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American Morning

Missing Girl Found In Florida Swamp; Earthquake Hits Remote Province in China; Neil Armstrong Criticizes Obama for Cutting NASA Programs; Obama's Space Plan; Tweet Dreams; China's Bubble Trouble

Aired April 14, 2010 - 07:00   ET



KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome. Glad you're with us this morning It's 7:00 on this Wednesday, April 14th. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Jim Acosta. Here are the big stories we'll be telling you about in the next 15 minutes.

This is an amazing one -- lost and found, an incredible story this morning of a Florida girl who got lost deep in an alligator infested swamp, missing for days, but this morning she is safe. How she was found has left everyone amazed.

CHETRY: Also, at least 400 people are dead and thousands of others wounded after a 6.9 magnitude quake hit a remote area called the Qinghai province. A string of powerful aftershocks followed overnight. John Vause is traveling to the quake zone with the latest for us coming up.

ACOSTA: And the first astronaut to set foot on the moon has a bone to pick with President Obama. Neil Armstrong on the record saying America's space program is about to embark on "a long, downhill slide to mediocrity." The program he wants the president to put back in NASA's budget in just a moment.

CHETRY: But first, it's a happening ending to tell you about this morning. An 11-year-old girl disappeared last Friday in a Florida swamp full of alligators and snakes. After four tense days of searching and praying, 11-year-old Nadia Bloom was discovered yesterday. She was found by a family friend about a half mile from her home.

That friend, James King said it was god that helped him find the missing child. Our David Mattingly is live at CNN right now in the CNN center in Atlanta. Tell us first of all, how she got there in the first place. This is an area, as you pointed out, rescuers had to use machetes to get through the brush.

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's what rescuers were remarking about yesterday, how did she get there? This is so dense that they thought there's no way an 11-year-old is going to try to go into that area. But that's where she was. That's where this man found her, and so many people today are calling that coincidence a miracle.


MATTINGLY: Her tiny hand waving from the stretcher was Nadia Bloom's way of telling everyone she was OK. It was an amazing end to a search in which the 11-year-old seemed to vanish without a trace until a remarkable 911 call from her rescuer's phone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, this is Nadia. I'm the girl who got lost.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nadia, are you OK? You're not hurt in any way?

MATTINGLY: Mildly autistic Nadia was dehydrated, hungry, barefooted, and covered with insect bites. Volunteer James King says he was calling on his faith when he found her.

JAMES KING, FOUND MISSING GIRL: Speaking scriptures and yelling "Nadia!" Then I heard, "What?" And I said, that way, right there.

MATTINGLY: It was in one of densest, muddiest part of the swamp near Nadia's central Florida home. At first the 911 operator couldn't believe it.

KING: Almost right in the middle of the swamp.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're in contact with her?

KING: I'm holding her right now. She's OK. She has bites all over her, some scratches.

MATTINGLY: Working alone, King was able to do what scores of trained officers and divers and a specially equipped helicopter could not. After spending four nights in the snake invested thicket Nadia told the 911 operator she was doing some praying of her own.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I kept saying over and over, god will lead me home.

MATTINGLY: King and Nadia's family once attended the same church. Tuesday night, that church and the community around it celebrated what some are calling a miracle.


MATTINGLY: And the police chief of Winter Springs Florida calling James King a hero. Kiran?

CHETRY: It really is just wonderful. What a relief for her parents. Four days, not having any idea where she was. You said besides the bug bites and little bit of dehydration, she's fine.

MATTINGLY: That's right. And after King went in there and made contact with her, he was able to direct rescuers there and they were able to triangulate the cell phone signal. Then he threw toilet paper over a tree to signal to a helicopter visually where they were.

It took rescuers, a team of them, about a half hour to get in there using machetes. That show you how dense this vegetation was. All in all it took about two hours to get in there and administer some IV fluids to her and get her to the hospital, where she's doing pretty well according to the doctors.

CHETRY: Just amazing. David Mattingly for us this morning, thanks so much. Coming up in the next hour we'll talk to James King himself to find out how he says he was led to the little girl.

ACOSTA: Amazing.

