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Friendly Fire On Tape; Less Than Zero; Jury Hears Libby; Mission Out Of Control; Minding Your Business

Aired February 6, 2007 - 06:00   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Friendly fire. Chilling, new cockpit tapes just in. A U.S. war plane fires on the wrong target. A British soldier is dead and his family wants some answers.
ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: Deadly freeze. Get ready to face another day of brutal cold and breathtaking wind chills. Parts of America now colder than Antarctica.

M. O'BRIEN: And a NASA astronaut lands in jail. Police say she wanted to kidnap a rival in a love triangle. We'll tell you why she was wearing diapers when police made the arrest on this AMERICAN MORNING.

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.

M. O'BRIEN: We begin with that cockpit video just coming to us this morning. The video was obtained by "The Sun" newspaper in London. It shows the American pilot's view, firing on a convoy near the beginning of the Iraq War. That's in 2003. It turns out to be a British convoy and a British soldier was killed. CNN's Robin Oakley live from London with more.


ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, friendly fire incidents do happen in war. They are always a tragedy. This is an extraordinary video, though, recording the whole process whereby two American pilots, with the call signs popov35 and popov36, exchange information between them and mistakenly go into attack a British convoy. There is conversation, we hear, between the two of them talking about the orange panels on the vehicles that they are going in to attack, which would normally be signs that they were friendly vehicles of the allied forces. But somehow they convinced themselves that these are not the orange panels denoting allies, but are orange colored rocket launchers. And then they egg each other on to go into the attack.


POPOV36: We got a visual. Oh, I wanted to get that first one before he gets into town then.

POPOV35: Get him. Get him.

POPOV36: All right, we got rocket launchers it looks like. Number 2 is rolling in from the south to the north and 2's in.

POPOV35: Get it.


POPOV35: I'm off your west.

Good hits.


OAKLEY: The two pilots had, in fact, made some basic errors in that they didn't get the permission of the air controller to go in for the attack. They didn't wait for some artillery fire that they had asked for to help identify what they might be attacking. And very soon they get information back from the ground controllers that it is, indeed, a friendly fire incident, a so-called blue on blue incident, and that it is a British convoy they have hit.


LIGHTENING 34: Roger, Popov. Be advised that in the 3122 and 3222 group box you have friendly armor in the area. Yellow, small armored tanks. Just be advised.


Get a -- got a smoke.

LIGHTENING 34: Hey, POPOV34, abort your mission. You got a -- looks like we may have a blue on blue situation.

POPOV35: (BLEEP). God bless it.

POPOV35: Popove34.


OAKLEY: It's not very long before the two pilots realization the kind of trouble they're in. One of them is physically sick in the cockpit at the realization of what he'd done. And one says to another, "we'll in jail, dude." This is a hugely embarrassing situation both for the British and the American governments because the American government has refused to allow this video to be made public. The British government went along with that, though the coroner wanted it in court. Now it's going to be played in court because the coroner says this is now in the public domain.


M. O'BRIEN: Robin, so where does this investigation stand right now then? OAKLEY: Well, this is a coroner's inquest into the death of Lance Corporal Matty Hull, the man who was actually killed in the attack. It's been held up. It's been a long, long process. Corporal Hull's widow was actually told that there was no cockpit video by the British ministry of defense, or she insists that that's was what they say. They're saying they made no attempt to deceive Corporal Hull's family. But where it goes from here is a full coroner's investigation into the death. It is very likely that he will rule that it was an occasion of friendly fire because this same coroner ruled that it was an unlawful killing of the British journalist, Terry Lloyd, who also was a victim of friendly fire by American forces in the Iraq War.


M. O'BRIEN: And what do we know, Robin, about how this tape came to light? How did "The Sun" get hold of it?

OAKLEY: That is a mystery. But the only people who seem to have had their hands on a version of the tape, apart from the ministry of defense officials, would be those officials working with the coroner in the investigation into Matty Hull's death. So we can only suppose that it might have leaked somewhere in the process there if it didn't come out of the ministry of defense.


