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Three Suspects Accused of Plotting Massive, Imminent Attacks in Germany; Senator Larry Craig May Not Resign; Benoit's Brain
Aired September 5, 2007 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Tony Harris.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.
Watch event come into the NEWSROOM live on Wednesday, September 5th.
Here's what's on the rundown.
Terror suspects in custody. German authorities say attacks on a U.S. air base and Frankfurt airport were imminent.
HARRIS: Going, going -- on second thought, Senator Larry Craig may not be gone, rethinking his resignation in that men's room sex scandal.
COLLINS: And new this morning, a B52 bomber like this one flies across the country carrying nuclear warheads.
Big oops, in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: Unfolding this morning, word of a terror plot targeting a major U.S. air base and a busy international airport. Three suspects arrested. And apparently just in time.
Frederik Pleitgen is on the phone with us from Frankfurt, Germany.
Frederik, what is the update for our viewers this morning?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, the authorities here in Germany tell us that of the three suspects, two of them were German citizens who had converted to Islam and the third suspect was a Turkish national. Now, the German interior minister says that he believes that at least the two German suspects had probably traveled to Pakistan and had been to al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan. Now, he also says -- and he made a very big point to point this out specifically -- that he believes that the orders to plan and to plot these attacks came directly from al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan.
Now, the way they were going to conduct these attacks is what makes German officials say that these were going to massive attacks. These people had acquired 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide that they were going to try to turn into bomb-making material to go and plan these attacks. Now, German officials say that had these attacks been successful, they would have been wore massive than the London terror attacks of 2005 -- Tony.
HARRIS: Frederik, do we have any idea how authorities were tipped off to the planning and the plotting?
PLEITGEN: Well, basically, what authorities are saying is that they observed these people who were stalking and who were reconnaissancing out American military installations here in Germany. There is talk of one military installation in the town of Hana (ph), which is also close to Frankfurt, that apparently these people had been stalking and had been looking at.
Now, the German officials say that they had been trailing these people since at least the latter half of last year and had been -- had been sort of observing them through much of this year. Now, they do say that now, at this time, they believe they had to make these arrests at this point because the plot had moved forward so far, because they were very close to trying to actually make these hydrogen peroxide into explosives. And also, they said one of the things that led them to do the arrests now was that they felt with the upcoming anniversary of September 11th, they felt that that might have been the sort of time frame for when these suspects may have tried to conduct these attacks -- Tony.
HARRIS: CNN's Frederik Pleitgen for us in Frankfurt, Germany.
Frederik, thank you.
COLLINS: The other story we're watching for you very closely this morning, Senator Larry Craig in that men's room sex scandal, well, he may not resign after all. A spokesman now says Craig will fight his own guilty plea.
Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash on Capitol Hill for us this morning.
Dana, this story just keeps getting more and more interesting.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: More and more interesting. Maybe even more and more bizarre, Heidi.
You know, as you said, what Senator Craig's aides are now telling us, reminding us, is that the senator is going to continue to fight his legal battle to overturn the guilty plea that he signed admitting to misconduct in a men's room bath -- in a men's room in the Minneapolis airport. And because of that, his spokesman is now saying that if he succeeds and clears his name, he may -- and the spokesman emphasizes the word 'may' -- not resign.
Now, this whole idea of leaving the door open to staying here in Congress seems to have been prompted by a phone call of support that Senator Craig got from his Republican colleague, Arlen Specter, apparently the morning of the senator's speech on Saturday, where he announced his attention to resign.
Now, the 'Roll Call' newspaper here on Capitol Hill obtained a voicemail from Senator Craig apparently intended for the senator's lawyer, Billy Martin, and it was about Senator Specter's call.
Listen to the phone call.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. LARRY CRAIG (R), IDAHO: Yes, Billy, this is Larry Craig calling. You can reach me on my cell. Arlen Specter is now willing to come out in my defense arguing that it appears by all that he knows I've been railroaded and all of that. Having all of that, I've reshaped my statement a little bit to say it is my intent to resign on September 30.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BASH: Now, we already knew that Senator Specter was coming out and supporting Senator Craig. He did so publicly on television over the weekend, suggesting that he does think, as opposed to other legal experts, that the senator has a shot at overturning his guilty plea. But this is the first time we've heard that this actually was a private phone call that -- sort of helping shape Senator Craig's strategy.
