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TSA Security Secrets Online; Senate Health Care Plan; The Hunt for Osama Bin Laden; Bernie Madoff Hearings

Aired December 9, 2009 - 07:59   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: It's coming up now to the top of the hour. It's almost 8:00 Eastern.

Thanks for joining us in the Most News in the Morning on this Wednesday, the 9th of December. I'm John Roberts.


Here are the big stories we'll tell you about in the next 15 minutes.

First, a former Homeland Security official calling it, quote, "The biggest security breach since 9/11." The TSA's playbook on airport security posted online for all to see, talking about, among many other things, the limitations of x-ray machines.

So how did it happen? Our Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve is looking for answers this morning.

ROBERTS: President Obama reportedly telling Pakistan to tackle the Taliban or we will. Details of a new aggressive strategy that goes beyond the Afghan border and boots on the ground. Two people who built their reputations in the region will tell us whether it's the right move in the battle for hearts and minds.

CHETRY: And Senate Democrats say they've reached an agreement on health care reform, they just don't want to discuss it yet, not until they find out how much it will cost. But we do know the deal offers no government-run public option.

We'll tell what you it does contain and what the White House is saying about it in a moment.

First, though, a developing story this morning of a potential how-to for terrorists accidentally leaked by the TSA. Somehow, its airport screening manual was posted online for all to see. The TSA said it removed the report, but is it too late?

Our homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve is live in Washington looking for answers this morning.

We know that strong reaction is already pouring in on this story, Jeanne. But first of all, how did it happen?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me tell you about the manual first. It's 93 pages long. It lays out checkpoint procedures from the trivial to the critical, including things like the limitations of X-ray machines and which orthopedic devices do not need to be checked for explosive residue.

The TSA, as you say, is being blasted for the breach by, among others, a former inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security who spoke to CNN's Campbell Brown.


CLARK KENT ERVIN, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY INSPECTOR GENERAL: This is the most serious security breach that TSA has been involved in since 9/11 and since TSA's inception in 2002. It is really incredible.


MESERVE: Congress also expressed outrage. Senator Susan Collins, the ranking Republican on the homeland security committee saying, "As Americans make travel plans for the upcoming holidays, this shocking breach undercuts the public's confidence in the security procedures at airports." "This manual," she says, "provides a road map to those who could do us harm. The detailed information could help terrorists evade airport security measures."

The senator is participating in a hearing this morning. We can almost bet she'll bring this up -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Yes. And what does the TSA have to say about all of this?

MESERVE: Well, the TSA is trying to minimize the impact, calling the report outdated and unclassified. In a statement, it says, "TSA has many layers of security to keep the traveling public safe and constantly adapt to evolving threats. TSA is confident that screening procedures currently in place remain strong."

But there is likely to be a lot of debate about that, Kiran.

CHETRY: Yes, and it's an interesting lesson here when we talk about, you know, the threat of cyber security. And, in this case, people who are really, really good with, you know, encoding and with computers, were able to actually read that language that they tried to actually electronically redact.

MESERVE: That's right. This document was posted by the TSA in redacted form to help people who were interested in government contracts. They had blacked out the sensitive areas of the document, but programmers who are experienced in this kind of thing could see that the text was still embedded in the document. They were able to extract that and reconstitute the entire document and they posted it elsewhere on the Web.

CHETRY: Just amazing. It's hard to undo once the damage is done in that situation.


CHETRY: Especially online.

Jeanne Meserve, we'll be hearing more about this today as we said, and we'll check in with you. Thanks.

ROBERTS: Heavy winds, heavy snow and brutal cold, a big storm spreading misery across much of the nation. You're looking here at a live shot. This is Des Moines, Iowa. Right now, they are under a blizzard warning that will last until this evening. Folks there are waking up to wind gusts over 50 miles an hour, a wind chill -- listen to this -- of 20 below, and snowfall totals of between 10 and 16 inches. And it's not even officially winter yet.

This late autumn storm is putting a deep freeze on travel, roads coated with ice, flights are delayed if not canceled at a number of airports.

Our Rob Marciano is keeping an eye on all of it. He joins us now from the extreme weather center in Atlanta.

Good morning, Rob.

ROB MARCIANO: Good morning, John.

Remarkably this storm continues to strengthen and the airport delays continue to pile up. Look at the list and we're barely past 8:00 hour Eastern Time.

As mentioned earlier in the broadcast, Minneapolis-St. Paul, three hours leading the list there. That's the delay there. Ground stops at Atlanta, ground delays to an hour in Philadelphia, Newark seeing 30-minute delays, D.C. 30-minute delays, and an hour and 10 in LaGuardia.

