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CAMPBELL BROWN

Meaningful Climate Change Deal Reached?; Former Hostages Speak Out

Aired December 18, 2009 - 20:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, the questions we want answered.

Is Washington, D.C., really going to get more than two feet of snow?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: This is going to be one very significant storm.

SANCHEZ: One of the biggest winter storms in decades, blizzard watches, flood warnings, 50 million people in its path, our severe weather team all over the storm.

SANCHEZ: A surprise deal at that climate conference.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We made a meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here in Copenhagen.

SANCHEZ: But shouldn't the real pressure be put on China and the place called the dirtiest city in the world?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The longer we were outside, the more I could feel my eyes start to well up. My throat started to hurt.

ROY HALLUMS, HOSTAGE: My name is Roy Hallums. I'm an American national. Please help me.

SANCHEZ: Kidnapped in Iraq, months in captivity, a ransom in millions, and a gun to his head.

HALLUMS: Every little noise, every bump, it's, is this it?

SANCHEZ: Tonight, an exclusive interview with a former hostage by a former hostage. CNN's own Michael Ware takes us through his own capture and imprisonment.

And Americans are finding one another on Facebook. Two brothers reunite on our air. And you will see it. They meet for the very first time right here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: CNN prime time begins now. In for Campbell Brown, Rick Sanchez. SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez, in for Campbell Brown.

Here now, the "Mash-Up."

We're going to begin with breaking news. Right now, a monster winter storm is slamming the East Coast. Fifty million of us are going to be affected by this thing. And they're talking about are -- You ready for this? -- 26 possible inches in Washington, D.C. and then beyond.

(WEATHER UPDATE)

SANCHEZ: All right, while we're talking winter, the big chill at the climate conference is over.

Just a couple of hours ago, President Obama announcing what he flew all the way to Copenhagen to get, a deal with China and India over climate change.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The expectations were for something a little bit more robust.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: They were, except for in the last 48 hours as you know the expectations were they would get nothing. And so this is better than nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White House officials say that the key moment came when President Obama burst into a meeting of Chinese, Indian, and Brazilian leaders uninvited. He said he didn't want them negotiating in secret. Once inside, they say, through the sheer force of will, they were able to seal the deal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five countries, including the U.S., did finally approve a plan to verify efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But ultimately they didn't get what they really came here for, a legally binding treaty among all countries.

OBAMA: What I think is that some people are going to legitimately ask is, well, if it's not legally binding, what prevents us from, 10 years from now, looking and saying, you know, everybody fell short of these goals, and there's no consequences to it?

My response is that, A, that's why I think we should still drive towards something that is more binding than it is. But that wasn't achievable at this conference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Interesting the president would say that.

Now, it sounds like he's walked somewhat back on what his administration has been hammering away at all week long, that they would walk out if they didn't get some kind of deal. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president believes that we're going to make progress. We have to do more than just put a series of goals on a piece of paper. We have to also have a mechanism in that paper to ensure that transparency allows us to verify what each nation is doing.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: If there is not even a commitment to pursue transparency, that's kind of a deal- breaker for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: So, what's really happening there? And what's it got to do with China? We're going to get the real deal from Copenhagen in just a little bit during this newscast.

The president has a deal on climate change, but it looks like hell will freeze over before the other thing the president really wants, health care reform, is going to get passed. Republicans and Democrats are all but fistfighting on this Friday. It's been political theater, complete with some -- well, with some props.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: I have seen the missing bill, which is a mystery to virtually everyone.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Frankly there's an extraordinary amount of distortion and fakery taking place on the floor of the United States Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Democrat Al Franken and independent Senator Joe Lieberman had it out on the Senate floor Thursday. We showed you that. Tonight, we're told they have made up, even hugged.

All right, I have got to do it. I just got to. Renee (ph), should we? What the heck. Roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

AL FRANKEN, ACTOR: I'm going to do a terrific show today. And I'm going to help people because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: It's Friday. Both sides are talking about heading into the Capitol over the weekend. And in the dead of night, Monday morning, get this, at 1:00 a.m., they're going to start fighting this out once again. We will watch.

Tonight, we have new data from the Centers for Disease Control showing autism is more prevalent than we all thought in this country, an astonishing number, really. One out of every 110 children have autism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds a 57 percent increase in new cases in just six years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The CDC studied the records of over 300,000 8-year-olds in parts of 11 states from 2006.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From 2002 until 2006, Autism increased 60 percent in boys and 48 percent in girls.

BLITZER: About one in 70 boys and one in 315 girls has autism.

CHARLES GIBSON, HOST, "WORLD NEWS": Health officials don't know how much is due to a true increase in cases and how much to better diagnosis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Story that we're going to continue to follow for you.

