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American Morning

Airport Death; Stocks Soar; GOP Debate; Minding Your Business

Aired October 10, 2007 - 06:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: CNN exclusive. New details of a woman's frantic last moments at the Phoenix Airport. The dramatic re- enactment and her family's emotional good-bye.
Food fears. Recalls this morning of two chicken dishes.

Plus, enter stage right.


FRED THOMPSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think I waited too long.


ROBERTS: Fred Thompson's debate debut.


THOMPSON: I've got to admit, it was getting a little boring without me, but . . .



A lot to talk about today. Good morning. Thanks very much for joining us. It's Wednesday the 10th of October. I'm John Roberts.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kiran Chetry. Glad you're with us.

We begin this morning with a CNN exclusive. New details about the day that Carol Anne Gotbaum died. For the first time we're hearing from her husband. Noah Gotbaum says that if the airline or police treated his wife with some dignity, she might still be alive today. Gotbaum mysteriously died in police custody last week at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. This is security camera video of the police taking her down. She was arrested and handcuffed after she flew into a rage after missing a plane. A flight that was supposed to take her to alcohol rehab. Alina Cho has been closely following this story and, again, she has exclusive details for us this morning.


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kiran, good morning. You know, we should be clear that we obtained this audiotape with the Gotbaum family's blessing. It is the first time you will hear Noah Gotbaum in his own words. His wife of 12 years, a mother of three, was remembered at a funeral service Sunday in New York as a loving mother. Noah Gotbaum called his wife his beautiful girl and talked about how she was ashamed to seek help for her alcoholism. He was also passionate about how he says her death could have been prevented.


NOAH GOTBAUM, CAROL ANNE GOTBAUM'S HUSBAND: If the airlines or the police authority had treated Carol with some modicum of sensitivity and grace, or one single person at that airport had put an arm around her shoulder, sat her down and given her some protection, she might still be with us today.


CHO: Very strong words from Noah Gotbaum. And as the investigation continues into how his wife died, the Gotbaum family is still waiting to get back some of Carol Anne's personal effects, including her Blackberry and her wedding ring. They were among the items seized when she was taken into custody.

And coming up in the next hour, we're going to have much more on this story, including some details about how the medical examiner recreated the scene in the very holding cell where Gotbaum died. We're also going to talk a little bit more about the time line and exactly where, Kiran, she was yelling and screaming "I'm not a terrorist." There is an explanation.

CHETRY: It's just a heartbreaking story. Did anyone in that family explain why somebody didn't accompany her if she was in such a fragile state?

CHO: Well, it has been reported, Kiran, that Noah Gotbaum wanted to take care of the children. She was a mother of three. They had three children. And she had initially planned to take a direct flight to Tucson but decided at the last minute she wanted to take her kids to school and instead took a connecting flight and that's how she ended up in Phoenix.

CHETRY: Otherwise she would have just gone straight from New York to where she need to be.

CHO: That's right.

CHETRY: All right. We'll check out more details with you coming up in the next hour, Alina. Thanks a lot.

CHO: You bet.

ROBERTS: School students in Crandon, Wisconsin, will finally return to classes this morning after a weekend shooting rampage that has left the town reeling in grief. Twenty-year-old Tyler Peterson gunned down six people at a party early Sunday morning. Police say the off-duty police officer argued with an ex-girlfriend before he opened fire on the group. A seventh victim, 21-year-old Charles Neitzel was shot three times but survived. Police say he played dead until Peterson left the house. Later, during a confrontation with police, authorities say Peterson shot himself three times. The last shot the fatal one.


J.B. VAN HOLLEN, WISCONSIN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Each of the three head shots were fired while the gun was in contact with his skin or extremely close to the skin. These shots were fired by a handgun. These three head wounds are consistent with self-inflicted wounds and not consistent with long-range rifle fire.


ROBERTS: We'll have more on that shooting for you a little later on this morning.


CHETRY: Well, other headlines new this morning.

First Lady Laura Bush weighing in on the crisis in Myanmar. She wrote an oped for "The Wall Street Journal" this morning saying military leaders need to "end their terror campaigns and step down" making room for a democratic Myanmar. She also called for the release of opposition leaders. Thousands of people have been arrested in recent crackdowns.

So what's America's biggest problem? Some shifting opinions this morning. Forty-two percent of people surveyed in the latest AP/IPSOS poll think that it's foreign affairs, especially the war in Iraq. But that number is actually down 7 percent from a similar poll in July. Also a growing number, 15 percent, say they're more concerned about the economy. That is up 6 percent since this poll was taken in July.

