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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
NRA Call for Armed Guards in All Schools; Senator Kerry Nominated for Secretary of State; Possible New Gun Control Laws; Pope Pardons Butler; Margaret Thatcher Surgery; Imprisoned Marine Released in Mexico; Russia Moves to Ban U.S. Adoptions of Russian Children; Fiscal Cliff Meltdown; Eating Like a Local: Cleveland, Ohio
Aired December 22, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. It's 8:00 am on the East Coast, 5:00 am out west. Thanks for starting your day with us. Victor Blackwell is on assignment.
We start with a response to the call for new gun laws in the wake of the Newtown shooting. It comes from the powerful National Rifle Association and here's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Randi.
NRA officials were largely quiet in the days after the shooting in Connecticut, saying they wanted to show respect for the families up there, give people time to mourn. But now they are speaking up and they have a lot to say.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Despite protesters, the president and public opinion increasingly pushing against the gun lobby, the National Rifle Association sent a sharp message through its leader, Wayne LaPierre: no retreat.
WAYNE LAPIERRE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.
FOREMAN: In a wide-ranging statement, LaPierre condemned the violence in Connecticut, Colorado and other places, but steered the blame decisively away from guns or gun law. (INAUDIBLE) basted legislators who have put laws into place restricting guns around schools.
LAPIERRE: And in doing so, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The NRA has blood on its hands.
FOREMAN: Despite twice being interrupted by protesters, LaPierre went on to attack the media for making killers famous in the news and glorifying them in movies and video games. LAPIERRE: A child growing up in America today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the time he or she reaches the ripe old age of 18. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment?
FOREMAN: LaPierre announced plans for what he calls a national school shield program to recruit and train volunteers to thwart such attacks. But details on precisely how that might work remain unclear. For all their statements, NRA officials are still not answering questions.
FOREMAN: Some of this is almost certainly a reminder to Congress members from all over the country that the NRA has a lot of clout, not just here in Washington, but in many state and local races. A reminder that that may come to bear if some of those lawmakers get on board with this idea of new gun laws that the NRA might make them pay at the polls -- Randi.
KAYE: Thank you, Tom.
The NRA statement came one week to the day of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and just 90 minutes after people across the nation observed a moment of silence honoring those victims.
In Hartford, Connecticut, a touching scene, the bell ringing for each of the victims, each little angel receiving their wings.
You are looking now at some live pictures of the White House and Capitol Hill, but the people who could get a deal done on the fiscal cliff impasse, well, they're not there. Lawmakers have gone home for the holiday recess. And President Obama and the first family arrived in Hawaii just a short time ago.
The president and lawmakers are expected to return Thursday after the Christmas break. Before leaving Washington, Mr. Obama and House Speaker John Boehner both expressed hope that a deal will actually get done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: We can't cut our way to prosperity. We need real economic growth. Many of us believe on both sides of the aisle that the fundamental reform of our tax code will help us get our economy moving faster and put more Americans back to work and more Americans on the tax rolls. How we get there, God only knows.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: During the course of these negotiations, I offered a compromise with Republicans in Congress, I met them halfway on taxes and I met them more than halfway on spending. In terms of actual dollar amounts, we're not that far apart. As of today, I am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: But time is running out. To reach an agreement, there are now just 10 days left until automatic tax hikes and spending cuts do take effect. The Dow closed down nearly 121 points on Friday over fiscal cliff fears. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ also finished in some negative territory for the day. Investors fear the country could slide back into recession if there's no deal to prevent automatic tax hikes and spending cuts.
Staying in Washington, Senator John Kerry is in line for a new job. President Obama officially nominated Kerry to be the next secretary of state. He's currently the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that she wanted to leave the job after President Obama's first term.
Well, a white Christmas is in the forecast for some of us. But with it, we may see some unwanted weather. The Midwest got its share this week with a blizzard in Iowa and more than a foot of snow in Wisconsin. The system that caused this is expected to dump inches in western Pennsylvania and upstate New York today.
