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The Big Chill; A Storm's Fury; Spending Your Money; Survivors' Stories; Bird Flu Outbreak; Minding Your Business

Aired February 5, 2007 - 06:00   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Bitter chill. Snow, arctic air and dangerous winds whipping across the country. Brace yourself for temperatures well below zero.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: How did it happen? Scientists build their case to explain those deadly tornadoes that slammed central Florida.

M. O'BRIEN: And Peyton's place. Manning spurs the Colts to a Super Bowl win. History made on the sidelines on this AMERICAN MORNING.

S. O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome, everybody. It's Monday, February 5th. I'm Soledad O'Brien.

M. O'BRIEN: I'm Miles O'Brien. Thanks for being with us.

S. O'BRIEN: We'll talk about the Super Bowl in a moment. First, though, it's super cold. We begin with the dangerously bitter cold wind chill warnings in effect right now across the Midwest into and Northeast. In Chicago it is minus six degrees, minus 27 when you look at the wind chill. New York, 10 degrees, minus seven with wind.

Firefighters in Minneapolis are battling both fires and, of course, the frigid temperatures, too. Sixteen degrees below zero in the twin cities. The wind chill is 30 below.

And take a look, if you can, at the whiteout conditions in upstate New York. Yes, those are whiteout conditions. That's not just white, that's whiteout conditions. Lake effect, in fact, outside of Buffalo, bringing feet of snow in some places. Let's get right to CNN's meteorologist Rob Marciano with a look at the chill warnings. He's in Lady Lake, Florida. Of course, he's been covering the devastation of the tornadoes.

Let's start, though, with the severe cold, Rob. Good morning.


This is more than just an inconvenience cold. It's a kind of cold there if you're outside for any length of time and you're not dressed properly, it's downright dangerous and it's settling into much of the eastern Northeast third of the country, from the Midwest all the way towards the East Coast.

Let's go over some of the numbers. You mentioned that wind chills are below zero in many spots, including places like New York and Boston. Six, seven degrees below zero is what it feels like to exposed skin. So do be careful as you head out the door.

But the bitter cold gets even worse as it typical this time of year with this sort of arctic outbreak into the Midwest. The western Great Lakes. Chicago, Minneapolis, the typical ice box areas of the country. Minus 27 in Chicago is the wind chill. In Minneapolis/St. Paul, minus 29. And Detroit minus 21.

And that cold air goes all the way down into the central part of the country. The central to mid Mississippi River Valley. St. Louis also reporting wind chills that are below zero. And the cold stretches all the way down to the Gulf Coast.

So everybody getting a piece of this. It's just going to take a matter of time for the temperatures to moderate. The sun, which is pretty weak this time of year, to really start to warm things up. So it will be with us pretty much all week long.

Here in Florida, where they're still struggling to recoup from the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the area early Friday morning, 1,500 homes destroyed or damaged. So a lot of rubble to sift through, no doubt. There is rain in the area. The radar in showing rain from Orlando to Gainesville, back through Tampa, to right here in Lake County, Florida. So that is going to be hampering rescue or at least recovery efforts throughout the day today.

They had warning, although it was only 10 to 15 minutes warning for a tornado. That's pretty good early Friday morning. The big problem was that most everybody was asleep. But for researcher who study these storms and work with engineers to build stronger, safer homes, the investigation after the storm is even more important.


MARCIANO, (voice over): The debris field that litter a tornado's path may look chaotic. But to the trained eye, each piece tells the true story of the storm.

Are we in the center of the vortex right now?

JIM LEDUE, NOAA METEOROLOGIST: Literally in the center of the vortex at this point.

MARCIANO: Jim Ledue works in weather forensics, surveying damage to determined what happened and how.

LEDUE: I see confluence coming in. Debris coming in to the northeast. On the south side of the track, coming in from the northwest. To the southeast here, the north side of the track.

MARCIANO: So wedging in?

LEDUE: So that literal confluence.

There's about 28 different damage indicators that we look at. MARCIANO: And what do those indicators tell you about this twister?

LEDUE: This one here, it was basically at least an EF3.

MARCIANO: A strong one with winds over 160 miles an hour.

It isn't so much the wind that's dangerous, it's the debris flying through the wind. Researchers at Texas Tech are replicating events like this, where two by fours are literally launched like missiles through the air.

LARRY TANNER, TEXAS TECH: Three, two, one.

MARCIANO: From the front side here, completely, almost surgical impact. But the back side, just completely demolished.

TANNER: This is constructed just exactly like, you know, virtually all homes in America are built. And even if you had brick veneer instead of the siding, then this will behave exactly the same and go straight through.

MARCIANO: Investigators like Ledue put the data to the test, analyzing the integrity of all sorts of structures.

LEDUE: This has a weak link right here. Notice the nails are sticking straight up out of there. That says to me that this was straight nailed from the bottom in a prefab.

