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Terror in Jordan; Story of Family Coming Back From Meth's Destruction

Aired November 14, 2005 - 08:31   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about -- you know they say there is an expression among pilots, any landing you walk away from is a good one.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: That's kind of a low bar, I would say.

M. O'BRIEN: In this case...

S. O'BRIEN: Whatever.

M. O'BRIEN: I don't know if you can call this a good landing. Take a look at what happened. He did walk away. But there is a little problem. The plane didn't quite make it to the ground.

S. O'BRIEN: Wouldn't be my definition of a good landing.

M. O'BRIEN: No, I would say that is in the bad-landing category, but technically by that strict definition. If you're a strict constructionist, you would see that's a good landing. A couple of passes in low weather. He was hurt, but I think he's OK, right.

S. O'BRIEN: You mean metaphorically walk away. He's being dragged out by a stretcher but, he's OK, right? He survived it?

M. O'BRIEN: In any case, Milwaukee is the dateline, low weather, several attempts to land. And one of the things you're not supposed to do is be doing is hunting around for the airport in the clouds. Just a thought.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Is that what he was cog doing?

M. O'BRIEN: I can't say that. I wasn't in that Piper Cherokee at the time.

S. O'BRIEN: Thank God.

M. O'BRIEN: One of the things you don't want to be doing, OK.

COSTELLO: I don't know how you could see it anyway in bad weather, right? You have to rely on your instruments then.

M. O'BRIEN: He's an instrumented-rated pilot, but there are rules that you abide by.

COSTELLO: Glad he got out of that OK definitely. S. O'BRIEN: At the end of the day, you're right. That's exactly what matters.

The other thing we're talking about this morning is the stunning confession. It aired on Jordanian television, a 35-year-old Iraqi woman who said she was supposed to be that fourth suicide bomber in last week's hotel attacks in Amman, Jordan.

CNN's Brent Sadler has more on this for us.


BRENT SADLER, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She is the human bomb that failed to explode. Sajida al Rishawi sent from Iraq to strike Jordan.

A chilling display of the explosives. Wired and taught by her husband to kill. Handling the plastic wrapped detonator she says malfunctioned. Calming confessing to the camera how they prepared their double attack.

SAJIDA AL RISHAWI (through translator): There was a wedding at the hotel with children, women, and men inside. My husband detonated. I tried to explode, but it wouldn't. People fled running and I left running with them.

SADLER: Fleeing, death and destruction here at Amman's Radisson Hotel. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton inspects the blast site with his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, sickened by the confession.

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why would such a person do this at her age, come in here and ruin these people's lives? What twisted logic and thinking did that? And we should go after it.

SADLER: The televised confession came as thousands of Jordanians took to the streets, expressing sorrow and solidarity after the attacks.

(on camera): The showing of that video, an attempt to strip away the legitimacy claimed by suicide bombers that their attacks are justified in the name of Islam.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are sick people. I don't know what happened. The brainwash they got from whoever it is.

SADLER (voice-over): But here, too, controversial opinion shared by many Jordanians with Palestinian roots that will enrage Israelis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are subjected to terrorism from Israel, from these kind of people, Zarqawi, from al Qaeda. We consider all these parties as terrorist parties.

SADLER: Jordanians striving to reconcile extreme differences towards terrorism in society here, while overcoming their sorrow for the victims. Brent Sadler, CNN, Amman.


S. O'BRIEN: Investigators are still questioning the woman, trying to learn what she knows about Al Qaeda in Iraq. Twelve other people have been detained as well.



M. O'BRIEN: Methamphetamines, crystal meth, highly addictive drug with growing use across the nation. Some new commercials are out today features children of former meth addicts, former meth addicts themselves talking about that particularly difficult drug and kicking it.

Kelli Arena has the story of a family coming back from meth's destruction.


KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Charlotte Sanders never thought she'd be walking back into this jail voluntarily. The memories of her mandatory stays are quite painful, but she's here with a message of hope.

CHARLOTTE SANDERS, RECOVERING METH ADDICT: I'm a recovering meth addict. I was on meth ten-and-a-half years every day.

ARENA: Sanders lives in rural Tennessee, where authorities say meth use has reached epidemic proportions. She was hooked, and hooked bad. She weighed only 100 pounds. Her eyes bruised from malnutrition.

