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Woods Drove His SUV into Fire Hydrant, Struck a Tree; Newark's Intersecting Runways Raise Concerns; Aspiring Reality TV Stars Crashed Obama Party

Aired November 27, 2009 - 17:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM; happening now: As millions of you think about the Thanksgiving trip home, there's troubling new information about safety at one of America's busiest airports. Why federal investigators say there's a potential danger to the flying public.

And a pair of reality show "Wannabes." They have already grabbed the nation's attention by sneaking into the president's first official state dinner. What it takes to win the proverbial 15 minutes of fame.

And Black Friday bargain shoppers. They just can't resist and neither can the retailers. Why one crowd was kicked out of a California Wal- Mart. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux, and you're in the situation room.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

MALVEAUX: We begin with breaking news from Florida where golf superstar Tiger Woods, perhaps the best known name in any sport, was involved in a car crash outside his suburban Orlando home in the very early hours of the morning. Now a police report says that Woods struck a fire hydrant and then a tree after pulling out of his driveway. Now there's a hospital spokeswoman who says this about the incident:


SUSAN JACKSON, SR. V.P. HEALTH CONTROL HOSPITAL: Tiger Woods was in a minor car accident outside his home last night. He was admitted, treated and released today in good condition.

QUESTION: Why did it say serious injuries?

JACKSON: I didn't say serious injuries. He was --

QUESTION: The fhp report said it was serious.

JACKSON: He was released today in good condition.

QUESTION: Do you know what time?

JACKSON: No I don't.

QUESTION: It was this afternoon or this morning or -- JACKSON: It was today, and that's a joint statement both from his office and from the hospital, and to his wishes that's all the information, all right?

QUESTION: This is from -- in other words his sports management company?

JACKSON: Tiger woods' office, mm-hmm.

QUESTION: As well as health central?

JACKSON: That's right.

QUESTION: Joint statement?

JACKSON: Joint statement.

QUESTION: OK. Now when it comes to minor injuries, what's that definition? What do you mean by minor?

JACKSON: He was able to go home today.

QUESTION: We were told that he had facial lacerations.

JACKSON: I cannot -- I can't comment on that. That's Mr. Woods to decide to comment.


MALVEAUX: Joining me by phone from Orlando now, Adam Barr of the Golf Channel.

Adam, thanks for joining us and being here on the situatioN room. First of all, this Florida highway patrol report saying that no on alcohol-related, that it was not alcohol-related. What do you know about this accident? Have you been in touch with anyone who can get any more details or information about how this happened?

ADAM BARR, GOLF CHANNEL: No. The details that you know are pretty much what we know. At this point we haven't uncovered any facts that would indicate why Tiger was leaving his house after 2:00 in the morning so those details are what stand right now. Typically when something like this happens the Woods Camp and img Management group based in Cleveland, very experienced management group, circle the wagons in managing information very carefully. I'm not saying they are withholding anything. They are being circumspect and not revealing any more facts than they have to.

MALVEAUX: You've certainly dealt with them before on previous occasions. How long does it usually take to get a clear picture of information to come forward and we can actually understand in more detail what happened?

BARR: Well, I mean, this -- this kind of thing doesn't happen in golf that often so we don't have a whole lost precedent for, you know, revealing things like this. I do know that, but, you know, Tiger doesn't necessarily keep hours we would consider normal. He might have been up late on the holiday night, you know. It's not unusual for him to work out when he feels like working out so, you know, if the children and wife are asleep and he wanted to get a workout in and go out and do something, it's not unusual at all.

MALVEAUX: We don't know the circumstances about how he got into the car accident, if he was, you know, swerved around an animal that was in the road or something or whatever, but you know Tiger Woods. Is he pretty much a straight-up guy, somebody who would tell people, you know, here's the real deal? Here's what happened here?

BARR: Absolutely, absolutely. First of all, Tiger is very concerned about his -- the example he sets. His foundation does work for education projects for children, opened a big education center in the Los Angeles area where he grew up, so if he thought there would be any adverse effect on the people who see him as an example, we -- we would know right away.

MALVEAUX: And finally, he's supposed to be participating in his own golf tournament next Tuesday. If this is something that he can't make, what kind of impact could that have on that event and the kind of money, the fund-raising he does for some of these causes?

