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AMERICAN MORNING

Crisis in Gaza; Living Lyric; Largest Anti-Smoking Campaign

Aired July 3, 2006 - 06:29   ET

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


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Happening this morning, Palestinian militants, apparently holding an Israeli soldier, give Israel until tomorrow to release prisoners or pay consequences, unspecified consequences. Israel keeping up its military pressure on Gaza today.
Mexico's presidential election still too close to call. Two leading candidates both declaring victory. Official counting of ballots begins on Wednesday.

The state of New Jersey not open for business today. Only essential services, police, fire, that kind of thing, on the job. Governor Jon Corzine ordered the shutdown in the midst of a dispute with the legislature over tax hikes.

Good morning to you. I'm Miles O'Brien.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Carol Costello in for Soledad.

Topping our news this morning, Israel launching more rockets into Gaza. They're keeping up the pressure on Palestinian militants to release an Israel soldier who was kidnapped more than a week ago. Now the Palestinian militants have issued an ultimatum.

CNN's Paula Hancocks live in Gaza City to tell us more.

Hello, Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Carol.

Well, they did issue this ultimatum earlier on this Monday morning. And, in fact, saying they wanted Israel to accept its demands, otherwise they would consider the case closed --- i.e., the case of the kidnapped Israeli soldier.

They also threatened consequences. They didn't specify what those consequences would be. The demands are they want 1,000 prisoners released from Israeli jails. And also, they've demanded Palestinian women and children to be released.

Israel has rejected this, as it has over the past week. It has said it will not negotiate, there will be no prisoner swap, and it wants an unconditional release of this prisoner.

Now, there have been increasing classes between Israel forces and Palestinian militants. In southern Gaza, three militants were killed when they approached troops near the airport down there, and we know that two of those militants were wearing suicide belts. And also, in northern Gaza, two further Palestinian militants have been killed.

Overnight airstrikes. Another political target, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades headquarters, and also an ammunitions warehouse.

Now, on the humanitarian side, we did have the main crossing between Gaza and Israel open for six hours on Sunday. The Israelis said they brought in emergency supplies, food, clean water. And also, they allowed some fuel in, as there were worries in Gaza that fuel was going to run out, as electricity is on and off at the moment after the power plant was hit. And they're worried that they couldn't keep fuel here for generators at the hospitals and places like that -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Paula Hancocks live in Gaza City this morning.

Thanks.

O'BRIEN: "The New York Times" top editor speaking out, defending the decision to print a story on a secret program to track banking transactions in the hunt for terrorists. On CBS' "Face the Nation," Bill Keller said the program was not news to terrorists because the White House already talked about it openly.

Reports in several newspapers last month. The White House was tracking terrorist-related financial transactions, triggering a firestorm of criticism, primarily from Republicans. Some even say "The Times" should be prosecuted. But Keller says the issue is political.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL KELLER, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": It's an election year. Beating up on "The New York Times" is red meat for the conservative base. But I don't think this is all politics.

I think the administration is a little embarrassed. This is the most secretive White House we've had since the Nixon White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Keller also said that when lives are at risk, "The Times" often withholds information.

COSTELLO: Happy Fourth of July. In New Jersey, you're going to have to deal with it. The state government is shutting down.

State parks, beaches and Atlantic City's casinos will close right after the Fourth of July. It's all because the state legislature failed to pass a new budget by July 1st. At least 45,000 state employees have already been furloughed and the lottery has been suspended.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, yous (ph) were elected in, why don't yous (ph) do the right thing?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: Why don't yous (ph) do the right thing? I love that.

O'BRIEN: Yous (ph) guys. Yous (ph) guys in Trenton there, listen to me -- there.

COSTELLO: I love that.

Coming up later on AMERICAN MORNING, we're going to talk to with the New Jersey governor, Jon Corzine. That's at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and we promise that will take on time. We can't make any promises about the shuttle, however.

O'BRIEN: Well segued. Well segued.

Two attempts, Mother Nature both times giving a no-go to the space shuttle launch. I was there over the weekend. It was hot and it was miserable. And toward the afternoon, there were thunderstorms. Surprise. This is Florida.

