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Delays at Major Airports; Gas Nears Record Prices; Aid Agencies Race to Help Bangladesh after Storm; Broadway Dark as Stagehands Strike; Children Rapists Case

Aired November 19, 2007 - 13:00   ET


DON LEMON, CO-HOST: Three boys, one girl, all under the age of 12, allegations that will simply shock you. No questions -- now questions about what happened behind the kids' apartment complex.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CO-HOST: Thousands of people killed, help on the way. We're live from Bangladesh. How you can impact your world after this devastating cyclone.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

PHILLIPS: If you're heading out to visit family and friends at Thanksgiving, you better brace yourself. It's already a mess at some of the nation's busiest airports. And if you're driving, get set for sticker shock. Gas prices are up again.

We're keeping track of everything you should be aware of right now across the country.

Weather in Atlanta, radio communication problems at DFW. Air travelers already had to face major delays today at some of the country's biggest airports. Chad Myers is joining us from the CNN weather center, tracking it all for us -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Kyra, yes, just really a mess out there. And this is even an unusual mess, because there's only 5,400 planes in the air. This time on Friday it was 6,500 in the air. Now, that could be a factor on why there are not as many planes in the air is because of how bad the weather has been in many of these northeast airports.

Every dot you see -- there's New York state. This is Pennsylvania. Every dot you see is a plane. And so, they're there, and the air traffic controllers have to now move them around.

And this is what's been happening here on the airports for the past couple of hours. Newark's been going down, La Guardia, but Chicago right now, you have the longest delay at 2 hours and 15 minutes.

And there's one plane out there, the FAA gives us kind of a range, and this is an average, too, by the way. There's one plane out there that is 16 hours and 15 minutes delayed right now. I just -- I hope you're not on that flight watching me from the terminal at 16- hour delay, because that just would really get on your nerves.

La Guardia an hour and 40 minutes now. Newark in about an hour and a half. San Francisco and Dallas delayed. Dallas, though, the delay was really bad this morning. It is now down to about 40 minutes. The computer system is back up and running. Even 30-minute delays -- giving into Vegas. You can't even get there to spend your money.

PHILLIPS: Well, that's worth the wait, Chad. I'll wait three hours for Vegas.

MYERS: Right.

PHILLIPS: Sixteen hours, that other place, didn't even cross my mind.

MYERS: Exactly.

PHILLIPS: All right. We'll keep tracking. Thanks, Chad.

MYERS: You're welcome.

LEMON: Well, today's air traffic delays not a good omen for the holiday season, and one major carrier is already preparing for a rough few weeks ahead. U.S. Airways says it hopes to have 60 percent of its flights depart on time during the holidays. That means 1,400 U.S. Airways flights would be late right out of the gate each day. That word from the company's employee newsletter.

Last season only about half of U.S. Airways flights parted on time during November and December.

Well, when in doubt leave it out. That's just one thing you need to know if you're flying this Thanksgiving. It's part of the Transportation Security Administration's new simpla-fly -- simpla-fly process. It offers advice to air travelers.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve joins us now from Reagan National Airport just outside of Washington.

Jeanne, how you doing?


And as you can see, the holiday crowds have not materialized here yet. But they will. And so, the Transportation Security Administration is asking the public to do its part to try and ease the security lines. It has put out a public service announcement that it has on its Web site and elsewhere, giving a few tips on what travelers can do.

One of them is to pack in layers. Put down some clothes, then lay on your electronics, separating them instead of putting them all in a clump. That way it's easier for the screeners to look at them and make sure there are no bomb components in your carryon bag. There is a possibility the lines will get long and nasty and uncomfortable, but the TSA is promising that if they get too long, they will address the situation.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This time of year you can expect 15- to 30- minute waits at checkpoints. If we get any waits longer than 30 minutes, you're going to see senior management attention. You're going to see things happening at airports. You alleviate those lines. We want to get you through.

But you've got to expect that you're going to have a little bit longer wait this time of year than other times.


MESERVE: And of course, the liquid rules remain in effect. Things have to be in a container less than 3 ounces. Everything has to be put into a one-quart plastic bag, one of these per person. Taken out of your bags and put in the bin when you go through security.

