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How to Improve Your Credit Score; CDC Releases New Flu Numbers; Memo to the President; Colorado Shooter to Stand Trial.

Aired January 11, 2013 - 11:30   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The other people do the credit monitoring and stuff. You already got a free credit report every year. You want to look at the credit history. That's free. it's free. You clean up any mistakes. And, like, half of people have a mistake on their credit report. You clean that up and your credit score goes up, too.

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Free, open it once, though.

ROMANS: By law, you get that free one here.

BANFIELD: Because we have desks really close to each other and we gab all the time about all sorts of things, I can't tell the secrets today, but Christine said that -- and this really stuck with me, the banks and credit companies know more about me apparently than I know.

ROMANS: Yes, they do.

BANFIELD: They could predict my future even before I know what I'm going to do and what's going to happen to me.

ROMANS: That's what a credit score is. A credit score is a prediction about whether you can pay your bills. That's that three digit number. The 720 or higher for the best interest rates. But John Ulzheimer, a credit genius, he has -- and has worked in the credit scoring industry, he points out they have all kind of different credits scores, the three-digit number, they have credit scores whether you'll file for bankruptcy, to predict whether you'll be a profitable customer for the credit card company, about whether you are likely to jump at a pre-approved credit card. They watch things like your change in behavior. Are you paying your bills at a different time of the month? Are you now looking like you're more strapped? They know how much money is coming in and how much money is going out. And they can tell -- say you used to shop at the department stores and now you're shopping at Wal-Mart, they can even use that to score whether you're about to head to the financial difficulty. Because the bottom line is they're lending you money. The credit card companies are lending you money.

BANFIELD: Yes. They need to know.

ROMANS: They want to know that they are going to make money from you and that you can pay back in the end.

BANFIELD: They can predict if you're going to get a divorce? ROMANS: Well, they look and they can see all of this behavior, these behavioral changes. They know where you're headed before you know what you're headed for.

BANFIELD: If the dude is going to strip clubs, it's a good indicator that it will happen.


Christine Romans, thank you for being here. Happy Friday.



BANFIELD: The CDC has just released the new numbers for the flu epidemic that is sweeping the country. And here's the good news. It actually looks like the spread of the virus may be starting to slow down in parts of the country.

Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has been watching the story very carefully. He's joining me live now.

All right, this is being called the worst flu season in years which gets a lot of people running out to get the inoculation.


BANFIELD: Is there enough of the vaccine out there right now, Sanjay?

GUPTA: Well, I will give you context on the way that you look at the vaccines around the country. When you look at specific communities there could be some spot shortages. But I want you to look at how many vaccines were actually made, how they get distributed. I think 135 million were created initially and over 120 million were distributed and you got 112 million people who have been vaccinated thus far, and pretty good in terms of vaccination, it fits with previous years. But you can see there are 16 million doses -- you can do the math -- that are out there that have not yet been given and seven million more in the pipeline, so I think it is. I don't think you can always normally get it at the pharmacy that you normally do, but you can get it.

I should point out, 47 states now, widespread flu activity. California, Hawaii, and Mississippi are the three states that don't yet have the widespread activity. But, again, the flu is everywhere. Four states have gone up in terms of activity. Five states have come down. So we're about even, if you will, as compared to last week.

BANFIELD: All right. One of the things I find amazing is when people say, I'm not going to get the flu shot because that will get me the flu. And we just need to be really clear. You absolutely cannot get the flu from the flu shot. So why, then, Sanjay, do people get sick after they get the shot?

GUPTA: Well, there's a few reasons. First of all, the flu shot is not 100 percent protective. It's about 60 percent protective. So there are going to be some people who get the flu despite having had a flu shot, not because of the flu shot.

Also, even after you get the flu shot, it takes a couple of weeks for your protection to build up. So, if you get exposed after you get the flu shot but within that two-week window, you could still get sick.

But, you know, one thing I want to point out, and I think this is important, Ashleigh, once you get a flu shot, it's a dead virus, you can't get the flu from it, but the whole point is to activate your immune system so if it sees the virus again it knows how to attack it and get rid of it. When you're immune system is activated, if can make you feel cruddy for a couple of days after the flu shot. It's not the flu. It's just your immune system is doing what it's supposed to do.

BANFIELD: I wasn't aware it takes a couple of weeks for the flu shot to be fully effective. So certainly you can get sick in the meantime.

