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U.S. Troops In Philippines To Help After Deadly Mudslide; Newly-Released Audio Tapes Of Saddam Hussein; Biggest Lotto Jackpot In American History; Kathleen Koch Returns To Devastated Bay St. Louis; Key Players In The Katrina Aftermath Defend Themselves On Capitol Hill; New Orleans Celebrates First Mardi Gras After Hurricane Katrina; How To Spot A Liar;

Aired February 18, 2006 - 11:00   ET


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Now in the news this hour, nine oil company workers in Nigeria have been abducted by rebel forces and among them are three Americans and a Briton. The rebels' statement said the workers were taken from a barge operated by the U.S. company. It is the latest in a series of militant attacks on oil interests in the region.
Well, in the Philippines, nearly 2,000 people in a remote province are missing after a mountain of mud engulfed their village. Look at that. An update on the frantic search for survivors is just ahead.

Also, the northern U.S. is in the deep freeze this morning, and we're serious about that. Due to a ferocious winter storm with hurricane force winds, falling trees are blamed for at least three deaths.

CNN meteorologist Brad Huffines will explain what is ahead.

The militant group Hamas officially takes over the Palestinian parliament today. And despite calls for a more moderate policy toward Israel, a Hamas spokesman said there is no change in its hard-line position.

Now to Libya. At least 10 people are dead in the bloodiest protest yet over drawings of the Prophet Muhammad. At least 29 protesters have died as Muslim outrage has spread around the world. A large protest is also underway right now in central London.

Good morning.

It is Saturday, February 18.

Welcome to the CNN Center in Atlanta.

I'm Betty Nguyen.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Our last hour this morning.

NGUYEN: The last hour.

HARRIS: We like to blow stuff up around here. NGUYEN: It can't be long enough, can it?

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris.

Good morning, everyone.

We have a busy hour ahead for u.

We'll take you to New Orleans, which hopes to get its groove back with a Mardi Gras parade.

Also ahead, a House committee calls the government's response to hurricane Katrina a failure of initiative, among other choice words. But are we ready for the next major disaster?

Two lawmakers will join is in about 20 minutes attacking that topic.

And later, think you've got a silver tongue? You may just be an amateur but we've got an expert at spotting liars. He'll be here to explain some of the tricks of the trade. Honest.

NGUYEN: Well, our top story right now, extreme weather. High winds and brutally cold temperatures put the Northeast in a deep freeze.

And in the Philippines, heavy downpours create treacherous conditions for rescuers at the site of a massive mudslide.

HARRIS: But first, that frantic rescue operation in the Philippines.

About 1,800 people are still missing a day after a rain weakened mountain literally disintegrated and buried an entire village in the southern city of Leyte. U.S. troops are headed there now to help with the rescue efforts.

CNN's Hugh Riminton has the latest details.


HUGH RIMINTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Once again, darkness has defeated the search efforts after a day that has been heavy with disappointment. Despite such optimism as the day may have begun with that perhaps someone might be still found alive under the rubble of this enormous mudslide, this landslide, bodies have been recovered. No one alive has been found. No sign of life has been found.

Even then, the bodies that have been found so far, the official death toll numbers in the dozens, not in the hundreds. Forty-four bodies officially accounted for, although another one has just come across the river, brought in by army soldiers who found this latest one. So presumably that figure will rise from the official total.

At the moment, the key question -- what happened to the 1,875 people who were registered as living in that village? We know that about 50 have definitely been accounted for as being alive, as being away from the village on the day of this landslide. We have 44 bodies. What happened to the rest?

If you look across at the mountainside behind me, that goes up over 2,000 feet out of this valley, 730 meters. It collapsed from the top, from the crest of the ridge all the way down into the valley, building up such force that the mud slewed forward for hundreds of meters into the valley itself, to a depth of itself several meters.

Underneath that was that entire village, including the school, with 240 children attending classes. None of those children has been found alive.

Tomorrow, of course, the search will continue. But now more focusing on the recovery of bodies than any realistic hope that anyone else might be found alive.

In southern Leyte, this is Hugh Riminton for CNN.


NGUYEN: Now, we want to talk about the weather right here in the U.S.

Look at these pictures up for you. It is brutally cold today in many places, especially in the northern half of the country.

HARRIS: OK, the latest winter storm rolled out of the Midwest yesterday with howling winds that cause the bottom to drop out of the thermometer, that's for sure.

CNN meteorologist Brad Huffines is tracking that for us this morning -- good morning to you, Brad.


