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AMERICAN MORNING

Interview With Denny's Waitress; President Speaks in Morgantown, West Virginia; Outer Space Head-on Collision

Aired July 4, 2005 - 8:00   ET

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


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The sharpshooters at NASA on cloud nine, so to speak, after smashing a hole in a comet 83 million miles away. Never has a spacecraft touched the surface of a comet before this morning.
Half a mystery solved in Idaho. Police still searching for a little boy in that state after his little sister is found over the weekend. We talk to the woman who spotted Shasta Groene and stayed right by her side.

And in Afghanistan, the U.S. military are trying to find more members of an elite team after one of them is rescued in those rugged, remote mountains.

All that on this AMERICAN MORNING.

ANNOUNCER: From the CNN broadcast center in New York, this is AMERICAN MORNING with Soledad O'Brien and Miles O'Brien.

O'BRIEN: Good morning.

Good to have you with us this morning.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Carol Costello in for Soledad this morning.

Happy 4th of July.

O'BRIEN: Yes. We hope you're enjoying it already, if you're up this early. You've got a long...

COSTELLO: We thank you.

O'BRIEN: We thank you very much.

COSTELLO: Yes.

O'BRIEN: It's great.

You've got a long way to go until the fireworks, folks. They're waiting on the Mall already, 14 hours.

COSTELLO: Oh, they are. They're getting ready.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

All right.

And we are ready for some news.

Kelly Wallace is here with that.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Miles, if you want to go to the East River, I'll take you along.

O'BRIEN: the East River is the way to go?

WALLACE: Yes, it is. Yes. I'll take you.

O'BRIEN: OK. I don't get the beach, but I get the East River.

WALLACE: You don't get beach.

O'BRIEN: All right, I'm there.

WALLACE: Carol would take you to the beach, but she's...

COSTELLO: I would, but you're here in the city, so hey.

O'BRIEN: It's a nod.

WALLACE: Right.

O'BRIEN: It's a nod.

WALLACE: Good morning, everyone, and Happy 4th of July.

Here are some stories now in the news.

Americans stationed in Iraq are celebrating the 4th of July. Troops at Camp Hope in Baghdad sending greetings to families back home and celebrating Independence Day with an authentic 4th of July barbecue, complete with renditions of the national anthem and a giant cake iced with the stars and stripes.

Switching gears a little bit, the U.S. military stepping up the search for members of an elite reconnaissance mission. The team went missing last week in the mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan. One member of the team was rescued Sunday and is said to be in good shape. An official said the operative was able to "evade the enemy."

President Bush is marking the 4th of July by urging support for Americans fighting overseas. The president is set to make a Speech in Morgantown, West Virginia. It is the third time in four years the president will celebrate Independence Day in the state.

And adventurer Steve Fossett recreating the first transatlantic flight along with a co-pilot. The duo started in Newfoundland and landed 16 hours and 20 minutes later on an Irish golf course. They recreated the same 1919 flight using only compasses and the stars to navigate. But they admitted that a little radio made them feel more at ease.

And...

O'BRIEN: Just...

COSTELLO: So they weren't quite so brave.

WALLACE: Quite so brave. OK. And the first solo mission, transatlantic flight, was by?

O'BRIEN: Of course, that was Charles Lindbergh. We know that one.

WALLACE: All right. All right.

O'BRIEN: But this is a little -- no one -- you know, it took you...

COSTELLO: Oh, that's a pretty shirt.

WALLACE: Of course.

O'BRIEN: Well, everybody knows that. Come on. You know that, don't you? Yes.

COSTELLO: Yes, Miles, I did.

O'BRIEN: All right. But this is a rather courageous mission. It took them -- I think when they did it in 1919 it took in excess of 20 days. They had all kinds of problems along the way. They actually had a three ship -- they lost two ships along the way. It was quite an accomplishment in 1919.

WALLACE: Well, absolutely.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

COSTELLO: You should never ask Miles anything about flying.

WALLACE: I know.

O'BRIEN: Tsar.

WALLACE: That's why I knew he would know the answer to that question.

O'BRIEN: And why don't we just continue on that vein and we'll talk about NASA now.

NASA scientists are analyzing images taken of an outer space head-on collision early this morning while you were sleeping -- or maybe you were up watching. The so-called Deep Impact spacecraft intentionally crashed into the Temple 1 comet. You saw it live here on CNN if you were up.

Inaugural mass taken from the probe's mother ship showed a huge explosion on the comet.

And Daniel Sieberg was up watching it for us -- Daniel, a big morning for NASA.

Let's put it in perspective.

What is the significance of this besides how cool it is?

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, cool and probably a little fun for these guys at NASA, too. But the significance here is they're hoping that this comet will act as kind of a time capsule, a look back in time about four-and-a-half billion years to when the solar system was formed. And by impacting this comet and spraying up all this dust and debris, which you can see here from the impactor, a deep impact on the way into Tempel 1, this comet, about 1:52 a.m. this morning Eastern time.

They're hoping that this impact will allow them to look back at what formed the solar system about four-and-a-half billion years ago. Those are some of the most dramatic pictures that we saw from the impactor itself.

Now, a fly by spacecraft also caught pictures of the explosion itself and, of course, NASA very excited about all of this.

