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Another West Wing Exit; Seven Arrested in Anti-Gay Hate Crimes; O'Donnell on the Trail; 9.6 Percent Unemployment; Mystery Along A Border Lake; Megatrends in Technology; Honoring Hero Mom

Aired October 8, 2010 - 13:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the CNN NEWSROOM continues right now with Ali -- oh, wait, scratch that. Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You got jokes today, right?

HOLMES: Oh, yes. Ali deserved it. Good to see you, man.

LEMON: All right. T.J., have a great weekend. Thank you very much.

You know, it is a new hour here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Of course, we start with breaking news. We're watching the White House right now, where at any minute, President Obama is expected to announce another exit from his inner circle. This time it's supposed to be the national security adviser, Retired Four-Star Marine Corps.

Now, this is an unexpected historically or otherwise. Presidential aides and advisers often bow out around the midterm point and that may have been Jones' plan from the very start. He'll be replaced by his current top deputy. His name is Tom Donilon. He's a man who could have been in the running for White House chief of staff at one point.

And you remember that post opened up about a week ago today when Rahm Emanuel left to run for Chicago mayor. He was replaced at least on an interim basis by a little known, but well-respected strategist. His name is Peter Rouse. We've been telling you about that. And then Lawrence Summers, they had at the President's National Economic Council announced his departure. That was just last month.

Now, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, stepped down. That was weeks before that. So, there's been a lot of turnover there.

And as I mentioned, the president is due to speak live from the Rose Garden at any moment now. And our senior White House correspondent, Mr. Ed Henry, joins us now to tell us about what's going on there.

So listen. The stage is set there, Ed. What's going on? Is this normal for midterms to have so much turnover?

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It pretty much is, Don. We've seen this in Republican and Democratic administration. What I'm struck by when you lay all that out on the wall and what I think our viewers should take away in part from all of these is that there's been a lot of speculation that maybe when he finds a permanent chief of staff the president will go outside his circle that will help pressure up the elections to really change course.

I think when you look across that wall, that's not this president's style. When he found a temporary replacement for Rahm Emanuel, he went to Pete Rouse, long trusted aid, not somebody from the outside.

When he had Christina Romer leave, it was Austin Goolsbee, somebody already on the White House Economic staff. Now General Jim Jones stepping down, Tom Donilon somebody known for foreign policy, but also as a political operative, close to this president, part of the inner circle.

So this is a style. He likes people that he knows well, that are close to him, some from Chicago, some from Washington like Tom Donilon, been here a long time, known quantity.

I think the other piece to pay attention to is that, General Jones is one of the people who was not in that inner circle from the very beginning. He was really kind of a nonpartisan figure.

Going back to 2008, I remember talking to him in the campaign. He was advising both Barack Obama and John McCain. He's very close to John McCain actually and so he was never fully trusted by some of the political folks here inside the White House, dating back to the campaign.

So he never sort of clicked, when you talk to senior officials, never really clicked with a lot of people around here so this move was expected for some time.

I just got off the phone with one of the General Jones' close friends who told me he's quite frustrated and feels that the back story is that earlier this week, General Jones officially -- he came back from Germany and Russia, an official trip.

He gave President Obama his official notice, and then White House staff here moved quickly to make this all official, and people close to General Jones feel like he's being shoved aside.

I'll point that out because you're going to see in the Rose Garden in a minute a lot of smiles, everybody all together, but this friend of General Jones called it, to me, the final indignity from the Obama White House.

He never quite fit in among some of the Obama intimate, and his friends are pretty upset about that.

LEMON: Let's talk about Donilon now. What about his relationship with the Pentagon? How does he get on with the Pentagon?

HENRY: Good question. When you read Bob Woodward's book, there's an interesting passage that has Defense Secretary Bob Gates saying privately that he thinks it would be a disaster if Tom Donilon ever came National Security Adviser because he didn't think he respected top officials at the Pentagon, military officials and others.

I spoke to a senior defense official a short time ago who assured me -- confirmed that yes, there was tension. Last fall when they were debating out the new Afghanistan policy resulting in 30,000 more U.S. troops that the president sent to Afghanistan at the end of last year, there was tension.

And Donilon and Gates didn't get along, but I'm assured by the senior - the Defense official that they sort of patched it much and will have a strong working relationship.

We'll see. I mean, that's what people like to say when they want to down play tension, but that is something to watch because General Jones as a retired four-star general, he really had the respect of Defense Secretary Gates, military leaders like Admiral Mowen.

This is going to be a change. Tom Donilon, I should point out, was a chief of staff to Secretary of State Warren Christopher in the Clinton administration. He has bona fides on the foreign policy, national security, but he also has been a Democratic political operative.

