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Saddam's Trial Keeps World Riveted; Business World Waits for June Jobs Report

Aired July 2, 2004 - 8:30   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. It is coming up on half past the hour on this AMERICAN MORNING. Bill Hemmer has taken the day off.
Much of Iraq, though, was riveted to its TVs yesterday -- as we were as well -- as Saddam Hussein heard the charges against him. Our "Gimme A Minute" commentators are going to join us in just a little bit to tell us what this event means to Iraq and to America as well.

Also, were talking about hot tubs -- can there be a danger lurking in some of them? Dr Sanjay Gupta will tell us what we should check for before we test the waters.

The June jobs report is out, really in just a few minutes. Andy Serwer is joining us this morning. We're expecting it in, what -- literally three minutes?

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Yes. Well, actually in just a few seconds. In theory, it should come out at 8:30 on the nose. Sometimes it's a few seconds late.

What we're looking for is this morning's job growth for the month of June of 250,000 jobs, Soledad. We're looking for the unemployment rate to hold steady at 5.6 percent. This is very important because obviously the Federal Reserve just raised interest rates.

They're going to be looking in seeing just how fast is the economy growing? How many jobs are being created? Obviously, job growth has been very significant over the past couple of months. The economy has been growing smartly since this spring, really. And this would be further implication -- or indications, excuse me -- that the economy continues to expand.

O'BRIEN: And it's been consistent growth. I mean, month after month we've had good news, so that's obviously good news for the White House.

Give me a sense of the figure 250,000. Is that high? Is that, sort of, what people would be happy with, or were they expecting more if, indeed, that's the number?

SERWER: Yes. You know, I think historically that's a very good number. I mean, it would be the fourth month in a row, in fact, it would be over 200,000 jobs. So, that's pretty serious.

OK. We're getting the numbers now. OK -- 112,000 jobs created and the unemployment rate stays at 5.6 percent. So, obviously that's a lot less than expected, so it's kind of a disappointing jobs report this morning, Soledad.

One hundred-twenty thousand jobs created is still a good number -- obviously, that's a lot of jobs -- but less than half of what is expected. So, it will be interesting to see the market sort of sort that out because it's sort of good news-bad news.

O'BRIEN: How does predictions work? I mean, they're wrong by 50 percent; so how do the prediction come around the first time? I mean, who decides that 250,000 is the number it looks like it's going to be?

SERWER: Well, that really is a composite of economists all over Wall Street. And, in fact, there is high numbers of over 300,000 and low numbers of -- more toward 100,000. So that really is an average of averages, if you will.

So, again, 112,000 jobs created for the month of June. The unemployment rate stays steady at 5.6 percent. And we'll be talking more about this over the next couple hours.

O'BRIEN: OK. Great. Andy, thanks a lot.

SERWER: You're welcome.

O'BRIEN: Turning now to what we do every Friday just around this time, we fire up our "Gimme A Minute" crew for a look at the week's big stories.

And joining us this morning, from Washington is Donna Brazile, she is a CNN political contributor, also an author of "Cooking With Grease: Stirring The Pots In American Politics."

I had that book. I've read it. It's good.

Also this morning...


O'BRIEN: ... Jonah Goldberg. He is the editor of the "National Review Online" -- joining us.

Hey, Jonah, nice to see you.


O'BRIEN: Good morning to you.

And in New York -- John DeVore. He is a political satirist with "Maxim." Nice to see you, John. Thanks for being with us.


O'BRIEN: Let's get right to it.

Donna, we're going to start with you this morning.

Yesterday, Saddam Hussein, in a courtroom being grilled by judge -- and seemingly at times defiant, confused. He's been described many different ways. Do you think it was a turning point yesterday?

BRAZILE: Well, I hope so. I hope it will empower the free- thinking people of Iraq to take control of their own destiny, and their governmental and help to restore security. But unfortunately, it probably will embolden the insurgents for the next couple of weeks.

O'BRIEN: At the same time, Jonah, many complaints about exactly how the proceedings went and the involvement in of the U.S., as well. Do you think it's going to be seen, at the end of the day, as valid?

GOLDBERG: Oh, I think so. In part because even though the procedures aren't right, the justice is right, as it were. He deserves to be punished and put on trial and that is what will drive things. But I think this is a major turning point of -- the interim government is very popular.

The new Iraqi national guard, according to the press reports today, is very popular. I think things are on the upswing there, finally.

