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CNN LIVE TODAY

President Bush Discusses War on Terror; Immigration Protests Take Place Across U.S.

Aired April 10, 2006 - 10:58   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And President Bush is appearing before the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is taking questions. Let's listen in.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look, I didn't -- you know, during the 2000 campaign, I don't remember ever discussing with people what -- could I handle war or could my opponent handle war? The war wasn't on our minds. War came unexpectedly. We didn't ask for the attack, but it came.

And so much of the statements I make and have made since that war were a result of that attack. I vowed then that I would use all assets of our power to win the war on terror. That's what I vowed. It -- the September the 11th attacks affected me. It affected my thinking deeply.

The most important job of the government is to protect the people from an attack. And so I said we were going to stay on the offense two ways: one, hunt down the enemy and bring him to justice, and take threats seriously. And two, spread freedom. And that's what we've been doing and that's what I'm going to continue to do as the president. It's -- I think about the war on terror...

Now, I understand there's a difference of opinion in a country. Some view the attack as kind of an isolated incident. I don't. I view it as a part of a strategy by a totalitarian ideologically-based group of people who have announced their intentions to spread that ideology and to attack us again. That's what they've said they're going to do, and the most dangerous -- the biggest danger facing our country is whether -- if the terrorists get a weapon of mass destruction to use.

Now, perhaps some in our country think it's a -- that's a pipe dream. I don't. I think it is a very real threat, and therefore, will spend my presidency rallying our assets, intelligence assets, military assets, financial assets, diplomatic, you know, initiatives to keep the -- keep the enemy off balance and to bring them to justice.

Now, if you're going to be the president or a policymaker, you never know what's going to come. That's the interesting thing about the world in which we live. We're an influential nation. And so, therefore, many problems come to the Oval Office. And you don't know what those problems are going to be, which then argues for having smart people around. That's why you ought to serve in government if you're not going to be the president. You have a chance to influence policy by giving good recommendations to the president.

You've got to listen in my line of work. And I listen a lot.

You know, ours is a complex organization that requires, you know, a management structure that lets people come in to the Oval Office and explain their positions. And, you know, I think -- I think it's to my interest, by the way, that not everybody agree all of the time. You can't make good decisions unless there's a little -- you know, kind of a little agitation in there. And sometimes we have.

But anyway, good question. It's -- I guess my answer to your question is, is that you've got to be ready for the unexpected. And when you act, you base your decisions on principles.

I'll tell you one principle -- I'm not going to filibuster, I promise. But you got me going here, so -- I want you to understand this principle, and it's an important debate and it's worth debating here in this school as to whether or not freedom is universal, whether or not it is a -- you know, it's a universal right of all men and women.

It's an interesting part of the international dialogue today, and I think it is universal. And if you believe it's universal, I believe this country has -- should act on that concept of universality. And the reason I do is because I do believe freedom yields the peace.

And our foreign policy prior to my arrival was, if it seems OK, leave it alone. In other words, if it's nice and placid out there on the surface, you know, it's OK, just let it sit. But unfortunately, beneath the surface was resentment and hatred, and that kind of resentment and hatred provided ample recruitment, fertile grounds for recruiting, people that came and killed over 3,000 of our citizens.

And therefore, I believe the way to defeat resentment is with -- with freedom and liberty. But if you don't believe it's universal, I can under why you say, you know, what is he doing? You know/? Why is he doing that? You know, if there's no such thing as the universality of freedom, then we might as well just isolate ourselves and hope for the best.

And so -- anyway, I'm kind of rambling here -- Yes.

QUESTION: Mr. President, thanks very much for your visit today. We're honored by your -- by your visit. I'm Henry Newsom (ph). I'm a first semester MA student.

You mentioned the confluence of terror and weapons of mass destruction as the greatest threat to American security. Will the United States allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons?

BUSH: We do not want the Iranians to have a nuclear weapon, the capacity to make a nuclear weapon, or the knowledge of how to make a nuclear weapon. That's our stated goal. It's also the goal, fortunately, of other friends and allies, starting with Great Britain, Germany and France.

