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CNN NEWSROOM

Video Sheds Light on Suicide Bomber, Dangerous Cold Weather, Mid-Election Impact

Aired January 9, 2010 - 12:00   ET

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


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: All right, lots ahead this hour. A newly released video beginning with that sheds more light on the man believed to be the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA workers in Afghanistan. Just listen carefully as Human al-Balawi promises t avenge the death of a Taliban leader.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUMAM KHALIL AL-BALAWI, TERRORISM SUSPECT: This jihadi attack will be the first revenge operation against the Americans and their drone teams outside the Pakistan borders after they killed the Emir of Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan Baitullah Mehsud."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has been talking with the terror suspect's family and he's join us now from Amman, Jordan.

RIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fredricka. Well, the father said this is a very, very sad day for him, because it confirms finally, no doubt about it, his son's dead, but it's also a chance for the family to really hear what the son was thinking. They've heard from so many different people. They haven't known what to believe, but now it's very, very clear he is saying that he went ahead with this attack and it was an attack in revenge for the killing of a Pakistani Taliban leader.

The father told us he was angry with the people that had done this to his son and he wasn't explicit but implied it was the intelligence agency, Jordan's intelligence services and the CIA, he said, who were responsible for getting his son into this situation in the first place.

But interestingly, in this video, the son says that when he went to Pakistan, he contacted the Taliban and this attack, he said, is also a message to the United States for the CIA and to the Jordanian intelligence that you can't buy somebody off, you can't buy them away from their faith, because, of course, the Jordanian intelligence and the CIA thought he was an operative for them. He turned out to have been a double agent -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: And so Nic, what are the implications, this video for the CIA, for Jordanian intelligence agencies, et cetera? ROBERTSON: Well, we've been talking here with an analyst very familiar with security operations in Jordan and throughout the region, and from his perspective, this is going to mean a real close, hard look at all agents, any country is running in that reason, and there are lots of different countries who are running agents in and around the Pakistan/Afghan border trying to get on to the al Qaeda leaders.

Everyone's going to have to look at these spies that they're running and figure out if they can trust them. And the bottom line here is, in trying to track down al Qaeda leaders, the analysis has to be, this is going to cause a setback, it's going to take time to reanalyze all of those spies, check them all out again, and that's going to slow down any hope of getting leads on bin Laden and (INAUDIBLE) Ayman al zawahiri.

WHITFIELD: Nic Robertson in Amman, thanks so much.

So, we are learning more even about al Balawi. His mother says she was a loner and the wife of the suspected double agent says she was shocked to hear when he had done, but she admires him for it, as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEFNE BAYRAK, WIFE OF CIA SUICIDE BOMBER SUSPECT (through translator): In fact, I am proud of my husband. My husband accomplished a very big operation in such a war. If he is a martyr, may god accept his martyrdom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: U.S. and Jordanian officials say al Balawi was recruited to help search for al Qaeda in spite of his concerns about extremist views.

And the man arrested for allegedly triggering last Sunday's shutdown of the Newark, New Jersey airport is out of jail and his roommate now is talking -- 28-year-old Haisong Jiang was arrested last night by port authority police in Piscataway, New Jersey. Police say he caused an hour's-long shutdown of the terminal and rescreening for thousands of passengers there when he went under the rope at a security checkpoint, as you see right here in these images, all to meet his girlfriend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QUESTION: Can you tell us what exactly happened?

HUI, JIANG'S ROOMMATE: Just tell them the truth.

QUESTION: Does his girlfriend remember what happened on Sunday?

HUI: Yeah, yeah. His girlfriend feel very -- upset.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So Jiang faces one count of defiant trespass and is due to appear in Newark municipal court this week.

All right, since the Christmas day bombing attempt aboard Northwest flight 253 we're hearing more about air travelers accused of behaving badly. Two Hawaiian Airlines flights and an AirTran flight have had some unexpected turbulence. In one of the Hawaiian Airline incidents, the passenger who allegedly caused the flight's return to Portland will now faces felony charges of interference with a flight crew. Fifty-six-year-old Joseph Johnson faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Now, to the AirTran incident. Two F-16 fig6hter jets escorted the jet to the Colorado Springs Airport in response to a passenger who allegedly refused to leave the restroom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the guy is just going off on the stewardess, because she's telling him, had you too much to drink, and -- but he has no shoes and he has no shirt on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was just pointing and yelling, and even when we went to land, he wouldn't sit down. He stood up in the back of the plane.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: On a more serious note, overnight, British police arrested three men who allegedly made a bomb threat on a plane at London's Heathrow Airport.

All right, nasty weather out there. And that's become a pretty common sight. And even in the southeast, much of the nation in the icy grip of bone-chilling dangerous cold, today, Atlanta is dealing with the aftermath of sleet and snow, something the deep South just simply have is not used to. Frigid temperatures and icy roads are blamed for lots of fender benders and frightening moments on the roadways just like you're seeing right here. Call it black ice. The deadly arctic blast that is gripping the South, the Midwest, even the West is blamed for at least now nine deaths.

