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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
New Evidence in Natalee Holloway Case?; Identifying Baby Grace
Aired November 26, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about that NFL football player.
Now, according to our sources, he is barely hanging on right now. He tried to fight off a gunman with a machete. We are going to be taking you to Miami for the very latest on that story in just a little bit.
Also this: an illegal border crosser sneaking into the United States. It's 3:00 a.m. in the morning. He sees a little boy out in the middle of nowhere. His mother has driven their car off a canyon in the Arizona desert. The mom is dead or dying. And the little boy is left out there in the middle of nowhere. This illegal immigrant has a decision that he has to make, right? Does he save his own skin, or does he do something to perhaps save the little boy?
We are going to be taking you to Arizona, big developments, big doings on this story. We have got the sheriff who was there. We're going to be talking to him. And also we may be talking to this illegal immigrant, putting him on the spot.
Also, first, we need to take you to Aruba where we understand there are developments in the Natalee Holloway story. A hearing ending there just a couple of hours ago where a judge has decided where Joran van der Sloot should be jailed or not.
Let's go through the story, because there's a couple of developments we need to bring you up to date on. First, there are some reports that the suspects may have been wiretapped without them knowing that they were actually being listened to, also, that some of the text messages that they sent each other and the phone calls that they had with each other, these three characters, may be incriminating And that they don't know that police actually have new information on those conversations.
And then this; Prosecutors are now suggesting that they have evidence that Natalee Holloway is, in fact, dead. This is something they have never said before. But what's the evidence?
All right. Susan Candiotti is live in Aruba. She's been following the story. She knows an awful lot about it.
Let's start with the judge. How did the judge rule as to whether van der Sloot stays in jail or not? What did you learn about that, Susan?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, the first thing that judge decided today was Joran van der Sloot isn't going anywhere for at least the next 16 days.
He will be held in a prison on the rural part of the island surrounded by wild goats and high walls and barbed wire. And that is where he will be for at least the next two weeks before prosecutors can ask that he stay behind bars for even longer, the judge apparently convinced that there is enough so-called new incriminating evidence to keep van der Sloot behind bars and away from his family, isolated from everyone, except from his own attorneys.
He can meet with no one else other than police interrogators. Now, we don't know exactly what the nature of this new incriminating evidence is, except to say that it does include videotaped -- copies of videotaped depositions taken back in 2005, that it includes wiretaps that evidently according to the defense attorneys these men knew they were being listened to by authorities, no surprise there, but also chat room conversations, cell phone calls, instant messages that were being sent.
Now, defense attorneys however look at this and say, this is nothing more than pure harassment. And they think that what the prosecutors are doing is simply an act of desperation to try to solve this case, or at least show that they're trying to do something.
SANCHEZ: Well, that's interesting, because...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONALD WIX, ATTORNEY FOR KALPOE FAMILY: There are no new tapes. These are just tapes that were made back in 2005, when these kids were being interrogated. Just like in the states, the interrogation goes on with tapes. They did that back in 2005.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CANDIOTTI: Now, prosecutors say they haven't disclosed everything to all the defense attorneys. They have actually withheld at least 10 percent of what their so-called new leads are. They're not letting their hand completely shown to everyone, in fact. But they insist that the information they have could lead to charges of manslaughter against not only Joran van der Sloot, but the Kalpoe brothers as well.
Here's the chief prosecutor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANS MOS, CHIEF PUBLIC PROSECUTOR, ARUBA: What we have is new, and, of course, we reevaluated the old file too and that came up with new leads too. But that cannot count into the decision of the judge. He does need new evidence. And that's exactly what we produced to the judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Well, it's interesting. It almost sounds, Susan, from what you say and from what we have been reading throughout the day, that these possible or potential or alleged incriminating conversations may be the result of going over old evidence, that they're using new technology to look at, some of these conversations that they had apparently on their cell phones, et cetera.
But something else that's really interesting, all of a sudden the prosecutors there are talking about Natalee Holloway for the first time being dead and that they have evidence that suggests that. Do we know what that evidence is?
CANDIOTTI: Well, other than the prosecutor saying with every passing day, we have more evidence that she isn't around, they indicate, look, if she hasn't been in touch with her family, her parents, her loved ones, her friends, and she just disappeared off the face of the earth, that alone is part of the evidence that she is no longer alive.
But then they go on to say they have even more evidence; they just won't say what it is. DNA? I don't know.
