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Security Move in Baghdad's Airport; Damaging Storms Hit Midwest; Breach in Baghdad Airport; What Killed Milosevic?

Aired March 12, 2006 - 09:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Take a look at this. Talk about a scary bird's eye view. This is new video this morning into CNN. Aerial shots of the storm damage in Missouri.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Just devastating. And that's not all. Check out this. It's a car, yes, on top of a roof. Just a taste of a damage from a powerful storm moving across the country.

Good morning, everybody, from CNN Center right here in Atlanta. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. Meteorologist Reynolds Wolf has more on what's headed possibly your way. First, a quick check of other stories happening right "Now in the News."

The trial of Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants has resumed in Baghdad. Proceedings got back under way today after an 11-day recess. Members of Hussein's former regime are being called individually to testify. Two of the co-defendants denied any roles in the deaths of nearly 150 Shiites in the 1980s.

In the Netherlands today, a Dutch medical team will perform an autopsy on the body of Slobodan Milosevic. The former Yugoslav president was found dead in his cell at The Hague yesterday morning. A senior pathologist from the Serbian capital will attend.

Hundreds of protesters marched in the streets of Bangladesh today. They demanded election reforms and the resignation of the election commissioner. Police fired tear gas and used water cannons to break up the crowd. At least 20 people were arrested in all of this, and some 50 people were injured.

NGUYEN: Back in the U.S., specifically southeastern Tennessee, a house fire killed nine members of an extended family. That fire broke out on the second floor while the victims were sleeping. A 19-year- old managed to escape from the first floor, but there's still no word on what caused that fire.

Frist is out front among the crowd of 2008 GOP presidential hopefuls. The straw poll was taken at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, garnered more than one-third of the vote. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney came in second.

Well, it just keeps going from bad to worse. Wretched weather across a large part of the country this weekend. Check this out. Arizona, not Minnesota. Yes, snow. Two to three feet of snow in northern parts of the state. But more importantly, the Phoenix area was drenched after 143 days without rain.

Now, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, a deadly chain reaction wreck after a storm dumped snow and ice on Highway 101, 28 vehicles tangled, two women were killed, dozens more hurt.

And stormy weather tossed cars like toys. South of Saint Louis a car sits where a bedroom used to be on top of the first floor. Severe winds or a possible tornado tore the first floor off of this house in Festus, Missouri. Now, unfortunately -- or fortunately for them, the family took cover in the basement, but, unfortunately, you see the damage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The one car is right where our bedroom used to be, the master bedroom used to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That floor was ripped off the house.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was pushed over on top of that floor right there. So the good thing is the basement held, and we were safe. So we're just -- I'm just glad we have insurance. That's all I'm glad for.


NGUYEN: Going to need it. And if this isn't officially tornado damage, it sure looks like it. In Perry County, Missouri, check it out, the sheriff's office reports two deaths and at least 10 injuries from the storms.

HARRIS: And here's the thing, Betty, as we bring in Reynolds Wolf, we usually see this kind of weather when we have these two weather systems collide. You get cold weather and it smacks up against the warm weather, and then you get scenes like this. Is that close to being accurate, Reynolds?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh absolutely. You have got that moist air invading from the Gulf of Mexico, and it runs into that dryer, cooler air coming in from the West. We have that combination combined with the low-level jet stream. Not trying to get too geeky for you meteorologically, but that's when you have all those elements, that the situation is incredibly volatile.

And this afternoon we are looking at the possibility of more of the same. In fact, from Chicago all the way down to St. Louis right along the I-70 corridor, we have the potential for more of the same, damaging winds, large hail, and, again, there's the potential for some tornadic activity. We're talking between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00, although that may extend into the late evening hours. We'll have more on that coming up.

HARRIS: OK. Reynolds, we appreciate it. Thank you.

And this is breaking news into CNN. We understand there has been a breach at the Baghdad Airport. Let's get you to Baghdad now and CNN's Aneesh Raman.

Aneesh, what can you tell us?

ANESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tony, good morning, it seems there has been a substantive security breach at the Baghdad International Airport. It took place yesterday. Here's what we know. First, earlier today a warden (ph) message issued by the U.S. embassy read in part: "As a result of a recent security incident at the Baghdad International Airport, the U.S. embassy is prohibiting outgoing travel by all U.S. government employees on commercial airlines departing the Baghdad International Airport until further notice."

Now, sources within Royal Jordanian Airlines, the main airline that flies between Baghdad and Amman, say to CNN that yesterday around 4:30 p.m., as the afternoon flight was preparing to depart Baghdad for Amman, explosives were found near the flight, near the plane, either the size of a pack of cigarettes or actually inside a pack of cigarettes.

