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Police Dismantling "Occupy L.A."; Cain "Reassessing" Campaign; Can Cain Continue Campaign?; Boeheim Not Worried About Job; Dr. Murray Gets Max; Reagan Shooter to Seek Freedom; Giordano Released from Aruban Jail; Powerball Winners Set Up Charity Fund; Clinton Arrives in Myanmar; Millions Walk Off the Job in U.K.; The End of the Iraq War; Cain "Reassessing" Candidacy; Boeheim Not Worried About His Job; Police Move In On 'Occupy L.A.'
Aired November 30, 2011 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Raided, the dismantling of "Occupy L.A." camp under way right now. Hundreds of riot police moving in. Many protesters standing their ground.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Just a few weeks ago, he was the GOP frontrunner. Now Herman Cain may be setting the stage for his exit after a woman accuses him of a 13-year affair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I haven't worried about my job status in 36 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim is wrestling the Bernie Fine sex abuse scandal. Questions about what happened on his watch overshadowing the game on this AMERICAN MORNING.
ROMANS: And good morning, everyone. It is Wednesday, November 30th. Ali Velshi is off. I'm Christine Romans along with Carol Costello on this AMERICAN MORNING. Good morning, Carol.
COSTELLO: Good morning, Christine. Good morning to all of you. The dismantling of "Occupy L.A." camp is under way right now. Hundreds of riot police moving in by some counts.
There are more police officers than protesters. This comes 48 hours after demonstrators were ordered to leave. Police also issued several 10-minutes warnings throughout the night that were pretty much ignored.
Sandra Endo is live in downtown Los Angeles for us this morning. How much arrests so far, Sandra?
SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Still no real exact number yet, Carol. The scene is very active. You can see cops in riot gear. Also the fire department is on-scene, the bomb squad, but take a look at this. A massive movement of cops in hazmat suits right now. They are methodically going through the park trying to get rid of all the tents and the debris and everything that people have brought into the encampment.
Now this is how it all went down. Just a little bit after midnight, these protesters heard the warning that this was basically going to be eviction day. So they flooded the streets. These streets are shut down. Cops have made a perimeter around this area, but they flooded the streets to have one last standoff with police.
Well, then there was a sneak attack, Carol. Cops went from the other side of city hall, raided the park and basically took control of this park and we were there in the middle of it all and that is when things got tense.
There was a little jostling, shoving, pushing, as protesters tried to get back into the camp. That obviously didn't happen. Then a group of protesters sat down in the middle of the camp refusing to leave, defying the order to leave the park, and that is they got arrested.
But everything has been very peaceful so far, and now cops are going through all the tents that have been set up. They've been shaking them down. Checking to see if people are inside. You could take a look at that bus right there.
That is full of people who have been arrested through this process, and they have been either hiding out in tents or obviously are defying the order to leave this area. So clearly, this is going to be a long, drawn-out process. But so far everything has been very methodical and very peaceful -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Sandra Endo reporting live in downtown Los Angeles by city hall. Thanks.
ROMANS: All right, in politics, no sign of surrender from Herman Cain. Just hours after telling his staff he was re-assessing his campaign, Cain took the stage in Hillsdale College in Michigan last night.
And sounded downright presidential, laying out a national security and foreign policy strategy while avoiding allegations he had a 13-year affair with a Georgia businesswoman.
Now Cain is keeping up campaign plans with a three-stop Ohio swing beginning today. CNN deputy political director Paul Steinhauser is live in Washington.
So after a day dominated by those allegations, he's trying to get back on message again, isn't he, Paul?
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: He sure is. It's looks like business as usual for Herman Cain. After Ohio today, he's going to go to New Hampshire. He may speak with reporters tonight. But behind the scenes, yes, it's anything, but business as usual. Yesterday morning, he had a conference call. Herman Cain had a conference call with his campaign staffers across the country and here what he said.
We have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud in some people's minds as to whether or not they would be able to support us going forward. He went on to say, it's also taken a toll on my family, my wife and my family, as would you imagine.
Cain pointed out in that conference call that he has some number of reassessments before this year. Four of them, in fact, on his campaign and each time he has gone on. So he's trying to say, yes, this is just, you know, a check of where things are.
Later in the day, he sent an e-mail to supporters a little more defined. In that one, he went on to say, let me assure you, I am not deterred. America's future is too important. We will continue on this journey to make America great once again.
