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President Bush Sealing a Nuclear Deal; Body of Missing Climber Identified on Mount Hood
Aired December 18, 2006 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Here's what's on the rundown. The body of a missing climber identified on Mt. Hood. Today, the urgent search for his two friends. We talk live with some elite mountain searchers.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush is sealing a nuclear deal with India, just moments ago. We looked at this dramatic shift in U.S. policy with diplomat Nicholas Burns.
COLLINS: And you shop till you drop now, our Ali Velshi says it's all about the holiday shipping. He's live from FedEx in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: But first, straight to Betty in the NEWSROOM, she is following a developing story. A school evacuation in Brookline, Massachusetts. Betty what do we have for us?
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Not so good. About 663 students go to the Brookline Massachusetts elementary school, actually it's called The Edith Baker School which is Brookline's largest elementary school. You see in this video, well, you did just moments ago, you can see a little bit at the bottom left-hand of your screen, students out there on the field next to the school. They've been evacuated. A lot of the students fell ill, many of them fell ill this morning. They don't know why. That's the problem. They don't know if it's because of the air condition system or the heating system, which is underway right now. If that is what led to these children feeling nauseous and ill, but here's the good news. Even though you see an ambulance there, no students as of yet have been transported to a hospital.
Again, though, there are 663 students according to the town's website that attend The Edith Baker School from kindergarten to eighth grade. We'll let you know though that the school was renovated six years ago, two new wings added. Although there's quite a bit of time between then and now. Not really sure if that has anything to do with it, it sounds pretty doubtful at this point. What investigates are looking at right now are air tests to determine if the heating system may have malfunctioned this morning, leading those students to feel light-headed. Again, you're looking at pictures live from Brookline, Massachusetts, where Brookline's largest elementary school has been evacuated. Students there are on the field next to the school. We'll keep on top of this for you Tony to see if any are transported to the hospital. And on top of that, find out exactly what's causing them to be ill?
HARRIS: We appreciate it. Thank you, Betty. NGUYEN: Sure.
COLLINS: Holding out hope after a tragic find. An urgent search resuming this morning for two mountain climbers now. They've stranded on Oregon's Mt. Hood for more than a week. A third climber found dead. His identity revealed this morning. Our Chris Lawrence is tracking the developments in Hood River, Oregon. Chris, its 48 year old Kelly James.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's right Heidi. Numerous reports are now identifying the one climber as Kelly James, the oldest of the three climbers. Now, rescue crews had known for a week now that he was hunkered down near the summit on the north side of the mountain. But because of the weather, the winds and the cold, they weren't able to get up to that area until just this weekend.
LAWRENCE (voice-over): An all-out assault on Mt. Hood continues this morning, but the mission to find three missing climbers is now a search for two.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From 17, we've found one climber in a snow cave. One climber in a snow cave.
LAWRENCE: Numerous reports now identified that climber as Kelly James.
CAPT. MIKE BRAIBISH, OREGON NATIONAL GUARD: Our hearts are going out to the families right now.
LAWRENCE: Still a mystery is what happened at the other snow cave, where rescuers discovered a rope and sleeping bag but no climbers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trying to figure out how there could be two ice axes there without two people.
LAWRENCE: There were two sets of footprints and a "Y" shaped symbol to mark their location.
STAFF SGT. NICK PRZYBCEL, USAF/FOUND CLIMBERS' EQUIPMENT: It's a "Y" of hope, it gives us something to go on. It's something to keep us going.
LAWRENCE: Nearly 60 rescue climbers trudged through swirling snow and freezing cold. The cost of the attempted rescue climbed as two black hawks, a Chinook and a C-130 circled the summit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of the debts cannot be repaid but everything's appreciated that can't be repaid.
LAWRENCE: As the bad weather broke for the first time in a week, the mothers of the three men made a plea to Mother Nature.
MARIA KIM, MOTHER OF JERRY "NIKKO" WILLIAMS: I want the mountain to release our sons. And mountain has no right to keep our sons.
LAWRENCE: Mt. Hood has claimed at least one climber but search teams aren't losing hope of saving the other two.
(END OF VIDEOTAPE)
LAWRENCE: We're expecting another clear day with relatively low winds, which means the rescue teams will have a good opportunity to narrow their search on the Mountain now that the son is coming up. Tony?