As for Christmas, the big day, let's check in with meteorologist Alexandra Steele. She knows she has all the answers on who is going to see a white Christmas.
Good morning, Alexandra.
KAYE: We have much more ahead this hour. Here is a look at what we have coming up.
From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
You're not welcome here. That may be Russia's message to hundreds of American families. Why Amnesty International says new legislation would have a chilling effect on human rights.
More guns. That's the NRA's solution for preventing another school massacre. All morning long we put gun control in focus.
An Olympian with a double life, why Susie Favor Hamilton apologized for her second career in Las Vegas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HALBREICH, OWNER, STODDARD'S RANGE AND GUNS: We're definitely noticing an increase in terms of sales. Right now, I would say there's a significant amount of panic buying. Ever since there was an announcement made that there might be a reinstitution of the assault weapons ban, people are looking to make sure they can get these guns for their own use, for own pleasure use, for their own self defense. I believe that as a result, people are probably acting a little irrationally. We don't know what's going to happen. We don't know what types of policies will be suggested or implemented.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Welcome back. The shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, have sparked renewed debate over gun control in America and prompted President Obama to take immediate action on reforming existing laws. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: This is not some Washington commission. This is a team that has a very specific task, to pull together real reforms right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: And at the core of the debate is the Second Amendment. Let's bring in CNN legal contributor Paul Callan. Paul, good morning.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, Randi.
KAYE: The president sounds very serious about stiffening gun laws. But does the Second Amendment, when you look at it, does the Second Amendment to the constitution prevent Congress from passing tougher gun laws at all?
CALLAN: No, it doesn't. I think a lot of people were worried because in this recent Supreme Court decision, the Heller decision, which basically affirmed that there is an individual right to bear arms, that that would prevent the Congress from placing restrictions. But no, it doesn't.
The Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment permits people to keep weapons in their house for self protection, but it doesn't say anything about high-capacity ammunition magazines. It doesn't say anything about what kinds of guns we're allowed to keep. Certainly, well-reasoned restrictions are perfectly legal under the Second Amendment.
KAYE: If tougher gun laws are passed by Congress that outlaw the assault rifles and those large ammunition clips that, unfortunately, we've had to talk so much about, what would this mean for the gun owners who currently have them?
CALLAN: Well, this is an important question. I think when we talk about gun control, we ultimately -- really, it's a political question because there are 450 million firearms in America at this moment. There's a huge amount of weaponry out there. Some of those are these -- what we call assault weapons. Gun enthusiasts say they're just sort of rifles that you can change the configuration of and you only have to pull the trigger once and one bullet comes out so they're not machine guns or automatic weapons. Those weapons that you could put a high capacity clip into have been involved in a lot of these mass killings. And certainly there's going to be a major battle about whether people who already have those guns can have the guns taken away from them.
CALLAN: From a legal standpoint, Randi, yes, you could take them away. We take people's land away. It's called eminent domain. You pay them for it when you take the property back. Yes, it could be done. Politically, will we try to do it? We never have in the past. So I don't know whether the political will is there to do it.
KAYE: I want to ask you about this new CNN/ORC poll that shows 52 percent of Americans favor major restrictions on guns or making all guns illegal. What influence do you think this might have on Congress or the courts? Any influence at all?
CALLAN: I think it has a big influence and I think that through the years, you hit a tipping point on issues where the public finally starts to say, hey, something has got to be done. And you know, I think this shooting in Connecticut is a tipping point. And if the Obama administration acts quickly, there may be a chance to put some new regulations in place. But unfortunately, the public has had a short memory on these things.
The other thing you have to remember is the NRA says more than 50 percent of Americans support gun ownership. And statistically, a lot more people than you think have guns in their homes. I've seen the statistic. More than 65 percent of people who identify as Republicans have guns in their homes. More than 25 percent of Democrats do. And so a lot of people have guns in their homes. They believe in it. So it's always difficult to pass regulations that restrict gun ownership.
KAYE: This isn't even the first time that a U.S. president has gone after gun laws on assault rifles and those large ammo clips. What do you think is the difference this first time around? And will whatever that is make a difference?
