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Shuttle Discovery Lands Safely; Suspect in Deputy's Murder Apprehended; Oil Nears $100 a Barrel; School Shooter Kills 8 in Finland; Megachurches Investigated for Financial Misconduct
Aired November 7, 2007 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEMON: Just look at that, live pictures, just moments to touch down and everything is a go for "Discovery" homecoming. Hello everyone, I'm Don Lemon.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kyra Phillips. This is the first coast-to-coast shuttle re-entry since the Columbia disaster almost five years ago. Our Miles O'Brien is at Kennedy Space Center. His eyes trained on the sky, trained on that shuttle. Miles, It's a good sign to see.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT: Yes it is. We just heard the twin sonic booms here about two and a half minutes to landing. There is the space shuttle "Discovery" in tact, having gotten to the heat of reentry. Pam Melroy, the second female commander of a space shuttle at the controls right now, lining up on the runway 33, the 15,000 foot runway here at the Kennedy Space Center. Joining me from Houston is former space shuttle astronaut Leroy Chiao, former commander of the International Space Station. As we go on board, take a look at the heads up display camera that is on the pilot's side of the space shuttle "Discovery." Leroy, what is the crew feeling right now? I imagine it's a little bit of tension and a little bit of satisfaction at the end of the mission?
LEROY CHIAO: Oh you've got it Miles. This has been a great mission. This is a great moment. Pam of course is keyed up for the landing. The other crew members are definitely feeling the weights, you know the gravity, especially Clay Anderson, coming back from his long duration flight.
O'BRIEN: Take a look at this screen. I'll walk you through those numbers. On the left-hand side is the air speed; indicates about -- there are 300 to 200 knots. They'll land at 195 knots, a little over 200 miles an hour.
On the right-hand side, you'll see the altitude. And we should give people perspective, Leroy. You land in a commercial airliner about three degrees of angle.
CHIAO: That's right.
O'BRIEN: This is about five times steeper, isn't it?
CHIAO: That's right. It's 17 to 22 degrees slide (ph) slope, like five or six times more. And touchdown speed is, you know, somewhere around 205 knots, depending on the weight. So a little faster and a lot steeper.
O'BRIEN: A lot steeper, indeed. And of course, let's remember, this is a glider. There's no do-overs, no go-arounds. You want to get it right the first time.
We're seeing the shuttle now drop down steeply. In about 15 seconds before landing, we'll see the landing gear drop out. That doesn't seem like a lot of time.
CHIAO: No, not much time at all, Miles. It happens very quickly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... airliner (ph) on final approach.
O'BRIEN: That's a beautiful shot as they go over the mangrove swamps here at the Kennedy Space Center. Little bit gusty here today. Close to the limits, but just fine for landing. Let's watch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Landing gear is down and locked in place. Touchdown. Commander Pam Melroy is rotating the nose gear down to the runway. Nose gear touchdown.
Discovery is rolling out on Runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center wrapping up a 6.25-million-mile mission, Discovery completing its 34th mission to space and the 23rd shuttle flight to the International Space Station.
O'BRIEN: And the 120th mission of the space shuttle fleet in its history, more than 25 years now. That seven-member crew still strapped in there, in their suits. Wheel stop is the call.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Discovery wheel stop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy wheel stop, Discovery. Congratulations on a tremendous mission and a great landing, Pam. And we'll meet you on page 5-3...
O'BRIEN: Right into a checklist, they go.
Leroy, at this point, the ground crew approaches the orbiter very carefully. There's a lot of concern about toxic fumes, which can build up outside the orbiter. What is the concern, chiefly?
CHIAO: Well, you know, as you know, Miles, one of the propellants we use on the shuttle is hydrazine. And so they've got to be sure that there's no leaking pagotine (ph) from either the thrusters, any residual fuel or from the auxiliary power units.
And they use a sniffer, a big sniffer, a chemical sensor on the top of a boom. You've got guys in hazmat suits ready to approach the vehicle, and they need to make sure it's safe for the ground crews to approach, you know, make sure they sniff the atmosphere before they let people close enough to safe (ph) the orbiter.
O'BRIEN: All right. Let's talk a little bit about one of the members of this crew, who's coming back after five months in space, Clay Anderson, having spent a stint on the International Space Station. You spent 192 days...
O'BRIEN: ... on board the space station. You know what it's like to try to adjust back to gravity after that length of time. What's he going to be going through?
CHIAO: Well, you know, he's already feeling pretty dizzy. Actually, everybody is. But Clay more so, because he's been in space for six months. You know, even after a two-week shuttle flight you feel pretty dizzy.
Now, Clay is in what's called a recumbent seat. So he's actually kind of lying down, so it's not too bad. He'll really feel it when they sit him up, and especially when they stand him up. He'll feel very dizzy. It will be very difficult to walk.
You know, it affects different people differently. For me, I feel kind of like I have the flu. I feel out of it, a little warm, a little nauseous. And it takes a few days to get over that.
O'BRIEN: And how long before you felt like you were back to your old self?
CHIAO: You know, actually, my crew recovered pretty quickly. We took the exercise very seriously on board, and I think that's what -- what made the difference. After a week, I felt pretty much back to my old self. I'm sure some of the tests still show that I was walking a little unsteady, but I felt great after about a week.
