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American Morning

Woman Claims 13-Year Affair with Herman Cain; New Charges Introduced in Syracuse Child Sex Abuse Case; Michael Jackson's Doctor Faces Sentencing; Police: Norway Massacre Suspect Insane; Day Two of Egypt's Historic Elections; Sentencing Day for Jackson's Doctor; Aruba Judge Releases Giordano; New Cain Accuser; Woman Claims She Had 13- Year Affair With Cain; Airstrike Fuels Anger at U.S. in Pakistan; Bernie Fine's Wife Challenging Tape; Sandusky Conducts Own Investigation; Occupy L.A. Protesters Declare Victory; Two Dead in Illinois Plane Crash; Brownback Apologizes Over Tweet Tantrum; Egypt's Step Towards Democracy; Egyptians Headed to Polls; "12 Days of Christmas" Gifts Top Out at $101.119; New Health Study on Soccer

Aired November 29, 2011 - 06:59   ET



HERMAN CAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But the accusation that I had a 13-year affair with her, no.

GINGER WHITE, CAIN'S ALLEGED MISTRESS: I can't imagine him actually confirming. It's the name of the game, I guess.

ROMANS (voice-over): Herman Cain's latest accuser claims she's his longtime lover, leaving serious questions about the embattle candidate and his campaign.

COSTELLO (voice-over): The wife of former Syracuse basketball coach, Bernie Fine, ready to come forward today claiming a taped conversation she had with one of her husband's alleged sex abuse victims was doctored.

ROMANS: Sentencing day for Michael Jackson's doctor. Dr. Conrad Murray found guilty of involuntary manslaughter earlier this month. Now, prosecutors are asking for the maximum four years behind bars.

COSTELLO: And a new brain injury worries (ph) the players. Dr. Sanjay Gupta on a troubling new study that says young soccer players could be at risk, on this AMERICAN MORNING.


ROMANS (on-camera): Good morning. Tuesday, November 29th. Ali Velshi is off today. I'm Christine Romans along with Carol Costello on this AMERICAN MORNING. Good morning.

COSTELLO (on-camera): Good morning, Christine. Good morning to all of you.

Up first, allegation of a 13-year extramarital affair. The latest bad news for Herman Cain's campaign for president. Cain's new accuser spoke to an Atlanta TV station.


WHITE: It was pretty simple. It was uncomplicated, and I was aware that he was married, and I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship. I'm not proud. I didn't want to come out with this. I did not.


COSTELLO: White claims their relationship ended just as Cain launched his bid for the White House. Cain admits the two were friends, but told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, there was never anything sexual.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": Well, tell us about the nature of your relationship with this woman.

HERMAN CAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Friend and trying to help a friend, because not having a job, et cetera, and this sort of thing. That's all there is to the relationship, and here again, I don't know what's going to be claimed in the story. It was someone who was supposed to be a friend, but obviously they didn't see it as a friendship.

BLITZER: When you say, "friend." I'm asking, these are awkward questions but I'll ask you the questions you're going to be asked. Was this an affair?

CAIN: No, it was not.

BLITZER: There was no sex?





COSTELLO: Cain's campaign also issued a statement saying "Detractors are trying to once again derail the Cain train with more accusations of past events that never happened. The Cain campaign is not surprised that another female accuser has come forward due to the fact that earlier allegations were unable to force Herman Cain to drop his presidential bid to renew America," end quote.

CNN's David Mattingly is following developments for us. He's live in Atlanta. What have you got, David?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, this latest Herman Cain accuser is a former businesswoman. Her name is Ginger White. She is a single mother of two. And she claims she and Cain had an on again/off again affair that lasted almost 14 years. It did not end, she says, until about eight months ago, shortly before Cain announced his candidacy.

That story was broken by WAGA here in Atlanta last night, but even before the report aired Herman Cain was trying to get out in front of it on CNN, telling Wolf Blitzer he knew the woman and described her as a friend and that the relationship was not sexual.

Ginger White, however, says the two met when Cain was head of the National Restaurant Association. She says he flew her to different cities to meet him, gave her gifts, and the physical relationship they had didn't stop until about eight months ago. After the story aired, Cain's campaign released a statement implying that White is a detractor who is alleging events that didn't happen. Here's what happened when I showed that statement to her attorney.


MATTINGLY: "Detractors are trying once again to derail the Cain train." Would you describe your client as a detractor?

EDWARD BUCKLEY, GINGER WHITE'S ATTORNEY: No, actually I wouldn't describe her as a detractor. What she said, she said for herself that she had an improper relationship. So she's not a detractor of his at all. No.

