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Taking Stock of Dubai: Investors Rattled by Emirate's Debt Woes; Retailers Hope to Avoid "Bleak Friday"; Global Warming Debate Heats Up over Leaked E-mails

Aired November 27, 2009 - 13:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And we are pushing forward now with the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM with Richard Lui.

RICHARD LUI, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, sir. Tony Harris.

This hour, so far so bad. Six months in Afghanistan, 11 soldiers killed from a single unit. We're live with the 4th Engineering Battalion, eagerly awaiting reinforcements.

And then innocence lost, guilt ignored, concealed for decades, exposed at last; sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in Ireland.

And "Killings at the Canal," murder in a war zone. If you thought CNN's special investigation was gripping, wait until you see the back story on that.

So, Black Friday on Wall Street? Not so much, but just as it did overseas, Dubai has put a dent in the Dow. It's closing down, it looks like, by a little bit more than 150. We're getting those final numbers in, in the next bunch of minutes.

And investors worldwide getting a rude surprise when a region seen as an economic Shangri-La turned out not to be immune to worldwide recession after all. Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates, a glittering oasis of wealth near the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Much of that glitter comes from Dubai World, a so-called sovereign wealth fund that invests in anything that it likes.

You might recall, back in 2006 it invested in U.S. ports and the resulting political uproar forced to it find a new buyer, a non-Middle Eastern buyer, some months later.

Dubai World, like the rest of the world, operates on borrowed money, and made it known this week that it would really like a six- month break from making payments. But wouldn't we all?

So, is this a sign of a new economic apocalypse or just another blip? I'm joined now by CNN's titans of business journalism. You can see we do have Ali Velshi here in Atlanta and then, live from London, we have Richard Quest, as well. We're going to start first with Ali Velshi right here.

Why do we care here in the United States about what is happening? ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we care today, first of all, because everything that happens all over the world tends to affect us. We've seen that happen over the last few years.

We also care because we're at this perilous time where we're seeing ourselves getting into recovery. There are a lot of people saying we're looking for any excuse to pull back on markets. We're looking for any reason to say this recovery is not coming or there's a double dip or there's another shoe to drop. So every time something very serious happens like this, we pay great attention to it.

This may not be as serious as it appears to be this week. Because it's a holiday week, it's getting a lot of attention. All markets aren't open; all traders aren't around. So it may be an exaggerated effect, but it's serious enough that it's got the world's attention and attention of investors.

LUI: We're still a little sketchy, still worried, is what you're saying?

VELSHI: That's right.

LUI: Hey, Richard Quest, when we look at Dubai and what is happening with Dubai World, why does this matter for other countries and other wealth funds, shall we say? Because we're looking at the Asia markets, down by 2 to 5 percent. Europe seemed not to care at all.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Europe did care on the Thursday session; it rebounded on Friday. And I think the reason is that the markets both in Asia, Europe and in the U.S. have been looking for some reason, some sort of indigestion, if you like, a chance to clear a little bit of froth off the top, and that's what this Dubai situation gave them. It gave people a reason to pause, take stock, and decide to sell on.

But the key thing is Europe didn't follow through on Friday, actually, with the FTSE making gains when all was said and done. And that, I think, shows that the Dubai issue is contained. It shows us that the excesses of certain places will be punished in debt in terms of rescheduling and in terms, obviously, of falling markets.

The British prime minister, Gordon Brown, has been speaking on this in the last couple of hours. Can I just read you? Mr. Brown says, "Whilst Dubai is a setback, I think we will find it is not on the scale of previous problems we've dealt with. Global recovery is not that necessarily going to be affected."

So, that gives you an idea: a nasty reputational problem for Dubai, but for the rest of us, a chance just to take stock.

LUI: OK. Ali Velshi here in the studio was agreeing with what you were saying there, Richard. How big of a domino is Dubai when you take a look at what happened just a year ago? VELSHI: OK. Remember that this is not Dubai saying that it is writing off its debt. It is asking for some time to pay off this debt or some time to not pay over the course of the next six months and to refinance. That's No. 1. It's not a write-down.

Number two, there are banks that do business with the United States that are involved with it that could have exposure to it. Citigroup is one of them, but there are other major banks. So it could have a ripple effect. In a world where credit is not flowing freely again, this could slow things down, not in the immediate effect, but it does affect everybody out there with a 401(k), for instance, because your Dow went down 150 points today.

Richard makes the point that there are a lot of people looking for excuses to sell stocks anyway. This might have been one of them. So we don't know how serious an affect it is, but it does show you that something happening 10,000 miles around the world does have an effect on your ability to retire on time or make money.

