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The Deep Freeze; Dangerous District in Baghdad; FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Version of Fat Blocker

Aired February 8, 2007 - 09:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Tony Harris.


For the next three hours, watch events as they come in to the NEWSROOM live on Thursday, February 8th.

Here's what's on the rundown.

A wave of violence in Iraq today. Dozens of people dead just as a retooled security plan launches.

On patrol with Charlie Company.

HARRIS: Masked men dressed in black, dressed to kill. The fight over oil riches puts our correspondent face to face with this rough looking crew.

COLLINS: The first government-approved over-the-counter diet pill. Dr. Gupta looks at a new ally in war on fat this hour in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Our top story this morning, bitter cold, blinding snow, dangerous arctic conditions keeping much of the East and Midwest in a deep freeze today. Forecasters say some areas of upstate New York could find 100 inches of snow on the ground by this weekend. Parts of western New York could get a foot of lake-effect snow today alone.

Icy roads from the cold weather making travel treacherous. The storms have also snarled air travel and shut down schools. The severe cold is blamed for at least 16 deaths across the eastern half of the U.S., including five in Ohio. The coldest temperature in the nation yesterday, 29 below zero in Devils Lake, North Dakota.

COLLINS: Let's get an update on that snowy forecast now and the bone-chilling conditions. Meteorologist Chad Myers is in the CNN weather center and meteorologist Rob Marciano drew the short straw, it seems. He's out in the snow in Oswego, New York.

Well, it's pretty, at least, Rob, but I know it is darn cold.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is pretty. It is cold. Right now, actually, this is as light as the snow has been all morning long. As a matter of fact, the skies are beginning to brighten. Kind of the -- it's kind of one of the characteristics of lake-effect snow. It's convective in that way.

We're in downtown Lake Oswego, in the middle of the main intersection. And traffic is flowing.

Plows have been coming through. When we had snowfall rates of two, three inches an hour, when a plow would come through it wouldn't take much more than a half-hour or so for the snow to begin to pile up. That's one of the characteristics of lake-effect snow as well, because once you turn that faucet on, it's often difficult to shut off.


MARCIANO (voice over): Nearly 50 inches have fallen over four days on this upstate New York community that sits on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. The snow is expected to continue on and off right through the weekend.

Schools have been closed since Monday. And different sections of the major highway through town was shut down through part of the storm.

The never-ending snowfall comes after weeks of mild weather. But residents of this port city were not fooled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once we got it, we were going to get it really good. So we were just waiting for it to happen.

MARCIANO: Good Samaritans are easy to find. Tim Rooney (ph), an off-duty police officer, rescued a stroke victim and his son who were stranded in their car on the side of the road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is wonderful.

MARCIANO: Heroics aside, the mayor of Oswego says folks here are coping just fine.

MAYOR RANDOLPH BATEMAN, OSWEGO, NEW YORK: It's snowing. It's just another day. I mean, it's something for a topic of discussion, how much snow are we going to get? Some people actually make bets, you know, at work . But it's a typical day in the winter.

MARCIANO: William Gregway has been an observer for the National Weather Service for 39 years. He remembers a year very similar to this one.

WILLIAM GREGWAY, WEATHER OBSERVER: In 1972, we had a mild January. And then at the end of January, the weather changed and we got into snow and cold. January ended with 80 inches, and February had 90 inches, and March and April were both substantial, and we ended up with about 250 inches of snow that winter.


MARCIANO: In other words, the snow here in Oswego, New York, might just be getting started. And one of the -- one of the reasons it's so heavy right now and we're nervous, or, in some cases, excited about this event, is that because it was so mild here throughout the December and January months, that lake, Lake Ontario, is much warmer now than it normally would.

Unlike Lake Erie, which typically freezes off and the lake-effect snow shuts off, Ontario stays open for business a lot longer. And this year, with that warm lake the way it is, and this bitterly cold air coming in, you know, we can have this snow going on for quite some time.

Lake-effect snow warnings are up until 6:00 p.m. tonight. And Heidi, for the record, I didn't draw the shot straw so much. I went to college just down the road. A bit of a homecoming for me. And though it's cold, it's nice to be back in upstate New York.

