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AMERICAN MORNING

Serial Murder Suspect Points Police to Bodies in Illinois; Panel Discusses Politics: Former Iraqi Governing Council President Hopeful About Elections

Aired January 28, 2005 - 08:30   ET

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


BILL HEMMER, CO-HOST: Good morning everybody, welcome back. She tried. She certainly tried this morning. Soledad has left because of her voice.
CAROL COSTELLO, CO-HOST: It was gone.

HEMMER: Going fast, too. Maybe she'll get it back over the weekend.

Good morning to you, Carol. Carol Costello, helping us out again today.

COSTELLO: Good morning, Bill. Good morning to all of you.

HEMMER: In a few moments here, Iraqi leaders watching their country's election with great anticipation. Voting begins around the world today for the ex-pats. We'll talk to the former president of Iraq's governing council to find out what he thinks needs to happen for democracy to take root in Iraq and elsewhere throughout the Middle East. That's coming up in a moment.

COSTELLO: Also authorities in Illinois may be uncovering evidence of a killing spree. They found bodies -- plural -- buried, bodies burned. We'll look at what made the suspect talk and what the neighbors are saying now.

Here are the latest headlines for you right now.

Now in the news, President Bush is heading to West Virginia later today to meet with a group of Republican lawmakers about his second term agenda. Among the issues to be discussed, the U.S. mission in Iraq.

The president reiterated yesterday, he's willing to withdraw U.S. forces if the new government elected in Iraq asks him to. But he added he does not expect them to do so.

The Navy is expected to announce today who will build the next fleet of presidential helicopters. A $1.6 billion contract is up for grabs to build the new Marine One. Sikorski Aircraft is against Lockheed Martin. The winner would deliver the first aircraft in 2008 and could have an edge on future Pentagon contracts.

Some 2000 Palestinian police are taking up positions in central and southern Gaza. They're on orders from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to keep militants from attacking Israelis. The move comes a day after Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon, said conditions were ripe for an historic break through toward peace in the Middle East.

And airline travelers could soon be paying more than twice as much for airport security. A proposed plan boosts the security fee from $2.50 to $5.50 for a one-way ticket and $5 to $8 for a round trip. The hikes are expected to generate $1.5 billion. But some critics say the airline industry is already taxed enough -- Bill.

HEMMER: Carol, from the state of Illinois, prosecutors there believe they have solved a serial murder case. They say the suspect first confessed, then cooperated in their investigation.

Here's Eric Philips with more on that story now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ERIC PHILIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Covered up by a tarp, Larry Bright led authorities around his Peoria County, Illinois, home, pointing out where they should dig for evidence. The search unearthed bone particles and the incinerated remains of at least one person, also a device that authorities say appears to have been used to burn bodies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All I can say is, it's just kind of scary. You know, to know that somebody that would be in the neighborhood that would be, you know, capable or even doing anything like this. Whatever it may turn out to be.

PHILIPS: Authorities say it turns out she was living next door to a serial killer, one who possibly murdered six women and could be responsible for incinerating the bodies of four others who are still missing.

KEVIN LYONS, PEORIA COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY: Based upon evidence gathered throughout this investigation, it is apparent now to us that the majority of the victims, dead or missing, of that list of 10 have a connection to Larry D. Bright and that he has murdered them.

PHILIPS: Police say all 10 women are African-American with a history of prostitution or drug use. The six who were found dead all strangled, asphyxiated or died of drug overdose.

So far, Bright's only charged with the first-degree murder of 40- year-old Linda Neal. Neal's body was discovered last September along a rural road outside of Peoria.

HARRISON NEAL, LINDA NEAL'S FATHER: The detectives, they worked so hard on that case, and they did a wonderful job. And the bottom of my heart, I thank them very much for the work that they did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to get a guilty plea or a guilty verdict out of it. Then everything will be closed then.

PHILIPS: Bright remains in jail without bond. Eric Philips, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HEMMER: The prosecutor says Bright is very close to his own mother and may have actually confessed to spare her more pain from police digging up her yard -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Every Friday at this time, we turn our "Give Me a Minute" gang loose on the week's big stories. Joining us this morning in New York, Sam Seder from Air America radio; in Chicago, WLS radio host Teri O'Brien; and with us here as usual, Andy Borowitz, president and CEO of TheBorowitzReport.com.

