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Violent Clashes in Egypt; Fiscal Cliff Looming; Hamas Emerges Stronger; Larry Hagman Remembered; Rice Under Scrutiny

Aired November 25, 2012 - 06:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is EARLY START WEEKEND.

Power and protests. Furious demonstrators take to Tahrir Square in Cairo as Egypt's new president rewrites the rules.

Let's make a deal. Will the White House and Congress finally see eye to eye on the fiscal cliff? We're just over 24 hours from the start of bargaining time.

Plus --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) girl (ph). Push one of my kids out and we'll stab (ph) one of you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


KAYE: The crowds are rowdy, rough, and downright rude. And the holiday shopping season has only just begun.

It is Sunday, November 25th. Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. Glad you're with us.

We begin in Egypt with those protests. Overnight, protesters clashed with security forces. This was the scene in Damanhour, north of Cairo. Demonstrators are angry over President Mohamed Morsi's decision to increase his power. Morsi stripped power from judges to overturn any of his decrees. CNN's Reza Sayah is live this Cairo this morning.

Reza, good morning.

We had seen mostly protests there in the capital. How far are they actually spreading now?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi, the protests seem to be spreading, according to the interior ministry, starting last night and continuing on to the early morning hours. There were protests, demonstrations in the northern city of Damanhour. According to government officials, anti-President Mohamed Morsi protesters tried to attack the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood. And that's when you had clashes between the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters and anti- President Mohamed Morsi protesters. There were a number of injuries there. Also reports of demonstrations in the city of Assiut.

But the focal point remains here in Cairo, at Tahrir Square, where demonstrations continue. I'm going to carefully step aside and have us zoom in to a live look at what Tahrir Square looks light right now. Not the numbers that we saw on Friday, but I'd say a few thousand people still here. And we're continuing see the clashes between protesters and police. This morning, a barrage of stun grenades were fired by police in an effort to disperse crowds that are still confronting police in arteries that lead into Tahrir.

While this is taking place in Tahrir Square, there are a number of moves and decisions being made by opposing factions to apply pressure on Mr. Morsi. Opposing factions have decided to call for a 1 million man protest on Tuesday. Also, the Muslim Brotherhood, they've called for a 1 million man protest as well.


KAYE: And in terms of the pro-Morsi supporters out there, I mean can -- do you have a handle on how they compare to those who are against him at this point?

SAYAH: Yes. Keep in mind, the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi have a tremendous amount of protests (ph). It would be misleading to say this is a nationwide uprising against the Muslim Brotherhood and Mr. Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood have called for protests and demonstrations today. And then, of course, you have the 1 million man protest they've called for on Tuesday. And that's what makes these developments very dramatic. You have the opposing factions opposed to Mr. Morsi and his recent decrees and then his support. He has a lot of backing from Islamist factions and the Muslim Brotherhood, Randi.

KAYE: Reza Sayah for us in Cairo this morning Reza, thank you.

Well, if you're headed out to the airport this morning, you are not alone. About 2.4 million people are set to fly back home today on one of the busiest travel days of the year. And if you're wondering what you can expect, well, CNN's Nick Valencia has you covered.

Nick, good morning to you.


KAYE: So, I guess for anybody heading to the airport, what -- how are they looking?

VALENCIA: This is the busiest travel day.

KAYE: Yes.

VALENCIA: And for those of -- our audience that are watching us at the airport right now will be able to tell us --

KAYE: They know it. VALENCIA: They know it. Yes. We've been calling the airlines right now. It's a little too early to hear back from some of those spokespeople, but we'll have some updates later next hour.

And 2.4 million people traveling today. That's just a shade more than traveling on Thanksgiving day. It's about 2.3 million. And among the busiest airports, we've got Chicago, O'Hare, Los Angeles International Airport. They've gone back and forth trading the top spot over the last couple of years.

But also, Randi, it's worth pointing out, this year more people are traveling than last year, even though tickets are slightly more expensive this year. More airlines are cutting their fees to save on jet fuel. So that brings ticket prices just slightly higher up. But, still, 2.4 million people traveling. There's a lot of people out there in the airports right now.

KAYE: Yes, they got a whole lot of company in those gain (ph) areas.


KAYE: What about the roads? I mean, obviously, some people aren't flying.

VALENCIA: Yes, Wednesday through Sunday is the official holiday -- for Thanksgiving holiday travel period. And in that period alone, 43.6 million people. That's a lot of people traveling on the roads. So people taking buses, cars, plane, finding all sorts of alternative ways to get around the U.S.

But this year, or actually today, I should say, is slightly busier than tomorrow. About a 16 percent difference from today and tomorrow. It's a -- let's just also take a look at this live flight tracker as well. I believe we have that. Maybe -- oh, yes, there we go.

KAYE: Whoa.

VALENCIA: It takes a look at all those flights up in the northeast. Those northeastern cities still feeling a little bit of the effects from Superstorm Sandy. But travel looks to be clear right now. Now delays that we have information on as of yet, but we'll have more later next hour.

KAYE: All right. Thank you very much, Nick. Appreciate it.

VALENCIA: Thank you.

KAYE: In other news now, a massive fire tore through an entire city block in Leominster, Massachusetts. That's about 50 miles from Boston. Two firefighters were injured when the historic three-story building that made up the block collapsed. As many as 100 firefighters were on the scene. The building housed several buildings (ph) and apartments. No one else was injured. In Bangladesh overnight, at least 117 people were killed in a clothing factory fire. As many as 200 others were injured. Hundreds of workers on the top floor of the nine story building were trapped by the flames. Some jumped out of the windows trying to escape. Search crews still haven't been able to reach all parts of that building.

