Return to Transcripts main page

CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Gingrich: Palestinians Are An Invented People; Volunteers Place Wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery; New Nobel Prize Winners; Russians Protests Over Elections; Most Shoplifted Items; Ted Turner's Environmental Hero; Gingrich's Political Weakness; Cruise in Talks to Film "Top Gun 2"; Holiday Gift Ideas; Ready to Skyride?; Concussion Controversy; NBA Trade Back On?

Aired December 10, 2011 - 08:00   ET

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


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is 8:00 a.m. on the East Coast, early 5:00 a.m. out west for all you early birds. Good morning. I'm Christi Paul in today for T.J. Holmes.

Coming up this hour, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says the Palestinian people are quote, an invented people. We're going to have reaction to his controversial remarks.

Plus, look at this live picture from Arlington National Cemetery. Hundreds of volunteers are laying wreaths on the graves of America's fallen warriors.

And if you think it's just too cold to get out of bed and go outside this morning, it may change your mind, a total eclipse of the moon. You're looking at live images there right now. We want to start though this hour with controversial comments from Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich. Take a listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I believe that the Jewish people have the right to have a state and I believe that the commitments that were made at the time -- remember, there were -- there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people who are, in fact, Arabs and who are historically part of the Arab community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Now he said the Palestinians are an invented people. He made those comments during that interview as you saw there on the Jewish channel. He also said the Middle East peace process was quote delusional. You know there is some reaction coming here. The Palestinian authority itself hasn't commented on Gingrich's remark.

But here's what one of the top members of the Palestinian executive committee has said. Saeb Erakat called it quote, the most racist statement I've ever seen. He went on to say that it shows quote, how really despicable things can get in American politics. In the meantime, one of Mitt Romney's key surrogates said comments like these are quote, one of the things that I think makes me a little bit nervous about Speaker Gingrich.

Coming up in just about 30 minutes, our political insiders are going to be along to talk about how this kind of statement might play in Iowa, only three weeks away there, and whether this will be a big topic in tonight's presidential debate as well. Next hour, too, we're taking a close look at the Jewish vote and the role it may play in the 2012 elections. So stick around here.

Meanwhile, an army of volunteers on duty at Arlington National Cemetery this morning there to lay wreaths. We're talking about a lot of wreaths. CNN's Athena Jones is at Arlington right now. She's in section 60. That is the section set aside for troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. So Athena, fill us in. What's happening?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, today they're going to have more than 10,000 volunteers laying 100,000 wreaths on head stones here at Arlington National Cemetery. It's part of wreaths across America day. Organizers and volunteers won't just laying wreaths here. They'll be laying wreaths at more than 500 cemeteries where our service members are laid to rest in all 50 states.

This is the 20th anniversary the organization behind us has been laying wreaths for 20 years. And so their mission is to remember, honor and teach everyone about the nation's service members and the sacrifice that they have given to the country.

The organization was started by a businessman in Maine who owned a wreath company back in 1992. Towards the end of the holiday season, they had a surplus of wreaths and so he decided to donate 5,000 wreaths here to Arlington National Cemetery. They laid them on headstones in a section that was very old, a section that wasn't getting a lot of visitors, unlike the section you see behind me where a lot of people are here because these are the two most recent wars that the U.S. has been involved in. So back in 1992, they laid wreaths in a section that not as many people were visiting and the tradition is carried on.

So in a little while, we're going to see a convoy of 20 some trucks that left Maine six days ago on their way here to Arlington. So it's going to be a big day, lots of people out laying wreaths on the head stones to honor our service members -- Christi.

PAUL: I wonder, Athena, are some of those volunteers family members who have people there in that cemetery?

JONES: Well, certainly, certainly.

We spoke with a woman just now. There is going to be a football team arriving. One of the members of this football team was killed in one of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and so they come each year as part of wreaths across America to lay a wreath to honor that fallen soldier that they know. And so many of the people here that we're going to see today are not just volunteers, they're people who have lost someone in one of these wars. It will be interesting to see who comes around. People are already arriving even though it's early here Christi.

PAUL: I bet finding a lot of comfort in each other as well as we are in the middle of this holiday season.

