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Summer Movie Preview; Military Could be Endangered by Malaria Drug

Aired May 21, 2004 - 11:30   ET


DARYN KAGAN, ANCHOR: I'm Daryn Kagan at CNN Center in Atlanta. Let's check the headlines at this hour.
Coalition forces in Iraq detained four people for questioning in the death of American Nicholas Berg. Two were released. And an official says the other two could be set free after questioning. Berg's decapitation was videotaped by his captors.

A hundred thousand workers at SBC Communications began a four-day strike today. They're unhappy with the contract offer from the baby Bell which operates local service in 13 states. Outsourcing and health care appear to be the main -- excuse me -- main points of disagreement.

The U.S. is releasing close to 500 detainees from Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison. That happens today. It's part of a plan to reduce the prison population to about 2,500.

The release comes as new photos from Abu Ghraib surfaced in "The Washington Post" today, showing more apparent abuse of prisoners.

The last Spanish troops in Iraq left today. The new prime minister won -- who won on the kind of pledge to pull the troops out. Some 1,400 were deployed when he was elected in March.

Well, if you were with us just a couple moments ago, you saw President Bush giving the commencement address at Louisiana State University. Good reason the president is in Louisiana today, and it's not just about giving the LSU commencement address.

As always, Judy Woodruff following the presidential campaign from Washington.

Judy, good morning.

JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": That's right, in an election year, Daryn, many reasons for doing things.

Well, President Bush did easily win Louisiana four years ago. But in this election he is being forced to work hard to keep the state in his column.

John Kerry's campaign unexpectedly tried to put Louisiana in play by running ads there, even though Bush had a double-digit lead in polls earlier this year.

Job losses in the state have bolstered the Kerry camp's hope of winning it, just as Bill Clinton did in 1992 and '96.

John Kerry is keeping a low profile today. He's home in Boston, where he will record tomorrow's Democratic radio address this afternoon.

Tonight, Kerry has a private reception in White Plains, New York. But no major events planned for the weekend.

Candidates Bush and Kerry have released their latest fund-raising totals through April. Bush had raised more than $201 million for his campaign. And he has spent about $130 million. That left him with about $71 million cash on hand.

Now, Kerry reports raising $117 million through the end of April. He spent $89 million, leaving him with $28 million at the end of the last month.

You got to keep notes here.

Former President Bill Clinton is speaking today at the University of Kansas on a lecture series honoring former Kansas Senator Bob Dole. Clinton, of course, beat Dole in the 1996 presidential election.

Dole says that it sets an appropriate nonpartisan tone to have Clinton delivering the first lecture.

The event has been moved to the university field house in order to accommodate an anticipated crowd of 12,000 people.

A young girl's Dear Abby letter prompts a response from one of the presidential candidates. We'll explain this afternoon.

Plus, it is donating made easier, but is it making a difference in the campaigns of the men running for president? We'll take a look at a new kind of online fund-raising technique when I go "INSIDE POLITICS" at 3:30 p.m. Eastern, 12:30 Pacific.

Now, back to Daryn in Atlanta.

KAGAN: And Judy, one of those questions that -- well, it's a question because I just don't understand it. President Bush speaking at LSU today. He also spoke at Wisconsin. So he goes to those commencements.

And yet his daughters graduate this year from Yale and the University of Texas, and the White House has announced that the parents will not be going to those graduations.

WOODRUFF: That's right, Daryn. I think a lot of people are wondering why the president and first lady are not attending the commencements of their own daughters.

However, the White House says the first family is concerned that by attending they would disrupt the commencement ceremonies, that there would be so much security it would cause problems for other families and that they're doing it out of respect for those other families.

But you're absolutely right. A lot of people looking and saying why?

KAGAN: He's at these graduations.

WOODRUFF: That's right.

KAGAN: All right. One of those things, just watching. All right, Judy, thank you for that. Look forward to seeing more of you later today.

Up next, we're going to take a look at the big movies. The summer movie season is upon us. We're going to check out some of them just ahead with Mr. Moviefone.


KAGAN: Tried to go to the movies last week. There was nothing to see, I thought. But summer movies are upon us. Russ Leatherman, Mr. Moviefone, here to guide our way past the popcorn into the seats.

Good morning, Russ. Good to have you with us.


KAGAN: I know. Passed on "Troy."

LEATHERMAN: Really? I would think that would be right up your alley.

KAGAN: No, bad dreams. Please, whatever.

A ton of movies though. Now, "Shrek 2," "Shrek 2" I am very much looking forward to seeing.