O'BRIEN: Now as they approach here, as this ground crew approaches, eventually what will come up is essentially the kind of people-mover you see at Dulles Airport...
O'BRIEN: ... that allows the crew to come off very easily. In particular, Clay Anderson, having spent five months there, will he walk off, or will they carry him off?
CHIAO: Well, they'll give him the option. And you know, there's certainly no shame in being carried off after that long in space. I wouldn't have a problem with that. And, you know, it will be up to him, though, if he wants to try to walk off.
I would recommend being carried off. It's a long time. In an emergency situation, you could certainly get yourself out and away from the vehicle. But, you know, if everything is going fine, I recommend being carried off.
O'BRIEN: All right. Leroy Chiao, thanks for helping us talk it in and watching the Space Shuttle Discovery as it ended a 6.25- million-mile mission. Perhaps the most challenging shuttle mission to the space station ever. A host of space walks, one unplanned. The repair of a solar array. And the second female commander, Pam Melroy, bringing it in. And it's worth reminding folks, Kyra, that that's the first time that Pam Melroy has landed the space shuttle for real. So, it's an experience that she won't soon forget. But it's for all the marbles. The first time is the only time that counts.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CO-HOST: And I know you're going to have a chance to talk to her. And we look forward to hearing what her first words are, Miles.
Miles O'Brien, appreciate it.
DON LEMON, CO-HOST: Meantime, we have another developing story. Actually, it's breaking news happening in Hollywood, Florida.
One suspect is under arrest in the shooting death of a deputy in Pompano Beach. Let's take a look now at some of the live pictures. You can still see that suspect in the back of one of those police cars. That's courtesy of our affiliate, WSVN. The suspect was being transported to court this morning. Now he is being transported back to jail.
CNN's John Zarrella joins us now from Florida with the very latest on this.
What do you know, John?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, that's exactly right. Within the last few minutes, the Broward sheriff's office here in Pompano Beach -- right behind me, the scene of the shooting this morning -- has confirmed that 40-year-old Michael Mazza, the man that police believe shot a Broward sheriff's deputy to death here this morning, is in custody. He was apparently picked up by the Hollywood Police Department.
That's about 20 miles south of where we are, where the shooting scene took place early this morning. We do not know the details of exactly how the apprehension went down, if it was peaceful, what happened.
But police are telling us, as well, that they have recovered the weapon. That would be the police officer's -- the sheriff deputy's weapon that Mazza apparently, according to police, used to shoot to death 76-year-old Paul Rein, the deputy who was transporting him to court today.
Now, what happened early this morning was that Mazza was in a medical van, Broward sheriff's deputy's medical van. He was in the back. He was handcuffed. Somehow or other, he managed to get loose, get his hands on Officer Rein's weapon and then shot Rein and threw him out of the van and left him on the side of the road here, and then took off in that vehicle.
He later abandoned that vehicle. And, again, a manhunt, extensive manhunt throughout Broward County for the last five hours or so has been under way. All across the county, roads were blocked, police deputies from all the jurisdictions looking for this man. And now, of course, we are hearing that, in fact, he is in custody and has been arrested by the Hollywood Police Department.
Now, for the greater part of today, don, more than 270 schools, every school, every office of the Broward County School District...
ZARRELLA: ... had been under lockdown today because of this situation.
LEMON: So John...
ZARRELLA: So now again, he is apparently in custody, held by the -- by the Hollywood Police Department -- Don.
LEMON: John, I want ask you this question as we go back to those live pictures from WSVN. We can see that suspect in the back of the police car there, Hollywood police car, on his way back to jail.
There was -- in the beginning of all this, there was some concern that this man may have had some accomplices in all of this?
ZARRELLA: Right. And no word right now on whether anyone else was picked up. The only thing that we had heard earlier was that at one point, the Broward sheriff's office did go to the home of the woman whose 3-year-old child is Mazza's child. And both the woman and the child were taken, for their own protection, to the Broward sheriff's office.
But no word, Don, at this point as to whether he had any accomplices. But, certainly, it appeared this had been well thought- out and well planned, his managing to escape from the handcuffs, get himself free and managed to take that vehicle, then ditch the vehicle and get into another vehicle, apparently, and make his way again some 20 miles from here south of us into Hollywood -- Don.
LEMON: Yes, inside the vans (ph). OK. Thank you very -- very much for that, John Zarrella.
We're going to continue to follow this breaking story. Of course, John there in Florida on top of it.
And we want to share this with you. This is a picture coming from the Web site of the Broward County Sheriff's Office. They have set up a tribute to Officer Paul Rein, 76 years old, a veteran of that sheriff's department. You can see it there.
We'll continue to update this developing story throughout the afternoon, here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: Well, filling up your car? Why not just hook up a siphon from your wallet? Gas prices are poised to take an even bigger bite. And don't get us started on the heating bills. Is oil about to hit 100 bucks a barrel?
Well, our Ali Velshi is keeping watch at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Ali, you don't have your barrel with you today. I'm very disappointed.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No.