LUI: On the other side of the world, Richard, what is unique about Dubai real estate, obviously part of the calculation here?

QUEST: No doubt about it. Dubai real estate, pretty much like any places in the United States, but even more so. So, take Las Vegas and then multiply it many times over and throw in a financial industry. Throw in excess of things like building islands, like Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali, building the largest, tallest building in the world, the Burj at Dubai.

Throw in all these massive infrastructure projects, and then realize that the only thing holding the whole thing up is borrowed money, a wing, a prayer, and, of course, building Dubai. There's no natural oil industry, not much to talk of. There's no infrastructure industry elsewhere.

Dubai will recover from this. But the -- the issue has to be whether, as a result, what comes out of it is more solidly based. Property played its part; speculators did part of the damage, as well.

LUIS: All right. Back down to here in the United States. Ali, want to take a look at this, the market volume today. The market being down about 150 right now.

VELSHI: Yes, But thin.

LUI: Thin? Should we worry about this number?

VELSHI: Well, we've got these markets closing up. It's a half a day. No, you never worry about a number on a day during a week that is largely a holiday week. Remember, you've got thin trading on the U.S., which means there are some people trading today. There are a lot of people not trading today who just didn't go back to work. They've been on vacation for Thanksgiving.

In the Arab world it's Eid, which means they're not trading. So it's just generally thin trading around the world. And it's very hard to measure the -- the effect of a financial crisis or a development like this when you don't have full and free market trading.

Let's see what happens next week. Let's see if there's any spillover effect, whether investors are still saying, "this Dubai thing is making me worried about the future of my bank, my investments or my property value." We'll have a better evaluation. I think Richard and I are on the same page right now, where we think this is contained. At the same time we are both smart enough to know you never want to be the guy who said, "This is nothing" and find out that it might have greater reach than we thought it did.

There's still a lot of details that we don't know about this deal, but I think Richard's evaluation of this is that it was a bubble. Everybody who's seen Dubai or been to Dubai knows that Dubai was a bubble that was going to come a little undone at some point. You're starting to see that now.

LUI: A lot what's happening there. Last one to Richard Quest. Very quickly. So Richard, what are we looking for next in terms of the next week or month?

LUI: Very clearly, the first thing that has to happen is next week Dubai has to come out with a very clear statement of how it's going to restructure not only Dubai World, but also any other of the Dubai entities that might be facing fiscal and financial problems. The worst thing would be for around two, round three, and round four.

And to Ali's point, to sum that up perfectly, I think, is we can simply say anyplace that builds an artificial ski slope in the middle of the desert is probably looking for trouble.

LUI: It's a nice one, though, Richard. It's a quite nice one.

QUEST: It is.

LUI: Richard Quest in London, thank you so much.

Ali Velshi right here.

And, of course, before we move on, you might want to know that Ali is going to be back at 3 p.m. Eastern for a full hour. He's filling in today for Rick Sanchez. You've got a lot coming up. Very good. Thank you, sir.

VELSHI: See you.

LUI: Maybe you're watching us on your new fancy HD plasma TV, wearing your new Snuggie and playing with an electronic hamster. Black Friday is in full swing.

So far we're seeing the crowds but not the chaos. People seem to know what they want, where to get it and how much they're going to pay. The National Retail Federation expects more bargain hunters today than on Black Friday '08. But it also thinks when the deals are gone, the shoppers will be gone, as well. We'll take you where the action is in a few minutes. Leeann Taylor was not up all night camping out for a deeply- discounted Snuggie, though. She was getting ready to pitch her skills. We're giving her 30 seconds to explain why you ought to give her a job.


LUI: Diabetes care will cost how much? The doctor's bill could hit 12 figures by 2034. That's a whole lot of zeroes. So who's picking up the tab?


LUI: Bargain hunters burning off the stuffing and pie today. Retailers hoping for a Black Friday that's not as bleak as last year. Let's see how things are looking at store level.

CNN's Adriana Hauser is at Macy's in New York City.

And Adriana, how's it looking right now? It looks like there's a lot of shoppers there still out there.

ADRIANA HAUSER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And it's been like that since the beginning. Richard, we were here bright and early -- actually dark and early. It wasn't even bright at that moment. The doors opened at 5 a.m. According to Macy's CEO there were about 5,000 people waiting in line to come in, and the steady flow of people have remained the same way all through the day.

The best deals happened in the morning from 1 -- from 5 a.m. in the morning until 1 p.m. The rest of the day will be just more typical deals, what you would expect from a holiday season.