MARCIANO: Nailing studs diagonally is better. Using "l" braces would be best.

How much more money does it cost to put those straps on and put those braces on?

LEDUE: It would probably cost on the order of maybe $150.

MARCIANO: That's it?


MARCIANO: And when the ultimate cost could be your life, it's a small price to pay.


MARCIANO: Of course, when you look at some of the homes that are older, you need to retrofit them. The task becomes a little bit more difficult. But building homes from scratch and adding that extra layer of protection is definitely recommended.

We'll have much more from Lake County, Florida, and your full forecast coming up at 15 minutes after the hour.


S. O'BRIEN: OK. Rob, thank you.

Also coming up in the next hour, we're going to talk to Florida's governor, Charlie Crist. He's been touring some of the hardest hit areas. That's at 7:15 this morning. Then FEMA director David Paulison will join us at 8 a.m. Eastern Time. I'm going to talk about how he felt his agency responded to this disaster.


M. O'BRIEN: In Iraq, more bloodshed after a weekend of record- setting violence. Here's what's new this morning. Three roadside bombs exploding, two mortar attacks, two killed, 15 wounded in all. A U.S. soldier killed northeast of Baghdad as well.

Today the U.S. is vowing yet another security crackdown in Baghdad. The third attempt since the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al- Maliki, took power nine months ago.

In Washington today, a war of words. The Senate begins debate over the White House troop buildup in Iraq. Senate Republicans are talking about a filibuster, Democrats are charging ahead.

Also in Washington, President Bush will release his spreadsheet today for spending your tax money and it has huge increases for the war in Iraq. CNN's Elaine Quijano at the White House.


ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Bush is set to submit his budget to Congress today. Administration officials say the White House will ask for some $245 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next couple of years. But Democrats, now in control of Congress and wary of past reports of misspending in Iraq, are promising to closely scrutinize any war budget request.

Over the weekend, just minutes after President Bush wrapped up a rare but cordial visit with House Democrats at their annual retreat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated that, in her words, the days of a blank check on Iraq were over.

In the meantime, this morning, the president meets with members of his cabinet, where he's expected to outline his budget priorities.

Elaine Quijano, CNN, the White House.


S. O'BRIEN: Happening this morning.

They're trying to evacuate people in Jakarta, Indonesia. At least 25 people are dead, 340,000 people homeless after floods and days of rain there. Rivers surging up to 10 feet over their banks and rushing right through the city. Forecasters are predicting two more weeks of rain.

In eastern England, British health officials are looking to stop the spread of deadly bird flu this morning. So far, more than 150,000 turkeys were slaughtered on a farm, likely infected by wild birds. The same strain of the flu was found in geese on a farm in Hungary last month.

In South Korea this morning, the chairman of Hyundai is facing prison. Chung Mong-Koo is sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of embezzling $106 million. Now he's appealing today's verdict and Hyundai says he's going to keep working while the case is pending.

A new Hollywood mug shot to share with you this morning. That's actor Ryan O'Neal. He's free on bond today. He's charged with assault with a deadly weapon on his 42-year-old son, Griffin. O'Neal's manager says he was defending himself from Griffin, who was wildly swinging a fireplace poker.

And a power walk in space sets a new milestone today. NASA's Sunita Williams is now the woman with the most time talking in space. She floated outside the International Space Station to upgrade the cooling system. She's logged 22.5 hours walking in space. Number three on the all-time space walk list.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, I guess you could call it stuper Monday for the Indi fans. The Super Bowl victory party in Indianapolis galloping on long after the Colts had reigned in the Bears. It didn't start so well for the Colts. Bears' rookie phenom Devin Hester returning the opening kick of 92 yards. Six points for the Bears. What followed was actually a pretty sloppy game. And we're not just talking about Florida's liquid sunshine, if you will. Six turnovers. Three each. But the intense Colts QB Peyton Manning proving he has the right stuff to win the big one. Of course the story for the ages in this game was on the sidelines. Tony Dungy becoming the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl ring.


TONY DUNGY, COLTS HEAD COACH: We've got a tremendous group of guys. Whether we'd ever won a championship or not, I would be proud of our guys because of the way they are and the way they care for each other.

PEYTON MANNING, SUPER BOWL XLI MVP: Truly a team win and a team effort and we worked real hard in this season and really just the past number of seasons. Obviously for the rookies, I know this was special. This is special for a lot of the veteran players who have been here through some of the great wins we've had and through some of the tough losses. And it's nice to be able to put it together with a championship.


M. O'BRIEN: Ah, the win sparked scenes like this. This is, of course, Indianapolis. It caused a little bit of twinge of sadness in Baltimore. The last time the Colts won the big one, it was 71 before they snuck out of town, unceremoniously. S. O'BRIEN: You know as fast as the Colts won, suddenly those t- shirts were available and they're saying, you know, Colts Super Bowl champions.

