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Controversial "United 93" Opens; Texas Pelted by Heavy Storms; Mexico Set to Decriminalize Some Drug Use

Aired April 29, 2006 - 10:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Rush Limbaugh flashes a smile for his police mug shot. The radio talk show host was fingerprinted and arrested and he cut a deal that could lead to a clean record on prescription fraud.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: That's a talker today.

HARRIS: It is a talker. Good morning, everyone, from the CNN Center in Atlanta I'm Tony Harris. It is the 29th day of April, after all.

NGUYEN: Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. We'll have more on the Limbaugh story in just a moment, but first here's a look at the other stories making news right now.

Osama Bin Laden's top lieutenant praises the Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. forces. A new video message from Aman Al Zawahiri surfaced on Islamic's Web site late yesterday. It refers to the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Zawahiri says the U.S. and its allies have achieved nothing, but losses, disaster and misfortunes.

An army colonel is now the highest-ranking officer charged in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Jordan is the former head of the interrogation center at that prison. Yesterday the army charged him with cruelty and maltreatment, dereliction of duty and other offenses.

Take a look at this, another stormy day in parts of Texas. We're getting pictures of wind damage from the airport in Gainesville, Texas, of a hangar there. You'll see more pictures of planes just on top of each other. Storms yesterday pelted the region with hail, heavy rain. Several towns lost electricity and parts of Interstate 35 was briefly closed because of downed power lines.

HARRIS: Cyclone Malla batters Myanmar the storm with winds of up to 150 MPH made landfall along the western coast today. Red Cross officials in the region reported two deaths and 50 injuries before the storm came ashore. Hundreds of homes are destroyed. Cyclone Malla is causing flooding in some areas.

The NFL draft gets off to an early start and Williams is number one. The Houston Texans have signed defensive end Mario Williams, a man-child as the number one pick in the draft. They bypassed Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. Yes. He had been pegged to go number one. Williams signed a six-year, $54 million contract. NGUYEN: Now that is getting paid.

All right. Coming up this hour, hoops robot style. We'll take you live to a one of a kind competition where amazing machines are having a ball.

Also ahead, a new film, "United 93," families of two September 11th victims will offer their views of this controversial movie and in case you missed the daytime Emmys. CNN was there and has all of the surprising highlights.

HARRIS: OK. And news of a --

NGUYEN: Severe kind?

HARRIS: Yes. News of severe weather and a tornado warning, this is a new one. Let's go upstairs now to CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider. Bonnie what can you tell us?

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Tony, we have a tornado warning that includes the city of Houston at this hour. This goes just until 8:15, rather. As we look at the map, what we are looking at is it does include the Houston Hobby Airport. We have Doppler radar meaning it was detected on radar and not actually spotted but it was detected as a possible tornado. This was four miles west of the Hobby Airport moving east, northeast at 35 miles per hour. So a powerful storm indeed.

Areas infected do include south and metro Houston and the Hobby Airport area. This tornado warning actually goes until 9:15 a.m. Central Time so we're watching for this as well. Now we've had severe weather across much of the region. The tornado watch continues into the afternoon including the city of Houston, but also as we start working our way into southwest Louisiana, northward through western Louisiana and up towards Arkansas as well. So we're looking at a large area that runs the risk of developing tornados throughout the day. Already seeing powerful thunderstorms rolling through the Houston area. Look at this line, it stretches from Houston northward towards areas with central Louisiana and Alexandria and further north as well.

Fortunately, a lot of this bad whether, even though it's moving to the northeast, will work its way to the east and we are expecting Baton Rouge and New Orleans getting light rain at this hour. But we're expecting strong thunderstorms for all of Louisiana for today. That is not the best news for the jazz fest to get the rain coming in. Once again this tornado warning for the Houston area, that goes until 9:15 a.m. Central Time.

Betty, Tony.

HARRIS: OK, all right. We'll make a note of the Houston area. Bonnie appreciates it, thank you.

Storms are pounding parts of Texas if you just heard for a second day in a row, joining us by phone is Ray Fletcher. He is the Emergency Management coordinator in Cooke County, Texas. Ray thanks for taking the time this morning. We appreciate it.


HARRIS: Is Gainesville a part of your county?

FLETCHER: Yes, Gainesville is part of the county.

HARRIS: OK, give us a sense, first of all when this storm rolled through your area?

FLETCHER: About 7:15 yesterday evening we had indications of a high wind event that really blew up on us south of Lindsey, Texas, south and west and went through Lindsey, Texas, which is about a mile west of Gainesville and then proceeded on through Gainesville, Texas, also.

HARRIS: What was in the forecast? Possible tornadoes?

