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Syrian Chemical Weapons; Crist Officially Joins Democrats; Nurse's Death Following Radio Prank to Kate Middleton's Hospital Room; Interview with Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski; Supreme Court Takes Up Same Sex Marriage; "The Grand Bargain" Plan; Psy Apologizes for Anti-American Lyrics; Using Your Body to Charge Your Phone

Aired December 8, 2012 - 08:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye. Victor Blackwell is off today. It's 8:00 on the East Coast, 5:00 out west. Thanks for starting your day with us.

We start with Syria and a plan for dealing with the country's chemical weapons. President Obama has threatened action if chemical weapons are used and now we have learned that the Pentagon is updating military options for the president. We'll have more on the president's red line and the military options in about 10 minutes.

Belize will have to wait a little longer to question former Internet mogul John McAfee about his neighbor's murder. A judge in Guatemala says McAfee can remain in the country until his immigration case is heard in court. Well, that could take another month. McAfee is recovering after an apparent collapse. He had been on the run for weeks, but insists he has nothing to do with his neighbor's death.

Charlie Crist announced Friday on Twitter he's officially a Democrat. Crist spoke at the Democratic National Convention in September as an independent. He ran for the U.S. Senate two years ago as an independent, but lost to Marco Rubio and served as governor of Florida as a Republican. Some are speculating Crist made this latest move in preparation for a run against incumbent Florida Governor Rick Scott in 2014.

Lawmakers want answers about what that deadly September 11th attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya is all about. Soon they may hear from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She will testify before a House committee on a State Department report expected next week. U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed when the consulate was stormed three months ago.

In Britain, a prank call from an Australian radio station to the hospital treating the duchess of Cambridge has turned tragic. Two DJs called the hospital, tricked a nurse to get information about Katherine's condition. Well, that nurse was found dead Friday of an apparent suicide. She leaves behind a husband and two children. The two DJs are suspended and Rick Holloran (ph), the CEO of the station's parent company, says he's confident his company did nothing illegal.

And more now on that story. CNN's Matthew Chance joins us live. Matthew, good morning. This story certainly generating outrage not only in Britain, but around the world.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it certainly is. A lot of outrage, a lot of anger being expressed on the social media pages of the radio station in Sydney, Australia where those two deejays made their prank call from.

Also, the nurse obviously has been named as Jacintha Saldanha, a 46- year-old mother of two. She was married from the English city of Bristol but she lived just a short distance from here in the week where when she was working here at the Edward VII hospital in central London in the staff quarters there. That's where police say her body was found.

Yes, you're right. A lot of anger being expressed on the social media about this. Also a lot of sadness and sympathy being expressed by those associated with the death, first and foremost of course the duke and duchess of Cambridge. They have issued a statement expressing their sadness saying how much they, wonderfully well in their words they were treated by the hospital staff during the time that Katherine, the duchess of Cambridge, was treated here for her very severe morning sickness.

The hospital has come out as well, the management of the hospital saying that they are very regretful and sad about what happened and paying tribute to a nurse that was with them for the last four years and who they say treated hundreds of patients very well indeed.

Also, you mentioned the CEO of the company that owns that radio station in Sydney that made the prank call. He's come out and issued his regret as well but also sort of indicating that he doesn't really think that even though it was in bad taste and ill-judged, that any laws were broken by his two deejays making this prank call.

So, again, a lot of sadness and a lot of regret being expressed.

KAYE: Hard to imagine that it has taken the turn that it has. Matthew Chance, thank you very much.

The Supreme Court is stepping right into the middle of the same-sex marriage debate. The justices have decided to hear two important cases which will no doubt have major ramifications. CNN's crime and justice correspondent Joe Johns has a look for us.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Randi, after weeks of speculation, the court decided to take up two cases on the issue of same-sex marriage.

The first one is about the Defensive of Marriage Act. Windsor against the United States. Edith Windsor and her partner, Thea Spyer, were married in Toronto, Canada, in 2007. Spyer died in 2009 in New York at a time when New York recognized same-sex marriages that had been performed outside the state. When Spyer died, Windsor was required to pay $363,000 in federal estate taxes on her inheritance that she would not have had to pay if federal law had given their relationship the same status that opposite marriages get. So, a pretty clean case here and even the Obama administration has already said it doesn't think the constitutionality of the Defensive of Marriage Act can withstand a legal attack.

