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American Morning

Herman Cain: The Decision; Poll: Gingrich Soaring In Florida; Senate Block Payroll Tax Cut Extension; Anger At "Occupy San Francisco"; "Occupy OKC" Fights To Stay; Egypt Expecting Election Results; Camp Victory Handover; Western Wind Damage; DOJ Moneymaker; Senate Adopted Tough Iran Sanctions; Herman Cain Watch; Camp Victory Handover

Aired December 02, 2011 - 06:00   ET



HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My wife did not know about it, and was the revelation, and the surprise.


ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: Herman Cain saying his wife didn't know about his friendship with alleged mistress, Ginger White. The GOP candidate is heading home right now to make a key decision about the future of his campaign.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Fair warning. Just released tapes showing extreme weather was a worry minutes before a deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.

CHO: And seizing a fortune. A look inside the warehouse where the government keeps the stuff they seize from the world's biggest con men on this AMERICAN MORNING.

ROMANS: And good morning, everyone. It's Friday, December 2nd. Ali and Carol are both off today. I'm Christine Romans along with Alina Cho on this AMERICAN MORNING.

CHO: I'm so glad you got the memo.

ROMANS: I know.

CHO: We're both feeling a lot like Christmas this morning.

Up first, the countdown is on for Herman Cain. He's heading back home to Atlanta this morning in the decision about to whether continue his campaign could be in his wife's hands.

Cain says we will know by Monday at the latest whether he's in or out of the race, and yesterday for the very first time, Cain admitted that getting out is an option.

He acknowledged he did give money to the woman he said she had a 13 jeer-year affair with him. Last night on Fox News, Cain said his wife only found out about this long friendship with Ginger White when the rest of us did.


CAIN: That is correct, and she was hurt that she didn't know about this friend that I was helping financially. She was aware of many of the other friends that I have helped.


CHO: Ginger White spoke to Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC last night and again insisted it was a lot more than just a friendship. And talked about why they texted each other dozens of times over the past two months.


GINGER WHITE, ALLEGES SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HERMAN CAIN: At the end of the day, I know that I am telling the truth. I would never come out with something like this if it wasn't true. Honestly, I didn't want to come out with this, and I know that travel was involved and sex was involved. I would never lie about that.

Our sexual relationship had faded out a bit, which I was -- very fine with, and so the last two and a half years, yes. We would text back and forth. He would help me monthly.

Most times he would be traveling, and when there were several texts, it was just he and I trying to get our schedules together to where we could meet.

And he would, you know, help me out with -- with money for bills and various things.


CHO: Boy, here to talk about all the latest developments is senior political editor, Mark Preston. Mark, good morning to you. So what are they saying in Washington? Is Cain in or out of the race?

MARK PRESTON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL EDITOR: I think they're saying, boy, I mean, my God, what a story this is, Alina, you know. Look, bottom line for right now, Herman Cain's presidential candidacy is all but done.

As he said last night on Fox, he'll make the final decision on Monday or at least let us know by Monday, but the fact of the matter is, he's no longer a viable candidate. The question really rises was he ever a viable candidate?

He certainly soared to the top of the polls and did very well for a period of time, but the fact is he never had any national infrastructure, Alina.

As he decides what to do whether he motors on with this campaign or he whether he abandons it, he said there are three things he's going to look at.

How the emotional toll is taking on his family, what his supporters are saying. The fact of the matter is, can he raise enough money to keep the campaign going on, Alina?

CHO: And that's absolutely right. I mean, when it comes right done to it, it really is going to be about that support and especially the money. Having said that, our own polling shows that Newt Gingrich does stand to gain if Herman Cain quits, right?

PRESTON: That's absolutely right. You know, the big winner in all this and what has been a terrible saga certainly a family tragedy, the fact that Newt Gingrich has shot through the polls.

In fact, let's look at a very important primary state of Florida. A new poll that has just come out in the last 24 hours shows that Newt Gingrich has gone from basically zero to 100 percent. Look at that.

He has climbed 39 points in just a month. We've seen Herman Cain right there drop 24 points. Florida holds its primary on January 31st.

We've spent a lot of time right now, Alina, talking about New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, three very important contests that will be held in January, but a lot of us looking to Florida to see if that really, really (INAUDIBLE) the Republican presidential field -- Alina.

CHO: Do you think Newt Gingrich really does have staying power at this point? It's so early. I mean, we're still several weeks from the Iowa caucuses.

