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Obama Hosts Romney for Lunch; Scientists Claim DNA Evidence of Bigfoot; Drones Could Fill U.S. Skies; Cup of Starbucks Coffee for $7; NFL Player Fined $30,000

Aired November 29, 2012 - 09:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Let me take you both back. George W. Bush, John Kerry -- Kerry and Bush talked on the phone about healing and they never talked again. And Kerry served on the Senate.

I mean -- OK, but let's imagine. I'm just going to go with Will --


COSTELLO: -- and look upon this as glass half full. Imagine, what if, Roland -- what if Mr. Obama could find something for Romney to do and Romney agreed to do it?

MARTIN: Yes. White House usher. There's a lot of jobs Mitt Romney could do for the President.

Look, first of all, if we're going to do this lunch don't do it at the White House. The President should have taken Mitt Romney to Ben's Chili Bowl, get a half smoked and he could meet the 47 percent. Yes, I mean, come on! Look, bottom line, I have no problems with it but I certainly think for Mitt Romney, it's going to be one heck of a lunch, having to see the President sit there and smile at him and say you know I kicked your behind. You know I did, didn't you?

But I think there is a role, though, for individuals who run for president of the United States in terms of still operating in the public space because, again, we need all ideas on the table. So I'm sure the President, he's got a whole bunch of stuff he could ask Mitt Romney to do. It's not like Mitt Romney needs the check.

COSTELLO: Well, I would only say, Will, that some Republicans even want Mitt Romney just to go away. You wonder if President Obama finds a role for him, how effective he would be.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's right. Look, I mean, it's Democrats that want to keep Mitt Romney in the spotlight. They've built him into a caricature and would like to continue to use him as a symbol of Republicans.

Republicans -- it's not like he has any sway over Republicans. It's not like they're going to sit down over lunch.

MARTIN: None. CAIN: And Barack Obama is going to say to Mitt Romney, can you help me out with Republicans on this tax issue? He has no sway with Republicans.

And, by the way, this idea of bringing Mitt Romney into the Obama administration is -- honestly, it's laughable. I mean, the guy ran against everything that Obama stands for.

MARTIN: It worked on the "West Wing".

CAIN: With all due respect as well, President Obama -- this isn't coming from some right winger. This is you can take that out of your ears. This comes from reporters across Capitol Hill.

President Obama doesn't like doing these things. He doesn't like the personal interaction. And he certainly isn't one known to set aside his grudge.

So I don't see any place for Mitt Romney inside an Obama administration.

COSTELLO: I still think it would be nice. Wait a second. Wait a second.

I think it would be nice for symbolism sake, perhaps, if President Obama and Mitt Romney came out after that luncheon and appeared before cameras, said a few things and walked away. Wouldn't that be nice, Roland?

MARTIN: No, no.

COSTELLO: Come on. Yes, it would.

MARTIN: No, it wouldn't. No, it wouldn't. First of all, what are they going to say? The salmon's great? I mean, come on!

The bottom line is if you're the President of the United States, let's be honest, Carol, you're not going to reduce yourself to -- I'm going to stand next to the guy. I kicked his behind. No, no, no. It's not going to happen. But again, I do --

COSTELLO: That is such macho posturing. Macho posturing, Roland Martin.

MARTIN: No, it's not. It's not much --

CAIN: Wow. The guy with all the bravado?

MARTIN: If a woman were to beat Mitt Romney, she would say I kicked his behind. Come on, Carol.


CAIN: There's a small symbolic value, Carol. But it can't mask a real disagreement.

By the way, Roland, did you say you would hire me?

MARTIN: Yes. I'm serious. Will, I like you enough, I would hire you. I mean, I would find something for you to do. That's what Aggies do to Longhorns, hire you guys.

COSTELLO: OK. I want you two to go have a beer summit right now and then report --

MARTIN: I don't drink. I can't have beer.

COSTELLO: OK, you have milk like Romney will probably have and you have the beer, Will.


MARTIN: No, no, I'm a brother, Carol. Chocolate milk.



