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Pope John Paul II Back in the Hospital; President Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin Meeting in Slovakia

Aired February 24, 2005 - 09:30   ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: 9:30 here in New York. Good morning, everybody. Nice to have you with us.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody, in fact, just after half past the hour on this AMERICAN MORNING. Just a few moments more on this meeting that's going on right now between President Bush and the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Lots at stake of course retired General Wesley Clark talks about what he thinks the president has to do -- the American president, that is, to move Russia toward more Democratic reforms.

HEMMER: Also Sunday night is the big night in Hollywood. Jamie Foxx getting a whole lot of pre-Oscar buzz for his performance in the movie "Ray." But he is just one of many minority actors and actresses nominated this time around. And in a moment, we'll take a look at the changing face of Oscars. So stay tuned for that.

O'BRIEN: Other top stories this morning, the pope's serious health setback. John Paul II is back in the hospital now, same symptoms that he had, in fact, at the beginning of the month. Let's get right to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's at the CNN Center.

Hey, Sanjay, good morning.


Yes, you know, any time a person 84 years of age with the significant health problems the pope has had being hospitalized and back in the hospital within a month, it's concerning for any medical professional sort of looking at the situation. What we're hearing specifically is a relapse of flu-like symptoms, unclear exactly what those are. But remember last time, Soledad, he had significant spasm of his upper airway. That could be a medical emergency. In his case, it was taken care of quickly and effectively, although he may not have really fully recovered from his flu-like symptoms over the last month, now landing him back in the hospital -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Sanjay, many people pointed out how well he looked just the other day when he was saying a mass. Does that surprise you at all?

GUPTA: It does a little bit. You know, I've heard some conflicting reports on that as well. Some have said that he started having some significant wheezing during one of his talks yesterday, had some fever as well. Certainly someone with the flu, with significant symptoms of the flu can have periods of feeling pretty good, but overall still very diminished from what he was before this previous hospitalization, the first hospitalization.

O'BRIEN: All right, Sanjay, thanks. Obviously, we're going to watch this and continue to update folks as we get more information out of the Vatican as well.

HEMMER: Back to the headlines, and back to Heidi, starting in L.A. and this fire.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we've been watching this all morning, Bill.

Now in the news, a developing story out of Los Angeles, a large fire raging there this morning. The flames broke out at a commercial building. We are hearing that they have died down a bit. You probably saw this picture a little bit earlier as we brought it to you live. But these are the flames now. As you see, it does seem to have died down a bit. Several people have apparently, though, been evacuated from nearby apartments. No word just yet on any injures that may have occurred.

Also in California, emergency crews shifting to cleanup mode after a series of storms. Wet weather destroying dozens of homes and flooding roads and airports. At least nine deaths have been linked to the rainstorms. Dry weather is expected for the next couple of days, but the massive cleanup could take weeks.

And switching gears a bit now, get out the conga drums. Starting tonight, Barry Manilow takes on Vegas.

You should hear Hemmer belt this one out.

The singer has signed on to perform five days a week for 24 weeks at the Las Vegas Hilton. Plenty of time to catch him. In fact it's the same place where Elvis Presley once played. And coincidentally Manilow is reportedly staying in Elvis' old suite, 1,500 square feet of pure luxury.

HEMMER: Daybreak, Mandy, looks like we made it. for how many weeks?

COLLINS: Twenty-four?

O'BRIEN: Love him. Love him.

COLLINS: You can go see him. Give us a call.

O'BRIEN: I love him. I love him. Who doesn't like Barry Manilow? Come on.

All right. Turning to serious news. Thanks, Heidi.

President Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting right now in Slovakia. They're said to discuss several issues putting a strain on U.S.-Russian relations, including U.S. concerns about Russia's democracy. General Wesley Clark was NATO's supreme allied commander from 1997 to 2000, recently as well a presidential candidate. Spoke to him earlier and asked him just how tough a president needs to be with Mr. Putin today.


GENERAL WESLEY CLARK, FMR. NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well, I think we won't know that. Privately, he needs to be very firm, and he needs to be very candid with Putin. He said he has a relationship with Putin. And this is the time to use that relationship, whatever relationship it is, to lay out and make it very clear.