The second case the court decided to take on is Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative, adding a state constitutional amendment in 2008 that said only marriage between a man or woman is valid or recognized in California. It overturned a court ruling that said same- sex couples have a right to marry. The cases are likely to be heard in March and decided sometime in June -- Randi.

KAYE: Joe Johns, thank you very much for that. We'll be right back.

Some are calling it the next Roe v. Wade or Brown v. Board of Education. The issue the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take on that will make history.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: All of those who argued for non- intervention because of the things that might happen have now happened because we failed to intervene.


KAYE: When is enough enough? That is the question many are asking about Syria as the death toll climbs and concerns mount over chemical weapons. Now some lawmakers are saying it may be too late to stop mass destruction.

And could this be the end of Gangnam-style mania? Why pop sensation Psy is apologizing for some anti-American lyrics.


KAYE: Good morning, Washington. Look at that lovely picture of the nation's capitol. Doesn't look like too much action around there. Certainly a quiet morning in Washington. Maybe they are thinking about the fiscal cliff. Who knows.

Well, our focus today and this morning is Syria which is important, not just because more than 40,000 have died in the 21-month conflict but because there are new fears that the government may unleash deadly chemical weapons on its own people. That means more lives could be lost and for Americans it means that the U.S. would probably take action. President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta have warned President Bashar al Assad that using chemical weapons crosses the red line.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable.


KAYE: So the question is, what would that action look like? CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has a look. BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Randi, for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the major priority now is to try to determine Syria's intent. Does it intend to use chemical weapons?


STARR: With the U.S. now believing the Syrian government has chemical weapon-filled bombs, CNN has learned the Pentagon is secretly updating military strike options for President Obama in the event he orders action.

A senior U.S. official tells CNN a strike could be carried out with the ships and aircraft already stationed in the region. The planning is being driven by the latest intelligence which U.S. officials say shows sarin gas has been loaded into aerial bombs in at least two locations near air fields. Syria seems to have crossed the line drawn by the president last August.

OBAMA: A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.

STARR: This week that line seems to have shifted with warnings from the president, Secretary of Defense Panetta and others focusing on what happens if Assad uses the weapons.

JEFF WHITE, THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: These lines become sort of pink lines, right, you know. They are not drawn with, you know, a fine pencil and they move around a little.

STARR: Military options for striking Syria spell out the case for why an attack might be called for. U.S. officials say there are multiple reports, more than just satellite imagery, confirming the aerial bombs. The regime is getting more desperate in recent days as fighting has raged around Damascus, leading to worries al Assad could order a deadly strike that could kill thousands and unlike Iraq before the U.S. war, Syria's chemical weapons program is openly acknowledged by that government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These weapons are meant to be used only and strictly in the event of external aggression against the Syrian Arab republic.

STARR: But the president will also be warned of the risks. Civilians could be killed by a deadly release of gas if the sarin isn't all destroyed. Syrian air defenses could bring down U.S. pilots if fighter jets are used. The regime could move its chemical weapons even minutes before an attack.


STARR: And if the weapons start moving around, they become less secure, and that poses another dire consideration. Officials worry terrorist groups could then move in and try and seize control of this deadly arsenal -- Randi.

KAYE: Barbara Starr, our thanks to you. So let's dig deeper into possible U.S. action in Syria. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor for the Carter administration and current counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies joins me now on the phone.

Good morning.

So this summer on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" you said the situation in Syria is extraordinarily sensitive and quote, not as horrible or as dramatic as it is portrayed, but has the continued violence and the news now of the chemical weapons changed your opinion at all?

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR (via telephone): Well, first of all, the fact that they have chemical weapons has been known for quite some time. I think the hype is that they might use them, but is there any evidence that they are planning to use them and if so, against whom? The fighting is very sporadic. It's in various places. There is doubtless a great deal of social resentment against the regime, but fighting itself is not on a major front. It's not on an organized fashion. It is more like a guerrilla warfare. How do you use chemical weapons against that?

KAYE: Well, CNN has learned that U.S. military options for a potential strike against Syria have now been updated after intelligence showed that the regime filled these aerial bombs with the deadly gas sarin. Do you agree, sir, with the Obama administration that chemical weapons are a red line and should be a red line?