That was an e-mail to supporters last night. The big question now for Herman Cain, does he have the money, the campaign funds? Will fundraising dry up now? Steve Grubbs is his top guy in Iowa. Here's what he told our John King last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE GRUBBS, CAIN IOWA CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: We don't have major donors and he's not a candidate that's been able to self-fund the whole thing. So if people make contributions then we'll keep the campaign doors open and be able to keep paying people.
Otherwise, Herman Cain will have to make a decision whether he can afford to keep moving forward. Now, I believe people will come through, and I believe that we have enough supporters across the nation to keep this campaign viable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINHAUSER: And a source from the campaign tells us that decision could come in a few days. Of course, we're only five weeks away now, five weeks away from those first votes in Iowa -- Christine.
ROMANS: Right, so if he were to drop out, what other candidates stand to benefit the most? Or if the fundraising for him dries up, where does that money go?
STEINHAUSER: Good question. Take a look at this. This is our CNN/ORC poll from earlier this month and we asked Herman Cain supporters, OK, where would you go? Who would your second choice be?
Look who's right at the top of that list. Newt Gingrich who's turning into now being the alternative to Mitt Romney, the conservative alternative. You can see almost four in 10 Cain voters say they would go to Gingrich. He would be the second choice.
One in four say Romney, Perry at 10 percent and Bachmann and Paul. That's a kind of indication where they may go if and that is a big "if," if Herman Cain drops out -- Christine.
ROMANS: All right, Paul Steinhauser. Thanks, Paul.
Two of Herman Cain's GOP rivals, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich were asked yesterday if they think Cain should step aside. Both carefully side-stepped to that issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's a very difficult situation for him and his family. My heart goes out to them. I hope that he reaches whatever is the right decision for them, and beyond that, I'm not going to have any comment. I think it's his decision to make. He has to do what he thinks is best.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Clearly, it's not helpful for his campaign, but he'll make that determination going forward about whether or not he sees himself as a viable candidate. And more importantly, it's the voters that will make that decision.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": Do you think he should drop out?
BACHMANN: That's not for me to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Michele Bachmann there.
New developments this morning in the Syracuse sex abuse scandal. We're hearing from head coach Jim Boeheim for the first time since Fine was fired.
Boeheim held a news conference after the Orange rolled to 84-48 victory over Eastern Michigan last night. Boeheim said he isn't concerned about losing his job, but he was defensive when a reporter asked whether the alleged abuse could have happened on his watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM BOEHEIM, SYRACUSE MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH: The investigation is under way. There are no charges. There are no indictments. There is no grand jury. There is no action being taken. When that is done, then we will see what has happened on my watch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Ed Lavandera live for us in Syracuse this morning. So is there any danger that the coach could lose his job?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's a little early for that. We'll see how things kind of play out here. The chancellor of the university did come out and say, he still -- she supported Boeheim still.
But you know, after Boeheim's game last night and the Syracuse roll to that easy win in that game last night, there were very few questions about basketball and his usual postgame press conference much of it dealt with the scandal that has gone on here with his assistant coach.
And much of it dealt with the change in his tone over the last two weeks. If you'll remember in that first weekend after these allegations first surfaced, Boeheim in one report came out and called the first two accusers liars and that they were chasing money.
His tone dramatically changed this past weekend as the revelation of those phone recordings between Bernie Fine, the assistant coach, who has been fired here from Syracuse University and that first accuser, Bobby Davis emerged, Jim Boeheim very much changing his tone.
In fact kind of saying that if his initial words had caused any grief or any problems with other victims to potentially come forward or hamper the investigation in any way, he was sorry for that. Listen to how Jim Boeheim talked about that part last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHEIM: I supported a friend. That's what I thought I did. I'm proud that I did. I think if you have known somebody, worked with somebody for 36 years and known them for 48 years. You went to school with them. I think you owe a debt of allegiance and gratitude for what he did for the program, and that's what my reaction was, and so be it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAVANDERA: It was interesting. Jim Boeheim had kind of written out some scripted notes for himself when it came time to talk about certain aspects of the investigation that was hard to get him away from those scripted moments that he had kind of written out for himself.
We asked him if he had been called to testify under oath in any part of the investigation or any grand jury investigation. He kind of blew off that question. We also asked him if he had listened to the audio recordings between Bernie Fine's wife and Bobby Davis, that first accuser.
And he said, he had not listened to it, which I found kind of interesting. Interesting, because in the grand scheme of things here just so people kind of know the irony here, Jim Boeheim lives directly across the street from his assistant coach, Bernie Fine. So we presume these are families that have known each other for quite some time.
