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Thousands Of Mourners Say Goodbye To Slobodan Milosevic; 60 Are In Custody From Operation Swarmer; New Credit Scoring System; Smallpox Drill At White House; College Kids Help New Orleans Over Spring Break; Evolution Gets Boost In Chicago

Aired March 18, 2006 - 10:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Take a look at this. Live pictures as thousands gather for the funeral for the man known as "The Butcher of the Balkans." Services for former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic are underway in Serbia.
And good morning, everyone. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, on this the 18th day of March, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING. I'm Tony Harris.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: Isn't spring just around the corner?

HARRIS: Right, two days. Two days.

ROESGEN: A couple of days. Yes. I'm Susan Roesgen sitting in for Betty Nguyen today.

We're going to take you live to those services in Serbia in a minute, but first, we have a quick look at some of the other stories making news right now.

This is the third day of an intense hunt for insurgents in Iraq. So far the military says 60 people are in custody in what they call Operation Swarmer. The military says it began with the biggest air assault since the U.S. invasion three years ago.

In London, anti-war protestors carried signs calling President Bush the number one terrorist. Rallies are being held around the world, tied to the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion. A protest organizer in Sweden says Iraq is becoming a new Vietnam.

HARRIS: In the Middle East, Hamas says it's ready to announce its list of cabinet picks for the new Palestinian government. They are expected to name mostly Hamas members to high posts. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has to approve the cabinet line up.

Residents of a central Florida town are back in their homes after this wildfire sent them running. The fire came within 150 yards of the closest house and burned about 500 acres of dry brush near Sebring, south of Orlando. There have been no reports of injuries.

The man who designed clothes for Jackie Kennedy has died. Oleg Cassini gained fame designing for the famous first lady and for the Hollywood it crowd of the 60s and 70s. Cassini was 92. Coming up this hour, it's a three digit number that can control your life. Your credit rating. How it can affect the interest rate on your car and mortgage and the new credit rating system in the works that could determine your financial health. A financial expert has the latest score.

Also ahead, the theory of evolution. Many schools won't touch the subject these days but it is getting some new support. We'll tour a new exhibit at a Chicago museum.

Plus, this is the picture that conjures up spring break, but thousands of college students are doing good deeds instead of working on their tans this year far from the beach. We'll tell you who they are helping.

HARRIS: No state funeral for Slobodan Milosevic but the man dubbed "The Butcher of the Balkans" does get a massive final farewell in Serbia. A ceremony turned the president-turned-prisoner drew more than 50,000 mourners in Belgrade. Milosevic is being buried in his hometown 50 miles away. Our Alessio Vinci is there, and he joins us live.

Alessio, good morning to you.

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF: And good morning to you, Tony. The body of Mr. Milosevic is expected to arrive here in Pozarevac, about 50 miles, as you said, east of Belgrade in about a few moments.

Now there are several thousands of people waiting for him in the main square where party officials and sympathizers will give a final farewell and speeches before the procession.

The body will arrive here outside of his home where he will be buried in the ground, underneath a linden tree, a very special place to the former Yugoslav president, a place where him and his soon to be wife kissed for the first time.

We understand that in the square several thousand people are waiting for him. This was supposed to be a family affair burial because the state of Serbia declined to give the former president an official state burial but, that said, members of the Milosevic family will not be able to attend.

His wife Mira Markovic, faces charges of abuse of power and she would be -- have to go to a court in order if she wanted to come here in Serbia. Her son, his son, Marko, says that he's been threatened and therefore will not travel here.

And daughter Maria faces also an investigation in this country for firing a gun at police officers trying to extradite her late father to the U.N. war crimes tribunal. So this will be a family burial without family members -- Tony.

HARRIS: CNN's Alessio Vinci for us. Alessio, we appreciate it. Thank you. ROESGEN: Now to Iraq and the bombings in Baghdad, the latest bombings. At least 16 people have been wounded by roadside bombs today including nine Shiite pilgrims and five Iraqi soldiers. A car bomb wounded two civilians in another attack.

