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American Morning

Black Friday and Turkey Thursday Collide; Americans Students Being Released; James Murdoch Resigns; "Occupy" Activists Target Holiday Shopping; NBA Fans Protest Lockout, Demand Refunds; American Students Detained in Egypt Released; Expert Gives Advice on Carving Turkey; American Students Freed in Egypt; The "Last Supper" in the Lone Star State

Aired November 24, 2011 - 07:59   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Washington. It's clear and 42 degrees. I thought we're going to have a picture of the capitol, but we're not. Instead we're looking at the set up for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade about to get under way. We'll have all the details for you live.

ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. I'm Alina Cho. A Thanksgiving dilemma with so many stores offering Black Friday bargains. Will it be food, football and family for you? Or finding the hottest deals? On this AMERICAN MORNING.

COSTELLO: And good morning. Happy Thanksgiving. It is Thursday, November 24th.

Ali and Christine have the day off. I hope they're having fun. I'm sure they're having fun with their families.

CHO: Or they're sleeping.

COSTELLO: I'm sure Christine is working probably now.

CHO: I'm sure.

Good morning, everybody. I'm Alina Cho, along with Carol Costello.

Happy Thanksgiving. Glad you're with us.

We begin with breaking news. Egyptian authorities in the process of releasing three American students who were held in Cairo on suspicion of taking part of the violence during a Tahrir Square protest against the country's military rulers.

Just a few minutes ago, we spoke with Joyce Sweeney. She's the mother of one of the freed students and she says the three of them will get a medical examination before being officially released. And at least her son is coming home.

COSTELLO: She is one happy woman this morning.

CHO: That's right.

COSTELLO: It is a day of celebration and tradition and what's more traditional than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, now celebrating its 85th year.

Jason Carroll is live along the parade route making new friends.


You know, I like to serve it up a little old school. So, joining me for this live shot are some of my friends from Sesame Street. I want to close up behind, Tom the turkey. I got Elmo. You know Elmo. I got Zoe here and also Rosita.

What are you having this Thanksgiving?

PUPPET: Turkey!

CARROLL: Turkey?

I know you guys will sing a song, right?


ZOE: "Meet me on Sesame Street."

CARROLL: Have you practiced? Are you all ready?

Who else are you looking forward to seeing in this year's parade?

ZOE: Elmo doesn't know who else is in it.

CARROLL: Zoe, too. I think all you guys are the stars.

ELMO: Who else?

ZOE: Do you know?

CARROLL: Well, I know big bird is on the float.


CARROLL: Really?

ELMO: Yes.

CARROLL: So, maybe he'll sing with you guys. That will be fun. What would you say to all those kids out there watching?

ZOE: We love you.

ELMO: We love you.

ROSITA: Enjoy your families.

PUPPET: Happy Thanksgiving.

ELMO: Right around the corner is Christmas.


CARROLL: We're not ready for Christmas yet. Also, I know two of your biggest fans are Alina Cho and Carol Costello.


COSTELLO: Right at the critical moment.

PUPPET: Happy thanksgiving.

CARROLL: This is my -- back to you. Parade starting in about an hour, right?

We're ready, you guys.

CHO: We got the gist of it. Even with the technical problems, it was fun.

CARROLL: Group hug.

CHO: Oh. Bottom line, they're big fans of us.

COSTELLO: I'm sure they love us. That's what they said.

CHO: Exactly. Happy Thanksgiving, Jason. Thank you.

COSTELLO: All right. Let's go to Atlanta and check in with Bonnie Schneider to see if any nasty weather is moving in today.

Good morning, Bonnie.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. Great weather for Sesame Street and everybody out at the parade enjoying nice conditions, which is great news. Originally, it looked like a windy one. I don't think we'll see the strong winds. In fact, temperatures will be climbing into the mid-50s. That is nice for this time of year in New York.

The winds will be a little bit breezy out of the northwest, so you'll feel a cool breeze and nothing too strong. It should be really, really nice for this parade for this year.

Now, for those of you driving and a lot of people not quite where you want to be for Thanksgiving just yet and if you're getting on the road in Texas or Oklahoma, be careful out there. There's still quite a bit of fog. That holds true for Tennessee and Kentucky. We'll see low visibility, with visibility in some areas less than a quarter of a mile.

So, allow plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you as you head on the roads.

If you're up early in the Bay Area and San Francisco, lots of rain coming through. It's still early there this morning and heading on the roads, just be careful because we're seeing a lot of wet areas out west. In fact, that's where we're anticipating the longest airport delays today. Seattle and San Francisco, they could be up to an hour as we go through the morning and the afternoon today.