COLLINS: Chris, can you actually provide a little bit more detail if possible on what that contingency plan will be, given that the weather is good for search and rescue crews?
LAWRENCE: Yeah, again, they'll be concentrating somewhat in that area where they found some of those snow caves yesterday, Heidi. Again, you had -- they found footprints, one set leading down in sort of an aimless circle, the other set leading up to the summit. So they're going to be looking in that area and trying to follow a natural trail. A lot of these rescue climbers they know the paths that the climbers would take going up or going down the hill. And they'll be concentrating on some of those tracks to narrow the search somewhat.
COLLINS: Amazing that the tracks are even still visible after all of the wind and the weather that we've been dealing with over the last week. Chris Lawrence, thank you so much live from Oregon this morning. We want to remind everybody to stay in the NEWSROOM FOR THE VERY LATEST developments in this drama. A news conference scheduled for noon eastern today. We will carry that for you LIVE, live right here.
HARRIS: The specter of Jack the Ripper, a horror as fresh as the morning headlines, British police make an arrest in the murders of five prostitutes. They say the suspected serial killer is 37 years old and lived near the town of Ipswich, that's where the victims' bodies were dumped. CNN's Alphonso Van Marsh joins us now from Ipswich. And Alphonso, what else do we know about this 37-year-old suspect?
ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are getting some details, again, it's what the community here has been waiting for, details in the local press that a man has been held. Suffolk County Police confirming about 9 hours ago as you mentioned that they arrested a 37-year-old man on suspicion of the murders of the five Ipswich area women. All of them as you mentioned suspected prostitutes. Now it's important to mention that the police are not confirming the name of this man, but the local press here has identified him as Tom Stevens, a 37-year-old person who was working as a grocery store clerk who even had his own profile at myspace.com. Now we understand from Testco, that's one of the national grocery store chains, they put out a statement today confirming that the man was employed at their stores but that they had no additional comment saying that it was a personal matter or a matter between authorities and this individual. What I can tell you about is what's going on behind me. You'll see there are police officers going through a brown brick home. That is where the suspect is believed to have lived. They've got forensic teams in white jump suits looking at some of the evidence, trying to get those details, trying to confirm what police apparently suspect that this 37-year-old may be responsible for the murders of those five women. What also is interesting here is that the suspect has been talking to the police prior to his arrest, even talking to the local media, including the national broadcaster, the BBC, which sat down with him and he talked about how he actually knew some of the murdered women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM STEPHENS, SPEAKING ON BBC RADIO: Actually I wanted sex besides paying for it. But I know that I also -- I wanted to chat with the girl before and after, which is partly why I was always happy to give them a lift. They'd quite often want a lift to get their drugs and I'd give them a lift and it was better for me like that and that's how it developed into a friendship with a number of the girls.
I've known Jemma for well over a year, about 18 months, which is kind of about as long I've known any of the girls. Tanya I've only known for about six months. But in the end I did actually get to know Tanya better than I knew Jemma. I don't know Emily at all. I've only ever spoken to her since both Tanya and Jemma went missing, partly to say if you know anything please talk to police. And if you want talk to police, please talk to me and I'll talk to police. And also trying to say, are you ok, and trying, I don't know what I was trying to say. Pretty much all of the girls who I didn't know before I've tried to speak to since in that way.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
VAN MARSH: Now he's referring to those five missing women, those five women whose bodies turned up within a 10-mile radius of Ipswich. Now where we are is friendly, it's a small village southeast of Ipswich. People here are very, very much in shock over what's happened, very much in shock over this huge media presence. International media here now, photographers, television folks, satellite trucks, all up and down this very small neighborhood, this very small street. I talked to one woman who lived in this community, she's been here about 10 years. Says that she was a little bit surprised that all of this is happening in such a small area. She says that a lot of people living in this community are renters, they're a kind of transient, temporary folks. She says she doesn't even know many of her neighbors but that she's taken aback that something like this could happen right here.
HARRIS: All right. Alphonso Van Marsh for us from the town of Ipswich. Alphonso we appreciate that. Thank you.
COLLINS: We want to quickly get you back now to Hood River, Oregon and CNN's Chris Lawrence who is standing by. Chris I understand that you had the opportunity to talk with one of the searchers that was up on Mt. Hood. LAWRENCE: Yeah Heidi, he's right here with me. It's Joshua Johnston, he's with the 304th Para Rescue team. Tell me a little bit about what you and your team actually did yesterday. You were in the snow cave.
