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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Records Show Armstrong Williams Accepted Money to Promote President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act

Aired January 8, 2005 - 07:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Look who's back!
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Happy New Year.

HARRIS: Happy New Year. You've been gone a while.

NGUYEN: I know. I had to take a little time off.

HARRIS: You look the same. That's the Betty I know. Good morning everyone from the CNN Center in Atlanta. This is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. It is January 8, 7:00 a.m. in the East and 4:00 a.m. out West. I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: I'm Betty Nguyen. Thanks for being with us today.

Now in the news, the navy says it is investigating why the nuclear submarine USS San Francisco ran aground in the Pacific Ocean south of Guam. The sub's reactor was not damaged but several sailors were injured, one critically. The sub made it back to the surface and is headed to its home port in Guam.

Security is tight as voters across the Palestinian territories prepare to decide their next leader. Former President Jimmy Carter is on hand as one of several international observers. Frontrunner Mahmoud Abbas is widely expected to win tomorrow's election. Now out Guy Roz (ph) is working on a live report for us and he will be coming live to us from Ramallah in the next half hour.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Colin Powell is in Africa this weekend. He's there to attend the signing of a peace agreement that moves to end decades of civil war in Sudan. Powell makes the trip after touring tsunami-ravaged nations. He says he will give President Bush a report on U.S. aid and that will happen on Monday.

HARRIS: And here's why you need to stick around for the next hour.

SARA ADAMSSON, TSUNAMI SURVIVOR: I can never forgive myself for dropping my baby. I will always see his eyes when he disappears.

HARRIS: After you hear this young mother's story, you'll know exactly what it's like to survive a tsunami but lose everything you love most. Her heartbreaking experience is coming up only on CNN.

Also ahead. ROB MARCIANO, CNN WEATHER REPORTER: I'm Rob Marciano, I'll be live in Lake Tahoe, California, where blizzard conditions continue to pepper this area. A series of storms lining up this weekend. We will be buried in feet of snow by the time tomorrow morning arrives.

HARRIS: And what are the odds of snow in Las Vegas? Today it's a sure thing with lots more where that came from. Rob is back with a live update in just moments.

And later, Hollywood's it couple kaput? Say it ain't so!

NGUYEN: Let's get you right to our top story today and give you the latest developments in the tsunami disaster in South Asia. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan tours tsunami devastation in government controlled areas of Sri Lanka today.

Back in the U.S., President Bush says his brother, Jeb, has already briefed him on the tour of the damage and the U.S. relief effort. Florida Governor Jeb Bush was part of a delegation headed to the region headed by Secretary of State Colin Powell.

And in Indonesia, the health minister raises the number of people missing from the quake and tsunami tenfold. It now stands at a staggering 77,000 people in Indonesia alone. Authorities hold out little hope for more survivors.

We want to get you right to the devastated areas. We want to go now to CNN's Richard Roth, who is in Colombo, Sri Lanka traveling with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and he joins us with the latest on this trip. Richard?

RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on phone): Yes, Betty, I've just returned after a rather grueling ten-hour day with Secretary- General Kofi Annan. He toured a town in the south, Hamban Tota (ph) and then also one in the central east coast. He did not go to the -- any Tamil rebel held areas in the north. This is a government- organized trip and it's just not in the cards at this moment. And the U.N. usually goes along with these things.

Secretary-General Annan toured by helicopter for several hours the coastlines of Sri Lanka. A lot of damage, but since I was with him yesterday in Indonesia, visibly not as much as in Indonesia, in Banda Aceh, in Sumatra. Still, Annan said he was -- he was troubled by what he saw and he said that the country is still very pretty and he toured along with World Bank President James Wolfensohn. Some very touching, emotional moments some of the camps with refugees are held on a temporary basis. That was about two hours ago. A man broke down in tears, a woman crying, comforted by the Annans. He's going to meet with government officials on Sunday, but so far Kofi Annan, I think, is just at this moment doing what I think he came here with a message of open -- making a lot of people feel good.

NGUYEN: Good to hear. CNN's Richard Roth traveling with Kofi Annan today in Sri Lanka. Richard, thank you for that report. Tony?