But we can show you some of the pictures from the fly by spacecraft, these showing the impact, about five tons of TNT worth, a 23, 000 mile per hour collision about, oh, 83 million miles from here.

Really threading the needle for this one. This is an amazing mission for NASA, the first time they've ever looked beneath the surface of a comet to see what the ingredients are, essentially. We can show you what the atmosphere was like at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. A lot of high fives to go around. People very excited by this mission, you can see here. A huge success. And they'll be analyzing the data in the days, weeks and months, and even years to come.

Miles, one scientist said there's probably enough there to last through his retirement -- so...

O'BRIEN: Oh, yes. They'll stay busy with it.

SIEBERG: Yes.

O'BRIEN: A couple of things.

First of all, the size of the crater is very important. It could be the size of a house or it could be the size of a stadium. And that will tell them a lot about the consistency, how densely packed it is. But the other thing to point out here is that once you kick up all that stuff and you train telescopes in observing -- all kinds of telescopes were looking at that last night, every NASA telescope there is -- they can tell about, by looking at the way the light shines through it, they can tell a lot about what it's made of, right?

SIEBERG: Right. That's the whole idea, that the sunlight that you're seeing come through this is helping to illuminate the ingredients or the contents of this comet. And they really don't know the entire or exact composition of a comet. And, again, those ingredients or those components of the comet will help them understand what formed the planets and the solar system about four-and-a-half billion years ago.

So that's really key was getting this illumination and all of the photos that the fly by spacecraft caught. And, as you pointed out, all of the orbiting telescopes, like the Hubble and the Spitzer, and others on the ground, as well.

O'BRIEN: All right, Daniel Sieberg, thank you very much.

We look forward to seeing that crater shot whenever they release that one.

SIEBERG: Yes, you bet.

O'BRIEN: We'll share that with you as soon as we get it.

All right Carol.

COSTELLO: One young kidnap victim in Idaho is recovering in a hospital this morning. The other is presumed dead. Police are still searching for 9-year-old Dylan Groene. He and his sister had not been seen since May 15, when their brother, mother and her boyfriend were found dead in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Eight-year-old Shasta was discovered early Saturday morning. She was brought into a Denny's restaurant by a man who turned out to be a convicted sex offender. An astute waitress, Amber Deahn, spotted Shasta, told her manager, Linda Olson, and Linda called 911.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDA OLSON, DENNY'S MANAGER, CALLED POLICE: I've got a little girl here with a tall gentleman and she looks so much like that Shasta.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Are they still in the building?

OLSON: Yes, they're at table 20.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And can you describe the male to me?

OLSON: He is probably -- how tall is he? Oh, boy. Boy, he's probably 6', I'd say 6'3."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

OLSON: He's really slim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

OLSON: Dark hair. Curly. With a hat on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Linda Olson and Amber Deahn join us from Denny's restaurant in Idaho this morning.

Good morning to you both.

AMBER DEAHN, DENNY'S WAITRESS, SPOTTED SHASTA GROENE: Good morning.

OLSON: Good morning.

COSTELLO: Amber, let's start with you.

This is such a fascinating story. I want you to take me through it. It's 2:00 a.m. You're in the Denny's restaurant working.

And when do you notice this little girl?

DEAHN: I had actually -- I was not in the restaurant at the time. I came back from my break and when I came back from break, I checked whichever section I happened to be in that evening, to see if there was any new tables waiting for -- to have their order taken. And they were my only new table and she looked awfully familiar.

And when I went to walk in, I looked for the poster that we usually have right there at the door. And it was gone. And I put my stuff away and went over to Linda and mentioned that she looked an awful lot like Shasta. But, you know, I hadn't been over to take their order, so I couldn't be sure and she said well go ahead and have the order.

COSTELLO: Amber, you mentioned the poster of the missing girl. It wasn't there.

What do you suppose happened to it?

DEAHN: Somebody had to have taken it down. I know I came into work at 9:30. It was hanging up on the window when I came in and it was there when I left for break. So I can only assume somebody had to have taken it down and thrown it away.

COSTELLO: And, Linda, when Amber approached you and said, you know, I think this little girl is Shasta Groene, what did you think?

OLSON: Well, I wasn't quite sure, so we had made a plan where I'd do a walk around and talk to the customers and see if I could see her face. You know, because most of the time when they first arrived, her face was down more. And so that's what I did. I got to see not all of her face that first walk through, but most of it. And I went back to Amber and we made a plan from there, because it -- I was pretty sure it was her but we couldn't find any pictures. We couldn't find a poster anywhere.

COSTELLO: What was that plan? What plan did you guys come up with?

OLSON: Well, the plan was for -- to try to get her face upward to where I could get a square look right into her face so I could see what she looked like, because I -- looking, with her looking down I couldn't get a facial vision of her.

COSTELLO: Amber, did it seem to you that the man she was with was making her keep her face down? And tell us about him.

DEAHN: I don't know that he was necessarily making her keep her face down, but I think that, you know, any child, when you scold them for anything or they feel they're in trouble of any kind they always, you know, lower their heads and have that very closed off, I don't want to talk to anybody demeanor.