BARR: My suspicion is that the event will go on because it does benefit the Tiger Woods Foundation and some other charities, also that 18 top players in the world have been invited, including him. If there's any way he can make it, I'm sure he'll going to make it. They say his injuries are minor. I tend to believe that if he was released. If he can be there, I suspect he'll going to be there. He's famously a tough guy about sticking with his obligations. He won the u.s. open essentially on one leg so if it's facial lacerations as we're hearing it might be -- might be some soreness, then I'm guessing Tiger is going to be out there.

MALVEAUX: Yes. That's what we're hearing as well. Adam Barr, thank you so much from the Golf Channel. I really appreciate it.

BARR: Thank you Susan.


Well, as millions of Americans contemplate the trip home after the Thanksgiving holidays, cnn has some disturbing news about safety at one of the nation's busiest airports. A Federal Investigators tell cnn that they are concerned about potential danger to travelers at Newark airport, one of the primary gateways to the New York Metropolitan area. This is a serious concern for many people. I want to go straight to cnn's Senior Correspondent Allan Chernoff.

Allan Chernoff, cnn correspondent: Suzanne, the potential danger involves intersecting runways that are often used at the same time. Federal investigators have determined that landing procedures at Newark sometimes have permitted planes to come much too close to each other.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) (voice-over) A potential danger to the flying public. That's how Federal Investigators are describing the simultaneous use of intersecting runways at Newark Liberty International Airport. One of the busiest in the nation. Newark Air Traffic Controller Ray Adams raised the issue after witnessing too many close calls from the control tower. In January 16th of last year he saw two continental planes miss each other by only 600 feet.

RAY ADAMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: That was very scary. I was there for that one personally in the control tower and it scared the heck out of everybody up there.

CHERNOFF (on camera): Potential danger arises when approaching planes need to abort their landing which happens about every 700 flights according to an FAA analysis. Any plane aborting a landing along runway 11 which runs west to east here at Newark has to make a sharp right turn taking it into the path of two intersecting runways.

(voice-over) In what the faa calls go-around the diverted plane has to avoid planes landing and taking off from the intersecting runway. There is little margin for error. Four times last year and another four times this year Newark traffic control allowed planes to come too close together.

ADAMS: There was a distinct possibility that we could have had a collision with these operations the way they were run previously.

CHERNOFF: Adams raised the safety issue to the faa, but it went nowhere. He says his managers maintained there was no problem yet Adams persisted taking his complaint to congress. In response, he says, he was punished, put on paid leave for 11 months and then leave without pay for a month. The faa says the disciplinary actions had nothing to do with Adams' safety concerns. Adams filed a whistleblower complaint with the u.s. Office Special Counsel which led to the Department of Transportation Inspector General Calvin Scoville to investigate. He found merit in Adams' concerns concluding two months ago. "Questions about the safety of the runway 22l-11 approach configurations at Newark persists."

ADAMS: I've been vindicated at least on the safety concerns, and would I like to see some accountability on the part of the faa.

CHERNOFF: In response, the faa promised to utilize a computer program that helps air traffic controllers staggers aircraft to ensure proper spacing. On November 5th the Department of Transportation which oversees faa told the Office of Special Counsel the computer system had been put to use. Faa implemented converging runway display aid technology at Newark on November 26th. The very next day, the u.s. Office of Special Counsel learned that in fact the technology was no longer in use at Newark.

I am outraged. When you put the jeopardy of human lives at risk, it can't get any more serious than that.

CHERNOFF: faa says there was no intent to deceive anyone about what we were doing. Faa safety officers wanted to make absolutely sure employees were fully trained on the equipment. Last week the office of special counsel raised the matter with President Obama writing, "We found a substantial likelihood that faa officials were engaging in conduct that constitutes gross mismanagement and a substantial and specific danger to public safety."

(on camera) The faa says it plans to have the computer system fully operational at Newark by mid-December. Meanwhile, after a year away from the control tower Ray Adams returned to his regular job on Wednesday -- Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: Thank you.

They overshot the runway by 150 miles. The airline pilots who missed Minneapolis last month were not in contact with the tower as they flew past the destination. Now the Federal Aviation Administration has released recordings of the episode.

Our CNN Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve, she's been looking into that, and Jeanne obviously this has been a while. People have questions about what really happened with those pilots.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes and these tapes don't clear it all up. On the tapes you hear air traffic controllers making increasingly urgent efforts to contact northwest flight 188, but even these recordings do not explain why these pilots were out of radio contact for 77 minutes overflying their destination by 150 miles.


AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Northwest one eighty eight contact Minneapolis center one two four point eight seven. Northwest one eighty eight radio check.


MESERVE (voice-over): Over and over and over again, air traffic controllers in Denver and Minneapolis tried to make contact with northwest flight 188, even asking other northwest pilots in the area if they can radio the plane. Finally after overflying Minneapolis by 150 miles, after 77 minutes incommunicado, the crew makes contact.


NW 188: Minneapolis northwest one eighty eight.

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Northwest one eighty eight in Minneapolis center go ahead.

NW 188: Ah Roger, ah we got ah, distracted and we've over flown ah Minneapolis we're over Eau Claire and would like to make a one eighty and do arrival from Eau Claire.


MESERVE: Controllers ask if the crew is in control of the aircraft. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL: Ah, you can stay right here and um on this frequency and I just have to verify that the cockpit is secure.

NW 188: It is secure we got distracted we were ah (unintelligible) never heard a call and we just (unintelligible).


MESERVE: Several minutes later another controller follows up.


AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: Northwest one eighty eight ah do you have time to give a brief explanation on what happened?

NW 188: Ah, (just) cockpit distractions that's all I can say.


MESERVE: Again, the controller tries to get information.


AIR TRAFIC CONTROL: Northwest one eighty eight ah is there anyway you can elaborate on the distraction.

NW 188: (Ah we're just dealing with some company issues) here and that's all ah that's all I can tell you right now at this time.


PETER GOELZ, FORMER NTSB MANAGING DIR.: It was pretty clear that they knew they were in hot water. They were not going to discuss it over the open channels. They knew it was going to be recorded. They knew they didn't want to say anything

MESERVE: The pilot and co-pilot later said they were reviewing crew scheduling procedures on their laptop computers. In a stinging rebuke the Federal Aviation Administration accused them with a total dereliction and disregard of their duties and revoked their licenses.

The pilots have filed an appeal and meanwhile the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the matter. We will see if they come up with a conclusive explanation. They hope to release some documents relating to this lapse by the end of the year -- Suzanne.


MALVEAUX: OK, Jeanne, thank you very much.

Well, they crashed the White House State Dinner and post it had all over facebook. Was it another attempt at reality tv fame? What we're learning about these uninvited guests? Plus, an unfolding financial crisis sending shock waves around the world. Why Dubai's debt could wind up being everybody's problem.


MALVEAUX: A pair of reality show "Wannabes", they have already grabbed the nation's attention by sneaking into the president's first official state dinner. Cnn's Mary Snow, she is joining us. Mary, obviously, I guess, it's that proverbial 15 minutes of fame here that they have managed to capture.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDET: Yes and Suzanne, you know, not everyone was shocked to find out that the prospect of a reality tv show was dangling in the background of this whole episode.

ANNOUNCER: Mr. and Mrs. Salahi.


SNOW (voice-over): They cast themselves in their own drama, their new role, crashers to the President's First Official State Dinner. Michaela and Tareq Salahi's facebook photo hobnobbing with the vice president and the white house chief of staff are now famous. But the couple who were reality TV couples could end up facing charges if one law-maker has its way.

REP. PETER KING (R), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: I would like want to see whatever charges can be brought against them because this isn't a joke this. This isn't a game this. This isn't breaking into a fashion show or anything. We're talking about, you know, the security of the United States being at risk here.

SNOW: According to the Bravo network, Michaela Salahi was being considered for the show of "The Real Housewives of D.C." For those who follow the entertainment industry Andy Warhol comes to mind.

IAN DREW, SR. EDITOR, U.S. WEEKLY: Warhol said everyone has their 15 minutes of fame and now you actually can't. This is not just a saying or a platitude. This is the new American dream.

SNOW: The White House Gate Crashers come one month after the balloon boy drama, people were riveted watching a balloon drifting over Eastern Colorado fearing a 6-year-old boy was inside. They later found out that the boy's mother admitted it was a hoax. She and her husband pleaded guilty to charges relating to the case. Some reality tv producers say people aiming to be on these shows are trying to promote themselves and stand out from the crowd.