And Heidi, CNN has learned that Senator Craig has been calling to other Senate Republicans to try to see if there is other support for him here on Capitol Hill. Unclear what he has heard, but I can tell you that this news is landing with a big thud with the Republican leadership who worked so hard to try to get him out very, very fast and end what they call a political nightmare.
COLLINS: All right. Dana, we know that you're watching it closely for us. We'll check back with you a little bit later on.
HARRIS: And now to Iraq civilians targeted again in Baghdad this morning. At least 11 dead, 20 wounded in a roadside bombing. That word from an interior ministry official. The blast detonating next to buses used by morning commuters.
It happened in the predominantly Shiite Sadr City neighborhood. Officials say it is not clear who was responsible.
COLLINS: There you see him in the wrestling ring, Chris Benoit. In fact, new insight today into what may have led wrestler Chris Benoit to kill his wife, son and himself. It may have to do with his brain.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here now with details.
Really interesting information coming out from some new test results.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, they decided to give the brain -- Chris Benoit's brain -- over to researchers to try to determine, was there something in the brain that could possibly have led to these actions? And one of the things they were looking for was any impact of steroid use. That was one of the first things.
And one of the theories that's been tossed around quite a bit a couple of months ago, as you'll remember, what they found -- Dr. Julian Bales talked about this on ABC this morning -- talked about the fact that they found several areas of the brain, several lobes of the brain, where you had brain cells that had died away. Had actually just died away and affected the brain stem as well.
And the theory is that this may have been caused not by steroids, but by repeated concussions. Benoit is quoted as having said in the past that he has had more concussions than he can remember.
He had a lot of blows to the head. The theory again by Dr. Bales and his colleagues is those repeated concussion can cause brain death, lead to a sort of dementia that is typically seen in people with Alzheimer's or severe dementia of advanced age. Not in a 40-year-old man.
Again, the cause and effect hard to establish here, but that's at least what they found in this initial examination.
COLLINS: Yes, very hard to determine the cause and effect, of course, but certainly new information from this pathology.
I have to ask, you know, here have been plenty of professional athletes who have had several concussions -- I'm thinking in professional football and otherwise. But it looks to me like in some of this stuff I'm reading that there have been other people who have suffered apparently from dementia as well.
GUPTA: Yes. And that's one of the reasons I think they probably went to Dr. Bales, was that, you know, his team has looked at football players in the past who have suffered from dementia-like symptoms at a young age, too young an age. People who have gone on to commit suicide.
What do their brains look like? And was there some sort of cause and effect relationship between these repeated blows to the head and what might be these violent or otherwise demented behavioral patterns later on life, leading to things like suicide or just significant forgetfulness.
You know, in the '20s with boxers, they used to call it Punch Drunk Syndrome. You may have heard of that terminology before.
The theory was repeated blows to the head from a boxer -- and again, this is, you know, talking 80 years ago -- they saw these sorts of behavioral problems, or dementia-type problems later on in life. Could this be sort of the new version of that? Obviously, again, drawing the cause and effect is going to be hard to do, maybe impossible to do. But again, this is a theory that Bales and his team are putting forward.
COLLINS: Yes. And new this morning, of course. All right.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
GUPTA: Thank you. All right.
HARRIS: And still ahead in the NEWSROOM this morning, how does the Air Force mistakenly load nuclear warheads on to a bomber like this one and then fly it across country? A live report from the Pentagon straight ahead.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ted Rowlands in Minden, Nevada.
There is still no sign of multimillionaire adventurer Steve Fossett. Concern is growing. The sun is just coming up here. We'll update the latest on the search coming up in the NEWSROOM.
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT: I'm Allan Chernoff.
Once again, Mattel recalling toys made in China.
Details coming straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Comedian's offensive remark. Jerry Lewis angers one group with a comment during his annual telethon.
What he said ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: Could we really be talking about another recall? Yes, we are.
Parents, check your children's toy box again this morning.
CNN senior correspondent Allan Chernoff is following the story from our New York bureau.
Allan, it feels like every other week or so we get a recall that we're talking about and warning parents about.
CHERNOFF: Absolutely, Tony. Yet once again, this is happening. And, in fact, the third time Mattel has had to do it this year.
Once again, the problem, a manufacturing facility, several manufacturing facilities in China. These, in fact, subcontractors for vendors that Mattel has been using. And the vendors, once again, were using lead paint on some of those toys. Eleven toys in total are involved here, and they include, first of all, the Geo Trax trains. What you're looking at over there, that's the Sarge jeep. And that was one of the prior toys that had been recalled just a few weeks ago. Those toys as well recalled a few weeks ago.
