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AMERICAN MORNING

Executives at Bailed-Out Institutions Receiving Limited Bonuses; Five Americans Arrested in Pakistan Reveal Their Desire to Martyr Themselves; How the Senate Health Care Bill is Shaping Up: What Afghanistan Could Be; Global Warming: Fact or Fiction; The Hunt for Madoff's Money

Aired December 11, 2009 - 07:00   ET

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


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much for being with us on the Most News in the Morning. It's Friday. It's the 11th of December. I'm John Roberts.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kiran Chetry. Thanks for being with us.

Well, we have big stories we'll be telling you about in the next 15 minutes.

First, it's their turn to pay. The Obama administration is announcing a new crackdown on executive pay. More than 200 second- tier executives will be getting the treatment that their bosses received. Is it enough for the risks that they took with your cash? Christine Romans will be here to explain.

ROBERTS: The FBI is now saying five Americans who turned up in Pakistan wanted to martyr themselves. How did students from the D.C. area end up in a hotspot for extremists? We went there for answers, and we found their families. New details, exclusively, just ahead.

CHETRY: And a new warning this morning for women who have already survived breast cancer. There is a new study linking heavy drinking to breast cancer coming back. But how much is too much? Elizabeth Cohen will be joining us with answers.

ROBERTS: First, though, bonus season getting a little bit lighter for executives who still have a job thanks to your money. The Obama administration announcing a new crackdown on executive pay today. The so-called Pay Czar Ken Feinberg will put caps on salary for top-tier executives in companies that took bailouts.

CHETRY: But are enough people responsible for the crash really feeling it? Christine Romans is Minding your Business this morning and she breaks it down for us. So who are we talking about here?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: We are talking about the second-tier executives at the big banks that are frankly insurance companies and automakers who are owned by you and me. Our money is propping these companies up. They have exceptional assistance from American taxpayers.

And that means at the Treasury Department Ken Feinberg, the special master for compensation, gets to say how much their executives will make. These are companies like Citigroup, AIG, General Motors, Chrysler, GMAC.

Bank of America used to be on the list, but you'll remember Bank of America was very eager to get out from under rules like this and paid back $45 billion to the Treasury this week.

Here is what the pay czar has ruled -- $500,000 will be the salary cap for the employees who make the number 26 through 100 top paid employees at the firms. The top 25 have already been ruled on in a case by case basis for those.

Extra pay will be allowed if the company can show good cause. John and Kiran, this is what I think is so interesting, because for many, many years leading up to the crash, there wasn't any kind of oversight. There was just wild compensation for risk taking. You couldn't show -- it was very difficult to show good cause.

So Ken Feinberg says some of these people may be eligible for more pay, bigger pay, if indeed they are doing work there that is good for taxpayers. You've got to show good cause.

There is really this culture that governments are trying to end. The U.K. is taxing bonuses now 50 percent. This is not popular in the city.

ROBERTS: What are they taxed here?

ROMANS: Bonuses are taxed here at 50 percent, yes. So these would be American bankers and European bankers in the U.K. But this is a big tax there. It's not very popular. It could raise six billion pounds I think of revenue for the government.

France is talking tough. You've got the president summoning the bankers to the White House. There's a boiling point that's been reached here about compensation. And I think we're just going to see this start to develop.

CHETRY: Are we going to see the potential backlashes and consequences? You mentioned London, the U.K. I was reading a couple of articles about how all these people are calling up their real estate agent saying get me out of here.

ROMANS: Or asking for transfers to someplace else through April or something, right.

CHETRY: Right. And so what is -- I mean, we talk about the situation and a lot of these cases we need these companies to be successful, we want them to be successful. They argue they need to retain top talent. But at the same time, some of this compensation seems obscene. So how do you balance that?

ROMANS: And that's why Ken Feinberg has this extra pay if you can show good cause, because he recognizes that there are people who are star performers who taxpayers need frankly to be doing a great job and who maybe should deserve more money if they're going to get a good return for us.

ROBERTS: Is the talent pool that thin?

ROMANS: You know --

ROBERTS: Christine Romans this morning. Thanks.

Shoppers and tourists sent scrambling for cover in New York City's Times Square during a deadly shooting involving police. Authorities say an officer shot and killed a 25-year-old man yesterday after he pulled a gun and fired several shots outside the Marriott Marquise hotel.

