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American-Born Al Qaeda Member Warns Americans to Convert -- or Die; Iraqi Officials Capture Country's No. 2 Terrorist

Aired September 3, 2006 - 07:00:00   ET


RANDI KAYE, CNN ANCHOR: A big catch in Iraq. The government said today it has captured the country's No. 2 terrorist. The second in command goes of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The suspect goes by several names, including Abu Ranna. We'll have a live report from Iraq in just a minute.
Al Qaeda has an ominous new message for the West -- convert to Islam or die. That is the gist of the almost 50-minute videotape released yesterday. Ayman al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant makes a brief appearance, but most of the message is delivered in English by Adam Gadahn, an American convert to Al Qaeda. A full report, just minutes ahead.

Kofi Annan met this morning with Iran's president, the U.N. chief said the Iranian leader was willing to negotiate the nuclear issue, but wouldn't halt the program. He also discussed the cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israel.


KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: In our discussions this morning with the president, he also reaffirmed his country's support for the implementation of resolution 1701, and agrees with me that we should do everything to strengthen the territorial integrity of Lebanon, the independence of Lebanon, and work together for the reconstruction of Lebanon.


KAYE: Iranian negotiators and European Union officials take up the nuclear issue later this week.


MOHAMMAD KHATAMI, FMR. PRESIDENT, IRAN: As America claims to be fighting terrorism, it implements policies that cause the intensification of terrorism and institutionalized violence.


KAYE: Words to American Muslims from Iran's former president. Mohammad Khatami told the suburban Chicago gathering that American Muslims can play a key role in promoting peace, despite current U.S. foreign policy. British police continue questioning 16 terror suspects. 14 people were arrested in and around London. Two others were arrested in Manchester. They are suspected of trying to train and recruit others. Police say the arrests are not linked to a plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR, CNN SUNDAY MORNING: In Chicago, fire officials are saying at least five children are dead following an early-morning apartment fire there. Ten people were on the third-floor apartment, nine were children. Survivors are listed in serious to stable condition.

Let's go over to Reynolds Wolf now for a quick check of your weather. What do you have?


SANCHEZ: And we'll be running down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 7:15 Eastern.


ADAM YEHIYE GADHAM, AMERICAN CONVERT, AL QAEDA: We invite all Americans and other unbelievers to Islam, wherever they are and whatever their role and status in Bush and Blair's world order.


KAYE: Another videotape from Al Qaeda, this time the terror group's No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahiri, has a guest, a Californian wanted by the FBI. We'll have the latest details and analysis.

From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is September 3rd. Good morning, I'm Randi Kaye.

SANCHEZ: I'm Rick Sanchez. Betty's off today. Thank you so much for being with us.

We're going to begin with a developing story out of Iraq. The No. 2 Al Qaeda leader in Iraq has been captured. We got that word about an hour ago from Iraq's national security advisor. CNN's Michael Holmes joins us now; he's in Baghdad, he's been following the story.

How significant is this fellow, Michael?

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT, CNN SUNDAY MORNING: Well, what's interesting about him -- a bit of background. This all came from the national security advisor here, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, at a news conference, as you said, Rick, just a couple hours ago.

Now he named this man as Hamid Juma Fadas al-Zuwati (ph), also known as Abu Humam, or Abu Ranna. He said that he was the deputy to Abu Ayoub al-Masri, now he's the guy who took over this Sunni Islamic insurgent group after U.S. troops killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as you remember that was back in June. Al-Roubaie says this man has already given information that's led to the arrest or killing of 20 other Al Qaeda suspects. He was arrested a couple days ago. He said they've had a couple of days to spend with him.

What's significant is the Mr. al-Roubaie's assertion that this man was responsible for the bombing of a very holy place for Shia Muslims, a Samaria Shrine, that happened back in February, an act that sparked much of the major sectarian violence that we've seen.

It's necessary, really, to put this into context about how important it is. This insurgency is not really based around Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda, of course, responsible for many of the major spectacular attacks that have taken place, and a lot of the suicide bombings, but it's really one slice of the pie. When Abu Musab al Zarqawi was killed, you remember, violence didn't stop.

Al Qaeda very much a cellular, if you'd like, organization, and the death of one leader isn't necessarily going to change things in the long-term. It may be more of a speed bump for Al Qaeda, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Can't help, just from a common sense standpoint, to look at this and say well, if Zarqawi was replaced so easily, wouldn't anybody that replaces Zarqawi then ultimately be replaced as well, Michael?

HOLMES: Yes, indeed. And that's how Al Qaeda operates, as we all know. There is no Al Qaeda HQ. This is not a place where there is one central leadership. Yes, you have Osama bin Laden and his deputies, but how much they influence Al Qaeda in Iraq is even up for discussion. And as I said, when Abu Musab al Zarqawi was killed, it really didn't stop things much. And the insurgency here is also really surrounded and driven by home-grown insurgents, death squads, Sunni extremists, and the like. All of them are domestic. Al Qaeda is certainly part of the problem. It's not the major source of the violence here in Iraq, Rick.

SANCHEZ: CNN's Michael Holmes in Baghdad for us, thank you, Michael.

Randi, over to you.

KAYE: Thanks, Rick.

Al Qaeda leaders have issued many threats and proclamations over the years, but latest is more disturbing than most. The bulk of the ominous message is delivered in English by a young American from California. CNN's Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson has our report from Islamabad, Pakistan.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INT'L. CORRESPONDENT, CNN SUNDAY MORNING (voice over): Fronting Al Qaeda's latest message is the Adam, the American, as he likes to be called, a 28-year-old California convert to Islam, telling fellow Americans they, too, must convert. ADAM YEHIYE GADAHN, AMERICAN CONVERT, AL QAEDA: We invite all Americans and other unbelievers to Islam, wherever they are, and whatever their role and status in Bush and Blair's world order.

ROBERTSON: Al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri is next to appear, seemingly at a different location. For four minutes he quotes the Koran and backs Gadahn's call.

AYMAN Al-ZAWAHIRI, BIN LADEN'S SECOND IN COMMAND (through translator): As our brother, Azzam, the American, talks to you, he talks to you as one who is concerned about the fate which awaits his people, and as a perceptive person who wishes to lead his people out of the darkness and into the light.

ROBERTSON: The remaining 43 minutes of the 48-minute message, Gadahn delivers a litany of so-called abuses by the United States. This is not Gadahn's first message. He appeared earlier this year on another tape, and last year around the anniversary of September the 11th, he warned Americans to expect an attack.

