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White House Party Crashers; Danger at Newark Airport; Streamlining and Saving Jobs; Tiger Woods Postpones Police Interview; More Troops to Afghanistan

Aired November 28, 2009 - 19:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Don Lemon live here at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

I have a whole bunch planned for you but then, just in the last second, we're getting some new developments that started to come in that Tiger Woods' story -- you know, that accident that happened early Friday morning. He and his wife were supposed to meet with police today. But at the last minute, officers say they got a phone call from Woods' agent and they were turned away and then told to come back tomorrow.

We have a video of police leaving the home just a short while ago. It's from our affiliate down there in Florida.

We're going to turn now to our Susan Candiotti. Susan has just off the phone with police. She's in the exclusive gated community where it happened.

What are they telling you? They are saying, Susan, they are giving you some new details about the last-second phone call. They got there and then said they couldn't talk to the couple. What's going on?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I guess we can say tomorrow is another day, Don. But FHP, those troopers say they are surprised as the next guy that this is going on as long as it is. They were turned away for the second time. They were on their way over for an appointment to talk to Tiger Woods and his wife, to take what they think is a very routine statement about what happened in this minor car accident.

But when they were on their way over there, they got a call from Tiger Woods' agent saying they're not available. If there was an explanation, the spokesperson for the Florida Highway Patrol doesn't know what it is. But they made an appointment to come back again tomorrow. But troopers say this is very unusual. Normally, people just make a statement and that's pretty much the end of it.

LEMON: Yes, Susan. I was going to talk to you because I'm looking at some of the notes that you sent in to us. You said they tried to speak with Woods on Friday, right, as part of the routine accident. His wife said he was sleeping. And then they decided to come back again on Saturday and then they get a phone call.

The person that you're speaking to, Sergeant Kim Montes, right? She said that it was unusual for this to happen. CANDIOTTI: That's right.

LEMON: Right. But they do have a certain amount of time. I think in Florida, it's like 42 or 72 hours, or 78 hours, that you can wait to talk to police, but still, they're saying this is unusual.

CANDIOTTI: Well, actually -- actually, she is saying that, it turns out that neither Tiger Woods, or anyone else for that matter, is under any obligation -- they're not required to give a statement after a traffic accident. All they have to do, really, by law, is to provide proof that they have a valid driver's license, proof of registration, and proof of insurance. That's it.

So, technically speaking, he doesn't have to talk with them, but like they said, normally, people do.

LEMON: OK. Also, in your notes here, you're saying his wife went with him in the ambulance. Are police telling you that? And then, also, some new information about which windows or window was broken out of the SUV.

CANDIOTTI: That's right. Remember, there was no damage to the front window. We know that Tiger Woods had cuts, according to the local police, who were the first ones on the scene, cuts on his upper and lower lip, that he had some blood in his mouth, and they said he wasn't really able to answer any questions because he was sort of slipping in and out of consciousness, as they put it. So, he was rushed to the hospital but then was released on Friday in good condition.

However, the police investigators from the Florida Highway Patrol did look at the SUV and said that the rear passenger side windows on the left and the right were smashed away. We know that Tiger's wife told police that she used a golf club to smash out the windows and she explained it was because the doors were locked and she wanted to get her husband out of the car. That was what she had told the local authorities.

LEMON: OK. And also, is this -- I'm also reading your notes and saying they were asking neighbors for surveillance video.

CANDIOTTI: That's right. They want to see whether -- you know, these are very classy homes, upscale community -- whether any of the homes had any surveillance cameras set up that might have captured what actually happened. So, they will also check to see whether there are any witnesses.

They're also estimating that the damage to the car is about $5,000 to $8,000 to the front of the car. That's for the main damage is. This is a Cadillac SUV.

LEMON: All right. Susan Candiotti, great details there. New information coming in to CNN from police, and according to the officer, the Sergeant Kim Montes, Susan said that she spoke to, he said, "We simply want" -- or she said, "We simply to ask why," said it was very unusual not to give a statement, right? "So we simply want to ask why did he crash his car. All we're trying to do is get his side of the story here." And it appears, you know, from the onset, maybe he is tired, maybe he's in and out of consciousness, but they're having a little bit of trouble.

CANDIOTTI: And, you know, Don, maybe tomorrow will be the day when Tiger Woods and his wife do get to give their part of the story and tell us exactly what happened. Again, it seems to be a minor traffic accident. So, perhaps it's just a matter of scheduling, timing, we don't know.

I did ask the Florida Highway Patrol, finally, tonight, you know, we asked local police chief, "Do you know, have any idea why he was leaving the house at 2:30 in the morning?" There are a lot of questions. Was there a problem in the house? Was there something going on? And the chief said he didn't have any information about that.