BRZEZINSKI: They are a perfectly reasonable red line, but they are only a red line if they are actually used. As of now, no reporting, no information to the effect that they are being used against anyone and it's hard to envisage how they could be used because if the resistance is scattered, sporadic, then how can you employ these weapons? It's not very likely to me, at least, that the regime will start poisoning itself, particularly in Damascus which is a big city and which could be the object, but that would make absolutely no sense.

KAYE: Is it simply too dangerous, do you think, for the U.S. to get involved in the region? I mean, you have Iran, Iraq, Israel. They are all right there.

BRZEZINSKI: I think the more serious issue which goes beyond the slightly hysterical hype is what sort of a regime can be created in Syria that is stable and how do we avoid such fragmentation that the conflict in Syria spills over into Jordan and Lebanon and conceivably also activates conflicts in Iraq. This is the real danger and not a lot of hysterical talk about imminent use of some sort of chemical weapons.

KAYE: I hear you saying hysterical talk and hype, but the bottom line is more than 40,000 people there have been killed, women and children.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, you know, first of all, 40,000 people have been killed probably somewhat on both sides because of acts of violence taking place in Damascus as well and so forth. Secondly, no one has counted them. We know historically that all such estimates made during conflict tend to be overstated.

KAYE: Well, we know that our reporters certainly on the ground have seen some of it firsthand.

BRZEZINSKI: Well, they haven't counted them. The fact of the matter is these are estimates and I can understand how in a serious conflict estimates are made quickly and they are at best an approximation.

KAYE: This week the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she met with Russia's foreign minister and the UN special envoy to Syria. As you know, Russia has blocked action against al Assad at the UN, but some have speculated that Moscow may be considering a different approve. I mean, is Russia stopping the U.S., do you think, from going into Syria?

BRZEZINSKI: I think the Russians are beginning to realize that this problem simply cannot be ignored and their passive stance on it simply doesn't provide for any constructive solution, so I hope that they will work with us on this and I think the more international consensus we have on what is to be done, the less likely is the danger that the removal of the regime will result in the fragmentation of Syria all together and regional conflicts erupting. That is the real danger, and that's what people should be concentrating on.

KAYE: You know, some have made the comparison that getting involved with Syria or in Syria is similar to us getting involved in Libya and taking action against Libya. Do you see it that way?

BRZEZINSKI: Not quite. I supported strongly the position that the United States took on Libya because there was an identifiable enemy and there was also at least considered seriously a real sign of an organized resistance movement in control of significant territory. When we got engaged in Libya, half of Libya was already in the hands of the insurgents and the insurgents had a government, had some military leadership that we could deal with.

In effect, it was a viable alternative to Gadhafi and even in those good circumstances we still had difficulties in Libya incidentally, so these things are always very sensitive. In Syria it's much more fragmented, scattered and different groups. A lot of the resistance, relatively speaking, a lot of the resistance, is also from groups that we have no contact with and that we strongly suspect are connected with extremist, fanatical fundamentalists or maybe even al Qaeda elements.

KAYE: Our thanks to you (INAUDIBLE) this morning. Thank you very much sir for your time.

BRZEZINSKI: Good to talk with you.

KAYE: Nice to talk with you as well.

BRZEZINSKI: Thank you very much.

KAYE: We'll have much more on our focus next hour. If not the U.S., then who should step up in Syria? I'll pose that question to former special Middle East envoy George Mitchell. That's coming up 9:15 Eastern time.

So what is the future for pop star Psy? He may have the most popular video in the history of YouTube, but an old video surfaced of the rapper calling for the death of American troops serving in Iraq.


KAYE: Welcome back. The Supreme Court has decided to hear a pair of cases that could determine the future of gay marriage across the entire United States. One of those cases is Prop 8, the California ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage, even though lawmakers and state courts previously allowed it. The other case called Windsor versus DOMA originated in New York and challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

We're going to talk about this a little bit more this morning and we'll have our legal contributor Paul Callan discuss it with us right after this break.


KAYE: So let's get back to the discussion of the Supreme Court taking up the issue of gay marriage across the United States. I want to bring in CNN legal contributor Paul Callan.

