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CNN NEWSROOM

Chris Christie Makes Decision About Presidential Race; New iPhone Debut; Kim Jong-il's Family on Facebook

Aired October 4, 2011 - 12:00   ET

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


JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: Top of the hour. I'm Joe Johns.

Let's get you up to speed.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has made his decision. A GOP source tells our John King Christie will not seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Republicans, unhappy with the current lineup of candidates, had urged Chris Christie to jump in. We'll have the announcement live from Trenton an hour from now.

Michael Jackson's doctor will watch a parade of girlfriends take the witness stand in Los Angeles today. Conrad Murray's manslaughter trial is set to begin any minute now for day six of testimony.

Prosecutors wants to use the women to establish a timeline of events surrounding Jackson's death. Records show Murray was on the phone with three girlfriends in the minutes before and after Jackson stopped breathing.

American college student Amanda Knox is on a plane right now. That's her at Rome's airport today, heading home to Seattle for the first time in four years.

Raw emotion in an Italian courtroom when an appeals jury overturned the murder convictions of Knox and her boyfriend. The pair was convicted in the slashing death of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. Prosecutors sensationalized the crime by portraying it as a combination satanic ritual and sex orgy gone bad.

The Kercher family sat stone-faced when the jury's decision came down. They say justice was done only if the jury put the evidence ahead of the media hype.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LYLE KERCHER, MEREDITH KERCHER'S BROTHER: First of all, obviously, it was a very long and difficult day yesterday. And ultimately, while we accept the decision that was handed down yesterday, respect the call of the Italian justice system, we do find that we are now left obviously looking at this again and thinking how a decision that was so certain two years has been so radically overturned now.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JOHNS: A third person convicted in Kercher's death in a separate trial is serving a 16-year sentence. His conviction was upheld on appeal. Knox's lawyers suggest that man was the sole killer.

The Transportation Security Administration is rolling out a test program today. It's designed to speed certain travelers through airport security.

The program is called PreCheck. If you can qualify, you get to use a fast lane in airport security. The TSA is giving PreCheck a try at airports in Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Miami.

Two American scientists, one from Australia win the Nobel prize in physics. Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess were honored today for their discovery about the universe. Scientists have long theorized the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang. Today's Nobel recipients showed the rate of that expansion is constantly getting faster and faster.

The Dalai Lama has canceled a trip to South Africa. He couldn't get a visa. Tibet's spiritual leader wanted to attend the 80th birthday celebration for Desmond Tutu, the retired Anglican archbishop. Critics say South Africa's government caved to political pressure from China, its biggest trading partner.

After 36 years, the Louisiana Superdome is going corporate. Governor Bobby Jindal will announce today the home stadium for the New Orleans Saints will be the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Jindal says the corporate sponsorship means taxpayers will not have to subsidize the Saints.

The Superdome has hosted six Super Bowls. The seventh is set for 2013.

The guessing game has gone on for months. Will he or won't he?

Well, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appears ready to end all the speculation about his political plans. A GOP source in New Jersey says Christie has decided not to run for the Republican nomination. He holds a news conference in the next hour.

With us, Gloria Borger is in Washington D.C., our Jim Acosta is on the phone, headed to Trenton, New Jersey.

Gloria, what are you hearing from your sources about Christie's decision?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I'm hearing the same thing John King reported earlier today, when he confirmed that Chris Christie would not run. People close to Chris Christie have been playing this very, very close to the vest, but obviously, the large question, I'm told, that was out there was, is he ready to be president?

It's a question he had asked publicly himself. And there was a lot of talk that this is somebody who understands domestic policy, but also, on national security, wasn't ready, not a lot of time to get caught up on that. And also, organizationally, there would have been some real problems, because the four early states really require an awful lot of organization to get traction.

And then there's a third thing. He had been out there for months saying he wasn't ready to run, he couldn't run, he needed to tell everybody to stop asking him this question. If you want to run as an authentic, real person, it's very hard for you to kind of turn around and say, oops, never mind. It kind of hurts the brand.

So I think all those three things combined sort of led them to the decision that this wasn't Chris Christie's moment.

JOHNS: OK, Gloria. Not ready, organization, timing.

Jim Acosta, what do we expect to hear from Governor Christie at his news conference, if you know? Have you gotten any leads, any clues?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Not at this point, Joe. I mean, you just heard Gloria sum it up very well.

I mean, this is a tough question for Chris Christie, obviously. The emotional pleas that came to him last week at the Reagan Library in California gave him a reason to pause and reconsider all of this. But all of the indications are, as Gloria mentioned, that Governor Christie is going to say at this press conference in about an hour from now that he is not running for president.

