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CNN NEWSROOM

Bizarre End to Boys' Abduction; CIA: Attack Will be Avenged; Airline Terror Investigation

Aired January 1, 2010 - 14:00   ET

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


RICHARD LUI, CNN ANCHOR: What's in a name? A clue to cracking a decade-old kidnapping case and possibly reuniting a father and his two sons. A Pennsylvania caseworker Googled the boy's names and discovered they were allegedly snatched by their mom back in 1998.

The CIA is promising to avenge the lives lost when a suicide bomber blew up inside a U.S. base in Afghanistan. Seven intelligence officers were killed in that, and now officials are trying to pinpoint how the bomber made it past security with an explosive vest.

Then New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially started his third term, but without his standard inaugural pomp. He humbly promised to listen and lead over the next four years. Bloomberg eked out a win after getting a term limits law changed.

An unbelievable, an unexpected start to the new year for a man in Washington State reunited with his sons after 11 years. The boys' mom fled cross-country with them back in 1998, and he hadn't heard a single peep from any of them ever since.

Now more from Sally Showman of our affiliate KXLY.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL CONNINGTON, REUNITED WITH SONS: I'm just amazed right now.

SALLY SHOWMAN, REPORTER, KXLY (voice-over): Bill Connington has spent the last 11.5 years searching for his boys...

CONNINGTON: I thought I might not ever see them.

SHOWMAN: ... and the last two days digesting the news that they'd been found.

CONNINGTON: And there was a voice message, and so I was listening to the voice message when it was a detective. And that's when I turned white as a ghost by what I was told. I know I was shaking. It took me a little bit. My girlfriend calmed me down.

SHOWMAN: Yesterday, police in central Pennsylvania arrested his ex-wife, Jill Haugen, and charged her with felony custodial interference.

JILL HAUGEN, ARRESTED FOR TAKING SONS: I'm a domestic violence survivor. So are my two children. They are sexual abuse survivors. They are 16 and almost 17 now.

SHOWMAN: Police say there's no merit to her claims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's used several different aliases, changed the children's names and date of birth.

SHOWMAN: A CPS worker cracks the case. Police say both boys were recently placed in foster care in Pennsylvania, and one of them gave the social worker his real name. She Googled it and discovered he was a missing child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it wasn't for her diligence, the CPS worker there, it may have continued to go on.

CONNINGTON: Well, I'm mad. You know, it's tough, because I'm angry because of what happened. I just want to see justice done.

SHOWMAN: For nearly 12 years, Bill has kept the last picture taken of his sons up on his wall. He says he told himself he would leave it there until he had a current picture to replace it with. It looks like that day will be here soon.

CONNINGTON: I always had the hope. I never gave that up.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: Now, as you just heard, the boys' mother says she is a victim of domestic violence and her sons of sexual abuse. Again, police say there is no merit to her claims. The boys are in foster care for now, but their dad says he can't wait to see them and start to rebuild their relationship.

OK, now to the fallout from this week's devastating attack on a CIA post in remote eastern Afghanistan. It happened on Wednesday, just two days ago.

A suicide bomber blowing up inside forward operating base Chapman in Khost province near the Pakistani border. Seven CIA officers were killed there, six others were hurt in the agency's biggest known loss since 1983.

A U.S. intelligence official tells CNN -- and I quote here -- "This attack will be avenged through successful, aggressive counterterrorism operations." "The New York Times" and The Associated Press report that the bomber may have been invited on to the base as a potential informant, but that has not yet been confirmed as of yet.

This much is clear though -- an agency that tries to stay out of the public eye is openly mourning now. A rare sight at CIA headquarters in Langely, Virginia, U.S. flags at half-staff.

We get more now on the bombing in Khost and the aftermath from CNN Pentagon Correspondent Chris Lawrence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN has learned a father of three children was one of the Americans killed in Afghanistan. Harold Brown died in Wednesday's suicide bombing.

Unlike their military counterparts, most CIA officers serve in the shadows, their names unknown to many Americans. Some analyze intelligence. Others recruit Afghans to the American side. Now seven are dead, six wounded and a U.S. intelligence official is promising revenge. "This attack will be avenged through successful, aggressive counterterrorism operations."

