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Search Continues for Two Missing U.S. Soldiers In Iraq; Deadly String of Attacks in Baghdad; Hunt For Taliban in Afghanistan Continues; U.S. Open Update; Presidents Poll Numbers Go Up Slightly; State and Cities Not Ready for Big Disaster; Employers Look Online

Aired June 17, 2006 - 10:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coalition forces and Iraqi security forces initiated a search operation within minutes to determine the status of these soldiers, and we are currently using every means at our disposal on the ground, in the air, and in the water to find them.


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: The search continues this hour for two soldiers missing in Iraq after an attack at a traffic checkpoint.

Good morning, everybody. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Betty Nguyen. This is CNN Saturday, June 17.

RICHARD LUI, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, I'm Richard Lui from CNN's pipeline in for a vacationing Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: Yes, he is having a little fun -- I think Puerto Vallarta -- is that how you say that?


LUI: Sounds good to me. That's probably a great place to be.

NGUYEN: He's having fun on the beach. So, Tony, don't have too much fun because you're coming back, my friend.

LUI: Yes, please.

NGUYEN: No, you're doing a great job. Doing a great job. Yes.

LUI: I love hanging out with you. It's been great so far.

Well, in about four minutes for you, more from a news conference held just a short time ago in Baghdad. First a quick look at other stories, though, making news right now.

Wrong but not illegal -- that's the conclusion of a Pentagon report on alleged detainee abuse in Iraq. At least one prisoner, fed bread and water for 17 days, others, though, locked in cramped cells for up to a week. That's according to published reports. Officials investigated several incidents involving special operations forces in 2003 and 2004. NGUYEN: No probable cause, no charges and with that a grand jury has declined to indict Representative Cynthia McKinney. The Georgia Democrat was accused of hitting a Capitol Hill Police officer after he tried to stop her from entering a House office building back in March.

Canada has detected case of bird flu. It was found in a young goose in the eastern province of Prince Edward Island. Now, tests are underway this weekend to determine if it's the deadly H5N1 strain that's spread to almost 50 countries. And if it is, it would be the first case in the Americas.

LUI: And another chapter in this story. U.S. officials are now warning North Korea against testing a long-range missile. U.S. and South Korean officials say satellite images indicate Pyongyang is getting ready to test a missile that could reach parts of the United States. Now the State Department says that would be considered a provocative act.

Then there are astronauts who will learn this afternoon whether all systems are go or not for first shuttle mission in almost a year. Mission managers are conducting a preflight readiness meeting before setting a date to launch Shuttle Discovery. They are shooting for July 1. We'll, of course, keep you updated on that.

NGUYEN: And coming up this hour on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, a rough spot for super golfer Tiger Woods. For the first time in his pro career, he failed to make the cut. We have a live report from the U.S. Open.

And parents, you are not the only one snooping into your kids' online activities. Coming up, how and are helping schools and employers weed out applicants.

LUI: Missing American soldiers in Iraq. That's our top story for you this hour. Two soldiers went missing yesterday after coming under attack at a traffic checkpoint outside Baghdad.

Another soldier was also killed in that. The area is known as the "Triangle of Death." This morning, the military says it is using "every means available" to find those soldiers. Here's a statement made about two hours ago.


MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, U.S. MILITARY SPOKESMAN: Good afternoon. Last night a coalition force soldier was killed and two others are currently listed as duty status and whereabouts unknown after their security element came under attack at a traffic control point south of Yusufiya, Iraq at approximately 7:55 p.m. local time Friday, June 16.

The names of the soldiers are being withheld pending notification of their next of kin. Coalition forces and Iraqi security forces initiated a search operation within minutes to determine the status of these soldiers, and we are currently using every means at our disposal on the ground, in the air, and in the water to find them. The specifics of this situation currently available for release are as follows: coalition forces at an adjacent traffic control point heard an explosion and small arms fire at approximately 7:55 p.m. last night in the vicinity of the missing soldier's checkpoint at a canal crossing near the Euphrates River in the vicinity of Yusufiya.

After being unable to communicate with the checkpoint, a quick reaction force was launched, arriving on the scene within 15 minutes. The quick reaction force reported finding one soldier killed in action, and two soldiers duty status and whereabouts unknown.

