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Thanksgiving with the Obamas; Thanksgiving with the Troops; The Bee Gees Saved a Life
Aired November 26, 2009 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Thanksgiving with the Obamas. Today, the first family will celebrate the holiday at the White House. Yesterday the entire family including the president's mother-in-law volunteered at a Washington food pantry. They helped assembled meals with turkeys and pumpkin pies, of course. And in his weekly address, the president said his focus will remain on the tough economy and the many Americans struggling without a paycheck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Next week, I'll be meeting with be owners of large and small businesses, labor leaders and non for profit leaders from across the country to talk about the additional steps we can take to help spur job creation. I'll work with Congress to enact those proposals quickly and it's my fervent hope and my heartfelt expectation that next Thanksgiving we'll be able to celebrate the fact that many of those who lost their jobs are back at work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: In a Republican response, Congressman Mike Penn said the president and Democratic lawmakers have taken the economy "from bad to worse." He says fewer taxes not a bigger government are the answer.
And now to the president's strategy in Afghanistan. The announcement on troops is expected Tuesday. The president is also expected to outline the reasons behind the mission. CNN's Elaine Quijano takes a look at the challenges now faced by the Pentagon.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first wave of additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan will start deploying in late December, according to a U.S. military official. CNN has learned soon after President Obama's announcement next week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates will get the paperwork to deploy 1,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Those will be the first of the roughly 34,000 troops anticipated to be added to Afghanistan over the next year.
But getting any additional military personnel into the country will take time. For his 2007 Iraq surge President Bush added 28,000 troops. It took five months to get them into the country. By contrast, when President Obama ordered 21,000 combat troops to Afghanistan, it took eight months to get them there.
LAWRENCE KORB, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: You have to develop the facilities to house them. I mean, I think people forget that. You can't just drop them over there. And you also got the winter coming.
QUIJANO: Once additional forces arrive, the to-do list is daunting.
FREDERICK KAGAN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: The Taliban now currently has the momentum. I think that the Taliban is winning.
QUIJANO: Military analyst Frederick Kagan helped developed the idea of the 2007 Iraq surge. He says one lesson the U.S. learned, you need to convince the local population. You can turn the tide against the Taliban.
KAGAN: Whether we're going to win or not because they don't want to line up with us and then have us bail on them and then have the enemy come and kill them.
QUIJANO: The immediate focus protecting population centers and prying loose Taliban strong holds like this southeastern city of Kandahar.
KORB: I think basically to secure more of the south and the east so if you can secure more of that, that will prevent the Taliban from increasing their foot hold and then once you do that, I think you will be able to start the reconstruction and training the Afghan security forces.
WHITFIELD: Elaine Quijano now joining us live from the Pentagon. So let's talk a little bit more about the training of Afghan forces. How much of an emphasis is this administration putting on that?
QUIJANO: A lot of emphasis, Fredricka. In fact, officials say that training those Afghan security forces has really been a main focus of those White House strategy review sessions that we've heard so much about. Really the challenges, Fredricka, is how to ramp up all of that training so that Afghans themselves can ultimately keep a hold of any security gains that the United States is able to make. Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Elaine Quijano at the Pentagon. Thanks so much.
All right. CNN Tuesday night President Obama announces his decision on U.S. troops headed to Afghanistan. Our special coverage with the best political team on television begins Tuesday night, 7:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Thanksgiving in Iraq. General Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq is spending the day there with the troops. And our Mohammed Jamjoom tagged along. He's joining us now actually from Baghdad. MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, today we were with General Raymond Odierno, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq. He toured several bases across the country so he could thanked troops for their service and wished them all a happy thanksgiving. General Odierno knows how tough it is for troops who are missing their families and loved ones during the holidays. And he wanted them to know they're appreciated. He also told us why visits like these are so important and how he found the mood of the troops today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. RAY ODIERNO, CMDR., MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ: First, I find morale to be very good. They're seeing progress. So they believe what they're doing is making a real difference. I go around all the time but on Thanksgiving I spend more time actually shaking hands, saying hello and I want to thank them for their service. I tell them this is our family and when you can't be with your family. So it's important for me to get around and especially to these outposts that are out a little further.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JAMJOOM:: We also spoke to a lot of troops today. They told us how much it meant to them to see the general on Thanksgiving and that somebody of his stature would come and say hello to them and thank them for service on a day like today. Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: And so beyond you're trying to raise the morale, were the troops surprised by this visit? Did it seem to really make a big difference for them?
