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CNN NEWSROOM

Vatican Mulling Early Conclave; Dorner's Cause Of Death Revealed; Olympic Hero Jailed; First Carnival Cruise Lawsuit Filed; Triumph Passengers Stranded Again; Carnival Cruise Investigation Starts; Meteor Damage Clean Up Begins In Russia; Over 1,000 Injured From Meteor Blast; Former Congressman Could Face Jail; Big Wins, Big Losses; Questions Surround Dorner Reward Money; Proving Premeditated Murder; Tank Leaks Radioactive Waste; Getting In Shape, Staying Slim; New Home: Rent Versus Own; Teens Sues To Stop Forces Abortion

Aired February 16, 2013 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN ANCHOR: Ali Velshi, thank you. Appreciate it. CNN "NEWSROOM" continues now with Deborah Feyerick -- Deb.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, there, Susan. I'm looking at that freeze-dried pet thing --

HENDRICKS: Not over it.

FEYERICK: We can't exactly figure out what to make of that. All right, thanks so much. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Hi, there, everyone. It is 12:00 p.m. on the east coast, 9:00 a.m. on the west. I'm Deborah Feyerick in for Fredricka Whitfield. If you're just tuning in, thanks so much for joining us. We have so much coming up for you. These are the top stories we're following right now in the CNN NEWSROOM.

A surprising announcement at the Vatican today, a spokesman says the cardinals who will choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI could meet sooner than first planned. The conclave is slated to begin March 15th, but the Vatican says the date could move up with all the cardinals are in Rome, 117 cardinals, 67 appointed by Pope Benedict himself, will choose his replacement after he steps down on February 28th.

In California, authorities say it appears cop killer Christopher Dorner took his own life, making good on his vow he would not be taken alive. Autopsy results show Dorner died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Dental records confirm the body found in the basement of that burned out cabin was Dorner's. We'll have more on that week-long manhunt and who gets the million-dollar reward. That's coming up just ahead.

Half a world away, authorities are investigating the murder of a top model found dead Valentine's Day at the home of her boyfriend, Olympic hero, Oscar Pistorius. Pistorius sobbed uncontrollably as he was charged with premeditated murder in the death of Reeva Steenkamp. Charges that he denies. Pistorius is now in jail. Family members say he is numb with grief and shock. Steenkamp is starring in a reality show that premiered today in South Africa.

You knew this would happen. The first passenger stranded aboard the disabled Carnival Triumph, that passenger is suing. The lawsuit blames the company for negligence and fraud. Casey Terry called her cruise, quote, "a floating hell" and also, quote, "a floating toilet." That made her fear for her health and her safety. She's seeking unspecified damages. Carnival says it hasn't seen the lawsuit and cannot comment just yet.

The travel nightmare didn't end for some of the passengers even after they finally got off the ship in Mobile, Alabama. Can you believe it? A bus taking them to New Orleans, it broke down on the highway.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACOB COMBS, CARNIVAL TRIUMPH PASSENGER: Basically we were driving down the road, thinking that we're going to get this warm bed, we're going to have a hot shower, have a good meal, and he starts pulling over to the side of the road, rattling the back. He gets out and a belt's come loose, you know. We're there for about an hour before we could take off and we don't get in until 5:00 a.m.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Just can't catch a break. It wasn't over yet when Jacob Combs finally made it to the airport. His plane for Galveston, Texas, didn't take off for hours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMBS: But we get on this flight that's supposed to leave at 8:30. I'm on my phone and not paying attention and then all of a sudden I look down at my watch and it's 9:30, 9:45, it's an hour and 15 minute past when we were supposed to leave.

We finally took off and I didn't know what happened. When I landed, Shelly, one of my friends on board, said I can't believe it happened to us again. She was on the bus. She said it was electrical problem and that's what caused the delay and it just -- you know, it's a domino effect. Ship wreck, the bus breaks, then the plane.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Well, Combs says now he's going to enjoy the sun and kick back at the beach for a little bit before heading back to work. He needs a vacation from his last vacation.