One of the -- one of the decisions I made early on was to have a multinational approach to sending messages, clear messages to the Iranians, that -- that if they want to be a part of the --- an accepted nation in the world, that they must give up their nuclear weapons ambitions. And we're making pretty good progress.

By the way, if you're studying how to achieve diplomatic ends, it might be worthwhile noting that I think, at least, with the United States being the sole interlocutor between Iran, it makes it more difficult to achieve the objective of having the Iranians give up their nuclear weapons ambitions. It's amazing that when we're in a bilateral position, or kind of just negotiating one on one, somehow the world ends up turning the tables on us. And I'm not going to put my country in that position, or our country in that position.

Also, I think it's more effective that the three of us -- the four of us work closely together. We've also included Russia into the dialogue.

A couple of months back you might remember there was a discussion about whether or not the Russians should be allowed to build or encouraged to build a civilian nuclear power plant, but the fuel of which would be provided and collected by the Russians. I supported that initiative. I thought it was difficult on the one hand to say civilian nuclear power is the sovereign right of the nation, and on the other hand not to then support the Russian initiative. And I did so. I also did so because I want Russia to be a part of the -- part of the team trying to convince the Iranians to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Now, I want to emphasize this point. And that is, is that we're not only making sure they don't have the means to develop the weapon, but the knowledge. And that's why I was very strong in saying that they should not have -- there should not be a research component involved with the Russian deal that will enable the Iranians to learn how to better enrich -- enrich uranium. But our objective is to prevent them from having a nuclear weapon. And the good news is, is that many in the world have come to that conclusion.

I got out a little early on the issue by saying "axis of evil." And -- but I meant it. I saw it as a problem. And now, many others have -- have come to the conclusion that the Iranians should not have a nuclear weapon.

The doctrine of prevention is to work together to prevent the Iranians from having a nuclear weapon. I know -- I know here in Washington, you know, prevention means force. It doesn't mean force, necessarily.

In this case, it means diplomacy. And by the way, I read the articles in the newspapers this weekend. It was just wild speculation, by the way. What you're reading is wild speculation, which is kind of a -- you know, it happens quite frequently here in the nation's capital.

Yes? Please.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. It's an honor to have you here.

BUSH: Thanks.

QUESTION: I'm a first year student in South Asian studies.

My question is in regards to private military contractors. The Uniform Code of Military Justice does not apply to these contractors in Iraq. I asked your secretary of defense a couple months ago what law governs their actions. Mr. Rumsfeld.

BUSH: I was going to ask him. Go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Help!

QUESTION: I was hoping your answer might be a little more specific. Mr. Rumsfeld answered that Iraq has its own domestic laws which he assumed applied to those private military contractors. However, Iraq is clearly not currently capable of enforcing its laws, much less against, you know, over our American military contractors. I would submit to you that in this case, this is one case that privatization is not a solution.

Mr. President, how do you propose to bring private military contractors under a system of law?

BUSH: Yes. I appreciate that very much.

I wasn't kidding. I was -- I'll pick up the phone and say, "Mr. Secretary, I've got an interesting question."

This is what delegation -- I don't mean to be dodging the question, although it's kind of convenient in this case, but -- I really will. I'm going to call the secretary and say you've brought up a very valid question, and what are we doing about it? That's how I work.

I'm -- thanks.

Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: Hello, Mr. President. I have a follow-up question on your comments about polls.

Your presidency has been a rather polarizing period in America. And occasionally your attitude towards protesters and dissenters has been perceived as being dismissive and occasionally even cavalier. And I'm wondering how you feel that's contributed to the polarization in politics today, and if that approach will change given that you have fallen somewhat in the polls.

Thank you. BUSH: Yes. Well, I take protests seriously.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: And I welcome it. I mean, I think -- I think this is a great thing about our democracy, there needs to be an outlet.

If people -- people feel like their government is not listening to them or doesn't agree with them, there ought to be an outlet for their discontent. And so the protests really don't bother me. I hope that's not viewed as cavalier, but it's just the way I feel.

