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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Baby Noor Arrives in Atlanta; New Year's Celebrations

Aired January 1, 2006 - 09:00   ET

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


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: The Iraqi child known as Baby Noor starts the New Year thousand of miles from home, here in an Atlanta hospital. We'll talk live with one of the passenger who took that long journey with the ailing infant.
Good morning from the CNN center in Atlanta. It is the first day of January 2006, happy New Year, everyone. I'm Randi Kaye in for Tony Harris and Betty Nguyen.

Let's look at some of the other stories happening right now.

An exciting start to the New Year in New York. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Times Square to watch the famous ball drop. Fireworks and other entertainment capped off New Year's Eve celebrations around the country. Hawaii just rang in the New Year about five hours ago.

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the first New Year of his papacy with a mass at st. Peter's Basilica. In his New Year's message to the world this morning he called on the United Nations to live up to its responsibilities and promote justice, peace and solidarity in the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will have surgery Thursday to repair a small hole in his heart. Last week doctors revealed he will undergo a procedure aimed at preventing more blood clots. They believe the clots contributed to Sharon's mild stroke last month.

And there is just no letting up in northern California. Another storm is expected today. Heavy rain has already sent rivers and creeks over their banks into cities. Massive mudslides are blocking some major highways. California officials are telling residents along the Napa and Russian rivers to get out.

A celebration of rebirth and reflection gets underway this morning in New Orleans. Religious leaders throughout Louisiana will gather in the shadow of the Superdome. The program will highlight the New Year and a new spirit to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Now to an unfolding story you first saw here on CNN, the medical battle to save Baby Noor. The 3-month-old Iraqi infant is now at an Atlanta hospital being evaluated for a potentially life-saving surgery. Baby Noor suffers from spina bifida, a potentially life threatening birth defect. Soldiers from the Georgia National Guard discovered the infant in Iraq and undertook a mission of mercy. That mission required the help of friends at home in the United States. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEBBIE STONE, UNITED METHODISTS CHURCH: I just started making connections with people that I knew in the medical industry, many friends from our church who had connections in different places.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Doctors in Iraq gave the baby only weeks to live. U.S. surgeons hope medical attention here can increase those odds.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ROGER HUDGINS, PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGEON: My hope is that this child will No. 1, being intellectually and cognitively normal. I think that almost certainly there will be some catch-up that has to take place once we just get through the first medical part of this. But our goal, just, as Emily said, is not just to close the back and not just to pun in a shunt and do this, that and the other but to care for the child in totality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Curtis Compton has gotten a close look at the Baby Noor as a photographer with the "Atlanta Journal Constitution." Compton was on the flight to bring Noor to America. He joins us on the phone after a very long journey.

Curtis, good morning and happy New Year.

CURTIS COMPTON, PHOTOGRAPHER, "ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION": Good morning, Randi, happy New Year to you.

KAYE: Thank you. What a wonderful way to start the New Year, bringing this little baby girl here to the United States for some very important surgery. What was that journey like for you on that airplane with them?

COMPTON: It's just incredible the amount of help and love that people showed us all along the way. There is certainly a lot of challenges in the travel, coming through Kuwait, you know, the ambassadors there said it was amazing just the fact that the country let us come through there in the wake of the war. They don't tend to forgive very quick in that region of the world and just all the way through, all the hurdles we had to jump through. There was -- everybody wants to help this child.

KAYE: You've taken some amazing pictures of this little girl. What is that like for you to be so up close with this little girl that really the entire world is embracing and praying for that her surgery goes well and she can be healed. What was it like for you and in capturing these images, what does -- how does she appear to you?

COMPTON: Well, her smile is the most wonderful thing about her. Just when you look into her eyes, she's got a beautiful face. The family's wonderful and one thing about the Iraqi people is they really love their children. I think that's universal.

KAYE: And what kind of impact do you think this assignment will have on you? Do you have children of your own and how will you remember this one?