I asked the Florida Highway Patrol whether at this point they do, and they said, "No, we don't." But obviously, if there is a turn in the road, we're going to go down it because we are deep into this right now.

LEMON: All right. Susan Candiotti with the latest developments, and not reported anywhere, first I've seen that. Susan, nice job getting those details. If you get more, we'll have you back later on in the broadcast. Thank you so much.

Tiger Woods, you know, by one count, has been called the first athlete in history to earn $1 billion, much of it from corporate endorsement. And his career, well, it is far from over -- far from over. This may end up just being a bump in the road. We shall see, though.

Let's talk more about this Tiger Woods brand with Rick Horrow. He is our sports business analyst.

Hi, Rick. How are you?

RICK HORROW, CNN SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: Hi, man. Hey, you know, he may have 30 more years to play. This is his first $1 billion, so clearly, it's far from over.

LEMON: Far from over. So, and to gauge the interest in this, everyone is wondering -- you know, some people are wondering why are so many people interested in this. I mean, Tiger Woods is a phenomenon and by his own right. As we said, $1 billion, he's the first athlete. He's really his own brand, his own company.

How might this affect that if at all?

HORROW: Remember, we talked about this off camera. And this, you know, whether he's out at 2:30 in the morning for reasons that are related to anything we know or not, that may come out long term. If it's a story or non-story, this is the most recognizable person in the planet -- maybe in the history of the planet -- given the way we communicate with each other today. And his first billion is one of many. And the bottom line is, whatever his story is, is it $5,000 of damage on his SUV? Did he knock over a fire hydrant? And did it go vertical or horizontal? Did, you know, Elin Woods hit the window on the left side or the right side with a 9 iron or a driver? I mean, those are interesting questions with someone - remember -- who again, is the most recognizable person maybe in the history of the world.

LEMON: And, again, that's the interest. Until we get to the bottom of this, people are going to be wondering why, you know, why doesn't he just come out and say what happened, and what-have-you. And that's his prerogative, really.

But you can understand the attention here, Rick, when you -- when you -- when you, you know, see the amount of championships he's won and the amount of money that he's raised. Until he comes out and says something definitively, people are going to be interesting in asking questions.

HORROW: Well, let's put it this way also. You have Accenture and you have E.A., and you have AT&T, you have Nike, and you have a number of the companies who want to make sure that his image stays as squeakily clean as it is.

And, you know, the Michael Jackson issue, you know how much CNN and everybody else covered it. This is that on steroids.

LEMON: Yes. OK. So, listen, what about -- he is supposed to have a tournament next week, his own -- his own tournament. What's -- what are you -- what are you hearing about that?

HORROW: Well, I'm hearing it's going to be very difficult. You know, he may be there. He may not be there. He was planning to leave on Sunday.

Anyway, it's the Chevron Challenge. He has it out in Sherman Oaks, California. He was spending the weekend at home with his family. There was no major event.

Now, and remember, if he's injured, even in a very small way, hopefully, he's able to get past it because we have about five weeks before the regular season starts next year. And as we said before, if he doesn't play, if it's like last year, because of his knee injury, 60 percent to 70 percent decrease in the ratings is potentially out there.

So, if it's a minor accident, we won't think about this in a couple of weeks and we'll go back to normal.

LEMON: So, I know the answer to this question, I know that you're -- you know his agent, who is a person who, apparently, according to police, called them and said, "Hey, listen, the couple is not available today."

Are you hearing anything from his agent or is it radio silence right now? HORROW: Now, a couple of calls, agent's cell phone, CFO, radio silence throughout the Woods' camp until they have the unified response.

And remember, yesterday, there was a police report that talked about serious injuries and serious condition, then serious accident. So, we've got to get the words right. And remember, it's very, very important to be very circumspect about this because everybody's perception and image hangs in the balance.

LEMON: All right. Rick Horrow is our sports business analyst, thank you very much.

And, by the way, CNN did reach out to Tiger Woods' agent. His name is Mark Steinberg. He did not respond to request for a comment on this story.

Thank you, Rick.

HORROW: All right. See you later. Bye.

LEMON: Police officers are swarming south Florida right now in search of a Thanksgiving killer accused of murdering four family members in a post-dinner rampage. This is the suspect, 35-year-old Paul Merhige. He allegedly killed his twin sisters seen right here, 79-year-old aunt, he also killed, and a 6-year-old cousin murdered as well.

Investigators say there had been ongoing family resentment but they're not sure what prompted the shooting in the quite community of Jupiter. Merhige allegedly fled the home in a blue Toyota Camry.