MATTINGLY: The Cain campaign describes this as more accusations of past events that never happened?

BUCKLEY: No. I mean, I think that people out there will just have to decide whether they believe that, in fact, Mr. Cain is telling the truth or whether that they believe that Ginger White is telling the truth. But I believe that Ginger is telling the truth.

MATTINGLY: Does she have anything to gain by coming forward?

BUCKLEY: I don't think so. I think she has everything to lose, candidly.

MATTINGLY: Is she asking for anything?

BUCKLEY: No, she has not. Nothing.


MATTINGLY: Now, Herman Cain's own lawyer put out a statement saying this appears to be an allegation, an accusation of private, alleged consensual contact between adults. Notice the wording here does not confirm there was a relationship, but he goes on to say "No individual should be questioned about his or her private sex life."

White and her attorney are now bracing for attacks on her credibility. She's had legal problems with a former business partner in the past, some lawsuits, and recent financial problems serious enough that she's had difficulty paying her rent. But her attorney says that was not the reason she came forward. That reason, she says, was because reporters were already seeking her out and she needed to be the one, she believes, telling her own story. Carol? COSTELLO: I'm sure we'll hear much more on this story later today. David Mattingly reporting live from Atlanta. Thank you.

ROMANS: And new developments this morning in the Syracuse university sex abuse scandal. A fired assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine is now facing a second criminal investigation in Pittsburgh, and his wife plans to make a statement later today challenging the validity of a taped conversation she had with one of her husband's accusers, a conversation that suggests she knew about Bernie Fine's alleged abuse. Our Deb Feyerick is there live from Syracuse this morning. Deb, why Pittsburgh?

DEB FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What's so interesting about Pittsburgh is that while this investigation is in the jurisdiction of federal authorities because one of the three accusers said he was molested by Bernie Fine in a hotel in Pittsburgh while Fine was away on a home game, Pittsburgh now stepped in. This was 10 years old -- or 10 years ago that this happened. So it may be a little difficult to put the evidence together. But the Pittsburgh police does want to be involved.

Also, it sends a very strong message. You have to remember Bernie Fine was a man who was always traveling. He was traveling for away games. He had a home in Florida. He was doing a lot of recruiting, talent development. So this is a man who did have access to large parts of the country, actually. Pittsburgh, by standing up and saying, look, we're going to look into these allegations, it may bring other victims forward to say, you know what? It happened to me in a different state. Christine?

ROMANS: The status overall, then, of the investigation into this, you know, sometime who passed since the original -- the original accusations were made. Where are we now in the investigation?

FEYERICK: Well, right now the Syracuse police department, they are working with federal authorities. The Secret Service has been brought in, and because of their expertise in electronics surveillance, the district attorney that normally would be involved in investigating this with police, in fact they're investigating the police to find out what they knew, when they knew it.

The university then handed over all their records. Remember, the university knew this seven years ago when they did their own investigation they tried to get out ahead by terminating Bernie Fine's contract here with the university. Even ESPN which had this tape back in 2002, almost 10 years ago, they're coming out with a statement. So everybody's playing catch-up and, meanwhile, we're here at the carrier dome. It's the first home game for the Syracuse team since Bernie Fine was fired. The top coach told all his players to stay focused, but right now they are doing so under the shadow of what is a very public investigation. Christine?

ROMANS: All right, Deb Feyerick, thank you.

COSTELLO: The sentencing of Dr. Conrad Murray only hours away. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in death of Michael Jackson. Murray faces up to four years in prison, and that's what Jackson's mother Katherine hopes he will get. She wants the judge to order the harshest sentence possible.

CNN's Sandra Endo is live in Los Angeles. Good morning, Sandra.

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol. Judge Michael Pastor is expected to make that sentencing announcement here later this morning. But as you mentioned, Michael Jackson's mother wants the maximum, as do prosecutors. They're calling for four years in prison and more than $100 million in restitution.

On the other hand, though, Dr. Murray's lawyers argue that their client should get the minimum, which is probation and essentially no jail-time. They say their client will have to live with this conviction forever and likely lose his medical license, which means he won't be able to make a livelihood in a that method.

And they argue one other interesting point -- California's budget shortfall. They argue with minimum prison space in jails being overcrowded, that his bed could essentially be used for a violent offender. Listen to both sides as they made their case on verdict day, November 7th.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly counsel are aware of the realignment --

NOREG GOURJIAN, CONRAD MURRAY ATTORNEY: -- County jail, where the court is either pick the low term of two years, the mid-term of three or the high term of four years.

JERMAINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S BROTHER: Let me put it like this. If they gave him all the time in the world it's not going to bring my brother back. It's not.