JAMJOOM: Fredricka, absolutely. They were totally surprised. Most of the troops that were visited today had no idea the general was on his way. In fact, at one of the bases earlier in the day we were trailing behind the general and one soldier stopped me and he had seen all of the commotion.
He said, well what's going on here? I said we're following the general around. He said which general is here. I said that would be General Odierno. And I pointed in his direction, the troop kind of gasped. He said, I had no idea he was here, somebody of his stature would be coming here today. So, yes, they were totally surprised and they were really happy that he was there. Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Well, that's great. Big thanks go out to our troops serving abroad. Mohammed Jamjoom, thanks so much, coming from Baghdad today.
And happy thanksgiving to you, too. All right. To New York now, a cherished holiday tradition is currently under way for the 83rd time. Thousands of people lining the streets to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And among them, lined there up our own Deborah Feyerick with confetti in her hair and everything.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The clowns keep coming by here. We're like absolute targets for the confetti people. You can see some of the balloons that are down. It's a perfect day. The weather is holding. No clouds. No wind. And that's a big deal. That's why some of the balloons you may be able to make it all of the way down there flying up to 40 feet. That's the highest that they can go.
But there's so much energy in the crowd and what's amazing is that this is a tradition for so many people. You know, they start their Thanksgiving here. They come from all over the place. We spoke to some people from London, from Missouri, from Georgia, from all over the country, all over the world, here are some of the folks, all right.
I want to ask, first of all, what is your favorite part of the parade?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The favorite part I think is always Santa.
FEYERICK: Santa has a new sleigh mobile.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He does.
FEYERICK: It's a hybrid. Absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Way to go Santa.
FEYERICK: Who is doing shopping tomorrow by the way?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are.
FEYERICK: OK. You're all doing it. And what about you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will be doing a little internet shopping, yes.
FEYERICK: What about the crowds? They are so much fun.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll avoid the crowds. I have crowds today. And I'm going to avoid the crowds tomorrow.
FEYERICK: Look here are some of the kids that have come out. What's your favorite balloon so far?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dora.
FEYERICK: Dora. A big Dora fan. And the smurf is coming. What's so amazing, Fredricka, is some of the kids don't even know what smurfs are. So it dates you a little bit. An awesome day here in Manhattan. People hanging out the windows. Cheering. They're all going home for some Thanksgiving turkey. But again, spending the day with family. Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Oh, very fun and a great vantage point there in that Dakota Building as you mentioned. Heck, all the way up and down those streets, too. Pretty good crowd. All right. Thank you so much, Deb. Appreciate it.
FEYERICK: Absolutely (INAUDIBLE) on Thanksgiving.
WHITFIELD: Yes. Well, you know what, Reynolds, the weather looks perfect as Deb was saying. Hardly any wind. That is perfect. But you know, folks did have their own overcoats so they're snuggled up a little bit. Body temperature, body heat helps.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks, Reynolds.
OK. The U.S. Secret Service are looking into how this couple right here managed to get themselves into the White House state dinner without an invitation. Here they are walking into the room. Passed the cameras. Well, the Secret Service says it was a mistake but that the president and first lady were never in any danger nor the prime minister of India.
Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta was also at that dinner and he was on the official guest list. He talked to our Anderson Cooper about how the couple may have gotten lost in the shuffle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on the phone): It seems quite possible that, you know, there was really - that first checkpoint was the time that people were sort of scrutinized the most. A lot of times the social secretary was there and sort of recognized people and then scratched names off a clipboard literally. But I tell you, it was pretty crowded right outside the east gate. That's where everyone entered at that time.
Some people were driving up. Some people were walking up. It was just a lot of people all clustered around. And so there really was one person sort of scratching names off the clipboard at that point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: All right. So that was Dr. Sanjay Gupta's take on the kind of security, the levels of security he had to go through when going to the state dinner. So the couple right here - this is one of their images on Facebook and another right there. Well, they posted those images nearly immediately. It is however possible that the couple could be facing charges now. Be sure to tune into "Larry King Live" Monday night. Larry has an exclusive interview with that socialite couple and we'll hear their side of the story.
A school principal's mission to give her poorest students the comforts of a normal childhood no matter the cost that means a warm meal this Thanksgiving.