Here today is Cheryl (ph). She's visiting from Atlanta -- I'm sorry, you are visiting from Wisconsin, and you've been here since 7 a.m. What brought you here so early, and what have you found?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, there's a lot of deals out there. The 1 p.m. is really the key deal, but getting to the register is a little hard. But there's lot of Ralph Lauren sweaters. There's lots of deals on underwear, socks, things of that nature. But it's really fun.

HAUSER: Is it the first time you're here on a Black Friday?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Black Friday, yes, it's the first time I'm here. I come to New York shopping during the summer, but better deals right now.

HAUSER: Has it been worth it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, it's the greatest experience of life, just coming to the parade, coming and seeing Macy's, and then shopping like crazy. It's so much fun.

HAUSER: Well, I won't stop you from your shopping. Cheryl, keep shopping. Keep helping the economy. Thank you so much.

Richard, the National Retail Federation expected that there will be an increase of 16 percent more shoppers hitting the stores. However, they do anticipate a decline in overall sales for the entire season -- Richard.

LUIS: And compared to last year, Adriana, we were looking at retail spending down about 3 percent. So it looks like things are turning up.

HAUSER: Well, yes, if we compare to last year, let's remember that there was a decline in sales for the entire season, not for just Black Friday, but for the entire season, of 3.4 percent. This year they expect a 1 percent decline, so, yes, it's a little bit better than this year. Let's see if that really translates into positive numbers.

Let's remember that Black Friday is about those red numbers turning black, in other words retailers making revenues and generating revenues.

So, another interesting item from the National Retail Association is that consumer spending will be less. They expect more or less 3.2 percent less spending than last year.

So, we'll see what happens. This year retailers expecting, you know, weaker sales. They -- they cut out -- they cut their interview -- they cut their inventory sooner, and they're expecting to see a stronger season than last year -- Richard.

LUI: All right, you've been seeing all the deals there, Adriana. Anything you are eyeing there? Anything you like?

HAUSER: Richard?

LUI: Looks like we're losing the connection. I was just curious what you saw out there. I know you were inside Macy's.

But Adriana Hauser there, watching for us. What is the Black Friday, a lot of people out there. Also filling us in on retail sales. Thanks so much.

You don't have to camp outside to take advantage of good deals. You can camp out in front of your computer, you know. Some online retailers were putting the deals out there yesterday. Others were marking stuff down earlier in the week. And get this: one IT firm believes workers will spend the equivalent of two entire work days surfing for gifts on the boss's time.

And this just in: Leanne Taylor needs a job. A special post- Thanksgiving "30-second Pitch" today, featuring a fellow broadcaster, actually. Just goes to show you, in this down economy, we don't just report the stories; we also live them.

Leanne Taylor has been a radio personality across the northeast for 16 years now, but she was laid off last year. OK, Leanne Taylor, before we get to your "30-Second Pitch," tell us about how you got into the situation. Were you surprised when you were let go?

LEANNE TAYLOR, JOB SEEKER: I was a little bit surprised. I didn't expect that we'd have a budgetary problem or restructure issues. Apparently, the recession hit radio before it hit most other places.

LUI: And so what has worked best for you in terms of the tools that you've been using to try to find a new opportunity?

TAYLOR: Well, I -- the pool is very small. So, I think a little bit differently when I go ahead and attack how I'm going to look for a job. I also studied to be a paralegal so I'd have a backup plan in case the radio thing didn't work out. But I used Facebook a lot, actually, to network and to try and find jobs that aren't posted.

LUI: So, social media has been a tool that you've used that's worked OK. All right, great. You know what to do now. We'll warm you up. Hope you've been doing your "30-Second Pitch" calisthenics to be ready for this. We're going to start the clock in just a little bit. Are you ready? You ready?

TAYLOR: I'm ready.

LUI: All right, three -- OK, here we go. Leanne Taylor, three, two, one. Give us your pitch.

TAYLOR: I'm Leanne Taylor, and I'm looking for a job in country radio or as a paralegal. I'm passionate about music listeners and team work. I bring it on the air and as an APDMD.

Knowledge is power. And I research all the time with music, my demo, and prep. I'm talented at creative production and also exciting promotions, and my skills fit well in paralegal work. I'm organized, great with people and deadlines.

My dad always said actions speak louder than words, so hire me, and I'll prove I've got what it takes.

LUI: You did it in 30 seconds flat! You must have timed that out. And of course, we do these "30-Second Pitches," because it -- it really is the way things are. When you're out there and meeting different people, you have to give these very concise pitches.

