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American Morning

Two Dead In Virginia Tech Shooting; U.S. Drone Lost In Iran; Eurozone Leaders Reach New Deal; Representative To Holder: "Heads Should Roll"; Jerry Sandusky Free on $250K Bail; Countdown To A Tax Hike; "Occupy Boston" Deadline Passes; Pujols Big, Big Payday; No Felony Charges In Pepper Spray Attack; Indycar Will Not Return To Las Vegas In 2012; Molten Lava Oozes From Kilauea Volcano; E.U. Fails To Reach Full Agreement; Well Fargo Settles Bid Rigging Claims; Household Wealth Takes A Hit; Ford Reinstates Dividend; "I Simply Do Not Know"; E.U. Crisis Deal; Deal To Save The Eurozone; EPA Links Fracking To Water Pollution; Texas' New Armored Patrol Boats

Aired December 09, 2011 - 06:00   ET



CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Reopening the wounds, another deadly shooting at Virginia Tech University. Two people are dead. An officer and the apparent gunman, and a new emergency alert system put to the test.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We have a deal. Leaders of the E.U. crisis say they have a plan to save a continent. So how are stocks reacting and why isn't Britain on board?

ROMANS: And Iran shows of what it claims is a top U.S. secret drone, but is it the drone or a dummy? Some experts say Iran may be pulling a bait and switch on this AMERICAN MORNING.

COSTELLO: And good morning to you. Happy, happy Friday. It is December 9th.

ROMANS: Carol's favorite day of the week except for Saturday and Sunday.

COSTELLO: Ali has the day off. I'm Carol Costello along with Christine Romans on this AMERICAN MORNING.

ROMANS: It's nice to see you. A lot of news to get to this morning.

Up first, new information this morning on yesterday's deadly Virginia Tech shooting. Ballistic tests are back and police are now confirming that both people were killed by the same gun in an apparent murder/suicide.

Police say a gunman shot and killed an officer at a traffic stop and then apparently turned the gun on himself after a chase. This all happening nearly five years after the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history took place there.


JULIE FLEMING, VIRGINIA TECH STUDENT: The police pulled up, and they opened his car door and when they opened it, he just fell out towards the ground. And then they immediately started reviving him, and I guess the officer didn't make it because they just covered him with a sheet.


ROMANS: And changes made after the tragedy were put to the test yesterday. The school blocking down campus and using a high-tech alert system to warn students and faculty to stay indoors.

The first alert is going off minutes just after the first shots. The all-clear was given after about four hours.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No initial victim or shooting reports have been given to the police department. So we feel confident that the situation is under control at this time.


ROMANS: Virginia Tech police have identified the murdered officer as Derek Crouse. He's 39 years old, married with five children and stepchildren.

Athena Jones joins us now live with the latest from the campus. Athena, what was the university's response like this time around?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Christine. By almost all accounts it wasn't nearly -- much better than it was four years ago in 2007.

Yesterday alerts went out over a text, over e-mail. There were postings to the school's home page. There were tweets, and so everyone on campus was kept abreast of the situation, and all of the developments through the course of the day, we were all following it.

So they handled it much better than four-and-a-half years ago when the school was criticized for not acting quickly enough to alert the student body of that massive shooting that left 32 people dead.

ROMANS: We just heard the sound from that just shaken student there talking about it. How are students reacting to this?

JONES: Well, certainly during that four-hour lockdown there was a lot of concern, given the past. Given what's happened in the past here. But we had a chance to talk to a student who was in the cafeteria that whole time.

She'd gone to eat in the dining hall and was there for the whole four hours. People weren't under the tables or anything like that, but they were obviously concerned because there were so many unanswered questions.

But after the fact, people seemed to be much calmer there. A candle vigil planned, which was postponed from yesterday until today. We can also report that the school postponed the exams that were supposed to take place today until tomorrow and there will be -- the normal exams schedule next week on Monday.

ROMANS: Athena, this shooting was on the very same day that officials from the school were in Washington for a hearing related to the 2007 shooting?

JONES: Exactly. It's very interesting that this should happen on the same day. The head of campus police and the Emergency Management director along with several other officials from here were in Washington to appeal a $55,000 fine that had been imposed on the school by the Department of Education under the Cleary Act, which is a campus security act.

They said that the school back in April of 2007, this past shooting rampage, didn't do enough to alert the student body and the faculty here quickly enough and so they imposed this fine, this 55,000 fine. And officials were there to protest it.

So it's interesting that those two things should happen on the same day -- Christine.