Wow. That sounds so official, Andy.

Start with Sam: Alberto Gonzales will now have to write out a congressional debate on his nomination for attorney general. Some Republicans attribute the delay to partisan politics. Is that what this is really all about?

SAM SEDER, AIR AMERICA RADIO: Well, I think to a certain extent. I mean, it certainly has been a torturous process. And I want to commend the Democrats for standing up and voting against Alberto Gonzales, the torture czar and basically, sending a signal to the world that America values freedom, liberty and human rights.

COSTELLO: Teri?

SEDER: I'm sorry.

COSTELLO: OK. You still have more time. Sorry.

SEDER: As far as -- as far as the ten Republicans that voted for -- voted for him, I think yes, that was very partisan on their behalf, and maybe they were just afraid what would happen if they didn't vote for him.

TERI O'BRIEN, WLS RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, I agree. I want to congratulate the Democrats. They seem hell-bent on engaging in a series of stunts to showcase their bitterness over losing the election. Of course, I mean the 2000 election, which they still haven't gotten over.

And so we've got these bizarre spectacles like a former Klansman trying to clock the confirmation of a very qualified African-American woman.

And then the even more bizarre spectacle in the Alberto Gonzales situation of the original Mayor Quimby, Ted Kennedy, talking about water boarding, which only simulates the sensation of drowning. Someone should tell him that.

COSTELLO: OK, we've run out of time, but Andy, we must hear your thoughts on this. ANDY BOROWITZ, THEBOROWITZREPORT.COM: I've got to say dragging out this process is like torture. So I don't think Gonzales has problem with it.

COSTELLO: OK. Teri, after a second commentator this week acknowledged doing paid work for the government, President Bush made it clear that his administration will not be paying columnists or people like you guys to promote the Bush agenda. Is this the end of it, Teri?

O'BRIEN: Yes, and you know, the Maggie Gallagher situation and the Armstrong Williams situation are apples and oranges. And I think, as amusing as it is and as much fun as we've all had trying to suppress our laughter, watching Democrats and liberal activists pretend they're upset about federal money being wasted, I think they should admit that this Maggie Gallagher thing is really about the fact that she believes that marriage is really what it is, between one man and one woman.

And they don't like that. So I think that's why the long knives are out for her.

COSTELLO: Sam.

SEDER: Well, actually, it's three strikes and you're out as far as I'm concerned. I mean, first we hear that Armstrong Williams got 250,000 of our tax dollars to shill for Bush.

Then it was Maggie Gallagher, who gets $20,000 and pretends she doesn't remember getting that type of money.

And now, last night, it was revealed on Salon.com that Michael McManus got another $10,000.

Maybe if George Bush spent more of our tax dollars on social programs, rather than having propagandists paid it, he wouldn't need those propagandists in the first place.

COSTELLO: Andy.

BOROWITZ: I have to come clean: last year, the White House paid me $20,000 to throw my support to John Kerry. It may have made the difference, I think.

COSTELLO: And despite all the controversy in 2004 over "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The Passion of the Christ" they got shut out at this week's Oscar nominations. Were they robbed, Sam?

SEDER: Well, to be honest with you, I don't really follow the Oscars as much as my conservative friends do, I think. But I'll say this. I think Mel Gibson got a nomination for best makeup.

But I think what really was the crime was that George Bush was not nominated for best actor for his performance in trying to convince the American public that Social Security is in crisis.

COSTELLO: Teri.

O'BRIEN: I'm just thinking of the frightening binge that this must have set off in Michael Moore after this tremendous disappointment. I just want to warn the public. If you see him out there rampaging, in a feeding frenzy, don't try to stop him. Let the guys with the tranquilizer guns do that.

COSTELLO: Beat this one, Andy.

BOROWITZ: You know, a little bit of Oscar trivia, no film in Aramaic has ever won best picture. This is true.

COSTELLO: Teri, what was the most under-covered story of the week?

