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American Morning

Secretary Clinton in Asia; Reviving the U.S. Economy; Chimp Goes on Rampage; Michael Moore Vs. Wall Street; Who Owns Facebook Content?

Aired February 17, 2009 - 08:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Crossing the top of the hour now. It's 8:00 Eastern, and here are this morning's top stories. In just a few hours, the $787 billion economic stimulus bill will become law. President Obama travels to Denver to sign the measure. The White House banking on the massive stimulus package to spark an economic turnaround. The president says its plan will create or save some 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.

It's deadline day for Detroit automakers who have been living up billion of dollars in government loans. General Motors and Chrysler have to submit plans for restructuring and returning to profitability. The White House is eager to see their strategy.


ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We're anxious to take a look at the plans, understanding that it is extremely important to have a strong and viable auto industry. Obviously, that is likely to require some restructuring to ensure its viability. And we think some of that will be in these plans and we look forward to going through and analyzing that in order to see where the companies feel like they are and what the most important next steps are for both the American economy, for the workers, as well as the companies.


ROBERTS: General Motors and Chrysler will have to spell out how they plan to repay the billions of dollars in taxpayer funded bailout money.

The White House says President Obama still has not decided on sending more troops to Afghanistan. They do expect that to happen shortly. Meantime, some 3,000 American soldiers who just arrived in Afghanistan are being deployed to secure two violent areas near the capital of Kabul.

Keep your word. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning North Korea to fulfill its obligations when it comes to dismantling its nuclear programs.


HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We must advance our efforts to secure the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea. The possible missile launch that North Korea is talking about would be very unhelpful.


ROBERTS: U.S. intelligence suggests that Pyongyang maybe planning to test fire a long-range missile capable of hitting the United States. Secretary Clinton is now in Japan in the first leg of her first trip abroad as America's top diplomat.

And CNN's Jill Dougherty is traveling with Secretary Clinton. She joins us now live from our Tokyo bureau.

Jill, is North Korea overshadowing this trip?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: You know, you could say that, John. Because, after all, the secretary was planning on talking about this, that North Korean general. Three of the countries that she's visiting are members of that six-party group that deals with North Korea. But you'd have to say this threat that has emerged recently, that they might launch a missile was actually, you know, at the time that the secretary is here in Asia, has raised it to another level. And that's why you have her warning them not to do it, restating U.S. policy.

And then the other thing she did today was she met with Japanese families of those so-called abductees. The people -- Japanese citizens who were kidnapped by the North Koreans back in the '70s and '80s, and some of them have not been accounted for. So Secretary Clinton met with them, talked with them, listened to their stories and put that on a higher level as well.

ROBERTS: So, Jill, this is her first trip abroad. It's a very, very important trip going to a lot of important countries, particularly China. Behind the scenes, what are people saying about how she is doing in this first trip?

DOUGHERTY: You'd have to say that diplomats and experts and others who have watched her in action and talked with her -- in fact, I've talked with some who briefed her and they said she is a pretty good study. She really knows her briefs. She has read literally thousands of pages of material. Nobody seems to have stumped her yet. And the subjects have to be phrased, as you know, very carefully. She's learned how to say things and not say things. And she also doesn't seem to sleep that much on these trips. It's probably because of the way she likes to structure them -- John.

ROBERTS: Well, you know, one thing that people have always said about Hillary Clinton, whether it was as first lady -- whether it was as an attorney, first lady, or a senator, was she always did her homework, so looks like she is living up to that. Jill Dougherty for us in Tokyo. Jill, thanks so much.

DOUGHERTY: She does.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Well, the economy front and center on President Obama's agenda today. In just a matter of hours, he'll head to Denver to sign into law the $787 billion stimulus bill. Could mean more money in your pocket, more money in your safe's budget, but the economic CPR is far from over.

Also, today, there's a massive infusion of cash going to General Motors. And more details are expected on a plan to help millions of Americans about to lose their homes. But will it work?

Joining us now is chief business correspondent Ali Velshi, as well as Stephanie Elam at our business update desk. I guess the reason we haven't seen Ali in weeks, he was reading the --


ROBERTS: That's his new book, isn't it?


ROBERTS: That's the sequel to "Give Me My Money Back."

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: "Give Me My Stimulus Back." Yes, this is the stimulus bill.

ROBERTS: Look at that.

VELSHI: Unbelievable. This is the bill. And it is highly- detailed, and I think President Obama just got to sign the back page. But it's got provisions for jobs in here. It's got provisions for tax cuts as we know. It's got some housing provisions. It's got a whole lot of people unhappy. I mean, you'd think after a big thing like this you would like some people to be happy.

ROBERTS: Did you read that whole thing?

VELSHI: I've parsed it. I must have. I've not read every last detail of it.


