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Remembering Larry Hagman; Interview With Former U.S. Ambassador to Both Israel and Syria Edward Djerejian; FBI's Most-Wanted Fugitive Captured; Explosion Rips Through Strip Club; Domestic Dispute Call Turns Deadly; Angling After the Ceasefire; Maryland DNA Law Goes to High Court; Teen Sentenced to Church; Bringing Jobs Back to the U.S.; Using Sports to Overcome Addiction

Aired November 24, 2012 - 12:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, Randi. We have a lot straight ahead. Including this, I know you talked a lot about it all morning long, more on the passing of an iconic Hollywood actor.

On camera he was conniving, greedy, maybe even evil, but the real life Larry Hagman was nothing of the sort, best known as J.R. on the primetime television series, "Dallas." His former co-stars remember him today as fun, wild and a memorable star in Hollywood. Hagman died yesterday of complications from cancer.

CNN's Colleen McEdwards takes a look at his life and legacy.


COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Larry Hagman wore many hats in his career, but his best known for the Stetson that he wore on "Dallas." Despite rolls on film and on stage, Hagman will always be remembered as the villainous J.R. Ewing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you drove Cliff to attempt suicide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How was I to know he was going to do a dumb thing like that?

MCEDWARDS: When J.R. was shot by an unknown assailant, it became one of the most famous cliffhangers in TV history, watched by 300 million people from all around the world. Hagman never expected the show to endure.

LARRY HAGMAN: I just started this show doing six shows. I never thought I'd do 300.

MCEDWARDS: In fact, the "Dallas" franchise was so successful, the series was recently reprised. The U.S. network TNT brought it back with a new generation of Ewings and Hagman came back, too, returning as J.R. once again.

Critics say he was the best thing about "Dallas." But explaining the character's appeal, Hagman once said the time is right for a real bad guy and I'm it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have a good day, Master.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to have a wonderful day.

MCEDWARDS: It was a good guy who Larry Hagman blasted into people's living rooms playing astronaut Tony Nelson on "I Dream Of Jeannie." The show was a hit in the 1960s and is still popular in syndication.

Even as a kid, Hagman orbited in showbiz as the son of Peter Pan star, Mary Martin, his movie roles included "Up the Cellar" and "Harry And Tonto."

It was only after milking a huge contract from the producers of "Dallas" that Hagman became immensely wealthy. He had houses. He had cars. He had vices. Two of them included drinking and smoking.

He smoked for 24 years, gave it up and became an anti-smoking activist and spokesman for the American Cancer Society.

HAGMAN: I met at least 30 or 40 people that said they quit because of my personal involvement, which makes me feel really good.

MCEDWARDS: He stopped drinking in 1995 when he was diagnosed with liver cancer and underwent a life saving transplant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we want in Vietnam, we wouldn't have this conversation.

MCEDWARDS: In recent years, Hagman appeared on the big screen in films like "Nixon" and "Primary Colors." But it is his role as the charming and conniving oil man that audiences will never forget.

Colleen McEdwards, CNN, Atlanta.


WHITFIELD: Fans and former co-stars of the Hollywood legend have been reacting all morning long to his passing.

CNN's Kareen Wynter is live at Larry Hagman's star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Kareen, what are people saying and are they leaving mementos, notes and flowers at his star as well?

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, not yet. People are still waking up to the news of Larry Hagman's passing. But I can tell you, Fred, we just heard from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers those stars on the walk of fame.

And they'll be out here at 1:00 local time placing flowers next to Larry Hagman's star here, which he was honored with back on September 8th, 1981. The star is directly next to the star of his mom, Mary Martin, who was a famous actress as well.

But you mentioned the reaction coming out of Hollywood. There have been so many, Fred. I want to share a little bit of them with you. People, friends close colleagues of Larry Hagman who have taken to Twitter.