We're standing inside the statehouse in a pretty long line of reporters trying to get into this conference room where the governor is going to be making the statement in about an hour from now. You can certainly say the Chris Christie circus has arrived in Trenton.

You know, but it's funny. You said at the top of all this, Joe, that perhaps this will end all the speculation. I'm not so sure this will, in fact, end all the speculation.

Keep in mind, you still have months and months, almost a year now, before the Republican National Convention in Florida. If the Republican Party is not happy with folks like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, you're going to see perhaps Republicans going back to Chris Christie and asking him to reconsider once again. I don't think that's out of the question.

I think it's probably safe to say we're going to hear another round of Marco Rubio speculation after this announcement later today.

I talked to -- my producer and I talked to a social conservative group earlier this morning that is just generally dissatisfied about this field. They're concerned Rick Perry can't win. They are concerned that Mitt Romney has just been going for this for too long, that he is just not a credible candidate to a lot of Republicans.

So there's a lot of dissatisfaction in the Republican Party right now, and that is what has fueled the speculation for Chris Christie to run. But, unfortunately, it looks like he's going to be disappointing a lot of people today -- Joe. JOHNS: That's for sure, and that's a really good point, that it's not over until it's over.

Gloria, I want to go back to you.

What does this mean for the Republicans who are running? Who benefits? How does it affect the field, the fact that Christie is no longer someone to considerate, at least for today?

BORGER: You know, at some point the Republican Party has to start focusing on Barack Obama. It's very clear that Tea Party conservatives are not happy, and they've always been kind of skeptical about Mitt Romney. But I think Mitt Romney is kind of like the guy your parents were trying to fix you up with, and you didn't want to go out with him, and then you dated the entire field and then sort of turned around and said, well, maybe he doesn't look so bad.

And I think that's exactly what the Republican Party is going through right now. The last thing starting out that Republicans wanted or thought they wanted was an establishment candidate, somebody whose turn it was to become the nominee, because that's the way the Republican Party has always done things in the past. But it may turn out that in order to beat Barack Obama, you need to find somebody who is a little bit more acceptable to those undecided Independent voters, and it may turn out that the guy standing there all along might be the person they decide to marry.

JOHNS: Gloria Borger, thanks so much for that.

Jim Acosta, we'll be watching for your reports at that news conference.

And stay with CNN when Governor Christie makes his announcement at 1:00 Eastern. We will bring it to you live.

(NEWSBREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: "CNN In-Depth," our mobile society. Mobile technology has changed all our lives in amazing ways in just a few years. Case in point, the iPhone.

In about 45 minutes, Apple is expected to reveal the newest version of its smartphone. Apple has sold 128 million iPhones since it was introduced in 2007.

Joining me now from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, is our Silicon Valley correspondent, Dan Simon.

Dan, what do you expect from this announcement at 1:00 Eastern?

DAN SIMON, CNN SILICON VALLEY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joe, first of all, I don't think there's been this much buzz for the new iPhone since, well, the last iPhone. In terms of what we're expecting today, I'm going to step out of frame here, and you can see the invite for this event behind me Building 4 here at the Apple campus. And it's says, "Let's talk iPhone."

I could be wrong about this, Joe, but I think there are some clues in that sign. I think in this new iPhone there's going to be voice- command capability, and that's why it says, "Let's talk iPhone." I think there's some clues in that.

I think, you know, like, for GPS, for example, you can just say an address, and all of a sudden, it will pop up. Or, for research purposes, you can say a topic and then it will pop up on the phone. I think that is going to be the signature feature of the new iPhone.

In the last one, you had video chat capability with FaceTime. That was the signature feature for the iPhone 4. I think it's going to be the signature feature for this one, voice-command capability, but we'll see what happens, as you said, in about 45 minutes.

JOHNS: Dan, this is the first news conference since Steve Jobs stepped down from his position as CEO for medical reasons. Do we know whether Steve Jobs is actually going to be there and who is going to sort of do the reveal, if you will?

SIMON: Well, it's a great question. There's been a lot of speculation about that. I don't think he'll be here today, but, you know, he has surprised us before.

Tim Cook, the new CEO, he is expected to do the unveiling. There will be a lot of scrutiny in terms of his performance. He's following the master, if you will. But I'm sure he's very well rehearsed, has gone through this a bunch of times. So we'll see how Tim Cook does, but obviously there will be a lot of scrutiny on his performance -- Joe.

JOHNS: And the money question here is, when are we going to be able to buy these things? And which cell carriers are going to have them?

SIMON: I think it will be available in the next few weeks, certainly in October. Of course, it will still be on AT&T and Verizon, but there are reports that Sprint is now jumping into the game.