They're going to be some in the foreign policy national security community wondering whether he's more of a political operative than a real -- something to watch because we've got two wars and all these other threats.

LEMON: And he coached Mr. Obama on foreign policy for the debates in 2008 for this presidential campaign, but I want you to talk to me, Ed, about these words that I'm going to read here because as Deputy National Security adviser.

It says that Mr. Donilon has urged what he calls a rebalancing of American foreign policy to rapidly disengage American forces in Iraq and to force -- and to focus more on China, Iran and other emerging challenges.

HENRY: Well, look, that's something that a lot of people in this administration want to do. That's part of the reason why he meshes well with the president personally.

Look, this president inherited two wars. He's moved quickly. He's actually done the opposite in Afghanistan as he said during the campaign. He has ramped up the combat troops.

But there are a lot of people inside this White House who believe that the last administration -- we heard this played out in the campaign, spent far too much on Iraq and was not worried enough about Iran, China, some of these other emerging issues, emerging threats all around the world.

We've seen them have to step up with dealing with al Qaeda not just around Afghanistan, Pakistan, but the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen, and you've seen this threat from al Qaeda, the Taliban spreading in some ways, the underwear bomber going back --

LEMON: Hey, Ed, we're going to get now -- the president is stepping up to the podium. Let's listen in.


When I took office I pledged to do whatever was required to protect the American people and restore American leadership in the world. And over the past 20 months, that's exactly what we've done.

During this time I have relied every day on the advice and counsel of my national security adviser, General Jim Jones. When I talked to Jim about taking this job shortly after the election, it was a difficult decision for him. He had just retired from the military, had a wide range of family obligations, but because of his patriotism, his dedication to keeping America safe, we were able to agree that he would serve, but he asked that we would -- he would serve for about two years.

I am extraordinarily thankful that both he and his wife Diane (ph) agreed to make that additional sacrifice for our country.

Today, as we approach that two-year mark, I'm announcing that Jim has decided to step aside as national security adviser later this month, and that he will be succeeded by his very capable deputy Tom Donilon.

The American people owe Jim an unbelievable debt of gratitude for a lifetime of service. As a Marine in Vietnam he risked his life for our country, and was highly decorated for his courage.

As commandant of the Marine Corps, he led our Marines into the 21st century and won widespread admiration within the corps and beyond.

As supreme allied commander in Europe, he helped the NATO alliance prepare for the new missions of our time. And given the multiple crises that we inherited, Jim has drawn on all these experiences as national security adviser.

The list of challenges that our country has faced these last two years is daunting. Since my administration took office we have removed nearly 100,000 troops and ended our combat mission in Iraq. We've refocused on the war against Al Qaida and subjected its leadership to relentless pressure.

We are pursuing a new strategy that finally devotes the resources we need in the fight against extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We've reset relations with Russia and signed a historic new START treaty. And after years of drift, we have built a broad international coalition to hold Iran accountable and applied unprecedented pressure through tough new sanctions.

We have renewed the push for peace in the Middle East, charted a course to secure vulnerable nuclear materials within four years, and reestablished our leadership in the Pacific Rim, while taking the lead in forging a response at the global level to the economic crisis.

And in between, we've responded to a range of crises like Haiti and the floods now in Pakistan that are required from us as leaders in the world.

In short, we've spared no effort to keep the American people safe while also repairing old alliances, building new partnerships, and restoring America's leadership in the 21st century.

Through these challenges, Jim has always been a steady voice in Situation Room sessions, daily briefings, and with meetings with foreign leaders, while also representing our country abroad with allies and partners in every region of the world.

At the same time he has led an unprecedented reform of our national security staff here at the White House. Reflecting the new challenges of our time, he put new emphasis on cyber-security, development and climate change, and made sure that homeland security is fully integrated into our efforts.

Serving as national security adviser is one of the most difficult jobs in our government, but through it all, Jim, like the Marine he has always been, has been a dedicated public servant and friend to me.

After a lifetime of service, I know this was also an enormous sacrifice for the Jones family. Many of them are here today, and I want to thank them as well.

Jim, like your father and uncle and generations of Jones who served before you, you complete this assignment knowing that your country is safer and stronger. I thank you, and the American people thank you.


OBAMA: I am also proud to announce that General Jones will be succeeded by his deputy and one of my closest advisers, Tom Donilon. Tom has a wealth of experience that will serve him well in this new assignment.

He has served three presidents, and been immersed in our national security for decades.

Over the last two years, there's not a single critical national security issue that has not crossed Tom's desk. He has helped manage our national security team and the policy-making process, and won the respect and admiration of his colleagues in the White House and across the administration.

