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President Bush in Africa

Aired July 8, 2003 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Developing stories across America.
Today, in Mississippi, what triggered a gunman's rampage through a defense plant?

And, right now in California, police are on the lookout for an elementary school vice principal after they discover his murdered family.

And, long before there was Jon Benet Ramsey, there was Heather Coffin (ph) raped and killed while her family slept a cold case for 16 years, now a break that has surprised everyone.

WOLF BLITZER REPORTS starts right now.


BLITZER (voice-over): One of the greatest crimes in history.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At this place, liberty and life were stolen and sold.

BLITZER: President Bush in Africa, what he said and didn't say about slavery.

Guns and grenade launchers, the American advance team's scare caught on camera in Liberia.

Troops on patrol and on edge in Iraq, CNN goes on a mission after dark.

State of the Union embarrassment:

BUSH: Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

BLITZER: Did the president mislead the nation on Iraq's nuclear ambitions?

Twin tragedy, they wanted to lead separate lives and took the ultimate risk.


ANNOUNCER: CNN LIVE this hour, WOLF BLITZER REPORTS, live from the nation's capital with correspondents from around the world. WOLF BLITZER REPORTS starts now. BLITZER: It's Tuesday, July 08, 2003. Hello from Washington, I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting.

On a five-day visit to Africa, President Bush is confronting the nightmares of the past and the present. In Senegal, he toured the bleak prison complex where for centuries human beings were loaded in chains onto slave ships bound for America. The president called it, "one of history's greatest crimes."

Meantime, he's promised African leaders the United States will do something to help in war-torn Liberia where a U.S. military assessment team is already coming face-to-face with violence and chaos.

We start with the president's first stop in Africa. CNN White House Correspondent Chris Burns spent the day with the president in Senegal.


CHRIS BURNS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It was across these seas where millions of Africans were sent into slavery in the Americas. President Bush making a moving, moral, and historical case for his trip here by visiting Goree Island, visiting the slave house and seeing the very chains where many of those slaves were held before they were sent beyond the point of no return, the president calling that slave trade one of the worst crimes in history.

BUSH: At this place, liberty and life were stolen and sold. Human beings were delivered and sorted and weighed and branded with the marks of commercial enterprises and loaded as cargo on a voyage without return.

BURNS (voice-over): In what was all but an apology for slavery, the president said that America became a prison for millions but that those stolen sons and daughters of Africa awakened the conscience of America and now Americans and Africans share in trying to advance freedom, peace, and trade.

In sharing that burden, President Bush comes with a rescue package in hand, promised billions to fight AIDS, to fight poverty, to fight famine, but will the president commit peacekeeping troops to Liberia?

That was the big question as the president met with eight African leaders, the president telling reporters afterward that they are still figuring out how the U.S. will contribute to supporting this peacekeeping effort to prevent Liberia, a country of former U.S. slaves from descending into a bloodbath.

BUSH: We're in the process of determining what is necessary to maintain the cease-fire and to allow for a peaceful transfer of power.

BURNS (on camera): White House officials say that the president's efforts here are not only moral but they're also strategic. It's aimed at preventing failed or failing states from becoming breeding grounds for terrorism.

Chris Burns CNN, Dakar, Senegal. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: President Bush is only the fourth U.S. president to visit sub-Saharan Africa. President Franklin Roosevelt visited Liberia in 1943. President Jimmy Carter was in Nigeria in 1978, and President Bill Clinton visited several countries in Africa in 1998, including a stopover in Goree Island in Senegal.

I covered that Clinton visit and remember the speech on slavery. He treaded very delicately in avoiding a formal apology.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We cannot push time backward through the door of no return. We have lived our history. America's struggle to overcome slavery and its legacy forms one of the most difficult chapters of that history yet it is also one of the most heroic, a triumph of courage. Persistence can never be enslaved.


BLITZER: President Bush today actually went further in condemning slavery although stopping just short, just short of issuing a formal apology.