The lawsuit is only the start of Carnival's problems. Right now, everybody wants to know what started the fire that led to the very serious nightmare cruise. Susan Candiotti joins us from Mobile, Alabama with the latest on the investigation. Susan, what's the process? How long do think they this investigation will take?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Deborah. It could take quite some time. I tell you the lights are back on, on the Triumph, but Carnival Cruise Lines tells us that the ship is still operating under emergency power as it is sitting here in a boat yard while a team of investigators tries to figure out the source of the engine fire that brought that cruise to a screeching halt on Sunday.

For example, this team of members from the U.S. Coast Guard as well as from the National Transportation Safety Board wants to know whether that fire actually did originate in the engine room or possibly in some other system of the ship. That may take some time to figure out.

We've also learned that, you know, there was a separate engine room that possibly they could have turned to, to restore power. However, investigators tell us that that move could have been risky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATRICK CUTY, COAST GUARD SENIOR MARINE INVESTIGATOR: And in this case, they may have been able to restore power, but really the safe thing to do was to tow the vessel back into port rather than try to reenergize a power system that was damaged by fire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CANDIOTTI: Included in the other things that they'll be examining is something called a voyage data recorder and that preserves all the conversations that took place on the bridge of the ship as well as all the other systems in place, everything that happened on board that ship.

Of course, they'll also be looking at the procedures that were taken to address this fire, whether everyone did what they were supposed to do. And in the end, Deborah, this investigation could take a year to complete. Back to you.

FEYERICK: Susan, one question. It's not the NTSB's jurisdiction necessarily, but so many people were talking about the smell and the stench and the water. How are they going to clean this up from an environmental aspect to make sure that there aren't any germs that people can get sick from in the future?

CANDIOTTI: Well, of course it's going to be a huge undertaking. We can tell you for one thing we saw crew members being bussed to and from the ship this very day, and I talked with them. They told us that they were part of the cleanup operation.

So this will be part of, of course, a huge undertaking and naturally the ship has to undertake extensive repairs. Carnival tells us they haven't even decided when that will start or where that will take place -- Deborah.

FEYERICK: All right, Susan Candiotti for us in Mobile, Alabama. Thanks so much for bringing this up to date on the latest there. Thanks.

It is just extraordinary to watch. First it was a flash across the sky, then sonic booms. Now the cleanup begins a day after a spectacular meteor blast shook Russia's euro region. More than 1,000 people have been injured, most of them from shattered glass.

Our Phil Black is in the area of Russia where this all happened. This is Western Siberia. Phil, how much damage are we talking about? It is minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. It's got to be freezing there.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's freezing stuff at the moment, Deborah. The damage is wide and vast and extensive, but fortunately it's not particularly substantial. It means a lot of homes, a lot of buildings over a wide area had windows blown out but that's largely about it. So that cleanup and repair operation is already under way. We're talking a bill somewhere around the $300 million -- Deborah.

FEYERICK: You know, when you think about it, clearly people must have been so panicked once they heard that boom. Are you getting a sense of the people who were there and also just what they thought this might be? Because we're hearing reports that it was multiple times the power, the sheer force of an atomic bomb.

BLACK: What the people are talking about here is the fear, the terror they felt. First of all, when they saw the bright flashes in the sky, those scary looking trails of smoke, and then moments after that, that awesome boom, that very powerful shock wave that was responsible for the blowing out windows, knocking people off their feet, injuring so many people.

They say at that moment there was panic, terror, chaos. They didn't know what it was. They did not think it was natural. They thought it was probably manmade, a weapons test gone wrong, a nuclear accident or even some sort of military attack -- Deborah.

FEYERICK: Well, just incredible. It really puts things into perspective. All right, Phil Black for us there in Russia. We're going to come back to you in just a short while. Thanks so much.

Now we turn our attention to San Diego, where a popular mayor, that's her right there, authorities say Maureen O'Connor ended up with a major gambling problem to the tune of, listen to this, $8 billion, with a "B." What happened?

And should this couple get a reward in the case of accused killer Christopher Dorner? Our legal guys will be taking up the case for us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: Former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces charges of misusing campaign funds. That is a federal offense. His wife, Sandy Jackson, a former Chicago City alderman, is accused of filing false tax returns. Investigators say Jackson diverted $750,000 for personal use by, among other things, a Rolex watch and several furs.

