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Iraq Hopes to Learn From Turbulent Past; New Ultrasound Technology Wows Parents

Aired June 30, 2004 - 9:30   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. It is just about half past the hour on this AMERICAN MORNING.
Iraq, this week, at a turning point, of course, in history, but have the current challenges been seen before?

Barbara Starr is going to join us in a few moments, taking a look at how the country got where it is over the last 100 years and also taking a look at some of the patterns of history.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: A great story there.

You're going to love this next story too.

With the newest ultrasound technology showing us about unborn babies, details so clear, doctors can see a yawn at 15 weeks. Really amazing. Sanjay stops by -- what else they are seeing inside the womb.

O'BRIEN: Cool. I like that.

HEMMER: Very, very cool.

O'BRIEN: I want to do that.

Also this morning, reports out now that one of the greatest movie actors of all time has fallen on very hard times. We're talking about it in "90 Second Pop." It's about Marlon Brando. Also got a couple of other topics of interest to talk about this morning.

HEMMER: Stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, though, let's talk more about America's involvement in Iraq. Nowhere near an end -- we know that -- despite Monday's transfer of power.

At the Pentagon this morning, Barbara Starr has a look at some hard lessons from the past that may teach us a little bit about today.

Barbara, good morning.


Well, as Iraq takes its first steps toward self-governance, a bit of a look back at Iraq's history. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STARR (voice-over): As Iraq steps onto the world stage as a free country, ghosts of the past linger.

In 1917, British military forces advance from Basra in the south to capture Baghdad -- the same route the U.S. would take in 2003.

In 1920, Iraq was given to the British by the League of Nations, assuring Iraqi oil supplies and protection for regional trade routes.

But trouble in those days that would be so well understood more than 80 years later: in the south, Najaf and Karbala near anarchy; Shia and Sunni both revolted against the British.

JUDITH YAPHE, NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY: What is significant in that is that the British in the early 1920s quickly realized they couldn't keep a hold on Iraq in the sense of keeping it fully supplied, fully contained. There was a lot of pressure at home.

STARR: Britain eventually imposed a monarchy led by King Faisal, but many Iraqis only saw a front for occupation and the British were under pressure to bring troops home.

Experts say mistakes were made along the way.

YAPHE: They gave Iraq all the trappings of what a new modern state in the West might look like without giving Iraqis power.

STARR: Violence and instability swept across Iraq for many years. Countless military coups until Saddam Hussein came to full power in 1979.

YAPHE: Political transition has never come easy in Iraq. Almost all of the changes in government in Iraq from the time of independence have come through violence or force; they haven't come through elections.

STARR: It is that history that the U.S. is now trying to change.

But already on the streets of Iraq, whispers of martial law and talk that more violence could mean more U.S. troops and a delay in Iraqi elections.


STARR: So, once again, Bill, everyone watching those patterns of Iraqi history -- Bill.

HEMMER: We are too. Thanks, Barbara, for that. Good story -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: The latest in ultrasound technology is giving doctors and future parents an amazing new view inside the womb.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us from the CNN Center with the latest details on this.

Hey, Sanjay. Good morning to you.


You in particular really are going to enjoy this story.

Not just images, but the activity at very early stages of a fetus' life really remarkable. Professor Stuart Campbell, he is a British doctor, he is been doing some research on this for some time. Some of the results he has, quite surprising. Take a look.


GUPTA (voice-over): Only in its 12th week and this fetus appears to be taking its first steps. With new scanning techniques, doctors are finding out that reflexes like walking occur much earlier than previously thought.

STUART CAMPBELL, PROFESSOR, LONDON'S CREATE HEALTH CLINIC: This is very typical of a newborn baby. If you hold a newborn baby with the feet against a flat surface, the baby makes stepping movements, and this little fetus is...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's as if he is walking up the womb.

CAMPBELL: See the step. Yes, he is making the stepping movement.