The son of a California couple raising goats in Riverside County, according to family and friends, he embraced heavy metal before dumping it for Islam in 1995. Three years later, he left home for Pakistan. Now, Gadahn once again appears to be threatening his countrymen, warning the offer to convert is serious.

GADAHN: Anyone who pays any attention to the messages of the leaders of the Jihad, like Sheikh Osama bin Laden and Sheikh Ayman, may God protect them, or know they have been consistent in inviting the Americans and unbelievers to Islam and impressing upon them that they want the best for them, and making it clear to all that we have no choice but to fight those who fight us.

ROBERTSON: Implicit in the call to convert, the possibility of attack. For Jihadists like Gadahn, their interpretation of Islam dictates that they offer conversion before attacking. In 2002, Osama bin Laden made a similar offer. Shortly thereafter came the Bali bombings and the death of nearly 200 people. Nic Robertson, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.


SANCHEZ: It's difficult at face value for us to be able to get a handle on what these messages often mean. So to get perspective on this latest Al Qaeda video, let's bring in Laura Mansfield. She is a noted counter-terrorism analyst and the author of "In His Own Words: The Writings of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri." She is joining us now, by phone, on the phone from Greenville, South Carolina.

Thank you for being with us. Al Zawahiri is seen as the brains of Al Qaeda. What is he trying to do here?

LAURA MANSFIELD, COUNTER-TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, what he's trying to do is he's trying to impart fear into the hearts of Americans. He wants to get the message through to us, to warn us, that we need to convert, according to his ideological views, we need to convert to Islam, otherwise, we're fair game for an attack.

SANCHEZ: But is it really about converting to Islam or trying to understand what their perspective is in all of this? And if that's the case, should we disregard messages like this or should we try to understand them, as Americans?

MANSFIELD: I think we should try to understand them. I think we should take note of them. I think we should take a serious look at what these guys are trying to say. If you go through the entire 48 minutes of yesterday's tape, most of it is Adam Gadahn basically spewing hatred toward Americans, telling us all the things we've ever done wrong and proceeding to make a strong case for conversion.

I have no doubt he will probably will convince some people to convert because he makes some fairly persuasive arguments. He goes through -- he cites inequalities issues, whether the U.S. has -- he cites treatment of women, he cites treatment of other races, and he says Islam is the answer for all of this. He definitely seems to believe what he's saying and he also seems to have an awful lot of pent-up anger.

SANCHEZ: Is this the first time that you've seen them use an American or Westerner to try to carry out this message? It's interesting, I was looking at -- what's his name? They call him Azzam, the American.

MANSFIELD: Azzam, the American, yes. This is the first time we've seen one used quite this extensively. We've seen tapes from Azzam, the American, in the past. He seems to be definitely moving up the Al Qaeda hierarchy. They seem to have discovered he's fairly effective in front of the camera. And he is a fairly good public speaker, and so he seems to be definitely being used more and more.

He was out last year in a tape just before the 9/11 anniversary, and I'm afraid this is probably not going to be the last we'll see of Azzam, The American.

SANCHEZ: Laura Mansfield, thanks so much for helping us out with this.

MANSFIELD: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: A profile of Adam Gadahn, Azzam, the American, as they call him in Al Qaeda, is coming up in our 9 o'clock hour. Stay tuned to CNN, day and night, for the most reliable news about your safety and security.

KAYE: A terrible story out of Chicago. An early-morning apartment fire has killed at least five children and injured more. Michelle Gallardo, our CNN affiliate WLS, joins us now from Chicago's Northside.

Michelle, what can you tell us at this hour?

MICHELLE GALLARDO, REPORTER, CNN AFFILIATE WLS: Randi, this is just one of those stories that breaks your heart. You don't want to have to cover it. And what's making it even worse is that we're hearing that the family may have been without electricity for at least a month. They were using candles for light. Although it is not clear what may have caused one of those candles to have been knocked over, but it appears that that was the cause.

As of right now, we have five children dead, four more in area hospitals in critical to serious condition. We are told that their ages range from one to 14 years old. Emergency officials tell us that the blaze started at about 20 minutes after midnight, on the third floor of what is essentially a three-floor flat. It was contained to the one apartment.

And EMS officials were seen doing CPR on the children, as they were brought out one by one, most of them in cardiac arrest. But even before firefighters went in, one brave neighbor did rush in and was able to bring out at least one of those children out alive.

Now, there's so much debris actually, if you can see, strewn behind me in the building, and yet it was apparently deemed safe enough for residents to go back inside. The building's other occupants are actually spending the night already in their apartments.

Firefighters telling us that they will have an update some time in the next hour, and we will, of course, be bringing that to you live when it happens. Live on Chicago's Northside, Michelle Gallardo. Randi, back to you.

KAYE: Michelle, just quickly before we let you go, can you tell us, were there any adults home at the time? Where were these children's parents?

GALLARDO: Only the mother was home at the time. She is actually in the hospital right now in serious condition. We are told that the father did not live in the home, and so he was not here when the blaze happened.

KAYE: OK, Michelle Gallardo, thank you very much for that update this morning.

Nothing better than dipping your feet in cool water on a hot, summer day, right? Maybe not if you're in Myrtle Beach. Details coming up in just five minutes.

SANCHEZ: Also, peace-keeping challenges. How Italian troops prepare to accomplish their U.N. mission in Lebanon. Our report is coming up in about 20 minutes.

KAYE: And a mysterious religious relic captures the attention of Pope Benedict XVI. "Faces of Faith" here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, in about 30 minutes.


SANCHEZ: What is in the news right now for you -- captured in Iraq. Iraq's government announced this morning it has captured the No. 2 terrorist, the second in command of Al Qaeda in Iraq, as he's called. The suspect goes by several names, the most prominent Abu Ranna.

Al Qaeda's latest message to the West is a warning to convert to Islam. That is the gist of the almost 50-minute videotape released yesterday. Ayman al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, makes a brief appearance. Most of the message is delivered in English by Adam Gadahn, an American convert to Al Qaeda.

Kofi Annan met this morning with Iran's president. The U.N. chief said the Iranian leader was willing to negotiate the nuclear issue, but would not halt the program. Iranian negotiators and European Union officials take up the nuclear issue later this week.