A blown tire, a totaled minivan, and bodies thrown into a highway median near in Baton Rouge. Louisiana state police say five people are dead, another eight critically hurt, after a GMC Safari clipped a delivery truck on Interstate 10, rolling 200 feet before landing right side up. Most of the victims are believed to be children.

They are the party crashers who actually shook hands with the president. What the Secret Service and the White House are now saying today.

Plus, the war in Afghanistan. President Obama announcing his plans Tuesday. What will be the strategy to win here? We'll talk to a retired military general about that.

And, of course, we welcome your feedback and that's how you can send your comments. Just log on.


LEMON: All right. President Barack Obama is to make a key announcement Tuesday on additional U.S. troop deployments to Afghanistan. The figure that has been floated is 34,000 American troops. That's on top of 68,000 already there, along with 45,000 troops from other countries. Today, the British prime minister announced a high level conference next month in London to work out at a time frame for Afghanistan to take over its own security. The White House has endorsed the conference there set for January 28th as an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues critical that are to Afghanistan's future.

Make sure you tune in to CNN Tuesday night, 7:00 Eastern, for the president's announcement. We will carry it live for you.

And you know what, perhaps no group of people more eager to hear the president's decision than the troops already in Afghanistan. They say they need all the extra troops that they can get.

So, here's CNN's Frederik Pleitgen with their story.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN: Just days before the president is to announce his new strategy on Afghanistan which could potentially put tens of thousand more soldiers here into this country, soldiers on the ground tell us those troops are badly needed.

What we did here is we revisited a unit that we followed into Afghanistan when they were first deployed earlier this year. Here is what happened.

(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 about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch out. 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 time 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.

(on camera): Now, of course, the potential troop increase is the main topic on bases in Kandahar, but really, in all of southern Afghanistan. But one thing that's also an interesting topic is that many of the soldiers wonder where all these troops are going to go. What we can say is that a lot of the bases here in southern Afghanistan are really bursting with so many soldiers on them, and it's really unclear how the infrastructure is going to sustain more troops.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Zabul Province, Afghanistan.


LEMON: All right, Fred. Well, just one of the key issues the military will have to deal with when putting more boots on the ground inside of Afghanistan.

And to talk about that, we turn now to retired Air Force General Donald Sheppard. He joins us from Phoenix.

Good to see you, sir. So, we said that on Tuesday night, the president is going to talk about this, what decision that he's made, probably about 34,000 American troops, that's the word coming from the Pentagon. They've already started.

General Stanley McChrystal has been asking for a while for 40,000 troops, the president is just deciding.

What do you think? Has he done it the right way?

GEN. DONALD SHEPPARD, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET.): Listen, I'm on the president's side on this one, Don. It did not make sense at all to just throw an additional 40,000 troops in there because they are needed -- and they're clearly needed at this time -- without thinking through what is our strategy, what are our objectives, exactly what are these forces going to do, where are they going to be stationed, and what is our end game.

I think some have criticized the president for dithering on this. I prefer to think he's been very thoughtful and we're going to come out with a smart decision, a smart use of these troops as they're at it.

LEMON: Let's answer some of those questions that you brought, all of these extra troops. I would imagine we can, and the U.S. can house them over there, where are they going to stay. How long will it take to accommodate them?

SHEPPARD: Well, they are going to be phased in over a period of time. But to move 40,000 troops in, you can actually do it fairly quickly. But you do have to build up the support bases around there to accept them, to house them, to get them ready to go out in the field, that type of thing.

And they're probably going to move 40,000 troops in over a two- to six-month period. And you're also going to move NATO troops in. So, you're talking about a significant number of U.S. force and NATO forces.

And, remember, at the peak of the Iraq war, we had about 180,000 U.S. troops in an area that's about a third smaller than Afghanistan. So, you're going to bring the totals to about 150,000 while you're still training the Afghan army and Afghan police, Don.

LEMON: OK. So, let's -- you know, a lot of people, General, are comparing this -- many people are comparing this to the surge. Remember that? That's what the Bush administration's name was for it, the surge, the strategy in Iraq. Is it comparable?

SHEPPARD: It's comparable in some ways. But it's -- more important, it's different. It's not a surge the way it was a surge in Afghanistan to -- rather, in Iraq, to take over and provide security to the people in the major cities in Iraq.

The only major city, really -- only two major cities in Afghanistan are Kabul and Kandahar. You are trying to bring security in a war to the people out in the outlying districts. That's what you're trying to do. Get the confidence of the people out there that they can have security so that the Taliban don't come in every night and take over the villages that you'd just cleared as a military.