The officer had been trying to question the victim about some CDs he was peddling to tourists when the man took off running and then began firing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE XINAHAN, BOSTON TOURIST: The police were there. Clearly they had either taken off him or found by him a pretty significant weapon that he pulled off to the side.

QUESTION: What did the gun look like?

XINAHAN: Someone else had said it was something like a Mac 10 but it was a small gun with a huge clip underneath. It did not look like anything you want to get on the other side of.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Apparently it was a Mac 10. The perpetrator got a couple of shots off before the gun jammed. Bullets form the gun shattered the windows of a gift shop in the Marquise theater where the show "White Christmas" is playing.

CHETRY: And police commissioner Ray Kelly said thank god the gun jammed after two round or who knows what would happen.

ROBERTS: I fired one of those years ago. It can get off 1,800 rounds a minute.

CHETRY: And this one had a magazine with 27 additional bullets apparently. But, wow.

President Obama and his Nobel peace prize heading home to Washington at this hour, Air force One lifting off from Oslo, Norway, about two and a half hours ago. Before taking off, the president got a few laughs when he was asked about all the criticism that the Nobel committee faced for choosing him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: As I indicated before, no one was more surprised than me.

(LAUGHTER)

And I have to say that when the chairman spoke introducing me, I told him afterwards that I thought it was an excellent speech and that I was almost convinced that I deserved it.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: There you go.

Well, health care reform topping the president's agenda when he gets home this afternoon. He heads back to Europe next week for the climate summit in Copenhagen.

ROBERTS: Private security guards employed by Blackwater USA took part in top-secret CIA raids against suspected insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. That's according to a report in the "New York Times."

Blackwater's role in snatch and grab operations between 2004 and 2006 reportedly reveals a deep connection between the North Carolina security firm and the U.S. spy agency. And it's only raising concerns over the legality of using private contractors in sensitive government operations.

CHETRY: Also brand new this morning, we just learned a lot more about the five Americans arrested in Pakistan on terror charges. Just in to CNN, their mug shots and also some details of the interrogation that took place in Pakistan.

Documents showing the men say they wanted to head to Afghanistan to martyr themselves. They initially made contact with Pakistani militants through YouTube while posting comments on videos of Americans being killed in a convoy attack.

Our Arwa Damon went to ground zero of this investigation. She joins us with exclusive details from Islamabad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The city of Sarghoda has become known as a stronghold of radical Islamist groups. Now police here say they have thwarted a major terror plot.

This is the room where Wednesday they arrested five men who had vanished from their homes in the U.S. at the end of last month. Sarghoda police Usman Anwar chief says a few minutes later and they would have been gone. Anwar tells us they found maps highlighting known terror hideouts and an e-mail account the men used to contact their militant handlers.

USMAN ANWAR, POLICE CHIEF: They were given extraordinarily specific instructions I would say, and the telephone usage was prohibited. DAMON: Now the five, as well as the father of one of them, are behind bars. Two are of Pakistani descent one Egyptian, one Erytrian Ethiopian. Pakistani officials say all are Americans.

Behind these doors is where the six are being held, interrogated by both Pakistani officials and, according to the Pakistanis, by the FBI as well. None has yet been charged, but the police chief Anwar claims they could have posed a serious threat.

ANWAR: They were mercenaries. They were there for jihad. They could have done anything. They had U.S. you passports. They could have access to many, many points which a normal person could not have access to.

DAMON: Also in Sarghoda we meet the mother of one of the men. She doesn't want to appear on camera for religious reasons. She says she came to Pakistan two months ago to look for a wife for her son. Then he disappeared from their home.

SUBRIA FAROUK, MOTHER: And Monday he told he will come back. Monday all day he's gone, he didn't come back, he didn't pick up the phone. Next day again, the other parent told that all are missing. Then I told that now it's a serious thing.

DAMON: Ms. Farouk doesn't believe her son could be involved in a terror plot. She thought he'd been kidnapped and alerted the authorities.

A few days ago, her son and his friends turned up in Pakistan. He told her he wanted to surprise her. Now she says her family is caught in the middle of this complex Pakistani-U.S. web.