Thank you so much, Athena Jones. Appreciate it.

They are handing out two of the Nobel peace prize awards today in Oslo, Norway. Actually, they're handing out three of them. The ceremony is going on as we speak here at this moment, the winners being honored for their commitment to women and their safety in the region.

And let me introduce you to them. Leymah Gbowee, who is a leading peace and women's rights activist, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkol Karman. She's known as the mother of the revolution in Yemen. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirlief.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLIEF, PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA: I'm particularly honored to be a successor to several sons and one daughter of Africa who have stood on this stage. (INAUDIBLE) Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and FW Declerk (ph) Kofi Annan, Anwar el Sadat, (INAUDIBLE) Mohammed El-barati (ph) as well as Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Bunch, Americans of African dissent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: A lot of grace in that woman, couldn't you tell? Protests, meanwhile, as we switch gears here, are under way in Russia this morning. Demonstrators are angry over alleged voter fraud in last week's parliamentary elections. Their anger is aimed squarely too at Vladimir Putin. So CNN's Phil Black is with us now. And I'm sure, Phil, we're wondering how peaceful these protests have been up to this point. Give us a sense of the situation there right now.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE) in Moscow, there is still a crowd of certainly tens of thousands in protest. It is beginning to drop off slightly. There had been a huge turnout here. This is everything the organizers hoped for. Tens of thousands of people filled Trafalgar Square here in central Moscow and the mood has been raucous and loud and passionate.

But it has throughout, been peaceful. We've seen no violence whatsoever (INAUDIBLE) any of these protesters, as I say, a very passionate crowd here. They're protesting the parliamentary election results from the vote that was held last weekend (INAUDIBLE) .

That vote was unfair, there were procedures and rigging (INAUDIBLE) as Vladimir Putin drew in the (INAUDIBLE) party. (INAUDIBLE) to say that they believe that their vote was stolen, many of them regular Russians who are not particularly active or political in any real sense but they feel strongly enough about this to come out here on this very cold Moscow day and chant protests, send a message to the president.

PAUL: Phil, I was reading they were hoping for upwards of 25,000 people. Are the protests in Moscow alone?

BLACK: No. We understand -- we haven't seen pictures of this today. (INAUDIBLE) We're here in the square. We have heard reports that other protests had taken place across the country in other areas. This is the flagship rally, if you like. As you say, they were hoping for upwards of 20,000. They certainly seem to have done that. We don't know about the signs of protest across the country. We're told that yes, they have taken place not at the same scale, but representing the fact that there is anger over those election results is not confined to Moscow. It is said to be felt across this country.

PAUL: All right. Phil Black, thank you so much though for the update. Keep us posted. We appreciate it very much. So we'll continue obviously to watch what's happening there and keep you informed throughout the day.

Meanwhile, remember the school principal who suspended a boy for calling his teacher cute? Well, that principal is spending time at home now, too.

Also ahead, a lunar eclipse. It's happening right now. Don't go too far. For those of you on the west coast, you can get ready for one spectacular show.

Also police in south Florida, they arrest two people for allegedly stealing Christmas ornaments off their neighbor's lawn. You see here how cops found the suspects.

And speaking of stealing, the iPhone 4 is number four on the list of 10 most shoplifted items. Next, we're going to tell what three items beat it. And here's a hint, see if you figure this one out. You can eat the winner, wash it down with the runner up after you set them under your shirt, of course.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: We just gave you a little tease there about the most shoplifted items. Well let me fill you in. I told before the break about the iPhone 4. It comes in at number four, conveniently. Men apparently tend to reach for electric toothbrushes and power tools, making them number three on the list. Number two, I guess they need the toothbrush for the Jameson whiskey that they're going to be slugging down. And the number one most shoplifted item, filet mignon, the grocery store, who knew?

Checking stories across the country, there are new allegations this morning that the head of the amateur athletic union sexually abused two boys years ago. Two men tell ESPN that Robert "Bobby" Dodd molested them back in the 1980s when they were playing on his AAU basketball team. No comment yet from Dodd who is battling colon cancer.