They've taken to Facebook to share their condolences, Joan Collins, she wrote, no, just heard about Larry. He was magnificent as J.R. and inspired me to play, "Alexis." Of course, Collins played that famous villainous role of "Alexis" on "Dynasty.

Barbara Eden, one of Hagman's co-stars from the 1960s hit "I Dream Of Jeannie," she wrote, "Amidst a whirlwind of big laughs, big smiles and unrestrained personality, Larry was always simply Larry. You couldn't fault him for it. It was just who he was. I'm so thankful that this past year, I was able to spend time with him and experience yet again Larry in all his big Texas bravado."

Linda Gray wrote, "So sad to lose such wonderful dear, bigger than life friend. Larry Hagman was one of a kind and will be with us forever." Finally, Patrick Duffy, another one of Hagman's "Dallas" co- stars wrote, "My friend is taking a break. Pardon my silence, love Patrick."

So that gives you an idea of the tremendous loss so many people in and really beyond the entertainment industry are feeling today at the loss of such an iconic actor from the "Dallas" show that made him a household name.

He reprised his role with the TNT hit "Dallas." By the way, the second season starts in January. We're told that Hagman was taping scenes for the show. He, according to had already done about six episodes, six of the 15.

So writers undoubtedly will have to rewrite that story line, Fred, take a look at the plots and see he was such a pivotal character on that show -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: I know it's early. It will be interesting to hear exactly how they're going to manage that with the second season coming up and how they're going to handle his death.

WYNTER: That's true. You know, again, he was such a force to be reckoned with on the show. You think "Dallas," everyone thinks of J.R. Ewing. He really, really made that show. It was so touching in a recent interview Piers Morgan.

You know, he said I didn't want to come back unless my friends, you know, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy joined me. So, you know, it will be hard. As one of them said, no one can replace Larry. So it will be hard to rewrite that story line. But unfortunately, it's something they'll have to do since things have changed.

WHITFIELD: All right, Kareen Wynter, thanks so much from Hollywood. Appreciate it.

Another sad ending, Hector Camacho, the former boxing champion who beat such fighters as Roberto Durant and Sugar Ray Leonard is dead. He was taken off life support today by his family.

Last night before the family made that decision, his mother told reporters in Puerto Rico, quote, "for me, he's not alive," end quote. The former boxing champ was shot in the face outside a bar near San Juan Tuesday night. He was at first expected to survive, but his condition worsened and was declared clinically brain dead.

One of the FBI's most-wanted fugitives is now in custody. Jose Luis Saenz was captured Thursday night in Mexico. He faces prosecution in Los Angeles for the murder of two gang members and his girlfriend back in 1998 and another murder 10 years later. Saenz was added to the most-wanted list three years ago. The FBI offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

And a frightening scene in Springfield, Massachusetts, a gas explosion ripped through a strip club leveling the building as you see there. Fortunately, about an hour earlier emergency crews had evacuated the area after someone complained about a strong gas odor.

Eighteen people were hurt. Most of them were firefighters and gas company workers. The explosion was so strong it damaged two dozen other buildings and could be felt 10 miles away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I jumped. I could feel the garbage cans move next to me. I could hear the windows shaking and automatically I knew where it came from. I could tell it came from this part of the city.


WHITFIELD: Officials are investigating what caused that blast.

A sheriff's deputy in Alabama is dead and another critically injured. They were shot during a domestic dispute call. Police say the officers were called to a home to settle an argument and that's when the suspect Michael Jansen allegedly opened fire. Police say Jansen was also shot and killed.

There is growing outrage today and more clashes over a legal order announced by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. We'll tell you why Morsi's supporters are calling for, quote, "a million-man demonstration."

And a Maryland law involved in the collection of DNA evidence goes before the U.S. Supreme Court in February. It could impact the entire country in many ways. Our legal guys will be weighing in.

And U.S. companies are starting to rethink their off-shore manufacturing strategy. We'll find out why one CEO decided to bring jobs back to the U.S.


