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U.N. Workers Killed; Explosion in Pakistan; Counterfeit Cash; Public Option's Model for Success?; GMAC Needs More Bailout Money; Pakistani Anger at America; Extending Unemployment Benefits; Teen Gang-Raped Outside High School Dance

Aired October 28, 2009 - 09:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good morning, guys. Thanks so much, John and Kiran.

For now, though, we want to get straight to the CNN NEWSROOM and all the news stories that we are covering today.

U.N. guesthouse attacked. Taliban militants launch deadly strike in Kabul.

And check your change this holiday season. You may be slipped a counterfeit bill. A Secret Service agent would tell you what to look for.

And commuter crunch in northern California. A snapped cable forces the bay bridge to close.

Good morning, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. It is October 28th.

Let's get straight to the news this morning. A lot to tell you about. Militants hitting new targets on U.S. ally soil. In fact here is a picture for you. A car bomb explodes at a popular marketplace in Pakistan. Most of the victims are women.

In fact, our Reza Sayah is actually covering that angle of the attack. He's going to be joining us shortly. He'll be looking at some of the biggest challenges for the United States and Pakistan, as well.

Also, our Chris Lawrence is there, he's reporting on the very latest target in Kabul, Afghanistan. We'll get to all of them in just a moment.

But let's start here. Militants take aim at international workers in Afghanistan. Launching a brazen attack on a guesthouse where United Nation workers were staying. At least six are dead.

It happened in the capital city of Kabul. CNN Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence is there for us live now.

Chris, what do we know at this point about what happened?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Heidi, we know one American was one of those six United Nations workers killed in this attack. Militants stormed this compound just before dawn with machine guns and we're told at least one of them wearing a suicide vest.

We woke up and heard the sporadic fire. It quickly turned a lot more intensive. We heard a very loud boom and explosion from the building, that compound and we saw just a plume of black smoke rising up out of there.

The Afghan police responded in great numbers, surrounding the compound. They exchanged fire with the insurgents. We are told that of the militants at least three of the militants have been killed, two Afghan security forces have also been killed.

And it is a clear example that, with the Taliban claiming responsibility, that they do have the potential to reach deep into the heart of the Afghan government. Heidi?

COLLINS: Chris, wondering, too, if you have an update about what the military is saying about the helicopter crash in western Afghanistan this week that killed 10 people.

LAWRENCE: Yes, we do. The military is now -- said that this team was wrapping up what was a successful mission to root out some militants who were trafficking in drugs. They loaded up on that helicopter about 3:30 in the morning but the take-off stirred up so much dust it overwhelmed the flight crew's visibility.

And when the pilot tried to correct the helicopter, he hit a very tall structure and that's when it crashed into the ground. So the key thing about this, Heidi, is the military is saying militants did not fire a shot. It was weather, dust related.

COLLINS: Yes, Chris, how often do the pilots have to deal with that type of complication when they're taking off and landing in the country?

LAWRENCE: Well, you would think -- you know, flying at night is not that unusual. You know a lot of military flights, both here and Iraq, a lot of the combat flights would be at night for safety and security reasons.


LAWRENCE: But dust is a problem. I mean just being here you can feel the dust in the air. A lot of Afghans have had respiratory illnesses because they breathe in that dust so much. You can imagine a helicopter taking off, the amount of thick dust that it can whip up at night.

COLLINS: Yes. Absolutely, Chris Lawrence, our Pentagon correspondent in Kabul, Afghanistan this morning. Thanks so much, Chris.

Across the border in Pakistan an explosion today is raising new security concerns. At least 90 people are dead after the blast at a busy marketplace in Peshawar. Meanwhile 103 miles away, in the capital of Islamabad, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived for talks beyond just terror fighting. Btu she also had some strong words for those who launched today's attack.

We'll get to Secretary Clinton's comments in just a moment. But first details of the horrific explosion and fire. For that, CNN's Reza Sayah is joining us now from Islamabad.

Reza, good morning to you.

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Heidi. These attacks are all bad but this one today was just awful. The deadliest attack this year in Pakistan, the death toll is staggering, at least 90 people killed. According to a senior government official more than 200 injured when a remote controlled car bomb detonated in a very busy area in Peshawar, the capital of the northwest frontier province.

The death toll was high according to officials because this car bomb was packed with nearly 400 pounds of explosives, and it blew up in a very heavily populated busy market frequented by female shoppers, many, many victims were women and children.

