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AMERICAN MORNING

Cyber Parenting; Pope and China; White Collar Boxing

Aired May 4, 2006 - 09:32   ET

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


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: It's become a disturbing fact of life, the Internet as a playground for sexual predators, and of course your child could be at risk. A congressional committee on Wednesday heard some very chilling testimony about child predators and the Internet from 13-year-old Masha Allen. There she is there in the red sweater. She was sexually abused for years by the man who adopted her at age five.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MASHA ALLEN, CHILD PORN VICTIM: He molested me all of the time. He made me dress up in adults' clothes and even pretended to marry me, sometimes he kept me chained in the basement. But because Matthew put my pictures on the Internet, the abuse is still going. Anyone could see them. People are still downloading them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

S. O'BRIEN: Oh, horrible stories like that one really becoming all too familiar. Today parents have to be their own Internet watchdogs, and there's much to learn.

AMERICAN MORNING's Dan Lothian live for us is in Boston this morning.

Hey, Dan, good morning.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF: Good morning, Soledad.

Well, there is really so much to learn, and you know, for some parents, just going on to the Internet, and for example, going to myspace.com, and then tracking down your child's profile would be intimidating for some parents. And that is what this education process is all about, to make parents very comfortable with computers, and it all begins by showing papers how easy it is for their children to get into trouble online in just a matter of seconds.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATIE LECLERC, INTERNET SAVVY: Unbelievable the things that these kids are getting into online.

LOTHIAN, (voice over): Katie Leclerc is an Internet savvy 23- year-old holding the hands of parents as they take an eye-opening excursion through cyberspace.

LECLERC: So you can really know what's going on. I don't take it lightly. It's not -- I do say I'm not trying to scare you but it's scary out there. So I'm honest.

LOTHIAN: With the explosion of social networking sites like myspace and growing concerns over online predators, more and more communities in places like Massachusetts and Florida are finding that parents, not just children, need to be educated.

ERIC WALTON, COMPUTER FORENSIC ANALYST: We want them to be as comfortable as they can be in order to be able to help their kids.

LOTHIAN: Walton is part of a team training parents in Florida. Leclerc works for the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

TOM REILLY, MASSACHUSETTS ATTORNEY GENERAL: We had some cases and then we decided, you know, we better start some education here.

LOTHIAN: So Leclerc was hired full time to crisscross the state, offering more than just tips and talking points. She logs on to live chat rooms, poses as a 14-year-old blond girl with blue eyes and shows these Massachusetts parents how easy it is for chatter to turn dark and potentially dangerous.

LECLERC: See, I just got offered a cyber-sex chat.

LOTHIAN: Then comes this offer.

LECLERC: Any sexy, petite blond or brunette females under 21 want to make a sexy 20-year-old male feel better? I'm really stressed out.

LOTHIAN: Leclerc then goes back and for instant messaging a 20- year-old male who jokes he doesn't mind that she's 14.

REILLY: And we show them and they realize what their children have access to.

MARYANNE ELLIS, MOTHER OF TEENAGER: It was wild.

LOTHIAN: MaryAnne Ellis, a mom, says she now understands the potential online dangers facing her 17-year-old daughter and others like her.

ELLIS: All her friends have her pictures from a prom on the Internet and they can be tapped into in various places and it's out of your control.

LOTHIAN: This effort isn't aimed at pulling the plug on the Internet or myspace, just the tool to help parents make good decisions and ask their children the right questions.

LECLERC: What are you doing? Who are you're friends? What are you using? Show me how to use it.

(END VIDEOTAPE) LOTHIAN: All of these sites have safety guidelines and even age restrictions. So if your child is under that age, then those sites should probably be blocked -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Thank you for the update. Dan Lothian for us this morning.

(WEATHER REPORT)

M. O'BRIEN: Welcome to the world of white-collar boxing, Miles O'Brien. You never know what who you might meet in the ring.

S. O'BRIEN: And coming up in just a little bit, Andy is "Minding Your Business." He's going to tell you us why you might want to buy Starbucks stock instead of Starbucks coffee. We'll explain ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

M. O'BRIEN: Controversy in the Roman Catholic Church. Just this morning, the Vatican excommunicated two Chinese bishops. Both were appointed this week by China's state-run Catholic church without the pope's blessing.

Rome bureau chief Alessio Vinci is live for thus morning from Vatican City.

Alessio, there's a real split there between the Vatican and this Chinese church.

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF: That is correct. You know, Miles, China and the Vatican do not have diplomatic relations. They were broken away 50 years ago. So then China set up its own bureau for religious affairs, as well as a group called the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. And these are the groups that are church ordaining these two bishops without the blessing of Pope Benedict XVI. And that is why the Vatican has issued a strong statement this morning, essentially saying the ordination of these two bishops is a violation of these individuals religious conscience, and a violation of their religious freedom. And therefore this ordination should be considered illegitimate and therefore then the Vatican has excommunicated them.