BUSH: At every turn, the struggle for equality was resisted by many of the powerful and some have said we should not judge their failures by the standards of a later time yet in every time there were men and women who clearly saw this sin and called it by name.


BLITZER: Here's your turn to weigh in on this story. Our web question of the day is this: "Should President Bush have formally apologized for slavery during his visit to Senegal?" We'll have the results later in this broadcast. You can vote at

While you're there, I'd love to hear directly from you. Send me your comments. I'll try to read some of them on the air each day at the end of this program. That's also, of course, where you can read my daily online column,

That U.S. military assessment team now in Liberia encountered some very difficult problems today, an outpouring of jubilation from a desperate crowd on the one hand and a menace from young government soldiers on the other.

CNN's Jeff Koinange is in Monrovia.


JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A dramatic first day for the humanitarian assessment survey team here on the ground in Monrovia and also one that showed a bit of diplomatic bungling between the governments of the U.S. and Liberia.

Here's how events unfolded. Their first port of call, a local hospital where they were mobbed literally by tens of thousands of Liberians welcoming the Americans on the ground saying, "We love you George Bush. No more war. We want peace," waving American flags. It was a dramatic scene, tens of thousands of Liberians.

The Americans left that scene, proceeded out of town about five miles or so, got to a government run checkpoint. The entire convoy slowed down. Embassy officials got out. They engaged in conversation with the troops. A phone call was made and then all of a sudden the entire convoy turned right around and headed back for Monrovia.

Along the way, the same crowd, tens of thousands of Liberians mobbing the Americans, welcoming them even more, chanting and singing as they went along, virtually grinding the convoy to a standstill and then shots rang out in the air one after the other and the crowd dispersed.

So used to gunfire, they dispersed immediately and U.S. Marines engaged looking to see what was going on. They saw that the firing was only in the air. They got back in the convoy and sped right out of there.

These were government troops I guess in their version of crowd control. This happened very dramatically and even the Liberian President Charles Taylor did have a reaction calling this some kind of diplomatic bungle.

CHARLES TAYLOR, PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA: Sometimes we have these diplomatic boo-boos. We welcome the troops here. We will take them wherever they want to go. Since their arrival, the embassy accredited near this capital has not organized any movement or liaison activities with any agency of this Liberian government. The area that they were going into there are troops in the field that do not know what's going on.

KOINANGE: At the same time, the U.S. Embassy did release a press release later on in the afternoon and they did admit that they were denied permission to go beyond that checkpoint. They also insisted that after negotiations with the Liberian government they were now allowed to go through any checkpoints without checking or without any problems.

Jeff Koinange CNN, Monrovia, Liberia.



BLITZER: Now to a developing story on Liberia out of the United Nations. Let's get it straight from our Senior U.N. Correspondent Richard Roth. Richard, what's happening?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, in anticipation of some sort of multinational force, perhaps led by the United States in the next few days, Secretary-General Kofi Annan is preparing for the return of international humanitarian workers.

In a letter to the president of the Security Council and in quote, has asked his special representative for Liberia "to expedite the return of all U.N. agencies providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Liberia."

Due to the security situation, all international staff has been withdrawn. One million people said to be displaced in the African country, many of them, thousands converging on the capital in Liberia.

Annan also announcing, Wolf, as his special representative United States former military General Jacques Klein who has handled many U.N. duties before in the Balkans and elsewhere, so thus perhaps connecting more of a tie to any U.S. force that might be there -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Richard Roth with the latest from the U.N. thanks Richard very much.

Slaughter in Mississippi, what drove a gunman to open fire on co- workers at Lockheed Martin?

Plus, a child raped and murdered in her own bed, find out how police tracked down a suspect after 16 years.


LEON HARRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This room is about 8x20. It's where they would hold the slaves before shipping them out and I don't know how anybody could survive something like this (unintelligible), 100 people, 50 people packed in a room this size, 8x20, for three and a half months, three and a half months.


And, the slave experience in Africa, a powerful tour through the dark side of history. Our Leon Harris will take you there.

