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White House Terror Drill With Focus On Smallpox; Fugitive Rapist Back Behind Bars In South Carolina; Day Three Of Operation Swarmer; Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic Being Buried This Morning; Calabasas Smoking Ban; Protests Mark Third Anniversary Of Iraq War; Kurt And Franz Wisner Interview; U.S. Navy Has Returned Fire From Pirate Ships Off Somalia

Aired March 18, 2006 - 11:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: At the White House, a terror drill with the focus on a deadly virus. Officials with key federal agencies are holding a closed door exercise on the possibility of terrorists using smallpox as a weapon. A live report from the White House is straight ahead.
In Egypt, initial tests indicate a woman died of bird flu. If confirmed, it would be Egypt's first human case of the disease.

In Gaza City, a delay now in announcing the new Palestinian cabinet members. Leaders of the militant group Hamas now plan to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tomorrow to talk about the cabinet makeup. The naming of the entire cabinet had been expected today.

In the former Yugoslavia, tens of thousands of mourners gather to say farewell to Slobodan Milosevic. A live report from CNN's Alessio Vinci is coming up.

A convicted rapist let out of prison early is now back behind bars in South Carolina and he is facing some serious new charges involving two teenaged girls. More on this disturbing story is straight ahead.

It is Saturday, March 18.

Good morning, everyone.

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

I'm Tony Harris.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Susan Roesgen, Tony's sidekick this morning, because Betty Nguyen is off today.

HARRIS: Love to have you.

ROESGEN: Thank you.

You know, we've got a lot coming up this hour. We're going to take you to Calabasas, California, not for the frogs, the jumping frogs, but it's a place where you can still buy cigarettes. You just can't smoke them.

Also ahead, we'll explain why anti-war marchers chose the hurricane zone to show their disapproval for the war in Iraq.

And can you say road trip? What was supposed to be one man's honeymoon has turned into a two year global odyssey for him and his brother. "Honeymoon With My Brother," a best-selling book. You'll meet them both in about 40 minutes.

HARRIS: We start with a developing story.

A convicted rapist in South Carolina is back behind bars after his capture during a statewide manhunt. Kenneth Hinson, who had been free from prison for several years, now faces new charges of kidnapping two teenaged girls and sexually assaulting them in a hidden, underground room.

The latest now from reporter Chris Huffman with our affiliate, WBTW.

He is on the phone from Florence -- and, Chris, thanks for taking the time to talk to us this morning.

Tell us about this underground dungeon.


What we know is Hinson's niece, who lives about three quarters of a mile from Hinson's home and that underground dungeon, called police now. She said Hinson was trying to get water from a backyard faucet.

Now, of course, police moved in. They arrested Hinson. And he didn't struggle, he didn't put up a fight. But when police questioned Hinson, he said he was tired, he was hungry and thirsty from being on the run in the thick woods for about three days.

Tony, that underground dungeon -- I'm about six feet tall and I had a difficult time standing up in it. It's pretty small and pretty disturbing to be in there, actually.

HARRIS: Is he -- is he a tall -- Kenneth Hinson -- is he a tall man, a short man? How would you describe him?

HUFFMAN: He -- I would probably say, Tony, he's about 5'6," 5'7."

HARRIS: I see.

HUFFMAN: He's very thin, very frail. He's about -- he's in his 60s.

HARRIS: Yes, we're seeing pictures of him now.



HUFFMAN: So he's not a very tall man. He could probably stand up in this underground dungeon, but I'm about 5'11" and I had a difficult time.


Has he talked to police? Has he issued any kind of -- has he been interviewed, interrogated, questioned by police? And my understanding is that the police may be looking for even more of these hidden dungeons?

HUFFMAN: Yes, he has been talking to police. He was in interrogation all last night before they locked him up at the detention center. And the -- one of the deputies out there was saying that he had heard rumors that there could possibly be more of these underground dungeons. So that's something that they are doing today.


HUFFMAN: They're going to comb the area just to look for any possibility of these -- of additional underground dungeons.

HARRIS: And, Chris, talk to us a bit about his criminal history.


Well, in 1991, he was convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl at knifepoint. He was sentenced to 18 years, but he was released after nine by the South Carolina Department of Corrections. A review board suggested that he be institutionalized and rehabilitated, but a judge went against that and let him out and let him go free after his nine years of serving.