It happened at the final security check before the plane took off. Its passengers were boarding the flight, verifying which luggage was theirs. That luggage then gets boarded onto the plane. The flight was then disembarked. All passengers were searched. All luggage as well. And then two hours later we understand the flight did take off.

But, again, in terms of this warden (ph) message that we got earlier today, it is pretty serious. Earlier in November the U.S. embassy had cautioned people on traveling on commercial flights. We think some months ago, perhaps in January, they officially OKed that, but again today they have issued a statement saying that they are prohibiting government employees from traveling on commercial flights.

We're expecting a statement from Royal Jordanian Airlines at some point soon, but, of course, Baghdad International Airport has been a continued target and has been the site of heavy security, whether it be as the flights come in, the area around it, they have increased security as time has gone by.

Originally it was under U.S. military control. This, it seems, is a pretty -- is a significant security breach, and we understand officials at the airport are investigating exactly what took place -- Tony.

HARRIS: OK, Aneesh, a quick question, if you know the answer to this. Who is running security at Baghdad International Airport now? Are we talking about the coalition forces, or are we talking about Iraqis? RAMAN: If I'm correct, I think officially now we are talking about Iraqis. Now, that said, there are a number of private security firms that are also operating in and around that area. As you enter into the airport, there are any number of checkpoints. When you travel that road, which many people will recall used to be considered the most dangerous road in Iraq. It has since ceased to have that title. When you travel towards the airport, they have secured a lot of the areas around that road. You go through a number of checkpoints before you enter in the airport proper where vehicles are searched, bags are searched, IDs are checked, and then once you get into the airport, there are any number of security checks there as well.

So it's sort of a mix of everything. If you are leaving here going onto the flight, you pass through private security checkpoints that are run by private security firms, Iraqi security officials who are working either with Royal Jordanian or around that area. A good number of checkpoints. But again it seems there has been a substantive security breach yesterday -- Tony.

HARRIS: OK. CNN's Aneesh Raman for us in Baghdad. Aneesh, thank you.

NGUYEN: Back in the U.S., let's talk about the weather because information keeps pouring in this morning about how bad the damage is in Illinois and Missouri. We've seen some of the pictures, and it's pretty devastating.

HARRIS: Yes, it really is. And joining us on the phone now is Art Armbruster, emergency management director for Saint Genevieve County, Missouri, that is just south of St. Louis.

And good to talk to you, Art. Thanks for taking the time.

ART ARMBRUSTER, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR: Well, it's been a busy night out here in Saint Genevieve.

HARRIS: Well, give us a sense of when the storms rolled in, when did you receive the warnings, and when you realized you had quite a situation on your hands?

ARMBRUSTER: Well, I got called into the emergency management center about 9:00 last night, and then I was out here at the dispatch center most of the evening until about 2:00 in the morning, and they had -- throughout that time we had -- they had issued, like, three warnings, three tornado warnings, and we had set off the sirens here, and then we were getting the reports from the outer regions, mostly in the south part of the county towards Perry County.

And we had a reports of tornado touchdown on a road called Cramer (ph) Road, which is south, probably about 12, 15 miles south of Saint Genevieve, the city proper. And then reports of damage in Saint Mary, which is about nine miles south of us, and then we were getting the reports from Perry County. Their damage was just about two miles south of Saint Mary's into Perry County. They had some fatalities down there. We had some injuries, but most of them -- the ones from Cramer Road -- there were several injuries, but two were critical. And I haven't gotten an update on them yet this morning.

NGUYEN: Well, Art, this is Betty Nguyen here with Tony. Let's talk a little bit about the damage. You talk about damage in many of the areas here, and we're looking at aerial views, and it seems like a lot of homes, especially some of the mobile homes, flattened. I mean, you don't see hardly anything left. What kind of damage are you seeing in your county?

ARMBRUSTER: Now, on Cramer Road everything is gone. I mean, they were talking about the sheriff's deputies were down there, like I said, about 1:00 in the morning, and what they could assess in the dark was just about every property on Cramer Road, which is probably about two, three miles long, was gone, flattened.

HARRIS: How many properties are we talking about?

ARMBRUSTER: I would say you are probably talking seven to 10, you know, properties in that area.

WOLF: Art, this is meteorologist Reynolds Wolf out of Atlanta, CNN. From what I can tell you right now, with a damage trail that long, going up to two miles, I would say to that question this looks like a tornado, possibly F2 or maybe even F3 with that level of damage. Is there an idea -- have residents given you an idea of exactly when this started?

ARMBRUSTER: No. The first -- like I said, the first reports came in from residents in that area right around 9:30 or 10:00.

