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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
Demonstrations in Egypt; Natural Gas Line Explosion in Massachusetts; Was Arafat Murdered?; Chances for Israel-Hamas Peace Continuing; A Stove That Makes Electricity; A Look Back At Larry Hagman's Acting Career; Thirty-Eight Days Until Fiscal Cliff; Hitting the Stores on 'Gray Thursday'; Holiday Travel for Parents
Aired November 24, 2012 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell, 8:00 on the East Coast, 5:00 out West. Thanks for starting your day with us.
We're starting with some sad news from the entertainment world. As we've been following this morning, the death of Larry Hagman. His family says at 81 years old, he died of complications from cancer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY HAGMAN, ACTOR: You have dishonored my daddy's name and everything he stood for. Maybe you and Bobby can live with this, but I can't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: That's the character he's best known for, the JR Ewing character from "Dallas," one of the best known TV characters of the last 30 years really. "Dallas" was a long running hit in the '70s and '80s.
You may also remember him as Major Tony Nelson from "I Dream of Jeannie." And his Jeannie co-star, Barbara Eden posted this on her Facebook page, "I had the pleasure of watching the Texas tornado that was Larry Hagman. Can I honestly say that we've lot not just a great actor, not just a television icon, but an element of pure Americana."
And we'll have much more on the life and career of Larry Hagman later in the hour.
KAYE: Shifting gears now, Black Friday has come and gone, but the nation's retailers hope the effects will be long lasting. Shoppers sprinted into stores across the country all in search of holiday bargains. Retailers can rack up 40 percent of annual sales during the November and December shopping period.
And if you didn't find what you wanted, you might want to check out some of your local area stores today during small business Saturday. The initiative founded two years ago by American Express aims to steer some of those big bucks to the smaller stores. And while Walmart says it was the best Black Friday in store history, the day wasn't without controversy. From California to Kentucky, protesters rallied against what they say is Walmart's retaliation against workers who speak out about issues like pay and health care. Walmart has denied those claims and says it only knew of, quote, a few dozen demonstrations.
BLACKWELL: Moving overseas now, actually we'll get to that in a moment. We'll stay here for a gas leak blamed for an explosion at a strip club. This is in Springfield, Massachusetts. Look at it here. You can see in the center of your screen, this blast leveled the club, damaged 25 other buildings in that neighborhood. Eighteen people hurt, no one killed, fortunately. Our affiliate WGGB says people felt the explosion four miles away. A city official says some of those damaged buildings will be demolished today.
And now to Egypt. Demonstrators there have taken to the streets in Cairo to protest against President Mohamed Morsi. Morsi expanded his powers this week and that means no one can challenge his decisions. They can't be overturned. That's led to anger among the people and some of the judges.
CNN's Reza Sayah is in Cairo this morning.
REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Things have calmed down considerably in Cairo's Tahrir Square. There are still demonstrators out in Tahrir, especially those who pitched tents to spend the night, but the numbers nowhere near what we saw on Friday, Friday one of the most intense and violent days of demonstrations we've seen since Mr. Morsi, the Egyptian president took office back in June.
More than 140 people injured throughout Egypt, according to the health ministry, in clashes between protesters and police. A little under 40 people injured in Cairo, several with gunshot wounds. Also, more than 200 people arrested, many on charges of thuggery and destroying public property.
Those arrested seem to be younger men who are out looking for trouble, but certainly thousands showed up to express what they call as legitimate and serious concern about Mr. Morsi's decrees that at least for the time being give him sweeping powers without any oversight for the next several months. He says these moves are an effort to move forward the democratic process and to draft a constitution.
His opponents describe it as an un-democratic power grab and now this face-off is taking shape. One of Mr. Morsi's advisers quitting today, the supreme judicial council, the body that represents the top judges, held an emergency meeting today with a statement describing the decrees as an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary. Also a call for a million man protest on Tuesday, critical days ahead for Egypt.
Reza Sayah, CNN, Cairo.
KAYE: Now a real-life mystery that could spike tensions in the Middle East. Was Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat poisoned to death? That's what a trio of international teams is looking to find out. Arafat's body will be exhumed this week on Tuesday eight years after he suddenly died.
CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is following the investigation in Ramallah in the west bank.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The main investigator for the Palestinian authority announced the way that this investigation is going to be happening. So what's going to happen is that this coming Tuesday, the investigators from France, Russia, as well as Switzerland, are going to open Yasser Arafat's grave. They are going to take samples from Yasser Arafat's body and then they are going to shut the grave as well.
All of this is going to have big ceremonial character. There's going to be a religious ceremony when the grave is opened. There's going to be a military ceremony and the same is going to be happening when Yasser Arafat is laid to rest again.
The whole thing, they say, is all going to happen in one day, so it won't take very long, but what the Palestinian authority has left open is how long the actual investigation of the samples is going to take. All of the samples are separately going to be taken to Russia, France and Switzerland, to the labs there to be analyzed and it's unclear how long this analysis is going to take.
However, if it does come to light that Yasser Arafat was indeed poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium that will, of course, cause massive emotional reactions here. And already the investigation is a very emotional one for the investigators and for the Palestinians as the lead investigator said in his press conference
TAWFIQ TIRAWI, HEAD, PALESTINIAN INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE (through translator): The 27th of November will be one of the most difficult days of my life because of many personal, national and symbolic considerations, but I consider it a painful necessity. This is a necessity to reach the truth in the death of President Yasser Arafat.
PLEITGEN: Polonium is of course a radioactive substance that was already used in assassination attempts in the past. If you think back several years to the Alexandra (INAUDIBLE) case, of course, a former Soviet KGB spy who was poisoned with polonium in London where many believe that the Russian Secret Service was behind that. So this is something that is certainly out there.
A separate investigation has already shown on items that belong to Yasser Arafat that there were increased levels of polonium there. Now the Palestinian authority says it is absolutely convinced that Israel is behind the death of Yasser Arafat. Israel denies this and in most cases says it won't even comment on these allegations. However, if it does come to light that Yasser Arafat was indeed poisoned, that will lead to a gigantic investigation to then find out who did it.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Ramallah.
KAYE: We've got much more ahead this hour.
BLACKWELL: Here's a look at what's coming up.
KAYE: So far so good. That cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is holding for now, but there are real fears even the slightest flare-up could kick off chaos.
Plus, there was Black Friday, gray Thursday, up next Cyber Monday. The holidays are here and the retailers are ready.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you drove Cliff to attempt suicide?
HAGMAN: How was I to know he was going to do a dumb thing like that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: And TV's original bad boy. Hollywood reacting this morning to the death of "Dallas" star Larry Hagman.
KAYE: A fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is entering its third full day. Both Israelis and Palestinians are expressing hope that this time the peace will actually last, but the truce has already been tested by a reported fatal shooting of a Palestinian man by Israeli troops near the Gaza border yesterday.
Let's bring in Mark Regev in Jerusalem. He is the spokesman for the Israeli prime minister.
Mark, thank you for joining us and good morning to you. Does the Israeli government --
MARK REGEV, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: My pleasure.
KAYE: -- envision this cease-fire with Hamas being permanent?
REGEV: We hope that this will be long-standing. We have no illusions about Hamas' agenda. They haven't suddenly moderated their positions, but in the framework of the understandings the Hamas movement has promised Egypt to abide by the cease-fire and that gives us a certain amount of confidence.
One way or the other, we hope this quiet for the people of southern Israel will last. After all, they deserve a period of quiet. They have been on the receiving ends of those rockets from Gaza day in and day out for too long now and if they get peace and quiet, if they no longer have to live in fear the incoming rocket coming into Gaza, if they don't have to run to bomb shelters every time they hear a siren, that's a good thing and we're thankful for it.
KAYE: Some Israelis, certainly those who live closer to the Gaza border and have been subjected to those rocket attacks have said that they were disappointed that Israeli did not take a stronger action. Polling in Israel actually showed that 49 percent of Israelis surveyed wanted the government to continue the military operation.
Why did Israel decide to go with the truce at this point?
REGEV: I think we thought that the opportunity that Egypt put on the table, that this halt of hostilities was worth exploring. It was an opportunity that we should explore.
Ultimately, if Hamas breaks its commitments to the Egyptians, if Hamas does reignite violence and start shooting at our people again, we always have the option to act to defend ourselves as any country would if it was attacked. We hope we don't go there, but once again, if Hamas breaks its violation, Israel will respond. We hope they don't. We hope the cease-fire lasts.