The video from the scene shows a lot of chaos, a lot of very distraught and upset people. We saw one man in tears, others carrying victims away from the rubble. The main hospital in Peshawar, overwhelmed with all the victims being taken there. They've called for a blood drive because they don't want to run short.

It's been an awful month, Heidi, for Peshawar, five militant attacks. On October 5th a suicide car bomb killed more than 50. Until today that was the deadliest attack in Peshawar. But this one takes over today. Heidi?

COLLINS: Yes, in fact, Peshawar has seen at least five attacks this month, Reza. Why is this city in particular getting hit so hard?

SAYAH: Yes, Peshawar is the gateway to the very dangerous tribal region in Pakistan right along the Afghan border. It is very important because of its location to the militants and to the government.

If you want to get to Afghanistan, if you want to get to this region, you often have to go through Peshawar because of its location. It has seen a lot of militant activity. It's been an easy target for the Taliban. It's also a strategically important location for U.S. and NATO forces because most of their supplies go through Peshawar and those supplies have frequently been targets of the Taliban as well, Heidi.

COLLINS: So, Reza, a lot of challenges for the United States to be dealing with by way of Pakistan and those relations. What is the biggest one right now?

SAYAH: Well, the U.S. doesn't have troops on the ground here in Pakistan and they won't, so the challenge is to continue to put just the right amount of pressure on the Pakistani government and the Pakistani military to beat the militants and the extremism in this country.

Keep in mind, Washington's position is al Qaeda is based in the tribal region, they're plotting and planning for the next attack on U.S. soil. But the dilemma for the U.S. is the more pressure they put on Pakistan the more anti-Americanism is -- emerges here.

There's a lot of people who simply don't like U.S. policy here, in fact, there was a recent survey that asked Pakistanis, what's bigger threat to Pakistan? Is it the U.S. government or the Taliban? The answer may surprise you. We'll have that answer in a report later this hour, Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, CNN's Reza Sayah for us this morning. Reza, thank you. Meanwhile, speaking about those relations between Pakistan and the United States, at a news conference with her Pakistani counterpart, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned today's attack.


HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: These attacks on innocent people are cowardly. They are not courageous, they are cowardly. If the people behind these attacks were so sure of their beliefs, let them join the political process.

Let them come forth to the people of Pakistan and this democracy and make their case that they don't want girls to go to school. That they want women to be kept back. That they believe that they have all the answers and that the rest of us who are people of faith have none.

Let them make that case in the political arena. And see how far they would get.


COLLINS: During her three-day visit to Pakistan Clinton will actually be talking about a new U.S. initiative. The Obama administration is moving to expand a recent relationship with Pakistan as a terror-fighting ally. Clinton suggests the United States will do more to support Pakistan on a wide range of issues including economic development, education and the environment.

Disciplined for being extremely reckless. That's what the FAA is saying about two Northwest Airline pilots who missed the Minneapolis airport because they were on their laptops computers. The FAA has revoked their licenses now.

The men admitted they'd lost track of time when they flew past the airport by about 150 miles before turning around. Here's part of the FAA letter to the pilot and first officer. It says, quote, "You are disengaged and impervious to the serious threat to your own safety as well as the safety of people for whom you are responsible."

The men have 10 days to appeal that decision.

Worrying about counterfeit cash. Do you know which bills are real and which are fake? Well, the Secret Service is telling us how to tell them apart.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm Rob Marciano at the CNN Severe Weather Center. Rain across the east, snow and dust out west and they are still trying to launch that rocket at Cape Canaveral. We'll talk about all of that and weather comes right back after this commercial break.


COLLINS: Taking advantage of school kids -- $340 in counterfeit cash ended up in the money box at an elementary school. It happened in Eustis, Florida just outside of Orlando.

Police say 17 fake $20 bills were passed during the school's fall fundraising festival last weekend. Organizers say they remember someone repeatedly using $20 bills to buy single $1 tickets and then pocketing the $19 change.

Counterfeiting is a problem. You usually don't hear a whole lot about it, but should you be worried as we get closer and closer to the holiday season?

John Large is special agent in charge of U.S. Secret Service's criminal's investigative division. He's joining us now from Washington this morning to talk a little bit about it.

What a bummer for those kids at the elementary school. First of all, sort of started the topic of discussion here. How big of a problem is counterfeiting going to be this holiday season?

JOHN LARGE, U.S. SECRET SERVICE: Well, first of all, good morning.

COLLINS: Good morning.