But here is what we're talking about.
First of all, the Geo Trax locomotive and accessories, the It's a Big, Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band, and eight Barbie accessories. None of the Barbie toys actually are involved. The Barbie dolls are not involved, but the accessories are involved over here.
So what should consumers do? Well, you can go over to Mattel's Web site. They've got the details there -- service.mattel.com, and they will tell you exactly how to send it all back to Mattel. They are also offering bonus toys for people who do send this back.
And there are more than 800,000 toys involved in this recall. About 500,000 of them sold here in the United States over the past year.
Now, Mattel today also issuing an apology. The chief executive officer of the company saying that he is sorry, once again, that this has happened.
But you know something? They've been running ads today in major newspapers. I have one over here.
It says, 'We take our promises seriously,' but there is no apology here. The company merely saying, well, we've been testing our toys and testing them again, trying to make sure that this does not keep on happening -- Tony.
HARRIS: And are we getting the sense here that Mattel -- you mentioned the ad is testing. Are they just testing everything now, trying to get all of this bad product out of the system? Oh, I'm sorry, we're just a couple of months ahead of the Christmas buying season.
CHERNOFF: Oh, yes. Very important. No question about it.
Yes, Tony, this is all coming at Mattel's initiative. It's not the Consumer Product Safety Commission that is actually finding out about all of this. Mattel knows they've got a problem in China, where they manufacture so many of their toys. So they've decided they're going to test everything.
CHERNOFF: And the recall today is a result of their own tests. They're finding lead paint, they're figuring out, OK, we've got vendors in China, they've been subcontracting lots of the painting, and that is where the real problem is. The subcontractors have been using this lead paint.
HARRIS: Allan Chernoff in our New York bureau.
Allan, appreciate it. Thank you.
COLLINS: Crews in Nevada heading out at first light to search for adventurer Steve Fossett. His plane vanished on Monday.
CNN's Ted Rowlands is in Minden, Nevada.
Ted, tell us what kind of condition searchers are up against today? It's just now becoming first light out there.
ROWLANDS: Better conditions than yesterday, Heidi. Heavy winds yesterday hampered the search a little bit. They were able to fly all day long, but because of the winds it was difficult to see. They had to traverse over areas multiple times.
Today, winds much slower. They expect better conditions throughout the day.
Things are starting to stir here at the base. They will be sending up planes within the next hour and they expect a full search throughout the day with all of the assets available to them in the air, looking for Steve Fossett.
You mentioned he was last seen Monday. He left on basically a little reconnaissance mission. His latest adventure was to try to break the land speed record. So he was out scouting around dry lake beds in this area looking for a spot to do that.
He left at 9:00 a.m., about 9:00 a.m. Monday morning, supposed to come back at noon. They reported him missing at 6:00 p.m. That's when the search started.
It began in earnest yesterday. And again today, they will be up there.
There's concern now because it has been three days. These are tough conditions. However, this is a guy that has done at all in his life.
His resume is extremely impressive. He is not only an accomplished business person who self-financed most of his exploits, but this guy has not only held world records in aviation, but he's also held them in sailing, even cross-country skiing. His friend Richard Branson, on CNN earlier today, said this is the guy that you want to bet on to survive something out in tough conditions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIR RICHARD BRANSON, CHAIRMAN, VIRGIN GROUP: If he's landed and he's not too badly hurt, he's the one person in the world who will -- you know, who will be mentally and physically equipped to get out of it. So -- you know, so if anyone is going to end up walking back up the ranch and apologizing for (INAUDIBLE), you know, the Hilton's plane, it's likely to be Steve Fossett.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROWLANDS: The reference to the Hilton's plane, that's the single-engine plane that he was using. He took off from a private airfield owned by the Hilton family, was using their plane for this mission.
That plane is equipped with a device which would send out an alert if the plane was in a major crash. That hasn't happened. That's good news.
It's concerning though that if he brought the plane down, he should be able to deploy that signal as well manually by himself. They haven't heard anything from that signal. They're just not sure what that means. They continue to search.
His family is in the area awaiting for word, along with a lot of people following this around the world. Waiting to see what happened to Steve Fossett, hoping -- hoping they will get some answers today -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Yes. And he has made such a name for himself in aviation. I'm sure there are people all over the world really watching this closely.
