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North Korea Stands Firm On Nuclear Weapons Program; Bridges, Tunnels In U.S. Create Huge Security Problems; Howard Dean Elected As DNC Chairman

Aired February 12, 2005 - 12:00   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: It's 12:00 p.m. in Washington where Howard Dean has just become Democratic Party chairman; 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning in North Korea.
Hello, I'm Christine Romans in CNN's global headquarters in for Fredricka Whitfield. Ahead this hour:

Inside North Korea: Standing firm with nuclear weapons and against America.

Also, CNN "Security Watch."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of call it the baby boomer problem of bridge structures where we're hitting the 50-year life of them.


ROMANS: Terrorism may not be the biggest threat to America's nearly 600,000 bridges.


ROMANS: He is gone, but not forgotten. Why the late Ray Charles is a force to be reckoned with at this weekend's Grammy awards. But first, a look at the news, now.

The Dean of democrats: Former Vermont governor, Howard Dean, is the new chairman of the Democratic Party. He was elected on the final day of the DNC's annual meeting in Washington. Dean is replacing outgoing chairman, Terry McAuliffe.

In Pakistan, at least 290 people have been killed over two days in flooding and avalanches. Heavy rains and snow triggered the catastrophes, including this deadly dam break. Dozens of people are missing following that break. Pakistan's army, navy and coast guard have launched rescue operations.

New York's Central Park gets a burst of color. The art project, "The Gates" opens today, 7,500 16-foot-high gates with orange fabric have transformed the park's footpaths.

We begin in Iraq where civilians and officials alike become casualties in deadly violence. A suicide car bomber detonated in the town of Musayyib, south of Baghdad today. At least 17 people were killed in the suicide bombing at a police checkpoint near a hospital. Six Iraqi security guards are among the dead and at least 26 people were hurt.

In the town of Basra, a prominent Iraqi judge is gunned down by assailants on a motorcycle. Two body guards of the judge were seriously wounded. Iraqi police speculate the judge was targeted for working with the new government.

And six Iraqi national guardsmen also became targets of insurgents, today. Their bullet ridden-bodies were discovered along a highway in the northern city of Mosul. A note attached to one body accused the guards of participating in the offensive against the people in Falluja.

Now to the case of a Marine accused of murder in Iraq. He faces a possible military trial in connection to the deaths of two Iraqi suspects. So, did he cross the line while in combat? CNN's Adaora Udoji has the story.


ADAORA UDOJI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Merry Pantano says it's incomprehensible, her son, a dedicated Marine, could commit murder.

MERRY PANTANO, MOTHER OF ACCUSED MARINE: He is facing a death penalty for doing his job, which is to be a soldier and fight a war. And protect his men.

UDOJI: But right now, 2nd Lieutenant Ilario Pantano only faces a military hearing where military authorities will, quote, "consider allegations made in connection with two deaths that occurred during combat operations." The questions arise from his seven-month tour in Iraq. On April 15, last year, at the height of a bloody month for U.S. troops, "Pantano's squad was searching for weapons," says his civilian lawyer, "when two Iraqi suspects refused to follow orders," he says, "Pantano shot and killed them both." His mother says it was self defense.

PANTANO: I think it is absolutely outrageous and it's very hard for people who are over there, putting their lives on the line everyday to know that their decisions in the field can be questioned like this. We're not saying that it should be all out warfare, but there are rules of engagement. These men are professionals.

UDOJI: A graduate of Manhattan's exclusive Horace Mann School and New York University and a former trader on Wall Street, Pantano he was motivated by the 9/11 attacks to rejoin the Marines. Now 33, married and the father of two young children, he potentially faces charges, his lawyer says, "which are punishable by death."

A Marine spokesman says the hearing follows a ten-monthly investigation and will decide if criminal charges follow. He also says to date, 14 marines have been court martialed, convicted of hurting or killing detainees on the war on terror. Always thinking of her son, Pantano's mother set up a Web site, Defend the Defenders in hopes for generating support and funds for her son's legal defense.

Adaora Udoji, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: Iran's nuclear program is in the spotlight as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visits the heart of Europe. Rumsfeld addresses a security conference today in Munich, Germany, and the issue was a key part of his speech.


DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The hope is that the -- whether the Europeans or IAEA could proceed on the diplomatic path and find a way to persuade Iran that their seeming path towards the development of a nuclear weapon is not something that would contribute to stability in the world.