VELSHI: I've read all the section headers and I've learned about these things that are important here.

CHETRY: It also reminds me of what you sign when you, you know, when you get a mortgage.

VELSHI: When you get a mortgage.

CHETRY: Yes, right.


VELSHI: Right. I think it's kind of a -- it is a combination of mortgage papers, isn't it?

ROBERTS: All right, yes. Yes, but similar --

VELSHI: So people are depending on this. This gets signed into law today. Unfortunately, the responses we've been getting from people are that there are people who think there's too much government involvement. There are people who think that the tax cuts should be bigger and there are people who think that it should be all spending, and there's people who say they don't like the term spending, 65 percent of the spending. They'd rather we refer to it as investment in our future. And then there are things that are safety nets for people who have lost their jobs. So --


ROBERTS: Does this have the right stuff?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, the thing about it is if you're going to have $787 billion that you're planning on spending, you would expect that it's going to cover a lot of ground. But still there's some people who say it doesn't cover enough ground as far as getting that money out there. A lot of it going to states. People like to see it go to the people. That's part of the issue that you see with that bill. And obviously, along with that, you also have the issue of what's going on with the automakers today.

Today being the deadline that they have to get out there and say this is what we are going to do to stay viable. And if they don't do that well, their loans could be recalled. Obviously, they don't want that to happen.

CHETRY: You know, it's interesting because you're trying to sort of stem the bleeding in all these different places. You just heard Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California, saying we're in a budget short fall. We're in big trouble here, short by billions of dollars. Is this going to help states like California to keep people employed?

VELSHI: Well, the concern you have is -- will state government do exactly what you're doing? You're hoarding your money. You're squirreling your money. Companies are doing the same thing. They're laying people off to try and get to the other side. So will states do the same thing?

And you just heard from John Hoffmeister at, you know, from (INAUDIBLE) Shell. And he was saying that this is why you have -- the companies have to be profitable because they -- otherwise you get a bailout. I couldn't believe when he said that. Nobody is bailing out the oil industry. And this is exactly the problem that this company is now have this excuse to charge more money for gasoline because they can say, you know what? If things don't work out for us, we're next in line. That's moral hazard. That's what John McCain warned about. He said once you start giving money out --


ROBERTS: Oil companies don't need a bailout.

ELAM: I don't think they will.


ELAM: Their profits have been record. The largest profits that have ever been made by a company have come from oil companies.

VELSHI: Yes. But you hear now that that idea was floated. It's like, no, no, oil companies are not getting a bailout.

ELAM: They're not going to get a bailout. The other thing, too, about the auto industry since we're talking about it, one in 10 jobs in America related to auto manufacturing, you can see why there's an argument there that they do need to be saved because it's more than just Detroit that would feel that hit.

ROBERTS: All right. Thanks, guys.


ROBERTS: Nice to see you.

CHETRY: All right, keep reading. Great to see you. Good luck.


ELAM: He is going to get nice biceps from carrying it around.

CHETRY: Exactly. I feel like we're back in English lit.


CHETRY: Take it easy, Ali.

Well, the economy will be the focus of a special 360 hour. "AC360" that is. The "CNN Money Summit" with Anderson Cooper and Ali Velshi. It's tonight at 11:00 Eastern.

You guys did a whole extra hour before (INAUDIBLE) right?

VELSHI: Yes. Right.

ROBERTS: Better have that read by the time you go in, young man.

ELAM: You look very serious there. You're kind of scary in that picture.

VELSHI: Serious stuff.

ELAM: Yes, OK.

ROBERTS: Look at Michael Moore is taking on now. The attack on Wall Street fat cats. How the filmmakers soliciting banker's dime on their employers.

And the chimp who appeared in GAP and Old Navy ads goes on a rampage and attacks a woman. An expert from Animal Planet tells us what might have triggered that attack. Jack Hanna joins us. It's 8- 1/2 -- no, Jack Hanna.

CHETRY: I think Jeff Corwin.

ROBERTS: Jeff Corwin is joining us -- sorry. It's 8 1/2 minutes now after the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. This morning, a woman is in critical condition and authorities are saying she might not survive after she was mauled by a 200-pound pet chimpanzee. It was her friends' pet. This chimpanzee is actually famous for appearing in TV ads over the years.

The attack happened after a 15-year-old chimp, Trapeze, got loose from a home in Connecticut. Police were eventually force to kill the animal. Joining me now to talk about the situation, Jeff Corwin, wildlife biologist with Animal Planet.

You know, chimpanzees are beloved by humans. And, you know -- I mean, Michael Jackson of course famously had his pet chimp Bubbles. And when you hear about situations like this it reminds you these are wild animals. But as you're finding out more about this story, what do you think may have gone wrong?