And from Sweetwater, Florida, two people have been arrested and charged with allegedly stealing Christmas ornaments from the neighbor's yard earlier this week. The incident was caught, look at that, on a surveillance camera. The victim claims she saw the stolen ornaments in a nearby yard where police took both of those suspects into custody.

City officials in Washington, DC, say they're owed more than $350 million in unpaid parking tickets. They say they're going to go after suburban computers from neighboring Maryland and Virginia who the city says own a large share of that shortfall there.

And I'm thinking you remember this story. A nine-year-old boy in North Carolina suspended for three days for saying this about his teacher.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMANYEA LOCKETT, STUDENT: I was talking to my friend. I said Miss Terry was cute. And that's all I said.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: So what happens if I say he's cute? He's cute.

He called his teacher cute and he was punished for it. The school principal said it was sexual harassment and against school policy. Well here's the update. The principal is being told to stay home now. He was forced into early retirement after a 44-year career. The principal admits he made some errors but he says he believes he was treated unfairly. The school district has apologized to the student and his parents, by the way.

All right. Don't go too far. If you have a chance, go look out your window. You might see something pretty spectacular going on in the sky this morning. Bonnie Schneider is here to tell us more about it. Particularly you and I, we're getting the gyp here. We're not going to be able to see it, but for folks on the west coast, they've got the best seat in the house.

(WEATHER REPORT)

PAUL: Am I wrong to be jealous of my friends in Cleveland that are getting snow? It's Christmas.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No.

PAUL: It's supposed to snow.

SCHNEIDER: They're going to get snow. We saw the first snow of the season in Chicago as well.

PAUL: I love it. All right. Hey Bonnie, thank you so much.

SCHNEIDER: Sure.

PAUL: Saving the planet has been on the to do list of one of the most powerful men in the world for years. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED TURNER, MEDIA MOGUL & PHILANTHROPIST: Powers combined, I am captain planet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: He's got the voice for it, too, doesn't he? You know who that is. Last night media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner joined forces with a super hero at a fund-raiser to help spread awareness about global warming. We have details for you in just two minutes. Stay close.

Plus, by the way, Newt Gingrich riding high in the Republican presidential race. Could his past come back to haunt him in the chase for conservative voters? We're going to take a look at that as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Guess who's joining me now, Nadia Bilchik? She is with us after this star studded gala last night. And look at her, she looks gorgeous. How are you doing? She emceeing, by the way, the Captain Planet Foundation's 20th anniversary. He is the world's, in case you don't know, the first eco hero who was created by none other than media mogul Ted Turner. We kind of know him here at CNN, too.

NADIA BILCHIK, CNN EDITORIAL PRODUCER: He is the originator of Captain Planet, he and Barbara Pile (ph). He came up with the idea. I said to him last night, Ted, what gave you the idea to come up with the world's first eco friendly super hero? And guess what he said?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TURNER: We were running cartoons and children's programming. I looked at a lot of it. I said gee, there is no environmental messages in any of these programs. And, you know, cartoons are a great teaching mechanism. Television is entertainment medium but it's also an informational medium where you can be educated by watching it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BILCHIK: And he really lives for this Christi. People will tell you when he goes for a walk and there is trash, he will pick it up.

PAUL: Can you imagine? Being on the side of the road and just driving by and seeing Ted Turner picking up trash.

BILCHIK: He lives it and breathes this. This event last night, the money goes to giving grants to educate youth in terms of the environment. But the whole concept of global warming, some people are skeptical. But it is a huge issue. Durbin (ph) has just finished a two-week summit on the concept of climate. So I said to Ted, what do you say to people who are skeptical? Let's hear from Ted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILCHIK: You have said that global warming is one of the most serious if not the most serious environmental issue we have. What do you, Ted Turner, say to skeptics about global warming?

TURNER: Well, all you can do is show them the evidence and read what the scientific reports say. The overwhelming majority of the scientists and climatologists all say that we're in a lot of trouble with that. And the naysayers say some people say the world was flat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BILCHIK: And, of course, he said this for years. He really is a visionary. One of the things I loved about last night was the fashion. Somebody actually wore a recycled World War II parachute.

PAUL: What?

BILCHIK: Yes.

PAUL: Do we have video?

