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Full-Body Scanning Machines To Be Installed in Airports Over the Coming Months; Millenial Voters Still Waiting for Change President Obama Promised; Violence in Iraq Before National Elections

Aired March 06, 2010 - 11:00   ET


RICHARD LUI, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We've got a lot coming up for you.


LUI: From the CNN Center, you are in the NEWSROOM.

Today is Saturday, March the 6th. A very good morning. I am Richard Lui, in for T.J. Holmes on this day.

NGUYEN: Yes. Good morning, everybody. Thanks for being with us. It is 11:00 a.m. out here on the east, 8:00 a.m. on the West Coast. We appreciate you joining us. Let's get right to it.

Millions of air travelers will soon see a major change in airport security checkpoints. The Homeland Security Department is installing full-body scanning machines at 11 more airports.

All right, here's a list for you. They go online at Boston Logan Monday, Chicago O'Hare the following week, and the rest will be deployed in the coming months. The machines are already being used at 19 other airports.

Government officials say they will boost air security, but others say they also boost the chances of your privacy being invaded. Here's CNN Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Coming soon to an airport near you, full-body scanners. Three of the machines are going into front-line operation next week at Boston's Logan Airport, where two of the flights hijacked on 9/11 originated.

The Transportation Security Administration says the machines will better detect devices like the ones sewn into the underwear of the alleged Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, but are the scanners fool proof? What has testing shown?

GALE ROSSIDES, TSA ACTING ADMINISTRATOR: Our officers are identifying objects on the body that are comparable to what that threat was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time? ROSSIDES: Our officers are doing a very good job and the ...


ROSSIDES: I'd have to -- I'd have to get back to you, but, you know, we don't -- we have very, very good measures in place.

MESERVE: Civil liberties groups have dubbed the scanners electronic strip searches. The TSA has tried to address their concerns by blurring and deleting images and isolating the viewing station.

Passengers will have the option of choosing an alternative method of screening, like a pat down, and soon more travelers will face that decision. By this summer, the TSA hopes to deploy 150 of the machines in 11 cities. By the end of the year, it hopes to have 500 in operation, their deployment accelerated and expanded after the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt.

MESERVE (on camera): If you're worried about whether the machines will lengthen security lines, the TSA says you don't have to. The scanners are not expected to increase the time needed for screening.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.


LUI: Well, the White House is considering doing a 180 on where to try alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. A senior administration official saying White House advisers may now recommend holding Mohammed's trial in a military court instead of a civilian court in New York.

The official says advisers are hopeful a decision will be made before the president leaves for an overseas trip March the 18th.

So, he's barely been in office a month and Senator Scott Brown is back on the campaign trail.

NGUYEN: Yes. This time stumping for Senator John McCain, who's in for a tough re-election bid in Arizona.

It's his first campaign trip since becoming the junior senator from Massachusetts.

LUI: And Brown and McCain are traveling together to Phoenix and Tucson this weekend, Brown saying the county needs good and honest people like John McCain.


SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: If you told me five months ago that I'd be standing here in front of you, I'd say you're -- you're full of it. I -- I would never in my wildest dreams believe that I would be here with you all and really standing and helping somebody that I personally, long before politics, have -- have always thought is a -- an American hero.


NGUYEN: Well, conservative opponent J.D. Hayworth calls McCain too moderate for Republicans in Arizona.

All right, so a new study finds young voters are retreating from President Obama and the Democratic Party. Many so-called "Millennial Voters" who helped put President Obama in office say they're still waiting for the change he promised.

Susan Candiotti spoke with a couple of Millennials.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Candidate Obama was the darling of the so-called Millennial Voters.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A new generation is saying, it's our time.

CANDIOTTI: Yet Millennials, voters between 18 and 30, say they're still waiting for results.

MEGHAN CROSS, MILLENNIAL VOTER: I'm disappointed that we haven't seen the kind of change that I think a lot of people my age were looking for.

CANDIOTTI: Meghan Cross is 23 and landed a P.R. job after graduating college two years ago. Dan Nainan is a 29-year-old comedian and actor. Both identify themselves as Independents who voted for Obama. Nainan went to his inauguration and even performed at some of the events.

(on camera): Are you still as big a fan?

DAN NAINAN, MILLENNIAL VOTER: I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I -- I (INAUDIBLE) can say this, but I feel like, you know, when you go home with someone and you wake up the next morning and they're not quite what you thought they were, you know? Not as attractive.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): A new Pew voter research study of Millennials shows their support of Democrats is slipping, their support for Republicans growing.