WHITFIELD: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's political party is calling for a "million-man demonstration" in Cairo Tuesday in support of Morsi's new controversial orders.

Morsi triggered massive protests when he announced Thursday that courts cannot overturn any law that he's issued since taking office in June. Critics call it an anti-democratic power grab.

Well, today protesters clashed with Morsi supporters and police in Cairo. And Egypt's highest judicial body called on Morsi to stay out of all judicial matters.

Across the border, life is slowly returning to normal in Gaza three days after Hamas militants and Israel agreed to stop fighting. Children returned to school today. Despite a shooting near the border yesterday that reportedly left one Palestinian dead, the ceasefire is holding.

The next phase of the truce, talks on potentially easing Israel's blockade in Gaza and opening border crossings. The hope is this ceasefire will hold.

Joining us right now is a man who knows the area quite well. Edward Djerejian is the former U.S. ambassador to both Israel and Syria. He helped establish the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston.

Ambassador, good to see you.


WHITFIELD: So how confident are you about this truce thus far?

DJEREJIAN: Well, so far, I think it's holding and that's obviously a good sign. There have been minor violations, but the important thing, Fredricka, is to build on this truce.

In every crisis I think there is an opportunity. And if the truce is just to become a prolonged truce only to be broken, say, a year or two down the road and we're faced with a similar crisis that we just seen in the last 12 days, then that I do not think is a successful outcome.

WHITFIELD: So it truce is contingent upon what besides both sides trying to be as peaceful as possible?

DJEREJIAN: Well, obviously, a sustained ceasefire. The Israelis do not want arms to be smuggled in and rockets to be smuggled into Gaza during the truce in order to avoid what we've just seen, the rocket shellings in South Israel and beyond close to Tel Aviv and even Jerusalem.

And then on the Palestinian side, they want to end the targeting of Hamas leaders. They want the border crossings. The Gaza border crossings to be open so that trade, commerce, and people can move more freely in the Gaza Strip, I mean, those are two of the major parts of the ceasefire.

WHITFIELD: And then how do you assess the victories? Because both sides are claiming some victories here, Israel being able to show its muscle and the iron dome working and Hamas being able to demonstrate that it has missiles that can reach as far as Tel Aviv and has support of Iran. How do you assess things here? DJEREJIAN: Well, each side is claiming the most positive outcome for obvious political reasons, both domestically and internationally. But again, if we can just step back, Fredricka, we've seen this act before.

And if all we're going to do both in terms of the Israelis and Palestinians and international community and the Arab countries involved is to just manage these crises as they erupt, I do not consider this to be a very positive outcome.

What we should be doing is building on this ceasefire to get a viable Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in place. Now that's a high hurdle and it may sound idealistic at this point, but I think with President Obama's re-election.

With Israeli elections coming up in January 22nd, with the head of the Palestinian Authority going to the U.N. to ask for non-member states status for the Palestinian Authority for Palestine, I think instead of looking upon all of this in a negative way, we should build on it.

WHITFIELD: And then we're looking at pictures that involve Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi. How do you see his role here? When at first, earlier in the week, it was considered that he played a very strong leadership role here.

He used his leverage as well. But then now with the power grab that he is entertaining in Egypt days after helping to broker this ceasefire, is his role now being looked at or assessed differently?

DJEREJIAN: No. I think what we have to look at is President Morsi's international role. He played a critical role and he played a positive role as being a very valid person between Hamas and the Israelis.

I mean, you had an Israeli delegation in Cairo working out this deal under Egyptian egis. I think Morsi played a positive role in helping gain the ceasefire. So that, I think, is one part of Morsi.

The other part of Morsi is as the first Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt, he has a domestic agenda. His domestic agenda is being challenged by, as you mentioned, Fredricka, this power grabs with the judiciary and the legislature.

So what is key here is that Morsi as a Muslim Brotherhood president has to prove that he can govern Egypt effectively. And you just can't do it by religion alone.