COLLINS: Yes. I see all the cars lining up behind you there to come and visit you and see you and welcome you -- welcome you back to Oswego. Hey, maybe you ought to go for a swim in that warm Lake Ontario, too. We'll check in with you next hour. Catch you out there swimming, huh?

Rob Marciano, live from Oswego, New York.

Want to get over to Chad Myers now, get a better picture of the maps and all of this cold weather across the country.


COLLINS: Turning to Iraq now, insurgents strike, the U.S. strikes back. Militants detonate two car bombs, killing and wounding dozens of people. This is the aftermath from one of those explosions outside a mosque in Baghdad.

Another bombing 100 miles southeast of the capital in a meat market. The day's toll, at last count, at least 27 people dead, 61 wounded.

Also this morning, the military reporting that a coalition air strike has killed 13 militants. The target, they say, a senior militant in Amiriyah. Officials also say they nabbed five suspected terrorists and an arsenal that includes armor-piercing ammunition.

A raid by U.S. and Iraqi forces has netted the arrest of a government official. The deputy health minister is a senior member of the political group loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr's militia, the Mehdi army, is blamed for sectarian violence in Iraq.

HARRIS: And now CNN takes you to the front lines in what is called the most dangerous district in Baghdad. It is the turf of Charlie Company and the base they call the Alamo.

Our Michael Holmes spent two days with the troops and has their story.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Adamiyah is one of Baghdad's oldest neighborhoods, birthplace of the Ba'ath Party, once very upper class, home to kings.

(on camera): But not anymore. This is a Sunni stronghold, and it's surrounded by Shia areas. Now, both of those areas have hard- core insurgents who fight each other and target the Americans.

SGT. KENNETH HENDRIX, U.S. ARMY: A lot of hand grenades, a lot of improvised explosive devices.

HOLMES (voice over): So many hand grenades tossed from buildings, that the men have built homemade protection for their exposed gunners.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of our guys got hit by a grenade in here. And an IED went off two days ago here right behind our truck.

HOLMES: We're with Charlie Company, 126th Infantry, based at forward operating base Apache. Although it's not really a base, it's actually a house. A hundred and twenty men in the middle of probably the city's most dangerous area.

HENDRIX: Some guys call it the Alamo, you know. It's just a house in the middle of Adamiyah. Nobody else around. No other units.

HOLMES: They are fired on regularly by insurgents, both Sunni and Shia. The house shows the scars.

A couple of months ago, insurgents attacked her. Charlie Company killed 38 of them. Around here, something as simple as leaving a house after speaking with the owners requires smoke grenades for cover.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We unfortunately, you know, learn some hard lessons.

HOLMES: Since arriving here in August, Charlie Company has never left, never stopped patrolling, 24/7. They've lost five men, two dozen wounded, and earned a fistful of medals for bravery.

(on camera): Is there a day here where something doesn't happen?


HOLMES (voice over): One soldier, 19-year-old Specialist Ross McGinnis (ph), is being nominated for his country's highest award, the Medal of Honor, after throwing himself on a grenade that had been tossed into his Humvee, saving the lives of four comrades.

LT. RYAN MARAVILLA, U.S. ARMY: I have four killed in action due to sniper attacks and roadside bombs, and four wounded in action.


HOLMES: But Lieutenant Ryan Maravilla says those losses brought the men who live and work here even closer.

MARAVILLA: You would not have even thought that we lost four guys. It's not because we don't remember them and we don't think about them. It's just we know that we've got to carry on.

HOLMES: Carry on in a place where the camaraderie might be ever present but so, too, the urban warfare that is Adamiyah.

HENDRIX: I'll look back on it as probably -- probably the hardest tour I've ever done. Hopefully that is my first and only year in Adamiyah.


HARRIS: Michael Holmes joins us from Baghdad.

Now, Michael, thank you for that look at the work that these soldiers are doing. We really appreciate that.