Also developing this morning, a powerful 6.9 earthquake and a series of strong aftershocks hit a remote region of China overnight in the Qinghai province. A top official says at least 400 people are dead and thousands more are hurt. Some are still trapped under rubble and homes have been destroyed. Roads are blocked with debris.

Right now our John Vause is working to get into the quake zone and has the very latest for us.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Jim and Kiran, we're heading up into the mountains right now. It's about 12,000 feet above sea level, essentially the foot hills of the Himalayan Mountains. We're heading to a town known as Jiegu (ph), very close to the epicenter, where about 100,000 people live.

That's where one official has said 85 percent of the buildings there have been badly damaged or have collapsed. Along the way we've seen convoys of military trucks carrying relief supplies, tents, as well as medical equipment.

There are reports that very limited heavy earth moving equipment in this part of China, and so rescue workers on the scene right now are using shovels and trying to remove the debris with the bare hands. A boarding school and elementary schools has collapsed with students still trapped underneath the rubble of that school.

Also, thousands of soldiers have been dispatched from all around China from neighboring provinces heading to this part of China right now, including a medical team which has been trained to deal he is especially in high altitude situations like this. They are also sending in oxygen because the air up here is so thin.

Also 5,000 tents as well as 50,000 blankets and coats. It's freezing temperatures up here at night, and also high winds are in the region. And that's hampering rescue efforts as well.

Jim and Kiran, back to you.

CHETRY: John Vause for us, thanks.

ACOSTA: Thanks, John.

CHETRY: Also new this morning, a former federal mine chief will be leading an independent investigation into what caused the deadly explosion at a West Virginia coal mine. Davit Macintyre also investigated the 2006 Sago mine disaster.

The bodies of all 29 miners who died last week have now been recovered from the Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, West Virginia.

ACOSTA: And one officer suspended and more could be soon for the beating of a Maryland college student at a victory party. The police chief says he's very disappointed after seeing this video of the apparently unprovoked attack. Officers initially said the man attacked them during the Maryland-Duke postgame celebration last month, Kiran.

CHETRY: A judge orders a small county in southern Mississippi to stop segregating its schools. The Justice Department says that for years school official illegally transferred hundreds of white students out while grouping African-American students in the same classrooms.

ROBERTS: More problems for Toyota temporarily suspending sales of the Lexus GX-460 vowing to get to the bottom of a possible safety problem with the SUV. "Consumer Reports" uncovered a high roll over risk while making turns in the GX-460. Toyota is asking Lexus dealers to halt sales until the problem is identified and fixed.

CHETRY: Midwest Airlines name is going away, but not the signature chocolate chip cookies. The company that owns Midwest and Frontier Airlines announced the two are merging and flying under the Frontier banner later this year. The cookies will continue to be served on all flights.

ACOSTA: And on the eve of this year's tax deadline, another sign of the economic times. More Americans are doing their own taxes. According to the IRS, the total number of electronically filed self- prepared returns was up 6.7 percent. The number of returns e-filed by tax professional was down nearly two percent.

CHETRY: You could file online for free.

ACOSTA: It is getting easier. But also it is expensive to have somebody do them for you.

CHETRY: It sure is.


CHETRY: You can call it a space smack down I guess. At 7:13 eastern, the first man to walk on the moon issuing a challenge to President Obama. Why Neil Armstrong believes the White House is sending America's space program into a tailspin.

ACOSTA: At 7:20 eastern, Twitter's plan for a profit. The wildly popular social networking giant is finally selling advertisements. I think people will have problems with this, maybe, possibly. Will it pay off?

CHETRY: We'll see. Also, at 7:53 Eastern, could ancient medicine from India help in the fight against Alzheimer's disease? That and more coming up in your "A.M. House Call."

It's 10 minutes past the hour.


ACOSTA: The crew is not allowed to rock out.

CHETRY: Yes, they are. We encourage rocking out.


Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Guess who is saying to the moon, President Obama? Neil Armstrong, American hero, calling out President Obama, the first man ever to step foot on the moon claiming the White House is about to send the space agency into a tailspin.

CHETRY: Ed Henry joins us live from the White House this morning. It's interesting that Armstrong and some of his space friends writing this letter to the president questioning his plans for NASA. If you look at it on its surface, they're getting billions of dollars for NASA.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Clearly this White House is trying to find a compromise. They've been taking a lot of heat because the president's original budget plan would have cut off funding for some of the existing rocket programs. That's politically unpopular on the hill with lawmakers from states like Florida, fearing a lot of layoffs and what not from these costs.