M. O'BRIEN: Instantly available.

S. O'BRIEN: And, of course, they're all pre-printed, which means that there were some that have been printed that said Chicago Bears Super Bowl champions, of course. So what happens to all those hats and tee shirts that are printed before the game?

M. O'BRIEN: eBay.

S. O'BRIEN: No. No, actually. No. You don't find them for sale here in the U.S. Don't bother searching on eBay. The National Football League actually whisks them right out of town. Anything that was preprinted that doesn't reflect the winning team whisked out of town. Goes immediately to a group called World Vision. It's a relief organization. They respond to a lot of disasters. Any disaster I've ever covered, they were there. And it's flown out of the country. They send it along with some other supplies too. So you could bump into somebody say in Africa or Indonesia walking around with a shirt that says . . .

M. O'BRIEN: With a Bears world championship . . .

S. O'BRIEN: 2007 world champion, Chicago Bears.

M. O'BRIEN: Slightly out of context you might say.


M. O'BRIEN: All right, thank you.

Sub zero temperatures and dangerous wind chills. Rob Marciano is in for Chad to tell us who needs to watch out and for how long.

Also, questions about a required vaccine in Texas and why the governor rushed it to law without hearing from parents.

And will drastic measures be enough to stop deadly bird flu in Great Britain?

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning right here on CNN.


M. O'BRIEN: The most news in the morning right here on AMERICAN MORNING. Two big stories we're watching for you this morning.

President Bush delivering his budge to Congress today, requesting another $100 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And a blast of sub freezing temperatures now bearing down on states from the Midwest into New England. Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Florida's governor, Charlie Crist, is sending crisis counselors into four central Florida counties today. Going to try to help the residents cope with the loss of 20 lives and 1,500 homes from Friday's tornadoes. And I just returned from covering the aftermath and here's what we heard from some of the people who lived through those devastating storms.


S. O'BRIEN: Tell me a little bit about what happened. 3:00 in the morning. What kind of a warning did you get?

GENE SUGGS, TORNADO SURVIVOR: We were both sound asleep and the roof went off first. Just beyond this wall was the bedroom. The wall was coming down and the power of this wind pick me up, the mattress and all, and pushed this side into that wall and then we -- the wall came down on me, with the mattress under me.

S. O'BRIEN: This is your wife's bedroom. She was in this room here. And that's the bed she was in. What happened to her?

SUGGS: The mattresses was on the bed and she was on top of it. She was on top of the bed.

S. O'BRIEN: But the ceiling was gone? The roof was gone?

SUGGS: The roof, just like it -- it was all just like it is now.

JUAN GALAVIZ, TORNADO SURVIVOR: You were thinking, the babies. What happened with the babies?

S. O'BRIEN: You got out of bed and you came here to get to your kids, which their room is right through there.

J. GALAVIZ: Um-hum.

S. O'BRIEN: There in the bunk beds.

What happened, Brian (ph), what did you hear?

BRIAN GALAVIZ, TORNADO SURVIVOR: I heard the tree coming and it almost went to me and I almost die.

S. O'BRIEN: Three people were killed her when the storm ran through. There's a theory that goes like this. They think that an empty slab up there actually blew right across the street. The home that was on it, and rammed into their home. One of the things that supports that theory is that navy van back there. It's kind of crumpled. I actually started up on the roadway.


S. O'BRIEN: That spot where we ended up, Miles, was a really a 90-minute almost drive, depending on kind of the traffic, from where we started. So the county is very big and it spread right across the county. And, you know, we'll talk later about sirens and why didn't people have more morning. But, you know, for people like that, where would they go? There's nowhere to go.

M. O'BRIEN: You know, it's a big county. But it seems to me, for a relatively small amount of money, you could have a little better warning system. We'll have to ask the governor about that.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, no question about that.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. Good job down there, by the way.

S. O'BRIEN: Oh, thanks.

Let's get to a look at the weather, because it's quarter past the hour. That means it's time to check in with Rob Marciano. He's in Lady Lake, Florida, which is in the country where we were reporting from over the weekend. But he's talking about the severe cold. It's like 50 degrees where you are, going to be at least, but it's much colder everywhere else practically.



S. O'BRIEN: Ahead this morning, State Farm is dropping policyholders in one Gulf state. We're going to tell you as Ali Velshi "Minds Your Business" straight ahead.

And then the jury sees a dramatic x-ray. Look at this. Can you make it out? Right around the throat area. That's a cell phone down her throat. We'll tell you what happened and we'll tell you what the sentence was straight ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Two stories we're watching for you. The show that brings you the most news in the morning.

Several Republican senators are hoping today to stop debate on the bipartisan war resolution that opposes President Bush's plan to send thousands more troops into Iraq.

And the CIA leak trial. Lewis Libby's lawyers hoping to persuade a judge today to keep a recording of their client's grand jury testimony out of the public.


