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Unemployment Rate Hits 4-Year Low; McAfee Fights Return To Belize; CNN Heroes Honored; Succeeding In A Tough Economy; Abdul- Jabbar Fights Cancer For Others; The Brown Paper Bag Test; Nurse Duped By DJ's Apparently Kills Self

Aired December 7, 2012 - 14:30   ET


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: OK, so we're going to go back to today's big story on the economy. The nation's rate of unemployment stands at a four-year low. It is now 7.7 percent. With the economy adding nearly 150,000 new jobs last month.

The numbers issued today by the Labor Department easily beat most economists' expectations. Alison Kosik is with us from the New York Stock Exchange. Alison, the markets, how are they taking the news today?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: You know, considering that this report came in way better than expected, the market has been pretty quiet. The Dow is up about 54 points. The S&P 500 is flat.

And you're seeing this caution, Deb, because, you know what, there are a lot of caveats in this report. It's being called noisy because there are a lot of quirks. You know, for one, you look at the drop in the unemployment rate to 7.7 percent.

It is a bit misleading because it really fell because 350,000 people just left the workforce. They stopped looking for a job. That's not necessarily the reason you want to see behind the drop in the unemployment rate.

Also, the report doesn't reflect the full impact of Hurricane Sandy just yet. Plus, a third of the positions that were added to the economy, they were in the retail sector and many of those are just temporary holiday jobs. That could wind up falling of the payrolls after the New Year.

So all those people who have those temporary jobs could be back on the unemployment rate, you know, but that's not to say that there weren't some bright spots in this report. It does show that the labor market may not be growing by a lot, but it is stable.

Look at where we have come from. You know, after weak jobs figures over the summer, we have been slowly making our way back. But with all these caveats with this report, what we really need to see, is another couple of months to get the revisions and then look back at the trend to see if the stability in the jobs market is holding -- Deb.

FEYERICK: And Alison, you talked about retail, let's talk about manufacturing a little because particularly negative part of today's reading was the loss of 7,000 manufacturing jobs. That's how America builds, we create things. Do we know why that happened?

KOSIK: Exactly. So you do look at that portion of the report, the factory sector, it really didn't fare so well in November's report. And most of those 7,000 job losses are coming in food manufacturing and here's why.

You look at Hostess. Hostess announced it laid of almost 19,000 workers as part of its liquidation. You should wind up seeing that overall number normalize in the coming months, but then again there is the fiscal cliff, the implications of that.

Interesting thing about this whole report in general is that it came in much better than expected and that could actually wind up being a bad thing for the negotiations going on Capitol Hill because it may not light a fire under lawmakers.

It may not give them the motivation to compromise when they would maybe be more willing to compromise if the jobs numbers were weaker so a lot of interesting things going on with this report, a lot of implications -- Deb.

FEYERICK: Yes, definitely still room to fix the economy. Alison Kosik for us at the New York Stock Exchange, thank you so much.

KOSIK: Sure.

FEYERICK: Well, after weeks in hiding and on the run, John McAfee's bid for asylum in Guatemala has been rejected. The American software mogul may be deported back to Belize. More on this bizarre case coming up.


FEYERICK: Well, you got to get your daily John McAfee update. You need a score card for this one so here we go. Yesterday at this time, we were getting reports that McAfee was rushed to the hospital from his jail cell in Guatemala City. There he is on a stretcher.

The hospital found nothing wrong with McAfee. So a few hours later, he was sent back to jail. That's him in jail, playing with a laptop. He's even blogging from jail as he tries to fight being sent back to Belize. He's wanted for questioning there in the murder of his neighbor, American expat Greg Faull.

Faull had complained about McAfee's dogs and excessive noise. So far Guatemala is saying no to McAfee's request for asylum and the software giant could be heading back to Belize soon. Listen to McAfee explain why he fled Belize and why he doesn't want to return.


JOHN MCAFEE, TECH MOGUL DETAINED IN GUATEMALA: They have attempted to charge me with every crime ranging from running an antibiotics laboratory without a license, to hiring security guards without a license to having improper paperwork for my company and most recently the murder of my neighbor.

I had to leave, but the story has to get out. I have documentation that proves the intent corruption of all levels of the Belizian government, now that I'm in a safe place I can speak freely. I will be talking on my blog,, starting tonight revealing the truth about Belize. Thank you very much.


FEYERICK: With that, McAfee dances in the parking lot with his 20- year-old girlfriend. We will keep tabs on this one. Clearly, he's wanted for questioning as to what may have happened to that neighbor. So stay tuned. We'll bring it to you.

Well, this week we honor the "Top Ten CNN Heroes of 2012" with an all- star tribute. Anderson Cooper hosted the star-studded event at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Here is Kareen Wynter to tell us about that very special night.


KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The red carpet outside L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium buzzed with excitement. But this time the bright lights shined on some special stars, everyday people changing the world.

ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, CNN'S "AC 360": Welcome to "CNN Heroes An All-Star Tribute."

