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Trouble at Ford; E. Coli Outbreak; Presidential Conference; Americans Attacked in Iraq
Aired September 15, 2006 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: It is a dark day in Dearborn, Michigan, as Ford Motors steps up and announces some drastic cutbacks for some dire times. Their plan is to offer a buyout to all of their hourly workers, about 75,000 people.
I can't see the news conference anymore. So I don't know if it's going on. So let me know if it's under way.
We're going to be hearing right now from some Ford executives in just a little bit. The company expects to lose 25,000 to 30,000 workers in -- can you leave it up for me?
Thank you. Appreciate that.
They'll also cut 10,000 white collar workers and close two more plants. They were already planning to shut 14 plants. Trouble in the industry widely known, but these -- this news comes as a bit of a shocker.
Andy Serwer has been watching this for us this morning.
We knew Ford was in trouble. I think we're getting a sense of how much deep -- deeper that trouble is.
ANDY SERWER, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "FORTUNE": Yes, what's interesting, too, of course, is the change at the top. Bill Ford stepping down, Alan Mulally coming in as the new CEO. Perhaps these changes have been accelerated when an outsider is able to come in and effect change.
Bill Ford, obviously, the family so close to it. Maybe he was a little bit slow to take the initiative to go forward with that.
O'BRIEN: Yes. Let's listen in to it now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With me this morning are Alan Mulally, president ad CEO; Mark Fields, president of the Americas; and Don Leclair, our chief financial officer.
Before we begin, I would like to review a couple of quick items.
Copies of this morning's presentation have been posted on Ford's investor and media Web sites for your reference. Just a few administrative details before we get started.
We will be taking a five to 10-minute break at the end of the presentation before we begin the Q&A session. Those of you joining in on the teleconference or webcast can stay on the line and you will be able to here the Q&A session when it begins. For those joining via satellite, the connection will terminate at the end of this presentation.
For the media and investment community, you will need to join by teleconference if you wish to ask questions.
Just a reminder that today's presentation includes forward- looking statements about our expectations for Ford's...
O'BRIEN: All right. She's doing some housekeeping there. That's Diane Patton (ph). And she's the public relations person there.
As she continues her housekeeping, let's finish that thought, Andy, on exactly the depth of the trouble for Ford here.
It seems as if it caught -- well, maybe it didn't catch people who watch it closely off guard. It seems a little deeper than we expected.
SERWER: It is deeper than we expected, the magnitude, the timing. It's abrupt. And we knew about the plant closings.
Let's maybe listen in to what their CEO is saying.
O'BRIEN: All right. There's Alan Mulally now.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
ALAN MULALLY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, FORD: ... and helping turn around this American icon and very, very important company.
We've talked about the way Ford planned in the past to deal with our business realities and, of course, today we'd like to focus on the acceleration of that way forward plan. And after we review the details with you today, we look forward to taking your questions and talking about the business going forward.
So with that, I would like to turn it over to Mark, who's going to lead us through the way forward plan details.
MARK FIELDS, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAS, FORD: Thanks, Alan.
And good morning, everyone.
I would like to especially welcome the men and women of Ford Motor Company who are watching this webcast, just like many of them do each week as we report on the progress of our way forward plan.
During earlier webcasts, we've highlighted our progress. We've explained the customer-led vision that our design, engineering and marketing teams now share for the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands. And we've celebrated the product and quality achievements; like the growing number of accolades for our mid-size sedans. The Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr are the highest quality products we have ever introduced. And they rapidly have established themselves as credible competitors in a segment dominated for too long by the Japanese.
For me, it's been rewarding to communicate our progress, as well as our challenges. And one of the biggest changes I've seen as a result of the way forward plan is a new culture of candor and honesty in both our decision-making and our communications.
We remain dedicated to honest, open, two-way communications throughout the business. Even when we have tough news to deliver. And today is no exception.
When we met with you in late January, we presented an aggressive plan to rebuild our North American business. We explained that the way forward plan focuses every part of our business on the customer, building stronger brands, strengthening our product lineup and delivering improved quality, while accelerating products on competitive costs and productivity.
O'BRIEN: We are going to continue to listen to this as Mark Fields, who is head of the American operation for Ford, presses on, because we do know the details as it is, what they're about to lay out.
O'BRIEN: Why don't you just run through it very quickly for us, Andy?
SERWER: Seventy-five thousand hourly workers, all of Ford's hourly workforce offered buyouts. Remain to be seen how many take them. Fourteen thousand salaried employees will be let go.