And look at this massive fire on a yacht off the coast of Miami. The Coast Guard says it was about to board the boat as part of a routine inspection when the fire broke out. The three passengers on board jumped into the water and were rescued. That is incredible looking at those flames. Witnesses were shocked at how quickly that boat burned.


FERNANDO SORDO, CAPTAIN, SEE TOW: By the time I got there, it was -- it started from the top of the vessel, the motor yacht, and then it just started working its way down, just eating up all the fiberglass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the front of the boat to the back of the boat, the entire boat was engulfed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty amazing. We looked out our room and saw all this smoke and all the ships steaming towards it at a high rate of speed.


KAYE: Those on board the ship were taken in for police questioning. The Coast Guard says the burned boat will be brought back to shore.

In entertainment news. Fans and friends are remembering Larry Hagman. The TV icon passed away at the age of 81. His family says it was cancer. A makeshift memorial popped up on the site of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Others went to the famed South Fork Ranch near Dallas to pay their respects and to remember the man who was more than just TV's JR Ewing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He also was very giving, particularly to the underprivileged youth in the community. He had several different programs he helped with, particularly the children in the arts and education.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We thought it was a fitting tribute to come here and pay our respects, especially like this. We remember. We grew up. We remember the show. You know, who shot JR and all that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's sad. It's really sad. Don't make me cry.


KAYE: We'll have much more on Larry Hagman later on in the hour. In Glendale, California, people no doubt got a little bit of a shock when they saw this. Yes, take a look. You are seeing that right. It is a camel running past a gas station. The camel escaped from a circus performing nearby.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see like 10 people run after this camel. All cars stop. It's complete chaos on Glendale (ph) Avenue. I don't think that street has seen so much action.


KAYE: The circus handlers finally caught up with the camel and now it's back under the big top. There's no word yet on whether it was just searching for a good Black Friday deal or if it was looking for a Christmas play to take part in. Ah, yes, so many jokes, so little time.

The Powerball jackpot is now the largest in the game's history at an estimated $425 million. Even though no one won last night's jackpot, people in eight state won $1 million prizes for matching five number. Listen in case that's you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope you've got those tickets ready. Good luck. Taking your first look at tonight's numbers starting out with 22. Right after that, we've got the number 32. Here's a picture of Joseph and Sally Aldis (ph) from El Paso, Texas. They're just one of our many $10,000 winners. The next number up is 37. After that we've got 44. We're going to round it out this evening with the number 50. Now for tonight's winning Powerball number and for that jackpot it is the number 34. Good luck, everybody.


KAYE: I wrote mine down just in case. It was the 15th drawing in a row with no jackpot winner. The next drawing is on Wednesday night. Good luck, everyone.

The fiscal cliff is fast approaching with Congress getting back to business this week. Is there renewed hope that a deal can get done?

And hopefully Congress will be able to avoid a scene like this one. A close-up view of the mayhem at the mall during Black Friday.


KAYE: Good morning, Washington, D.C. Take a good look at that shot of the Capitol Building there. The lights are on. Maybe folks are already at work. Glad you're with us here on CNN on EARLY START WEEKEND.

Congress gets back to work this week. There's a lot of the agenda, but not a whole lot of time to get it done. The Senate starts tomorrow. The House started Tuesday. But with things like the fiscal cliff and the Violence Against Women Act still on the table, the lame duck Congress has just about three full weeks to get that job done.

But any deal on the fiscal cliff will probably go down to the wire, if it gets done at all. If you're keeping score, there are 37 days left until we hit the cliff and tax rates go up for every American. CNN's Athena Jones has more now on the negotiations.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randi, with Congress returning this week and not much public evidence of any real progress toward a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, folks here in Washington are wondering if this week will mark a turning point between Republicans and Democrats.


JONES (voice-over): After meeting with President Obama before the Thanksgiving holiday --

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I want to welcome the congressional leadership here.

JONES: Congressional leaders express optimism about reaching a deal to avoid $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect next year.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: We had a very constructive meeting with the president to talk about America's fiscal problem.

SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: We have the cornerstones of being able to work something out.

JONES: Staffers have been working behind the scenes to find common ground. Among the big sticking points, how to bring in more tax revenue and reduce spending on programs like Medicare. But it's not yet clear when lawmakers and the president will meet next. And even if some progress is made this week, a final deal could still be a long way off.

JENNIFER LIBERTO, SENIOR WRITER, CNNMONEY.COM: We rarely see The Hill and the White House make decisions early. They tend to do better when they have a deadline. So, I would be pleasantly surprised to see a deal emerge earlier than the end of the year. But, we'll see.


JONES: And even though another meeting with lawmakers isn't on the president's public schedule yet, that could certainly change. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said before the break that they hoped to have another meeting with the president this week.


KAYE: Athena Jones, thank you very much.

The fiscal cliff wasn't on President Obama's mind while he was out Christmas shopping, though reporters did try to ask him about it. The president and this daughters, Sasha and Malia, stopped by an independent bookstore in Arlington, Virginia, to participate in Small Business Saturday. The White House says the president bought 15 children's books to be given to family and friends.

The president's daughters sure to be sad about this next one. Their beloved Justin Bieber is losing the top spot on YouTube. Korean top star Psy now holds the title for having the most watched video ever on YouTube. His rocking video for the song "Gangnam Style" edged out the Biebs and his 2010 song "Baby." Psy's video and the dance craze it inspired have more than 850 million viewers on YouTube.


KAYE: Welcome back. Twenty minutes past the hour now.

African leaders are urging the rebel fighters in the eastern democratic republic of the Congo to put down their gun. The head of the so-called M23 Rebels met with the Congolese president this weekend. Earlier, African leaders at a regional summit demanded the rebels pull back from the captured city of Goma. There are also fears that armed factions are recruiting children into the ranks.