And now we do what we always do. We end with the "Punchline," courtesy this time of Conan O'Brien. It's been one crazy week as you probably know for Tiger Woods. But it's not all been bad news for the great golfer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN": The timing is awkward, but Tiger Woods was named athlete of the decade by the Associated Press. That's right. And in a related story, Tiger's caddy was named man of the decade by "Wingman" magazine.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Yes. He's apparently -- he's very proud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: And that, friends, is your "Mash-Up" for tonight.

Coming up, you know how much I believe and I use social media. You have seen me do it, right, for more than a year now. It's also a phenomenon, though, that's being used all over the country by people who are looking for one another. During this newscast, you're going to see three siblings that are reunited during our show on our air. They're going to tell you how you could possibly do what they did to find someone you're looking for. This is going to be something special. And we're going to experience it all of us here together.

Also, President Obama claims victory on climate change in Copenhagen, but will and how will this new deal affect all of us?

And as we go to break, these are live pics that we're bringing in now. We told you there was going to be a huge storm moving in tonight and really getting heavy into tomorrow. This is Charlottesville, Virginia, where the governor, Tim Kaine, has now declared a state of emergency ahead of what may be the storm of the decade moving in now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: More now on our big news coming out of Copenhagen. The U.S. has reached what President Obama is calling a meaningful deal to combat global warming, meaningful in that it includes China, the world's biggest polluter. That's right.

Look, we take a lot of heat for this, but I want you to take a look at what is probably the world's most polluted city in 2006. It's in China, not in the United States. And their government claims -- keyword there -- that it's being cleaned up.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

EMILY CHANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the road into Linfen, the cars seem to disappear in a dense fog that clings to vanishing buildings. The sun shines through a murky haze, if at all.

(on camera): I'm actually feeling almost nauseous. The longer we were outside, the more I could feel my eyes start to well up. My throat started to hurt. This air is hard to breathe.

(voice-over): Linfen has been called the most polluted city in the world. Linfen is in the heart of China's coal country, in Shanxi Province, home to engines of industrial growth, coal mines, coking plants, iron and steel mills.

(on camera): It's very heavy. This is raw iron that they use to make steel.

(voice-over): But in light of the town's reputation, some factory officials are uneasy about any attention.

(on camera): We are on public property. Can we shoot here? We just want to stand here and shoot the factory.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: NO.

CHANG (voice-over): In the last few years, the government has closed hundreds of mines and factories. Those that remain, like this steel mill, are held to stricter standards.

"The steel mill provides job," says Xue. "People have work and they have money," including his own son.

As for the pollution, he says it's getting better. But if this is better, this city and this country still have a long way to go to clear the air.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: And I can't help but do this. As we move forward with this story -- and this is an important story -- I want to show you what's going on right now. There's a storm that's coming in right now. You can see that? That's a real picture, folks.

I know it looks like it's totally whited out. It is. That's because that's how heavy the snow is falling right now in Charlottesville. We will continue to follow this. We will be checking back with Chad from time to time.

Meanwhile, there's a lot of tension between the United States and China when it comes to pollution and climate change.

Bjorn Lomborg, he's the author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" and "Cool It." He's in Copenhagen for us. I'm going to ask him why we get all of the heat here in the United States when it turns out that China is the biggest polluter?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BJORN LOMBORG, CLIMATE WRITER: It was never going to happen that China was going to accept that they were going to cut back on carbon emissions.

They have lifted about 300 million people out of poverty with fossil fuels, and they're hoping to lift another 300 million out of poverty. So, of course they want to emit more. They very cleverly said that they were going to reduce their carbon intensity, that is, how much CO2 they admit per dollar produced. So, it sounded like that was really going to matter.

SANCHEZ: Why do we get all the heat as being the global carbon emitters, when, in fact, China is the number-one carbon emitter in the entire world are they not?

LOMBORG: China is a lot bigger than the U.S., so their per capita emissions are still much, much lower than the U.S.

And, also, let's not forget that a lot of what China produced is our stuff, anywhere from the happy meal trinkets to our steel and cement. So, actually somewhere between a third and a fourth of everything that comes out of China is going to us.

SANCHEZ: When you increase urbanization, when you increase consumerism, you're increasing pollution. So, even putting greenhouse effect aside, that many more people suddenly buying and driving cars is going to pollute the planet that we all share, are they not?

LOMBORG: It's absolutely true. China's an incredibly polluted place. But they have a very big interest in cleaning that up themselves.

The local pollution there, their particulate air pollution, their water pollution, they will clean that up just like we did in the '60s and '70s and '80s. But the point is, that's not got very much to do with CO2. We are pressuring them on a pollutant that really only matters in 50 or 100 years. They worry about the fact that they're coughing right now.