NGUYEN: Iraqi police, civilians and U.S. troops all targeted in separate insurgent attacks across Iraq today. In Baghdad, a U.S. soldier was killed when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Two other roadside attacks in the capital killed three Iraqi police officers and a security guard. And a bombing near the town of Baqubah killed one civilian and wounded five others.

HARRIS: Newly released audiotapes are giving the world a behind- the-scenes look at the regime of Saddam Hussein. A non-profit group released portions of the tapes, which were recorded by the former Iraqi leader in the mid-1990s.

On the tapes, Hussein and his advisers talk about what they call anti-Iraq media and the U.N. sanctions against Baghdad.

We'll have more details as CNN translators work their way through the 12 hours of recordings.

NGUYEN: In California, a 3-year-old Iraqi girl is doing well after undergoing abdominal surgery. The girl was injured when U.S. forces accidentally bombed her home in Iraq last year. Now, her two brothers and her cousin were killed. The little girl was brought to the U.S. by a group that funds medical treatment for children injured in the war.

HARRIS: New information now on those 10 Marines who were missing after their helicopter crashed off the coast of Djibouti in East Africa. Officials now say all crew members are accounted for, but they do not say whether they have been found dead or alive. We do know that two crew members were rescued earlier and are in stable condition. It's unclear what caused the two transport helicopters to crash yesterday, but officials say there's no indication hostile fire is to blame.

NGUYEN: Still talking about Africa, President Bush says he wants to boost peacekeeping operations in Sudan. Yesterday during a speech in Florida, the president talked about years of fighting in Darfur that had killed tens of thousands of people have displaced millions.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The strategy there was to encourage African Union troops to try to bring some sense of security to these poor people that are being herded out of their villages and just terribly mistreated. We need more troops. It's -- the effort was noble, but it didn't achieve the objective.


NGUYEN: Mr. Bush says NATO needs to take a leading role in organizing security efforts in Sudan and he predicts the number of international peacekeepers there will need to be doubled.

HARRIS: Well, Congress has some harsh words about the official response to Hurricane Katrina. But will that new report help us learn from our mistakes?

NGUYEN: And we're talking about truth or lies.

Does someone's tall tale not add up? And how do you detect the liar?

That's ahead.

GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the biggest lotto jackpot in American history. Everyone is here lining up for a chance at $365 million. Let me just pull out a 20.

Their stories, coming up.


HARRIS: And good morning, everyone.

Checking our top stories at this hour, three Americans and a Briton are among nine oil company workers abducted in Nigeria. They were taken in the Niger Delta, where militants have attacked oil and gas pipelines. Members of the rebel group claiming responsibility say they want greater local control of the region's oil well.

Minnesota under the big chill. Wind chill readings are forecast to drop as low as 60 degrees below zero overnight. Highs remain below zero over most of the state. The highs, the temperatures are expected to inch up just a bit over the weekend.

Recordings of Saddam Hussein and his advisers shed no new light on Iraqi weapons programs. The tapes were recently discovered. They date from the early to mid-1990s.

NGUYEN: Well, $365 million.


NGUYEN: That is a whole lot of money, folks.


But it could be yours if you're lucky enough to win tonight's record high Powerball drawing.

CNN's Gary Nurenberg is standing by in the Powerball city of Washington, D.C. -- and, Gary, I'm going to go out on a limb here, but do you think that the sizeable jackpot piqued the interest there?

NURENBERG: You know, it's not anchor's salaries, Betty...

NGUYEN: Oh, yes, right.

NURENBERG: ... but, yes.

NGUYEN: I wish.

NURENBERG: There is some interest here.

All morning long, we have showed you how crowded it's been at this crowded mini mart in Washington, D.C. We've showed you the lines. But inside is only half the story.


NURENBERG (voice-over): There are lines outside the mini mart, too, a special lotto window. Red, white and blue balloons let passing motorists know they can buy Powerball tickets here. It is so busy, they hired John General to direct traffic in the little parking lot.

JOHN GENERAL, PARKING LOT WORKER: Well, they're not pleased with taking directions and little orders or what have you about where to park.

NURENBERG: The chances of winning less than being hit by lightning twice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm playing because I don't want to be hit by lightning. I want to be hitting that Powerball.

NURENBERG: Go for it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely. I could use it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not? I mean it's a chance in a lifetime, but it's a chance in a lifetime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you always believe that you can win. You always have to be positive that there's always the chance that it just might happen to you. You never know.