ENDO: Members of Jackson's family are likely to be here in court to hear the sentencing announced. And we know that Conrad Murray's mother has been a mainstay during the trial and she has written a letter arguing that her son deserves some leniency. Carol?

COSTELLO: Sandra Endo reporting live from Los Angeles.

ROMANS: All right, still to come this morning, it's not sexual harassment, but Herman Cain's new accuser claims she did have a long- term sexual relationship with him. Cain is denying it, but can his presidential campaign survive this?

COSTELLO: One of Congress' most liberal voices from Massachusetts, Representative Barney Frank says it's time to retire.

ROMANS: And history unfolding in Egypt as people there flock to the polls for a second day. We're live in Cairo with how this vote's going today. You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. It's nine minutes after the hour.


ROMANS: Welcomes back. Herman Cain is fighting back against new accusations this morning. A woman from Atlanta says she had a 13-year affair with the presidential candidate and has phone records to prove it. She talked to WAGA TV in Atlanta about it.


WHITE: We've never worked together, and I can't imagine anyone phoning or texting me for the last two-and-a-half years just because.


ROMANS: Her name is Ginger White. She says the affair ended eight months ago just as Cain prepared to announce his run for the president. Cain spoke to our own Wolf Blitzer yesterday and denied the charges.


CAIN: It was someone who was supposed to be a friend, but obviously they didn't see it as a friendship.

BLITZER: When you say, "friend," I'm asking, these are awkward questions, but I'll ask you the questions you're going to be asked. Was this an affair?

CAIN: No, it was not.

BLITZER: There was no sex?





ROMANS: So Cain is clearly denying it. But Cain attorney issued a different kind of response which raised some questions about what Cain said and the timing of the attorney's reaction and Cain's reaction. We're going to get to that in a moment.

But first I want to bring in our political panel to talk more about what this means to the Republican race. Tara Wall is a conservative commentator and Karen Hanretty is a Republican strategist. They're both in Washington for us this morning. Thanks for coming, you guys.

KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Thank you. ROMANS: Either there's some fire behind all this smoke from all of these allegations, or Herman Cain is one of the most maligned and targeted candidates in recent history. Tara, which do you think it is?

TARA WALL, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Well, you know, I think it's a double-edged sword. It's going to be up to supporters and potential voters to really decide whether they believe Cain or not. I think there's enough fodder for a case to be made on each side. So I'm not going to take any personal sides on this at this point, but I think it's certainly been a distraction, it's disastrous at this point. His campaign seems to be fraying a bit.

Whether you're onboard or off board the Cain train, it's apparent that the train has veered off course several times. It's hit some speed bumps, it's slowing down, and at this point may jump the tracks before it hits the station.

ROMANS: Karen, those who have said before sexual harassment allegations maybe a lot of people in Washington would say this is all irrelevant, this is all irrelevant, which is kind of what his attorney was trying to get to, that this would be a private matter if it were true. What do you think?

HANRETTY: First of all, never let your attorney go out there with your public relations defense. That's always the worse possible outcome. He's put into this whole discussion, was it or was it not a private consensual relationship.

So this is, you know, if Herman Cain's answer is, there was no sexual relationship, stick with that answer, first of all. Just from a P.R. standpoint. You know, I think that he is actually - he's been able to hold in - hang in there partly by becoming, you know, playing the victim himself, in these scenarios with these other women who have made these allegations.

It's going to be very difficult, I think, for him to hang on to that victim scenario, given the fact that he was in such constant contact with this woman. And you know, I think the real question now is, we saw him drop precipitously in the polls after the previous allegations. I think we'll see him drop in the polls after these allegations.

My political question is, who benefits from all of this? And Newt Gingrich was really the, you know, political winner from -from his last problems, and so we'll see. Does this - this launch Gingrich even further ahead in the polls in states like South Carolina, where Cain's actually still doing very well?

ROMANS: Isn't that kind of ironic? I mean, Tara, that's kind of ironic that a guy overcame questions about how faithful he was in his marriage, is now benefiting from a guy who's having questions about how faithful he was in his marriage.

WALL: Yes. You know, look, this is - I don't think, though, that this is anything any of the candidates really want to be focused on. Really I think what Cain doesn't want to be focused on or the candidates don't want to be focused on. They want to be focused on what their spiel is, if you will.

So it is ironic. I think that had Cain though, you know, to Karen's point - I think what he did yesterday is something he should have done early on. Had he done that a lot sooner, early on when many of these allegations started, he'd probably be in a better position.

He does still have supporters. I think, though, that Iowa is really going to be the pivot point, the telling point. I think he's invested a lot of time and money and energy and at that point he's really going to have to make some real, hard decisions. And he probably will.