Sprint has been lagging behind its rivals in part because it doesn't have an iPhone. A lot of people have jumped ship, if you will, because they couldn't get the iPhone on Sprint.

Well, Sprint, apparently betting the farm, as they say, to get the iPhone, plunking down something like $20 billion over the next four years to get an iPhone on its roster. So we'll see how that does for Sprint and we'll see what comes our way here in about 45 minutes -- Joe.

JOHNS: Dan Simon, tracking the rollout in California for Apple.

Thanks so much for that.

A rare look into North Korea's secretive first family via Facebook. Find out what members of the Kim dynasty are posting on their pages.

If you spend a lot of time on Facebook, you're going to like this. In what country do people spend more time on Facebook than any other? Your choices are: India, the U.S., Australia, or Singapore? The answer in just a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: OK. So, Facebook fans, did you get this right? What country's citizens spend the most time on Facebook? If your answer was B, the United States, you were wrong. The answer is D, Singapore.

Michael Holmes got it right.

According to the data monitoring firm Experian, users in Singapore average 38 minutes per visit each time they log on to Facebook. In the U.S., we average 25 minutes on Facebook, which seems like a lot to me, but whatever.

Facebook provides a window into so many lives, including a now rare look into North Korea's secretive first family. The eldest son and grandson of reclusive Kim Jong-il have Facebook pages that have been exposed.

Our Michael Holmes is here with details about their posts.

First, Michael, congratulations on getting Singapore right.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You got it right, too. Come on. You can take credit, too. We both went with Singapore.

JOHNS: Yes. Right. Right.

OK. So, first, we want to talk about Kim Jong-il's song, Kim Jong- nam.

HOLMES: That's right.

JOHNS: He's considered the outcast of the family.

HOLMES: He is. He's been a very naughty boy. No, that is true.

He has been on the out for a little while now. And what's happened was he expresses bitterness of being passed over as the anointed successor, if you like, to the North Korean throne, because that's what it is, really. It's a throne.

He posted insults of his half-brother, Jong-un --

JOHNS: Well, that's nice.

HOLMES: Yes, who was anointed heir instead.

Now, Jong-nam was originally -- he was meant to be succeeding his father. He had a falling out with the family. This was back in the 1990s, actually, after telling officials within the regime that he was actually going to, if he took over, implement some reforms. And of course they are not big on reforms in North Korea, are they?

JOHNS: No. Not so far anyway.

HOLMES: Yes. And he's been a bit naughty in other ways, too.

He was actually caught -- this was pretty funny coming from a regime like that. He was caught trying to enter Japan on a forged passport. It was actually a Dominican passport. This was back in '01.

JOHNS: A Dominican passport?

HOLMES: Yes, a Dominican passport, because he looks so Dominican, doesn't he?

JOHNS: Exactly. You mean the Dominican Republic?

HOLMES: He was trying to get into Tokyo -- yes, exactly. And he was trying to get into -- it wouldn't have set off any red lights, would it -- into Tokyo so he could go to Disneyland in Tokyo.

JOHNS: What else would you want to do?

HOLMES: He got caught. But since all this happened, and the falling out and everything, he's not actually in North Korea, as you would imagine. He's in Macau. Sometimes he's in Beijing. And that's where he's been reportedly in exile, if you like.

JOHNS: OK. All right. So now let's talk about Jong-nam's son.

He's a teenager. He seems to be behaving, I guess. What does his Facebook page tell us?

HOLMES: Yes. Now, his name is Kim Han-sol, a 16-year-old. He is also believed to go by the name of Kim Chol.

Now, his Facebook page -- this is all uncovered by South Korean media, by the way -- you're getting a lot of fashionable poses, looking pretty trendy, like most teenagers, really.

JOHNS: Headphones.

HOLMES: I don't know if we've got the photo of him wearing a suit and horn-rimmed glasses. And he's actually posing with a young lady at what appears to be a party. And actually, the caption on that was, "I'm going to miss you so much." And she replied with, "I love you too."

And another photo he has got beach blonde hair.

What's interesting, too, about this is he may share of some his grandfather's anti-American sentiments, because he had this exchange on a blog that he was doing as well. Another user called Nikki (ph) American. And he expresses disgust for universally-shared American characteristics, not the nicest ones either -- being fat, stupid, and eating cheeseburgers -- his words.

JOHNS: Yes. Some of our favorite things.

HOLMES: Exactly. Well, this guy, he's actually going to go to a boarding school in Bosnia. And it was posted on their Web site, his Facebook page. And that's how the media got hold of it.

JOHNS: Right.