ROMANS: As Rumsfeld spoke, German leaders were pressing United States to join Europe in ending Iran's isolation. A Germany defense minister says economic and security incentives are needed to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions.

Two days after North Korea announced it has nuclear weapons, the communist country I standing firm against pressure from the United States and its allies. State-run media are urging North Koreans to rally around their leader, Kim Jong-il, saying unity serves as the strongest weapon. Following Thursday's announcement, North Korea demanded bilateral talks with the United States to try to curb the new nuclear tensions. The U.S. is rejecting that demand and is insisting on six nation talks that would also involve Russia, China Japan, and South Korea.

The North Korean nuclear issue is certainly a troubling one for the Bush administration. We check in now with CNN White House correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux. Hi, Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, hello. The Bush administration is involved in intense conversations, discussions with its allies on whether or not it should abandon these six-party talks on just what is the next move they should make. There are a number of alternatives that they are considering. The first one, whether or not to treat North Korea like Iran, to refer North Korea to the U.N. Security Council, to impose economic sanctions. The problem with this approach is they believe that Russia and China would not likely sign on.

Another possible option is to toughen the efforts to block North Korea from transferring its nuclear technology to the so-called terror states. Now, the U.S. has proof that North Korea has sold nuclear components to Libya in the past and suspect that perhaps has provided Iran with the same. Right now, the United States, as well as more than a dozen countries are involved in an interdiction, a "C" (SIC) interdiction effort. The U.S. likely to put more pressure on North Korea's neighbors to watch their borders for North Korean flights, as well as shipments, and to see if there's any nuclear technology onboard.

And then finally, of course, U.S. officials say the administration's immediate and short-term strategy, of course, is to put pressure on its allies engaged in the six-party talks, Russia, China, Japan as well as South Korea to make sure that they get tough on North Korea. And all of this, Christine, all involves a flurry of diplomatic activity. We're looking at Secretary Rice who has meetings in the coming week with the South Korean foreign minister, who met with Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday at the White House. All of these discussions, of course, are playing out, hoping to put pressure on North Korea to come back to the table.

ROMANS: All right, Suzanne, interesting. I'm wondering, the United States, has for some time been operating under the assumption, thought, that North Korea does have nuclear weapons. This announcement from North Korea, sort of shocking and troublesome, but at the same time, I'd have to imagine that the hawks in Washington have already been thinking in this direction.

MALVEAUX: It's certainly no surprise to the administration that they have one or two weapons. This something that North Korea actually acknowledged privately to U.S. officials some time ago. What they're hoping; however, is that they are trying to cast this as a regional effort and a regional problem, that this is something North Korea really has to contend with its neighbors, not the United States, that it doesn't have a problem with the United States. That is why they refuse to engage in these one-on-one talks, and they really believe North Korea has much more at stake when it looks at its neighbor, China, which it has trade relations, it depends on for food, for energy, for a number of supplies. They believe that if they get their allies to put pressure on North Korea, eventually, they'll come back.

ROMANS: All right, Suzanne Malveaux at the White House. Thank you, Suzanne.

Counting continues from Thursday's historic vote in Saudi Arabia. Preliminary results of municipal elections from the Riyadh area show Islamic-backed candidates leading tribal opponents and businessmen. Thursday's balloting was the first in a series of votes scheduled to take place throughout the country over the next several months.

The elections are seen as a baby step toward democracy to a country with absolute monarchy. The major criticism, women cannot vote. Hatoon, al-Fassi is a activist professor now suspended from teaching at the Kingside University. She's with us live on the phone from Riyadh.

Professor, thank you for joining us. And first, you're disappointed with the outcome of this election, with this election in general, because you say half of the population was excluded and this is troubling to you?

HATOON, AL-FASSI, WOMEN'S RIGHTS ACTIVIST: It is troubling to me. I don't consider it as legal election, excluding half the society is just defying the purpose of proper participation.

ROMANS: You had been hoping for some time there would be able to be participation from women and we've just heard from a Saudi official in the United States that it was a technicality that women weren't allowed to vote. In particular, women and men can't be at the same polling places and he said that there weren't enough women to man, if you will, to staff the polling places. Do you buy that argument?

