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Holiday Travel; Hey, Where's My Bag?; Closing In On $100; Gerri's Top Tips; Inside Africa with Ebony Magazine
Aired November 21, 2007 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: How high will they go?
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And there's more to Africa than famine and war. "Ebony" magazine's year long look at the Africa you don't know. The magazine's senior editor live this Wednesday, November 21st. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
All right, live pictures now. We want to take you -- I hope they're live pictures. Or just moments ago. Just in here. Cincinnati, Ohio, right now. And you're looking at the scene of a school construction accident to be sure. A crane has fallen over, has toppled, and we understand that one person is injured. Don't have a real good look from this vantage point of the scene. Maybe we'll get a wider shot here. Maybe not. But we'll continue to follow it, of course.
But again, this is a school construction accident in Cincinnati. One person injured as a crane topples. We will follow these pictures, maybe get a wider view of it all and bring those new pictures and maybe some new information to you right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Hit the road, get on that plane, gas up the car, it's time for the Thanksgiving travel rush. And millions of you headed out right now for the holiday. And wherever you're going, you can get up- to-the-minute information in our holiday travel update on the right of your screen there.
We also have you covered with reporters all over the country. Susan Roesgen is in Chicago. Ed Lavandera is amid the crowd in Denver. Can't even see him there. Alina Cho is at the FAA command center in Virginia. And Jacqui Jeras is keeping an eye on delays in the air and on the roads.
But first, we want to get you straight to Rob Marciano. He has the weather situation all across the country.
So we're looking at the East Coast right now.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Start out at the East Coast. Yesterday, as you know, we had a little bit of snow. Up to two and three inches in spots from Connecticut in through parts of New Hampshire.
A little bit of moisture rolling across the St. Lawrence River Valley. Most of that is in the form of rain. But there have been temperatures close to the freezing mark. So maybe some slick spots earlier this morning.
For the most part, it's been rain from Detroit back to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with intensities intensifying. The rain intensifying as you go more to the south and west. Chicago, a little bit of rain earlier today. Most of the heavier rain south and through central Illinois and Indiana.
We do, however, have a snow advisory that's in effect later on this afternoon. 5:00 p.m. through overnight tonight, the blue-shaded areas, you could see anywhere from one to three inches of snow. From Des Moines, Iowa, through Chicago, to just north and west of Detroit. So be aware that this would be the first accumulating snow of the season in Detroit.
So here's your system rolling across the Great Lakes today. It will tap moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, some heat as well, some cold air driving in behind this. So a thunderstorms will be a good bet of it actually as we go on through this afternoon and through tonight as well.
Look at these temperature contrasts. Denver had some snow earlier today. Still snowing in spots. Twenty-eight degrees for a high. It will be, meanwhile, 69 in Nashville. Forty-eight degrees in Chicago.
So kind of a messy day tomorrow as well across the East Coast. Always seems to time out that way.
COLLINS: I know. It really does, darn it.
MARCIANO: And to top things off, it looks like Sunday's going to be a mess in spots, too.
MARCIANO: And we'll deal with that one later.
COLLINS: Oh, sure, one day at a time.
Thanks so much, Rob.
HARRIS: And let's get a closer look at what's happening right now on this big, big travel day. We are talking to our Susan Roesgen, Ed Lavandera, Alina Cho and Jacqui Jeras.
Let's get started with Susan in chi-town.
Hey, Susan, what's the view there from Chicago?
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Tony, the view is looking pretty clear right now and -- except for the fact that I'm in the sky cap line blocking part of the traffic. You know, these are the people who like it when you fly. Let's see, let's listen in to this guy here. Let's see where they're going.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got three bags going out, 1071, to Orange County, and that's it. You're all set. I need $6 for the bag charge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) $10 a back (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a problem, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have change?
ROESGEN: It's pretty busy today, Tony, out here at O'Hare. They're expecting 200,000 people to fly in and out of this airport. A lot of people won't be staying in Chicago, of course, they'll just be catching connecting flights.
Where are you going today, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: San Diego.
ROESGEN: OK. All right.
How about you folks? Where you going today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Houston.
ROESGEN: Houston. All right.
How about you guys? Are you going to Houston, too? All going to Houston? All right. Well, happy Thanksgiving.
Listen, Tony, I'm going to go inside while you watch the sky cabs work out here and I'll pick you up inside. Don't go away. I'll be right back.
HARRIS: Well, where'd she go.
ROESGEN: Again, they're expecting 200,000 people today, but they actually say the busiest day, Tony, is going on to be on Monday when all the people are coming back.
Now over here we've got a guy checking in at the kiosk. This is the part I like.
Hello. Where you going, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To Memphis.
ROESGEN: To Memphis. Going to eat there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some barbecue in Memphis. Is that . . .
ROESGEN: Barbecue? Come on. It better be barbecued turkey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll see.