Wind-chills in many areas today are well below freezing. Our Bonnie Schneider is in the CNN center. The New Yorker that you are, you're used to bad weather, cold weather like this, but now you're a southerner. How was your commute in?

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's a whole different story.

WHITFIELD: I know, you kind of forgot how to drive. Didn't you? Even though in New York you don't drive that much, but, anyway.

SCHNEIDER: No, you're right, Fred. I think anywhere in the southeast, where you have snow and you have freezing temperatures you get ice and when things freeze over and the roads aren't treated, a lot of people having a lot of problems. You just saw that video.

(WEATHER REPORT) WHITFIELD: OK. Well, I guess half glass full, I guess is the way to look at it.

SCHNEIDER: Yeah. I'm just so glad it's getting better. It's been so prolonged.

WHITFIELD: I know, it really has, been a nasty, icy grip for a long time. All right, thanks so much, Bonnie. Appreciate that.

SCHNEIDER: Sure.

WHITFIELD: All right, well this cold weather is especially dangerous to the homeless, and our Catherine Callaway is actually in a shelter in Atlanta, and Catherine, joining us now, give us an idea how people are enduring this. What kind of special conditions are being made at particular shelters?

CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you know, this is a deadly weather for people without a home, and here at the Gateway Center, we're seeing more than 500 people at any time at this center. It is the largest in the area. It is much more than just this room that I am in. There's several floors above me and a family center next door, and they're up about 20 percent more people here than are usually here, and the cold weather has brought them in. That combined with this economy, Fredricka, has been just devastating for so many people.

And I want you to meet someone. This is Torria Metcalf and this is her little boy, Terion (ph), too cute. He has won the hearts of everyone here, and this is one of four children that she has. You actually have four kids. You've been here about a week now.

TORRIA METCAF, NOTHER: Yes. I lost my job due to total business closure. I got laid off, and my unemployment wasn't enough to pay my rent and keep the bills paid, and here I am.

CALLAWAY: Here you are. And you've been here about a week with your children and I notice that you say you're grateful, but not any place you want to stay for long, right?

METCAF: No. Not at all.

CALLAWAY: And you're trying to get a job. I know you walked to the library with your children to put your resume together. And let's bring it Vince Smith, he's actually the executive director of this facility.

And you found this out. You know, she's only been here a short time, but you had to tell her that she actually could have had help doing that here?

VINCE SMITH, GATEWAY CENTER: The Gateway Center has a Georgia Department of Labor career center on the third floor, and it provides all the services that other parishioners throughout the state provide and so this young lady and others are able to access jobs and build resumes there, and so I look forward to her using that resource, and we have a clinic and other resources on-site that may be of help also.

CALLAWAY: It's been so crowded here you really haven't had a chance to find out what all is available for you, have y ou?

METCAF: No. Not yet.

CALLAWAY: And are you ready to find a job?

METCAF: Yes, I am.

CALLAWAY: What would you like to find it in?

METCAF: Customer service. Basically, customer service. That's my background.

CALLAWAY: All right, well good luck to you. I know you've a lot of help with Mr. Smith here. Tnd Terion you are adorable. And his daughter, Camry (ph), we go back to you, Fredricka. Playing with her are some volunteers from Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin who have come in to help out at the center, and as you can see, she well entertained.

WHITFIELD: Oh. Too sweet. All right. Glad folk, able to find a lot of comfort in so many different ways there. Thanks so much, Catherine Callaway, appreciate that.

All right, perhaps you've always wanted to become your own boss? Well, keep it here to find out when may be the best time to go into business your yourself. But, it's really never too early to talk elections, also. We look at what could shake upCCongress come November.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Welcomes back.

In his weekly address, the president is pushing the benefits of health care reform. He says that children with pre-existing conditions won't be denied coverage, and young adults can be covered under their parents' policies longer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Once I sign health insurance reform into law, doctors and patient will have more control over their health care decisions and insurance company bureaucrats will have less. All told these changes represent the most sweeping reforms and toughest restrictions on insurance companies that this country has ever known. That's how we'll make 2010 a healthier and more secure year for every American, for those who have health insurance and those who don't.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: To offset cost, the president says small businesses will be covered tax -- offered tax credits, rather, to purchase coverage for their employees.

So, you can expect health care reform to impact the midterm elections even more so the economy. Our deputy political director Paul Steinhauser is already looking ahead into what could happen in November.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, DEPTH POLITICAL DIR: Less than ten moss to go until those crucial mid-term elections and now more troubling news on the economy. As unemployment rate stays in double digits.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT BIGGS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY: We knew this was going to be a long road and we knew that along that road there will would be ups and downs and bumps along the way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER (voice-over): The economy remains, by far, the most important issue with Americans. Bad economic times mean tough times for incumbents running for re-election this November. And there are more Democrats than Republicans defending their seats.