M. O'BRIEN: In Great Britain this morning, they're trying to stem a bird flu outbreak. They're slaughtering hundreds of thousands of birds after the deadly virus worked its way on to a bit turkey farm. CNN's Paula Hancocks live near the farm in Holton (ph).

Hello, Paula.


Well, 160,000 birds had to be slaughtered. They started on Saturday evening, local time, and they're still going. They think it will take until the end of today to actually complete that grueling task. They have to be gassed.

At this particular farm here, this is the farm at is at the heart of Britain's first major outbreak of this deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. At this point, officials think they may have contained it. No neighboring farms have said they have any birds dying and it appears as though it has been restricted to this particular area. Not least because all the restrictions that have been in place before, that have been planned for before because everyone was expecting this to happen in Britain, were put in place quickly and the restrictions zones were very, very tight.


JILL KORWIN, SUFFOLK COUNTY TRADING STANDARDS OFFICER: We now have just over 2,000 square kilometers within Suffolk and also going up into Norfolk, which is to have been designated as a restricted zone. That means within that zone now, anybody with poultry is required to keep them isolated, to bring them indoors, and also we've got the removement (ph) restrictions ongoing.


HANCOCKS: Now officials are trying to reassure the public that actually the risk to humans at this point is very low. It is negligible. This is a bird disease, not a human disease. And if we consider what's been happening over the past few years since bird flu really has gripped the world's attention, 271 human cases of human bird flu have been reported, which is a very small number if you consider the other kind of diseases out there.

But the death rate at this point is high. One hundred and sixty- five of those patients have died at this point. Many of them in Indonesia, in southeast Asia, in the Middle East where this disease has been the most widespread. And of those that have died, the majority of them have been in close contact with poultry.


M. O'BRIEN: Paula Hancocks in Holton, England, thank you.


S. O'BRIEN: Happening in America this morning.

In Independence, Missouri, outside of Kansas City, a 25-year-old ex-Marine is waiting his sentencing this morning. His name is Marlon Gill. There he is. He was found guilty over the weekend of second- degree assault for -- take a look at these x-rays -- shoving a cell phone down the throat of his ex-girlfriend. Prosecutors say he was angry and jealous. The ex-girlfriend says she thinks that maybe she thought he was talking to other guys on the phone and that's why he shoved her phone down her throat. Anyway, she nearly died of a blocked airway. Was rushed into emergency surgery and doctors were able to remove the phone and save her life.

In Crawford County, Arkansas, five-year-old Tyler Zielinski is in critical condition. He was rescued from a pond in front of his home. Tyler and his seven-year-old sister were walking across the ice when it collapsed, gave way. Rescue teams got Tyler out but he had been in the water for almost an hour.

Outside of Kansas City, it's hissing and scratching and it is caught. It's this. The bobcat. People noticed ducks and chickens were missing. The property owner suspected actually a fox, so he set a trap for a fox and trapped a bobcat . . .

M. O'BRIEN: And look what he got.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, what a surprise. Much bigger than a fox. Much scarier in a lot of ways. So the guy is trying to figure out what to do with it now.

In Ohio, a church calling the National Football League the no fun league. NFL, no fun league this morning. The church pulled the plug on its big screen Super Bowl party because they thought maybe they could get sued by the NFL. Have you heard this story.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: It's a crazy story. The NFL only allows bars to show the game on big screen TVs bigger than 55 inches. Now the church, critics say, what they did was sort of back (ph) the church's party. They were going to put up a giant screen TV and have the parishioners come in.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: But they say the NFL was concerned about ratings. They want to make sure that each of those people count as viewers.

M. O'BRIEN: Right. Well, maybe they can bring their Nielsen diaries with them or something.

But I don't understand, if it's OK at a bar, why can't you do it at a church?

S. O'BRIEN: Ah, there are so many questions with that story, Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: But, yes . . .

M. O'BRIEN: There's a new NFL commissioner. Maybe we should get him on the program and ask him a few questions . . .

S. O'BRIEN: And they're actually going to appeal to the FCC as well. M. O'BRIEN: I think they might want to do that.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, that has appeal written all over it.

M. O'BRIEN: I should say.

Another insurance company looking to cut costs is cutting customers. That's one way to do it. Twenty-five minutes past the hour.

Ali Velshi, good Monday morning to you.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good Monday morning to both of you.

And that's exactly the case. You know, when we watched what happened in Florida, what we see after we, you know, try and find out that everybody's OK, is we turn to insurance. And when you think about the storms that we've had over the last couple of years, the story seems to come back to us. State Farm, which is the largest insurer, the largest property insurer in Alabama now let's move over to Alabama -- has said that after back-to-back losses in 2004 from Hurricane Ivan and 2005 from Hurricane Katrina, it is not renewing the policies of about 2,600 residents in that state. Now those are mostly coastal residents. State Farm, as you will remember, just recently agreed to a settlement of about $80 million for 600 residents of Mississippi who were suing and another $50 million for people who weren't suing.

