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CNN NEWSROOM

American-Born Terrorist Killed; Playing by Buffett's Rule; Michael Jackson's Doctor on Trial

Aired September 30, 2011 - 11:00   ET

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


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Live from Studio 7, I'm Suzanne Malveaux. I want to get you up to speed for this Friday, September 30th.

He was considered one of the biggest terror threats to U.S. Homeland Security, a Muslim cleric born in the United States who became the face of al Qaeda in Yemen. We are learning more details about the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

A government source in Yemen says he was killed today when an air strike hit his motorcade. Al-Awlaki had ties to the so-called underwear bomber accused of trying to bring down that U.S. plane and to the accused Fort Hood gunman.

We are going to hear from President Obama any minute now about the killing of that terrorist, al Awlaki. We will bring you the president's remarks live. He is attending a ceremony marking the change of office for the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. Admiral Mike Mullen is retiring from that job. He is being replaced by General Martin Dempsey.

A paramedic who says that Michael Jackson flat lined at home is set to testify that is happening today, at the trial of Jackson's doctor. Now, court reconvenes in about 45 minutes or so. Dr. Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter Jackson's death.

Now yesterday a security guard testified that Murray asked him to help gather up drug vials before even asking him to call 911.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

ALBERTO ALVAREZ, JACKSON'S DIRECTOR OF LOGISTICS: I was standing at the foot of the bed. He reached over and grabbed a handful of vials, and then he reached out to me and said, here, put these in a bag.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

MALVEAUX: Engineers are back at work today rappelling down the sides of the Washington monument. They are looking for any damage the earthquake caused last month. Now the work has been delayed by some weather. There are still a ways to go but one of the engineers says so far, so good, it not a bad way to spend a work day as well. (BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

EMMA CARDINI, CIVIL ENGINEER: Incredible, not only because of the actual history of the structure but the area and being -- the view. And just knowing what you're doing and seeing what you're seeing after the earthquake. We have the drawings from repair from 1999, so we are noticing -- right now, we have only seen a few -- I have only seen a few extra cracks that weren't there in 1999.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

MALVEAUX: Very cool pictures. Cool job.

Well, the convenience of using a debit card, priceless, right? Well, the cost of using your Bank of America debit card, not priceless. $5 a month. That is starting next year. $5 fee applies whether or not you use the debit card once a month or dozens of times. Now other big banks, they are testing this monthly fee idea as well. They point to new limits on how much they can charge retailers each time you swipe your debit card.

Well, this news just in about new rules allowing military chaplains to perform same-sex marriage marriages. Chaplains can now perform weddings for same sex couple but only if allowed by state law and if permitted by the chaplain's religious beliefs. The marching orders come just ten days after the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy that kept gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

U.S. officials say one of al Qaeda's top recruiters who once preached at a mosque in Virginia and California has been killed in an air strike in Yemen. Anwar al-Awlaki was born American, born in New Mexico. He moved to Yemen when he was 7 years old. He returned in 1991 and attended colleges in the United States, getting degrees at Colorado State University, San Diego State, George Washington University. Now the 40-year-old was known as the Bin Laden of the Internet for his use of YouTube to recruit wannabe terrorists.

In fact, last year, YouTube removed several clips of Awlaki for trying to incite violence. U.S. officials say that he helped recruit the alleged underwear bomber, Abdul Mutallab, charged with trying to blow up a U.S. flight to Detroit on Christmas Day. They say he also exchanged e-mails with accused Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan. He had ties as well to three of the September 11th hijackers.

Joining me from Istanbul is CNN's Mohammed Jamjoon.

And Mohammed, we know that you are trying to find out exactly how he was killed. What is the likely scenario?

MOHAMMED JAMJOON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, more details emerging from Yemeni government officials. Just a few minutes ago, I spoke with an official who told me that, in fact, Yemeni intelligence had located the hideout, a house in Shabwa Province in Yemen where Anwar Awlaki was found. And that it was a Yemeni-U.S. Joint Intelligence gathering and sharing operation that led to an air strike, an air strike earlier today on a convoy that Anwar Awlaki was part of, a motorcade in Shabwa Province and that's what led to his death.