O'BRIEN: The most under-covered story is the story about the five Democrat activists in Milwaukee who engaged and have been charged now with felony property damage for engaging in an election eve tire slashing incident at the Bush headquarters. All of them were paid members of the Kerry campaign. One of them is the son of a newly elected Democrat congresswoman.

COSTELLO: Sam.

SEDER: Actually, I think the big uncovered story is how energized the Democratic Party has been, with the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee voting against torture and Barbara Boxer standing up for -- for voting rights.

And I think the big story, I think, is going to come out of Connecticut, where people getting tired of Joe Lieberman's Zell Miller act. And while he's not challenging anybody to a duel, I think he may find one. There's rumors that Paul Newman may run against him.

COSTELLO: Interesting. Andy.

BOROWITZ: Well, Carol, after a week of name calling in the Senate, Condoleezza Rice denied that her pants were on fire.

COSTELLO: Sam Seder, Teri O'Brien, Andy Borowitz, thanks to all of you.

BOROWITZ: Thank you.

HEMMER: All right, Carol. Twenty-one minutes before the hour now, a check of the weather again. Here's Rob Marciano.

It is chilly outdoors. The map is, like, purple you, isn't it?

(WEATHER REPORT)

HEMMER: Thank you, Rob. Talk to you next time.

When Iraqis go to the polls Sunday, a large segment of the population will be staying away, we're told. Several leading minority Sunni parties and clerical groups are boycotting. Many fear the violence promised by insurgents.

Earlier, I talked with Adnan Pachachi. He's a Sunni in Baghdad, the former Iraqi Governing Council president, also a candidate on the ballot in the voting on Sunday. A week ago here on CNN, he said he thinks the Sunnis will turn out in greater numbers than anyone expects. A week later, I asked him if he still believed that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ADNAN PACHACHI, FORMER IRAQI GOVERNING COUNCIL PRESIDENT: There are certain indications and signs that more people are going to vote or try to vote and defy the -- the terrorists.

HEMMER: What is a good turnout for the Sunni people, sir?

PACHACHI: Across -- Well, turnout in the four provinces. I don't like to call it Sunni-Shia. But the four provinces of Baghdad, Mosul, Anbar and Tikrit. I don't know. Of course, difficult to say. But we hope to have something around maybe 20 percent, possibly.

HEMMER: President Bush repeated some words this week back here in the U.S. that he made about six months ago, saying that if the new assembly votes to have the U.S. military leave, they will listen to that call. Do you expect that to happen, after Sunday, in the months after that?

PACHACHI: Well, I think the question of the multinational force will have to be decided by the Iraqi government with the endorsement of the national assembly. But it's difficult, really, to predict how it's going to be -- how it's going to be dealt with.

It all depends, of course, on the security situation in Iraq. If the situation remains precarious, as it is now, then of course, there would be a case for the prolongation and perhaps extension of the multinational force.

HEMMER: In a broad sense, what is at stake for the people of Iraq? And really, even broader than that, what's at stake for the Arab world on Sunday?

PACHACHI: I think this is very important directions we have, because this is the first step towards, you know, establishing a democratic system in this country.

It won't be easy, but I think with time, the Iraqi people will learn how to manage the democratic system. You know, democracy is something that you learn by practice. And the longer we are able to practice democracy, the deeper its roots will take in this country.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HEMMER: Adnan Pachachi. His name's on the ballot this weekend.

And stay tuned to CNN all weekend for complete coverage, our team of journalists bringing you every angle of this historic event, from election security to the expats voting around the world to the U.S. military and its role Sunday. Big weekend.

COSTELLO: Did you know that nervous fidgeting might be a good way to keep off the pounds? We're paging Dr. Gupta.

HEMMER: The fidget diet.

Also, a huge merger set to get ready to bring you the biggest household goods company in the world, from soap to shaving cream. How big is the payoff for investors and consumers? Back in a moment. We'll look at that, as well.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: You can forget the gym or a good morning jog. Moving and a little bit could make a big difference in fighting obesity. We're paging the good doctor on this one. Details of a new study now at the CNN center.

Sanjay, good morning. This is what we call the fidget diet. Is that right?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I could be called the fidget diet. Really interesting study here. Stick with me on this, because I think you're going to find it fascinating.