That's why, you mentioned that letter from Neil Armstrong and some of the other rock stars of the small fraternity saying in the letter to the president, quote, "Without the skill and experience and spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be a long downhill slide to mediocrity. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space."

The White House position has been these are tough times. There have been to be some tough budget choices made, and they've seen NASA as a place where they want to shift priorities. I think it's clear now they've given some of this criticism from the former astronauts and others.

The president is trying to shift a little bit and compromise and going to Cape Canaveral tomorrow to try to mend this, if you will, Kiran.

ACOSTA: Washington, we have a problem, is that essentially the feeling they have having inside the White House, Ed? The president is heading to Florida on Thursday to meet with NASA and he's promising a fairly large investment in the Kennedy Space Center. But I was just down in that part of Florida just recently, and folks are just sentimental about the space shuttle mission. They don't want to see it end.

And potentially, I mean, is this possibly a political problem for the president in what is a very critical state?

HENRY: You're right. I mean, put your finger on it. Florida being such a critical and pivotal sort of swing state in these presidential elections, they have to at least have their eye on that in part. But what the White House keeps insisting is they are looking at this more from the budgetary standpoint, what are the priorities for the country?

If you lay out what the president wants to do, what he's going to talk about tomorrow in Florida, is basically several billion dollars more, $6 billion more for NASA over the next five years. Talking about jump-starting a New industry with thousands of New jobs, and modernizing Kennedy Space Center to try to placate folks who are upset about all of this.

All of these initiatives from the president, the White House says, will save about 2,000 jobs at Kennedy Space Center. But there are several thousand more who are still expecting layoffs. So, even as he shifts this, as you mentioned, Florida has already been one of those states particularly hard hit in this great recession. Now some of these cutbacks at NASA could make it that much worse -- Jim.

ACOSTA: And then there's the symbolic part of all this, which is we're going to be relying on the Russians lifts up to the space station.

CHETRY: Yes, getting to the space station.

ACOSTA: And I imagine that's going to rub people the wrong way. You know, cuts have to be made to the budget, obviously, and we can't continue a program forever. But you have to wonder --

HENRY: And that's why they're trying to find some compromises, because, you know, the Orion space capsule, for example, was something that Neil Armstrong was particularly upset about. That funding was going to be cut off all together.

Now the White House is saying they're going to try to shift the Orion so that it will actually still be used, but as sort of an emergency escape vehicle for the International Space Station. So they're trying to find uses for some of these rockets and systems so that they are not mothballed all together, but you're right, there's till going to be some anger out there -- Jim.

CHETRY: All right. Ed Henry for us this morning.

ACOSTA: All right. Thanks. Yes.

CHETRY: Thanks so much.

HENRY: Thank you.

CHETRY: Well, back in the 1960s, James Brown declared it's a man's world. But in 2010, are men living in a woman's world? More men are marrying up. More women are better educated.

ACOSTA: Our Carol Costello looks at whether we need to save the American male.

And, of course, we want to hear what you have to say on this or any other story on our blog at It sounds like we're an endangered species now. Is that what --

CHETRY: Well, or maybe you're not pulling your weight. You know?

ACOSTA: All right. Fine. You mean this morning or --

CHETRY: Just in general.


CHETRY: There are 70 million of them, by the way. Very soon, your business has a very fast way to reach every single one of them.

Are these available males, too, Stephanie Elam, or are we talking about something else?


CHETRY: I haven't counted.

ELAM: I know, I have not counted them.

But you know what? We are talking a little bit about Twitter, and they're making a move to update their business plan. So what does that mean to all of you Twitterers out there, you Twitterati?

I'm going to explain it to you right after this break, so stay with us on "The Most News in the Morning."



ACOSTA: See, I just wish they would have cut to you five seconds earlier.

CHETRY: But they didn't.

We're doing a little bit of our own playlist this morning. So, so far --

ACOSTA: Yes. I wouldn't call it ours.


CHETRY: So far, Jim has had Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York."

ACOSTA: That's right. Good point.