SANCHEZ: We will just have to wait and find out. That's why you're there, Susan Candiotti, the best in the business, following the story. Thanks so much for bringing us up to date. Let's us know if there's anything else and we will get right back to you.
By the way, there's breaking news on another front now. We have some details now of how this little girl called Baby Grace. Have you have been following this story about how she died? According to police, the details are coming from her mother who along with another man are now under arrest tonight in this story.
This is a story that's captivated Americans. As a matter of fact, we have CNN.com. And we have been checking CNN.com throughout the day, and it turns out this is the number one story on CNN.com. More Americans have been interested in this poor little girl.
Let's get the very latest now from our Sean Callebs in Spring, Texas. He has exclusive information on this story for us tonight.
Sean, bring us up to date. It sounds like there were two people involved in this thing, right?
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. There are two people in custody right now, the girl's mother, who is Kimberly Trenor Zeigler. She actually married Roy Kimberly Zeigler several months ago.
And this -- no surprise this is the number one story on CNN.com. This really hit a nerve. So many people following the Baby Grace story. I want to bring you up to date with some very late information. We got our hands on what is called the probable cause affidavit. This is one of the items used to arrest Zeigler earlier in the day.
Now, this is part of three hours of statements that she made to investigators over the weekend. For people who have followed this case closely, Rick, there's really no way to say it. It is going to be difficult to hear.
But this is information that came from Kimberly Trenor Zeigler's mouth to the investigators. Now, she says that both she and Royce Zeigler II -- quote -- "beat Riley Ann Sawyers with two separate leather belts and held her head under water in the bathtub." She goes on to say that Royce picked Riley up by her hair and also threw Riley across the room, which caused her head to slam into the tile floor.
Now, she goes on to say, after the very worst had happened, Trenor describing that Royce concealed the blue plastic container -- that's the container that was sound in a sandbar off the coast of Galveston -- inside a storage shed that contained the body of Riley at 6811 Ennis (ph) Lane -- that's where we are right now, in the town Spring -- for a period of two months.
And we know, Rick, that investigators -- or the body actually turned up in a plastic tub back on October 29 and since then, authorities have been trying to figure out who is Baby Grace. Well, tragically, we know tonight.
SANCHEZ: What about this guy, Royce Zeigler II? He was the boyfriend of this lady who, my goodness, may have allowed this to happen. It's even hard to think about something like that. But what's his story? What's going on with him? What are police going to do with this guy?
CALLEBS: Well, they met online and apparently got married back in May.
We had a chance to speak with Zeigler's attorney and he says -- quote -- "If Kimberly is trying to throw his client under the bus," listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CALLEBS: Are you worried that she's trying to throw your client under the bus?
WENDELL ODOM, ATTORNEY FOR ROYCE ZEIGLER II: Well, sure I'm worried. But once again, I don't think that there's -- that my client is more culpable than anybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CALLEBS: Which is very difficult information to read in that affidavit, Rick. And all this could theoretically come before a grand jury as early as tomorrow.
But we should also caution by pointing out of course grand juries are secret by their nature. And also, the lead investigator is up in Ohio right now, where the child's biological father lives.
Rick, that's the very latest.
SANCHEZ: Great stuff. Sean Callebs all over that story. As it comes in, let us know. Also this, we have got breaking news now on the condition of a Washington Redskins safety, Sean Taylor. The 24-year-old first-round draft pick from the University of Miami is now back in Miami at a hospital there. He's in very critical condition after he was shot during what his lawyer says was a home invasion. This thing involved a gun and a machete. Doctors have told family members that Taylor suffered extensive blood loss and is at the risk for brain damage as a result of that blood loss. He's unconscious, still.
John Zarrella is in Miami. He has been following the story for us. And he is joining us now to bring us an update on that.
Boy, this has been a big story down in South Florida, hasn't it, John?
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN MIAMI BUREAU CHIEF: Huge story, no question about it. He is certainly someone well known in the South Florida community. Certainly well known in the NFL circles, people that follow the National Football League.
A little bit of perhaps good news. I talked to his attorney again, Richard Sharpstein, just a little while ago. And Richard told me that in fact doctors came out and told the family that he squeezed their hands. So, maybe, just maybe, that's some good news that possibly he's going to come out of this unconscious state.
Now, Richard Sharpstein, he's a criminal defense attorney in Miami. He represented Taylor in 2005 on a misdemeanor assault and battery case that Taylor ultimately pleaded no contest to. It involved what Taylor said was a stolen all-terrain vehicle and a confrontation with people who he says stole that.