Otherwise, low clouds in Boston. Look for delays there. In the Midwest, Chicago and Minneapolis facing delays, as well as Detroit and Cleveland. I mention that fog in Dallas and Memphis.

But the good news is it will burn off and we'll see sunshine developing and very mild temperatures. In fact, most of the country enjoying a fairly mild Thanksgiving. There's always exceptions and, as you look towards, you'll see a little cooler in Seattle and Portland in the 40s.

But important to note for those of you heading out to an early start to Black Friday, like tonight, temperatures will be comfortable if you're waiting in line to catch your best sale in the stores. The stores are opening pretty early. So, you won't have to wait in line for long.

CHO: That's right, because Carol is going to leave and pitch a tent in front of Best Buy.

COSTELLO: That sounds really fun to me.

CHO: Bonnie, thank you.


CHO: Speaking of which, food, family and football are scoring that 42-inch TV for 200 bucks. Well, it's a tough choice for millions of Americans this Thanksgiving as Black Friday and Turkey Thursday collide.

Here's Maggie Lake.


MAGGIE LAKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As millions of Americans sit down for their Thanksgiving feast this Thursday -- many others will spend t their evening in a much less tranquil setting. Don't look now, but Black Friday is fast turning into black Thursday.

Among the chains opening their doors Thanksgiving Day, Wal-Mart, where stores are offering holiday deals beginning at 10:00 p.m. And Toys "R" Us, where most stores open at 9:00. Macy's, Target and other chains that used to open early Friday morning will now open at the stroke of midnight.

Some who follow the retail scene call this a troubling trend.

TIFFANY YANNETTA (ph): It's like, where is it going to stop? Are we going to be open all night on Christmas Eve or going to be open on Christmas Day and how Thanksgiving next year or is everybody just going to be at Target?

LAKE: A backlash has already begun. Thousands signed a petition to get Target to open later, but with budgets tight and Americans already shopping online on Thanksgiving, analysts say retailers have no choice.

HOWARD DAVIDOWITZ, DAVIDOWITZ & ASSOCIATES: I would say, you better do everything you can to get those customers in as early as possible. They've only got x dollars to spend. That's all they're going to spend. So, the idea that the stores have is we better get those dollars first because once they spend it, they're done.

LAKE: Still, shoppers in Times Square are not happy at all with the prospect of trading dinner for deals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To have to weigh, am I going to get together for Thanksgiving with my family or go save a couple bucks. It's a shame, I think.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they should wait unit the day after, you know, 8:00 in the morning, 9:00 in the morning. Instead of ruining people's holiday.

LAKE: But in Florida, shoppers are already camped out, in hopes of being first in the door. Big crowds are expected by Thanksgiving afternoon.

DAVIDOWITZ: I think there are going to be tremendous lines. I think there's going to be fights over the door busters.

The stores aren't doing anything wrong. They're offering the consumer more convenience. More time to shop. More deals. What are they angry about?

LAKE: Never underestimate the power of an eye popping deal, especially in these troubled economic times.

Maggie Lake, CNN, New York.


CHO: Well, speaking of shopping, prepared to be monitored at the mall. Starting on Black Friday, two major U.S. malls will track every step that shoppers take by monitoring their cell phone signals.

Are you kidding me? Officials at the malls in southern California and Richmond, Virginia, say no personal data will be collected, insisting they're trying to identify shopping patterns.

COSTELLO: Makes you want to hang out in the bathroom in the mall constantly to mess up their monitoring thing.

Back to our breaking news this morning: Egyptian authorities in the process of releasing three American students who are held in Cairo on suspicion of taking part of the violence during the Tahrir Square protest against the country's military rulers.

Let's bring in CNN's Ben Wedeman. He's live in Cairo.

What do you know, Ben?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've heard from the spokesman of the Egyptian prosecutor general that these three young men, students at the American University Cairo detained by Egyptian security forces, accused of participating in these protests, accused of throwing Molotov cocktails have been released. These three young men, Derrik Sweeney, Gregory Porter and Luke Gates, we're told have been released by a judge.

We're still, we haven't gotten confirmation from embassy authorities here. But it appears they are free at the moment -- Alina.

COSTELLO: Ben, this is Carol Costello.

We talked to Joyce Sweeney, Derrik's mother, earlier. She said she's talked to an American official and that the boys were going to get a medical exam and then they were going to be brought back to their dorm, and then probably they would have to leave the country because things would be too dangerous for them to stay.

WEDEMAN: Well, it's hard to say if it's dangerous for them to stay. But, you know, their faces have been all over Egyptian television and certainly it might be a wise idea to get them out of the country, whether they actually did anything or not -- Alina.