He has a probing intellect and a remarkable work ethic, although it's one that depends on a seemingly limitless quantity of Diet Coke.


Tom, however, is not the only valuable member of the Donilon team who works here at the White House. His wife, Cathy, who's here, has done an extraordinary job as Jill Biden's chief of staff.

I'm grateful to the Donilon family for all the work that they've already done for our nation and for agreeing to take on this additional responsibility.

We have some huge challenges ahead.

We remain a nation at war. We will not rest in our efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaida. And, above all, we are committed to forging the kind of American leadership that can shape the world in the 21st century, just as we shaped the world in the 20th: a world of greater peace, a world of growing markets and expanding prosperity, a world of shared security, a world where American leadership enlists the support of old allies and new partners, while advancing the values that help keep us safe and make America a beacon to the world.

That is the kind of American leadership that Jim Jones has always stood for, and the kind of leadership that Tom and my entire national security team will continue to work for in the years to come.

So with that, I want to once again personally thank Jim for his outstanding service, and offer the mike to him to say a few words.

JONES: Thank you, sir.

Mr. President, thank you very much for your extraordinarily kind words and for your confidence in me these past two years. When we first met, just a little over two years ago, I found it impossible to resist your invitation to once again serve the nation and accepted to be your national security adviser.

Another reason I did so is because I was persuaded that you were willing to take on the hard issues of our time at a very, very difficult moment in our nation's history, spanning the difference between two very different centuries, the 21st century and 20th century.

And I have enjoyed this -- this assignment immensely because of this willingness to engage these difficult issues and to do the right thing for the country.

And I believe that where we are today in the global playing field and how the United States is held in the esteem of the rest of the world is an accomplishment that I, frankly, find astonishing in such a short period of time.

And, Mr. President, we owe all of this to your leadership. And I thank you for letting me be a part of it.

I would also like to emphasize that I've thoroughly enjoyed working with the vice president. And I'd like to also mention that the first lady and Dr. Biden have been an inspiration to all military families and men and women in the armed forces of the United States by the work they continually do to make them feel loved and appreciated in all that they do.

None of this could have been possible -- none of these achievements could have been possible without the -- my teammate and friend, Tom Donilon.

Tom and I got together just shortly before the inauguration and we scratched out a vision for what -- how we might best help the 44th president of the United States in fulfilling his demanding duties with regard to national security. We did it on a piece of paper not far from here.

And for the last two years it's been just a rare privilege to be working side-by-side with Tom as the national security staff for the 21st century and for the 44th president came to life.

LEMON: All right. You are listening -- that's Jim Jones, he's National Security adviser for about two years for the Obama administration.

As the president said just moments ago, that's exactly what Jim Jones asked for, to serve about two years. It's coming at about the right time now.

Tom Donilon who is his chief deputy will take over as National Security adviser. Again, this was expected, we don't need on drag it on and on and tell you what happened there at the press conference with basically Tom Donilon is taking over as National Security adviser from James Jones.

Let's move on now and talk about politics. The story that a lot of people are very interested in. Someone who says I'm not a witch.

Christine O'Donnell on the campaign trail, coming through on her promise to talk with our Jim Acosta about her past, her party, and also Sarah Palin.


LEMON: Hey, listen, just reading over the wire, this is just crossing here. So I want to get to some breaking news. It's in New York City, where New York police have arrested seven people, they say, in a string of brutal, anti-gay hate crimes in the Bronx.

Let's bring in now our senior correspondent, Allan Chernoff with the details. I understand that Ray Kelly held a press conference a short time ago. What did he say?

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: An absolutely appalling here, Don. We have seven people arrested ages 16 to 23 charged with some brutal attacks against gay men in the Bronx this past Sunday night.

There were four victims according to the NYPD. Two of the victims were robbed and beaten. Two of the victims were beaten and sodomized. Here are some of the grim details from the NYPD. First of all, a 17-year-old was beaten, forced to stripped, attacked with a box cutter, and then sodomized with the handle of a plunger. A 30-year-old man then was beaten, forced to strip, attacked with burning cigarettes and then sodomized with a baseball bat.

So, again, seven people arrested, ages 16 through 23, two other people are being sought in this crime, but absolutely appalling, Don.

LEMON: So listen, this is according to the press conference, at least the information I have here, the string of attacks has began last weekend now and was allegedly sparked when members of a street gang learned that an aspiring member was gay.

CHERNOFF: That was it. That's all, yes. They're gay, therefore they attack. I mean, what else can we say? A very, very sad story here. The NYPD clearly on it. They've been acting very quickly. They've made these arrests. They're seeking two more, Don.