And as far as Mr. Duncan goes, he was normal as far as, you know, 2:00 in the morning, but high strung for somebody who wasn't drinking coffee and very -- his -- he kept his answers to any questions I had for him very short and to the point and he was non-conversational.

COSTELLO: OK, so, Linda, you called 911. And you had to keep them at the table for police to arrive in time to catch this guy. So you take a long time making a milkshake. I know you did that, Amber.

DEAHN: Right.

COSTELLO: When the police arrived and came into the restaurant, take up the story from there.

DEAHN: When the -- I'm sorry, I didn't hear that part?

COSTELLO: When the police came into the restaurant.

OLSON: Yes. Oh, well, he had been up in front. He had taken Shasta out to the restroom and he had gone into the men's restroom and she had gone into the lady's restroom. And then he came out and sat on our little lounge waiting for her. I think that's when he seen the police officer's car because when she came out, the officer had seen her at that time and he started really fast back to the table.

But the officers came in and followed him right back halfway back and just said something to him, turned him around, pushed him up to the front and handcuffed him. There really wasn't any fight of any kind.

COSTELLO: And, Amber, a last question for you, because now this little girl is alone. She's watching what is transpiring. You kneel down beside her and ask her what her name is.

Tell us what happened from there.

DEAHN: I asked her what her name was and she said, "Shasta Groene" and just started crying. And I picked her up and held her. I just wanted to hold her just like she was my own daughter.

COSTELLO: Oh.

Amber Deahn, Linda Olson, thank you for joining us this morning.

Two heroes this morning. And, of course, the little girl, Shasta Groene, is in the hospital and she has been reunited with her father and the investigation is ongoing.

O'BRIEN: What great work. What presence of mind.

COSTELLO: And they had a cook stationed at the back door in case this guy would try to escape through the back door. They had everything covered.

O'BRIEN: You know, you always wonder how you'd react in a situation like that. That is just unbelievable.

COSTELLO: They were perfect.

O'BRIEN: Perfect. They did it right. And tip of the hat to them, to say the least.

Let's check the weather.

Chad Myers is at the CNN Weather Center with your holiday forecast -- hello, Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, Miles.

(WEATHER REPORT)

MYERS: And then everybody that's up north in Michigan getting wet this morning. Good golf courses, but not a lot of fun when you've got this much rain coming down.

O'BRIEN: Are you encouraging them to go out on the golf course with that weather? Chad, don't do that.

MYERS: No, absolutely not.

O'BRIEN: Don't do that.

MYERS: Please stay inside and have a coffee.

COSTELLO: Yes. You'd be out there even if it was raining. I know you.

MYERS: If it was over here in the light rain, but not in the thunder.

O'BRIEN: Yes, right.

MYERS: Yes.

COSTELLO: Yes, you don't want to be on a golf course when it's lightning.

O'BRIEN: No. If you look up and see yellow, go inside, right?

COSTELLO: Exactly.

O'BRIEN: I guess it doesn't work that way, though.

COSTELLO: No.

O'BRIEN: It's just in the mountains.

COSTELLO: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, Sandra Day O'Connor was on the Supreme Court for more than two decades. Just ahead, one of her former clerks talks about O'Connor's personal side.

O'BRIEN: Also, who leaked the name of a CIA operative? It's the focus of a grand jury investigation. And now, claims that one reporter's notes lead to one of the president's top advisers. But is there a connection?

COSTELLO: And is it safe to go in the water this July 4th holiday. The truth about sharks, only the truth, just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: The U.S. Senate and political interest groups from both sides of the aisle are bracing for a fight over the next Supreme Court Justice. Sandra Day O'Connor, of course, announced her retirement Friday. You know about that. President Bush isn't expected to announce a nominee to succeed her until he returns from the G8 summit a little later this week.

Attorney Richard Bierschbach is a former law clerk for O'Connor. He's now an assistant professor at Cardozo School of Law here in New York.

Rick, good to have you with us.

RICK BIERSCHBACH, FORMER O'CONNOR LAW CLERK, CARDOZO SCHOOL OF LAW: Thanks for having me.

O'BRIEN: You know Justice O'Connor well, having clerked for her for a year. This must have been a very difficult decision for her.

BIERSCHBACH: I'm sure it was a very tough decision. She loved her job and you could tell just by working for her. There was a glimmer in her eye. She was focused. She was intent on getting things right and she really had a sense of the weight of her position and it was clear to us as law clerks -- and we loved working for her.

So when I found out she was retiring, I was a little sad for her.

O'BRIEN: Tough boss?

BIERSCHBACH: Yes, a toss boss, but a really kind boss and a gracious boss. And you knew that when she wanted things done, you'd better get them done. There wasn't really room for excuses with her. But also you knew that she was never going to be mean. She was never going to lose her temper. She was just a good person to work with.

O'BRIEN: So you always did her bidding, made sure you did your job and you didn't get in trouble. Don't cross her, in other words, right? BIERSCHBACH: Well, not don't cross her, but don't let her down.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

BIERSCHBACH: Don't let her down. And, yes, like I said, she never lost her temper. She was always very kind and she was understanding. And you could go to her with anything -- personal stuff, professional stuff. I mean she was -- really almost felt like a member of the family, or we felt like a member of her family and she actually referred to us as members of her family, her law clerk family, she would call us, so.

O'BRIEN: That's interesting.