JEFF CORWIN, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: Absolutely. It's really shocking. You know, you bring up a great point. There's more in common that we have with chimpanzees than there characters that are different. In fact, chimpanzees are 90 percent plus similar to us genetically. With that said, these are very wild, powerful great apes. They're primates.

And in wild chimpanzee society, they live in what's called the vision-fusion society. They have very specific territories. And it's not uncommon when one territory is invaded by a chimpanzee that that chimpanzee can actually be killed by the resident chimps. So violence is not unknown to these animals. Like us, they are very complex. They display a whole array of emotions whether it's empathy, whether it's passion, in this case, violence.

CHETRY: And, you know, the situation is interesting. Apparently, he was very popular figure around town in Stanford, Connecticut. This chimpanzee lived with this family for 15 years. They say that he enjoyed drinking wine from a stem glass. He dressed and bathed himself, even logged on to a computer. And I mean, you know, so you hear all of this stuff.

It's funny, it's adorable, and then things go horribly wrong. In this situation they say that he seemed agitated and that his owner who was 70 years old gave him some tea laced with Xanax, I guess trying to calm him down. And then when she couldn't kind of get him into the house and under control, she calls her other friend over. And this is the woman who was eventually attacked. How do you, you know, sort of deal with a 200-pound animal that doesn't want to do what you want it to do?

CORWIN: Yes, with a glass of wine and taking Xanax. You know, I'm trying to wrap my head around that. I think what we really have to look at is sort of the whole idea of a pinch of prevention is worth a pond of cure. You know, in the state of Connecticut, throughout the United States, there are very strict laws in the books to try to prevent this scenario from unfolding. These animals are protected by the endangered species act, by CITES, the Convention for the International Trade of Endangered Species.

But because this chimpanzee was 15 years old, he had a long history with this family, I think he got in under sort of a grandfathered situation. But the truth is, is that these animals don't make good pets. They are incredibly powerful and there are really few legitimate reasons. There are some, but there are few that these creatures should be in captivity.

Look, we're attracted to these animals. There is clearly a kinship that human beings share with our close cousins chimpanzees, but we shouldn't be keeping them in our homes as pets. This tragedy happens every year around our country. Most of the situations where humans and chimps mix in the home environment ends up tragically either for the human being, for the chimpanzee or for both.

CHETRY: It is a sad situation. And in this situation, he eventually had to be shot by an officer after trying to attack the officer.

CORWIN: And a woman could very well die or is garishly wounded.

CHETRY: That's right. Yes, it's a very sad situation, absolutely.

CORWIN: But the last thing that so important, though, is that when these situations happen, we vilify the chimpanzees. These are endangered species. They are incredibly important to the environments where they live. They make up a great part of our great arc of our planet. It's just a bad way to end on such an incredibly important creature.

CHETRY: Yes, you're right. Jeff Corwin, wildlife biologist for Animal Planet. Thanks for joining us this morning.

CORWIN: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Well, who really owns the photos and the information that you post on the Internet? Think it's up to you? After an uproar over language on Facebook, the site's founder tries to explain.

And Michael Moore is roaming Wall Street. So the bad cats better run. But can the filmmaker really get bankers to dime on their own employers? It's 15 minutes now after the hour.



CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST, "LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN": Marvel Comics has come out with a special edition comic book where Spiderman and Captain America go back in time to watch Abraham Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg Address.

(LAUGHTER) O'BRIEN: That's true. Which finally answers the question what would happen if Michael Phelps ran Marvel Comics.


O'BRIEN: That's just curious. With the goggles on --


ROBERTS: Eighteen minutes after the hour. And time now to fast forward to some of the stories you'll be hearing about on CNN today. It sure to be a media circus when Alex Rodriguez holds a news conference this afternoon at the New York Yankees spring training complex in Tampa. He'll answer questions about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Some of A-Rod's teammates apparently will be there to support him.

Several hundred television stations will begin digital only transmissions today sticking to the original changeover date from analog broadcast. Congress last week extended the deadline to the 12th of June giving viewers more time to get converter boxes, because the federal coupon program has run out of money. However, some broadcasters said what originally plan for tonight, we're sticking with today.

And Trump Entertainment Resorts, Donald Trump's casino group is filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. Court document show the Atlantic City casino operator missed a $53 million bond interest payment back in December. Last week, Donald Trump said he plan to resign from the board over disagreements about whether the casino group should file for bankruptcy.

Well, he has taken on the Bush White House, the American health care system and the NRA. Now documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is targeting Wall Street and he is actively recruiting people who have worked there to expose what he calls, quote, "The biggest swindle in history."

CNN's Jason Carroll is following that story for us this morning, and he joins us now.