A former San Diego mayor has admitted to taking $2 million from her late husband's charity to fund a casino gambling debt. Prosecutors say she won and lost over $1 billion at casinos over nine years. Now Maureen O'Connor's lawyer is blaming her gambling addiction on a brain tumor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EUGENE IREDALE, LAWYER: Now this was not, we think, simply a psychiatric problem or a character defect, because there is substantial evidence that during this same time there was a tumor growing in her brain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: If O'Connor repays the misappropriated charity money within two years she could possibly avoid prosecution. "Los Angeles Times" San Diego Bureau Chief Tony Perry is live for us in San Diego.

Tony, you've covered O'Connor for years. What was your immediate reaction when you heard about the debt, about the amount, and about the brain tumor?

TONY PERRY, SAN DIEGO BUREAU CHIEF, "L.A. TIMES": Absolutely stunned. Any of us who knew Maureen as mayor between 1996 and 2002 were stunned. If I saw her in a casino, I thought, yes, she probably had a Dixie cup of nickels. To find out she'd been a high roller, losing a billion dollars over a decade, we're all stunned.

FEYERICK: You know, O'Connor was married to the founder of "Jack-In-The-Box" restaurants, the chain, until his death in 1994. She says she went through a tough time after that. Did you see a change in her just from a personality aspect? Was she sad or withdrawn or anything like that?

PERRY: The people who were even closer to her than us reporters said yes. When he died in '94 theirs was a unique relationship. He was 30 years older, but they were very close. And he died and that left her alone and then some of her closest friends, newspaper publisher Helen Copley, Mercedes McCambridge, the actress.

They all died in the early part of the last decade and she withdrew even more than normal. And even her close friends said they couldn't get her on the telephone. Apparently she was in the grips of this gambling addiction.

FEYERICK: You know, O'Connor told reporters after a court hearing that there were essentially two Maureens, there was Maureen number one and Maureen number two, the second who didn't know about the tumor. What do you make of that? Because prosecutors are going to say that doesn't matter. What do you make of it?

PERRY: Well, the prosecution, the federal prosecutors don't confirm the idea that it was only the brain tumor that made her go on this billion-dollar gambling binge. However, they concluded that her health has declined so severely that at age 66 she really couldn't go through a trial and that she might die during trial and then where would the prosecution be?

With that in mind, they cut a deal, deferred prosecution two years. Repay that $2 million to the foundation so it can once again resume giving money to medical research and such. Now, she's got a lawsuit pending against a German bank that helped finance the purchase of one of the properties that she unloaded and if she wins that, indeed, she could get the money to pay that restitution.

FEYERICK: My understanding, also, though, is right now given that she had so much money in the past, now she is virtually bankrupt. Is that accurate?

PERRY: Her lawyer says she burned through the inheritance from the husband, $40 million to $50 million, and is now destitute, living with one of her sisters in La Jolla.

FEYERICK: Just remarkable. Clearly she did so much for the city of San Diego. All right, Tony Perry from "Los Angeles Times," thank you so much. We appreciate your joining us.

PERRY: Certainly.

FEYERICK: Well, new twists in the salacious murder trial of Jodi Arias. Find out what she wanted the judge to do this week and he said absolutely not.

And fitness guru Jillian Michaels tells us how to lose weight and keep it off.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: California police were able to find this killer ex-cop with the help of tips from people who were unlucky enough to run into him, but will they get the million dollar-plus reward in the case?

Our legal guys are joining us, Avery Friedman in Cleveland and Richard Herman in Las Vegas. I want to break this down. It is one of the biggest questions in the aftermath of Christopher Dorner's death, who gets the money.

The city of Los Angeles has offered a million dollars, and they got 1,000 calls after they offered that reward. Now, a couple of people, Karen Reynolds and her husband, Jim, they're the one who is called 911 after being tied up and having their car stolen.

Then also Rick Heltebrake, who was carjacked by Dorner, you have a picture of him there. But let's talk about the fine print, guys, because this is where we get into a little bit of trouble.

The reward is for information leading to Dorner's capture and conviction. Well, obviously he killed himself, so there was technically no real capture. Avery, how much of an impact is this going to have if Los Angeles doesn't make good on the reward?

