through the embargo, no travel, no contact. So, we need to try something different.
PHILLIPS: All right. So, bottom line, because you have written about this for so long, books, articles, you name it, you know so much about this, what does your gut tell you? Does this finally need to happen? Does that travel ban need to be lifted? Does a relationship need to begin, and is that the way to move into the future?
BARDACH: Well, I think we have to move in this direction, notwithstanding the idea -- and there is some merit to this about rewarding an authoritarian country. But like I said, we so far have gotten nothing from the last 50 years of a neo-Cold War policy. And we really do need to move on.
And the idea that after Fidel, you know, there's going to be -- we have to change our expectations, because, remember, after Raul, there are probably going to be other Castros. People have this idea, oh, let's just wait. You know, we had that for years, after Fidel things will change, after Raul things will change.
Well, I have some news, and that is that Raul has several children, several relatives who are likely to also step up and assume power down the road. He has a son who is in the Ministry of Interior, a colonel who handles the China portfolio, who handles intelligence. And he will likely assume a much bigger roll. Likewise, he has a son- in-law who runs a very, very important part of the army which does handle tourism, and that son-in-law will not be going anywhere after Raul.
So, we really have to look at this long term because it is long term. The Castros are in fact a family dynasty, so we can no longer be thinking, oh, Fidel, he'll die soon, all our problems will be different problems. That's not going to be the case. We can see that the transition to Raul Castro has been really almost seamless, and, really, there's other Castros coming.
PHILLIPS: And there comes another book, I'm sure, for you.
Ann Louise Bardach, appreciate your time. Thanks.
BARDACH: Thank you. PHILLIPS: Well, even if you could fly legally to Cuba, you would be running into problems. Airline flights are delayed or canceled all over the country, all because the FAA computers that process flight plans -- pardon the expression -- crashed. They were down for about five hours, during which controllers had to type the plans in manually, one character at a time. Each one of these symbols represents lots of characters.
The system is back on line, but the damage is already done. No word on when traffic will get back to normal.
A health care holy war. Fighting words from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch as the reform battle enters its final phase. Well, let's hope final.
Senator Democrats have lifted the curtain on their version of the bill. Here are the basics of the $849 billion plan...
No discrimination for pre-existing conditions. If you don't sign up for insurance, get ready to pay a fine. And there is a public option, but individual states can opt out.
So, where will the money come from? Insurance companies, wealthy Americans, and people who go under the knife for plastic surgery. They'd pay the so-called "Botax." But will it pass? It depends on whom you ask.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Well, one thing that we all agree upon is that we will have health care legislation. It will pass the Congress, it will be signed by the president. As I've said before, we also agree that it will be -- I don't like to use the word, but it will be abortion-neutral, that it will not have any federal funding for abortion, and that we will pass a bill. So, with all of that common ground, I trust that we will have a resolution of this.
And how do we deal with each other? Very respectfully.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), MINORITY LEADER: And over the last couple of weeks we have heard Democrats talk about their efforts next year. And we're going to get the deficit under control, we're going to quit piling up the debt. Well, let's just start today and vote no against this irresponsible bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Well, if you want to itemize this doctor's bill, see how much money is going where, or compare the House and the Senate bills, head to CNN.com/health. It's got everything you need to know.
No cake for this birthday girl. She may not even be getting dinner tonight. More Americans going hungry. See how you can help.
PHILLIPS: So, do you know where your next paycheck is coming from? How about your next meal? More than ever, Americans say that they're worried about going hungry.
Ted Rowlands is in Los Angeles, where food banks are feeling the pressure to feed the needy.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's 2-year-old Nicole Flores' birthday. Her mother Diana says there isn't enough money for a cake.
DIANA FLORES, MOTHER: I'm not working. I don't have enough money with me, and I wanted to make her something. You know? That's what I wanted to make.
I wanted to give her a little cake or all that stuff, but like there's no money or nothing, so I really don't have nothing to offer her. You know? Just say "Happy Birthday." That's about it.
