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CNN Sunday Morning
Illinois Congressional Leaders to Discuss Blagojevich Impeachment; Should Women Be Able to Become Catholic Priests?
Aired December 14, 2008 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Good morning, everybody. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING, December 14th.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, all day long.
HOLMES: All day, yes.
HOLMES: It will be Sunday all day long. Good morning to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes.
NGUYEN: Yes, hello, everybody. Thanks for joining us. I'm Betty Nguyen.
All right. We're going to be talking about a lot of things today, including what is next for Laura Bush. She's going to be moving out of the White House, but she is not slowing down. We've got some inside scoop from the first lady in a one-on-one interview.
HOLMES: Yes, what do you do after the White House?
And also, they want to answer the call. But the Catholic Church says women should not be priests. The hot debate, you've heard about it, that's been going on for a couple of years, really hot and heavy, but you're going to hear from both sides this morning on our Faces of Faith. Good conversation we're going to have this morning.
NGUYEN: And we do want to begin with this, the pay-to-play scandal. I know you're familiar with that. Well, that has left a governor's career just hanging on by a thread. And tomorrow, Illinois's top congressional leaders hold a special session to discuss stripping Governor Rod Blagojevich of his power to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat.
HOLMES: And they could also talk about impeaching him. Blagojevich, of course, is accused of trying to sell that office, the former seat held by President-elect Barack Obama. You see him there. He was holed up yesterday with his high-profile defense attorney, Ed Genson.
You might know the name there because he's represented some pretty high-profile people, including media tycoon, Conrad Black. Now, he ended up going to prison for defrauding his company. But also, he's defended R&B singer, R. Kelly, who actually beat the charges on child pornography. That was this summer when that happened.
Now, as Blagojevich plans his next steps, we're also learning more about the type of contact the Obama administration has had with the governor. The "Chicago Tribune" reporting the President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, did talk with the governor about a possible Senate replacement. Now, the story does not suggest that Emanuel acted inappropriately. Sources tell CNN he is, in fact, not a target of that probe.
NGUYEN: All right. So, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is calling on Blagojevich to quote, "do the right thing." Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CLTV)
MAYOR RICHARD DALEY, (D) CHICAGO: He should, first of all, look at his family. And also understanding what the people of Illinois want. And he should do the right thing on behalf of his family and on behalf of the people of Illinois. I really believe that, he has to really look deep in his heart, in his soul, and figure that out -- what is good for his family and for the people of Illinois.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: And up until now, Daley has been quiet about the federal corruption case against Blagojevich. Well, our question for you now. Here it is: Do you trust your elected leaders? Send us an email to the address on the television screen right there. It is Weekends@CNN.com. We're going to read some of those responses a little bit later this morning. And I'm sure, T.J., they're going to be good.
HOLMES: You know they will be. Well, good and bad.
HOLMES: Well, back to the story now about Caylee Anthony we've been talking about, again, in the past couple of days. DNA results are not back yet, but most people, including police, are pretty confident now that little Caylee Anthony's remains have been found. Neighbors are making their thoughts known all along the street that the little girl once knew as home. Todd Wilson from our Orlando affiliate, WESH, spent the day on Suburban Drive near the crime scene.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE, WESH)
TODD WILSON, WESH REPORTER (voice-over): It's day three since a child's bones were found a quarter of a mile from the Anthony home. And as you see, the Orange County sheriff's office continues to work the site. Down the block, though, a familiar face has made an appearance.
LEONARD PADILLA, BOUNTY HUNTER: It's a tragedy and...
WILSON: Leonard Padilla said he was happy when he heard the bones were found.
PADILLA: Elation, and then, you get sadness because -- you're elated, because, hey, you know, I've been vindicated. I told them she was dead.
WILSON: Padilla says he's confident it's Caylee.
PADILLA: And probably big enough, 10 square feet of that place back there all the way out to the road, they're going to know exactly how and when.
WILSON: It appears people have come to their own conclusion about whether Caylee is alive or dead. Memorials are laid out at the Anthony home and near the search site.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just kind of think it's just really sad and unfortunate. And, you know, just a way to pay my respects for coming out here and, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And whether it is Caylee or not, there's a dead child.
WILSON: Padilla says any way you look at it, it's a sad way for a child to die.
PADILLA: It was a little girl that had a whole lot of life left ahead of her. And it was taken away from her.
HOLMES: All right. We are expecting to hear the results of the DNA evidence later this week. Right now, our Mike Brooks, our security analyst on the phone with us to talk a little bit more about this case.
Mike, how does this change the case? If in fact this turns out to be her remains, what will that mean for her mother who is still in jail right now?
MIKE BROOKS, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST (through phone): Well, T.J., it could mean that the prosecutors could actually start take a look again and maybe put the death penalty back on the table. But one of the things they're going to have to do is they're going to have to show that there was some kind of aggravated circumstance surrounding her death. But the results of the DNA and of her examination of the remains should be back sometime, I say mid-week, to about the latest on Friday. The remains were taken up to the FBI lab in Quantico on Friday, and they're in the hands of the FBI now.
HOLMES: And, Mike, how much evidence will they be able to get from these remains, if, in fact, it is Caylee Anthony, the body, we assumed, if it is her -- again, if it is her, it's been there since about June? So, what kind of shape would those remains be in and in good enough shape for them to get a lot of evidence from?
BROOKS: Well, they could probably get some -- there's probably some tissue. Now, sources were telling me that there was a piece of tape over the mouth of the skull. And under that tape, T.J., it was actually duct tape, they could get some tissue. And also, there's a hair. There's a, you know, the hair is there. There was hair on the skull, also.
They'll be able to tell with the DNA match, with the root, whether or not it is Caylee for sure. They're probably preliminarily, already know that it's her. But they're not going to say for sure what until they've completed the entire autopsy and examination.
HOLMES: And a utility worker actually happened upon the remains, found them in a plastic bag. What -- I guess, what, does this tell you about whoever did this and what they were trying to do as far as getting rid of this body? Did they -- I guess, you know, do a good- enough job, if you will, trying to do what they were trying to do which hide the body? But what do you see about -- what does this tell us about the perpetrator?
BROOKS: Well, you know, T.J., it's very, very close to the home. And many times, you'll see a perpetrator will dump the body in an area that they know. I mean, right next to this wooded area, T.J., was the elementary school that the mother, Casey and her brother, Lee, went to. I mean, the house is literally less than a quarter of a mile, her grandparents' house, where she was living with Caylee, was less than a quarter of a mile from this scene.
Now yesterday, on Saturday, FBI agents were back at the scene, assisting Orange County sheriffs. And they were sifting through dirt. And having been a former FBI evidence response team member like these people out there were, they were digging up dirt, putting them in buckets and they were going through sifting, looking for any piece of evidence that they could find within that whole wooded area. So, it's going to, I think they should be almost done with the scene. And then after they're done, they'll turn it over to the defense team because that was requested at a hearing on Thursday.
HOLMES: All right. We're expecting to get the results maybe later this week, and those DNA tests, a confirmation about the remains, which a lot of people, including police are saying right now is Caylee Anthony.
Mike Brooks, our security analyst, we're going to be talking to you a little bit later as well this morning. Mike, we appreciate you. Talk to you again here soon, buddy.
NGUYEN: Well, we do want to update you on another investigation.
Police in Woodburn, Oregon are beginning to identify possible suspects in a bomb blast that killed two officers, that's according to the "Associated Press." Police Captain Tom Tennant and state police bomb technician, William Hakim, died Friday night. The two had been called to check on a suspicious device at a local bank. But when they took it inside, it exploded. Woodburn's police chief was critically injured. And so far, there are no suspects named.
Well a vigil for the bombing victims was held last night in Woodburn's downtown plaza. Woodburn is about 30 miles south of Portland. A $35,000 reward is being offered for information leading to those responsible for the bomb.
