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Report: New Home Sales Up In August; Clinton On Romney; Chelsea Clinton Speaks Of Parents; New Pressure On NFL; Iran's President Speaks This Morning; Greek Protests Turn Violent; Apparent Cyber Attacks Hits Wells Fargo; Competing Plans On Illegal Immigration; Battle for the Buckeye State; Seeking Replacement Refs Ban in New Jersey; California Approves Driverless Car
Aired September 26, 2012 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Stories we're watching right now in the NEWSROOM. Pocketbook issues, we're paying less for gas, consumer confidence is up, and now new this hour, new home sales on the rise.
It's been a busy time for President Bill Clinton. The Global Initiative annual meeting wraps up today. Clinton's out on the campaign trail too for President Obama, and he still finds time to sit down with Piers Morgan.
Six weeks until we choose a president and new information is out regarding the must-win state of Ohio. Mitt Romney may be down, but don't count him out.
And the future is now. Google's been working on the driverless car. Now one state is letting the internet giant test this prototype on city streets. NEWSROOM starts now.
And good morning. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Carol Costello. This is just in to the NEWSROOM. Another sign the economy could be improving, just released a report showing that sales of new homes jumped again in August.
But let's quickly take a look at some of the other encouraging numbers that have recently come out. Home prices in 20 major cities have gone up for the past three months. Consumers are spending more.
One example, 3 percent more spent on household goods compared to 2010. Gas prices are down, still expensive though, the national average now at $3.83 a gallon.
Now let's break down the new home sales report to see if we actually should be jumping up and down in the streets. Our business guru, Christine Romans is here. What do the numbers say?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Jumping up and down in the streets. Let's see. Well, you should be trying to refinance your mortgage. Look, we have 373,000 new home sales. These are new homes so as I told you before, every new home is a construction worker, a roofer, a plumber.
It's a lot of economic activity because you're building that house from scratch. That's 1,000 better than the prior month, but not exactly as much as Wall Street had been hoping for. They've been looking for more like 380,000.
Stocks are down just a little bit. No big move on it. But more broadly, Carol, we've been seeing these signs of life in housing. We've been seeing sales are starting to pick up for both new homes and for existing homes.
We've seen that prices are starting to pick up. Now those are new home sales. Carol, look at the trend. Look at the peak. I mean, at the peak of activity in '05 and '06, I mean, there were millions of people employed building houses.
Now the far right of your screen, that's where we are now, trying to get off the mat for new home sales and again 373,000 new homes constructed in the most recent month.
I want to show you quickly mortgage rates because that's something that is one of the drivers behind all of this. The market's improving in part because you can get 30-year money, Carol, for 3.49 percent.
A 15-year fixed mortgage, 2.77 percent. That's a popular refinancing tool. An existing home, that's the bigger part of the market, we've learned earlier this week that existing homes, those sales have been picking up nationwide.
Look at that, 20 percent increase in sales in the Midwest, 13 percent in the south, 15 percent in the northeast and we know that home prices for existing homes have also ticked up three months in a row. Three months in a row. Prices are going up, Carol. It's been years since I've been able to say that.
COSTELLO: Well, I hope the trend continues is all I have to say. Christine Romans, thanks so much.
Tonight, Piers Morgan welcomes former President Bill Clinton in a one- on-one interview from the Clinton Global Initiative. In that interview, Piers asked President Clinton about Mitt Romney and that now infamous 47 percent remark.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, HOST, CNN'S "PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT": Mitt Romney today came out with this line, which went down very well with the audience, what do you expect?
If there's one thing we've learned a few words from Bill Clinton can do someone a lot of good. What words would you have for Mitt Romney given the state election campaign right now?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think, you know, the debates are very important for him.
CLINTON: I think so. And I think if he's going to double down on that 47 percent remark, that will cause difficulties because we now know that the overwhelming number of those people work and have children.
And the reason they don't pay federal income taxes is the median income is as low as it was in 1995 now and until the current election season, Republicans and Democrats supported both the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit.