And we're not even that's not even really where the bulk of the storm is. It's still centered over Chicago. The back side of this is where most of the blizzard warnings are in with winds sustained 20, 25, 30 miles an hour and blowing snow sideways, and wind chills, as you mentioned, 10, 20, in some cases 30 degrees below zero.

Ahead of the system, it will be warm side, but it will be windy. High wind warnings are posted for much of the Ohio River Valley and severe thunderstorms and potential for tornadoes exist. Tornado watches out for parts of South Carolina and the Southeast today as well.

Most of the snow of the northeast is north of the major cities, Upstate New York, northern New England will see snow pile up as well.

Huge, huge storm, John, that started out in California and refuses to lose strength as it barrels its way eastward across the U.S.

We'll have more in about a half-hour.

ROBERTS: All right. Looking forward to that -- Rob Marciano this morning -- thanks, Rob.

CHETRY: Well, there are some significant developments this morning in the debate over health care reform. Senate Democrats announcing late last night they've reached an agreement on a plan but they are not discussing details, not until they find out how much it will cost.

Brianna Keilar is live in Washington this morning.

So, Brianna, what have you been able to find out about this deal?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kiran, as you said, the details aren't official, but we've been spending days now outside of that room where Democrats were negotiating this compromise. So, we know, generally, what we are expecting it to be, this alternative to the government-run public option. It will likely be part private insurance, part non-profit, and part government oversight.


SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: We can't disclose the details of what we've done, but believe me we've got something that's good.

KEILAR (voice-over): If it's specifics you're looking for, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the so-called "Gang of 10" senators who negotiated the deal aren't prepared to offer any, not until the Congressional Budget Office puts a price tag on the plan.

REID: We want to know the score before we start giving all the details, even to our own members.

KEILAR: Two Democratic sources tell CNN the agreement replaces a public government-run insurance option with a private, not-for- profit option. It would be overseen by the federal Office of Personnel Management, the same group that manages the current health plan for federal employees. There's a mechanism in the agreement that triggers a more traditional government-run plan if the nonprofit option fails.

But the compromise could be a deal-breaker for Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold. He said last night he would not support replacing a public option with a purely private approach because it wouldn't provide enough competition for insurance companies to keep their rates down.

Sources also tell CNN, the deal would allow Americans 55 and older to buy into Medicare.

But when reporters pressed for details late last night, the majority leader was less than subtle about keeping his colleagues silent.

REPORTER: Is the end in sight?

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Well, I guess I...

REID: The answer is yes.



KEILAR: The question now is: will this compromise work out among 10 Democrats be enough to satisfy the entire Senate Democratic Caucus and deliver those 60 votes that are needed to pass this bill? Another question, will liberal Democrats in the House of Representatives, some of whom are insisting on a strong government-run insurance plan, refuse to support this, Kiran? We will be following those questions today, of course.

CHETRY: All right, Brianna Keilar for us this morning -- thanks.

ROBERTS: Seven minutes after the hour.

And also new this morning, former Vice President Al Gore taking on the climate change skeptics. In an exclusive interview last hour, Kiran and I asked the Nobel Prize winner for his take on the latest CNN Poll showing more people doubt that humans are responsible for global warming.


AL GORE, FMR. U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: There's an air of unreality about the discussion of arcane points from e-mails from long ago. The north polar ice gap is melting before our very eyes. It's been the size of the continental United States for most of the last 3 million years, and now, suddenly, 40 percent of it is gone and the rest of it is expected to disappear within five, 10, 15 years.

The mountain glaciers all over the world are melting -- many of them at a greatly accelerated rate, threatening drinking water supplies. We've had these record storms, record droughts, floods, giant fires, unprecedented, all over the world.

The evergreen trees of the American west are dying by the millions because the warming trend is making them vulnerable to pests that they could resist in the colder weather in which they evolve.

Climate refugee flows are beginning and could reach the hundreds of millions, destabilizing political systems around the world. Sea levels are rising.

These changes are now beginning to unfold right in front of our eyes.


ROBERTS: Mr. Gore went on to say that the hacked e-mails that question the very science behind global warming were taken out of context.

CHETRY: Well, former Vice President Dick Cheney is blasting the Obama administration's decision to try the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind in lower Manhattan near ground zero. Cheney telling FOX News the move is, quote, "a huge mistake."