You were there the 2000-2001 session...

BIERSCHBACH: That's right.

O'BRIEN: ... which, of course, was the really important session. You ultimately were inside that decision which ultimately decided the next president of the United States.

What was it like being a part of that on the inside?

BIERSCHBACH: Well, that was obviously a very intense and very stressful period. There was a lot of pressure. But there are a lot of intense and stressful situations when you clerk there throughout the year. And she handled it like she handled all of the other situations. She was focused. She paid attention to the facts. She wanted everybody's views.

We put our heads down, we did the best we could. There was limited time, but we really tried to focus and all four of us worked on that case and that was the case in every chambers.

O'BRIEN: I can imagine.

Rick, did she crack at all under the pressure? Did you ever see anything beyond that facade which you described as a very strong person?

BIERSCHBACH: No. No, I didn't. I didn't. I saw, again, a focus and intensity to get things done, but that's it.

O'BRIEN: You know, if you look at her career, a lot of the struggle she's had over the years have been family versus career. She took some time out very early in her career to be with her children.

BIERSCHBACH: That's right.

O'BRIEN: In this case, we're being told this is for her husband, who has Alzheimer's symptoms. She has obviously had a hard time balancing career and family.

Do you think she's pulled that off, though? BIERSCHBACH: I do think she's pulled it off. And, in fact, I don't even think she's really had a hard time doing that. Not only did she leave a great jurisprudential legacy here, but she's also been the first woman on the Supreme Court and she's done this all while being a great wife, a great mother and really building a lot of relationships, not just with her family, but with a whole host of people. And so she's got this web of relationships. She was a hot ticket on the Washington, D.C. diner party circuit. She's just fun to be around.

O'BRIEN: All right, there was an interesting quote in "Newsweek" this week. Apparently she told her brother at one point: "When you retire from the court, you become a nobody."

What did she mean by that, do you think?

BIERSCHBACH: Well, I think she just means that there's never really anything like being one of those nine justices to cast a vote in these all important cases. And so once you're there, where do you go from there? You go into the history books, but you're never going to be voting in these monumental decisions. And I think that she recognizes that. And I think it probably pained her to see this part of her life come to a close. But she also knows that there's more to life than just this. There's more to life than just professional accomplishments. And you can see that throughout her life story.

O'BRIEN: I don't think she'll ever be a nobody.

BIERSCHBACH: She'll never be a nobody.

O'BRIEN: Right. Yes.

BIERSCHBACH: No doubt about that.

O'BRIEN: All right, Richard Bierschbach, thank you very much for dropping by.

BIERSCHBACH: Thanks for having me.

O'BRIEN: Appreciate it.

Former law clerk for Justice O'Connor, now an assistant professor at Cardozo Law School -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, even without the Taliban, it's still two different worlds in Afghanistan. For some, democracy marches on. Others live with fears of new violence.

CNN's Barbara Starr takes us on a tour.

And then, killer sharks -- are they really out to get humans? We've got the truth about sharks and some tips to keep you safe while you're in the water.

Stay with us on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. MICHAEL WELLS, U.S. ARMY: Hi. I'm Sergeant Michael Wells.

I'm with the 48th Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard.

I'm currently assigned in Momadi, Iraq. I am currently with the PSD for the colonel. That the personal security detail. And I'm a civilian police officer for Holly Springs Police Department in Cherokee County, Georgia.

I want to wish them and my family a Happy 4th of July and we thank you for all your support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: The search goes on for a special operations team missing in Afghanistan. One member of the elite unit was rescued over the weekend. A military helicopter crashed on Tuesday while bringing reinforcements to the team, killing all 16 service members on board.

Despite the recent violence, Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reports that on a recent trip to Afghanistan, she found signs of peaceful recovery.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the moment one arrives at the airport in Kabul, a remainder -- there are still some 20,000 U.S. troops in the country. But this is now a place where Afghans see signs of hope. in this class, young girls learn to become midwives. They will provide urgently needed care to mothers and newborns.

At this nursery school, a proud rendition of the national anthem. But one child is inconsolable after his mother leaves for work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the boy's first day, so that's why he's a little upset.

STARR: The smallest Afghan citizens are carefully looked after here. At this school for street children, it is their eyes one remembers -- smiling eyes of a young girl. But a 13-year-old boy with eyes of an old man. We cannot know his worries.

For the men of this still conservative Islamic country, an ancient ritual -- the washing of their feet before entering the mosque. But nearby, in this post-Taliban era, women, some still in burkas, now move easily through markets full of produce.

These young men are making butter. They churn to a modern beat. Music was banned during the Taliban.

(on camera): The market streets of Kabul have never been busier. The traffic jams in this city of five million people are now legendary. But underneath the surface, there is great concern that violence is once again on the rise in this country.

(voice-over): Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry is the U.S. commander here. He is worried there will be continued attacks prior to the September parliamentary elections. But on this day, his first concern is about an outbreak of disease.

LT. GEN. KARL EIKENBERRY, U.S. COMMANDER, AFGHANISTAN: It's not uncommon for cholera to come up at this time of year.