This is a rejection of basically more than three decades of bipartisan policy to support work and family. It's not a bunch of freeloaders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Piers Morgan joins me on the phone. Hi, Piers.
MORGAN (via telephone): Good morning.
COSTELLO: Good morning. Thanks for being with me. It's interesting. President Clinton looks like he's having so much fun on the campaign trail. It didn't look like he was having so much fun when he was campaigning for his own wife.
MORGAN: Well, I think he's obviously gone through a pretty lengthy period of a readjustment to the fact that Barack Obama was the guy that beat his wife and a very, very contentious campaign with lots of muscling on both sides.
I think it affected his relationship with Barack Obama for the first few years of his presidency, but I think now that they've sorted things out between themselves and I think he said, look, he loves being center stage.
The Clinton Global Initiative is huge. It's attended by almost as many world leaders as the U.N. General Assembly. So you have a guy who really isn't president, but for all intents and purposes is a very influential world leader.
Somebody said to me, who needs who more? Does Barack Obama need Bill Clinton more or does Bill Clinton need Barack Obama more? I think they need each other.
Bill Clinton, the influencer. I think for Barack Obama there's no more effective, articulate defender of his right to be re-elected right now than Bill Clinton.
COSTELLO: OK. So along the same lines, there is a new poll that came out today, the Quinnipiac/CBS/"New York Times" poll that shows that Mr. Obama is up by 10 points in the state of Ohio over Mitt Romney.
So is that for the efforts of Obama's great campaigning or does it have more to do with Bill Clinton and that widely admired speech he gave at the DNC? MORGAN: Yes, I think it's a lot to do with Bill Clinton. I think if you look at the way the polls have gone particularly in the swing states since the convention, you have to say that the effect of Bill Clinton's speech has been extremely positive.
Because he was able in that speech in a very detailed and mathematical incontrovertibly mathematical way present the argument for re-election for Barack Obama. I think he did it better than Barack Obama did.
Now that they are out there together, you've got to look at the Romney campaign, which is clearly in trouble, particularly in these swing states, the higher the gap is widening on an almost hourly basis, and you have to say where is his Bill Clinton? Is it Paul Ryan?
Where is Mitt Romney going to find the kind of juggernaut support that Barack Obama is getting from Bill Clinton? The answer may well be there is only one Bill Clinton. That's a great positive for Barack Obama.
COSTELLO: OK, quickly before you go. I know you asked President Clinton about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech, which takes place later this afternoon at the U.N. General Assembly. What did he say?
MORGAN: Well, he was pretty strong about it. You know, he said there are mostly similarities as you see between Saddam Hussein and Iraq, which he had to deal with and between what we're facing with Ahmadinejad and Iran.
He said, look, there is a fundamental difference, which was Saddam was denying having any kind of intention to have nuclear power, whereas, in this case, you have a man in Ahmadinejad who openly admits they are enriching uranium to develop their nuclear capability.
He says it's for peaceful means. I said to Bill Clinton, 100 million dollar question, do you believe it? He said, no, I did not. On nuclear power, I did not believe him. He thinks this is reaching the point, as the Obama administration has said, there is a clear red line.
I said what happens? This, again, is the huge question, isn't it, if Israel launches some kind of pre-emptive strike against Iran, what should America do? He said, look, that's a matter for his wife. She's the secretary of state.
He doesn't want to say anything that would be contradictory to her although he did say I'm in agreement of the way Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have so far dealt with this publicly. The clock is ticking.
The great unanswered question, what is Israel going to do. If they do, do something pre-emptive, what does America do? I think it's a huge question and I think probably if you're President Obama, you're hoping you don't have to deal with this before the election.
COSTELLO: That's for sure. Piers Morgan, thanks so much. I can't wait to see the whole interview later tonight. Piers Morgan joining us live today.
Chelsea Clinton, the former first daughter, is working with her father at the Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation. She says she's inspired by the work of her parents and always understood that service is a defining mission.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHELSEA CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON'S DAUGHTER: I want to lead a life of service that will make my parents proud and also lead a life that when I do have children, not only make my children as proud of me, God willing, as I am of my parents, but that I can similarly embed in my children that same kind of ethos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: In addition to the Clinton Global Initiative, Chelsea Clinton teaches at New York University and is studying remotely at Oxford University.
