tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 30, 2011 4:00pm-6:00pm EST
>> stocks soar on wall street as the federal reserve and other central banks take dramatic action to pull back ur from the brink of a financial meltdown. also, herman cain pushing his campaign forward and now, a top leader is warning cain may be hurting the gop. plus, a new bid for freedom by the man who tried to assassinate reagan. why lawyers say he has been lying to his doctors. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room". -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we begin with breaking news on wall street. a dramatic rescue and equally dramatic reaction on wall street. the stock market skyrocketing today on new that is the federal reserve and other central banks are taking direct action to
prevent a financial meltdown in the euro zone using the their resources to keep money and credit flowing amid the staggering debt crisis. it's the largest coordinated move of its kind since 2008 when similar action brought u.s. credit markets back from the brink. let's go straight to alison kosik at the new york stock exchange. a banner day on wall street today. >> just a stunning rally. we're ending the day, the dow up 482 points. this is the best point gain for the dow we've seen in two and a half years, this all coming after the central banks stepping in and meeting this relief rally. investors seeing it finally these monetary policymakers get it. what central banks are going to be doing, they're getting trogt, providing a safety net to keep the credit crisis from getting worse. they're going to be making it
cheaper for banks to borrow u.s. dollar, which are a staple of global transactions. the whole idea behind this is those banks will lend that money to businesses and consumers because the thinks is more credit that people have, the more they will spend. the markets leadoff this kind of support, but you realize the fact it needs so much dramatic help shows you dire this situation is. >> the market closing today above 1200. it was right around 2008 when the market was around 6500, so there's been dramatic improvement for those who have been invested in a lot of these stocks over the past four years. >> you have to also raelsz that this move that the central banks are making, this alone, does not solve the problem. the debt problems, that four-letter word. still an issue in europe and the u.s. these central banks are providingly quidty. this is a band-aid.
it's not a fix. what you're seeing today as investors having this knee jerk reaction and buying into the mark market. >> we're going to have a lot more on this story. the fact that these central banks had to do it, which is a sign of how dire the situation is right now. thanks so much. he's reassessing his campaign, but herman cain still very much a presidential candidate, at least today on the stump in ohio. but he does tell cnn he will be making a decision about staying in the race over the next several days. all right, jim, tell us what he said. >> we talked to him in dayton, ohio today and wolf, herman cain did not answer that question.
it is a sign that his campaign at this point, is up in the air. the crowd was in a fighting mood and so was the candidate. >> they want you to believe that with enough character assassination on me that i will drop out. they -- >> but in a fiery speech, that was as close as he came to talking about the allegations of infidelity. he did not deny the allegations and made no promises to stay in the race. >> one of the reasons they want to try to shoot me down and tear me down is because of the strength of my message that's resognating with the american people. >> but he accused unnamed political forces of trying to block his quest for the job nomination. >> the establishment does not
want herman cain to get this nomination. the liberals do not want herman cain to get this nomination, but i happen to believe that the american people have a different idea. >> after the speech, the man behind the 9-9-9 tax plan sounded 50-50 on whether he will remain a candidate. >> mr. cain, jim acosta with cnn. are you vowing to stay in this race? >> we are reevaluating and reassess l. >> how soon till we have a final answer? >> we'll be making a decision in the next several days. >> supporters were still lining for for yard signs long after the candidate was gone. diane phillips questioned whether the allegations dogging cain's campaign are true. >> what is a woman in his background compared to the all the socialists in obama's background. i don't worry about that as
much. >> either way, carla said it won't change her vote. >> i don't know whether it's true or not. but i still hope he keeps on fighting. >> later tonight, the cain campaign says the candidate will answer reporter's questions in new hampshire and tomorrow, he is scheduled to meet with the editorial board of that state's newspaper for a candidate who is being very cautious about the future of his campaign, his timing could not be worse in terms of meeting with an edit editorial board that will have lots of questions about these allegations facing his campaign and about his future, wolf. >> if he is really serious about seeking the republican presidential nomination, why is he spending all day in ohio, which is not an early state. why isn't he in iowa, for example, because the caucuses there are only a few weeks away. >> that's right. it is baffling, but that is a trademark of his campaign. he is an unconventional
candidate and when you say that this is a late primary, it is the second to last primary on the calendar. it is set for june 12st, so almost a full seventh months from now and he had three events here today. one in cincinnati, one in dayton and one he wrapped up here in columbus. it has a lot of the political establishment in washington wondering what herman cain is up to. is he just selling books? just trying to carve out a fich as a motivational speaker? that is the question. is he stay ng this race or just running for publicity. >> we asked when he would know and he said in the next several days and didn't deny those allegations. thanks very much. the former republican party chairman, michael steele, is warning the herman cain may be hurting the entire republican party. we're going to hear what he's saying and we'll talk about it
in our strategy session. stand by for that later this hour. let's go to jack cafferty. he's got more political thoughts in the "cafferty file." >> the tea leaves, wolf, are beginning to suggest that mitt romney's going to lose again. after being the prumed nominee for four years now and the front-runner among the republican candidates for the last several months, suddenly, he's breathing newt gingrich's exhaust fumes. take florida, where gingrich has shot to the top of the back. a new poll shows gingrich at 61% cht that's as much support as the next four republican candidates combined. romney does place second in that poll in florida. he gets 17%. gingrich is coming on strong in several of the early voting state states as well. in iowa, one poll shows gingrich leading romney by seven points. in south carolina, gingrich leads romney by 11 points and in new hampshire where the former
massachusetts governor, romney, is a favorite son, gingrich is also picking up steam. romney's still in front, but gingrich is closing the gap. meanwhile, gallup polling shows that gingrich's positive intensity score is the highest of any republican candidate while romney's is at the lowest it's been in the past year. charles hurt writes that getting republicans to line up behind mitt romney is quote like trying to stuff a cat into a trash can. at least one claw always manages to reach out at the last second and cling to the rim. hurt suggests the only thing republicans can agree upon is they don't want romney. here's the question. is newt gingrich's momentum for real? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. post a comment on my blog or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. one thing about gingrich, we all know what there is to know about
this guy. i can't imagine there are any skeletons left in the man's closet. it's all out there and it's been out there for a long time. so no october surprise coming there. >> right. a lot of that has been discounted because we've been reporting on it for decades. the former speaker of the house. my blog today, i write about this whole notion of romney versus gingrich. shaping up to a two-man race and the gloves come off between these two guys. >> the republicans could have a version of obama-clinton. remember how fun that was? >> went all the way through june as i recall. they were waiting for the primaries to close down in puerto rico before we knew. >> this would make our life a lot more fun. >> you like politics, we do. we want it to go on and on and on. thanks very much. more politics comes up this hour. also, other important news we're following. the man who shot rond reagan
wants out of a mental hospital because he's still a danger. we're going to find out what the secret service caught him doing. plus, british officials say no more. they're closing the doors to their embassy in iran after yesterday's mob attack. and a great white shark off the coast of north carolina. wait until you hear what happened when a group of fishermen got too close. . boom! thank you! [ male announcer ] no need to wait with our christmas price guarantee. if you find a lower price on a local print ad before christmas, we'll give you the difference on a walmart gift card. but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas...