And it's -- in terms of polls, you cannot have a president make decision based upon, you know, the latest political survey. You've got to have people making decisions based upon principle. And my attitude is, you know, I'm going to do what I think is right.

I've got to be able to look at myself, by the way, after the presidency and say -- I didn't come to Washington, D.C., to try to, you know, chase -- chase political opinion. I came to lead this country in a very historic time.

And you've heard -- you heard my discussion about my reaction after 911. That's what I believe. And that's what I'm going -- those are some of the beliefs on which I'm going to continue to make decisions.

But, no, I hear voices of discontent. And I'm just going to do the best I can do based upon what I think is right.

There's too much flattery, too much ego, too much criticism, too much noise, too much politics, too much that for a president to try to kind of grope his way around looking at the latest -- latest public opinion poll. In my judgment, it doesn't serve the nation well.

It's -- a while ago at a press conference I remember uttering, you know, one wonderful piece of wisdom. It was like a dog chasing his tail. It actually didn't fly that good. But nevertheless, my point -- but, thank you. It's a legitimate question.

And so to answer your question, yes, I hear the protests, and I can understand why. I can understand why people are concerned about war. Nobody likes war, particularly me.

I knew exactly what was going to happen when I committed these troops into harm's way. I knew there would be -- people would lose their life. I knew I would be trying to comfort mothers and fathers and grieving wives. I knew exactly what was coming. And if I didn't think it was the right thing to do, I wouldn't have sent them. And if I didn't think we would succeed in Iraq, I'd pull them out.

And the good thing about democracy is people can express themselves.

We're fixing to have a huge immigration march today. And it's a sign that there's a -- this is a -- you know, this is an important issue that people feel strongly about. And I repeat to you, I strongly believe that societies in which you're not allowed to express yourself are societies which do breed resentment. And kind of the bottled up anxiety causes people to become very frustrated. And that's not healthy for society.

Yes?

QUESTION: First, let me say thank you very much for being here. And thank you for taking questions. I know we appreciate that.

My game is Ben Garion (ph). I'm a second year masters student studying international energy policy.

BUSH: International?

QUESTION: Energy policy -- sorry.

My question, sir, is -- well, as Anthony alluded to earlier, and as you're aware, we have many students who are currently working for or considering working for the State Department, the various intelligence agencies and such. And how do you respond to recent -- the recent report by prosecutor Fitzgerald that there is, in his words, a concerted -- evidence of a concerted effort by the White House to punish Joseph Wilson, who himself has a distinguished record of government service?

BUSH: Yes. No, I -- this is -- there's an ongoing legal proceeding which precludes me from talking a lot about the case. There's also an ongoing investigation that's a serious investigation.

I will say this, that after we liberated Iraq, there was questions in people's minds about -- you know, about the basis on which I made statements. In other words, going into Iraq.

And so I decided to declassify the NIE for a reason. I wanted to see -- people to see what some of those statements were based on, so I wanted to see -- I wanted people to see the truth. And I thought it made sense for people to see the truth. And that's why I declassified the document.

You can't talk about -- you're not supposed to talk about classified information. And so I declassified the document.

I thought it was important for people to get a better sense for why I was saying what I was saying in my speeches. And I felt I could do so without jeopardizing, you know, ongoing intelligence matters. And so I did.

As far as the rest of the case goes, you're just going to have to let Mr. Fitzgerald complete his case. And I hope you understand that. It's a serious legal matter that we've got to be careful in making public statements about it.

Yes. Please.

QUESTION: Good morning, Mr. President. Thank you for coming -- thank you for coming here today.

My name is Stafford Ward (ph). I'm a second year student studying strategic studies. And I would like to briefly turn your moment -- turn your attention to Asia-Pacific, the security situation in Asia right now.

