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CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Live Coverage Of A Press Conference By Friends Of Tom Fox; Milosevic Dead In Jail Cell; Investigation Into U.S. Hostage Found Dead In Iraq; New Lie Detector Tracks Stomach; GOP Meeting To Scope Out Presidential Candidates; Problems With Razr Cell Phone

Aired March 11, 2006 - 11:00   ET

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


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to get you to McLean, Virginia right now and the Langley Hill Meeting House in McLean for a briefing on the death on the Tom Fox.
DOUG SMITH, LANGLEY HILL FRIENDS: Tom was a member of our faith community for over 15 years. He was a former clerk of the meeting and loved working with children and young people. When he last returned from Baghdad in the summer of 2005, he spent time working as head cook at a Quaker camp near Winchester.

His death is especially hard on the children who knew and loved him. We express our love (INAUDIBLE) them and particularly for Tom's own children, who (INAUDIBLE).

In a statement of conviction Tom wrote in October of 2004, he said: "We reject violence to punish anyone who harms us. (INAUDIBLE) For equal justice in the arrest and trial of anyone, soldier or civilian, who commits an act of violence and we ask that there be no retaliation on their relatives or property. We forgive those who consider us their enemies. Therefore, any penalty should be in the spirit of restorative justice rather than in the form of violent retribution."

It was an act of courage for Tom to travel to Iraq to live in an ordinary Baghdad neighborhood and to try to give voice to the concerns of ordinary people, with friends and family members held in prison, out of sight and with no avenue for communication.

The loss of Tom is personal to those of us at Langley Hill who knew and loved him. We need to remember that that personal loss has also happened to thousands of Iraqis. Indeed, to tens of thousands of families around the world who have lost loved ones in acts of violence just in the past year.

Tom's story is being shared widely. The stories of those other losses have not been. We in Langley Hill will honor Tom's courage by ensuring that the work to which he was dedicated continues and that all the stories of loss, not just Langley Hill's, are told.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isabella Bates (ph) is now going to read the statement of conviction that Tom sent out to us in October of 2004. It's an eloquent statement of his courage and representative of the courage of the Christian Peacemakers who are still being held and of those who serve around the world. ISABELLA BATES: Tom wrote this statement along with another member of the Christian Peacemakers' team, Matthew Chandler. I can only hope that Tom knew in some measure in his heart that this statement that he made as a solitarily human being ignited the prayers of literally millions of people around the world who have been praying with him and for him during these 100 days.

Just even today, we have received messages of prayers from Australia, from Germany, from England. The amplification of his work goes forward, but here's where it began.

"October 7, 2004. Statement of Conviction.

We members of Christian Peacemakers Teams in Iraq are aware of the many risks both Iraqis and internationals currently face. However, we are convinced at this time that the risks, while significant, do not outweigh our purpose in remaining. Many Iraqi friends and human rights workers have welcomed us as non-violent, independent presence. During the previous year, they asked us to tell their stories since they could not easily be heard, nor could most flee to a safer country.

We've continued to act as a resource to connect citizens of Iraq with human rights organizations, both local and international, as well as accompanying them as they interact with the multinational military personnel and Iraqi provisional government officials.

As a peacemaking team, we need to cross boundaries, help soldiers and other armed actors be humane and invite them to refuse unjust orders.

We need to help preserve what is human in all of us and so offer glimpses of hope in a dark time.

We reject kidnapping and hostage taking wholesale. If any of us are taken hostage, absolutely no ransom will be paid. In such an event, CPT will attempt to communicate with the hostage takers or their sponsors and work against journalists' inclinations to vilify and demonize the offenders.

We will try to understand the motives of these actions and to articulate them, while maintaining a firm stance that such actions are wrong. If appropriate, CPT will work with diplomatic officials from our representative governments to avoid a violent outcome.

We reject the use of violent force to save our lives should we be kidnapped, held hostage or caught in the middle of violent conflict situations. We also reject violence to punish anyone who harms us. We ask for equal justice in the arrest and trial of anyone, soldier or civilian, who commits an act of violence and we ask that there be no retaliation on their relatives or property.

We forgive those who consider us their enemies. Therefore, any penalty should be in the spirit of restorative justice, rather than in the form of violent retribution. We hope that in loving both friends and enemies and by intervening non-violently to aid those who are systematically oppressed, we can contribute in some small way to transforming this volatile situation. Tom Fox and Matthew Chandler."