He's opened the door already to say as long as my family supports me - well, I don't know how much more this is going to wear on him and his family before they're going to really give some consideration. I think he's going to wait and see what Iowa says and does for him and then he's going to make some real hard decisions there.

ROMANS: I mean, you make a good point about, you know, how he's going to get out there and be forceful in what he's saying. But I want to go back to that statement from Cain's attorney again, because, you know, Cain is clearly denying an affair.

WALL: Right.

ROMANS: But here's his attorney, Lin Wood, said yesterday. He said, "This appears to be an accusation of private alleged consensual conduct between adults. No individual whether private citizen or candidate for public office or public official should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries. And most certainly those boundaries end outside of one's bedroom door."

But, Karen, after there have been two sexual harassment allegations at least and he keeps talking about his wife of 43 years, I mean, does that hold? Does this attorney's statement hold?

HANRETTY: That entire statement is so absurd. You just wonder, has this attorney - how long has he been in America? Has he been watching American politics? Has he been watching campaigns?

It doesn't matter whether these allegations should or should not be made public or whether they're not - they should or should not be asked by the media, they are and they have been for decades.

And so - but the other thing is, never repeat the charge, right? That's - you know, Public Relations 101, never repeat the charge. What does this attorney do? He goes out there, he doesn't only repeat the charge, he created a few more charges that Cain now has to go and defend against.

You know, this campaign is a complete disaster. You know, Cain was in Ohio yesterday selling books. He's not even really campaigning right now in Iowa. So I think, you know, as we continue, we see that this campaign is really a farce. This is about Cain selling books.

It's time to move on. You know, Republicans need to get back on the message why they need to get this - the current president out of the White House, put someone new in and Cain is really proving a distraction.

WALL: Yes. And it's really sad either way. I mean, whether you believe him or not, whether you believe her, it's sad on both fronts, I think, because there, you know, there could have been some potential there. I think there was - there was the energy behind this candidate for the party, and - and really, the whole story of his story, I think, was inspiring for a lot of folks. But it is unfortunate.

When you don't have the apparatus in place that can manage someone who is already somewhat of a novice, but I think you can get around that if you have that apparatus in place. He didn't have that it seems from Jump Street (ph) or hasn't had it and he's really starting to have to backpedal quite a bit now.

And it's just really been - as Karen and I said earlier, it's been more of a distraction than anything. And as you see, I think a lot of folks at least nationally are starting to turn towards the two, the one controversial - new controversial candidate or flavor of the week, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney. And I think those are the two that people will be paying attention to.

ROMANS: So we have plenty - we have plenty to talk about and we can still - we still need to analyze everyone's economic plans again. But we're all talking about this.

WALL: Absolutely.

ROMANS: All right. Tara Wall, Conservative Commentator, Karen Hanretty, Republican Strategist, thanks to both of you - Carol.

WALL: Thank you.

HANRETTY: Thank you.

COSTELLO: And "Just In" to CNN, the man responsible for one of the most shocking mass murders in recent memory will most likely not be sentenced to prison in Norway. Instead, Anders Behring Breivik, who confessed to killing 77 people four months ago in two attacks, will probably have to undergo psychiatric care.

Psychiatrists say the 32-year-old was insane at the time of the crime. Breivik says the attacks were atrocious but necessary in his campaign against multiculturalism and Muslims in Europe.

ROMANS: All right, still to come this morning, Kansas governor Sam Brownback backing down from a Twitter battle with a teen.

COSTELLO: And let's head to Atlanta, shall we, checking in with Jacqui Jeras, because there's some strange weather down south.

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I know. Snow in the south and rain in the north. Go figure. Wintry weather affecting parts of the Mississippi Valley in the southeast. We've got some snow still coming down in Memphis at this hour, sleet and snow across Alabama, and it's just starting to move into the Atlanta area.

Heavy rain for you in Detroit, as well as over towards Cleveland. We do expect to see some travel delays because of this storm. We've already got an hour and 30 minute delays for you in Chicago, and those will build into the northeast as the rain moves in by this afternoon.

High and dry across the nation's midsection, but a bit on the chilly side. High temperatures there in the 40s.

That's a look at the nation's weather. AMERICAN MORNING continues right after this.


ROMANS: Welcome back, "Minding Your Business."

Breaking news this morning, the parent company of American Airlines, AMR, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The decision, the airlines says, coming after it was unable to secure cost-cutting labor agreements. AMR American Airlines says it will still honor all American Airlines tickets and reservations.

U.S. stock markets right now on track to extend yesterday's rally. The Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 futures are all trading higher.