SANCHEZ: Now, I got to tell you, I was born in a communist country. I have a tendency to not trust totalitarian countries that control their own media. I'm not sure I can say that I trust that China will do as we ask them to. Do you?

LOMBORG: The way they insisted on the verification, given the fact that China's actually not really promised anything, the verification was more a way of just simply making sure that no deal came through or at least a very, very poor and weak kind of deal, as we're probably going to see here in Copenhagen.

So, fundamentally, I don't think the verification is important before China's actually promised something really hard to do.

SANCHEZ: At least they're sitting down.

By the way, before I let you go, it does sound like at least the president has gotten an agreement for other world leaders to meet. And I understand now that the French president had come out and said that he's going to call a meeting and get world leaders again. So, at least there's a movement in the right direction.

Is that satisfying enough? Or should these guys have been going a lot further than what they're coming out of Copenhagen with?

LOMBORG: Well, fundamentally, we were never going to get a strong deal.

Listen, we have been trying to cut carbon emissions for 17 years, and we have been failing for 17 years. We failed in Rio. We failed in Kyoto. And now we have failed in Copenhagen. It's not very surprising because it's really expensive to cut carbon emissions.

That's why instead of trying to push these unrealistic expectations and promises, we should be focusing much more on getting the technology in place to invest in research and development into green energy, so that we have the solar panels that are going to power the second half of the 21st century. We don't right now. We're essentially putting the cart in front of the horse when we make these promises.

SANCHEZ: Well, small steps, but nonetheless a long journey. And maybe we will get there.

Bjorn Lomborg, my thanks to you for joining us and taking us through this.

LOMBORG: Thanks a lot, Rick.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: All right. Here's a story now that's been ticking me and many Americans off all day long, a new credit card that charges -- Are you ready for this? -- 80 percent interest. Count it, 80. How in the world are they getting away with something like this? How is it even legal, beyond everything else?

Also, kidnapped by al Qaeda, there aren't a lot of people in this world who have experienced something like this and have lived to go on and tell about it.

Next, we're going to take you through a ride in terror. Two men, including one of them being our own Michael Ware, who has been with me on the last couple of nights on this show on this set, he's going to describe for us what it was like to be their hostage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When I was grabbed by al Qaeda and pulled from my car, I mean, they were just going to cut my head off. But it's like it was someone else. At that moment, it felt to me like it was happening to someone else, even though I was completely or even hyper-aware at the moment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: But first this. Again, as we go to break, this is the huge storm that's moving in right now. We're told by the experts that it's going to affect up to 50 million of us as it moves in. Stay tuned. We will have coverage on this as well. Big show. Stay there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.

So often, we have heard stories of Americans that are kidnapped in Iraq. And some of those stories, they ended up with what are, well, gruesome executions. But this one ended with a daring rescue.

The man that you're about to meet was an American contractor. He was building missiles and he was providing food for our military. He was captured. His kidnappers demanded $12 million. And now he's telling the story of what that was like, how he got out.

Then there's this fellow, our own Michael Ware. He sat down with him. And not only did he sit down with him as a journalist, but what Michael was able to do is, he actually was able to compare notes, because this very same thing happened to Michael.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WARE (voice-over): Three months after Roy Hallums disappeared in Baghdad in 2004, this proof of life video appeared.

HALLUMS: My name is Roy Hallums. I'm an American national. Please help me.

WARE: Before it was over, Hallums would be held nearly a full year by Iraqi insurgents -- 311 days -- something I know a little about having been taken by al Qaeda myself. WARE (on camera): When I was grabbed by al Qaeda and pulled from my car, I mean, they were just going to cut my head off. But it was like it was someone else. At that moment, it felt to me like it was happening to someone else even though I was completely or even hyper- aware of the moment.

HALLUMS: You're right. It's like it's almost third person, that I can sit there and tell the story. I can answer any question anybody has. It doesn't bother me, and what's for lunch, you know?

WARE (voice-over): This is Hallums at the end of his ordeal. He lost 40 pounds but says he never lost hope. For most of the time, his kidnappers kept him in a secret and cramped underground cell, the entrance sealed shut.

HALLUMS: You could hear them trawling this concrete over the door, and then they would shove a freezer over the top of that to hide where the door was. You're buried in there, and if they decide, well, it's just too dangerous to go back to the house and they never come back, then you're in your tomb.

WARE (on camera): Dead men tell no tales.

WARE (voice-over): Eight months after his proof of life video had appeared, U.S. special forces received a crucial tip on his whereabouts. Worried Hallums would be moved, they instantly launched a daylight rescue.

HALLUMS: I heard special forces pounding on this little door in the room where I was, and the guy jumps down in there and says, "Are you Roy?" It's like, well, this can't really be happening, because after all this time, they actually found where I was, you know, which was a miracle.