FAROUK: They are making a story because both country are fighting each other and they are involving our family. The people's family are coming over here to visit, marriage, enjoy their home country. This is not meaning that we are terrorists.

DAMON: Now a provincial town in Pakistan is suddenly the focus of an investigation spanning continents.

DAMON (on camera): According to the police interrogation report, which we have just received, the group made contact with at least two militant groups in Pakistan, both of whom, interestingly, refused them.

What is making this especially disturbing for Pakistani and other authorities, though, is that the arrests took place in the province of Punjab, home to the Pakistani military and political leadership. And destabilizing Punjab would destabilize the entire country -- John, Kiran.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Also new this morning, the battle to recruit Arab and Muslim troops getting even tougher since the Fort Hood shooting. "USA Today" reports that discrimination and harassment are up 20 percent since the massacre at the post. Army Major Nidal Hasan, a Muslim and Arab-American, is charged with killing 13 people and wounding 32 in that attack.

CHETRY: The man accused of making peeping tom videos of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews will plead guilty. Michael Barrett due in court Tuesday.

Barrett's lawyers released a statement apologizing to her. He now faces five years in prison. The seven short clips of Andrews walking around naked in hotel rooms ended up being the most searched items on Google for days, and for most of those sites were taken down. Andrews' lawyer is telling CNN that she is still shaken.

ROBERTS: And our best advice to you this morning -- wear layers. People across much of the country waking up to a biting cold. And as one winter storm moves out, another one is moving in. Parts of the mountain west that already got 30 inches of snow could see a whole lot more.

(WEATHER BREAK)

CHETRY: Still ahead, we'll be talking about some of the changes in health care reform. The Senate coming together possibly on a deal. But what does it entail and what does it mean for you? We'll break it down with a big panel talking more about some the changes presented in the newest version of reform.

It's 13 minutes past the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Sixteen minutes past the hour right now. We're talking about health care here. Just how badly does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want to get a reform bill passed by the end of the year?

Well, of course, we know she wants it. Well, she's no insisting on a so-called public insurance option to be at any final version, and she appears to be ready and willing to go forward without it. Senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash takes a look. She's following developments for us.

DANA BASH, CNN SR. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John and Kiran, now that Senate Democrats are poised to jettison a government-run health care option from their bill and the president is praising their progress, House Democrats who had demanded a public option are beginning to bow to reality. The votes just aren't there to pass it through Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BASH (voice-over): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this summer.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: There's no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option.

BASH: Yet now that Senate Democrats have a tentative deal to drop a public option, she's softening her stance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have said there is, quote, "No way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option." Is that still the case?

PELOSI: We in the House believe that the public option was the best way to hold insurance companies honest, to keep them honest, and also to increase competition. If you have a better way, put it on the table. As soon as we see something in writing from the Senate, we'll be able to make a judgment.

BASH: Pelosi opened the door to a health care bill with no public option as long as it meets certain standards, like affordable health coverage and competition for insurance companies. But perhaps more surprising than Pelosi's positive statement, the reaction from some of the most liberal lawmakers in her caucus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're certainly not closing the door.

BASH (on camera): You're open to it?

REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: I am. None of us care about what it's called as long as people have the type of coverage that they deserve.

BASH (voice-over): These members of the powerful progressive caucus had vowed to block health care without a public option. Now?

BASH (on camera): You know the reality and the reality is that the votes are such that you're going to have to live without a public option lately?

REP. STEVE COHEN (D), TENNESSEE: That's what appears to be. While I don't like it, I'm not going to make that make me kill the program and kill the improvements that are in it.

BASH (voice-over): They especially like the Senate idea of allowing people 55 to 64 to buy into Medicare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we're going to greatly expand Medicare, that is a public option.

BASH: But to be sure, not all liberals will stomach compromise.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Look, we need a public option for the purpose of choice, competition and access. That's why we need it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BASH: Many House liberals say they're in a wait and see mode. They're waiting to see the details of the Senate Democrats' tentative agreement, and that's not going to happen until the Congressional Budget Office finishes its analysis.

Still, in talking to Democrats, it is clear they are more willing to put aside their policy differences to send the president a health care bill soon. In fact, the House speaker said that could even happen by year's end -- John and Kiran.

CHETRY: Dana Bash for us. Thanks.

