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Medical Examiner's Officer to Hold News Conference on Anna Nicole Smith Autopsy; Al Qaeda-Linked Group Posts Video it Says Shows Downing of U.S. Chopper; Obama's Big Day
Aired February 9, 2007 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone.
I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Betty Ngyuen, in for Kyra Phillips today.
Well, in life, and in death, Anna Nicole smith draws quite a crowd. Right now, news crews are standing by for autopsy results. We're going to take you live to Florida.
LEMON: I Iraq, business booms for arms dealers. Our Michael Holmes has more on the demand for black market weapons.
NGUYEN: And he's ready, set, just waiting for the official go. Why has Barack Obama drawn his presidential starting line in Springfield, Illinois?
The answer's ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: Anna Nicole Smith's autopsy got under way just a little bit ago, and it's still going on at this hour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
For that, we go to CNN's Susan Candiotti.
Susan, what's new?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, what's new is that we learned that within the hour, we will be getting some kind of a report from the chief medical examiner here who has been performing the autopsy on Anna Nicole Smith. So we expect to hear from him during the 3:00 hour.
This autopsy has been going -- has been under way since around 9:00, 9:30 this morning. So they've been hard at work, and then trying to put things together.
We don't know how much we're going to learn. Will we get a cause of death or won't we? Well, we'll be finding out within the hour.
In the meantime, we have learned some more information about the events that led up to the discovery of Anna Nicole Smith's body yesterday in a hotel room on the sixth floor of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. We already knew that the nurse is the one that found the body. Now we find out that at the time she was doing some work in the hotel room and happened to notice, according to a law enforcement source -- that's where this information is coming from -- that Smith was not breathing.
What did she do next? She called the bodyguard. And then after that, CPR was attempted by the bodyguard.
The nurse did not call 911 at that point. Instead, she called Howard K. Stern, Smith's partner. She couldn't reach him right away, the source tells us.
Waited for him to call back, and then called the hotel's front office. They, in turn, called security, and 911 was alerted.
Now what did they find in the room? Again, according to a law enforcement source, they found both prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter pills. We know that Anna Nicole Smith was suffering from a cold and flu for the past few days and, in fact, she had some of that kind of medication. But also valium, antibiotics that were in Stern's name, not hers.
We have also learned, according to a source, that a doctor flew here all the way from California some point during the last few days before this incident occurred to examine Anna Nicole Smith. We do not yet know his identity or what, if anything, he found or what kind of advice he might have given her.
So, again, we are waiting for this news conference to begin around the top of the hour, and we will find out what we can from that autopsy.
Don, back to you.
LEMON: Yes, and a lot of questions in this, Susan.
Again, that press conference, 3:00.
You know what I want to ask you real quick. Are you out there, Susan, with all the -- a bunch of people showing up for this? I know the media's there, but do you see a lot of spectators, or people who just -- who love Anna Nicole? Are they out there as well?
CANDIOTTI: Maybe a handful of those people. For the most part, this is not a very well-traveled street. There are some people going by from time to time looking, stopping, pausing to see what's going on. But for the most part, journalists.
LEMON: OK. All right.
Susan Candiotti, thank you so much.
A 3:00 press conference in Florida about the autopsy.
Thanks a lot.
NGUYEN: Now this. An emergency hearing in Los Angeles today on a motion filed by lawyers for Anna Nicole Smith's ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead.
Is Birkhead the father of Smith's infant daughter? Well, much more than parental bragging rights are at stake here, and CNN's Brooke Anderson joins us live from L.A. to talk about what happened today.
This was a very interesting hearing.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Betty, and every single minute it seems that a new piece of information, a new claim is coming in.
Listen to this. The Associated Press was reporting that Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Prince Frederic Von Anhalt, says he might be the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby. So this throws a wrench into the whole situation.
CNN spoke with Zsa Zsa Gabor's representative, who said -- John Blanchett (ph) -- who told us that the prince, Prince Frederic, told him that he'd had a long affair with Anna Nicole Smith. Then that representative encouraged the prince to sit down with The Associated Press, which he did, hence this story.
Now Ron Rale, Anna Nicole Smith's attorney, was here at the hearing today. I asked him about this report, and he said he had never heard anything about this. He never had spoken to Anna Nicole Smith about Prince Frederic, nor does Howard K. Stern know anything about this either. He says he doesn't even want to talk to Howard K. Stern about this because Howard is just beyond himself, devastated, very upset over her death.
Now back to the court hearing.
It was in response to an emergency order filed by Debra Opri, Larry Birkhead's attorney, to expedite DNA testing on Anna Nicole Smith's body. That motion was denied.
