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Embracing Jihad; Health Care Reform Deal; '30 Second Pitch'

Aired December 10, 2009 - 14:00   ET


MELISSA LONG, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Thursday and here are three of the top stories at the hour.

A day of pomp, a day of circumstance for President Obama and the first lady. Mr. Obama accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. The first sitting president honored. After the traditional torchlight procession last hour, the Obamas will be escorted to the banquet dinner.

A nasty surprise for some folks on Facebook today. The site's new privacy settings are taking effect. The changes themselves are pretty popular, but it is the rollout that is drawing the criticism. Some people's setting defaulting to options they did not choose.

And attorney general Eric Holder making an unannounced trip to New York where he met with federal regulators and prosecutors and law enforcement to talk security for the upcoming trial of the 9/11 accused mastermind, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

We begin this hour with a terror investigation with a twist. Five young Muslims from Virginia, all American citizens, at least two of them are college students. They are under arrest in Pakistan, suspected of trying to link up with Pakistani terror groups.

They left the U.S. late last month without a word to their families. They were picked up yesterday on a raid on a house in eastern Pakistani, allegedly bent on joining the fight in northwestern Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistani police say they might have succeeded, but the militants there didn't know them and turned them away. One suspect's mother says he came to Pakistan to get married, not to wage jihad.

Politics and religion are the standard explanations for taking up the cause of holy war, but they may not be the only ones. Not anymore.

My next guests are watching a new wave of holy warriors and studying what is really inspiring them.

Let me introduce our guests. Mohamed Elibiary, co-founded the Freedom and Justice Foundation in Texas, and joins me from Dallas. And from Paris, France, not Texas, we're joined by anthropologist and terrorism scholar Scott Atran.

Thank you so much for your time, gentlemen. Appreciate it.



LONG: Scott, first and foremost, can you explain to us what jihadi cool is? How is it cool?

ATRAN: Well, look, taking on the greatest power in the world is a pretty thrilling idea. And you get young people -- more and more, it's becoming an egalitarian worldwide movement where people hook up on the Internet late in high school, mostly young people in transitional stages in life that haven't settled down into marriage or into jobs. And they want meaning in life, they want to be something more than the morning mist.

And they hook up with friends. Usually, they start just protesting their general state in life, and hooking into the idea that Muslims around the world are being harmed. It's a pretty simple and flat message. And then...


Mohamed taking what Scott just said about finding meaning, how is this bringing meaning to life for these younger people?

ELIBIARY: Well, it's giving them a purpose in life and a place to belong. So, it's like a child who grows up and is not -- especially for young males, as they are going through their late teenaged years, a vital component is mentorship. That's why we've got Big Brother and Big Sister programs around the country.

And if there is nobody to kind of help a young male especially find that evolution into becoming a young man, and taking on the responsibility of familyhood and the rest of it, then they kind of gravitate to a family kind of -- like gangs, for example, is a similar model that you can look at. It doesn't exactly fit perfectly, but it helps to explain why they are searching.

LONG: But also, while they're searching for these mentors, or idols, or people to look up to as they are trying to create their own identity, they are also going online to find a lot of the information, I know. And they are also encountering what seems to be a generational gap, because the way they view the world is very different than the way their moms and dads are viewing the world.

Scott, can you speak to that?

ATRAN: Yes. Look, you know, there's this idea that there is this clash of civilizations, but basically it's a collapse of civilizations. It's just the opposite.

Young people are being unmoored from the lineal traditions, especially immigrants into this country. And they go -- as I said, they go out looking for meaning in life and they hook up with their friends. And through friendship, you can do powerful things. You become committed to one another.

No one ever goes out and dies just for a cause. They do it for one another.

And again, nothing is more powerful than doing something for your friends and gaining esteem in the eyes of your peers. And it's pretty much homegrown.

I mean, about 80 percent of all the plots both in Europe and the United States are done from the bottom, up, from young people just meeting up with one another. Most of it stays in the realm of fantasy, but a few go on and pave their own way into Pakistan or Afghanistan and then come back with a mission.

LONG: OK. So, some of it stays in fantasy, some will not and could create real tragedy and travesty.

So, Mohamed, what can we do to prevent such problems and just circumvent this need to belong, this need to have camaraderie and friendship at the very grassroots level?