How are you doing, Jason?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello. How are you doing? You know, there are a lot of people who say if Michael Moore has his sights set on you, you better watch out? Well, he is back. Michael Moore says he is looking for a few good men and women to, quote, "spill the beans," and help him take on Wall Street.

He's already taken on the medical industry, the auto industry and the gun lobbying in his films. Now his Web site says, will you help me with my next film? The "You" Moore is referring to is anyone who works at a bank, brokerage firm or insurance company to come forward and share what he calls the real deal about the abuses in the financial industry. Some critics are already looking forward to it.


LEAH ROZEN, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Do I want to see Michael Moore spank Wall Street? Yes, I want to see Michael Moore spank Wall Street.

JOSHUA ROTHKOPF, TIME OUT MAGAZINE: Michael Moore represents part of the chorus that should be there. I think if all documentaries were sort of like Michael Moore movies, that might be a little much, but, at the same time, I personally am excited about the idea of Michael Moore taking on Wall Street.

CARROLL (voice-over): Well, Moore is asking Wall Street workers to spill the beans to him if they have any information they think the American people need to hear. The question is, will Wall Street want to help him? We asked some workers out there. Got some mixed reaction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that he'll put everybody on the spot and keep everyone on their toes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His opinion is -- his viewpoint is so slanted that it's really difficult to believe anything that he puts on film.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just think his whole mindset is very anti- American, and I don't think he's the right person to ask about anything, quite honestly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think any time Michael Moore targets you, you should be worried.


CARROLL: Well, Moore says it's up to anyone with information to, quote, "step up as an American and do your duty of shedding some light on the financial collapse." He also says any correspondence with him will be kept confidential, but I don't know. It doesn't sound like he's going to get -- at least some of the help he might be out there seeking -- at least according to some people we found.

ROBERTS: It's probably an awful lot of people do want to dish.

CARROLL: And a lot who want to keep their jobs, too, right?

ROBERTS: Well, that's true. You see, you have to balance that off. But I think his documentary will be pretty interesting take on what happens.

CARROLL: Yes, absolutely. We'll see.

ROBERTS: We look forward to that and see what it turns out to be. Jason Carroll, thanks so much.

CARROLL: All right.

ROBERTS: Kiran? CHETRY: Well, who really owns what you post on the Internet, even your pictures, what you write? There's a new Facebook ownership controversy that you might want to know about if you use the site. It's 21 minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Well, if you or your friends post pictures of yourself drunk or in other compromising positions on Facebook, you will want to hear this. A change in the company's fine print is raising questions online this morning about what happens to all of the information that you post our page. Alina Cho is following this story for us.

First of all, you shouldn't post pictures of yourself in compromising positions, anyway.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Probably not a good idea.

CHETRY: But there is something interesting that has people scratching their heads.

CHO: Yes.

CHETRY: It's actually a blogger that found a change in the fine print.

CHO: That's right. It's called the Consumerist. So we'll get to that in a second, but essentially we're talking about the TOS, terms of service, with respect to Facebook, Kiran. Good morning, everybody.

And it is probably something that most people who use Facebook have not heard about. About two weeks ago, the fine print explaining privacy rights on Facebook quietly and suddenly changed.

Now, here's what happened. Facebook removed language that said its ownership of your content would end when you removed that content or closed your account. Now, what does that mean? It means that Facebook now will continue to have access to things like your personal photos and personal information. The blogs, as you might imagine, went crazy. The Consumerist published by Consumer Reports responded by saying Facebook's new terms are tantamount to, quote, "We can do anything we want with your content forever.

So, is that true? Well, possibly, according to legal experts, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued his own post trying to reassure users that they still control their own information saying, quote, "In reality, we wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want. The trust you place in use as a safe place to share information is the most important part of what makes Facebook work."

Still, some Facebook users are closing their accounts in protest. More than 18,000 members have joined groups against the new terms of service.

Here is just some of what is being posted. Quote, "These new terms are beyond insane. Someone has to put a stop to this."

Another person who says he is a professional photographer wrote, quote, "I guess I'll be taking my stuff down. Bye-bye Facebook advertisers. I won't be seeing your ads."

And yet another person wrote, "I'm scared knowing one day I might find a picture of me or even a family member that I didn't give permission to be used. I can't even delete anything I previously uploaded because they retain copies which they will probably sell to some third party to make an easy buck. This sucks."

Now, you know, keep in mind, thousands upon thousands of people, Kiran, use Facebook. They're perfectly happy. I personally don't have a Facebook account because I might be a little more sensitive than most about my personal information being shared.

But, you know, the key thing here is a lot of people agree to those terms of service without reading the fine print.

CHETRY: Right.

CHO: And I think that's what's surprising to most people now, it's wait a minute, I might have to look at this a bit closer.

