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CNN NEWSROOM

Somali Pirates Hijack and Murder Four Americans; The Business of Pirate Attacks; New Zealand Devastated by Major Earthquake; Uprising in Libya; Continued Protests in Bahrain; Unions Fight for their Future; Moammar Gadhafi Speaks About Situation in Libya

Aired February 22, 2011 - 10:00   ET

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


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it's the top of the hour and we've got breaking news for you. Four Americans held aboard their yacht by Somali pirates have been killed. The Yacht "Quest" was commandeered Friday. Jean and Scott Adam of Seattle had been sailing around the world when they were taken hostage in the Indian Ocean. The other victims have been identified as Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle from Seattle.

The yacht was being shadowed by the U.S. Navy since yesterday and U.S. negotiations had been going on when all of a sudden they heard gunshots ring out. U.S. forces responded to those gunshots and boarded the yacht but they found that the Americans and two pirates had been shot dead. 13 other pirates have been captured.

Well, Jean and Scott Adam, the owners of the "Quest" were no strangers to what could happen on the high seas. Our Chris Lawrence has a closer look at their trip and how they were separated from their original group.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a mix of faith and adventure, but a good friend of the kidnapped American couple says Jean and Scott Adam were not naive trying to push their Christian faith in the Muslim world.

SCOTT STOLNITZ, FAMILY FRIEND: They were not proselytizing evangelicals. They were using their Bible mission as a way to break the ice with Christian communities, particularly in the Pacific.

LAWRENCE: That's where they started, meeting other Christians in Thailand. The retired couple and two other American friends set out for the southern tip of India but then their yacht "Quest" split off from a group of other yachters and took a separate route to Oman. They had planned to sail through the Suez Canal and out into the Mediterranean.

If they were concerned about anything, it wasn't on the high seas but a scheduled refueling stop in Djibouti. Jean Adam blogged "I have no idea what will happen in these ports."

STOLNITZ: These people are victims. They were in international waters, peacefully going about their own business, and basically a bunch of criminals took them over for what they freely admit is economic gain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Well, as we know, pirate attacks are big business. CNN anchor Zain Verjee joining me now from London. You did a whole series on these pirates, Zain. You've covered the operations, how they work. These pirates definitely have it down to a science?

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN ANCHOR: They do and any Wall Street firm would be impressed. They run with military precision with their business model on the high seas. Kyra, basically it works like this. They have investors and suppliers that give money and weapons or boats, things like that, to a gang leader. Below that, what's known as pirate action groups, there are eight to 10 guys that go out on these skips. You see them in the video all the time.

You have a logistics manager, you have an accountant, you have a chef, a sous chef, somebody in charge of negotiations, the translator, someone in charge of prostitutes and drugs so when the pirates come back from a successful hijack. What they do is they approach a vessel, low and slow. They climb on to it. They hijack it. They take it to Somalia and then they just moor it, outside the Somali coast. There are loads of pirate camps that are built to support this whole industry and then they've got all the time in the world. They just wait it out and negotiate with the owners and insurance companies.

They get money dropped to them often in orange canisters that are parachuted down onto the vessel. The pirates have counterfeiting machines to check and make sure the money is not fake. They count the money and then they go and release the ship. That's how they do their business model.

PHILLIPS: Now, what more do we know about what was happening within the last three days? You were updating us on what made this different. Because usually they hold them hostage, they get their money and they let the hostages go.

VERJEE: Right.

PHILLIPS: This took a totally different turn.

VERJEE: Yes, it did. And what we have been seeing in the high seas is a trend by Navys, that are out there, whether they are Malaysian, Dutch, the U.K. Navy, the South Korean Navy. They have been attacking the pirates. They have been trying to free hostages. So they kind of upped the ante because in the process of doing that, and successfully freeing the hostages, they have killed pirates, and so there is a fear that this has happened out of a retaliation. The pirates are mad and they're getting back. What's dangerous is that these were four Americans that many think were specifically targeted, and that is a very ominous development.

Because if you consider just in the last few weeks, you have the "Irene SL (ph) " which was - what's known as a VLCC, very large crude carrier carrying about $200 million worth of crude bound for the U.S.. The reason that matters, that hijack, is because it drives oil prices and gas prices up and affects you and millions of people in the U.S.. Also, a Somali pirate was sentenced to 33 years for a hijack the "Maersk Alabama" in 2009. That was in a court in New York. It could be retaliation.