KAYE: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel will not hesitate to take strong action in the future, if it's necessary. Could that involve a ground invasion? Is that still on the table?
REGEV: If -- if Hamas breaks its commitments to the Egyptians, if Hamas does escalate the situation again, I think in fairness I'd have to say that all options would be on the table because then we could -- we will say that we've given diplomacy a try and diplomacy didn't work. No government would sit idly by and see its civilian population targeted by terrorists shooting rockets into our cities. No one would stand for that and we won't either.
The biggest challenge I think to this quiet is, of course, Iran. Because Hamas' arsenal of missiles, those weapons that were fired at Israeli cities, has been substantially depleted because of our surgical strikes against their arsenals, against their -- against their military machine and they have very few left. So I don't think they have a lot of motivation to start another round now.
Of course, the government in Iran will do what it can to replenish those supplies and try to rearm Hamas as quickly as possible and therefore, it's very important for us and the United States and hopefully for Egypt to act in a precise way and prevent, prevent Iran from rearming Hamas.
KAYE: Hamas is claiming victory here in getting this truce. How do you see it? Did Hamas score a victory? I mean, even after the truce was announced, there were several rockets that fell on Israel.
REGEV: I think in fairness Hamas will always claim victory, but the truth is, in the eight days of fighting, we hit them hard. We hit their command and control. We hit their missile stocks. We hit their communications. We hit their organization. We hit their military machine and I think there's a certain amount of bravado in Hamas' behavior.
We didn't want this conflict in the first place. We wish we didn't have to defend our people and we hope now that the quiet will prevail and that there will be no need for Israel to act to protect our civilians.
KAYE: But Hamas has always refused to recognize Israel. Israel has always called Hamas an enemy of peace. I certainly wish we knew the answer to this next question. But can Israel and Hamas co-exist peacefully?
REGEV: If Hamas was to moderate its positions, if Hamas was to accept Israel's right to live in peace, if Hamas was to renounce terrorism, if Hamas was to support the peace process, those are the three UN conditions, then, of course, the door would be open for dialogue.
KAYE: How likely is that?
REGEV: Up until now, Hamas has been stuck in a very, very extremist position. You saw they shot rockets at Jerusalem, at Tel Aviv. When there was that terrible bombing on the bus in Tel Aviv a few days ago, they praised that. They say that's justified. There's not a lot of information to suggest that Hamas is in any way moderating its position and so I think we'll have for the time being, we'll have quiet in the south based on Israeli deterrence and based on Egypt's involvement and the promises Hamas made to Egypt to keep the quiet.
KAYE: Mark Regev, thank you so much for talking with us this morning.
So did the Palestinians get what they wanted? In our 10:00 hour, we'll talk with a former Palestinian negotiator about the deal and about existing roadblocks to lasting peace.
BLACKWELL: Remembering one of TV's most iconic stars. Longtime actor Larry Hagman has passed away. We'll look back at his life and career.
BLACKWELL: A new stove captures heat from burning wood and turns it into electricity. What started as an alternative to a camping stove has turned into a powerful solution for developing countries.
Gary Tuchman has more in this week's "Start Small, Think Big."
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you need a reminder about the importance of fire, just go camping. Inventors Jonathan Cedar and Alec Drummondf decided their old camp stoves weren't cutting it.
ALEC DRUMMONDF, BIOLITE: The problem with liquid fuel and I've had this experience, is that they are very finicky.
TUCHMAN: So the two outdoorsmen created the Biolite stove. It captures heat from burning wood and turns it into electricity.
JONATHAN CEDAR, BIOLITE: We connect these two wires, this huge ball of clean flame comes out of the stoves, and that was really the genesis, right? We had clean combustion driven by its own electrical generation.
TUCHMAN: The generated energy can charge electronics through a USB port, but it also powers a fan that pumps oxygen to the flame, making it more efficient and creating less smoke. That clean flame also energized the business when they learned about the damaging effects of smoke.
ETHAN KAY, BIOLITE: Nearly half the worlds cook on smoky open fires which leads to nearly two million deaths annually.
TUCHMAN: The inventors went back to work and created at home stove.