PRESTON: You're absolutely right. So the question is, has he really peaked too early at this point and can his unconventional campaigns sustain him and can he continue to move on?

I'm someone who believes that yes, he can, but the fact is he needs to make some changes. The unconventional campaign has got him to where he's at, but of the fact matter is though he needs to put in a large national infrastructure in order to run a solid campaign. Right now, he does not have that infrastructure in place -- Alina.

CHO: CNN's senior political editor, Mark Preston waking up early for us. Mark, thank you.

ROMANS: All right, Congress has just 30 days this morning to pass the payroll tax holiday extension or else you could see your paycheck cut by as much as $1,000 next year.

Last night, the Senate blocked both the Republican and Democratic plans from moving forward. The Democrats' plan paid for this extension for working Americans by taxing millionaires.

The Republican plan froze the federal pay for workers and then cut millionaires off from some benefits like unemployment insurance. Apparently, there are 2,600 millionaires who are getting a jobless check.

The president released a statement last night saying in part, a Senate Republican shows to raise taxes on nearly 160 million hard working Americans because they refused to ask a few 100,000 millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.

CHO: Wall Street protesters desperately trying to stand their ground in two more cities this morning. Anger boiling over "Occupy San Francisco."

Police moved in and barricaded some screaming protesters as a noon deadline to leave the camp came and went. The city offered to move them to a new site, but many protesters refused.

In Oklahoma City, occupiers filed a suit to stay in their park. They have asked a federal judge to stop the city from imposing an overnight curfew.

Protesters have been camping out in Kerr Park in downtown Oklahoma City for nearly two months, but they were recently denied a new permit after there was apparently a drunken brawl that trashed the camp. The city gave them until 11:00 p.m. last night to clear out.

ROMANS: It's history in the making this morning in Egypt. We're expecting results from the first round of elections. Egyptians voted Monday and Tuesday for the very first time since President Hosni Mubarak was forced out of power in February.

Our Jim Clancy is live in Cairo, Egypt, this morning. Good morning, Jim.

JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you. Well, the protesters here in Tahrir Square are awaiting those election results us a well. Today is scheduled to be a million-man march. As I make it right now, they're about 990,000 people short.

And that's part of the problem here. The protests in the square are losing some of the lustre that they have had for the past 10 months. The reason may be the ongoing election, the process itself.

A new cabinet is being announced that will include some young people and some of the people, perhaps, right from this square. At the same time, there is a sense here that the military is needed.

When people saw those first election results, more than one said if the Islamists are winning, we're depending on the military to protect the rights ever the minorities.

Meaning the secularists and Christians that make up about 10 percent of the population, Christine so there's a reliance, if they will admit it, on the military.

People are wondering here what is next. Some of these protesters, I'm told, are going to leave after this march. A march that is calling for a civilian transitional government, and at the same time, commemorating those who have died or been wounded in this square over the past 10 months -- Christine.

ROMANS: Jim, that's so interesting that that early wariness and mistrust of the military might be morphing into a reliance on them as the democratic process unfolds.

CLANCY: You're exactly right. It's normal. Look, everybody expected the Muslim Brotherhood to dominate in the elections, and that apparently they have done. What they did not expect is that the Salafa parties, which shows so strongly.

Now those are the Islamic parties that have been linked to terrorism in the past. Those are the Islamic parties that have called for Sharia law, a morality police much like what you see in Iran.

They have asked for a change. Some of them even speaking out. They don't want any entertainment. They don't any music. These are the kinds of things that are really concerning the secularists right now in Egypt.

What will be the outcome, some people say calm down. The Muslim Brotherhood, really in the driver's seat here. After all, they are becoming politicians for the first time. They will be moderate. They will not be doing things that will hurt the tourism industry.

Things that will alienate society away from their party. They are going for more support, not less. Egyptians today just aren't sure -- Christine.

ROMANS: All right, Jim Clancy in Egypt. Thanks, Jim.

CHO: For nearly nine years, Camp Victory has been the heartbeat of the U.S. military operation in Iraq and now the Iraqis are officially in control.

The formal handover took place overnight in Baghdad. It follows yesterday's ceremony where Vice President Biden praised coalition and Iraqi soldiers for their service. Thirteen American troops remain and if the schedule holds that number will be zero three weeks from now.