DJEREJIAN: There is a joke in the Arab world. You can't govern by if God wills. He has to face the same problems that the Mubaraks and every secular leader in Egypt has faced, jobs, broadened political participation, social justice, and developing the economy. And so he is trying to do this by this political move he's made that is now being contested.

WHITFIELD: Ambassador Edward Djerejian, thanks so much for your time. Appreciate it.

DJEREJIAN: My pleasure, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, I guess you could call it divine intervention. An Oklahoma teen is sentenced to church instead of prison for a fatal DUI crash. Will our legal guys praise the judge for this decision, they'll be weighing in.


WHITFIELD: A Maryland law involving the collection of DNA evidence goes before the U.S. Supreme Court in February and what happens there could affect more than half the country.

Let's bring in our legal guys, Avery Friedman, a civil rights attorney and law professor in Cleveland. Good to see you.


WHITFIELD: Hello. And Richard Herman, a New York criminal defense attorney and law professor joining us from Las Vegas. Good to see you as well. I feel like it's been forever.


WHITFIELD: Thank you.

HERMAN: We missed you.

FRIEDMAN: Way too long.

WHITFIELD: I know two weekends away from you guys feels like months. OK, so let's delve into this case. We're talking about unreasonable search or not, taking someone's DNA when they are criminal suspects.

Avery, I'm so confused now because I thought that's when the collection of DNA evidence is permissible, but now it's being challenged?

FRIEDMAN: Yes. Some states including Maryland and Virginia, you have differing reasoning in terms of whether there's an expectation of privacy. And what the Supreme Court has done, and I think correctly so, is taken the case because there's a split.

Half the states say you can take it based on the fact that you're a suspect. Others say only when there's a conviction. In this case, Alonzo King was charged with assault in 2009. They used the DNA from that to stick him with a rape charge back in 2003.

Is there a reasonable expectation of privacy? Does it violate the Fourth Amendment? The Supreme Court is going to answer that question.

WHITFIELD: So, Richard, where do you see this case as being rather hairy?

HERMAN: Well, I'll tell you, Fred, in this century this is what we're talking about. Here's a Q tip. That's it. That's what we're talking about. That's DNA collection.

The case here surrounds whether or not pre-conviction or post conviction felony. That's where it applies. If you're arrested on a felony charge, they're saying 25 states say you can just do that little demonstration I just did.

Twenty five states say, no, it's a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. But if you think about it, Fred, if you get arrested today, whether it's for a felony or any arrest, they can pat you down.

They take your height and weight in some instances. They can take your blood. If you're in a car, they can search your car. So already there are instances where maybe arguably in the past it was a violation.

But now in this day and age, I think the law has caught up with the technology. I believe the Supreme Court is going to hold that the DNA swab, that simple swab is akin to a fingerprint and they're going to permit it.

WHITFIELD: Because it's fascinating because in so many cases the DNA can actually free you just as it can convict you. I mean, there are so many cases where people a spending time in jail and new technology involving DNA can suddenly, you know, clarify a case.

HERMAN: But, Fred, where do you draw the line? If you get pulled over for a DWI, can they subpoena your bank records? That's the point.

FRIEDMAN: The argument is fingerprint is one thing. Using a swab is more intrusive. That's what the Supreme Court has to resolve here. That's why we have a split in the court. So we have to find out the answer in February. We'll find out next year.

WHITFIELD: All right, well, now, let's move on to a case in Oklahoma. A 17-year-old convicted of DUI manslaughter gets a rather unusual sentence. Some might argue it's a pretty lenient sentence. It could have gotten 10 years in jail.

Instead, the judge says, I'm going to impose that you now do some time by going to church. Richard, apparently, the judge is now being looked at as well as whether he has violated the separation between church and state. So where do we begin on this case?