Now this is an issue that has reached the highest levels here at the Vatican, with the pope himself following the issue closely. In a statement this morning, it is said that the holy father has learned of the news with profound sorrow, because such a relevant act for the life of the church as is an Episcopal ordination was carried out in both cases without respecting the need of communion with the pope.

So these are strong words coming from the Vatican and a warning to China to stop ordaining bishops without the prior approval of the Vatican -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Alessio, it comes at an interesting time, though, because along with all this, the Vatican and china have been trying to improve relations. This doesn't sound like an improvement in relations at all.

VINCI: It is a setback, if anything. You know, over the last few years there has been what the Vatican officials here describe as a pragmatic approach between China and the Vatican. The Vatican wants to have relations with China but, of course, it needs to have a two- way communication there. And they believe that ordaining bishops without the approval of the pope, it's not the way to go.

Now it is important to know that there are more than a hundred bishops in China today. Most of them, 90 at least of them, have been appointed with the blessing, or with the understanding that the Vatican was supporting their candidacy. So the question is here, and the Vatican said it very clearly today, that China should stop appointing bishops without the pope's authorization, because this practice is basically hindering these communications that are still at an unofficial level between Beijing and the holy sea (ph) at the Vatican.

M. O'BRIEN: Alessio Vinci in the Vatican. Thank you very much -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: "CNN LIVE TODAY" is coming up next.

Hey, Daryn. Good morning to you. What are you working on?

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Soledad.

"LIVE TODAY" brings you the grandma turned bank robber. She's a senior. She admits she did it. She blames her turn to crime on, would you believe, the high cost of her prescription drugs.

And oh, baby!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think is going to be the greatest challenge?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sleep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't imagine six of them calling me mommy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAGAN: Mom and dad, you're up for six diapers. Two -- two sets of triplets. Big news on "LIVE TODAY" at the top of the hour. Soledad, it's making those four kids at home like a cakewalk.

S. O'BRIEN: Look like a walk in the park, right? You know what, compared to two sets of triplets, it absolutely is, there's no question about that.

All right, Daryn, thanks. We'll look at that coming up.

We're going to take a short break. Back in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

M. O'BRIEN: Thursday is Miles cam day. We invite you to send us an e-mail. If you have any question that's on your mind -- anything about anything, am@CNN.com is the place to send them. There's the office and the Miles cam spooled up and ready for you. At 10:30 Eastern, go to CNN.com/pipeline, and there I'll be sitting in that chair taking the high, hard ones from the audience, curveballs, and the softballs, too. We'll throw them all in there. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

M. O'BRIEN: Beautiful day in Columbus Circle there, southwest corner of Central Park in Manhattan. Are you getting a little old, a little flabby? Looking for a way to get back in that fighting trim literally. Check out this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): They call it the sweet science, and if you want a Phd in this field, you best get to Gleason's Gym in New York City, the ultimate school of hard knocks. All the greats have laced up the gloves and hit the canvas here. Muhammad Ali, the Greatest. The Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya. The Bronx Bull, Jake LaMotta. And the Pecos Kid.

JOHN ODEN, WHITE COLLAR BOXER: Get that right hand up.

M. O'BRIEN: That's him, moving around in the ring with his sparring partner Chris Angle. And that's his trainer, Ricky Young, leaning on the ropes, barking commands. When the Pecos Kid is not in the ring protecting the house -- that's your face -- he's across town, toiling in an entirely different arena, or so it may seem.

ODEN: So we're going to liquidate that portfolio.

M. O'BRIEN: The Pecos Kid, aka John Oden, is also a heavyweight on Wall Street, a highly successful money manager, a white collar boxer.

ODEN: You look around this gym. You know, everyone's dressed like this. You can't tell what the circumstances are if you get behind that person. That person could have been -- could be a CEO. He could have been -- he could have served time in prison. Or both!

M. O'BRIEN: It began when he was just north of 40. Flabby and sick of running and tennis and all the other things money managers do to work up a sweat, he was yearning for something different, something with an element of risk and danger.

ODEN: Boxing is the ultimate sport. It's just you versus him. Mano a mano.

M. O'BRIEN: Man, oh, man, the Pecos Kid didn't rope-a-dope for a minute. He pursued his new passion like a Type-A Wall Street guy should, and before long, he was on the card in some big-time white collar boxing matches, including this one in London, where he knocked out a hapless hedge fund attorney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he's down!

M. O'BRIEN (on camera): You're the kind of guy that doesn't do anything half-assed, right? I mean, that's basically what it boils down to you, right?

ODEN: Thank you. I would describe myself that way.

M. O'BRIEN: I mean you really pushed the envelope, didn't you?

ODEN: I did my very best.

M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): He sparred with some of the greats, and even moved around with actress Hilary Swank when she was training for "Million Dollar Baby."