So we could actually have a health care reform bill perhaps for the holidays? Well, we still don't know the answer to that. But what we are doing right now is taking a closer look at the plan that's beginning to emerge in the Senate. And joining us to talk more about this from Chicago is Kenneth Thorpe, professor of Health Policy, Emory University.

Kenneth, thanks for being with us this morning.

KENNETH THORPE, PROF. OF HEALTH POLICY, EMORY UNIVERSITY: Oh, thanks for having me on.

CHETRY: And we also have with us, Shawn Tully, "Fortune" magazine editor-at-large. Thanks for being with us as well, Shawn.

SHAWN TULLY, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "FORTUNE": Thank you.

CHETRY: Ken, let me start with you. Two big things that were presented in the Senate version that we're talking about this morning of this health care bill. One is the change in the public option. This was something that actually looks like there was a compromise reached on this.

What does it mean and what's the solution to be able to afford to cover larger groups of people without a public option?

THORPE: Well, I think what they're talking about with the public option now is to have a government plan contract with a not for profit private health insurance company to provide health care coverage nationally. So that if you live in Albuquerque or Indiana, Pennsylvania, you pay exactly the same premium. So that was one of the premises was that national availability. Put competitive pressures on the insurance companies and everybody would pay the same.

BROWN: Shawn, is this basically a public option without calling it a public option?

TULLY: Well, that part of it is not a public option because the government through the office of personnel management would negotiate with private insurers the way that they do now for public employees. And the good element to this bill, as Ken pointed out, is that it is a national plan, whereas the insurance is regulated by state and there are enormous differences in premiums across state lines. This would, in fact, inject some sort of national competition.

The problem with it is that this plan already is facing very, very high premiums that are rising faster than premiums in the nonpublic sector. And also, you're going to have an adverse selection problem because you're going to have older, sicker people going into this plan, so they can't use the actual government plan. Because it would shift the cost enormously to the upside, what they have to do is create a parallel plan. But the biggest single change is making Medicare available to people over the age of -- starting at the age of 55.

CHETRY: Yes, that's what I want to get to next, this change, dropping the age that you could actually opt into Medicare. Right now it's 65, dropping it to 55. How would we pay for that, Kenneth?

THORPE: Well, that's going to be the challenge that the Senate is working out right now. They're looking at a couple of proposals.

The first option would be to make Medicare available to adults 55 to 64 probably starting next year, but having seniors really paying the full price of it -- about $7,500 or $8,000 a year for a single person. Alternatively, they're looking at options that would provide some financial assistance for people to buy those plans, and that's going to be one of the issues. How much does it really cost? How much does it add to the overall cost of the bill? And is it really going to be affordable for people to buy it?

TULLY: It won't be. If people today pay 25 percent of the cost of Medicare via premiums and taxes, this would call on people to pay the full actuarial price of the Medicare coverage. It's going to be far too expensive. It's going to require enormous subsidies. The question is will those subsidies be higher than the subsidies that people who were uninsured would get through the exchanges?

The history of Medicare is that the cost projections are always way off by a factor of two or three times. So this is a program that's already in the red by over $50 trillion. And to give you some sort of perspective, Kiran, the deficit is around $1.5 trillion. So this would actually expand the problems that we now have with Medicare, which is the biggest budget buster in --

CHETRY: Right. And, Kenneth, do you agree with that take, that you're talking in the trillions already when it comes to underfunding? And if so, what is -- is this bill going to, quote, "bend the cost curve," which is what many proponents of reform have been saying needs to happen and will happen if it's passed?

THORPE: Well, there are a lot of good new ideas in the proposal to slow the growth in Medicare spending in particular. We've got to go to the root cause here.

Medicare costs are rising because we have an explosion of chronic diseases in the program, diabetes, high blood pressure. And secondly, we don't do a very good job of working with patients that have multiple chronic health care conditions to keep them out of the hospital, to keep them being readmitted to the hospital. In fact, 20 percent of Medicare patients are readmitted into the hospital within 30 days. So there are some good provisions that move us in the right direction that do a better job of preventing disease and doing care coordination. The question is, are we doing enough and are we doing it fast enough? But at least they're going in the right direction.

CHETRY: And, Shawn, you say that we could be in terms of trying to find a way to pay for this, what do you think the inevitability of this is?

TULLY: I think --

CHETRY: Also, finding a way to pay for it?