HERMAN: Well, you just nailed it, Fred. He absolutely has. This judge is a whacko. To impose this kind of sentence in this day and age is insane. It's insanity, OK? You cannot do this.

The problem here is the defendant has agreed. He is saying great and the family of the victim has said, yes, this is fine. So nobody has standing to challenge this except if the government tries to enforce it.

Then they have standing to do this. But, Fred, it's really -- they put the kid if therapy. They're making him wear bracelet for alcohol. I mean, it is a manslaughter. It was his dear friend who got killed in the crash. Not everybody goes to prison on these types of cases. His blood alcohol level was within the legal limits of the law. The judge had a free leeway to do a lot of things here. He didn't want to ruin the 17- year-old's life. So he imposed, among other things, this ten-year church requirement. It's insane.

WHITFIELD: So Avery, you are in total disagreement with everything that Richard has said. You've been nodding your head the whole time.

FRIEDMAN: Well, I mean, look. First of all, the judge isn't insane. I mean, look, what the judge did was infinitely unconstitutional and it's true that none of the parties really challenging it, but that's not the end of the game.

Because the judge acknowledges what he did violated the constitution and when he was asked for a justification, listen to this, he says well I'm in the Bible belt. I'm an "Okie" from Oklahoma.

So I think the Oklahoma Bar Association should really investigate an employee sanctioned power to say you know what, Judge, we understand your good intentions.

But in the future, you're not going to violate the constitution by this sentence, bracelet, fine, therapy, fine, go back to school. I guess, he is a welder, welding school.

But don't send people to church unless they choose do so. That's the answer. I don't think it's the end of it. If the Oklahoma Bar Association is worth anything, it's got to look into this.

WHITFIELD: All right, Avery, Richard, thanks so much. We're going to hear from you again in another 20 minutes. We have a real pig fight taking place in South Florida and this involves a little boy with Down's Syndrome. Can't wait to hear how you see this case.

And homosexual acts are already illegal in one east African nation. Now lawmakers in Uganda are considering making anti-gay laws tougher and it's trending this hour.


WHITFIELD: All right, here's what's trending on Ugandan lawmakers are preparing to vote on an anti-gay bill that calls for a maximum life sentence if it's determined you're gay. Amnesty International has urged Uganda's parliament not to pass the bill.

A World War II message recently discovered strapped to the skeleton of a carrier pigeon is still a mystery. No one has been able to decode the scramble of five letter words.

OK, calling it sinking up with Si. This Texas homeowner took a page from pop culture. He went "Gangnam Style" with his holiday decorations. For more trending news, just checkout

All right, some U.S. companies are starting to rethink their off-shore manufacturing strategy. We'll find out why one CEO decided to bring jobs back to the U.S.


WHITFIELD: Signs that the U.S. could be in early stages of manufacturing come back. Some American companies see an opportunity to bring production back home after trying overseas factories.

Element Electronics in Canton, Michigan, is one of them. As Christine Romans shows us in this "Smart is the New Rich," company officials say this strategy is not only good for U.S. consumers and workers, it's good for business as well.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This assembly line in Canton, Michigan is humming again. It is auto country. Workers like Michael Cox are building televisions, part of an industry that largely left when manufacturing jobs were outsourced in the 1970s, '80s and '90s.

MICHAEL COX, ELEMENT ELECTRONICS WORKER: There are lots of things that went overseas. It would be nice to see a lot of stuff coming back. There are a lot of people here that need a job. We're willing to do just about anything to work.

ROMANS: Element Electronics has reshored an assembly line from Asia state side. The parts are still imported, but large screen TVs are now assembled, checked, and packaged in America.

MIKE O'SHAUGHNESSY, CEO AND FOUNDER, ELEMENT ELECTRONICS: As consumers want more large screen TVs, it has created an opportunity to bring that production here to the United States.

ROMANS: Mike O'Shaughnessy, CEO and Founder of Element, he is determined to create American jobs.