People who don't lose weight fast enough a lot of the times blame it on something they call a low metabolism. That's been sort of a vague term, but now Mayo Clinic researchers wanted to explore this a little bit further. Looking into something that they call NEAT, N-E- A-T, which stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

Basically, what this is about is saying that it's not necessarily how much you actually get to the gym but just how much you move during the day. What they found, in fact, that that may be important than getting to the gym.

They found that obese people tend to sit more during the day. That may not surprise you. But on average, they said about 2.5 hours more than people who are lean. That leads to an -- a loss of burning of about 350 fewer calories that are burned on any given day. See the numbers there.

Lean people tend to move around more and thus lose weight more actively.

But what they were trying to figure out was that is it more important to just be moving around or actually getting to the gym? They wanted to actually test two groups of people and find out, even if you were just sort of walking, maybe doing some housework, fidgeting even, did that make a difference in terms of how much weight you lost over the long-term?

This is the neatest part about it. Here's how they studied it. They actually put this what you'd call underwired underwear, if you will, on people. Take a look at that. They actually wired people's entire bodies to try and figure out how much they moved during any particular day.

And they found, again, those people who were lean, on average, tended to move more, even if it didn't mean going to the gym. By the way you couldn't go swimming in those things. That was the one caveat about wearing those underwired underwear.

But again, just moving around, fidgeting, walking from your desk, things like that, appear to make a bigger difference than actually getting to the gym.

HEMMER: Hey, Sanjay, I'm a bit of a skeptic here.

GUPTA: The fidget diet, you're not buying it?

HEMMER: Well, Carol and I were talking. I don't know. We just don't -- is this the right message to be sending out, because we've heard for so long that you need exercise and consistent exercise. Especially if you're obese, because you tell us every single time you're on here that every leading disease in this country can be traced back to obesity.

GUPTA: You know, and no one is saying don't go to the gym; don't exercise. What's sort of interesting, though, here is trying to explore what is it that actually -- that makes low metabolism. What -- how is low metabolism defined? And what they find is actually several different things.

Specifically, if you look at obese people, they tend to sit more, even if they are losing weight. For example, in this study, they actually fed obese people a calorie restricted diet and found that over time, even though they lost weight, they were still sitting more.

So the question is this: is there something in our bodies and our brains that actually tells us not to move around as much and other people to move around more. And is that part of our metabolism? Is that part of what makes us lean or obese?

HEMMER: Got that, Carol?

COSTELLO: Yes.

HEMMER: You buy it?

COSTELLO: That makes perfect sense to me. It just means your metabolism is higher anyway so you automatically would fidget. It's a natural reaction, so you would burn more fat.

GUPTA: And that may be a bigger deal than people thought before in the past.

HEMMER: And it's a Friday and we like to give you a hard time.

GUPTA: I appreciate it.

HEMMER: Have a good weekend.

GUPTA: I'm fidgeting over here.

HEMMER: Hey, listen, over the weekend, Sanjay is back on "HOUSE CALL." He'll talk with the CDC director, Julie Gerberding, about where we stand with the flu vaccine. Saturday and Sunday morning, 8:30 Eastern here on CNN.

Thank you, Doctor -- Carol.

COSTELLO: And "The Cafferty File" straight ahead. Jack's got a 12-year-old who might be the strongest person in the whole world, pound for pound. Stay with us on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: Welcome back, everybody.

JACK CAFFERTY, CO-HOST: Big merger this morning. Huge merger this morning. Serwer quit. He started his weekend early. But a very good friend of mine, David Haffenreffer, is down at the New York Stock Exchange, and he's going to "Mind Our Business" in Serwer's absence.

David, how are you? Haven't talked to you in awhile.

DAVID HAFFENREFFER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nice deal for Andy this morning, isn't it?

CAFFERTY: Absolutely.

HAFFENREFFER: Wouldn't you love to know what the coffee conversations are this morning over at Colgate Palmolive? This on a day when Proctor & Gamble announces it's going to buy Gillette.

The price tag on this deal, $57 billion. The deal itself combines some of the best-known consumer brands out there, make this company an absolute titan.