NURENBERG: And that is what everyone here believes. Clearly, it is not fun to wait in line for hours. But clearly if they win, there won't be many complaints -- Tony and Betty.

NGUYEN: Oh my goodness.

You know, here's what I don't want to be, that person who's still standing in line, the last person when it shuts down, no more tickets for sale.

HARRIS: Be nice.

NGUYEN: Can you just imagine, if the lines are that long already, Gary?

NURENBERG: You know something? I'm losing you.


NURENBERG: So I'm going to have to say no comment to whatever that was.

NGUYEN: No comment.

All right, just give me a lottery ticket, would you?

That's all I'm asking, really. That's the main question for you.

Thank you, Gary.

We'll talk to you later.

HARRIS: And still ahead, from the president on down, Congress says the response to hurricane Katrina was a failure of leadership at every level of the government.

So what are the lessons learned for the next major disaster?

Congressman "Chip" Pickering of Mississippi and William Jefferson of Louisiana -- all right -- will join me next.

Plus this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been nearly six months since the worst natural disaster in U.S. history and not a single destroyed home, not a single grocery store, not a single business on Beach Boulevard has been rebuilt in Bay St. Louis.


NGUYEN: Our Kathleen Koch goes back to her hometown when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Humorist Dave Barry has spent his career making people laugh. He started out teaching, but knew his real passion was writing.

DAVE BARRY, HUMORIST: Most of the people I know who are really happy people with what they do are doing what they chose to do because that's what they were interested in from the start. And some are making a lot of money and some are not. But they're all happy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Barry joined the "Miami Herald" in 1983 and his humor column appeared in more than 500 newspapers nationwide.

His recent announcement that he'll no longer write weekly columns was no joke. But not to worry. You can find his work on bookshelves. His most recent novel, "Dave Barry's Money Secrets."

In 1988, Barry won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary. But to him, that doesn't necessarily spell success.

BARRY: Ultimately, there's the kind of success I don't think you can know if you've achieved it or not, which is do people 50 years later know who you were and what do they think about you?



NGUYEN: There are still grim reminders that things are far from normal along the Gulf Coast. For many, the long road back is littered with broken promises and legal minefields.

CNN's Kathleen Koch is a native of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

She reports her hometown is still barely recognizable.


KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's been nearly six months since the worst natural disaster in the U.S. history, and not a single destroyed home, not a single grocery store, not a single business on Beach Boulevard has been rebuilt in Bay St. Louis.

In some places, it's as if time stood still. And there is a growing sense of betrayal here in Bay St. Louis among residents who have been paying for home insurance for years. Now many of these insurance companies are refusing to pay.

TOMMY KIDD, BAY SAINT LOUIS RESIDENT: I've talked to people that have not even seen an adjuster yet. And they're not asking for what's not theirs. All they want is to be put back whole, be paid the insurance that's due them.

KOCH: Even Bay St. Louis' congressman, who, like so many here lost everything, is fighting his insurance company.

REP. GENE TAYLOR (D), MISSISSIPPI: I had a tin roof on my house. There were pieces of my tin roof 20 to 30 feet up in trees behind where my house used to be, kind of wrapped around it sort of like a taco shell.

When they came back with my claim and said there was no wind damage to my house and I pointed to the tin, they just kind of shrugged.

KOCH: So he's suing.

TAYLOR: There ought to be a national registry of child molesters and insurance company executives, because I hold them in the same very low esteem.

KOCH: He's not alone. In fact, the State of Mississippi is suing the insurance companies on behalf of all its residents. No insurance company we contacted would talk to us on camera, so I went to see a spokesperson for the industry.

(on camera): It sounds like many insurance companies are trying to say this is the first hurricane in history that came with no wind, that sustained 125 mile an hour winds can do no damage.

I've stood in 70 mile an hour winds in a hurricane and watched a roof blow off a hotel.

How can they say 125 mile an hour winds can do no damage?

CAROLYN GORMAN, INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE: I think that they -- they do know there was a 28-foot storm surge that came through. Also, there are many houses...

KOCH: Six hours after the 125 mile an hour sustained winds.

GORMAN: Well, it's -- it's a difficult situation.

KOCH (voice-over): Of course, insurance isn't the only problem. Small business loans are being granted at a snail's pace. And after all this time, there are still residents waiting for FEMA trailers. Almost everyone here is waiting for something to make their lives whole again.