LEMON: Allan Chernoff, our senior correspondent. Allan, thank you so much.

You know, there are 25 days until the critical midterm elections. One of the most, more intriguing races is in Delaware. There voters are choosing between Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons to fill the Senate seat once occupied by Vice President Joe Biden.

O'Donnell has made headlines for controversial comments and her Tea Party backing. Our Jim Acosta caught up with her on the campaign trail and asked her about one of the more high-profile supporters, and that's Sarah Palin.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Does she advise your campaign?

CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (R), DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE: She does not advise our campaign.

ACOSTA: Does she give you advice?

O'DONNELL: She gives me you go, girl, advice. Don't listen to them.

ACOSTA: Does she really tell you how to speak through Fox News?

O'DONNELL: She didn't tell me personally, but I heard her say something like that on O'Reilly. If anyone knows about the politics of personal destruction, it's women candidates, women politicians like Sarah Palin.

ACOSTA: If the Republicans take the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Jim DeMint?

O'DONNELL: I don't know yet because what I would need to - what I would need to see -- is Jim DeMint running?

ACOSTA: You tell me.

O'DONNELL: I honestly don't know. I love Senator DeMint, I love what he does. He's a principled man, but what I have had said when people asked me who I would support in leadership, I don't know that as an outsider. Right now, I'm a candidate not a U.S. senator.

ACOSTA: Is the unemployment problem in this country, Barack Obama's fault or George Bush's fault?

O'DONNELL: It's a combination of politicians in Washington losing their way. Like I said, whether it's Republicans or Democrats, our so-called leaders in Washington have lost their way, no longer in touch with the needs of the Delaware -- any citizen not just Delaware.

So I think what we need to do to get our country back on track is to replace career politicians with citizen politicians.

ACOSTA: We make this the last thing, your staff was very reluctant to have us ask you about these past statements in the past. I wanted to ask you, why is that? Aren't they your statements?

O'DONNELL: This campaign is about the future and not the past. This campaign is about what each candidate is going to do to address the needs of the people in Delaware.

How we're going to get private business jobs back in Delaware? How we get our economy back on track? How we're going to empower the individual and entrepreneur to open up those mom and pop businesses on Main Street.

That's what's important to the Delaware end, and that's what should be important to both candidates in this race.

ACOSTA: So you're never going to talk about your time with Bill Maher?

O'DONNELL: Why? What I said or did on a comedy show, you know, over a decade ago is not relevant to this election.


LEMON: OK, the politics of personal destruction. That was just part of the interview. Let's bring him in now, Jim Acosta.

So, Jim, it appears that she has gotten some coaching, and she says this is about the future and not the past, but I see all kinds of things being brought up about the past for politicians on both sides, on all sides, Tea Party, Republican, Democrat, but she won't talk about it.

ACOSTA: That's right. You know, this is not just a Christine O'Donnell issue, although I think she realizes now how much damage has been done to her campaign after seeing all those clips resurface on the Bill Maher show.

She is in damage control mode these days, but you're absolutely right, Don, I mean, Scott Brown, the senator from Massachusetts, once posed nude in "Cosmopolitan" magazine. He certainly had to ask questions about that.

I think slowly, but surely over time, she is going to take those questions on. We tried our best three or four times to ask her about those clips, and you know, she really just went back to some talking points about how she wanted to look to the future.

She did say that, you know, she regrets having said those things. She said she's not proud of them and that she's matured as a woman. She's not the same person she was in her 20s. She's a 40-year-old woman, she said, running for office.

She said that's a big difference there. Quite honestly, Don, during the course of the interview, I wanted to get on to some of the other issues like health care, the economy, so forth, and I have to say she was pretty straightforward. She took them all on.

LEMON: Yes, all right, great interview. We're going to see much. That was just two minutes of it. I'm sure you have a lot more, right?

ACOSTA: That's right, yes. Absolutely. You know, one of the things we didn't get to show you in any of those clips that we've been running in the last 24 hours, I asked her, since we're talking about Bill Maher, whether she'll ever go on his show, she said not between now and the election. I think she realizes that she's probably done enough damage when it comes to talking to Bill Maher.

LEMON: Listen, it would be great if this whole thing was about the future, because then we could stop talk about, you know, President Bush being responsible for everything, and then we could stop talking about Reverend Wright.

And I turned on shows and I hear that every single night, so it would be great if Christine O'Donnell could lend a hand to other politicians and they stop talking about it?

ACOSTA: I absolutely agree. That is why when we into this interview, we really wanted to cover a lot of bases on a lot of subjects, talk about the issues.