ELIBIARY: It's quite complex, but I think it requires a much deeper partnership between government and community. Currently, on the government side, we don't have, like, a multi-agency counter- radicalization strategy here in the United States as comprehensive as a lot of other western European, as well as Middle Eastern countries have. So, the only conduit you can connect to in the government is to call the FBI with a tip on somebody you feel is starting to head down a radicalization path, which in the very beginning is not much more than expressing out-of-mainstream political viewpoints, a constitutionally, obviously, protected act.

On the community side, the community needs -- the elders in the community need to open up the former meeting places in the community like the mosques, Islamic schools, and what have you and make them much more welcoming to these young teenaged -- especially the males to be able to come in and actually have discussions on the hot political topics around the globe and not feel like they have to gravitate to someone online in order to get an honest-speaking truth to power type of engagement, so that they can actually find that there are people who can hold the same viewpoints on foreign policy, for example, as they do.

LONG: So, open the mosques, create conversation.

And Scott, I know you also say part of the secret to solving this problem of being cool when it comes to jihad, which is how some of the younger people may perceive it, is to look to some comic books that you are most passionate about. Explain that.

ATRAN: Yes. You know, I went to the White House for a briefing, and someone from Dick Cheney's staff said to me, "Don't these young people realize that if they don't take responsibility, that we're going to have to bomb them?" I said, "Look, what are you going to bomb? Are you going to bomb New York, you're going to bomb London, you're going to bomb Paris?"

And so I distributed the comic books, and they're fascinating comic books. They speak to young people. It's called "The 99." It's about these magic stones that are distributed around the world. They represent the 99 faces of God, of Allah. And as these young people find the stones and find themselves, their power increases for the good.

And I don't think it's going to be governments or elders that are going to change the mindset of these people anymore than it will change the mindset of my daughters or son about who should be their proper girlfriends or boyfriends. I think it's got to be done at the level of those young people themselves through youth community organizations and things like the Boy Scouts, you know, and high school football, which work to integrate immigrant communities and the world's urban migration back into the beginning of the last century -- were extraordinarily successful. And those kinds of things I think can work, but, of course, on a different level in our society today.

LONG: Getting back to the very basics of just being one with your community and having strong community ties. That's basically what you're getting at, instead of the online community, where this violence could pop up, indeed.

Scott Atran from the bustling and likely chilly streets of Paris.

Thank you so much for your perspective.

And also, Mohamed Elibiary from the warm and toasty studio there for us form Texas.

Thank you so much, gentlemen. Appreciate the conversation.

ATRAN: Thanks to both of you and happy holidays.


LONG: To you as well. Thank you.

Continuing to move on, but you can see more on the terror probe in Pakistan, the concept of jihadi cool in "THE SITUATION ROOM" tonight, 4:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN.

Now fallout over the TSA security flap. Five employees at the Transportation Security Administration, the TSA, they find themselves on administrative leave. They're going to be staying off the job while investigators try to find out why a sensitive airport security manual was posted online. Among other things, the document detailing how screening is conducted and the limitations of x-ray machines.

The TSA says the version that ended up online was outdated.

Two controversial wars, now a controversial award. President Barack Obama claiming his Nobel Peace Prize today in Oslo, Norway. He presented a 35-minute address, addressing the complaints that he hasn't simply done enough to deserve this prize, and the criticism he's planning too much militarily in Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.


LONG: President Obama also acknowledged he is following in some big footsteps. On this day in 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. accepted his Nobel Peace Prize. At just 35, Dr. King was the youngest man to receive the honor.


LONG: Just want to make sure you have the very latest on a developing story we've been following for you today in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Five people arrested in Pakistan reportedly missing from the United States. They're from the Virginia area, and five young men, two of them college students, well, we can tell you now that the FBI now confirming those five men are in fact in Pakistani police custody, being questioned at this time.

CNN's Arwa Damon has been reporting from the capital of Islamabad, Pakistan, had an opportunity to connect with one of the parents of the young men. And she says he was not there with any intentions to create jihad or holy war. He was there, in fact, in Pakistan in order to marry. One of the younger men currently being detained.

But again, the big development here, just confirming that the FBI has said that the five missing men from the capital area, from the state of Virginia, are in fact in Pakistani police custody.