On Wednesday, a single suicide bomber got on to this American base in eastern Afghanistan. A U.S. official described it as a crucial base, where the CIA monitored the Pakistani border, and conducted intelligence operations.

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Even going back as far as 2004, Khost was a very active forward operating base because of its proximity to the tribal areas of Pakistan.

LAWRENCE: CNN contributor Fran Townsend visited the base as President Bush's Homeland Security Adviser. She says it was targeted because it's not a military base.

TOWNSEND: I believe that this was a very deliberate strategy on the part of the Taliban to push back on President Obama's strategy to increase the number of civilians and increase the civilian component.

LAWRENCE: President Obama recently announced a civilian surge to train more forces and improve living conditions in Afghanistan. Thursday he wrote a letter to all CIA workers, honoring those who died and telling others, "Your triumphs and even your names may be unknown to your fellow Americans, but your service is deeply appreciated."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE: And it's not only a personal loss for the officers' families, but the U.S. loses their expertise in that area of Afghanistan. And if this bomber was wearing an Afghan army uniform, as claimed, investigators will have to determine whether it was stolen, or, even worse, that this was an Afghan soldier who was secretly working for the Taliban -- Richard.

LUI: Our Chris Lawrence.

Thank you for that.

Now, for President Obama and both houses of Congress, the new year will bring a hard look into lapses in airline security. The president holding meetings. Lawmakers will hold hearings as well. All aimed at here finding out why nobody stopped bomb suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, you see here, despite all the red flags.

Now, one more possible connection to jihad and the country of Yemen comes to light today as well. A U.S. counterterrorism official telling CNN that Abdulmutallab appears to have had direct contact with radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Now, that is the online jihadist who also corresponded with the U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nidal Hassan, who allegedly killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas.

So, what do we do now to make air travel as safe as many people thought it was already?

Well, CNN's Jeanne Meserve looks at that for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is no new intelligence indicating an increased threat to aviation, but because this is a heavy holiday travel weekend, security is going to be even more enhanced. There will be more canine detection teams, more federal air marshals, and requirements for 100 percent inspection of passengers coming into the country remain in force.

In addition, the State Department is telling embassies around the world, when you send a cable about a suspicious individual, include information on whether they have a visa. This, because cables about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab did not mention the very significant fact that the 23-year-old had a valid, multiple-entry visa to enter the United States.

Experts say the failures exposed by this episode will likely catalyze change.

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: View this as an opportunity. It's a painful one, but view it as an opportunity to solve some of the things that have been stuck either in the budget process, the policy process. Get things done.

MESERVE: Communications intercepts of extremists in Yemen picked up between August and October discussed operations and someone called "The Nigerian," and a partial name, Umar Farouk. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Yemen, extremism, all came to the attention of U.S. intelligence again the very next month, when the 23-year-old's father came to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria. But no one made the connection.

MICHAEL CHERTOFF, FMR. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I'm sympathetic to the problem of what we sometimes call intelligence overload. So much information comes in, how do you separate what we call the signal from the rest of the noise? And often it's very difficult to do.

MESERVE: There were other missed clues -- a British decision to deny him a visa; Abdulmutallab's cash purchase of a ticket; the fact that he didn't check luggage; vague warnings about holiday attacks.

(on camera): On New Year's Eve, the director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, issued a statement to his employees noting the obvious -- that it had been an especially challenging week for the intelligence community. He said the president's judgment that there had been intelligence failures was a tough message to receive, but it was time to move forward to outthink, outwork and defeat the enemy's new ideas.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: And we will take you to another airport that might be the safest in the world. No hijackings come out of this place, and it's right smack in the middle of the Middle East. How do they do it?

Plus, a buzz cut and an oath to the Army. We're following one recruit as he goes from the home front to the battlefront. Up next, the processing center, then off to boot camp.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: He's overseeing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's spending New Year's in Baghdad. But the thoughts of the head of U.S. Central Command are on Yemen.

At a news conference today in the Iraqi capital, four-star General David Petraeus talked about the looming threat of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Al Qaeda is always on the lookout for places where they might be able to put down roots. Some years ago, actually -- this is when I was still in Iraq -- we could see the development of cells of al Qaeda in Yemen.