ROESGEN: OK. All right. Well, good luck with your flight.
Is it delayed or is it on time? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So far I'm still good. I moved it up a little bit earlier. I had like a 4:50 flight out but I made some adjustments just because of the weather.
ROESGEN: All right. Hope you get there.
That's what I think a lot of people are doing here today, Tony, they're making adjustments. The airport says that there aren't many delays. And I did check myself down at the departure board, which is just one floor underneath this one, and actually there are more delays in arrivals than in departures, but not that many -- Tony.
HARRIS: Yes. Yes. Very good. Multi cameras there. Fancy. Just fancy, as we throw every resource at this busy travel day.
Susan Roesgen, O'Hare in Chicago. Susan, great to see you. Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks.
ROESGEN: Same to you, Tony.
COLLINS: And another one of our resources is Ed Lavandera. He is taking a ride cross country, if you will. Right now I believe, Ed, if you can still hear me, you have made it through security. You're now on the tram at DIA, Denver International Airport, trying to make your way to Dallas. So that means you are nearing the gate. Am I right?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. I'm on the tram now, just passing through Concourse B. I've got to get off at Concourse C. And security went very well. I made it through in about 10 minutes. No problems whatsoever. So, you know, at Denver International, they have that reputation of being -- having slow security lines, but they're really stepping it up today. Of course, some 950,000 people are supposed to pass through here today. So maybe in the next few hours that will start -- the lines will start to lengthen and the wait times will lengthen. But if it goes like this the rest of the day, you know, they'll be ecstatic.
COLLINS: Yes, definitely. And so, Ed, you must have followed all of the rules to "Simplifly" this time around. Did you do all that layering with your carry-ons that we learned about on Monday, I think it was?
LAVANDERA: I packed my jacket in a bag, (INAUDIBLE) and, you know, when you travel a lot, you just know what to do and what's not to do. And that's been one of the things that they talked about is that even though there are perhaps not that many more people than normal traveling today, that it's a different type of people traveling. And you do get some moments like that where people are kind of confused about what to do and what not to do. So we're actually about to walk off the tram here and I'm ...
COLLINS: We may see you get off. Let's wait. Wait for it. Wait for it.
LAVANDERA: Oh, there we are. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. Here I come. Here I come.
HARRIS: No, he's not.
COLLINS: I want you to run out like John Belushi and wave -- there you are.
HARRIS: Could this really work? It worked out.
LAVANDERA: I can probably hang up the phone now that you -- well, actually I need to be able to hear you guys.
COLLINS: Yes, don't do that.
LAVANDERA: But, yes, we're rocking and rolling today, kids.
COLLINS: All right. Sounds good. Very good. All right, we will track you on your way to Dallas now.
Thanks so much, Ed Lavandera. Sort of our guinea pig, if you will.
Thank you, Ed.
LAVANDERA: I'm feeling like one today.
COLLINS: No, you're doing a great job. Appreciate it, Ed. See you later.
HARRIS: Do we have a GPS on his person?
COLLINS: I don't believe we do.
HARRIS: OK. All right. Just need to ask.
All right. Let's go to Alina Cho right now. She is at the FAA command central. That's in Herndon, Virginia.
And, Alina, you showed us this plasma screen last hour which was just amazing of all the volume, all the activity in the skies now.
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, 6,600 flights in the air right now, Tony. It's really incredible. You're talking about really the brains of the operation here at the FAA command center. The men and women that you see here, they're really like traffic cops and they're managing what many are calling the highways in the sky. You know, it's a really busy day today.
Take a look at this screen behind me. This is what you were referring to. Those red dots blanketing the screen there. Each one represents a plane in the air at this moment. And as I mentioned a second ago, that's 6,600 flights in the air right now. That's above the high estimate that they had for today.
Now one of the benefits of being here at the FAA command center is that we really hear about problems in realtime. Just a second ago, as a matter of fact, we heard about a ground stoppage for departures at Newark Airport. That's for the next 15 minutes or so.
We also have some weather problems to report. Winds in Chicago and some cloud cover in New York that's causing some delays. In fact, we decided to cancel our flight back to New York. We're going to drive instead. Hopefully we won't have a lot of traffic.
Having said that, beyond the weather being a factor, of course, volume really is the big deal here. We've got 2.5 million passengers estimated for a day like today. The second busiest travel day of the year traditionally after this coming Sunday. That's 20 percent above normal. And planes are full, Tony. We're looking at 90 percent capacity. And so there is very little room for error.
HARRIS: So, Alina, you look at that screen back there, and have you wondered to yourself or asked the question, how do you deal with that many planes in the air? It's just amazing.
CHO: It is amazing really when you look at it. And, remember, we were thinking that it was going to be about 6,000 flights. We're already at 6,600 flights. And it's just after 10:00 a.m. on the East Coast. Wait till the West Coast kicks in. It's going to be a big problem.