Plus, since the Democrats control the White House and Congress they get the blame. After that, the fair to average poll numbers for the president, and you know what, you've got a rough political climate for Democrats.

But, it's not like Americans think Republicans have better prescriptions. Look at this. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll, it indicates that more people think highly of Democratic policies compared to what the Republicans are proposing.

(on camera): Another big indicator, how many lawmakers retire rather than face duff elections this year. Two high profile Democrats called it quits this past week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN CHRISTOPHER DODD (3), CONNECTICUT: After 35 years resting the people of Connecticut in the United States Congress, I will not be a candidate for re-election this November.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEINHAUSER (voice-over): Chris Dodd's announce actually may help his party. Dodd had a ton of political baggage and polls suggest that he faced a very tough reelection in a state that Democrats dominate. With Dodd out, Democrats have a better chance now of keeping the seat.

But, it's a different story in North Dakota where popular Senator Byron Dorgan also announced his retirement. Republicans now have a good shot at grabbing this seat.

At stake in all of this, the Democrat's 60-seat supermajority in the Senate. Even with a filibuster-proof margin, they've had a tough time passing big bills. Health care reform is just one example.

(on camera): If they lose their supermajority in this year's elections, it will be even harder for President Obama and congressional Democrats to advance their agenda.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Paul.

Suspended for shooting off his mouth. The NBA cries foul benching one of its high-paid stars, but it's not for having guns in his locker.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A look at top stories now. The Deep South dealing an unwelcomed visitor -- a hard freeze. That means big trouble for motorists, of course. This iRreport from Knoxville, Tennessee. Where are his pants? Shows the problems that drivers had navigating this hill. Forecasters say the icy conditions gripping much of the country could last a few more days.

And a dozen people are dead after a coalmine fire in southeastern China. Two miners escaped. A preliminary investigation into the tragedy blames the fire on underground cables which apparently short- circuited. China's mining industry, considered one of the deadliest in the world has been racked with a number of fatal accidents.

And mockery from the grave of the suspected suicide bomber blamed for the deaths of CIA operatives in Afghanistan last month. A new video has been released of Jordanian Dr. Humam al Balawi, seen on the right. He says his faith cannot be bought. It's an apparent reference to U.S. and Jordanian intelligence agencies courting him as an informant.

All right, let's check with our legal guys, right now. We're talking about an indictment now for the Detroit attempted bomber. Umar Farouk Abdulmutalib. Let's check in with Avery Friedman and Richard Herman, there with us again this weekend.

Happy New Year.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTY: Happy New Year, Fredricka.

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTY: Happy New Year, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Excellent. All right, well, glad to see you guys. Glad we finally been reunited again after the holidays. So an indictment now for Abdulmutallab, and now what, then, Avery, for him?

FRIEDMAN: Well, the defense team headed up by the federal public defender has a great big bowl of problems, because No. 1 if Abdulmutalib is going tol cooperate. The evidence is overwhelming, a potential mass murderer. All they can try to do is work with the U.S. attorney's office to come up with some kind of deal which means that Abdulmatalib will have to spill his guts on what he knows and who was behind it. WHITFIELD: But, I thought that was actually kind of the linchpin of all this? If tried in civilian, or if prosecuted in civilian court, he actually doesn't have to necessarily share that intelligence or at least our intelligence gatherers are kind of off limits to trying to get intelligence from him as opposed to if it were a military tribunal. Not true -- Avery.

FRIEDMAN: Well, no, no, no, no. He has spoken a great deal. That's an enormous misconception. He is exactly where he's supposed to be, Fredricka. He should be in a federal district court. There are ways of getting information, intelligence. We will have information and that will be used not only on liability, Fredricka, but rather on the sentencing part of what happens to him.

WHITFIELD: So Richard, how do you see this carrying out? A, he is going to I guess be privy to a public defender, or might we see a -- a well-known prominent criminal attorney who is going to step forward to take his case?

HERMAN: Well he has the, No. 1, public defender representing him, who's very talented in that jurisdiction. But, I don't care if, you know, if Clarence Darrell gets resurrected for this case. But, Avery -- I have, a problem with what Avery just said, because he's being prosecuted and he has a loishgs the government cannot talk to this guy. They cannot interrogate him.

WHITFIELD: That what I had learned. Yeah.

Absolutely. They, can't get any other information out of this guy. And what are you going to do, Avery? What happens if the guy does provides information? Are you going to give hamm plea deal? Are you going to let him walk? This animal who almost blew up a plane and kill all of these people?