Now beyond that, we are also hearing that there was a second American citizen of Pakistani origin, Samir Khan, also very well known amongst the ranks of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen. This was the co-editor of an English language E-magazine called "Inspired" that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula uses to try to recruit new jihadist to come to Yemen. They publish it in English.

So what we are hearing from Yemeni government officials, a big blow today to the propaganda machine, the propaganda apparatus of al Qaeda and the Arabian Peninsula. Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: And Mohammed, Yemen's president just returned. He has been very vocal about how the United States needs him to go after these figures in al Qaeda.

Do we think that this strike was meant to show that he is serious about going after al Qaeda and that he should stay in power?

JAMJOON: Well, Suzanne, we know that the U.S. and Yemeni officials have been trying for a while to capture and/or kill Anwar al-Awlaki. However this was timed. How long this was in the making, we just don't know at this point. But clearly this is something that is going to be used by Ali Abdullah Saleh to try to bolster his statue among the international community. And try to tell all of people, who had been asking him to step aside, that is including the U.S., the E.U., the U.N., the ECC, start to tell them, look, I told you, I'm the only person that can fight al-Qaeda effectively. I come back, two days later we kill Anwar al-Awlaki. So certainly he is going to use that to bolster his -- try to maintain his grip on power here in Yemen. Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: All right. Mohammed, we'll see if that resonates, if that makes any difference to the White House.

We are waiting for President Obama to make a statement. He is going to be talking about the change of guard, if you will, for the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He is also going to be addressing this very important killing of this al Qaeda member, this American who was captured and killed earlier today who was a very significant member of that terrorist organization.

Billionaire Warren Buffett just rang the opening bell on Wall Street. He has got the president's ear, but he is also talking to CNN.

Our Alison Kosik, he's got your ear as well. A one-on-one with Buffett on the trading floor.

Hey, Alison. I know you have a very important guest with you. Let's get started. ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I had a little bit of a hard time hearing you, but we are definitely hearing what Warren Buffett has to say today. Today is actually the 50th anniversary of Business Wire, that is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.

Cathy Baron Tamraz, you run Business Wire. What is it like working under this guy as a boss?

CATHY BARON TAMRAZ, BUSINESS WIRE CEO: Well, one word, it's fantastic. He bought the company, said don't change anything. I'm still doing what I do, but I have the -- you know, backing me as the wisdom of this rock star over here.

KOSIK: And congratulations to both of you on the 50th anniversary.

Mr. Buffett, let's talk taxes for a moment. You know, you have been very outspoken about millionaires, about the uber-rich paying their fair share of taxes. But since, you know, since the portion of their taxes really isn't going to make a huge dent in the deficit, are you happy seeing your suggestion, this new Buffet rule, becoming more of a basis of a political battle that really -- that really has turned into class warfare?

WARREN BUFFETT, CHAIRMAN & CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: Well, no, actually, there has been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won. We are the ones that got our tax rates reduced dramatically.

If you look at the 400 highest tax payers in the United States in 1992, the first year for figures, they averaged about 40 million of taxes per person. And the most recent year, they were 200 -- of income per person. The most recent year, they were 227 million per person, five for one. During that period, their taxes went down from 29 percent to 21 percent of income.

So, if there's class warfare, the rich class has won. But it's not a tax on all millionaires or ten millionaires or anything like that. It is only a tax -- only be a minimum tax on people who make lots of money and pay very low tax rates at the same time. Anybody who is paying normal tax rates, it wouldn't touch. An aggregate, there's probably 50,000 people in the whole United States out of 310 million that it would affect.

KOSIK: But it is really not going to make much of a difference then, in a deficit. I mean 0.3 of one percent, it would affect the population in this country. So why do this?

BUFFETT: Well, it probably would come in about 20 billion a year, but no one thing is going to solve a deficit of over a trillion. But I think when you are going to ask the poor and the middle class to give up things in terms of Medicare or whatever it may be as part of shared sacrifice, the idea that you don't get 20 million from this group for whom it is only ten points on a very low tax rate to start with, I think is -- is -- is simply unfair. And I think that getting people to buy in in this country to the kind of shared sacrifice that's going to be needed, it's going to be very important that they feel there's fairness to that -- what's going on overall.

KOSIK: All right. Let's talk Bank of America. Back in the headlines today, announcing a $5 fee on debit card holders who use their debit cards to make purchases.