OK, Chris Huffman with our affiliate, WBTW.

Chris, we appreciate it.

Thank you.

HUFFMAN: You're welcome.

Thank you, Tony.


ROESGEN: In our "Security Watch" report now, is the government prepared for terrorists armed with a smallpox virus?

They are conducting a closed door exercise now in Washington to find out.

CNN's Elaine Quijano is at the White House with the latest -- Elaine.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Susan.

And that drill has been going on next door at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building for about the past three hours now.

Top officials and cabinet secretaries are all gathered to try to run through what the government would do in the event that smallpox was used as a weapon.

Now, this morning, we saw a number of those top officials heading in for that so-called tabletop exercise, as it's known. Among them, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. Also, the agriculture secretary, Mike Johanns and the director of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding.

Now, it was three years ago or so that President Bush laid out his concerns about a possible smallpox attack. At that time, he ordered members of the military and other at risk U.S. personnel to get vaccinated against the virus.

Now, the World Health Organization declared in 1980 that smallpox had been completely irradiated. But President Bush has said he believes the virus still exists in labs so this exercise really is designed to deal, again, with that possibility that someone might try to one day use it as a weapon.

Now, this drill really is the second in a series. A few months ago, a similar exercise was actually conducted taking a look at the possibility of how the government might respond to an avian flu pandemic.

We should note President Bush actually is not here on the White House campus today. He's spending the weekend at Camp David. He's getting ready to deliver a big speech on Monday coinciding with the three year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war -- Susan.

ROESGEN: All right, thank you, Elaine, reporting live for us from the White House.

HARRIS: A quick look at some smallpox facts.

The smallpox virus killed more than 500 million people worldwide during the last century. Fifteen million cases per year were reported each year during the 1950s.

The last reported case of smallpox was on Somalia in 1977.

The last smallpox case in the U.S. was in 1949. Routine vaccinations ended in 1971.

And remember, stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

ROESGEN: Amid criticism that there is no end in sight, a call for patience from President Bush as he marks the third anniversary of the Iraq war.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In recent weeks, Americans have seen horrific images from Iraq -- the bombing of a great house of worship in Samarra, sectarian reprisals between Sunnis and Shias and car bombings and kidnappings.

Amid continued reports about the tense situation in parts of that country, it may seem difficult at times to understand how we can say that progress is being made. But the reaction to the recent violence by Iraq's leaders is a clear sign of Iraq's commitment to democracy.


ROESGEN: Two thousand three hundred sixteen American troops have died in the war in Iraq.

Around the world, thousands of anti-war demonstrators are marking this third anniversary of the Iraqi invasion. Some 500 protesters turned out in Sydney, Australia. Some of them shouted "Troops out of Iraq!" and they carried signs denouncing President Bush as what they called the world's number one terrorist.

In London, thousands of people gathered near Big Ben. In addition to blasting the president, their target was also his strongest supporter in Europe there, British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Protests are also set for New York, Washington and other cities in this country.

HARRIS: Well, roadside bomb attacks claimed more victims in Baghdad today. One blast wounded nine Shiite pilgrims as they headed south to Karbala for Monday's religious holiday.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi Army patrol, wounding five soldiers. In Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, the U.S. military reports two American soldiers were killed in combat on Thursday. Another U.S. soldier was killed in Samarra.

On the battlefield, it is day three of Operation Swarmer, the joint U.S.-Iraqi offensive against insurgents in and around the northern city of Samarra. So far, there has been very little actual fighting.

CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is with the troops.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): An Iraqi soldier shows a U.S. soldier a suspect vehicle in the distance and calls for a U.S. helicopter to check it out. Exactly the type of cooperation both armies want to spotlight.

LT. COL. SKIP JOHNSON, U.S. ARMY: And the Iraqis have had the lead. And I think that's important as we transition.

ROBERTSON: Operation Swarmer, highly publicized as the biggest air assault since the invasion of Iraq three years ago, is revealing as much about boosting the image of the Iraqi security forces as it is about catching the 100 insurgents Iraqi officials say are in the area.

JOHNSON: It is truly a joint effort. They have the lead and we're here in a support role and they execute. So they've done a remarkable job.