ROMANS: All right, still to come, death and destruction, then chaos and confusion. You're going to hear the gripping just released audiotapes from emergency responders at that scene. The scene of last Augusts' tragic stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.

CHO: The senate is passing tough, new sanctions against Iran. Why the White House says it could backfire and end up costing you money.

ROMANS: And, yes. Luxury cars, diamonds, Rolexs, all part of a billion dollar money-making effort by the federal government to see that justice is served. You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. It's 11 minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHO: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. Hundreds of thousands of people from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast are still without power this morning after powerful wind storms.

Southern California was the hardest hit with the worst Santa Ana winds in a decade. Hurricane force winds as strong as 140 miles an hour toppled trees and brought down power lines.

L.A. County declares state of emergency. The winds are expected to kick up again today, exactly what they don't need. Our Rob Marciano in the Extreme Weather Center with more on that. Bobby, good morning.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. What makes this extraordinary, how widespread it was. You touched on that, across several states from Utah, which actually got some of the highest winds at lowest elevations. Centerville, Utah got 102 mile an hour wind yesterday even.

A 69 mile an hour winds and along I-15 there were certainly issues there as far as crosswinds and some of the high profile - and of course, Southern California got it yesterday. It's relatively calm right now, but throughout the next few hours, we'll probably see the winds kick up again. And then probably strengthened again tonight into tomorrow morning briefly before this pattern begins to break down Sunday and Monday. Winds gusting 40 to 60 miles an hour, so nothing like what we saw yesterday, but still with weakened trees and tree limbs, it could be enough to take down some more of that stuff.

All right, freezing rain, some snow across parts of Arizona, New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, this is the other side of that system that's going to track its way across the Southern Plains, meet up with another front. Now it will bring some rain across from Dallas, up through the mid-Mississippi River Valley over the weekend.

And then through parts of the Western Great Lakes including Chicago, which today will get up to about 43 degrees. Fifty-five degrees for the high temperature in New York City; everyone east of the Mississippi for the most part will be quiet today, 64 degrees; rebounding nicely in Atlanta and almost up to 70 in New Orleans and Houston.

CHO: Wow.

MARCIANO: Guys, back up to you.

CHO: That's where I was yesterday, yes. It was nice weather down there as well. We thank you for all of it, Bobby. Rob, I mean. Rob Marciano, I want to be proper here.

MARCIANO: That's right. We're very proper here.

ROMANS: Thanks, Rob.

MARCIANO: You bet (ph). ROMANS: When you think of the U.S. Justice Department, the words "billion dollar money maker" probably don't come to mind. We know that crime doesn't pay, but it turns out the ill-gotten gains of white collar criminals are paying off big time for the Feds.

CNN's Deb Feyerick goes inside for this story.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Name any luxury item, yachts, mansions, art collections, race car, diamonds, even ancient artifacts. Chances are the U.S. government likely owns it. That's right. Your government. It's all legal. In fact, it's justice.

PREET BRAHARA, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Whether they're narcotics traffickers, arms traffickers, terrorists, publicly corrupt officials or your standard securities fraudsters, in every single type of case that we bring, we try to make sure that we're looking at ways in which we can take the profit out of the crime and to return money to the victims.

FEYERICK: It's called asset forfeiture. This year alone, the Justice Department made $1.6 billion ceasing property. Almost half of that money, $800 million, came from cases prosecuted in New York's Southern District run by U.S. attorney Preet Brahara.

BRAHARA: In the last fiscal year alone, we have managed to bring in through the concept of forfeiture, approximately $800 million in funds or in property which is about 16 times what our annual operating budget is, which I believe is better than most hedge funds these days.

FEYERICK: Prosecutions of white collar crime, epic Ponzi schemes and financial fraud are at an all-time high.

(on camera): Given the caliber of criminals you're going after, in certain cases, the Bernie Madoffs, the Mark Dreiers, are you ever surprised it's simply what certain people own? And do you think, oh, my God.

BRAHARA: You know, not much surprises us these days. Oftentimes the motivation for engaging in some of this criminal conduct is greed. And the fact that some of these items are so ostentatious is a reflection of what the motivation was for engaging in those crimes in the first place.

FEYERICK: This is just a small sample of what the government has right now. Want a Bentley? Well, a new one will cost you up to a quarter million dollars. Like most everything here, these two will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

(voice-over): Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff's beach home sold for almost $9 million. Jewelry given as a gift to actress Anne Hathaway by her currently incarcerated ex-boyfriend sold for more than $63,000.