The overall scope of the problem is truly very manageable because we have about $870 billion of genuine currency in circulation worldwide. And of that less than .1 of 1 percent is counterfeit currency.

COLLINS: OK. So we're not going to see a major spike this holiday season but every time a holiday season comes around, specifically the Christmas season, this is something that you are aware of and merchants I imagine are aware of.

What do you look for? I'm thinking of a water mark, you just hold it up to the light and see if the water mark is there. And then you're good to go or is it more complicated?

LARGE: No, it's really not complicated. And the best defense we have to combat counterfeiting is an educated public. We advise the public to look for the genuine security features in genuine currency. If you have a note that you suspect may be counterfeit, then compare it to a note that you know is genuine and look for differences, not similarities. COLLINS: OK. Well, let's do this, John, if we could. We're going to have you sort of walk us through some of these different types of counterfeiting and then show them on the screen at the same time.

This one is called portrait. As we look closer here, what are we looking for?

LARGE: Well, the portrait in genuine currency is life like. It almost jumps out of the note. And a counterfeit note is -- it's rather flat and dull.

COLLINS: OK. I'm looking at a crooked nose, too.


COLLINS: Federal Reserve and Treasury seals. What do we look for there?

LARGE: The Treasury seal and the Federal Reserve seal is very sharp. It's very distinct and it actually sits on top of the note by the printing process that we use. In a counterfeit note, again, it will be flat, it will be dull, and it won't be as sharp around the edges of the Treasury seal.

COLLINS: Are you saying it's almost like embossed? It's raised a bit, you can feel it, right?

LARGE: Correct.


LARGE: Correct.

COLLINS: What about the border?

LARGE: The border, again, is very distinct and fine printing. And you're not going to get that in a counterfeit note.

COLLINS: Oh yes, I'm looking at the one on the right. You can see it's very, very blurry there. The serial numbers?

LARGE: Well, the serial numbers in genuine currency are all going to change. A lot of times counterfeiters will use the same serial number an all of their counterfeit notes, so if you get more than one note that has the same serial number, that's a pretty big clue you got some counterfeit currency.

COLLINS: OK. Got it. And what about the paper?

LARGE: Well, the paper in U.S. currency is very distinct. It's 75 percent cotton, 25 percent linen. And we actually put red and blue fibers that are embedded in our currency's paper that you can actually pick out. And it has a very distinctive feel. It's very unique, and I think most bank tellers could tell if they have a counterfeit note right away by just the feel of the paper. COLLINS: Right. OK. Understood. Well, listen, some people may not realize that as you're shopping this holiday season or any day, and you get change back at a store, it may end up to be counterfeit or however that works. You don't exactly have a lot of options. You're kind it out that money, are you not?

LARGE: Well, the overall problem is really under control, if you get stuck with a counterfeit note, then that business or that citizen, you suffer the loss so it's pretty important to you.

So we advise all citizens to look at their currency, be educated about the genuine security features and really look at your change when you get it back before you walk away from the cashier or the bank.

COLLINS: Yes. A lot of people don't even count their change much less look at it for any type of counterfeiting.

All right, well, John Large, U.S. Secret Service, we sure do appreciate your time today out of Washington, D.C.

LARGE: Thank you.

COLLINS: Let's head to the severe weather center now where we find Rob Marciano. A big storm out west. They actually started talking about this yesterday.


COLLINS: You know, the East Side Sidewinders over at the East Side Baseball are wondering about their specific field conditions tonight, too. You know, the 8-year-olds.

MARCIANO: Right. I'll be working on that.

COLLINS: You'll have that later.


COLLINS: OK. Excellent. Rob, we'll check back. Thank you.

MARCIANO: You bet.

COLLINS: The public option in health care debate. Supporters say a model of success is as close as Massachusetts. A former governor of that state says think again.

ANNOUNCER: Weather Update brought to you by...


COLLINS: Time to check some of the top stories we're watching this morning. We are still waiting for NASA's Ares 1-X rocket to lift off. Yes. Weather caused NASA to scrub the test flight yesterday. It's already causing some more problems today. We are now hearing currently 10:30 a.m. Eastern for the launch. We'll bring it to you live if it happens. NASA is hoping the Ares program helps to replace the aging and soon-to-be-retired space shuttles.

Drivers in California's Bay Area are facing a traffic nightmare this morning. That's because the bay bridge is closed indefinitely. Authorities had to shut down the main route in and out of San Francisco because of falling debris. The debris came from an emergency repair done on the bridge last month. Around 280,000 cars cross that bridge every day.