A lot of people ask me, why don't they just launch it sooner? Here's the trick.

COSTELLO: OK. I'm ready.

O'BRIEN: You know the reason?

COSTELLO: No, I don't. I'm ready to be educated.

O'BRIEN: They're trying to go to the space station. To go to the space station, they have to launch at just the precise moment, when it passes overhead. It happens once day.

Every day that time grows 22 and a half minutes earlier.

COSTELLO: Oh.

O'BRIEN: So, as they delay, they get into earlier parts of the day where the weather could be less of a program. They're going to try again. First ever attempt to launch on the Fourth of...

COSTELLO: I thought you were going to make it launch.

O'BRIEN: Well, I was thinking if I could do that, but just more than the real shuttle can do.

COSTELLO: Anyway, it's supposed to take off, what, tomorrow?

O'BRIEN: Yes, 2:38 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow.

COSTELLO: And you'll be there.

O'BRIEN: Of course I'll be there. I can't miss that stuff. So, we'll be there, and hopefully -- the weather outlook is actually quite promising, comparatively, for tomorrow. We'll see.

COSTELLO: We'll see.

O'BRIEN: As a matter of fact, why don't we check in with Chad on that very point?

Chad...

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's good for you.

O'BRIEN: ... 2:38, that still is afternoon thunderstorm time by any stretch.

MYERS: Yes. Sure.

O'BRIEN: Nevertheless, I'm told that the patterns are a little better.

MYERS: You were there the first launch...

O'BRIEN: Yes.

MYERS: ... and they had -- they had anvil clouds a few miles away.

O'BRIEN: Right.

MYERS: What did you think of that day? I mean, I know you're not...

O'BRIEN: That was -- you know, the truth is, they were go for launch that day.

MYERS: Yes.

O'BRIEN: They weren't go for landing. And a lot of people forget that.

MYERS: Oh.

O'BRIEN: You have to have a return to launch site abort capability.

MYERS: Right.

O'BRIEN: And the weather constraints for landing are actually more severe than for launch.

COSTELLO: You mean landing on the same day if an emergency...

O'BRIEN: Yes. If they would have to come back.

COSTELLO: Got you.

O'BRIEN: Like 30 minutes later, if they had to come back to the shuttle landing facility. And what happened was, there were some big storm clouds in the path that they would have to take.

COSTELLO: Oh.

MYERS: I see.

O'BRIEN: But it was interesting, though. See, that shows you how much on the edge it was.

MYERS: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Anyway, but then...

MYERS: And how...

O'BRIEN: ... yesterday -- yesterday was a no-brainer. I could have figured that one out.

MYERS: But how thin that threshold is, too.

O'BRIEN: Yes. Yes.

MYERS: You know, literally, they were there -- what were they nine minutes on hold, and then ready to go, and then no.

O'BRIEN: They were thinking they might do it, yes.

MYERS: Yes.

Well, tomorrow actually is a better day than it was the first day. The first day we already knew that there was a 60 percent chance of no launch because of weather. Right how the forecast is for a 40 percent chance of no launch because of weather. But a new forecast is going to come out in about 24 minutes, so as that comes over the wire, we will let you know what the meteorologists there at the Cape think for the Kennedy Space Center launch there.

We will see some showers in New York City later this morning, a couple of showers around Philadelphia. Airport delays in Chicago with all that weather headed that way. No chance of getting a plane off the ground, I'm afraid, in Chicago for a while, big thunderstorms around lakefront.

So take your time and be careful. Even be careful trying to get to the airport at this point, Chicago. A lot of roads are an inch or two under water with all that hydroplaning going on. Be careful.

Ninety in Orlando today. A hot day, 90, in New York. And anywhere along this line, there may be some wind damage.

A lot of wind damage yesterday. Not big storms, not tornadoes. Just, the storms go up, the storms go down. When they go down, the water hits the ground, but so does the air. And that air splashes out, and when it does it makes wind damage called a microburst.

Back to you guys.

