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Climate Change and Special Interests; Group of Hunters Trapped by Snowstorm; Man Dressed As Santa Arrested for Attempted Kidnapping

Aired December 10, 2009 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And the news continues right now, here's CNN NEWSROOM with Heidi Collins.

Good morning, Heidi.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, John. Good morning, Kiran. Here's a look at what's ahead in the NEWSROOM now.

President Obama, a wartime president, commended for his commitment to peace. We'll hear what he had to say after accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.

American terror suspects now sitting in a prison overseas. Pakistan says the men were planning attacks.

An American Nazi. He wears his hatred on his skin. This story may get under yours. Taxpayers are shelling out more than 100 bucks a day so a makeup artist can hide his tattoos.

Good morning, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. And today is Thursday, December 10th, you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

President Barack Obama accepts the Nobel Peace Prize and makes the case for war.

CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is traveling with the president. She's joining us now from Oslo, Norway with more.

Suzanne, good morning to you. Quite the proceeding, quite the ceremony today.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Heidi. Absolutely. A lot of pomp and circumstance, obviously. President Obama and First Lady Michelle both here in Oslo, Norway. A lot of people are very excited about this prize, but some controversy as well.

Some of them who are questioning whether or not this is an appropriate award for a president who is a wartime president but President Obama addressing very clearly earlier this morning.

In contrast to former President Bush who seemed to embrace the idea of this -- after the 9/11 attacks, going after the terrorists as well as al Qaeda, really defining his legacy by that, this president very much a reluctant war president, and he addressed the idea -- this notion of a just war, a war that in some ways was necessary, and ultimately to bring about peace. And he tried to explain that to his audience today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of the prize is the fact that I am the commander in chief of the military, of the nation, in the midst of two wars.

One of these wars is winding down, and the other is a conflict America did not seek, one in which we are joined by 42 other countries, including Norway, in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And Heidi, he went on to talk about the need for diplomacy and negotiations, and also the fact that many others before him, that they realized that in some ways, that violence as well as war sometimes necessary to bring about the case for peace.

Had a chance to speak and see a lot of Norwegians her in Oslo. It's a controversial award. Some people believing that he should wait until he's accomplished more before the committee awarded him this prestigious prize. Other protesters, anti-war protesters gathering around, very upset about the addition of 30,000 -- additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, an escalation, if you will, as well as other NATO allies sending their own men and women off to battle.

But then a clear appreciation from a lot of folks who say that he is an inspiring figure, and with the inspiration, the president acknowledged that there are higher expectations, and so he is going to be getting to work -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Suzanne, did he have a moment to address the controversy at all about whether or not he deserved this award?

MALVEAUX: Absolutely. I mean he took it head on. It was one of the first things he addressed before the committee, before the people here. He said -- in part, he says he understands that people don't actually understand why he has this award. He says that I am at the beginning, not the end of my labors on the world stage. And he said compared to some of the giants of history who received this prize, he goes on to say that my accomplishments are slight.

And then he also said, he said he cannot argue with those who find these men and women, some known, some obscure, to be far more deserving of this honor than I. A humbled president here today. It is in his way, in his fashion, if you will, when expectations are high, he puts his head down, he gets to work and he focuses.

That is what the president said he would do. And looking at -- on the global stage, these big things like Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Iraq, all of those things, saying this is a world effort, a concerted effort by many. But that he realized he has a lot of work ahead -- Heidi. COLLINS: Yes, certainly on the domestic front, as well, the plate will always be full. I'm sure. Suzanne Malveaux, for us, out in Oslo, Norway this morning. Thanks, Suzanne.

Here's a little more information now on the Nobel Prize. It is named after Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and engineer and inventor of the dynamite. Each year separate prizes are awarded for achievement in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics and peace.

The Nobel Prizes are awarded every year on December 10th, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death. The award consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash prize. This year that cash prize is almost $1.4 million. The Nobel Peace Prize medal has an inscription, "For the peace and brotherhood of men," written in Latin.

Five Americans accused of seeking out partners for terror in Pakistan. Police in Pakistan say they are the same five young men earlier reported missing by their families in Virginia.

CNN Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve is live in Washington now this morning with the very latest.

Jeanne, good morning to you.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Heidi. You're right. The Pakistanis say they are the same young men, but U.S. officials still are not confirming that.