OK, now to football and the NFL referees lockout and the new pressure on the league to settle after the Monday night football debacle. Most fans think the replacement refs blew that call, but the NFL is not backing from their decision to the dismay of many Packers' fans.
Green Bay's mayor has now sent a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell asking for his help in bringing the regular refs back. The league and the refs union met yesterday, but there is no word on progress.
CNN's Brian Todd has more on the labor dispute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After three weeks of controversy and complaint, the NFL's replacement referees literally decide the outcome of at least one game.
On a desperation pass into the end zone, M.D. Jennings of the Green Bay Packers appears to catch the ball for an interception, but the refs rule the Seattle Seahawks Golden Tate also has the possession. By rule, the tie goes to the offensive player, Tate. After a replay review --
UNIDENTIFIED REFEREE: The call on the field stands, touchdown.
TODD: The Seahawks win. Packers fume.
MIKE MCCARTHY, GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH: Don't ask me a question about the officials, all right? We'll cut to the chase right there. I've never seen anything like that in all my years in football.
AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK: Look at the replay and then the fact that it was reviewed is awful. That's all I'm going to say about it.
TODD: Tame compared to the tweets, which went viral from Packers offensive guard T.J. Lang got f-- by the refs, embarrassing, thanks, NFL. Even President Obama tweeted, "NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon."
This is after a disputed field goal gave the Baltimore Ravens a one point win over the New England Patriots and a series of botched calls and misapplied rules that have driven coaches, players, and fans crazy.
All this because of a labor dispute between the NFL and its regular referees that began when the league locked out the refs in June.
(on camera): The referees want more money asking more than the NFL's offer to increase the salaries from $149,000 a year to $189,000. Compare that to the median NFL player's salary, $770,000 a year.
It's important to remember the average NFL playing career is only 3.5 years and most of the refs have other careers so these aren't full- time jobs for them.
(voice-over): The NFL wants to make the refs full time and to add more refs so the average referee would make less money. They want to move them to from a pension system to a 401k.
But in the context of a business that brings in $9.5 billion a year, it seems relatively solvable. Red Cashion, an NFL referee for 25 years who worked two Super Bowls told me he doesn't blame the replacement refs who have been pulled from small colleges, high schools and lower level pro leagues.
(on camera): What were they not ready for at this level of the game?
RED CASHION, FORMER NFL REFEREE: Well, it's a combination of speed, things that happen. These folks are not used to these million dollar athletes. They're not used to 70,000, 80,000 fans in the stands or plays that happen with quickness and severity and the talent that these guys have.
TODD (voice-over): Cashion says it takes two years to get used to that speed, to see the game in slower motion. The NFL issued a statement on the Seahawks game saying it supports the decision not to overturn the on field ruling.
But the league also said there should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference against the Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, which would have ended the game in Green Bay's favor. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Coming up later in this hour, we'll hear from a lawmaker who now has a bill to ban NFL replacement refs.
First it was Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, now it seems Wells Fargo is the latest victim in a string of cyber attacks.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: The United Nations is gearing up for a visit by one of the world's most controversial leaders. The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will address delegates in just about an hour.
You're looking at live pictures now from inside the United Nations. Speaking right now, that is the grand duke of Luxembourg. Delegates are meeting for the U.N.'s General Assembly as you, but let's head to Jerusalem now and check in with CNN's Sara Sidner.
Sara, I'm just wondering as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech approaches, what are people saying in Israel?
SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting because today the Israeli leaders have been absolutely silent on the fact that he is going to be speaking, but that is because this is the most important holiday on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
It is quite here in Israel. There are no cars in the streets. No newspapers being published. But you can bet that there will be people who will either read what he said in his speech or actually listen to it and will certainly hear some responses in the day after he speaks.