COMPTON: Oh, I do. I have a 19-year-old son, Blake, and a 12- year-old son, Paige. And it's one of those stories you'll never forget. I spent one Christmas and New Year's in Sudan covering a famine, and that was a special moment, and this one, too. When you have an opportunity to really help people is something you never forget.

KAYE: Were you able to communicate at all? I understand her father and her grandmother were along for this trip. Were you able to communicate at all with them?

COMPTON: A lot of sign language. I found people that spoke Arabic along the way as best I could. And I have had contact with them over the last three weeks. So we've worked our own ways of communicating out. Along the way, it was just the three of us for a great deal of the journey, so I had to wear two hats. I had to be a journalist and be professional, and I also had to be a surrogate father.

KAYE: Well, Curtis, we are a certainly glad that the "Atlanta Journal Constitution" assigned you to this and we thank you for bringing us these unforgettable images of Baby Noor as she arrived here in the United States. Curtis Compton with the "Atlanta Journal Constitution" photographer there, thanks again and happy New Year

Across the globe, the night sky lit up many times to ring in the New Year. First the granddaddy of all fireworks shows, Sydney, Australia. Check out this amazing display above Sydney's harbor. Many revelers camped out for hours to catch this show. The crowds at Times Square in New York burst into cheers at the stroke of midnight. Hundreds of thousands packed several Manhattan blocks to see the Waterford crystal ball drop along with 2,000 pounds of confetti.

Rio de Janeiro had the largest fireworks extravaganza in its history; 25 tons of fireworks were set off as Brazilians jammed Rio's famed Copacabana Beach. In Seattle, fireworks were set off at the Space Needle giving the landmark a celebratory glow. And in Vegas, hundreds of thousands stopped their gambling for just a few moments to watch the fireworks burst over the strip. The city passed out 14,000 plastic glasses for a simultaneous toast to mark 2006.

President Bush spent the last night of 2005 having a quiet dinner with the first lady at their ranch in Crawford, Texas. But on the first day of 2006 he is back on the job visiting wounded troops in San Antonio. Suzanne Malveaux is in Crawford with more on the president's New Year's Day plans.

Good morning Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, happy New Year to you, Randi. Of course President Bush up early this morning for the New Year. He is going to be visiting with troops at the army medical center in San Antonio, the Brooke Army Medical Center, that is where he's going to be visiting with wounded soldiers, as well as awarding some purple hearts, we are told, within the hour or so. This is typical from time to time that the president does this, but it is particularly important now, the president delivering a New Year's message to the American people saying he is focusing on two things here -- one of course, the U.S. Mission in Iraq, the success of that, that six-month window when the transition, of course, has taken place in their elections and whether or not the political power weakens the insurgency.

The president also, of course, focusing on the strong economy. It was just yesterday President Bush outlined his agenda looking forward in his weekly radio address.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has a vital interest in the success of a free Iraq. So in the year ahead we will continue to pursue the comprehensive strategy for victory that I have discussed with you in recent weeks. This strategy has security, political and economic elements.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And Randi, the president's New Year's resolution, according to a spokesman yesterday, says it is to continue to work tirelessly for peace abroad and prosperity at home. Some of us just want to lose 10 pounds, but this is the president of course, very ambitious. But you know, all joking aside, it is really the two goals that he's focusing on, the U.S. mission in Iraq, and of course, he'll be focus on the strong economy.

KAYE: And you never know, the president might want to lose 10 pounds, too. You never know.

MALVEAUX: He is in great shape, too. But you never know.

KAYE: Not that he needs to, we're just saying he might want to. All right, Suzanne Malveaux, live in Crawford, Texas, thanks again.

All morning on this New Year's Day we're asking you to tell us what your hopes are for 2006 and we want you to e-mail the at weekends@CNN.com. Be sure to send us those e-mails as soon as you can and we will read them on the air.

