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CNN NEWSROOM

NASA Astronaut Arrested in Attempted Kidnapping; Chicago Socked with Cold; Video Shows Friendly Fire Death in Iraq; Man Battles Face Blindness; Father Arrested for Using Stun Gun on Toddler; Good Samaritan Saves Drowning Dog

Aired February 6, 2007 - 13:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone, I'm don lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
BETTY NGUYEN, CO-HOST: And I'm Betty Nguyen, in for Kyra Phillips today.

Fall from space, from shuttle astronaut to defendant in an attempted murder case. Did a love triangle drive Lisa Marie Nowak over the edge?

LEMON: Also what does it take to fly in space? The physical challenges to get one of most sought after jobs.

NGUYEN: And bundle up as the Alberta clipper bears down. Brave souls face deadly temperatures, from Chicago all the way to New York. Is it a brighter day ahead? Well, the question is going to be answered right here in the NEWSROOM.

Houston, we have a problem. Not long ago, NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak was flying high, taking part in her first space shuttle mission. Today, she is facing very serious charges, accused of attacking and planning to kill a woman she thought was her rival for another astronaut's attention. Boy, is this a story.

CNN's John Zarrella is in Orlando at court. And David Waters, is a space correspondent from our Orlando affiliate. First, though, let's get the latest from John Zarrella. Things have changed a bit within the past few hours.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Betty, that's for sure. You know, Lisa Marie Nowak first went into court this morning facing the most serious of the charges, would have been attempted kidnapping, along with battery. And as it turned out, the judge was going to release her on about $15,500 worth of bond and send her back to Houston with a monitoring device, an ankle bracelet. And that's what we expected.

We waited for a couple of hours for her to be released from the jail. And then suddenly, about an hour or so ago, a spokesman for the court came out and said, "Listen, she's not going anywhere. The Orlando police are filing an additional charge now. And that charge being attempted first degree murder." Of course, the story as we know it is that she drove here from Houston, Texas, to confront another woman. And the two of them were, according to police, having some sort of a love triangle with astronaut Bill Oefelein, a commander who flew in the last mission, as a matter of fact, and that she wanted to confront this other woman. Nowak wanted to confront this other woman about what was going on.

She then pepper-sprayed the woman, at which point police were called. And that's how all of this started in the wee hours of the morning on the 5th.

Now, the police spokesman did tell us he did not expect her to be back in court today, but chances are that Nowak, who is now likely to spend another night in jail, will be back in court tomorrow morning.

NGUYEN: And of course, we'll see how that shapes up. In the meantime, we have a lot more questions surrounding this case. And John, we'll be speaking with you a little later.

But first -- Don.

LEMON: Yes, certainly a lot of questions here. NASA is used to lots of firsts but not like this. And so far as we know, this is the first time any active duty astronaut has faced felony charges.

Joining me from New York is CNN space correspondent, Miles O'Brien, and reporter David Waters of Central Florida News 13 is in Orlando.

Miles, got to ask you this question. What kind of training do these astronauts go through? And what are the background mental evaluations like for them?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, you know, it's an awful lot of training that it takes. A lot of hurdles you have to jump over, Don, of course, before you become an astronaut.

But just to give you a sense of the time frame here. She began her career as an astronaut in NASA in 1996, did not fly until this past summer. So there was ample opportunity all along the way for NASA to evaluate her and her performance.

I should say this, however, though, there is no -- at NASA, there is no routine psychological screening, per se. Astronauts on a yearly basis, annual -- have annual physicals, at which time they are given a physical type of test that you would normally expect, more rigorous than you and I would get, but nevertheless a typical physical.

The people that do that, the so-called flight surgeons, are not trained mental health professionals. There are a lot of trained mental health professionals in an around the Johnson Space Center where they work, but it's up to an astronaut to seek them out if they feel they're dealing with some sort of emotional issues.

Typically, what happens is the astronauts are very reluctant to do that, because they don't want to disqualify themselves from a flight, anyway, and those mental health professionals serve more the family members of those astronauts.

Now at the beginning, when they first sign on, there's a comprehensive test that they have to take which evaluates their psychological well being and tries to weed out narcissistic-type personalities, manic depressive, the obvious mental illness, sort of the bottom five percent of mental illness.