HARRIS: Although it's been almost two weeks, we're still getting new video of the disaster almost daily. This is among the most dramatic yet. Take a look. Shot from the balcony at a Thailand resort, it shows as suddenly and quickly and how ruthlessly the tsunami engulfed everything in its path. What this video also shows is something not seen before, the water suddenly reversing course exactly 45 seconds after crashing ashore, the giant wave abruptly halts and surges just as violently back into the sea. This was the precise moment when tens of thousands of people lost their lives as it dragged them under and drowned them.

NGUYEN: Well, coming up later this hour a CARE representative will be here with the latest on the huge relief effort in South Asia. Learn where the major challenges still remain as millions try to survive and rebuild their lives.

In the 9:00 eastern hour, a doctor aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of Indonesia will join us live with firsthand accounts of the race against time to find and treat survivors of the tsunami.

HARRIS: Well, the big story here at home, a major storm making a mess of things across the West with more nasty weather following behind. Heavy rains, winds and snow hitting hard in California and Nevada. CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano joins us now from the thick of things in Tahoe City, California. You look a mess out there. It's snowing. But it's good to see you, Rob.

MARCIANO: It's nice to see you, Tony. Thanks for having me along. We traveled all night last night. Got here a couple of hours ago. The main highway that takes you into Tahoe, or at least into Truckee and then into Tahoe, Highway 80, a major interstate, was closed last night. We had to go up and over a very winding mountain pass, over 8500 feet to wind our way down here. And at times the whiteout conditions you couldn't see more than two feet in front of you. But we made it, no doubt, and the snow continues to pile up here.

They had incredible amounts of snow over the Christmas week, a bit of a break, and now another series of storms is beginning to roll through. Obviously, snowing, snowing heavily, and blowing as well up and over the mountain ridges. Winds could get to about 100 miles an hour. So that's dangerous for sure. Just taking a look at what I'm standing through here.

This is pittance compared to where we were a couple of days ago in Chicago. This is just from last night. So a foot of snow from last night and heavy snow warnings in effect. We expect another foot today, likely another foot tomorrow and then even more expected to come on Monday. Great news for ski resorts, sure. But I'll tell you what, it's almost too much of a good thing. People have a hard time getting up here. Not only that, this isn't the best stuff to ski in. Visibility is low. They usually have to close the top part of the mountains so ski resorts here say, yeah, this is great but we almost can't handle it.

Avalanche is an issue as well. The mountain pass we rode through last night delays because they had to stop traffic at time to clear snow that came down through avalanches. So we're just happy to have been here. We'll be here all weekend long as this continues to pass through.

Tony and Betty, the other issue with this storm is not only the rain but at lower elevations down in the valleys of California both north and south, heavy rains are going to be an issue. Already last 12 days in Los Angeles, 12 inches of rain has fallen in the L.A. Basin. More rain expected in the form of four, maybe five, maybe six inches of rain by Monday morning. There will be flooding issues there. There will probably be mudslides also.

And in and around San Francisco Bay, rain a big part of that. The storm stretches to parts of Seattle where snow could fall later on today. And, also, Vegas yesterday saw a couple of inches of snow. So incredible weather from coast to coast the past couple of weeks. Then of course on top of the tsunami that happened across the globe, it looks like mother nature has got a busy time of it for us. We'll be live in Lake Tahoe for the entire weekend. Right now, I'll send it back to you guys.

HARRIS: Way to bring in '05, rob. Thank you.

Well, the West isn't the only part of the country feeling winter's wrath. In the Midwest, storm flooding is breaking the banks of the Ohio River. The river expected to crest this morning and no new storms in the forecast today. Good news. That should give people across southern Ohio a chance to start the clean-up.

Are you waking up to a stormy morning? If so, we'd not only like to hear from you. We'd like to see what it looks like out there. You've had a bad week in the Midwest, Northeast. And now the West, e- mail us your snowstorm pictures at wam@cnn.com and we'll show those pictures throughout the morning on the program.

NGUYEN: All right. If you've had a tough time keeping up with news this week, that is why we are here. It is time to "Rewind" for a look at some of the top stories.

Tuesday the White House said its plan to reform Social Security may include revamping the way benefits are calculated. Now, the idea is to use inflation rates instead of worker's wages to figure out benefits but that could mean lower benefits for future retirees. The White House stressed that no final decision has been made.