AL-FASSI: Not at all. Because it's not -- because, we as women, we have proposed many -- we gave many propositions for the way that can -- that these elections can take place and the procedure, how the procedures could be done without falling into what tradition doesn't allow, such as mixing with men. It's as if there is no space in the country to have two polls, one for men, one for women. This logistical problem could have been solved easily had they had woman advisers within their committee.

ROMANS: Well, and the government says that it hopes that the next time around in four years or further on down the line, at the appropriate speed for this government and in this country, that women will have a place at the table. You point out that you'll have men already entrenched in leadership then, that it doesn't help, it doesn't help if you wait longer?

AL-FASSI: It doesn't. In my view, it was a precious time and the opportunity was this time, because the experience was new. Men and women were even new at this experience. In four years time, men will be -- women will be at a disadvantage and it will be -- we will be -- it will be like a vicious circle. We can't guarantee at this time, or that time, the coming time will allow women at all. They will have the excuse that they are not with experience, or that they needed to be shown how to do things better.

ROMANS: Professor al-Fassi, Hatoon al-Fassi, thank you so much for joining us today and best of luck to you.

AL-FASSI: You're welcome.

ROMANS: Still ahead, were American service men imprisoned in Soviet gulags during the Korean and Cold Wars? CNN's Barbara Starr investigates.

Also, President Bush's budget battle: We'll take a closer look at the reality of what he proposed and what American's will probably see.

And this:

TOURE, CNN POP CULTURE CORRESPONDENT: Oh hi. It's Toure at the Grammy's out here in Los Angeles. Everything's all wrapped up like at your grandmother's house. We're going to tell you all about it right after the break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADER: I want to thank you for the opportunity to lead this party. It is an extraordinary honor and I'm very thankful and grateful. I'm humbled and I'm ready to go to work.


ROMANS: A political comeback, of sorts, for the candidate whose presidential dreams ended in Iowa one year ago. In the last hour, Howard Dean, has been elected as the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The former Vermont governor says he is ready to lead the charge against the republicans.

President Bush is again pushing Social Security reform in his radio address two hours ago. Democrats are hammering Mr. Bush on that issue and on the budget proposals. By the time Congress acts on it, the budget will very likely be a different document as CNN's Bruce Morton reports.


BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first thing you need to know about the president's budget is that it doesn't exist. Sure, there's a book and all those briefings, but likely nothing, close to what he is asking for, will ever happen, because it all has to go through Congress.

Last year, Mr. Bush asked Congress to eliminate 65 programs for a savings of $4.9 billions. Congress eliminated just four of the 65, saving less than $300 million. This time, he's asking Congress to cut or eliminate 150 programs. How well do you think he'll do?

(on camera): For every government program, there is probably an industry that gives money to politicians that wants the program kept alive, there may be a trade union that gives money that wants to keep those jobs. There'll be congressional a subcommittee that supervises the program and if it dies, what will they be in charge of?

(voice-over): When Ronald Reagan said the closest thing on to eternal life on this earth was a government program, he wasn't kidding. And it isn't just the program, it's the little goodies, a park for your district to research program for college in my district, but congressmen stick into spending bills, Earmarks, they're called.

The watchdog group, Citizens against Government Waste estimates that in fiscal 2005, there were 13,900 earmarks worth just under $26.5 billion, a record. A president can veto bills, of course, the whole bill, he doesn't have a line item veto, but this president has never done that. In fact, the whole issue has changed. Deficit hawks used to be republicans. A constitutional amendment to balance the budget was part of Newt Gingrich's contract with America back in the 1990s when Republicans won control of the House. But, it was democrat, Bill Clinton, who actually ended deficits and ran surpluses and so the issue has switched sides.

KEATING HOLLAND, CNN POLLING DIRECTOR: Now Democrats are almost twice as likely As republicans to say the federal deficit is a very important issue that Congress and the president have to deal with in the coming year.

MORTON: It's way too early to know what the budget Congress actually passes will look like. What we know is it won't look much like the one the president sent them this week. It never does.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


ROMANS: Time now for a further reality check on the president's budget plan. How much is smoke and mirrors? How much is substance? Let's ask the senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, with us now from Washington.