(on camera): Some people may wonder, do you ever think about the cases you're going to pursue based on the amount of money you're likely to bring in?

BRAHARA: No. We pursue cases for one reason and one reason only, to hold people accountable for their crimes.

FEYERICK: The $800 million will be distributed to victims and law enforcement programs. U.S. Attorney Brahara expects next year to be an equally good year financially. With the government hiring freeze, it's going to be a bit more challenging to keep up the current pace of these intensive investigations.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


CHO: Pretty incredible and that's a lot of money.

Nineteen minutes after the hour. Here's what's new this morning. Take a look at this - 32 tons of pot. That's worth about $65 million on the street. The marijuana was discovered when the Feds busted a secret underground tunnel that ran all the way from Mexico to San Diego. The smuggling operation was so sophisticated that the tunnel was equipped with elevators and railcars. Six people were arrested during the raid.

ROMANS: And 72 hours - 72 hours underwater. That's the goal for Florida diver Allen Sherrod, he is going to try to break the current world record, the longest saltwater scuba dive. Sherrod began his three-day dive yesterday. It's his second attempt at the record.

Last time, rough waters forced him to bail out early. The current record is 48 hour under water on a scuba dive.

CHO: Now, he's going to try to do 22 more.

And the world's first "Superman" comic sets a new record. Action Comics Number One sold at auction for more than $2 million. That's the highest comic book sale price ever. And get this - it only costs 10 cents when it was published way back in 1938.

According to the "Hollywood Reporter," actor Nicolas Cage is the seller. Cage apparently bought the comic book 14 years ago for about $150,000. A good return on his investment.

ROMANS: Yes. Exactly. Yes.

Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, it's been nearly three years since the auto bailout. Detroit's Big Three are celebrating this milestone with some big news. We're going to tell you about that.

CHO: And why those new white Coca-Cola cans are getting a, shall we say, frosty reception from consumers. We'll tell you why.

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. It's 22 minutes after the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: Welcome back. "Minding Your Business" this morning.

That big November jobs report comes out this morning in about two hours from now. Economists expect about 110,000 jobs were added to the American economy last month. They think the unemployment rate stayed steady at nine percent. Of course, too high, right?

And on Wall Street, U.S. stock futures are right now trading higher after a minor, a very minor pullback yesterday. The Dow and the broader S&P 500 closed down slightly yesterday. The NASDAQ was up. But, again, futures are looking a little bit higher this morning.

A potential relief for homeowners facing foreclosure. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are putting foreclosures on hold during the holidays. They did this last year, too. We should note, though, this only applies to mortgages held or controlled by Fannie or Freddie. That's about half of all mortgages. A number of banks have also said they would suspend evictions during the holidays.

General Motors announcing it will buy back a Chevy Volt. It will buy it back from anybody who's concerned about your safety for driving this car. The move follows a federal investigation into possible post-crash fires started by the Volt's battery. GM also conceding it wouldn't sell the 10,000 Volts it hoped to sell in 2011.

The auto industry posting its best month for sales, though, since the Cash for Clunkers Program back in 2009. Those gains are led by U.S. carmakers. Chrysler reporting its sales soared 45 percent from a year ago. General Motors reporting sales up seven percent from a year earlier and Ford was up 13 percent.

And if you've used Ticketmaster in the past 12 years, you could be getting some money back. According to "Business Insider" because of a proposed class action settlement, the ticket website is being asked to refund the $1.50 it charged for every ticket purchased between October of 1999 and this past October. It's all because customers caught on to the fact that Ticketmaster was profiting from those processing fees.

AMERICAN MORNING will be right back after a quick break.



HERMAN CAIN (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I had known her as a friend. She wasn't the only friend that I had helped in these tough economic times.

CHO (voice-over): Herman Cain heading back to Atlanta to see his wife for the very first time since another woman accused him of a 13- year affair. The candidate insisting it was just about money, as he also admits for the first time getting out of the race is an option on this AMERICAN MORNING.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ROMANS: Welcome back. It's 30 minutes past the hour. Time for the morning's top stories.

Waiting for the decision, Herman Cain is heading home to Atlanta this morning. The first time he'll speak to his wife face to face since another woman accused him of having a 13-year affair. Now, Cain admits helping out the woman, a friend he says named Ginger White, with the bills. But he said he never cheated on his wife.