COSTELLO: I know. We heard a smattering of applause in that press conference so who were those people? LAVANDERA: Well, it's interesting. There are supporters from the athletic program. His wife was standing off to the side. He was there talking about that reaction that he had in those initial days, why he came out so strongly in support of his friend and long time coach, Bernie Fine.
He said, look, after knowing someone for as long as I had, I felt that he owed it to him to say those words and have that kind of loyalty. Clearly, things have changed in the last few weeks.
COSTELLO: Ed Lavandera reporting live for us from Syracuse, thanks.
ROMANS: He got the max. An angry judge throwing the book at Dr. Conrad Murray sentencing him to four years behind bars for Michael Jackson's death saying he is dangerous and has no sense of remorse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUDGE MICHAEL PASTOR, L.A. COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT: Experimental medicine is not going to be tolerated and Mr. Jackson was an experiment. He engaged in this money-for-medicine madness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: After that scolding, cameras caught Murray blowing a kiss to someone in the court on his way out. Whether he'll serve all that time is another question because of the prison overcrowding problem in California right now.
COSTELLO: The man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is seeking his freedom in federal hearings. Those federal hearings begin today.
A court will decide whether John Hinckley should be released from a mental hospital. Hinckley shot President Reagan back in '81 in an effort to impress actress, Jodie Foster.
Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity. His doctor says his mental problems are now in remission, but government officials believed he's still capable of violence.
ROMANS: The man arrested in connection with the disappearance of a Maryland woman in Aruba, he is free this morning. Gary Giordano's attorney says Aruban authorities let him go last night.
Giordano has never been charged in this case and the judge ruled he cannot longer be kept in custody without charges. The missing woman, Robyn Gardner was last seen in August when she went snorkelling with Giordano.
COSTELLO: Three hedge fund managers who won the Powerball lottery say they will give away $1 million to charity. The Connecticut trio won a whopping $254 million.
They're going to set up a trust fund to benefit U.S. veterans and those returning home from deployment. In the meantime, the men are denying reports that they accepted the winnings on behalf of a client who wanted to remain anonymous.
ROMANS: All right, still to come, Hillary Clinton arriving in Southeast Asia this morning. She's in a country that no U.S. secretary of state has visited in five decades. Her mission, straight ahead.
COSTELLO: Oops, the gaffes just keep on coming for Rick Perry. The GOP candidate makes a double flub in a recent campaign stop. We'll show you the tape. That's straight ahead.
ROMANS: And millions of people walking off the job in Britain this morning shutting down schools, leaving travelers stuck in long lines at the airport. We're live with more on a massive strike in the U.K. It's 13 minutes after the hour.
COSTELLO: It is 16 minutes past the hour. Welcome back.
Hillary Clinton making history. The Secretary of State just arrived in Myanmar. She's the first Secretary of State to visit the southeastern Asian nation in 50 years. The two-day trip comes on the heels of dramatic concessions by President Thein Sein and his new government.
Paula Hancocks is live in Myanmar for us this morning. Good morning, Paula. She's gone. Come back, Paula! Paula! I think she's gone.
OK. We're going to call Paula back, and when she gets back, we'll go to Myanmar once again.
Let's move on to American politics now. Oops, he did it again. Rick Perry messes up some simple campaign facts in New Hampshire. The Republican presidential candidate gets the country's voting age and the Election date wrong. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Those of you that are - will be 21 by November the 12th, I ask for your support and your vote. Those of you who wouldn't be, just work hard, because you're going to inherit this and you're counting on us getting this right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: For the record, the voting age in this country is 18 and the general election is scheduled for November 6th. He just can't catch a break.
ROMANS: I know. When he has a gaffe, and now it's even more -
ROMANS: Right. So painful.
COSTELLO: Still to come, the finish line for the Iraq War. We'll take you to Northern Kuwait where U.S. troops are making one final stop before their long journey home.
ROMANS: Plus, why those working on Wall Street may be seeing a little less green this holiday.
It is 18 minutes after the job.
ROMANS: Welcome back. "Minding Your Business."
More than a dozen of the world's largest banks downgraded by ratings agency Standard & Poor's late last night. Included in the list are America's six biggest banks. JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. S&P downgraded the banks because basically where they operate and how regulated they are by their home countries and deteriorating credit conditions around the world.