In 2008, Millennials favored Dems 62 percent of the time, Republicans only 30 percent. In 2009, Millennials still favor Democrats, but that support slipped to 54 percent and rose to 40 percent for GOP candidates.

PROF. LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: It makes perfect sense because the electorate as a whole has become less enamored of President Obama and the Democrats since the high point of the election in 2008. CANDIOTTI: Studies show that love lost among Millennials is largely because their tech-savvy president is seen as not having been able to do much about the sagging economy.

(on camera): Do you think he has spent too much of his political capital on health care compared to the economy?

NAINAN: I think that -- I think he's doing so at tremendous risk to himself, because if it fails he's going to look really bad.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): That unease might translate into backlash come midterm elections.

CROSS: I definitely think that right now I'm leaning more Republican than I had been.

MORLEY WINOGRAD, CO-AUTHOR, "MILLENNIAL MAKEOVER": Millennials are much more interested in bottom line results, and that's what they're still waiting for.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): What do you think the Obama administration has to do to keep Millennial voters, like you, in their camp?

NAINAN: Get something done. Accomplish something. Finish.


NGUYEN: And Susan Candiotti joins me now from New York. A siren's going on behind you. Figure out what that's all about.

But first up, let me ask you about this. What is the Obama administration doing to reenergize the Millennials?

CANDIOTTI: Well, according to the analysts we spoke with, they really have to refocus on social issues that are so important to a lot of these Millennial Voters, such as gay rights, immigration, even abortion -- and you'll pardon the -- the fire alarm going off behind me -- but they also say they -- that the Millennials, that the Obama administration, rather, cannot lose focus on the economy and how to improve it.

What they're really concerned about is maintaining a malaise among these voters because if they don't turn out to vote at the polls, as many people worry, then that could have a disastrous result on the midterm elections.

NGUYEN: All right. Well, I'm going to let you get to that fire alarm. Hopefully it's just a drill, but thanks for staying focused through that. I'll let you get back to that.

Take care, Susan.

CANDIOTTI: Thanks, Betty.

NGUYEN: All right. LUI: She didn't even blink.

NGUYEN: No, she didn't. That's a professional right there.

LUI: She is a professional.

NGUYEN: She kept in the zone. Yes, she did.

LUI: All right. Susan Candiotti, thank you so much.

Just one day before voters head to the polls, a deadly explosion in one of the holiest cities in Iraq. We've got that for you.


NGUYEN: Well, Iraqis in the United States are weighing in on the future of their homeland.

LUI: Yes. Ahead of Iraq's national elections that happen tomorrow, Iraqi expatriates who live in the U.S. are casting early ballots, this polling place, for instance, in Arlington, Virginia.

NGUYEN: The elections will determine who will govern Iraq and deal with the sectarian tensions as the U.S. prepares to pull its troops out by the end of next year.

LUI: Well, on this day before Iraq's national elections, more bloodshed. A car bombing in Iraq's holy city of Najaf, killing at least three people. Dozens more were injured.

CNN's Arwa Damon live now from Baghdad on this. And Arwa, do they expect a big turnout tomorrow, and, you know, as we look at this violence, how will this affect voter turnout?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, let's start off by reminding everybody what Iraqis have been through over the last seven years, and that is the most horrific of violence, acts so brutal most of us couldn't even imagine what it must have been like.

Iraqis are very resilient, and they're very courageous. What we're likely to see is people not heading out to the polls immediately, wanting to test the situation, see what happens during the day, and then if an Iraqi wants to vote, they will go to the polls and they will vote.

But there is a prevailing sense of fear and anxiety amongst the people because of the attack that we saw taking place today. And that car bomb went off in a very heavily guarded, heavily secured location, and then of course because of the attacks that happened a few days ago, when the Iraqi security forces themselves were casting their votes in an early election, and two cases where a suicide bomber walked into a group of Iraqi security forces.

And of course we have the Islamic state of Iraq. That is the umbrella organization that is headed by al Qaeda that has already threatened to derail these elections and in fact now has gone so far as to declare a curfew for tomorrow between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., warning voters to stay inside.

LUI: Arwa, remind us of how important this election is going forward and for the security of the country.

DAMON: This election is extremely critical for the future of Iraq. One cannot emphasize that enough. It's being called by analysts the most decisive moment in Iraq since 2003, and what is at stake is the very future of the nation.