One of the other big stories we're following for you today. From the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan and the U.S. ambassador, Capitol Hill is fast becoming home away from home. Another day of hearings before committees not yet sold on President Obama's plan to turn around a war that's now in its ninth year.


KARL EIKENBERRY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO AFGHANISTAN: We have a very clear way ahead right now with the eventual transfers as Afghans develop national security force capability. Yes, we do have a clear plan politically.

President Karzai has made clear, and again in his inauguration speech, he would like to move forward with reconciliation and reintegration with Taliban leaders, with Taliban fighters. And we're working in support right now of the government...


EIKENBERRY: ... of Afghanistan to help achieve those... UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He needs to do that now.


LONG: The president's plan, as you know, centers on the gradual increase of 30,000 troops and a goal of 18 months to start a pullout.

A two-war zone trip. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Iraq this very hour after a two-day visit to Afghanistan. He was due to meet with the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, but al-Maliki canceled. He was summoned by lawmakers to talk about this week's devastating bombings in Baghdad. A spokesman for Gates says he isn't offended and he does hope to reschedule.

Senate Democrats are calling it a compromise, dropping the public option in their health care reform bill. Not everybody is on board with this one.

Here's Dana Bash.


DANA BASH, CNN SR. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Anxious to move forward on his top priority, the president praised a tentative deal to drop a public option from the Senate health care bill.

OBAMA: I support this effort, especially since it's aimed at increasing choice and competition and lowering costs.

BASH: That's the goal of the preliminary agreement, hammered out in secret by 10 Democrats -- five moderates and five liberals. Whether it will hold remains to be seen.

One negotiator is already openly reluctant.

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D), WISCONSIN: I am not happy with the possibility that there would not be a public option.

BASH: Instead of a government-run insurance option, a government agency, the Office of Personnel Management, would oversee not-for- profit private insurance plans. That appeals to moderates.

Democrat sources tell CNN if that plan doesn't work, it would trigger a public option, but that could scare away Joe Lieberman, whose vote Democrats likely need. He issued this statement, underscoring his "opposition to a government-run insurance option, including any option with a trigger..."

To appeal to liberals eager to expand government-run insurance, Democratic negotiators included a huge change in Medicare, allowing uninsured Americans ages 55 to 64 to buy into the program. One estimate says four million people could be eligible. Data on how much it would cost to buy into Medicare under this plan is not yet available, but a recent Congressional Budget Office study on 62-to-64- year-olds put premiums at a whopping $7,600 a year, $634 a month. Democrats say out-of-pocket costs under the plan wouldn't be that high because many people would be eligible for government subsidies starting in 2014. Still, moderate Democrats are wary of adding more strain to already stretched Medicare.

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D), NORTH DAKOTA: The national concern is, what is the effect on Medicare and Medicare solvency, since Medicare is already headed for insolvency?

BASH (on camera): Democratic leaders were clearly eager to show momentum, but several negotiators, both liberals and moderates, say there's no deal yet. They're waiting to hear from Congressional Budget Office to determine how much it will cost and other very important factors. We won't hear from the CBO, according to the Democratic sources, for nearly a week.

Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol HHill.


LONG: Another bump in the road for the economy. First-time claims for jobless benefits jumped more than expected last week. They were up 17,000 to 474,000. That after falling for five straight weeks. But let's find the good news. Continuing claims dropped by about 300,000 to just over five million, and that is the lowest we've seen since the month of February.

Still, a lot of people are finding themselves out of work, so we're going to try to help one of them to find employment.

Dustin Scholz -- check him out -- pounding the pavement right there, trying to find employment in his community. Schultz graduated recently from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. That was back in May. His degree in advertising, but he has not been able to land that full-time position.

So, he's been, as you can see, advertising himself, wearing a sandwich board, handing out his resumes. We're going to try to do a little bit better than that sandwich board today.

Dustin Scholz joins us now live for our "30 Second Pitch."

Thank you so much for your time, Dustin. Appreciate it.

DUSTIN SCHOLZ, SEEKING EMPLOYMENT: No, thank you. I appreciate it.

LONG: OK. So, you graduated in May. I should say congratulations, but I'm sure this is not how you expected the subsequent months to play out.

Tell me what you've been up to, because I know you've been very busy interviewing.

SCHOLZ: Yes. Since my reaction -- or the publicity I've received from various news stations, I have had a couple of interviews and very promising and nice leads. Since I graduated though, it's been tough. I have been all over the place applying online, through direct mail, meeting people face to face, and I have -- this is where it has come down to.

