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CNN NEWSROOM

'Croc Hunter' Steve Irwin Killed by Stingray in Australia; Tourist Shootings in Amman; Former Iranian President Bashes Bush While in U.S.

Aired September 4, 2006 - 14:00   ET

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


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
An ironic end to a colorful life. Aussie icon Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter," dies in the Great Barrier Reef.

A folk hero of another kind. Where is Ralph "Bucky" Phillips? The New York manhunt intensifies as cops mourn one of their own.

And it will be Florence. A tropical depression picks up speed. Could this brewing hurricane hit the states?

CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

He was gifted or fearless or lucky or all of the above, but Steve Irwin's latest close encounter with a dangerous animal was his last. The man known as the "Crocodile Hunter" was killed today by a stingray.

ITN's Romilly Weeks reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMILLY WEEKS, REPORTER, ITV NEWS (voice over): Taking enormous risks with wild animals was Steve Irwin's stock and trade.

STEVE IRWIN, "THE CROCODILE HUNTER": This bloke is one angry, naughty, aggressive crocodile, and this is going to be one very dangerous capture.

He's grumpy and he's...

WEEKS: He became famous worldwide for his antics with crocodiles and his colorful TV character.

IRWIN: Crikey!

WEEKS: But in filming his latest series off the coast of Queensland, Irwin was killed by a stingray barb through his heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today the world has lost a great icon, a passionate conservationist, and one of the proudest dads on the planet. He died what he loved doing best. And he left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. He would have said, "Crocs rule!" WEEKS: Some of Irwin's stunts were controversial, not least this one, when he introduced his 1-month-old baby to the crocodile enclosure. But he was also a committed conservationist who set up his own zoo and someone who was hugely popular in Australia and beyond.

JOHN HOWARD, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Well, I am quite shocked and distressed at Steve Irwin's saddened, untimely and freakish death. It's a huge loss to Australia.

WEEKS: He was a man who spent his life flirting with danger. The great irony of his death, that it wasn't caused by one of the crocodile, snakes or other aggressive animals that he tangled with, but by a stingray, a creature that's normy placid and very rarely fatal.

Romilly Weeks, ITV News.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Irwin called himself a wildlife warrior, but sometimes his passion sometimes at odds with common sense. You'll remember this picture of Irwin feeding a crocodile while holding his infant son in his arms.

Months later, he answered his critics and explained his trust in animals. It came in an interview with CNN's Larry King.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IRWIN: My parents actually guided me in the direction that I've gone. They started Australia Zoo in 1970, so I was running around in the wilderness since the day I was born.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": But you didn't have to like it. Some kids are born into a family situation, their father's a lawyer, they don't want to be a lawyer.

IRWIN: Yes, absolutely. My two sisters...

KING: So obviously you liked it?

IRWIN: Loved it. Not only did I take to it like a fish to water, but when I was 4 years of age, my dad noticed that I had a gift with wildlife that he'd never seen nor encountered ever before.

How many singles you got back there, dad?

We were out catching snakes for the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory, I found this big brown snake and I sunk my foot, bang, right on it! And I was like barefoot, I had these little sandals on and I'm going dad, dad, I've got one! And he comes over and he goes whack! Knocks me out of the way, broke my heart, I ran away crying.

The snake was at my leg, poised but it wasn't biting. And from that moment when he saw that, he thought to himself, what's this kid got? And then when I was 9 years of age, he allowed me to catch my first croc and I guess I must have made him proud and I demonstrated to him that I had a gift with wildlife and he nurtured that with my mom. And now I am who I am.

KING: What, Steve, is the gift?

IRWIN: The gift. Firstly, Larry, you know I'm a wildlife warrior. You know, a warrior is someone who is trained or engaged in battle. My battle is conservation. Ok, so I'm a wildlife warrior, and anyone can be one, but I have a gift. God put me on this planet with a mission, and my mission is to educate people about conservation --

KING: But the gift to communicate with animals. Where did that come from?

IRWIN: That's right -- who knows, couldn't tell you.

KING: Animals like you.