This wish list from the president, you know, tax relief permanent, cutting the deficit, cutting all these programs. It's almost as saying, you know, take this pill and you'll be rich, happy, skinny and live forever. I mean, he can't have everything in here, can he?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: No, but sometimes it sounds like they want everything and so Congress behaves that way too, not just the president. Congress denounces too much spending by the federal government and then they all want spending for their own districts. It's important to note that the debate is over a very tiny part of the budget, called "discretionary spending," the programs that Congress has to reauthorize and re-appropriate every year. Most Congressional spending is military spending for things that are fixed. It is administrative spending, it's Medicare, it's Medicaid, it's Social Security. Those aren't appropriated every year, that's a vast majority of federal spending. Only a small bit of these programs that can be cut.

ROMANS: Let's talk about these targeted cuts: Farm subsidies, Amtrak. We know they cost an awful lot of money, but they have, sort of, protectors in Washington.


ROMANS: If they end up not being cut, you know, nobody's really going to make up a big -- make a big, you know -- hewn (PH) cry over it.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. That's the real secret of Washington politics. Each of these programs, even very small programs, peanut subsidies and soybeans, which are not so small, after all, they have ardent defenders, particularly in states that could be crucial, farm states, the red state that is went heavily for President Bush. They have two senators per state, it's in the constitution, can't be changed. And those senators are going to speak up for those programs. Those people are going to raise a hewn (PH) cry. Now, suppose the spending that the president wants cut is restored for Amtrak subsidies or soybean subsidies, well then is anyone going to get angry and say I'm outraged we're spending money on Amtrak or on soybeans? Probably not, because the people who worry about the deficit don't usually make a big hewn (PH) cry, even when they do, like with Ross Perot in 1992, it doesn't have much effect.

ROMANS: Let's talk about Howard Dean, the big democratic story of the day. What do you think about this? Do you think it's -- you know, is Dean the man to lead the party or is the Dean infrastructure what the party really needs, that Dean machine out there?

SCHNEIDER: The Dean machine is what a lot of the -- what the democratic committee is really looking for. He had a formidable operation after he lost the Iowa caucuses and clearly wasn't going to get the nomination. He didn't give up and hide and lick his wounds, he started a group called "Democracy for America" which delivered a lot of resources and activists and bodies to state and local campaigns all over the country. That operation did do well for a lot of state and local democratic candidates. There were states like Colorado, Montana, Hawaii, where democrats did well and they credit Dean's operation. The state chairs are the crucial constituency, here. They endorse Dean, because they say Dean delivers. The Democratic National Committee doesn't.

ROMANS: All right, Bill Schneider in Washington. Thank you, Bill.


ROMANS: Coming up, the music industry prepares to honor their best this weekend. Toure is in L.A. with the latest on the Grammies.


ROMANS: The "College Dropout," the "American Idiot," and the "Genius Loves Company." Those aren't real people, they're three albums nominated for a Grammy. The awards show is tomorrow in Los Angeles. And CNN's pop culture correspondent, Toure is there live with a preview of music's biggest night.

It's been a week of parties and concerts and celebrities, sounds like a tough job, Toure.

TOURE: Oh, my god, it's so tough. I mean there's been parties, rehearsals for the show, rehearsals for the parties. It's a fun job, and I'm going to do it.

And tonight is probably the biggest party of the year for the record business, Clive Davis' annual soiree. He's a legendary record executive. Everybody wants to go to his party.

Performing, unfortunately, is "Maroon 5" and "Fantasia" from "American Idol" but they're also going to have Usher and Carlos Santana. And tomorrow -- and last night, the "Black Eyed Peas" hosted a big $150 a head, invitational for tsunami relief that James Brown was at, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Jessica was there. I was not there, but heads aren't going to roll until I get back to New York, Christine.

ROMANS: So, who can we expect to be the big winner tomorrow night then?

TOURE: You know, I really don't know. Kanye West has the best album of the group. It's a smart album, he's a smart rapper. He produced the whole album, he created original sound, but Grammy doesn't always do so well with straight ahead hip-hop.

Now, Ray Charles has easily the worst album of the group, but it's Ray Charles. Everyone loves him. This is the record businesses last chance to stand up as a group and applaud him, so perhaps "Genius Loves Company" will be a the big winner of the night, Christine. I really don't know.

ROMANS: Any big rock 'n' rollers making a splash this year at the Grammies?

TOURE: Well, "Green Day," great punk trio, their "American Idiot" album is fantastic. Some say it saved rock 'n' roll. They've go five nominations, they could take the night. They're going to perform, so they're going to have a big splash. U2's great album, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" came out too late for the nominations, but their single "Vertigo" is nominated and they're going to be performing on the show. So, there's definitely going to be a nice rock presence.