PHILLIPS: All right. Zain Verjee, we will continue obviously to follow this breaking news story throughout the morning. We sure appreciate your insight because you have right in there covering how these pirates operate for a couple of months now. Appreciate it.

All right. Let's head over to New Zealand, devastated by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake. It hit just before 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, local time, 7:00 p.m. on the East Coast. That centered just a few miles from Christchurch. We're told now at least 65 people have died, hundreds more people still trapped in that rubble. The quake has toppled buildings, cracked roads, it has knocked out phone lines and the New Zealand prime minister actually went to Christchurch to survey the damage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KEY, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: It's hard to put words around this. This is a city that suffered an enormous earthquake six months ago and I think we were lucky it hit at a time that lives were spared but that's the opposite this time. The central city last time obviously bore some of the brunt but nothing like this time where it has been utterly devastated. You know, buildings collapsed, and the roads are in a complete state of disrepair. It's just hard to describe what was a vibrant city a few hours ago and now has just been brought to its knees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Well, as the aftershocks continue to rattle, already shaken residents, thousands of people are now homeless. Apparently, the welfare centers are filling up with more than 1,200 people even bunking at a horse track in Christchurch for the night.

Let's get a better idea of the size and the area that we're talking about. Rob Marciano has been tracking this for us. Rob, I was just mentioning. I'm going to try to find this on line, too. You know, Christchurch is the hub for the National Science Foundation, the foreign operating base to get to Antarctica, and people come through there. That's the stop on the way to the South Pole.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: As you're familiar with it. It is also the second largest city in New Zealand, so very highly populated. So that's problem number one. We saw that certainly in Haiti. This is a 6.3 magnitude quake, and you compare that to what happened across the area back in September, and that's when we run into some issues.

All right. Let's talk about the ring of fire. This is the Pacific plate that runs into the Australian plate. This is a hot zone for volcanoes and earthquakes. As Kyra mentioned, this is very far to the south, close to the south pole, and the fault line here has been very, very active. This is where the September quake was. It was a 7.1 magnitude, much, much larger quake. Not quite as shallow, the more shallow, the more destruction it is and not nearly as close to Christchurch proper. This is a 6.3 quake, which is much, much closer, if not in Christchurch proper. It was more shallow and it happened during the middle of the day. That's the main problems with this particular quake.

All right. This is a cool web site I want to show you. Give me an idea of how turbulent this area is. This is the University of Canterbury's web site and this is the quake that they have highlighted for us, September, the 7.1 quake. Well, fast forward to the one that happened yesterday afternoon or for these folks, for us, it was last night. This is all of the aftershocks that have happened, and there are 52 of them, just since last night alone. There have been over 4,000 of them since September.

So just an extremely turbulent zone. And the aftershocks will keep on coming for the next several days, next several weeks, and as we saw with this particular case, Kyra, we could see another one, you know months down the road. So the biggest issue is this is so close to such a major metropolitan area, and it was very, very shallow. So when you think 6.3, it doesn't sound that big. We get them in California. When it's this close, happened in the middle of the day and if it's that shallow, you get devastating results.

PHILLIPS: All right. We'll keep tracking it. Thanks, Rob.

MARCIANO: You bet.

PHILLIPS: Well, it's just after 6:00 p.m. in Bahrain and take a look at what's happening there right now. At least 30,000 protesters jamming the streets of the capital. Ambulance workers leading the way, the ones who rushed to help protesters hurt in last week's crackdown. This is the biggest anti-government rally in Bahrain since began last week. The main opposition party leader is expected back into the country today.

And then in Libya, after more than 40 years in power, is this Moammar Gadhafi's last stand? Well, Libya's ambassador to the U.S. is saying he must resign. The United Nations meeting to figure out a response to the bloody crackdown on the anti-government protestors and Libya's deputy ambassador, (INAUDIBLE) is using his military to commit genocide.

Now, one human rights group thinks up to 400 people have been killed. Gadhafi reportedly going on TV this hour to address supporters. He was on state TV for a few seconds last night to prove that he was still in the country. It is still not clear if he is in control though.

CNN's Ben Wedeman is reporting that Gadhafi has lost control, at least, of the eastern part of the country, and a camera crew at London Heathrow's airport caught up with some people who had just gotten out of Libya.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my goodness. Horrific, scary, a lot of gunfire last night. Heavy artillery, a lot of deaths that we weren't expecting in Tripoli. Pretty scary. So, yes, but, it was tough but we all got out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: The budget battle wages on in Wisconsin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kill the bill!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: And, now, that fight is spreading to other states. Where will it stop? And is this just the beginning of union-busting?