According to Pakistani police officials, the FBI has now spoken to the men arrested in the town of Sargodha in Pakistan during a raid on a house where police officials say they found jihadi literature as well as a laptop and maps of Pakistan.

The Pakistani say they have no doubt the men were planning terrorist activity and that they tried to join up with two different terrorists groups. One of the young men missing from Northern Virginia is identified by our sources, Ramy Zamzam, a Howard University student.

People who knew him and the other four men who are missing are expressing shock saying there was no outward sign of radicalization. Sources say the five did know one another, however, and a former counterterrorism official says that could have contributed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT GRENIER, FMR. DIR. CIA COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: The term radicalism really isn't tied so much to economic circumstances. It may very well be tied to alienation. It's typically tied to a sense of Muslims under attack and a very strong personal Muslim identity.

And then very importantly, the individuals who make this term typically have very strong ties with other like-minded people who give them a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and a sense of mission. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: The families of the young men became concerned about their whereabouts in late November and eventually made contact with the FBI. The U.S. then reached out to the Pakistanis providing the names of these young men as people of interests.

The arrest occurred Wednesday but the investigation is on going as officials tried to determine if these are the same young men, what they were doing in Pakistan. No charges have been filed at this point -- Heidi.

COLLINS: OK. Jeanne, there was also a tape, I believe, that was left behind by one of them. What do we know about that at this point?

MESERVE: Yes, somebody who saw that tape describes it as being about 11 minutes long. They say it isn't your typical jihadi-murderer type tape. But that it contain signs of conflict overseas, photos of Abu Ghraib, and exhortations that young Muslims should do something about this. Clearly this was one of the things that factored into the families' great concern and the FBI has the tape. They've been studying and looking at that -- Heidi.

COLLINS: We will follow that investigation alongside you. Jeanne Meserve, our Homeland Security correspondent. Thank you, Jeanne.

I also want to let you know, coming up in about 10 minutes, we're going to be talking with the terror expert about that link to Pakistan. Pretty interesting things that he says about why he thinks one of the most important tools being used to recruit terrorists could be very important in this case. Why Americans are actually going over to look for partners in chaos. So we'll get to that.

Meanwhile, fallout over the TSA security flap. Five employees at the Transportation Security Administration are now on administrative leave. They'll stay off the job while investigators try to find out why a sensitive airport security manual was posted on the Internet.

Among other things, the document detailed how screening is conducted and the limitations of x-ray machines. The TSA says the version that ended up online was old and did not expose any current screening protocols.

Snow drifts as high as 15 feet. Windchills as low as minus 40. Brace yourself because there is more on the way today for parts of the Midwest and northeast. In fact, at least 16 people have died in this wintry blast. Thousands of travelers are stranded, and then of course there is the bitter cold.

Schools, businesses and roads are closed from Michigan to Maine. And the fierce winds are knocking over power lines, even the state line capital Christmas tree in Tennessee. Look at that. Officials say they are looking for another one and promise it will be better secured, better tied down that is.

Our Rob Marciano is standing by now to look at all this.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COLLINS: Appreciate it.

Five Americans arrested in Pakistan allegedly planning terrorists attacks. So we're going to be talking with a terror expert who says they are part of a growing trend.

Also, we're seeing lots of Santas this holiday season and they are not all spreading good cheer. One man dressed as Santa is accused of trying to kidnap a 12-year-old girl.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Five Americans disappear from the Washington, D.C. area at the end of November and turned up in Pakistan. Allegedly there to plan terrorists acts.

Paul Cruickshank is a terror analyst and spends a lot of time looking at homegrown terrorism in the United States. He is joining us now to talk a little bit more about this.

Paul, thanks for being here. Just want to get your initial reaction to this. And if you would, put it in perspective for us. How big of a deal are these five Americans?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, TERROR ANALYST: Well, this is, Heidi, a very disturbing case. These five Americans arrived in Pakistan with the FBI knowing very, very little about it. They seemed to want to get involved in jihad in some way. They flew completely under the radar screen.

It was the Muslim community here in the United States which alerted the authorities the fact that they were in Pakistan and might be plotting something. So in that sense the sort of good news story, the Muslim community is standing up. But it's also a bad news story because you've got these people going to Pakistan, you've got them wanting to get involved in jihad.