You're a big stake holder in Bank of America. This is upsetting a lot of Bank of America customers, especially after Bank of America got a $40 billion bailout.

What do you think of this outrage? What do you think of Bank of America doing this?

BUFFETT: Well, I think they paid back the 40 billion at a very good profit to the United States government for doing it. The Bank of America will be charging fees of one sort or another, and they are -- there are 7,000 banks in the United States. And if somebody else offers a better deal, people can go to that. I mean, it is just like you can change channels on television.

KOSIK: OK. OK.

Obviously, the economy -- we are in a real rough patch for the economy. You have a direct pipeline to President Obama these days. What would you tell him? What -- what would you tell him to fix this economy? What's it going to take to turn this economy around?

BUFFETT: It's going to take a lot to fix it and it's going to take the cooperation of Congress and the administration. And the difficult thing so far, I mean, you know, the problems over raising the debt limit were a disgrace. And people need to feel confidence in their leaders. And they have not been given much reason to feel confidence in terms of how Congress generally has behaved in recent moments. So I think it's very important that leaders of both sides come together, make some concessions on both sides, do what is needed for the country, which certainly -- they are certainly taxes on the ultra rich who are paying a tiny rate is certainly called for, but that's a small part of the whole thing.

There's a lot of things that needed to be done on the spending side, and they are going to affect a lot of Americans. And it's going to take some political courage on both sides of the aisle to get those things done. I hope that happens.

KOSIK: All right. Thanks very much for your time. You too, Cathy. I'm going to throw it back to you, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Hey, Alison, if you can still hear me, we don't often get a chance to talk to Warren Buffett. Quick question to him.

KOSIK: I can. MALVEAUX: What does he think of the impact of Europe and Greece on the American economy here? How much is that going to be a problem for us in terms of their own financial crisis?

KOSIK: I'm sorry, one more time. I did have a problem hearing you.

MALVEAUX: If could you ask Mr. Buffett about the impact of Europe, their economic crisis with Greece, how was that directly impacting our own economic situation?

KOSIK: All right. She wants to talk about Europe, about the debt situation in Europe, its debt problems, about how it is affecting and bringing our economy down. Your thoughts on the whole thing?

BUFFETT: Well, it has not brought our economy down. I mean, people are worried here about what is going on in Europe. It's not -- business is still improving, not in a very rapid rate in the United States. But we have 70-plus businesses, and I see the figures every day on what is going on. And our recovery is still under way but at a very small incline and -- and -- Europe has a lot of problems to work through. But I don't worry about that in terms of where we will be in three years or five years or ten years or even where Europe will be.

The juices of capitalism work. And people are out every day trying to figure out how to turn out better products, do things more efficiently and that goes on every day and it's going on right today.

KOSIK: But we are interconnected?

BUFFETT: We are interconnected, but those problem are centered over there. It's nothing, nothing like the fall of 2008, in terms of the United States.

KOSIK: OK. There you go, Suzanne. I hope that answers your question.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you very much to Warren Buffett. And also Alison, great job on that interview.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

We are awaiting and we will bring it to you live as soon as it happens, the president to make a statement. This is a changing of the guard, if you will, for the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but he will also address the significance of the capture and killing of the American terrorist in al Qaeda out of Yemen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: Paramedics who responded to Michael Jackson's death are expected to take the stand today in Dr. Conrad Murray's trial. It is the fourth day of testimony. It begins in Los Angeles this hour.

Our CNN's Ted Rowlands. He is covering the trial for us there.

Ted, what do we expect to hear from the paramedics today?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are two key witnesses, Suzanne, and that they will testify that when they arrived, they believe that Michael Jackson was flat lining. He had no pulse. And they say, they asked Dr. Murray how long has this been going on and they claim that Murray said just happened, right now. They say that they both thought that was a little suspicious, but the most damning thing, if you will, against Murray that they will testify to, as we watch Janet Jackson and brother, Randy, now coming into the courthouse, the rest of the Jackson family is already in the courthouse. Janet Jackson has been here every day of this trial. And as you see on this Friday, she is arriving as well.