And later, priests accused of sexually molesting children in their care. The story is sadly familiar but a sickening case in Philadelphia is a bit different. It could set a precedent in the way that these cases are prosecuted.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Cash strapped and taxed out, across the country state leaders with tough budget choices are taking aim at the influence of organized labor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then ban unions. Don't tell me that (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kill the bill! Kill the Bill!

PHILLIPS: You got Wisconsin's budget battle drawing more demonstrations this morning to the state capital in Madison. Demonstrators opposing Republican Governor Scott Walker's plan to remove most collective bargaining rights for teachers and public employees.

Similar demonstrations going on this week at the Ohio state capital in Columbus. Governor John Kasich wants to curb collective bargaining rights for public employees including teachers. He says "the move is 'to restore some balance to the system and not he adds to destroy unions, but as you can see, not everyone is convinced.

CNN is covering demonstrations in both cities. Deb Feyerick is in Columbus while our Kate Bolduan is in Madison. Let's go and start with the situation in Madison. Kate, it seems like neither is budging on the plan so far.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right. The governor here is now warning of massive layoffs if his budget repair bill isn't pushed through. As you said, both sides, the unions and their supporters, and the governor and his supporters are dug in showing very little signs of giving any ground at this point.

Today, the state's senate and the state's assembly are scheduled to be back in session. The assembly may actually take up this budget measure but all eyes remain on the State Senate because with the 14 state Democrats still hiding out of state, they cannot bring this measure to a vote. So, still, a stalemate there. Both sides, as I said, dug in, Kyra, and with all eyes across the country on this state capital and really looking at this place as kind of a marker of things to come potentially elsewhere.

I talked to a Republican here and he said, that's why in his view, the governor needs to stay strong. Democrats, the unions and their supporters clearly think the governor is wrong here. They say they're ready to come. They're giving concessions, and the governor needs to take collective bargaining off the table and then they can move forward. Little signs of that happening at least at this very moment.

Kate Bolduan, CNN, Madison, Wisconsin.

DEB FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Deb Feyerick in Columbus, Ohio, where I spoke to the state senator sponsoring a controversial bill here. She said point blank, Ohio is out of money, and local governments like cities need the flexibility to do what they can with the money they've got. That's why unions are under fire right now.

Firefighters, teachers, police officers, and especially state workers seen almost as special interest groups who are overburdening the taxpayers. This new bill wants to end state workers' rights to bargain and then limit bargaining rights for others, only to salaries. That means pension, health care, all of those things would be off the table. The Republican legislature says this has to happen. Take a listen to both sides.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK BENSMAN, OHIO TEACHER: I understand budgets are bad, but you also have to look at how we got in this situation, and it wasn't me in the classroom that did it.

CAROL BOWSHIER, OHIO CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES ASSN.: Public employees are not getting rich in this state. Protecting these jobs - they are middle-class jobs, and what does this bill do to put anything in place of that?

WARREN EDSTROM, OHIO LIBERTY COUNCIL, TEA PARTY: I understand unions. I've been in unions. But you can't hold on when there's a huge crisis looming on the horizon. You can't hold on and dig your heels in and say no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: All right, Deb Feyerick and Kate Bolduan, thanks so much. We will definitely stay on top of those budget woes throughout the country. What's happening in Wisconsin and now in Ohio is not new, as you know. It's actually the culmination of a decades-long fight between organized labor and management. It got us asking, are we witnessing the end of unions.

Our Carol Costello will take a look at that in just about 20 minutes.

PHILLIPS: It's always nice to get back to nature once in a while, isn't it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JULIAN BRANTLY ACREE, III, RESCUED SNOWBOARDER: About 4:00 last night. Roads were getting dark. So I kind of just set up shop, got some pine needles down and did the fetal position thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Although that's probably not what this guy had in mind huddled on the side of a mountain, subzero temps. We're going to tell you how a stranded organ snowboarder made it through the night and now he is living to tell us about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Well, it just never seems to go away. Priests accused of sexually molesting the children in their care. Take a look at some of this grand jury report from a case in Philadelphia. Most of it is so graphic and so disturbing we can't show it to you.