ROMANS: Yes. And our hearts just go out to that police officer and his family. I mean that is, as you know, Athena, in law enforcement, that is your worst fear. That you -- a traffic stop turns into something like this. Thank you so much, Athena.

COSTELLO: We're also following new developments concerning that lost U.S. drone. Iranian state television showing off what it claims is a CIA stealth drone apparently intact that went down in Iran last week.

Iran also launched a formal protest with the United Nations calling it a hostile act. Iran's U.N. ambassador telling CNN last night that the unmanned aircraft was captured with minimal damage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They did not shoot the drone down. Actually, they brought it down by their own ways and means that they know and I'm not in a position to discuss the technicality of that.


COSTELLO: But there are questions this morning about whether the drone displayed on Iranian TV is real or a fake. So what's the Pentagon saying about it?

Let's head to CNN's Chris Lawrence. He's live at Pentagon for us. So what is the Pentagon saying about this? Is it a fake? CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, yes, it could be a fake, but not everyone's convinced of that. One official I spoke with said, they've got no reason to think it is a fake right now, and he said, honestly, it would be hard to fake something like that.

Another official says, look, the drone is not design to survive a fall from high altitude like that, and their satellite imagery showed wreckage at the crash scene. Now when you look at the two side-by-side, Iran's drone and a picture of what we know to be the stealth drone, even the aviation experts are split.

One said he could see maybe most of the damage might be underneath Iran's drone and that it could have survived by falling in what they called a falling leaf pattern. Another said, no.

The wings droop down, and when you compare that to pictures of what we know to be the drone, the wings are positioned higher up for better stability. He called what iron showed nothing more than a parade float -- Carol.

COSTELLO: So Iran said it didn't shoot down the drone, but it used some, like, super secret technology. I mean, is that true? Do they have that kind of technology to take down a drone intact?

LAWRENCE: Well, the technology exists. It's not all that super secret. It would be sort of a cyber attack in which a country would hack into the drone's system, you know, to steer it off course or cut off its connection with the satellite, but almost nobody I talked to thinks Iran did that.

They think the U.S. was right in that call and in that they lost control of it. The guidance system failed, because as one official told me, that's what drones do. They fail. You don't have a pilot in there. So it's not the same responsibility to make sure that the drone stays in the air.

COSTELLO: OK, so the big worry is that this technology is now in the hands of the Iranians and quite possibly the Chinese. How much should we worry?

LAWRENCE: Yes. You called it. You know, most officials I've been speaking with say they don't think Iran's going to start some production some production line of these drones, even if they have the technology in whatever shape it may be.

The danger is that they would sell it or give it to their ally, the Chinese who have much better capabilities and would then sort of try to unlock the secrets. There was some danger in that.

Chinese have been known to take technology like that before, but I've also, in the last day or so, spoken to some experts and officials who say, look, there are systems coming online now that will make that drone obsolete.

So almost by the time you would re-engineer it and get the advantage, more than likely there would be systems out there that would overcome it.

COSTELLO: Chris Lawrence reporting live from the Pentagon. Thanks.


ROMANS: It may be an ocean away, but what's happening in Europe as we speak could have a dramatic affect on the American economy. European leaders meeting in Brussels announcing overnight they've reached a deal to try to save the eurozone.

This is America's biggest customer for its products and it's a big ally. But the deal is anything but perfect that's because it does not have the backing of Britain.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I wasn't prepared to agree to that treaty, to take it to my parliament in that way, and that is why I rejected signing this treaty today. The right thing for Britain, a tough decision, but a right one.


ROMANS: The Prime Minister, David Cameron, even saying, boy, I'm so glad we don't use the euro. Nina Dos Santos live in London. Nina, first explain the deal.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the deal what we have on the table it seems is probably going to be for 17 countries. We should remind you that, you know, there were 27 that are member states of the European Union. Ten of them don't share the euro and 17 of them do.

It seems that because of Mr. Cameron's decision to effectively veto any treaty changes unless they say it's got British interest. Well, that means that this deal will apply to just the core 17 eurozone nations.

That isn't a bad thing, though, because these are the countries that really need their budget sorted out. What we're talking about here is what's being branded a fiscal compact that essentially means, Christine, we're talking about stricter rules about balancing the budgets, keeping the deficits down.

For those countries that don't manage to perform, especially if they've had bailouts, they could be facing automatic sanctions. That will also be putting a little bit more money in the permanent eurozone bailout for future problems should they crop up.

ROMANS: And the reaction from the bond market, frankly, very aggressive in their response to how that he think things are going. What are bond investors the capital markets, how are they reacting?

SANTOS: Yes, for the moment, it seems though we've had little relief because obviously this is a step in the right direction. Some people are saying.