The economy and the debut of Fred Thompson were the highlights at the Republican presidential debate last night in Dearborn, Michigan. Thompson's debut was upstaged by some fireworks between Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney over their records on cutting taxes.


RUDY GIULIANI, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I brought taxes down by 17 percent. Under him, taxes went up 11 percent per capita. I led. He lagged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, rebuttal here? Final rebuttal?

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a nice line but it's baloney. Mayor, you got to check your facts. No taxes -- I did not increase taxes in Massachusetts. I lowered taxes.

FRED THOMPSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As far as the economic prosperity of the future is concerned, you look at the short term, it's rosy. I think if you look at a 10-year projection, it's rosy.


CHETRY: Romney also cracked a joke about Thompson's former career as a TV actor.


ROMNEY: You know, I've come to know these people now over these debates. Is this our sixth debate I think? Something like that. And this is a lot like "Law & Order," senator.


ROMNEY: No, it has a huge cast, the series seems to go on forever and Fred Thompson shows up at the end.

THOMPSON: And to think I thought I was going to be the best actor on the stage.


CHETRY: Wow. One zing and then one zing right back. Well, there is a lot more on Fred Thompson's debate debut, plus all of the up-to-the-minute campaign coverage on our new web page,

There is some news this morning about a story that puzzled many, the whereabouts of Atlanta City's missing mayor. Hasn't been seen in two weeks. Well the lawyer for Mayor Robert Levy says that he is now at a rehab clinic in New Jersey that specializes in the treatment of substance abuse and mental health issues. He did not reveal, though, why Levy was there seeking treatment.


ROBERTS: A consumer alert to tell you about this morning. The Department of Agriculture says you should not eat Banquet frozen turkey and chicken pot pies with the code "P-9" on the packaging. There is no recall of the pies yet, but health workers say they may be linked to 139 cases of salmonella in 30 states. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us in our next hour with more on this salmonella outbreak. Very important news to tell you about this morning.

And another recall involving chicken this morning. Seventy thousand pounds of a chicken and pasta dish made by Aliki Foods are being recalled over concerns that they might be contaminated with listeria bacteria. The product in question is the broccoli fettuccine Alfredo dish made with white chicken. Somewhere on the box you should see "EST-219." Also look for a use by date of "September, 2008."

Investigators report more than 16,000 cases of abuse at so-called boot camps in 33 states. That report is out today as the House hears from parents whose children died in facilities for troubled teenagers. Investigators focused on 10 deaths since 1990 and found they were due to untrained staff, inadequate food or reckless operations. There is, by the way, no federal regulation at boot camps.

And a family vacation to the Grand Canyon turns deadly. A four- year-old girl slipped off the canyon edge and fell 450 feet. The girl's father and a park ranger scrambled down the cliff and started CPR but they could not resuscitate her. Park officials say there is a guardrail at the overlook but not along the path that apparently she was walking on.


CHETRY: Well, it is time now to check in with our AMERICAN MORNING team of correspondents for other stories new this morning.

The Dow and the S&P both breaking records. Ali Velshi is at our business update desk with the latest for us.

Hi, Ali.


This is a good indication for viewers. Let's have a look at what happened on the Dow yesterday on the three major markets. You saw the Dow up 120 points. That's an all-time new high. It's not a trading intraday high, but the intraday high was only two points higher than that anyway. That's the highest the Dow has ever closed.

The Nasdaq was up 16 points and the S&P up 13 points. The S&P is also at a new record high. And, by the way, if you were invested in the S&P, which is a broad range of stocks, over the last five years, your increase is now 100 percent. You've doubled your money in five years on a broad range of stocks.

Let's take a look at what's happened just this year alone. This is the year when we talk to people they tell us all sorts of things are happening and bad things are happening. Bad things are not happening. Dow is up 14 percent from January 1st to now. The S&P up 10.5 percent. The Nasdaq up 15 percent. The top 10 most widely held mutual funds in the United States, nine of them are up in double digits.

So remember, everybody, as bad as it seems out there, if you're investing the way you're supposed to be investing, you're doing OK. I'll have a lot more on this and why it's happening through the course of the show.


CHETRY: We look forward to checking it with you later. Thanks, Ali.

Rob Marciano at the CNN weather desk tracking the extreme weather on the East Coast.

Man, you could you hear the lightning. I mean, no, you can't hear lightning. Could you hear the thunder and see the lightning yesterday. It was a crazy day is what it was.


ROBERTS: Traffic can get pretty ridiculous in Los Angeles, but some folks say a new traffic plan is taking ridiculous to new heights. A proposal to expand the 405 freeway to include a commuter lane for animals. The price tag? Nearly $500,000. This picture from the "L.A. Times" shows the bridge that would be expanded to include a five-foot animal path. The question, how would the animals know to use it? Environmentalists supports the plan but one critic says, what are they going to do, have Dr. Doolittle standing there directing the animals? It's just not going to work.