As you know, he is expected to also -- we're going to hear from Netanyahu on Thursday who will speak to the U.N. General Assembly. We'll certainly hear some comments there. But in the days that have led up to this, we did hear from the deputy prime minister who talked about the tensions between Iran and Israel.
And the fact that they believe Iran is working on nuclear weaponry. He said, look, a regime that uses such incendiary comments that make such threatens Israel and other countries, but particularly threatens Israel the way that it does, should never be allowed to get nuclear weaponry.
But here in Israel there is a conversation that's beginning to happen, a very small group of people. They are against war. They are against nuclear proliferation. They say, look, Israel's policy on the nuclear situation.
It's nuclear policy of saying it doesn't confirm or deny that it has nuclear weapons could be seen as a threat to its neighbors. Let's hear what they have to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON DOLEV, ISRAELI DIARMAMENT MOVEMENT: Israel is a country that has nuclear weapons and says no to peace initiatives. I think that is seen as threatening to others.
GERALD STEINBERG, POLITICAL SCIENTIST: It neither confirms nor denies. There's no testing. There's nothing to say this is a threat to the other countries in the region. Iran is exactly the opposite.
(END VIDEO CLIP) SIDNER: So you're hearing there the argument with people saying, look, there is a double standard there. Israel is believed to have nuclear weapons. It's treated as a state that has nuclear weapons and yet it's telling Iran it cannot have nuclear weapons.
That being said, Israeli leaders have always said, look, look at the threats that are made against us. Threats recently we heard this month, for example, from one of the commanders in Iran who basically said if Israel strikes Iran, Iran will retaliate and there will be nothing left of Israel.
Those kinds of comments really, really make people nervous here. Of course, you have a population here very concerned that there may possibly be a war between Iran and Israel.
COSTELLO: Sara Sidner reporting live from Jerusalem this morning. Thank you.
We have to update you on Greece because the protests are now turning violent. Police are firing tear gas into a crowd of a group of protestors who earlier hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at riot police.
These protesters have gathered in cities across Greece to demonstrate against $14 billion in budget cuts. You've heard the term austerity? Well, these protesters don't like it one bit. We'll check back if anything else develops.
Wells Fargo may be the latest victim in a string of cyber attacks. Its web site was disrupted. Now a Muslim group is taking responsibility and saying the attacks will continue until the anti- Islamist film is taken off of YouTube.
Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange. Tell us more.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol. So Wells Fargo at this point isn't confirming that it was in fact an apparent cyber attack. But what they are telling us is some of its users actually had intermittent access issues on Tuesday.
They couldn't get on all the time all day. We went ahead and looked at sitedown.co, which tracks web site outages and it turns out that web site got almost 500 complaints.
The head of the site told the "Wall Street Journal" that that is significant as Wells Fargo rarely has issues with its web site. Now all of this is coming after similar outages at Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. This was last week.
Some online attacker group have claimed responsibility for all of this saying it's retaliation for the "Innocence of Muslim" film. While that is looking more likely, those claims have yet to be verified.
Wells Fargo is not commenting on the source of the problem. Now one thing to note in these types of attacks, Carol, that these websites are usually hit with a huge flood of traffic to try to slow them down or knock them out entirely.
So I just want to know here that no customer information was breached in any of these situations -- Carol.
COSTELLO: That's a good thing. Alison Kosik reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange.
Both presidential candidates battling it out in Ohio today. A new poll in that state shows President Obama with a double digit lead. Only question, with 41 days until the election, can he keep it?
COSTELLO: One of the most contentious issues dividing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in this election is immigration. What should America do with millions of undocumented immigrants living, studying and working here?
Casey Wian has a look at their competing plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Angelica Hernandez was 9 when she first crossed the border with her mother and sister.
ANGELICA HERNANDEZ, UNDOCUMENTED STUDENT: I still remember crossing the desert, having to sleep in the desert because it was getting late. We had been walking for hours. My mom would hold, you know, my sister in one arm and me on the other arm and, you know, just pray that nothing would happen.