Also, they're recommending that you have your identification out along with your ticket when you enter the security line so they can quickly do that check of your I.D.

But overall, no change in the rules, really. A little bit of extra instruction on packing, but they just want people to know what the rules are, because so many people who travel at the holiday time do not travel the rest of the year.

Back to you, Don.

LEMON: So Jeanne, I see you've got that plastic bag there. You're so organized. The video you showed everybody putting their things in, their stuff in, you know, very orderly. We know that's not really realistic during the holidays when you've got kids, and you know, you've got the grand folks and you're carrying all these bags on.

MESERVE: Yes. It is -- there are undoubtedly going to be waits. You know, even the TSA is perfectly up front about that. I can tell you there's no line here at Reagan National right now. We've got real...

LEMON: Look at this, Jeanne. We're looking at the video. Everyone's putting their shoes in all together. That does not happen. We hope it does. In a perfect world, it would. It would.

MESERVE: That's a cute little production technique that they tried to sort of put a little humor into what is generally not a very humorous situation. And that's waiting in those lines at the security checkpoints.

LEMON: And my suitcase doesn't look anything nearly like that. All balled up. Even lucky it gets in. Jeanne Meserve, joining us...

MESERVE: Better reform.

LEMON: ... from Reagan National. Thank you, Jeanne.

MESERVE: You bet, Don.

PHILLIPS: Well, if you're driving this Thanksgiving, you better fill up your wallet before you fill up your tank. Gas prices are getting close to record levels again. The national average is up substantially from two weeks ago.

Here's CNN's Alina Cho.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you're one of the 31 million Americans who will drive to your destination for the Thanksgiving holiday, get out your wallet.

The Lundberg survey says the average price of a gallon of gas is now $3.09. That's close to the all-time high set back in May. It's 86 cents higher than last year and 13 cents higher than two weeks ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm clearly concerned. I mean, I don't drive that often, but you know, when I do it's definitely -- makes a huge impact in the budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not that concerned. Personally, I don't pay for gas money. It's Mom's credit card. But you know, it's something that you got to think about every day.

CHO (on camera): The nation's cheapest and most expensive gas are both out west. If you're looking to save a couple of pennies head to Tucson, Arizona, where the average price is $2.91. San Francisco has the highest gas prices. A gallon will cost $3.48 there.

And unfortunately, it's going to get worse before it gets better. The people over at Lundberg say when it comes to gas prices, don't be surprised if we break another record, with the price of oil steadily climbing toward $100 a barrel. Those who watch this very closely say we could easily see $4 a gallon by the spring.

Alina Cho, CNN, New York.


PHILLIPS: And if you're hitting the road or flying the skies, make your first destination. Just check out our special report. Get an online travel kit with tips on where to go, how best to get there. That and more at

LEMON: Untold suffering after the storm. Coastal Bangladesh is awash in misery days after a massive cyclone slammed ashore. The death toll is more than 3,000 people, and it's climbing.

Many villages are isolated, no power, no phones, no roads. Thousands of people are homeless and desperately seeking help.

Save the Children is just one of the aid agencies trying to reach survivors, and CNN's Cal Perry went with the group on some of the outer island villages. And he is in Barstow City right now.

Cal, what have you found? And I'm sure I'm not -- most of us are not ready to hear the answer to that.

CAL PERRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we found exactly what you were talking about, a very isolated place, a place that is incredibly difficult to go to. No roads. You have to get there by boat. And what we found is people in desperate need of aid.


PERRY (voice-over): Speeding across the biggest delta in the world, a race against time for aid agencies. With each day that passes, the situation grows more dire for people in rural southern Bangladesh.

In areas so remote they're only reachable by boat, a massive recovery and aid effort is being mobilized. The aid comes ashore. Just the necessities, for simple survival.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plastic bucket, cooking pots and pans.

PERRY: Some never even got word of the storm, like Taslina, in the best of times feeding her children, literally, a daily hand-to- mouth existence. She and the children, aging from 3 to 16, fled for their lives.

TASLINA (through translator): Somebody came and told us to flee our home, she says. Part of the house had ALREADY been destroyed. We ran for cover.