Ted, we will check back with you if anything should develop there.
Thanks so much.
An update on the search for Steve Fossett scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Eastern. You will want to stay right here with CNN. We'll have live coverage of it for you.
Taxi! Taxi? It could be harder to hail a cab in Manhattan today. Why some taxi drivers are on strike.
ALI VELSHI, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ali Velshi in New York 'Minding Your Business'.
August was a good month for General Motors, but the trend is not good for American automakers.
I'll have more on that when we come back in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Hailing a cab might be harder in Manhattan today. Taxi drivers strike back against new technology.
A group of cabbies launching a two-day strike. They don't want global positioning systems, GPS, tracking their movements. And they say adding machines to process credit cards could stick them with hefty fees.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he doesn't expect any widespread disruption. The city's contingency plan allows taxis to pick up multiple passengers and the transit system has added some buses.
HARRIS: Detroit's big three automakers had been counting on rising sales to get them through this year, but not so fast.
Here with an auto sales report, Ali Velshi, 'Minding Your Business'.
Ali, good to see you.
VELSHI: Good to see you, my friend.
HARRIS: Kind of a mixed result here, huh?
VELSHI: Yes. You know, August was a good month for General Motors, but, really, you know, we can't fall into this trap of looking at one month versus the rest.
VELSHI: Let's look at the long-term trend.
The automakers, the U.S. automakers, had really been hoping that after two years of downsizing and cutting staff, this was really going to be the year things were going to work out for them. And it's not turning out to be the case. Why? Because a combination of high gas prices and this credit crunch that we've been talking about, it's affecting the decisions people make.
For instance, over at Ford, you know, they make the F-series truck, which has long been the -- you know, the most -- the best- selling vehicle in America, except that it's used a lot by contractors and builders and people like that, who, you know, are not buying cars as much anymore because there are fewer houses being built.
Let's take a look at the year to date...
HARRIS: Oh, great.
VELSHI: ... on the car companies in the United States.
General Motors' year to date is actually down 7.4 percent. That's versus the same period last year.
Toyota, that actually should be an up arrow. Toyota is up 4.4 percent.
Ford is down 13 percent. And Chrysler is down 2.7 percent.
So, Toyota is up. The number of cars that are likely to be sold in America, a little more than 16 million today, Tony...
VELSHI: ... that is actually a little increase over last year, but all that increase is going to come from Toyota and Honda.
HARRIS: Got you.
VELSHI: The American automakers are not selling that many cars.
HARRIS: So what do you do here? Do you bring back some of those incentive programs?
HARRIS: Maybe not because of the credit crunch. Maybe you do.
VELSHI: That's exactly right.
HARRIS: Or do you maybe slash production?
VELSHI: Well, they're doing both actually. Both GM and Ford have announced production cuts for the rest of the year. Chrysler is not doing as badly. Chrysler is not as dependent on the trucks as GM and Ford are.
HARRIS: Got you.
VELSHI: GM and Ford are both saying their crossovers are doing well, their fuel-efficient vehicles are doing well. But at the same time, those incentives are coming back.
And the problem with the incentives is that you need to sell cars and you need to be profitable. When you put those incentives there -- and Toyota and Honda don't have to put out those incentives to sell cars -- well, they're going to be making more money. So, this is not where these automakers want to go. You don't want to get back into this incentive mess where...
VELSHI: ... people only buy a car because they think there is a deal on it.
HARRIS: I like that idea.
VELSHI: It's good for us, bad for the automakers.
HARRIS: Good for us.
All right, Ali.
Ali Velshi 'Minding Your Business' this morning.
Appreciate it, Ali.
VELSHI: Good to see you, Tony.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I'm Barbara Starr at the Pentagon.
Last Thursday, the Air Force lost track of six of its nuclear weapons. It's not a joke. We'll have more ahead in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: I'm Heidi Collins.
A report out this morning that a U.S. B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with six nuclear warheads and flying across the United States.
We want to get live to our CNN Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, now -- Barbara, tell us the very latest on this.
Actually, we are awaiting for Barbara to be able to establish some contact with us. So we will go back to her just as soon as possible.
But once again, a story coming to us about a B-52 bomber that apparently was loaded with six nuclear warheads.
Barbara, I believe we have contact with you now.
Explain to us what this is all about.
Are we talking about live bombs or bombs that would go to a practice range?
BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Heidi.
Sorry for that brief technical delay.