CHETRY: Yes, I'm dipping my toes in the Facebook, where I have 14 friends, you know, girlfriends from high school.

CHO: You're about to get a lot more now that you publicized you're on Facebook.

CHETRY: What I'm wondering about the situation is even though the CEO responded, they didn't change those terms of service.

CHO: No, and listen...

CHETRY: It still seems a little murky.

CHO: It does. The truth is that sometimes when things like this get publicized and more people learn about it and more people protest the change that sometimes they reverse that. But we'll have to see what happens.

CHETRY: Because there's also a lot of people that say even if you delete yourself from Facebook and you close up your account that that still is retained in their archives.

CHO: That's right. Let's say an e-mail you send, that would be retained in the archives. Yes, of course. So, it's all interesting.

CHETRY: Think twice, guys. I mean, I know you're talking about your own personal pictures that you're just putting out there for the world to see.

CHO: I never post drunk photos online.

CHETRY: Well, you don't get drunk. CHO: You're right.

CHETRY: Thanks, Alina.

CHO: You bet.


ROBERTS: Twenty-seven and a half minutes now after the hour. And breaking overnight. So much for the big box discount stores being recession-proof, at least somewhat. Wal-Mart losing money in the fourth quarter of last year. The company is reporting this morning its earnings are down by 7.4 percent. The company also says its first quarter of this year could miss Wall Street expectations.

Twenty thousand jobs are now in jeopardy with California broke and on the brink. Lawmakers were just one vote away from passing the budget plan, but could not cut a deal by last night's deadline. That prompted Governor Schwarzenegger to start sending out layoff notices to state workers today.

Times are also tough in Kansas where money is apparently so tight that the state is stopping payments on tax refunds. It says folks won't be getting their tax returns until lawmakers can figure out how to fix the cash crunch. The state may also be late paying some state employees.

President Obama putting your money and his political capital on the line today. He will sign the intensely debated economic recovery package in Denver. It's a $787 billion investment in the future that the White House says could save or create more than 3 million jobs. Last night on "LARRY KING LIVE," financial expert Suze Orman talked about what needs to happen now.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": You see anything encouraging?

SUZE ORMAN, PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT: Here's what I see encouraging. The stimulus got passed. He has a plan. We now have to give him our support to make this plan help everybody. I wish everybody would stop saying it is dire, including the president. Stop telling everybody that it's dire, it's this, it's that. We have a plan. Let's see what we can do. Let's deal with the housing crisis now as well. And if we could just keep doing this, little by little, we're going to get through it. Is it going to be easy? No, but we will eventually get through it. We need time, though, Larry.


ROBERTS: That is only part of the administration's plan to tackle the worst economy in decades. The president is expected to shift focus this week to helping homeowners pay their mortgages. He'll be doing that tomorrow in Phoenix. A story developing right now. Fresh U.S. troops entering the war zone in Afghanistan and more may be on the way. President Obama is deciding whether to double the fighting force there -- a call that could come within days.


GIBBS: The administration continues its review of our policy relating to Afghanistan and I would expect that the president's decision could come shortly, without laying out a firm timetable of when exactly that might be.


ROBERTS: CNN's Barbara Starr joins us now live from the Pentagon.

Barb, what have you heard about all of this?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, John, nothing official, nothing announced yet. But I have to tell you that the ruffle here in the Pentagon hallways this morning is that an announcement is imminent, as soon as possibly later today, sometime this week. Nobody can really say for sure, but by all accounts, all the pieces have been put into place, and it just now really awaits an announcement. What's on the table?

Of course, commanders want four additional brigades in Afghanistan, one already there on the ground fighting in those provinces south of Kabul where the Taliban have been consolidating their positions for months now. So three more brigades on the table. Every indication is that it will start with some new additional marines going to Afghanistan, as well as some army troops.

But what is holding all of this up? Well, the administration is still reviewing the strategy in Afghanistan, trying to form a new strategy that will lay out what they're trying to accomplish, what exactly these troops are going to be used for, and how will they define victory, how will they know when the mission is accomplished? John.

ROBERTS: So Barbara, with these potentially heading over there, what kind of notification will families be getting before their loved ones are sent off to war?

STARR: Well, you know that's really the bottom line here for so many American military families. The Pentagon has a very firm policy and tradition. Families will be notified first before the news media of units going over. By all accounts, there are some informal notifications going on. The troops, themselves, know when they are next in line to possibly go. So there has been a bit of a ruffling as well out in some Army and Marine units, prepare to get ready as soon as the announcement comes. John.

ROBERTS: Barbara Starr for us at the Pentagon this morning with the very latest on that. Barbara, thanks so much. STARR: Sure.