I heard you and you on Anderson Cooper saying we touch our faces on an average day --


-- it stuck with me, because it was creepy -- a couple of hundred of times, where all the germs are and where all the germs get transmitted.

GUPTA: Right.

BANFIELD: Honestly. Is hand washing enough if we're touching our faces that much?

GUPTA: Yes, you would think. And that does surprise a lot of people. Interestingly, it's different culturally. There are some cultures that touch their faces more and some that touch it less. Yes, 100, 200 times a day. Hand washing is still the best thing you can do. Obviously, now that your viewers have heard this, Ashleigh, they may be more likely to pay attention to the touching of their face than they have in the past, but just sort of mindlessly we do it several hundred times, keeping your hands as clean as possible, you touch a keyboard or a doorknob. Think about every time you touch something, you could have introduced the germs to your hands, and getting it to your mouth and nose is how you get sick.

BANFIELD: I was singing "Happy Birthday" in the bathroom thanks to you.


You also told Anderson to sing "Happy Birthday" twice, which is the length of time you need to wash your hands.

I'm not crazy. It's Dr. Gupta.

(LAUGHTER) And for the people that get nervous, because it does make people nervous when you think about the potential of 50,000 people dying from the flu, if I feel sick, if my child is showing the fever and the aches, do I go to the doctor right away or hunker down and drink plenty of fluids and hope for the best?

GUPTA: The latter for the vast majority of the people. And that's the good news. Not only does hunkering down at home and getting plenty of fluids and sleep help you recover and build up your own immune system, you can recover and not be a source of infection for the rest of the community. There are certain areas where going to the doctor or going to the hospital is necessary, sudden changes or difficulties in breathing, tightness of chest or difficulty breathing.

And this idea my colleague, Elizabeth Cohen, has been talking about, you feel like you have the flu, it goes away. You feel like you've recovered. But a couple days later the fever returns. In the medical world among doctors and nurses that will be a red flag. Why has the fever returned? Is there a secondary infection? That can be a big concern, especially in kids. It's the most common way that kids die from this is from the secondary infections -- Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: All right, Sanjay, great information. Thank you. Have a good weekend. And keep those hands clean.

GUPTA: I will.

BANFIELD: Especially with the little ones at home. You take care.


BANFIELD: For more information on how to keep the flu virus at bay, Plenty of info for you. And be sure to tune in to "Sanjay Gupta M.D." this weekend, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. eastern, Sunday at 7:30 a.m. eastern. He's got all the latest flu information and he's got numbers and ways you can protect yourself in addition to what we just said.

In California, another school shooting. And this one, possibly linked to bullying. It happened at Taft Union High School near Bakersfield yesterday. The sheriff says that a 16-year-old student showed up late to class and was carrying with him a 12 gauge shotgun. On target, two classmates apparently because he felt he'd been bullied. One student was shot and is in critical condition and stabilized. Ryan Heeber, a teacher, is one of two staffers being credited today with convincing the shooter to put down the shotgun. The gunman is expected to be charged as a juvenile and charged with attempted murder.

Some shocking video to show you as well. Video that was captured on cell phone. It's pretty remarkable that this shows as many as 60 students along with their parents duking it out at a bus stop in a Pittsburgh neighborhood. And we are not talking about one instance. This happened over two separate days. Police are actually calling it a riot. And they've arrested five adults and students and they say a dozen more arrests could still come from this, and we are still unclear as to why, why they were doing this. The school superintendent says that any students involved in this will be suspended and expelled from school.

And it appears that a group of killer whales that were trapped beneath the ice up in Canada's Hudson Bay have been now released from this terrible jam. The first we showed them to you yesterday, this was the image, a very small hole, an opening in the ice. They were all taking turns and getting air. Officials said, though, that shifting wind patterns overnight helped the ice to break up, possibly even getting them a passage to open water. The 11 whales had been struggling to say alive in the 30x30 hole in the ice.


BANFIELD: The presidential inaugural committee has just revealed some exciting information. Some of the big-name talent that's going to perform at the concerts and the parties -- inaugural balls, we like to call them -- a couple days from now, Alicia keys, Brad Paisley, Katy Perry and Stevie Wonder and Usher, and that's not all. The festivities will begin with a kids concert a week from now. Two official inaugural balls will take place on Monday the 21st. And we cannot forget the inauguration itself. Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor, they are some of the numbers that you'll be hearing.