And it's part of what we're seeing as a disturbing new trend of radicalization in the United States. An increasing number of American Muslims buying into al Qaeda's ideology. Now the reasons they're doing that has something to do with the Internet. There's so much of this violent ideology out on Internet sites that young American Muslims are picking up some of this.

It has also to do with the unpopularity of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. And you're seeing an increasing number of American young Muslims buying into this ideology, Heidi. But what you're also seeing is more Americans going to Pakistan for terrorists training.

That's very, very concerning because it's when people actually learn how to make bombs that they could become dangerous terrorists. So the fact that these people went all the way to Pakistan, flew under the radar screen...

COLLINS: Yes.

CRUICKSHANK: ... is concerning.

COLLINS: Yes, in fact, my understanding is that they told their families they were actually going to some sort of conference in Baltimore. It was actually their parents who got pretty suspicious and reported them missing, obviously. Does that strike you as unusual?

CRUICKSHANK: Well, it's very striking that they've told their parents absolutely nothing about this. That they hid their radical views from their parents. Their parents didn't see any of the warning signs.

In a lot of these cases, we do see that the kids have a very different ideology to the parents. Some of them think their parents, if you like, are not standing up enough for Islam, for Muslim around the world, and they need to do their bit. They're much more politicized young Americans, the second generation, than their parents.

And of course, it's just a small fringe, but that small fringe is very energized. They're on the Internet a lot, they're picking up this violent ideology, and we're seeing some of the results, Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, and my understanding also is that they are not linked -- at least that we know or have been able to confirm -- to any specific organizations, but there are a couple of reports that say that they have contacted two different groups.

What do you know about them?

CRUICKSHANK: Well, that may be the case. I mean, the parents alerted the FBI very, very, very quickly, so U.S. authorities were able to work with the Pakistanis to locate these people before they really had much of a chance to connect with militant groups in Pakistan.

But the early reporting does suggest that they were trying to link up with some Kashmiri militant groups. Jaish-e-Muhammad is being mentioned. That's the group with very, very close ties with al Qaeda. And that will only be adding to concerns today, Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes. What does the FBI, CIA -- what do they do from here? I mean is it likely there'll be some changes? I mean you mentioned right off the top that they're very surprised that they were able to go over and do what they are allegedly being accused of doing, which is planning some types of terrorists acts without the FBI knowing anything about it.

CRUICKSHANK: I think no. There are a lot of questions that are going to be asked today. But it's impossible for law enforcement agencies to pick absolutely everything up.

COLLINS: Yes.

CRUICKSHANK: If these young guys were not even telling their parents about what they had in mind, it's very, very difficult for the FBI to realize if they're not sort of telling other people their intentions over e-mail or anything like that. They just made a decision to go to Pakistan. They seemed to have done it very clandestinely. And it was only when the Muslim community here in the United States alerted the FBI that U.S. authorities got on to them.

COLLINS: Yes. Any of the Patriot Act stuff coming to play here? I mean you mentioned it's impossible to watch and to know with everyone in the entire country is doing.

CRUICKSHANK: Well, the Patriot Acts, FISA, which helps with listening to phone calls and intercepting e-mails, all these things have really helped in past cases, but this one time, it doesn't seem that there was any signature with which was informing U.S. authorities that these people were going off to Pakistan.

We have seen another other cases of Americans going to Pakistan in the last year, maybe about a dozen Americans have gone there. Even today, there are some Americans are believed to be still at large in the tribal areas of Pakistan getting perhaps training with al Qaeda, and the search continues to try and locate them.

There's a real worry about what happens if these people get training in Pakistan and return to the United States and launch bomb attacks. Just in September we saw a big arrest of Najibullah Zazi.

COLLINS: Yes.

CRUICKSHANK: An Afghan American who was planning an attack on Grand Central Station.

COLLINS: Yes.

CRUICKSHANK: We've seen a number of plots in Britain of people going off to Pakistan and coming back and getting sort of training which makes them into effect a terrorist. In 2005, we saw a bomb attack on London's transport system. Sort of showing how dangerous that trajectory can be.

COLLINS: Well, it's quite a list. Absolutely. And we're glad that you're writing about it. And we will continue to follow this story closely.