Again, he pleaded no contest. Sharpstein has been very close to the family, very close to Taylor. He spent the entire day at the hospital. I talked to him several times today on the phone. And we interviewed him in person a little while ago as well. Sharpstein told me that what happened at 1:45 a.m. this morning, that Taylor and his girlfriend were in the house behind me, Taylor's home, with their little baby.
They heard some noise in the living room. He got up. Taylor got up. He grabbed a machete that he keeps under his bed. As he went to the bedroom door that was closed, it was broken down. The people, whoever it was, came in, fired two shots. One shot missed. The second shot hit Taylor in the femoral artery, while his girlfriend was hiding under the blankets. At that point in time, whoever attacked, they left the house.
His girlfriend calls 911. When police arrive, they find him on the floor, extensive blood loss. He's immediately airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he undergoes two hours of surgery. Now, Sharpstein says that the family is still very, very concerned as to whether Sean Taylor will even make it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICHARD SHARPSTEIN, ATTORNEY FOR TAYLOR: The blood loss may have caused a great deal of oxygen loss to the brain. He hasn't regained consciousness. They're only speculating. At this time, their diagnosis is guarded and critical. And no one has come out with a prognosis at this time, other than to say there's certainly a potential that he might not make it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: You know what's amazing about this guy? I mean, look, there's no question, one of the most talented safeties, one of the most talented football players in the NFL. I mean, he played hard. He hits hard, led in interceptions at Miami and in the NFL. But he's had some problems in the past.
And when you hang out in these kind of circles, you know, you get in trouble. And are people talking about that today, John?
ZARRELLA: Yes. Here's a couple of interesting things, too. Preface that. Apparently, on November 18, this house was also broken into. Nobody was home at the time.
ZARRELLA: Whoever did it that time went through the entire house. But we're not sure if there's any linkage there between those things. Some items were apparently taken according to the police report that we obtained.
And you're right. Sean Taylor's been in trouble in the past, in 2005, as I mentioned, this misdemeanor case where he pled no contest, and is doing 18 months probation. And, at the same time, you know, last year during a game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he spit in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers player's face. He was ejected from the game and subsequently fined $17,000 from the NFL.
So, he's no stranger to both on and off the field altercations. Whether this has anything to do with his lifestyle or his past remains to be seen. Whether these two incidents from the 18th and last night are linked, hard to say, too. But now several of the players flew down today, Rick, to be with him, former members of the University of Miami team.
Clinton Portis arrived late this evening with Dan Snyder and also with Santana Moss. Both of those two players, Portis and Moss, played with him at the University of Miami and now with the Redskins -- Rick.
BLITZER: And we should mention Dan Snyder who you just alluded to is the owner of the Washington Redskins and has apparently taken a very personal interest in this story as it develops.
More often than not, as we follow this story, you may find some ties to not him, but other people he hangs around with, which is -- I don't know if it's separation anxiety or what it is with so many of these athletes. But they have got a tough time pulling themselves apart from the guys in their neighborhoods who may not be so squeaky clean.
John Zarrella is all over this. Thanks so much for bringing us up to date on this story.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Alone in the desert. An illegal immigrant makes a choice. Does he save a little boy's life, even though it means facing deportation? We will bring you the answer.
And then later, speaking truth to power. Find out why the son of evangelist Oral Roberts is stepping down.
And look who finally makes it to the White House. What's the occasion? How embarrassing. And are those fake smiles? We will be right back.
SANCHEZ: Look, we know we have a serious problem in this country when it comes to immigration and that nobody seems to have, how should I put this, the intestinal fortitude to look for a solution of any kind. Why should they really? Think about it. It's much easier to just point the finger at the Mexicans and everybody in this country who's undocumented and then just say, round them all up, even if they are good people in many cases, even if they are in many cases helping our country. Because after all, they're illegals, right?
Look, I know this is not a popular position on this that I'm taking. But this is not about huge ratings anymore. This is about telling the truth. It's about not allowing people to be demonized for ratings or for politics. Maybe this story makes the point better than I possibly could about judging people in this country.
I know we did it with the Germans. We did it with the Italians. We did it with the Irish. This is about an illegal immigrant who was crossing the border and has to choose. Do I save my own skin and enter the United States, or do I save somebody else?
Let me go over to the wall and show you what happened. This is a map that we have here of the area around Tucson. Because this illegal immigrant, this illegal border crosser, who name is Jesus Manuel Cordova, was coming in through Arizona. You see that last little yellow line down there? That's the line with Mexico.