What President Bush said in the inaugural is, America's interests are our values. So it's good to have the agreements on nuclear security and so forth. Those are important. Those are America's interests, but our values are things like democracy, and in that area, he has to exert pressure.

O'BRIEN: You mentioned the private versus the public. To some degree, though, doesn't he have to come out publicly and say something that underscores how the private discussions -- he cannot just say, can he, oh, yes, in private I definitely hammered him?

CLARK: No, because it wouldn't be private. But you're going to get a different tone privately than publicly I suspect. I think you're going to see some hint of the pressure and the tension, but we've had the resolution in Congress by Senator McCain and others calling for Russia be thrown out of the G-8 on their economic basis, because they're not pursuing a path to democracy. That's the kind of public pressure. The president can use that and work more privately.

O'BRIEN: You talk about this relationship that the presidents, President Bush and President Putin have. President Bush had said that he gained a sense of President's Putin's soul when he looked into his eyes, and found him to be straightforward and trustworthy. To what degree can those words come back to he regret having said that when he is now in a position of contention, frankly, with the Russian president.

CLARK: I think it's always dangerous for a president to make too much out of personal relationships like this, and especially with overly flowery language, because ultimately, leaders have to represent their own interests and their own values. And those interests don't always coincide, especially the interests between the United States and Russia. So it's up to President Bush to lead America. He's got to use every tool in his arsenal, and he's got to help protect our interests and our values.

O'BRIEN: But if our interests -- our being the United States' interests -- involve keeping Iran from having a nuclear program, and you have President Putin saying very clearly that we're going to continue our cooperation with Iran on that front, that completely contradicts what President Bush has said.

CLARK: That's exactly right.

O'BRIEN: Does this lead us down the road to reigniting the Cold War?

CLARK: I don't know if it takes you that far, but you're certainly going to see sparks in this relationship. And if we don't see those, then the United States is not acting properly. We simply cannot allow Russia to move forward on its own interests, taking advantage of the United States, the president's supposed relationship, and then move wee from the things we feel are important. We don't feel that Russia should be helping Iran gain nuclear capabilities, and we don't feel that they should be moving away from democracy, from freedom of the press, from the election of governors and the other measures that Putin has recently instituted that pull Russia in the wrong direction.


O'BRIEN: That's former NATO Supreme Allied Commander retired General Wesley Clark. Presidents Bush and Putin are going to hold a news conference later this morning. We're expecting at about 11:30 A.M. Eastern Time. You want to stay tuned to CNN for coverage of that conference.


HEMMER: The Academy Awards only days away now, Sunday night, in fact. There was plenty of speculation about who would take home the gold. But some are already saying this year's minority representation is already a big victory.

From L.A. this morning, here is Sibilia Vargas on this.


SIBILIA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like the character he plays in "Ray," Jamie Foxx has made history in the world of entertainment.

At this year's Academy Award nominations, Foxx heard his name twice, once for the lead role in "Ray," and again for a supporting role in "Collateral," an unprecedented feat for a black actor.

VARGAS: But the story of diversity at these Oscars doesn't end here. For the first time ever, people of color were nominated in every acting category, including Colombian actress Catalina Sandino Moreno.

CATALINA SANDINO MORENO, BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE: It's wonderful. People just like good stories and good acting. And I think people are changing.

JAMIE FOXX, BEST ACTOR NOMINEE: It's fabulous, it lets you know that things are moving.

VARGAS: In the Awards' 77 year history, black actors account for just over three percent of nominees. This year, they're 25 percent, a far cry from 1996, when a complete lack of black acting nominees spurred Jesse Jackson and others to protest the awards. REV. JESSE JACKSON, PROTESTED OSCARS IN 1996: There is no wrong time to march against injustice.

VARGAS: Nine years later, the nominations also include Supporting Actress Sophie Okonedo from "Hotel Rwanda."

(on camera): Do you feel there's a great movement for diversity?

SOPHIE OKONEDO, BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE: I feel that maybe if this film had come out ten years ago, maybe it wouldn't have gotten to the Oscars. There's -- I do think there is a move towards that.

VARGAS (voice-over): This year the move was fueled by "Hotel Rwanda" and "Ray," two Oscar caliber biopics, which showcased a broad array of black performers.