Also, big news. No dividend. Ford is bagging its dividend, and that will be big news on Wall Street today. The stock was down in pre-market trading.
I think that's a bit of a surprise. The company saying it won't be profitable in North America, its auto operations, until 2009, and they are looking to cut $5 billion of costs out.
So a lot of very, very large moves by this very, very large automaker.
O'BRIEN: All right. We'll let you go listen to the rest of that briefing.
O'BRIEN: And we'll have you back in just a little bit.
SERWER: Great. Thanks.
O'BRIEN: Thank you, Andy -- Carol. COSTELLO: Now we want to talk about spinach now. Bagged, fresh spinach, normally the very picture of good, healthy eating. Well, this morning there's a big health threat. The government says the spinach is tainted with the deadly bacteria E. coli. About 50 are sick, one has died.
So the word is, throw away that bag of spinach in your refrigerator.
Our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now from the CNN Center in Atlanta to tell us more about this.
What are the symptoms?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the symptoms can be somewhat vague, to start off with, Carol, but let me just point out that this is one of the largest and most disparate sort of advisories the FDA has issued. If you have eaten bagged spinach, bagged, fresh spinach, and you are having any of these sorts of symptoms: diarrhea, vomiting, anemia, which you wouldn't know yourself, but you might have paleness of the skin or problems with kidneys, you should see a doctor about this.
Now, the good news is that, while one person has died and 50 are sick, the vast majority of people who do eat the spinach are going to be just fine. And even if they do get sick it will be a relatively mild illness.
But again, this is one of the largest and most comprehensive advisories I have seen. And the interesting thing to me, as well, Carol, is obviously not all the messages are getting out to the stores, at least. Spinach is still on the racks. They are leaving it up to the consumer to hear these advisories and to throw it out, not bother cooking it or washing it. Throw it out because it could possibly be contaminated.
COSTELLO: OK. Just to clear things up, like, fresh spinach is fine. But what about frozen spinach? Would that be affected at all? I mea, they're not saying that now, but it's confusing, kind of.
Why just bagged spinach?
GUPTA: Yes, well, they're being actually pretty specific, so I don't think it's that confusing when they are saying fresh, bagged spinach. So it is fresh, bagged spinach, it is not frozen specifically. It is not boxed, but the fresh, bagged spinach.
What is -- what is surprising, though, is just how comprehensive this is. It's probably several different distributors that possibly have this contaminated spinach. So they are saying, we don't know any specific brand to advise you on. Instead, just any fresh, bagged spinach, just throw it out.
COSTELLO: So, how does spinach become infected with E. coli?
GUPTA: Well, that's a good question. And a lot of people are surprised by that, because typically people think of meat. They think of meat as being the carrier for the E. coli bacteria. But, in fact, sprouts, lettuce and spinach have been implicated in the past.
What happens is that it is -- it is basically washed at the distributing plant in what is later found to be contaminated water, water that was contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. That can cause sort of contamination of large amounts of spinach at the same time, and it gets distributed, and obviously ends up on someone's dinner table.
COSTELLO: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, live from Atlanta.
GUPTA: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: The White House just announced President Bush will hold a news conference in the Rose Garden 11:15 Eastern this morning.
CNN White House correspondent Elaine Quijano joins us live with more.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Miles.
Important to keep in mind that what you have right now are countdown clocks essentially that are ticking. Only about two weeks left until Congress heads home to campaign full time, just about two months now until those all important congressional midterm elections. So this news conference is really going to be a chance for President Bush to once more press his case that Congress needs to act quickly on his proposed detainee legislation.
The president right now is not getting what he wanted. He's run into some staunch opposition from some powerful republican senators, senators John Warner, John McCain and Lindsey Graham. All of them, of course, with strong military ties, including Senator McCain, of course, who was a former POW.
Now, they believe that the president's legislation would leave U.S. personnel open to abuse in the future if they were captured. The president, however, believes that further clarification of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is necessary in order for interrogators to do their jobs.
Now, all of this is happening, Miles, at a time when Republicans had hoped to draw some distinctions between themselves and Democrats on the issue of national security, which has traditionally been a GOP strong suit. Now, though, of course, Democrats are more than happy to sit back and look on as this Republican infighting continues. But we can be sure that the president will forcefully once more press his case for his proposed detainee legislation -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: All right. We'll be watching. Elaine Quijano at the White House.