STARR: The journey moves south, to Gardez, once a Taliban stronghold. Eikenberry leaves his security detail behind and walks through the town with the local governor, meeting Afghans directly. But another reality of Afghanistan emerges. We join a combat patrol into the mountains with U.S. troops and Afghan militiamen. It is rough terrain.

Almost immediately, the convoy stops. The Afghans worry there is an al Qaeda ambush ahead. Soon, we get the all clear and proceed.

At this fire base, matters take another turn. Insurgents fire rockets at us. U.S. troops immediately return mortar fire. But the ultimate sign of hope -- the new Afghan Army. The men who fought against the Soviets, fought against the Taliban, are now fighting for their country.

Barbara Starr with CNN cameraman Tomas Edsler (ph), Afghanistan.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COSTELLO: Last week's helicopter crash marked the worst single day death toll for U.S. forces since the Afghan War began nearly four years ago. The Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan until then, has claimed responsibility for downing that U.S. helicopter.

O'BRIEN: Still to come on the program, what were the president's top adviser and a "Time" magazine reporter talking about just days before someone leaked the name of a CIA operative? We'll get into that just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

M. O'BRIEN: A good day for fireworks in New York City, can you see?

COSTELLO: I cannot wait. I'm so excited.

M. O'BRIEN: Or on the beach, wherever you may be. I won't be there, but just about half past the hour on this AMERICAN MORNING.

Coming up, reports of shark attacks. So when you're on the beach tonight...

COSTELLO: Oh, stop.

M. O'BRIEN: ... if you are tempted to take a dip there on the shores of Connecticut, don't. Don't do it. COSTELLO: That is...

M. O'BRIEN: When you hear the...

COSTELLO: ... so...

M. O'BRIEN: ... cello music, stop, right?

COSTELLO: That's just what we're going to preach against. In just a minute, we're going to go to the one spot in Florida where they've had more shark attacks than anywhere else. But are these really dangerous waters? We're going to get to the truth, Miles, about shark attacks.

M. O'BRIEN: Let's get right to the truth of it.

All right.

And let's check the truth on the headlines.

Kelly Wallace is here with that -- hey, Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks so much, Miles and Carol.

Good morning to you, everyone.

Here are some of those stories now in the news.

The Deep Impact spacecraft has touched the surface of a comet for the very first time. The collision taking place early this morning, leaving a hole the size of a football field. Scientists back on Earth, yes, you see them there cheering the successful $330 million mission. It could provide clues to how the solar system was formed.

A little girl missing in Idaho has been found alive and is now resting at a hospital. Eight-year-old Shasta Groene was found over the weekend. Authorities are still searching for her 9-year-old brother Dylan, but fear he may be dead. The two disappeared in the aftermath of a triple murder at their mother's home six weeks ago.

A court hearing is scheduled for tomorrow for the man arrested with the little girl. That man, the man you see there, Joseph Edward Duncan. He is a convicted sex offender and he is now charged with kidnapping.

In Aruba, it could be a pivotal day in the investigation of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway. In about two hours, three suspects held in connection with her disappearance are expected to appear in court. They were taken separately to a beach on Sunday to go over their accounts of the night Holloway disappeared.

And moviegoers flocking to see Tom Cruise's latest movie, "War of the Worlds." The sci-fi film has earned more than $200 million across the globe, according to studio estimates, and more than $100 million nationwide since it opened last Wednesday. Still, though, that is not better than "Spider Man 2," which had a record $152 million last year during the 4th of July weekend.

So this is the question -- does this mean any publicity, good or bad, is good? Or would it have done even better had Tom Cruise not had all these problems?

M. O'BRIEN: We will never know. But we do know this, Scientology is booming, too.

WALLACE: We do know that.

M. O'BRIEN: So.

COSTELLO: Do we want our ratings to go up, Miles? It's up to you. Scientology and a young girlfriend.

M. O'BRIEN: Put me on the E-meter right now.

WALLACE: There's lots to think about on this morning, Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Thank you very much.

WALLACE: Take it away.

M. O'BRIEN: Thank you very much.

WALLACE: All yours.

M. O'BRIEN: Thank you very much.

All right, a new twist in the investigation of how the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame was leaked to the media. "Newsweek" magazine -- note the magazine -- "Newsweek" reports President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, spoke to "Time" magazine's Matt Cooper just before Cooper's story appeared identifying Plame. But Rove is -- his attorney is telling CNN his client did not reveal Plame's identity to Cooper. In other words, he wasn't the leaker. And if he were, that is a crime.

In Washington to discuss this and other issues, Democratic consultant Vic Kamber and former RNC Communications Director, Cliff May.

So, first time caves and now they get scooped.

Wow, Cliff, it's tough, huh?

CLIFF MAY, FORMER RNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yes, it's -- it is tough. And this is a tough time for journalists, and not least, of course, for Matt Cooper and for Judy Miller of the "New York Times." They still face the possibility of going to jail over the demand that they reveal all their sources. And they're not...

M. O'BRIEN: All right, there's a lot of circumstantial here, it seems... MAY: There certain...

M. O'BRIEN: ... that it could be Karl Rove. What do you think? MAY: I know about as much as you do or Victor does, which means we don't know. Karl Rove talks to a lot of reporters. His attorney has been unequivocally, saying Karl is not the source of any leak about Valerie Plame being a CIA agent. So we don't know.