Also on this holiday, what if that sweet potato pie ends up making your guests sick. Are you liable? Holiday legal pitfalls ahead this hour and Josh Levs is looking out for your security online. Hundreds of millions of people will be using Facebook and all of them can actually get access to your information unless you take certain steps, right?
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly. You got to watch out for those steps. I'm still on that thing about sweet potato pie making your guests sick. Does that happen?
WHITFIELD: You should be at least be grateful you got an invitation and if it makes you sick, don't say anything about it.
LEVS: Seriously, I have no transition. Coincidentally I'm talking to you about a different topic this hour. And this is it. It's Facebook. And it is this whole idea the stuff you put out there including your Thanksgiving photos, it turns out they actually are ways to prevent specific people from being able to access it. We're going to teach you these hidden tricks to Facebook privacy, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LCPL. JESSE COLFE, SUSSEX, NJ: Hey, this is Lance Corporal Jesse Wolfe, combat logistics battalion, 46 outside Iraq. I would like to give a shout out to my family back home in Sussex. Happy Thanksgiving. Miss you. Love you and I like to give a shout out to my girlfriend, Brianna (ph). Happy fifth anniversary. I'll see you soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Well, the sign of the times in one school and why it deserves a big thanks providing food and clothing, also haircuts, dental work and money for the occasional utility bill. A Nevada school principal redefines her job description. Here's CNN's Dan Simon.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are chefs from some of the fanciest hotels in Las Vegas. But today they are serving breakfast at Whitney Elementary, part of a non-profit initiative to eliminate malnutrition and hunger.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what do we say when we're very grateful and very fortunate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you!
SIMON: School principal Sherrie Gahn says it's a healthy and memorable meal for students who don't have much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which one.
SIMON: It's because the school estimates that as many as 85 percent of the 600 or so students are homeless, living in cheap motels with friends or in shelters.
SHERRIE GAHN, PRINCIPAL, WHITNEY ELEMENTARY: Literally, every waking moment I think about what else do I need to do.
SIMON: When Gahn arrived here seven years ago, she says children were devouring ketchup packets to fill empty stomachs. Clearly, they weren't getting enough food. So she set out to do something about it. A mission that came from personal pain.
GAHN: I was raised in poverty. My mother went to a local organization at one point. My mother actually asked for food and clothes and they turned us down. And I saw how devastated she was.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get your food, honey.
SIMON: Gahn vowed her families at Whitney would never be turned down. She twisted arms and begged for donations, opening a one of a kind school supply closet. Part food bank, part clothing supply.
AHMES ICENOGLE, 4TH GRADE STUDENT: I got some pants, some shirts, some new shoes and nice socks.
SIMON (on camera): A lot of these kids come from such challenging circumstances that there's no money at home to even celebrate birthdays. So once a month the school throws a giant party for all the kids who had birthdays that month.
There's pizza. There's cake and even some presents to take home.
(voice-over): Hairstylists donate haircuts. And dentists donate dental care. When a family comes up short for something like a utility bill, the school through donations can help with that, too.
SHIRLEY HERNANDEZ, GRANDMOTHER: Last year we didn't have Christmas. This year, we'll hardly going to have Christmas but they're going to give us Christmas. They've helped us a lot. So I got to donate my time here to show how much I appreciate the people here.
SIMON: And that's what Gahn expects. That parents give something back by volunteering.
(on camera): At the end of the day what is it that you wish for these children?
GAHN: I want them to have that sense of norm that a lot of families grow up in America having that they don't get.
SIMON (voice-over): On this morning they do get attention from the city's best chefs. For many it will be the best meal they've had in a while. For the Sherrie Gahn, it's another small victory for her students.
Dan Simon, CNN, Las Vegas.
COLLINS: Wow. She's yet another hero that we all need to be thankful for. All right. Disco might be dead but one of its biggest hits could keep you alive. We'll tell you how the Bee Gees saved a life and could someday save yours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMBERLY GOLEP, FORT LAUDERDALE: My hero is my mom. She's a person that has just given her life up for her family and the students that she teaches every day. She's a kindergarten teacher. She would go out and purchase items for the classroom no matter the cost. That way each and every student had the same opportunities as all of the other students. She is my absolute hero.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TECH. SGT. GERARD SMIEJA, OMAHA, NE: Hi. This is Technical Sergeant Gerard Smieja. I'm here at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. I'd like to say happy Thanksgiving to my wife, Carrie (ph) and kids Daniel and Nathaniel back in Omaha, Nebraska. See you soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: A look on our top stories on this Thanksgiving morning. Today is the second day of the Hajj, the traditional Muslim pilgrimage to holy sites in Saudi Arabia. An estimated 2.5 million people are taking place this year. Many gathered for prayers on the Mountain of Mercy, a part of Mt. Arafat, outside Mecca.