And then after that, there's an hour-long interview with a psychiatrist and a psychologist where they look for signs of mental illness. But once they pass that and they, of course, comb through their previous records -- and she is active duty United States Navy and so had a long history of performance in the Navy as well.

They make an assessment as to their psychological well being, and then bring them into the program, and after that, they're pretty much on their own in that respect.

LEMON: Yes, and Miles, you know, and I have lots of questions for you, including why there's no routine psychological evaluation. But standby. Because this is your bailiwick. You have expertise in this.

I want to bring in David Waters. He's from Central Florida News 13, and talk to him about the events on the ground there.

David, were you at the court proceedings?

DAVID WATERS, NEWS 13 CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we were just outside the courtroom when all this happened. And one thing that's very interesting, is Commander Steve Lindsay is the commander of astronaut Lisa Nowak, and he vouched for her in court today, saying to the judge that basically the judge should release astronaut Lisa Nowak. This is before the charges were filed of first degree attempted murder.

So he vouched for her and said, you know, release her. She's not a flight risk. The judge was about to release her. She was going through that process, when Orlando police showed up and basically got to work filing those additional charges. So now we have an astronaut charged with attempted first degree murder here, Don.

LEMON: Yes, and she was expected to walk out. Did she ever go in front of the media when you were there? Did you get a close up look at her?

WATERS: No, the last time she went in front of the media was last year for her flight. We did not see her here, because she was in the process of coming out of the secure area.

The jail told us that she was still in the secure area. What was going to happen is she was going to be released, and then she was going to be outfitted with a GPS tracking device. Now, she was going to be able to fly back to Houston and continue to wear that tracking device and go back and forth between Houston, where the astronaut lived, and here for court appearances.

But of course, now with these additional charges, Lisa Nowak remains in jail, Don.

LEMON: Yes, and don't go anywhere. Miles, I want you to jump in. If you have any questions for David, feel free to jump in here.

Let's talk about fraternization among astronauts. Is there a code or a rule for that, Miles?

O'BRIEN: Well, it's interesting. You know, NASA -- first of all, she as an active duty member of the United States Navy, a captain in the Navy, has a whole set of rules that are associated with that.

But as far as NASA goes, NASA has always had a hands-off, arms- length kind of approach to fraternization. There's been, over the years, several couples that have gotten together inside the astronaut core. And the only rule that has been in place up to date is that a married couple cannot fly together.

And so there is, really, kind of a laissez-faire attitude. And I wonder if this in some way prompt some rule-making changes at NASA, about that sort of fraternization between members of the astronaut corps. It remains to be seen, of course.

LEMON: And Miles, what about the other two players in all this, Colleen Shipland and Bill Oefelein? You -- have you interviewed either of these people before?

O'BRIEN: Well, Bill Oefelein is somebody who I have met and talked to. Colleen Shipland, not. Colleen Shipland is a captain in the United States Navy. She's assigned -- excuse me, United States Air Force. And she is assigned to Patrick Air Force Base, which is the Air Force base that -- there she is -- that is immediately next to the Kennedy Space Center, responsible for supporting shuttle missions as well as other launches. Haven't run into her.

Oefelein is also -- was a rookie who just flew on the space shuttle mission in December, part of the same astronaut class as Lisa Nowak.

And, you know, these are people who have been through test after test over the years and have risen to the occasion -- risen to the top of their professions. They're also in an incredibly risky, high- pressure environment. Always has been that way. But couple -- there's one more thing in the mix here these days.

We're reaching the end of the space shuttle program. There's only about 14 more flights left, a certain number of seats. And there are a whole bunch of astronauts trying to vie for those seats. So there's a -- to say the competition is blood thirsty is probably understating it.

And so there's a whole psychological component to what goes on in that astronaut office that may be sort of the foundation for the kinds of things you see here.

LEMON: All right. Miles O'Brien, stick around. If we need you throughout the day, of course, you're our expert here. I want to get back to David Waters. And Miles, again, if you want to jump in here, feel free here, because I said you have expertise.

David, News 13 in Central Florida, any parting thoughts you want to offer about being there and observing this whole procedure, as it went down today, David?

WATERS: Well, one thing that was interesting is when the commander, Steve Lindsay, left the courtroom -- now, he left after these first degree murder charges were filed. He was also with astronaut Chris Ferguson. Neither had a lot to say. Both looked pretty in shock there at that point.