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: It would be a terrible public relations marketing issue, but legally I think it's an over- caffeinated argument, the idea that you need to show identification and apprehension and conviction or leading to the capture, which presumes that he was still alive. Look, when this was formulated, Deb, the idea was to get the citizens involved, and it worked. So the reality is that even the police commissioner's spokesperson says, look, look, look, take it easy. Number one, we have to get the money in the bank. Two, we need to get applications. Three, the commissioner has to make a recommendation to city council.

So at the end of the day, someone's going to get some kind of reward. If someone's banking on going to the Bahamas on this, that's not going to happen. But I am certain the city of Los Angeles will make good on its promise to take care of the tipsters.

FEYERICK: Interesting point you make, and that is the money is not even yet in the bank. Richard Herman, while city officials are trying to figure out who's getting the money, one of the men who was carjacked spoke to our Randi Kaye. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK HELTEBRAKE, CARJACKED BY DORNER: Did anybody believe he would be captured and convicted, I don't think so. I think they put that in there to have an out for later. Going to talk to a lawyer today, start the process. I know I have to file a claim first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: So Richard, how do they divide it up? There are some people who phoned in some good tips and that is exactly why this reward was made. How do you think this plays out?

RICHARD HERMAN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Deb, all these people that phoned in, they're going to have to charge it to the game because let me tell you something. The law is clear on this, Deb. It's contract law. It's basic contract law, capture and conviction, clear, express terms, capture and conviction.

Not just capture or not just conviction. So here nobody complied with that. So therefore L.A., California, they're not required to turn over a dollar. Now, as Avery said, public relations, the L.A. police has taken a lot of hits over the years. They may want in good faith to put a pool together.

There were 20 different organizations that contributed to the total of $1 million. It would be very nice, a nice gesture, a gesture to turn over part of those funds to these people that were instrumental in the capturing or location of this guy because everyone feared for their lives.

And nobody -- they weren't even sure they got them until they checked his dental records. It would be a nice gesture by California to do this.

FEYERICK: No question. And clearly also you don't want people stopping and thinking, gee, do I call in next time I see some perp that's wanted because I'm not really sure whether I'm going to get the million or not?

OK, I want to move on to Jodi Arias because I have to say I am now increasingly watching this case. She was back on the stand this week with the murder trial. She's accused of shooting her ex- boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in the face, and then stabbing him 29 times.

One of the key issues jurors are going to have to decide, was this death premeditated? So Richard, let me start with you. This is a woman by all -- you know, by all account who is had a gun, had a knife, and went to Arias -- went to Alexander's home that night. What do you think?

HERMAN: Yes, drove hours with the weapons with her on her possession. It's going to be interesting testimony this week, Deb, because the case is going to lay out this week. And everyone can't wait to hear her version of what happened that night.

So is she absolutely a cold-blooded murderer, cold-blooded, or is she the victim of an aggressive, sexual deviant who controlled her and who was violent to the level of requiring her to use self-defense in order to put him down.

Listen, any of the talking heads out there who are saying they know the answer here, she's got no chance, no chance, I just say one word, one name -- Casey Anthony. Nobody know what is they're talking about on any of these shows yet. We are in the third inning of a nine-inning game. We're in the first quarter of a four-quarter game. Nobody can --

FRIEDMAN: Yes, but --

FEYERICK: Avery, jump in.

HERMAN: Compelling testimony.

FEYERICK: I'm not so sure. Avery, let me set this up. I'm not so sure it is that compelling. I see a woman who's very conflicted about a relationship she had that turned bad. What is your sense about this?

HERMAN: Battered woman.

FRIEDMAN: Well, I mean, she's talking about broken fingers and abuse, and, you know, at the same time, there's been evidence, Deb, that talks about her obsessive personality and it talks about, I think, what's so compelling where things are, if I'm Juan Martinez, the prosecutor, I understand that part of it.

The thing that I'm in agreement with is, yes, that's right. I don't care who you are, if you're doing commentary or analysis, you don't know what's in the mind of the jurors. That's true.

On the other hand, prosecutors have been very careful and looking at the roadmap, 72 hours, Deb. This woman drove 3,000 miles including picking up the gas cans, and that goes to the issue of premeditation. So while I do agree that no one knows what's in the head of the jurors, there is very, very powerful premeditation evidence that surfaced already, and I think this case, you know, rises or falls on what we see coming up starring on Tuesday.