LEATHERMAN: Well, it opened Wednesday. It was the biggest Wednesday opening ever. This movie is really fantastic. I mean, I hope that everybody grabs their kids, their parents, their grandparents, and goes checks this thing out.

It picks up right where the last movie left off, except there are new characters. Antonio Banderas is in this movie. You got the same -- really, the same cast of characters but a bigger and better movie. It picks up where the last one left off.

I have to tell you, I really, really love this movie. I rank it right up there with "Finding Nemo" of last year and even the "Toy Story" movie. That's -- you can't miss with this one.

KAGAN: Wow. That is huge. What about a completely opposite end of the spectrum, "Day After Tomorrow"? I think in this one, New York City ends up under a giant tidal wave.

LEATHERMAN: Well, it's the end of the world as we know it. KAGAN: Yes.

KAGAN: And we're just talking about movies that are the beginning part of the summer. But they're just coming one after the next. This is Roland Emmerich, who did "Independence Day", "Godzilla."

Really, what's happened is every Republican's nightmare. The polar ice caps have melted, the greenhouse effect. And now every single disaster you can imagine is happening, including earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, et cetera.

This is a big budget -- they say $125 million -- adventure movie. And I think it's going to be just exactly that, probably a really fun popcorn movie to check out.

KAGAN: OK. A lot of big names in this next one. The remake of "The Stepford Wives," which I understand is a little bit different than the original "Stepford Wives."

LEATHERMAN: It is, and I've got to tell you, I'm really looking forward to this one. Huge stars in this movie. Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Christopher Walken, Glenn Close.

It is a remake of the 1975 film in which this couple moves to suburbia and discovers that something is weird about the women. They're -- They look beautiful. They all look alike, and do exactly what the men say.

KAGAN: Clearly this is just the movies.

LEATHERMAN: That's fantastic, Daryn. Come on. That's all good.

I think this is going to be one of the movies that really sneaks in there and does really well this summer. I'm looking forward to this one.

KAGAN: And "Harry Potter." "Harry Potter" has got to be a no miss, the latest installment.

LEATHERMAN: I think it is a no miss. Although the second movie didn't make quite as much money as the first one. I think the first one made about $315 million or something. The second one made $260 million, which still isn't chump change.


LEATHERMAN: This movie is going to do very well. It's a franchise that everybody looks forward to. Now, it's directed by Alfonso Cuaron, "Y tu mama tambien."

KAGAN: That's a little racy, that movie.

LEATHERMAN: It's very different. So I think the style of this movie is going to be darker. It's going to be a lot different than the first two movies. And I'm looking forward to that, because I think a little change of pace will be good. But this movie is going to be huge.

KAGAN: And now the movie I'm looking forward to the most, Will Ferrell in "Anchorman." A local anchorman, Ron Burgundy. I think it's San Diego, 1970 something.

LEATHERMAN: Yes, that's exactly right. You know what? This is a movie everybody is looking forward to. It is Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate.

And really, he plays a chauvinist pig news anchor. Christina Applegate comes in and shakes things up, because, you know, she wants to be on the air. And of course feminism is taking over here, and he doesn't like it.

Now, the thing that I think is striking about this movie is it sort of makes fun of TV anchor people.

KAGAN: Is that possible to make fun of TV anchor people?

LEATHERMAN: Well, it makes him out to be narcissistic...


LEATHERMAN: ... egomaniacal, you know, sort of a spoiled brat. And Daryn, I've never seen anything like that in this business.

KAGAN: Really?

LEATHERMAN: Yes. I think it's -- I think it's way off base. But -- but I'm really looking forward to this movie. I think it's going to be fantastic.

KAGAN: Certainly not here at CNN. Can't think of anybody.

LEATHERMAN: Not at CNN, of course not. And like I said, these are the early summer movies. This is before summer even starts. So we've got a long summer ahead of us.

KAGAN: Two seconds ahead left to talk about "Spider-Man 2." Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst.

LEATHERMAN: Well, yes, I think this movie's going to be huge. I mean, the biggest opening ever of any movie. This is a sequel that everybody's looking forward to.

Will it have the staying power of the first movie? I don't know. You know, we've got a new character there. Dr. Octopus is the evil guy that he's going up against this time.

And the first movie was so hugely successful, I don't know that this second movie can -- can match it. But no doubt, it's going to be huge. No doubt about that.

KAGAN: Well, we know where to find you this summer, in the theater.

LEATHERMAN: Yes, absolutely. I've got a lot of movies to watch.