Look, this is a very serious situation for the U.S. Air Force. They are now confirming that last Thursday, a B-52 bomber taking off from Minot, North Dakota, flying to Barksdale, Louisiana, flew for three-and-a-half hours with six nuclear warheads on board and the crew didn't know they were there.
What happened was they had a number of missiles that they were taking down to Louisiana for decommissioning. They weren't supposed to have the warheads on board, but they did. That mistake was not discovered until the plane landed.
A major investigation is now underway to find out how this possibly could have happened, as everyone understands nuclear weapons are the most guarded item in the U.S. military inventory.
One Air Force official telling us this is simply unprecedented. They just don't know how this happened. They don't know how it is that nuclear warheads were loaded onto an Air Force plane and traveled across the United States without anybody realizing it.
The Air Force says there was no danger to public safety, that the missiles could not have been launched without multiple safeguards being enacted, that these are very protected. But, look, make no mistake, they say that and yet these missiles with these warheads were in the air. A major investigation underway now -- Heidi. COLLINS: Absolutely. But I think you make a great point there, Barbara, that people who may not be familiar with the way that the B- 52 carries these types of bombs may not understand that they wouldn't just fall off. They would have to be actually launched?
STARR: That's right. Heidi. For any missile to be launched with today's modern military technology, a number of what they call 'positive things' have to happen. A number of actions must be taken for those missiles to be launched. And that would not have happened in this case, obviously, because they were flying over the United States.
So they say that it couldn't have been -- they could not have been detonated.
But let's give everybody one indicator of just how serious this matter is. Air Force officials and military officials confirming to CNN that President Bush was notified of this incident, because it did involve a mistake in the transportation of nuclear weapons -- Heidi.
COLLINS: All right, Barbara.
We know that you are working your sources on this and have already gathered this great information for us. Appreciate it.
We'll check back with you a little bit later on.
COLLINS: Barbara Starr at the Pentagon this morning.
HARRIS: And new details emerging about the arrest of three terror suspects. German police say the suspected Islamic militants were planning massive and imminent attacks against American targets in Germany. German authorities say the suspects received terrorist training in Pakistan and have close ties to Al Qaeda. And they would not elaborate on whether the U.S. air base in Ramstein and the Frankfurt International Airport were specific targets.
The suspects are believed to have been planning attacks against discos, pubs, airports and other places frequented by Americans. They say military installations may have also been targets.
COLLINS: Senator Larry Craig apparently not leaving office without a fight. A spokesman for the Idaho conservative says Craig will challenge his own guilty plea.
Last month, Craig pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in a men's room police sting. An undercover officer said Craig sought sex in an airport bathroom.
Craig denies the claim and says entering a plea was a mistake. Craig has said he intends to resign effective September 30th. His spokesman says that could change if he clears his name with the courts and the Senate Ethics Committee.
HARRIS: We are hearing this morning about four more U.S. troops killed in Iraq, four others injured. It happened in separate incidents in Baghdad Tuesday. The military says three of the soldiers died when a powerful roadside bomb hit their patrol. A fourth soldier was killed in combat. That raises the U.S. death toll in Iraq to 3,746.
COLLINS: A candid new book about President Bush stirring questions -- did the president approve the dismantling of the Iraqi Army?
One former official says he did and offers evidence.
CNN's Mary Snow reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The rift has pitted President Bush against his former appointee to Iraq, Paul Bremer. In dispute -- who exactly was behind the decision to dismantle the Iraqi Army in 2003, while Bremer -- Jerry, as he's often called -- was in Iraq.
JON ALTERMAN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: I think Jerry Bremer has been so frustrated at being the whipping boy for the failures of the U.S. policy in Iraq that he's finally saying enough is enough. If the president won't stand by me, I won't stand by him.
SNOW: In the new book, 'Dead Certain,' President Bush is quoted as saying: 'Well, the policy was to keep the army intact.' He added, 'It didn't happen.'
Author Robert Draper says he pressed the president on his reaction when he found out the policy was reversed. And he quotes the president as saying: 'Yes, I can't remember. I'm sure I said, 'This is the policy, what happened?'
But Bremer is insisting the president was aware of the decision.
He took the unusual step of trying to prove his point by releasing to 'The New York Times' letters between him and the president. In May of 2003, Bremer references the plan of dissolving Saddam's military and intelligence structures to, in his words, emphasize that we mean business. A day later, the president wrote a thank you letter telling Bremer: 'Your leadership is apparent. You have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence.'