Now another thing that happened last week, Michael Dell returned to the helm of Dell Computer, the company he founded, and he is immediately turning his attention to cutting costs and fighting what he calls bureaucracy. Dell has lost its position as the top computer maker to HP. So Dell is saying that for 2006 no bonuses. They'll make up for that with above market averages raises in 2007. Also the number of managers reporting to Michael Dell, down from 20 to 12. So we'll see how that turns out for Dell.

And in the market this week, we've got a strong earnings week. Again, that will probably be the main driver for the stock markets. Last week was a good week for the markets all around. The Standard & Poor's 500, as you can see there, last week gaining 1.8 percent. We'll keep a tight eye on it this week.

And I'll see you in half an hour, folks.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, Ali, thank you.

S. O'BRIEN: All right, Ali, thanks.

Top stories of the morning coming your way.

Bitter cold across the northern U.S. If you've gotten out of bed, you already know that.

Recovery in tornado-ravaged Florida. We're going to ask if the survivors are getting all the help that they need.

And we'll take a closer look this morning at that vaccine debate. Texas makes it law, but there's still lots of questions.

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning is right here on CNN.


S. O'BRIEN: Feels like an arctic blast. Snow and single-digit temperatures, dangerous winds whipping across the country. Rob's going to tell us not to expect a warm-up any time soon.

M. O'BRIEN: Mother Nature's fury, and now the new worry. Will people who lost it all get the help they need?

S. O'BRIEN: Plus, a battle over sex and science. The cervical cancer vaccine is rushed to law in Texas. Why didn't parents get a chance to be heard?

Welcome back, everybody. It's Monday, February 5th.

I'm Soledad O'Brien.

M. O'BRIEN: I'm Miles O'Brien.

Thanks for being with us.

S. O'BRIEN: Here's a look at what's happening this morning.


M. O'BRIEN: In Texas this morning, a raging debate over a controversial vaccine. The vaccine protects women from a sexually transmitted disease that can cause cervical cancer. Now, Texas governor Rick Perry has ordered all schoolgirls entering the sixth grade to receive it, and some parents say the only cure for this disease is abstinence.

AMERICAN MORNING'S Alina Cho has been following this story for us.

Good morning, Alina.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Miles.

Not everyone is happy about it, as you might imagine, especially parents and conservative groups. But first I want to tell you what happened in Texas over the weekend.

Governor Rick Perry essentially bypassed the state legislature on Friday. He signed an executive order effective September, 2008. It would require all 11 and 12-year-old girls entering the sixth grade to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus. You've heard about this, commonly known as HPV. Now, HPV is the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, which happens to be the second most common form of cancer among women. The vaccine is called Gardasil. It's made by Merck. The FDA approved it back in June and a government panel found that girls should get the vaccine while they're young, before they're sexually active.


DAWN RICHARDSON, PRESIDENT, PROVE: It's a cancer vaccine, and it's very important to protect girls' lives. I mean, if we've got in that in our arsenal, why wouldn't we want to protect our daughters?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a decision that needs to be made between parents and the child's doctor. It's not something that one man, the governor of our state, should be making as a decision for all the girls in our state.


CHO: Now, those opposed to the mandatory vaccine say children shouldn't be vaccinated at that age. They should be educated, meaning they should be taught that abstinence is the only solution.

Then, of course, there's the question of whether politics played a role. Now, I mentioned that Governor Perry signed an executive order, bypassing the legislature. Well, it just so happens that Perry's former chief of staff is now a lobbyist for Merck, which makes the vaccine Gardasil. The company downplayed the company's role, and Perry calls this responsible public health policy.

Now, we first brought you this story about a month ago, and more than a dozen other states and the District of Columbia are considering similar measures. As I first reported, South Dakota has a voluntary program in place, Miles, but you can bet there will be a raging debate, as you mentioned, across the country as these other states debate these similar...

M. O'BRIEN: I should say. Now, he sort of bypassed things, did things quickly. And then it doesn't go into effect until September of '08.

CHO: That's right. The whole idea is to make this vaccine more available.

It's expensive. It's $360 for three shots over six months. The governor says the state will kick in $29 million, the federal government $21 million. So you're looking at $50 million in the state of Texas to vaccinate those children who might not otherwise have the insurance to cover it, who might be underinsured, or who otherwise can't pay for it.

M. O'BRIEN: And just to be crystal clear on this, if a girl gets the shot at this young age, it has a much better preventive impact later on in life, much later on in life, right?

CHO: Oh, absolutely. Much later on in life, absolutely true.

And a government panel -- as I mentioned, this drug, Gardasil, was approved by the FDA in June. A government panel found that 11 and 12-year-old girls, that's the best age for them to be vaccinated, before, the idea is, before they're sexually active.