The alleged victim here is a 10-year-old boy named Billy. So we decided to take these various parts to kind of make it less stomach turning, shall we say. "Father Engelhardt pulled pornographic magazines out of a bag and showed them to Billy. He asked Billy how it made him feel to look at those pictures of naked men and women and then asked him which he preferred. He also told Billy that it was time for him to become a man and that "sessions with the priest would soon begin.""

It goes on to say "Father Edward Avery pulled Billy aside to say that he had heard about Father Engelhardt's session with Billy and that his sessions with the boy would soon begin. Billy pretended he did not know what Father Avery was talking about but inside, his stomach turned." The testimony goes on to say that Engelhardt, Avery, another priest named Father Brennan, and a lay teacher Bernard Shero are charged in this case but there's a twist, and this could change the way future cases are prosecuted.

From 1992 until 2004, this man, Monsignor William Lynn, was the man that the archdiocese put in charge of investigating reports of sex abuse, and now he's the first Catholic leader facing criminal charges for trying to just brush all those reports under the carpet.

The grand jury report says this about him, "a common element in the cases cited here as well as in the cases investigated by this grand jury is that abusive priests were able to secure victims and molest, sodomize or rape them because of actions taken deliberately by Monsignor Lynn. He and Father Engelhardt have pleaded not guilty, and Shero's lawyer says his client will enter a not guilty plea."

Now if that doesn't grab your attention, stay with us, because right after this break, I'm talking to the D.A..

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Now, back to "Today's Talker." Priests accused of sexually molesting children in their care. You know, this story is sadly familiar, but this sickening case in Philadelphia is a bit different. It could actually set a precedent in the way these cases are prosecuted. We've got Seth Williams on the phone with us. He's the district attorney in Philadelphia, and Mr. Williams, you've told any victims to come to your office first and not go to the archdiocese, and I think it's tremendously sad that you can't even trust the church to police itself.

SETH WILLIAMS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY (on the phone): Well, I think it's only appropriate that victims, of course, know that they don't have to go to the perpetrators. There is no other type of crime where we expect victims to go to the perpetrator and to hope that the perpetrator will conduct an investigation and then self-report. We hope the church will do the right thing and we hope, of course, the church will provide counseling to the victims and that they will do what they need to do to police the priests but victims need to know that they have to report sexual abuse of children.

PHILLIPS: Yes. Well, it's hard to have faith in the church when you see story after story come forward, Seth, and then see that the men assigned to investigate these cases are actually shuffling all of this under the carpet. I want to get back to some of the grand jury's report here, and ask you specifically about some questions. I just want to let our viewers know, you know, this was really tough for us to read through and to talk about.

So we've tried to, you know, water it down a bit so it isn't so chilling.

WILLIAMS: Certainly.

PHILLIPS: Because it gets a lot worse than what we are about to say. This comes from the Philadelphia grand jury report talking about the sex abuse by the clergy here. It says that "when they were both naked, the priest had Billy sit up on his lap and kissed his neck and back while saying to him that god loved him and everything was going to be OK." You know, Seth, the sex abuse is horrific, but then when you read that they're saying that god is OK with this, it's gut- wrenching.

WILLIAMS: Yes, it's very, very sad. To fully comprehend that this one young man, Billy, was raped and sodomized by two priests and a sixth grade school teacher who evidently shared with each other information about what they had done, it is gut-wrenching. It's very, very sad. I couldn't listen to reports from the investigation myself. So it was horrific, but it's something - of course, this isn't a witch hunt into the Catholic Church. This isn't specific to that church. We have about 400 cases like this a year but this is just about evil men being held accountable for their criminal behavior. PHILLIPS: And let's talk about what happens to these kids. As you continue to interview and talk with Billy, the report goes on to say that Billy began to smoke marijuana at the age of 11. By the time Billy was in high school, he was abusing prescription pain killers and eventually he graduated to heroin. You know what were the - how did the parents react to this, Seth? And how is Billy doing now?

WILLIAMS: That's a very good question, and his parents immediately noticed a change in his behavior after he had been raped and sodomized by the two priests during the school year. They took him away for the summer, thinking it would help his spirits, and when he returned, that his sixth grade teacher drove him off to a park and raped him and forced him to walk home. They really began noticing a change in his behavior. They took him to the doctor. He wasn't eating. He would throw up, and that would lead to great depression and drug addiction. With many victims of sexual abuse, be they men or women, they try to repress what happened, try not talk about it, and pop somehow because of the pressure.