American and Iraqi troops are on the offensive north of Samarra again today. It is the third day of Operation Swarmer, aimed at rooting out insurgents in the area. Sixty people detained during the operation are still in custody. They were among 80 picked up since the start of this offensive.

Operation Swarmer comes just as we are approaching the third anniversary of the war in Iraq. American military officials call it the largest air assault in that country since the 2003 invasion. But what has it accomplished and what happens when it is all over? Here to help us sort it out is retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis.

Colonel, let's talk about the timing of this. Certainly you would assume it is timed to coincide with the three-year anniversary.

LT. COL. ROBERT MAGINNIS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Well, it may well, Susan. It's hard to know exactly. You just have the parliament that met and, of course, you have the holiday of Ashura, which two years previous have been bloody times.

So it perhaps is trying to distract some of the insurgents from going after Shia pilgrims. And of course, Khalilzad, the ambassador for the U.S. over there is about to meet with Iranians and so there are a host of things going on, and the timing may be coincidence or it may be planned.

ROESGEN: Our reporter on the ground there, Nic Robertson, has pointed out that the troops are seeing very little resistance. We understand that they haven't captured any key al Qaeda leaders or other terrorist leaders over there. How successful has this operation been?

MAGINNIS: Well, it, of course, sends a message that in large numbers, 1,500, 50 helicopters, 200 ground vehicles, the U.S. and the Iraqi coalition are ready to go wherever in that country to find al Qaeda and caches. Apparently, the Iraqi security forces gave the U.S., who planned this operation, the intelligence that came out of Samarra.

Now, after all, on the 22nd of February, the Golden Dome was blown up. And I think people there are rather upset with some of the al Qaeda that are in their country that perhaps left the city, went into this area northeast of Samarra, and that's where the intelligence said you have to go up there. Now, it's good news they're not in the cities and now in the deserts, so we're going to pursue them as best as we can.

ROESGEN: Well, the intelligence says we have got some resistance there. This is a hot zone. But that's not what our guys are finding. What does that mean? We have bad intelligence? MAGINNIS: Well, sometimes you have bad intelligence and, of course, you know, the insurgents are free because they are not in uniform and don't travel with descriptive vehicles. They can go just about anywhere.

Now, we've chased them out of the Euphrates Valley. We've chased them out Alkaim (ph) and Ramadi and some other places and they're just going to bounce back and forth. So intelligence, if it is not probably within last couple of hours, it is fleeting and it's difficult to find some of these insurgents and we just have to be pursuing everywhere that we possibly can.

ROESGEN: How big part of this operation are Iraqi soldiers?

MAGINNIS: Well, 800 plus are involved. They actually had the physical lead in this operation. And, of course, the Iraqis yet aren't able to support themselves to provide the type of transportation and so forth but they are taking more of the lead.

Even yesterday, one of the senior generals over there said 75 percent of the battle space is going to be turned over to the Iraqi security forces by the end of summer. That's good.

At the same time, we can't draw down too fast because we have to be there to support them because they don't have the sophistication to do some of what we are trying and need to be doing there.

ROESGEN: Yes, Colonel, finally, real quickly, didn't I hear you say earlier that you expect a dramatic American pullout, a significant pullout by the end of this year?

MAGINNIS: I think by the end of the year, you know, given that we have sovereign government stood up, the Iraqi security forces are online to be able to handle more of the countryside and the security requirements, yes. We should be able to go down, I would think, to maybe 100,000, and then decline after that.

A lot depends also upon the negotiations with the Iranians. They have been unhelpful, and I think they can help a great deal. And almost quid pro quo what's interesting here is they help us there and perhaps we might turn a little blind eye to some of the other things that they are doing.

ROESGEN: I think the White House will have to weigh in on that. Thank you Colonel Bob Maginnis for joining us today.

Tomorrow we're going to talk with former CNN Baghdad bureau chief Jane Arraf about the about the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion. She's now with the Council on Foreign Relations, and she will join us during the 9:00 hour tomorrow morning.

HARRIS: And now, a few stories making news across America.