PHILLIPS: But you are there in the middle of the action.
VELSHI: I am. This is where it's going to happen. My barrel's just for fun. These guys are actually doing this for a living. And if we were going o see $100 a barrel, it was going to happen here, it was going to happen on the heels of a report we had about how much oil there is right now in the United States.
Well, that report came out this morning, and things were better than expected. The oil supplies in the U.S. are down but not as much as we had expected. As a result, you're actually looking at a price of oil, $95.80. That's basically giving it away right now. That's actually down.
But don't let that fool you, Kyra. Most people think that oil is headed up again toward $100 at some point. And for most people who aren't buying a barrel of oil, it doesn't really matter whether it's $100 or $95. These are unbelievable numbers for the price of oil.
As you said, it trickles through to gasoline. I think we're at $3.02 a gallon for a gallon of self-serve unleaded. Cutting into heating oil here in the Northeast where we heat with heating oil. It's used for factories and trucks that deliver the goods to the stores you buy and the packaging that you buy your products in. So everybody is feeling this.
We've talked about it before, Kyra, it contributes to inflation. So this is a concern here in the U.S. and worldwide, that oil at these levels, is this an anomaly, does it sort of poke up to $100 and go back down? Or are we looking at these kind of levels? Because if we are, Kyra, we kind of all have to think about new ways of doing things and burning fuel.
PHILLIPS: Well, let's talk about the car industry, as well. GM is posting record losses today. Other car makers expected to do the same. How closely is the auto industry tied to what's happening now with oil prices?
VELSHI: You know, while the auto industry has its problems and a lot of them are related to the benefits that they pay to retirees, bottom line is for a long time American car makers stuck with big cars, because that's what Americans did want to buy. And now when we get the shock of $3 gasoline and maybe higher, that's when people start to pull back.
The auto industry has not been very nimble at changing that over. General Motors writing off $39 million was quite a serious matter. And all that, as you can see and if you've been talking to Susan, is contributing to the triple-digit losses we're seeing on the New York Stock Exchange. So all in all, Kyra, you put this all together, it's still a very uncertain financial scene in this country.
PHILLIPS: We'll keep following it with you. Ali Velshi, thanks so much.
LEMON: Congress and the collection plate. A Republican senator wants to know how some megachurches are spending members' money. Hear from him and a preacher forced to defend his congregation's bottom dollar.
PHILLIPS: Remember what you were listening to in 1982? Hard to believe 25 years have passed since Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and the King of Pop is talking about it.
You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
PHILLIPS: One-fifteen Eastern Time. Here's three of the stories we're working on in the CNN NEWSROOM.
An accused killer has just been captured following a huge manhunt in Florida. A bank robbery suspect being transported to court overpowered a 76-year-old Broward County Sheriff's Deputy and shot him dead.
Discovery is home safe after a 15-day mission. You saw it live here on CNN. The Space shuttle landed at Cape Canaveral just a few moments ago.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke of friendship as he addressed the U.S. Congress this morning. Sarkozy took office in May. He's working to improve Franco-American relations, severely strained after France's opposed to the Iraq war.
LEMON: Shock and horror in Finland today after what's said to be the first school shooting in that country's history.
CNN's Paula Hancocks is following this story from London.
Paula, what happened?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, around mid-day, Finland time, we understand that an 18-year-old student at a school just about 50 kilometers north of the capital started opening fire.
Now we understand from police, who held a press conference just recently, that eight people were killed. We understand seven of those were students and one was the female school headmistress.
Now, we understand that the police have this man in custody. He's currently in hospital in a very critical condition. It's believed that he actually tried to turn the gun on himself in a failed suicide attempt straight after that actually happened.
Now, we did see, according to the police, many of the students breaking windows to try and get out of this school, to try and escape the area where this gunman was.
Now also, we understand that we had a very eerie warning of this particular massacre. We understand that, on YouTube this morning, just hours before the shooting actually happened, the alleged shooter posted a clip showing the school itself and then also a vision of what is expected to be him actually pointing a gun at the camera. Now, he actually named it "the high school massacre."
Now, under this particular user name, which was Sturmgeist, German for Storm Spirit, there were about 80 different clips. One of them, a disturbing image showing him doing target practice on a piece of fruit in a wooded area.
Now we believe that this is the man that police have named as Pekka-Eric Auvinen, who is in hospital in a very critical condition at this point. And definitely a very worrying text, very disturbing text, as well, saying that humanity is overrated, saying, "I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection."
So, a very shocking incident in Finland itself. It has a very high rate of people actually owning handguns, the world's third largest per capita. But it never has these kinds of incidents. So certainly, it is very rare in that country.
Police will be looking very carefully at these very disturbing images on the Web site, on YouTube and other video-sharing Web sites. And certainly, they believe they have their man in critical condition, very critical condition, we're told, in hospital at the moment -- Don.
LEMON: Paula Hancocks in London. Thank you, Paula.
PHILLIPS: They preach prosperity, and their tidings are tax free. Mega riches for megachurches. Now one U.S. senator has questions. And we speak to a reverend forced to answer.