PERRY: Rod Snider, an emergency response advisor for Save the Children, is used to handling massive disasters. He's been doing it for 15 years all over the world. He knows exactly what to look for, surveying the damage, and setting up a distribution center, bringing calm to a chaotic situation.

And of course, paying special attention to the children, who were in trouble even before the storm breached this low-lying farmland.

(on camera) What's your immediate concern for the children?

ROD SNIDER, SAVE THE CHILDREN: Immediate concern is one, are they protected? Are they with their family? And are they healthy? All right? So that's what we're looking at. And like I was saying earlier to you that malnutrition is a big concern in this area.

PERRY (voice-over): So much needs to be done and quickly. Beyond the immediate need for basic supplies and rebuilding, the coming weeks and months could bring more disaster to a people that have already endured so much.

SNIDER: There's stagnant water, and it's right against the house there. And so this -- this is -- can present all kinds of problems with malaria. This is where dirty water gets into -- kids play in it, and then they will -- they'll get sick.

PERRY: As Shermani (ph) arrives with her young baby, Amica (ph), the aid workers tell us she's stunted, suffering from malnutrition and small for her age. We ask if she's been sick. "Not yet," the mother answers.


PERRY: And Don, it's that "not yet" that's really frightening rescue workers on the ground. As every day passes, the possibility of disease spreading only grows greater -- Don.

LEMON: And Cal, I know that you've seen some really horrific things, especially being based in Baghdad for a long time. I would imagine this is really stunning for you to see. Has anything struck you more than anything else? One thing there?

PERRY: Absolutely. The woman in the package, one of the women in the package that we profiled -- and I want to say this is one of the most beautiful countries I've ever visited in the world and some of the most wonderful people I've ever come across.

The woman in the package had no phones, no power even before the storm came through. She had no idea it was going to pass through. Literally, as her house was falling apart, she ran her children out of the house and put herself between the storm and her kids, saving their lives.

And some 12 hours later she was found by the villagers. And when we visited her today, she told the story of how the entire village, today, this morning, rebuilt her house where her old house was standing. It was an incredibly emotional moment.

And it just proves that, even though there's 10 million people that live along this coastline, in these tiny villages where some 2,000 people live, they all ban together. They all look out for each other. They all live together. And they're rebuilding each other's houses. As aid organizations try to struggle to get down to these regions, they're doing the job themselves, Don.

LEMON: All right. Cal Perry, thank you very much for your reporting.

PHILLIPS: And a Saudi woman gang-raped, but her ordeal is far from over. The victim of a brutal crime now facing a brutal punishment.

LEMON: Injured on the field, inspiring off the field. Kevin Everett's got a long way to go, but you won't believe how far he's come.

PHILLIPS: Plus, turkey and a show? Think again.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I've got bad news for ticket goers here on Broadway. The only lines down here are the picket lines. The story coming up in the NEWSROOM.

PHILLIPS: You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


LEMON: It is 15 past the hour. Three of the stories we're working on for you, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Ready to start your holiday travel? Well, better check your flight. Snow, wind and fog are causing delays right now at some of the nation's busiest airports. A communications glitch is delaying flights at the Dallas airport.

Bangladesh, more than 3,100 people confirmed dead, and the number is rising. It's rising fast. Thousands are still missing from one of the worst cyclones to ever hit the country.

President Bush's top advisor on fighting terror is on her way out. Fran Townsend is resigning, the latest in a series of high- profile aides to leave the White House. She often showed up on the news defending the administration's anti-terror tactics.

PHILLIPS: If you're heading to the Big Apple for Thanksgiving, you won't be able to catch a Broadway show until after your meal. Talks with striking stagehands are stalled, so theaters are expected to remain dark another week.

Jim Acosta, live in Times Square. A big bummer for the holiday, Jim.

ACOSTA: Big-time, Kyra. And it is the strike that stole Christmas in many ways. That is not a Broadway hit down here. It's more like a hit on Broadway. That's because the stagehands strike continues. It started about a week ago Saturday, and it's showing no sign of letting up.