Network news felt a little like "Court TV" during much of 2005. Among the trials making major headlines was the Michael Jackson child molestation case. Still ahead, a look back at the 2005 docket and a sneak peek at what we could see in 2006 -- Bonnie.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, more rain is headed for California. Today we have flood watches posted a little further south than what we saw yesterday, but.still flood warnings in the Sacramento area. Plenty of flooding in Napa, California, yesterday. Check out these pictures, rivers ran well above their watermarks. And we saw some record-breaking numbers as far as how high the rivers got and the Napa River, Russian River all overflowing in certain areas and you can see the mud that remains and the cleanup that will begin today, I'm sure, as folks are still prepared for the potential of more flooding with this second Pacific storm.

I'll have a check of the complete country's forecast for this New Year's Day. That's all coming up next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: So, how many of you promised to quit smoking for your New Year's resolution? It's one of the most common of the annual commitments. But who really sticks to their promises? Later, here on CNN SUNDAY, a list of anti-resolutions, you don't want to miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Let's check our top stories, in case you are just joining us on this New Year's morning. Baby Noor is said to be in good condition. Her doctor performed an early evaluation after her arrival in Atlanta yesterday from Iraq. Noor is in the United States for an operation to correct a potentially fatal birth defect. She was found by U.S. soldiers during a raid.

At the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI began the New Year addressing issues that dominated the last. During a mass his said terrorism and fanatic fundamentalism threaten world peace. In his New Year's message this morning, he urged the U.N. to promote peace and justice across the globe.

Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon will undergo a heart procedure, Thursday. He'll have a small hole repaired. The problem was discovered during tests after Sharon suffered a minor stroke in December.

The big story out West has to be the weather, which is threatening many northern California communities again today. In Napa Valley's wine country yesterday, the best way to get around was by boat and paddle with downtown Napa flooded and a thousand homes damaged.

In Santa Rosa, one woman broke her leg when a mudslide literally wiped away her home. Another weather-related accident proved fatal with a storm-weakened tree falling on top of a man and killing him. In all six helicopter rescues were performed in Sonoma County alone. In Santa Rosa another half-dozen people had to be plucked from the quickly rising waters. From Bakersfield to the Oregon border, more than 600,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers lost power. A little more than 100,000 remain without electricity this morning.

And in Utah, the search for a snowshoer lost in an avalanche has been postponed. Searchers say the weather is just awful and conditions extremely unsafe. Heavy snow is falling increasing the threat of more snowslides. Another snowshoer rode out avalanche yesterday and called for help.

Well, Bonnie, I'll tell you, it's either the snow or the rains that's getting people down all across the country.

(WEATHER REPORT)

KAYE: I'm sure they will. All right Bonnie, we'll check back with you a little bit later on.

Well, how about this? Instead of making a New Year's promise, what about an anti-resolution? We'll tell you how later right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

And next, remember this face? Just one of the court stories that dominated the headlines last year. Up next, a look at what could be on your docket and one of the toppers this year.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think to succeed in building a new house without getting a divorce. You know how -- I keep hearing horrible stories about how you have these terrible disagreements over what you're picking, and there is a lot to pick. So keep your fingers crossed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to get in better shape, I'm going to be more punctual, and I'm going to cook my family nutritious meals instead of eating fast food.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: James Brown feeling good about the New Year.

We've heard a lot about the Bush administration being under fire for its top-secret domestic wiretapping program which isn't so secret anymore. Now the "New York Times"' own public editor is criticizing how the "Times" handled the story, especially the timing. On the heels of 9/11, President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans in the U.S. without court-approved warrants. The "Times" first broke the story last month. But top "Times" editorial people admit they knew about the program a year ago. The "Times" explains the White House pressured them to kill the story because some of the information could be useful to terrorists.

