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Ship Sinking In Antarctic; Black Friday in Malls; Smoking Drug Danger
Aired November 23, 2007 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: The next hour of AMERICAN MORNING starts right now.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news. Sinking cruise ship. Passengers rescued this morning in the freezing Antarctic.
Back in court. New evidence revealed today in the Natalee Holloway case.
Plus from ticket to taser.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No!
UNIDENTIFIED STATE TROOPER: Get on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lauren, Lauren!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Pulled over for speeding, then tasered by the highway patrol. We're live with the driver and the police about the dramatic confrontation on this AMERICAN MORNING.
Well, an awful lot going on this Friday, November 23rd, and we're here to help sort of guide you through it all. I'm John Roberts.
CHETRY: And I'm Kiran Chetry. And we have the latest now on breaking news we've been following this morning, and that's a rescue at sea, in the Antarctic. A cruise liner taking on freezing cold water. That ship going down near the South Shetland Islands south of Argentina.
More than 150 people on the "MS Explorer" has been evacuated. That was all of the 100 passengers and 54 crew. The U.K.'s version of the coast guard is saying that ship is expected to sink. But, again, everyone's been transferred safely to another cruise liner and is out of harm's way.
We're also following breaking news out of India today in a series of explosions that ripped through courthouse complexes in three northern cities. Police say the blasts were near simultaneous. All of them taking place within a span of five minutes and at least two of the bombs were attached to bicycles. Local media reporting at least eight people killed. The attacks believed to be terror-related. ROBERTS: Other headlines new this morning. Emergency tapes revealed in the aftermath of the San Francisco Bay oil spill show a serious lack of communication. At first, the Coast Guard failed to tell the city that the cargo ship had hit the bay bridge. Instead, they told a lone part-time worker with the army corps of engineers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SF EMERGENCY DISPATCH TAPE)
FIRE BOAT: "Listen, we just got a heads up from the Army Corps of Engineers that a boat has collided with the tower of the Bay Bridge."
COAST GUARD: "Ah, yeah, we've got, we've received reports at 8:30 about a ship making contact with the Delta Tower of the Bay Bridge."
DISPATCH: "So that's an hour ago."
COAST GUARD: "Yes."
DISPATCH: "And did you investigate it?"
COAST GUARD: "We are investigating it right now."
FIRE BOAT: "With regard to the report of a container ship hitting the Bay Bridge, that is confirmed by the Coast Guard, but they say they don't need us responding at this time."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: And there you hear it from the fire boat that the Coast Guard turned down help, saying that the situation was under control. However, a Coast Guard spokesman explained that they were declining help for search and rescue. The spill happened two weeks ago Wednesday.
Could Stacy Peterson, the missing wife of a former police sergeant, be alive and well somewhere in Peoria, Illinois? Her husband, Drew Peterson, says he received a letter from someone claiming to see Stacy in a supermarket less than two weeks ago. Stacy's friend says that she doubts that the story is true. Stacy has been missing for more than three weeks now. Her husband has been named a suspect in her disappearance.
A big drop in the number of murders in New York City. According to the "New York Times" as of last Sunday, 428 people were victims of homicide. The yearly rate has not been that low in New York since the 1960s and interestingly, of half of those killings so far studied, only 35 were committed by strangers. The vast majority were victims of someone they knew. Back in 1990, the city led the nation with 2,245 murders.
And we're going to learn more today about this dramatic roadside confrontation in Utah. A driver pulled over for speeding. The trooper uses a taser gun on him when he got out of the car, all of it caught on the trooper's dash cam. We'll talk with the driver and the Utah highway patrol coming up in our next half hour -- Kiran.
CHETRY: Well, the brave and the determined bargain shoppers hitting the stores very early this morning, many stores opening at 5:00 a.m. or even earlier, in some cases 4:00 in the morning to accommodate bargain hunting Black Friday shoppers.
And we have our Ali Velshi at Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, New York. T.J. Holmes standing by from a Wal-Mart in Woodstock, Georgia. Last time we checked in with you, what did you have? A Hank Williams, Jr., CD and that's about it. Did you load up your cart anymore?
T.J. HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, not loaded up yet. I got the "Planet In Peril" DVD that's on sale, three for $1 right now. But other than that, I don't have much. We're looking at plasma screen TVs right now. These are popular. They're always popular, expected to be popular once again this year. The hot item on the hot list.
Now Wal-Mart had a special here on the front page of their -- $798 for the 42 inch screen plasma TV. That's pretty good deal and those things went pretty fast. Not sure if there are any left in the store. But deals like that are what people are looking for. Now, the retailers and the customers do this thing every year.
This game of chicken, where consumers have come to understand that hey, if it's not on sale for the price I want, somebody's going to give me that deal at some point during the holiday season so that game of chicken begins today to see who is going to flinch first, if you will. Will the retailers be forced to drop those prices and give the consumers what they want? Consumers could just sit on their wallets for awhile and wait for these prices to drop. So that's what's happening now.
Now retailers, discount retailers like Wal-Mart, even though there's so much concern, like Ali's been talking about this morning, that Black Friday won't be so much in the black for a lot of retailers. A lot of -- certainly the higher end places, people not spending as much, the consumer, some of the mortgage crisis, the credit crunch, high gas prices, people won't spend as much. Well, that could benefit place like Wal-Mart. The discount places where this is where everybody will come.