And he had gone into where it says right there, in Nogales. So he comes across the border. Let's go in tighter now, Will, if we could, and I'm going to show you what he came across. There was a mom with her 9-year-old boy. And she was going down that road. You see that road right there? That's the area where she had an accident.
She went off a canyon. It was about a 300-foot drop. Very serious. The mother didn't die instantly, but she did eventually die after the weight of her own vehicle tell fell on top of her. The boy was OK. He's 9 years old. He survived it. But imagine what he is going through. It's the middle of the night. Nobody's out there. He's all by himself. Look at those canyons. Look at that area. There's coyotes out there and other wild animals. There are snakes. He's frightened. His mother is dying. Well, this illegal immigrant, named Jesus Manuel Cordova, comes across the area, sees the little boy and says, what do I do?
Here's what he did. He takes off his jacket, keeps the boy warm, consoles him, builds a fire for him, and stays there throughout the course of the night until the very next day, until some hunters come around and finally find this little boy, and then eventually the authorities come. And they deport him back to Mexico.
But he did what he thought he needed to do.
With me now from Nogales is the Santa Cruz County sheriff, is Tony Estrada, who's been working this story.
First of all, let me ask you a question about this little boy, because he's what's really most important. When you're 9 years old and you witness the death of your own parent, it's got to be real tough. Is he OK?
TONY ESTRADA, SANTA CRUZ COUNTY SHERIFF: He's doing fine right now. He's up in Tucson. I think he was going to be released from the hospital. He's been getting some counseling and he's going to be all right.
SANCHEZ: What were your thoughts when you first came across this story of how this illegal immigrant acted?
ESTRADA: Well, I guess what you have to be mindful and consider is that he sacrificed everything he did crossing that border illegally.
It's rugged terrain. It's difficult to get through there. And all of a sudden he runs across this 9-year-old boy, who's lost. He's scared. He's worried about his mother. It's in a remote area. And it's getting dark. It's getting cold. And all of a sudden, this individual shows up.
And this individual makes a decision. I'm going to stay with him. I'm going to comfort him until I can get some help. And he did that. He built a fire. He shared his jacket with him, and he consoled this kid, comforted this kid overnight until he was able to get help the following day.
So, I think a lot has to be said about this individual and the sacrifice that he made. Not everybody that crosses this border is a bad person.
SANCHEZ: Yet, there's a couple of quotes that I have read as I was looking at the wire stories that got me so into this story. On one you say, first of all, he saved the boy's life. It's hard for to us understand that, because we don't know that region. But that's a pretty wicked area out there where those canyons are, right? ESTRADA: It's rugged. It's remote. Not too many people go through that area. You see Border Patrol up there when they have activity. You see hunters, occasionally hikers. But most of the time you don't see anybody, especially at night when it gets dark and it gets cold.
SANCHEZ: He apparently came across the boy at 3:00 in the morning, according to some of the original reports. I imagine that's pretty dark and pretty nasty out there.
Let me ask you something else. You said, and I heard your quote, as saying that we should be mindful not to demean illegal immigrants and take this story into perspective. What did you mean by that?
ESTRADA: Well, I think it's important to understand that there are a lot of good people that cross this border. There are people that are in need. You know, they want the best for themselves and their families.
So, when they come over here, they mean no harm. They actually want to be as helpful as they can. I think this particular case highlights that, that this is an individual that made that commitment to help a little boy in danger.
SANCHEZ: But, to be clear, he did commit an illegal act. He crossed the border. And by law, he needs to be deported. Whether or not immigration can now step in later on from a humanitarian basis and make an exception for him is something else entirely, right?
ESTRADA: That's correct. He did break the law. And obviously he had to be deported. And he understood. And he took that risk. And, obviously, it didn't matter to him that much at that time.
He was really concerned about this little boy. And we're very fortunate that we have people like that. And I think the family of this little boy have a lot to be grateful for.
SANCHEZ: And there's an awful lot of people like him in the United States, who represent the best human nature as well.
Sheriff Estrada, thanks so much for being with us, sir. We certainly appreciate it.
ESTRADA: You're welcome. Have a great day.
SANCHEZ: We want to know something from you now.
And think about this. Should this Jesus Cordova, should he be rewarded for what he did? We don't mean that he should not have been deported. I think there's no question he should have been deported, because that's law. And you break the law, you should be deported.