KAYE: More Italian troops arrived in Lebanon today. They are part of a U.N.-led force whose mission is to monitor the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah. Italy says its troop strength will eventually total 3,000.

Europe's Smart-1 spacecraft plows into the moon. It was part of a planned crash ending a three-year journey. The space craft hit the lunar plain, called the Lake of Excellence. Scientists hope the dust cloud and debris will reveal more about the moon's composition.

We run down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 7:30 Eastern.

SANCHEZ: Let's go over to Reynolds Wolf, find out what's going on with the weather on this day.


SANCHEZ: In other news "Across America," Nellie Connelly, who was in President Kennedy's limo during his assassination, in 1963, was found dead in her apartment yesterday. A long-time friend says she may have died from a stroke or heart attack. She was 87 years old and the widow, of course, of former Texas Governor John Connelly.

KAYE: Five people are dead and another in critical condition after two jet boats crashed on a lake on the Texas/Oklahoma state line. Investigators aren't sure yet why the boats crashed.

SANCHEZ: In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, it was a recipe for disaster, Ernesto, 3,000 gallons of wastewater, plus the Labor Day weekend. Signs are posted warning the public now to stay out of the water.

KAYE: America discovers its green conscience, as so-called green buildings pop up in huge numbers, but what does it actually mean to build green? CNN's special coverage of the energy crunch in three minutes.

SANCHEZ: Plus, the International Community School, a place where students from war-torn countries learn alongside American students. We're going to take you inside a few classrooms. That's in our next half hour.



High fuel prices have put the energy crunch on almost everybody, and all day today we'll be taking a closer look in a series of reports that explore all the aspects of this vitally important issue. As CNN's Gary Nurenberg explains, in this piece, even corporate buildings, many are going green.


GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT, CNN SUNDAY MORNING (voice over): From Santa Monica office building on the West Coast --

DANIEL HINERFIELD, NAT'L. RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: We use about 60 percent less electricity than a typical office building of this size.

NURENBERG: To a Gaithersburg, Maryland youth center on the East.

BOB PEELER, ROBERTSON PARK YOUTH CENTER: It's renewable and environmentally friendly.

NURENBERG: Buildings designed to be energy-efficient and conserve national resources are sprouting like Black-eyed Susans on this rooftop in Washington, D.C.

MICHELLE MOORE, U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL: It's a no-brainer. There is no reason today that you should be building any way other than green.

NURENBERG: Michelle Moore is with the United States Green Building Council.

MOORE: Green buildings are an immediate and measurable way to save energy, reduce Co2 emissions, reduce water consumption, and create a better and healthier environment.

NURENBERG: The American Society of Landscape Architects has loaded the roof of its D.C. headquarters with plants.

DENNIS CARMICHAEL, AMER. SOC. OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS: They will cool the roof. They'll clean the water. They also act as an insulating blanket. They should reduce our heating and cooling bills. Buildings are actually worse consumers of energy than cars.

NURENBERG: Some of the solutions are as simple as an open window.

HINDERFIELD: Instead of constantly air conditioning the office, which you need to do in a typical office building, here you can just open a window and catch an ocean breeze.

NURENBERG: The National Resources Defense Council uses motion sensors to turn lights on and off in the Santa Monica office built with recycled materials. It captures and recycles rain water and uses special toilets.

HINERFIELD: Two buttons on the top, so you can choose to flush with a whole tank of water or half a tank of water.

PEELER: The wall insulation is made out of recycled blue jeans.

NURENBERG: That Maryland youth center uses geothermal energy to heat and cool, has cabinets made from wheat straw, and window blinds made from recycled aluminum cans.

PEELER: We don't burn any fossil fuels in this building, and we're saving energy.

NURENBERG: And with energy costs consistently rising, being green has building owners seeing green on their bottom line. Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Washington.


KAYE: Few analysts expect the days of cheap oil to return, so if you want to look for lasting savings, turn to Nicole Lapin is here with more.


Gas prices continue to go up. It's really nothing new, but a lot of details could go unnoticed, like why. is getting into that story.


LAPIN (on camera): We all know gas prices continue to go up. It's nothing new, but a lot of the details might go unnoticed. Turn to for a more in-depth report.

The economics of the oil industry can sometimes seep over into politics. We're showing you which companies are donating thousands of dollars to the political battle, with Republicans receiving most of that money.

And with the debate turning to alternative fuels, we're going to detail the sources being tested right now in cars, like hydrogen fuel. It's the lightest fuel source and it's the one backed by President Bush.

If you're someone who thinks energy conservation is just too tough, check out this interactive, because it provides solutions to your everyday energy problems. And it's really easy stuff, like a bath takes almost double the amount of water used in a shower. And turning your computer monitor off can help save some energy.


LAPIN: Well, other things that could help save some energy -- putting a film up on your windows when it is still hot, like it is right now during these summer months, maybe some drapes when it gets a little cooler. It's easy stuff. All you have to do is go to to get your details.

KAYE: Source for all the information.

LAPIN: All the info.

KAYE: Thanks very much, Nicole.

LAPIN: Sure.

KAYE: More on the energy crunch coming up next hour. How does a Seattle family of five survive without a car? Well, believe it or not, it can be done, and we will show you how. That's coming up next hour.

SANCHEZ: Also, our special coverage, "Energy Crunch." We'll be doing this all day long for you and trying to specialize on it throughout the day to bring you the latest information.

This is an on-going story, but it seems at the end of the day that Italy will have almost 1,000 troops on the ground in Lebanon.

KAYE: The first steps they must take to keep a cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israeli forces; our report from the region in about five minutes.

SANCHEZ: And then in about 10 minutes we're going to take you inside a school where refugees, immigrants and American students all learned side-by-side.


KAYE: A big catch in Iraq. The government said today it has captured the country's number two terrorist, the second in command of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The suspect goes by several names, including Abu Ranna. Iraq says he is behind the February bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samara which inflamed sectarian tensions.

Al Qaeda's latest message to the west is a warning to convert to Islam. That's the gist of the almost 50-minute videotape released just yesterday. Ayman Al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, makes a brief appearance, but most of the message is delivered in English by Adam Gadahn, an American convert to Al Qaeda.

Kofi Annan met this morning with Iran's president. The U.N. chief said the Iranian leader was willing to negotiate the nuclear issue but would not halt the program. Iranian negotiators and European Union officials take up the nuclear issue later this week.