We're just hours away from an 11:00 a.m. strike deadline set by Chrysler UAW workers. Both sides have been talking all night long at Chrysler headquarters in suburban Detroit. If no agreement is reached, the union's 49,000 members nationwide could end up on the picket line.

The NFL Players' Association plans to appeal an arbitrators ruling that the Atlanta Falcons can recover nearly $20 million in bonus money paid to quarterback Michael Vick. The Falcons claim that Vick knew that he was violating his contract when he signed it three years ago. Vick is on indefinite suspension after pleading guilty to federal dog fighting charges..

A t-shirt controversy at a Tennessee high school. We'll tell you why a teenager was told to change her shirt before coming to school.

And who stood out in the Republican debate and did anyone say anything that wasn't exactly true? We'll run the statements through the truth-o-meter test. That's coming up next on AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the most news in the morning.

The LAPD falling on its sword for this chaotic scene. You may remember it. It was back in May at a pro-immigration rally at a park in Los Angeles. A new report from the LAPD now blames errors by police commanders for failed leadership and breakdowns in supervision and personal discipline for letting things spiral out of control. The report also said police had no crowd control training in the 18 months that led up to that rally.

Here's another picture of a protest in India today. Demonstrators, including this Tibetan monk, stormed the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, painted graffiti on the wall. The monks want China to withdraw new rules on religion.

And why drop 1,000 pound pumpkin 100 feet onto a bus? I guess it's a because you can kind of story. There you see it right now getting hoisted up. The annual pumpkin drop in Aurora, Oregon. Let's listen.

Wow, able to do some damage, huh. The tradition has been around now, the pumpkin drop tradition, for the past several years. It's supposed to be the official kickoff to celebrate fall.


ROBERTS: That is one bill big gourd.

Another noose incident making headlines this morning. This time in New York City at Columbia University's teacher's college. A black social justice professor says she saw the noose pinned to her office door when she arrived at work yesterday. The university says police are investigating it as a hate crime. Investigators think a jealous professor possibly put it there. There are no cameras inside that building. Students say they're shocked because they were just talking about the Jena Six incident in class.

And speaking of that, a legal fight over a Jena Six t-shirt in Tennessee. A high school student in Smyrna is suing her school district after she says she was told to take off her t-shirt because it said "free the Jena Six." The student says she was wearing it because she had just come from a rally supporting the six black students in Jena, Louisiana, accused of beating a white classmate. She says the school principal told her that the t-shirt to "cause a problem."

Well, Fred Thompson has jumped into the debate pool, making his debut yesterday in a business related forum for the Republican candidates in Dearborn, Michigan. So what did the candidate say and does it ring true? Bill Adair, the Washington bureau chief of the "St. Petersburg Times," editor of And, of course, ever week we turn to him for the truth behind what the candidates say as he measures their statements on the truth-o-meter. And Bill joins us this morning from Washington.

Good to see you again, Bill.


The truth-o-meter was overheating yesterday.

ROBERTS: It was, all right, on the truth side or the negative side?

ADAIR: We had a couple of exaggerations and falsehoods yesterday.

ROBERTS: All right. Well, let's run those through the truth-o- meter, those statements, and we'll see how they come out.

First of all, from Fred Thompson. He was asked during yesterday's debate to explain previous comments about whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Here's what he said.


FRED THOMPSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Iraqi Study Group reported that he had designs on reviving his nuclear program, which he had started once upon a time. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: All right. To Bill Adair now and the truth-o-meter says?

ADAIR: False. The Iraq Study Group said no such thing. Yes, we gave that a false. We think he might have been referring to the Iraq Survey Group, which was a CIA panel that looked into some of the WMD issues. But he was wrong that it was the Iraq Study Group.

ROBERTS: All right. A false statement there from Fred Thompson in his first appearance in a national debate. Rudy Giuliani on cutting taxes in the city of New York. He had quite a dust up with Mitt Romney. He was trying to accuse Mitt Romney of not cutting taxes in the state of Massachusetts. Romney was saying that Giuliani raised taxes in the city of New York. Here's what Giuliani said.


RUDY GIULIANI, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I cut taxes 23 times when I was mayor of New York City. I believe in tax cuts. I believe in being a supply sider (ph).


ROBERTS: So you ran that one through the truth-o-meter. How did it come out?

ADAIR: We gave that one a half truth.

ROBERTS: Half truth.