ROWLANDS: Diana Flores and her boyfriend Pedro are struggling to take care of Nicole and her 5-month-old brother Anthony. Pedro is a construction worker but hasn't had a construction for three months. Diana says she worries about feeding her children.
FLORES: Sometimes there's no food. Sometimes we just eat in the morning and we don't have food for the afternoon. So that's why we try to take care of the food, like not -- just like whatever. So we like try to just take care of it and eat what we have to eat so we can have it tomorrow or the next day.
ROWLANDS: For the past three months, Diana says they have been coming to this Los Angeles area food bank called MEND, which stands for Meet Each Need with Dignity. Shelter organizers say they have seen a 50 percent increase in clients over the past year.
MARIANNE HAVER HILL, PRES. & CEO, MEND: Often they are working part-time at McDonald's and part-time doing baby-sitting and part-time doing house cleaning or, you know, working in a car wash. If it rains, they don't work. Again, part-time labor, construction. If they are -- you know, if they are working or maybe they are not.
ROWLANDS: It's Jaquetta Cooper's first time at the food bank. She's an unemployed medical assistant with a 7-year-old daughter.
JAQUETTA COOPER, MOTHER: I put in resumes and I keep calling. And, you know, I'm, like, checking my voicemail have they called me yet or things like that. I'm always checking up on it, but right now there's nothing out there.
ROWLANDS: Jaquetta says she and her husband, who is also looking for work, are staying with a relative rent-free for now.
(on camera): Are you worried about the future?
COOPER: Yes, I am, very worried, especially for my daughter.
ROWLANDS (voice-over): Diana says she, too, worries about her daughter and son. Her plan is to get a job and go to school. She hopes she can throw a birthday party for Nicole when she turns 3.
Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.
PHILLIPS: Well, if you have a little extra food or a little extra cash, you can visit our "Impact Your World" site, CNN.com/impact. And we'll show you ways to help struggling families get the food that they need.
More than half a million jobless Americans filed for benefits for the first time last week. Hardly good news for anybody who got the ax. But the number of new claims has held steady for two weeks in a row, a sign that the pace of layoffs is slowing. Still, most economists are looking for the weekly claims to fall to the magic number of 425,000 to signal new jobs are out there.
The high unemployment numbers are a bitter pill, actually, to swallow. Just ask Patrick Carpenter. He's a pharmacist who lost his job a few months ago due to restructuring. Now he's having a hard time getting any job in the pharmaceutical field.
We hope the "30 Second Pitch" is his prescription for work. Patrick joins me live from Boston.
So, Patrick, you know, everybody in this country is so dependent on pharmaceuticals, you would think that this would be the one place you would haven't to worry about losing your job.
PATRICK CARPENTER, SEEKING JOB: I know Kyra. And it's surprising for me to hear as well. You know, when I was training and my mentors throughout college always said that there's no such thing as an out of work pharmacist, one of the things that steered me into pharmacy is they told me that even during the Great Depression, all of the pharmacists were working. So, I think that's an interesting comparison, to show just how tough the present economy is.
PHILLIPS: Yes, that is interesting. So, what do you think happened? What happened in your instance? Did you have any idea this was going to happen? Did it come to you by surprise?
CARPENTER: It came to me by complete surprise. And unfortunately, right now, because I live in a major metropolitan area -- and I love it here in Boston, but we have a couple of different pharmacy schools, and they have just saturated the Boston metro area with pharmacists, so there's not really openings for retail pharmacists in the area around me.
PHILLIPS: Well, let's try and get you a job. Are you ready for your "30 Second Pitch"?
CARPENTER: I am. I'm actually also hoping that maybe I could join CNN as a medical correspondent with Dr. Gupta or Elizabeth Cohen.
PHILLIPS: OK. There you go. All right.
CARPENTER: Thank you, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Well, hopefully Sanjay and Elizabeth are listening. You bet.
OK. I'm glad you got your plug in.
CARPENTER: I hope so.
PHILLIPS: All right. We're going to start the clock. Take it away, Patrick.