In South Carolina, after four days on the run, Kenneth Hinson is in jail in morning. He is charged with sexually assaulting two girls in a hidden room under a shed on his property. Local authorities say they are finally relieved that he's been caught.


LT. ROBIN BRYANT, DARLINGTON CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT.: We're glad. And I -- just like the neighborhood and the community is glad that he's off the street. People can feel a little safer now. We can actually go home and get some rest now because it's been a long week.


HARRIS: And coming up in the noon hour, we'll talk to the sheriff department's chief deputy Tom Gainey live about the Hinson's arrest and where they think he had been hiding out.

Mix-up at a Washington airport involving a White House guest. Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA-aligned Sinn Fein Party in Northern Ireland. New York Congressman Brian Higgins says Adams was detained after his name showed up on a terror watch list. Adams had just come from a St. 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.


HARRIS: Well, according to Higgins, not only was Adams' name on that list, but his traveling companions too.

Ever wonder why some insurance companies ask what do you for a living? Allstate Insurance looked at 10 million insurance policies over a three-year period, Susan, breaking down accident claims according to profession. They found that biologists, chemists, economists, judges and veterinarians are better behind the wheel. These drivers are now eligible for a 10 percent discount.

And down it goes. Just a little while ago in downtown Ft. Worth, a 380-foot landmark imploded. More than 50 years of history gone in seconds. You would be amazed at how many folks showed up to see these things go down. Police expected as many as 10,000 people to be there.

ROESGEN: You know, back to the drivers story, I think on the top 10 list of worst drivers has to be television anchors who are late for work. Is that what you were thinking too?

HARRIS: They're rushing. I was thinking the very same thing.

ROESGEN: Of course, of course.

HARRIS: No surprise that we're not on the list. Yes, I'm right with you on that.

ROESGEN: Well, how many of us really know anything about our credit score? Really you don't know anything about your credit score, and it is so important. It wasn't a simple process to begin with and now understanding those three digits -- did you know there were three digits in your credit score ...


HARRIS: I did know that, yes.

ROESGEN: It is about to get even more complicated. We'll show you how.

HARRIS: Yes, and the next time you go to buy a house or a car, there could be a new system determining your credit worthiness. A financial wizard, Clyde Anderson, is here to help us all out.


VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Reynolds. Thanks. What are users clicking on at I have got the countdown to the post popular stories. That's coming up.


DEL LA CRUZ: I'm Veronica de la Cruz at the desk. Here are your top 10 stories on starting with number 10.

Students and union members across France are protesting after the unveiling of a new government job contract which would make it easier for employers to fire workers their first two years on the job.

And, number nine. As the third anniversary of the Iraq war approaches, anti-war demonstrators across the globe are protesting.

Number eight, South Dakota hears threats of a tourism boycott. This comes in protest of the state's ban on nearly all abortions.

And number seven -- hey, don't lie when it comes to Uncle Sam. A new report out shows that more than 1.2 million people were audited last year which is a 21 percent jump from the year before.

And we'll have numbers six, five and four straight ahead on CNN SATURDAY.


ROESGEN: Tens of thousands of people gathered in Belgrade to bid farewell to Slobodan Milosevic. This is a live picture now. He died a week ago while on trial for war crimes, and he's being buried in his hometown about 50 miles south of Belgrade. Supporters have shown up in spite of the fact that he was known as "The Butcher of the Balkans."

U.S. and Iraqi forces have about 60 people in custody, they say, on the third day of their Operation Swarmer. The offensive is targeting insurgents north of Samarra. They say they found stockpiles of weapons as well. And some folks in Florida are back home finally after being forced out by a wildfire. The fire burned 500 acres south of Orlando. The flames got to within about 150 yards of some homes. No reports of any injuries. About 300 homes had to be evacuated.

And we're here now with Reynolds Wolf to take a look at whether they're getting a break now down there.


ROESGEN: Well, you know, buying a house is often one of the most stressful things you can do and the anxiety level could go up because there's a change in the way your credit score is reported and it could leave you empty handed. We'll crunch the numbers for you, coming up next.

