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Police Search for Suspected Kidnapper in California; President Goes on "Tonight Show with Jay Leno"; Ft. Hood Shooter's Trial Begins; Army Aiming for Death Penalty; Weather Outlook; New Allegations Against Bob Filner

Aired August 7, 2013 - 07:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hannah, if you have a chance, you take it. You run.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Let my daughter go. The dramatic plea from a father. His children kidnapped allegedly by this man, their mother killed. New details on a desperate effort to save them.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: New overnight. President Obama speaking out for the first time on why the U.S. shut down embassies across the Middle East and why relations with Russia are so tense.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Near tragedy. Pop singer Usher's son almost killed, sucked into a pool drain and trapped. That rescue playing out on 911 calls. What every parent needs to know.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: What you need to know.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have no patience for countries that treat gays, or lesbians, or trans gender persons in ways that intimidate them or harmful to them.

ANNOUNCER: What you just have to see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we actually stationed an officer here physically 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it would be over $200,000.

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.


CUOMO: Good morning, everybody. Welcome back to NEW DAY. It is Wednesday, August 7th, seven o'clock in the east. I'm Chris Cuomo.

BOLDUAN: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan.

PEREIRA: Good morning, everybody.

BOLDUAN: Coming up in this hour, "I am the shooter." Those powerful words straight from the mouth of the accused Ft. Hood killer, Major Nidal Hasan. What does this incredible admission mean for the rest of his court-martial? We're going to talk with Hasan's civil attorney coming up.

CUOMO: And we have a CNN exclusive for you. We have the voicemails from just one of the 11 women who say San Diego Mayor Bob Filner made unwanted sexual advances toward them. We're going to play the voicemails ahead.

PEREIRA: And we'll speak with Senator Chuck Schumer this morning. A lot to cover, immigration, simmering tensions with Russia, new charges in the Benghazi attack, and, of course, Anthony Weiner. Senator Schumer will join us live coming up this hour.

BOLDUAN: First up this hour, a heartbroken father urging his missing daughter to run if she gets the chance. Police believe 16-year-old Hannah Anderson and possibly her brother Ethan were kidnapped by murder suspect James DiMaggio who is now the target of a massive manhunt. CNN's Miguel Marquez is live in San Diego with the latest. Good morning, Miguel.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. Time is critical here. They believe he is dangerous and possibly armed. Dozens of tips have come in to the sheriff's office here, but they just need the one in order to bring it to a conclusion.


MARQUEZ: Overnight a vigil of hope for children allegedly kidnapped by this man, James DiMaggio.

HALLIE LANDY, COUSIN: We miss you, Hannah. We love you so much. We're here, we're all praying for you.

MARQUEZ: Following an emotion appeal from the children's father Brett Anderson.

BRETT ANDERSON, FATHER: Jim, I can't fathom what you were thinking. The damage is done. I'm begging you to let my daughter go. You have taken everything else.

MARQUEZ: Speaking to Jim DiMaggio, the man who investigators believe killed Anderson's ex-kind of wife and possibly his eight-year-old son then kidnapped his 16-year-old daughter Hannah.

ANDERSON: Hannah, we love you very much. If you have a chance, you take it. You run. You'll be found.

MARQUEZ: The body of the children's mother, 42-year-old Christina Anderson was found on Sunday night inside DiMaggio's burning home. Investigators believe DiMaggio set the fire. Deputies found the body of a child who has not been identified. The case leading to California's first statewide amber alert over smartphones late Monday night, road signs calling motorist attention to the nationwide alert, investigators anxious to catch a break. LT. GLENN GIANNANTONIO, SAN DIEGO SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: It is safe to say he's a dangerous person. Armed or not it would be safe to assume he is armed. We are asking members of the public who may believe they see him, don't attempt to contact and don't try to detain him or anything. Just call 911.

MARQUEZ: Investigators now updating pictures of the kids and the alleged kidnapper, even a mock-up of a bald James DiMaggio just in case he shaved his head to disguise his appearance.