Paul, good morning. So the Supreme Court decided to hear these two cases. What is the difference and what would you say is really at stake for gays and heterosexuals really?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: This is a really big moment in one of the most important social issues facing the United States now, how do we treat gay couples? Do we discriminate against them? Do we allow them to marry the way heterosexuals do? What the court did in picking these cases, they have their choice of cases, the Supreme Court, and they had about 10 cases in front of them.

They picked two. They picked a California case and a New York case, and very interesting choices because the California case has to do with the use of state law to bar and ban homosexual marriage. The New York case has to do with whether Federal law can be used to ban gay marriage.

So, if the court rules on both of these cases, it will be a sweeping court order that will cover Federal, state regulations and could have the impact of really legalizing gay marriage throughout the United States or banning it possibly as well.

KAYE: So you have same-sex marriage though currently legal in several states. I mean, that could be overturned possibly?

CALLAN: Well, it would not be overturned in those individual states, but what could happen is since part of the case law that's going up to the court has to do with whether the Federal government can refuse to recognize gay marriage, that's the New York case.

In the New York case. you have a couple that was trying to collect benefits under Federal law that only married couples can collect and Federal law. This Defense of Marriage Act, now says that the Federal government is not recognizing gay marriage. If they uphold that ban, then Federal benefits would not be granted to gay couples, even in states where gay marriage is legal. That's -- that would be the impact there if that New York case goes forward.

KAYE: What about this interesting scenario? I mean, normally the Justice Department would represent the Federal government before the Supreme Court to defend DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, but since the president announced he supports same-sex marriage, who then would represent the U.S.?

CALLAN: Very interesting question.

The Obama administration Justice Department has said we are not going to fight to uphold this federal law. We don't believe in it, and normally it's, of course, the Justice Department that defends the government in cases, so what's happened now is Congress has appointed a lawyer to represent the interests of Congress which adopted the Defense of Marriage Act.

And one of the things the court is looking at is does Congress have the right to do that because under our current constitutional setup only the Justice Department representing the President gets to represent the government's position, so it's very, very interesting. And it all leads back to this thing that lawyers call "standing" and whether this is a live controversy in front of the court that the court would have the right to hear.

So it gives them an escape hatch. If they don't want to decide -- let's say it gets too hot and heavy and they are arguing with each other and they cannot make a decision, this is an escape hatch for the court. They can say you know something; we're not going to decide this. Because there's not proper standing because of the Justice Department's position.

KAYE: I want to share with you some of our polling here at CNN showing American attitudes on same-sex marriage in their states, and it does show a slight majority approves at 49 percent. You see it there, versus the 46 percent who are against it. What influence, Paul, do you think this -- this could have on the Supreme Court, if any? I mean is this the equivalent of the '60s interracial marriage ban that was overturned in the Loving v. Virginia case? I mean, is there any influence here?

CALLAN: Well it's a very interesting question and you know I think what's fascinating about this is years ago when this first came before the court, did this issue of whether it was legal to have laws that treated homosexuals in a different way from heterosexuals. The court was saying that's not even a question for consideration. It's not even a federal question. It's not important enough for us to even look at.

In other words, they were saying that's ridiculous, and now clearly a majority of the American people think it's an important right, and the court clearly thinks this is an important constitutional issue, so I think, yes. Public opinion has pushed the court in a very clear direction, at least to the point where they take this very seriously now, and public opinion affects the court. It takes a long time for it to affect the court, but over the course of many, many years the attitudes of judges shift, just like citizens.

KAYE: It is a fascinating case. We'll continue to watch it along with you. Paul Callan, thank you very much.

CALLAN: Nice being with you. Take care, Randi.

KAYE: You, too.

Bottom of the hour now. I'm glad you're with us, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye and Victor Blackwell is off this morning. Thanks for starting your morning with us. Here are five stories that we're watching this morning.

The Supreme Court has decided to take up two major same-sex marriage cases as we've been discussing. The first is the Defense of Marriage Act. The 1996 law denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Right now there are around 120,000 legally married same-sex couples in the U.S. The second is California's Prop 8 that makes same- sex marriage illegal in the state. A decision is expected next year.