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you don't just add, you multiply. ♪ discover something new... verizon. hey, jessica, jerry neumann with a policy question. jerry, how are you doing? fine, i just got a little fender bender. oh, jerry, i'm so sorry. i would love to help but remember, you dropped us last month. yeah, you know it's funny. it only took 15 minutes to sign up for that new auto insurance company but it's taken a lot longer to hear back. is your car up a pole again? [ crying ] i miss you, jessica!
jerry, are you crying? no, i just, i bit my tongue. [ male announcer ] get to a better state. state farm. president obama's taking his push for a tax cut on the road. here's the president today in scranton, pennsylvania. >> if they vote no, your taxes go up. vote yes, you get a tax cut. which way do you think congress should vote? >> let's bring in our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. a very important state, pennsylvania, for the president.
no accident that he's there today. >> that's right. in 2008, the president won pennsylvania by over 10 points, but now, the latest quinnipiac poll shows that voters in the state approve of the job he's doing by only 44%. haven't you heard? conventional wisdom says president obama can't sell his brand to pennsylvania anymore. why is is he in scranton pushing the payroll tax cut? the obama campaign isn't buying conventional wisdom. they believe they have the time, a detailed voter database and lots of money so they're playing the board. part of their strategy includes winning pennsylvania. top democrats say the president aims to win all the states john kerry won in 2004. that gets him to 246 electoral votes including pennsylvania's 20. they add new mexico, which he won in 2008 and he's at 521.
19 elect rall votes shy of the needed 270. his aides are looking at different paths to get there. there's north carolina, plus virginia. or arizona with its latino population and colorado. or just florida and there are other options. all would be fierce fights, but the uphill climb would be far steeper if the president lost pennsylvania and republicans are eyeing that state eagerly after gop wins there in 2010. if you know the obama team is agenting pretty confident because they believe more of their target voters have moved into some of the formerly purpopurple and red states. that means they can compete in states like ohio, pennsylvania and florida, but also new states like colorado or north carolina. but you also have to temper some of that confidence with a little reality check given the state of the xwhi it's going to be hard
to win over voters in any of the battlegrounds. >> pennsylvania, if the president can't carry pennsylvania in a presidential election and other republicans did really well in pennsylvania 2010 in the midterm elections and all of that, but if he can't carry pennsylvania, he would be in deep trouble. >> i know you're going to interview dan fyfer in the next hour. you should ask him about that. i think what the white house would say is that was a different year. >> the white house communications director will join me live in the next hour. thanks very much. lisa sylvester is monitoring some other top stories. some l dramatic video out of london today. >> cnn cameras were rolling as dozens of occupy lend and protesters stormed the offices of a mining company today all part of a mass strike over pension cuts. nearly 2 million public workers are walking off the job. all across the u.k., workers say
they're unfairly bearing the brunt of austerity. and britain is closing its embassy in tehran after nearly 200 hard line students ransacked the building. william hague has ordered iran to close its embassy in londened immediately. protesters storm the compound on tuesday in retaliation for western sanctions. and more than a thousand police and riot gear swept through an occupy protest camp in l.a. overnight arresting 200 people. the protesters had been camping out at the lawn for two months nouchlt police say the operation was mostly peaceful. in philadelphia, more than 50 people were arrested as officers shut down silents across the city. and look what a group of fishermen nearly hooked off the coast of north carolina. take a hook at this. yes, a great white shark. one of the men grabbed his iphone and captured the shark as
it t-boned their boat. the shark then swam back and smacked the boat with its tail. an official says great white sightings are rare. >> it's amazing, but pretty scary, too. >> i think of australia, so apparently off the coast of north carolina, it happens. >> our senior shark correspondent, lisa sylvester. thanks very much. new revelations about a man who shot president reagan, including how he faked an emergency to spend time with his dentist. we have details of the hearing that could set him free or not. and former republican party chairman michael steele has some strong advise for herman cain, but also a warning about the potential consequences of staying in the race. >> for the two years that i have -- attention tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you and your money deserve. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab, that means taking a close look at you tdd# 1-800-345-2550 as well as your portfolio.
the man who shot president reagan in 1981 is making a new bid to be released from the mental hospital where he spent most of the last 30 years. brian todd is outside the courthouse where a hearing was held on the future of john hinckley jr. tell our viewers what happened. >> wolf, hinckley's attorney called him a decent person. not a danger to the community. government lawyers called him deceptive and we learned new details about his benaifr recent months. more than three decades after his bullet came within an inch of reagan's heart, john hinckley sat expressionless. hinckley's attorney telling the judge the would be asassinin
flaud, but decent. he's asking for more leave from a mental hospital and eventually live full time with his mother. his lawyer says he has not been violent and a doctor at the hospital says there's a low risk he would be a danger to himself or others. a psychologist says this. >> if he is on medication, mr. hinckley could move in next door to me as far as i'm concerned. if he's not, i would do everything i could to block him. >> hinckley's lawyer says he's been reliable about taking his antipsychotic drugs, but government attorneys counter that he's been consistently deceptive. the secret service watched him this year without his knowledge. on more than one occasion, hinckley was supposed to go to the movies or shopping, but instead went to bookstores where he looked about books about reagan. they say he's also deceptive on
his dealings with women, searching for pictures of his female dentist, then lying about i. episodes reminiscent of his infatuation with jodi foster. >> and i don't think there are any set of circumstances in which hinckley should be allowed to be walking freely because he's going to have to self-medicate. there's no way to guarantee he's going to take his medication. >> he says that means the secret service is going to have to devote considerable resources to monitoring hinckley. resources that would be taken away from protective detail. contacted by cnn, the secret service would not comment on any monitoring operations, on anything about these proceedings. the judge will rule on whether john hinckley merits more freedom. >> is hinckley himself going to testify at these proceedings?