ADAIR: He has said that repeatedly in the campaign and in his radio commercials, but it's a stretch. Maybe roughly half of the tax cuts he talked about were actually pushed by others or were state initiatives. But the other half he does probably deserve credit for. So we gave him a half truth.

ROBERTS: All right. So it's not that taxes were not cut 23 times, it's just that he didn't push all of those tax cuts exactly.

All right. On to the broader campaign. The Democrats side. John Edwards during an Iowa speech in Des Moines on September the 21st was talking about education. He said "rural schools enroll 40 percent of American children but receive only 22 percent of federal education funding." You put that one through the truth-o-meter. How did it come out?

ADAIR: False. He has gotten his numbers wrong here. Rural schools actually account for about half the number of students that he said, about 20 percent. And so the amount of money that they receive is roughly proportional to the number of students that they have.

ROBERTS: Well, see, this, Bill, is why we rely on you and Politifact for the truth-o-meter. Hillary Clinton, September the 13th, at a Slate/Yahoo!/"Huffington Post" forum said this about education. "Look, I believe in accountability. In 1983, I led the effort in Arkansas to improve our schools."

What did the truth-o-meter have to say about that?

ADAIR: We found that one to be true. And that took some digging. When we went to Arkansas, we found that many of the records from this panel were long gone and so we had to do some digging, look into some old newspaper stories and track down people who were involved in the panel. But we found that it was a fair summary of her involvement in the group and indeed the group's reforms were passed by the legislature in Arkansas.

ROBERTS: Well, tracking down the truth is what you do. Bill Adair from Politifact and "The St. Petersburg Times." Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us with the truth-o-meter this morning.

ADAIR: Thanks, John.

ROBERTS: All right.

And for the most up-to-the-minute political news available anywhere, go to That's our new website. It's the new portal. The Internet's premiere destination for political news.

CHETRY: All right. Well another star is headed to jail, topping your "Quick Hits" now. Kiefer Sutherland agreed to serve 30 days as part of a plea deal stemming from his DUI arrests last month. He could get another 18 days for violating probation from a separate DUI bust back in 2004. He'll be sentenced in December. The jail time is not expected to interfere with the production of Sutherland's popular TV series "24."

And more production problems for Tom Cruise's controversial World War II film being shot in Germany. Cruise played a German hero who was executed by Nazis after a failed attempt to assassinate Adolph Hitler. Some crucial scenes filmed at a historical site in Berlin have to be reshot because the footage was damaged during processing. The project has been criticized in German in part because of Cruise's Scientology membership.

Well, Charlize Thereon receiving a high honor. No, not an Academy Award. We'll tell you about her new title coming up.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the most news in the morning. Starbucks is recalling about 250,000 plastic children's cups made in China. The recall includes four styles of 10 ounce plastic cups with designs including a red ladybug, a green turtle, a pink bunny and a yellow chick. The company says that the character's head, which protrudes a little bit off the side of the cup there, can break off and kids can choke on the pieces.

VELSHI: Why are kids drinking coffee anyway?

CHETRY: Oh, yes, that's interesting, why is Starbucks making cups for kids.

ROBERTS: Well, they sell lots of juice and things like that.

CHETRY: Kids should not be near coffee yet.

VELSHI: Yes, should be in separate operations.

CHETRY: Completely separate building.

Twenty-five minutes after the hour now. Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business."

Could we be looking at some labor troubles?

VELSHI: Yes, well there's been a lot of coffee in Auburn Hills, Michigan, which is where Chrysler headquarters are. We know that the UAW and Chrysler have been negotiating through the night. We understand they are still negotiating. But we are four and a half hours away from a strike deadline.

Now here's what we know. They haven't got a deal just yet and what they did with GM is, after the strike deadline came, they extended it hour by hour until at one point the UAW says we've got until 11:00 a.m. and we're going on strike. And as you recall, they did walk off the job.

We have 49,000 UAW workers at Chrysler and yesterday we know that they signed up for strike pay and for picket duty starting at 11:00 this morning. So we will keep on this story. We do not know whether they are close to a deal or whether they're going to walk off the job. But we will stay on this. And if they do, we'll have live coverage here on CNN.

ROBERTS: All right. Look forward to that. Ali, thanks very much.


ROBERTS: So who's the sexiest woman alive? Well according to "Esquire" magazine it's Charlize Thereon. The blonde bombshell topping the magazine's annual list. The November issue hits the stands on Tuesday. The magazine presents its case with a photo shoot of Thereon as well, which, of course, you probably need to hit to be able to.

CHETRY: They did a great job. She looks . . .

ROBERTS: Sort of back yourself up (INAUDIBLE).