M. O'BRIEN: Robin Oakley in London, thank you.


CHO: Now to that brutal cold snap. Temperatures as low as 42 degrees below zero blamed for at least six deaths across the upper Midwest to Northeast Monday. And right now it's shaping up to be another cold one. In Syracuse, New York, it's 11 degrees. But with the wind chill it feels like six below. In Ely, Minnesota, minus 29. The good news, if you could call it that, is the winds are calm. So with the wind chill, well, it feels like 29 below. And in Chicago, it's around 4 below. But with the wind chill it's negative 16. That's where CNN's Keith Oppenheim is this morning. Meanwhile, severe weather expert Chad Myers is at the CNN Weather Center. Let's go first to Keith in Chicago.

Hey, Keith, good morning.


And, boy, is it cold. And behind me you can see just how cold as you look at the very frozen Chicago River filled with ice chunks. My portable thermometer here has the temperature right around zero. But as you indicated, the wind chill makes it feel a good 10 degrees colder than that. So, obviously, we are getting advisories here that you have to bundle up to avoid hypothermia. There have been, as you said, some deaths as a result of this cold wave. And that is a danger that has been lingering across much of the northern U.S.


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 really got to keep your hands and your extremities covered up because they feel like they could freeze off out here.

OPPENHEIM: In Michigan, white-out 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.

Is it cold?


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. And it's been in 11 years of working down here, it's been a lot colder.


OPPENHEIM: Some hearty souls in Chicago, Alina, but also some very vulnerable ones because we're being told this is the coldest stretch of weather we've had in the city in 11 years.

Back to you.

CHO: All right, Keith Oppenheim in Chicago for us this morning.

Keith, thank you. At 6:15 Eastern, severe weather expert Chad Myers will tell us how much longer this cold snap could last.

And, coming up, a tale of two winters. The mayor of International Falls, Minnesota, America's ice box, joins us with the mayor of Palm Springs, California. High there, 82 today. They're in our 8:00 hour.

M. O'BRIEN: In Indonesia this morning, flood waters are starting to recede, but it's a place that is a major health threat right now. Doctors are warning the filthy water in Jakarta could trigger an outbreak of serious illnesses like malaria. Nonstop rain and flooding has killed at least 29 and forced more than a quarter million from their homes.

CHO: Also happening this morning, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace face the Senate Armed Services Committee. The main topic, money. Like the $93 billion extra being requested for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Another step toward a White House run for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He's filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. The ninth Republican to file some kind of presidential paperwork.

In Clayton, Missouri, accused kidnapper Michael Devlin is now facing 71 charges. Among them, 17 counts of forcible sodomy related to Devlin's alleged abduction of two boys. One 13 and one 15. Prosecutors say Devlin has "acknowledged" committing these acts. Each count carries a possible life sentence. Earlier, Devlin pleaded not guilty to kidnapping charges.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom says he will go into rehab to stop drinking. Just last week, the 39-year-old Newsom admitted he had an affair with his former campaign manager's wife back in 2005. He says he'll be a better person without alcohol in his life. Newsom has been San Francisco's mayor since 2003.

And a recall this morning of a toy icon. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling Easy Bake ovens made after May of 2006. The CPSC says kids have been getting burned by the toys. The ovens are model number 65805, which is stamped on the plastic on he back. Just under a million of the ovens are being recalled.


M. O'BRIEN: A NASA astronaut is in jail this morning in Orlando charged in a lover's triangle kidnap plot. Lisa Nowak is accused of driving from Houston to Orlando to confront and allegedly kidnap 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 a wig and confronted Shipman at the Orlando Airport parking lot armed with pepper spray, a knife and a BB gun.


SGT. BARBARA JONES, ORLANDO POLICE: It's a really, really sad, sad case that, you know, somebody of that stature, of that success and a professional career ends up finding herself in the other side of the law. It's a fairly elaborate plan and we believe she was probably going to try to kidnap the victim and, you know, possibly do serious bodily harm.


M. O'BRIEN: Nowak, married with three children, first flew on the shuttle Discovery back in July. She's being held without bail.

CHO: Still to come, audiotapes played for the jury in the Scooter Libby trial.