WIAN: But their human smuggler was pulled over for speeding and they were deported. Their second crossing succeeded. Entering school as a fourth grader, Hernandez was teased because she spoke no English.
But now, County Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu has spent much of his military and law enforcement career battling human smugglers. Deputies in his county, 70 miles north of the border last year engaged in 350 high speed pursuits involving drug and human smugglers.
PAUL BABEU, PINAL COUNTY SHERIFF: They look at these people, these humans as product. They don't care about their safety. They'll leave them for dead. They get in a wreck and just walk away.
WIAN: Babeu strongly supports Arizona laws cracking down on illegal immigration.
BABEU: The impact has been so tremendous, not only billions of dollars in impact to our budget, but the crimes that are associated. Many crimes committed against the illegals themselves.
WIAN: The sheriff and the student, one trying to enforce the law, the other trying to stay a step ahead of it. Angelica Hernandez, the little girl who couldn't speak English this week begins work ones her master's degrees at Stanford. Hernandez graduated from Arizona State despite losing the scholarship twice because of Arizona laws restricting benefits for illegal immigrants.
HERNANDEZ: Being a documented, it's something that gives you so many different qualities and strengthens you because you learn to overcome so many things.
WIAN: Now she's filling out paperwork to apply for President Obama's Deferred Action program giving temporary legal status to young illegal immigrants.
HERNANDEZ: It is an election year so we don't know if he did it because of that or, you know, he's trying to get the Latino vote, but in the end we knew it was a win for us.
WIAN: Not for Babeu who sees it as an unenforceable federal mandate and another lure bringing hundreds of thousands of people through his county illegally.
BABEU: President Obama wants to talk about what do we do with these 10 million to 20 million people. Well, a lot of Americans, including myself, say before we have that discussion, let's secure the border. We as a country have not enforced the law and because of that, we're at the situation we're at today.
WIAN: Hernandez is ineligible for a driver's license in Arizona. On this day, she's going to have a photo taken for her Deferred Action application essentially breaking the law to become legal.
She worries Mitt Romney would end the Deferred Action program leaving her ineligible for the job she wants in alternative energy when she finishes grad school.
Babeu worries President Obama will legalize more illegal immigrants and keep his deputies busy chasing smugglers. Casey Wian, CNN, Pinal County, Arizona.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: This bit of news just in to CNN. We understand the U.S. delegation will not be attending Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech. As you know, the Iranian president is expected to give his big speech later this afternoon.
Well, no U.S. officials will be in the audience to hear him. It will walk out. We'll keep you posted if anything new develops. No big names were expected to be there anyway, but the rest of the delegation decided to walk out as well. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be back with much more.
COSTELLO: All right. A pretty incredible picture. This is what the protests look like outside the United Nations building in New York City. You see that's actually the Syrian flag. These people are protesting.
We're trying to get one of our producers to a live camera. She's in the middle of that somewhere, but as you know, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, is expected to address the assembly in just about half hour to 45 minutes.
We learned in the last few minutes that the U.S. delegation will not be attending Ahmadinejad's speech, it's decided to walk out. Well I hear our producer is walking off that podium. Anyway when we get her up and she has information for us, we'll pass it along.
But we -- we just wanted to show you these large protests going on right now outside the United Nations building in New York City.
All right. Let's talk about politics. More politics, actually. Out on the campaign trail, both candidates are hitting the key battleground state of Ohio today. And they're hitting it hard. Mitt Romney's bus tour makes three stops in Ohio today while President Obama makes two.
After a new Quinnipiac/CBS News/"New York Times" poll shows Mitt Romney trailing President Obama in Ohio among registered voters by 10 points. Now even though the polls show President Obama in the lead Ohio is a must win for the Romney campaign. No Republican presidential candidate has ever won the White House without winning the state of Ohio.
CNN political director Mark Preston is in Washington. So that's a pretty stunning poll, don't you think?
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: It is, Carol. And it's got to be very disturbing right now for the Romney campaign. Because when you dig into those numbers a little bit deeper, you see that President Obama has a 15-point advantage over Mitt Romney when it comes to women and Mitt Romney only has an eight point advantage over Barack Obama when it comes to men.
But even more startling, for somebody who is trying to make this campaign all about the economy, when the question was asked who would do a better job handling the economy, Barack Obama comes in at 51 percent, Mitt Romney 45 percent.
But you know what, Carol, he did try to make that case today. Just a short time ago Mitt Romney at a campaign rally tried to sell this argument to his supporters. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don't believe we can afford four more years like the last four years and the reason I believe that after the debates and after the campaigns and after all of the ads are over, the people of Ohio are going to say loud and clear on November 6th, we can't afford four more years. We must do better.
(END VIDEO CLIP) PRESTON: And you know what, Carol, at this rally he tried to offer a five-point plan that he said would get the economy back on track. Much of it was Republican talking points we've heard in the past; more domestic energy production. Better environment for small business. Criticism of the teacher unions among several others -- Carol.
COSTELLO: All right, Mark Preston reporting live for us from Washington.
President Obama also making stops in Ohio today at two universities, actually. He'll be at Bowling Green State University and Kent State University later today. According to that new poll, one thing the President does not have to worry about at least it appears, is the youth vote.
According to the new poll that we mentioned, President Obama is ahead of Romney by a staggering 35 points among voters under the age of 35.
White House correspondent Dan Lothian live in Washington. Dan, I found it kind of interesting that the President is going to visit Kent State and Bowling Green and not, let's say, Ohio State. I mean Kent and Bowling Green are more in blue collar areas of the State of Ohio. Columbus is more white collar.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. But nonetheless what you see there is the President reaching out to those younger voters as you were pointing out. They have strong support among this group. There had been a lot of concern earlier on whether or not the President could recapture some of the enthusiasm that he had among young people back in 2008.
Some of them were frustrated, disappointment -- disappointed rather with this administration and had sort of raised some concerns about where their support would come in this election.
And so you've seen the President spend a lot of time on college campuses talking about Pell grants, talking about making it easier for students to be able to afford to go to college. Really trying to, again, recapture some of the strong support that he had in 2008 among young people who were critical to that election victory.
COSTELLO: Oh Dan, I'm sorry. I'm distracted because we have this breaking news out of New York City with those protesters. But I did hear a little bit of what you were saying. Earlier we -- we went to Kent State University live and the President is getting a massive reception there so it appears that that young voters are enthusiastic. Of course the big question is will they go to the polls and actually vote.
LOTHIAN: That's right. And you know it's not just young people that the President is seeing in terms of Ohio. He's also seeing just voters in general sort of buying into the President's message there. You pointed out the poll numbers that we're seeing in that critical state of Ohio. The President has been there 39 times since taking office, by our count 13 times so far this year. So that gives you an idea of how important that state is. And the message that the President again will be hammering away on today will be his economic recovery message. You hear him talk so much about the auto bailout, which is important to the voters in Ohio because that is a state that's very dependent on the auto industry.
You look at the unemployment rate there. About a year ago, in 2011, the unemployment rate was at 8.8 percent. This past August the numbers came out, unemployment rate now at 7.2 percent. And the President, his message is that this auto bailout is part of the recovery story. You'll hear the President talk about that today during his two stops in Ohio.
All right, Dan Lothian reporting live for us from the White House. Thank you, Dan.
And as I said, we are keeping an eye on those protests outside the United Nation's building in New York City. Our producer, we found her in that crowd. And she'll join us after the break.
COSTELLO: All right, in just about a half hour the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will address the General Assembly of the United Nations. And as you might expect his pending speech is causing quite the uproar in New York City.
These are pictures taken outside of the United Nations building. As you can see there is a very large protest there. They're holding Syrian flags. We also reported within the last couple of minutes that the U.S. delegation to the United Nations will not be attending Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech. And here's why. They sent us this statement by e-mail, quote, "Over the past couple of days we've seen Mr. Ahmadinejad once again use his trip to the U.N. not to address the legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people but to instead spout paranoid theories and repulsive slurs against Israel."