ROMANS: All right, so speaking of the performers and what are the highlights in terms of performances?

TOURE: Let me give you the two performances I'm most excited about.

ROMANS: All right.

TOURE: Alicia Keys is dueting with Jamie Foxx. That's right. Jamie, he-better-win-that-Oscar Foxx and what will be the most yapped about performance of the night, Marc Anthony is doing his first live performance with his wife, Jennifer Lopez. There could be a wardrobe malfunction. There could be a relationship malfunction. Nobody knows what's going to happen when the Anthony's are in the house, Christine. So, keep your eyes open for that one.

ROMANS: My eyes are open. Toure, thanks. In Los Angeles for the Grammies.

TOURE: Thank you.

ROMANS: Still ahead, did you ever think going back to school could be a vacation? It can. We'll tell you how later in our "Weekend Getaways." This is CNN LIVE SATURDAY.


ROMANS: "Now in the News": The Democratic Party has a new leader. As expected, Howard Dean was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee a short time ago. The former presidential candidate and governor of Vermont has promised to rebuild the party and better explain the Democratic Party's position on issues.

Health officials in New York City are reacting with alarm after a man with a highly drug resistant strain of HIV developed full-blown AIDS within months of his diagnosis. They say the hard-to-treat strain could be spreading among gay and bi-sexual men who use met amphetamine. The health officials are calling the case a wake-up call, a striking reminder that the risk of getting infected with HIV has not gone away.

A suicide car bomber has killed 17 people and wounded more than two dozen others in an attack south of Baghdad. Six Iraqi security guards were among those killed. The attack happened at a police checkpoint near a hospital.

Now to our "Security Watch" with updates on the week's major developments in the war on terror. The Department of Homeland Security is investigating complaints that dozens of Muslims were improperly detained and interrogated at U.S. border crossings in Upstate New York.

"USA Today" says the probe is focusing on whether U.S. Border agents improperly misused a database to detain the Muslims.

President Bush's proposed 2006 budget funds a total of only 210 new Border Patrol agents, the change comes less than two months after he signed a bill adding thousands of agents along the U.S./Mexico border. The president is utilizing and escape clause in the bill to justify those changes.

Another part of the president's budget plan, higher security fees for airline passengers. The president wants the fee to go from $2.50 to $5.50 for a typical one-way ticket. Finally, several airports are testing new technology to detect explosives. The machine analyzes puffs of air that are blown on passengers, looking for trace amounts of explosives.

And now secure are American roads. The U.S. Interstate Highway System is 50 years old and in many cases showing its age. But age aside, in the wake of 9/11, security has become a major concern. Recently I took a look at the state of security on our country's roads, bridges and tunnels.


ROMANS (voice over): America's highway infrastructure is aging. Carrying more traffic than ever, at the same time, security risks are running high.

It's an enormous target to protect, 160,000 miles of national highways, 3 million miles of local roads and arterial highways; 400 highway-related tunnels and 590,000 bridges. Almost 600 bridges and tunnels have been identified as critical to the economy. The loss of a landmark bridge could exceed $10 billion. They are patrolled on foot and by security cameras. Protected by blast shielding and some tunnel vents have been secured against chemical or biological attack. But transit experts say it would be impossible to protect everything. Outside of the most high-profile targets, they say money is best spent for much-needed maintenance, especially for bridges.

TOM KANE, AASHTO: I call it the baby boomer problem of bridge structures where we're hitting the 50-year life of them. Functional deficiencies or the fact traffic has grown far faster than we ever imagined.

ROMANS: More people are traveling farther and bigger trucks are carrying heavier loads; 28 percent of our bridges are deficient.

ANDY HERMAN, ASCE: Back in 2001, had the report card for America's infrastructure. In 2001, bridges received a grade of C.

ROMANS: There has been little improvement since. Oklahoma leads the nation with the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges, but there are plenty across the country. Federal funding has been growing, but states in recent years have raided their federal highway dollars to cover state budget short falls. And since 2003, Congress has only passed temporary transportation funding. In this budget is $284 billion in highway funding for the next six years.


