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Protesters Camp in Tahrir Square; Fiscal Cliff Talks to Resume; No Powerball Jackpot Winners; Iran's Mideast Shadow; Israeli Drones Still over Gaza; Cairo Protests Up; Powerball Jackpot Hits $400 Million
Aired November 25, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Martin Savidge in for Don Lemon; very nice to be with you.
I want to show you these live pictures now. Cairo, Egypt, Tahrir Square and thousands of people are refusing to go home. They are angry at their president. They say he's made himself a dictator.
It's quiet now in Cairo. It's just after 2:00 a.m., but it definitely was not quiet earlier in the day. Listen.
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(PROTESTS IN CAIRO, EGYPT)
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SAVIDGE: Tear gas filled the air and crowds of protesters scattered when riot police tried to break up the protests in Cairo. We have reports of demonstrators trying to break into the offices of the president's party, the Muslim Brotherhood. And at least one person reportedly died today in the street violence, a teenager.
CNN's Reza Sayah spent much of the day right in the middle of the chaos in Cairo.
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REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And we keep seeing these clashes between protesters and police; protesters throwing rocks at police, police responding by firing tear gas and stun grenades. We're just a few blocks away from Tahrir Square. We should point out most of these protesters are young men, 20-something, teenagers; hard to say if they're here fighting for democracy or here to cause some trouble.
Those were chants of "down with President Morsi, down with President Morsi." We're now starting to see these protests and clashes take place in cities outside of Cairo.
In the northern city of Damanhur (ph), the first fatality of these protests according to the Muslim Brotherhood, 15-year-old Islam Massoud (ph) was killed when anti-Morsi protesters attacked the brotherhood's offices there. Massoud hit in the head with a club and pronounced dead before he arrived at the hospital.
This is some of the violence taking place. Let's go to Tahrir Square where things are a little bit more peaceful. Things much calmer here in Tahrir Square where you have a few thousand people gathered here -- about 40 tents, very much reminiscent of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. You have food stands, people selling tea. Here is a tea stand right here and lots of people talking politics.
If you look at these groups here, these are all people that are debating their political positions and demanding that Mr. Morsi rescind his controversial decrees.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To start with I want these decrees to be withdrawn and secondly, I would -- I would hope that he starts to listen to us and the people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am willing to stay until we oust him like -- just like we did with Mubarak. And we're going to oust him and he's bringing it down upon himself.
SAYAH: On Sunday factions opposed to Mr. Morsi continued to make moves to apply political pressure on the President; Egyptian Nobel Laureate and Pro-democracy activist Mohammed el-Baradei calling on Morsi to rescind his decrees. On Saturday you'll recall a judges group calling for a nationwide judges' strike. It's not clear how many judges are going to heed that call because remember a lot of judges here in Egypt support Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood and so do a lot of Egyptians.
Supporters of Muslim Brotherhood have called for demonstrations throughout the next few days and that's why there's a lot of drama that comes with these developments. You have Mr. Morsi seemingly entrenched in power; the Muslim Brotherhood movement taking on opposing factions, who are mobilizing, demanding for him to rescind his decrees.
Reza Sayah, CNN, Cairo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAVIDGE: Elsewhere in the Middle East ceasefire talks between Israel and Egyptian mediators continue in a few hours. And we have learned that a delegation from Gaza is now in Cairo. The three sides will get back to hammering out detail relevant to the Israeli-Hamas ceasefire which has held ever since Thursday.
Adding his voice to the discussion, the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon -- Sheik Hassan Nasrallah sent a stern warning today to Israel threatening major retaliation if Israel makes a move on Lebanon. Hezbollah is not involved in the renewed hostilities but they have fought with Israel in the past and tensions on their shared border really has never gone away.
At least 117 people are dead after a massive fire at a clothing factory in Bangladesh. It happened just outside the capital city of Dhaka. You can see that every window is lit with flames. Some workers tried to escape out those windows. And at least 200 people were injured. Officials say there were about 2,000 workers, mostly women, in that factory and they expect, unfortunately, the death toll to rise.
Well, they took a week off for Thanksgiving, but Congress gets back to work starting tomorrow. Time is short, but they have a lot on their agenda. The Senate returns tomorrow, the House officially goes back into session on Tuesday. The so-called fiscal cliff is the biggest item that is sitting on the congressional agenda. If President Obama and Congress don't reach some sort of deal, then huge tax increases and spending cuts would automatically kick in January 1.