This past year, of course, that was recognized by al Qaeda's senior leadership, by being designated al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP. But during that time, as well, in fact, dating back to last year -- in fact, late 2008, there has been an effort to partner with President Salih and with the security forces of Yemen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LUI: Now, that partnership is largely under the radar and a potential source of discontent in the region.

So, what does it take to go from civilian to soldier? We're following a new Army recruit to find out that answer.

Will McClain has said good-bye to his family, and now he has a new title, a new haircut and some new questions about his future.

Jason Carroll brings us part two of "A Soldier's Story."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tearful good-byes as Will McClain's parents see their 18-year-old son leave home in Rosamond, California, for the first time.

BILL MCCLAIN, WILL MCCLAIN'S FATHER: She wasn't looking forward to this moment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody understand that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.

CARROLL: As McClain takes his first steps towards joining the Army, questions about his future begin to weigh on him.

WILL MCCLAIN, U.S. ARMY RECRUIT: The major, I want to know -- I want to know where I end up stationed at. You know you've got a four- year contract, but it's going to be like, are these four years going to be fun and enjoyable or will it be like, I hate my job.

CARROLL: For now, those answers will have to wait. First, there's registration at a nearby Army processing station in Los Angeles.

MCCLAIN: I'm anxious but I'm kind of glad it's starting finally. One of those days you don't think will come and then, bam, it's here.

CARROLL: This is where Will McClain finally becomes Private McClain.

MCCLAIN: I will obey the orders of the president of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me god.

MCCLAIN: So help me god.

CARROLL: And 12 hours later, McClain is now more than 1,600 miles from home at an Army base in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri for several days of orientation.

(on camera): You look a little different. You shaved the goatee. How's it feel?

MCCLAIN: If feels weird. It's the first time in awhile. I expected them to come yelling on the bus, they did. I'm surprised I haven't had to do push-ups or anything yet. So that's a plus.

CARROLL: Well, it's coming.

MCCLAIN: I'm sure it is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you do not have an electronic device, do not take an envelope.

CARROLL (voice-over): After turning in personal items for safekeeping, Will and the other privates are issued gear. Will finds his bunk and turns in for a short night.

Four hours later...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go! Get up! Get up!

CARROLL: His morning begins on unfamiliar territory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing? What is going on?!

CARROLL (on camera): I'm thinking of all these movies I've seen with the drill sergeant, and you pretty much fit that role.

SGT. JOSHUA SMITH, U.S. ARMY: I guess you would have to say that it's a type A personality.

CARROLL (voice-over): Will couldn't eat much in the three minutes he had to finish. That's not a problem for sergeant's eyeing his weight. He's 5'9", 228 pounds.

(on camera): You look at him, and your assessment is he's got a little weight to lose?

SGT. CHRYSTAL SCOTT, U.S. ARMY: Yes, sir.

CARROLL: You think you can get that off of him?

SCOTT: Yes sir. There are plenty of ways to get that off of him.

CARROLL (voice-over): There are just a few more tests, and then the regulation cut.

CARROLL (on camera): What did you think?

MCCLAIN: That's short and I'm white.

CARROLL: But he still seems the same Will.

(on camera): Do you feel like a soldier yet?

MCCLAIN: Not yet. I haven't been through boot. I won't even claim to be a soldier until I'm done with boot.

CARROLL (voice-over): And that basic training comes next.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: Well, the running, the pushups, the barked commands -- Private McClain quickly finds out boot that camp can be a little brutal. And Jason Carroll is tagging along for that. That part of "A Soldier's Story" comes up for you in about 40 minutes.

2009, a tough year for millions of U.S. families.

CNN's John King traveled the country to find out just how tough things are. We'll see what he found at a homeless shelter in Seattle.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: All right. I've got your top stories right now.

Outrage in Iraq after a federal judge in the U.S. dismissed charges against five former Blackwater security guards. The defendants were charged with manslaughter after they opened fire in a crowded Baghdad intersection back in 2007. Seventeen Iraqis were killed in that. The federal judge ruled that the prosecutors violated procedural rules. Iraq now planning to sue those five former guards.

So, Time Warner Cable subscribers are crossing their fingers here. The company and Fox are trying to resolve their disagreement over some fees.