MOHAMMAD KHATAMI, FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT: As American Muslims, you were the first and most fervent denouncers of the inhumane terrorist attacks of September 11th, and as the president of Iran, I was one of the first officials to condemn this barbaric act.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP) KAYE: The former president of Iran speaks directly to American Muslims. It happened last night in a suburb of Chicago. Mohammad Khatami told the group Muslims must "forge a new identity that embraces the modern world, tolerates other religions and works toward peace."

An early-morning fire on Chicago's north side has left at least five children dead. The blaze broke out in a third-floor apartment. Four other children and one adult survived. They were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

SANCHEZ: New York City, a manhunt intensifies for fugitive Ralph "Bucky" Phillips. Phillips is suspected in the shootings of three state troopers. There is a $225,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.


SANCHEZ: We run down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage of course for those necessary. Your check of the headlines is coming up again at 7:45 eastern.

KAYE: Good morning, and welcome back to CNN SUNDAY MORNING. I'm Randi Kaye.

SANCHEZ: And I'm Rick Sanchez, Betty's off today. Thanks so much for being with us.

KAYE: First the talk, now the action. More Italian troops arrived in Lebanon today. It is a major step towards supporting the U.N. mission to help keep the peace between Israel and Hezbollah. More from CNN's Paula Hancocks.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For all the talk of peace here in Lebanon, weapons of war are what it takes to make it happen. A point not lost on the U.N. now rolling out a new and improved version of the U.N. interim force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, charged with keeping the peace. And the Italians are doing most of the heavy lifting. These are Iraqi veterans who will eventually lead a beefed-up force of up to 15,000 peacekeepers, armed to the teeth with a mandate to match.

ROSARIO WALTER GUERRISI, ITALIAN MILITARY COMMANDER: I'm pretty confident in my troops, they're going to manage the situation, the delicate situation. I think rules of engagement are robust enough to -- and they give you latitude to perform your mission.

HANCOCKS: These new rules of engagement mean these peacekeepers can and will intervene to prevent Hezbollah from getting weapons and using them and making sure Israel doesn't cross into Lebanese territory. They will be working with the Lebanese army to make sure the country's border stays quiet. In more than two decades on the ground here, UNIFIL never had the power to do that. JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO, PEACEKEEPING UNDERSECRETARY GEN.: And the kind of challenge, sometimes humiliation that UNIFIL had to endure because it had neither the capacity nor the mandate in the previous year, that's coming to an end.

HANCOCKS: Thanks to a strong contingent of Europeans, the Israelis could pull out of southern Lebanon by mid-month. In the words of one U.N. official, the area will be so thick with peacekeepers, they'll be tripping over each other.

(on camera): Even with a strong U.N. force now on the ground here in southern Lebanon, U.N. officials admit being nervous about how these troops will be received by the Lebanese people.

(voice-over): For now, at least, these Italian peacekeepers roll through the battered and bruised streets of southern Lebanon and saw mostly gratitude and relief. This is the easy part. The Italians come with no baggage and good intentions, to help Lebanon get back on its feet. Italia, he cheers. Need is palpable here, expectations are high. (INAUDIBLE) is a Hezbollah supporter, but still, he welcomed the U.N. convoys as they passed his bombed-out home and gas station. He lost a brother-in-law, a nephew, and his home. It was blown apart, he says, just minutes before the cease-fire took effect. He believes Hezbollah will work with UNIFIL. That's what you don't understand, he says. These terrorists, these people they call terrorists, they go and they look for people who are in need. U.N. peacekeepers will now be taking up positions in Hezbollah strongholds, and many here see them as Lebanon's defenders, but this mission will be much more complicated than that. Especially if and when they must act against Hezbollah. Paula Newton, CNN, in southern Lebanon.


SANCHEZ: We can dovetail right out of that story by Paula Newton. So much international news in fact going on this morning, it leads us into our "going global" segment.

KAYE: And for that we turn to our Brenda Bernard at the international desk. Good morning Brenda.

BRENDA BERNARD, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Randi. You've been focusing a lot on floods here in the states. Well, take a look at flood levels in eastern India. This is the middle of monsoon season. Rains in the past few days have left 1-1/2 million people homeless. Floodwaters have inundated large swaths of land. The army is conducting evacuations. So far more than 20,000 villagers have been evacuated and evacuations are still going on.

For many of us it's a daily battle to lose weight, we are not alone. Health experts say the world is in the grip of a fat pandemic. That warning from the International Congress on Obesity in Australia. The group's chairman says it's as big a threat as global warming and bird flu. The experts warn that the fat pandemic could overwhelm national health systems and shorten the life spans of future generations. And this one goes to the dogs. Scientists at the University of Sydney are trying to determine what makes a successful working dog, one that can serve as a guide dog for the blind or work in law enforcement. The study looks at whether being left-pawed or right- pawed or ambidextrous plays a role. So how do they tell if the dog is a lefty or a righty you ask? Well, they look at which paw the dog uses to steady its food container. So now you dog lovers know how to tell if your dog is a lefty or a righty. Randi?

KAYE: I don't know. We both have dogs. Have you ever been able to tell?

SANCHEZ: Well the question I have is what difference would it make whether he's left handed or right handed?

KAYE: Well you have to know which hand to put the pen in.

SANCHEZ: To sign the check.

KAYE: Right, exactly!

SANCHEZ: Yeah, for the vet bills, I wish. Brenda, we thank you so much for that.

BERNARD: You bet.

KAYE: The labor day weekend means back to school for thousands of families across America. As CNN's Betty Nguyen reports, students at one Georgia school are already back in class and learning the three R's with an international twist.


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) (Foreign Language), or just plain hello. Some of the ways students at the International Community School in Dekalb county, Georgia greet each other every day. It's not your average public charter school. There are more than 330 students here in grades K through 6, representing more than 30 countries and 40 different languages.

DEMBAKWI YOMBA, STUDENT: I'm Dembakwi and I'm from west Africa, Sierra Leone.

MADIHA MOHSENI, STUDENT: My name's Madiha Mohseni and I'm from Afghanistan.

HELENA CAMDEN, STUDENT: My name is Helena Camden, and I'm from California.

AUSTIN BASS, STUDENT: Austin, and I'm from Georgia.

NGUYEN: Diversified by design. ICS prides itself on its student body, 50 percent of whom are from outside the U.S. Many of the boys and girls have fled war-torn countries with their families and bring with them the stress and emotional wounds of war, poverty, and genocide. Something the founders were mindful of when they set out to create the school.