CHO: House Speaker John Boehner saying he agrees with President Obama and Democrats that extending the payroll tax holiday will help the economy, but the Senate still blocked Democratic and Republican plans to extend the cuts which expire at the end of the year. At issue right now, how to pay for the move.

ROMANS: A historic day in Iraq. U.S. troops handing over the keys to their military headquarters in Iraq. The Camp Victory complex which was once Saddam Hussein's palace is now under the full control of the Iraqi government.

CHO: Back to our top story now. It's all down to a game of he said/she said between presidential candidate Herman Cain and his alleged mistress Ginger White. Just yesterday, in an interview with the "New Hampshire Union Leader" Cain acknowledged for the first time that he gave money to White but insist he didn't cheat on his wife.

Ginger White spoke to Lawrence O'Donnell over at MSNBC last night and insisted it was a lot more than just a friendship than a financial transaction. She also talked about why they texted each other dozens of time over the past few months.


GINGER WHITE, CAIN'S ALLEGED MISTRESS: At the end of the day, I know that I am telling the truth. I would never come out with something like this if it wasn't true. Honestly, I didn't want to come out with this, and I know that travel was involved and sex was involved.


CHO: Herman Cain's attorney Lin Wood went at it with our Piers Morgan last night, blaming the media for asking so many questions about the growing scandal.


PIERS MORGAN, HOST, PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT: Why are you doing an interview? We're always talking about the scandal?

LIN WOOD, CAIN'S ATTORNEY: It's a good question after sitting here the last 15 minutes. But I came here to try to put what was going on in Herman Cain's life and candidacy into perspective, to try to bring attention to the fact that I don't believe that he's been treated fairly, that I don't believe that many people, particularly in the media, have utilized their common sense in approaching these accusations, and also come on to say that I believe that if you're going to attack and impugn someone's character, then do it with facts. Not unfounded, unsupported accusations.

In your example, if hypothetically it were to be proven that any political candidate had, in fact, engaged in a longtime extramarital affair, if that is a proven fact, then use that fact to judge that candidate's character, but don't judge that candidate's character simply because somebody has made an accusation for whatever their motive may be, and they aren't in a position to prove it.


CHO: Herman Cain says we'll know whether he's in or out of the presidential race by Monday.

ROMANS: The Senate has passed a $662 billion defense bill that contains a new policy for detaining and trying terror suspects. The measure calls for $43 billion in cuts from last year's defense budget and despite threats of a presidential veto, it would require the military to hold suspected terrorists linked to al Qaeda, even if they're captured on U.S. soil. The Senate bill now has to be reconcile with the House version.

The Senate also unanimously passed a harsh new economic sanctions against Iran. The plan would cut off Iran's central bank from the rest of the world's banks. The White House is balking, fearing the move could backfire, wind up costing all of us a lot more money at the gas pump.

Here's CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. has long used sanctions to try to stop Iran's cash flow for financing its nuclear efforts and support for terrorism. But now, the administration is saying not so fast to a tough new bipartisan sanctions proposal from Congress. The idea, target Iran's central bank by cutting off U.S. banking with any foreign banks that bank with Iranians.

Much of the banking with Iran is done to pay for Iranian oil. The administration is considering action against Iran's central bank, but officials warn the Congressional proposal could be a bad idea in today's fragile economy.

DAVID COHEN, UNDER SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY: It is a very, very powerful threat. It is a threat to essentially for the commercial banks to end their ability to transact in the dollar and their ability, really, to function as major international financial institutions.

STARR: According to OPEC, Iran exports about $2.5 million barrels a day of crude oil, earning it more than $70 billion a year. Countries around the world buy Iranian oil, pay for it through transactions conducted by the Central Bank of Iran. For those countries --

COHEN: It would say to them that if they continue to process oil transactions with the Central Bank of Iran, their access to the United States can be terminated.

STARR: Such a sanction could trim world oil supplies and cut Iran's ability to sell oil to European allies, but that, too, could backfire. Western economies would be hurt by the cost of higher oil prices in reaction to less supplies. Plus, those higher prices --

WENDY SHERMAN, UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE: Which would mean that Iran would in fact have more money to fuel its nuclear ambitions, not less.

