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Student Protests in London; Buckingham Palace Wedding?; Terror Arrests in France; President in South Korea for G-20; Google Gives 10 Percent Raise to Employees; Peruvian Herb May Be Aphrodisiac For Women; Many Americans Not Sure Who John Boehner Is

Aired November 10, 2010 - 15:00   ET


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Ali Velshi, thank you, sir.

Look, we have some breaking news just in. We're going to get to that in just a moment. We're gathering some of the last-minute details.

But, first, I want you to watch this.


BALDWIN (voice-over): Thousands of angry students hitting the streets of London --


BALDWIN: -- vandalizing, chanting, and breaking into the offices of politicians. So, what are they so mad about?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Higher education, it is so important to our entire society.

BALDWIN: The tirade over tuition.

It's certainly not a bird.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's clearly an airplane contrail.

BALDWIN: It could be a plane, but could it also be a missile?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be a test-firing.

BALDWIN: You will hear about the mystery that's even stumping the Pentagon.

Rumblings of a royal wedding. Will we see a blushing bride in Buckingham soon? A royal watcher joins me with the scoop.


BALDWIN: I'm Brooke Baldwin. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM.

Breaking news right now. In France today, the government announced the arrest of five terror suspects who French authorities believe were recently trained in Pakistan and were planning a deadly strike in Paris. Now, these arrests come weeks after Osama bin Laden says France's ban on the full-face Islamic veil will cause attacks on the country.

And -- listen to this -- a frightening disclosure for us in the U.S. today. That package bomb sent from Yemen last month, that was timed to explode in a plane over the East Coast of the United States. This revelation comes from Scotland Yard.

Let's get right to CNN's Susan Candiotti. She is in New York for us on this latest bomb plot development.

So, Susan, not only does this really further confirm what a lot of authorities had already put out there. Not only do we -- you know, do we suppose that this would have exploded over the U.S., but this is also furthering the fact that this is -- this was a ticking time bomb. We now know when it would have detonated.


And now we're getting more precise information, first of all, from a U.S. counterterrorism official, telling us -- telling CNN exclusively -- that this bomb was set to go off roughly six to seven hours or so once that plane took off bound for the United States.

And we want to further tell you this. Remember, we're talking about a printer cartridge in which some 300 grams of PETN, an explosive, was found in a package that was sent from Yemen on to the U.A., a few others -- U.K. -- and then on to the United States.

But then we have this statement from Scotland Yard, and they said the activation -- this is a quote -- "The activation could have occurred over the Eastern Seaboard of the United States."

Now, what this means is, we're talking about a timeline here. This package, again, originated in Yemen, made a stop in Germany, went on to the U.K. Then authorities there isolated the package, but it took them several hours before they actually first disrupted the package, using careful language, and then determined in fact what they had on their hands, this explosive.

But, once they isolated the package, that cargo plane that was supposed to have the package took off within a couple of hours and then headed to the United States. Now, the route that it probably would have taken most likely would have been over Newfoundland, Halifax, over Cape Cod, and eventually that cargo plane was supposed to land in Philadelphia and then go on to Chicago.

So, that fits in with what the Scotland Yard statement is saying about the explosion would have occurred somewhere over the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

Now, this chilling information prompted a statement from the White House. And we will read that to you in part. It says -- quote -- "The findings underscore the serious nature of the attempted AQAP" -- that's al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula -- "attack and the challenge we all face in trying to prevent or disrupt such attacks."

And that is because, Brooke, that authorities have acknowledged that, if it had not been for an intelligence tip, they wouldn't have found this package, because it went through all the normal security, all the packages having been screened. But none of that security picked up the explosives inside that printer cartridge.

BALDWIN: Right. Right.


BALDWIN: We have talked to so many people and -- and terrorism experts and people in the know, and they say this is the perfect example of how intelligence-sharing is supposed to work. Didn't work so well with Abdulmutallab over Christmas Day, the underwear bomber, if you will, but this is how it's supposed to work.

Susan, quick point of clarification. Then I want to follow up. So, when you say we're -- we're hearing from Scotland Yard that this thing would have detonated six to seven hours after the plane took off, am I to assume the plane taking off in Yemen or the plane taking off in the U.K.?

CANDIOTTI: The plane taking off from the U.K., and then continuing its journey on --

BALDWIN: To the U.S.

CANDIOTTI: -- to Philadelphia and then eventually on to Chicago.