But the most damning piece of evidence that these paramedics are going to provide for the prosecution is that they asked Dr. Murray what did you give him? What did you give Michael Jackson, and he never mentions Propofol. That will be where the prosecution concentrates their direct examination on these two key witnesses. Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: Ted, we just noticed you pointed out Janet Jackson there. Janet and Randy entering the court house.

Have we seen any emotion from them as all of this has started to unfold?

ROWLANDS: Oh absolutely. Any time something comes up that comes -- that talks about the specific death of Michael Jackson, you can feel the emotion in the courtroom, and specifically, with the family and then the children.

Yesterday, we heard dramatic testimony from the first staff person to see Michael Jackson unresponsive and he testified that Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson's little girl, came into the room and was screaming "daddy, daddy."

When that testimony happened, when the photos of these kids come up, every time, the family noticeably reacts, as you would expect.

MALVEAUX: All right, Ted, thank you very much. We will be taking portions of that live as that starts to unfold within the hour. So thank you, Ted.

Well, this year marks the fifth anniversary of CNN heroes, honoring every day folks who are changing the world.

Coming up, we are going to introduce you to one of the top 10 CNN heroes of 2011. She is a Chicago grandmother who invited gang members into her home.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: We are waiting for President Obama to be speaking out of Fort Myer, Virginia. He is at a ceremony, the change of the guard of the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but he will also be making some comments about the significance of the killing of one of al Qaeda's top leaders, an American-Muslim cleric who was based out of Yemen, known for using the Internet and recruiting those around the world to that terrorist cause.

Well, all year, we have been introducing you to every day folks who are changing the world. We call them CNN Heroes.

I would like you to meet one of this year's top ten CNN heroes, Diane Latiker.

She lives in a high-crime neighborhood in Chicago where kids, they are at risk, joining gangs, getting drugs, that type of thing. Well, she open her home to those kids. And then she opened "Kids Off the Block." It is a program that has helped more than 1500 young people since 2003.

Diane Latiker, she joins us from Chicago.

Ms. Latiker, first of all, congratulations to you for the work that you've already done. You are already a CNN hero.

DIANE LATIKER, CNN TOP TEN HERO: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: We appreciate the work that you've done. The hard work and the sacrifice that you've made.

Tell us a little bit about how things have changed for you, if at all, since becoming a CNN Top Ten Hero.

LATIKER: Wow. Things have changed so dramatically. It's been really hectic, because we realized that now, it's open and it's out there about what's happening with our young people and we are very happy and very proud and very thankful to CNN for giving us that exposure. And people have -- we have been contacted from all over the world regarding this issue and how to help, and there is really some good people out there who really want to do some things to help us now with our young people and I'm very excited about it.

MALVEAUX: What are your plans for "Kids Off the Block?" What do you hope that your organization can accomplish?

LATIKER: We want to -- we want to go to other areas. This is not just happening in Roseland. This is happening all over our country. And we want to move into other areas and help young people. And let them know that we believe in them. And that we want to help them. And let them know that there's hope, there's adults that care about them and we want to spread that message across this nation. And we are going to get a lot of people that's going to help us do that.

MALVEAUX: We certainly hope that that is a message that many, many people are embracing. The $250,000 prize, what would that mean for you and your organization and the children you serve?

LATIKER: Wow. Wow. We are in office space that we rent. And if we got the $250,000, we would be able to buy that whole building. We would be able to help thousands of young people, not only in our community, but in the city of Chicago.

We would be able to do so much more. We would be able to offer healthy food. We would be able to give books -- I mean, we'll just be able to do an array of things to help young people who don't have access to the things that we normally, you know, kids have access to. It would be huge for us. It would just be huge.

MALVEAUX: Ms. Latiker, you have already made a huge difference to so many children and young folks in your community. We applaud you for that. We certainly wish you the very best. And, again, congratulations already for...

LATIKER: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: ...being one of the top ten. You can go to CNN --

LATIKER: Wow. Thank you.

MALVEAUX: Sure. You can go to CNNHeroes.com right now online, or your mobile device to vote for the CNN hero that inspires you the most. All ten will be honored live at "CNN Heroes: An All- Star Tribute" hosted by Anderson Cooper on Sunday, December 11th.