First, today's news quiz. "What was the first state to ban slavery, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, Vermont," the answer coming up.


BLITZER: Welcome back.

The horror of mass homicide has communities on both sides of the nation in shock. CNN's Jennifer Coggiola reports on today's ghastly events in Mississippi and California.


JENNIFER COGGIOLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two towns, two mass murders, in Meridian, Mississippi no motive known yet for the Lockheed Martin employee who arrived at work armed with a shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle. He shot dead five co-workers then turned the gun on himself. SHERIFF BILLY SOLLIE, LAUDERDALE COUNTY, MISS.: The state crime lab has been called in and the crime scene has been secured and the crime scene itself has been turned over to the state crime lab for processing.

COGGIOLA: The plant makes parts for military aircraft and is a major employer in Meridian, about 200 miles of New Orleans, a town where locals say something like this just shouldn't have happened.

JOHN SMITH, MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPPI: Nothing like this has ever happened in Meridian, Mississippi nor do we ever expect it to happen in Meridian, Mississippi, but the people here are strong.

COGGIOLA: Eight other wounded employees remain hospitalized.

Meanwhile, in Bakersfield, California, a gruesome discovery, police are searching for an elementary school vice principal after the bodies of his ex-wife, her mother, and three children, including a baby were found in their home by a family friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house was open. She went in and saw four of them obviously deceased, all victims shot once and we did a secondary search a little while later and found the infant who was shot as well.

COGGIOLA: Police are looking for Vincent Brothers, the Vice Principal of Freemont Elementary School.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to determine whether he's responsible or whether we need to eliminate him completely as a suspect.

COGGIOLA: His car has been located but so far Brothers is nowhere to be found.

Jennifer Coggiola, CNN, Atlanta.


BLITZER: For more on the case of the family found dead in Bakersfield, California, we turn to Bob Christie. He's on the phone from Bakersfield, California at a newspaper there. Bob, tell us what you know about this shocking case.

BOB CHRISTIE, "THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN" (via telephone): Well, it's as you say it's a pretty shocking case for Bakersfield or anywhere in the U.S.

We have three very young children, including a six-week-old infant who were found shot to death along with the children's mother and the children's grandmother who is - the names are not being released for these victims but the community knows this family.

The grandmother is well known. She is an activist in the local African-American community and, of course, we'll have complete news on all that once the names are released.

BLITZER: Well, we have been told that one of the names, the person that the authorities are looking for is Vincent Brothers, the Vice Principal of Freemont Elementary School. Is there a motive allegedly, supposedly, for this horrendous crime?

CHRISTIE: Well, the police have not officially named Mr. Brothers a suspect and we're not -- I mean we have to be careful. We have some information from some of his friends that he may have been visiting his mother out of state at the time and the police haven't been able to confirm that yet.

We do know from friends of the family that the relationship between Brothers and his ex-wife was fairly rocky, so if indeed he is named a suspect, it may point to a potential domestic situation.

BLITZER: And what was the nature of the homicide? How was it committed?

CHRISTIE: It appears -- the police have told us that all five were shot to death.

BLITZER: Point blank?

CHRISTIE: Well we don't - they were all shot to death.

BLITZER: That's basically what we know right now. All right, Bob Christie of "The Bakersfield Californian" we'll be checking back with you. Thanks for updating our viewers on this shocking, shocking case. Unfortunately, too many of these cases are happening right now or at any time for that matter.

For 16 years, a child murder similar to the Jon Benet Ramsey case has vexed police in Philadelphia, but now officials there say this case is solved, Walt Hunter of our affiliate KYW reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to the cemetery to talk to her and tell her they finally got him.

WALT HUNTER, KYW CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the news Randall Coffin had waited more than 16 years to hear. The suspect accused of raping and murdering his 10-year-old daughter Heather inside the family's Frankfurt home at last was in handcuffs.

RANDALL COFFIN, FATHER: I can't believe somebody could come in that morning and kill her and leave. I mean she never harmed a soul.