Today several Republicans backed away from a pledge banning tax increases.
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SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: When you're $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge we should be making to each other is to avoid becoming Greece; and Republicans -- Republicans should put revenue on the table. I want to buy down debt and cut rates to create jobs, but I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country only if Democrats will do entitlement reform.
REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I agree entirely with Saxby Chambliss. A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago is for that Congress. For instance if I were in Congress in 1941 I would have signed the -- supported a declaration of war against Japan. I'm not going to attack Japan today. The world has changed.
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SAVIDGE: So does it all mean that we might be closer to a fiscal cliff compromise? Athena Jones takes a closer look.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Martin that's, of course, the big question here. We know that in the meeting that the President had with lawmakers the Friday before Thanksgiving, there was a lot of positive talk coming out of that with leaders on both sides saying the meeting was constructive, that lawmakers understood their responsibilities and that they were going to work together to avoid this fiscal cliff.
And you know today lawmakers expressed optimism that they're going to be able to reach a deal. Let's listen to what Senator John McCain of Arizona had to say followed by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.
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SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We can and must get an agreement. Otherwise, I think, first of all, the markets are going to start reacting.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Unfortunately for the last ten days with the House and Congress gone for the Thanksgiving recess, there hasn't much -- much progress hasn't been made, but tomorrow there is no excuse. We're back in town.
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JONES: So there you heard Senator Durbin say no more excuses they're back in town, they're going to have to get back to work. And certainly there is more pressure on lawmakers to get this done -- the clock is ticking. Some people believe that Democrats and the President may feel that they have a little bit more leverage since the President was re-elected on a promise to raise taxes on the wealthy.
I can tell you that the hope coming out of the meeting, the prior to Thanksgiving meeting, we heard from Senator Reid saying that they hope to meet with the President again. There's not a meeting yet on the President's public schedule but that can certainly change -- Martin.
SAVIDGE: Athena Jones thanks very much.
How about this? A spectacular scene off of Miami Beach as an 80-foot yacht went up in flames in a matter of minutes. Three people were on the yacht yesterday when the fire broke out. They all managed to jump into the waters. Rescue crews saved them. Nobody was injured but they couldn't do much to save the yacht. The cause of that fire is still under investigation.
All you Powerball players -- get ready. Wednesday is going to be a very big day. Huge you could say. Nobody won last night's top prize, so the estimated new jackpot is $425 million. Wow. That is the largest ever for this multistate lottery. More than two million people did match some of the numbers last night so you won something; those winnings numbers, by the way, 22, 32, 37, 44, 50, and a Powerball of 34.
Next, 'tis the season to travel, and today millions of you are taking to the streets and the skies.
Plus, it's something never seen before: a spy's top secret tools of the trade -- weapons that could kill you in an instant. We'll have the exclusive pictures in just a moment.
SAVIDGE: If you are watching me in an airport, I hope your trip is going well because traveling today could require a lot of stamina, whether you are flying or driving or even maybe taking the train.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest travel days of the year for Americans. So far though, it's smooth sailing for most holiday airline travelers. Susan Candiotti is tracking the travel scene from New York's LaGuardia Airport where it appears to be going well. Hello, Susan.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Martin. Things have been remarkably smooth for travelers on this busy holiday weekend mainly because there's been good weather throughout the country. We spent the day at New York's LaGuardia airport and we have seen very few lines, if at all, as people check in and go through security. Now, let's talk to the De Leon family traveling this day. You're from Chicago. You spent the weekend in New York. How early did you come here today?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were here probably a good hour and a half before our flight boards, which is totally unlike us. We're usually doing the OJ (ph) to the gate. But I thought that the crowd would be so much worse. So here we are trying to waste time until the flight leaves.
CANDIOTTI: Well, things could be a lot worst that's for sure. Obviously you've had bad experiences as well, as we all have, with the delays. Why do you think it happened this way this weekend?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. It's very bizarre. I think it's unseasonably warm weather has to be part of it. It's been gorgeous weather. And I guess maybe the planes have just been going on time and everything has been good. So I don't know. It's a delightful surprise. It's better than getting delayed and not getting home until tomorrow. So I guess we'll take it.
CANDIOTTI: And pricewise, did things cost about the same as they did last year?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes I think so. It really wasn't so bad. And I think pricewise I don't think it was a real big difference from last year.