So Leanne Taylor, great stuff. Once again, thank her e-mail is If you'd like to reach her, we'll have her e- mail posted on our blog:

And if you want to be part of the pitch, e-mail us at -- your resume at Or tweet us at KyraCNN. Next hour we will have another pitch.

Good work, Leanne Taylor. Global warming always sparks a fiery debate. Is the threat real or just a scare tactic? Now the debate's heating up again with some leaked e-mails. We've got our hands on them.


LUI: Your top stories right now.

More revelations from that Northwest Airlines flight that overshot the Minneapolis Airport by 150 miles last month. In recordings released by the FAA today, one of the pilots told air traffic control they dropped from radio contact because of cockpit distraction. Now, the pilots were out of radio contact for more than one hour. We'll listen to some of those recordings next hour. Stick around for that.

And then new details for you on the couple who crashed the White House state dinner on Tuesday night. Court records showing they've been involved in at least 16 civil suits as plaintiffs or defendants. The Secret Service says the case is moving closer to a criminal investigation now. And in a Facebook post, the couple's lawyer says they were cleared by the White House to be at the dinner.

Atlantis back on solid ground. A beautiful landing, as you can see there. The shuttle touching down in perfect weather this morning at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew spent 11 days in space. The key focus of their mission was to deliver spare parts to prolong the life of the International Space Station.

Boston shoppers, grab your umbrellas as you head out the door. Rain is making for a pretty nasty day there. And Chad Myers checks in now with the holiday shopping forecast.


CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Richard, I know you are always online and every day at one twenty-something, 1:22, we bring you some of the best Web sites on the Web. And right now we're focusing on travel Web sites, since this is kind of a travel time., what I love about this, not how you can find your planes or anything, I love going onto this little thing here called "Things to Do." You type in a city that you're going to, or even one that you live in, and you can find all the things to do that people rate. This is independently rated by people that have actually done these things.

And would you -- what do you think the No. 1 thing to do in Atlanta is?

LUI: Gosh.

MYERS: I know CNN tour.

LUI: CNN tour. Maybe go to the aquarium. MYERS: Yes. No. The city Segway tours, where you get on this little Segway, you know, you see the police on them, and you just walk along.

LUI: Oh, yes. Right.

MYERS: That is the No. 1 thing to do in Atlanta. I've never tried it. I don't know.

No. 2 thing, go to the Federal Reserve bank. I didn't think of that either, but go to Tripadviser, it would show you all those fun things.

LUI: I drive by that there, Chad. There aren't a lot of people there.

MYERS: I know. All right.

LUI: Tripadviser, good stuff. I'm going to try the Segway, too, and now you have ice skating in the park here in Atlanta, too.

MYERS: Oh, is it going now?

LUI: I think soon, yes. All right. Thanks, Chad Myers.

So, speaking of weather, how is the weather? Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will join President Obama in next month's climate change summit in Copenhagen. Along with that word, a pledge by Beijing to drastically cut greenhouse emissions over the next decade. The U.S. has made a similar pledge, and the summit, sponsored by the United Nations, gets underway December the 7th in the Danish capital.

Conspiracy or taken out of context? That's what many are wondering after hackers made public some sensitive e-mails. They say the e-mails show how scientists cooked the books to make their case for climate change.

Brooke Baldwin takes a look at it.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The consensus is the climate is changing. That the burning of fossil fuels is a significant factor goes way beyond the pop culture sensation of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" and his appearance on last week's episode of "30 Rock" on NBC.

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Encourage your lawmakers to take action and recycle everything, including jokes.

JACK MCBRAYER, ACTOR: I'm sorry, sir, what?

GORE: Go ahead. Oil is in trouble. I have to go.

BALDWIN: So, when a reputable climate research institute has its computer server hacked and hundreds of its private e-mails made public, the news gets around fast, especially from groups that don't believe the global warming consensus.

One e-mail attributed to the research center's director had this cryptic excerpt, referring to the, quote, "trick of adding in the real temps to each series to hide the decline in temperature." Because there's very little context in that e-mail and the others, it's hard to know what they'll all add up to.

The climate research unit in question here posted a message calling this e-mail hack job mischievous and saying it is helping the police investigate.

Senator James Inhofe has for many years portrayed this data showing the warming trend as a hoax and sees the e-mails as evidence.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: I'm pleased by the vast and growing number of scientists, politicians, reporters, all over the world, who are publicly rejecting climate alarmism. Alarmism, this is those who want to care people into some kind of action. You know, the water's going to rise up and the world's coming to an end.