DAVID BELLMANY, 4TH GRADE TEACHER: They speak very honestly. They tell you about, well, the bad men, they'll tell you things like that, and it's just part of our morning meeting. You'll hear them tell you these different things. You love them no matter where they come from, no matter what they've done, no matter what they've been through.

NGUYEN: ICS's goal for diversity is extremely ambitious. Opportunities to place students in a cultural melting pot where they can learn from one another isn't always easy.

JENNA VELSON, 4TH GRADE TEACHER: And I also really wanted to teach a diverse population, which surprisingly can still be hard to find because of neighborhoods often are segregated, and so here we are in a place where we have deliberately said we want diversity.

NGUYEN: ICS's teachers strive to create an environment where their students feel comfortable participating and interacting with others, something a lot of them weren't comfortable doing when they first arrived.

MS. LI, 1ST GRADE TEACHER: Do you need more time, Sabrina? Just say Ms. Li I need a little bit more time. Say that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need more time.

LI: Very good.

NGUYEN: The curriculum extends to the home as well, with a myriad of programs to help families obtain visas, citizenship, and a permanent place to live. There is also a program where members of the community can adopt a family and donate clothes, furniture, and vehicles for families with limited resources. And while children get acclimated with the English language, parents are able to learn with them too. It's something co-founder and ICS principal William Moon is proud of.

WILLIAM MOON, INTL. COMMUNITY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: You can imagine, if I don't speak the language of the country, but my child speaks the language of the country, I feel at odds with what my child is doing and I don't know what I can do to help my child. But if I can be helped to see that there are ways for me to set up the learning environment at home, there are ways for me to listen to my child read and ask my child to help me to read, too, then we can develop a relationship between the parent and the child that makes it possible for the parent to feel proud of the child and the child to feel proud of the parent.

NGUYEN: Although the school says it scores among the top in its district on standardized tests and ranks at the top in attendance, it doesn't get as much money as other public schools. That's because Georgia's charter law allows for the school districts to determine how much money each charter school gets, which means ICS runs largely on the generosity of private foundations and supporters, all of whom envision a much bigger vision for the school, its students, and their families.

MOON: We see ourselves as a potential model for the integration of families from all over the world who don't know quite how to make it happen for themselves.

NGUYEN: And the kids here seem to be learning just as much about themselves as they are about each other.

CAMDEN: It's a really good school. They teach you other languages, and kids that are from different countries teach you about themselves.


KAYE: For more information on the International Community School, log onto

SANCHEZ: Pope Benedict XVI travels deep into the Italian mountains to see a mysterious religious relic. "Faces of Faith" and the possible image of Christ, right after the break.



SANCHEZ: Right now in the news, captured in Iraq, Iraq's government announced this morning that it has captured the country's number two terrorist, the second in command they say of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The suspect goes by several names, including Abu Ranna. Al Qaeda's latest message to the west is a warning to convert to Islam. That's the gist of the almost 50-minute videotape released yesterday. Ayman Al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, makes a brief appearance. Most of the message is delivered in English by Adam Gadahn, he's an American convert from California to Al Qaeda.

Kofi Annan met this morning with Iran's president. The U.N. chief said the Iranian leader was willing to negotiate the nuclear issue, but would not simply halt the program. Iranian negotiators and European Union officials take up the nuclear issue some time later this week.

KAYE: No let-up in violence in Iraq. An overnight mortar attack kills six people, including two children, in eastern Baghdad. In the same area, the U.S. military reports two coalition soldiers killed this morning when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Join CNN's John Roberts for "THIS WEEK AT WAR" that's today at 1:00 eastern.

Now to the other war zone, Afghanistan. NATO reports a significant number of suspected Taliban insurgents killed in an operation Kandahar. The operation was designed to drive out Taliban forces and allow displaced residents to return.

We run down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming your way at the top of the hour. SANCHEZ: "Faces of Faith" now. Catholic leader Pope Benedict XVI made a pilgrimage to a remote monastery in the Italian mountains to see a mysterious religious relic. It's a small cloth that some Christians say may hold an image of Christ.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is this the face of Jesus Christ? To the faithful in Manipalo, Italy, it is. Faithful like Franco Britzi, an Italian pilgrim visiting the shrine of the holy face. It is the image of a suffering Christ, he says, and I think he suffered for me. This small cloth is purported to be the veil of Veronica, whom legend has it used the cloth to wipe the sweat off the face of Jesus as he dragged his cross through the streets of Jerusalem. Believers say his image imprinted in the cloth, much like the shroud of Turin. Seven years ago, scientists from a southern Italy university said their studies found that the image is not made from paint. Each week, hundreds of pilgrims like Silvana Fiorelli, visit the relic housed in this remote mountain monastery in central Italy.

SILVANA FIORELLI, PILGRIM: I feel wonder, wonder, she says. I can't explain how the face of Christ remains so visible after all this time.

MANN: Capitan monks like sanctuary guardian Frier Analiano(ph), take care of the veil, which they say was brought to the town by a wandering pilgrim over 500 years ago. "It is a grace to stay here, he says, in this place. I think that Veronica's veil is a true sign of our times because Christ shows himself as an image in the age of images." Jonathan Mann, CNN.


KAYE: What is left of Ernesto? Well, we'll tell you. We're going to take a quick break here and Reynolds Wolf will have the full forecast, coming right up.

SANCHEZ: We'll be back.


KAYE: Welcome to "Dragoncon." Yes, that is how it's known among those in the know. Check that out. It is America's largest multimedia convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music and film. Superheroes and sorcerers filled Peachtree Street in Atlanta. The march is a highlight of the annual convention held every Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. That looks like a lot of fun.

SANCHEZ: My 13-year-old would love that!

KAYE: Why don't you -- oh I guess you can't really any more, you're kind of working, so you can't take her there.

SANCHEZ: No, I can go. KAYE: Yeah, you think so?

SANCHEZ: I can probably go this afternoon. Isn't that wonderful?

KAYE: Reynolds, are you going to check it out?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I don't know man that scares me. That yoda was way too tall.

KAYE: Did you just call me man?

WOLF: Yeah I did, I'm sorry about that.

SANCHEZ: It's a man thing.

KAYE: I get it, yes.

WOLF: Did you see yoda? I mean Yoda could have played point guard for the Sixers he was so tall. Yoda is supposed to be a tiny little guy and instead he was huge!

