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Interview with Actor T.C. Carson; Kerry/Edwards Holds Rally In North Carolina; New Frequent Flier Security Program Rolled Out In Minneapolis

Aired July 10, 2004 - 18:00   ET


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: "CNN LIVE SATURDAY" is just ahead, but first, a quick look at what's happening now in the news.
The Philippines says militants holding a Filipino hostage in Iraq have given the government another 24 hours. The kidnappers are demanding that Philippine troops leave Iraq in 10 days. Maria Resa has the latest in a report from Manila coming up.

President Bush repeated his call for a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage. Today happens to be the day same-sex partnerships become legal in New Jersey. The Senate began debating the issue yesterday.

The U.S. Park Police chief who was fired yesterday says the Bush administration is silencing government officials, but the National Park service says Teresa Chambers broke the rules by publicly protesting budget cuts. I'm going to be talking with her later this hour.

And good evening, I'm Carol Lin. Welcome to CNN LIVE SATURDAY. Ahead this hour, a Hollywood television star is taking a serious career risk by getting the message out about AIDS. I'm going to be talking about "Living Single" star T.C. Carson later this hour.

And he wants to defend his country, but his love for Spider-man is standing in his way. I'm going to explain.

In the meantime, joy turns into confusion in the Philippines. All day there have been conflicting reports about the fate of a Filipino hostage in Iraq. First, there were reports he's free and then the news changed. CNN's Maria Resa reports.


MARIA RESSA, CNN JAKARTA BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Al-Jazerra called it a final appeal from 46-year-old Angelo de la Cruz, a Filipino driver kidnapped by Islamic militants in Iraq.

"I beg you to withdraw the troops from Iraq," he says. The Philippine government says it is already doing that. It has about 50 non-combat members of the armed forces and police, a humanitarian contingent that will pull out on August 20, as scheduled. The government emphasized it was not giving in to kidnappers demands.

DELIA ALBERT, FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY: Our commitment really stands up to August of 2004 this year. It's a commitment we have made to the Iraqi people, who have asked our contingent to stay.

RESSA: Hours later, Arsena de la Cruz, the hostage's wife, said she received a phone call from Philippine President Gloria Arroyo telling her her husband was safe. Their eight children quickly spread the word, ending in scenes of jubilation in their hometown.

JULYSIS DE LA CRUZ, HOSTAGE'S SON (through translator): I'm so happy because my father was saved. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (through translator): Thank you very much to all. We are all so happy.

RESSA: Soon after, Al Jazerra received a fax allegedly from the kidnappers saying de la Cruz had not been released, a statement later confirmed by the Philippine government.

(on camera): The fax also extended the deadline another 24 hours and pushed the Philippine government to pull out its troops one month earlier, making it clear the kidnappers do not want to give Filipino officials an easy way out.

Maria Ressa, CNN, Manila.


LIN: And a deadline set by the kidnappers of two Bulgarian men in Iraq has come and gone, but Bulgaria's foreign minister says two different sources say the hostages are still alive. The White House says Bulgaria is still committed to Iraq despite the kidnappings.

And here's a quick summary of other news out of Iraq. U.S. Marine Corporal Wassef Hassoun may soon be back in the United States early next week. That's according to his brother in Utah. It's still a mystery whether he was kidnapped or not and no answers as to how he got to Lebanon. He told his family he's being treated well at a U.S. military base in Germany.

U.S. Marines clashed with insurgents in Ramadi. The fighting began when attackers fired on Americans from a taxi stop. The Marines returned fire and killed two insurgents.

And a bomb exploded at a pipeline that carries natural gas from the city of Kirkuk to a power station. The attack could cut electricity in the northern part of the country.

Now, let's move on to the campaign trail. John Kerry and John Edwards are a new political couple, and they're finishing their first joint excursion on Edwards' home turf, Raleigh, North Carolina. It's where we find our Ed Henry.

Ed, the rally presumably just ended?

ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Carol. The rally has just ended. You could see quite a rousing ovation, quite a reception at this welcome home rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the campus of NC State. Campaign officials estimate there are over 20,000 people who turned out here.

Obviously, it's been a red state since 1976. The Democrats have not carried it. They have hopes of carrying it this time with John Edwards on the ticket. This is the end of the first week of this new Democratic ticket campaigning across the country together. They decided to come back here, in addition to a general homecoming, it was a literal homecoming for Senator Edwards, who at the airport earlier, got a chance to greet his children, who were not with him for the last couple of days. They were back in Washington. They were not on the campaign trail with him.