WOLF: I see.

ARMBRUSTER: And then it just continued, and we just kept getting the warnings for Saint Genevieve County. And then it was probably all cleared out, and, again, we got a hold of the Red Cross, and they showed up, and they're down there this morning assessing things in the light of day, which is a lot easier. And they're going to do an assessment of both areas, Saint Mary's and Cramer Road.

HARRIS: OK. Art, what time is it there locally?

ARMBRUSTER: Right now it's 8:10.

HARRIS: OK. All right. So what's the next step? You go through the assessment process, but how do you mobilize? What do you do?

ARMBRUSTER: Well, what we usually do is -- well, like I said, we have an emergency command center set up here at the dispatch center, at 911. And then we go out from there as contacting the Red -- like I said, the Red Cross, and then we wait for their assessment and see what else we need to do.

But we got a call from a church in Perryville, which is 12 miles south of Saint Mary's, and they had room for some people, and they even had a bus to transport them, so I think the Red Cross got a hold of them and most of those victims that were displaced were taken to -- I think it's a Baptist church in Perryville.

NGUYEN: Well, that's good news. But I have to ask you, as you go about determining exactly who needs what and what kind of damage has been done, do you have some problems with power lines being down? I mean, what kind of dangers are out there as people start moving about and seeing this damage at first light?

ARMBRUSTER: We had the officers -- several deputies stayed on, and they went out and got -- well, were assessing all the roads as well as they could in the dark, and we had Citizens Electric, the local cooperative electric company, they were out in full force trying to get power restored, and I think we had a few limbs down in the Cramer Road area, and -- but I think the volunteer fire departments, from what I gather, took care most of that.

HARRIS: OK. Boy, you have quite a job ahead of you, and, Art, we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.

ARMBRUSTER: OK. Well, like I said, it was -- we kind of prepare for these responses.


ARMBRUSTER: And it was a good response by everybody.

NGUYEN: Getting to be that kind of year. Yes, thank you, Art.

HARRIS: Art Armbruster is emergency management director for Saint Genevieve County, Missouri. Art, again, thanks for your time.

NGUYEN: We've got a lot more coming up right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING. We're going to take you live out to the Netherlands and The Hague as the investigation goes on into the death of Slobodan Milosevic, the former Yugoslavia president found dead yesterday. An autopsy is supposed to be under way today. We'll get an update on that. So stay with us. You are watching CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


HARRIS: And our top stories this morning. Police tell CNN two people are dead after reported tornadoes in Missouri and Illinois. You're looking at new video this morning of some of the worst damage in Perry County, Missouri, about 80 miles south of Saint Louis. Homes have been destroyed. And just a moment ago we talked with Art Armbruster, emergency management director for Saint Genevieve County, Missouri.

And one of the roads in his country, Cramer Road, Art was telling us at least seven, maybe as many as 10 properties along a two-mile stretch of Cramer road wiped out, all of the homes anywhere from seven to 10 properties wiped out by the storm. We will continue to follow this story throughout the day. NGUYEN: We're also following this story. What caused Slobodan Milosevic's death? An autopsy set for today will try to answer that question. The former Yugoslav dictator's death ends his nearly five- year U.N. war crimes trial. And just this morning the U.N. chief prosecutor says it also deprives victims of justice. CNN's Paula Newton joins us now from the Netherlands with much more on this -- Paula.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the autopsy that you speak of is still under way. It could be very close to being wrapped up right now. We're wondering when exactly the results are going to be released. They would probably have preliminary indications as to what the cause of death was later this evening.

Now, whether or not they actually release any information to us, it remains to be seen. The reason is that it's highly controversial at this point. In fact, we were just speaking with Slobodan Milosevic's lawyer who said, in fact, that they did not recognize any autopsy being conducted here, and that is the feeling of his family.

Carla Del Ponte earlier gave a press conference in she said that she didn't want to speculate on the cause of his death. She wasn't ruling out suicide, but she said, in fact, that would be a rumor and that she was going to wait to see the results.

She also spoke at length about her feelings about all of this, was very honest about saying she was incredibly frustrated, and I asked her what specifically was frustrating her the most.


CARLA DEL PONTE, CHIEF U.N. PROSECUTOR: What has frustrated me the most is the under (ph) representation (ph) of the victims, because that is what they are asking for, that justice must be done, and now it will not be possible.


NEWTON: And of course, what she is saying in terms of the victims, the justice that she says they not only deserve, but they actually need, she's talking about upwards of perhaps 200,000 people that lost their lives in the '90s in the former Yugoslavia.

She now has turned her attention to two outstanding fugitives who remain at large. She believes they're in Serbia. She said that just this morning she checked on whether or not authorities were still on their tail -- Betty.