ODEN: I'm in the corner, right? She's coming at me.

M. O'BRIEN (on camera): She's coming at you, all right.

ODEN: And what I do is my Muhammad Ali (INAUDIBLE).

M. O'BRIEN: Right.

ODEN: Which means you put your hands up like this.

M. O'BRIEN: Right.

ODEN: And you lean back on the rape. She comes around with a hook and hits me twice. Two hard shots.

M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): So he popped her in the nose. He's even written a book about his experiences. And now this brand of boxing is booming. Two-thirds of the members here are white collar.

(on camera): This guy, he's done a lot for the sport, hasn't he?

RICKY YOUNG, ODEN'S TRAINER: Phenomenal. To me, John's like -- to me, John is like the Muhammad Ali of white collar boxing.

M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): Now, this is the part of the story where the reporter is supposed to get involved.

(on camera): This is the secret weapon.

YOUNG: Wrestling 101. Right under the eyebrows. Right, right.

M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): No boxing experience whatsoever, I suited up for a few rounds with the big kid.

(on camera): I've got a big head. There we go. Oh, yes. Now I get.

YOUNG: Don't get excited. You want to stay relaxed. . M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): When I dropped the gloves and exposed my jaw, the Kid couldn't resist. I've got to protect the house and, in my case, the mortgage.

ODEN: You OK? OK.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" COLUMNIST: Oh, you got smacked!

M. O'BRIEN: It was so great!

SERWER: That was a...

M. O'BRIEN: At that point, I was having a hard time breathing.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes!

M. O'BRIEN: Cut me! Cut me! Anyway, just briefly, though, the white collar boxing league has been actually disbanded here in New York because of a technicality. They're trying to change the legislation so they get an exemption so they aren't covered under the whole umbrella as big-time prize fights are. So, you want to take me on, Andy Serwer.

SERWER: I think....

S. O'BRIEN: You were whimpering.

(CROSSTALK)

S. O'BRIEN: You OK?

SERWER: That didn't look that -- was that a real hard punch?

M. O'BRIEN: Yes. And I never saw it coming. It's amazing. All of a sudden, there it was.

SERWER: Hello!

M. O'BRIEN: Get me the number of that truck.

S. O'BRIEN: It looked to me like it hurt.

SERWER: Yes, it did.

S. O'BRIEN: Good work. Good work, Miles.

SERWER: You looked a little woozy.

M. O'BRIEN: I'd do it for you.

S. O'BRIEN: We appreciate that, because we're not suiting up in boxing.

(BUSINESS HEADLINES) S. O'BRIEN: Short break. We're back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

S. O'BRIEN: Let's talk pipeline, Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

S. O'BRIEN: All right. I've got the questions. You got the answers? You ready?

M. O'BRIEN: I'm going to do my best.

S. O'BRIEN: All right, let's start with Nick in DeSoto, Kansas. He writes this: "Hello. I was watching CNN, saw your e-mail address pop up and you were saying if I have any questions just e-mail you." So here's he e-mailing. "I'm 15 years old. I'm in class right now. I need information on the current war against terrorism in Iraq and how it started?" Ooh, that's kind of a big question. "I would appreciate it if you could e-mail me back with a little bit of information you have on this topic. Thank you, Nick."

M. O'BRIEN: Tough one, Nick. I'm not even going try to get into all of the intricacies and nuances, but I promise you, Nick, I'll send you an e-mail and get you started at least. I'll point you in the direction of some good places to get the information, how's that?

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, cutting and pasting some URLs, because of course, a lot of these questions are up for a lot of debate. And Nick, why are you e-mailing from your class? That's another question, too.

We should mention, Miles, that you are on the Miles office cam...

M. O'BRIEN: Yes!

S. O'BRIEN: ... which is why my shot looks better than your shot.

M. O'BRIEN: Uh oh.

S. O'BRIEN: Just kidding. Just kidding. Next question, this is from Caroline in Oxford, Mississippi. "You seem like a kidder, Miles. Do you ever play any practical jokes on the set?"

M. O'BRIEN: Oh, we wish we had the time, don't we, Soledad? We're kind of busy up here. And if I did time, I certainly would come up with ways to rib Soledad here and there. No, it's a busy morning. We're on for four hours, but we have lots to keep us busy.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, you're funny, though. You tell jokes during the commercial breaks. It's not a practical joke, but it's funny.

M. O'BRIEN: Admit it, Soledad, I can be a little tedious.

S. O'BRIEN: No, no, no, Miles! Who told you I said that? Oh, we can't get the last one? No, we're out of time. Miles, the last one, people are going to have to catch when they catch you live on Pipeline. That's at 10:30 at cnn.com/pipeline.

Thanks, Miles. Let's throw it to Daryn Kagan. She's at the CNN Center, going to take you through the next couple of hours. Hey, Daryn.

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