NGUYEN: And you can hear more of Kathleen's story and others on "SAVING MY TOWN: THE FIGHT FOR BAY SAINT LOUIS," an all new "CNN PRESENTS." Koch returns to her hometown to chronicle the stories of devastation and a community's resilience to rebuild. Two chances to watch. That's tonight and tomorrow night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, 5:00 Pacific.

HARRIS: You know, nearly six months after Hurricane Katrina, we're getting a clearer picture of the government's handling of the crisis. Key players were on Capitol Hill this week to defend their roles in the aftermath. But the conclusions detailed in a House committee's report didn't exactly inspire confidence in one lawmaker.


REP. TOM DAVIS (R), VIRGINIA: It remains difficult to understand how government could response so ineffectively to a disaster that was anticipated for years and for which specific dire warnings had been issued for days. The crisis was not only predictable, it was predicted.

If this is what happens when we have advanced warning, we shudder to imagine the consequences when we do not.



DAVIS: Acts of leadership were too few and far between, and no one heard about or learned from them until it was too late. The 9/11 Commission called that tragedy a failure of imagination. We believable Katrina was a failure of initiative.



Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson and Mississippi Congressman "Chip" Pickering join us to provide their insights into the lessons to be learned from Katrina.

Gentlemen, good to see you this morning.

Thanks for taking the time.



PICKERING: It's good to be with you.

HARRIS: Well, Congressman Pickering, let me start with you.

Harsh report.

Do you think you nailed it?

Do you think you got at the root of the problem that led to the mess after Katrina?

PICKERING: I believe the committee did a good job of finding the facts, laying out what happened, when it happened. And I hope now Congress will act to fix those problems, to fix the system and help us prepare as a nation for the next hurricane season, which is only three-and-a-half months away.

It was a failure of initiative, a failure of leadership, but it was also a failure of bureaucracy. Putting FEMA within the Department of Homeland Security created a situation where we lost clear command and control. We lost top talent and leadership. We were understaffed. We didn't have the resources necessary. And when the crisis came, all of those things acted to create a crisis of leadership. And that led to undue suffering and loss of life.

HARRIS: Congressman Jefferson, who bears ultimate responsibility for the government's response?

JEFFERSON: Well, we have been unable to determine who bore the responsibility here because we didn't get enough information as to who did what, when and how.

A lot of information was blocked coming to us from the White House, from the administration and other quarters. And we just don't know all the details.

I agree with Representative Pickering that insofar as the committee went, it did a good job. It just simply didn't go far enough. And our hope is that we would have a result that would inspire more confidence in the commission, in the way of a 9/11 type commission.

HARRIS: Right.

JEFFERSON: We didn't have that. And so under the circumstances, the committee did a decent job. We just don't know all the answers because we were blocked in getting a great deal of information.

HARRIS: OK. That information notwithstanding, here's one of the conclusions from the report: "Officials at all levels seemed to be waiting for the disaster that fit their plans rather than planning and building scalable capacities to meet whatever Mother Nature threw at them."

Even without that information, Congressman Jefferson, this is still seemingly a pretty scathing report.

What more would you have liked to have had access to?

JEFFERSON: Well, there were lots of -- of e-mails and documents going back and forth before landfall and after landfall, not so much that we wanted just to point fingers at anyone, but to make sure we had a solid basis on which to plan for the future and to look over the mistakes that were made so we could -- they could use lessons learned to make a better plan. There wasn't a -- when Mike Brown appeared before our committee last Saturday in a private deposition and we asked him -- we told him that Chertoff said that -- Secretary Chertoff said that what had gone wrong was that the plan had gone wrong, he said quizzically, "What plan?"


JEFFERSON: He said there was a plan that never got done.

The Hurricane plan initiative started out, but then it wasn't completed. So there wasn't a plan and we wanted to know -- we want to know more about what happened here so we can make a better plan for the future.

So preparedness is the real issue here.

HARRIS: Got you.

JEFFERSON: We know these hurricanes are coming ...

HARRIS: Right.

JEFFERSON: ... frequently and ferociously. We can just plan for them better.

HARRIS: Congressman Pickering, let me ask you, we don't want much government in our lives, OK, as a general rule. But the government we have to endure, we want it to function, we want it to work efficiently and effectively for us. It failed, by your report it failed miserably during the aftermath of Katrina.

Did you hear anything in the hearings this week with DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff that gives you confidence that we're moving forward in the right direction?