MARIXIE MERCADO, SPOKESWOMAN, UNICEF: M23 has apparently grown significantly in numbers over the past days and there are other armed grouped operating in the area, which raises the likelihood of recruitment of children, particularly those children who have already been recruited and separated from armed groups.


KAYE: It's not clear if the rebels will agree to stop fighting, but there leader reportedly says his meeting with the president went very well.

A newspaper editor has quit his job over topless photos of Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. Michael O'Kane resigned from the "Irish Daily Star" this weekend. In September, the Irish paper was one of several European papers that published pictures of the duchess sunbathing topless. The photos ignited a storm of controversy and sparked legal action by the British royal family.

Three-time world boxing champ Hector "Macho" Camacho will be buried in New York, where he grew up. The 50-year-old was taken off life support and pronounced dead at a hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, yesterday. He had been declared clinically brain dead on Thursday, two days after a gunman shot him. Police are looking for the shooter and another suspect.

It is a mystery that has lingered for eight years. Was Yasser Arafat murdered? We may soon find out. On Tuesday, forensic scientists from France, Russia and Switzerland will exhume the body of the late Palestinian leader. They'll take samples to test for poisoning. Arafat will be re-buried that same day in a religious and military ceremony. Rumors and speculation have continued ever since Arafat died suddenly in 2004 at age 75.

A high-level Hamas delegation is in Cairo to put the finishing touches on a cease-fire deal with Israel. The talks are set to resume tomorrow between Israelis and Egyptians. They will focus on easing Israel's blockade of Gaza, opening border crossings and easing access to Gaza's waters. A defiant Hamas, meanwhile, insists it is the real winner of the cease-fire. And as CNN's Brian Todd reports, it's raced its profile and its street credit.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Gaza, celebrations and declarations of victory. This is the side which had scores of its facilities destroyed. More than 100 of its people killed. Yet for the leaders of Hamas, it signifies a strategy that works.

GHAZI HAMMAD, SENIOR HAMAS OFFICIAL: I think people will feel now that the only way which can push Israel is (INAUDIBLE) is the resistance.

TODD: Many observers agree, Hamas emerges from this conflict stronger than it was before.

YOSSI MEKELBERG, ASSOCIATE FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE: So in many ways it's consolidated its support in Gaza.

TODD: It was Hamas' rockets that put the Palestinian cause back on the world stage, not the diplomatic tact taken by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his rival Fattah faction. Hamas also has the support of regional powers Turkey, Egypt, and Qatar, making the group much less isolated than it was before. Many analysts say, internally, Hamas's street credit among Palestinians has grown stronger. In the West Bank, the stronghold of Fattah, Palestinians demonstrating in support of Hamas during this conflict signaled who they thought was fighting for them, while Abbas remained almost invisible.

PETER BEINART, "THE DAILY BEAST": Mahmoud Abbas never looks good when he's standing by while Palestinians are dying. Of course, Israelis are dying too. But for Palestinians, who are naturally going to feel a very strong sense of empathy and solidarity with their brethren in Gaza, it doesn't make Mahmoud Abbas look good to be standing idly by.

TODD: Hamas may also come out of this with a key economic victory, the opening of important crossings into Gaza that Israel had blockaded. But what does the strengthening of Hamas, which the U.S. and Israel consider a terrorist group, mean for security in the region?

MEKELBERG: I don't think that Hamas will become more moderate, but I think it's much more pragmatic than many more -- many people actually attribute to it. They show that the alternative to a cease- fire will be a ground invasion by the Israelis, which they knew will hit them even further. TODD (on camera): And Yossi Mekelberg and other analysts point out, it's not as if Israel never negotiations with Hamas. The Israelis had to have spoken at least indirectly with them to achieve this cease-fire. And after Hamas captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and held him for five years, Israel negotiated to get him released.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


KAYE: Lessons learned from Black Friday, don't come between shoppers and their door busters. Hear more sounds from the start of the year's busiest shopping season.

But for this Las Vegas teen, the excitement was inspired by a very different reason. We'll take you inside a special holiday homecoming.


KAYE: Welcome back and thanks for stating your morning with us. And a special welcome to our troops watching on the American Forces Network. I'm Randi Kaye. It is now half past the hour.

Pushing, shoving, and scrambling. Just a few of the sights that we've all seen from this year's Black Friday frenzy. But take a listen to some of the sounds.

Man, oh, man. The holiday shopping season clearly off to a rowdy start as thousands camped out and crowded around their favorite stores in search of deals. It was so chaotic for this manager, she told people that she didn't even want to open her business. The critical shopping season kicked off even earlier than in previous years with several big name retailers opening at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

But now that the hustle and bustle and elbow throwing is all over, did Black Friday actually help retailers rake in the green? One estimate shows that while the number of shoppers increased, total sales actually fell by nearly 2 percent. We'll learn more today as the National Retailer Federation issues the results of its Black Friday shopping survey.

If you did not join the crowd of shoppers to buy deals on Black Friday, maybe you'll log online tomorrow for Cyber Monday deals. People are expected to spend $1.5 billion online tomorrow. And you have to wonder, with all this shopping, are we losing the true meaning of the holiday?

Joining us to talk about it is Bill Talen, aka Reverend Billy, founder of the Church of Stop Shopping, a nonprofit performance organization focused on fighting overconsumption. Reverend Billy, good morning.

BILL TALEN, "REVEREND BILLY": Good morning, Randi.

KAYE: You and your Stop Shopping Gospel Choir will perform today for the first time since Sandy, the super storm, hit New York. What message do you want to send to people there?