ROBERTSON: The job in this case, chasing down insurgents over a large rural area of scattered farms, as directed by Iraqi intelligence. But how remarkable were the Iraqi troops compared with their past performances?

LT. COL. LOU LARTIGUE, U.S. ARMY: Today, they've put together, you know, company and battalion sized operations, participating in a large air assault, linking up on the ground with coalition forces and putting that together. I think it was a great display.

ROBERTSON: Another ringing endorsement.

But when we were choppered around, what did we see?

Iraqi troops better equipped than last year. Armored Humvees in place of civilian pickups. Villagers apparently so relaxed about having their farms searched they were cooking bread for troops and journalists alike.

But it's what we didn't see that is perhaps most revealing. We didn't see a raid actually taking place. So we're relying on the military's own assessment.

We asked to stay overnight to see more, but were told that wasn't possible -- it was too short notice to arrange. By the time we left, more than 50 of the 150 households in the target area had been searched, six moderate to small weapons caches discovered and about 50 people taken into detention. Of those, at least 17 were later released.

But officials say they also developed possible leads in the recent attack on the nearby Samarra shrine that triggered a massive wave of sectarian violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): And we found some detainees. They provided us with good information about the golden mosque, the golden mosque attack.

ROBERTSON (on camera): The hope is that even if Operation Swarmer doesn't catch all the insurgents, that it sends a message to other insurgents that Iraqi forces, with U.S. support, are now capable of launching large, fast moving operations.

Nic Robertson, CNN, north of Samarra, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ROESGEN: Well, he died on trial for war crimes. But from some people, he's getting a hero's funeral.

Former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic is being buried near Belgrade this morning. Although he was accused of masterminding Europe's worst bloodshed since World War II, tens of thousands of people are mourning his death.

CNN's Alessio Vinci is there.


And, you know, state officials refused to give Slobodan Milosevic a state funeral, so everything that is happening today, not just in Belgrade but also here in Pozarevac, his hometown, has been organized by allies and friends of the Socialist Party, which Mr. Milosevic led even from his prison cell back at the Hague before he died last week.

Pozarevac, his hometown, about 50 miles southeast of Belgrade, is Mr. Milosevic's hometown. It is the only city in this country that has officially declared a day of mourning here in Serbia. The reason why? Because the local council here is led by that very same Socialist Party.

And so Mr. Milosevic now is on his way here to his home, right next to the city center, where he has been commemorated for the last few hours by tens of thousands of people who are converged here in Pozarevac to pay their last respects.

Inside this apartment, this house, this villa behind me, actually, there is a garden with a tree, a very special place for Mr. Milosevic. It was there that many, many years ago he kissed the first time the woman who would then one day become his wife, Mira Markovic.

So while the people of Pozarevac managed to pay their last respects publicly in the main square, the funeral behind the -- the burial behind me will be taking place very much in a closed family ceremony.

However, members of the Milosevic family, his close relatives, his widow, for example, Mira Markovic, will not be able to travel here. She has -- she faces charges of abuse of power in this country and if she wanted to come here, she would have been sent to court.

Her daughter, Maria -- his daughter, Marija Milosevic, faces an investigation in this country for shooting at a police officer the day her late father was being transferred to the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal.

And his son, Marko Milosevic, a man who was feared in this city, known as "The Forbidden City" when Milosevic was still in power, he is also not coming because he says there were some threats against him.

So the burial here will be very much a family affair without family members. And that tells you -- gives you a little bit of an -- about an indication about how this city really, and this town in particular, is able to commemorate a man they believe is a great hero. There is no talk here of war crimes, no talk of assassins, no talk of misery, no talk of failed wars in the Balkans and especially no talk of the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal being a fair trial. They are saying that this trial that Mr. Milosevic faced was flawed. They're saying that the court was biased against Mr. Milosevic and, in effect, they killed him.

Susan -- back to you.

ROESGEN: All right, Alessio Vinci reporting live for us there in Serbia.

Thank you.


JANE BOYCE, OPPOSES SMOKING BAN: I've always been a non-smoker, but if I don't want to be around people that smoke, I leave.


HARRIS: Right, right, right. That makes sense. That's a simple approach to it.

Beware all you smokers -- there's now one city, an entire city, where you can't light up in public. We'll tell you where.

ROESGEN: Plus, a surprise visitor jumps in the car with an unsuspecting Massachusetts driver.