ROMANS: It's expensive just to maintain our nation's bridges, tunnels and roads, let alone improve and secure them. Security has been a top priority for our infrastructure since before September 11, 2001, already 42,000 people a year die on our roadways.

And this reminder, stay tuned to CNN, day and night, for the most reliable news about your security.

Let's check some international headlines making news this morning. The death toll continues to rise from a dam break in Pakistan; 145 people are dead and dozens still missing after the Radhi (ph) Corp (ph) Dam washed away Thursday. Pakistani officials say heavy rain and snow caused the dam to give way.

Also, in Pakistan, heavy snow lead to several avalanches that kills more than 80 people. Pakistani authorities say that at least 290 people have died over the past two days in weather related catastrophes.

In Russia, rival demonstrators have taken to the street in support of or to condemn President Vladimir Putin. The protests are the result of a new championed by Putin stripping pensioners of certain rights, such as free bus travel and free health care.

Although, Russia and the U.S. are now allies, following the end of World War II, the two countries stood as opponents during the Cold War. As CNN's Barbara Starr reports, Defense officials are now investigating the possibility U.S. servicemen might have been imprisoned in Soviet prison camps.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Soviet Union's forced labor camps, millions imprisoned dying in the gulag as enemies of the state in the most remote areas of the country. The camps are now gone, but half a century later, a mystery remains. Were American servicemen imprisoned in the gulag after their capture during the Korean conflict and the Cold War? Did American POWs die here?

NORMAN KASS, JOINT COMM. ON POW/MIAS: I personally would be comfortable saying the number is in the hundreds.

STARR (on camera): That you believe died inside the Soviet gulag?

KASS: That I believe were taken into the Soviet Union. And I frankly have no way of being able to say how many of them wound up where, and how many of them perished there, how many may have been sent from there, may still be there.

STARR (voice over): For more than a decade, Norman Kass has investigated dozens of reports Americans were seen inside the gulag; snippets of information about hundreds of camps that stretched across the Soviet Union. A new Pentagon study has a startling look at what may have happened.

At one Siberian camp, the daughter of a prisoner recently said her father met an American there named Stanley Warner. Investigators were stunned; 45 years earlier, another prisoner had reported three American soldiers in the same camp, one named Stanley Warner. An internal Pentagon document concludes there is a high probability American citizens or possibly U.S. or British POWs died in that camp.

Kass and his team are continuing the hunt for more clues on all the reports of Americans dying in the Soviet gulag.

KASS: From our standpoint, it doesn't matter if someone is missing from the current conflicts that we have today, or someone missing from 50, 60 years ago.

STARR: Defense Department officials working on this mystery are now pressing the Russian government to open up its intelligence and security archives, hoping those documents could provide vital clues -- Barbara Starr, CNN, The Pentagon.


ROMANS: Still ahead, providing safe havens for unwanted baby's as Florida's tossed newborn story turns out to be a hoax, CNN's John Zarrella takes a look at Florida's efforts to protect unwanted newborns.

And this --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I normally don't count people as numbers or data points. They're real people. It meant a lot to me to be coming up here. Because I know a lot of the people.


ROMANS: Six weeks after the tsunamis wrecked Southeast Asia, we'll introduce you to one Michigan man doing what he can to aid recovery.


ROMANS: Fallen corporate big wigs stole the spotlight in business news this week. Senior Financial Editor Myron Kandel has our "Weekly Business Wrap".


MYRON KANDELL, CNN FINANCIAL EDITOR: Carly Fiorina was ousted as chief executive at Hewlett-Packard. She is not just any business executive, often referred to as the most powerful woman in corporate America. But her five and a half year reign at HP was marred by the company's controversial acquisition of Compaq. And while she was in the top job, the company's stock tumbled by 63 percent.

WorldCom's former financial chief, Scott Sullivan, testified all week in the fraud trial against his ex-boss, Bernie Embers. Sullivan said Embers order company accountants to cook the books to meet Wall Street estimates.

He also said 2001 merger talks with Verizon were called off, because the process would have discovered the fudged numbers.

On Wall Street, the Dow industrials closed out the week at their highest level of the year. The Dow added almost three-quarters of 1 percent for the week, but the Nasdaq composite edged half a percent lower. I'm Myron Kandel, CNN, New York.


ROMANS: And this programming note, much more money news is coming up in about 20 minutes on "In The Money" with Jack Cafferty.