IRWIN: Yep. It's in my genetic makeup. That's where it comes from. Now I can do stuff with animals that no one else in the world can do. I've got this, I've got the ability to be attracted to wildlife and vice versa. And then on top of that, I've got a gift that I didn't know I had of communicating to cameras, which is in essence looking to millions of people and combine those two, and there you see my mission is to educate people about conservation.

KING: Ivan Torres, the famed founder of "Flipper" was an old friend of mine. He told me that he trusted animals more than humans as long as they were fed. He would walk into wild animals easier than to Hollywood film producers.

IRWIN: Here here.

KING: You feel the same way?

IRWIN: Absolutely, 100 percent, yes. I'm lucky in that respect. I see wildlife, I know that if I'm respectful and I understand and I'm well researched, I'm well rehearsed, that the animal is not going to just swing around and knife me in the back, unlike some people will.

(END OF VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Well, tune in tonight. CNN re-airs Larry King's one- on-one interview with Steve Irwin. That encore presentation is tonight, 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 Pacific.

Bloodshed in Amman and tourists are the target. It happened just hours ago. At least one person is dead.

CNN's Paula Hancocks joins me from the Jordanian capital with more -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Kyra.

Well, this is the spot where at 12:30 this afternoon local time one lone gunman did go on a shooting spree, and it was foreign tourists who were hit. Now, this is a very popular area for the tourists. It's one of the most historical areas in Amman itself, the Roman amphitheater, just to my left. And a little earlier on this Monday, according to eyewitness, six tourists were walking up the stairs in this particular area and one lone gunman, Jordanian gunman emerged from behind one of the pillars behind me and started shooting at the tourists.

Now, we know that one British man was killed. He was hit as he was walking up these stairs, dying later of his injuries. And also five others were injured, two British, one Dutch, one New Zealander, also one Australian.

Now, according to those eyewitnesses and officials, police then overpowered the man and that's when one Jordanian policeman was also injured by the man who was shooting with his pistol. Now, we know that those who have been injured were taken immediately to a hospital very close to here, a military hospital. We understand they're all in stable condition, none of their injuries are life-threatening.

Now, a little earlier on, the prime minister went to see those who were wounded and he said to reporters outside the hospital that he wanted to find out exactly why this man did this, whether he was acting alone, whether it was part of a bigger group. And we've also heard from the interior minister and the health minister, as well, also saying they want to find out whether or not this was a lone act and whether or not -- it has been suggested by the interior minister, he wants to know whether this man was mentally deranged.

But this area is an area that is very popular with tourists. We're in September. This is when many Western tourists would be coming here. It's getting a little cooler and easier for them to walk around, and, so, many of the ministers and officials are worried that this could have some impact on the economy here because tourism is such a big part of Amman's makeup -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Paula Hancocks, thanks so much.

Well, a blow to the terror network in Iraq. The number two leader of al Qaeda in Iraq is in custody. His name is Juma al-Saeedi, but he goes by several others, including Abu Rana.

The U.S. military says that he was arrested Friday during a raid. Iraqi officials say al-Saeedi is responsible for the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra last February. The attack enflamed sectarian tensions. Al-Saeedi is also accused of supervising the creation of death squads and ordering assassinations.

Doctors did everything they could, but New York State trooper Joseph Longobardo died yesterday, three days after he and his partner were ambushed on a stakeout for a notorious fugitive near Buffalo. Ralph "Bucky" Phillips is the fugitive and the chief suspect in these shootings. He broke out of an Erie County jail last April. In recent days, six locals had been arrested and charged with harboring him.

We'll have an update on the manhunt in our next hour. There's a road under there somewhere. Just one view of a swamped North Carolina days after Tropical Storm Ernesto swept ashore. Homes and businesses, fields and streets, not much escaped the floodwaters.

High waters also causing problems in Virginia. Dozens of roads are washshed out, others are blocked by trees and power lines done in by wind. Tens of thousands of homes from the Carolinas to New York are still without power.

Making due with cleaning up. What else can you do after a hurricane?

CNN's Harris Whitbeck has the story of one community that felt the fury of John.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A family cleans up the debris left by Hurricane John in front of its house in the village of La Ribera in Baja, California. It is mostly tree branches. While they wait for electricity to be reestablished, they talk about what happened and about how badly they want things to get back to normal.