Plus, take a look at this. No beach, no booze? Well it depends on what kind of spring break you've got going. A spring break change of heart for thousands of college students who aren't at the beach. Coming up, why they gave up the fun in the sun for a different kind of experience.


GERRI WILLIS, CNN ANCHOR: Lower energy costs by weatherizing your home. You can save as much as 15 percent on your utility bills by sealing up those drafty windows and doors.

Materials like caulk and weather stripping can stop air leaks and don't forget to insulate your homes exterior walls and areas like the garage, which are also common sources of energy loss.

Also, check out the Department of Energy's Web site for information about their Weatherization Assistance Program. Now this program is available to lower income families.

And remember, caulk and weather-stripping only costs about $50 for the average home, and you can save two to three times that in one heating season.

I'm Gerri Willis with "Your Energy Tip."


HARRIS: I got problems with -- well, I've got -- Clyde, I've got problems. When it comes to your credit, it's important to keep score. Your credit rating can affect everything from the interest rate on your mortgage to whether you get hired for a job. Is that true?


HARRIS: And now, the three major credit bureaus have teamed up to develop a new credit rating system. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have developed VantageScore.

Clyde Anderson is a credit consultant and author of "What Had Happened Was." He joins us to talk about the new scoring system. Clyde, I'm torqued off and I'm not sure I should be. When does this new system take effect?

ANDERSON: Well, they're saying it's starting to implement now. Within the next six to 12 months it should be kind of trickled down to the consumer.

HARRIS: And when you say it takes effect now, isn't the system being looked over by the banking industry?

ANDERSON: Exactly. It has to be adapted by different companies. And the banking system is one that has to see how it's going to fit into their model.

HARRIS: And let me understand this here. These credit agencies, are they all powerful, all knowing? I mean, does the banking agency have to sign off on this?

ANDERSON: Well, a lot of times, the credit agencies listen because this is supposed to be a better prediction. They want to know who is going to pay back that they're borrowing.

HARRIS: OK, what's going on here? Why now? Why is this -- I'm a little suspicious of this. Why is this happening now?

ANDERSON: I think it's a coincidence as far as what's going on.

HARRIS: I don't believe in coincidences, Clyde. OK, why is it happening?

ANDERSON: I think it's been planned. I mean, this is something that's been planned and now it is the time to kind of roll it out to consumers.

HARRIS: All right.

ANDERSON: And everybody wants a better system as far as businesses to know who is a good credit risk.

HARRIS: Take a look at this. Take a look at this. There is the full screen. Under the present system, 680 is a good score. Right?

ANDERSON: Exactly. The national average is actually 678.

HARRIS: Is 678. So what happens under the new system? Is that still a good score?

ANDERSON: Not necessarily a good score under the new system. The new system is changing. The scores are going to range from 501 to 990. So now, that 680 is probably the equivalent of somewhere in the high 700 area, but it's really going to depend. It's more of a grading system now. You have got A, B, C, D and F to determine what the scores are associated with those numbers.

HARRIS: So the three agencies are working together now.

ANDERSON: Exactly. Well ...

HARRIS: So why do I need two?

ANDERSON: They are still independent companies but you're still going to have three different credit scores from each one of the credit repositories.

HARRIS: No, hang on a second. Hang on a second. This is supposed to simplify the system, right? So you're telling me I'm still going to end up with o three scores and they could be different?

ANDERSON: Still going to have with three scores. They could be different. This is supposed to be a better indicator or a better predictor. In the past, your Equifax and your Experian score could have been 100-point difference. This new scoring system is supposed to decrease that.

HARRIS: Aren't they all using the same information?

ANDERSON: Now they're using the same credit score, but you have to think about it. Different companies report to different agencies. So you may have one company that reports to Equifax, and you may have one company that reports to all three. So they're going to have different information that's compiled in their system to determine what your credit score is.

HARRIS: So I will get a letter grade and then I'll get a score attached to the letter grade?

ANDERSON: Exactly.

HARRIS: And that is going to be the same or will it be different than my FICO score?

ANDERSON: It's going to be different.