That's coming up when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.

HARRIS: But first, we'll introduce you to one man who believes chasing the knowledge and love of a craft can leave you with some satisfying results. That's today's Tips from the Top.


CHRISTOPHER BOOS, EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF, DUNKIN' DONUTS: You have to first find your love of the craft.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This, Christopher Boos believes, is the key to turning sweet dreams into reality. And it's paying off. Boos has spent more than 25 years perfecting his skills as a pastry chef, receiving numerous honors for his creations.

Most recently, he was appointed captain of the U.S. team for the upcoming World Pastry Cup in Leon, France.

As executive pastry chef for Dunkin' brands, Boos uses his greatest asset to keep the company's menus fresh and palatable.

BOOS: The world needs people that work with their hands. And you can take that fine ability to work with your hands and get to a place like I am today.

PHILLIPS: What does Boos recommend to those trying to chose a career path?

BOOS: In life, you have to follow the passion that you have so that you get fulfillment. I am doing that and I'm chasing it fully. And it's great.



ROESGEN: Checking our top stories, are we ready for terrorists armed with the smallpox virus? Bush administration officials are holding a closed door exercise to find out.

The militant Hamas group formed a new Palestinian cabinet today, two weeks ahead of a deadline. But it lacks moderate coalition partners and may not win approval from the Palestinian president.

Tens of thousands of supporters turn out for the burial of former Serbian leader, Slobodan Milosevic. He died a week ago while he was on trial for war crimes during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

HARRIS: A smoking ban that's believed to be the toughest of its kind in the United States is now in place in Calabasas, California. Under the ban, smokers can still light up in their homes and cars, but most public spaces are totally off limits.

And as the southern California city clears the air, other areas across the U.S. are taking notice.

Here's CNN's Chris Lawrence.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Calabasas officials say there's no room for cigarette butts in a city that promotes its open spaces and ocean breeze.


LAWRENCE: We balance the interests of people who want to smoke. But in all fairness, nobody has a right to do something that puts somebody else at risk or in harm's way.

LAWRENCE: Starting now, smokers could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500 if they smoke almost anyplace people gather. That means streets, sidewalks, playgrounds, parks and patios. You can still smoke inside your car and home, but not in some backyards if it's next to a public area.

There are some designated outdoor areas where smoking will still be legal.

The Calabasas law cites medical research indicating lung cancer kills 3,000 non-smokers each year from secondhand smoke.

JESSLYN BOTHWELL, SUPPORTS SMOKING BAN: Well, I used to be a smoker and I say that I think smoke does offend me and I either have to move or I will make a comment, you know, jeez, I wish they'd put that out.

BOYCE: I don't believe in the law and I've always been a non- smoker. But if I don't want to be around people that smoke, I leave. I don't think it's my right to ask them to leave.

LAWRENCE: Jan Boyce says if you think it won't affect your town, think again.

BOYCE: We're the more liberal state and everything is going to start here in California.

LAWRENCE: The state law that outlawed smoking at work took effect more than 10 years ago. It's expanded everywhere from bars to most beaches. And 10 states across the country have since passed similar laws.

(on camera): So who enforces a law like this?

If you get caught smoking in a park, it would be a city employee. Outside a coffee shop? The store's manager. Put it out when someone asks? No problem. But challenge it? You could get a $500 fine and a misdemeanor charge.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Calabasas, California.


ROESGEN: Veterans demonstrating along the Gulf Coast. You might be surprised by what they're protesting.

HARRIS: Plus, in Fort Worth, Texas today, implosion.

Stay here to see what happens next.

Don't go anywhere.


ROESGEN: Checking some stories making headlines across America.

A South Carolina man is accused of kidnapping two teenaged girls and sexually assaulting them in a secret underground room. He is now in custody. Kenneth Hinson is awaiting a bond hearing. He was released from prison six years ago after serving time for raping a 12- year-old girl. We'll have more on the story at noon, on CNN LIVE SATURDAY.

And look at this incredible video. In Massachusetts, a big surprise for a driver. This is a 500-pound moose that crashed through the windshield of the car and wound up in the passenger seat. Believe it or not, the driver was not seriously injured. The moose had to be put to sleep. It was too severely injured.