FLETCHER: Yes. We had a pretty good forecast that storms and severe storms were possible and coming this way, so we -- it spun up real fast on us and intensified very quickly and didn't give us a lot of time to get warnings out.

HARRIS: We're actually looking at some of these pictures right now from your areas from last night and this is pretty severe stuff. We are seeing hail. What size was the hail?

FLETCHER: We have reports of baseball-sized hail in quite a few of the communities and areas.

HARRIS: Baseball-sized hail and heavy rain throughout.

FLETCHER: And heavy rain through out. Some minor flash flooding and the high winds, blowing windows out of houses and the hail caused some of that damage, blowing windows out and mobile homes were destroyed. Businesses, you know walls coming down and roofs peeling off.

HARRIS: Ray, any fatalities?


HARRIS: Any injuries?

FLETCHER: Yes sir, we did have some injuries.

HARRIS: How many? Do you have a number?

FLETCHER: We had two that we know of for sure and possibly a third one.

HARRIS: How many homes did you lose?

FLETCHER: We estimate between 10 and 15 homes destroyed to some extent. That's hard to say, but some of the mobile homes were completely destroyed and some of the other homes with the windows blown out and the roofs damaged. We're probably not there last night.

HARRIS: Kind of tightly compacted or across a wide area.

FLETCHER: Probably around a 5-by 15-mile area impacted.

HARRIS: OK. And the airport, we're seeing pictures of the airport? What's the name of this airport?

FLETCHER: That's the Gainesville Municipal Airport it is just west of town.

HARRIS: These planes look like toys. I don't know if you have seen these pictures.

FLETCHER: I was out at the airport this morning, but I did see the hangars that were facing west that had the doors blown off or open and the aircraft moved around pretty easily.

HARRIS: We've got reports of half a dozen aircraft damage.

FLETCHER: I believe that's pretty close yes, sir.

HARRIS: How about power outages?

FLETCHER: We've had power out into early this morning, a pretty significant impact on our water pumping stations in the city of Gainesville, but they got that turned around pretty good this morning. I believe the water problems are in hand and the power is still out to some of the corners of the community. But the larger areas and the necessity power is on.

HARRIS: So, we always say this, but it could have been worse. It could have been worse for you.

FLETCHER: Well we -- it's bad enough if it's your house, but we're a little bit happier than we were early this morning and last night when we couldn't tell how bad it was in the dark.

HARRIS: All right. We appreciate it thanks for your time.

FLETCHER: Thank you.

HARRIS: Now to what could be the end of Rush Limbaugh's legal woes from an addiction to prescription painkillers, the radio talk show host was formally arrested and booked yesterday in Palm Beach County, Florida. CNN's Susan Candiotti has the details.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Flashing a smile as he posed for a mug shot, Rush Limbaugh negotiated a deal that in the end can assure him a clean record.

ROY BLACK, LIMBAUGH'S ATTORNEY: What it does say is that he was addicted to prescription pain medication, which, of course he admitted back in 2003 when all this began. So he has adamantly said he has not committed a crime.

CANDIOTTI: According to his lawyers, the agreement with the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office goes like this. Limbaugh pleads not guilty to one count of doctor shopping. He must complete another year and a half of drug treatment. If he does, the charge will be dropped. Finally, the radio host must pay $30,000 to help offset the public cost of the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe I'm talking to you.

CANDIOTTI: Rush Limbaugh's nightmare began in the fall of 2003. His former housekeeper sold a blockbuster story to the "National Enquirer." Wilma Kline claimed she illegally sold the popular conservative talk show host thousands of prescription painkillers including Oxycontin and Hydrocodone.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST: I don't know the scope of what I'm dealing with.

CANDIOTTI: A week later Limbaugh admitted a problem.

LIMBAUGH: I am addicted to prescription pain medication.

CANDIOTTI: With that Limbaugh left the air for a month of treatment. He blamed unrelenting pain from spine surgery years earlier. He claimed his former employee try to blackmail him and said he paid her what he called extortion money and was afraid to go to authorities.

Later that year investigators raided Limbaugh's doctors offices in Florida and California in search warrants, prosecutors said Limbaugh was part of an ongoing investigation that began a year earlier and appeared to be doctor shopping for painkillers, going from doctor to doctor to get more pills. Authorities said pharmacy records showed Limbaugh obtained more than 2,000 pills over a six-month period. Limbaugh claims local prosecutors are unfairly targeting him compared to others in similar predicaments. He says his Constitutional right to privacy was violated by the raid. On the air, he also suggested Democrats were to blame.

LIMBAUGH: The Democrats in this country still cannot defeat me in the arena of political ideas and so now they are trying to do so in the court of public opinion and the legal system.