KAYE: He was rather large.

SANCHEZ: He's the exception to the rule, this yoda.

WOLF: I know. If he can do a cross dribble and a fading jump shot, hey, he's right up there.


SANCHEZ: We've got a lot more news to get to this Sunday morning, including a big bust in Baghdad. Iraq says it's captured a top Al Qaeda terrorist. A live report is straight ahead.

KAYE: Plus, more of our very special coverage on the energy crunch. How does a Seattle family of five survive without a car? Well, it can be done and we will show you exactly how in our next hour. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.



SANCHEZ: It is a big catch in Iraq, or so it's being billed. The government announced about two hours ago it has captured the country's number two terrorist, the second in command of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The suspect goes by several names, including Abu Ranna. A live report from Baghdad is just two minutes away on this.

An ominous new videotape from al Qaeda. Ayman el-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, makes a brief appearance. But most of the message is delivered by Adam Gadahn, an American convert to al Qaeda. We're going to play a piece of that message for you in just a couple of minutes, as well. KAYE: In Chicago, we're watching for a news conference this hour following an overnight apartment fire that killed six children and sent their mother and three other children to the hospital.

Kofi Annan met this morning with Iran's president. The U.N. chief said the Iranian leader was willing to negotiate the nuclear issue, but was not willing to halt the program. More on this coming up in about five minutes.

SANCHEZ: The world is a fatter place, says the International Congress On Obesity. And experts warn that every nation faces being overwhelmed by diabetes and heart disease. They say that treating diseases related to being overweight costs countries billions and billions of dollars each year alone.

Let's go over to Reynolds Wolf, a man who has never had to worry about that particular problem.

He's joining us now with the weather.


What is left of Ernesto is fading, fading fast. And what's left of Tropical Storm John? Well, it's weakening, too.

Coming up, we'll give you the latest on both those systems. And, at the same time, we're going to let you know what to expect with your travel weather through the rest of the day and into Monday, as well.

That's all coming up -- back to you.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much.

We run-down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 8:15 Eastern.


KAYE: A lot of people would say you're crazy with three kids to give up your car.

Do you feel like you're crazy?



KAYE: So, how is it possible for a family of five to survive without a car? And, no, they don't live in the Big Apple. We'll show you in 20 minutes.

SANCHEZ: From the CNN Center, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

It's September 3rd, 8:00 a.m. at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta and 7:00 a.m. in Chicago, where we're following breaking news for you. As a matter of fact, let's go ahead and cut into this news conference. A horrible fire. As many as six children may have perished.

Let's take it live.

RAY OROZCO, CHICAGO FIRE COMMISSIONER: There was a total of eight rescues here made by the Chicago Fire Department. A civilian also made a rescue. And the adult that was in there, as well as one child, was brought down. We believe that adult to be the mother.

At this time, we have six confirmed deaths from this fire.

What we found is we found that we had working smoke detectors in the common areas but there was no working smoke detectors in the apartment of origin.

In every single one of our fires this year where we've experienced a fire fatality, it's the same story. It's lack of a smoke detector and it's lack of a working smoke detector.

We have smoke detectors in every single firehouse in the city, as well as batteries. Help us get that message out. We need to do more. We need to get the message out to the public. They can go to any one of 100 firehouses in the city and get a free smoke detector and free batteries.

This is -- this is obviously a very tragic day for this family and it's also a difficult day for the Chicago Fire Department.

QUESTION: Could you put this in perspective as far as the number of deaths, the children?

OROZCO: How can you -- I mean you really can't put it in perspective. This is the largest multiple fire fatality we've had from a single fire in quite a few years. I mean it's children. You know, that's -- that's one of our most vulnerable populations. They're the future. It's difficult. It's difficult for everyone involved. And don't, you know, remember the family here. The family is going to go through some very, very trying times here.

QUESTION: Can you talk about (UNINTELLIGIBLE) family didn't have electricity and was using candles?

OROZCO: Right. What we found out -- and I'd like to stress that we're still in the investigation phase. We found out that there was no power in the apartment and it appears that candles were used in the apartment. And right now, our preliminary cause is that the candles were the candles were the cause of origin.

QUESTION: Was the mother the mother of all the children in the apartment, do you know?

OROZCO: Yes, ma'am, we believe that to be true right now.

QUESTION: Are all the children related? OROZCO: Yes, ma'am.

QUESTION: With the children found sitting in the front room here, we had also heard reports from neighbors that they had been children that had been hiding in a closet (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Can you talk about that? Or is that true?

OROZCO: No. We interviewed the members of Truck 25 here and Truck 47 that actually made the rescues, and they found the children in the front room.

QUESTION: In the front room?

OROZCO: Yes, in the front room itself.

QUESTION: How many rooms in the apartment?

OROZCO: How many rooms in the apartment?

There's three rooms -- three bedrooms in the apartment, a kitchen, a hallway, a front room.

QUESTION: How many people in total were living in the apartment?

OROZCO: There were 10. There were 10 people in the apartment at the time of that fire, the mother and nine children.

QUESTION: One adult and nine kids?


QUESTION: Did the smoke detectors, just for clarification, there weren't smoke detectors (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

OROZCO: Inside the apartment there were no smoke detectors. We have -- we have not been able to locate any smoke detectors inside the apartment yet.

QUESTION: Do you know if the father is around anywhere and has been notified?

OROZCO: Yes, he has. I believe the father was here during the night.

QUESTION: You believe the father was where, please?

OROZCO: The father was here.

QUESTION: But not in the apartment?

OROZCO: You know what? You could get better information from the police department on that.

QUESTION: Do you have the ages of the children that were living in the apartment or a range? OROZCO: I can just give you the ages of the children that passed away. There was two 3-year-olds, a 6-year-old, a 10-year-old, a 12- year-old and a 16-year-old. There were four girls and two boys.

QUESTION: A 12-year-old and a 15-year-old?

OROZCO: Yes, 15 or 16. We believe it was 16.


OROZCO: You know what? You know, I'm standing here talking to you, we need your help. We need, you know, 30 seconds of your time during the news for public service announcements. You know, we're doing everything we can to get the message out about smoke detectors. Like I said, we've moved them out to 100 firehouses in the city, but we need to do more. And part of doing more is we need partnerships and we need to develop the partnerships that we already have. And we're asking for your help.