TALEN: Well, that frenzy that you just witnessed, it's like a reverse Sandy. It's a superstorm of people. I think that we have to make a choice between our storms. We have -- if we have more human storms like that, the storms coming from the earth will just get worse and worse. Shopping is not value neutral. Shopping is fossil centric. It depends on gas and oil and coal fire, it depends on us being mesmerized, hypnotized by the marketing of corporations. It's not neutral. It sets us up for worse and worse climate events.

KAYE: So you think it is bad for the environment, increases the carbon footprint, is that what you're saying?

TALEN: Not just the carbon footprint but the footprint on our brains and souls, Sister Randi. We're in trouble with our own activities. Our presidential candidates were barely able to say the phrase climate change. It wasn't until super Sandy hit New York that our politicians broke the taboo, they broke their teleprompters and finally said climate change.

So we've got a real problem here. We have got to admit that last year we had 900 tornadoes, and the storms keep getting bigger and bigger, we have the droughts and the floods and the tsunamis. More than 400,000 people in the last 12 months have been killed directly by climate change events. We have to admit the scale of the problem we face. Amen.

KAYE: You've been trying to stop shopping for 13 years now, but every holiday season, we see the video that we just showed, the crowds on Black Friday. What do you think is behind all this commercialization of Christmas?

TALEN: First of all, I would argue that there's a quiet revolution taking place in our country. Many people are not there at those Macy's and Walmarts, or am I not supposed to mention the corporations because they're your advertisers? I'm sorry.

KAYE: You can mention whoever you want.

TALEN: Many people are involved in local economies, in sustainable neighborhood economies. Many people are involved in transportation systems that are not cars and trucks. We're walking more, we're using mass transit more, we're on bicycles more, we're making our food locally, and farmers markets are burgeoning. You know, a few years ago Walmart and other big box stores were killing our Main Street economies, but Main Street economist are coming back now, amen, hallelujah, that's a good thing. So I think a shift is taking place. It might not be visible to the eye right now. As I say, we call it the quiet revolution. But we're encouraged. People are figuring it out.

KAYE: Well, let me ask you about your history, because you've been arrested I think more than 70 times for your anti-shopping protests, and your protests do often target some of the companies that you mentioned, Walmart, Starbucks, Disney. Is it worth getting arrested? Because some of these companies are doing good. After Sandy, Walmart donated $1.5 million to the victims there. Starbucks helped raise money for the Red Cross. Disney donated $2 million to Sandy victims. So is this all worth it for you?

TALEN: It's worth it to me personally, Sister Randi. I believe that consumerism, which is tied so closely to militarism, is how we hypnotize ourselves into doing the wrong thing. This is the United States at its worst. We don't have to sell each other into the ground anymore. We don't have to mesmerize. The PT Barnum of suckers born every minute, that era cannot continue. The earth has got to be our god now, the earth has got to be our boss. Super Sandy is a thousand- mile-wide storm. We have had unprecedented, extreme events. Not just climate events, but coming within the earth, the tsunamis and earthquakes, volcanoes, over recent years. Extreme natural events have tripled since 1980. Let's take that signal seriously. This is the earth speaking to us. Sandy has a message for us. And I'm happy to try to join up and try to translate the earth to my fellow humankind.

KAYE: All right. Bill Talen live in New York for us this morning. Good luck with your mission, thank you.

TALEN: Thank you, Sister Randi. Earthalulia, children, earthalulia.

KAYE: Well, we've got a good one for you here this morning. A Thanksgiving surprise for one Las Vegas military family.

Riley Morris (ph) was in the middle of dance class when her dad, Sergeant Major Ronald Morris (ph) walked into the room. He wasn't supposed to be home yet from his 14-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, so his kids were certainly not expecting him for Thanksgiving. The family says they are thankful to be together and safe.

And if that one made you tear up just a little bit, this one will make you laugh.


I am impressed with this one. Troops in Afghanistan made their own lip sync version of Carlie Rae Jepsen's hit "Call Me Maybe," but rather than use Carly's video, they did a shot by shot remake of the one made by the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders there. Aren't they good? They got it down. Every hair flip, every hip dip, every hand ear like a phone, but instead of coming out of a pool, the troops, you can see there in some of the shots, were buried in sand, and no tour buses in Afghanistan. These soldiers ride in tanks. Nicely done, guys.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon is trying to get the United States out of Mexico. We'll explain. First this week's "CNN Hero."


SCOTT STRODE: I get on my bike and go ride up in the mountains, but really it just brings peace. And in my drug and alcohol abuse, 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 Multisport offers about 50 events a week. All the programs are free to anybody who has 48 hours sober. You see that they're capable of whatever you put your mind too.

We have this common connection, so it's easy to make new friends. We do life rides, hiking, triathlon training, strength training. It really is just a new community of folks to hang out with.

I'm an example of hitting rock bottom. I had a heroine overdose. They had to jump-start me with the paddles.

Roll it over, drill it in there.

Going out biking, going boxing, hitting the bag really fills the void. It's the best support group I can imagine having.

We're having fun and we're proud of being sober. So come out and go climbing with us.



KAYE: Welcome back to EARLY START WEEKEND. If you're not in front of your television right now, you need to get over there and look at this incredible shot of the nation's Capitol we wanted to share with you this morning. Just look at that sky. This picture, we've been watching it all morning in studio, and it just keeps getting better and better. So take a look at that. Glad you're with us this morning.

We want to talk a little bit about Mexico right now. The country's name is actually not really Mexico, at least not officially, but Mexican President Felipe Calderon wants to make it that way, introducing a bill to change Mexico's official name. The question, of course, is why. So here to answer that for us is Nadia Bilchik. Good morning.


KAYE: All right, so Mexico's official name is actually United Mexican States.

BILCHIK: Exactly.

