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Fiscal Cliff Negotiations Continue Into Final Days of 2012; A Look at Some New State Laws in 2013; Maine Same-Sex Marriage Law Takes Effect; Pros and Cons of the Fiscal Cliff From a Wall Street Perspective; India Rape Victim Dies, Protests Continue; 40,000 Plus Killed in Syria's Civil War; Chicago's 500th Homicide for 2012; Stalked by Her Parents?; Setting Parental Boundaries

Aired December 29, 2012 - 08:00   ET


ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Alison Kosik.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christi Paul. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us. Randi and Victor are off today. It is 8:00 on the East Coast, 5:00 for all you early birds out west, obviously.

KOSIK: And it's early.

PAUL: Yes.

KOSIK: Let's go ahead and start with negotiations going on this weekend to try and keep going off the fiscal cliff. The deadline is now just three days away. President Obama says he is modestly optimistic the top Democrat and Republican in the Senate can work things out.

Our chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin has more on what needs to happen in order to make a deal.


The good news is things could have been worse. It doesn't seem to those of us watching from the sidelines as though time is running out, but Congress does some of its best or at least its speediest work when the nation's back is against the wall.


YELLIN (voice-over): After a rare Oval Office meeting with top congressional leaders, the president said he's "modestly optimistic" a deal can come together. Emphasis on modestly.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people are watching what we do here. Obviously their patience is already thin. This is deja vu all over again.

YELLIN: All sides left in agreement, at least over their next step.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: We'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: Whatever we come up with is going to be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it, some people will like it less, but that's where we are.

YELLIN: So, on Saturday, the Senate leaders will try to agree on legislation extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to Medicare providers, and fixing the alternative minimum tax. The president says an agreement must include an extension of unemployment benefits and Republicans have called for a measure to avert an estate tax hike.

OBAMA: Nobody's going to get 100 percent of what they want.

YELLIN: On Sunday, senators will try to convince their members to back the plan and schedule a vote. So the pressure is on for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to cobble together the deal. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to assure that no Republicans block the bill. For House Speaker John Boehner, to agree to bring it to a vote on the House floor, and leader Nancy Pelosi to produce the huge number of Democrats needed to pass it. But if that plan falls through --

OBAMA: Then I will urge Senator Reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote.


YELLIN: The president's basic package has much more for Democrats to like. So don't expect that to get very far, but all sides now agree the Senate must first pass a bill before the House makes any kind of move. So all eyes will be on Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid and their negotiators holed up on Capitol Hill. The Senate comes back into session at 1:00 on Sunday -- Christi, Alison.

KOSIK: And the cliffhanger continues. Jessica Yellin, thanks.

PAUL: And while January first is the deadline to make a deal on the fiscal cliff, for some states, it's a day that a series of new laws are going to take effect. Let me get you clued in here.

First of all, in California, we're talking more than 800 new laws, including one requiring apartments and condos to install carbon monoxide detectors. Separately, employers will no longer be able to ask job applicants for log ins to social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter.

And workers in eight states will see a small bounce in their paychecks at the start of the year. The increase is between 28 and 37 cents per hour, affects more than a million low-income earners, thanks to laws that require minimum wage to keep pace with inflation there.

And that extra money could come in handy at the Post Office where the price of stamps is set to go up, yet again, by a penny, on January 27th, which brings the price of sending first-class mail to 46 cents.

Well, the Senate has also approved a five-year extension of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. That allows the government to eavesdrop on overseas phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists. Supporters say it's protected Americans from more attacks such as 9/11. Privacy advocates worry thought that it could be abused. The bill is now on its way to President Obama and he is expected to sign it.

Also want to tell you about some newlyweds who are waking up this morning in Maine. The state's same-sex marriage law went into effect at midnight. Steven Bridges and Michael Snell were the first in line to tie the knot and they say they've been waiting years for this moment.


STEVEN BRIDGES AND MICHAEL SNELL, JUST MARRIED: It's very surreal still. We didn't -- we didn't expect all the cameras and everything tonight.

We finally feel equal and happy to live in Maine.

It's official now.

After nine years, it's -- it's all good.



PAUL: Voters in Maine, Washington state approved same-sex marriage in November's elections. Gay marriage is already legal in DC and six other states.

Let's turn to the weather because, let's face it, it's affecting a huge chunk of the nation right now.

KOSIK: There's a lot of snow out there. In fact, snow currently covers more than half of the lower 48 states and unfortunately for some people, the storm's not over yet. Let's bring in meteorologist Bonnie Schneider. Bonnie, what's going to happen today?