They left and they told us they haven't decided if they'll come back tomorrow for Lisa Nowak's appearance, which we believe, we're told by the court at this point, will be tomorrow -- Don.

LEMON: Yes. David Waters, thank you so much. Miles O'Brien.

And as David just alluded to, Nowak's supervisor at Johnson Space Center in Houston was at the court to offer his support. And here's what he had to say, just a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COL. STEVE LINDSEY (RET.), NASA, CHIEF OF ASTRONAUT CORPS: We're here representing NASA, and our primary concern is Lisa's health and well being, make sure that she's safe, make sure we get her through this and we get her back to a safe place with her family.

This is a private, personal matter. It's a legal matter that she and her family have to deal with. Our primary concern is, again, her health and well being and safety. And we're down here supporting her like we would any employee at NASA if they were to get into this situation. We're a close family, and we try to take care of our own.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: All right. And we'll have more ahead on this story just ahead.

And then David, I know you're still there in Orlando. If you just want to offer some final thoughts. Again, the mood there, obviously, pretty sad. You can see the commander there is very upset.

WATERS: Well, I had a chance to talk to a lot of NASA folks who didn't want to go and say their names and who they were, at least on the record. I did know them and talked to them about this.

And they say at this point, it looks like, you know, it's very bad news for Lisa Nowak. Looks like she would never fly again, obviously, with these serious charges against her. Of course, NASA's official line at this point is she is still an active astronaut.

And one other interesting thing is she is assigned to support the next space shuttle mission scheduled to launch on March 15. Her job is to be cap com, the capsule communicator there in mission control who relays all of the instructions between mission control and the space shuttle. NASA at this point will have to figure out what to do with that.

LEMON: Yes. David Waters, Central Florida News 13 there in Orlando, thank you so much. And also our Miles O'Brien in New York.

NGUYEN: There's other news to tell you about today. A British tabloid posted video showing that a British soldier was killed in a friendly fire attack by U.S. fighter jets back in Iraq. Now the reaction to this, we're going to have that ahead here in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: And grilling the new guy on Iraq. A Senate panel wants answers on a troop surge. Is it the last best chance for victory? Details on that straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: And needing help to remember his own face.

(BEGIN VIDEO CIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the reasons that I grew out the beard and one of the reasons that I walk around with my hat so much is to hopefully prevent me from walking into mirrors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Face blindness. It's a report from our Dr. Sanjay Gupta. You don't want to miss it. It's here in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Just brutal and bone-chilling. From the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic, many cities are seeing lows well below zero this morning. Chicago, just a tad warmer. Of course, that's without the wind chill.

CNN's Keith Oppenheim braving these elements for us. Just look at him there.

Keith, all I have to say is you need a raise.

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, thanks for the encouragement. You know, it's actually warming up in Chicago. That may sound weird, but if you look at my little portable thermometer here, the reading is about 6, 7 degrees perhaps, a good 6 degrees warmer than it was earlier this morning.

And you know, it may sound strange to you, but I can feel it. It's more comfortable than it was. Still not so comfortable for people who are walking across the Michigan Avenue Bridge, as we're looking, as the flags are flying and people are braving these conditions. Folks, as you can see, are very bundled up and for good reason.

The Cook County medical examiner tells us that there have been three people who died in the Chicago area as a result of the cold weather.

Now as we pan over to where I'm standing on the side here, you can get our view of the traffic on this snowy Chicago day. We are getting a little bit of snow accumulation. So it's slushy, but the city is functioning surprisingly pretty well. And that has given that we have had here, get this, the coldest and longest stretch of subzero weather since 1996, for the last 11 years.

So even by Chicago standards, this is cold.

Back to you, Betty.

NGUYEN: Well, Don Lemon used to live up there, and he's agreeing.

LEMON: Yes.

NGUYEN: Even by Chicago standards, it is extremely cold. In fact, he's got a question for you.

LEMON: I just wonder, Keith, you're right there by the river. Is the river still frozen? Just -- the Chicago River's right behind you, isn't it?

OPPENHEIM: Yes, and I don't have a great angle to show it to you on camera here, but it is. It's covered with snow. It's completely frozen. And if you know the Chicago River at all, which goes right through the middle of the city, that's kind of unusual. It's usually flowing on some level on the surface. Not today.