CHETRY: And it's more of a mix.

ACOSTA: That's right.

ACOSTA: There you go.

It is 7:21. Time to check your business -- "Minding Your Business."

Seventy million users -- we're going to roll along here -- and not a dime to show for it. Now Twitter is changing all of that, launching a new business model, getting ads into the mix. The social networking site has introduced promoted tweets that lets companies pay to have their messages appear in searches on the site.

CHETRY: Is this going to ruin the whole thing, Stephanie?

Stephanie Elam is here "Minding Your Business."

I mean --

ELAM: I'm checking in. I'm checking in on this one.

ACOSTA: Can you make this in 140 letters or characters or less?

ELAM: It's not you. You don't get to advertise.


ELAM: You don't, but the companies will have to do this. And it's a little bit of a change here, but I think a lot of people expected something was going to have to happen.

ACOSTA: Right.

ELAM: After all, it's really great to be popular, but business, the whole point of it is to make money. And Twitter hadn't really figured out a way to do that.

So, these are going to be called promoted tweets. And what's going to happen here is that when you do a search on the site, what will pop up at the top of your search page results will be ads that are paid for by Twitter's ad partners, and they'll show up at the top. So we're talking about companies like Virgin America, Best Buy, Sony and Starbucks. Those are some of the first companies that are going to be involved, and they'll pretty much look like regular tweets, except for it will say a little advertisement on there.

We got this news. It came from the co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone. He posted it on his blog, that this is what they were going to do.

He said, "We'll attempt to measure whether the tweets resonate with users and stop showing promoted tweets that don't resonate." So, unlike other mediums, they can actually see, hey, you know what? No one's clicking on that ad, it's not working, so we need to try to do something different.

So that's what will be different here about this. But overall, it seems most everyone in the social media world agrees that Twitter had to do something because it's really cool --

ACOSTA: We don't want it to go away.

ELAM: Right. And it's cool to be popular, but the whole point of being in business is to make money.

CHETRY: That's interesting. A lot of Web sites now, they say, you know, for companies, they follow us on Twitter, it was a way to sort of promote and get out maybe sales if you're, let's say, The Gap or a retail market. So I thought maybe they considered that one way to sort of make money.


ELAM: But they're not making off of that. Twitter is not making money off of that.

ACOSTA: YouTube does this.

ELAM: Yes. So this is not different. It's just showing a way for them to actually jump into the old money making pool.

So it's going to be different for all you Twitterers out there and Twitterati, which it's a new term for me, but it means the people who super-tweet all the time. That's the Twitterati.

CHETRY: There you go.

ELAM: Yes, learning things every day.

ACOSTA: There's a word for everything.

ELAM: Yes, like checking things out, and your up tempo and how it freaks you out, all that stuff. We learned a lot this morning.

CHETRY: Exactly. Exactly.

ACOSTA: We'll take it. That was more than 140 characters, but that's OK.

ELAM: I'm sorry. I'll work on that.

ACOSTA: Thanks, Stephanie.

Just ahead on "The Most News in the Morning," China's real estate boom is quickly becoming a bubble. Why the experts fear the end spells trouble not just for China, but for the entire global economy.

Coming up.


ACOSTA: Welcome back to "The Most News in the Morning." It is 7:26.

Now time for an "AM Original," something you'll only see right here on AMERICAN MORNING.

Did you know that property values in China are skyrocketing, Kiran?

CHETRY: Yes, experts say that the prices in March grew at a record pace despite government attempts to try to slow them down.

CNN Senior International Correspondent John Vause on the impending threat that the real estate market presents not just to China, but the rest of the world.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It all looks like an economic juggernaut -- tens of millions of new middle class consumers, a stock market which almost doubled in value last year. Economic growth the envy of the world, and everywhere across China, construction.

By one estimate, as many as 50,000 new skyscrapers will be built in the next 10 years. But right now, faster than they can be built, they are being sold -- apartments, villas and houses. In China's red hot real estate market, nowhere is hotter than here, the tropical island of Hainan, the Hawaii of China and a developer's nirvana.

(on camera): There's nothing for sale?


VAUSE: You've got nothing left for sale?

(voice-over): More property was sold on the island in the first five days of this year than for all of 2008.