HARRIS: And you've been listening to members of the Langley Hill Friends Community.

This is a Christian faith community that Tom Fox was a part of and this is a group that had meetings there in McLean, Virginia, in the Langley Hill Meeting House, just behind that group there.

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is investigating the death now of Tom Fox. Fox's body was found in Baghdad on Thursday and Iraqi police say Fox was shot in the head and showed signs of torture. No talk of that, the specifics of how he died, today amongst his friends, but certainly a lot of discussion about how he lived his life as a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Friends of Tom Fox eulogizing him this morning in McLean, Virginia.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: A very difficult day for them.

Well, CNN's Aneesh Raman has more on this disturbing development from Baghdad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials confirming they have found the body of American hostage Tom Fox, first discovered by Iraqi police in the Al Mansour area of Baghdad, an area that has seen a number of Westerners kidnapped. The body was found wrapped in a blanket, a gunshot to the head, his hands and feet bound, showing signs of torture, as well.

The Iraqi police handed the remains over to the U.S. military. The FBI eventually confirming the identity, that it was the body of American Tom Fox.

He was kidnapped in the capital, along with three other members of a group called Christian Peacekeepers Team. They were in Iraq for the sake of peace. The group today, reacting to the news, spoke of Tom's life, mourned his passing and expressed their condolences for his family.

The last we saw of the hostages was earlier this week, a video broadcast on Arabic language station Al Jazeera. It showed the two Canadian and British hostages. It did not show Tom Fox. That had raised concern about his fate and now this news has raised concern about the fate of the three remaining hostages.

Aneesh Raman, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: The ongoing fight for Iraq -- that's topping President Bush's day. He's been briefed on a way to tackle the biggest threat to American troops there. For that, we go to Washington and CNN White House correspondent Elaine Quijano -- Elaine, good morning.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Tony.

And that threat, according to the White House, is from IEDs, or improvised explosive devices. A senior administration official says that those devices have become almost exclusively the weapon of choice for insurgents and also others who want to incite sectarian violence.

Now, that is why we saw President Bush earlier today here at the White House sitting down for a briefing on IEDs. He was joined by the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, and also a retired Army general, Montgomery Meigs, to get an update on how the U.S. military is trying to counter the threat from those devices.

Now, this really is part of a larger effort by the White House to continue trying to drive home to Americans that, in fact, the administration does have a plan for victory in Iraq. It was three years ago this month, in fact, that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began and officials here well know that part of the reason public support has waned is because of the images, the stories of hostages, as we have just heard this morning, that certainly that weighs heavily on the American people.

So the White House now, with the anniversary approaching, is really trying to launch a renewed push to put things into context, similar to what we saw in December. In their words, they want to broaden the lens and show that there really is more going on in Iraq, progress going on in Iraq, beyond the headlines that we see every day of casualties.

So look for the president to be delivering a series of speeches this month. The first one will be on Monday. He'll talk about security, he'll talk about IEDs. Two more speeches and then the vice president, other officials will be taking part in this push, as well -- Tony.

HARRIS: Hey, Elaine, one of President Bush's former top advisers has been arrested.

What did Mr. Bush have to say about that this morning?

QUIJANO: Well, he was asked about that, actually, after his meeting. It's Claude Allen is his name, a former domestic policy adviser, as you noted, arrested Thursday in Maryland. And authorities there allege that Allen apparently illegally or fraudulently obtained refunds for some $5,000 from two department stores.

Now, President Bush this morning said he was shocked to hear this news last night.

Here's what the president had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the allegations are true, Claude Allen did not tell my chief of staff and the legal counsel the truth. And that's deeply disappointing. If the allegations are true, something went wrong in Claude Allen's life and that is really sad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUIJANO: And the president saying that his first reaction was one of deep disappointment, on the one hand that they were not fully informed. Also, if the allegations are true, the president expressing his sadness for the Allen family.

Now, Claude Allen actually resigned from his post, or at least the announcement was made last month, on February 9th. His last day here at the White House was on February 17th. And, again, officials say that they only learned of this through news reports that were coming out last night -- Tony.

HARRIS: CNN White House correspondent Elaine Quijano for us.

Elaine, thank you.

NGUYEN: We're also following a developing story out of the Netherlands this morning.

Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has died. He's the man who orchestrated the horrific Balkan wars in the 1990s. Authorities say Milosevic was found dead in his prison cell at the U.N. detention center at the Hague, where he was on trial for war crimes.