Wednesday, some potential life-saving findings in the world of heart disease. Researchers said aside from measuring cholesterol people should also look at something called "C reactive protein" or CRP. CRP is linked to a type of inflammation that can cause heart disease. Now, the good news. The same type of drugs used to reduce the type of cholesterol that can lead to heart problems also lowers CRP levels.

And on Thursday President Bush continued to lobby lawmakers to cap what he calls junk lawsuits. The White House has long said unchecked jury awards in class action lawsuits put a huge cost on businesses and sometimes forces innocent ones to go under.

Also on Thursday, members of The Senate Judiciary Committee pulled no punches during a confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales. Some of the toughest questions centered around his role in creating the administration's policies on treating terror suspects and other detainees.

Tomorrow we'll fast forward to the week ahead and tell you which stories will grab the spotlight.

HARRIS: So, did the bush administration try to buy some positive press for the president's agenda? The Education Department defends a whopper of a payment to a prominent journalist.

NGUYEN: Well, they say it couldn't happen to Brad and Jen. Is Hollywood's it couple on the skids? We have the official word.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: She admits to killing her five children and is now serving a life sentence. Not so fast. The conviction of Andrea Yates overturned this week based on questionable testimony by a prosecution witness. The Yates case on the docket in legal briefs live next hour on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. 8:00 a.m. Eastern.

And good morning Seattle. Any snow on the ground out there? Your weather just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: We begin our look at news across America in Chicago, where there's been a deadly incident at a nightclub, details are still developing, but there are three dead and at least five injured after an early morning shooting at Cafe Allure. Witnesses say it happened after bouncers refused to let some people into a private party. Almost two years ago, 21 people died at a stampede at a nightclub also in Chicago.

Next up, the price is right for his political punditry. Records show conservative commentator Armstrong Williams accepted money to promote President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act during some of his broadcasts. The payout, $240,000. Armstrong says the payment was simply for advertising time but critics say it amounts to, quote, "bribing journalists." By comparison Williams' payment is more than Vice President Cheney's yearly salary.

HARRIS: In South Carolina, Graniteville residents might be forced to stay away from home for up to a week after a train crash and chemical spill forced them to flee. Thousands had to leave after the crash derailed 14 cars, some containing dangerous chemicals that leaked out. Eight people died in the accident which officials say was not caused by criminal activity. At least one person is still missing.

Sports stars like Kobe Bryant are reaching out to the tsunami victims. Our sports guru Rick Horrow will take a look at who else is giving when we go beyond the game. That's about five minutes on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. NGUYEN: But right now, tsunami survivors watched in complete horror as their loved ones were carried on by the waves. Now they are haunted by the final images and by the feeling that they could have done more to save them. CNN's Robyn Curnow has one heartbreaking story from Sweden.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA ADAMSSON, TSUNAMI VICTIM: I just hear the noise. And I'm so afraid to turn around because if I turn around I know I will die. And then everything comes over us. I just hold my baby like this to protect him from the wave and protect him from the house falling apart. The roof is falling apart. The walls are falling apart. I just think I have to save his head and then I only remember that I am beginning to drown and there's so much water and my clothes just rips apart and I lose my baby in the wave. I can't hold him. It is like oil, you know? And then I think in one second I go in the wave with him. But something inside me stops me and then I just scream for Johannes (ph). "Johannes, Johannes, where are you? Johannes?" And I can't do anything.

And then I started to scream to myself, "I'm not going to die. I will not die. I'm not dying. I'm not dying. I'm not dying."

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The deadly waves descending on Sara the day after she married Krista (ph), the father of her son, Johannes.

ADAMSSON: Some of the guests, they spoke to us and wished us happiness and a long life together.

CURNOW: Krista, Johannes, and Sara's mother all taken by the sea.

ADAMSSON: I can never forgive myself for dropping my baby. I'll always see his eyes when he disappears.

CURNOW: No bodies yet for her to bury.

ADAMSSON: I want to find my family dead or alive to get peace in my soul and I'm so afraid that I will never get the answers that I will search for my baby or for my husband or for my mother for the rest of my life.