(on camera): That sold out in, what, six weeks?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not six weeks, just two days.

VAUSE: Two days?


VAUSE (voice-over): At this high-end project right on the beach, hundreds from China's new money class were lining earlier this year for luxury homes like this, more than $1 million a pop.

(on camera): Who typically buys these apartments?


VAUSE: Rich people. Very rich people.

(voice-over): A buying frenzy fueled by more than a trillion dollars in bank lending and billions in government stimulus sent into overdrive when officials announced plans to make Hainan and its main city, Sanya, an international tourist harbor.

Sanny Li, a real estate agent from Beijing, came here to cash in, selling luxury apartments on the sidewalk next to a public bus stop.

(on camera): It's unusual to see people selling real estate at a bus stop.

"We're targeting people as they come to the beach just to let them know what we're selling," he says.

Last year, Jim Ree (ph), a retired businessman, bought three small apartments here with cash, about $90,000 each. "I'm not too sure about the exact number," he told me, "but the apartment should have doubled in value by now."

And he could be right. State media reports property prices in Sanya shot up 50 percent in the last year alone. Some analysts believe it's even higher.

(on camera): Right now we're looking over the city of Sanya. You can see the cranes, the scaffolding, all of the construction. But really, this could be a typical scene in so many other cities across China. A surging real estate sector in this country accounted for almost all of the increase in economic growth in 2009.

(voice-over): And this real estate boom has many worried.

DEREK SCISSORS, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: That's not the definition of a bubble. There is no such thing. So it's going to be a bubble with Chinese characteristics.

VAUSE: The problem in Beijing, how to slow runaway real estate prices without crashing the economy.

SCISSORS: It will be a rough patch for the Chinese economy coming out of this bubble.

VAUSE: And what happens in China won't stay in China. It could mean big trouble for a fragile global recovery. After all, it was a subprime crisis in the U.S. which sparked the great recession in the first place.

John Vause, CNN, Hainan Island, China.


CHETRY: As John pointed out, China's economy is growing at a breakneck pace. If it can't sustain that pace, what does it mean for the future of U.S. and China relations? Joining us now to break it down as part of our "China Rising" series James Fallows. He's a national correspondent for the "Atlantic" for the last three years living in China. James, thanks for being with us this morning.

And also joining us from Beijing this morning is Jing Ulrich, managing director and chairman of China Equities and Commodities at JP Morgan. Great to see you as well.

Jing, let me start with you. As John Vause described this massive real estate boom in China. We see prices on the rise nine consecutive months. Some skeptics are worried that it's happening too fast and if this bubble bursts would it be something similar to what happened here in the United States?

JING ULRICH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CHAIRMAN OF CHINA EQUITIES & COMMODITIES, JP MORGAN: Well, the Chinese situation is entirely different from that of the U.S. Hainan Island is a very unique case because that's the only tropical island in China. Clearly, there is a lot of money flowing to Hainan. However, if you look at the mainland of China, there are so many second tier, third tier cities that are not experiencing bubbles at all because (INAUDIBLE) is really driven by urbanization.

So I think the concerns about the property bubble and indeed the bursting of this so-called bubble are entirely overplayed. And I think the underlying strength in the Chinese economy, income growth, urbanization will continue to power the real estate market ahead.

CHETRY: Very interesting.

And James, 2.4 million U.S. manufacturing jobs went to China between 2001 and 2008. This growth that we're seeing in all of these sectors in China, can they be sustained and will it continue to be at the detriment of U.S. employment?


ULRICH: Well, it's not a zero-sum game.

CHETRY: I'm sorry. Let me get James to weigh in, and then we'll check back -- then we'll let you answer the question as well, Jing. Go ahead, James.

FALLOWS: I was going to say that I think that there are two separate questions. One whether is China's question of whether it can maintain the kind of growth necessary to keep its rural population employed and moving to the cities and going up and also develop a sort of higher level of industry than they've had over the last two or three decades, mainly low wage manufacturing. And a separate question about whether this is to the detriment of U.S. manufacturers.

From most of the time I've spent in Chinese factories, I think that strangely it's been a complimentary relationship for the U.S. and certainly true the Chinese manufacturing has been increasing at a time when a lot of jobs have been lost in the U.S.. It's hard to say that one is the cause of the other. And so I think that the U.S. manufacturing issue is something for its own domestic, our own domestic consideration as opposed to being directly tied to China.