Talks were underway over the weekend between the stagehands. Those were the workers who work behind the scenes at these Broadway shows, and the theater owners. And those talks did not produce any results.

And the word from the theater owners is that this strike will continue for at least the end of this week, which will essentially cancel all of the shows at 27 different theaters through Saturday.

And that means, if you have tickets to any of these shows down here, you need to make sure you plan ahead. Take a look at the various Web sites for these theaters, for Broadway, here in New York City, to make sure that the show that you have a ticket to is actually going to be running.

At this point we are running into countless tourists down here in Times Square, who tell us that they've come from as far away as California, Iowa, you know, with tickets in hand, hoping to see a Broadway show. And they are walking away disappointed.

The theater owners are offering exchanges and refunds to those customers, and from what we understand so far, that has not been a problem. But for a lot of people who come to New York City during the holidays, this is, as you put it, Kyra, a major bummer.

PHILLIPS: And what exactly is it that they want? What could -- what could end this and close a deal for the workers?

ACOSTA: Well, essentially, you know, the producers, the theater owners, what they wanted to do was limit the number of stagehands working behind the scenes. There's a press conference that happened last -- a week ago Saturday, where the theater owners were saying, you know, "Look, we pay guys already to do this work behind the scenes." And in addition to that they want an extra you know, so many thousands of dollars to move a piano or mop the floor after -- after a production is over.

And the stagehands, they quarrel with those facts a little bit. They say that the theater owners aren't being up front about exactly what's at issue here. So, you know, a lot of this is very behind-the- scenes stuff. But essentially, the theater owners want to start bringing down the number of stagehands they have working behind the scenes here. They say it's crucial to their -- their longevity.

PHILLIPS: All right. Jim Acosta, we'll keep catching up with you then and find out the latest on those -- on the deals they're trying to strike -- Don.

LEMON: The list is out. America's cities with the most crime. Are you living in a danger zone?


LEMON: All right. Kyra, this is a little informal poll here. How many people here are driving for the holidays? Are you driving?


LEMON: Nobody? Nobody? Chad Myers? You driving?

MYERS: I'm not driving. Seventeen people are driving to my house, though.

LEMON: Right. But you have some...

PHILLIPS: Driving you crazy.

LEMON: Absolutely.

MYERS: Not yet. Only one's arrived so far. Still 16 more to go.

LEMON: You've got something that might help them out, though, right? What you got for us?

MYERS: Something new. We've always had this on our Google Earth. But it's not been the Google Earth that you can get at home. Go to, clip on "maps." It's up on top. And you're going to find this map of the U.S. You're going to find roads or you're going to find the satellite.

One button that I just noticed today, so I kind of brought it to the attention of the control room, there's a traffic button. Take a look up on top. See where my little hand is going? The word right there says "traffic." You can click on that button, and see traffic for -- I don't know -- is that 60, 70 cities across the United States.

So let's go up to -- let's click on New York City, because the people know where New York City is. It says there, zoom into New York City traffic. You click on it. And you see where the traffic is in New York City. You can see I-95 is still doing very well, the turnpike doing very well, but then back over here. I'll zoom in. You can actually zoom in. So you can see what you're talking about.

There's the Battery tunnel. That doesn't look so good. That's red. It's great sitting in the tunnel with everybody else idling in front of you. Love that smell. Don't you?

But if you could avoid that, if you could pop up this map before you leave and you can see what was actually going, what was coming and what was green and what's yellow. Obviously, stay away from the red road, because they're not moving very fast. This is actually -- I know it's new from Google Earth. And you can get it at home.

We've had it here for a long time with red dots and traffic monitors. But to able to do this. If you're on I-95 you can actually click on this, say, "Hey, how are things in Charlotte? Doing great. How are things doing in Richmond? You can see that." All the way, D.C., Philadelphia, as well. All of the big cities now are on the Google Earth traffic. Pretty good.

LEMON: What's that big long line there? Is that the GWB or the Tri-borough (ph)?

MYERS: The GWB is up here.

LEMON: That's it. A big long red line.

MYERS: Yes, that's not good.

I don't know. The Holland tunnel doesn't show up on there, so I don't have a speed on the Holland tunnel. But clearly, the GW tunnel isn't doing too good right now.