The debate over health care reform, the divisions grow deeper. Senator Lieberman says he won't support the Democrats' proposal for a government run public option. And the former Democrat says he'll block it from reaching a vote in the Senate. That makes the challenge even greater for Senate majority leader, Harry Reid. The Nevada Democrat has (INAUDIBLE) those 60 votes to avoid a Republican filibuster. Even moderate members of his own party are refusing to commit to the public option.

Supporters of the public option say a government-run option is viable and a model like that for success can be found in Massachusetts. But a former governor of that state says not so fast.

Republican Mitt Romney says mass health has narrower goals and isn't trying to reform health care costs. Here is what he had to say to CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.


MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: We were unable to deal with and didn't have any pretense that we would somehow be able to change health care costs in Massachusetts.

We still have a fee for service reimbursement system here like every other state in America. That's the way Medicaid and Medicare are structured. That's the way the insurance industry is structured.

That's a whole different topic which is how do we get the cost of health care down in America. And as you know, we're way above the cost of health care of any other country in the world as a percentage of our total economic vitality.

So that's a different topic. We didn't deal with that here in Massachusetts and frankly, we dealt with a much more narrow issue, getting people insured that weren't insured and, this is just as important, perhaps even more important, for those who are insured, making them understand that they will never lose their coverage.

If you're in Massachusetts, and you've got coverage, and you lose your job, you are always going to be covered. You don't lose your insurance. That was critical.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Should the president be looking at Massachusetts as a model of lowering health care costs?

ROMNEY: No. Massachusetts is not the model with regards to the second problem. Massachusetts is a model for getting everybody insured in a way that doesn't break the bank and that doesn't put the government into the driver's seat and allows people to own their own insurance policies and not to have to worry about losing coverage.

That's what Massachusetts did. What we did not do was say how can we change the reimbursement system, align incentives in health care with doctors, with hospitals, and with patients. That's what needs to be done if you're finally going to rein in health care costs in this country.

GUPTA: President Obama does talk about health care cost. He talks about this idea of bending the cost curve down over the next 10 years. He does talk about creating a system that as you say pays for itself.

That is what you hear when he is talking about health care reform in broader brush strokes. Do you not believe him or think that do you think it's just the -- the details aren't there?

ROMNEY: Well, I haven't heard any measure being proposed by the president or by the members of Congress that suggests a change in the way incentives are going to be structured, or any other measure that will lower health care costs in America.

With one exception. And that is they are saying they are going to cut $500 million out of -- or $500 billion, rather, out of Medicare. Now, that's not bringing down health care costs. That's jamming a burden on America's senior citizen saying we're going to take costs out of the system.

Either it's going to be on their backs, or on the backs of the hospitals and the doctors but it's not saying how can we make health care more efficient, more effective, providing care in a more advanced technologically efficient way.

And that's not something I've heard anything come out of Washington. Discussing and putting in this piece of legislation.


COLLINS: So how do states compare when it comes to health insurance coverage? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Massachusetts does indeed have the smallest number of uninsured residents with less than 5.5 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, Texas has the highest number of people without coverage. More than one in four Texans was uninsured in 2007. And 2008 the last years that were tracked.

And across the country the national average is somewhere in between, sitting at 15.4 percent.

The government bailed it out twice already. Now there's word that lender GMAC wants more. How much could taxpayers be on the hook for that?


ANNOUNCER: Live in the CNN NEWSROOM, Heidi Collins.

COLLINS: A weak report on consumer confidence disappointed investors yesterday. For a look at whether confidence will return to Wall Street just one day later, let's go to Susan Lisovicz. And she is back at her usual post in the New York Stock Exchange as that opening bell rings. Did you take your vitamins today, Susan?


SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I know. I was just going to say they -- you know, a lot of times when companies ring the opening bell, there's some hand-outs. And, yes, we could use some Vitamin C for the bulls I think...


LISOVICZ: ... because we're set for a lower open, Heidi. Even though orders for big ticket items rebounded last month, orders for products ranging from computers to cars grew 1 percent, that's the biggest jump in a year and a half, largely due to a demand for machinery.

Ford uses a lot of machinery. It seems to be one step closer to selling Volvo. The automaker says one of China's leading automakers, Geely Group, is the preferred bidder. Ford put Volvo on the block last year so it could focus on its three core brands, Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury.