KOSIK: OK. We've got so much more for you this hour. Here's a look at what's coming up.

A young woman wins a restraining order against her parents. Is this a case of abusive parents or an overly-entitled it child? You won't believe her complaint.

Still waiting -- three days to go and still no plan to avert the fiscal cliff. What will lawmakers do to save you from more taxes and fewer benefits?

And they're back. Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper ringing in New Year's Eve, but why was Kathy naked on AC's couch? She's going to explain. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KOSIK: All morning you're looking at our iReporter moments of 2012. This one we told you about a little while ago, but we didn't have the picture and that's why we need to show you what Beth Woods got this year. She was told in 2008 she'd never be able to have children without medical help. Look at this guy. Her new son Alex, we're so happy for her. His birth was her best moment of 2012.

Beth, congratulations to you and your family. He is a handsome little guy.

It's one of those weekends for investors, waiting and worrying. That's because lawmakers have just three days left to get a deal done in time to avoid the fiscal cliff and that's what our focus is on this morning.

For his part, President Obama says he's modestly optimistic the top Democrat and Republican in the Senate can work things out. But even if a deal is thrown together, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid says what they come up with could be imperfect and some people aren't going to like it.

Let's bring in independent New York Stock Exchange trader Kenny Polcari joining me from New York this morning. Good to see you.

KENNY POLCARI, INDEPENDENT NYSE TRADER: Good to see you, Alison. Thanks for having me.

KOSIK: As you said, Washington has been kicking the can down the road. So what are the chances of a real deal going through at the very last minute? Things sound a little more optimistic last night, if you listened to President Obama.

POLCARI: I think they have to sound optimistic. I think the last thing they want to do is not sound optimistic. Here's the problem. We've come right to the 11th hour. The fact that there's going to be a substantive deal that comes out of this in the 11th hour is probably nil to zero, right.

So essentially, in my sense, it's easier to go over the cliff because then there's clarity, right? Taxes will go up, spending will get cut, the market will know what is going to happen. It can only get better from there, because then you'll get legislators that come to the table, that try to cut taxes and raise some spending and they'll argue it from a positive point of view and they'll stand up and they'll say, rah, rah, look what we did. Right? So it won't get any worse if we go into the cliff.

If there's a Band-Aid, in fact it leaves complete confusion. There is no clarity. The market will probably react to that more negatively than actually going over the cliff. I think that's what investors have to be concerned about.

Now that being said, I don't think the market's going to crash by any sense, because I think there's a lot of money still on the sidelines that needs to be invested, but I think people just have to be, have to understand the difference between the two outcomes.

KOSIK: But if there is a Band-Aid measure, you don't think the market's going to sell off on that, because it's going to create more uncertainty and more confusion?

POLCARI: I actually do think the market's going to sell off. I actually think the market's going to sell off worse on a Band-Aid than it would over a fiscal cliff, because the Band-Aid just leaves it completely confused and no one can plan. Companies can't plan. People don't know what to do and the impact is going to come on January 15th when people get their first paycheck and they realize, oh, my God, what happened.

So, therefore, I think what happens is that the market has more of a reaction with a Band-Aid than it does with the actual cliff.

KOSIK: I know you're a betting man. What are you placing bets on - Band-Aid, deal or no deal?

POLCARI: I'm betting -- actually, I'm hoping that we go over the cliff at this moment, because I think there's more clarity but I'm betting that they're going to come up with this last-minute deal which they're going to try to present as being, look what we did. We came up with this deal. We just extended everybody's cuts for another 60 days and all it's going to do is create more confusion. So I think that's what they're going to come up with and try to make themselves look like they've done the right thing when, in fact, I think that going to hurt the market more.

KOSIK: Yikes. I'll look forward to that at the New York Stock Exchange this week if that, in fact, happens.

In a letter back in October, CEOs pressed leaders to reach a bipartisan deal to avoid massive tax hikes and across the board spending cuts that could lead to a recession. So, you know, what happens, let's say, if they actually do get a deal, though? You know, are we going to see the market really rally? And then what would be the focus for Wall Street after that?

POLCARI: Listen, if we get a deal and we get a deal that's really substantive and that's realistic and that the market believes, I think absolutely the market will rally back. I think it will certainly rally back to the 1425, 1440 level. I don't think now you got a chance that the market's going back to 1475 unless of course they pull a complete rabbit out of the hat and say look, all along we had this deal. We were just keeping it a secret from everyone. I don't think any of that's going to happen.

But the market will certainly rally. You can feel it. That's why every time one of them comes out and is optimistic, you see the market try to take back some of the losses, because it wants a settlement. It wants a resolution. The fact is, it's not getting it and the market will vote with its feet, which is what you saw happen this past week and on Friday specifically.