The "Times" public editor, Byron Calame writes in today's paper, "The most obvious and troublesome omission in the explanation was the failure to address whether the 'Times' knew about the eavesdropping operation before the November 2nd, 2004, presidential election. That point was hard to ignore when the explanation in the article referred rather vaguely to having delayed publication for a year. To me, this language means the article was fully confirmed and ready to publish a year ago after perhaps weeks of reporting on the initial tip and then was delayed." Several big criminal cases captured our attention during 2005. From Michael Jackson to Scott Peterson, we watched in record numbers. In the long run what do these cases mean? To help answer these questions, civil rights lawyer and law professor Avery Friedman joins us.

Avery, good to see you and happy New Year.

AVERY FRIEDMAN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Same to you Randi, happy New Year to you.

KAYE: Long-term, what's the impact of the Jackson and Peterson cases?

FRIEDMAN: Well, they're significant in a number of respects. You know, both Peterson and Jackson are sort of the progeny of the O.J. syndrome. We saw very similar circumstances, issues such as (INAUDIBLE) of jurors; we saw issues of -- considerations of race in jury selection. We saw the importance of celebrity, whether or not the jurors defer to celebrity even though they don't testify.

But most importantly to me, I think what both cases showed is that the system has to be understood. Sometimes sleaze factor, for example, remember in Scott Peterson, the sleaze factor worked against him: The Amber Frey affair. But the sleaze factor in the Michael Jackson case, Randi, worked for the defense because it discredited the victim. So what we saw here was a situation where all Americans -- or many -- most Americans had the chance to see the way the criminal justice system works. And I think for better or worse, we know that the system may have its faults and problems, by and large, the system works.

KAYE: And what about for the year ahead? Have we seen the end of sensationalistic trials like these?

FRIEDMAN: You know, a year ago, Randi, nobody thought about. for example. the constitutional right to die. a year ago. Yet by March of 2005, every American had Terri Schiavo on their lips. So we never can tell. One of the things that we know about is you couldn't hire screen writers to create the kind of things that we have seen in American courtrooms in 2005.

KAYE: Let's talk about what we...

FRIEDMAN: So the answer to your...

KAYE: Yep, you can go ahead and answer. I was just going to say I wanted to get so some specifics on what you think we might see in 2006 for example, Scooter Libby who is now caught up in the whole Valerie Plame investigation and the CIA leak.

FRIEDMAN: Right. Well I think that's going to have a ripple effect, because remember, those grand juries are still impaneled. We still have United States special prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, examining what's going on. Remember, we were told that that grand jury process was going to end. But after additional information came out, especially from reporters from the "New York Times" and others, we will see a continuing investigation. So don't be surprised, Randi, to see other individuals involved in this administration potentially facing indictments.

KAYE: And what about the case of domestic spying? The Justice Department coming out now that they will investigate who might have leaked to the "New York Times" that the administration was using these warrantless wiretaps.

FRIEDMAN: Well, I think this is a huge, huge circumstances that also has a ripple effect. Remember, they're individual defendants who are alleged to be terrorists. Well, their lawyers are going to use the issue of domestic surveillance and the failure to get warrants as part of the defense of these cases. And beyond that, Arlen Specter, whose the republican chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee, is going to examine the constitutional implications, Randi, of what it means for Americans, people that live here, to be spied upon without warrants being issued.

KAYE: All right. Avery Friedman, thanks so much and happy New Year to you.

FRIEDMAN: Same to you, Randi. Have a wonderful year.

KAYE: Thank you. You, too. Good to see you.

A New Year brings new laws to communities, states and the federal government. For one thing, Uncle Sam demands clarity on food labels so you don't need a dictionary at the grocery store.

And we'll have the latest on the traveling teenager. He is still in the Middle East but he could be home sooner rather than later. CNN SUNDAY MORNING is coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Well, welcome back. I'm Randi Kaye in for Betty Nguyen and Tony Harris. Let's take a look at some of the stories happening right now.

Besides the cold, it was a safe and secure New Year's celebrations in Times Square, a few hours ago. Three-quarters of a million people packed the so-called "Crossroads of the World" to ring in 2006. The Times Square Alliance estimates 85 percent of revelers were out-of-towners.