Now, there's no word yet on the cause of death. An autopsy will be done.

CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour looks back on the life of the former dictator.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Slobodan Milosevic became president of Serbia in 1989. The Yugoslav wars would start two years later. Milosevic, the chief architect of carnage that had been unseen in Europe since the Second World War.

It would take the next decade to stop his murderous Balkan rampage, to arrest, extradite and try him on charges of genocide at the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague.

LOUISE ARBOUR, WAR CRIMES CHIEF PROSECUTOR: I presented an indictment for confirmation against Slobodan Milosevic and four others, charging them with crimes against humanity, specifically, murder, deportation and persecutions and the violations of the laws and customs of war.

AMANPOUR: Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo -- throughout the 1990s, Slobodan Milosevic's policies, his paramilitaries and his armed forces incited violence and ethnic hatred that would destroy Yugoslavia. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, millions forced to leave their homes and wander the world as refugees. Civilians were the primary targets in this bid to redesign Yugoslavia along purely ethnic lines.

The term ethnic cleansing became synonymous with Bosnia, as Serb forces there loyal to and paid for by Milosevic tried to carve out a separate state by forcibly moving the non-Serb civilian population. They did it by bombarding towns and cities like Sarajevo with heavy artillery, besieging villages and massacring civilians. Snipers targeted men, women and children. Markets full of people shopping were shelled and in scenes unknown in Europe since World War II, there were concentration camps, mass rape and the forced prostitution of women and very young girls.

This orgy of violence peaked with the Bosnian Serb assault on the tiny Muslim village of Srebrenica. To this day, the International Red Cross says that about 7,000 Muslim men and boys remain unaccounted for.

The top Bosnian Serb leaders controlled by Milosevic were Radovan Karadzic and his military chief, Ratko Mladic. They were twice indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity, for the horror they brought to Bosnia. And to this day, they remain at large.

In 1995, after NATO conducted bombing raids to stop the Bosnian Serbs, Slobodan Milosevic became the West's partner in the peace that was forged at Dayton that year. But he was as poor a peace partner as he was a war maker.

Having lost both Croatia and Bosnia, in 1998, Milosevic launched one more military campaign, this time in the tiny Serbian province of Kosovo. It would prove his undoing.

NATO again went to war to stop him. After 78 days of bombing, Milosevic finally capitulated. Now, NATO forces and a U.N. administration took over Kosovo. Hundreds of thousands of deported Albanian residents came home and survivors started looking for their dead.

Now, the War Crimes Tribunal was able to start on site investigations.

But ever the master of miscalculation, barely a year after losing Kosovo, Milosevic called new elections. After supporting him for 10 bloody years, the Yugoslav people had now had enough. Hundreds of thousands take to the streets to celebrate his downfall and the end of what many called their nightmare years.

Next came Milosevic's arrest and by April, 2001, only a few hundred diehards mustered the will to protest.

With Milosevic in Belgrade's central prison, Yugoslavia's new government accused him of everything from corruption, political killings and election fraud, to money laundering and recently, even war crimes.

In June, 2001, the new government in Belgrade sent him to the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. His trial there started in February, 2002.

SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, FORMER YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT: I consider this tribunal a false tribunal.

AMANPOUR: He never recognized the tribunal's authority and insisted on defending himself. If he had been found guilty on the more than 60 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes, he could have faced several lifetimes behind bars.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: And we're going to take a quick break.

But when we come back, we'll have more on the death of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. We will hear reaction from his family, living now in Moscow, with CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance.

And, also, the U.S. ambassador, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Richard Holbrooke, will join us. You may remember, he played a key role in peace efforts in the Balkans in the mid-'90s. We'll hear from the former ambassador in just a couple of minutes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: The top stories now.

Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has been found dead in his cell. He was on trial at the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal in the Netherlands. The cause of death, well, that's not known just yet. But he had been ill for some time.

An American hostage has been killed in Iraq. Tom Fox of Clearbrook, Virginia was kidnapped with three other Christian activists in November. Police say he was shot in the head and that his body shows signs of torture. Just this hour, members of his congregation back home pledged to carry on with his work.

Meanwhile, President Bush is warning Iran and Syria not to interfere in Iraq. The president was briefed this morning on the security situation in Iraq by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The talks focused on ways to counter the homemade roadside bombs that have killed so many American troops.