JOSH JOHNSTON, RESCUER, ARMY 304TH MTN. DIV.: S yesterday we loaded up on the CH-47 and hoisted to the summit of Mt. Hood and it was actually a combined team of Para rescue men, crag rats and PMR personnel, combined with the army, unit 47. And we went up to the summit of Mt. Hood, inserted via the hoist and then from there, set up teams to send lines down and descend and start search patterns kind of off the summit and we had a good idea from the day prior where we're going to be searching.
LAWRENCE: Just what were some of the challenges and actually getting down into the snow cave and actually getting a good look at what the situation was there?
JOHNSTON: Well, we identified the original snow cave and some gear earlier and some tracks around that snow cave. And then PMR personnel and some Craig rats identified some tracks coming down towards the other side of the mountain. And so I went down and all I did I went down rope and I was going to connect between the original snow cave and the tracks, and just kind of do some search patterns in between those two areas. And there was a rocket outcropping between that area. And I just was kind of tapping on the rocks with my ice ax and got lucky and swung into some thin skiff of snow and swung into a snow cave. And he was pretty well isolated in that cave.
LAWRENCE: Would you say fairly protected from the elements? I mean, if you were down in there, would you say even wit the extreme weather that we were getting last week that you would have been somewhat protected?
JOHNSTON: Yes. With proper gear and the proper equipment that you would be protected in that snow cave.
LAWRENCE: Now, as you go forward and you try to find the other two missing hikers, do you pinpoint trails, commonly used trails that are used to ascend and descend the mountain that most climbers would use?
JOHNSTON: Of course. And we have an expert PMR, Craig (INAUDIBLE) and 304th personnel, rescue men that have been on this mountain quite a bit, know quite a bit of the trails. You're going to look at their path, where you think they'd go, where they may hole up, you know kind of try to put yourself in their situation. We're going to search from there after we get the climber today.
LAWRENCE: Wish you luck today.
LAWRENCE: Joshua Johnston, with the 304th Para rescue team, the team that was in the snow cave yesterday and that will continue to search for the two climbers that they still hope to find alive. Heidi?
COLLINS: Boy, we have heard so much, Chris, about how tough it is and how hard those searchers have been looking. So we appreciate their story as well. Chris Lawrence, live from Hood River, Oregon. We want to remind everybody as well, in about 50 minutes or so we will be having a live news conference coming from the same area where Chris Lawrence is. Updating the situation with the missing climbers, we will bring that to you live when it happens, once again, at noon.
HARRIS: And still to come, hope for heavy drinkers. Quit now and your brain will thank you. Answers ahead in today's "Daily Dose." And a knock down, drag out between the Knicks of New York and the Nuggets of Denver. Punches thrown like, oh, free throws! But today the NBA hits back with its own punishment. It will be severe, you can count on that. That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Captain Kirk had the starship enterprise, now NASA unveils a business enterprise. Until they log back on Thursday, pioneering a new frontier and what it means to you. Details ahead in the NEWSROOM.
ALI VELSHI: I'm Ali Velshi in Memphis, Tennessee at FedEx's biggest sorting facility. This is their biggest day of the year. But if you have ever wonder what's actually involved in sending a package and getting it delivered on time on the other end, well I'll tell you about that next in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: Researchers say the brain can actually repair some of the damage caused by drinking alcohol. Doctors have long known excessive drinking damages brain cells according to Reuters. Researchers say brain volume rebounds, well, a tiny bit when a person quits drinking. The study's authors warn though drinkers should actually put down the bottle as soon as possible. They say the longer people drink in excess, the less likely their brains will be able to regenerate.
COLLINS: Sticking to a low-fat diet can help avoid a reoccurrence of breast cancer. If that cancer was not caused by hormones. According to the journal of the National Cancer Institute, eating a healthier diet can cut the risk of dying by up to 66 percent. But the diet had little impact on patients' whose cancer was caused by hormones. And that's the vast majority of breast cancer patients.
Get your health news any time online, find the latest log onto our website, you will find the latest medical news, a health library and information on diet and fitness. That address is cnn.com/health.