The news is not what Bank of America needs right now. The stock is already hovering near $5 a share, down more than 60 percent so far this year. Mostly because of bank's exposure to bad mortgages and, well, many lawsuits related to all those bad mortgages. And the stock that's in a lot of your 401(k)s, to a widely held stock down some 61 percent this year.
Europe is bracing for what could be another blow to its rescue funds. Speculation this morning that France could lose its AAA credit rating. According to a French newspaper, S&P may change the outlook for France within the next 10 days that could lead to an official downgrade within months. So far, S&P not commenting on that report.
And we can expect more market swings here in the U.S. because of that mess in Europe and the downgrade of some of America's biggest banks. Stock futures are trading higher right now, but I've got to warn you there's an awful lot of volatility and big swings in the market. We'll have to see what happens when we get closer to the opening bell.
Facebook settled in with the Feds over allegations it failed to protect member's private information. The social network has agreed to go through a privacy audit every two years for the next 20 years. The Federal Trade Commission also has the power to fine Facebook $16,000 if the site does anything deceptive.
And many in Wall Street will have to make do with less. According to a consulting firm, year-end bonuses on the Street are set to decline 20 to 30 percent this year. Many staffers are also expected to take a hit next year. New reports forecast many on Wall Street will take a 27 percent cut in pay. As you know, tens of thousands of jobs on Wall Street have been shed so far this year.
AMERICAN MORNING will be right back after this break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COSTELLO: Shaping up to be a beautiful day in New York City and the Christmas tree is going to be lit tonight. 7:00 P.M. Eastern, in case you're interested.
Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.
Just a short time ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Myanmar. She's the first Secretary of State to visit the Southeast Asian nation in 50 years.
Paula Hancocks is live in Myanmar this morning. Good morning, Paula.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Carol.
Well, we are actually at a night market in Naypyidaw, the capital, and this is one of the places that the U.S. Secretary of State will not be visiting. She will be - holding some very high- profile meetings - some very important meetings with the president, the foreign minister and also with the pro-democracy activists and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
But what we've been doing for the past couple of days is really seeing what the people on the streets (INAUDIBLE) all these reforms that have been beamed around the world, this is definitely an effort from the top, and people here in the streets have been telling me that they haven't felt the effects of it at this point.
Some people were a little reticent to talk to us, others refused to talk to us on camera. There is still this fear of the authorities and repercussions. But those that did want talk to us said that they were optimistic that there could be change in the future. There could be a better future for their country, but they certainly didn't think that that type of future was here at this point. They didn't feel any difference in their lives.
I talked to a former prisoner - well, he has been in prison for 20 years almost. He's now 82 years old. He has been tortured by the military leadership. And he's a good friend of Aung San Suu Kyi. He said he is optimistic but he is very wary. He said 40 years plus of depression doesn't just disappear within 12 months.
Some things that we have seen that is different, though, the very fact that I can talk to you here live from the capital from a marketplace and I have no one with me. Obviously there are many policemen around, and we have had our credentials checked, but this is a very big change and certainly it does show the media restrictions have been lifted somewhat - Carol.
COSTELLO: Paula Hancocks reporting live for us from Myanmar this morning.
ROMANS: All right. Time for this morning's top stories at about half past the hour. No sign of surrender from Herman Cain after telling his staff he is re-assessing his campaign. The embattled businessman delivered a speech on foreign policy and national security at a Michigan College last night, never addressing allegations of a 13-year affair with a Georgia woman. And Cain is keeping up campaign plans with a three- stop Ohio swing beginning today?
COSTELLO: Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, he said he's not worried about his job. He addressed the Bernie Fine child sex abuse scandal after his team won last night. Three men have now come forward saying that former Syracuse assistant coach molested them when they were children. No charges have been filed.
ROMANS: Riot police moving in on Wall Street protesters in Los Angeles. Overnight they were - they were warned to leave their camp near City Hall. Two hundred people so far have been arrested and many others left on their own. The move comes 48 hours after a deadline to get out expired.
COSTELLO: And happening right now, Britain is being hit with a massive lockout. It's one of the biggest strikes there in years, and it's creating long lines at airports, hospitals and it's forcing thousands of schools to shut down. And as you can see, a little bit of violence there as well.
Our Erin McLaughlin is live in London. What are people protesting there, Erin?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol.
Well, just to let you know where I am, outside St. Thomas' Hospital in London where some of the 400,000 public sector workers on strike have turned up to picket today. At the center of all this are the public sector pensions.
Now, put simply, government workers want public sector -- I'm sorry. Government officials want public sector workers to contribute more to their pension and work for longer.
