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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS
White House Fallout; New Delhi Blasts; Power Still Out In Florida; Capital Gains & Losses; Separate Explosions Occur in New Delhi; Florida Recovers From Wilma
Aired October 29, 2005 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Vice President Dick Cheney seeks a new chief of staff after Lewis Scooter Libby resigned following his indictment in the CIA leak case.
From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. Good morning. I'm Tony Harris.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Betty Nguyen. We want to thank you for being with us today.
"Now in the News."
Four blasts have rocked different parts of India's capital. At least two of them happened at a crowded market. Places in New Delhi where many were preparing for a major festival. The explosions occurred within just minutes of each other and a government official says more than 30 people were killed.
More than 60 people have been killed in a train accident in India. The passenger train went off the rails when it tried to cross tracks damaged by a flood. Seven of 15 coach cars are still in the water. Each could have as many as 60 people inside. Officials say they fear the death toll will rise.
President Bush will not name his next Supreme Court nominee while he's at Camp David this weekend. That is according to a spokesman. Bush is said to be considering a short list of candidates but the White House is keeping mum on whether any of those prospects might be interviewed over the weekend.
And the owner of a Texas home health care company could face up to 10 years in prison for allegedly trying to defraud Medicare. Authorities also say the man gave more than 1,000 Exxon Mobil employees fake flu shots. Preliminary tests show the syringes contained purified water. Now the FBI and Food and Drug Administration are still investigating the content in those syringes.
HARRIS: Well here's the latest on the CIA leak investigation and the grand jury's indictment of Vice Presidential Top Aide Lewis Scooter Libby. President Bush is reminding Americans that Libby and all suspects are innocent until proven guilty. Meanwhile, much of Washington is abuzz over a mystery person mentioned but not identified in that indictment. Two sources close to the investigation tell CNN that "official a" is Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser. Meanwhile, White House officials may take solace in comments from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who said, the "Substantial work" is concluded.
There is no disputing the indictment has caused more damage to an administration already weakened by sagging public support and a week of political body blows. CNN's Elaine Quijano is at the White House with the very latest for us.
Elaine, good morning.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Tony.
As you know, even before this indictment, this was a White House already contending with a number of challenges. It was just this past week President Bush was faced with the withdraw of his Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers. Also this past week, the U.S. passed a grim threshold in the Iraq war, more than 2,000 Americans dead.
And after yesterday's announcement, White House officials here were expressing a mixture of sadness and relief. Sadness, of course, that Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's now former chief of staff, former national security advisor, was indicted. At the same time, though, officials also expressing relief that President Bush's own top political adviser, Karl Rove, was not indicted. Although Rove's lawyer says that he remains under investigation.
Nevertheless, President Bush wants to show that his administration is focused on moving ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In our system, each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial. While we're all saddened by today's news, we remain wholly focused on the many issues and opportunities facing this country. I got a job to do and so do the people who work in the White House. We've got a job to protect the American people and that's what we'll continue working hard to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUIJANO: Now President Bush also says that he will be naming someone very soon, he says, as a new Supreme Court nominee. And on that front, yesterday it was interesting to note that accompanying him to Camp David was his White House counsel and his failed Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers. She, of course, withdrew her name from consideration after that fierce criticism from members of the president's own party. Conservatives who felt she was not qualified for the job.
Now, again, this is a White House quite anxious to put this week behind them and pivot to other issues. Today, in his weekly radio address, President Bush made no mention of Scooter Libby or Harriet Miers. Mr. Bush will return to the White House tomorrow and aides are telling us, Tony, that we could expect to hear an announcement on a new Supreme Court nominee within a matter of days.
HARRIS: Elaine, I don't know if we have the answer to this but are we expecting this story to move anywhere this weekend? The Libby story? The indictment story?
QUIJANO: Well, certainly there is still a legal cloud, if you will, hanging over Karl Rove, and that is an open question at this point. It's still unclear exactly what this special prosecutor, what this special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, may have, if anything. We know, as you reported, as we reported, that "official a" named in the indictment was, in fact, Karl Rove. But whether or not there could be another legal shoe to drop on that front, we simply don't have the answer yet.
HARRIS: CNN White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano.
Elaine, thank you.