In Mumbai, India, today, they're marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic attack there. A pair of luxury hotels were targeted by 10 gunmen. More than 160 people died in the attacks. Residents there are marking the anniversary with candle light vigils. A plaque with the names of the victims have also been placed at one of the hotels.
And dozens of rescuers were unable to help a man stuck upside down in a cave. It happened about 80 miles outside Salt Lake City, Utah. The man was wedged into an 18 inch by 10 inch hole deep in the cave. He was there for about 28 hours. As many as 50 people were working to free him when he died. Crews are trying to get the body out still this morning.
OK. So what do you want to know if someone goes into cardiac arrest? Would you know what to do? Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now to tell us about a couple very thankful this morning. Thankful for the Bee Gees tune. I cannot wait to hear. How in the world a woman actually used that music to help remember what to do or how it prompted here to do what?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's incredible. It's just an incredible story why Deborah and Christopher Beerbaden (ph) are grateful to the Bee Gees this Thanksgiving. That's what they're grateful for. What happened was Deborah and Christopher, you see them here right in the spot where they were taking a walk when all of a sudden Christopher collapsed and Deborah somehow suddenly remembered a PSA that she heard that says when someone collapses, you should beat on their heart to the beat of the tune "Staying Alive."
WHITFIELD: I never heard that before.
COHEN: I know, a lot of people haven't. Even though the American Heart Association in on campaign. It hasn't gotten into a lot of people's heads. But Deborah knew it and because that song has 100 beats per minute it can get a hard going again. Let's take a listen.
COHEN: She says she remembered to beat to the beat of "Staying Alive" she even gave the ambulance direction. So she's there beating on his husband's chest and going staying alive, staying alive. And she had a cell phone. OK, take a left at the next street. Staying alive, staying alive. OK. We're down at the end of the path. Yes, unbelievable. And she saved her husband's life.
WHITFIELD: Even though she didn't know full CPR. She had someone on the line to help her through it. That was enough to help.
COHEN: That was enough. She didn't do full CPR. CPR that's with mouth to mouth resuscitation.
COHEN: And all that but the American Heart Association says now you don't have to do that. That just beating on the chest 100 beats per minute will do it. And so there you go. So that's what you need to do. You can do hands only CPR and it really does work.
WHITFIELD: And I'm sure the Bee Gees are hearing about this story and loving it. Because you know, they're on the verge of a comeback.
COHEN: How wonderful.
COHEN: With a life saving song.
WHITFIELD: And look, the staying power of "Staying Alive."
COHEN: That's right.
WHITFIELD: And I was trying to go through the lyrics, so I'm thinking, you know, there's nothing about the lyrics.
COHEN: It's just the beat.
WHITFIELD: It's the beat.
WHITFIELD: Who knew. Now we do. All right. Always remember that. Elizabeth Cohen.
COHEN: That's right. And if you go to cnnhealth.com, you will see it now. You will see the song. You'll see that story about the song. Actually, there's more than one song. You can find out about other songs that can save your life. CNNhealth.com. Up right now.
WHITFIELD: Wow. That's good to know. How a tune can help save a life
COHEN: That's right.
WHITFIELD: All right, Elizabeth. We appreciate it. Happy Thanksgiving.
COHEN: And to you.
WHITFIELD: All right. Here's a story that you simply don't want to miss. An NFL star showing a homeless teen a better future and the teen is showing the player his grim past.
A couple in danger of losing their home finds an ally in an outraged judge and do you ever wonder if you're legally liable if you make someone sick with your Thanksgiving cooking. We've got an answer to that and other holiday legal pitfalls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STAFF SGT. JEREMY BECK: Howdy. I'm Staff sergeant Jeremy Beck at Holloway (ph) Air Base in Iraq and I would like to say Howdy to my family, Dad, Linda, back in Oklahoma. Happy Thanksgiving and other holidays if I don't make it back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Fredricka Whitfield, CNN ANCHOR: Last hour we told you about a homeless high school honor student and the NFL star taking him on a college trip. First, the teen led the player on a different kind of tour. Here again is CNN's Thelma Gutierrez.
THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles is one of the last places you would expect to find an NFL star and a straight eight honor student.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: This is walking to the train to get to school.
KENNETH CHANCEY, HIGH SCHOOL HONOR STUDENT: Anywhere you go you have to go through this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE STUDENT: Yes, we have to go through this.
GUTIERREZ: But the pursuit of education brought them here together.
CHANCEY: We used to come down here in high school and like feed the people out here during Thanksgiving.
GUTIERREZ: He plays for the Oakland raiders and is the highest paid defensive back in NFL history. Kenneth is Chancey is 17. A starting high school running back who aspires to study medicine at Harvard University.
CHANCEY: I'm student body president. You had to organize to feed the homeless.
GUTIERREZ: What no one knew was that this accomplished high school senior who organized feedings for the homeless was actually living on Skid Row himself with his father and younger sister.
CHANCEY: Imagine, you know, 15-year-old little girl walking through this every day.
GUTIERREZ: Kenneth took the 28-year-old NFL star on an unsettling tour through a part of Los Angeles most never experience.
CHANCEY: Wow. That almost hit me.
GUTIERREZ: But a place Kenneth knows well. His academic success despite all of this is the reason the NFL player is here.
NNAMDI ASOMUGHA, OAKLAND RAIDERS CORNERBACK: My thing is reaching out to people like Kenneth that have their back against the wall that have a lot of obstacles that they have to face and they're still overcoming. You know, you never want them to stop.
GUTIERREZ: Four years ago at the age of 24, Asomugha started his own foundation called "The Asomugha College Tour for Scholars." For one week each year kids like Kenneth have the chance to leave their neighborhoods and experience different universities and cities. Kenneth is Asomugha's latest recruit.
ASOMUGHA: (INAUDIBLE) -- that corner room.
GUTIERREZ: Asomugha wanted to see where he came from so Kenneth took us to the union rescue mission where he lived.
CHANCEY: Here there was no room you can see -- there are a lot of people that feel bad for me but I feel worse for the 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds. They haven't even started the pressure.
GUTIERREZ: Here the kids can't play in the rooms. They're too small. They can't go outside. It's too dangerous. So Kenneth says he come here to the roof of the shelter to study.
You see the contrast right here.
ASOMUGHA: Yes, it's like this. This is so nice. Yes.
CHANCEY: That's amazing. He was explaining it. He says when you come up, it's kind of like just keep your head up and you see all the good things. When you look down, he's right. Was that your mantra that you used while you were up here keep your head up?
ASOMUGHA: I use it in life. I just keep my head up OK. Five years from now I'll be at the university studying this and this and I'll be graduating and get a degree.
GUTIERREZ: Then Kenneth says he'll give back, too, just like also, Asomugha, he also cornerback that graduated from UC Berkeley and he has done so much to change the life of disadvantage d scholars just like Kenneth.
Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.
WHITFIELD: Wow, both of them, extraordinary.
This amazing Thanksgiving gift for a New York couple. They are more than half million dollar mortgage wiped out by the stroke of a judge's pen. In a stunning ruling, the judge canceled the couple's mortgage debt. He described actions of their California based bank as harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive.
So here's what happened. The couple says they fell on hard times and got behind in their mortgage payments and were only paying interest. They say they begged the bank to let them restructure their loan but contend the bank demanded more money or foreclosure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIMBERLY HOSROSKI, PARENTS' MORTGAGE DEBT WAS RELEASED: It wasn't like my parents were just deadbeats. So, I'm happy that the judge finally said that poor business practices won't be condoned. My parents are good people, there's more people. And I feel bad that they had very poor luck and happy that it's been changed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The mortgage holder Juan West (ph) says it will appeal.
Some people worry about getting fat at the holidays. Some people worry about buying the right presents and some people worry about potential lawsuits. If you fall into that last category, this book, this one, is for you. It's called me so "So Sue Me." I won't say the rest. You can see it. Amy Epstein Feldman, an attorney and co-author of the book joins me now.
Good to see you. You're in New York. What in the world inspired you to write this book? Do people really sue over just about anything?
AMY EPSTEIN FELDMAN, ATTORNEY AND "SO SUE ME, JACKASS!", CO- AUTHOR: Just about anything. There are so many lawyers and so many people who now think that the first thing they should do if they face any hard luck is to go out and sue and that this was the type of book that we thought people need. They need to know what their rights are in case they wind up being sued fairly or unfairly.