Now, with me now is Chris Remington. He's a union leader.
Chris, what has brought you out here today?
CHRIS REMINGTON, UNION LEADER: Public pensions are going to be decimated under the government's proposals. We will see how working life extended. We will see the benefits reduced. We will see all the moneys that are being invested in pensions being wasted.
Two major pension schemes which affect the members here, the health scheme generates 2 billion pounds in surplus every year which does not go back into the scheme. It's going to go back into the treasury. So, we know that we've been robbed blind by the government proposals.
MCLAUGHLIN: So, how has health service is going to be affected as a result of the strike today?
REMINGTON: Every major hospital in London has had services restricted. The ambulance services are on strike and on emergency only. We have got all in-patient sections reduced. Anything non- emergency has been reduced, even though we work very hard with NHS to make sure there are emergency and emergency coverage available for patients.
MCLAUGHLIN: OK. Well, thanks, Chris.
Now, Carol, government officials say that this pension reform is necessary. Quite simply for the fact that people here in the U.K. are living longer. And as a result, these pensions are getting more and more expensive. That expense falling to the U.K. taxpayer.
COSTELLO: We can relate here in the United States. Erin McLaughlin reporting live for us from London -- thank you.
ROMANS: In Iran, Britain is pulling all of its embassy staff out after students there stormed its embassy in Tehran. The students caused extensive damage. Britain's foreign secretary is now blasting Iran for failing to protect the embassy and international law requires.
The students were part of a protest demanding Britain's ambassador be sent home after Iran's parliament voted to expel him.
COSTELLO: A bloody night in the Cairo. At least 62 people injured by rocks, bottles and fire bombs in Tahrir Square -- all while Egyptians continued heading to the polls for a second day of elections. They're choosing members of the lower house of parliament who will then be asked to draft a new constitution for Egypt.
ROMANS: Vice President Joe Biden marking the impending end of the Iraq war with a surprise visit to Baghdad. He arrived yesterday for meetings with Iraqi leaders and to pay homage to the last U.S. troops who will be coming home by the end of this year.
After nearly nine years of fighting and more than 4,400 lives lost, the end of the Iraq war is in sight. And as the conflict gears down, things are pretty tight at one remote U.S. base in northern Kuwait.
Here's our Martin Savidge.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the war in Iraq has a finish line, then Camp Virginia is it. The last six weeks, as many as 350 vehicles a day have been rolling into this remote base in the Kuwaiti desert, delivering soldiers and equipment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No water, no MREs, no water no MREs, no brass, no ammo.
SAVIDGE: Here teams work day and night guiding convoys through a series of stops, each one like an assembly line in reverse, taking off, or as they say, downloading equipment accumulated over years of war.
(on camera): And so what sort of stuff are they getting out at this particular point?
SGT. VALERIE CARTER, U.S. ARMY: They're getting any kind of oil, fuel, batteries, anything that was issued to them or they bought, they download them here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pull it all up.
SAVIDGE (voice-over): Everything is sorted and collected to be thrown out, recycled, or put back in service.
(on camera): We brought you to this motor pool because, really, it's one of the few places where you can go to get a sense of how much we're talking about, how many vehicles, how many trucks, how much stuff. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
(voice-over): Camp Virginia has the capacity to house close to 7,000 troops and more than 5,000 vehicles. And even though officials say they are below those levels, they admit it's been challenging keeping up with what's coming out of Iraq.
LT. COL. BRYAN BOBO, CAMP COMMANDER: It's very busy. I'll say we're making use of every available cot we have, all the space we have, but it's going really well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At ease. Listen up, welcome to Camp Virginia.
SAVIDGE: But there are signs of strain. The base has had to greatly increase housing and office space, and the dining hall now remains open 24 hours a day just to keep everyone fed. The goal is to move the soldiers from convoy to a flight back in the U.S. within five to eight days, but officers admit it can sometimes take longer.
And the next convoy at Camp Virginia is not expected until November 30th to allow the system time to catch up.
Yet despite such problems morale remains high, because as every soldier who makes it here knows, the next stop is home.
Martin Savidge, CNN, Camp Virginia, Kuwait.
ROMANS: Just the visuals of that story are amazing.
COSTELLO: I'm still glad they're coming home.
Four men charged in the Amish beard-cutting case are heading to court today for arraignment. The men each face eight crime charges for shaving beards and cutting hair of members of a rival Amish group. A man's beard and head hair are sacred in the Amish religion.