WYNTER: Out of thousands of nominations submitted by CNN's global audience, ten amazing men and women were singled out for their remarkable heroic efforts to make the world a better place. People like Razia Jan who is providing a free education to hundreds of girls in rural Afghanistan.

RAZIA JAN, "HEROES" HONOREE: I think education is the only thing in the world that can go forward and make life better.

WYNTER: And Leo McCarthy, who gives scholarships to kids who pledge not to drink after his daughter was killed by a young driver.

LEO MCCARTHY, "HEROES" HONOREE: Let's change the culture and keep these promising vibrant kids alive.

WYNTER: Olympic swimmer Collin Jones helped celebrate Wanda Butts golden moment. Motivated by her son's tragic drowning, she created a non-profit that helped more than 1,200 children learn how to swim.

WANDA BUTTS, "HEROES" HONOREE: It is unbelievable to me that I have come this far from such a tragedy with my son.

WYNTER: It was an unforgettable night, capped off with the unveiling of the "CNN Hero of the Year," Pushpa Basnet, founder of a children's home in Nepal that helps kids whose parents are imprisoned.

PUSHPA BASNET, CNN HERO OF THE YEAR: Thank you so much for everyone who voted for me and who believed in my dream.

WYNTER: The hope is that their heroic example will inspire countless others. Kareen Wynter, CNN, Los Angeles.


FEYERICK: Truly amazing people. And you can watch the special broadcast in its entirety tomorrow night on CNN at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and again on Christmas Day at 4:00 p.m. Eastern. So get your family, get your friends, be prepared to be inspired. You can watch it over and over again actually.

Well, he's a sports ledge end. He's written several best-sellers, former NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will join me live to talk about his battle against cancer.

And a small business beating the odds, find out why this bookseller is thriving while others are closing down.


FEYERICK: Some good news in the jobs report, which is out today. Unemployment fell to its lowest levels in nearly four years. Unfortunately, analysts say some of that due to workers dropping out of the labor market.

With the holidays upon us, then, how are some businesses finding ways to keep their doors open while others are failing? Our Tom Foreman went looking for some answers in today's "American Journey."


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid the bustle of Broadway, against the bad economy and the crushing competition, at the Strand, the show goes on. Started more than 80 years ago, this independent bookstore has beaten the odds, surviving the great depression, World War II.

And Fred Bass, who was a baby when his dad started the Strand, says the store is enduring these tough times too.

FRED BASS, OWNER: Mainly by having good books and good prices. Lately, we have been selling a lot of new books at discount, but it is mostly used books or bargain books that we sell or out of print books.

FOREMAN: The Strand's eclectic approach allows it to appeal to a broad array of clients hunting the trivial and treasured on its shelves like this rare signed copy of Ulysses by James Joyce.

BASS: What are we selling this one for? $25,000, a bargain, really.

FOREMAN: But the Strand's success is about more than inventory. Employees top to bottom must possess a deep knowledge of books, and embrace the idea that they're maintaining a business, yes, but also a community. BILLY MOWBRAY, EMPLOYEE: There is just a comfort here where people feel willing to open up and to have 30-minute conversations with you in the aisles, even when you probably should be working.

FOREMAN: The Strand has kept up with the times too, to compete with megabookstores and internet retailers, it now offers almost all of its books online. Still, it could be argued that in these days of everything moving faster, the Strand's winning edge really comes from going slower.

IRIS LEVY, CUSTOMER: There is something about being able to just browse through all these aisles and hold a book and read a book and look at a book. That's wonderful.

FOREMAN: The bottom line of all this, even with the economy down, sales at the Strand are up. And another great season of holiday shopping is going on the books. Tom Foreman, CNN.


FEYERICK: It is definitely a must-stop for all of you when you're back here in New York. Well, you know him as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, up next, there he is, the sports legend opens up on the biggest battle of his life. Stay with us.


FEYERICK: Well, we all know of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as one of the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. The skyhook shot, yes, that's his trademark. What you may not know about the NBA legend is he's among thousands of Americans living with a rare form of blood cancer.

His grandfather and uncle died from cancer. The basketball great sees it not as a death sentence however, but as a manageable disease. He's a paid spokesman for Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation, makers of the drug therapy that he takes.

And this week, he's attending one of the largest blood cancer symposiums in the world in Atlanta. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joins us now. Thank you so much. Kareem, you have a rare type of blood cancer, myeloid leukemia? How is your health? Are you still in remission?

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, NBA HALL OF FAME PLAYER: My health is very good and something you should understand. You never actually gone through remission, you always have this disease. But you can treat it and can keep it at a point where it doesn't threaten your life.

FEYERICK: Now your grandfather and your uncle died of cancer. Your dad came close. By being so vocal, by making yourself accessible, talking about treatment options, do you feel that you're helping people sort of live those years?

JABBAR: Well, absolutely. Medical science has been so great. You mentioned Novartis earlier. They're on the cutting edge of figuring out therapies that will work for people like me. So, for example, in my treatment, the first medicine I took called Glivac wasn't working quite the way that we wanted it to.

We wanted to improve on that so I changed to the next generation drug and it worked very well. It has given me what is called the molecular response, which means that I no longer have any bad white blood cells that can be detected in my body down to the molecular level. That's the type of response that we want to reach and hope to maintain.