WHITFIELD: And I can't believe this is a way to think about it even on this Thanksgiving. People invite folks over for a holiday, you know, cheer and they got to think about lawsuits. So, here's one of the legal pitfalls that one might want to consider this holiday. The cranberry sauce you served at Thanksgiving sends one of your guests to the hospital with food poisoning. What's the liability here?
FELDMAN: Well, I think the first thing you have to ask yourself is -- Did I put the right people on the guest list if I'm being sued by them?
FELDMAN: Thanks for the bad cranberry sauce, here's your lawsuit Nanie (ph), if that's your name. But the fact is in this day in age you have to be conscientious that you are judged on the care you take to the people to whom you have a duty. And if you have invited people to your house, you know, don't leave that turkey sitting out for two and a half weeks before you serve someone.
WHITFIELD: Oh God, but I'm sure intentions were good. Nobody is hoping their guests would get sick.
Feldman: Yes, I don't think that there are a lot of lawsuits at the family dinner. Yes, there aren't a lot of lawsuits that arise for the family dinner. Murder maybe but probably not a lot of family lawsuits.
OK. Here's another scenario. Your deep fried turkey catches fire and destroys your kitchen. Are you covered by the damages? Your insurance?
Feldman: Yes, you know what? The insurance industry of America put out a really surprising number which is that there is $990 million worth of fire damage caused every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas because of things ranging from cooking accidents to holiday lights. So the bottom line is if you have fire insurance, you would be covered even against your own stupidity like deep frying a turkey in your own home but it would probably only cover the cabinets or the fixtures so you need to look at your policy because you may not get back the value of the curtain or the other things that aren't attached to the walls that you will have to still pay to replace.
WHITFIELD: Yes, hopefully you don't burn down the whole house then.
WHITFIELD: All right. Black Friday. A lot of folks lining up. Can't wait to get into the stores even though some stores have taken precautions to make sure people don't get out of hand but say something like this happened at a black Friday sale you accidentally knock down someone and she breaks her hip. Then what?
Feldman: Then what? Then you will probably be named in a lawsuit if you were the one pulling that last shoe off the sales rack against her. Again, I think one of the things -- one of the things we really try to highlight in the book is the idea that we have come pretty far from a society where we say excuse me, please, and instead go right for the pushing and shoving and the lawsuit. Instead, turn around, be neighborly. Remember the spirit of the season which is in fact giving and not taking out of someone's hand and you will be in a better position ultimately because you are judged on the care that you take whether or not your actions shock the conscious when dealing with grandma over here in aisle seven (ph).
WHITFIELD: All right. So, we have to be conscientious this holiday season and every day to make sure that we're taking into consideration everyone else's well-being.
Amy Epstein Feldman, thank you so much. The author of "So Sue Me." You see the rest right here. Thank you so much Amy from New York. Happy Thanksgiving.
FELDMAN: Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you.
WHITFIELD: A new inspiration to abide by. Why we have to be considerate of one another.
All right. One family is dealing with the worst kind of guest. The one that simply just won't leave. But they're not upset at all, you can see there. It seems they have actually formed a bond with this little guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER MADSEN: My name is Peter Madsen and my personal hero is my wife Juliet. She came back badly injured from Iraq while overcoming her disabilities she put a charity together to not only raise money for veterans wheelchair games also but to provide quilts for quilts of valor. When you're medevaced out of Iraq or Afghanistan, one of the first things they do is put this quilt on you. That's where she got the idea of doing something for quilts of valor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMUEL EDWARDS, PO2: My name is PO2 Second Class Samuel Edwards, United States Navy. Listen, I'm deployed to join task force Guantanamo Bay. I'd like to say, Happy Thanksgiving to my mom in Albany, Georgia. I love you, mom and I miss you.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WHITFIELD: A look at our top stories right now. In suburban Chicago, four bodies found inside a home. The police chief in Illinois says shell casings were found near the bodies and that the victims were not likely targets of random violence.
In Switzerland, a judge set bail for Director Roman Polanski. He would remain under house arrest if he pose the four and a half million dollar bail. Polanski is fighting extradition to the U.S. where in 1977 he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
The space shuttle "Atlantis" is headed home. The crew is spending this Thanksgiving getting ready for tomorrow's scheduled landing in Florida. The seven astronauts will settle down to a nontraditional holiday meal. On the menu, beef brisket, chicken fajitas and sweet and sour pork.
