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A Look at Economic Problems Abroad; NBA to Sanction Team for Resting Players; Fast Food Workers on Strike

Aired November 30, 2012 - 15:30   ET


DON LEMON, CNN: Hey, we're getting this in now from Casper, Wyoming. A murder-suicide on the campus of Casper College has left three people dead. Casper police were called to the campus this morning. They found multiple victims and, at first, thought that they were dealing with a shooting.

Well, police now say no firearm was used. The victims' injuries were caused by what police are calling a sharp-edged weapon.

We'll keep an eye on that for you.

Up next, Ali Velshi on why economic storms abroad could soon be making their way right here.

Plus, NBA fans, they pay big bucks to see their favorite team and the best players, so what happens when you go to the game and the best players are sent home? What's up with that?

John Salley weighs in on the controversy, coming up.




On the money menu today, economic storms brewing abroad could spread to America's shores.

Today, the European Union reported almost 26 million people were out of work in October. That pushed the continent's unemployment rate up to 10.7 percent. By comparison, U.S. unemployment stands at 7.9 percent.

Job lines grew much longer in some of the hardest hit eurozone countries that are hit by the debt crisis that is gripping the E.U. Greece, unemployment at 25.4 percent. Portugal, 16.7 percent. Spain, a jobless rate of 26.2 percent.

Take notice because the stakes are just too high. The U.S. and the European Union are massive trading partners, $700 billion in goods and services a year. That is the world's biggest trading relationship.

The other storm brewing abroad to watch is in Asia. Today, India announced its economic growth slowed in the third quarter to an annual rate of 5.3 percent. Now, that might sound high to Americans, but for India this is the third quarter in a row that it is below 6 percent.

Now, China is experiencing a similar slowdown. Trade with China is only second to our trade with the European Union, meaning the talks of a recession and storm in Europe and Asia could hit the U.S. next year.

Now, the fiscal cliff will be an economic storm of our own making if Congress doesn't act before January. In particular, it is going to hurt seniors on Medicare.

Listen to this, if Congress does nothing, doctors will be reimbursed 27 percent less than they are at current rates, starting in January. That could spur thousands of doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients.

Hey, speaking of the fiscal cliff, there has been all this focus on one dangerous man who stands in the way of a deal that could avert it. Grover Norquist is neither elected nor has he ever run for office, so why is Washington so scared of him?


GROVER NORQUIST, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: Taxes went up, spending didn't go down.

VELSHI: He's been called a kingmaker, a patriot, and the ideological godfather of the tea party.

Since the mid-'80s, Grover Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, has been the driving force behind the anti-tax movement. His goal, to take big government and, in his words, drown it in the bathtub.

Norquist's weapon is the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which was at one point signed by 95 percent of GOP members of Congress.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Would you raise your hand if you feel so strongly about not raising taxes.

VELSHI: On the campaign trail this year, only one Republican presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman, dared to cross him.

Norquist has clout. He's called the most powerful unelected man in America today, but since the November election, his fortunes have changed.

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I will violate the pledge.

REPRESENTATIVE PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress.

SENATOR BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I'm not obligated on the pledge.

VELSHI: Republicans in Congress are jumping ship and supporting unspecified revenue hikes to help cut the deficit. And big business is now resign to higher taxes. Here's Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein.

LLOYD BLANKFEIN, CEO, GOLDMAN SACHS: If we had to lift the marginal rate, I would do that.

VELSHI: Norquist's response?

NORQUIST: To be fair to everybody, some of these people have had impure thoughts. No one has pulled the trigger and voted for a tax increase.

VELSHI: Norquist is clearly looking toward the 2014 midterm elections, but one high profile figure from the "Fix the Debt" movement believes that Norquist's clout is clearly waning.

STEVE RATTNER, CAMPAIGN TO FIX THE DEBT: I don't view this as some -- as the end of Grover Norquist.

I don't think he suddenly disappears, never to be seen of again, but I think his aura of invincibility has been largely shattered.

VELSHI: And former Republican presidential contender Jon Huntsman was the only candidate in the primaries who wouldn't bind himself to Norquist's anti-tax pledge.

I met with Huntsman earlier today. He had some advice for his fellow Republicans.

JON HUNTSMAN (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are dozens and dozens of special interest movements in Washington, all of whom have their pledges, all of whom try to get their pound of flesh when people are running for office.