NGUYEN: And we are also closely following that breaking news out of New Delhi, India, that we mentioned just moments ago where as many as four explosions rocked different areas of the capital. More than 30 people have been killed so far. Almost all at a marketplace packed with people preparing for India's largest festival. CNN's Senior International Correspondent, Satinder Bindra, is in New Delhi and joins us via video phone.
Satinder, you're there at one of the places that was hit. Tell me what is happening right now.
SATINDER, BINDRA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Betty, yes, about 6:00 p.m. local time, when, as you rightly mentioned, there were tens of thousands of shoppers here, everyone busy shopping for the festival of Diwali, that's when there was a loud explosion. One store owner in particular telling me he noticed an unclaimed bag. He thought it was suspicious. He let out a warning. People tried to get away but it was too late.
There was a blinding flash and then several stores just collapsed in a heap. Eyewitnesses here telling me they've pulled out several bodies. They've also pulled out many wounded. Many of the wounded were women and children and some of them had their limbs just torn right off them.
As I talk to you right now, Betty, the bomb disposal squad is here. Fire tenders are here because shortly after the explosion, there was a fire. The fire tenders have put out the fire but then there was also a lot of panic and chaos. People fleeing the scene in terror. Some semblance of order now has been restored but there's a sense of very, very uneasy calm here in New Delhi just on the eve of Diwali, which is a major festival in India.
As you mentioned, a series of explosions and blasts. Indian prime minister's office clearly indicating that this was a terrorist act and saying no terrorist should think they can win against the people of India.
Back to you.
NGUYEN: Satinder, has any group claimed responsibility for these blasts?
BINDRA: So far, as I stand here in the marketplace, I'm not aware of that. But clearly the anger and tension here rising by the minute. Several politicians have arrived at the scene and many of the store owners here are having loud arguments and at some times even skirmishes with the police.
The police have set up a cording here, obviously. They think this area is too dangerous to go inside but many store owners want to go back, they want to see in case there are perhaps some survivors in there. They also want to go in there and assess the damage.
So a very, very grim situation here in New Delhi. And I should add, on the weekend before Diwali, there are tens of thousands of people. They come out to shop. There's an atmosphere of merriment, of enjoyment, and clearly all that has been ruined by what's happened here tonight.
NGUYEN: A lot going on right now. Satinder, of course, we're going to be checking in with you. Thank you for that update.
HARRIS: Well, in South Florida, the pressing issues of power are not about politics and elections, but petroleum and electricity. Now five days after Hurricane Wilma, gas lines are beginning to ease and utility workers are slowly making progress. CNN's JJ Ramberg is in Miami to bring us the latest.
JJ, good morning.
JJ RAMBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony.
Well, we've been here all morning reporting on the line at this gas station. If you look behind me now, it's pretty empty and that's because at 9:30 this morning this gas station ran out of gas. This is something that's happening all across Miami.
I have here with me right now Antonio Roca (ph). He's actually the owner of this gas station.
And you're in quite a predicament because you own quite a few gas stations, right?
ANTONIO ROCA: Yes. Yes. I own four stations in this area. The two stations that have power ran out of gas and we haven't gotten no more supply. And the two stations that are out of power have gas sitting in there and, you know, we don't know when the lights going to come back on those stations.
RAMBERG: So basically, at this point, you can't pump gas in any of them because of either no power or no gas. ROCA: All four stations are down on gasoline, you know. There's nothing we could do. We waiting for shipments and, you know, they can't send us any right now.
RAMBERG: Do you know when these shipments are going to come in? Because we keep hearing that supply isn't an issue, it's that power's an issue.
ROCA: Right. They've told us that it's supply. Once our power come back on, we will have plenty of supply. And yesterday, at the other station, we ran out around 12:00 in the afternoon. And we still haven't received a load today. And this station run out, you know, early today. And they I still got nothing, you know, in the process.
RAMBERG: So you don't know when it's coming?
ROCA: If it comes, it will be late tomorrow.
RAMBERG: OK. Great. Good luck with everything. Thank you so much.
ROCA: Thank you. OK.
RAMBERG: You know, it's been about, I guess, an hour and a half now since this gas station hasn't had any gas. But Antonio's actually quite a smart businessman, Tony. He put up a big sign that says, ATM here and also parking here because there's a big football game going on about two blocks from here so he's trying to make money in other ways when he doesn't have gas to give out to people.