O'BRIEN: John DeVore, did you watch it...

DEVORE: I did.

O'BRIEN: ... as we all seemed to?

DEVORE: I did. I watched it all yesterday morning. I loved it. You would have thought with all the money we've thrown in Iraq, though, that we could have afforded a set a little bit more expensive than Judge Judy's.

O'BRIEN: It did kind of look like that, didn't it?

DEVORE: It looked like a puppet court.

O'BRIEN: All right.

Let's talk about our second topic this morning -- we're talking about Howard Stern. How's that for kind of a sharp turn? Jonah, we're going to start with you.

Howard Stern says that he is the victim here, after the fines for his indecency. Do you think he has a point?

GOLDBERG: Actually, no. I think Howard Stern is sort of making a fool of himself. And I'm an old Howard Stern fan -- and I think he's making a grave mistake to keep talking about Bush this way because he's going to sound like Don Imus talking about his ranch. Nobody wants to hear it.

O'BRIEN: At the same time, Donna, you know, as much as he claims he's the victim, he's never done better. He's got nine new stations on board. Do you think he has enough of a voice now to truly impact the election?

BRAZILE: Oh, no question. I think now Howard Stern has found his voice -- and it's a good voice. And I tell you he may be Jonah's old hat, but he's my new radio disc jockey.

O'BRIEN: Because you think he is saying the right things.

John, do you listen to him?

DEVORE: Oh, I love Howard Stern. You know, if the question is, is he paranoid? I'm paranoid.

I'm convinced that John Ashcroft is reading my Internet browser. A lot of this issue, I think, though, is the weird Puritan strain in the Republican Party. They need to lighten up a little.

O'BRIEN: Well, you know what they say just because your paranoid doesn't mean people aren't after you, right?

All right. Let's talk about the two Supreme Court decisions -- two big decisions -- one about Guantanamo and one about an American in Afghanistan.

Donna, we're going to start with you. Is this a huge blow for the administration -- how the court ruled?

BRAZILE: Absolutely. But it is a strike for justice. It reminds the country that this is a nation of laws, and no one, including the president, is above it.

O'BRIEN: And Jonah, what do you think? Do you predict a big change in the legal approach anytime soon?

GOLDBERG: I think there is going to be a big change because the Supreme Court says there has to be. I think it was a very principled, and in many ways, bold decision -- depending on which ones we're talking about. But I also think that we are going to get a lot of blow back on this. I don't think it was necessarily all for the good on the war on terror. It's a mixed bag.

O'BRIEN: And, John, what you think? All for good on the war on terror or not?

DEVORE: It's really important. I support the war on terror even though I have issues with how it's fought. But it's -- you know, you live by the sword, you die by the sword. This ruling kind of shows the world that we are standing up for our own values that we're trying to spread.

O'BRIEN: Let's talk about the under-covered stories of the week now. Jonah, you're going to start. What do you think we missed?

GOLDBERG: I'm going to invoke my prerogative on this one and give a...

O'BRIEN: You don't have -- there's no prerogative. What are you talking about?


GOLDBERG: They told me I had prerogative.

O'BRIEN: OK. OK. Invoke your prerogative.

GOLDBERG: Our dear leader, as the North Koreans say, William F. Buckley has divested himself of "National Review" and is in full retirement now. After 50 years of basically creating the modern conservative movement, he deserves a hat tip from peons like me.

O'BRIEN: And he certainly deserves the retirement, right -- after 50 years. Good for him.

Donna, what do you think? Invoke your prerogative, Donna -- and tell me what you think.

BRAZILE: Well, CNN scored a major legal victory yesterday. CNN sued the state of Florida to get the names up all of the so-called felons that Jeb Bush has thrown off the voter rolls -- and CNN won yesterday. I'm proud of CNN for standing up for average people.

O'BRIEN: In the 2000 election, it looked like many of those folks actually weren't felons at all and had been on the list incorrectly.

John, if we're going to give you the final word this morning. What you think was a story we missed?

DEVORE: Well, I don't have any prerogative to invoke, but a -- the story in the best week or so that really concerned me was the deportation of the Iranians for taking photographs of landmarks in New York City. It's another issue about the "axis of evil."

I think we should pay more attention to these, scary kind of countries. I didn't think it got enough reportage. Yes, you know, the Iranians kind of give me nightmares.

O'BRIEN: You guys, as always, thank you very much.