Even if some of Wal-Mart's core shoppers, you know, the folks who shop at Wal-Mart every day don't spend as much, still a new group of consumers will come in. Some of those middle income folks who are not going to spending as much money because of the high gas prices and things like that, they'll be coming in. So discounters like Wal-Mart could benefit.
So I'll work on filling up the shopping cart here. There's still a lot going out. It has died down a bit, Kiran, actually since I talked to you. As again, the sale started at 5:00 a.m. People were here. They got in. They got out. They're back at home and in bed right now. Oh, that sounds nice, doesn't it?
CHETRY: Right now, I'm thinking the next wave of people who are just waking up after the turkey dinner, they'll be in there soon.
HOLMES: Yes, we will see them soon. Pardon me, ma'am, excuse me, sorry.
CHETRY: T.J., don't cause any trouble.
HOLMES: I'm going to get away. She's trying to get her game.
CHETRY: Yes, exactly.
HOLMES: I'm not going to start any trouble, Kiran.
CHETRY: Well, see you soon, bye -- John?
HOLMES: All right.
ROBERTS: Six minutes after the hour now. A deadly attack at a popular pet market in central Baghdad today, at least 13 people killed, dozens of others wounded, including four police officers. Police say the bomb was hidden in a box of birds. The market has been bombed several times since the war began, but this is the first time since security was beefed up last year.
Insurgents launched a Thanksgiving mortar attack in Baghdad's heavily protected green zone as well. The shells landed as U.S. troops were celebrating the holiday. No one was killed, but several people were injured.
The next phase of U.S. troop deployment in Iraq will reportedly expand training of Iraqi forces. The "New York Times" says American combat brigades will assume a greater role in training and supporting Iraq's military personnel. The plan intended to transfer more of the security burden in Iraq to Iraqis without losing security gains that have been made in recent months.
Another political challenge for Pakistan's embattled president, Opposition Leader Nawaz Sharif reportedly plans a return from exile to challenge Pervez Musharraf ahead of parliamentary elections in January.
Sharif, you'll remember, tried to return in September but was swiftly deported to Saudi Arabia. Musharraf's reign as president began in 1999 with a coup that ousted Sharif as prime minister.
Meanwhile, the 53-nation Commonwealth has suspended Pakistan's membership in the organization for Musharraf's failure to lift emergency rule and step down as army chief. The Commonwealth is made up largely of Britain and its former colonies.
And the Philippines on alert this morning, bracing for a second powerful typhoon in a week. Tropical storm Mitang (ph) gaining strength just south of Manila. The storm packing winds of 105 miles an hour could make landfall as early as tomorrow. At least 200,000 people have been evacuated. The Philippine islands are still reeling from floods after a typhoon sit just four days ago -- Kiran. CHETRY: We have the latest now in the search for missing teen Natalee Holloway. The new developments after the re-arrest of three of the key suspects in Aruba two and a half years ago. Well, her father, Dave, is now sending a search team to Aruba to look for more clues. And as we said, those suspects re-arrested again due back in court. CNN Susan Candiotti joins us now from Aruba -- Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kiran, from Aruba. And today, first of all, is that hearing. Even after that hearing is over, however, we still might not know what that mysterious new evidence is, because first of all, the hearing is closed to the public. And secondly, chief prosecutor tells me that he is bound by rules not to share that information with the public nor with defense attorneys until the investigation is over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI (voice-over): Behind closed doors, the suspects are expected to learn why investigators have rounded them up again. They, along with a judge and defense attorneys, will hear the prosecutor lay out what he calls new incriminating evidence. Natalee Holloway's parents have been through this before. Still, they hope to see some resolution.
VOICE OF DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE'S FATHER: They've been investigated for the last two and a half years and hopefully, with what they say that they have, this new evidence, maybe we'll finally get some answers.
CANDIOTTI: Joran Van Der Sloot consistently has denied he has any clue about what happened to the high school grad, who was last seen leaving a bar with him and two of his friends. He claimed he left her at a beach, but sources say the three boys gave conflicting stories. His lawyers say he's willing to cooperate, but terribly upset.
LEON VAN DEN EEDEN, VAN DER SLOOT'S LAWYER: He's very emotional, very emotional, because well, as you perhaps can imagine, it's a young guy has come over a lot and a lot of things in the last year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: So again that hearing today is just for the Kalpoe brothers. Joran Van Der Sloot is on his way here to Aruba from the Netherlands. It's not clear when his court appearance will be. It could be as early as tomorrow.
Prosecutors are asking for another eight days to keep on holding these suspects in jail, and prosecutor tells me he thinks he has that evidence, otherwise he wouldn't be wasting the court's time. Back to you, Kiran.
CHETRY: And a lot of speculation, of course, on the island about exactly what new evidence they're talking about. There's a tabloid newspaper report saying it could have been phone conversations with the suspects. Do you know anything about that buzz this morning? CANDIOTTI: That is coming from a tabloid newspaper. I talked to one of the prosecutors just this morning and she says she's read that report, too, but isn't commenting one way or the other about this evidence, but does acknowledge certainly. They have been monitoring phone calls. That's been a technique they've been using for the past two and a half years.