HARRIS: Tragedy on the mountain hope mixes with fear for two climbers still missing on Oregon's Mt. Hood. Search teams are moving out again this morning, they'll also retrieve the body of a third climber. His body was found inside a snow cave yesterday. Reports quoting family members identified the deceased climber as Kelly James. James along with Brian Hall and Jerry Cooke has been on the mountain for more than a week. Searchers remain optimistic they'll find the others alive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. MIKE BRAIBISH, OREGON NATIONAL GUARD: The Mountain is still giving us clues. Whether we see a series of footprints over a stretch of a number of feet or a number of meters, they're in the snow. The equipment that we're finding, you know, we've continued to put all of these pieces of information together with what we've collected over the past several days. That helps us to narrow and focus our search. And that gives us cause for optimism still.
HARRIS: Well, a news conference is scheduled for noon eastern. That is noon eastern today and, of course, CNN will carry it live for you.
They risk their lives, and battle the elements to save the lives of strangers and they're there on the front lines in the search for those missing climbers on Mt. Hood. With us now is a member of a search team Brian Hukari. Brian, great to talk to you. Thanks for your time. We appreciate it.
Can you hear me ok, ok great. Brian, let me -- we mentioned just a moment ago that the people who were organizing this search and you're involved in that as well, are still optimistic that you'll find the other two missing climbers alive. What is the basis? Give me the basis for that optimism.
BRIAN HUKARI, HOOD RIVVER CRAG RAT: Well, it's obvious to me anyway that all three climbers topped out. We found one of them yesterday. No sign of the others at that elevation. So, the hard part was over. It's not over until you get down. But we're fairly confident that they got to lower elevations and unfortunately when you get lower like that on a mountain you just loose your -- the search widens broadly. There are multiple drainages and there are just lots of area to cover.
HARRIS: So you have more area to cover now than -- you're working down from the peak. So there is actually more area that's still is yet to be searched?
HUKARI: Well, it's -- it's narrowed in some ways because we found on the east side of the mountain, we found the last snow cave that was occupied. So, you know, it could be the east side, possibly still the south side. But kind of the north side digital route now..
HARRIS: So essentially one side of the mountain has been ruled out.
HARRIS: Ok. Brian, I know this is difficult for you. Just a couple more questions, then I'll let you go. You actually found or part of a team that found the first snow cave, correct?
HUKARI: Well, earlier we -- ch-47 flew in and we had lots of eyes on the mountain and we saw the anchor. A lot of people saw that anchor and saw a little hole below it. We're pretty confident that that was -- there was something there. And then the 304 PJ's and the three members of PMR and a couple crag rats went down there, and we all -- they lowered me down first to check it out. It's what we thought it was.
HARRIS: Brian, what did you find? Tell us again what you found in that first snow cave.
HUKARI: There's an anchor above the cave, with one (INAUDIBLE) on it, rope is piled below it, (INAUDIBLE) to the (INAUDIBLE). A sleeping pad, a foam insulate sleeping pad that had been cut in half, two ice tools and one glove, one wool glove.
HARRIS: Brian, what I'm trying to get at here is a real sense of the expectations today, given what you found and you know that the men were going up this mountain, trying to do it light, trying to do it fast and get up and get back down. Based on what you found do you believe that the men who are still missing have enough equipment, had enough equipment to have weathered these conditions, particularly the conditions of a week ago?
HUKARI: You know, it's getting tougher and tougher, but the lower you get on the mountain, the less exposed it is. You know, it's still -- you are still dealing with the elements but it's generally warmer, generally less windy. There are more areas to find to protect yourself.
HARRIS: And if the men were doing -- were doing better than sort of hanging on by a thread, do you believe they would have found a way to indicate their location to you based on all of the activity that was on the mountain yesterday.
HUKARI: Yes. That's the hard part. I mean they've been out for a long time now. I mean they're obviously, if they're alive, they're really weak. They don't have communications and they're down in the trees somewhere, even if they -- sometimes even if you have communications down in those canyons, they're not going to get out.
HARRIS: All right.
HUKARI: As far as the next two guys, the ground searches -- I think, the flight crews got good visibility for searching yesterday. I think now it's up to the ground teams to climb the lower ones.
HARRIS: Ok. Brian, we appreciate it, Brian Hukari. Thanks for your time this morning, I know it's a difficult process for you and I know you're back at it again today. Thanks for your time, Brian.
HUKARI: You're welcome.