CNN will bring you the president's news conference this morning at 11:15 Eastern.
Now to Iraq, where two more Americans have been killed in insurgent attacks -- an Army soldier by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, a Marine by enemy fire in the Al Anbar province. This, as Iraqi police are finding more bodies this morning, dozens found. Apparently they had been tour toured. There have been almost 70 victims discovered dumped around the city in the past 24 hours.
Today's attacks on American troops follow a huge suicide truck bomb explosion in western Baghdad. A major U.S. Army outpost attacked in that one. As many as 25 soldiers were wounded, two killed.
Cal Perry now with a story you will see only here on CNN.
CAL PERRY, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF (voice over): A mass casualty situation, many wounded on the way. We had gone to the busiest combat hospital in Iraq with a plan to cover the U.S. military's grim milestone. We had been at the hospital only about an hour.
Bloodied and screaming U.S. soldiers stream into the combat hospital, 25 in total, many fighting for their lives. It had been a truck bomb attack on a 4th Infantry Division fixed position in Baghdad. The U.S. soldiers had apparently been caught offguard. Some of the wounded arrive wearing sneakers, rather than their usual combat gear.
Even as the casualties were still coming, Major General James Thurman slips in. He's the commander of the 4th Infantry Division here to comfort and console his men.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he going to be OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's going to be fine, sir.
PERRY: In this war, it's a question. Is he or she going to be OK? That has been asked nearly 23,000 times. The answers have not always been what families wanted to hear.
Close to 2,700 U.S. soldiers killed, 20,000 wounded, with more than 9,000 unable to return to duty. Many of those unable to return to their units head home with devastating injuries.
(on camera): Without the quick medical response already in place by the U.S. military, the death toll would be far higher. This landing zone at the 10th CASH in Baghdad on any given day is literally buzzing with activity. (voice over): All over Iraq, from Baghdad to Ramadi, Falluja to the Triangle of Death, these three years prove the U.S. is in the grips of a bloody fight. Of the 25 casualties brought in from the attack on the 4th Infantry Division, one later succumbed to his wounds. Another soldier died at the scene of the attack.
Through the day, a tense struggle to keep the death toll from growing higher. Many soldiers sent to surgery to get them stable enough to fly out to hospitals in Germany, and then to the U.S.
PERRY: Miles, it was the work of those doctors, medics and nurses that saved countless lives yesterday, ensuring that many U.S. troops will return home to their families rather than dying here in Iraq -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: Cal, give us a sense of how quickly these people get to the best medical help there is.
PERRY: It's within minutes. They come in either by chopper or on the ground, depending on where the attack is within proximity to the combat hospital.
They call it the golden hour. They used to call it the golden hour. Now, many times they call it the platinum 10 minutes.
The work that these doctors do, triaging out the most viciously wounded patients, working on the walking wounded second, is what saved countless lives yesterday. The things they do in these combat hospitals, Miles, you would not see in America. It is truly remarkable work.
O'BRIEN: Cal Perry in Baghdad.
Thank you very much -- Carol.
COSTELLO: The first ever bionic woman was introduced to the world yesterday, but what about the people who created her amazing new robotic arm? We'll meet one of the doctors behind the breakthrough.
Plus, "The Rock," AKA Dwayne Johnson, hits the big screen this weekend. He will tell us why the new movie "Gridiron Gang" hits so close to home.
That's just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
O'BRIEN: The White House dealing with a political firefight of its -- in its own ranks this morning. Republican lawmakers pushing back as the president tries to change the rules for how the U.S. treats captured terrorists.
Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell backs the president's plan. He joins us now from Capitol Hill. Senator McConnell, good to have you with us.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: Good morning. Glad to be here.
O'BRIEN: Colin Powell's statement certainly was a bombshell. He said, among other things in a letter released, "The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."
What do you say to that?
MCCONNELL: Look, you have good people on both sides of this discussion. All of them are well intentioned.
What is the goal here? The goal is to continue the detainee interrogation program which we know has saved American lives. We know that.
We also know that we're not mistreating prisoners. There's no evidence whatsoever of that.
So, the question is, how do you continue the detainee interrogation program? The CIA director has said clearly that the Armed Services Committee version of the bill will require him to shut down the program, thereby making Americans less safe.
Everybody in this argument is a good, patriotic American, but the fundamental question is, how do we continue this program that has demonstrably saved lives over the last five years? And we haven't been successfully attacked again in five years. And it's an incredible performance by the administration. I trust them on this issue.