"We've already been without work for several days," says this man. "But hopefully tomorrow we can get back to work."

La Ribera is located south of the state capital of La Paz. It was cut off for several hours after the storm. It suffered some of the worst damage: fallen trees, damaged streets, downed power lines.

(on camera): The residents of La Ribera were not expecting the hurricane to hit as hard as it did here, but they were still prepared. This is a town of fishermen, of people who are used to the sea and to the fickleness of the weather.

(voice over): Luis Sanchez is the local traffic policeman. He patrols the town assessing damage. He says, "The storm was not supposed to have been so severe."

Other neighbors say it could have been much worse. "We've already been through tougher storms," says this woman. "Now that roads are reopened, I don't think we will suffer too much."

The local city hall is filled with food and water that has had been stockpiled before the storm but it will be several days before electricity is restored.

Harris Whitbeck, CNN, La Ribera, Baja, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: President Bush says America will not leave Iraq until victory is won. What does that mean for military families?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a dad, and dads has to go to Iraq.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: How kids are coping with the tough weight on the homefront.

Plus, more on our top story. The world new him as the "Crocodile Hunter." Steve Irwin called himself a wildlife warrior.

His mission, his legacy, straight ahead from the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Their capture set off a war, but now a pair of Israeli soldiers may be the subject of indirect talks between Hezbollah and Israel.

Let's get the latest from our senior U.N. correspondent, Richard Roth, in New York -- Richard.

RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. U.N. CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, those abducted Israeli soldiers were kind of lost in the shuffle when the Security Council passed the resolution authorizing troops to go in as the U.N. tried to broker the end of that Hezbollah-Israel conflict that raged for weeks. Now Kofi Anna, the traveling U.N. secretary-general, says he has been asked, his offices have been asked to mediate the handover of Israeli prisoners and a possible prisoner exchange, anything that might get their release.

There were two that were abducted on the northern Israel border with Lebanon. Kofi Annan, while traveling, told Warren Hogue of "The New York Times" who was one of the few journalists that was allowed to accompany Annan -- Annan saying he's chosen his representative to the negotiations. Israel has chosen someone and, "Lebanon, Hezbollah was in the process of selecting someone."

Highly sensitive talks, he said, will be conducted discreetly. He says he's going to name a secret negotiator. The job will be to set up the mechanism for the swap, which he said will be the first step, hopefully, in more thorough talks involving Israel and Lebanon.

Annan says he will insist on control of the negotiations and on no outside interference. Annan told "The Times," "If I'm going to take it on, my mediator should be the sole mediator. If others get in, we will pull out."

Under the Security Council resolution, the Security Council called for the "unconditional release" of the abdicated Israeli soldiers and also said it was mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and called for the urgent settling of the issue of Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Richard Roth, thanks so much.

Well, a top Iranian politician attacks the U.S. So what else is new? Just this: the politician is a former Iranian president, and he's speaking in the United States.

Mohammad Khatami sat down for an exclusive interview with CNN's Zain Verjee. She's with me now from Chicago.

Zain, Khatami criticizes the Bush administration, the policies for aiding in the rise of extremism. What does he have to say about the September 11th attacks?

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, we talked to him for about an hour yesterday, and he condemned them. He was, in fact, one of the first leaders when it happened to come out and say this is absolutely terrible, with strong...

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VERJEE (voice over): Mohammad Khatami is the highest ranking Iranian to visit the United States since the 1979 revolution. He's not been invited to meet with any U.S. officials, but he does have a message for President Bush.

MOHAMMAD KHATAMI, FMR. IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I would tell him that the United States and all -- with all of its might and resources can, side by side, with the good people of the Middle East, bring about a new experience in the creation of democracy and the advancement of democracy.

VERJEE: However, he sharply criticized President Bush as well, blaming him in part for the rise in terrorism.

KHATAMI: As a result of such wrong policies, such unilateral violent policies, that the voice of logic decreased and the voice of terror, the attractiveness of terror, unfortunately, among the youth has increased.

VERJEE: Khatami flat out rejected accusations that Iran wants a nuclear bomb.