CALLAN: I think the difference here is that children were involved. And I think that this is something -- don't care where you live, who you are, whether you're a gun enthusiast or not. You look at this and you say we've got to find a way to prevent this from happening.
You know, the NRA is saying you need trained security people to protect these schools. Other people are saying, no, we need no more guns. Is it realistic to think that we can eliminate all guns? Probably not.
But you know something? I think we're at a tipping point now where people are saying we need new laws. We need something, something to prevent this.
And my feeling is, in the end, they're going to go after these assault weapons and these high-capacity clips so that somebody can't go in with a gun that can fire large amounts of ammunition. I think probably that's an area everybody -- most people will agree with now and then we can move on to the harder questions later.
KAYE: Sounds like a plan that we may see unfold. Paul Callan, thank you very much. Nice to see you.
CALLAN: Always nice being with you, Randi.
KAYE: We're going to tell you that we did reach out to 43 senators of the incoming 113th Congress who have an A or A plus rating by the NRA and not one of them agreed to join us this morning for a conversation.
Coming up at 10:00 a.m. this morning Eastern time, I'll be joined by Virginia state lawmaker who is proposing a new law to arm teachers in his state.
Russia could be closing its doors to some American families and we'll explain why.
KAYE: Welcome back, 22 minutes past the hour now.
This morning the pope pardoned his former butler who was in prison for leaking private Vatican documents. Paolo Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months in prison for aggravated theft in October. The high-profile scandal became known as "Vatileaks." The Vatican says the pope personally visited Gabriele before his release, confirmed his forgiveness.
A former U.S. Marine who was imprisoned in Mexico for four months has been reunited with his family. John Hammer was released yesterday partly thanks to work from U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. Hammer was imprisoned on a questionable charge after police found him with an antique shotgun. His parents say that U.S. officials told him it was OK to cross the border with that gun. You see it there. Mexican officials accused him of violating their laws.
A spokeswoman for Margaret Thatcher says the former British prime minister is doing fine after surgery. The 87-year-old Thatcher is recuperating in a London hospital after having a growth removed from her bladder. Thatcher has cut back dramatically on public appearances after suffering a series of mild strokes.
Now to Russia, where the country is moving to ban U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children. It already passed one house of parliament. U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is criticizing the move, saying this: we are very concerned by measures that would link the fate of orphaned children to unrelated political issues.
I spoke with our Nadia Bilchik about this story earlier today.
KAYE: Why are they doing this? I mean what are the political issues that McFaul is referring to.
NADIA BILCHIK, CNN EDITORIAL PRODUCER: This is direct retaliation for something called the Magnitsky Act. And this is a U.S. act that was passed earlier this year that freezes the assets of Russian officials accused of human rights violations. Particularly in reference to Sergei Magnitsky, who was an anti-corruption lawyer that was found murdered in prison in 2009. KAYE: You know, we've talked a lot about the case of this mother in Tennessee who had adopted a child from Russia --
KAYE: Couldn't take it anymore. Said he was misbehaving. I think he'd even threatened her. Sent him back. Just put him on a plane. Would this have anything to do with a case like that?
BILCHIK: Definitely a contributing factor. And that was a horrific case and it ricocheted around the world. There was also another case of a young boy called Dima Yakovlev, and he was found in a sweltering car with the windows up, left unattended by his American father who had adopted him. So there's been several incidents like that, that have definitely exacerbated the situation. But the real catalyst in the ban is the retaliation for the Magnitsky Act.
KAYE: And what about -- what will parents of the U.S. do, because Russia is such a popular spot for them to go?
BILCHIK: It's a difficult one. It's third in terms of American adoptions. First is China. Second is Ethiopia. And, third, Russia. There were about 45,000 adoptions of Russian children by Americans since 1999. And, you know, Randi, yesterday I spoke to various adoption agencies, people who had adopted from Russia, people who are hoping to. So those hoping to don't know what's going to happen. One assumes that on Wednesday, the upper house of parliament will pass this, but Putin still has to sign it. And he said on Thursday he's going to look at it very carefully. But he is furious with the Americans because of this Magnitsky Act.