WARE: Two days after Roy Hallums was rescued, I joined a U.S. hostage team gathering information and I shot this video as they returned to the Iraqi farmhouse and Hallums' hellhole.

It gave me a sense of what may have awaited me or any other of the westerners kidnapped in Iraq. And now talking with Hallums, it's forcing me deal with things I would rather forget.

My experience began here. I was grabbed in late 2004, not far from where you see this burning American Bradley fighting vehicle. al Qaeda had just taken over the neighborhood. Like Hallums, I was taken at the height of al Qaeda's campaign of their videotaped beheadings, like this one, the last images of one contractor Nicholas Berg alive.

I actually videotaped my own capture. My camera catching one of my abductors pulling a pin on a grenade before they pulled me from the car.

Unlike Hallums, for me there was to be no imprisonment. This was al Qaeda, and I was going to die. They readied me immediately for beheading, to be filmed with my own camera. I was only saved by Iraqi insurgents I knew who resented al Qaeda's takeover. (on camera): Your moment of liberation, brother.

(voice-over): Meeting Hallums, sharing our experiences flushed up in me a mix of emotions. I can't even bear the thought of being held months on end like he was.

HALLUMS: You're laying there in this little hole in the dark. You're tied up, hands and feet, and every little noise, every little bump -- is this it? Is this when they're going to do it?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WARE: And as with much in war, you gain a new perspective on life. We both know nothing is ever going to be the same for us again. WARE (on camera): Is it the little things? Like for me, with all the conflict I have been in, it's the tiny things. It's a smell or a sound, or it can be a certain texture or color or word that triggers or evokes memory. What is it for you?

HALLUMS: Usually little things. I had nylon zip ties on my wrists 24 hours a day for 10. 5 months. The other day I was out walking my dog and my neighbor had brought something home from the store and he was cutting the zip ties off of the bundle, and I looked down at his yard, and there's these zip ties laying there that had been cut off.

And it's just one of those things, you remember, you had a different relationship with that zip tie than he has.

WARE: In the end, though, it's those who love us waiting back home, often unknowing, who suffer the most, while survivors like Hallums barely able to walk or talk after not being able to do either for so many months, know just how lucky we are to be alive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Good God. Michael joins us now.

That's one hell of a story, man.

WARE: Oh, it's incredible. Can you imagine 10 months stuck in a hole?

Now, I'm -- apart from Roy Hallums, I'm the only Western civilian to have actually seen this hole. And I don't know if you could see in the video that the soldier shut off his video camera the soldiers are on their knees. They're not standing up. They're moving around on their knees.

SANCHEZ: Wow.

WARE: And he was kept tied behind his back feet and mask that 10 months in that hole.

SANCHEZ: I'm wondering as I watch that, you took a picture of the guy who took you.

WARE: Yes, yes, yes.

(CROSSTALK)

WARE: Or one of them.

SANCHEZ: What did he do with that live grenade? I'm not quite sure I understand. You say he pull -- we saw him pull the pin.

WARE: Yes, yes, yes. On that film -- I filmed my whole kidnap. I kept the camera running the whole time.

SANCHEZ: You're nuts.

WARE: Well, it was good -- you know?

SANCHEZ: Yes. No, no, you're a courageous guy.

WARE: But I filmed the whole thing.

And the end of it, al Qaeda went back and taped and deleted basically -- the kicks to their faces were on it.

SANCHEZ: Right.

WARE: But they missed those few frames. So, what you're seeing is one of the guys stepping, pulling the pin on the grenade and throwing it.

SANCHEZ: That's the guy we saw in that picture.

(CROSSTALK)

WARE: Yes. And he's the one who came to the back of the car, grabbed me, held the grenade to my head and pulled me out.

SANCHEZ: So, as long as you know there's a live grenade there and he's holding the pin with his...

WARE: Yes, and there's 20...

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: ... thumb, you're not going to do anything.

WARE: No. And there's like 20 guys who have got AK's to my head. I have got .9-mils to my head. And it was actually while they were trying to figure out how to use my camera...

SANCHEZ: Oh, my goodness.

WARE: ... so, they could film my -- I was under the banner, the same as you saw Nicholas Berg.

SANCHEZ: Did you think you could get away at that moment? (CROSSTALK)

WARE: Not a chance in living hell.

SANCHEZ: Really?

WARE: That wasn't even a consideration.

SANCHEZ: So, where did they take you?

WARE: They dragged me from the car, because, at that point, it's like al Qaeda had just taken over midtown Manhattan.

SANCHEZ: And they had just beheaded somebody.

WARE: They were right in the process of it.

And, so, they grabbed me, pulled me from the car. They took me round back to a safer place. They set up the banner.

And they're there getting ready, you know, like the dude's got the blade. The others are standing back. I'm just standing there making my peace. And...