GUPTA: The new technology is called the 4-D ultrasound. It's a 3-D ultrasound with the added dimension being movement. Originally created to help identify defects, it is giving doctors a new view of what fetuses are actually up to in the womb. It makes for an emotional experience.

CAMPBELL: I think the bonding is enhanced enormously by this. If you see the reaction of the parents to these images, it is so overwhelming. I mean, I've seen mothers in tears, fathers kiss the screen, kiss their wife's abdomen. It is really quite overwhelming, this feeling of love for their child prenatally.

GUPTA: Later on at 18 weeks, this ultrasound shows the fetus can open its eyes, but it can't see anything because the womb is dark.

Doctors previously thought a baby's eyelids were fused shut until 26 weeks. And at 20 weeks, this fetus is yawning widely, but it's not breathing air, it's breathing through the placenta.

And so, a whole new picture of the life of the early fetus is emerging.


GUPTA: Those images actually coming out of Britain, Dr. Stuart Campbell, but they are available in the United States as well, specialty shops around the country. They have all kinds of interesting names like Womb With a View, for example.

They're also in a lot of doctor's offices as well, Soledad. Cost about $200 or so for any one of these ultrasounds. Really, really remarkable images though -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: So if you wanted to get one of those done, you really should just go talk to your obstetrician and see if they do it themselves or if they know where you can get it done?


You know, it's an interesting thing, Soledad, because the FDA actually issued a pretty firm warning saying they're concerned about what these high energy ultrasounds might lead to long-term. Their conclusions: We just don't know.

This is a new technology. We don't know what the long-term effects are so they're advising people to be careful -- certainly do talk to your obstetrician before you decide to have one. It's best to get one done by a trained sonographer, that's someone who does ultrasounds as well -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: I have to tell you, that is so cool. I want to have one of those!

GUPTA: I thought you might, I thought you might. We did this for you.

O'BRIEN: I definitely do.

Well, you know what, if I get it done, I'll bring you my pictures to show you.

All right, Sanjay, thanks.

HEMMER: I think you should get two of those.

O'BRIEN: One with two in it.

HEMMER: That's right. Really fascinating technology.

O'BRIEN: Isn't it neat? I mean, the resolution and the quality -- that's pretty amazing.

HEMMER: Exactly right. Awesome.

In a moment here, why teachers in Texas might want to start washing windows if they want a better retirement. A lucrative loophole in a moment here.

O'BRIEN: Also this morning, Janet Jackson live and uncensored. How is Ms. Jackson changing her image post-Super Bowl? Our "90 Second Pop" panel will weigh in on that just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.



O'BRIEN: I know this is a popular song, but I never loved this song from Janet Jackson, I've got to tell you. I know, I'm sorry. Not to start off by dissing Janet, because, you know, I love her.


O'BRIEN: But it's Wednesday. It's time for -- me, too, I'm sorry.


O'BRIEN: "90-Second Pop" time for a visit from our pop culture mavens this morning. B.J. Sigesmund is staff editor for "US Weekly" magazine, also Sarah Bernard, contributing editor for "New York" magazine, and humorist Andy Borowitz, the man responsible for, no "the" please!


BERNARD: Come on.

O'BRIEN: I've gotten that right three times in a row, which means I should win some sort of award or something. All right, let's get right to it.

Janet Jackson, there was lots of concern because she had this performance on BET.

BERNARD: That's right.

O'BRIEN: And it was live, which meant...

BERNARD: No tape delay, so hopefully no wardrobe malfunction.


BERNARD: That's right.

O'BRIEN: Did she?

BERNARD: She was a very, very good girl. But Rick James was a very bad boy.

O'BRIEN: What happened?

BERNARD: He thankfully did not have a wardrobe malfunction, but he used some language that you're not supposed to use on live TV. So, he...

BOROWITZ: In fairness to him, he spent the weekend with Dick Cheney, so I think it may have rubbed off on him.

BERNARD: Oh, the foul mouth, it rubbed off.