HARRIS: Slobodan Milosevic's family is reacting now to news of his death.

CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance joins us live from Moscow, where some of those family members actually live -- Matthew. MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Tony.

Well, a good chunk of Slobodan Milosevic's family actually residents in Russia right now, including his wife, Mirjana and his son, Marko Milosevic. Marko Milosevic leaving Serbia in 2003 for Russia to escape criminal charges there.

Marko Milosevic has been involved in businesses in the region for several years. His brother, as well, Slobodan's brother, Borislav Milosevic, was the former Yugoslav ambassador to Russia and he's been a longstanding resident of this country, as well. And it's from him that we have first reaction, from Slobodan Milosevic's family, to his death.

Let's listen to what Borislav Milosevic had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORISLAV MILOSEVIC (through translator): All responsibility for what has happened rests with the International Criminal Tribunal on the former Yugoslavia. It is four months since Slobodan asked to let him go for medical treatment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHANCE: A reference there by Borislav Milosevic to the fact that four months ago, Slobodan Milosevic's lawyers in the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague requested that the former President Milosevic be allowed to travel temporarily to Russia to receive specialist medical attention for his heart condition and for his high blood pressure. That was rejected because the trial judges in the Hague said that Milosevic hadn't adequately kind of made it clear that he wasn't getting first class medical attention in the Hague.

They also expressed their concern when they rejected that appeal that he would not be fit enough in the eyes of the Russian authorities to allow -- be allowed to travel back and so they thought he wouldn't be able to make it back to attend court again. So they refused his requests to go to Russia on that basis.

HARRIS: CNN's Matthew Chance for us in Moscow.

Matthew, we appreciate it.

Thank you.

NGUYEN: Joining us now is former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Richard Holbrooke.

He played a key role in peace efforts in the Balkans in the mid- '90s.

Good to see you again.

RICHARD HOLBROOKE, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Hi, Betty. NGUYEN: We wanted you to take us back. You helped create this Dayton Accord, which essentially ended the Balkan war.

Take us back to that time. You spent a lot of time there.

What was going on at the time and how did you create this? How did you help stop the violence, stop the killing, because over a qtr of a million people died in that?

HOLBROOKE: Well, Milosevic started four wars. He lost them all. The biggest of them all was the one in Bosnia, where over 300,000 people died, two-and-a-half million homeless. And we bombed him in August and September of 1995. We should have done this much earlier.

Led by President Clinton, the NATO powers bombed them. And then we took him and the leaders of Croatia and Bosnia to Dayton and we locked them up for 21 days and we pushed them into a peace agreement, threatening them with bombing again if they didn't come around.

That agreement has held for over 10 years. No one has started a war. No one has been killed. Not one NATO or American soldier has been killed since. And the American troops, which were originally 20,000, are down to 100.

So that's the short story of Dayton.

But I think today's story is that this man, this monster, this war criminal who wrecked southeastern Europe in the latter part of the 20th century, is gone from the scene once and for all. But he -- his mark is enduring, Betty, and it isn't very good.

NGUYEN: Yes, I want to ask you, you know, you say the Dayton Accord has held, yet the man who was on trial for these war crimes died before that trial was complete.

Tell me about how -- what's going through your mind at this time. Because it's got to be frustrating for u.

HOLBROOKE: Not at all, Betty. He -- the great news about Milosevic is his downfall. He lost four wars then in 2000 he lost power in a public uprising that was supported by the United States, covertly and quietly. Everyone in Washington talks about regime change in Iraq and Iran and elsewhere. Well, the Clinton administration did it in Belgrade by supporting local pressure for democracy.

A year later, the new government shipped him off to the Hague and he never saw a day of freedom again in his life.

The tribunal doesn't have a death penalty, but a rough kind of justice has ended his life in a padded cell after his crimes were exposed and witnesses came forward, including his own associates. And that, I think, had a powerful effect.

I think that War Crimes Tribunal moved much too slowly. But listen, Betty, it's over. Milosevic is over. The problem is that there are still two terrible war criminals out there.

NGUYEN: Yes, I was going to say, is it truly over because Karadzic and Mladic still on the run.

HOLBROOKE: Well, I said Milosevic is over. But Karadzic and Mladic are still out there and the failure by NATO to capture them is a big disgrace.

NGUYEN: So as we go back to what happens right now with Milosevic dying before the end of his trial, these other two that are accused of war crimes on the run, is there just a big open gap when it comes to those standing trial taking responsibility for what happened?