DICK CHENEY, FMR. U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I think it will give aid and comfort to the enemy. I think it will make Khalid Sheikh Mohammed something of a hero in certain circles, especially in the radical regions of Islam around the world. It will put him on the map. He'll be as important, or more important than Osama bin Laden.

And we will have made it possible. We will have given him that platform, that opportunity to come here and there is absolutely no need to do that. There's all the precedent in the world for prosecuting him with a military commission and Guantanamo and so forth.


CHETRY: And Cheney also said that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be able to recruit, quote, "a whole new generation of terrorists from the stand."

ROBERTS: Former "Today" show host Brian Gumbel is recovering from treatment for lung cancer. He made the announcement while subbing for Regis Philbin on the "Regis and Kelly" show yesterday. Gumbel says surgeons remove a malignant tumor and part of his lung two months ago. He meets with his surgeon and oncologist next week. He says that he hopes that he is well-enough to be cleared to play some golf.

CHETRY: Gatorade dropping a drink named for Tiger Woods, but parent company Pepsi says the decision to drop Tiger focused sports drink is not related to the current scandal surrounding the golf legend. Officials say it's part of a broader, quote, "overhaul" of the Gatorade brand that's been in the works for months.

ROBERTS: And Chad Ochocinco will reportedly have to pay a $30,000 fine for his latest on-field stunt. The Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver put a sombrero and poncho on after scoring a touchdown against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. He was fined $20,000 just last month for pretending to offer a referee a dollar bill while a catch he made was being reviewed.

CHETRY: Yes, he's creative.

ROBERTS: It's kind of funny stuff. But I guess the league doesn't like it a whole lot.

Fighting the Taliban not just in Afghanistan but Pakistan. How important is it for the Pakistani military to really go after the Taliban? And what will the U.S. do if Pakistan doesn't step up to the table?

Gary Berntsen and Pakistani Ambassador Akbar Ahmed will join us live coming up in just a little while.

It's 11 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

President Obama reportedly telling Pakistan to "tackle the Taliban or we will." The new aggressive strategy may include strikes deeper into Pakistan than ever before. But could that actually weaken a crucial and nuclear-armed ally?

Joining us now to talk about that is Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, who knows the regions in question first hand. He served in the Pakistani civil service there. And a former CIA officer, Gary Bernstein -- he's the author of the famous book "Jawbreaker," about the fight for Tora Bora during the Afghan war.

Thanks for being with us.

Ambassador Ahmed, let's me start with you. How important is Pakistan to solving the problems in Afghanistan?

AMBASSADOR AKBAR AHMED, FORMER PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO U.K.: John, it is critical. In the three pillars that President Obama identified on which his policy rests, Pakistan is the most critical, the understanding with Pakistan, the need to win hearts and minds in Pakistan. The problem is that the government of Pakistan has failed -- completely failed its people in terms of law and order. We've seen non-stop strikes in Peshawar, in Lahore, in Multan, in the last few days.

So, Pakistan is critically important and Pakistan's government is failing to provide law and order which would provide security and therefore some hope of marginalizing and removing the Taliban threat.

ROBERTS: Yes. The Taliban even taken to blowing up schools in that area as well.

Gary Berntsen, the U.S., according to some reports, has expanded the program of drone attacks which is a highly classified program in the Northwest Frontier areas. But the Taliban existed outside of that. I mean, Mullah Mohammed Omar is believed to be in the area of Quetta in Baluchistan.

And now, there is talk that maybe the drone attacks will expand to those areas which are outside of the Northwest Frontier provinces.

GARY BERNTSEN, LED CIA FORCES IN EASTERN AFGHANISTAN AFTER 9/11: Well, it's likely that they will but the U.S. would not expand them outside of those areas unless the Pakistanis are sitting side by side with them.

Pakistan is cooperating with U.S. along that border. They're cooperating significantly in the federally administered tribal areas.

Actually, they've split Waziristan into two areas now. Instead of seven federally administered tribal areas there is eight. And there is significant cooperation but they won't go deeper into Pakistan unless the Pakistanis are with them because they do not want to destabilize Pakistan. Ambassador Holbrooke, is the person who is running the show on this on both sides of this. He's very, very sensitive to this and he stated, just as the Ambassador did, that Pakistan is the critical component of a U.S. strategy in Southwest Asia.

ROBERTS: Ambassador Ahmed, even if Pakistan is as Gary says, hand in hand with the U.S. on an expansion of drone strikes into Balochistan, what's the potential effect there among the public in Pakistan, public opinion and politics there?