Back at this rally, Senator Edwards also was able to meet up with his parents, who still live in North Carolina. He was also able to rendezvous with his brother and his wife, also a lot of, obviously, alumni of NC State. Senator Kerry, in his remarks, made a little joke about the basketball rivalries here. In fact, Dean Smith, the former University of North Carolina basketball coach was on stage here, a supporter of Kerry and Edwards, very interesting that he was here. There was a joke made about Coach K over at Duke as well. It's hard to separate basketball and politics in North Carolina as you know.

Also, values, a major issue. We've seen over the last 24 to 48 hours, the Bush-Cheney and Kerry-Edwards campaigns battling back and forth on the issue of values. The Republicans saying that this New York fund-raiser the other night where Hollywood stars were using bad language and were leveling heavy, heavy attacks on President Bush, they say that that does not represent the values of America. We heard John Edwards tonight, himself, as well as Senator Kerry say that, in fact, this ticket represents the values of America. They also had a lot to say about how they think this campaign is going to roll out -- Carol.

LIN: Ed, let's talk about some Democratic history here. When it comes to the south, each time President Clinton ran, he only carried four southern states. Do you think John Edwards is going to make a difference, and if so, where?

HENRY: Well, the Democrats think that they will now carry North Carolina because Edwards is on the ticket. Republicans say no way, and, in fact, President Bush was rolling through town on Wednesday, making sure that he keeps North Carolina in his column. What Democrats are saying, though, is it's not just about the south. They think that Edwards' small town appeal will play well in key Midwestern states like Ohio. They also think he may help in Florida as well in the south. They think other states all across the Midwest and even in Oklahoma, for example, in the west; Edwards' small town appeal will play well with rural voters. Rural voters, they abandoned Al Gore in 2000, and, in fact, the Democrats have high hopes of picking them back up again in 2004 -- Carol.

LIN: All right. Thanks very much. Ed Henry in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Defining marriage, it's a hot button issue this election season. In New Jersey, hundreds of gay couples are registering under a new domestic partnership law. It gives same sex partners some of the same rights as married couples, and that gave President Bush reason to make his controversial appeal today. CNN's Elaine Quijano reports.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It doesn't mean we have to redefine traditional marriage.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Behind the president's push for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, stand conservatives in full support.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The battle for preserving marriage as we know it. It's in jeopardy.

QUIJANO: This weekend, conservatives are taking their message to the air waves, simulcasting to churches and cable systems nationwide, an event like this one in May.

REV. TED HAGGARD, OPPONENT: we want the federal marriage amendment to say that, if people are going to call themselves married, they are a man, and they are a woman that's gotten together in a committed relationship in order to have a family and to glorify God.

QUIJANO: The Senate is taking up the issue as well. Debate began this week. And even though some supporters concede they don't have the votes to pass the marriage amendment, conservatives want both the discussion and a vote to proceed.

GENEVIERE WOOD, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: We believe it's important that every U.S. Senator who is, of course, an elected representative by the people has to go on record and tell people, hey, here's where I stand on this issue.

QUIJANO: Political analysts say getting out the issue means getting out the conservative vote.

DAVID GERGEN: The conservatives through this amendment are trying to rally their base in the elections. The election outcome is going to have a great deal to do with turnout, and the conservatives want to make clear to their base that this is one of the defining issues of the campaign.

QUIJANO: But with the election just under four months away, some gays and lesbians say the politics come at their expense and accuse the Bush administration of trying to draw attention away from other issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really think that it's just a travesty, that people would use this as a wedge issue to take their minds off of what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's -- I just -- I firmly believe it's a diversionary tactic. And our lives shouldn't come into the presidential election as a distraction.

QUIJANO (on camera): The president's Democratic rival John Kerry has said he opposes a Constitutional ban on gay marriage. He says the issue of gay marriage should be left to individual states, not the federal government to decide. Elaine Quijano, CNN, the White House.


LIN: Coming up, he's so young, and he's already gotten an amazing story of survival.


GEOFF BANNINGER, LIGHTENING STRIKE VICTIM: I was walking back from the playground with my little sister like maybe 10 yards ahead of me and then I got shocked.