CHETRY: Well, it's interesting that you say that, James, because yesterday, Christine Romans has been filing pieces on this "China Rising." She interviewed a guy who -- I mean, directly his job went to China, the company up and moved to China and he's getting retraining and other things here but he's out of a job as well as many others because they simply can do business cheaper.

FALLOWS: There are -- you know, having traced a whole lot of these factories that moved from one part of the world to another is true. There's a lot of manufacturing that is now done in China, that is not done in the U.S. and Europe. For example, assembling most of the parts of a computer is now done in China.

Most of the literal jobs that exist in China wouldn't be done by people if they were done in the U.S.. They would be robotized because the low wages in China make a different kind of work attractive there. The larger point is that most American or western companies as a whole have so far recaptured most of the value for those companies.

The concern for the U.S. is how that money goes inside the U.S.. There has been more to sort of the upper tier of the American society and less for the working class of America. So again it is a part of the globalization process. It's not quite as simple as a job moving to China.

CHETRY: All right. Well, I want to ask Jing about the green job situation. China has taken a lead now with these aggressive green job investments. 2009, China investing nearly $35 billion in green technology. The U.S. quite far behind, in second place, but investing about $18 billion. This is all according to Pugh Charitable Trust.

But when you take a look at what's going on in China, with green technologies, how big of a commitment is that? Are they going to be the world leader?

ULRICH: I think China will become the world leader in the future years. Look the country has 1.3 billion people. That's 22 percent of the global population. The country is very dependent on coal generation in terms of power. 75 percent of the energy come from burning coal, which of course carries a lot of detrimental effect on the economy.

So in the next 10 years, China will devote a huge amount of money. At first to green technology. In terms of wind farm building, wind power equipment and solar energy, nuclear power, (INAUDIBLE) I think China is going to become the world leader in this area. For one thing China has sufficient capital --

CHETRY: Right.

ULRICH: -- which other countries may not have. In addition, there is strong political determination to clean up the environment.

CHETRY: And James, I want to ask about that quickly because the president, our president said the nation that leads the world in the 21st century, clean energy will be the nation that leads in 21st century's global economy. Where does that leave the United States in terms of falling behind China in advancing green technologies?

FALLOWS: Right. It certainly leaves the U.S. with a great opportunity -- which can either take or miss here. I think Miss Ulrich is certainly right that in terms of manufacturing of many of these devices, China is likely to be a leader again for these lower cost manufacturing concerns. In terms of designing this sort of equipment and taking the lead and having it be a new source of growth in the long run. The U.S. should have a lead here because we have a scientific and research lead over China and most of the rest of the world.

So it's a matter of whether politically and in terms of venture capital and all the rest, U.S. firms, U.S. interests, U.S. consortia can make a major investment here. So that is our choice and one that I hope we will make in the years ahead.

CHETRY: I got you. Well, James Fallows as well -- as well as Jing Ulrich. Good to talk to both of you this morning, thanks.

FALLOWS: Thank you.

ACOSTA: It is 7:36. Still to come, are women winning the battle of the sexes? In some cases it's the man marrying up and it's the man who is less educated. Carol Costello, what's going on with this? Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jim, we've discussed this. It's a lack of machismo. There is a new effort now to bring back the macho male. I'll tell you about it after the break.



ACOSTA: Can I start this segment by saying that this part was written for me right here?

CHETRY: What? A man's home is his castle?

ACOSTA: Yes. And then I'm not just saying this naturally off the top of --


ACOSTA: Because my wife may be watching.

Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. It is 7:39. It has often been said that a man's home is his castle. But is the man's man of the 1960s when men were men, is that man's man being dethroned? Studies show more women are the main breadwinner, and they're becoming better educated.

Our Carol Costello is live in Washington this morning. Carol, I hope that you don't mind that I prefaced all of that. Because you and I have had this conversation. And I'm not going to go there. I'm going to let you go there.

COSTELLO: Oh, you went there the other day. You know there is a (INAUDIBLE) going on right now, Jim. ACOSTA: Really.