KAYE: How many people even know that?

BILCHIK: You never say I'm going to the United Mexican States on vacation. Estados Unidos Mexicanos. That's where I'm going. You just say I'm going to Mexico.

KAYE: Mexico.

BILCHIK: So Calderon would like it to be part of his legacy, because he leaves office next Saturday, but he wants to change the name just to Mexico.

KAYE: So I guess the question is, though, why change it? Why is it so important to him?

BILCHIK: Well, it so important to him because it became the name in 1824, when inspired by American independence leaders, Mexican independence leaders said, if it's the United States of America and they've done so much in terms of independence, we should have United Mexican States.

KAYE: So what is the likelihood, do you think, of this getting done? You said he's leaving office Saturday?

BILCHIK: He is leaving office, and Calderon says he doesn't want a name that emulates another country and that no one uses on a daily basis. And the chances are very unlikely, because when Enrico Pena Nieto becomes president next week, there is so many other things, aren't there? There's the economy, there's security. You don't think that changing the name is going to be high on his list of priorities.

KAYE: Yes. I mean, they have the drugs to worry about, they have violence, they have a whole lot of things on top of the list there.

BILCHIK: Exactly, but certainly it won't be the last country to change its name. If you think, Persia became Iran, Siam Thailand, Ceylon Sri Lanka, Rhodesia Zimbabwe, and Burma Myanmar.

KAYE: All right. So we'll see if Mexico makes the list there of countries that changed.

BILCHIK: As Shakespeare famously said, what's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

KAYE: There you are, quoting Shakespeare for us this morning.

BILCHIK: Juliet.

KAYE: Thank you. All right, Nadia, we'll check back with you later on.

Remembering a television icon. Fans gathered to say good-bye to Larry Hagman. We will take a look at their tribute.


KAYE: Welcome back. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving week with friends and family. It's time now for us to get you ready for the week ahead. And if you haven't had enough holiday shopping yet, guess what? Monday, tomorrow is Cyber Monday. Spending is expected to top $1.5 billion. That's the way I like to do it. Stay away from those crazy stores.

Also, speaking of spending, also on Monday, Congress returns to Washington from its holiday. It will be under pressure of course to reach that budget deal and avert that fiscal crisis, keep us from going over that fiscal cliff.

On Tuesday we're going to be talking a lot about Yasser Arafat. His body is going to be exhumed. That is the late Palestinian leader. Eight years after his death -- it's all part of an investigation to see if he was murdered. He died suddenly in 2004 at the age of 75, and they think that maybe he was poisoned. So they'll be looking into that.

On Wednesday, we'll see the beg lighting on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a true symbol that Christmas is actually approaching. It will be decked out this year with more than 30,000 colored lights. And if you miss it, though, if you miss the actual lighting, it will remain lit through January 7th, so you can get to New York maybe and check it out.

And on Sunday, a big day for us here at CNN. A tradition continues. CNN will honor the top 10 CNN heroes of 2012. I always love this show. It's hosted by Anderson Cooper. You can catch it live right here on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 Pacific.

Well, he was a fighter in the gentlest way, against his obstacles and for his friends. That's how Dallas co-star Patrick Duffy described Larry Hagman. Hagman died Friday. This weekend, friends and fans are remembering the 81-year-old actor. Here's CNN entertainment correspondent Kareen Wynter


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Larry Hagman had a long and storied career in Hollywood, dating back to the '50s, but he is best remembered for two roles. First, as Major Anthony Nelson in "I Dream of Genie," where he starred opposite Barbara Eden, and then as the despicable J.R. Ewing. It was this role as a Texas oil tycoon in "Dallas" that defined Hagman as the iconic villain. The show ran from 1978 to 1991. The "Who shot J.R." episode was one of the most watched TV episodes of all time. In fact, the show got a second life of sorts on TNT, a sister network of CNN, debuting in June of this year. Hagman was actually filming episodes for the second season shortly before his death. The second season is set to air in January, and while there are reports that he shot at least six episodes, no word on how writers plan to address the sad news of his passing.

And his Dallas co-stars have been reacting via Twitter, also Facebook, with Linda Grey writing earlier, "he was a wonderful, dear, bigger than life friend." And Barbara Eden, "remembering his big laughs, big smiles, and his unrestrained personality."

The cast and crew of the current Dallas released this statement, saying, "Larry Hagman was a giant, a larger-than-life personality whose iconic performance as J.R. Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history. He truly loved portraying this globally recognized character, and he leaves a legacy of entertainment, generosity, and grace." Fans remember his legacy.

COURTNEY WELSH, FAN: Everything seemed to be going so well, and it was exciting that he had an opportunity to sort of reinvigorate his career. And the new show seemed to be doing well, and everyone was just excited to see all of those characters that they had loved for so long back on the show. I mean, it was pretty amazing that they all agreed to come back and do that together. I'm not sure how it's going to work without him.

ROBERT CALDARONA, FAN: The recent revival of Dallas. I definitely caught those episodes. Great stuff. You know, actually even better than ever. I can't believe he was 81 playing that role. So if anyone has a chance to tune in, I guess the season was just renewed, the second season.

WYNTER: Hagman revealed last year that he had cancer, and while he didn't talk specifics, he referred to it as a common and treatable form. The actor leaves behind a wife, son, daughter, and a long, memorable career. Kareen Wynter, CNN, Hollywood.



KAYE: A 9-year-old girl who was bullied because of the way her clothes looked has come up with a plan to fight bullying. Now her school district in Alamosa, Colorado is adopting her plan for kindergarten through 5th grade. Isabella Griffin says she wanted to step in when kids made fun of a special needs student.


ISABELLA GRIFFIN, 9 YEARS OLD: I stood up for myself and I would like to stand up for others.