NGUYEN: So what's the latest with that, because I guess a few weeks ago there was talk of possibly a handing over one of them. What do you know now?

NEWTON: That was Radko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, are the two that are at large. I mean, the Serbian government is under a lot of pressure right now. The war crime tribunal here I think believes that the Serbian government could hand him over if they chose to, but it's so politically sensitive in Belgrade, and that's why they seem to be holding off.

And this whole situation with Slobodan Milosevic will make it no easier for them to turn over those fugitives, and the reason is that many in Serbia -- well, I would say some, at least, in Serbia would say that they're very ambivalent about the trials taking place here in any case. They feel that it is a biased venue for these court cases to go on, and they would prefer that any trial be held in Serbia itself -- Betty.

NGUYEN: We'll keep watching. CNN's Paula Newton in the Netherlands today for us. Thank you, Paula.

HARRIS: And, Betty, we are following breaking news out of Baghdad this morning. We're learning this morning of a major security breach at the Baghdad International Airport. It happened yesterday. We're just learning about it...

NGUYEN: Today.

HARRIS: ... this morning. Yes. Aneesh Raman is in Baghdad. And we'll check in with him for the latest in just a couple of minutes.

But right now let's get you to Reynolds Wolf, upstairs in the CNN Weather Center, so that we can get the latest on this storm system that is sitting over the Midwest right now -- Reynolds.

WOLF: Absolutely. You know, we had a rough night, rough morning, and that was only act two. The next act is going to come up later on this afternoon with a possibility of damaging winds, large hail, and possible tornadoes from Chicago to Little Rock to Kansas City, to Saint Louis, it could get rough. We'll bring you the very latest in just a few moments right here on CNN.


NGUYEN: It's been a really difficult night in the Midwest, and a rough morning no doubt, as they see the damage after these storms that have come through. Reynolds Wolf joins us this weekend. It's his first weekend on the job.

And we told you we would put you to work.

WOLF: You guys weren't kidding, were you?

My gosh, our hearts go out to the people in southeastern Missouri. What an incredible, incredible evening, awful evening, awful morning to wake up, and this is what you see. I'll tell you one observation I made from all of this. Usually when you have straight- line winds, the damage is -- the path is a little bit more narrow than what we're seeing, so from some of the wide angles that we've had from the KSDK chopper out of Saint Louis, the damage has been very widespread.

What the crews will do later on in the day, the National Weather Service will go up in the chopper. They're going to fly over this area. What they're going to do is they're going to look for two things. They're going to look for a path. The second thing they're going to look for is on the either side of this path -- this tornado, they're going to look for debris pushing in one direction, maybe pushing to the northeast, at the same time they're going to look on the other side of this path, if there is one, of damage that is strewn, say, in the opposite direction, towards the southwest.

That would indicate rotation, and that, of course, would indicate a tornado. But I'll tell you from the damage that we've seen here, although straight-line winds can be devastating, I would say this is at least an F2 or an F3 tornado.

And just a very quick reference. If are you wondering what an F2 or 3 or even an F5 tornado is, Dr. Theodore (ph) Fujita, a doctor out of the University of Chicago back in the early 1970s devised a system of tornado strength based upon damage and wind speed, and it was from the F0 all the way to F5, F5 being catastrophic, F0 being a gale tornado.

Meanwhile, at this time, we don't have any tornadic activity in parts of the Ohio Valley, although we do have some thunder boomers. And there's another threat that we have at this hour of an entirely different variety. What we've been seeing is many of these storms moving over the same landscape again and again. We refer to this as the training effect, and what happens is the rainfall hits the ground, and the ground can only absorb so much, and then when you get additional rainfall, that creates runoff, and that runoff causes flash flooding.

So say if are you tuning in from Elizabethtown, maybe even from Leitchfield, as we move farther up the pike and a few other places over near Louisville, if are you in an area where there's low-lying roads, and you have water on the roadways, don't bother crossing, because that road -- that water can be really deceiving with its depth. And water can be very powerful.

Only 18 inches of water can lift up a large vehicle and move it downstream. Flooding is one of the biggest killers weather-wise around the world. So you really have to be careful and on your toes.

Plus, there is going to be the possibility of more rough weather into the afternoon and evening. We're going to talk about that coming up in the next half hour. Back to you.

HARRIS: OK. And one other note for later on...

WOLF: Sure.

HARRIS: ... when we see you before the top of the hour, you just came to us from Saint Louis, correct?

WOLF: That is correct.


WOLF: That is correct. HARRIS: So people who live in that section of the country know that at about this time of year can you see this, right?