CHETRY: Susan Candiotti live for us in Aruba, thanks.
ROBERTS: Eleven minutes now after the hour. Rob Marciano is off today, still in that turkey coma. Our Bonnie Schneider at the weather update desk this morning tracking extreme weather. What happened in Florida yesterday, do they know?
BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Not yet, but it looks like we had some very damaging winds, if not a tornado. But we'll have a better idea later this afternoon after the National Weather Service takes a look at this storm damage.
Take a look at Milton, Florida. That's near Pensacola, and you can see a couple homes completely demolished. Businesses reported windows blown out, and a lot of people are trying to just gather what they can from their belongings just strewn all abound in that region.
You can see this was a serious event in and around Milton, which is in Santa Rosa County, and it looks like they're going to be checking things out and see whether or not officially that was a tornado. We only had some rough weather ahead of this frontal system that came through in Florida.
But speaking of the front, it brought rain that was beneficial for Atlanta. I want to show you some rain that fell in Atlanta, Georgia. We had about a half inch at Lake Lanier which is great, but of course, much more is needed in terms of relieving the drought that's in place in Georgia.
Let's take a look at Florida now, and I'll show you some rain that's coming through the area. We had some spotty showers in and around the areas of central Florida. You'll see that across much of the region. All right. As we take a look at what else is going on, we've got some snow showers across much of areas into the west, and we'll be looking at that as well. All right. We're going to have more on weather coming up -- John.
ROBERTS: What's all that red on the map?
SCHNEIDER: I do not know. It surprised me too.
ROBERTS: We'll figure it out, and we'll try to get rid of it for next time. Bonnie, thanks very much.
SCHNEIDER: Definitely. Thanks.
CHETRY: It was someone saying how neat, I can write all over this screen! Oops, it's on air now.
Meanwhile, a troop withdrawal from Iraq topping your "Quick Hits." According to the Associated Press, Poland's prime minister announcing just this morning that he will pull Polish troops out by next year. It's a promise to withdraw the 900 troops that was the cornerstone of the prime minister's recent campaign.
An American naval ship arriving off the coast of Bangladesh bringing much need food and medical supplies to victims of a devastating cyclone. The storm killed some 3,200 people in Bangladesh, destroyed crops, left hundreds of thousands homeless. There is also a second U.S. naval vessel that's due in Bangladesh in the coming days.
And stopping for a bite to eat after some holiday shopping. Well, we've got a list of what not to eat at your favorite chain restaurant. Think thousands of calories. They have a brand new list of the worst foods, coming up.
Also a drug designed to help smokers quit may have deadly side effects. We have details from medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
ROBERTS: Sixteen minutes after the hour. Just in now. The first pictures of a sinking ship in the Antarctic. More than 150 people on the "MS Explorer" have been evacuated. Earlier on AMERICAN MORNING, the spokeswoman with the company that owns the ship told us everyone is safe right now. The ship is expected to sink. It's going down near the south Shetland Islands, south of Argentina.
"Quick Hits" now, and a skydiving record. Take a look at this one. A hundred jumpers link their arms and legs together to form a huge diamond shape in the skies over Florida. They set the record for the jumpers in an open canopy jump, but the accomplishment, unfortunately, marred by tragedy. One jumper died during a practice jump when his foot got tangled in the cord of another parachute.
Thanksgiving in space. The crew on the international space station showing off their Thanksgiving meal which included shrimp cocktail, smoked turkey, and lots of hot sauce.
Is the space station the place you want to be eating hot sauce? I don't know.
Florida officials are hoping that doughnuts and chips will help rid an Orlando neighborhood of an unwanted visitor. Wildlife crews are using the snacks to trap a black bear that's been spotted in the area. They say the bear does not pose a threat to the neighbors, but it could wreak havoc on traffic if it gets too close to a nearby highway.
You know, Kiran, we just saw what happens when a lion gets loose. So you can imagine what happens when a bear gets loose.
CHETRY: What is going on with people keeping these strange pets? What happened to a nice little puppy?
All right. Thanks, John.
Well, can a popular drug that's supposed to help you stop smoking actually lead to suicide in some cases? Elizabeth Cohen is live at the medical update desk in Atlanta with details. You know, a lot of ears perked up this morning because I just -- even here in the studio, there are several people who took this drug to try to quit smoking.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, absolutely. This is a much-celebrated drug, Kiran. It's supposed to be able to help you stop smoking in ways that other drugs have not been able to do it before. So a lot of people have tried it, millions of people, in fact. And now, there are concerns that this drug may make some people start to behave erratically, perhaps become depressed, perhaps even think about killing themselves.
Other folks, there are concerns that it makes them aggressive. The FDA is investigating these claims. They say that right now, they can't make a link absolutely between Chantix and this erratic behavior.
One of the things that they say that makes this sort of a little bit murky is that when people are quitting smoking, they're suffering from nicotine withdrawal so you can get some erratic behavior anyhow. Sometimes it's tough to dice out what's because of the drug and what's just because the person is quitting smoking.