BALDWIN: But the White House energy czar points to the 2,500 climate scientists all around the world who agree the climate is warming and that these e-mails aren't changing that.

As for the American public, according to a "Washington Post"/ABC News poll out this week, the number of Americans who believe global warming is happening is down, from 80 percent to 72 percent from last year. Down, but still a large majority.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We really do have global warming. The polar bears are getting in trouble, and the glaciers are melting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do think that we tend to blow things a little bit out of proportion, but I do think we need to be concerned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is -- it is overhyped. I think some of it is attributed to man, but not all of it.

BALDWIN: That same "Washington Post"/ABC News poll shows, since 2006, the increase in climate skepticism is driven largely by a shift within the Republican party and independents. There was also a dip among Democrats, but small. Still, a majority of respondents support a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

Brooke Baldwin, CNN, Atlanta.


LUI: A hidden bomb, a deadly blast. A threat looms large around every corner in Afghanistan. Meet the soldiers who hunt down the improvised explosives. Too many already lost in the line of duty.


LUI: President Obama is promising to finish the job in Afghanistan, and he's expected to add more oomph to the flight -- or, rather, the fight there. He's reportedly planning to ask for about 34,000 additional troops on the ground, and CNN has learned the first wave of extra GIs could deploy before the end of the year. The president bill lay out the new strategy on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

And our "Decision Afghanistan" coverage starts at 7:00 Eastern. Catch it all live right here on CNN.

A possible surge of troops to combat surging violence and surging danger -- almost 300 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year. Most died because of IEDs, improvised explosive devices.

Our Frederik Pleitgen is embedded with the unit that's on the hunt for hidden bombs and counting casualties.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A little more than six months ago, we were with the 4th Engineer Battalion when they first touched down in Kandahar, airlifted directly from Iraq to southern Afghanistan, to help bolster the war effort against a resurgent Taliban. One of those making the move: Private First Class Kimble Han.

(on camera): What's your family say?

PFC. KIMBLE HAN, U.S. ARMY: My family? They're supportive, when you make the decision to join the Army, especially during at the time of war, they -- you know, they support it and they what they're doing is we're doing the right thing.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Kimble Han was killed on October 23rd when a roadside bomb struck his vehicle. His was not the only casualty this unit has suffered.

(on camera): In all, the unit has already lost 11 men in just over six months here in Afghanistan, most of them to improvised explosive devices.

(voice-over): Seventeen soldiers have suffered so-called "life- changing injuries," like losing limbs.

PFC. MATTHEW STAMFORD, U.S. ARMY: Not only mentally but physically, it's a lot, it's very exhausting to know that somebody that you were working with went down. There was nothing you could really do it.


PLEITGEN: One thing they can do: train new arrivals on how to evacuate the wounded after an IED strike. The hidden devices are now the number one killer of American soldiers in Afghanistan. And some of those in this unit that hunts IEDs say: the only way to change that is by putting more boots on the ground. SGT. BOBBY MARTIN, U.S. ARMY: I think we could use a lot more -- more presence makes to make sure that our routes are a lot safer. Starts to (INAUDIBLE) don't have enough to deploy big IEDs.

PLEITGEN: The bomb that killed Kimble Han was a charge packed with several hundred pounds of explosives.

HAN: I think we've been prepared. I think we've all done the training necessary to accomplish the mission at hand.

PLEITGEN: But making that mission less treacherous will be a challenge, one of the most critical challenges in this eight-year-long war.


LUI: All right. Frederik Pleitgen is joining us now live from Zabul Province.

And you were showing pictures in your piece here, Frederik, of those troop carriers reinforced. I've driven them before, very heavy.

Is that the right equipment that they need? And are they getting the right sort of stuff they need to survive these IEDs?

PLEITGEN: Hi, Richard.

Yes, I think, by and large, they have the right equipment that they need. However, they do say that there are some things that they really can't get enough of. One of the things are helicopters in the air. One thing they do do to try to find IEDs before they can actually explode, or to try and find the people who are planting them, is to have a lot of helicopters in the area. Right now, they say they don't really have enough to really cover all the battle field they have.

Now, the other thing they say -- and this really comes right back to the troop decision that's coming up in the next couple of days by the president -- they say they simply don't have enough soldiers on the ground here. They say, the main problem is, Richard, that they'll go in somewhere, they'll clear that area of the Taliban, and really only a couple hours later, the Taliban will come back, because the Americans simply don't have enough boots on the ground to maintain those areas, to hold those areas -- and that's another really big issue when you look at something like route clearance.