In our second story, a royal hoax turns tragic as the nurse who received a prank call commits suicide. Two Australian radio hosts called a London hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles and seeking information about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge. They are now suspended from their jobs. The Duke and Duchess released a statement Friday saying they are deeply saddened by the nurse's death.

The Secret Service is red-faced today after revelations the agency lost sensitive computer tapes. The tapes, which contained information on agents and investigations, were accidentally left in a pouch on a subway train. It actually happened in 2008, but the tapes have never been found. An investigation is under way and changes to agency protocol have already been made.

And number four, President Obama is asking Congress for $60.4 billion in emergency aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery. That request falls short of total damage estimates. Governors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut alone say they'll need closer to $82 billion to fix their states.

We don't know their names, but a couple from a Phoenix suburb has presented the second winning ticket from last month's massive Powerball drawing. The couple came forward now because they were concerned about, guess what, the looming fiscal cliff. They will take home $192 million bucks before taxes, and the plan is to use the money to start a foundation and support their favorite charities.

More people out of work and another recession -- you want to know what's at the bottom of that fiscal cliff? Well, there you have it. Many say that was going to happen if something isn't done soon. But guess what? Alice Rivlin has a plan. She's a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and served as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, the OMB, under President Clinton.

Alice, good morning.


KAYE: Nice to have you here on the show this morning. You're saying that it's too late for the lame duck Congress to pass legislation to fix all the problems that exist, but you have created a framework for something that you call a grand bargain. What is it?

RIVLIN: Well, it isn't just me. Anybody who has looked at this problem, I was on the Simpson-Bowles Commission and chaired another group with Senator Domenici. Everyone has looked at this problem sees that first the budget is on an unsustainable course. We're on a course to accumulate more debt over the years and accumulate debt faster than the economy can grow. That's not sustainable.

The grand bargain is that we have to do something about this, and the things we have to do are slow the growth of spending, especially the health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid for older people, and we need more revenue. We have to reform our tax system so we collect more revenue.

It's not possible to do all of that between now and the end of the year when this fiscal cliff thing hits, but the government could put in place a framework. That's what they are arguing about now, what is the framework for the grand bargain that we will fill in the details in the next Congress?

KAYE: One of the biggest fundamental reforms though that you say needs to happen is with those entitlement programs, so what exactly needs to change right now, and what would you say needs to stay?

RIVLIN: Well, nobody is for abolishing Medicare, for example. Everybody is in favor of Medicare. It's a very important program for seniors. It's paid the cost of health care for seniors over many years. We're going to have more seniors. That's part of the problem, and health care costs go up, so the program is going to be more expensive.

The problem is to use those resources more effectively. We have very expensive health care in the United States, and that's partly because it's inefficient, so people on both sides are looking at ways of making Medicare more efficient over time. That's changing the incentives that doctors and other providers have so that they are rewarded for good outcomes, for healthier patients rather than just for providing more services.

I think everybody has agreed that's a good thing. They just have slightly different ways of going at it.

KAYE: Let me ask you about this, because one of the things that you're calling for is an immediate freeze of discretionary defense spending. That is an amount of money Congress picks each year for spending, but in 2011, discretionary spending totaled about $1.35 trillion, more than half of that spending was for Defense. In a time where you know, we're seeing these tensions rise around the world, certainly in Syria, Iran is continuing with its defiant nuclear program and North Korea preparing to test fire ballistic missiles, can we really afford do you think to freeze defense funding or should something else be cut?

RIVLIN: I'm not calling for a freeze in defense spending. We've already done that. That was in the Budget Control Act of 2011. And what I am saying and others who have looked at this problem, we've done enough cutting in discretionary spending. That shouldn't be part of the current discussion, and in fact, it isn't.

The things that people are talking about now, specifically very important people like President Obama and Speaker Boehner, is the tax code and these programs that we sometimes call entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Those are the things that are on the table at the moment, not Defense. Unless the bargain fails, unless the two sides cannot get together and then the thing that will happen and it will happen quickly, are drastic cuts in defense and domestic spending and an automatic increase in taxes.

That is what must be avoided just because the economy couldn't take it at this stage. We've had relatively slow growth in the economy, and though it seems to be picking up and the last jobs report was quite favorable, having a crash austerity program right now, that's what the fiscal cliff is, would be a big mistake.

So the two sides have to get together on this grand bargain.