HARRIS: It's the entrepreneurial spirit at work there, JJ. I've got to ask you, shortly after Katrina, there was a huge runup in gas prices here in Atlanta and we couldn't really figure it out. Has there been a runup on prices in the areas where there is gas to be pumped?
RAMBERG: You know, I haven't heard a lot of complaints about the gas price and I haven't heard a lot of complaints about price gauging even. One of the issues, though, is that the regular gas, for instance, in this gas station, was out first. So people were having to buy plus and premium even if their cars didn't take it. So they were still ending up having to pay more than they would have otherwise.
HARRIS: Got you. CNN's JJ Ramberg.
JJ, thank you.
NGUYEN: Now to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the rebuilding of the ravaged Gulf Coast. Minutes from now, on the state capitol steps in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, union leaders will celebrate what they call a victory for workers. Earlier this week, President Bush bowed to bipartisan pressure and lifted the emergency order that allowed contractors to pay less than the area's prevailing wage. Well AFLCIO President John Sweeney will be on hand for the rally, as will civil rights leader Jesse Jackson. He is demanding the reinstatement of affirmative action programs in the rebuilding effort.
Now another form of aftermath. The New Orleans Police Department has fired 45 police officers and six civilians accused of abandoning their post before or after the flood waters swallowed the city. The city's acting police chief says more than 200 officers remain under investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF WARREN RILEY, NEW ORLEANS POLICE DEPARTMENT: You must understand that everybody on that list was not considered AWOL, but everyone who's on that list was not here at some point from the day that Katrina hit to somewhere maybe eight, 10 or 12 days later. Some of those officers were here for the first five or six days, then they left to go check on their families but they did not get permission from their supervisors. So we put everyone on the list. Everyone. Even those who were here during Katrina if they left without permission. Now, some of those aren't so serious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: And another 15 officers who were under investigation for abandonment have resigned.
Well later today, a public viewing is scheduled for civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Her casket will be on public view at the St. Paul AME Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Tomorrow, Parks will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington and President Bush is scheduled to visit. A half century ago, Parks refused to surrender a bus seat to a white man and triggered a citywide boycott that helped fuel the civil rights movement. Parks died Monday at the age of 92.
HARRIS: And news "Across America" now.
The mother of a California teen is released from jail. Prosecutors dropped an accessory charge against Esther Fielding after she agreed to testify against her son, Scott Dyleski. The 16-year-old Dyleski is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his neighbor, Pamela Vitale, the wife of high profile defense attorney Daniel Horowitz.
In Boggstown, India, police and child protection advocates are worried a haunted house might draw children to the home of a registered sex offender. The man's wife owns and operates the haunted house. Flyers and Web site says well, they say parents are not allowed to drop off children and youngsters. Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. But inside the haunted house, authorities have asked the couple to rethink their decision to operate the attraction.
It may be a seriously bad marketing approach to holiday spirit. Seriously Bad Elf is British imported beer with a holiday appeal. But what's got law makers in Connecticut up in arms is the labeling. This one in particular here. I guess you'll see it in a second. Shows a grouchy looking elf with a sling shot firing Christmas ornaments at Santa's sleigh as it flies off to deliver . . .
NGUYEN: That is not right. Whoever did that is getting nothing for Christmas.
HARRIS: State liquor regulations ban alcohol advertising with images that may appeal to children and Santa is strictly off limits.
NGUYEN: Yes, the back side of Santa.
HARRIS: Talk about being on the clock. This clock repairman and store owner is affectionately hailed as Dr. Time. This weekend, the doctor is on call and how. Talk about coo coo during the time change that occurs twice a year. He has to reset an insane 4,000 clocks.
NGUYEN: All by himself?
HARRIS: Yes. So we want to remind you to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed because this guy's busy. We officially shift back to standard time Sunday morning 2:00 Eastern.
NGUYEN: Yes, if he can set back 4,000, you can at least do one or two in your house. So I'm looking forward to that extra hour of sleep.
NGUYEN: I'm ready for it.
All right. You ready for this, Tony.
NGUYEN: Libby, Miers, Katrina, Iraq, voices from both sides of the political landscape are asking, is Bush's political capital spent?
HARRIS: Also, can we expect anything from Hurricane Beta?
NGUYEN: Welcome back on this Saturday. Here is a check of our top stories right now.