KOSIK: Kenny, overall how do you expect the markets to perform? We're a couple days away or the last trading day is Monday. How are you looking at the markets to perform in 2013 and what were some of the good sectors that maybe some investors missed out on in 2012?

POLCARI: Listen, I think overall, I actually think that 2013 is probably setting up to be a good year. I think you're going to have some turbulence in January, February, because don't forget, not only this fiscal cliff. You've got the debt ceiling debate, which is going to hit us actually December 31st, we hit the ceiling, but they've got extraordinary measures to take us through sometime in February.

So there's going to be continued volatility, but in fact, that will provide some opportunity for the long-term investor if he's got the stomach to kind of live through that, right.

KOSIK: That is key.

POLCARI: But I think 2013 -- right. I think in 2013, not only in the U.S. but in the global economy is starting to certainly stabilize and get better. I would look for industrial-type names. I would look for banks. We need financials to lead us. I like the banks. I like the financials. I think they're going to be a good sector 2013.

I think energy, I think the shale gas story is going to be a big story in 2013. So I would look for sectors like that to kind of outperform in the New Year.

KOSIK: Finally, I've got to get this in. You are a foodie. You tweet out a daily recipe every day that I know I look forward to and I have cooked some of the stuff you've put on this. You've tweeted @kennypolcari, that's your Twitter handle. Give us the perfect New Year's meal, please, one that will prepare us for the looming fiscal cliff.

POLCARI: You know, you're killing me with that.

Listen, I'll give you this great dessert, this coffee cream dessert which is a great New Year's Eve dessert. It's simple to make. You need (INAUDIBLE) cheese, sugar, dark rum and espresso coffee. Put it in a blender and then serve it in martini glasses. Put them in the fridge. Let it get nice and cold.

After your dinner, whatever meal you make on New Year's Eve, pull it out, put some coffee beans on the top and serve it. It's a great dessert. It's kind of celebratory. It's in a martini glass. It's the end of one year, into a New Year and it should make you feel good anyway.

KOSIK: Start with something sweet. I like that idea. Thanks Ken Polcari for waking up early and joining us.

POLCARI: Thanks.

KOSIK: And it may not be so easy to get money for that new car if Washington drives us off the cliff. We're going to tell you what no deal can mean for bank loans in 2013.

PAUL: And I am following him, by the way, on Twitter.

KOSIK: Good for you.

PAUL: In that second.

All right, I want to move on and tell you about the grief and anger in India right now. Protesters call for justice for a gang rape victim who has died now. Her case is galvanizing the nation. We're going to take you live to New Delhi. Stay close.


PAUL: In India, the six suspects who gang raped a young woman and left her for dead are facing murder charges now because the 23-year-old has died at a Singapore hospital surrounded by her family. These are some live pictures coming in to us right now. Because in the wake of her death, protesters are filling the streets there in India's capital, as well as some other cities. You see this candlelight vigil that's going on right now in New Delhi.

CNN's Mallika Kapur is at the protest site there, joins us now by phone. So Mallika, first of all, what's the situation like there? These protests looks like they're peaceful. Have you heard any reports otherwise?

MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): It is a peaceful protest, right here at this candlelight vigil that you can see pictures of and it is a very smooth, a very peaceful protest. The police have been appealing for calm because remember, last weekend's protests were anything but peaceful and calm. They turned out to be quite violent.

Today police have, security has been beefed up tremendously across the capital. There is a huge security presence. Several roads leading to this area where I am now, where (INAUDIBLE) have been shut down but the protesters, many have been here since 10:00 a.m. and it's now close to 7:00 p.m. in the evening, but throughout the day, the protests, they've been loud, they've been calm, but they have been very, very peaceful.

PAUL: I know protesters are calling the young victim (INAUDIBLE) lightening in Hindu and I know that's not her real name. But why do you think this case in particular has become such a lightning rod in India?

KAPUR: That's a really good point you raise. It has become a lightening rod here in India. I think mostly because of the sheer brutality of the case. This woman, this young woman was beaten so badly and raped six times, the men using an iron rod when they raped her.

This is really -- you know, a nation of (INAUDIBLE) people and it's really forced women to say, you know what, enough is enough. We are absolutely fed up with the way women are being treated in India. We are fed up that there isn't strict punishment for people who are responsible for attacks against women and this is real - I think it's the sheer brutality of what happened that caused people to stand up and say, you know what, enough is enough. This time the government has to do something concrete about protecting its women.