HOLMES: All right. The Big Three in Detroit are walking around with a "Help Wanted" sign around their necks right about now. The White House says they're trying to figure out how to help them, trying to figure out how or if to rescue the ailing auto industry. No decision on that just yet.
But here are some things experts say they could do. They could take the cash from the TARP program, that's the Troubled Asset Relief Program, you know, the one that bailed out the financial industry, to make loans to the automakers. Now, they could also use some of that money as collateral, to back up loans from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending program.
The administration could also decide not to do anything right now. Or they could leave the whole thing for the new Congress to deal with.
NGUYEN: So, while the White House tries to decide whether to throw Detroit a life line, car dealers say that they are worried about their industry, in general, and their own cash flow concerns in particular.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK FITZGERALD, DEALERSHIP OWNER: This is not a happy time in America right now. People are very concerned. They're very uptight, very cautious. And so, when a major industry, like the automobile industry, gets into trouble -- it's a big impact. And everybody has a car. Everybody has to buy parts for their car.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are getting their car serviced, so they don't have to worry about having to buy a car right now. You know, it's hard right now. It's scary.
You know, with the three big companies that could go out, you know, people don't want to have to deal with the issues, dealing with G.M., Ford, and Chrysler, and having to buy another vehicle right now. So, they're servicing their cars longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Well, 14 car dealerships have closed this year in Maryland, including one that had been in business for more than 50 years.
HOLMES: All right. Well, a convenience store clerk finds himself in a petty tight spot and he can thank a customer for coming to the rescue.
NGUYEN: Look at the video. And you're going to want to watch the video we've got coming up for you a little bit later. I sat down with First Lady Laura Bush. Find out if she has any regrets after eight years in the White House. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm meteorologist Reynolds Wolf for CNN. And this morning, we've got temperatures that are going to be subzero with daytime highs that going up to about five degrees below zero in Billings, 35 for Minneapolis, and all that cold air is going to pull its way over towards the Great Lakes.
And coming up, we're going to give you an idea of how long this cold spell is going to last for much of the country. Right now, in Salt Lake City, you've got freezing conditions. We have some video for you also from Salt Lake City. Here it is. What a mess it tends to be.
It's going to continue to be that way as that storm system roars right through the Wasatch Range, back into the central and northern Rockies, eventually moving into the Great Lakes, where in Chicago, they're going to see snow, maybe as far south tomorrow. In parts of St. Louis, you may be dealing with some ice. So, a tremendous mess, no question. And keep in mind, there's still people in parts of the northeast that are without power.
That is a look at your forecast. We're going to have more coming up right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.
ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN: Your severe weather headquarters.
NGUYEN: Well, it is cold and dark. Almost 800,000 customers are still without power, many of them in the northeast this morning. An ice storm struck the region Thursday, and continued throughout the next day. Many folks, like I said, are still experiencing it. Four deaths are blamed on the storm; three of them from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Utility crews are working to restore power, but some areas have been told it could be several days before that happens. President Bush has declared a state of emergency in northern Massachusetts.
HOLMES: Reynolds, you talked about that very thing yesterday.
HOLMES: The carbon monoxide poisoning.
WOLF: It happens every time.
HOLMES: Every time.
WOLF: Yes. Well, I mean, you know, you've got to think for your families, you've got some elderly people, people are doing everything they can to stay warm.
NGUYEN: Yes, especially when the power is out. I mean... WOLF: Absolutely. Yes.
NGUYEN: And so, they're trying their best.
WOLF: So, you said 800,000 people?
NGUYEN: Eight hundred thousand.
WOLF: How do you deal with that if you've got a family and a couple of kids and you're trying to keep everybody warm and safe? You know, this is one of those times we have to ask people to really check on your neighbors, you get someone you kind of worried about, and you haven't seen them for a little bit, go over there, bring them some blankets or probably have them over until things get back to normal.
Things are going to start getting a little bit into usual in parts of the Northern Plains. We're talking about some serious cold. Let's show you some temperatures that we have on the weather computer. We're going to pop those up in mere moments. I know it's going to happen.
HOLMES: It's going to happen.
WOLF: I know it will, I believe it.
NGUYEN: There you go, that's what I'm talking about.
In Bismarck, nine degrees below zero at this time. You'll see other subzero conditions across the Northern Plains. It is treacherous there. Not only are they going to have some cold conditions, but they're also going to have at the same time, a chance of snowfall.
Billings with 13 below at this time. Casper, Wyoming, you've got negative 12. Cheyenne, same story. Omaha, gosh, break out the Bermuda shorts, look at that, 28 degrees, that's much warmer, all things considered. Now, what we do anticipate is you're going to see some snow, possibility of some ice forming in many of these locations.
If you'll notice, here's a little bit of a contrast to say the least. In Kansas City, life is beautiful there. You can walk around outside with maybe a t-shirt if you wanted to do that kind of thing, 58 degrees. Then, you go over to Omaha, you see a 30-degree swing. Back over in Rapid City, we're stalking about the subzero conditions.
We've got the frontal boundary, here it is. Right behind it, a lot of cold air, frigid air, in fact. Windy conditions can be expected later on today, there's a chance of getting a wintry mix for parts of Chicago maybe even into, say, the Corn Belt. But that issue that we're going to be dealing with is going to be the chance of getting some ice in those areas, too. Remember, ice is the big problem.
Here's a shot that we have from Chicago, compliments of CLTV. If you have any flights, you're going to be taking out of Midway or maybe O'Hare, you're going to have some issues there, no question. Certainly, be prepared for a few delays.
Back over to the west, we go into the Pacific Northwest, we still have that snowfall. Highest elevations may still see over a foot, especially in the Cascades, 84, 90 and I-5 are all going to have some issues. We already have the watches and warnings there going to be in effect with daytime highs, 30 degrees in Salt Lake City. Chicago, 54 for today.
But then, those temperatures are going to start tumbling back especially as we get into tomorrow's forecast, highs only 26 in Chicago for your Tuesday. And as we get into Wednesday, things are going to start building right back up in terms of these temperatures.
That is a look at your forecast. No better way to put it. Freezing in parts of the country and it looks like it's going to stay, at least, for the next 24 to 48 hours. Back to you.
NGUYEN: All right. Winter is setting in.
WOLF: Is it really? Yes, I'm telling you.
NGUYEN: This time in the holidays. You know...
WOLF: (INAUDIBLE) sledgehammer, guys.
NGUYEN: OK. Thank you, Reynolds.
WOLF: You bet.
HOLMES: All right. We've got some, you might want to stick around and watch this one, Reynolds. Let's go to this video and it kind of tells a story.
HOLMES: This is just one of those things and nobody accuses criminals of being smart people. But they're trying to rob the place. And the guy, he -- the first attempt to jump the counter, so you it didn't go well.
HOLMES: So, he tries it again. He jumps over; he gets into a tussle with the clerk there. The clerk tries.
NGUYEN: It looks like he has a bat or something.
HOLMES: A bat. He didn't get to wind it up like he wanted to and take a good swing.
NGUYEN: Oh, look at that.
HOLMES: But you see the other criminal there.
NGUYEN: So, it was a diversion. So, he's fighting off the clerk while the other guy steals the cash.
HOLMES: Steals the cash. And according to police, one of the guys in there actually just hanging out, flirting with some lady, and they were just -- it's not going well. So now, here they are on national television, robbing the place. I hope their parents aren't watching. But, look at that.
NGUYEN: Well, look at that. You can see the face -- you can see their faces for the most part.
HOLMES: That's just....
NGUYEN: So, I'm sure investigators, at least, have a pretty good clue as to who might be behind that.
HOLMES: And we all do have a pretty good clue who these guys are.
NGUYEN: It's on the video, folks. And roll that footage.