COLLINS: A nuclear pact between the United States and India. So what's the deal? We'll hear from undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, ahead in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: A knock down, drag out between the Knicks and Nuggets, punches thrown like free throws. The NBA hits back at take it to the fan, take it to the front row. The NBA will render its decision with punishments to come. That is ahead in the NEWSROOM for sure.
COLLINS: The holiday season yielding to the shipping news now. Ali Velshi is in Memphis with that. Ali?
VELSHI: Heidi, I am in an empty air cargo container. Just a few hours ago this was filled with packages. Now all you have to do is go out on a street pretty much anywhere in America and you'll see those packages being delivered. It's FedEx's busiest day of the year. And I'll tell you how they get those packages to you in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Got your string, your tape, wrapping paper? The big holiday package rush is on. Federal Express expects to have the busiest day of the year today. CNN's Ali Velshi is at FedEx headquarters in Memphis now. Ali, amazing how many boxes these guys move.
This place is mostly empty shipping containers, these are air cargo containers where all the stuff came into this place. It is sorted out, except for this and gone. There must have been 60 trucks here. They are out on the streets delivering things right now. But it is quite a fantastic process that things go through from the time you ship it until the time it gets somewhere. And we wanted to take a look at that process. Here's what we found.
VELSHI (voice-over): How complicated can it be to get a package from New York to Houston? Not complicated for me, I sent two identical envelopes to New York to the same address in Houston. I shipped one using FedEx, the other UPS. And asked that they both be delivered the next day by 10:30 a.m. Both packages arrived ahead of schedule and within a few minutes of each other. The UPS package went from New York to a UPS hub in Rockford, IL and then to Houston. The FedEx package went to that company's Newark, New Jersey hub, then to its biggest hub, Memphis and then to Houston. Paul Tronsor probably had something to do with that. Paul runs FedEx's global operations control center in Memphis with military efficiency.
PAUL TRONSOR, FEDEX: We have 670 aircraft that operate in the FedEx fleet and we're responsible for the tactical daily operations of those aircraft all over the world.
VELSHI: FedEx has a fleet second only in size to American Airlines. But unlike the airlines, if your package arrives late you get a refund. That nearly happened to customers in Lafayette, Louisiana recently. But Paul and his team had another plan.
TRONSOR: Nobody could get in that particular airport and so we go to an alternate site, an alternate airport in Baton Rouge and we truck the freight back over to Lafayette and make sure our customers are satisfied. VELSHI: But being able to divert shipments means having extra trucks, five extra aircraft that fly around the country empty just in case and a team of experienced meteorologists. Harry Wolford is one of them. He says keeping the FedEx planes flying is part science, part art, and a little bit of intuition.
HARRY WOLFORD, FEDEX METEOROLOGIST: Aviation forecasting is a lot different than mostly cloudy and a chance of rain. At some point, at times you do rely on, oh, I saw that before, so this is what's going to happen.
VELSHI: Now, Heidi, FedEx expects to move as you say about 10 million packages today. Wednesday is UPS's peak day. They're going to move more than 20 million packages. DHL on Wednesday as well. Today is the biggest mailing day for the Postal Service. Wednesday will be its biggest delivery day.
And all of the express services say that you've got until Friday to ship something in time to get to your recipient by Christmas.
Now, the reason it looks this quiet around here, as it does, is because the morning rush is done. It will happen again tonight. As all those planes come into Memphis, they unload onto trucks, they come here. We'll see another buzz probably around 7:00 this evening -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Well, Ali, just because you have a down time, climb in there and see if you can see packages that say "Collins, H."
VELSHI: Tell me what you want, size, colors, flavors, it's all in there.
COLLINS: Love it.
All right, Ali, thank you.
VELSHI: The flavors was for Tony's benefit.
COLLINS: Thanks, Ali.
VELSHI: See you.
HARRIS: The United States reaching out to India in a nuclear deal. A short time ago, President Bush signed a peaceful atomic cooperation pact with New Delhi. It covers India's civilian nuclear activities, not its weapons program. But at the same time, the Bush administration is keeping up the pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program.
With us now from Washington, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns.
Ambassador Burns, great to talk to you.
NICHOLAS BURNS, UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Good morning.
HARRIS: Put this -- I'm going to ask this question a couple of ways, actually. Put this bill in context and the context of U.S. efforts to curb nuclear proliferation around the globe.