KHATAMI: And it has never been the policy nor the mindset of any branch of the Iranian government to pursue atomic weapons which can be the source of vast, numerous deaths in the world. We have no interest in building such weapons.

VERJEE: Khatami says President Bush's stance towards Iran has derailed relations that were beginning to thaw under President Clinton, and he insists dialogue between the two nations is the best hope for resolving the current deadlock.

KHATAMI: Through communication and negotiations, the needed guarantees can be given to give assurances that we're not pursuing the atomic weapon.

VERJEE: The threat of war, he says, is only making things worse.

(on camera): Couldn't the deadlock, if it does come to that over the nuclear issue, lead to an attack on Iran? Do you worry about that? KHATAMI: We are definitely worried and hopeful that such a thing will not take place, such an attack will not take place. I think, in all honesty, the probability of such a thing taking place are very low. And I firmly believe the only power that can undertake -- can take such steps is the United States, and, quite frankly, I think the United States has caused itself enough problems in Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VERJEE: President Khatami will be in New York and in Washington next, Kyra. He will be talking about something that he described as being close to his heart, a dialogue among civilizations where he really wants to promote a greater understanding, he says, between different cultures and faiths and religions in order to promote security, peace and stability in the world.

We'll have more on this interview and my conversation with him in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Coming up at 4:00 Eastern and also 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Zain, thanks so much.

Well, they're not aggressive and they rarely kill. So how did an encounter with a stingray leave Steve Irwin dead? We're taking you to the Georgia Aquarium for some answers.

Plus, moving on out. Remnants of Ernesto are being felt north of the border, while folks from North Carolina and New Hampshire start mopping up.

Stay tuned to the NEWSROOM for the latest developments.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: This videotape coming to us from San Francisco, California, from our affiliate KRON and also KTVU. But these rallies are actually happening across the United States.

Thousands of people joining in for Labor Day rallies. They are workers and advocates on behalf of immigration rights and better wages.

Southern California is holding a number of rallies this weekend through today, pressing for the immigration riots, middle class wages and other causes. As you remember, we covered these rallies that went on for weeks talking about immigration rights and now, today, on Labor Day, we're seeing the same type of support rally up across the country.

We're following them all. A number of them to count for right now from southern California, to Wisconsin, even to Boston.

We'll keep our eye on all of them.

Now our top story. He loved animals and animals made him a star, especially animals other people wouldn't touch. Today fans around the world are rembering and mourning Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter."

He was killed by a stingray while shooting an underwater documentary off Australia's northeast coast. He was 44 and leave behind a wife and two small children.

Jack Hanna, another famous animal expert, shared his sadness on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK HANNA, "JACK HANNA'S ANIMAL ADVENTURE": It's unbelievable, really. You think about Steve Irwin, you think of people that are invincible. And, you know, it's just hard to believe it happened.

Steve was one of these guys, though, that loved to bring the animal world to us in a much closer way. And all of us have our own way of doing it. And stingrays are not an animal, by the way, that really are aggressive, that come for you, or anything else.

They range from one foot to 10, 12-feet wide, you know? And it sounded like this was a big one, and those barbs, if you step on them in the ocean, then they -- they sting you, that type of thing. But, I mean, there's a lot of places like the Columbus Zoo and other places that have touch tanks.

Sea World has a great touch tank for stingrays, and nothing ever happens. And it's an unfortunate accident.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Well, we've been asking you to share your memories of Steve Irwin as part of I-Report.

Curtis Griffin from Santa Clara, Utah, sent us this picture that he took at Irwin's zoo in Queensland in April. He says he could sense Irwin's love for the animals during that visit.

Maria Brush of Rochester, New Hampshire, says that her son Clayton dressed up as the "Crocodile Hunter" for a day camp celebration. She asks, "How do you explain to a 7-year-old that his idol is dead?"

And Adam Farnsworth of Miami took this picture at the Australia zoo's Crocoseum. He says that that's where he proposed to his wife and Irwin congratulated the couple. Adam says they'll name their baby after him.

And if you capture a great video or picture on your camera or cell phone, just go to CNN.com, send in an I-Report, and join the world's most powerful news team.