TULLY: The only way this program can ever be paid for is to a value-added tax.

CHETRY: Which means what? A national sales tax?

TULLY: A national sales tax which is almost inevitable given that we cannot possibly grow our way out of these budget problems. And there's really almost no will to cut our way out of these problems. So the only way that we can move forward and come anywhere near balancing the budget is through an enormous new national sales tax. I think it's inevitable.

And the other problem with this bill that no one is talking about is the fines on individuals in the Senate bill are so low.

CHETRY: Right.

TULLY: In fact, if you spend less than eight percent or over eight percent of your income for a policy, you're totally exempted from any fines. So what people are going to do is they're going to opt in when they get sick. When the flood is approaching your house, you're going to buy flood insurance.

CHETRY: Right.

TULLY: And when you're young and you have to pay far more than your cost, which is also a feature of this bill, you're going to drop your insurance. So people will be going in when they get sick and dropping out when they're healthy.

CHETRY: I know the House version is a little bit more robust on that front. We'll see if as these moves forward that changes in this bill. But I want to thank both of you for your insights today. Kenneth Thorpe, as well as Shawn Tully, thanks for being here.

TULLY: Thank you.

THORPE: Well, thanks for having us on.

CHETRY: John?

ROBERTS: Five minutes now after the hour. The Copenhagen summit, a week has gone by and still those e-mails are casting doubt over the science and the proceedings there. We're going to talk to a scientist mentioned many times in those e-mails. He wants the raw climate data to check the science and so far scientists at the Climatic Research Unit have been denying him that data.

Global warming, fact or fiction? Is it truth or trick? We'll find out, coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. If you traveled 90 miles north of Kabul in Afghanistan, you'll discover what Afghanistan could potentially be some day. It's a province called Panjshir. It features inspiring snow-topped mountains, a river running through them, and 300,000 very proud people live.

CHETRY: It's also a place where American troops and only American troops are welcome. An "A.M. Original" now from northern Afghanistan, Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stunning beauty of Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley. These mountain peaks have kept these fiercely independent and devote Panjshiris safe. Neither the invading Soviets or the Taliban were ever able to control this region.

Because the area is now relatively secure, U.S. troops stationed here are able to concentrate on encouraging the local Afghan government to take responsibility for its citizens, a major priority of the new counterinsurgency strategy. Army Major Ian Murray is part of a reconstruction team living here in the valley.

MAJ. IAN MURRAY, U.S. ARMY: We get to actually get out, work with the government officials, work with the local people and make sure that the basic services are being provided to them. We've been really focused on building schools, providing some basic electrical power through micro-hydroelectric projects and providing the clinics.

STARR (on camera): And you do not have Taliban or insurgent activity here.

MURRAY: No. There is no Taliban, no insurgent activity. We had no instances of any kind of Taliban activity in the valley.

STARR (voice-over): We are taken to visit a school the U.S. helped build. Boys and girls attend separately as they do across Afghanistan. It's a freezing cold day, and these boys have walked miles to get here in the early morning.

(on camera): This cold, remote valley is a place of great history to both the Afghans of the Panjshir and to the United States. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the first CIA jawbreaker team landed here with trunkfuls of cash and within days the war against the Taliban would begin, a war that still goes on today.

(voice-over): All up and down the valley, you still find rusted hulks of Soviet armor and artillery, a testament to the will of the Panjshirys (ph)to resist outsiders, which makes it all the more extraordinary that the people in this valley are willing to accept U.S. troops.

Here the U.S. soldiers have their own security force, local Musadin (ph) fighters who have sworn to protect the Americans, fighters who once fought the Taliban and the Soviets.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Panjshir Valley.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHETRY: Interesting stuff. Barbara, thanks.

Meanwhile, we're half past the hour right now. A look at the top stories this morning. Defense secretary Robert Gates and secretary of state Hillary Clinton are heading back to the hot seat on Capitol Hill. They'll be facing some questions from lawmakers concerned about the cost of deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. The Pentagon has estimated the surge will cost between $30 billion and $35 billion.

ROBERTS: A top Al Qaeda operative is dead, killed by an American missile in Pakistan. A government official telling the "Associated Press," the terror leader was hit recently by a U.S. predator drone in western Pakistan. So far, no word on who the target was, but the government official did say it was not Osama Bin Laden or his number two, Ayman Al Zawahiri.