Now, without a deal, Fox threatens to yank its entertainment networks from the cable company. And right now, negotiations have been extended for a few more hours. Time Warner Cable is no longer a part of CNN's parent company, Time Warner Incorporated.

Rush Limbaugh remains in a Honolulu hospital two days after he was admitted for chest pains. The conservative radio talk show host is undergoing tests. A spokesman says he's been resting comfortably.

The state of the union facing some troubles, serious problems, as 2009 came to a close. Throughout the year, CNN's John King went to all 50 states to find out how people are coping with tough times. During Thanksgiving, he stopped at a homeless center in Seattle.

His report first aired in late November.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Life on the street has its own rhythm and rules. There is safety in numbers and a numbing sadness in the search for shelter in Seattle's cold, raw rain. Living here leaves an indelible mark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been cold. I've been hungry. I've been soaked to the skin and tired and sick and injured. And you definitely learn quite a bit about yourself from that.

KING: At Seattle's Orion Center, Michael first found smiles and support, then skills in an eight-week computer diagnostics class.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I hadn't found this place, I'd probably be squatting either in a park or in an abandoned building.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you do is you press this, and you start pulling the shot into a shot glass.

KING: Down the hall, Orion's barista training program...

KAYLA WYATT, FMR. HOMELESS TEEN: Cash handling; you learn interview kills.

KING: ... where Kayla Wyatt (ph) developed new skills and the confidence to move back with her mother after two years off and on, on the street.

WYATT: You think it's easy at first, and then it gets harder and harder, especially during the winter, because it's so cold here. KING: For just about everyone, the first Orion Center visit is for what the street kids call "The Feed," free meals. Some linger longer to enjoy a break from the elements -- a hot shower, maybe warmer clothes for the next night.

MELINDA GIOVENGO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, YOUTHCARE: Twelve thousand meals a year, 10,000 showers, and believe it or not, 10,000 pair of socks to keep young people's feet warm.

KING: Melinda Giovengo is executive director of YouthCare, and Orion Center is its flagship program, needed more than ever in this punishing recession.

GIOVENGO: We're seeing 180 new faces a month. We've had young people come in and say, "I'm here; I'm 18 years old; my family can't afford me anymore." It's not just affecting, you know, underprivileged kids. It's affecting the entire strata of America.

KING: A 50 percent spike in demand but fewer resources because a bad economy dries up funding.

GIOVENGO: We've had family foundations who have been supportive of us for 20 years are saying, "We can't this year." All the government fundings have been jeopardized, restricted or reduced over the last few years, so we're just hanging on, trying to do more with less.

KING: The bad economy also takes a toll in other ways. Michael took a position in a bowling alley because technology jobs are so scarce now.

Delaun was a classmate in the computer program. He now works as an Orion Center intern because a tough job market is even tougher for someone with no experience and a history on the street.

DELAUN, FORMER HOMELESS TEEN: It's terribly hard. I mean, especially in certain situations where you've got youth who are being faced with various other challenges that society may bring, as far as trouble with the law and other things that they can get very easily caught up in. I came here, kind of, lost, and I found myself a whole lot more than I intended to here.

KING: They took different paths to the street. Delaun had problems at home he prefers not to discuss. Michael left home in Ohio to join a young Seattle man he met on the Internet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Partly to get away from my family because I was just, you know, coming out as queer, and I wanted some time on my own to actually get things sorted out for myself and work up the courage to actually tell them.

KING: Some here have or developed drug problems. Others make life-changing choices in the name of survival.

GIOVENGO: Trading sex for places to live and money to get food with and ending up being seduced into a lifestyle of chronic adult or being seduced into the, kind of, sexual exploitation industry that's out there. So it's more and more dangerous and there's fewer and fewer of us and fewer, fewer resources to go out and capture them early so that they don't get absorbed into that very, very dark world.

KING: Here at Orion, there is an escape, a hot meal and, if nothing else, the company and support of others who understand.

John King, CNN, Seattle.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: Devout, lonely and troubled. We're looking into the past for clues about the Christmas Day terror suspect.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: So, we've been talking about this week's suicide attack on a remote U.S. outpost in eastern Afghanistan, likely the single worst loss of life at the CIA since 1983. Seven operatives were killed and many questions still remain today. And among them, was the bomber dressed in an Afghan military uniform, as reports suggest? And, if so, was he really a soldier, was he a potential CIA informant, as other reports suggest, who was invited on to the base?