LEMON: And this beautiful, bright-eyed girl, born with an eye- popping deformity. Doctors say surgery to remove four extra limbs was successful, but little Lakshmi isn't out of the woods yet. We're following her recovery.
PHILLIPS: Like manna (ph) from heaven, vast amounts of donated money flow into the so-called megachurches each and every week, and none of it flows out in taxes.
Today, half a dozen of today's most popular ministries are under scrutiny by the Senate Finance Committee. At issue, whether or not they deserve their tax-exempt status.
CNN's congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, reports.
PAULA WHITE, TELEVANGELIST: Somebody's getting ready to get up. Get up! Get up in the name of Jesus.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Televangelist Paula White reaches millions of faithful from her 22,000-member without- walls church, one of the fastest growing churches in the country. She's been dubbed a prosperity preacher...
WHITE: Your family is going to look different. Your finances are going to look different.
BASH: ... telling followers the more they give, the more they'll be blessed. Now White's and five other media-based ministries are being investigated for alleged financial misconduct by Republican Senator Charles Grassley.
SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: I'm just interested in not the personality and not the preaching of these people. I'm only interested: are the laws being followed?
BASH: He says he's following up on news reports and complaints to his office from whistleblowers about possible misuse of millions of dollars that go to tax-exempt megachurches.
GRASSLEY: Bentleys, Rolls Royces, corporate jets, $23,000 commodes in a -- in a multi-million dollar home. You know, just think of a $23,000 marble commode. A lot of money going down the toilet, you could say.
BASH: Federal law grants churches tax-exempt status and prohibits leaders from using donations to enrich themselves. But the law does not require churches to report how the money is spent.
Grassley wrote the six televangelists, asking for detailed information about their finances, compensation and amenities for executives. Ministries who responded to CNN insist they've done nothing wrong.
Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church said, "My life and my ministries have always been an open book, and that won't change now."
"World Healing Center Church complies with the laws that govern church and non-profit organizations and will continue to do so," said Pastor Benny Hinn.
GRASSLEY: My interest, as a public official, is that we have tax exemption for charitable giving. We want to be sure that that tax exemption isn't abused, because you, as a middle income taxpayer, are going to make up for abuse of somebody else.
BASH (on camera): Grassley says he doesn't know if churches are breaking any laws but says current tax law may be need to be updated to require stricter rules and transparency on how donations to churches are spent.
Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
(END VIDEOTAPE) LEMON: And as Dana just reported, one of the churches being targeted is World Changers Church International, led by the Reverend Creflo Dollar, and we're pleased he made time for us, to join us today.
Reverend, you said that you are transparent when it comes to your finances with your members and your board of directors but not with the general public. Why not with the general public?
REV. CREFLO DOLLAR, WORLD CHANGERS CHURCH INTERNATIONAL: Well, I just believe that the people that make an investment into the ministry should be the primary ones that we respond to and that we open up our books to and we're transparent to, versus the watchdog people who just want to get the business to do whatever they do with it. I think that's just a waste of time.
PHILLIPS: You know, Senator Grassley is calling on this investigation now, your church among five others. He says that he sent letters to half a dozen of these media ministries, including yours, requesting answers by December 6 about expenses, executive compensation and amenities, including the use of fancy cars and private jets.
Are you going to answer those questions? Are you going to give him what he's asking for?
DOLLAR: We're going to give it to him if they're a valid request. One of the issues we're dealing with is, you know, the IRS has already been given the responsibility to do these things.
And now the question is, you take the Senate Finance Committee and you have to question, do they have a right to -- to invest themselves or to ingest [sic] themselves in a position to be tax examiners for exempt organizations when the IRS has already been given that responsibility?
And so we've always said, at the very beginning, that we have no problems if it's a valid request. And, you know, we -- we comply with the IRS. We have a board of directors and we have a compensation board, an audit board and an ethics board.
So, these are -- these things he's requested, we've given these things to the IRS. The government already has 1099 forms. They have information on our compensation. Congress, about a decade ago, implemented some things to make sure that compensation for ministers was not going to be excessive compensation. So, we're trying to figure out why are we going through this kind of public audit?
LEMON: If you're talking -- when you're talking about excessive compensation, and I think when it gets down to the general public, when people look at this, they see the wealth. They see all of the money poured into your organization from all of the number of people there.
And here's what -- and you have been criticized before. So you're not -- I'm sure this is no surprise to you, the criticism for having a couple of Rolls Royces, for having private jets, a multi- million dollar home in Fayetteville, $2.5 million apartment in Manhattan.
The question is, if you're a reverend for the people, and you're looking out for the people, and you're going by God's word and what the Bible says, why do you need so much wealth? Why doesn't that money go to the people who are sitting at the bus stop every day who can't afford a car, and who can't afford health care and are contributing to your ministry and to your wealth, as well?
DOLLAR: First of all, it's a miscalculated assumption that those things were purchased with the church's money. I've purchased over 100 cars for people in my congregation, homes for people in the congregation.
We don't have two Rolls Royces. We have one that the church purchased for us. And even though...
LEMON: Why a Rolls Royce?
DOLLAR: They bought it. It was a surprise. We had no idea. And the church owns a Rolls Royce.
LEMON: They meaning the members of the church?