Well, first, it was Bin Laden, now the Bin Laden of the Internet has been killed. So who's left in al Qaeda, and how much of a threat are they to the United States? That's up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: We are awaiting a statement by President Obama. He is in Fort Myer, Virginia where there is a change of the guard for the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We expect that he will be making remarks, however, on the significance of the killing of the terrorist, American-Muslim cleric out of Yemen who was killed earlier today. So we will bring those remarks as soon as they happen live.

U.S. officials say they no longer have to worry about the top recruiter for al Qaeda, that he has been killed in an air strike in Yemen. Anwar al Awlaki was an American. He was born in New Mexico. He moved to Yemen when he was 7 years old. He returned in 1991, attended colleges in the United States, getting degrees at Colorado State University, San Diego State, George Washington University.

The 40-year-old was known as the Bin Laden of the Internet for his use of YouTube to recruit wannabe terrorists.

Well, last year, YouTube removed several clips of al Awlaki for trying to incite violence.

CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson takes a closer look at the terrorist.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANWAR AL-AWLAKI, AL QAEDA TERRORIST: Islamabad was an opening.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Anwar Al-Awlaki.

AL-AWLAKI: Rain was mercy.

ROBERTSON: The radical Yemen-based preacher seen here online. His followers saying he was like Osama Bin Laden.

ABU MUWAZ, HEAD SALAFI YOUTH MOVEMENT: He reminds me, for example, Osama Bin Laden and also Al-Zawahiri in terms of soft spoken and at the same time, the knowledge that they have, the foundations that they have.

AL AWLAKI: He said, hand me over your scrolls.

ROBERTSON: This is the same Anwar Al-Awlaki who exchanged e- mails with Major Nidal Hasan accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood. After the killings, Awlaki praised Hasan on his Web site calling him a hero.

Why Awlaki is so influential is a combination of birth and upbringing. He was born in the United States. His father was a minister in the Yemeni government. He is smart and privileged. He preached in Imam Johari Abdul-Malik's mosque in Virginia.

He doesn't agree with Awlaki's extreme views and denounces the killings at Fort Hood, but it was here at this mosque Awlaki met Major Hasan as well as two of the 9/11 bombers. The 9/11 Commission reports that even before this, he was on the FBI's radar. According to the commission, "By the time we sought to interview him in 2003, he had left the United States."

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: So how badly does the death of al-Awlaki hurt al Qaeda's terrorist network?

Well, here's a look at al Qaeda's top leaders before the U.S. and its partners were able to actually take them down. Osama bin Laden, dead. Atiyah al-Rahman, dead. The U.S. still hasn't been able to tack down Ayman al-Zawahri, who is now the leader of al Qaeda. Recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki now dead. And then there is Adam Gadahn, who is still alive.

But joining me now is CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend. Fran is member of the CIA External Advisory Committees.

And, Fran, tell us a little bit about this guy, first of all, Awlaki. Why was he so powerful?

FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Awlaki, he was so powerful because he was an American-born al Qaeda member, he spoke fluid English, idiomatic English. He could speak in slang, he could appeal to the passions of Westerners for recruitment, which is, of course, a huge, tremendously valuable tool for al Qaeda.

He was also very powerful in terms of the recruiting the lone wolf. Remember Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter who shot and killed his fellow soldiers. There is the Christmas Day attempted underwear bomber. There was the cargo plane, the cartridges in the computers, all of which he was linked to.

But this is not -- he is not new to the al Qaeda scene. He goes back, as we have been reporting, to the 9/11 hijackers, two of which he was imam to in San Diego, a third which, Hani Hanjour, who visited San Diego and met with ham. And so he then comes east. He is at the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia, where he continues to be a spiritual guide to these hijackers.

And so he has got a long history with al Qaeda, especially to the United States.

MALVEAUX: And, Fran, you were in the Bush White House when Awlaki came to the attention of the United States as a dangerous American terrorists looking for arms and weapons.

You met with Yemen's President Saleh and as well as other Bush administration officials to try to convince him to arrest this guy and to turn him over. Why didn't that work at the time?

TOWNSEND: Well, Awlaki was a dual American/Yemeni citizen. And of course when we talked to President Saleh about turning over Awlaki, one, he was a teacher of English at a university in Sanaa. We believe he was using those classes as radicalization and recruitment -- as a recruitment tool.