India's capital is stunned by three deadly explosions that have left more than 30 people dead. That is according to a top government official. At least two of the blasts happened at a crowded marketplace in New Delhi where many were preparing for a major festival.
Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis Scooter Libby, is innocent of the charges against him. That is according to Libby's attorney. Libby resigned, as you recall, yesterday after being indicted on federal charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a CIA leak probe. Hurricane Beta is taking aim at Central America. The National Hurricane Center says there are reports of damage to homes on an island east of Nicaragua. Beta is expected to dump up to 15 inches of rain across parts of Honduras and Nicaragua.
HARRIS: President George H.W. Bush famously told voters to read is lips, no new taxes. Those words came back to haunt him. Now that president's son, the current office holder, faces the prospect of his own statement hanging like a noose. CNN's Tom Foreman explains.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Oh, for those glory days when the president's political juggernaut was at full steam, fueled by a base of religious conservatives, topped with faithful moderates. Unstoppable. Unswerving.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me put it to you this way, I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.
FOREMAN: But across the street from the Supreme Court at the National Pro-Life Action Center, Paul Schenck is sending an unmistakable message now. His group opposed Harriet Miers and will take on the White House again unless the next candidate is firmly in the conservative camp.
PAUL SCHENCK, NATIONAL PRO-LIFE ACTION CENTER: I think it was a mistake for the Republicans to count on religious conservatives as being lock step supporters of their agenda.
FOREMAN: Do you care which political party is in the White House?
SCHENCK: No. I think we can go to traditional Democrats, old line Democrats. I think we can go to third party people.
FOREMAN: That's like heresy here in Washington now, isn't it?
SCHENCK: Well, less and less.
FOREMAN: Some conservatives are convinced George Bush promised Supreme Court nominees who would share their deepest beliefs on issues like abortion, gay marriage, the enormously influential Family Research Council is led by Tony Perkins.
TONY PERKINS, FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: Let's pray. Pray like we've never prayed before.
The message is, Mr. President, we're with you. We want to support you. We want to help you. But you cannot take us to a place that we, through our conviction, cannot go. And that is not to maintain the current structure of the court.
FOREMAN: Religious conservatives insist they're not trying to push the president around, but they say they've waited 20 years to tip the court decidedly in their favor and George Bush must help.
LANIER SWANN, CONCERNED WOMAN FOR AMERICA: There is no question that this has been a difficult time for the president and a difficult time for the administration, but . . .
FOREMAN: But have you guys made it more difficult?
SWANN: Have the conservatives made it more difficult? Absolutely not. You cannot put on our shoulders decisions that have been made at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
FOREMAN: There is an old joke about native chief who was ordered by a local government to move his people from the best land by the river to the worst land. You know, he's told, you are the chief, you can make them go. Yes, he replies, but if I do that, I won't be the chief much longer.
It's a parable conservatives want their chief in the White House to remember.
PERKINS: We will go with the leadership as they're going in the right direction. But when they go and kind of move off the reservation, we're not with them.
SCHENCK: He can't ask us again to embrace a question mark. The next nominee has to be an exclamation mark.
FOREMAN: Not 100 yards from the Supreme Court on Paul Schenck's building hangs a biblical warning about the power of God. He changes times and seasons. He sets up kings and deposes them.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
HARRIS: Well, believe it or not, another hurricane brewing in the Caribbean. We'll tell you where it's going and if it will affect you after the break.
NGUYEN: And the vice president's right-hand man takes a tumble. We will tell you how it all went down and tell you who still remains under scrutiny.
HARRIS: Many central American countries are bracing for Hurricane Beta. In Nicaragua, a hurricane warning has been issued and thousands are evacuating because of it. Forecasters believe Beta could get stronger still before making landfall. Let's get the latest from Meteorologist Brad Huffines.
Brad, good morning.
NGUYEN: Up next, the first indictment of a sitting White House official in 130 years. The latest on the CIA leak investigation.
HARRIS: And he was probably the happiest man in Washington Friday. The president's right-hand man freed from charges so far. But is Karl Rove in the clear? We will take a closer look. That's next.
HARRIS: Vice President Dick Cheney seeks a new chief of staff after Lewis Scooter Libby resigned following his indictment in the CIA leak case. From the CNN center this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. Good morning everyone. I'm Tony Harris.
NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. We want to thank you for being with us today.