Take a listen now to what Debra Opri, the attorney for Larry Birkhead, and Ron Rale, attorney for Anna Nicole Smith, had to say today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEBORAH OPRI, LARRY BIRKHEAD'S ATTORNEY: We had an emergency court hearing today because we are concerned, based upon doctors, our experts' advice, that there would be a serious issue as to the preservation of evidence. It's was an ex-party emergency hearing. The court found that because an autopsy is being performed, he needed to order additional testing.
He did not grant our motion, he did not deny our motion. And the spinning by the respondents is self-evident. But he set us for a full hearing on all of our motions for February 20th.
In the meantime, there is a temporary order in place saying that Judge Schneider (ph) of Los Angeles Superior Court wants the remains of Anna Nicole Smith to be preserved pending the February 20th hearing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RON RALE, SMITH'S ATTORNEY: We would think that the autopsy is going to preserve DNA anyway. We thought that before we came in here today. That's one of the reasons why we didn't believe this was an emergency. And the court has apparently agreed because, obviously, there is no order for Anna Nicole's DNA to be extracted within the next day.
The proof is in the pudding. There is no order for the DNA to be extracted at this time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And because the full hearing -- because nothing was decided today and the full hearing is scheduled for February 20th, what that means is that's going to delay, to stall any sort of burial or cremation of Anna Nicole Smith's body. Her body will remain in Florida preserved until that hearing -- Betty.
NGUYEN: All right. Let's just talk for a second, because for those of us trying to keep score, this is crazy.
And we're at the point that besides the Birkhead-Stern fight over who is the daddy, we've got Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband who is in the mix. And I want to be clear here. He is still married to Zsa Zsa Gabor but yet says he could be the father of this baby?
ANDERSON: According to The Associated Press, right. And the representative for Zsa Zsa Gabor said that the prince told him he had a long affair with Anna Nicole Smith. So that was why he chose to publicly speak about it.
NGUYEN: We have him up right now.
ANDERSON: It is crazy. Right. It is crazy.
NGUYEN: We're showing a picture of him with Zsa Zsa right now.
And yes, for those -- again, for those of us trying to keep track of what's going on, not only in the paternity side of this, but the legal side of it, now you throw another thing into the mix and this is spinning out of control.
Brooke, thanks for trying to keep a handle on all of this and bringing us the latest from Los Angeles.
Of course we'll be speaking with you a little bit later.
Don, there you have it. The latest twist.
And we have this news just in to the CNN NEWSROOM, reported footage of a U.S. helicopter shot down by enemy fire that's being shown on an insurgent Web site. CNN has no way to independently verify this claim, but CNN's Michael Holmes joins us now in Baghdad to tell us about it. Michael, what do you have?
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Don, this popped up just a short time ago, as you said, on various extremist Web sites. The claim is being made by the Islamic State of Iraq. That really representing al Qaeda.
Now, the video is, as you said, we don't know what it is. But it certainly is a CH-46 helicopter. One of those, of course, went down on Wednesday, killing several people -- U.S. servicemen, Navy and Marines.
Now, what you see in this video -- and I don't know what you are seeing there, but the helicopter flies into frame. It then flies away from the camera.
What seems to be a plume of smoke heading upward from the ground towards the rear end, that's where the engine is on this helicopter. And then an explosion. A large amount of flame.
What's interesting about the video, the pilot seems, to me, anyway, to be maintaining a measure of control of the helicopter. It doesn't plummet to Earth straightaway. It sort of circles around and then lands on its -- on its skids.
So it certainly -- we don't know that this is that helicopter that was shot down on Wednesday. We don't know that it was a missile. It certainly appears that way.
The Pentagon has said all along that it could well have been mechanical failure. If that's the case, it's very difficult to see that from this video. This certainly seems to be a missile trail, what to me appears to be a missile trail heading up to the rear of that helicopter.
A heat-seeking missile would behave in that way. That's where the engine is on this helicopter. And that's pretty much all we know at the moment.
This coming as the sixth helicopter crash in two and a half weeks, really, here in Iraq, four military, two civilian. Although, to keep that in context, helicopters are ubiquitous here. They are in the air all the time. Hundreds, thousands of flights every day. And the number of helicopters that have been shot down during this war I think is just over 50, which in the scheme of things is not very much.
And I know troops that I talk to would prefer to fly on helicopters than drive the roads, particularly around Baghdad and areas surrounding the capital. It's much safer to do so. But, yes, it's certainly a new development.
A worrying development if the Al Qaeda in Iraq, or what is now known as the Islamic State of Iraq, has acquired weapons like this. Because there's been talk, and we've heard the military talk before, that perhaps these downings of helicopters, some of them, caused by mechanical failure. Some of them caused by what the U.S. has been calling small arms fire, where, you know, these helicopters fly low, they generally try to fly pretty fast, and they are targets to small arms fire.
And that was what was suggested by General Peter Pace a little while ago on CNN. But if this indeed is a heat-seeking missile and, indeed, striking the CH-46 that went down on Wednesday, it's a disturbing new development in terms of the armory available to the ISI, the Islamic State of Iraq -- Don.
LEMON: All right.
Michael Holmes, thank you so much. And you mentioned the Pentagon. The Pentagon just responded to this tape.
Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. DOUGLAS LUTE, DIRECTOR FOR OPS. JOINT STAFF: You know, this enemy is very astute in the use of the media. He has in the past a pattern of posting things on the Web sites and claiming responsibility for attacks that did or did not occur, and in some cases other attacks which occurred but were clearly not attributable to him specific, but he claimed responsibility nonetheless. So I'd be very cautious about drawing conclusions from things that are posted on the Internet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Much more ahead on this video coming up in the CNN NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: Also coming up, hope springs from Springfield, Illinois, for a probable presidential candidate.
Why Springfield? Stick around. We're going to tell you.
LEMON: Plus, get this, nearly 100 inches of snow and counting. That is eight feet. Cars are buried, of course. People are stranded, sadly. A state of emergency is declared.
A live report straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: Well, all that snow was fun, at first. But now folks in upstate New York say the shoveling is getting old and fast. Snow is approaching eight feet deep in places, and wouldn't you know it is still coming down.
CNN's Rob Marciano is right in the middle of it, braving these conditions.
No doubt it's cold there, Rob. We can see it on your face.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it's cold. And the wind, as you would imagine, brings that temperature down even more. Snow has let up. As a matter of fact, today, don't expect to see a whole lot of lake-effect snow. But this situation, the atmospheric situation, hasn't changed that much. And more snow is expected over the weekend.
But as you can imagine, trying to keep the roads and towns open is certainly a tough battle. We talked to two groups of people, those people trying to clear the roads of the snow and those trying to forecast the snow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This lever here is the front plow.
MARCIANO (voice over): For Dave Barnett (ph), the job of keeping roads open in Oswego County is endless. With snow falling at a rate of up to five inches per hour, visibility can drop quickly.
(on camera): It looks pretty heavy. You see a big sheet of White out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slow down. As soon as you see a whiteout, the first thing you do is slow down. Move it into the curb (ph) a little bit and you can feel your wing there so you know where you are, basically.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice over): Cleared roads can also mean buried cars, clogged sidewalks, and stranded residents. And when there's nowhere else to push the snow, it gets hauled and dumped here, an old reservoir, where it will sit to spring.
SCOTT STEIGER, METEOROLOGIST PROFESSOR: They've been plowing since Friday, last Friday.
MARCIANO: Dr. Scott Steiger teaches meteorology at Oswego State.
STEIGER: Hey, Jason. So what's going on right now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you can see there's more northwesterly winds.
MARCIANO: With labs and instruments right on Lake Ontario, he and his students know lake-effect snow, and they're trying to figure out who's getting it and how much.
STEIGER: Well, it's very difficult to forecast exactly where it's going to hit. These bands are only five to 10 miles wide.
MARCIANO: They're also trying to determine how much longer this area will have to deal with this marathon-like event.
STEIGER: It's definitely not over yet. And then as we go into Saturday, the winds are going to realign out of the west in the same area. Northern-central and northern Oswego County could see another two to three feet on top of the 70 inches they already have -- 78 inches they already have. MARCIANO (on camera): An historic event?
STEIGER: Historic event, I would say, for sure.
MARCIANO (voice over): And this arctic blast has made southern shores of Lake Ontario look more like the South Pole. Waves freeze as huge mounds of ice and white caps break in the distance against darkening clouds, as the next band of lake-effect snow rolls in.
MARCIANO: A surreal sight here in the lower 48, the Great Lakes in the winter time. I'm standing basically about 10, 15 feet away from shore. Any further away would be -- I don't know how thick the ice is there.
But look at how the waves of water have built up ice like sand dunes, little mountains here along the shoreline. And you can see actually chunks of ice kind of rolling in all over the swells and the surf there. And that looks more like an angry Atlantic Ocean than it looks like a lake.