MICHAEL HIRSCHORN, ISH ENTERTAINMENT (voice-over): I think that a lot of these reality, quote, unquote, stars are self-producing. They are sort of making themselves more dramatic and crazier and louder as a waive gaining the attention of first producers and then the public.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SNOW: And the appetite doesn't seem to be easing, from disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to the mother of octuplets there's a place for them on reality television which is much cheaper to produce than drama series.

Erwin Gomez finds it sad. He's the stylist for Michaela Salahi who helped her get ready for the white house dinner and says, he believed, she had been invited.

ERWIN GOMEZ, ERWIN GOMEZ SALOON AND SPA: I hope she is smart enough to know that he doesn't this take a big risk to get into a reality show.


SNOW: And Suzanne, the couple has been named separately in 16 different civil suits. They did not respond for comment. The Salahi's publicist say they are not making any formal comments at this time, but their lawyer states emphatically that they did not crash the event and are looking forward to setting the record straight. The couple is expected to give interviews next week -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: OK. I guess we'll get the full story. But in the meantime, the secret service, they have released this statement. I want to read it to you.

It says, "The secret service is deeply concerned and embarrassed by the circumstances surrounding the state dinner on Tuesday, November 24th. The preliminary findings of our international investigation have determined established protocols were not followed at an initial checkpoint, verifying that two individuals were on the guest list. Although these individuals went through magnetometers and other levels of screening, they should have been prohibited from entering the event entirely. That failing is ours."

That statement coming from the secret service.

Well, President Obama and congressional democrats are working on a massive jobs package, but it's really not clear yet how they intend to pay for that, and at least some deficit spending seems likely, but it could carry some political cost as well. Sixty percent of those asked now disapprove of the way the president is handling the deficit. According to a cnn Opinion Research Corporation poll and while 39 percent approve, that is down from the 52 percent in March.

I want to bring in our CNN Senior Political Correspondent, Candy Crowley.

If the public is concerned about deficit spending, then what is this going to do, this democratic proposal? Is it going to hurt the president? Is it going to hurt the administration? What do you make of this?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's not going to help to have the deficit go up if it does, but here's another figure and that is 10.2 percent. That's how many people are unemployed at this point, between 16 and 17 million so this is clearly a calculation. Sixteen million people unemployed on a humanitarian basis, on a policy basis, certainly on a political base sis completely unacceptable, so if it adds to the deficit, it's the cost of addressing unemployment, and I'm sure that's how Democrats are going to sell it.

MALVEAUX: And Karl Rove writes in today's "Wall Street Journal" here, I want to read it. In 1999, a wave of budget concerns, among other factors, handed Republicans control of Congress just before Election Day that year -- 33 percent of voters approved and 59 percent disapproved of President Bill Clinton's handling of the deficit.

Mr. Obama's spending choices are dragging congressional Democrats into an ugly electoral territory where many are likely to meet a brutal fate of next fall.' Does Karl Rove, does he have a point here? Is this going to hurt those Democrats during the mid-term elections?

CROWLEY: I'm sure it does hurt, but, again -- it's not 1994. The unemployment rate, looked it up, 5.4 percent in 1994. It's 10.2 percent now so that's a huge difference. If they get unemployment under control, certainly the republicans will be hitting hard on the deficit, saying it causes inflation. It causes interest rates to go up, so it's not a plus at all. It's just that the overriding concern at this point in the nation and certainly for Democrats and Republicans is that the unemployment rate is so high, so if you have to add to the deficit that's how they are going to sell it. We really are concerned about the deficit, but our first -- our first priority was to take care of unemployment, and I think certainly if unemployment goes down and they get to those elections, the deficit is going to be a big issue and certainly something Republicans have repeatedly talked about.

MALVEAUX: I know the White House is very concerned about it as well. Thank you very much, Candy.

We are following this breaking news at this hour. Golf legend Tiger Woods injured and taken to the hospital after a car accident. We are getting new details.

Plus, rowdy bargain shoppers force a Wal-Mart to close. Details of a midnight melee.


MALVEAUX: Alina Cho is following all the stories coming into THE SITUATION room right now. And Alina, what are you watching?

ALINA CHO: Hey, Suzanne, in the Philippines defiance in the wake of tragedy. A man whose wife and two sisters were massacred Monday by forces against his candidacy has now filed papers to run for governor. Esmael Mangudadatu says only his death will stop his campaign. His relatives and 22 journalists were among the 57 people killed just this week.