Markets up in Europe this morning as investors there are optimistic that leaders will get it together and finally fix the region's growing debt problems, even after an ominous warning out from Moody's. Now that ratings agency says that the current debt crisis is threatening the credit worthiness of every nation in the European Union, as well as more than a dozen of the region's largest banks. This drumbeat of warnings about Europe is causing some to think that there's no question European leaders have to come to a big and bold solution.

But new evidence that Washington's inability to reach a debt deal is going to hurt all Americans. The credit rating agency Fitch affirmed America's AAA sterling credit rating, but then revised its outlook to negative. That change means that the agency could see - sees a greater than 50 percent chance that it will have to downgrade America's AAA credit rating within the next couple of years, and that could mean higher borrowing costs and lower standards of living for everyone here.

Cyber Monday turning out to be more popular than ever. Early estimates from IBM shows sales were up 18 percent from a year ago. Another research firm predicts customers spent around $1.2 billion yesterday.

AMERICAN MORNING will be right back after this quick break.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to come out and give my side before it was thrown out there and made out to be something, you know, filthy.

BLITZER: Was this an affair?


BLITZER: There was no sex?




ROMANS (voice-over): Herman Cain accused again, leaving a lot of questions about the embattled candidate and his campaign, on this AMERICAN MORNING.


COSTELLO: And welcome back. It's 30 minutes past the hour. Time for our top stories.

History unfolding in Egypt. For a second day people are again standing in line to cast their ballots for the country's parliamentary elections.

Authorities are promising a smoother process. That's after some logistical problems yesterday. This is the first election in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was pushed from power earlier this year.

ROMANS: Dr. Conrad Murray will hear his sentence later today. He faces up to four years in prison. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of Michael Jackson.

Jackson's mother, Katherine, says she hopes Murray receives the harshest sentence possible. Prosecutors also want Murray to pay Jackson's children more than $100 million.

COSTELLO: Gary Giordano could be back on U.S. soil very soon. He is the prime suspect in the case of the missing American woman in Aruba.

Giordano's expected to be released tonight after spending more than 100 days in jail. A judge threw out a request from the prosecution to keep Giordano detained without charges for another 30 days. Robyn Gardner went missing back in August.

ROMANS: His campaign already reeling from allegations of sexual harassment. Now another blow threatens to derail Herman Cain's presidential bid. Ginger White tells an Atlanta TV station she had a 13-year extramarital affair with Cain.


GINGER WHITE, SAYS SHE HAD AFFAIR WITH CAIN: It was pretty simple. It was uncomplicated, and I was aware that he was married, and I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.


ROMANS: Cain says the two were friends, but denies any affair. Still, can his campaign survive all this? CNN's Joe Johns is live in Washington. Good morning, Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christine. Herman Cain's polling, by the way, had already trending downward. This doesn't help him as his credibility was hurt by several different women claiming that he sexually harassed them, which Cain denied.

The polling shows that women tend to be the most skeptical and critical of Cain, but men have questions, too, and what striking about this is that Ginger White is yet another woman who has disclosed, alleged, private facts about Herman Cain that we didn't know, which Cain has flatly denied.

Last night, though, Cain was trying to get out in front of it by actually doing an interview on CNN's "SITUATION ROOM" even before the story broke on an Atlanta local TV station. Let's listen to what Cain said.


BLITZER: Did you have a 13-year affair with this woman?


BLITZER: Did you know her for 13 years?

CAIN: Yes, but I did not have an affair. This is why since I was going to be on your show to talk about my campaign I wanted to get out in front of it, because I have nothing to hide. I have done nothing wrong just like it was demonstrated for the first two times around.


JOHNS: Getting out in front of it, however, there was some confusion with a statement that came out from his attorney, which didn't deny, certainly not the way he did, this allegation of an extramarital relationship.

Again, for a Republican presidential candidate, credibility is an issue especially among social conservatives and evangelicals who tend to expect their politicians to adhere to a higher stand.

The question, of course, whether a modern politician can survive a charge like this in a candidate can survive this in the middle of a primary race -- Christine.

ROMANS: So how do you think social conservative in Iowa or South Carolina react to something like this?

JOHNS: Well, you know, it could be different because if you look at South Carolina, they had an experience with a governor that was, you know, big news, and it had invoked charges of infidelity.

So they may be perhaps more sensitive, if you will, to charges, you know, hitting people in Iowa and the Iowa caucuses, but who knows.

We'd like to get some polling out there and be able to come up with some conclusions on it. My guess is South Carolina, a little bit more sensitive than Iowa, just because of their problems with their governor, who just left office.