You know, I'm standing here, you know, I'm standing here as a father. We need your help. So if you can just give us a little bit of time for public service announcements about smoke detectors, we'd really appreciate it.

Thank you.

QUESTION: What part of the apartment did it start in?

I'm sorry.

OROZCO: We believe the area of origin was the front hallway.

QUESTION: The front hallway?

OROZCO: The front hallway was the area of origin.

QUESTION: Had there been a candle burning in that hallway or?

OROZCO: Preliminary indications -- and I want to stress preliminary indications at that time, there appears to be that there was a candle burning in the hallway there.

Thank you.


OROZCO: The first name is Raymond. The last name is Orozco.

I'm the fire commissioner.

SANCHEZ: There you have it. The fire commissioner essentially giving reporters a very personal perspective on what he has seen happen in this situation, pleading that they inform the public to promote the use of smoke detectors.

The situation, as you may have heard it, in case you can in just a little bit late, it was a family of 10, a woman, nine children. They had no power in the apartment. And, as a result of not having power in the apartment, they were using candles.

The fire commissioner has just said that one of the candles was, indeed, the point of origin for the fire. Convinced, obviously, enough at this point, with some of the preliminary information that he's been able to gather, that one of those candles actually started the fire. He said some of the children were in the closet, essentially trying to get away from whatever it was that they were perceiving as a danger at the time.

KAYE: Yes, just terrible the loss there -- two 3-year-olds, a 6- year-old, an 8-year-old, a 10-year-old and apparently a 16-year-old, as well.

We want to go to our reporter from our affiliate WLS, Michelle Gallardo is standing by.

She was just at that press conference -- Michelle, what more can you tell us?


Well, as you say, even more bad news coming now with the confirmation that a 16-year-old child is now dead, as well. That leaves three more children in area hospitals, along with their mother. At least two of them, we're told, are in critical condition.

Now, as you heard right now during the press conference, fire officials telling us that there were no working smoke detectors in the apartment. And that, of course, always a problem. This is, again, according to fire officials, the largest fatality fire in Chicago in many years.

We are also now confirming that the family had been without power for several months, since May, at least, and apparently candles were the cause of origin, apparently in the front hallway of the apartment.

There were 10 people inside at the time, the nine children and their mother. We are told that at some point during the night, it appears the father was here. But we are not -- we do not know if this was before or after the fire happened.

As you can see, there's still a lot of debris from the fire strewn all along behind me. However, the apartment -- apparently the apartment building itself considered to be safe enough to go back into. All of the building's other residents have already been back in side and actually spent the night in there. And, of course, we will be following the condition of the remaining children throughout the morning and we will have more information on that as it develops.

Live on Chicago's North Side, I'm Michelle Gallardo -- back to you.

SANCHEZ: All right, Michelle Gallardo, we thank you so much.

We'll be checking back with you as we follow the story throughout the morning.

Meanwhile, a young man from California is emerging as a lead spokesperson for al Qaeda. Adam Gadahn is known within the terror group as "Azzam the American."

Here's what's interesting. He's now appeared in a new videotape with an ominous message in English -- convert to Islam or else.

During the 48-minute tape, Gadahn clearly regards his home country as the source of evil in the world.


ADAM GADAHN, AKA, "AZZAM THE AMERICAN": And the leaders of the West also find it convenient to point the finger of accusation at the other because it helps them to avoid having to face difficult questions about the West's dark and bloody past and equally dark and bloody present.


SANCHEZ: Gadahn has appeared on previous al Qaeda videos. The FBI Web site lists him as armed and dangerous.

A new terror search is in Britain. Police say that they searched an Islamic school and other sites across London today. It comes on the heels of weekend raids that netted 16 suspects. Four of them are suspected of trying to train and recruit others. Police say the arrests are not linked to a plot to blow up any U.S.-bound airliners.

Stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your safety and your security.

KAYE: If you're just joining us, there has been some diplomatic movement within the past few hours regarding Iran's nuclear program.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan met with Iran's president this morning and afterward he sounded optimistic a showdown could be averted.


KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: We also discussed the nuclear issue and on the nuclear issue the president reaffirmed to me Iran's preparedness and determination to negotiate and find a solution to the crisis.


KAYE: However, Annan says the Iranian leader made it clear he would halt the nuclear program as a precondition for negotiations. In other words, the uranium enrichment efforts will continue for now.

Iran's representative to the United Nations nuclear watchdog group will be a guest on "LATE EDITION" this morning. Be sure to tune in at 11:00 Eastern to find out what he has to say about his nation's nuclear ambitions.

SANCHEZ: Is there anything left of Ernesto?

We're going to have a check of the nation's weather.

That's going to be coming up next.

KAYE: Plus, sick of wasting your time sitting in traffic?

There is one radical option left -- trade in your four wheels for two. We'll introduce you to a family that did exactly that.



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How do you make exercise a lasting part of your life? "Consumer Reports on Health" surveyed nearly 22,000 people who were committed to exercise and uncovered some of their secrets for success. Tip one, put fun-back into your exercise. Play a sport like basketball, tennis or squash.

NATASHA RICHARDSON, PERSONAL TRAINER: Find an activity that's fun-for you. You know, if walking on the treadmill is boring, then go outside and walk at the park.

COSTELLO: Tip number two, define your motivation for exercising. Is it to lose weight, socialize with friends or to reduce stress? Make your reason positive and personal.

Tip number three, make it convenient. You're more likely to work out if you live or work near a health club or park.

Tip number four, have a variety of options. If you always swim, add weights to your routine. When the weather turns cold outside, exercise indoors.

Tip number five, dangle a carrot. Reward yourself.

RICHARDSON: If you did everything you were supposed to do then, you know, you can get that reward. It could be a new CD, it could be a new pair of shoes.

COSTELLO: Ooh, or a relaxing massage.

Carol Costello, CNN.



KAYE: This is a big catch in Iraq.

The government said today it has captured the country's number two terrorist, the second in command of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The suspect goes by several names, including Abu Ranna. Iraq says he's behind the February bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samara, which inflamed sectarian tensions.

Al Qaeda's latest message to the West is a warning to convert to Islam. Ayman el-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's top lieutenant, makes a brief appearance in the video. But most of the message is actually delivered in English by Adam Gadahn, an American convert to al Qaeda.

SANCHEZ: This is a story we've been following throughout the morning, as sad as they come. At least six children died in an overnight blaze in Chicago. It happened in the third floor of an apartment building, a three room apartment. Three other children and the mother are hospitalized.

