Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Mourners Big Farewell To Slobodan Milosevic; People In Child Pornography Ring; Betting On March Madness; Day Three Of Operation Swarmer; Brazilians Work To Declare Their Independence From Big Oil; Sinn Fein Leader Reportedly Detained In D.C.; "Teen People" Highlights 20 Teenagers Who Will Change The World; A Fitter Nation Could Begin At School

Aired March 18, 2006 - 07:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: An emotional farewell this hour for Slobodan Milosevic. Tens of thousands of people are attending a ceremony in Belgrade for the late Serbian leader. Live pictures now. Milosevic died last week while on trial for war crimes. A private funeral organized by his political party is set to begin in just a few hours. We'll have a live report from Belgrade in just a moment.
New sectarian violence in Iraq. A roadside bomb targeted Shiite pilgrims walking from Baghdad to Karbala this morning. Nine people were wounded. In a separate bombing in the capital today, five Iraqi soldiers were wounded.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: Operation Swarmer surges on. The assault near Samarra is in its third day now. U.S. and Iraqi forces are trying to root out about 100 insurgents they believe are operating in this rural area. Coalition forces have uncovered several weapons caches and detained at least 31 people.

HARRIS: If you're a chemist, a judge or a veterinarian, one auto insurance company wants to cut your rates. Wow!

Allstate has done a study breaking down good drivers by profession. The insurance company wants to give those drivers up to a 10 percent discount.

We're not on the list, Susan.

ROESGEN: I don't know why not, Tony.

HARRIS: What's going on here?

ROESGEN: But look at this.

Oleg Cassini...

HARRIS: Yes. He designed costumes for some of Hollywood's leading ladies and made First Lady Jackie Kennedy a fashion trendsetter. Oleg Cassini died yesterday at a New York hospital. He was 92 years old. Cassini said he created 300 outfits for Kennedy in less than three years of her husband's term.

ROESGEN: But you don't have any of his ... (CROSSTALK)


From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

It is 7:00 a.m. Eastern, 1:00 p.m. in Serbia and 3:00 p.m. in Baghdad.

And good morning, everyone.

I'm Tony Harris.

ROESGEN: And I'm Susan Roesgen filling in this morning for Betty Nguyen.

Thanks for joining us.

Coming up this morning, if you're looking to save money on gas, better pack up and head to Brazil. The country has declared independence from big oil companies. Yes, Brazil. It's an idea that's been growing there for decades.

Could it work in the U.S.? how much money would it save you?

Also, we bet you or some of your friends, Tony, are among millions of people tuning into March madness.

HARRIS: Yes, yes.

ROESGEN: But how big is the business of online betting on those games? We'll take a closer look when we go "Beyond The Game."

And spring training for you and me -- get up off the couch. If your New Year's resolution of shaking up is sitting in a dusty drawer somewhere, never fear. We have some tips to get you shorts and T- shirt ready.

HARRIS: And at this hour, thousands of mourners are bidding a final farewell to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The man known as "the butcher of the Balkans" will be buried today. He died a week ago while on trial for some of Europe's worst atrocities since World War II.

Our Alessio Vinci joins us from Serbia with the latest -- Alessio, good morning.

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF: Good morning to you, Leon.

I'm actually in Pozarevac, which is a town about 50 miles south of Belgrade that is Mr. Milosevic's hometown. And it is here that Mr. Milosevic's support still today even that it is greater than anywhere else in the country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) VINCI (voice-over): Nothing stands out in Pozarevac except perhaps the distrust and annoyance toward foreign journalists wanting to learn more about how people here feel about Slobodan Milosevic's death.

This is the only town in Serbia that has officially declared Saturday a day of mourning. The city used public funding for the funeral.

To them, Sloba, as the former president was at times referred to by those who supported him, was a victim and not the instigator of four wars that brought this nation to its knees.

"He was killed by first class bandits in the West," says this man, "those who provoked the wars."

"This is the best place to bury him," says his wife, barely holding back tears. "His family is here. He chose the best place to be buried."

(on camera): Milosevic may not receive a state burial in Belgrade, but here in his hometown of Pozarevac, the story is different. The local council, led by Milosevic's Socialist Party, gave permission for him to be buried on the grounds of his house, right here behind me, underneath a linden tree where he and the woman who one day would become his wife kissed for the first time when they were teenagers.

But members of Milosevic's family now say his widow and son will not attend the funeral out of fear from threats. Indeed, his roots run deep here. The bakery once owned by his son Marko is still closed, after it was stormed by protesters five years ago. The amusement park he built shortly before the NATO bombing campaign in 1999 never reopened after Milosevic was deposed from power.

And those willing to tell us how they feel about the funeral being held here are blunt.

"I couldn't care less," she says.

And this florist, who hoped the funeral may bring him more business, is disappointed. "We didn't sell large bouquets," he says. "For now, we just ran out of red carnations," the flower that symbolizes Milosevic's Socialist Party.


VINCI: And the coffin of Mr. Milosevic is now on display in Belgrade, where a large crowd of sympathizers, mainly -- many of them were bussed in from all around the country into Belgrade to pay their last respects to a man they believe is still a great hero.

We understand from agencies that about 50,000 people have gathered there. This is, of course, being attended by Milosevic's Socialist Party officials, who tried to organize as much as possible a funeral that looks and feels like a state funeral. But, as you know, authorities here have denied the former president a state funeral for those very same crimes, Tony, that you were remembering earlier.


VINCI: Back to you -- Tony.


CNN's Alessio Vinci for us.

Alessio, thank you.

ROESGEN: A mailman, a mother, a Sunday school teacher -- they are three of the people charged with being part of a child pornography ring on the Internet. We have reported on the arrests. Now we're learning more about the suspects. And just a few common denominators to help you protect your own children from predators.

Here's our justice correspondent, Kelli Arena.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They came from different places, different backgrounds, brought together by an alleged interest in the most sordid pornography imaginable.

Brian Annoreno is 29 years old, unemployed, father of an 18- month-old girl. Arrested in Bartlett, Illinois, he's accused of molesting an infant live on the Internet. Friday in a Chicago court, he plead not guilty.

MICHAEL FALCONER, ANNORENO'S ATTORNEY: On its face it looks bad. Every case does at the beginning. You know I can't say a lot.

ARENA: Gregory Sweezer also pled not guilty Friday. Forty-eight years old, a mailman for half his life, he's charged with possessing and distributing child porn.

Federal and state authorities say the two men belonged to an Internet pornography ring that showed graphic images and live molestations of young children. But that's where the similarities between them end.

Michelle Collins has tracked child exploitation for eight years.

MICHELLE COLLINS, CENTER FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN: I can't summarize the motivations of the individuals who fall into this particular web. Particularly with child pornography in the last few years, they come from all social -- or socioeconomic levels. They're all education levels. They come from different genders. They come from different races.