LIN: It may sound surreal, but up next, he's living to tell the tale after being struck by lightning.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Alina Cho in Lowell, Massachusetts, where a 67-year-old cleaning lady has really cleaned up, winning one of the biggest lottery jackpots in history. We'll bring you hometown reaction coming up.

LIN: Thanks Alina.

And later, I'll take a look at the possibility of martial law in Iraq.


LIN: How would your life change if you won the second largest undivided lottery jackpot in U.S. history? That's what folks are asking themselves after a 67-year-old cleaning woman came forward yesterday with the prize ticket in the $294 million Mega millions drawing. You heard me right. CNN's Alina Cho is in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Alina, what is Geraldine Williams going to do with all that money?

CHO: Well, Carol, as you might imagine, she can do whatever she wants with all of that money. She's going to take the lump sum, $118 million, after taxes.

Now, time and time again, we ask people here, aren't you just a little bit jealous? And time and time again, people said no. They said they couldn't be happier for her. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person and that Geraldine Williams has put Lowell on the map.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Huge. This is like a big, big deal.

CHO (voice-over): The biggest news to hit Lowell, Massachusetts, in a long time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been like a circus.

CHO: Paula Peacock is a neighbor, says Geraldine Williams. Gerry, as she's known around here, is the kind of woman who mows the lawn next to her house even though she doesn't own the property. The kind of woman who called Friday night to ask Peacock to water her garden.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought that was really sweet. I'm like you get -- buy anything you want and you want me to water your garden.

CHO: Neighbor Ray Marata (ph) called the 67-year-old grandmother the real deal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can throw syrup on anybody, but you don't have to with her. She's just sweet.

CHO: In downtown Lowell, which calls itself an all American city, there's an old five cent bank and a new multimillionaire. People couldn't be happier.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's wonderful. I think it's awesome. She has a whole bunch of grandchildren, and they'll live happily ever after for a very long time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so excited for her, you know what I mean? I'm glad. If it wasn't me, it was somebody from Lowell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. Thanks. Good luck.

CHO: At Powers Wine Company, which sold Williams the winning ticket, business is brisk.

JAY PATEL, OWNER, POWER WINE COMPANY: Incredible, I mean people just coming from all over the place. I'm getting calls from out of state to just send the ticket in the mail.

CHO: Back on Williams' quiet street, those who know her say now that she's made it big, they hope she doesn't move.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a great neighbor. She's a really great neighbor and you know they're in short supply sometimes.


CHO: Williams says she will use the money to do a little bit of traveling, take care of her three kids and eight grandchildren, and maybe even take some golf lessons. As for whether she will ever clean houses again, Carol, she probably won't ever have to do that again.

LIN: Too true. I hope she has a great time. Thanks, Alina, a great story.

Here's some other stories from across America now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to go home I want to go home. LIN: Well, no doubt he does want to go home. Country singer Glen Campbell performed a 30-minute concert for fellow inmates at an outdoor jail in Phoenix, Arizona, last night. He's finishing a 10-day sentence for extreme DUI.

And rock singer, Courtney Love, is in a New York hospital, while in California, a warrant is out for her arrest. Love missed her arraignment in Los Angeles yesterday on an assault charge. Hours later, witnesses saw her on a stretcher being put into an ambulance outside her Manhattan apartment. All this on her 40th birthday. Love's attorney says she's having problems and was confused about her court date in Los Angeles.

This was the kind of pyrotechnics nobody was expecting on the Fourth of July. The Ohio State Patrol yesterday released this video of troopers rescuing a woman from a vehicle fire that night. She survived with burns to her head and arms, amazing.

Now, here's a shocking story about a boy who was struck by lightning. Yes, lightning. He's only 9 years old but has a whole new perspective on life. Here's Andrew Resnick from our affiliate KUSA.


BANNINGER: Well, I was walking back from the playground with my little sister, like maybe 10 yards ahead of me, and then I got shocked.

ANDREW RESNICK, KUSA REPORTER (voice-over): Nine-year-old Geoff Banninger doesn't remember the actual strike, says he didn't feel any pain. He woke up to find two people doing CPR.

BANNINGER: I'm thinking, what just happened? Why are there people surrounding me?

BRIAN STANLEY, PERFORMED CPR: He was hit, and he was out. He had no pulse, no, wasn't breathing.