Two very important questions. Now, none of that is confirmed, but it came up in my conversation last hour with former U.S. military intelligence officer Ken Robinson.

KEN ROBINSON, FMR. MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: The process by which you vet that person and secure that person and bring them through security, that's the big question as to what happened in this incident. In normal incidences, they are checked from top to bottom, head to toe. And we don't know where the breakdown was in this specific case, but unfortunately, these members of the Central Intelligence Agency have to swim amongst the most surly people within the region.

And there are no cities out there. There's no outside place to meet. This terrain out there is mountainous. It's very Spartan. Anyone on the outside is going to be noticed so the only safe place to bring somebody is inside one of those compounds.

LUI: Right. So, Ken, what you're describing is a very nebulous situation, a lot of gray spaces. What can be done to prevent such an attack from happening again such as this?

ROBINSON: Well, these bases are supposed to have multiple rings of security. There's not supposed to be one simple gate that you walk through and then you're good to go. There should be multiple rings of security and multiple locations, and a separation between those who are working in the clandestine service, and those being brought on to be interviewed. There shouldn't be a simple maneuver to be able to wander over to a gymnasium. There should always be someone supervising and walking with anyone that's been brought on to the base. These are the questions that will be answered in the next 24 to 48 hours as to what specifically broke down or whether this person had already been vetted and was already trusted, and was already a member of the Afghan National Army. It's alleged. It's not certain yet whether he was wearing a uniform or whether he actually was and had some form of credential and maybe had been on the base before.

LUI: For President Obama and both houses of Congress the New Year will bring a hard look into lapses in airline security. The president will hold meetings, lawmakers will hold hearings, all aimed at finding out why nobody stopped bomb suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, despite all of the red flags.

One more possible connection to jihad and the country of Yemen comes to light today. A U.S. counterterrorism official tells CNN that Abdulmutallab appears to have had direct contact with radical Muslim cleric, Anwar al Awlaki. That is the online jihadist who also corresponded with the U.S. Army psychiatrist who allegedly killed 13 people at Ft. Hood, Texas.

Now in hindsight, Abdulmutallab would seem like the young believer a jihad leader would dream of.

More now on the suspect's background from Nic Robertson in London.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this high school photograph, there is a look of innocence. But behind the impassive gaze, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab appears to have been deeply troubled, and lonely. He was devout, loved his faith. His friends even called him the pope. One of his Internet postings reads, "How can I really enjoy being with people to whom I cannot express my feelings? They know I'm Muslim, but I see how they don't understand." But he hid his troubles well.

Kwesi Brako was on the school basketball team with him.

KWESI BRAKO, HIGH SCHOOL FRIEND: I have to say I was surprise. It's a given at this point. I wouldn't have figured him to be a lonely person.

ROBERTSON: His blogs, Abdulmutallab was longing to get to university, mixed with Muslims.

In the fall of 2005, he got his wish, admitted to University College London, but this conflicted teenager was about to enter a highly charged Islamic scene.

USAMA HASSAN, FORMER RADICAL: It was a better idea if you like going on the campuses.

ROBERTSON: Hassan knows. Now reformed, he was once a campus radicalizer, and influenced the man who orchestrated the killing of the "Wall Street Journal" reporter, Daniel Pearl. HASSAN: On British embassy campuses he would have had exposure to a variety of Muslim voices all claiming to speak for true Islam. And many of the voices would like to be extreme fundamentalist voices who openly advocate no compromise with the West as they say it.

ROBERTSON: Abdulmutallab joined the university's Islamic Society. And by his second year, became its president.

Brako was at a different college in London, but his old friend had turned his back on him. Abdulmutallab was changing.

BRAKO: He had begun to wear, you know, Islamic clothing. I think he was wearing a koftan and the matching trousers and sandals.

ROBERTSON: In 2007, under Abdulmutallab's leadership, the Islamic Society organized a week of debate about the war in Iraq, titled "War on Terror," a war that appears to have weighed heavily on him.

(on camera): This is the campus at university college London where the war on terror week was held. A year later, an independent British think tank issued a report on Islamic societies at universities like this. They concluded that, while most students were tolerant, a significant minority supported violence in the name of Islam.