PAUL: Are they -- when we talk about these protests, first of all, are there a lot of men at the protests?

KAPUR: Yes. I must say, that I was very surprised. I've been here for much of the day today and at one stage in the afternoon, I think -- I actually think the number of men has outnumbered, you know, the number of women over here.

There are a huge number of men and I spoke with many of them throughout the day. And they thought it was very important for them to come out here, to be seen, to make themselves heard and the message they had for us, you know what, not all men are beasts. They realize what happened was a horrible thing. It's really tragic, but there are you know, a few bad men, we shouldn't make a blanket statement and say all Indian men are beasts.

So they were here to make that point and to say that they feel equally bad and terrible about what's happened and that they, too, like the women in India, want a safer society for India's women.

PAUL: Mallika, what have we learned about these suspects? Are their identities going to be released now, especially since they're being charged with murder at this point?

KAPUR: There are six men who have been arrested in conjunction with this rape case. We know the names of five of them. One of them remains, his name has not been revealed yet, because he's underage. He's a minor. And this afternoon, police here have made another announcement that they're going to press murder charges against these six suspects and that they will go ahead and press the charges as early as next week.

There is a lot of pressure on the police and the judicial system here in India to fast track the case against these six people. But we do know their names. They did make that public a few days ago.

PAUL: OK, Mallika Kapur, thank you so much for the update of what going on there. We appreciate it.

And we want to get to you some other stories now.

KOSIK: The U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria says the worn-torn country faces two choices -- hell or a political process. Lakhdar Brahimi met with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow today. They both urged an end to Syria's civil war and they warned that things will only get worse if that doesn't happen.


LAKHDAR BRAHIMI, U.N.-ARAB LEAGUE PEACE MEDIATOR: The conflict is not only more and more militarized. It is also more and more sectarian and if we are not careful, if the Syrians themselves are not careful, it will be a mainly sectarian conflict with really dire consequences for the people of Syria.


KOSIK: But it's not clear if the Syrian regime or the rebels are listening as tanks and gunfire continue to fill Syria's streets today.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is calling for an end to the bloodshed in Syria. Addressing Egypt's newly appointed upper house of parliament today, Morsi said Syrian President's Bashar al-Assad's regime has no place in Syria's future. He also said Egypt's controversial new constitution guarantees equality for all Egyptians.

One sheriff says he knows how to keep kids safe in school after the Newtown shooting. We're going to tell you about the play to protect young students in his county.


PAUL: So how is Saturday treating you so far at 8:30 now?

KOSIK: Good breakfast.

PAUL: Good OJ. Welcome back, everybody. I'm Christi Paul.

KOSIK: A little time with CNN I'm Alison Kosik. Randi and Victor are off today. Thanks for starting your day with us. Here are some stories we're keeping an eye on this morning.

PAUL: Yes Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio he says his volunteer posse program is working so well he wants to use it in schools now. The Maricopa County Sheriff, to give you some background here, has used armed volunteers to protect area malls during the holidays for the past 19 years and in that time, there have been no violent incidents reported.

On Friday, he announced that he does plan to deploy the armed volunteers to area schools now as well.

And the woman at the center of the Newtown charity scam case has been arrested. Apparently 37-year-old a Bronx woman, Nouel Alba made a Facebook page claiming to be the aunt of 6-year-old victim Noah Pozner, one of the children killed in the Connecticut mass shooting. She told donors money will go toward a funeral fund. Well if convicted, Alba faces up to five years in jail and a maximum $250,000 fine.

KOSIK: This was the sketch of the suspect in Thursday's subway killing in New York City. The woman is said to be heavy set and in her 20s. Witnesses say she pushed 46 year-old Sunando Sen to his death as the train approached the station in Queens. Security cameras caught the woman fleeing the scene. It's the second subway murder this month in New York City.

And some good news regarding former President George H.W. Bush; despite remaining in the Intensive Care Unit at a Houston hospital this morning where he's being treated for an elevated fever, we do have word that he's improving. According to his spokesman the 41st President is now alert and as always in good spirits.

PAUL: Russia's top diplomat and the international envoy to Syria both say the bloodshed in Syria must end.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar --


PAUL: That's video from Thursday when local opposition leaders say more than 150 people were killed. This morning, though, we're learning there's talk of hope, of change, even a transitional government. Why? Because United Nations special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is in Moscow today meeting with high level government officials about Syrian President Bashar al Assad. The Syrian President has been defiant as you know in a nearly two-year civil war that has seen the death of more than 40,000 people.