BALDWIN: Let's -- let's --


CANDIOTTI: So, we really doesn't know, Brooke --


CANDIOTTI: where it would have -- where it would have been when eventually that bomb could have exploded. Would it be coming over land, over water, over a highly populated area, less populated area?

So, it would have been more -- more likely than not than taking out just the plane and the crew, but also could have resulted in the deaths of people on the ground as well --

BALDWIN: Maximizing --

CANDIOTTI: Depending on where it came down.

BALDWIN: Maximizing casualties.

Also, Susan, you know, as we have talked a lot about --

CANDIOTTI: Yes. BALDWIN: -- how every single attempt, the bombs itself are increasingly sophisticated, but then you also have to look at the timing of this. And we have been reporting last week, the week before, about how there was talk of that dry run in mid-September, those packages, you know, that were sent from Yemen to Chicago, where these two planes were headed two Fridays ago.

And, so, I imagine this perhaps would have been how they would have determined the timing in this most recent attempt.

CANDIOTTI: In fact, that's right.

In fact, officials have acknowledged that those flights in September, they discovered, were in fact meant to be dry runs.


CANDIOTTI: But, again, when -- whenever you send a -- a package -- and CNN has tested this as well -- there are so many variables at play here.

It's impossible to really nail down what plane the box would have gotten on, how many times it changes flights. And, sometimes, as -- as you're, I'm sure, well aware, if something doesn't fit on one plane, it gets put on another plane.


CANDIOTTI: So, one suspects that even the bombmakers weren't exactly sure when it might have gone off.

BALDWIN: Let's talk about the bombmaker.

I know we're hearing -- we have been saying this name a whole lot, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri. He is the man believed to -- to put his -- essentially, put his brother to death in an attempt to -- to kill a Saudi principles -- that was unsuccessful -- behind the Abdulmutallab attempted bombing, the underwear bombing --

CANDIOTTI: That's right.

BALDWIN: -- this past Christmas Day, and now this. Do we know any more about him? And then are they any closer to finding him? I know he's hiding out somewhere in Yemen. That's what they believe. What about him?

CANDIOTTI: That's what they believe.

And, of course, they're not only looking for him. And he's 28 years old. they're not only looking for him, for obvious reasons, but also looking for Anwar al-Awlaki, who is the American-born cleric --


CANDIOTTI: -- who they also believe has inspired so many of these plots, also believed to be hiding in Yemen. Yemen authorities say that they're trying to find these people.

They have also instituted additional security screenings at their airports there. But, so far, the people that are believed to be responsible and behind these attacks are still in hiding somewhere.

BALDWIN: Still in hiding. The motivation certainly does not change.

Susan Candiotti, we thank you for getting some of that information confirmed for us, just for CNN. Susan, thank you.

Let's talk about this big ship, shall we? Forget lavish buffets. More than 3,000 cruise ship passengers now feasting on -- wait for it -- Spam -- yum -- not so much -- Pop Tarts --


BALDWIN: -- as tugboats pull their ship to shore. This is one huge mess. And we're now hearing from some passengers who could set foot on land. Plus, I talked to a passenger on board this very second, told me a lot about the stink right now. That's bad news for them. That is ahead.

Plus, students protesting over tuition hikes. Look at this scene. This is what's been unfolding in London today. The students aren't going away quietly. We're going to get a live report straight from the battlefield, if you will, in the midst of these streets.

We will be right back.


BALDWIN: Thousands and thousands of students, they have taken to the streets. They're marching, they're chanting over proposed tuition hikes. Sound familiar? Yes.

But, this time, I'm talking not about American students here. This story has been developing all day in London, essentially all in a show of resentment at the government's austerity plan.

So, these are messages -- measures that would essentially triple tuition fees and cut education funding. So, today, you see these pictures. Look at this. They're -- they're -- they're smashing glass. They're lighting fires, writing graffiti on some of the walls at the headquarters of the Conservative Party in London. Unbelievable scene there.

Atika Shubert has been in the thick of things really for the better part of her day. She is now in London and joining me live.

And I can see, Atika, still many, many students behind you. Let's begin by just setting the scene for me and explain how this -- this protest was essentially starting off peacefully, and then it all went awry.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It's pretty much over now.

What you're seeing behind me here are really the last of the protesters are just being cleared by police, being interviewed. And it's -- it's really just a handful now. It started earlier this morning with a massive protest. About 40,000 student demonstrators is the estimate.

And what they're protesting, of course, is that hike in tuition fees. Tuition fees are due to triple. And a lot of students say they simply can't afford it. So there was a lot of anger on the streets. But nobody expected it to turn as violent as it did.