SANDERS: For me, it was like a super high. I was a super mom. But this drug, just smoking the pot that night and snorting a little bit, I was high for four days, four days not straight.

ARENA: Super mom she wasn't. Her daughters, who were eight and 10 at the time, were put through a living hell.

ASHLEY GREENLEE, CHARLOTTE SANDERS' DAUGHTER: It was like 3:00 in the morning, and she was looking out the window thinking somebody was out there, and she was really scaring us, because she really thought somebody was out there, and nobody was out there.

ARENA: It wasn't only paranoia; there was violence.

AMBER GREENLEE, CHARLOTTE SANDERS' DAUGHTER: My mom and dad, they were like fighting a lot, and she stabbed my dad I think four or five times with a knife, and they just like fought all of the time, screaming, yelling, hitting, everything else.

ARENA: Eventually, the girls were taken away by Betsy Dunn of the Tennessee Department of Children Services. It's a scenario that she has had to live through too many times.

BETSY DUNN, TENN. DEPT. OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES: I think it's because the parents choose the drug over their children, and that's what makes it so very, very sad, because that's not supposed to happen.

ARENA: While in jail, Sanders' condition deteriorated and she suffered seizures. Finally hitting bottom, she turned to religion and fought her addiction. She's drug-free, remarried, and she's got her kids back.

SANDERS: I get to shop and I get to, you know, take my kids my eat. And, you know, life is wonderful. Just to smell the air, to walk around. It's great.

ARENA: But this happy ending is an exception. Experts say the recovery rate for meth addicts is at an astonishingly low 5 percent. It's one of the reason sanders is part of this prison ministry and the reason her daughters decided to tell their story in a new national ad campaign aimed to stop the meth epidemic.

GREENLEE: I was three when my parents started using meth. I smelled when they were cooking it in the kitchen

ARENA: Sanders says she's living proof that meth can be beat and hopes her story will give the others the strength they need to get clean.

SANDERS: Amen! Amen!

ARENA: Kelli Arena, CNN, Cookville, Tennessee.


M. O'BRIEN: Check out these numbers. According to one survey, 11 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried meth at least once. And apparently one try, it's so addictive that it can be difficult to kick it.

S. O'BRIEN: It wrecks lives. And we've done stories on this. People who just like -- they abandon their kids. Remember the guy who taped over his child's crib because they wanted to go on a meth binge and they didn't want the baby to get out so they left the baby in the crib for days?

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: That's just one of a gillion stories like that. It is a horrible drug.

M. O'BRIEN: Let's hope they do some good with that public service campaign and those efforts.

Coming up, we are "Minding Your Business." Seeing some classic TV shows are finding a new home on the Internet. Andy will have details on that. S. O'BRIEN: Plus a very big surprise for thousands of kids in one city's public schools. Guess what? They're getting a free college education. Think they're happy? How about their parents? We're going to the superintendent just ahead.

M. O'BRIEN: Suddenly, I'm paying attention to teachers.


S. O'BRIEN: It is called the Kalamazoo Promise. And here's the promise. College scholarships for any student who makes it through K through 12 in Kalamazoo public schools.

Dr. Janice Brown is the superintendent of the public schools in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Erin Curry is a junior at Kalamazoo Central High School. Nice to see you both. Good morning to you. And, wow, I think congratulations are in order.

Dr. Brown, let's start with you first. This promise comes from a group of anonymous donors. I know you're not giving out the name -- hence, anonymous -- but what can you tell me about the group?

JANICE BROWN, SCHOOL SUPT., KALAMAZOO, MICH.: Well, I think they're a group that has certainly showed their brilliance. Thinking about the students, the future, relating that to economic development, real estate, quality of life, individual families, you know, it's absolutely brilliant. And that's what the donors thought of. So they were really thinking this through, they were thinking about the community, and they were thinking about the interrelationship of our city and education.

S. O'BRIEN: It's a great deal. And there's not a lot of fine print, but some of the fine print does say it's kind of a sliding scale. So if you're in school for K through 12, you get the hundred percent all written off. But the less that you're in school in Kalamazoo public schools, then, obviously, a smaller percentage is paid. Can you give me any more details on how this is going to work?