HOLBROOKE: Not at all. The War Crimes Tribunal is moving too slowly. But lots of war criminals are behind bars. Others have been -- have been brought to justice. And I just am upset that Karadzic and Mladic haven't been captured. That's not the War Crimes Tribunal's fault, that's NATO's fault. That's a massive NATO failure.

But Karadzic's death isn't cheating justice. He died in a cell and he was never going to see -- as Christiane Amanpour just said on your program -- he was facing consecutive life sentences. So it was over for him and in that sense the War Crimes Tribunal was very valuable.

NGUYEN: Yes, Milosevic did die in his cell. And today we are hearing word from his supporters, his family, his defense team, that they're calling it murder.

I want to get your reaction to that.

HOLBROOKE: Well, Betty, let me ask you, are they calling it literally murder? Or is that a figure of speech?

NGUYEN: That is what they're saying. And it's derived from the fact that he has been so ill, as you know. This trial has been held up so many times because of his illness. And they're saying that he just was not given the proper medical treatment.

HOLBROOKE: Betty, I spent more time with Milosevic probably than any other Westerner. I'm not going to shed any tears for him. He was a sociopath. He had no real emotions about people. By the way, both his own parents committed suicide. He was a communist opportunist then he became an opportunistic nationalist.

He -- his actions led to the deaths of over 300,000 people, four wars, the destruction of stability in southeastern Europe, the creation of criminal gangs. Let's talk about the victims of his actions. He was never going to see daylight again and that was appropriate and now he's gone.

NGUYEN: Well, let's talk about the people in the Balkans.

How do you expect them to react to news of the fact that Slobodan Milosevic did, indeed, die today in his cell? HOLBROOKE: I think that's going to depend on where they're from. But I just did a radio interview with Sarajevo and I asked the radio interviewer that very question. And he said they're going to be celebrating among the Muslims, although it's late Saturday night now and the word hasn't spread much yet.

Some of the Serbs may think he was a victim. But I would say that the Serbs around the world, and to people who feel that the Serbs were victims, it was Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic and General Mladic who betrayed you, the Serb people.

You were victimized by him. You were a great people and you were destroyed by his ambition. And all he really wanted, Betty, was to retain power. He didn't stand for anything.

He wasn't a real nationalist like Kostunica, who really believes in nationalism. He was an opportunist who wanted power. He was very much like Marcos and Mabutu and Mugabe. It was about power and personal wealth, not about anything, no true beliefs.

NGUYEN: Ambassador Holbrooke, we appreciate your time and your insight today. Thank you for spending a little bit of that time with us.

HOLBROOKE: Good to see you.

NGUYEN: Good to see you, too.

We've got much more coming up on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. Got some wicked weather to tell you about, some wild weather. Stay tuned for that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Now in the news, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has been found dead in his prison cell in the Netherlands. He was facing charges before the U.N. war crimes tribunal. Milosevic was accused of masterminding ethnic cleansing in the Balkans during the 1990s. Tens of thousands of Muslim men, women and children were slaughtered. No word yet on the cause of death.

In Baghdad, the body of U.S. hostage Tom Fox has been found shot in the head and his hands and feet bound. Iraqi officials say his body showed signs of torture. Fox was one of the four Christian activists kidnapped by insurgents in November. Just minutes ago, members of the Quaker congregation he worshiped with in Virginia spoke of forgiveness and said this tragedy is part of a much larger tragedy.

President Bush said he is shocked to learn of the arrest of a former top White House advisor, Claude Allen is accused in a fraud scheme in Maryland. Allen abruptly resigned last month as Mr. Bush's the domestic policy advisor. He is now accused of swindling two department stores out of more than $5,000 in a refund scam.

And the FBI is warning police and stadium managers to be on the lookout at college basketball games. This comes after an Internet posting advocated attacks on sporting events, but homeland security and FBI officials stress they're not aware of any specific terrorist plans.

NGUYEN: I want to talk about weather now because it's getting a little crazy out there. Snow, San Francisco and Phoenix really, snow in Phoenix?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Glad to have you on board. We'll talk to you soon.

There's a new twist on an old invention. That's the focus of CNN's latest look at new frontiers. Our technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg introduces us to a 16-year-old who has made lying something to be proud of.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANIEL SIEBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ben Stiller worked hard to beat this lie detector test from his future father-in- law in "Meet the Parents." However a new invention by 16-year-old Trisha Pasricha of Houston could make the old fashioned polygraph obsolete. It's an award winning science project that measures stomach activity.