HOLMES: And we have some different footage to roll here shortly. What do you do -- I'm confused. I'm confused but how do you really, I can't relate. How do you go from living in the White House to -- what do you live in after that?
NGUYEN: Well, you know, according to Laura Bush...
NGUYEN: The first lady -- it's just a normal home. And we're going to sit down with her and talk to her about, really, what she has experienced over the past eight years and what she plans on doing next.
NGUYEN: First Lady Laura Bush has fought to educate girls in poverty and expand democracy. But the Bush presidency has also faced a whole lot of adversity. I sat down with the first lady recently to reflect on the past eight years, and whether the first lady's role should become a paid post in the future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Any regrets over these past eight years?
LAURA BUSH, U.S. FIRST LADY: Well, I guess I would say that just not doing enough. That I wish I've done more on different issues. Of course, I'm sorry that I didn't get to go to Burma and meet a freed Aung San Suu Kyi. And that Burma was on at a course to a democratic transition, and that's something that I'm sad about. But I hope that one day I will be able to go to Burma and meet Aung San Suu Kyi.
NGUYEN: Anything you're going to miss the most about the White House and being first lady? BUSH: Well, I'll miss all the people that are there. And I'll miss all my staff, of course. And then all the other people that worked there for every president. So, we've known a lot of them for years, because they were there when President Bush, George's dad was there. (INAUDIBLE).
NGUYEN: As we move on, we look at the role of the first lady. It has evolved over the decade. And there was some talks and debate, rather, that that should be a paid post. What do you think about that?
BUSH: Well, I think -- no, I don't think it should be a paid post because the fact is, the first lady or the first gentleman, when there is one, get there because they're married to someone who is the actual office-holder. And I think that's important to recognize that the spouse of the president is not an office-holder. We weren't elected.
I was not elected. George was elected. But I also do think that we benefit every time from the expertise and from the special interests of our first ladies. But first lady comes to the job with expertise and interest that she's able to use to benefit the people of the United States. And I think that happens every time. But it's not an elected job, or you know, an official job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: So, there you heard it. She says that that should not be paid. But we, the people, do benefit from the expertise or the special interests of the first lady.
And as we look through history through the decades, that role really has grown into one in which they go out around the world and try to promote certain initiatives to create positive change. And, you know, some people are looking at that next administration and the one before saying, these women have given up high-powered, high-paying jobs, to serve here. So -- should it be a paid post if they are indeed working for the country?
HOLMES: They're almost like ambassadors for the country, no doubt about it.
HOLMES: Is there a real debate out there? Will there be a push to actually have this happen? Or is it just something that people kind of talk about?
NGUYEN: It's just something that people are talking about. And, I think, especially, too, when the numbers were released with Michelle Obama, saying that she made some -- what -- $300,000 a year. And in 2006, she was the breadwinner in that family. So now, you look at the situation where President-elect Barack Obama...
HOLMES: He's wearing the pants now. NGUYEN: is going to be in the White House. But a lot of people are saying, you know what, our taxpayer money goes to provide you with a wonderful home...
HOLMES: It's a pretty nice house.
NGUYEN: ... with food, with, you know, anything pretty much that you want. So -- do you really need to be paid for that?
NGUYEN: Hey, you go ahead and debate it.
HOLMES: It's an interesting debate no doubt about it, which we'll talk about some more. And we're going to be hearing more about Laura Bush and that interview the rest of the morning.
NGUYEN: Yes. We are actually going to play the full interview in its entirety in our 9:00 a.m. Eastern hour. So, stay tuned for that.
HOLMES: We'll look forward to that. And we'll continue here to talk about the economy. A lot of American households, of course, are deep in debt and people are searching for ways to ease the burden.
NGUYEN: Stephanie Elam takes a look at one strategy to get your finances under control. And it is "Right on Your Money."
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Getting your finances back on track can be a bumpy ride. But debt consolidation may be one solution to smooth your road to financial stability.
SHEIRESA MCRAE, CONSUMER AFFAIRS ED., BLACK ENTERPRISE: You might want to consider consolidating your debt, if you have several high-interest credit cards and you're having a lot of problems paying down the bill each month.
ELAM: One benefit is, you only have one bill coming to your mailbox each month instead of several bills, and you get a lower interest rate. But there is a potential downside.
MCRAE: One of the pullbacks (ph) of consolidation is that you have more cash freed up every month. So it looks like you have less outstanding debt. And as a result, you'll be more likely to spend that cash and get into a cycle of overspending. And then you'll be right back where you started.
ELAM: The state of the economy could also be an issue. Consolidating your debt is a loan.
MCRAE: If you feel that you may be losing your job in the future, you should definitely reconsider consolidating your loan, especially if you're taking out a loan that uses your home as collateral. Because if you can't keep up with these payments, you could definitely lose your home.
ELAM: And if your finances are too overwhelming, seek help from a credit counselor.
Stephanie Elam, CNN, New York.
HOLMES: Well, the tensions between these two countries have been there for a long time, between India and Pakistan.
NGUYEN: Oh, yes.
HOLMES: Now, someone else is stepping into the mix, hoping to defuse the tension. And he's the man there I'm talking about, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. See what he's trying to do to help the situation now.
HOLMES: And good morning, again, everybody. Welcome back to the CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm T.J. Holmes.
NGUYEN: Good morning. I'm Betty Nguyen.
HOLMES: All right. Well maybe here they come to save the day, the White House trying to figure out how to help the ailing auto industry. Got a few options here. They could use some of the money from that $700 billion bailout. They could use some of that to give to the auto makers. The government could also use some of that money as collateral. Which means they would back up loans from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending program.
NGUYEN: Well, a fire dubbed as suspicious has damaged the church attended by Alaska governor, Sarah Palin. Investigators are treating the fire set Friday night at Wasilla Bible Church as a potential case of arson. No one was hurt, but damage is estimated at $1 million. Palin stopped by the church yesterday, to offer her apology for any undeserved negative attention that the church had received because of her.
HOLMES: Well, Illinois congressional leaders will meet tomorrow to discuss how to get him out of office. Also going to discuss how to possibly appoint a new senator. Meanwhile, the governor, Blagojevich there, he's thinking about his future. You can see him here, cameras caught him as he was leaving the offices of his high-profile defense attorney, Ed Jensen. This was yesterday. He met with the attorney for about four hours. Not clear yet whether Jensen will take up the federal corruption case though.
NGUYEN: Well, in the wake of the Illinois governor scandal, we are asking you -- here's the question of the day - do you trust your elected leaders?
HOLMES: Well, can't wait to hear this. Josh Levs monitoring the answers this morning. Good morning, Josh.
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, guys. Still looking for a yes.
NGUYEN: Really, no yeses at all?
LEVS: You know I saw one out of the 200 emails that I read. I haven't (inaudible) in the I-report pile at all. It's kind of amazing. This whole scandal, this situation in Illinois definitely continues to tear at that fabric between Americans and the people that we elected, pay to represent us.
As you see behind me here, it's one of our top questions on i- report right now, do you trust your elected leaders? Actually, right now, we're going to listen to a clip from this guy. This is Blain Dapper, who lives in Oklahoma City. Who says, pretty much, he does not.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLAIN DAPPER, I-REPORTER: I want less government, less government spending. I want term limits on these guys in the Congress. I want campaign finance reform that all public financing, not a single contribution. And I want as little government regulation as possible, because the government regulation is not there most of the time for you and me. It is there to maintain their power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: Interesting he talks about regulation as well because some people are talking about both Illinois and these bailouts. They're saying, they're like look, we don't trust the government to make the right decisions for us. Let's zoom in on the board. I want to show you some of the e-mails we're getting at weekends@CNN.com. This first one comes to us from Chris Ida of Oakdale, Connecticut. "They rely on their ability to spin their way out of situations that they get caught in. And the public usually seems to have a short memory which often results in their re-elections. It goes on all levels from the president right down to the town supervisor."