If he was, obviously, it's going to be very embarrassing and possibly there'll be criminal liability.

M. O'BRIEN: Victor, what do you think the chances are of that happening?

VIC KAMBER, DEMOCRATIC CONSULTANT: Well, I think the sharks you were talking about are actually here in Washington, D.C., not in Florida or Connecticut.

M. O'BRIEN: It's a tough town.

KAMBER: And they're hovering around the White House.

I think right now all we can go on is the basis of what Rove's lawyer said, that, yes, they spoke, but, in fact, he wasn't the source of the information. Matt Cooper, as I understand it, or "Time," as I understand it, is going to reveal their source. They're trying to protect him from going to jail and he outright is going to give the source. And at that point we'll know. And I think if it is Karl Rove, I think there will be criminal charges. If it's the man in the moon who gave the source, then Karl Rove is free. He's just going to be known as a talker to the press.

M. O'BRIEN: Cliff, if that does, in fact, happen, what are the political implications, do you think? MAY: Well...

M. O'BRIEN: Cliff? MAY: Yes, I guess I would just -- I would say it depends on whether or not it's simply an embarrassment, which it would very much be, or whether there's criminal liability attached to it. And that'll depend on the independent prosecutor who has been working on this case for a very long time now.

KAMBER: There's no doubt that the leak was meant to hurt the credibility of the people in question and to protect the president. So I would hope that it would be more than an embarrassment. I would hope -- we're talking about putting people's lives in danger... MAY: Well...

KAMBER: ... I would hope there would be criminal actions taken and that the president would feel compelled to remove Rove from his sensitive positions.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, gentlemen, let's move to another side of government here.

Let's go to the judicial branch, shall we, and talk about the Supreme Court vacancy which just came to pass last week.

Alberto Gonzales, attorney general, friend of the president, mentioned frequently, which leads me to believe there's no chance he'll get nominated.

What do you think, Cliff? MAY: I think there's a chance. I think that this president, as you know, likes to do things that are historic. There are sort of two ways for him to do it at this point. One is to nominate Gonzalez, who would be the first Hispanic to serve on the bench...

M. O'BRIEN: But won't he upset the far right? MAY: And the other possibility -- yes, it probably would.

The other possibility would be to nominate a strong conservative and move the court in that direction, which is something he's promised to do.

So, yes, the far right will be disappeared if he -- if they -- if Gonzalez is the choice, because they're not convinced he is somebody who is an originalist, a strict constructionist...

M. O'BRIEN: Right. MAY: ... somebody who says the constitution is the law, we interpret it, we don't make social policy from the bench.

They don't know that he's not that, but they fear that he may not be that.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

Vic, what do you think?

KAMBER: Well, I think, first of all, it's not the far right, it's the fringe right. The president's not up for election again. He has a chance to do something historic here. His first and foremost concern right now is confirmation and confirmation, I think, without a major fight.

Gonzalez, I think, brings him that opportunity.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, why not a fight? Why not go for a fight?

KAMBER: Why? If you -- he's got talent that he can go to. He's got conservatives. No one is suggesting he's going to pick a moderate or a liberal. He's going to pick a conservative.

M. O'BRIEN: Oh, so you don't think Gonzalez will be picked?

KAMBER: I'm suggesting to you why not Gonzalez, who I think would be the least fight he would face...

M. O'BRIEN: Right.

KAMBER: ... because he's just gone through a confirmation hearing and while it was close, I think they've gone through everything. So, I mean, I -- if I'm the president or I'm his adviser, I'm going to say, one, pick a conservative; two, pick somebody that can be confirmed so that we can get this process over. Gonzalez seems to fit both of those criteria right now. Why go for a fight just for the sake of a fight, especially when you have other legislative agendas that haven't moved at all?

M. O'BRIEN: All right, gentlemen, thank you very much.

The sharks are circling in Washington.

Vic Kamber and Cliff May, always a pleasure having you drop by. MAY: Thank you.

KAMBER: Thanks.

M. O'BRIEN: Carol.

COSTELLO: Let's talk about the other kind of shark now.

A teenager bitten by a shark is out of the hospital this morning. The 19-year-old Austrian tourist was airlifted Friday to Fort Myers, Florida for strategy. He is the third person to be bitten by a shark off Florida's Gulf Coast in just a week. It happened several hundred miles from where a 16-year-old boy lost his leg last Monday and a 14- year-old girl was killed on Saturday, a week before that.

John Zarrella is live in Haulover Beach, Florida -- OK, John, so here's the question. Just how concerned should we be?

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, not a whole lot is the bottom line if you talk to the experts. You know, today is a beautiful day for a day at the beach. Hundreds of thousands of people have been crowding Florida's beaches this holiday weekend. More today. This beach is going to be absolutely jam packed in the next couple of hours.

And while the three shark attacks in the last week are certainly on people's minds, it's not keeping them out of the water.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Matt and Tracey (ph) Musgrove never thought for a minute about changing their Daytona Beach vacation plans. But the Atlanta family, like many visitors, say the shark attacks in Florida have certainly made them both more aware and more cautious.

MATT MUSGROVE, VACATIONING IN FLORIDA: As a matter of fact, when we drove up on the beach my wife said to make sure that we set up camp near the lifeguard stand just, you know, as a precaution.