Visa says it's making money because more people are using debit cards. The company had swung to a quarterly profit of more than half a billion dollars. Visa issued more debit cards in the quarter and transaction volume grew because we're abandoning plastic, instead favoring debit cards which, of course, are like cash. Payment volume dropped but Visa shares right now up about 2 percent.

And early numbers though going the opposite direction, Dow, NASDAQ, S&P 500 -- all down modestly.

Heidi, here is a bright spot. We have some job openings to tell you about. Fiserv, which provides date processing for financial companies, is opening up a new location in North Carolina. It will add 400 jobs starting in February, Heidi.

COLLINS: OK. Well, all right, we'll be watching all of those numbers. And, hopefully, even more job creation is out there. Susan Lisovicz, thank you.

LISOVICZ: I'll tell you about it.

COLLINS: Lender GMAC already taken more than $12 billion in bailout money. Now, we are hearing it may ask the government for even more.

CNN's Christine Romans is joining us now live from New York with more on this.

Good morning to you, Christine. There are reports that more bailout money is needed for GMAC. What does that mean?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, GMAC, for the record, is not commenting to ask about whether it will go with its hand-out for a third cash infusion from the treasury under that Troubled Asset Relief Program, the TARP, but the treasury is telling us that this is, not confirming or denying it either, but the treasury is telling us that, you know, this was a firm that went through the stress test and needed more capital, wasn't able to raise it on its own like many of the other banks. It needs up to $5.6 billion more -- that's according to reports, specifically a report in "The Wall Street Journal." It's already received $12.5 billion, Heidi.

So, this would suggest that GMAC -- this is this company that basically provides the financing so you can -- you can borrow money to buy the car, right? It's the link between your driveway and the factory floor. It would suggest this company needs more money to keep going, Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes. We've been hearing though that some banks are looking to repay the TARP money. We've been hearing that for a while.

ROMANS: It's true. And so, GMAC might be its own isolated situation here. It's a little different than many of the other banks, the banks that have been trying to repay their money, right? The Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said yesterday that he expects a wave of, frankly, new money coming back from the banks, back to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, coming back to the Treasury Department.

Let's look quickly where all that money -- where did your TARP money go, right?

COLLINS: Uh-huh.

ROMANS: I mean, where is your money? Well, $255 billion of it, Heidi, has not been committed of that original $700 billion. You've got $71 billion, though, that has been returned already. And the treasury secretary is saying that red part of the pie there, $134 billion, already invested with banks, that they're expecting to see more of that coming back to the treasury as these banks have been able to shore up their books on their own and want to return the money.

Of course, some of the reasons they want to return that money is because of all the scrutiny they've been getting, right? From when you -- well, you know, the taxpayer holding you up, you should expect to get an earful from the taxpayer by the way you run your business. So, many of these banks want to return the money as soon as they can, Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, some of them said in the first place that that's what they wanted to do when the idea came about -- a lot of numbers floating out there. That's for sure.

ROMANS: Yes, that's true.

COLLINS: What about today's "Romans Numeral"?

ROMANS: One hundred six is this number floating out there, 106. And, Heidi, this is meant to sort of illustrate this bifurcated banking system we have. So, some of the big banks want to give their money back, but we have topped 106, the number of bank failures so far this year, Heidi. Friday night, we topped 100, and every half hour, we heard of a new one.

You always hear these on Friday nights after the market closes, after the banks close for the weekend. The FDIC comes and takes over the bank, and immediately turns it over so that you don't see disruption in your bank account -- 106 so far this year. And we are expecting more.

So, it is a different market out there depending on where you are in the financial system. And it shows there are some pockets of instability in the financial system a year after the crisis began.

COLLINS: Yes. No question. At least I was right. I was going to say bank failures today.

ROMANS: Really?

COLLINS: Only, I don't know what the number is, but that's how much press it's gotten. Certainly.

All right. Christine Romans, we're watching it. Thank you.


COLLINS: There may be more help on the way for the more than 15 million people in the United States still without jobs. Our Josh Levs is following that part of the story for us.

Hey, good morning, Josh.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Heidi.

It could be a piece of good news. Seven thousand people a day are losing their life lines. While some legislation is stalling in Congress, will lawmakers get this done by the end of the year? They are one step closer today. I'll explain, Heidi.

COLLINS: OK, very good. We'll talk in a minute. Thanks, Josh.

LEVS: Thanks.

COLLINS: A deadly day in the neighboring countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Six United Nation staffers died in Kabul when the Taliban attacked the guest house where they were staying.