Now, remember, Tony, as many people know, the president decided to open up military air space to commercial aviation along the eastern corridor from Maine to Miami essentially. So that will help ease some of the problems. But, either way, it's going to be a very, very busy day today.
HARRIS: Boy, CNN's Alina Cho. And drive back home safely later today.
CHO: We'll try.
HARRIS: Alina, great to see you. Happy Thanksgiving to you.
CHO: And to you.
COLLINS: Also want to take a moment to check in with Jacqui Jeras. She is monitoring things in the skies and on the ground with a bunch of really cool graphics.
What's this one now, Jacqui?
JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Well, this is Google Earth and we're going to show you some of the traffic delays that have been going on. We'll hit a couple of big cities for you before we get to the airports.
So let's go ahead and zoom in. We're going to start out in the Chicago land area. We heard from Susan Roesgen that things were moving along pretty well there in the air. But take a look at what's happening here on the ground. Notice all those red dots. That means a lot of congestion. And we're looking here at Eisenhower and Kennedy right here at the circle interchange and this is a time lapse. You can see the rain that was coming down earlier. It dried out a little bit, but now rain showers are moving back in and Chicago could even see some snow as we head into that evening rush, unfortunately, and that is going to make the roadways a little bit more slick.
Let's go ahead and take a trip out to the west now and see what's happening out there. The West Coast, overall, has been faring the best with travel in the air and on the ground for the last 24 hours or so. Here you can see Seattle. A little congestion on the south side of town, but here you can see some of those yellow markers there. This is Interstate 5 that you're looking at. So that's some moderate traffic. Nothing too terribly bad at this time.
Let's go ahead and check a couple of hot spots that we're expecting this afternoon along the interstates. I-75 from Detroit to Cincinnati should be slow going due to the rain. Chicago to Nashville, along I-65, we're going to start out with rain, changing to snow in Chicago, but we'll also see that rain all the way down towards Nashville and down through the Louisville area.
I-40 from Oklahoma City to Nashville, that will also be slow going due to some of the rain that we have. And let's take a look at I-70, Kansas City to St. Louis, snow in Kansas City, rain in St. Louis right now, but tonight that's going to be changing over to some sleet.
I-35 from Minneapolis to Oklahoma City, snow up north. You're going to see the rain down south. But even Oklahoma City, you're going to see some of that freezing stuff late tonight and I-80 from Omaha to Cleveland is looking at snow and a little bit of rain as you get closer towards the Cleveland area.
Airports have been pretty good so far today, guys. Most of the delays have been well under an hour. So we're coming off better, at least in the first half of the day today than we were yesterday. Look at that. Just about everybody at 30 minutes. Dallas, New York City, Newark, and then pretty minor for you in Teterboro.
COLLINS: Wow. That's all I have to say. Three little letters.
JERAS: It could be a lot worse, though, really.
COLLINS: It could. It really could. And, again, I know that you'll be watching it throughout the show for us.
JERAS: Sure will.
COLLINS: Certainly as the West Coast gets up and going in the skies as well.
All right, Jacqui, thank you.
If you are hitting the road or flaying the skies, make cnn.com your first destination. Check out our special report, "Holiday Travel" and get an online travel kit with tips on how to get where you're going.
Plus, send us an i-Report showing us your travel experience so far. That and more at cnn.com/holidaytravel.
HARRIS: Boy, that could be fun.
COLLINS: Yes, we think we're so funny, don't we, just sitting here and not traveling. But really, for some people, you know, the stress and the -- it can be really tough.
HARRIS: Why can't we be among the smart people?
COLLINS: Well, I don't know.
HARRIS: I mean it's nuts out there.
COLLINS: People like to be with their families. It's important to them.
Closing in on . . .
COLLINS: Your family doesn't like you very much, do they?
HARRIS: Not at this moment.
Oil prices spiked to more than $99 a barrel before retreating slightly. Analysts say $100 a barrel could be within reach today. What does that mean for your wallet and gas prices? Our Ali Velshi will join us just ahead for a closer look at that.
Let's take a look at the markets right now. Man, at least the -- just an hour or so ago, maybe inside the hour, things were a little rough. We are off session lows at this point. The Dow down 94. I'm not sure where the -- oh, Nasdaq down about 26 at last check. We are going to follow the markets all morning long right here in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: You arrive at your Thanksgiving destination. You're so happy to be there, but your bags don't make it. A travel expert on coping with lost luggage.
HARRIS: And good morning again, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.
Shining a spotlight on the so-called dark continent. The Africa you seldom see. I will talk to "Ebony" magazine's senior editor.
HARRIS: Newborn twins for a Hollywood star Dennis Quaid. Did a hospital blunder put the babies' health on the line? That's ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: OK. You survived a security checkpoint, the crowded flight and arrive at your holiday destination. But what if your bags don't? Terry Trippler is an airline industry watcher and founder of tripplertravel.com. He is with us this morning from Minneapolis.