BILCHIK: We do. Kristina Stevens (ph) in her parachute which was absolutely delightful. I have to show you that. There she is.

PAUL: That is a parachute?

BILCHIK: Even the lining comes from the inside of a tent. And I wore earrings that were made from a salad dressing bottle made by Kathleen Plate (ph). Take a look at those.

PAUL: Are you kidding? That is a salad dressing bottle?

BILCHIK: And this necklace that I'm wearing is what they call eco vintage because it is recycled coin and chain. So we are --

PAUL: Could you buy it at the event last night?

BILCHIK: There was an auction. All the money goes to educating a wonderful cause and just a wonderful event.

PAUL: Thank you so much. You wore it well. So did she. Not a lot of people can wear a parachute dress. She did it well.

Next, we're going to see Lady Gaga in it. Check this one out, Nadia because this poor woman waited hours, more than three, for the plane to arrive. A U.S. Army specialist gave his girlfriend the surprise of a lifetime. Look at that. What a gentleman, popping the question on bended knee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: I love you.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We're on TV. Do you know that? UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: Yeah. I'm kind of figure that's what the cameras are for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: She thought she was surprising him with a welcome back party, a glorious moment. Isn't that awesome, all you skeptics of love. That's too good. She said yes, of course, by the way.

Delta Airlines airport officials and the TSA, by the way, all in on it. Good for them. Congratulations.

Newt Gingrich makes some harsh comments about peace in Israel saying the Palestinians shouldn't even be there. (INAUDIBLE) Republican presidential race. We're going to take a look at that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Twenty-eight minutes past the hour right now. Thank you for keeping us company here. I'm Christi Paul in for T.J. Holmes and let's get talking about what everybody else is talking about today so far. Here are your top stories.

The Russian state news agency reports as many as 25,000 people are protesting parliamentary elections in Russia. They're doing that at this hour. Demonstrators upset over alleged voter fraud in last week's elections. Their anger aimed squarely at Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

And in Boston this morning, CNN affiliate WCBB reports at least 46 people have been arrested at the Occupy Boston campsite. Police say the demonstrators were demonstrating a sit in and refused to leave. Now they're charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. City workers have been taking down demonstrators' tents, we understand.

You know, this has been a record setter for money spent on gasoline. You're probably thinking I don't need you to tell me that. Let me give you the big picture. U.S. drivers have spent more than $448 billion on gas, to put that in perspective, $100 billion more than last year. The oil price information service points to consistently high oil prices as the main reason there.

Well, Newt Gingrich says Palestinians are an invented people. He made this strong statement in an interview on the Jewish channel. Here it is for you in case you missed it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: Well, I believe that the Jewish people have the right to have a state. And I believe that the commitments that were made at a time, remember, there was no Palestine as a state, part of the Ottoman empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people who are Arabs and who are historically part of the Arab community.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: Now Gingrich went on to say it's tragic that Palestinians didn't leave the area when they had the chance; rather sustaining a war against Israel. And he also called the Middle East peace process quote, "delusional."

So you know there is reaction to this. Here's what Saeb Erekat (ph), one of the top members of the Palestinian executive committee said. He called Mr. Gingrich's assertion quote, "The most racist statement I have ever seen."

Well, Newt Gingrich tops the polls at the end of the day with just over three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses. What does this all mean? Mitt Romney may not be his biggest challenger, too. Newt's biggest problem some say may be Newt himself.

Here with me, Matt Towery, syndicated columnist and former campaign adviser to Newt Gingrich and Lee May, Democratic County commissioner in suburban Atlanta, DeKalb County there. Gingrich's comments on the Palestinians, you've got to wonder now that you've heard it for yourself.

LEE MAY (D), COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DEKALB COUNTY: Yes.

PAUL: I want to ask you, Matt, since you've worked with him this has to give pause to people when they consider what they would vote for and how he would handle foreign policy, would it not?

MATT TOWERY, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: I had a chance to see the entire thing. And the part that I think is sort of being left out in -- in the -- in the overall headline of this is that Gingrich is giving a very accurate, historical review. He used some bad phraseology in my opinion and saying that in essence this is a -- people that don't exist or who were invented -- that wasn't a good phrase.