CANDIOTTI: Prosecutors defended the search warrant.

JAMES MARTZ, PROSECUTOR: We have to notice the target of an investigation that we have to look at the felonies he committed?

CANDIOTTI: Eventually, despite appeals all of the way to Florida's Supreme Court, Limbaugh lost his privacy battle to keep his doctor's records out of prosecutor's hands and after a two and a half year long legal odyssey, the radio talk show host may soon be able to end his doctor-shopping scandal.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Miami. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: Well, almost five years after those the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the first major motion picture about 9/11 hits the big screen and it opened last night.

NGUYEN: But there are some who say it is just too soon. We are going to hear from victim's family members on both sides of this issue.

Also, we're taking staying on top of the severe weather outside. Bonnie Schneider joins us with the latest.

SCHNEIDER: Plus we're looking at severe weather ripping through Texas right now. I'll have a complete report on that coming up, now let's go to Reynolds Wolf at the Georgia Dome.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Bonnie. We are live at the Georgia Dome for the first robotics championship; it's an international affair. We have groups from Canada. Say hi, guys.


WOLF: Say hi, you need to be loud!

There you go. We're going to give you the full deal of what's happening in the Georgia Dome with the first revised championship. It's coming up in a few moments right here on CNN. See you then.


NGUYEN: It makes you want to do the robot. Check out this robot race, though. Kids are gathering here in Atlanta going just bonkers for robotics. High tech, high energy, it is the first robotics championship and it's like an older kids version of Lego's. High school kids are geared to build for the future, as they say and CNN's Reynolds Wolf is at the championship trying not to break anything.

HARRIS: Can we just get him to build us a car that runs on something other than oil and gasoline? Can we do that, Reynolds? Good morning to you, sir.

WOLF: Good morning to you. I can't believe they let me in the building. That's the amazing thing, but I'm telling you, you've got your future Thomas Edison's, your future Henry Fords and your future Dean Caymans here at the Georgia Dome. To give you an idea of what this whole thing is about, take a look at this.

For inspiration and recognition of science and technology, that's the acronym for first, the annual competition in which high school students with guidance from mentors in the industry, design and build robots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone ready.

WOLF: The idea is to get young people excited about careers in engineering and the sciences, to show them a world beyond sports and entertainment on TV. Founder Dean Kamen says the goal of the 15-year- old competition is to break stereotypes.

DEAN KAMEN, FOUNDER, FIRST: If we can find the Shaquille O'Neil of engineering and put that person in front of all the kids in the same fun environment as they see these world class, young athletes and if these kids go back to school with a little bit of passion and a little bit of maybe that engineering and science is worthwhile, we are going dramatically change the outcome of their decision making as they choose careers.

WOLF: Each team started with the same kit in mid-March and was given only six weeks to put their robot together using the parts from the kit. Each robot kit cost about $17,000 but the students pay only the entry fee and traveling expenses, which as you can imagine, are not cheap.

The young people go out into the community, raise money to get sponsorships for their teams and in that process they learn something about business and one student have taken part in First, they are immediately eligible to apply for future scholarships in engineering and the sciences.

MATT FULTZ, CYBER BLUE TEAM: People say they want to be an engineer, but they don't know what being an engineer.

CATHY WARNER, CYBER BLUE TEAM: It's not really something you can take in high school as a class to see what it is. Doing this definitely helps us see what engineers really do.

WOLF: It's been a lot of fun here this morning. It will continue throughout the day. One of the neat things about this is not just an event that takes place here in the U.S. It's an international event with people here from here from south of the border as well as north of the border. We have a Canadian team behind us. They're from Canada. What's your name?

NICOLE: Nicole.

LAURA HILLTRANT (ph): Laura Hilltrant.

WOLF: You are the drivers of your robot?


WOLF: How'd you do?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We won our match so 66 to 44 for the Red Lions, which we are, so yay!

WOLF: When do you do you compete again?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We compete later this morning and if we compete again, we can be in the afternoon and try to win the finals for the world championship title.

WOLF: What is so great about this event? You guys are all excited and you're enthused and it's fun. What do you like about it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love the energy and the message it sends to other people, to get into engineering especially women because it's a very male-dominated field and we'd like to change that.

WOLF: Tony Harris, one of our anchors back at CNN wants to know if you can come up with a new fuel additive with the fuel problems they're having with North America. You guys are brilliant. Do you think we can come up with that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're very good. We compete very strongly and we can do anything guys can or even better than guys.

WOLF: They can do anything guys can and they've proven that this morning.

HARRIS: They can do anything.

WOLF: Thank you so much.