The winners, the outcome of this election, will determine if Iraq stays on this path of democracy, if that's what we want to call it, if it moves towards being a more secular nation, or if it moves on a path where we see a country emerge that is more religious and more conservative. And, of course, we have the threat of violence that compounds everything.

As these various political blocs begin to form their alliances, as alliances begin to fall apart, there are also those who are outside of the political process who are saying that if in their view the government that emerges is as sectarian as this one, there are going to be more attacks. And then of course you have groups like al Qaeda who are still operating here.

Now all of this, if there is more violence after these elections, will -- all of this would have an impact on the U.S. military's ability to withdraw its combat troops according to the timetable that it has laid out.

LUI: All right. Arwa Damon there in Baghdad, following the elections that are so key, as you have noted there. We'll of course be stopping by to get the latest from you as this goes forward. Appreciate it.

NGUYEN: All right. So, can it be true? After weeks and weeks of cold, blizzards in some areas, a winter warm-up? Really?

LUI: We will take that. Reynolds Wolf.


NGUYEN: Absolutely.

WOLF: Hard to believe after all we've been digging through over the last couple of -- a month, really. I mean, this has been a brutal winter for so many people, millions of Americans, but it looks for a good part of the eastern seaboard and out west things are going to be fine. But smack dab in the middle of the country, sure enough, we have a storm system to deal with.

Let's start with the ugly stuff first, and there it is. This big area of low pressure that's going to pull moisture in from the Gulf of Mexico at the same time this giant weather mixing bowl is going to bring in a lot of cold air from the north. And it's going to be that combination that's going to bring some rain, sleet, maybe even some snowfall to parts of the Dakotas.

But out to the west we're going to see some rainfall from about Central California southward to I'd say in San Diego, but from San Francisco northward into Seattle, a mixture of sunshine, clouds, but not so much in terms of precipitation.

Now, eastern seaboard, take a look at this. High pressure, a lot of sunshine. You want proof in that, take a look at the shot we have of the Capitol. The Rotunda, we're going to have that pop up in mere moments, and as we do -- there it is. Beautiful, beautiful blue skies, high temperatures in Washington, D.C., going up to 51 degrees.

As you look a little bit farther to the north back on the weather map, you'll notice that places like Boston and New York, going up into the 50s also. Farther to the south, it's going to be even warmer.

I mean, check this out. Sunshine State living up to its billing, Miami mostly sunny with 69 degrees, sunny in Tampa also with 64, Memphis checking out with 60 degrees. Kansas City, you're going to have some scattered showers today (ph), the temperatures still a little bit on the warm side, 57 degrees. And back over to Denver, 53; 53 also in Salt Lake City; a string of 60s and 50s along the West Coast; 70 in Phoenix.

Phoenix, enjoy it while you can because in just a couple of month you're going to be right back up into the -- not 80s, not 90s, but into the 100s. Summer's coming too soon. It will be just around the corner, but let's get through the rest of this winter first, shall we?

That is a look at your forecast. Let's send it back to you guys at the News Desk.

NGUYEN: Yes. They'll be looking back, what, June, July, wishing for these temperatures, right?

WOLF: Were goes these (ph) great days? Absolutely.

NGUYEN: We just got to be happy with what we're given, right, Reynolds?

WOLF: There you go! Plain and simple. You bet.

NGUYEN: OK. Thank you.

Well, one man's dream turns to reality.


SEAN GAMEZ, GATEWAY CONSTRUCTION: This right here is the sole reason why I'm employed.

NGUYEN (voice-over): Building up America. This is just another way that it is happening.



LUI: Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault again. A 20-year-old college student says the NFL star attacked her at a nightclub in rural Georgia early Friday morning.

His agent issued a denial of that allegation. No charges have been filed so far in this case or a previous case, a woman who claims she was raped by Roethlisberger at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2008 filed a civil suit against him.

NGUYEN: This video -- just check it out right there. A tour bus that crashed in Arizona yesterday, killing six passengers, was operating illegally, according to the Transportation Department. The agency says it turned down Tierra Santa Incorporated's interstate carrier application back in December and the Los Angeles company never responded after the DOT asked for additional information about the application.

Two men and four women died when the driver lost control of the bus and it rolled over. Sixteen people were hurt.

LUI: And universities across the country are recovering from protests over education cuts and tuition increases. Thousands of students, educators and supporters took to the streets for what was dubbed the March 4th National Day of Action. Now, police arrested 160 protesters in Oakland, California for shutting down a freeway there.