CHETRY: Well, a Yale lab technician who reportedly worked in the same building where grad student Annie Le was murdered is missing this morning. The university says the 47-year-old John DiNello has not been seen since Monday. Police say DiNello takes daily medication and did not have it with him. Investigators treating this as a missing persons case and not a criminal investigation.

ROBERTS: The contentious debate over global warming on the front burner after those stolen e-mails from a climate change lab. Skeptics say they cast doubt on the science behind climate change, but supporters say it's just a bunch of noise.

Joining me now to talk about the implications of the e-mails and whether in fact there is global warming, Stephen McIntyre, editor of the blog climateaudit.org. He was mentioned in many of those stolen e-mails. And Dr. Michael McCracken, chief scientist at the Climate Change Program at the Climate Institute.

Gentlemen, good to talk to you. Stephen, let me start with you. You've written extensively about these hacked e-mails on climateaudit.org. Do they cast suspicion on the entire science of global warming or just one particular set of temperature data?

STEPHEN MCINTYRE, EDITOR, CLIMATEAUDIT.ORG: There's only one set of data that is in question. This is a technical area, but an important technical area, and it's as though this is one expert element in a large prosecution case and I've argued against that technical aspect of the argument.

ROBERTS: Right. But does it suggest to you that the whole case for man-made global warming is a fraud?

MCINTYRE: No, it doesn't. It suggests that in this one particular technical area scientists have, I believe, overstated the case, but this has nothing to do with other aspects of the argument.

ROBERTS: OK. Michael McCracken, can you say from your standpoint with absolute certainty that the global warming that we are seeing these days, the climate change that we're experiencing, is in fact due to man-made factors?

MICHAEL MACCRACKEN, CHIEF SCIENTIST FOR CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAM,CLIMATE INSTITUTE: Well, no scientist really can talk in terms of absolute certainty, but we look at a lot of different aspects of it and there's really no other explanation for the kinds of things that are happening. So there's a possibility there could be something we're missing, but it's very, very small.

We look at changes in solar radiation and they can't explain it. We look at changes in volcanic eruptions. They can't explain it. There's a question about whether there could be some poorly understood natural variations that could cause a little bit of it, but mainly it has to be human activities. There just isn't any other way to explain what's happening.

ROBERTS: And Stephen McIntyre, do you have another cause that you know of besides a human component?

MCINTYRE: The issue that I have is whether there has been a proper engineering quality analysis of the other explanations. I'm fairly conventional in my view points and I assume that scientists do a sensible job at what they're doing, notwithstanding the fact that the scientists in the particular area that I've studied have, in my opinion, done a very unprofessional job.

I think it would be very healthy to have an outside engineering quality examination of the very best climate model to reassure the public, as well as policy makers.

ROBERTS: Right.

MCINTYRE: Having said that, policy makers make decisions under uncertainty all the time, and I think that policymakers are entitled to make decisions.

ROBERTS: Michael MacCracken, when we look at the temperature record over the last I guess 100 or so years, there appears to be an up tick in and around 1960 to 1970. That continued until 1998 when temperatures actually started dropping. Many global warming skeptics say that's reason to believe that maybe this is just part of a natural cycle, that the temperature is not going to continue to go up. What do you say to that?

MACCRACKEN: Well, there are some natural variations that go on. There are also needs to keep looking at the record. There's an up tick, for example, during the years particularly of World War II and it's being realized now that that may be because particular ship records that were taken when they were changing the measurement technique may have measured a little bit high.

But there's always going to be some variation going on over the short term. Over the long term, which is what we're talking about for climate change, what you see is we've come from a quite cool, industrial period in the 18th and 19th centuries to much, much warmer conditions now.

ROBERTS: Stephen McIntyre, Allen Leshner, who is the CEO of the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences is, also the executive editor of the "Journal of Science," had an op-ed in the "Washington Post" yesterday. He said that the science on this is clear. He wrote, "don't be fooled about climate science. In April 1994, long after scientists had clearly demonstrated the addictive quality and devastating health impacts of cigarette smoking, seven chief executives of major tobacco companies denied the evidence, swearing under oath that nicotine was not addictive."