Let's bring in Andrew Tabler, he's a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of "In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria." Andrew, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

Let's talk about President Bashar al Assad's options here. Even if he did, let's say, want to make it out hastily by Syria. By some accounts I understand he wouldn't even be able to go. Why is that?

ANDREW TABLER, THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY: Well, at this point, President Assad has murdered so many of his own people that it's difficult for him to stay within the country, even in the homeland of his sect, the Alawites on the Syrian coast. Or for other countries to accept him, because they realize that in a post-Assad Syria, a more Democratic one, that the Syrian people are going to be very angry at whatever country holds President Assad.

And then of course, there's the issue of his own personal security. He can just end up with a bullet in the back of his head and that's why many people believe he'll just simply go off to Tehran, to Iran, to Syria's main ally.

PAUL: That's what they believe, but what really are his viable options at this point, in your opinion?

TABLER: You know I think that the -- the Assad regime cannot rule over the entire country for much longer. The regime can pull back, he can stay in Damascus, whether he does that voluntarily or not, who knows. Or he can go to the Syrian coast, that's another option. And try and tough it out there, or he can try and go into exile somewhere that someone will take him.

But again, that's not clear. All of them are bad for the regime and we're looking at a Syria that's not going to be ruled by the Assads for the first time in over four decades. Exactly how he's going to go or how the regime will pull back or contract remains to be seen but it's -- it's coming soon.

PAUL: Well if the president insists on staying let's say you're talking about a death toll well over 40,000. Does the United Nations have an obligation to intervene?

TABLER: I think that the United Nations and a lot of other countries would have an obligation to intervene, you know. The United States has put down a red line for chemical weapons. The United Nations has tried to come up with a solution, but the problem is that that politically the United States and Russia are still -- still apart on this issue, and we don't have the Security Council Resolution.

And one of the key issues, is does President Assad have to go or not? I can't imagine a scenario now that the Syrian opposition would agree to President Assad staying on or an interim government.

In fact, I think that you've noticed that the head of the Syrian opposition Moaz al-Khatib has rejected talks with the regime that are coming out of Moscow.

PAUL: All right. Well Andrew Tabler, thank you so much for giving us some insight there. We appreciate it.

TABLER: My pleasure.

KOSIK: In Chicago, the battle against crime is taking another grim turn. We're going to give you a firsthand look at what police officers are facing there.


KOSIK: Chicago has reached a chilling milestone when a man was killed on the city's West Side Thursday; he became the city's 500th murder victim in 2012.

CNN's Ted Rowlands rode along with two Chicago police officers early this -- earlier this year to get a firsthand look at what it's like to be on the streets. Here's the report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a couple of places I want to check out.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a Friday night on the streets of Chicago in the Englewood neighborhood. Joe Patterson and Leo Schmitz have been cops here for 26 years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So as you go on these blocks, what you do is you scan everything, and when they see you're a policeman, if they're doing something wrong or got a gun, they start moving away or running.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gunshots fired --

ROWLANDS: As we ride along, there's near constant reports of shots fired over the radio. A call comes in that gets their attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 64 to Loomis. Shots fired. That's one block away from a police station.

ROWLANDS: It's also near a park, where in the morning, there's a community event planned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone with a gun there. We know we've got people over there setting up.

ROWLANDS: When we arrive, there is no sign of the person with the gun and there is no time to linger. We leave as quickly as we arrive, because there's another call just a few blocks away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man with a gun on 64, 44 Bishop.

ROWLANDS: Several officers are there when we arrive. There's a man in custody, and this gun, which was found in the house.

COMMANDER LEO SCHMITZ, 007 ENGLEWOOD DISTRICT: We're still working so -- but that's the name of the game. That's how we -- we stop the next shooting.

ROWLANDS: This year the homicide rate in Chicago is up about 30 percent, which is not what first-year police Superintendent Gary McCarthy envisioned would happen when he took the job.

SUPERINTENDENT GARY MCCARTHY, CHICAGO POLICE: It's playing out not as well as I anticipated. We expected to make much greater gains by this point.

ROWLANDS: Chicago's overall crime rate is actually down 10 percent from last year, and like other cities, the murder problem here is concentrated in a few specific areas.

MCCARTHY: The entire city suffers when that violence happens, and this idea of, not in my backyard, is not OK. We have to make the entire city safe.

ROWLANDS: McCarthy's plan which he's confident will work includes holding gang members in custody, taking back specific street corners where drugs are sold and using gang information to predict and stop retribution killings but he says he needs more help from the community.

MCCARTHY: Law enforcement is not going to solve the gang problem in Chicago, law enforcement is not going to solve the gun problem in Chicago. Law enforcement is not going to fix the educational system or the poverty rate or any of those other things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you're close to home now. It's starting to get late, boys.