FRIEDMAN: He's never going to walk. First of all, he spoke like crazy before he had counsel and then secondly, in order to save his neck, he's going to spill the beans. So, I think it's the right place to be. No doubt about it.

HERMAN: He's a martyr, he wants to be a martyr, he's not going to say anything...

FRIEDMAN: We'll see. I'm not sure I agree with that.

HERMAN: No more intelligence.

FRIEDMAN: I don't know.

WHITFIELD: OK, let's talk about another high-profile case for many reasons, we're talking about the doctor of the late Michael Jackson's Dr. Conrad Murray. Now we're hearing discussions, Avery and Richard, about involuntary manslaughter, that according to the "Associated Press" and some other media outlets. Avery, was it your thinking perhaps Dr. Murray would escape any charges because he's been able to return to his practice as cardiologist in Houston and kind of carry on? FRIEDMAN: Yeah, I don't know who's -- I don't know who's going to him as a patient, but the truth is, that this is actually both Richard and I talk in terms of a likelihood of a, an involuntary manslaughter charge. I think that's what we're see this week. His behavior was so far below, such an extreme departure from standard of care. That's exactly the crime he should be charged with.

WHITFIELD: So, Richard, do you see involuntary manslaughter, is the charge, is that the charge you perhaps expected?

HERMAN: Well, I'm not going to rely on Latoya Jackson saying it was intentional murder. So, yeah, Fred, that's realistically, if charges are going to be brought here, they're going to be brought under involuntary manslaughter indictment. This is what the prosecution does. They leak these rumors out there to infect the jury pool. Although, in this case, you know, come on, I mean, how can this guy ever get a fair trial in this particular case? But U.S. and U.K. media outlets are releasing these stories.

WHITFIELD: Oh interesting. OK, a few seconds left for Gilbert Arenas, wizards' player.

FRIEDMAN: There's so much to say.

WHITFIELD: That's probably what a lot of people say right away. What? OK, for events In the locker room facing felony charges in D.C. where -- am I correct on this, Richard? In most places it would be a misdemeanor. What's going on here?

HERMAN: Well, Plaxico Burress is not doing a misdemeanor. He's sitting in jail right now for taking his gun to a nightclub.

WHITFIELD: True.

HERMAN: You know, there are laws on carrying handguns, and he had three of them with him.

FRIEDMAN: Four.

HERMAN: And David Sterne, I mean -- four, exactly, Avery. And the NBA has issues, Fred. They had a referee who was, you know, fixing games and betting on games. You've got now this situation now here and David Sterne just couldn't take it when the guy made that gesture at one of the games like he was shooting. I mean...

(CROSSTALK)

FRIEDMAN: Let me make it real simple. Section 4504 of D.C. code if you're unlicensed you got four guns, Arenas is looking at a maximum 20 years in the penitentiary.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh, really?

FRIEDMAN: Yep, the real thing. The real thing.

HERMAN: Fred, a six-year $111 million contract with the NBA. He is losing $150,000 a game, right now.

FRIEDMAN: Got nothing to do with the court, Richard. Nothing to do with the courtroom ruling.

HERMAN: (INAUDIBLE) Hibachi, that's what he's known as.

FRIEDMAN: Nothing to do with the courtroom, though.

WHITFIELD: OK, and this is still at the beginning stages.

HERMAN: Yeah, but it's -- it's the result of stupidity, Avery.

FRIEDMAN: Absolutely. I agree with that. I agree with that.

WHITFIELD: OK. Avery, Richard, thanks so much. Always count on you all for being very frank. And smart all at the same time. Love it.

HERMAN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, you all have a great weekend.

All right. Freezing temperatures making it very tough on millions of Americans, right now. We're all waiting for to warm up. Will it? Oh, my gosh. Look at that. Is that not crazy? Now you convinced how really cold it is almost everywhere?

And then how about getting through the airport? Some Muslim-Americans say they're getting special treatment in the wake of the attempted Christmas day attack.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A terror suspect vows revenge on tape. The suspected suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees and contractors at a U.S. base in Afghanistan is seen here in a newly released video.

Just listen carefully as Humam al-Balawi promises to avenge the death of a Taliban leader.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUMAM KHALIL AL-BALAWI, TERRORISM SUSPECT: This (INAUDIBLE) attack will be the first of the new (ph) operations against the Americans and their own (ph) teams outside the Pakistani borders after they killed the emir (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: al-Balawi also says his faith cannot be sold to bidders. It's an apparent message from the double agent to intelligence officials that they've failed to win his allegiance.

And some Muslims say they are being profiled in the tighter security that followed the failed Christmas Day attack on a U.S.-bound airliner. CNN's Alina Cho has more on that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nadia Hassan is a frequent flier. So, imagine her surprise when she arrived at the security checkpoint at Washington's Dulles International Airport Tuesday.