How critical is it for the overall security of Baghdad for U.S. and Iraqi forces to get -- well, to get a handle on this district?

HOLMES: Yes, it's a really unique district, Tony. As I said in the story, it is like an enclave.

It's like the only Sunni -- purely Sunni area on the east side of the river here, and surrounded by Shiite militias. There's plenty of Sunni militias there, too. But if the U.S. wasn't there, I can tell you that that area would become a bloodbath of the insurgency, the sectarian killings. And it would end up being all Shia, and those Sunnis would be gone.

So the guys in Charlie Company see this as a real sort of last- stand area on that side of the river. And as you said, a great bunch of guys. And you know, we had 48 hours there. I can't imagine what a year there is going to be like for them.

HARRIS: Yes. Let's put a finer point on this, Michael. With additional U.S. troops heading to Baghdad and being at least partially deployed already, will those troops find themselves in similar situations in other districts of the city?

HOLMES: Well, really, yes. I mean, all these JSSs, the Joint Security Stations we've been talking about, will essentially be like many Alamos, if you like, just like has been the case in Adamiyah.

There are going to be these areas where the police, the national police, the army, and U.S. troops, all based in a compound, if you like, smack bang in the middle of the most problematic suburbs. The idea being to get on the ground and be more connected with the locals and get them to trust the security services that they don't trust now because they're all going to be -- seem to be working together. So, yes, there's going to be a lot of places like Adamiyah up and running. And, in fact, some of them are starting up right now -- Tony.

HARRIS: CNN's Michael Holmes for us in Baghdad.

Michael, Thank you.



COLLINS: A drug that gets rid of fat, for lifelong dieters it seems just too good to be true. The Food and Drug Administration approving an over-the-counter version of a fat blocker. And it's causing a lot of excitement.

So We've brought in our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, to join us this morning.

All right. So, it does sound too good to be true. No exercise, eat all the chocolate you want, take this pill and you're fine.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and I think even the manufacturers of the drug aren't going to sell it quite that hard.

COLLINS: No, probably not.

GUPTA: You know, they call it alli, which I thought was sort of an interesting name. What that means is it's supposed to be an ally in your own fight against the fat. You've got to do some other things as well. In fact, take a look at some of the packaging.

This is the over-the-counter version of a drug known as Xenical, which has been out since 1999. Interestingly, it was actually marketed to adolescents in 2003 as well -- ages 12 and over.

That's the packaging there. The top of that packaging, you're actually supposed to put your pills in there, three pills a day. But you're also supposed to put a multivitamin in there because the concern is that as you take this pill, which actually reduces your absorption of fat from the body, you actually reduce the absorption of other things as well.

A couple of quick facts.

The prescription pill was about 120 milligrams. The over-the- counter pill, they're at 60 milligrams, half the dosing. But as we investigated this a little bit, we found that the full dose actually blocks 30 percent of the fat from being absorbed, and half the dose actually blocks 25 percent.

COLLINS: Oh, that's interesting.

GUPTA: So it's not bad. It's also not cheap. You know, when the prescription -- the full cost of it was about $1,300 a year. This is going to be about $600 a year. So it's not going to be a cheap medication.

The FDA, you know, has approved this, first time ever for a diet pill being sold not even behind the counter, but over the counter. I mean, you can actually get it without having to ask the pharmacist for it.


GUPTA: You walk in the store and actually buy this. That's the first time that's happened.

COLLINS: OK. So a couple of things here.

First of all, do they know that they spelled "ally" wrong? Which I think is a really great name, because it's so important to realize that they are not saying take this pill, eat whatever you want, forget about the exercise. It seems like these diet drugs are always sold that way. You have to do your part.

GUPTA: You do. And I think anybody who talks about these pills talks about what it can do for you and what the downsides are as well.

Part of the downside of this particular medication, if you take it, it prevents the absorption of fat, which can cause some significant gastrointestinal-type side-effects. So much so that people don't like to actually take this pill after a while. Or, if you're eating a high-fat diet, it makes it particularly cumbersome.