CARPENTER: OK. My name is Patrick Carpenter.
I have nine years of education, including a masters in drug regulation and health policy and a doctorate in pharmacy. I have eight years of experience ranging from a pharmacist, a university professor, and a medical science liaison with major pharmaceutical companies. I have traveled across the country speaking on topics from medicine, to food and drug law, with my work published in scientific journals.
My biggest strength is communication. I have received outstanding reviews on my ability to explain complex scientific information in an understandable way. With my thorough understanding of the pharmaceutical...
CARPENTER: ... environment and my clinical skills, I'm hoping to find work as a pharmacist or in the pharma or biotech industry.
PHILLIPS: Excellent. You better apply to CNN, too, Patrick.
CARPENTER: I definitely will, Kyra. It's my favorite network. I watch you every day.
PHILLIPS: Well, thanks for writing to us. We appreciate it. Let us know what happens. All right?
CARPENTER: Thank you so much. I certainly will.
PHILLIPS: All right.
Once again, Patrick's e-mail is email@example.com. We will have his e-mail posted on our blog.
And if you want to be part of the pitch as well, just e-mail us your resume at 30secondpitch@CNN.com, or tweet us at KyraCNN. We'll bring you pitches every Thursday.
Also every Thursday, CNN Challenge comes out with its new questions for the week.
Today's question for you: Which state did President Obama say is the 50th one that he's visited? Was it Alaska, Idaho, Maine or Wyoming?
We'll have the answer right after the break.
PHILLIPS: Every Thursday CNN Challenge comes out with its new questions for the week. And just before the break we showed you one of them.
Here it is one more time. Which state did President Obama say is the 50th one that he's visited? Was it Alaska, Idaho, Maine or Wyoming?
OK. Here's the answer: Alaska.
Run, do not walk to your computer. Go to CNNChallenge.com and take this week's fall quiz.
Top stories now.
Retired NBA star Jayson Williams may be heading to prison for up to three years as part of a plea deal. A source tells The Associated Press that Williams will plead guilty tomorrow to aggravated assault. He's accused of accidentally shooting a drive at his New Jersey estate in 2012 (sic). He was scheduled to face retrial in January on reckless manslaughter charge after a jury deadlocked on that count.
In suburban Chicago, Burr Oak Cemetery is open again. You'll recall it was shut down after four former workers were accused of digging up graves in a scheme to resell burial plots. All the suspects have pleaded not guilty.
A federal judge is blaming the Army Corps of Engineers, saying because of them, the Katrina flooding in New Orleans was much worse than it had to be. The judge ruled that the Corps did not properly maintain a shipping channel, and he awarded damages to several plaintiffs. If the ruling stands, it could apply to 100,000 homes and businesses in the flood zone.
Time for an episode of "This Old Space Station." You won't find Bob Vila up there, though. Two space shuttle astronauts there in the Atlantis nearing the end of their first spacewalk. They're hooking up a spare antenna and cables to the space station, and tackling some other chores, too.
Atlantis brought a load of spare parts to keep the station afloat. Two more spacewalks are planned, and we'll continue to follow them live.
PHILLIPS: Well, she might be the world's most unlikely pop star, but Susan Boyle dreamed a dream, and now the "Britain's Got Talent" runner up is breaking records even though her album won't even be released for another four days.
SuBo's CD, the most preordered album in the history of Amazon.com, by the way -- she beat Britney Spears.
Maybe, Britney, you ought to take some notes.
You don't need fancy footwork or a killer wardrobe. Just lungs and a mike like this.
PHILLIPS: To Chicago now where the death of School Board President Michael Scott is another cruel blow in a city burdened with loss. But to some in Chicago, it's also a mystery, despite the corner's finding of suicide.
CNN's Don Lemon is there.
DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the banks of the Chicago River, life ended for one of the city's elite. But the mystery of Michael Scott's death is just beginning.
DR. NANCY JONES, MEDICAL EXAMINER, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS: The gun was held directly against the head and actually pressed against the head, which is something that we see in suicide.