ROWLANDS: One thing we noticed on our ride-along was the amount of children on the streets after dark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys must be going to house right?

ROWLANDS: Thirty-four kids have been killed in the violence this year alone, including 7-year-old Heaven Sutton, who was shot in the head while selling candy in her front yard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Juveniles are the ones getting shot. We got to get them home. That's where the parents can help us a lot.

JOE PATTERSON, CHIEF OF PATROL: Quite frankly, we need the parents to step up a little built more and take ownership, sincerely of their children and raise them a little bit better.


TED ROWLANDS: At one point, they pull over two men driving a car with illegal tail pipes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got a license?


ROWLANDS: They approach with caution and get them out. They end up being clean. No gang tattoos, just two young men out trying to have a good time. The men may feel like they're being harassed. Leo and Joe say it's a part of the job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overall we do a good job, as a police department and our numbers, although they might have bubbled up a little bit, you don't know, by the end of the year we might have that taken care of.

ROWLANDS: But that's easier said than done and there's more work to be done in every way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shots were just fired.

ROWLANDS: Ted Rowlands, CNN, Chicago.


KOSIK: OK, thanks, Ted.

PAUL: Parents, you know you love your kids. You call to check on them and make sure they're OK. One young woman says her parents went too far, though. She took them to court and she won. Her story is next.


KOSIK: And all morning long, we're looking at your best moments of 2012. This photo comes to us from human resources director Jennifer Steger who finished a seven-day, 485-mile bike ride across Iowa to capture this moment at the finish line. Congratulations.

PAUL: No kidding. Good for her.

KOSIK: OK. We know who they are. Maybe if you're bold you'll even admit you're one yourself -- a helicopter parent. For one young woman in Ohio it went too far, though. She took legal action.

A helicopter meaning, you know, you're hovering over your kids all the time. Twenty-one-year-old college honor student Aubrey Ireland said her parents would regularly travel 600 miles to visit her at school unannounced. They accused her of using drugs, being promiscuous and even tracked her cell phone and computer use.

Now Ireland said she felt like a dog with a collar. And a judge agreed granting her a restraining order against her parents.

Let's talk about this bizarre case with the one and only defense attorney Joey Jackson who is with us now. Joey, good morning to you.

JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning, Christi. Happy holidays to you.

PAUL: Happy holidays to you as well. Thank you for being here. So first of all, you know, these are the girl's parents so, of course, they want to make sure that she's OK. But where's that line? You know, legally, between being a concerned parent and now, I mean, they are truly dubbed legally stalkers.

JACKSON: They are indeed. Listen, parents need to be concerned, and they should be concerned, but the facts here are different. And so when you look at parenting, yes, we all as parents want the best for our children, but it's another thing to become obsessive.

And here the lines certainly were crossed according to the jump and, Christi, according to the facts. When you start installing monitoring devices -- OK, some parents want to check and see what children are doing. When you start traveling from Kansas, right, to Ohio where your daughter is in school unannounced not saying anything and then you go to her peers, in addition to administrators and you're talking to administrators about, my daughter needs a mental health evaluation.

She's promiscuous, abusive, you know. She's engaged in assaultive behavior and it's enough. So, therefore, the message here, Christi, is the law applies equally to everyone, whether you're a parent, whether you're a friend, whether you're a family member, you have to behave in accordance with certain protocol. And that means what you do is, you don't cross that line, and you don't do things which cause threat, intimidation and fear in your daughter.

PAUL: OK. And we just want to point out that we do not have any confirmation as to the mental capabilities or incapabilities of either Aubrey or her parents. We just want to point that out, first of all. But how do you prove that they're crossing a line, legally, Joey?

JACKSON: Well, what happens is, that generally the court has a hearing, and oftentimes, as you know, they'll try to avoid a hearing as they did here by going to mediators and saying, hey listen, you work that out. But if you could establish that there's some kind of imminent danger or present danger or threatening behavior which causes you that fear, that intimidation and you do feel unsafe, as she was able to establish, a judge would say, you know what? You deserve the order.

Remember, also, Christi, we're not dealing with a criminal matter where it's beyond a reasonable douse so the proof is different. It's a preponderance of the evidence, which is -- PAUL: Yes.

JACKSON: -- is there a probability; is it likely that you're feeling this way? Is it more likely than not? And certainly she was able to show that on the facts of this case.

PAUL: OK. So let's take a listen here to what Aubrey said in an ABC interview, specifically talking about her parents paying for college.