COSTELLO: Thanks for the intriguing, interesting and intellectual conversation. Will Cain, Roland Martin, thanks a lot.

On to something else intellectual -- Bigfoot is real. There's supposedly DNA evidence to prove it. One scientist says the beast is just the descendent of a human woman and primate who mated. And the story gets even crazier. Just wait.


COSTELLO: Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yedi, the abominable snowman, whatever you call him -- there are scientists, yes, scientist, they say they are scientists, they claim they have DNA evidence of its existence and they say Sasquatch is part human.

On top of that, the scientists are demanding all governments recognize the Sasquatches as indigenous people and protect their rights and maybe even protect them from Bigfoot hunters like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Large, definitely wasn't human.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been tracking sasquatches for 25 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These animals, in fact, are real.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've seen them. They're here. I'm having a really difficult time finding an explanation for this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's something on the hill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do think there's Sasquatch in these woods.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COSTELLO: I can't stand it.

In all seriousness, a team of researchers from Texas are saying a five-year long study of more than 100 DNA samples found the existence of a novel hominin hybrid species.

Our in-house Bigfoot expert and meteorologist Rob Marciano --

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I have size 13 feet. I think that's the only reason they asked me to do this story. That makes me an expert, I suppose.

You know, we've been talking about this for decades now, you know? This elusive species. And now that a scientist basically has decoded the sequence and decided or figured out that a female homo sapien or human at some point was mated with or approached by something of unknown origin and that's where this hybrid genetic sequence came from.

And there's the video, the proof right there, that picture. That hand drawing.

So, you know, that's what the scientist in Texas has found. And hence the quote, you know, we have to protect these people or things from hunters and trappers and give them the unalienable rights we all have here in this country.

You know, we joke about it. But it is fascinating. It certainly, you know, drives the imagination.

You grew up in Ohio. I didn't know they had sightings in Ohio.

COSTELLO: They had sightings where I grew up, in farm country of Bigfoot. I wonder if this is -- I don't think this is really true. But if it were, why aren't there more Bigfoots around, like don't they mate? I mean --

MARCIANO: Right. And they're big. They can't really hide that well, right? We're talking -- you've got to remember that there are many more species of things that we don't know about or are undiscovered or unnamed. Most of those live in the bottom of the ocean or in the Amazon. The hard to get to places.

You know, we're talking about Ohio, Vermont, Michigan, Oregon. These are places where a lot of people live and there's a lot of people looking for these things and they're not small. So, if it was real I would think --

COSTELLO: Somebody would have -- yes.

MARCIANO: Much more than DNA evidence would have surfaced that it's gone (ph).

COSTELLO: Thank you, Rob.

MARCIANO: You're welcome. COSTELLO: The U.S. military uses thousands of remote controlled aircraft, drones, you know? They've been key tools in the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But soon drones could be flying over your house.


COSTELLO: Drones could soon be buzzing all over American skies. We've seen the military use these unmanned aircraft -- these unnamed aircraft overseas for years.

But check this out: since 2006, close to 2,500 members of the Taliban, al Qaeda and other extremist groups have been killed in Pakistan alone. In just the past three years, drones have been used extensively, releasing nearly 1,700 weapons during Air Force missions. And over the next decade, $9 billion will be spent on remotely piloted aircraft.

Lisa Sylvester has more on the push to get drones flying over our heads right here in the U.S.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Right now, only groups with special permission FAA permission like the U.S. Customs and Border Protection can operate drones in the United States. But that is going to change. Congress has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to find a safe way to expand the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems domestically.

BEN WITTES, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: The bottom line is that by 2015 the FAA has to have to have a comprehensive plan to open the air space to both public and private UAS.

SYLVESTER: Think of the potential from crop dusting, to news traffic reports, to surveying land, to monitoring forest fires. There's a big industry pushing the federal government to open up the skies, arguing these unmanned aircraft systems are safer and less expensive.