HARRIS: What are you talking -- how does this simplify anything?

ANDERSON: That's yet to be seen. That's yet to be seen how it actually simplifies anything.

HARRIS: So the FICO score can still be different?

ANDERSON: Yes. FICO score, that's a totally different model, totally different computer system. And they're using different variances to determine what a good credit score is.

HARRIS: All right. Let me get back to this whole idea of this thing -- all right, the three systems. Will you gain -- you get a 680 score. Now a good score. Will you gain or lose points in the conversion to this new system?

ANDERSON: Well, I think it should be somewhat similar. And the way I have talked to different people and look at it, if I was an honor student here, I expect to be an honor student there.

HARRIS: There you go, Clyde.

ANDERSON: And so I think that's the whole thing behind it. You want to make sure of that.

HARRIS: OK, so let's talk about -- let's see the other full screen here. We're going to talk about what makes up your credit score. Now take this apart here. I mean, there are at least one, two, three, four, five variables that I see here.

ANDERSON: Exactly.

HARRIS: Help us out here.

ANDERSON: All right, the top one, 35 percent is the payment history. That's just do you pay your bills on time? Do you have frequent delinquency?

HARRIS: Is that day or so late or 30 days late? What's on time? What is on time?

ANDERSON: That's usually 30 days late. Paying on the due date. On or before the due date, exactly, you want to pay that, but that's a 30-day passed the due date. It's usually when you're going to get reported by the company to the credit repositories.

HARRIS: Got you.

ANDERSON: So you want to make sure. That's a huge piece of the puzzle.

Then you have got 30 percent resolving debt ratio. Again, that's that piece that says you want to keep your balances below or at 33 percent of the limit. You don't want to max out those cards. You don't charge want to charge it up to the limit.


ANDERSON: That's another huge piece of it. Then you come down to 15 percent which is your credit history. You know, how long have you had credit? How long have you been in the system? Do you have time? Usually people with longer histories of credit have better credit scores.

Ten percent is inquiries. Usually in a 12-month period, they allow you seven to ten pulls. And also a good thing to remember is that usually with a mortgage loan or a car loan, in a three-week period it is considered one pool.

Ten percent is the type of credit and the use. You want to have a good mix of credit. You want to have some resolving, you want to have some installment loans. You also want to have a mortgage on there to give you a good mix.

HARRIS: And finally, as we look forward to the day that this system becomes the law do we need to do anything now to prepare for that given that that's the pie and those are the areas of concern for all of us? Do we need to do anything in those areas to get ready for the new system?

ANDERSON: I would say focus on understanding it. You know, we still have some people confused on the old system. So we want to make sure you understand this new system. They are not giving us all of the components of the new system. So it is supposed to be similar to that pie chart but they are not going give us right now what these items have as far as weight on your credit.

HARRIS: Look, you need to come back and see us when this is about to roll out, OK?

ANDERSON: I'll definitely do that. d

HARRIS: And keep us posted on this thing. And keep these folks honest too because -- all right. Clyde, appreciate it, thank you.

ANDERSON: My pleasure.

HARRIS: Susan.

ROESGEN: OK. From credit to ancient creatures. Tyrannosaurus, Brontosaurus, all kids love dinosaurs. But coming up, an exhibit puts a Chicago museum in the national debate over evolution with its dinosaurs.

And talk about a working vacation. This is spring break 2006 New Orleans style, and instead of getting hammered, college kids are swinging those hammers as they clean up the Crescent City.

And from the International Desk, let's check in now with Brenda Bernard.

BRENDA BERNARD, CNN ANCHOR: Susan, a very different story here. Take a look at these young people. They want booze. And they have taken to the streets by the thousands to demand it. I'll tell you where and why in our "Going Global" segment, coming up.


ROESGEN: "Going Global" now with the big story in Europe today, the man who has been blamed for the slaughter of thousands of men, women and children is being buried today.

HARRIS: And our Brenda Bernard joins us from the international desk with the details of the funeral of Slobodan Milosevic. Brenda, good morning.