ARENA: In general, Collins says offenders are male and white. (on camera): Most are caught with pornographic images of children between the ages of six and 12. But law enforcement officials are worried because both victims and offenders are getting younger.

(voice-over): The people who sexually exploit children generally know the victims.

COLLINS: Of the cases we know where children have been identified, it is predominantly a family member or a parent or somebody who, a family friend or somebody who has legitimate access to that child.

ARENA: The suspects recently taken into custody range in age from 19 to 51. The oldest, David Perozzi, is a Sunday school teacher from Oakville, New York. He also plead not guilty.

His neighbors were shocked at the charges.

MAYOR RAY CIANFRINI, OAKVILLE VILLAGE, NEW YORK: What bothers me is it's sometimes the people you least expect that may be involved in this type of thing.

ARENA: The same was said about Royal Weller from Tennessee, a 49-year-old appliance repairman who never married. As the alleged host of the Kiddypics and Kiddyvids Web site, federal officials say he called himself G.O.D. and allegedly used the biblical online name Devil666 to share his child porn files. His lawyer has not returned calls.

His neighbors were also shocked to hear about the charges against him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A quiet guy. I mean, he's like, what, in his 50s? He never caused no trouble.

ARENA: One defendant is a woman, Lisa Winebrenner, who lived at this trailer park in Iowa with her husband and two daughters.

JANICE LONG, WINEBRENNER'S NEIGHBOR: I've been sick ever since I've found out about it.

ARENA: The one thing that tied all the suspects together is the Internet. Experts like Collins say the ability to produce, share and view material in private has made it easier to victimize children in the most abhorrent ways possible.

Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.


ROESGEN: Now a few more stories making news across America.

In South Carolina, after four days on the run, a man charged with sexually assaulting two teenaged girls is in jail this morning. Investigators say Kenneth Hinson assaulted the girls in a hidden room under a shed on his property. He was arrested Friday at the home of a relative.

In Hawaii, the confirmed death toll now from Tuesday's dam break is three people. Search and rescue teams found a third victim in a streambed on the island of Kauai yesterday. The Coast Guard is suspending its aerial and ocean search, but state and county teams there in Hawaii plan to continue their search on land. Four people are still missing.

A mix-up at a Washington airport between the nation's terrorist watch list and a White House guest, who happened to be Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA-allied Sinn Fein Party in Northern Ireland. New York Congressman Brian Higgins says Adams was detained Friday after leaving a Saint Patty's Day event at the White House.


REP. BRIAN HIGGINS (D), NEW YORK: We got a call tonight that Gerry Adams is being detained in Washington for an inordinate period of time because his name turned up on a terror watch list.


ROESGEN: According to Higgins, not only was Adams' name on that list, but his traveling companion's name was also.

Well, a California city tells smokers if you light up, you'd better be prepared to pay up. It's the nation's toughest smoking ban and some are calling it a drag, as in take a drag on that cigarette but do it fast.


ROESGEN: Also...


BILL LESTER, NASCAR DRIVER: I look like a typical NASCAR driver, right? I mean there's nothing different about me, right?



NASCAR driver Bill Lester feeds his need for speed as he races right into the records book.

Reynolds Wolf -- good morning, sir.



ROESGEN: What began as a way to honor an uncle serving in Iraq has turned into a global outreach of sorts, touching almost a quarter of a million people. In the next hour, we'll introduce you to a 14- year-old girl, Jenessa Largent, and tell you about her freedom bracelets. She is one of the teenagers who is changing the world.

CNN SATURDAY MORNING continues in a moment.


ROESGEN: Updating our top stories now, tens of thousands of people in Belgrade say farewell to Slobodan Milosevic. The man nicknamed "the butcher of the Balkans" is being hailed as a hero by his supporters.

More than a dozen people were hurt by roadside bombs in Iraq today. One bomb wounded a group of worshippers on a pilgrimage from Baghdad to Karbala. And five Iraqi soldiers were hurt in a separate attack.

Florida residents forced out of their homes by a wildfire are allowed to return now. The fire burned 500 acres near Orlando. Three hundred homes were evacuated.

HARRIS: Boy, that is -- that is just bad news there. The whole season, it seems like, Reynolds, we've been -- wow! How long has this been? We've had the drought that has sort of hung over the Phoenix area...


ROESGEN: Well, you can bet on this -- millions of people are not only putting a few dollars on their favorite picks in the office pool, as Tony is. They are also going online now, hoping to cash in on March madness.

HARRIS: So last year, Internet gambling was a $7 billion business. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you it's a growth industry. We will go "Beyond The Game" with that man, Rick Horrow...


HARRIS: Good morning, Rick.

HORROW: Good morning.

HARRIS: How are you?

HORROW: Good morning to you.

I'm wonderful.

HARRIS: And...

HORROW: I'm just really excited to be part of your world this morning.

HARRIS: And my world and Susan's world continues right after the break. HORROW: And Susan's and everybody's world.


HARRIS: Hey, March madness has taken over the American workplace. One survey says about half of your co-workers have paid money to bet in at least one office pool. And it's all illegal. Did you know that?


But don't worry, the Feds are not likely to come busting in to confiscate your brackets. But your boss may be concerned about the estimated $3.8 billion in lost productivity. March madness gambling could break records this year, especially online betting.

For more, let's bring in the author of "When the Game Is On the Line," sports business analyst Rick Horrow, who joins us, as he does every week, from West Palm Beach, Florida -- all right, Rick, good to see you here.

HORROW: Great music, huh?

Great music.

HARRIS: Yes, a little Abba this morning?

That's not bad.

HORROW: Yes, absolutely.

HARRIS: We know that gambling on sports is a major concern. Pro sports, college sports. But when it comes to March madness, the dollars are insane here.

How is it being dealt with on the college level?

HORROW: Well, first of all, it's a $300 billion industry, legal and illegal. That's more than our defense budget, by the way. And the key is that $44 million goes to sports every year, from sponsorships and others, from the casino industries and gaming industries. That's why it's not that easy to regulate.

But here's the problem. One study says 21 percent of eleventh graders gamble. Another study of 20,000 athletes in college say that 63 percent gamble. And another study says that 2,000 Division 1 football players, 32 of them have taken money to throw games and 23 others know a friend that did.

That's why the issue really merits attention. And, of course, the FBI is stepping in to conduct educational seminars at next week's men's and women's Sweep Sixteen.

HARRIS: OK, let's go to -- let's pull up a full screen here.

I want to show you something here and get your comments on it. One survey says 58 million workers will spend at least 13.5 minutes a day watching games. That comes to $3.8 billion over the 16- day tournament in lost productivity. And this year you can watch games online for free.

Now, how has the Internet, Rick, influenced March madness and sports betting in general?