Paul Cruickshank, sure do appreciate your time. Thank you.

And time now for a look at some of the other top stories that we are following this morning. One person is dead after fire and smoke swept through a high-rise condo building in Chicago overnight.

The fire forced more than 200 people out into the street in single-digit temperatures. Twelve people, including some firefighters, were injured. About 300 firefighters were originally called to battle the blaze and help residents get out of the 51-story building.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Baghdad this morning. He arrived after a two day trip to Afghanistan. Gates is meeting later today with Iraqi leaders to talk about progress there. He'll also offer condolences for the bombings that killed nearly 130 people earlier this week.

General David Petraeus warns violence will surge in Afghanistan as more U.S. troops starts to deploy. He also says not to judge the success of the troop increase for at least one full year from now. Those remarks came during congressional testimony yesterday.

General Stanley McChrystal is back on Capitol Hill for testimony on Afghanistan today.

A Senate deal on health care. Some call it the right prescription for reform. Other say not so fast. We'll take a look at whether this bill will stick.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: On Capitol Hill, lawmakers working on health care reform are debating an amendment dealing with prescription drugs. At issue, whether to allow low-cost FDA approved drugs to be imported from Canada and other countries.

Meanwhile, the deal negotiating by Senate Democrats to drop the controversial public option from the Senate bill is getting both praise and criticism.

CNN's Dana Bash reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anxious to move forward on his top priority, the president praised a tentative deal to drop the public option from the Senate health care bill.

OBAMA: I support this effort, especially since it's aimed at increasing choice and competition and lowering costs.

BASH: That's the goal of the preliminary agreement hammered out in secret by 10 Democrats, five moderates and five liberals. Whether it will hold remains to be seen.

One negotiator is already openly reluctant.

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D), WISCONSIN: I am not happy with the possibility that there would not be a public option.

BASH: Instead of a government-run insurance option, a government agency, the Office of Personnel Management, would oversee not-for- profit private insurance plans. That appeals to moderates.

Democratic sources tells CNN if that plan doesn't work it would trigger a public option, but that could scare away Joe Lieberman whose vote Democrats likely need. He issues this statement underscoring his, quote, "opposition to a government-run insurance option, including any option with a trigger."

To appeal to liberals eager to expand government-run insurance, Democratic negotiators included a huge change in Medicare, allowing uninsured Americans ages 55-64 to buy into the program. One estimate says four million people could be eligible.

Data on how much it would cost to buy into Medicare under this plan is not yet available. But a recent Congressional Budget Office study on 62 to 64-year-olds put premiums at a whopping $7,600 a year, $634 a month.

Democrats say out-of-pocket costs under the plan wouldn't be that high because many people would be eligible for government subsidies starting in 2014.

Still, moderate Democrats are wary of adding more strain to already stretched Medicare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The national concern is what is the effect on Medicare and Medicare solvency since Medicare is already headed for insolvency.

BASH (on camera): Democratic leaders were clearly eager to show momentum, but several negotiators both liberals and moderates say there is no deal yet. They are waiting to hear from the Congressional Budget Office to determine how much it will cost and other very important factors.

We won't hear from the CBO, according to Democratic sources, for nearly a week.

Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: New jobless claims rose last week after falling for five straight weeks. And for a look at how the report may affect trading, let's go to Felicia Taylor at the New York Stock Exchange now with more on that.

Hey, good morning to you, Felicia.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Heidi. Yes, that's right. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time rose more than expected last week to 474,000.

The numbers, however, need to be sort of judged because they are a little inflated. State offices were actually closed for thanksgiving two weeks ago delaying those claims. You can hear the opening bell. That's because a lot of the members of the AOL are here because they are trading individually now after having separated from Time Warner. Otherwise in the news, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is on Capitol Hill today. He is testifying about the TARP program. That's the government's financial bailout program. An oversight panel said yesterday that the bailout stopped the panic and stabilized...

COLLINS: Wow.

TAYLOR: ... the banking system. I know. I mean they're very excited about AOL. Clearly.

COLLINS: I don't think they like us anymore.

TAYLOR: No kidding.

(LAUGHTER)

TAYLOR: But failed to free up credit and stem the wave of foreclosures. That's the intention for the next 10 months as they tried to make those situations a little better.