CURNOW: Robyn Curnow, CNN, Stockholm, Sweden.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Well, you know, the tsunami tragedy in Asia is not forgotten by sports personalities this week. Many stars opened their hearts and wallets to get aid to the region. The biggest individual donor, Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher with a gift of $10 million. Tennis star Maria Sharapova gave $10,000. Venus Williams is also donating to the cause. From the NBA, seven stars including Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady are donating $1,000 per points scored in games played Thursday and last night. It's only a fraction of the relief coming from the world of sports as we take you "Beyond the Game" this morning. Athletes with a heart this week. Let's talk about the impact of the tsunami tragedy and what impact it is making in the world of sports with the author of "When the Game is on the Line," CNN analyst Rick Horrow. Good morning.

RICK HORROW, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Dr. Harris, how are you doing, my friend?

HARRIS: I am well, doctor. Good to see you. Particularly for these NBA stars it's the right message at the right time, isn't it?

HORROW: Well, not only the NBA stars and they're doing it for the right reason. Corporations as well. Nike is shipping half a million pounds of medical supplies and promoting it during the Orange Bowl Game. You've got Nike contributing $1 million in addition to the FedEx contribution. The English Premier League gave a couple of million dollars. The individuals, for example the German four-man luge team gave its $2,000 winnings at Oberhoff, German's event to the event. We even have the grounds of good taste being approved. Pepsi gave $2 million but also canceled an ad that had a surfing theme that involved Beckham. Sports has the rare ability to increase awareness in a short period of time and the tsunami relief effort is benefiting from it.

HARRY: You know, we're going to transition to golf. I know there are several golfers, Vijay Singh one of them who was making an effort to contribute as well. He's having an eBay auction coming up in the next few days. With Vijay number one in the world, the game of golf and golf in terms of its impact on the business cycle is having -- is taking a bit of a hit right now with Tiger not being at the very top of the heap, isn't it in.

HORROW: Yeah, and of course, the reason we're talking about it is not just the generosity of the PGA Tour and the contributions but it is the first weekend of the golf season, the Mercedes Open over in Hawaii. $850 million TV deal, that's the whole in one that keeps the business afloat, but the ratings for the majors down 25 percent. So Tiger is playing better. That always increases the viewership. And, by the way, for the casual golfers, there are 100 million of us that play. Retail sales have gone up 2 percent to about $2.4 billion and 17 million of us want to play more. In your case, you want to play better.

HARRIS: Okay. That will get us very quickly to our -- what do you want to start with? Fair ball or foul ball, which one?

HORROW: Let's do fair ball because they both involve labor. Baseball's umpires just resolved a major strike at a 5 percent raise for a five-year contract. So at least there's somebody in Major League Baseball that's getting it right, by the way, Tony, even if it's only the umpires.

HARRIS: And the foul ball this week in. HORROW: Well, you've got a labor issue on another side. You've got soccer. The U.S. Soccer Federation and the players at a stalemate. Some want 30 percent increase in salaries, the players want 100 percent increase. But while they're holding out from camp the 2008 World Cup preparations are under way and a lot say it affects the U.S.'s chances. So some people get it right, Tony, and some clearly don't.

HARRIS: And some don't. Sounds like our little gig here every week. All right, Rick, good to see you as always.

HORROW: Hey, that's the last time you're getting the last word, pal.

HARRIS: See you next week. Betty?

NGUYEN: Obviously, they are still at it.

Let's talk to Orelon Sidney about the weather. Orelon, Rob Marciano is at Lake Tahoe at a resort there. You're stuck with us. How did that happen?

ORELON SIDNEY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh, I love it. That's fine by me, you know what I'm saying? I'm not complaining one bit. It's just a mess across the West. If you really take the continental divide and head on eastward then you're going to find showers along the coast. Really doesn't look like a whole lot right now but we have extensive areas of winter storm watches, winter storm warnings, snow advisories that extend all the way from Denver, Santa Fe up through Billings out to the coastal regions.

Take a look at some of the snowfall totals we've seen so far. These aren't massive but we're going to add a lot more to it before the weekend is out. Bear Valley -- these are all in California -- 12 inches, Squaw Balley at 10 inches, Sugar Bowl at 8. We've seen locations especially up in Washington. I think Mount Baker got like 19 inches.

This is the big storm system that -- I could say it's rolling into the coast except that it's not. It's just sitting there and kicking off disturbances that are moving across California, Oregon and Washington. In the higher elevations it's causing snow, in the lower levels it's causing rain and a lot of it. You could see as much as 5.5 inches in the area around the Los Angeles area down to San Diego. That means flooding. By the time it's said and done Tuesday morning, as much as ten feet of snow possible across the Sierra. We have flood warnings in effect obviously, for these areas. Flood watches and flood warnings. Even towards Flagstaff and Phoenix you could see as much as an inch of rain. That could cause problems for you.