AHMED: John, it is going to fuel the anti-American feeling in Pakistan. And we must remember, as Gary has rightly pointed out, the government of Pakistan is with America on this exercise, but the people of Pakistan are going through a period of intense anti- Americanism. There's outrage, there is anger, there is dismay, and the attacks on the government of Pakistan for not standing up for the rights of Pakistan.

So, we need to balance this. President Obama faces an existentialist conundrum. He's giving with one hand $1.5 billion a year for five years to Pakistan to win hearts and minds and with the other hand with the drone strikes he is creating a lot of anger and a lot of outrage against America. So, he's got to somehow balance these two opposed positions.

ROBERTS: Gary, is there potential this could destabilize Pakistan?

BERNTSEN: Well, I think that we're going to handle this very, very carefully. The important piece, the Balochistan piece, is that there have been a series of insurgencies in Balochistan over the past 25 or 30 years. The problem now is that Al Qaeda and groups like that will jump in and consume and take control of these secular what were previously secular insurgencies and Islamicize them.

We don't want to create a situation in Balochistan that is similar to the federally administered tribal areas. We want to contain the violence in Pakistan. Unfortunately, the violence has spread out of the federally administered tribal areas into places like the Punjab. And you have got Punjabi Taliban now doing significant attacks on the government. This is very, very dangerous, the violence we are seeing in Pakistan.

ROBERTS: And as we've talked about before as well, Mullah Mohammad Omar appears to be running the Taliban from his position in Quetta, in the Balochistan province. Ambassador Ahmed, you mentioned the money that the United States is pouring into Pakistan, of course there's been a long history of certain elements of the Pakistani military having a pretty friendly relationship with militant organizations, leveraging them for their own policy goals. What do you say to the American people who may be a little bit mistrustful of Pakistan's intentions here, at the same time hard- earned American taxpayer dollars are being poured into the region by the billions?

AHMED: I would say, I would request the American public to ask its representatives to demand accountability. Americans have been very, very generous. They've just literally, as you say, poured billions of dollars both into Afghanistan and into Pakistan.

Where has it gone? You look at what happened in the last decade, John, the last years after 9/11, what has happened is the ordinary Pakistani better off? Is the ordinary Afghan better off?

And that is the key question someone has to ask these questions. Because upon the answers will depend the fate of that region. And I see this as a crossroads. We are really at a very critical stage. Pakistan, as you rightly point out, is critical to the success of America in that region. Pakistan is 180 million people. It's nuclear, it is a leader in the Muslim world. If Pakistan fails, it will have an impact beyond Pakistan and the region itself, as Gary will agree.

ROBERTS: And Gary, one quick other point that was made yesterday by General Stanley McChrystal, in order to defeat Al Qaeda we either need to capture or kill Bin Laden. Do you agree?

BERNTSEN: Agreed. And Mullah Omar. We need the Pakistanis to give him to us so he can face trial over in Afghanistan for his murderous behavior.

ROBERTS: Gary Berntsen, always great to see you. Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, good to see you as well this morning. Thanks so much for coming in. A reminder, by the way, not to miss "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer starting at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. The man in charge of the war in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal will sit down with our own Christiane Amanpour. Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Still ahead, a little bit of good news. Financial damage perhaps not as bad as originally thought for victims of Bernard Madoff and the ponzi scheme. Our Christine Romans is "Minding Your Business". It's 20 minutes past the hour.


CHETRY: Well, there you see. The camera tells it all, right. You can't even get the raindrops off from our tower camera circle here in New York today. A lot of heavy rain, 43 degrees right now. Heavy rain later and the reason it's not sticking so it's just completely warm, but it still enough.

You may be looking at delays at major airports so call ahead. Meanwhile, it's 22 minutes past the hour. You can call it a royal culture clash, I guess, you have pop star Lady Gaga going face-to-face with the Queen of England. The singer dressed in red, latex, with red painted eyes, shook the royal hand, and bowed to Queen Elizabeth on the receiving line.

The queen did a little bit of a double take. You see them making eye contact for quite a while. Who could blame her, though? One British tabloid said Lady Gaga looked like a tube of lipstick. Another said at the meeting it was like someone from Star Wars meeting someone from earth. Lady Gaga was there to perform by the way at royal variety show. Maybe that is the keyword variety.

ROBERTS: How an image makeover can really launch your career. She was just like a nobody from Yonkers, I think.

CHETRY: Really? She used to do a -- she was like a performance artist. She used to do all types of wacky things. But, you know when you do it on a bigger stage and you shoot fireworks out of your bra and this type of stuff...

ROBERTS: Never done that myself.