ROMANS: Yes. There are some people who are tweeting yesterday that the conversation about how come this is relevant would be relevant if this candidate were as relevant as he were even just a few weeks ago. You point out, already going down in the polls before all this. Thanks a lot, Joe Johns.

COSTELLO: The State Department in full damage control mode this morning following a NATO air strike that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan/Pakistan border this past weekend.

Officials say the United States is committed to working through the latest trouble in an already troubled relationship with Pakistan.

CNN's Chris Lawrence takes a closer look at what happened and what both sides are saying about it.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It all went down around 2:00 in the morning, a little over a mile from the Afghan border. The entire incident only took two hours, but may have destroyed months of hard work to prepare the U.S./Pakistan relationship.

A NATO official says Afghan troops were working with elements of U.S. special operations forces in a combined mission on the Afghan side of the border. The official says the team came under fire from a position within Pakistan from what they believed to be a suspected Taliban base.

A senior U.S. official says the troops requested air support, and initial indications are, Apache helicopters and a gunship fired on two Pakistani border checkpoints. The official says they fired from the Afghan side and did not enter Pakistani airspace.

Twenty four Pakistani soldiers were killed in the air strike, but details diverge depending who you talk to. The U.S. official believes the Pakistanis were called before to warn them, warned them beforehand.

But Pakistani commanders say they pleaded with NATO to stop firing on friendly forces and insist their troops did not fire first. This is a frontier area with a border that's hard to define.

NATO has complained in the past that militants fire on American and Afghan troops from positions close to Pakistani army checkpoints.

MAJ. GEN. DANIEL ALLYN, COMMANDER RC-EAST: I'd say in the last three weeks we're probably averaging three to four cross-border firing incidents a week. LAWRENCE: Just last week, U.S. commanders were speaking positively about cooperation with Pakistan. They say at the American's request, Pakistan even adjusted some of its own military positions to deny insurgent infiltration.

ALLYN: In fact, we've had some very good cases in the last three weeks of the Pacmil coordinating with us to respond against those cross-border fires, and that coordination occurs with every event that happens.


LAWRENCE: That communication includes U.S. commanders calling their Pakistani counterparts as well as talking to Pakistani liaison officers inside Afghanistan. The NATO investigation into this air strike is focusing on that communication and whether at some point it did break down. Chris Lawrence, CNN, The Pentagon.

ROMANS: All right. Stories that are new this morning, the wife of fired Syracuse basketball coach, Bernie Fine is coming forward today.

Laurie Fine will reportedly claim a taped conversation she had with one of her husband's accusers was doctored. Bernie Fine is now facing a second criminal investigation for alleged sex abuse in Pittsburgh.

COSTELLO: Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky launching his own investigation. Sandusky's lawyer says he has hired a private investigator to prove that he did not abuse anyone.

The long time coach charged with 40 counts related to alleged sexual abuse of eight young boys. In the meantime, one of Sandusky's a alleged victims hired lawyers hinting a lawsuit may be coming.

ROMANS: "Occupy" protesters in Los Angeles hold their ground against police trying to evict them from city hall's park. They declared victory in a rally yesterday.

The park is officially closed, but several hundred protesters remain camped there. Police arrested only four people yesterday giving protesters more time to leave on their own.

COSTELLO: A small plane with five people onboard crashed in Illinois. The FAA says two people are believed dead. Three were taken to the hospital. The plane's pilot reported fuel problems shortly before the crash.

ROMANS: Kansas Governor Sam Brownback apologizing to a high school student because of a tweet. It all started when the teen made some comments about him over Twitter.

Brownback's staff called her school for an apology, but she didn't back down. Brownback now says his staff overreacted and he supports freedom of speech.

COSTELLO: Still to come this morning, it is Election Day in Egypt. Voters there are heading to the polls for a second day. We are live in Cairo with how today's vote going.

ROMANS: And doctors raising the red flag on head injuries. Seems not only football players are at risk. A live report from senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta ahead. It's 39 minutes after the hour.


COSTELLO: Welcome back. For a second straight day, Egyptians are heading to the polls. This is the first parliamentary election since the dramatic uprising that ended the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak.

So far turnout has been huge so far and despite violence there last week the vote has been mostly peaceful. Joining me now is Republican Congressman David Dreir. He's live in Cairo, Egypt to monitor the election process. Good morning.

REP. DAVID DREIER (R), CALIFORNIA: From AMERICAN MORNING to Egypt afternoon. That's what we've got going here.

COSTELLO: It's awesome. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate it. So you have -- you have done this all over the world? You have observed elections. So how does what you're seeing in Egypt compare?