Billy, and Mark, and many others, they lead them to lives of drug addiction to try to heal themselves. So it was very fortunate for Billy, the one young man who referred to as Billy, who was raped by the two priests and school teacher that it was during his rehab that he was able to first talk about the fact that he had been sexually abused by a child and that is what led us to this grand jury investigation.

PHILLIPS: And just quickly, Seth, before I let you go, could this case be a turning point? Because not only does it talk about the abuse by clergy but it talks about the monsignor, Monsignor Lynn, who was assigned to investigate this and how for years he ignored it and shuffled it under the table to a level of how these men need to be held accountable. Could your case impact how investigations go on from this point?

WILLIAMS: Yes. This case is precedent-setting and that we are holding accountable a person who did not personally abuse the children, but that Monsignor Lynn was responsible for investigating these cases. He had credible evidence that two of these priests had previously molested children yet he did not follow through on the treatment they were supposed to get.

He also then reassigned them to parishes and did not tell the pastors and did not tell the new principals where they were assigned and put them in proximity to reoffend other children, and two did, in fact, reoffend. That's how we had the rape of Billy and the rape of Mark.

And so because of this, I hope this is a clarion call for all of those who have responsibility for children, be they in camps, and schools and churches, that you have to do your job, and if you don't, and you knowingly and willingly allow pedophiles to continue, you will be held accountable.

PHILLIPS: And I just don't understand how someone could do that. Philly DA Seth Williams, we'll keep following the story and sure appreciate all of the work you are putting into this, Seth. Thank you very much.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

PHILLIPS: Around the world sailing journey goes horribly wrong. Four Americans killed by pirates in the Indian Ocean. Live report coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Breaking news we continue to follow this hour. Four Americans held aboard their yacht by Somali pirates have been killed. The Yacht Quest was commandeered Friday. Jean and Scott Adam of Seattle had been sailing around the world when they were taken captive in the Indian Ocean.

The other victims have been identified as Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle from Seattle. That yacht had been shadowed by the U.S. Navy since yesterday and apparently when gunshots rang out while negotiations were going on. U.S. forces responded.

They boarded the yacht only to find out that the Americans and two pirates had been killed. Thirteen other pirates have been detained now. Our David McKenzie is in Nairobi, Kenya. David, what more can you tell us?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kyra, well, very tragic end to the situation, which has been unfolding since Friday when the Quest, a 58-foot yacht was taken by the Somali pirates with those four Americans on board, experienced sailors. You know certainly there had been hopes that either the U.S. Navy or other Navy could have intervened or that they could have been taken to the Somali Coast and negotiations happened.

But really this is the worst-case scenario, obviously four Americans killed. It seems like before the U.S. Navy boarded that boat, there were shots that rang out. They tried to give emergency first aid to the sailors, but it was all in vain and certainly a very tragic news.

The central command in the U.S. is responding. General James Matt is saying, quote, "we express our deepest condolences for the innocent lives carelessly lost aboard the Quest." So, Kyra, a very tragic day and certainly people in Seattle and Orange County will be having a terrible start to the day.

PHILLIPS: We'll follow the story, continue to. David McKenzie, thanks.

Cash strapped and taxed out across the country state leaders are facing tough budget choices, many of them taking aim at union power as a way to help make ends meet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS (voice-over): As you know, Wisconsin's ground zero as state workers are fighting budget cuts that would strip them of bargaining rights and perks. It's been a battle raging on for a week now and it's spreading. Now union members in Ohio, Massachusetts, California, all holding demonstrations today.

But the scope is even bigger. More than 40 states are facing gaps next year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: And if you check out 2012 shortfalls as a percentage chunk of the total budget, Wisconsin doesn't even make the top 20 list of most cash-strapped states, and union leaders say that's putting public workers' benefits under siege.

They say some 17 states are now considering legislation to trim union powers and perks to help close that gap. Some people are saying we may be witnessing labor's last stand in America.

President Obama has even described the Wisconsin budget fight as a quote assault on unions. Carol Costello is live in D.C. Carol, what do you think, beginning of the end?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maybe, but if anything could make unions one big happy family, it is the threat of their impending doom. Twenty thousand are expected to rally in Ohio today, and you can bet union organizers from across the country are partially responsible for that. They feel they have no choice. It's do or die time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COSTELLO (voice-over): What's happening in Wisconsin is now in Ohio is not new. It's the culmination of a decades-long fight between organized labor and management, and if you ask pro-union folks --

KAREN KAMINSKY, WISCONSIN TEACHER: I want my children to support union labor so their children can have a future, too.