But what he was explaining is historically very accurate and it's probably why we still have the problem going on that we have. That doesn't mean that I necessarily agree or disagree with him. But I think in terms of the Republican primary, it's not going to be a big problem for him.

The Republican primary is one in which primarily you have money coming from pro-Israelis and in Jewish organizations and that a play for that money. And you're really are not going to have a whole lot of folks involved from either the Arab world or from any area that might be affected by these comments that are going to be voting in any of these primaries any time soon.

PAUL: OK, so for them it's not a problem necessarily. But for the American people, is this even a blip on our radar when it comes down to it, so to speak? I mean, aren't people watching right now in this preliminary months wondering who's going to fix our economy?

MAY: Well, yes. I think you're right. I think for the grand scheme of things, America is really concerned about that unemployment number. They are concerned about jobs. They are concerned about the cost of goods, of gas, of prices to eat. But in reality, what Newt is doing is he's trying to shore up his support in the Jewish community. He's trying to show them that he is a strong advocate for Israel and for a strong America -- American- Israel relationship. But in doing that, his words, he -- and Newt has always emerged --

PAUL: So it's a verbiage choice isn't it?

MAY: Well yes, but his words and he has a way of doing this many times that he'll make certain statements that are very volatile and will cause this kind of conversation. Look I -- you know I -- went to travel to Israel a couple of months ago and I had a chance to meet with many of the Israeli leaders and with the Palestinian Authority leaders as well.

And there is such a -- there is such a volatile issue the peace talks and everything.

PAUL: Right.

MAY: And so you have to be very careful with these statements that we make as you move forward.

PAUL: Does it make you wonder what he's going to say tonight. And I'm wondering from you, if you could -- well, first of all, what question would you want to ask tonight in the debate and to who would you want to direct it?

TOWERY: Well I'll be -- first of all, I think someone is going to want to ask the question of Newt, do you think that was a -- from a geo-political standpoint was that a smart statement to make?

And I think what you'll see with Newt is he'll come out with his fist as hard as possible and say I don't apologize for it. These are the reasons why. And you'll probably hear the room go wild with applause and that will be the end of it.

That's the way he's been operating. That's the way Gingrich rolls this year. And so far, it's seems to be working for him.

PAUL: All right. Boy, I'm sorry we ran out of time. Thank you so much Lee May and we appreciate you being here. Matt Towery, it's good to have your perspective as always.

TOWERY: Thanks.

MAY: It's good to be here.

PAUL: Newt Gingrich, by the way, we've been talking about he's riding high even with his latest controversial comments. But with his surge in the polls obviously comes renewed focus on his past.

And as our Tom Foreman reports, Gingrich's personal life could be part of that discussion.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Newt Gingrich.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Newt Gingrich's private life has long been seen as an Achilles heel for the Republican fire brand. Strongly associated with the conservative base, he clearly relished that role when President Bill Clinton was caught having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and trying to hide it from investigators.

Gingrich called Mr. Clinton's actions --

GINGRICH: The most systematic, deliberate obstruction of justice cover-up and effort to avoid the truth we have ever seen in American History.

FOREMAN: Later however, Gingrich's own personal issues came to light. Married three times, he was famously in the process of divorcing his first wife Jackie while she was recovering from cancer. The couple had two daughters, the split reportedly bitter and contentious.

He was married to his second wife Mary Ann for close to 19 years. They separated at one point, reconciled but in the end that ended badly, too with the revelation that Gingrich was having an affair with an aide who was some 20 years younger.

Moreover, that relationship was secretly under way even as he pushed for the President's impeachment in relation to the Lewinsky affair. He later suggested to the Christian Broadcasting Network this and the other affairs were the outgrowth of overwork.

GINGRICH: There is no question that at times in my life partially driven by -- by how passionately I felt about this country that I worked far too hard and the things happened in my life that were not appropriate.

FOREMAN: He eventually married that former aide, his third and current wife Calista. They've been together for 11 years now and he has made some seemingly large accommodations to keep the union strong. He was raised Lutheran, was Baptist for years but became a Catholic for her.

(on camera): The question is has his troubled personal past been converted into the kind of history that conservative voters can forget or forgive?