One of the biggest recipients of TARP, Citigroup, that could announce a repayment plan today. It got $45 billion from the government.

And G.E. plans to create the world's largest wind farm in Oregon. The project will create hundreds of jobs and it's expected to provide enough power to meet the energy needs of 230,000 households. But it's going to come to a cost of nearly $1.5 billion.

So, let's take a check on how markets open today. We are strongly to the up side. The Dow Industrials up about half of percent pretty much across the board for the NASDAQ and S&P. AOL, by the way, off about a quarter -- well, off about almost 2 percent, frankly, on the big board so far.

COLLINS: All right, Felicia. Hang on to your eardrums in there. Appreciate that. We'll check back a little bit later on, OK? Thank you.

A ruptured pipe causes a 46,000-gallon sludge spill in Alaska. The freezing temperatures are keeping the mixture of oil, gas and water from moving very far. So, it's all contained on land right now near the Prudhoe Bay oilfields. A spokesman for the pipelines' owner says there has been no effect on production or wildlife. The break in the pipe may have been caused by a build-up of ice.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

COLLINS: Who is to blame, and who should pay for global warming? U.S. and Chinese negotiators went back and forth about it today during the United Nations Climate Change Summit. The U.S. urged China to stand behind its promise to reduce its carbon footprint. The Chinese criticized the U.S. for not living up to its word to help poor nations do just that over the past 17 years. And they are the world's two biggest polluters.

And if they can't agree on what to do, there might not be a deal for President Obama and other world leaders to sign when the climate summit wraps one week from Friday.

The climate summit in Copenhagen, it's not just the topics that are green. Big money, of course, is playing a part in the debates. Special interests are looking to discourage and possibly derail changes in policy.

Christine Romans, she's part of the CNN Money team. She's been watching all of this and joins us now from New York with a closer look.

Good morning to you, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Heidi.

Derail, in some cases, to tailor; and in some cases, to support strict climate change rules and regulations. So, a lot of big money special interests at work in the climate change debate.

On the ground in Copenhagen, Heidi, they're called "bingos." And it's not little old ladies playing...

COLLINS: Yes.

ROMANS: ... bingo in the basement of a church or anything. This is business and industrial, nongovernmental organizations. They are large and in-charge and present in Copenhagen right now, trying to push their specific agendas.

There's also lobbying going on, on an international basis, developing countries bonding together and lobbying. They want more cash assistance from developed countries, and then you've got lobbying within developed countries.

And then when you look into the United States, you can see that we can actually measure the registered lobbyists for this debate. It's number two behind only health care reform in this country. The number of lobbyists here according to the Center for Responsive Politics, on climate change, 2,224, the money spent January through September, $300 million. You can bet that more money has been spent since then.

The number of companies hiring lobbyists on the subject over the past year, year and a half, has continued to rise. A couple different reasons for this, we had a new president at the beginning of the year, a new agenda, a new acceptance of the White House, or admission from the White House that climate change was an issue and a priority. And so, you can see more companies trying to get onboard.

Now, usually, you know, you see the big carbon emitters are notorious for being big spenders in the climate change debate. But there are battery-operate vehicle manufactures, environmental protection groups, food manufacturers -- and a lot of different kinds of industries that have banded together to seeing, they think that some sort of global legislation, global regulation may becoming, global agreement may be coming and they want to tailor that a little.

So, there are a lot of different competing interests here, all of them -- all of them in other way, shape or form trying to spend some money, Heidi, to get what is least detrimental for them in the very near term in terms of their bottom line, Heidi

COLLINS: Yes, and then, of course, all of the controversy as well surrounding the original reports and the original data on climate change and global warming, still a lot to be talked about the origination of the whole...

(CROSSTALK)

ROMANS: That's right and there's a whole another -- that's right. And there is a whole other part of the story, too, that we've been investigating, is who funds all of the scientific research. You have U.N. climate change scientists. They have a very big voice...

COLLINS: Yes.

ROMANS: ... at this U.N. summit, but there are also think tanks who are affiliated to different foundations, all of whom in many cases have a political bent or ideological bent at the beginning where the money begins.

So, this is a very big money issue. And interestingly there, I found that it wasn't a monolithic lobbying issue. There are so many different aspects of this here. In fact, there's a big business lobby that is, like, Levi, I think, Google, a lot of different companies, tech companies, that they are for stricter carbon emissions rules and regulations, and stricter efficiency standards because they want the playing field levels for everyone.