HUNTER: Arrested inside this Mayfair apartment house in the early morning hours, 38-year-old Raymond Sheehan surrendered quietly when police kicked down his door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a great day for the victim's family. We know the Coffin family has been grieving for a long time.

HUNTER: From the moment Heather was found murdered in her bed a major question, how could the killer attack a child with two younger sisters sleeping nearby, her parents just down the hall, and all the doors of the house locked the night before?

As it turns out, Sheehan was a neighbor who had visited the home and Mr. Coffin believes Heather was killed when she recognized him.

COFFIN: Many a time I talk to her, look up at the sky and I say Heather you know who it was. That's why that (unintelligible) killed you.

HUNTER: Neighbors who watched as Sheehan was arrested were shocked that he was now living on a street with so many children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is horrible. I mean to live across the street it shook me up when I found out what he had done. I mean we've got a lot of kids on this street and a lot of kids of that age and it's great to know that the police stayed with it and finally got him.


BLITZER: Shocking case, thanks to our affiliate reporter Walt Hunter of KYW for that report.

Security firestorm over a student paper, find out why the government wants to keep public research from being published.

Also, bad intelligence, the White House back pedals on Iraq's nuclear program. Was there a deliberate effort to mislead? We'll take a closer look.

Plus, tropical storm gathering strength, find out where it's heading next.

And, heat, race, and baseball, the Chicago Cubs manager puts a foot in mouth, should he step down? Stay with us.


BLITZER: The first progress report is out on the 9/11 Commission. The panel is six months into its probe of the terror attacks on New York and Washington.

Officials say progress is being made but some agencies are slow in handing over documents possibly endangering the May, 2004 deadline. They also said they have no plans to subpoena President Bush or former President Bill Clinton, but they will try to question them at least in some form.

The government wants to hide it, some businesses would like to burn it, and both say terrorists would love to get their hands on it, the object of all this attention a doctoral dissertation mapping the country's fiber optic network and the businesses it connects.

I'm joined now from London by the author of this dissertation, Sean Gorman here in Washington, his adviser Roger Stough, both of George Mason University in nearby Virginia. Thanks to both of you for joining us. Sean, let me begin with you. Tell us how this happened. What did you put together that has caused such concern on the part of U.S. homeland security officials?

SEAN GORMAN, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY GRAD STUDENT: Basically, a database we put together was a collection of fiber optic lines, kind of long haul fiber optic lines connecting cities and also metropolitan fiber area networks and the buildings and interconnection facilities that run those networks.

BLITZER: And what happened, the government found out you were publishing this in your dissertation and got very nervous didn't they?

GORMAN: In a roundabout sort of way, there was a critical infrastructure protection project that's run out of George Mason University and I sent over a proposal to them showing some of the work we'd been doing and then they kind of shopped it around town and the interest kind of snowballed from there.

BLITZER: Did they formally ask you not to publish this information?

GORMAN: Early on we kind of set up some guidelines of what would be a good idea to publish and what wouldn't be a good idea to publish, and so kind of early on we set up a structure to look at what was sensitive and what wasn't sensitive and what would be in the best interest to kind of keep under wraps and what we could kind of put out in the public domain.

BLITZER: Let me read to you, Sean, a statement put out by the Department of Homeland Security.

"We're pleased that both he" (referring to you) "and the school have chosen not to publish the entire report because it could be used to cause us harm. But certainly, it is research that should be done and it is the type of work that our own infrastructure protection unit is currently involved in."

You're going to go ahead and publish at least part of it. Will you get your dissertation? Will you get your doctoral degree?

GORMAN: I hope so. I still have to defend the dissertation and go through the vetting process but with some luck hopefully it will still go through.

BLITZER: Roger Stough, how difficult was this for George Mason University to agree not to publish, not to release parts of a doctoral dissertation?

ROGER STOUGH, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY ADVISER: Well, originally we were quite concerned about the dissertation, the ability to finish it once we began to see the results. I don't believe we're going to have any real problem with it, particularly we're comfortable with leaving out things that show critical vulnerability points in the Internet system.