CHETRY: See? That's been your problem all these years.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Fireworks out of your bra. Good morning, everyone.

ROBERTS: Christine Romans "Minding Your Business" this morning. She's got fireworks of the different sort of type.

ROMANS: I do, you know, it was a year ago that we first heard about Bernie Madoff. Can you believe it? And now investors are still trying to get their money back, still trying to figure out how much of a scam this was. Madoff a year ago in his grandiosity issued all these client statements saying that there was $65 billion in his accounts.

Well, he was lying. Madoff was a liar. And we know now he's sitting in a federal facility in North Carolina for that. Really it looks like when it is all said and done, there were about $19 billion in total losses in the Madoff scam. Ponzi scheme.

Madoff -- we won't call it the Charles Ponzi scheme anymore, it will be the Bernie Madoff scheme from now on, right? $1.4 billion has been recovered by the trustee. $4.7 billion in claims have been allowed, twice as much of that, John and Kiran, has been not allowed. And about $534 million has been returned to victims.

Some of the money they've gotten from the Madoff money, from the accounts, will be returned but also there is something called the security investor protection corporation, SIPC as they call it, people could be eligible for up to $500,000 each to cover their accounts. Some people, though, are going to be kind of out of luck here. The people who took out more money than they ever put in. There is not much you can do. You know, they took out more money...

ROBERTS: Well, there's really no sympathy for them either. Is there?

ROMANS: Well, there is still, many of those people are still trying to get the courts to look their way and...

CHETRY: You know, it's just interesting. So it is $19 billion in total losses? We were calling it a $65 billion ponzi scheme for so long.

ROMANS: It's the grandiosity of Bernie Madoff. He built this whole empire on nothing. You know, he took money in, then said people were getting 10 percent, and they weren't. He wasn't even investing the money. It was really about $19 billion in total losses. Not the 65 he said.

He was a liar from the beginning. We never really knew how much it was. So, about $19 billion. There are many clients who say they think that they should be paid out based on what their statements said. But their statements were a lie. You know, Bernie Madoff was lying. Here we go, there will be hearings today in the house financial services committee. Almost a year exactly after we found out about this scandal about what went wrong or what will happen from here on out. We're still --

CHETRY: There is some S.E.C. employees testifying there.

ROMANS: Oh, yes. Well, we all know how the S.E.C. -- what a great job they did in preventing all of this and finding -- oh wait, they didn't do a great job. Did they? Which brings me actually to my Romans numeral which is 23. Bernie Madoff might be the most famous ponzi schemer of all-time now. Even more famous than Charles Ponzi who it was named for. But there were 23 ponzi cases last year and dozens more this year. So, Bernie Madoff gets all the limelight but there are a lot of victims out there. The economy blowing up kind of really exposed it.

ROBERTS: Yes. It will always be ponzi. Sounds so much better.

ROMANS: Okay. Ponzi scheme. There will always be hucksters.

ROBERTS: And there will thankfully always be Christine Romans as well. Thanks for joining us this morning, "Minding Your Business".

CHETRY: Still ahead, jobs, climate and social networking. Are we missing out by being too plugged in? We put all those questions to Google's CEO Eric Schmidt. He joins us for an interview coming up. 26 minutes past the hour.


CHETRY: Twenty-nine minutes past the hour right now. We check our top stories. Congressional investigators say the food and drug administration has failed to follow recommendations to improve the way it monitors the safety of prescription drugs. Those recommendations were made three years ago after the FDA was forced to pull the painkiller Vioxx off the market for causing heart attacks and strokes. Government report says the FDA still relies too heavily on scientists who approve drugs instead of those who monitor side effects. ROBERTS: In just a few hours time, a house panel is expected to vote on whether to subpoena the so-called White House party crashers. Michaele and Tareq Salahi's lawyer says if they are subpoenaed, the couple will invoke their fifth amendment rights and refuse to testify. They refused the committee's invitation to appear at a hearing last week. The Salahi's could also face criminal charges in all of these.

CHETRY: And today they will begin recounting the votes from the Atlanta mayoral runoff. City Councilwoman Mary Norwick's campaign requested this recount after losing the December 1st by less than a percent. Her opponent, former state senator Kareem Reed was declared the winner on Saturday.

ROBERTS: Who better than the man in charge of Google to come up with some new ideas? Google CEO Eric Schmidt was at the president's job summit and says the jury is still out on his plan.

CHETRY: I asked him where the jobs are and how the president should spend the remaining bail-out money.