And this right here is a live picture of the president just landing in San Antonio, Texas, at Randolph Air Force Base. We heard earlier from Suzanne Malveaux,who is in Crawford, Texas, that the president would be visiting troops there. Once again, that is a live picture of the president arriving there. We're going to stay with this for just a moment. The president and First Lady had gone to Crawford, Texas, to celebrate the Christmas holiday, and the president was up early this morning, we heard from Suzanne earlier. And will be making his way to Randolph Air Force Base for today where he will be meeting with wounded troops, there. The president having just landed just moments ago. All right, we'll keep that live picture there for you.

Meanwhile, the south Florida teen who traveled to Iraq without telling his parents may be heading back to the United States tomorrow. Farris Hassan's sister says the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait told her family they've made the arrangements. She talked with her brother on phone about all the attention his trip has gotten and she says he's a bit embarrassed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAHNAZ HASSAN, SISTER: I've talked to him the entire time he's been gone, and he called my cell phone and he said that he was having a hard time reaching my mom or dad and he wanted to call me to let me know that he's OK and that he saw my mom and my brother on TV. And that he didn't know it was such a huge commotion and he didn't want media to be at the airport and why is there a huge commotion, why is all this stuff going on. And I told him, you did it! You wrote the report, you talked to the journalists. They know everything because of what you have said and we're just dealing with it on this side.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: The 16-year-old journalism student managed to make it as far as Baghdad and walked into the "Associated Press's" offices. In an essay he wrote before his journey, Farris said he wanted to help the people in Iraq because he felt guilty for living in a large house and driving a nice car without the fear of suicide bombers.

There is a real sense of apprehension today in northern California and beyond with more rain in the forecast. Here is what the heart of wine country looked like yesterday with torrential rains, swelling rivers far past flood stage in downtown Napa. Some parts of the Golden State saw as much as seven inches of rain. The storms downed trees on top of power lines. Major roadways like Interstate 80 were closed due to mudslides.

And so, of course, we want to ask Bonnie Schneider, is it going to get any better out there for those folks?

SCHNEIDER: Well, it looks like we've another storm system coming in. There is some good news, the Napa River is now below flood stage. So the flood warning for the Napa River at Napa has now canceled. But the Russian River has dropped at Healdsburg, unfortunately thought, it's cresting at Guerneville and that means flood warnings continue for that river. So, not out of the woods yet we're still looking at more precipitation for much of California, especially southern California where we really didn't have as much rain as yesterday.

And do put this map into motion, this is a Futurecast and notice the heavier rains on their way to the Los Angeles area and Pasadena. Unfortunately, it may rain on the Rose Parade tomorrow morning. There's a very high possibility that we'll see rain there in the forecast for the Los Angeles area. Closer look at that storm shows the moisture coming on shore from the Pacific and as we slide off further to the West, or to the East, rather, our next area of concern for today is fire danger. We have strong gusty winds coming from the southwest for parts of Oklahoma, Texas and even New Mexico. And when you look at current winds right now, they certainly have picked up, 21 miles-per-hour there in Dallas, Texas. You have that combination of low humidity, high wind. It's really a recipe for extremely critical area for fire danger. And those winds are actually picking up as we speak. This is real-time information for you at CNN.

And as we switch over gears, you see ahead of the system we have a lot of moisture coming up from the South. And that means yet another threat for this afternoon and this evening. The threat of strong thunderstorms and that will be from Louisiana, through Mississippi, Alabama, and even further north towards Tennessee, so a lot going on today in the world of weather with flooding, some fire and maybe some strong storms later this afternoon. We will be here throughout the day, certainly in the evening, keeping track for it here at CNN -- Randi.

KAYE: All right, Bonnie. Thank you.

A New Year, new laws in 2006. Several states are taking actions to protect you from identity theft, stiffening penalties on drunk driving, but the biggest change you may notice when you go to the grocery store. Until now you practically needed a chemistry degree to understand food labels. Now the government actually wants to make it easier. CNN's Gary Nurenberg reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For 13-year-old Sam Gilman, grocery shopping is a matter of life and death.