But the real hope, Christine, in Brussels they can actually get everything sorted out and implemented as soon as possible. They said they want these rules in place by at least March.

Because what we're expecting at some point, the hope is they're going to be able to tempt the European Central Bank, which controls interest rates across the 17 countries in the eurozone to try and step in now, and provide some significant support for the bond markets of countries like Italy and Spain that have had to pay so much more to borrow money going forward.

Just yesterday even though the ECB did cut rates for a second time, Mario Draghi, the head of the ECB said, for the moment, you know, the money isn't unlimited to keep supporting those bond markets.

ROMANS: And that's I think the moral of the story around the world. The money isn't unlimited and the political will is in short supply. All right, Nina Do Santos. Thank you so much, Nina.

COSTELLO: A Republican congressman saying heads should roll as Attorney General Eric Holder testifies about the botched "Fast and Furious" gun running program.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner grilling the attorney general again over what he knew about the operation and when he knew it.


REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: What are you going to do to clean up this mess?

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, first let me make something very clear and in response to an assertion that you made, or hinted at, nobody in the Justice Department has lied. Nobody --

SENSENBRENNER: Why was the letter withdrawn?

HOLDER: The letter was withdrawn because the information in there that was inaccurate. The Justice Department letter of February --

SENSENBRENNER: OK, well, tell me what's the difference between lying and misleading Congress, in this context?

HOLDER: Well, if you want to have this legal conversation, it all has to do with your state of mind and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that can be considered perjury or a lie.


COSTELLO: The operation allowed illegally bought guns to get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Two guns were found at the scene of a murdered U.S. border patrol agent. ROMANS: Former Penn State football coach, Jerry Sandusky free on $250,000 this morning after spending a night in jail. Police arrested him Wednesday on 10 additional charges of molesting children after two new accusers came forward.

One of them told the grand jury that Sandusky's wife ignored his screams for help while Sandusky raped him in the basement of their home. Well now, Dottie Sandusky has released a statement denying that saying, as the mother of six children, I have been devastated by these accusations.

I'm also angry about these false accusations such a terrible incident ever occurred in my home. She went on to say, I continue to believe in Jerry's innocence and all the good things he has done.

In all Sandusky faced more than 50 charges related to sexual abuse of boys, but he is out of jail again. Under the terms of his release, Sandusky will be on house arrest. He'll also wear an electronic ankle bracelet and he's not allowed to have any contact with alleged victims or witnesses.

Some attorneys early on had said they were surprised given the grand jury presentment originally that he wasn't already on house arrest before these additional 10 charges, but now he is.

COSTELLO: Now he is. It's 13 minutes past the hour.

Here's what's all new this morning, for the big tax hike looming for millions of American families in 2012, the Senate has voted down both Republican and Democratic compromise proposals to extend the payroll tax break into next year.

Now it's setting up a showdown between President Obama and Congress. The president saying he won't go on holiday break and neither will Congress if this is not settled.

ROMANS: We're keeping an eye on an occupied camp in Boston. A midnight deadline came and went last night for Wall Street protesters there to clear out. Police have not moved in yet like they have in dozens of other cities from New York to Los Angeles and most recently San Francisco.

COSTELLO: Gee, whiz, it's good to be King Albert. The Los Angeles Angels just signed Albert Pujols to the second largest contract in Major League baseball history. Are you ready? A 10-year deal worth $254 million.


COSTELLO: That's crazy. It's second only to A-Rod. The Angels followed that up with a $77 million deal for C.J. Wilson, $331 million in one day. I guess, the Angels will be good although that doesn't guarantee anything. Does it?

ROMANS: No. Not.

COSTELLO: Milwaukee Brewers, anyone?

ROMANS: All right, was it self-defense or just plain greed? L.A. prosecutors make a decision in the Thanksgiving Day pepper spray. Yes, that pre-Black Friday stampede. Remember? The verdict next.

COSTELLO: Who could forget? And President Obama saying, ask Bin Laden. The commander-in-chief answering GOP critics who say he's too soft.

ROMANS: And co-workers, don't let your co-workers tweet drunk. Three Capitol Hill staffers learning the hard way, yes.

COSTELLO: Friends don't let friends tweet drunk?

ROMANS: Apparently here they did. It's 15 after the hour. You're watching AMERICAN MORNING.


COSTELLO: It's 18 minutes past the hour. Welcome back. Police say the woman who pepper sprayed a group of Thanksgiving Day shoppers will not face felony charges.