CANDIOTTI: And you'll be taking another chance in a few weeks for the Christmas holiday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely. We've got to travel for the holidays. That's what this is about. It's about spending time with family. So we'll always roll the dice on flights and -- and hope for the best.
CANDIOTTI: Good for you thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
CANDIOTTI: And so of course, they are still reminding people, whether it is this weekend or coming up at Christmas time, it's always best to come early just in case.
SAVIDGE: Yes it is.
CANDIOTTI: Marty, back to you.
SAVIDGE: Thanks, Susan very much.
Well, it appears a weekend of Black Friday shopping has set a record. The National Retail Federation says 247 million shoppers hit the stores and Web sites for post-Thanksgiving sales and that is up from last year's 226 million. The NRF says shoppers spent an average of $423 each since Thursday. In all, the trade group says that bargain- hungry consumers dropped $59.1 billion. And it looks like those Thanksgiving door buster deals worked. The federation estimates 28 percent of this year's shoppers hit the stores get this, before midnight Thanksgiving night.
Well, a tense ceasefire in the Middle East. My next guest says that there is a behind the scenes force that threatens the current peace now and in the future. We'll explain that.
SAVIDGE: As we keep an eye on that tenuous cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, one writer sees a silent but influential force at work behind the scenes of this conflict. So let's talk with Frida Ghitis. She's a world affairs columnist for the "Miami Herald" and "World Politics Review". She's also a dear and old friend from working here at CNN. So it's wonderful to see her right back here.
FRIDA GHITIS, WORLD AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, "MIAMI HERALD": Great to see you, Marty.
SAVIDGE: All right. So let's talk about the column that you wrote for CNN.com. I believe it's called "Iran, an Ominous Lengthening Shadow". And it basically goes over this conflict and talks about how what we've just seen play out in Gaza is an indication of what may be to come. What do you mean by that?
GHITIS: Well, the confrontation that we saw was between the Palestinians of Hamas in Gaza and Israel, but behind the scenes there was a strong power that was playing a role in some ways subtle and in some ways less subtle.
Iran is a friend of Hamas, even though they have had their problems, but Iran has armed insurgent groups. It has armed groups that oppose any kind of negotiated agreement with Israel. It has backed them and has cheered them on. And Israel expects that if there is a direct confrontation with Iran, a direct armed confrontation, one of the things that Iran might do is activate groups such as Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon to have them use their weapons to attack Israel.
So some of what we saw happening in Gaza was Israel looking at the weaponry that Hamas might put into play should there be a war directly confronting Israel and Iran. And we saw Israel finding a way to counter those weapons from Hamas.
SAVIDGE: Part of that is the Iron Dome --
SAVIDGE: -- and we would think about some of the other things.
You also write about the impact of the Arab spring, a possible military conflict involving Iran. In your words, where would key Arab and Muslim players stand in case of this confrontation between Iran and the West, particularly if Israel and the Palestinians became the epicenter of this fighting? Did we get any answers out of this conflict? GHITIS: I think the answer was, first of all, it was disappointing to Iran because Egypt especially did not jump in on Hamas' side.
SAVIDGE: No, they didn't.
GHITIS: Egypt paid a lot of lip service to Hamas and it spoke very harshly against Israel, but it didn't jump in, and neither did Hezbollah. And the truth is that Arab countries where the so-called Arab Spring has taken shape, countries where the ground is really shifting politically, they had their traditional anti-Israel stance, which is to be expected, but the intensity of it was probably something of a disappointment to Hamas.
Hamas wanted to make itself relevant again during a time of turmoil in the Middle East, and it worked, but not with the intensity that they would have hoped.
SAVIDGE: Yes. I think many were curious about what the new Egyptian president, where he would stand, especially coming from the Muslim Brotherhood. And in fact, many Westerners looked upon his stand as being pretty right down the middle.
GHITIS: Yes, it was I think once of the gambles that Israel took when it decided to take a hard line against Hamas' rocket escalation. Israel didn't quite know what Egypt would do and this was very risky. It's one of the reasons why I think the people who claim that Netanyahu had decided to take this stance, they claim that perhaps it was a politically motivated decision, that perhaps it had to do with the elections that are coming in Israel in January.
I don't think that makes any sense because this was actually very risky for Netanyahu.
SAVIDGE: Who do you think -- and I always hate to bring it down to winners and losers -- but out of this conflict when you have so many that are killed, who is perceived as the winner?
GHITIS: You know, everybody is claiming victory. I think it's very clear that the losers are the people of Gaza. The civilians who are in the cross fire, and I think they should have something to say to Hamas about why it does not use any of its resources to protect them. I think they are the clear losers.