And also we're learning the date of the president's State of the Union address as well. House Speaker John Boehner has invited the president to Capitol Hill. That's how it happens. If you didn't know, it's an invitation. The date will be February 12th. And the date may sound familiar because that's Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

Four years down and four more to go. If you had a chance to talk to the president face to face, would you have any advice for him? Keep it clean, all right? He does have a second term.

And a man who has been talking to leaders all around the world has a couple of suggestions. The one and only Fareed Zakaria who is here to tell me about the upcoming special "Memo to the President." It airs this Sunday 8:00 p.m. eastern here on CNN.

I love the fact that you had audience with all of these extraordinarily important people, with such wonderful, rich backgrounds. And they all had a theme, it seems, to what they would tell the president. Give me a bit of a feel, first a big picture for your special.

FAREED ZAKARIA: Probably the most important to thing about is it's a second term. It's very different from a first term, and there haven't been many. There have only been 17 second-term presidents.

BANFIELD: That's interesting. You wouldn't think that.

ZAKARIA: And most of them don't work out for a variety of reasons. People explain that the president is already losing power, you know, every day from now on he's moving to lame-duck status.

BANFIELD: Lame duck, yes.

ZAKARIA: So, there's a real art there how to make this work. And I asked people like James Baker, who was Ronald Reagan's chief of staff, then his secretary of treasury, then secretary of state under George Bush, I asked Bob Reuben, Clinton's secretary of treasury, and I asked Clinton's chief of staff, and they all basically said he's got to find a way to create a governing majority, which is to say, he's got to reach out to the Republicans and find some group within the Republican party who can work with him.

BANFIELD: Gosh, wouldn't that be the advice right now for every single member who takes an airplane or bus or car to Washington. You've got to make it work. It's disastrous. It's the same for the president.

ZAKARIA: It's the same for the president. And there were some people who felt he should be inviting them to dinner more. To be fair, a lot of Democrats said the Republicans seem hell-bent on not cooperating with the president. It's not easy. But James Baker put it very well, he said, if you want to get stuff done, the only way it can get done is it's got to get through the House which means you've got to get them on board.

BANFIELD: Certain presidents have built their legacy almost entirely in their second term, I'm thinking of Reagan, who perhaps wasn't as successful and struggled through the economy and it was dubious whether he could get re-elected in his second term but has come out with the legacy.

ZAKARIA: But in a sense, he got lucky that the Soviet Union collapsed in his second term. Otherwise, he had Iran-Contra, and people forget, and people felt he was very detached. So it's a tough time.

BANFIELD: Is it a matter of marketing in terms of creating your legacy? Everybody struggles during a four-year period, no matter what, the country will have tough times and face struggles and crises in some way, is it a matter of marketing your best achievements throughout your eight years to create your legacy or is it really that last four years that you get stuck with?

ZAKARIA: I think more than anything else it's prioritizing. For the president, he's got so many thinks going on. He's got to figure out what are the two or three things I want to push and push and push and keep pushing and make sure it happens. Obama, to his credit, the first line of Obama's legacy is already written. He is the president who brought universal health care to America. I would argue the big job in the second term --


BANFIELD: He came for it.

ZAKARIA: -- and making it work, so that it doesn't seem to be this unaffordable disastrous --


ZAKARIA: -- the form of the system that works. He's got his work cut out for him. Make health care reform work. BANFIELD: I would remiss if I didn't put a quick comment. We had Bill Richardson on, the former New Mexico governor, and he said of his trip to North Korea, the North Koreans are mad at us. He said other things to say that were good in terms of the talking. The State Department doesn't agree. Do you think it's a good idea? Do you think it will eventually lay groundwork to bigger and better things or is it sort of a fool's errand?

ZAKARIA: It's a very good idea. The North Koreans are mad at us, we're mad at them, too.


ZAKARIA: But at the end of the day, contact, conversation, dialogue, is always good. It's not an endorsement of the North Korean regime. Nobody thinks that Bill Richardson thinks North Korea is a good place to live. It's just a recognition of the reality. We've got problems with these guys. Let's talk to them.

BANFIELD: Fareed Zakaria, it's always good to talk to you. You need to visit more.