CHETRY: She does. She looks beautiful.

Well, here's a look at a story coming up that you just can't miss. This a New York lawmaker -- he's from Staten Island -- who went a little crazy dropped the "f" bomb 15 or 16 times in about 60 seconds. Let's listen to a little snippet.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) know what game you're playing, but that's not the game I'm (EXPLETIVE DELETED) playing. All right. Are you going to answer that (ph). (INAUDIBLE) (EXPLETIVE DELETED). (EXPLETIVE DELETED) get in my office before I beat the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of your right now.


ROBERTS: It's a huge hit on YouTube. Apparently somebody tried to Borat him. We'll tell you all about that coming up. That story in the day's headlines on AMERICAN MORNING when we return.


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: There's a shot this morning of the capital. Still dark outside right now at 6:30 eastern time in the nation's capital. It's about 71 but it's going up to 82 today? Wow. It's a lot warmer there than it is up here.

Welcome. It's Wednesday, October 10th. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts.

School students in Crandon, Wisconsin, will finally return to classes this is morning after a weekend shooting rampage that left the town reeling in grief. 20-year-old Tyler Peterson gunned down six young people at a party early Sunday morning. Police say a seventh victim, 21-year-old Charles Nietzle was shot three times but survived, playing dead until Peterson left the house. Later during a confrontation with police, authorities Peterson shot himself three times in the head, the last bullet. It was the last bullet that was fatal.


J.B. VAN HOLLEN, WISCONSIN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Each of the three head shots were fired while the gun was in contact with his skin, or extremely close to the skin. These shots were fired by a handgun. These three head wounds are consistent with self-inflicted wounds and not consistent with long-range rifle fire.


ROBERTS: Initial reports were Peterson was shot dead by a police sniper. The attorney general says Peterson was shot once by police. The bullet hit him in the biceps.

A warning from the FBI for law enforcement officers in Dallas, Texas. An alleged leader of a prison-based gang is trying to get names of federal agents, state troopers and police officers. The likely goal is believed to be tracking down these officer's addresses or robbing and threatening them. A consumer safety alert to tell you about this morning about a potentially fatal flaw in the design of a bassinet made by Simplicity. A 4-month-old baby in Missouri died of accidental asphyxiation after slipping out of the side, feet first, and becoming trapped between the railing and the mattress. The model is a Simplicity 4-in-1. It was not a part of last month's recall of one million other baby beds made by Simplicity.

CHETRY: Police in the Madeleine McCann case want DNA samples and fingerprints from guests who stayed at that resort in Portugal where Madeleine went missing. The "London Times" saying that police have samples from the McCann's hotel, which they cannot identify. British police are now interviewing former guests.

The Iraqi government says the fatal shooting of two women in Baghdad is another example of reckless behavior by private security companies. Guards from an Australia-owned firm opened fire on a car yesterday as it approached their convoy. A spokesman for the company, United Resources Group, says the guards fired only after their warning signals were ignored. Nineteen shots hit the women. Both the Iraqi government and the company, based in Dubai, are investigating the incident. The Iraqis have vowed to crack down on private security firms following an incident last month with Blackwater USA that left Iraqi civilians dead.

The State Department says the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Iraq could be delayed until next year. The massive embassy project has been plagued by construction delays and alleged contractor fraud. Officials expect it to cost nearly $150 million more than the $600 million original price tag. Congress is demanding a new timeline for the opening of the embassy. It was originally slated for last December. The Baghdad compound will be the largest U.S. diplomatic facility in the world.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry just announced and Gerhard Ertl of Germany is the winner. His studies helped explain why the ozone layer is getting thinner and how fuels and catalytic converters work and even why iron rusts.

The president of Oral Roberts University, Richard Roberts, is denying allegations he tapped school funds for personal use. Roberts, his wife, Lindsey, also appeared on "Larry King Live" last night to defend themselves against charges of financial and political impropriety.

Roberts suggested that a lawsuit brought by three former Oral Roberts professors may be a personal vendetta.


RICHARD ROBERTS, PRESIDENT, ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY: Everything that I do as a president of the university is heavily scrutinized by the Audit and Compliance Committee of the Board of Regents.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": So what you're saying is that you have never, to your knowledge, done anything wrong, improperly?

R. ROBERTS: I have not. I have not done anything wrong. .

KING: So somebody's out to get you?

R. ROBERTS: It sure seems that way.


CHETRY: The lawsuit makes numerous allegations including that Roberts' wife spent $51,000 on clothes, the Roberts' family used university money to renovate their home 11 times in 14 years, again, an allegation, and that Roberts ordered a professor and students to support a family friend running for mayor. The professors said they were fired after reporting those allegations.