DREIER: You know, every time I do this, it's inspiring, but it's never been more uplifting than this election. Obviously, there was a lot of concern going into it. You know, what one woman said to me, that this is the first time in 7,000 years that Egyptians have had a chance to vote.

Now, you know, 1952 nearly 60 years ago, there was an election, but I think that the magnitude of this one is so great and so powerful that people from all walks of life are very encouraged and very upbeat and positive.

There are lots of problems in this country. Just as we face at home, and I'm headed back to Washington tomorrow, where we're dealing with a challenge of job creation and economic growth.

This country has lost two million jobs since Hosni Mubarak was taken out, and if you -- if you look at where they're going, obviously, it's due to a lack of tourism and a lack of foreign direct investment that's come because of uncertainty.

I think having this election can now play a role towards getting this very important country back on track.

COSTELLO: Well, we have observed that there are many, many women voting for the first time in their lives. There are women standing in line to cast their ballots. When you speak to these women, why do they say they're so passionate about this?

DREIER: Well, because the rights of women are very important, and it's -- it's not just women overall, but I've seen women who are in their 80s and 90s climbing two or three flights of stairs to have a chance to do this, and when I talk to them, the message is basically the same.

This is an opportunity for the first time in my life to cast a vote that will count. One individual said to me that -- this was a guy. He said, "In my entire lifetime, my entire lifetime, this is the most important day of my life, because I can now play a role in determining my future." And women, I think, feel the same way. I will tell you, I just met a woman judge. And, boy, I mean, she is very strong and very tough and doing a great job.

There was concern -- I've been talking to a lot of the judges as well as voters, and some of the judges were really concerned, as were a lot of people, about what could have happened. And the thing that's very gratifying to see -- well, this is not a perfect election. There's no such thing as a perfect election. You know, we in the United States have challenges ourselves. But the fact is, things have gone much, much better than many people had feared.

COSTELLO: Some of the women that we've talked with said they're concerned that Islamist extremists will get into office. We have heard that members of the Muslim Brotherhood are standing in line whispering to people to vote for their candidates. Have you seen that, and does that concern you as well?

DREIER: Sure. I mean, there's no doubt about the fact that the Freedom and Justice Party, which is the Muslim Brotherhood party, is the best organized party in the country. I mean, that's evident any place you go. And, yes, there are people -- not just from the Freedom and Justice, the brotherhood party, but others political parties that are campaigning outside of the voting stations and encouraging people to support their candidates, their party.

But I think the important thing to notice, since 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood has made an attempt -- well, they have been the opposition to whoever was in power, (INAUDIBLE), Anwar Sadat and during the reign of Hosni Mubarak. If one looks at that, there's a big difference. And we know this in the United States of America. There's a big difference between being the outspoken opposition and having the responsibility to govern.

I will tell you this. I know from having talked to people across this country, job creation and economic growth is what the Egyptian people want and need. And in light of that, I think that whoever, whoever ends up tonight -- and I'm going to be at counting stations late this evening -- whoever ends up being victorious -- and there will obviously be coalition building that will take place. And the other thing to note a three-step process, and then we have presidential elections. So there's a long road of elections down the line. But again, whoever is in a leadership position, they will have the responsibility to get this economy growing. And we know it's going to be a challenge.

COSTELLO: Yes, we do. We certainly can relate.

Congressman Dreier, thank you for joining us this morning. We appreciate it. We'll let you get back there.

DREIER: Hey, nice to be with you all.


DREIER: My pleasure. Thanks.

ROMANS: From an AMERICAN MORNING to an Egyptian afternoon.


Coming up, a new study on brain injuries in soccer. Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is going to join us live with the details.

And I've got a "Romans' Numeral" for you this morning, Carol.

COSTELLO: I'm ready.

ROMANS: $101,119 to be exact.


ROMANS: Here's a hint. Your true love better have some pretty deep pockets.


The cost of Christmas just hit a new record.

It's 48 minutes after the hour.


ROMANS: Good morning. Here's what you need to know to start your day.

The Norwegian man accused of the massacre that killed 77 people has been found legally insane. 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik will not serve prison time. Psychiatrists determined that Breivik was suffering from psychosis when he carried out the July attacks. He must now undergo psychiatric care. The wife of fired Syracuse basketball coach, Bernie Fine, is making a statement later today. Laurie Fine will reportedly claim a taped conversation she had with one of her husband's accusers was edited and taken out of context.

Friends or lovers? Only Herman Cain and Ginger White know for sure. The Atlanta businesswoman claims they had a 13-year-long extra marital affair. The Republican presidential candidate denies the relationship was ever sexual.