BOROWITZ: A little bit. BERNARD: Well, not only did Janet not do any revealing, she was wearing a giant amount of clothes. She had, like, these giant pants on and a tunic that went all the way down.

B.J. SIGESMUND, "US WEEKLY": I don't know, but there was so much talk about Janet yesterday, this big -- you know, her big performance on that show. Then this morning in the papers and on the Internet, there's nothing. No one's talking about it barely an iota.

BERNARD: Because that's what it shows you.

O'BRIEN: Once you've gotten naked, you've got to get naked again or nobody...

BERNARD: Yes, no wardrobe malfunction, no one talk about you. That's the problem.

SIGESMUND: She'll learn.

O'BRIEN: But, you know, if you hire Rick James to come and do your show, you know what you're getting, right? I mean, come on.

BERNARD: You know what you're getting. He was very unhappy when someone didn't know who he was, and that's what started it.

O'BRIEN: Oh, that is...

BOROWITZ: My criticism of the show is that it wasn't long enough. I just thought...


SIGESMUND: Oh, my god, it was three and a half hours!

BOROWITZ: You know, it didn't really get...


O'BRIEN: Oh sarcasm, always funny.

All right, let's talk about Marlon Brando. A biographer says that -- I mean, this is a serious story. That he is destitute. That he has hit the skids. What do know about this biographer? I mean, is there a chance that this is actually right on?

BOROWITZ: Well, we don't really know. I mean, I think we have to wait to see what the facts are. They're saying that he's $20 million in debt. My sources say that he blew a lot of money in the market -- actually Boston Market is what I'm hearing. But no, no, no.


BOROWITZ: That's actually not true. But I don't know. You know, it's sort of hard to even imagine $20 million in debt, because I remember when he did the movie, "Superman," he got paid $4 million for one minute of acting. So, if I'm doing the math right, all he has to do is work five minutes to make that all back. He'll be fine.

BERNARD: And then he'll be fine.

BOROWITZ: He'll be fine.


O'BRIEN: "The Score" was his last movie.

BERNARD: That's right. That was probably the last one.

O'BRIEN: And he made a ton of money for that for a brief appearance, too.


BERNARD: And how did he spend it? It was mostly defending his son, right?

BOROWITZ: A lot of legal bills, that's right.

BERNARD: You know, it's always the kids.

SIGESMUND: A lot of lawsuits and a lot of kids. He has...

O'BRIEN: Well, his son killed somebody?

SIGESMUND: Yes, his son killed his sister's boyfriend.

O'BRIEN: Yes, that's going to cost you a lot of money.

SIGESMUND: There was...

BERNARD: That's going to cost you, yes. It's always the kids. see? They squander it away.

SIGESMUND: Yes. But he hasn't been able to work for a long time. Remember, they wanted him in "Scary Movie 2," and they were offering $2 million for a cameo in that. He couldn't do it, because he was too ill.

BOROWITZ: It said online that he's doing this animated movie now. He's doing an old woman's voice in a movie called "Big Bug Man." So that's...


BERNARD: Animated movies are perfect!

O'BRIEN: And you're kidding.

BERNARD: That's true.



O'BRIEN: Well, hopefully they'll pay him 20 million and he'll be in the clear. It will all work out for Marlon.

"Spider-Man 2," we don't have a ton of time, but it's the big release. You know, sequels generally, I think, as a rule, are so much worse than the original, not worth seeing. How about this one?

SIGESMUND: Not this one. This one totally delivers. I saw it last week. The thrills are just as big, but it has a big heart as well. You know, he's filled with angst about his love for M.J., which actually costs him his super powers in this film. And it has a lot of wit as well. You know, there is one scene where he washes his Spider- Man costume in the washing machine and it turns all his whites to pink.

It was a lot of fun, and I am expecting that this movie will do better than the first one and break more records. One estimate said it could make $200 million over the six days.