WOLF: Absolutely. But see, we're still at the mercy of Mother Nature. I mean, if you are ready or not, you know it's part of this time of year, every spring, people throughout Missouri...

NGUYEN: Yes, but nobody wants to see it.

WOLF: You get used to it. It's like...

HARRIS: And you just hope that the warnings and the sirens and everything is working as it should.

NGUYEN: Get you prepared.

WOLF: You got it. Dead on. That's it.

NGUYEN: All right. We'll talk to you soon. Well, we have got a lot of else to talk about this morning. You don't want to go away because we have breaking news out of Baghdad. There's been a breach at the Baghdad International Airport. We're going to take you there for an update on that. Also, if you rely on what you see on television, your knowledge of one of the world's largest continents might be limited to famine and drought.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six months ago the epic adventure began. Our crew embarked on a journey across a continent in search of the next African supermodel. After casting...


HARRIS: Well, that is all about to change. Take a look at the Africa Channel, the co-founder, James Makawa, joins us live in our next half hour of CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


NGUYEN: It is 8:30 in the morning in Missouri and this video shows what people are waking up to near St. Louis. Strong storms and possible tornadoes swept through the area while you were sleeping. Police tell CNN at least two people are dead and several others injured.

HARRIS: And there's this. A security move in Iraq today stopping Americans from flying out of Baghdad International Airport. The U.S. Embassy issued the order.

CNN's Aneesh Raman joins us from Baghdad -- and, Aneesh, give us an update on this story.

What can you tell us?

RAMAN: Well, Tony, the U.S. Embassy here prohibiting only travel of U.S. government employees at this moment out of Iraq on commercial flights. That from a message that was issued by a warden, a message this morning. To read it, in part, in quote: "As the result of a recent security incident at the Baghdad International Airport, the U.S. Embassy is prohibiting outgoing travel by all U.S. government employees on commercial airlines departing Baghdad International Airport until further notice."

Now here is what we know. The main airline that flies out of Baghdad to Amman is Royal Jordanian. They have at times two, at times three flights daily.

Sources within Royal Jordanian tell CNN that yesterday afternoon a flight was set to depart and as the passengers were boarding, in the final security check, verifying their luggage that then is boarded onto the flight along with the people, explosives were found near the plane.

Now, we're told it's either the size -- explosives the size of a pack of cigarettes or actually in a pack of cigarettes. Exactly where those explosives were in the vicinity of the plane, we don't have confirmed as of now.

We do, though, know that Royal Jordanian had all the passengers disembark, checked them, checked the luggage and the flight took off some two hours later.

Now, this is a serious security breach at the airport. How serious at the moment remains unclear. We have not heard a direct statement from Royal Jordanian. On one hand, you have this warning message from the U.S. Embassy prohibiting travel by government employees on commercial airlines. At the other side, you have Royal Jordanian, which had that flight leave two hours later, and today has had flights coming in and out from Amman to Baghdad.

So we are awaiting a statement, essentially, from Royal Jordanian. But this is a very serious security breach. It will raise any number of questions about how, at this final security checkpoint, explosives were found near the vicinity of this plane -- Tony.


Aneesh Raman for us in Baghdad.

Aneesh, thank you.

NGUYEN: Well, every year "Teen People" magazine highlights 20 teens who will change the world, proving you are never too young to do amazing things. These remarkable young men and women are featured in "Teen People's" April issue. And yesterday I spoke with Given Kachepa and Molly Farrell, two teens who are changing the world.


NGUYEN: Molly, I'd like to start with you because paralysis research is something that really hits close to home for u. In fact, you became paralyzed from the neck down at one point. Tell us what happened.

MOLLY FARRELL, FUNDRAISING PARALYSIS RESEARCH: Well, three-and- a-half years ago I was injured in a diving accident. And it left me paralyzed from the neck down. Something went wrong and I hit the bottom of the pool and was instantly paralyzed right there. And the doctors gave me a 1 percent chance of ever walking or using my hands again.

NGUYEN: Well, how in the world did you prove them wrong?

FARRELL: I honestly don't know. I had a great family behind me all the time and I was very determined through the whole thing and knew I had to get better.

NGUYEN: No doubt.

You know, you could be one of those who says you know what? I'm one of the lucky ones. And you go about your life and be happy. But you decided to do more than just that.

Tell us how you got involved in paralysis research and how you've raised so much money, nearly $300, 000, for the Christopher Reeve Foundation.


Well, when I was injured, I was taken to a rehab hospital. And I started with the Local Mat (ph), which was a research project. And it moved my legs in a walking motion over a treadmill. And it was funded by the Christopher Reeve Foundation. And every time I did it, something else came back. And after a few weeks of participating in that, I was able to take my first steps on my own.