MARK DUBOWITZ, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: We don't want to create a situation where we spook oil markets, we drive up the price, and we inadvertently enriched Ali Khamenei and the regime, who would enjoy a massive windfall if that were to happen.

STARR (on camera): So administration officials have a dilemma. How badly do they want to hurt Iran and then possibly hurt Americans more in the pocketbook in an election year?

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


CHO: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrapping up a landmark two-day visit to Myanmar after historic meeting with dissident Aung San Suu Kyi. The Nobel Peace Prize winner plans to run for parliament after two decades in captivity. She told Secretary Clinton that she supports the immediate return of the U.S. ambassador to Myanmar and called on the international community to help her country improve its health and education systems.

Vice President Joe Biden touching down in Turkey this morning. He's meeting with government leaders in Ankara, to discuss concerns over the uprising in neighboring Syria. Then Biden heads to Greece, where not surprisingly, he will hold talks with the new prime minister, Lucas Papademos and talk about the Greek debt. That crisis will top the agenda.

ROMANS: Gripping new audiotapes from emergency responders called to the scene of a deadly stage collapse at the Indiana fair in August. These taped were obtained by CNN affiliate WTHR in Indianapolis. They reveal a chaotic scene in the aftermath of the tragedy. And it turns out state police knew a bad storm was coming before the disaster, and they had concerns for the thousands of fans who had gathered at the fairgrounds for the Sugarland concert.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All units, all units, severe thunderstorm warning until 9:45 for Marion County. Use your best judgment. Find shelter when needed.

CHAPMAN: Two minutes later, a voice of concern. Thousands of people were still awaiting the Sugarland concert, standing right in front of the stage. That's when we hear the call inquiring whether fans had been moved to safety.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have they released fans from the grandstands yet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no information on that. I will check and advise.


ROMANS: It turns out, there wouldn't be enough time. Within three minutes of that radio call, the concert stage collapse under the force of 60 miles an hour winds and radio calls from county dispatchers and emergency personnel paint a picture of mass confusion and frustration.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The stage just collapsed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Control, the grandstands, EMS, the grandstands are gone. Fire control, grandstands, EMS, I'm calling a mass casualty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think our strategy is not working. We need to get the trucks down here in order for us to start working the medical thing to get patients out of here. Do what we have to do, state police, open up the line, we need to get the trucks down here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amount of transport units we're continuing to scrounge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What plan do you have? What resources do you have down there? Critical, a lot of our patients are certainly going from yellow to red, going into shock.


ROMANS: Four people died at the scene. Three more died later. The country duo Sugarland has been named in a lawsuit filed by survivors and family members of four of the victims who were killed.

We reached out to Indiana state police for comment about the release of their dispatch tapes and were told to try back later today.

In the next hour of AMERICAN MORNING, we're going to play more of the tapes from that tragic night including one instance where an ambulance was loaded with two patients and then no one could find the driver.

CHO: Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky will not try for a plea deal. That's according to his attorney who tells CNN that rumors of a possible plea bargain are, quote, "completely unfounded." Sandusky is charged with sexually abusing at least eight boys he met through this youth charity called Second Mile.

ROMANS: All right. A Florida judge has issued an emergency order for law enforcement to pick up country singer Mindy McCready's five-year-old son Xander. The boy is now officially a missing person after McCready missed a court-ordered deadline to return to him to his grandmother who has legal custody.

McCready has visitation rights. She has not been charged with a crime and McCready is currently pregnant with twins.

CHO: Well, here's a story that got our attention, barely out a month. You can now say good-bye to Coca-Cola's new white can. Now, here's the problem: the company is pulling them after customers started complaining because they said they look too much like the silver diet Coke can. So, what is Coca-Cola doing? They're changing the color. They say they'll roll out classic red holiday cans next week.

ROMANS: Yes. People don't like it when you mess with something like a brand, like their Coke. I just want to grab the Coke. There you go.

CHO: Don't change tradition.

ROMANS: Ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, etiquette in the digital age. We're going to look at some of the faux pas people make with their mobile devices in the workplace. Is it OK to text while you're in a meeting with your boss? We're going to tell you for sure.

It's 40 minutes after the hour.


ROMANS: Welcome back.

Texting, tweeting, e-mailing, no doubt Americans are glued to their smartphones 24/7. A new Intel survey of mobile etiquette in the workplace suggests we need to exercise restraints, shall we say, on the job with all of these gadgets.