NADIA HASSAN, MUSLIM-AMERICAN: Racial, religious profiling. I'm being singled out as a security threat.

CHO: The 40-year-old Michigan-born Muslim-American, headed to Los Angeles, says she was singled out from what she calls a humiliating full body search. When she asked why this was happening ...

HASSAN: The gentleman who was working there specifically told me that the reason why I'm being put through this type of search is because I'm wearing a headscarf. He actually told me that that's the reason why you are being targeted.

CHO: She's not alone. On Monday, a Muslim-Canadian woman says she was made to feel like a terrorist because she was wearing a headscarf. Berated and banned from boarding a flight to the United States all because of her faith. The Council on American-Islamic Relations calls these textbook cases of profiling.

NIHAD AWAD, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS: It is violating the law, it is unconstitutional and un-American to single out people because of their religion.

CHO: U.S. Customs who handled the Canadian woman's case would not comment specifically on it, but in a statement to CNN, the TSA says current screening procedures for bulky clothing and headwear have been in place since 2007; that wearing a headscarf doesn't automatically trigger a search and quote, "In instances where passengers choose not to remove bulky clothing, including headwear, our officers are trained to offer a private screening area and may conduct a pat down search to clear the individual."

Hassan says her pat down search happened in public, in front of her five-year-old daughter and several male TSA agents. She stresses she favors strict security, but not when the screening is selective.

HASSAN: Do they even know what they're looking for? You're targeting the innocent people, but yet the bad guys are getting away. So, it just makes me wonder.

CHO (on camera): The Council on American-Islamic Relations says if the TSA is going to flag women who wear headscarfs, what about nuns who wear habits or shieks who wear turbans? What about them? The TSA says it continues to work closely to provide security protocols that are thorough, effective, and foster respect.

Alina Cho, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Everyone agrees, nasty weather just about everywhere.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Almost coast to coast. Bonnie Schneider in the Severe Weather Center. It is still considered severe?

SCHNEIDER: Oh absolutely. In fact, just yesterday we had a tremendous amount of traffic accidents due to inclement weather in Roswell, Georgia, that's north of Atlanta. Look at this. You hear that crash, it just makes you cringe.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh.

SCHNEIDER: Fred, what happened here was a photographer knew that this stretch of road here in north Georgia, well, when it ices over, this is where the accidents happen.

WHITFIELD: Oh my.

SCHNEIDER: So, he perched his camera and waited and he didn't have to wait very long. You can see multiple vehicles sliding and slipping and crashing into the median and into the side of the highway.

WHITFIELD: Oh my.

SCHNEIDER: And then, look at the car behind it. What do you do when that's happening right in front of you? Well, anyway, it's been a real rough go of it across the southeast because it's just so icy. And we still have ...

WHITFIELD: Oh my.

SCHNEIDER: ...icy conditions right now. Daytime, nighttime, doesn't matter what time it is.

Let's go ahead and show you a live picture of Atlanta right now just to let you know what's happening. It's definitely looking windy out there, and it is cold. You're looking at Centennial Plaza, just near CNN where we are.

And the temperature in Atlanta as you can see right here is now at 25 degrees. It's not only chilly in Atlanta -- Birmingham, 26. We had some snow flurries this morning. We're also looking at very cold temperatures across much of Florida as well.

And you know, what's amazing to me is that when you plan to, let's say, run a race, a marathon or a half marathon, a lot of people pick destinations across the country based on the weather. So, Orlando, Florida, this time of year, 72 degrees for a high, 52 degrees for a low. Perfect running weather, flat.

Well, the half marathoners that ventured out this morning had to deal with temperatures in the 30s, as if they were running in Boston.

WHITFIELD: Oh, no.

SCHNEIDER: And tomorrow is the full marathon. So, 55,000 people as opposed to the 7,000 that went out this morning will go out tomorrow morning and run some more. So, Orlando right now is getting a mix, a little bit of light rain, but then to the north, we still have sleet falling in Flagler Beach, in and around the Daytona Beach area. Sleet mixing with snow at times in parts of northern and central Florida.

We're also looking at big changes. Luckily, despite the frigid temperatures you see here, we are going to see improvements. Temperatures will start to moderate by Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday, we'll be looking at much better weather, Fredricka. You'll that we'll get less cold.

So, I think whatever we can do to break this cold spell will be worth it.

WHITFIELD: Just less cold by a couple degrees. We're not going to see an extreme change, however, right?

SCHNEIDER: It'll be gradual, but I think it'll feel so nice.

WHITFIELD: Yes. So, you'll still have to wear those layers, just maybe not as wuch.

SCHNEIDER: Yes.

WHITFIELD: All right. Bonnie, thanks so much.

SCHNEIDER: Sure.