ANDY GILMAN, SAM'S DAD: You want to do the pasta aisle?

SAM GILMAN, HAS SEVERE FOOD ALLERGIES: Yes.

A. GILMAN: OK, let's do pasta aisle.

NURENBERG: Like an estimated 11 million other Americans, if Sam eats the wrong thing, an allergic reaction could make him so sick he could die.

S. GILMAN: I'm allergic to all nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and shell fish.

NURENBERG: So Sam chooses carefully.

S. GILMAN: It's Magic Brownies with raspberry and vanilla.

NURENBERG: And reads labels with excruciating care.

A. GILMAN: Starting at the back?

S. GILMAN: Yes.

I read the labels from the back to the front one word at a time so that I don't miss anything. And I read it two or three times.

NURENBERG: It's a family ritual.

A. GILMAN: You have to rely upon the labels, because that's the only indication you have. Good labeling can save a life. It's as simple as that.

NURENBERG (on camera): But some food labels use words that are hard to understand. On January 1, new labeling requirements demand simplicity when it comes to the eight ingredients that cause 90 percent of allergic reactions: milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, nuts, fish, and shell fish.

ANNE MUNOZ-FURLONG, FOOD ALLERGY NETWORK: So instead of ammonium caseinate, you'll see milk. Instead of albumin, you'll see eggs. It will make label reading easy enough for a 7-year-old.

NURENBERG (voice over): But what about those labels that say the product may contain something on the list? Even if it doesn't specifically include the ingredient, it may have been processed in a plant where that ingredient was present.

MUNOZ-FURLONG: So you might have a candy, for example, that is processed on a machinery that had peanuts on it right before they manufactured your non-peanut candy, or vice versa.

NURENBERG: It raises the possibility of cross-contamination.

STEPHANIE CHILDS, GROCERY MANUFACTURES ASSN.: Companies are using the "may contain" statement because we have had feedback from consumers that even the slightest amount of an allergen can cause very negative reaction in a consumer.

NURENBERG: Sam Gilman's dad worries manufactures might use the "may contain" label to protect themselves at the cost of confusing consumers.

A. GILMAN: They're not sure, but they don't want the liability.

NURENBERG: Congress has ordered a study of "may contain" labels to see if they can be made more effective. In the meantime, Sam's label-reading life is getting easier.

A. GILMAN: Salt, basil, onions, carrots, olive oil, tomatoes.

You can have that.

NURENBERG: Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: It's on of the most popular New Year's resolutions of all time, the promise to exercise more and lose weight. But, how many people really follow through? Should you even waste your time on a resolution? You're about to meet a man who has a very definite opinion about resolutions. Stick around to hear what he has to say and see if they are words that you can live by. But first, 2005 brought us a number of incredible headlines; all of them captured by the cameras of "Associated Press" photographer we're going to take to you break with a quick look at some pictures that captivated your interest in 2005.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN DOTCOM DESK: If you have yet to put anything down on paper when it comes to New Year's resolutions, cnnmoney.com has 33 moves that will help you find success in 2006. Be thankful for that roof over your head. Lock in a fixed-rate mortgage if yours is now adjustable and find ways to try and lower your heating bill. Put your money to work in the stock market. Blue chip growth stocks are a bargain right now and may go higher. Here's a list of seven stocks that may help you see more green.

Make it a point to ease up on debt. Punch in the numbers to help you with debt planning and reduction and find out how long it will take you to build your nest egg with this online calculator. Log on to cnnmoney.com/succeed for ways to have a prosperous 2006. For the dotcom desk, I'm Veronica de la Cruz.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: And once again, we want to take you back live to Texas on this New Year's Day where President Bush is arriving there at Randolph Air Force Base from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. There's the president now. He will be visiting wounded soldiers at the Brooke Army Medical Center.