Plus, his murder sparked the "America's Most Wanted" revolution. Why authorities are now looking again at the murder of John Walsh's son Adam and a possible link to notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

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


M. O'BRIEN: The most news in the morning right here.

Some video just in to CNN this morning and it shows -- it's U.S. cockpit video of an attack back in 2003 in Iraq. A so-called friendly fire attack. A British soldier was killed in it. No comment from the Pentagon, though, thus far. But in Great Britain, there's an inquest underway as we speak.

Indonesia now. Fears that thousands of people could get sick from the polluted flood waters you see right there. They've had days and days of rains. The flood waters are receding, but concerns about those illnesses actually rising this morning.

This morning, jurors in the Lewis Scooter Libby trial will be hearing some interesting grand jury tapes. On those tapes, the defendant, Scooter Libby, the former chief of staff for the vice president, is talking about the allegations against him in this whole case. The case, of course, having to do with the revealing of the identity of Valerie Plame, a secret CIA operative. AMERICAN MORNING's Bob Franken live in Washington with more.

Good morning, Bob.


And we have to remember that he is charged not with leaking the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, who was the wife of Joseph Wilson, the person who criticized the administration, but of lying about it to investigators. And now the grand jury testimony, which is the basis for one of those charges that he lied to the grand jury and committed perjury, is being played. Just the first parts of it were.

And in that testimony, Libby says that, in fact, he had spoken with Vice President Cheney about the entire matter in 2003 and that Cheney had brought up Plame's identity in, "sort of an off-hand matter, as a curiosity." And that was a word that was used over and over again, raising the question, what does this mean, "curiosity"? And it was something that Libby said was "curiosity might mean nothing, might mean something, I don't know."

What Libby has been claiming all along is that he did not intentionally lie. That he just had failure of recollection when he was talking to investigators and made mistakes and said that the first he heard about Valerie Plame's identity came from NBC's Tim Russert in July of 2003. There has been a parade of witnesses saying that he had heard about it much earlier than that and suggestions that at the vice president's behest or suggestion he was trying to put out information that would discredit Joe Wilson. This is going to go on now with several hours worth of tape today.


M. O'BRIEN: Bob Franken in Washington, thank you very much.

About quarter past the hour now. Chad Myers at the CNN Weather Center.

Welcome back, Chad.


CHO: 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 27, 1981. Now author and crime reporter Arthur Jay Harris says clues he's dug up point to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer as Adam's killer.


ARTHUR JAY HARRIS, AUTHOR AND CRIME REPORTER: And 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 just have to start -- you know, that's number one. But then there's a whole litany of evidence that has been collected that makes sense that says that this should be officially looked at.

JOHN WALSH, ADAM'S FATHER: I think the ball is back in Michael Sat's (ph) court, the Broward County prosecutor's court, to thoroughly look at this case. Even though it's a cold case, people have come forward who are claiming one thing, who are saying we weren't taken seriously back 25, 26 years ago. So I think that they have to look at this case.


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


M. O'BRIEN: Coming up, we're "Minding Your Business." Something new at the gas pump you might have noticed. Ali Velshi helps explain what's going on there.

And an astronaut with a not so happy landing in court this morning, accused of trying to kidnap a rival in a love triangle, which includes another astronaut. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


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

And happening this morning, confirmation votes expected for Admiral William Fallon to replace General George Casey as top commander in the Mideast. Casey is expected to be confirmed as the Army's new chief of staff.

And at least six deaths now blamed on the blast of arctic air slamming states from the Midwest to New England.


M. O'BRIEN: Coverage of NASA and its astronauts usually fair for publications like "Aviation Week" or "Discover" magazine. But this morning the agency is in the tabloids. Check out "The Daily News" this morning. "Space Cadet" is what it says. The woman at the center of this is behind bars. She's an astronaut and she is charged in a lover's triangle kidnapping plot.


M. O'BRIEN, (voice over): Lisa Nowak, astronaut in training. Lisa Nowak, suspect, facing some serious charges. Police in Orlando say it's all about a high-flying love triangle. They say Nowak, a Navy captain who flew for the first time on the shuttle Discovery in July, drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando to confront Colleen Shipman at the airport. Authorities say both women were romantically leaked to astronaut Bill Oefelein, the pilot on the last shuttle mission in December.