HOLMES: Interestingly, he posted a survey asking his friends if they preferred democracy or communism, and he said he preferred democracy. So --

JOHNS: Really?

HOLMES: That will land you in a prison camp if you were back home in North Korea, yes.

JOHNS: Yes. That's a real problem. I mean, both of these have been taken down though.

HOLMES: Yes.

JOHNS: We're no longer able to just sort of -- we can't go and friend them.

HOLMES: No, you can't friend them anymore, I'm afraid. And also, the son had a Twitter page. Well, that's gone as well.

The thing that strikes me, what were they thinking, nobody was going to find out?

JOHNS: Yes. And it's public, but then --

HOLMES: That's Facebook. There is no privacy.

JOHNS: I know. Exactly.

Well, a lot of people have been surprised by that.

HOLMES: Exactly. But it was a nice little window into that side of the family, if you like. And also, I guess it's also the social media at work again.

JOHNS: Absolutely. And in some ways, all families are alike.

Thanks so much, Michael.

HOLMES: Be careful what you tweet.

JOHNS: You got that right. All right.

The trial of Michael Jackson's doctor is in day six, and the witness list is getting more interesting.

Attorney Holly Hughes joins us to talk about the prosecution's strategy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: What was Dr. Conrad Murray doing right before and after Michael Jackson died? Prosecutors hope some of his girlfriends might be able to shed light on that.

Holly Hughes is with us. She's a criminal defense attorney, former prosecutor.

Calling girlfriends on the stand while you have got somebody dying in front of you? What's up with that?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Joe, this is critical testimony, and here's why.

A lot of people think this is a character assassination against Dr. Murray. It's not. What it is, is it's showing his state of mind. That's why the prosecution is putting these ladies on the stand.

They are not going into the relationship with Dr. Murray, all they are doing is nailing down that timeline. Dr. Murray is on the phone nonstop with different people, one of the girlfriends at the time, we can assume. He discovers his patient in distress because she says the phone goes dead, it drops off, I can't get him back.

Then, while his patient is being transported to the hospital in the ambulance, he's calling another girlfriend on the phone. So, basically, what the prosecution is saying is, this is his state of mind. This is where he is. His patient is not his priority, and that makes the standard of care so bad, that he should be criminally responsible.

JOHNS: Right. And one of these girlfriends apparently received some of this Propofol, the deadly drug, in the mail.

Does that create criminal exposure for the girlfriend?

HUGHES: Not for the girlfriend, because what they would have to do is prove that she was part of that scheme or that plan, that she knew. And when this all first came to light a few years back, when Michael first passed and the investigation started, the DEA actually got involved and looked into all of the background of this, because to order that much, gallons and gallons of Propofol, and then to lie -- because Dr. Murray told the pharmacist, and we might actually hear from him today, Joe. He might be on the stand, Tim Lopez.

He told the pharmacist, this is my clinic, so go ahead and mail that to my clinic. It turns out it's one of girlfriend's houses, which makes Conrad Murray in trouble, but not the girlfriend. I'm sure she had no idea.

JOHNS: So, if it's found that he really did that, it's against the law to send a controlled substance like this to an address that isn't a proper place to receive it?

HUGHES: Well, to a private address? We might see some additional charges come out of this depending on how the testimony goes.

But I think what they figured was, look, we've got a death investigation. We're going to proceed first with that, see how that pans out, what turns out from that, and then make the decision whether or not it's worth it to proceed with any further investigation.

JOHNS: So, standard of care is the issue. Also, you've got criminal negligence allegations in there.

HUGHES: Absolutely right.

JOHNS: Right. And there's also this question really of Dr. Murray's professional competence and character.

HUGHES: Right, and all three of those things, the standard of care, the negligence, and the professional competency, is all tied together, Joe, because you can't really have one without the other. If you are professionally competent, you're not negligent. You are maintaining that standard of care. And basically, what the state has to prove to the jury in order to carry their burden is that Dr. Murray acted so negligently, that another medical provider, another health care person in that same situation, would have acted differently, would not have been calling up his honeys while his patient is dead in front of him, would not have been leaving him alone in that room hooked up to Propofol when there's no resuscitative equipment there.

JOHNS: So, what does the defense need to do to get the reasonable doubt?

HUGHES: What the defense has to do is poke holes in the credibility of the witnesses, because all of the witnesses that have come up so far, what we've seen Ed Chernoff doing -- and effectively -- is sort of pulling out little tidbits from each one. He's saying to them, but you didn't tell the police you were cleaning up bottles the first time you talked to them. Wouldn't that have been important?

Then he's saying to the chef, well, you didn't go upstairs. I mean, you know, you obviously thought something was wrong, but you didn't rush up there. And by the way, didn't you accept money for interviews about this whole thing?