Secretary Rice last March met with her counterparts from Japan and Australia in a security dialogue -- of discussing security issues in Asia-Pacific. And this made countries in the region very uncomfortable. They felt that the security dialogue may have been an effort to contain the "China threat," and mostly our alliance partners in South Korea, Singapore and Thailand have felt this uneasiness.

Could you possibly elucidate for us your administration's strategy toward Asia-Pacific ahead of President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington? And was the dialogue a prelude to a NATO-like security structure in Asia-Pacific?

BUSH: Thanks for the question.

We have worked hard to make sure relations with Japan, China and South Korea are on firm footing. And they are.

The -- first, the Japanese relationship is a close relationship. I'm personally fond of Prime Minister Koizumi. We have a -- we have a close relationship. And I have worked very closely with him on a variety of matters, starting with making sure our force posture is such that can -- that -- you know, that the Japanese are comfortable with.

I don't know if you saw the recent announcements about Okinawa, for example. You're beginning to see a -- kind of a defense relationship and alliance that stays intact but is more attuned to -- you know, to the future.

Secondly, he's committed troops into Iraq. He believes like I believe that democracy helps keep the peace. We've worked closely in Afghanistan. In other words, we're partners in peace.

The South Korean issue is one, obviously, that's dominated primarily by North Korea. And I made the decision early on in the administration to change the dynamics in that negotiation from the United States and North Korea, to the United States, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan, called the six-party talks, all aiming to get people who've got a stake in -- with North Korea at the table. All aiming, again, to send a united voice to the North Koreans.

I'm a little -- I am -- the North Korean nuclear issue disturbs me, but also equally disturbs me is the fact that people are being starved to death. And it should disturb the world. It should disturb all of us.

The -- but the North Korean issue dominates my discussions with South Korea. However, there's the -- South Korean and America has, you know, committed ourselves to the -- to the peace that comes, or the balance that comes with the U.S. force presence there in South Korea, although it's been reduced as well. We did not reduce force, we reduced manpower, as you probably know since you study it.

The issue that is on most Americans' minds, and the issue that really is the issue of the future in many ways is China. And I would call our relationship with China very positive and complex.

It's positive, because we do have dialogue. It's positive, because the Chinese leadership, Hu Jintao and his predecessor, were able to sit down, and we had pretty frank discussions about a variety of issues. On our agenda, of course, is trade -- fairness in trade, as well as human rights and freedom of religion.

On their issue -- on their agenda has been in the past, Taiwan, of course, which is a predominant issue. I've worked hard on that issue to make it clear that our position has not changed. And we do not expect either party to unilaterally change the status quo.

The -- and one of the things, of course, we work on is to -- it would be very helpful if the Japanese and the Chinese had better relations, and the Japanese and the South Koreans. So we're spending time on that issue as well to try to bring a sense of -- you know, to encourage more dialogue with -- amongst those parties.

Our presence in the Far East is really important. And so, therefore, my administration has been active in making sure we stay active in the region.

The visit of Hu Jintao will be an interesting and important visit. He's coming into a country where there's, you know, over a $200 billion trade deficit, and a lot of Americans are wondering, where is the equity in trade? And, therefore, I think he -- he can help the Americans understand the importance of a free trading world if he were to maybe make a statement on his currency, for example.

I believe it's important for Americans to see a society that goes from being a -- have its economic growth driven by exports to one having its economic growth more by consumer demand inside the country. That's an important part of our dialogue with China.

It's very important for him to make a declaration on international property -- international property rights -- IPR. It's difficult for a nation that likes to trade, like ours, to go into a country uncertain as to whether or not patents will be protected or product will be protected from copy.

And it's a -- it will be a wide agenda. The far -- the Pacific area is a very important part of our foreign policy. It's one where we have a very active presence and we'll continue to keep one.

We've got a free trade agreement, as you mentioned, with Singapore. We've got a free trade agreement with Singapore. And it's our -- but my relationship with these countries is based more than on just trade and commercialism. Mine is to -- is to work toward more democracy and freedom as well in the region so that -- so that we can keep the peace in the long run.