PICKERING: I do think that Secretary Chertoff, after Katrina, made corrections and implemented lessons learned and we did a much better job with Hurricane Rita that followed Katrina.

I think he is trying to implement needed reforms, but I fear that they do not go far enough. I think that it takes not only executive action, but it will take congressional legislative reform to put FEMA outside, independent, as a co-equal, directly reporting to the president, with equal emphasis and resources to natural disaster preparation and response.

We need to have a clear plan in place, with a command and control for evacuation of when active duty military -- with our governors and the National Guard -- will come in and provide security assistance and critical supplies.

We need to reform FEMA so that local counties and companies lead the cleanup. We have found in the committee that they do it much, much faster at a much lower cost.


PICKERING: And we need to have reform of FEMA so that they reimburse our counties and states in a timely way, with advanced funding, so that we do not have paralysis of action and fear to do what is necessary to rebuild.


Hey, Congressman Jefferson, I think most of us think that if we had failed in our jobs as miserably as it seems a lot of the top officials at FEMA and the DHS failed at their jobs in responding to this that we wouldn't have our jobs.

Should DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff leave?

JEFFERSON: There's a strong argument that he should leave. Or at least he shouldn't have the responsibility for natural disasters.

I think to the extent that Congressman Pickering says -- and I agree with him -- that FEMA shouldn't have -- we shouldn't have natural disasters and Homeland Security -- that FEMA should be a separate agency reporting to the president, that's an argument that says that Mike -- that Secretary Chertoff should not be in charge of FEMA and should not be in charge of the natural disaster part of this whole program, and therefore he should be fired in regard to that for sure.

Now, there are many of us who believe that he isn't prepared to do this overall job. And in our report, I think we call for higher- ups other than Mr. Brown to be dealt with here.

HARRIS: Yes. Congressman Pickering, we're looking at pictures as we are talking and we're seeing the devastation and destruction and we know that people aren't living in those houses. They're not living -- they're still scattered over the country, in many cases.

What is it that people who are on the ground, who were impacted by all of this who may not be in their homes yet, what should they take away from your reporting on this? And should they be confident that, you know, that the Department of Homeland Security, that FEMA is moving forward in a way that should give them confidence in their ability to respond to the future?

PICKERING: You know, I think the people in Mississippi don't want us and Congress to play a blame game. They want us to fix the problem and fix the system. We have another hurricane season coming in three and a half months. We have 90,000 Mississippians living in FEMA trailers that, as you know, are very unsafe in the middle of harsh and hazardous weather.

So they want us to act as quickly as possible to reform it to help us recover and clean up and rebuild more quickly and efficiently at a lower cost, let locals lead that, and then they also want to know that when the next season comes, that we will have corrected the failures that occurred in the last Katrina, that we have a clear command and control and they know with confidence that FEMA will once again become the very effective agency that it was before it was moved within the homeland security.

HARRIS: Just very quickly, you know that's important because a lot of people may not come back unless they feel confident that what you're describing is in place.

PICKERING: It is -- we have three and a half months, not only to really turn the corner in the rebuilding, but be prepared for the next season. I hope that Congress will act, that the president will act very boldly to have disaster reform so that people will have the confidence, once again, that our government, whether it is a terrorist attack or a natural disaster in the midst of a very large storm cycle, will be prepared and we'll have the resources and the leadership in place.

HARRIS: Congressman Jefferson, Congressman Pickering, thank you both for your time this morning. We appreciate it.

PICKERING: Thank you.

NGUYEN: Well, Tony, despite all the devastation, you know what they say down in New Orleans, right?

HARRIS: What do they say?

NGUYEN: Let the go times roll. How good is it? We want to check in with Sean Callebs to see. Apparently Sean is having too good of a time. We'll get him in front of a camera pretty soon to talk about this. There you go. You were trying to get those beads weren't you, Sean?

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, no, no. I wish I had such a good excuse. Getting on to it, if you talk to a lot of people here, they've been looking forward to Mardi Gras for some time. If you leave New Orleans proper, you can't believe the debris fields that are just around the corner, mean from here all the way over into the Alabama border. It is simply just a mess.

A lot of areas look as if though they have not been touched. A lot of people have been looking forward to this, a reason to -- to have a reason to smile, to have a good time, if only for a short while, but is it indeed a good idea? A lot of people are asking that question. Usually Mardi Gras brings in about a billion dollars a year to this area.