CHETRY: Right. Why didn't Pfizer -- why didn't any of this come out when Pfizer was doing testing on the drug?
COHEN: What happens when people test drugs is that they're testing on thousands of people usually. And then when it gets on the market, it comes out in millions of people so it is not unusual to see possible side effects that you didn't see when you were testing, just because you're testing on so many more people. I mean, I'm sorry. You're putting it out on the market for so many more people than you tested it on.
CHETRY: What is the advice then if you are taking it or if you're looking for help in quitting smoking?
COHEN: Right. If you're taking this drug and you're concerned about this, you definitely need to talk to your doctor. And if you're really concerned about this, what you ought to be doing is sort of thinking about your own behavior and asking people who are close to you to keep track of you. So you want to be watching out for suicidal thoughts, for depression, for any aggressive behavior, for any erratic behavior. But doctors say really, what you want to do is enlist the people who are around you. You might not notice that this happens to you but certainly, people around you would.
CHETRY: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.
COHEN: Thanks. ROBERTS: Well, get out your web cameras, your cell phone cameras or anything else. We want to hear your questions for the candidates at the next CNN/YouTube debate. This time it's the Republicans' turn. What do you want to ask the candidates? Here is an example from one of our fellow Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The concept of universal health care is something I think is important for America, but certain members on the stage have criticized the idea as being socialist. If you believe universal health care is a bad idea, can you please explain to me why?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Well, there is still plenty of time for you to submit your questions by logging on to CNN.com/politics, and be sure to catch the debate live right here on CNN. It's next Wednesday night, 9:00 Eastern, from Tampa, Florida, hosted by Anderson Cooper -- Kiran.
CHETRY: All right. They're conducting a tragic investigation in Montgomery County, Maryland this morning. Police have five -- police say that five people, including a woman and three children were found dead in a park. Investigators say it looks like a domestic-related murder/suicide.
Also, a Thanksgiving miracle in New York. A baby boy alive and well this morning after falling from a third floor window in the Bronx yesterday. The 14-month-old apparently climbed on to a bunk bed and managed to crawl out of an open window. He landed on the roof of a record store, two flights below. He was found conscious with no broken bones or any serious injuries. Wow.
And a brand new list of the worst foods at your favorite chains. How many calories in an awesome blossom? You know, you've eaten one before. We're going to tell you whether you want to know or not coming up.
Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING. A man tasered after a traffic stop.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED STATE TROOPER: Turn around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the heck's wrong with you? No!
UNIDENTIFIED STATE TROOPER: Down on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lauren, Lauren, Lauren! Lauren!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Did the state trooper go too far? When is using a taser the right thing to do? We'll talk to the man who was tasered and the highway patrol, live ahead on AMERICAN MORNING. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHETRY: Welcome back to the most news in the morning. A warning for anyone eating out this holiday season. "Men's Health" magazine came out with their list of worst foods, and of course, it has to be the ones that taste the best. Coming in at number one, the Aussie cheese fries with Ranch dressing at the Outback Steakhouse. Yes, we know this is not good for you.
ROBERTS: 2,900 calories?
CHETRY: But it tastes so darned good. 2,900 calories. If you were to eat the whole plate, you know, usually we only eat half. 182 grams of fat. And the always popular awesome blossom from Chili's, Outback also has a version of blooming onion, just over 2,700 calories and 203 grams of fat. Rounding up at top three, the borders, on the borders, sorry, stacked border nachos, 2,700 calories and 166 grams of fat.
Now, if you didn't see your favorite food on here, breathe a sigh of relief. But you can also check out the full list at CNN.com/AM.
ROBERTS: You saw three of your favorite foods on that list.
CHETRY: I know.
ROBERTS: You're not going to be able to eat anything anymore.
CHETRY: Portion control, right?
CHETRY: A little bit of the blooming onion.
ROBERTS: It's Black Friday as we've been seeing this morning. Let's take a look at a couple of live pictures here.
Here is the carousel at the mall in Garden City, New York, 133 million people expected to hit the stores today. Some stores opened at 4:00 this morning, hoping to lure you in. Nobody riding the carousel at this point though. The operators probably aren't even there. It's only half past 7:00. Good reason too. Shoppers are going to spend an average of $923 on gifts this year. That's up about four percent from last year.
CHETRY: Now, when you interviewed the CEO of Toys "R" Us, they did have the largest ferris wheel on that store up and running this morning.
ROBERTS: They did. Yes. Brings us to our "Quick Vote" question this morning. We're asking you. With all the other things that you need to spend money on that's costing you more, will you spend more, less or about the same on holiday gifts this year?
Cast your vote at Cnn.com/AM. Right now, four percent of you say you're going to spend more. Seventy-eight percent say less.
ROBERTS: So much for all of the predictions from the retailers, and 18 percent say about the same. We're going to continue to update the votes throughout the morning.
CHETRY: All right. Well, here's a story coming up that you can't miss. This was this dramatic roadside confrontation that was caught on tape in Utah, and now it's all over YouTube.