DOLLAR: Members of the church.
LEMON: Why can't you, as a minister of the church, say, this -- regardless of how you feel about it, where it came from, "This looks bad for a man of God. Take this -- take this Rolls Royce back. Give this money to AIDS patients or to drug people on -- you know, in certain parts of the city, or people who really need that money"?
DOLLAR: Well, we don't believe it looks bad, because the Bible says in Psalms 35:27, "The Lord takes pleasure in the prosperity of his servant." And as far as those -- those groups you mentioned, we do give a lot to them.
LEMON: I understand prosperity. But prosperity is also -- it's not just money, as well.
DOLLAR: Prosperity is not just money.
DOLLAR: It's health. It's marriage.
LEMON: But if you have all this money and all these riches and you're a man of God, and all of these people, people of the cloth and of doctrines, why can't you give the bulk of that and live modestly, like many multimillionaires or billionaires do, and give this money to the folks who are in need?
DOLLAR: But you still have to understand that we give more to those things you mentioned than the value of those materials. So you'd have to take a balance to look at it fairly and not assume that, well, you've got a Rolls Royce that the church purchased and yet they give ten times to those different organizations.
LEMON: Do you agree, though, that it looks bad? I'm sorry, Kyra.
PHILLIPS: No, that's OK.
LEMON: Do you agree that it looks bad?
DOLLAR: No. In my opinion, it doesn't look bad, because...
LEMON: It doesn't look bad that you have a Rolls Royce and people who are contributing to you don't even have cars or can't pay their utility bills?
DOLLAR: Again -- again, I don't have a Rolls Royce. The church owns the Rolls Royce.
LEMON: But do you ride in the Rolls Royce?
DOLLAR: We mainly use it to escort guests around.
LEMON: Do you need a Rolls Royce to escort guests around?
DOLLAR: I really don't. In fact, the guests right now -- we're selling our Rolls Royce to put it in the children's ministry. But the assumption is without looking at what we do and see what we already put into those different ministries, it's easy to assume that, well you know, you're putting little into those things while you have these other things.
LEMON: I'm sorry (INAUDIBLE)...
PHILLIPS: No. That's ok.
Let's get back to the gospel for a minute. You quoted from Psalms and, of course, any time I read from the bible, I want it to be exactly right.
And that's why you do what you do, right?
You're a man of God. You studied the word of God. You want to bring people closer to the word of God, correct?
DOLLAR: Right. Right.
PHILLIPS: All right. So if we go to Matthew 19, OK, in response to what you said about Psalms: "Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, 'Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?' And this was a young rich man, as you -- you know the story.
"Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions, give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.' When the young man heard this, he went away sad because he had such great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'I tell you the truth, it's hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle for, then, a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'"
DOLLAR: Respond to that?
PHILLIPS: Respond to that.
DOLLAR: Well, first of all, when the rich young ruler showed up and he said, you know, what you need to do is take the things that you have to sell, sell it and then come and follow me, it was about loving God with your stuff. If you keep reading down a couple of more scriptures, it says, "And he received a hundredfold everything that he gave, everything that he sold."
So we talk about, you know, is it -- is it impossible for rich people to get into heaven -- you know that's not the truth. You know rich people are going to go to heaven just like average people.
The issue there is will you be willing to take your things and share it with other people?
Again, we can't assume, just because you have some things, that you automatically are not sharing with the people who need it. We invest in people's lives -- not only in our community, but all around the world.
PHILLIPS: One other thought about the prosperity gospel. And the president of Morehouse was quoted, when he was talking about you and the prosperity gospel, that: "This movement is a threat to the historical legacy and core values of the contemporary black church tradition."
DOLLAR: He and I had a chance to meet about three weeks ago. And we sat down and we had a great conversation. And we both agreed that when most people hear prosperity, they instantly think money. But prosperity -- they're not incorrect, but they're incomplete. Prosperity is more than just money. We're talking about prospering people in their marriage, in their relationships. We're talking about prospering people in their emotions. And one of the things he and I talked about was the importance of trying to come together and prosper these young men on his college campus and go back to some of the grassroots things to begin to help these guys to understand what it means to be a man.
So because of his book, it brought us together to begin to talk about how can we use what we have in our ministry and what he has on his campus to begin to prosper those young men that are on campus.
LEMON: Can I just...
LEMON: I have one last thing that I want to ask. Even public and private businesses are accountable to the government and to the people -- Fortune 500 companies, multimillion, billion dollar companies that are private, as well.
What makes you think that you are any different or megachurches are any different in any way than any of these other companies or businesses?
DOLLAR: Well, we're not. We have an audit every year, Don, on our entire ministry. We also report employee taxes and payroll taxes. And we're responsible for sales taxes on items that you purchased in the State of Georgia. So we're not saying that we should not be accountable. In fact, we are very accountable. We have to follow and comply with the IRS regulations. And it's very important that you understand that the same goal that the senator has, we have the exact same goal. We want people to feel comfortable about their donations and their gifts that they give and to be able to know that it's being used for that purpose.