John and Donna and Jonah joining us this morning. Certainly appreciate it. Have a great weekend. We'll see you back here again next week.

DEVORE: You, too.

BRAZILE: Happy 4th.

GOLDBERG: Happy 4th.

O'BRIEN: Thank you -- likewise.

BRAZILE: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING -- a trip to fantasyland. We're going to take a look at almost 300 million different reasons to dream.

Plus, a world record that went up in smoke. We'll explain ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: Let's take you right to Chad Myers, who's looking at the weather for us.


O'BRIEN: Hey, Chad, not that it's all about us -- but what's the 4th going to look like?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, what we have is a storm that's going to come out of Texas, roll up into the Ohio Valley. And I think late, on Sunday, for you, it's going to be wet -- and then all of the day on Monday it's going to be wet, too.

O'BRIEN: Chad.

MYERS: I know, I'm sorry.

O'BRIEN: All right. We don't blame you. Thanks, Chad. Appreciate it. That's a bummer.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we've got to work anyway, or I do.

O'BRIEN: I'm on vacation next week.

CAFFERTY: Are you? Good for you.

O'BRIEN: Oh, yes.

CAFFERTY: All right. Here's the deal.

"Question of the Day": What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and you were $290 million richer? That's the prize in the Mega Millions lottery drawing tonight. In New Jersey yesterday they were buying tickets at the rate of 3,600 a minute.

However, don't get your hopes up. The odds are way against you -- 135 million to one against you winning. But there's nothing wrong with a little daydreaming. That's what we're doing here on this here Friday.

Mark writes from Chagrin Falls, Ohio: "Throw my cell phone away, one. Two, throw my watch away. Three, no more sucking up. Four, my boss can have everything that's on my desk. Five, buy a lot of sun tan lotion. Six, I'm not going to tell you where you can find me."

Dean in Marlton, New Jersey: "If I had $290 million I would buy up all the copies of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and burn them just for the fun of it." Gerry (ph), who's the audio engineer on this very program that you're watching now had enough time -- apparently you're not working hard enough, Gerry (ph) -- time to write into the program. He says, "I'd buy a building in London, England, string a cable across the Atlantic and then I could mix the audio for the program from there."

O'BRIEN: So he'd still work.

CAFFERTY: Yes, he'd still keep his job.

O'BRIEN: You're quite a guy, Gerr.

CAFFERTY: And Una (ph) writes, "I'd buy CNN and fire your irritating ass." I hope Una (ph) doesn't win.


CAFFERTY: I've got four kids.

O'BRIEN: That's right. You've got kids in college to help?

CAFFERTY: I've got four grandkids. I've got a lot of stuff to do yet

O'BRIEN: All right, Una (ph). We're rooting against you to win. I've thought about that a lot, what I would do.

CAFFERTY: Firing my irritating ass?


O'BRIEN: No. Not that actually.

CAFFERTY: That, too.

O'BRIEN: No,, no. Gee, no, Jack that's never even crossed my mind at all. I don't know what you're talking about.

CAFFERTY: Why are you holding my hand?

O'BRIEN: I'm just touching you.


O'BRIEN: Why? Is it bothering you?

CAFFERTY: So, what did you say? You've thought about it a lot?

O'BRIEN: I've thought about it a lot. Yes -- about winning?

CAFFERTY: What would you do?

O'BRIEN: If I won on the set, I would stop in the middle of the sentence I was reading and get up and go home.

CAFFERTY: You would trample people on the way out the door. O'BRIEN: And I would go right to bed -- yes, I would run people over and I would go to bed and close the door and say, no one bother me for 24 hours.

CAFFERTY: I don't have to get up early tomorrow morning.

O'BRIEN: That's right. Nobody bother me. Brad would take care of the kids, and I'd go to sleep. I just have a small wants, don't I?

CAFFERTY: One hundred thirty-five to one against it. Did you buy a ticket?

O'BRIEN: Yes, we all did. We all bought tickets.

CAFFERTY: I didn't get in on it.

O'BRIEN: How many tickets did we buy? Anybody know? A lot -- because I put in a lot of money.

CAFFERTY: Did you? They bought one ticket and they went to lunch on the rest of your money.


CAFFERTY: See, that's our guys.

Thank you, Soledad. Oops, we didn't win.


O'BRIEN: Oh, well. You know, I'm always gullible.

Let's get to the news now -- 43 minutes past the hour. And Betty Nguyen has a look at some of the other stories making headlines for us.