SGT. BARBARA JONES, ORLANDO, FLORIDA POLICE: It was a fairly elaborate plan and we believe that she was probably going to try to kidnap the victim and, you know, possibly do serious bodily harm.

M. O'BRIEN: Police say Nowak, married with three children, wore a trench coat and wig and waited for Shipman in the parking lot at the airport when she arrived on a flight from Houston. They say Nowak pepper-sprayed Shipman as she sat in her car. But there is more. Police say Nowak was armed with a knife, a BB gun and a steel mallet. JONES: It's a really, really sad, sad case that, you know, somebody of that stature, that success and a professional career ends up finding herself on the other side of the law facing some very serious charges.


M. O'BRIEN: Nowak faces kidnapping, burglary, battery and some other charges. She's being held without bail. Police say she was wearing diapers when they arrested her. Investigators say she told them she did not want to have to stop to use the bathroom on her dash to Orlando. Astronauts wear diapers when they suit up for launch and re-entry.

CHO: Boy, I smell a bad TV movie on that one.

Toyota catching up with General Motors as the world's biggest automaker and getting closer all the time. Twenty-five minutes after the hour, Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business."

Hey, Ali, good morning.


Miles just took the cool out of being an astronaut for me. I'm still reeling from that whole situation.

M. O'BRIEN: It depends on how you look at it.

VELSHI: That's cute.

All right, Toyota, number one automaker in the world. Not yet, but its on its march to becoming that this year. Last year, Toyota made about 150,000 cars fewer than General Motors did. They're both in the 9 million range.

Well, Toyota just reported its sales and profits for the last three months of 2006. And it is -- they are record numbers. They're thanks in part to the Camry and to the remodeled RAV-4. Toyota expecting to do better as the year goes on. It's already displaced Ford in the United States in the number third spot, moving up to number three. Ford is now number two. And we'll see what Toyota has for us for the rest of the year.

Now Home depot, a company that's been -- well, really would like to put 2006 behind it, is making some more changes. It got rid of its CEO earlier this year under a cloud of all sorts of things, including extravagant pay. Well, one of the things Home Depot has agreed to do is put a group that owns 25 million shares on the board. Give them a board seat.

This is a group that's been agitating for Home Depot to do more to increase shareholder value. One of the things that group wants to do is have Home Depot consider selling itself to a private company and taking it off the stock market. But this will continue to be a good story for stockholders of Home Depot. And finally, that cold that we're feeling, it's affecting gas prices, as you can expect. Oil prices are up about $9 so far this year. They were below $50. That's affecting gas prices depending on who you ask. $2.18 to $2.19, up from about $2.16. So you'll continue to feel that as oil price goes up.

M. O'BRIEN: Thank you Ali.


M. O'BRIEN: Top stories of the morning coming up next. A brutal cold snap gripping the Midwest and Northeast this morning. Chad Myers will tell us how long it will last.

Plus, a convicted terrorist in the Iraqi parliament. Why U.S. officials say he may be fueling the insurgency, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning right here.


O'BRIEN: Friendly fire. Chilling tapes released overnight. A U.S. fighter jet shoots and kills a British soldier. You'll hear what the pilots say moments after pulling the trigger.

CHO: Deadly freeze. Another day of dangerously cold temperatures on tap. Things could get worse before they get warmer.

O'BRIEN: Ties to terror. A member of Iraq's new parliament linked to a deadly attack on a U.S. embassy. And American troops can't touch him.

CHO: And flood of fears. The race to prevent a deadly outbreak of disease from floodwaters 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 being with us.

O'BRIEN: Prepare yourselves for another day of dangerous cold, now blamed for at least six deaths. And take a look at this. A lot of blue and some purple on that map. Purple means it's really cold.

Temperatures below zero. Wind-chills expected to drop to 30 below in some parts.

CNN's Keith oppenheim got the short straw. He's outside this morning covering it all.

Hello, Keith.

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you put it well there, Miles. Right now in Chicago if you look at my thermometer here, it's hovering right around zero. That's a little bit warmer than it was about an hour ago, Miles. But the wind-chill makes it feel like 10 below. And take a look over to my side here as we look at the Chicago River.

It is frozen for good reason. And the conditions here are extremely dangerous for Chicago area residents.