BERNARD: Thanks Tony. As you know, Slobodan Milosevic was dubbed the "Butcher of the Balkans" and the Serbia government did not allow a state funeral for him. But look at these pictures live from Serbia today. He is getting a huge emotion filled funeral. More than 50,000 mourners came out in Belgrade to bid a final farewell to the man who was blamed for the wars in the former Yugoslavia. He's being buried in his home town just east of the capital.

People around the world meanwhile are focused on a different war today. Activists are marking the third anniversary of the Iraq war with plenty of protests. This is the scene in London. Thousands of protestors gathered in the heart of the city, some carrying posters calling President Bush the world's number one terrorist.

Meanwhile, youngsters in Spain are taking on a different fight. If you look closely, you will see many of these teens are drinking alcohol. They gathered by the thousands for giant drinking sessions in defiance of laws that have been introduced to stop youths from binge drinking called (INAUDIBLE). It's a practice in recent years in which kids go out and buy lots of alcohol and hang out on the streets drinking all night.

Lawmakers want it stopped and it's ended in clashes with police. Authorities say 80 people were injured and 50 others were arrested. Tony, can you even imagine children here in the U.S. demonstrating for the right to drink alcohol?

HARRIS: Give me second on that. Yes.

BERNARD: Well, you know in Europe and many parts of Europe you can drink at the age of 16 and these kids want to drink whenever and wherever.

HARRIS: And wherever, boy oh boy. OK, Brenda, thank you. Appreciate it.

Well, it's only a drill but the scenario is chilling. Will it happen? A terrorist unleashed a smallpox attack in the U.S. That's what some top Bush administration officials are trying it figure out today. Our White House correspondent Elaine Quijano joins us with details. Elaine good morning.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you Tony. That's right. At this hour, top officials are gathered behind closed doors here on the White House campus to run through that drill about what might happen if perhaps terrorists tried to use smallpox as a biological weapon.

Now, this morning we saw officials arriving for the so-called table top exercise, next door to the White House at the Eisenhower executive office building. Among the officials attending, the Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, the Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and the director of the CDC Dr. Julie Gerberding.

Now, this drill is really the second in a series designed to help Federal authorities prepare for a possible attack or epidemic. Now a few months ago, officials did a similar exercise looking at a possible avian flu pandemic. Today President Bush is not attending this event. He's actually spending the weekend at Camp David.

He's getting ready to deliver a speech noting the three-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. He's going to be heading to Cleveland on Monday to deliver those remarks. And in his radio address this morning, the president previewed some of his comments, saying that he'll share concrete examples of how the administration believes its approach in Iraq is working.

This comes of course just as the White House is in the midst of a renewed push to try to turn around public opinion on the Iraq war. Recent polls showing the president's approval rating depending on the poll in the 30s, way down in large part by the Iraq war. Tony.

HARRIS: CNN's Elaine Quijano in the White House for us. Elaine, thank you.

ROESGEN: When you think of spring break, you think of college students on the beach partying and drinking. You don't think of them working for hours gutting homes destroyed by hurricane Katrina. And yet as we found out this week, that is exactly what thousands of kids are doing this spring in New Orleans.


ROESGEN (voice-over): They could be lying on a Florida beach but these kids are camped out on cots. It's a college church group that wouldn't take no for an answer. They wanted a base of operations to help rebuild the area and when FEMA offered to find room for 200 students, the students found this warehouse instead and made room for 2,000. They found a way to rig running water, brought in their own food and in a place where most people don't have electricity, let there be light.

Through sheer determination, this young group of aid workers descended on New Orleans. More than 10,000 students over five weeks and they are here to help. They may not be skilled workers but they are hard workers and for homeowner Kim David, that's what counts. Ripped off by contractors who took her money and never came back, Kim stood in awe, watching a miracle.

KIM DAVID, HOMEOWNER: As bad as Katrina was, this is how good it is to make you feel like, yes, we still have Americans that love and care and complete strangers and step up to the plate and help.

RUTH GILLIAM, CAMPUS CRUSADERS FOR CHRIST: I feel like we're only here for a couple days and we're making this much of a difference but it's a huge difference to her.