BURNS: Well, I think the lesson here is India is a country that's played by the rules. It hasn't proliferated its nuclear technology. It's been a good steward of its civil nuclear power. And so we want to reward it. We want India to be part of the mainstream. We want American companies to be able to sell nuclear fuel and to build nuclear power plants in India. That'll help with global climate change. It'll help reduce carbon emissions in India. So there'll all sorts of benefits for us.
And I think the other message is that countries like Iran and North Korea, who are cheating on their nuclear commitments, those are the countries we've got to be worried about.
HARRIS: This is an act -- this is legislation that, in fact, reverses 30 years of U.S. policy.
BURNS: Yes, it does.
HARRIS: That policy opposed any nuclear cooperation with India because it developed nuclear weapons outside of international standards. So how should we -- and was not a signatory to the Non- Proliferation Treaty. So how should we feel about this new deal?
BURNS: Well, you know, the policy didn't achieve any of its expectations over the last 30 years; it didn't work. And so we had to decide -- two years ago we sat down to think about this -- whether for the next 30 years we should just isolate India -- a good friend of ours; by the way, a democratic country -- and keep it on the outside of the international treaty system or bring it into that treaty system and have the International Atomic Energy (sic) able to have a look into India's nuclear industry and to make sure the safeguards were in place.
BURNS: So there are political benefits for us, there are energy benefits and there are environmental benefits, compared to a policy that hadn't worked for the past 30 years.
Frankly, it was an easy decision by President Bush. It took us a year and a half to negotiate this treaty. It's a major step forward for the United States, in our judgment.
HARRIS: Was there any benefit to leveraging this agreement with a signature to the NPT?
BURNS: Well, see, India is not allowed to join the NPT, because India's a nuclear weapons state as well. So it cannot join the treaty. In that sense, India was an anomaly.
And, you know, we had to look at the largest country in the world by population -- in a few years, India will overtake China; the greatest democracy, the largest democracy in the world; and a good friend of the United States. It wasn't hard to figure out that we should want India on our side working with us.
And this prohibition on American companies trading with India really had not worked at all over 30 years. It was time to change that, too.
HARRIS: Well, Ambassador Burns, is Saudi Arabia next for a deal like this? As you know, Saudi Arabia wants to pursue a civilian nuclear program.
BURNS: Well, countries that want to pursue -- lots of countries around the world pursue civil nuclear power -- nuclear power plant construction. There's no prohibition on that. And if countries want to do that and live by the rules of the international regime, then there's no problem with it.
It's just when countries like Iran, for instance, which is cheating on its nuclear obligations, or North Korea, which has developed nuclear weapons in defiance of the international community -- those countries are the ones that now need to be walled off. And our priority attention is to deny Iran nuclear weapons and try to get North Korea -- try to convince them to give up their nuclear weapons.
HARRIS: Tell us why this bill -- let me take another bite at it. Tell us why this bill does not, as some critics suggest, undermine -- just absolutely undermine efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. BURNS: Because it brings the largest country in the world into the international system, where it's now going to be regulated. And so India, which has never proliferated its nuclear material -- India will now be watched, just as we are watched and all other countries are.
That's why it's so important and that's why it's such a tremendous gain. And Mohamed ElBaradei, who directs the IAEA -- he's not an America, he's independent, he's an objective observer, and he says this is going to strengthen his effort.
HARRIS: So Iran is a signatory to the NPT and it says it wants to pursue a civilian nuclear program, and it is faced with sanctions. And here you have -- it looks like a double standard; you know what I'm driving at here.
BURNS: But it's not a double standard, Tony...
BURNS: ... at all, because Iran -- here's the anomalous situation that we have.
HARRIS: All right.
BURNS: India has been on the outside looking in trying to get in to make sure it could comply with international law. We're letting it now. Iran has been on the inside cheating.
And so what we've got to do is we've got to convince the Iranians not to develop a nuclear weapons capability. BURNS: And there'll be sanctions passed against Iran in the next several days of the United Nations.
But we've got to reward India for not proliferating, for playing by the rules and for adhering, in a de facto way, to the system that was developed over the last 30 years.
So I think you've got to treat these companies very differently.
HARRIS: And here I am trying to be tough on you. And the fact of the matter is is that the legislation passed with bipartisan support.
BURNS: Democratic and Republican support, by a very large margin in the Senate and House. We're pleased about that.