HORROW: Well, first of all, the giveaway for free is because ads can be then sold and get money from the Internet even more so than before. We've done that last week. But the bottom line, of course, of that is it makes it easier to gamble. And people say that by 2010, the gambling industry on the Internet will be an $18.4 billion industry.

So, of course, the advice is get to work. And I guess it's Saturday so we can look at our picks, even though Thursday and Friday people are at the office sneaking in the game...

HARRIS: Yes, yes, OK.

So we've got...

HORROW: After ...


HARRIS: Yes, right, right, right, right, right.

So we've got two pages here.

Let's go to the first page of our brackets, the morning team's brackets here.


HARRIS: Jim Witkowski, who just joined the team. He's right there at the top.

Reynolds Wolf, who just joined the team, is there at the top.

HORROW: Yes, yes.



HARRIS: ... with a score of 24.

HORROW: All right.

HARRIS: And, oh, T. Harris. There's T. -- well, wait a minute. Where is -- where is your name, Rick?

HORROW: Well, wait.

Time out.

First of all, I made a promise to your producer...

HARRIS: No, we don't need time out. We're going to keep going here. We keep going ahead.

HORROW: I made a promise that we were going to be brief on this, not all this banter.


HORROW: First of all, we're not even halfway through. My final four are still intact. And, by the way, I picked, remember, the Super Bowl, the exact points?


HORROW: And didn't you, two years ago, predict Atlanta to be -- uh-oh, they weren't in it.

Oh, that's right. All right.

HARRIS: You know, they...


HARRIS: It sounds like a lot of excuse making here, Rick Horrow.

HORROW: So, anyway, we're going to bring it on and we're doing it next week and we're also doing it at the final four. And we'll see who's on top then, pal.

HARRIS: All right, we'll find out.

HORROW: Yes, we will.

HARRIS: OK, Rick Horrow, good to see you.

HORROW: Yes, sir.

Thank you very much.

HARRIS: Sorry about how it's working out so far for u.

HORROW: It'll be fine, pal. It'll be fine.

HARRIS: The e-mail question of the day -- so has March madness taken over your home or workplace?

E-mail us your thoughts. Our address is

ROESGEN: And another sport. This guy is racing to change the face of NASCAR. Bill Lester is making history in the progress -- process. Lester is the first black driver to qualify for a race in NASCAR's top series in nearly 20 years. He has earned a spot in tomorrow's Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and he is only the fourth black driver in NASCAR's modern era to make the field in a cup race.

He's going to start in the 19th position in tomorrow's race.

Back to Belgrade, where thousands of people have gathered to say their final farewell to Slobodan Milosevic. The former Serbian strongman will be buried in his hometown later today.

And, Brenda, what do we have coming up from the International Desk?

BRENDA BERNARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, from London to Sydney to cities across Spain, people are taking to the streets today. We'll tell you what all the protests are about when we go global.


ROESGEN: Evil to some, hero to others. In the streets of Belgrade, Serbia today, tens of thousands of people are gathering to bid farewell to their former leader, Slobodan Milosevic.

Milosevic died last week while he was on trial for war crimes. A private funeral is set to begin in a few hours.

We'll have live reports from Belgrade throughout the morning.

In Iraq, two roadside bombs, both in Baghdad but hitting different targets. The first wounded nine Shiite pilgrims as they began their walk from Baghdad to Karbala. The second wounded five Iraqi soldiers in a neighborhood in Baghdad.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is coming back from Down Under, where she was part of the first ever three-way security talks between the U.S. Australia and Japan. Topping their list of concerns, Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs, with Condoleezza Rice calling Iran a grave concern.

And we're watching for developing news in the Middle East. In Gaza City today, so far this morning, the new Palestinian government has announced three choices for the newly formed cabinet. All three are long time members of Hamas. The rest of the cabinet appointments should be announced later today.

Poultry yes, people no -- that's what initial tests for bird flu reveal in Israel. Israel is scrambling to contain its first suspected outbreak. Four farming communities are under quarantine. Thousands of chickens and turkeys on those farms are being culled. But that is good news because four farm workers are clear of the virus.

HARRIS: It is day three of Operation Swarmer in Iraq. U.S. military officials say it's the largest air assault in that country since the 2003 invasion. U.S. and Iraqi troops are flushing out suspected insurgents.

Here to help us sort out if the operation is a success so far is retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis.

Bob, good to see you.

Thanks for your time this morning.

LT. COL. ROBERT MAGINNIS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, thank you, Tony.

HARRIS: Well, let me start with this.

"Time" magazine online is reporting that no leading insurgents were captured, no shots were fired and that the units had met no resistance.

What's going on with this operation?

MAGINNIS: Well, we're doing this all over the country, obviously, maybe not at this scale. We chased a lot of insurgents, as you know, Tony, out of Samarra, out of the Euphrates Valley. They've got to go somewhere. They go out in the desert. And apparently Iraqi intelligence suggested there were a couple of key al Qaeda people and perhaps as many as 200 supporters and caches in this 10 mile by 10 mile area.

So, you know, the U.S. working with the Iraqis, launched this operation. You know, sometimes it's going to pay off; sometimes not as much. It's to be determined after they interrogate those that they did capture as to whether or not this is a mediocre success or a good success. We'll have to see.

HARRIS: Bob, this is day three, as I mentioned.

Dux more? Dux -- I understand that we've captured some -- seized some caches of weapons and that sort of thing.

But dux more insurgents?

MAGINNIS: Well, I was hoping so, of course, Tony.


MAGINNIS: The reality is, of course, there are a couple of things going on that you wanted to distract attention from. One, the parliament met on Thursday; and then, of course, you have Ashura, the holiday, and all the Shiites going down toward Karbala. So you want to cause a distraction to insurgents, militia, those that would cause problems for the ongoing activities.

And, of course, we want to nail as many al Qaeda as we can.


MAGINNIS: But the insurgency is just going to continue, Tony. That's the reality that we're facing in there. But the good news, I think, is Iraqis -- their security forces, the Army in particular, actually led this operation, though it was planned by the U.S.

HARRIS: OK, so going forward, will Iraqi Army and security forces be in a position of being able to call in U.S. troops for these kinds of operations -- I'm thinking down the road, in the future here? And are you comfortable with that arrangement?

MAGINNIS: Well, they call us in now. They control about 25 percent of the battle space and the general yesterday said that we're trying to push, by the end of the summer, for 75 percent being controlled by Iraqis.

Now, that doesn't mean that they're going to fly the airplanes, they're going to provide all of the logistics.

HARRIS: Right.

MAGINNIS: Unfortunately, we have to continue doing that because they're not sophisticated. But they're very good at counter- insurgency at this point.

The last year, you know, I was over there a couple of months ago and the improvement over the last couple of years has been absolutely phenomenal. But they can't do it all and they need us to a certain level.