Look at this one from Alabama, D.G., "I grew up in a city that was governed by the city council. All but one of those members was convicted while in office. Embezzlement, bribery, kick backs, et cetera. So while my opinion may seem jaded, I believe the majority of elected officials manipulate their office in some way to benefit their own ends. I think we got time for a couple more here.
"I believe the majority of elected officials run for office with honorable intentions. But we the people have allowed our officials to do away with term limits and we've allowed too many lawyers to be elected. Our forefathers counseled against this, maintaining a balance of representation, farmers, craftsmen, doctors, teachers, businessmen as well as lawyers is imperative to insure the law of the land is written with common sense." That's from Patty Miller. Thanks, Patty, in Ocean City, Maryland. Quickly, let's show you a graphic. I want to show you how you can weigh in - weekends@CNN.com, ireport.com. Do you trust your elected leader? And so yes, Betty, T.J., like we were just saying I mean, people out there have a lot of faith in government. We would love to hear from you as well. We definitely want to present all sides. We're just not getting a lot of that, unfortunately.
NGUYEN: Yes, well you know what, in the news lately, it can kind of be a little bit difficult for you.
HOLMES: Yes. Just a little discouraging. Just a little bit.
NGUYEN: Thank you.
LEVS: Thanks, guys.
NGUYEN: Well, a cry for help, the only surviving suspect in the Mumbai attack is seeking aid from Pakistan. A top Mumbai police official says Muhammed Karsab confesses to his role in the attacks in a three-page letter to Pakistan. He begs for the country's legal aide. Now, Indian investigators insist that all 10 Mumbai attackers were from Pakistan. Meanwhile, Mumbai, India's financial district, is making a speedy recovery. The Taj Mahal Hotel, where one of the attacks happened said it will open some of its doors again just in time for Christmas. Security will be of course, a top priority.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is in Islamabad, where he is trying to diffuse growing tensions between Pakistan and India. Mr. Brown left New Delhi earlier today, after meeting with the Indian Prime Minister. Now as you know, relations between the two countries have been deteriorating since the Mumbai attacks. Well, CNN correspondent Reza Sayah is live in Islamabad this morning. Reza, we want to ask you this. As he is meeting with these folks there, what's the message of reconciliation? I mean what's he bringing to them?
REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Betty, here was the headline today in Pakistan. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to Islamabad today and said the U.K. does have information linking the Mumbai attackers to Pakistani militant groups. This is important, because all along, Islamabad has said, they're not convinced that they have seen evidence of a direct link. But again, Prime Minister Brown saying there is information, and he's here in Islamabad to share that information.
Today he met with Pakistani leaders. He held a joint press conference with the Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari. All the talk during the press conference was about the fight against extremism and the Mumbai attacks. Prime Minister Brown applying more pressure on Islamabad to act against extremists. Three times during this press conference, he said that three-quarters of the terror plot investigations into the U.K. had links to Al Qaeda in Pakistan. He also talked a lot about the Mumbai attacks. He made it clear that the U.K. is convinced of a direct link between the Mumbai attacks and Pakistani militant groups. And he called on Pakistan to act quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We will work to insure that everything is done, to make sure that the terrorists are denied any safe haven in Pakistan. The time has come for action and not words. And I want to help Pakistan and other countries root out terrorism. In return for this action, we will continue to expand our counter terrorism assistance program with Pakistan and it will be more than ever the most comprehensive anti-terrorist program that Britain has signed with any country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAYAH: Now it has been Islamabad's position ever since the Mumbai attacks that they have been doing enough, that they have cooperated and investigated. And they have been somewhat critical of New Delhi. They say New Delhi has yet to share any information and evidence. But clearly, Betty, from what we heard from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the U.K. wants Islamabad to do more. Betty?
NGUYEN: Yes, trying to defuse the situation there. But let me ask you this, at the same time, this has to make it a little difficult. What about those rumors that Indian jets encroached Pakistani airspace today?
SAYAH: Yes, it certainly doesn't help tensions. And according to the Pakistani military, this is not a rumor, this actually happened. According to the top spokesman of the Pakistan Army, two Indian fighter jets violated Pakistani airspace on Saturday. But according to them, the Indian government's explanation was that this was only a technical violation. Apparently two of these fighter jets were doing some maneuvers. And when they turned around, they came in a couple of kilometers into Pakistani airspace. They say it was inadvertent. But it made headlines today, and it certainly doesn't help the fragile relationship between these two countries at an important time. Betty?
NGUYEN: No doubt. Reza Sayah joining us live. Thank you, Reza.
Well, the Saudi Arabian monarch, who is the custodian of two of Islam's holiest shrines and host of the Hajj calls on Muslims to have a dialogue within Islam itself. When it comes to Islam's relationship with the rest of the world, well, many conversations are turning from inward contemplation, to open discussions. CNN's Octavia Nasr has the story, coming up just in a few minutes.
HOLMES: Well they are the victims, the survivors and witnesses to the deadly shooting in Iraq. The shooting was blamed on former Blackwater guards, you know the security company. Yesterday they heard details about the case. U.S. prosecutors met in private with more than 50 people in Baghdad. 17 Iraqis died in that shooting in September of 2007. Earlier this month, five former Blackwater guards were indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges.
Well, a priest is facing excommunication. His crime? He'll tell you himself, he's here in the building. We'll have a back-and-forth. Two sides of a very heated debate coming up on a special "Faces of Faith" segment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
HOLMES: Well, a priest in Georgia is bracing to be kicked out of the church, to be excommunicated. The Vatican has put him on notice, he's just waiting for official word really right now. The reason? He supports the ordination of women priests. In our "Faces of Faith" this morning, feeling back the debate on this emotional topic. And with me now, in the studio, Father Roy Bourgeois. He supports the move as I just mentioned and also joining us this morning from Washington, the Pope, Monsignor Charles Pope with us this morning. Good morning. Thank you both gentlemen for being here. I'll start with you, Father Bourgeois, you got notice a while back that gave you 30 days, essentially saying you'd be excommunicated. What's the status there? Has it happened officially yet?
FATHER ROY BOURGEOIS, PRIEST OF 36 YEARS: No, it hasn't. Really the core of the issue is this, I do believe that our god calls women as well as men to be, to the priesthood. I've been a priest for 36 years. I have met many devout Catholic women, who like me, feel called to the priesthood. When I was a young man in the military, 36 years ago, I felt god was calling me. God is the source of all life. God has created men and women of equal stature and dignity. And I believe as many Catholics and many clergy, that women as well as men, are called to the priesthood. That invitation comes from god, who are we as men to say that our call is valid, but the call of women is invalid?
HOLMES: Monsignor, well, Monsignor Pope, you help us here. And a lot of people are familiar at least with the church doctrine, that says that women should not. It's the official stance of the church that women should not be ordained priests, but take it a little further if you can. I know you can't give me the whole history here so quickly. But still, the logic and the basis for it. Why should women not be allowed to serve?
MONSIGNOR CHARLES POPE, ARCHDIOCESE OF WASHINGTON, D.C.: Well recent popes, including John Paul VI and John Paul II, have both stated that the church has no authority, whatsoever, to confer ordination, priestly ordination on women. And the reason is rooted in the church's understanding of the foundation of the priesthood, which was the call of the apostles. And that Jesus called 12 men. Although he broke many conventions of his time, you know, in regards to the treatment of women, he did not summon women to be apostles. And therefore, what people are asking the church to do is something that the church has no authority to do. We can't just start ripping pages out of scripture. Or saying, well, if Jesus had talked to us moderns, we could have done it differently so we're going to update things.
HOLMES: Now, go ahead.