Take a look at this. One school, one grade, five sets of twins, Suzanne, and one set of triplets. The kids are all in the first grade at Bremen Elementary School in Breman Indiana. Teachers say the 13 students all get along well. Who knew, but telling the identical twins apart definite a little bit of a challenge unless, of course, somebody looses a tooth or something.

And a time-honored tradition not far from where you are, Suzanne. The official white house official Christmas tree arrived this afternoon via horse drawn carriage and there it is. First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia were there to receive it. The tree is an 18.5-foot Douglas Fir from West Virginia and in the next half hour of THE SITUATION room we're going to meet the people who grew it. Eric and Gloria Senbeck (ph) right Suzanne?

MALVEAUX: Very cool couple, they have a great piece on that so we really look forward to that.

CHO: You know, it's the fourth time one of their trees has become the official white house tree so they have a little experience with that but always a treat.

MALVEAUX: Thanks, Alina.

An early morning car crash right outside his home. We'll get an update on the accident involving golf superstar Tiger Woods and the very latest on his condition.

Plus, the UN nuclear watchdog slams Iran and United States and warning of tougher sanctions. Will Tehran blink?

And is al Qaeda making a comeback in Iraq? We'll hear directly from the U.S. Commander there.


MALVEAUX: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM. Happening now:

A drive to draft Former Vice President Dick Cheney to run for president in 2012. A new group unveiled its website, they saying Cheney is the only Republican with what it calls the strength and political courage to carry the party mantle.

Plus, seizing private property for government use. A landmark case is sparking a new wave of heartache. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux, and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

I want to go straight to some breaking news that our own Dan Lothian has at the white house about the couple that crashed the state dinner, those party crashers.

Dan, what do you know? What can you tell us?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, there have been a lot of questions about how close the couple got to the president, and we were never able to get any details on that, but just a few minutes ago a white house official told me that the couple did meet the president in the receiving line. Now that raises all kinds of security questions. I know the secret service has said that they went through the metal detectors. They went through other security features as well, but there are those, those critics who say, hey, you can cause harm without a weapon. There are other things that you can do to harm the president and so, again, here's the first indication that we have that this couple did meet the president in the receiving line. This story just keeps getting more bizarre.

MALVEAUX: Certainly raises the stakes. Dan, thanks so much for that break news, the details coming from the white house. Dan Lothian.

Back to our top story now. Golf superstar Tiger Woods involved in a car crash earlier this morning outside his home near Orlando. I want to go live to CNN's John Couwels. He's at the hospital in central Florida. That is where Tiger Woods was at the time.

John, what are they saying there at the hospital? I understand, has he been released? Do you know we know his condition? Can you give us any of those details?

JOHN COUWELS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tiger Woods this morning at about 2:24 in a subdivision of Orlando, he hit a fire hydrant and managed to hit a tree of his neighbor's next door. He was transported to the hospital here at health central where he was admitted, treated and released in good condition. The hospital wouldn't expand upon the exact extent of his injuries, but we did learn that he had some minor lacerations to his face. The hospital spokesman afterwards wouldn't elaborate to the extent of when he came in and when he would leave, but the hospital in talking to reporters said -- one of the reporters said he'll live to play again, right?

And the hospital spokesman said thank god. So that's all we know for right now, but hopefully we'll learn more until he decides to speak, but he is expected to be in a golf tournament in California in the beginning of December, in California.

MALVEAUX: All right, John. Thank you so much. Appreciate that. Just a little bit later we'll be talking to sports broadcast legend Bob Costas about what this means for Tiger Woods as well as the golf world.

Wall Street was rocked today by reports that a debt crisis in Dubai could slow the world's economic recovery. Now the Dow Jones industrial average fell 154 points, almost 1.5 percent. European indexes rebounded from earlier losses, but Asian markets were hit hard. All this over reports of financial trouble at a government investment firm in a small gulf emirate. Joining us, Richard Quest. Good to see you here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

I want to ask you first. You've been to Dubai many different times. Why does Dubai have such an effect on the rest of the world?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The reason, of course this, has had a big effect is because we don't know the full nature of the problem. All we know is that this seemingly important company Dubai world have asked to restructure billions of dollars of debt over a six-month period. Now that is a -- that is a pretty remarkable statement, bearing in mind we thought it wasn't going to happen. That also said, thanksgiving in the United States with the markets being closed, the EID festival in the Muslim world has closed markets there, you know, Suzanne, it's a classic market, you take thin marks, a piece of shocking news and you sprinkle a bit of worry and you subtract a lot of information and you end up with a certain amount of market chaos.

