Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Darryl Littlejohn Being Arraigned Today; Zacarias Moussaoui Trial; 'Sleepless in America'

Aired March 23, 2006 - 06:30   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Three hostages rescued in Iraq after four months of captivity, freed by a well-planned military operation. We'll tell you about that this morning.
A deadly vacation for 12 American tourists killed in a tour bus crash in Chile. There are survivors this morning. We'll update you on their conditions.

Kids and sleep. How much is enough? A look at that ahead in our continuing series "Sleepless in America."

Welcome back, everybody. Miles is still on vacation.


O'BRIEN: John Roberts continues to help us out.

Thursday, how are you holding up?

ROBERTS: Pretty good. Pretty good.


ROBERTS: And nice to have a little bit of good news coming out of Iraq today...

O'BRIEN: Yes, it certainly is.

ROBERTS: ... seeing those hostages released is a good sign, yes.

O'BRIEN: Oh, gosh. Absolutely.

Sleep is something we have been talking about. Every morning we talk sleep gauge, how much did you get. Interesting update in the sleep series. We're talking about kids.

ROBERTS: Yes, exactly, because there's a lot of kids who are already on their way to school this morning, 6:30 Eastern Time. Is that too early for kids to get up when they have to do homework and things like that?

O'BRIEN: Too early for grownups to get up.


O'BRIEN: But you're right, yes, there's so much more work for kids these days. And they've got to pile it into sort of a smaller day.

We'll talk about that in our special series.

First, though, let's get to Carol. She's got an update on these top stories for us.

Hey, Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I do have an update on those three Christian aid workers. They're waiting to be reunited with their families right now.

They were freed early this morning in a multinational military operation in Baghdad. Two of the men are from Canada, the third is from Great Britain. They were abducted in Baghdad on November 26. American Tom Fox was with the men initially. His body was found in Baghdad earlier this month.

A U.S. man and his girlfriend are accused of bombing two hotels in La Paz, Bolivia. Tuesday's blast shattered windows and blew away parts of the roof and walls. Two people were killed. No word on a motive.

Police say the American appears to be a mentally ill -- appears to be mentally ill. Bolivian president Evo Morales lashed out at the U.S. saying, "The U.S. fights terrorism but sends us terrorists."

We know fluoride is a natural cavity-fighter, but in some places there's just too much of a good thing. According to the National Research Council, the EPA's limit for fluoride in drinking water is so high, children are developing discolored teeth and weakened emammal. The report notes this is water from fluoride from naturally occurring sources and pollution, not artificially-fluoridated water.

The latest word on antidepressants seems to be, if at first you don't succeed, try, try another. According to major government study, drugs fail to cure depression in half of all patients. But researchers stress patients can increase their chances for relief by trying out other drugs.

And more problems with SAT scores. We told you about last month's scoring snafu. It affected thousands of students. Well, it turns out another 375 students are now being told they, too, were given lower scores.

Bottom line, more than 4,400 students got wrong scores this year alone. Which makes it very difficult for them, Soledad, to get into college.

O'BRIEN: Oh, it's just a big mess. I mean, and every single week more information comes out about more mistakes. It's a huge problem for the college boards. They're going to have to clean up the act on that front.

Carol, thanks. Four weeks after the body of a graduate student was found bound and gagged and raped in New York City, the prime suspect in the case, this man, 41-year-old Darryl Littlejohn, will be formally charged today with her murder.

CNN's Allan Chernoff has more for us this morning.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT: Darryl Littlejohn, the bouncer at the bar where Imette St. Guillen was last seen alive, is scheduled to be arraigned later this morning on charges of raping and murdering the grad student last month and then dumping her body in an isolated Brooklyn lot.

Police say witnesses saw Littlejohn escort St. Guillen out of the bar at 4:00 a.m., closing time. Forensic scientists identified his blood on plastic ties like this one that were wrapped around St. Guillen's wrists. And cell phone towers were able to track his mobile phone to the location of the body hours before it was found.

Littlejohn is a career criminal. He's been convicted three times of armed robbery and three times of possessing large quantities of drugs. But he has no record of sexual assault and he says he did not kill Imette St. Guillen.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.