Still ahead, a happy home coming in New Hampshire, dramatic rescue in California, and the mailman prepares to make his last delivery. Those stories and more, up next.


ROMANS: This week's story about a newborn baby being tossed out of the window of a moving car was all a lie. Florida authorities say it was a hoax made up by a woman who gave birth to a baby boy she didn't want. Hospital workers call him Johnny.

Broward County sheriff says 38-year-old Patricia Pokriats concocted this story to keep the birth a secret from friends and family. Now she is under going a mental evaluation.

The hospital has been flooded with calls from people interested in adopting the baby. However, right now, Johnny isn't up for adoption.

Pokriats did not have to lie about her baby. Florida has a safe haven law that would have allowed her to hand the newborn over to authorities with no questions asked. CNN's John Zarrella has more.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Her name is Gloria Hope Lewis. These are her very proud, very excited parents. Michael and Laurie Lewis. After eight months as her foster parents, the Lewis' adopted Gloria Hope. The Lewis' knew Baby Hope's situation was different from other foster children they had taken in, but they also knew immediately they wanted to adopt her.

LAURIE LEWIS, ADOPTIVE MOTHER: Really, I think it's God's way of saying, OK. You're my messengers. Here is your gift. Go out and spread the word. I want more babies saved.

ZARRELLA: Gloria Hope's biological mother dropped the newborn off at this fire station in Deerfield (ph) Beach.

(On camera): Under Florida's safe haven law, mothers in desperate situations can drop up their babies, up to three days old, at fire stations hospitals and emergency medical facilities without fear of prosecution.


You can leave your unharmed baby ...


ZARRELLA: Some say the law, which exists in various forms in 45 states is far from perfect. There's no family health history. The number of days old a child can be varies. Jeffrey Leving, a fathers' rights attorney, says safe haven laws don't give biological dads any say.

JEFFERY LEVING, ATTORNEY: I think every safe haven law must require the biological mother to identify the biological father.

ZARRELLA: Nick Soverio, who founded a non-profit organization to publicize the Florida law, knows it's not perfect, but ...

NICK SOVERIO, FOUNDER, SAFE HAVEN FOR NEWBORNS: The alternative for not having this program is maybe Gloria Hope wouldn't be here today.

ZARRELLA: If anything, advocates like the Lewis' say, safe haven needs to be better publicized, because too many women don't know there are laws that give hope to their babies -- John Zarrella, CNN, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: In other news across America, in Los Angeles, a 13- year-old boy was nearly swept down the Los Angeles River and into the Pacific Ocean. The boy clung to concrete channel as a firefighter strapped him into a harness and lifted him to safety.

In Manchester, New Hampshire, the signs read "Welcome home, Daddy." Some 70 New Hampshire Army National Guard troops are back from Iraq. The soldiers spent close to a year based in southeastern Iraq and under took a number of humanitarian missions. In this unit, every soldier returned home safe and sound.

And the mailman won't deliver for the NBA anymore. Karl Malone is expected to officially announce his retirement Sunday. Malone is the league's second all-time leading scorer, but in his 19-year career, he never won a championship.

CNN heads back to school. Intellectuals are using their summer vacation time for the pursuit of knowledge. We'll show you the best college campus getaways when CNN LIVE SATURDAY returns.


ROMANS: Most college co-eds can't just wait until spring break. But university grads are now taking a summer college break. More schools are offering campus vacations for alumni and other intellectuals. In our "Weekend Getaways", "Frommer's Budget Travel Online" gives us the best of these alumni universities. Pauline Frommer is the site's executive editor and she joins us now from New York.

I still have those dreams where you wake up and think you forgot your test. Tell I remember I have not been in college for a really long time. Don't worry about it. I'm not ready to go back to college for a vacation, but tell us about these campus vacations and how it can be a great getaway for people who want more than sitting on the beach and, you know, drinking pina coladas.

PAULINE FROMMER, "FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL ONLINE": Sure, it can be a great getaway, because you're going back to college and get the good stuff, not the bad stuff. There are no exams. You don't have to worry about your grade-point average, but you do get to stay in a dorm, you do get to exercise your brain by learning new stuff. And classes you want to take, not that you're required to take. It is a really terrific way to spend the summer.

ROMANS: You don't have to be an alumni of a particular university. There are a lot of different programs you can go to. Let's run through some of them. You brought them along. Cornell has a program you wanted to point out.