The 32-year-old Elizabeth Masious accused of spraying at least 20 Wal-Mart shoppers including children in a crowded Black Friday eve sale. Los Angeles prosecutors say the incident doesn't meet felony criteria, but Masious could still face misdemeanor charges.

ROMANS: I just do not know whether this is exciting or thrilling about being in that crowd. What is so important? Gosh, but, you know. Twenty five percent of Americans do that. Seventy five percent don't. I'm one of the 75.

COSTELLO: Me, too. Are you kidding?

ROMANS: The Indycar series will not return to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway next year. That's where driver Dan Weldon died in a 15-car crash in October. Officials are still investigating the incident.

Meantime, the series is unveiling a new car this season that wants to complete testing before putting it on the track.

COSTELLO: Truly spectacular video of lava flows in Hawaii. Check this out. Molten hot lava oozing from the Kilauea volcano on the big island. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet. The area around it is virtually deserted.

There's only one person brave enough to live nearby. He was actually airlifted off the island by helicopter because you don't want to be near that stuff. You just want to look at it in pictures.

ROMANS: And the pictures are unbelievable. Rob Marciano in the Extreme Weather Center. I mean, nothing gets better than pictures of lava, as long as no one's hurt. ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: No, you know, it's the price you pay for living in paradise. You have to beware of lava rocks every now and again.

Good morning, everybody. Everywhere but Hawaii is feeling like winter that's for sure with temperatures that are on the chilly side, but finally we've got them where they should be as far as temps that are cool in Boston and a little bit cooler at least in Atlanta.

Meanwhile, it's 8 degrees in Minneapolis and 24 in Chicago so certainly some colder air along Alberta clipper moving along the Great Lakes. Finally got some snow in Chicago and we're finally going to get some lake-effect snows.

It's been a pre-quiet start to the season across parts of upstate New York where they typically get that sort of stuff. Anywhere from 6 to 12 inches in some of these locations as the cold air makes its way across the warm great lakes.

We take you overseas now to Great Britain and into Scandinavia. Check out some of these video coming in from Scotland. They had a 165 mile-an-hour wind gusts there yesterday, huge waves. Power outs. Schools closed in Scotland.

I mean, you know it's a bad storm when that happens. As a matter of fact, a wind turbine caught fire because the winds are blowing so intensely there. So pretty quiet here in the states, thankfully, but northern Europe and Scandinavia certainly having their fair share of problems. Guys, back to you.

ROMANS: All right, in more ways than one in Europe.

MARCIANO: Yes, exactly. A different storm.

COSTELLO: The forecast --

MARCIANO: That's how quiet it is right now. I'm reaching.

COSTELLO: It's so random.

ROMANS: Thanks, Rob.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I simply do not know where the money is.


COSTELLO: He doesn't know. Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine dodging questions about what happened to more than $1 billion in customer funds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: Were back. "Minding Your Business" this morning, progress in Brussels. E.U. leaders meeting in Brussels, they gave up on a new continent-wide agreement to rescue the euro, but the rescue plan making some important strives forward.

Now it does not have the support of Britain, but it calls for stricter fiscal discipline, greater fiscal unity of these countries. The treaty will only apply to countries that use the currency along with six others who wish to join the euro one day.

The news is sending U.S. stock futures as well as European markets higher. In addition to that deal overnight, the majority of E.U. leaders also agreed to funnel an additional $267 billion to the IMF to boost its bailout funds. Money which may be used to, may have to be used to help Italy and Spain.

Back here at home, banking giant, Wells Fargo, has agreed to pay $148 million to various federal authorities to settle charges with Wachovia, which it purchased back in 2008. Rigged bid is the municipal bond market.

That essentially means that state local and not for profit entities have entered into contracts that were less advantageous than they might have been if it had been a fair and open process.

Stock market and housing market took a big hit in the third quarter. That means America's wealth also took its biggest quarterly hit in more than two years since the battle days of 2008.

The average American saw their net worth decline $7,800 for the average family. The good news, the markets are recovering. Believe it or not, stocks are up. The Dow is up more than 4 percent since that big debt downgrade. So hopefully a little of that household wealth is starting to come back.

All right, feeling more confident. Ford announced it's reinstating its dividends for the first time in five years. The move coming after years of debt and painful restructuring. The company will pay shareholders 5 cents per share at end of the first quarter. Ford was the only U.S. automaker to avoid a federal bankruptcy and bailout.

All right, AMERICAN MORNING will be right back after this short break.


ROMANS: Saving euro, sparing the globe. Another economic meltdown, sparing a meltdown. E.U. leaders reaching a deal to get crushing debt under control.

What it means for your money -- on this AMERICAN MORNING.