We have had in the past few days at least three deaths reported. There were perhaps 13 people who have died as a result of the cold weather this season so far. So we are being told to bundle up for good reason, because if you don't, Miles, the danger of hypothermia or frostbite is very real.

Back to you.

O'BRIEN: All right, Keith. Please stay -- I can see you are bundled up, but stay as warm as you can out there. Back to the truck now.

At 6:45 Eastern Time, about 15 minutes from now, severe weather expert Chad Myers will tell us how much longer it all could last -- Alina.

CHO: All right.


O'BRIEN: 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. He joins us now live from Baghdad.

Michael, who is he and what is he accused of?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, this member of parliament's name is Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, although he goes by many names. This man was convicted in Kuwait in 1984 for blowing up a U.S. embassy, no less.

U.S. military intelligence also links him to the hijack of at least one Kuwaiti airliner back in the '80s in a bid to free other members of the car bombing or embassy bombing plot. American military intelligence also links him to one attempted assassination on a Kuwaiti prince.

Now, this fellow later went on to become the commander of an Iraqi element of the Iranian armed forces, a position he left just shortly before the invasion when he returned to covert operations. U.S. military intelligence now says that under the cover of parliamentary privilege, with the immunity from prosecution that that gives him, he is now a conduit for Iranian special forces as they run weapons and political influence in and out of Iraq. It says that he is a part of assisting Shia insurgents to this day -- Miles. O'BRIEN: Wow. That's amazing. Now, the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, what can he do about it, and what does this mean about the effectiveness of his government at this point?

WARE: Well, it says many things. The first thing is, there's little Maliki can actually do. Maliki says this is now a parliamentary issue.

He has called upon the U.S. to now present its large body of information to the Iraqi parliament and let them decide. It's only the parliament that can lift the immunity. But the question is, how did this name end up there in the first place?

He was elected in December 2005, in the elections that the Bush administration held up as a model of success for the region to follow. Now, one U.S. official I spoke to said the fact that this fellow is in the parliament, a man who is said to have masterminded the bombing of U.S. and French embassies, the official said to me, well, given his background, given how good he is at covert operations, at spying, at moving without detection, given how many false names he has, you cannot blame us. It's not beyond the realm that these things would happen.

The irony, Miles, is that the name he is registered in the Iraqi parliament is the same name that the Kuwaiti court sentenced him to death in absentia for bombing the American embassy.

O'BRIEN: Wow. Talk about hiding in broad daylight there.

All right. Michael Ware in Baghdad.

Thank you.

Now to that cockpit video just coming to light this morning. The video was obtained by "The Sun" newspaper in London. It shows the American's pilot view firing on a convoy near the beginning of the Iraq war back in 2003. Well, it turns out it was a British convoy and a British soldier was killed.

CNN's Robin Oakley live in London with more -- Robin.


Well, friendly fire incidents, the so-called blue-on-blue incidents, as the military put them, are, alas, a common occurrence in war, and this was certainly not the first and won't be the last. What is strange about this one, as you watch this remarkably dramatic video unfold, is the catalog of errors that led to the attack on the British convoy, because the two pilots, the two U.S. pilots, are in conversation looking at vehicles and talking about orange panels on those vehicles which are supposed to denote they are friendly allied vehicles.

But somehow they managed to convince themselves that these are not orange panels of that kind but are orange-colored rocket launchers. And without waiting for some artillery fire, they had asked them for -- to help identify the target, and without waiting for air controllers' permission, they go in and attack the convoy, encouraging each other as they do.


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: I'm off your west.



OAKLEY: And very soon after this interlude and the attack on the convoy, the air -- the controllers on the ground realize what has happened and tell the pilots, and they are absolutely horrified at what they've done. One of them says he's physically sick. And one turns -- one calls out to the other, "Hey, dude, we're in jail over this" -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: Robin Oakley in London. Thank you -- Alina.

CHO: How low can it go? Severe weather expert Chad Myers is in with the bitter cold temperatures across the Midwest and the Northeast.

And scared straight. Health officials say dramatic warnings like these on each pack of cigarettes could save lives. But you won't see them in the U.S. Hear why on AMERICAN MORNING.

The most news in the morning right here on CNN.