ERIC SCHMIDT, CEO, GOOGLE: It sort of doesn't really matter where the money comes from. What matters is spending enough money to get the system working again.

If the government is going to spend money to try to help stimulate jobs, they should be American jobs doing things which have a long-term benefit to the United States, the most obvious involving energy.

If we simply went around and insulated all of the federal buildings, which are never sold, the country would save billions and billions of dollars over the next 10 or 20 years. We would help create jobs in industries which have been very hard-hit by the lost construction jobs. That's a good example.

CHETRY: Are they going to do that?

SCHMIDT: At the jobs summit they were just listening. The president is announcing this week the things he's going to do. There is a discussion with something called "cash for caulkers," which is insulating your home. So these ideas are certainly percolating in the White House.

CHETRY: A lot of people are wondering as we look ahead to this climate summit that's going on and as we look ahead to our lawmakers perhaps passing regulations as it relates to greenhouse gases, carbon emissions, what is the impact going to be on businesses?

SCHMIDT: All we need is one country to do all the right things around CO2 capture and limiting, build a very strong energy sensitive business that makes money and I think all the other countries will fall in line.

Because there is so much doubt in the United States we need at least one country to prove that model, and I think everyone else will come along the line. Business people are looking to find successful new models. Green energy is clearly one of them.

CHETRY: I want to ask you a question about the banks. A lot of people say it is really a tale of two cities. You look at cash- strapped government and you look at some of the small businesses, regional banks that are really suffering.

And on the flip side you have these Wall Street banks we bailed out with taxpayer money that are now able to set aside billions of dollars or able pay out these bonuses, and they are actually able to pay back the money and not be beholden to the government.

There are some critics in the "Wall Street Journal" op-ed saying this is a windfall. This amounts to a windfall, and they should pay a windfall tax. What's your take on that?

SCHMIDT: There is a lot of anger with what's happened. A lot of people did not benefit, and a small number of the elites did benefit. And they have a responsibility to help us out. In their case, their defense, they'd say we lost a lot of money and so forth. But they are still getting a pretty big payback.

This I think is a failure of regulation, that the money should have been used and there should have been greater requirement essentially to that money being used for the benefit of all of us.

CHETRY: What lessons are to be learned going forward? The housing bubble and credit bubble and people were living beyond their means and the lessons about regulation when it comes to the big banks. Are we going to change the way we live our lives and do things so this doesn't happen again down the road?

SCHMIDT: I think there will be more bubbles, not fewer bubbles, in the future. The reason is that information markets, which is what we have today, tend to create bubbles. People get excited, overexcited, too excited, prices go up, too much happens too quickly. And then there is a collapse as the truth comes out.

So I think it is incredibly important people recognize that we do need regulations in some of these markets. The financial markets are too easily manipulated by personal interest, special interests, people who are trying to make a buck, an unfair one.

CHETRY: Are there long-term perhaps negative consequences from our instantaneous world? I think back to being younger and having to research a book at the library. Now I can Google it and I don't really need to do that. Is there anything wrong with that? Is there possibly -- are we missing out by being too plugged in?

SCHMIDT: Think of all the benefits of being too plugged in. You have got instant communication. You don't have to talk to people on the phone. You can just text them. All of a sudden you can fine out the answer to any question you want.

When somebody comes up to you and says something, you can say I really want to check that. And you can in almost all cases use it as sort of a truth detector. Are they telling you the truth or trying to manipulate you or spin you? All of those things are possible.

The negative of course is that people are reading fewer books. They're reading fewer long-form content because they're so overwhelmed by all of this. And I think society is adjusting to a balance between this incredible, intense, short-term nature of the Internet right now, and the wonderful beauty of reading a book and really getting into it in a way that you would absorb a two-hour movie or even longer.

And that's a transition that society is going through that we've not fully figured out.


CHETRY: That's to be continued. The interesting thing though is after jokingly saying, I think he called Twitter "the poor man's e- mail," he's on Twitter now. And Google's linked up. And so you can see your Twitter feed, your Facebook feeds, everything from your personal iGoogle.

ROBERTS: He'd be a good guy to follow, no question about that.

We've got some bad weather in the Midwest moving east. It will affect all sorts of things. Iowa is just getting buried in snow. We're getting lots of rain here in the northeast. Rob Marciano is tracking all the weather for you this morning, and he'll be with us in just a moment. Stay with us.


ROBERTS: It's 38 minutes after the hour. Let's fast-forward now through the stories that will be making news later on today.