ROMANS: Big changes for the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars. The team's head coach, Jack del Rio, is stepping down after nine years. The defense coordinator will take over the rest of the season. And bigger news, the team sold to Illinois businessman, Shahid khan.
COSTELLO: Now, let's head to Atlanta to check in with Rob Marciano.
Welcome back. How's the baby?
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Baby's great. Mom is recovering. Thanks for asking. Things are all well in the Marcianos.
ROMANS: How long of a stretch are you guys sleeping? Just be honest.
MARCIANO: You know, two -- you know thousand is. Between two and three hours and then you're good to go. Back at it.
ROMANS: All fired up. Ready to go.
MARCIANO: On this shift, you know, we're kind of used to having little sleep, so -- we'll see how long that goes.
Good morning again, guys.
We are looking at this topsy-turvy weather. I'm missing zany stuff the past couple of days that's for sure.
Temperatures across the South have been 20 degrees below average. Temperatures across the Northeast, about 20 or more degrees above average. And even some snow across parts of the Deep South yesterday. Arkansas in some sports seeing six to eight inches. Indiana, in some spots seeing more than that.
And we still have power outages because of heavy snow on some of the tree limb there. Meanwhile, it's almost 60 degrees in Bangor, Maine, 48 degrees in New York City, and to the 30s in D.C., even 20s in some other spots. So, there you go -- Canadian border, and spots in Canada, seeing temperatures in the 50s and 60s. And temperatures across the South barely getting in the 40s in some spots yesterday.
And out West, we're also looking at potential for seeing historic Santa Ana wind events. Conditions are setting up for our friends in California, both northern and southern, to see strong offshore winds beginning tonight and lasting at least through tomorrow morning. We're talking about winds that could exceed hurricane force. Maybe 60 or 70, maybe even 80 mile-an-hour winds in some spots. Certainly near the canyons especially, and that will cause some trees and power lines to go down, and it will be a dangerous situation in some of the height of those windy conditions.
Also not the best for traveling today in San Francisco and Los Angeles, especially in the afternoon and evening. That's when the wind picks up. Also, windy conditions expected in New York City; Chicago, some strong winds; Cleveland, Detroit, a little bit of morning snow and temperatures will try to get back to normal across the Northeast today, more so tomorrow, 52 degrees for the high temperature in New York and 49 degrees down here in Atlanta -- guys.
COSTELLO: Things are getting back to normal.
ROMANS: I know. It's getting wild and woolly for Rob.
All right. Thanks, Rob. Talk to you soon.
COSTELLO: Still to come, the race to save the European Union. Leaders right now are working on a plan to fix that region's growing debt. But what if they fail? What will it mean for your money, and your job, and your investments? We'll talk about it.
ROMANS: And when last night's broadcast turned out to be so alarming for NBC anchorman Brian Williams. Oh, man.
You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. It's 38 minutes after the hour.
ROMANS: Welcome back.
An emergency meeting is under way this morning in Brussels to come up with a big and bold plan to fix Europe's cascading debt problems, and the whole world needs the European leaders to get this right and quickly. Time is running out.
Here's what would happen if the Eurozone fails. Bank lending freezes. Companies can't borrow, pay bills or hire. Stock markets potentially crash. U.S. and Asian frankly, exports collapse.
Most people who know say it could be, could be, worse than what happened in 2008, because there's no political will or unity right now to fix it like there was back then.
Let's bring in Kenneth Rogoff. He's a professor of economics at Harvard University. He's in Boston this morning, and he's literally written the book on crises and their aftermath.
You know, Ken, good morning.
It's a pretty bleak forecast. Is that where we're headed? Because just this morning, the E.U. economic affairs commissioner came out and said we have just 10 days to save the E.U.?
KENNETH ROGOFF, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Well, Christine, this has been a slow-moving train wreck for a long time, but I'm not sure they've quite hit the wall yet. I don't think they're going to get ten days from now and just say, you know what? We can't agree to anything. We're just going to tear off the euro and forget about it and everything you just said would happen.
I think it's more likely that they'll find some kind of handshake agreement to fix their very, very weak constitution temporarily. You know, there's no fast way to do it. They're really not a country, but they need to be to have this single currency.
ROMANS: You talk about the single currency. You have such a good analogy. You say it's like 17 people who aren't married sharing a banking account. That can't go on without a lot of trouble.