TRISHA PASRICHA, INVENTOR, STOMACH LIE DETECTOR TEST: My father is a gastroenterologist and my mother used to work for the FBI and so when you put the two together I came up with the idea of using the stomach for a lie detector. The lie detector test involves using an electrogastrogram or an EGG and it's used by connecting electrodes to the surface of the stomach and it picks up on the electrical rhythm to see if there's any change when you're lying or telling the truth.

DR. JAY PASRICHA, UNIV. OF TEXAS MEDICAL BRANCH: This is a subject that's a natural fascination to everybody, everybody lies or has tried to lie at some point. And everybody is also aware of the fact that you get butterflies in your stomach when you're nervous.

SIEBERG: The study has only tested 16 subjects, Trisha is hoping this is just the beginning.

TRISHA PASRICHA: UCMB (ph) has applied for a patent. And so what will hopefully happen is that we'll get funding for research and then maybe one day it will be implemented on a large scale.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: I want to take you live now to Memphis, Tennessee, you see there Texas Governor Rick Perry speaking. This is where some of the biggest names in the GOP are hoping to convince the party faithful that they have what it takes to be the next president. Reporting from the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, CNN's senior national correspondent John Roberts.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): No matter how you say it, cattle call, opening bell in the '08 elections, a chance to kick the tire on the new Republican models, it is the first official opportunity for hopefuls to hit the stage as potential presidential candidates.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I know many in the media view this conference at least in part as a beauty contest for potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in '08. Well, you can see I'm no beauty. I'm older than dirt. I have more scars than Frankenstein, but I have learned a few things along the way.

ROBERTS: John McCain is the presumed front runner, a campaign veteran who has worked since his 2000 bid to mend fences with conservatives. The other five hopefuls here this weekend, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Arkansas Governor Mark Huckabee, and Senators Bill Frist, Sam Brownback from Kansas and Virginia's George Allen.

SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: It's good to see folks getting charged up and you like to get people motivated for something in the future.

ROBERTS: The field this year is wide open, the first time since 1908 a sitting president or vice president haven't run. For the delegates, the conferences is pretty much one stop shopping.

DEBBIE LOVE, DELEGATE: I'm listening. I'm open and taking note, seeing, watching communication skills, ideas, direction, vision, really. It's vision.

ROBERTS: Absent from the festivities, Rudy Giuliani who judging by this misspelled button could use a bit more name recognition. A previous business commitment was the official reason. The political watchers think his moderate policies wouldn't go over well here. What most everyone does agree on before 2008, there's another hurdle to jump.

SEN. BILL FIRST (R), MAJORITY LEADER: November will be a challenge, we all know that.

ROBERTS: Control of Congress hangs in the balance in the upcoming midterm elections. President Bush's sagging poll numbers, the ports deal, Iraq, Katrina and other problems and people like Lynn Cheramie on edge.

LYNN CHERAMIE, DELEGATE: It's a little worrisome, but we have time, we have time to right those things.

ROBERTS: Despite the anxiety though, you hear very little public criticism of President Bush, that is until you talk to Dr. Mark Klein, a California psychiatrist running for the Republican nomination.

DR. MARK KLEIN, PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL: I think this is actually the worst administration I've ever seen in my entire life. ROBERTS: You know that's not an opinion we hear a lot be around here.

KLEIN: You know something, it really would be a good idea for the party to hear an alternative opinion.

ROBERTS: Republicans are still publicly confident that they'll hang on to control of Congress, but they're also deeply worried that the ports controversy has handed the Democrats a very big club, one that they'll use to mercilessly hammer the Republicans. John Roberts, CNN, Memphis.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: Homeland security begins with hometown security. That's the message from Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean who delivered his party's weekly radio address today. Dean says the White House needs to do a better job of safeguarding potential terrorist targets.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

HOWARD DEAN, CHMN. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: We need to do more to ensure the security of our ports. It's unacceptable that five years after 9/11, only 6 percent of cargo coming into America's ports is inspected. Republicans have shown a pre-9/11 mind set when it comes to closing the gaps in security in our ports. Democrats will continue to fight to secure our ports.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HARRIS: A developing story this morning, the man many called the "Butcher of the Balkans" is gone. More on the death of Slobodan Milosevic and our other top stories straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Top stories right now, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has been found dead in his cell at the war crimes tribunal at The Hague. He was on trial there for alleged war crimes. Now tests are underway to determine the exact cause of death.