And I think we're learn something very important lessons, the political class in America as we go in America as we go through this and that is it becomes impossible to do the work of the people, which desperately needs to be done, economically and in every other way to prepare for competitiveness in the 21st century, when you're hamstrung and tied down by all of these pledges.

VELSHI: Finally, if you really want to help narrow the federal deficit, one way to do that is get rid of the mortgage interest tax deduction that millions of homeowners depend on.

Forty million Americans take advantage of it, but it costs the government $80 billion a year and it is going up. It has dubious results.

The U.S. has a lower rate of home ownership than Canada does and Canada offers no such incentive.

Now, it's not just deficit hawks who want to get rid of this. Former Clinton-era labor secretary and big-time liberal economist, Robert Reich, has been saying for years the mortgage interest deduction should end. But he and others acknowledge the political realities that make that hard to do. So, if you can't get rid of it, maybe the government should limit it.

ROBERT REICH, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY: It should be limited, I believe. You can't get rid of it, politically. It is almost impossible.

But also economically, if you simply got rid of it altogether, the housing market would take a big hit.

VELSHI: Now, that assumes that some people won't buy a house if they don't get the tax break and I'm not sure that's true.

All right, that's what you need to know about "Your Money" right now.

I will see you this weekend, tomorrow, 1:00 p.m. Eastern, Sunday at 3:00.

You'll meet the one single Democrat in the current Congress who signed the Norquist anti-tax pledge and we'll find out if he's sticking to his guns.

From the CNNMoney Newsroom in New York, I'm Ali Velshi with "Your Money."


LEMON: Here's the story right now. Missing in Miami, San Antonio Spurs superstars.

If you turned on last night's nationally televised game between the Spurs and the Miami Heat expecting to see a marquee matchup of the NBA's top players, Tim Duncan taking on Lebron James, Tony Parker guarding Dwayne Wade, if you were expecting that, you were sorely, sorely disappointed. I know it is disappointing. You were disappointed.

Spurs coach, Greg Popovich, told his three, star players, Duncan, Parker, and Manu Ginobili to take the game off and rest, sending them home on the plane, hours before the tip-off. They weren't even at the game.

Popovich said that his decision was in the best interests of his team that was playing its fourth game in five nights.

Miami ended up winning 105-100, but NBA commissioner David Stern wasn't happy about the last-minute lineup change. He issued an apology to NBA fans and called the decision unacceptable, promising substantial sanctions, that's a quote, on the San Antonio Spurs.

So, former NBA player John Salley is here to talk about this.

John, the coach is responsible for the well-being of his team not the commissioner. Was that the right move by Popovich?

JOHN SALLEY, FORMER NBA BASKETBALL PLAYER: Don, thank you for having me.

I'm going to tell you this. I took my hat off to Popovich. He won four championships with these guys. He knows exactly what he's doing with these guys.

And then think about it, Miami, what, didn't play -- they played one game in 11 days. They were sitting up waiting on this. This is a national worldwide exposure. You know, they play in China, as well. They're going to watch that.

And he sat around and said, so, the scheduling, knowing they were going to play this big game on a Thursday night because it's TV night, we don't have any rest. We haven't been home since Thanksgiving -- before Thanksgiving.

He goes, you know what? We are a team called the San Antonio Spurs, not a team called Duncan, Tony and Ginobili.

So, what he did is he literally took his team, put it in and guess what happened? The Miami Heat almost lost that game. With six minutes to go, they were losing. At home. To the B squad.

LEMON: John.

SALLEY: He did it right.

LEMON: John, who do people come to see?

SALLEY: OK, I thought the same thing, but I'm on your television show and I was the sixth, seventh man off the bench.

So, guess what? I was an NBA player, one out of a million in America. So, guess what? They come to see the game.

I remember one time when I was player rep, David Stern said, I'm going to show you guys, the name on the front is more important than the name on the back and he was right.

LEMON: Yeah. OK. I get you in theory. But I'm telling you who people come to see.

And, listen, so, OK, so they're not on the court. Do they have to put them on the plane before the game?

Can they just sit there and have everyone go, oh, my gosh, there's Wade. Oh, my gosh, let's take a picture with him and at least have them at -- there at the game?

SALLEY: OK, so I thought that, too. But if you wasted your -- you saved your money and you brought them to the game and you said, hey, we're going to see Duncan, and you get there and they're in suits on the bench, the kid is like, they're not playing.

I can see that on television. I can see that in a magazine. I want to see them perform, but they're not performing.