COSTELLO: Corporate America is about to win big time. Mary Kay Henry is the president of the Service Employees International Union.

MARY KAY HENRY, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION: There's been a coordinated campaign for the last 30 years to undermine the American middle class by weakening the power of workers to be able to collectively bargain to raise their wages.

COSTELLO: Henry says corporate America saves themselves money and wages by lining the pockets of Republicans running for statewide offices. According to followthemoney.org and the 2009-2010 election cycle, business interests donated $878 million to candidates running for governor and other statewide offices across the country.

That including hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio. Organized labor groups donated far less to state candidates, 225 million, but Republicans argue it's the voters, not the campaign dollars who have spoken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least there's a few teacher out there who have the guts to stand up against you union thugs! COSTELLO: Many Republican lawmakers say one of the biggest threats to the economy is not a lack of corporate regulations, but unions out of control.

SHANNON JONES, (R) OHIO STATE SENATE: We've got a projected 8-plus billion dollar budget deficit that we have to deal with. We're not like Washington. We can't just print more money and pawn it off on our children. We have to balance these budgets.

COSTELLO: That's why Senator Jones is introducing Ohio's bill, a bill that would essentially gut collective bargaining rights for state workers.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSTELLO: And Democrats say there is another reason Republicans want to gut unions. Organized labors donates hundreds of millions of dollars to candidates like Barack Obama. Weaken the unions, the theory goes, you weaken the traditional money supporters of the Democratic Party, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Carol Costello, live from D.C. Carol, thanks.

One thing to sympathize with the homeless, it's another thing to experience it. But a new online game walks you through the hardships and the hard choices. You'll see our producer is actually playing it right now, and next we're talking to the game's co-creator, and a woman who lived it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: The NFL already under fire for not taking head injuries seriously enough. Now facing new questions after a beloved player commits suicide. Teammates say that Dave Duerson, a former safety for the Chicago Bears was always upbeat and planning to get married in April.

He never mentioned any health problems, but last Thursday he shot himself in the chest and died at the age of 50. Earlier this morning, chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke with his son about what may have been his father's last communication.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TREGG DUERSON, DAVE DUERSON'S SON: The message the night before, that was a bizarre text message that he sent to my mother saying he loved her and loved my family and that to please get his brain to the NFL brain bank. My mother called me at work. We talked about it, and it was a bizarre text.

You can't make sense of it, so we were trying to reach out to him, trying to get in contact with him. No one could get in contact with him and then, you know, when I'm getting up at 1:30 in the morning and letting the police in, the first thing in my mind is I think they are about to tell me my father died.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Well, last year, the NFL formed a medical committee and promised to change the way it deals with head injuries.

Well, struggling to make ends meet in America. It's a heart-breaking reality, 14 million workers out of a job, 50 million worried where their next meal will come from, 17 million of those children. These are not just numbers on a report from the Labor Department, not just statistics. They're real people with real stories and real struggles, and the reality is more and more often those struggling Americans end up living with relatives in shelter, and worst case scenario, on the street.

If you ever wondered how bad it could get and how quickly it could happen. Here's a challenge for you. You're out of work, almost out of savings and almost out of hope. You have tough choices to make. You have $95 in your bank account and your child needs $15 for a class field trip, what do you do?

Or your mom needs the medication, but she didn't have the hundred bucks she needs. Do you help? It's all from a video game called "Spent," and our producer Pete Seymour has been playing it all morning long.

Also joining us the game's co-creator, Jenny Nicholson and Patrice Nelson, Executive Director of Urban Ministries of Durham that's actually been using this game in her ministry and in her community.

Jenny, let's start with you. You are the co-creator. You actually lived this game. Explain your real life, spent, with how you play "Spent."

JENNY NICHOLSON, CO-CREATOR OF "SPENT": You know, one of the things that made me want to make "Spent" is I have the interesting perspective of living on both sides of the coin. I was the first person in my family to go to college and my life before college and my life after college were extremely different.

When I was growing up, we lived on less than $900 a month, my mom and my sister and I. My mom was a waitress, and a lot of the realities in that game were realities that I had in my life. Now as a working professional with a job and a savings account, if I hadn't lived it as a child, I don't think I could really be able to conceive of what it was like sometimes actually.

