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Graner Sentenced to 10 Years; Security Tight for Inauguration

Aired January 16, 2005 - 07:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We have got star power on CNN this Sunday morning. Stars on the football field, stars on ice, and stars on the phones taking your tsunami pledges. We'll have all their stories ahead this hour.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to say good morning to everybody from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. This is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It's January 16th. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. I'm just jumping the gun here. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for being with us. Let's get you caught up with the morning headlines.

A promise today from Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister tells his cabinet he'll step up anti-terror operations without restrictions following new attacks on Israeli citizens. Sharon says those attacks have increased and the new Palestinian leaders have done nothing to stop them.

Indonesia says March 26th is not a deadline for the foreign troops helping with tsunami relief to leave the country. The defense minister met today in Jakarta with U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. He said Indonesia merely hopes it can take over most of the relief effort by the end of March.

Two North Carolina children are missing after their biological parents allegedly abducted them from a foster home in Boone, North Carolina. The children were not with the parents when police saw them run into a wooded area in Northeastern, Tennessee. Two-year old Paul Chambers and his 11-month old sister Brianna were taken at gunpoint from the home.

NGUYEN: Well, you'll definitely want to stick around this hour, because we have highlights of last night's fund-raiser for tsunami victims. People phoning in pledges were able to speak directly with their favorite stars.

Also ahead, you might need hospital care for all kinds of reasons, but more trauma could come later in the mail. We'll explain why you need to examine your medical bills very closely.

Plus this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can they do this to a little boy? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they're evil.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can they do this to him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they're evil.


NGUYEN: It's a bitter custody battle. Results in a little boy forcibly removed from the only parents he's ever known. It's a heart breaking story you will not forget.

HARRIS: And our top story this morning, a man at the center of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal heads for prison himself. Busted to private, former Army MP Charles Graner was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for mistreating detainees in Iraq. But Graner is unrepentant as CNN's Susan Candiotti reports.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Now a convicted criminal, former MP Charles Graner was the one being treated as a prisoner. He was led away in handcuffs and leg irons, but still unwilling to say he was sorry inside the courtroom or outside.

RESERVE SPC. CHARLES GRANER, CONVICTED OF ABUSE: I was a soldier and if I did wrong, here I am.

CANDIOTTI: Any regrets?

GRANER: No, ma'am.

CANDIOTTI: In his sentencing hearing, Graner finally took the witness stand for almost three hours, but not under oath, to avoid any cross examination.

He said military intelligence MI set the tone for what to do inside Abu Ghraib prison, adding a superior told him, "if MI asks you to do this, they're in charge, do it."

Graner gave no explanation for these photos, the naked human pyramid, the detainee on a dog leash, this act of sexual humiliation. When his lawyer asked why he was smiling in so many photos, Graner told jurors, "There were a lot of things we did that were so screwed up, if you didn't look at them as funny, you couldn't deal with it."

At the end he said, "I didn't enjoy it. A lot of it was wrong. A lot of it was criminal." Graner stood at attention as the sentence was read -- 10 years. After the jury left, Graner chuckled nervously and said, "That's what makes the world go round."

When it was over, Graner's parents angrily said their son was made a scapegoat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were not interested in the truth. My son was convicted the day that President Bush went on television and said the seven bad apples disgraced the country.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): Graner was taken to a county jail until he is assigned to a military prison. As he disappeared into a van filled with MPs, he tried to appear upbeat, saying, "I'm still smiling."

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Fort Hood, Texas.


HARRIS: And there's this. Most of those responding to a quick vote on the Charles Graner sentence said it was too harsh. The quick vote is an unscientific survey of Internet users.

NGUYEN: Gearing up for Thursday's presidential inauguration, it will be the first since 9/11. And as you might imagine, security will be tighter than ever.

Now this morning, authorities are fine tuning everything in an inauguration rehearsal. CNN's Brian Todd joins us live from Washington with all of those details.

What a busy morning there, Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a busy morning, Betty. We're getting our first peek of sunlight here coming over the capitol. And in about an hour, thousands of military personnel are going to be practicing for the inaugural parade. The dry run.

We are joined now here by Air Force Brigadier General Duane Lodrige. He is the deputy commander of the Joint Task Force of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee.

General, thank you for joining us very early on a Sunday morning.


TODD: Thank you. Give us a sense of the length of time in the planning of this event and the precision involved in it?

LODRIGE: Well, we actually started planning four years ago. And we never really stopped planning. But in earnest, just maybe three months ago, we got all the key elements identified for the parade. And they'll be over 130 of those. And we have the key leaders here today. And they'll all be part of the dress rehearsal.

TODD: Well, and this is very involved business. How difficult is it, just for the general public, to marshal thousands of people in such a precise manner for this parade?

LODRIGE: Well, I think the American public, they see it all in the afternoon during the actual parade, but it starts during the darkness, just like it was here a few minutes ago.

TODD: Right. LODRIGE: And we bring everybody together and stage them in the national capitol region on -- actually on the parade day, we'll have 13,500 participants in the parade.

TODD: Some of those will be civilians, correct?

LODRIGE: Oh, yes. About 11,000 civilians and 2500 military.

TODD: Well, good luck, general. Thank you for joining us today. General Lodrige, by the way, is going to be the first military officials to salute President Bush after his swearing in. He will also be marching at the lead of the president's escort on the parade route for part of the parade route.

And the planning, as they say, is going to take place starting in about an hour. For most of the morning, we'll end this afternoon -- Betty?

NGUYEN: All right, Brian Todd, thank you very much for that.

Well, the inauguration is designated as a national special security event. That gives the Secret Service the lead among some 40 government agencies taking part in security. You'll want to stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

HARRIS: And while one of the domestic issues on the president's is Social Security, we want your opinion. Does Social Security need to be fixed? E-mail us now at And we'll read some of your comments throughout the morning.