LONG: And I know one of the problems you seem to be finding is that you feel like you don't have all the experience you need just to land that entry-level first job.

SCHOLZ: That's correct. A lot of these entry level positions want three to five years' experience, where someone like me, I just graduated. You know, what am I supposed to do? So it's tough.

LONG: And, of course, a lot of people out there have great experience, and they are also maybe even looking at the same position you may be looking for as well.

So, again, your degree is in advertising, a minor in general business. What's your ideal job that you're going for right now?

SCHOLZ: I'm looking at a position in sales or marketing. I think I would be very successful in either of those fields.

LONG: All right. Are you ready for your opportunity to sell yourself with your "30 Second Pitch?"

SCHOLZ: Absolutely.

LONG: All right. We're going to start the clock, and here is your opportunity.

Sell yourself, Dustin.

SCHOLZ: My name is Dustin Scholz. And as you can see from this story, I am ready and eager to begin a career.

I am well-trained and diversified to succeed at any job. I am honest. I am hardworking, motivated, a team leader, and loyal to any company who is willing to give me that opportunity.

I believe in myself and I have the ability to think outside of the box. And although I live in Milwaukee, I am more than willing to relocate and/or travel for the right position. Through these tough economic times, myself, Dustin Scholz, will help your business succeed and prosper.


LONG: All right! You got it in! Kind of.

SCHOLZ: Perfect.

LONG: You kind of got it in.

Again, the e-mail address, if you would like to hire Dustin, is

And you're saying you're honest, you want to think outside the box, and you do think outside the box. You're willing to relocate.

You know what? You're also daring. A lot of people would not have the courage to go on national television.

So, congratulations for that.

SCHOLZ: Oh, thank you.

LONG: Thank you so much. Best of luck in your job search. Keep us posted if you land that great job, OK?

SCHOLZ: Absolutely. I appreciate it.

LONG: And we want to mention that you can find his information, his e-mail address, posted on our blog,

If you want to be part of the pitch, e-mail us your resume at You can tweet us as well at KyraCNN. And if it is Thursday, it's "30 Second Pitch."

Top stories now for you.

President Obama makes a humble acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize. He picked up the award today in Oslo, Norway. In his address, Mr. Obama said his accomplishments are slight compared to some of the giants in history.

In Britain, wrapping up a case that led to restrictions on the amounts of liquids and gels we can all carry on board when you travel on planes. Three men were sentenced in a plot to blow up transatlantic flights with liquid explosives. One of the suspects will serve a minimum of 18 years. The other two got seven and eight years, respectively. Another member of the plot was sentenced to 40 years back in September.

And a shootout today in a busy shopping area in Manhattan. Police shot and killed a man after he fired at them near the heart of Times Square. They describe the man as an aggressive panhandler. The area was packed with holiday shoppers.

A lot of people dealing with heavy snow, biting winds, bone-chilling temps. How much more misery will this week's coast-to-coast storm bring? We have the answer for you.



LONG: Do you happen to use Facebook? Chances are you have noticed some changes today if you have logged on already. Facebook says it's trying to protect your privacy, but some privacy advocates, they're not so sure.


MELISSA LONG, CNN ANCHOR: Do you have a Facebook account? Even if you don't, chances are, you do know people who have them. Hugely popular of people of all ages and has hundreds of millions of users, making Facebook one of the largest social networking sites in the world, kind of a modern equivalent of town square, the place to see and be seen.

That can also cause you some problem. You may remember the teacher who lost her job because of some photographs she posted on the Facebook. There had been many other examples as well.

Employers routinely also check Facebook accounts to screen job applicants and check up on their employees.

The simple truth is, anything you post on Facebook can be potentially found and seen by anyone with a computer whether you like it or not. And Facebook users from today are going to encounter a whole new set of privacy options, and like most changes that Facebook makes, it will probably cause a lot of confusion and frustration at least in the very beginning.

Parry Aftab is a lawyer with, specializing in security and privacy issues on the Web. And as a matter of fact, she's been working with Facebook since May of this year, to come up with some of the new privacy settings, joins us now to tell us a little bit more about why Facebook has made these changes and also how it's supposed to work.

Parry, thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.