>> well, his legal team has listed him as a possible witness. but if he does testify, that will likely mean that prosecutors are going to want to cross examine him. his defense team is really against that idea, so he may not appear, but he's in court today. he may be in court for all nine days left in the proceedings. >> thanks very much. tonight, john king will speak with the secret service agent credited with saving president reagan's life that day. it's an exclusive interview. later tonight, 6:00 p.m. eastern here on cnn. allegations newt gingrich used his famous name to make himself a very rich man. we're learning new details. plus, the new book that claims sarah palin was obsessed with running for president of the united states. so what happened? we'll tell you.
he spent 20 years in congress eventually working his way up to become speaker of the house. since leaving office, newt gingrich has cashed in handsomely on his washington experience. despite that, he often brands himself as a washington outsider. lisa sylvester has been looking into the story for us. >> as you know, newt gingrich has been portraying himself as an outsider and as a guy with
big ideas and has helped companies problem solve. these company paid him very well and now, the issue is was he actually working as a lobbyist for them? the gingrich group at the forprofit center for transformation grossed nearly 55 million in revenue in the last decade. since leaving congress, newt gingrich has become a master of branding. >> newt gingrich took the power of his name and applied it in any number of for profit arenas. >> but these groups are now dogging him. in 2008, the center for health trans for information helped git a new law passed in georgia. >> we do no lobbying of any kind. what we do is education. so, we did not lobby for the bill in georgia. we did write the basic document that the bill would grow out of.
>> that's at the heart of this. where does education begin and lobbying end? gingrich insists he hasn't had to work as a paid lobbyist. according to him, he was making a fine living giving speeches. >> i was charging $60,000 a speech and the number of speeches was going up, not down. normally, celebrities leave and they gradually sell fewer speeches. we were selling more. >> but companies paid as much $200,000 a year to be a member of the center for health transformation and gingrich in pitching his ideas to reform health care, often pointed to his member clients as providing the solutions like here where he promotes inter mountain health care of utah, which happens to be a client. >> someone estimated that if all health care in america were australia effective as inter mountain, you would reduce the cost of medicare while improving the outcomes. >> he also gave his clients
access to lawmakers. here again from the 2008 speech, gingrich talks about buildinging ties to people like then senator hillary clinton and farm bill f. >> if we can create the relationships and this goes back to bill frist work iing with uso host a series of leadership dinners on electronic information technology, which really did begin to build a bipartisan pattern in the house and senate in a way that was very different. >> the gingrich group and center for health transformation in a statement reiterated its mission was only to provide strategic thinking, policy analysis and planning. quote, they said we do no lob lobbying for clients and always make that clear from the outset. we clearly stipulate that fact in our contracts. and newt gingrich himself has said he did not promote any ideas he did not believe in. he said he was in a position financially where he could pick and choose his clients.
>> now he's doing really well in his quest for the republican nomination. let's dig deeper on newt gingrich and a lot more with the political editor in chief, john harris. evan thomas, they describe the day they quit the gingrich campaign in their new digital book. part of the political playbook 2012 series. thanks for coming in. this is a whole new world for you, publishing books, digital books. it's not just putting stuff online. >> it's also part of a new world for publishing. the traditional model of publishing. more and more people are reading books on kindle, on their ipads and they want this kind of detail. much more in realtime. some o the events that mike and evan report on are just a couple of weeks old, but we're taking advantage of technology and of this tremendous hunger for more
detail about behind the scenes detail about these campaigns. >> i've gone through the -- >> number 50, if you allow me to post. rising by the hour. >> it's going to be, after this interview, it will go up more quickly. let's look at some of the nuggets in there because some really great stuff. two great reporters. newt gingrich. the worst day when everyone quit in his campaign last summer. take us behind the scenes. what was going on? >> actually, newt gingrich helps take mike behind the scenes with a really revealing interview. he described that day and the whole period of last summer is being abandoned. described it as exkushuating, but there was essentially a come to jesus moment between gingrich and his staff. they were really upset he was not devoting the time necessary on the trail, doing the hard work of running for president.
they were concerned his wife, who gingrich describes as his closest adviser, they felt she was taking him away from the task. very upset about their trip to the greek islands. so, lots of behind the scenes detail. >> great color in there. great detail. another interesting little nugget, sarah palin, your guy's report, was obsessed with running for the republican presidential nomination. >> wolf, this was really a revelation to me. i had made the decision or assumption, really, starting last spring, you know, almost a year ago now, that she had made the decision not to run and was just going through the motions. mike and evan made clear she was very seriously considering it all the way through the summer and even into september. she was obsessed with following the news. regularly checking all the websites. watching the cable channels,
knowing minute by minute detail. >> she had been speaking to consultants. >> in anticipation she might well run for president. she really wanted to, ultimately decided the support was not there. >> another nugget. that president obama and his campaign are worried about jon huntsman, who's not doing well in the polls. what's that about? >> really surprising. huntsman has not had success in getting taken seriously by republicans so r far, but the obama campaign was taking him very seriously. they regarded him at the time, the most formidable general election opponent, potential opponent, to president obama. >> would be formidable, but he's got to get that republican nomination. what was the most interesting little nugget that you learned? >> the whole thing was like a big bowl of potato ships. you wanted to just keep reading.
i was fascinated by the behind the scenes portrait of hailey barber deciding not to run. his aides did the opposition results on themselves. here's what the other campaigns are going to dig up on you. presented that and said, let's face it, this is too much of a head wind. just going into his business history -- >> lobbying in washington. >> the difficulty of a southern governor would have on the national stage and ultimately, b barbour said this is not happening. >> mike allen must be the hardest working journalist ever. is that right? >> for mike, it's not like work. he loves this stuff. >> you read his playbook. he's a white house correspondent, too. >> mike and i have known each other for 20 years. both young reporters in richmond, virginia before we started politico.
>> thanks very much. you and i have worked together, too. >> $2.99. you can buy it. this is going to come in a series throughout the campaign. >> how many more? >> three to four. thank you. >> don't leave yet. mitt romney comes out swinging today against his newest competition. what's he's now calling newt gingrich. plus, one of the most expensive hotels in washington tells an employee you can't serve certain guests. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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off between the two front-runners for the rop nomination. mitt romney and newt gingrich. listen to what romney is now saying about newt gingrich. >> he and i have very different backgrounds. he spent his last 30 or 40 years in washington. i spent my career in the private sector. he's a lifelong politician. i think you have to have the credibility of understanding how the economy works. and i do and that's one reason i'm in this race. >> he spent 30 or 40 years in washington. he's a lifelong politician. on the other hand, mitt romney's a business person. the gloves are a little bit beginning to come off. >> it's about time. look, this is supposed to be a change election. all the issues will boil down to the economy and so, mitt romney has to offer that contrast and it is an absolute joke for newt gingrich to stand here and talk about he's an outsider when he is an ultimate insider. this whole deal with all his
institutes and these organizations, he's trading on the level of influence in the nation's capitol, so it's smart for romney to go after him aggressively. >> you used to work for the former speaker, he responded to the criticism from romney this way. >> i've got a work track record, haven't been as successful as mitt romney. >> i have a work track record. he's made millions and millions of dollars. but romney's made millions and millions of dollars. >> i hope you never git to the point where you have to be a failure to get elected. what it tells me is that the romney's got some polling that indicates this surge may have legs and they may have the determination to get in front of it quickly, which they didn't really do with perry or bachmann or cain. >> i don't think you have to because if you look at bachmann,
you look at perry and cain. first of all, bachmann, member of congress. she went up, came back down. you look at perry, same thing. came out firing on all cylinders, up, back down. cain, no path of seriousness. he's crashing as well. gingrich imploded early on and has been steadily building himself. makes sense, plus, we're five weeks out. this is not three months. >> you used to work with the speaker. how tough in these remaining weeks before iowa is this going to get? >> i think it will get very tough because this is it. everything else was pregame or it's preseason. the exhibition season the over ekttive tomorrow. >> and if gingrich gets slapped, he slaps right back. >> depends on where you kind of poke him. my sense is for newt, who i really like, he's ready for the business, the lobbying.