WHITFIELD: All right, well, remember the balloon boy and the dad? Well, now the balloon boy's dad is on record again talking to our Larry King, and he's sticking to his story, the first story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A look at our top stories. Police in Newark, New Jersey have arrested the man they say ducked under the rope of an airport security exit last Sunday. Thousands of passengers had to be rescreened. A 28-year-old graduate student at Rutgers Unviersity is now charged with defiant trespass. His roommate tells CNN that he didn't mean any harm, he was just excited to greet his girlfriend.

The second of two men arrested yesterday in connection with a an alleged New York City terror plot is set to appear in a Brooklyn courtroom this hour. Cab driver Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded not guilty yesterday to a charge of lying to federal agents. His alleged co- conspirator, 25-year-old Bosnian immigrant Adis Medunjanin is slated to go before the judge this hour. Both are part of the investigation into Najibullah Zazi who is accused of planning to detonate an explosive last Septmber 11th.

Snow, ice and bone-chilling temperatures pummeling much of the nation today. The deadly Arctic blast that is gripping so much of the country is blamed for at least nine deaths, including a Tennessee man with Alzheimer's who wandered out of his home in his bathrobe. Overnight temperatures in Nashville plunged as low as 12 degrees.

And if you have to travel in this harsh weather, here's one more thing to worry about. Taking your shoes off at the airport might be a good security idea, but it might not be so good for your feet.

Isha Teshpar (ph) has some tips on protecting your feet when you are "On the Go."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ISHA TESHPAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know the drill. Before going through security at the airport, you have to remove your shoes, but it may be risky.

DR. PERRY JULIAN, PODIATRIST: I certainly have concerns about being barefoot at the security terminals at the airports.

TESHPAR: Podiatrist Dr. Perry Julian says some foot problems can be passed from one person to another.

JULIAN: There are so many things that could happen with somebody walking barefoot around those terminals, conditions such as athlete's foot, bacterial infections, even warts.

TESHPAR: Dr. Julian says cover your feet.

JULIAN: I think as long as there are some barriers, certainly a thicker sock would be helpful. But even a nylon hose is a better barrier than being barefoot.

TESHPAR: And walking around shoeless at airport security exposes your feet to other hazards.

JULIAN: My biggest concern is somebody even dropping a bag on somebody's foot without the protection of footwear.

TESHPAR: A good reason to stay on your toes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right, straight ahead, balloon boy's dad may have pled guilty, but he says it was not a hoax after all. And change in the late-night lineup -- NBC considering shuffling the deck, again in an effort to save the ratings. The late-night comedians are having a lot of fun with that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Did it sound like I was saying goodbye to our legal guys last half hour? I didn't mean that. They are back now. We've got another case in which to delve into. Civil rights attorney and law professor Avery Friedman, hello again.

FRIEDMAN: Hello.

WHITFIELD: And New York criminal defense attorney and law professor Richard Herman.

Let's talk about that Richard Heene, the dad of the balloon boy. He's getting ready to serve time in jail, but he still has stuff to say. This is what he said to our Larry King.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD HEENE, "BALLOON BOY'S" FATHER: We had searched the house high and low, and -- and -- I'm sorry.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: It's OK.

HEENE: And I -- you know, after I saw him in this craft, and Bradford telling me that he went inside, I at first didn't believe Bradford and I told him that perhaps he's (INAUDIBLE) -- I just saw him, and so ...

KING: So in substance, you believed your son was in the craft?

HEENE: I knew he was in the craft when I made the call.

KING: But you didn't know it.

HEENE: No, no, no. In my mind, in my mind, there was no other place because I visualized him. I yelled at him to not go in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: OK, Richard. You first. So, what does this mean? I mean, he's getting ready to serve time. He pled guilty, and now he's going on this kind of media blitz, or at least on Larry King to kind of straighten out the story. Does that further complicate his sentence or even what could come later?

HERMAN: Well, balloon boy and buffoon dad, that's what we're dealing with here.

WHITFIELD: Oh, man.

HERMAN: And you know, this guy, Fred, listen, he got sentenced to 90 days -- 90 days -- hey, that was our first dis of the year. You said we weren't coming back, and we were. Anyway ...

WHITFIELD: I know. What's the matter with me?

HERMAN: What's up with that? Ninety days ...

FRIEDMAN: Yes, what's going on?

WHITFIELD: I don't know, happy new year? I don't know.

HERMAN: You partied too hard, you partied too hard, Fred.

FRIEDMAN: There it is, that must be the answer.

WHITFIELD: I love seeing you guys twice in an hour.

HERMAN: There you go. Thirty days incarcerated, 60 days work release. I think this is going to end up 90 days in prison and he may get a perjury rap against him because this guy had a stand-up at his sentencing under oath and explained to the judge what he did. Did he -- was he guilty in fact and he did under oath tell the judge, yes, I was guilty, and this is why it was all a hoax. Now, he's contradicting that.

You know, he's got a big -- this guy cannot shut up. It's unbelievable.