Ernesto is gone. Could Florence be on the way?

Jacqui Jeras here to tell us all about it from the CNN weather center -- Jacqui.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Kyra.

(WEATHER REPORT)

PHILLIPS: All right, Jacqui. Thanks.

Well, taking their pleas to the streets. Connecticut is the battleground for an intense political brawl. One candidate locked in the battle of his career. His opponent is from his own party. At least it used to be.

Details from CNN NEWSROOM coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: He snatched thrills from the jaws of some of the most dangerous creatures on earth and he turned his passion into worldwide fame and fortune. Today, the world is stunned by the death of Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter, in what had seemed a relatively low risk adventure.

A stingray is said to have punched a barb into Irwin's chest while he was diving near the Great Barrier Reef. It's believed he died in moments of cardiac arrest.

How dangerous are these creatures?

Normally, not very. They're related to sharks and usually hang out on the ocean floor. Stingrays use their sharp tails and the venom at the base of their tails to defend themselves. The venom isn't lethal, but the serrated barbs extending from the tail can be. They tear flesh and cause big damage when pulled out of a wound.

Experts say that fatal attacks are extremely rare and happen only when a ray is under severe stress.

With me now, Marine biologist Ray Davis.

He's vice president of zoological operations at the Georgia aquarium, where visitors can touch the stingrays.

And I'm curious, Ray, I know a lot of people that do go and they pet the stingrays.

How do you make that safe?

RAY DAVIS, MARINE BIOLOGIST: Well, one of the things we need to understand very quickly is that this is a defensive weapon for stingrays, having this barb. And we also need to understand that the barb is a modified scale and it's very much like our fingernails.

And what we've done is trim the fingernail, or the barb, in this case. And by doing protected contact, we teach everyone that this is only to be done here at a zoo or aquarium in this controlled contact and we should use two fingers to touch these animals.

And they very much feel like a wet velvet kind of touch. PHILLIPS: And do you think that this type of attack had to be provoked for the stingray to respond in the way that it did?

DAVIS: You know, they're in the middle of an investigation. I would hate to speculate about this. I think the key issue that everyone needs to learn and understand is that this is a defensive type of weapon that the stingrays have available to them, that they're bottom feeders. They feed on shrimps and crabs and mollusks, different clams.

So to think that this animal just jumped up and did something out of malice, I think that's just pushing it a little too far. We need to see what happens with the investigation.

PHILLIPS: Because from what we've been reading and understanding -- and we're learning so much about this, Ray, is that the stingray has to see you as a threat, as a predator. Wow! I've even been in situations where I've been swimming with the stingrays and they seem so calm and at peace. And you just sort of float above them.

So what is it that would trigger a stingray? Would it be a quick motion or -- I mean what would be some of the signs or things that a swimmer shouldn't do?

DAVIS: Yes, stingrays, if you're swimming above them, see you in silhouette. And if you cast a shadow across them, that could be an issue. Quick movements, a quick downward movement going toward them. These are the activities that predators do when they chase after the stingrays, when they're looking to hunt a stingray.

So those are (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Where the other thing is that we always like everyone to understand is when you're in the coastal zone, if you're going out wading in the shallow near shore waters and you want to shuffle your feet through the sand. And this -- instead of just stepping through the sand. What this allows to do then is to alert the stingrays in the area that you're there and they'll move off and away from that area.

And you still have an opportunity to see them and but respect the different -- the distance and their natural activity.

PHILLIPS: What if you're swimming underneath a stingray?

DAVIS: Well, one of the things to realize, too, is that the stingray doesn't really see underneath him, but they have a complete lateral line system that allows them to understand that there are things below him as well as above him.

So you want to stay a respectful distance. You don't want to be frightened with the whole situation. You want to understand that you can be in the water at the same time with these great animals and not be afraid of them.

PHILLIPS: And correct me if I'm wrong, Ray, but don't your divers over there get into the tank with stingrays? And how have your divers been trained to deal with them? DAVIS: In Ocean Voyager, we have over 300 stingrays of six different species. They all have their barbs. We haven't treated them. Within this activity that we do routinely, they're accustomed to our presence there, they know why we're in there. We're not a predator. We're not a threat to them. So they're very accustomed to our presence in there.