LEMON: Not doing too well. And it's only Monday. Still got three more days.

Chad Myers, much appreciate it. Like your fancy technology there.

MYERS: We do what we can do.

LEMON: If you are hitting the road or flying the skies, make your first destination. Check out our special report and get an online travel kit with tips where to go and how best to get there. That and more on

PHILLIPS: As the economy tightens, consumers are expected to cut back, especially on bigger purchases like cars. Susan Lisovicz on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with what could be another rough ride for the auto industry. Unless you live in New York, you don't want that car.

How you doing, Susan?


LISOVICZ: But in the next hour we're going to have an interesting story, Kyra. One of Major League Baseball's best went to the Oracle of Omaha, one of Wall Street's best, for financial advice. And we'll give you that story in the next hour of the NEWSROOM.

Back to you.

PHILLIPS: That's good business for that individual. All right. We look forward to it. Thanks, Susan.

LISOVICZ: You're welcome.

LEMON: And inspirational message from an injured athlete who refuses -- refuses to stay down. We'll have an update on Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Don Lemon live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

Three boys under 10 accused of anything but child's play. Absent from school today. They are in a detention facility facing rape charges. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

We start with developing news happening out of North Carolina. Let's go to our Betty Nguyen for all of the details.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We understand a 13-year-old severely autistic boy is missing right now. His name is Kyle Whittman. He has been missing since late yesterday afternoon. He and his father went on a hike there in morrow mountain state park. Usually when they enter the park the boy will stay in one place. He's been missing since yesterday. His father was able to alert authorities. Here's what we know about him. He is 13 years old, severely autistic, Kyle Whittman last seen wearing blue jeans and red sweatshirt; about 100 searchers are scouring the area right now, looking for him. Here's the good news, though. They said that the weather was not bad overnight, which will be helpful in the search. This is occurring about 15 miles northeast of charlotte, but, here's the problem. The park covers some 5,000 acres so there's a lot of territory to cover. But hopefully they can pinpoint where the father last saw his son and can go around the area and find him t. Search is on and we'll stay on top of it. Back to you.

LEMON: You're right. Hopefully they will find him. Thank you for that, Betty.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Back to the sexual assault story. It's shocking, sickening; we couldn't help but want to talk about it basically as parents and journalists. Joining us with more on the investigation, the chief of Acworth, Georgia police department. Chief, you and I were chatting with new details that we're learning. Why don't we start from the beginning of this case? How did you find out about it? I understand the mother brought the daughter in to the police department. That's when you found out about what happened

CHIEF MICHAEL WILKIE, ACWORTH, GEORGIA POLICE: That's correct. The crime allegedly occurred on Thursday evening. And was reported to us late on Saturday. Of course when there's an allegation like this there are certain processes that you need to go through, medical examinations and things of that nature. Those were done on Saturday. The mother brought the child in to us on Sunday and our investigators spent the better part of the day on Sunday speaking with the child and getting that information. Knocking on doors and learning the name of the suspects who are charged in this case.

PHILLIPS: We say the suspects, we're talking an 8 and 9-year-old boy.

WILKIE: That's correct. They are actually three boys involved ages 8, 8, and 9.

PHILLIPS: How did their parents react when you showed up, your guys showed up at the door and said excuse me, but your 8-year-old is being accused of rape.

WILKIE: Well, as you might imagine, anybody who is the parent of a child of that age would react with disbelief. I'm a parent with children in that age bracket. I would find that hard to believe that my child participated in something like this. We have to go with the information that we are presented and we had credible evidence we believed at this point that the children that are accused of this committed the crime and that's why we brought the charges.

PHILLIPS: You believe this is a solid rape case.

WILKIE: This is why we took the information and obtained the warrants and made the arrests, and from this point they will go through the judicial process as juveniles as we understand it.

PHILLIPS: Let me get your reaction. One of the boy's fathers came forward. This came across the wires. It says the feat of the 8- year-old boy said his son had been falsely accused. The girl accused her playmates only after her parents learned she had sexual relations. There was no violence. This is the case of a girl who didn't want to get in trouble with her parents in order to save her hide she tried to blame it on rape.