Also, if you talk about the overall impact of it, it's going to add about 50 percent to what you're already losing. So let's say you're going to lose about five pounds over the next several weeks. It might give you another two or three pounds. It's not going to be the five pounds. It's not going to be all the weight all together just from this little pill.

COLLINS: All right. So we should also mention that his -- the watchdog Public Citizen is saying -- you know, they cited these studies that are showing that the drug caused pre-cancerous lesions in rats.


COLLINS: I mean, usually this is where research starts, with some sort of lab animal, and then learn from there. Do we know what it will do to human beings?

GUPTA: Well, you don't know for sure. And Sydney Wolfe, who's the head of Public Citizen, says that this is -- this is irresponsible to actually make this over the counter.

There's been a lot of data on humans because, again, this has been a drug that's been around since '99. So we actually investigated that as well, talked to the company that makes this. They say these claims made by Public Citizen are invalid.

This is the most studied weight loss drug ever. Two separate FDA advisory committees have reviewed all the scientific data and have found no association with colon cancer.

COLLINS: How long do you have to take it?

I mean, people are likely, maybe going to crazy for this thing off the top. They'll try it, and how long do you stay on it before you see some sort of results?

GUPTA: Well, you can see it fairly quickly, within a couple of months, probably, depending on what your definition of how quickly you want to lose the weight. But it works fairly quickly.

You're going to see some effects from some of the actual fat absorption being blocked within a few days. In terms of weight loss, a few weeks probably after that.

There are certain people who shouldn't take it, though. And that's important to keep in mind as well. People who have received organ transplants, for example, they shouldn't get it. Also, if you're a diabetic, if you've had thyroid conditions, if you're taking an blood-thinning medications, talk to your doctor about this medication as well.

COLLINS: All right. Very good.

Sanjay Gupta, we'll watch where this one goes.

GUPTA: We'll keep an eye on it.

COLLINS: Yes. I think we will.

All right. Thanks so much.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COLLINS: Well, losing a child for the lack of a donor.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like, are we killing ourselves with not helping each other?


COLLINS: Concerns about the shortage of African-American donors. We'll talk about that story coming up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Airport screeners on alert for missing children. Details in the NEWSROOM.

And we are "Minding Your Business" this morning. Stephanie Elam is in for Ali Velshi. She's here now with a preview.

Stephanie, good morning.


That's right, the music industry is not in tune with Steve Jobs and Apple.

I'll tell you all about it coming up in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: So the war of words between Apple's Steve Jobs and the music industry is heating up. Ooh, goody.

Stephanie Elam is "Minding Your Business." She is in for Ali Velshi today.

Hey, Stephanie, could this get to be as good as Trump and Rosie?

ELAM: Well, I don't think so, but it does make me think -- in college, we used to have battles of the bands.


ELAM: So this is like music on, like, a big fight on a big, larger scale.

HARRIS: Right.

ELAM: But it's kind of like that. You know, it's a war of words at this point.

Yesterday we had the CEO of Apple coming out, Steve Jobs, and saying that, you know, it would really help out if those anti-copying restrictions were shelved by the overall music industry for songs that are sold online. But then today the Recording Industry of America is lashing back, saying Apple should go ahead and open up their anti- piracy technology.

And what that would mean is, then, if you buy songs on iTunes, you can now play them on non-iPod devices. Something you can't do now.

Here's the RIAA statement. "We have no doubt that a technology company as sophisticated and smart as Apple could work with the music community to make that happen."

Now, of course the music industry says it's necessary to stop piracy by having the software. Steve Jobs has a little bit of a different take on this, of course -- Tony.

HARRIS: Well, I'm trying to understand that. The position of the music industry seems to make sense.

I mean, you're a technology guy. You can open up this system to more folks and make this happen. So when I download my tunes from iTunes and I want to put it on a different device, I don't just have to use the iPod, I can use the Microsoft system, or something. That makes sense.

ELAM: Right. That does make sense. And in a certain way, some people are saying that more exposure for iTunes, and they probably could make more money.

But keep in mind, they don't really make most of their money off of their downloads, because they're just 99 cents, right? That's not really making them a ton of money in that way.