NGUYEN: They can do anything guys can do and better Reynolds. Did you get that message? That girl power message.

HARRIS: Why do you have to make it a battle of some kind?

NGUYEN: They can take him down flat. All right, Reynolds.

WOLF: We're going to bring you more throughout the rest of the day and I'll try not to break things.

NGUYEN: That would be a good idea.

HARRIS: And then send them over to Georgia Tech. Let's keep them down here.

WOLF: Why not?

HARRIS: Why not?

WOLF: Absolutely.

HARRIS: OK, Reynolds. Thanks.

NGUYEN: Well we've been talking about the nasty storm that rolled through Texas last night and we mean nasty.

HARRIS: Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider tells us where the system is headed next when we come back. Daniel Olias. Good morning.

DANIEL OLIAS: Good morning Tony. One hundred million people have logged on to a special Web site and we will too, when we go global after the break.


NGUYEN: Love the sound of that, even Katrina couldn't stop the music. New Orleans is hosting its first jazz festival since the hurricane and thousands turned out for the kickoff yesterday. Officials hope the event will help drive the city's recovery. This festival continues through tomorrow and then picks up again next weekend so there's still time.

HARRIS: Here's the problem. If you've got storms in Texas it won't be long, Bonnie Schneider, until there are storms in New Orleans.

SCHNEIDER: That's right. The weather was good yesterday. Today, I don't know, some storms but its New Orleans. You get those occasional pop-up storms and let's hope nothing severe breaks out in the region. That's what we're seeing in parts of Texas at this hour. We still have a tornado warning that's extended for Eastern Harris County. That includes the city of Houston. This goes until 10:15 a.m. Central Time and as we look future to the east just like Tony mentioned we're starting to see the tornado warnings spread a little further eastward.

This one is for Chambers County also going until 10:15 a.m. Central Time. What's happening is we have severe weather ripping through the area. A very large squall line all of the way up toward central Louisiana, southward towards Texas and this is all pushing to the east and it will be affecting a good portion of southwest Louisiana as well.

In fact we can show you some video of hail in Texas. You'll see large-sized hail. The storm as you can see bringing a lot of hail to the Marble Falls area and what happens is with these powerful storms, when you have the contrast in air masses and not just coming together, but also vertically the cold air versus the warm air, look what's happening, large sized hail at least three quarters of an inch in diameter. So we can see marble sized or greater hail for the storms as they work their way through the region today.

Let's take a closer look. This is all moving to the north and to the east. The Houston area hard hit right now not only with heavy downpours of rain and frequent lightning strikes and we've seen very strong wind and this is producing straight-lined wind. So it looks like into Beaumont and into Lake Charles, Louisiana we're likely to see it as we work its way through Port Arthur, Texas as well as it works it way through this part of the country.

Now just to show you what is happening in the big picture. Here's our storm system. It's pushing its way to the east so New Orleans will be under the gun for some bad storms later this afternoon. Rain, though, extends northward toward Kansas and Nebraska and that may bring the potential for flooding because this is a powerful system as we've seen yesterday with the strong storms moving south of the Dallas area.

Betty, Tony.

HARRIS: Look at that storm.

NGUYEN: Busy. Busy. HARRIS: It's heating up the center of the map. It's just huge.

NGUYEN: Stay on top of it, Bonnie. We will be talking to you soon.

Well for some, it is entertainment. For others it reopens old wounds that have yet to heal.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to turn the fasten seat belt sign off and you are safe to move about the cabin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is going down, I'm telling you right now.


NGUYEN: So real. Two family members of victims of 9/11 join us live with different views on whether it is too soon for a movie about that tragic day in September.

HARRIS: Plus this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the winner is the "Ellen Degeneres Show."

HARRIS: Find out who else walked away with the golden statue last night. Still ahead, the daytime Emmys. You're watching CNN SATURDAY MORNING.


HARRIS: Good morning everyone. Now in the news, a three-year investigation ends in a plea deal for Rush Limbaugh, the radio talk show host was booked on a single count of prescription fraud yesterday and then released on bond. Prosecutors say they will drop the charge in 18 months if Limbaugh continues a drug treatment program.

A terrorist leader dispatches a new video message. It comes from Al Qaeda's number two man Ayman Al Zawahiri. The tape surfaced late last night on Islamic Web sites. The 15-minute video is titled as a message to the people of Pakistan. On it Al Zawahiri praises Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq.

The first U.S. army officer to be charged in the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal could face 42 years in prison. The Lieutenant Cornel Steven Jordan ran the prison's interrogations debriefing center. The army says Jordan faces seven charges including disobeying an order, dereliction of duty and cruelly.