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Avery, what -- I mean, do you see the dangers the same? I mean, in terms of the legal obstacles for him?

FRIEDMAN: I don't see any significance. In court, it was a legal proceeding. This is in the court of public opinion, it's merely spin. IS America buying the story? It's very clear from Larry's interview no one is. Actually, the real hero in this that really got to the truth ...

WHITFIELD: Who?

FRIEDMAN: ...was another CNN guy, and that was Wolf Blitzer ...

WHITFIELD: Wolf man.

FRIEDMAN: ...who asked the question and that's when we learned it was a hoax. Finally, Mayumi came forward and said the whole thing was made up. Falcon was there all the time. Nobody is buying the story.

WHITFIELD: And you know what? And I don't think the -- I mean, the recent release of the video of the family kind of panicking ...

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: ...when, you know, they're asking the other son, where is Falcon, et cetera? That just kind of made it worse, didn't it?

FRIEDMAN: Yes, I mean if you really think about it ...

WHITFIELD: Oh boy.

FRIEDMAN: ...it's a bad story getting worse. I think Richard's right. Just, you know, knock it off already. Do your time and then move forward. That's all.

WHITFIELD: OK. Well, let's talk about something else that's very significant, too, and affects a whole lot of people.

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Particularly convicted felons who don't have the right to vote, but now a Federal Appeals Court has weighed in. Forty-seven states already not allowing convicted felons to vote. So Richard, what now and might this indeed open the door for felons to be able to vote?

HERMAN: Well, Washington State has said felons now have the right to vote because it affected disproportionately the people that lost their right to vote. So therefore, the state says we're going to allow them to vote. This is going to now go to the United States Supreme Court; it's going to have to weigh in.

And the issue really is is the taking away of your voting rights, is that a punishment as a result of your conviction of a felony? Or is it something else? This is what the United States Supreme Court's going to have to wrestle with.

WHITFIELD: And one of the something else elements was race. You know, is this an issue of race at the core here? Avery?

FRIEDMAN: That's the only issue. The Federal Appeals ...

HERMAN: Right.

FRIEDMAN: ...Court this week said that the disproportionate number of people imprisoned are black. It violates the Voting Rights Act. The Court of Appeals out in San Francisco said that's racist. Other courts of appeals said no. Richard's exactly right. It's on its way to the Supreme Court.

WHITFIELD: OK, and this is out of the page of what were they thinking?

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: I'm talking about these parents, Mary Jo Marsh and Jacob Bartels. They say you know what, we want tattoos, and hey, how about our children, too?

FRIEDMAN: Yes.

WHITFIELD: Ages 10 to 17. But now, they're facing some pretty serious criminal charges. Richard?

HERMAN: Well, you assume they were thinking, Fred, because obviously, they weren't thinking. And in this state that they're in, it is a crime to tattoo a child under 18 years of age by anybody. And secondly, a crime to get tattoos done by an unlicensed tattoo person.

WHITFIELD: Oh boy.

HERMAN: So, these people are facing multiple criminal charges. Ten law enforcement officers came into the house and raided the house to arrest these people.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh.

HERMAN: I don't know if that was overkill, but they're definitely ...

FRIEDMAN: Well ...

HERMAN: ...going to be prosecuted here.

FRIEDMAN: No, it's serious. I mean, as Mary Jo put it, I don't understand how this thing got all blowed up, is how she put it. Well, Children's and Family Services are going to come in and evaluate to maybe help Mary Jo understand there's a reason why it got all blowed up. There's a world of trouble for this family and the kids will be tattooed apparently for the rest of their lives, so it's ...

WHITFIELD: Avery, somehow you make that sound so eloquent, blowed up.

HERMAN: Oh please.

FRIEDMAN: Well, I'm merely quoting the defendant, that's all.

WHITFIELD: Coming from you, I don't know, it sounds good. It doesn't sound like such bad grammar after all. How'd you do that?

HERMAN: Yes, well, they're going to get convicted there, Fred, so it's not going to be so much fun for them.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And now, what happens to the kids? Who's going to, you know, take care of the kids?

HERMAN: Right, right, Protective Services.

FRIEDMAN: Well, that's another issue. That's why you need Children's Services to do the evaluation. That's exactly right.

WHITFIELD: Man, what a mess.

FRIEDMAN: What a mess is right.

WHITFIELD: All right, Avery, Richard, thanks so much. My first big mistake of the new year.

FRIEDMAN: Not at all, not at all. We ...

WHITFIELD: It's not happenening again because it's always going to be twice in one hour as far as we can see, right?

FRIEDMAN: Maybe more.

HERMAN: You got it, Fred.

WHITFIELD: OK, maybe more. I like that even better.

FRIEDMAN: All right, see you later.

HERMAN: For the whole hour.

WHITFIELD: Our new resolution, perfect.