Right now, you are looking at pictures from a parade last night in Jefferson Parish, the town of Metarie. They kind of look at this parade. This is the Excalibur parade. It is kind of a precursor. How is Mardi Gras going to fare? Well, not a huge turnout last night. What can we read into that? Very difficult. We'll be back with more on that in just a minute.


DAVID BURKE, INVENTOR, FLAVOR SPRAYS: Food is one of those things where, there's really no rules. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Award winning chef David Burke has always loved to push the envelope on experimentation. His top-rated restaurants, cookbooks and gourmet inventions have made him one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the food community. Burke's newest innovation combines culinary flare with a healthy twist in the line of flavor sprays.

BURKE: We've got the Memphis barbecue sauce that doesn't have the sugar, but it has the flavor and look at the glaze it gives it. Take this and you spray bacon. I didn't double the fat but I got the flavor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flavor sprays are food enhancers and while they contain some artificial ingredients, they have no calories, carbs or fat, only a sweet or savory zing.

BURKE: It's almost a must now because there's so many people concerned with health, nutrition, digestion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Time" magazine recognized flavor sprays as one of the top inventions of 2005. There are currently 30 flavors ranging from hot and sour to root beer float. Nothing is off limits.

BURKE: That's marshmallow. We're making martinis with marshmallow flavor. We're making martinis with birthday cake. Love creating beautiful food, love creating high-end stuff, but this stuff is really kind of my new baby and it is helpful to people.



HARRIS: Good morning now with the news. Nine oil company workers in Nigeria have been abducted by rebel forces. Among them are three Americans and a Briton. A rebel statement said the workers were taken from a barge operated by a U.S. company. It's the latest in a series of militant attacks on oil interests in the region.

In the Philippines, about 1800 people in a remote province are missing after a mountain of mud buried their village. So far, just 56 villagers have been found alive. No survivors were found today. U.S. Troops are on their way to the site to help with rescue operations.

The 10 marines who were missing after their helicopters crashed off the coast of Africa are all accounted for, but officials haven't said whether they have been found dead or alive. We do know two crew members were rescued earlier and are in stable condition. It's unclear what caused yesterday's crash.

NGUYEN: The big easy is back. It is Mardi Gras time folks. New Orleans residents still struggling in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina are getting ready to hit the streets. It's one of the city's signature events and our own Sean Callebs is there. Are they letting the good times roll Sean?

CALLEBS: We'll find out in just a matter of hours. Actually the first parade that is going to wind its way through the city is scheduled to come through in just a few hours, very significant event. We're on St. Charles. The street is going to be closed shortly. Already a handful of people are showing up.

A lot of discussion about Mardi Gras this year. So many people in this city openly saying we want Mardi Gras. We need it. The city needs to breathe again and it also provides a certain degree of economic benefit. In the years past, as I mentioned, about a billion dollars. This year tourism officials say they will be lucky if they get $300 million.

But so much of the focus has also been on just this area. Is this a time to spend resources, the money and the focus on having a good time when this area is sadly, sadly in need of repair. If you just go outside the city, the debris fields are just stunning. If you just see how bad it remains, nearly six months, half a year since Katrina blew through this area.

We had a couple CNN crew members ride on one of the floats last night, one of the early crews. They were going through the Jefferson Parish area in the town of Metarie. This is the Excalibur crew. They kind of look at this parade as a litmus test for just how successful Mardi Gras will be.

Well, wasn't a huge turnout here last night and also, one of two floats, one of two crews participating in the parade had to be canceled. The word is, apparently, no insurance, had trouble getting insurance at the last minute. But really, a lot of focus on it here because for the next 10 days, it is going to be an around the clock party.

And for those people coming into this area, one thing they'll find in terms of hotel rooms, about 38,000 available. We're told at least a third to a quarter of those are going to be taken up by emergency officials. And Betty, I also want to talk to you a bit about this, because anybody coming into town, really needs to grab a copy of this thing. You read about it everywhere. It's every service station in the world that is open as it.

It's kind of life the Cliff notes or Mardi Gras 101, tells you about the history, the significance, what parades to look for. There's even a very detailed weather report going back on fat Tuesday all the way to 1872, talking about the rainfall. As you can see behind me, not great weather here today. But the last time they had any significant rain, 1995, about two inches. So let's hope the city doesn't get that. That is the last thing they need as they struggle to go on with this year's Mardi Gras, 150th Mardi Gras.