The Houston Texans bypass Bush? The team instead signed defensive end Mario Williams as it's number one pick in the NFL draft. They passed on the Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush. Williams is the first defensive end taken as the first overall pick since 2000.

NGUYEN: In the U.S., the debate over the legalization of drugs centers around the use of marijuana. But in Mexico, it's a much different story.

HARRIS: Our Danielle Elias joins us from the international desk with details. Danielle, good morning.

DANIELLE ELIAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony, that's right. Let's begin in Mexico, where soon it may be completely legal to have small amounts of cocaine, heroin and even Ecstasy for your own use. The bill only needs Mexican President Vicente Fox's signature to become law and that does not appear to be an obstacle. His office says that decriminalizing drugs will free up police to focus on major dealers. Critics of the bill say it put an official OK on drug use and some worry it could prove to be a lure to young Americans.

Experts are puzzling over a grim discovery on a Tanzanian beach. Four hundred bottleneck dolphins have watched ashore dead on Zanzibar's northern coast. The animals apparently did not starve, but they had empty stomachs which suggest they were swimming a long distance disoriented. In a similar case off the southeastern U.S. coast, investigators are looking into the possibility sonar from American submarines could be to blame. The latest incident in Tanzania could hurt tourism there because visitors regularly watch and swim with the wild dolphins.

Brace yourselves for this story, guys, Fiji local media report Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has hurt his head after he fell out of a palm tree at an exclusive Fiji resort. A band spokeswoman says he suffered a mild concussion. I've got to ask you guys, Betty, Tony, what was this 62-year-old rocker in a tree to begin with?

NGUYEN: You're asking us?

ELIAS: What do you think?

HARRIS: To get a better view of the coastline?

NGUYEN: Getting coconuts? I don't know.

HARRIS: Good try. Good try.

ELIAS: I was perplexed. Apparently Richards has suffered a mild concussion while vacationing in Fiji and was flown to a hospital in New Zealand as a precaution. Of course we will bring you the details as more details become available.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, this is the only show in town. Everyone is tuning in for this live web cam -- you can see it right there to watch the hatching of bald eagle eggs on Hornby (ph) Island. The site is run by Infotech Business Systems. It has logged more than 100 million hits. Eagle-eyed egg watchers say the hatching is imminent. The pair of eagles has been nesting at this site for 17 years. Pretty cute, huh?

HARRIS: That's the explanation as to why Keith Richards was up the tree.

NGUYEN: To get a closer glimpse.

ELIAS: T to get a glimpse of the egg.

HARRIS: Danielle, thank you.

NGUYEN: That's our story and we're sticking to it. All right. Thanks.

Well, on another note, it is the first of a series of major motion pictures to tell the story of September 11th. "United 93" opened nationwide last night with glowing reviews from most critics. Now the film was made with the support of family members of the passengers and crew on that United Airlines flight.


UNIVERSAL PICTURES, UNITED 93: What have you got?

Washington's on the phone. They said they've got an American 77 lost, it just went missing out of Dulles. It's supposed to go to LAX.

This is another one?


NGUYEN: It is the story of how the passengers on the plane apparently stopped the aircraft from crashing into what is widely believed to have been targets in Washington, DC., the capitol building or even the White House. The quality of the film aside, most criticism doesn't come from film critics, but those who say it is just too soon to put the tragedy on the big screen.

And joining us this morning are two people with different views on the subject. Robert Fazio lost his father on that day. Ronald Fazio was working inside the second building to be struck. He died trying to help other trade center evacuees. Fazio is against airing of the movie and he joins us from Philadelphia. First we start with Jack Grandcolas, who has a totally different view. His wife was on flight 93. He joins us from San Francisco. Good morning to you.


NGUYEN: Talk to us a little bit about your wife Lauren. She was on that fateful flight. She was pregnant with your first child. Tell us about that day and about how you want to remember Lauren.

GRANDCOLAS: Well, it was a horrific day, obviously, a very sad day for many of Americans and she was just returning home from her grandmother's funeral. She stayed to visit her sisters, just a normal, everyday passenger if you will.

NGUYEN: Do you feel that this film did justice to the brave people on that flight?

GRANDCOLAS: I believe it does. I believe it also tell us the story of the day. It's enlightening. It's provocative and it's an honorable tribute, maybe the silver lining to a great cloud of a very sad day.

NGUYEN: You say a tribute. It also has some inspiration to it. Tell us about that. Is that what you want people to take away from watching this movie, the inspirational portion of it.

GRANDCOLAS: I certainly think that the inspiration is there. We obviously would like to have a memorial build in Shanksville and the movie supports that and we do hope that people may reach out and touch their loved ones with phone calls like they did on that plane.