Hamas had a momentary victory because it did gain the headlines; it became relevant for a moment. But I think, a little bit longer term I don't think Hamas really won very much of anything. They lost a lot of their arsenal. They did not get the support from the Muslim Brotherhood, from Egypt, that they wanted. They lost a lot of their top commanders. So I don't think they can count themselves winners.
I don't think Iran can have much to celebrate here because their rockets that it helps to provide to Hamas did not fare so well.
I think Israel can celebrate the Iron Dome. It was more of a success -- it was much more effective than I think most people expected. But I think, you know, one of the losers is the prospect for peace. SAVIDGE: I think you're right.
GHITIS: Every time there is a military confrontation, the chances that people are going to be willing to take risks for peace diminish.
SAVIDGE: Yes. You're absolutely right. Frida Ghitis, it's a pleasure to see you --
GHITIS: Same here.
SAVIDGE: -- with the "Miami Herald".
Thanks very much for joining us, old friend.
There is a new weapon that could soon patrol the skies over Israel and even right here in the U.S. And it's smaller than, well, the palm of your hand. We'll have that story coming up in a moment.
SAVIDGE: And before the break we were talking about the fragile ceasefire between Hamas and the Israelis. It has been, of course, a halt to the rocket barrage which bloodied the region for eight days. But there's still one military weapon that is hovering over Gaza right now.
CNN Money Tech reporter, Laurie Segall joins me now from New York. And Laurie, right before the conflict started, you visited one of Israel's largest defense manufacturers and you got an exclusive and pretty neat look at one of the country's most valuable resources, the drone. So why do Israelis feel that they need to keep drones in the air at all times?
LAURIE SEGALL, CNN MONEY TECH REPORTER: You know, first as you say these drones are these unmanned piloted, you know, systems. So essentially it's cheaper for them to do this, and they were there before the conflict and they are going to remain there after the conflict.
And the number one reason I could tell you, Martin, is surveillance. I mean these are these high-tech equipment and they have great surveillance capabilities. We actually went to a place right near the IAI which is the Israel Aerospace Industries where they build the cameras that they put inside these drone and the amount of surveillance they're able to do, especially in such a fragile situation like this.
You know, I spoke to an engineer where they handcraft these cameras. And he said Laurie, you can see if someone is carrying a stake or if they're carrying weapon. You can see a license plate. I could see your shoes from miles and miles away. So that's becoming increasingly important.
And it's cheaper for them to do this. They don't have to put a pilot in them, so you know. I should mention it's not just Israel using these. About 60 countries around the world are actually using these new capabilities because they're becoming more and more a weapon that we're really seeing in modern-day warfare.
SAVIDGE: Yes. The U.S. is very big in the program as well.
SAVIDGE: But you got a sneak peek at one of these new drones that is actually smaller than the palm of your hand?
SEGALL: Sure. I mean this was fascinating. They brought out something that looked a lot like a butterfly. You're looking at it right there. And essentially what this would be used for, and this isn't going to hit the market for the next couple years.
But let's say Israel was contemplating -- you know they're contemplating -- at some point they were -- a ground invasion on Gaza. This is the kind of thing that they can fly over while they're on the ground and take a look, do surveys and see if there's danger ahead. You fly it with remote control. It's really, really small. And as they told me, they said, "Lori, these drones are getting smarter and they're getting smaller. And that's what we're going to see in the next couple years."
They did a demo for us. And as you can see it there, it was just flying around there and people are just fascinated by this. And, you know, who knows where this could end up because the Israel aerospace industries, they supply to Israel but they also supply to different countries around the world. So you know, you can see it flying there but you can imagine that on the ground in a time of conflict it could be a valuable resource.
SAVIDGE: Yes. And it's not always though the military. And what I mean is that, you know, we know the U.S. military uses it but more and more drones are being used by say law enforcement in this country, right?
SEGALL: Sure. You're exactly right. We use them already in the United States for border control. The Coast Guard uses them. So these aren't completely unheard of in the United States. And we're going to see more and more of these. The FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration, they actually have a mandate from congress to incorporate more of these unmanned systems into civilian air space by 2014.
So what that could mean is we see more and more of these drones in civilian air space around cities, and you take a step back and say that's really scary, but really they're less expensive than some of these helicopters that local law enforcement have and so that would give local law enforcement the ability to afford some of these surveillance vehicles.