All traffic control points were notified to stop civilian traffic and increase security. Helicopter, unmanned aerial vehicle and fixed wing assets provided reconnaissance over and around the site. A dive team was requested.

Within an hour of the incident, blocking positions were established throughout the area, and a concerted effort to focus the search and prevent movement of suspects out of the area. Three raids were conducted during the night on suspected possible locations and a fourth operation was conducted this morning.

Coalition forces engaged with local leaders in the area to enlist the support of civilians in providing any information they could, and these engagements continue. Dive teams are now on site working the canal and river. There is cross coordination amongst adjacent units to develop actionable intelligence on our soldiers' whereabouts.

We are using all available assets, coalition and Iraqi, ground, air, and water, to locate and determine the duty status of our soldiers. We continue today to search for Sergeant Matt Maupin, captured in April of 2004.

We continue to search using every means available and will not stop looking until we find the missing soldiers. Make no mistake. We never stop looking for our service members until their status is definitively determined. And we continue to pray for their safe return.


LUI: OK. Major General Bill Caldwell with that. More now on the search for the soldiers and a string of deadly attacks in Baghdad. Here is CNN's Cal Perry.


CAL PERRY, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU DIRECTOR: A rare announcement today from the U.S. military on a Saturday here in Baghdad, Major General Caldwell saying that two U.S. soldiers are currently missing, one is dead in an attack on a checkpoint in the town of Yusufiya.

The attack happened last night at about 8:00 p.m., a local checkpoint. A checkpoint near to the one that was attacked called a U.S. quick reaction support force. When they arrived on the ground, they found one U.S. soldier dead, two missing, Major General Caldwell saying that a massive search operation is underway both on the water and on ground, that four operations have taken place since the incident last night.

In other news here in Baghdad, it's been an exceptionally bloody day, five major attacks in the capital killing over 23 people, wounded 70 others. We know that a major bomb went off in the central part of the city, an attack on security forces.

These are, in fact, the forces that the prime minister has put on the street and what he dubs Operation Together Forward. This is the fourth day to secure the city. Over 70,000 of these various security forces are on the streets.

In northern Baghdad, an apparent sectarian attack to target a Shia market, two people killed, another 11 wounded in a mortar barrage. Four mortars hitting the crowded market at around 10:00 a.m.

This all follows another sectarian attack the day before at a Shia shrine in northwestern Baghdad. Eleven people dead and another 25 wounded in a suicide bombing. The suicide bomber was able to make his way all the way into the mosque. This only raises sectarian tensions at a time in which the prime minister and the U.S. military are trying to secure the capital.

Cal Perry, CNN, Baghdad.


LUI: Well the war in Iraq is the focus of President Bush's radio address today. Details ahead in a live report less than 30 minutes from now. White House correspondent Ed Henry joins us from the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

NGUYEN: Well, from the president's trip to Baghdad to al Qaeda's new top man in Iraq, CNN brings you the only in-depth look at major events on the war on terror. John Roberts hosts "IRAQ: A WEEK AT WAR." That's tonight at 7:00 Eastern, only on CNN.

U.S. and coalition forces on the offensive against the Taliban. Troops are pressing forward today with Operation Mountain Thrust. More than 10,000 troops are targeting Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fitzpatrick is a spokesman for the Combined Joint Task Force-76. He joins us by phone in Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. And first of all, tell me a little bit about the operations that are underway right now.

LT. COL. PAUL FITZPATRICK, COMBINED JOINT TASK FORCE-76: Well, Operation Mountain Thrust is part of an ongoing campaign to disrupt enemy forces, clear out their safe havens, and extend the reach of the government of Afghanistan to facilitate regovernance, reconstruction, and humanitarian assistance. And we've been at Mountain Thrust basically for about a month in different phases of the operation.

NGUYEN: A month in different stages, but this is going to be a large-scale operation. In fact, you're in the main phase of this operation. How large scale is it going to get?

FITZPATRICK: Well, as you said, there are over 10,000 troops, coalition forces are from the United Kingdom, Canada, U.S. and Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police involved in this operation. We want to interdict the Taliban insurgents in the southern region of Afghanistan.