In a plan to make a vast hurricane protection zone, the government is talking about spending $40 billion to buy out 17,000 homes along the Mississippi coast. Many people, who are rebuilding after Katrina and Rita, say it's going to ruin their way of life. The buy-out project is still in the planning stages.

ROBERTS: Some scary moments for people stuck on a roller coast for, what have seemed like, forever this past weekend. More than two dozen riders were left hanging upside down for nearly an hour and a half at the Six Flags amusement park in Largo, Maryland. They were riding the two-face flipside coaster. One of them, French McGee, decided to call 911 for help.


DISPATCHER: Prince George's County Emergency Service.

FRENCH MCGEE, STUCK RIDER: We are at Six Flags Adventure and the ride is [bleep] stuck and we're probably 15, 30 stories up in the air, stuck.

DISPATCHER: What city is that?

MCGEE: What city?


MCGEE: I'm at Six Flags.


ROBERTS: When workers finally brought the ride down, it raced to the bottom and was braking violently enough to injure 12 people. The ride's been shut down since then. Inspectors are trying to determine exactly what went wrong.

A shoplifting grandmother caught on tape. Police say security cameras caught Monica Batalle (ph) stuffing clothes in her handbag in a Sear's story in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. You can see her taking the things off the hangers, rolling them up, shoving them into her purse. Even worse, she apparently got help from her 4-year-old grandchild, who helped her put things into the child's stroller.

CHETRY: A New York City councilman lost his cool and all of it was caught on tape. It was James Otto, dropping a few "F" bombs and threatening a TV crew when he realized the interview he was doing was a bit for a Norwegian comedy show.


INTERVIEWER: Isn't this against the constitution if Barack Obama runs for president considering the fact that he's not an American citizen?

JAMES OTTO, NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN: He's an American citizen. He's a United States Senator.

INTERVIEWER: I read somewhere that he's African-American. Do you really think that he really stands a chance, after that embarrassing incident with the guard?

OTTO: Hey, Chris? What the (DELETED EXPLETIVE) do you have me in? (EXPLETIVE DELETED) who are these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) people in my office. Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of my office. Just get out of my office. What is this nonsense? Get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of here. Get out of here. Get out of my office. Get -- get -- get out of my office. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of my office. Is that a way to waste my (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Get out of my office before I throw you the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of my office and take your cameras and throw them the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out.


CHETRY: He later apologized for his foul language but not his sentiment. Quote, he said "I was more Tommy LaSorda, than Thomas Moore." He also said he doesn't know how he's going to face his girlfriend, her parents, his mom. He says the language was inappropriate but the sentiment dead on.

ROBERTS: I guess Shasha Barancone (ph) in the characters should be either Allegy (ph) or Borat has done that enough times and people have finally caught on.

CHETRY: Exactly. I was shocked at the patience some people seemed to show when Borat was on this ridiculous line of questioning.

ROBERTS: I remember Andy Rooney once with Allegy (ph). He didn't have a whole lot of patience. "I've got 85 books on the English language. I'd be happy to read them all." It was great.

Joe Torre may not be too popular with George Steinbrenner but he has friends in high places. We'll tell you who is backing Joe Torre, coming up next. And we'll ask you your opinion of what should happen to him.

And Michelle Obama, wife of Barack Obama, gets into a scrape on the campaign trail. We'll tell you what happened, next on "AMERICAN MORNING."


CHETRY: Welcome back to "AMERICAN MORNING," the most news in the morning.

A fake marathoner, topping your "Quick Hits" now. There is he, Roberto Madrasso, who once ran for president of Mexico. He allegedly ran the Berlin Marathon last week in just two hours 41 minutes, topping the over-55 age bracket. Someone, who knew of him, contacted race officials and when they checked in, it turns out he skipped two checkpoints, which led to him running nine miles in just 21 minutes.

How about this one, thousands of Indonesians hitting the road this weekend on motorcycles. It's not a rally, actually. They're just leaving the island of Bali to head home to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

How about this beautiful scene here that, time of year, the beautiful fall foliage is out in Hancock, Maine and many, many parts of the northeast. Those mountains are in the background are in the Acadia National Park

It is 42 past the hour. Time to check in with Rob Marciano.

And the good thing is it's going to start to feel a little bit like fall as well.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, we start to get a little bit of colder air in here and those leaves will really start to change. Had a good summer of rainfall, so a lot of nutrients, a lot of moisture in the trees. So that typically is good for color? We need a cold snap to get the colors popping. We'll see if we can work some cold air in here.


Kiran, back up to you.