What do you say to the charge that skeptics may be so whetted to the negative financial impact of curbing greenhouse gases that they're willing to ignore science?

MCINTYRE: Well, I for one am not particularly whetted to any position. I don't think that analogies to the tobacco case are very helpful because certainly for someone like myself I don't smoke. I don't have any interest in the tobacco situation, and any concerns that I have are ones that are honestly felt.

So I think that rather than criticizing past issues like the tobacco industry that scientists would be better to look in the mirror and ask themselves whether they are doing the most effective possible job of explaining their case to the educated public.

ROBERTS: All right. One more week to go in the Copenhagen conference and this is the part where the leaders will, in fact, factor into it. So we'll be watching that very closely.

Stephen McIntyre, Michael MacCracken, thanks for being with us this morning. Good to see you.

MCINTYRE: Thank you, John.

CHETRY: You know, it's hard to believe it's been a year since the Bernie Madoff scandal broke. The huge ponzi scheme.

ROBERTS: It went like that.

CHETRY: Yes, it really does. Well, now this fight that's going on for the past year among his victims to get money back, taking a bit of a turn. Our Allan Chernoff breaks it down for us. 38 minutes past hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Welcome back to the most news in the morning. 41 past the hour right now. You know, it was a year ago today that Bernard Madoff's empire of fraud collapsed, wiping out life savings and decimating charities.

ROBERTS: This morning, the 71-year-old convicted con artist is living out the rest of his life in a North Carolina prison and there is a growing conflict between some of his victims as they try to recoup their losses.

Our Allan Chernoff has been looking at the story very closely for the past 12 months. And he's here now. One would with think all of the victims would have interest in sort of pursuing the same sort of thing.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly.

ROBERTS: Not fighting with each other.

CHERNOFF: John, Kiran, you would think they would all be banding together, but the fact is that some of these investors have actually gotten some of their money back while others haven't gotten a dime. And that's pitting victim against victim.

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CHERNOFF (voice-over): Bennett Goldworth thought he was set for life when he retired three years ago at age 50. He bought a waterfront condo in Ft. Lauderdale and said good-bye to New York and his job selling real estate.

BENNETT GOLDWORTH, MADOFF VICTIM: I felt like I had everything I wanted in life. It was great.

CHERNOFF: A decade of investing with Bernard Madoff gave Goldworth the financial security to enjoy the good life in Florida. Until Madoff's arrest.

GOLDWORTH: Hi, Scott. It's Bennett.

CHERNOFF: Today, Goldworth is back at the Corkran(ph) Group in Manhattan, grateful to be selling homes again. He is grateful also to be among the first to receive a full $500,000 insurance settlement from the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, which insured direct accounts of Madoff.

GOLDWORTH: I'm one of the fortunate ones. I was very happy. I really was very pleased.

CHERNOFF: But other Madoff victims like Judy and Don Rafferty, senior citizens who had to come out of retirement, have gotten nothing.

JUDY RAFFERTY, DENIED COMPENSATION: I felt as though we were cheated. I felt violated.

CHERNOFF: The Raffertys for years had withdrawn what they believed were earnings from their Madoff account. The trustee overseeing restitution Irving Picard said the Raffertys withdrew more than they invested and, therefore, are entitled to nothing.

RAFFERTY: They changed the rules in the middle of the game, which I don't think is fair at all. GOLDWORTH: The net winners should be at the back of the line, you know. The first thing that should be addressed is that everyone get back everything they invested.

RAFFERTY: Because he got his money back. Why wouldn't he feel comfortable? It's the people who haven't gotten their money back that are not happy.

CHERNOFF: What bonded Bernard Madoff clients, victimization, now divides some of them. Investors like the Raffertys feel once again they're victims while other Madoff investors like Bennett Goldworth have received compensation to get back on their feet.

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CHERNOFF:: The trustee thus far have reviewed more than 11,000 claims but approved only 1,600, just about 14 percent. A lot of unhappy people.

CHETRY: And you were saying there's a lot more claims that they haven't even had a chance to get to.

CHERNOFF: Actually, there had been more than 16,000 Madoff victim claims filed. So they've got a good 5,000 or so to get to.

ROBERTS: All right. Allan Chernoff, watching it all for us this morning. Allan, thanks very much.