Time now to fast forward for a look at some of the stories CNN will be covering this week. Jury selection said to begin Monday in the trial of former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers. Ebbers faces fraud charges stemming from the collapse of WorldCom back in 2002.

The company's bankruptcy filing was the largest ever in United States. Tuesday marks the first of two days of Senate confirmation hearings on the nomination of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State. If confirmed, Rice will be the first African-American woman to hold the job.

Thursday, President Bush will be sworn in at the 55th presidential inauguration. Private donors have put up $40 million for parties and other events surrounding the big day. That's drawn criticism from some who say it's not appropriate in the time of the war and during the tsunami disaster.

Well, the final Super Bowl match-up gets closer. We'll give you the play by play on the face-off between the Atlanta Falcons, the dirty birds and the St. Louis Rams.

NGUYEN: Also ahead, the story of a court battle centering around a 3.5 year old boy. We'll tell you about it.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And I'm Rob Marciano in the CNN Weather Center. Cold air begins to filter back into the Northeast. Places like New York City will likely not get out of the 20s today. May even see some snow later on.

Good morning, New York. Weather's coming up in a little bit. Cold and flu report in about 60 seconds. We'll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I consider that my second birthday. And it put an end to an era of hopelessness.


NGUYEN: It's a gift no money can buy. An absentee ballot for Iraqi Americans to vote in Baghdad. That story next hour, 8:00 a.m. Eastern.



HARRIS: There is a historical link between the families of Martin Luther King, Junior and the Kennedys. Here on the eve of the King federal holiday, the union of the two families remains strong. Bobby Kennedy's daughter Kerry was a part of the King celebration Friday night. In fact, the play brought to life stories from Kennedy's new book, where she interviews modern day human rights leaders.

I sat down with Kerry Kennedy yesterday. And we talked about King's legacy, the play at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and her new book, "Speak Truth to Power."


HARRIS: I have to ask you about this weekend's performance of the play based on your book. Been read by an all-star cast at historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. What was that night like for you?

KERRY KENNEDY, "SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER": First of all, to walk into that church where Dr. King stood as preacher, to stand up on that stage and think, my gosh, I'm at the podium that he used, is an extraordinary experience.

But then, when you walk into Ebenezer Baptist Church, they have his voice on the microphone. So it's a very eerie sort of amazing, emotional moment.

To be there with Mrs. King and Martin King the III, and all the history and everything they've been through is amazing enough. But then also, to be there with seven human rights defenders, almost all of whom have been imprisoned and tortured for basic rights, which we take for granted, resonates all the more.

HARRIS: Tell us about Diana Ortiz, who was there last night.

KENNEDY: Well, Diana Ortiz is an American nun. In the 1980s, she went to Guatemala to teach Mayan children. And she was picked up by Guatemalan security forces. And she was gang raped for several days.

And her rape and torture only stopped when an American walked into the room and said, "You idiots, you have the wrong person."


KENNEDY: And she was able to escape. And she denounced her torturers. And the U.S. embassy denounced her and said oh, no, this was just a lesbian love affair gone awry.

She had over 100 cigarette butts in her skin. And just -- it was amazing to be there with her last night in that church. And at the time when we have a new U.S. attorney general, who's desperately looking for a way to justify the use of torture.

HARRIS: Kerry, you've been working in this arena since 1981. Beyond the book, what are you proud of in your own career, in your own human rights book?

KENNEDY: You know, we've had tremendous victories over the last 20 years, some victories that we thought were impossible. When I started working in human rights, all of Latin America was under military dictatorships. Today, the last -- the only left standing is Castro in Cuba.

And when I started working all of Eastern Europe was under Communism. And that was an impossible thing to overcome. And now the last of the Communist tyrants Slobodan Milosevic is on trial in the Hague.

And when I started Africa -- South Africa was at the heart of apartheid. And today, it's had successive governments that have been freely elected. And at the time the government, the northern wealthy white government of Sudan just started its assault on the southern blacks. And the poor southern blacks. And this Monday, there was a peace accord.

And all of those changes happened, not because governments wanted them to. Governments tried to stop them. And not because militaries wanted them to. And not because multinational corporations wanted them to, but because individuals stood up and said this is wrong.


HARRIS: Again, the book by Kerry Kennedy is "Speak Truth to Power, Human Rights Defenders Who are Changing Our World." You'll hear from the actors in the play at Ebenezer next hour on CNN SUNDAY, 8:00 a.m. Eastern.

NGUYEN: We begin our look at news across America and Park City, Utah and the vital search for any signs of life from victims of Friday's avalanche. Crews will continue looking this morning, but their task is daunting. They'll be looking for victims buried under blankets of snow on an area that's the size of three football fields. As many as five people could be trapped.

In California, memories of a deadly mudslide still fresh and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) marker that will make it hard to forget. After killing 10 people, the remains of a massive mudslide in La Conchita will stay in place at least for now. Experts say it will be too geologically hazardous to remove it.

And fans and fashionistas listen up. Your favorite TV and movie stars are going for the gold at 8:00 p.m. tonight. The bold and the beautiful will battle for glory at the Golden Globe Awards in California. Besides getting answers to what or who wins what, fans will also learn answers to those burning questions like who'll be wearing what?

And if you want the inside scoop on who is wearing what on the red carpet tonight, be sure to tune in at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, when Hollywood stylist Philip Bloch joins us live.

I know you're looking forward to that, Tony.

HARRIS: And stars come together to raise money for the victims of the tsunami disaster. Highlights of last night's telethon ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

And Tanya Harding did it, but no one has been able to repeat it until last night. Find out what we're talking about next.


NGUYEN: Well, good morning, New York. If you're in the Big Apple these days and looking for some winter fun, how about some ice skating at Rockefeller Center or in Central Park for that matter? We'll have your weather forecast in just a few minutes.

But speaking of ice skating, did you watch the figure skating championships last night? Well, Johnny Weir claimed his second consecutive national title with a flawless skate. He's got it all, triple axles, greatest ease, and of course a great future.