We'll take a look at the rest of the forecast in the East in about 15, 20 minutes. Betty?

NGUYEN: All right, Orelon, thank you for that.

We've been asking our viewers to send in those photos if you've experienced all that snow that Orelon was talking about.

HARRIS: Have we gotten them yet?

NGUYEN: Not yet. That's why we're asking. Please send those photos. Send them to wam@cnn.com and we'll put them on the air once they come in.

HARRIS: Get busy people, please.

All right. Brad and Jen, you've seen them together for more than four years now.

NGUYEN: Four years. But now you will see them apart. Find out what happened to one of Hollywood's most glamorous couples.

HARRIS: Also treating injured, housing the refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of the tsunami disaster, it's a big job. And it just keeps getting bigger. We'll hear from a top aid official as our tsunami coverage continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Palestinians are getting ready to make history tomorrow. We want to welcome you back today. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. We'll go live to Ramallah in a minute. But first a look at the headlines now in the news.

A U.S. nuclear attack submarine returning to its home port after running aground. Military officials say there's no apparent damage to the USS San Francisco's nuclear reactor. Several crew members were injured in the incident, one of them critically. Investigators and medical staff are en route to Guam to meet the sub.

There is a warning three weeks ahead of Iraqi elections. A U.S. general says Iraqi insurgents may stage a spectacular act to scare off voters. The U.S. has no information on specific plots. More than 90 people have been killed in a series of attacks this week.

And blowing snow stung Northern California, making driving hazardous. An avalanche advisory has been issued for parts of the Sierra Nevada area. Friday's storm is the first of three expected through the weekend. Heavy rains will be pounding Southern California.

NGUYEN: Well, the campaigning is over. Now it is time to go to the polls. The Palestinians are gearing up for a historic presidential election tomorrow. Seven candidates are running, but there is a clear front-runner. Our Guy Raz joins us from the West Bank City of Ramallah with the latest on all of this. Hi there, Guy.

GUY RAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Betty. We're here in al-Manarah (ph) Square right in the heart of Downtown Ramallah where now in less than 24 hours, Palestinians will take part in an historic presidential race, being called perhaps the most important presidential election in modern Palestinian history. For the first time in 40 years the leadership role of the Palestinian people is wide open, that role of course previously filled by the late Yasser Arafat.

Now, the man widely expected to win tomorrow Mahmoud Abbas, or Abu Mazen, wrapped up his campaign just outside of East Jerusalem yesterday. Earlier in the day he paid one last pre-election visit to the tomb of Yasser Arafat. Yasser Arafat's legacy, of course, casting a long shadow over any possible successor, and Mahmoud Abbas essentially saying that he will remain faithful to Yasser Arafat's so- called red lines, that is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in all the West Bank, Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital and a fair and just solution for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who fled or were forced to flee from their homes in the war, the 1948 war, that brought about the establishment of State of Israel.

Now, I would just like to point out that this election is already being hailed as one of the few truly democratic processes taking place in the Middle East. A million voters, as I mentioned, will be taking part in this election tomorrow. Some 80 percent of eligible voters registered to vote. There will be thousands of international monitors and this is a contested race, not a coronation, unlike 1996 when Yasser Arafat won 90 percent of the vote. The frontrunner this time around, Mahmoud Abbas will be fighting for every single vote. Betty?

NGUYEN: Guy, this is a very historic and important election there. Let's talk about those international observers who are there on the ground. I understand former President Jimmy Carter is among them.

RAZ: That's right. Former President Carter is leading the American delegation here. There are literally hundreds of international observers here. Here, in a sense, to make sure these elections are democratic, transparent and fair and, also, to make sure that voters can get to the polls. One of the problems for many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and also in East Jerusalem is that they simply can't get to polling stations because of roadblocks or other kinds of barriers and restrictions placed on their movement.

Now, the Israeli army says it will ease conditions and ease restrictions allowing Palestinians to vote. But one of the problems will be at East Jerusalem, where there are more than 100,000 eligible voters. The Israeli government has allowed Palestinian election officials to set up just six polling stations there. And Palestinian election officials are concerned that just a small fraction of those East Jerusalem voters will be able to take part. Betty?