he's ready for that. but if people start to question his intellectual honesty, he may lose. >> that's one to have things for romney, the last debate you moderated, made no sense. he allowed gingrich to elevate himself, pontificate in the deba debate. he has to nail him down. if i'm romney, he should be emphasizing his character. emphasizing him being a husband. him being a father. because yeah, newt, smart as all get out, but he has a nasty side and you want that to come out. >> in that last debate, i suspected, i don't know p you did, that mitt romney was more concerned about jon huntsman that gingrich. >> i think that everybody was surprised, at least i was, by michele bachmann. i think all those things together meant romney got dragged down. >> let me talk about herman cain. michael steele, he said this.
told the "huffington post" i'm not going to go out here and blow you up and call on you to get out of the race. if you decide to stay in, the voters are going to let you know how they feel about that. this is serious. there are impacts and ramifications not just for hermman and his family, but for the party as a whole. sounds like he's very concerned. >> michael steele's political aclaimant, we know what it is, so who cares. the reality is, we were talking about this earlier. i'm not so sure it's a matter of what the vote rs will do, but it may be a family issue. >> you said in the next several days. >> i got to take, i got to deal with that. first of all, we're dealing with michael steele, was rnc chair. it's not like this is somebody saying whatever. he is giving cain strong advice. he's saying, this is over. forget you. this is now a party issue. you have been in this game now
for several months. now it's down to the nitty-gritty, so if you are constantly the story and these affairs, you're bringing up these allegations of affair and sexu sexual harassment, he's saying might be time for you to buy out. that's a nice way of saying it. >> this is a difficult time. nobody wants to be the guy throwing the stone. i'm not casting any stones at this table, but on the other hand, who wants to look to closely at anybody's back. for herman cain, this gets into everybody peeking into everybody hees shower stahl. >> stahl. >> i know a lot of republicans like to pick on michael steele. he was chairman of the rnc for the two years leading up to 2010, which created enormous republican winds. local, state levels. so, you've got to give him some credit. >> he's like the tim tebow of the republican national committee. he can't play quarterback, but keeps winning.
>> a bad release. >> you can play on it. >> i like michael steele. >> but he won. >> thanks very much. your e-mail on newt gingrich's surge until pots and in our next hour, how american college students discovered what china has been hiding. tunnels big enough to hold thousands of nuclear warheads. usa prime credit... this peggy...
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question this hour is newt gingrich's momentum for real? charles in san antonio, texas, today it is. however, there are many days between today and election day. this may give newt the opportunity to continue his momentum, get the republican nomination, or provide him with many more opportunities to screw up. based on history, it's om a matter of time before his rick perry moment. adam in idaho rights of course gingrich is for real. jane in new hampshire. it's as real as michele bachmann's momentum, rick
perry's momentum. herman cain's momentum. newt's selling books and more $60,000 speeches. rob writes the only momentum he has is when he moves on to his next wife. when the ghost of christmas past -- the guy has more baggage than a 747 could carry. brian writes is gingrich's momentum for real? yes. his hasn't been artificially manufacturered, yes, just like everything else that gains momentum in american politics. political power brokers and the so-called fourth es kate, that would be us, can create anything at any time and make it as big as they want and steve in illinois writes, the momentum's for real. much like thelma and louise with the same results i'm sure.
a washington hotel sued after telling employees it can't serve certain guests. you're going to hear what the hotel is saying, what the governor is saying. plus, violence erupts in lond london. i'll ask tony blair, he's here in "the situation room." we'll talk about what's going on. congratulations. congratulations. today, the city of charlotte can use verizon technology to inspire businesses to conserve energy and monitor costs. making communities greener... congratulations. ... and buildings as valuable to the bottom line... whoa ! ... as the people inside them. congratulations. because when you add verizon to your company, you don't just add, you multiply. ♪ discover something new... verizon.
certain restrictions apply. in south africa, an artist paints a banner outside the u.n. climate change conference. in los angeles, a rosary is all that remains after police break down an occupy l.a. kampb camp. a dog stands near flood waters and in london, a model performs during the launch of a speedo fashion show. if you're concerned about uncle sam looking over your shoulder, maybe you should worry more about your neighborhood mall. mary snow has the story. on black friday, two malls kept a closer eye on people. they monitored signals from
shopper's cell phones in richmond, virginia and in southern california. this shows how the technology works. its makers insist personal data isn't collected and it's data is cleked for shopping patterns. the maker saying we have temporarily suspended further trial while we work with a system developer on enhancements and a difference raised on concerns by schumer. charles schumer has raised concerns cht he says while consumers can turn off their phones warning about the technology, they shouldn't have to. >> if retailers want to tap into your phone, they can ask your permissi permission. >> the company is called path intelligence based in the united kingdom. why is it necessary to track shoppers? >> it's necessary in the offline world to create a level playing fweeld what's going on online. >> sharon bicker compares what
her company is doing to the information online site's track, but she says in this case, cell phones are counted and personal information isn't detected and she says having people agreeing to have cell phones tracked poses a problem. >> it would be going from a situation today where we have no information on the individuals, to a situation where we are required by law to hold personal information. >> despite assurances, chris calabrese isn't sold. >> it's hard to take comfort in the idea that the company says this is anonymous information because it's easy to link people's cell phones and their individual identity. every time you do something for a smart phone, say sign up for a service or provide your e-mail address, your linking your tidety and the phone that that information is routinely bought and sold. >> by the way, while the use of this tracking technology is on
hold, the management company of the malls say it will look at an easier way for consumers to opt out of being tracked other than turning off their cell phones. we're seeing the deadly aftermath of the attack in pakistan. >> hi there, wolf. well, today, pakistan's military released footage of last week's nato attack that killed 24 soldiers. the air strike hit a military check point near the border. n nato calls it a tragic unintended incident, but pakistan plans to boycott an international conference on afghanistan in protest. joe biden is promising -- the 100% committed to helping the nation reach its full potential.