And, you know, it's the kind of thing, Martin, where if we see more and more of these, we're going to have increased privacy issues because it definitely opens up a new can of worms with this new technology. I spoke to one expert who said if we see more and more of these, it can be good but it's also almost like real-time Google Earth. So we're going to have to see where that ends up -- Martin? SAVIDGE: Yes, you're right, Laurie Segall. Thank you very much for the insights there coming from Israel.
SAVIDGE: It's a Black Friday tradition -- low prices, long lines, and short tempers.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I will stab one of you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
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SAVIDGE: We're exploring the mindset behind the mayhem next.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Half past the hour now. Let's take a look at the headlines.
This is Central Cairo today. Furious protesters again filling the streets, clashing with riot police. They are angry with Egypt's president for granting himself absolute power a couple of days ago. Critics say President Mohamed Morsi has basically set himself up as a dictator. The president tried to ease tension today saying his new powers are not permanent.
Across Syria today more fighting and more casualties. Opposition activists say at least 15 people were killed today. Most of them in Damascus and its suburbs. More than 50 people were reportedly killed yesterday in fighting throughout Syria.
China has successfully landed a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier for the first time. China's official news agency says the aircraft carrier was being built in the old Soviet Union. It's expected to hold about 30 J-15 fighter jets. The J-15 is reportedly comparable to an American f-18. Could be years though before that carrier is fully functional.
The flood storm ending southwest England and Wales are expected to get worse. Look at these images of swollen rivers and towns under water. Dozens of roads are already closed and some drivers have had to be rescued from their vehicles. At least one person has died, a woman in (INAUDIBLE) who was trapped under a tree.
Investigators now say that giant blast that turned a Massachusetts strip club into dust and debris Friday night was actually caused by human error. They say that a utility worker responding to a work of a gas smell punctured a high pressure gas line by mistake. Officials say the worker went by incorrect markings on the sidewalk. They believe the gas entered the strip club triggering the explosion. At least 21 people were hurt, most of them were emergency responders.
And a six-alarm fire kept firefighters busy overnight. In (INAUDIBLE) Massachusetts, it broke out in a historic hotel around 10:00 and it continued into the early morning hours. Two firefighters were hurt when a wall collapsed on them. Twenty apartments and several businesses inside the building were damaged but all of the residents managed to get out safely.
Shoppers were out in record numbers this holiday weekend. The National Retail Federation, a trade association, says that 247 million bargain hungry consumers hit stores and websites. Sadly, some of the shoppers also hit each other. And one woman in Florida was even tackled by police at a Wal-Mart. Charles (INAUDIBLE), from CNN affiliate, WTSB, has her story.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE, REPORTER (voice-over): You are listening to Samantha Chavez scream for mercy. One cop holding her down, another with his knee in her back.
SAMANTHA CHAVEZ, ARRESTED AT WALMART: You know, panicked. I was upset. I was scared. I didn't know what to do. I was just - at that moment it's just so crazy that I just didn't even believe it was real.
REPORTER: Samantha is back in her Land OLakes home tonight after being arrested at a Walmart in (INAUDIBLE) Spring. She was looking for her sister who was standing in line to pay when a cop told her to go to the end of the line.
CHAVEZ: He pretty much was telling me to go back to the back of the line. I was trying to explain that I wasn't there to purchase anything. I wasn't there to go in line. I was just looking for my sister.
REPORTER: Samantha said it was then the cop grabbed her and put her on the floor as a crowd began to form and scream at police to back off. For Samantha a simple night of shopping turned frightening and violent.
CHAVEZ: He turned me over, he pinned me to the floor. He had his knee on my back. He had another officer come and get on my back. I'm on the floor screaming - at that point I didn't know what to do.
REPORTER: But Altamonte Police tell a different story saying Samantha refused to follow orders and when an officer grabbed her by the arm to escort her out, she pulled away making an even bigger scene.
OFFICE ROB PELTON, ALTAMONTE SPRINGS POLICE: Five or six times that officer tells her she needs to go to the back of the line. There's other people becoming upset thinking that you're cutting in line. Ultimately they arrested her for disorderly conduct and resisting without violence.
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SAVIDGE: Black Friday now starts on Thursday night, right after pumpkin pie is served as Thanksgiving dessert. Is that any way to end a Thanksgiving meal with family? I talked with cultural observer and comedian Bill Santiago about Black Friday mayhem.