The 'Times' points out that Bremer only made a brief reference to his plan in his three pages and that it doesn't show the president approved the order or knew details about it.
Still, it's the nonchalant tone of the letter that strikes some observers over a decision seen as a pivotal point in the war.
MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: That crucial mistake continues to haunt us today because that allowed the snowballing of the insurgency to begin. SNOW (on camera): The White House has said it wouldn't be commenting on the book. We also did reach out to Paul Bremer, but his assistant told us he was unavailable for an interview.
Mary Snow, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
COLLINS: Rob Marciano joining us now to get the picture of -- boy, we've got hurricanes, tropical storms and a tornado.
I'm not quite sure where you want to start with all of that -- Rob.
HARRIS: Well, search teams combing the Nevada desert and mountains for missing adventurer Steve Fossett. So far, no sign of him so far. Fossett's single engine plane vanished Monday while he was scouting areas for an apparent attempt to set a world land speed record. The plane carried a device that sends a satellite signal after a rough landing, but so far no signal has been received.
Fossett, a millionaire, is known for his daring adventures. He is the first person to circle the world solo in a balloon. Right now, it is not known what kind of survival gear, if any, Fossett may have had with him when his plane vanished.
And, an update on the search for Steve Fossett is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.
You'll want to stay right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
We will, of course, bring you live coverage.
COLLINS: We told you about this unbelievable story yesterday. When a plane crashed into Lake Erie, one man rode to the rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK HERNDON, RESCUER: I heard a small voice calling for help and I said, 'Keep screaming.'
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The story of an older man's compassion and a young boy's bravery. We'll tell you more about it in a moment.
HARRIS: Penetrating the Pentagon?
The U.S. believes China had a hand in hacking Defense Department e-mails.
(STOCK MARKET REPORT)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: Closing arguments begin today in the murder trial of music producer Phil Spector. Spector is accused of shooting actress Lana Clarkson to death in his home in 2003. And his lawyers contend Clarkson shot herself.
The judge has ruled jurors will only decide whether Spector is guilty or innocent of second degree murder and not consider lesser offenses.
The jury is expected to get the case on Friday.
If found guilty, Spector could face a maximum of 15-years to life in prison.
Snooping from China?
Beijing blamed for a Pentagon hacking job.
CNN's Brian Todd explains.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): E-mails, possibly including the travel plans of Defense Secretary Robert Gates or his deputies, were recently hacked and U.S. government sources believe the Chinese government was behind it.
Gates alluded to the incident back in June.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Elements of the OSD unclassified e-mail system were taken offline yesterday afternoon due to a detected penetration. A variety of precautionary measures are being taken.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Sources say that unclassified system is not connected to e- mail networks that contain sensitive military secrets. Pentagon officials say none of their operations were disrupted.
If it was the Chinese, what might they have been after?
KURT CAMPBELL, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: They're trying to understand the nature of our defenses In terms of how sensitive sites are protected and whether it's possible to penetrate them. But it suggests that, ultimately, they would like to penetrate them to understand the nature of, for instance, our communications systems, our war plans and how we operate in a crisis.
TODD: The Chinese Foreign Ministry called the accusation 'unwarranted, groundless, a reflection of the cold war mentality.'
But Gates said the Defense Department gets hundreds of cyber attacks a day. Ira Winkler, a former analyst at the National Security Agency, says other U.S. government departments are also vulnerable.
IRA WINKLER, AUTHOR, 'SPIES AMONG US': You have the Nuclear Regulatory Agency. There are a variety of government agencies that are involved with energy production. There are a variety of government agencies, for example, that also deal with food production.
TODD: A spokeswoman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that agency is very vigilant against threats, even hired a contractor to try to hack into its system last year, and the contractor failed after several attempts.
(on camera): Other agencies are also catching onto this potential threat. An official with the National Security Council tells us experts are looking at whether the White House should restrict the use of Blackberries to prevent cyber espionage.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
COLLINS: Comedian's offensive remark -- Jerry Lewis angers one group with a comment during his annual telethon. We'll talk about that.
But first, a news quiz now.
How many world records or world firsts have been set by Steve Fossett?
We'll have the answer right after a break.
HARRIS: OK. We are pod casting later today. Can't wait to have you along for us. You've got to catch us weekday mornings right here, 9:00 a.m. Until noon, in the CNN NEWSROOM.
But did you know you can take us with you anywhere on your iPod?