HARRIS: Now in the news, Indian officials say blasts within minutes of each other in three locations have rocked different parts of the capital New Delhi. At least 33 people are dead. At least two of those explosions happened at crowded marketplaces where many people are preparing for a major Hindu festival.
The lawyer for Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff is outlining a possible legal strategy. A failure to remember defense in a statement Libby's attorney says, Libby's hectic duties may have caused him to forget conversations. Lewis Scooter Libby resigned yesterday after being indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges in the CIA leak probe.
And there will be no announcement on a new Supreme Court nominee this weekend. That's the word from President Bush's spokesman. Mr. Bush is at Camp David and is said to be mulling a short list of candidates while he's there, but the White House is keeping mum on whether any of those prospects might be interviewed over the weekend.
The owner of a Texas home health care company may face up to 10 years in prison for allegedly trying to defraud Medicare. Authorities also say the man gave more than 1,000 ExxonMobil employees fake flu shots. Preliminary tests show the syringes contained purified water but the FBI and FDA are still investigating their contents.
Let's take you now to New Delhi and CNN's Ram Ramgopal and Ram, it has been what, close to five hours now since we first started to receive news of these explosions in New Delhi. Set the scene for us as best you can at this hour.
RAM RAMGOPAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, definitely Tony, we are getting a little more clarity in terms of what the explosions were about. We know at least that there were three separate explosions in three different crowded markets in the city of Delhi this evening, a time when a lot of shoppers were out there making last-minute purchases. At this point also we are led to believe that at least 33 people have been killed. This is the number that we have confirmed. Obviously it is a total that keeps changing. We expect this to go up. A top official of the state government gave us these figures just as short time ago. Separately Tony, the country's prime minister, the top elected leader in this country, issued a statement a short time ago through his media adviser saying that no terrorist can win against the people of India. India will win the battle against terrorism. The prime minister (INAUDIBLE) seen clearly making a link to terrorism in these three incidents this evening. Tony.
HARRIS, Ram, you mentioned the prime minister. Is the prime minister giving us any indication as to who he believes may be behind this?
RAMGOPAL: No. They clearly said they have nothing else to add at this point. Certainly investigators are on the scene. Other senior ministers who have been heading to these spots in Delhi itself have said that it's obviously not an accident. That's what the home minister said, separately we believe that a whole team of investigators are actually combing through the remains of those shops and buildings that were leveled in these two big explosions and one smaller one and at this point, it looks like as if they are trying to determine what exactly was behind the explosion and what explosive was used.
At the same time I can tell you Tony that in other parts of the city, all markets have been shut down. People have been asked to stay indoors. So at this point it looks like all of the commercial activity in this capital has actually ground to a standstill in the last couple of hours.
HARRIS: OK, CNN's Ram Ramgopal for us. Ram, thank you.
NGUYEN: Back in the U.S., Lewis Scooter Libby's attorney seems to be preparing for a possible failure to remember defense for his client. He says Libby was working under a quote, hectic rush of issues and events at a busy time. But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald isn't buying it. CNN national security correspondent David Ensor has the latest on the CIA leak investigation and Libby's resignation.
DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first indictment of a sitting White House official in 130 years comes down to this. A special counsel says that Lewis Scooter Libby, the vice president's right hand man, not only gave the identity of CIA clandestine officer Valerie Plame Wilson to several reporters, he then lied about doing so to FBI agents and to a Federal grand jury.
PATRICK FITZGERALD, SPECIAL COUNSEL: Mr. Libby's story that he was at the tail end of a chain of phone calls passing from one reporter what he heard from another was not true. It was false. He was at the beginning of the chain of the phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter. He lied about it afterwards under oath and repeatedly.
ENSOR: The indictment charges Libby with one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of false statements to FBI agents and two counts of perjury, lying under oath to the grand jury. Fitzgerald says Libby had at least seven discussions with other government official about Mrs. Wilson's identity as a CIA officer, even as he was passing that information on to reporters.
For example, the indictment says during a June 2003 meeting with a CIA briefer, Libby quote, expressed displeasure that CIA officials were making comments to reporters critical of the vice president's office and discussed with the briefer among other things, Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Wilson in the context of Wilson's trip to Niger. He also spoke about it, says the indictment, with then White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.
FITZGERALD: What is important about that is that Mr. Libby, the indictment alleges was telling Mr. Fleischer something on Monday that he claims to have learned on Thursday.