SIGESMUND: Remember, it has a six-day weekend now, because it opens today.

BOROWITZ: Couldn't they just give 20 of that to Marlon?

O'BRIEN: We're going to work that out off-air. We're going to move all of that money around and make everything OK in the end. You guys, as always thank you so much. Nice to see you. Appreciate it.

Bill -- back to you.


HEMMER: All right, Soledad, thanks for that. In a moment, not getting your Howard Stern fix. If so, there's a development on that front. We'll get to it, right after this.


HEMMER: About 45 minutes past the hour. Back to Drew Griffin at the CNN Center with other news in the headlines today.

Good morning there.

And Iraq again tops there.

Drew, good morning.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN ANCHOR: Indeed, the handover includes the handover of Saddam. Iraqi authorities getting legal custody of Saddam Hussein and 11 other high-profile members of his former regime. Saddam and the others no longer prisoners of war, but will physically remain under coalition custody, this until sufficient Iraqi security is in place. Charges expected tomorrow. Convicted child killer Joel Steinberg released from a New York State prison just about a half hour ago. Steinberg served 15 years behind bars in the beating death of his illegally adopted 6-year-old daughter. That little girl, Lisa, died in 1987, three days after a vicious beating in the New York City apartment where she lived with Steinberg and his former lover, Hedda Nussbaum.

Secretary of State Colin Powell getting a firsthand look at the crisis in Sudan. The government there has been accused of helping Arab militia carry out ethnic-cleansing campaigns against black Africans. Secretary Powell threatening action by the U.N. Security Council. And in the meantime, U.N. Security-General Kofi Annan, in Sudan as well, is describing it as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Thousands of Texas teachers are dusting their way to retirement. A federal loophole allows teachers to collect Social Security, even though they don't contribute, if they spend their last working day doing a job that is covered by Social Security. So schools across that state are helping by hiring teachers for janitorial and maintenance jobs for the day. The loophole closes today, so expect some clean schools in Texas.

And shock jock Howard Stern says he is returning to the airwaves in markets lost during an indecency crackdown. Stern's show will again be available in Pittsburgh, San Diego, Rochester, New York, West Palm Beach, and Orlando, Florida. Stern had been pulled off the air by stations owned by clear channel communications. That company agreed to pay a $1.75 million fine to settle charges. The show has also added some markets there.

Back to you guys.

HEMMER: All right, Drew, thanks for that. Drew Griffin at the CNN Center.

To Jack Cafferty back here in New York.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: There will be no living with him now, will there? He'll just go on and on.

HEMMER: Someone rumored that he was going to quit.

O'BRIEN: Or go to satellite.

CAFFERTY: Pick up his toys and go home.

The question of the day is this, how much coverage should traditional media give to terrorist kidnappings and beheadings? Stimulating inquiry if I do say so myself. I've gotten some good mail.

This writer says, "As soon as CNN airs a picture or footage of a terrorist or a terrorist event, it shores up their deadly objective. Your technology shoots that instant pat on the back directly to the terrorists. They feed on it. And that's why we're still in Iraq." Ted in Blue Point, New York writes, "I know there's a fundamental right to report the news, but the terrorists end up getting additional promotional value for their despicable behavior. With that in mind, I wish the press would approach their reporting this way, quote, 'Those spineless cowards killed another hostage today,' unqoute, and leave it at that.

And Robert in Albuquerque, New Mexico writes this, "There are some things that I don't need to know, things that I have no control over. I wish I could of saved that Korean fellow and all I could do is watch him die. Looking back, why did I need to know that?"

O'BRIEN: Interesting questions I think raised in the e-mail, yes.

OK, let's turn and talk about business news this morning. What will the impact be if the Fed raises interest rates? Andy Serwer would say, it's not an if, it's going to happen at 2:15 today.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: It's a when, and it's a when at 2:15 today, that's right, Soledad.

A lot happening businesswise this morning. Let's check out the Big Board, first of all. Stocks moving up 16 points on the industrials. Hey, it's the last day of the second quarter today.