Our staff does not approach the stingrays and they make sure that when they're in the same area as the stingrays, the stingrays know that they're there, as well.

PHILLIPS: How venomous are they? Is it the type of thing where if you get a little jab from the barb it's OK? It's just when it pierces the body, when it can become lethal?

DAVIS: I will tell you from personal experience, a nine inch wide, adult yellow stingray scraped my hand with its barb and it was extraordinarily painful and instantaneously painful. And ounce for ounce, they probably have the most potent venom in that bbd area. The larger ones, it's just as painful when it does scrape your skin surface or penetrate it, and, yes, if you leave a large portion of the tissue behind in the wound, you have more of the venom available in that area so it would be very painful.

And that's why you want to seek first aid immediately and then the doctor, to make sure that there's not any part of the barb left behind, that the wound is cleaned thoroughly and that you're started on antibiotic treatment as there's a very strong likelihood of a bacterial infection.

PHILLIPS: So I am assuming that a lot of the kids, a lot of the families are asking you a lot of questions today about what happened, Ray.

What was the most common concern or inquiry that you've had?

DAVIS: I think most people are just absolutely shocked at losing such a charismatic and strong advocate for animals. Many people, including some of the young people on our team here that are taking care of animals now that recently got involved is because of Steve Irwin and watching his TV shows.

So the main question we get is that they're concerned. You know, why did this happen? The same questions that are out there. So, you know, through the ongoing investigation, we should learn more details about this and how best to prevent this from happening in the future.

PHILLIPS: Ray Davis at Georgia Aquarium.

Ray, thanks so much.

Great, great insights.

DAVIS: Thank you very much.

PHILLIPS: Well, more on the death of croc hunter Steve Irwin straight ahead on this program.

And tune in tonight. CNN re-airs Larry King's one-on-one interview with Steve Irwin. That encore presentation is tonight at 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 Pacific.

Taking their pleas to the streets -- Connecticut is the battleground for an intense political brawl. One candidate locked in the battle of his career. His opponent is from his own party -- at least it used to be. We're live from the campaign trail.

Plus, Tom Cruise apologizes to Brooke Shields after criticizing her for taking anti-depressants. But it's what his camp said after the apology that's got Hollywood talking. Details in the CNN NEWSROOM, coming up.

RICHARD LUI, TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: The United Nations issued a report late last week that said Iran continues its enrichment of uranium. The Iranian government insists that its country has the right to pursue nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. More on this at cnn.com.

In this article, you can read about why the U.N. may consider economic sanctions against Iran.

And in a speech to the American Legion on Thursday, President Bush said the IAEA findings show why the U.S. considers Iran a danger to world peace.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is time for Iran to make a choice. We've made our choice. We will continue to work closely with our allies to find a diplomatic solution. But there must be consequences for Iran's defiance and we must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LIU: For a more personal perspective, international correspondent Aneesh Raman writes about what it's like to be behind- the-scenes in Tehran and catch this interactive guide on how uranium is enriched and why it's a key component in nuclear weapons.

Stay logged onto cnn.com for the latest news on Iran and other international stories.

From the Dot-Com Desk, I'm Richard Liu.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Politics on parade. With congressional elections just two months away, Labor Day is no day of rest for the candidates or their supporters. And Connecticut is a major case in point.

Our Mary Snow is in Newtown.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Kyra.

And here in Newtown, a small town parade turned contentious in the hotly debated race between Senator Joseph Liebermann and his Democratic challenger, Ned Lamont.

This town boasts that it has the only Labor Day parade in the State of Connecticut and that anyone running for office wants to march in it. But controversy this year as Senator Lieberman had to break ranks with Democrats, march on his own as an independent with his supporters. This, as Ned Lamont, as now, the Democratic candidate, marched with the party faithful here in the state.

Now, the two men saw each other very briefly, just a couple of seconds. They were very civil, pretty cool.