PARRY AFTAB, WIREDSAFETY.ORG: I appreciate it. I'm the executive director of the charity Wired Safety and we deal with all aspects, safety, privacy and best practices.

LONG: And, again, the Web site is

So, you've been working, again, since May as a consultant, along with others, to make these privacy changes. Why did Facebook make these changes?

AFTAB: Well, they made the changes because they needed to be made. Everybody is on Facebook, 350 million people. And as you indicated, a lot of employers or potential employers are looking to see what you have posted. Maybe the kids you went to high school with, your weird cousin Willie, your kids, your parents, your next door neighbors, your priests, rabbis and mullahs. Whatever we're posting online has a potential to be seen by a lot of people, and because we have this different parts of our lives, we need settings to make sure that different parts of our lives don't collide with the other parts.

LONG: And when I log on today, when everybody logs on, they are going to be greeted with this privacy announcement, that Facebook says, "We're making some changes to give your more control of your information to help you stay connected." The statement goes on to say, "At the same time, we are helping everyone find and connect with each other by keeping some information, like your name, your profile, your picture publicly available. Some people say, "I don't want it available." AFTAB: Well, it's not your profile. It's your name, it's your picture and it's your location. You can hide your friends in another way.

So, what I'm doing, which is nothing to do with our role as safety advisers of the charity to Facebook is I'm telling people, if you don't want anyone to know that you are there, become George Washington number 123. You live in Siberia and the picture you put up might be your kitten or your right eye as opposed to who you are. There are ways you can protect myself.

But this allows everyone to enjoy one profile and make sure that your drunken partying on Friday night isn't seen by your boss when you call in with a hangover on Saturday morning.

LONG: But if you don't want to have that picture and you don't want to go by the moniker of George Washington, you want to go by Parry and you want to use your name, what would you encourage people to do with these changes that are in place so you can keep what you want private, private?

AFTAB: Well, number one, turn off search, you have the ability to do that in the new settings. So, no one can search for you. That way even though they can find this information, they can only find it if they know one of your friends and see you listed that way. Turn off the fact that people can see your friends and decide who you want to see what and what information is out there.

Look at it with a skeptical eye. How are your parents, principal, prospective employers, college recruiters and police going to see what they can see? Are you going to find that you are going to get a call that you didn't want to have? Look at it and say, maybe it shouldn't be online at all. Or if it should, only the right people can see it.

LONG: I understand, one of the new settings allows you to essentially micromanage, you can create list. You mentioned the rabbi, you mentioned your priest, you may have friends, you may have what you call the weird cousin Willie, if you actually have one, I don't know if you do or not, but you can create...

AFTAB: You'll never know because I won't have it posted on Facebook.

LONG: Right. So you can create lists so that some of those people can get access to some information and others can't.

AFTAB: Absolutely. It's all a matter of control. It should be our choice as to who can see what and we have to be able to control it easily. It's painful in the beginning, any changes on Facebook are, but once you get the knack of how it works, we're going to like it a lot more.

LONG: Uh-huh. And, of course, this is just going to show the power of social networking even more. You have Twitter out there, as well and many other social networking sites. What will this do? What will these changes do for Facebook going forward for its 350 million users? AFTAB: I think will allow them to allow people to share a lot more with the people they want to share it with, and cut off the others. I think it will allow people to use it for business and personal and family at the same time more comfortably. And I think it will lead the industry forward -- that's at least the hope.

LONG: Just wrapping up quickly, I know you wrote a book "Parent's Guide to the Internet" and I know you have adult children, grown children -- but what you would encourage parents to do today with these changes that are in place to make sure their younger kids who are on Facebook are using the right settings?

AFTAB: Well, you've got at least be 13 and in high school or lie and say you are. So, sit down, make sure they're using them, and most importantly, have them show you how to set up your profile and maybe even be their friend.

LONG: But you are not encouraging anybody to lie, Parry?

AFTAB: No, absolutely not.


AFTAB: Don't do that. But they really don't want kids on the network.

LONG: Right.

AFTAB: And if you see kids, there's a parent. You should look over your kids' shoulder...

LONG: Yes.

AFTAB: ... and make sure that you're always allow in.

LONG: And be policing. All right, Parry Aftab...

AFTAB: You are still the parent.

LONG: ... thanks for the entertaining conversation -- again, -- thank you.