FEYERICK: Yes, include the saddest part the Alexander family, who's in that courtroom and he's not there to defend himself or even argue counter to what she's saying. She's fighting for her life because she's admitted to the killing.

Guys, we'll have you back in 20 minutes. We have a fascinating case about a teenager who says Roe V. Wade protects her and being force to have an abortion. So stay with us on that.

Radioactive waste is leaking at a nuclear plant. We'll have the latest on the threat.

And Facebook has been hacked. We've got details of this trending story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Deborah Feyerick in for Fredricka Whitfield. If you're tuning in, thanks for being with us this afternoon. These are the top stories that we're following for you right now in the NEWSROOM.

Checking stories from around the world, people in Russia cleaning up the damage after a meteor fell over the Ural Mountain region. Local officials have estimated the damage at over $33 million. The meteor blast left more than 1,000 people injured. Divers are looking for pieces of the meteor in a frozen lake, but so far they have not found any traces.

A tank storing radioactive waste is leaking at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. It contains almost 450,000 gallons of sludge and about 150 to 300 gallons of it is seeping out each year. Washington's governor says there's no immediate public health risk, but did call on the federal government to address the problem quickly.

President Obama's calling on Congress to pass laws to reduce gun violence. During an appearance at a Chicago high school, he said 65 out of 443 victims killed last year in gun violence in the city were under the age of 18. He also said children from violence-plagued communities need help and opportunities to get ahead.

These stories are trending on the web. Facebook admits it was hacked recently, but its billion subscribers, they can breathe easy. The company says no data was compromised. Facebook calls it a sophisticated attack that took place in January. Apparently, some employees visited a website that opened the door for the hackers. Facebook is the largest social network in the world.

Police are charging an Idaho man with slapping a 2-year-old boy on a Delta flight as it landed in Atlanta. Joey Ricky Huntley is accused of yelling a racial slur at the child and his mother when the boy started to cry. He then allegedly turned around and slapped the child in the face. He's charged with assault.

If you're searching for a diet that will stick, look no further. Fitness expert and guru Jillian Michaels is going to join me next with some great tips on staying slim and making sure that you don't get off your diet and the scoop on the best deals for coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: Well, we're only a few weeks in to 2013, and I bet you're all eating right and exercising just like you promised yourself you would do this year. Wait, what? You're not either? Unfortunately, I'm not also, but I think a workout with America's toughest trainer might just motivate you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quicker, quicker, quicker. Go, pop, pop, pop, pop. And back. Fast. Go. Go, go, go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Fitness trainer and wellness expert Jillian Michaels has spurred contestants, even driving them to tears, to shed pounds on the reality show "The Biggest Loser." Many have read her books and clicked on her web site. Now she's got a new book called "Slim for Life."

Jillian, I want to get right to this book because it is fascinating to read some of this and to kind of understand. The basic premise is you've got to burn more calories than you consume, but that is not an easy thing to do.

JILLIAN MICHAELS, FITNESS TRAINER: No, it's not. It is that simple but so many people struggle with it. So what I wanted to do with this book is give them simple strategies that will automatically allow them to eat less of the bad foods, more of the good foods, make it affordable, make it accessible and deal with dieting dilemmas and pitfalls like hunger, cravings, plateaus and so on.

FEYERICK: You also go through a lot of myths in this book. Vegetarians don't necessarily, for example, lose weight more quickly. Diet soda is not necessarily a good thing. Talk about some of the biggest myths.

MICHAELS: Gosh, they go on and on. Those are two good ones. Another example might be six small meals a day boost your metabolism. This is absolutely not true. Talk to any endocrinologist or biochemist.

When you're eating throughout the day, you have blood sugar surging throughout the day, which means you'll be releasing insulin throughout the day. Insulin's job, take sugar out of the blood, if it's not being used, store it as a fat.

That's a terrible strategy for weight loss. Eat every four hours, breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, that's it.

FEYERICK: People look at you. You are gorgeous, you are in shape, and they don't really understand that as a teenager you also struggled with your own weight issues. We've got a picture of that. What changed the game for you?