He made the trip from his ranch in Crawford and we could expect that he will say some very positive remarks to those wounded soldiers, much like what we heard in his weekly radio address saying that the United States has a vital interest in the success of a free Iraq. Reminding these soldiers, the underpinnings of the plan for victory in Iraq involve security, politics, and economics and the president also saying in the year ahead, we will continue to pursue the comprehensive strategy for victory discussed in recent weeks. So, once again, that is President George Bush arriving from Crawford, Texas, heading to Brooke Army Medical Center to visit some wounded soldiers on this New Year's Day.

Are you ringing in the New Year with a new goal or still working on the broken ones from last year? We've all had resolutions that start strong and end later that week. Vowing to take off those extra pounds or maybe quit smoking. Well, stop the New Year's guilt right now. Joining us for his list of anti-resolutions, Larry Winget, author of "Shut up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life."

Happy New Year, I think.

LARRY WINGET, AUTHOR "SHUT UP, STOP WHINING & GET A LIFE": Same to you. Good morning, Randi.

Good morning. So what is it? Do you have something against New Year's resolutions?

WINGET: No, it's good idea gone bad. It starts out a great plan to say it's end of the year, new time to look at your life, got a great New Year ahead of us. But we all know that resolutions are temporary. We know they're temporary when we set them so we ought to just skip them and instead create a real plan for your life.

KAYE: But, why do we have such a hard time sticking to them, and why do we make them then to begin with?

WINGET: Oh, they're usually made on a whim. Everybody sat around last night and said, you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to more money next year. And if you just sit around and say I'm going to make more money next year, I could got to you to day and give you a dollar and now you've got more money next year.

KAYE: But, where...

WINGET: Just made on a whim.

KAYE: Where do we go wrong: It is just from the outset?

WINGET: It's not a serious plan with a real idea of what you'd like to accomplish. For instance, if you do want to make more money, how are you going to that? Are you going to get a better job? You going to ask for a raise? Or if you're a sales person, are you going to see more customers? People don't think through the plan. They just say, oh, I'd like to do this, I'd like to that, I'd like to stop smoking. Yet I'll guarantee you 99.99 percent of all those people last night who said I want to stop smoking today, they've already had a cigarette with their morning coffee.

KAYE: Larry, I notice in your book you have a real issue with whining. You think that we whine too much about our problems and then maybe set these resolutions to make our lives better?

WINGET: Well, we've become a society of whiners, for sure, and we tolerate it. We need to stop tolerating all the whining and just tell people to shut up and stop whining. Life doesn't get better when you're complaining about what you've done. Last year's over. Move on! You've made mistakes, we've all made mistakes. Shut up about it. Besides that, I don't want to hear your problems, I got problems of my own.

KAYE: You know, the first chapter in your book is actually entitled "Shut up." do you think that maybe your approach to self- help might be a little too harsh.

WINGET: I think we need a harsh approach to self-help. I think we've left the self out of self-help. We let people by with too much. We need to let people understand that they created their life, their thoughts, their words, their actions, they're the ones who made the mess they're in and they have to be held accountable for it. When people start taking responsibility for the lives, that's when things get better, but not until then.

KAYE: So, what's the first step then? How do you go about taking responsibility?

WINGET: Well, No. 1, if you want to have a better year next year, take responsibility. Look yourself in the mirror and say, this is all my fault. I did this. No one did this to me. The best place you can go to lay blame -- in fact, the only place you can go to lay blame is to the mirror. Stop turning to everyone else and trying to lay blame outside yourself, it doesn't work. So just take responsibility.

KAYE: Larry Winget, you are a pit bull of personal development. Larry Winget, thanks so much.

WINGET: Oh, my pleasure. Have a good day.

KAYE: You too, and happy New Year!

WINGET: Thank you.