ROBERTS: Now to the sentencing trial of al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui. A government witness told the jury on Wednesday that information Moussaoui failed to provide might have been used against the 9/11 hijackers. Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, are preparing to rest their case.

Here's CNN's Kelli Arena.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The government's last witness is on the stand today. He's an FBI agent who will sum up for jurors what the FBI could have done if Moussaoui had not lied to investigators. Yesterday, they heard from an aviation expert who outlined steps that could have been taken to tighten airport security before the September 11 attacks.

Now, the prosecution's goal is to prove that the government could have acted to prevent the September 11 attacks if they knew that al Qaeda planned to hijack airplanes using short-bladed knives and then fly them into buildings. The defense, of course, argues that the government never would have responded swiftly enough, if at all.

Jurors also heard from flight school employees who said that the FAA didn't even respond when they knew about problems concerning three of the September 11 hijackers when they were in flight training. Now, remember, this is just phase one of the sentencing trial. Jurors are only supposed to decide whether or not Moussaoui's actions make him eligible for the death penalty. They are not deciding his sentence yet.

Kelli Arena, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.


ROBERTS: And stay with CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

Time now for a check of the weather forecast. Reynolds Wolf in for Chad Myers at the CNN Center today.

Good morning to you, Reynolds.



O'BRIEN: All right. Thanks. We'll take it.

WOLF: You bet.

O'BRIEN: Appreciate it, Reynolds.

Well, talk about being tough on crime, have you seen this picture? Take a look.

Today the Australian air force dropped bombs on a confiscated drug ship. Three years ago the confiscated North Korean drug ship became a symbol of anti-drug measures in Australia. That ship called the Pong Su had led the Australian navy on high seas chase after it dropped off more than 300 pounds of heroin on a secluded beach. And today they blew it up.

ROBERTS: Talk about letting the punishment fit the crime. There you go. Ooh.

O'BRIEN: Oh, yes. It's gone.

Ahead this morning, Democrats have been critical, of course, of the president's war strategy. Do they have a better plan, though? We're going to talk to DNC chairman Howard Dean this morning.

ROBERTS: Yes. Americans don't seem to think so.

Also, another new book details slugger Barry Bonds' alleged steroid use. And this time another baseball star is under the microscope along with him.

O'BRIEN: Plus, we have our special series, "Sleepless in America," a look at why more and more children aren't getting enough sleep and the dangerous effect it's having on their health.

That's ahead. Stay with us.


O'BRIEN: Here's a look at what's happening "In America" this morning.

In Toledo, Ohio, police say a quick-thinking 14-year-old girl escaped a kidnapper when she hit him in the groin with a hammer. Police told -- the girl, rather, told police the man forced her into his car on her way to school and that she found the hammer under the car seat.

The suspect is still at large.

It looks like it's back to school for kids in Detroit. Fifty- four schools were forced to close on Wednesday after 1,500 teachers called in sick. They were apparently protesting a union deal that would lend the financially-strapped school district five days worth of pay.

And in Utah, oh, my goodness, yes, you thought those diamond- studded cell phone cases were a little over the top? How about this? These are jewel-encrusted cockroaches. Believe it or not, the newest creation from a clothing designer in Utah. They cost between $40 and $80, if you don't mind wearing a cockroach.

They are on little leashes, though, see. So they don't wander away. That's nasty -- John.

ROBERTS: That is something really useful.

Early to bed and early to rise. Teenagers would do well to follow the famous words of Ben Franklin. This morning, in our weeklong series "Sleepless in America," Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us that children and teenagers need more sleep than the rest of us do, and too often they don't get it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, kiddo. Do you want anything for breakfast?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's not even 6:00 a.m., but for this 15-year-old Christina Petrick, it's already time to get up. She needs to make it to class on time. The high school sophomore usually gets to bed by 11:00 p.m., so getting up at the crack of dawn isn't always easy.

CHRISTINA PETRICK, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: It's not fun. I mean, especially with, like, studying that night and just with extra curriculars, it's hard.

GUPTA: Sleep specialists say more and more children, especially teenagers, are suffering from sleep deprivation.

DR. DANNY LEWIN, CHILDREN'S NATIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: We're looking at potentially a real health crisis, both in terms of creating problems with behavior, having negative, long-term health outcomes, and an impact on children's ability to learn and function well in school.