I think a miscalculated assumption, as well, is that you immediately think, well the preacher used the money of the church to get it. Nobody ever thought about well, maybe he had another business. Maybe he used his own money with his intellectual property. Maybe he got a great contract with a book. That needs to be put in consideration, as well. And I think If we could get more of the information together, we can add more balance so we won't be just one- sided.
PHILLIPS: Well, let me ask you about that balance, Reverend, because, you know, you talk about the fact that you've got these other businesses. You've been quoted before -- real estate and other businesses.
PHILLIPS: But how did you get the money for those businesses?
I mean I know you talk about growing up in the ghetto in College Park.
DOLLAR: I used to (INAUDIBLE) $150 an hour.
PHILLIPS: I tell you -- OK.
So you made a lot of money as a therapist?
DOLLAR: Yes, $150 an hour to sit there and listen to people. And, you know, you say you've been in this for almost 30 years. And so if you -- if you invest properly, if you save properly, if you manage your money properly, then, you know, you're able to do some things with it.
PHILLIPS: One question, too, with regard to Senator Grassley. He said that one reason he's investigating you is because you were raising a million dollars to give to another minister, Kenneth Copeland, to celebrate 40 years of ministry.
Why would anybody need a million dollars million to celebrate 40 years of ministry?
DOLLAR: Because we believe in the word of God that it is -- it is -- it is honorable to honor men of God who have done so much that we have the opportunity to practice what we believe. Nobody can say you don't have a right to believe in prosperity or you don't have the right to be in -- to believe in healing. But we -- because of the first amendment, we have the opportunity to take what we believe in the word of God. And we believe in strongly honoring these men of God.
PHILLIPS: Do you think Jesus Christ would have roared around in a Rolls Royce?
DOLLAR: I think he would have. He rode around on a donkey that no man ever rode.
PHILLIPS: Don, final thoughts?
LEMON: I'm out.
LEMON: No, I just -- I -- my final thoughts is that when someone -- there are so many poor people and people of need who give to ministries and megachurches. I think that this is a good thing that Grassley is doing -- if not just to look at it. I don't know what his motives are, but just to look at that. And you have to -- as someone who is an intelligent person, look at this and say if you're riding around in a Rolls Royce and in jets and people who, again, are poor and don't have those means and can't afford certain things, you understand where the public outcry comes from and why people want to look at your finances.
DOLLAR: Yes. But we also understand that we have a ministry to the poor and those people, as well. They're not being neglected as (INAUDIBLE)...
LEMON: And you can't give (INAUDIBLE) -- there are people who are, though. It seems like you could give more -- even more so, with all the wealth that you have.
DOLLAR: It would blow your mind if you knew how much money we gave per year to those (INAUDIBLE)...
LEMON: I don't doubt that. I really don't. But I'm saying with so much profit, it seems like some of that profit could go (INAUDIBLE)...
DOLLAR: Well, it's not as much as you think. You know, for example, I mean there are some times we actually don't meet our budget to be able to do some of the things that need to be done. But there's one thing we do. It's not like...
PHILLIPS: So if you don't meet the budget, then why...
LEMON: How do get a million dollars for (INAUDIBLE)...
PHILLIPS: ...did they approve to buy a Rolls Royce?
DOLLAR: Well, again, I didn't approve it. They -- the donors got together and did something that I didn't know about. And when I found out about it, I said I don't want this personally. Let's keep it in the possession of the church so that when you get ready to sell it, then that money comes back to the church. You've got to understand, they believe in honoring their pastor. I'm coming in from South Africa and, boom -- I'm just as surprised as anybody, you know?
PHILLIPS: You say we'll be blown way by the numbers that you give to your charities.
Will you make that public?
As Senator Grassley comes forward and asks for these documentations, will you say we give X amount to this charity, X amount to this charity...
DOLLAR: We've already done that. In fact, I left a document with the very man that you talked about from Morehouse of the amount of money that we have given thus far in ministering to people in the community.
LEMON: And you asked my final thoughts. I do have to say this -- because we have to move on.
LEMON: Everyone -- we asked everyone involved in this to come out and to have the opportunity to be interviewed on CNN.
PHILLIPS: And you're the only one.
LEMON: And you're the only one.
So I thank you for being candid.
DOLLAR: You're welcome, sir.
LEMON: And we thank you for...
DOLLAR: Thank you.
LEMON: ...for coming on here today.
PHILLIPS: Appreciate it.
DOLLAR: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: All right.
LEMON: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: And we're going to be talking live with Senator Charles Grassley on his probe of the megachurches' finances. He's going to join us in the 3:00 Eastern hour right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: We're keeping an eye on your money. And right now, the Dow is more -- oh, it's below 250 points. It's a negative there. We're going to keep checking on that. Susan Lisovicz, Ali Velshi, all our folks on Wall Street taking a look at that.
PHILLIPS: Creflo Dollar, do you remember what you were listening to in 1982?
PHILLIPS: Come on now, pastor.
PHILLIPS: You were listening to Michael Jackson.
LEMON: Is it "Thriller?"
DOLLAR: No, I think I was listening to the Ohio Players.
PHILLIPS: Twenty-five years have passed since Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and the king of pop is talking about it. I don't know -- he might need some of your cash, pastor.
PHILLIPS: We need to get him going to your church.