In fact, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to quickly walk around here and show you what's happened, some of the destruction here. This is basically the building where the Conservative Party headquarters is. And if you can look behind there, that's the main lobby.

You can see they smashed right through the glass there. And it started with a small group of students. But, eventually, hundreds of students gathered in this kind of plaza here and actually lit a bonfire in the middle.

They were lighting firecrackers. They eventually were able to get inside the lobby, completely trashed it, as you can see, even able to get up to the roof, throwing out -- throwing out a fire extinguisher at one point.

So, it did get quite violent. And a lot of students were actually quite upset at that, because they felt that it was overshadowing their message that they were trying to get out to the government, protesting these tuition hikes.

So, a lot of questions are being asked: How did it get this violent? You know, who's responsible? A lot of people asking also why there was minimal policing earlier. Was there -- did they simply underestimate the amount of crowds that were coming out today?

But this is the first sort of really large protest against the austerity measures that the government has put into place. Until now, the British public has been quite reserved -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: And, Atika, we have been watching with you here throughout the course of our day and we have sort of seen the evolution of the -- the -- the size of the crowds. And I know you're saying it died down. How effective -- you mentioned the police force. You said, you know, perhaps it wasn't as strong as perhaps it should have been.

Were they able to -- to kind of quell the protests? And how long has the scene kind of been dying down?

SHUBERT: Well, it's -- it's been dying down now for some time. But basically it went on for a few hours.

We were actually walking with the protesters here when they managed to -- to get into that first lobby of the building over there. And, literally, they just walked right in through the revolving doors.

And they initially seemed almost to be taken aback that they were able to get in so easily. And that's when they began smashing the windows and so forth. So, a lot of people are asking, why didn't the police anticipate that -- this is, after all, Conservative Party headquarters --


SHUBERT: -- you know, that -- that -- that at least some protesters would try to get in?

And what happened then was, when all the hundreds of students were attracted by this, basically set up shop, it almost became like a rave. There was -- there was music going. There was firecrackers, a lot of -- almost like a big party, essentially, until the police were able to get better control of the situation.

BALDWIN: Almost like a -- a mob mentality.

But -- but, Atika, answer me this, because I know we have been talking, and we have seen these pictures where they crashed through the Conservative Party headquarters. But correct me not, it was the Liberal Democrats, you know, led by Nick Clegg, who signed the pledges not to raise the fees if elected.

So, my question is, why are they attacking Conservative Party headquarters?

SHUBERT: Well, I mean, this was basically on the route for the protest. And it's one of the reasons why the protest was organized around here. It went past the prime minister's office, went past the Conservative Party headquarters. So, the point was to make a statement.

But nobody anticipated that it would go -- turn as violent as it did. And you're -- make a good point. The anger wasn't directed just at the Conservative Party. A lot of it was at the Liberal Democrats. They campaigned not to raise tuition fees during the elections, and a lot of the students feel betrayed by that.

So, there is an equal amount of anger directed at the Liberal Democrats, but it just so happens that this is a -- Conservative Party headquarters. It was right on their route, and they simply smashed their way in to make a -- a violent statement.

BALDWIN: They smashed through. They made a violent statement. It looks for now -- looking over your shoulder, it looks pretty clear, so I'm assuming the students are out of there for now.

Really, Atika, final question. Where do we go from here? They have left a lot of destruction in their wake here through the protesting over these proposed tuition hikes. So, when do we know if the proposal actually might go into effect, and what about -- you know, what about the students and what about the government here? How do they respond? SHUBERT: Well, this is the question. How is the government going to respond to this?

I mean, the government has essentially said that it just cannot afford the -- the kind of funding that it had in the past, that it's inevitable that these kind of tuition hikes are going to happen. They slashed university budgets by as much as 40 percent. It's a -- it's a recession. This is a result of it. That's what they say.

But what the students say is that there's -- there's better ways to do that. They understand that these cuts need to be made eventually, but it just can't happen as suddenly and as quickly as it did. That's what they're -- what -- what the students are saying.

Now, how will the government responds to this? We will have to wait and see. Actually, David Cameron, the prime minister, is actually away on a trip to China at the moment, so he's missed all of this excitement from -- from the students back home.


Atika Shubert, I know it's been a long, long day for you. I know it's 9:16 your time at night. I really appreciate you sticking around and showing us the scene here in the evening. Atika, thanks.

BALDWIN: Wouldn't it be nice if you have and, you know, your favorite co-worker suddenly got a 10 percent raise? Yes, I'm thinking that's kind of nice. Well, this is actually happening at a mega-mega- company. Wait until you hear why executives said, sure, take the raise. That's ahead.