DARYLL JOHNSON, PERFORMED CPR: You just hope for the best, but, you know, 90 seconds, two minutes was a long time.

RESNICK: The strike hit Geoff in the head.

BANNINGER: Part of my glasses melted.

RESNICK: But the injuries cover his entire body, burn marks on his neck and leg, bandages on his chest, stomach, and left foot. This is the shoe he was wearing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm still in shock and I'm speechless. It's the most amazing thing. I'm so lucky. I'm glad he's still alive.

RESNCIK: Geoff's brother made a souvenir t-shirt, on the front, a message of survival. After Geoff got out of the hospital, he visited the exact spot where the lightning hit. BANNINGER: It's just like a white star.

RESNICK: Geoff says he has a long list of people to thank, beginning with Brian Stanley and Darrell Johnson, the two people who did CPR.

BANNINGER: I want to thank the children's hospital and the people who were praying for me. And I also want to thank God for keeping me alive.


LIN: Oh, our thanks to Andrew Resnick of KUSA for bringing us that story in Denver.

Well, it's a growing epidemic that's affected at least 6 million people. Their will to survive faces the ultimate test.


BONITA JUDOM, HIV PATIENT: A lot of times I won't take it because the medicine makes me sleepy. And a lot of times I need to be up for him.


LIN: Still to come, how one woman's love for her son is pushing her to fight back against HIV.

Plus, he's caught in a tangled web. I'm going to show you why his love for Spider-man is keeping him from becoming a hero for his country.


LIN: With U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and in so many hot spots around the world, their ranks are stretched pretty thin. So you'd think the military wouldn't turn down a new able bodied recruit, but they are. Jason Carroll reports.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Felix Gruman is a Russian immigrant ready to fight for his new country. He proudly wears an Army t-shirt when out. At home, there's an Army sticker on the front door. But this may be the closest Gruman ever comes to combat because of these.

FELIX GRUMAN, REJECTED RECRUIT: This one is the gates with the earth, wind, and fire.

CARROLL: A tattoo on each arm.

GRUMAN: The tattoo on my left arm was inspired by Spider-man's arm. CARROLL: After losing 30 pounds to meet physical requirements, after taking college credits, after assurances from recruiters his tattoos were OK, the Army disqualified him the day he was supposed to leave because of his tattoos.

GRUMAN: And they told me the bad news that you've been denied.

CARROLL: Recruiters told Gruman he needed a tattoo waiver and a general's OK because his tattoos covered more than 75 percent of a limb. Army regulations don't reference percentages. They do prohibit racist, indecent, or extremist tattoos but the Army did not cite Gruman's tattoos on those grounds. Gruman says his tattoos are not offensive and would be covered by the Army uniform.

GRUMAN: I am not going to give up this battle.

CARROLL: One military analyst says during a time when reservists are being called back and soldiers are being asked to serve longer, turning away people like Gruman doesn't make sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why this particular commander didn't waiver this young man, who is clearly highly motivated, I just don't understand.

CARROLL (on camera): The lieutenant colonel who could have provided a waiver released a statement saying that he regrets Gruman wasn't able to meet Army standards. He did say he would help Gruman try to get into the National Guard. Gruman says he'll keep fight to go serve his country on the front lines and in the Army.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


LIN: When it comes to the new Iraq, there's progress one day, violence the next. It is a vicious cycle. The prime minister now has the authority from his governing council to impose martial law. Martial law in a budding democracy? CNN analyst Ken Pollack is our expert on the Middle East. He's with the Saban Center at the Brookings Institute.

Ken, if we're talking about democracy, what does it say about what is going to happen with Iraq when it comes to imposing martial law?

KEN POLLACK, CNN ANALYST: Well, the obvious problem, Carol, is that this is a democracy that has a lot of trouble. It's a brand new democracy. It's kind of stumbling its way there, and it has an enormous problem with security. In poll after poll, it is shown that Iraqis consider the insecurity of the country, the lawlessness, to be the single greatest problem. And this new government, this new interim government that's taken power is trying to show Iraqis, both that it is a change from what went before, and that it understands what is important to Iraqis and is trying to act on it.

LIN: Interesting, though, that at least one minister has compared martial law in Iraq to the U.S. Patriot Act. And the fear could be that martial law involves random arrests, curfews, search warrants, or lack of search warrants, actually, individual rights being trampled in the name of national security.