Jobs says he's really against the idea of licensing their software that protects this technology mainly because it would give too much access to hackers and to their secrets and the secrets of Apple -- whatever -- the secret seeds at Apple on how they are able to do that. So that's why he's going against that at this point.

But some say if they did lose these exposures -- these overall restrictions, more music would have more exposure to more people. And that could help.

HARRIS: There you go.

ELAM: But -- but there's another side. According to others, this piracy software may be needed because eventually we may not even be buying CDs anymore. We may be all digital. And what are you going to do at that point if there's no other revenue coming in from those platters?

HARRIS: So iTunes and Steve Jobs may not be making a lot of money on each of these 99 cents downloads, but iTunes is making some money.

ELAM: Well, yes. And also...


ELAM: ... people like the convenience.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

ELAM: And they're definitely making the money off of the devices. But a little bit of money off of those downloads.

HARRIS: Let's be clear about this.

ELAM: Two billion or something. Let's think about it. You know.

HARRIS: There she is, "Minding Your Business" this morning, Stephanie Elam.

Stephanie, thank you.

ELAM: Have a good one.

HARRIS: You too.

COLLINS: Targeting civilians. Insurgents unleash a new wave of attacks across Baghdad. Dozens of people dead and wounded.

We'll have the details in the NEWSROOM.

A star witness for the prosecution. How will Tim Russert's testimony play with the jury? Senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin weighs in on the Scooter Libby trial ahead in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: The opening bell coming to us on this Thursday morning, just a few minutes ago. Hey, yesterday, pretty cool day at the New York Stock Exchange, intraday record, which was 12,700, not too far from that 13,000 mark, ah. Inched up yesterday at close, by about just .56 of a point.

HARRIS: So nothing, flat at the end of the day?

COLLINS: Yep, and down a little bit right off the bat this morning. We'll continue to watch it to see if we have some interesting things happening in the middle of the day.

HARRIS: In Iraq, the death toll grows on all sides of the conflict. The U.S. military confirming this morning that four U.S. Marines died yesterday. They were killed in two separate conflicts in the volatile Anbar Province, dozens of civilians dead and wounded in a pair of car bombings. One blast outside of a mosque in Baghdad, the other in a meat market 100 miles from the capital. At least 27 people killed, more than 60 others wounded. Also the military says a coalition air strike killed 13 militants. They report that the target was a senior militant in Amiriyah. Officials also say they nabbed five suspected terrorists and an arsenal that included armor piercing ammunition.

COLLINS: Stuck in the deep freeze, dangerous arctic conditions hanging over much of the east and Midwest today. Forecasters say some areas of upstate New York could find 100 inches of snow on the ground by this weekend. Parts of western New York could get a foot of lake effect snow today alone. Icy roads from the cold weather causing crashes and chain reaction accidents. The storms have also delayed flights and shut down schools. At least 16 deaths in seven states are blamed on the weather.


HARRIS: There is no disputing what he said, but what will the jury make of it. At issue, the audio tapes of former Cheney aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby's testimony before a grand jury. CNN's Brian Todd reports on the case and the highlights of testimony by NBC's Tim Russert.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For the first time in his own voice we hear Dick Cheney's former chief of staff tell a grand jury his version of conversations with reporters about the wife of administration critic Joe Wilson and her job at the CIA. LEWIS "SCOOTER" LIBBY: I told reporters that other reporters had told us. I didn't see that as a crime.

TODD: That excerpt, part of more than eight hours of audiotapes just released by the court from Lewis "Scooter" Libby's grand jury testimony in March 2004. Libby grilled with surgical precision by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald about key events and conversations. One crucial date, June 12, 2003 when Libby claims he first heard that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA. He heard it says from his boss, Dick Cheney.

LIBBY: I didn't think it was under the super, super secret categorization.

TODD: Libby told the grand jury he forgot about that conversation with Cheney. And claims when he heard about Plame's status a month later from Tim Russert of NBC News, he believed he was hearing it for the first time.