In Pakistan, at least 90 are dead in a car bombing in Peshawar. That area is part of the military offensive against the Taliban. This comes while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting the area, Pakistan. She's on a mission to improve relations with that country.

Secretary Clinton may have her work cut out for. This visit comes at a time when many Pakistanis just don't trust the United States. Reza Sayah has more.



SAYAH (voice-over): At a university rally in Islamabad, outrage against the U.S., and chants of "Go America go." A week earlier on the same campus, two suicide bombers blew themselves up -- part of a recent wave of deadly attacks that has shaken Pakistan.

Here, many point the finger at the U.S.

TOSEEF ASHRAF, STUDENT: Totally blame the Americans.

JUNAID AHMED, STUDENT: The main is America because America did this in Pakistan.

SAYAH (on camera): Who are you angry at more, the U.S. government, the Pakistani government or the Taliban?

ASHRAF: I am the most angry we are on American government.

IJAZ GILANI, GALLUP PAKISTAN: I am disappointed, in a way.

SAYAH: But not surprised.

GILANI: Not surprised.

SAYAH (voice-over): The pollster Ijaz Gilani says a recent survey shows three out of five Pakistanis believe the U.S. is a greater threat than the Taliban.

(on camera): To the average Pakistani, is America the enemy or a friend?

GILANI: Unfortunately, no longer a friend. It is seen as an enemy.

SAYAH: So, why all of this anger at the U.S.? First off, many Pakistanis cite Afghanistan. They say the rise in extremism and all of the suicide attacks in Pakistan started only after U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan.

ASHRAF: Before the American came to Afghanistan, we see that Pakistan was a peaceful country.

SAYAH: There's also the perception here that the U.S. doesn't always mind its own business and often interferes with the region's political affairs.

(voice-over): A recent U.S. bill committing an annual $1.5 billion in economic aid is seen by many Pakistanis as an attempt to interfere and micro-manage Pakistan.

AHMED: They are angry because they're interfering in our country.

SAYAH: Gilani says polls show what Pakistanis want from the U.S. is a hands-off policy.

GILANI: It is: "Leave us alone."

SAYAH: Leaving Pakistan alone doesn't appear to be an option. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit, the latest in a long line of trips by senior U.S. officials, who says security at home depends on winning the fight against extremism in Pakistan. It's a fight that will never be won -- say analysts -- without winning Pakistan's hearts and minds first.

Reza Sayah, CNN, Islamabad.


COLLINS: Getting vaccinated against the H1N1 flu. Count the first daughters in that group. So, what about their parents? And where's all of that vaccine? Hear what the CDC has to say.


COLLINS: Checking the top stories. Six United Nation staff members are dead in an attack in Afghanistan. Taliban militants hit their private guest house in Kabul this morning. At least one American is among the dead. Nine other people were hurt at the scene. The death toll could rise as the U.N. accounts for all of its people.

This attack comes 10 days ahead of a presidential runoff. The Taliban have threatened to disrupt the election.

The brother of the Afghan president is denying reports he has received regular payments from the CIA. "The New York Times" reported yesterday the CIA has paid Ahmed Wali Karzai for a variety of services over the past eight years. "The Times" says those services include helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force under the CIA's command. Karzai calls the report ridiculous.

The president's daughters have been immunized against the H1N1 flu. A White House spokeswoman says Malia and Sasha received the vaccine last week after it became available to school children in the Washington, D.C. area. She says the president and Mrs. Obama will wait to get their shots until the needs of the priority groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control have been met.

Those, again, are young people under the age of 24, pregnant women, and people with underlying conditions. So far, it's been first come/first serve for the vaccine. But the CDC director says nearly 22.5 million more doses are on the way. Dr. Thomas Frieden adds, while the H1N1 flu is still widespread, some areas are seeing the number of cases decrease.

Well, as you know, we always love hearing your opinions. Each day, we ask you to blog with us. Today's topic: flying sick.

I want to give you these numbers, too. Fifty-one percent of air travelers say they'd rather fly with the flu than actually pay $150 change fee in order to change their flight, maybe to another day when they feel better. I wonder what you think about that. It's all according to

Once again, head on over to Go ahead and tell us what you think and whether or not you'd actually change one of your flights if you're not feeling very well.

We're back in a moment.