KAYE: For those of you who slept through the world's biggest annual celebration, stick around, some of the best pictures of the night and day when we come back.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My New Year's resolution for this coming year is going to be to recover from my injuries, get back on high feet, get a good paying job, cover all the bills I now have to pay. And find good girlfriend that doesn't crash cars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My New Year's resolution is to save more money so I can afford to go to Europe for a holiday in the spring.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAYE: Not even the rain soaking northern California and San Francisco could keep away all the revelers for New Year's. That's John Mayor celebrating with everybody there. Folks gathered to ring in 2006.

And good morning, it is January 1. Our top stories this morning include Baby Noor who is said to be resting comfortably after her transglobal flight from Iraq to Atlanta, Georgia, yesterday. Pediatrics specialists say they'll begin surgery on the 3-month-old spina bifida patient some time in the next 10 days as they assess her condition.

More water is the last thing folks in northern California want after a pounding storm left them saturated and heading for higher ground. Mudslides have closed major roads and flooding has damaged 1,000 homes in the Napa wine country. Unfortunately, more precipitation is in the Golden State's forecast. In Vatican City, Pope Benedict XVI gives his New Year's Day blessing to thousands of Catholics celebrating the church's World Day of Peace. Earlier, while conducting mass at St. Peter's Basilica the pontiff called upon both individuals and governments to combat the quote "fanatic fundamentalism that threatens world peace."

You know how some words get so overused they become annoying? Well, hunker down for breaking news. Those are just two phrases making the 2006 list of annoyingly overused, misused or useless words that one university says should be banned. Also included, had enough with the acronym FEMA? What does that mean? How about holiday tree? Is it for Christmas or what? And why not say three percent fat instead of 97 percent fat-free? For sure. Yeah, those two words, too, we don't like those.

Now time to find out what's ahead on CNN's "Reliable Sources" from Howard Kurtz in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: Coming up, a packed New Year's show for you. Should the top editors of the "New York Times" and "Washington Post" have disclosed to their readers that they met with the president of the United States before publishing major stories about national security?

Plus "Times" reporter Kurt Eichenwald investigate the child pornography world and becomes part of the story. Did he get too involved?

We'll also talk with Yahoo's globetrotting online war correspondent Kevin Sites and a look back at the media's highlights and lowlights of 2005, all next on "Reliable Sources."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: All right, thank you Howard.

All morning long we've been asking you for our thoughts on our e- mail question of the day: What are your hopes for 2006? And we want to share some of those with you.

The first from John Turner, Canyon Lake, Texas, "I wish for tolerance for opinions of others that are different from out own. Why hate those who we disagree with? I also hope for a return to civility. Beyond that, let's achieve peace, health care coverage for all, return to economic prosperity for more folks then a select few, and to pair down the national debt."

Next from Tom Folger (ph), "I should like to see the military withdrawn from Iraq and everywhere. Their presence is fermenting anti-Americanism. I would like to see the military deployed in Darfur and places where a peacekeeping force would prevent genocide."

And the last one from Joanne in Toledo, Ohio, "I hope in 2006 to never hear attack dogs disguised as republicans or democrats pontificate on CNN. Instead I hope to hear of all the Bill and Melinda Gates' and Bono's of the world who are truly making a difference. Perhaps then when we hear the economy is good we know it's based on no debt, no poverty, and health care for all."

We'd also like, before we go, to say a big thank you and wish the best of luck to one of our most talented and favorite producers here at CNN. Karina Chobanyan who is -- she's been with us at the morning show for quite some time, been with the weekend show for three years. She's been with CNN for seven years. She's from Russia. We're giving you her whole life story. She is going to work not too far away over to CNN International. We'd only let her go really across the hall, we don't want to let her go that far. So Karina, we wish you the best of luck. Wave. We wish you happy New Year. There she is. She's really been an integral part of the success here at our CNN morning weekend show. We wish her the best of luck at CNN International.

Before we join Howard Kurtz and "RELIABLE SOURCES," one last week at the fun, festivity, and firework at New Year's celebrations across the country. Have a very happy New Year.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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