Here's what you do. Here's what you do. Write it down. Commit it to memory. You go to CNN.com and download the CNN NEWSROOM daily pod cast, available to you 24-7 right there on that gizmo there -- right there on your iPod. Do it today.
COLLINS: Before the break, we asked you first -- a news quiz for you.
How many records or world firsts were set by Steve Fossett?
We want to give you the answer now. Fossett set or broke 115 records.
Rob Marciano is joining us now with more information on the weather. And it is a tough situation in Dallas. Texas has been getting all kinds of rain. And we've been talking about it for days, it seems like for days now.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And now this last surge -- it does look like it's moving out of the area, but it's doing so slowly. And a number of flash flood warnings have been posted for the counties, especially south and east of Dallas.
We've got some pictures that have been kind of filtering in, some aerials of these areas, thanks to our affiliate out that way, WFAA.
And with this kind of rainfall -- and so far Doppler estimates anywhere from three, four, in some cases, isolated amounts of five inches in a relatively short amount of time in an area that has seen a fair amount of rainfall already this summer, as you may very well know, it does not take much for the smallest of streams to turn into a torrential river. And this likely a larger river that has flooded its banks. I'm not sure which river it is, but obviously not a good scene there.
More pictures coming for you. This now on tape. But we'll get some more information as far as exactly where this is. But we have several counties south and east of Dallas.
And remember we just came on the air talking about a tornado warning, the potential for that circulation embedded in these storms that obviously, at least for the moment, are causing more harm and more headaches due to the amount of rain that's falling out of the clouds.
All right, back to the radar we go and here's where we look at where all of that action is and where it's going.
The line, which has finally shifted out of the Dallas area, but it's still hovering over those counties that are under a flash flood warning until further notice. And a fair amount of moisture. It's actually all streaming into parts of Arkansas, as well.
So we're in this for the next couple of hours, Heidi and Tony. But, obviously, you see those pictures. It may take some time before those floodwaters recede.
MARCIANO: And I'll try to do a little bit of digging around to see which rivers, you know, are rising and cresting and how soon it will be before they start to fall. But that does not look like a good scene.
COLLINS: It doesn't at all.
All right, Rob, we'll check back later.
HARRIS: Appreciate it.
Thank you, sir.
A young boy with a strong will to live, even while his heart was breaking. Crews recover the bodies of a father and his 9-year-old son after their plane went down in Lake Erie. A third family member was aboard and his survival story remarkable.
We get it from reporter Joy Benedict of our affiliate WEWS.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
HERNDON: It came off the runway, had gained some altitude to begin with and then made sort of an arc down into the water.
JOY BENEDICT, WEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a sight that had Chuck Herndon fearing the worst -- a plane crashing into Lake Erie just a few hundred yards from his backyard.
HERNDON: We heard it. It hit the water. There was no explosion, just a pop, splash.
BENEDICT: Chuck's wife called 911 and he grabbed the only tool that could help -- a row boat.
HERNDON: There was no one else around and someone had to go see if there was anybody that could be helped.
BENEDICT: After what seemed like an eternity on the water, he found a miracle.
HERNDON: And I heard a small voice calling for help. And I said, 'Keep screaming.'
BENEDICT: And this father kept rowing into the darkness.
HERNDON: I was just panicked I wasn't going to get there. And I rowed as fast as I could.
BENEDICT: Herndon found a young boy, Joel Hutchison, swimming for his life.
HERNDON: He had no life jacket and he was swimming. It took me maybe 15 minutes to get to him. And he said that his father and his brother had been killed in a plane crash.
BENEDICT: The 7-year-old told rescuers he knew he had to get out and swim.
HERNDON: A gutsy kid. A very gutsy kid. And to swim that well at seven is pretty remarkable.
BENEDICT: And to row that fast at 60 is pretty remarkable, too. But Chuck says he's not a hero because it took both their strengths and will to survive to make sure this story didn't end any worse.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HARRIS: Well, the boy is in a Toledo hospital this morning listed in fair condition.
COLLINS: A major U.S. air base targeted by terrorists. Authorities say an attack was imminent. Details of the arrest that busted up the alleged plot coming your way.
HARRIS: And he had one foot out the door. Now Larry Craig indicates he may step back in and call off his resignation business. A tawdry tale growing into a Republican migraine.
HARRIS: Learning has no age limit. Case in point -- a senior who is now a freshman at Sacramento State University. She is 90 and hitting the books.