NGUYEN: So the southern region. So far, though, have any coalition forces been wounded or injured in the latest event?

FITZPATRICK: Well, unfortunately, there were two soldiers killed in the northeastern area of Kunar Province yesterday in an unrelated IED incident. And that's an unfortunate event but it is just part of the operations that we have to deal with. And, you know, we continue to just soldier on and pursue the mission.

NGUYEN: This mission so far in latest attacks have killed an estimated 45 insurgents in two Taliban militant camps. Once you got to those camps, have you been able to seize any crucial documents or plans that can lead you to more information on what the Taliban is up to and what it plans on doing in the future?

FITZPATRICK: Well, whenever we conduct a site exploitation of a camp or position that we've taken, we certainly do look for sensitive documents, and things that can be used for intelligence value. But I really can't say whether or not either one of these attacks have been of significant intelligence value, but we are always looking.

NGUYEN: But you have seized documents, you have seized information of that sort?

FITZPATRICK: Well, you find -- involved with low-level Taliban insurgents, they -- I'm not saying these are headquarter by any mean, but areas of meetings to organize for follow-on attacks. So any kind of documentation or cell phones ...


NGUYEN: And quickly, just talk to me about the timing of this major offensive. As we've been reporting, the Taliban has been escalating in its violence, especially there in the southern Afghanistan region. Talk to me about the timing of this offensive.

FITZPATRICK: Well, there's the timing has been planned for a long period of time. As I said, this is part of a successive campaign, one that we began in April in northern Afghanistan, principally in Kunar province to reach the same goals, to disrupt insurgent activity, deny them their safe haven, and break up their leadership.

The natural transformation is to move into southern Afghanistan with the multinational brigade force that is there, comprised of U.S., United Kingdom, Canadian and Afghan National Army forces to disrupt the Taliban's major sanctuary in southern Afghanistan.

NGUYEN: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fitzpatrick, thank you for spending a little bit of time with us. I know you've got an important job ahead of you. We appreciate the time.

FITZPATRICK: You're welcome. Thank you.

LUI: Well, a little bit of a time check. What is it, about 11 minutes after 10:00 in the east? Folks are waking up in the West, but without Tiger Woods this time around, evidently.

NGUYEN: Can you believe it? I still don't believe it. He didn't make the cut. How does that happen?

LUI: Well, it happens in a lot of different -- a lot of different ways, if I can say that. Up next, we're going to take you live to the U.S. Open where the champion failed to make the cut, as we were talking about, to a major for the first time as a pro.

NGUYEN: Also is your town prepared for disaster? A new report rates the cities. You might be surprised.

Plus this ...


JIMMY KIMMEL, TALK SHOW HOST: Congratulations to my new dad, Wolf Blitzer.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Jimmy, I want you to know that I'm so proud to be your new dad.

KIMMEL: Thank you.

BLITZER: And send me a present.

KIMMEL: I will. I'm going to send you the present I planned to send to my imposter dad. Did not get one question right.


NGUYEN: What? Wolf Blitzer? No way. Wolf Blitzer, Jimmy Kimmel, family ties -- you've got to be kidding me, right? Well, we're going to give you the -- is that Wolf? No, that's his real dad. Wait, which is his real dad? We want to know. We're going to find the truth out, and you want to stay right here for that.

Reynolds can you tell?


VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey Reynolds, my mother is loving you today. She is living in Las Vegas, so loving that weather.

What are users clicking on at Well, I have got the countdown of the most popular stories. That is coming up in less than 60 seconds.

Stay with CNN, the most trusted name in news. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DE LA CRUZ: Well, good morning. What are people clicking on on We're taking a look on our .com countdown, starting with number 10 and some idol chatter.

You remember him? Ruben Studdard, the "American Idol" winner. A judge in Alabama has made him a few million dollars richer. He has been awarded $2 million in his lawsuit against his ex-manager who the suit claims used the singer's money and credit cards to the tune of more than $246,000.

For number nine, we go to Baghdad. Police say at least 23 people have been killed in five separate attacks. The deadliest, a suicide car bombing that targeted an Iraqi army police patrol. Eleven people were killed in that blast.