And who better to talk about this than someone whose name is synonymous with etiquette and, of course, the spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute, the 18th edition of Emily Post's etiquette is in stores now and it's big. It's the manners for the modern world. There's a lot of manners.

ANNA POST, SPOKESPERSON, THE EMILY POST INSTITUTE: Yes, a lot of tech manners this time around.

ROMANS: I know. When you think about it, when the first, you know, etiquette guide came out, the "Post Etiquette," we could never have imagined, the fourth utensil at the dinner plate was going to be a phone.

POST: No. In 1822, Emily Post did not have this on her agenda for sure.

ROMANS: OK. So, let's talk about in the workplace because it's really interesting to me. You did this survey with Intel. What do you find?

POST: One of the things that was fascinating, of the H.R. managers surveyed, 70 percent said yes, having mobile devices in the workplace makes us more productive. We're always in touch. They also, 79 percent said it makes us much more distracted.

So, that talking us about how you use it. About four in 10 of the H.R. managers said that they were pet peeves being reported about other workers using these in the workplace. I would actually bet that more people feel it and just don't report it.

Top things. Phones ringing. Are we still there? Really? Phones ringing in a meeting? People surfing the web on a laptop or netbook during a meeting.

ROMANS: I always take and try to take the cue from whoever the other people are in the room. If you walk in there and you got bosses and there's no -- they don't have a phone, they don't have blackberry out, they've really decided that this is a meeting that they're going to be involved in. I don't want to be the one pulling out a blackberry.

POST: No. Always follow their lead, and even if the boss does have it out --

ROMANS: I'm not the boss.


POST: Exactly.

ROMANS: Tell me about the mobile time-out? I mean, should we be setting more rules in the workplace for how to make sure that there are times when we are checking these devices and staying connected with our team and then there are times when we're not. We're looking at each other face-to-face and we're having a real true meeting.

POST: Absolutely. Eighty-five percent of H.R. managers in the survey say, yes, set guidelines. I think everybody should be setting guidelines about what's expected. Institute a 50-10 rule. For every meeting, for every 50 minutes, have 10-minute break so that people know that they have that release coming where they can go and check the e-mail. It will keep them more focused.

ROMANS: And let them know ahead of time, say, look, everybody, you know, we're going to really to be doing this. But then, 50 minutes, you'll be able to have a digital time-out and let people know like --

POST: Exactly. They can count on it. ROMANS: Let me ask you some of this advice -- Alina and I were just talking about this -- if someone calls you on the phone, don't text them back, call them back. If someone e-mails you, you can e- mail them back, but it's probably not OK to text them back. Try to match the kind of communication they're giving you. Is that a fair way to kind of asses how to read people on what kind of media to use?

POST: Absolutely. Communication parody, respond in kind. Think, too, about the ways that you communicate. If you are always on e-mail, that's a warning sign to me. You want a healthy communication diet. A variety of different thing. Otherwise, it sounds like e- mails just a crutch. And how could it be appropriate for every situation.

ROMANS: Let's talk about the holiday party and the holiday parties, they're coming up. I mean, how should you be behaving with your digital device when you are in a festive atmosphere? I mean, should you be sitting there answering e-mails? Is it OK to pull out your Blackberry or your smart phone at a holiday party?

POST: I'm going to go with no on this one. You're there to network in the room, not to be socially networking on a device over here. If you have to check in on e-mail or the babysitter with the kids, go in the hallway. Away from the party mood so that you're not the one in the middle of the room bringing work into the party.

ROMANS: You know, I wonder, you have to be careful with the pictures, too. I mean, you know, the A.M. holiday parties. We have a no photos posted rule for the A.M. party for obvious reasons, because it starts at nine o'clock in the morning, too.


ROMANS: What about the holiday party posting pictures, tagging people and pictures online? I would say don't do it at all. At all.

POST: I vote generally with no, you know? There are some workplaces probably OK, but you better be darn sure you and your boss are going to be OK with that photo on Facebook or Twitter the next day.

ROMANS: You know, it's interesting. I was just in a conference where a commercial real estate executive told me that he had to rescind a $200,000 a year job offer to somebody because they did, they found him on Facebook with pictures that had been tagged at company events that were, you know, a little too rowdy, and they decided, you know what forget it.

I mean, because of what was on Facebook, pictures tagged on Facebook, they rescinded a big offer. So, that's a cautionary tale, but it's happening.