So, sort of, what is your motivation for being here? And what he's doing is pulling a little bit of something from each witness, and all they can do is go after the credibility, because they are stuck with the facts. They're stuck with the fact that Michael Jackson is dead and their client was the doctor on duty at that time.

JOHNS: Not really good facts at all for the client, for sure.

HUGHES: Not good for the defense, no. Not looking good.

JOHNS: Thanks so much, Holly. Good to see you.

HUGHES: Thank you, Joe.

JOHNS: Of course, we'll bring continuing highlights to you from this trial. If you want to see gavel-to-gavel coverage, you can tune in to our sister network, HLN.

Just a reminder, New Jersey governor Chris Christie holds a news conference at the top of the hour. A GOP source says Christie is expected to announce he will not run for the presidential nomination. We'll bring you his news conference live at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

It's welcome news to any workers. You're getting a raise. Some states are boosting their minimum wage. We'll tell you when and where it's expected to happen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: A lot of workers could see a boost in their paychecks because some states are planning on raising their minimum wage. Alison Kosik joining me now again from the New York Stock Exchange. What states are we talking about, Alison?

KOSIK: Joe, you'll see minimum wage go up in eight states beginning next year. We want to pull up the map, and you can see exactly which states we're talking about. You're going to see these increases ranging from 28 cents to 37 cents an hour. Sure, it doesn't sound like much, but it actually works out to a pay rise up to $770 a year if you're a full-time worker on minimum wage.

And this is all happens because minimum wage in these states is pegged to inflation, so these raises are automatic when inflation heats up, as it is doing. Joe?

JOHNS: You know, there's a lot of unemployment out there, and every time you have an increase in the minimum wage, somebody says this is not going to help reduce unemployment. Tell us what the argument is here.

KOSIK: Yes, so you're talking about the critics to minimum wage. They say, Joe, that it's going to limit hiring because higher minimum wage means more money out of employer's pockets. They'll have to shell out more money to pay for employees.

But proponents say a higher minimum wage is really exactly what the broader economy needs at this point because most jobs that have been created this year are low-paying jobs, below $15 an hour. So, the idea is that you can give people bigger paychecks, they are going to spend more and spending is one of biggest drivers of economic activity. So, in turn, employers may wind up hiring because of that rising demand. So, proponents really wind up saying that raising minimum wage is really a backdoor way to help the economy. Joe?

JOHNS: The S&P 500 entering bear market territory now. Tell us what that means.

KOSIK: It's essentially an extended down turn for the market. We saw the S&P 500 hit it this morning for a few hours. It was stuck in bear market territory. It's come back quite a bit. And when it does hit bear market territory, it's essentially down 20 percent from its recent high. That was hit in April. But we've seen stocks come back quite a bit. Right now, stocks are mixed. The Dow is down 91 points. The NASDAQ is actually in positive territory. This is after a report saying that Greece has enough money until November to pay its bills. So, what you're seeing is Greece kind of buying a little bit more time to hopefully get its act together with its debt issues. Joe?

JOHNS: Alison Kosik at the New York Stock Exchange. Thanks much for that.

Modern-day slavery. We'll take you to Cambodia and Malaysia for a CNN exclusive look at how factory workers become forced laborers. Virtual slaves with no way out except to buy their freedom.

But, first, some free money advice from the CNN Help Desk with Carter Evans.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CARTER EVANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Time now for "The Help Desk" where we get answers to your financial questions. With me now, John Ulzhimer. He's the president of consumer education at smartcredit.com. And Manisha Thakor is a personal finance expert.

Manisha, Greg's got a question for you. He says he's 32, he's got three different investmen portfolios, a Roth IRA, 401(k). He's got an 80/20 index fund. At his age, should he be aggressive in all portfolios, or is he better off keeping more conservative?

MANISHA THAKOR, PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT: Well, I'm thrilled to hear at his age he has three different portfolios. That's wonderful. In his retirement accounts, absolutely be aggressive. I love 80/20 mix between stocks, bonds. That's an appropriate allocation at his age in those accounts.

And assuming that third account is a taxable account, in that account, if he has funds that he may need to spend in the next one to five years, with those funds, he would want to be a little bit more conservative, not take a lot of risk. Literally, we're talking CDs, money markets, but that gives him some flexibility to be uber- aggressive with the balance.

EVANS: OK. George in Columbus has a question for John. He says he's got enough in his savings account to pay off his credit cards, but should he pay off the cards or should he keep the money in his account? I think I know the answer.