We'll get another check of our top stories in 20 minutes.

NGUYEN: Sheer genius, taking the perceived dregs of society and making them productive and contributing members of the community. How in the heck does that happen?

Well, CNN's Tom Foreman goes deep into the heart of Texas to show us one man's plan for building up America.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Out on the east edge of Austin ...


FOREMAN: ... rebuilding America starts with rebuilding lives.

Meet the latest class of the Skillpoint Alliance Construction Gateway. Funded by city and county tax dollars, this is an innovative five-week training program to turn the unemployable into the employed.

(on camera): This is a big deal to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. A very big deal. This is the beginning of the rest of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm excited, even though it's really intense.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The target is individuals over the age of 18 who ought to be entering the workforce but who have little hope of doing so because they dropped out of school or wound up in jail or had some other problem.

Sean Gamez, for example, had been in and out of prison for robbery by the time he was 25.

GAMEZ: There was no work. It was nonexistent. I mean, to me, for people like myself.

SYLVESTRE VILLARREAL, SKILLPOINT ALLIANCE: You got to follow the basic and always do the basics right, everything else falls in place.

FOREMAN: But then, he ran into Sylvestere Villarreal, who recruits students for the Construction Gateway program, scouring homeless shelters, unemployment lines ...

VILLARREAL: I look for two things -- a student that I feel that will benefit from this. And the second one, which is just as important, is an individual that is going to be a good employee.

FOREMAN: Once in, they are taught the boot camp basics of construction work -- showing up on time, doing what you're told, the language of tools and rules of building -- all with the goal of helping not just them but the broader community, too.

TOM SERAFIN, SKILLPOINT ALLIANCE: We need new people coming in the pipeline, and one of the things that Construction Gateway does is that, fills the pipeline with entry-level construction workers.

FOREMAN (on camera): People who we absolutely -- who absolutely need to -- to economically and physically rebuild America.

SERAFIN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The result? Close to 90 percent of Construction Gateway graduates who had little hope of a job before entering the program are employed within days of graduation, and they stay that way.

(on camera): How confident are you that you'll get employment once you leave here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hundred percent.

FOREMAN (voice-over): It certainly worked for Sean. He has been on the job for seven years and is now a foreman on an electrical crew.

GAMEZ: This right here is the sole reason why I'm employed today.

FOREMAN: The program takes only 100 students a year, but that's 100 doing good work. Good for them and good for their communities, too. Tom Foreman, CNN, Austin.


LUI: Now to a much smaller quake with a more devastating outcome. Haiti's 7.0 quake caused much more death and damage than Chile's 8.8. Why is that?


NGUYEN: Well, you know, it's been one week since Chile was rocked by an 8.8 earthquake, and the aftershocks, they just keep coming. The latest ones, two of them, happened yesterday, both greater than 6.0 magnitude.

Now, a major campaign to head off disease outbreaks is now under way. Chileans have been lining up for vaccinations against hepatitis and tetanus.

LUI: Two earthquakes, one an 8.8 in Chile, the other a 7.0 in Haiti, but Haiti suffered far more deaths, as we've been reporting, so why is that?

CNN's Joe Johns shows us.


JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The quake in Haiti was a 7.0, killing more than 200,000 people. The quake in Chile registered 8.8, as much as 800 times stronger, the death toll less than a thousand so far. Why is that?

Geography, for one thing. The Port-au-Prince quake was in shallow earth 15 miles from the city. The Chile quake was 30 miles off the coast, deep under water.

History is another factor. No one alive remembers the series of earthquakes that hit Haiti in the 1700s, but Chile's experience is much more recent, more than 28 quakes in the 20th century, including the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in 1960, all of which has led Chile to put in and adhere to strict building codes.

Chile learned its lessons the hard way, making engineering the biggest factor of all that sets Chile and Haiti apart.

ROGER BILHAM, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO: Despite the -- the loss of life, this has to be regarded as a success story. The -- you've got to remember that 500,000 buildings are damaged, probably half of those irreparably, but we're looking at a kind of earthquake resistance that enables people to walk out of these damaged structures.

JOHNS: In precisely the same way that Chile's building codes were a success, Haiti was a dismal and deadly failure. In Port-au- Prince, we surveyed the wreckage with structural engineer Kit Miyamoto, who specializes in earthquakes.

KIT MIYAMOTO, STRUCTURAL AND EARTHQUAKE ENGINEER: Do you see on top of a column, used to kind (ph) of revolve and a (INAUDIBLE)?