POLLACK: Absolutely. This, of course, is one of the real problems with martial law is that it empowers the government to do things that under most circumstances; most citizens wouldn't want the government to be able to do. The real problem, especially in the Middle East, is that you've had governments that have typically taken martial law and simply continued it on long after whatever the crisis that gave rise to it has ended.

So, for example, in Egypt, martial law has been in existence there for 23 years and there was a real concern among some people -- I'd say mostly not among Iraqis. They want martial law because they want to get control of security. But others are worried because it could set a pattern in Iraq too.

LIN: But in terms of the average Iraqis' mindset, martial law is -- they perceive it as very different than say the average American would. Is that what you're saying?

POLLACK: Right, that's absolutely the case. It's a little bit hard to explain, especially in just a few minutes, but Iraqis don't have the same kind of obsession with freedom that Americans have. Obviously, they want their freedom. They're delighted to be rid of Saddam Hussein, but they are a country that is used to having law and order, and they are very uncomfortable. I mean that's really putting it mildly to say that they are uncomfortable with the current situation of insecurity that they face. So a lot of Iraqis actually have greeted this with a great deal of positive sentiment.

LIN: Well, does the Iraqi government, the Iraqi security forces have the personnel to impose martial law?

POLLACK: That really is the heart of the issue, Carol, which is that right now the forces available to the new Iraqi government are rather meager, and so if it were going to impose martial law, unless it did so in a very small area, it would not have the capability to actually make martial law stick.

That means if they're going to impose it on larger areas, to really get control over the security situation, they're going to have to turn to the United States, and that means the U.S. troops are going to have to perform missions they've not really wanted to do before hand. It also means you're going to bring the United States back into that equation.

We should remember one of the reasons why the administration went this route was because they wanted to get the Americans out of the equation, let the Iraqis feel like they were running their own lives.

LIN: So in a nutshell, what is the long term risk here?

POLLACK: Ultimately, the real long term risk is that at some point down the road they declare martial law and they cannot make it stick. That is probably the biggest risk because if that case, Iraqis will turn against it very quickly. If it works, if they can deliver security, I think the Iraqis will be fine with it for a period of time. But if it is not working, the Iraqis are going to turn against it in a heartbeat.

LIN: Ken Pollack, thank you very much. My regards to the family.

POLLACK: Thank you.

LIN: Well, for one boy, going to Iraq means going home. Ali Amer is leaving the United States after a month that changed his life. The 14-year-old lost his hand after picking up a grenade in Iraq. A nonprofit group that helps injured children in war torn countries brought him to the U.S. for treatment. He was fitted with a prosthetic hand and spent the past few weeks learning how to use it. You go girl.

Well, while Ali is heading back to Iraq, many American soldiers are coming home for a little R&R. This morning, our Maria Hinojosa was catching a flight from Atlanta to New York, LaGuardia Airport, when she unexpectedly ran into a group just back from Iraq. Here's what she witnessed from some of the men who have returned from the front lines.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my god! Oh, hi, baby. Hi, Mommy. Give Daddy a kiss. I love you.

MARIA HINOJUSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): You're a police officer...


HINOJUSA: ...on the streets of New York and you've been doing what for the past three months?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been patrolling the streets of Baghdad. There's quite a difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I finally get to see my daughter, Eva Rose.

HINOJUSA: And she was born?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was born the Fourth of July, Fourth of July. She's Daddy's baby, born for all of the troops out in Iraq. And in support of Iraq, she decided to come out and support us. It's a great day.

HINJUSA: How are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel numb right now. I just felt excited, beyond excited. I can't even explain how I feel right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just -- I'm going to show up to the house and surprise the family. They don't know I'm coming. They still think I'm in Iraq somewhere. I'm actually going to call them on the phone and tell that I'm in a big firefight and then I'm going to hang up the phone. And then I'm going to ring the bell. It's going to be fun. They'll love it. They're up to stuff like that, devious.

HINOJUSA: How do you relax just for two weeks knowing that you're going to go back to maybe seeing combat?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean you really can't. All you can do is spend as much time with your family and try to enjoy the things that you're used to, but you really can't.

HINOJUSA: And there are a lot of things that you can't talk to your family about, what you're seeing over there. How do you handle with keeping a lot of this inside, you can't talk about it? How do you handle it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean I just try not to really open my mouth too much because, if I tell them everything, it's like they're going to be worried even more, you know, so I just try to keep it positive, try to tell them the good stuff, and hopefully it will be over soon, and I get to come home.