CHETRY: What a pretty sight.

Rob, thanks so much. We'll check in with you a little later.


ROBERTS: Yankees manager Joe Torre is getting a strong endorsement from Rudy Giuliani. A light moment from last night's Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan. Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and famous Yankees fan, was asked if Torre will keep his job after the team's latest playoff collapse.


RUDY GIULIANI, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Joe Torre is the best manager in the history of the Yankees, at least in the modern era, and he's my friend.


ROBERTS: The current mayor and possible presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is backing Torre but Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has the last word on this. He was threat to fire Torre if the team did not win the championship. His decision may not come until next week.

But we want to know what you think right now. Joe Torre, should he stay or should he go? Cast your vote at We'll have the results for you in our next half hour.

CHETRY: I wonder if some people will vote yes or no based on whether or not they want the Yankees not to be tough competitors for their favorite baseball team.

ROBERTS: Let's not look at it that way. They collapsed this year. There's always next year. Torre, probably one of the best known managers in the history of baseball, won all of those World Series with the Yankees, and let's do this fairly, should he stay or should he go.

CHETRY: Based on whether or not he'll better the Yankees next year.

ROBERTS: Yes or whether it's worth firing him over this historic collapse. I did say that?

Some of today's top stories on the political ticker, Fred Thompson getting decent marks for his first campaign debate last night. He held his own on exchange with the eight other Republican candidates on foreign policy and the economy.

The wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was involved in a car accident with a motorcyclist. Michelle Obama was in Iowa campaigning for her husband. She was in a van with five other people, and wasn't injured. She also wasn't driving. The motorcyclist was injured and air lifted to a nearby hospital.

Five Democratic presidential candidates thought to officially withdraw their names from Michigan's January the 15th primary, rendering the event virtually insignificant. Senator Barack Obama, Senator Joe Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and John Edwards and Representative Dennis Kucinich all announced the move on Tuesday. That was the deadline for filing paperwork.

The five candidates, as well as Senators Hillary Clinton of New York, and Chris Dodd, of Connecticut, had already agreed not to campaign in Michigan or Florida, both of which bucked party rules by scheduling their nominating contest before February the 5th.

Political campaigns are often accused of being scripted but directed by a famous Hollywood figure? In an appeal for volunteers, a new tongue-in-cheek web video by Hillary Clinton's campaign depicts two earnest Clinton workers getting unsolicited help from Rob Reiner, the actor-writer-director-producer, who is backing Clinton's presidential bid.

Find all the day's political news around the clock at

CHETRY: The Dali Lama is in New York today. The spiritual leader will be in Ithaca leading a prayer and teaching session at Ithaca College. Yesterday, 6,000 showed up yesterday to hear him speak at Cornell University. He spoke about the increase in interdependence of the globalized world and how to create a peaceful, compassionate society.

Bundle up and pay up. Your "Quick Hits" now. The government says we're going to pay 10 percent more to heat our homes this winter, 88 bucks more than last year on average. Researchers say this winter is expected to be colder than last year and that crude oil prices are on the rise, topping $80 a gallon ahead of the inventory report. $80 a barrel probably. How about that, throughout today? I was going to say, boy, it's going up, blink your eyes.

On the run. Are federal officials closing in on one of the world's most wanted men? We have that story ahead on "AMERICAN MORNING."


CHETRY: It is 6:50 eastern time. And if you're just waking up we want to get you caught up on the latest headlines of the day. New details coming out about carol Gotbaum's final moments. Her husband, Noah, speaking at the funeral services, saying if the airliner police in Phoenix had treated his wife with some dignity, she might still be alive today. Gotbaum died in police custody last week at Sky Harbor Airport. Alina Cho will have more details at the top of the hour.

Students returning to school this morning in Crandon, Wisconsin. It comes after a weekend shooting rampage by an off-duty police officer. 20-year-old Tyler Peterson gunned down six people at a party, a seventh shooting victim survived by playing dead until Peterson left the house. He's still in the hospital. Investigators say Peterson was a jealous ex-boyfriend and later killed himself during a confrontation with police.

Another new incident at New York City's Columbia University's Teacher's College. A black social justice professor saw a noose pinned to her office door when she arrived at work yesterday. The university police say they are investigating this as a hate crime.

The Department of Agriculture says you should not eat Banquet Frozen Turkey and Chicken Pot Pies with the code P-9 on the packaging. They're not recalling the pies yet, but health workers say they may be linked to 139 cases of salmonella in 30 states. If you cook it to the directions you will not get sick?