MARQUEZ: Deputies believe he was in a blue Nissan Versa. He may have changed the car in addition to changing his appearance as well. That of 16-year-old Hannah's appearance may be changed. If her eight-year- old brother Ethan is with them his appearance may be different. If you have a suspicion, if you believe you see them, call 911. Don't confront. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Why, oh, why? Miguel we'll try to get more answers. We'll talk with a member of the San Diego county sheriff's department about the latest on the search.

CUOMO: New this morning, President Obama is defending his decision to shut down nearly two dozen consulates and embassies in the Middle East. And he picked an interesting forum to take on the tough issues, an appearance with Jay Leno. While on "The Tonight Show" the president insisted closures and a worldwide travel alert were absolutely necessary. CNN White House correspondent Brianna Keilar is here with the latest. It's unusual for the president to talk difficult things on a comedy appearance.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It is, although it's become regular for him to appear on late night TV. This was his sixth appearance, his fourth as a sitting president. And I think one reason he likes really it is there is such a wide audience. You can argue it's an easier interview than one on one with a journalist. He was also able the to talk about many different things from the economy to the terror threat in the Middle East to the NSA surveillance program and, yes, Hillary Clinton.


KEILAR: In his first remarks on oh the Al Qaeda terror threat President Obama insisting the U.S. is not overreacting in closing 19 embassies through the end of the week.

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": How significant is this threat?

OBAMA: Well, it's significant enough that we are taking every precaution.

KEILAR: The president making his sixth appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno reassuring" Americans they should feel safe traveling abroad but should also be prudent. And while not saying the controversial program turned up the latest threat information, the president called it a critical component to counterterrorism.

OBAMA: We don't have a domestic spying program. What we do have are mechanisms where we can track a phone number or an e-mail address that we know is connected to some sort a terrorist threat. That information is useful.

KEILAR: The president confirmed that he will attend the g-20 summit next week in Russia but expressed disappointment in Russia's decision to grant asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

OBAMA: It's important not to prejudge something. Hopefully at some point he'll go to trial, and he will have a lawyer and due process and we can make those decisions.

KEILAR: While the U.S. and Russia have cooperated most recently on the Boston Marathon bombing situation, the relationship is, to say the least, complicated.

OBAMA: There are times when they slip back into the cold war thinking and a cold war mentality. And what I consistently say to them and what I say to President Putin is that's in the past.

KEILAR: It remains unclear if the president will visit Moscow for a previously planned one-on-one meeting with Putin before the G-20 summit.


KEILAR: It wasn't all serious stuff. Of course, this is late night television, and President Obama was asked about Hillary Clinton. He joked that she has a "post administration glow." Jay Leno asked, hey, when she came over was she measuring the drapes. He said, she's been there. She doesn't have to measure them.

BOLDUAN: She has the measurements in her pocket.

KEILAR: She knows the size of the drapes.

BOLDUAN: Thanks.

Now to Texas where a shocking start to the court-martial of Major Nidal Hasan. He wasted no time admitting he was the Ft. Hood shooter in opening statements. Charged with 13 counts of murder, 32 counts of attempted murder, Hasan is acting as his own attorney. We'll talk to the lawyer defending Nidal Hasan in his civil case in just a moment. But first CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Texax with the latest on this court-martial. Hi, Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kate. This is hardly your typical murder trial. Military prosecutors are fighting for the death penalty in this case. But major Nidal Hasan is fighting his own war, trying to justify why he killed 13 and wounded more than 30 others.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) LAVANDERA: This morning, military prosecutors will continue calling survivors of the Ft. Hood massacre to testify against Major Nidal Hasan. There is heavy security for the court-martial. The courthouse is blocked by stacks of sand baskets and rows of massive steel containers. Major Hasan is flown in by helicopter from the nearby county jail. In court he's dressed in an army combat uniform with an American flag decorating his sleeve.

Yesterday he quickly admitted to killing defenseless fellow soldiers. "The evidence will clearly show I am the shooter," he declared in an opening statement. Hasan went on to say "I was on the wrong and I switched sides."