Plus, you know this race, Miller vs. Murkowski. This is the Senate race still going, hanging in the balance. Now election officials are starting the counting process, the counting for the write-in ballots. Could a winner be declared soon? Shannon Travis standing by in Alaska. We will check in with Shannon next.


BALDWIN: Hey. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM.

You know things are finally coming to a climax in Alaska in that Senate race that still, still has not been decided. Just a couple of hours ago, they began the big process, counting those write-in votes in the race between two Republicans. Here they are.

You have write-in Republican Lisa Murkowski there on your left, who happens to be the incumbent there, and Tea Party Republican Joe Miller. Now, Miller has a big beef with how the counting is being conducted. And he has just filed suit in federal court.

CNN political producer Shannon Travis live for us now in Juneau.

And, Shannon, help me out here. Is the Tea Party movement's Joe Miller asking the feds to tell his state of Alaska how it can and cannot count votes? Am I hearing that right? SHANNON TRAVIS, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: Not exactly.

I mean, he's launched this lawsuit. Let's just kind of set this up here. You explained a lot of the background. And let's explain exactly what's going on in this room behind me. Behind me, you have election workers pretty much counting about 83,000 write-in bids. Some might say Lisa Murkowski. Some might say someone else. Some might actually try and spell out Murkowski, but be misspelled.

These are the guidelines right here that the Alaska Division of Election has set up that basically governs how those votes will be evaluated. One of the top things here, it says the ballots will be initially sorted and the voter's intent will be evaluated.

So, that basically means if someone write -- writes -- wrote on the ballot, they filled in the oval and they wrote on the battle "Lisa Makowski," say, misspelled her name, or said "Lisa M.," these people will evaluate whether the voter intended to vote for Lisa Murkowski, the senator, the incumbent senator.

This right here is the lawsuit from her opponent, Joe Miller, saying, no way, saying basically that Alaska law does not allow for voter intent to be evaluated, that it must be spelled correctly, and that the person on the candidate certificate form must also be actually on the ballot.

These two things, they have to reconcile. As you mentioned earlier, Joe Miller has -- has got this lawsuit, basically saying, hey, we want -- we want an injunction against this. We don't want voter intent to be evaluated.


TRAVIS: He says that it's unconstitutional.

BALDWIN: So, he's saying --

TRAVIS: So, that is what is going on right here -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: He's saying it's unconstitutional. He's saying no way, filing suit in federal court.

What about Lisa Murkowski?

TRAVIS: That's right.

BALDWIN: What are you hearing from her side? And how do they feel about how they have done in the race?

TRAVIS: Well, understand that going on right behind me, you have a representative from both camps evaluating how the votes are -- the write-in ballots are being weighed.


TRAVIS: Murkowski's campaign issued a statement basically saying that Miller's campaign wants to disenfranchise votes. So, this is going to be a rough battle.

They're expecting possibly for this thing to be decided by Friday, for all the votes to be counted, but it will be unofficial, and there will likely be lots of legal challenges -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: So, I think you just answered my next question, which was, you know, when may we have a final count? So we're saying maybe, big maybe, italicized, end of the week. And in terms of a winner -- or, I should say, really a loser going away quietly, probably not so much.

TRAVIS: Yes. I mean, we may -- and stress -- I like that you stressed the word -- maybe have a final count on Friday.

In terms of when a -- a winner will be officially declared, it's really up to how many legal challenges both sides might actually mount.

BALDWIN: Shannon Travis, enjoy your time in Juneau. And we will be seeing a -- seeing you later this week. That is for sure. Shannon, thank you.

We know that a teenager -- here he was -- beaten to death at a Georgia house party just over this weekend just because he walked by a group of guys at the wrong time. Here's what we don't know, is what led up to that attack and really who was the ringleader, who was responsible.

Coming up next, the men accused of this awful crime, they are speaking out from jail for the first time.

Stay there.


BALDWIN: New details here in that stomping death of a Georgia teenager. Eighteen-year-old Bobby Tillman, he was killed early Sunday morning in what started off as just a small house party for just a few teenagers.

So, suddenly, though, it grew out of control, when dozens of kids showed up. So, three of the suspects now charged with Tillman's murder are now talking on camera. In fact, one young man tells a very different version of what happened than what we're hearing from police.

They say dozens of witnesses told them Tillman didn't do anything to provoke that attack. He was just jumped at random when he walked past a fight.