SERWER: Bet you didn't realize that, of the rest of your life.

Nasdaq up 2 percent so far this quarter. We'll see what happens at the end of the day. 2:15 the Fed will likely raise interest rates by a quarter point. That means higher rates on mortgages and auto loans, and also higher rates on your savings accounts and CDs. A bunch of stocks to watch today, some really, really interesting stories this morning, very, very active. First of all, K-Mart is selling a bunch of stores, 54 stores to Sears for $600 million. That stock has gone from, like, the low teens to $72. It's up $4 this morning.

Another stock on the move is Rimm. They make Blackberries, the pride of Waterloo, Ontario, another company that has just been sizzling. I've one of these Blackberries right here. This is Kelly Wallace's. You can see here. These things have been selling like crazy. Kelly, I might not give this back to you, or I might, because I need one.

CAFFERTY: What is the company?

SERWER: Rimm -- R-I-M-M. They make Blackberries.

O'BRIEN: The thing is great. I mean, the nickname is "crackberry," because are actually...


SERWER: Once you use them, you can't stop.

O'BRIEN: Truly. I'm not making that up, that's true.

CAFFERTY: I got to get me one of those.

O'BRIEN: Yes, you need a cell phone first. Start slow, Jack.

SERWER: Hello, Jack. You're on the "crackberry," Jack. OK.

And lastly here, we've got Taser also on the move, up $5.00 to $45. This is interesting. They just got their largest contract ever. Not that big really, $1.8 million from the feds, to supply U.S. troops with the Taser. So another stock been way on the move, and soldiers are going to get them now, not just the police.

O'BRIEN: That's interesting. All right, Andy, thanks.

SERWER: You're welcome.

O'BRIEN: In a moment here, 280 million reasons why you should not change that channel, ahead this hour on AMERICAN MORNING.



O'BRIEN: Well, good news now. The jackpot in the Mega Millions Lotto game still growing. Nobody has picked the right number to win the $220 million jackpot, so Friday's jackpot is going to be about $280 million. There were 40 second-prize winners last night. They matched all five lotto numbers, but not the Megaball number. They won $175,000 apiece, but not even close to the big pot. The Mega Millions game is played in 11 states.

HEMMER: We're playing a lot around here, too.

O'BRIEN: We've been playing...

HEMMER: We've been playing for weeks.

O'BRIEN: How much have we spent on these tickets, y'all? I mean, come on.

HEMMER: The poorhouse we go.

O'BRIEN: We're doing it as a team, so that when we win...

HEMMER: We can quit.


HEMMER: Who's kidding who, right?

O'BRIEN: They're going to be running reruns of the show. There will be nobody here. HEMMER: Coming up on CNN next hour, your friendly neighborhood Spider-man swinging back into theaters, and getting good reviews already, too. That's next hour here on CNN, when Mr. Moviefone stops by with Drew Griffin. He's working for Daryn today. We're back in a moment here, on AMERICAN MORNING after this.


HEMMER: Before we get out of here, want to let you know later tonight on "NEWSNIGHT WITH AARON BROWN," 12 short hours away. Here's Aaron with a quick preview.

AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Bill. Tonight on NEWSNIGHT independent journalist Mike Tucker has made a remarkable documentary about the soldiers in one artillery unit in Iraq. He arrived as the insurgency was started, and caught on film the complexities, the fighters and living in a war zone. The soldiers he profiles call themselves "gunners," and tonight we'll see a bit of the war from their corner of Iraq.

That story, plus all the day's top days, morning papers and everything that makes NEWSNIGHT NEWSNIGHT, CNN tonight 10:00 p.m. Eastern -- Bill.

HEMMER: See you in 12 hours. Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Well, we're out of time.

HEMMER: Yes, we are.

O'BRIEN: Let's head it right to Drew Griffin. He's filling in for Daryn today.

Thanks for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow.


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