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: Up next, you are not going to believe how much it costs to sit next to this woman, Kim Kardashian, at a Vegas New Year's Eve party. I'm going to give you hint here. It's five figures -- five. Entertainment headlines next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: A Los Angeles man is suing director James Cameron for allegedly ripping off his idea that became the plot for -- you guessed it -- "Avatar". Eric Rider claims he worked with Cameron's production company developing an environmentally-themed 3D science fiction epic. Rider says he worked with Cameron for two years but then the production company turned down his idea saying no one would be interested in an environmentally-themed science fiction movie.

Well, Rider claims he had entered into an implied agreement with Cameron that he'd get paid if the company ever used his ideas. You know what happened here. Avatar became the highest grossing film ever earning $760 million. And that's just in the U.S.

OK. Tom Cruise is talking about another blockbuster. The megastar spoke to MTV about reprising his role of "Maverick". Oh remember? It's a good one, right? "Top Gun." Well, "Top Gun 2" might just be under way. Cruise said what got him interested was how new technology would be used to make the film's aerial dog fights more dramatic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I hope we can figure this out to go do it again. And if we can find a story that suits, you know, that we all want to do. We all -- we all want to make a film that is in the same kind of tone as the other one and shoot it in the same way that we shot "Top Gun."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Would you go see it? I admit I'd go see it. I liked the first one.

OK. Kim Kardashian, she's been known to make thousands just to be seen at parties. But would you pay $20,000 to sit near the reality TV star, just near her? RadarOnline.com reports the 31-year-old Kardashian will be at Las Vegas hotspot Tao to ring in the New Year. Well tickets to the event cost $200. And if you want to sit at a table near her, you heard me right, $20,000, 20K.

It's cool to give electronic gizmos as holiday gifts, right? There's a lot of stuff out there though to pick from. Stick around. We're going to show you how to sort it all out; our digital lifestyle guru joining us next to plug you in.

Plus, reaching new heights in exercise and travel. Are you ready for a Skyride? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: It is estimated as many as two out of every three gifts this holiday season is going to be an electronic device. Well, we're going to help you weigh through all of that information that's out there so you can pick the one that's just right. Earlier I talked with digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong. He has some gift ideas for less than $30.

He's joining us now, Mario.

MARIO ARMSTRONG, CNN DIGITAL LIFESTYLE EXPERT: Christi what's happening?

PAUL: How are you?

ARMSTRONG: I'm doing great. How are you?

PAUL: I'm great, ok.

(CROSSTALK)

ARMSTRONG: So I have some -- are you doing good?

PAUL: Yes so listen because I'm not a tech junkie. I need help.

ARMSTRONG: All right, we have you covered.

But look I think it's a misnomer many women, like 54 percent of women now are the ones making the tech purchasing decisions for the household. So you need to get with it because women are on top of this already.

PAUL: OK, I'm with you. Help me out here. Help me out.

ARMSTRONG: OK. OK. So first things first, it's cold now. So I have one of what seems to be a regular pair of gloves. But these are made by a company called Free Hands. And basically, it reveals a little bit of your skin, your fingers, so that can you touch screen on all of your devices.

Now there are also different gloves that already have the conducive tips on them as well. So there are different varieties, A Gloves, Free Hands. But these are inexpensive and a great gift for those that still want to text while it's cold outside.

PAUL: Nice. You know with technology you don't really have to get up out of your seat very much. So what about the couch potatoes? What will make them happy?

ARMSTRONG: Yes, the couch potatoes. If you do not already have an Internet connected TV, we call those smart televisions you want to get a box called Roku. I really like this Roku box, basically it connects to your Internet connection at home and it connects to your television. So that you can get content from Netflix, Podcasts even networks like this one right on to your TV.

So it basically brings the Internet on to your television and it has a really easy to use remote. We're talking like $79 for this and no monthly fees for it. So it's a great addition for the couch potatoes.

PAUL: Oh nice.

But what about, well you know the kids might like that one, too. But there's got be something that's really geared towards kids, right?

ARMSTRONG: Yes. Of course, there is a ton of stuff geared towards kids.

PAUL: Yes.