O'BRIEN: But the tactics are debatable. Senator McCain, who, of course, has been there as a former prisoner of war, says this: "In my experience, abuse of prisoners often produces bad intelligence because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear -- whether it's true of false -- if he believes it will relieve his suffering."
Do these techniques really work, sir?
MCCONNELL: Well, you know, I know that Senator McCain knows that none of that has ever happened on our side. There's no evidence whatsoever that anybody has ever been tortured by the U.S., and I'm sure that Senator McCain is not suggesting that because there's no evidence of that.
The real question is, how can we continue the program? And the man in charge of the program says that unless that it would pass this Armed Services Committee version, he will be required to shut the program down. That will make America less safe. Look, this is a...
O'BRIEN: But how do we know...
MCCONNELL: ... the right argument among good people, and at some point we will have to take a vote here and make a decision.
O'BRIEN: But going back to what Colin Powell said...
O'BRIEN: ... you know, the president has said many times that this is really a war of ideas. And if in waging this war of ideas we compromise our own ideals, do we lose?
MCCONNELL: Well, we're not compromising our own ideals. What the administration is proposing is that we apply the standard in Senator McCain's bill that was just passed last year, which I supported, 90-9 in the Senate, to take the standards that he recommended we use, and use them as the interpretation.
I don't think that's an inadequate standard, and that would allow the Americans to determine the standard rather than some international court of human justice somewhere in Europe. We need to have the U.S. determine what these standards are, not punt that issue over to some international court which may, you know, have an entirely different view of what is inappropriate treatment of prisoners.
O'BRIEN: But in the court of public perception, which is so important in the war against terror, if the perception is out there that the U.S. is skirting the Geneva Conventions, which most of the nations of the world have signed onto, including the U.S., isn't that somehow a loss for the United States, a victory for the terrorists?
MCCONNELL: Gee, you know, the important thing in the war on terror is to win it, and to succeed. And we know we've killed a lot of terrorists, we know we've protected the homeland for the last five years. And if that disturbs some European court somewhere, so be it.
I'm sorry about that. But we can't conform our standards and lower our safety in order to please some European court somewhere.
O'BRIEN: All right. Final thought here.
You're the whip. This is a whip's nightmare with an election coming up. Are you disappointed that you have these disaffected Republicans? And are you a little surprised?
MCCONNELL: Sure. I mean, we -- I'm not surprised. We have been talking about this issue intensely for the last three months. We have been in numbers of negotiations trying to pull everybody together.
Sure, it's disappointing, but somehow we'll resolve this. The country will be safe. And we'll move on.
O'BRIEN: Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell.
Thanks for your time, sir.
MCCONNELL: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Carol. COSTELLO: And coming up, is it too late to prevent global warming? We will tell you why one leading scientist thinks we only have 10 years to stop it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN GULF COAST CORRESPONDENT: People have flamingos in their front yards, but how about an oil rig in your front yard?
I'm Susan Roesgen. I'll show you one man's rig in Lake Charles, Louisiana, coming up.
COSTELLO: You know Arianna Huffington, of course, fearless political pundit, never met an issue she couldn't attack from the left. It's hard to imagine Arianna Huffington is afraid of anything, but really she was.
And she gets personal in her new book titled "On Becoming Fearless in Love, Work and Life."
Arianna Huffington joins us now.
I look at you and, just, "fearless" would not be an adjective that I would attach to you.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, "ON BECOMING FEARLESS": Well, you know, I think fear is universal. All of us have fear. The question is, do we let our fears stop us or do we go on despite our fears?
And the message of the book is that every time we take a step towards where we want to go, even when we are afraid, we build what I call a fearlessness muscle. It's like a fearlessness workout. And it's easier the next time and easier the next time.
And that's the message I want to give to my daughters, who are 15 and 17, and to all women. And whether it's in relationships, whether it's at work when we're afraid to speak out, or in any area, starting a new venture -- you know, when I started The Huffington Post there were a lot of nay sayers, "Is this going to work? What do you need that for?"
And now we started this section within The Huffington Post called "Becoming Fearless" so that we can encourage women to tell us their stories to inspire each other, to start a kind of fearlessness movement, if you want.
COSTELLO: I like that. And as some famous person said before, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," right?