JOHNS (on camera): Yes.

MIYAMOTO: That's why it collapses like that. It's really brutal.

JOHNS: Chile is one of the wealthiest and most transparent countries in South America. Haiti is the poorest and among the most corrupt in the Western Hemisphere. So how does Haiti get the money and enforcement power to change the rules and build safe buildings?

MIYAMOTO: We know that this area is one of the highest risk area in the whole world, a really dangerous area. And still the new construction do not have the latest technology.

This is costing, we're talking, about 20 billion dollars, right, and also 200,000 dead. You can prepare for probably thousands of the cost and no death.

JOHNS: Who messed it up so bad in Haiti?

MIYAMOTO: We did, engineers.

JOHNS: By not doing the right things, realizing.

MIYAMOTO: I did not speak out loud enough. It's our responsibility. I have no doubt in my mind that we need take responsibility. This is my screw-up. This shouldn't be happening again. This shouldn't be -- this story needs to be told.

JOHNS: After so many deaths, engineering a safer future is a heavy burden.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


NGUYEN: Heavy burden, indeed. Well, we have learned President Obama will meet with Haiti's president next week. The White House announced the meeting is set for Wednesday. The US is playing an active role in rebuilding the nation. And former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are leading the US' fund-raising effort.

LUI: Prices at the pump, they're climbing higher. AAA is saying nationwide, the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose to about 2.74 today. That is two cents higher than yesterday and four cents more than last week's price.

NGUYEN: Well, more than 1,000 GM dealers will soon find out if they can stay open. The auto-maker had announced it was closing all of them as part of its restructuring plan. But many dealerships appealed. Now, the auto-maker says more than 600 dealerships will receive letters giving them the option to remain with the company. Dealers not reinstated can pursue their case in arbitration.

LUI: And a man with a troubled past; new information is coming out about the man police say opened fire at the Pentagon.


NGUYEN: Well, we're reading new details about the man who authorities say shot and wounded two officers outside the Pentagon. He was then fatally shot himself. Authorities say John Patrick Bedell had a history of mental illness and a penchant for spouting anti- government conspiracy theories.

Dan Simon digs deeper into Bedell's background.


JOHN PATRICK BEDELL, PENTAGON SHOOTER: In the next few minutes, I'll talk to you about what information currency is.

DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You don't have to watch John Patrick Bedell's Youtube video for very long to realize this was a man with serious issues. This video, titled "Information Currency," is the rambling of a troubled 36-year-old man, instructing people how to use information to make money.

BEDELL: I hope you'll visit my website and download the software that I've released.

SIMON: Bedell may have been disturbed, but he was clearly intelligent. His online resume shows he graduated with a degree in physics in 1994. A professor remembers him as a thoughtful student.

PROFESSOR DAVID PARENT, SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY: I thought I knew him pretty well. I had him in a class where he was a pleasure to have him there. And he would ask really good questions that would spark the class into having good questions. I would have characterized him as a gentle man.

SIMON: Years later, in 2004, a link to the Pentagon. Bedell, who also studied biochemistry, proposed the Pentagon fund his research on smart weapons. CNN obtained this 28-page proposal, though it's not clear if he ever submitted it to the Defense Department. At this point in Bedell's life, no apparent red flags.

But that changes in 2006. A search of criminal records shows his first real trouble with the law, arrested for growing marijuana. Authorities say Bedell later obtained a medical marijuana card, and the local sheriff says his mother was concerned about his frequent use and told police about it.

SHERIFF CURTIS HILL, SAN BENITO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: She feels that he's, you know, delusional, agitated. He got upset with her because, you know, she's asking questions about what he's been doing.

SIMON: Bedell lived in this gated northern California community with his parents, described as well-known and respected. In recent months, they became more and more worried about their son's erratic behavior. Like in January, they got a call from a Texas deputy who had just pulled Bedell over for speeding. The deputy sensed something was wrong.

(on camera): And so he got Bedell's cell phone and called his parents.

HILL: That's correct. And what he articulates to the mother is that, hey, I'm calling to ask a few questions about your son, because the inside of his vehicle appears to be in disarray and what can you tell me about him.

SIMON (voice-over): Bedell went on his way. The family later filed a missing persons report, then dropped it when Bedell came home a week later. But Bedell soon left again, when, according to the sheriff, his mother questioned him about a 600 dollar charge at a shooting club. It's not clear if the money was for a weapon.