COSTELLO: And welcome back. It is 30 minutes past the hour, time for this morning's top stories.

Reopening old wounds, a vigil held in Virginia Tech University after another deadly shooting on campus. Two people dead, an officer and the apparent gunman. Virginia Tech leaders say a new alert system worked well. The first campus warning came with minutes of the call to police. It's a system that didn't exist four years during the worst campus massacre in U.S. history.

Iran showing off what it claims is a sophisticated U.S. drone virtually intact that went down in Iran. U.S. officials can't be sure it's the stealth plane that went missing last week, because it hasn't been recovered. U.S. and military experts are analyzing the Iranian TV footage.

ROMANS: Grilled for hours. Former senator, former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine testifying before Congress about his firm's collapse. He appeared apologetic but he didn't have too much to say about what went wrong and he says he simply does not know what happened to more than a billion dollars missing from customers accounts at MF Global.

CNN's Lisa Sylvester reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you're about to give --

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A contrite former senator, Jon Corzine, on Capitol Hill, in a much different role. The former chief of MF Global was asked how his firm cannot account for more than a billion dollars in missing customer funds.

JON CORZINE, FMR. CEO, MF GLOBAL: I simply do not know where the money is or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date.

SYLVESTER: Federal regulators and the FBI have now launched investigations. Corzine didn't take the fifth, but he couched his responses, noting that he did not have access to relevant documents that he says are essential to him testifying accurately.

REP. JAMES LUCAS (R), OKLAHOMA: Did you authorize a transfer of customer funds from the segregated accounts?

CORZINE: I never intended to break any rules, whether it dealt with the segregation rules or any of the other rules that are applicable.

SYLVESTER: Keeping customer funds separate from company accounts is a bedrock in the investment world. It appears that cardinal rule was broken.

MF Global placed risky bets on the European sovereign debt market, investments that led to a spectacular collapse in bankruptcy.

In testimony, Corzine acknowledged that the company's chief risk officer warned him and the board that the firm was overexposed. Within months, the risk officer was let go, but Corzine said there were other reasons why.

James Koutoulas represents MF Global customers now trying to recover their money.

JAMES KOUTOULAS, COMMODITY CUSTOMER COALITION: You've got a guy here who points out exactly what they're doing, is a whistleblower, in effect. I mean, he came to the board, and Corzine, is like, no, how dare someone question me?

SYLVESTER: Corzine offered this to those impacted --

CORZINE: I mean this with all sincerity. I apologize, both personally and on behalf of the company, to our customers, our employees and our investors.

SYLVESTER: Former MF Global customer James Mayer found little comfort. Mayer had $200,000 with the brokerage firm. Only $11,000 now recovered.

JAMES MAYER, FMR. MF GLOBAL CUSTOMER: At this juncture, if we don't get any money in the next couple weeks, the only money we have left that wasn't in these trading accounts is my son's college money.

SYLVESTER (on camera): Two more congressional hearings next week. The Senate Agriculture Committee and the House Financial Services Committee also intend to subpoena Corzine. As for getting money back to the customer, the trustee hopes to get about 70 percent of the money restored to the customers in the coming weeks.

Lisa Sylvester, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: Eighth largest bankruptcy in American history.

All right. Let's turn in to Europe now where members of the European Union announced this morning they are pressing forward with a new deal to save the euro, but without Britain's support. The new deal calls for stricter fiscal and financial disciple for these countries.

Here's how French President Nicolas Sarkozy described it.


NICOLAS SARKOZY, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): This is the least bad option. This is going to enable us to reform more swiftly.


COSTELLO: That positive spin from the French president, least bad, a positive spin from Nicolas Sarkozy, setting overseas markets higher. But U.S. stock futures not guaranteed to move up.

Joining me now to talk more about this deal, Matt McCall, founder and president of Penn Financial Group.

Nice to see you.


ROMANS: You know, I'm not an expert on international treaty law and I'm glad and I bet you're not one either.


ROMANS: But this one, it comes down to, this is about the legality of international treaties and how the politicians there are going to get dozens and dozens of people and countries together to figure out how to fix this mess.

MCCALL: Well, the problem is, we already had treaty in place that really no country followed. You go back to Greece. They really didn't follow the original treaty.

So, now, we have a number of treaties --

ROMANS: Those treaties are clear how much debt you can carry relative to the size of your economy. And over and over again we saw countries saying, no, no. Just for a short time. We'll continue to run the big deficits and now, they've got big problems.

MCCALL: If you can imagine, Christine, you bring like 17 people together, imagine a family of 17 brothers and sisters sitting at a table.