LEMON: So, I would imagine when the police can work on their own, the government can itself sustaining. Is that when the U.S. can define or even its allies can define victory in Afghanistan? How will we know and U.S. allies know when it's been achieved?

SHEPPARD: I think it probably will take some of the same turns it has taken in Iraq. President Karzai has basically said that he needs about five years to get his army and his police force ready. Right now, there's about 95,000 army and 93,000 police. And those are scheduled to double in the next few years.

I've heard people say you need as many as 400,000 army and police in that country. The police are really the key. And the police are even harder to train than the military.

So, if we set an outdate, which has been rumored that the president will say we're going to get out of there by 2013, it's going to be President Karzai and the Afghan government saying, "We're ready," just like the government has said in Iraq, "and it's time for you folks to leave." I think that's probably what's going to happen.

LEMON: So, besides the number of troops going over, what else do you think that we will hear from the president? Is he -- is he going, do you think, talk about an exit strategy from Afghanistan?

SHEPPARD: I would doubt that he's going to talk about an exit strategy. But I think, probably, what he's going to say is, "This is the number of troops that are going in, this is how we are going to put them in, this is how we're going to do it with our allies, and we're going to put a great amount of emphasis in bringing security to the Afghan people."

But the key to that is the Afghan army and police. We are going to put extra effort into training those up and we think that we can do that by about 2013, to start to phase out like we've done in Iraq.

I think that will be a responsible way to present this to the American public.

LEMON: Retired Air Force General Donald Sheppard, thank you so much.

SHEPPARD: You bet.

LEMON: It's one of the country's busiest airports, and according to an air traffic controller who works there, it is a tragic accident waiting to happen. What the FAA said when he blew the whistle and said, "Your life is in the balance here." We're going to look at that story.

And busy highways and packed airliners. There she is. She wasn't a part of that, hopefully. The heavy travel season is here. There's our Jacqui Jeras with the forecast.

Hi, Jacqui.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Don. Yes, only one airport delay as we speak. We'll tell you which one. But what about tomorrow?

We'll also hear about your iReports, how travel is going for you at home. Coming up.


LEMON: Jacqui Jeras has some news coming across the wires here, intel about your Thanksgiving. And it says that you were in charge of the pies and the cornbread stuffing. And how did it turn out?

JERAS: Great.


JERAS: I'm a good pie maker.

LEMON: Are you really?


LEMON: What did mom make?

JERAS: What did mom make? Mom made some rolls and my sister did the turkey. So, she did most of the stuff.

LEMON: Who's a better cook?

JERAS: My sister's husband.

LEMON: Better than your mom? Ma, I hope mom's not watching.

JERAS: No, mom is probably better.


JERAS: Your mom did everything, right?

LEMON: Oh, my gosh. Yes. We don't even want to talk about it.

JERAS: I know. For both legs (ph).


LEMON: I could barely get leg get into my suit.

JERAS: Wear the big pants.

LEMON: Yes. A lot of people -- what's a busy day, is it today or tomorrow?

JERAS: Tomorrow.


JERAS: Yes, the Wednesday before and then the Sunday after. And we do expect we're going to have some travel delays. Today, if you were traveling or just trying to enjoy the out of doors, we had some trouble in the northeast. While it looks good on the radar, it's the wind that's been the problem.

Wind advisories have been dropped now, but take a look at this. We're still pretty strong up there in Portland, you know, 20, down to 15 miles per hour. And these are sustained winds, not to mention some of the gusts.

Hey, what are you doing today? Check out what these folks are doing in New York City, as we speak. Do you love this? Hello to Central Park and hello to all you skaters. What a great thing to do on a Saturday night. Forty-eight degrees in New York City. Still 20 mile per hour wind gusts. So, a little strong for you tomorrow, mostly sunny and calmer winds and 57 degrees.

Now, there are people in Upstate New York who are without power because of some of those strong winds. They had to cancel the Santa parachuting in Albany because of the winds are so strong.

LEMON: Oh, no.

JERAS: I know.

LEMON: Hey, Jacqui, I want -- before you go through that, hey, Roger, can we get that ice skating back?

Can you ice skate, Jacqui?

JERAS: Yes. I grew up in Minnesota. I hope I can, right?

LEMON: Isn't that cool?

JERAS: It's great.

LEMON: I'd love to be out there. Will you show me -- every time I try to go, I, you know, bust my hinny.


LEMON: Because I'm not -- I mean, I have good balance, but for some reason, just on those little blades -- boy, oh, boy.

JERAS: It can be a challenge.

LEMON: It can be a big challenge.

JERAS: They make these little bars that you can use to help you along.