Now to the ladies. Michelle Kwan claimed her ninth national title, but made a few mistakes in her program.

HARRIS: No, she didn't.

NGUYEN: Oh, yes she did. Just a few though. And here is the real headliner, though. Did you see that? 15-year old Tammy Meisner became the second American lady to land a triple axle in competition. Now Tony, if you're wondering who was the first, well, that answer is Tanya Harding, 14 years ago.

But even with the artistry and the flawless technical program, Meisner ended up only in third place. No doubt that ranking will -- well, that ranking of third will spark a little bit of a controversy. A triple...

HARRIS: Triple axle?

NGUYEN: And I have to say my little sister, 12-years old...


NGUYEN: mom called me yesterday and said she is doing a triple. It's not perfect, but she's got the rotation.

HARRIS: Your sister?

NGUYEN: My little sister, yes.

HARRIS: She's doing a triple axle?

NGUYEN: Only 12.

HARRIS: Twelve?

NGUYEN: But you have to start young.

HARRIS: Oh, yes, that's true.

NGUYEN: I mean, Tammy Meisner's 15. Landing a triple in competition.

HARRIS: And you know, she was a fourth place, I guess. There's a bit of a controversy.

NGUYEN: Little bit of controversy.

HARRIS: Because everyone feels as though she should have vaulted to the top. But she was in fourth place. And Michelle Kwan went -- you know, there were three other skaters ahead of her.

NGUYEN: Yes, Michelle won it. My -- actually landed in third place.

HARRIS: She landed in third?

NGUYEN: Yes, with that.

HARRIS: OK, all right. Football, did you watch any of the game last night?

NGUYEN: I didn't get a chance to. I heard the Falcons won, though.

HARRIS: It's early around here, isn't it? Yes, we get started. In the National League Play-offs, the Atlanta Falcons absolutely soared, routing the St. Louis Rams to advance to the NFL championship.

The NFC Championship Games, CNN Sports Ray D'Alessio has the story.


RAY D'ALESSIO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: In just a third quarter of playoff game, Michael Vick led an offense that set a number of franchise records, including rushing yards and points and a half. Vick himself set a record, finished with 119 yards rushing, the most by any NFL quarterback in playoff history.

MICHAEL VICK, FALCONS QUARTERBACK: The key to winning football games is being the fishing the rain game. And that's what we were able to come out and do. So you know, without the running game being efficient and being effective, you know, especially going down the stretch, you know, don't win this football game. So that's something that we stressed all week and we was able to come out and do it.

MIKE MARTZ, RAM'S HEAD COACH: I don't know what happened. Obviously, trying to contain Michael. Once we get the running up inside, it's like the option. You know, those two backs are (UNINTELLIGIBLE.) And all of a sudden, he pulls up a ball and comes out of there. What do you cover?

JAY MOKA, FALCONS HEAD COACH: You know, we said all along that we feel in our locker room, that are best player honor team is our team. And I think that that was probably proved out tonight in the way we played.

D'ALESSIO: Now as far as the debate as to which is better in the playoffs, momentum or by week, the Falcons victory would suggest the latter of the two. Since the NFL went to a 12 team format back in 1990, NFC teams coming off a by week are 26 and 3.

In Atlanta, I'm Ray D'Alessio, CNN Sports.


HARRIS: And in the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers almost blew one of the most important games of their magical season. But they finally pulled it out over the New York Jets. There's the winning kick. 20 to 17 overtime. The Steelers play the winner of today's Indianapolis Colts New England Patriots game next Sunday for the AFC Championship.


HARRIS: And chances are good..


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...experience of a $30,000 bill versus a $15,000 bill and went uh-oh, something's wrong here. We probably would have been like every other Joe Consumer out there and paid...


HARRIS: And chances are good you check over your bills for accuracy every month, but if you've got bills for a hospital visit, you'd better pay particularly close attention. NGUYEN: Plus a little later, an ongoing legal battle to decide the fate of a small boy. But nearly four years later, his future, it's still in the flux. Stay with us. We'll tell you Evan's story.


HARRIS: A star studded line-up raises money for victims of a tsunami disaster.

Good morning and welcome back everyone to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. We have that story in just a minute. But first, here's a look at what's in the news this morning.

Charles Graner stars a 10 year prison term this morning for abusing Iraqi prisoners. The Army Reserve soldier says he has no regrets and no apologies for what he did in Iraq. A military jury in Texas also reduced his rank and gave him a dishonorable discharge.

The Iraqis are beefing up security ahead of the January 30th election. Major traffic restrictions are going into place, partly to prevent car bombings. Areas around voting centers will also be sealed off to traffic. In the meantime, interim prime minister Iyad Allawi is campaigning this morning at Baghdad University.

HARRIS: And the tsunami victims are getting some high profile help as well. Celebrities joined in a two hour telethon last night to benefit survivors of the Indian Ocean catastrophe.

Brooke Anderson covered the story for us.


BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From Los Angeles to New York to London, the top names in entertainment banded together to raise money for tsunami disaster relief. NBC's Saturday Night telethon Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope was a two hour commercial free broadcast also featuring performances from Maroon5, Elton John, India Ari and Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Nelly, Eric Clapton and Roger Waters, Annie Lennox, Sheryl Crow, Lenny Kravitz, Diana Ross, and country superstar Kenny Chesney.

KENNY CHESNEY, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: We've seen so much devastation and hurt and so much pain, all in such a small period of time. And we've seen enough to last a lifetime really. So I hope that something like this will allow people -- you know, give them an avenue to help, because that makes a difference.

NATALIE PORTMAN, ACTRESS: Things can get better. Thanks to your contribution, they will.

CATHERINE ZETA-JONES, ACTRESS: For those who have lost so much, please contribute.

HUGH GRANT, ACTOR: I've written a check and I'm famously stingy. JAY LENO, TALK SHOW HOST: And girls, Brad Pitt's here also.