CHETRY: And it's the 21st-century battlefield. There's a new report out this morning saying that cyber attacks were up 40 percent in 2008. That includes networks, the departments of defense, state and Homeland Security. In fact, the director of National Intelligence last week warned Congress that nations like Russia and China are using cyberspace to spy on the U.S.

Well, President Obama has promised to tackle the issue of global warming. There's a new report though that says we may have less time than we thought. We're going to talk to one scientist raising the red flag just ahead. It's 32 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS (voice-over): Instant Starbucks. Less than $3 a cup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are trying to get into a bigger market.

ROBERTS: But is America ready for a recession brew.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds very cheap.

ROBERTS: But isn't that the point? You're watching the most news in the morning.



CHETRY: All right. Just in to CNN right now. A huge merger of sorts just announced between Sirius XM satellite radio and Liberty Media. Here to break down what it means for us, Stephanie Elam joins us right now. Not your typical merger?

ELAM: Not exactly. It's a little bit different here. We just got this crossing over so I'm taking a look and digesting it pretty much as I tell you right now. What we're seeing here is that Sirius XM Radio and Liberty Media Corporation have reached this agreement in which Liberty will invest a total of $530 million in the form of actually loans to Sirius XM and then also units there. And will receive an equity interest in Sirius as part of this deal.

So it's basically broken up into two phases. The first phase will include $280 million in the form of a loan to Sirius. And $250 million of that will be funded today. The second phase will include an additional loan of $150 million to XM Satellite Radio which is Sirius XM's wholly-owned unit. So basically a unit of that company which is not too much of a surprise there.

But this news we've been waiting to hear about this what is going to happen here, because we do know that Liberty has been struggling financially to make the money that they needed. So this is, obviously, a way that they've managed to work out that deal. Kiran. CHETRY: It's very interesting. Some of the color on this is that the Mel Karmazin, the CEO or the chief executive of Sirius was doing everything he could, working the phones, trying to find a partner in this to do everything possible to prevent a bankruptcy.

ELAM: Everything to prevent bankruptcy. To see if there is a way to stay viable. Obviously, there's a lot of people wondering what would happen to them if they had been subscribing to the service. It looks like they're working out a deal here. So keep your eyes and see what we can get out of this.

CHETRY: All right. Stephanie, thanks so much.

ELAM: Sure.


ROBERTS: Well President Obama has promised a turn to renewable energy and tackle global warming head on but some leading scientists now say that we are putting out greenhouse gases worldwide much faster than was previously thought and that the results could mean disaster.

Joining me is one of those scientists, Christopher Field. He is the director of the Carnegie Institutions Department of Global Ecology. Chris, it's good to see you this morning. You were one of the people sounding the loudest alarm on global warming and now you're saying that it could be much worse. Why is it looking like it could be much worse?

CHRISTOPHER FIELD, CARNEGIE INSTITUTIONS DEPARTMENT OF GLOBAL ECOLOGY: Thank you. The IPCC, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change provides the world's definitive assessment on climate impacts. And the last report from the IPCC came out in early 2007.

Since then, and continuously, there are thousands of scientists around the world who are watching the pulse of the planet to see what is really happening in terms of not only the amount of climate change but the way we're pushing climate change and what we've seen recently is that we really had foot on the gas pedal of greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2000, greenhouse gas emissions have increased at an annual rate, more than three times as fast as they did from 1990 to 2000.

ROBERTS: So you had previously predicted that within a century there would be a rise in temperatures globally between two and 12 degrees. With this new data, where might those figures be heading?

FIELD: We're not making a new assessment of the amount of temperature increase but the fact THAT we're releasing the greenhouse gases so quickly means that the temperature outcomes are more likely to be at the upper end of that range than in the middle.

ROBERTS: All right. So scientists and environmentalist talk about the threshold, a certain number of parts per million of greenhouse gases beyond, which they call a tipping point, beyond which it may be impossible to reverse global warming. This new data that you have been talking about, this new data, does that change that tipping point. Does it accelerate like we might be there as some scientists are suggesting?

FIELD: One of the critical important goals for climate research is to figure out where these tipping points are. The fact of the matter is we can't be a 100 percent confident. There is abundant evidence that the threshold conditions are out there somewhere. It's an active area of research and I think what we're calling for is caution about approaching them too quickly, given that we don't know exactly where they are.

ROBERTS: You know, I'm holding in my hand and some people have been pointing this in recent days, a graph from NASA tracks temperature data from 1880 until this year. And in 1999 there was a real spike. There was also one that looks like about 2005 or so. But the overall trend from 1998 on has been down. Some people are suggesting that the world is actually cooling as opposed to getting warmer. What do you say about these data from NASA?

FIELD: It's important to remember that the world's climate system is incredibly complex with a whole bunch of internal dynamics. The internal dynamics are such that for several years at a time you can see the average temperature go in a direction that is different from the long-term trend.