To number eight and no probable cause. A grand jury has declined to indict Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The Georgia Democrat was accused of hitting a Capitol Hill Police officer after he tried to stop her from entering a House office building in March. He said he did not recognize her.

And number seven, it's a shock, but Tiger Woods will enjoy the rest of the U.S. Open as a spectator and not as a player. He missed the cut. Woods shot his second straight score of six over par 76 to miss the cut by three strokes. We're going to have the details in a live report straight ahead, and we're going to have number six, five and four when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.

I'm Veronica de la Cruz for the .com desk.


LUI: OK, a look at our top stories for you right now. Bombs ripped through Baghdad today. Almost two dozen people were killed in five separate attacks. Two died when mortar rounds slammed into a market in a Shiite neighborhood. Eleven others were killed by a suicide car bomb. The violence continues in spite of a new security operation in the city.

The U.S. government is suing a West Virginia mine operator, claiming the company is withholding evidence in a deadly mine fire. Two miners died in the January fire. The suit was filed against Aracoma Coal Company. That's a subsidiary of Massey Energy. Now, Massey denies allegations of hindering the investigation, adding it has provided more than 13,000 pages of documentation.

Astronauts will learn today whether all systems are go, go, go for the first shuttle mission in almost one year. Mission managers are conducting a preflight readiness before setting a date to launch Shuttle Discovery. They're shooting for July 1st.

NGUYEN: All right. Are you sitting down? You need to, because Tiger Woods is out of the U.S. Open and heading home. Can you believe it? It is the first time he has failed to make the cut in one of golf's major tournaments since he turned professional. But you know what? It was his first tournament since his father's death last month.

CNN's Larry Smith is at the Open. He join us live. Tiger has been dealing with a lot but, Larry, say it isn't so. Did he really miss the cut?

LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You know, it really did. It's going to be such a strange weekend, Betty, when you think about it here at Winged Foot. Sixty-four players made the cut. Only 11 of them have ever previously won a major. So not only could we possibly see a first-time major winner, but we're not going to see, as you mentioned, Tiger Woods.

And what a strange turn of events it was this week here. As you mentioned, his first tournament since his father passed away on back on May 3. Tiger did not make the cut. So his string of 37 made cuts at a major came to a screeching halt as he found the thick rough time and time again in the opening two rounds.

And with his putting game also off the mark after that career long nine-week layoff, Woods struggled to a 12 over par score and, again, missed the cut here for the first time at a major as a professional. He fails to contend from that emotional Father's Day victory in his first even since his dad passed away.

Now the man ranked number two in the world is very much in play for a third consecutive major win. Phil Mickelson coming into today's third round four shots back. He is three over par. Now, he who makes the fewest mistakes on this very difficult course will likely win this weekend. Though Mickelson says this Winged Foot layout is devilish.


PHIL MICKELSON, 7TH AFTER TWO ROUNDS: Where all the pins are, you know, there are 18 of the hardest pins. There's no real easy pin. We have kind of abandoned the old six, six, and six of six easy, six medium, and six hard. We just go flat out 72 toughest, and so I can't get any of these pins, and so I just have to plan on hitting a good shot to 30 feet and seeing if I can make a putt.



COLIN MONTGOMERIE, 2ND AFTER TWO ROUNDS: The crowd favorite is obviously Phil Mickelson, wherever Phil plays in the States, and that's quite obvious and that should be. But I just have a job to do tomorrow and concentrate on what I'm doing. And if I can get 17 pars out of this thing tomorrow I'll be happy, as well.


SMITH: Yes, par is a good score here. And that may be the winning score before we finally wrap things up, hopefully, on Sunday. Steve Stricker is the leader. He is the only golfer under par at one under par. He and Colin Montgomerie will tee off at 3:00 Eastern today. As Montgomerie mentioned, very much in the hunt, and by the way, he is trying to become the first European golfer to win the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin way back in 1970. Betty, let's go back to you.

NGUYEN: It's going to one to watch, and hey, not too bad for you on Father's Day, out there on the lynx (ph).