ARMSTRONG: I have a couple of things. One that I think may throw some folks off. But tablets are absolutely big. A lot of people say Mario do we do iPad, do we do the Kindle Fire? I think for kids, the Kindle Fire, if can you swing it for $200, it's less expensive than buying a $500 tablet which is very expensive for a lot of pockets.

But I think for kids to do educational things, to read books-- let me pull it back up -- to read books, do home work, have music videos, apps, all type of things from education to entertainment, I think for $200 and getting a kid a tablet, this is a solid one. Although, this is also for parents and those adults out there as well, they would want a Kindle Fire as well.

PAUL: Yes, no kidding. You know, my mom, I think they kind of fought technology for a long time. But they love the iPad. What is out there for grandparents?

ARMSTRONG: Well, you know, I think the iPad is great for grandparents because you can do everything from Scrabble and word games that they all love with thousands, literally thousands of apps and games that are out there.

But one way to kind of go old school with it is something I'm holding right here. It is called the iCave. The iCave comes to us from a really cool Web site -- you should check it out -- called thinkgeek.com.

But basically you put your iPad in the iCave -- you can see I have like a regular joystick and buttons, even like a little 25-cent slot here. And basically, you download an app, an Atari app on to your iPad for $14 and then can you play with the joystick, all old school classics that you grew up with.

PAUL: I love it.

ARMSTRONG: So this is loads of fun -- Pac-man, Tank, Missile Command --

PAUL: Asteroids.

(CROSSTALK)

ARMSTRONG: All the old school things --

PAUL: I challenge you to Asteroids, Mario.

ARMSTRONG: There you go. Oh, you're on -- done deal. You're going down.

PAUL: Let's do it.

ARMSTRONG: Absolutely.

PAUL: All right. And Mario --

ARMSTRONG: I know it's the holidays and I should treat you nice but --

PAUL: No, no, no. That's all right. Game on, man. Game on.

Thank you so much.

ARMSTRONG: All right.

PAUL: Join us every Saturday, by the way, at this time as our digital lifestyle expert there Mario Armstrong gives us the scoop on the latest technology.

Well, the moving force behind rollerblades is now setting his sights on the sky bringing exercise and transportation to new heights. Joe Carter takes a ride in this "Start Small, Think Big".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Inventor, Scott Olson, the man behind rollerblades is on a mission to get people in motion. His latest innovation dubbed "Skyride" has been in the works for about 15 years.

SCOTT OLSON, INVENTED THE ROLLERBLADES: We're going now.

CARTER: The idea is simple. Skyriders can pedal or roll themselves along a monorail.

OLSON: I love rowing. I wanted to take rowing to new heights and new speed.

CARTER: When I think of rowing, I think of being in a gym staring at a wall rowing and rowing and rowing and not going anywhere. This is quite opposite.

OLSON: Well, that the beauty of the Skyride. That's why I built it to really give people another option.

CARTER: It's really up to me on how fast I want to go. It seems to be the beauty of this. Because you want to go fast, just row harder. If you want to enjoy the ride, just coast it out.

Olson hopes Skyride gains traction as a means of exercise, entertainment and transportation.

OLSON: We're not going to sell millions of sky tracks, you know, like we did millions of rollerblade. But we may get millions of people using it, 100 sky tracks around the country.

CARTER: For a man not afraid of heights, it's a dream within reach.

Joe Carter, CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: All right. Let's talk about the top stories in the sports world. The only person to do that is HLN's Ray D'Alessio, of course, right now.

RAY D'ALESSIO, HLN SPORTS: How are you doing?

PAUL: How are you?

D'ALESSIO: Long time no see.

PAUL: How are you doing? That's how it goes.

D'ALESSIO: How are you doing?

PAUL: OK, so the father of the Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy not so happy with the way the team handled his son's concussion the other night. Do explain.

D'ALESSIO: Yes, he pretty much, Christi, he went public speaking to the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" telling them that he was very upset with the way that the team handled Colt McCoy's concussion. McCoy suffered this concussion -- here's the video here -- he suffered the concussion late in the fourth quarter against the Steelers. Watch that huge hit by James Harrison there. You see it again in slow motion.