(voice-over): The few friends Abdulmutallab did have at university are hard to track down. Eventually, we get a lead.

(on camera): We've been trying three days to find one person at the university who knew him well enough and who is willing to talk to us, and we think we've found him. This could be the break-through.

(voice-over): His name is Qasim Rafiq, the Islamic Society president just before Abdulmutallab.

QASIM RAFIQ, FORMER ISLAMIC SOCIETY PRESIDENT: Hello.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Hello, is it Qasim?

RAFIQ: Yes, speaking.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): I asked about Abdulmutallab.

RAFIQ: It's difficult for me to reconcile the man, the person I knew, and what I've just been reading as being in the media for the last three or four days. It's extremely difficult. And again, it goes back to the issue of where exactly did, you know, this process of radicalization take place.

ROBERTSON: Investigators are still trying to figure out where and how Abdulmutallab was radicalized. What worries Usama Hassan is that Abdulmutallab may have radicalized others.

HASSAN: There is, of course, the worry that he may have a small band or comrade or friends who think along similar lines. ROBERTSON: Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: Well, bundle up. It's cold out there. Much of the country shivering as the New Year begins. We'll check in with Karen MaGinnis for the weekend forecast right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: Oh, it's a cold start to the New Year. Karen MaGinnis joins us from the CNN Weather Center.

And we look at the northwest, Karen, brr, arctic stuff coming down.

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh, my goodness, do we.

(WEATHER REPORT)

MAGINNIS: Richard, back to you.

LUI: Perfect for a holiday weekend. Get out the skis, snowboards and everything else.

MAGINNIS: Right.

LUI: Karen MaGinnis, thank you.

Another four years at city hall for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He started his third term today with a low key inauguration, no celebrity performances, no traditional inauguration party, no frills. Instead, Bloomberg made a pledge to listen and lead. He squeaked out an election win in November, after getting a term-limits law changed there.

A suicide car bomb ripped through a volleyball tournament in Pakistan killing at least 75 people and injuring just as many. And the police chief tells CNN he believes more than 600 pounds of explosives were used here. He says the blast brought down eight homes and could be felt 11 miles away.

Some pictures are worth a thousand words but this one is worth a million bucks, and it's been stolen from a French museum, unfortunately. It is "The Course" by the famous impressionist, Edgar Degas. Museum staff noticed it was not there on Thursday morning. Imagine seeing that. And police are now scouring surveillance video for the artful thief in this.

When it comes to airline security, one nation, one airport stands apart. Ben Gurion Airport in Israel has a lot to teach the world.

But CNN's Paul Hancocks reports the world may not be ready, even now, to follow their lead.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's considered one of the safest airports in the world. Israel's Ben Gurion has much of the latest technology and sophisticated machinery. American security officials came to visit a few years ago to watch and learn.

But in Israel, there is also a human element. Almost every passenger is questioned, sometimes by more than one security officer, some are strip searched. And no matter how distasteful it may be to civil liberties groups, Israel actively profiles passengers, and makes no apology for it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good profiling is distinction. It's not a discrimination. And I think that you should profile. If you don't profile, you waste time, you waste money. And you might miss what you're looking for because you're searching on the wrong people.

HANCOCKS: Yopoli (ph) says profiling needs to be based not simply on ethnicity, but also on behavior, intelligence-gathering and statistics.

The concept as I see is that you should impose 90 percent of the efforts towards let's say 10 percent of the public.

HANCOCKS: But what if you find yourself on the wrong side of profiling?

Palestinian human rights lawyer Mohammad Dahle (ph) deals with many cases of what he calls discrimination of Arabs at the airport, saying he himself has been a victim.

MAHAMMAD DAHLE (ph), PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: We're talking about 1.2 million Palestinians who are citizens of the state of Israel. They cannot be treated as a security threat, the whole community, more than one million citizens, up front, to be treated as security risks.

HANCOCKS (on camera): Israel has many enemies to protect itself from, so inconveniencing passengers comes up with the territory. Up until today, no airplane that has left this airport has ever been hijacked. And Israel's national carrier, El Al, is probably one of the safest, if not the safest in the world.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Ben Gurion Airport.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: New Year's Day is always noteworthy, but some have been historic. On January 1st, for instance, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation took effect, declares slaves freedom in the Confederate South. It takes about two and a half years though for all to be freed. Almost three decades later, January 1st, 1892, Ellis Island opened its doors. The first of more than 20 million immigrants processed there, an Irish teenager named Annie Moore.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LUI: As always, team Sanchez is bad there working on the next hour of "NEWSROOM."