But I want you to listen extra carefully -- I'm giving you a heads-up here -- to what suspect Emanuel Boykins says in these jailhouse interviews. Listen to this piece.

This is Mark Winne from our affiliate WSB in Atlanta.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't (INAUDIBLE) and kill him, even if you didn't really mean in your heart?



FRANKLIN: No, I did not. I did not hit Bobby Tillman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. You made one mistake.

HORACE COLEMAN, SUSPECT: Going to that party, not listening to my mom.

EMANUEL BOYKINS, SUSPECT: It's bigger than me, you know what I'm saying? Like, I have got younger brothers and younger siblings. And I wouldn't want nobody to hurt them just for looking at them.

MARK WINNE, WSB REPORTER: Emanuel Boykins maintains he's innocent of Bobby Tillman's murder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a murderer?

BOYKINS: No, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you help kill him?

FRANKLIN: No, sir, not at all.

COLEMAN: I'm saying I'm innocent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're saying you're innocent?


WINNE: But Boykins says Bobby Tillman, he knows firsthand, was an innocent victim.

BOYKINS: Very innocent, standing off to the side, minding his own business.

COLEMAN: I don't even think he's the type of guy to just even try to just come at somebody and start something with him.

BOYKINS: Bobby looked at me, and I was just like, what you looking at? It was like, nothing. What you looking at?

WINNE: Boykins told us Bobby Tillman died because he looked at somebody the wrong way.

BOYKINS: A friend of mine came and he said, well, we got a problem. And I told him, no. You know what I'm saying? (INAUDIBLE) He didn't talk about nothing.

He ran across the street or whatever. And he punched him. And he fell on top of the car. So, while I was trying to pull my friend off of him, you know what I'm saying, more people came in and jumped in. I don't know who those people was.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any idea why?

BOYKINS: No, I really don't.

WINNE: Quantez Mallory says he's innocent, but he indicated he did not wish to interview on camera.

COLEMAN: Sends my condolences out to Bobby's family.


BALDWIN: Again, that was Mark Winne reporting from our affiliate WSB.

So, you listened. If Boykin's story hold, a young man, an 18- year-old young man, his mother's best friend, is dead because of a look -- a look on his face that was perceived as disrespect.

Speaking of the mother, I spoke with Bobby Tillman's mother right here just yesterday. And her message to parents is this: It is time to step up, intervene, time to stop the rage that can make young men and young women spiral out of control.


MONIQUE RIVARDE, MOTHER OF BOBBY TILLMAN: My son died from bullying. If we can stop it before it gets there and help these children -- it was rage. It was jealousy. It was pride. All these things in these boys to make them want to stomp my son and kill him? That's outrageous.

How can someone have so much of that inside of them, especially someone that is not even 21 yet? So they have lived only that long and have that -- so much of that built up that they had to stomp my child.

It has to be stopped. It's before, not once they're caught, because we can put everyone in jail, but before. You know what I mean?


BALDWIN: She was good enough to speak with me two days after she lost her son. Talk about a strong woman. That was Monique Rivarde. She has set up a Bobby Tillman memorial fund to fight bullying and abuse.

She will bury her son this Saturday. So, this is the life for the stranded cruise passengers, no air conditioning, minimal electric power. Sounds like paradise, right? No.

Let's not even talk about the toilet situation. But, hey, at least they got Spam. Not talking about your e-mail spam. I'm talking Spam, like, what is that, fried ham? More on efforts to help those passengers, that is next.

Also, a woman fired after trashing her boss on Facebook? She's getting a little help from a federal watchdog group. But don't go updating your page with workplace complaints just yet. Hold on. We'll explain in "Trending."


BALDWIN: I got a couple other stories that are unfolding right now. Here's the latest on that crippled cruise ship off the coast of Mexico. Three tugboats are helping tow carnival's "Splendor." It's expected to arrive they hope in San Diego tomorrow. The U.S. Navy dropping off food and supplies to the more than 4,500 people on board that thing.

The ship lost power after a fire in the engine room Monday. And definitely stick around. I actually got a passenger on the phone on his cell phone from that cruise ship. That is coming up.

Meantime, police in Florida in a massive lockdown of an entire school system. Here's what we know -- a woman calls up a radio station, warns that her husband planned to shoot up a school. Police say they then got an e-mail warning. Here's what it said, quote, "Something big will happen at a government building," end quote.

So that sparked a massive full-scale lockdown across a huge area. Listen to this -- 250,000 students go to that -- go to schools in that particular county. There are more than 230 schools in centers. But now the lockdown over, the threat is, quote, "diminished." Police say they are still investigating, but kids are being let out at normal times.