COLLINS: Game one of the World Series is set to get under way tonight. And First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to be in the stands. She'll be joined by the vice president's wife, Jill Biden. Major League Baseball is dedicating game one to military veterans and their families, a passionate issue for both women. They frequently visit military families. And before tonight's game, they'll join Yankees players at a veterans' medical center in the Bronx.

Severe weather center now. Rob Marciano is talking about the forecast for game one.

MARCIANO: Yes. Are you excited?

COLLINS: Yes. I'm excited. I'm going to be at my own little playoff thing for the 8-year-old.

MARCIANO: I forgot about.


COLLINS: I said that. I said Sidewinders.

MARCIANO: I was going to look up the Riley (ph) baseball park...


COLLINS: Please do. I'll give you the address.

MARCIANO: Somehow it slipped my mind. But before the end of the day, I will do that for you.

COLLINS: Excellent.

MARCIANO: All right. First off, there's a slightly bigger game up happening in New York tonight. Game one of the World Series -- we've got some rain, that fair amount has been falling. But you see it's starting to -- it's starting to thin out just a little bit. The back edge of this cold front is back through West Virginia. And I think we should be OK, but it's going to be damp. It's going to be, kind of dreary. It's certainly going to be foggy and there may be some drizzle around as well.

Kelly, can you crank me up into play if you could on Gustav's (ph) -- Mr. Gustav didn't give any tips this morning. Well, we'll get to this though and show you what's going on out west. Big old storm out here.

We've got snow that could pile up in the number of feet, especially on the eastern slopes of the continental divide. Back side of this could certainly create a lot of wind across southern California and Arizona. That will continue to be the case again today with high some wind watches and warnings.

As far as the forecast for the game, officially tonight at 7:57, cloudy, drizzle, some wind, northeast 10 to 15, temperatures in the lower 50s. But I think it will be dry enough or not raining hard enough to cancel tonight.

We've got Riley (ph) forecast -- I'm not sure we'll do that on air.

COLLINS: Not in air, yes, no, no. That's private information, that's right.

MARCIANO: And we don't want everybody to crowd the 8-year-old game. That's unneeded pressure on those kids.

COLLINS: Very good. OK. I want to talk to you later about those meteorological terms goosed out and all of that stuff you're having with the map later too. Ok.

MARCIANO: Sounds good.

COLLINS: All right, Rob, we'll check back. Thank you.

MARCIANO: All right.

COLLINS: A teenage girl allegedly gang-raped while others watched. Police say it happened just outside a high school homecoming dance. The community is outraged.


COLLINS: The nation is one step closer to helping millions of people struggling with unemployment. The Senate is considering legislation that would extend jobless benefits. But how much would it really provide?

Our Josh Levs is here now with some answers. Hey, Josh.

LEVS: Hi Heidi, you know, sometimes we talk about legislation caught up in Congress that even if it were to pass it could take months or years before it really affected people. This would be instant for millions of families all over the country; 7,000 Americans a day losing their lifelines because their unemployment benefits are running out.

This is where they stand now. Let's go to this graphic. What's happened now is that the senate is agreed to talk about to consider this people legislation that would extend unemployment benefits by 14 weeks in all states. It would also, in the next screen, extend it by 20 weeks in those states that have super high unemployment, unemployment over 8.5 percent.

So if you live in one of those states, you're jobless, you need the extension, you would get another six weeks, you get 20 extra weeks.

Here is the deal though; the Senate is only in the stages of considering that now. Meanwhile, there's a House version. The House is saying a 13-week extension in states with high unemployment.

So you all know the way it works in Congress. What would happen if the Senate passes this is the Senate gets to go over with the House and negotiators basically try to come up with one bill ultimately that could be signed. So, even that could be weeks away. Along the way 7,000 people a day are losing their jobs.

Let's go into the graphic -- to the screen here. I want you all to see some of the great features on the new we have, this is This right here is a map that shows you where unemployment stands in your state. Just click on your state. We have the number for you. So that will help get a picture.

Also, I really like this map a lot. Check this out. You can click on any field that you might be looking for a job in. For example, I clicked on manufacturing. How many jobs are available? How many have been lost in manufacturing in any given state; each industry, each state. Hopefully it can help you find a job in addition to giving you facts you need.

Let's show everyone the graphic where I posted the links for you; it's at the blog I've also got it going on Facebook and Twitter for you;, same with Twitter.

Heidi, we're all hoping to see some action from Congress that could help these millions of families as soon as possible.

COLLINS: Yes, everybody, it's hard because everybody wants to see these people helped obviously but then where does the money...