NGUYEN: All right. CNN's Guy Raz in the West Bank in the city of Ramallah. Thank you, Guy. Tony?

HARRIS: Two weeks after the tsunami hit South Asia and the number of victims continues to grow. Here are the new developments. 77,000 people are now reported missing in Indonesia. The government figure is a ten fold increase from just yesterday. U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan toured the devastation in Sri Lanka today but saying it couldn't guarantee his safety, the government barred him from visiting rebel-held territory. Nearly 1100 more tourists are feared dead. Sweden, Britain and France have previously listed that number under the missing.

And U.N. officials launched a huge campaign to feed the tsunami survivors. The World Food Program plans to feed up to 2 million people for six months. The aid group will focus on getting food to young children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Picking up the pieces, lining up for food and praying, that's what tsunami survivors are starting to do in one of the areas hardest hit, our Atika Shubert has more from Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Friday prayer in the great mosque of Banda Aceh, the first area cleared to be cleared of debris and bodies. The faithful come to pray, soldiers stand on guard, signs of life returning to normal. In the market, shops still in ruins, but order has been restored. Residents line up patiently for food and for water dispensed by Australian soldiers.

(on camera) Residents still live amid the wreckage. Heavy moving equipment is hard to come by and it may take months for any of this to even begin to be cleared.

(voice-over) Boats are still marooned in the center of town, more than a kilometer inland. The most spectacular wrecks have become something of a tourist attraction for visiting aid workers. Here we found this Muhammad Azwar Ilias (ph), a fisherman watching over his family's boat, jammed atop a bridge. He was fishing four kilometers offshore in another boat when the tsunami struck, feeling nothing but the rise and fall of a large wave. He came back to this, his home and his parents gone. He focuses on salvaging what he has left.

"If I can, I'll build another boat. The engine still works," he says. "We'll have to destroy the rest of this to get the engine. I just don't think anything else is usable." Muhammad figures it will take six months for his life to return to normal. He waits every day for a clean-up crew to arrive, but they're not stopping here today. Atika Shubert, CNN, Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

HARRIS: CNN has around a dozen correspondents reporting today from the four hardest hit tsunami countries. We'll hear from some later on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

NGUYEN: We want to get to our "Security Watch" now where we update you on the week's major developments war on terror every Saturday morning. On Monday, homeland security officials said foreign visitors at 50 of the busiest U.S. land border crossings in ten states are now being fingerprinted. It's part of the government's new biometric screening system which scans photos of a visitors face and index finger. Now, the images are then matched with several criminal databases, which is maintained by the government.

Tuesday opening statements in the trial of a British businessman accused of hatching a plan to bring 200 shoulder-fired missiles into the U.S. Prosecutors say the man told an informant posing as a terrorist that the weapons could be used to shoot down airplanes. The defense attorney says his client was a victim of entrapment.

And Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security released its new national response plan. The massive document details how various government departments and non-governmental agencies will work together on a coordinated response to national emergencies. You want to stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

HARRIS: Got to tell you, we're following the weather out West because it's just terrible out there. We want to use the technology that we have at our disposal. I don't know what the hands are all about. But we're going to put up this multiple box there on your screen.

NGUYEN: This is where you're put to the test, Tony.

HARRIS: L.A. is top left. And San Francisco is top right. Seattle, the Needle, right, the Space Needle, is lower left. And Chicago -- is that correct?

NGUYEN : That is Chicago. We have Rob Marciano as well. Maybe we'll put him up in the box as well to talk to us.

HARRIS: He's boxed in, that's for sure, out West.

NGUYEN: With all that snow in Lake Tahoe. Rob, tell us what's going on there.

HARRIS: And Rob, I guess the question is, are you getting -- we're getting a lot of calls here, folks are wondering are you talking about eight feet of accumulated snow or is that what we're expecting to roll in over the weekend? What's the deal here?

MARCIANO: OK. They had about ten feet of snow pile-up a week and half ago.

HARRIS: Gotcha.

MARCIANO: Right now, we're at about 6,000 feet. That's the level of the lake. Here, by Monday morning, we expect at least five feet of snow.

HARRIS: Five additional feet.

MARCIANO: So, snow to right about here. Is that enough?

NGUYEN: That's more than enough, I think.

HARRIS: You show up on television and you're out there in the snow, people start calling and want to know what the real deal is and they're telling us to get to you as quickly as possible.

MARCIANO: I know it's hard to believe, but as Orelon will tell you, the Sierra Nevadas along with the Cascade Mountain range, they run parallel to the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. And these storms that roll in this time of year take tons of Pacific moisture and slam them, boom, right into the mountains. The mountains lift that moisture and it just dumps in the form of rain in the valleys and obviously heavy snow in the mountains. So it's almost hard to believe. And that's one of the reasons we came out here, because it's been such a big story this past winter. And it's going to continue to be a big story this weekend. Looks like this is going to be the worst storm yet. And that's hard to believe considering what happened during the Christmas week.

Winter storm warnings are posted tilt 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday! Unbelievable amounts of snow expected and the winds have been blowing. I think we have video of what it looked like to drive here last night. A little bit later on we'll have that video. But about 20 minutes ago I was on. And I bent down and I dug a big hole and now it's completely filled with snow. Between the wind and the rain, Mother Nature has been Zamboning footprints and plows try to come up and down trying to clear things. And it's a non-stop process.

Anyway, we're in California. You think of palm trees and sunshine, but they get snow as well. We'll be reporting this morning and tomorrow morning and through Monday morning ...

NGUYEN: You want snow in Tahoe but that's too much of a good thing out there.

HARRIS: It's too much!

NGUYEN: Way too much.

MARCIANO: Yeah. What are you laughing at Tony?

HARRIS: It's just too much snow. You're back in 20 minutes, right. It's just too much snow.

MARCIANO: We'll see you in a little while.

NGUYEN: All right. See you, Rob. Speaking of California and all that goes on out there, Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, well, they are now committed in their friendship but choosing separate paths. Find out what happened later on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

HARRIS : And good morning, Boston, your wintry weather forecast coming up in about 20 minutes. And don't forget to send us your snow pictures. We really need them this morning. We are at wam@cnn.com. We're back right after break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: He was arrested for a triple murder that took place four decades ago, murders that helped bring worldwide support to the civil rights movement. The killings also became the subject of a major motion picture, "Mississippi Burning." The arrest of 80 year old Edgar Ray Killen on the docket.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) NGUYEN: Americans are stepping up to help the tsunami relief effort. That is according to a CNN/"USA Today" Gallup poll. 70 percent of those asked think Washington is doing enough to help tsunami victims. Nearly three quarters of Americans say they prayed for the storm victims and nearly as many contributed money and or supplies.

Now the tsunami relief effort in South Asia is a huge and daunting task but U.N. chief Kofi Annan says the hard work outside aid are beginning to make a difference. And the international aid organization CARE is right there in the middle of things working to help survivors.

Gail Neudorf is deputy director of emergency relief for CARE USA and she joins us this morning to talk about the efforts. Good morning to you.

GAIL NEUDORF, CARE-USA: Good morning.

NGUYEN: Let's talk about the situation there because we're about two weeks into this now. And are you seeing that there are still areas in South Asia where we still don't know what kind of devastation is there or if there are any survivors left?

NEUDORF: I think at this point, a lot of it is covered and people are starting to get the aid to most of the people that need it. The place that we're still struggling with is Indonesia and Aceh. We're hearing stories of people actually walking into refugee camps and displaced centers because they know aid is not going to get to them because they are so isolated. So it still is a problem particularly in that area but I feel like we're getting a handle on the situation, at least knowing where people are.

NGUYEN: How are you getting a handle on the isolation, though? What are you doing to reach those areas that aren't seeing the help that some of these other areas are seeing.

NEUDORF: That's where the combination is really great. Those that have helicopters can get into those really isolated areas of the country. Those with trucks go to the areas more accessible by roads. These is long distances, ten hour trips just to get in to many of the places that we're talking about on very bad road conditions.

NGUYEN: Where is CARE USA focusing its efforts on now?

NEUDORF: We're working in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia. Those are our primary areas of focus. Those are areas we've had country offices for up to 50 years. Decades of time and effort in them. We know the people and that's where we want to put the time and effort into assisting.

NGUYEN: Now, in touring the devastation I want to read you something that Kofi Annan recently said. He said, quote, "I've never seen such utter destruction mile after mile." Combine that with reports we heard early on of just sheer chaos on the ground because it's such a huge need to be met by such a few amount of organizations out there. How are you getting a handle on the situation? Is more aid flowing in? And is the situation being better equipped, are people better prepared to supply the needs?