O'SHAUGHNESSY: If you grew up in Warren, Ohio in the 1970s and '80s like I did, you've watched jobs leave. You've watched the impact of those jobs leaving on the families and friends that you had.

ROMANS: But this isn't just sentimental. O'Shaughnessy says it's good business and the math makes sense.

O'SHAUGHNESSY: We studied what our total product costs were. In particular, we studied what labor does against duty and freight and other factors.

And what we found is that we can produce, assemble TVs here in the United States and we can do that for about the same cost by introducing some component in larger screen televisions, U.S. labor, U.S. assembly because it's offset by lower duty and lower freight.

ROMANS: And assembling these TVs here means better quality control and quicker delivery to retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Costco so far Element has created a hundred jobs here. Across the country, the number of jobs for skilled factory workers is up 38 percent since 2005, suggesting at least some of the millions of outsourced jobs are making a round trip, helping former automakers like Shelby Lisiscki get back to work.

SHELBY LISISCKI, ELEMENT ELECTRONICS WORKER: They closed my plant. So I was out of a job for 2-1/2 years. So it was kind of hard to find something for a while there, but thank God we're here. So stuff is being made in America. So that's good.

ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


WHITFIELD: No room for baby Jesus in the manger at a Santa Monica park after a judge rules in favor of atheists. Our legal guys intervene in their own way.


WHITFIELD: All right, in South Florida, a messy legal battle over a young boy's pet pig. Heather Ray says her son has Down's Syndrome and the pig named Twinkie is a therapy pet for him.

But the city says Twinkie must go because pigs are not allowed there in that city as pets. Our legal guys are back. Avery Friedman in Cleveland and Richard Herman in Las Vegas.

All right, you, guys, well, this is a tough one because you know, you've got a doctor who actually helped prescribe this pet pig for this little boy to deal with his Down Syndrome. But the city of Coral Springs says we don't allow pigs. They're prohibited in our city. So Avery, who wins this kind of battle?

FRIEDMAN: Land of the free and home of the pig. Look, this is a case that I think is a legal no-brainer. Let me tell you why. The livestock law in Coral Springs has been on the books when it was more rural.

For 22 years, municipalities had an obligation to reasonably accommodate. In this case, the law is there. There is a doctor's letter explaining why the 8-year-old needs this and any kind of service animal.

If the animal does anti-social behavior, for example, makes a mess, then the tenant is responsible. This pig when it's an adult is only 12 inches long. At the end of the day, either the Department of Justice comes in and enforces it.

Or they can in federal district court leave the pig alone, let the Down Syndrome young man have this service animal. This case should be long gone.

WHITFIELD: Boy, so now they're facing -- this family, Richard, is facing a potential $500 fine though, if they continue to go on about their business. HERMAN: And that fine is accruing daily, Fred. Listen, Coral Springs, the governing body in Coral Springs needs to loosen up and they need to walk a day in this mother's shoes. This young boy is afflicted with Down's Syndrome.

It's devastating. Obviously, they have no compassion for this family. Avery touched on the livestock law. Look, this is not a bear. This is not a lion or a tiger. This is a little miniature pig that brings this young boy some comfort during his days.

And it brings the mother and the family comfort. Why the legislature is not acting swiftly to accommodate this is beyond me. They really need to loosen up.

WHITFIELD: Well, the City Attorney J.J. Hern did comment to the "Sun Sentinel," saying, hold on, "The city's law does not allow pigs. The ordnance doesn't differentiate the type of pig. We have to enforce the ordnance on the books." They say case closed. That's it so no wiggle room.

FRIEDMAN: They have a big, big trouble if it's case closed as far as they're concerned. Big trouble, it's a violation of federal law, Fredricka.


HERMAN: They also say, Fred -- they also say that it can't be an approved pet if it's not at least a year old. And this pig is, you know, like nine weeks old or something. There are a lot of obstacles, but easily overcome, easily.

