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Opening Statements Expected to Start in Peterson Trial; 'Paging Dr. Gupta'
Aired June 1, 2004 - 08:29 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: A big day in California. More than a year after Scott Peterson pleaded not guilty to charges that he murdered his wife Laci and their unborn child, opening statements finally expected to start today.
Ted Rowlands is in Redwood City, California there.
Ted, good morning.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Bill.
According to family members, Scott Peterson himself is very happy with the jury that has been selected in this case, and is looking forward to his day in court.
ROWLANDS (voice-over): It's been almost 14 months since Scott Peterson was taken into custody and charged with the murder of his wife, Laci, and unborn son. Lead prosecutor Rick Distasso will lay out the state's case this morning to the six-women, six-man jury.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This man murdered Laci Peterson.
ROWLANDS: Distasso is expected to tell the jury that Peterson killed Laci in their Modesto home the night of December 23rd, 2002, and that Peterson spent the next several hours covering up his crime, weighing down his wife's body with cement, and using his new boat to dump her in the San Francisco Bay.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scott told me he was not married.
ROWLANDS: The state's star witness is expected to be Amber Frey, the woman Peterson was having an affair with when his wife was murdered. Frey says Peterson told her that he had recently lost his wife and was ready to have a serious relationship with her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact of the matter is...
ROWLANDS: Peterson's attorney, Mark Geragos, is expected to tell the jury that his client is the victim of a rush to judgment, and that detectives were so consumed with Scott Peterson that they missed or ignored evidence that points in other directions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was abducted by someone other than my client, and that she was abducted while walking her dog. ROWLANDS: Both sides have 2 1/2 hours to make a first impression with the jury.
CHUCK SMITH, FMR. HOMICIDE PROSECUTOR: In a high percentage of case, jurors make up their minds after hearing the opening statements.
ROWLANDS: Prosecutors are up first after 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Both families are expected to be in court in force. Along with the media, the entire courtroom will be packed. Seats are very difficult. There's a public lottery going on in the early morning hours out here for onlookers to get in to see opening statements in this case -- Bill.
HEMMER: Ted, thanks for that. Ted Rowlands there in California -- Heidi.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: It's a publishing phenomenon. One best-selling book has spawned nearly a dozen others just to debunk the author's take on the origins of Christianity. The book in question is here, "The Da Vinci Code." And although it's a work of fiction, religious and biblical scholars fear that readers will take the book's claims as gospel.
Harold Attridge, dean of the Yale University Divinity School, is joining us now this morning to talk about this white hot controversy.
But before we start, a warning for our viewers who have not read "The Da Vinci Code," our discussion here will give away parts of the book. So if you don't want to hear that, you might want to turn it down just a second.
Dean Attridge, thanks for being with us this morning.
Let's get to the book's biggest claim, that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and actually had a child. Pure fiction?
HAROLD ATTRIDGE, DEAN, YALE UNIV. DIVINITY SCHOOL: Pure fiction as far as we can tell. No evidence for it whatsoever in the New Testament. It's clear that Mary was an important disciple of Jesus, and probably one of the earliest witnesses to the Resurrection. But there's no indication that they had a sexual or marital relationship.
COLLINS: Well, in fact,there's a little bit more evidence, actually not evidence, I should say, there are some claims that Jesus actually loved Mary Magdalene much more than anyone else, would often kiss her on the mouth. No evidence of this whatsoever.
ATTRIDGE: One of the things about the book is that it takes bits and pieces of fact and spins them into fiction. And in the case of that particular claim, we have a story and something called the Gospel of Philip, which is a second century or third century text, that seems to be an anthology of excerpts and various other kinds of text. And that text is very much interested in Christian rituals, and baptism, and Eucharist and anointing. And one of the rituals it's interested in, I believe, is the ritual kiss in the Eucharistic assembly. What we have in that little story about Jesus and Mary kissing is an explanation, a story about why Christians did what they did, which was not an uncontroversial thing.
COLLINS: So this was not deliberately covered up or left out.
ATTRIDGE: Well, this was -- the text, the gospel of Phillip, was part of a collection of materials only recently discovered in 1946 at Nacamodi (ph) in Egypt. So it was a text that was not incorporated into Christian scriptures. But the story about Jesus and Mary is part of a larger story about the relationship between Jesus and Mary, and that is recognized by the fathers of the church, many of whom called her the apostle to the apostles.