ROMANS: And extended cousins. And there are thousands.

MCCALL: Yes. And try to get them to agree on something. It sounds great, you know? You also have last one, boy, this is great. We can have all the one, big happy family.

When it comes down to it, you can't be one big happy family and now, what we're trying to over and over bring us together. And my concern is, we've had one treaty, one agreement, another treaty with another agreement -- where does it go? And the markets are bouncing in Europe right now, but very short term, in my mind.

ROMANS: Well, we -- I think it's unpredictable, what happens to stocks on this. My personal view is this unpredictable how stocks and the bond markets will react as they try to weigh how this works. Do you agree?

MCCALL: Well, I believe that we've become numb to the fact that we've had so many treaties and some many agreements and so many meeting in the last six months to try to fix a major issue.

ROMANS: Right.

MCCALL: But really what we've seen is there's been no fix. We keep pushing it down on somebody else. You know, well, we'll blame it on Britain this time. Well, we'll blame it on Greece this time. We keep blaming somebody else but nothing gets done.

We don't fix -- the actual issue, they're spending too much money and not bringing in enough money.

ROMANS: Right. But then the austerity that they are imposing on some of these countries, this fiscal austerity actually could throw some of these countries and maybe the eurozone into a recession. So, that's difficult, too.

To fix their problems, they might have to give themselves a recession. That's hard to sell to your people.

MCCALL: It's very hard. Look back to 2008 where basically, we had to take money from the government and give it to the banks. It was not easy to do that and taxpayers don't want to hear we're taking your money to bail out banks to save themselves.

We're seeing the same thing right now. We're taking money from other people. Countries, such as Germany, who actually don't spend. They save money and have to save, like you said, third cousin at the table, whether it'd be Greece or Spain or Italy, whoever it maybe, taking their taxpayer money and bailing them out. So, we're seeing that right now.

ROMANS: It's so interesting that over the past 60 years, these countries have been trying to move together. I mean, you think about -- Germany, for example, its economy wasn't really fully rebuilt until maybe like 1980, right? I mean, some of these countries have come so far since World War II and now are at a moment where some of these old divisions are coming up again. You know, you hear people in Italy and Greece who are resentful that Germany has all the money and power and all the say in all this.

You know, the French who do have differences with Germany, but are also trying to preserve the standard of living for their own people, it becomes very difficult.

And then the U.K. doesn't even use the euro.

I want to listen to what David Cameron, the prime minister, said.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's not easy when you're in a room with many other people who all want to press ahead, who all say, forget about your safeguards, forget about your interests, let's all just sign up to this thing together. It's sometimes the right thing to say, I'm afraid I cannot do that. It's not in our national interest.


ROMANS: And that's what the bottom line is here. It's the natural interest of each of these countries. Did the E.U. -- has U.K., rather, win or lose here?

MCCALL: Well, I think they may win because Cameron is very good in the face of his people doing this. But they may lose in the end. As long as you and I as well, as well, you know, the U.S., because if he wins, he actually loses, because if the E.U. falls apart, we're all going to be hit. That's my biggest concern.

The E.U. does not make any sense. But how do we get rid the E.U. without causing a global recession?

ROMANS: We have a two tier? I mean, you heard -- I mean, people are talking about so many outside the box solutions. Two tiered E.U. where you fall out for a while and then you come back in after you get your house in order? I mean, that sounds difficult, too.

MCCALL: Sounds good on paper but can you imagine saying, OK, Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, you're out for right now. You're sitting at the kids' table basically. You're sitting at the kids' table for dinner, when you get your stuff together, we'll bring you back.

It's just not going to work because always that last person put to the kids' table that doesn't want to be there.

ROMANS: You know, since the U.S. was downgraded, AAA rating in the third quarter, since then, U.S. stock, Dow is up 4 percent, almost 5 percent. So, is it the case for the U.S., we are the least ugly pig in the barnyard?

MCCALL: We're kind in trouble. You know, we talk about this decoupling a long time ago from merging markets were doing better than, you know, Europe and United States. We're looking now at a broad picture of where do you put your money?

You look at Europe. You don't know if you put it there. Emerging markets are felt by the by same thought we have in Europe. So, United States, as good or bad on paper, is now the best investment choice. And that's why we've been seeing our market really this year be flat. When all of this mess is going on, our market's actually flat.

ROMANS: Stock market flat with all this bad news, and money rushing into the treasury bonds, even though we're worried about our own debt, the world is saying, please, hold my money. Just don't lose it.

MCCALL: Think about it. Look at Europe, the mess that they'd had in Europe, why would -- and the mess we've had here as well, it's just the least of the worst. Unfortunately.