CHO: It's hard to know at this point. You know, we'll have to wait and hope that we can speak to those students at some point soon.

Ben Wedeman live for us in Cairo -- Ben, thank you very much.

Still ahead, thinking of and being thankful for our brave military service members. We're not just -- we're not just saying we're doing it. How you can get involved with holiday mail for heroes, next.

It's nine minutes past the hour.


COSTELLO: Good morning, Washington.

Looking like a beautiful day. Fair skies right now. 39 degrees. The sun will shine later, too, with a high of 59.

CHO: What a gorgeous way to wake up on this Thanksgiving.

COSTELLO: I know, it's a beautiful shot. They could have ended up next to mashed potatoes and stuffing. That's so cold, isn't it?

But two turkeys caught the luckiest break ever. President Obama pardoned the two named Liberty and Peace in a time honored Thanksgiving tradition. That's Liberty. Peace is not pictured because Peace, you know, is kind of shy.

President issued an executive order at a White House ceremony yesterday. Watch.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: From our family to yours, I want to wish everybody a wonderful and happy and healthy Thanksgiving. And now, since Liberty and Peace have been so patient, it is my privilege to grant them the official pardon. And I'm going to - I've got to give them a little symbol.

All right. What to you think? Are we ready?

All right. Here we go. OK.


OBAMA: You are hereby pardoned.


COSTELLO: There you go. Liberty and Peace will now retire to George Washington's home in Mt. Vernon.

CHO: We definitely want to give thanks to our men and women in military this Thanksgiving. We want to show you a fun and simple way to show your gratitude. It's called Holiday Mail for Heroes.

It started by the Red Cross five years ago. Since then, they received more than 5.3 million cards for our troops. The cards are screened by the Red Cross.

Good morning.


CHO: Happy Thanksgiving to you. You know, this is such a simple gesture that can make such a difference for our wounded warriors. Tell us how this program works.

KILLE: Well, basically, you know, anyone at home can take out pen, paper, some construction paper, greeting cards and just send a simple thank you. You know, when you think about it, our troops are out there, we have Thanksgiving because of them. So, this is just a really simple way to acknowledge what they're doing for us.

CHO: And where do you send them?

KILLE: Well, you send them to a post office box address where (INAUDIBLE) and screens them, and then they send out to Red Cross volunteers all across the country and around the world. We're stationed with our troops all over the world. And we deliver them.

CHO: So, if you just Google holiday mail for heroes, it will come up, and you can go to the Web site.

KILLE: You can go to our Web site,

CHO: OK. Perfect. And you can also do cards online, right?

KILLE: You can select cards online. You can make them at home. However, you want to do it, we make it really simple for everybody.

CHO: That's great. You know, some people might be saying, you know, why don't I just send a card myself to Walter Reed or, you know, maybe I can get it to them that way, but I'm surprised to learn, it actually won't go to the troops if you send it that way, right?

KILLE: Unfortunately, no. After 9/11 and the anthrax scare, the military stopped programs like any service member. So, you have to have the actual name of the service member, unless, you're an organization like the Red Cross, and through our holiday mail for heroes, we can actually get these cards into the hands of our troops, as well as wounded warriors at hospitals across the world.

CHO: It's such a great service and so needed, especially at this time of year. You know, your father was a marine. We mentioned that you were a marine. Just give a sense of them exactly what this does to troops in terms of morale, especially at this time of year.

KILLE: I remember that one of my first Christmases away from home, I was on a ship in Barcelona, Spain. I thought, how cool is that. I'm going to be in Spain for Christmas, but as soon as me and my buddies got off the ship, we found out that the streets were barren.

There was nothing open. So, we went back to ship, and it's a really lonely feeling. So, just getting a simple touch of home really can brighten the holidays for these young men and women.

CHO: And in fact, you brought some cards with you, right?

KILLE: That's right, and I'm hoping that you and the crew here will sign some of these for us. It's really a simple way just to thank our troops for what they're doing.

CHO: And so, I don't have to address it to anyone, right? Just sort of Happy Thanksgiving, happy holidays.

KILLE: Thank you for your service. Happy holidays.

CHO: OK. Wonderful. I'll do that right now. And tell us, again, if you're watching right now and you want to do this, it's as easy as picking up a card or going online to the Red Cross Web site.

KILLE: Go to All the cards need to be in by December 9th so that we can get them overseas in time.

CHO: OK. Wonderful. Thank you so much. I'll finish the signing a little bit later. Sam Kille with the American Red Cross, we thank you and Happy Thanksgiving. KILLE: Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving.