I tell you this one thing. If you ever go to Broadway and all of a sudden the lead is not there and the understudy comes in ...

LEMON: I want my money back.

SALLEY: No. You want the show.

LEMON: I want my money back.

SALLEY: Everybody's forgetting this is a show.

LEMON: If I'm going to see Miami, I want to see Lebron. I want to see Dwayne Wde.

SALLEY: And you did. And you did.

LEMON: What if they had taken them off the court, though? What if they didn't play?

SALLEY: It probably would have been a better game because people would not have been looking at just three players. They would have looked at a team.

This is best thing about what he did. This is a team sport. When we win a championship, everybody gets a ring.

When these guys get drafted, everybody in each of those guys' families on that bench ...

LEMON: Does everybody get the same salary? Does everybody get the same salary?

SALLEY: Well, you know what? No one is ever going to get the same salary. Don, I tell you. You deserve more money than most people you work with.

LEMON: They pay them all of that money, every single year ...

SALLEY: But, no, the money has nothing to do with what the deal is. He treated his guys like humans.

If he felt they were wore down and would be the benefit of the team, because you know what the deal is? This game, very important on television, but you want it for the playoffs.

LEMON: All right. I'm with you on that. I'm with you on that if they're tired.

But I think there is a happy compromise somewhere because I think the fans were expecting to see the stars, the people that everyone wants to see on television, at the game, the people who they're paying the money who bring intrigue and drama to the game.

SALLEY: It's not golf.

LEMON: Oh, come on. What's dramatic about golf? John, come on, man. Come on, man.

The next time I see Tiger Woods dunk a golf ball then I'll tell you.


SALLEY: When they sat the starting quarterback? They sat the starting quarterback in San Francisco and put in the reserve. Look what happened. The starting quarterback lost his job.

LEMON: You're talking about one person. You're talking about one person. All right.

SALLEY: I know. I'm talking about that's what happened.

LEMON: Thanks. We're going to have to end it there. I'm just having fun with you.

But I understand I would be very disappointed if I paid a lot of money and I didn't see the stars. I'm just being honest.

John Salley.

SALLEY: Look up in the sky, brother.

LEMON: Or look at the TV screen. I see you. Thank you. Appreciate it.

SALLEY: Oh, look it. That's a good one.

LEMON: All right.

Up next, how to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Now, a drug may hold the key. Sanjay Gupta has access to the therapy and the patients.


LEMON: More than 7 million Americans suffer from Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety can leave them unable to lead normal lives.

Experts say at least half are not helped by conventional treatment, but new research is pointing in a surprising direction. Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports now.


RACHEL HOPE, TREATED WITH ECSTASY FOR PTSD: Some part of me was on- guard. It just wouldn't stop. Couldn't shut it down.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: For Rachel Hope, the mental agony began in childhood when she says she was abused and raped at age 4.

As a grown-up, the smallest trigger, like a familiar smell even, would bring it all back.

HOPE: I would get very extreme stabbing sensations in my body, you know, and then, like, fixed vision -- visuals, like, being, for instance, raped.

GUPTA: Mental breakdowns, four hospitalizations, and along the way Rachel tried almost every treatment in the book.

HOPE: I tried ENDR, rapid eye movement therapy, hypnosis, Gestalt, yell-it-out, scream-it-out, you know. Nothing worked.

GUPTA: And then she discovered an experiment run by Dr. Michael Mithoefer, he's a psychiatrist in Charleston, South Carolina.

DR. MICHAEL MITHOEFER, CONDUCTED MDMA/ECSTASY STUDY: This is the place where we do the study. This is where we meet with people and then this is where we do the MDMA sessions.

GUPTA: Intense psychotherapy, including eight-hour sessions after taking a capsule of MDMA, of "Ecstasy."

Now, listen closely. On this tape you can hear Rachel along with Dr. Mithoefer.

HOPE: I really need to keep driving, keep driving, keep driving.

I felt as if my whole brain was powered up like a Christmas tree, all at once, voom!

MITHOEFER: Sometimes, usually people did have very positive affirming experiences, but a lot of the time it was revisiting the trauma.

It was painful, difficult experience, but the MDMA seemed to make it possible for them to do it effectively.

GUPTA: Within weeks, Rachel says, about 90 percent of her symptoms were gone.

HOPE: I don't scream. I don't have flashbacks anymore.