BANFIELD: That's what's called an open invitation to visit, sir.

Thank you. Appreciate it.

Don't miss "Memo to the President, Roadmap for the Second Term," Sunday night, 8:00 p.m. and, again, 11:00 p.m. eastern right here on CNN.

Thanks, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: You're welcome.


BANFIELD: The alleged gunman in the Colorado theater massacre will stand trial. James Holmes was scheduled to be arraigned at this hour, but we have news just in. We're learning his arraignment has been delayed. This, at the request of his defense attorneys.

I want to get straight out to Casey Wian, who just came out of the courtroom.

Give us an update.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What has happened is the judge has decided to delay the arraignment that was supposed to happen today until March 12th. It was over the objections of prosecutors and over the objections of 84 of the 93 victims that prosecutors were able to get in touch with last night. The judge said he granted the delay because he was concerned about an appeal. He said he understood the victims' concerns, but he wants to make sure that they're not all back in court in two years, which he says is the last thing anybody wants. Also he talked about the incredible amount of discovery the defense needs to go through, nearly 31,000 pages of discovery and more than 350 DVDs, C.D.s, Blu-Ray disks. So he talked about that, as well.

There was a little bit of drama at the end. One of the spectators on the victims' side of the courthouse, a gentleman by the name of Steve Hernandez, who is the father of victim, Rebecca Wingo, he shouted out, "Rot in hell, Holmes," after that decision was made. The judge called everybody back in later to ask if he would be able to refrain from those further outbursts, and warning everybody not to have any further outbursts in court. Mr. Hernandez did do that. So they will be back in court in March -- Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: Important to note, though, there was no jury present in the room to hear that outburst. So hopefully, just harmless, but certainly not acceptable.

Casey Wian, thank you very much.

Now, of course, the question becomes is James Holmes insane? Is he crazy? Or is he crazy like a FOX? How do you begin to defend someone like Holmes? This man, Paul Callan, knows and he'll talk to me about it in just a moment.


BANFIELD: The suspect who allegedly master minded and executed the Colorado theater massacre was scheduled to be arraigned today. The defense attorneys for James Holmes, however, had a different plan. They asked for a postponement, just less than an hour ago, in fact, saying they needed more time before they and their client enter a plea. Interesting, because we've been learning a lot of new details.

We're hearing revealing witness testimony all week long and victims' parents are very quick to point out what they see in court.


TOM TEVES, PARENT OF SHOOTING VICTIM: As soon as he saw different things happening, he smiled a couple times. And he caught himself. Because he's really pretending to be crazy. He's evil, but he's not crazy one bit. He's very cold, very calculated.


BANFIELD: Aah. Critical words. What exactly will Holmes' attorneys try to do in court? Will they try to argue an insanity defense possibly just in an effort to spare this man's life? This is a death penalty state.

Our CNN legal contributor, Paul Callan, is a criminal defense attorney who was once a prosecutor. He joins me now.

Before I get to the insanity part, I want to get to the delay because there is a strategy at play. Explain. PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: There's a big strategy going on here. A lot of people think that the judge has already decided that Holmes is competent tent to stand trial. I mean, we have some whole hearing last week. He was sitting in court he have day. In truth, the defense didn't raise any insanity issue or any competency hearing yet. And the reason they didn't is because they don't want state doctors examining Holmes and looking at his medical records. So they stalled it so they get -- look at the prosecutor's case which they did last week. And now, of course, we'll have the arraignment. Now they have to make a decision.

BANFIELD: The clock is ticking.

CALLAN: The clock is ticking. Should they say he's incompetent to stand trial, that is, he doesn't understand what's going on and he can't help his lawyers. Very low standard compared to the insanity defense. My bet is the judge is looking at this and saying, we have to have state doctors look at this guy and make a determination, first, is he competent to stand trial. And secondly, they, the defense attorneys, have to decide about asserting the insanity defense, another major decision. So all of these things have to be are the sorted out before you can get into the merits of the actual case.

BANFIELD: You'll have to return on an entire segment for what it would take to win, because there is a lot that he did that would very much mitigate any kind of defense like that. But we're flat out of time.

Paul Callan, thank you for that. Appreciate it.

CALLAN: Nice to be here.

BANFIELD: Thanks for watching, everyone. NEWSROOM INTERNATIONAL starts right now with Michael Holmes.