Terry, thanks for being with us.
All right. I guess we should just assume for the sake of the story that your luggage doesn't make it on a very busy travel day like today. What do you do? I mean, obviously, you get off and you panic and you're really mad. But then what do you do?
TERRY TRIPPLER, TRIPPLERTRAVEL.COM: What you do is as soon as you realize that your bag isn't there, report it immediately. Get to the airline and fill out the form. It usually takes five, maybe 10 minutes at the most, giving them the name and address of where you're going to be, because the vast majority of misplaced bags will be delivered to you within 24 hours.
COLLINS: Yes, which is pretty incredible. But I love the question that they ask, you know, can you describe your bag for me? And everyone says, it's black. Should you label your bag in some particular way so that maybe it stands out differently? Lots of times I see handkerchiefs or bandanas tied around the handle.
TRIPPLER: Well, that does help. It particularly helps when it's coming around the baggage claim and you're able to pick it up. But be sure to know the brand name of your bag and they'll generally give you a chart and then you pick out on that chart which bag looks the closest to yours. You're absolutely right, black with wheels just kind of doesn't cut it anymore.
COLLINS: And square. Black, square, and with wheels.
TRIPPLER: Yes, right.
COLLINS: Well, talk a little bit about how we should pack. I think a lot of people tend to forget. You know, they're just happy that they've gotten themselves together for a couple of days to go on the road and they forget that you really need to keep those important things with you in your carry-on baggage.
TRIPPLER: You really do. You're allowed one carry-on bag or one personal item. Now that personal item is a laptop, a briefcase, a handbag or whatever. That fits under the seat in front of you. That is your space. That is your real estate and no one can take it from you. That is the bag that you are to put your valuables and your medications in. I think we've all seen, we've all been on an airplane before where somebody comes on at the last minute with a carry-on and they're told there's no room in the overhead bin, it has to go down in the belly. Now that's a bag that could have valuables and medications. No, keep it in the bag that fits under the seat in front of you.
COLLINS: You know, and finally, just a look at the bigger picture here. You know, after -- we're looking at a live shot. I think that's still DIA that we're looking at. Lots of people there, obviously. Lots of people out traveling today. And for all of the nightmare that is we hear about of the lost luggage and the flight delays and the weather and so on and so forth, still this year yet again we have record travel numbers. So why do people keep going back for more?
TRIPPLER: Yes, it's just amazing. It really is amazing. My only answer that I have is Americans just refuse to stay home. They won't stay home. We don't get many vacation days in this country and by gosh when we get it, we're going, and nobody's going to stop us.
COLLINS: Yes. And, plus, they want to see their families, darn it, for this holiday season, too.
Terry Trippler, we certainly appreciate your information for us today in beautiful Minneapolis, Minnesota. Thank you, sir.
TRIPPLER: Have a good Thanksgiving.
COLLINS: Thank you. You too.
And if you are hitting the road for flying the skies, make cnn.com your first destination. Check out our special report, "Holiday Travel," and get an online travel kit with tips on how to get where you're going.
Plus, send us an I-Report, will you, showing us your travel experience so far.
HARRIS: Oh, please.
COLLINS: That and more at cnn.com/holidaytravel.
HARRIS: You know, Heidi, you feel it every time you fill up, gas prices soaring, oil prices spiking to new highs, closing in on the $100 a barrel mark. This story drawing all kinds of attention, Heidi. Our friends watching CNN International joining us right now for this segment, Ali Velshi. So let's join Ali at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Ali, great to see you. Talk us through what is going on right now with the price of a barrel of oil.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's way in the distance over there. You can see oil is trading at $97.40 a barrel. It's one of those numbers out there. It hit $99.29 overnight. This morning we've seen it as high as $98.70. But in about eight minutes we're going to get a key weekly report that tells us about how much oil supply there is.
Now, people who follow the oil business like to know how much there is. And if that report surprises them, if there's less oil than people are expecting there to have been in this last week, you are likely to see a surge in the price of oil.
Now overnight, when it was $99 and change or even when it was $98.70, there was a good expectation that that surge would put oil above $100 a barrel. And, of course, that is why we're paying attention to this.
But, Tony, this is a day when most people will understand energy prices more than we reporters will because across America more than 30 million people will be driving more than 50 miles from home. They're going to be seeing that gas price going up regardless of the price of oil because they will be line ups and highways jammed with people. So you are really feeling the effects of $100 oil, whether it's technically $100 yet or not.
HARRIS: Yes. And the last time we had one of these reports we were talking about -- I guess it was a few weeks ago. I can't remember exactly.
VELSHI: Yes, two weeks go.
HARRIS: Two weeks ago, OK. And there was less of a draw down than expected and the prices kind of backed away from $100 a barrel. Was that ...