Hey, Betty. Good morning.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm hoping to win that. So you can forget about that, Soledad.

On to the news.

The FBI is warning Americans to be vigilant 4th of July weekend. U.S. officials say Independence Day celebrations could be a target for al Qaeda. But the bureau stresses there are no indications of a specific threat this holiday. And the Homeland Security Department has no plans of raising the nation's terror alert level.

Four American soldiers have reportedly been charged in the drowning death of an Iraqi man. According to Denver media reports, the soldiers were part of a patrol that detained Iraqi prisoners and ordered them to jump off a bridge north of Baghdad. No date has been set for a preliminary hearing.

Well, some angry words from entertainer Bill Cosby, the comedian saying he is calling the black community to action. Speaking at a Chicago conference yesterday, Cosby saying some blacks cannot simply blame whites for problems such as teen pregnancy and high school dropout rates.


BILL COSBY, ENTERTAINER: It's almost analgesic to talk about what the white man is doing against us and it keeps -- it keeps a person frozen in their seat.


NGUYEN: Cosby faced some criticism after making similar comments back in May.

More on the speech when Jesse Jackson joins AMERICAN MORNING in the next hour.

In campaign 2004, the candidates building up their war chest. Democratic hopeful John Kerry has raised more than $180 million in his presidential campaign -- a Democratic record. In just one day alone, this week, Kerry raised $3 million over the Internet. However, President Bush still apparently ahead of the game with a reported $218 million.

And finally, an attempt at a world record going up in smoke, literally. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they were attempting to light the most candles on a cake, some 15,000. But check it out. The candles created a giant fireball which had to be extinguished. It's not clear, but it looks like the old record still stands -- 12,400 candles. Good thing this happened at a water park -- plenty of water to douse those flames -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: You hope they thought of that as a potential problem.


O'BRIEN: It's not funny, but luckily, I think, nobody was hurt.


O'BRIEN: Betty, thanks.

Still to come this morning, Andy Serwer is "Minding Your Business." He is going to tell you about a guy in California with an unusual problem. He can't quite find anybody to take $10,000 off his hands.

We've got more on that story and more of AMERICAN MORNING right after this.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

CAFFERTY: Markets have a lot to chew on this morning. That big jobs report out about 20 minutes ago. Andy Serwer is here "Minding Your Business." What do we got?

SERWER: Well, the jobs report was disappointing, Jack. I think that's the only way to say it.

In the month of June, we were looking to add 250,000 jobs. We only got 112,000 jobs -- less than half of what was expected.

Here's what we got -- unemployment rate stays constant at 5.6 percent -- not 6.5 percent like some wire services were reporting this morning.

CAFFERTY: That was the A.P. that did that

SERWER: Well, we all make mistakes. That's...

CAFFERTY: A little typo.

SERWER: That's a big mistake down on Wall Street.

CAFFERTY: They're probably playing -- they've probably been playing badminton over there.

SERWER: I think, Jack, that you could make the case, though, over the past week or so that there are signs the economy is not growing as fast as it was a few months ago.

CAFFERTY: The manufacturing report yesterday suggested it was slowing down some -- that ISM thing that comes out.

SERWER: That's right.

And then Wal-Mart and Target said that their sales in May weren't so great. G.M. said the same thing. The economy is still growing, but it looks like the rate of growth is not what it was just a few months ago.

CAFFERTY: The good news in that, if you can find a little silver lining, is that the Fed may not be as aggressive in raising interest rates, which means home loans, car loans - things like that -- won't go up as fast as if the economy was cooking out 300,000 jobs a month.

SERWER: No, I think that's right. I think were sort of right down the middle still here. I think that it's fine. I think this is OK for President Bush. I don't think anyone's going to be complaining that the economy is not growing faster. I mean, that's a very nuanced point for anyone. He can still say, 100,000-plus job were added this month. That's a good thing. The economy is still growing from that perspective.

CAFFERTY: John Kerry can say it's not enough.

SERWER: Exactly. Well, that's harder to say.

CAFFERTY: And he will.

SERWER: And he will -- but I think that's going to be harder to say the economy's not growing as fast as it could. I mean, if the economy's contracting, that's an easier thing to say.

Let's go on to this story in California about this man with a very, very unique problem. Sixty-year-old Ron England has a million pennies. Those are 13 boxes of one million pennies, rolled up -- and it weighs, Jack, 3.6 tons.