LEMON: Many here, including Alderman Sharon Dixon doesn't buy it.
SHARON DIXON, CHICAGO ALDERMAN: I don't believe for one moment that Michael took his life.
LEMON: And police?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know what the ME ruled, but there's still a lot of questions that exist out there.
LEMON (on camera): Do you think it's something fishy? Something underhanded? Something sinister?
DIXON: I don't know. The details have been sketchy, as a matter of fact there's been very little details given to the public.
LEMON (voice-over): Scott was both school board president and a long-time player in Chicago's politics, his body was found early Monday morning, partially submerged in these murky waters, underneath a deserted railroad bridge, one gunshot to his left temple, a .380- caliber handgun, a smear of blood and his car nearby.
Cook County Board President Todd Stroger was his friend.
TODD STROGER, PRESIDENT, COOK COUNTY BOARD: Michael was part of the fabric of our city and our county. He was even though he wasn't an elected official, he really was affecting the lives of everyone who comes in this region.
LEMON: Why would a close and long-time confidant of the mayor take his own life?
(on camera): Was there anything bothering him that you saw over the last couple of days?
MAYOR RICHARD DALEY, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: No. I just saw him last week and the week before, and he's just such a person that he's always upbeat all the time. You couldn't -- any time you saw Michael, you knew he was trying to help other people. That's the way he tried to help everyone else.
LEMON (voice-over): But lately, Michael Scott did have some troubles. The "Chicago Tribune" obtained a subpoena from federal investigators ordering Scott to appear before a grand jury investigating possible misconduct in placing students into the city's highly competitive Magnate program. Scott denied any wrongdoing, Mayor Daley believed him.
(on camera): Nothing with the school?
DALEY: Nothing at all.
LEMON (voice-over): The beating death of high school honor student Darion Albert was another problem. Last week, attorney Chris Cooper filed a lawsuit naming Scott and Chicago public schools for failing to protect students like Albert. On the very morning Scott's body was found, Scott was due to see Cooper in court.
CHRISTOPHER COOPER, ATTORNEY: I believe that in his role as the school board chief, it doesn't matter what was happening in his life and other realms, he had a responsibility to these children. These children need an education.
LEMON (on camera): And then there are these lots, about two dozen or so, right in the shadow of a possible 2016 Olympic venue. If Chicago had won that Olympic bid, this neighborhood and Scott would have done well.
(voice-over): Because Scott had bought land here and was trying to secure more, he was also on the committee bidding for the games, that had raised questions of a conflict of interest. A conflict Scott denied and no one knows whether any of these issues were worrying him.
DIXON: What we had in common was that he wanted to enhance the community.
LEMON: A community still questioning the death of one of their own. HAROLD DAVIS, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: We believe that somebody hit him in the head. We believe that somebody put his finger around the trigger and pulled it for him.
LEMON (on camera): Murder?
DAVIS: Yes, sir. That's what we believe.
LEMON (voice-over): An emotional hunch, but no evidence as many struggle to make sense of this mystery.
Don Lemon, CNN, Chicago.
PHILLIPS: And a quick update on the Florida teen who was set on fire just a few weeks ago. We have learned that Michael Brewer is out of ICU and in a Miami burn center now. Doctors expect that he will be in the hospital for months. Prosecutors plan to charge three of the five teens accused of torching him as adults. Brewer's family is now talking about his recovery and the outpouring of support from all over the country, they sat down with our affiliate FOR. We'll have that for you tomorrow right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Another quick follow-up on the man in Cleveland accused of having body after body at his house -- 11 in all, by the way. Anthony Sowell's lawyer met with prosecutors this morning. The reason? The rape case that brought police to Sowell's house in the first place and let the horrible secrets out. Sowell wasn't in court today, he's still locked up.