JOHN ULZHEIMER, PRESIDENT OF CONSUMER EDUCATION, SMARTCREDIT.COM: Yes, this is a really easy one. Look, you're paying way more interest on those credit card balances than you're earning in the savings account right now.

Here's what I would suggest, take enough money out of the savings account to fund a sufficient emergency fund, six to 12 months of expenses in case he loses his job. Take the rest of it and pay off those credit cards immediately. Because if you really look at the net-net, he has no savings because he's giving it all away to the credit card companies.

EVANS: OK, good idea. If you have a question you want answered, send us an e-mail any time CNNHelpDesk@CNN.com.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: We continue to keep our eye on the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. That, of course, is the manslaughter trial relating to the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson. Taking the stand right now is one Sade Anding, a cocktail waitress from Houston who happens to be one of the girlfriends of Dr. Murray. She testified in January that she was on the phone with Dr. Murray when he suddenly stopped responding to her. This was just before Michael Jackson died. We'll be watching that trial and bringing you the highlights.

Following the trail of modern-day slave laborer, a CNN exclusive investigator report. Our Dan Rivers tracks a supply of chain of bonded workers from Cambodia to Malaysia. Here now is part one of this three-part series on factory slaves.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the languid heat of rural Cambodia, we're crossing a tributary of the mighty Mekong River to come to meet a group of women who say they were modern-day slaves.

We're more than two hours from the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. This is fertile recruiting ground for unscrupulous recruiting agents who promise the earth who people who have almost nothing. It's exactly what happened to these four women. They told me their employment at an electronics factory in Malaysia turned into a nightmare. They say their passport was confiscated, and they worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week receiving only $100 a month after deductions.

The only way they could leave was for their family to pay about $1,000 in fees and airfares to the agency which had arranged the job in first place.

I meet the mother of a girl who we're calling Chanari to protect her identity. Chanari is still working at the factory. She's already sold her small parcel of land to free one daughter and is desperate to free the other girl, who's just 22.

So, we decide to approach the employment agency concerned down a back street of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

(on camera): Can we come in? We're just with CNN. We just wanted to talk with someone.

(voice-over): At first, they seem unwilling to let us film inside. But then staff abruptly usher us in and told us to wait for their boss. We saw a number of young woman. I tried to talk to one. wondering if these were the workers about to leave for their jobs abroad. As she started to speak, another made it clear she should stay quiet.

Before we arrived, a local NGO had told us workers are often isolated and detained at this compound during so-called "predeparture training."

MANFRED HORNUNG, AID WORKER: Sometimes their cell phones are being confiscated by the company. Family members are being asked to pay what we call ransom for them to receive medical treatment outside the company.

So, we've had (INAUDIBLE) reports about undernourishment in these companies. So, they are being run like a prison.

RIVERS (on camera): So, we're locked in basically now?

(voice-over): After a few minutes we also felt like inmates. Can you unlock the door, please? On the walls, photos of people holding wads of money, suggesting the jobs this agency provided were well paid. But with staff refusing to let us out, we were becoming increasingly concerned for our safety.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sit down, sit down.

RIVERS (on camera): They've padlocked both doors, basically. I'm just worried that when their boss turns up, they're going to confiscate our tapes or camera, bearing in mind that the person that owns this recruitment agency is the sister of the deputy police commissioner of Cambodia.

If you detain us like this, then we feel like we're a prisoner.

Can you unlock this door, please? Can you unlock the front door? We will wait for your boss on the street. Can you unlock, please?

We'll just wait outside. No problem.

RIVERS (voice-over): Finally, they unlock the gate. And to our relief, we leave and wait on the public street for the boss to arrive. But when her car pulls up, staff immediately lunge for our camera.

RIVERS (on camera): All right, we're going. We're going. We're going.

RIVERS (voice-over): But staff tried to stop us leaving.

RIVERS (on camera): We haven't done anything wrong. Take your hands off me.

RIVERS (voice-over): We finally pull free. The boss, Enrifi (ph), seen here trying to grab our camera, initially agreed to a subsequent interview request, but then changed her mind saying we'd have to speak to the ministry of labor first. They declined to talk to us.

The episode left us with many questions. Chanari (ph) is just the first part of a complex chain linked to the Umrifi (ph) recruitment agency. But we wanted to know who was next in that chain. Where was Chanari now and who was she working for? We were more determined than ever to find her, the young woman in the photo who is working debt bonded far from home.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN ANCHOR: Tomorrow you'll see women who work extremely long hours and make barely enough money to feed themselves. They tried to escape, but were caught by the police. That's part two of Dan's three-part series on factory slaves.

And if you'd like to be a slave-free consumer or find out more on modern day slavery, including how to help end it, just go to our website, cnn.com/freedom.