I think voters out there are starving for that kind of information. They want to take the high road. They want their politicians to take the high road. That's what we set out to do in the interview, and she was willing to participate. We were happy about that, that's for sure.

LEMON: Fascinating conversation, but I'm getting the move on in my ear. Thank you very much, Jim. We look forward to more of that interview.

We have the latest numbers, the results coming up, our chronically he unemployment rate is still at 9.6 percent. Just how sick is our economy? We'll tell you "YOUR MONEY" next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: We get them every month. The monthly jobs report out today. We have seen even more jobs lost in September sadly. The unemployment rate stayed the same last month, 9.6 percent that means about 1 in every 10 people actively trying to get a job in this country, cannot get one.

For the month of September, the private sector actually gained jobs, about 64,000, but the government lost a big chunk, 159,000 due to 2010 temporary census job losses and cuts in local government.

So that means that a total jobs loss edged down to 95,000. It's easy to think of this as just numbers, right? Those 95,000 that you're looking at, those are people who have bills and mortgages. They have families, and Christine Romans knows that.

She's part of our money team. She joins us now is with what she's seeing. What the impact of all of this is? What is it, Christine? Again, these are people.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: They're people with an awful lot of hope, you know, and hope that this thing is going to turn around. What does it mean? There's something in this report for everyone. This is the last jobs report before the midterm election.

You have Republicans zeroing in on, as you called it before, the chronically high 9.6 percent unemployment rate, but you have the president and some Democrats zeroing in on an uptrend in private sector job creation.

Look, it wasn't much. It was 64,000 jobs, but for nine months in a row, as the president pointed out, the private sector has created jobs, hasn't been shedding jobs. One thing we're watching here as well is the number of people working part time, but who want to be working full time.

This is a number that I've been watching every month because I've been hoping that it would start to turn around. It hasn't, quite frankly. You have 9.5 million people, 9.5 million people working part time, but are ready, willing and able, Don, to work full time.

That means if you add those to the 15 million who are full-on out of work, you have an unemployment situation far worse than 9.6 percent unemployment. You have a double-digit unemployment.

I want to show you, though, the progression of things over the past few months, how -- this is what the president and his team have been watching. They've been watching private sector jobs gain through the beginning of the year -- and then now, look, overall, you've had this drop-off here. An optimist would call it stability after -- you know, after a run-up this morning. But a pessimist would look at that and say, well, some of the advance that we've seen earlier in the year as the economy was recovering has stalled here. Bottom line, Don, I know you've heard me say this a million times. I'm going to say it a million and one times. It takes 100,000 to 150,000 new jobs every single month just to absorb new people -- the normal growth of our labor market. That means new people graduating from college, new immigrants, new people into the work force. It takes 100,000 to 150,000 new jobs every month. We haven't hit it yet.

LEMON: Haven't hit it. So, we're starting in a hole. So, we have to get to the surface first --

ROMANS: We're starting in the hole.

LEMON: -- and then build forward. And so, as you were saying, you can't just look at the raw numbers. We're talking about sectors and demographics there. And so, as you're looking at that --


LEMON: -- what do you see -- what do you see that has to change in order to get out of the hole and start to at least be on a level playing field and then begin to move forward?

ROMANS: You have to see significantly more private sector job creation beyond just the area of health care. Health care has been growing. Health care has been growing.

But the big challenge now is now we're losing teachers, we're losing state and local government workers, stimulus jobs. They're starting -- the funding for stimulus jobs starting to run out. You're going to see those people -- Census jobs, those are winding down as well. You're seeing more Census jobs being lost in these numbers.

You can't -- in this report, at least, you couldn't count the government to be the thing that was carry job creation in the country. So, we need to see lots of different industries starting to add jobs. They won't do that until confidence comes back and confidence hasn't back yet, Don.

LEMON: And the main one, in the private sector. In the private sector.

Thank you. Thank you, Christine Romans. Appreciate it.

ROMANS: In the private sector.


OK. Listen -- coming up next, she said Mexican pirates murdered her husband. Now, an American tourist's story is coming under some scrutiny. And we'll tell you about the latest twist -- straight ahead here on CNN.


LEMON: A reported pirate attack on a lake along the U.S./Mexico border has a wife defending her story. She says pirates attacked and killed her husband as they were jet skiing. His body has yet to be found, leading to all sorts of questions.

CNN's Gary Tuchman reports from the lake at the center of this investigation.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We have an armada of armed protectors, as we head out for a short voyage on what may be North America's most dangerous lake.

This is the sheriff of Zapata County, Texas.

(on camera): Are you 100 percent convinced she's telling the truth?