HUFFINGTON: Absolutely. COSTELLO: Exactly. I want to ask you what you think about what's going on in the Senate right now, because this group of powerful Senate Republicans came forward and opposed this plan by President Bush to redefine parts of the Geneva Convention. What does that -- what does that mean for the Republicans in the long run?
HUFFINGTON: Well, first of all, they are demonstrating fearlessness because, honestly, fear has driven a lot of our politics. If it were not for the fear of the Democratic leaders before we invaded Iraq, trust me, we would not be in Iraq, because they would have stood up to the president.
If Colin Powell had not been afraid to stand up to the president, he would have spoken out a lot earlier about his disagreements with the administration. He's speaking out now.
COSTELLO: You bring up an interesting point about Colin Powell, because his quote, and going out against this plan, he said, "The world is becoming to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine the Geneva Convention would add to those doubts."
But you just heard Senator McConnell with Miles just pretty much saying what Republicans have said all along, that if we -- we have to change this because if we don't, then when the CIA goes to interrogate these bad guys they're going to get off. They're going to get out.
HUFFINGTON: So what has happened is extremely fascinating. It's really a realignment of American politics, beyond conventional right, left ideologies. It's really about people standing up for what they believe.
Colin Powell believes now, as I believe he has believed for a long time but hasn't said, that the very moral foundation of America is being challenged right now. And there are many other Republicans who agree with him, there are many other Republicans who have spoken against the war, very conservative ones like Bill Butler, like conservative Congressman Walter Jones, Chuck Hagel.
So, for the media to keep looking at this in terms of right and left really is very obsolete and it disguises more than it reveals.
COSTELLO: But the president says he's going to fight this, so he's going to give a speech at 11:15 Eastern Time. And what do you suppose he'll say?
HUFFINGTON: I think the president's speeches are sounding more and more delusional. You know, it's very hard to take them seriously.
You know, the last speech, when he told us that if we lose in the streets of Baghdad we will not be safe at home, I don't know how many people believe that anymore. We are losing in the streets of Baghdad every day, so we can no longer pretend that whatever the mission is there is winnable.
COSTELLO: All right. Arianna Huffington, we could go on for a long time. I know a lot of people probably disagree with you, too.
But her new become is "On Becoming Fearless."
Arianna Huffington, thanks very much for being here.
HUFFINGTON: Thank you.
COSTELLO: A short break. We'll be right back.
COSTELLO: You're going to love this story. While Congress considers opening more of the Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling, one man has a homegrown solution.
CNN's Susan Roesgen is live in Lake Charles, Louisiana. This story just makes me laugh, Susan.
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Carol.
I am on an actual oil rig in southwestern Louisiana. This is oil territory. You'll find a lot of oil rigs out here. But this rig happens to be in one man's front yard.
ROESGEN (voice-over): As front yards go, Steve Jordan's is pretty impressive, the landscaped lawn, the fountain, and about 100 yards from the front door, a 65-foot oil rig. A seismic study about three years ago showed there might be oil on the property. Back then the price per barrel was about $30, not enough to make digging up the yard worthwhile. But when the price shot past $40, Jordan figured his 60-acre estate had room for the rig. He's the head of his own oil company.
STEVE JORDAN, CEO JORDAN OIL COMPANY: I mean, this ain't my first rodeo. I mean, I've been involved in hundreds of wells.
ROESGEN: The catch is, the oil they hope to find wouldn't be under the rig -- it's half a mile away, in environmentally sensitive wet lands. So to get to it, Jordan is drilling down and under his house, under the living room, the kitchen and out under the patio.
(on camera): Then the pipe keeps going past the pool, down another 50 or 75 yards and under the Kalcachu (ph) River.
(voice-over): If they do find oil, Jordan thinks there might be enough to double his million-dollar investment, somewhere between 150,00 and 300,000 barrels of oil total, nowhere near the 30 million barrel barrels OPEC puts out.
JORDAN: A producer like me is just sort of like a fly in the ointment to them, just a very small producer, but 68 percent of the oil in America is produced by people just like me.
ROESGEN: The question is, will he found black gold under the river behind his house?
(on camera): What does your gut tell you? Do you have a gut in this business, Steve?
JORDAN: I think everywhere I'm going to drill I'm going to hit.
ROESGEN: They won't know if they've actually struck oil here, Carol, for another two weeks. They haven't run the pipe all the way out yet. But if they do find oil, it would be refined right here in this area, and it would actually wind up in gas pumps right here in southwest Louisiana.
COSTELLO: It just sounds a little crazy to me, but you know, I like the spirit of that. But the pipeline underneath the house thing would concern me.
ROESGEN: Yes, I think it's making some people nervous, but they say, look, as he says, I've been around, this ain't my first rodeo. He says he knows what he's doing. And, Carol, if they don't find oil, they are going to plug that hole, they will dismantle this oil rig and put it up somewhere else
COSTELLO: OK, I'm sure you'll keep watching for us.
Susan Roesgen, live from Louisiana this morning -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: I hope he gets a gusher there.
More evidence this morning the planet is heating up and our use of fossil fuels is to blame. NASA says the Arctic ice pack is melting in the winter at an alarming rate, 10 to 15 times faster than in recent years. And another NASA scientist is warning we may only have 10 years to do something about climate change.
Andrew Revkin of "The New York Times" has covered the issue of climate change for nearly two decades. He is the author of "The North Pole was Here: Puzzles and Perils at the Top of the World." He joins us now.
Andy, good to have you with us.
ANDREW REVKIN, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": It's good to be here.
O'BRIEN: These pieces of evidence are starting to really pile up here.
REVKIN: They are.
O'BRIEN: And let's take a look at the graphic very quickly. I want you to help people understand here. Left versus right. Left is 2004, right is 2005, both of them on the same date, December 21st. And just look at the difference here as you look in this area there. OK, that piece is missing. And as you go down in here, there's less ice in there. And that is a significant difference, particularly when you consider this is right smack dab in the middle of winter. That is -- the edges of the world are where we're going to see the leading indicators, and this is where we're getting it, right?
REVKIN: I've been up to the Arctic three times in the last three years trying to figure out this puzzle, the scientists who were out there on that sea ice, and it's really bizarre experience to be on this shifting thing. And we forget that the north pole is an ocean to begin with. But it's very dynamic up there, and there's a lot of variability naturally, and that's why it's been so hard for them to pick out what's happening that's a new thing, a new influence, like people.
O'BRIEN: This particular piece of evidence though is pretty stark, isn't it?
REVKIN: What's new is to have an idea that the winter expansion of the ice is not as big as it used to be. Because it always freezes at 30 degrees below zero, so there's lot of freezing going on, But the extent of that is less these last two years. And to have two years in a row with a winter ice pack that's less, that's shrunk significantly is what's got scientists concerned.
O'BRIEN: Now if you're the Inuit and you rely on this pack for hunting and the things that they do -- the ice is their land I've heard them say when I was up there -- you have an immediate impact. But for the rest of us, why should we be concerned?
REVKIN: Well, as you just said, the Arctic is kind of a bellwether, these edges, ecosystems that are on an edge, like the places that polar bear and the Inuit hunt on are the first place to look. The Arctic is an amplifier of warming, so if you have a little global warming, the Arctic makes it more intense up there.
O'BRIEN: And that's it's seen as kind of a fore-taste of what's going on.
Now and also yesterday, we heard from James Hanson, who is a well-noted NASA scientist on climate change, kind of got into some trouble when he released something and NASA tried to quash it. But he's speaking and saying this, "I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change. No longer than a decade at most." You've talked to a lot of scientists. Would you go along with that? Is that a reasonable estimate of where we are?
REVKIN: It's a decade to get started. If you talk to -- I've been talking to Hanson himself since 1988 about this. I go back a ways on this story. And what has to happen, as many experts say, is an aggressive push to start pushing away from our old norms, coal, or at least unfettered coal, and shifting to ways to get energy without influencing the climate system. It's going to be a huge challenge because we're heading toward nine billion people with twice as much of an energy thirst as we have now, 2050. And if you don't get started now on the research and the shifting the way we do technology, they say that's what's going to lead us, the next generation, the one I have just written this book for, into a whole new world. O'BRIEN: The U.S. is still the biggest carbon-dioxide emitter by far, and yet has not ascribed to the Kyoto Protocols, which would cap emissions, and there's been a general reluctance here to take government action. Is that essential? Does the government need to step in here?
REVKIN: I've been spending the last few weeks actually finishing up a long story on how do you get there, and it's sort of an "all of the above" thing. Most of the economists who look at the situation say you do need to price on these emissions. In other words, there has to be a cost to unfettered emissions, in order to get people to start looking for ways to stop that, but there also has to be an aggressive push for new research and development, of technologies that we haven't even thought of yet, that will be there for our children to attack the issue with later in the century.
O'BRIEN: But that's not happening, is it?
REVKIN: Well, not even in Europe or other places. Most of the world right now, according to the experts, who are really down in the trenches on this, hasn't really woken up to the way this issue works.
O'BRIEN: All right, it's time to start paying attention. Andrew Revkin, thanks for coming in. Andrew Revkin with "The New York Times,": and now with a book recently, "The North Pole Was Here." Thanks for your time.
COSTELLO: Coming up, the world's first bionic woman. Her amazing new arm has given her new hope, but it could -- but it could one day change the lives of thousands.
Plus, the Rock explains why his new movie "Gridiron Gang" was so personal for him. That's just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.
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UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I know you're nervous. So am I.
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O'BRIEN: It was just about this time yesterday that we first introduced you to Claudia Mitchell and showed you her amazing $4 million arm. She is a pioneer who could help improve the lives of thousands of amputees.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta with more.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Todd Kuiken is on a mission. DR. TODD KUIKEN, REHABILITATION INST. OF CHICAGO: What we're trying to do is improve the function of artificial limbs, to try and restore the abilities of people who have had amputations.
GUPTA: And Kuiken is on the cutting edge of that technology. At the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, he has developed a bionic arm. It's the most advanced prosthesis of its kind. Three years ago, Jesse Sullivan became the first recipient, and the world's first bionic man. Now Claudia Mitchell, a 26-year-old ex-Marine who lost her left hand and arm in a motorcycle accident is the first woman to be fitted with a bionic arm, that's powered by her own thoughts.
CLAUDIA MITCHELL, BIONIC ARM RECIPIENT: My mind says open my hand. Everything works the way it should, and my hand opens. I can open jars. I can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without my bread sliding everywhere. I can hold a big, fat deli sandwich that's piled, and piled with cold cuts. I can -- so there are a lot of daily tasks that I can do now.
GUPTA: What they did was rewire her. It's called targeted muscle reinnervation. The nerves in her shoulder that once went to her amputated arm were rerouted and connected to muscles in her chest. Then those rerouted nerves flow into the chest muscle and direct signals once sent to her amputated arm to her new robotic arm.
KUIKEN: So when she thinks close her hand, the hand nerves go to a piece of muscle and the hand closes. She thinks bend elbow, a different piece of her chest muscle contracts, and she bends her elbow.
GUPTA: The arm she's wearing here is powered by six motors, which is the most advanced model.
MITCHELL: I have an amazing range of motion with this arm, something that you don't get with -- that I don't have with my take- home arm.
GUPTA: But like her older model, it controls movement in the hand, wrist and elbow. She'll have to give this new arm back, at least for now, because Dr. Kuiken still needs it for research he hopes will help thousands.
KUIKEN: You have people continuing to return from our conflicts, our U.S. servicemen and women are suffering amputations, and we want to help them.
GUPTA: He says more advances are in the pipeline. Motorized legs with powered knees and ankles are next.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.
COSTELLO: Pretty darn amazing.
"CNN NEWSROOM" is just minutes away. Heidi Collins is at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
Good morning, Heidi.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Carol. How nice to see you.
COSTELLO: I haven't talked to you for ages.
COLLINS: I know. You want to chat? Oh, wait a minute, no, no, no. We should probably talk about the show.
We do have a really busy Friday morning in the NEWSROOM. In fact, it's a security showdown now. Republicans in a rare split with the president over the legal rights of terror suspects. The president presses his case in a news conference this morning. You can watch it live on CNN, and we will break it all down for you, make it make sense.
Meanwhile, don't toss your salad; toss your bagged spinach in the trash. A deadly E. coli outbreak hits yard. We'll try to get to the bottom of that as well.
And the pope stirring some outrage -- Muslims around the world say they have been insulted by his comments on Islam. You can join Tony Harris and me in the "NEWSROOM" at the top of the hour coming up right here on CNN.
Carol, back to you.
COSTELLO: We'll be there and throw out our bagged spinach.
COLLINS: OK, yes, please.
COSTELLO: Thanks, Heidi.
O'BRIEN: All right. Let's get to Andy Serwer now. What you got?
SERWER: Hey, Miles.
We're going to bring to you the latest on Ford's big announcement.
Plus, the secret world of hedge funds possibly revealed as one hedge fund may look to go public. We'll tell you about that, coming up next on AMERICAN MORNING.