LIBBY: Then he said, you know, did you know that this -- excuse me, did you know that Ambassador Wilson's wife works at the CIA. And I was a little taken aback by that. I remember being taken aback by it. And I said, may have said a little more, but that was -- he said that. And I said no, I don't know that.

TODD: But Russert rebuts Libby, telling the court today he never said anything about Joe Wilson's wife to Libby. Russert says Wilson's wife never came up in that conversation. Russert, a star witness for the prosecution as it tries to prove Libby lied to investigators about what he told reporters about Plame and when he told them. Libby denies he intentionally misled investigators, claiming he simply didn't remember key dates and conversations. Tim Russert's representation is also on the line as defense attorneys try to punch holes in his memory and his credibility.

(on camera): Russert, likely one of the prosecution's final witnesses. Still to take the stand for the defense, possibly Vice President Cheney, possibly Scooter Libby himself. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


COLLINS: Testimony is set to resume right about now in the Libby trial. The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case today. So, how well have prosecutors done? Our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin joining us now from New York to talk about that. Nice to see you, Jeffery.


COLLINS: As we take a look at some of the prosecution's key witnesses, we had Judith Miller, Ari Fleischer and then Tim Russert as we just saw in Brian Todd's piece. How big of a blow was Russert's testimony to Scooter Libby's defense?

TOOBIN: I think it's a huge blow, you know. This has been a very lean, quick and effective prosecution. I mean it's just about done and it's only really been about two weeks of testimony. And the prosecution has done what the prosecution always wants to do in a criminal case, which is say, look, this is simple. Libby testified to the grand jury that he heard about Valerie Wilson's status as a CIA agent from Tim Russert. The first group of witnesses and that included Fleischer, Miller, and several other people in the government all said, no, we told Libby about Valerie Wilson's status at the CIA. And then Russert finishes the circle and says I never said a word to him. I didn't even know myself that Valerie Wilson worked for the CIA. So I think the witnesses are coming at Libby from both sides and it's a big problem for him.

COLLINS: Well, I wonder, I mean, how much you can claim. You know we heard him say in this audio testimony so many times, you know, I really just don't recall. I really just don't recall.

TOOBIN: Well, you know it's important to emphasize that it's not a crime to fail to remember. Libby's problem is, his testimony is not that, boy, I just don't remember the whole thing. He says, yes, I heard about her status, and I heard about it from Tim Russert. He appears to have invented a whole story about how he heard about it. It's not simply failure of memory. So he has to say, if he testifies, and that's a very tough question for the defense, he has to say, well, all these other witnesses are mistaken or I don't remember their conversations and then Russert is also mistaken about the nature of our conversation. I mean that's a tough argument to make with a bunch of witnesses who really don't have axes to grind against Scooter Libby.

COLLINS: Right. And speaking of some of those other witnesses, let's talk a little about "New York Times" reporter Judith Miller and former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. What stands out about their testimony to you?

TOOBIN: Well they were part of the earlier part of the case. And of course as people may remember, Judith Miller went to prison for several months to avoid cooperating with the Patrick Fitzgerald investigation so she didn't want to be there. And she was sympathetic to Libby, in general, but she testified that they had a conversation about Valerie Wilson's status as a CIA agent. Same thing with Ari Fleischer, they had a lunch in the White House mess, where they talked about the fact that Valerie Wilson worked at the CIA. Again, putting a hole in Libby's testimony before the grand jury saying he'd only heard about it from Tim Russert. How he explains that is going to be a big challenge.

COLLINS: Yeah it is. And so looking forward now as the prosecution is expected to wrap up today, defense will take over. Are we going to see Scooter Libby on the witness stand?

TOOBIN: Boy that's a tough call. Given the way the trial is going, it looks like they're leaning away from calling him. They've made some legal arguments which suggest he's not going to be called. But it's a problem when you're going to go to the jury and say, look, he's only human, he didn't remember. Even though a jury is instructed don't hold a defendant's silence against him, when you have such a specific defense relating to the state of mind of the defendant, you usually want to hear from the defendant and say, well, what do you mean you don't remember? So, I think it's going to be a very tough call about whether he testifies. Certainly the defense will include some aspects of how busy he was, how many important responsibilities he had relating to the war on terror, all of which is true. And that will be easy for the defense to prove but the bigger problems relate to this issue of memory and Dick Cheney a similar issue of whether they want to bring him before the jury, when, in Washington, D.C., he's not a particularly popular person.