GRETCHEN WEST, ASSOCIATION FOR UNMANNED VEHICLE SYSTEMS INSTITUTE: If you're looking at a manned helicopter that could be used for law enforcement community or manned aircraft that could be used for crop dusting, you're looking at probably around a $3 million price tag. For some of the smaller UAS, the price can range from $2,000 up to $100,000.

SYLVESTER (on camera): Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones can be as large as a fighter jet, or only just a couple feet long. And people have actually been flying unmanned vehicles or even model airplanes for years, but with certain restrictions. They can't fly them above 400 feet or in search of areas like airports without running into problems with the FAA.

(voice-over): That brings us to one of the problems that FAA is trying to solve. How to insure safety if the skies suddenly become a lot more crowded. KEVIN HIATT, FLIGHT SAFETY FOUNDATION: Some of the larger concerns are the construction of the aircraft, who is piloting them, the actual bandwidth, also taking a look at some of those social issues which we've all started to look into as far as privacy.

SYLVESTER: It's the privacy piece that Representative Edward Markey is most concerned about. Could prying paparazzi hound celebrities? When can drones be used by law enforcement to gather evidence? And what about the information gathered by the drones?

REP. EDWARD MARKEY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Is it possible that this is just going to be rampant eyes in the sky gathering information about Americans with no rules whatsoever?

SYLVESTER: It's a growing industry. And a study by the Thiel group with current spending at $6.5 billion. That amount though, is expected to double in the next decade. And a lot of the proponents say it's a sector that could bring on a lot of jobs but a lot of those safety and privacy details still have to be worked out between now and 2015. And that is when the FAA is supposed to have its plan in place.

Lisa Sylvester, CNN, Washington.


COSTELLO: Forty-five minutes past the hour. Time to check our "Top Stories".

Mitt Romney didn't win the office but today he's having lunch at the White House. President Obama living up to his election night promise -- he invited Romney to lunch. The two will eat in the private dining room. No word as to what's on the menu or what will be discussed.

A new government report says the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay can be closed and detainees could be safely housed by U.S. prisons. The Government Accountability Office study points out 373 inmates convicted of terrorism are already serving time in 98 facilities in the United States.

If you live in Arizona or Missouri, check you Powerball tickets. Lottery officials say the winning tickets to the $579 million prize were sold in those two states. The Missouri ticket sold in the Kansas City region. The exact store will be announced later today.

The wet weather in California isn't ready to let up just yet. Storms are expected to continue throughout the day. Yesterday's rain caused power outages in several cities and also resulted in airport delays.

The daily deal site Living Social is expected to lay off as many as 400 U.S. employees today. That's according to the Washington Business Journal quoting sources inside the company. Other published reports say the company has seen waning interest in discounted e-mails. CNN is reaching out to Living Social for a response.

Sure you'll pay $4 for that caramel frappucino. But would you pay $7 for a regular cup of coffee? Starbucks is hoping those coffee connoisseurs are ready to hand over the cash.


COSTELLO: Did you think $4 for a Starbucks latte was bad, but you paid $7 for a cup -- for a cup of black coffee at Starbucks? Just black coffee? The company hopes you will. Jeanne Moos went in search of anyone, though, who would be willing to pay $7 for a cup of Joe.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Is that the sound of money being sucked from wallets?

JIMMY KIMMEL, TALK SHOW HOST: It's priced at $7 a cup.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, there. Welcome to Starbucks. What can we get started for you?

MOOS: How about a bank so we can afford the new coffee made from rare Costa Rican beans called Finca Palmilera.


MOOS: Finca Palmilera actually $7 is for the medium, the Grande. You could skimp and for $6 get a small. It was introduced at 46 Starbucks stores in the Pacific northwest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that something you would buy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not at all.

MOOS: But hold the outrage. For some people, coffee tasting is like wine tasting. People like Melody Overton who runs a fan site for Starbucks enthusiasts were somewhat giddy over the prospect of sampling a rare coffee. Melody attended a special tasting.

MELODY OVERTON, COFFEE BLOGGER: And I noticed all of these flavors and how it has so much going on in a single cup of coffee and I'm like, oh, I like this.