ZARRELLA: A good idea since the Musgroves picked a place at the very top of the shark attack list.

Daytona Beach is in Volusia County on Florida's east coast. Since 1882, according to the International Shark Attack File, there have been 171 attacks here, most minor, but still more than double the next closest county. And about half of the 60 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide every year take place in Florida, particularly in summer. School is out, families are on vacation.

GEORGE BURGESS, INTERNATIONAL SHARK ATTACK FILE: What you have is a mix of a lot of bait fishes, sharks feeding on the bait fishes and surfers doing their best to look like bait fishes.

So this is the time you would put the most people in the water and more opportunity to have a shark and a human interact.

ZARRELLA: Most of the time, Burgess says, that interaction is hit and run -- dangerous, but not deadly. That's what happened five years ago to Heather Van Olst as she was boogie boarding.

HEATHER VAN OLST, SHARK ATTACK VICTIM: As I was on my way out, you know, I was paddling, so, of course, there was a lot of splashing. So the shark probably thought I was some bait, just grabbed my leg and just bit and let go.

ZARRELLA: Doctors needed four hours and 500 stitches to repair Heather's leg.

(on camera): Do you still go in? Do you still boogie board?

VAN OLST: Yes, sir. Actually, I haven't boogie boarded since the incident, but I have surfed, which, I mean, is very similar. And I've been in the water a lot.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): Heather considers herself very lucky. She was the same age doing the same thing and attacked by a bull shark, the same species that killed Jamie Daigle.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

ZARRELLA: Now, there are some basic common sense things we can all do to avoid the risk of being attacked by a shark.

The first thing is swim in groups, don't swim alone. Don't swim out too far. Don't swim near inlets and channels, which is where sharks would naturally tend to come to feed. And don't swim between the hours of dusk and dawn, also a feeding time. And don't wear shiny jewelry because the experts say the sharks think that those are scales from fish.

Now, we haven't talked to any sharks to confirm that, but that's what the experts say -- Carol, Miles.

COSTELLO: Oh, John.

So the thing is don't look like bait fish. That's what I got from your story.

ZARRELLA: What's that, Carol?

COSTELLO: Don't look like bait fish. That's what I got from your story.

ZARRELLA: Yes, don't look like a bait fish. That's a real good idea.

M. O'BRIEN: Or do what Carol does, just don't swim, right?

COSTELLO: No. I don't go in that...

ZARRELLA: No, just put...

COSTELLO: ... I don't like going in the ocean.

ZARRELLA: Just put just the big toe.

M. O'BRIEN: Just the big toe?

COSTELLO: Exactly.

M. O'BRIEN: Just the big toe? Just the big toe, and quickly.

COSTELLO: Yes.

John Zarrella, thank you.

M. O'BRIEN: That's why they invented the cement pond, right? Go and stick to the pools.

COSTELLO: I like those little round rubber pools that you blow up.

M. O'BRIEN: I can just see you in one of those.

COSTELLO: Those are good for me, yes.

M. O'BRIEN: OK. And I can just see Chad in one of those, too -- Chad, who is joining us from the CNN Center with a look at weather.

How are you this morning?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's a good morning.

Try not to picture that. It'll just blow your breath away.

M. O'BRIEN: That's not too...

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS: Sharks in the ocean, trains on train tracks -- I wonder which one is more deadly. You have to look at those statistics, as well.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COSTELLO: Before you head into the summer sun, some warnings you need to know about. If you're on particular medications, even the strongest sunscreens cannot protect u. We'll tell you what drugs to look out for.

M. O'BRIEN: And former heavyweight champ George Foreman shows us his softer side. Stay with us and we'll show you what we grill up on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Look at all those healthy running people. The Peachtree Road Race took off earlier this morning in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the largest 10K in the world. That's how they bill it.

With summer now in full swing, sunscreen should always be in good supply, even if you're running a race like that. But no matter how much protection, sun exposure can be a nightmare when mixed with certain medications.

So Elizabeth Cohen is at the race.

She joins us now with some advice -- good morning.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol, and Happy 4th.

Carol, these runners behind me, they're finishing up the Peachtree Road Race. Now, 55,000 people are running this race this year, and I would bet that some of them are taking certain medications that make it experience important that they wear sunscreen.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

COHEN (voice-over): It's beach time and, of course, we all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays. For most people, sunscreen usually does the trick. But not for Annamarie Decarlo. An avid boater, Annamarie always used skin protection. She usually never burned. But a few weeks ago, she woke up with a serious burn and couldn't understand why.

ANNAMARIE DECARLO, SUFFERED REACTION FROM SUN: And I had sunburn all on my neck and on top of my shoulders and on my cheeks. And just really didn't believe that it happened, because I had had so much sunscreen on.

COHEN: Doctors told Annamarie it was her medication. She'd been taking an antibiotic for her bronchitis and that caused her to have a phototoxic reaction.

DR. LYNN MCKINLEY-GRANT, DERMATOLOGIST: We call it photo dermatitis or a photo reaction to the sun. It's a combination of having the medicine and then being exposed to the sun, and it can be after a minimal amount of sun. And suddenly you're just very, very red.

COHEN: And even the strongest sunscreens can't protect u.