AFTAB: Thank you.

LONG: It could mean some big changes in way you buy music as well. Apple is considering allowing iTunes users to buy songs straight from the Internet that would give the users more ways to manage their music and they wouldn't have to download the iTunes software. iTunes is generating around $2 billion for Apple this year.

In Washington at this very hour, senators are holding a news conference, the topic: climate change. Democrat John Kerry, Republican Lindsey Graham and independent Joe Lieberman, they're all briefing us on a bill related to climate change and energy independence. We are monitoring the press conference for you. We're going to bring you any headlines that happen to come out of it. Every discussion about global warming, climate change, whatever you're going to call it, eventually, focuses on one fundamental element, carbon. I recently met a man who is using ordinary charcoal to remove carbon from the atmosphere and make the soil richer.



LONG (voice-over): Tin cans...

DAY: We have a scale here.

LONG: ... wood chips, a fire pit.

Atlanta entrepreneur Danny Day is using a camp fire to show us how to make charcoal for science.

DAY: The reason I have a fire pit...

LONG (on camera): Most people have a fire pit to entertain.


DAY: Well, I have a fire pit to entertain as well.


DAY: I do. But I also do fun stuff.

LONG (voice-over): So, what's the fun stuff? Making what's called biochar. A porous material made from organic trash. When waste like wood chips decomposes, greenhouse gases are released. But turn the trash into biochar and experts say harmful carbon dioxides are sealed in, not released into the atmosphere.

DAY: So, we're taking a form of carbon that was normally cycling every 10, 15, 20 years and we're turning it into a form that will last for thousands.

LONG: Day also says biochar can be ground up then used to enrich soil, creating more plentiful crops.

DAY: The average farmer around the world, there are over 3 billion of them, that they can make money from doing this.

LONG: Another bonus when making biochar, the gases, scientists say when captured, they could potentially be used to fuel your car or generate electricity.

(on camera): But this is much bigger than Danny Day's backyard experiment. Here at the University of Georgia, they're working on a much bigger scale, producing up to 1,000 pounds of biochar in a single batch.

(voice-over): So, how do you make this stuff this research engineer Brian Bibbons (ph) call black gold? The key is heat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this corner, this is where the burner is.

LONG: The temperature sometimes up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the organic trash is baked. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says global carbon levels have been increasing in an alarming rate for the last 30 year. And some researchers predict biochar could make a difference.

But others, like K.C. Das, who runs the University of Georgia program says, it's just one small part. And more studies are needed.

K.C. DAS, PHD, DIR., BIOREFINING & CARBON CYCLING PROGRAM: I don't want to leave with you the thought that this is the silver bullet that's going to solve everybody's problems. It is a component in the spectrum of solutions available.

LONG: Danny Day's company, Eprida, wants to be part of the solution, far beyond his backyard. He built a biochar facility in Australia and has more projects in the works.

DAY: This is something that everybody in the world can agree on. Nobody's going to say, "Oh, my god, no charcoal in my soil." Everybody will understand this. This is the simple idea.


LONG: Top stories now for you.

California, echoes of the 1960s, more than 30 arrests after police moved in to remove students occupying a Cal State San Francisco building. The demonstrators were protesting big fee hikes and budget cuts. Similar protests have happened at the University of California campuses as well.

On this International Human Rights Day, a call for health care to be treated as a human right. Rallies are taking place on Capitol Hill and more than a dozen states. They are sponsored by group Mobilization for Health Care for All. The group is calling on Congress to pass a health care bill that provides coverage to all Americans.

And this story from New Haven, Connecticut. New badges for a group of white firefighters -- they had asked the Supreme Court to sanction their promotions over black colleagues. The high court ruled the white firefighters' civil rights were violated when officials threw out some test results in which too few minorities did well.

You recall, this case was an issue in the confirmation hearings for Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She had ruled against the white firefighters as a federal judge.

They will try anything to smuggle their deadly wares into the United States. A new drug tunnel discovered along the U.S. border with Mexico, and CNN's Anderson Cooper is getting a first-hand look.


LONG: Drug smugglers are going all out to smuggle their deadly products from Mexico to the United States. Police in Mexico have found a new tunnel under the border between San Diego and Tijuana. It's about 900 feet long, 100 feet deep in some places. It has an elevator, electricity, a ventilation system. It's not the first a tunnel found along the border. You may remember these scenes three years ago when CNN's Anderson Cooper reported on a similar one. That tunnel on the border between Mexico and Texas.