However, something did turn heated among a small group of opposing sides. At the end of the parade they were both vying for attention for the -- in front of the cameras and things got a little bit ugly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you stop this (UNINTELLIGIBLE)? Get away from me! Get out!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). This is what you want. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Joe Lieberman (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You really have a (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Shame on you, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: And this scuffle quickly ended, but it gives you an idea of the heated emotions in this contest. So far, the polls show that Senator Joseph Lieberman, running as an independent in a three way race, one poll shows him with a double digit lead. Another one shows him with a single digit lead over Ned Lamont with a little more than 60 days to go before the November election -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: And, Mary, Lieberman and Lamont are grabbing all the headlines. But there is a Republican candidate who hasn't even managed to get an endorsement from the White House.

Why is the GOP being so silent about their own candidate?

SNOW: Well, the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger, has really been just getting a very small percentage of support in this race. And, as you mentioned, the White House did not endorse him. If you recall, a couple of weeks ago, Vice President Dick Cheney even had some strong words of support for Senator Joseph Lieberman. And the White House has said that it's not going to endorse the Republican candidate in this state. What many political analysts are saying is that the -- he's not such a strong candidate, so this is really going to be a showdown between Lieberman or Lamont and some of the state Republicans are sitting silently on the sidelines.

PHILLIPS: Mary Snow in Newtown.

Appreciate it.

Well, some of the men and women serving in Iraq are on their second or third tours of duty. And while it's tough for the soldiers, it's almost as hard for their kids when mom or dad is deployed.

Reporter Leslie Wilcox with CNN affiliate KHON in Honolulu caught up with some of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: I knew that!

LESLIE WILCOX, KHON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Almost all of the students at this public school in Wahiawa are military dependents. The school is located within the gates of Schofield Barracks.

These three live wires have many down times, as well. Their dad is serving in Iraq right now, his third deployment to war in their short lives.

NAYTON CARCIA, DAD DEPLOYED TO IRAQ: Because he has to -- because he's a dad and dad has to go to Iraq.

KIM GARCIA, ARMY WIFE AND MOTHER: I think he just got the luck of the draw. Some of them their friends, their dad has actually been hurt. So now they have that fear, you know, is daddy going to get hurt.

ANASTASIA DAVID, ARMY WIFE AND MOTHER: At this time, they are very concerned with his safety. I have my 8-year-old always says to me, you know, I'm just very worried and scared that daddy might get hurt or even killed.

WILCOX: There's a lot of fear wrapped up in the kids here. The school understands it and strives to be a source of stability and support.

JAN IWASE, SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: A few years ago, we had maybe 70 to 80 percent of our families with one or more parents deployed. And they're going to a second one now.

WILCOX (on camera): One thing these parents holding down the fort say they cannot do is promise their children that the parent at war is going to be fine, is going to come home safe and sound.

DAVID: I never give guarantees. I always just tell him just think good thoughts about daddy, but we do safe with him. He tries to be as safe as he can. He takes precautions because he does want to come back to our family.

WILCOX (voice-over): Families here say they live day to day taking nothing for granted. They don't even know if a parent will be deployed to war yet another time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not out of the question. There is a chance that daddy might have to go again. And we'll just have to deal with that when the time comes.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

PHILLIPS: Well, now we remember the fallen heroes, the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in Iraq.

As soon as he graduated from high school in 2003, Army Specialist Shane W. Woods of Palmer, Alaska enlisted. His mother said Shane always told her not to worry about him. He told her: "I'm in god's hands and no matter what happens, I'm OK." The 23-year-old was killed earlier this month by a roadside bomb in Ramadi, Iraq.

Marine Corporal Paul N. King of Massachusetts loved to cook like his father, a chef. King and his wife Becky started out as next door neighbors. She was celebrating her graduation from pharmacy college when she got word that the Marines were looking for her. They told her Paul had been killed in combat in Anbar Province on June 25th.

Army Sergeant Richard A. Blakley of Indiana survived a gunshot wound from a sniper in January, but the bullet that hit him on June 6th took his life. He was killed while patrolling west of Baghdad. Baker leaves behind two daughters and a 9-year-old son.

These are just three of the 2,651 U.S. men and women who have sacrificed their lives in Iraq.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Broken branches in Chicago today. Six children are dead. Another three children and an adult injured after a terrible fire on the city's North Side. The likely cause, fire crews say, a candle used to light an apartment that had no electricity. The dead range in age from three to 14. Five are from the same family.