Prosecutors say he felt a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible, and that he was targeting soldiers preparing to fight in Afghanistan.

And then the first shooting victim testified, Staff Sergeant Alonzo Lunsford, shot seven times during those terrifying minutes, took the stand. Lunsford testified "Major Hasan is turning the weapon on me. He has a laser on his weapon and it goes across my line of sight, and I blink. He discharges his weapon, the first round, and I'm hit in the head."

Hasan managed to hit Lunsford six more times while running for the board, even shooting him while he was receiving first aid outside the initial scene of the rampage. At the conclusion of the testimony Lunsford and Hasan locked eyes. When asked if Major Hasan had any questions for the witness Hasan simply said, "I have no questions."


LAVANDERA: And Military prosecutors laid out incredible detail about how Hasan carried out the massacre, including the 420 rounds of ammunition he brought to the building that day hidden in 16 magazine cartridges. One of the things that really stuck out to people is that Hasan went to the trouble of using paper towels in his pocket so other soldiers couldn't hear the magazines in his pockets clicking around. He was trying to hide those sounds before he started the rampage. Chris, back to you.

CUOMO: All right, Ed, thank you very much for the reporting. What seems like a painful but simple case could be greatly complicated by Major Hasan now taking up his own defense. So let's get some perspective on this. Joining me from Austin is Major Hasan's former criminal attorney and current civil attorney John Galligan. Mr. Galligan, thank you very much for joining us. The obvious concern with Major Hasan defending himself is competency. Do you have concerns about his ability to be his own attorney?

JOHN GALLIGAN, CURRENT CIVIL ATTORNEY FOR MAJOR HASAN: I do not. I think he's competent. His mental acuity, ability to recall facts is not in question. I have greater concerns about what I believe is an ever declining status in terms of his physical health. Over the period of four years I have noticed a substantial decline in his physical health. CUOMO: The concern is that this trial stands the test of scrutiny that this was justice under law. Do you believe at the end of the t trial there will not be an issue on appeal that Hasan should not have defended himself, that he wasn't physically capable, mentally or emotion ally capable?

GALLIGAN: I think there will be substantial issues on appeal in this. Remember, this is a death penalty case. The army has an abysmal record in death penalty cases. I think the most glaring omission in due process for Major Hasan is the judge's ruling in advance that she's effectively told him he won't be permitted to present a defense.

CUOMO: He's not going to be able to present that I was defending the Taliban as his defense because she didn't believe it qualified under law as an assert-able defense.

GALLIGAN: Well, she's basically told him in advance of any evidence being presented she has no intent of instructing the jurors -- look, it's a death penalty case. I believe every criminal defendant should have a right to present a defense. To the extent Major Hasan believes his actions can be justified in a certain sense, whether it's accepted as being a successful defense, in the final analysis, I believe the ultimate decision on his proposed detention made not by the court but by the jurors.

CUOMO: There is no question --

GALLIGAN: She has silenced him.

CUOMO: Let's talk about why, because it matters. You used the word "justifiable." You're a seasoned attorney. I know you understand justifiable means something in the law. Certainly your reason for why you kill, that you did it to defend the Taliban or to defend the Wizard of Oz doesn't matter in terms of justifying the killing. That's not a real defense here. It's just the concern of the judge that it's an ability for him to injure victims and spread propaganda, isn't it?

GALLIGAN: I wouldn't say that. I think to the extent his mental state or he believes it justified his actions in the case of a death penalty case is something that should be properly presented to the ultimate finder of fact and the people who have to individually determine whether or not he should be put to death. I am just concerned that down the road his Sixth Amendment right in that regard has been frustrated by the judge's ruling.

CUOMO: But how? Explain that for the audience that isn't attorneys. Not to interrupt you but we are in different places, so it's tough to follow the question. Explain to our audience why his right to confront his accusers and present his defense would be compromised by not being able to say I tried to kill as many people as possible to help the Taliban?