CEDAR: Coming to understand that there was a much broader global need for clean cook stoves was real impetus to try and drive this towards being a business rather than just a project.
TUCHMAN: Prototypes are currently in use across India and Africa. Biolite hopes the same technology that has caught on with campers will catch fire across the world.
BLACKWELL: Good morning, New York, a beautiful shot of a beautiful sky there, just a few clouds. Folks are waking up there, 8:22 on the East Coast, 5:22 out West. Thanks for watching this morning.
KAYE: Actor Larry Hagman has died. His family says the 81-year-old actor was surrounded by family members at the end. They also say he was happy to end his career by resurrecting his favorite character, JR Ewing.
CNN's Colleen McEdwards has more now on Hagman's career and the role that made him a household name.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry Hagman wore many hats in his career. But he's best known for the Stetson that he wore on "Dallas." Despite roles on film and on stage Hagman will always be remembered as the villainous J.R. Ewing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you drove Cliff to attempt suicide?
LARRY HAGMAN, ACTOR: How was I to know he was going to do a dumb thing like that?
MCEDWARDS: When J.R. was shot by an unknown assailant, it became one of the most famous cliffhangers in TV history watched by 300 million people from all around the world. Hagman never expected the show to endure.
HAGMAN: Honey, I just started the show doing six shows. I never thought I would do 300.
MCEDWARDS: In fact, the "Dallas" franchise was so successful, the series was recently reprised. The U.S. network TNT brought it back with a new generation of Ewings, and Hagman came back, too, returning as J.R. once again. Critics say he was the best thing about "Dallas," but explaining the character's appeal Hagman once said the time is right for a real bad guy, and I'm it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have a good day, master.
HAGMAN: Oh, I'm going to have a wonderful day, Jeannie.
MCEDWARDS: It was as a good guy who Larry Hagman blasted into people's living rooms playing astronaut Tony Nelson on "I Dream of Jeannie." The show was a hit in the 1960s and is still popular in syndication. Even as a kid, Hagman orbited in show biz as the son of "Peter Pan" star Mary Martin, his movie roles included "Up in the Cellar" and "Harry and Tonto."
HAGMAN: Now I don't need an office anymore. I'm moving up (ph) now.
MCEDWARDS: It was only after milking a huge contract from the producers of "Dallas" that Hagman became immensely wealthy. He has houses, he had cars, he had vices. Two of them included drinking and smoking. He smoked for 24 years, gave it up and became an anti-smoking activist and spokesman for the American Cancer Society.
HAGMAN: I met at least 30 or 40 people that said they quit because of my personal involvement, which makes me feel really good.
MCEDWARDS: He stopped drinking in 1995 when he was diagnosed with liver cancer and underwent a life-saving transplant.
HAGMAN: If we won in Vietnam, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
How many spots, Jack?
MCEDWARDS: In recent years, Hagman appeared on the big screen in films like "Nixon" and "Primary Colors." But it is his role as the charming and conniving oil man that audiences will never forget.
Colleen McEdwards, CNN, Atlanta.
BLACKWELL: You know, it is getting earlier and earlier. More retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day hoping to cash in on your holiday spending dollars, but this year did it work?
KAYE: Bottom of the hour now. Welcome back, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thanks for starting your morning with us. After Black Friday now I'm getting some comments from people on Twitter starting with breakfast with pound cake on top of it.
KAYE: Oh, my.
BLACKWELL: Kashi and then pound cake. You got to fit in the leftovers somewhere.
KAYE: No way, no way.
BLACKWELL: Here are five stories we are watching this morning.
KAYE: Protests have largely died down in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Protesters were calling for the resignation of President Mohamed Morsi. This week Morsi declared that his word is final. He removed any power from any judges to overturn any decrees he makes. Judges are considering a strike in response to Morsi's expanded powers.
And number two, just 38 days left until we cross over that so-called fiscal cliff a move that would trigger massive spending cuts to government programs and could even send the U.S. into a recession.
Earlier this morning, I asked Morgan Stanley's Smith Barney managing director Ron Hart if there were any benefits to actually going over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON HART, MORGAN STANLEY: Getting our fiscal house in order, is either now or later, right? If we can't spend money at this trajectory forever we have $16 trillion in debt, we have $99 trillion in unfunded liabilities with Medicare and Social Security, so at some point you've either got to do it now or you got do it later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Congress is back in session on Monday and expected to work on a solution.