SANCHEZ: You're thinking you're going to be dead?

WARE: There wasn't even a question. And they're like positioning me. All right, now, how do you get this thing to record? And that's when the Iraqis saved me.

SANCHEZ: Were you willing to do anything to live?

WARE: Well...

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: No, really, seriously? I'm serious. Because we see people who -- we get videos here at CNN that we will not put on the air because we know that these people have been coerced.

WARE: Under duress.

SANCHEZ: Correct.

WARE: And I have received a lot of those tapes, and I have been involved in retrieving a lot of hostages

SANCHEZ: So, let me ask you point-blank, when you're in that situation, would you be willing to do anything to live?

WARE: Well, put it this way.

SANCHEZ: Take an oath to al Qaeda, take an oath to...

(CROSSTALK)

WARE: That was not the first time I have been grabbed. But I'm telling you, I was grabbed by Zarqawi's al Qaeda, right...

SANCHEZ: Right.

WARE: ... at the height of their beheading campaign. I'm the only Western to have ever been grabbed by al Qaeda and lived to tell the tale.

There was no option of doing anything to stay alive, you know? I couldn't even offer to give them a kiss.

SANCHEZ: You were just riding the wave.

WARE: It was, you die. That was it. And as the Iraqis who saved, when they said to the al Qaeda, you know, so you going to kill him? And they said, well, you bring a Westerner in here and you think he's going to leave alive? No. We're going to butcher him now.

SANCHEZ: How did you finally get out?

WARE: Basically, al Qaeda took over central Baghdad. The nationalist insurgents -- because there were guys who were fighting American war of independence, you know, to fight the occupation, fighting for their country.

SANCHEZ: Right.

WARE: Then you've got the Islamic psychopaths. I knew those like nationalists, those patriots. They're the ones who took me in there and say while we're standing there, the guy, the guy who brought me in says to Al Qaeda, you know, kill him. Yes, you know, we're going to kill him. And they go, well, you know that dishonors me. You know who I am. And he goes, yes, we know who you are but we're going to kill him.

He goes, oh, right. So, you know, bugger me, huh. And he goes, you know who I work for. Who do you think told me to bring in him here? Should we get him on the phone? The big, big guy.

SANCHEZ: So you were using their own tribalism against them?

WARE: They were. They were. Basically what it came down to was there was phone Al Qaeda and Iraqi Al Qaeda.

SANCHEZ: Exactly.

WARE: And the Iraqi Al Qaeda said is killing this guy worth having to go to turf war with these blokes? That's where it came down to. And it's because the Iraqi fighters had known me for so long, that they're prepared to do that. They said you can kill him, but if you kill him, we're at war, sunshine.

SANCHEZ: It's an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

WARE: Oh, yes, it's great to relive it just for the purposes of milking it on television years later. Yes, does wonders for me.

SANCHEZ: It's a good thing we have you, Michael. Thank you.

WARE: Oh, yes.

SANCHEZ: We have a great story tonight about the power of social media. Stick around. You're going to get a kick out of this thing.

WARE: Yes.

SANCHEZ: You're going to watch as a brother reconnects with his family for the very first time right here in this studio because of something I use every day on the news, social media. This is Facebook.

Also, we're keeping an eye on this monster storm that's slamming into the northeast. This is incredible. Washington, New York, just some of the cities that look like -- this could change it could wobble as our friend Chad down in Atlanta says -- but it looks like these cities are all in the line of fire.

Stay right there. We're coming back with more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back. All right. This is part of the story that we're going to be covering for you tonight. Internet outrage over a mother who's telling people via Twitter -- have you heard about this? -- she's telling people on Twitter that her little boy had drowned. She apparently was posting messages, tweets, and unaware that her 2-year-old son had fallen into a swimming pool.

Let me take you through the timeline before we become a little too judgmental over this because a lot of people are. Florida mother Sheila Ross posts a message at 5:22 Monday, a random tweet about a fog rolling in. Sixty seconds later her 11-year-old calls 911 to report that his little brother was floating unconscious in the pool. Paramedics arrived at 5:38, and at 6:12 Ross tweets, quote, "Please pray like never before. My 2-year-old has fallen in the pool."

At 11:08, Ross posts her final message, remembering my million dollar baby. A simple plea for sympathy or social media gone haywire? Here to weigh in on this is technology TV Katie Linendoll, host, I should say from A&E's "We Mean Business." And then Dr. Charles Sophy, medical director of Los Angeles Country Department of Children and Family Services joins us, as well.

All right, ladies, let's get started. Let's get started on this if we can. Dr. Sophy, to you.

DR. CHARLES SOPHY, L.A. CO. CHILDREN & FAMILY SVCS DEPT." Yes.