KAYE: And what happens if there's an adoption already in process?
BILCHIK: It's unknown at this point. One assumes that it will go through. But I spoke to people who are very anxious.
KAYE: I'm sure.
BILCHIK: And at the end of this, children who are waiting to be adopted. So they're not quite sure yet what's going to happen.
KAYE: All right, Nadia, I know you'll keep an eye on that for us. Thank you. Appreciate it.
KAYE: Well if you're having breakfast this morning, you might want to consider if you're eating cereal, you might want to consider possibly eating that cereal dry in the future. We'll tell you how inaction from Congress could double the price that you pay for a gallon of milk.
KAYE: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. Thanks so much for starting your morning with us. Here are five stories that we're watching this morning. Amid tight security, Egyptians are having their say on a controversial new constitution for their country. This is the second and final round of voting. It follows weeks of sometimes violent protests.
The referendum is expected to pass, but there have been allegations of voter intimidation and bribery. Critics say the draft charter will increase Islamist power. Supporters say it will boost Egypt's stability.
Three people have been arrested in connection with the deadly house explosion in Indianapolis. And here they are. Two of those suspects lived in the house that blew up. That explosion killed two of their neighbors all three facing both felony murder and arson charges.
The Massachusetts company linked to a deadly nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis has filed for bankruptcy protection. Health agencies say the New England Compounding Center did not follow sterilization procedures for a steroid that it distributed. 620 meningitis cases were reported. 39 people died after they were injected. The company says it will establish a fund to compensate individuals and the families that were affected by it.
California's ban on conversion therapy for gay minors has been put on hold. A federal appeals panel has slapped an emergency injunction on it. Some people believe conversion therapy can help turn a gay person straight. The ban would have gone into effect on January 1st and prevented people under age 18 from undergoing the controversial treatment. A therapist and several other people have filed suit to overturn it.
Got milk? It may be a lot more expensive to answer yes to that question come the New Year. If a new agriculture bill isn't passed by Congress support for dairy farmers will revert to a statute that dates back to 1949. Essentially the government would be forced to buy milk at double the average cost. That could push the price for a gallon of milk to over $7.
Well, the drama on Capitol Hill continues. Members of Congress get to go home for the holiday weekend. But forget about getting a Christmas gift in the form of a fiscal budget deal this season. In the end, House Speaker John Boehner just could not persuade his own party to support him and his Plan B to raise taxes on Americans making $1 million or more. So, he pulled the bill from the floor. The plan was significant, because Republican leaders had insisted that they wouldn't raise rates on anyone.
Here to help us sort out what happens next, which we all want to know, is Bloomberg TV anchor Trish Regan. Trish, good morning.
TRISH REGAN, BLOOMBERG TV ANCHOR: Good morning, Randi.
KAYE: So yet another week of drama in Washington. This move by Boehner, though, leaves the fiscal cliff negotiation in more limbo. What happens to all of us if no deal is reached ten days from now?
REGAN: Well we're all going to see our taxes go up. I mean, that's the reality here. So if we go through this cliff, taxes on every American will go up. We will also see the payroll cut -- the payroll tax cut end. So that's another thing that we'll wind up paying. And don't forget, there's two million people right now that are getting an extension on their unemployment benefits. That will end as well. So a little bit less money, Randi, in everybody's pockets.
KAYE: Yes and stock markets, certainly we were watching the markets yesterday. They've taken a dive. Why is that? What is the connection? And do you see this continuing?
REGAN: All right, well the consumer basically, Randi, accounts for about two-thirds of this overall economy. So consumer spending is critical to having a healthy economy. So if the consumer is being taxed more, doesn't have as much money to spend, the expectation is that the consumer will pull back.
You've also get something else going on. And that's that there's a lot of uncertainty in the C suite, CEOs are saying I don't know what the landscape is going to look like over the next six months. Thus I'm not willing to hire right now. So that's having an effect.