COLLINS: Yes.

ROMANS: And they think that there's change coming, so they want to be in on it.

COLLINS: All right. Well, we will be watching all of it, a lot more to discuss on that front.

ROMANS: Sure.

COLLINS: I'm certain of it. And when you mention the money, boy, oh, boy...

ROMANS: Yes.

COLLINS: ... through the roof.

All right, Christine Romans -- lots to be watching, thank you.

So, what is the truth about global warming? Tonight at 8:00, a special edition of "CAMPBELL BROWN" looks at the science, the skepticism and the secrets surrounding global warming. "Trick or Truth?"

As you know, a lot of people are interested in green jobs, but few people actually have any experience with it. So, we have some tips for getting your foot in the door.

Also, needed boots to get in this door. Wisconsin students prove they know how to enjoy a day off. A snow ball fight, and oh, snow ball fight. This is Mad Town, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Wait until you see the whole thing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Time now to check our top stories.

In the Philippines, negotiations are under way for dozens of people kidnapped earlier today. So far, captors have freed 17 children and an adult. More than 50 are still being held though.

The region is caught in a tug of war among several rebel groups. In fact, less than three weeks ago, 57 people were massacred. There is no evidence the two incidents are linked.

The embattled governor of South Carolina has dodged a major threat. Lawmakers there have decided not to impeach Mark Sanford over abuse of power allegations. The married Sanford is accused of using state funds to visit his mistress in Argentina. Lawmakers have made it clear they still want Sanford to resign.

Eight days after the final vote was cast, Atlanta now has its next mayor. A formal recount confirmed former state senator, Kasim Reed, won the election. He defeated Councilwoman Mary Norwood by a mere 714 votes. Norwood was vying to become the city's first white mayor since 1973.

Green jobs -- yesterday, we talked a little bit about what they are, where to find them. Well, today, let's find out how to actually get a green job offer.

Personal finance editor Gerri Willis is with us this morning once again.

Gerri, if you're looking for that perfect green job, where should you start? I guess an offer would be a good thing to have, right?

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: That's right. Good morning, Heidi.

Look, while green jobs only make up about a half percent of all jobs out there -- look, the industry is growing. And the average salary -- salary that is -- is about $34,000.

Start your quest by following the money, the stimulus money that's going into the green sector. Check out Apollo Alliance's Recovery Act Information Center. You'll find it at ApolloAlliance.org. Here, you can get a state by state breakdown of clean energy investment. Local one-stop career centers are also a good way to find a job.

To one a one-stop center in your area, go to ServiceLocater.org.

And as far as online jobs board go, Yahoo! HotJobs has a green jobs sections. So, Sustain Lane also -- SustainLane.com is another site where you can see opportunities available -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Well, sometimes, getting your foot in the door though is the hardest part. Do you have any advice...

WILLIS: Right.

COLLINS: ... here for that?

WILLIS: Sure. Volunteer. That is a great way to make the connections in the industry, and figure out if you'd even like the work. Check out projects offer through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, or the Clean Energy Service Corp. Idealist.org has volunteer opportunities that you can sort by interest and location to get a sense of what's out there.

COLLINS: And options that might be available for people who need to be trained. Obviously, you need to be trained in this stuff, right?

WILLIS: That's right. It does require some training. And you may want to start researching something called Certified Job Training Programs. These are programs funded by Uncle Sam, not all of the training programs are related to clean energy conservation, but some of them are.

To find a training program in your area, go to CareerOneStop.org, that is, and type-in WIA provider.

Apprenticeships are another good way to get a job. These programs provide on-the-job training for trades. Go to the Department of Labor's Web site at Doleta.gov. Union apprenticeships, too. These -- admission to these apprenticeships is competitive, contact your local trade unions and ask them about programs related to clean energy and construction. The Web site is AFL-CIO's buildings and construction trades department add BuildingTrades.org.

And don't forget about your local community college, they often have offerings that are free that you can get involved in. Learn a little bit about green jobs and get your foot in the door -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. Very good, Gerri, some great advice. Appreciate it.