We certainly are in a position where we can get more insight into the system. He can publish his results showing the methodology, illustrating how it works, and the contribution that it makes to the literature.

BLITZER: Roger, have you ever seen a case like this where the government has asked a university not to release a doctoral dissertation?

STOUGH: There have been cases. I have not been involved in them in the past but usually there's been a way to negotiate an outcome so that the student's dissertation can be processed and accepted.

BLITZER: Sean, one of the issues here is that all of the information you got apparently for this report, for this paper, this dissertation, you got from open sources on the Internet, is that right?

GORMAN: That's correct. Not all of it was directly from the Internet but it was all from open publicly available sources collected over a number of years. I kind of started researching this back in 1997, so it's been a long process to put it all together.

BLITZER: So, basically, what you've done a terrorist theoretically could do as well since you weren't relying on classified government information?

GORMAN: I guess it could be in the realm of possibility. I think it would take a lot of effort and insight and then also kind of knowing what to do with the information once you have it would be an important asset as well.

BLITZER: Roger, what's the lesson, the main lesson you've learned from this entire event?

STOUGH: Well, I think the main thing is that we have learned how to do this kind of research and how to reach out to various government agencies, make it available to them, and also accomplish the goal of getting Sean graduated.

Now, I got to qualify that in a sense that his professors haven't vetted and examined the dissertation work yet but we are familiar with it and we feel optimistic about the outcome.

BLITZER: Roger, is there any reason to believe based on this experience that big companies out there involved in a critical infrastructure are going to take another look at this open information and try to close it up so that theoretically a terrorist would not be able to do what Sean has done?

STOUGH: Well, I believe there will be some movement in that direction. It's unclear yet just to what extent that might occur though.

BLITZER: What about you, Sean, looking back on this whole experience, assuming you get that Ph.D. and we assume you will, what has it taught you?

GORMAN: Oh, what has the process taught me? BLITZER: This whole experience that you've had putting this dissertation together and the national security issues at stake?

GORMAN: It's given me quite a bit of insight, kind of, into a side of, at least policy, that a grad student doesn't usually see, and kind of research about policy and look at the inner aspects of it but actually kind of being involved as the policy process goes forward was kind of a unique experience.

And, also kind of learning the ins and outs and talking to people to try to validate the research that you're doing and get input from the private sector and public sector and you're really making sure that you're doing something that's going to have some validity to it because it's not the kind of research area where you want to be making mistakes or doing something that's going to be possibly misinterpreted or the wrong kind of results. So, it's been a good lesson in being meticulous with the research as well.

BLITZER: And, Sean, very briefly, you're probably going to get that Ph.D. You love geography. Do you want to go work in the government?

GORMAN: I really enjoy academia but I guess all options are open but the academic environment at George Mason has been so enjoyable, I've had a great time with it.

BLITZER: It sounds like you're someone the U.S. Homeland Security Department may want to retain at some point down the road.

I want to thank both of you, Sean Gorman, Roger Stough, of George Mason University outside of Washington in nearby Virginia. Thanks to both of you for joining us.

The evidence against Iraq that wasn't; find out why the White House is back-tracking over some bad intelligence.

Also, voices of a fallen dictator, a new tape allegedly from Saddam Hussein.

And, taking heat over some racial comments, find out why the Cubs manager, what he has to say about Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and baseball.


ANNOUNCER: CNN live this hour. WOLF BLITZER REPORTS live from the nation's capital, with correspondents from around the world.

Here now is Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: Welcome back to CNN.

New questions about the president's case against Iraq. Was some of it based on bad intelligence?

We'll take a closer look.

But first, the latest headlines.


BLITZER: It was perhaps the most compelling reason for the United States to go to war against Saddam Hussein. Namely, that he was rebuilding his nuclear weapons program. But that allegation has now come back to embarrass the president.


BLITZER (voice-over): The White House now acknowledges President Bush should never have said this in his State of the Union Address in January.