A school district in Nebraska links catholic rosaries to gang members and they're using a girl in sixth grade to stress their point. You can't miss this story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: A sixth grader from Nebraska is fighting for her right to keep wearing one of the most cherished emblems in the catholic faith. She's been banned from wearing her rosary to school. CNN's Carl Azuz has been following this story for us.

And, you know, what happened? Did this sort of cross some line between church and state or are we talking about something else at work here?

CARL AZUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's something else, but that's the first thing I thought. I mean when you see a headline that says, "student sent home for wearing rosary to school," you immediately think it violates some sort of school rule about not being able to wear religious garb.

What's interesting in this case is, the superintendent at the Fremont School District in Nebraska, he's saying, this is about student safety. He had been in touch with law enforcement and found that at several places around the country, gang members had been wearing rosary like necklaces to sort of symbolize their affiliation with a gang. So his school put this rule in place saying, you cannot wear a rosary. And a lot of people might be looking at this and saying, well, this is a sixth grade girl. I mean how could she possibly be a gang member? And it comes down to this, if you make a rule for one, you make a rule for all. And our affiliate KETV spoke to a local archdiocese to get his opinion on this. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FATHER JOSEPH TAPHORN, CHANCELLOR, OMAHA CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE: So I don't think, you know, Christians should have to sort of forfeit what is a symbol of the love of Christ for us and our commitment to be a disciple because a few people want to misuse that symbol.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: The one thing I want to point out is that rosary bans have taken place, Joe, from Oregon to Texas. There have been a number of kids who have been sent home from schools because of similar rules in place. In some cases they've even been suspended for not removing rosary like necklaces all for the same concern, that gang members could be wearing them.

JOHNS: So it's about safety, but there's still a First Amendment and it runs right up against that notion of freedom of religion. How do they balance that?

AZUZ: Exactly right. Exactly right. And you know what's really interesting here is where the Supreme Court has come in on this. The Supreme Court has ruled that students do not give up their First Amendment rights to religious expression, to speech, when they step on a campus. However, those rights are more limited than they are, say, in a shopping mall. What the Supreme Court wanted to do was to give school administrators the latitude to prevent any sort of speech that could distract other students from their education.

Now there are going to be some folks who are going to say, how is a rosary, worn by a sixth grade girl, a distraction in education? And the answer, of course, in this case, what the district superintendent would tell you is, if gang members are wearing this in other places, it is indeed a distraction and, therefore, no rosaries should be allowed.

JOHNS: That's really just a fascinating case. You know it's the kind of thing you would expect people to get really up in arms about, especially if you believe in the right to wear your own rosary or whatever.

AZUZ: Absolutely true, Joe. I mean in defense of the school, they do have this spelled out pretty clearly in the dress code. And the girl also says she'll continue to wear shirts with crosses on them and bracelets with crosses on them, leading us to feel that that's probably not part of the dress code. She wants to continue to spread a Christian message. And as far as the dress code is concerned, that's something she is able to do.

JOHNS: Carl Azuz, thanks so much. Real interesting story.

AZUZ: Thank you, Joe.

JOHNS: Just a reminder, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie holds a news conference at the top of the hour. A GOP source says Christie is expected to announce that he will not get in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. We'll bring you his news conference live at 1:00 Eastern.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHNS: Here's something you don't see every day, a home coming queen who kicks the game winning field goal. It happened over the weekend at Pinckney Community High School in Michigan, just outside Ann Arbor. One minute, 18-year-old Brianna Amat was being crowned home coming queen. A little later, she was being called to the same field to attempt a 31-yard field goal and she nailed it. She seems to be taking it all in stride.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIANNA AMAT, KICKER AND HOMECOMING QUEEN: It's definitely different, but they're all -- they're so nice to me. It's like they treat me like one of their teammates. They don't -- they're not sexist at all. All the guys said that I could do it. They're all kindly encouraged me. Just set it down, one right for it, and it went in. I'm getting the credit for it, which I don't deserve at all. It doesn't make a difference, we're all wearing the same pads. Well, kind of. I don't have the cup, but that's it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNS: Her team, the Pinckney High Pirates, won 9-7.

CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Wolf Blitzer in Washington.

Hey, Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Joe.

We've got lots going on right now. We're awaiting a news conference, a statement from the New Jersey governor, Chris Christie. He will announce that he is not going to run for the Republican presidential nomination. We're standing by. You'll hear it live.

We assume he's not only going to make a statement, he will then answer reporters' questions. And there will be many questions. Why did he decide that this was not a good moment for him to seek the Republican presidential nomination when there were so many Republicans out there, a lot of the so-called established Republicans, who were anxious to see him throw his hat in the ring. But he has decided that it's not a good time for him.