MCKINLEY-GRANT: If people really need the medicine, which some do, we don't have an alternative, we would use protective clothing and keep them out of the sun, you know, between 10:00 and 4:00 and be very, very cautious.

COHEN: Medications that can increase sunlight sensitivity include antibiotics, blood pressure medications, over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-wrinkle creams like Retin-A, acne medicine and even birth control pills and certain vitamins.

Doctors recommend that patients on medication read the labels carefully before venturing outside for long periods of time.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COHEN: Now, there's a light drizzle here in Atlanta today, Carol. But, still, it's important in any kind of weather that people wear sunscreen. You want to look for one that's at least SPF-15 and that covers UVA and UVB rays -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Good advice.

Elizabeth Cohen live from Atlanta this morning -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: You may know him for his lean, mean grilling machine, but this two time heavyweight boxing champ is ready to add a new title to his repertoire. George Foreman tells us what inspired him to become a children's author.

Stay with us for more AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Chances are now when you hear the name George Foreman, you think of a low fat grill. But the former heavyweight champion boxer is also an ordained minister. He's also a best-selling author.

Now he's written his first kids' book. It's called "Let George Do It!" and it's about a family with five sons named George.

George Foreman joins us this morning.

Five sons named George. Hmmm...whose life does that remind me of?

It's nice to have you.

GEORGE FOREMAN, FORMER HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING CHAMPION, AUTHOR, "LET GEORGE DO IT!": Yes, it's nice. You know, if you -- you've heard of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frasier, Kenny Norton, Evander Holyfield?

S. O'BRIEN: Uh-huh.

FOREMAN: They all hit me on my head. So I'm not going to remember a lot of names.

S. O'BRIEN: Is that the reason behind naming all your kids George?

FOREMAN: It helps, believe me. S. O'BRIEN: None of the girls are George, though.

FOREMAN: No. And my wife told me, look, I'll remember the names of these girls. But there's a Georgetta and Frieda George.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, I guess that sort of counts.

FOREMAN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: Why write a children's book? I mean you are possibly the busiest guy.

FOREMAN: I'm in Memphis, Tennessee a few years back and I saw a Head Start kid class going down the street. The teachers were taking them on the tour. And they spotted me and the teachers started saying, "That's George Foreman, the Olympic champion, children, and former heavyweight champion, children."

And one little kid, maybe five said, "That's the cooking man!"

See, they don't even know me as the boxer.

S. O'BRIEN: Because you're known for the grill.

FOREMAN: And so here's a time for me to make friendships with this generation of the young people and to keep it going. You talk about books, I went to school. I didn't like school. I didn't like the books. Of course, you don't learn to read if you don't like what you see before you. But you get some books out there and you let children read, see the pictures, these good illustrations, the next thing you know, they become president.

S. O'BRIEN: Great illustrations. It's a very, very cute story. I won't tell the whole thing, but can I ask you just to read a little bit from the book for us?

FOREMAN: Well, sure.

S. O'BRIEN: Go ahead.

FOREMAN: One of the favorite parts that sets it up...

S. O'BRIEN: It's about a birthday party for a guy named George.

FOREMAN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: Who's got five kids.

FOREMAN: And even my wife, I've even asked her, too, to change her name to George.

S. O'BRIEN: Mrs. George.

Go ahead.

FOREMAN: It says: "Today is Big George's birthday. Can I count on all of you to help with the party?," Mrs. George asked her sons.

"You bet," said George, George, George and George.

"Oh," said baby George.

George made the cake, George vacuumed, George put up the decorations, George took out the trash. And George took a nap.

S. O'BRIEN: A very, very cute story.

Did you like the process of writing a book -- a children's book? Would you do it again?

FOREMAN: I did, because when you can communicate with the children, you've done something. And you get out, you make sure it's funny and that everything is brief so they can go through the book, it doesn't take them a long time and it doesn't feel like a hard lesson.

I love that process. I'd like to do another.

S. O'BRIEN: We talked about, in your intro, of course, all the things that you've accomplished in your life.

Is there one that you say that's the thing I'm most proud of, the gold medal at the Olympics or being the heavyweight champion twice or...

FOREMAN: You know what? Right here. You see that.

S. O'BRIEN: The wedding band.

FOREMAN: That's something that -- you're going to see a lot of champions, but few can say I've had this for a long time.

S. O'BRIEN: How long?

FOREMAN: I'm married. I've been married all my life, it seems to my wife. I've been married more than once...

S. O'BRIEN: Who's not Mrs. George.

FOREMAN: Mrs. George. And that's my major accomplishment, even greater than the world championship belt. When I look at this, I never take it off. The belt you've got to take off, because I started getting bigger anyway. But this, it fits fine. I'm most proud of being a family man.

S. O'BRIEN: Thank you very much for coming in to talk to us.

We certainly appreciate it.

FOREMAN: Thank you.

S. O'BRIEN: It's always nice to have you.

Thanks. (END VIDEO TAPE)

COSTELLO: Still ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, no Foreman Grill needed for a 4th of July tradition in Coney Island. No. It is time for Nathan's famous hotdog eating contest. CNN's -- or, can Japan's four time champ do it again? Or will a 100-pound woman dethrone the king?

We're live on the boardwalk just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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