GUPTA: And for teens there's actually a biological shift in the time of day that they sleep that's different from the rest of us.

LEWIN: Around the time of puberty, adolescents' clocks starts to run a little bit more slowly. That means that they don't get tired until later and they want to sleep later.

GUPTA: The National Sleep Foundation says on average kids age five to 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Adolescents need nine hours or more, but are getting only seven and a half or less. And there are serious repercussions when they don't get it.

LEWIN: Insufficient sleep, too little sleep on a nightly basis, can cause inattention, can cause hyperactivity and impulsivity and other problems in decision-making.

GUPTA: So parents, watch for signs of inadequate sleep, difficulty waking up in the morning, unplanned naps during the day, irritability and snoring. They could all be signs that your child is sleep-deprived.

Lewin says parents of younger children should set earlier bedtime routines and regular bedtimes. Also, eliminate caffeinated beverages. And for teens, help prioritize their activities and don't let them stay up too late into the night.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, New York.


ROBERTS: Tomorrow, in the final part of our "Sleepless in America" series, just how far will you go for some solid shut eye? Five hundred dollar sheets, $2,000 beds? We'll take a look at the lengths that some will go to for a good night's sleep.

And this Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern, be sure to catch Sanjay's the primetime special on sleep. That's right here on CNN. Stay up late and watch it.


O'BRIEN: If you're really interested in your lack of sleep the next morning...

ROBERTS: There you go.

O'BRIEN: Some more headaches to tell you about for Barry Bonds. Another new book is detailing his alleged steroid use. This time another baseball player could be in trouble, as well.

ROBERTS: Plus, the adventures of Hal the coyote. CNN's Jeanne Moos looks at how he took some of New York's finest on a wild good chase and became a star in the process.

Stay with us.



O'BRIEN: Happy birthday, Chaka. I saw her sing the other day. Boy, she sounds amazing. Fifty-three years old today.

COSTELLO: She looks pretty amazing still, too, doesn't she?

O'BRIEN: Hey, Carol. Good morning. Yes, she sounds good and looks good.

COSTELLO: She's got it going on.

O'BRIEN: Yes, she does. Good morning, Carol.

COSTELLO: Yes. Good morning.

Good morning, everyone.

Relatives of 12 Americans killed in that bus crash in Chile are now heading to the site. The bus plunged nearly 300 feet down a mountainside on Wednesday afternoon. All of the dead were from the Celebrity cruise ship Millennium, but the cruise line says it was not involved in the bus trip.

Later on AMERICAN MORNING, we'll talk to the spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Chile.

The suspect in the brutal killing of a graduate student in New York City will be formally charged today. In an interview with the New York television station WCBS, Darryl Littlejohn denies killing Imette St. Guillen. St. Guillen was last seen alive leaving a bar in New York's Soho neighborhood four weeks ago.

Zacarias Moussaoui's defense could have its turn today. The government wrapping up the first phase of the sentencing trial. That means the defense could begin presenting its witnesses this afternoon. Still no word on if Moussaoui himself will take the stand.

Now to the story we've been following about the two boys who went missing in Milwaukee on Sunday. A local company now offering a $5,000 reward with help with the search for Quadrevion Henning and Purvis Parker.

In the meantime, we could hear more about the search today. A news conference is scheduled just about four hours from now.

And slugger Barry Bonds might want to stay in bed this morning. A new book linking him to the BALCO steroids scandal hits stores today. The Yankees' Jason Giambi is also implicated in the book. The authors of "Game of Shadows" suggest Giambi turned to steroids to please his perfectionist father. Giambi and Bonds share the book's cover.

Let's head to the forecast center to check in with Reynolds Wolf. Chad has the day off.

Good morning.

WOLF: Good morning.


O'BRIEN: All right. Thanks, Reynolds.

A couple of animal updates for you this morning. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on a coyote chase in New York's Central Park. And there's some new hope to tell you about in the search for a valuable show dog.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You're looking at a tranquilized coyote after an anything but tranquil chase.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Through the fence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is one elusive and quick coyote that has cops going in circles.

MOOS: This year-old coyote has become a star.