ANDERSON: Celebrities working the phone banks and making appeals for donations included George Clooney, Uma Thurman, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Halley Barry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angela Bassett, Annette Bening, Hilary Swank, Johnny Depp, Renee Zelwegger, Meg Ryan, Bruce Willis, and Drew Barrymore.

DREW BARRYMORE, ACTRESS: Please call with your support.

MARTY EVANS, AMERICAN RED CROSS: Ninety-four percent will go directly to the tsunami victims. Only six percent will go to the direct support costs to get the relief there, to get the people there, who are going to distribute the relief.

ANDERSON: Musician Gloria Estefan sang in New York.

GLORIA ESTEFAN, SINGER: You realize the fragility of our lives and how it's all about timing and happening to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

ANDERSON: The American Red Cross estimates they need $400 million for their relief effort. About half of that has already been raised. The donation results from the telethon will be announced on Tuesday.

Brooke Anderson, CNN, Los Angeles.


HARRIS: And when you look at these dramatic images, it's easy to see why that tsunami aid is so needed. An Indonesian photographer captured the destruction as the deadly waves ripped through the hardest hit city of Banda Aceh. In these first moments after the disaster, stunned survivors walked through floodwaters, filled with all kinds of debris and bodies.

NGUYEN: Just heart wrenching.

Well, we're going to shift gears just a little bit now. All eyes will be on President Bush Thursday. That is the big day for his second inauguration. This time the president feels he has more of a mandate.

So will he pump up his inaugural speech with bold new policies and feel good rhetoric or something in between? Joining us to talk about that is Chris Winston, a former speechwriter for the president's father.

Good morning to you.

CHRIS WINSTON, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHWRITER: Good morning, Betty. Nice to be here.

NGUYEN: Well, wonderful. How is this speech going to differ from President Bush's first inaugural speech? WINSTON: Well, you know, I went back and reread that speech to take a look. And it was interesting. I think that the broad brush strokes of that speech were very prophetic. He talked about sometimes we are called to do great things he said in that speech. And I think he proved himself to be right. He talked about what he wanted to achieve and accomplish. And much of that, education reform, tax cuts, those kinds of things that he talked about in the speech, he's achieved.

But he still has an unfinished agenda. And I think that's what we're going to hear about this coming Thursday.

NGUYEN: Do you think we're going to see all vision and very little detail? Is that really typically how these inaugural addresses go?

WINSTON: Yes. Inaugural speeches are -- I -- maybe the best way to put it is they're kind of like the broad brushstrokes on the rhetorical canvas. The fine lines and the detailed color comes with the state of the union and other speeches that will follow.

But I think inaugural address is really kind of have four parts. I mean, part of it is it's a history lesson. Traditionally, presidents will talk about America's story and why we're unique in the world. I think it's also a celebration and kind of a reaffirmation of the ideals and the principles and the values that all Americans share.

And I think that shared spirit and belief system that we have is -- also gives presidents then an opportunity to really extend a hand to the opposition, which I think this year will be very important to...

NGUYEN: Yes, I wanted to ask you about that, because...

WINSTON: ...mend fences.

NGUYEN: ...he doesn't have to worry about re-election this time around. So is he going to lay out some bold policies?

WINSTON: That's true.

NGUYEN: Or is he going to try mend those divisions as he looks to his legacy?

WINSTON: I think he will extend an olive branch. I think he realizes how difficult things like Social Security reform are going to be to get through the Congress. And that he has a big job ahead of him. And he can't do it unless he has the majority of the people and the Congress behind him.

And that's really the last part of an inaugural, is to lay out the bold vision, how the president sees the next four years, what he hopes to achieve for this country and really for the world. And to do that, he needs to bring the country back together.

So I think you will see that. NGUYEN: And quickly, in this media savvy society that we live in, are these speeches really tailored for those quick sound bytes?

WINSTON: Well, you know, I think you always strive to have a memorable line. And many inaugurals have had them obviously...

NGUYEN: Kennedy.

WINSTON: ...J.F.K.'s probably the most famous.


WINSTON: But most speechwriters, when you sit down, you're always looking to try and craft a line that will really connect really is what -- the best way to use it -- to connect with those listening and will be memorable.

And I -- you know, I'm sure they're trying to do the same thing for this speech.

NGUYEN: No doubt. Chris Winston, former presidential speechwriter, we thank you for your time today.

WINSTON: Thanks.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our little boy has been traumatized and hurt. And nobody cares.


NGUYEN: While the court's settle a fierce custody battle between a three-year old boy's natural parents and the couple who adopted him at birth. But should the boy's preference be considered?

HARRIS: And good morning, Washington, D.C. A lot if the activities centered around that building right there at the White House. Boy, it is going to be a busy week with parades, elegant balls, traffic nightmares. Rob Marciano will have your forecast for the week in the next 20 minutes on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


NGUYEN: Well, it's not an uncommon tale, unfortunately. Adults go to court to fight over the custody of a child. A three-year old boy, Florida boy, is at the center of the latest high profile court battle for parental rights between three different families.

Carol Lin has Evan's story.


CAROL LIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gene Scott was silent, as he packed his son Evan's belongings into the car, preparing him for a trip Evan thinks is only a visit.

No matter what the Scotts tell him, Gene says the three-year old does not understand he's never coming back. But the pain was etched in the faces and screams of his adoptive parents, who handed Evan to his biological mother, Amanda Hopkins and her new husband.

Emotional friends and neighbors shouted at them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) when you take him from her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm very upset about this because this poor child, I've been here since 9:00 this morning watching this child be traumatized by this situation. And nobody cares about how he feels.

LIN: The custody battle has been raging for three years. Evan wasn't even born when his mother agreed the Scotts could adopt him. They watched his birth and took him two days later.