COLLINS: We will continue to watch this one as the defense is expected to take over very, very soon likely today. All right, senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, thank you.

HARRIS: A high flying controversy or much ado about nothing. We will take a closer look at the brewing battle over "Pelosi One," details coming up in the NEWSROOM.

And shots fired. Just another day on the job for Africa correspondent Jeff Koinange.


JEFF KOINANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We wondered were you finally going to meet the mysterious Joe Mo.


HARRIS: The fight over oil riches, figuring out who's who in Nigeria's bloody battle, it is coming up in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: I have some breaking news, a developing story just in to CNN, all rolled into one here, a terrible story coming out of Thorsby, Alabama. The "Associated Press" is reporting that at least four people were killed this morning when a CSX freight train struck an eight-passenger van at a rural Alabama crossing. I don't know if we can tell from those pictures of gates and lights at that crossing, we just don't know. The accident occurred at about 6:00 a.m. in Thorsby. The coroner's office is reporting four people survived the crash, miraculously, with serious injuries. The sheriff's deputy at the scene puts the death toll at four. The train with two locomotives and 38 cars was head to Louisville, Kentucky from Baldwin, Florida. We will continue to get more information on this story and update this throughout the morning for you.

Hit us and we'll hit back. That message today from Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Ameneyi(ph) was addressing military officials. His comments were carried on Iranian State TV. He says Iran will respond to any action against it's, with a reaction against the quote, aggressor's interests around the world. He did not address a specific nation. Iran has been under increasing international pressure, as you know, over its nuclear program and its position on Iraq. COLLINS: Well you've heard of "Air Force One" and "Marine One", but "Pelosi One"? As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is authorized to fly a military aircraft for security reasons, but some critics charge Pelosi is abusing that right by requesting the fleet's most expensive plane. Here now CNN's Carol Costello.


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The charges against Nancy Pelosi are strong, an abuser of power who desires a luxury taxpayer funded "Pelosi One" to ferry her family and friends. They are so loud, the speaker spoke out.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: It has nothing to do with family and friends, and everything to do about the security.

COSTELLO: But her words did not quiet Republican Congressman Adam Putnam who's accused Pelosi of wanting not only a military plane that could fly coast to coast without refueling, but one of the most luxurious planes in the air force's fleet, the C40, which boasts a private bed, an entertainment center and crew of 16.

REP. ADAM PUTNAM, REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE CHMN.: There are corporate sized aircraft that exists that can serve this same function, so why does she need 42 seats, why do we need an airplane that costs $22,000 an hour to operate.

COSTELLO: That bit of info came from "The Washington Times" through unnamed congressional sources. Critics wondered why Pelosi couldn't use the planes her predecessor Republican Dennis Hastert had used, the smaller C37A or C20. Both planes are capable of flying coast to coast under optimal conditions. Pelosi says the debate has been mischaracterized.

PELOSI: The only misrepresentations could be coming from the administration and one would only have to wonder why.

COSTELLO: But her ally in congress John Murtha says he does know, saying the Pentagon is leaking information to "The Washington Times", saying "They're making a mistake when they leak it, because she decides on the allocations for the Department of Defense."

(on camera): We wondered how Mr. Hastert used military aircraft, former members of his staff says he only used them during the legislative session, about 41 times a year. Carol Costello, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: But it should be noted that Nancy Pelosi has to fly more than 2700 miles to reach San Francisco from Washington, D.C., that of course her home state. Dennis Hastert had to go about 500 miles to his home state of Illinois. Late yesterday the Pentagon weighed in saying Pelosi will be offered shuttle service for no more than 10 passengers between Washington and San Francisco, only based on aircraft availability. HARRIS: Well, the play is the thing, the name is another matter.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You've got kids that dance here, and everything, and I don't think they need to be reading it.