VELSHI: This is a pretty efficient market down there. These traders down here, if they see more oil than they expected or the same amount that they expected, you'll probably see them pulling back a little bit on the price of oil.
Remember, though, that even though a lot of the price of oil is speculative, Tony, the bottom line is this supply report once a week is a very real report. That's actually oil available to be made into gasoline, to be made into diesel, to be made into heating oil. So this is the one time in a week when it really, really does matter how much oil there is. So there will be some real trading on this. But, you're right, it's going to go one way or the another in seven minutes.
HARRIS: Absolutely. And, Ali, if you would, would you please, one last note, would you talk about how much speculation is in that price, $97, $98, whatever the number is?
VELSHI: $40, Tony. I mean, most people tell you that oil, based on supply and demand, should be around $60 a barrel. And in the long term, that's where it should be. So $40 here is speculation, worries about the future, things like that. But the bottom line is, when you're filling your gas tank or you're getting your heating oil put into your house, it doesn't really matter how much is speculation, right? You just got to pay the money.
HARRIS: Ali Velshi this morning, boy, "Minding Your Business," watching the price of a barrel of oil for us.
Ali, great to see you. Happy Thanksgiving, doctor.
VELSHI: You too. I'll keep in touch with you on this one.
COLLINS: Enjoy that Thanksgiving turkey, then go work it off at the mall. The best deals on so-called Black Friday, coming up in the NEWSROOM.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: All right. Maybe that drum beat will make this thing move along a little faster. Looking at the Dow Jones Industrial averages now, down 111 points, resting at 12,898. Obviously below that 13,000 mark that we've been watching for a while here.
Talking about oil today and probably for several days to come. Just inches from that $100 a barrel mark. So we're going to watch that story with you. Also letting you know the Nasdaq down about 29 points. We're going to check in with Susan Lisovicz a little bit later on and talk more about your business headlines.
HARRIS: Are you OK, Heidi?
COLLINS: Yes. Super.
HARRIS: Want (ph) some turkey, then go spend some money. There you go. The holiday shopping frenzy kicks into high gear the day after Thanksgiving. We call it Black Friday. How can you get some great deals? Our personal finance editor Gerri Willis is here with us this morning.
Hey, Gerri, you know what, it would help if I could get a bit of a preview as to what's going to be on sale, where the deals are. That would be helpful.
GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: That's why I'm here. That's why I'm here.
WILLIS: And we always love to talk about shopping. Look, you don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn this year to get the deals. Sales aren't going to be as good as they were last year at these early morning sales events. More items, though, are going to be on sale earlier on the web. And there are fewer free after rebate items this year, too. So the web might be the best bet this year.
HARRIS: Sounds good.
I'm also looking for ways to save myself some dollars. What about coupons? Yes, I'm asking for coupons. Yes.
WILLIS: Well, online coupons are another way you can keep more of your cash in your wallet when you go to check out a Web site. Look for a field that says either enter coupon code here -- you've seen these -- or enter promotions code. Hey, this means there are online coupons that you can use. So go to Google and enter promotions code or coupon code and the name of the store you're shopping at and you'll get free coupons. You can also go to couponmountain.com or dealcatcher.com.
HARRIS: You know, I hate credit cards. You know, we talk about this all the time, Gerri. I send you e-mails on it. I hate credit cards. I hate credit cards.
WILLIS: I share your pain. HARRIS: Well, you know, there may be a way to get a benefit out of using your credit card this time of year..
WILLIS: You bet. Listen, look, you want to use a credit card to shop online. Not only will you have more protection from ID thieves, but, hey, if there's a problem with a product, you can ask for a charge back. Plus, most platinum and gold cards will double the warranty of a product for up to a year. You may also want to go to MasterCard, Visa and American Express web sites. You may be able to score some discounts at online retailers by using those cards.
HARRIS: But I'm curious as to ways to know that I've gotten the best deal out there. Is there a way to check that kind of thing?
WILLIS: This is cool. This is really, really cool. Even after you've done your shopping, your job isn't done. Stores may drop their prices further as the season progresses.
HARRIS: That's what I'm talking about.
WILLIS: Keep track of those prices by going to priceprotector.com. Now this web site monitors a specific product and its price. If the price goes down within 30 days of your buying it, you get an e-mail. Now this way you can go back to the retailer and say, hey, I want the better price. Now, remember, this web site's only going to keep tabs on the price of the item at the particular retailer that you name and it's up to you to monitor the competitors.
HARRIS: I love it. Great tips, as always. You know what? Go have yourself a great Thanksgiving holiday, Gerri.
WILLIS: And, you know, folks out there, e-mail us to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have something you want to talk about. Holiday shopping or any other topic. We love to hear from you. We answer your questions right here every Friday.
HARRIS: Gerri, good to see you.
WILLIS: Good to see you.
HARRIS: Take care of yourself.
OK, here we are, bottom of the hour. Welcome back, everyone to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.