NGUYEN: You mention how the proceeds will go to support this national memorial. Ten percent of opening weekend profits will go to that, but as you well know, movie houses, studios they're in business to make money. Do you feel like this commercializes what happens and how do you feel about them making money off of this tragic loss?

GRANDCOLAS: I don't really think it commercializes it. I think what it does is it tell us a story, a story much like "Hotel Rwanda" or "Schindler's List" or "Saving Private Ryan." It will move people to think more about how life is and what real people went through.

NGUYEN: Did you learn anything new from watching this movie? Did it answer any of the questions that you had?

GRANDCOLAS: Well, it was enlightening that, I mean, half the film spends time in the air traffic control towers, the FAA and Norad and it was disturbing to see how unprepared and left on their own these individuals were, much like the passengers and the crew of flight 93.

NGUYEN: And those passengers included your wife. How difficult was that to see her portrayed up there on the big screen?

GRANDCOLAS: Of course, it's very difficult. It's sad. It's breathtaking, but it's also inspirational. Again, what they did in a very short period of time knowing that they had to act and that no one else could help them is quite amazing to collect the information that was happening on the ground to band together and plan and then to execute their plan and possibly hoping to save themselves, but at least stopping further tragedy on the ground.

NGUYEN: Obviously, you're in support of this film, what it does to recognize and remember those aboard that flight. Did you have any concerns, though? Let me ask you this, when the studios came to you, they spoke with the families, said we're going to do this, did you have any concerns and how were those concerns addressed?

GRANDCOLAS: We all had great concerns. We have concerns any time there's a focus any particular heroics of that day that you eliminate the heroes of the rest of the day. My heart goes out to everyone who was lost that tragic day, but when we investigated who the director was we realized that Paul Greengrass (ph) was probably the most, best suited to take on this on this very touchy subject matter.

NGUYEN: Why is that?

GRANDCOLAS: His past handling of Bloody Sunday, "Bourne Supremacy" and just meeting him directly and learning his vision of what he wanted to do and to tell the story to educate people more about what happened that day and you do walk away with a better understanding.

NGUYEN: Do you think it stands as a symbol of history? It captures history?

GRANDCOLAS: Well, I think it is important that history is noted in this film because history has a way of repeating itself if you don't act and change the things that were wrong about that day.

NGUYEN: Jack Grandcolas, lost your wife on that flight. We appreciate you spending a little time with us today to remember her and talk to us about the movie and its impact on you. Thank you.

GRANDCOLAS: You're welcome.

NGUYEN: And stay with us. There is much more to come. We're going to be speaking with another 9/11 family member right after this break and get his take on the new movie, "Flight 93."



BARBARA WALTERS: Ladies and gentlemen, starting in September the newest co-host of "The View" and we're so lucky to have her, Miss Rosie O'Donnell.


HARRIS: Last night's daytime Emmys becomes Rosie's coming out party, really. More surprises from Hollywood still to come on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.



UNIVERSAL PICTURES: UNITED 93: There was an explosion at the Pentagon. That's all we know.

Hey, there's an explosion at the Pentagon, an explosion at the Pentagon, not a fire, an explosion.


NGUYEN: The movie "United 93" depicts what happened onboard that fatal flight. There were of course thousands of others killed that day. One of them was this man. 57-year-old Ronald C. Fazio. The accountant was in the second building hit at the World Trade Center. Witnesses say Fazio was leaving the building's 99th floor, then changed his mind and went back up to help others get out. Well, he didn't make it out himself that day and is being lauded as a hero. Joining us from Philadelphia this morning is his son, Robert Fazio. Good morning to you. ROBERT FAZIO, FATHER DIED IN WTC: Good morning.

NGUYEN: Let's talk a little bit about your father and the sacrifice he made on that day, September 11th.

FAZIO: Sure. First I would like to do is commend Jack and the other families of Flight 93 for memorializing and honoring their loved one which is so important and I also want to clarify that my primary concern around not the movie coming out, I'm not against that. It's around the trailers that are uncontrollable, that are going out and how those might potentially be traumatizing people. And my father, to go back to your question and comment, he was an amazing person. He was one of the first people who saw the first tower get hit and led the charge and was literally seen holding the door for others and that's how we got our inspiration to start a non-profit in his honor.

NGUYEN: That's wonderful and we'll talk about that in a minute. Now you say you're not against the movie, but you're not planning on seeing it, are you?

FAZIO: No. I'm not planning on seeing it, but I am planning on doing some research and talking to people who have seen it so I can help people prepare. As a matter of fact, we just set up something on our Web site where people can look at some of the resources around self-help to decide whether or not they want to see the movie and if they do see images or trailers related to the movie, they can help manage their reactions.