SANCHEZ: This is creating a bit of a firestorm. And a lot of people are saying why in the world would she be tweeting about something like this? Is she wrong?

SOPHY: Well, it's not about right or wrong. But I definitely think that if her focus should be on her child, it should be on her child. And I mean, yes, that's a nice use of technology getting support, but there's nothing better than human contact. Reach to the nurses, reach to the doctor. There's clergymen there. Please, reach to human beings. Not like this.

SANCHEZ: What if she doesn't have that kind of relationship that maybe you and I have with our mothers, our wives, our sisters, our brothers. Her circle of friendship is on social media. That's where she goes to express her feelings. What's wrong with that?

SOPHY: I get it. Well, I get that. But what's wrong with that is in this time of need. This is a crisis. This is a personal family crisis. And yes, supporters are great, but they are not a substitute for human beings who are able to connect with you and be able to hold you and help you because the bottom line is she needs to feel this experience so that she can begin to grieve it and mourn it.

SANCHEZ: Katie, is he right?

KATIE LINENDOLL, A&E TECHNOLOGY HOST: Well, I think this is a prime example thing of oversharing on the Internet. You know, it's up to us as individuals if we're going to use these social networking sites, how much of our private lives and how much of our intimate information we're sharing publicly. If we're not going to be able to handle the judgments and the criticisms in the repercussions of anything that we put on the web, do not share it.

And I think also, too, this isn't the first time we've had a debate on what goes out there in Twitter. We have people in labor tweeting. We have people in plane crashes tweeting. We have people tweeting about miscarriages. Where is the line drawn?

SANCHEZ: But this is the society that we've become. We used to have conversations on front porches. We used to know our neighbors' names.

SOPHY: Right.

SANCHEZ: We used to talk to more people. Now we do it on the Internet. And a lot of folks criticize it. And maybe it does go too far, but who are we to assess or judge where someone finds their circle of friends? Who are we to judge that? Either one of you?

(CROSSTALK)

LINENDOLL: Well, I think it's very fair --

SOPHY: No, we're not --

LINENDOLL: I think it's a very fair point. We're living in a digital age. We have come to live in an age of information. And for many people out there, this is where their community is, online.

SANCHEZ: Right.

LINENDOLL: They reach out to their followers, and this is really a sense of self. So they get their information and they share their information differently. If she wants to go out there on the Internet and mourn, that's fine, but she has to be able to handle those repercussions if people are going to make criticisms.

SOPHY: Right.

SANCHEZ: Well, people are going to criticize everything. I get a zillion e-mails everyday from people telling me that I am an idiot. I suppose that's their right to do so.

SOPHY: Right.

SANCHEZ: I mean, you know, they're going to do it in your neighborhood too. People are going to talk behind your backs. Again, doctor, you get the last word.

SOPHY: But there's nothing -- there is no substitute for human contact. In order for somebody to feel through a situation, you've got to do it person to person. You cannot be doing it through technology. And it's a role modelling responsibility.

SANCHEZ: All right. All right. And we'll leave it at that. My thanks to both of you for being with us tonight.

SOPHY: Thank you. Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Good communication.

Up next, an incredible family reunion right here in this studio. I told you about this. Three siblings finally find each other thanks to Facebook and one of our producers named Ben who made this happen for us.

And then, here's a check outside on this massive blizzard that continues to barrel in on the northeast. Folks, we're just setting you up for this.

Just in, Roanoke Regional Airport has now canceled all flights for the rest of the night. It was the busiest night of the year at the airport. This storm could be crippling a lot of folks' plans because it might be a good idea to stay in.

Also, we'll bring you the latest on new information that we're getting on another big story. We'll share that with you. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I want to do something special now.

More and more Americans are finding social media to be an incredible tool for reconnecting with people that they never thought that they'd see again or even ever get a chance to meet. You know how I use it, to reconnect you with news. But we're about to take you through one of the stories of how social media is being used in this country by thousands and thousands of people to find one another. This is cool. Jose and Genesis Corniel are brothers and sisters. They grew up together, but they always knew that they had another brother, and they knew that his name was Jason, but they were never able to track him down. Until now.

Let me start by welcoming both of them. Jose and Genesis, thanks for being here. How are you?

GENESIS CORNIEL, FOUND BROTHER THROUGH FACEBOOK: Hi.

JOSE CORNIEL, FOUND BROTHER THROUGH FACEBOOK: Hi. How are you, Rick?

SANCHEZ: Good to see you, Genesis.

You were the one who has a Facebook account, right?

G. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: And you used a Facebook. There's a lot of people at home who want to do this with their brothers, their mothers, their aunts, their sisters, girlfriends and boyfriends from college that they've never been able to reconnect with.

G. CORNIEL: Right.

SANCHEZ: How did you do it?