BOURGEOIS: This is about the call, about choosing men - very, very, the core of our faith in the Catholic tradition is the resurrection, as Christians. Jesus appeared first to women after the crucifixion. To announce his resurrection, to Mary Magdalene and all the women, to bring - they were chosen. Jesus chose women to go to the men, who were in hiding behind locked doors, to bring the message of the resurrection. So when we talk about being chosen - we also must include women.
HOLMES: Now Monsignor, what about that? Monsignor Pope, what about that point? And also, is it possible, I'm sure over time things have changed in the church from tradition. So is it possible the church is wrong and maybe we will see a change eventually?
POPE: No, we're not going to see a change. Pope John Paul is very clear that this position of the church regarding the call of the apostles as being the origin of the sacrament of Holy Orders, is, is a definitive teaching, that is to be definitively held by all the faithful. It will not change. This is not something which has ever changed in the church. Cultures have come and gone, times have come and gone. But the church has remained very consistent. And not just the Roman Catholic Church, but all the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Rite Church as well. This is a very consistent teaching.
HOLMES: Well, father, let me ask you this though. I mean, yes, you could have this opinion. And why not go and fight and push for it behind the scenes. And not come out officially against the church? Do you have to -
BOURGEOIS: My conscience and my god, is compelling me.
HOLMES: Well, can't you -
BOURGEOIS: Let me say this at the very core of this issue is sexism, sexism. And sexism, like racism, is a sin. No matter how hard our patriarchy, we as men, try to justify discrimination. In the end, it is always wrong. The Catholic Church today is going through a serious crisis. I just came back from New Orleans. 32 churches are closing in New Orleans. Wherever I travel, Catholic Churches are closing, because of a priest shortage. We have hundreds of women who are saying, god is calling them to be priests. Why not allow women like men, to be priests? Also very important, very important is this issue of the sexual abuse scandal that I, it hurts me to bring this up. However, if we had women priests, there would never have been those years of silence while thousands of clergy abused thousands of children.
HOLMES: Monsignor Pope, I'm going to give you the last word to address a couple of those issues. Is it fair to look at it, almost as a social issue? As an issue of sexism, as he just brought up? Or is this something that is separate, and you can't really put it in that same vacuum, as the social issue, as an issue of sexism?
POPE: The church has always had great respect for women. There's women in great leadership roles all throughout the church. Our chancellor is a woman in this diocese. I have many women leaders in my parish but what Father is asking the church to do is something that we can not do. This is something that we received from Jesus Christ. Now I want to also respond, T.J., to the point you made. Which was that a father has a right to his conscience. But he does not as a priest, have a right to draw the faithful and to attend simulated ordinations and confuse the faithful. His role as priest is to speak that which befits the doctrine of the church. He should speak privately to his superiors, and spiritual director. But he should not involve the faithful in his own struggle of conscience or make accusations to the church on sexism.
HOLMES: I know -
BOURGEOIS: This is very important. For more information, our viewers should go to womensordination.org and ncronline.org. I said this on Vatican Radio and I will say it on CNN. There will never be justice in the Catholic Church until women are ordained.
HOLMES: Well I am going to have to leave it there. Gentlemen, this is a debate that will continue. I am glad, so glad both of you could be here. And Father Roy Bourgeois and also Monsignor Pope there in Washington. Really, I wish we had more time. We could talk about this all morning. But gentlemen, thank you so much for the conversation.
BOURGEOIS: Thank you.
NGUYEN: Fascinating debate there. We do appreciate that.
In the meantime, let's talk about this -- Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, it is not. Instead, it is a sooner, and who can't resist a hug from, well I assume that was dad but we got one from mom as well. We're going to introduce you to this year's Heisman trophy winner.
NGUYEN: Well crews have been working throughout the night in Massachusetts and much of the northeast to restore power. And power line there down everywhere and the result of an ice storm that struck on Thursday, you are seeing it play out right there. About 180,000 people remain without power in Massachusetts. Look at that a beautiful sight, but not when it knocks out your power. President Bush has declared a state of emergency for northern Massachusetts. T.J.'s going to have more on the storm's effect in other states.
HOLMES: Yes. We were talking about several states who were affected by this, several in the northeast. Well, some parts of Maine also still in the dark. Utility crews have been working around the clock to restore power there as well. More than 100,000 people still waiting for the lights, the power to come back on. Maine's governor says the power should be back sometime this week or next week, not really sure. Hard to predict those things sometimes. The president also declared a state of emergency in New Hampshire. Thousands there are without power and it could take power crews weeks to restore there as well. Reporter Lauren Przybyl from our CNN affiliate WHDH with the story there.
LAUREN PRZYBYL, WHDH REPORTER (voice-over): It's news no one wanted to hear. It may take a lot longer than expected to get power restored to some parts of New Hampshire.
GEORGE KLAUBER, DERRY FIRE DEPT.: We have been told by the state there are people that are without electricity and heat for up to two weeks. We really believe that very high probability to some areas there.
PRZYBYL: That makes the use of generators that much more important, as emergency officials and homeowners clean up from the damage that was done. Gas for those generators has been a hot-ticket item. This gas station in Salem, New Hampshire is still going strong. It's the only gas station for miles with power. People have been waiting up to an hour for gas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It has been a little crazy. It's not the people that work here, it's the other people coming in and not paying attention to the lines and it gets frustrating.
PRZYBYL: The town of Derry still has about 90 percent of its people without power. Other towns are facing the same situation. Emergency officials know days without power is tough to take, but they promise crews are working as fast as they can.
One of the biggest concerns we have is as power is being restored, we have a tremendous number of power lines that are still down, secondary (inaudible) and people need to stay away from these, because as power restored, these lines may become energized, become very dangerous.
HOLMES: Yes, that's scary stuff. I have covered a number of ice storms in my time, and they are worse if you haven't been through one, the worst is snow storms and any other snow storms because just they paralyze an entire city.
REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and you know something else that's even more crazy. We have trees that have been terribly damaged by all this ice. I mean, just one they breeze can knock a tree and power lines go out. So there maybe more outages as they make their way around the state and around the northeast. You know, we just showed you a bunch of video, but we need more.
HOLMES: We got more.
Let's take a look at this i-report. This was sent in from Christine Martinelli from South Berwick, Maine. It is beautiful to see. It's just a pain to deal with. And, again, that ice that you are seeing played out in many locations, we're going to see that possibly in parts of the midwest. There's no question about it. And we will definitely show you what you can expect. T.J., you are a mess. Let's show you. Let's go right back to the weather computer and show you temperatures that we having this morning. In Buffalo, 38 degrees at this time. Detroit Motor City, 38, 40 in Chicago. Chicago, enjoy it while you can. The blast of cold air is certainly going to be heading at your direction.
Also some scattered showers, south of the Great Lakes as we speak, in Louisville to Indianapolis, you are going waking up to raindrops this morning. But then when you get back over to the frontal system. Notice the contrast. I mean, my goodness we're seeing the snow in Aberdeen back over to Rapid City where you have temperatures that are sub zero at this time. Bismarck farther to the north, is about eight, nine below. And then you get over to Minneapolis or even over to Omaha, your temperatures run 20 to 30 and 40 degrees in some locations over near Cedar Rapids. The whole system is going to be marching it's way eastward as it does, get ready for some snowfall from the northern plains but when you get to the midwest, we could see another round of ice, especially in places like St. Louis, maybe as far north as parts of Illinois, and getting into the corn belt, windy conditions with the Central Plains, and heavy snow still possible back out towards the Cascades (inaudible) mountains and parts of New Mexico. And maybe even into say Boston, well cold conditions. This image we have. This is compliments of WCVB in Boston. You can see the (inaudible) river on the far right hand side of the screen. Looks like a pretty nice day all things considered. Temperatures will be on the chilly side but thankfully things getting back to normal slowly in parts of the northeast but there are still hundreds of thousands are without power.