A special programming note. All next week, our Ali Velshi and the CNN Express hit recovery road to find out if Americans are buying these claims that the recession is over. He also looks into what Americans are buying this holiday and what they've learned one year after the financial collapse. "Recovery Road" premieres next Monday here on the most news in the morning. 44 minutes after the hour.

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ROBERTS: We're back with the Most News in the Morning.

And high times on Capitol Hill. The House giving the green light on some hot-button issues, including lifting a ban on the district's medical marijuana law.

Our Brianna Keilar has more on this controversial move.

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BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In the House, a vote to fund the federal government for the next year. Also inside the massive spending bill, a provision that lifts a decade-old ban on medical marijuana in the nation's capital, a victory for medical marijuana advocates.

AARON HOUSTON, MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: We just don't think it's right to have a cancer or AIDS patient whose doctor has recommended that they use marijuana being subject to arrest and prosecution. It's simply not fair.

KEILAR: In 1998, D.C. voters passed a referendum allowing residents to possess and use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Congress, then controlled Republicans, quickly intervened, much to the chagrin of D.C.'s sole member of Congress, Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton.

REP. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, (D) DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: They tried to keep us even from counting the ballots in the referendum. That was overturned. And then they simply banned no matter what the referendum said any kind of medicinal marijuana in the District of Columbia.

KEILAR: But ten years later Democrats are in control of Congress, and conservative opposition to medical marijuana just isn't what it used to be. Also President Obama has not voiced opposition to this medical marijuana provision being in this spending bill -- John and Kiran.

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ROBERTS: Brianna Keilar this morning. Brianna, thanks.

This morning's top stories just minutes away, including, at the top of the hour, they left the United States to martyr themselves. That's what investigators in Pakistan are now saying about Americans they arrested there. New details about the way they tried to hide their alleged mission from the feds.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR : And coming up at 8:15 eastern, your bonus tied to performance -- imagine that. Goldman Sachs now giving out stocks instead of cash to top executives. And now some are asking will of these banking giants follow. We'll speak to the author of "Too Big to Fail," Andrew Ross Sorkin.

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ROBERTS: It's funny some people believe his book "too big to lift."

At 8:25 Eastern, a chemical gas attack on the subway. Why the feds may not be able to stop it and how bad it could be if they only contain it. Those stories and more coming your way at the top of the hour.

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CHETRY: A beautiful shot this morning. Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. It's now 53 minutes past the hour.

And there is a new warning this morning out that has a lot of people scratching their heads. For the two and a half million women who have beaten breast cancer in the United States, there is a new study saying that a drink a day may actually increases your chances of developing breast cancer again.

CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is in Atlanta this morning with details. We talked before about alcohol being a risk factor for developing breast cancer in the first place, and now for it coming back after you've beaten it, can you explain, first of all, why researchers think alcohol increases your chances of getting cancer?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. That's a great question because the connection is not immediately obvious. No one is really sure, Kiran, but part of the theory is that these tumors, breast cancer tumors, thrive on estrogen, and that alcohol can increase the amount of estrogen in a woman's body.

CHETRY: And it's so difficult, because you hear conflicting things all the time about alcohol in general. We have talked about some of its health benefits, and now some are asking should women avoid alcohol altogether?

COHEN: What I have heard doctors say is look through your family history and personal history, and if you have a lot of heart disease in your family but no breast cancer, you might consider a drink a day is OK for you.

However, if you have a lot of breast cancer in your family or certainly if you have a history of breast cancer, you may want to restrict your alcohol.

Let's take a look at what Kaiser Permanente researchers found when they looked at nearly 2000 of their patients who had had breast cancer. What they found was three to four drinks a week increased their risk of getting breast cancer again by about a third. That is quite a bit -- Kiran.

CHETRY: It really is. And that is the other question. How much is considered heavy, moderate, and light drinking on average for men and women?

COHEN: I will tell you, it's interesting, the American Cancer Society recommends for all women, women who never had breast cancer, to just have one drink a day and no more. If you have not had breast cancer, one drink a day is considered the limit if you want to decrease your chances of getting breast cancer.

CHETRY: Elizabeth Cohen for us this morning. Thanks so much.

ROBERTS: Top stories coming your way right after a quick break, including the latest on those five Americans who were detained in Pakistan. Stay with us.

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