G. CORNIEL: OK. I actually asked my mother a certain week out of nowhere. Actually after I became a Christian, I started recognizing that maybe I should look for my brother. So I just --

SANCHEZ: Brother through the same father, right?

G. CORNIEL: Yes, the same father only. So I went on Facebook and she told me his name was Jason. So I searched Jason Corniel. And a Jason Corniel came up and I wasn't sure, something in my heart was telling me, that's him. The first one that he came up, and he had my father's eyes and his lips.

So I automatically messaged him. I didn't think twice. I was like, hey, are you Jose Corniel's son? That same day --

SANCHEZ: And his answer?

G. CORNIEL: His answer was yes, who are you?

SANCHEZ: So you've never seen him before.

J. CORNIEL: No. We've never seen him before.

G. CORNIEL: No.

SANCHEZ: Well, you are going to be able to see him now. We're going to introduce him to you in just a little bit. We're about to reunite you, guys. G. CORNIEL: Wow. The audience may be able to see him now because he's in our "Green Room" and we've got a shot of him. In a moment, we're going to be bringing him out here and you guys are going to be able to come together physically for the first time. Because you've spoken by phone, right?

G. CORNIEL: Right.

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: And you've shared messages on Facebook.

J. CORNIEL: Facebook.

SANCHEZ: Jose, you've got to be excited about this. This is your brother. You've been reaching out to him for the longest time, haven't you?

J. CORNIEL: In my mind in my whole life I always wanted to meet my brother. I get emotional all the time just thinking about it.

SANCHEZ: And the last time you saw him, you were, what, children? You can't remember.

J. CORNIEL: I don't think I've ever seen him.

SANCHEZ: You're too little to remember probably. Because when your dad left...

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: ... and you've always known that there was a Jason out there, but you don't know what he is, right? You're just -- just a name for you.

J. CORNIEL: Just a name, exactly.

SANCHEZ: This is important for you.

J. CORNIEL: This is very important.

SANCHEZ: As I imagine it is for you too, Genesis?

G. CORNIEL: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: I haven't been so happy since a long time. I've been going through a lot these last couple of months, but this is really going to make up for it.

SANCHEZ: I could see you're nervous.

J. CORNIEL: Very nervous.

SANCHEZ: All right. Let's do this. We're going to take a quick break. We're going to get him out of the "Green Room." We're going to walk him down here. And when we come back, we're going to have this reunion. You guys ready?

G. CORNIEL: Ready, absolutely.

SANCHEZ: All right. Let's do it. We'll take a quick break. And then Jason's going to be coming out here. And the three of you -- I'm getting emotional just saying this. The three of you are going to reunite.

Stay where you are. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back. You know how much I love social media. This is the moment that Jose and Genesis Corniel have waited their lives for. And you're about to share this with them.

Their long lost brother, Jason, was found by Genesis on Facebook. You've just heard their emotional story of how they were finally able to connect after being apart a lifetime.

This is something that Americans all over the country are doing. Now they're about to be separated no longer. We're glad we're able to take part in this. I want to bring out your brother. You ready?

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Are you ready? Here's your brother, Jason Corniel. Come on out, Jason.

SANCHEZ: This is so great. I know this has been so long in coming for you guys.

Genesis, how do you feel?

G. CORNIEL: Overwhelmed.

SANCHEZ: You're crying. But it's a good laughter, isn't it?

Jason, have a seat. How are you? Welcome.

Did you know that you -- do you miss them as much as they missed you?

JASON CORNIEL, FOUND SIBLINGS THROUGH FACEBOOK: Definitely.

SANCHEZ: Jose, look at you. You're crying.

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: You've always wanted to make up with your brother.

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: You know he has a story that he told me about a teddy bear. Could you take us through this story?

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Where's the teddy bear? Who has the teddy? Go ahead, you can reach it. It's right there under your seat.

This is interesting because this is about a brother's love for a brother he just knows is out there somewhere but he's never met.

J. CORNIEL: Yes, this is going to be funny.

But anyway, I was about 5 or 6 or 7 years old. We went to Universal Studios in Florida. And I remember we were like in the store. It was like a jungle store. And I saw this teddy bear. It looks like a jaguar or leopard to me. I don't want it is.

SANCHEZ: Right. Yes, whatever it is.

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: It's a kid's toy.

J. CORNIEL: And my mom bought it for me. And I -- and then one night I just leaned to Jason because I wanted him to be my brother and I --

I still had it.

SANCHEZ: Did your mother ever talk to you about the fact that you had a brother named Jason? Or was it one of those conversations your mom kind of didn't want to engage in?

J. CORNIEL: No. My mom used to talk about it.

SANCHEZ: So you knew it?