Rick, what have you got going on in the editorial war room there?

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: I did an interview yesterday with Senator John Ensign. Within ten hours after doing the interview, the thing has gone viral. It's just about everywhere. And some of the blogs -- I've read some of the blogs, interestingly enough, and they seem to suggest it may have been an ambush interview. I can guarantee there was nothing of an ambush about this interview. There was no deal struck with the Senator when we did the interview. And I'll clear this up more on the air. I'll let you see part of that interview as well. We stand behind it.

Also, Urban Meyer, a lot to clear up the air. Originally, we thought he checked himself into the hospital. Actually, an ambulance brought him there. He passed out and his wife called.

It's not about Urban Meyer. It's about all of us. At what point, old guys like me, not young guys like you.

(LAUGHTER)

At what point do you -- and how do you balance career, health and family? When do you let the foot off the gas a little bit? Because this is obviously what Urban Meyer's going through right now. So I called Dick Vermeil, former NFL football coach, who has let off the gas three times, been at the very top and just quit and started over again, because of that -- that tussle. He's going to be on today and he'll take us through it. I think it will be a great interview. Any time you talk to Dick Vermeil it's a great interview but this will be good because of the issue with Urban Meyer, I think. You like?

LUI: Yes, intense, intense. You're talking about careers that require 1,000 percent from you, so cycling in and out would be an interesting discussion to have with Dick Vermeil.

OK, thanks a lot.

SANCHEZ: Appreciate it.

LUI: Rick Sanchez to talk to us in ten minutes, the young guy that he is.

(LAUGHTER)

Adopt a shelter dog, it's been drummed into pet people for years and years. Two Tennessee women, in fact, decided to do just that, save some pups' lives, so how did both of those dogs end up dead here?

Here's Candace McCawan of our affiliate WREG with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CANDACE MCCAWAN, REPORTER, WREG: When Kate Mauldin heard Rita Leone's story, she thought it was deja vu. Leone went to pick up her dog at the animal shelter the day after Christmas only to find the dog had been put down. Mauldin says it was two weeks before that that the same thing happened to a pit bull she picked out named Kiddo.

KATE MAULDIN, ADOPTED DOG WAS EUTHANIZED: I couldn't get anyone to call me back doing a home inspection or background check. And I got concerned and she went down there and discovered he had been euthanized.

MCCAWAN: She says the shelter told her it was because her dog had distemper, but she says the paperwork she received said otherwise.

MAULDIN: They didn't check off any of the boxes, saying why he was being put down. In fact, he had still been marked as being in good condition.

A.C. WHARTON, MAYOR OF MEMPHIS: I accept responsibility for it.

MCCAWAN: Mayor Wharton calls the most recent case a goof up. Wharton's office says that a policy was in place, but the employee didn't properly follow the color-coding system. He says the problem is too much paperwork.

WHARTON: One looks at one side of the document, some look at another side of the document, some look at a dot, some -- it will be this very simple.

MCCAWAN: He proposed his own policy, one he believes will stop the confusion.

WHARTON: Let's come up with something very simple. Dogs in a cage, put a red piece of tape that you have to break to get out, whatever that signifies, this is the dog. If that's not on there, then nobody -- it's just very simple.

MCCAWAN (on camera): As for the worker, Wharton says he will be disciplined once he hears all of the evidence.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: Yes, but how horrible it was certainly for the owners of those dogs.

That was Candace McCawan from our Memphis affiliate WREG. The shelter clearly has some serious problems. A couple of months ago, in fact, it was raided after allegations of abuse.

A buzz cut and Army fatigues, Private McLain, he looks the part, but boot camp is up next. And getting combat-ready is no walk in the park for him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. AARON MOSHER, U.S. ARMY: I'm Lieutenant Aaron Mosher in Karbata (ph), Iraq. I'd like to wish my family and friends in El Paso, Texas, merry Christmas and happy New Year. I love you guys. Miss you. I'll see you soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LUI: We've been following one young man's trip as he gets into the Army. You saw him enlist, watched him as he was processed. But you ain't seen nothing yet. Private Will McLain heads to Army boot camp, and our Jason Carroll followed him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOSEPH RIX, U.S. ARMY DRILL SERGEANT: Let's go!