SMITH: U.S. Open is always on a Father's Day. There's just not much you can do about it.

NGUYEN: Oh, yes. I see you crying big crocodile tears over that one. All right, Larry, talk to you later.

LUI: That should be a good one.

NGUYEN: Yes, it will be.

LUI: Well in the last couple of weeks, we've tackled for you the same sex marriage amendment issue, al-Zarqawi's death, and the Pentagon's investigation into U.S. troops' alleged massacre in Haditha. And after all of this, how is the nation rating the commander in chief in the end? Well, we'll take a look at the latest polls for you.

NGUYEN: And, hey, if you're job hunting, you might want to watch how freely you're floating around in cyberspace. We're going to explain right after the break.


NGUYEN: Look at Vegas. You can't tell by looking at this picture, but, man, is it hot there. If only the tables were as hot as the weather outside?


NGUYEN: All right. So Angelina Jolie has been, for the most part, reclusive, tight-lipped, both during the beginning stages of her relationship with Brad Pitt, and while carrying the couple's baby girl, Shiloh. But now she is talking to, exclusively, to CNN's Anderson Cooper. Listen to what she says about the day her baby girl was born.


ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: Because you're there for the birth, which I wasn't for my first two kids, you are suddenly terrified that they are not going to take a first breath. That my whole focus. I just wanted to hear her cry, and I was sure everything would -- at the last minutes, I became the mother that was sure everything was going to go wrong and she is healthy and it was amazing.


NGUYEN: Amazing. Well, he is asking and she is answering face- to-face. It is a CNN worldwide exclusive, Angelina Jolie on "A.C. 360" talking about her new daughter, her husband, and helping refugees around the world, plus her role as a U.N. special ambassador. You want to mark your calendars. It's this Tuesday, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, only on CNN. Do not miss it.

LUI: She is keeping busy, without a doubt.

NGUYEN: A lot on her hands, three kids now.

LUI: We have seen some good news and bad news coming out of Iraq recently. Coming up how are the headlines impacting the president's poll numbers? We take you live to his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

NGUYEN: Plus, be careful, very careful of how you describe yourself on those immensely popular and personalized Web sites like my because your words could come back to bite you. We're going to explain.


LUI: Bombs and mortars ripped through Baghdad today killing almost two dozen people. The deadliest attack there was a suicide car bomb explosion in central Baghdad. Eleven people were killed there. Mortar rounds and bombs also slammed into market places in the Iraqi capital.

In his radio address less than 30 minutes ago, President Bush warned of more challenges ahead in Iraq, but the president is also getting a bit of a boost from this week's developments on Iraq. White House correspondent Ed Henry joins us live from the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas -- Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Richard. The president is at his ranch here in Texas for some Father's Day weekend down time after crisscrossing the country yesterday raising some big money for some vulnerable Republican members of Congress from Washington state all the way down to New Mexico and then on here to Texas.

There's a bounce to the president's step as he hits the road because he's trying to pivot off some of that good news you mentioned coming out of Iraq this week, the formation of the new government, the death of Zarqawi, the president's trip as well and in his Saturday morning radio address, the president tried to tout some of that good news while also noting there will be challenges ahead as he explained why he went to Baghdad on Tuesday.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The challenges that remain in Iraq are serious. We face determined enemies who remain intent on killing the innocent and defeating these enemies will require more sacrifice and the continued patience of our country, but our efforts in Iraq are well worth it. The mission is necessary for the security of our country and we will succeed.


HENRY: Now the president took that message out on the road as I mentioned, reprising his role as fund raiser in chief. He was stumping for Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson, before that Republican Congressman David Reichert in Seattle.

The president came out swinging against Democrats, charging that they want to cut and run from Iraq and the president made those comments as a new CNN poll came out yesterday afternoon showing that the president's approval rating in terms of his handling of Iraq is up five points in the last month, up to 39 percent.

But our poll also shows that some of this campaigning for Republican candidates may backfire on the Republican Party. Only 27 percent of registered voters say they would be more likely to support a candidate that the president stumps for.

A full 47 percent said they would be less likely to support a Bush candidate. Twenty percent say a Bush visit would make no difference either way. Plus the president's overall job approval number only went up one point since last month, Democrats already saying not much of a Bush bounce. Richard?