COLLINS: Hi there, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.
A walkout by the plastic surgeon who operated on hip-hop star Kanye West's mother the day before she died. Dr. Jan Adams was set for an exclusive interview with CNN's Larry King, but here's how it went down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAN ADAMS, PLASTIC SURGEON: What I really want to say is I want to thank you for this opportunity. Basically, I had come here to talk about things in the press that aren't accurate about me.
But I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for the West family, and they've asked me not to go on, and I've said from the very beginning I don't have a side in this. They are my side, and so, I'm going to respect their wishes, and I'm going to apologize to you because I think I'm taking up your air time, but I will not be on the show and I will not discuss any of that. I'm going to honor their wishes, OK?
LARRY KING, HOST: Meaning you won't answer any questions about anything?
ADAMS: None, none.
KING: All right, then how will -- will you ever answer questions? I mean, what -- where does this go?
ADAMS: Well, I will talk ...
KING: I'm not mentioning Mrs. West.
ADAMS: ...with them. I will talk with them. When they're comfortable, then I'll be comfortable. If they're never comfortable, then I'll never be comfortable. They are what's important to me. I said that from the start, and that's what I'll continue to honor.
KING: Then just a few things having nothing to do with them, don't you want to speak out?
KING: You don't want to?
ADAMS: No. I do not.
KING: All right. But you came here to speak out?
ADAMS: That's correct. But I'm going to honor their wishes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Larry says moments before the show began, Adams got some sort of letter from the West family. It was apparently a threat to ask the California Medical Board to take action against Adams if he discussed their case on the show.
HARRIS: How do you walk out on Larry King? Larry King?
COLLINS: I don't know. A great guy.
HARRIS: Slow going for those hungry for turkey. Blame it on foul weather. Travel updates coming up for you in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: All right, we've been having some fun with our correspondent Ed Lavandera, who is on a cross country trip from the west coast to the east coast. He has now made it all the way through security and he is sitting on the plane in Denver getting ready to make his next stop to Dallas.
Hey there, Ed. You got your seat.
LAVANDERA: Hey -- hey, Heidi. We are in our seat, and this is really, really over the top, isn't it?
COLLINS: Yes, a little, but we love it.
LAVANDERA: Yes, but here, look, this is -- I'm traveling today with Army Private -- all right, all right. I'm traveling here with Army Private Megan Lescallett. She's on her way to meet up with her family in Sulphur Springs, Texas. And December 1st she gets deployed to Iraq for the first time, right Megan?
PVT. MEGAN LESCALLETT, TRAVELER: Correct.
LAVANDERA: How is the family handling that?
LESCALLETT: A little nervous ...
LESCALLETT: More nervous than I thought they would be. But yes.
LAVANDERA: What do you guys have planned?
LESCALLETT: Just going to eat a lot, drink a lot.
LAVANDERA: All right, very good.
LESCALLETT: Hang out.
LAVANDERA: All right, well, sorry you had to sit next to me and this experiment this morning.
LESCALLETT: All right.
LAVANDERA: But out here (ph), it might mess up the shot (ph) a little bit, but there is (ph) snow on the plane, ice there on the windows. Hopefully they'll take care of that before we take off here. So, we are on board. Everything has moved along nicely. People are putting up with us. They think we're completely insane, actually.
Heidi, back to you.
COLLINS: That's all right, Ed. We won't tell them the truth, and also, what a great seat mate you have there. Please tell her thanks so much for her service to the country. So, Megan sitting next to you, we do certainly appreciate your service.
Unfortunately, Ed, the veegan (ph), the system that we use to try and get shots of you while you're traveling is kind of in and out. But we are going to continue to track you and watch you as you make your way on now to Dallas because, you know, the clock is ticking. Trying to make New York and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by -- I think it's like 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning that it begins. So ...
HARRIS: That's terrific.
COLLINS: ...he's getting closer to that deadline.
HARRIS: So, OK, millions of you on the move, just as you see there with our Ed Lavandera, and that's where you are. That's the space you're in right now. The Thanksgiving travel rush certainly on whether you're hitting the road, the rails, or the skies, we have got you covered.
Meteorologist Rob Marciano watching it all for us. Good morning, sir.
MARCIANO: Hey, Tony, you noticed it looked like old Ed got an upgrade there.
HARRIS: How about that?
MARCIANO: It looks like he's sitting up front.
HARRIS: Yes, yes, yes. You bring a camera on board, you get to sit next to a fine officer, a soldier, and yes, you get better treatment, huh?
MARCIANO: It's not a bad, not a bad -- how many people do you think, Tony, are sitting in an airport terminal right now watching this?
HARRIS: Watching us -- hello?
MARCIANO: We know you're force fed CNN, and we appreciate you watching, or at least putting up with it.
HARRIS: There you go.