LEMON: Like training wheels for...

JERAS: It looks like a walker, sort of.

LEMON: Like training wheels for ice skates.

JERAS: Yes. Exactly.

LEMON: All right. Carry on. Sorry.

JERAS: That's OK.

I wanted to mention though that those winds really were serious for a lot of people. And people without power in New Hampshire as well as Upstate New York.

And here's some of those peak gusts. Sixty-one miles per hour. That was the strongest one that I could find, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now, there have been some airport delays. JFK was the only one, and look at that, after we said it earlier, no delays. So, apparently, you're doing better at JFK. But we'll watch that airport as well as the others.

We've also been watching the storm system in the southwestern U.S. Take a look at that. You can really see the spin on the radar, can't you? Look at the direction. Really, you can see that flow around the area of low pressure. Just some spotty light showers for the most part. You might hear a rumble of thunder here and we'll see some snow in the higher elevations.

Tomorrow, travel trouble especially focus here on the south. Dallas, Little Rock and Memphis could see the cities with the most delays.

All right. What did you do for your Thanksgiving? Have you been traveling?

Our iReporters sending in some great stuff. This is from James Stumer. He's actually from Branford, Ontario. He drove to Buffalo with his sister this week. Snapped some shots at Niagara Falls. And also, there you can see, his sister who is the driver. She said -- he said they saw a rainbow.

So, thumbs up for James in the holiday travel. Thumbs down, unfortunately, from Bora Yoon took the train into New York City on Wednesday, says the crowd at Penn Station was bigger that she'd ever seen and people were cranky and in a rush.

Thank you, guys, though, for sending your iReports. Hopefully, you won't be cranky tomorrow on the way back home.

LEMON: You can understand why people are a little cranky.

JERAS: Yes, a little bit.

LEMON: But I like to see the crowds like that. I mean, people are going home and they're spending time with their families.


LEMON: And, you know, hopefully, it was all safe. Like I told you about my mishap. I left my laptop in security and they brought it on the plane. I wanted to hug the person.

JERAS: I know. And somebody brought it for you.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh.

JERAS: You were so lucky.

LEMON: I mean, they were closing the door and someone says, "Sir, is this yours." And I went -- wow. My laptop.

JERAS: Bless your heart, whoever that stranger was, right? LEMON: Absolutely, thank you. I want to find out who it was and send them something and some of your pies maybe. By the way, I didn't see any of that in the newsroom. Did you bring anything?

JERAS: It was gone. I told you, I make a good pie.

LEMON: All right, Jacqui. Love you, too. All right. I'll talk to you soon. Thank you, Jacqui Jeras.

They could the world's most famous party crashers, rubbing elbows with White House big wigs, shaking hands with the president. But it's all a throbbing headache for the Secret Service.

Is it terrorism on the tracks? A homemade bomb erupts in the path of a Russian train. More than two dozen lives lost, more are missing. Now, a search for answers.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I want to give you some of your top stories right now.

Investigators will try again to interview Tiger Woods and his wife about a car crash outside their Orlando area home. State troopers arrived at Woods' home today expecting to ask questions but were told they weren't available. Woods suffered minor injuries in yesterday's crash. He is not required by law to give a statement but a highway patrol spokesperson says most people do.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced a high level conference next month to work out a time frame for Afghanistan, to take over its own security. The White House national security council today issued a statement endorsing the conference set for January 28th on London.

On Tuesday, the president is expected to announce his decision on sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. CNN will carry that for you live 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Getting unauthorized access to the most important man in the world shouldn't be this easy. Not only did the White House party crashers walk the VIP line. They actually shook hands with President Obama. Big smiles from Michaele and Tareq Salahi. Big embarrassment for the Secret Service, of course. The party's over but the hang over lingers at the White House.

Our Kate Bolduan there with more details on the fall out. Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, the Secret Service insists President Obama was never in any danger as this Virginia couple Tareq and Michaele Salahi like all other guests attending Tuesday's state dinner, had to go through levels of security screenings to get in.

But in a statement released Friday, the director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, said he agency is deeply concerned and embarrassed. The statement goes on to say "they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing," he says, "is ours."

Clearly the review of the security breach continues. Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to President Bush says she expects to see fallout.


FRAN TOWNSEND, FMR. BUSH HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: At best the uniform division Secret Service agents who let them onto the property will be disciplined and at worst they could potentially be fired. I will tell you it is a very serious security breach because after all, bad people will watch this and watch how they did it and learn, and they may test the Secret Service in other circumstances, if not at the White House, as a result of this. So it is a very, very serious case.