LUI: All right, Ed, good stuff. Thanks a lot. Ed Henry at the White House.

Now from the president's top secret trip to Baghdad, to al Qaeda's new top man in Iraq, CNN will be bringing you the only in- depth look at major events in the war on terror. John Roberts hosts "IRAQ: A WEEK AT WAR" tonight at 7:00 Eastern. That's only on CNN.

NGUYEN: A grim and chilling reality almost five years into a post 9/11 era and on the heels of hurricane Katrina, the government says most states and big cities are nowhere near ready for handling a major disaster. A new report says they lack a command structure and adequate plans for large scale evacuations.

Among the states deemed least prepared, West Virginia, Oregon, Louisiana and Montana. The most prepared Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, Vermont, Texas, Tennessee, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Now the finding comes, though, at a time when the Federal government has cut state and local emergency response budgets.


GEORGE FORESMAN, HOMELAND SECURITY UNDER SECY: Funding is part of the issue but the larger issue we provided $18 billion to states and communities since 9/11. Less than 20 percent of that has been used for planning, training and exercise and the vast majority up to this point has been used to buy the critical emergency response equipment that was needed in the post 9/11 era.

But I think as we go forward using the nationwide plan review as the road map, the continuing amount of Federal dollars that flow down to communities and to the states, we're going to have to put a much heavier emphasis on planning, training and exercising.


NGUYEN: Foresman says cities and states are more prepared for emergencies like fires and floods.

So this gets us to our e-mail question today. All morning long, we've been asking you for your thoughts on this question. Do you think your city where you live, is it prepared for disaster? Well, Frank from Colorado said we should remember the words, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country and have the good sense, prepare individually beforehand and not blame afterward.

LUI: Betty, this is a nice one. It's from the Ripenbark family, not one person. They all sat down and told us this. They said, I live in a very small town and we're on our own. We raise our own food and can our own vegetables. After watching the devastation of Katrina, the whole country should realize that food and water is not going to fall from the sky.

NGUYEN: No. Christopher from Vermont says, if someone feels their city is not prepared, then they should offer to help, join civic groups such as CERT, Red Cross or get their ham radio license so they can provide communications when other means go down. Either you're a part of the problem or you're part of the solution. You decide.

And we appreciate all your responses this morning. Of course, we're going to have another question for you tomorrow, so you want to stick around for that and always stay tuned to CNN throughout the day.

LUI: That's right. Well now we've got a job hunting tip for you this morning if you're looking for work. Don't go on the Internet.

NGUYEN: Really.

LUI: Tell everyone that you love -- well smoking marijuana or anything like that.

NGUYEN: That could be a big problem.

LUI: That's a good tip.

NGUYEN: You may want to keep that a secret. Side effects to those popular personalized web pages like MySpace and Facebook. That's up next, plus this.


KIMMEL: What nickname was I given after bringing a briefcase to junior high school? Dad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it was nerd man.

BLITZER: I remember that. I remember that very vividly, briefcase Joe. KIMMEL: Briefcase Joe is absolutely correct.


NGUYEN: So who is his real father? Huh? Was that Wolf Blitzer? Will there be a Father's Day reunion of two popular TV personalities? Still scratching my head over this, because one of those guys was his real dad. I don't know. Is it this guy or was it Wolf Blitzer? I don't know. Jimmy Kimmel is going to tell us. We're going to unravel this mystery coming right up.


DE LA CRUZ: Good morning. I'm Veronica de la Cruz at the dot com desk. We continue now with our countdown of the most popular stories on Number six, just in time for Father's Day, we have this. "Entertainment Weekly" has a list of the top 10 funniest movie dads. On that list, Eugene Levy in "American Pie," Chevy Chase as Clark Griswald and Dustin Hoffman in "Meet the Parents."

Number five takes you to California where a jury has found housewife Susan Polk guilty of second degree murder in the 2002 stabbing death of her wealthy psychologist husband. She faces a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

And number four, a burglar who was found groggy and hiding under a table at a fly fishing shop has been identified as the son of an oil tycoon. This is T. Boone Pickens. His son Michael Pickens is now facing burglary charges. And you can get the details at We've have the top three stories on our countdown when CNN SATURDAY MORNING returns.