COSTELLO: This return to rugged masculinity as in goodbye metrosexual, hello, retrosexual. But that's not all. There's also a movement to introduce a new academic discipline in universities across the country, Male Studies. All of these things aiming to do one thing, save the American male.


(voice-over): "Mad Men," the TV show as many a contemporary man's fantasy. In 1960s America, men were men. Today --

(on camera): What would you say the state of man is right now?

LIONEL TIGER, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY: Males are at a point now where they are experiencing a considerable amount of dismay and uncertainty. And somewhat scorned in principle by females.

COSTELLO (voice-over): Lionel Tiger is one in a group of professors all men who support a new academic discipline, Male Studies. It explores the biology behind masculinity. It was born in part out of a concern our culture is feminizing boys.

TIGER: Don't by any means, let them drug your child to turn it into a girl, which is what effectively they do.

COSTELLO: Do you think that's really true? That if you give a kid Ritalin and it's a boy that they want to transform him into a she?

TIGER: Becomes less active, more physically compliant, less likely to bounce around the room.

COSTELLO (voice-over): Well, you may or you may not agree with that one. The fear of feminization is out there. Other men are fighting it, too. Not by studying the problem, but by going retro a la "Mad men."

They are dismissing less than masculine heroes like the guys in HBO's "Entourage." And embracing the macho heroes of old, like Theodore Roosevelt and Steve McQueen.

BRETT MCKAY, AUTHOR "THE ART OF MANLINESS": Now what does it mean to be manly?

COSTELLO: Brett McKay supports the retrosexual movement. Along with his wife, he wrote "The Art of Manliness" and says men can end the confusion by embracing the kind of machismo that includes honor and self-reliance.

MCKAY: I think it's a reflection of this idea that men, young men particularly want to grow up. They are tired of, you know, feeling like they are a teenager still.

COSTELLO: While a male studies class may help, Mckay says a good first step is simple. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to wrap it around --

COSTELLO: Dress like a man. And men seemed interested in going elegantly macho. Both Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers are now selling retro looks. As to whether the clothes or male studies will re-establish a manly man's place in the world? Who knows?


COSTELLO: As for what women think, in light of the fact men still dominate the top of the corporate ladder and still dominate all three branches of government, some comments for you this morning. This from the "Village Voice" blogs, "Enter retrosexualism as a way for these poor bewildered man lambs to regain their strength via a diet of hat wearing and shaving with a brush and razor."

And this one from the "Village Voice." I'm sorry that was from the "Village Voice." This is from the D.C. paper coming up. "Women's lives don't appear to be of much interest to the male study set. According to Tiger, male studies was forged in contrast with feminism, which he describes as a well meaning, very colorful denigration of maleness as a force."

In other words, some women think this is just an attack on feminism and it's just a group of males blaming women for their problems.

We want to know what you think this morning. And we've already gotten some comments, Is that correct?

CHETRY: Yes, that's right.

ACOSTA: Great segue.

CHETRY: The blog is up and running this morning. Gail (INAUDIBLE) "I'm tired of men crying that they have no rights. Women can't even get an equal rights amendment passed by a predominantly male controlled election system. Don't believe me that women and children are second class citizens, when did the family room, devoted to family activities, become the man cave?"

ACOSTA: Hold on a second now. I don't have a man cave. But I would like to get one. The man cave is separate from the family room. Just so you get that straight.

CHETRY: Yes. In your 850-square-foot apartment in New York City, you would have to have a man corner.

ACOSTA: A man corner, yes.

CHETRY: There you go.

ACOSTA: For some, that's probably enough.

CHETRY: Well, so Carol, we're probably going to hear more after your piece, but a lot of people ringing in about reform as well. (CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: And weighing in on Sarah Palin who is going to be the headliner at the Tea Party rally up in Boston today. The tea party rally that Scott Brown will not be at.

CHETRY: Yes, and we had another interesting one.

Ken writes, "As long as greed is allowed to rule on Wall Street, there will be no reform and as long as Wall Street owns senators, Republican and Democrat, there will be no reform.

As long as the little man and the small banks have no place else to turn to loans, there will be no reform."

ACOSTA: Good comments this morning. Be a part of the conversation. Go to That's where you'll find our blog, and we'll be reading your comments throughout the morning.