And President Saleh made perfectly clear he would never turn Awlaki over, even if he believed he had valid charges, because he couldn't under the Yemen's Constitution turn over a Yemeni citizen. He was even unwilling to bring him into custody for us to interrogate him. Clearly, Awlaki had connections to powerful tribes in Yemen that President Saleh was not willing to cross.

MALVEAUX: Fran, we know that under President Obama two years ago, he signed a presidential order to capture or kill Awlaki. Now, after 9/11, Congress had signed that authorization for use of force, which allowed that to happen.

Did President Bush ever consider also having his sights on killing Awlaki? TOWNSEND: Well, I can't really talk to you, Suzanne, about things that -- classified discussions that happened during the Bush administration.

I will tell you, though, John Brennan, my successor in the Obama White House, has made perfectly clear that no one should be able to use their citizenship as a shield when they have clearly aligned themselves with our enemies and declared war on the United States. And so -- and I think that -- I think that analysis is absolutely right.

MALVEAUX: So, won't get into discussing whether or not the Bush administration under President Bush also had a similar order, capture or kill?

TOWNSEND: Won't discuss it. But I think it's fair to say, if such an order had existed, there wouldn't have been a need for another one.

MALVEAUX: How significant is this a blow to al Qaeda recruitment? We know that he actually used the Internet. And we also -- do we suspect a backlash against Americans now that this guy has been taken out?

TOWNSEND: I don't really think there will be a backlash. After all, we were worried about this in the wake of the bin Laden raid, and we haven't really seen that. We saw some protests in Pakistan but there haven't really been retaliatory attacks.

And so this guy -- Awlaki is a good deal lesser than bin Laden, so I'm not really worried about sort of retribution.

MALVEAUX: All right, Fran Townsend, thank you very much. We appreciate your help and your discussion.

Well, again, as we just talked about, al-Awlaki was a U.S. citizen, so what are the legal implications of the catch-and-kill order for an American, even if he was a terrorist? Well, next hour, I'm going to talk to CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin about that.

And testimony in Dr. Conrad Murray's trial, that's resuming just a few minutes from now. Attorneys are expected to spend much of the day questioning two paramedics who responded to the 911 call the day that Michael Jackson died.

We are going to get an update on what is happening there out of Los Angeles.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MALVEAUX: The dramatic last moments of Michael Jackson's life playing out in a Los Angeles courtroom. Paramedics who responded to the 911 call, well, they're expected to take the stand today in Conrad Murray's trial.

Ahead of that, a key Jackson aide described what he saw and heard the day that Jackson died.

Here is CNN's Randi Kaye.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Michael Jackson lay dying in his bedroom, this man told the jury Conrad Murray was busy directing him to pack up the drugs in the room and put them away. Jackson's director of Logistics Alberto Alvarez testified while they waited for paramedics to arrived, Murray was on cleanup patrol.

ALBERTO ALVAREZ, LOGISTICS DIRECTOR OF MICHAEL JACKSON: I was standing at the foot of the bed. He reached over and grabbed a handful of vials and then he reached out to me and said, here, put these in a bag.

ED CHERNOFF, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And when you removed the saline bag from the I. V. stand, was this the type?

ALVAREZ: Yes, sir. It was at my eye level and I was able to notice that at the bottom of the bag there was what appeared to me like a many milky white substance sir.

KAYE: A milky white substance. Remember, Jackson liked to call propofol his milk. That was the powerful anesthetics Murray gave Jackson through an I.V. to help him sleep. Not only was Murray looking to clean up the drugs but he was looking for someone to help save his star patient. Alvarez told the jury Murray asked him to help revive Jackson, who lay lifeless on the bed.

CHERNOFF: Now, as you came in and saw Conrad Murray giving compressions, what you describe as compressions, was he using one hand or two hands?

ALVAREZ: He was using one hand, sir. He had his hand with had his palm open and he was giving chest compressions in this manner.

KAYE: The prosecution hoped the jury would realize Doctor Murray was doing CPR wrong, using one-handed chest compressions on Jackson's soft bed instead of the firm floor. And there's more.

ALVAREZ: He was giving mouth to mouth, sir.