FOXX: Everybody got a chance to see these guys put it down and so now we've got a chance. There are a lot of scripts out there that we're going ask Taylor Hackford to help us out with.

VARGAS: "Ray" director Taylor Hackford and others will have the opportunity to bring more roles for all people of color to the big screen, and Jamie Foxx is convinced they will.

FOXX: But I know the cast that you see right here, this is not the end of it.

I'm going to make it do what it do, baby. Yes.

VARGAS: Sibila Vargas, CNN, Los Angeles.


HEMMER: Reminder for you. Tomorrow morning, here on AMERICAN MORNING, a preview of what's happening on Sunday night. Predictions on who takes home the Oscar gold. Oscars are Sunday night. ABC has them this year.

O'BRIEN: I'm going to be there.

HEMMER: That's right. You are.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I'm going this year. I've never gone before.

HEMMER: Good on you. Dress?

O'BRIEN: Yes, cute. Expensive, too.

HEMMER: Bring pictures.

O'BRIEN: I will.

Thousands of people die each year from a heart failure. It could be, though, because they're looking for the wrong warning signs. Some advice on that just ahead this morning. HEMMER: Also, Wal-Mart is a winner just about everywhere it opens up its doors, but in one big city, the retail giant is losing. Andy has that, "Minding Your Business," ahead here on AMERICAN MORNING.


HEMMER: Heart failure is not the same thing as a heart attack. It's a rapidly growing disease that 5 million Americans already have. More than 50,000 of them will die this year alone. The American Heart Association is trying to do something about it. They've got a campaign right now that's called failure is not an option. And Dr. Clyde Yancy is its spokesperson.

Nice to see you, doctor. Welcome here to New York City.


HEMMER: Why is heart failure and heart attack different?

YANCY: It's a big problem trying to differentiate those two. A heart attack is an event, a situation where someone has chest discomfort, chest pain, intense sweating and they're experiencing a loss of heart muscle acutely. Heart failure is a process. It's the end result of having had some heart disease where the heart muscle is now abnormal. You think of kidney failure, you don't purify the blood. Think of heart failure, you don't pump blood as well.

HEMMER: So a heart attack is one event. Heart failure is something that lasts over time?

YANCY: And it can be the consequence of having had a heart attack. Exactly.

HEMMER: You mention some of the symptoms on the screen -- a heart attack. Chest discomfort and chest pain, spontaneous sweating, feeling of impending doom and intense indigestion. These are the most common symptoms?

YANCY: Absolutely. And you can get the sense of immediacy when you listen to those symptoms and you understand that something's happening right now and you need to do something about that.

HEMMER: Well, compare that with heart failure. Very different, too. Shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of legs and abdomen and decreased physical activity.

YANCY: That is the profile of the patient that has heart failure and what's interesting is that those are fairly generic things. I can't get enough air, I don't have as much energy. People are too easily inclined to dismiss those symptoms. Don't do that, because that could be heart failure.

HEMMER: Explain this. You say heart failure is a chronic problem that is more insidious. In what way? YANCY: Absolutely. Is it tend result of having high blood pressure or previous heart attacks or other forms of heart disease. And so the onset is fairly gradual. The patient population at greatest risk is the older group. And so it's the consequence of years of living with heart disease, where the heart now becomes abnormal.

HEMMER: What could I do, what could you do, to try to prevent it?

YANCY: You know, that's the best question because it's very straightforward. The prevention strategies are the same. Keeping weight in check, making sure the diet is appropriate, being prudent with your use of alcohol, staying active. Those things that prevent heart attacks ultimately prevent heart failure, but it's more important than that. Getting the blood pressure checked, being proactive, really helps.

HEMMER: Very good advice, too. This is something that's going out to what, physicians, is that right?

YANCY: This is a tool kit. That's right. We are launching a campaign called heart failure is not an option. Too many times in years past, both patients and practitioners felt that there was nothing you could do, once the heart was too weak, that's it. Make your peace with whatever's important to you. With new medicines, with new approaches, we really can revolutionize the care.

HEMMER: Do you ensure -- do you think physicians are giving this enough attention?