ROESGEN: Those kids are making a huge difference for a lot of people. They're expect to rebuild 3,000 homes in New Orleans and they're just one of many groups that have come down to the Gulf coast to try to help out instead of smearing on the sunscreen on the beach, Tony.

HARRIS: That's great. That's great. We're going to talk to a man you know very well Susan, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin right here on CNN this afternoon. He will be here live talking about rebuilding New Orleans. That's 6:00 p.m. Eastern, 3:00 Pacific.

ROESGEN: And running for re-election of course, too.

HARRIS: And a crowded field.

ROESGEN: Yes, 23 candidates one of whom was jailed briefly. It's a crazy election season in New Orleans.

HARRIS: Well, it wouldn't be New Orleans if it wasn't. All right. So that's later today, Ray Nagin right here on CNN at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Our countdown to your most popular story on the Internet is next.

ROESGEN: Plus, you know you can't teach it in some classrooms these days, but it's a different story in a museum. Evolution, proudly, boldly on display in a new and controversial exhibit. We'll have the story live here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.


DE LA CRUZ: I'm Veronica de la Cruz at the dot com desk for the top 10 stories at, pick back up with number six. Tens of thousands of mourners packed a square in front of Belgrade today to bid a final farewell to Slobodan Milosevic.

Number five talks about the action between Kansas and Bradley in the NCAA tournament. And number four, "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria talked love in a magazine interview. She says she would have a child out of wedlock with her boyfriend, basketball star Tony Parker, but he says he wouldn't. You can get details at Stick around. The dot com countdown continues with the top three stories when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.


HARRIS: For some there was joy when the first priest ever ordained behind bars was paroled. For others there was contempt.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just feel that that's sweet words rolling off those lips but they are meaningless because I really don't think he means it.


HARRIS: Meet James Tramell (ph), there he is, out of prison after 20 years. He went in a convicted murderer and comes out an ordained priest facing joy from his followers, disdain from the relatives of the man he was convicted of killing. The compelling story, that's tomorrow on "CNN Sunday Morning."

And top stories this morning, you are looking at live pictures from the hometown of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, where his coffin is being carried through thousands. Not among the mourners, his own family fearing for their safety. Milosevic will be buried on the family estate. He died a week ago while on trial for war crimes.

Operation Swarmer continues with U.S. and Iraqi troops targeting insurgents. Sixty people have been detained and weapons have been confiscated. Operation Swarmer is expected to last a couple more days. Protests like this one in London are going on around the world today. Anti-war demonstrations are scheduled across Europe, Asia, Australia and the U.S. The demonstrations mark the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

ROESGEN: Now a new exhibit in Chicago. In some places these days the theory of evolution is under attack. In classrooms across the country, evolution has been shunned in favor of religious theories about the origin of life, ideas like creationism and intelligent design.

But evolution is getting a boost in Chicago. Dinosaurs rule at the Chicago Field Museum's new exhibit, "Evolving Planet," an exhibit that proclaims this is the way we got here. The field museum's vice president of collections and research Lance Grande joins us from Chicago. Lance, tell us a little bit about this exhibit.

LANCE GRANDE, THE FIELD MUSEUM: Well, this exhibit is the most major exhibit that we have done since the museum opened in its present location. It's an amazing thing. It covers 27,000 square feet and there are over 1,300 unique fossils in the exhibit and there are over 150 interactive displays throughout the exhibit, very engaging.

ROESGEN: Was there any debate about launching this exhibit within the museum?

GRANDE: Within the museum, no. I mean this is part of our mission to provide a natural explanation for biodiversity and other natural phenomenon that we see. We're a science institution and a natural history institution whose mission is to find these natural sort of explanations so that's -- it's not a conflict with the intelligent design or the special creationists in this instance.

ROESGEN: What kind of reaction are you getting from people who come to this exhibit, good and bad?

GRANDE: We're getting extremely good reaction. The exhibit has been extremely popular so far. We have timed admittance to keep the flow even. But all the feedback we've gotten back so far is that it's an extremely engaging exhibit and it's a very informative one for people who are interested in looking at biodiversity through time.