MICHAELS: Such a great question. I got into martial arts when I was about 13 years old and when I was about 15, I had a kind of rock bottom moment in the studio when I was training and I was forced to make a decision whether I was going to commit to myself and the process or no longer continue to learn martial arts.

I decided that it was too important to me and I was too important and I need to make that change for myself. I think when off large amount of weight to lose you need to have that rock bottom moment where you decide that there's nowhere to go, but up, that nothing's going to stop you no matter what it takes or what it requires. That's what it was for me.

FEYERICK: You're like everybody. You're busy, you've got children. Do you find it hard now to find time to exercise? Because I try to do 10 minutes of ab work every night and I can't even do that sometimes.

MICHAELS: That's a big part of the reason I wrote this book, because after becoming a mom, I can truly appreciate that between work and parenthood and everything in between I get it. You're not getting to the gym five times a week. There's no hope and prayer of that.

You don't have the time to make every meal. So what I wanted to do is say, all right, when you do get to the gym, give me four 30- minute sessions, try the following strategies to get yourself the best results in the shortest period of time or, OK, you are going through a drive-through.

If you do, these are the choices you can make to better your health even though it's not an ideal choice. Because, yes, it has been so much harder to take care of myself and I have a completely new perspective on it, totally different perspective on it now.

FEYERICK: Exactly right. Jillian Michaels, the book is "Slim For Life." I am looking forward to reading it and getting more tips. But you're right, baby steps, a little at a time.

You're going to catch Jillian later today with Dr. Sanjay Gupta at 4:30 right here on CNN and of course, on "The Biggest Loser" every Monday night on NBC at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Thanks so much, Jillian. Really interesting, appreciate you being here with us.

MICHAELS: Thank you.

FEYERICK: Well, recent heavy snowfall is good news for ski resorts. Holly Firfer shows us how to make the most of the trip on the slopes in this "On the Go."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HOLLY FIRFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is the cold weather wearing you down? Try a new view from a pair of skis.

AMY FARLEY, "TRAVEL AND LEISURE": Right now is a great time to go skiing, perfect time that's when the base is big and you're getting that soft, fluffy snow, so it's a great time to go skiing. And there are deals out there.

FIRFER: Save money with packages that bundle lodging, ticket, and equipment. Families can find deals giving kids free classes, rental, lift tickets and even air fare.

FARLEY: I think ski resorts across the country are really trying to encourage families to ski and really trying to bring up a next generation of skiers. There's also across the country a program called the passport program, which encourages kids in fifth grade to ski by offering them discounted or even free lift tickets.

FIRFER: And if you're not one to hit the slopes, ski resorts offer other ways to have winter fun.

FARLEY: You'll often find skating rinks. There's tubing parks. You can go snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing. There are wonderful ways the kids and adults can get outside and enjoy the snow.

FIRFER: Making the most of the snowy winter the next time you're "On the Go."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: A star for the Boston Celtics could be on the trading block and headed for the Clippers.

Also with mortgage rates low and rents rising, is it the right time to buy a home?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FEYERICK: The NBA's top players are gathered in Houston this weekend for the league's all-star game. Not surprisingly basketball stories lead this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Yahoo! Sports is reporting a deal could send Boston Celtics big man Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers is being discussed. Boston would get Eric Bledsoe and Andre Jordan in the deal. Garnett has a no-trade clause in his contract.

Miami Heat star Lebron James says no one's career should be defined by how many championship rings they've won. It appears to be a retort to Michael Jordan's remarks that Kobe Bryant has had a better career than James because he's won more titles.

A report from ESPN says Milwaukee Brewer star Ryan Braun's name appears on the list of those who received performance-enhancing drugs. The list was compiled by a Biogenesis of America Clinic founder, Anthony Bosch. Braun says he has nothing to hide and is cooperating with investigators.

For more entertaining sports news, you can check out bleacherreport.com.

Home prices are rising across the country. The National Association of Realtors reports median home prices in the fourth quarter rose at the highest year to year rate in seven years.

In this week's "Smart is the New Rich," Christine Romans looks at the golden combination of low mortgage rates, rising rents, and life changes that are driving the trend.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's moving day for Kelly and Dino Yiannopoulos. This two-bedroom apartment in New York City got tight once their son Christian came along. Now the family is wrapped up and ready to leave the big city.