Let's check in with Reynolds Wolf.
WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks, Reynolds.
All right. The guests that simply won't leave. One Florida woman gets the good Samaritan award for taking in orphans but now she's wondering if one of those orphans will simply get the hint that it's time to go. We get the story from Josh Rojas at Affiliate Bay News nine.
JOSH ROJAS, BAY NINE NEWS REPORTER (voice-over): That's the sound of a happy squirrel getting his back rubbed. Jennifer Wrzesniewski raised this little guy named Spartacus.
JENNIFER WRZESNIEWSKI, RAISES ORPHANED SQUIRRELS: He loves us. I've had him since he was about four weeks old.
ROJAS: For the past ten years he's been taking in orphaned squirrels from tree cutting services. She raises the orphans in their largo home until they're old enough to back go outside.
WRZESNIEWSKI: I have known such keeping any of them. They need to be well.
ROJAS: At four months old now, Spartacus should be living in a tree but the squirrel refuses to leave and shows up every night to sleep in his box.
WRZESNIEWSKI: He's stuck to the screens of the play room and looking in waiting to get in. I'll open the door. He comes around. He comes in. He'll have a snack and he hops in his box and go to bed for the night.
ROJAS (on camera): You can't blame the squirrel. He's got it good. Spartacus can't drive a car in a tree and he recently took a wild ride. This squirrel has such a strong attachment to the Wrzesniewski family that when they took a trip in this SUV last week, he hid underneath and went with them.
WRZESNIEWSKI: Apparently he stowed away possibly on the spare. I don't know. But I keep thinking is he went over the skyway. He was on the interstate at 80 miles an hour. Whatever it was, he could have fallen off and anytime gotten crushed.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I have no idea how he stayed there the whole time. I saw him right here on this tire.
WRZESNIEWSKI: Luckily we found him right before we were on our way back or he would have had to do it again.
ROJAS (voice-over): Wrzesniewski's 7-years-old son is from the special bond with Spartacus.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: He's so cute.
ROJAS: But his mom has taught him that squirrels eventually need to live outside.
WRZESNIEWSKI: He's already showing signs that he's going to start maybe spending the night out. He started making a nest. So, fingers crossed he'll be wild real soon.
ROJAS: But it's hard to believe this squirrel will ever truly be wild.
In Largo, Josh Rojas, Bay News Nine.
WHITFIELD: That squirrel has a lot to be thankful for.
All right. Watch what you post online. We know employers check out your activity. Apparently so do insurance companies. Josh Levs has some advice to your keep private information private.
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people talking about that this days. The story that recently had here and you know, a lot of people, hundreds of millions of people use face book. There are these things that you can do to control who sees what you put out there. And basically, these are little tricks to help you control your information and we are going to show you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJOR SKIP MCKINNON: I'm Major Skip McKinnon in Iraq. I just want to say, Happy Thanksgiving to my wife Joanne and to my sons Alex and Jake from Savannah and also my mother and father in Atlanta Georgia. Happy Thanksgiving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: A Canadian woman has found out the hard way that face book may not be her friend. She is suing had her employer because she says its insurance company poked around on her face book page and then used photos in deciding to cut off her disability benefits. Natalie Blanchard says that she suffered anxiety and depression and took extended sick leave under the recommendation of a psychiatrist. Well, she says last month her disability insurance checks simply stopped.
NATALIE BLANCHARD, LOST DISABILITY INSURANCE: She told me that she took pictures on my face book and some sentence and that she said that I'm not sick.
WHITFIELD: The insurance company says it would not terminate a valid claim based only on information published on website.
Of course, this story has a lot of people thinking about what happens when the information they post on face book could come back to bite them. Can you prevent certain people from actually seeing what's on there?
Josh Levs here to show us some tricks. I guess. Tricks?
WHITFIELD: Tricks to your Facebook privacy?
LEVS: That's the idea. It only goes to a certain extent but there are things. Things I didn't know about that we'll trace you through right now. You know, 300 million active users of Facebook and it's growing very quickly. A lot of information out there. A lot of people can access your information. There are things inside Facebook that allow you to control who can see what and in order to show them a guy is on the phone with us. Ben Parr from mashable.com. Ben are you with us?
BEN PARR, MASHABLE.COM (voice-over): Yes, I am.