You heard it here live in the NEWSROOM, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announcing the military's 45-day review of the Ft. Hood rampage. Two weeks ago today, an Army psychiatrist allegedly opened fire on the nation's largest military post killing 13 people and wounding many more. Today, Gates wants to know whether Pentagon policies are up to the challenge of defending GIs from their own comrades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GATES, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The shooting at Ft. Hood raise a number of troubling questions that demand complete but prompt answers. As you know, the president ordered a government-wide review to look at all intelligence related to this matter, how such intelligence was handled, shared and acted on within and between individual departments and agencies. An initial response on that review is due back November 30th.
Today, I am announcing that the Department of Defense will conduct a separate review to ensure the safety and health of DOD employees and their families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: The probe will be led by former top brass from the Army and Navy, former Army Secretary Togo West and Britton Clarke, former chief of naval operations.
The president, meanwhile, is on his way to some world class jetlag. Mr. Obama wrapped up his four-nation Asian tour in Seoul, South Korea with sharp words for North Korea and Iran. Both, as you know, have run afoul of international norms on nukes. He's now on his way back home, due to land at Andrews Air Force Base about seven hours from now.
President Obama's returning to a big and still unanswered question, what's the next step in Afghanistan? Well his counterpart there has been sworn in to a second term. Hamid Karzai, seeming less presidential and more apologetic in his inaugural speech. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a front-row seat, and our Chris Lawrence spent the day with her.
Chris, Karzai actually said he was sorry in his address, right?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, he did apologize for some of the corruption that has gone on, that has dogged his government. But in one sense he was apologetic and in the other he made some very bold statements. Probably the one that got the biggest attention was the fact that he promised that within three years Afghan security forces, the army and police, would take the lead in their own security and they would take full control within five years.
Secretary of State Clinton said that was an ambitious goal, but she stopped short of saying whether she fully believed that he could attain it within that time frame -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right, Chris Lawrence, live from Kabul. Appreciate it, Chris.
And just a quick little update, the president is not going to land here in the U.S. seven hours from now, actually in about 90 minutes. And we'll be tracking that for you.
Now, other top stories. The maritime thank you from one high seas hero to a group of others. You remember Captain Richard Phillips? Well, he was kidnapped by Somali pirates in April after negotiating the safety of his crew. Then, Navy SEALs swooped in to rescue him. Today, in Norfolk, Virginia, the captain will be reunited with the sailors who saved him.
Rudy Giuliani once again saying it's a bad idea, he means the decision to bring 9/11 terror trials to New York City. The former mayor says it is unwise and unnecessary to try self-professed mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in civilian court. Just yesterday, President Obama defended the move saying critics will understand when Mohammad is convicted.
UCLA students marching, camping, staging sit-ins, anything to protest an unexpected 32 percent tuition hike. It would bump the cost of all University of California schools to about $10,000 a year. Add in a dorm room, some Top Ramen, and textbooks, well you're looking at a price tag of about $26,000. The Board of Regents says blame California's big budget hole.
If you're not seeing green on your TV, it might be time to adjust your set. That's right, folks. At least one state wants you to get with the program and find a TV that doesn't eat so much.
PHILLIPS: California is once again making waves, it is the first state to pass now energy efficiency laws for your TV. Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange with the details.
So, Susan, what are the new rules?
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The new rules, Kyra, will require that TVs use 33 percent less energy by 2011, so two years, and then two years after that, TVs must use 50 percent less energy. So the rule will not be retroactive. In other words if you have a big guzzler TV, you can keep it, it's just that anything you buy after 2011 has to comply in California with these new rules. And they apply to TVs with screens smaller than 58 inches. So, yes, a lot of folks will be buying new TVs, but it will cut down on your electricity bills. The California Energy Commission, which enacted this new rule, says to the tune of $1 billion a year.
Why is it happening, Kyra? All these fancy plasmas and LCDs use up a lot more energy than old tube TVs that some of us still have. And there's a study that shows that the total number of TVs in the U.S. use up enough electricity each year to power all the houses in New York State for one year. So, you know, it makes sense. If your washing machine and your car and everything else that you use is more energy efficient, that it should apply to TVs.