BOLDUAN: The White House has requested a full review of the circumstances surrounding this incident. White House spokesperson Nick Shapiro made the point in saying the U.S. Secret Service still has the full confidence of President Obama. Now the Secret Service has not ruled out the possibility of criminal charges in this incident. Don.

LEMON: All right. Kate, thank you very much for that.

But how exactly did this couple slip by undetected? Just a little while ago, I got some insider knowledge from a former secret service agent. His name is Scott Alswang. He says protecting a president isn't as easy as it looks.


SCOTT ALSWANG, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: I think that the job gets tougher not by the day or by the week but by the hour. The more travel, the more visits, whether they're domestic or international, whether it's our protectees like the president or the vice president -

LEMON:: Are you saying the Secret Service is overworked?

ALSWANG: I said that the workload increases daily and hourly. Yes. But the challenges are met. And agents are taught and instructed how to look at human emotions, to make decisions on whether someone is emotionally disturbed or might be a threat against the president. I think in this case, obviously, the director admitted there was a mistake in this reality TV era. I think that what these people pulled off is probably the gold medal of reality TV.


LEMON: Of course, a big question on everyone's mind. Who are these people that just buzzed past security? Well, coming up at 10:00 Eastern here on the CNN NEWSROOM, we'll talk with a "Washington Post" writer who has been communicating with the couple and she says the Salahis think they were invited. We shall see. In Russia, a second bomb has gone off near a train derailment that killed at least 26 people and injured about 100. 18 people are missing. Russian authorities suspect a homemade bomb with about 15 pounds of explosives went off under the tracks as the train passed by Friday night. As emergency crews were clearing the site, a second bomb partially detonated along parallel tracks. No one was hurt by that explosion.

In Bangladesh, a ferry packed with Muslim worshippers capsized as it was about to unload. At least 28 people are confirmed dead. The passengers may have all crowded to one side of the ship as it pulled up to the dock causing it to tip over. The ferry could safely carry about 1,500 people. But police say it may be been overloaded with up to 2,000 passengers.

In China, a cargo jet crashed and burned early today while taking off the Shanghai Airport. Three American crew members were killed. Four other crew members were hospitalize. Apparently, the plane's tail struck the ground causing it to veer off the runway. It bursts into flames moments later.

Federal investigators are looking into safety issues at one of the nation's main airports. More than 35 million passengers traveled through Newark Liberty International Airport last year. CNN's senior correspondent Allan Chernoff has the story.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A potential danger to the flying public. That is how federal investigators are describing the simultaneous use of intersecting runways at Newark Liberty International Airport. One of the busiest in the nation.

Newark air traffic controller Ray Adams raised the issue after witnessing too many close calls from the control tower. On January 16th of last year, he saw two Continental planes miss each other by only 600 feet.

RAY ADAMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: That was very scary. I was there for that one personally in the control tower. And it scared the heck out of everybody out there.

CHERNOFF: Potential danger arises when approaching planes need to abort their landings which happens about every 700 flights, according to an FAA analysis.

(on camera): Any plane aborting a landing along runway 11 which runs west to east here at Newark has to make a sharp right turn taking it into the path of two intersecting runways.

(voice-over): In what the FAA calls go around, the diverted plane has to avoid planes landing and taking off from the intersecting runway. There is little margin for error. Four times last year and another four times this year Newark Air Traffic Control allowed planes to come too close together.

ADAMS: There was a distinct possibility that we could have had a collision with these operations the way they were run previously.

CHERNOFF: Adams raised the safety issue to the FAA but it went nowhere. He says his managers maintained there was no problem. Yet Adams persisted taking his complaint to Congress. In response he says, he was punished, put on paid leave for 11 months and then leave without pay for a month.

The FAA says the disciplinary actions had nothing to do with Adams' safety concerns. Adams filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which led Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scovel to investigate. He found merit in Adams' concerns. Concluding two months ago, "questions about the safety of the runway 22L-11 approach configuration at Newark persists."

ADAMS: I have been vindicated on the safety concerns. I would like to see some accountability on the part of the FAA.

CHERNOFF: In response, the FAA promised to utilize a computer program that helps air traffic controller stagger aircraft to ensure proper spacing. On November 5th, the Department of Transportation which oversees FAA told the Office of Special Council, the computer system had been put to use.

FAA implemented converging runway display aid technology at Newark on October 26th. The very next day at the U.S. Office of Special Council learned that in fact the technology was no longer in use at Newark.

REP. DONALD PAYNE (D), NEW JERSEY: I am outraged. When you put the jeopardy of human lives at risk it can't get any more serious than that.