A Chicago man faces arraignment in federal court this morning for allegedly happening with the planning of last year's terror attacks in Mumbai, India. Forty-nine-year-old David Headley is charged with conspiracy to bomb public places in India.

The 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai killed 166 people, including six Americans. Headley is said to be cooperating with prosecutors.

The Obama administration expected to announce a new strategy today for countering biological terror threats. Officials say it will not include plans for a global monitoring system. Instead it will focus on better collaboration with other nations.

And that's a disappointment to arms control experts who say the world needs a better way to uncover biological threats before they are carried out.

And speaking of Obama, President Obama meets today with environmental and business leaders as he prepares to attend the Copenhagen climate summit next week. Then after that he heads to Oslo, Norway tonight to accept the Nobel Peace prize. CHETRY: Here you go, and this is going to be a big deal. We'll certainly be covering it. Tomorrow morning there is a special edition of "AMERICAN MORNING." The president is going to be receiving the Nobel Peace prize as John just said in Oslo. And CNN will be there for the big ceremony live, because not since Teddy Roosevelt a century ago has the prize been giving to a sitting U.S. president. It's pretty neat.

So we have special live coverage tomorrow starting 6:00 a.m. eastern tomorrow right here on CNN.

And also an enormous iceberg more than twice the size of Manhattan drifting slowly toward western Australia right now. In fact, you can take a look at images on a satellite. This measures 54 square miles of ice. The scientists say that the iceberg cleaved off of an ice shelf almost a decade ago and has been floating near Antarctica ever since.

It is one of the largest icebergs ever seen at that latitude, and it is now traveling north. It is about 1,000 miles from the western Australia coastline. Not likely to get there in one piece though. Scientists are expecting, of course, the warmer waters to break it into hundreds of smaller icebergs.

ROBERTS: It's summer there in the Australia area. So the water's are warming up there. That's a huge ice floe there.

CHETRY: It really is, and ten years, something that the Vice President Al Gore was talking about how these climatic changes take place over such a long stretch that it makes it look less dire than it is.

ROBERTS: Right. It's sort of the progression of geologic time, although, as he claims, rapidly accelerated because of global warming.

CHETRY: Well, still ahead, we are tracking this monster storm that will make for a travel nightmare in many parts of the country. It is big, blizzard conditions, schools closed and travel delays in many places. Rob Marciano is keeping track of all of it for us.

It's 40 minutes past the hour.


ROBERTS: Good morning, Chicago, where it is cloudy and cold. It's 35 degrees right now. Later on today, snow showers, wind, the temperature staying in the mid-30s. So it's beginning to look a lot like winter there in the Windy City.

CHETRY: Winter is still 12 days away, but this morning a large part of the United States hit with heavy snow, high winds, ice, and rain.


CHETRY: Still ahead, we're putting the growing theory of whether or not single-sex classrooms make sense to the test. We went to visited one school in Woodbridge that's doing it. Are they successful? We're going to find out inside the child's mind, brain gender differences, coming up.

Forty-seven minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to The Most News in the Morning.

As kids grow up we know that boys and girls develop at different stages but there is growing research showing how boys and girls are wired differently when it comes to learning.

CHETRY: And we visited one school where teachers are putting that to the test with single gender classrooms. Now, it has its critics but are the test scores proving them wrong?

Here's part three of our "AM Original series: Inside the Child's Mind."


ALLAN MICHAELS, MATH TEACHER: Who's up? Over here guys. three, two, one, go.

There you go. Tap it. Oh that is incorrect.

CHETRY: For these seventh grade boys, math is a competitive sport.

MICHAELS: I like to call it controlled chaos.

CHETRY: The chaos is part of a program at Woodbridge Middle School in Virginia. Faced with a gender gap in test scores, the school formed single gender classrooms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies take a look.

CHETRY: Testing the growing school of thought that boys and girls are hardwired to learn differently.

DR. LEONARD SAX, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR SINGLE SEX PUBLIC EDUCATION: The best way for the boys is not the best way for the girls. The best way for the girls is not the best way for the boys.

CHETRY: Dr. Leonard Sax, author of "Why Gender Matters" says the solution -- split them up.

(on camera): Why does gender matter when it comes to learning?

SAX: The brain research is showing us quite clearly that the brains of girls and boys develop along different trajectories.

CHETRY (voice-over): Sax says math skills develop earlier in boys, language skills faster in girls. SAX: And the surprising finding is that the coed classroom ends up disadvantaging both girls and boys, as if reinforcing gender stereotypes. The girls end up thinking that abstract number theory is for boys, the boys end up thinking creative writing is for girls.