Now, are we going to be able to draw down from 133,000 now? I think so. I think we'll see a significant drop by the end of the year. But we're not going to be out of there totally for some good long time.

HARRIS: Right.

Is this -- this Operation Swarmer in the outlying areas of Samarra, is this going to be a hit and leave operation or are there going to be some U.S. presence there, some Iraqi presence there after the major operation is concluded?

MAGINNIS: You know, kind of the modus operandi here, Tony, is we go out with the Iraqi forces, we take an area, we cordon it off, search out and leave Iraqi forces in place, not U.S. forces.

We are operating on a forward operating basis so that, you know, we're kind of on call. But Iraqis are really out there occupying battle space. And that's been the difference. That's why the Euphrates Valley is clearer than it has been. That's why all the way out on the Syrian border we have Iraqi forces that are keeping the peace. And, of course, we're doing that in the major cities. Baghdad being still a challenge, because it's a seven million person, you know, city.

HARRIS: I've got to ask you one final question.

Given that there is so much chatter about drawing down troops in Iraq, I have to ask, is this operation sort of the beginning of what some might consider kind of a final sweep of insurgent strongholds on the way out of the country?

MAGINNIS: Well, until we have really stopped the flow through the border from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, and even Iran, it's going to be difficult to even come to that conclusion. There are still the old elements of Saddam Fedayeen, some of the diehards, some of the, you know, prisoners that Saddam let go. And they're all coalesced around some of these jihadists that come in with pockets full of money to distribute.

So it's going to be a while. You know, and most insurgencies last between nine and 12 years. We're in the third year, so the Iraqis, hopefully, long after we're gone, can continue to have a low level activity that they're going to have to suppress on their own.

HARRIS: U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis.

Bob, good to see you.

Thanks for your time.

MAGINNIS: Thank you, Tony.

ROESGEN: And "Going Global" now for more on the war in Iraq.

People around the world are protesting the third anniversary of the American-led invasion.

And our Brenda Bernard joins us from the International Desk to look at some of the reaction -- Brenda.

BERNARD: Thanks, Susan.

Anti-war activists are marking the third anniversary of the Iraq war with plenty of protests across the globe today. Australia kicked off the rallies this morning. About 500 protesters took to the streets of Sydney chanting, "End the war now!" and "Troops out of Iraq!"

Some people carried signs calling President Bush the world's number one terrorist.

This rally was smaller than past protests.

Later this morning, we'll bring you a massive anti-war demonstration in London. It's getting underway this hour. Up to 100,000 people are expected to march there.

And then there's this protest. Thousands of Spanish teens poured into the streets for giant drinking sessions. Teenagers in 20 Spanish cities took part in the demonstrations. They were defying laws that have been introduced to stop youths from binge drinking, called botellones. It's a practice in recent years in which kids who are bored go out and buy lots of alcohol and hang out on the streets drinking all night, and lawmakers want it stopped.

The kids are pushing back with this mega botellones, which ended this morning in clashes with police. And authorities say 80 people were injured and 50 others were arrested -- Susan.

ROESGEN: OK. Some different sorts of protests this morning.

BERNARD: Yes, indeed.


HARRIS: And still to come...


FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm driving a Chevrolet in the middle of Brazil on ethanol, pure ethanol. Not a drop of oil, imported oil, in this tank.


HARRIS: Driving a car without spending big bucks for gas? Sounds like a dream. But in Brazil it is a reality. Can the U.S. cash in on this type of deal? We'll take a look -- Reynolds, good morning.


Texas is finally getting some much needed rainfall. We're seeing snowfall across parts of the Central Rockies and in Boston it is beautiful this morning. Take a look at this live image that we have. Wonderful, wonderful shot skies, partly cloudy there, a little breezy. Temperatures expected to go up to about 37 degrees for a high today.

Your complete forecast across the nation is coming up in a few moments.


ROESGEN: Who says you're too young to make a difference?

Seven years ago, a middle school student, Lindsey Williams, had an idea to improve small scale farming harvests. Pretty big stuff for a middle school student. But now she's growing vegetables for several food banks and she is one of the teenagers who is changing the world.

You'll meet her in the next hour.

CNN SATURDAY MORNING continues in a moment.


ROESGEN: You know, some people say their pets are like people. And if you have a pet, you believe it. has launched a special report on man's best friend and our Veronica de la Cruz has the story.


VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today's modern pets lead modern lives, enjoying the best the industry and their owners have to offer. In 2005, $36.3 billion was spent on food, supplies, medicines and services for pets.

And, as if one breed of dog isn't enough, you can check out the designer dogs in this gallery.

How about a puggle, which is part pug, part beagle?

Or, a labradoodle, a mix of a lab and a poodle which doesn't shed thanks to its poodle heritage?

You can also check out some animals famous for being pets and some pets belonging to famous people in this gallery.


HARRIS: And our top stories this morning.

A massive crowd gathers in Belgrade this hour for a final farewell to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. His body was carried from the Serbian capital to Milosevic's hometown for burial. The man known as "The Butcher of the Balkans" died last week while on trial for war crimes.

More bloodshed in Iraq today. Two roadside bombs wounded 13 people. One attack targeted a group of Shiites on a pilgrimage from Baghdad to Karbala. The other blast targeted Iraqi soldiers.

And protests are being held around the world today, as anti-war activists mark the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. This demonstration in Sydney, Australia kicked off the demonstrations. Some 500 people took part.

ROESGEN: And now, imagine paying $7 a gallon for gasoline or having to ration your groceries. Some people say America's reliance on oil makes that a real possibility one day.

But that is not the case in Brazil. Brazilians have worked for decades to declare their independence from big oil. It's a sweet success story because it starts with sugar cane.

CNN's Frank Sesno reports.


SESNO (voice-over): This place has a rhythm all its own. But what brings me to Brazil is this -- sugar cane, mile after mile of it. They make sugar with it, of course; but also something that makes Brazil a world leader -- sugar cane ethanol, clean burning, high octane. Ethanol now accounts for nearly 40 percent of Brazil's transportation fuel. In a dangerous world, this stuff is sweet in more ways than one.

(on camera): Eduardo, this stuff goes on forever.

EDUARDO JUNQUEIRA: Yes. It's a green ocean, only sugar cane. SESNO (voice-over): I meet Eduardo Junqueira in the fields near his mill, four hours north of Sao Paulo. It's one of the largest operations in the region.

JUNQUEIRA: So they all love the sugar cane here. And with this sugar cane, we produce sugar and ethanol.

SESNO (on camera): You can smell the sugar, smell the molasses.

JUNQUEIRA: It smells very good.

SESNO (voice-over): Here, nothing is wasted. The fiber from the cane is burned, which generates enough power for the entire mill.

(on camera): This is renewable energy in the real sense.