COSTELLO: I liked your hand gestures that went along with that. A perfect demonstration. (LAUGHTER)

MYERS: Safe!

COSTELLO: Thank you, Chad.

MYERS: You're welcome.

COSTELLO: Happening now "In America," the search under way this morning for a woman missing in Pittsburgh's Allegheny River. The boat she was in went over the Highland Park Dam on Saturday.

People who saw the whole thing say the boat bobbed upright for about 10 minutes and then it capsized. The boat's operator was killed, seven others made it out safely.

In Knox County, Tennessee, a truck driver has been charged with two counts of kidnapping. Rick Jones allegedly abducted two teenage girls, sexually assaulted them and held them against their will on a two-week cross-country trip. Jones is being held on $200,000 bond.

Thick smoke in southern Nevada. Firefighters try to control a 21,000-acre wildfire in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. That's about 50 miles outside of Las Vegas. A second wildfire is burning just outside of Vegas. That one is about 2,500 acres.

Zoo staff in Virginia's Mill Mountain Zoo are looking for a so- called snow monkey. It looks just like the one you see in that picture there.

The monkey called Oops ran away from his holding cell during feeding time. Who would have a monkey -- that monkey must be in big trouble all the time.

O'BRIEN: I know -- I know a lot of kids who are Oops, you know.

COSTELLO: That's right.

And as American as apple pie, dozens of New Yorkers getting an early start to the Fourth with a pie eating contest aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid. Four age groups competed. A Connecticut man won the adult category for a second year in a row.

Congratulations.

O'BRIEN: You know, that's -- that competitive eating thing is a big deal. It's a big deal.

COSTELLO: I'm kind of missing the hotdog one.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

COSTELLO: That makes me particularly nauseated.

O'BRIEN: That's coming up this week.

COSTELLO: Oh good, I won't miss it.

O'BRIEN: Yes. It's on the fourth every year. We'll be right here watching it.

COSTELLO: Cool.

President Bush's poll numbers down again, but his numbers look good compared to what folks think about Congress.

We'll explain.

O'BRIEN: Also, while you were sleeping, probably, an asteroid a half a mile wide came awfully close to us. What would happen if it hit us? It would be a bad day.

COSTELLO: I don't think I'd want to know.

And later, a look at why one state has cops playing the slots so they can cut back on crime.

Stay with us on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forty seconds, guys.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tired of the same old boring workout on the treadmill? Well, now you can spice it up just by stepping it up. Sprinting up hills, walking or running on flat roads, tread ride is an aerobic class on treadmills.

JENNIFER RENFROE, CRUNCH FITNESS DIRECTOR: It's all set to music. So we run hills and flat roads, and change the incline and change the pace. And it's a great cardiovascular workout in about 45 minutes.

COSTELLO: She says people who work out regularly on the treadmill may not be working out at the intensity they need to burn the most calories during their workouts. This class is designed to amp up the intensity level.

LYDIA O'BERRY, TREAD RIDE: You know, how your clothes fit better, you feel better about yourself. You can go home and eat a Snickers bar.

MARGO GREGORY, TREAD RIDE: I thought it was awesome. It was my first time taking the class, and I thought it was an awesome workout. I'm actually a runner, so this would be a great cross-training tool for me.

COSTELLO: Jennifer says you can make the class tougher by adding a four to 16-pound weighed vest. But that's optional. The best part is you will burn anywhere from 400 to 700 calories per hour.

Carol Costello, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Palestinian militants who kidnapped an Israel soldier last week are now issuing an ultimatum and a deadline. And that tops our look at stories CNN correspondents all around the world are covering today.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS: I'm Paula Hancocks in Gaza City. The three Palestinian militants who are holding a kidnapped Israeli soldier have given Israel an ultimatum. They have said, in fact, that if Israel does not meet its demands of releasing prisoners by 6:00 a.m. local time Tuesday morning, then Israel bears the full responsibility of consequences. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the past has said there will be no negotiations, and he has given the Israel army the full go-ahead to do everything necessary to release this Israel soldier.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Harris Whitbeck in Mexico City. Mexicans will start their day not knowing who their next president will be. Electoral officials here say after Sunday's election the race is too close to call, and they say it will be at least Wednesday before they can start giving an official final result. Both leading candidates, official candidates, Felipe Calderon, from the right, and leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador claim themselves to be the victors in the election and said that their supporters will be out in the streets, if necessary, to ensure their victory.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARK MCKAY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Mark McKay in Berlin.