ENSOR: Fitzgerald defended jailing "New York Times" reporter Judy Miller for 85 days to compel her testimony saying it was crucial.
FITZGERALD: I was not looking for a first amendment showdown.
ENSOR: In a statement Libby responded to charges saying quote, I am confident that at the end of this process, I will be completely and totally exonerated. Libby is innocent said his lawyer Joseph Tate. The spy's husband, former ambassador Wilson declined to speak to CNN but his lawyer read a statement for him.
CHRISTOPHER WOLF, WILSON'S ATTORNEY: I continue to believe that revealing my wife's secret CIA identity was very wrong and harmful to our nation. And I believe -- I feel that my family was attacked for my speaking the truth about the events that led our country to war.
ENSOR: Special counsel Fitzgerald said he is neither Republican nor Democrat. To some Republican complaints that charges of false statements and perjury seem excessive, Fitzgerald said quote, those talking points won't fly. David Ensor, CNN, Washington.
HARRIS: Scooter Libby's indictment, Harriet Miers' withdraw for consideration from the Supreme Court, they both highlight what's been a bad week for President Bush and a busy week politically speaking. CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider, joins us to discuss these political hot topics. Bill, good to see you. Good morning sir.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Tony.
HARRIS: Practical matter. What does this indictment really mean to this White House and let me frame it this way. It could have been worse. It could have been worse.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, that's the point. This could have been worse and even the Harriet Miers episode, if she had gone to confirmation hearings, Republican senators had grilled her, it would have been embarrassing for the president. The Scooter Libby indictment is of course very serious as David just reported, the first sitting White House official to be indicted in 130 years. But it could have involved Karl Rove. There could have been charge about CIA leaks, maybe even something that touched on the vice president. So all in all, I think the White House is a little bit relieved.
HARRIS: I want to ask you how the White House recovers from this but in a way that seems to be getting ahead of the story a little bit. Many folks are suggesting that the president and his White House hasn't adequately dealt with the news of yesterday.
SCHNEIDER: Has inadequately dealt, did you say?
HARRIS: Yes, just has not adequately dealt with the news of yesterday.
SCHNEIDER: I don't think we're going to be hearing a lot more from the president. I think their attitude is within a week they want to say Scooter who? Their view is they want to put all of this behind them. And they are hoping, I think, they can't do anything to ensure this, but they're hoping this will never come to trial because their view is if it comes to trial, they're going to have to probably call the vice president to testify on Mr. Libby's behalf and they don't want to see that happen.
Plus, of course, three journalists might have to testify against Libby who was their source. So a lot of people expect that Libby could end up making a plea bargain and take the fall to protect the vice president which he has been doing all along.
HARRIS: And Bill, the president's poll numbers, remind us again of where they are and if you think all of the news this week might negatively impact those numbers.
SCHNEIDER: Well, the president's numbers are at about 42 percent approval which is very low for this point of his presidency. The only thing you could say is they are up a few points from where they had been the week before and that appears to have been due last weekend -- these numbers are from last weekend. We'll have more numbers in tomorrow night.
But I think there was some encouragement from the successful constitutional referendum in Iraq and also from Iraq Saddam Hussein going on trial reminded a lot of Americans of what the war was all about but that wasn't the big lift; 42 percent is still low for a president at this stage. And in Washington, this is a town of independent political entrepreneurs. They're all in business for themselves and if a president is unpopular, even his party, as we saw in the Harriet Miers episode, won't give him their support.
HARRIS: A tragic milestone, you mentioned Iraq, passed this week, 2,000 dead, U.S. soldiers dead and how has that news in your estimation impacted this administration?
SCHNEIDER: Well, of course, it was marked by the press. The Republicans tried to - and the military tried to downplay it saying it was an artificial milestone. But Americans are keenly aware of the losses in Iraq, particularly since there are questions being raised including in the CIA leak investigation of why exactly the United States went to war in the first place, since the weapons of mass destruction were not found.
That's where the leak originated with, from because of Wilson's allegations that the administration twisted intelligence, because there had been no demonstrated links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. So one of the reasons why support for the war in Iraq has eroded as quickly as it has, is that there are still very severe questions being raised about what we're doing there.
HARRIS: Hey, Bill, that's your town, Washington, DC. Is the president itching for a fight now over this Supreme Court nominee, whoever it is? Are we going to see a staunch Republican that is more than likely to galvanize the sides against one another?