JUNQUEIRA: Renewable energy in the real sense. And we are able to produce ethanol that's enough to fuel about 11,000 or more cars per day.

SESNO: Eleven thousand cars a day from -- of ethanol...


SESNO: ... from these tanks?


SESNO: Day after day?

JUNQUEIRA: Day after day.

SESNO (voice-over): Brazil is experiencing a sugar boom. Three hundred mills produced four billion gallons of ethanol in 2005. Fifty-one new mills are under construction. And they'll need 130 more in the next seven years.

Why? Because ethanol in Brazil is not an experiment, it's a way of life. You see it at just about every gas station. Alcool, they call it. And it's a lot cheaper than gasoline, though it doesn't deliver quite the mileage. Here, even regular gas contains 25 percent ethanol.

Brazil's ethanol program has its roots in the 1970s oil shocks.

Jose Goldenberg, one of the early ethanol promoters, remembers how the crisis nearly brought his country to its knees.

JOSE GOLDENBERG: The Brazilian economy was coming to a halt because you couldn't get fuel.

SESNO: In 1975, Brazil's government -- a military government -- decreed a national ethanol program, pouring billions into it. But the big break didn't come for nearly 30 years. Flex-fuel cars, introduced only in 2003, can run interchangeably on pure ethanol or a gas/ethanol mix. An inexpensive sensor analyzes the fuel and instantly adjusts the engine.

Three quarters of all new cars now sold in Brazil are Flex.

Brazilians say the ethanol they make, together with the oil they pump, are about to make Brazil energy independent. They won't need oil imports.

(on camera): If there's a disruption in the Middle East, life will go on here as normal?

GOLDENBERG: Exactly. Exactly. And that was very clear in 1975. That's the reason why we supported the ethanol program in this country.

SESNO (voice-over): Ethanol helped Brazil beat its oil addiction. And with sales and exports growing, it's profitable. No more government money.

GOLDENBERG: I think that we won. A good scientific idea was adopted by a large country in the world.

SESNO (on camera): I'm driving a Chevrolet in the middle of Brazil on ethanol, pure ethanol. Not a drop of oil, imported oil, in this tank. And here's the stuff growing all around us that is the fuel. And I'm thinking why can't I do this in America?


ROESGEN: We'll have more on America's oil addiction and the catastrophe that could be coming.


It airs tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 Eastern, only on CNN.


ROESGEN: Hey, we know you know U2, which we have in the background there in the Water Cooler.

HARRIS: Yes, yes. Right.

ROESGEN: But have you ever heard of a guy named Tim Linhart?




ROESGEN: But you will.


ROESGEN: This is a guy who is known for creating beautiful sounds from instruments made of ice. HARRIS: Well, as improbable as that seems, Linhart's creations have been showcased in concerts at winter festivals and that's just the tip of the iceberg in a segment we like to call "The Water Cooler."


HARRIS (voice-over): Was Winston Churchill crazy? No, but some Britons think the folks who commissioned this statue might be. A charity says it meant no disrespect to the former prime minister, it just wanted to raise awareness of mental health. Churchill's grandson, a member of parliament, calls the statue "absurd."

If you think that's nuts, try wrapping your head around this annual testicle festival in Virginia City, Nevada. This weekend's event at the Bucket of Blood Saloon is just one of many Mountain Oyster events across the West this time of year. If you have to ask what that is, you might want to skip it.

Here's more food for thought from the bad idea department. It's a new Web site that encourages celebrity stalking. Anyone who spots a famous person can post the location on within minutes, including a street map.

Also from the dubious concept file, a townhouse for sale, owner included. The middle-aged bachelor behind is sweetening the deal by offering to marry the lucky lady who buys his home. Better think it through before making an offer.

Even if he does land a bride, don't expect her to be a grieving widow some day. A new study finds that nearly half of widows over age 65 get over their spouse's death pretty doggone quick. About 10 percent actually cheer, yes.

And finally, an idea out of Germany so obvious, you wonder why they didn't think of it sooner -- ex-prostitutes recruited as geriatric nurses. Early reports are glowing. Who knew that hookers have the hands-on experience and bedside manner to be natural caregivers?


ROESGEN: Natural caregivers?

HARRIS: I just read it. I should have -- OK.

ROESGEN: Natural care -- before you saw the video, huh?


HARRIS: Well, I didn't see the video.

ROESGEN: Yes, they're natural caregivers.

HARRIS: Speaking of video, you know, here's a piece of Water Cooler video that is a favorite around here at the rock and roll ranch. And this is all in honor of Susan Roesgen.


ROESGEN: I see signs that say hey, you know...


HARRIS: Oh, Susan!

ROESGEN: Oh, god.

HARRIS: Look at Susan.

This is -- continues to be -- this is at Mardi Gras, obviously.


WOLF: Wow!

HARRIS: Right?

WOLF: Pretty cool.

HARRIS: And this is Susan. You took part in -- what is this, the Rex...

ROESGEN: The Rex Parade. This is an all male crew, Tony, so this is the first ever.

HARRIS: That's why this is so significant for us.


HARRIS: And since you're here, we had to show this bit of video, because you broke the ceiling with this. No woman has ever been on any of the floats in this parade.

Is that true?

ROESGEN: That's true.

Well, officially.

HARRIS: Officially.

ROESGEN: Because they say they might have taken a pretty young girl some time...

HARRIS: Well, hey now.

ROESGEN: ... and brought her up on the float for a block or two...

HARRIS: Right.

ROESGEN: ... and then taken her down. But this is an all male crew. You know, they wear masks and costumes and this is the traditional ultimate carnival krewe in New Orleans.

HARRIS: Because on this -- on -- in this parade and on one of these floats, we have the official king of carnival, correct?

ROESGEN: That's right.

HARRIS: See, you didn't think I knew him, did you?

ROESGEN: Boy, you know a lot.

HARRIS: Well, well...

ROESGEN: You've got to come down to New Orleans next year and let me show you a good time at Mardi Gras.

HARRIS: We planned for your arrival today.

ROESGEN: That's sweet. I hadn't seen this. This is really sweet.

WOLF: That is very cool.

ROESGEN: It was fun.


WOLF: And, you know, in light of the great video that we've just seen...


WOLF: ... I've got something for you here.


WOLF: There you go.

ROESGEN: Oh, right!

HARRIS: Hey, there you go.

He continues.

ROESGEN: Yes, I don't know if people saw these.

WOLF: Well, there you...

ROESGEN: These are official CNN Mardi Gras beads. I don't know if folks had a chance to see them.

HARRIS: Yes. Sure.

WOLF: Two times. ROESGEN: These are so cool.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

WOLF: Well, that's -- I mean I didn't bring that out as anything special. I mean it should be an essential part for any wardrobe. I mean I always carry this with me pretty much everywhere I go. I mean...

ROESGEN: But you know what, Reynolds?