NGUYEN: A look at our top stories right now. Bombs rip through Baghdad today. Almost two dozen people were killed in five separate attacks. Two died when mortar rounds slammed into a market in a Shiite neighborhood. Eleven others were killed by a suicide car bomb. Now the violence continues in spite of a new security operation in the city.

The U.S. government is suing a West Virginia mine operator, claiming the company is withholding evidence in a deadly mine fire. Two miners died in the January fire. The suit was filed against Aracoma Coal Company which is a subsidiary of Massey Energy. Massey denies allegations of hindering the investigation, adding it has proved (sic) more than 13,000 pages of documentation.

Well, astronauts will learn later today whether all systems are go for the first shuttle mission in almost a year. Mission managers are conducting a preflight readiness meeting before setting a date to launch shuttle Discovery. They're shooting though for July 1.

LUI: Well the explosion of the MySpace and Facebook Web sites bring with it some troubling side effects unfortunately. Take this case of a college student applying for a job very recently. The prospective employer decided to go online to MySpace to see what they could find about the student before they scheduled that interview. Well on this page, the student listed one of his interests smoking blunts which is a cigar filled with marijuana.

Now needless to say here, that entry on the Web site lost the student any chance of getting hired with that company. So here we go. Job seekers, you got to beware. says more employers are looking at personal Web sites when deciding whether to hire someone, very compelling there. Manager editor Laura Lorber joins us from New York to fill us all in on that. Laura, a very good morning to you.


LUI: Let me ask you, why are employees, why are employers rather looking at employees or prospective employees' personal Web sites? Why do they need to do this?

LORBER: Well, they are really interested in learning more about the job candidate, the person that they might hire. Cultural fit is really important to employers and they want to make sure they get the right person in the job.

LUI: Does the online information that is out there, does it give them the information they need and is it valid because that's a real question. We go through this as well in the news industry. You check some information online. You don't know whether it is true.

LORBER: Well, you have to understand that when an employer gets to this part of the reference check of a hire, they've already looked at the resume of the prospective employee. They have already interviewed them. They probably already called the references, past employers or whatever references the candidate might have supplied and this is just sort of a like a last due diligence before they make the offer.

LUI: But you know Laura, that last due diligence can be the deal breaker for many of these perspective employees. A lot of times what they put on the blogs or on their personal Web sites, their diaries is huff and puff if you will, just talking loudly, if you will.

LORBER: Exactly. If you're hired at a company, you don't want to be known as a for example, the girl who is -- whose picture was online on a pole dancing in a skimpy (ph) outfit.

LUI: Definitely not and yet there are cases like that and it has meant lost jobs. How are employers getting on these Web sites, because in a lot of cases like MySpace, you have to have the own account before you can actually go down two or three levels to get the personal information.

LORBER: Yes, well, it's very easy to get their own account. Anybody can get their own account and sign up. So you know on MySpace, other sites you might need to be an alumni from a certain university or college. But it is certainly very easy to find someone who is. But you've got to understand, too, that a lot of these sites let users protect their pages so you can change your user settings so that only predetermined users can look at your pages. So that's something I'd recommend a job seeker do if they are worried about their personal pages being viewed by employers.

LUI: Right, by setting codes and security levels very clearly. What about ethics? There's of course a lot of questions in business today after Enron and all of those fiascoes. Ethically should perspective employers be allowed to do this? Should they be doing these sort of things?

LORBER: Well, from the job candidate's point of view, I'm very sure that a lot of people think that this is an invasion of their personal privacy. But if you look at it from the employer's perspective, it's about reducing risk. You want to make sure that you get the right person in the job and you're doing your due diligence on a candidate. You're doing your reference checking. So you know, you might actually uncover some kind of ethical issue that might come up later. So from the employer's perspective, it's about reducing risk.

LUI: OK, where there is smoke there is fire. One really has to ask you Laura, because those that have these sites and these diaries online, they know everybody has access on it. Why would they even put such information on it?