ROBERTS: Yes. From Utah to YouTube. A driver pulled over for speeding. The trooper uses a taser on him when he got out of the car. Was the driver wrong? Did the police officer go too far? We'll talk with the driver and a representative from the Utah Highway Patrol. Plus, today's headlines when CNN's AMERICAN MORNING continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED STATE TROOPER: Turn around, put your hands behind your back. Turn around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHETRY: Ooh, a beautiful shot this morning. You can see the trees in Central Park this morning, still -- why are you laughing? Oh, John had a little mishap in Central Park yesterday. The poor guy was trying to ride his bike around and enjoy himself and a car --
ROBERTS: Well, a jogger and I collided yesterday as we were trying to avoid a car that pulled out in front of us. I hope she's OK. It looks like she might have a broken nose. We tried to get in touch with her but couldn't get the information.
CHETRY: So you have a stiff neck?
ROBERTS: Hope she's OK this morning. Yes.
CHETRY: You have a stiff neck. You have --
ROBERTS: Stitches in the hand.
CHETRY: And you should see the helmet that fared a lot worse than your head.
ROBERTS: I tell you.
CHETRY: Thank goodness you wore one.
ROBERTS: I learned yesterday. Always wear a helmet when you're riding a bicycle. I would not be sitting here today at work.
CHETRY: And there's a big debate in New York about whether or not cars should be in Central Park because there are tons of roller bladers, joggers, and bikers every day.
ROBERTS: That one should not have been yesterday.
CHETRY: Meanwhile, thanks for being with us. It's Friday, November 23rd. A little bruised up but we're here. I'm Kiran Chetry.
ROBERTS: And I'm John Roberts. Good morning to you. We're following breaking news this morning. A rescue at sea at the Antarctic. A cruise ship, the "MS Explorer" is sinking, listing to the starboard side, taking on water. The ship is going down near the South Shetland Island, south of Argentina. More than 150 passengers and crew have been evacuated. Our Emily Chang is following the story for us. She joins us now with the latest from the "World News Update" desk in London. Emily, what are we learning?
EMILY CHANG, CNN, ANCHOR: The ship is still stranded in the middle of the Antarctic Ocean. We're told that it's taking on water very quickly and it is at risk of sinking now. Earlier this morning the ship hit an iceberg. It punched a hole in the side of the ship, the size of a fist. There were 100 passengers on board, 54 crew members. They were all evacuated quickly on to life boats. The captain and the first mate stayed on board to maintain communications. This happened near the South Shetland Islands, far south of Argentina in British territory. It was a cruise ship on an Antarctic tour. As soon as it happened, five other vessels in the area were diverted quickly to the scene. One arrived within about two hours. We spoke to a woman who is part of the company that owns this ship. Let's hear what she had to say.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
VOICE OF UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It hit some ice, and began taking on some water. The pumps, the bilge pumps were managing the water, but the decision was made that all the passengers should be evacuated for their safety. They were transferred to another ship, which is in the area called the "Noor Noorish" and everyone is safe and accounted for at this point.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CHANG: I should add that air temperatures in the area, 23 degrees Fahrenheit, water temperatures, 30 degrees Fahrenheit. So brutally cold there but at this point, no injuries, no casualties. Everybody has been rescued safely. John.
ROBERTS: All right. Emily Chang for us this morning from our update desk there in London with more on that. Emily, thanks. Kiran.
CHETRY: A high profile incident caught on tape, a taser used, U.S. 40, along the highway U.S. 40, in eastern Utah. It's all over youtube right now. Let's take a look.
(BEING VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED UTAH STATE TROOPER: Turn around. Put your hands behind your back now. JARED MASSEY, TASERED BY UTAH STATE TROOPER: What is wrong with you?
UNIDENTIFIED STATE TROOPER: Turn around. Turn around.
MASSEY: What the heck's wrong with you? No! Oh!
UNIDENTIFIED STATE TROOPER: Down on the ground.
MASSEY: Oh, god, Lauren, Lauren, Lauren.
UNIDENTIFIED STATE TROOPER: Down on the ground.
UNIDENTIFIED STATE TROOPER: Stay down. Stay in the car. Turn around. Face down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: It's hard to watch and it's pretty scary to see this. The officer asked the driver to get out of the car after he refused to sign a speeding ticket. Was the officer out of line? In a moment, we are going to hear from the Utah Highway Patrol but first we're going to talk to the man who was tasered, Jared Massey in the video. He posted it on youtube this week. It's already been viewed by nearly 500,000 people. Jared, thanks for being with us this morning.
MASSEY: Thank you.
CHETRY: First of all, walk us through what happened. I understand you were pulled over for a speeding ticket. You refused to sign it and that's when this got out of hand?
MASSEY: Yes, I was pulled over for a speeding ticket. I kept asking, you know, how fast was I going? What was I pulled over for? I thought that he was pulling someone else over besides me and he was us following him. He pulled over to the side after he turned his lights on. Then I went out around him and I thought he was going to pull the car in the other direction over so I was pretty confused as to why he was pulling me over. Because I also thought I was in a 65 mile-per-hour speed limit zone and hadn't yet crossed into the 40 mile-an-hour. So I was confused and he just wouldn't explain to me why he'd pulled me over and then he asked me to get out of the car and when he did I thought he was going to let me show him the sign that said "40 miles per hour." So we could say, hey you really weren't in that zone. Go ahead or go on or be able to resolve it right there. But he ended up pulling the taser out, which I thought was a real gun and like I said, that was an extremely scary moment.