SERWER: He is trying to bring this to CoinSstars (ph), you know, those machines in the supermarkets. They just say, forget it.

CAFFERTY: They wouldn't even hold it.

SERWER: The banks are saying you can bring it in very, very slowly. The federal government wants no part of it.

CAFFERTY: How much is a million pennies?

SERWER: Ten thousand dollars.

CAFFERTY: Ten thousand bucks

SERWER: So he's maybe -- he's going to move to Oregon. He may have to bring this whole kit and caboodle with him.

CAFFERTY: I'll tell you what. Put it in a U-Haul. I live in Cedar Grove. Drop it by the house, I'll get rid of it for you, no change.

O'BRIEN: Yes. Until you're hauling bag after bag of pennies to the bank at $20 at a time.

SERWER: Call him money bags.

CAFFERTY: I don't have a problem.

SERWER: He'd do it.

CAFFERTY: Thanks, Andy.

SERWER: You're welcome.

O'BRIEN: Still to come this morning, Dr. Sanjay Gupta stops by to tell us whether it's safe to go into the water. Seems there might be trouble lurking in that tempting hot tub. We'll explain, up next on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: Those warm bubbles of your hot tubs sure might look inviting, but a new government study says you could be getting a lot more than just hot water.

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

Good morning to you, Sanjay. What exactly is in the hot tub? DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Some of this stuff you may not want to know. But, you know, hot tubs are very popular. There are about 5 million hot tub spas, whirlpools around the country. And there is some concern -- some inspections going on to try and figure out just how safe they are, if there is any violation, specifically, of it .

The inspection is being conducted by the Centers For Disease Control. They looked at 5,200 of these spas around the country in all these various cities trying to figure out how safe they were, how clean the water. Surprising, 56.8 percent of the hot tubs had violations of some sort.

I'll talk more about that in a second.

Eleven percent were so significant that they led to spa closings -- most of them due to water chemistry problems. Specifically, the water chemistry problems has to do with having disinfectants in the water, like chlorine. Sometimes there wasn't enough and sometimes the pH, or the acidity of the water, wasn't high enough.

There is this perception, Soledad, that because it's a hot tub -- the water is hot -- and therefore the bacteria don't thrive. In fact, just the opposite might be true. There are some bacteria that particularly like hot water, and if the chlorine levels and the other disinfectant levels aren't high enough, it can be a real problem, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: What kind of things, then? I mean, specifically give us specifics on violations -- but what kind of yucky stuff is actually in there?

GUPTA: What kinds of -- well, I mean, there's different types of bacteria that can cause all sorts of problems. Specifically, skin rashes are going to be the most common sorts of problems that are caused. Ear infections also -- a lot of the bacteria from the water can get in your ears.

Respiratory disease -- this is something that a lot of people don't think of typically. But Legionnaires disease, for example, are bacteria that are typically associated with water. It usually comes from air conditioning vents and stuff like that, but can also come from hot tubs, spas or whirlpools, as well. So that's the biggest concern.

It was campgrounds and hotels that were the biggest offenders. And that's because they have high volume of traffic of people coming in and out of those hot tubs. Not really surprising there -- but they were the biggest violators, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Do they recommend, then, that you just shouldn't be in a hot tub or are there sort of ways you can protect yourself if you're going to get in a hot tub?

GUPTA: Well, they recommend you shouldn't be in a hot tub ever, as a pregnant woman. O'BRIEN: Yes, I know that.

GUPTA: But if you are going into a hot tub -- I mean, a hot tub is obviously an enjoyable thing for a lot of people, and they can be very safe as well. If you are going to get into a hot tub, you should shower beforehand -- or somebody should shower beforehand -- to make sure that it's clean for the next person.

Visually inspect it. And we're not trying to be glib, there. But, you know, literally look around. Make sure there are no slimy surfaces, or anything like that. And talk to the managers about the chemical levels. They're required, by law, to give you that information as to the last time the spa was actually serviced, what the pH and the chlorine levels are in the water as well.

O'BRIEN: Yuck. Slimy surfaces. I wrote that down, Sanjay. Yuck. All right. Thanks, appreciate it.

GUPTA: Thank you. Goodbye.

O'BRIEN: Thanks for the warning.

Coming up in our next hour, a look at the controversy that's whirling around Bill Cosby's latest comments about race in America. The Reverend Jesse Jackson was there last night when Bill Cosby spoke.

We're going to talk to him up next on AMERICAN MORNING.



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