If you throw it, you could kill somebody. So it's this kind...

WOLF: You know, this could...

ROESGEN: ... you just wear it.

WOLF: This could injure...

ROESGEN: You don't throw it.

WOLF: This could easily injure a small child.


WOLF: I mean you have to be very careful. I mean definitely, you know, eye protection is needed for a thing like this.

HARRIS: Speaking of throwing...

ROESGEN: Mardi Gras was fun this year and CNN really covered it well so.

WOLF: And there was a little bit of rain, wasn't there, for Mardi Gras?


ROESGEN: Well, not in the video that we've seen. It was a beautiful day on Mardi Gras day, as we say...

WOLF: Mardi Gras day...

ROESGEN: ... we done. And Fat Tuesday was beautiful. Perfect.


HARRIS: We want to take you to Fort Worth, Texas right now.

We are actually standing by and waiting for -- you see this building here? Thirty stories.

ROESGEN: They're going to implode it. They're going to implode it. They say they expect 10,000 spectators to see this 30-story building come down.


ROESGEN: But, no one there will actually get the same vantage point that you're getting in your televisions because they are going to put up these trailers on the ground to protect people, so they won't actually be able to see it come down. But you'll see it here live.

WOLF: I don't...

HARRIS: So what -- yes, no, no.

WOLF: I don't know how you guys feel about that, but for me, there's no better way to start a day than with an implosion. I mean it's an essential part of every morning.

ROESGEN: Especially in Las Vegas. But this isn't Las Vegas. This is in Fort Worth.

HARRIS: Right, right, right.

WOLF: There you go.

HARRIS: Well, we're going to follow this. This is supposed to happen in the 8:00 Eastern hour and when it does we will bring it to you.

The next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING begins in a moment.


HARRIS: Now in the news, U.S. and Iraqi troops are pressing ahead with the hunt of insurgents near Samarra. Operation Swarmer is now in its third day.

Meanwhile, two roadside bombs exploded in Iraq today. Nine Shiite pilgrims were wounded in one attack. Five Iraqi soldiers were hurt in the other.

Protests are taking place around the world today to mark the third anniversary of the Iraq war. Police in London shut down streets in advance of the demonstrations. Protests are also planned across Europe. Earlier, demonstrators took to the streets in Asia and Australia.

The leader of Northern Ireland's Sinn Fein PARTY gets caught in a snag at a D.C. airport. Gerry Adams was headed for Buffalo after attending a St. Patrick's Day event at the White House. A New York congressman says Adams was detained after his name appeared on a terrorist watch list. More on that story coming up.

ROESGEN: A frightening scenario. A frightening scenario is on the table at the White House this morning. Officials are taking part in an exercise dealing with a possible smallpox attack by terrorists. It's the second in a series of drills designed to improve the government's disaster preparedness. And the funeral for Slobodan Milosevic is set to begin next hour. Thousands of his supporters are gathering in Belgrade to pay their respects. Milosevic died a week ago while on trial for war crimes. His supporters hail him as a hero.

The designer behind Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' glamorous style has died. Oleg Cassini designed for the first lady throughout her White House years. he says he created more than 300 outfits for her. Cassini died yesterday at the age of 92.

HARRIS: From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING, March 18, 8:00 a.m. here at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, 7:00 a.m. in the Mississippi Valley.

Good morning, everyone, I'm Tony Harris.

ROESGEN: Too darn early.



ROESGEN: And I'm Susan Roesgen, filling in for Betty Nguyen, who gets up every weekend at this hr.


ROESGEN: Thanks for joining us today.

HARRIS: And there is a lot on tap this hour. Do you grumble about getting up in the morning, about today's youth?



HARRIS: Then stick around. You'll meet two accomplished teenagers with even brighter futures. They're part of a group dubbed Twenty Teens who will change the world.

pumping iron, it's just one way to spring into shape for a summer beach body. We'll talk to a fitness expert who can buff you up. That's in the next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

And we also have tips to get you in financial shape. There's a new credit rating system in place. A credit consultant will be here two hours from now to tell you what the changes mean to you.

ROESGEN: And a big mix-up at a Washington airport.

HARRIS: Yes, security agents reportedly detained the leader of the IRA ally Sinn Fein. It turns out that Gerry Adams had just left a St. Patrick's Day event at the White House and was on his way to another gathering in Buffalo, New York.

Alysha Palumbo of our affiliate WIVB reports. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALYSHA PALUMBO, REPORTER, WIVB, BUFFALO (voice-over): People packed the South Buffalo Irish Center to hear Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams speak. But instead, they heard this.

REP. BRIAN HIGGINS (D), NEW YORK: We got a call tonight that Gerry Adams is being detained in Washington for an inordinate period of time, because his name turned up on a terror watch list.

PALUMBO: U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins had personally arranged for Adams' visit to Buffalo this weekend. It would have been the west Belfast native's first St. Patrick's Day speech since the IRA disarmament last year.

HIGGINS: But that he comes up on a terror watch list at this point in a critical, critical juncture in the Northern Ireland peace process is unconscionable.

PALUMBO: Supporters who came to hear Adams speak were frustrated, saying this proves the PATRIOT Act has gone too far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gerry Adams is not a terrorist. He's the one who's been negotiating, fighting hard, working hard for the peace accords, the Good Friday peace accord in the northern portion of Ireland.


HARRIS: Again, that was Alysha Palumbo of CNN affiliate WIVB in Buffalo, New York.

And now, a few stories making headlines across America.

The man on the stretcher you'll see here in a moment is being sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years. He's William Stryer (ph). A California jury found him guilty of opening fire on a lawyer, who dodged bullets and ducked behind a tree. You remember that video? It was all caught on tape. The lawyer was shot five times, but survived.

ROESGEN: In South Carolina, after four days on the run, a man charged with sexually assaulting two teenage girls is in jail this morning. Investigators say Kenneth Hinson (ph) assaulted the girls in a hidden room under a shed on his property. He was arrested Friday at the home of a relative.

HARRIS: And in central Florida, hundreds of residents are back in their homes after fire danger passed. The brush fire burned about 500 acres near the town of Sebring. Firefighters say the winds changed, allowing the evacuation order to be dropped. And there were no reports of any injuries.

ROESGEN: Now, this next story is one of those where you had to be there to believe it, and even if you had been there, it might be a stretch. HARRIS: You have a runaway cow cargo, illegal immigrants, a stolen car, a chase, and a fire all back-to-back in a weird 6 degrees of separation kind of way.

Kristina De Leon of CNN affiliate WOAI can tell you what happened better than certainly we can.


DET. SGT. MAUREEN WATSON: It was almost hard to believe.

KRISTINA DE LEON, REPORTER, WOAI (voice-over): Detective Sergeant Maureen Watson has been in law enforcement for 15 years, and never--

WATSON: Never had a day like this. I mean, I think the best way to characterize it, it was bizarre. It's really, really strange.