NEUDORF: As the aid starts coming in, we can start to organize it better as well. We know what is coming, we know what expectations are and we know where we're going to get the money from. But also the communities are stepping up to this. They are finding their ways to cope as well. So it's a combination effort. They're over the first shocks. They now are looking after their own needs in their own way as much as they can, as well, which is a really great effort on their behalf.

NGUYEN: And that's really important, not only supplying folks with the immediate needs but showing them how to get back on their feet.

NEUDORF: Right, exactly.

NGUYEN: And quickly, we're out of time but talk to us a little bit about the relief workers on-site, on the ground there. They're dealing with just an overwhelming situation, aren't they?

NEUDORF: Exactly. It's just something you can't even imagine. Even in my own experiences I've never seen anything like this. And they're really struggling with it but it's amazing they will step up to the plate even though they've lost family, they've lost their houses. They're out there doing everything they can. We try to cycle through and support them as much as we can with breaks and giving them some opportunities to get away from the situation. But they're amazing. They really amazing and a key to CARE's ability to respond.

NGUYEN: And the key is also, people donating to CARE.

NEUDORF: Definitely. We need that.

NGUYEN: Keep those donations coming in. All right. Gail Neudorf, deputy director of emergency relief for CARE, we appreciate your time and information.

NEUDORF: Thanks for having me.

NGUYEN: Thank you.

HARRIS: An update now on our top stories. Indonesia's health ministry-raises the number of people missing from the quake and tsunami to 77,000, that's up more than ten fold. No reason given for the dramatic jump. Military and Coast Guard aircraft are heading to Guam to monitor a nuclear submarine that ran aground. The USS San Francisco ran aground 350 miles south of Guam, injuring several sailors, one of them critically. The Navy reports no damage to the nuclear reactor.

And California digs out. The first of three expected storms clobber parts of the state, dumping snow in the mountains and drenching rain in other areas.

A Hollywood power couple is calling it quits. We've got the details next on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Say it isn't so. Hollywood's golden couple calling it quits?

NGUYEN: What?

HARRIS: CNN's entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson has the story of the demise a storybook romance.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): News about the break-up of Hollywood's most beautiful couple left fans surprised.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm glad Brad is single.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's kind of interesting. I thought they were probably the coolest couple in Hollywood so I'm a little surprised.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shocked. That's awful.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a joint statement Friday evening, Hollywood power couple Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt announced that they're formally separating. The couple met in 1998 when they were set up by their agents on a dinner date, keeping their relationship a secret from the public for months. They eventually wed in July of 2000 in an elaborate ceremony at the Malibu home of television executive Marcy Carsey.

It wasn't long before tabloid reports predicted the demise. Eyebrows were first raised in 2003 when Aniston forgot to thank her husband during her Golden Globe acceptance speech for her work in "Friends." Last summer, some linked Pitt to Angelina Jolie, his co- star in the upcoming "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Others cited Aniston's reluctance to start a family as the reason for their marital tension. Speculation peaked after reports that Aniston canceled her husband's 41st birthday plans. Shortly afterwards she was photographed not wearing her wedding ring at Los Angeles International Airport.

In their statement they said their split was amicable. Quote, "Our separation is not the result of any of the speculation reported by the tabloid media. We happily remain committed and caring friends with a great love and admiration for one another."

The couple co-own a production company called Plan B Entertainment whose production credits include "Troy." And now it appears Pitt and Aniston will seeking a plan B for their love lives as well. Brooke Anderson, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: All I can say is I lost so much sleep over that last night. HARRIS: Separation. Just a reminder. Separation does not mean divorce. It means separation.

NGUYEN: Exactly. Maybe they'll get back together. They just need some time.

HARRIS: You want to root for them.

NGUYEN: But you know the women out there are going, Brad's back on the market.

HARRIS: No, he's not!

NGUYEN: That's what the women out there are saying.

HARRIS: Separation does not mean divorce and root for them to make it through.

NGUYEN: Yes, we want them to get back together, so I can get back to sleep.

Let's move on now. We've been asking you this morning to send us your snapshots of the snowstorm. We're at wam@cnn.com. Send them in, we'll put them on the air.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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