LEMON: Yes, even when the lake sort of freezes over around the edges, the river is always flowing.

NGUYEN: Look at that.

LEMON: There's the river right there. My goodness.

Maybe you're right, Betty, Keith Oppenheim needs a raise or at least a run inside.

NGUYEN: We're lobbying for you, Keith. We'll see where that goes.

LEMON: To run inside the satellite truck there. We won't keep you very long. Yes.

NGUYEN: Stay warm, Keith.

LEMON: Thank you. And you know what? It's not only the arctic blast that's keeping our Jacqui Jeras busy in the weather center. There's weather all over, happening right now.

Is that right, Jacqui?

(WEATHER REPORT) JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: If that doesn't sound too impressive for you, guys, I've got some unbelievable snowfall totals off of lakes Erie and Ontario. We're going to show you that and talk a little bit more specifically about what lake effect snow is, coming up next hour.

NGUYEN: Oh, don't worry, we're impressed.

LEMON: We're impressed.

NGUYEN: You can stop any time now, Jacqui, really.

LEMON: Thanks, Jacqui.

NGUYEN: Thank you.

We do have some serious concerns over a popular toy to tell you about. Details on an Easy-Bake Oven recall. That's in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: And of course, our top story here today, Houston, we have got a problem. Ahead in the NEWSROOM, the latest on a bizarre story that has everybody buzzing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The Easy-Bake Oven. Well, it's heating up more than it should. Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange with all the details.

I did an informal poll here of people in the newsroom, Susan, and just about every woman in the newsroom had an Easy-Bake Oven.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm the exception to that, although I certainly played with my friend's Easy-Bake Ovens.

LEMON: Yes.

LISOVICZ: I mean, it's really up there with Candyland and Barbie, G.I. Joe. I mean, these are just iconic toys.

And unfortunately, some problems with them. Hasbro is recalling nearly one million Easy-Bake Ovens after finding that kids' fingers can get caught in the oven's door. So far, the Consumer Products Safety Commission says it's received 29 reports of stuck fingers and five reports of burns.

Many of us, as in the CNN NEWSROOM, recognize the popular toy, which is made to resemble a kitchen range, complete with four burners and front-loading oven.

The recall affects ovens sold after May of last year. Ironically, this week is National Consumer Protection Week. So protect yourself against those Easy-Bakes. Check the model number -- Don.

LEMON: Yes, and I always got the little burn from trying to sneak the little, you know, cake out before my sister was finished so I could eat it. But you know what? It's been around for quite a long time, hasn't it, this oven?

LISOVICZ: Yes. That's the thing. I mean, you know, so quickly, toys come and go. The Easy-Bake has really stood the test of time. It's been around more than 40 years. It's been so popular it's even inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Over the years, the oven, of course, has been updated. Hasbro says each version reflects the colors and oven styles of the day. So in the late '60s there was that avocado green. In the '70s, it was harvest gold. And now it's pink and purple.

Last year, the Easy-Bake got a new heating element, enabling Hasbro to lose the tiny light bulb that so many of us remember.

(STOCK REPORT)

LISOVICZ: That's latest from Wall Street. Coming up, Wal-Mart is going Hollywood. I'll have the details next hour.

You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen, filling in for Kyra Phillips today.

So, what's it take to become an astronaut? And in light of today's news, will the qualifications change?

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Take a good look. From space explorer to suspect. This is NASA astronaut Lisa Marie Nowak, in happier times, on the left, of course. And on the right, the man police say she was interested in, fellow astronaut Bill Oefelein.

Police say Nowak drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando to confront a woman she believed was a rival for Oefelein's affection. Now, Nowak is facing very serious charges, including attempted first degree murder, attempted kidnapping and battery.

She appeared in a Florida courtroom earlier today. Nowak's supervisor at Johnson Space Center in Houston was there, as well, to offer support.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDSEY: We're here representing NASA, and our primary concern is Lisa's health and well being. Make sure that she's safe. Make sure we get her through this and we get her back to a safe place with her family. This is a private, it's a personal matter. It's a legal matter that she and her family have to deal with. And our primary concern is, again, her health and well being and safety. And we're down here supporting her, like with any employee at NASA, if they were to get into this situation. We're a close family, and we try to take care of our own.