nearly all u.s. troops are scheduled to pull out of the country. the vice president says the u.s. will pursue a new relationship with baghdad after the troop withdrawal. and a successful launch in china. early this morning, a rocket carried beijing's latest remote sensing satellite into space. it will be used in scientific expermits, landing crop displays. displays. >> thank you. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com you're in "the situation room." happening now, a mass, global effort underway to rescue europe from a debt crisis some believe could plunlg the world into financial armageddon. we'll have analysis on how effective this is. plus, britain takes dramatic steps to slash ties with iran. after a brazen attack on its embassy in tehran.
tony blair is here in "the situation room." and it's not the great wall of china, but china's so-called under ground great wall. ahead, the vast nuclear secrets students here in washington may have uncovered. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." a dramatic move reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis. stock markets soar today with the dow surging almost 500 points on word of a mass international effort by the federal reserve and other central banks to rescue europe from an economic disaster with potentially desire implications for all of us. let's bring in erin burnett and richard quest to break it all down. what it means.
erin, first to you. from the economic experts you're talking to, i take it this was the right move, but it was an act of desperation. >> i think that's the right way to characterize it. the markets rejoiced. that's a big jump and puts the market solidly above 12,000. that's good news. i will say this, wolf. in talking to some investors, i talked to some people at pimco, the largest bond investor in america, they said the issue here is it's down the line when you start to wonder what happens. what the fed is doing is providing money for european banks who aren't able to get dollars other places. what the fed does is essentially print more dollars. a dollar's a dollar. whether in japan, kazakhstan or mexico. so, we are inflating the value of the u.s. currency to deal with the european crisis. for now, a good thing, but that could carry a heavy price down the road. >> richard, you're in london. what's been the reaction there?
do they believe this will revolve the crisis? >> this is got nothing to do with revolving the crisis. this is a symptom. what's happened is banks are refusing to lend to each other. they can't get ahold of dollars. >> reporter: yen or whatever, so the central banks have agreed to swap this money between themselves making it available. but this is like what we saw after lehman brothers in the sense that the credit market seized up. because of what happened to lehman brothers. so, needless to say what they are desperately trying to avoid the any form of panic of that help. they're making money available. think of it this way, wolf. they are lubricating the market. they're putting oil and grease on the sprok ets to make sure they don't gum up and cause a bigger problem, but it does
nothing to solve the actual problem itself. >> erin, is the u.s. at the mercy of europe right now? some have suggested. >> yeah, i think it's safe to say that, wolf. it's always interesting when you look at the u.s. economy today, better than expected news on jobs. much better on manufacturing and housing. so, the u.s. economy has a little more strength and heft than a lot of people gave it credit for, but and there is a big but. that is europe. europe really is going to be what drives this train. if europe falls into a crisis, and you see the euro zone break apart, yes, absolutely. that would drag the u.s. into another recession. no question about it. it's not anything that anybody would refute. >> richard, final question. the european commission apparently gave everyone what, ten days to try to save the euro? is that enough? >> another bizarre move from the european commissioner. every time they come out, they
put themselves up with a self m self-imposed deadline. he's talking about meeting of government leaders next friday and he says they have ten days to come up with a solution to solve the european crisis. take it with a pinch of salt, wolf. we've had more ten days, two weeks, one month, than i can remember. it happens dwen and again. next week, you and i will talk about it no doubt, but they have to come up with some way around building a fire break around the distressed countries, boosting up the bailout fund and making the whole thing work in the future. >> erin's going to have a lot more r for our northern american viewers. guys, thanks very much. let's turn to politics right now and the embattled republican contender, herman cain. just tw days after being hit with new sexual allegations, he isn't offering new clues as to
whether or not he plans to stay in the race for the white house. he spoke with jim acosta a little while ago. >> mr. cain, jim acosta with cnn. are you vowing to stay in this race? >> we are reassessing and reevaluating. >> are you staying in the race? >> we are reevaluating and reassessing. >> how soon until we have an answer? >> we'll be making a decision in the next several days. >> thank you, sir. >> joining us now to talk more about herman cain's campaign, gloria borger and joe johns. gloria, i guess i've been asking this question to a lot of people. can herman cain survive? >> well, i think in the short-term, he can survive. he just said in a recent interview that the first day after the most resent allegations, his money broke down. contributions went down, now they're starting to go up. i think in the short-term, he can hang on as long as he has
money. the real question can herman cain get the republican nomination for president? and i think the answer to that is no. right now. his campaign was already losing altitude before this resent charge of an extramarital affair. he was -- he's continued to lose appeal to women. generally, republican women. and people have raised questions about him as president particularly on the issue of foreign affairs. he seems sort of uninformed on issues including libya, so i think he's not likely to get the nomination. >> he's been at rally after rally in ohio today which doesn't have its primary until may. listen to what he says. >> and with all of the mess going on over the past several weeks, they've been trying to do a character assassination on me, some even predicted that this room was going to be empty today.
i don't think i see any empty seats. >> who are these people out there aggressively supporting herman cain? >> people who don't believe the media. they see him as a victim. they compare him to somebody like clarence thomas and say, look, this is just another example of the mainstream media's attempts to tear down a strong black conservative and they basically like him, too. either that or these charges and allegations simply don't matter. so he's also played into that by sayinging, hey, i'm a victim and they're coming after me. you've heard a little bit of that today. it's been working for him to that extent that he's been able to keep a group of people around him. >> you've got a great column you've written about arguably, the front-runner right now. newt gingrich. let me read a couple of sentences. any historian knows that newt has a long history of self-destruction. he became famous as the
architect of the gop revolution in 1994, the lead critic of bill clinton's presidential affair while gingrich was privately involved in one of his own. tha he's the man calling for civil lincoln douglas style debates. also the man who has called obama quote the most successful food stamp president in american history. how polite. if cain does get out of this context, i assume you agree that gingrich will benefit? >> sure. he's already benefitting from it. obviously, the key is we've been talking about with cain is money and can he get the money together? can he get the campaign infrastructure together? i think those two are plausible. he's leading mitt romney in polls in florida and south carolina already, but again, the question about newt gingrich i raised in my column, does he have the discipline to maintain a long-term presidential campaign? will journalists and others now
start going into his personal and political history, which is long and storied and controversial and will the republican primary voters start giving him that second look they've given any of these other momentary front-runners and maybe romney can benefit. >> thanks very much. we're going to continue our assessment of what's going on. but let's go to jack with the "cafferty file." >> totally different subject. a merry christmas may be a lot harder to come by for millions of americans in light of the ongoing slumping economy. a new cbs news poll shows one in two americans are concerned they're not going to be able to afford the holiday gifts they'd like to buy. one-third say they're feeling more stressed about holiday spending this year than in years passed and four in ten people say they plan to spend less money than last year. for sure, the the holidays are less about gift giving, but
santa claus's are learning how to lower children's expectations when it comes to their wish list. "the new york times" has a great piece on a well-known michigan school for santa dawes klauses. they talk about how they size up a family's finances and then try to scale back the child's gift requests. they talk about child's standing off to the side shaking their heads no when the kids sit on their laps and ask for expensive toys. one santa says to never promise everything, while another tells the children about slower toy production in the north pole. these santas are also learning how to answer a question they're hearing more often. santa, can you bring my mom or dad a job? other children's expectations run smack into today's economic reality. one boy recently asked a santa for one thing. a pair of sneakers that fit. here's the question. in light of the economy, how will your holiday season be different this year? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile or go
to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. >> tough economy out there. very, very sad. thanks very much. here in washington, a growing political battle over whether to extend a tax cut benefits tens of millions of working americans. why your take home pay could be on the line. plus, is europe on the brink of financial armageddon? i'll ask tony blair. my interview with him, that's coming up this hour. [ tires screech ] [ crying ] [ applause ] [ laughs ] [ tires screech ] [ male announcer ] your life will have to flash by even faster. autodrive brakes on the cadillac srx activate after rain is detected to help improve braking performance. we don't just make luxury cars. we make cadillacs. it's 4g, so you can do more faster. so, kathryn, post more youtube videos
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committee agreement, which clearly never happened. now trs become the latest fight between congressional democrats, republicans and the white house. in scranton, pennsylvania, president obama making a hard pitch for another part of his jobs plan. the payroll tax cut. >> delivering a win for the american people. >> so, what chaktly is he talking about? a percentage of a worker's paycheck is taken out to help fund social security. last year, that was cut to 4.2%, giving a family making $50,000 a year an extra thousand dollars, but that tax cut is set to expire the end of this year. >> do not take money out of the pockets of the middle class in these tough economic times and democrats are listen iing.