CHETRY: Let me ask you a quick question. So, you see when he pulls the taser, when you were explaining what happened, you at first didn't realize how much the situation had escalated but when he pulls the taser gun out, and points it at you, you actually turned your back to him and started to walk away. Why did you do that? Why at that point didn't you just say hold on, I don't agree with what's going on here but I better stop?
MASSEY: Yes, good question. When I got out of the car, I was under the impression, I was under no impression he was going to arrest me that it was going to escalate to anything like that. I honestly thought he was asking me to get out of the car, so we could look at the sign. So, when I saw him pull a gun on me, you got to realize at the time, I thought it was a gun. I was scared to death. I was scared for my life. I had my 6 1/2-month pregnant wife in the car, 15-month-old baby. You know, those panic thoughts start going through my mind, what's going to happen to me, what's going to happen to them. I really thought that this cop would shoot to harm me.
CHETRY: You didn't know it was a taser?
MASSEY: I had no idea it was a taser.
CHETRY: You did file for a freedom of information request and that's why you posted it on youtube. You wanted people to see this clearly. What do you want to see happen in this situation, Jared?
MASSEY: You know, this is probably one of the wonderful things about America, is here we are in the country where we can take something like this and begin a public dialogue on it and say, is this right? If it's not right, how can we correct the problem? What do we need to do to correct it? Do we need to, you know, better train, regulate better when tasers are used? Do we need to educate the public better? You know because this is a potentially lethal weapon that was used on me over a trivial traffic violation.
CHETRY: Right. You do look like you're OK and that's good news. Because when you see the video, it does make you feel a little bit scared when you see what happened. So stick with us. Because we're going to talk to a representative from the highway patrol right now. Jared, thanks for being with us. Joining me now from Salt Lake City, Utah, is Sergeant Jeff Nigbur. He's a spokesman with the Utah Highway Patrol, welcome and thanks for being with us.
SGT. JEFF NIGBUR, SPOKESMAN, UTAH HIGHWAY PATROL: Thank you for having me, Kiran.
CHETRY: Can you explain, I understand there is an internal investigation that's going on right now but can you explain to the best of your knowledge what you think happened in the video that we saw?
NIGBUR: Well, as you very well mentioned there is an internal review right now so I can't get into too much detail as far as what happened. I think there is a lot of emotion involved in this situation. I think there is a lot of, I would even go as far as saying a little bit of ego involved on both sides, and you know, we want to look at this, every taser deployment, at least from our troopers or the highway patrol is a serious matter and we look into each and every one of those.
CHETRY: When another officer arrived on the scene we know from this tape that one of them said "oh, he took a ride with the taser." Does that suggest that this sort of thing is routine or no big deal?
NIGBUR: Not at all. It is a very serious to us, that's not something that we should have said by any means, it's not professional and that shouldn't have happened. As I mentioned, we do take every taser deployment very seriously as far as calling medical to the scene to make sure to check out that that person is OK. We also have a nine-page taser deployment policy that we are required to follow and train on every year.
CHETRY: So did this officer violate that policy?
NIGBUR: That's exactly the decision or the result that we're trying to come to right now with our internal review. We are trying to expedite that as much as possible to get it done and hopefully resolve this as soon as possible.
CHETRY: And there are two larger questions that come up with this one. First with the use of a taser, it is considered, you know, through police departments across the country to be a non-lethal weapon. That's what they call and that's what they say.
CHETRY: And then 99 percent of the cases it is non-lethal, even though last week we had three different incidents around the country where someone was tasered and ended up dying. My question though is if somebody pulled out a gun, maybe they would think twice and maybe it would be a different situation because you know, maybe, you could kill somebody. Does the fact that a taser is non-lethal make officers a little bit more trigger-happy than they may be if they actually were pulling out a gun?
NIGBUR: You know, as far as the tasers go I don't know all of the intricacies of a taser but as far as the tasers go, in our opinion, have saved at least here in Utah hundreds of lives and that, what I mean by that is not only the suspects' lives but the officers' lives, as well as the citizens of this states' lives. You know, whether it makes them more trigger happy, no, I don't think so. I think it gives them an extra tool that is not deadly force and I think that saves lives.
CHETRY: One other quick question, the dash cams We've seen dash cam video, and when you filed the freedom of information act as we saw here, he was able to put it out on youtube. Is that a good thing? Does it make police officers I guess more vigilant, maybe think twice or is it something that impedes them from doing their job of public safety?
NIGBUR: You know, I think our biggest concern is simply putting out this video prior to any type of litigation or any type of review or investigation could compromise that case. And that's kind of our biggest concern. It doesn't concern us that it's out there to the public, absolutely not. We're very open as the Utah Department of Public Safety to the public and to the media but that is one of the things that concerns us. Will it compromise the case in the future? Could this video turn out to be a video of somebody being murdered, somebody being raped? I mean, those are some things that obviously concerns us.