Chile has made history with the inauguration of its first female president. Socialist leader Michelle Bachelet was sworn in this morning. She is expected to push ahead with the free market policies of the outgoing president.

President Bush said he is shocked to learn about the arrest of a former top political advisor. Claude Allen is facing theft charges for allegedly getting phony refunds from two retail stores. Allen resigned from his White House post last month saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

HARRIS: CNN Saturday is coming up at the top of the hour. Fredericka Whitfield is here now with a preview for us.

(CROSSTALK) FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Just a little cozy couch talk here.

HARRIS: I love it.

NGUYEN: Just coach talk.

WHITFIELD: That's right. Talk amongst yourselves. Coming up in the noon hour, it's a parents' nightmare, kids getting on the computer and unbeknownst to them and their parents, they're talking to child predators. Well, quite frankly, a lot of kids are a lot more proficient on the computers than a lot of the parents out there. So we've got an expert. Isn't that true?

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: I know it, so that's why we've got an expert who will be joining us in the noon hour to give some parents some recommendations, some tips on what to look for and how to sort of police or at least watch out for what their kids are exposed to, exactly. And then of course everyone's nightmare, scams, whether it's on the phone, in the mail, online, et cetera.

Well, we've got someone with the "Reader's Digest" who will keep us up to date on all the many scams out there, everything from your children's Social Security numbers being used in scams, right, to people's camera phones taking pictures of your ATM activity and your pin numbers, did you think of that?

NGUYEN: No. You got to think like a criminal.

WHITFIELD: I know.

NGUYEN: You do. You do these days. That's the honest truth.

WHITFIELD: Hopefully our "Reader's Digest" expert won't tell us how to think like a criminal, but instead tell us what to look for, exactly.

NGUYEN: You always be aware.

WHITFIELD: All that straight ahead.

HARRIS: That's good stuff. Thanks Fred.

NGUYEN: He just likes to flip it.

HARRIS: I know.

NGUYEN: Well, coming up -- can you hear me now? Can you hear me now?

HARRIS: Yes.

NGUYEN: Apparently not. Some technical glitches have put a popular cell phone on recall. HARRIS: Are you affected? Stay tuned, we'll let you know. More CNN Saturday right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: That hurts my ears.

NGUYEN: It is time now to see what people are clicking on at cnn.com.

HARRIS: Veronica de la Cruz joins us with what is making the most popular list.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's making the most popular list is this little gadget right here.

NGUYEN: It's pretty popular, yes.

DE LA CRUZ: Pretty popular because it may not work.

NGUYEN: That could be a problem.

DE LA CRUZ: Yes. It is the Motorola Razr phone. Cingular and T-Mobile have pulled this Razr phone off the shelves. It's slick looking; it's razor thin, but they're saying that it drops calls and that it may not turn off. But they are saying that it's just a limited amount of phones that have been affected.

So if you do have a Razr phone at home, you'll know if you have the problem obviously. They have stopped putting them out on the shelves. Motorola is looking into the problem. They're hoping to have this fixed next week. It is a pretty nice looking phone you guys.

NGUYEN: Those are the hot items these days, but I mean if you can't get your phone call, then what can you do? We actually tried to get Reynolds to give us his phone number earlier to see if this one right here works. We had a hot pink one earlier. Anyway, so yes, this one right now, off the market. So if you're in the market for a cell phone, not going to be the Razr, not right now.

You guys, speaking of Razr phones, actually not the Razr phone, let's move on to another story. Let's talk about this guy who literally got caught with his pants down. He broke into a store. He smashed the register. He grabbed the cash and he crawled away exposed. He's the infamous bare bottom bandit.

NGUYEN: His pants fell down.

DE LA CRUZ: Late night talk show hosts like Jay Leno, they want this surveillance tape because it's not every day that you see a guy steal something and get caught with his pants down. The owner of the store, he just wants the guy caught. Those stories are both online at cnn.com.

HARRIS: Veronica, thank you.

NGUYEN: That was a little too much of a visual there for me. Thanks, Veronica.

HARRIS: CNN Saturday with Fredericka Whitfield is up next right after this short break.

NGUYEN: Have a good day, everybody.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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