Finally you know investors don't like the idea that Washington can't quite get it together. They want to see lawmakers be able to come up with a solution. And the idea that it's boiled down to so much political bickering really bothers them. Don't forget, we saw our debt downgraded for the first time ever because Washington couldn't really pull it together. And the thought is if we blow through this fiscal cliff, we could see another debt downgrade as well.
KAYE: Is there any danger, do you think, in -- in coming up with some -- a short-term deal, which sounds like the direction that they might be heading in, after listening to the President late yesterday evening, and then maybe trying to figure out the rest of this down the road? Is there any risk in doing this?
REGAN: No I don't think there's necessarily a lot of risk there. I think investors would like to see something happen. They would like to see Washington be able to put some kind of band-aid together just to get us over this hump.
And I think the expectation is hopefully Washington will do that. The market is anticipating that something will come forward, will get us through this tough spot and that you know in January, in February we'll come up with some kind of grand bargain, if you would, that would address these longer term issues like entitlements, et cetera, that have to be dealt with.
KAYE: Yes. Could anything good come out of actually going over the cliff?
REGAN: Well you would see cuts in spending. And the reality is we're running deficits upwards of $1 trillion, which we simply can't afford. We've got $16 trillion worth of debt. So if we go through this cliff, it will force our country to have to cut spending. But on the flip side, it means higher taxes out of everyone's pocket at a time when the economy is still on fragile ground, showing some signs of recovery.
We've got some good ones this week, Randi, but still on fragile ground and people are worried that if consumers have less money to spend it's going to really take its toll on this U.S. economy.
KAYE: I know you're reading the tea leaves. So what are they telling you? Will we have a deal in time?
REGAN: You know it's interesting. About 66 percent of investors pulled by UBS, the Swiss bank, say that they believe a deal will happen. I can tell you the people that I talk to on my show every day they're placing bets one way or the other. But the majority think there's a real good chance that we blow right through this. That we actually go right through it and they're hedging their bets in the investment community. Because they're not confident that the politicians will get it done and then it may take some huge market event to really force their hand.
Don't forget when we got TARP through in 2008 that was the bailout package for the financial industry, it didn't happen until the market tanked 800 points.
REGAN: So they said in absence of a major market event like that, it might be hard to see these politicians really pick up the political will enough to really convince their constituents they needed to vote for something like this.
KAYE: Yes they need something to spur them on. That's for sure. Trish Regan, nice to see you. Thank you.
REGAN: Nice to see you.
KAYE: And iReporters have been weighing in on the fiscal cliff. One of them is telling lawmakers to get real.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) Obama have no rules because they are not spending their own money. They keep spending and spending money with no regards to ever getting the United States out of debt. You're spending our money like drunken sailors with no regard to the future of America.
My message to President Obama and each member of Congress is very, very simple. Quit spending the money that America does not have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Welcome back.
We have been focusing this morning on the calls for gun control in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. President Obama says he wants action, while members of Congress are planning actual gun control legislation but the powerful National Rifle Association has another idea. Yesterday, they rolled out their plan. While also identifying what they call a major flaw in the current school security system.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAYNE LAPIERRE, CEO EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NRA: Politicians passed laws for gun-free school zones, they issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And in doing so they tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk. We care about our President so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents. Members of Congress work in offices surrounded by Capitol police officers.
Yet when it comes to our most beloved, innocent and vulnerable members of the American family, our children, we as a society leave them every day utterly defenseless. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: NRA executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre delivered that message. And early on, he was interrupted by a protester with this sign, "NRA killing kids". That sign stayed in front of the camera for quite some time before security moved in and moved that protester out.
Later a second protester popped up with another sign and security moved in more quickly on that one. You can see there that woman is actually the co-director of the group "Code Pink". She spoke exclusively with our Piers Morgan about her protest and about the NRA's plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEDEA BENJAMIN, CO-DIRECTOR, CODEPINK: But so many of us are parents, Piers and I can't imagine that parents want their kids to see armed security guards on their way to school every day and these security guards would probably be private contractors with firms that are taking people that have been in combat overseas, have PTSD, could also snap. I mean, the more weapons around, the more unprotected, I think, our children are.
So I hope it backfires and I hope people saw that lack of compassion that you mentioned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: And even some NRA members are speaking out about the gun violence that rocked Newtown, Connecticut. Take a look at what one man called his tribute to the victims in this CNN iReport.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my NRA club card. I want to show you my tribute and how outraged I am at the loss of life in Newtown, Connecticut. This is what I'm going to do with this card. That's it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: The NRA says it has 4.3 million members. And the NRA proposal is getting strong reaction on both sides. Here is some of what you had to say via Twitter.
Linda tweeted me, "Proposal is ludicrous. He is suggesting we make our schools the front line. We need gun control."
And this from KissleK9, "If it's going to be put in place, it has to be a long-term placement so that future and current youth feel safe rather than scared."
And another tweet is from Farside314 "What kind of gun would they carry? A machine gun, automatic gun, big gun, small pistol? One for each hand?"
And Tammie Jenkins says "I thought about this the other day. If you know I'm armed you are less likely to attack me."
And finally from Hawkeye Dave, "It's like dealing with teenage pregnancy by saying they should just say no."
Keep those tweets coming. You can find me @RandiKayeCNN on Twitter.
An Olympic athlete living a double life; a respected business woman and a dedicated mother but that's the clean side of this sordid tale. Wait until you hear the other part of this story.
KAYE: Welcome back. 48 minutes past the hour now.
We are keeping an eye on this story. And this is a doozy. A three-time U.S. Olympian has admitted that she was leading a double life as a high-end escort. We're talking about powerhouse mid-distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton. The "Smoking Gun" is reporting that she was charging $600 an hour as a call girl or $6,000 for an entire day.
Now I want you keep this in mind. She's married. She has a seven-year- old daughter. She is works at a real estate firm and she works as a motivational speaker.
Nick Valencia has been following this along with us this morning. So what do you make of this?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, she's got a very impressive pedigree from that background there.
KAYE: She certainly does and then this.
VALENCIA: Very routine life from what we've been reading in Madison, Wisconsin. She said that this escort service business was a distraction to that very routine and ordinary life. You've mentioned she's married. She's got a little seven-year-old girl. KAYE: Yes. And she has an escort name, Kelly Lundy. It's an alias.
VALENCIA: She did. But even before these reports came out in the "Smoking Gun" that she was an escort, she was showing some signs, Randi, of a backing out. Apparently she called some of her customers. They're called in this circle, hobbyists. She called some of her hobbyists --
VALENCIA: And told them that she was backing out. And she's also been very publicly up front and apologetic about this. In fact, she took to Twitter to describe some of her embarrassment. She says "I am not a victim here. And I knew what I was doing. I was drawn to escorting -- drawn to escorting in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me when I was going through a very challenging time with my marriage and my life. The reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time but were very much related to depression."
KAYE: Yes. And you were able to find out some of the challenges, right? She lost her brother as well?
VALENCIA: Yes. Back in 1999 she had a brother who committed suicide and that apparently affected her very much so that during the Sydney Olympics, she said that the last 200 meters of the race she fell down intentionally, so as not to embarrass her brother, who she said would have been embarrassed by her loss.
KAYE: Wow. But apparently thought, back to her escorting, she started it last December for a Vegas escorting service. And she also had these dates in L.A. and Chicago and Houston. I mean this was pretty widespread.
VALENCIA: Yes, this was throughout the United States, Randi.
KAYE: And she has a family.
VALENCIA: She has a family; and not only that but she is sponsored, in part, by Disney. She was doing this marathon running series and you mentioned these cities that she was going to, not just Las Vegas, and evidently they were corresponding with some of her travel dates for Disney. So she was doing escort business on the side sometimes dates leading up to some of her events.
KAYE: Oh my goodness; combining that and Disney sounds pretty messy.
VALENCIA: I think the most shocking thing to me in all of this is that her husband knew about this, Randi; that her husband tried to talk her out of being an escort even after knowing about this. She did it for a year, again, she said to escape some of her depression as well as her routine life.
KAYE: So he knew?
VALENCIA: He knew about it.
KAYE: That's something.
All right Nick. Always nice to see you. Thank you.
President Obama is in Hawaii this morning, while congress is back in their districts. Coming up at 9:00 Eastern, a look at what the breakdown in negotiations means for the fiscal cliff and more importantly what it means for you and your taxes.
But first, when traveling to other cities and countries, the best way to get a real taste for the place is, of course, through that local food. CNN iReport has teamed up with "Travel and Leisure Magazine" to create a global list of 100 places to eat like a local.
Here is CNN's Martin Savidge in Cleveland with a sample for us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Martin Savidge and I grew up in Cleveland. Trust me, if you're looking to eat what the Clevelanders eat, it doesn't get any more Clevelander than here.
For more than half a century, Sterle's Country House has been a landmark in Cleveland's Slovenian community.
NANCY PROSSER, MANAGER, STERLE'S COUNTRY HOUSE: We always have live entertainment here Thursday, Friday and Saturdays.
SAVIDGE: Three words -- family, fun, food.
So, signature dishes?
PROSSER: I would say the Wienerschnitzel.
SAVIDGE: Wienerschnitzel but classic; described in the menu as buttery veal, hand-pounded with bread crumbs and lightly fried to golden perfection.
In the kitchen you see how the magic is made.
What have we got coming out of the back there? What is that?
T.J. LOMBARDI, CHEF, STERLE'S COUNTRY HOUSE: She's got the fried schnitzel for schnitzel dinner.
SAVIDGE: Oh, they're luscious. That golden brown.
LOMBARDI: Golden brown, pounded veal, breaded and deep fried. They're really good. I always tell everybody, like I said, the kitchen, lot of love into those to get them done right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ok. That's a Wienerschnitzel.
CRAIG BEVAN, CUSTOMER, STERLE'S COUNTRY HOUSE: I got the schnitzel. It's awesome. And the Slovenian potatoes that the waitress recommended, highly recommended and the stuffed cabbage -- awesome.
SAVIDGE: You don't have to be old or even from the old country to enjoy this place.
KARL BRUNJES, CUSTOMER, STERLE'S COUNTRY HOUSE: I am celebrating my birthday. I got my friends together, decided to do something different and having some fun.
SAVIDGE: The nice thing about this is after you've had a good meal, you probably had the strudel, you go out there and burn it all off.
PROSSER: The band has been coming here since day one.
SAVIDGE: So get the dessert and get dancing.
SAVIDGE: I hope you enjoyed it. If you're ever in Cleveland, you know what they say. Stop on by.
In the meantime I'm going to go work off some of the food.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Cleveland.
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KAYE: I love that. Martin did a great job with that. Well, iReporters, here is your chance to help us create a food lover's map of the world. All you have to do is go to iReport.com/100places. Send us a photo of your favorite restaurant and dish, why it's special, how you discovered that restaurant.
The final list of 100 places to eat like a local will be revealed in March 2013, just a few months from now. Some iReporters will be on that list. So stay tuned to see if you're one of them.
KAYE: So when is the topic of the end of the world good for a few laughs? Easy, when it's so late at night and when people predicting the apocalypse using the Mayan calendar were so wrong.
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DAVID LETTERMAN, TALK SHOW HOST: Intern hit send before double- checking.
Number four, didn't the world end when Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez broke up?
Number three, apoca-whoops.
God, I kind of hope the world did explode now that I'm getting into this list here.
Number two, well, it was pretty cold and snowy there for a few minutes so we were kind of right.
And number one Mayan excuse, just trying to get out of Christmas with the in-laws.
There you go.
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JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: Well, the Mayans are wrong, the world did not end today. The bad news, according to the Incas, it's going to end Monday. That's bad.
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KAYE: Next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING begins right now.