DE LEON: Strange, because it started out with a truck towing cattle, and ended in fire.

WATSON: We believe they gave the cattle trailer came open, and the cows, for lack of a better term, spilled out onto the interstate. So it was pretty chaotic for a while.

DE LEON: Several cars hit some of the cows. One of them died. DPS troopers called for backup, and that's when one officer was nearly run down by a speeding truck carrying two illegal immigrants inside.

(on camera): Police were out looking for those illegal immigrants. They parked their cars in the hot grass, burning two of them, including that brand-new 2006 Crown Victoria.

WATSON: Where all of a sudden, another officer who'd arrived on the scene alerted the sergeant that there was a fire.

DE LEON (voice-over): Everything was destroyed, including tens of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment designed especially for the patrol cars.

WATSON: You start off with kind of a bizarre accident, with these cows spilling it onto the interstate. That leads other accidents, that leads to a car chase. That leads to a foot chase.

DE LEON: The two Mexican immigrants, ages 21 and 23, are in custody for illegally entering the country and evading arrest.


HARRIS: OK, that was Kristina De Leon of CNN affiliate WOAI reporting. So, Susan, even though things kind of started out wacky, they kind of worked themselves out in the end here.

ROESGEN: Yes, a lot of wacky.

HARRIS: Yes. ROESGEN: Those two accidents were both cleaned up. The guys were carted off to jail, and nobody was seriously hurt.

Small things sometimes have a huge impact, and little actions can change the world. Coming up, you'll meet two amazing teenagers who are making a difference.

HARRIS: And Reynolds, I don't know if you have that great picture of Boston, but, boy, that was a great sunrise in Beantown this morning.



WOLF: I'm meteorologist Reynolds Wolf for CNN.

And this is a look at the flu season. From the central Rockies eastward, the flu cases are widespread to regional, to the southeast and the northeast, right along the eastern seaboard, also up to the Great Lakes.

Meanwhile, into the central Rockies westward, conditions aren't quite as bad. Sporadic in a few spots, namely, over the Four Corners, for parts of the Great Basin into California. It is just a little bit of local activity, and in Alaska, it is sporadic.

I'm meteorologist Reynolds Wolf with the flu season.


ROESGEN: And now some of the top stories this morning.

Pallbearers carry the casket of Slobodan Milosevic for a ceremony in Belgrade. The late Serbian leader is going to be buried in about two hours. He died last week in the Hague, where, you know, he was on trial before a U.N. war crimes tribunal.

A top Northern Ireland political figure was detained, apparently, at a Washington-area airport. A congressman says Gerry Adams was held because his name appears on the terror watch list. Adams had just come from the White House, where he had been a guest of President Bush's at a St. Patrick's Day event.

And a roadside bomb wounded nine Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad today. The pilgrims were walking to Karbala to mark the conclusion of a religious observance.

HARRIS: Hey, Reynolds, is it possible we could get most of what we want and need today, maybe some rain for Texas, and perhaps a great day along the Northeast, and most other parts of the country?


ROESGEN: Warmer here, though, than Minneapolis.


ROESGEN: Rather be here.

HARRIS: We like it.


ROESGEN: Time now for our e-mail question. This is your chance to take part in our program this morning. Has March madness taken over your home or where you work?


ROESGEN: E-mail us your thoughts. Our address is, and we'll read some of the comments throughout the morning.

Straight ahead on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, who's wearing bracelets at the Pentagon made by this girl?

And how can smart farming change the world for countless families?


HARRIS: You know, being a smoker is tough nowadays, and if you haven't kicked the habit, your life could get even tougher. That story in the next hour.


ROESGEN: Every year, "Teen People" magazine highlights 20 teenagers who will change the world, whether they're fighting to end hunger or fighting crime on the Internet. Teenagers can teach us that you're never too young to do some amazing things.

You can read about these superteens in "Teen People's" April issue, and we've got two of the teenagers who are changing the world with us here this morning, Jenessa Largent and Lindsey Williams.

Jenessa, we'll start with you, live there in Minnesota this morning. You make something you call freedom bracelets. What are they, and do you have one you could show us?

JENESSA LARGENT, "TEEN PEOPLE" HONOREE: They are bracelets that I make for the soldiers, and they consist of red, white, and blue heart beads and yellow beads that represent that you want to show your support for the troops, and they look like this, pretty much. And the red, white, and blue heart bead represents love and patriotism, and the hemp string that we use represents the durability and the strength of the soldier.

ROESGEN: Now, you started making these when an uncle went to Iraq, right? How long ago was that?

LARGENT: In March of 2003. ROESGEN: And now you're making how many?

LARGENT: We've sent out 202,000 since the beginning of the project.

ROESGEN: Even to folks at the Pentagon, right?

LARGENT: Yes. I had a trip there, because the soldiers could not wear the bracelets with their uniform, and so we arranged a meeting with a bunch of the generals, and we were able to have that rule changed, so that the soldiers could wear the bracelets.

ROESGEN: How are people finding out about you? How did this become something special you did for a relative and then turn into something you do for people you've never met?

LARGENT: Well, it started out really small and just locally, and it just grew and grew and grew through media and Internet and word of mouth, and it spread nationally, and then worldwide.

ROESGEN: Who supplies you with the hemp and the clay that you make? And are you still doing it by hand, or do you have a whole warehouse of people helping you?

LARGENT: The supplies are all donated by a couple different companies, DeReese (ph) supplies the beads and Sculpey does -- supplies the clay. And we have about 5,000 volunteers that we've had since the beginning that have helped make the bracelets, so we have lots of kids involved.

ROESGEN: What is the message that you want people who wear these freedom bracelets to get, and are they just for soldiers, or are they for everybody?

LARGENT: They're for soldiers, their family, or anyone who wants to show their support for the troops. And I think the message that I would probably want people to get is, just to always remember the troops and to show your support, whether you're for or against the war, just to always remember the sacrifice that they make for us.

ROESGEN: Jenessa, what's your future plans? I mean, are you going to be a jewelry designer? Are you going to do something else with your life? Have you got any thoughts about what you might do when you get out of college?

LARGENT: I don't know yet.

ROESGEN: That's OK. I didn't know either, but it looks like you're well on your way to something, one of our teens who are changing the world.

Let's turn now to Lindsey Williams. Lindsey Williams joins us up in Missouri.

Lindsey, you're a young farmer. Tell us what you've learned to do. LINDSEY WILLIAMS, FOUNDER, GARDENING FOR FAMILIES: I have actually taken a gardening project that I started as a science fair project, and I have turned it into Gardening for Families, which is the project that I -- or the name that I give the project. And I donate the produce from the project to local food pantries, and as of now, I've donated almost 40,000 pounds of fresh vegetables.