CHO: All right. And just a reminder, if you want to send a card, mail it by December 9th, P.O. Box 5456, Capitol Heights, Maryland 20791. That's the address. If you need the address again or you want to create a card online, go to We will also link the site on our blog,

COSTELLO: Coming up next, "Occupy Wall Street" protests spreading to the NBA. That's right, occupy the NBA, next. It's 18 minutes past the hour.


COSTELLO: Twenty-two minutes past the hour. "Minding Your Business" this morning.

U.S. stock markets are closed today for the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be an abbreviated session tomorrow with the closing bell sounding at one o'clock eastern.

Overnight in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down nearly two percent seeking to its lowest level in 32 months. European stocks trading slightly higher this morning.

GroupOn's big discount these days is GroupOn. The company stocks price is sinking fast. Shares fell 14 percent yesterday, the third straight day of massive declines. GroupOn shares have fallen nearly 40 percent this week.

Rupert Murdoch's son, James, has resigned from the boards of two companies that published News Corp newspapers. He came under fire for his handling of the UK phone hacking scandal. James Murdoch remains chairman of News International, though, and deputy chief operating officer of News Corp.

A record number of shoppers, about 152 million of them are gearing up for Black Friday and so are the stores. Many big retailers plan to open tonight. Among the major big box stores, Toys "R" Us will open its doors at 9:00 p.m. eastern tonight followed by Wal-Mart at 10:00 p.m.

In the meantime, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement has a new target, holiday shopping. Activists across the country are planning to march on Wal-Mart stores and are organizing sit-ins at malls to protest consumer overconsumption.

And here's one more, "Occupy the NBA." New York basketball fans staged a protest outside of Madison Square Garden. They're calling for full refunds for Knicks and Nets season tickets and demanding an end to the lockout. An upcoming day of solidarity will be announced that will take place at arenas across the country.

Up next, the three American college students jailed in Cairo have been freed this morning. We'll hear from one of their very joyous and thankful mothers. That's coming up next. AMERICAN MORNING is back after a break.



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHO (voice-over): Twenty-seven minutes after the hour. Breaking news. Just in to CNN. Three American college students who were arrested in Egypt on suspicion of taking part in those violent protests have now been released by a judge in Cairo. They were accused of throwing Molotov cocktails during a Tahrir Square demonstration against Egypt's military leaders.

COSTELLO (voice-over): After taking part in the protests in Cairo's Tahrir square, journalist, Mona Eltahawy was taken into custody. She tweeted that she was arrested and beaten at Egypt's interior ministry. Her latest tweet, though, bringing much better news. It says simply, "I am free."

CHO: There are no credible terror threats against the U.S. this holiday season, according to a notice sent to police departments by the FBI and homeland security. This is the first holiday season since the death of Osama Bin Laden. Officials say in the past terror organizations like al Qaeda plotted attacks during the holidays because they could target large crowds.

COSTELLO: Believe it or not, this is not holiday traffic. More than 100 cars literally stuck on the Pennsylvania turnpike because the turnpike, itself, the pavement was covered in sticky, black tar. A tanker truck dropped the stuff over nearly a 40-mile stretch. Workers covered the goo with sand to make it dry faster, but some cars just got stuck.

CHO: Talk about a Thanksgiving downer on your way to grandmother's house.

Well, this is less than 30 minutes away, more than three million people expected to pack New York City streets for the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 85th annual, by the way. You're looking live at the crowds and the balloons, 50 balloons in all. Some of them new and some of them old like Snoopy. The festivities kick off at 9:00 a.m. eastern time.

COSTELLO: Oh, and the weather is going to be fantastic. Tell us more, Bonnie Schneider.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it looks like it's going to be great for all the parade goers. I think, at least, you're not going to be bundled up too badly. We're also not expecting the intense wind that was forecast a little bit earlier on. So, that's more good news. Plenty of sunshine.

The winds will be a little bit cool because they will be out of the northwest at ten miles per hour, so keep that in mind. You'll definitely need a jacket if you're heading to watch the parade. If you're driving today in Texas or Oklahoma, we will have low visibility, and that means fog to start us off. It won't last long.

In fact, by ten o'clock this morning, a lot of that fog will burn off, but in the meantime, visibility will be poor, less than a quarter of a mile in places like Tennessee and even eastward towards Kentucky. Another travel trouble spot is out west. You can see in San Francisco, plenty of rain rolling into the area.

I know it's early out there, but if you're planning to catch a flight this morning, that may impact you because we are anticipating delays there as well as to the north and Seattle. Look for delays to the north and east in Boston due to low clouds and Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Dallas and Memphis.