You want to tune in tonight "AC360," 10:00 p.m. Eastern. Anderson Cooper will be live at the site of that just discovered tunnel, again, between San Diego and Tijuana. That's only on CNN.

They are talking TARP on Capitol Hill one day after announcing the bailout program will be extended. The treasury secretary is now explaining why.

And to explain that to you, Stephanie Elam of newsroom in New York.

And, Stephanie, I know there's a lot of disagreement over this future of the TARP program.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNNMONEY.COM: Oh, no doubt about it, Melissa. You're so right. The TARP has been widely unpopular and there are a lot of lawmakers who really would like to see it expire at the end of this year.

But then yesterday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner notified Congress that the bailout program is going to stay in place until next October.

Today, Geithner testified before the Congressional Oversight Panel, the independent body that oversees the bailout program and he got some pushback.

Although the panel credits the program with stopping the financial collapse, it says TARP hasn't done enough to get banks lending again or to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. Geithner says that's why TARP is being extended and next year, it will focus on three key areas -- one being mitigating foreclosures, then providing capital to small banks, and lending to small business. And that last one is really key, Melissa, for the employment picture, because small businesses in this country create more than half of the jobs. So, we really need small businesses out there hiring people.

LONG: Of course, the backbone of America these days.

You know...

ELAM: Indeed.

LONG: ... when you look at extending TARP, is it about trying to help people on Main Street or is it really a larger sign that the U.S. financial system is still very troubled? ELAM: Yes, that -- there's definitely a bit of just in case going on here, no doubt about it. Even though Geithner says confidence in the system has improved dramatically, there could always be another shock, and the government just needs to be prepared.


TIMOTHY GEITHNER, TREASURY SECRETARY: We still need to keep in reserve some ability to respond if we are faced again a serious escalation of systemic concern. It would be deeply irresponsible and imprudent at this stage, only a year into this recovery process, only three months after we have the first period of growth, to stand back and walk away from those challenges ahead. That would leave the taxpayer at much greater risk of future losses.


ELAM: Now, the Treasury Department now projects TARP's ultimate price tag will be about $500 billion, that happens to be about $200 billion less than originally expected.

So, that's setting the stage for a new battle. Democrats say, some of the unused cash should be used to help create jobs. Republicans want to use the money to pay down the soaring national debt.

Obviously, Melissa, we'll be hearing more about this debate...

LONG: Of course.

ELAM: ... in days to come. And we'll be following it all here. Of course, if you want to read more go about it, you can head to and read about it there. And also, follow us on Twitter.

LONG: Stephanie, thank you very much for breaking it down. Appreciate it.

Maybe you know the saying, "Once a marine, always a marine." A one unlucky mugger knows that now. They had a lot of time in the hospital to think about it.


LONG: Crooks seem to love the easy marks, tourists, senior citizens, street vendors. Story out of New Orleans goes to show that you never know who you're jumping, and we are not encouraging you to do this.

We want to introduce you to Roy Lee Gant. He sells Lucky Dog hot dogs in the French Quarter there. There's his image. Well, an unlucky mugger was very happy to find out before that striped shirt he wears, he wore camouflage. He was trained in hand-to-hand combat, the marine. So, the guy pulls a knife, Gant pulls out some of his old moves and I think it's fair to say the hotdog guy turned the bad guy into a sausage and ended up seeking medical care.

Maybe you feel like a Whopper instead, you probably don't need a cell phone to find your nearest Burger King or to remind you that Burger King exists, and that's exactly the point of Elizabeth Espinal. The New York woman is suing the fast food chain. She's suing for $5 million over text messages touting such BK's delight Mocha Joe ice coffee. She claims the texts cause her actually harm. She has to pay to receive them. Besides under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, they are apparently illegal. She's hoping to find other plaintiffs and you can find her again in Manhattan. As always, Rick Sanchez, I think he's working, I hope he's paying attention.

Rick, good afternoon. I know you are busy getting ready for the next hour of NEWSROOM. What are you working on?

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Never, never, never too busy for you, Melissa.

LONG: Oh, so happy to hear that. What is the team working on today?