KAGAN: Very good. Mr. Moviefone, Russ Leatherman. Thanks for stopping by. We will see you later in the summer.

LEATHERMAN: Have a great weekend.

KAGAN: Thank you.


KAGAN: And you can keep your eye on entertainment 24/7. Just point your Internet browser to Among the highlights you'll find there, a profile of "The Daily Show's" anger man, Lewis Black. Plus decades before "American Idol," Ellen DeGeneres got her break on a TV talent show.

Much more serious subject is ahead: protecting the military's men and women from malaria. It might have debilitating consequences.


MARK BENJAMIN, UPI: Soldiers in the field are handed Lariam routinely with no warning, no written warning, no verbal warning.


KAGAN: After the break, why a commonly used drug is raising red flags.


KAGAN: U.S. forces in Iraq have faced threats many did not expect. One may have started at home before they were shipped off for war.

In collaboration with UPI investigative reporter Mark Benjamin, our own investigate unit has been working on the story.

Here now is CNN's Jonathan Mann.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bill Manofski and his wife Tori are looking for a new home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Appliances and the cabinetry...

MANN: They aren't moving because of a new job, but because Bill can't do his old one. Manofski, a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves is relocating near San Diego for medical care.

CMDR. BILL MANOFSKI, U.S. NAVAL RESERVE: My ears ring. They're ring now. Mostly in my right ear. I have aphasia (ph), where when -- I have trouble talking sometimes, or I forget what I'm trying to talk about. MANN: Manofski's problems began when he was sent to Kuwait in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Like thousands of others, he was given a drug called Lariam to prevent malaria.

B. MANOFSKI: I lost it. I literally went nuts. I was talking to myself. I was waking up mad. I would go to bed mad. Using my hands to talk to myself.

MANN: When he returned to the U.S., his wife encountered a very different man.

TORI MANOFSKI, WIFE: The panic attacks became so acute we had to rush him to the emergency hospital five different times. He also had -- went into seizures where his whole body was convulsing.

MANN: After civilian doctors determined his symptoms were related to his use of Lariam, Manofski finally found a military doctor who also recognized the link.

DR. MICHAEL HOFFER, U.S. NAVY: It's usually more in this area here, and he's way down here.

MANN: Navy doctor Michael Hoffer is treating him for a range of balance problems.

HOFFER: Because Mr. Manofski reported the Lariam exposure and did not report any other toxic exposure, we -- again, with all medical likelihood, related it to the Lariam.

MANN: Mark Benjamin, an investigative reporter for UPI, has poured through hundreds of pages of records on Lariam and the people who've taken it.

BENJAMIN: Soldiers in the field are handed Lariam routinely with no warning, no written warning, no verbal warning. And when they suffer the side effects, that's one of the reasons why they don't know.

MANN: The company that makes Lariam, Roche Pharmaceuticals, says it has been used safely by more than 20 million people.

But Roche's literature warns users that in rare cases Lariam can cause hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, depression and paranoia.

Roche would not provide a spokesperson on camera but replied to CNN's questions in an e-mail: "Roche has made Lariam medication guides available to the four pharmacy consultants for the services, who in turn sent the information to military pharmacies."

Bill Manofski says that information never made it to him.

(on camera) Researchers have been raising their concerns about Lariam for years in medical journals here in the United States and overseas. But it wasn't until this year that the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs finally ordered the Pentagon's own investigation. WILLIAM WINKENWERDER, ASST. DEFENSE SECRETARY FOR HEALTH AFFAIRS: Any service member that's taking a medication ought to know why he or she is taking that medication. And they ought to have some sense of whether there are side effects or concerns with respect to taking that medication for him or her.

That's the way a good physician or good medical provider would practice medicine. That's what we expect. That's our policy.

MANN: The Pentagon says it has told Congress at hearings that service personnel are warned about the side effects of this drug. Were you warned about the side effects of it?

MANOFSKI: No, I was not.

MANN (voice-over): Manofski intends to sue Lariam's makers.

Meanwhile, his 17-year military career has been cut short while he tries to recover.

Jonathan Mann, CNN, San Diego.


KAGAN: You can see more of this report on -- This is a two-part series with more questions about the physical and psychological affects of Lariam. 10:00 p.m. Eastern, right here, Aaron Brown's show, "NEWSNIGHT," CNN.

Weather's next. We'll do that right after this. Stay with us.



KAGAN: That's actually going to wrap up our week, at least for me. I'm Daryn Kagan. I'll be right back here on the scene on Monday. For now, Wolf Blitzer takes over from Washington, D.C.


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