KAYE: Her program is called "be a buddy, not a bully," and yesterday I talked to Isabella and her dad John about it, and asked how she came up with her tips to stop the bullies.


I. GRIFFIN: I remembered what I did for myself, and I know what I could do for others, so I thought about what I could say to them to make them feel better, like don't listen to them, they're wrong, or be who you are, you're fine the way you are. And something like that. KAYE: Jon, you must be so proud of your daughter. Did you expect this to come out of the work that she was doing?

JON GRIFFIN, FATHER: Absolutely not. Basically Isabella brought -- sat me down and presented 20 pages worth of information on why she wanted to create a plan (ph) in school. And when I really sat down and I looked at everything that she was doing, it was kind of rang true to me that we need to take this to the principal, because this plan and this model, I think, can be instituted not only in the Alamosa school district, but I think it can be a model for schools nationwide.

So once I saw what she had, I wanted to take it further and at least show her that she has our support. And if it only goes to Alamos, that's great. To be on CNN is actually kind of shocking.

KAYE: Well, I think the program being there is wonderful as well. But I want to read the "to be a buddy" motto. Isabella, it says, "I'll respect myself and others, I will be a friend to those who are being bullying. I'll be a buddy, not a bully." What's your advice to others? If they do see someone being bullied, how do you become a buddy? How do you step in? What's the right way to go about it?

I. GRIFFIN: Well, if you see somebody being bullied, you can tell the bully to stop. And if that doesn't work, you can walk the person that's being picked on away from the situation and tell them some of those confidence points, and you can just make them feel better by letting them know that you're there for them, and that it's OK, and they shouldn't have gotten picked on.

KAYE: I think that's a great because they do need to know that they're not alone, like you said. Isabella, great job. Fantastic work on what you're doing. And Jon Griffin, appreciate you both coming on this morning.

J. GRIFFIN: Thank you very much.

I. GRIFFIN: Thank you.


KAYE: From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

Power and protests. Furious demonstrators take to Tahrir Square as Egypt's new president rewrites the rules. Now, fears that the country's fragile democracy could crumble.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calm the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) down! Push one of my kids and I will stab one of you mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


KAYE: Wow. The crowds are rowdy, downright rude, and the holiday shopping season has only object just begun.

And what is Mother Earth's real age? Marco Rubio says he doesn't know. So, we talk to a man who says he does know. Bill Nye the Science Guy.

It is Sunday, November 25th. Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye.

We begin in Egypt with those protests. Overnight, protesters clashed with security forces.

This was the scene in Damanhour north of Cairo. The protests first popped last week after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi expanded his power. CNN's Reza Sayah is live in Cairo this morning.

Reza, there have now been calls for major pro-Morsi demonstrations. When can we expect those to start?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the big one is scheduled for Tuesday. The Morsi supporters are calling for a 1 million man demonstration on Tuesday. And that's going to compete with the 1 million man protest called for opponents of Mr. Morsi. But even today, there are pro-Morsi protests and demonstrations taking place, this according to a spokesperson from the Muslim Brotherhood. They're going to be take place in cities outside of Cairo.

And that could create an explosive situation because in some of these cities, you have anti-Morsi protesters as well and we've already seen clashes in the early morning hours in Egypt, in the city of Damanhour. According to the interior ministry, anti-Morsi protesters try to attack the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood. Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood fought back. Things getting ugly there. Reports of protests in Asyut as well, a city south of Cairo.

But the focal point of these anti-government protests remains here in Tahrir Square. I'm going to step aside to give you a live like look of what Tahrir Square looks like. A few thousand people still here, most of them peaceful but we're still getting some clashes and some protesters right below have set fire to an Avis Rental car center.

There, you just heard what sounded like a stun grenade.

What you see here is mostly young men, they seem to be out to create some trouble, surging at policy, police are fighting back by throwing rocks sometimes, firing stun grenades. And it's these types of clashes that we've seen through the morning, Randi.

KAYE: And any other fallout besides the protest and the demonstrations, Reza?

SAYAH: Plenty of fallouts from this, Randi. First off, we should tell you that the judges club here in Egypt has called for a nationwide judges strike. It's not clear how many judges will heed this call. Remember, many judges here support Mr. Morsi. But if that takes into effect, they could certainly have disruptive factor. The opposing factions are mobilizing against Mr. Morsi.

One of the leading pro-democracy activists here, Nobel Laureate, Mohamed ElBaradei, spoke to reporters today and he called for Mr. Morsi to rescind all his controversial decrees. And also the stock market today in Egypt, this was the first day of trading after the decrees were announced on Thursday, Randi, and the stock market is plummeting.

So keep your eyes on that. If that continues, more pressure on Mr. Morsi.

KAYE: Reza Sayah for us in Cairo -- Reza, thank you.

In other news, one person is in critical condition this morning after being injured in a fire at a State Department. Three others were also hurt. It's unknown what sparked the fire. It started in some ductwork. Construction crews working in the building put out the fire.

A big animal rescue operation to tell you about out of Tennessee. In fact, it maybe the state's largest. Firefighters were responding to a brush fire on Thanksgiving when they found 65 dogs chained up at the property, all needing food, water and some medical attention. It's believed they were kept for illegal dog fighting. Authorities found a fighting pen and a pool used to strengthen the dogs' jaws.

The dogs have been turned over to animal rescue and are at emergency shelters awaiting adoption now.

It could be called mayhem at the mall. All of the pushing and shoving that came along with Black Friday. You've seen the images. Now hear the sounds of the holiday shopping season.