KAYE: Well, we certainly hope they do.

Alice Rivlin, thank you very much.

RIVLIN: You're welcome.

KAYE: Switching gears now. What is the future for the pop star Psy? He may have the most popular video in the history of YouTube, but an old video surfaced for the rapper calling for the death of American troops. We'll explain next.


KAYE: Welcome back. 43 minutes past the hour.

Korean pop star Psy making headlines for a whole other reason than you might think this morning. His music video may be the most watched video in YouTube history with nearly a billion hits, but now a 2004 video surfaced for Psy calling for, yes, the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq. What's this all about?

Well, let's get the scoop from Nick Valencia who is joining me now to talk more about this. All right. So what's going on? This is from a CNN iReport that this first surfaced?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Surfaced back in October. It happened eight years ago so a lot of people are saying how relevant is it now, but he made the comments in 2004 after there was a South Korean missionary kidnapped in Iraq. He was later executed after negotiations -- there was a refusal for negotiations.

A lot of people blamed the U.S. occupation in Iraq for the death of this missionary. Psy was among those critics. He took to a rap and rapped these lyrics. Some of them, Randi, "Kill those f-ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives.

COSTELLO: Really disturbing stuff.

VALENCIA: Pretty disturbing but he did issue an apology. He said "While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self I've learned there are limits to what language is a appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I've caused by those words."

KAYE: And didn't he also smash a tank, an American tank or at least a mock tank on stage?

VALENCIA: He did. I was watching the video earlier just before coming on set. He smashes the tank using his mike, sort of bashed up the remaining bits on stage. He made some other comments as well back in 2002 after there were two teenage South Korean girls that were run over by a U.S. Army vehicle. So it's two incidents that we're real talking about here that surfaced. But again, a lot of people saying this happened eight years ago. How relevant is it now?

KAYE: Yes. But you know, sometimes people, you know -- I know he's a big star and he's extremely popular. His video is the most watched on YouTube, but could this have an effect, do you think, on his career?

VALENCIA: Well, sort of dual approaches here. One side is saying that they respect him a little more now that he's been able to come out and criticize.

KAYE: Yes. He did jump right on it. You have to give him that.

VALENCIA: He did. He did jump right on it. He did this PR blitz here. There's also though an upcoming performance at the White House. He's going to perform in front of President Barack Obama. Some people have signed a petition on to say that he shouldn't perform. So we'll see what happens.

KAYE: Yes. And the President is supposed to attend that. So, we'll see. All right Nick.

VALENCIA: Thank you.

KAYE: Thank you.

VALENCIA: All right.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton John go back to their "Grease" roots and pot smokers rejoice. It all happened in five chaotic days. We'll catch you up on the week that was. But first if your cell phone or other tech devices need some recharging, new technology makes you the energy generator. CNN's Gary Tuchman explains in this week's "Start Small, Think Big.


AARON LEMIEUX, TREMONT ELECTRIC: My name is Aaron Lemieux. I'm founder and CEO of Tremont Electric and the inventor of the nPower PEG.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's designed for hikers, bikers or anyone on the go.

LEMIEUX: As you walk along it harvests and stores your human kinetic energy, so you're up and down walking motion. And then it recharges your mobile electronic devices from the energy that it harvests from you.

TUCHMAN: PEG stands for Personal Energy Generator.

LEMIEUX: You can demonstrate it very simply by just standing here and walking in place.

TUCHMAN: Aaron Lemieux dreamed up the idea as an engineering student in 1996. Ten years later he quit his day job and started making the PEG.

LEMIEUX: We definitely started small. One person with his wife's blessing working alone in the basement full time.

TUCHMAN: For every minute of motion Lemieux says the nPower Peg can juice up a small mp3 player. More power-hungry devices like Smartphones take 15 minutes of walking to get you one minute of talking.

LEMIEUX: This is where we were a couple years ago and this is where we are now.

TUCHMAN: And the technology could get bigger, way bigger.

LEMIEUX: We ultimately see the nPower technology being scaled up to the size of an automobile and placed inside of a buoy which would be out on the ocean and instead of harvesting human walking motion we're able to harvest the wave motion.

TUCHMAN: Lemieux says a single buoy could power at least 20 homes.



KAYE: Welcome back, everyone.