I can't comment on her status at NASA or the status of her legally, as there are ongoing things, and we'll let the process work in those areas. So I don't really have any comments about that. Our primary -- our primary purpose is to take care of Lisa and deal with this matter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you able to tell us whether or not there are any rules preventing any relationships like this between...

LINDSEY: I can't comment on any of the ongoing investigations. So I don't have enough information provided...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) lock the doors?

LINDSEY: It's my job. I know her well. I've flown with her. She did a fantastic job on the mission. She's been a great astronaut, for all the years that I've known her. And so, you know, we want to deal with it. We want to take care of her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it tough for you to see her in this position?

LINDSEY: Well, I mean, it's certainly a position that none of us want to be in. I know she doesn't want to be in it, and I don't want to get too much more into it. Because again, primary focus is Lisa. And I can't really comment about status with her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are these accusations characteristic of Lisa?

LINDSEY: Again, I don't want to comment on anything that's going on here, and I don't want to get into any more details. Let's let the process work and...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has NASA ever has to conduct their own investigation like this, something criminal happening?

LINDSEY: I can't comment on that. And not to my knowledge. I don't know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you talk about her role in July?

LINDSEY: She was a mission specialist on the flight, a flight engineer, one of our primary robotic operators.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would she be doing?

LINDSEY: She operated the robotic arm, both in the shuttle and the space station, through assembly tasks. Also acted as flight engineer, assisting myself and the pilot in flying the vehicle. I think that's all for now. Again, our primary focus is her health and well being and taking care of her and keeping her safe. Getting her with her family so they can deal with this very private and very difficult matter. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: And that was Nowak's supervisor at Johnson Space Center in Houston, colonel -- retired Colonel Steve Lindsey, offering his support.

Do you have the right stuff to fly in space? Well, here's a check of what it takes to be an astronaut.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): The standards are high. The competition, tough. Every two years, about 3,500 aspiring astronauts go head to head for about 20 slots as mission specialists or pilots.

First, just to be selected as an astronaut candidate, you must be a U.S. Citizen. And you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science or math. And an advanced degree is desirable.

If your dream is to be a shuttle pilot, you must have at least 1,000 hours flying time in a jet aircraft. There's no specific age requirement, but the average age for astronauts selected in recent years has been 34.

NASA says candidates must be motivated team players and have the ability to adapt quickly to changing situations. Even if you're selected as an astronaut candidate, there's no guarantee you'll make the cut as an astronaut.

You first must survive one to two years of rigorous training, including psychological screening. Examples include swimming 75 meters in a flight suit and tennis shoes without stopping. And tread water for ten minutes.

There is a height requirement. No shorter than 4'8," no taller than 6'3."

At present, a majority of astronauts are civilians. Civilians selected into the program become federal employees and are expected to serve for five years. As for pay, salaries for astronaut candidates range from about $56,000 to $104,000 a year.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: We'll have more on how the astronaut story unfolded, including the legal ramifications, straight ahead, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: So what if the troop build-up is a bust? The big question for Defense Secretary Robert Gates today from the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Responding to Republican John Warner, Gates said the U.S. isn't pining (sic) all its hopes on Iraq on a security blitz of Baghdad and Anbar province.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SEN. JOHN WARNER (R-VA), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Recently, people have described the surge operation -- and I quote, the last chance, or the last best chance. To me that type of rhetoric is inviting almost -- it's a timetable, the Baghdad operation. If it doesn't succeed, it was our last chance.

I have to believe that we're thinking beyond the Baghdad operation. And if it doesn't meet all of its goals, we still have to, if we're going to stick with the president, say that we've got to come up with some formulation to see that we can continue to try and help this government and the people of Iraq maintain their sovereignty. Am I correct?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... speaking with the president and sticking it...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me. Excuse me, ma'am, please sit down.

WARNER: Is this our last chance?

ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: It is not the last chance. I think everyone agrees that -- most people agree that it would be -- have serious consequences for this country and for the region, were we to leave Iraq in chaos.

If this operation were not to succeed -- and we clearly are hoping for it to succeed, planning for it to succeed, allocating the resources for it to succeed. But I would tell you that I think I would be irresponsible if I weren't thinking about what the alternatives might be if that didn't happen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Now, Gates says if the build-up works, he might be able to start pulling troops from Iraq a little bit later this year.