But most of those delays will be in the morning due to fog. Across the country, high pressure for the eastern half of the U.S. and that means fair conditions with lots of sun. Temperatures are actually going to be mild for many locations for today. Notice Memphis high is 64 degrees, Chicago 56, New York City 54, and even Boston is 46, which isn't bad at all for November.

And we'll see 61 in Albuquerque. Now, for those of you that are heading out tonight, and I say tonight because Black Friday is getting an early start. Some of the stores open 10 o'clock this evening, maybe you're heading out there midnight. Well, good news. You won't have to bundle up too much. The temperatures are pretty much above freezing in the eastern half of the country.


CHO: We want to go to back to our breaking news. Egyptian authorities releasing three American students who were held in Cairo on suspicion of taking part in the violence during week-long protests in Cairo's Tahrir square against the country's military rulers. Just a few minutes ago we spoke with Joy Sweeney. She's the mother of one of the freed students. She got a phone call with the good news earlier today.


JOY SWEENEY, MOTHER OF STUDENT DETAINED IN EGYPT: We are just so blessed and grateful right now. God is awesome. I can't wait to give him a big hug.

CHO: So what have you heard?

SWEENEY: Well, I talked to Mr. Roberto Powers on the phone, I don't know, about an hour ago. And it was confirmed officially. He is, they are, all three of them, have been released. And the attorney general is not going to appeal.

And as I was speaking to Mr. Powers, the boys were being taken to a physician for medical examination and from there they were going to be taking the boys back to the police station for them to be officially all the paperwork being processed for them to be released. And then from there, somehow, either the university or the consulate, somebody was going to get them back to their dorm rooms, and at that point in time we would probably hear from them.

CHO: I was going to ask you, have either you or your husband talked to your son?

SWEENEY: No, no, no. They don't have their -- until they get to the police station, they won't have their cellphone backs. No, we have not been able to speak to them yet.

CHO: Did your husband talk to your son at any point?

SWEENEY: No, I did. Right after I think I talked to you.

CHO: So tell us what his mood was like then.

SWEENEY: He was still terrified. He was very, very concerned, adamant that they didn't do anything wrong, very confused. You know, gosh, just, just grateful to hear from me and I just let him know about the outpouring of love and support he had been receiving from all around the world.

CHO: So he will eventually get back to his dorm today. Will he be coming home then?

SWEENEY: Yes, yes.

CHO: No question there. Yes, he will.

SWEENEY: Adamant. You know, I mean, we haven't confirmed that with him, but Mr. Powers said that Derrik was one of the people that conveyed that he was ready to leave. And Mr. Powers said he would strongly advise it. He said their pictures have been plastered all over the news, all over the news over there. He said it wouldn't really be safe or prudent for him to stay in the country.

CHO: So, what is the first thing you're going to say to your son when you see him in person and you're able to throw your arms around him?

SWEENEY: Like I said, I cannot wait to give him a big hug. I don't know if I'll let go of him for the entire rest of the day. I'm so, you know, I'm going to say I love him, I love him, I love him. I'm so ecstatic that he's home and I just can't express how jubilant I am right now. I just am so happy.

CHO: That's so, so awesome. Throw some turkey in the freezer and save it for him.


SWEENEY: OK. We haven't even bought one yet. OK.

COSTELLO: Yes, you got bigger things on your mind, I guess.


CHO: Joy -- SWEENEY: It was one of those Thanksgiving holidays that buying food was the last thing on our list.

CHO: So awesome.

SWEENEY: Anyway, we will, we will definitely enjoy it and have so much to be thankful for.


CHO: Joy Sweeney. Derrik is coming home soon.

COSTELLO: That's right. And talk about being able to hear joy through the phone like that. I mean, that will be a Thanksgiving she will never forget, certainly. Good for them. And her son will be coming home soon.

I want to talk turkey now. It's Thanksgiving, of course, and you're going to be having a table full of holiday hungry guests later today, right, or you'll be going to somebody's house, maybe. Either way there is not time to mess around. How do you carve a turkey once it's done? Get a leg up next with last-minute tips from the pros.

It's 35 minutes after the hour.


COSTELLO: Just 20 minutes more, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade about to get underway. Good morning, New York, sunny and 39 degrees and later a gorgeous day with a high of 54.

CHO: Chamber of Commerce perfect, I might add. Welcome back on this Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Getting real about your Thanksgiving meal, Butterballs, turkey hotline which helped out about 100,000 poor souls figure out how to put the bird on the table last year is now answering calls, e-mails, even tweets today, some 12,000.

Carol Miller from Butterball has been with us all morning. We have been talking about prepping and putting it in the oven. Now it's out. How do you carve it? What's the first thing you should know? How long should it sit out?