But then, the boy's biological father came forward to challenge the adoption. Steven White says he was never consulted and wanted custody. That's when Amanda Hopkins filed as well, a move the Scotts say was done only to spite her ex-boyfriend.

Last month, a judge ruled that Evan leave the only parents he's ever known and be returned to Hopkins. The biological father gets visitation rights.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're absolutely evil. It's more about Evan. It's more than about Evan. It's more than about Evan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can they do this to a little boy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because they're evil.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How can they do this to him?

LIN: This morning, Karen and Gene Scott's grief was overwhelming.

KAREN SCOTT, MOTHER: Nobody will listen to me.

LIN: When Evan left, she fell to her knees and cried.

K. SCOTT: Never got a day in court. That little boy has been traumatized and hurt and nobody cares.

LIN: The Scotts are claiming his biological parents have abused the child and exposed him to drug use. They are appealing to get Evan back.

GENE SCOTT, FATHER: We're devastated. And we have an appeal. And we still have hope. If they really love him, they wouldn't have done this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's taken a toll on my entire family. We're still fighting. And I guarantee we'll die fighting.

Carol Lin, CNN, Atlanta. (END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Well, for now, Evan is living with his biological mother and stepfather in Illinois. His biological father, who lives in New Hampshire, has liberal visitation rights.

HARRIS: And here's a quick update of our top stories this morning. Former Army Specialist Charles Graner is unapologetic after being sentenced to 10 years in prison for abusing Iraqi inmates in Abu Ghraib. The military jury in Fort Hood, Texas also reduced his rank to private and gave him a dishonorable discharge.

Inaugural week begins today in Washington with rehearsals. Everything from the nitty gritty details of security, to parade rehearsals will be fine tuned. And beginning tomorrow, Iraqis living in this country will register to vote for the upcoming election back home. The registration takes place in five cities.

Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Nashville.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here's the 79280. The 79280 on some other itemized thing they've got?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then maybe that's a 792 repeated repeated. It is. That's what it is.


HARRIS: Do you know what's on your medical bill?

NGUYEN: Wait until you see this story. Then learn how to protect yourself. That's next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


HARRIS: It is, unfortunately, not unusual to find major mistakes on hospital bills. And too often, insurance companies compound those mistakes by paying those overcharges.

And thus, the high cost of health care coverage. So who's to blame? Sharon Collins reports there seems to be plenty of blame to go around.


SHARON COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On September 15th, Jim Carpenter was rushed to the hospital with a nose bleed.

TRACY CARPENTER, WIFE: When we walked in that emergency room that first morning at 6:00 a.m. with his nose hemorrhaging, I mean, filling up a cup, hemorrhaging, bleeding. And when we walked in the emergency room and said help us, I would have paid $80,000.

COLLINS: But the bleeding did not stop. And the next day, Jim was rushed to another hospital.

So you're scared.


COLLINS: You were terrified. And you're not thinking about, like insurance and the bills and all that.

J. CARPENTER: No. You're thinking about what do we got to do to get this stopped?

COLLINS: That changed when they got the hospital bills. The bill from North Fulton, the Atlanta area hospital where Jim was first taken, was $30,300.01. The bill from the second hospital, Northside, was $14,558.40.

T. CARPENTER: And we had that experience of a $30,000 bill versus a $15,000 bill and went uh-oh, something's wrong here. WE probably would have been like every other Joe Consumer out there and paid -- let our insurance companies pay what they would pay. And we would have...

J. CARPENTER: Paid our 20 percent.

T. CARPENTER: And we would have paid the balance.

COLLINS: Instead, frustrated and suspicious, they looked for help and hired a medical billing advocate to determine if they were being overcharged.

Cindy Holtzman says common billing problems include typos, double billing, and something called unbundling.

CINDY HOLTZMAN, MEDICAL BILLING ADVOCATE: It could also be something included in the cost of your room, like gauze, gloves, drapes, Band-Aids, even the light bulbs for your light. They will charge you for that. And those are usually bundled in the cost of a room charge, an operating room charge.

COLLINS: For example, North Fulton charged $5852 for recovery room fees, but didn't break it down any further.

In a statement, North Fulton tells CNN, "Cooperation among hospital staff, the patient and insurance companies is helping to resolve the issue. Although this claim has not been closed, all parties are continuing to work together."

But does everyone's bill get a second look? The answer is no. And hospitals often charge to cover losses, including those caused by uninsured patients. And the uninsured can often face the highest charges because insurance companies can negotiate lower rates.

CARMELA COYLE, AMERICAN HOSPITAL ASSN.: As an example, for hospitals that do treat large numbers of low income patients, large numbers of senior citizens, they may have to charge insured patients higher prices to be able to keep their doors open. COLLINS (on camera): But $33.70 for a disposable plastic spit basin? We found one for about $3.00 retail.

We've all grown accustomed to paying more for things than they actually cost, be it a hot dog at the ball park or a pair of jeans at the mall. But let's face it, going to the hospital is no trip to the ball park. And unlike those jeans at the mall, there aren't any price tags.

Even if those price tags existed at the hospital, when you're in pain and need help, it's the last thing you're thinking about.

(voice-over): The experts we talked with agreed. America's health care system is at times costly, complicated, and cumbersome. AT issue is how to fix it. The carpenters say taking a closer look at the hospital bill might be a good start.

T. CARPENTER: How many people pay that kind of bill and never, you know, their insurance company never questions it? And they never question it. Everybody just pays it.


HARRIS: Now one of the most important things Sharon learned is that patients need to ask for itemized bills. Well, your insurance company sends an explanation of benefits. That's not the same thing. Some consumer advocates say billing mistakes have become so prevalent that a new industry has evolved to help patients decipher their bills. You can find one of them at

NGUYEN: Good information there. Hey, speaking of asking questions, we have been asking you your opinion this morning on one of the most important issue for this administration. Does Social Security need to be fixed? We'll have some of your opinions next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

And then those responses in the meantime though, we're at

HARRIS: But first, a CNN extra. 10 pharmaceutical companies have unveiled a new discount card covering more than 275 brand name and generic drugs for uninsured Americans under the age of 65. 45 million Americans have no health insurance.