YANCY: They're beginning to, because they realize we have great options and failure really does not have to occur.

HEMMER: Good to see you, doctor. Good luck with the program, too. Clyde Yancy with us here in New York.

YANCY: Thank you so much.

O'BRIEN: The biggest retail chain in America finds out that it is not invincible. Andy tells us about a big loss for Wal-Mart. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

Wal-Mart forced to delay some of its expansion plans. We'll look at that, plus an update on stocks this morning.

Andy Serwer is back. He's "Minding Your Business."

Good morning again.

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Good morning, Soledad. A lot of action on Wall Street. Let's start off straightaway and check out the Big Board. It was trading down about 19 points. Yahoo! is down. Google is down. Krispy Kreme is down this morning as well this morning. A new investigation just announced by the U.S. attorney's office in the southern district of New York. Here they go again with Krispy Kreme. Two restaurant chains in focus. I love this. Appleby's says its business improved because they moved Valentine's Day from Saturday to Monday this year. Sales were up in February. Outback Steakhouse hurt because of the early start of Lent. True story. People giving up those big steaks, I guess.

OK, Wal-Mart today, it looks like they will not be opening a Wal- Mart in the city of New York, and that's because there was going to be a big development in Queens, and the developer, Grenada (ph), decided they weren't going to include Wal-Mart because of local opposition.

Apparently, the locals thought it would be dragging down the neighborhood. Now, Queens, of course, is the borough that brought you Archie Bunker, the Mets, and they're still digging up organized crime mafia capos in the vacant lots out there.

O'BRIEN: There are lots of nice places in Queens.

SERWER: So, but they're not good enough for Wal-Mart in Queens, I guess. A lot of stuff going on out there. The king of Queens. Archie Bunker, stifle thyself. Anyway, that's the business news.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In defense of the good folks out in Queens, though, this is a city made up of a lot of mom and pop businesses.

O'BRIEN: Thank you, Jack.

CAFFERTY: And an outfit like Wal-Mart would just steamroll a lot of that action.

SERWER: Those mom and pop businesses are charging $25 for a hammer that would cost $6 at Wal-Mart.

O'BRIEN: You know what, I sort of agree with Jack.

HEMMER: You know what, though, the Mets are a better team this year, too.

SERWER: Remains to be seen.

CAFFERTY: We get Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. I mean, it doesn't get any better than that. There's only one game to watch, and then you can forget the rest of the baseball season, because that will be the best match-up of the entire year. I understand New York's resistance to Wal-Mart.

SERWER: Well, we'll see if it happens.

HEMMER: Would you like an introduction?

CAFFERTY: Whatever you want to do. You're the anchor here, you know, I just sit at the end of the couch.

HEMMER: Ladies and gentlemen, Jack Cafferty.

CAFFERTY: Thank you very much.


SERWER: Wow. Wow. Bring in the balloons.

O'BRIEN: Go ahead.

CAFFERTY: I hate this place.

All right, the question is whether Michael Jackson can get a fair trial. Laura in New York says, "His trial will be more than fair. In fact,the system will bend over backwards to make sure that insinuations of racism, a la O.J., are marginalized. Meanwhile, his alleged victims can only wring their hands and hope that justice trickles down to them."

Kelly in Eaton's Neck (ph), New York, "Can Michael get a fair trial? Who cares. I just hope it's mercifully swift so the obsessive-compulsive disorder media will stop jamming Michael news down the throats of the rest of us."

And the last letter is kind of clever, from Karen in Courtland, Ohio: "The man in the mirror may be bad, but brace yourself, he's a smooth criminal, a thriller, invincible, and it doesn't matter whether the jury is black or white, he'll beat it."

SERWER: Well done.

HEMMER: Karen pulled out the old lyrics for that one.

SERWER: Yes, that's right, using the good ones.

CAFFERTY: That's all I have.

O'BRIEN: Nice letter to end. Thank you, Jack.

SERWER: Thanks, Jack.

CAFFERTY: Leave me alone.

O'BRIEN: A quick reminder, let's go back to some serious news this morning. We're expecting that joint news conference between President Bush and the Russian President Vladimir Putin. We're going to bring that to you live at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time. A short break, than AMERICAN MORNING is back in just a moment.



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