ROESGEN: You haven't had any negative reaction from people who are believers of creationism or intelligent design?

GRANDE: It has been very minor so far because again we're a natural history institution so it is our charge to present natural explanations for these things. Intelligent design is more of a metaphysical concept and it's not one that's embraced by the scientific community.

ROESGEN: So I take it you don't have any little blurbs or disclaimers there saying there are alternative theories of the origin of life?

GRANDE: Well, this is an exhibit to provide a natural explanation for this diversity and metaphysical explanations are non- natural and so it's effectively not our job. There are plenty other institutions who are charged with presenting other explanations. It's just not what we do.

ROESGEN: What do you hope that parents and children take away from this exhibit?

GRANDE: I hope that they take away that there are a huge number of organisms that inhabited the planet over the last 3.5 billion years and that all of these organisms are connected in one way and that's through this evolutionary process that's produced the huge biodiversity that we see on the planet today.

ROESGEN: All right, thank you, Lance Grande with The Field Museum there in Chicago. Tony?

HARRIS: OK, Susan, your March madness emails next. I hope we have some. I haven't even any all morning long. We have one. Plus the final countdown to your top stories on We'll be right back.


DE LA CRUZ: Hey there, I'm Veronica de la Cruz. Like we promised the dot com countdown continues with the top three stories. Number three, it was a love affair gone wrong. A man was killed by lethal injection after murdering his girlfriend's then husband and allegedly trying to collect insurance money.

Number two, two more women have died after using a controversial morning after pill, RU486. And number one, drum roll please, Susan, Tony, Reynolds, what would you guys say are the hottest cars in America?

HARRIS: They are all foreign cars it seems.

DE LA CRUZ: On a new list, Toyota has now six of the top 10 spots. The Toyota Prius nailed the top spot and as you know, the Prius is a hybrid. Two other hybrids also made the list, the Lexus RX400H and the Ford Escape hybrid. So what does that say to you guys?

ROESGEN: Since when does a hybrid car become a hot car?

DE LA CRUZ: Save the earth, that's all I have to say.

ROESGEN: Save gas money. Yes.

HARRIS: This is troubling. We got auto workers losing their jobs. We've got a bunch here in Georgia and around the country losing their jobs and the most - Detroit's got to make some cars that Americans want to buy.


DE LA CRUZ: Those are online at popular.


HARRIS: By rights you really shouldn't have been on that float in that parade because it really officially has never happened before, correct?

ROESGEN: That's right. In 135 years of this all male carnival crew, first time they let a woman ride, they let CNN do it because they felt this was an historic Mardi Gras, the first Mardi Gras after Katrina.

HARRIS: We love it. We love it. We love that moment. We love that moment. We love having you here this morning and throughout the weekend.

ROESGEN: Emails.

HARRIS: Emails because probably because you just showed absolute disdain for our question. Here it is again. Has March madness overtaken your home, your workplace? That was a question. Two responses. That's all we have. This one from Tony who writes, March madness, let's see, I'm from Louisville, Kentucky. When you are born, they issue you a birth certificate and a U of L basketball schedule.

ROESGEN: And then we've got this one from Dave up here on the screen we had a minute ago. Are you kidding Dave says. First my resident state Nevada loses. The next day my alma mater Iowa loses in the last second and an hour later, the other Iowa team also goes out in the first round. March mad is what's going on at Dave's house. Who is your pick, Tony?

HARRIS: Well, I got BC winning it all. I've got Gonzaga in my final four, but this man is just out of the shot now, Reynolds Wolf just joined - good to see you, is leading our Saturday morning team pool.

ROESGEN: Is LSU still in?



HARRIS: I'm not sure. I'll check brackets. Someone will tell me in a second here. Still to come, talk about turning something bad into a positive experience, coming up next hour, meet a man who was left stranded at the altar so he took his brother on the honeymoon and it lasted two years. We have questions.

ROESGEN: Longer than a lot of marriages. The author of "Honeymoon with My Brother" joins us live next hour on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.



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