Of course, for Proctor & Gamble, they've got 110,000 employees. And they've got brands -- you know all these brand names: Tide, Pampers, Folgers, Charmin, Crest toothpaste, Ivory soap, numerous others. They're based out in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As far as Gillette is concerned, this is a company that's got about 29,400 employees. They've got the big brand names like the big razor out there now, Mach3, Duracell batteries, Braun, Oral-B and Right Guard.

They say they're going to have to lose about 6,000 jobs in the process once this deal is completed. A mega deal in the consumer products arena.

As for the stocks, how they're performing early in the pre-market today, Proctor & Gamble down four percent. Gillette shares higher by 10 percent.

We also had our first look this morning at fourth quarter GDP numbers. They came in at 3.1 percent. Wall Street was looking for about 3.5 percent. As a result, the futures are about break-even this morning.

Jack, back to you.

CAFFERTY: David, good to see you. Thanks much, David Haffenreffer at the New York Stock Exchange.

It's time for "The File." I got a lot of letters on this. And you know what? I think I probably knew this, if I thought about it.

That U.S. submarine that slammed into the undersea mountain, Mark in Laguna, California, wrote to me and said, "Cafferty, subs use passive sonar to see objects that make noise, like other ships and other submarines. Active or pinging sonar can be used to detect silent things like mountains and ledges. But since active sonar makes noise, it's almost never used when the subs are on patrol. Submarines like to stay quiet."

Appreciate everybody who cleared that up for us.

COSTELLO: Yes.

CAFFERTY: Turning now to more intellectual fare. For $2.50, you can get porn star Jenna Jameson to talk dirty when your phone rings.

Jameson has recently teamed with Wicked Wireless to give mobile phone users moan tones. Customers can choose from a variety of moans and sexual noises recorded by Miss Jameson. You can even get a ring tone where Jameson talks naughty in English or in Spanish.

Unfortunately, no U.S. carrier have expressed an interest, so you've got to move to either Mexico or Venezuela to get this stuff, Bill.

Don't laugh. Arnold Schwarzenegger probably started out just like this. This is 12-year-old Richard Sandrak. This looks like a doctored photo to me.

HEMMER: Absolutely.

CAFFERTY: He can bench press three times his weight. He has muscles in place where's the rest of us don't even have places. His web site claims that Richard could be the strongest person in the world, pound for pound.

He's been competing in body building competitions since the age of 7. His parents are in the fitness business. He's got his own workout video.

He's going to be on "Dr. Phil," which will launch him to the stratosphere in terms of stardom. And now he's going to have a diet book out soon.

When I was 12, I was watching my face break out or something.

People in London are getting a chance to relive their formative years at something called the World of Babies Exhibition. This is fun. It's designed to remind parents and adults what it's like to be a toddler.

Visitors start in the Womb Room.

COSTELLO: Oh!

CAFFERTY: Well, that's where life starts, Carol. Then they move on to a world of giant hands. And scaled-up fixtures. Look at this. These are adults. There's a giant bathroom, with toilet, sink and other stuff.

The idea is that when you see the world through a baby's eyes, you can more easily understand and support their development. Just ask farther-to-be Carlo Miotto.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLO MIOTTO, FATHER-TO-BE: It's unbelievable how difficult it is for the baby because you would normally think this baby is crazy in doing all this. Why isn't he doing it right? And it's because it's difficult for the babies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAFFERTY: The Womb Room.

COSTELLO: You know, who wants to go back to the womb?

CAFFERTY: I do. I do.

HEMMER: Sixty years too late.

CAFFERTY: Yes.

HEMMER: I don't buy this picture of this kid.

CAFFERTY: Isn't that weird?

HEMMER: He's 12?

CAFFERTY: Dan, can you put it up again or is it too -- look a this. Doesn't that look like it's been -- I mean, it looks doctored. It looks like they put a kid's face on a...

HEMMER: Looks like a very youthful Arnold.

COSTELLO: I'm sure when he's on "Dr. Phil," he will disrobe, partially, and show us his muscles.

CAFFERTY: Dr. Phil will go nuts.

HEMMER: Thank you, Jack.

Top stories in a moment here.

Also, Iraq getting ready for history. Is the spread of democracy the best foreign policy there for the U.S.? A former State Department insider shares his thoughts in a moment, after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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