BUSH: The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

BLITZER: That's in part because the British government itself has now backed away from that assertion. What's clear now is that earlier intelligence reports suggesting Saddam Hussein's regime was attempting to obtain uranium from the African nation of Niger were based on false information, including forged documents. But what's even more embarrassing to Bush administration officials is that the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department, had themselves earlier concluded the Niger uranium reports were almost certainly not true.

Former U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson was sent by the CIA to Niger in February, 2002, 11 months before the president's State of the Union Address, to investigate the allegations.

JOSEPH WILSON, FORMER U.S. AFFAIRS TO IRAQ: I traveled out there, spent eight days out there, and concluded that it was nion impossible that this sort of transaction could be done clandestinely.

BLITZER: Two months after the president's address, Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on "Meet the Press" and went further in alleging Saddam Hussein's weapons program.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's had years to get good at it. He's been absolutely devoted to try to acquire nuclear weapons and we believe he has reconstituted nuclear weapons.

BLITZER: The White House has released a statement acknowledging the Niger documents were forged, but insisting there were other intelligence reports at the time suggesting Iraq was indeed attempting to acquire uranium from other countries in Africa. Still, the White House says those reports were not specific. Because of this lack of specificity, this reporting alone did not rise to the level of inclusion in a presidential speech. That said, the issue of Iraq's attempts to acquire uranium from abroad was not an element underpinning the judgment reach by most intelligence agencies that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BLITZER: And Senator Carl Levin, the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee says this issue reinforces the need for a formal inquiry. The president was still using information which the intelligence community knew was almost certainly false. We'll continue to monitor this story.

Meanwhile, another audiotape allegedly made by Saddam Hussein has surfaced. The second one in just five days. This one was aired by the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation. On the tape, the speaker calls on Iraqis of all religion and ethnic groups to unite and step up resistance against occupying troops.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The invaders, the occupiers, came to our country, hoping to be received by the people of Iraq as liberators and conquerors. In spite of the sudden death that took the life of some of our brothers and restrained them from doing the good deeds to please Allah. History, and good people of Iraq didn't welcome the invaders, nor will they ever do so, as the enemy expected.


BLITZER: With no let up in the attacks on coalition forces and Iraqi police officers in Iraq, the U.S. Administration in Iraq is offering a reward of $2,500 leading to information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible.

As dangerous as the situation is for U.S. Troops in Iraq, it becomes even more so after dark.

CNN Baghdad bureau chief, Jane Arraf, went on night patrol with American forces in Baghdad.


JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): To a young American soldier, this is what Baghdad looks and feels like at night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They usually like go crazy and stuff. So many people around just calling your name. The only thing that they say is mister. It's like the movies, you know?

ARRAF: They have night scopes to help them see in the dark. But seeing isn't everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to pull up to the right, stop the engine, turn off the lights and just listen to the environment.

ARRAF: On one street, exuberant children. On another, gunfire. They don't know whether it's aimed at thieves or at them.


ARRAF: In Baghdad now, even many of the people with weapons are afraid, afraid of the soldiers, but too afraid of the night to give up their weapons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was about 10 seconds away from getting shot.

ARRAF: The soldiers, mostly young and all very far from home, are afraid, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you (EXPLICATIVE DELETED) you get a call, like there's a burning building (EXPLICATIVE DELETED) that might be a (EXPLICATIVE DELETED) Fedayeen ambush. No matter what they just, you know, those people just hate Americans.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to have, you know, just -- they don't want Americans around.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you know, what do you do?

ARRAF: What they do is try to protect themselves without antagonizing the neighborhood.


ARRAF: Jane Arraf, CNN, Baghdad.


BLITZER: A life or death decision ends badly. Conjoined twins go for a risky surgery and suffer the ultimate consequence. Find out what went wrong.

And what does race have to do with playing baseball. The Chicago Cubs' manager takes some heat for his theory.

First, let's take a look at some other news making headlines around the world.


BLITZER (voice-over): Iran says final tests are done on a new medium range ballistic missile. With a range of 810 miles it could strike targets from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, to Israel.