ROMANS: The least of the worst.

Matt McCall, founder and president of Penn Financial Group, nice to see you again.

Matt is going to join me for "YOUR MONEY" this weekend. You can catch us this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Thanks, Christine.

If you work for a congressman and you're drinking on the job, and you kind of value that job, don't tweet about it. Three aides to Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen learned that the hard way. They were fired after posts from their accounts were picked up by a right- leaning news Web site.

Here are a few of the gems: "I'm pretty sure I couldn't pass a sobriety test right now. Looking forward to a day in the office." And, "Dear taxpayers, I hope you don't mind that I'm watching YouTube clips of Nirvana at my government job." And, "My co-worker just took a shot of Jack crouching behind my desk. We have unabashedly given up on all things work-related and that typo isn't a mistake either."

Well, they're gone from their jobs.

ROMANS: Oh, whoa. That is the most stupid on the job get yourself fired thing I've ever heard of.

COSTELLO: Who else would hire them in any business?

ROMANS: There are 14 million people unemployed in America. Many of them would be not that stupid. Lots of people to hire, Congressman.


ROMANS: Ahead on AMERICAN MORNING -- is that mean? I'm sorry.

COSTELLO: No. It's true.

ROMANS: It's got campaign ad written all over it. President Obama responding to GOP critics that he's too soft, asking if they remember what happened last spring.

COSTELLO: Is Donald Trump still thinking about a run for president? And who are the latest GOP contenders who turn down an invite to the Trump-moderated debate? All of those questions coming you way next.


COSTELLO: It is 45 past the hour. Welcome back.

It's a bit of sound that may end up in a future campaign ad. President Obama responding to GOP critics that say he's appeasing in his foreign policy.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask Osama Bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who've been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement or whoever's left out there.


COSTELLO: The president also defended his efforts to block Iran from developing a nuclear weapon saying his administration has imposed the toughest sanctions on Iran ever.

He's watched many of his opponents enjoy their turn at the top of the polls one after another, but former Utah governor, Jon Huntsman, thinks his campaign will peak at the right time. He joined John King last night. Listen.


JON HUNTSMAN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What is happening in the marketplace is a lot of people who didn't give us a first look are coming around to look at my record and look at my years of service and they're saying he's exactly what we're looking for. They overlooked us, John, at the beginning, because he crossed a partisan line.

He served as United States ambassador to China in the Democratic administration. And I say, I always put my country first. I always will.


COSTELLO: Real-estate mogul turned debate moderator, Donald Trump, spoke with CNN's Wolf Blitzer about his upcoming Republican face-off. In a typical Trump fashion, he played around with the idea of entering the presidential race himself. He says he's keeping all his options open. Take a look.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, CEO, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION: People are afraid that I'm going to run as an independent candidate and some of the people that are supposed to be in the debate have expressed that, and I don't want to give up that option, because it certainly is an option if the Republicans pick a wrong candidate or if the economy and everything continues to be bad, and we have the wrong candidate.

That would be the worst of all. I'd love to see the economy get better. I don't think it will get better under this administration.


ROMANS: Do you think he really would like to be president or do you think he's a master marketer who knows that putting himself up there in that, you know, high echelon keeps him in the news? What do you think?

COSTELLO: I don't know. I would guess master marketer, but you just never know.

ROMANS: I think it's both. I think he really thinks he could be president.

All right. The Trump debate not turning out to be much of a debate at all. Minnesota congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, Texas governor, Rick Perry, they are the latest GOP hopefuls to turn down the Donald's invitation. So, who is in, who's out?

Well, it looks like it's going to be a two-man showdown, frontrunner, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are the only contenders to agree to the debate. The no-show list, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, and as we mentioned, Bachmann and Perry. The Trump debate is scheduled for December 27th in Iowa.

COSTELLO: It's 47 minutes past the hour. Fracking, a controversial technique that has a huge roll in modern oil and gas development. Is it contaminating our water? The EPA weighs in.

ROMANS: And the Iraq wars ending, but it's a double edged sword for returning veterans, because now, they freed to find a job. It's 48 minutes after the hour.


COSTELLO: Just about 50 minutes past the hour. Here's what you need to know to start your day.


COSTELLO (voice-over): A vigil held at Virginia Tech University after another shooting on campus. Two people dead, an officer and the apparent gunman. Virginia Tech leaders say a new alert system worked well.

European leaders reached a deal to try to save the Euro and resolve the region's debt crisis, but the agreement does not have the backing of Britain. The 17 members of the Eurozone also agreed to add $267 billion for the International Monetary Fund.