HARRIS: In central Florida, several hundred people forced to leave their homes by a raging wildfire are now allowed to return. The brush fire near Sebring scorched about 500 acres. The fire came within 150 yards of some of the homes.

In Texas, what goes up must come down at some point. This was the scene in downtown Fort Worth earlier this morning as crews imploded a 30-story skyscraper. The landmark tower was built in the 1950s.

And a different kind of protest going on today. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't matter how many show up, it matters that any show up, you know? We're firmly convinced that a small number of people can make a big difference.


HARRIS: These veterans may be marching against the war, but they've got another big concern, too. We will have their story.

ROESGEN: Plus, he was stood up at the altar and that was just the beginning of a major life change. "Honeymoon With My Brother" -- you're going to meet both guys live, when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.


HARRIS: Now in the news it is a busy day at the White House. Cabinet members and other officials are rehearsing how they would handle a terrorist attack involving the smallpox virus.

In Serbia Montenegro, Slobodan Milosevic's body has arrived at his hometown for burial. Earlier, thousands filled a Belgrade square to view his casket at the parliament building. Though reviled by the world as the "Butcher of the Balkans," the former Yugoslav leader is revered as a hero by many Serbs.

In London, a large anti-war rally to mark the third anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Similar protests are planned across Europe and the U.S. Earlier, demonstrators took to the streets in Asia and Australia.

And in South Carolina, a bond hearing is set today for a convicted sex offender accused of assaulting two teenage girls in a secret underground room on his property. Kenneth Hinson was arrested yesterday after a four-day manhunt.

ROESGEN: Government flood insurance checks will keep flowing to hurricane victims. Congress has OK'd a bill to let the Federal flood insurance program borrow more money to pay thousands of claims from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The new borrowing limit is needed to keep the program from running out of money this month. President Bush still needs to sign the bill.

Also along the Gulf coast, a group of anti-war marchers is expected to arrive today in New Orleans. CNN's Sean Callebs says the marchers chose the route from Mobile to New Orleans for a reason.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dozens of demonstrators are marching from Mobile, Alabama to New Orleans. They are unapologetically out of step with the uniform many wear. It's billed as a protest to get U.S. troops out of Iraq and get more government help for the victims of hurricane Katrina.

Jose Vasquez is a nurse and Army sergeant in the reserves. He is also a conscientious objector trying to avoid serving in Iraq. As a New Yorker, Vasquez had concerned about marching in the deep south.

JOSE VASQUEZ, PROTESTER: I was actually worried about the same thing. I was worried about how people were going to react to us. But there's actually been a lot of support and we found out what southern hospitality means.

CALLEBS: Alfred Zapella's son was killed by a bomb blast in Baghdad two years ago. He says it's important for him to march.

ALFRED ZAPELLA, PROTESTER: Everybody wants to believe that their government is doing right by them and that the president is an honorable person and that he would never ever send their kids in harm's way, but I know differently.

CALLEBS: They are often met with horns honking, an occasional thumbs up and what they call a one fingered salute. Critics like construction worker Aero Smith, just give them a wide berth.

AERO SMITH, BILOXI CONTRACTOR: They got their right to do whatever they want to do. As long as they keep it away from me, I'm for the president and what we're doing.

CALLEBS: No one here expects the administration to immediately reverse course. This group had hoped for 12 hundred marchers, clearly they fell far short but remain upbeat.

TAMMARA ROSENLEAF, PROTESTER: It doesn't matter how many show up. It matters that any show up, you know. We're firmly convinced that a small number of people can make a big difference.

CALLEBS: Sean Callebs, CNN, Gulfport, Mississippi.


ROESGEN: And a reminder to tune in tonight at 6:00 p.m. Eastern when New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin will be our guest. We'll talk to him about the upcoming mayoral election, what it's like to persuade evacuees to vote for him campaigning in cities like Atlanta and Houston.

One final note now before we leave New Orleans, the legendary jazz musician has gone to the big stage upstairs. Narvin Kimball has died. Music lovers remember him as the last founding member of the Preservation Hall jazz band. Kimball, who was 97 had been living with his daughter in Charleston, South Carolina, ever since hurricane Katrina.

HARRIS: Well this weekend, "CNN PRESENTS" will examine a worst case scenario. The program is called we were warned, tomorrow's oil crisis. It looks at the vulnerability of the world oil supply and predicts what could happen if a major hurricane were to hit Texas at the same time terrorists struck Saudi Arabia. We have a preview of the program. Here's CNN's special correspondent Frank Sesno with a look at what could take place.