HARRIS: So what's all of the hoohaa over a name? That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: Rewriting art, in Florida, a famous play gets a new name. Reporter Scott Johnson of CNN affiliate WJXT has the story as we ask the question, Heidi, what's all of the hoohaa.


SCOTT JOHNSON, REPORTER, WJXT (voice-over): On the marquee for the Atlantic Theater, they advertise a number of plays, "Masquerade Ball," "Band Jam" and then there's "The "Hoohaa" monologues.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sounds like a country band.

JOHNSON: It's not. In fact, you might know hoohaa by a different name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hoohaa is kind of a strange phrase, you know, it depends on the context.

JOHNSON: Its context was changed by the theater.

BRYCE PFANENSTIEL, ATLANTIC THEATER: We got a complaint actually about the title of this play we have coming up called the "Vagina Monologues."

JOHNSON: "The Hoohaa Monologues" is a replacement title for "The Vagina Monologues," a well known play about that part of the female body.

PFANENSTIEL: We'll just use child slang for it and that's how we decided to title it "The Hoohaa Monologues" so we don't offend anybody.

JOHNSON: They did this after a driver who saw it complained.

PFANENSTIEL: She was upset that her niece read it and asked her, she was like, "What's a vagina." You know and I'm on the phone, like, well what did you tell her? And she's like, well I'm offended that I had to answer the question.

JOHNSON (on camera): They had a couple ideas other than the word hoohaa. One was the [ bleep ] monologues or the [ bleep ] monologues, or the [ bleep ] monologues. They just thought hoohaa might be less controversial.

(voice-over): Some parents applaud the change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have kids that dance here and everything and I don't think they need to be reading it.

JOHNSON: The theater says they're trying not to offend anyone and the publicity doesn't hurt.

PFANENSTIEL: We hope people understand that we're trying to do the right thing, non offensive thing. But as far as doing it for attention, I mean we're a comedy club, you know. I mean, we do all kinds of shenanigans.


COLLINS: Shenanigans.

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, men's sexuality seems to be the perfect subject for this morning's 30's, 40's, 50's segment. Doesn't it? The burning question for many males, how can you maintain the same vigor from decade to decade? Here is CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta with the answer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love women, like women, like them all.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As a culture, it's evident, some men are preoccupied with sex. You see it in the movies, magazines and on the internet. But what's really going on sexually with men in their 30's?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope to be active into my 80's and my 90's.

GUPTA: Dr. Chad Ritenour said men in their 30's may start to settle down and get married or start a family. But they still remain concerned about the quantity of sex that they're having.

DR. CHAD RITENOUR, EMORY UNIVERSITY UROLOGIST: In the 30's we start to see men who are concerned that they may not be as sexually active as they're counterparts.

GUPTA: For the 30-something-year-old man who wants to remain sexually active in later years, he recommends developing a healthy life style now.

RITENOUR: Exercise, take care of yourself, because what you do at this age may be important as you move into the 40's, the 50's and beyond.

GUTPA: Dr. Ritenour says men in their 40's may feel their sexual drive or libido change. And that might be related to testosterone levels dropping. As we get older, it becomes more about the quality of sex than the quantity.

RITENOUR: There's a shift in looking at what's important with the sexual experience. There's a change from quantity to quality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the best is yet to come.

GUPTA: When men reach their 50's, they often deal with performance issues in the bedroom. And when the frequency of sex goes down, sexual dysfunction is more likely to occur. That's according to Dr. Ritenour.

RITENOUR: Erectile dysfunction starts to set in for most men in their 50's, something that all men experience a little bit as they get older.

GUPTA: But prescription drugs can help. Dr. Ritenour sees a lot of me in their 50's who are more focused on pleasing their partners.

TOM OVERBY, 56 YEARS OLD: It's just better. You know more things and you know you're more apt to please and just do it.

GUPTA: His best take-home prescription for men in their 30's, 40's and 50's, is to stay healthy and physically fit. It can help a man's sex life down the road. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.




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