The guys who hunt the IEDs, who were in that report, they say they'll clear a road, and a couple hours later it will be full of improvised explosive devices again because they simply don't have enough boots on the ground to hold that area, Richard.

LUI: You talked about the persistent problems, Frederik, with those IEDs. Are there any concerns then as you get more boots on the ground? Possibly, again, we're expecting the president to make an announcement on Tuesday on this. PLEITGEN: Yes, really, that comes down to something that you just said before, the fact that some of these troops may possibly deploy before the year is over. One thing that's actually a major issue here in Afghanistan is the fact that a lot of the military bases here are just bursting with soldiers. They're very full already, and the infrastructure really isn't up to holding as many troops as might possibly come in.

And I'm here at a place called Camp Wolverine in Zabul Province. That's actually one of the few forward operating bases that's being expanded right now where in anticipation of all of this, there's a lot of construction going on. However, there are a lot of other bases where it is really going to be a very, very big problem to accommodate more soldiers -- Richard.

LUI: Great report. Frederik Pleitgen there in Zabul Province in Afghanistan -- thank you very much.

Our fallen heroes this hour, from the 4th Engineering Battalion, the unit just featured in Frederik's piece. You heard about Private Kimble Han.

Also killed in that same IED blast, Specialist Eric Lembke, age 25. Specialist Lembke was from the Tampa area. He was working at a grocery store last year when he decided to enlist, to make a better life for his family, he thought.

He leaves behind his wife Mashelle, his high school sweetheart, and two children: 6-year-old Alexis and Thomas, who is 3 as well.

Specialist Kevin Hill, also enlisted last year, proudly following in his veteran father's footsteps. The 23-year-old had just earned a criminal justice degree, studying hard, but making time for two of his favorite things: video games and museums. Specialist Hill was killed October 4th when insurgents attacked his outposts. And he and Specialist Lembke, whose dignified transfer you see here, two of the 920 troops lost in "Operation: Enduring Freedom."

Next hour: Two more fallen heroes from the 4th Engineer Battalion.



LUI: Talk about a big doctor's bill, the number of U.S. citizens with diabetes could double in the next 25 years, according to a report from the University of Chicago.

Senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, joins us right now live.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it's just amazing, almost double between now and 25 years from now. LUI: It's huge.

COHEN: Right. The numbers are just huge. We're talking about Type II diabetes and what it's going to do in this country in the next 25 years.

Take a look at these numbers. Right now, we have about 24 million diabetics in this country. By 2034, the folks at the University of Chicago say, we'll have 44 million diabetics in this country.

And what's so -- what's so interesting about this is that you might think it's because -- well, as a nation, we're becoming heavier. But, when they did the study, they decided to assume that we're not getting heavier. They decided to assume we're not getting fatter over the next 25 years. They said this increase is just because the population's aging. That the baby boomers get older, they're more at risk for getting diabetes.

LUI: We've all been to the hospital. We've all gone in to see the doctor. Double or almost double, what it's going to do to the system?

COHEN: It's going to more than double the amount of money that we spent. It's not a linear relationship.

LUI: Right.

COHEN: The number is going to go up even more.

So, let's take a look at what this does to how much money we spend on diabetes -- spending right now: $113 billion. With this increase in the number of people with Type II diabetes, they expect to see $336 billion spent in 2034.

But here's -- here's an interesting way of looking at it. If we could get diabetes under control, in this country, we would save about $217 million a year.

LUI: Hmm.

COHEN: So, that would be an incredible savings...

LUI: Right.

COHEN: ... if we can get it under control.

LUI: Going the other way in terms...

COHEN: Exactly.

LUI: ... instead of being a cost to the system.

COHEN: Right.

LUI: Not to mention the infrastructure and how we handle that. COHEN: Absolutely.

LUI: Hey, you know, what can we do to slow it down? Because we want to definitely try to do that.

COHEN: Right. You know, the answer's a little boring, I got to tell you. Lose weight and exercise. If you lose weight and exercise, you decrease your chance that you're going to get diabetes. Now, you don't have to go and train for the Olympics -- taking a 30-minute walk, like vigorous walking, can decrease your chance of getting diabetes. That's the -- that's all you have to do.

LUI: It's a simple prescription that we all need to follow for many different ailments.

COHEN: Exactly. So, you might as well do it.

LUI: All right, get moving. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much.

COHEN: Thanks.

LUI: Dubai cannot pay its bills on time, and that's making Wall Street very, very nervous. The Middle Eastern city-state wants to suspend payments on its $60 billion debt. It went on a construction boom the past several years that was huge, and now, its real estate market has tanked.