I keep repeating this, I know, but I firmly believe that one way you lay the foundation for peace is to spread liberty and freedom. And again, I under there's a debate. There's a legitimate debate. I'm just telling you what my position is. And I've got something to say about it.

Yes?

QUESTION: Good morning, President Bush. My name is Sheila Allawalia (ph). And I also feel very strongly about freedom, although I see it in terms of human trafficking.

Your administration takes a very strong stance against prosecution, and because of that you do not disperse funds to a lot of very effective NGOs around the world who pragmatically combat sex trafficking by working with existing prostitution networks. There's no evidence right now that proves either legalizing prostitution or criminalizing prostitution has any change on the effect of sex trafficking cases.

Have you considered changing your ideas about prostitution for the purposes of helping either save or keep people form being enslaved in sex prostitution?

BUSH: No, I appreciate it. It sounds like I'm dodging here, but again, you know more about this subject than I, and I will be glad to call Condi and talk to her about her policy.

I thought we had a very robust strategy on exploitation of women and children, particularly around the world. I think I addressed the subject at the United Nations and was the only world leader to do so.

But specifically about our position on prostitution, I'm going to have to talk to the secretary about it.

Yes?

QUESTION: Good morning, Mr. President. My name is Kent Davis- Packard (ph) and I'm studying conflict management. I have a more general question about the United States' work to democratize the rest of the world.

Many have viewed the United States' effort to democratize the world, especially nations in the Middle East, as an imposition or invasion on their sovereign rights. Considering that it was, in fact, the Prophet Mohammed who established the first known constitution in the world -- I'm referring to the constitution he wrote for the city of Medina -- and that his life and the principles outlined in his constitution, such as the championing of the welfare of women, children, and the poor, living as a an equal among his people, resolving disputes between the warring clans in Arabia, giving any man or woman in parliament the right to vote and guaranteeing respect for all religions, ironically, parallel those principles that we hold most precious in our own Constitution, I'm wondering how might your recently formed Iraq study group under the U.S. Institute for Peace explore these striking similarities to forge a new relationship with Iraqis and educate Americans about the democratic principles inherent in Islam. BUSH: Great question.

I believe that the terrorists have hijacked a peaceful religion in order to justify their behavior. I thank you for bringing that to my attention. I will pass on your comments to James A. Baker, who's one of the chairmen of the group going to Iraq.

You said something really interesting. Initially, you said, you know, people view America imposing its beliefs. And I hearken back to what I said earlier, this fellow's question here, that if you believe that freedom is not universal, then it can be viewed as an imposition of beliefs.

I'm not saying to countries, you know, you've got to look like us or act like us. But I am saying, you know, give your people a chance to be free. And I think it's necessary for America to take the lead on this issue.

I think it is -- I think it is vital for our future that we encourage liberty. And in this case, the Middle East. And as you said, it doesn't necessarily run contrary to what the Prophet Mohammed said.

It's -- and so how do you -- how do you -- how do you advance freedom? I mean, well, one thing you do is you make sure that the Lebanese have a chance to self-govern freely without Syrian interference. That's one thing you can do.

Another thing you can do is work for the establishment of a Palestinian state, which I'm doing. I believe there will be a Palestinian state that is at peace with Israel. I believe it's going to have to be a democracy. Again, a Palestinian-style democracy to achieve that.

But early in my presidency, I said it's in our interest that there be two states side by side in peace. And we're working toward that end.

You know, part of the debate here that I'm sure you're discussing is whether or not the United States should insist upon elections before everything is, you know, right. You know, the civil society has to be just right before you can have elections. I disagree strongly with that.

I think elections are the beginning of the process, not the end. And I found the elections that Hamas won very instructive and very interesting.

It was -- to me, it was a final condemnation of the Arafat era, where people said, we're sick of corruption, or we want better health care and better education. We want -- we actually want our leaders to focus on the people, not on their self-interests.

And because I believe in two states side by side in peace, and therefore expect the government of both to be, you know, peaceful toward each other, we're not going to deal with a government that has, you know, announced that they want to destroy Israel. On the other hand, we will help the Palestinian people. And I believe a democracy will eventually yield a state necessary to be side by side with Israel in peace.