GALLIGAN: Well, first of all, you've got to remember what the judge's ruling was. She said you're not going to be permitted to argue or present evidence. Obviously a defendant can present evidence in ways other than individually taking the stand. She's effectively said he wasn't going to be permitted to present evidence.

And I think had he been permitted to do so he could have presented evidence that would have at least substantiated his view that the wars may have been illegal, that the occupation or the military forces have resulted in the death, destruction, and killing of many innocent individuals. Look, whether it's successful in the final analysis is a separate issue. I just believe that every criminal defendant has the right, and I think it's been denied here. Let's not forget also that this is a defendant --

CUOMO: Go ahead. Finish your point, please.

GALLIGAN: I'm also concerned that, again, given the context of the military history in the death penalty arena, it is not uniformly applied. This is an individual who's been denied on multiple occasions the opportunity to plead guilty even to the 32 noncapital offenses. Pleading guilty is a first step towards rehabilitation. It's a factor that a jury might consider as a mitigating factor. And I think the full context of his mental state and evidence that might support much of what he believes are factors that additionally could be considered by a jury as being mitigating.

And let's not forget the fact, it's easy to hate Major Hasan. But I think the more difficult and more necessary thing is to try to understand him because I can assure you there are millions of other Muslims in the world who feel exactly like Major Hasan.

CUOMO: I understand, Mr. Galligan.

GALLIGAN: And, sadly -

CUOMO: I understand.

GALLIGAN: I don't believe in - I don't believe in this court-martial you're going to hear from him.

CUOMO: OK. Well, you'll hear from him every day because he's - he's his own counsel.

GALLIGAN: I think he's frustrated. I think -

CUOMO: But Mr. - we're going to leave it there, Mr. Galligan, because we're short on time, but I appreciate the conversation. I hope we get to have it again.


CUOMO: Thank you for coming on NEW DAY.

GALLIGAN: Thank you very much.

CUOMO: Appreciate it.

There's a lot of other news to tell you about, and we don't want to - we don't want to take time away from that. So let's get to Michaela for the latest. PEREIRA: All right, Chris, thanks so much.

Making news at this hour, federal authorities said to be filing the first criminal charges in connection with the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Sources say among several suspects charged is prominent Libyan militia leader Ahmed Abu Khattalah. The other suspect's identities were not disclosed. The Benghazi attack last September killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

In less than an hour, the Cleveland home where Ariel Castro held three women captive for more than a decade will be torn down. We're showing you a live look at that home. That house of horrors on Seymour Avenue. Castro is sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in prison without the possibility of parole. In court he repeatedly denied torturing Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight after kidnapping them. We'll bring you that demolition live.

Former President George W. Bush now recovering from heart surgery at a Dallas hospital. He is doing well. In fact, he's expected to check out today. The 43rd president had a stent installed Tuesday after doctors discovered a blocked artery during his annual physical. Mr. Bush is getting support from another former president who knows all about it. Bill Clinton had a similar procedure back in 2010.

Well, you know, odds are you're still going to go to work tomorrow, but it's OK to dream, friends. It is OK to dream. The Powerball jackpot has swelled to a whopping $425 million. It's the fourth largest lottery prize ever.

And if you are one of those people that need to know about the odds of hitting the jackpot, one in 175 million. And, yes, you have a chance. Just that one chance. I'm sorry. It's true. You have a chance.

All right.

CUOMO: It's the chance. I'll take it.

PEREIRA: Yes, I know. You have to. And we count on it.

In a brawl in last night's game between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves spilling into the twitterverse. It all started when Atlanta pitcher Julio Teheran hit National's star Bryce Harper with a pitch after Harper had homered off him in a previous at-bat. The dugouts cleared. However, no punches were thrown. There were serious jabs on Twitter, however. The Braves feed accusing Harper of a clown move. The Nat's feed reply, "which part? Giving up the homerun or drilling the 20-year-old on the first pitch his next time up?"

So instead of doing it on the field, which is setting a bad example, they took it to the twitterverse, twittersphere.