Of course, some parents and conservative groups say, listen, this promotes sexual activity. We should be talking more about abstinence.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. Alina Cho, thank you very much.

CHO: Sure.

M. O'BRIEN: Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: In tornado-ravaged central Florida, more rain is now coming their way, along with chainsaws and hammers, signs of a comeback. But are survivors getting all the help they need?

CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano is in Lady Lake, Florida, for us this morning. And, of course, that's where we were all weekend. It's one of the communities really devastated by the tornadoes.

Good morning, Rob.


Like you mentioned, you know, are people getting the help they need? We've seen neighbors helping neighbors. That's been the awe- inspiring human spirit story. But what's next in this process, it is a huge task, no doubt about it.

We have Mayor Max Pullen of Lady Lake with us this morning.

Max, where do we stand now? Give the folks an idea of the damage.

MAYOR MAX PULLEN, LADY LAKE, FLORIDA: Well, I went up in one of the helicopters the day before yesterday, and it's just a -- you know, a wide swathe through our community that the damage was done to. And we, right now -- of course, the search and rescue is over with, and we're in the cleanup phase, and we've got three general contractors in removing the debris from the area so that the residents can get back to a normal life as soon as possible.

And we've had FEMA -- a meeting with FEMA, and they're going to establish a center within the devastated areas so that the elderly people that's in there, that -- I know in talking to them myself, I could see where they just could not get through the process of registering with FEMA by themselves. So they're going to come in and walk them through the process so they can get registered and get whatever benefits they can from FEMA.

MARCIANO: Well, that's huge, because I know my folks, if they had to go online and register with FEMA, they wouldn't know where to start. So FEMA is going to bring down, what, some sort of trailer, set up a headquarters?

PULLEN: Right. We -- me and the chief of police, Ed Navison (ph), last night went around and located a piece of ground large enough to park their trailer that they're going to need, and also for car parking, for people that might be coming in to register. But primarily to register the people in the areas that are elderly and just don't have the means or wherewithal to do it properly. And this way they can get it done so that they're in the system and can get any claim they might be entitled to.

MARCIANO: Do you feel that they're on it? Do you feel like something is being done?

PULLEN: Well, here, again, it's been told to me. It's not happened yet. It's supposed to happen this morning. But from the reaction that I got from the FEMA people, I felt confident, yes, they will follow through on it.

MARCIANO: How confident are you in the human spirit of your community?

PULLEN: Oh, I tell you, it's been something that has really amazed me. It's been phenomenal that the people that I'm talking to in the devastated areas, the ones that are affected by this, are not setting down and "Woe is me" kind of thing.

They're up and about and saying, well, it's happened and we've got to go on. And it's just amazing, I think.

MARCIANO: We've seen the same thing. You've got some good folk here, and we wish you the best of luck in your recovery efforts.

Mr. Mayor, thank you very much.

So, the task is huge, Soledad, as you could imagine. But it's not too big. They're going to get out of this with positive spirits and a little help from FEMA. We'll see if that comes true.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, you know...

MARCIANO: We'll have a full weather forecast in about five minutes.

S. O'BRIEN: All right, Chad -- Chad -- look at that. I'm talking about Chad when it's Rob.

Thank you, Rob. We'll look forward to that. And you're right, you know, people -- every single one that I talked to said, "We're going to come back. We're going to come back."

Thank you, Rob. Appreciate it.

Ahead this morning, one of our personal heroes from the storm zone, Chad's mom, Dottie Myers, talks to us. Of course you'll remember she was one of the very first witnesses on the phone for us reporting what she was seeing because she lives so close to the affected area. We caught up with her over the weekend.

Plus, this scandal in South Korea. The CEO of Hyundai is now sentenced to prison. The big concern, though, now that an engine of the country's economy could stall.

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning is right here on CNN.

We're back in a moment.


M. O'BRIEN: A couple of stories we're watching for you. The show that brings you the most news in the morning.

In the Senate today Republicans hoping today to stop debate on that bipartisan war resolution. It opposes President Bush's plan to send in excess of 21,000 troops to Iraq.

And a blast of subfreezing temperatures now bearing down on states from the Midwest to New England. Bundle up.

S. O'BRIEN: Relief and most likely rain again is going to be pouring into central Florida today for those survivors of those devastating tornadoes. A little update for you this morning on Dottie Myers, Chad's mom.

Many of you wrote in about her because, of course, she helped us out on Friday. She was talking about the tornadoes and driving around, because she only lives a few miles from where one of those tornadoes touched down in Lake County, Florida. And here's a little bit of what she was able to help us on, on Friday.



CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Mom, you were at -- her name is Dottie Myers -- Sunset Point in Virginia Trace this morning. That is part of the villages well south of Sumter Landing and the Lake Sumter area. Tell me exactly what you saw there.