COSTELLO: In this morning's "A.M. Pop," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tackles the role of a probation officer turned football coach in the "Gridiron Gang." It opens in theaters today. Johnson himself played Division I football, and he talked with Soledad about going back to the future for his new film.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DWAYNE JOHNSON, "THE ROCK": The inmates here have trouble responding to authority, being a member of a team and accepting criticism. Now, what one activity can improve them in all these areas?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you want to start a football team?
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Finally, The Rock has come back to where he started. In "Gridiron Gang," he returns to the football field. The movie tells the true story of an L.A. probation officer, fed up with seeing kids leave the juvenile justice system only to come right back. The solution? Teach them self-respect by teaching them football.
JOHNSON: These kids who were locked up and he said, listen, it's August now. If you trust me, come December, I'm going to turn you into good people, I'm going to turn you into good men.
S. O'BRIEN: It was just a few years ago that Dwayne Johnson's alter-ego was the most powerful name in wrestling. Before that he played ball for the University of Miami hurricanes, defensive lineman. And before that, well, don't let the pictures fool you. Johnson says the reason he got into football is the same reason he took the role in "Gridiron Gang."
JOHNSON: I was one of these kids. I was arrested multiple times by the time I was 14. I know what football -- what playing football did for me. I was out and I was running the streets. I was making all the wrong decisions. I thought I knew everything. I didn't know anything.
S. O'BRIEN: The movie was shot at the real Camp Kilpatrick in Los Angeles, which meant that Johnson got a personal look at what tough teenage felons go through.
JOHNSON: These are kids who come from a world of neglect. They don't see tomorrow. They don't see that at all. They come from a world of failure. Whereas it's a whole new world out there when you earn things.
All right. Bring it in. Everybody in. Everybody in.
S. O'BRIEN: Johnson knows something about that. He's earned the respect of skeptics since he began his acting career. He's done it through talent and humor and lots of charm.
(on camera): I truly thought we would see you as the next action hero, and you really -- you made some career -- you know, movie choices that have surprised me, in a good way. You know, you didn't do the sort of stereotypical action hero, action hero, action hero, action hero role. Why?
JOHNSON: You know what, well, I didn't want to do that.
S. O'BRIEN: Why?
JOHNSON: Well, you know what -- well I didn't want to do that.
S. O'BRIEN: It would be easy.
JOHNSON: Exactly. You said it. You hit the nail on the head. You're a smart cookie, Soledad.
O'BRIEN: Oh, more, more, more!
(voice-over): The Rock has two more films scheduled to be released over the next several months,but for now he hopes the message of this movie is universal.
JOHNSON: Now is the time to prove to yourselves and prove to everyone out there that even though you're locked up, you are somebody.
COSTELLO: But Johnson certainly hasn't forgotten his roots. He and his wife just donated $2 million to his alma mater, the University of Miami. The money will help fund construction of an alumni center.
O'BRIEN: Let's go back to space and check in on the space shuttle astronauts. Four hours now into their space walk. This is the third space walk, final space walk of the mission. And there you see Joe Tanner. He's in the midst of swapping out an S band antenna, using his power drill there. There you can see him doing the work right there. And that's -- They need a little work on that, so they're doing that. And that's going well.
Check out the radiators which they deployed, 44 feet in length. You know, the 200 feet of solar array, you got a lot of heat there. What are you going to do with it? You need a radiator. So they run ammonia through those things, and the heat goes out and that way it keeps the astronauts inside the space station comfy. Take a look at some pretty shots there as you see them working. It's a -- you know, what a place to work, you know?
They're traveling over the South Pacific now at about 17,500 miles an hour. It's one of the better hard hat jobs in the world. Oh, actually, not in the world, is it? It's out of the world.
ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" COLUMNIST: In this galaxy.
O'BRIEN: In this galaxy. We'll take that.
Coming up at the top of the hour, a big meeting in Cuba. President Bush, not there, of course. But a sign of the times. His face is all over Havana.
We'll take you also out to the brawl game. Chaos rules the field. See it down there? There it is.
SERWER: And the football game broke out.
O'BRIEN: Yes, there you go.
More AMERICAN MORNING after this.
O'BRIEN: I am so upset the week is over. I'd like to do another day. How about you?
COSTELLO: You want to come in tomorrow?
O'BRIEN: Yes, yes, because it's -- there's nothing more fun.
O'BRIEN: Yes, it's Friday and we're glad it is. And we're glad you were with us all week. We'll see you on Monday.
"CNN NEWSROOM" with Tony Harris and Heidi Collins begins right now.
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