SHERIFF SIGIFREDO GONZALES, ZAPATA COUNTY, TEXAS: Well, we can never be 100 percent convinced, 99.9 percent yes.

TUCHMAN: So, 99.9 percent?


TUCHMAN: Would you be willing to have her take a polygraph test just to aid in the investigation, just to be 100 percent sure?

GONZALES: I cannot force her to do it.

TUCHMAN: Would you like her to do it?

GONZALES: Well, if she wants to do it on her own, sure.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): This is what Tiffany Hartley said at a news conference about suggestions by some she's not telling the whole truth.

TIFFANY HARTLEY, VICTIM'S WIFE: I know what I know. I know what I saw, and I can just tell us what I know. Unfortunately, he's not here to, you know -- David is not here to verify, yes, we were chased and we were shot at. And -- so it is hard to be able -- to be judged.

TUCHMAN (on camera): What's the main reason you think that the story is 100 percent true?

GONZALES: The story -- well, I look at it as what is there to indicate that it's not true.

TUCHMAN: There's no jet ski. There's no body. But you're saying that blood was found on the life preserver?

GONZALES: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

TUCHMAN: And what do we know about the blood?

GONZALES: We're working to try to get it analyzed. TUCHMAN: The sheriff's department here desperately wants to believe Tiffany Hartley's story. But the fact is that public officials we talked to in this county who don't want to go on camera are doubting it. Also, the state police commander in the Mexican state right across the border also publicly doubting it. It's tragedy. It's also quite the puzzle.

GONZALES: We're really living yards away from actual war in a country -- in a foreign country.

TUCHMAN: But it's your feeling that the Mexican half of this lake is not under any authority controls, the cartels are controlling it.

GONZALES: It's not just my feeling, sir. It's reality. It's controlled by the Mexican drug cartels.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The lake is huge, more than 80,000 acres, some of the best bass fishing in North American. But on the other side of this border marker, where Mexico begins, is now a no-man's- land.

(on camera): Do the people know who come out of this water that this is the border marker? Do boaters generally know?


TUCHMAN: Is there any chance --

GONZALES: I think boaters that fish this lake know that this --


TUCHMAN: Is there any chance this woman didn't know she was in Mexico?

GONZALES: No, she has said that she knew they were in Mexico.

TUCHMAN: But why would she do that?

GONZALES: She is saying that since the threats are in April and May, she's saying that she thought that threat were over with.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The Mexican waters were barren while we were there. The threat is certainly not over with.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Zapata, Texas.


LEMON: He's in a Chinese prison. His crime: speaking out for democracy and human rights. Today, Liu Xiaobo is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. China still calls him a criminal. A look at his struggles -- straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: All right. Listen. His wife is overjoyed that this is happening, but the Chinese government is outraged. They're contrasting reactions triggered by this year's Nobel Peace Prize going to Chinese's leading political dissident. His name is Liu Xiaobo.

The announcement was made today in Oslo by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. China blacked out the news contained in a CNN broadcast from Oslo.

Liu was commended for his, quote, "long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." Liu, seen in these pictures right here, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for subversion last year.

China denounced the move of the Nobel Committee, calling it a blasphemy to the Peace Prize and warned it could damage relations with Norway.

President Obama who won the Peace Prize last year praised Liu for sacrificing his freedom for his beliefs. And he called on Beijing to release Liu as soon as possible.

Liu's lawyer also spoke out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I hope this will help him to be released earlier. But it's hard to know. I believe it will be a big encouragement for other Chinese dissidents, especially to Chen Guangcheng or Hu Jia, who are also nominated this year. This is a big pride for all Chinese.


LEMON: Liu is 54 and the co-author of the "Charter 08" document that calls for greater freedom in China. He's the first Chinese citizen to win the Peace Prize and one of three laureates to have received it while behind bars. Liu has been jailed repeatedly since taking part in the bloody Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests in 1989. His wife says she hopes to travel to his prison, 300 miles from Beijing, to deliver the news to him.

I want to check your top stories right now on CNN.

The September jobs report, not good, not so much. In fact, worse than economists had been predicting. Overall, the economy lost 95,000 jobs last month, and a big chunk were layoffs by state and local governments, the most since 1982.

Bank of America has just announced a nationwide freeze on foreclosures. It already had planned to halt foreclosures in 23 states to review foreclosure documents for possible flaws. Three our banks are doing those limited freezes as well. At issue here: some evidence that lenders signed off on foreclosures without verifying all the information. And another change in the cast of characters at the White House to tell you about. We officially heard this hour that President Obama's national security adviser, General James Jones, is stepping down. He'll be replaced by his deputy, Thomas Donilon. Donilon has been a big defender of the president's decision to start pulling out U.S. troops from Afghanistan next summer.