Summer ends tomorrow for public school students in Detroit, we think. A teacher's strike hangs over one of the nation's largest school systems. But students still are being told to show up while the two sides negotiate around the clock. The district wants some 9,500 teachers to take almost $90 million in pay and benefit cuts. So far, the only thing that's been cut is the first day of classes. It's now a half day.

A go for launch, at least for now. After being delayed for a week, NASA says the weather appears to be cooperating for a Wednesday launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis. The shuttle will carry a new section of the International Space Station. NASA says if any glitches crop up Wednesday, the shelter could also launch Thursday or Friday.

He's sorry, she's happy, all is forgiven. And if the he weren't Tom Cruise and the she Brooke Shields, that would be that.

Instead, it's the latest episode in Hollywood's favorite behind- the-scenes comedy.

What's Tom done now?

Here's CNN's Kareen Wynter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the apology that still has Hollywood abuzz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO," COURTESY NBC)

BROOKE SHIELDS, ACTRESS: He had called me and he came over to my house and he gave me a heartfelt apology.

WINTER: Tom Cruise's public beef with Brooke Shields over her use of anti-depressants now squashed. The actress told the tale of the apology Friday on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.

SHIELDS: I was so impressed with how heartfelt it was and I didn't feel at any time that I had to defend myself.

WYNTER: Cruise's camp confirmed with CNN through a written statement, "It is true that Tom Cruise's friendship with Ms. Shields has been mended. He has not changed his position about anti- depressants, which as evidenced by the black label warnings issued by the FDA on these types of drugs, are unhealthy.

(on camera): Will Hollywood look kindly upon this apology? Was it sincere or maybe a desperate attempt at damage control?

TOM O'NEIL, SENIOR EDITOR, "IN TOUCH" MAGAZINE: Hollywood believes in happy endings and everyone wants Tom to have one. Where Tom blew it with this apology was that he issued a statement simultaneously saying but I still believe that prescription drugs are wrong. Come on. It was supposed to be all about Brooke and taking care of her. It wasn't supposed to be about Tom proving he's right again.

WYNTER: Critics say Cruise's popularity took a downward slide after a series of bizarre public appearances, from his couch jumping incident on the "Oprah Winfrey Show"...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW," COURTESY HARPO PRODUCTIONS)

OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: Yes!

(END VIDEO CLIP) WYNTER: ... to getting into a spat over prescription drugs with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE TODAY SHOW," COURTESY NBC)

MATT LAUER, HOST: I'm asking you a question.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: This wasn't against her will, though.

LAUER: I'm asking you a question.

CRUISE: But this wasn't against her will.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'NEIL: What Tom needs to do now is go public and offer this apology to the women of America, many of whom are mothers who have gone through depression, too, and were offended by his remarks. We want to see him say these things sincerely so that we can believe him.

WYNTER (on camera): Experts say Tom Cruise still has a lot of work to do to improve his box office sales. As for his apology, industry insiders say many filmgoers will now forgive him and perhaps go back to seeing his movies once again, but add, the actor will never regain his superstar status. Kareen Wynter, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Busting out of jail with a can opener earned a New York fugitive some chuckles. But now a state trooper is dead and the manhunt for a suspected killer is more urgent than ever. That from the newsroom straight ahead.

Plus, is this the face of Christ?

Believers say the veil of Veronica wiped Jesus' brow and his path to crucifixion and was marked with his image forever. That's straight ahead.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tonight on a special "360," the question that still demands an answer. Five years after 9/11, are we safer? Are the ports safer? Are airports? billions of dollars have been spent, your money.

Where has it gone?

We're keeping them honest. "360," tonight, 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: The pope on a pilgrimage. Benedict XVI has become the first pope to view a cloth that many believe is imprinted with the image of Jesus.

CNN's Jonathan Mann has the story of Veronica's veil.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is this the face of Jesus Christ? To the faithful in Manipalo, Italy, it is. Faithful like Franco-Brizzi, 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. "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 Friar Emiliano 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.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

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