Then on February 1st, more trouble with police. Bedell, now with a beard and appearing gaunt, was pulled over in Reno and determined to be high on marijuana. Authorities say he had 75 grams of pot in his possession. He was charged with several crimes, but didn't show up for his court appearance.

A month later, after driving across the country, Bedell shows up at that Pentagon Metro station, dressed in a suit and, according to police, opens fire.

(on camera): Bedell had a documented case of mental illness, bipolar disorder. The sheriff, here in his hometown, says Bedell had been committed to a mental institution three to four times. Bedell's parents put out a statement saying their son's actions was called by an illness, not a defective character.

Dan Simon, CNN, Hollister, California.


LUI: All right. Top stories for you this hour; British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gets a first hand look at the battle against the Taliban. He made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today to meet with British troops there. Among his stops, the main British base in Helmand Province, a police training school and a British forward operating base.

NGUYEN: Well, another sex scandal for the Roman Catholic Church, but this time it's at the Vatican. A choir singer claims he provided male escorts for a married Italian politician who also works as an usher for Pope Benedict. The politician has been jailed on unrelated corruption charges.

LUI: Here they come; 150 full-body scanners are being installed in 11 more airports in the next few months. First up, Boston Logan. Their new machines go online Monday. Those scanners are already being used at 19 other airports, in case you were curious. Government officials say they boost security. But civil liberties groups say they are a violation of travelers' privacy.

NGUYEN: You have to see this. They are lending their voices to help Haiti.


NGUYEN: So, is the best of the music industry being upstaged by a bunch of Youtube amateurs? You judge for yourself.



NGUYEN: In the wake of the Haiti disaster, people all over the world wanted to help.

LUI: That's right. And a group of Youtube stars came up with an idea that is quickly becoming a viral video sensation. It is great stuff.

NGUYEN: It really is good.

LUI: Great.

Our Josh Levs is on the lookout for that.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I got it. So here's the deal.

LUI: Yes.

LEVS: Everyone knows, right, that the celebrities got together and made a remake of "We Are the World." But the version that you actually need to know about is this one, 57 Youtube stars, without all those frills, who managed to put together a pretty incredible rendition themselves. Take a look.


LEVS: And the woman that's behind this is actually one of the singers that you just saw, Lisa Lavie. What I did was I got on Skype and I spoke with her. I asked her what was behind this? How did she manage to put it all together? Here's what she told me.


LISA LAVIE, YOUTUBE STAR: There were people that were recording in their bathrooms, in their kitchens, some without mics, some with mics. So it was really hard leveling out all the voices, and of course compiling the video. We spent like three days, one sleepless night on this video. But it all came together really well. So we're really proud of it.

I was expecting, like, let's say 35,000 views. And within 24 hours, it was like at 120,000, and I was, like, oh, my god, 120,000 views. That's awesome. Then it just started a snowball effect. It just became a viral video. It's awesome. It's so exciting.


LEVS: It now had way more than a million views by this point. And the official Youtube channel of the celebrity version is now posting this version there, that you can see as well. And it has a really cool feature. I want you guys to see this. Take a look. I pulled up the video here.

As the video goes, it kind of introduces you to this whole field of Youtube singing. As you're seeing these singers, at anytime you can click on any face or any group, and it will bring you to the webpage for that group. So it introduces you to Youtube singers that you didn't know about, and all the kinds of things they do. I have linked the whole thing for you at my pages.

Let's show it right here. You've got it at the blog, It's at my Facebook and Twitter, JoshLevsCNN.

I'll tell you, so many people posting at Facebook and Twitter today that they like this version better than the celebrity version remake. You know, Betty and Richard ...

NGUYEN: That's pretty dog gone good. They're amateurs, but probably not for long after this.

LEVS: Yeah. There's a world out there of Youtube singing. Some of them are getting millions of views on their pages. Yeah, it opens up careers to them too.

LUI: How times have changed from more than 20 years ago. This could not happen. This really is -- not to be trite here -- "We Are the World" and they're all singing it. Right?

LEVS: Yes, we have one more clip. You're right. Let's do that last clip before we go, because Richard is exactly right. It is really, in a way, the world getting together; 57 singers all over the world, not all American, across a whole bunch of countries, and they all made their own recordings. And the world therefore puts these together to one, big beautiful segment. Love it, guys.

NGUYEN: Sound great. Thank you for sharing that with us.

LUI: Great stuff.

From the Gridiron to the OR; even before one player gets his NFL dream job, he's already got a long-term goal for when his playing days are over.