So I met Christopher Reeve a week before he passed away and asked him if there was anything I could do to give back to the Foundation and to help find a cure for paralysis.

And ever since then, I've been involved with direct mailings. And that's how I've been able to raise so much money.

NGUYEN: That is just fantastic.

Well, as you know, Dana Reeve, his wife, passed away this past week.

Tell us about the inspiration that these two have been to you.

FARRELL: They've been my role models through the whole thing. They are amazing people. They were so strong and determined and I know it's such a sad time right now for their families and for everyone who knew them, but like my tag says, to go forward we must continue to find a cure for paralysis because I know that's what they would want us to be doing.

NGUYEN: No doubt. Let me ask you this, do you think you're going to find a cure within your lifetime?

FARRELL: I hope so. I'm planning on it.

NGUYEN: Well, we all hope so. Definitely.

Given, let's talk to you for just a moment, because you're working to help victims of human trafficking. Now, this is something that you know a lot about. You yourself became a victim.

Tell us how.

GIVEN KACHEPA FIGHTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Well, I used to sing with a group of guys from Zambia. And there was an American organization that came to Zambia. They were looking for singers to come to the States and raise money for schools in Africa. And when I got to the States, everything that they said they were going to do did not happen.

And from then, we ended up singing for them for two years and we were not being paid. All the promises that they said they would, you know, the schools that they said they would build in Zambia they did not build.

So with suspicion from the U.S. government, my choir was rescued and I was placed in a home in Carlville and people from there were able to help me and my choir members.

NGUYEN: Living in Texas. That's where I grew up. It's a great place to stay.

You've got a little history here. Your parents died when you were nine years old and you have two sisters and three brothers. You're fighting to prevent human trafficking.

Are you fearful that maybe your siblings would fall into the same trap?

KACHEPA: I think not particularly them, but I think there's a lot of people in the world that, you know, might fall victim of it because it's a problem that, you know, there is more slaves today than at any other time in human history. You know, a lot of times when I'm talking to people about human trafficking, they don't even know what the term is. So the first thing that we have to do is to educate people about it and hopefully people will be able to act and, you know, alleviate this problem from the world.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. Knowledge is power.

So, tell us what you're doing to help educate people and how you're working to solve this very big problem.

KACHEPA: Basically what I do, because I'm a student, so I don't have a lot of time, but if there's a school, you know, an organization or a church that wants me to, you know, go out to their church and me be able to tell my story, you know, I'm willing to do that. So what I do is I basically just go around the country trying to tell people about it. And that's basically what I do.


NGUYEN: And what he does makes a difference. They are really remarkable teenagers. And each of them will receive a $1, 000 scholarship from L'Oreal Paris.

You want to join us next weekend when we talk to two more teens who are changing the world.

HARRIS: I liked that.


HARRIS: A good segment.

NGUYEN: Good news for us.

HARRIS: Did you come up with that? Is that your idea?

NGUYEN: Well, you know, I won't take credit for it.

HARRIS: Well, no, you ought to. Yes, yes, that's good stuff.

NGUYEN: "People" magazine came up with it.

HARRIS: Oh, oh, oh. OK.


HARRIS: Still to come, out of Africa and into the U.S. cable universe. The programs look familiar -- news, music videos, soap operas. But this network has a decidedly Afro-centric focus.

NGUYEN: We're going to tell you more about the Africa Channel, when we come back.




Welcome to the Bridgette Mayer Gallery.

I'm heavily focused on contemporary painting and on young, emerging painters. I like academic painters, people who are formally trained and have gone through a graduate program.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Traditionally, galleries wait until newer artists develop and have an established history. But Mayer identifies more with budding talent. After falling in love with her job at a student run gallery in college and canvassing the real world for several years, she became the youngest gallery owner in Philadelphia at age 27.

MAYER: I had a moment of clarity when I was selling a painting to someone and I felt like I wouldn't buy it for myself. So I started doing art consulting on my own and that eventually led me to opening a gallery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Almost five years later and now representing 16 painters, Mayer has developed an eye for unique art work.

MAYER: My business doubled last year. I'm planning on opening a gallery in New York in the next few years. There's a moment when I feel that someone connects with a piece of art work, connects with me as a person and also gets the idea of adding art into their home and into their world.



HARRIS: Images of famine, drought and war are sometimes the only visions we see of Africa here in the U.S. a sobering fact that was the impetus for the creation of the Africa Channel.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: The rhythm of life.


HARRIS: The new 24-hour Africa Channel has been on the air here in the U.S. since September. The people behind the network want you to see the continent's glamour, culture and thriving businesses, something they say is missing from news coverage of Africa.