CUOMO: Yes. Which is - which is certainly the wild, wild west of unprovoked attacks.

PEREIRA: Ooh. BOLDUAN: Right. If you've never been on there or ever checked our Twitter accounts.

PEREIRA: There are some attacks.

CUOMO: Boy, I'll tell you.

PEREIRA: It's a new era though, right? Instead of the bench bearing (INAUDIBLE) brawls, you have a war of words.


CUOMO: I guess it's better. No physical violence. It would be better if they just played the game, but, you know, take what you can get. Take what you can get.

PEREIRA: Agreed. Agreed.

BOLDUAN: Oh, and then there's that. There's that, of course.

CUOMO: And don't forget that Powerball thing, by the way. You just breezed past that. I'm waiting for your fiver (ph). Kate and I are in already. Just saying.

PEREIRA: Waiting? Oh, you have my money? Phil, why -

CUOMO: Got to put up. That's the contract.

PEREIRA: I think Phil actually hit the road with the jackpot already.

CUOMO: (INAUDIBLE), Phil. Go buy some cronuts.

BOLDUAN: Phil's already gone. Phil's gone just because he got $25. He's like, I already just won the lottery.

CUOMO: Indra Petersons been a little tight with the pockets also, by the way. Bring us the five if you want to stay alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey, that's going to change as soon as I get $500 million, you know. Maybe I'll give you guys five bucks, right?

CUOMO: You've got to pay the five first to get into the draw, all right.

BOLDUAN: Yes, there's an order of operation here.


BOLDUAN: All right. So what's the latest on the weather?

INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. I want to show you guys some video that actually drives me nuts. And the reason is, take a look at this. This is from Kansas and Missouri just in the last two days. We keep telling you that there's so much rain in the area, there's flash flood warnings and yet I continually see people trying to drive thru floodwaters and walk through floodwaters. And I want to show you why this is so dangerous. More than half of flood deaths are in people's vehicles. And it's hard for people to understand. Keep in mind, as soon as the water force is stronger than the force of friction - keep in mind, your tires are pretty small, right? You're going to be talking about your car lifted up. Here's the most important fact. One foot of water, that make use 1,500 pounds lighter. Most cars only about 3,000 pounds. So only two feet of water. That is going to swipe your car away. Easy to say. Most of us do not weight 1,500 pounds. Please, do not walk through flood waters. So dangerous out there.

And here's why. Today, the exact same area. Another five to seven inches of rain moving through the area. So heavy rain, flash flood warnings still in effect. Tomorrow, still remaining in that area. Starting to push a little bit farther to the east. And, really, that same storm will affect a lot of us. We're going to be talking about that rain really spreading into the Mid-Atlantic, into the Northeast overnight tonight and continuing on for the next several days.

But turn around, don't drown. Such an important slogan that people constantly just ignore.

BOLDUAN: Yes, we'll have to watch that closely. (INAUDIBLE). All right, Indra, thank you.


BOLDUAN: Still ahead on NEW DAY, a CNN exclusive. Revealing details and a voicemail from women who claim they were sexually harassed by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. A live report on that just ahead.

CUOMO: And the president talked about a lot of things on "The Tonight Show." So we have New York's senior senator, Chuck Schumer, Democrat, here. He's going to talk about a lot of the same topics. Get a reaction about what we should be doing with Russia, what we should be doing on immigration, and whether these closings of these embassies is connected to the investigation of Benghazi.


CUOMO: All right. We're looking at live pictures from Cleveland, Ohio. This is the home of Ariel Castro. It is being demolished. It's going on right now. This is what we're watching. As you can see, big sections of the home have already been removed.

BOLDUAN: And we believe we're being told that the - that the aunt of Gina DeJesus was on the crane and made the first hit as this - and clearly it's very symbolic. This is the home that held Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight in this home for more than a decade. This demolition, I believe they say, it's going to take all day, but the process begins. And this means a lot, not only for those three families, but obviously for that entire community that has been suffering ever since this horrific story came out of their capture and kidnapping.