HARRIS: We want to get to your emails. Great emails this morning. The question is does Social Security need to be fixed? You know, there's a big debate going on right now. The president's spent a lot of the week talking about it. Of course, Social Security should be fixed. This is from Jan.

"If it isn't then the government should be prosecuted for racketeering and extortion. We are forced under penalty of law to contribute to SS and yet we may never get the payments we are promised upon retirement."

NGUYEN: Ira from Madison, Georgia writes, "Social Security needs tweaking. The problems are nowhere near as drastic as Mr. Bush wants us to believe. I think that his plan to privatize S.S. is a major boondoggle that will benefit Wall Street bankers and brokers more than it will young people."

And of course, we invite you to continue sending those responses into our email question of the day. Does Social Security need to be fixed? Send it to

HARRIS: The next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING begins right now.

From the CNN Center this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is January 16th on this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, 8 a.m. at CNN headquarters here in Atlanta and 5 a.m. on the West Coast.

Good morning everyone I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. We want to thank you for joining us. Right now let's get to the news.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says he will step up anti- terror operations without restrictions following recent attacks against Israeli citizens.

Sharon has also cut off all contact with new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Now to Iraq. Flanked by armed guards Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi campaigned at Baghdad University two weeks ahead of the election. Security plans for election day include traffic restrictions around the polling stations which will allow only pedestrians inside.

Despite the precarious security situation though, Iraqi officials vow not to delay the January 30th vote.

Indonesia has raised its death toll from last month's tsunami to more than 115,000. Five thousand more bodies have been found in a village in Sumatra. That raises the overall toll in the region to some 162,000 people.

HARRIS: You will definitely want to stick around this hour. We're going live to the nation's capital where security teams are gearing up for Thursday's presidential hoopla. We'll see what it takes to secure the inauguration.

Also ahead, a number of Iraqis in the U.S. are preparing to vote in Iraq's upcoming national elections. We'll look at efforts to register voters outside of Iraq.

And the words of great leaders and ordinary citizens come alive in a celebration of justice for Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

NGUYEN: The first Army soldier to be convicted in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal says he has no regrets and no apologies. A military jury sentenced Charles Graner to 10 years in prison yesterday. He was also reduced to the rank of private and will be given a dishonorable discharge after serving his sentence.

Grander admitted during his testimony that he knew a lot of the things that he did were wrong but that he was following orders.


CHARLES GRANER, CONVICTED PRISONER ABUSER: I know we talked inside there and it's fair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your parents say Donald Rumsfeld won this. What do you think?

GRANER: Sir I, you know, I was a soldier and if I did wrong here I am.


GRANDER: No ma'am.



NGUYEN: Grander's parents say their son has been made a scapegoat in the scandal and criticizes superior officers for failing to testify on his behalf.

HARRIS: President Bush says when American voters re-elected him last November they endorsed his polices on Iraq and therefore, the president says there's no reason to hold any administration official accountable for any mistake or misjudgment made in Iraq.

Mr. Bush's statements appear in today's Washington Post and CNN's Elaine Quijano has a report from the White House.

Good morning, Elaine. More straight talk and bluntness from the president.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Good morning to you Tony. The president talked to the "Washington Post" on Friday, and in that 35 minute interview he was asked about Iraq.

Now of course the White House has noted this is a critical period in that country with elections just two weeks away. Now the insurgents continue their efforts to try to disrupt the political process.

Now U.S. troops of course are on the ground there to provide support to Iraqi forces so those elections can take place. But as he has done before, President Bush did not give a time frame for when those U.S. troops might be pulled out.

And on the question of Iraq policy and whether any administration official should be held accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in pre-war planning, the president said quote, "We had an accountability moment and that's called the 2004 election. The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me for which I'm grateful."

Now President Bush was also asked about Osama bin Laden specifically, whether the president is happy with the effort other countries are making in trying to find the Al Qaeda leader. The president noted, of course, that bin Laden is elusive in a remote part of the world and said this quote, "I am pleased about the hunt and I am pleased he is isolated. I will be more pleased when he is brought to justice, and I think he will be.?

Now on the domestic agenda the president reiterated his belief that the Social Security system needs to be reformed and it needs to be reformed soon, says the president. Also on the inauguration, the president says that he is looking forward to taking more of it in this time around. As he put it, being a more heady observer than at the last inauguration.


HARRIS: Elaine you know there is a bit of a controversy swirling around that inauguration this week, this Thursday. Twelve million dollars is coming out of the Homeland Security Department to cover security costs for the event. Was the president asked about that in this "Washington Post" interview? And if so, how did he answer?

QUIJANO: He was, and specifically this having to do with whether or not the District of Columbia should have to pay for some of these inaugural costs, the security situation obviously going to be very tight. And his answer to that, the White House's response really all along to this controversy, is that there have been funds that have been set aside that D.C. does have available in order to cover events of this magnitude.

Now what local officials here in D.C. say though is that there should be even more money in place because not all of it is going to cover the costs that may appear down the road. They say the money that they have in place in this special fund is something that they hope to tape down the line and that they were hoping that the federal government would be the ones to pay.

But President Bush, the White House saying there is money in place. So, that debate continuing, Tony.

HARRIS: OK. Asked and answered and covered by Elaine Quijano in the White House for us this morning.

Elaine, thank you.


NGUYEN: Ion that note, today CNN security watch takes us to Washington, D.C. site of President Bush's second inauguration, which is later this week.

Law enforcement and national security personnel are pulling out all the stops to ensure there are no terrorism surprises.

CNN's Brian Todd is in the nation's capital with more on the unprecedented security measures being put in place, and that starts today. Brian, what do you know?

TODD: Betty, right now we're looking at a live picture of some of the practice for this inauguration. You're looking at a live picture of one of the bands rehearsing outside the Capitol.