JERAS: If you're traveling by the airways, you know, it hasn't been terrible. Things look pretty good there for Ed, didn't they, even despite some of the snow showers that you had there this morning. Denver is doing just fine right now. We do have some delays which have been on their way up here in Newark. We're up to 55 minutes now. This is the longest delay that we've seen thus far this morning.
Dallas, you're looking at some departure delays, but they're on the way down, about 25 minutes here. LaGuardia is looking at 30 minute delays, as well as Philadelphia. Teterboro, two minutes. Not so much to complain about, right, you can deal with that. Can't even read a headline in that amount of time. We take a quick look at one of our traffic cams. We want to zoom in to the northeastern corridor and check out New York City because there's been so much congestion here. On our Google Earth, there, you can see all the red dots lining into the Manhattan area. And we have a time lapse animation that we want to show you from the Brooklyn Bridge to show you what the traffic has been doing there. This morning, you can see it was quite heavy. Also, a lot of pedestrians going on there. And it's been really constant throughout much of the morning, and we think things are just going to get worse as you head throughout the day.
We'll have more on this and the traffic in parts of the west. That's coming up in about a half an hour, Mr. Harris.
HARRIS: We will be there. Thank you, Jacqui, appreciate it.
COLLINS: If you are hitting the road or flying the skies, make CNN.com your first destination. Check out our Special Report, Holiday Travel and get an online travel kit with tips on how to get where you're going. Plus, send us an i-Report showing us your travel experience so far. Maybe people will send in pictures of Ed Lavandera.
HARRIS: Oh man.
COLLINS: I mean, I think he's coming ...
HARRIS: He's everywhere, right?
COLLINS: ...he's a celebrity now, yes.
COLLINS: Make sure you check out CNN.com/holidaytravel. We'll have all sorts of stuff on there for you to help you through the day.
HARRIS: So, is he going to become like the gnome? You know, the great (ph) gnome.
COLLINS: Oh yes, maybe Flat Stanley?
HARRIS: Little Flat Stanley. Oh man, I'm having too much fun if morning.
All right, shining a spotlight on the so-called dark continent. The Africa you seldom see. I will talk to "Ebony" magazine's senior editor. That's coming up in just moments, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: As oil prices get closer and closer to $100 per barrel, stocks are moving sharply in the other direction. Susan Lisovicz is at the floor -- on the floor, I should say of the New York Stock Exchange with the very latest on both.
Hi there, Susan.
HARRIS: Taking you inside Africa right now. "Ebony" magazine begins a unique year-long look at the continent that is a mystery to many. Live from Chicago now, "Ebony's" senior editor Sylvester Monroe (ph).
Sylvester, good to see you. Thank you for your time.
SYLVESTER MONROE, SENIOR EDITOR, EBONY MAGAZINE: Good morning, Tony.
HARRIS: Hey, I got to ask you, clue us in, if you would, into the editorial process that led to this decision by "Ebony." If you would, put us in the room.
MONROE: Well, a number of magazines had done some stories, had done some big stories about Africa, and we thought it was about time that "Ebony" did it, but we decided to do it from a different perspective. Most of what you see in the American media is about the downside of Africa. HIV/AIDS, civil war, famine, genocide.
For sure, all of those are very serious problems in Africa, but there's another Africa that you never really see. The stories that you might see, Oprah Winfrey opening a school ...
MONROE: ...Madonna adopting a child. But Africa is more than a charity case. There are 52 distinct countries doing really remarkable things that rarely get reported on television. So we decided ...
HARRIS: Well, Sylvester, if I could -- let me stop you there just to ask you for one of them. I know you've been traveling, and you've been on the continent. But give us a story that is underreported that is seldom reported that you found in your travels.
MONROE: Well, that Africans every day, that there is a huge tourist industry in Africa. For instance, that people there are places to go, whether it's the Victoria Falls in South Africa, all kinds of things. The point that we wanted to make ...
MONROE: ...that Africans are taking charge of their lives. That despite these serious problems that they have, that they conduct life much like we do here in the United States. I mean, they get up in the morning, they go to work, they go to school. They have restaurants where they can go. They go to nightclubs. It's -- they're dealing with things.
The other point we wanted to make is that Africa is going to become increasingly important in the global economy.
HARRIS: Explain that. MONROE: For instance, now that the yoke of colonialism is off of Africa, these countries are developing and coming into their own. There are still huge, vast amounts of natural resources in many countries of Africa, whether it's oil or mineral wealth or whatever. The Chinese, for instance, are all over Africa.
MONROE: Building relationships, economic relationships, and ...
MONROE: ...to take advantage of that, and we wanted to say, you know, this is important not just for African-Americans, but for Americans in general.
HARRIS: Well -- yes, Sylvester -- will you tell at some point during the year, the HIV/AIDS story in Africa? We've got World AIDS Day coming up, I believe it's December 1st. And will you tell that story and maybe give us an idea of the perspective from which you will tell that story?