NGUYEN: We'll talk about those trailers. But first of all, why don't you want to see the movie? Is it just too painful? Is it too soon?

FAZIO: No, I don't think it's a matter of whether or not it's too soon. What it's really a matter of is whether or not people want to see the image of the towers or people that are predisposed to certain types of trauma or depression and the fact that if you're watching TV at 10:00 in the evening these trailers come on and there's nothing you can do about it.

NGUYEN: That's usually what's customary for movies that are out. So your view would be to do what with these trailers, just not put them on television? Don't put them in the movies as previews?

FAZIO: Possibly one thing that the studio could do is put some sort of warning ahead of time like what's done with some of the 9/11 tapes that some companies did or what you could do is have them tone down a bit. I mean, part of what I think the intention is to get people to recreate a real-life experience which they did a great job of. The problem with that is, it brings people back to September 11th and some people don't want to go back to that day.

NGUYEN: But the film's directors and those participating and many of the family members of 9/11 victims say that this film portrays history. It's a history that needs to be told. So what's your reaction to that? FAZIO: I think that's great and everyone has a different perspective. My perspective is that we need to be careful in how we portray the films, how we portray some of the images. I believe the film is a great, you know, way to honor family members and tell stories because stories are very powerful.

NGUYEN: Let me stop you for a second. You say be careful in the images, but if the images are supposed to reflect reality, what happened on those events, shouldn't those images be presented truthfully?

FAZIO: Well, I think that's what we're talking about. Images in the movie definitely should be portrayed truthfully, absolutely. I'm not saying that something shouldn't be truthfully. However when someone doesn't have a choice of whether or not to watch an image, that's when for me it raises more concerns and that's really where my mission is around.

NGUYEN: So you're mainly worried about the trailers and the promos and all of the other things that we see that tries to get people to come into the theaters and watch these movies. So, let me ask you about what you're doing because you also deal with helping people work through a lot of their problems or psychological problems. Do you feel like this really kind of re-victimizes people?

FAZIO: I think what it does is a few things. One thing that is does is it recreates a sense of vulnerability and fear for people. In other words, what the terrorists set out to do was to make us feel unsafe and to shatter our assumptions of innocence and they did that. Some people have spent years in therapy up to date after September 11th to undo some of those fears that they have and what this could potentially do is re-traumatize people. So I want to work with other people in ways that we can prepare people for trailers and ways that if they do see the trailers, how they can manage those emotions that might come up.

NGUYEN: Quickly. I know we mentioned that we wanted to talk about it, your organization, Hold the Door Open. Talk to me about that and how that really kind of recognizes your father's sacrifice.

FAZIO: Well, the theme of the organization is hold the door for others. Our mission is to empower people to grow through loss and achieve their dreams. The way to do that is to create resources and opportunities for people to connect, care and challenge and the way to honor my father is he always put others first and that's a great metaphor to help people see the door, walk the door and support them as they are achieving their dreams and dealing with difficult times.

NGUYEN: And you're carrying on that legacy because you yourself are trying to help others get through difficult times. Robert Fazio, we thank you for your time today.

FAZIO: Thank you.

NGUYEN: Tony? HARRIS: And good morning once again, everyone. Our top stories, Rush Limbaugh is free after being arrested on a single charge of prescription fraud. The conservative radio host struck a deal with Florida prosecutors. Limbaugh's lawyer says the charge will be dropped if Limbaugh finishes 18 month of drug treatment, plus Limbaugh must pay $30,000 to help offset the cost of the investigation.

A new video from al Qaeda's number two man, the tape by Ayman al Zawahiri surfaced late last night on Islamist Web sites. The 15- minute video is titled a message to the people of Pakistan and on it, al Zawahiri praises al Qaeda operatives in Iraq.

Texans say no to Bush, yes to Mario? Reggie Bush, that is, and Mario Williams. Impress your sports friends with this one. The NFL draft gets underway in just about an hour or so, but the Houston Texans made their move last night signing North Carolina State's Mario Williams.

It is one of the most important numbers you'll ever need yet few people know anything about it. How much money will you need to live comfortable once you retire? The author of the number joins us live with some startling facts about your future, plus gas near $3 a gallon or more in some places? Want to drive cheaper? A look at the most efficient cars on the road, live tomorrow beginning at 7:00 a.m. Eastern on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

NGUYEN: We are talking about big winners at the daytime Emmy awards. Find out who took the top prizes plus we've got to see the fashion statements made at those Emmys. Stay tuned for that. Ooh! That was nice.

HARRIS: A whole lot of what folks were wearing.