COLLINS: Right. OK, there's another claim that the book says, that Leonardo Da Vinci's famous painting, that we all know is the Last Supper, actually depicts Mary Magdalene to the right of Jesus Christ, not the apostle John. It claims Mary is the Holy Grail. Your thoughts on that.
ATTRIDGE: Right, well there are two claims there. One, the story about the Grail being not a story about a cup, the cup that Jesus used at the Last Supper, but rather about his relationship with Mary and the bloodline that they started. That's a fictitious claim that began, I believe, in 1980 or the early '80s. It has no historical evidence for it whatsoever. The interpretation of the Last Supper is something that art historians would be more competent to talk about than myself, but I think it's fairly clear, to me at least, the person represented by the John figure is a young man, a rather handsome young man, and I think at the conventions that are at work, there are convention of the renaissance that are interested in male relationships rather than male/female relationships.
COLLINS: OK, but now wait a minute, this is a fictional book.
ATTRIDGE: That's right. Correct.
COLLINS: I mean, that's how it's been sold. That's how it's been marketed. But a lot of people have read it, and you say that people are taking this thing much more seriously than they should.
ATTRIDGE: They are. And I think one of the reason for that is the claim at the beginning of the book that says the description of artwork and institutions in this book are fact. The descriptions are factual, but the interpretations are in many cases quite extraordinary, quite imaginative, and quite wrong. And I think people missed that distinction and take the interpretations as historical fact.
COLLINS: To read between the lines on your fictional books, you say. All right.
Harold Attridge, thanks so much for your time this morning. We appreciate it a lot -- Bill.
ATTRIDGE: You're welcome. HEMMER: Heidi, still watching Lakhdar Brahimi in Baghdad speaking at this moment. His speech continues there. We'll get you back there live in a moment.
Also, in this country, an alarming trend among young teens. Your kids could be getting high off something you already have in your home. We'll explain that. Sanjay is back today.
And tornadoes and flooding, lots of nasty weather across the country. Picking up the pieces for so many again today. A look at the aftermath when we continue here in a moment.
HEMMER: There is good news and bad news in a new study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The good news is teenage drug use overall is down. The bad news, abusive inhalants by kids apparently on the rise. And Dr. Sanjay Gupta back with us for the first time in two weeks. at the CNN Center, back from his honeymoon.
Good to see you, Sanjay. Good morning to you. Welcome back.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you very much, Bill. It's good to be back.
The survey was done anonymously, which often you have to do with kids to try and get truthful answers done by a Partnership for a Drug- Free America. Some of the results pretty startling, Bill, as you mentioned. Big increase in the use -- abuse, I should say, of inhalants, especially among sixth-graders. They had the biggest increase by 44 percent over the last couple of years; 18 percent increase in eighth graders. They now say that 1 in 4 eighth graders has at one time tried, if not abused, inhalants. The peak seems to be in the eighth grade population.
Why this occurs -- among Caucasian kids, it's the greatest risk. The last increase, '93 to '94. Why this occurs, kids tend to be the most curious at this age. They tend to also be fearless, not recognizing the potential dangers of inhalants, and they also have great access to a lot of potential products that can be used as inhalants as well -- Bill.
HEMMER: There must be dozens of products in any home across this country that could be inhaled. The most common are what, Sanjay?
GUPTA: Yes, there are dozens of inhalants. They're in your kitchen. They're in your garage. They often common practical uses, which is why they're so accessible. Some of the more common ones, you've probably heard of, glue specifically, airplane glue, for one, nail polish remover, cleaning fluids, gasoline. Propellants in aerosol cans as well could be potential problem, air-conditioning fluid, correction fluid. These products can be sniffed, snorted, sometimes or put into bags and inhaled from a bag. There's also something called huffing, where they actually soak a rag and stick it in your mouth. Obviously none of these things recommended. Not giving a prescription how to do these things, but this is what's happening, at least in a segment of the population.
HEMMER: How then do you tell parents what to look out for? What are the warning signs?