He's been saying it for weeks, if not months, that he's not really ready to be president of the United States. He doesn't want to run. But there was enormous pressure on him, especially over these past few weeks as Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, as his standings seemed to fall as a result of some shaky performances at Republican presidential debates.

John King is here watching this with us. Gloria Borger is here watching with us as well.

As we set the stage for this announcement, there will be Republicans out there -- and you know this, John -- who will be deeply disappointed that Chris Christie is not going to run.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A straight-shooter. As governor, he has dealt with the economy and the budget issues that are going to dominate the national debate.

A lot of Republicans dissatisfied. Had kind of an ah feeling about the field. They wanted this guy in there, which is why fundraisers and financial people in New York and New Jersey urged him to run. Businessman flew all the way out from Iowa to urge him to run. At the Reagan Presidential Library last week, a woman stood up in the audience, please reconsider, your country needs you.

So there is a space maybe for another candidate in the Republican field, however the clock is ticking. And with the exception of Sarah Palin, this is the last no.

Why did he decide not to run? Number one, I'm told that he truly believes it in his heart, he's not ready. He was just elected governor a couple of years ago. One of principle Republican arguments against President Obama next year will be, nice guy, wasn't ready to be president. And that's why these things have happened. So how do you have a guy who's on record saying I'm not ready carrying that torch?

He did reconsider. He was romanced very heavily. They looked at this from a tactical standpoint. Can you raise enough money? Can you build the organization? They thought probably. It would be a steep hill, but probably.

But then they looked at it from an issues portfolio. He's on record saying illegal immigrants already in this country should get a path to citizenship in a comprehensive immigration reform bill. That won't sell in the Tea Party/Republican Party. He has some gun control measures in New Jersey that would be a tough sell. Does that mean he wouldn't be the nominee? We don't know that. Does it mean he wouldn't be formidable? We don't know that.

But when you add it all up, they decided, let's stay. Let's be governor of New Jersey and see what the future brings.

BLITZER: Yes, maybe to take a closer look, Gloria, at some of those other issues, like global warming.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure.

BLITZER: He's not necessarily on the side of some of the arch conservatives --

BORGER: Right.

BLITZER: Who question man or woman's role in global warming.

BORGER: Right. He, you know, he wasn't a shoe-in for this nomination by any stretch. I mean "The Washington Post"/ABC has a poll out today showing that among Republicans, he was only at 10 percent with Mitt Romney leading the field with double that.

So I think that they had to look at all of this. They had to look at their organizational shortfall. You have four states early on that require an awful lot of organization. And, by the way, he would kind of hurt his own brand. He'd been out there for months, as you point out, saying he wasn't ready to run in his heart. He didn't feel like it was the right thing to do. What was he supposed to do, say, oops, never mind? I didn't mean all of that.

So that -- those things were all a part of this and the issues set, as John points out. Somebody said to me yesterday, look, he's a really smart guy, but he doesn't have the time to learn everything he needs to know to be a presidential candidate right now.

BLITZER: Especially on national security issues.

BORGER: Exactly.

BLITZER: He was a very successful U.S. attorney for the state of New Jersey, but there would be a huge learning curve going in. By the way, that door that you're seeing, we expect him to walk through with the lieutenant governor of New Jersey. They'll go to the microphones, Chris Christie will make his announcement, then we believe he'll answer questions as well.

When you say we're still waiting for Sarah Palin to make her announcement, she may be the one -- Rudy Giuliani, there are sources around him who keep flirting that he's thinking about. But my own gut tells me and I'm about to post this on our "Situation Room" blog, that the field is already out there and it's almost certain that Sarah Palin is not going to run, Rudy Giuliani is not going to run. Those candidates you see on the stage at those debates, one of those will be the Republican nominee.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are in 99 percent certainty when it comes to Mayor Giuliani, we are probably at 90 percent certainty when it comes to Governor Palin. She initially said she would tell us by the end of September. She has said recently, she wants a little bit more time. She is the last candidate out there who has a base waiting for her. However, there's been a lesson for her in recent polling, too. Her base has gone from 16 percent of Republicans in August who say, she's my choice to be our nominee down to 7 percent in our latest polling, Wolf, which means -- not that they don't like her anymore, it's just that this process -- especially South Carolina moved up, New Hampshire and Iowa are about to move up, Nevada is about to move up. Republicans will be casting votes to pick their nominee, now, just after new year in early January.

WOLF: Here he is.

KING: Here's the governor.

WOLF: Here's the governor.

(CHRISTIE PRESS CONFERENCE SENT AS SEPARATE DOCUMENT)