The success of democracy in Iraq -- and as I told you, I think we're going to succeed. As a matter of fact, I know we are if we don't lose our nerve -- will send a powerful signal.

Imagine the signal it will send to, you know, people in Iran that are not free right now. I believe the women's movement is going to be the leading edge of changing the Middle East. I don't believe women want to live as second class citizens.

I believe -- I believe -- I believe there's a universal desire to be treated fairly and equally. And so I think -- I'm pleased with the progress.

I was reading the other day where Kuwaiti women are running for office. That's a positive sign. You know?

We've got to be realistic about what's possible, but we've got to be firm in our belief that freedom is possible and necessary. Otherwise, I'll repeat to you, a system that says, OK, let's just tolerate the tyrant so long as everything seems OK didn't work. That's one of the lessons of the attack on the United States.

You know, the world seemed find, didn't it? It seemed kind of plastic. There was a bubble here, a bubble there. But everything seemed all right, and yet, beneath the surface there was tremendous resentment. And it's now come to fold.

And so how do you defeat their -- now, if you don't think they have an ideology, you know, or a point of view, and/or a strategy to impose it, then I can understand why you think the United States ought not to be as active as we are. But I believe differently.

I believe they're bound -- these folks are bound by an ideology. I know that they have got desires. They say it.

This is one of -- this is a different -- this is a war in which the enemy actually speaks out loud. You heard the letter I wrote -- read -- I didn't speak out loud on this, but nevertheless, it's a -- it's a -- we've got to take their word seriously. When the enemy speaks, it makes sense for our military, our intelligence, the president to take the word seriously so we can adapt and adjust.

Anyway, very interesting question. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: Hi, Mr. President. Thank you very much for coming to speak with us.

My name is Melissa Rigas (ph). I am studying international development. And you have alluded much to tensions beneath the surface of countries. A lot of the time this comes from economic underdevelopment and lack of economic opportunities.

BUSH: Right.

QUESTION: You haven't spoken directly about economic development this morning. And I would like to know where economic development lies on your priority list. And also looking at countries that maybe haven't, in your words, gotten everything right in terms of political stability or democratization, is holding development funds -- keeping development funds from those countries actually counterproductive, because if you can help the country to develop economically, maybe some of these underlying tensions will disappear.

BUSH: No, that's a great question. First of all, I met this morning this with Rob Portman (ph), head of the USTB, about the DOHA (ph) round of -- for the WTO. And the reason I did is because I'm a big believer that trade helps lift people out of poverty. As a matter of fact, if you really studied the relationship between development aid versus capital and movement of capital and how a society benefits more, it's because of trade and commerce.

So we've been very active in this administration. AGOA (ph), for example, this free trade agreement with Africa, that President Clinton passed it. I was more than happy to sign its extension. We've been very hard in implementing it on the recognition that trade is a vital way to help people get their economies up and running. And so no question the economy is important.

In the Palestinian territories, Jim Wolfensohn (ph) went over with a plan -- prior to the election, by the way -- with a plan to help the Palestinians develop their economy on the exact premise that you talked about, economic development, and provides hope. And so you bet, it's an integral part of our policy.

We give a lot of aid out, by the way. We give aid to countries that may like us, may not like us, except in a few instances. I have changed the development program, however, from -- let me say -- added on to the development program through what's called the Millennium Challenge Account.

And that is a conditional based aid program. It's a condition based upon poverty level, but it's also a condition based upon behavior of government. We should not be -- we should insist that governments fight corruption. Seems like to me is the rational thing to do, with taxpayers' money. So far one of the criterion for Millennium Challenge Account is you don't get money if you don't fight corruption. We should insist that people invest in the health and education of their people.