WILKIE: Women, we can certainly understand why a father would speak defensively of his child. Again, we go with the information that we are given. That accusation has an implication that children of that age can consent to this type of act. They cannot. That's illegal. They cannot have consent. And so we have to go with the charges we have.

PHILLIPS: You know the school system. You've got an 8 and 9- year-old. What's going on with these kids? Have you ever dealt with a case like this where the suspects and the victim probably victim probably unfortunately but the suspects are so young.

WILKIE: I've never experienced this. No one in our department has seen something of this nature where the suspects are the same age as the victim. It's not unusual to investigate child molestation where the children are quite small but this is the first time we've seen the suspects at the relatively same age as the victim.

PHILLIPS: Could these boys be charged as adults?

WILKIE: They are charged under Georgia law, with grown-up charges, it will be for the judicial court, for the juvenile court to decide if they proceed as adults or through the juvenile system.

PHILLIPS: I'm curious. Has this conversation come home for you? Are you talking to your kids about this? Did you ask them and say gosh, is this something you even understand or know about? I'm curious if it struck you as a father

WILKIE: It would strike any father. I think I can say confidently that my children who are that age wouldn't be able to even conceive of this. So, we just want to help the circumstances as best we can. We have also worked to get counseling started for the victim, and we'll follow up on this and hope that it comes to as best a resolution at the end as we can.

PHILLIPS: How is this 11-year-old girl dealing with this? Is she able to communicate what happened? Does she even understand what happened?

WILKIE: I think our investigators are very clear that she understands what happened, she gave a good report. The investigators who were following up on this have had a lot of specialized training in forensic interviews with children. We've sent them to a number of courses for this, so we're confident we've done that part of the investigation as best we can. We think her story at this point is credible. That's why we went forward with the warrants.

PHILLIPS: Isn't it unbelievable what our kids are dealing with at such a young age? You would never imagine this 40 years ago.

WILKIE: Never in my 20-plus years of law enforcement have I conceived of something like this.

PHILLIPS: We'll follow the case. We appreciate your time. WILKIE: Thank you.

LEMON: A gang rape in Saudi Arabia, the attackers are punished but so is the 19-year-old victim. Her treatment under strict Islamic law outraged human rights groups. Now her attorney is fighting to represent her again. Our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is following the story from London. Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, this rape occurred about a year ago now in the east of Saudi Arabia. The lawyer who represents the victim in this case appealed because the sentences against the seven attackers were seen as too lenient. They got two to three years in prison, he appealed for the death penalty or stronger sentences. They were given a stronger sentence between two and nine years, but the judge decided at the same time to stiffen the sentence against the victim here, giving her 200 lashes as opposed to 90 lashes and sentencing her to six months in prison along with the male victim as well, both the female and a male were gang raped in this case. And it is causing outrage. There are Saudi women's rights groups saying they just don't feel safe given judgments like this, don't feel safe to let their children out, their female children. Don't feel in some cases safe for them to go out as well.

LEMON: Is this making -- hate to say the word judgment, but some sort of judgment about Saudi society?

ROBERTSON: Well, for Saudis, there are very, very stiff religious rules governing what women can do. They can't drive; they can't even get in a car with a man who is not a blood relative. So, they are very, very stiff sentences. This is initially why the woman was given -- why the victim was given this sentence because she got in a car with a man who wasn't her male relative. It was other people who came along and raped her later, she said. But the judiciary in Saudi Arabia is very strongly influenced by religious scholars and critics of the system in Saudi Arabia say that is something that has to change and it is this kind of religious interpretation of the law, again penalizing the victim that's causing so much shock and outrage.

LEMON: I got to ask you real quick, Nic. The outrage you said, obviously folks are, but what about the women? How outraged are they? Do they have any recourse?

ROBERTSON: They have very little recourse. A woman in Saudi Arabia cannot go and testify in a court if a man can testify in her place. If she's the only witness to something she can testify. Women's rights are very, very marginal in Saudi Arabia. This is a concern for the sort of more liberal minded in the country. A lot of people there are conservative but the liberals are looking for change, the king has called for change in the judiciary but people say that could take five or ten years, Don.