We're hours away from an 11:00 a.m. strike deadline set by Chrysler UAW workers, United Autoworkers. Both sides have been talking all night long at Chrysler headquarters in suburban Detroit. If no agreement is reached, the union's 49,000 members nationwide could end up on the picket line.


ROBERTS: A manhunt and murder mystery unfolding in California this morning. International agents are zeroing in on Los Angeles as they chase a fugitive from knew Zealand. The man is suspected of murdering his wife and then abandoning his 3-year-old daughter at an airport.

CNN's Chris Lawrence has got the story.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Surveillance video captures a man bringing a little girl into a train station in Melbourne, Australia. A few minutes later, the 3-year-old is left wandering alone as adults try to figure out where her parents are.

At that point, investigators had no idea her mother had been murdered. Now, police suspect Ny Suwee (ph) he killed his wife in Sweden, abandoned his daughter in Australia and caught a flight to Los Angeles.

UNIDENTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT SPOKESMAN: We do not know whether he is to hide or commit other crimes.

LAWRENCE: On September 15th, he landed in Los Angeles, cleared Customs and caught a shuttle bus to Chinatown. It was several days later when police found his wife's body in New Zealand, stuffed into the trunk of her husband's car.

(on camera): No one knew about the murder. So Suwee's (ph) name did not appear on the no-fly list and U.S. Customs officials had no reason to deny him entry.

(voice-over): Suwee (ph) was a well-known martial arts master and newspaper publisher. Now, in the United States, federal agents say he may be running out of money. And they're scouring neighborhoods where he may be hiding.

CAT CHAO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The feeling in the Chinese community, people are angry. We want to nail this bastard.

LAWRENCE: Radio host Cat Chao, says a lot of women are also scared. Suwee (ph) speaks fluent Mandarin, so Chao thinks he could blend in for awhile.

CHAO: But eventually, if you come out, go to shopping, go to supermarket, there's a chance we're going to call the police and we can recognize your damn face. And we're going to nail you.

LAWRENCE: As for the little girl abandoned in the video, she's gone to live with her grandmother in China. If her father ever returns to New Zealand, most likely it won't be as a free man.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Los Angeles.


ROBERTS: Fred Thompson goes up against the competition for the very first time. How did he do? We'll talk with a member of his campaign, Liz Cheney, daughter of the current vice president, Dick Cheney. That's ahead on "AMERICAN MORNING."


CHETRY: Well some cool concept cars were unveiled prior to the Tokyo Car Show later this morning. This one looks like a ball on wheels. How about that? Or some puffed up golf cart. It's called the Pivo. It has a -- wait it, says it's called the Pivo, right?

ROBERTS: Pivoter.

CHETRY: OK, well, a car made by Nissan if you'd like one. There's Honda's cute little car. Let's check that one out. How about it? This one with doors that go up like the DeLorean of the '80s. There you have it. Can't fit many kids in there, but could you tool around town pretty good in that thing. That was the trend at this year's show, the little car.

ROBERTS: They are tiny, aren't they? Sometimes in New York you'll see those Smart Cars, park two to a parking spot. They back them in. They're as long as most cars are wide, so you can back two in like this -- get two of them in a typical parking spot.

CHETRY: Here's a story you can't miss. You remember when George Clooney was in his motorcycle accident last month. He hurt himself, as well as his new girlfriend. There's fallout at the hospital he went to.

ROBERTS: Yeah, sanctioning against hospital workers because of news reports on Clooney's condition. We'll have that story coming up for you.

The next hour of "AMERICAN MORNING" begins right now.

A CNN exclusive. New clues about what led to this frantic scene in a Phoenix Airport. The re-enactment of a woman's final moments locked in a holding cell.

Check your chicken -- two urgent food warnings this morning.

Plus, fight for the right.


GIULIANI: I did it. He didn't. I led, he lagged.


Rudy, Romney and a new face fire up the race for president.


FRED THOMPSON, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And to think I thought I was going to the best actor on the stage.


On this "AMERICAN MORNING." And good morning. Thanks very much. Welcome back. It's Wednesday, the 10th of October. I'm John Roberts.

CHETRY: I'm Kiran Chetry.

We'll have more of the debate highlights. Fred Thompson taking the stage for the first time with his GOP competitors. And we'll hear later with the daughter of vice president Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney, who's working on Fred Thompson's campaign.

ROBERTS: She recently joined other luminaries as surrogates for the campaign. Get out there and try to pump up Fred. We'll talk to her how she thinks he did. Certainly, the expectations were down here, all we did was one of those and get over it.

CHETRY: So did he pull it off? We'll talk about that.

We begin this morning with a CNN exclusive and news details about the day that Carol Ann Gotbaum died. And for the first time, we're hearing from her husband.