U.S. military officials say they can't be sure the drone being triumphantly displayed on Iranian television is the drone that went missing last week. Iran claims the stealth aircraft was downed with minimal damage.

Former Penn state football coach, Jerry Sandusky, free on $ 250,000 bail this morning. Police arrested him Wednesday on ten additional charges of molesting children. His wife now denying she ignored cries of help from one victim.

The Senate has voted down both Republican and Democratic compromised proposals to extend the pay roll tax break in the next year. You could lose $1,000 intake-home pay if they don't agree to a deal by the New Year.

A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency finds that chemicals used in fracking natural gas wells are to blame for water pollution in Wyoming. The EPA tested the water supply near Wyoming natural gas drilling site.

And the Texas Department of Public Safety showing off a fleet of six 900 horsepower armored patrol boats to combat drug dealers and smugglers along the boarders. Each armed with four machine gun turrets. The boats will patrol Rio Grande, the nearby waters. It costs about $580,000 each.


COSTELLO (on-camera): That's the news you need to start your day. AMERICAN MORNING back after a break.


ROMANS: The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but many veterans face a new battle when they return home. Finding a job.

COSTELLO: That's right. Unemployment among those combat vets as (INAUDIBLE) average. CNN'S Casey Wian reporting in-depth this morning on their struggle.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First day on the job. Here we go.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Army veteran, Kai Lozano is training for a new job. He used to drive convoy security trucks in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before you break that, shut it off.

WIAN: Now, he's driving a milk truck in Southern California.

KAI LOZANO, IRAQ WAR VETERAN: I felt like (INAUDIBLE). I get up, I go to work, you know, I feel like I'm supporting my family. I don't feel like such a bum anymore.

WIAN: This is Lozano's first steady job since 2009.

LOZANO: I was applying for places, and people want to hire me, and like, yes, we'd like to hire you, but you know, you don't have experience.

WIAN (on-camera): 11.5 percent of veterans whose served after 9/11 were unemployed last year according to the labor department. That's about 50 percent higher than veterans who served during the first gulf war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One percent is white. Two percent is blue.

WIAN: Lozano was working because dairy owner, Jim Pastor, wanted to help a veteran, but there's less government assistance available today says Michael Blcker (ph), a Vietnam vet whose organization helps veterans find work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It used to be where the government would pay for training subsidies and wage subsidies. And now, the most you get is maybe a tax credit.

WIAN: Army staff sergeant (INAUDIBLE) spent seven months looking for a new job after her Iraqi deployment without a single interview. She tried changing one entry on her resume from United States army to United States federal government. That helped Laura land interviews but no job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The simple fact that someone, you know, volunteers and serves their country and has this plethora of experience that no one else really could ever have without wearing those shoes should be seen as a complete asset to any organization.

WIAN: Now, Laura works for swords to plowshares helping female veterans find jobs. November unemployment rate for post-9/11 female vets was nearly 19 percent. One potential employer said she might be a liability if she ever developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That dialogue was infuriating. There are ways that we learn to cope and there is way that we learn to manage those symptoms, and that doesn't mean that we're any less capable of doing a job.

WIAN: Like Lozano who is being treated for PTSD, even so, he's considered re-enlisting because the civilian job market is so tight, and with a young family, he's happy to be driving a truck armed only with dairy products.

Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.


ROMANS: You know, when I see these stories about the homecomings, you know, the next hurdle for many of these people is leaving active duty and finding a job in civilian life, and there are so many great resources. USAA which the credit union for the armed services, they have some really good resources on their website for how to find the best places to live, the best places that are close to bases where there's contractor work and the like.

And also, what I think her name was Laura, what she did there was so interesting, changing from U.S. army to U.S. federal government, that's really smart. Trying to point out your leadership skills and exactly what kind of technical skills you had on the job. Those are important things to put in the resume.

COSTELLO: I just can't believe that the skills you use when you're in the service don't translate to the civilian world.

ROMANS: They do. They absolutely do.

COSTELLO: Then, you're right. You have to sort of like make that clear on your resume, because employers obviously don't think that.

ROMANS: And there are some employers, though, that do actively -- like the guy who owns the milk company, who are actively looking for veterans and many of them have been veterans, themselves, of Vietnam and other, you know, and other times of our history. And so, so that's the important thing. We all help each other here, because a lot of these folks are coming home with amazing skills, and we just have to help each other.


ROMANS: All right. Ahead next hour, a drone on display in Iran. Does it have U.S. plates? We'll ask former homeland security official, Fran Townsend, if this is a real thing?