LUI: Our NEWSROOM continues at the top of the hour, right? And, you know, Fred is always preparing.

NGUYEN: Yes. She works until the very last minute, and she's been doing that this morning.

LUI: And she's always laughing. Her team is always having a good time.

NGUYEN: Exactly. If you hear us ...

LUI: So here we are right now.

NGUYEN: Fredricka Whitfield. Are you put together? Are you ready to go?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: I am. I didn't realize -- this is really sloppy, isn't it? Sorry about that.

NGUYEN: That's OK. We can hear you.

WHITFIELD: How you doing?

LUI: Good to see you.

WHITFIELD: Good to see you, Richard.

LUI: Yeah.

WHITFIELD: I'm verklempt (ph) already, Betty. We'll get to that in a minute, though.

OK, we have a lot coming up in the noon Eastern hour, as Toyota, of course, tries to rebound from all of those recalls. Now there is someone who has been serving time for vehicular homicide who is now alleging that perhaps his vehicle, which was a Toyota, was subject to some acceleration, and maybe there is a link here.

Also, New York Governor David Paterson under fire. Did he act inappropriately by getting involved in a domestic violence case? Already his spokesperson has stepped down after being interviewed by the attorney general. What is next? Our legal guys will be delving into that.

And you know what, I said it's kind of like sad, but also a very happy occasion.

LUI: Yeah, it is.

WHITFIELD: We're going to miss you a lot, Betty.

NGUYEN: It's been such a pleasure working with you, Fred. We'll stay friends for a very long time, even though I won't be handing the show off to you here. This is my last Saturday.

WHITFIELD: It's our last exchange.

LUI: There's tomorrow.

NGUYEN: Uh-oh. What do you have over there?

WHITFIELD: I had to bring a little something for you.


LUI: Let me move this out of the way.

WHITFIELD: I didn't get a chance to open this up, nice and pretty.

NGUYEN: You were working.

WHITFIELD: Sorry. I'm, like, what, I'm going on now? Let's see if I can do this without getting my sleeve in here.

LUI: What do we have? You know I could eat that whole thing myself, right?

WHITFIELD: OK. Here you go.

NGUYEN: It's beautiful. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Bon voyage, Betty. Going to miss you. But super excited for you, too.

NGUYEN: Yes, headed off.

WHITFIELD: It's been a great six years.

NGUYEN: Can you believe it? Six years. And you were one of the first people I met when I got here. We've been great friends since then. The phone's going to be ringing at your house. Fred, how do I maneuver throughout New York City?

WHITFIELD: You'll just be great.

NGUYEN: Afraid to turn this too much.


WHITFIELD: Raspberry chocolate mousse kind of cake.

LUI: Lunchtime.

WHITFIELD: All the best. Going to miss you.

NGUYEN: Going to miss you so much. You know what? I'll still be watching.

WHITFIELD: And we'll be watching you, too.

NGUYEN: Exactly.

LUI: Absolutely.

NGUYEN: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Have a great one. NGUYEN: Much more to come still, though, because he stunned the sports world when he put his football dreams on hold to study on scholarship at Oxford University in England. But now Myron Rolle is focussing on the NFL again.

Listen to what the former Florida State University player tells our Soledad O'Brien about his plans and had he wants to do after.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Myron Rolle was on a fast track to having it all.


O'BRIEN: A gifted athlete, all but assured enormous fame and even bigger money. Then, something happened.

(on camera): You quit basically.

ROLLE: I did. I did. I don't like saying that word.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): From the moment he first touched a football, Myron Rolle was a star.

ROLLE: I was pretty good at it. I was bigger than all the kids. So I had some success.

O'BRIEN: In high school, ESPN ranked Myron the number one senior football player in the country. Eighty three colleges made him an offer.

Myron chose Florida State University, a prime launching pad for the pros. Myron played safety. His future, a shoo-in first-round pick in the NFL draft last year, millions of dollars to follow.

But that's when he basically quit, when he put it all at risk.

(on camera): Why did you leave? Why did you quit football?

ROLLE: I left football because the Rhodes Scholarship was too great to pass up. It was either now or never.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): He won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, a chance to earn a Masters Degree in medical anthropology in Oxford, England. Myron moved to England and watched the NFL draft from the sidelines.

ROLLE: It hurt. It really did. It pained me. Like inside, deep, I said, I can be out there right now making millions of dollars. That could be my name being called. But when I went to Oxford, I said, this is the right choice.