ROGOFF: No, it can't. And you need to work out an arrangement of who gets what. It's one thing to have something with your brother and sister, and then you start bringing in your cousins and these third cousins you don't even know. I mean, that's where they are in Europe with this thing and they need a constitution. They need a way of doing their finances, and right now, they don't have one.
ROMANS: So, it's a big dysfunctional family with cousins and third cousins and everyone bringing in different amounts of money and taking more money than others out of the banking account. You got Germany sitting at the head of the table. They're essentially the only ones who can get the house in order. A lot of people are calling on Germany just to really, you know, step up and lead here, and they're not doing it quite yet, so far.
Of all people, Ken, we see the Polish foreign minister begging Germany to help, Poland, keep in mind. Not even part of the Eurozone -- has a long history of fearing German dominance.
This is what the Polish foreign minister said. He said, "I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is. I fear German power less than I'm beginning to fear German inactivity." And he goes on to say, "And I demand of Germany, for your sake and ours, you help the Eurozone survive and prosper."
It's not just a nod to our history buffs here. This is how desperate the situation is.
ROGOFF: It's just incredible, I mean, to be hearing that. You know, you remember Germany invaded Poland in 1939. I mean, and to think that Poland is now begging Germany to take leadership. That's incredible.
But it captures the contradiction of what's going on. That on the one hand, everyone fears Germany becoming too powerful. The Germans, really, are willing to deal more of it. They say, look, guys, we want to have a system. Besides, you can't just run deficits, and then, we pay for it all the time. We want rules. We want some order here.
And then, we'll come in, then we'll let the central bank print money. The countries want Germany's money, but they don't want to agree to anything.
ROMANS: All the editorial pages, the papers here at home, all about Germany, the "New York Times," "The Washington Post" calling on Germany to fix it. The "Post" saying Germany can still rescue the Euro. "The Wall Street Journal" saying a blank check from Germany is not enough and compares Germany to the rich Americans being called on to pay to their fair share here at home.
This is a big political divide here. And in Europe, it's really becoming sort of north versus south. Explain that to me.
ROGOFF: Well, the northern countries, Germany and France, are very large, and they're by and large, very successful and pretty developed. There are some of the southern countries like Greece and Portugal, Spain, these are great countries, a lot of great things, but they're not as far along economically.
And so, the natural, you know, thing is that money is flowing from the richer countries to the poorer countries. But then, suddenly, the Germans woke up and said, wait a second, you're really not planning to pay this back? We're worried about it.
And they're in the situation where they want to figure out how can they slowly over decades and decades converge and become a country, but they've got this crisis, because investors don't trust the whole thing.
ROMANS: And this crisis is our crisis. This crisis, this slow- motion melt that you're talking about affects us. And we've got to charge here of the Euro Zone and U.S. manufacturing orders going back 15 years. A good indicator of a health economy, right? Look at how close that relationship is.
You can see a big dip in 2008. Look at the dip here, the blue at the end. That's Europe starting to head down again. This is why it is so important for us. How does this compare with what we saw in the financial system and the American economy in 2008? Is it potentially worse or we'll never see something like 2008 again?
ROGOFF: Well, it would be worse, I think, if they just got their ten days from now and say we give up. We're going to split up. Europe is huge in the global economy. It's not just our exports. Our stock market, if you wake up in the morning and want to know what's going to happen to the U.S. market, look at the European market. They're very lank, would shake confidence.
Some of our biggest banks would be threatened. They might have to be bailed out if the European banks go under, but I don't think we're really going there yet. I think they will come up with another path, but it's still a very scary situation. We're not ten days from a solution. We could be ten days from a catastrophe. I hope not.
ROMANS: I mean, you talk about bailouts in this country again. Oh, the politics in this country are so ugly right now, Ken. I mean, there isn't a political will. Either in Europe, it looks like or here to be able to confront another financial crisis. They've got to get over that, right? They have to get over that?
ROGOFF: Well, you know, what they did the first time is, they just had the governments write blank checks to everybody, and that worked, but now, the question is, who's going to right blank checks for the government? And they're looking to China. They're saying, who has money? Who can help Europe?
There are limits to what the United States can do. They're talking about the International Monetary Fund, but fundamentally, this is a family feud in Europe. They need to fix it. They need to fix their system. They need a constitutional change. That is a tall order, but that's what they have to deliver.
I think they will just give us a whiff of that in ten days, maybe enough to calm markets for a while.
ROMANS: All right. Thanks so much, Ken Rogoff from Harvard. Nice to see you this morning, Ken.