And he also acknowledged Congress has sticker shock after receiving President Bush's budget plan for fiscal 2008, which calls for a boost in war spending. He points out military spending still eats up less -- less f the national wealth than it did in some previous wars.

Well, troop strength isn't the only thing surging in Iraq. Also appearing before the Senate Armed Services Panel, joint chiefs chairman Peter Pace had disturbing news about roadside bombs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEN. PETER PACE, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: The number of IEDs that has been in place has doubled over the course of the last year. The equipment that we have provided, thanks to the Congress, to our troops, plus the tactic, techniques and procedures that we use against them, plus the jammers and the like that have been provided technology-wise, has resulted in much fewer of those explosions impacting -- or having casualties against our troops.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Pace says the U.S. has gotten better at countering IEDs, but because the numbers have risen, U.S. casualties have not dropped.

LEMON: And we're getting word of another -- this just in, another court appearance for Lisa Nowak, the astronaut who's accused of possibly stalking another individual who worked -- she will -- who worked for NASA.

She will be back in court between 3 and 4 p.m. today for a hearing on those first degree attempted murder charges. So we'll hear more from that and, hopefully, more from her, throughout the day, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM. We'll get that to you live as soon as that happens.

Well, they thought they were shooting at the enemy. But they were dead wrong. Now you're about to see and hear stunning tape of a friendly fire attack from early in the Iraq war. U.S. forces in the air, British troops on the ground.

And here's CNN's Robin Oakley.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, we're getting an initial brief that there was one killed and one wounded, over.

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lance Corporal Matty Hall from the Household Cavalry was killed nearly four years ago outside Basra when U.S. A-10 Thunderbolt planes shot up a convoy of British tanks. Four of his comrades were badly injured.

When the coroner's inquest into Corporal Hall's death opened last week, the ministry of defense refused to allow this cockpit video recording the incident to be played in court, saying U.S. authorities hadn't given permission. But "The Sun" newspaper obtained a copy of the tape, and it reveals a chilling sequence of basic military mistakes.

The pilots, identified as call signs Popov 35 and Popov 36, discuss possible targets below. They asked the ground controller, call sign Manila Hotel, if there are friendly British forces, which would be identified with orange panels, near some Iraqi vehicles they've identified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, I got a four ship. Looks like we've got orange panels on them, though. Do we have any friendlies up in this area?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is an affirm. You are well cleared.

OAKLEY: The pilots seem puzzled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They look like they have orange panels on them, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told me there's nobody north of here, no friendlies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. There, right on the river.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See vehicles, though. Might be our original dudes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've got something orange on them.

OAKLEY: To help identification, the pilots call for ground artillery fire near the vehicles. But before that happens, they conclude the orange markers are weapons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, well, they've got orange rockets on them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Orange rockets?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me look.

OAKLEY: The pilots then decide to roll in and attack the convoy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him. Get him.

OAKLEY: Swiftly, though, comes the bad news from a forward air controller on the ground, call sign Lightning 34.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, Popov, be advised that in the 3122 and 3222 group box, you have friendly armored in the area. Yellow, small armored tanks. Just be advised.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, (expletive deleted)!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Popov 34, abort your mission. You've got a -- looks like we may have a blue on blue situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (expletive deleted)

OAKLEY: Popov uses an expletive when told he may have attacked British forces. Heading back to base, they hear that one soldier has been killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to be sick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, this sucks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're in jail, dude.

OAKLEY: Military experts say the tape reveals a catalog of errors.

PAUL BEAVER, DEFENSE ANALYST: These pilots were flying in what they call a kill box. That's an area where they were told they could fire. The mistake they made was not being absolutely sure that the vehicles they were engaged were enemy vehicles.

OAKLEY: The tape's publication will hugely embarrass both the Pentagon and the British Defense Ministry, which used the video at its internal inquiry, but which, according to Corporal Hall's widow, told her it didn't exist.

The coroner, who'd protested it being refused permission to play the tape in court, now says he'll do so when the inquest resumes.

(on camera) Tensions at the top have been showing, with Constitutional Affairs Minister Harriet Harman insisting the U.S. must do more to provide information to the dead soldier's family.

But there's been confusion whether the U.S. authorities will now make the cockpit video available to the coroner. But since he says that, courtesy of "The Sun", he'll use it anyway, that's become a point of style rather than of substance.

Robin Oakley, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: I want you to imagine this, needing help to remember your own face.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN, SUFFERS FROM FACE BLINDNESS: One of the reasons that I grew out the beard and one of the reasons that I walk around with my hat so much is to hopefully prevent me from walking into mirrors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: It is called face blindness. We have a report from our Dr. Sanjay Gupta. That's in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: OK, you know the face but you just can't place the name. Happens to everybody. But what if you don't know the face, even if it's your best friend, your wife, maybe even yourself?

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on face blindness, a mystery of the brain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Glenn has spent his entire life forgetting faces.

GLENN: Most people expect that you're going to be able to recognize them later. Well, I can't really do that very effectively.

GUPTA: His condition is called prosopagnosia, or more commonly, face blindness. It can cause problems even identifying close family members or remembering a face just moments after turning away from it.

Glenn, whose case is more severe than most, often can't recognize his own face.

GLENN: One of the reasons that I grew out the beard and one of the reasons that I walk around with my hat so much is to hopefully prevent me from walking into mirrors.

GUPTA: His condition also affects his job at a retail store. He says he won't get promoted because he can't recognize his co-workers. More troubling, his inability to recognize others in social settings drives him into isolation.

GLENN: I feel like, you know, it would be really nice if I could go out and do this kind of thing with a bunch of other people and not be so worried about the difficulties.

GUPTA: Glenn's face blindness is the result of a head injury he suffered as a toddler. But many others are born with the condition. And it's not that rare.

A 2006 Institute of Human Genetics study found as many as 1 in 50 people have some form of face blindness. Researchers still can't pinpoint the cause but say it's most likely linked to an area of the brain called the fusiform gyrus, which shows activity in response to seeing faces.

KEN NAKAYAMA, PSYCHOLOGIST: Now that we know that prosopagnosia is much more common, I think there's going to be much more effort to figure out how to help these people.

GLENN: Blind to the faces of others. Still seeing the face, the eyes...

GUPTA: There is no medical treatment for face blindness yet. But Glenn has a message.

GLENN: Be consoled, because though I may not remember your face, I will remember you.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: That's fascinating. Well, Dr. Sanjay Gupta will join us live next hour on another hot topic, how to beat out -- or how to be out in the freezing cold, that is, and do it safely. "Paging Dr. Gupta", that's next hour, right here in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: Already, an incredibly crowded presidential candidate field. We may have another. T.J. Holmes, tell us about it.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Mitt Romney is running for president.

LEMON: That's it, right?

HOLMES: Yes, a lot of people might think, well, T.J., no kidding. Well, what's going to happen is on February 13, he is going to officially announce that he's running for president, make it all formal.

He has already, of course, set up an exploratory committee. Mitt Romney, of course, the former governor of Massachusetts, Republican, conservative guy here. The conservative's conservative, he's kind of trying to bill himself as.

But he's already set up the exploratory committee. Now he's going to take a step further and officially announce his bid for the presidency. He's going to do this in Michigan. That's his home state, even though he is the former governor of Massachusetts, and then from there he's going to fly to Iowa and New Hampshire. You can probably guess why. Of course, the first caucus, first primaries are held in those -- in those states. Also going to stop over in South Carolina.

But again, the word is he is going to officially announce that he is going to run for president. So there you have it, Don.

NGUYEN: The announcement before the announcement.

LEMON: I was going to say, today is the announcement that he's going to make an official announcement.

HOLMES: Yes. I'll have more announcements for you later.

NGUYEN: Absolutely.

LEMON: All right. We look forward to that announcement. Thank you very much for that.

Well, cops use them on criminals, but this Oregon man is accused of repeatedly using a stun gun on his tiny son. Details ahead in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: Also, a dog in danger and a stranger who helps out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANICE BAILEY, GOOD SAMARITAN: He was saluting the dog as she was struggling in the water. And I thought, he's just letting her die.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NGUYEN: Coming up, the story of a Good Samaritan and how she saved this dog's life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: OK, so you admit a mistake and then what happens? You go to rehab, right?

Well, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is the latest to go that route. Last week, Newsom admitted to an affair with his campaign manager's wife. Now he says he'll seek counseling for alcohol abuse. Newsom says that won't affect his duties as mayor, and he still plans to run for re-election.

NGUYEN: Well, from Oregon, an unusual claim of child abuse: a father accused of using a stun gun, of all things, on his 18-month-old son. We get details now from Dave Northfield of CNN affiliate KGW.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CAPT. ERIC CARTER, ALBANY, OREGON, POLICE: It delivers a 100,000 volt charge, is what this one does. It runs off a 9-volt battery.

DAVE NORTHFIELD, KGW CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the stun gun that Albany police say a father used on his own young son.

CARTER: You're talking about an 18-month-old child so it just has to be excruciating. This would cause extreme pain to you or I.

NORTHFIELD: Twenty-three-year-old Ryan James Whitman is the man police say used the electrical shock on his son. He was arraigned on three counts of second degree assault and criminal mistreatment.

Neighbors say Ryan Whitman is a long-hall trucker who isn't home much but has trouble controlling his anger when he is around.

AMANDA SUNSERI, NEIGHBOR: Jennifer seems pretty nice. And Ryan, he's gone most of the time. But when he is, he's usually drinking, and they're fighting.

NORTHFIELD: Both neighbors we spoke with say the thought of a stun gun used for discipline is appalling.

JOHN MOSBARGER, NEIGHBOR: No use for it on kids. That's just -- just plain cruelty, I think.

NORTHFIELD: Police say this stun gun is similar to the one officers use on adult suspects and that the child showed the telltale signs.

CARTER: Kind of like burns or welts and marks where the metal prongs had made contact with the skin.

NORTHFIELD: Detectives say Whitman used the device over a three- week period. They're hoping to learn why a father would subject his own son to this. (END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Well, is there a terrorist in the house? Ask that question in Iraq's parliament, and the answer is yes. Ahead in the NEWSROOM, how a convicted bomber became an Iraqi lawmaker.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR SHAWN MASON, INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MINNESOTA: This is a winter playground. And we got people outside fishing right now. We have ice houses right behind me on Rainy Lake, dotting the lake across Minnesota and Ontario, and lots of folks out catching fish and having fun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: No doubt, they're in a minority. For most people, this latest arctic blast is simply brutal. In many cities, it is not just below zero; it is way below zero.

The bone-chilling cold is blamed for at least seven deaths. Shelters and warming centers, well, they're packed. But schools, closed for a second day in New York, Michigan and Wisconsin.

And in Sea Bright, New Jersey, check this out. These crews battled both fire and ice. Frostbite is also a risk.

LEMON: It's hard to believe that is a winter -- or a summer hangout.

NGUYEN: Right.

LEMON: Doesn't look like that today.

Well, a dog named Duchess is safe and warm in Colorado today and thanks to a warm-hearted stranger who did what Duchess' owner would not. Well, we get the story from reporter Laura Main of CNN affiliate KWGN in Denver.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAURA MAIN, KWGN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You'll have to forgive Duchess for whining. She's been through a lot. She fell through the ice at Golden Ponds on Friday and has been here in a strange place since then. And she probably owes her life to a Good Samaritan who just happened to be walking by.

BAILEY: Her dog's in the water, and we can't get her out.

MAIN: Janice Bailey was stunned at what was happening.

BAILEY: You know, I was just in shock. All we saw was her head out there, and she was swimming and trying to -- trying to survive. And I turned to the dad, and I said, "Are you going to call the police?"

And he said, "No, I'm not calling the police. I'm not risking anybody's life for this dog. We called her, and she didn't come back"

MAIN: Janice knew she couldn't jump in to save Duchess, but she also knew she couldn't just stand there and do nothing. As she ran to her car...

BAILEY: He was saluting the dog as she was struggling in the water. And I thought, he's just letting her die.

MAIN: She called 911, and firefighters quickly saved Duchess. Janice has visited her twice, even bringing a quilt to comfort her.

BAILEY: This is symbolic. I want this dog to be safe and warm for the rest of her life. It's just symbolic. She was freezing out in that water. She was in the water probably half an hour. I don't know she survived, but she did.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: Aww, Duchess.

NGUYEN: Yes, that's just such a horrible story though. I mean, I understand didn't want to risk his life for the dog, but just to salute the dog while it's struggling to survive?

LEMON: Well, it is OK though.

NGUYEN: That's the good news out of it all, so we can rest easy now.

LEMON: Yes, the next hour of the NEWSROOM starts right now.

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