ADRIAN BENEPE, COMMISSIONER, NYC PARKS DEPT: Actually very attractive, male coyote.

MOOS: Nicknamed Hal, he apparently made his way into Manhattan from woodsier areas upstate. When he was sighted in Central Park, the NYPD mobilized with tranquilizing jab sticks and dart guns. News choppers circled as Hal managed to stay just out of reach of his pursuers. And just when you thought he had nowhere to run, he took a leap.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, he's swimming.

MOOS: Swimming under a bridge, leaving land-locked pursuers in his wake.


MOOS: You'd go too if you had a cop with a gun shadowing you. And we do mean shadowing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This guy is fast.

MOOS: Faster than Wiley Coyote. And like Wiley, this guy got his bird.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was a wolf at first, it was running after a bird. BENEPE: The park service staff has observed at least one pile of feathers.

MOOS: At least duck, or more likely pigeon. As the hunt for Hal continued, so did the one for Vivi. Remember the Westminster Show dog, the Whippet that escaped from her cage at JFK Airport last month. Well there have been a dozen or so apparent sightings of Vivi near this cemetery in Queens. One guy even fed a dog that fits her description, Italian-bred through the cemetery fence.

One of the Vivi's owners has flown back to New York and set traps baited with roasted chicken. Maybe that would have worked on Hal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's like lightning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news from Central Park, they captured that coyote.

MOOS: Hal was eventually cornered somewhere near this fence and shot with a tranquilizer dart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I fired one dart at the coyote.

MOOS: Sedated but safe, Hal will be returned to the wild. He was never a danger to humans, just pets. And unlike that other Wiley Coyote, at least Hal wasn't a danger to himself.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


O'BRIEN: So Hal the coyote is off to a better place. And the show dog Vivi, well, it looks like volunteers are going to stage a stakeout in Queens where there were last some sightings of Vivi. They're going to basically camp out and see if they can find Vivi or any trace of her.

That's ahead. We'll see what happens there.

Jeanne's story, we should mention, first aired on "PAULA ZAHN NOW." You can catch that weeknights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

Later on AMERICAN MORNING, we're going to talk with the director of New York City's Urban Park Rangers about the coyote capture and more.

Ahead this morning, a new way to watch some of your favorite shows while you're shopping for groceries. We'll explain as we mind your business.

And then later, how the president's push for the war in Iraq is playing with Democrats. DNC chairman Howard Dean joins us live just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: Some trouble to tell you about for the TV business. TV commercials not as effective as they used to be, apparently.

Carrie Lee is "Minding Your Business."

Say it ain't so.

CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know this industry is changing, right? Television ads, the DVRs, the video on demand services, burgeoning Internet television products, all spelling pretty bad news for the television industry.

A new survey quantifying this a bit. An ad industry survey finding nearly 80 percent say television ads are less effective than they were two years ago. Almost as many, about 70 percent, say DVRs will destroy the traditional 30-second ad, and nearly 60 percent see less spending on television ads.

So hitting the bottom line, of course advertisers are having to be more creative, things like program sponsorships, also product placement and other ideas, too. Interactive television ads, we talked about things like that earlier in the week.

Now, one idea coming from CBS. They are installing -- or not CBS, but another company is installing 1,300 video screens in supermarkets across the country, and CBS is going to include some programming so you can watch while you shop, short news segments, health, nutrition topics.

And kind of a captive audience here, John and Soledad, because obviously you can't change the channel. So, I don't know.

ROBERTS: Yes. It's like the captive audience we have at airports.

LEE: Exactly. Exactly.

My two questions, well, how -- how big -- or how loud, I guess, is the volume going to be? Is this something you really can't help but pay attention to? And whatever happened to introspection? You know?

I like grocery shopping. I like to kind of zone out. And I don't know. You're kind of always bombarded with ads everywhere you go. That's what it seems like to me.

ROBERTS: They call it the information super highway. It's proving to be.

LEE: There you go.

O'BRIEN: All right, Carrie. Thank you very much.

LEE: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: As we approach the top of the hour, let's check the forecast once again with Reynolds Wolf. He's in for Chad this morning. Hey, Reynolds. Good morning again.

WOLF: Hey, good morning, Soledad.



© 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