The World Cup started with 32 nations vying for soccer's top prize. Only four remain.

For the first time in 24 years, the World Cup semifinal is an all-European affair. On Tuesday, host nation Germany meets Italy, while France, guaranteed a new World Cup champion by ousting holders Brazil over the weekend, meet Portugal on Wednesday.

The World Cup final kicks off this coming Sunday here in Berlin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'BRIEN: Brazil lost. It's like the Yankees losing. I love it.

For more on these and any of our top stories, head to our Web site, CNN.com. Always a winner -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, new poll numbers for President Bush and Congress. And compared to Congress' numbers, the president might have reason to celebrate.

We'll explain.

And next, the soldier who inspired a song that was part of a generation soundtrack, the real life "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B."

That's just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COSTELLO: Happening this morning, Mexico's presidential election too close to call. Two leading candidates both declaring victory. Ballot counting begins on Wednesday.

Emergency surgery for movie critic Roger Ebert. Doctors had to repair a burst blood vessel. They say it's a complication from a cancer operation about three weeks ago.

Rapper Lil' Kim is going to enjoy her Independence Day a day early. She just got out of jail a short time ago. She's been in a federal prison in Philadelphia for nearly 10 months on a perjury conviction.

O'BRIEN: Well, he came of age on the beaches of Normandy. The World War II vet served as a medic and a musician.

You probably don't know the name Bill Arter, but chances are you know his song.

The story now from reporter Scott Thompson of our affiliate KOTV in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (SINGING): And the company jumps when he plays "Reveille." He's the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.

SCOTT THOMPSON, REPORTER, KOTV (voice over): It was part of the soundtrack of a generation. Troops landed on the beaches of Normandy with the music of a certain bugle boy ringing in their ears.

Oklahoman Bill Arter was on those beaches, too. The original "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B."

BILL ARTER, "BOOGIE WOOGIE BUGLE BOY": As I played songs and played all my calls, I would go over to Company C, which was an all black outfit, and we had our jam sessions. And that's when they nicknamed me the "Bugle Boy from Company B," because I fit that -- I fit that like a glove, you know.

THOMPSON: Bill was discovered by the Andrews Sisters while he was in basic training. He took his music with him when he was deployed with a third wave of troops on D-Day. As a World War II medic, he cared for wounded soldiers but says he spread even more healing through his music.

ARTER: It's something you can't tell people about, because they wouldn't understand. But it seemed like whatever I played, I played to entertain them, just to keep their mind off what they were going to go through next. We didn't know what was up there in front of us.

THOMPSON: That was more than 60 years ago. Since then, Bill's kept up with his trumpet, even recording a special collection for his wife for their 40th anniversary.

Edging up on 50 years now together, Bill is relearning to play the trumpet. A stroke stole the dexterity of his right hand. Now he's learning to play again with his left hand.

ARTER: The lord knows, but I think I've blessed a lot of people.

THOMPSON: His legacy moves on through dozens of children, grand children, and great grandchildren. One grandson is even a veteran of the war in Iraq.

Still, Bill Arter will probably be best remembered as...

THE ANDREWS SISTERS, SINGERS (SINGING): The boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COSTELLO: Very cool.

Coming up, can tobacco companies handle the truth? We'll look at whether the edgy anti-smoking truth campaign is actually working.

That's just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: Despite all we know about the health effects of smoking, kids still take up that nasty habit. And so now the largest anti-smoking campaign in the U.S. is kicking off. The question is, will it help?

Ellen McGirt is here to tell us a little bit more about that.

Good morning, Ellen.

ELLEN MCGIRT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.