But as a result of what he did, should he now be given some kind of humanitarian exception and should he be rewarded with a green card down the line? I want you to just think about that, for saving the little boy's life, for thinking about somebody else instead of himself. Just a question. You want an answer or you want to give us an answer, here's what you do. You go to CNN.com/Rick, CNN.com/Rick, to cast your vote. Love to hear from you.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Irving, Texas, finds a way to kick out illegal immigrants. But the feds say, hold on a minute. The mayor joins us live. And so does one of his biggest critics.
SANCHEZ: We were among the first to tell you about a plan to round up illegal immigrants in Irving, Texas. As a matter of fact, we went down there and did the story from the streets of Irving.
Police would stop people for routine reasons. They could stop people for a broken taillight, for rolling a stop sign, et cetera, and then they would call immigration if they seemed to be here illegally and they would get them deported.
For a few days at least, it looked like the feds were putting the brakes on this program, but now maybe not so much. They say they're going to keep taking these immigrants suspected of minor crimes, as their limited resources permit. Not quite what sure that means.
Joining me now, the Mayor of Irving, Herbert Gears, who's not happy about the change in policy if there is one. Boy, now I'm as confused as anybody else. Hispanic activist Carlos Quintanilla is joining as well. Gentlemen, thanks for being with us.
First of all, let's try and clear this up. Look, last Friday, it seemed to us that the feds were saying to you, Mayor, hey, this is too much. We can't handle this. I mean, you're throwing everything at us. You and a bunch of other cities, and it's just too much of a workload for us. Slow down. We don't want every misdemeanor, every person picked up on a misdemeanor. That seemed to be what they were saying. Now it sounds like, what? They're changing their tune a little bit?
All right. Apparently, we have a problem. I was trying to figure out whether it was my system here and my ear where I couldn't hear Herbert Gears, or if it was you at home who couldn't hear. Now, I just made a determination that was you at home who couldn't hear him.
Let's go to Carlos Quintanilla. Maybe, you can help us. Let me help you first of all because I have just gotten this from ICE, OK. Here's what ICE said. It says, "We're not backing away from enforcing our immigration and custom policies. ICE is going to continue to respond to referrals from local officers regarding class D misdemeanor as our limited resources permit." Limited resources permit. They also go on to say, and this is important. "This issue also demonstrates a definitive need for comprehensive immigration reform." Touche, I agree with that. Go ahead, to you Mr. Quintanilla.
CARLOS QUINTANILLA, HISPANIC ACTIVIST: And we have been saying that all along that this has been a dysfunctional program. There's been no clarity. There's been no definition to the program. It's been inconsistent. It's deported people for basic, you know, offenses, not having a driver's license, a photo I.D.. It's been a punitive program. It's racially profiled Hispanics. It's basically been a big mess. And now, immigration is saying, well, we're going to do -- we're not going to do it. That --
SANCHEZ: Don't you get the sense -- don't you get the sense that everybody is just chasing their tail and running scared on this thing? Nobody has the guts to face up to the fact that we've got a country with an immigration problem that needs to be solved by securing the border and by figuring out who in this country can stay and who ho can go. As in get rid of the bad people and keep the really good working people who've been here for many generations now. We can't do that, can we?
QUINTANILLA: No. And the other thing is to take away the racism, the hate, the nasty conflicts, and to say, OK, let's sit down and let's develop a comprehensive immigration reform program that looks at all sides and looks at the contributions and looks at the economic contributions and looks at securing the border, identifies who the real terrorists are.
QUINTANILLA: And begin to have discussions. And we're not having it.
SANCHEZ: Well, and here's why, and here's why, and here's why. Here's the problem. With the policy we have now, where nilly-willy every municipality that wants to can just put in their own immigration policy, you're not going to get the bad guys. You know who you're going to get? You're going to get people who basically are going to work.
QUINTANILLA: That's right.
SANCHEZ: Who maybe couldn't afford to fix their tail light, or we're sitting in the corner because they were just trying to do something and they accidentally jaywalked. I mean, these are generally people who are no different than you and I, but these are the ones who are going to end up being deported. And the real bad guys, every time they see police officers, they're going to run the other way.
QUINTANILLA: And you know what? None of the Hispanic leadership has said, you know, keep the criminal aliens in America.
SANCHEZ: Heck, no.
QUINTANILLA: We've been saying, deport the criminals, deport the drug dealers, deport the rapists.