GUPTA: Well, you know, sometimes it can be difficult. I think the first thing really is awareness; and especially an eighth grader, you don't think about these things as much. but there are some signs specifically. Paint or oil stains on the clothing or skin, spots or sores around the mouth, red eyes, chemical odor on the breath, dazed appearance. Any of those sorts of things might be signs. The big key, though, is just recognizing it could potentially happen. One in four eighth graders, that's a pretty large number -- Bill.
HEMMER: That is a large number. Ultimately damage to the body, to the brain is what, Sanjay?
GUPTA: You can have damage. And again, I think people tend to blow off inhalants, because they don't think about inhalants being potentially dangerous. Sometimes it can just be a quick high, and potentially no low long-term damage.
But take a look at some images here. These images, I guess, are worth really 1,000 words. The first image being of a brain. This is a brain of someone who actually subsequently died from inhalant abuse. I can tell you there that the large, dark areas in the brain there are actually areas of the brain that subsequently atrophied or died as a result of the inhalant abuse.
Another picture, side by side, maybe to give you a better sense. This a substance called polurene (ph). On the left, you see a brain that actually is fairly normal in overall. That's an abused brain, rather, on the left. The right side that you're seeing there, a non- abuser. You can see all the changes that occur, again, from a substance, taluine (ph). That is something that is found in airplane glue. Those pictures tell you what happens to the brain long term if those inhalants are abused -- Bill.
HEMMER: Thank you, Sanjay. Again, good to see you, Dr. Sanjay Gupta at the CNN Center.
GUPTA: Thank you.
HEMMER: All right. In a moment here, we'll update the breaking news in the business world, and there is some to talk about, a change at the top of the Viacom.
Also, you're fired again. Kwame Jackson is getting all too familiar with that phrase. What happened to him, the former "Apprentice" contestant, a bit later in our show. Stay with us. Back in a moment here, on AMERICAN MORNING.
COLLINS: Forty-five minutes past the hour now. Here's what's happening in other news today. The new president of Iraq is now speaking at an official introduction ceremony in Baghdad. You are looking at that picture live right now.
This new president, Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar, talking about one nation without discrimination, and that is Iraq. He's talking about how Iraq will be a friend to other nations nearby, incorporating many different Shia, Sunnis and Kurds in that new leadership.
Meanwhile, also in Iraq, the U.S. military says three Iraqis were killed, 20 others injured in a car bomb explosion. The blast took place near an entrance to coalition headquarters in an area known as the green zone. There were also several other explosions in the area before the car bombing.
Cleanup efforts under way in several states now following a weekend of deadly storms. Some Kentucky workers spent Memorial Day surveying the damage. Severe thunderstorms caused heavy flooding, bringing down trees and power lines.
In Indiana, resident are safeguarding buildings and recovering belongings now. Officials are expected to arrive in parts of the state today to review what areas are eligible for disaster aid.
First, Donald Trump gave him the boot. Now it's Miss Universe. Kwame Jackson, "The Apprentice" runner-up, was supposed to be a judge for Trump's pageant. Jackson was disqualified, though, by pageant organizers, because he was waving to some beauty queen contestants he bumped into in a hotel lobby. Well, the pageant's president said, in a statement, "That kind of interaction is strictly prohibited by judges."
And have you ever had an ice cream headache? Well, researchers say it is totally possible you are suffering from sweets. Turns out people who get migraines are more likely to develop the unpleasant headaches that come up with eating ice cream too fast. Researchers say the ice cream headaches can have a throbbing quality to them. And boy, that is the truth. I get those all the time, freezies, brain freezies.
HEMMER: We call them an Uncle Billy in my house.
HEMMER: They happen all the time. Nieces, nephews love to give me a good -- How about Kwame, by the way, poor guy. Take it easy on the guy.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Yes, the stringent rules over the Miss Universe contest, the stringent rules we for that contest. No waving.
HEMMER: A big shakeup at Viacom, plus the school field trips that are feeling the pinch. Andy Serwer is back here Minding Your Business.
Good morning, Drew.
SERWER: Good morning to you. Yes, we want to talk about this breaking news story over at Viacom. Mel Karmazin, the No. 2, is out. And what else is going on? Well, we have two guys who are going to replace him. Tom Freston, who's been the longtime head of MTV, and Les Moonves, the head of CBS.
There's Mel Karmazin right there.
Clashed with Sumner Redstone, the longtime chief of Viacom, who's 81 years young.