President Obama in South Korea right now for the G-20 summit. He is expected to catch some flak. You see several economic superpowers at that summit aren't exactly pleased with the Fed pumping $600 billion into the U.S. economy. Earlier on his trip to Indonesia the president renewed his promise to improve U.S. relations with Muslims all around the world.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I've made it clear that America is not and never will be at war with Islam. Instead, all of us must work together to defeat Al Qaeda and its affiliates. We have no claim to be leaders of any religion.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BALDWIN: The president had to cut his trip short Indonesia. We told you all about the Mount Merapi spewing ash, threatening to o ground air force one, so he got out of there a little earlier.

Also just in, Attorney General Eric Holder says the Obama administration is close to making a decision about where to hold the terror trials for the 9/11 suspects. So that includes the alleged mastermind here. Remember Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? Critics blasted the administration for at one point considering holding those trials in New York City. Of course as soon as we get that information we will pass it right along to you.

And there is some breaking news out of Washington state. The state liquor board just announcing it is banning these alcoholic energy drinks. You're looking at the big can that's called Four Loco. The ban comes after several college students went to the hospital last month. They apparently had been drinking Four Loco at this off campus party. Some nicknamed this thing "blackout in a can." The ban goes into effect next week.

All right, ladies, listen up. The government recently rejected a drug designed to help boost your sex drive. Well, scientists, they're not giving up. They may have found someone with the answer. Stay tuned.


BALDWIN: OK, for the sake of being equal, you know that for the men there have been a lot of stories already out on this, but ladies, this is for you. If you're suffering from a low sex drive, there may be hope. After the FDA rejected a drug this past summer, scientists are now taking note on what some women in other countries are doing now. They're turning to untested, unproven natural aphrodisiacs.

CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen went all the way for us to Lima, Peru and has a look at one herb and its effect on women.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: When a woman in the United States is having problems with sex, she goes to a doctor or to a therapist. But here in Peru, she goes shopping.

What do we have here that can help a woman who is suffering from sex problems?

CHRIS KILHAM, ETHNO-BOTANIST: We have maca, and this is really the sexual power herb of the Andes.

COHEN (voice-over): Chris Kilham travels the world. He calls himself a medicine hunter. One of the herbs he's found, maca, used by women in Peru to get their sex lives going.

COHEN (on camera): If I took a scoop of this every morning, what would it do to me sexually?

KILHAM: Sexually it might cause Chinese new year's fireworks in your pants.

COHEN (voice-over): Diana grew up in Peru and now lives in the United States. She's been taking maca for a year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It increases your sexual drive. I would say from 30 percent before to good 95 percent.

COHEN (on camera): How high up are we?

KILHAM: Well, I figure right now we're probably at about 10,000, 11,000 feet.

COHEN (voice-over): Maca needs altitude to grow, so Kilham is taking me more than 14,500 feet up into the Andes Mountains to see the aphrodisiac's origins, Peru's maca fields.

COHEN (on camera): There it is.

KILHAM: This is a fresh maca root.

COHEN: Who would think that something so ugly could lead to such pleasure?


COHEN: I mean, really. It's not so beautiful.

COHEN (voice-over): Kilham sells maca as well as other supplements. Some mice studies have found that maca is an aphrodisiac but there's no major human studies. No strong scientific evidence that it works in women. Maca earned $5 million in U.S. sales last year. Supplements like maca don't require approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

Now Chris, I've got to say, some people would say, look, nobody's ever done big studies on maca and women. How do we really know that it works?

KILHAM: People who take it get a sexual effect. Non-Peruvian women eat maca and say, wow, this has made a huge difference in my sex life. And that's what matters to me.


BALDWIN: Elizabeth Cohen with the big story in Peru. I'm going to keep my mouth closed.

Meantime, let's talk wedding. Is a British royal close to popping the question? There are rumblings rumors Prince William and his lovely girlfriend Kate Middleton could announce they're walking down the aisle. We'll be getting the scoop from royal watcher Katie Nicole. That is coming up in our next hour. Don't miss that.

And which company could be giving employees a whopping 10 percent raise? We'll tell you why executives are doing this. It's "Trending" and it's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Before we talk about what's trending today, a lot of you right now have been talking to me and tweeting me about those pictures we showed you that live report out of London all those students, thousands of students protesting proposed tripling the tuition.