NGUYEN: And what they weren't wearing.

HARRIS: Well, yeah. Sibila Vargas on the runway, on the red carpet, at the Emmys in Hollywood. That is next.


HARRIS: Steamy soap operas, wow! Provocative talk shows, huh? But which daytime TV programs are the best of the bunch? The daytime Emmys were handed out last night. Entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas reports from Hollywood.


SYDNEY PENNEY, "ALL MY CHILDREN": It's very exciting to be right here on Hollywood Boulevard.

TAMARA TUNIE, "AS THE WORLD TURNS": I think it gives it a whole other energy. It's never been out here before.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time in its 33-year history, the daytime Emmy awards bid farewell to the big apple and said hello to Tinseltown. Along with its new location here in Hollywood, the show took a new twist with host Tom Bergeron and Kelly Monaco from dancing with the stars. The big winner for the night, Ellen Degeneres marking her second set of consecutive wins. The comedian accepted awards for best talk show and best talk show host. She made sure to remember some special people.

ELLEN DEGENERES, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": Hurricane Katrina victims are still in need of help. Everybody please keep them in our hearts. The fans, thank you so much. I love you!

VARGAS: And each though the ladies of "The View" didn't take home any trophies this year, they had plenty of reason to celebrate. So did Rosie O'Donnell.

BARBARA WALTERS: Starting September you are going join "The View" as co-host.

ROSIE O'DONNELL: Me? Me? Well, thank God, because it was either that or celebrity fit club. You know?

VARGAS: For the fourth time in her daytime career, Kim Zimmer of "Guiding Light" stole the prize for best lead actress and for the fifth time "General Hospital's" Anthony Geary won the Emmy for best lead actor.

ANTHONY GEARY, "GENERAL HOSPITAL": It was almost 30 years ago that a creative genius invited me into her office and said I want to create an iconic character for "General Hospital" the likes of which daytime has never seen.

VARGAS: Topping off the show, the Emmy for best daytime drama went to "General Hospital."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at this group. Am I the luckiest woman alive? Thank you to the fans.

VARGAS: It was an evening of tears, cheers and surprises here at the 33rd annual daytime Emmy awards. From the red carpet at the Kodak theater, that's a wrap. Sibila Vargas, CNN, Hollywood.


NGUYEN: Very nice. Tony's giving me the lowdown on "General Hospital."

HARRIS: It did sound a little self-serving, but the truth is that Luke Spencer character, 30 years. I mean it is --

NGUYEN: Iconic?

HARRIS: Yeah. I have to say so. I think Bonnie would agree, but Bonnie is busy.

SCHNEIDER: I used to watch it when I was in high school. Yeah, that was one of my favorite shows.

NGUYEN: I liked "Days of our Lives." I have no idea what you're talking about.

HARRIS: It's the Luke and Laura (INAUDIBLE) right Bonnie?

NGUYEN: Who doesn't know Luke and Laura? Can we get on to more important things like (INAUDIBLE) weather outside?

SCHNEIDER: Absolutely. We do unfortunately have some severe weather to tell you about in southeast Texas. We have three tornado warnings in effect for three counties, eastern Harris, Chambers County and now Liberty County. This one extends a little longer, all the way until 10:45 a.m. Central time. The others expire at 10:15 a.m. Central time so we're talking of the corner right here in southeast Texas. Now there weren't actual tornados spotted, but we've had an indication on Doppler radar that we've seen unfortunately the tornadic or rotation in the clouds. The tornado watch extends until 1:00 p.m. Central time and that travels all the way further north up towards Arkansas and into parts of Louisiana.

Now as we take a look at the map, low pressure is forcing the system further to the east, but the threat of severe weather continues through a good portion of Louisiana today where highs in New Orleans will climb to 82 degrees. Let's take a look at the last freeze for our lawn and garden report. As we take a look at the map, you'll see in May the last freeze further up towards the northern plains looking at the map and now it's time for your garden tip. This is the time to apply pre-emergent to your lawns in order to avoid crabgrass. Crabgrass is difficult to control once it becomes established in your lawn. Good to know. Betty? Tony?

NGUYEN: All right. We're taking notes. Thank you, Bonnie.

HARRIS: So how do you blow off steam? Do you go jogging? Do you mow the lawn? Do you plant some bulbs?

NGUYEN: How about write a blog?

HARRIS: For some soldiers in Iraq, a recording studio has been the perfect outlet to relieve the stress of combat.

NGUYEN: Interesting. The results of those efforts though are now compiled into an unusual rap CD. We'll tell you all about it and meet some of the soldiers who made it. That's ahead in the next hour of CNN SATURDAY MORNING.



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