HARRIS: Ambassador Burns, thanks for your time this morning.
BURNS: Thank you very much.
COLLINS: Robert Gates has a big challenge ahead of him. Gates' swearing-in ceremony as defense secretary taking place in private at the White House today. This is Gates arriving at the White House about 8:30 this morning. A public ceremony being held early this afternoon at the Pentagon. Gates' No. 1 priority, of course, Iraq. Before being picked to replace Rumsfeld, he was a member of the Iraq Study Group. That bipartisan panel in issuing a report earlier this month, calling the situation in Iraq, quoting, "grave and deteriorating."
So what is next for Iraq? President Bush not yet ready to reveal his new strategy. But an idea now from Iraq's government -- more troops.
CNN's Kathleen Koch with the story.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The latest call for more U.S. troops in Iraq comes from the country's Sunni vice president.
TARIQ AL-HASHIMI, IRAQI VICE PRESIDENT: You could see clearly, in fact, the increasing influence of the militia in Baghdad, which make things rather, very, very difficult to the innocent people. So what I need here, definitely, in fact, I need more troops, in fact, to be in Baghdad.
KOCH: A senior administration official confirms President Bush is considering the option of a temporarily troop increase. The top Senate Democrat said he'd support that under one condition.
SEN. HARRY REID, INCOMING MAJORITY LEADER: If there were some plan to send in more troops for a very, very short period of time in an effort to get us out of there by the beginning of 2008 as the Iraq Study Group suggested, then I would go along with it. But 30,000, 40,000 more troops there is not going to help.
KOCH: President Bush's former secretary of state is skeptical.
COLIN POWELL, FMR. SECY. OF STATE: You've got to do a very serious analysis of what mission it is that they're being sent to accomplish. And is it something you can do? If the mission is, go secure Baghdad, you can't do that. And no amount of American force structure will be able to do that.
KOCH: Two senators visiting Baghdad looking for ways to end the violence are heading to Damascus. Senator Chris Dodd says that beforehand he asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for a list of specific questions she wanted raised with Syria, though he wouldn't elaborate. Publicly, the Bush administration has rejected calls to bring Syria and Iran into discussions on Iraq.
As the president decides whether to send more U.S. troops to Iraq, Monday he swears in the man who would be responsible for making that happen, new Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
(on camera): President Bush says he's delayed announcing his strategy in Iraq, in part to give Gates time to evaluate the situation, and give the president, quote, "serious and deliberate advice."
Kathleen Koch, CNN, the White House.
COLLINS: Gay evangelicals -- they should be welcome or shunned by their churches? The issue, straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Want to quickly get you back to a developing story in Massachusetts. Betty Nguyen with a school evacuation that's happening there -- Betty.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, the evacuation underway. Students out on the lawn, outside the school to the field next door as well. The 663 students at this elementary school. Some of them being treated by local paramedics. Here are some live pictures.
But as far as we know, no one has been transported to the hospital. It was thought a little bit earlier, you see the students standing there in the little yard next to the school. Here's what happened. Students were light-headed as they were in the classroom today, just feeling kind of dizzy. Didn't really know what was causing them to get sick.
Now, a lot of people suspected that here at the Edith Baker School that it might have been the heating system. Well, we have learned that it is indeed is a faulting heating system that caused the students to get sick. They have been since evacuated. No word on when or if they'll be allowed back into the school. But again, Heidi, this is the largest elementary school in Brookline, Massachusetts. Some 663 students according to the town's website. And they range from kindergarten to eighth grade.
So, obviously the teachers have a lot on their hands as they're trying to corral all these students out there and get the sick ones the attention that they need. But not a huge matter except for the fact they need to fix the heating system before they get other students sick with this. So, we'll keep you posted on that.
COLLINS: Yes, hopefully with the winter break coming up, they'll have some time to go ahead and do that.
NGUYEN: Then you get done quickly.
COLLINS: Yes, Betty Nguyen, thanks.
HARRIS: Gay and Christian, are the two incompatible? The issue causing strife in churches across America. Several prominent parishes in Virginia voting to leave the Episcopal Church. The split followed the election of a gay Bishop three years ago.
The evangelical movement also torn by homosexuality. A growing call now for conservative Christians to accept gays and lesbians who grew up in the movement. Here now, CNN's Sean Callebs.
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Young, studious, deeply religious. Justin Lee could be a posterboy for the evangelical movement, except for one factor -- he's gay.