So I want to go to the twitter board and show you just a couple of tweets. As always thank you so much for sending them in. First Matt tweets me "Media will obsess about the greed of drug or finance companies but completely ignore the greed of college faculty and staff."

Liz tweets, "Sad that the student protests in London against cuts resulted in violence." They did indeed. Matthew Johnson, "Violence will not get you guys anywhere, idiots. If you want education at least show you're worthy of it."

And one final tweet we want to share from the Ruby kid. "What's worse, a few broken windows at Milbank. or working class kids being priced out of education?" Guys, thank you all so much for your tweets.

And now as promised, it is trending time. And people are talking about a Connecticut company that fired an employee after she posted some critical comments about her boss on Facebook.

Plus, Tom Hanks and his soggy appearance. Hysterical if you saw it. We're talking Conan last night.

And it's this time of year to start giving and giving. That's exactly what Google has done. What did they give? Sandra Endo. I have been to Mountain View. That is been an incredible campus at Google. And not all kinds of cool stuff out there. They're getting more money.

SANDRA ENDO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Early Christmas it seems, Brooke. It's definitely trending today, a surprise for employees at Google. And 23,000 employees worldwide get a 10 percent raise starting at the beginning of next year. And they also get $1,000 tax free Christmas bonus and merit increases as well.

And Google says it's an effort to lure and keep top talent and boost morale. Get this, 10 percent of Facebook employees are all Google veterans. And other Silicon Valley companies aggressively poach from the search engine giant. And Google's total cost for this for next year will be $400 million, but a lot of happy employees.

BALDWIN: They do. They just kind of say come in to work whenever you want, leave whenever you want. These are some smart people over there. There they get their raise.

Also today you mentioned Facebook. And one woman did a little something that was a no-no with regard to her boss. ENDO: Oh, yes, this is also trending today, a case that could set a precedent when it comes to the use of social media. Dawn Marie Sosa alleges her employer, American Medical Response, fired her last year because she wrote unflattering things about her supervisor on her Facebook page.

Her company says she was fired for multiple serious complaints about her behavior, not because of her social networking activities. But then the National Labor Relations board is for the first time issuing a complaint and getting involved. It issued a complaint against AMR for what it calls illegally firing Sosa and denying her union representation during an investigatory review.

Now, the labor relations board argues that workers' criticism of their bosses on social networking sites like Facebook is generally a, quote, "protected concerted activity." And a lawyer for AMR insists the firing was because of Sosa's, quote, "rude and discourteous behavior with patients."

So two sides of the story there of course and a labor board hearing is set for January about the case. And when contacted by CNN, Brooke, Sosa declined comment. But she is seeking full reinstatement to her job.

BALDWIN: Got it. So they're saying it's not what she was posting on her Facebook. It's how she was behaving.

And finally, this is hilarious. I'm a huge Tom Hanks fan. This was a little something you don't get to see very often.

ENDO: Yes, it was funny last night. Conan O'Brien's buddy, actor Tom Hanks, he was on the show admiring the ocean backdrop on his set when he was joking about watching out for breached whales. Take a look at what happened.


TOM HANKS, ACTOR: No, they're not breaching. They are lunging. If they were to breach, actually 40 percent of them would come out of the water.


BALDWIN: Oh, and there it goes.

ENDO: All right, a big splash, and a big splash for the audience too. A lot of people liked that. I'm sure they're tweeting you about that, and the reaction has been pretty funny today.

Conan credits Hanks obviously for giving him the name Coco. It's a nickname that stuck over time. And of course we know the new show debuted Monday to good ratings of more than 4 million viewers.

BALDWIN: So it was Tom Hanks who came up with the Coco name and that's what stuck? ENDO: Yes. They're good friends. They're buddies, so he can take a joke.

BALDWIN: I like that. He seemed like a very good sport. Sandra Endo, thank you.

Take a look at what a surveillance camera caught. A deer in a bar? Maybe he was thirsty. More video. You've got to see this, next.


BALDWIN: OK, stop me if you heard this one before. A deer walks into a bar. No, really, a deer walks into a bar. We have got the video. Take a look. You've got to see this.

In Ohio, a deer, bam, bursts through the front window of Luke's Bar and Grill. Surveillance cameras obviously caught the whole thing in action. This deer in the headlights could not keep his footing, smashing into tables and chairs.

Apparently he wasn't the only one scared. Get a load of the guy, there is a guy back right, two guys, getting out of there, running for his life. Hey, I probably would have as well. There he goes.