SANCHEZ: We're working on a lot of great stuff. You know, I've been really fascinated by everything going on with the health care reform debate, and the public option or lack thereof public option, which seems to be at least in the Senate version the way things are heading.

But we're going to drill down today on something that we'd been wanted to look at for a while now. There's two versions obviously, as we all know, right? There's this House version and there's a Senate version.

What about undocumented immigrants? Where do they fall into this thing? Will they receive health care under health care reform? Will they receive it under the Senate version? Will they receive it under the House version?

And then there's the question of, you know, doctors have to take an oath that says essentially do no harm, what happens in the end? How is this actually going to work itself out after the bill is passed if people are prevented from getting the health care?

So, those are the questions that we have. We've got an expert. We've got somebody, we're going to talk to him. We're going to break it down for you.

LONG: All very good questions. Looking forward to the conversation. Thank you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Thanks.

LONG: Some kind of a new Barack Obama statue. This is now what you think. As a matter of fact, you might not even recognize it. We're going to unveil it for you.


LONG: It is a new Obama statue, but you might not recognize him at first glance. Check it out.

Most people know President Obama spent part of his early youth living in Indonesia. Today, a statue of a young Barack Obama was unveiled in Jakarta. It's located in a very same neighborhood where Mr. Obama lived and played.

The statue is especially poignant because the president today is also in Oslo, Norway, to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. In his address, Mr. Obama said his accomplishments are slight compared to some of the giants in history.

The next big item on the president's to-do list: attending the global climate change summit which is going on in Denmark. And when we talk climate change, we're not earth-bound. NASA is using space-based technology to keep tabs.

With a story, here is CNN's Jim Acosta.


ANNOUNCER: Lift off...

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): NASA, the same agency that put the shuttle in space, and man on the moon...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's one small step for man...

ACOSTA: ... also has roughly a dozen satellites in orbit, all on a mission to show how the earth is warming.

THORSTEN MARKUS, NASA SCIENTIST: The Arctic is not a frozen lake, but it's very dynamic.

ACOSTA: Thorsten Markus, the head of NASA's Cryospheric Sciences Branch uses those satellites to keep a close eye on the stunning loss of ice in the Arctic. He's traveled to Greenland to confirm his findings on the ground.

MARKUS: If current trends continue within the next 10 to 20 years, we are going to see what in the Arctic? We may very well see a summer -- an ice-free summer in the Arctic.

ACOSTA: This animation demonstrates why it's happening so fast -- as the ice melts, all that's left to soak up the sun's rays is the ocean.

MARKUS: The solar radiation is mostly reflected from the eyes where it is absorbed by the ocean.

ACOSTA (on camera): And this accelerates the melting of the ice.

MARKUS: Exactly.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Markus, like many scientists at NASA, blames the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

MARKUS: There is no doubt that there is global warming.

ACOSTA: But that doesn't convince skeptics who have seized on the global warming e-mail controversy known as "Climategate" and have now taken aim at NASA. An attorney with the Competitive Enterprise Institute which receives funding from ExxonMobil is threatening to sue NASA if it doesn't turn over its e-mails on global temperature readings.

CHRIS HORNER, AUTHOR, "RED HOT LIES": What I'm asking for is want the taxpayers owns and I, frankly, the law doesn't require me to have a reason for it. We want transparency. We want to see how they did what. We want to see why.

ACOSTA: NASA is no stranger to climate controversy. James Hansen, one of NASA's top scientist and a fixture at global warming protests, accused the Bush administration of suppressing climate data. That accusation led to this inspector general report which found NASA P.R. officials had marginalized and mischaracterized climate change information.

JAMES HANSEN, NASA SCIENTIST: If we push the climate system hard enough, it can obtain momentum, it can pass tipping points such that climate change continues out of our control.

ACOSTA: For Thorsten Markus, climate measurements are the earth's vital signs, much like our own.

MARKUS: If you go to the doctor, the doctor says, cholesterol is high, your blood pressure is high, and you may have a stroke. And the doctor suggests, "Well, you know, maybe you should be more careful to what you are eating." Do you change your diet?

ACOSTA (on camera): NASA has never had as many satellites measuring the earth's climate data as it does now. But some of these eyes on the earth are reaching their life span. Without new funding, NASA scientists are worried those satellites won't be replaced.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.


LONG: Coming up on 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time today, Rick Sanchez is tackling health care reform.