JUSTIN LEE, FOUNDER, GAY CHRISTIAN NETWORK: I kept thinking, well, you know, it's going to go away. You know, I've just got to keep focusing on God, and study my scriptures and keep praying, and eventually it's going to change. I'm just going to just grow out of it. God's going to change my feelings.
CALLEBS: But God didn't. Lee went through years of torment and depression before making peace with himself and deciding there is a place in church for gay evangelicals.
He started the Gay Christian Network, which now has more than 5,000 members.
LEE: We're just trying to get people together who experience attraction to the same sex, however they've handled that, and who love Jesus and say, OK, you're welcome here, and then let's pray together and figure out where God wants us to take it.
CALLEBS: Lee's sexual orientation puts him squarely at odds with conservative evangelicals, who say there is no room for compromise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Bible is crystal clear -- homosexuality is a sin, and anybody who lives that kind of lifestyle will not enter the kingdom of God. CALLEBS: Since evangelical minister Ted Haggard announced he was guilty of sexual immorality, and leading Denver evangelical Pastor Paul Barnes resigned after telling his congregation he was gay, conservatives have been forced to talk about the issue.
TONY CAMPOLO, "LETTERS TO A YOUNG EVANGELICAL: I would say there's a significant portion of the evangelical community that, for lack of a better word, is homophobic, that is nasty and mean.
CALLEBS: Tony Campolo, author and prominent evangelical minister, and his wife, Peggy, encourage the faithful to support gay rights, but even they have sharp differences. He believes gay sex is a sin.
CAMPOLO: I can't tell you how many times people have said, I love your attitude, you've got tears in your eyes when you speak to me, you have compassion in your heart, but you're breaking my heart when you tell me that I am called to celibacy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't see anything in the bible that supports what Tony says, and I feel that marriage is very important to intimacy and being fulfilled as a person for a lot of people.
CALLEBS: People like Justin Lee.
LEE: What it boils down to is a lot of people, as soon as they hear gay Christian, they have a whole bunch of assumptions about what we believe, what we're trying to accomplish. I wish that people would come and listen to what we have to say before they just jump to a conclusion.
Sean Callebs, Raleigh, North Carolina.
COLLINS: And a quick reminder now, back to Mt. Hood, Oregon. We have a news conference coming up in just a few minutes. 12:00 noon, it's scheduled for the latest on the two remaining missing climbers. The body of Kelly James being taken down from the mountain now, found in a snow cave overnight. Get that to you, just as soon as it happens.
COLLINS: "YOUR WORLD TODAY" coming up in just a few minutes. And Colleen McEdwards is there to tell us all about the show. Hi Colleen.
COLLEEN MCEDWARDS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there Heidi. Hi Tony. How you guys doing? We're going to be talking about a lot of things, one of them, the right to die issue in Italy.
A paralyzed man actually wants to be taken off a respirator. He said that, but we'll tell you what the law and the Italian public has to say about it. We're also going to interview one of the members of that U.S. delegation that went to Cuba. We're going to try to find out what the real scoop is on Fidel Castro's health and talk about the possible chance for normal relations between Cuba and the United States.
And if you are one of those people sending holiday packages out this week in a big hurry, you're not alone. We'll give you a look at what you're up against if you're a last-minute type of person. And here's a hint, you guys -- the sender definitely has easy part of this one. We'll give you a good look at what it takes to get a package there on time.
HARRIS: Colleen, appreciate it. Thank you.
COLLINS: Talk to you later.
Coming up, new developments from Mt. Hood, Oregon. That's ahead in the NEWSROOM. stay with us.
COLLINS: That news conference coming your way in just a few minutes, but first, Kyra Phillips joining us now to talk about ...
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi guys.
PHILLIPS: Of course we are going to be watching that press conference out of Mt. Hood, Oregon today at noon Eastern and we're live at the base of the mountain to follow all the latest developments as rescuers search for two more missing climbers.
Meanwhile, we're all asking why. Why would anyone attempt this kind of climb at this time of the year? And we want more than the classic Edmund Hillary answer -- because it's there. We're talking live with the first American to summit Mt. Everest -- that was back in 1963. We're going to ask Jim Whittaker about the addictive lure of the dangerous sport.
And it's back into the space suits. An unplanned fourth spacewalk takes place during our watch today.
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