FRANK SESNO, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Houston, Texas, it is a terrifying time. The streets are deserted. Just the day before, gridlock finally gave way to exodus as residents fled, one step ahead of this year's monstrous storm, Hurricane Steve. The region is home to nearly two dozen major refineries. Together they process about a fourth of all the oil used in America. Category five Hurricane Steve slams ashore with winds of nearly 200 miles an hour.

The death toll is modest but the physical damage is breathtaking. Especially oil refineries, storage facilities and hundreds of off shore platforms, badly damaged. Gasoline prices shoot up across the country, panic buying leads to long lines and fears of shortages.

September 26, 2009. Saudi Arabia is pumping 10 million barrels a day. Much of the kingdom's oil passes through the sprawling Abqaiq processing facility near Ras Tanura. At 12:45 p.m., air traffic controllers pick up a distress call from a passenger jet flying from Tehran to Riyadh. The plane disappears from their screens. At 1:04, an Arab satellite channel reports massive explosions at Abqaiq.

Within minutes there are reports of a second attack on Saudi Arabia's two largest export terminals -- at Ras Tanura and at Yanbu on the Red Sea. Oil markets are in chaos. A barrel of crude quickly tops $150. Oil experts predict gasoline will hit $7 a gallon in the U.S., $10 a gallon in Europe. Political and business leaders fear the worst.


HARRIS: Again the name of the program is "CNN PRESENTS: WE WERE WARNED, TOMORROW'S OIL CRISIS." You can see the full report tonight or tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and 8:00 p.m. Pacific both nights here on CNN.

And this just in to CNN, we're getting word of an accident involving three church buses with 30 students on board. Each of the buses -- this is from Los Angeles County. We understand that Los Angeles County fire is on the scene right now. And this happened on the 60 freeway if you're familiar with that area. Once again, three church buses involved in an accident, each bus carrying 30 students.

We understand seven have been hurt, no one seriously. And initial reports have three people trapped. We can confirm now that no one is trapped any longer, at least on those buses and seven people as I mentioned have been hurt. This out of Los Angeles County just east of Los Angeles. We are waiting for pictures of the scene. When we get them, we will bring them to you.

ROESGEN: Well, he got ditched at the altar, went on a two-year honeymoon with his brother and then wrote a best-selling book. The brothers are back on the road and they join us here live when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.


HARRIS: Look, here's the deal, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.


HARRIS: Seldom has anyone followed that advice better than Franz Wisner. Beautiful, Franz good to see you. Right before he was to be married, his fiancee left him but Wisner decided to go ahead with his honeymoon trip taking his brother Kurt with him in place of his run away bride.

They had such a good time traveling together that they quit their jobs and kept going for two years and more than 50 countries. He wrote about their experience in "Honeymoon with My Brother," the best seller that is now available in paperback and the brothers are here today. Franz, good to see you, Kurt, good to see you.


HARRIS: Look here, here's the thing. Many would say Franz, why didn't you just take your fiancee on the honeymoon. It would have given you two weeks to kind of work it out. You didn't do that.

FRANZ WISNER, "HONEYMOON WITH MY BROTHER": No, no, no it was too late, you know? She dumped me and it was so close to the wedding that the wine was there.

HARRIS: Five days, right?

F. WISNER: Five days. The wine was, the food was there. So we had the wedding anyhow. We just didn't have the whole walk down the aisle "I do" part.

HARRIS: So Kurt, you had the wedding without the bride. Was it just a nice party with family, you get together and enjoy one another's company together.

KURT WISNER, TOOK HONEYMOON WITH BROTHER: Bizarre weekend, bizarre weekend and I think Franz felt every emotion possible. He was embarrassed, he was broke, he was depressed.

F. WISNER: Angry, you name it. But you know, it was special to have all of my friends and relatives with me and prop me up. They made me feel good. Then I go back to work the next week, I got dumped at my work.

HARRIS: What? F. WISNER: So the two loves of my life, crashed. So I remembered that I had these tickets for my honeymoon. Two weeks in Costa Rica. So I take this guy.