MONROE: Well, if we do tell that story, and that decision isn't made, we will tell it from a different perspective.
HARRIS: Yes, yes.
MONROE: We will tell it from a perspective of that Africans are getting their arms around this problem. As I said before, Africa is not just a charity case. They're not just sitting there waiting for people from the west and other parts of the world to solve their problems. They're solving their own problems.
HARRIS: Sylvester, great to see you. Thanks for your time. Can't wait to see the pieces throughout the year. And we'll have you back and we'll talk about more of them.
MONROE: I look forward to it.
HARRIS: Appreciate it. Thank you.
An actor's newborn twins, major medical mistake. What went wrong and could it happen to you?
COLLINS: A scare for actor Dennis Quaid and his family. His newborn twins reportedly given massive overdoses of a blood thinner at a Los Angeles hospital. Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here now to talk a little bit more about this.
We're talking about heparin. And as somebody who's been on one of those heparin drips a couple of times, this is a powerful medication. How does something like this happen?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it's a wonder drug, it is a wonder drug, but when it's given at a thousand times the dosage, like it was for these little teeny babies ...
COLLINS: Tiny babies, yes.
COHEN: ...it's a poison. A great medicine at the wrong dosage is basically a poison. And what happened here -- when I talked to experts, I said how do you think this happens, because Cedars-Sinai isn't saying exactly. They said what I think what happened is the nurse grabbed the wrong vial.
You go to grab a 10 unit vial, which is what these babies were supposed to get, and you grab a 10,000 unit vial, and that's why Cedars-Sinai is saying this was preventable. And it certainly, it makes you think about how even at one of the best hospitals in the United States, this can happen because it's just human error. It doesn't matter where you go.
COLLINS: Yes, yes, that's very true. And I want to ask you about -- more about how you can prevent it, but maybe for people who don't understand. Why would they be on some type of blood ...
COLLINS: ...thinner to begin with?
COHEN: Right, it's actually very routine. When babies are in the NICU and they have IV lines, they need to flush those lines because if you get a blood clot in those lines, it's extremely dangerous. So, heparin is routinely used to flush lines and again, used at the right dosage, it's a miracle drug, but.
COLLINS: Sure, sure. So, usually babies who already in the NICU? OK.
COHEN: It's babies who are in the NICU who are on IVs. Quite correct, it's babies on IVs.
COHEN: It's used to flush the IV lines.
COLLINS: OK, got it. So then, how could the hospital have prevented it? I mean, aren't there some safeguards in place for things like this?
COHEN: There are supposed to be safeguards and Cedars-Sinai says they have them. Some hospitals, for example will have two nurses. Like if I were one nurse and you were another, I might say I'm looking for 10 units, is this 10 units? And two people have to check it.
But one expert I talked to said, why don't they have a bar coding system at this hospital or if they did, why didn't they use it right? Bar coding, just like when you go to the supermarket ...
COHEN: ...and so, you scan the baby's bracelet, you scan the medicine, and if the baby is supposed to get 10 units and your vial is 10,000 units, it goes beep, beep, beep ...
COHEN: ...and you don't give it. And these medical error specialists are like, why doesn't everyone use these. They're so simple, and yes, they cost money, but they save lives.
COLLINS: There is your reason.
COHEN: Right, well, there you go, right.
COLLINS: Yes, exactly. Wow, I can't imagine how frightening that must have been for them.
COHEN: Oh, absolutely.
COLLINS: All right, well Elizabeth Cohen, we appreciate the information.
COLLINS: Thank you.
A White House insider drops a bombshell. A former press secretary on the Valerie Plame Wilson case. What did the president and vice president know about it?
COLLINS: A rottweiler on the loose, and a taser could not stop it. Ramin Khalili from Florida affiliate WKMG explains.
RAMIN KHALILI, WKMG REPORTER (voice-over): 50,000 volts to the back of the neck and this rottweiler keeps moving. Police forced to take the offensive after a pair of the dogs get loose in this Rockledge neighborhood.
DEBBY BROWN, CORNERED BY DOG: I was standing out here on my driveway getting out of the car with my friends.
KHALILI: That's when neighbor Debby Brown says she was cornered by the dog, who before the tasing, was confrontational. According to locals, Debby simply frightened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the dog is about 90 pounds solid muscle.
KHALILI: The second dog here, the aggressor's apparent pregnant female partner, taken in by animal control, the male incredibly still on the run after the taser shock, the taser prongs still stuck in his back. He's stopped here with the help of his owner who finally showed up down the street, but she wasn't talking.
KHALILI (on camera): And you don't want to talk to us about your dog?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't want to talk to you. No comment.
KHALILI (voice-over): Take another look at that tasing. Two local schools, including a daycare, locked down today for fear this might get out of hand. In the end, no one hurt and the dogs given back to the neighbor's amazement.
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