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

Stories we're watching for you.

Confirmation votes expected for Admiral William Fallon to replace General George Casey as the top commander in the Mideast. Casey is expected to be confirmed as the Army's new chief of staff.

And six deaths now blamed on the subfreezing temperatures slamming states from the Midwest to New England.

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

ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Alphonso Van Marsh in Suffolk, England, where British authorities have set up biosecurity zones to help stop the spread of the deadly H5N1 avian bird flu, bird flu that's resulted in the culling of some 159,000 turkeys at one of Europe's largest turkey producers.

Officials at Bernard Matthews turkey farm say that none of its affected turkeys have made it into the food population and, therefore, none of its consumers are at risk. That's not stopping some countries like Russia and Japan from banning British poultry imports.

Now, that said, the phase has gone from culling the birds to disinfecting the farm. Something that's key before opening this farm can open again. And, of course, investigators want to know just how did the bird flu virus get here in the first place?


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. I'm Atika Shubert in Gaza, where a tense calm has settled over the city, but armed gunmen remain on the streets.

Leaders from both warring factions, Fatah and Hamas, will meet in the Islamic holy city of Mecca today to hammer out a power-sharing government. Here in Gaza, residents are hopeful, but not optimistic that this agreement will end the violence.


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

CHO: Forty-three minutes after the hour. Chad Myers at the CNN weather center, watching the cold temperatures and the cold and flu report.

Now, Chad, I know it's winter, but this is a little ridiculous. Wouldn't you say?



O'BRIEN: We may be freezing here in much of the U.S., but in Great Britain it is hot, so hot you can smell it. It's not what you are thinking. The smelliest flower in the world, the corpse flower, is blooming early there. The stench, which is just like something dead -- hence the name -- is short-lived, however. The plants live just a few days before they become corpses.

Coming up, we'll take you over to the grid. And we'll get a look at some of the video that's coming in to CNN as we speak. We'll tell you what's in store for you today on the news menu. Plus, do cigarette warnings need a new label that could include pictures? Some experts are now saying yes. We'll tell you why, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back. The most news in the morning right here. Here's some of what we are watching in the newsroom and in the control room.


O'BRIEN: Coming up, Wal-Mart is giving Apple a run for its money when it comes to movie downloads. Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business" with that.

Plus, soldiers say they are coming home sick from radioactive dust. And now states are doing their own test to find out why. A special AMERICAN MORNING investigation is ahead.

The most news in the morning right here.


O'BRIEN: Well, move over iTunes and iMovie -- maybe. Wal-Mart is getting into the movie download business.

Just a few minutes before the top of the hour. Ali Velshi is here.

Can Wal-Mart knock off Apple in this round?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wal-Mart can knock off a lot of folks. This is kind of an interesting discussion, because Miles and I were talking about the fact that I'm not entirely sure who the market is for people who want to download movies and watch them on their small devices. But Wal-Mart is getting in to the business.

They are starting a beta test today, and -- maybe it will be Tuesday, actually, they are starting it. And what they are going to do is sell -- you can download movies from about 12 bucks to 20 bucks, and that competes with iTunes. Older movies will cost a little bit less. It will also beat iTunes on that.

They'll sell some TV shows. They've got more studios online than Apple does because the studios don't like the fact that Apple has flat-rate pricing for these things. They want premium pricing.

Now, Wal-Mart is the biggest distributor of movies on DVD, 40 percent of them. Which is why when Wal-Mart says, we want to get into the business, the studios all get in line and say let's do it.

O'BRIEN: But you would need separate software in order to download. In other words, the iMovie, iTune software won't work, right? VELSHI: It will not work with Apple products. It won't play on an iPod. Now, all sorts of people have all sorts of fixes for these things, but for the usual user, it will work on a Windows operating system.


VELSHI: I will work on a Windows media player type of device. So, if you're a heavy Apple user, why would you do this? If you are not, and you want to get into the business of downloading movies and watching them, you can't burn them to DVD yet, but Wal-Mart says it's working on something that will allow you to do that. Now, that could change the whole thing.

O'BRIEN: This is going to put pressure on Apple to change its pricing, isn't it?