K. WISNER: I had made him assure me, we weren't going to share any honeymoon suite. He's not going to carry me over any threshold. We exchanged the champagne for beer.

HARRIS: Well, I mean this is interesting. First of all, now that the book has been a huge success. Travel books don't do this well. Come on.

F. WISNER: This is more. This is a relationship story, this is about the world, this is about our relationship. The star of the book is our 98-year-old grandmother Larue (ph).

HARRIS: Oh, tell this story because my understanding is that your folks were kind of ambivalent about this idea.

F. WISNER: The folks said what about insurance? Our 98-year old grandmother said go. She said do it. You never regret travel. She said I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to put up a map up of the world. I'm going to buy a bunch of shiny red pins, then you guys send me a postcard wherever you go. We'll put the pins in your ports of call, I'll travel with you. Our whole retirement home will travel with you. So she did that and they did that and gave us huge inspiration to keep going.

HARRIS: OK. This was during the honeymoon, she encouraged you to go ahead.

F. WISNER: She said -- we told her we're quitting our jobs. We're selling our homes. We're cashing out.

HARRIS: You sold everything you could right.

F. WISNER: Everything. We're going to extend the two week honeymoon for two years.

HARRIS: For two years. Then, this is the sad part, but it's a wonderful story. You finish up the trip and then your grandmother passes.

F. WISNER: At her 100th birthday. We ended the honeymoon to come back for her 100th birthday and we had a huge party. And that's the final scene in the book. And a bittersweet moment like you say, but all of them were there and they all embraced this trip and really it felt like they traveled with us.

HARRIS: Let's talk about the trip. So all right, you travel, you meet people, you know and you write the book. Now you're on a book tour, is it true that you're traveling the country in a Volkswagen van? Is that true?


HARRIS: So the journey continues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. When the hard back came out we were on more of a traditional tour where the publisher flew us to New York and flew us Chicago. With this book we received over 2,000 e-mails from readers who have invited us come to their community. And so we sent them all back an e-mail and said, hey, guess what, we're coming to Huntsville, Alabama.

HARRIS: So you guys have taken this to heart, this idea of sort of taking, of doing things a little differently, right? I mean this trip now that you're on now, is it going to be the sequel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is another book. It's in the works and also Sony pictures is making this into a movie, so only in America.

HARRIS: Are you kidding me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only in America can you get dumped and make a career out of it.

HARRIS: So now you're traveling the country and Franz, you've got a business card, everybody knows you now. You hand them out your business card, hey, I'm an author, here's my e-mail address. Kurt, Kurt, you travel the country with your brother as well.

K. WISNER: Right.

HARRIS: And folks want to stay in touch with you and you hand them your business card which reads what?

K. WISNER: It says Kurt Wisner, brother. But it's the truth, Tony. Franz and I not only are we now best friends, but we're professional brothers now.

HARRIS: OK, which brings me to a part of the heart of the trip. You could have invited anyone. You know, there's probably a couple of hot looking bridesmaids. You take your brother.

F. WISNER: For a couple of reasons.

HARRIS: There you go.

F. WISNER: One is that we weren't close. We just kind of drifted apart. There wasn't a big issue between us. We just didn't spend a lot of time together. He came down and he helped me out through this brideless wedding. So I wanted to reward him for that but we also have the same last name, I didn't want to have to change the tickets.

HARRIS: Right, right. But talk to us about what this trip meant in terms of the time you had to bond and what you got to know about one another.

F. WISNER: It's so rare to be able to share time with a sibling these days. You have your own family, you're off, you're living in different cities. So for us to go on to Costa Rica for two weeks felt good. We talked. We hadn't talked forever. I wanted to have more of those conversations. I wanted to get to know this guy better and that's why we extend the honeymoon for two years and 53 countries.

HARRIS: What did you want to add Kurt?

K. WISNER: We receive a lot of e-mails from siblings that this book has inspired to reach out. You get an email that says, hey, I read your book and I contacted my brother. My sister and I are going on a trip and those are the ones that keep the fires burning.

HARRIS: Let's see the book again. Let's see the book and show it to everybody at home, "Honeymoon with My Brother" now in paperback. How many of these are floating around out there?

F. WISNER: It's been out for a couple weeks and it's been on the "New York Times" best seller since day one. And so if anybody sends us an e-mail and invites us to a book club, be careful, because we're going to point the van in their direction.