>> now, they want to cut the payroll tax even more to 3.1%. that would mean an additional $500 for the average family next year. they also want to extend the break to employers. some republicans though have resisted the move arguing the payroll tax cut has not helped stimulate the economy and drains money from social security. democrats including the president sensing a political advantage, have slammed republicans for being inconsistent. >> had sworn an out, never raise taxes on anybody as long as they live. that doesn't square with their vote against these tax cuts. >> this week, republican leaders for the first time indicated they could support extending, while maybe not expanding, the tax cut for workers. >> i think at the end of the day, there's a lot of sentiment in our conference. clearly a majority sentiment for continuing the tax relief we enacted a year ago, but we believe with this kind of deficit, we ought to pay for it. >> and that's the rub. at least in part.
how to pay for. democrats want to pay for the expanded pack ablg of tax breaks through an additional tax on income over a million dollars. republicans have refused that in the past. republicans unveiled their alternative today. they want to push the -- continue only the current tax breaks for individuals and want to pay for that at least in part by extending the current pay freeze for government workers. what's likely to happen, wolf, is that neither of these proposals will win enough support in their current form as they're written, which means the real negotiating begins. >> let's follow up on that. thanks very much. the battle is clearly brewing over this payroll tax cut, the white house communications director, dan fyfer, is joining us now from the white house. it costs, if you can't for another year, this middle class tax cut, if you will, about $265 billion.
as you just heard kate say, the republicans say they're not going to vote for tax increases to pay for it, so what's plan b from the white house perspective assuming you want to continue this middle class payroll tax cut? >> well, we'll focus on plan a here, which is a vote the senate's going to have this week, probably on friday, to not just extend the tax cut, but expand it and include small businesses. it's going to be a tough -- republicans are going to have a hard time explaining to the american people why they're opposing a tax cut to the middle class because they're trying to protect tax breaks for millionaires. the hardest job in washington now is where the talking points are explained. >> it's obviously just a political game because in the house of representatives where the republicans have a lopsided majority, they're not going to vote for any tax increase for millionaires or billionaires. they're going to continue their policy of no new taxes. this is not going to go anywhere unless you have a plan b. >> i think the question for the
republicans in the house and some in the leadership who still continue to oppose extending the merely extending the tax cut is why they want to protect tax breaks for millionaires. i think that the real issue here is what are we going to do to create jobs for the economy? the president has a plan. the republicans have voted down almost every element of that plan and the question is what do they want to do to help the economy. >> so, is it just politics or is there something for the middle class going to emerge? let me repeat the question. is there a plan b the white house has? you don't have to tell me what it is, but is there a plan b that would allow a $1,000 savings for middle class families given the situation? >> we're going to do everything to ensure that the middle class wrking families do not get a tax
increase. the president's focused on that. we're pleased that republicans for the first time, have in the leadership have acknowledged they agree this tax increase would be a -- do terrible damage to the economy. that's the opinion of economists of all stripes and so, we're going to work them to do that. we have this vote on friday, i believe, and we'll see where we go from there. >> are you willing to cut spending by $265 million additional $265 billion to pay for a continuation of this tax cut? >> i haven't seen all the detailsproposal, but i would note there's some, this is probably -- a little hypocrisy going on here. this is probably the first tax cut republicans have insisted on paying for in their history. they cut taxes for the wealthiest 2% of americans. in fact, i think speaker boehner's first act in the house majority was to change the rules so tax cuts wouldn't be paid for. it's interesting that tax cuts that affect the middle class and
working class have to be paid for and tax cuts for the wealthy don't. we have a plan to pay for the tax cut. and our hope -- we're going to work to make sure this gets done. >> why is the president not so much the president, but all of his supporters, his campaign, really going, focusing all their attention on mitt romney as opposed to the other republican candidates? >> well, i think right now, we're dealing, we're responding to a lot of attacks from the romney campaign. we're making clear where there are differences cht we're going to keep being aggressive about the ultimate choice in this election. >> but you agree it's almost completely focusing in on mitt romney, not newt gingrich. not anybody else. just mitt romney. >> i think there are a lot of questions that governor romney should have to answer about his constant change of positions on a whole host of issues and if those questions aren't being asked, by you and your colleague, wolf, or some of his opponents, some of the
president's supporters will take up that task. >> the dnc released this ad. going after mitt romney u. >> mitt's willing to say anything. >> we've put together an exchange -- >> obamacare is bad news. >> on that ad, i'm sure you've seen it. plitifact suggested that a lot of the points this that ad are in their words, mostly false. did you see that assessment of that ad? >> i did not see the plitifact assessment of the ad. these aren't, you know, someone else's characterizations of governor romney's words. they're governor romney's words and i think it's going to be, it's really hard to explain how you can be for protecting roe v
wade and then repealing. how you can be for the the massachusetts plan, the romneycare plan then make rep l repealing it your first act. >> was his health care plan in massachusetts a mode l for the president? the democrats' health care plan? >> absolutely. some of governor romney's top advisers worked with the administration to help craft a health care plan the president passed into law in 2010. >> i know a lot of democrats were outraged at the romney ad which took certain word of the president out of context and distorted what he had to say, but some are suggesting that the democrats are doing the exact same thing or almost the exact same thing in trying to rebut mitt romney's record. >> i don't think those things are even in the same neighborhood. these are simply using that ad, romney's words and sometimes
only years and months apart. romney ad took something the president said quoting someone else and attributed it to the president. >> translator: a couple of funny spoofs on the web that showed if that is a test for how the ads are going to be run, so i don't think that's a close call. >> do you assume that romney's going to be the challenger? >> wolf, i don't assume thinking. when i was on a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about new republican front-runner, herman cain. we've now had donald trump, michele bachmann, governor perry. now, newt gingrich. so i don't know what's next. >> sure you are. a lot of people are sitting back and watching it closely and enjoying it. thanks very much for coming in. >> the white house communications director. if you want to tweet him, 44, president of the united states,
send him a tweet. i'm sure he'd like to hear from you. a washington, d.c. hotel is being sued after an employee is being told he can't serve certain guests. why the hotel says the government is to blame. and escalating tension between iran and britain. will that boil over into a military confrontation? i'll ask the former british prime minister, tony blair.