CHERNOFF: FAA says there was no intent to deceive anyone about what we were doing. FAA safety officers wanted to make absolutely sure employees were fully trained on the equipment. Last week the Office of Special Council raised the matter with President Obama writing we found a substantial likelihood that FAA officials were engaging in conduct that constitutes gross mismanagement and a substantial and specific danger to public safety.

(on camera): The FAA says it plans to have the computer system fully operational at Newark by mid December. Meanwhile, after a year out of the control tower Ray Adams returned to his job on Wednesday.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.


LEMON: A military family's grief over losing a son and a soldier. The pain compounded they say by U.S. government policy. We'll tell you what the president does not do when an American soldier commits suicide.


LEMON: Millions of Muslim pilgrims standing shoulder to shoulder are frantically casting pebbles at stonewalls representing the devil. It is all part of the weekend long Hajj ritual, which draws about three million visitors to Mecca each year.

It is the largest annual gathering of people in the world making it a possible incubator for swine flu. Surgical masks are a common accessory this year and the world health community is watching for a possible outbreak.

The U.S. is warning Iran that it is prepared to work for even stronger economic sanctions. The warning follows Friday's censure of Iran by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is demanding Iran stop construction on its once secret nuclear facility and stop enriching uranium. In a rare show of unity, Russia and China joined the U.S., Britain, France and Germany in supporting the IAEA resolution.

It is a common practice when a soldier dies on the battlefield, the family receives a condolence letter from the commander in chief. But that is not the case when a soldier dies at his own hand.

CNN's Elaine Quijano brings us the story of a family who wants that same respect extended to them


Today we'll be reading "The Cat in the Hat."

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just days before we died, Army Specialist Chancellor Kessling sent this video to his parents from Iraq showing no sign of what was to come. Six years ago, Chancellor Kessling joined the Army as a teenager straight out of high school. One of three children in the Kessling family. His parents say he was their quiet child who grew up to be a good soldier. But Kessling's father, Gregg, knew his son was under stress.

GREGG KESSLING, SPEC. CHANCELLOR KESSLING'S FATHER: During the end of his deployment, his marriage began to fall apart.

QUIJANO: The pressures from his first deployment in '05 led his unit to put him under suicide watch. After Iraq though he seemed fine. Then he redeployed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He seemed to be doing extremely well. He managed life daily. No major problems.

QUIJANO: Again, the shocks of war and the distance weighed on Chancellor and a fight with his girlfriend shook him badly. In an e- mail to his family he threatened suicide.

GREGG KEESLING: He was calling here back and forth, back and forth through that night.

QUIJANO: In their final conversation Gregg Kessling had no idea how much pain his son was in. My last words to my son through the phone was be a man. Get over this. Get on with yourself. And I wish I had not said it quite that way. QUIJANO: Hours later on a June morning at 8:31 Baghdad time, soldiers found the 25-year-old's body in the latrine. He had shot himself. A week later, Gregg and his wife, Jannett, met their son's casket back home in Indiana. At the funeral, the next day the church overflowed with mourners.

JANNETT KESSLING: He was a super beautiful child. He was a loving, kind, well-liked young man, well-liked young man and every parent can feel proud of a kid like that.

QUIJANO: After his death, his family created a memorial wall leaving a spot for what they thought would be a condolence letter from the commander in chief. It never came. And a military official explained why.

GREGG KESSLING: I'm sorry, Mr. Kessling. There is a policy that prevents the president from writing to a family of a suicide victim.

QUIJANO: Now, the Kessling family wants to change that. They have written to President Obama and believed changing the policy might help the stigma of mental health issues and suicides in the military.

GREGG KESSLING: Our son gave six years of his life for this country and he, you know, he died from an illness or an injury that we just did not recognize, that nobody recognized. We hope the president of the United States would want to show the appreciation to a family like ours for the sacrifice we made in allowing our son to become a soldier and defend his country.

QUIJANO (on camera): Three months after the Kesslings wrote to President Obama the policy remains in effect. A White House spokesman says the administration is reviewing the policy and adds the president's thoughts and prayers are with every military family who lost a loved one.

Elaine Quijano, CNN, the Pentagon.


LEMON: All right. Let's talk now about the holiday shopping season. It hits its stride, it's supposed to be today, right. Shoppers crawled out of bed early on Black Friday, the traditional start of the season. But were the numbers enough to put a smile on the retailers' faces? We'll check out what they are saying about this.

And keeping jobs right here in America. We'll find out what some companies are doing to keep jobs from going overseas.


LEMON: OK. The first numbers are in on Black Friday, the first day of the traditional holiday shopping season. Did you get your shop on? Your shopping on? Well, they seem to suggest the economy is getting better, those numbers, at least by a little.