WHITFIELD: OK, I think we have one more case. Do we have time for that, Joe? OK, all right, so let's move on to Santa Monica now. We're talking about another case of a nativity scene being banned. This time in Santa Monica after, what, 60 years it was permitted and now it's no longer going to be a fixture there. Avery, what happened this time?

FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, United States District Judge Audrey Collins came down with a 28-page opinion answering that, Fredricka. She said this has nothing to do with religious freedom. She's right. This is a limited public forum involving no viewpoint discrimination.

It's a view against atheists. They can't put their poster up. It's a view against religious groups. They can't put their poster up. The Christian rights group claims they're going to bring an appeal.

Watch this. This coming week the whole case is going to get thrown out so no viewpoint of discrimination. The federal district judge is absolutely right.

WHITFIELD: So -- really? OK, and your constitution law professor. Richard, this isn't like an issue of freedom of religion or expression?

HERMAN: No, Fred. This judge unlike the judge we discussed earlier from Oklahoma has read the constitution and understands it. The ruling based here is not on religious grounds. What they're saying and what the judge crafted was simply this, they have limited number of space for the scenes.

So what they did is opened it up to a lottery. Well, Santa Monica said, you know, that cost us a lot of money to run this lottery. It's draining our coffers. It's destroying the grass and the turf in the areas and it's obstructing our ocean views.

So based on all that reasoning, the judge is going to come down next week like Avery said and rule in favor of banning any symbolism in these 21 local -- these 21 local parks. But there are other parks that these people can put their displays up in. So there is really shouldn't be that big of a deal.

WHITFIELD: And these arguments were not made over a 60-year period and now they are and being challenged and the change is now about to happen.

FRIEDMAN: You can't block the view of Santa Monica Pier. That is the most beautiful view in America.

WHITFIELD: It is a gorgeous view.

HERMAN: Glass stones.

WHITFIELD: Avery, Richard, thanks so much. Always good to see you.

HERMAN: Nice to see you.

WHITFIELD: Thankfully for us the legal guys are here every Saturday at this time and again at 4:00 Eastern Time to give us their take on the most intriguing legal cases of the day. At 4:00 today we'll have a (inaudible) case you don't want to miss with them. They're going to bear all.

And case closed, the youngest son of Robert Kennedy has acquitted of harassment and child endangerment charges. Douglas Kennedy, you'll recall this case, was accused of twisting a nurse's arm and kicking another nurse after trying to take his newborn son out of a New York hospital back in January. Kennedy's attorneys said the client wanted to take the baby out for some fresh air and that the nurses overreacted.

All right, an ex-addict now helps others get a healthy high. Meet one of the top ten heroes of 2012.


WHITFIELD: Each week we're shining a spotlight on the "Top Ten CNN Heroes of 2012" as you vote for the one that most inspires you at

Well, this week's honoree use sports to fight his addiction to drugs and alcohol. And now he's helping hundreds of others stay sober while experiencing a healthy high. Meet Scott Strode.


SCOTT STRODE, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: I get on my bike and go ride up in the mountains. It really just brings peace. In my drug and alcohol use, it was the opposite. I got into it pretty young. By the time I was 15, I was using pretty serious drugs.

When I got sober, I lost my group of friends because they were still out drinking and using and I got into boxing, triathalon, climbing. I had this new group of friends that completely redefined myself. So I thought how can I give this to other people?

I'm Scott Strode. I want to help people find a better life being sober.

Welcome to Friday night climbing. It's good to see all of you here.

Phoenix Multisport offers 50 events a week. All the programs are free to anybody who has 48 hours sober.

You see you're capable of whatever you put your mind to. We have this common connection. So it's easy to make new friends. We do bike rides, hiking, triathalon training, strength training. It really is just a new community of folks to hang out with.

I have an example of hitting rock bottom. I had a heroin overdose. They had to jump-start me with the paddles. Going out biking and going boxing, hitting the bag really fills the void. Phoenix is the best support group I can imagine having.