WOLF: That's a look at your forecast, guys.
NGUYEN: It's a tough weekend. No doubt. OK. Thank you, Reynolds.
NGUYEN: So a fantasy a whole lot of people have, me as well - winning the big lottery. You know, you thought about it. And the last big one, it's tough to even read this, $207 million sold right here.
HOLMES: In Georgia. And we missed it.
NGUYEN: I meant to get a ticket. We're going to show you where the fantasy begins, folks.
HOLMES: All right. It's a tough time for - I mean -
NGUYEN: Go ahead.
HOLMES: You all got a bad deal in the national championships.
NGUYEN: Yes, we did.
HOLMES: And Reynolds, you know, (inaudible) and you're the only team that beat Oklahoma this year. And Oklahoma is in the national championship game, and you guys are going to the what (inaudible)
NGUYEN: But as you mentioned yesterday, we had a dog in the race when it came to the Heisman trophy - HOLMES: Yes, and you lost that, too.
NGUYEN: Yes -
NGUYEN: I mean what can you do? But we barely lost that just like we barely lost being in the national championship.
HOLMES: You've been barely moving all year -
WOLF: The two others let's say - you have - obviously, Brent for one but the thing Tebow had more first place votes anyone in history. And so, he ended up third. How does that happen?
HOLMES: All right.
WOLF: It seems a little bit bizarre. But...
NGUYEN: Yes, but Colt McCoy only had 122 votes less than the winner. So, that was one of the closest votes in seven years.
WOLF: And he's got a cool name.
HOLMES: Enough about the loser, though, let's talk about the winner, now.
NGUYEN: Yes, shall we talk about the winner?
HOLMES: There he is.
NGUYEN: There he is.
HOLMES: Sam Bradford, the kid is a stud, no doubt about it. But he plays for Oklahoma. Well, and you see he has his hand bandaged there. He'll be playing in the national championship, torn ligament actually in that thumb, I believe it is. But, any way, a Heisman Trophy handed out; he's part of history now.
NGUYEN: Absolutely. Congratulations. Hey, I'm not going to be a spoilsport on this.
HOLMES: You already are. You already are.
NGUYEN: He's a very talented young. I'm happy for him.
WOLF: (INAUDIBLE). The Heisman post? (INAUDIBLE).
NGUYEN: Yes. Is that what that is?
WOLF: Did you guys see -- did you guys actually watch it last night? HOLMES: I didn't see it.
WOLF: I mean, I am so happy for Mr. Bradford. I mean, he's a great player. But, my gosh, it was like watching Julia Roberts. I mean, he went on and on and he was so excited.
HOLMES: Watching Julia Roberts?
NGUYEN: What does that have to do with Julia Roberts?
WOLF: Well, you know how like Julia Roberts when she made her acceptance speech at the Academy Awards while back there...
NGUYEN: Watch a whole lot of shows, don't you? You needed away from the television except for the show, of course.
WOLF: (INAUDIBLE), maybe so.
HOLMES: And with that we'll take you to the next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING right now.
NGUYEN: What he's talking back there?
HOLMES: If you don't know, Reynolds is still talking, we cut his microphone, but we could still hear him right there.
HOLMES: Well, hello. From the CNN Center, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING, December 14th, 8:00 a.m. here in our headquarters in Atlanta, 7:00 a.m. in the Heartland. I'm T.J. Holmes.
NGUYEN: Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen.
You know, the tightening economy is really putting a squeeze on some charities. The marines, they are worried that some children actually won't get presents this year. We'll show you what they are doing.
HOLMES: Yes. A program had been around the long time, might get cut just a bit. Also, some city workers might be donating a bit more.
There's a latest mega million dollar lottery winners. You know, if all else fails in the economy, it helps, to win $207 million.
NGUYEN: No joke.
HOLMES: We'll be talking about them shortly.
NGUYEN: But we do want to start with the cleanup from that startling ice storm in the northeast. Within just the past hour, we have learned that President Bush has declared a state of emergency in New Hampshire. The ice, Thursday and Friday, brought down trees, and also took down power lines, knocking out electricity to nearly 800,000 customers. The state of emergency is also in effect for Massachusetts.
One man removing debris says it is the worse that he has ever seen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NEWS 12 NEW JERSEY)
DAVID TALMEDGE, REMOVING DEBRIS FROM STORM: I've been in the tree business for 35 years, and this is the worse storm damage I've ever seen here in Sussex County.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: Let's see how utility crews are doing this morning. Gail Rice is with the Central Maine Power Company. She joined us on the phone.
Ms. Rice, right now, how many are still without power at this hour?
VOICE OF GAIL RICE, CENTRAL MAINE POWER CO.: Right now, we have about 86,700 customers without service. And that's down from 220,000 on Friday afternoon. So, we've been able to make a pretty good progress on restoration.
NGUYEN: So, these crews that are out, obviously, they are working feverishly. Any idea when all of that power might be restored?
RICE: Well, we have 11 district offices around our service area. And we either finished or just about finished with five of them. We expect to get three more of those districts finished up sometime today, but we still have areas, three districts that cover York County in the southern part of the state, along with coastal areas from, you know, the Portland area up towards Cobscook Bay, and those areas are still going to be without service for one or more additional nights.
NGUYEN: All right. So, we are looking at possibly a couple days here. And what's been the biggest problem? Isn't just getting through the debris or what are they facing out there?
RICE: A few things. First of all, there was a tremendous amount of damage, lots of lines down, lots of trees down. And we spent the first day, Friday, literally spending almost all of our time just making everything safe. We had downed lines that were still live. We needed to de-energize those to protect the public.
As to the sheer extent of the damage made things difficult. Also, the fact that this storm did a lot of damage throughout New England kind of hindered our efforts early on to get a whole bunch of mutual aid to come up here because all the utilities were in the same situation.
NGUYEN: Yes, that's got to be difficult. RICE: Yes.
NGUYEN: Hey, let me ask you one more thing very quickly. For those who are still without power and maybe without power for a couple more days, we talked about these carbon monoxide poisonings and all these other dangers that can come with, what do you suggest? What's your best advice for people at home who are shivering at this moment, without power?
RICE: Well, you mention carbon monoxide poisonings, and that's really important. Anybody who is using a generator should make sure that that generator is outside. It's close to any doors and windows. It shouldn't even be in the garage. It should be out in the open air to keep those fumes from accumulating too much inside the homes.
And people should also be careful if they are using other alternate methods of heat and cooking, like, you know, wood stoves or camp stoves or that sort of thing. All of these items should be used according to the directions of the manufacturers, and that way people can stay safe.
NGUYEN: All right. Gail Rice with Central Maine Power Company -- thanks for your time this morning and your information. We do appreciate it.
RICE: Thank you, Betty, for having me here.
HOLMES: And we'll turn over to our Reynolds Wolf now. He's been keeping an eye on this for us this weekend.
And that ice is going to be melting, I guess, the question a lot of folks asked.
WOLF: Absolutely. You know, many parts of the northeast, temperatures will be going up today into the 40s. And, you know, it doesn't sound like it's a great deal of a warm up, but still above the temperature, or at least the freezing point, 32 degrees. (INAUDIBLE). It will begin to dissipate, and then you can expect the clean up to early continue.
Right now, we're seeing some scattered showers and some snowfall, mainly in the northern half of the Great Lakes but rain primarily, in fact, from Louisville to Indianapolis. When you go a little bit farther to the north, and you see it mixing with the cold air. Here's where your snow is going to be really piling in. Aberdeen's current temperature is about three below; Bismarck, again, subzero conditions; also for Rapid City and Casper.