J. CORNIEL: I knew, yes. I always knew.

SANCHEZ: And did you ever say mom, why can't I meet Jason? Why can't --

J. CORNIEL: Of course. All the time.

SANCHEZ: And what did she say? What?

J. CORNIEL: She just said we don't know where he is. We haven't heard from him in years. Or from, you know, from that side. You know what I mean?

SANCHEZ: You want to present him with the teddy bear?

J. CORNIEL: Yes. This is the teddy bear.

SANCHEZ: Wow. How long has it been for you guys? How many years?

JASON CORNIEL, FOUND SIBLINGS THROUGH FACEBOOK: I'd say around 20? It's been a long time. SANCHEZ: Where did you grow up?

JASON CORNIEL: I grew up in Jersey, north and south. Now I'm in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia area.

SANCHEZ: Where did you grow up?

J. CORNIEL: I grew up in Brooklyn, south side area.

SANCHEZ: Where did you grow up?

G. CORNIEL: Same.

SANCHEZ: You grew up together?

G. CORNIEL: Yes.

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Isn't that funny how maybe you guys may have actually like crossed paths at some point.

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Did you ever think of that?

G. CORNIEL: No.

SANCHEZ: Were you ever on a subway and you looked around and you said I wonder --

J. CORNIEL: Oh, yes.

SANCHEZ: Did you look for him?

J. CORNIEL: Yes, we looked for him over the years. MySpace, Facebook, all these different social sites we've looked for him.

SANCHEZ: And finally you were able to nail it?

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

G. CORNIEL: Right.

SANCHEZ: I'm so glad that you guys were able to share this with us. It's wonderful. And I imagine you have a message for other people out there who are looking for someone, right? Keep trying. And use social media?

G. CORNIEL: Absolutely.

J. CORNIEL: Never give up.

SANCHEZ: And you can work.

G. CORNIEL: Yes. J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: You can make it work.

G. CORNIEL: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Because it happened for you guys.

G. CORNIEL: Yes.

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: I bet you we'll get a lot more stories like this very soon.

J. CORNIEL: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Thanks, guys.

G. CORNIEL: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: Thanks once again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. You're not going to believe this folks. One bank is targeting people in this country who probably don't have very good credit to try and get around new regulations that start up in a little bit more than a month.

Your credit card's interest rate, a whopping 79.9 percent, almost 80 percent. Another example, by the way, as CNN's business correspondent Christine Romans has come in, because I want to talk about this.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Sure.

SANCHEZ: You know, you look at TARP and it's almost like these bankers on Wall Street, they're getting bailouts and Americans are getting the shaft.

ROMANS: Well --

SANCHEZ: And this is another example of it.

ROMANS: Look, it's outrageous in one respect that look, they're trying to get ahead of these new credit card rules that go in effect in February. Usually a card like this has a lot of fees. Well those fees are not going to be allowed after February. So they've substituted a very high interest rate.

But I want to be very clear here. This is a card for people who have no credit or terrible credit. Think of that, maybe one personal bankruptcy, two personal bankruptcies --

SANCHEZ: That's a lot of Americans. ROMANS: Maybe, maybe hundreds of creditors lining up. This is not the kind of card that you're going to be offered.

SANCHEZ: Well, let me --

ROMANS: This is the kind of card for somebody who has no other choice.

SANCHEZ: Well, here's another example. Tax refund anticipation loans...

ROMANS: I know.

SANCHEZ: ... for people, about 40 percent, 700 percent if they'll give you money before you get your refund check.

ROMANS: What this says to me, as outrageous as it all is, is as sad as it is because we have a lot of people in this country who, you know, owing their soul to the company store. Quite literally.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

ROMANS: They are banking on future earnings and paying huge interest rates to borrow money so they can just survive, and that is the underlying problem here. How do you get credit to those people?

SANCHEZ: And you're right. It's personal responsibility, but there are people out there who are also setting the hook and catching these people.

ROMANS: Absolutely. Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: You know, it goes both ways on this. Look, I know we got to go. Thanks for being here.

ROMANS: Oh, you're welcome.

SANCHEZ: Appreciate it. And let me tell -- you're going to be talking about this. Christine hosts this weekend's special about balancing faith and finance. It's "In God We Trust." It's Saturday night at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN. Thanks for coming in once again.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SANCHEZ: All right. That's all for us. "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Folks, we're not kidding, this is going to be a real big storm. There you see what it looks like on the loop. It's going to be hitting places in Virginia right about now, leaving North Carolina, then heading up the east coast.

I'm getting tweets and e-mails from some of our own correspondents saying that they're traveling on I-95. Speeds below 20 miles an hour. Lots of snow, already almost two inches on some of the roadways.

We're also learning now that governors are -- governor in Maryland has just told people to get off the roads and stay home. That's the situation as we sign off.

Now let's go to "LARRY KING LIVE."