BILL SANTIAGO, COMEDIAN: It's amazing that people can get out there and get into that kind of trouble, that they have that much energy left after gorging themselves on turkey which is supposed to make you drowsy. Imagine if they weren't sedated with that much tryptophan, how much trouble they could be causing. All this, of course, to celebrate the season of the birth of the prince of peace and goodwill towards the jerk trying to cut in line in front of you.
I don't know where it's leading to but it's spinning off definitely into its own holiday for sure.
SAVIDGE: The people seem to enjoy it, that it is a spectator kind of event now that more and more people are coming out not just for the bargains, but apparently to see what the heck happens.
SANTIAGO: Yes. I think the bargains is the least of it. You know, I think people - the discounts are nice but people are really going out there for the thrill. They're thrill seeking. It's becoming our - like an American version of the running of the bulls meets the "The Price is Right." It has a little bit of commercialism but it's really not about the 25 percent off but the 50, 50 percent chance of survival. People get home alive, that's the thrill right there. That's the bonus.
SAVIDGE: Well, I like your imagery of the running of the bulls in Pamplona. It certainly does seem to fit.
SANTIAGO: It's exactly like that. Somebody gets trampled for a laptop. It's hard to believe the same people who came up with this technology are willing to risk their lives that way for it.
SAVIDGE: But could it be now that all of this of which we jest could be threatened by people just doing the sacrilegious thing of shopping online, in other words, not going to the stores.
SANTIAGO: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Outbidding somebody on ebay does not give you that same in-person thrill of grabbing the toy out of somebody's hands and fighting for the death for it. You know, you really have to be there. Until they can come up with some sort of like digital avatars that will allow you to battle out for it online, you know, cyber Monday is going to be a far second to Black Friday.
SAVIDGE: Undetectable bullets? We'll give you an exclusive look at some of the top secret weapons that were found on a captured spy.
SAVIDGE: A lot of people no doubt this holiday weekend went and saw the new Bond film but sometimes the real thing can be even more fascinating. That's what we have for you now, an exclusive look inside an assassination plot.
It involves pens that poison and guns that can't be detected. You're going to hear from the target himself, who was behind it? Well, intelligence officials say North Korea. CNN's Paula Hancocks joins me now live from Seoul. This has to do with North Korea allegedly trying to kill people who have defected, right? I'm wondering how often does this happen?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Martin, it's a question we've asked, and the answer is we're not telling you. The intelligence agency very rarely talks about these assassination attempts so no one knows how often they happen. But there was a high profile one that happened last year. The would-be assassin was caught, the plot was thwarted and the weapons were confiscated and investigative authorities have now given CNN a very first and a very exclusive look at those weapons.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): An assassination attempt foiled. A North Korean spy is arrested on the streets of Seoul. This was a year ago. And this is the first time South Korean intelligence officials are showcasing the weapons exclusively to CNN.
(on camera): So how does this work?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This poison needle was made to look like a Parker ball point pen. There is a tube inside here. In order to activate it, we have to twist it towards the right three to four times and then press the top part like this.
HANCOCKS: If you're shot by this pen, what happens to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It would cause muscle paralysis very quickly, which would lead to suffocation and death.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): The second pen shoots a poison filled pullet which penetrates the skin. The powdered poison is then released.
(on camera): These pens look like that he belong in a James Bond movie. Is it new technology or is this quite old, quite basic technology?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): These pen weapons are not new. North Korean spies have had this technology for about 10 years. But this flashlight is new. I've never seen this weapon before. If you look at the front, there are three holes. There's a bullet in each hole. And here is the trigger. This is currently loaded and dangerous. Two bullets remain. HANCOCKS (voice-over): Forensics' experts filed one bullet to test the gun disguised as a flashlight. It was accurate and deadly. And almost impossible to identify as a weapon. When police arrested the would-be assassin, he was carrying all three weapons, none had been fired. This man was his target. Defector and anti-Pyongyang activist Park San-Hak, renowned in South Korea, for sending anti-regime propaganda leaflets across the border in balloons.
He was due to meet the would-be assassin who claimed he wanted to fund his activism. South Korean intelligence agents stopped him at the last minute.
PARK SANG-HAK, NORTH KOREAN DEFECTOR AND ACTIVIST (through translator): I didn't believe they would try and kill me on the crowded streets of Seoul. I thought the National Intelligence Service was overreacting.
HANCOCKS: We show Park the weapons intended to kill him. He hadn't seen them before in such detail and seemed shock.