But on the other side of that frontal boundary, in places like Minneapolis, you got temperatures that are still in around the 30s, right around the freezing point. We also have a live image for you in Minneapolis. Let's go to that now and show you this great shot that we have for you, compliments of KARE. There's the Mississippi River right in the middle of the screen. Everything is a lit up and beautiful. And later on, they may be seeing some snowfall. Certainly, they're seeing that in parts of Colorado. As we go back to the weather computer, let's go back and we're going to take you back over to parts of, say, Cheyenne southward along parts of I-25 and to Denver in Colorado Springs. We got some video for you also showing you, again, just some of the conditions that people are driving through. Here you go. A lot of actions out there, it also seems like the first snowfall of the year, this taken near Summit County, Colorado.
The first significant snowfall, people forget how to drive, and then, by the time February rolls around, they are pros once again. And, you know, in Colorado, you're having snows all the way into the early springs. So, that is something they maybe dealing with.
Something that people maybe dealing with across parts of the Midwest, not just rain and sleet, but possibly a mix, even some ice. So the scene that we see play out in parts of New England, with all the damage to the trees due to the ice, you could see that in parts of Illinois, and maybe into Missouri, compliments of that cold air that you have, this frontal boundary coming through, and a lot of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
Still very breezy for parts of the Central Plains today. Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Albuquerque (INAUDIBLE) make it a light dusting of snowfall. Also, for the Sierra Nevada, look for snow in many spots there especially near Tahoe. That is going to be pretty much the story for the next couple of days. Let's send it back to you.
NGUYEN: Oh, it's a cold one, all right.
WOLF: No questions.
NGUYEN: Thank you, Reynolds.
HOLMES: All right. Word we're just getting in, and we do want to pass along to you now, President Bush is in Iraq. He landed there a short time ago in the afternoon. It's about 4:00 in the afternoon right now in Baghdad. And the president arrived on Air Force One, as we always see under a cloak of secrecy on this trip for security reasons. The president is there. This will be his last trip to Iraq, we understand.
But, again, CNN has confirmed the president is on the ground in Baghdad. He's there just as we saw yesterday, a surprise trip made by the Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But the president is going back to a place, that's his fourth trip there. The last he made was in September 2007. But making a last trip there during his presidency to a place that really has defined his presidency.
We are coming up on six years that the war has been going on, and over 4,200 U.S. service members have been killed there. But this is the issue that certainly has defined his presidency. And he's there, one last hoorah, if you will, to that place. No idea how long he will be there, but again, certainly didn't get a heads up that he would be there, certainly for security reasons as we always see.
The White House takes the steps, to even put out false schedules to say what the president would be doing on Saturday and Sunday when, in fact, he had taken took off yesterday for the 11-hour trip to Baghdad. He has landed there. He got there a short time ago afternoon time in Iraq, with President Bush on the ground in Iraq.
We'll get more details, and certainly expect to get some pictures out there. At some point, we'll bring those along to you.
NGUYEN: Well, back here at home. The federal corruption case that has rocked Illinois and has a politician treading water today. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich who is accused of trying to sell a Senate seat has been meeting with a high profile defense attorney, Ed Genson. He's represented people like media tycoon, Conrad Black who actually went to prison for defrauding his company, as well as representing R&B singer R. Kelly who was acquitted of child pornography charges this summer.
In meantime, though, top state legislators, they are looking at what to do next.
CNN's Drew Griffin is following this case from Chicago.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On Monday, the pressure on this governor will intensify as the state legislature meets in Springfield to talk about motions to strip him of power, to strip him from the governorship, and to start impeachment proceedings. All the while, the Illinois attorney general is asking the Supreme Court to declare Governor Blagojevich unfit for duty, and asking the Supreme Court to remove him.
We'll wait and see what the governor is about to do.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Chicago.
NGUYEN: Meantime, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is calling on Blagojevich to, quote, "do the right thing."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CLTV)
MAYOR RICHARD DALEY, (D) CHICAGO: He should, first of all, look at his family, and also understanding what the people of Illinois want, and he should do the right thing on behalf of his family and on behalf of the people of Illinois. I really believe that. He has to really look deep in his heart, in his soul and figure that out -- what is good for his family and for the people of Illinois.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: And up until now, Daley has been quiet about the federal corruption case against Blagojevich.
HOLMES: I have an update now to a story we've been following for the past several days out of New York. And New York, really, the rest of the country, reacting to a senseless act of violence. His name is Jose Sucuzhanay. And we can report, he has now died. He and his brother were savagely beaten Thursday one block from their home in Brooklyn. They were beaten with bottles and aluminum baseball bats.
Police say this was a hate crime. Witnesses heard racial slurs. The brothers are Latino. Now, this is just one of a number of hate crimes we have seen lately. I assume that is the picture of the suspect we are bringing to you. But the Brooklyn beating a latest in many recent hate crimes, and the latest target -- Latinos. The FBI is reporting that there's been a 40 percent increase in hate crimes against the Hispanic population in the past five years.
Why exactly? And that's the question I posed to Maria Teresa Petersen who's a community activist with political expertise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIA TERESA PETERSEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VOTO LATINO: This increase has started since 2003. So, this actually -- you can actually see it paralleling to when immigration debates started hitting at the forefront. So, what we need to do is we need to have a strong conversation and we need to have immigration reform as soon as possible. But at the same time, we have to make sure that we are not hurting each other at a very simple level.
HOLMES: Is it possible to have those strong conversations and not come across as anti-immigrant? So much of what's talked about on television, and don't get me wrong, there is some strong language out there, and just -- it's harsh, vitriolic, but at the same time, some people who seem to just be standing up for the laws can often be seen as being anti-immigrant. And...
PETERSEN: Well, I think, you actually, you made and that's the problem, unfortunately, because a lot -- the rhetoric somehow has been equivocated that if you are anti-immigrant or immigrant, you must be Latino. In fact, you have Latinos that have been living in this country for generations. Folks that don't know Spanish, and yet, they can go into Carl's Jr. and someone behind the desk, behind the counter can ask them for their papers. Because they feel like there's an ownership because, again, the government has not resolved this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Yes, it will continue. A sad case, so the numbers continuing to go up and go up. But she has laid out, the way the debate is being conducted went to that, she believes. So, it will continue because we still don't have comprehensive immigration reform. That's part of the problem as well.
NGUYEN: We'll see what happens perhaps in the next administration.
NGUYEN: In the meantime, cutting back at Christmas. Every child, you know, they deserve a new toy this time of year. HOLMES: Yes.
NGUYEN: But Toys for Tots, they are hurting for donations, and you can blame that on the tough economy.
HOLMES: You know, some other folks are not worried about the economy. They're not worried about money at all. They won, they won big. $207 million big. The latest lottery pay outs, and the latest thing to make me jealous.
NGUYEN: Do they need a new friend? We could be (INAUDIBLE).
HOLMES: Well, there is one group that's trying to make sure every kid out there in America has a gift to open, even if that kid is probably on some tough times. But getting donations can be kind of tough in tough times.
CNN photojournalist, Bob Crowley, visited the Toys for Tots in Boston.
BETTY WHALEN, TOYS FOR TOTS VOLUNTEER: Good afternoon, Toys for Tots.
KAY CARPENTER, TOYS FOR TOTS VOLUNTEER: Toys for Tots started by the Marine Corps in 1947.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have an idea of how many toys you collected?
CARPENTER: The Marine Corps reserves picked it up as something that they would do at Christmastime to distribute toys to needy children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you bag this?
SGT. DANIEL SAMPSON, U.S. MARINE CORPS: This is the warehouse for the greater Boston Toys for Tots program. All the toys from local areas and collection points and events come into this facility. They go into the orders and then they go out right from this area.
CARPENTER: The needs this year is rather overwhelming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have some, like 31 for the boys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty-six of 125.