KELLY YIANNOPOULOS, FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER: Luckily for us we found a really great house for a decent price. Probably a little more than we wanted to spend, but for what I think several years we would have paid we got a good deal.

DINO YIANNOPOULOS, FIRST TIME HOMEBUYER: Plus the rates have made it hard not to say yes.

ROMANS: With good credit and a 20 percent down payment, the couple locked in a 3.5 percent rate for a 30-year loan. Mortgage rates have come down steadily the past several years. At the same time, rents in major cities have gone up, a trend that's expected to continue this year.

ROBERT SHILLER, AUTHOR, "FINANCE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY": There's a shift toward wanting to rent, and there's a shortage of rental properties. That seems to be what's happening.

ROMANS: Home ownership was 69 percent at its peak in 2004. It's dropped to just about 65 percent. But for the Yiannopoulus family, more room and low rates were too good to pass up. So over the bridge they go and to this five-bedroom single-family home in New Jersey.

KELLY YIANNOPOULOS: I think it's what the American dream is about. This is what I look for. Look what I can show for it and it's mine. I don't have to leave at the end of my lease. I actually own this place.

ROMANS: Like generations of Americans before them, they see this house as an investment. The family hopes to grow into it in more ways than one.

DINO YIANNOPOULOS: You're not only owning and building a house, you're building a family.

ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FEYERICK: I would definitely move for that house.

Well, a woman fired from her job for using medical marijuana is taking her fight to court. Does she have a case?

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FEYERICK: Roe V Wade is the Supreme Court case that protects a woman's right to get an abortion. But in Texas, a pregnant 16-year- old argues it also gives her a right to choose to keep the pregnancy.

Our legal guys are back, Avery Friedman in Cleveland, Richard Herman in Las Vegas. This is so fascinating. The teenager is suing her parents saying they tried to force her to get an abortion.

The girl even saying her mom was planning to slip her the abortion pill, the day after pill. Yesterday, the teen's lawyers get a temporary restraining order that prohibits her parents from coercing her to have an abortion and her lawyer says this teen has rights like everybody else. Take a listen.

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STEPHEN CASEY, ATTORNEY: We were asking the judge to stop them from physically forcing her to have an abortion. She's legally protected so they cannot drag her to an abortion clinic and force an abortion on our client.

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FEYERICK: Fascinating case for so many reasons. First of all, this is a minor. So why don't her parents have any input into whether she can keep the baby or not? Avery, let's start with you.

FRIEDMAN: Well, I agree. I think this case is absolutely amazing. Constitutionally the answer to the question is that the parents do have a certain right. The issue is the anti-abortion group is arguing this is Roe V. Wade, the woman's right to choose.

But that's 50 percent of what the Supreme Court really said. Justice Blackmon, who wrote the opinion, was the former general counsel of the Mayo Clinic and dealt with science and the right to doctors.

The Texas case, Deb, has nothing to do with that. So what the group did is brought it in state court rather than federal court, trying to convince the local judge. Judge granted a temporary restraining order.

Ultimately we have to see whether or not the full-blown understanding of Roe V. Wade, that is, the involvement of a patient and doctor, will be involved. In this case it is not.

FEYERICK: But so, Richard, let me ask you then. In terms of obviously the doctor being involved in all of this, do you see this case as being a precedent-setting case or is that giving it too much weight, Richard?

HERMAN: The precedent has already established that in another case it says a teenaged woman has a right to determine whether or not she wants to keep the child or not. So it's a combination of Roe V. Wade and that case. That's the legal basis and based on that she's going to be allowed to keep this child.

Now, when we have shows like "16 and Pregnant," which espouses culture that it's cool for a 16 or a teenager to have a child, it isn't cool. And we have this group, this Texas Center for Defense of Life, I wonder if they're going to be around to help support and care for this child when this teen mom wants to go out and party with her friends.

FEYERICK: It's relevant. You have to wonder whether the parents are basically going to be left raising another child, which makes it not their issue but their daughter's issue.

HERMAN: They're not going to. But it's a privacy right that's on the line here. I think it's a misreading of Roe, but it's clearly a privacy right. That's what I think the case intends to test.