PHILLIPS: You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
(STOCK MARKET REPORT)
LEMON: It is a familiar sight in Pakistan -- riot police swinging batons and firing tear gas at protesters. It happened again today in Islamabad, where hundreds of people loyal to opposition leader Benazir Bhutto clashed with police outside of parliament.
Now, as you know, this is day five of emergency rule declared by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf -- the crackdown aimed largely at lawyers and the courts.
This is how Geo-TV is covering the story. It's the only privately run news network still operating in Pakistan. Note the counter at the bottom of the screen keeping track of the hours since the emergency began.
Let's go now to our Pakistan Desk.
And Isha Sesay joining us from CNN International -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Hey, Don, we want to share with you this time some pictures of a student protest at a university in Lahore. We want to thank our I-Reporter, who is a student at that school. We aren't going to name them because we don't want to put them in any kind of danger.
Now, you see on the screen these pictures taken on campus of students gathered together -- gathered to protest this state of emergency that's in place in Pakistan. Now, the students do actually have a couple of demands. They're demanding that the state of emergency is lifted immediately. They're also demanding that the judiciary benches -- that is, the supreme court and the high courts that have been dissolved -- that they are restored and that elections are held as soon as possible. They're scheduled for mid-January.
Now, one thing I want to point out to you, to give you a little bit of background, this protest was actually supposed to take place off-campus. But when it came to leave, students found that the gates that you see there had been closed. What had happened was security officials -- about 20 to 30. That's the figure we're getting from our I-Reporter. They closed the gates so the students weren't able to leave the campus.
Now, what we're hearing from our I-Reporter, they have this theory that the school and the authorities -- the security officials -- came to some kind of agreement to keep the students on-campus so that they didn't clash with officials and, thereby, trying to ensure their safety.
We're working on getting some kind of confirmation as to what exactly happened. The gates were closed for about 85 minutes. They're now open. We're going to get that I-Reporter on the line and get more detail.
At this point, I say to everyone, send in your I-Reports. Send us your images. Send us your thoughts. Just go to CNN.com. Click on I- Report and take it from there.
Back to you -- Don.
LEMON: Isha Sesay, thank you for that report.
PHILLIPS: This beautiful, bright-eyed girl born with an eye- popping deformity. Doctors say that surgery to remove four extra limbs was successful, but little Lakshmi isn't out of the woods yet. We're following her recovery.
PHILLIPS: Born with half of her malformed twin attached to her pelvis, a 2-year-old Indian girl has now has a chance at a normal life. After a marathon operation to remove four extra limbs, a team of 30 plus doctors also had to reconstruct the girl's lower body and move several organs. So far, they say, so good.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SHARAN PATIL, SURGERY TEAM LEADER: I know the prayers of everybody were with Lakshmi and were with the team, were with Sparsh Hospital. I'm really thankful to all of them. You all know that we started the surgery yesterday, the early hours of the morning. And the surgery went according to the plan. Every step of it was successful. There was no setbacks whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: And lots of optimism there. Still, Lakshmi is not out of the woods yet.
Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen with us.
So, what's her prognosis?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Her doctors say they think she's going to lead a normal life. They think she's going to walk again. They're very optimistic. Now, right now, 2-year-old Lakshmi is still in the hospital. She is on a ventilator. She has been unconscious since the surgery ended. But they say it's going to, you know, it's going to take some time. She's got limbs in casts. All four of her limbs are in casts. But they think that she will be all right.
PHILLIPS: So what exactly did they do in surgery?
COHEN: What they did was fascinating. They removed this parasitic twin. So, first, I should explain what a parasitic twin is. When her mother was pregnant with her, Lakshmi had a twin who stopped developing at some point during the pregnancy. And the remnants of that twin sort of melded themselves into Lakshmi. So they had to untwist the parasitic spine from Lakshmi's spine. They had to decide which limbs she would keep and which she wouldn't. And so the twin is no longer with her.
But it's interesting, the twin gave her kind of a gift. The twin had a kidney that for two years was working for Lakshmi, even though it was in the twin's body. They took the kidney out of the twin and put it in Lakshmi's body and it worked. So she has two kidneys.
PHILLIPS: All right, a lot of spiritual/superstition obviously swirling around this. The spiritual side, they believe she's the reincarnation of Lakshmi, the goddess...
COHEN: The goddess...
PHILLIPS: ...right, with the four hands you see in the picture there. But, also, there is a lot of superstition around these babies -- surrounding these babies around the world. Some are revered. Some are thrown into the fire.
How is the community responding?
COHEN: The community has responded, really, more in the goddess mode. They have said -- some villagers said this baby is a goddess and don't do the surgery. They didn't want the parents to do the surgery. But the parents were quite wise and they knew that she was probably not going to make it past adolescence if they did not do the surgery.
The parents have had a lot to deal with. At one point, some men wanted to give them money for Lakshmi and sell her to the circus.
COHEN: So they had to hide her. So this family has really been through quite a lot. This family from a very rural village in India.
PHILLIPS: Well, it's amazing to see just how well the surgery went...
PHILLIPS: And we'll be following her progress, of course.
COHEN: That's right.
Cross our fingers.