MALVEAUX: Well, tell us what actually happened here. How can some of the richest people in the world have such a problem, a financial problem on their hands?

QUEST: Because the people who have got the money are not the people who owe the debt basically. The two companies involved, Dubai world and Nakiel, all the money is guaranteed by the country Dubai itself and that's what we've always been told and we've always been led to believe that Abu Dhabi, the cap tell of the UAE, without Mattingly bail them out. This has been the received wisdom, and if there is any criticism of the whole way this has been handled over the past 48 to 72 hours, it is that we were taken by surprise. The fundamental rule of markets is don't give them a nasty shock. Don't suddenly pull the rug out from under them. You telegraph what you want them to know specifically so that bad things don't happen. Now how they get out of this is going to be interesting. They have already given the markets a bloody nose. Dubai's reputation is undoubtedly sullied in the minds of investors, but it's not all lost, Suzanne, next week they can regain much of this if they manage to put forward their plan properly.

MALVEAUX: Well, Richard, why is it that the government wouldn't just bail them out?

QUEST: The government probably will have to bail them out, but the key point, and that's a core question, is why they didn't this time. We don't know, and that's the issue. We don't know, because we do know, for instance, that Dubai has borrowed $5 billion in the market from Abu Dhabi. We know that a couple million more has been borrowed from banks, so why they using this money to pate debts? These are the questions that are swirling around. What message was being telegraphed by the authorities in not bailing them out? Let me tell you. The sheikhs, the ruling families have said they knew there would be market reaction to what they did. What we now have to understand is why they did act as they did. They haven't spoken so far on that front. That's going to be the next stage of this story. It will probably happen next week.

MALVEAUX: And Richard, I want to turn a little bit to the glitz and glam of Dubai. Obviously this is a place that has indoor skiing, manmade islands, these gorgeous hotels. I've never been. I know you have, but tell us, what is the future hold for Dubai? Is it going to be this playground for the rich?

QUEST: I think the vision has taken a knock. It's a little like Las Vegas in that sense but without the core infrastructure of industry behind it. There is nothing in Dubai other than building Dubai, emirates, airlines for tourism and these manmade structures that are -- I mean, the Nurge el Arab, the famous signature hotel, is only being eclipsed by the largest hotel in the world in Dubai going up. You go to Dubai and you come back two months later, there's another skyscraper. That's gone. That sort of rapid, rampant growth is just going to come to an end, but anybody that writes off Dubai from the vision point of view will be making a serious mistake. His Heiness, sheikh Mohamed, did not get this far without knowing where he was going to take this city and I suspect this hiccup is nothing more than that

MALVEAUX: I suspect you'll still have a lot of rich and famous playing in Dubai.

QUEST: No question, no question.

MALVEAUX: Thank you very much, Richard.

Administration officials are warning that the United States is prepared to push for harder economic sanctions if Iran does not come clean about its nuclear program. It follows a bluntly worded resolution from the international atomic energy agency just slamming Iran. Our CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance, he's got that story.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was Iran's shock revolution of a secret nuclear facility in September that the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog condemned most strongly. Construction at the site near the holy city of Qom does not contribute to the building of confidence and must stop. The resolution says the site raises questions about whether there are more nuclear facilities that haven't yet been declared. The resolution was adopted by the IAEA's 35-member board of governors at agency's headquarters in Vienna, amid concerns Iran may be building a nuclear weapon. Iran responded with characteristic defiance threatening to become even less cooperative.

ALI ASGHAR SOLTANIEH, IRAN CHIEF DELEGATE TO THE IAEA: This resolution will, of course, damage the existing positive environment of cooperation with the IAEA. The minimum immediate reaction would be we'll not take further measures that we've taken beyond our legal obligation.

CHANCE: But Iran which insists it has only peaceful nuclear ambitions looks increasingly isolated. Even Russia and China, Tehran's frustrated diplomatic allies, backed the rebuke supporting the Islamic republic's oldest enemy.