FEYERICK: OK. Let's switch gears a little bit. Another great case, a woman in Maine is suing the temp agency Adecco saying she was fired for using medical marijuana. The state ACLU and a local attorney have filed the suit on behalf of Brittney Thomas.

She's got back pain, says she switched from a stronger addictive narcotics to medical marijuana after talking to a doctor. This brings up a lot of different issues because now that marijuana is front and center in a lot of states with different laws in different areas.

We're going to have different rules coming up. So Richard, what do you think? How does this play out, Richard?

HERMAN: Well, the state may legalize it, but it is still illegal under federal law. That's for starters.

FRIEDMAN: That's right.

HERMAN: Next, can an employer say you can't work because you have a prescription for medical marijuana, they probably can't do that legally. But let's look at it realistically, take a step back. If the woman has chronic back problems, nerve root impingement, that's a serious back issue.

She needs to take meds to get rid of the pain. Her med is marijuana. If she comes to work taking her marijuana and getting loaded at work, she can't work. What's the employer to do? If someone is whacked out on Percocet, they'll send her home too. So it's the same thing.

FEYERICK: This woman says look, she is not going to be using marijuana when she's on the job. HERMAN: Wrong. She is.

FEYERICK: But what if -- Avery, what if she were using Oxycodone? Does that make it better or heavier medications?

FRIEDMAN: Well, the difference is that this is controlled. The irony is that you know what her job was? She was constructing smoke detectors. Of course, she's taking her marijuana.

But the bottom line is, the reason the case is fascinating is, one, it does involve disable, so there are federal laws. Maine, when they passed the law, said if it violates federal law, an employer does reserve that right.

There's a federal appeals decision that says where a state like Michigan, for example, like Maine, has a law that makes marijuana for medical purposes OK, it's still legal to fire an employee if you can't pass a drug test.

So we are smack dab in the middle of a stunning area of law where just to the beginning of where the courts are ultimately going to go. Whether it gets to the Supreme Court, nobody knows.

FEYERICK: This is fascinating.

FRIEDMAN: Right at the beginning.

FEYERICK: Richard, you said federal law says no, but even in Colorado, which passed a law, now you could actually go to a club and get marijuana, get pot, you know, in Colorado they've said, federal government, keep your hands off our state, Richard. How does this end?

HERMAN: The federal government wins, supremacy clause. They win in all the states. What about these laws about these medical marijuana places? I'm very impressed.

FEYERICK: Well, yes. We reported that story a couple months ago. That's why I know all about this stuff.

HERMAN: Exactly.

FRIEDMAN: We're right at the beginning.

FEYERICK: It will be fascinating to watch, all of these various cases. Thanks so much, our legal guys here every Saturday at this time to give us their take on the most intriguing legal cases of the day. Avery Friedman, Richard Herman.

Well, a nurse is suing a Michigan hospital for racial discrimination. We'll tell you why she says the hospital kept her from caring for one particular patient.

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FEYERICK: Here's a look at some of the top stories this hour. The Vatican is considering moving up the date to choose a successor for Pope Benedict XVI. The conclave could start before March 14th if all the cardinals are already in Rome, 117 cardinal electors will choose the new pope after Benedict retires on February 28th.

A nurse is suing a Michigan hospital for allegedly agreeing to a man's request that African-Americans not care for his baby. The lawsuit says managers at the Hurley Medical Center reassigned the African-American nurse after the father made the request. The hospital has not responded to CNN's request for a comment.

Wal-Mart's stock took a nosedive on Friday after an internal e- mail published by "Bloomberg News" quoted an executive saying that February sales were a, quote, "total disaster." The stock for the world's largest retailer plummeted shortly after that before making a slight recovery. Wal-Mart reports its fourth-quarter earnings next week.

Later this afternoon, join me for all the latest news, plus we'll take fashion week to the next level with high-tech clothing. Dr. Sanjay Gupta will give us his diagnosis on Lady Gaga's injury, got to hear about that.

And I go shooting with rocker and gun activist Ted Nugent. First, a recession in Europe, an economic storm in Washington, so why is Ali Velshi convinced a renaissance may be at hand for the U.S. economy? Find out right now on "YOUR MONEY."