ROESGEN: Now, you started this when you were a middle-school student, right? You were looking for a way to grow more vegetables in a smaller amount of land, right?


ROESGEN: How does that work? What did you come up with?

WILLIAMS: I first came up with a planting technique called transverse planting, which involves laying the plant on its side and planting it horizontally, compared to the traditional vertical. It allows the root system to be in the upper topsoil, where it can receive more moisture, and in the warmer soil, so the plant actually grows larger, and it produce more produce.

ROESGEN: So if you do this horizontally, then these are plants that are in pots or ...


WILLIAMS: They're actually -- they're planted in raised mounds.

ROESGEN: In raised mounds. And does it actually take a less amount of soil, then? You could do it if you lived in an urban environment, where you don't have a lot of land, maybe just have a little spit beside your house, you could actually grow some vegetables?

WILLIAMS: Yes, all do you is, you go ahead and break down (ph) for a garden, you know, till it just like you normally would, and then rake up the dirt in probably seven-, eight-inch mounds, just with a regular rake.

ROESGEN: And you've been supplying food banks there and farmers' markets. How does that work? How did you get involved with that, and what's important about that to you?

WILLIAMS: My dad, he actually volunteers a lot with local places in my town, and he was the one that suggested taking some of the produce in to the local food pantry.

ROESGEN: And then you've supplied, like, I think we've said, 35,000 pounds of food?

WILLIAMS: Yes, it's not quite reached 40,000 right now.

ROESGEN: Well, apart from farming, and apart from the joy that you get from seeing something grow, what is it that motivates you to keep at this? WILLIAMS: I think overall, finding a way to stop world food hunger.

ROESGEN: That's a pretty big goal. I mean, how do you go after that, one tomato plant at a time?

WILLIAMS: I guess you could say that, or one step at a time.

ROESGEN: I asked the same question of Jenessa earlier. What do you think you want to do when you're out on your own?

WILLIAMS: Well, I'm a freshman in college right now, and I'm a chemistry major, and I'm hoping to get an environmental emphasis, and I really want to start working on large crops.

ROESGEN: You know, Lindsey, both you and Jenessa have done something, you know, basic, something with your hands. You guys aren't playing iPods or, you know, online computer games. Where does this come from, that you're both in sort of really grassroots kind of ideas?

WILLIAMS: I guess you could say we were raised with the ideas. Came from our background.

ROESGEN: And how about you, Jenessa?

LARGENT: I would guess it was just saying -- just seeing that there was a need for change in your community, and just being able to take action on that.

ROESGEN: Well, hey, Lindsey and Jenessa, thank you both for being here this morning. Go for it. You guys are a real inspiration to we who are a lot older than you.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

LARGENT: Thank you.

ROESGEN: Thank you.

Now, each of the teenagers gets a $1,000 scholarship from L'Oreal Paris. And then next Saturday, you're going to meet two more of these teenagers who are changing the world.

HARRIS: They are something.

We will rejoin you at the top of the hour. "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta is next today, looking, well, taking a closer look at the best way for the U.S. to become a fitter nation. And like a lot of things in life, it begins at school.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Now, here's an exercise you don't expect to see a PE teacher do, but you see, it's taco day, and with resources tight in the Grand Rapids school district, the gym at Madison Park Elementary doubles as a lunchroom.

HELEN SMITH, PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER: So we need to walk in, go to our spot, and sit down quietly, OK? The floor may be wet.

GUPTA: Helen Smith, like many PE teachers here, goes above and beyond, trying to help fight what their district labels a youth obesity crisis.

SMITH: Do you know if you need a big scooter or not? Get a big scooter if you need one.

GUPTA: But it is tough. Kids here get a mere 35 minutes of physical education, not per day, but per week.

SMITH: Get the ball.

GUPTA: And that's pretty typical for Michigan schools.

SMITH: We definitely have a childhood obesity problem. I mean, it's huge. It's 20 to 25 percent of kids who are overweight, 9- to 15-year-olds. It's an epidemic. And it's only going to get worse if we don't do something about it.

GUPTA: So Smith maximizes every minute she has. She has to. Four different elementary schools call her their PE teacher. Rushing from school to school carrying her own equipment, she becomes a blur of activity, cramming in as much as possible into class.

SMITH: Run over those, Renee (ph). Run over them.

GUPTA: If quantity isn't part of the game plan, Smith hopes the quality of fitness her students get will encourage exercise outside of class.

SMITH: It's not all about athletics. It's about moving, getting them off the couch, getting them doing different things, getting them involved, having a good time while they're doing it, not thinking it's work.

GUPTA: Seeing a gap in kids' fitness options, other groups in Grand Rapids step in to help. This is the YMCA's Healthy U, a two- year-old program it hopes to bring to other communities. The Y brings its trainers and equipment to the schools for its after-school programs two times a week. The other day, it picks them up after school and takes them to the Y's state-of-the-art facilities. That means these kids get about four and a half extra hours of fitness and nutrition activities a week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you know what? That is so good for your heart.

GUPTA: All for free, thanks to grants and corporate sponsorships. There's kid-size exercise equipment, fitness classes, yoga.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feel the breath as it enters your body and fills up your lungs.

GUPTA: When the kids started the program, 21 percent of them already had high blood pressure, 97 percent scored poor on flexibility tests. Now, both are significantly better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that the program works. Obviously, how we feel, it's great. But we also see that the need is much greater than what we're able to do. And so while we've been able to impact 3,000 kids, we see the need as 100,000 kids...

GUPTA: And our phys. ed. teacher, Helen Smith, agrees.

SMITH: We have a lot of couch potatoes, I think, so hopefully we can get away from that.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.



ROESGEN: In just a little while, near the White House, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, a closed-door tabletop exercise, they call it, dealing with the possibility of terrorists using smallpox as a weapon. It's the second in a series of drills to help the federal government prepare for possible attacks or epidemics.

More bloodshed in Iraq today. Two roadside bombs wounded 14 people. One attack targeted a group of pilgrims walking from Baghdad to Karbala. The other blast targeted Iraqi soldiers.

A mix-up at a Washington airport involving a White House guest, Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA-allied Sinn Fein party in Northern Ireland. A New York congressman says Adams was detained after his name showed up on the terror watch list. But Adams had just come from a St. Patrick's Day event at the White House.

In Cairo, a spokesman for the World Health Organization says initial tests show that a woman who died in Egypt this week had bird flu. If confirmed, it would be the first human death from that disease in Egypt. The woman was reportedly raising poultry at her home and some of her birds also died.

Our theme for this year's "New You" fitness challenge is centered around the power of pairs. Today, it is the moment of truth. Did pairing help our teams in their eight-week challenge? We'll get their final numbers as they sit down with CNN's senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to talk about their experiences. "HOUSE CALL" starts right now.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines