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AMERICAN MORNING

Friendly Fire on Tape; Astronaut Arrested: Accused in Kidnap Plot; Less Than Zero; Terrorist in Iraqi Parliament

Aired February 6, 2007 - 07:59   ET

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


ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: Friendly fire. Video released overnight showing a U.S. warplane mistakenly opening fire on a British convoy.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Zero hour. Bitterly cold temperatures back in the forecast today. Things might bet worse before they get better.

CHO: And ready to run. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani takes a big step toward the White House. But can he make it past Hillary Clinton on Election Day?

A closer look on this AMERICAN MORNING.

O'BRIEN: Good morning to you. It is Tuesday, February 6th.

I'm Miles O'Brien.

CHO: And I'm Alina Cho, in for Soledad this morning.

Thanks for joining us.

O'BRIEN: New reaction from Britain's foreign secretary this morning to that friendly fire incident we've been telling you about. Margaret Beckett is saying the U.K., the United Kingdom, is working along with the United States to get all the information.

She's talking about cockpit video just coming to public light this morning which goes back to the beginning of the Iraq war, back in 2003. It was obtained by "The Sun" newspaper in London. And on it you can see and hear the actions as American pilots fire on a British convoy.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I want to get that first one before he gets into town then.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him. Get him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We got rocket launchers. It looks like Number 2 is rolling in from the south to the North, and 2's in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm off your west. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good hits.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Of course, they weren't good hits.

CNN's Robin Oakley live in London.

First of all, Robin, that's just part of the video. I know you're going to share some more with us. But before we get there, how did this get out into the media? The U.S., the Pentagon at one time said there was no cockpit video.

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, indeed. And so did the British Ministry of Defense. They told Lance Corporal Matty Hull's widow -- he was the man who was killed in the incident -- that no cockpit video existed. They've had to come out with a statement since, saying they had no intention of deceiving Lance Corporal Hull's family, but they say that they had told them that some material was classified and could not be released.

What we do know is that the Ministry of Defense, in their own internal inquiry into the incident, did make use of this cockpit video. So people within the British Ministry of Defense had access to it. What we don't know is whether cockpits of the tapes had gone to the coroner, the judge investigating the death of Lance Corporal Hull, because he had actually adjourned his inquest last week, saying that if he couldn't show the video in court, he couldn't really do a proper job of examining the death.

So possibly, if it had gone to people on his staff, that is another way it could have come out, but we really don't know how this tape got into the public domain. But now it is in the public domain, Miles. The coroner says he will use it in court next week.

O'BRIEN: The release of this tape, it's their property, they clearly didn't want it out in the open.

OAKLEY: Well, indeed. The British government says this is a U.S. government tape, and they are bound by their agreement not to make any use of it without the expressed permission of the U.S. authorities. That's not been forthcoming.

As you've said, Margaret Beckett, the British foreign secretary, says there is now cooperation between the British and U.S. authorities on this, but there have been some quite strong words from Harriet Harman, the constitutional affairs minister here, saying she's been pressing the U.S. authorities to be more cooperative and give the coroner more information in the interests of the family -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: Robin Oakley in London.

Thank you very much.

We'll keep you posted on that one. A NASA astronaut is in jail this morning in Orlando, charged in a lover's kidnap plot. Lisa Nowak is accused of driving from Houston to Orlando to confront Colleen Shipman.

Police say both Nowak and Shipman were romantically linked to shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein. Authorities say Nowak wore diapers as she drove so she wouldn't have to stop to use the bathroom along the way.

They say she wore a trench coat and wig and confronted Shipman at the Orlando airport parking lot, armed with pepper spray, a knife and a BB gunun. Nowak is married with three children. She first flew on the shuttle Discovery in July. She is being held without bail this morning and will face a judge a little bit later.

CHO: There's really a lot of questions about this...

O'BRIEN: Yes.

CHO: ... and she's going to have a lot of answering to do. But, you know, don't they have to go through psychological testing in order to become a astronaut? It's pretty rigorous, right?

O'BRIEN: There's so many bars you have to jump over to become an astronaut, and, of course, one of them is a psychological test. They have to spend a lot of time in close proximity with crewmembers in space, sometimes long-duration missions are contemplated on the space station. All of that requires just the right psyche and the right mind.

CHO: And don't want to put you on the spot, but if you had to guess, is she going to fly again, do you think?

O'BRIEN: I would say she won't be flying in space again.

CHO: Probably not, right?

O'BRIEN: Yes.

CHO: All right. OK.

We're going to move on now to the brutal cold snap. Temperatures as low as 42 degrees below zero blamed for at least six deaths across the upper Midwest and Northeast Monday. Right now, it's shaping up to be another cold one.

In Syracuse, New York, 11 degrees. With the wind-chill it feel like 8 below.

In Ely, Minnesota, minus 29. The good news, if you can call it that, is the winds are calm there. So, with the wind-chill, well, it still feels like 29 below.

And in Chicago, it's around zero with calm winds.

That's where we find CNN's Keith Oppenheim, and severe weather expert Chad Myers at the CNN weather center in Atlanta. We're going to start with Keith.

Hey, Keith. Good morning.

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Alina.

We've been out here for a couple hours already this morning, and it's not getting any warmer. If you look at my thermometer here, it is hovering right around zero, and there is a bit of a wind-chill. And take a look at the river behind me.

That's the Chicago River, quite frozen. And it is, if you will, just a piece of ice that stretches along a wide section of the northern country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freezing! Way too cold!

OPPENHEIM (voice over): From the Midwest to the Northeast, the weather has been so cold, it's dangerous to go outside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just stepped out here maybe 10, 15 minutes ago and I'm already half frozen.

OPPENHEIM: And treacherous to drive.

In central Ohio, motorists got stuck in deep snow. Winds whipped up chills that felt as cold as 25 below zero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've really got to keep your hands and your extremities covered up because they feel like they could freeze off out here.

OPPENHEIM: In Michigan, whiteout conditions closed many schools. Similar story in northern Indiana, where icy roads caused accidents and injuries.

Farther south, the Indianapolis Colts, returning from the Super Bowl in Miami, got a warm reception from fans, who braved temperatures in the single digits as the players and cheerleaders took part in an outdoor victory parade.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it cold?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's freezing!

OPPENHEIM: In Minnesota, where cold weather is part of the culture, firefighters were worried about exposure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crews get wet with the water, then they come outside. You know, they're exposed to the elements.

OPPENHEIM: In Chicago, some tourists got a lot more winter than they bargained for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from San Diego. So this is hell. OPPENHEIM: But at least some of the locals took the frigid conditions in stride, knowing that it can always get worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was minus 11 when I got out of the train this morning. So -- and it's been -- in 11 years of working down here, it's been a lot colder.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

OPPENHEIM: We're back live now with a beautiful but very cold view of the city and the Chicago River.

Obviously, Alina, some very hardy souls in Chicago, but some vulnerable ones, too. We're told by the Cook County medical examiner that at least three people have died during this latest cold wave. And get this, we're told also this has been the coldest stretch of weather in Chicago in the past 11 years. Even for Chicago, that's cold.

Back to you.

CHO: It certainly is. That's quite a sight behind you, Keith. Thank you very much.

Keith Oppenheim in Chicago for us -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: Well, it's really a tale of two countries when you look at the weather map. Chad Myers has been dissecting it.

It's all about the jet stream, isn't it, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It truly is.

(WEATHER REPORT)

O'BRIEN: Thank you, Chad.

Coming up in the program, we're going to talk with the mayor of International Falls, Minnesota, America's ice box.

Is that the mayor of International -- no. That's the mayor of International Falls?

CHO: It is.

O'BRIEN: Obviously, she's on vacation there. Obviously, she's taking it in stride.

CHO: They drink margaritas -- that's right.

O'BRIEN: Wow. Wow. I want to get to International Falls immediately. She'll join us in our 8:30 Eastern half hour -- Alina.

(NEWSBREAK)

CHO: A new crisis for Iraq's leaders. It turns out one of the members of Iraq's parliament is a convicted terrorist. CNN's Michael Ware first broke the story, and he's live with us now from Baghdad.

Michael, so who is this guy and what is he accused of?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alina, this is one of the members of the Iraqi parliament known here as Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, although he has many names given his background. U.S. military intelligence calls him the joint or co-mastermind of the 1983 car bombing of the U.S. and French embassies. Indeed, a Kuwaiti court found him guilty in absentia of playing a role in a series of attacks, including the embassy bombings, and sentenced him to death.

Now, he eventually moved to Iran, where he came to command an Iraqi element of the Iranian armed forces, and then shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he reverted back to covert operations. In the U.S.-sponsored elections in December, 2005, the dominant Shia Political Alliance nominated him as a candidate, and he was elected to parliament. He now has immunity from prosecution, yet U.S. military intelligence now tells the Iraqi government that he is helping support Shia insurgents and is a conduit for Iranian special forces.

CHO: CNN's Michael Ware live for us in Baghdad.

Michael, thank you.

Coming up, Rudy Giuliani has his sights set on the keys to the White House. A look at what Republicans think of the former New York mayor.

Plus, fire and ice. Firefighters' jobs twice as dangerous as they work in the bitter cold.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHO: Welcome back. The most news in the morning is right here.

And happening this morning, confirmation votes expected for Admiral William Fallon as top commander in the Mideast.

And General George Casey is expected to be confirmed as the Army's new chief of staff.

And in Indonesia, fears thousands of people could get sick from polluted floodwaters still clogging streets in Jakarta.

Well, it's about 15 minutes after the hour. If you're heading out the door, let's get a quick check of the traveler's forecast. Chad Myers is here with a look at that.

There you are, Chad. Hey, good morning.

MYERS: Good morning, Alina.

(WEATHER REPORT) O'BRIEN: Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani now officially in the race for the White House. He is currently leading the polls, but some conservative Republicans are worried about his record on abortion and same-sex marriage.

Take a look at the poll numbers there. Giuliani right at the top there. This is among registered Republicans.

We took this poll just a couple of weeks ago. Giuliani with 32 percent, right at the top, above McCain.

Senior Political correspondent Candy Crowley joins us now from Washington.

Candy, good to have you with us. No huge surprise here.

First of all, let's talk about how Rudy Giuliani navigates his way through the primaries, where some of his stands on social issues, issues that bring out primary voters, conservative voters, may not jive very well with those who are actually sending him along into the general election.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: May not jive very well is putting it mildly. You're right, he is pro-civil union for gays and lesbians, he is -- he is pro-abortion rights, and he is for gun licensing. So that puts him directly in opposition with the base of the party, and the base of the party is right of center on the social issues and on economic issues as well. And those are the people that tend to vote in primaries.

How does he navigate his way through this? I can tell you how he's doing it now, and that is by emphasizing something else.

What he says always in response to this question is, listen, the heart and the base of the Republican Party is less government is better, is tough on crime. He said, "All of those things I was as mayor of New York."

So his MO right now is to change the subject. And they also believe within Camp Giuliani that perhaps, since Republicans sort of got their heads handed to them in last year's election, they might be looking for a new template, and certainly Giuliani fits that -- that description.

O'BRIEN: Interesting. He certainly has the capability of raising an awful lot of money, and that's important.

CROWLEY: Absolutely important. And he has the name. So those are the two things in these early stages that you need.

And quite frankly, that's why you're seeing the polls the way you are, is that it's largely name recognition at this point. We'll tell you that conservatives argue that once Republicans get to know where Giuliani stands on these social issues, that those poll numbers will come down. O'BRIEN: Of course, a lot of political pundits, especially here in New York, are thinking about the prospect, perhaps, with a lot of if, if, ifs, of Giuliani versus Hillary Clinton at some point along the way.

CROWLEY: Absolutely. I mean, I think that's something that you like sort of two Titans going at it in the political sense.

So, you know, the problem is, as Rudy Giuliani himself said as early as yesterday, listen, we have to first get through the Republican primary. And that's clearly his biggest hurdle. But even after that, Democrats have a powerhouse of people out there that are running for president. So nothing -- I mean, the primaries may be tough, but the general will be even tougher.

O'BRIEN: And where does he come down on the war?

CROWLEY: On the war, he supported the president. And he supports the surge as well. So he has stuck with the White House at this point. But when you look at the Republican race, right now the only one in it is Sam Brownback, the Kansas senator, is the only one who has opposed the surge.

You know, McCain has always advocated more troops into Iraq. He's supporting the president. Giuliani, Mitt Romney, others sort of in the top tier, have all supported the president.

O'BRIEN: It will be interesting to see if Chuck Hagel puts his hat in the ring, too. That will stir it up.

CROWLEY: Right. And very interesting. That will -- that will add something to it, absolutely.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

Candy Crowley, always a pleasure. Thank you.

CROWLEY: Thanks, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Alina.

CHO: Coming up, a chilly reception, literally, for the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts. A heroes' welcome in subfreezing temperatures.

Plus, a surprising advertising move by the makers of M&Ms. Why they're turning their backs on some of their biggest customers.

That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: The most news in the morning is right here. Stories we're watching. (NEWSBREAK)

O'BRIEN: A major candy maker will stop marketing to young kids.

Twenty-five minutes past the hour. Ali Velshi here with that.

Wait a minute, candy and kids, they go hand in hand.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It doesn't sound right, it doesn't sound fair.

O'BRIEN: These aren't candy cigarettes.

VELSHI: No, this is candy. This is Masterfoods. It makes Mars, Snickers, M&Ms, Twix, all sorts of things.

The European Union's sort of equivalent of the FDA wrote to this company, asking about its -- sort of discussing its marketing to kids. And in response, the company said that it will not market to kids under the age of 12 explicitly by the end of this year.

Now, it's kind of interesting. The company says it doesn't actually market much to kids under the age of 12. Mini M&Ms, apparently, have targeted a younger audience, but I don't know. I kind of think kids eat candy and don't actually have to look for a lot of the marketing to get there.

O'BRIEN: Candy and kids, I mean, they're going to find...

(CROSSTALK)

VELSHI: Yes. It will be interesting. I mean, it's not a trans fat thing. They're not changing it. I suppose people are upset that kids eat too much candy.

In the cigarette world, this was a big deal. When they -- when they decided to stop marketing cigarettes or were forced to stop marketing cigarettes to teenagers...

O'BRIEN: An adult product.

VELSHI: ... the effect was dramatic, but that also meant putting it behind the counter and checking IDs, which were not -- I mean, I don't know, check your ID to get your M&Ms. I don't know.

CHO: The kids are going to find the candy without the commercials.

VELSHI: Yes. Masterfoods is saying itself they don't expect a big shift in its advertising.

O'BRIEN: Parents are not at all supposed to tell their kids...

(CROSSTALK)

VELSHI: Right. I think that might be the -- that might be the...

O'BRIEN: You're out of the loop on this.

VELSHI: Yes. I mean, I'm all for companies doing the right thing, but this one just seems a little mean.

O'BRIEN: Yes.

All right, Ali. Thank you.

VELSHI: All right.

CHO: Top stories in the morning coming up next.

An astronaut in jail, accused of trying to kidnap a rival for another astronaut's affection. She's due in court this morning. We'll have a live report.

Plus, a tale of two winters. We'll check in on the coldest and the warmest cities in America right now.

That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: From flight suit to prison jumpsuit, a NASA astronaut is due in court, charged in a lovers triangle kidnap plot. Lisa Nowak accused of driving from Houston to Orlando to confront Colleen Shipman. Police say both Nowak and Shipman were romantically linked to the shuttle pilot Bill Oefelein, seen there.

David Waters of our CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13 broke the story last night. He's outside the Orange County courthouse, where Nowak is set to appear in about a half hour's time.

David, what's latest?

DAVID WATERS, CENTRAL FLORIDA NEWS 13 REPORTER: Well, good morning, Miles.

And Lisa Nowak is scheduled to appear before a judge. The Orange County Jail is where she is just now and she's already been visited by fellow astronauts. She was jailed for attempted kidnapping charges. Orlando Police, in this charging affidavit, say that she was found with a wig and wearing a disguise of a trench coat. She was also found with a steel mallet, a brand new knife, rubber tubing, garbage bag, gloves. It just does not look good -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: David, all those other things, the rubber tubing, for example, is the allegation in that affidavit that she was planning, allegedly, a kidnapping?

WATERS: Exactly. And that's what police believe. They say based on what they found in the car, they believe that astronaut Lisa Nowak was attempting to kidnap the victim. The victim is a U.S. Air Force captain who works shuttle support at Patrick Air Force Base. And that's just down the road from the Kennedy Space Center. And they say Nowak went and followed this person to her car at Orlando International Airport. She evidently drove all the way from Houston where she lives and went to Orlando, a more than 12-hour trip. She admitted to police she was wearing a diaper so she wouldn't have to stop during her drive so she could confront this other person.

And all of these people, Lisa Nowak is believed to have been involved with pilot Bill Oefelein. She wanted a stronger relationship than she had with him, and was going to ask this other victim, or she said confront this other victim, about her relationship with that pilot.

O'BRIEN: Lisa Nowak is married with three children, correct?

WATERS: She is married with three children, correct. And we are told that Orlando police, according to this charging affidavit, found a love letter that she wrote about her love for this shuttle pilot. So she was very serious about wanting some kind of relationship with this other space shuttle astronaut. She made that trip from Houston, printing out directions very specifically to Orlando International Airport. When she found out that the victim was returning home to fly back to work at Patrick Air Force Base, so she wanted to have some kind of confrontation with her, try to talk to her, but police believe she was going to kidnap her based on what they found in that car. They say the victim fears for her safety. That is why Lisa Nowak this morning here is in the orange county jail with no bond -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: What is NASA saying about this, David, this morning? And I cannot recall an active astronaut ever being arrested like this, can you?

WATERS: We are told that no active astronaut has been arrested like this before. And NASA is just saying at this moment she is still an active astronaut. But keep in mind, she is scheduled to work other duties in the coming years. For instance, in that mission that is launching next month to the International Space Station, Lisa Nowak is scheduled to work CAPCOM (ph). That's the role, of course, Miles, as you know, where the astronauts are in mission control communicate with the space shuttle. So in about a month she was scheduled to work that role. We haven't been told if there's a change there, but at this moment, she is in jail. So NASA will have to figure something out at this point.

M. O'BRIEN: I suppose it's worth pointing out, David, there is no official rule at NASA about fraternization among astronauts, right?

WATERS: No, and there are many relationships, many couples at NASA, astronauts that have gotten married before. But this, unfortunately for police, they say they just got to a level of escalation of violence here, where Lisa Nowak pepper sprayed the victim. According to this charging affidavit, she went after the victim in her car, when she went to get back in to drive off. And Lisa Nowak went up to that car, knocked on the window, tried to get in. The victim rolled down her window and Nowak admitted to pepper spraying her. Orlando police asked her, well, did you think the pepper spray would help you in talking to this lady? And she said, I admit, that was stupid.

M. O'BRIEN: Stupid,and the charges here are extremely serious, aren't they?

WATERS: Attempted kidnapping and burglary of a vehicle, destruction of evidence. Police witnessed her trying to throw away some of that evidence into a trash can. They arrived after that victim managed to call for help, and they saw Lisa Nowak throwing this away, disguised in a trench coat and wig. They found those disguises on her and arrested her. They said it was very alarming to find this astronaut with this disguise.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, David. We're going to let you get back to work. 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time is when this first appearance will occur. I'm told -- is there a live signal coming out of there, or is it just going to be, we'll see it on tape later?

WATERS: There is a live signal coming out from the orange county courthouse. So we will see Lisa nowhere arch as she makes that first appearance before a judge here.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. We'll see it here on CNN. David Waters, who is among the first to break this story on Central News, Central Florida News channel 13. Thank you for your time -- Alina.

CHO: Well, call it a tale of two cities. We've been telling you all morning about the severe cold. It's 27 degrees below zero in International Falls, Minnesota today, and that's just the way they like it. Out west in Palm Springs, California, quite a different story. Over 80 degrees this afternoon. Well, and that's just right for them, too.

Let's get right to the mayors of both cities. Mayor Shawn Mason of International Falls, Minnesota, and Mayor Ron Oden of Palm Springs, California.

Mayor Shawn Mason, we want to begin with you, so cute in the hat and the coat there. I understand you have an ice blender, too, some sort of tradition with margaritas and being out in the cold. Tell us about that, and how others are braving the cold out there.

MAYOR SHAWN MASON, INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MINNESOTA: Well, those are annual traditions of the folks that live up here and the people who like to come up here and vacation. We really do like our winter playground. We were out fishing this morning on the beautiful Rainy (ph) Lake, and right behind me is Canada. Rainy Lake stretches across Minnesota and Ontario, and this is where we have our fun, gang.

CHO: Those are people wearing bikinis? that's unbelievable.

MASON: Are you showing a picture taken this weekend? Oh, yes, we had to do that on Saturday. It was minus 28 -- actually, minus 44 with the wind chill. We always have to do this. It's an annual thing. We get our swimsuits on, WE go outside and drink a little margarita.

CHO: Well, clearly, these are people who have been around for a while, because they're used to the cold.