WHALEN: We are at a standstill, we can't do any more orders; we are down to zip. This bin should be full of the toys in their respective age groups, and as you can see, there's absolutely nothing in them. Normally, we would throw the toys in there, but we haven't been able to put them in there because as soon as they come in, we just start bagging them. It's really bad. I've never seen it this bad. I'm sure the economy has a lot to do with it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we can get them early, then some of the people that are on the waiting list might be able to receive toys.
CARPENTER: I hope that we get enough help that we can fill all of the orders. And right this minute, it looks like we are going to be turning people away.
SAMPSON: Every kid deserves a present on Christmas, just to put that smile on the kid's face that might not have a toy on Christmas. And it really makes it worthwhile.
HOLMES: Well, we do have some good news to report here. The Boston Toy for Tots program has gotten more last-minute donations, so they can fill their orders. The volunteers in other cities still say they are hurting. People like to help out, log on to www.toysfortots.org.
NGUYEN: Yes, there's still time folks. So, if you want to do it, please do, they are in need.
Meantime, swimming with sharks, following strangers through back alleys. You know, what CNN went great lengths to check out how this planet is in peril.
HOLMES: Yes, our Josh Levs is here to tell us more about that. Good morning, again, Josh.
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Good morning, to you, guys. I'll show you all you have to see behind the scenes of our special "Planet in Peril," and how you can help out without having to do anything like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Low, but then, suddenly, the sharks come into view. It's clear they see us, but they are keeping their distance, gliding by slowly and gracefully.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: All right. Our "Planet in Peril" special.
HOLMES: Part two of the "Planet in Peril" series. I don't know if you've seen it. We've been airing it here. They are all over the world. Anderson Cooper, Sanjay Gupta...
NGUYEN: Lisa Ling. HOLMES: ... Lisa Ling, all going out to this reporting. But one of the stories they're reporting on, the dangers facing elephants.
NGUYEN: Yes, this is really a sad one, too. Our Josh Levs is here to show you some of the powerful videos and some of the behind the scene secrets.
Hey, there, Josh.
LEVS: Hey. Yes, I mean, you were just saying before the break, they went to some great lengths. It's kind of amazing what they did. I was just noticing this morning, one of the top blog posts they have here, CNN.com/planet says this, "Ivory Wars: They're continuing and we are losing."
Let's go to -- I'll show you some of the video that goes along with this story. It's about elephants and what they're dealing with. The elephants are being killed just for their tusks. We learned how that impacts the land, the whole ecosystem, the dangers that it can present ultimately to people everywhere.
Now, on the "Planet in Peril" Web page, we also have a lot of informational videos about the adventures that members of the team went on. I want you to check something out. Go to this clip from Lisa Ling, because this, to me, is one of the most dramatic pages, one of the most dramatic videos that we have coming out in "Planet in Peril." This is where she is in Nigeria, along the Niger Delta and she's following this people through this back alleys. Do we have this video?
Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA LING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We arrive at the (INAUDIBLE) and are told to follow this man. We walk through back alleys, and then come to the water.
So, we've just been brought to this dock, and we are being asked to get into these boats. We can't tell you where we are and we are not sure where we are going, but (INAUDIBLE).
We drive for hours by boat, passing small villages, and winding through creeks, and then, suddenly, they appear. The check point and a boatful of men fighters armed to the teeth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: Now, I can tell you, everything ultimately works out fine, but that's what they had to deal with. And we also learned as we were showing you before about Anderson Cooper going swimming with the sharks, well, he's there. He explains the dangers facing the white shark population and how that can affect ultimately all of us.
All right. Quickly, let's zoom in to the board, I want you to check this out, CNN.com/planet, it's packed with information. I'm going to get out of the way so you can just check it out from there. But take a look at this. Once you are there, there's a few things I want you to click on. First of all, you can see this one section right here, this shows you battle lines around the world, click on any of these areas, and it will show you what's going on in that area and why you should be concerned.
And finally, if you want to do something about it, CNN.com/impact, we'll talk you through how you can help out a planet that is in peril. And, obviously, we encourage you to take a look at that tonight, 8:00 o'clock Eastern, tonight, "Planet in Peril: Battle Lines." And we'll let you, it's also available on iTunes. And guys, it's also available on Amazon.com and the sales are already going pretty strong. So, check it out tonight, 8:00 o'clock Eastern -- Betty?
NGUYEN: It appears to be available everywhere, which is a good thing because it's really a great special for a good cause.
LEVS: It is. And as I said (ph), these are really powerful video and it means a lot. And like we were saying, I think a lot of people see that and get inspired and want to do something.
NGUYEN: "Impact Your World." OK.
NGUYEN: Thank you.
LEVS: Thanks, guys.
NGUYEN: You know, a Christmas surprise for the owner of a lucky lottery winner and the store that sold it.
HOLMES: $207 million, we're talking about here. One ticket. Do you have it? Probably not.
HOLMES: All right. First pictures we are getting now of President Bush there in Iraq. First pictures we're getting of this visit to Iraq, a visit that, we understand, will be his last to Iraq. The fourth trip he's made to that country, a country which, of course, has now defining his presidency. The year -- going to its sixth year, it will be six years coming up at the beginning of next year.
But President Bush there, meeting with the Iraqi leaders at this time. We'll continue to follow that, but again, he's just getting there this afternoon. We'll continue to follow this surprise visit by the president.
NGUYEN: In the meantime, though, the Saudi Arabian monarch, who is the custodian of two of Islam's holiest shrines and host of Hajj, is calling on Muslims to have a dialogue within Islam itself.
HOLMES: Yes. CNN's Octavia Nasr now reporting private thoughts, now open discussions.
OCTAVIA NASR, CNN SR. EDITOR OF ARAB AFFAIRS (voice-over): Saudi Arabia's monarch is the custodian of Islam's two holiest shrines, and the host of the yearly pilgrimage called Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam. On this holy occasion which brings hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world, to pray and cleanse their souls, King Abdullah's message is about cleansing the Islamic house.
ABDULLAH BIN ABDUL AZIZ AL SAUD, SAUDI ARABIAN KING (through translator): Division, ignorance, and fanaticism are obstacles threatening the hopes of Muslim. And terrorism, which has been threatening the whole world and is attributed to Muslims alone. It's caused by acts of fanatics who pretend to be Muslims but, in fact, represent no one but themselves.
NASR: This year's pilgrimage to Mecca takes place on the heels of a series of terror attacks in Mumbai against western and Jewish interests. Behind the attacks, allegedly, is a Pakistani group with links to Saudi-born Osama bin Laden.
And the king's message coincided with news from Guantanamo Bay that five detainees charged with planning the terror attacks of 9/11/2001 told a judge this week that they are ready to admit their guilt. All five including the 9/11 alleged mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad said so in front of family members of some of the 9/11 victims.
The Saudi king knows the world is watching, and just as he called for interfaith dialogue among all religions earlier this year, he now says...
KING ABDULLAH (through translator): Today, we need an honest dialogue within Islam itself.
NASR: The idea that Islam needs the help of Muslims themselves is echoed in this political cartoon in "Al-Ghad" newspaper where Islam is depicted as wounded with broken joints and missing limbs as it ushers in this holy period.
Elsewhere on Arab media, while the coverage of the five-day long pilgrimage takes centerstage, the topic of terrorism keeps creeping up, turning many conversations from in-word contemplation to discussion of Islam's relationship with the rest of the world.
Octavia Nasr, CNN, reporting.
NGUYEN: Well, speaking of dialogue, a whole lot of it going on in Ohio today.
HOLMES: A lot, a lot of people talking about the people in that town of Piqua -- is that name I think -- who won the lottery, $207 million. A group of city employees, we're going to be talking about them much more this morning. But if you don't live in Piqua and you don't work for the city, you didn't win. So, just go with that.
NGUYEN: Yes, there's always next week's lotto.
HOLMES: All right.
NGUYEN: But first, "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta starts right now.