AUBREY IRELAND, STALKED BY PARENTS: They basically thought that because they were paying for my college tuition and living expenses that they could tell me what to do, who to hang out with and, you know, basically control all of my daily life.


PAUL: Now, her parents have requested apparently that she pay back that $66,000 they spent on her education. Could she be forced to do so?

JACKSON: Listen, the bottom line is that one thing does not necessarily relate to the other. When it relates to stalking, and abusive behavior, Christi, that's one thing and that was certainly within the court's jurisdiction. But when you're talking about prior things that were paid for your daughter and then you say, because I can't control you anymore, I want to claw back and take that money. You know, it's not likely that as a result of that that she should have to pay it back.

Furthermore, Christi, what we have to understand here is that the whole issue of them paying had to do, you can argue, with control. Here was a young woman who was afforded multiple scholarships at multiple universities. She chose to pursue her dream here and her parents offered to pay. And you have to wonder whether that offer was predicated upon the issue of control.

So it's not at all clear-cut that they're going to be able to take back money which they in fact invested in their daughter just because they don't like the fact that she can't be independent and they can't tell her exactly what to do.

PAUL: OK. And real quickly, they apparently were using monitoring software on her computer and her cell phone, and I'm wondering, is it legal to do that; particularly when somebody hits 18, and she's an adult?

JACKSON: Well, you know what? That's an open question. The bottom line is that as a parent, certainly, you look at things a bit differently than you would another individual. Right? This is not a person who was a friend, a former relationship. These are parents who have an investment in their daughter.

They want to see her do well. They want to see her progress. They want to see her flourishing, which she does. Here, however, the line was crossed, and you're not going to -- I don't think there's anything illegal about what they did. I think the only illegality here relates to their behavior in general, which a court, because she was an adult, Christi, said enough is enough. Let her live her life. She's 21. Let's sort of cut the umbilical cord and let her live happily ever after, which I hope she certainly will.

PAUL: All right. Thank you so much Joey Jackson.

I want to switch gears here and talk to Dr. Erik Fischer who's an emotional dynamics expert. From a psychological standpoint, how harmful is this hovering over our children?

DR. ERIK FISCHER, EMOTIONAL DYNAMICS EXPERT: Well, you know, our job as a parent is to work ourselves out of the job. And that's what we have to understand is basically we want to be downsized, you know.

PAUL: Interesting.

FISCHER: So as parents, we have to see that we want to give our children wings. If you open up a cocoon too quickly on a butterfly it will never get its wings the way it should.

PAUL: Right.

FISCHER: So as parents, when removing them through childhood and into adulthood, really, by the time they're 18 we want to have given them the skills to succeed on their own. As parents sometimes tie their success up -- their own success into their children's success, sometimes they can get too involved which isn't healthy for anybody.

PAUL: Well, you know, in a recent interview, Aubrey said that her parents suffer from co-dependency disorder. We don't usually associate that with the parent/child relationship, but is that -- is that common?

FISCHER: In varying degrees. I think sometimes you have to put a label on a lot of things. Do parents get too involved in their kids' lives at times? Yes, they do at times. There's a balance that we have to strike. And that's the difficulty of sometimes finding that balance.

Some kids need a little bit more support. That's part of their temperament, part of the way they approach the world, that might have some special needs issues or mental health issues. Some kids need to be prodded to be more independent.

So we have to look at the individual situations and like se said, we don't know the facts of this situation and who may have had what. Sometimes kids have issues, and in teenagehood, teenage years they grow out of, they could be serious that they could have scared the parents into wanting this extra control and sometimes parents are just too controlling.

PAUL: But it could go both ways. Couldn't it? I mean there are --

FISCHER: Absolutely. PAUL: -- there are children who are co-dependent with their parents?

FISCHER: Right. Right. You know, there's a term that they use about kids who come out of helicopter parents called Teacups and Crispies. The Teacups are the kids who are so fragile that they break whenever you try to push them into challenges and things -- they take it. And Crispies are ones who are just fried to crisp from being over- controlled.

So sometimes, yes, kids do depend on their parents too much but it's been fostered in a lot of ways.

PAUL: Well, what are -- I mean -- OK, I understand the Teacups, but the Crispies? Do you just mean that they don't have --

FISCHER: There's so much pressure on them to succeed, to succeed, to succeed. By the time they get to college they're burned out and they just don't have the energy. They don't have the drive. They're overstressing. That stress takes a toll on us neuro-chemically, too.

PAUL: You know, some people have mentioned the point that she's an only child. Is it more prevalent, excuse me, to have these issues in a family where there is only one child?