FEYERICK: You know, in the three years since being diagnosed, what has really been your biggest breakthrough either personally or with respect to treatment and how the treatments happened?

JABBAR: Well, I think personally once people found out that I had leukemia, it made me a lot more human to people. You know, when you're a successful athlete, people think you can do anything at anytime.

And when they find out that you're susceptible to the same things that every other ordinary person is susceptible to, it kind of humanizes you. And has, you know, it made it easier for me to talk to people.

People approach me new and ask me about my health and tell me about people that they know or love that are dealing with the same issues.

FEYERICK: You know, sometimes people get discouraged when they're told, no, this treatment doesn't seem to be working. What is your advice to those folks? Because you did have to kind of try until you found the right treatment.

JABBAR: Exactly. But the whole idea is patience and understanding that this does not have to be a death sentence. If you are determined to beat it, medical science has given us a lot of tools to beat it with, just have to be patient, follow your doctors' instructions and good things can happen. And usually they do.

FEYERICK: All right, well, we're certainly sure you're making a difference in a lot of people's lives who are going through the same thing. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, thank you so much. We appreciate you stopping in to talk to us.

JABBAR: Nice talking to you.

FEYERICK: Well, tracking your texts. Ahead next hour, why some police officers want the power to investigate your messages years after you send them?


FEYERICK: A young woman uses a brown paper bag to show kids a tough lesson on the history of judging people by their skin color. Soledad O'Brien has more on today's segment of "Black in America."


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, ANCHOR, CNN'S "STARTING POINT" (voice-over): Kiara Lee recently graduated from the University of Richmond. Her passion is educating children about colorism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tell me about that. Why did the teacher not call on him?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Because she ugly and black.

O'BRIEN: Leshante Brown is 7 years old and her mother is worried her little girl is already getting the message, dark skin is bad.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I think my skin is ugly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you think it's ugly?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Because I don't want to be dark.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't want to be dark?

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: No. I want to be light skinned.


UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: Because light skinned is pretty.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can somebody tell me what that means? My stance is, teach the children what it is, show them the history, make them aware of this issue so that when they go to school, when they go out in the world, they're armed with this information.

Because he wants to buy her because her skin is lighter. You got to sit in the back. Even among 6-year-olds, she is not afraid to shock. Today, the brown paper bag test. Kiara stops each child entering the classroom and compares their skin tone to a paper bag.

Let me see your arm. Put your arm out for me. OK, you go sit in the back, OK.

O'BRIEN: Lighter than the bag, you can sit in the front. It's a real test, from the early 1900s used by social organizations like churches and fraternities and neighborhood groups to decide who was light skinned enough to join.

(on camera): Was it too extreme to do to little kids?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't think so at all. I think the more interactive, the more shocking the activity is, the better because it is going to stick with them.


FEYERICK: Soledad O'Brien talking to us now from New York. Soledad, this is fascinating. When you think about this brown paper bag test, doesn't that harm the children or is that -- what is the impact on the kids?

O'BRIEN: It is shocking. It's terrible. Yet Kiara would argue that if you listen to those kids, especially that little girl, she says, she knows the messages that she's getting about her dark skin tone.

She clearly does not want to be dark and it is painful to hear what she tells her mother, about how she doesn't want to be in her own skin. So Kiara, the teacher there, would argue, listen, these kids are having these conversations.

It's critical for us to jump in and sort of make them aware of the history of what they're doing so that we can stop this. This is colorism. The discrimination based on skin tone and she's very interested in trying to get everyone together to stop, to fight it.

FEYERICK: Is it also a way of resetting or really changing a children's view of how they see what the color is, so they can begin to appreciate that whatever color they are is the right color to be?

O'BRIEN: I think what she's doing here is shocking them and saying how does it feel to you now? I've just judged you on the color of your skin. Let's think about that as we view that to others and be sure to recognize it, even in kids as young as 6 or 7.

FEYERICK: That's so remarkable. I mean, this is fascinating series you're doing. When you say who is black in America, you would think that we have learned the answer to that question.

O'BRIEN: It is getting more complicated because actually the number of mixed and biracial kids is growing. We have more biracial children born today than ever before.

FEYERICK: Just incredible. All right, Soledad O'Brien, we're still looking forward to seeing your special. Thank you so much for joining us.

O'BRIEN: Thank you.

FEYERICK: Soledad takes a look at lots of provocative questions about skin color, discrimination and race. "Who is Black in America" premiers Sunday night at 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.

Well, outrage and shock in London. A nurse duped by a prank call about Prince William's pregnant wife apparently has committed suicide. The hospital says Jacintha Saldanha was the nurse who answered the call from two Australian deejays posing as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. She then transferred the call to Katherine's ward, where another nurse revealed private details about Katherine's condition.

A Saint James Palace spokesman says, quote, "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha. Their thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."

The palace emphasized that everyone at the hospital took wonderful care of the Duchess Catherine. Meanwhile, don't expect to hear from the deejays who made the prank call any time soon.