And in Europe, European Union leaders and two days of divisive budget discussion without a deal. EU leaders are trying to work out a seven year budget deal but are caught between one plan to increase the budget and another to cut it. The European Council says EU leaders should be able to reach a deal early next year.
Number four, take a look at this. Not sure what all of those letters and numbers mean. Well neither do top British spy agencies. It's apparently some sort of World War II code that was found on the skeleton of a carrier pigeon found in a man's chimney in England. This is pretty fascinating stuff. According to the UK intelligence agency about 250,000 pigeons were used during World War II by all branches of the military and the special operations executives.
BLACKWELL: This is like a movie.
KAYE: Yes. It's pretty wild stuff. BLACKWELL: All right, number five. We've got Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now add this to the list. Gray Thursday. I didn't come up with it, but now we have it. That's the new phrase to describe retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day to lure in the holiday shoppers a little sooner.
Let's bring in Stephanie Ruhle, the co-host of Bloomberg TV's "Market Makers." Ok so we've got Black Friday and we have Gray Thursday and Taupe Wednesday and Periwinkle Tuesday. Is all of this --
STEPHANIE RUHLE, ANCHOR, BLOOMBERG TELEVISION: And Cyber Monday.
BLACKWELL: And Cyber Monday. Is all of this working to get people in, I mean, is this any indication of how much people are going to spend?
RUHLE: Well, they are expected to spend over $52 billion this weekend here in the U.S., but it's more than just how much they are spending. This entire holiday shopping weekend bonanza really has become a cultural phenomenon, like those who watch football on Thanksgiving leftovers the day after, so many have turned this into a tradition and so many of these stores have massive markdowns, more markdowns than they've ever had before.
More deals both online and in stores, so they are having to heavily discount, but at the same time they are bringing in record numbers of people and they're also creating a mad enthusiasm, so even if you weren't rushing through the stores, I can tell you I'm glad I wasn't elbowing my way through Wal-Mart. It does create a frenzy and you are thinking about shopping. And last night when you came home you may have been tempted to even go online and see what deals are out there.
BLACKWELL: Yes, I started on Wednesday looking at the deals, but, you know because the --
RUHLE: You can't resist it.
BLACKWELL: Yes and they are some great deals. The socks I bought, I actually got 50 percent off on Friday.
So when we look at the people going into these stores, we also see in these shots all the workers who have to work on Thanksgiving, earlier and earlier. One store I saw opened at 4:00 p.m.
How big of a problem is that?
RUHLE: It's actually not because for many of these workers they are seasonal workers so they are happy to have these jobs. Many get paid time and a half, and in some, again, it's part of this cultural phenomenon that they actually like the experience.
Now, many of the stores, "Wall Street Journal" reported yesterday, and we were doing our number crunching at Bloomberg, some of these deals that you're seeing out there were actually offered at other points in the year by these retailers who are testing some of their items, so it's not like this is a one-time only super deal, but it's really this experience, so if you think about other times a year like back-to- school, the retailers haven't been able to harness a single event, a weekend, when everyone rushes to the stores, but they've done that with the Christmas shopping season and it really seems to be working.
BLACKWELL: Yes we're talking about shopping for Christmas, but right after that, a few days towards the end of the year we're going to hit this fiscal cliff. The question is will we go over it? And we're having this conversation this morning about people spending money for Black Friday and maybe their taxes will go up at the same time. Is this fiscal cliff threat playing any role in what we're seeing as it relates to holiday shopping?
RUHLE: It is and it isn't. 64 percent of the people that were polled by the National Retail Federation said they were going to be affected by the political uncertainty and how they would be shopping this year, but last year people spent about $750 -- excuse me $740 a person during the holiday season. That's expected to go up by $10 this year to $750 so even though they are saying they are concerned about the fiscal cliff, they are definitely worried about their finances, their taxes, the economic climate, people do seem to have holiday fever, and they're out there shopping.
And when you think about what are they shopping for this year? It's a lot of big-ticket items. They are calling it the year of the toy which typical. You've got Barbies and you've got Legos and you've got Furbys.