We're having fun and we're proud of being sober. So come out and go climbing with us.


WHITFIELD: Congratulations, Scott Strode now joining me from Denver. Good to see you.

STRODE: Good morning. How are you?

WHITFIELD: I'm doing just great. So, you know, sports really changed your life. At what point did you say to yourself, you know what, it really can make an impact for so many others?

STRODE: It was about eight years sober when I started thinking about a lot of my friends in recovery were isolated. And they were kind of stuck in a lot of sort of negative self-image about who they were and their addiction.

And when I looked at my own life, because of my climbing and mountaineering and triathalon and the other sports I got into, I completely shifted my self-esteem. So I thought, you know, how can I share that with others? And that was sort of the genesis of Phoenix.

WHITFIELD: So how has being selected a "Top Ten CNN Hero" really enhanced, changed, made your program that much more popular? STRODE: Well, I think "CNN Heroes" is so, so well respected that it really sort of added legitimacy to our program and also it gave us an opportunity to tell the story nationally, which is wonderful because we want Phoenix to be a national organization and this is a way for us to connect with those, you know, potential angel donors that could help us take Phoenix to other states.

WHITFIELD: Is it tough keeping up with the demand?

STRODE: Absolutely. That was the one thing I was most touched by after the CNN piece aired was the number of individuals that reached out from other states talking about I have loved ones suffering with addiction.

And we're sort of in this really tough place. What should we do? And unfortunately, right now Phoenix isn't in every state. We're only here in Colorado, but I hope that will change in the near future.

WHITFIELD: I know you said you want it to go national. Becoming a top ten hero, "CNN Hero," certainly puts you on the maps with other states know about you. But give me an idea ultimately how you hope to become a national organization.

STRODE: Well, we're working with donors in different communities and starting to build partnerships there. We also work with inpatient treatment programs and drug court programs and we have specific programs that work with veterans as well.

So we're trying to utilize all those different programs to help Phoenix expand its operations nationally because there is just such a need. There are so many people throughout struggling whether it's with behavioral addictions or substance abuse that I hope someday you'll see a Phoenix jersey, you know, in every state.

WHITFIELD: Scott Strode, congratulations. I know you look forward to the big celebration to be a Top Ten CNN Hero is extraordinary. And I know you're looking forward to finding out who all the viewers are going to decide will be the one who receives that $250,000 prize in the end to become the CNN Hero. All the best to you and thanks for sharing your story.

STRODE: Thank you so much.

WHITFIELD: And doing so much for so many people.

STRODE: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: And of course, if you at home would want to help make a decision, who becomes the top ten -- or the CNN Hero of the top ten? We know who the top ten are. Go to online and you can also go by way of your mobile device and vote up to ten times a day every day if you want to for the most inspirational hero and share your vote on Facebook and Twitter as well.

He died eight years ago. Now the body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is being exhumed. We'll have details on why. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A look at our top stories now, family, friends and fans are celebrating the life of Larry Hagman. His masterful portraying of J.R. Ewing, the bad guy, that America loved to hate in the prime time television series "Dallas" that made him a Hollywood superstar.

Hagman died yesterday of complications from cancer. We'll be airing one of his last interviews with Hagman as well as getting insight on the man from Larry King later on this afternoon.

And the body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed early next week eight years after his death in Paris. The decision was made as part of a murder inquiry launched by a French court. Last august high levels of radioactive chemicals were found on his clothing sparking the murder investigation.

Coming up in the CNN NEWSROOM, U.S. Congress returning on Tuesday with all eyes focused on the fiscal cliff. Find out why some Republicans are now shifting gears on the idea of raising taxes.

And Black Friday has come and gone and now your best bargains are just 48 hours away perhaps on Cyber Monday. We'll have some tips that you'll need in order to try and save some cash this holiday season.

"YOUR MONEY" starts right now.