SANG-HAK (through translator): You would know it was a gun but these weapons are so innocuous you could easily kill someone. I would have been killed instantly.
HANCOCKS: Park knows he's at the top of North Korea's hit list and has around the clock police protection. Having seen the weapons intended to kill him, he says he knows there will be more assassination attempts, but he will not stop his activism.
HANCOCKS: Park was clearly shaken when he saw the footage showing those weapons that were intended to kill him because he said they were so innocuous and the fact is he could have been killed and he wouldn't have even known what had happened or who had tried to kill him because they were such innocent looking weapons. Now the would-be assassin has had his day in court and he has been sentenced to four years in prison. Martin?
SAVIDGE: Fascinating look. Paula Hancocks, thanks very much.
The Powerball jackpot, how about this? It's the highest it's ever been, $425 million. Is there anything you can do to increase your odds of winning? At all. Well, that's next.
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SCOTT STRODE, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: To get on my bike and go ride up in the mountains, it really just brings peace and in my drug and alcohol use, it was the opposite. I got into it pretty young. By the time I was 15 I was using pretty serious drugs. When I got sober, I lost my group of friends because they were still out drinking and using.
I got into boxing, triathlon, climbing. I had this new group of friends. I had completely redefined myself, so I thought how can we give this to other people?
I'm Scott Strode and I want to help people find a better life being sober.
Welcome to Friday night climbing. It's good to see all of you here.
Phoenix Multisports offers about 50 events a week. All the programs are free to anybody who has 48 hours sober.
You see that you're capable of whatever you put your mind to. We have this common connection, so it's easy to make new friends. We do bike rides, hiking, triathlon training, strength training. It really is just a new community of folks to hang out with.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm an example of hitting rock bottom. I had a heroin overdose. They had to jump start me with the paddles.
Roll it over. Drill it in there.
Going out biking and going boxing, hitting the bag really fills the void. Phoenix, it's the best support crew I could imagine having
We're having fun and we're proud of being sober. So come out and go climbing with us.
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SAVIDGE: All right. So you had to wait the whole hour for the story, it is well worth it because Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is estimated to be a whopping $425 million. It's going to be the highest jackpot so far and that means a lot of people are going to be out there buying a lot of tickets.
So, how can we win big? Joining me now are finance expert Clyde Anderson. He's with me in Atlanta. And then of course, an Emory University mathematician, Skip Garibaldi who is on sabbatical in San Diego. We should point out why he is not here in Atlanta. So Skip, let me start with you. Because you can give us the cold, hard facts. What are the odds of winning?
SKIP GARIBALDI, MATHEMATICIAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY: They are very slim. The odds of winning are one in 175 million for each ticket.
SAVIDGE: OK. As my wife always says, somebody has to win and why shouldn't that be me? So, Clyde, let ask you as the financial guy, if I win -
CLYDE ANDERSON, FINANCE EXPERT: Yes.
SAVIDGE: What is the first thing I should do?
ANDERSON: Don't go blabbing and telling everybody. SAVIDGE: I agree with that. Why do people do that?
ANDERSON: They're so excited if you think about it. It's a lot of money to win. So don't go blabbing, talk to a broker or your investment, your accountant or investment broker, someone you are dealing with that you trust, to make sure, and come up with a strategy.
SAVIDGE: OK. So do I take my ticket, do I lock it some place?
ANDERSON: Keep it somewhere very safe, lock and key, keep it somewhere safe, where you don't lose it. Don't tell anybody where it is and make sure you hold onto it. This is the future right there holding in your hand.
SAVIDGE: You always, whenever you buy your ticket, I think the first question they ask, do you want it in a lump sum or you want the annuity or whatever?
SAVIDGE: What do I want?
ANDERSON: You want the lump. You want to be at the control of your own money. Think about it, for example, if you had $100 million, you put in the bank, and say five percent interest. Over 10 year, it turn into an additional $62 million. So you want to be able to make the interest off of your own money and not let someone else make it.
SAVIDGE: Some people argue though, you know, if you are not responsible, you blow it all, and there by, if it comes annually, you are going to be a little -
ANDERSON: That's true. Yes, this is true. We hear stories of a lot of lottery winners that squander all the money. If you can't handle it, you may want to do something like that but you can make much more money, it's a good business decision to go ahead and take that lump sum.
SAVIDGE: Let's bring back the mathematician. Skip, honestly, tell me, what can I do to increase my chances of winning? Is there any way to do it?