This is from United Nations General Assembly spokesperson Aaron Pelton.
So the U.S. delegation will not be in attendance when President Ahmadinejad speaks.
Now let's find out more about those protesters. Who they are and why they're protesting. Kiran Khalid one of our producers is live in New York City. Tell us about these protests.
KIRAN KHALID, CNN PRODUCER: Well Carol if there was ever any question about how polarizing President Ahmadinejad is this protest is a testament to that fact. Take a look behind me. This crowd is already in the thousands. It's expected to reach up to 10,000 today. We're not quite sure about that number just yet and I should also mention that this is a combination rally, not just to oppose Ahmadinejad and his message and his full speed ahead plan for a nuclear Iran but also against Bashar al Assad and in favor of Syria and stopping the civil war in Syria. Also among the protesters are those celebrating the fact that a revolutionary group known as MEK the People Mujahedin of Iran has also been told as of last week that they are going to be removed from the State Department terror list.
So it's a conglomeration of all of those different movements, but really Ahmadinejad as flash point all of these people are protesting the fact that he's going to be taking the global stage within an hour -- Carol.
COSTELLO: So help us understand why Syrians might be protesting Iran. I see on one of those signs that people seem to be upset that Iran is supposedly supplying arms to the Syrian government.
KHALID: Absolutely. That's the series (ph) of flash point in the Middle East. And it certainly is a big rally as well. Lots of people here who are -- they're supposed to appear. I have the list of pictures I can show calling to freedom in Syria. Lots of people over there that has family here and those family members who are among those in this rally who are protesting what's happening in Syria as well as Iran support of Assad.
COSTELLO: All right, Kiran Khalid. Thanks for filling us in.
And as you know, there's a terrible civil war going on right now in Syria. Many people, many leaders, including our own, calling for the ouster of President Assad who allegedly has been killing his own people in an effort to keep his seat.
We'll have much more on the protests outside the United Nations in the hours to come on CNN.
And of course, we'll be covering Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech which will come your way in about a half hour.
Let's talk football now, huh. Banning the replacement refs, the New Jersey Senate president is now pushing a bill to do just that. You'll hear from him next.
COSTELLO: It is 47 minutes past the hour. Let's check our top stories, shall we?
London's phone hacking scandal has been given a court date. Former "News of the World" executives will go on trial next September. A British judge set the date earlier this morning as former chief executive Rebekah Brooks and six other staffers appeared in court.
It may look like a tornado out there over the water in Lake Michigan. But it's actually called a water spout. Water spouts often happen this time of year during violent weather like we've seen from southern Illinois through Ohio.
Stores are getting ready to hear those cash registers ring. Holiday hiring gets a boost. This as consumers say they are ready to spend. Stores like Toys 'r' Us, Kohl's and Wal-Mart adding tens of thousands of workers prepping for the biggest shopping season of the year.
From Model T to the -- let's check the Dow, shall we? It's down 34 points as you saw but still over 13,000.
Ok. Let's talk about this, from the Model T to the electric car, automobiles have changed a lot over the years. Now the car is undergoing its biggest change yet. Hey, mom, no driver. We'll take you for a spin.
COSTELLO: Ref rage still running high after the Monday night football debacle. Even politicians are pushing for a resolution between the NFL and the regular refs. New Jersey State senate president, Steve Sweeney is going one step farther though. He's actually introducing a bill in New Jersey to ban replacement refs from Giants and Jets home games. I talked with him last hour and asked him why he's getting involved.
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STEVE SWEENEY, NEW JERSEY STATE SENATE PRESIDENT: Because honestly the NFL's committing consumer fraud on the public. You know, they can put anybody in a uniform and say they're referees, they're not. People spend a lot of money to go to NFL games and there's a lot of money invested in NFL games. And they're committing fraud right now on the public and it's not right.