I think it probably does help. This is a really interesting campaign. It's run by the American Legacy Foundation.

They've been working it since 2000. Of course, summer is their big season. But they're under siege. It seems that Lorillard, one of the oldest and busiest cigarette makers is annoyed with the content of the ads. And the big question is, can the truth hurt tobacco companies? And Lorillard thinks it can.

O'BRIEN: Well, give us a sense. Of course, you know, tobacco companies would quibble with them. But what is -- what is the issue with the ads.

MCGIRT: The ads are edgy. I'm sure you've seen them, the 2004 Super Bowl ad. They've got kids piling up body bags in front of tobacco. Obviously, a tobacco headquarters.

They're prank-calling executives. There's a funny ad with the shards of glass pop. It's -- clearly the only safe way to eat a glass pop is not to eat one at all, ad really making fun of ad executives, but using the language that's in marketing, tobacco marketing, in the very content of their ads.

And Lorillard says this is a vilification of tobacco companies, which is a violation of the settlement agreement which made the American Legacy Foundation.

O'BRIEN: Well, how do you -- vilification is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?

MCGIRT: That's exactly it, Miles, because "vilification" is not a legal term. So, it's -- one person's vilification is another person's legitimate marketing strategy.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

MCGIRT: But now only the Delaware Supreme Court knows for sure. After a five-year battle, we're going to get the answer, whether this is vilification or not, sometime this month. It could be any day now, and it could mean defanging these ads, which are very entertaining, and it also could mean that American Legacy could lose their funding, which would mean that the tobacco companies would not have a potent enemy in the anti-smoking marketing campaign.

O'BRIEN: There's got to be a lot of court precedent which would support the First Amendment rights of these ads. You would think.

MCGIRT: Well, you know, American Legacy has prevailed. They say, if it's true, how can we be insulting you? But Lorillard says no. But they've taken it all the way to the Delaware Supreme Court.

COSTELLO: How can you be nice about getting cancer?

MCGIRT: Well...

COSTELLO: How can -- I mean, come on.

MCGIRT: I know. I know. I absolutely agree. But the ads are -- are edgy, and they really do hit hard. So -- and -- but they want to focus on teens, who are a tough audience. O'BRIEN: That's how you get to the audience. You've got to be edgy. All right.

MCGIRT: Yes. Well, we'll see.

O'BRIEN: All right, Ellen. Thanks very much.

MCGIRT: Thank you.

COSTELLO: A look now at some of the stories we're working on.

The CIA confirming a new audiotape from Osama bin Laden is authentic.

The U.S. military looks into allegations that U.S. soldiers raped and killed an Iraqi woman.

The editor of "The New York Times" responds to Republican criticism. He says terrorists already knew about that secret government program tracking bank records.

And New Jersey's government shuts down over a budget crisis.

And a huge asteroid comes awfully close to Earth but passes safely. We'll look at whether a direct hit, though, is right around the corner.

Time now for a check of the forecast.

And I don't want to even think about that.

MYERS: My guess is no.

COSTELLO: And will it matter if it does? And what can you do?

MYERS: I don't even think I want to know. Unless Bruce Willis is out there to shoot that thing away, I don't even want to know. All right.

Good morning, Carol. You look great in that white outfit today.

Good morning.

(WEATHER REPORT)

MYERS: Back to you guys.

O'BRIEN: Thanks, Chad.

Another Osama bin Laden tape. The al Qaeda leader stirring up more trouble in Iraq.

COSTELLO: New additions to Iraq's most wanted list. More members of Saddam Hussein's family now being chased.

O'BRIEN: The crisis growing in Gaza. New attacks this morning, while a deadline is issued by the Palestinians over that kidnapped Israeli soldier.

COSTELLO: Atlantic City's casinos may soon be quiet. A budget crisis forces New Jersey to start shutting things down.

O'BRIEN: And almost Armageddon. An Asteroid makes a close pass by Earth, but no need to call Bruce Willis.

That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

Good morning to you. I'm Miles O'Brien.

COSTELLO: And I'm Carol Costello, in for Soledad.

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