President Obama and the Republicans look to make a deal, the royal couple makes a baby, and a new law makes some pot smokers very happy. A look back now at the week that was.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN HOST: 26 days left, of course, until we tumble over the cliff.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: Now we need a response from the White House.


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: It's official. Kate Middleton is pregnant.

PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: Obviously, you know, we want a family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole globe's press will be in London waiting for this little baby.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Smoke them if you've got them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we're smoking weed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not a criminal anymore. I'm free to be free.

KAYE: A little pot, a big pregnancy and, of course, politics dominated this week that was. A week that began with this --

BOEHNER: A reasonable offer to the White House that would avert the fiscal cliff.

KAYE: The President politely declined.

OBAMA: When you look at the math, it doesn't work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just common sense.

O'BRIEN: At least the two sides are talking.

KAYE: Oh, they are talking all right.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: The President actually isn't interested in a balanced agreement.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: The only people who aren't aboard are Republicans in Congress.

KAYE: Another Republican this week trying a different tack.

BOEHNER: God bless us, everyone.

BANFIELD: All right. This is the kind of breaking news we love to bring to you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we've got breaking news.

KAYE: Over and over again, in case you didn't hear.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Prince William and his wife Catherine are expecting a baby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure they will make absolutely brilliant parents.

PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: They're splendid. And I'm very glad my daughter-in-law is getting better.

KAYE: Getting better after Kate was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A case of hyperemesis gravidarum.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hyperemesis gravidarum.

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC HOST: Hyperemesis gravidarum which means you throw up a lot.

KAYE: Thanks, Barbara.

COSTELLO: Today recreational marijuana is officially legal.

KAYE: In Washington state, at least, so smoke up if you're so inclined.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's amazing. I'm not a criminal anymore. I can't go to jail for small amounts of marijuana.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost the entire West Coast and all of New England is going to move in this direction.

KAYE: Same-sex marriage also officially legal in Washington this week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think of all the people who have worked very hard and looked forward to this day.

KAYE: And if you're a Grease fan you have this to look forward to.


KAYE: Danny and Sandy together again, teaming up for a new Christmas album. And if this music video's any indication, let's just say it will be one of a kind.

And that's the week that was.


KAYE: When traveling to other cities and countries, the best way to get a real taste of the place is, of course, through the local food. CNN's iReport has now teamed up with "Travel & Leisure" magazine to create a global list of 100 places to eat like a local.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Dan Rivers in Bangkok, and when I want to eat local on a rainy afternoon, there's nothing better than Nugan Lee. They do amazing seafood here, fancy eating that. And rice, what else would you suggest? Do you have any prawns?


RIVERS: My favorite dish is (inaudible) crispy pork. How do you get the pork so crispy?

NATTANUN ARUNTHANAWNG, RESTAURANT OWNER: Leave it one hour and then we clean with water and then make it dry first and then deep fry with many oil.

RIVERS: This soup here, tom yang gun (ph), very famous.

ARUNTHANAWNG: Yes, with lemon grass and mushroom and trimming and lemon and a little bit of milk.

RIVERS: And it's quite spicy as well.

ARUNTHANAWNG: Spicy is the minced chili. We have many, 200 menu.

RIVERS: Two hundred different recipes on the menu. So it's very popular.

ARUNTHANAWNG: Yes, popular.

RIVERS: Why is it so popular? Why do so many people come here?


RIVERS: Because it's cheap.

ARUNTHANAWNG: And fresh and delicious.

RIVERS: Right.

So those places in guidebooks are for tourists. Go to Nugan Lee if you if you want to eat like a local.


KAYE: New job numbers, fiscal cliff talks, legalized marijuana, all the news was fodder for late night comedians this week.


JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: Some good news, some good news. The U.S. unemployment rate is now the lowest it's been in four years. Or as makers of sweatpants put it, uh-oh.

JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: Unemployment rate has fallen through its lowest level in nearly four years. Now the bad news, most of those jobs involved wearing a red suit, a beard and have a kid peeing in your lap. Yes, that's the bad side of it.

JIMMY FALLON, TALK SHOW HOST: House Speaker John Boehner says that his efforts to work with President Obama on the fiscal cliff have resulted in a lot of talk but no action. Yes. A lot of talk but no action, or as they call that in college a date.