CHERNOFF: And what, if anything, did Doctor Murray say as he was giving mouth to mouth, to Mister Jackson?

ALVAREZ: I recall that after a couple or a few breaths that he breathed into Mister Jackson he came up and he said this is the first time I do mouth to mouth, but I you have to. He's my friend.

KAYE: In all the hysteria, Alvarez noticed Jackson's two older children watching if horror.

ALVAREZ: They were right behind me, and Paris screamed out "daddy." Doctor Conrad Murray said don't let them see their dad like this.

KAYE: In between helping with CPR and clearing out the drugs in the room, Alvarez says Murray asked him to call 911. On cross- examination, defense attorney Ed Chernoff tried to cast doubt on Alvarez's time line, hoping to show Doctor Murray did have his priorities in order.

CHERNOFF: Isn't it actually likely that when you talk about things being put away it was after the paramedics came and before you went to the hospital?

ALVAREZ: No, sir.

KAYE: Alvarez told the jury Jackson did not appear to be alive, even as they struggled to save him. He also said he noticed something peculiar on his body.

ALVAREZ: I recall seeing what appeared to be a plastic bag or some sort of medical device like that, and it was on his penis.

KAYE: What he saw is called a condom catheter, something that would allow Michael Jackson to sleep for long periods and not have to get up and use the bathroom. This pokes holes in the defense theory that Jackson got up when Doctor Murray left the room, downed eight lorazepam pills and then returned and gave himself the fatal dose of propofol, not realizing the mix would kill him.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Want to go to President Obama, who is making statements. This is out of Fort Myer, Virginia. This is a ceremony marking the change of the guard of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Let's take a listen.

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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The death of Awlaki is a major blow to al Qaeda's most active operational affiliate. Awlaki was the leader of external operations for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. In that role, he took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans. He directed the failed attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009. He directed the failed attempt to blow up U.S. cargo planes in 2010. And he repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent men, women and children to advance a murderous agenda.

The death of Awlaki marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates. Furthermore, the success is a tribute to our intelligence community and to the efforts of Yemen and its security forces, who have worked closely with the United States over the course of several years.

Awlaki and his organization have been directly responsible for the deaths of many Yemeni citizens. His hateful ideology and targeting of innocent civilians has been rejected by the vast majority of Muslims and people of all faiths, and he has met his demise because the government and the people of Yemen have joined the international community in a common effort against al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula remains a dangerous, but weakened terrorist organization. And going forward, we will remain vigilant against any threats to the United States or our allies and partners.

But make no mistake: This is further proof that al Qaeda and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world. Working with Yemen and our other allies and partners, we will be determined, we will be deliberate, we will be relentless, we will be resolute in our commitment to destroy terrorist networks that aim to kill Americans, and to build a world in which people everywhere can live in greater peace, prosperity and security.

Now, advancing that security has been the life's work of the man that we honor today, but as Mike will admit to you, he got off to a somewhat shaky start. He was a young ensign, just 23 years old, commanding a small tanker, when he collided with a buoy. As Mike later explained in his understated way, "When you're on a ship, colliding with anything is not a good thing."

I tell this story because Mike has told it himself to men and women across our military. He has always understood that the true measure of our success is not whether we stumble; it's whether we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and get on with the job. It's whether no matter the storms or shoals that come our way, we chart our course, we keep our eye fixed on the horizon, and take care of those around us, because we all rise and fall together.

That's the story of Mike Mullen. It's the story of America. And it's the spirit that we celebrate today.

Indeed, if there's a thread that runs through his illustrious career, it's Mike's sense of stewardship; the understanding that, as leaders, our time at the helm is but a moment in the life of our nation; the humility which says the institutions and people entrusted to our care look to us, yet they do not belong to us; and the sense of responsibility we have to pass them safer and stronger to those who follow.

Mike, as you look back as your four consequential years as chairman and your four decades in uniform, be assured: Our military is stronger and our nation is more secure because of the service that you have rendered.

MALVEAUX: You're listening to President Obama talking about the death of Awlaki as a major blow to al Qaeda. He's giving credit to American intelligence, as well as Yemeni officials. Coming up, we are going to talk about the legal implications of a catch-or-kill order for American citizen. In the next hour, I'm going to talk to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

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MALVEAUX: Each week, our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, introduces us to someone who has achieved remarkable things, despite major challenges. It is a segment we call "The Human Factor."