FROMMER: Yes, this is an ivy league school, but actually what you study is pretty light. It is for people who want to improve their tennis game, learn to paint, or spend the summer -- or spend a week or two learning cook, or wine taste. What Cornell does particularly well, is it includes the entire family. There are great programs for kids from toddlers, all the way up to teens and 'tweens. They also take classes that are age appropriate.

ROMANS: St. Johns College has one that you like. And this one sort of focuses, can focus in on some of the great literary works.

FROMMER: Yes, this is an intellectually rigorous program. You spend a week studying just one or two books. This summer you could study "War and Peace" or "Don Quixote" or a work of Freud. It's a wonderful place to be. Santa Fe, in the summer, there is the opera festival outdoors, which is world renowned. It's a great, great program.

ROMANS: And for $1300, you get lodging, you get food, you get all of the materials you need?

FROMMER: Actually, I don't think food is included, but you do get lodging and you do get your course of study there.

ROMANS: Let's talk about the University of Iowa. This is my home state. It is the university that is known for this writer's workshop, world renowned for the writer's workshop.

FROMMER: Absolutely.

ROMANS: This is very hard to get into. This is the only way for some people to do this maybe.

FROMMER: Yes, absolutely. This is a very hard program to get into. It's the top place in the country for writers. If you can't get into their master's program, maybe you can do this for a week or weekend in the summer for not much money. Study fiction, journalism, playwriting, how to get your book published. You name it, they have it on offer.

ROMANS: And Iowa is such a nice place in the summertime. I can say that. University of Indiana also has a program you want to show us.

FROMMER: Indiana University has a really nice one, because unlike the other programs, you don't just study one thing for the week. You get to take a number of different courses. So, in a week, you could study how to build a website and then take another class on genetic engineering, and another class on Tolstoy. It allows people to hop around from subject to subject while staying on campus and while attending parties. There's lots of great events tied into this one. It is a really fun program.

ROMANS: This also fits that whole idea that youth is wasted on the young. To be able to do some of these things and take a look at the things you really liked about college, but didn't have the time or maturity to enjoy the first time around.

FROMMER: There is no better vacation than expanding your mind and getting out of what you do on day-to-day basis. I think this is ideal vacation. ROMANS: All right, Pauline Frommer. Thank you so much.

FROMMER: Thank you.

ROMANS: Talk to you again soon.


ROMANS: Coming up, rebuilding Aceh. We'll take a look at one American who calls Indonesia home, and his personal efforts to help those in need.


ROMANS: Proud to be an American? Wait until you meet Michael Bach; he's a government worker helping Indonesia rebuild after the tsunami. CNN's Becky Diamond caught up with him in Banda Aceh.


BECKY DIAMOND, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For American aid worker Michael Bach, the tragedy in Aceh was personal.

MICHAEL BACH, USAID: I normally don't count people as numbers or data points. They're real people. It meant a lot to me to be coming up here because I know a lot of people.

DIAMOND: This Michigan-born 31-year-old has been living and working in Indonesia for the last five years for the American government's relief agency, USAID. He's traveled to Aceh frequently. When the tsunami struck, he became the point person to deliver U.S. aid to Aceh's people.

BACH: They can't grasp the fact why the United States would care about them, but they're so grateful. That feels great. It spreads goodwill and demonstrates the world what America is at its best.

DIAMOND: Now he is working on reconstruction. Bach is in charge of giving out small grants from the U.S. government.

BACH: They submitted a fairly lengthy proposal, which includes clean-up activities, cash for work in 17 villages.

DIAMOND: But Bach won't commit to funding this project just yet. He is concerned that the money won't be spent fairly. He will look for other projects to fund by talking to locals and seeing what their needs are.

BACH: I'm happy to be working for the government right now. It's a noble mission. Indonesians are really happy that we're here. It makes it all worth it.

DIAMOND: Worth it, says this American, who calls Indonesia home, because it gives him a chance to help the people he knows overcome a devastating national tragedy through small, personal triumphs. Becky Diamond, CNN, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: There is much more ahead on CNN SATURDAY. In a few moments, "In The Money" with Jack Cafferty. At 2 Eastern, CNN LIVE SATURDAY takes a closer look at the Zoloft trial, as the defense rests its case. And at 3, it's Next @ CNN. We'll be right back.



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