LEMON: Senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson in London for us, thank you, Nic.

PHILLIPS: A bloody finger print on Meredith Kercher's pillowcase leads to a search for a fourth suspect in her murder. Now there is an international arrest warrant for 21-year-old Rudy Guede from Ivory Coast. No one knows his whereabouts but a source says investigators were able to track him thanks to a criminal record for drug dealing. Guede is reportedly a friend of the others in custody. All four are considered prime suspects in this murder.

LEMON: An inspirational message from an injured athlete who refuses to stay down. We'll have an update on Buffalo Bills' tight end Kevin Everett.


LEMON: A potentially life threatening career ending injury can't keep Kevin Everett down. He is out of the hospital 10 weeks after suffering a severe spinal cord injury. Last night he had a special message for his Buffalo fans.

KEVIN EVERETT, BUFFALO BILLS TIGHT END: I want to say thank you all my teammates and the city of Buffalo as well as the fans of America, you know all support and love you've been giving me out here.

LEMON: He calls getting out of the hospital a milestone. He says he realizes he has a very long way to go. Our medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now. Tell us about this remarkable recovery so far. Can we call it remarkable?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure you can call it remarkable, Don. People with this type of injury usually don't do this well. Some people have very little movement, so the fact that he's done as well as he has really is pretty amazing. Here's where Kevin Everett is right now. What we've been told is that he can sit in his wheelchair and use his feet to sort of shuffle himself along in the wheelchair. He can hold himself up for short periods of time in a walker. And he says that he still really does have a long way to go. He's in physical therapy or occupational therapy four or five hours a day. And the way that he put it was, I have a long journey to a full recovery. That's probably a great assessment right there.

LEMON: Everyone wants to know, Kevin Everett, will he play again? I guess the big question is will he walk again? Will he play again? Are doctors forecasting that?

COHEN: Doctors are smart now. They aren't forecasting. One of the reasons there was this one doctor who in the beginning said Kevin Everett will walk out of the hospital. Unfortunately he didn't and most doctors expected he would not. So doctors don't like to make predictions in this situation. But doctors have said that they have seen people with his type of injury walk after that happens. Walk after the injury. That's not the way it usually goes but they have seen it.

LEMON: His type of injury which is what exactly happened?

COHEN: He fractured the c-3 and c-4 vertebrae, those are high up. Basically, to put it simply, the higher up the injury, the worse it is. So you can see how high up those are. So he's got a lot of work ahead of him. One of the first things they work on is making his biceps work again so he can feed himself. The fact that he's an athlete, it helps because he is in great shape and they see better recoveries from athletes than from other patients. Any injury to the spinal cord is tough. The higher it is the worse it is. That's pretty high.

PHILLIPS: That's pretty high.

LEMON: Thanks, Elizabeth.

PHILLIPS: The list is out, America's cities with the most crime. Are you living in a danger zone? We'll tell you.


PHILLIPS: Statistics, the story that's not happy at the top of the list. It's named America's most dangerous city by a private research group. Last year St. Louis dropped to second followed by flint, Oakland, and Camden, New Jersey. Art Edwards is with our affiliate WDIV and hit Detroit's allegedly mean streets for reaction to the survey.


ART EDWARDS, WDIV: The city of Detroit on a crisp, clear November evening, lots of people on the streets. And the popular Greek town area under the watchful eye of police. In campus marshes where visitors sometimes take pictures of all of the lights. Around the Fox Theater, mostly these folks are unaware of the city's ranking as the most dangerous city in America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't agree at all. I'm here on a Sunday night, Greek town, I mean, it's really good experience. We're at the bakery, plenty of people here. I don't think anybody is in fear at all.

ROSA CRUZ-AVILA, DETROIT RESIDENT: I don't want to be that on top of that statistic.

EDWARDS: Rosa lives in southwest Detroit behind a fence with a locked gate. She says lots of work needs to be done in the city's neighborhoods.

CRUZ-AVILA: We can't leave it all to the police department. They have a lot to do and we appreciate the work but they can't do it alone. We have to be their eyes and ears.