Today, Sanjay profiles Casey Abrams. Many of you know him from "American Idol." Abrams says his medical struggles almost stopped his musical career, even before it got struggled.

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DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You may remember Casey Abrams as the jazzy fan favorite from season 10 of "American Idol." What you may not know is that Casey had to overcome a personal battle of his own.

CASEY ABRAMS, "AMERICAN IDOL" FINALIST: I was just studying music at college. I was getting stomach cramps, you know, just carrying my bass from one side of campus to the other. It just wore me out. I had no energy.

GUPTA: At 19, he was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. It's a condition that can destroy the lining of the intestines and increase your risk of colon cancer.

ABRAMS: To be honest, I think it was kind of a kick in the butt.

GUPTA: But Casey wasn't about to let the disease get in the way of his musical aspirations.

ABRAMS: It got worse. And then I felt like I had to keep fighting and keep fighting. So, it was -- I felt like the little engine that could. I think I can, I think I can. And I got to the top.

GUPTA: The top 24, that is, on "American Idol." It was a dream come true, but his fight wasn't over. Just days before his first television performance, the disease flared up, and Casey was rushed to the hospital.

ABRAMS: I'm out of the competition. That's what I'm thinking. The disease has won, you know, and I'm -- I'm defeated.

GUPTA: But Casey recovered. And he returned to the show, working his way all of the way up to the top six.

Now, months later, Abrams is still learning how to live with this disease, but he's powering through it, and joining up with a pharmaceutical company to form IBD Icons.com. It's a site where other IBD patients can share their stories.

ABRAMS: They're not on a TV show, where millions of people are voting for you. It's humbling to know that I'm an inspiration for some of the people out there. I feel like I'm proof that you can accomplish your goals, no matter what disease you have.

GUPTA: His next challenge, well, that's much more fun.

ABRAMS: Look out for a jazzy, maybe rocky type album, maybe some acting. We will see.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MALVEAUX: Oh, we wish him the very best. Casey says the people who submit the best stories to IBD Icons' Web site can get to see him perform live in Las Vegas. Good for him.

Well, more and more of you are concerned about the long unemployment lines, the government gridlock. Well, new poll numbers basically show you how you feel about the economy.

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MALVEAUX: So, even more Americans are now saying that the economy is in pretty bad shape.

Our Dan Lothian, part of the best political team on television, joins us from the White House.

Dan, great to see you.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, too.

MALVEAUX: New numbers out here showing that these folks are not feeling very good about this. ' LOTHIAN: That's right.

And, I mean, you don't really need poll numbers to tell you how bad it is out there, how, you know, Americans are feeling the weight of the economic problems, but the new CNN/ORC poll showing that it is pretty extensive.

When asked about the current economic conditions, 90 percent say that the economic conditions are poor. Only 10 percent say that the economic conditions are good. When you compare that to the most recent months, back in July, it was down to 84 percent, still high, but much better than 90 percent.

And then you go back another month to June, it was at 81 percent. So what's this showing here is that, despite the efforts of this administration to push for job creation, to push for various initiatives that will turn this economy around, Americans, when asked in this poll, still feel that the situation is getting worse, not better, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And, Dan, we're always hearing from President Obama, saying that he inherited this big economic mess. Is that a message that's resonating with most folks?

LOTHIAN: Well, it is.

I mean, there's a bit of good news in here for the Obama administration and for Democrats when it comes to the finger- pointing from voters, the majority believing that this is a problem of the former administration; 52 percent believe that the Bush administration and Republicans are to blame for the economic problems. Only 32 percent believe that President Obama and Democrats are responsible.

And then when you break it down along party lines in terms of the Bush administration being responsible more than the Obama administration, Democrats, 83 percent of Democrats believe that's the case, 51 percent of independents, and only 17 percent of Republicans, Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: All right. I guess that's good news for the president going into the campaign mode there.

LOTHIAN: That's right.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Dan.

For the latest political news, you know where to go, CNNPolitics.com.

Well, coming up, we're monitoring the Michael Jackson manslaughter trial. Testimony is getting under way right now, as a matter of fact. We're going to take you there live.

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