NGUYEN: They don't want to struggle during this one. This is supposed to be a good event and especially getting people back on their feet and getting them happy again and you talk about a litmus test. I think it's also going to be a litmus test for the jazz festival which is coming up a little bit later this year, which brings a lot of money into the state Sean. We will be watching. Thank you. Have a good time out there.

CALLEBS: Thanks so much.

HARRIS: Ever feel like someone is lying to you?

NGUYEN: Sometimes. Never you, though.

HARRIS: There you go. Worry no more. We have tips on how you can see through the bull when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.


HARRIS: If you're just joining us, here are the morning's top stories. Good morning everyone.

Nine oil company workers in Nigeria have been abducted by rebel forces. Among them are three Americans and a Briton. A rebel statement said the operation proves Nigerian troops cannot provide security.

A group that has vowed to destroy Israel is now in control of the Palestinian parliament. As 74 Hamas members were sworn in to the 132 seat parliament, the militant group said its policy toward Israel is unchanged and off the coast of Africa, the U.S. military says all 12 crew members are now accounted for in the crash of two Marine Corps helicopters. Two Marines rescued yesterday are in stable condition. No details of casualties were released about the other crew members.

NGUYEN: All right, Tony, it's time to get down to the truth of the matter. The truth about lying, that is. There are ways to detect when someone isn't being completely honest with you. Here to tell us what they are is Barry McManus. He's an expert in deception detection. He's no liar and he joins us from Washington. Hi Barry.

BARRY MCMANUS, DECEPTION DETECTION SPECIALIST: Good morning Betty. How are you this morning?

NGUYEN: I'm doing great. I'm not lying about that. Would you know if I was? We're going to talk about this deception, detection. How easy is it to determine if someone is lying? Is it really that simple?

MCMANUS: Let's just take away the technical aspects testify and look at it person to person. I wouldn't say that it's easy and I won't say it's difficult. I think it takes practice, persistence and patience. But I think we all can detect deception.

NGUYEN: All right. So where do we begin? First step. Where do you go?

MCMANUS: OK. Let's say I developed a human audit for a practice corporation. The human audit is basically a behavioral evaluation of how people lie. And what we look for initially is establishing a baseline. This baseline tells you what a person says and what a person does when they're trying to deceive you. Those things could be verbal indicators or nonverbal indicators.

NGUYEN: OK, well, let's break that down then, let's go nonverbal, because 70 percent of what you say is nonverbal right? See that? Nonverbal.

MCMANUS: A high degree of what you do is based on what a person does. So you take that 70 percent of nonverbal behaviors, people can literally have a behavioral pause where they say absolutely nothing or a person can make a posture change, something that is beyond what was normal when you gauged or you calibrated that early behavior.

NGUYEN: So are these nonverbal clues, are they tell-tale signs? Are they a sure bet?

MCMANUS: Well, verbal and nonverbal is not a sure bet. Unfortunately, there are no sure bets when you're dealing with human dynamics. But there are cues. There are clues that you can look for. The same thing if a person uses verbal means to deceive you. Sometimes a person isn't spontaneous in their answers to your question. A person repeats your question.

A person sometimes finds it very difficult to answer a simple question. What you want to do is look at an overall evaluation. It's sort of a holistic way of looking at things. So you take in all these clues, all these indicators and you make an evaluation. If, in fact, you do believe that someone may have not answered your question as thoroughly as you would like, well, what do you do, Betty? You ask more questions.

NGUYEN: Yes. You keep them on their toes. OK. Let's go through some real life examples. Say for example I'm a concerned parent and my child has been way past curfew. She comes home and I say where have you been and why are you so late? What do I look for when those answers start rolling?

MCMANUS: Well, the same things. You look for their non-verbals. Seventy percent of it is nonverbal, so what do they do? Do they hesitate and not answer your question? Do they repeat your question of where have they been, things such as that. A person turns away from you and they don't want to talk about it.

NGUYEN: They don't want to look at you.

MCMANUS: They don't want to look at you. Eye contact can be a little misconceiving because now we have cultural considerations that we have to take in. With the human audit, detecting deception and eliciting responses, you have to think about those cultural considerations also, not that the eye contact isn't important.

It's just as important as all the other things that I've talked about. What you want to look at again is those combination of things, those behavioral things that may indicate that someone is not telling you everything that you would like to hear.