PHILLIPS: All right, thanks, Elizabeth.
LEMON: All right, long before the nicknames -- we all -- we've heard them, right -- Wacko Jacko. Long before Blanket and Bubbles The Chimp, Michael Jackson made news for his music -- and especially this song. Twenty-five years later, it is still a "Thriller".
(VIDEO CLIP FROM "THRILLER")
(VIDEO CLIP FROM "THRILLER")
LEMON: People are bopping their heads all around me. Twenty-five years ago, MTV was in its infancy and music videos were pretty basic affairs. Then Michael Jackson burst on the scene with "Thriller". Entertainment -- well, it's never been the same since. Frankly, neither has he.
This is a current incarnation of the man that some call the king of pop. Well, most call him the king of pop. And others call him well, Wacko Jacko. It's from the cover of "Ebony" magazine and I believe it hits store shelves on Monday.
We're going to ask that to creative director Harriet Cole.
She joins me now with the story.
Thanks for joining us.
It hits on Monday, right?
HARRIETTE COLE, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, "EBONY": That's right.
Michael Jackson -- the first time in 10 years that he has sat for a domestic magazine.
Why "Ebony" magazine?
COLE: You know, Michael Jackson has had a very long history with "Ebony". It's kind of like two families who have known each other a long time. He began performing at six years old, you know, with The Jackson 5. He was on the cover of "Ebony" five times with his family and has been on the cover seven times since as a solo artist.
So when it came time for him to decide he wanted to reenter the public eye, it was the perfect place to come.
LEMON: And, also, he's from Gary, Indiana and -- by all accounts, which is a suburb of Chicago and, of course...
LEMON: ..."Ebony" magazine based in Chicago.
LEMON: Bob Johnson -- Linda Johnson Rice...
LEMON: So we know all of that...
COLE: It's John H. Johnson who is the founder.
LEMON: Yes, John H. Johnson is the -- John H. Johnson is the founder.
So I've got to ask you this. "Ebony" magazine for a long time -- and you know that as an African-American -- Michael Jackson has been criticized for bleaching his skin, not wanting to be black. There are some who are going to say that this is -- he's doing this to garnish support or either reinforce his support that he lost in the black community.
COLE: You know, I question how much support he lost from the black community. I didn't see that poll. I know that there was a lot of support in question, you know, during the trial. But, honestly, "Ebony" has been his friend for years. "Ebony" represents one-and-a- half million readers and we haven't gotten word that people have rejected him. You know, there certainly there were questions.
COLE: But there's a lot more love, I think, than rejection.
LEMON: All right, Harriet, we'll tell you, we know he's no stranger to controversy -- all the trials and what have you.
LEMON: Also, financially, he's in the news now. He may lose Neverland. There was some controversy with The Beatles songbook and what have you and his financial situation, and also with the children.
How much did you talk issues?
COLE: We didn't talk much about issues. But I'll tell you what happened. We did spend time with him and his youngest child, Prince Michael II, who is five years old. He was there unshrouded during the fitting and later during the interview. And what was great was to see him with his child. Like, he is a dad. He obviously has a good relationship with his son. And his son was very comfortable being around adults and people that he didn't know.
LEMON: Did he talk to you at all about not living in the United States?
Where has he been for the past couple of months?
COLE: Well, he's in the United States now and has been here for a while. He was on the East Coast, you know, a few weeks ago when we did our shoot. I believe he's still in this part of the country. He's in the U.S. right now.
LEMON: Did he talk to you about his comeback?
COLE: He has been in the studio for -- he said every day for many months, creating new music. He's worked with Will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas. He's done some work with Kanye West, with Akan (ph). You know, there's new music afoot. We're not sure when it's coming, but he's definitely in the studio creating right now.
LEMON: OK, Harriet, tell us, what are we going to learn from this "Ebony" interview that we haven't learned anywhere else?
COLE: Well, you know, Michael Jackson -- we learn -- we see Michael Jackson as a mature man. He's 49 years old, you know, which it's kind of hard to believe that Michael Jackson is all grown up.
COLE: He talks a lot about how he has created music -- about the craft of music, which I think is very interesting given that many artists right now -- that the music is packaged for them and they kind of perform it or do it.
COLE: And he talks about his future. You know, he doesn't want to be like James Brown -- travel -- even though he loves James Brown -- but traveling until he is worn out.
LEMON: All right... COLE: He is looking to be behind the camera, making movies and making other music.
LEMON: We shall see.
LEMON: And that is definitely much anticipated.
Harriet Cole, who is the creative editor for "Ebony" magazine.
Thank you so much.
COLE: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: 1:59 Eastern.
Time to check in and see what stories you're clicking on at CNN.com.
Topping the list, another school shooting. This time it's in Finland. Eight people are dead. Ten are injured. The gunman shot himself and is in critical condition. Police suspect that he foreshadowed today's terror weeks in advance in a posting on the Internet.
Well, the mother of a Blackwater security agent killed and mutilated on duty while in Iraq is speaking out. Donna Zovko says that three years after the death of her son Jerry, she deserves answers.
And for the trifecta -- crummy workers -- how did they get a job and keep it despite poor performance?
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