BROWN: Yes. We have a sliding scale, as you said. If one of our students is in high school for their entire time, from ninth to 12th grade, then they are eligible for 65 percent of the scholarship. And then it just gradual goes down from 65 percent and then, of course, the 13 years is the big bonus, 100 percent for our students.

S. O'BRIEN: I got to turn to Erin Curry. As we mentioned, she's a junior at Kalamazoo Central High School. Erin, what was your reaction when you heard of that? Maybe even more importantly, what were your mom and dad's reactions?

ERIN CURRY, JR., KALAMAZOO CENTRAL H.S.: When I first heard about it, I couldn't believe it. I just didn't think it was true. It still hasn't fully hit me yet that I'm going to college for free. My parents, they were just ecstatic about it. They couldn't believe it. It was just a huge weight was lifted off their shoulders knowing for my brother and I everything was going to be taken care of for college. S. O'BRIEN: Does it affect the decision you'll make about what your plans are for the years of college? I mean, ask it -- does it really make a big difference in what you're going to do?

CURRY: Not too much, because I was looking at staying in-state anyway. I was just kind of undecided on where I'm going to go. But now I'm looking at which school I'm going to go to that has the best program for what I want to go into for college, regardless of cost. So it makes things a lot easier.

S. O'BRIEN: Takes a lot of pressure off, I would imagine. Dr. Brown, back to you for just a moment. It has a time limit. It's a 13-year plan starting in 2006, right? Does that mean that sort of after 13 years, all those other kids coming up through the Kalamazoo public schools, they're out of luck?

BROWN: No. That's one of the miscommunications. It's 13 years, but the program for the scholarship for the Kalamazoo Promise is given to us indefinitely. We do not know if and when there will ever be an end to it. So it's not 13 years. I think there was confusion about the 13-year period and an ending date, which has not been established. This is a gift.

S. O'BRIEN: So rarely am I happy about a mistake, but in this case, I'm happy about making a mistake on that one. Before I let you go, you got some famous people in Kalamazoo. Derek Jeter. I Googled him. He's from Kalamazoo. Any hints on maybe -- did he give a chunk of the money to fund all of this?

BROWN: Well, the anonymous donors really, really want to remain that way. And there's a number of great people in our community and we were special before this, and this is what I would truly call proof in the pudding!

S. O'BRIEN: Dodging the question, Dr. Janice Brown joining us. Erin Curry, as well. Thanks to both of you. Congratulations on your terrific news.

BROWN: Oh, you're very welcome.

CURRY: Thank you.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, she can hit the curveball. You threw it right at her, she knocked it out of park.

S. O'BRIEN: Absolutely. Curveball. Interesting analogy there.

Coming up in the program, we're "Minding Your Business." Some classic TV shows will soon be just a point and a click away on the Internet. Andy has that story as he minds your business, next on AMERICAN MORNING.


M. O'BRIEN: All right, can you do the "Gilligan's Island" theme song? You can do that, right? Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale.

And you'll be able to memorize that as you get it repeated as many times as you like? Is that one of the shows?

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: That's one of the shows.

M. O'BRIEN: Our sister organization online?

SERWER: Organization.

S. O'BRIEN: Corporate cousin.

SERWER: AOL, Warner Bros., there's a whole lot of stuff going on, and this is really about kind of a revolution going on in this country about how consumers get media distributed. It's a fancy way of saying where you watch movies, TV shows and how you listen to music, it'll all starting to change. This is another sign, Warner Communications is announcing that they're rolling out a plan where you're going to be able to watch old TV shows on your computer through AOL, and both of these companies are part of Time Warner. Old TV shows.

Is that "Growing Pains?" Did you know Leo DiCaprio was on "Growing Pains?"

S. O'BRIEN: I did know that.

SERWER: That's a Long Island show.

S. O'BRIEN: He was cute then, and he's cute now.

M. O'BRIEN: That's a pretty spiffy little outfit.

SERWER: Yes, that's right.

M. O'BRIEN: He's quite a dandy, that fellow.

SERWER: He really is.

S. O'BRIEN: Nothing wrong with being a Long Island...

SERWER: "Lois and Clark" is going to be on this thing as well.

M. O'BRIEN: That was a bad show in the first place.

SERWER: Teri Hatcher, Dean Cain.

And then of course "F-Troop." You'll be able to get "F-Troop."