Next, Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania two guys thought they had the perfect bank robbery plan, get in, grab the loot, get out. It was almost perfect until the dye packs in the money bags exploded. Cameras were rolling as they made their getaway trailing red smoke and all at large now, wishing they had gotten the green. See the smoke? There we go.

Vancouver, British Columbia, the Good Samaritan in a wheelchair wasting no time using his best wrestling moves to defend his female clerk from being attacked. Around and around they go.

The male customer in front of him got so aggressive when he tried to pay the cashier with a counterfeit $50 bill, she wasn't going for it, customers started attacking the clerk. Needless to say, no way to treat a lady. Her hero with the help some of bystanders put the unruly man in a choke hold until police arrived.

Next, an iReport, listen to this --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Little girl. Hey, sweetie. Good morning. Good morning.


BALDWIN: Was that the deer that was in the bar? I don't know. The iReport comes to us from oak ridge, North Carolina. You got to see this. You see the deer, it walked into the house. Oh, my goodness, she's feeding it. Apparently this is back in April. This woman named Amy here found this abandoned baby deer in her yard. She helped care for it until the deer was big enough to be released. But here's the hitch -- this deer, I guess he just had so much good milk and tender loving care he didn't want to go away. Likes to be bottle fed. Amy says she will continue to feed the little girl until she stops coming by. How endearing.

It is a gripping mystery. Not even the Pentagon can give us answers. Look at this picture. We talked about this yesterday. What is that? What flew through the sky near the California coastline? Was it a missile, was it a plane, or one big cover-up? We're digging. That is ahead.

Also, look at who is standing by. Oh, it is the man who didn't have a voice for forever, Mark Preston. Can we get a hello?


BALDWIN: You sound better. Mark and Paul Steinhauser with breaking news from the world of politics. We have your CNN Political Ticker. That is next.


BALDWIN: All right, as you know, "CNN = Politics." Time to get a check of the latest political news coming into our CNN Political Ticker. Let's check in with Mark Preston, Paul Steinhauser. Both of you, good to see you. Mark Preston, if I may, it is nice to hear your voice. I heard you lost it on Election Day. So on Super bowl day, you lose it. You feeling better?

PRESTON: I feel a little better. I think my children, Brooke, were very happy I lost my voice because it was gone for about a week. So they got away with a lot. My poor wife had to do all the disciplining.

BALDWIN: The wife.

All right, so voice aside, let's talk politics, gentlemen. What do you have?

PRESTON: Let's talk about what is said behind closed door and what exactly is true and what's not true. In President Bush's new book "Decision Points" he says he was given the personal assurance by the former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that he would back him if he decided to invade Iraq.

Well, of course, Gerhard Schroeder came out and publicly denounced the invasion of Iraq a few months after this meeting supposedly took place. In fact, Mr. Bush kind of lays it out in his book that he had gotten this assurance.

Well, Mr. Schroeder has told "Der Spiegel" in an interview that the former American president is not telling the truth. So, clearly, somebody is telling the truth and somebody is not telling the truth. Maybe there was a little misconstruing of what exactly was said, but we're still litigating the Iraq war even to this day.

Let's focus a little bit in on Congress. John Boehner, he'll be the incoming House speaker, we much expect him to be. But who really knows him? Four in ten Americans don't even know him, they don't know enough about him to form an opinion.

As our viewers know, if you look back at the midterm elections, Americans had an opinion of Nancy Pelosi, a very low opinion of Nancy Pelosi and some people think that helped lead to this historic 60-seat loss in the House of Representatives.

So John Boehner has a favorable ability rating of 34 percent and unfavorable of 26 percent. So this is a new Gallup poll. There is a lot of room for John Boehner to get a lot of fans or perhaps to get a lot of enemies. And Paul is going to talk a little bit more about this Gallup poll.

PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes, this poll has some interesting numbers, Brooke, about the Democrats and Republicans. We know the lame duck Congress is coming back next week. The big topic, the big discussion, extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Democrats and Republican don't see eye to eye. Check these numbers out. Mark was talking about that Gallup poll. Gallup asked "What is more important, for politicians to stick to their beliefs or compromise?"

Check this out. Republicans and Democrats don't see eye to eye. Six out of ten Democrats say it is more important to compromise, only less than one in five say stick to your beliefs. But a very different view by Republicans. Four in ten say stick to your beliefs, or 32 percent say compromise. So it seems Republicans and Democrats don't agree on agreeing, Brooke.

BALDWIN: There we go. Mark and Paul, guys, both of you, big thank you. We will get another Political Ticker update for you in 30 minutes. You can always get the latest political news. They're always working very, very hard to update it, go to