GLYN DAVIES, U.S. CHIEF DELEGATE TO THE IAEA: The United States remains firmly committed to a peaceful resolution to international concerns over Iran's nuclear program. We also remain willing to engage Iran, to work towards a diplomat solution to the nuclear dilemma it has created for itself. If only Iran would choose such a course, but our patience and that of the international community is limited.

CHANCE: Limited, and it seems fast running out.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MALVEAUX: Iran and Syria are complicating the war in Iraq. We're going to get the latest from the top American commander there.


MALVEAUX: Iraqi elections scheduled for January now seem unlikely to take place on time, and that's raising some questions about plans to bring home U.S. troops. Our CNN's Mohamed Jamjoon talked about it with the U.S. top commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno.

MOHAMMED JAMJOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After the election you stated you had flexibility regarding the withdraw base and MPs are saying it's impossible for the elections to take place before the end of January. It almost certainly won't. It doesn't look like that's the case.

GEN. RAY ODIERNO, CMDR. MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ: Again, we still have to wait. I would just argue what's more important is not the withdrawal schedule but them getting a law that's accepted by all Iraqis. There are Democratic processes working, and I think it's important that they have a law that everyone will accept so we can move forward together and that's the most important thing. I believe we have enough flexibility where we'll be able to mitigate it, and we'll be able to go on and have successful elections.

JAMJOON: What's the state of al Qaeda in Iraq now? How big a threat is it? There have been recent attacks that have raised concerns of insurgents in former strongholds? Is that a concern?

ODIERNO: It always concerns me when there's attacks. Al Qaeda has proved resilient. They are much smaller than they were and much less capable what. They now do is husband their resources and try to go after very specific attacks. The numbers are way down, but they try to go for the biggest attack that would have the most damage. The best part is the Iraqis have rejected them and don't want them as part of Iraq and are helping us to go after that threat and we're continuing to work hard with the Iraqi security forces to reduce al Qaeda and reduce their capabilities.

JAMJOON: Last question for you, sir. The U.S. has consistently talked about Iran and Syria being involved in some of the violence here. What's the latest here regarding Iran and Syria and the role that they are playing?

ODIERNO: I would just say, you know, that they continue to facilitate surrogates here in Iraq. Iran specifically facilitates training, facilitates money coming in, facilitates bomb-making materials and other things coming in, continues to facilitate foreign fighters so it's still a problem. The bottom line is we continue to make improvement inside of Iraq while we continue to help through diplomatic channels and continue to help them stop this type of behavior.


MALVEAUX: The world's largest country is also the world's largest polluter, but what if China was able to dramatically reduce its carbon emissions? Our CNN's Emily Chang reports from Beijing.


EMILY CHANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A thick hazardous haze hangs over Beijing, a thick daily reminder that China remains the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. But China claims it will do its part to change, announcing a plan to reduce carbon intensity, that is, the amount of carbon released per unit of GDP by 40 percent to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 20.

XIE ZHENHUA, NATL. REFORM & DEVELOPMENT COMM. (through translator): We do not want Chinese development to follow western countries traditional high emissions says this Chinese official. The measures we are taking indicates we won't follow the old path but choose another one.

CHANG: The new target means emissions will be directly tied to GDP. Experts say if China maintains an 8 percent growth rate, total emissions will still increase dramatically. While it's a significant step in the right direction, some argue China could be doing much more.

China can definitely do more in improving energy efficiency, developing renewable energies and moving away from coal.

It's a disappointment for countries like the United States that pushed China to commit to an absolute emissions cap. The U.S. recently outlined a plan to reduce emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, but to get that plan past the U.S. congress may require a bigger commitment from China. The Chinese government says examining emissions in a developing country will limit economic growth and the standard of living. Hundreds of millions of Chinese still depend on coal for energy, so making the transition to a more energy-efficient economy will be arduous, costly and only realistic over the very long term though some say it's possible.

BJORN STIGSON, WORLD BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: If you look over the next 40 years up to 2050, you will see a rather different structure of Chinese industry compared to today. The share of primary industries, heavy manufacturing will go down substantially.

CHANG: But will it be soon enough? That will be one of many urgent questions in Copenhagen.

Emily Chang, CNN, Beijing.


MALVEAUX: Tiger Woods hurt in a car crash right outside his own home. We're going to have the very latest on the accident and the golf superstar's condition.