Not everyone is on board with this. Kyra, the Consumer Electronics Commission says it's bad policy that hampers consumer choice -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: So are these new regulations something that could spread beyond California?
LISOVICZ: Absolutely. And this is -- California has been a pioneer for decades on things requiring more efficiency with energy. It was the first state to adopt fuel and appliance standards. It's the most populous state, it's certainly got a lot of influence. And oftentimes, these are adopted nationwide and one of the reasons why, even if there is some resistance at some point, you know, one set of standards is a whole lot easier to understand. It's a lot less costly instead of some crazy patch work. There is a sense that the FTC was going to act on TV efficiency in the next few years anyway. But California is ahead of it by a few years -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right, Susan Lisovicz, thanks.
LISOVICZ: You're welcome.
PHILLIPS: It's been more than a year since the government authorized the $700 billion bailout of the financial system known as TARP. So will the program be extended? CNNMoney.com's Poppy Harlow is in New York.
Poppy, a lot of talk about TARP and it's future.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, certainly. I mean, Kyra, this is a $700 billion program and most people thought, hey, spend the money and then it's over. That's actually technically not what happens.
TARP will expire December 31st, so in a matter of weeks here. But the Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, has the authority to extend it for another ten months. That is likely what's going to happen, most are saying. But that could be politically unpopular. Just look at the hearings going on in Washington today. A lot of critics, but some people, most people, say we needed this or we would have had a catastrophic collapse.
But let's take a look at the real economy right now, because we've got over 10 percent unemployment and rising. And Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, yesterday told a group of small business leaders in Washington, hey, the credit crunch is not over yet.
And he reiterated some of these sentiments on Capitol Hill today. There was a hearing about financial regulatory reform, but a lot of the lawmakers, Kyra, wanted to know why not just get rid of TARP at the end of the year.
Here's how he responded to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM GEITHNER, U.S. SECRETARY OF TREASURY: We are working to put the tax -- the TARP out of its misery and no one will be happier than I am to see that program terminated and unwound. And I want to point out that we are moving very aggressively to close down and terminate the programs that define TARP at the beginning of the crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: All right, and now also, Kyra, I should note, there's a lot of talk buzzing around by using the remaining TARP funds elsewhere, not for bailing out the banks. There's $300 billion left, what about using it for direct job creation or aiding small businesses, Kyra? Legally, it's a gray area whether they can do it or not, but certainly something to keep an eye on as the year draws to a close -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: Well, Geithner wasn't the only one talking TARP on Capitol Hill, right?
HARLOW: No. I mean, it's getting a lot of buzz today. Professor Elizabeth Warren, she's a Harvard professor, she's in charge of that committee that oversees how the Treasury spends that TARP money. She held a hearing on TARP's effectiveness, so a bunch of leading economists. And one of her main criticisms when I spoke to her this morning was that TARP just simply has not done enough to help Main Street. Here's what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH WARREN, CHAIRMAN, CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL: We shoveled money into the large financial institutions. And instead of lending it, they held on to it. And we didn't put any restrictions on that back on the front end. The single biggest mistake was a year ago. If we had intended that money to go into the hands of smaller businesses and to be loan money, then we should have put some restrictions on it up front.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: A lot of talk about that issue and it's going to be interesting to see if TARP is indeed extended.
You can see more of that interview and the full story here on CNNmoney.com. Also follow us at twitter.com/CNNmoney -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: All right, thanks, Poppy.
Well, in pro football you have excessive celebration, unnecessary roughness, and too many players on the field. Well, imagine this -- excessive tailgating, unnecessary beer drinking and too many brats on the grill. Fans now getting flagged. What the heck is going on?
PHILLIPS: It's a secret that a platoon of soldiers kept close to their vests until one soldier finally came forward. It's an exclusive investigation tonight on "AC360." That soldier opens up and why didn't he tell anyone about the three U.S. Army sergeants who killed four Iraqi detainees at a Baghdad canal?
ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT: Former Army Sergeant Jeff Cunningham was at the canal when the Iraqis were murdered, but he didn't reveal what happened until nine months later. I asked him why he waited so long to break his silence.