KAGAN:: We've been listening to President Bush at this hour. He is addressing the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, tackling a number of questions from the students there on Iran, Iraq and World Trade. More on that just ahead. Also, we have an update for you on a little boy who called 911 in Detroit, Michigan. The operator didn't believe him. His mother ultimately died. An update on that story for you. Also immigration rallies taking place all over the country today, tens of thousands of people. This is Atlanta, Georgia. We'll update you on those efforts and counter efforts just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAGAN: These pictures just in to CNN from Queens, New York. We understand it's a gas fire that is an explosion, and it turned into a fire from there. Helicopter video bought to us by WABC. Multiple lines stretched, attempting to extinguish the fire. No word of any injuries at this time.

Also an update for you on that little boy who called 911 back in February to report that his mother was having trouble. The boy and family's attorney Geoffrey Fieger says that they have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Detroit on behalf of the family of Sherrill Turner. She died in February after her then-5-year-old son made calls to 911, and they were dismissed as jokes.

All around the country today, a number of immigration protests taking place.

Tony Harris keeping an eye on that -- Tony.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Boy, you said it, Daryn, all across the country today, we want to focus in on Atlanta. Participants in this particular demonstration were asked to wear white T-shirts. So look what you have here, just a sea of white T-shirts. A couple of other colors thrown in there just to spice it up a bit. But there it is, there's the shot. Pictures from just a short time ago.

Thousands of demonstrators gathering this morning at the Plaza Fiesta in DeKalb County, Georgia. That's east of Atlanta. It is a scene that will be played out, as you mentioned, Daryn, in about 60 cities throughout the country. Massive demonstrations all against any crackdown on immigration. And a coalition made up of labor, religious, civil rights and business organizations is behind the event. That's part of what is being called the National Day of Justice Action for Immigration justice. And as you mentioned, we'll be following the demonstrations throughout the course of the day -- Daryn.

KAGAN: All right, Tony, thank you for that.

Air Force One, the president's private plane, its greatest secrets may have been exposed. Who goofed up on this one? It tested their faith and it shredded their church, but tornadoes spared dozens of children that were huddled in a room. Their story ahead on CNN LIVE TODAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK) (WEATHER REPORT)

KAGAN: Well, wait until you hear about this pizza delivery. We're talking arctic pizza. The delivery is free, believe it or not. This is an entrepreneurial spirit. It's striving in Nome, Alaska. A little business called Airport Pizza. It delivers pies by plane to tiny Arctic settlements that are even more remote than Nome. And get this -- business is booming.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I bet it is!

KAGAN: Yes! Our favorite Arctic Circle pizza, chicken with ranch dressing. But also a pizza that's definitely not New York style -- it is made with reindeer sausage. Their motto is, you buy, we fly.

MYERS: And that's what we do up here in the weather office. You want some coffee? Here's your money. You go fly.

KAGAN: You go. My question is, what do you tip the delivery guy?

MYERS: I think he just drops it out of a plane.

KAGAN: And it comes down. And I bet they don't have the 30 minute guarantee. If it's not there in 30 minutes, it's free.

MYERS: If it isn't cold, it's free.

KAGAN: Yes. We got to nuke it on the other end. Thanks, Chad.

It is a high school girl's dream.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have goose bumps. It's so touching just because, it's going to be so rememorable (sic) at prom and just -- it's unbelievable.

KAGAN: But this dream was nearly wrecked by Hurricane Katrina. Find out who saved prom night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAGAN: Well, lordy, lordy, look who's 44, in fact? Pachy the pachyderm, getting over a weekend birthday bash at the Oregon Zoo. Yes, it was back in '62, Pachy was the big news, the first elephant in the Western Hemisphere in more than 40 years. Check out this birthday cake. Yummy doodle. All fruits and veggies, helping Pachy maintain his fighting weight, 13,500 pounds. Pachy, you are looking great.

And celebrating 74 years, Cheeta, the world's oldest trained chimp. Yes, that is the same Cheeta who kept Tarzan company in all those old films from the 30s and 40s. Cheeta retired in 1967 after appearing in "Dr. Doolittle." These days, he supports himself with artwork. Cheeta creates it at his retirement villa in Palm Springs, California, where all Cheetas and chimps go to retire. Then there's this story of a rambling retriever known as "The Golden Ghost." He survived two brutal New Hampshire winters and an altercation with a car.