Even though I did live it, it feels like such a different world than the one I live now. I wanted to really make people understand that it's not that the people who are in the situations are any different than us. It's not that we're smatter. It's probably that we're luckier, and that some bad luck and one downslide down can turn really quickly into a spiral that you just can't get out of.

That's what I remember the most from growing up is that feeling like there was always another shoe about to drop. Just when something good happens, something unexpectedly bad would happen and you have to start all over again. That's the reality. Working with Urban Ministries of Durham, I know now that the population they're working with has changed, and there are a lot of people who don't have the comfort of the middle class life they used to.

They lost their job and the supports just really aren't in place, and so more and more people are finding that they have to ask for help when they didn't think it was ever something they thought they'd have to do. We wanted to make sure that people understand that the difference between us and somebody in a difficult circumstance in the game isn't a big difference at all.

PHILLIPS: Pete, I want to bring you in on this because you have been playing the game for the past hour. Pete, explain to our viewers the various scenarios that you can actually play out here and maybe what has been the hardest choice that you've had to make so far. You actually have a choice of what you can do within this game, right?

PETE SEYMOUR, NEW MEDIA PRODUCER: Yes. Right now, I'm a factory worker, and a lot of the choices I had to make so far are things like seem easy, selling your stuff to get a little bit extra money. But then as you go through the game, things gets very difficult.

Like my grandfather has died and I've been very close with him. Can I go, it costs $350 when you have only $300 in the bank or the hardest ones are your child needs something to make them a better person and you can't give them that or you're going to go broke.

PHILLIPS: So, Pete, do you actually have -- you say you're a factory worker in this game, and it puts your salary or how much you bring home each month up in the corner, right? So as you make these decisions, it actually shows you how much you spend or how much it will cost you each month, right?

SEYMOUR: Yes. I mean, as you go through, you have your paycheck coming in every week. I think right now I'm making something like $250 a week or so, and as you go through, you have to go buy groceries and make all of these life decisions, and it counts down.

A couple times I was down to $50 with two weeks to go, and a couple times I made it to the end, but a lot of decisions I made I probably wouldn't have made in real life.

PHILLIPS: Wow. So, Patrice, you know, it's catching on, definitely. A lot of people are talking about this game. How has it impacted your community and your ministry? What are folks learning from this?

PATRICE NELSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, URBAN MINISTRIES OF DURHAM: I think it's powerful just to be able to build awareness that there's such a diversity of people who are homeless. Yesterday afternoon, I got a phone call from a man in Minnesota who had just played the game, and he was an individual who had started a small business 15 years ago, and in 2008 the business started running into trouble, and since that time, he's gone bankrupt.

His house has gone into foreclosure. He's had health issues. They have no insurance and he's had to go to food pantries. We see people like that every day. It is important to us to let the world know that these people exist, that they're real, that they need help, and that agencies like Urban Ministries of Durham and all of these types of agencies all across the country are dealing with these real situations every day and that we need help.

PHILLIPS: And, Jenny, it is really hard for people to admit that they're suffering most of the time. So you actually combined this game with Facebook. How is that helping?

NICHOLSON: That was definitely one of the most interesting things about developing "Spent." When my agency McKinney came around to doing a campaign for Urban Ministries Of Durham, what I noticed at the time was that my Facebook feed was becoming inundated with people playing Farmville, asking for help farming their virtual crops, buying sweet potatoes, giving money for their corn crop.

And what made me want to do the game is what if we took some of the same structures of a game like Farmville and actually applied to real life. So when you're playing "Spent," there are some options where you can pay the money or you can actually ask a friend for help.

But the catch is if you ask a friend for help, you don't just get to move on to the next day without any consequences, if you hit the "Ask a Friend" button, it actually opens a dialogue box.

PHILLIPS: Forgive me, ladies, have to get you straight to Moammar Gadhafi right now. He is speaking live about what's happening in his country. Let's listen in.

(BEGIN COVERAGE)

PRESIDENT MOAMMAR GADHAFI, LIBYA: Youth of challenging generational anger, I greet you. While you are offering to the world the real image of the Libyan people who are gathered around the revolution, you are from this green square showing the truth, which is tried the apparatus of reaction and cowardice and try to cover it. They try to cover your images.

The Arabic agencies unfortunately, brothers, they try to give bad image of you, bad image of the whole Libya. They want to show Libya -- they say Libya doesn't want glory, doesn't want revolution. Look at Libya. Libya is looking for just bad things.