LIN: Welcome back, everybody.

He's wowed the ladies on the television screen, but now T.C. Carson is on stage pushing a special message.

Still to come, my interview with T.C. Carson and his latest project about the Down Low Brothers.

Plus, it's a new program to help you avoid long lines at the airport, but is it also an infringement on your privacy?

And men, get ready to take notes. This little guy has some great tips that will help you win over the ladies.


LIN: More of "CNN LIVE SATURDAY" in just a moment, first, a quick look at what's happening now in the news.

The fate of a Filipino hostage in Iraq remains uncertain. Hours ago, officials in the Philippines said the 46-year-old truck driver was being released. That may not be true. Militants holding Angelo de la Cruz say they still have him and are extending their deadline by 24 hours. They have also added a demand, for Philippine troops to leave Iraq by July 20.

A U.S. Marine who disappeared in Iraq in mid June turned up in Lebanon this week and is now being debriefed in Germany and he may soon be home. Marine Corporal Wassef Hassoun could return to the U.S. as early as Monday or Tuesday.

And President Bush reiterated his support of a ban on same sex marriage today in his radio address. Mr. Bush says legalizing gay marriage would redefine the most fundamental institution of civilization. The Senate is considering a constitutional amendment that would ban same sex marriage. A vote on the amendment could come in the Senate as early as next Wednesday.

A four-day campaign swing ends with a big rally in Raleigh, North Carolina. John Kerry and John Edwards were warmly greeted today by thousands of supporters in 90 degree temperatures in Edwards' home state.

Something went terribly wrong for Teresa Chambers, who has been with the U.S. Park Police for the past three years. She was fired yesterday. The Park Service says she broke the rules about talking to the media. Teresa Chambers would say that she got fired for not towing the line for the Bush administration. She joins me on the phone from Huntingtown, Maryland.

Teresa, good to have you on the program.

TERESA CHAMBERS, FORMER U.S. PARK POLICE CHIEF: Thank you, Carol. I appreciate being able to call in.

LIN: I know you must be very disappointed with yesterday.

CHAMBERS: Disappointed, yes. Surprised, no. We knew that this was a possibility. And actually, it opens up another avenue for us to appeal at this time. So other than my pay status, nothing really changes. I've been fighting for my job since December 5, and that remains my focus.

LIN: All right, let's take the viewers back to that time. You had given an interview to a newspaper saying that the budget cuts -- or that your budget was not meeting the demands of the Park Service. Explain what happened.

CHAMBERS: Well, actually, as we've looked back now, it began internally even weeks before that and maybe even months before that. As I tried to keep the matter inside of the house and alert my bosses to those vulnerabilities that I saw, not just at the icon parks, but our parkways and neighborhood parks.

I believe that was my job, was to let them know where we could do things better. I believe that was what the president and the secretary expected of me. Never did I expect that there would be a negative reaction. "The Washington Post" report on December 2 was the issue, though that the department looked at, and I was gagged immediately after doing some television interviews the day that story ran.

LIN: Well, in private conversations with your department, I mean, what did they say to you? What did they accuse you of?

CHAMBERS: Well, I've never had a conversation about this matter with anyone in the department. I was gagged. I was promised an opportunity to sit down and learn from whatever they thought I could do differently, and frankly, I was looking forward to that. That day never came. Five days later, I was sent home without a badge and a gun, and 12 days later I got notified that they were moving for my termination. Seven months later it happened.

LIN: Let's give the audience a perspective also on your career. Twenty-seven years of experience you brought to the table. You were praised by the National Park Service director at the time of your hiring in 2001. Even President Bush complimented you on a job well done. Do you think that President Bush or his administration is trying to make an example of you?

CHAMBERS: Oh, I certainly hope the president isn't aware of this or wasn't until today. I've heard him speak to advisers. I've heard him tell the American people that he expects candor in his leaders. His advice is only as good as the people that he surrounds himself with. And I believed, when I walked into the Department of Interior, when I was told to make certain that I was doing all that I could so that those icons would stand for generations to come, I believed that, and I believed I would have that kind of support.


CHAMBERS: I thought I was doing my job up until the moment I was silenced.