CHETRY: Meantime, it is now 45 minutes past the hour. Jacqui Jeras coming along. She's got some good news for us in the forecast, a little bit of sunshine --

ACOSTA: Good. I'll take it.

CHETRY: -- after the break.


ACOSTA: It is 7:48. Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.

It's time for a quick check at this morning's weather headlines. Jacqui Jeras is in the Extreme Weather Center this morning for us. Good morning, Jacqui.

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, good morning guys.

We're looking at pretty steady weather, I would say, over the next couple of days based on our weather pattern here. We have what we call a trough ridge pattern, meaning it's going to be cool across the west, warm across the east, and all the action happening across the nation's midsection, high pressure blocking the system out and not allowing it to advance.

So that means the rains could be heavy at times across the Southern Plain states later this week and cause a little bit of flooding, but it also means great news for those of you out east who love the sunshine and liked comfortable conditions.

In the meantime, that system bringing showers across the upper Midwest, a little bit heavier in the overnight hours, where (ph) weakening now as it advances eastward, but as the temperatures heat up throughout the day today, we think we'll see more redevelopment. The northeast looking really high and dry, really nice and clear here, but we are looking at some foggier conditions for just the south and the mid-Atlantic into the Carolinas. A picture to show you this morning out of Charlotte, North Carolina, where you've got partly cloudy skies and your temperature is 49 degrees. You can see a little bit of that low fog and that haze through the area. This should be burning off probably by about 10:00, maybe 11:00 at the latest.

Now, where the skies are clear to the north, that allowed all that heat that was collected during the day to radiate back into the atmosphere, so really cool temperatures to start you out with. And we do have some frost advisories in effect for interior parts of the northeast, not really impacting the big cities.

That little back door cold front keeping you cool today, with only highs in the 60s, but look at this across the nation's midsection, highs in the 80s. We're looking at temperatures about 10 to 20 degrees above where you should be for this time of year, so enjoy it while it lasts.

ACOSTA: Warmer in Chicago than it is here. Oh, my goodness.

JERAS: I know.

CHETRY: They get to have some fun every once in a while, right?

ACOSTA: Every once in a while.

JERAS: After this winter they've had, they deserve it.

CHETRY: Yes. You're right. You're right, Jacqui.

All right, 50 minutes past the hour. We'll be right back.


CHETRY: Time for your "A.M. House Call".

Researchers think that they have found the gene that could predict whether or not a person is at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

ACOSTA: Could this be a medical breakthrough? That is the question.

Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us live with the details this morning. Hello, Elizabeth. Good morning.


Jim and Kiran, this is really fascinating scientifically. Basically, what this gene does is, if you have it, you are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's late in life.

Now, let's look at what the risk is if you don't have the gene. If you don't have this gene, if you're a woman, you have a one in five chance of developing Alzheimer's after age 65. If you're a man, one in 10. And, again, this gene doubles the risk. Now, you might want to think -- you might think, well, gee, do I want to get tested for this gene? Do I want to know? Well, the answer is you can't even get tested for it even if you did want to know and even in years to come, if you can get tested, it's not clear if you'd want to because there's not a whole lot, necessarily, that you could do if you know that you carry this gene.

But hopefully, knowing that this gene is there will help scientists come up with better treatments and better prevention for Alzheimer's disease -- Jim, Kiran.

CHETRY: That's interesting.

So what can people do now to prevent Alzheimer's or to -- you know, to try to lower their chances of getting it? Is there some evidence that what you eat can really make a difference in terms of keeping your brain healthy?

COHEN: Yes, there actually is. There have been many studies that look at what people eat and then look at whether or not they get Alzheimer's later in life.

And so, here's what they found. This is according to the "Journal of the American Medical Association", that certain foods can decrease your risk of getting Alzheimer's by as much as 40 percent.

So, we call them brain foods -- nuts, fish, fruits, and dark, leafy vegetables, that all of those decrease your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease, plus good things to eat anyhow for your heart and, well, other parts of your body as well -- Jim and Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Cool.

ACOSTA: Good stuff.

CHETRY: Thanks so much, Elizabeth.

Fifty-five minutes past the hour. Your top stories coming your way right after this break. We'll be right back.