They say, look at Libya. Libya wants colonialism. Libya asks for the lowlessness and you here from the green square you say Libya wants glory. Libya wants the summit, the summit of the world. Libya, which leads continents, Asia, Africa, Latin America.

PHILLIPS: We apologize. We had lost the picture. Let's continue to listen to Moammar Gadhafi.

GADHAFI: Libya is pointed to glory, victorious. Yesterday Libya was nothing. When you say I'm Libyan, they say to you, Libya is a -- they were saying Libya is Lebanon, but now if you say Libya, they say, Libya, of Gadhafi, Libya of the revolution. All of the African nations are now proud of Libya. They respect Libya. The world leaders, all of them, with all of their atomic power, they flock to Libya, to your country, Tripoli, Benghazi.

They gave a bad image of you in the Arabic channels. Unfortunately, they serve the devil. They want to insult. We will respond now by an action on the earth in the field. Moammar Gadhafi, he has no position in order to be angry and resign from it. As the revolution means sacrifice all the time until the end of life.

This is my country, the country of my grandfathers and your grandfathers. We have irrigated it with our blood. We are more qualified than others, those rats, those agents, among those agents who are agents to the foreign intelligence service. They brought shame to their children. They brought shame to their family. They brought shame to their tribes, but those are -- those do not have tribes, good tribes of Libya.

All of them chant together. They all challenge. They defy -- we defy America from here, America with its power. We defy the atomic -- the world atomic powers. We have won. We became victorious. We have cursed the hand of the son of the martyr, the great martyr. This is a glory for us, but not for Benghazi, but for the whole Libyan, for the whole Arab and Muslims. This is the glory which they want. The glory they want to give bad image for it. Italy, the empire of that time was destroyed on the Libyan land.

I am much higher than positions -- than the positions, which is occupied by others. I come from the desert, from villages and the towns, and our revolution has brought glory for the generations, and Libya will lead the revolution, lead America, lead Asia, lead the whole world. It cannot be stopped. This march cannot be stopped by those agents, those rats, those cats, who move in the dark. I have paid the price of my remaining here.

My grandfather was a martyr in the war before. It's not possible that I leave this place. I will be a martyr at the end. That is the tomb of my father, warrior, Muslim warrior over there, a champion. That is my grandfather, my uncle, Sheik Saudi in the cemetery of Madar. His holy tomb is over there. They are warriors. Saud always said freedom is a tree, which is irrigated by our blood. Libya, we have irrigated by our blood. I address you from here, from this house in Tripoli, which has been raided by 170 warplanes led by America, 40 Boeing airplanes. We're feeding them with fuel. They were looking for Gadhafi's house. They were going all your houses.

Why? Because Gadhafi was president of the republic? If he wasn't president, then they were treated like other countries, but Moammar Gadhafi, his history, his resistance, his freedom, his glory, his revolution, this is a confession from the biggest power in the world that Moammar Gadhafi is not a chief, is not someone high.

In order to poison him when bombs were knocking, my house here, and my sons were killed. Where were you coward people? Where were you? Where were you who are hiding in the dark, in the advance of dorna (ph) jabal akbar (ph)? Where were you?

You were with America. You were clapping your hands for your masters, the Americans, when Gadhafi and his family was -- in this place were bombed by planes, by Americans. We have challenged everywhere.

This is a glory. Libya will never give it up, neither the Libyan people, neither the Arab nation, nor the Islamic nation, nor the African, or all the nations which are seeking freedom and human respect.

We have resisted the NATO. We will never surrender. We said we are here and we are resisting.

Now, a small group of youth who have been given hallucination pills are raiding police stations here, and they're like rats. They are attacking innocent people at their homes in order that we have to enforce our barracks and our houses.

We say that Libya's in peace. They have manipulated this peace, this security, this stability, and raided some barracks and some police stations. They burned files which contains their recourse, and the recourse of the investigation about their crimes.

But they have -- those are not guilty, those youth, 16, 17-year-olds, are not guilty because they are manipulated by people from Tunisia. For example, in a certain town in Libya, they raided a certain place. They are just emulating what was going on in Tunisia. But there are a small group that are infiltrated.

In the towns, they pay money, and they also pay -- offer drugs to those youth and use them in these wars. Those who were killed were from the soldiers, from the police and from those youth, and not themselves. They are either staying at their home or staying abroad. They are comfortable, themselves, their families, and try to use the youth and try to push --

(END OF COVERAGE)