HERMAN: Right.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, you guys. Have a great one.

FRIEDMAN: You, too, bye-bye.

WHITFIELD: All right, perhaps you have dreamed of owning your own business. Well, find out why now is the time to go after those dreams.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, two comics, one network, one coveted time slot. Who will be left standing at 11:30 Eastern time on NBC? The battle over who rules late night is heating up between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien and rumors are flying right now that NBC is about to shuffle the deck, bringing Leno back to his old time slot.

Both comics are using the situation for a few laughs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, THE TONIGHT SHOW: A lot of rumors swirling around about "The Tonight Show," the "Jay Leno Show" and the rest of NBC's late night lineup and there's a lot of speculation out there and I just wanted to go over just some of the rumors that have been flying around. Just check these out.

The "Jay Leno Show" is going to be cancelled is one. Jay is moving back to 11:30 and I'm moving to midnight. Both of our shows will be on at 11:30 running simultaneously in split screen. "The Tonight Show" will be an iPhone ap and the "Jay Leno Show" will become an Xbox game.

Jay and I are quitting both our shows and co-starring in a new buddy cop drama called "Coco and the Chin." Jay and I will be joining the cast of "Jersey Shore" as a new character called the "The Awkward Situation."

I'm pregnant with Jay's baby, Jay's pregnant with my baby, we're both pregnant with Tiger Woods' babies. NBC is going to throw me and Jay in a pit with sharpened sticks. The one who crawls out alive gets to leave NBC. Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Oh that is cold. Very funny. Apparently, Jay Leno's ratings -- well, they haven't been what NBC hoped for in the new 10:00 p.m. Eastern time slot. So, that's helping to precipitate all of this chatter.

All right, tired of working for the man? Well, ever thought of striking on out your own? An expert is telling CNN that now actually is the perfect time and our Josh Levs is the man, and he's going to tell us why now and how.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm still laughing about Conan. I'm still getting over that kind of stuff. That was great.

WHITFIELD: I know that was cute, very clever.

LEVS: It was great. I'll tell you this, though ...

WHITFIELD: Some of the funniest stuff, actually, we've seen on late- night lately, huh? LEVS: It actually is. They should keep up that.

WHITFIELD: I know.

LEVS: What do we know? Not going to give you guys any advice, sorry.

So, here's the thing. We had a lot of reaction to this. We did this once during the week, and a lot of people have been talking to us, writing us like crazy. Here's the deal. We met this economist. She studied decades of ups and downs in U.S. history and she also studies human behavior.

And she has this really strong argument for why now is the time for you to chase your dream. Now is the time for you to take that small business you've always wanted to create and do it, only if you follow a few key rules.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLOTTE PHELPS, ECONOMIST, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY: This is the time to go into business for yourself, and the government is making credit more available now to help entrepreneurs. So my research, although it's based on economic history, shows that the entrepreneurs are at the vanguard of social economic change. They are the leaders of the economy.

LEVS: Really? Now is the time to take that kind of risk?

PHELPS: Yes, yes. They are the ones -- you know, looking back on it, people will say why didn't I think of that? When times are bad, that's an opportunity, and only the people who have confidence and a desire to -- for a long-term career involvement, those are the people who 20 years from now will be looking back on a successful career.

Count on your friends. It's the network of friendships, the network of social interactions can help you survive as a family, but they also will -- your friends can point you to opportunities. There are so many opportunities now because of the electronic age and the internet. You have to be creative and think of a niche where you can sell your idea, and that's what will pay off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEVS: She's saying that people who are most open with their friends and totally don't hide it at all and harness the technology have the best chance of success.

We heard from a lot of people say, well, what do I do to start to a business? Check this out. Look at this, this is cool. This is from CNN money -- how to build a bullet-proof start-up. And they talk you through the key steps that you should take, phase one, phase two, everything basically to know to get your business going.

We've taken this link and we've posted it for you at the blog. Here's my screen, CNN.com/josh. It's right there. It's also up at Facebook and Twitter, JoshLevsCNN. I want you to take a look at that. Fred, I'll tell you, this is one of the things a lot of people are thinking about when it comes to this economy.

WHITFIELD: Yes.

LEVS: How can they get their own business going.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and in fact, we're going to talk to, speaking of the economy, the Dolans in the 2:00 Eastern hour. We always talk to them about money stuff and this just happens to be a great opportunity to start a business also because they'll be helping to reiterate that, what, 45 percent of Americans actually say they don't like their jobs? So, the Dolans have some answers for you and they're also going to delve into five ways in which you can earn extra money in 2010.

So, we want you to send your your money questions to my page, my blog page or to Josh Levs' blog page, as well on Facebook. That's coming up at the 2:00 Eastern hour right after "YOUR MONEY."

All right, Josh, see you in the 2:00 Eastern hour.