Looking ahead to 2012 right now: Sarah Palin talking today about her plans. Do they include a presidential run? We've got your political update -- next.


LEMON: Twenty-five days left till the midterm elections. Our senior political editor Mark Preston with our update now.

Mark, what's crossing?


You know, is she going to run? Is she not going to run? Does she want to run? Doesn't she not want to run? We all want to know what Sarah Palin is thinking about 2012.

Well, apparently today she told the conservative magazine "Newsmax" she might be considering it. In fact, she apparently said, I'll run for president if the American people want me to.

Interestingly enough, CBS News came out with a poll just the other day. They say that only 22 percent of Americans believe that she would be an effective president. That's not to say she's going to be swayed by that, Don. As we all know, she's the darling of social conservatives.

You know, we all know that Joe Biden, Don, speaks freely, speaks his mind. Well, last night he was up at a fundraiser up in Wisconsin, he was trying to rile up that crowd, trying to talk about how bad the GOP policies were, get those active Democrats shouting on their feet.

It wasn't working, so he decided to stick it to them, so to speak. He said, you're the dullest audience I have ever spoken to. Do you realize how many jobs Wisconsin has lost? It's staggering. Well, that was enough to get the Democrats to their feet.

And in fact, they're going to have to have to their feet come election day because there's some Democrats up in that state that have some very tough reelections.

And, Don, just very quickly, let's take a quick look at this story right here. Texas Democrat fights for survival in GOP hotbed. Who that is? That is Chet Edwards. Now, Chet Edwards is a Democrat down in a very conservative district. In fact, vice president -- or rather, President Obama, when he was running, considered Edwards to be his vice presidential running mate. He has a very tough race on his hands. Bill Flores is the Republican down in that district, Don. Chet Edwards right there says he is the underdog. Check out this story from Ed Lavandera who, of course, is our Texas bureau chief -- Don.

LEMON: Thank you, Mark Preston.

We're going to continue on with our conversation on politics here. Voter anger seemed to be really the driving force for the midterm elections, right? And it's the anger over the economy that's really seeming to be dominating the conversation also. It was also the topic of discussion on CNN's "PARKER/SPITZER" last night.


JAMES TRAUB, "NEW YORK TIMES": Voters have every reason to be frightened and in some cases angry. I don't think it's good to have political leaders see themselves as channeling and amplifying that anger.

ELIOT SPITZER, CO-HOST, "PARKER/SPITZER": And the great piece on the democratic side that's missing is that optimism. Nobody has stepped up as a Democrat to fill that void and say, here is the answer and we have a solution and we're going to solve the problem.

And we have left the field empty for the Sarah Palins, and that is the political brilliance that she's brought to it. And I'm troubled by the substance, but the Democratic Party has failed to step up and say anything meaningful.

RALPH REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: When leave town without even addressing tax rates in the middle of the great economic crises of the modern era, it's just total abject abdication of government responsibility and they're going to be punished in November because of it.


LEMON: You can see a brand-new edition of "PARKER/SPITZER" tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

OK, now for the things that really trouble you. How will your cell phone work in the future? How will you keep everything connected? Keep it all together? We'll talk about the future of media and your life in "The Big I," coming up after the break.


LEMON: You guys know I'm like a big tech person. I love all new technology. And this is my favorite section of the show because it's called "The Big I" and it's for, you know, the new technology.

For the last couple of weeks, we've brought you examples of big ideas and innovations from Georgia Tech and now, joining us right here in the studio is Renu Kulkarni, she is the co-founder and executive director of FutureMedia at Georgia Tech.

And there's been a big summit this week with a bunch of people. Let's see you've had guys, people from Google, HP, IBM, AT&T, Discovery at this FutureMedia Fest. So what is the future of media and technology look like?

RENU KULKARNI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FUTUREMEDIA FEST: Well, at Georgia Tech, in conjunction with our partners, we feel there are six major trends that portend the future of technology and media. In fact, we released an outlook that highlights these six mega trends.

LEMON: And is this right, data tsunami? Is that the one you said? What is a data tsunami?

KULKARNI: Data tsunami recognizes that all of us are getting way too much information thrown at us, and the question is how will we cope in the future. And we're doing all kinds of research and innovation to simplify our lives.

For example, there are 767 Exabytes of data on the Internet by 2014. And what that means is every person in Morocco or Canada will watch 3D "Avatar" at the same time for a whole month.

LEMON: So basically it's information overload, right?

KULKARNI: Absolutely.