CUOMO: You know, obviously what they want to do is try and remove any trace of the memory of what happened in that house that was so terrible for so long. And this is the most obvious way to do it. But the community will be healing, as will the victims for some time to come. So we just wanted to show you that this morning because it's the latest.

BOLDUAN: Yes. We'll be watching it and follow it throughout the morning.


All right. We welcome you back here to NEW DAY and we do it with a CNN exclusive. A shocking voicemail. Two servicewomen who were sexually assaulted in the military say they were sexually harassed by San Diego's mayor, Mr. Filner, when they returned home.

CNN's Kyung Lah spoke exclusively with some of Filner's other accusers as well and she joins us now. Good morning, Kyung.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris. Well, it's important to point out about these women, and what's different from the other accusations that have been made against Bob Filner, is who these women are. They are retired and former military. Victims of military rape. And what they say and what they allege is that the then congressman abused his position of power to access their support group, leaving at least one an unwanted voicemail.


BILL FILNER, SAN DIEGO MAYOR (voice-over): Eldonna, hi. It's your new favorite congressman, Bob Filner. You know, the one who fell in love with you with (ph) your last speech.

ELDONNA LEWIS FERNANDEZ (RET.), MSGT, USAF: Yes, it was kind of creepy.

LAH (voice-over): The voice sounded like then Congressman Bob Filner. Eldonna Lewis Fernandez met him a year ago at a women's veteran event. But the problem for Fernandez it's just the voicemail. It's how Filner made advances and to whom.

FERNANDEZ: We totally felt like we could trust him because he was - he's - oh, he's fighting for our cause.

LAH: Fernandez is a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant and says she was raped three times while in the military. Gerri Tindley was in the Army and says she was also raped. They, and as many as six other veterans say Filner met them at San Diego support groups for military sexual assault victims and made unwanted advances, from verbal passes to groping.

FERNANDEZ: We're all victims of military sexual assault. And it appears to me that he was targeting this organization and hitting on the women in this organization because they were easy prey. So he's part of an organization that's against sexual assault and sexual violence towards women and sexual harassment, but he's doing the very thing that we are fighting to make stop in our service and in our country.

LAH (on camera): Do you feel he was using his power to prey on the women of this organization?

FERNANDEZ: I do. I do. He didn't have our backs. He was looking at our backs.

GERRI TINDLEY: He had our fronts. It's wrong. Why would you come here with us and do what you did? Why? Is it a turn-on?

LAH (voice-over): The 70-year-old, 10-term congressman served as chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Now less than a year after being elected San Diego's mayor, he has checked himself into a two-week treatment program to deal with his behavior. His chief of staff would not speak to us about these latest allegations.

LAH (on camera): Will you come back out and chat with me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will do my best.

LAH: Just like - like how long do you want -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll let you know one way or the other.


LAH: In case you're wondering, after that door closed, we never saw her again. She did not come out. We also made calls to Filner's attorney. He also, Chris, had no comment.


CUOMO: Well, Kyung, thank you for the reporting. No one's going to be able to hide from this story. Not with 11 different women coming out. It's a big enough story that we're not just doing it here on NEW DAY. You can see more of the exclusive story tonight on "Erin Burnett OutFront" 7:00 Eastern.

All right, we're going to be taking a break here on NEW DAY. Who do we have coming up?

BOLDUAN: We've got a lot coming up. New York Senator Chuck Schumer here in NEW DAY. His NEW DAY appearance. His first appearance. We're going to get his take on many topics, including immigration reform, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, as well as the latest, what's going on in Egypt. We'll have much more on that ahead.

Hi, senator.

CUOMO: And - yes, there he is. He's in our green room. He's loving, he said.

And the five-year-old son of singer Usher now recovering in an Atlanta hospital after getting stuck in a pool drain. This happens. We're going to play for you dramatic 911 call tapes. But also, we're going to explain to you how this happened and what you should look out for. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)