Right now some 4,000 military personnel are gather here on the Mall for a practice run for the inaugural parade and swearing in. It will include a practice march to get underway pretty soon, a mock swearing in ceremony and even two blank artillery rounds to be fired later this morning.

That is the ceremonial component. And as you just mentioned earlier, the security component of this is massive. Some 6,000 officers from about 40 different agencies at the federal and local levels are going to be taking part in security for this event.

One of those agencies is the metro transit police. And the chief of the metro transit police tells us they are under no illusions that they don't need help from the public, but they are ready for this event.


CHIEF POLLY HANSON, METRO TRANSIT POLICE: We're not relying on old techniques and deployment strategies, that we are looking for every opportunity, every resource, every technology that we can put in place to help provide a safe environment.

But I'm not kidding anybody and I don't think I'm creating some false expectation when I'm very direct and have been saying that the customer has a responsibility to work with us to report suspicious activity.


TODD: Now to give you an idea of how complex that will be. They expect about 250,000 people to be right near the podium for the swearing in and many hundreds of thousands more to be lining the parade route and congregating all around the Mall. So security is a very complex and massive undertaking.


NGUYEN: No doubt, Brian. Do you think that all the people working with security in this inauguration, do you think they're taking some cues from the political convention that we saw last year? Do they provide some good insight?

TODD: They did and they are -- they have a massive command center in Virginia that is going to be coordinating all of this. The Secret Service is involved. As I said, they're the lead agency taking part. It is a very heavily coordinated event. And as Tom Ridge said it's a multi layered event, as far as security is concerned.

Anyone attempting anything, as he said, will have to get through multiple layers of security coordinated at many different levels.

NGUYEN: All right. CNN's Brian Todd in the nation's capital. Thank you, Brian.

The inauguration is designated a national special security event. Now that gives the Secret Service the lead among some 40 government agencies taking part in security. You want to stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

HARRIS: And President Bush has laid out his second term agenda in that interview in today's "Washington Post." Among the many issues he touched on was Social Security saying he has no plans to cut benefits.

That brings us to this morning's e-mail question. Does the Social Security program need to be fixed? Send your comments to and we'll read some of them a bit later in our program.

NGUYEN: And other news across America. Here's a look. Movie stars and singing stars join voices -- forces that is to aid Tsunami victims. The likes of Norah Jones, Elton John and Madonna contributed their talent.

The two hour telethon raised money to help survivors of the Indian Ocean catastrophe.

Now people phoning in pledges were actually able to speak directly with their favorite stars.

HARRIS: In Park City, Utah a vital surge from any signs of life from victims of Friday's avalanche continues this morning. They're looking for victims buried under blankets of snow in an area the size of three football fields. As many as five people could be trapped.

NGUYEN: In North Carolina more than 30 pilot whales weighing at least two tons each beached themselves on the outer banks. At least 17 have already died. Experts say the whales are spread out over a five mile stretch of coastline.

HARRIS: January 30th marks an important first for Iraqis not in their native country, as they too head to the polls. We'll hear from one perspective voter in the U.S. about what this election means to him.

NGUYEN: Also ahead we wills how you a dramatic tribute to Doctor Martin Luther King and the famous faces that are taking part.


HARRIS: It's like a bad nightmare. We just keep showing it over and over again. We can't -- well, we can't stop. We can't stop any of this nasty weather, but we can help you keep an eye on the danger spots. A tracking tool you may have overlooked live on the next hour on CNN SUNDAY, 9 a.m. eastern.

NGUYEN: Maybe we keep showing the videos so people will stay off the roads. I want to say good morning to Denver right now where it is so cold there folks just might want to stay in bed for a little while.

We'll have your complete weather forecast just ahead when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues.


HARRIS: A stunning ground attack -- (UNINTELLIGIBLE) myself out here, by the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta ran away from St. Louis 47 to 17 to clinch a spot in the NFC title game. Falcons quarterback superman. Look at the S on his chest. No that's not -- oh, that's Allen Rosom (ph).

Michael Vick actually ran for more yards than he threw for. Atlanta will meet the winner of today's Philadelphia/Minnesota game.

Over in the AFC the Pittsburgh Steelers scratched out an overtime win over the New York J-E-T-S, Jets 20/17. The Jets missed two field goals in the final two minutes, Betty, of regulation and then lost the ballgame.

All right. So now the Steelers advance to the AFC championship. They'll play the winners of today's New England Patriots/Indianapolis Colts game.

NGUYEN: And you notice something in both of those games? People wearing their coats and their hats. It's that time of year. Football weather Rob Marciano.

MARCIANO: Yes. Nothing like cold weather and -- during the playoffs. And the two games today are going to be across the northeast, which it's going to be cold.

HARRIS: New England and Philadelphia.

MARCIANO: Philadelphia, yes. Temperatures in both spots will not get out of the 30s. Matter of fact, in Foxboro (ph) it may not even get out of the 20s and by the end of the game, maybe by the second half they might start to see some snow.

So, it seems like the past several years New England has been playing these playoff games in some snow and they've done rather well. So, we'll see how that pans out.


NGUYEN: Time for a check of the top stories that we are following today.

In North Carolina and Tennessee an Amber alert goes out for two children believed to have been kidnapped from foster care by their biological parents. Police have found the abandoned car the parents were driving, but no sign of the 11 month old girl or her two year old brother. The parents were last spotted in Johnson County, Tennessee.

A celebration that happens just every four years comes Thursday, and crews are preparing for it this morning. A week of inaugural events begins today in Washington with rehearsals. Some 100 blocks of downtown will be closed to traffic for Thursday's presidential inauguration.

And the Iraqis are beefing up security ahead of the January 30th election there. Major traffic restrictions are going into place, partly to prevent car bombings. Areas around voting centers will also be sealed off to traffic.