SCHNEIDER: Itching for a fight? No. That was clearly what he tried to do with John Roberts, avoid a fight. He tried to avoid a fight unwisely with Harriet Miers. I think he still wants to avoid a fight but he realizes he's going to have to appoint someone with stronger philosophical, intellectual, credentials, someone whose conservative legal philosophy is right there up front on paper like John Roberts, but who hasn't necessarily taken explicit positions on hot button issues like affirmative action and abortion and gay rights. That's a very tough job, that he's got to find someone who fills that credential. John Roberts was one. He's got to look for another.
HARRIS: Yes, CNN senior political analyst, Bill Schneider for us this morning. Bill, good to see you. Thanks.
NGUYEN: You asked Bill a bunch of questions. Now I'm going to ask you a couple. Can you find Fiji on the map?
HARRIS: Sure I can, the south Pacific.
NGUYEN: What about Iceland?
HARRIS: Yes, yes, yes.
NGUYEN: You are doing better than most because for those of you who can't, unlike Tony, you are not alone.
HARRIS: I had to study in grade school are you kidding me? I'm on the map all the time.
NGUYEN: There's a new way though and your son may be interested, to teach geography.
HARRIS: All right . We'll find out all about it after the break.
NGUYEN: All right, Americans are often ridiculed for their lack of knowledge when it comes to geography. Our next guest decided to do something about that. Roger Anderson created teaching tools that extend beyond the globe, an atlas that you probably ignored in school. I know I did a little bit of that myself. And he joins us with these lessons that you've learned. How bad are Americans when it comes to geography?
ROGER ANDERSON, A BROADER VIEW: Well, after we've been tested, it was found that 13 different international countries were quizzed. We came in second to last place.
NGUYEN: Second to last, out of just 13 countries?
ANDERSON: Yes. Defeating only Mexico.
NGUYEN: Why is that?
ANDERSON: One of the main excuses is that we are regionally challenged because we only border Mexico and Canada, but when there's been tests done people in like Europe or in Asia know a lot more about South America and Africa than we know about South America and Africa.
NGUYEN: Do you think it's that me centered attitude that Americans have?
ANDERSON: Well, I think there is a big problem in our education system. We tend to stray away from geography. Tests go into more English and math, but geography is very important. And also I do think, I totally agree with you that we have a big country here and a lot of people just get me centered and just focus on what's around them.
NGUYEN: What's around them. OK, so you decided to tackle this and do something about it. Tell us how these puzzles work.
ANDERSON: All right, well unlike your normal globe or atlas, people don't want to just sit there and study a globe or atlas.
NGUYEN: There's so tiny (ph) on them too.
ANDERSON: And it gets monotonous. You just don't go to the atlas and just read it page after page. When you think of a country, you go check it out. So I wanted to find a comprehensive way to make sure that somebody had to find where every single country in the world was and every single body of water and land mass at the same time.
So what I decided to do was create the global puzzle which is what you see here. It's a completed puzzle of the world. Now it's unique because of the fact that the pieces are actually shaped like countries, like there you see India and Democratic Republic of Congo. So in order to complete the puzzle, you basically have to figure out where every single country in the world is located.
NGUYEN: That makes a lot of sense. Now when it comes to geography, is it a little bit like learning a language? If you don't practice it, you're going to lose it?
ANDERSON: Oh, definitely, definitely.
NGUYEN: Maybe that's why a lot of us can't remember what we learned back in grade school.
ANDERSON: Yes and things are changing all the time, too. So now with the global puzzle, I think this is a great way to start to get a foundation of knowledge. But then you should get interested and every time you hear of a new place, you should go back and have a globe and atlas. Everyone should have a globe and atlas in their house to go back to and study.
NGUYEN: All right, we're going to do a little studying right now. You're going to put me to the test and I'm really afraid of this, really, all right. So go ahead. I know, Tony's going oh boy over there.
ANDERSON: Well, I'll have you know that last time I was here about a year ago, Drew, Drew Griffin, one of your co-anchors at the time, got two out of three.
NGUYEN: OK, so you're putting the challenge on me know.
ANDERSON: People tell me that you are a lot smarter than him.
NGUYEN: Oh, even going so far as to say that, OK, OK. Let's see. Let's go.