LEVS: Come from.

COLLINS: ... come from in order to help them?

LEVS: And then -- right, we owe a debt as a society and then we have to pay interest on that. So exactly, right.

COLLINS: Yes, exactly. All right, Josh, we're going to continue to follow that. Thank you.

LEVS: Thanks, Heidi. COLLINS: There's an awful lot going on this morning. We certainly have our crews all over the world ready to bring it to you.

Now, I want to check in with our correspondents beginning this morning with Susan Lisovicz. She's at the New York Stock Exchange. Hey, Susan.

LISOVICZ: Hi Heidi, at the top of the hour we get a new report on new home sales. And we expect them to rise for the sixth straight month but the foreclosure crisis is beginning to spread into new metro areas. Heidi, I'll tell you where in the next hour.

MARCIANO: And the snow is beginning to spread eastward into the plains. Dust storm out west, rainstorm out east and we're still trying to launch that rocket down in Florida. All that coming up at the top of the hour.

SAYAH: I'm Reza Sayah live in Islamabad, Pakistan.

On the day U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives here, Pakistan's sees its deadliest car bombing this year. We'll tell you what happened and where Heidi, coming up at the top of the next hour.

COLLINS: All right, everyone, thank you.

Plus, a unique perspective on Afghanistan; we'll talk with the author of "A Woman among Warlords." She was recently suspended from the Afghan parliament for speaking her mind.


COLLINS: Police are calling it a barbaric act. A 15-year-old girl gang raped outside a homecoming dance and even more shocking, police say as many as ten people stood by and watched. CNN's Dan Simon reports from Richmond, California.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For two and a half hours police say she was repeatedly raped and beaten, two and a half hours. And it happened right under the noses of police officers, teachers, school administrators and other adults hired to make sure Richmond High School's homecoming dance went off without incident.

What happened? How could everyone have missed a gang rape happening on school grounds on their watch?

(on camera): As far as you know, nobody walked around outside of the school to see if anything was happening?

CHARLES RAMSEY, WEST CONTRA COSTA SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD: Obviously it didn't because this student was gang raped for two and a half hours from 9:30 to midnight and so I'm certain of that that there was no surveillance done.

SIMON (voice-over): Charles Ramsey is a 16-year member of the district school board. He says procedures weren't followed, procedures that require active surveillance during school events

(on camera): Why didn't anybody at the school bother to go outside and look around and see what may have been going on?

RAMSEY: I haven't been told that yet. I mean this just happened over the weekend. I'll have to look into that and find out.

I can't speak to what the motives and rationales but I believe from what I'm hearing that people felt the dance was going well. People were having fun. That everybody who was there was in the building and that they had closed the doors and so the situation has been contained.

And this girl had left so they didn't know that she had returned or came back.

Should we have anticipated it? Yes. I believe that you have to anticipate any potential problem.

SIMON: Here's what we know. The dance took place inside the high school gym and the victim left around 9:00 p.m. to be picked up by her father. Instead a friend asked her to walk with him toward a back alley on the other side of school. And that's apparently where they were greeted by others with alcohol.

(on camera): You can still see the remnants of some crime scene tape. This is where the people involved would have gained access to this area. Normally this fence right here is closed. We are told that everybody would have had to jump over this fence. And this is where the alleged rape took place back in this area where you see those picnic tables.

(voice-over): The area has no lights. No surveillance cameras either. They've been ordered but not installed yet. Another reason why Ramsey says it should have been searched. Not to mention the high school has a history of violence on campus. And Richmond itself is considered one of the most dangerous cities in California.

RAMSEY: The duly elected officials -- I'm going to share in the responsibility and say that we probably could have done better.

SIMON: If what happened here couldn't get any more troubling, listen to this. Police think as many as ten people might have been involved in the rape and another ten just stood by and watched. Why didn't they help? Why didn't they call 911? Right now police have no idea.

Police arrested the 15-year-old boy who led the victim to the alley. His name withheld because he's a minor. Also in custody, 19- year-old Manuel Ortega, a former Richmond High student. Neither has been formally charged.

LT. MARK GAGAN, RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA POLICE: What we also know is that during the two and a half hours this crime was going on, several people came and saw what was going on and either left and didn't report it to the police or stayed and observed and in some cases participated in her gang rape.

SIMON: The victim found unconscious was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries as a community wonders how a high school homecoming could have turned into such madness.

Dan Simon, CNN, Richmond, California.