ROGOFF: Pleasure, Christine.
COSTELLO: Ten minutes until the top of the hour. Just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, the greatest show on earth hit with a record fine for allegedly abusing animals.
Plus, find out why the fast-food joint, Chick-fil-A doesn't want you to eat more kale. We'll explain.
COSTELLO: Ten minutes until the top of the hour. Here's what you need to know to start your day.
COSTELLO (voice-over): Herman Cain still plowing ahead after informing his staff he's reassessing his campaign. The embattled candidate delivered a speech on foreign policy and national security at a Michigan college last night without addressing allegations of a 13-year long affair with a Georgia woman.
Syracuse head coach, Jim Boeheim, addressing the Bernie Fine sex abuse scandal saying he's never been worried about his job. Three men have now come forward saying Fine, the former Syracuse assistant coach, molested them when they were children.
Penn State officials are holding a town hall forum today. The president of the university and several student organizations are hosting the event. Students are being invited to ask questions about the school's ongoing child sex abuse scandal.
Riot police moving in on Wall Street protesters in Los Angeles overnight. They were warned to leave their camp near city hall. 200 people have now been arrested, and this comes 48 hours after a deadline to get out expired.
Ringling Brothers slapped with a record fine for alleged animal rights violations. Spelled Entertainment which produces the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has agreed to pay $270,000 but admits no wrongdoing as part of a settlement with the government. It was accused of abusing and exploiting elephants that took part in the greatest show on earth.
Boston Red Sox have a brand-new manager, Bobby Valentine. An ESPN analyst and former New York Mets manager had accepted the job. He replaced Terry Francona that was let go after the team's late season collapsed.
COSTELLO (on-camera): And that's the news you need to start your day. AMERICAN MORNING back after a break.
ROMANS: Good morning and welcome back. It feels like David versus Goliath. In one corner, Bo Muller-Moore, he's trying to trademark the slogan "eat more kale," which he prints on T-shirts in his garage up in Vermont.
And the other corner is Chick-fil-A, the fast-food franchise claims his slogan clashes with their "eat more chicken," their trademark's franchise, their trademark phrase, and they're now threatening to shut Muller-Moore down, but he's not backing down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BO MULLER-MOORE, VERMONT T-SHIRT MAKER: It's T-shirts and it's chicken sandwiches. It's apples to zebras.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you've never sold a chicken sandwich in your life?
MULLER-MOORE: I have not sold a chicken sandwich, no, and will not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: This is not the first time Chick-fil-A come after him. A few years ago, he received a cease and desist letter, but a pro-bono lawyer correspondent back and forth with the fast-food chain, and when the letters stopped, Muller-Moore assumed problem was solved. He continued about his T-shirt business of eating more kale.
COSTELLO: "Eat more kale."
ROMANS: There you go.
COSTELLO: He's reported from war zones and taken on world leaders, but Brian Williams faced his biggest challenge as a journalist during last night's broadcast of the NBC "Nightly News." In case you miss it, a fire alarm suddenly went off in the studio as the show started and the veteran anchorman, he didn't miss a beat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN WILLIAMS, ANCHOR, NIGHTLY NEWS WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS: Good evening. Perhaps, it's because of its name. For all the bankruptcies we've covered in this grim U.S. economy, this one gets your attention. You'll forgive us, we have a fire alarm announcement going on here in the studio.
Again, we have an announcement going on here in the studio. Tom Costello, we should advise our viewers, there's no danger to us. We'd love to make this stop. Why don't you take -- we thought all the speakers were turned off in here. It looks like we have a routine alarm one floor below our studio. All is well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: He looks so calm. I want to know what he was saying in the commercial breaks.
COSTELLO: And I bet it was nasty. Call those people now!
COSTELLO: The fire alarm, though, kept going on throughout the newscast. Finally, I had to turn the station. It was driving me crazy. An NBC spokesperson later tweeted, it was the first fire alarm in the studio. The system should have been turned off, but obviously, they're working out the kinks. So, I guess, they had just installed a brand new system, and it just went off as a test.
ROMANS: And eventually, it looked like they kind of passed things over to Andrea Mitchell for awhile, while they were trying to sort it out. She did have a good story about Iran. Plenty to really talk about, but, you know, professional journalists --
COSTELLO: That was funny.
Ahead in the next hour, occupy L.A. tents coming down. Police rushing the camp overnight and forcing the protesters out. 200 people have been arrested. We're going to take you live to Los Angeles, next.
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