HARRIS: And Betty starting tomorrow Iraqi expatriates living in 14 countries will begin to register to vote in Iraq's January 30th election. Some 240,000 Iraqis in the U.S. are eligible to vote and voter registration sites will be set up in five U.S. cities.

CNN's Kathleen Koch has more on what the election means to many of those exiles.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Ali Al-Attah fled Iraq with his family 25 years ago when he was just 17. The day Baghdad fell marked a new beginning for him and thousands of other Iraqi exiles worldwide.

DR. ALI AL-ATTAH, IRAQI-AMERICAN: I consider that my second birthday, and it put an end to an era of hopelessness.

KOCH: Al-Attah says Iraqis in his Virginia community are eager to register to vote in the January 30th elections, even though they know it won't immediately solve Iraq's problems.

AL-ATTAH: I'd like to make security situation better or make the electricity better or make other services appearing over night, but we have to start.

STEPHEN LENNON, INTL. ORG. FOR MIGRATION: We're sending out registration books, ballot boxes and office kits.

KOCH: In the U.S. Organizers started shipping out election materials to the five cities where Iraqis begin to register Monday. To quality voters must be 18 and able to prove they are either an Iraqi citizen or that their father was born in Iraq.

The polling cities are Washington, Nashville, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. Some Iraqis are angry that there was only one polling station west of the Mississippi. Unavoidable say organizers.

SIR ROGER BRYANT, DIRECTOR, INTL. ORG. FOR MIGRATION: We would be delighted if we could broaden our operations, but given the time frame we are working under it is just not possible. KOCH: Also not possible distributing information on any of the 111 candidates or parties running for offices.

SVETLANA GALKINA, INTL. ORG. FOR MIGRATION: We do not provide any materials on political entities and on their platforms and we do not get involved in any political campaigning. This is not part of our mandate.

KOCH: Pamphlets are begin distributed urging Iraqi exiles to vote.

(on-camera): And polling sites like this one just outside Washington, D.C. will have security though organizers don't expect any trouble.

LENNON: We have not received any intimidation and no indications of Iraqis in the United States being intimidated.

KOCH: Al-Attah says the U.S. is his home now and he plans to stay here. Still he believes democracy is the only way to bring the disparate ethnic groups in Iraq together.

AL-ATTAH: I believe our strength is in our diversity. Our hope is in our diversity, and this is the way we hope to see Iraq.

KOCH: Kathleen Koch, CNN Washington.


NGUYEN: Some famous actors are lending their voices to make sure Dr. King's message lives on. We will hear from them next.


NGUYEN: Martin Luther King's birthday is being observed in cities across the country. Churches in Washington, D.C. rang their steeple bells at noon Saturday. Among the many events around the capital was a youth symposium sponsored by the Boys and Girls clubs of greater Washington.

In Columbus, Georgia the Reverend Jesse Jackson joined other civil rights leaders at a rally and march through the city. They also used the occasion to command justice for Kenneth Walker, a black motorist who was fatally shot by police in an incident that is the focus of a civil lawsuit.

And marchers also appeared on the streets of Greenville, South Carolina to protest the fact that the King holiday is not officially observed there. Organizers say the indifference is disrespectful to King's legacy.

HARRIS: Well, Atlanta remains the spiritual home of the King holiday. It is the city where he grew up, where he preached and where his body is interred. At the Kind Center the official observance of his birthday featured high profile actors in a unique spoken word performance. CNN's Denise Belgrave has our report.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Courage begins with one voice.

DENISE BELGRAVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some of Hollywood's most famous faces descended on Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. They read from a play called "Speak Truth to Power," which is based on the actual words of human rights workers around the world.

Lynn Redgrave says the play tells us we don't have to wait for a great leader.

LYNN REDGRAVE, ACTRESS: We can all make a step for ourselves like the people who we give voice to tonight in the show. Each of them took a bold step on their own and made a difference.

BELGRAVE (on-camera): The connection between the characters in the play and this great man is moral courage. The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King taught this nation about moral courage and he also taught every individual the meaning of justice.

DIANA ORTIZ: My name is Diana Ortiz.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Couigiwa Wamuri (ph).

DESMOND TUTU: My name is Desmond Tutu.

BELGRAVE: Their stories are heart wrenching and at the same time they're inspiring because many of these people faced insurmountable odds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These scars across my face are when they pushed me through a window. When I was under investigation they asked me if I was responsible for managing everything here at the Egyptian Human Rights Organization. I told them that I was. I was responsible for everything. I wrote the report, I read it, I reviewed it and I decided to publish it and issue it in a newspaper. I am not frightened. This is our job to point the finger at the government errors. If we don't do this, who will?

BELGRAVE: It's a dramatic way of sharing how Dr. King inspired a generation of crusaders for justice.

ALFRE WOODARD, ACTRESS: The important thing is once somebody demonstrates what is possible then it is incumbent on each of us to take that responsibility and that privilege to do the same kind of work. And again, you don't have to lead a march, you don't have to start an organization, all you have to do is in your workplace, when people are being -- when there is injustice committed daily to speak up.

BELGRAVE: And speaking up through word and deed may well be Dr. King's greatest Legacy. Denise Belgrave, CNN Atlanta.


HARRIS: You've got to visit the site at least once. Once in your life you've got to visit it. It's a very moving experience.


HARRIS: OK. Let's get to today's e-mail. Our question. Should Social Security be fixed, does it need to be fixed? We've got one e- mail from Joyce that we have time for. The government should leave Social Security in Social Security and there wouldn't be a problem. It is my understanding the government has borrowed money from it for years. Maybe they should pay it all back with interest and the problem would be solved.

Thank you for the e-mails this morning. We'll take more in the next hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING. There's the question. Does Social Security need to be fixed. The address

NGUYEN: And here's another question for you. Does an aspirin a day keep heart disease away? Well, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has the answer to that and much more of those medical questions. HOUSE CALL is next after a check of the headlines.


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