U2 star Bono is vowing to lead a civil disobedience campaign to get more aid for poor nations. He was prompted by a United Nations report showing 50 of the world's poorest countries are worse off now than they were a decade ago.

A young boy is the only survivor a plane crash in Sudan that killed 115 people. The Sudan Airway 737 crashed minutes after taking off from Port Sudan on the Red Sea. Flags at half staff as Moscow mourns victims of a weekend suicide bombing attack at a rock concert. Fourteen people were killed when two women with suspected ties to Chechen rebels, blew themselves up.

Day two of the Feast of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain and the running of the bulls. Two Americans and an Australian were gored with at least one requiring surgery. The injuries aren't considered life threatening.

And at the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong finished 69th in the third stage. A spokesman says the four-time champ is saving his strength for the mountain stages ahead. Armstrong is 12th overall with 17 days left in the Tour.

And that's our look "Around the World."



BLITZER: Poor choice of words or reverse racism? Why the Chicago Cubs manager is defending his comments. That's coming up.

Also, worse case scenario. Now the surgeons for these twins face some second-guessing.

Stay with us.


BLITZER: Here is an amazing story. A truly amazing story. Nineteen years of silence, broken by the word "mom." An Arkansas man is slowly regaining his ability to speak after spending almost two decades in a coma. Terry Wallis (ph) was just 19 when he was badly injured in a car accident. There's no explanation for his suddenly -- for his ability right now suddenly to speak again. But he's working with a speech therapist right now and continues to add to his vocabulary.

There's mourning around the world for the adult conjoined twins who didn't survive their separation surgery. CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the 50/50 gamble the patients lost.


DR. PREM KUMAR, RAFFLES HOSPITAL SPOKESMAN: I'm afraid I do not have very good news for you. Raffles Hospital regrets to announce that Ladan Bijani passed away a few minutes ago.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And 90 minutes later, Laleh Bijani also died from significant blood loss after more than two straight days of operating.

DR. LOO CHOON YONG, RAFFLES HOSPITAL, SINGAPORE: We were hoping and trying to do better than the worst odds. But, alas, we didn't make it.

GUPTA: Doctors were discouraged. But they knew the risks going into the operation.

Dr. Ben Carson had successfully separated conjoined twins before. But they were children. No one in the world had ever separated adults.

Adults are more difficult. Their brains are more solidly fused and they don't recover nearly as quickly as small children.

So where are the medical and ethical lines? Would anything have made doctors say no to this operation?

DR. BEN CARSON, NEUROSURGEON, JOHNS HOPKINS: Yes. I would have said no if they would say the risks are too great and if they are not willing to face death or debilitation that is at least 50 percent, then I wouldn't want to be participating.

GUPTA: But that wasn't the case. The 29-year-old sisters, Ladan and Laleh, were optimistic and said yes, No matter what the circumstance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't have any fear about the surgery because we know that every surgery has a high risk.

GUPTA: The outcome was tragic and questions will be raised about whether or not the operation should have been performed.

But we can never know, as they live lives we will never understand and died with their ultimate wish being granted.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


BLITZER: He says he's just telling it like it is. But his remark has some crying racism and others double standard. Dusty Baker responds to his critics.

Plus, an emotional journey with CNN's Leon Harris to Africa's door of no return.


BLITZER: Some instant feedback from our viewers on the issue of a formal apology -- whether the president should formally apologize for slavery.

Let's move on to another story right now. Dusty Baker says he's just telling it like it is. And it is now a heated debate in the sports world and beyond.

CNN's Matt Morrison examines the controversial comments.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DUSTY BAKER, CHICAGO CUBS MANAGER: They take it as a reverse racism or take it this and that, then they can take it wherever they want to take it. I stand by what I said.

MATT MORRISON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker said was black and Latino players hold up better in the summer heat adding -- quote -- "We were brought over here for the heat. Isn't that history? Your skin color is more conducive to heat than it is to the lighter-skinned people. I don't see brothers running around burnt" -- unquote.