LORBER: I think a lot of young people really aren't aware that it is a public domain and that pretty much anybody can go on and read your web page or your online blog diary, unless you put on some kind of a password protection so that only people who have those passwords or have permission can view it.

LUI: All right. Job applicants beware. Laura Lorber, thank you so much for that, giving us some of the ins and outs to how employees and employers need to deal with this new online information that's available to everybody. Thanks again. Betty.

NGUYEN: All right. We're going to get a quick look at the most popular stories on the Internet. That is next. Plus is it a case of mistaken identity?


KIMMEL: Congratulations to my new dad Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: Jimmy, I just want you to know that I'm so proud to be your new dad. Thank you and send me a present.


NGUYEN: What? Wolf Blitzer, Jimmy Kimmel. Are they related? Our own Wolf Blitzer gets adopted. That's next.


DE LA CRUZ: Like we promised you our dot-com countdown continues with the top three stories at For number three, are you into muscle cars? Are you wondering which ones have risen most in value? has created a gallery of the top 10 muscle car stars, from the 1969 Dodge Charger better known as the General Lee in the "Dukes of Hazard" to the 1969 Chevy Camaro.

Number two a woman in Texas is now getting word that her son may have been shot by Lee Boyd Malveax, one of the Washington, DC area snipers. Billy Gene Dylan (ph) was doing yard work when he was shot to death with a high powered rifle.

And number one, Eddie, drum roll please. Austin high school officials thought Tamara Hoover was an excellent art teacher, that is until they found photos of her topless on the Internet. Hoover is now fighting for her job, but won't apologize. She says the photos are art because she is an artist. And you can find all those stories online at popular. You were just talking about that, not, but is where these photos were.

LUI: All the rest of them. You have to be careful.

NGUYEN: Artsy photos...


LUI: They're all art.

NGUYEN: All right. So speaking of art, really we haven't did anything, we haven't done anything to any of the pictures here. But take a look at this. Were they separated at birth and perhaps a Father's Day weekend miracle. We're talking about the reuniting of TV talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and CNN's own Wolf Blitzer.


KIMMELL: A lot like my dad. This is my dad right here and this is Wolf Blitzer.


NGUYEN: See what we're talking about. We're not going to kid you about this one. Take a good look.


KIMMEL: Whoever wins this pop quiz gets to be my dad. So the stakes are very high. Our challenger, contestant number one, Wolf Blitzer joins us from the "Situation Room" in Washington. There he is.

BLITZER: Hi, Jimmy, glad to be here.

KIMMEL: Glad to have you Wolf. My birth father joins us now from his situation room in Phoenix, Arizona. Dad? There he is. Ready? Ready, dad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm ready. KIMMEL: All right. That's the only place he can concentrate. What nickname was I given after bringing a briefcase to junior high school? Dad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it was nerd man.

BLITZER: I remember that. I remember that very vividly, briefcase Joe.

KIMMEL: What is my personal record for chicken McNuggets consumed in one sitting?


KIMMEL: No, that's not correct. Wolf.

BLITZER: I was there when it happened. 75.

KIMMEL: 75, that's right. Congratulations to my new dad, Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: Jimmy, I want you to know that I'm so proud to be your new dad.

KIMMEL: Thank you.

BLITZER: And send me a present.

KIMMEL: I will. I'm going to send you the present I planned to send to my imposter dad, did not get one question right. By the way, we didn't set the part with my dad up, former dad, what do you have to say for yourself?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Party, robot party, robot party.

KIMMEL: You don't want to interrupt him during one of his robot parties.


NGUYEN: I was a little disturbed by the robot party. But take a look at this, OK. Speaking of seven degrees of Wolf Blitzer, if Wolf Blitzer is truly Jimmy Kimmel's dad, then maybe our own Wolfman is Jimmy Kimmel's brother?


LUI: On genealogy as well.

NGUYEN: If that wasn't a puzzling question. How about this? What do comedian Jon Stewart, former President Bill Clinton and Yankee's pitcher Mike -- how do you say his last name?

WOLF: Mike Messina I think.

NGUYEN: Mike Messina have in common? The answer spelled out in our next hour. You don't want to miss it.



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