Sumner now says he plans to step down in three years. That would make Freston and Moonves the heir apparents. However, these guys should take note, that not only did Mel Karmazin clash and not get to No. 1, same thing happened to Frank Biandi a few years ago. So a lot people had a tough time cohabitating with Mr. Redstone.
COLLINS: Sorry, two guys had the job for one guy now, huh?
SERWER: Well, yes, and they're going to have a little bit of a bake-off there. That's what happens in the business world.
HEMMER: What's happening with the school field trips, speaking of bake-offs?
SERWER: This is an interesting story. I hadn't seen this before. Apparently, big stuff going on in elementary schools in terms of field trips. Schools feeling the pinch, not taking kids to the museums or to the zoo. They are taking them to for-profit stores to save money. Instead of going to the zoo, for instance, kids are being taken to Petcos to learn about animals. There's a company called The Field Trip Factory out of Chicago that is sponsoring a lot of this interaction between the private sector and schools. And one teacher in a story in the paper in Philadelphia said, well, you know, it costs $10 per kid to go to the zoo. The Petco people, guess what, they're paying for the buses.
And you can see here, look at these different stores participating in these, quote, "field trips," unquote, Winn-Dixie, Saturn, Toys 'R' Us, Sports Authority. You know, actually you can see some of this stuff being OK. You learn how a car get's made at a Saturn factory. That's actually pretty interesting. The downside of course is, are these companies trying to get young consumers and identify them with a brand?
Yes, oh, absolutely.
So I remember going to a couple of things like that when I was a kid and they were interesting, going to a -- we had, like going to a bread factory to see how bread was made. So that's interesting. On the other hand, you've got to balance it out.
HEMMER: You still eat bread today, though, too, don't you?
SERWER: Not so much. Not so much bread, but that's a whole other story. We'll talk to Sanjay about that.
HEMMER: Thank you, Andy. Good to see you.
COLLINS: Andy, thanks a lot.
Well, Janet Jackson, as you well know, had a wardrobe malfunction. Now Britney Spears has a wardrobe injunction, so to speak. We'll tell you what that's all about when AMERICAN MORNING continues.
HEMMER: Welcome back, everybody. After a five-day hiatus, it is back, "The Cafferty File."
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Five-day hiatus?
HEMMER: Thursday of last week, right, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
CAFFERTY: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
HEMMER: It's Tuesday. That's the fifth day.
CAFFERTY: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
COLLINS: Stop, stop.
CAFFERTY: China says it's OK for Britney Spears to do concerts in the country, but the communist government is very concerned about her clothing. China's culture ministry is cautioning Spears about her revealing outfits. It wants to know what Britney will be wearing before she performs concerts, five of them in Beijing and Shanghai next year. An official report said, quote, "Relevant departments will carry out strict reviews of her clothing."
Another wardrobe malfunction of sorts. Federal air marshals say their squeaky clean appearance is a bit of a problem. "The L.A. Times" reports that the marshals stand out like, quote, "shampooed show dogs among pound puppies." While most travelers dress down these days, the marshals are required to wear jackets, and ties, and have their shoes shined and their hair cut short. No word on whether they are wearing white socks, but that's -- but they say -- oh, look, there's an air marshal, I mean like that. They're supposed to be, like, undercover.
Many part of the country abuzz with cicada fever. People in other regions of the country feel they're missing out. "USA Today" has a story about something experts are calling cicada envy. The spokeswoman for the University of Maryland's entomology department says they're getting e-mail from worried residents. People are writing to the entomology department at the University of Maryland because there are no cicadas where they live. These brood X cicadas actually have a pretty good life. They take a 17-year nap, they wake up, they come out of the ground, they do that deed, and then they die. And if you think about it, that ain't bad. Seventeen year-nap, a little bada bing, bada boom, and then I'm out of here. I like that. It's not bad.
COLLINS: I love it. All right, Jack. We want to go ahead and check on the weather now.
HEMMER: Iraq making strides to rebuild today. There are still people looking to tear it down. A live update from Baghdad, watching the ceremony inside and the violins outside, in a moment, on AMERICAN MORNING.
COLLINS: In twister ravaged Marengo, Indiana, it is time to be thankful for some and a time of mourning for others. That story in our next hour. Stay with us on AMERICAN MORNING.
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