O'BRIEN: He's not done with his studies. He has more to do at Oxford. But now, nearly a year later, with that certainty of his, Myron Rolle came back. LEIGH STEINBERG, SPORTS AGENT: How you doing?

O'BRIEN: Sports super agent Leigh Steinberg represents Myron.

STEINBERG: We have to expose him to the teams in a way that will make them fall in love with him. We want him at a top at the first- round draft pick.

O'BRIEN: First round. The difference between first round and, say, third? Millions. Myron Rolle has big dreams for using those millions. After a few years in the pros, he wants to go to med school to become a neurosurgeon.

STEINBERG: Nice. Good.

O'BRIEN: He's got to get back to England to finish his degree. But today, he's in Orlando.

O'BRIEN: Renowned trainer Tom Shaw pushing him hard.

TOM SHAW, TRAINER: You can't make mistakes on first round draft choices. That's how general managers get fired. So you got to make sure this kid is everything that you expect him to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the man from England right here.

O'BRIEN: Make no mistake, here no one cares about Oxford. This is business, high stakes football. Is this guy as good as he was a year ago? For all of this journey, Myron's had family helping clear the way.

MCKINLEY ROLLE, BROTHER: I remember something when we were younger. I said -- I told Myron, I always got your back.

O'BRIEN: His older brother McKinley followed him to Florida State and then on to Oxford. And now game on. Myron played well in the Senior Bowl last month. The NFL draft is weeks away. It's pressure.

ROLLE: Sometimes it's overwhelming. Sometimes you have to take a step back.

O'BRIEN (on camera): lots of people have stopped you. Saying you are the future are of black America. Is that a compliment or is it terrifying?

ROLLE: It's a compliment, but it's definitely more pressure. Like, hey, we're counting on you.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): So many people counting on him.

ROLLE: You know RS stands for?


ROLLE: Rhodes Scholar. O'BRIEN: In America, Soledad O'Brien, CNN, Orlando.


LUI: One day they just disappeared. Now the search is on to find out how an entire family could just vanish without a trace.


LUI: How could a family of four with strong roots in a community just vanish?

NGUYEN: That is the question in San Diego, as police, family and friends, all of them, searching for an entire family who hasn't been seen or heard from in a month.

CNN's Tom Foreman reports.


FOREMAN (voice-over): In a home video, Joseph and Summer McStay, and their boys, Johnny and Joseph Jr., appear like any other middle- class family. But this family has disappeared. What happened and where they went are now agonizing puzzles for friend and relatives. Summer's mom among them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love her, and I want my family home safe. I want them to come home.

FOREMAN: Their house in a suburb of San Diego showed no signs of a break-in. Joseph's younger brother Mike went there when several days passed with no contact from his sibling.

MIKE MCSTAY, BROTHER: There was no damage to any furniture, no blood, no violence, nothing broken, no indication of struggle.

FOREMAN: So what do authorities know? They know right up until the McStays vanished on February 4th, everything was normal; Summer tending to the children, Joseph tending to his business selling decorative fountains.

LT. DENNIS BRUGOS, SAN DIEGO SHERIFFS OFFICE: Mr. McStay had a lunch engagement with a worker, and they actually had several phone conversations that day as well.

FOREMAN: They know fresh eggs were left on the counter. Summer's prescription sunglasses too. The family's beloved dogs were left with no food or water. And if the family had planned to go somewhere, why didn't Joseph ask someone to look after his business?

MCSTAY: You know, they would contact my mom or a family member. They wouldn't leave the business in disarray.

FOREMAN: The family's vehicle was found abandoned blocks from the Mexican border. But again, no signs of struggle. No clue who left it there. MCSTAY: I originally thought that someone was holding them against their will, but there's been no ransom. So, and you know, for him to just up and run and not tell anybody, it would have to be something pretty heavy.

FOREMAN (on camera): The mystery for many is two-fold. Not only are they wondering where this family is, but they're also asking how can a well-connected couple with two toddlers disappear from a busy neighborhood without anyone seeing anything?

(voice-over): Homicide detectives say the couple's past holds no clues as to why anyone would want to hurt them and yet, it's been almost a month since they were last seen.

Tom Foreman, CNN.


NGUYEN: That is a mystery.

LUI: It is.

NGUYEN: Well, the CNN NEWSROOM continues now with Fredricka Whitfield. Hi, Fred.

LUI: Hi, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, hello to you. All right, you all have a great day. Richard and Betty, thanks so much.

NGUYEN: You too.