QUINTANILLA: But don't penalize hard-working people. Don't penalize the guys -- the Aciendas (ph) or the Cortezes of the world who are just here to work, haven't committed any crimes except coming to United States illegally to make a better life. And so I think --
SANCHEZ: Well, you know, we do apologize, though, to the mayor. Boy, I wish we didn't have this problem with the audio because we did want to hear what he has to say about this, and he defends his city and he agrees. He disagrees with much of what you were saying, Carlos, regarding this.
SANCHEZ: But we'll get him back on. He's a good guy and he's usually a straight shooter on this thing.
SANCHEZ: And if we do have some disagreements on it. Thank you again. By the way, we want to know what you think about our "Quick Vote" question tonight. And here it is.
Should an illegal immigrant who saved a 9-year-old, that we told you about just a moment ago, be rewarded with a green card? And I don't mean that he shouldn't have been deported. I mean, should he be given this on a humanitarian basis? Go to CNN.com/Rick, and let us know how you feel by casting your vote.
Welcome back. This is a story more than anything else about forced or fake smiles. I want you to be the judge. Now, take a look.
Here is Al Gore standing next to the president of the United States. You tell me what these two men are thinking. Here's why this is important. First of all it's really a photo op as the president honors this year's group of Nobel Prize winners, Mr. Gore shared the Nobel peace prize for his work, as you know, on fighting climate change. And this is the first time that he's actually been at the White House since the end of the Clinton administration. Thereby, first time these two men have met up there.
Tonight, our continuing series on the gospel of prosperity, materialism, and power. It's not what Jesus preached, but it's the unfortunate trend. Now the son of Oral Roberts steps down.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. Tonight, another in our series of examinations on what's going on among Christians in this country. When did wealth, materialism, and power have anything to do with being Christ-like? We're talking about Rolls Royces, $3,000 suits, Lear jets.
Lawmakers want to know why six televangelists are spending so much money living like millionaires. Heck, millionaires -- billionaires in some cases. They want their financial records turned over to a Senate committee investigating their expenses. And now we understand it's over the top expense accounts that have also caused the fall from Grace of the son of Oral Roberts.
Richard Roberts stepped down as president of Oral Roberts University. What happened on the campus of the Oklahoma Christian University? Joining us now the Reverend Carlton Pearson, the minister of the New Dimensions Worship Center. He's a former member of Oral Roberts University's Board of Regents and he's good enough to catch us up on what's going on.
I see that you have your finger in your little IFB as we call it there. Can you hear me?
REV. CARLTON PEARSON, NEW DIMENSIONS WORSHIP CENTER: Yes, sir, I can.
SANCHEZ: All right. Good, good. We had a problem with another guest in the past. You know, this is amazing. And let me just start you with this. What's going on? Roberts and family have been accused of going on a $39,000 shopping spree, spending over $29,000 on the ministry jet for his daughter's senior trip. Something about a trip to the Bahamas as well that was paid for with the people who had put their good money and names on this university and church. How does something like this happen?
PEARSON: Well, you know, he's been the president of the university for several years now and has had almost absolute authority to do what he wanted to do.
SANCHEZ: That's a problem.
PEARSON: And he -- and it's always a problem. I don't think he realized at the time what was going on. You just do things when you've been the son of a famous world evangelist all your life with a multi-million dollar ministry. It's turned over to you, and you're the main man in charge. You might slip up, and I think he did.
SANCHEZ: You know, let me just ask you this question because it's something I talk about with my -- I talk to my wife and my kids, you know. I talk about this a lot. There's a huge difference between a Christian, somebody who is a Christian, and someone who is Christ- like. Isn't there?
PEARSON: I --
SANCHEZ: And I cannot even fathom Christ coming back to our earth and seeing the people who are speaking in his name doing these things, living like this. Can you?
PEARSON: I think Christ would be embarrassed about what the religion that bears his name has become, and the kinds of things we've done over the centuries and millennia. And we're a little spoiled and a little cocky and a little arrogant. And I'm not putting myself above all of that. SANCHEZ: Yes.
PEARSON: Because I was right in that trench and I understand what you're saying. And we apologize.
SANCHEZ: Apparently, the university now is going through a bit of a mess. Some students are saying they're resigning. They're having problems with -- they feel like their degree may be tainted to a certain degree. And this has always been a great school, by the way, in many ways. The university is now $52 million in debt. Is that right?
PEARSON: Yes, sir. Yes.
SANCHEZ: Will it survive?