M. O'BRIEN: That's quality television.

SERWER: "F-Troop" was probably the best television show -- there is Ken Barry. The best TV show ever made. Some people don't agree with that. Now there's another one going on, too, which concerns Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network another Time Warner company. Nickelodeon owned by Viacom, and this is -- you will be able to watch shows like "Spongebob Squarepants," as if you haven't seen enough of that if you've got little kids in your house.

On to this new player called a VuGo, which is made by Hasbro, which is like an iPod for kids. This thing costs about a hundred dollars. You plug it into your TV, and you can download shows, I mean, as if...

S. O'BRIEN: Shows that have already aired?


S. O'BRIEN: And does it have to be really old shows? Does it have to be...

SERWER: No, these are pretty new shows. These shows cost $2.99, which is more than the other previous TV deals. And I should say, by the way, you know that vintage TV deal we were talking about with AOL, those shows are free, but they've got one to two-minute commercial segment that you have to watch.

S. O'BRIEN: Everyone is figuring out with the technology the way it is today how you are going to create this model that gets revenue, that changes the advertising, you know, format. It's a really interesting time, but I'm not sure anybody is quite hitting on it yet.

SERWER: I think you're right. And people want to watch shows when they want to, and DVR and TiVos are also a part of that as well.

And people just -- you know, appointment TV, except for this program of course, very typical.

M. O'BRIEN: I think if you're one of the people who does those network schedules, you should be looking for a job. No more schedules.

SERWER: Could be. Could be.

S. O'BRIEN: Interesting. Thanks, Andy.

SERWER: You're welcome.

S. O'BRIEN: What do you want to talk about. Have you guys had this -- can we talk about this guy who delivered a baby?

SERWER: yes.

M. O'BRIEN: Do we have a picture of the baby?

S. O'BRIEN: We have a picture. Not only do we have a picture, but first let me tell you the story. OK, this guy in Chicago, his name is Nidal Hahad (ph). There's his taxi. A woman gets in the car. She's in labor! She hops in the back of the taxi. There's the baby coming out right there. And suddenly she says, I'm not going to make it to the hospital! Relatives freaking out so much that he kicks them all of the taxi because they're not helping, and he delivers the baby. He says he has three kids. He was not involved in the delivery of any of his children, but he says he saw it on the Discovery Channel. I think he was watching a baby story, which is terrific television, by the way, delivers the baby because he had seen it on the Discovery Channel, and he had been a taxi driver for one week. That is baby Gabrielle, who weighed in at just under seven pounds.

SERWER: He was a full-service driver!

S. O'BRIEN: Sixty bucks for the taxi fare.

M. O'BRIEN: Was the meter running the whole time?

S. O'BRIEN: It was. And he waived it. He didn't charge them a dime! A shout out to Nidal Hadad of Chicago, but originally from Jordan, who watched the baby story on Discovery.


M. O'BRIEN: All right, let's talk about Martha, Martha, Martha. You have you to say all three, right?

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, but bad news for Martha. More bad news.

M. O'BRIEN: "The Apprentice" with Martha, out.

SERWER: Really? Fired?

M. O'BRIEN: Apparently so. They passed on holding another round of episodes.

SERWER: Yes, it never generated a buzz.

M. O'BRIEN: Not even close to the Trump version, right? Trump has a certain charisma to it, the, you're fired! And Martha wrote this very cumbersome note on Crane's (ph) papers, you know, dear darling...

S. O'BRIEN: When you can't boil it down to the message of we don't want you, I know.

M. O'BRIEN: Right, she thought she was replacing him initially, right? I mean, she thought her show was going to replace his show?

In her mind, I'm sure she thinks that she's replacing us, too. I don't know.


M. O'BRIEN: Well, anyway, ta ta, Martha. But you know...

S. O'BRIEN: She's got the other show. She'll be fine.

SERWER: She's got magazines, and books and everything else. (CROSSTALK)

SERWER: We're not going to shed any tears.

S. O'BRIEN: No, not today.

Thanks, Andy.

A short. Break coming up, believe it or not, mom is right. No wait, I'm a mom! Mom is right! A new study says...

M. O'BRIEN: Even when she is wrong, she's right, kids, OK?

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, that's right. Bundle up or you could catch a cold. Our morning "House Call" is ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

Stay with us.



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