That is just hard to watch. I mean what a rowdy start, right, for that crowd as thousands camped out and crowded around their favorite stores in searches of deals. It was so chaotic actually for one manager she told people she didn't want to open for business. The shopping business kicked off with several retailers opening at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

But now that the hustle and bustle and elbow throwing is all over, did Black Friday actually help retailers rake in any green? One estimate shows that foot traffic at the malls actually increased but that total sales actually fell because of shoppers who hit the stores on Thanksgiving Day. We'll leadership more today as the National Retail Federation issues the results of its Black Friday shopping survey.

And now that you're done with the Black Friday shopping and you've probably had your last plate of leftovers, maybe it's time to go home. And you're being told, get out and go home. About 2.4 million people will be packing airports today on one of the biggest travel days of the year.

And to help us all navigate us through it is Nick Valencia. He's here this morning to tell us how things are looking. So, let's start with the airports.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the airports, they're busy, 2.4 million people. That's just slightly higher than what we saw on Thanksgiving Day, 2.3 million. But it's a busy holiday season. And even more people are traveling this year.

Believe it or not, I was surprised by that, Randi. You think you wouldn't have as many people traveled this year. But AAA says 0.7 percent more people are traveling even though ticket prices are slightly higher.

As we mentioned last hour, fleets are being cut by the airlines. They're trying to save on jet fuel, of course. So, that comes at the cost of the consumer here.

KAYE: Yes.

VALENCIA: But some of the busiest airports that we'll seeing traffic, places like Chicago O'Hare, places like Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco rounding out the top five, LaGuardia and Boston, Logan. Chicago and LAX have gone back and forth over the last couple of years trading that top spot, but it's busy out there.

KAYE: Yes, I love seeing my family on the holidays.

VALENCIA: Oh, yes.

KAYE: Oh, boy, that travel is never fun.

What about the roads? How do those look?

VALENCIA: Yes, after superstorm Sandy, we'll see a lot of people in the Northeast complaining. We've seen a lot of reports as well about car rentals being very, very difficult. After a lot of damage to these cars after superstorm Sandy, car rentals -- they got scooped up. So, now, as people prepare to travel on traffic, they find it very difficult.

Having said that, 43.6 million people still traveling in this holiday period between Wednesday and Sunday. A lot of those people on the road trying to find alternative ways home, buses, cars, of course, planes. And today, it's slightly busier that it will be tomorrow, 16 percent busier in fact.

So, stay safe out there.

KAYE: Did you ever travel on Thanksgiving?

VALENCIA: I did. I got to home last year for the first time. You know, it's tough for us to go back home as journalists.

KAYE: Yes, news never stops.

VALENCIA: News never sleeps. Yes, there's no gone to lunch around vacation time here.

KAYE: Was it a tough commute?

VALENCIA: Yes, it was pretty tough. You know, I'm going home on Christmas this time around and I'm not looking forward to that. But --

KAYE: But we'll be calling you up. We'll be checking on you at the airport.

VALENCIA: Yes, I'll be doing beepers at the airport.

KAYE: Exactly. It's good having you here.

All right, Nick. Thank you very much for that update.

VALENCIA: Thank you.

KAYE: Her name has been mentioned as a possible successor to Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. But before she can be confirmed, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has some convincing to do.


KAYE: And good morning, New York. Glad you're waking up with us here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

Nice to have you with us. Nice to see the city come alive in these early hours. Happy Sunday, everybody.

Not qualified, not very bright, just some of the criticisms level at U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice by Senator John McCain in the wake of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya. And this past week, Rice responded.


SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I have a great respect for Senator McCain and his service to our country. I always have and I always will. I do think that some of the statements he made about me have been unfounded but I look forward to having the opportunity at the appropriate time to discuss all of this with him.


KAYE: Will Rice get the chance to discuss the issue with McCain during confirmation hearings to be the next secretary of state? Not if the Arizona senator and others can help it.

Joining me now from Washington is Jason Johnson. He's a professor of political science at Hiram College, and chief political correspondent for Politics 365.

Jason, good morning. Nice to se you this morning.

JASON JOHNSON, HIRAM COLLEGE: Good morning. KAYE: You say that ambassador rice is just the latest cabinet official to issue a presidential administration's point of view. What do you feel is behind all of this controversy?

JOHNSON: I think -- in political science, we have a term called sore loser-dom. And that's pretty much what we're seeing here. I think in many respects, the Republican Party, they're still unhappy about losing the election of 2012. I think many of them are still generally unhappy with Barack Obama's presidency, and that's where you're seeing the sort of political temper tantrum coming from.

It is very true that there are questions about Benghazi. It's very true that people can be unhappy about what Susan Rice said on some of the Sunday talk shows. But the anger and the vitriol against her seems incongruous with what she actually did.

KAYE: Well, this is how "New York" magazine's John Heilemann characterized the current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an article about Rice's potential to succeed Clinton, writes in part, "While news of cease-fire talks in Gaza came hour behalf she touched down in the region, the sequence of events was the vivid reminder of the stature that Clinton has gained in the job. She has been Obama's go-to gal in any global crisis."

Now, Clinton has received international praise not just for her role in the Israeli-Palestinian truce, but for much of her work really over the last four years. But with her departure looming, how much of a challenge will President Obama have, do you think, in replacing her and what would that transition even look like?

JOHNSON: Well, I think it will be a difficult transition because you have so many different things going on, in Pakistan, and various parts of the Middle East, even our negotiations with Europe and Asia. But I don't think it's possible to fill Hillary Clinton's shoes. I mean, as a historical figure, as an American icon, as a politician, I don't think there's anyone in the current administration, anyone you can think of, who can match her.

So, I think what Barack Obama is doing really is simply trying to find someone that matches his personal philosophy and his ideology about the world, and that at least right now is Susan Rice.

KAYE: And there's no chance that Hillary Clinton will stay on, right? I mean, she has she needs a break.