CAROL MILLER, BUTTERBALL TURKEY TALK-LINE SUPERVISER: You really should let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. The juices settle and it's a lot easier.

CHO: That's agony, though.

MILLER: One of the calls our experts get is my turkey is ready and my company isn't coming for an hour. What you do, put it on the kitchen counter and put foil over it or towels on it. It will keep it warm. It's fine. It will be nice and cozy in there.

COSTELLO: That is a good tip. You can't time it perfectly.

MILLER: Let's get to the carving. Sharp knife is really important. So, you know, start --

COSTELLO: No electric carves knives any more.

MILLER: No, that's great. But make sure your knife is sharp.

Now, Butterball has this wonderful band of skin. You cut through that and you then do the skin that is between the breast and the dark meat. And Mother Nature is really good. There's a joint in there, and I'm not going to pop it off completely. There is a joint in there that you put the tip of your knife into that joint. You don't have to cut through the bone. You can snap that. So, we're going to pretend that that's off.

CHO: I didn't know there was such a science to it.

MILLER: Yes. And then, what you do is just go, you are saying, well, what are you doing down there? The breast is up there. What you're doing is making a cut through there right above the wing there and then you go up the breast and slice down so that when I get to that first cut it is just going to slide off.

Now, the experts at the talk line get this question on how to carve all the time. As you can imagine it's a little tricky to describe it over the phone, but what's good is that there are videos on that if you are the person that is going to do the -- you know, 60 percent of the people actually carve in the kitchen. But if you're on the show and you're in front of all the family and friends --

COSTELLO: You have to do it at the table so people can laugh at you.

MILLER: I always say have a good story or make everyone say what they're thankful about so they're not paying attention to you.

CHO: So, is it important to cut the meat on a slant?

MILLER: You know what, you want to go so you're in the right way of the grain. So, just keep going up and that's it.

Now, here's what also is important. We've feasted. Everyone has enjoyed and they had dessert and every member to get the turkey and all the trimmings back into the refrigerator in about two hours. So don't wait and don't go play football or shopping or whatever.

COSTELLO: Leave the turkey on the table and get back six hours later.

CHO: Two hours is the limit.

MILLER: That's the rule that you should remember.

CHO: What about my favorite day, the day after where you can eat the leftovers. You know, I was asking you earlier about this, if you want leftovers, you should account for about a pound and a half per person. MILLER: Correct. My turkey comes to my table huge, more than I need, because I want those leftovers. And what you want to do is you cannot eat them in about three to four days. Package them up in recipe ready packages. If you have two cups of cubed turkey, put it in a package and pop it into the freezer. Now it's Christmas and you're so busy and you've got shopping. Pull it out and put that turkey right into a salsa soup. We have great recipes.

CHO: What are some of the better recipes?

MILLER: You know, there's great recipes. I like comfort food. We have a great recipe for a four-cheese turkey mac and cheese. How can you go wrong for that? The turkey salsa soup is a soup where you just have to, you don't cook --

CHO: This is good for you ladies.

MILLER: It's just leftover turkey, soup, can of beans, can of corn and some hot salsa.

COSTELLO: That doesn't sound so hard.

MILLER: There you go.

COSTELLO: Before you go, you always have to get the wish bone out of the turkey. So where is the wish bone in the turkey because that is the most fun of Thanksgiving in my mind?

MILLER: It is. I was one of four and there was always a fight about that. It is right there.

CHO: So you take the meat off there and you pull it out.

MILLER: Give your brother the slippery end.

CHO: That is a good idea. There is one tricky end. I wish you could all smell this turkey. It is magnificent. Carol Miller, so fun this morning. So informative for us.

COSTELLO: I think next year I'm going to do it. I'm going to try, once again, to make a turkey. Even though my first turkey making was a complete disaster.

MILLER: Not complete.

CHO: It was bad.

COSTELLO: If we didn't answer your questions this morning, feel free to reach out to Butterball at 1-800-Butterball. They are also answering questions via Facebook and Twitter. Help is one tweet away.

CHO: All right, so we have the carving of the turkey down, but what about tossing the turkey. Check this out, several contestants lined up for a chance to win $50 and a turkey trophy, not to mention turkey trash talking rights. Look at that. A little light bowling, but turkey tossing is what it's called. The game is simple. Whoever knocks down the most pins wins. This year's winner said the secret is don't wear a coat. He said he was so cold and shaking so badly it actually improved his throw. That's such a terrible waste of turkeys. But it looks fun.

COSTELLO: Morning headlines coming your way, next. Plus, it's the end of an era in the Lone Star state. For thousands of football loving Texans this Thanksgiving feels more like the last supper.