LEMON: It's like I have a personal e-mail, I have my work e-mail and I have texts and it sometimes just gets pushed down and I don't answer people and they say, what are you ignoring me and I'm like, you know what, I never saw the e-mail.

KULKARNI: Exactly.

LEMON: OK, true personalization, what is that?

KULKARNI: We emphasize the word true in true personalization because it's about leading customized lives in the future. We will have our preferences, our filters and behaviors actually determine what information we need before we even ask for it.

LEMON: OK. Content integrity.

KULKARNI: Integrity is really the key word in that trend because it captures security, privacy, identity, vulnerability. And what's happening as we see the future is with more devices like the iPad and more devices that are mobile that are more open, more social network savvy, they're also making us more vulnerable.

LEMON: Multimedia assumed?

KULKARNI: It will be a natural commonplace that video, audio and voice will be combined into a service. It's those that can integrate and combine them into a compelling experience easy relevant to me that will be the battleground.

LEMON: This one I think is going to be cool, I think I'm going to like this one -- mixed reality. That's a mixture of -- is this online or a mixture -- I don't know, reality and not reality? KULKARNI: It's combing our physical world with our cyber world.


KULKARNI: And therefore, being able to do things today that are unimaginable.

LEMON: Like?

KULKARNI: Well they'll be applied to learning, health care. So like being able to go into any restaurant and have it tell you what you should eat based on your diabetic reading that morning.

LEMON: Oh, really? I don't know if I want that. I like to do what I want to do.

KULKARNI: You can set it the way you want.


LEMON: And then collaboration, Renu.

KULKARNI: We think collaboration is just paramount because harnessing the power of many will be a competitive advantage. And harnessing to create new content, new movies, digital books, et cetera, will be an advantage.

LEMON: Here's the thing, we talk a lot about the unemployment rate in this country and it is a big problem, but when I look at all of these things that you're talking about and all these big companies that are gathered here, boy, isn't there room for innovation and jobs and to do your own thing within this?

KULKARNI: Absolutely. I am so glad that you asked that.

For example, content integrity will create a whole new industry because as we have more vulnerability there will be new start-ups and we saw a handful of those at the Fest. There will be new jobs, there will be job titles that today we don't even imagine. Chat managers, for example.

LEMON: Who would have thought 20 years ago you and I would be sitting here talking about this. So yes, if you have build a bridge or you build a website or whatever, they will come.

KULKARNI: Right. Exactly.

LEMON: Thank you.

KULKARNI: Thank you, appreciate the opportunity.

LEMON: Pleasure meeting you.

You know, her house was burning and she could have gotten out in time but just couldn't leave her kids behind and we honor a mom's bravery and sacrifice coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: OK, this is really just an amazing story. It's horrible, to tell the truth. A fire breaks out in a house full of sleeping kids and it could have wiped out an entire family, but a very brave mom put her fears aside and herself in mortal danger to save them.

Here's Rachel Collier of our Louisville affiliate WDRB.


RACHEL COLLIER, WDRB REPORTER (voice-over): This is Tamara Findley (ph), a mother of three and aunt to two. She was 31-years-old and spent her last day saving those children's lives.

This townhome on South 11th Street was burning up fast Thursday morning. The only escape was from a second story window.

KAREY HUDSON, NEIGHBOR: I looked up and saw the smoke and I saw a kid hanging out the window. So -- and the paper man had ran up just as I was running up and I had told the paper man. I mean, the paper man was just like jump. If you jump, one of us will catch you.

COLLIER: Tamara fought the flames and smoke and started throwing the kids out of window into the arms of bystanders.

LARRY EVANS, NEWSPAPER CARRIER: He jumps out of the window and I caught him, put him down. Then I kept asking the lady who lived there how many more kids up there. She said it was two mores.

COLLIER: After all five kids were safe, firefighters had to go in for Tamara, she had collapsed.

EVANS: Yes, yes. She was the only one being taken away on the stretcher and they were doing CPR on her. So I just hope the best for her.

COLLIER: Tamara didn't make it, she died of smoke inhalation.

Firefighters say if it wasn't for the smoke alarms and Tamara's bravery, the five children might not be alive.

CAPT. SAL MELENDEZ, LOUISVILLE FIRE AND RESCUE: She was able to be alerted because of the smoke alarms. She was able to go upstairs, which is where all the bedrooms were, and was able to get her kids, and able to take them to safety.

COLLIER: Tamara fought through flames and smoke and gave up her life so that five young children may live.

MELENDEZ: It was even extreme for us, and we wear all this gear. We can only imagine what she went through as she was helping these kids.

So, she did a brave thing. She paid -- she made a sacrifice. But she did indeed save those children. (END VIDEOTAPE)