Joining me from Los Angeles is the co-founder of the Africa Channel, James Makawa.

Straighten yourself up there, James.

You're on television.


HARRIS: Good morning, sir.

MAKAWA: Thank you.

HARRIS: Good to talk to you again, my friend.

MAKAWA: Tony, good to see you.

Glad to be here.

HARRIS: I've got to ask you, September 1, 2005, you launched the channel in Baton Rouge and in New Orleans. September 1, folks will remember, we're dealing knee deep in Katrina.

What are you thinking, I'm cursed or is this another opportunity to overcome a challenge?

MAKAWA: Well, you know, Africa is a very, very challenging place and so we're used to challenges anyway. So just what we needed was another challenge of that nature. But we rose to the occasion and it turned out all -- it all turned out positively.

HARRIS: So how do you feel?

You're on the air now. I mean there is a lot of startup involved, as we all know who are on the cable side of this business, in getting something up and running.

How do you feel?

MAKAWA: Well, we feel absolutely terrific. The fact that we now have a deal in place with Cox Cable and last week we just announced our deal with Comcast.


MAKAWA: That is huge.

HARRIS: That really is.

MAKAWA: So we're feeling very, very good and very positive and we're a lot -- we're launched in Atlanta now.

HARRIS: OK. We're going to talk about that.

OK, let's talk about it now.

You're in Atlanta now through the Comcast deal, correct?

MAKAWA: That is correct.

HARRIS: Will you be going into other Comcast markets? I'm thinking of maybe Baltimore or Philadelphia?

MAKAWA: Well, I can't actually give you the rollout plan just yet, but the license now that we have with Comcast gives us the authority to cover the entire country.

HARRIS: Really?

MAKAWA: So Comcast markets are going to be coming online and we encourage the audiences out there to call their cable company and say they want the channel.

HARRIS: OK, so describe when folks tune in -- and hopefully from everyone across the country will be able to tune in soon -- what are they going to see in terms of the programming?

MAKAWA: Well, you're getting a chance to see some of that right now.


MAKAWA: The images, the programming is quality, everything from news to lifestyle to travel to soap operas to movies to dramas. Anything and everything that you haven't seen about Africa, you're going to see on the channel, and it's all quality.

HARRIS: And you're particularly proud of the first movie produced in Africa to win an Oscar.

What's the name of the film and what was it about -- is about?

MAKAWA: The name of the film is "Tsotsi" and "Tsotsi" means thug. It's a coming of age story where, you know, a young man who is a thug is, you know, is, you know, cares for a baby after he -- he goes through a carjacking incident.


MAKAWA: I'm not going to give away the story line.


MAKAWA: It is the most powerful movie you will probably see this year.

HARRIS: All right, James, here's your problem.

Are you ready for your problem?


HARRIS: I'm analyzing your mission statement here. Here's your problem. You know, we live in a world now where we've got 500, 1, 000, I don't know how many channels we have on cable, on satellite TV, on DirecTV, dishes all over the place.


HARRIS: What is it that -- about your channel that is going to lead me to it so that with my clicker in hand, I've got to see the Africa Channel? What is it?

MAKAWA: Well, just look at the images you're seeing right now. It's about the vibrancy. It's about the color. It's about this mystique of Africa that people just are not familiar with. And it's about seeing something that's new, that's fresh. We have over 1, 600 hours of programming that's never been seen in this country.

HARRIS: Yes, but, James, are you going to sugar coat it? Are we all going to get, what, "African Idol" and that kind of stuff? Or are we going to also understand the political dynamics of that complicated continent? Are we also going to hear the stories about the drought and famine and also corruption in some of the countries in Africa?

MAKAWA: Well, we've said this before, Tony. I mean we want to balance the picture here.


MAKAWA: We're not going to shy away from the hard issues. Africa has got some very, very challenging things to overcome. We've got issues with corruption.


MAKAWA: We've got issues with AIDS.


MAKAWA: We've got issues with droughts. And, you know, the list is endless.

So we are going to show those things, but the difference here is that we are going to give the viewer a perspective from Africa on these issues. That's very important. This network and this channel has got to have some teeth.


MAKAWA: So this is not sugar coating by any stretch of the imagination.

HARRIS: James, good to see you.

MAKAWA: Absolutely.

Thank you so much.

And we appreciate your support.

HARRIS: Oh, yes, yes, yes.

MAKAWA: And all I want to say, Tony, is that you are witnessing the birth of probably the most compelling media company coming out of Africa.

HARRIS: I love it.

I love it.

All right, James, good to talk to you, as always. And I look forward to doing it again real soon.