Now Brad McCoy, Colt's father was saying --

PAUL: Oh, look at that. Good heavens.

D'ALESSIO: -- yes, Brad McCoy, Colt's father was saying you could clearly see him on the ground. He was briefly knocked unconscious. And Colt even came up to him after the game and said I don't remember anything that happened after this hit. I don't remember how the game finished. I know we lost the game and I let my teammates down. But I don't remember anything.

Brad McCoy telling the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" that he really did not see the Browns staff going through the post concussion tests to make sure he was ok. So they sent him back in the game.

But the Browns head coach, Pat Shurmur, he's saying that look, we did everything that we were supposed to do on the sidelines, he was cleared to play. He didn't start showing signs of a concussion until after the game.

Paul: Afterwards. All right.

D'ALESSIO: Yes.

He was having problems, you know, with the lights, adjustment to the lights in the media room. So they're defense is, look, we didn't know he had a concussion until after the game. He passed all the sideline tests so that's why we sent him out there.

PAUL: Well, best of luck to him, certainly. No doubt about it. D'ALESSIO: Yes, that was a huge hit. It really was.

PAUL: OK. Let's talk about this on again, off again, on again, mega trade in the NBA involving a couple big name players, none of, which by the way, are related to me.

D'ALESSIO: No, not at all.

PAUL: I've been trying to tell people on Facebook --

D'ALESSIO: We're talking Chris Paul of the Hornets -- again, no relationship to Christi -- Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol, both of the Lakers. It was a three-team trade involving the Lakers, the Hornets and Houston rockets.

(INAUDIBLE), not to get so technical with this, but, you know, David Stern, the leagues commissioner, he looked at this and he said, you know what; this trade is not in the best interests of the New Orleans Hornets. OK? Mind you, the league owns the New Orleans Hornets.

So whether that had anything to do with it, nobody knows for sure, but Stern ixnayed the trade. Yesterday he came back out and said ok, you two -- you guys can start negotiating again. See if you can come up with some kind of a trade that is fair for everybody. So that's what they're in the process of doing. Whether they're able to pull this thing off or not is yet to be seen. But it is pretty complicated, it really is.

PAUL: All right. Well, what about Blake Griffin? Can he pull this off? Or is that yet to be seen?

D'ALESSIO: Let's just say Blake, if you're watching this, don't quit your day job. This is a pretty good video. You know, during the NBA lockout, he made a commercial for Red Bull where he was supposedly this big ping-pong -- professional ping-pong player gearing up and his first match was against a champion ping-pong player in Su Yong Lee. And, yes.

PAUL: She's got some nice arms on her.

D'ALESSIO: That's what I said, ooh. And as can you see, he starts off really good. And then it just goes downhill from there. She pretty much embarrasses him.

Now I'm going to give Blake the benefit of the doubt because he is one heck of an athlete. I think this guy could excel in ping-pong but I believe the reason why he played so bad is because of her uniform and what she was wearing. That was clearly, clearly not policy for ping- pong uniform.

PAUL: You didn't seem to mind.

D'ALESSIO: I don't mind it. But if I was playing her, it's a distraction.

PAUL: Yes. OK. Whatever. Thank you so much. D'ALESSIO: Sure you want me back on this show?

PAUL: Ray-ray -- all the time. Thank you. We love Ray-ray.

OK. Forget Black Friday, by the way, Green Monday is a day online retailers are really banking on here. We're going to tell you why in just a couple minutes.

Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Checking our top stories, the three winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize are receiving their awards this morning. They're all women and active in the peace and women's rights movements. We'll tell you more about that in a minute.

Also, police in Boston has cleared out the Occupy Boston campsite. Dozens of people were arrested. This comes a day after the city gave demonstrators a deadline to move or face forcible eviction.

And in case you haven't seen it, up in the sky, let me give you a live picture wherever you are. This is what somebody is seeing -- an eclipse taking place this morning. Visible across the country but all of you folks on the West Coast, you've got the best seat in the house. It goes into total eclipse about a half hour from now. Just so you know.

So get your coat on and go outside. I don't know. Make some hot chocolate because it's cold out there in the morning. Get a good old view.