They were tracking deer, and now rescuers are tracking them. We'll have the latest with the hunters that are stranded in the snow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: The powerful snowstorm we have been telling you about has not only stranded travelers, but also some hunters in northern Arizona. Over 20 inches have actually fallen in that area, and yesterday about 30 hunters found themselves trapped by the snow, eight hunting groups in all, some of them including children.

So far seven hunters have been rescued and authorities do know generally where the others are. They are talking to them by cell phone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is getting to them at this point, because when they went in the roads were dry, they were passable. They may be 30 or 40 miles in from a paved road, and now the roads are covered with three feet of snow. So it's getting to them that really giving us a problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(WEATHER BREAK)

COLLINS: A Santa that's been naughty, not nice. Police say a man dressed as Santa and carried a sack of candy tried to kidnap a little girl.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: A man who dressed as Santa is expected in court today in the Cleveland area. He's accused of trying to kidnap a 12-year-old girl.

Police said the 46-year-old man jumped out of the bushes and followed the girl as she walked to school. They say he grabbed her arm twice, but she got away each time and ran to a nearby store. The man was arrested and his family can't believe it happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANK RUSSO, SUSPECT'S BROTHER: I knew he was dressed up as Santa Claus passing out candy for who knows what reason, but I mean he wouldn't grab the little girl.

KAY RUSSO, SUSPECT'S MOTHER: He likes to get attention. He kind of shows up, people notice him. But he likes -- he had a great big bag of candy, he was giving away candy. That's just what he does.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Police say the Santa was arrested on a local bus carrying a unicycle and a bag filled with candy.

He is a neo-Nazi accused of murder and facing the death penalty. And Florida taxpayers are going to pay $150 a day for his makeup artist. You're looking at John Allen Datulio. He has a swastika tattooed under his right ear, barbed wire on the right side of his face. And what you don't see is a very vulgar phrase tattooed on his neck. A Florida judge agreed these tattoos are potentially offensive and could influence a jury's opinion during Datulio's murder trial. So the state of Florida will pay a cosmetologist up to $150 a day to apply makeup to cover up those tattoos.

And we are talking about this tattoo cover up on my blog this morning. I'd love to know what you think about it, about the judge's ruling in particular. Just go to CNN.com/Heidi and click on the comments. We'll share some of those a little later on right here in the "CNN NEWSROOM."

We do have an awful lot to get to this morning. CNN crews are in place to bring it all to you. I want to check in with some of our correspondents right now, beginning with Suzanne Malveaux in Oslo, Norway. Hi there, Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Heidi. President Obama did accept the Nobel Peace prize here in Oslo, and he also took on his critics who said he's not worthy of this prize. You may be surprised at how he responds.

He also explains how he can wage two wars and still be a man of peace. I'll have that coming up.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Elizabeth Cohen in Atlanta. The newest compromise on health care reform, what will it mean to you? I'll have that at the top the hour.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, the blizzard of '09 has finally gone into Canada, but the backlash is still whipping around the back side of it, with winds and cold temperatures that just about everybody is going to be feeling. We'll tell you how cold and where the snow is piling up in the next hour -- Heidi.

COLLINS: It's unbelievable. All right, guys, thank you.

We'll also talk with a presidential historian about Mr. Obama's latest honor, how it might help him and hurt him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: The White House is reviewing a long standing policy that prevents the president from sending condolence letters to the families of troops who have committed suicide.

Some families want the policy overturned. We recently reported on the Keesling (ph) family of Indiana. Their son shot and killed himself in Iraq. They set up a memorial wall for him and left a space for a condolence letter from the president.

It never came. They learned about the policy and wrote President Obama. He asked for the policy review. The White House said it should be completed shortly.

Here are some of the other stories we're watching right now. A rise in unemployment claims breaks five weeks of dropping numbers. The new report this morning shows 474,000 people making first-time claims for jobless benefits. But the number of people continuing to file for unemployment benefits dropped by more than 300,000 to 5.1 million.

Facebook is trying to improve privacy for the 350 million people who use the social networking Web site. Today and for some time yesterday users were greeted with a pop-up box asking if they wanted to modify their privacy settings. The company says it's trying to streamline the privacy process.

Apple may soon change the way people buy music. The company is considering allowing iTunes users to buy songs straight from the web. That would give users more ways to manage their music and they wouldn't have to download iTunes software.