PEARSON: It might. I think it probably will if we correct these things. This is a wake-up call. We've got to correct our errors, and I think that's what the Board of Regents are meeting about right now, trying to figure out what are we going to do next. I think we've all in the body of Christ, the so-called body of Christ, the Christian mentality. We all had to reconsider a lot of the things we've said and done and why we believe what we believe. And I see this as the universe correcting itself.
SANCHEZ: Yes. Yes. Lear jets, Rolls Royces, $3,000 suits. It's so hard to -- it's so hard to come to grips with that kind of stuff with a man of the cloth. Reverend Carlton Pearson, you're a good man to join us and be so up front about this. We certainly appreciate it.
PEARSON: Thank you. My best, sir.
SANCHEZ: All right. Tonight, televangelist Paula White is going to get personal about her ministry and her divorce. This has been in the news. It's the top of the hour with Larry King. We are going to be getting that here. And then also, should an illegal immigrant who saved a 9-year-old boy be rewarded with a green card? You could vote at CNN.com/Rick.
SANCHEZ: Larry King is going to be joining us in a bit to bring us his fabulous show tonight. That's amazing when you talk about some of these televangelists. You know, in our business, you get to know, Larry, a lot of these really wealthy people. Very few of these really wealthy people are as materialistic as some of these televangelists who've come along of late. I mean, what's going on, man?
LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: One wonders if the great people of the past, biblical heroes of the past, say Moses...
KING: Christ, Mohammad, would --
KING: Pitch -- send in for my album. It's a good business there. Well, Grassley -- Senator Grassley's done a -- doing a pretty good investigation of the whole thing. And mainly you can do whatever you want, but it's the tax deduction that bothers a lot of people.
SANCHEZ: Right. Yes. That's a big -- and you're going to be talking to somebody tonight who's going to be able to fill us in on some of the problems she's had with this, right?
KING: Yes. I'm looking forward to meeting her. We've got an exclusive with this sensational, inspiring, controversial preacher, Paula White. She overcame her father's suicide, years of sexual abuse, became one of the biggest televangelists. She even created one of America's fastest-growing churches. We'll be live with Paula White at the top of the hour. We're going to get into all this stuff. Just for your pleasure, Rick. I know how you love it.
SANCHEZ: Well, this is a great topic. We've been following this. You know, and there's some hypocrisy here and I think it's worth examining. So I'll look forward to listening to your show tonight. It should be really good. Larry King!
KING: And let's hope also, she remains in the seat.
SANCHEZ: Thanks, man. Appreciate it. Business break, by the way.
Stocks tanked today. The Dow fell 237 points. The Nasdaq dropped 56, and the S&P lost over 33 points. It looks like a record- breaking day for online shopping. Retailers are calling the Monday after Thanksgiving cyber Monday, and luring shoppers with major discounts.
Take a look at the numbers. Retailers say 72 million people will shop online sometime today. That's about 80 percent more than a normal Monday. By one estimate, sales are going to be topping $700 million. That's the biggest online spending day ever, so people are going to their computers.
Nissan is recalling close to 700,000 cars to fix problems with a sensor that could lead to the engine stalling. The Japanese automaker's recall affects Altima and the Sentra cars from 2002, 2005, and 2006 model years that are equipped with a 2.5 liter engine.
One high-calorie ingredient is in a lot more foods than you could possibly think. Coming up, two guys who are trying to do without it and are having a real tough time. All right. We'll tell you what we're talking about and also should an illegal immigrant who saved a 9-year-old boy be rewarded with a green card? Go to CNN.com/Rick.
SANCHEZ: Joining us now, two men who know a little bit about corn in the United States and a little bit about first-hand experience with high fructose corn syrup. This is important especially coming out of Thanksgiving because we're consuming an awful lot of that.
Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis are co-producers of a movie that investigates the business of corn and its byproducts and its effects on your body. They drove around the country to make this movie. They even grew corn in a field in Iowa, and they're good enough to join us now for our "Vital Signs" segment.
All right. Help me understand why high fructose corn syrup could be a problem or not for Americans. Ian, start us off.
IAN CHENEY, CO-PRODCUER, "KING CORN": Well, high fructose corn syrup is in an incredible number of foods. If you walk down an aisle of the grocery store, you see all these, you know, colored sodas and fruit juices or sweet breakfast cereals. It seems like, you know, we have a really diverse food system, but all of them are sweetened by the same thing, corn largely.
SANCHEZ: Curt -- Curt, let's go to you. Why are they sweet? Why are so many products, as he says, sweetened with corn syrup? Why not sugar?