VELSHI: Right. And I think it should put pressure on everybody just to let us all use any form of digital download on whatever we want to use it.

When -- Apple starts to look a little Microsofty in times like this, when, you know, you've got to stick to the one that you picked. But fundamentally, Wal-Mart puts pressure -- when Wal-Mart gets into the game, that means you'll see more of generally around.

I don't know how big a business the downloading movies is going to be, but then again...

CHO: I've seen people watch movies on their iPods at the gym.


CHO: So I know somebody's doing it.

O'BRIEN: This is kind of -- you know, that's not the way I want to watch a movie. I want it on my big screen.

CHO: Yes.

VELSHI: I mean, if you're used to doing things on your cell phone, you might be used to -- you might be comfortable doing it on your iPod. Bottom line is, if it's a trend and it's going that way, Wal-Mart is in pretty early into the game.

O'BRIEN: There's probably a way to project it on your glasses.

VELSHI: You've got cables. There's an actual little device that you can watch movies on your glasses.

CHO: I'm sure you two will find a way if there's a way to do it.

VELSHI: Well, we'll get it wirelessly.

O'BRIEN: All right. Thank you, Ali.

VELSHI: All right.

O'BRIEN: Some of the other headlines we're looking at this morning,'s popular stories.

Right near the top of the list, the Cory Lidle accident. You'll recall that.

No mechanical failure found by the National Transportation Safety Board in the crash in New York City involving the Yankees' pitcher. It killed him and his flight instructor.

Lots of questions will remain and probably will never be answered. And the key one probably that remains unanswered is, who was actually at the controls at the time of the crash? No black boxes on board that little plane. And so that question remains unknown and does have some direct bearing on how insurance will be paid in that, because there is an exclusion in Cory Lidle's policy on paying for an accidental death if he was doing something other than being a passenger in the plane.

CHO: I see. So that's got to be worked out.


CHO: Interesting headline from The Associated Press this morning. It could be a trend, possibly.

Associated Press: "Philadelphia Could Get Rubber Sidewalks." Apparently, a city official thinks that sidewalks made of rubber could be, you know, a pretty good idea. And so they are looking into it.

Apparently, sidewalks like this one in Washington, D.C., don't crack. And they last longer than concrete. And he says that from recycled tires, it probably could reduce the number of slip and fall incidents.

We shall see.

O'BRIEN: That's where the rubber meets the road, obviously.

CHO: That's right. They're looking into that.

O'BRIEN: I wonder what it's like on a hot 95-degree day.

CHO: Well, that's -- I thought maybe melting might be an issue there. Sticky. A little sticky.


CHO: Yes.

O'BRIEN: From Reuters, here's a story for you: "Love Is...A Pair of Really Good Jeans" ? This is a question for you, Alina. When it comes to sex or a new wardrobe, which would women go for given the choice?

CHO: I'm going to go with the clothes.


O'BRIEN: At least that's what the survey says.

Survey says -- about 1,000 women surveyed in 10 U.S. cities. Women on average say they'd be willing to give up sex for quite awhile to have a closet full of new clothes. Ten percent said they'd give up sex for three years. Those are the real clothes horses. The survey was done by consumer products maker Unilever.

And I don't know why Unilever was involved in that thing.

CHO: Our friend Carson Kressley (ph) said, "Some people say clothes make the man, but the right clothes can even replace him."

O'BRIEN: There you have it.

CHO: So there you have it.

All right.

The next hour of AMERICAN MORNING starts right now.

O'BRIEN: Friendly fire. Chilling new cockpit tapes released overnight. A U.S. warplane fires on the wrong target. A British soldier is dead, and now his family is demanding answers.

CHO: Deadly freeze. Get ready to face another day of brutal cold and breathtaking wind-chills. Parts of America now colder than Antarctica.

O'BRIEN: A NASA astronaut lands in jail after an alleged love triangle with another astronaut in a suspected kidnap plot. It's a tangled tale. We'll unravel it for you on this AMERICAN MORNING.

Good morning to you. 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: We begin with that cockpit video just coming to light this morning. The video, from the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003, obtained by "The Sun" newspaper in London. On it, you can see and hear the action as American pilots fire on a British convoy.



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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him. Get him.

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


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