RUHLE: But guess what else is at the top of that list, Apple products, iPhones, iPads, mini iPads. Those are very expensive items, and they are not being discounted because companies like Apple don't have to.
RUHLE: So even though people are definitely concerned about the cliff, they've got the Christmas fever.
BLACKWELL: Well, we know the best thing about shopping from home on Cyber Monday, no concerns about parking. Stephanie Ruhle of Bloomberg TV --
RUHLE: No concerns about parking.
BLACKWELL: "Market Makers" thank you for speaking with us.
RUHLE: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: And the Middle East came close to a ground war. We lost a few icons, and a shakeup on "Sesame Street". A look back at the week that was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: From rapid fire to ceasefire; from a presidential first to a pop star making his fame last; and saying good bye to an icon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ooh it's so good.
BLACKWELL: A look back now at this week that was.
After eight days of blasts and a relentless barrage of missiles, a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a delicate agreement that required diplomats from all over the world, including President Obama who was in Asia this week.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But there's no excuse for violence against innocent people.
BLACKWELL: The President doing what no other has done before, visiting Myanmar, also known as Burma -- a country with a long history of violence and repression.
OBAMA: But for the sake of our common humanity and for the sake of this country's future, it's necessary to stop incitement and stop violence.
BLACKWELL: Back here at home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sophie's world
BLACKWELL: Elmo fans flinched at news the man behind the character's voice was tangled in a sex scandal involving a teenage boy. Kevin Clash and Sesame Workshop both issued statements say they parting ways.
And a few other legends say goodbye this week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ooh it's so good.
BLACKWELL: Art Ginsburg the iconic Mr. Food lost his battle with cancer.
And iconic food brand Hostess closed its doors. Last ditch efforts to save the company failed this week. No more Twinkies, no more Ho-hos, no more Snow-balls unless another company buys them.
But there will be lots of Psy in the future. The Gangnam Style phenom got folks on their feet at the American Music Award alongside MC Hammer.
And from MC to the VP.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no Ira says I come over there and smack that dumb look off your face.
BLACKWELL: No not that one, this one.
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you vote early, you don't have to pay taxes. I'm sorry. I'm being told that's not accurate.
BLACKWELL: Joe Biden turned the big 7-0, and that's the week that was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Forty-one minutes past the hour now.
He's the charismatic former congressman from Chicago who voters had just re-elected to a tenth term despite being absent most of the year and facing legal and health troubles.
Jesse Jackson Jr., son of civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson, announced his resignation this week citing, quote, "several serious health issues", but Jackson is also the subject of FBI and House ethics investigations.
So let's bring in CNN legal contributor Paul Callan to talk a little bit more about this. Paul good morning.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning, Randi.
KAYE: So the FBI is investigating Jackson for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal use, but he hasn't been charged with any crimes. What's he facing, and what are the consequences here?
CALLAN: Well, you know, there are two aspects to this investigation and we don't know a lot about it, because there really haven't been public announcements made by the Justice Department or the FBI, but one is personal use of campaign funds. There's a claim that he -- his funds were used to transport a mistress apparently back and forth from Washington, D.C. to Chicago at some point in time.
There's a second aspect of the case though that I was looking at and I think might be more important. It's a link to Governor Blagojevich. Remember Blagojevich --
KAYE: Oh yes.
CALLAN: -- was sent to prison for trying essentially to buy Senator Obama's Senate seat when he was -- when he was elected President and Jackson is sort of tied into some of the claims in this case. I don't know whether there's any merit to it or not, but there's a fundraiser who is linked to Jesse Jackson Jr., and that may be under investigation as well.
KAYE: In addition to the FBI though, Jackson's also facing this House ethics investigate on allegations that he or one of his associates had offered that money, to raise the money for the Blagojevich case. Do you see that going anywhere? I mean, look what happened to Blagojevich in that.
CALLAN: Well, you know, Blagojevich, of course, they tried him twice. They convicted him the second time. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison, so it's a very, very serious offense, and the claim that the house ethics committee is investigating and maybe the FBI is involved with is one of Blagojevich's fundraisers was linked to the Jackson family and basically said we're going to raise a lot of money for you and if we do, we want the Senate seat. We want Jackson appointed to the Senate seat.
Now if that happens, it's an ethics violation and it's quite possibly a violation of criminal law as well.