CHETRY: All right. Just before we let you go, would this have been investigated? Would an internal investigation have been launched if this tape did not make it out there in the public?
NIGBUR: We had been aware of it. It did happen September 14th of 2007, which was two months ago. We have been aware of it and have been looking into it. This is obviously, has sped up the process a little bit. As I mentioned before, we are expediting it and trying to get a result as soon as possible.
CHETRY: Sgt. Jeff Nigbur with the Utah Highway Patrol, thanks for joining us. And thanks for giving us your side this morning.
NIGBUR: Thank you very much.
ROBERTS: You use it to make phone calls. The government wants to use cell phones to track movements. They say to keep tabs on criminals. But is it still a violation of privacy, that's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
ROBERTS: 43 minutes after the hour. A report by "the Washington Post" this morning says government officials have been asking cell phone companies for tracking data. Every cell phone can be tracked through its GPS chip or by pinpointing its signal by triangulation through cell towers. Officials say it's only to track criminals but privacy advocates say it goes too far. Right now, we're joined by our legal analyst Sunny Hostin with more. The courts are approving this cell phone tracking in many cases without probable cause. Does that sound unusual to you?
SUNNY HOSTIN, AMERICAN MORNING, LEGAL ANALYST: It is unusual. You have to get a warrant to go into someone's home, to search someone. The fourth amendment provides for that. Typically when you get a search warrant, and you need one, you have to go to a judge. There's an affidavit by law enforcement officer and the law enforcement officer has to show to that judge that a crime is being committed, is about to be committed, has been committed, and so it's very odd that that would happen and I have to tell you, I used to work for the justice department and the policy there is if you're going to get a wire tap, if you're going to get cell phone records you have to go to a judge to get permission to do that.
ROBERTS: OK. That's for the actual call records. This is just to find out where the actual cell phone is.
HOSTIN: Same thing.
ROBERTS: And law enforcement says it's just so we know where the bad guys are. You know, we can keep track of them but the DOJ does recommend that judges, that there be probable cause shown before the judge approves this. Why are the judges ignoring the guidelines in many cases? HOSTIN: You know, it's interesting. I don't think that DOJ has canceled its policy. That was the policy when I was there and I'm certain that was still the policy. There are two other acts that I think law enforcement officers are relying upon. One is the store communications act and the other is the pen register statute. And it has a lower standard. And so some agents are going to judges based on that statute and judges are approving these warrants and really, I think it's a slippery slope. You should, these officers should be following policy and that policy protects us citizens by the fourth amendment and our persons, our places, our homes.
ROBERTS: One other point, law enforcement agencies are saying hey, we're not interested in law-abiding citizens, anybody who is not breaking the law doesn't have anything to worry about. But as we've seen with the no-fly list, these programs tend to sweep up a lot of innocent people, is it possible that innocent people could get trapped?
HOSTIN: It is possible, and we're talking about a radius of three miles to 300 miles so it is possible, but I do want to say this, and this should be a take-away. When you have a child abduction or you have a serial killer, and this is something that needs to be tracked immediately, there are avenues for doing that. A law enforcement officer can call a magistrate judge at home. There are people on call so the law can still be followed and perhaps congress should pass some legislation so that when we're dealing with that sort of exigent circumstance we can track these people because it is something that can be used that's very important.
ROBERTS: Well, this just came out so we'll obviously going to hear more about it. Sunny Hostin, as always, thanks.
HOSTIN: My pleasure.
CHETRY: We're following the latest developments on a deadly mudslide in China. Rescuers finding a bus covered by the slide today and say there is little chance of survivors. 27 people believed to have been trapped inside that bus since Tuesday, when work on a train tunnel nearby triggered that slide.
Also an end to the transportation strike in France. Rail workers across the country voting to return to work today. It ends a nine-day strike that is all but crippled France and caused chaos in Paris. The streets there an absolute mess after the subway shut down and people scrambled to find other ways to get around.
Still ahead, get ready to shop. They're off and running. It's black Friday. In fact, a live picture now from the Mall in Garden City. That's Roosevelt Field Mall in New York, on Long Island. Boy it, is so much more packed than when Ali was first there an hour ago. Concerns about toxic toy retailers though. Will they have an impact on what people buy and how much? You're going to hear from the chairman a little bit more from the chairman of "Toys "r" Us ," coming up. Also talk about road rage. Drivers on one Ohio road had to dodge a lion.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: Pike County 911
CALLER: I'm on 23 and there's a lion in the road.
911 OPERATOR: A lion?
CALLER: It's a lion, like, it almost hit my car.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Well, drivers frantically calling 911 to report a lion on a highway. We'll show you how it all ended ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
CHETRY: Welcome back. We're at ten minutes to 8:00 here on the east coast this morning. If you're just joining us, a look at what's making headlines. Breaking news in the Antarctic. A rescue at sea after a cruise ship hits ice and starts to sink. That ship going down near the South Shetland Islands south of Argentina. In fact we have a new picture of the "Ms Explorer" listing to the side here, taking on water. More than 150 passengers and crew evacuated safely. They got taken quickly to another boat in the area. We will have a live report coming up at the top of the hour.