Let's talk with you, Mayor Ron Oden, you're poolside, clearly you're there to make us all jealous. The warm weather, this is peak season for you...

MYR. RON ODEN, PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA: Eat your hearts out!

CHO: This is peak tourist season for you, right?

ODEN: Yes, it is. Yes, it is. I'm here in the city of palm springs at the beautiful Viceroy resort, and I'll tell you, the weather's just been incredible.

CHO: You know, when was the last time it snowed there? I imagine you don't get snow that often.

ODEN: No, it doesn't, buts a couple weeks ago it was very cold; it snowed all around us. But you know, it snows, you know, occasionally. I think maybe three or four times in the past hundred years. It's come very low and lightly into the city.

CHO: All right. Mayor Mason, I want to get back to you, because a lot of people, I would think, would want to stay away from Minnesota and the cold, but actually, you like the cold weather and it's good for the economy, too, right, ice fishing quite popular there. Talk about that.

MASON: Absolutely. International Falls, Rainy Lake is a four- season destination, and our winter economy is booming. We have a lot of folks who really enjoy the seasons, and this is a winter playground. And we've 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. And those are the same folks that like to come back here and be on Rainy lake in a boat in their swimsuit in the summertime and catching walleye and northern cropesy (ph). It's a good time.

CHO: All right, I'll take your word for it.

Mayor Oden, let's talk a little bit about the snow not too far away from you. So I would imagine you say you kind of have the best of both worlds, right? You can take a tram right up to the mountain and ski, come back and enjoy the pool, right? Talk about that.

ODEN: Absolutely. And jump into the pool. Just another daytime in paradise.

CHO: How far away is that mountain? How short is that trip?

ODEN: Well, actually, well, in the city of Palm Springs, it's just a few miles anywhere you live in the city. And it's definitely one of our major tourist attractions, because you actually experience 10 ecosystems from the desert floor to the Alpine Level at the top of the Mount Senusento (ph), so it's really an incredible experience.

CHO: Mayor Mason, let's talk about the cold temperatures there. I was seeing eight below, 19 below in some parts, not where you are, but 42 below. How cold has it gotten this season? How cold are you expecting it to get? And how much snow have you guys gotten there?

MASON: Well, we have several inches of snow, and we're in a little bit of a cold snap right now. So of course, as you announced, it's 27 below, but we don't have a lot of wind, so it really doesn't feel like 27 below right at the moment. It feels more like 7 below. This is really good, because we need these cold temperatures to create safe ice conditions, of which we have, two, three feet of ice on Rainy Lake. It will warm up. It gets above zero quite often, and...

CHO: Oh, above zero! I believe that's Mayor Oden laughing at you, Mayor Mason. I think he's enjoying the 80-degree heat.

MASON: Well, I will buy my rally (ph) mayor, I will buy him a round-trip ticket to International Falls, Minnesota, so he can experience one of these very special seasons, mayor. Come on up! Come on up!

CHO: Are you going to take her up on that, mayor? Are you going to take her up on that?

ODEN: You know, it would probably be a 125-degree difference between us tomorrow. So maybe I should extend to you that invitation.

CHO: Oh, boy. All right. Well, both of you like it where you are, so, well, that's good news for both of you guys.

ODEN: Oh, yes.

CHO: All right, Mayor Shawn Mason of International Falls, Minnesota. Mayor Ron Oden of Palm Springs, California, making us all jealous poolside there. Thank you for joining us -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: You know, ice fishing is actually a lot of fun, you know. It's how you stay warm that makes it fun. Well, it's all about how you lubricate yourself in the process.

CHO: All righty!

M. O'BRIEN: Still to come this morning -- fighting a bizarre condition. People can't remember what family members look like. Sometimes they even forget what their own image looks like in the mirror.

We'll have more on this amazing mystery of the brain with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Plus, did notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer kill Adam Walsh, the son of "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh? The new clues are ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, the most news in the morning right here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: New details just into CNN from a fire we've been telling you about this morning, Bards Town (ph), Kentucky, about 40 miles southeast of Louisville. Ten people now reported killed in that fire, 10 people. We still don't have word on the cause, but we will tell you this, the temperature there is 13 degrees this morning.