I want to turn to another case potentially affecting a whole lot of people in the workplace. The Supreme Court on Monday is expected to determine workplace harassment rules and it seems to hinge really on the definition of just this one word, supervisor. What is this all about?
CALLAN: Well you know, this is surprisingly important. It sounds like some boring lawyer thing, you know, what's a supervisor, but here's how it plays out. If you are discriminated against or sexually harassed by a supervisor, the employer is automatically responsible. You've got a case, and you have a big pocket because it's going to be the company that you can sue.
If the harassment though comes from a fellow worker, not a supervisor, you have a much harder lawsuit. You have to prove the employer knew about it and he was negligent in not curing the condition.
Now, how that plays out for ordinary people is, for instance, let's say at the office Christmas Party, which is coming up, somebody gets drunk and sexually harasses you at the office Christmas Party. If that person is a supervisor you can sue the company. If he's a fellow worker, no lawsuit, so it makes a big difference to liabilities for companies, and the federal courts have differing definitions of this, who is a supervisor.
Some of the circuits make it very hard. It's got to be somebody who can fire you. Other circuits say, no, if it's just somebody who kind of has a little bit of supervisory responsibility, he fits that definition so the Supreme Court is going to straighten it out.
KAYE: So bottom line though, could we see some changes then in the workplace?
Well, I don't know if you'll see changes in the workplace because there's a lot of paranoia in the workplace now anyway because of this Title VII law. You wouldn't believe the number of lawsuits there are out there -- huge numbers.
I think if the court finds that a supervisor can in fact be a fellow worker, you're going to see an increase in lawsuits, and you'll also see employers being a lot more careful about supervising and having programs to make sure nobody gets harassed or discriminated against in the work place.
KAYE: Yes, no question about that. Paul Callan, nice to see you, thank you.
CALLAN: Nice seeing you, Randi. And be careful at the office Christmas party.
KAYE: I don't think I have to worry about that one here. Thanks though.
CALLAN: All right. Take care.
KAYE: Wow. That stuff doesn't go on here. Anyway, moving on -- moving on. That Callan, you never know what he's going to say.
BLACKWELL: Yes, you have no idea what's coming next.
KAYE: He's just a wild guy.
BLACKWELL: Road trips with the kids can be long and boring, but now there are some amazing new applications created for the road-weary. We'll show you an easy way to find them.
BLACKWELL: About 43 million Americans are on the road this holiday weekend, and for parents trying to keep the kids entertained while they travel, that could be a huge challenge. So what do you do when DVDs are not enough? You turn to the apps, of course. Nine-year-old Jane Fraunfelder and her father Mark, they host a podcast called Boing-Boing and they told me how they came up with this idea.
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MARK FRAUNFELDER, BOING-BOING: Well, Jane and I have been playing iPhone apps ever since the iPhone came out and we really had fun playing different games and our neighbors and friends started asking us about game recommendations and they did it so much that we thought we might as well kind of have it for a larger audience and so we put together this podcast called Apps for Kids we run on our Web site Boing-Boing.
JANE FRAUNFELDER, BOING-BOING: We also realized that a lot of good apps weren't being recognized so that was another reason.
BLACKWELL: And you Jane, actually get to play with these apps and determine how long you would be interested. How do you come up with the recommendations, and where do you get the suggestions?
J. FRAUNFELDER: Well, we come up with the recommendations. My dad sort of just gets a lot of apps and then we check them all out and find the best one. And also a lot of people that watch Apps for Kids, they are like game designers. They send us games and they're like, "Hey, can you review our games on Apps for Kids? And stuff like that.
BLACKWELL: I'm sure you're very popular this time of the year when there are a lot of these long drives to grandmother's house. Tell me, what are the favorites? Can you show us a few that you really like? M. FRAUNFELDER: Yes, sure. We were playing one in the green room earlier today. I don't know if you can see this very well, but it's called "Robot wants Kitty", and it -- it's a game where you have this robot who is kind of walking around this maze, and he's got to get through and find a little kitty and has to go through all sorts of different traps and secret doors and use different kinds of special skills to do it. The cool thing about it though is that kids can -- can program their own mazes and create game levels for it, and so Jane is really good at creating levels, and then she challenges me to try to solve them.