A series of explosions ripped through courthouse complexes in three northern cities in India. Police say the blasts happening all within a span of five minutes. At least two of the bombs attached to bicycles. Local media reporting at least eight people were killed. The attacks believed to be terror-related.
And the latest on the Natalee Holloway investigation. There is a hearing today in Aruba. It's closed to the public and any information cannot be shared until the investigation is over. The hearing will consider whether prosecutors were right to re-arrest Deepak and Sateesh Kalpoe in connection with Natalee's disappearance, as well as another young boy, Joran van der Sloot. Meantime the family of the missing teen sending a search team to Aruba to look for more clues. Dave Holloway, Natalee's father, he believes his daughter's body was thrown into ocean. A private boat owner is now providing divers with sonar equipment to search the ocean floor.
ROBERTS: Coming up to eight minutes to the top of the hour now. It is shoppers gone wild today, black Friday. This is the day that retailers hope will put them into the black, hence black Friday. But with millions of toys already recalled and fears of toxic products still on store shelves, will Americans buy less this holiday season? Earlier on AMERICAN MORNING, I asked Jerry Storch, the chairman and CEO of "Toys "R" Us" what his company is going to protect kids from toxic toys. JERRY STORCH, CHAIRMAN & CEO, TOYS 'R US": We've made a definite aggressive effort this year with our vendors to make it clear that we will not tolerate products that do not meet our rigorous safety standards. We've terminated two toy manufacturers already this year and we had very difficult conversations with the others making it very clear what we expect from them.
ROBERTS: Storch says that they do sell toys from over 30 countries and are committed to making sure that those toys are safe regardless of where they are manufactured. Most of the best-selling toys in the U.S. from video games, the dolls are made overseas, mostly in China.
About 130 million people expected to hit the stores today in search of the perfect holiday gift. Here's a live picture from a Wal- mart in Woodstock, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. Some 133 million are expected to hit the stores today. Some stores even opened at 4:00 this morning, hoping to lure you in. Shoppers expected to spend an average of $923 on gifts this year. That's up about 4 percent from last year. And here's a picture of a lineup outside of the Ashley Furniture home store in Memphis, Tennessee. A lot of folks there, I don't know if the doors aren't open yet because don't forget, it's an hour earlier there, or if they're just letting people in a few at a time. I would expect they're about to open those doors. People trying to take advantage obviously of door buster specials today.
Which brings to us our Quick Vote question this morning. We're asking, will you spend more, less or about the same on holiday gifts this year? Cast your vote at CNN.com/am. Here's the tally so far. Only 7 percent of you say you're going to spend more. 13 percent the same, a whopping 80 percent say you're going to spend less, and if that holds true, not going to be a very merry holiday season for the retailer. Kiran.
CHETRY: We'll see if the number grows throughout the morning. People saying they're going to spend less.
All right. Well, drivers on an Ohio highway got quite a fright. A lion came pouncing into the roadway. Take a look at a 550-pound lion named Lambert, charging drivers along route 23. In fact one quoted "as he was just chasing cars up and down the street like a dog would. His owner who raises Lambert and another lion as pets says that he managed to break through the top of his pen. Here's a listen to some of the 911 calls.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: Pike County 911.
CALLER: I'm on 23 and there's a lion in the road.
911 OPERATOR: A lion?
CALLER: It's a lion. Like, it almost hit my car. It stands, and, like, attacks someone's car.
911 OPERATOR: It's trying to attack the cars/
CALLER: Yes. It like came at my car. It's going back across the street now.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CHETRY: Well, I'll tell you what, that's got to be one of the weirdest things you ever see on the street. Look, he was so cute when he was little. I don't know how he became 550 pounds. Lambert's owner was able to lure the cat, coax him back into the cage. He says he raises lions as an escape from depression and hey, you can do it because in Ohio, anyone can own them. It's not illegal to own exotic animals. Although, he does say that raising lions is actually a lot of work, and he does not recommend them as pets.
ROBERTS: Particularly when they get loose. Can you imagine the 911 operator? Oh, yeah, a what?
ROBERTS: OK. They know where you've been?
The reward for kind customer service tops your "Quick Hits". A grocery store customer left $15,000 in his will for a clerk named Eva Betts. He says they grew close over the years. As he got older and sicker, she helped him shop and even visited him when he was ill.
Our record setting day for Green Bay packers quarterback Brett Favre if he completed 20 straight passes that set a new team record. Favre says simply "I threw it, they caught it." The packers beat the Detroit Lions 37-26, Packers now 10-1.
Presents for the presidential candidates, an insiders look at what they might be looking for this holiday season. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
ROBERTS: Breaking news. Rescue at sea, a rush to save passengers from a cruise ship sinking in the Antarctic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
Tasered over a ticket. This morning, we hear from both sides of this road side confrontation.
MASSEY: I was scared to death. I was scare for my life. Plus, mad dash. The rush to snap up bargains and the just revealed hottest choice of the season On this AMERICAN MORNING.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Good morning. A whole lot going on this Friday, November 23. I'm John Roberts.
CHETRY: And I'm Kiran Chetry. And we start with breaking news that we've been following this morning of a rescue at sea. A cruise ship hitting ice in Antarctic water south of Argentina and we actually have a new picture.
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