Sharp words from the White House, calling for Iran to quit its disputed nuclear program. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issuing a statement that says, Tehran needs to get on board with the diplomatic solution soon or face some consequences. This comes after the head of the U.N.'s atomic watchdog, his group, stepped down, saying the agency has hit a dead-end with Iran.

And it's Black Friday. When bargain-hunting becomes a competitive sport, shall we say, and retailers say this year they're seeing some encouraging signs -- people seem to be forgoing the window shopping and actually spending some money. But just how much are shoppers spending? Only a cash register count will tell.

Shorthand dictation, bomb threats, police say, a Florida secretary was good at all three of those. We're not sure if she should be arrested or promoted here.


LUI: Who would have thought that garlic would be the new gold? That's kind of what's happening in China right now. Think about that the next time you order garlic bread sticks if you can afford them, that is.

Here's CNN's senior international correspondent, John Vause.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Forget the stock market and gold. The real action in China seems to be garlic.

Nationally, wholesale prices have risen from around 23 U.S. cents a kilo back in march to about 90 U.S. cents a kilo right now, with word that speculators are playing the market. State-run television reports just several stock traders have stockpiled thousands of tons of garlic and are now controlling the price in China. And because China produces two-thirds of the world supply, they are effectively controlling global prices as well.

Many of the so-called garlic traders appeared in the report boasting about making tens of thousands of dollars profit in just a few months. In one city a garlic-producing hub, the investment bank, Morgan Stanley, reports that prices there have increased by 40-fold, and explains the dramatic price increase is the result of reduced plantings by farmers because of the economic crisis and a mistaken belief in China that garlic can be used to treat H1N1 or swine flu.

It's easy to speculate in garlic because it's a cash market. There are no hedging tools. So, will this garlic bubble burst? Well, many people are now waiting on that with bated breath.

John Vause, CNN, Beijing.


LUI: The Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal raised eyebrows and made waves here. Now, Ireland has opened its eyes to a similar sickening cover-up. And the heavily Catholic country is not in a forgiving mood.

Plus, remember the flight that overshot its destination last month? And how crazy it all seemed, 77 minutes of radio silence? Imagine how the air traffic controllers felt about that one. Brand new next hour, the tower tapes on Northwest 188.

In bomb threats for dummies, it'd have to be tip number one, don't e-mail it from home. Miami police had a pretty easy time tracking down a woman who did. Much harder? Believing her motive.

All right, here it goes for you. This lady is a secretary. Her boss was running late for his flight. So, police say, she figured she'd buy him some time, a phone call and an e-mail later, success for her. The plane was delayed for hours. And then searched. So was her condo, once cops tracked the computer's IP address.

And I tell you, though, she's got "Employee of the Month" all locked up. I don't know, though.

All right. Somebody who is totally out of the running this month, the ticket man, a Michigan cop notorious for citing drivers. His latest victim? An ambulance rushing a psych patient to the hospital. The officer pulled him over a few blocks away for an illegal left turn.

A little background here for you? The ticket man has been warned by his bosses a bunch of times and featured on the local news. You see -- the more tickets that he writes, the more court dates that he's got and the more overtime that he logs. So, he denies any wrongdoing in this, but this time, the judge felt the ambulance driver was right and dismissed the ticket. "What the ...?"

If it's Friday, you better believe we've got your backstory. And Michael Holmes is bringing some great stuff with him -- a behind-the- scenes look at one of the week's biggest stories.


LUI: Four Iraqis gunned down execution-style by U.S. soldiers who tried and failed to keep the secret. All this week, we've been bring you Abbie Boudreau's special investigation "Killings at the Canal: The Army Tapes."

Well, with every story, there's certainly a "BACKSTORY" of how it all came together. As you can see here, every Friday, we have CNN International's Michael Holmes who brings that to us live.

What did you learn about this?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL: You know, I have been watching it on your show, too, her show, the Abbie Boudreau's story. And they're being terrific, it's been amazing.

But, you know, I bumped to her and her producer, Scott...

LUI: Right.

HOLMES: ... in the car door about five or six months ago. And I said, "You guys, you're doing such great stuff, I want to get the backstory. So, start shooting it, will you?" They did. And as this story tying together and it took months and months for them to pull this together. It was such a complex story. Scott and Abbie both shot little bits, on the way, and it really is a good-looking how something this complex comes together behind the scenes.

And so, you know, we've got it for you now.


SCOTT ZAMOST, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT PRODUCER: These are the originals of the DVDs that we're going to see -- that you're going to see for the first time and I've only seen a portion of them.

ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT: We waited quite a long time to actually get the tapes, and this was the first time we were looking at them.

ZAMOST: Right here. There you.


SGT. MICHAEL LEAHY, U.S. ARMY: Today's date is 18th of January, 2008.


BOUDREAU: He looks so young.


M. LEAHY: I heard shots from (INAUDIBLE).


BOUDREAU (voice-over): This soldier was confessing to murdering a detainee. His name is Michael Leahy.

(on camera): It's so weird to see him eating the chips and drinking that Mountain Dew or whatever he's drinking while he's being asked these questions.

(voice-over): We wanted to find out more about Sergeant Leahy so we went to Illinois to talk to his wife Jamie.

ZAMOST: We're going to be interviewing Jamie Leahy. We've been setting up here.

We have all the things laid out on the table, pictures, photos that Jamie has laid out in anticipation of our visit. And we're going to be videotaping that and we are getting set up here in the living room.


ZAMOST: How close are we?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably five minutes. We're just tweaking it at this point. So....

BOUDREAU: It was a really emotional interview. We talked about how her life has basically been put on hold because of all of this. And then in the middle of the interview, her phone rings and it's her husband Michael Leahy calling from prison at Fort Leavenworth.


JAMIE LEAHY, MICHAEL LEAHY'S WIFE: Hello? OK, all right. Yes, OK, hold on one second.

I'll be right back. OK.

ZAMOST: Did you expect him to call during the interview?

LEAHY: I didn't because I thought he was going to be working at this time. So, his schedule must have changed or he has a day off, I don't know.


BOUDREAU: We also wanted to talk to her husband, but the Army would not allow us to do that. We went to Fort Leavenworth anyway. (on camera): We're going to interview a sociologist who has just spent some time with two of the soldiers who are part of this story, and we're all going to get some insight and some perspective as to, you know, how these people -- how these soldiers are doing and what they're really -- what they're going through.

I have had quite a day trying to get everything set up. We were going to fly our photographer in from Chicago and bad weather in Chicago, storms and hail and all this other stuff. So, he was not able to make the flight so we spent the afternoon trying to find another freelance photographer who we were able to find someone who was to save the day.

So, now we're on our way, we're on the drive to Fort Leavenworth. And eventually, things are a little bit smoother once we (INAUDIBLE).

ZAMOST: So, we're approaching Fort Leavenworth.

BOUDREAU (voice-over): We met up with Stefan Mestrovik (ph) outside the gates of Fort Leavenworth. He just left the prison that part of the day with Michael Leahy.

STEFAN MESTROVIK: One of the things they're trying to tell me is, they said to me, "We're not monsters." And I go, "I know that."

BOUDREAU: Our investigation didn't end there.

ZAMOST: We're setting for Josh Hartson's interview.

It's Wednesday of July 22nd. Abbie is working on some notes in the back seat, we're just driving.

BOUDREAU: We went all across the country, even to Germany, to get the full story of what happened.


LUI: All right, well. You know, you've been over there nine times for CNN on tours to report for us. You know, we're talking sort of a different reality that those who don't spend time over there need to think of.

HOLMES: Yes. Yes. And, yes, let's be honest, like, what these guys did was wrong on so many levels.

LUI: Right.

HOLMES: But yes, it is interesting on how you get into a different reality when you're there and these guys do, too. And they're dealing with things that are hard for us to understand. And one example actually that I could give you is...

LUI: Right.

HOLMES: ... I was there -- last summer, I was there actually. And, of course, roadside bombs have now become ubiquitous. LUI: Right.

HOLMES: The enemy is hard to see. In fact, it's impossible to see the enemy because they're doing the bombing mainly, or they'll shoot and run. This isn't a traditional war.

One guy I was talking to who's a driver of my Humvee when I was embedded, I said to him, "How do you see the mission now that roadside bombs are taking over?" And he said, "Sir, my job is to drive outside the wire and tool around until someone blows me up."

LUI: Wow.

HOLMES: And that was the mindset that these guys were having at that time and still do now, although they're not going outside the wires. This is now happening in Afghanistan.

So, yes, the pressures of people who aren't there, they're never going to get it, you know? So, even though what happened here was obviously wrong and a crime and was murder, you know, I kind of see the pressures.

LUI: Yes.


LUI: Unique perspective, "BACKSTORY" always has that.

Michael Holmes, thank you so much.

HOLMES: Good to see you.

LUI: And if you want to see more from Michael and the "BACKSTORY" crew, they've got lots of great stuff on their Web site: Check it out.

Thank you, Mike.