BLACKWELL: I know there are a lot of people watching this and they remember just singing in the car for hours and coming up with word games. We're past that now. Gone are the days of just making up games without electronics. So are we all now on the iPad with our families?
M. FRAUNFELDER: Well, no, not really. I think that it's good to have a balance, and even, you know, when kids have an iPad in the car they will eventually burn out, and it is fun to just sing in the car or talk about things that you see out the window or talk about things that have happened at school so we definitely as a family try to limit the amount of screen time kids get at home and in the car. I think that's really an important thing to keep in mind.
J. FRAUNFELDER: Yes. We usually get one or two hours each day.
BLACKWELL: One or two hours each day.
J. FRAUNFELDER: On long road trips I usually get --
BLACKWELL: Do you think that might be too much?
J. FRAUNFELDER: I think that it's just about a balanced amount. Like on weekdays I get one hour, and on weekends I get two.
BLACKWELL: I'm sure you've helped a lot of parents who are looking for something to give the kids something to do on that long drive. Mark and Jane Fraunfelder, thank you.
M. FRAUNFELDER: Thanks a lot.
J. FRAUNFELDER: Thanks.
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KAYE: If you missed it, the late night talk shows were all abuzz with turkey day, Black Friday and politics. We'll show you the funniest moments.
But first, when traveling to other cities and countries, the best way to get a real taste of the place is through the local food. CNN iReport has teamed up with "Travel & Leisure" magazine to create a global list of "100 Places to Eat Like a Local".
Here's David Mattingly.
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DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David Mattingly in Manchester, New Hampshire. When I want to eat like a local I go to Puritan. The menu is good for a little light reading. There's something here for just about everybody. But when people talk about this place, more often than not they will talk about the boneless breast of chicken with the special sauce. That's supposed to be what makes it really different. Also, the fried chicken tenders.
This is co-owner Chuck Stergiou. Tell me what's so special about these. What makes them world famous?
CHUCK STERGIOU, CO-OWNER, PURITAN: Supposedly the chicken tenders were invented right here at the Puritan Back room way back when -- back in the early '70s. One of the previous owners, my partner's father, was dealing with a poultry company and they had these -- he called them one day and he said he had scraps left over, wanted to know if we want to do anything with them.
So the chicken tenders, believe it or not, were actually invented right here at the Puritan Backroom way back in the early 1970s. We have perfected the marinating, the frying, the batter, the oil. Everything we've done has been people come worldwide for our famous chicken tenders.
MATTINGLY: When you say chicken tenders, you're talking about different kinds of chicken tenders here.
STERGIOU: We're talking about our original chicken tenders. We now have spicy chicken tenders. We have coconut tenders, and we have buffalo tenders.
MATTINGLY: As if anybody would still have an appetite after they ate all this, what makes the mud slide special?
STERGIOU: There's no ice cream in it. Even though we make our own ice cream here it's strictly alcohol; it's Kahlua, Bailey's and Vodka with ice.
MATTINGLY: And how many different types do you have?
STERGIOU: We have probably about 15 different types of mud slides.
MATTINGLY: So there it is. To eat like a local in Manchester, New Hampshire go to Puritan Backroom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAYE: Welcome back. It's time now for some of the best late night laughs of the week.
BLACKWELL: Yes. In case you missed it while you were stuffing yourself with stuffing, here's Jay Leno's take on Thanksgiving and politics.
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JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: You know, it's interesting; they celebrated Thanksgiving a little differently at the White House this year. What they did was President Obama went out to a farm, picked out the turkey he wanted and then they sent in SEAL Team six to take it out.
Hey, did you see John Boehner, how they killed their turkey? They pushed him off the fiscal cliff. The turkey broke his neck --
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BLACKWELL: Hostess brands may be going under which means the likely end to those iconic snacks most people love, the Twinkies, the Ho-Hos.
KAYE: So, of course, David Letterman had something to say about it.
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DAVID LATER, TALK SHOW HOST: When I was a kid, my mom used to give me the Twinkies, and I would get them for lunch. She would put them in my lunch pail, and they were so delicious because back then they used actual organic ingredients. And they were so tasty, and I remember every single bite of those delicious Twinkies. And then years later I remembered every single minute of my open heart surgery.
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BLACKWELL: Next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING starts now.