MOOS: So what's it taste like?

OVERTON: Fruity, juicy, clean. Definitely a little pineapple.

MOOS: See, not words I associate with coffee. This type is expensive, because it grows only at high altitudes, and there are fewer cherries per tree.

KIMMEL: And let the Finca Palmilera coffee challenge begin.

MOOS: Jimmy Kimmel's staff asked folks if they could pick the new super premium Starbucks coffee --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I pick this one because it has more of a richer taste.

KIMMEL: Ok. I should mention that we didn't even bother to get the $7 coffee. We got a pot of regular coffee and poured the exact same coffee in both cups.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one is a smoother flavor. The other one is slightly bitter. I believe it's this one. It just tastes richer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It kind of has a beanie taste. It tastes like the bean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would put $2 to $3 on this cup preferably over the second cup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all tastes the same.

MOOS: That guy was using his bean. Jeanne moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It all tastes the same.

MOOS: -- New York.


COSTELLO: That was awesome. "Talk Back" question today. "What should come of the Obama-Romney luncheon?"

This from Paul. "If I were Mr. Obama, I consider making a new cabinet position called Department of Homeland Economic Security and I'd give the job to Mr. Romney if he wanted it."

From Steve, "Absolute waste of time. Once you've shown the level of disdain Mr. Romney has to the common man, there is no role for you to play in public policy."

This from Jason, "Romney does have experience in business. Obama will tap that and come to an idea of how to put the brakes on how to stop us from going over that fiscal cliff."

And this from Diane. "Maybe after lunch someone should give them a pail and shovel and let them play in the same sand box and show the Republicans and Democrats that they can play well together if they only try."

Keep the conversation going.

Coming up: the NFL reaches into Ndamukong Suh's pocket. We'll tell you his punishment for that Thanksgiving Day kick to the groin.


COSTELLO: Rajon Rondo was sticking up for a teammate and because of that, his run at history is over. The Boston Celtics hosting the Brooklyn Nets last night. The Celtics, Kevin Garnett going to take the basket. He takes a hard foul from Kris Humphries. You see it there. And Rondo takes exception. He goes after Humphries. Their teammates join the tussle. Both Humphries and Rondo got ejected and now Rondo may be dejected.

The Nets won the game and Rondo's 37-game streak of at least ten assists is snapped. He was just nine games behind Magic Johnson's all-time mark. Rondo may face a suspension for the fight.

The NFL is fining Ndamukong Suh $30,000 for kicking Houston's quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin. The Detroit Lions tackle says it was not done on purpose.


NDAMUKONG SUH, NFL PLAYER: It's a crazy play. It's one that unfortunately happened. I didn't even realize it until the end of the game and I see my Twitter feed, I see my friends telling me about it. But other than that, I mean can't do much more about it other than being dragged to the ground and my foot inadvertently hit the man. But it's over with. I'm moving forward.


COSTELLO: The league decided against suspending Suh for the Thanksgiving Day hit, because it could not make a decision on the intent of that kick.

Some tainted Major League legends are on the hall of fame ballot that went out to writers yesterday. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa are induction eligible for the first time. Mark McGwire back on the ballot. Will the whiff of steroids keep them out? Bond for one seems almost indignant saying, telling quote, "People want to be angry at you forever" end quote.

And that's a look at sports this morning.

The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

And stories we're watching right now in the NEWSROOM.

Stunning video from Syria of a military helicopter being shot down. Of you could hear the rebels cheering. What does it mean for the United States?

And it's a lunch time meeting between the two men who waged a bitter campaign for president. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney sitting down together for the first time since the voters decided.

A helmet that can protect you from a concussion? It's what Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Michael Vick will be wearing if he plays this Sunday. How does it work? We'll explore.

And when it comes to black nerds, you can forget the guys you think you know. The new crowd is young, hip and proud to let their nerd flag fly.

NEWSROOM starts now.

And good morning. Thank you so much for being with me. I'm Carol Costello.