FISCHER: There would be a trend and tendency to do that, because so of your energy is invested in that one child. You only have one chance to get it right, which can bring a lot in terms of a fear of failure.

PAUL: Interesting. All right. Hey, Dr. Erik Fischer, thank you so much.

FISCHER: Thank you.

PAUL: And Joey Jackson, as well. We appreciate you being here.

KOSIK: And turning now to travel, and the best way to get a real taste of a country is through the local foods. CNN iReport has teamed up with "Travel and Leisure Magazine" to create a global list of 100 places to eat like a local.

Here's our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman in Cairo to sample.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ben Wedeman in Cairo, Egypt. Now, if you're looking for something that's cheap, filling, nutritious and quintessentially Egyptian, or so they say, Abu Tare is the place to go.

There's no reason here to ask for a menu, because there's only one item they serve here, and that is kushari. Kushari is really the working man's lunch here in Egypt.

It's a very simple dish with rice, pasta, lentils, tomato sauce, a sort of garlic and vinegar sauce. And as you can see, they do a very brisk business here. Now, I said before that kushari isn't quintessentially Egyptian food. But after doing a bit of research, I discovered that it's not. It actually comes from an Indian dish that's called kujari (ph) that's composed of rice, lentils, fried onions and chopped vegetables. Apparently introduced to Egypt by the British army; so what we have here is the basic ingredients of the kushari, and what you do is you add a bit of lemon to it and some extra chickpeas. And what I like the most is the extra fried onions, which really do add to this dish plus, the tomato sauce. And if you so desire, there is vinegar and garlic sauce.

I'll have some of that, and the hot sauce. The hot sauce, however, is seriously hot. As they say in Arabic, (inaudible), bon appetit.




PAUL: What are you doing for New Year's Eve? Well, as you may know Anderson Cooper and comedian Kathy Griffin are teaming up again this year to usher in the New Year on CNN from Times Square. So I want to give you a sneak peek at what we may have in store for their New Year's Eve special.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Somebody tells me, and I'm not sure this is true, but somebody tells me that you're obsessed with Wolf Blitzer. And yet, every year, it's me talking to you guys, because I'm doing Blitzer's show.

So I'm wondering is that -- do you take it personally -- do you think there's something to this?

KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIAN: I have -- this is, this is breaking news.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: I think Wolf is wise to stay away from Kathy Griffin because I once -- I don't if you know this story Kathy -- Candy -- I lent -- Kathy Griffin once asked to come to my house in Long Island. Like a nice guy, I sent her a key because she wanted to go there a day in advance. And that night --

GRIFFIN: To clean up the place.

COOPER: No, no -- just to go -- first of all, she arrives, she was terribly disappointed. I think she thought it was going to be like a house in "Downtown Abbey". There's no staff. It's a small house.

GRIFFIN: The chef was late. The chef actually never arrived.

COOPER: There is no chef. Anyway, she arrives. While I'm on the news that night, during commercial breaks I'm receiving tweets -- not even tweets, actually text messages from her.

GRIFFIN: Sexts. COOPER: Naked pictures -- she's sending me naked pictures of herself, sprawled out in my couch, draped over the kitchen counter --

GRIFFIN: Excuse me, I think Candy has done that on a daily basis --

COOPER: I had to get a wet vac and a cleaning crew in there for like a week.

CROWLEY: OK. We're going to have to move this conversation along -- why don't you tell him -- what?


GRIFFIN: Candy put your shirt back on, this is embarrassing. I said why don't you ask Anderson what I sexted him on election night.

COOPER: Oh, she did. She was sending me dirty messages for David Gergen.

GRIFFIN: Top that, Crowley.

CROWLEY: See, and usually I can follow up very well, but there's just no place to go after with sexting David Gergen. I'm sorry, there is just not--


COOPER: You know what the most embarrassing thing was? The embarrassing thing was, I actually showed David Gergen the messages, that's how -- because she was pressuring me.



KOSIK: Weird stuff. Expect the bizarre and the outlandish. That's all I can say.

PAUL: I know, I know. And not only that, I think the expressions on the faces, that's what makes it so priceless. I just can't even wait to see what they have up their sleeve.

KOSIK: It will be interesting. What are you doing New Year's Eve?

PAUL: Well my birthday is New Year's Day.

KOSIK: Happy birthday.

PAUL: So my parents are coming into town. We're going to a party. It's all fun.

And you are getting ready for --

KOSIK: What else? The fiscal cliff.

PAUL: Fiscal cliff special. Special -- (CROSSTALK)

PAUL: -- coming up New Year's Day. I have to go to bed early. Sorry.

KOSIK: Too bad.


The next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING begins right now.