(WEATHER REPORT)

CHO: A new theory this morning in the kidnap and murder 26 years ago of Adam Walsh. Six-year-old Adam, the son of "America's Most Wanted" host, John Walsh disappeared from a Hollywood, Florida mall on July 27th, 1981. Now author and crime reporter Arthur J. Harris says clues he's dug up point to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer as Adam's killer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARTHUR JAY HARRIS, AUTHOR/CRIME REPORTER: That he was here. That you have a man who in Milwaukee in 1991 was found with 11 severed heads in his apartment, and we have Adam with a severed head, that's all we ever found. In 1978, three years before Adam's murder, Dahmer on his own admission had killed a man and severed his head. So 15 minutes from the place where Adam was taken, you have to start -- that's No. 1. But then there's a whole litany of evidence that has been collected that makes sense that says this should be officially looked at.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHO: Fascinating theory. Jeffrey Dahmer was killed in prison in 1994. No one has been charged ever in Adam Walsh's murder.

"CNN NEWSROOM" just minutes away. Heidi Collins at the CNN Center with a look at what's ahead.

Hey, Heidi. Good morning.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hey there, Alina. Nice to see you.

That's right, we are working on these stories in the "NEWSROOM" rundown now -- a classified tape. A tabloid's Web site makes it public. U.S. pilots apparently firing on British troops early in the Iraq War. We'll tell you about that.

And this, a CNN exclusive, a man convicted of bombing a U.S. embassy. Now a lawmaker in Iraq's parliament. Plus, a shuttle astronaut charged with attacking a romantic rival. Both women apparently competing for this shuttle pilot. A wig, a BB gun, and adult diapers playing into this massive PR nightmare. The story everybody's talking about. I know you guys have been talking about it there, Miles. Tony Harris is with me in the "NEWSROOM" today. We'll have more on it coming up at the top of the hour.

O'BRIEN: Thank you, Heidi. Talking indeed.

Coming up -- when everyone around you is a total stranger, imagine what that would be like, even your loved ones, even yourself! It's a mystery of the brain that causes people to not recognize faces.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our familiar face on the medical desk, with us after a break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHO: Welcome back. It's a condition called face blindness, but those who have it see perfectly fine. It's just that they can't process what anyone looks like, even members of their own family.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more on the second part of his series "Mysteries of the Brain." He joins us from Atlanta.

This is so fascinating, Sanjay. Tell us about it.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it really is very interesting. It's called prosopagnosia. Most people do know it as face blindness, like you said. Look, we've all had times when we forget a name, maybe even forget a face, but this is truly a medical condition. And as we learned, it can be very debilitating.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA (voice-over): Glenn (ph) has spent his entire life forgetting faces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the reasons that I grew a 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 coworkers. More troubling, his inability to recognize others in social settings drives him into isolation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 one 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, HARVARD UNIV.: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA: This is a remarkable thing. You know, you talk a lot about children as well who might have this sort of problem, they can't recognize other kids on the playground. They grow up with this condition, sometimes not recognizing their spouse either. One woman told us that in fact if she's in a crowded room and looks a mirror with a bunch of faces, she'll have to make a funny face, like raising her eyebrows, to recognize her own face, so pretty remarkable, Alina.

CHO: My gosh, this is remarkable. I'm curious, Sanjay, is there any way for them to recognize other people? I mean, for instance, like with blind people, maybe there's voice recognition, and you know, you hear a familiar voice, you might not see their face, but you know who they are. So is there a way for them to do that?

GUPTA: yes. You know, it's pretty remarkable. First of all, if you give them an eye test, their vision is perfectly fine. There appears to be something in the way that the face, specifically the face, is actually processed, the way we've evolved as human beings, can't recognize the face, but can recognize other objects, can recognize voices, as you pointed out, also recognize hair color. Specific, distinguishing features that act as cues to let them get through the day. It can be debilitating, but people seem to cope just by finding these cues.

CHO: Got it. All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Atlanta for us. Sanjay, thank you.

GUPTA: Thank you.

CHO: So interesting -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Here's a quick look at what "CNN NEWSROOM" is working on for the top of the hour.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: See these stories in the "CNN NEWSROOM." Friendly fire on tape. A British tabloid releases this cockpit video, U.S. fighters apparently firing on a British convoy early in the Iraq War.

Bitter cold gripping the Midwest and Northeast. New York, Chicago, Cleveland, you won't break the freezing mark for days.

An Oregon father in court, accused of tasering his 18-month-old toddler. You're in the "NEWSROOM," 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 6:00 Pacific. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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