Plus, seizing private property for government use. A landmark case is sparking a new wave of heartache.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The death of every soldier is tragic, but there's a controversial policy that prevents the commander in chief from offering words of comfort to the families of those who take their own lives.


CHANCELLER KEESLING: Today we'll be reading "The Cat in the Hat."

QUIJANO: Just days before he died, Army Specialist Chancellor Keesling sent this video to his parents. He joined the army as a teenager straight out of high school. One of three children, his parents say he was their quiet child who grew up to be a good soldier, but his father Gregg knew his son was under stress.

GREGG KEESLING, SPEC. CHANCELLOR KEESLING'S FATHER: During the end of his deployment, his marriage began to fall apart.

QUIJANO: The pressures from his first deployment in '05, prompted his commanders to put him under suicide watch. A fight with his girlfriend shook him badly. In an e-mail to his family, he threatened suicide.

KEESLING: He was calling here back and forth, back and forth through that night.

QUIJANO: In their final conversation, his father had no idea how much pain his son was in.

KEESLING: My last words was be a man, get over this, get on with yourself and I wish I had not said it quite that way.

QUIJANO: Hours later on a June morning at 8:31 Baghdad time, soldiers found his body in a latrine. He had shot himself. A week later Gregg and his wife Jannett met their son's casket back home in Indiana. At the funeral the next day, the church overflowed with mourners.


QUIJANO: After his death, his family created a memorial wall leaving a spot for what they thought would be a condolence letter from the commander in chief. It never came and a military official explained why.

KEESLING: I'm sorry Mr. Keesling, there's a policy that prevents the president from writing to the family of a suicide victim. .

QUIJANO: They have written to the president and they believe they might be able to change the policy.

KEESLING: Our son gave six years of his life for this country. And he -- you know, he died from an illness or an injury that we just did not recognize. We hope the president of the United States would want to show the appreciation to a family like ours for the sacrifice we made in allowing our son to become a soldier and defend his country. (END VIDEOTAPE)

QUIJANO: Three months after the Keeslings wrote to President Obama, the policy remains in effect. A white house spokesman says the administration is reviewing the policy and asks the president's thoughts and prayers for every military who's lost a love one.

MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you so much Elaine.

New information about those white house party crashers, we now know just how close they got to the president.

Plus the midnight shopping melee and forced a store to close its doors and force out every single shopper.


MALVEAUX: Black Friday bargains proved too much author the crowd at this southern California Wal-Mart. Doors opened in the middle of the night but by three o'clock in the morning, the crowd had become so unruly that managers kicked everybody out and closed the store for two hours. Our CNN's Sean Callebs has more on why this store was pulling in so much business today.

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, they were off and standing today and standing in long lines. That's the price that shoppers have to pay if they want to walk away with that one special gift that's been dramatically reduced in cost. But the horrifying ghost of Christmas past has changed the way that one major discount chain is doing business.


CALLEBS: They call it black Friday, and excuse Cory Jackson if he has red eyes after waiting in line seven hours.

CORY JACKSON, WAL-MART SHOPPER: I'm exhausted, I have been here all night. I was trying to figure out if I could get a good deal.

CALLEBS: And a bargain is what he got.

JACKSON: A $198 deal right there, you can't beat that.

CALLEBS: A laptop that he considers a steal. Wal-Mart knows what customers' prize, lap tops, TVs, and video game consoles that are all advertised as greatly reduced. Last year, the day after thanksgiving, a maintenance worker in Long Island, New York was trampled to death after a crush of shoppers as doors opened. Shoppers were pleased.

ERNEST BELL, WAL-MART SHOPPER: I thought it was going to be a lot crazier coming in. I didn't think it was going to be so serene when I went through the door.

CALLEBS: Stores stayed open 24 hours, cops were on hand and despite the long lines at this store in suburban Atlanta, there was some trouble. Does it take a certain mind set to get out in Atlanta?

MONICA SCOTT, WAL-MART SHOPPER: We went to toys are us last night and it was like a 2 1/2 miles of a line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last time I stood in line I was standing in line to catch "Star Wars."


CALLEBS: And if today is the shape of things to come, it's shaping up to be a good holiday season, at least for this one store in the chain. Not only did things go smoothly, but the manager there tells us this is the best start to the holiday shopping season in years -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Thank you.