The comments were made Saturday in a pregame talk with reporters and have caused some controversy. The list of public figures who have come under fire for their remarks is long. Two of the most notable incidents occurred in the late 1980s. Al Campanis was fired when he said that minorities didn't have the necessities to be managers or general managers in major league baseball.

A year later Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder lost his job with CBS Sports when he said, among other things, that black men were better athletes than white men because they were bred to be that way. A question that's now being asked, do Baker's comments fall under the same category?

DUSTY BAKER, CHICAGO CUBS MANAGER: I can say stuff and call somebody of my color stuff that you can't call them and then you guys can call people, whether they're Jewish or polish or I've heard Italian people call Italian people stuff that I can't say. Dig what I'm saying?

HARRY EDWARDS, SPORTS SOCIOLOGIST: It's almost the distinction of a white person using the N-word and then a black person using the N-word. It has a different cast to it. I don't think Dusty's statements are malicious. I think that it's just one of those gaffes, and we should take it for what it is and move on.

MORRISON: Dusty baker would agree. For CNN Sports, I'm Matt Morrison.


BLITZER: And our hot web question once again is this, should President Bush have apologized for slavery during his visit to Senegal? You can still vote, go to We'll have the results when we come back.


BLITZER: Earlier we asked, what was the first state to ban slavery? the answer, Vermont. It banned slavery in 1777, almost 100 years before the Emancipation Proclamation.

You are looking at these pictures we've just gotten in from just outside Pretoria in South Africa. The capital the president and first lady have now arrived, the second leg of their visit to Africa, in South Africa, for talks with South African leaders. The president on a five-day visit to Africa. Earlier today as you saw here, he was in Senegal delivering an important speech, including references to slavery.

When President Bush visited Goree Island in Senegal earlier, he walked ground trod by millions of slaves over the centuries. Last week CNN's Leon Harris visited Goree Island where he believes his own ancestors passed through the door of no return.


LEON HARRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now we are about maybe two kilometers away from mainland of Africa. Pretty much almost just past the western most point on the continent. We are now heading toward an island that is just about 3 kilometers off a place that was a major collecting point for slaves taken off the continent. Assembled there before they were shipped off to points elsewhere. Alright this is it. This is Ile de Goree (ph), Goree Island.

You know, definitely get a feel for just how old and how European the influences are here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is the Coronel (ph) they call me.

HARRIS: You live here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I live here. I'm from the tourism ministry, the tour guide who makes the plans from the tourism office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've been here in 1444, the Portuguese. Right, and they started to port the black people from Goree Island in 1536, but the one we're going to see, the last one by the Dutch in 1776, picked (ph) by the Senegalese government to be a symbol of black deportation.

HARRIS: Now how ironic that. The slave house built here in 1776. That was the year of the declaration of independence in the United States.

This man has been the curator of this slavehouse here since 1962.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goree Island is the most important deporting center in West Africa.

In this house, all of the family, father, mother, and the children, put them all into different parts.

And to go to America and to go to different slave owners.

Example the father could go to Louisiana, in New Orleans, the mom, the brother to Cuba, the children to the West Indies.

HARRIS: So let me get this straight. Let me get this straight. What happened right here was that hundreds of slaves were kept here and their names were -- the names they grew up with were taken away from them and they were given a number?


HARRIS: So this would be a cell that the men would stay in?


HARRIS: This is 7, 8, at least 20 would be in here? How many women would be in here?


Harris: Young girls were more expensive because they were virgins. That's why you kept them separate. This is where they were sent to be punished?


HARRIS: How long would someone be forced to stay in here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the forget them place?

HARRIS: This is the door of no return?


HARRIS: So at some point, some time. The DNA that's in me. The DNA in here, came through here.


BLITZER: Here's how you are wearing in on our Web question of the day, should President Bush have apologized for slavery during his visit to Senegal? Forty-five percent of you say yes, 55 percent of you say no. Remember this is not a scientific poll.

Lou Dobbs tonight with Jan Hopkins begins right now.


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