DOTTIE MYERS, CHAD'S MOTHER: We had a hard time getting in. The homes there, the roofs were off. Of course, their awnings were down. Their rain gutters were down.

Just parts of their roof was just torn right off. It was really, really devastating.


S. O'BRIEN: So, over the weekend, while I'm reporting from Florida, who shows up but Dottie and Chad's dad, Alfie. They brought us cookies, because of course, we were starving.

M. O'BRIEN: Cookies? S. O'BRIEN: Yes.

M. O'BRIEN: Of course she brought you cookies.

S. O'BRIEN: And then, of course, we asked her what it was like to kind of step in and be a reporter for us. And here's what she told us.


D. MYERS: It was, number one, very interesting. Number two, very scary. And number three, just was something that I had never seen before. I will never see it again. I hope I never see it again, and that's probably just about what I thought about it.


S. O'BRIEN: Yes. You know, she was pretty shaken up, she said. She was really, really nervous and she was scared.

They were driving around and kind of didn't know what they were going to see around the corner while they were on the phone reporting. And a lot of people wrote to us saying, "You should hire her." And we asked her, so, you know, do you want a gig here with your son? Dottie and Chad do the weather on AMERICAN MORNING.

M. O'BRIEN: Actually, I like that idea.

S. O'BRIEN: She declined. She said, "I leave that to Chad. We're very proud of him and he does a great job."

And we agree.

M. O'BRIEN: He certainly favors his mother. That picture, boy...

S. O'BRIEN: He does. And Alfie, too.

Thank you for the cookies, Mr. and Mrs. Myers. We appreciated it.

M. O'BRIEN: And there's a big staff here if you want to send more.

S. O'BRIEN: Always welcomed. Always happy to have cookies.

Forty-five minutes past the hour. Let's go down to Rob Marciano in Lady Lake, Florida. He's going to take a look at some of the severe cold weather that's hitting much of the country.

Has Dottie brought you cookies yet?

MARCIANO: No, she hasn't. And we're still here. You know, we're right down the road. You don't have to send them to New York. You know? We've got a big crew. Maybe a little milk will be nice.

S. O'BRIEN: She will. She will.


M. O'BRIEN: We'll find out what the government is doing today to help the tornado victims. Florida governor Charlie Crist will join us in our next hour. We'll ask him about whether there should be sirens installed in Lake County, and other places, for that matter.

And then the FEMA director, David Paulison, with us in our 8:00 hour. A couple of interviews you'll only see here.

And up next, they're killing birds by the thousands in Great Britain. Drastic action to stem a dire threat.

We'll explain ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.



CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It has been called one of the hottest workouts, but you have to take your exercise sitting down. Creator Josh Crosby says indo-row is all about teamwork.

JOSH CROSBY, INDO-ROW.COM: Train with a group and you're going to get better. You're going to make gains. But there's no impact.

You burn tons of calories. You build muscle. You build long, lean muscles, which seems to be the trend these days, not bulky anymore. And it's just a lot of fun.

COSTELLO: Crosby is passionate about rowing. He's on the U.S. national rowing team and a third generation rower. He ends each class at the Sports Club L.A. with a little competitive racing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the fact he puts you in teams as you are rowing, like you are really rowing in a boat, that's just an extra added motivation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My favorite part is when he makes us go all out. When he builds it up, 50 percent strength, 75 percent, and then 100 percent. And you're doing it and giving it everything you've got.

AUDREY ADLER, INDO-ROW PARTICIPANT: I am an endurance athlete, a competitive athlete, and this has just taken me to a whole new level. Yes.

COSTELLO: Crosby says besides working every major muscle group in your body, rowers can burn 400 to 900 calories in a 50-minute class.

Carol Costello, CNN, New York.



M. O'BRIEN: Here's a look at what CNN correspondents all around the world are covering today.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Paula Hancocks in south England.

Officials appear fairly hopeful that they may have managed to contain the first major outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu. One hundred and sixty thousand birds are being slaughtered at this farm, and the restricted area of bird movement spans some 1,200 square miles. But the U.N. coordinator for bird flu has warned that this will not be the last outbreak in England or in Europe. He said it's not a case of trying to stop bird flu, which at this point is virtually impossible. It's trying to contain the outbreaks.




This sports headline says is all: "Basta!" "Enough!" Italian football, fed up with violence, comes to a standstill. All games have been canceled, the season suspended until further notice.

All this following the death of a policeman killed during riots at the end of a football match. The Italian government is set to approve emergency legislation, including stiff jail sentences and preventing known hooligans from entering or even approaching football stadiums.



EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Eunice Yoon, outside a courthouse in Seoul, South Korea, where the chairman of the country's largest car maker, Hyundai Motor, has been handed a three-year jail term for embezzling company funds. The ruling has dealt a blow to Hyundai's business. A lot of people have been saying that the company has been making good inroads into the U.S. market but recently has been facing other problems, such as labor strikes, as well as a rising currency.