Here's Stefanie Cruz of CNN affiliate KOVR.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
STEFANIE CRUZ, KOVR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ninety-years-old and not heading to the nursing home. In fact, Estelle Rees Arroyo is nowhere near slowing down.
ESTELLE REES ARROYO, SACRAMENTO STATE FRESHMAN: Occupy my mind...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, yes?
ARROYO: And take some things that I'm really interested in, because I think American history, for instance, is fascinating.
CRUZ: While most people look at their later years as a time to take it easy, Estelle's hitting the books on the first day of class at Sac State.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) are you passing?
CRUZ: She says she doesn't want her brain to get moldy, so she's taking nine units this fall, through the 60 Plus Program, majoring in history. And Estelle is not intimidated hanging out with kids young enough to be her grandchildren.
ARROYO: I tend to talk too much in class and I figure I'm doing the intimidating.
CRUZ: Estelle admits there will be some challenges.
ARROYO: The only thing is I am -- I was not born into the computer generation and that is my competition.
CRUZ: While Estelle is focused on improving her education, students say there's a lot they can learn from her. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's amazing that she could come and start school after so long and still, you know, have goals and stuff to get done. That's really awesome.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HARRIS: Awesome, indeed.
The new student is getting her education at no charge. She is enrolled in Sacramento State's tuition-free 60 Plus Program for senior citizens.
COLLINS: Good morning, everybody.
I'm Heidi Collins.
HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris.
Stay informed all day in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Here's what's on the run down.
Gentleman police arrest three terror suspects. Attacks, they say, were imminent.
Airports and, apparently, Americans.
COLLINS: Hold that thought. Senator Larry Craig may not quit over that men's room sex sting.
HARRIS: A report that tests show severe brain damage from his time in the wrestling ring.
Did it lead to WWE's Chris Benoit to murder/suicide?
A news conference live this hour.
It is Wednesday, September 5th, and you are in THE NEWSROOM.
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Now separate from the Citroën brand, DS Automobiles has started revamping its existing lineup to reflect its new, more premium positioning within the PSA Peugeot Citroën group. After the facelifted DS 5, Different Spirit has now taken the knife to its high-riding hatchback, the DS 4, adding an even higher-riding pseudo-crossover variant – the Crossback – in the process.
Inspired by the Citroën Numero 9 concept, the new face features a large, heavily-chromed “DS Wings” grille connected to headlights incorporating revised internal graphics – the latter mates LED modules and LED sequential indicators to directional xenon projectors.
The front bumper has also been reshaped – adding a full-width chrome bar connecting the fog lights – while the side rubbing strips gain thicker chrome trim. Also new is a two-tone colour option – the roof, rear spoiler, door mirrors and hubcaps can be painted Perla Nera Black, Whisper Purple, Virtual Blue or Tourmaline Orange; these match up to the nine body colour choices, including the new Tourmaline Orange, Artense Grey and Platinum Grey.
Adding a slight pretence of adventure, the Crossback variant has seen its ride height jacked up 30 mm and adds a gloss black finish to the centre front bumper panel, wheel arch trims and door trims, as well as grey roof rails and black door sills and carpets.
Inside, there’s a new seven-inch touchscreen infotainments system with screen mirroring for iOS and Android devices, as well as Apple CarPlay compatibility for the first time on PSA vehicles; this also reduces the button count on the dashboard by 12.
Spot Gps Tracker Service
A DS Connect Box option adds SOS and emergency assistance services, vehicle information monitoring, GPS-based alerts and vehicle tracking functions. Also added is the option for a reverse camera, keyless entry and start and blind spot monitoring.
Under the bonnet, the updated DS 4 dispenses with the old naturally-aspirated VTi 120 powertrain on the base version with a new PureTech 130 S&S turbo mill that develops 129 hp and 230 Nm, increases of 9% and 44% respectively. Conversely, fuel consumption and carbon dioxides have been cut by 21% with the six-speed manual transmission, to 5.1 litres per 100 km and 119 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
Elsewhere, the 1.6 litre THP turbo engine now gets 163 hp/240 Nm (with a six-speed auto) and 208 hp/285 Nm (with a six-speed manual) outputs – despite the former cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by a staggering 29% over the old THP 160 – while the BlueHDI 120, 150 and 180 diesel mills now meet Euro 6 emissions standards. Suspension tuning has also been revised, with specific adjustments for both regular hatch and Crossback variants.