JASON CARROLL, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's week three of basic training for Will McLain.

SOLDIERS: One. Two. Three.

CARROLL: McLain and 193 new recruits have entered what's called the red stage.

RIX: Are you going to do that in combat?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

RIX: Get up.

CARROLL: The emphasis? Physical training, P.T.

SOLDIERS: One.

RIX: That was like one and a half miles. Are you seriously coughing and crap?

CARROLL: The voice, always egging them on.

RIX: You better sound off, one, two, three

CARROLL: Drill Sergeant Joseph Rix.

RIX: Just trying to get them ready when they go to the first unit, if they have to deploy, they have a little bit of a head start, more than what we did when we went through basic training.

CARROLL: On this day, after a quarter-mile run, McLain has time for a quick break while outside...

RIX: You've done a total of 25 pushups and run one lap. Get up.

CARROLL: A private who cannot make it...

RIX: Get up!

CARROLL: ... gets no coddling.

RIX: Hurry up. Oh, man, here we go again.

RIX: Get outside and get him in here. Move!

RIX: One, two, three, lift.

CARROLL: McLain and the others finally drag him to a bunk, and he recovers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurry up and get him up.

CARROLL: Later, more would stumble.

RIX: You better clean it up, Private.

CARROLL: Carrying 40-pound duffle bags.

RIX: Pick them up!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now put your pistol belt back on, specialist. Give me that. You're not this anymore. It's gone already.

CARROLL: This time it's McLain's turn on the ground.

(on camera): I know he was in your ear whispering some words of encouragement, shall we say?

PVT. WILL MCLAIN, U.S. ARMY: We can go with that.

CARROLL: We can go with that.

MCLAIN: You can't take it personally. They're trying to make you a better person, better soldier.

CARROLL (voice-over): Then, a crucial test of whether their training has paid off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A good thumbs up (INAUDIBLE) your masks.

CARROLL: Their masks must come off while this chamber fills with tear gas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three.

(SHOUTING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three.

(SHOUTING)

CARROLL (on camera): He's going to have to come back and do it again, correct?

RIX: Yes, he'll have to go back and do it again.

CARROLL (voice-over): McLain and the others tough it out, 30 painful seconds. (on camera): Must have felt like an eternity.

MCLAIN: It felt at least like five minutes, at least. You're sounding like, OK, open the door, open the door, open the door.

CARROLL (voice-over): It's a boost of confidence for McLain who met another goal since we last saw him, losing weight, ten pounds in just three weeks.

MCLAIN: I have to get a new pair of pants before the end of this.

CARROLL: McLain also finds he's good at hand-to-hand combat, winning two matches. His battle buddy, all Army recruits are assigned one -- Demetrius Daniels, cheers him along -- so how do you two balance each other out?

(on camera): So how do you two balance each other out?

MCLAIN: Well, he's fast and does all that P.T. thing.

DEMETRIUS DANIELS, BATTLE BUDDY: He's a smart guy and he helps me -- sometimes I'm overwhelmed with helping other people out on the team.

CARROLL (voice-over): Their training is also about teamwork, so when one private dozes off during weapons training, everyone pays the price.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, two, three.

SOLDIERS: One, two.

CARROLL: Punished with what drill sergeants call corrective training.

RIX: Get your packs straight. Privates, I ain't got nothing but time. Get off the ground.

CARROLL: This lesson on teamwork...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You best not be sleeping, man.

CARROLL: ... McLain, just beginning to learn.

MCLAIN: I try to be independent and I do a lot on my own. but going through boot camp you can't be like that. It teaches to you use teamwork. And then you really have to look deep inside yourself and realize this is what you want to do.

CARROLL (on camera): Despite the struggling you see going on, none of the recruits from will's company has dropped out. On average, the Army tells us, about 7 percent of all recruits dropped out of basic training this past year.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York. (END VIDEOTAPE)

LUI: Up next, it is Rick Sanchez in the NEWSROOM.