LEVS: OK. This is what we're going to do. We'll zoom in the screen now and go to my Facebook page and we're going to talk through this. The first thing you do is you go to this place that says settings and it brings you to these options here under privacy. Talk to me about this. The first thing you want to do is go to your profile, right?
PARR: Absolutely. You have a lot of control over what is shown to friends. So, to anyone in the world. You can set it just only friends can see things.
LEVS: OK. So, I went to my profile here and under all these things folks should be able to see this in every single place now for this segment, I put in only friends, only friends. So, everything that I want -- that I put on my Facebook according to what I set up here is now only friends. And there is something else you showed me as well too. In addition to that, you can also change what it is like when someone searches for you. Privacy in the search process on Facebook. So, what do you do here? PARR: So, people can search for your profile on Facebook and on Google and you can set it so that they can't find it if that's what you want. You can click on the public search listing and delist yourself.
LEVS: So, you can set something up on Facebook but if someone out there doesn't know you're on Facebook and they Google you, it won't turn up, is that what you're saying, right?
LEVS: So, I do have it. So, if you Google me, this will show up and you'll see basic information about you. But there is this trick within Facebook -- and folks you don't have to write any of these down. I'll show at the end one page where you get all these stuff. You can set it up so someone Googles you, they won't even find out you're on Facebook. And if they search in Facebook, they won't even have to find out any information at all about you, right?
LEVS: These are really important tricks along the way. A lot of people don't realize. Now, one more thing I want to mention here, you can actually separate all your Facebook friends into different lists where only some of your friends can access some information and other friends can access other information. How does it work?
WHITFIELD: It can be complicated.
LEVS: I know, but it has to be worth it, right? Talk to me about it.
PARR: This is probably one of the Facebook's best features. You can create different lists for your business contacts, your personal friends, and you can show different things to different people.
LEVS: I didn't know this until you told me this. You can actually separate all of your friends into different groups so they only are able to access different bits of information. Let's do this. Let's go to the graphic before I lose you. Because all of the tricks of the trade we'll going to be posting for you on this length that the blog CNN.com/josh also Facebook and Twitter Josh Levs CNN. We'll have it up there. Then before I let you go, one last question. Even with these tricks, is anything you put on social media ever truly private?
PARR: Unfortunately no. Friends can share what you post online and you can't really control what they do so always remember that.
LEVS: So even with all of these tricks of the trade, someone else can get your information and that they can share out there and you told me your rule about your mother. How does that go?
PARR: My rule is if you don't want your mother to see it, don't post it online.
LEVS: I really like that. Fred, it's a good rule of thumb, right?
WHITFIELD: I think so. And it take away here if you have A list, B list or C list friends. If you're going to adhere to some of those instructions. All right Josh. Thank you.
LEVS: Ben Parr, thank you so much to you.
WHITFIELD: Yes and thank you, Ben.
All right. So, one governor rather, knows what it is like to be surrounded by turkeys.
All right. A couple of birds head to the state house and we're going along for the ride.
WHITFIELD: All right. Of course, you know about the annual turkey pardon at the white house right?
Well, Minnesota has its own ceremony to highlight the state's turkey industry. CNN's Chris Welsh follows the flight of two birds to the state house.
CHRIS WELSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So wait. You take two turkeys with you, why?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Just in case the one bird is not comfortable or freaks out or has a heart attack or something like that.
WELSH: And how do you decide which turkeys to take?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We're looking for some that have nice feathers on them as well as are nice and clean. They messed up my car.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Usually the birds are well behaved. So, we will see. I brought a roll of paper towels and some anti-bacterial wipes in case there are messes we need to clean up.
WELSH: Which way is the turkey going to face? Facing this way?
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yes, it will be, definitely.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And I think the governor wants to pick it up this year.
GOVERNOR TIM PAWLENTY, MINNESOTA: Minnesota is ranked number one in turkey production.
WELSH: I want to point out at the last minute there, Governor Pawlenty decided to delegate the task of picking up the turkey and holding it for the cameras. You may have seen the energy for that particular bird. I'm not quite sure but this whole event is of course to highlight the turkey industry here in Minnesota. So, I should mention, about 600 turkey farms are here in this state. And about 45 million birds will go to market this year alone.
In Minneapolis, Chris Welsh, CNN.
All right Chris. Thanks so much. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The news will continue on this Thanksgiving Day with our own Tony Harris.