It's 45 minutes past the hour.


CHO: Its 46 minutes after the hour.

Here are your "Morning Headlines" on this Thanksgiving Day.

Freedom for three American college students held in Egypt. They were released by a judge in Cairo this morning. The students were arrested on suspicion of taking part in violent protests against the ruling military council in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Egypt's military rulers are apologizing for the deaths of nearly three dozen demonstrators over the last week. Protesters have clashed with police in and around Tahrir Square demanding that the country's military leadership step down.

Actress Sienna Miller who's being hounded by the British press has made her scared and paranoid. She is testifying before a government panel, investigating media ethics. It follows allegations of widespread phone hacking by the now defunct "News of the World" tabloid. Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling will also testify.

U.S. markets are closed for the holiday and there will be an abbreviated session tomorrow with the closing bell ringing at 1:00 Eastern Time.

Overnight in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down nearly two percent, sinking to its lowest level in 32 months. European stocks trading slightly higher this morning.

The northeast is thankful for clear, sunny weather today. But more snow and rain in the forecast for the northwest. Spots of rain this Thanksgiving Day in the southwest, as well.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off in just a couple of minutes and they're ready to go. Live pictures now looking down on Central Park West in Manhattan. There will be more than 50 balloons floating high above Manhattan. This is the parade's 85th anniversary.

And "Occupy Thanksgiving", Occupy Wall Street organizers here in New York City are planning a Thanksgiving feast for thousands of protesters at Zuccotti Park.

All about family and football today: San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh will battle it out on the gridiron with his older brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens coach this Thanksgiving Day. It's the first time in NFL history that two brothers face each other as head coaches.

That's the news you need to know to start your day. AMERICAN MORNING is back after this.


COSTELLO: Oh it's beautiful weather nearly everywhere in the country. This is a picture of Chicago, cloudy and 42 degrees, but boy, it's going to be a great day. Partly cloudy and 55 degrees later on.

CHO: Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. I'm glad you're with us on this holiday. All over Texas today, college football fans will be sitting down at the dinner table for a meal that's been dubbed "the last supper". That's because a long-standing Thanksgiving tradition is about to become a footnote.

As our Ed Lavandera reports, the turkey won't go down easy.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So long to the orange and the white --


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No one ever imagined the good-byes and the fight songs of the University of Texas and Texas A&M would mean good-bye forever. On this Thanksgiving, though, a 117-year tradition comes to an end. Thanksgiving dessert in Texas has been watching the Aggies and Longhorns play football. They aren't dinner table big enough to say please sit this bitter rivals.

(on camera): When you hear the word Longhorns, what do you think?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A piece of beef to me is something I eat for dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of want to throw up a little bit.

LAVANDERA: When I say Aggies, what do you think of?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's almost like a derogatory term in a sense. You think it's somewhat beneath where you're standing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Little whiner, they ran off after 100 years of abuse.

LAVANDERA: UT and Texas A&M are separated by a 100 miles but culturally they might as well be from different planets.

EVAN SMITH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "TEXAS TRIBUNE" WEB SITE: They are diametrical opposites but to some degree its exaggerated on both sides. A&M is self-defined by the core. And so this rigid, conservative college station mentality is sort of one way of looking at A&M; and Texas being in Austin, is a bunch of pot-smoking hippies.

LAVANDERA: Evan Smith is editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune Web site, a New York outsider by birth now a reincarnated Texan.

(on camera): So you know the rivalries. How does this compare to the Yankees?

SMITH: It's -- it's much worst, you never fought with your family on Thanksgiving. This is a day of rage. At the end of the day, it's about food and rage and then football; it all fits together very well.

LAVANDERA (on camera): This is where the last game will be played and Thanksgiving in Texas may never be the same. Texas A&M is leaving the big 12 athletic conference and moving to the SEC. It's mostly a fight over UT's $300 million deal with ESPN to create the Longhorn TV network, but trying to figure out when both of these teams will ever play again is like listening to both sides of a bitter divorce.

(voice-over): We talked to Longhorns athletic director DeLoss Dodds who blames the Aggies for leaving the big 12 conference.

DELOSS DODDS, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, LONGHORN: They made a conscious decision to move to the SEC, which we're going to live with. If they wanted to come back, we'd take them back.

LAVANDERA: Then we headed over to talk to Texas A&M president, Dr. Bowen Loftin. He said the Longhorns should make room in its schedule to keep the rivalry alive.

DR. BOWEN LOFTIN, PRESIDENT, TEXAS A&M: It's clearly Texas's choice in our opinion which goes on or not and we hope they will simply reconsider.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Historic traditions like the Aggies bonfire will disappear; no need for the Longhorns/Tex rally. Only nostalgic step shots of a rivalry that has defined more than a century's worth of generations will be left.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, in Austin and College Station, Texas.