BOUDREAU (on camera): Why didn't you report it right away?
JESS CUNNINGHAM, FMR. U.S. ARMY SERGEANT: Fear.
BOUDREAU: Fear of what?
CUNNINGHAM: Retaliation. Fear of being alone. Fear of being the only one that had a problem with it. Fear of so many things could have happened to me.
I don't really care what other people think about me. I don't worry. I'm not going to lose any sleep. I did the right thing. I did the right thing that day. BOUDREAU: Sergeant Cunningham talks about breaking the band of brotherhood tonight on "AC 360." We've also obtained 23.5 hours of Army interrogation tapes in which you'll hear one of the soldiers confess to the crime.
Our investigation, "KILLINGS AT THE CANAL: THE ARMY TAPES," is tonight on "AC 360."
PHILLIPS: Well, it's a story you don't want to miss and it's coming up 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight.
As always, Team Sanchez working hard on the next hour of newsroom, this time live from New York.
Rick, what you got going?
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, my God, we got about three things going on at the same time right now.
Joe Arpaio is at it again. This time, Kyra, he's taking on one of the county judges out there in Maricopa County. She's telling one of his deputies to do something, and he's telling his deputy no, disobey what she's telling you to do. You don't work for her, you work for me.
This is crazy. And any lawyer or anybody who understands the Constitution who's looking at this is going to wonder what's going on out there. We're going to present it based on what he's been saying lately.
Also, we expect that there's going to be some news. Remember that story that we were following out of Missouri? It was a small town in Missouri where there was an incident at Wal-Mart and a woman was saying that she was accosted by police and by the people there and by the officials at the Wal-Mart. Meanwhile, the police are saying, no, you assaulted me.
Since then, there's been a lot of racial tensions that have been developed as a result of this. Well, the actual videotape, which no one has seen yet, as to what actually happened when she allegedly jumped in line at this Wal-Mart is about to be shown in court, and our Dave Mattingly is there and he's going to be sharing with us what he sees.
So just two of the stories that are developing during our hour, which we're going to be all over as you might imagine.
Kyra, back to you.
PHILLIPS: All right, thank, Rick.
Well, you got to wish the NFL a lot of luck with this one, the league's pushing teams to crack down on the sacred fan ritual of tailgating. Say it isn't so. They're wanting a cap on all the grilling, drinking and so on to 3.5 hours before the game. Yes, you tell a hardcore Bear's fan to limit his brats and old style intake, forget about it. The idea is that fans have less time to get hammered before kickoff and will be less likely to do something stupid. Of course, one can get pretty hammered in 3.5 hours too, but that's another story. Plus, think of the impact on the portable grill and portable cooler industries. Only Tampa Bay has changed its tailgating rules, by the way.
You've been sending your thoughts on this. Wolf 2001 writes, "It's not really a bad idea, vomiting in public is not good."
This person writes, "They should limit the drinking. It's supposed to be a family event and it's not anymore. I refuse to take my daughter to a live game."
And Curious writes, "I don't know why people need to drink before a game anyway. Or it is to drown their sorrows beforehand?"
You can tweet us anytime at kyracnn. We appreciate you weighing in.
Well, it's something that could spread like wildfire among 3 million pilgrims, and I'm not talking about faith or the holy spirit. I'm talking about H1N1.
PHILLIPS: For Muslims, the hajj is the journey of a lifetime, but this time around it's not just about faith, it's about flu. Saudi Arabia has set up a screening process to try to identify and isolate any pilgrims who might already have H1N1. Three million people from all over the world are expected to take part in the journey to Mecca.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you sat and worried about things like that, you would never do anything at all in your lifetime. I think it's more scaremongering than what's reality.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got vaccinations and we are -- we have surgical masks that we plan to wear (INAUDIBLE). So hopefully everything will be fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: The Hajj gets underway next Wednesday.
Well, that does it for us, thanks for joining us. I'll see you back here tomorrow.
Rick Sanchez picks it up from here.