LIN: Teresa Chambers, we'll be following your case. Thank you very much.

CHAMBERS: Thanks, Carol.

LIN: The former Park Police chief. We want to let you know also that the National Park Service refused to elaborate on Teresa Chambers' case, which she's going to appeal apparently.

Highways have the HOV lane, supermarkets have the express lane, but heightened security in the U.S. has pretty much abolished speedy moves through the airports, or has it? A TSA test program could streamline check-ins for frequent flyers. Our Sean Callebs reports.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Those who spend a lot of time in airports accept the tradeoff, increased security means more waiting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you get into a routine, but it's definitely exhausting.

CALLEBS: Minneapolis, St. Paul is the first airport to initiate a government test program to help some skip long security lines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think I've ever seen my fingerprint before.

CALLEBS: Frequent flyers submit to digital fingerprints and eyeber scans as well as background checks as thorough as those who apply for a concealed weapon permit. For surrendering this information, flyers have access to an express security checkpoint. MARK HATFIELD, TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: When you take a program like this that's going to impact the security screening, of course, you have to be very deliberate. You have to be very careful about it because the last thing you want to do is compromise security.

CALLEBS: In the coming weeks, the program will be phased in at airports across Los Angeles, Houston, Boston, and Washington D.C. initially, at no cost to the flier. Registered travelers will still have to go through metal detectors and security. However, they will not be flagged for special screening and will avoid lines snarled by people who don't fly often.

At the same time, the Transportation Security Administration is also bolstering security, for the first time, spending airport restaurant and shop employees through metal detectors.

REP. PETE DEFAZIO (D), GEORGIA: We have finally closed the loophole on the terminal side. We have on a daily basis hundreds of thousands of people passing around security into the terminal carrying whatever they wanted to carry while the flight attendants and the pilots and all the passengers are out there standing in line.

CALLEBS: Defazio calls this a gaping hole in U.S. security, thousands of employees on the tarmac maintaining aircraft, cleaning and supplying passenger jets, and while they've gone through a background checks, they work here day in and day out without going through daily security screening.


CALLEBS: In the wake of concerns that al Qaeda may now be in the operational phase of a planned attack, the TSA says it's now doing more thorough background checks on more than 1 million airport employees nationwide -- Carol.

LIN: Wow! Sean, are countries overseas taking notes about this program?

CALLEBS: Indeed they have. They've actually been quite vocal in their concern about the way U.S. security is handled. They say that in many cases it's simply sloppy, that in no way should employees who are on the tarmac right next to bags, right next to aircraft, they must go through security checks. They don't understand why that isn't happening.

It does happen in most European nations. They've made their feelings known. And many Congress leaders have already indicated they would like to see the TSA change that and soon.

LIN: All right, thanks much. Sean Callebs in Washington.

A murder in Russia tops our news from around the world. Paul Klibinov (ph), the American editor of the Russian edition of "Forbes" magazine has been shot dead. Police say he was hit four times outside the magazine's office. He died on his way to the hospital. It's the final day of campaigning in Japan. Voters head to the polls tomorrow for parliamentary elections. Half of the chamber's 242 seats are up for grabs. Polls show the ruling Liberal Democratic Party could lose several seats.

And in Australia, camels race the Outback. Thirty camels competed against each other at the annual Camel Cup. The contest, which began in 1970 as a bet in a pub has become a longstanding tradition in Alice Springs.

New drugs are helping HIV and AIDS victims survive the disease, but what about the quality of life for those struggling to fight the epidemic? Coming up, the life of one woman and how she's coping with HIV as a single mom.

Plus, a real life scenario played out on stage, up next, my interview with T.C. Carson. He portrays a married man on the Down Low.

And later, we'll introduce to you a perfect little family whose members always have the right words to say.


LIN: Access for all, that is the theme for the international AIDS conference which starts in Bangkok tomorrow. But the numbers prove otherwise. The World Health Organization says only 14 percent of people infected with HIV in developing countries get access to AIDS medication.

Another staggering number, the United Nations says almost 5 million people became infected with AIDS last year. That is the largest number of new infections since the disease emerged in 1981.

Now in this country, the numbers aren't reassuring either especially for women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and AIDS Action, African-American and Latina women represent less than a fourth of all American women, and yet they account for more than three-fourths of all AIDS cases reported among women. CNN's Denise Belgrave talks to one woman living with HIV.


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