CURT ELLIS, CO-PRODUCER, "KING CORN": Well, it's cheap. We grow a whole lot of corn in this country, and it doesn't cost very much to turn all that corn into sugar.
SANCHEZ: Why is it so cheap? Why isn't it cheaper than any other product?
ELLIS: There are a few reasons. I mean, one is that we're very good at growing corn.
ELLIS: But maybe the more important one is that we subsidize corn production quite heavily in this country.
SANCHEZ: Subsidize means that we as taxpayers are using our money to give money to the farmers to buy the corn?
ELLIS: We actually pay farmers to grow corn, often whether or not the market demands it. It's almost a guaranteed win to be growing corn in this country as a result of our tax dollars.
SANCHEZ: So you end up with automatic surplus of corn every year then, right?
ELLIS: Well, that's largely what's happened for the last 40 years, anyway.
SANCHEZ: So because we, you and me, pay for it to be grown, it's a lot cheaper than, let's say, the sugar producer, right? In some other country, for example. Ian, back to you. CHENEY: Yes, exactly. I mean, we pour -- you know, a couple of years ago, we paid corn farmers almost $10 billion to grow corn, which is a real incentive. And so because we have so much of this stuff, there's whole industries that have emerged to essentially get rid of it. And in a sense, that's what corn syrup is because, you know, back in 1970, nobody ate high fructose corn syrup.
CHENEY: We weren't making as much corn.
SANCHEZ: Why? There's nothing wrong. I think high fructose corn syrup is wonderful. By the way, if you put it on -- if you put it on your pancakes, it's absolutely delicious. Nobody's saying there's anything wrong with high fructose corn syrup, right? I think the point that you guys are making is as Americans we need to know we're eating an awful lot of it for the reasons that we just described.
CHENEY: Exactly. Yes. I mean, it's found its way into our food system in ways we probably don't even recognize. And as a result of that, our food system is so much sweeter than we think it is. And we're consuming --
SANCHEZ: Is that why we're fatter? Let's face it as Americans.
CHENEY: Well, I mean -- you know, when I think about what makes me gain weight, I think it's probably some of the food choices I'm making. I mean, undoubtedly, if I don't --
SANCHEZ: But this food -- but these food choices aren't being made by us. It's being made kind of by the government who's deciding that they're going to get that tax situation, that incentive, right?
CHENEY: In a sense. I mean, the Farm Bill has such an enormous effect on what we grow, that it really does end up shaping what's available at your corner store or when you're driving down the highway. And largely what's available is foods made out of corn.
SANCHEZ: So you guys did this for a month? You didn't eat any of this stuff? That's what your movie is about?
CHENEY: Well, no. The film is actually about a year we spent growing an acre of corn.
CHENEY: And you know, we've been on the road promoting the film now. And we decided actually this month, we're in the middle of it, to try and almost as an exercise, to see what it would be like to avoid eating anything that contains corn or is derived from corn.
SANCHEZ: And because there's so much in our diet about this, it's something that you would expect people would probably want to know about especially parents, for example. And again, we are not saying in any way, shape or form that there's anything wrong with corn in this case or with corn being used as a syrup. In fact, here's what the industry says. And they're, as you might imagine, somewhat sensitive about this.
The Corn Refiners Association sent us a statement that says in part that the king corn, which is this documentary this two gentlemen are doing, contains many well-worn myths and that new research continues to confirm that high fructose corn syrup is no different from other nutritive sweeteners. High fructose corn syrup is a natural sweetener which is similar to other sweeteners like sugar and honey in its composition, its caloric content, the way the body metabolizes it and its effect on the appetite.
Am I still reading all of this? "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has long recognized that this sweetener is safe."
Now, nobody has said anything about that. Are you guys saying that there's something wrong with corn syrup, by the way, because they seemed real defensive in that note?
ELLIS: We're actually not. We're not saying that there's anything worse about corn syrup than sugar. It's just that largely because of corn syrup, we're eating an incredible amount of this stuff now.
SANCHEZ: Right. So they just defended themselves against an accusation that nobody made. Hey, gentlemen, thanks. We certainly appreciate it.
ELLIS: Thank you.
Still ahead, the results of tonight's "Quick Vote".
Here's our "Quick Vote" results. Sixty-eight percent of you say yes. Illegal immigrant who saves a 9-year-old boy should be rewarded with a green card.
I'm Rick Sanchez. Thanks for being with us. Here's Larry.
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