This is the latest blow to its business.


M. O'BRIEN: For more on these or any of our top stories, log on to our Web site,

S. O'BRIEN: Top stories ahead this morning on AMERICAN MORNING. Windows Vista, it turns out it might not work with your iPod. How big a problem is this for Microsoft? Ali has got a look at that straight ahead.

Plus, troops coming back from Iraq with a strange illness. And a new videotape surfaces that should have helped protect them. Did the government do enough? An AMERICAN MORNING is straight ahead.

The most news in the morning is right here on CNN.


M. O'BRIEN: Well, you know, Apple and Microsoft have a strange relationship. You know, they're rivals...


M. O'BRIEN: ... but they're also partners by definition.

VELSHI: Right.

M. O'BRIEN: Ali Velshi here a few minutes before the top of the hour.

And now a little twist in all this. New operating system for Microsoft, Apple says hold on a minute.

VELSHI: Right. And this is -- you'd think that the very people who go out there to get Vista right off of the top are the kind of people who probably have iPods, they're a little bit tech savvy. Apple says, hang on, Vista is not likely to work necessarily with your iPod. There are some problems.

Some of them involve some pretty serious stuff, the inability to play purchased music or videos that you get off of iTunes. Another problem might be that when you plug your iPod into a Vista-enabled computer, it might just not work, failure of the iPod.

Now, the good news is Apple is remarkably effective at finding problems quickly and fixing them. So they have already said that within a few weeks they'll have a new edition of their operating system for iTunes. They come up with new releases very quickly.

M. O'BRIEN: Right.

VELSHI: And most people set their computers to just download them. And I know a lot of people who use iTunes who didn't even know that you ever upgrade them. So, if you are an iTunes user...

M. O'BRIEN: It should prompt you...

VELSHI: It should.

M. O'BRIEN: ... to do that. And when you do it, just say yes. That's important.

VELSHI: Some people just don't -- you know, they've got their stuff on their iPod and they don't upgrade any time.

M. O'BRIEN: Right.

VELSHI: So if you do have an iPod, you'll want to upgrade that software in a few weeks.

If you are one of these tinkerers, like you and I might be, there is a fix on Apple's Web site. It tells you things you can possibly do. You can download this little tool that will help you work through it. If you're not interested in that, wait a few weeks and Apple will have a fix.

But if you do have an iPod and you've got a Vista-enabled computer, you've downloaded Vista, you may encounter a problem, according to Apple. Check the Apple Web site for support.

M. O'BRIEN: Of course, the windows supported music playing system works fine.

VELSHI: Yes, that works perfectly. You're absolutely right.


VELSHI: It's only your Apple that will have a problem.

M. O'BRIEN: Thank you, Ali. All right. See you in a bit.

S. O'BRIEN: One of the most popular stories this morning on is this one: "Japanese government labors over 'birth' remark." And we should say, laboring in a bad way.

The Japanese prime minister is now standing behind his health minister. Here's what the health minister say.

He was talking about Japan's falling birth rate and he said -- his name is Yanagisawa. And he said that the number of machines that produce babies is fixed. So women have -- machine that produce babies would be known as women -- hi.

M. O'BRIEN: I think he's in the guest bedroom for about three or four weeks. Maybe longer.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes. So he apologized. Not only regarding the numbers -- the popularity rating for the prime minister is falling.

M. O'BRIEN: Imagine that. Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: So he's had to apologize for that.

M. O'BRIEN: Those machines that produce babies are also voters.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes. Speaking to the machine that produces babies.

There are other stories.

M. O'BRIEN: OK. Indianapolis, what do you think the headline is in Indianapolis today?

S. O'BRIEN: Winners!

M. O'BRIEN: I'll give you one guess -- "Champions!"

The Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29-17. Boy, it was not chamber of commerce weather there in Miami, was it?

S. O'BRIEN: Ooh, downpour.

M. O'BRIEN: Driving rain, sloppy game all the way around. Oh, god, and they got him wet after that all.

S. O'BRIEN: Who cares? They won and they were already wet.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

Quarterback Peyton Manning, of course, finally proving he's got the right stuff to win the big one. He has great football genes in him, so...

S. O'BRIEN: And not hard to look at.

M. O'BRIEN: And there is that, too.

S. O'BRIEN: Blah, blah, blah about the football.

M. O'BRIEN: He's a football throwing machine, and he did a fine job there.

S. O'BRIEN: Those are good stories. And much more, of course, on

The next hour of AMERICAN MORNING begins right now.

M. O'BRIEN: Bitter chill. Snow, arctic air and dangerous winds whipping all across the country. Brace yourselves for temperatures and wind-chills well below zero.

S. O'BRIEN: How did it happen? Scientists are now building their case explaining those deadly tornadoes that slammed central Florida.


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