EDWARDS: CQ Press puts out the report. The company calls itself an independent publisher. Ella Bully-Cumming, the police chief has problems with the report and Detroit's number one ranking. She released a statement that says in part, "Attached to the organization's press release is how to purchase the complete report. It really makes you wonder if the organization is truly concerned with evaluating crime or increasing their profit."

(END VIDEOTAPE) PHILLIPS: Some cities including Chicago and Minneapolis weren't even included because the data wasn't available. On the other end, mission Vallejo was the safest followed by Clarkstown, New York, Brick Township, New Jersey, Amherst, New York and Sugarland, Texas.

All right. Are the rankings fair? Coming up, expect a lively debate as we talk with Detroit's police chief and the publisher who put out the report.

LEMON: We have a tragic tour bus crash to tell you about. It happened on interstate 26 in South Carolina. It leaves a driver dead and more than two dozen injured. It happened early today about 25 miles from Charleston; the group was headed to Miami for a cruise. An autopsy is scheduled on the 58-year-old driver; the bus ran off the interstate shortly after midnight and plunged into some trees. 31 passengers were injured but none of the injuries is considered life threatening.

PHILLIPS: Global warming getting attention everywhere on the presidential campaign trail. We're going to examine the politics behind what many consider a pretty hot button issue.


LEMON: An endorsement for republican candidate John McCain kicks off our political ticker. Do you recognize the face? Take a good look. It's republican Tom Kean, the former New Jersey governor, better known as co-chairman of the 9/11 commission. He endorsed McCain at a joint appearance. That should happen in Boston.

The scene is now set for a clash of titans in Virginia. Former Governor Jim Gilmore announced today he'll seek the Senate seat held for 30 years by John Warner. Former democratic governor Mark Warner is in the race already after deciding not to run for president. Gilmore represents the GOP's hope for holding on to a seat the party has held since 1973.

PHILLIPS: You may hear a lot about global warming. It's drawing much attention in the presidential race. Here is Bill Schneider, part of the best political team on television.


BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Environmental activists are frustrated. They want global warming to be a big issue in the presidential campaign. So a coalition of environmental group groups held the first ever presidential forum on global warming in Los angels this weekend. They invited 17 presidential candidates. Three showed up. They spoke passionately about the crisis.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot afford to fiddle while the world warms.

SCHNEIDER: They offered plans to fight global warming.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You set forth a number of initiatives.

SCHNEIDER: Do voters care about the issue? They have seen hurricane Katrina, California wildfires, the Asian tsunami, a cyclone in Bangladesh. Many have seen Al Gore's Oscar winning movie and heard about his Nobel peace prize. Now they are reading front page stories about a U.N. report that calls the crisis so severe and so sweeping that urgent global action is needed.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people are actually hungry to do something as a national community.

SCHNEIDER: The candidates are pushing the issue.

CLINTON: I speak about it everywhere that I go to try to kind of get it into the bloodstream of the presidential campaign.

SCHNEIDER: Why is it so difficult? The organizers of the forum blame the media. Oh, sure, the press covers the issue, CNN ran a week-long series "Planet in Peril." But they don't cover it as a campaign issue. Grist writer David Roberts argues that's because global warming doesn't fit the conventional model of political coverage.

DAVID ROBERTS, GRIST.ORG: It doesn't fit very well into the horse race coverage. There's not really a hook with one candidate jabbing another or one candidate you know, making a gaffe.

SCHNEIDER: The press wants conflict like a protestor confronting Senator Clinton at the Global Warming Forum. Can't resist that. What would it take to get global warming covered as a campaign issue?

ROBERTS: Perhaps if you know John Edwards' hair caught on fire or something like because of global warming then we could get it.

SCHNEIDER: The voters are concerned about global warming. The candidates here all had plans to deal with global warming nut this forum tried to deal with the most difficult issue of all, how to get global warming onto the political agenda. Bill Schneider, CNN, Los Angeles.


PHILLIPS: Did it once for the democrats and now it's time for history to repeat itself. Go to You Tube debates. Your voice will be heard only on CNN, your home for politics. The next hour of the riveting CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

LEMON: Absolutely.