For New York Giants fans, it wasn't a game, it was a shame. The New Orleans Saints rolled over Big Blue, 49-24, in Monday night football. A big night for Saints' quarterback, Drew Brees. He threw for four touchdowns and ran for another.

You're caught up on today's headlines. AMERICAN MORNING is back right after a short break.


COSTELLO: Partridges are very expensive this year.

ROMANS: I guess so.


It's the morning's "Romans' Numeral," a number in the news. It's $101,119. It's the first time that the price for the gifts in the "12 Days of Christmas" song have toped 100 grand, 101 grand. This is according to PNC Wealth Management. That's a 4.4 percent jump from last year.

COSTELLO: It's the gold rings that have driven up the cost.

ROMANS: No, the gold rings are down a little bit. It's the partridges, turtle doves and swans.


ROMANS: The gold rings are down about 8 percent, but down a little bit.


But any things that had to be fed grain -- apparently, the grain prices, record highs. Anyway, PNC does it every year. It's always cute. $101,000.

COSTELLO: Yes. Interesting.


If you are concerned about your kids getting concussions from sports, football isn't the only game to keep your eye on. A new study says repeated head butts to soccer balls may cause some of the same brain damage that football concussions do. ROMANS: Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now.

Sanjay, my mother had my brothers playing soccer, not football, for this very reason. It's one of the most popular sports in the world. This seems to be making a very big deal.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is. And I think there has been some anecdotal concerns for about this for some time. But now you're starting to see some studies about this specifically.

Look, you're right, football has been the area of most interest and most studies over the years, but what they did in this particular study, was they looked at adult soccer players. These were players in their 30s. And there was 39 of them. And they asked them -- they were amateur soccer players. They asked them, how often are you head butting or heading the ball in any given year? Tough to gauge, but they were guessing sort of. and what they found was the people who were in the heaviest hitting sort of segments tended to have these changes in the brain that were pretty consistent. I think we have some images here. Might be hard to tell, but these are areas of the brain specifically associated with attention problems, with memory problems, with problem solving.

What you're looking at there, incidentally, this is what is the concern in any sport. You see the brain sort of moving back and forth within the skull and then possibly causing problems. That's what the concern is in football. It's not so much the brute-force hit, but it's that brain moving back and forth.

But, again, it's a small study. They want to replicate this in kids. but the heaviest hitters had these specific changes in the brain.

COSTELLO: So, when you're talking about soccer, you're talking about, you know, kids using their head on the soccer ball to push it into the net. Is that what we're talking about or collisions on the field?

GUPTA: Well, that's a good point. In this study, what they're specifically talking about is heading the ball, the soccer ball, they say. This is something that's done quite regularly. I will tell you that, to your point, though, people who jump up to head a ball, one of the most dangerous parts of soccer, is that when they do that, they actually head somebody else's head. Two heads going up at the same time. But this wasn't what they were talking about here. They were talking about these more minor thumps, bumps, back and forth to the head, many, many times a year. If you ever played soccer or practiced, you know these drills. They just do this over and over again, heading the ball into the net, heading the ball away from a player.


GUPTA: So you can accumulate a lot of hits. And one thing they're recommending that I though was fascinating was, with kids, reducing the number of head butts a year. So sort of keeping count of this, just like they do in Little League Baseball to try to reduce the number of times a pitcher throws a ball, for example. They're thinking they want to do the same thing in soccer.


ROMANS: Yes. Maybe, if you're a parent, you push not to have that drilled so much. You know? I mean, maybe you could just raise your hand --


COSTELLO: Takes the fun out of the game, though.

GUPTA: Right.

COSTELLO: I can see helmet may one day being required.

ROMANS: Maybe.

GUPTA: It's, again, with the helmet -- I find this fascinating. With the helmet, you're sort of protecting against skull fractures and things, but the brain is sort of moving still within the skull. That seems to be the concern. That's one thing that we learned.

And by the way, the numbers that we are talking about here, they say about 1,300 head butts a year. Above that seems to be where you're getting the problems. Below that, safer. That may seem like a lot, unless, again, you've ever watched soccer practice where they just do this over and over again. They want to reduce the number of those, especially in practices.

ROMANS: I was never good enough in soccer to actually connect the ball 1,300 times a year with my head, quite frankly, so.


All right, thanks, Sanjay.

GUPTA: Most people do it with their feet.



ROMANS: You can see much more of Sanjay's reporting on head injuries in youth sports in "Big Hits, Broken Dreams." It airs January 29th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

COSTELLO: And still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, the wife of fired Syracuse basketball coach, Bernie Fine, is ready to come forward. Laurie Fine says a taped conversation between her and one of her husband's accusers was doctored.