The saga of this animal adventure from Kria Sakakeeny. She is with our affiliate WMUR.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KRIA SAKAKEENY, WMUR REPORTER: It took a lot of perseverance and patience to capture Sam the golden retriever, AKA "The Golden Ghost." Sam ran away from Dennis and Peg Sklarski of Candia (ph) nearly two years ago, living off the land and his instinct.

DENNIS SKLARSKI, SAM'S OWNER: It was like he was one step ahead of him all the time

SAKAKEENY: The ghost sightings were frequent around Raymond, but just as the specter would be spotted, he would spook and disappear. The almost ethereal animal possessed a cunning spirit, evading tranquilizer darts and coordinated efforts by police to catch him. The ultimate ghostbuster turned out to be an elaborate netting system that cost thousands of dollars, monitored by a remote TV camera.

SKLARSKI: When your dog comes in and starts eating the food that was set up on the food trap, he pushed the button, the net dropped over him, and well, you get yourself a dog.

SAKAKEENY: Sam's previous owners abused him. The Sklarskis rescued the then 2-year-old Golden and brought him to New Hampshire for a fresh start. Then one day, while being walked on a leash, Sam decided to bolt.

SKLARSKI: All in all, for being out for almost years, he's in pretty darn good shape.

SAKAKEENY: Sam is now looking a stretching quarantine and shows signs of heart worm and Lyme disease, but once he's given the all clear, he can go back home and start life over again, with a couple who, even after two years, never gave up hope they could one day tame this restless spirit.

SKLARSKI: Sam has brought many chapters to us. And this is just going to be the end of one, the beginning of another.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAGAN: Sam phones home. Thanks for WMUR for that story.

Hey, some of your favorite TV shows are going to the Internet. And we're talking new episodes, not just the classic. What's behind this new trend when we check out Wall Street with Susan Lisovicz, just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KAGAN: Cute factor through the roof. It's eggs-tacy, taking a look at a couple of guys making history. These little ones are taking part in the world's largest Easter egg hunt. Really, it is the largest. It actually made the Guinness World Record over 300,000 plastic eggs. More than 10,000 people watched at Stone Mountain Park here in Georgia. Very cute.

(MARKET REPORT)

KAGAN: They are heroes of the storm. We have crossed paths with a lot of them since Katrina. Today a teenager who's dressing up New Orleans in silk and satin sequence.

Here's CNN's Susan Roesgen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In all the truckloads of relief supplies shipped down to the Gulf Coast after the hurricane, the cargo in this truck is not the first thing you might think a hurricane victim would need unless you're a teenage girl. This is the prom dress express.

MARISA WEST, PROM DRESS DONOR: Every girl deserves a prom and I can't imagine not having a prom myself. So I figured out, you know, we're all the same. No matter where we live we're all 17, 18-year-old girls who are going through similar things and I wanted to help.

ROESGEN: In Beltsville, Maryland, Marisa West got her friends and family together and started collecting dresses, shoes, handbags, you name it. When word got out shipments came in from all across the country. Their goal was 100 dresses; they wound up with ten times that many. So many the girls from New Orleans formed a human chain to get them all inside Cabrini High School. The school has 400 students most lost something and some lost everything in the hurricane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look how pretty.

ROESGEN: For Shannon Salmon a pretty pink prom dress seems almost too frivolous to wish for but sometimes wishes come through.

SHANNON SALMON, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: It's so touching just because it's going to be so remember able at prom and just unbelievable. Words can't describe.

ROESGEN: The prom is May 12 and Marisa West plans to come down from Maryland to meet the girls who will glow in her generosity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's the one I wanted.

ROESGEN: Susan Roesgen, CNN, New Orleans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAGAN: Great way to wrap up our hour.

I'm Daryn Kagan. International news is up next. Stay tuned for YOUR WORLD TODAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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