CHETRY: Proponents of single-sex education say boys learn best with competition and movement.


CHETRY (on camera): What is it about movement and boys that seem to somehow go together when it comes to teaching?

KENNEDY: The boys in general just, if they're at their desk and seated and expected to sit and do their work there, they're more apt to become unfocused. You know, be disturbed by others. Start the tapping. Start making the noise.

CHETRY (voice-over): Meagan Kennedy says since the program began three years ago, reading scores in the all-boy classrooms are up and discipline problems are down.


CHETRY: In Kristen Williams' all-girl math class, warm lamp light and desks group together reflect the thinking that girls learn best working in a cooperative environment.

WILLIAMS: Give them a lot of social time, a lot of time and opportunity to be verbal, to work in partners, to work in groups.

CHETRY: Williams says she's seen dramatic improvements particularly among girls that struggled in coed math classes.

WILLIAMS: These are just sort of guidelines.

CHETRY: But even with some signs of success, single-sex education has its critics.

DAVID SADKER, AUTHOR, "FAILING AT FAIRNESS": If you assume that boys behave one way and you teach to that stereotype and you assume that girls learn another way and you teach to that stereotype, what you're doing is limiting the option of kids. You're reinforcing stereotypes.

CHETRY: Professor David Sadker, who's written extensively about gender bias in schools says rather than separating students by gender, schools should work to make coed classrooms better.

SADKER: Creating single-sex schools to improve test grades is a cheap solution to a much, much deeper problem.

DARAH RAWLS, STUDENT: Well, I think it is really good and...

CHETRY: But for Darah Rawls, the all-boys class was the answer to his problems. After getting "Cs" and "Ds" through a grade school and struggling emotionally Darah's mom Ashanti moved the family to Woodbridge just so Darah could attend the single-gender program here.

(on camera): What were the first changes that you noticed when he started here at Woodbridge in the all-male classes?

ASHANTI DEVAUGHN, DARAH RAWLS, MOTHER: Just even the way that he dresses, his behavior. He just walks with a different stature. And he's matured, because he's around other boys.

RAWLS: I like the ninja.

DEVAUGHN: I think that's pushing him to be the best, to be better.

CHETRY: Darah now gets A's and B's and dreams of becoming an Air Force pilot.

RAWLS: Makes me feel really good about myself and everything.


CHETRY: So there is one success story. Critics do point out that not all single-sex classrooms have the same success that Woodbridge has. And the reason why, Dr. Sax says, is because the program at Woodbridge, they've taken the time to train the teachers on how to best teach them and understand the gender differences. He says there is a lot more than just divvying up the classes based on gender.

ROBERTS: For certain students it seems to really work well.

What about the question of stereotypes though in this idea of one size fits all, boys who are less competitive than others or some girls that are more competitive than others?

CHETRY: Yes. And Dr. Sax acknowledges that element. He does say that he does though based on research that you'll find more similarities in genders than you will -- similarities in the genders and differences between the genders.

But he does say that single-sex classrooms are not for everybody. They still offer coeds so that parents and students can make that decision. At Woodbridge they have a coed classroom as well.

They also say though that particularly for boys, he does think that it is the right choice splitting them up. He says that in a lot of cases these behavioral problems and more of the boys being diagnosed with ADHD and others, he says oftentimes 90 percent of the time he thinks it is a misdiagnosis and if they were directed the right way they would not have to be on medication.

ROBERTS: No question that there are so many kids who are diagnosed with that these days and is it the right diagnosis or just a convenient catch-all for a lot of other things.

CHETRY: Right. ROBERTS: Fascinating piece though, no question about that.

CHETRY: Thanks.

ROBERTS: Fifty-six minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Good morning, Washington and Mr. President where it's cloudy, you've got some rain there, 44 degrees. A.M. showers today, maybe holding off this afternoon with a high just at 55.

Coming up tonight, President Obama heads to Oslo, Norway for the Nobel Prize Award ceremony; the first sitting president in 90 years since Woodrow Wilson to be awarded the peace prize. Tomorrow CNN is there for the big ceremony live with a special edition of AMERICAN MORNING. That is tomorrow morning starting at 6:00 a.m. Eastern.

CHETRY: All right. Well, we look forward to that. Hope you'll join us for that.

We also want you to continue the conversation on today's stories. Go to our blog,

That's going to do it for us. Thanks for joining us this morning. We hope to see you back here tomorrow.

ROBERTS: Here's "CNN NEWSROOM" now with Brooke Baldwin -- good morning, Brooke.