A manhunt widens for fugitive Ralph "Bucky" Phillips. New York State Police are warning that he's a desperate man and a threat to anyone who gets in his way. Phillips is suspected of shooting three state troopers.

We run-down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING, in-depth coverage when necessary. And your next check of the headlines is coming up at 8:30 Eastern.

ANNOUNCER: You're watching CNN, your severe weather headquarters.

KAYE: Ernesto is still raining on this holiday weekend in parts of the Northeast. Most of Ernesto's flood watches and warnings have expired. But flooding remains a serious concern in North Carolina throughout the day. Many rivers there are expected to crest more than five feet above flood stage.

Power is still out in thousands of homes in the Northeast. And wind and rain are causing travel delays, of course. And at least six deaths are now being blamed on Ernesto.

SANCHEZ: Let us take you over to Reynolds Wolf and find out what's going on with the rest of the weather and maybe what's left of Ernesto, right?


You know, things are getting a little better. This system, what's left of it, really is beginning to die out. Most of the watches and the warnings, as you guys both mentioned, have really begun-to expire. So we are going to see a vast improvement for the day.

As all of this moisture lifts through the Northeast, you've got drier air that's going to invect or move in right behind it. So that's going to make a tremendous improvement, although your day in New York is starting off pretty damp and rainy. Into the afternoon you're going to get some sunshine. So things will get better for you.


There you go. Case in point. There's a great shot that you have this morning of Central Park. You may need the umbrella early because there are a few spritzes out there. But later on into the afternoon, again, you use the sunglasses and you can put away those umbrellas.


KAYE: Reynolds, I'm looking at that New York area. I'm wondering if my man Agassi is going to be playing today at the U.S. Open. It doesn't look very promising.

WOLF: Do you know, I'll tell you, it will get better. Just keep your fingers crossed and listen to the weather guy. I'm telling you, it's going to be great into the afternoon.

I think it'll be partly sunny to partly cloudy. But as far as the showers, most of that is moving up toward Boston and into Maine.

So it'll get better for you.

SANCHEZ: I think he's done talking.

WOLF: Yes, I'm done.

KAYE: I think he's done.

WOLF: I'm done.

KAYE: OK, good.

SANCHEZ: I'm not sure.

WOLF: I'm speechless.


WOLF: The weather is going to be so great today up there for you.

KAYE: Thank you.

WOLF: There you go.

SANCHEZ: You done good.

WOLF: You bet you.

SANCHEZ: Their parents got rid of the family car, but they got something in return. Find out now what it is. That's next.

KAYE: Getting New Orleans medical services healthy again -- coming up in just about 10 minutes, Dr. Sanjay Gupta shows you what has and hasn't been done since Hurricane Katrina.


KAYE: Welcome back.

A Seattle family is doing its small part to help save the planet. Well, maybe not so small. At times, as I found out, making sacrifices like the Durnings isn't all that easy.


ALAN DURNING, CAR-LESS FAMILY: Well, I'll see you guys.

AMY DURNING: Bye. See you.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Alan Durning is on his way to work. No suit, just spandex. Three months ago, the Durning family of Seattle gave up their wheels to help save the planet.

(on camera): As one family having given up one car, do you really believe that you can make a difference?

ALAN DURNING: Absolutely. I mean, we're making a quantifiable difference because we're not burning anywhere near as many gallons of gasoline.

KAYE (voice-over): If Alan's math is correct, and in one year, cars emit their own weight in pollution, then he's saving the environment about 4,000 pounds of pollution.

ALAN DURNING: A snow pack can last 50 years in the Cascade Mountains just to the east of us here in Seattle has diminished by about 50 percent.

KAYE: As temperatures rise in this part of the country, more precipitation falls as rain instead of snow, which would last longer. And if the warming trend continues, a lack of water could, in theory, leave much of Seattle in the dark, since about 90 percent of its power comes from hydropower dams.

So after the Durnings' oldest son Gary totaled the family car, they decided to stop spewing greenhouse gases and cut a deal with the kids.

CATHERINE DURNING, CAR-LESS FAMILY: If we didn't get a car, then we would get cell phones. And for me, that was just like, oh my gosh, that's so awesome.

KAYE: But given Seattle weather, Alan's car-less commutes aren't always easy.

ALAN DURNING: Driver, I'm going to use the rack, all right?

KAYE: Amy walks most places. And a few hours a month, she rents a hybrid car.

(on camera): A lot of people would say you're crazy with three kids to give up your car.

Do you feel like you're crazy?

AMY DURNING: No, absolutely.

KAYE (voice-over): One advantage, Amy says -- the kids argue less.

GARY DURNING, CAR-LESS FAMILY: The arguing hasn't stopped since we got rid of the back seat, so.

C. DURNING: We got rid of the whole car.

PETER DURNING: Yes, we didn't just get rid of the back seat.

KAYE: The Durnings call this baby stroller their minivan. It's carried groceries, even their son, Peter, to the doctor.

(on camera): Without a car, Alan and Amy figure they now walk about a mile and a half every day. Not only is that good for the planet, but it seems to be benefiting them, too. Together, they believe they've lost nearly 10 pounds.

(voice-over): And they've gained more of what they call walking around money. The car-less lifestyle saves them $200 a month. Not much compared to what they hope to be saving the planet. But they'll take it.


KAYE: They sure will.

Stay tuned to CNN day for our all day coverage of the nation's energy crunch.

SANCHEZ: That's great. Every journey begins with one step.

KAYE: Yes.


Well said, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Well, I didn't make it up.

If giving people -- giving up your vehicle just isn't an option for you, you could try trading in your gas guzzler for a hybrid like this family.

KAYE: Coming up in the next hour, we'll hear from the Korings (ph) to find out of if they celebrate or regret their decision.

SANCHEZ: But first, "HOUSE CALL" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and your top stories. They are straight ahead.


SANCHEZ: Right now in the news, captured in Iraq. The government has said today that it has arrested the country's number two terrorist, the second in command of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The suspect goes by several names, including Abu Ranna.

At least six children have been killed in an early morning apartment fire in Chicago. The mother and three other children are hospitalized. Fire officials say that the family had no electricity and used candles for light and that is what actually started the fire.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan met today with Iranian's president. Annan says that the Iranian leader assured him that the diplomatic tussle over Iran's nuclear program could be resolved through negotiations.


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