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a major deterioration in ties between britain and iran, the u.k. now closing its embassy in tehran following an attack raising concerns about the country's nuclear program. france and germany are recalling their ambassadors and iran has been ordered to close its embassy in london immediately. and joining us now, the foermer prime minister, tony blair. let's get your immediate reaction to the latest developments involving u.k. relations with iran. a horrible blow after the ransacking of the british embassy in tehran. what's your reaction to this? >> the behavior by the regime is
unacceptable. it violates all the norms of international law and indicates the nature of people we're dealing with. this is a regime exporting terrorism around the middle east. it's trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability. britain is one of the countries standing up and this is their retaliation. >> how close is the world to seeing a major escalation, even a military escalation, involving the west and iran? >> i hope very much that we can keep this diplomatic rather than moving it to any question of military action, but the fact is, the iranian or the regime, keep on behaving in this way. the fact is the international community has made its position totally clear on the unacceptability of the nuclear weapons capability and what they're doing and i spend a lot of time in the middle east. what they're doing in terms of
trying destabilize the situations there in iraq and ales tine and elsewhere the clear. i think they're making a huge miscalculation here. if they carry on behaving in this way, there is an escalation because it's not acceptable. they can storm the british embassy and put ordinary civilians' lives at risk, they can do that, but the impact is simply to confirm people in their view that this is a regime that doesn't understand how it should behave. >> you've been unable to get those peace talks back on track. how much of a failure to achieve on the peace process is the result of iran's involvement on a negative side? >> it's always a complication. frankly, it shouldn't stop us getting this peace process back on track again. it's very important we do it. the fact israel has released the palestinian money today is a
good sign. it starts to try and deescalate, gives us something to build on. the iranian issue is a complicating factor, but as i say, i think it's extremely important for us to make progress and do it as fast as possible. >> the financial times in london suggested this week that the europeans are facing financial armageddon. right now. given the enormous crisis involving the euro, the strikes on the streets offen that are going on. is that accurate? >> you can reach whatever word you want to describe it, but i would say it's the single most serious challenge of political leadership that we face for many decades in europe. the problem is this. there are two options, both of which are very difficult. in the end, we've got to decide which one of them, however difficult, we're going to go with. one option is that we put the
full weight of the nations and the monetary institution behind the single currency, that we give it, if you like, the fire power and the absolute political will to take the economic measures necessary to stand behind the single currency. that is very, very difficult, particularly for germany. the alternative however is i think worse. which is that the single currency then disintegrates, so i think this is really important. i don't underestimate how difficult it is for the political leaders it is right now, but in the end, we need both the short-term commitment that is absolutely clear and unequivocal that the whole resources of europe will be mobilized and then secondly, we need exactly what chancellor merkel and sarkozy have been talking about, which is a long-term framework of change and reform in europe so that monetary unit is put on a solitary foot in the future.
>> the extraordinary measures taken today in the united states, the central banks in europe, japan, canada, elsewhere, does that underscore the fragility of the international economy? >> it underscores the fragility, but also indicates that this type of absolutely concerted and clear commitment does have an impact and this is all about restoring the the confidence of people. the single currency will stabilize and move forward. if ha happens, then the cost of borrowing can come down, the situation eases and we're able to get back to growing our economies, which is the only way we're going to deal with this deficit reduction. it's a very interesting move here because what i think it show ss that if you are prepared to come in on a concerted, strong, unequivocal basis. it does yield a result. >> two million people are striking in britain right now.
even as we speak. is this a sign of things to come? >> it's going to be tough everywhere. every government in the developed world is having to take difficult decisions. you can argue about whether they're right or wrong, but the fact is, there is going to be a lot of pain of adjustment as this process takes place. so, countries have got to bring down their deficits. but they've got to do it in such a way it doesn't impair the growth of their economy and that is a huge a challenge, so yes, i think we're facing over the next two, maybe three years, really challenging times in europe and we've got to use this opportunity of the crisis. we've got to turn it into an opportunity and make the long-term reforms to our social programs, our welfare state that we need. >> thanks very much. good luck. >> thank you, wolf. >> thanks. one of the most expensive
hotels here in washington, d.c. tells an employee he can't serve certain guests. you're going the find out why. and china's so-called under ground great wall. the nuclear secret students here in washington may have uncovered. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there. nice, huh? yeah. you know what else is nice is all the savings you can get on cruze and traverse over there. oh! that's my beard. [ chuckles ] it's amazing. ♪ [ male announcer ] this holiday, chevy's giving more.