GARIBALDI: Well, you can buy more tickets. I'm not saying that is a good plan, but that is the only way you can actually increase your chances of winning.
SAVIDGE: How significantly does that - I mean, if I buy - if I get two tickets, choose dramatically increase and if I buy 100 tickets, does it even more so increase my chances?
GARIBALDI: Exactly. So if you buy two tickets, your double your chances of wing, and if you buy 100 tickets, you multiply your chances of winning by 100. The problem is the odd of winning are still so very low that it won't appreciably really help as an investment strategy. But if you have an opportunity to pool your ticket buying with your co-workers, I think that's the fun way to go and it does increase your chances of winning some what.
SAVIDGE: Yes although I have heard some really nasty lawsuit, I got to tell you, people bought tickets, claimed they were in the pool. Well, you know how that goes. Clyde, let me ask you this numbers are there any I should avoid when picking them out?
ANDERSON: Yes, you know what, a lot of people say you should avoid all odds or all evens. Have a good mix you, don't go with 10, 20, 30, 40. Don't use the same number at the end, is an interesting thing, so don't do 29, 39, 49. Those are a couple of the tips that people give, you know, as much as they can. But as we heard, those odds are still slim.
But you mentioned also with the pool. If you're going in with a pool, the good way to do it get a contract together, folks. Don't just go into a pool, like you said, there's a lot of lawsuits that have happened because someone won and said this was a ticket from another time. Whoever is controlling that ticket. So you want to make sure you got a contract in place. This is big money.
SAVIDGE: Is this a wise investment?
ANDERSON: This is not an investment. And I say it, you know, this is - I tell people all the time, you don't invest with your bill money. You don't play the stock market with your bill money and so this is the same thing. This is far from an investment. So don't use your last dime or dollar or money that can go to buy food or pay bills to play the lottery. It should be fun if you're going to play it, play it, spend a couple of bucks, do it but it's not something you're going to drastically miss.
SAVIDGE: Tragically, others won't do it that way.
Skip, you think it's a good investment? And maybe even more important, are you planning to buy a ticket?
GARIBALDI: Well, I agree with everything Clyde said. It's not a good investment at all. But I would like to buy a ticket just because I like to play it for fun, you know, a couple dollars a year. Unfortunately, I'm in California and there's no Powerball in California. So I can't do it.
SAVIDGE: Well, maybe we could work out some sort of deal, we will have to see here. That's unfortunate for you. We should point out in no way do we condone people get involved in playing lotteries. We love to dream. It is a fun fantasy to think about all that money and what we might do with it. This was a good way to spend four minutes thinking about that very thing.
Thank you both, gentlemen, for joining us and talking about find out who wins, hopefully, just imagine if they don't on Wednesday. All right. Thanks again.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
SAVIDGE: A "Gangnam Style" Christmas? Well, you have to see this and how it all synced up on their holiday light show in just a minute.
SAVIDGE: Two NFL football cheerleaders shaved their heads today to honor Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who is battling leukemia. This is a nice story. The cheerleaders got their head shaved between the third and the fourth quarter of the Colts' victory over the Buffalo Bills. The cheerleaders raised more than $20,000 for leukemia research and Coach Pagano got a standing ovation when he appeared briefly during the game. Great idea.
Water sprinklers interrupted an NFL game today, surprising everyone on the field. The sprinkler shower happened with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter of the Seattle Seahawks/Miami Dolphins game. The "rain delay" stopped the play for a few minutes. The Dolphins went on to win that game by three points. Had a couple of live shots interrupted by those things.
And the troops in Afghanistan, they made their own lip-synch version of Carly Rae Jepsen's hit "Call Me Maybe" but rather than use Carly's video, they did a shot by shot remake of one made by the Miami Dolphins' cheerleaders.
SAVIDGE: Cold there this time of year. Just about every hair flip, every hip dip and every hand to the ear like a phone was done exactly the same but instead of coming out of the pool, the troops are buried in sand and no tour buses in Afghanistan. These soldiers ride in tanks and armored vehicles.
And we can't have a show without a little Psy. This time, a homeowner in Texas went "Gangnam Style" along with his Christmas lights, blasting this summer's hit song from South Korea. So take it.
SAVIDGE: That's it. I'm Martin Savidge at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. I will see you back here at a special time. That's 10:30 Eastern, CNN PRESENTS "WACO, FAITH, FEAR AND FIRE." It begins right now.