A national research firm says total spending was up about 0.5 percentage point from last year. Penney's and Sears, 0.5 percentage point. Is that right? So we'll take it. Penney's, Sears are among the chains that reported having a good day. The increase may get bigger when they total up cyber sales here. One analyst says the average online customer spent 35 percent more yesterday compared to a year ago. Now that is a good number.

When we talk about job loss in this recession, few sectors have been as hard hit as manufacturing. But manufacturing jobs have actually been vanishing for decades. Still some companies are finding ways to save jobs. And CNN's chief business correspondent Ali Velshi has the story for you.


ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For someone who runs a guitar string manufacturing business, Jim D'Addario is also a bit of a tinker. Over the past two years, he has cut inventory, streamlined factory floor operations updated technology and saved jobs at his Long Island based company.

JIM D'ADDARIO, CEO, D'ADDARIO: We made a commitment in the 70s that we were going to make our products, our D'Addario strings in America. And we are still committed to that. We have never sold one string that we didn't make here in New York.

VELSHI: D'Addario is one of a growing number of U.S. manufacturers that has adopted the Toyota waste reduction strategy popularly known as L.E.A.N., that relies heavily on automation. More than half of U.S. manufacturers surveyed have implemented L.E.A.N. or planned to do so. Critics say the automation eliminates jobs. D'Addario says the replaced workers can be cross trained to do other jobs.

D'ADDARIO: You do not want to lay people off because L.E.A.N. had been effective. That's not going to help people embracing L.E.A.N. and it's not really going to help our company or our community. What we're trying to do then is we take those people and we train them to do something else.

VELSHI: Like look work in the guitar strap division, part of the company D'Addario acquired several years ago. Those jobs were previously in China. Today Long Island. Economists say other companies can also position themselves to bring jobs home.

PETER MORICI, LABOR ECONOMIST, UNIV. OF MARYLAND: L.E.A.N. manufacturing makes it possible to produce in the united states efficiently, cost effectively and so forth. Some manufacturing should be done in China, but too much manufacturing is being done in China that could be done more effectively in the United States.

VELSHI: Jim D'Addario agrees and hopes other manufacturers will follow his lead.

D'ADDARIO: I think people are afraid to make the commitment to reinvesting in their factories because they have this stigma. In their mind, they have this belief that you can't make it effectively and profitably in America. That is not true. I think people give up on manufacturing in America prematurely. It can be done.

VELSHI: Ali Velshi, CNN, New York.

LEMON: All right. A lot of you are reacting to the Tiger Woods' story. Other stories that we have here on CNN. We will share some of your comments via Twitter and Facebook and Myspace straight ahead. Interesting stuff here.

And, oh, baby. Look at that. It is a newborn. He weighs more than two or three typical babies combined. Big fellow.


LEMON: All right. You know, we always like to see pictures of big babies, right? Look at Axel Dalton. He is not even a week old and he is even bigger than some toddlers. Look at him. He checked in at the Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota at 15 1/2 pounds. That was on Monday. His mom was warned her baby would probably weigh 10 pounds or more. But she wasn't prepared for this. All those newborn clothes that she acquire way too small.

I wish Jacqui could talk to her about that. We'll get Jacqui up and we'll chat about it. Hey, we want to get some of your tweets real quick. You guys are talking about Tiger Woods, the story and you're also talking about on Twitter and Facebook, talking about shopping.

"Lol, went at 3:00 a.m. and were home by 7:00." That's agape_external. Kionsanders says "Yes, dude the Banana Republic outlet had 50 percent off on everything in store." Yes, I had a friend who went at midnight because of the 50 percent off sale.

"Don, talk about your ideal Thanksgiving when you were a kid or. What shaped your holiday memories." The one that just happened. It's always - the one that's most current is always the best one, good or bad. And then you guys are also weighing in on Tiger Woods as well. So thank you so much.

And let's talk now about what the president did after Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact, today. A basketball game was on tap for the first family today. Of course, President Barack Obama is a big basketball fan. But the big attraction today was the first lady's brother Craig Robinson. You see him right there in the suit, in front of the team. He coaches Oregon State which is playing George Washington in the nation's capital. Daughters Malia and Sasha went along as well as the president's mother-in-law. Robinson's Oregon State, the team won the game 64-57.

All right. I have like 15 seconds here. We don't have that big baby video, right? He is cute. Dalton is cute even though he is a big baby. Say goodbye, Tom. Say good night, Gracie. There he is, big baby. Good night, Dalton. I'm Don Lemon. "CNN Heroes: An All-star Tribute" begins right now. See you at 10:00 p.m.