HARRIS: Great story. We've loved having you here. We've been excited all week, once we figured out and knew for sure that you'd be on the program. Thanks for coming in. We appreciate - the best on the rest of the tour.

F. WISNER: Thank you so much.

HARRIS: Franz and Kurt, good to meet you both. That was fun. Susan, back to you.

ROESGEN: Thanks Tony. Fredericka Whitfield and I will take the next honeymoon together, travel the country, write a book about it.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: I'm smelling a movie. You guys already have a deal with a movie I imagine?

ROESGEN: Yes, they have a movie deal.

WHITFIELD: OK, I missed the top of the interview. All right, we'll I'll see it happen. Coming up in the noon hour, of course we're going to continue to follow this very gruesome story that we're hearing of in South Carolina. We're going to talk to a chief deputy about their investigation, where they're going with this, if they believe Kenneth Hinson may have allegedly assaulted anyone else and if indeed he may or may not have other dungeons they're trying to uncover.

Also, where were you back in 1972, heard about a plane crashing in the Andes and how there were many people who had to resort to cannibalism? Do you remember that?

ROESGEN: I remember the book. I remember reading the book.

WHITFIELD: There was a book; there was a movie. Now there's also an article in the "National Geographic" adventurer magazine and one of the survivors is going to detail with us what he recalls happening 34 years ago and one of the writers in this magazine retraces the steps of the two out of the 16 survivors who had to walk for 10 days looking for help. It's an incredible story and we're going to try to relive all that again with these two people in the noon hour.

ROESGEN: As fascinating story. Thanks, Fredericka. We will be right back.


HARRIS: This just in to CNN, two U.S. Navy ships have returned fire from pirate ships off the coast of Somalia in Africa. Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is on the line with us with more details. Barbara, what can you tell us?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, two U.S. Navy warships early Saturday were in a gun battle indeed with pirates off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of east Africa. As you might expect, the U.S. Navy won this engagement.

Two warships, the Cape St. George and the Gonzales were patrolling in the waters off Somalia. They approached a suspicious vessel. There were pirates on board, brandishing shoulder fired grenade launchers and those pirates opened fire on the U.S. Navy and immediately sailors on board the decks of both of those Navy warships returned fire with a variety of machine guns and weapons.

They killed one pirate, wounded five. A number of people have been taken into custody. The Navy now investigating this entire incident, trying to determine why these pirates thought they could possibly win opening fire against U.S. Navy warships.

Of course, this is an area where there has been a good deal of smuggling and pirate activity on the high seas out there. The United Nations just a few days ago issued a notice encouraging all shipping off the coast of Somalia to be very careful of pirate activity, a lot of shipping has come under attack out there and that is hindering UN efforts to provide relief supplies to victims of the drought and famine in the area.

But this encounter between pirates and U.S. Navy warships possibly sources tell us, possibly signals a new ratcheting up of hostilities. The Navy just hasn't seen this type of thing where pirates attempt to open up on them. It was late last year, of course that, pirates attempted to attack a cruise ship in the region, the Seaborn Spirit, that passenger cruise ship and they were fended off, those pirates also having the shoulder fired grenade launchers, but this incident today, certainly catching the Navy's attention.

HARRIS: And Barbara, I got to tell you, this seems almost suicidal. You think about U.S. Navy ships in the best description that we've had of these pirate ships is that they're essentially speedboats and hard to imagine what they were thinking, taking on U.S. Naval ships.

STARR: I have to tell you, Tony, I've spoken to a naval official out in the region in the Persian Gulf region just a few minutes ago and asked him exactly the same question. Why on earth would pirates attempt to take on U.S. Navy warships? They can't outrun them. They certainly can't out gun them. That is what is catching the Navy's attention today in this incident.

They are very cautious out there of course, ever since the bombing of the USS Cole about any small shipping in the region. They are going to be investigating this incident thoroughly. They of course want to know who these people were, what they might have had on board their ship that they were so anxious to protect and what this might portend for future naval operations in the area. The Navy is certainly on watch now after this incident today.

HARRIS: OK, CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr for us this morning. Barbara, we appreciate it. Thank you.

ROESGEN: We will have much more on that and much more still ahead with "CNN LIVE SATURDAY" with Fredricka Whitfield coming up next right after a short break.



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