The fact of the matter is all of the recent years have been among the very hottest on record and there's abundant evidence that over the long run, the planet is continuing to warm and it's highly likely that this is a consequence of the greenhouse gases that are being released by human activity.

ROBERTS: Chris Field, sounding the alarm this morning. Chris, it's good to talk to you. Thanks so much for coming in.

FIELD: Thanks very much. It's a pleasure.


CHETRY: It's 40 minutes past the hour. Our Rob Marciano is tracking weather across the country for us this morning. Hey, Rob, starting in the south today?


CHETRY: Still ahead. Starbucks for just a buck? The java giant coming out with an instant version of its famous brand but will that fly with Starbucks fanatics? It's 42 minutes after the hour.



CHETRY: Well, welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. If you need a morning fix, a grande latte can set you back $4. So Starbucks is introducing a new roast to keep you from coming back to their stores or, rather, to keep you coming back to their stores during the recession. And our Carol Costello is live in Washington this morning at one of the java giant stores.

This, of course, is the story near and dear to your heart, I learned when you came and filled in for us a little bit. How much you need your Starbucks. It's not a want, it's not a luxury item, you need it to survive.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an addiction, Kiran, that's really what it is. You know, there is a mean nickname for Starbucks, though. Four bucks. I mean, a cup of coffee like this costs $4.95 and you know at Dunkin' Donuts which is right across the street from this Starbucks and it's a lot cheaper. So it is time for some diversification and in this case, for Starbucks, it means instant coffee.



COSTELLO (voice-over): Starbucks made its money on fancy expensive brew. But that was then, this seems to be now.

ANNOUNCER: Not a powder, not a grind, but millions of tiny flavor buds of real coffee, ready to burst instantly into that famous Maxwell House flavor.

COSTELLO: No, Starbucks isn't turning to Maxwell House but to its own brand of instant coffee. The company's execs insist will replicate the taste of Starbucks coffee, a three pack of instant will cost you $2.95, who to dunk it. A grande you can make at home in an instant for a buck. Some customers are intrigued.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I would be more likely to buy it, but I probably wouldn't still buy it.

COSTELLO: Note I said intrigued, not sold on the idea. On a blog site that's critical of the coffee seller,, they weren't even intrigued, saying things like "I wanna cry now" and "there are no words." And they say the new coffee is unlikely to attract younger customers hip to new things or even older customers hip to new things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I roast and brew my own coffee at home, so I could probably do a better job.

COSTELLO: You don't want to do it at home yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No way. Reminds me of Sanka.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's like the old Sanka.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The coffee for folks who love good coffee, outstandingly good coffee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It sounds very cheap.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's cheap. COSTELLO: But some marketing experts are not discounting the idea, saying if Starbucks instant coffee is tasty, fast and cheap it just might be a hit. A hit the company sorely needs. First quarter profits were down more than 60 percent and the instant coffee market is a $17 billion business.

BURT FLICKINGER, RETAIL MARKETING CONSULTANT: In going with instant, they're trying to get into a bigger market and by going into a bigger market, they can try to rebuild sales which have been slipping significantly.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Grande macchiatto.

COSTELLO: For now, most of you will have to be content with your old favorite. The new instant Starbucks will only be available in a few cities, unless, of course, it catches on.


COSTELLO: And then you'll be able to get it everywhere. You know, Kiran, as Starbucks manages to get just five percent of the instant coffee business, it will do a lot for its bottom line. In fact, it may get it out of trouble. Who knows? This may be a good thing for Starbucks, despite what the customers say. At least right now.

CHETRY: I hear you. You can get Starbucks coffee for under $4. It's when you throw in all the chinos and the caramelacos and all that stuff.

COSTELLO: Triple grande latte. Exactly. But it's still more expensive than let's say Dunkin' Donuts coffee. And that's really what has gotten Starbucks into trouble because you can also get cheaper coffee at McDonald's and you can get the fancy kind of coffee cheaper there, too.

CHETRY: Yes, I know. You laugh at me but I love McDonald's coffee. It tastes better than your stuff.

COSTELLO: It pains me to hear you say that.

CHETRY: All right. Thanks, Carol. John.

ROBERTS: Wow! It's an interesting fight going on over there.

One of the best foods to eat to keep your heart in top shape from fish oil to chocolate. We're "Paging Dr. Gupta" for the complete list.


ROBERTS: It's heart health month. So what can you do to tune up the old ticker? Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now with this week's "Fit Nation." I got a list of foods that we should eat to jump start our hearts and I take it that my city diet of cheese grits is not on the list?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: John, we're worried about your heart so we're doing the segment for you in particular. Look, you know, for a long time, people are trying to take the good stuff out of foods and put them into pill form. They have the best of intentions to try to make things easier for people. What we found, though, is really hard to get all of the good stuff, if you will, out of foods and put it into some sort of pill form so what are sort of the super foods, if you will? Here's our list.


GUPTA (voice-over): It is heart health month. Time to cut through all the clutter about what is really good for your heart. The biggest key, says registered dietitian Page Love, is reducing the levels of inflammatory compounds in your body.

PAGE LOVE, REGISTERED DIETICIAN: Inflammation is the body's response when diseases cultivating and often there are foods that can actually help do the opposite of that in the body.

GUPTA: So what are these super foods?

LOVE: Eating red really helps decrease inflammation. For example, cherries. Particularly tart cherries, red grapes, tomatoes.

GUPTA: Blueberries, strawberries also top the list as do leafy greens like spinach. Even oatmeal.

LOVE: There's quite a bit of evidence showing that the fiber in oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol. So it's one of the key disease- fighting best foods.

GUPTA: If you are looking for a good snack food, try a can of nuts.

LOVE: Nuts are a good protein source, a good healthy vegetable fat source.

GUPTA: Avocados are also full of healthy saturated fats that can help boost good cholesterol. Oily fish like salmon are rich in cholesterol-lowering omega 3s which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of clotting. Then for course is everybody's favorite, chocolate.

KATHERINE TALLMADGE, NUTRITIONIST, AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSN.: The cocoa is full of compounds called flavonols and produce a lot of benefits. Relaxing blood vessels, reducing blood clotting, improving blood flow.

GUPTA: OK. But despite the benefits of chowing down on chocolate?

TALLMADGE: Keep sweets or sort of extra foods to about 10 percent of your calories per day.

GUPTA: So here is to your heart health.


GUPTA: And we're going to put a lot of the names of those foods on as well in case you missed it. One thing you can take away from this is that try to get as many colored foods in your diet as possible. The brighter the color, the better. John, I try to eat seven different colored foods a day. You've heard me talk about that. I think it really gives you a good variety and gives you that good stuff again.

ROBERTS: Yes, I love the orange color of my cheese grits!


GUPTA: Jelly beans and cheese grits don't count, John.

ROBERTS: Sanjay, that's great. Always appreciate it. Thanks so much.

GUPTA: All right.


CHETRY: We're ticking that off in our head. Cheetos are orange, all right. Those are great. How about that?

Anyway, impaired while talking. This little boy certainly wasn't himself after a visit to the dentist, and he has become an Internet sensation. We are going to see who else is caught on tape and having some trouble talking. It actually cost one world leader his job. Fifty-five minutes after the hour.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this real life?



CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Talking while impaired can spell trouble for politicians in front of an open mike. In fact, take Japan's finance minister. He appeared to be bombed at a news conference last week, and this morning, he is out of a job. CNN's Jeanne Moos has more.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Falling asleep at your own press conference is bad, but maybe it's worse to wake up and slur your speech.


MOOS: Drunk, cried critics of Japan's finance minister. He says it was just too much cold medicine. When it comes to examples of people apparently drunk at the mike, our cup runneth over.

With former Russian leader Boris Yeltsin, you could never be quite sure whether he was soused or just jolly, but sometimes there's no denying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to kiss you. I couldn't care less about the team struggling.

MOOS: From Joe Namath to Anna Nicole Smith.

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, ACTRESS: And if I ever record an album -

MOOS: She made French president Nicolas Sarkozy seem sober, and maybe he was.


MOOS: President Sarkozy later explained, "I was not drunk, just out of breath from racing upstairs."

There's something mesmerizing about watching another human being in an altered state. Take the latest kid sensation, David. After the dentist, his dad taped him as the anesthesia wore off.

DAVID: Is this real life?

MOOS: One viewer admitted to watching this 36 times.

DAVID: I, I feel funny. Why is this happening to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's OK, bud. It's just from the medicine. OK?

DAVID: Is this going to be forever?


MOOS (on-camera): It's going to be forever, all right. Captured forever on YouTube.

But before you say how could his dad exploit the poor kid that way, the poor kid seems thrilled with his fame and expressed his gratitude.

DAVID: Thank you for watching me after the dentist.

MOOS: But don't believe every slur you hear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are rumors in this country that President Bush is drinking again!

MOOS: An altered state might just be an altered tape.

PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I thank the leaders. This when I called him on the phone. We're strategizing. MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York. Cheers!


ROBERTS: There you go. Thanks so much for joining us...

CHETRY: Yes, don't slow down our tape, please. We've got to go.

ROBERTS: ... on this AMERICAN MORNING. We'll be back here again tomorrow. Yes, speed it up (INAUDIBLE).

CHETRY: Right now, here's "CNN NEWSROOM" with Heidi Collins.