POST: It is happening. This is something where your image needs to continue to align with your company's image when it to you is personal person on Facebook, Twitter, or social networking. ROMANS: OK. Don't forget, eye contact is always the most important thing in the workplace. All right. Nice to see you, Anna Post. We're going to talk to you a little bit later more about the holidays, as well. Thanks, Anna.

POST: Thank you.

ROMANS: Manners at the holiday always a real (INAUDIBLE) -- Alina.

CHO: All right. I look forward to that one. Thanks, Christine.

It is 49 minutes after the hour. Well, he is no stranger to poking fun at himself. Texas governor, Rick Perry, gets the last laugh with a new campaign ad. It's a little unorthodox. We're going to show it to you, straight ahead.


CHO: Fifty minutes after the hour. Here's what you need to know to start your day.


CHO (on-camera): We're watching Herman Cain. The GOP candidate is heading home today to speak to his wife. It is their first face- to-face meeting since he was accused of having a 13-year affair. Cain says he'll make a decision about his campaign by Monday.

The Senate has blocked both the Democratic and Republican plans on extending the payroll tax cut that expires at the end of the year. The parties remain divided over how to pay for it.

Iraq is now in control of Baghdad's Camp Victory which served as headquarters for the U.S. military for nearly nine years. The formal handover to the Iraqis took place overnight.

Egyptians could learn as early as today the results from the first round of its parliamentary election since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. Two Islamic parties claim they are leading in the ballot count.

Howling Santa Ana winds leaving a trail of destruction from Southern California to the Colorado Rockies. Wind gusts as high as 140 miles per hour knocked down trees and power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in the dark.


CHO: And the Christmas season is officially underway in Washington. President Obama and the first family lit up the new national Christmas tree last night. The 26 -foot Colorado blue replaced the past 32-year-old tree after strong winds knocked it down back in February. That's a beautiful tree.


CHO (on-camera): Fifty-two minutes after the hour. That's the news you need to know to start your day. AMERICAN MORNING is back after this.


ROMANS: You know, it's one of those stories you'd like to believe. Two guys claiming they launched a beer that went where no beer had gone before, to space.

CHO: But was it really the first beer in space or was it just a hot air viral marketing hoax? CNN's Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forget 99 bottles of beer on the wall. How about, one can of beer -- in space?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot a beer into space today.

MOOS: Attached to a weather balloon? That, at least, is what Danny Burns (ph) and Rich Toma claim.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to mission control. A/K/A, my parents' garage.

MOOS: The two say they saw YouTube videos of people sending lame stuff up into space like an iPhone. So, why not the first beer in space?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We happened to be drinking a couple of Natty lights at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, definitely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're like, duh.

MOOS: Some say you'd have to be duh to believe this story, but we'll get to that. The guys say they contacted the makers of Natty Light.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Natty Light, hell yes.

MOOS (on-camera): Natty Light is not exactly known for being, shall we say, out of this world.

(voice-over) BeerAdvocate website gives it a D-minus. Reviews range from, this is a great beer for the money to perfect to clean your toilet with. Danny and Rich say they packed a can of natty into a Styrofoam cooler along with a camera, positioning it to shoot the journey with an empty can of beer on the outside as a decoration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See you later, buddy!

MOOS: Next, come the lovely images of the beer going up, up and away above the clouds to 90,000 feet, then atmosphere. Pithy little subtitles and music added -- the balloon seemingly pops, and the cooler plummets down, slowed by a parachute until -- splashdown. GPS on the cooler supposedly allows the guys to locate it.

(on-camera) Do I smell a rat? Perhaps, a gorilla of viral marketing campaign?

(voice-over) The date when the guys say the launch took place is wrong. Anheuser-Busch now admits further opening a can of worms, we believe, at least one of the guys has a marketing company and may have done some event planning for Anheuser-Busch a few years back.

Anheuser-Busch assured CNN that the video is real, not computer generated, and that Danny and Rich approached the company to do this and were not paid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This beer's intact.

MOOS: But is there a story? Someone posted one small step for man, one giant leap for alcoholics.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: Oh, funny. All right.

CHO: That Jeanne has a way with words.


ROMANS: All right. Ahead next hour, Herman Cain's marriage summit. He is heading home for a key meeting with his wife that could be the end of his campaign. We'll talk about whether he could ever be a vital candidate after this.