JOHNSON: Yes, she needs a break. There's something that might be looming four years down the road that may have her interest. But we certainly know that right now, she's planning on leaving the White House and really relaxing, spending time with her family.

KAYE: Let me just ask you quickly about Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. He announced his sudden retirement, meaning, that there must be a special election in 120 days. In the wake of President Obama's reelection, there has been a whole lot of talk about Republican soul searching. Is this a chance do you think for the party to pick up a seat in the minority district? JOHNSON: I definitely think so. Look, whenever you have a congressman leave because of a scandal, there's always an opportunity for the other party. We saw this with Anthony Weiner in New York, a Republican came in and took that seat.

So, I think the Democratic Party has really taken a hit. There are a lot of local people in Chicago who were unhappy with Jesse Jackson's tenure even before this controversy. And I think this is going to be a highly contested race. We may some surprises in the coming months.

KAYE: Jason Johnson, thank you very much. Nice to see you this morning.

JOHNSON: Thank you. You, too.

KAYE: How old is the big blue planet we're all living on right now? Ten thousand years old or 4.1 billion years old? The one and only Bill Nye the Science Guy will tell us what he thinks.


KAYE: Welcome back to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. Take a look at this.

If you're traveling today, well, that's a nice calming picture of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. It doesn't look like things are rolling too much out there just yet. The sun's just coming up.

But 2.4 million people expected to be flying around out there today. One of the busiest travel days of the year and according to AAA, 43.6 million travel for Thanksgiving. So, happy travels today, everybody.

A controversial statement by a rising star in the Republican Party grabbed headlines this week. Florida Senator Marco Rubio who is a practicing Catholic tried to walk the line between science and faith-based creationism when asked how old the planet is.

Here's what he told "GQ", quote, "At the end of the day I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have an opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says, whether the earth was created in seven days or seven actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries."

Well, this weekend, I asked famed television scientist Bill Nye just how old he thinks the earth really is?


BILL NYE, "THE SCIENCE GUY": The earth is 4 1/2, 4.5 billion, 4 billion years old. So there are certain elements that are created that were created in exploding stars, especially the Big Bang, and we rely on those elements for our everyday life in order to have the quality of life that we have, the remarkable (INAUDIBLE) we have. But the idea is certain elements change from one element to another. The verb is they transmute, and the classic is our good friend rubidium becomes strontium. And you can look at this ratio. The half- life of that reaction is 48 billion years. This is measured in laborites. Sometimes the laboratories will observe something for 15 years to get it just exactly right. So then you work backwards to the age of the rocks.

Now, the thing -- let me just say about Mr. Rubio's comment. You stopped there about opposing theories. But he went on to claim that there's no connection between our scientific understanding of the age of the earth and the economy. And I very strongly disagree with that.

KAYE: Let me interrupt you there and read that quote, because this was another part of his answer to "GQ," saying "I think that the dispute among theologians, and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow."

So what do you make of this? I mean, you obviously don't agree that science has nothing to do with the economy and growth.

NYE: So the reason we have smartphones, the reason we have television, we're able to talk on opposite sides of the continent, the reason -- the classic example for me is smoke detectors. The reason we have these things is because we understand the reactions, the nuclear reactions that take place in elements and protons and neutrons and so on. Without that deep understanding, we wouldn't have everything you can touch and see in our environment, so -- the built environment.

So this claim that it has nothing to do with the economy is just, for my -- as far as I'm concerned -- is just wrong. Now, I'm not going after anybody's religion. If you -- that's not it. Just the earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old. That's not. And furthermore, we rely on these discoveries for our everyday life, especially here in the developed world.


KAYE: Bill Nye's opinion there.

Well, one driver is lucky to be alive after this scene. Take a look. That is his truck is dangling almost completely there over a highway overpass. We will tell you what happened. Wow.


KAYE: Welcome back. Twenty-seven minutes past the hour.

Now, here's a check on some of our top stories.

Anti-government protests have spread from Cairo to other cities in Egypt. There were a number of people injured in this clash between the demonstrators and members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Damanhour. In Cairo, security forces fired stun grenades at the protesters, larger demonstrations are planned for later this week.

In the Portland, Oregon suburb of Beaverton, a close call on a highway overpass. Take a look. On Saturday, police responded to a report of a single car crash. But what they found was this. That red truck dangling over the edge there right over the bridge and the driver believe it or not was still inside. Fire crews secure his truck in place while the man was rescued. They used one of those police baskets.

The driver's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. Police do say that alcohol may have been a factor.

Thick black smoke billowed off Miami Beach Saturday when an 80- foot yacht went up in flames. Look at this video. The Coast Guard said they were about to board the boat as part of a routine inspection when a fire boat broke out. This is about a mile offshore. A fireboat arrived to help put out the flames. Everyone was on board the boat then jumped into the water when it caught fire. They were taken in for police questioning, by the way.

In entertainment news, fans and friends are remembering Larry Hagman. The TV icon passed away at the age of 81. His family says it was a cancer. A makeshift memorial popped up on the side of his star on the holiday walk of fame, others went to the famed South Fork ranch near Dallas to pay their respects and toe remember the man who was more than just TV's J.R. Ewing.

And a happy ending for at least one victim of this Thanksgiving's massive multicar wreck in Texas. Take a look here. A young boy, Damian Ortiz, was reunited with his puppy Beau who ran off in the chaos of the accident. Take look at that cute little puppy.

Thankfully, a tow truck driver saw the puppy after leaving the scene and he actually found out who the family was and helped track down that family and brought the little boy and his puppy back together.

Well, I'll be back at the top of the hour for CNN SUNDAY MORNING at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

But, first, "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." begins right now.