NGUYEN: All right. So and part of catching a liar, you got to be truthful with yourself. You got to really want to see the signs and know them when you see them. You don't want to deceive yourself and think, you know what? I'm going to focus on a positive because I really want to believe this person. You've got to look at it objectively, right? MCMANUS: Well, that's also true. But also, think about it this way. You don't want to go into any conversation or any meeting looking for good behavior or you could be misled. What you do want to go in is looking for deceptive cues or clues that a person may give you, because guess what, Betty? If you go in looking for that good behavior, guess what you're going to get? Good behavior.

NGUYEN: You're going to see it, exactly.

MCMANUS: You're going to see it and I'm going to give you everything you want so that I can convince you that I'm being truthful.

NGUYEN: Now is that the truth and nothing but the truth?

MCMANUS: So help me -- you know the rest of the story.

NGUYEN: Barry McManus, I was looking for those signs, those clues. I didn't see any. Thank you for your time.

MCMANUS: Thank you for asking me to be here this morning.

NGUYEN: Sure, no problem. So you got it Tony?

HARRIS: I'm trying to understand the distinction, the fine line between deception and lying.

NGUYEN: Well, I mean if you're headed down that line, it's probably going to end up a lie right?

HARRIS: Because, because we deal with those issues every day here on CNN.

NGUYEN: We do?

HARRIS: We do. We do.

NGUYEN: Getting to the truth. That's what we try to do around here.

HARRIS: Still to come -- gambling on New Orleans future. Harrah's casino reopened this week in the city just in time for the Mardi Gras celebrations. Find out how casinos are trying to bring folks back to the big easy when the head of the company joins us live tomorrow on "CNN Sunday Morning." That's 9:00 Eastern.

NGUYEN: Look who is here right now though. We don't have to wait until tomorrow. Good morning, Fred.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you all. All right, in the next hour, the noon hour, we're talking about six months after Katrina. Does it not seem that on Capitol Hill, almost every week we either hear of someone's testimony or we hear some comments about who did what when. We have to wonder -- or who didn't do what when. You have to wonder. A lot of the people who live along the Gulf coast, is this what they want to hear, this continuous blame game or do they want to find out when they're going to get a chance to rebuild their homes, get some trailers, get any more financial assistance. And all this taking place with the backdrop of Mardi Gras. This is an annual tradition. But is this the kind of tradition that people feel like they need right now?

HARRIS: Good questions.

WHITFIELD: An outlet.

HARRIS: Good stuff.

WHITFIELD: All that in the next hour.

HARRIS: Are you going to answer those questions?

WHITFIELD: Well, we're going to find people who can answer those questions.

NGUYEN: And that is the truth. We'll be watching, Fred.

Lost in flight. That's what we're talking about now. There was a problem in the airline industry that does affect you. It happened more this year than in the past eight years. We're going to give you those details when CNN's SATURDAY MORNING returns.


HARRIS: Time now to find out what's popular at Our Veronica de la Cruz is here with an update. Good morning.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey guys, good to see you and it's good to see you. Well, users at are clicking on anything Olympic, of course. Our Alessio Vinci, he is so lucky, he's down there covering the Olympics. So we decided to file this story. It's all about people who've actually decided to attend the games this year. He tracked a couple who flew in from the U.S. and had bought their tickets for the event all the way back in July.

Well, apparently, they didn't need to do that because even though 800,000 tickets had been sold for this past week's events, none of them sold out. Scalpers are having a tough time because people can walk right up to the window and pay as low as $30 for an event like downhill skiing. But it is a half mile hike all the way up to the top of the hill to watch. I guess you're paying for what you get for, right.

This may sound familiar to all of you out there. You step off that plane. You head towards baggage claim. You park yourself in front of that carousel. You watch for a long time.

NGUYEN: And wait and wait.

DE LA CRUZ: And then you realize your bag is just not coming. A new report out says bags were lost damaged, delayed or pilfered by U.S. airlines more often in the last year than in almost eight years. Some of the worst offenders, U.S. Airways, Delta Airlines and among those with the best record is Continental.

I know this has happened to you guys. It's happened to me. I remember one time I went home for a birthday, threw the gift in the bag, a little necklace. And the only thing left the gift wrap. They took the necklace and then left the gift wrap.

NGUYEN: Oh, my goodness. That's why I don't check bags unless I absolutely have to. I always bring carry-on.

HARRIS: Is that what you do, OK.

DE LA CRUZ: You can't.

HARRIS: And for more of the most popular.


NGUYEN: That's where it's at.

HARRIS: Thanks Veronica.

NGUYEN: CNN Saturday is where it's at too. Fredricka Whitfield is up next.

HARRIS: Keep watching right after this short break. Have a great day.



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