You know, we license boxing officials to make sure that the boxers are safe. These players' health is at risk and it's just wrong what the NFL is doing. You know, during the summer they said they would never allow these refs to go into the league. They're in the league. It's week three. I was on the radio with the commissioner of the Lingerie Football League yesterday and he told me that some of the people that were actually officiating these games were fired from his league. So that's what we have in a game that we really truly enjoy. It's not fair to the consumer, that's why.
COSTELLO: Well, I'd like to ask you this. In the end when all is said and done, it's just a football game, right?
SWEENEY: Sure it is. And look, there's a whole lot of important things to do right now focused on trying to raise the minimum wage in the state of New Jersey but, again, this is about consumers. And this is fraud being committed in this entire country. It's not fair to the people that actually support this league.
We got sued by the NFL when we passed a law to allow sports betting in New Jersey because their issue was the integrity of the game. You can't have it both ways. You can't have fake officials. Again, me or you can put a uniform on and do better as an official and do a better job on what these are doing.
They're high school Lingerie League Football officials that were fired. It's not what we're paying for, you know. Fraud is when you pay for something and you get a lesser product than what you paid for. This is wrong.
COSTELLO: Ok. So bottom line, Mike, what chances does this bill that you've introduced -- have you introduced it yet? I'm not sure. What are the chances that it will pass the New Jersey state legislature and that Chris Christie will sign it into lawn?
SWEENEY: Listen, I can't get a promise from the governor. I haven't spoken to him yet. But I can tell you I'm the senate president and I can pass it in the Senate there. And I'll work with the assembly to get it passed. This is just a fairness issue. This is wrong. Players' safety is at risk.
Let's get beyond this. Do the right thing by the American public. These guys are billionaire owners. How about thinking about their fans for once.
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COSTELLO: The New York Giants, by the way, are thanking Sweeney for his concern but say they are hopeful negotiators can reach a deal.
A car with no driver. Sounds like something, you know, out of the future, but you could see driverless cars on the road right next to you much sooner than you think.
COSTELLO: A trip to the grocery store could be all you need for a healthier skin. In this "Daily Dose, anti-aging expert and dermatologist, Dr. Nicholas Perricone says eating certain foods could get the job done.
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DR. NICHOLAS PERRICONE, DERMATOLOGIST: Did you know that invisible inflammation is going on in our skin and inside of our bodies all the time? And it leads to aging and aging-related diseases. Mostly what's causing it are foods we eat. There are pro-inflammatory foods like sugars and starches and there are anti-inflammatory like fruits and vegetables and cold water fish.
Salmon is really high in Omega-3's. And there are natural anti- inflammatories that gives our skins radiance. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries -- they are rich in antioxidants. And anti- oxidants are natural anti-inflammatories. We bring information down on our skin, radiance comes up.
And finally a handful of nuts like walnuts or almonds makes a difference because it contains essential fats. Once again, natural anti-inflammatories. You want to turn off the inflammatory process which was aging, sagging and limping, then you have to eat correctly.
Remember, it's beauty from the inside out.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: A clarification to our lead story on new home sales. The government has revised those figures now. We want to bring the new numbers to you. They're not quite as optimistic. New home sales are actually down 0.3 percent -- 0. 3 percent Previously those reported numbers were up at the top of the hour.
Go to CNN Money for complete reporting on new home sales.
If you're in California and you see a car traveling without a driver, do not be alarmed. Google is giving its driverless car a real life road test. California's governor has approved legislation to allow Google to use the prototype cars on public streets, in traffic. And if things go well, you will see a lot more of these driverless cars.
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SERGEY BRIN, CO-FOUNDER, GOOGLE: We have been testing, of course, on the streets with our engineers. We're trying to allow a broader subset of our employees to test them in the near future, within the year. See a lot more of these driverless cars.
We have been testing, of course, on the streets with our engineers. We're trying to allow a broader subset of our employees to test them in the near future, might be done within the year. And I would hope that people can more broadly utilize this technology within several years after that.
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COSTELLO: There is a catch to the new law. The car must have a human passenger in it who can quickly take over in case, you know, something goes wrong.
Thank you for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
"CNN NEWSROOM" continues right now with Ashleigh Banfield.