GUPTA: And in results just published, Dr. Mithoefer says that 14 of 19 patients were dramatically better more than three years later.

MITHOEFER: The question is, OK, was this just a flash in the pan? Did people just feel good from taking a drug?

So the answer to that turned out to be no. It wasn't just a flash in the pan for most people.

GUPTA: Now, of course, 19 people is still just a tiny study, but it is getting attention.

Loree Sutton was the army's top psychiatrist until she retired in 2010.

BRIGADIER GENERAL LOREE SUTTON (RETIRED), PSYCHIATRIST: I've certainly reviewed it and the results look promising.

It's like with the rest of science. We'll apply the rigor. We'll follow where the data leads. We'll leave our politics at the door. GUPTA: Now, I point out that none of this means that street "Ecstasy" is safe. Apart from being illegal, you don't always know what you're getting. It's often contaminated.

Pure MDMA can cause a higher body temperature. It can cause dehydration. There's also cases where people overcompensate and actually die from drinking too much water.

But in a controlled setting which is what we're talking about here, the evidence does seem to suggest it can be safe.

Similar studies are under way in Europe and Canada and Mithoefer is halfway through a study offering this treatment to combat veterans, firefighters and police officers.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


LEMON: Make sure you tune into Dr. Sanjay Gupta this weekend, Saturday afternoon at 4:30 Eastern and Sunday morning at 7:30 Eastern.

Dozens of fast food workers protest and walk off the job. Up next, find out what workers from McDonald's, KFC and Burger King are demanding.


LEMON: New Yorkers looking for some fast food had a bit of a problem yesterday.

That's when dozens of workers walked off the job at McDonalds, KFCs and Burger Kings.

They're fighting for higher wages and the right to unionize. I want you to listen to these protesting workers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many people are not able to afford apartments, some are on food stamps and it's just not livable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm trying to accomplish better pay, better working condition and more -- provide more clothing, a roof over my kids' head and put food on their table.


LEMON: All right. So better wages, better working conditions.

Felicia Taylor joins us now from New York. Hi, Felicia. How much money are these workers looking for?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CORRESPONDENT, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Honestly, they're asking for quite a bit. Employees want their hourly wages to be bumped to up $15. Median pay in New York city is currently $9 an hour, so that's about a 60 percent increase. It works out to just around $18,500 a year. That's well below the Census Bureau's poverty threshold for a family of four.

One employee told CNNMoney that. in addition to the 40 hours a week that he works at McDonald's -- that's a full workweek -- he works two, other part-time jobs just to make ends meet. It's tough out there.

An organizer of the protest said that's not unusual these days and that many workers do rely on government assistance, as you heard, because these wages are so low.

But, you know, there's a domino effect to this kind of stuff. Many of these places, fast food restaurants, may have to raise prices in order to pay the higher wages. And, of course, that's not going to keep customers happy.

The fast food industry in general has been struggling lately to meet those profit expectations as it is.


LEMON: All right. Felicia Taylor in New York. Thank you, Felicia. Appreciate it.


LEMON: Before we go, I want to tell you this. The New York City policeman who helped a homeless man is speaking out right now.

A tourist snapped this photo of the 25-year-old officer, Larry Deprimo, as he helped a homeless man put on a new pair of boots the officer had just paid for.

The NYPD posted the picture on its Facebook page. Now, the picture has more than half a million "Likes."

The officer spoke with our Brooke Baldwin this morning to talk about why he stopped to help.


OFFICER LARRY DEPRIMO, GOOD SAMARITAN POLICEMAN: It was extremely cold out and this gentleman didn't even have a pair of socks on. You could see the blisters from like ten, 15 feet away.


DEPRIMO: Probably about the size of my palm. I don't know how he wasn't in pain, but he wasn't bothering anybody. He had his own agenda.

He was a gentleman when I had spoken to him and I knew I had to help him.

He was extremely thankful. He had a smile from ear to ear which is something, you know, I'll never forget.

And he said, you know, Thank you, Officer. He's like, God bless you and be safe out there and he just kept on going on his way.

I asked him if he wanted to get a cup of coffee and food, but he didn't want to and he just kept on going.


LEMON: Well, Officer Deprimo says many of his colleagues do the very same thing, similar acts, routinely. Very nice.

Thank you for watching, everyone. I'm Don Lemon.

Mr. Joe Johns is in today for Wolf Blitzer. He's anchoring "The Situation Room.

Hey, Joe.