ANDERSON: All right, so let's start with a new country name (INAUDIBLE) .
NGUYEN: Which used to be Burma, OK, All right, all right, all right. Let's see. Let's see. I would say it is over in this area. There we go I can see it. I can see where it is.
ANDERSON: That's cheating. As long as you are in the right area we'll give it to you.
NGUYEN: And one more. We're being told to hurry up. So Let's go.
NGUYEN: Gambia, right here, right here. I'm cheating because I can see it.
ANDERSON: Two out of two.
NGUYEN: Two out of two, I beat him, right?
ANDERSON: 100 percent.
NGUYEN: There you go. There you go. We appreciate it so much. You are doing this with not only different countries, but animals and all kinds of things.
ANDERSON: Sure. Now we have one continent at the time too for younger kids to flash them.
NGUYEN: Very good. ANDERSON: so we have Africa, Europe.
NGUYEN: You got them all there.
ANDERSON: South America.
NGUYEN: Upside down and everything.
ANDERSON: And North America.
NGUYEN: Well, thank you.
ANDERSON: We're coming up with Asia soon.
NGUYEN: We appreciate it.
ANDERSON Thank you. I appreciate you bringing me out.
NGUYEN: Your Web site?
NGUYEN: As easy as that and so we can all learn a little bit more about our geography. Thanks for being with us.
ANDERSON: Thanks for having me.
HARRIS: Ahead on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, some consumers may allege price gauging at the pumps but others say don't be so hasty in making that assumption. We'll explain when we come back.
HARRIS: Oil company profits are fueling outrage. ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips are reporting larger profits in the third quarter of this year and the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is still nearly 60 cents higher than a year ago. It is no wonder many drivers are very angry. CNN's Tom Foreman breaks down exactly what you are paying for at the pump.
FOREMAN: The luck ran out downtown for Steve Thomas. This can't be good. He was shopping for the lowest gas price when his tank ran dry. So you actually ran out of gas trying to get here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Never in my life have I seen gas this high. We can't drive. We can't heat our homes. We can't do our business. Nothing can be done without this energy.
FOREMAN: You think there are people who are just flat out taking advantage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course. I think it is price gauging. FOREMAN: With that accusation flying everywhere these days, we broke down the average price of a gallon of gas so far this year, around $2.29 to see where the pennies go. According to the American Petroleum Institute, you can start by giving $1.34 of that pump price for crude oil paid to the company or country that pumps it from the ground. Next, give Federal, state, local governments, got 43 cents a gallon in taxes. Gas stations get about 10 cents a gallon. The entire distribution chain about 12 cents. They have their own ideas about who is getting much more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess the people who run the oil refineries.
FOREMAN: Maybe those people? But you are not getting rich?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
FOREMAN: The refineries indeed get the remaining 30 cents, but what about the oil companies? For any gallon they are raking in money from the ground all the way to the tank. Rayola Dougher is with the petroleum institute and she gave us all these numbers.
RAYOLA DOUGHER, AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE: This is a huge industry. They're making billions of dollars, billions. They are spending hundreds of billions. Energy that we're consuming right now is brought to us by investments made many years ago.
FOREMAN: She has many explanations about how rising demand among the Chinese, consumption by Americans and hurricane damage in the Gulf may mean even with all of those billions coming in, the oil business may not be all that lucrative in the long run. I just get lost in all this. I'm trying to understand this but it sounds like everybody's saying it is not our fault. But people are getting fabulously wealthy while other people are paying. Is that fair?
DOUGHER: No, it is really not, because there are winners and losers as I said and we're going to have to (INAUDIBLE).
FOREMAN: Yes the losers are the people buying the gas. The winners are the ones selling it. Still, she points out that commodities brokers are also cleaning up. What in the Dow Jones is a commodity broker? Well, you already know the most famous.
FOREMAN: Remember in "Trading Places" how the Duke brothers wanted to buy all the oranges in Florida because they knew the harvest would be small. Short supply would drive up demand and they could resell at a much higher price. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
HARRIS: Thank you for watching this morning. I'm Tony Harris.
NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen. The news continues right here on CNN. Fredricka Whitfield is next. We will see you tomorrow morning.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Explosions ripped through new deli. At least 33 people are dead. A live report straight ahead.
Then, the CIA leak probe and the criminal case against the vice president's chief of staff. What's at stake for the White House?
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