CHO: Yes, don't forget to sign off from both places.


CHO: Not a bad idea, Ed. Great story.

COSTELLO: At least for the last swan song, huh?

CHO: Yes. COSTELLO: Speaking of Texas, this is an amazing story. The year-long drought there now delivering quite a history lesson for people living 90 miles north of San Antonio. Take a look at Lake Buchanan, it's 20 feet lower than normal because of the extreme heat this summer. And beneath the receding waters, you can now see the buried town of Bluffton. Bluffton was swallowed up by the lake back in the 1930s and now it's resurfaced complete with an old cotton gin, a general store and even the town's cemetery.

CHO: That's amazing.

COSTELLO: It's like the lost city of Atlantis.

CHO: It's really incredible stuff.

All right, it's 54 minutes after the hour. We're back after this.


CHO: 3.5 million strong party in the USA, specifically in New York City. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade getting ready to start in just a couple of minutes and what a picture perfect day. Sunny and 40 degrees going up to a high of 54.

COSTELLO: I know it's going to be such a gorgeous day. So, Bonnie Schneider, give us some more good news.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: There's lots of good news because if you're not watching the parade or cooking turkey or maybe you're doing all of this at the same time, you're probably going to be watching football today. And we have the game day forecast for you for two big games today.

Let's go ahead and check it out for you. I know it's beautiful in New York for the parade. It's also going to be pretty nice out there for the game at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland. 49ers versus the Ravens. Two brothers that are coaches facing off today. We'll be looking at 49 degrees. That's pretty nice. Westerly winds.

A little colder in Detroit at Ford Field, we'll be looking at the kickoff time at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. So, winds will be out of the south, southwest. That will make it feel a little bit milder; kind of a mix of sun and clouds for the Packers versus the Lions.

But overall, two really good weather days for football, which I'm very happy to say.

All right. Another bit of good news, as you mentioned temperatures in the 40s right now in New York, but warming up to 54 degrees. Originally the forecast for the parade was a little bit troublesome. We thought the winds would really pick up. They will still be brisk out of the northwest, but comfortable, only at ten miles per hour. So, some really nice weather. You saw that bright sunshine; it looks great.

Eventually, the sun will be shining out in Texas and Oklahoma. But before that, we're still looking at the chance for quite a bit of fog out there this morning. If you're getting an early start and you're heading out on the road whether you're in Dallas or Oklahoma City or eastward toward Tennessee and Kentucky, the fog will be thick to start off the morning and then eventually burn off.

We're also looking at wet weather on the West Coast early this morning in San Francisco. We've had a lot of rain come through and because of the low clouds that will linger out in the Bay Area I'm anticipating some lengthy airport delays. If you're flying this Thanksgiving Day, you may have a slow down out west and that holds true for Seattle, as well.

Elsewhere, most of the airport delays will be less than an hour and they'll be mainly in the morning hours due to fog. But once again, once that burns off, it will be pretty nice out there.

So temperatures will be mild, lots of sunshine with high pressure dominating most of the eastern half of the country. A little cooler in the Pacific Northwest where temperatures will linger in the mid-40s because you won't have the sunshine there.

But if you're heading out tonight and many of you are getting a really early start, like 10:00 some the stores are opening for Black Friday, the day before, you'll see some good weather. Temperatures will be cool. A little cool, bring your jacket if you're shopping in Kansas City or Chicago, but by the time we get to Friday, traditional Black Friday, the weather nice and mild. So overall, it's looking a really good holiday, weather-wise.

Back to you.

COSTELLO: I know, it couldn't be more perfect.

CHO: For a football game, Carol Costello. Bonnie Schneider, don't bother calling Carol Costello between 12:30 p.m. today --


CHO: -- the kickoff of the Lions/Packers game and 4:00 a.m. tomorrow.

SCHNEIDER: Shopping. OK, great.

COSTELLO: Exactly. It's going to be a full day and night for me, baby.

SCHNEIDER: Excellent.

CHO: All right. Thank you, Bonnie, Happy Thanksgiving.


CHO: That does it for us on AMERICAN MORNING. Happy Thanksgiving.

COSTELLO: Happy Thanksgiving.

CHO: Enjoy your football and your turkey, Carol. "CNN NEWSROOM" with T.J. Holmes starts right now. And T.J., you have already prepped your turkey, right?

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Of course, I have. I had to leave it in my wife's hands for just a couple of hours and that's a scary thought, as you know Alina. I have to get through this show so I can get back to my turkey.