MAKAWA: Thank you so much.


NGUYEN: Well, talk about compelling television, if you haven't seen the pictures just yet, deadly storms tore through southern Missouri and Illinois. Two people killed and several homes flattened, as you see here. One apparent twister left a 20-mile path of destruction south of St. Louis. High winds split a brick ranch home in half, tossed mobile homes and caved in garages.

Let's get the latest now from Teresa Woodard with affiliate KTVI.

She joins us live from Saint Genevieve County, which is located in southeast Missouri -- and Teresa, I want you to walk us through some of the damage right around you.


Well, I think this maybe best describes everything. This is what you could call a porch to nowhere. A porch that a homeowner built. It used to come right up to the front door of his mobile home and now the mobile home is gone.

It's always to interesting with -- covering a tornado to see exactly what makes it through and what doesn't. For instance, I've seen small statues, ceramic statues that made it through with no problem, but then you can see their big antenna is crumpled. The entire house was moved a good 100 feet or so away from exactly where it started.

This is where the mobile home ended up, like I said, about 100 feet or so from where it should be this morning.

The homeowners weren't actually inside whenever this happened. Here's why. They were watching TV. They saw the warnings and they thought, you know what? This is coming our way, we think we need to get out of here. So they took a small drive, about maybe half a mile down the road, and went to their daughter's house. She actually has a basement.

They got in the basement, they hid in there. Five minutes later they said they heard that sound that people always describe. It sounds like a locomotive. They heard it coming and they knew at that point in time that their mobile home up the road was probably gone.

They stayed in there for a few minutes. They came out. It was dark, about 9:15 last night, Central time. They were able to get a kind of an idea of exactly what they were faced with. But then when the sun came up this morning, you can just imagine what it's been like.

A lot of the homeowners have come out and started sifting through things. There's really not much left here at this house. This belongs to a couple named Dolores and Chester Clements (ph). Fifty- five years of marriage. They say hey, we made it through, we're going to be OK. Things like this barbecue pit certainly did not make it through.

Here's the sad thing, Betty, about this couple. About six years ago, they had another house here on this same lot and it burned. They put up the mobile home thinking well, we're going to just live out our life together here and then a tornado comes through.

They, again, were not hurt because they were not home when this happened. But a neighbor who lives back behind me, a couple who lives in that mobile home did get injured. They were inside the house whenever the tornado hit. They actually were blown about 100 yards way. And some of these neighbors heard their screams and came and -- and came to help them.

An ambulance took them away last night. One of them has now been flown to St. Louis University Hospital up in St. Louis, which is about two hours away from here. He has some pretty severe injuries -- Betty.


There's a lot of damage there. And the good news is that one particular family that you talk about there saw it on the news. We spoke with a sheriff's deputy earlier and he said it's a rural area. A lot of places didn't have warning sirens that went off and this did happen at night.

Teresa Woodard with KTVI, we appreciate your time this morning.

Thanks for walking us through some of the damage that you're seeing.

WOODARD: Absolutely.

HARRIS: Man, oh, man.

All right, we're going to take a break.

But we've got to move this thing forward a little bit, this weather story, because...

NGUYEN: It's still out there.

HARRIS: It's still out there.

NGUYEN: It's still causing problems in areas.

HARRIS: And, Betty, the reality is, as the day heats up, we could see more of these storms.

NGUYEN: Very true.

HARRIS: You know, of the pop up variety, again, this collision of storm systems.

We're going to check in with Reynolds Wolf, who will tell us what's ahead in greater detail when we come back with more of CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


HARRIS: You know, it just occurred to me, I'm sitting up here playing amateur meteorologist and the man is right there.

NGUYEN: Right there.

HARRIS: He's right there, Reynolds Wolf, in the CNN Weather Center.

NGUYEN: The expert.

So let's just go to Reynolds.


NGUYEN: Hi, there -- Reynolds.

WOLF: Hello.

NGUYEN: What's the latest with these storms, because they're still flaring up in that area?

WOLF: They really are.

Our focus is now moving from parts of the Midwest down into the Central Plains.

And, Tony, earlier you mentioned that one of the big catalysts for these showers, storms, tornadoes to form is that clash of that moist air from the Gulf and the cooler air from the north. And sure enough, we're seeing that, as evidenced by some snow that's actually popping up north of Omaha.


HARRIS: More pictures now out of Missouri this morning of all that damage overnight and into the early hours of today.

"RELIABLE SOURCES" is next, followed by "LATE EDITION" and "ON THE STORY." So don't go anywhere.


Fredricka Whitfield will be with you all morning long with live news updates on this storm that is moving across the Midwest. So you want to stay tuned.


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