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about aarp medicare supplement insurance plans, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. a major hotel here in washington, d.c. is at the center of a federal lawsuit. a muslim xhemployee claims an employee des criminated against him. the hotel says it's just following federal protocal. our pentagon correspondent, b barbara starr, is working the case. >> think of it this way. imagine if our employer said to us we couldn't do part of our jobs because of our national orgin or religion. at the mandarin oriental hotel, guests often include movie stars, former u.s. presidents
and high level diplomats, but when an israeli delegation arrived last december, hotel worker says he was told to stay away from the israelis rooms. >> told him point-blank it's because there is an israeli delegation on those floors and they do not want to be severed by muslim employees. >> a u.s. citizen and muslim regularly enters rooms to pick up dry cleaning. he sued for discrimination. according to the complaint and his lawyer, the hotel changed stories. first telling him he was banned because he was a muslim, then because of unspecified irregularities in a background check. in a new court filing, the court says the irregularities were the reason the state department banned him from serving israelis. >> that really does have the appearance of racial d
discrimination of the rawest kind but the hotel is able to use the state department to say that any complaint you have, you should take up with the state department. >> this case may boil down to one simple fact. does federal law allow an employer to ban an employee in the private sector from the workplace based on national security grounds? a growing number of muslim workers across this country say they are being singled out. in a statement to cnn, the hotel insisted it had to obey the federal government and said he suffered no damages. saying in part, he worked his entire shift, was paid for all hours scheduled to work and performed his regular duties. his attorney says that's not a defense by the hotel. >> they are offering services to the public and when they offer services to the public, they cannot use their customer's preference in order to des
criminate against wup of their own employees. >> now, a state department spokesman tells cnn quote, access was not restrigted on the basis of ethnicity, religion or political background. he says at no time did we say it was a national security exception and the israelis declined to comment. >> where is the case going? >> the hotel is going the fight it. saying it's a matter for the equal opportunity commission, which has ruled gens him, but the attorneys are saying that the hotel cannot make the case of a nshl security exsemgs like this in the hotel business in the private sector. >> keep us informed. thank you. a university students here in washington are digging up secret information about china. buried deep under ground. we're going tell you what it is and why beijing may be going out of its way to try to keep it hidden. last throw, prince.
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china maybe hiding a major secret deep under ground. chris lawrence is joining us. he's got the story. >> imagine a great wall of china just under ground. this georgetown professor and his students have come out with a new report that suggests that china could have as many as ten times the number of nuclear weapons we think they do right now. they got their hands on secret manuals usually only available to the chinese military and used unorthodox research methods like going to chinese bloggers to reach their conclusion. while the chinese were building these tunnels, a georgetown
professor was digging into china. >> the students downloaded 200 hours of chinese video. >> dr. philip carver and his team of students have produced the largest report on china's tunnels. china admits they were dug by a secretive branch of its military. >> they had 3,000 miles of these tunnels. 3,000 miles. >> can you put that in any perspective? >> imagine a tunnel 30 feet by 20 feet high, running from nova scotia to tiajuana. >> he is a former pentagon strategist. based on the size of these tunnels, he says china could have as many as 3,000 nuclear warheads. >> the problem with the study and the way that it comes to this estimate is that the students and their professor make the assumption that because china is working on this system
of under ground tunnels, this must automatically mean they have a far, that they're working on new nuclear weapons. >> policy analysts lacy olson and others working on policy control question the methods. olson suggesting that china has 3,000 weapons is a huge jump from the current estimate of a few hundred warheads and could lead rival nations to start an arms race. >> these lead us to estimates that could impact foreign policy in a very negative way. >> but students who sloged through 200 hours of video and translated more than a million words disafree. >> seeing hurrica inin ining hu of chinese men and how much effort they put into this is an issue that shows how important it is to the chinese military. >> they may provoke an arms
race. >> all right, no matter what you believe on how many nuclear weapons china has, the teams who did yield some really fascinating revelations including how china would use passenger trains to move some of their long range missiles in secret. jack cafferty is asking in light of the economy, how will your holiday season be different this year? ness credit card. it's hard for my crew to keep up with 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. 2% cash back. that's setting the bar pretty high. thanks to spark, owning my own business has never been more rewarding. [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet? this guy's amazing.
let's get back to jack for "the cafferty file." >> the question is in light of the economy, how will your holiday season be different this year? noel, this a good name for the holiday season, instead of buying lots of gifts nobody needs for family members, each member of our family picks the name of a disadvantaged child from the christmas tree at the mall and buys a gift for that child. that way we each have one gift to purchase. bill in new mexico, after the economic disaster of 2008 we shut christmas down except cards. 2010 we shut christmas cards down. we're hunkers down for the world's economic mess. look, another of the sky is falling, poor american people story. over 90% of americans are working, black friday sales set records this year, but you wouldn't know it from the doom
and gloom media. the best gift we can give ourselves this year is turn off cable news for a while. instant peace on earth. it's a terrible idea. greg in arkansas writes, having spent the last two christmases looking for a job, i'll be celebrating by working the holidays this year. 14 months of job search and financial insecurity gave me fresh insight to realize the best things in life aren't things at all. my long stretch of unemployment was a life lesson for me, my kids, my grandkids. the happiness is having what you need and some of what you want and being able to tell the difference between the two. paul in dayton, ohio, this year my christmas holiday yard display will include a gop campaign sign, proudly displayed. and dan in alabama writes, our christmas holiday around this house won't change due to the economy. we plan to spend less than normal. in our house, gifts are not the essence of christmas, it's the thought of what christmas stands for. yes, we do still say, merry christmas.
a fire alarm can go off at the most inopportune moments. cnn's jeanne moos reports. >> the things i know -- >> reporter: no cause for alarm. >> uh-oh. >> reporter: fire alarms go off everywhere from the u.n. to church. >> no play -- [ alarm ] >> reporter: but the one that went off at begin ofrth nbc "nightly news" made news. >> for all of the bankruptcies we've covered in this grim u.s. economy, this one gets your attention. you'll forgive us -- >> reporter: the alarm was unforgiving. >> perhaps not something special anymore. >> reporter: it went on. >> andrea, thanks. that fire alarm, we assured everybody, had been given the all-clear is back on. >> reporter: and on. >> thanks for embargo with us here. >> reporter: not totally
stopping until 23 minutes into the newscast. >> we continue to be under no danger, it's just clearing the electronics. >> reporter: but poor brian williams is not alone. >> especially in some already close -- in the northeast -- >> fire alarm. >> reporter: the fire alarm has been alarming angerers regularly. >> trying to sneak into the u.s. now facing -- >> how do they reach -- my goodness. >> reporter: connie chunk was tortures by one during her very first show at cnn. >> uh-oh. >> there it goes again. >> reporter: there is one sure-fire tv strategy for when a fire alarm goes off when you're live on the air. go to break! though even that -- >> we'll take a break, we'll be back. >> reporter: -- didn't help brian williams in his case changing ventilation -- >> to allow citizens -- excuse
me, we're having technical problems in the studio. let me try to get through this while we figure out what to do. >> we have to go to break, guys. we have a fire in the studio. >> hit your music. >> reporter: abandon set, popped light was shooting sparks. >> reporter: the award for best impersonation of a fire warden goes to -- coming chet smith of fox news. >> there's never a fire here. they go off. in some minute the dude on the 50th floor will go, hello this is the fire warden, nothing weird's happened. there's a lady stuck in the toilet on the 31st floor. >> reporter: the prize for most zen reaction goes to stevie wonder. >> i'm trying to figure out a new melody. ♪ ♪ light my fire >> reporter: alarm. jene moos, cnn. go to break. >> there may be a fire on this floor. next! >> reporter: new york. >> leave it toe