But they don't call them "great" for nothing. That averages 280 feet deep. It's one of the reasons it doesn't freeze entirely over the winter, and it's also the main reason that temperatures in that lake have been kept up warm enough so that the lake-effect snow machine can get cranking.
Winds will shift it looks like tomorrow. So today not a big event planned. But lake-effect snow warnings are in effect until Monday morning, Betty. Another two feet possible in areas that have already seen almost eight feet. So some records will drop before this is all said and done.
Back to you.
NGUYEN: And that is not what they need. And Rob, why don't you try to stay on solid ground, OK? It looks like you're a little too close to the water there, buddy. We don't want you, you know, falling in or anything like that. You are bearing cold enough conditions as it is.
Stay warm. We'll talk to you soon.
LEMON: Few politicians have ever come so far so fast as Democratic senator Barack Obama. Now he's poised to shake up the race for the White House just a few years removed from his job as an Illinois state senator.
Our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, is standing by for us in Springfield, Illinois, right where he is expected to make that announcement.
Lots of pomp and circumstance and meaning behind this, Candy. CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. I mean, what's interesting, as you well know, this state capitol -- this is the Old State Capitol. This is where Lincoln gave his "A house divided by itself cannot stand."
So there's a message in almost anything, as you know, when people launch their presidential campaigns. And one of the things that Obama advisers and supporters think will be very helpful to him is his reputation as someone who can work across the aisles.
If you talk to anybody in the Illinois State Senate, Republicans or Democrats, they will tell you that while he doesn't abandon his principles, he does, in fact, work across the aisle. He will come to compromises.
So that's one of the reasons he's picked Springfield. The other is, of course, he used to work here. And he's a senator from Illinois now with just two years on the national scene.
And as you know, Abraham Lincoln, before he was elected president, didn't have that much experience on the national scene. So a couple of reasons why Springfield was chosen.
LEMON: Yes. And you know what? It sounds like an obvious question, but why now? And I know it's probably because he has so much buildup and also because he's the first African-American, I mean, honestly, who people think really has a strong chance of becoming president.
CROWLEY: I talked to some friends of his about this idea that he's only had two years on the national scene and why would he try now? Why not wait for four more years or eight more years?
And they said, look, he just looked at this and he's a very shrewd tactician. And he knew in the world of politics, when you've got your shot you have to take it, because things change so much that opportunity may not come again.
LEMON: Yes, absolutely.
Let's talk about Obama and his stand on the political spectrum, relative to his Democratic counterparts. How does he stand? Weigh him out against those other Democrats.
CROWLEY: Well, the other Democrats in the presidential race you mean?
LEMON: Yes. Yes.
CROWLEY: Well, you know, the one thing that really stands out, of course, is that he opposed the war. Now, he didn't have to vote on it because he wasn't in the Senate at that time, but he was very vocally opposed to this war from the very beginning.
His main competition obviously is Senator Hillary Clinton, who, of course, voted for the war. So his position on the war is certainly going to help him with the core of the Democratic Party, which tends to be more liberal than the party as a whole. So that helps him in those early states, in Iowa, in New Hampshire, and in Nevada. So, on that issue, he certainly stands out.
There are other issues, universal healthcare. But so far, the top three, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, at least the top three in the polls, all support universal healthcare.
He's described at home by Republicans as left of center, but you talk to other people and they say it's really hard to categorize him across the political spectrum because he seems to take each issue one by one and make up his mind and sometimes can be conservative on it and sometimes liberal -- Don.
LEMON: Yes. And you know, Candy, I was reading about all the symbolism here, why he's having it in Springfield, the Old State Capitol. And at the very bottom it said, "Bundle up and wear your long johns if you plan on coming out to this event because it's really cold there."
And you can attest to that, right?
CROWLEY: Yes, it is. It is. And I took all that advice.
LEMON: We're glad you're warm. Thank you, Candy Crowley.
LEMON: Well, it all happens tomorrow, as Candy was saying. And make sure you watch CNN for Barack Obama's big announcement. It's scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.
And taking the wrap for the flap. A Capitol Hill staffer says quit taking off (ph) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The "plane truth" straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: And more on the tragedy of Anna Nicole. We're awaiting a live news conference from Florida on her autopsy. You see the picture right there, as the battle for custody of her infant daughter wages in the courts.
When this conference goes live, we'll bring it to you.
You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
NGUYEN: Earlier this week, Steve Jobs called on record companies to drop some of their anti-piracy measures. And now one of the world's biggest labels may already be moving in that direction.
Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange with details on this.
LEMON: Hello, everyone.
I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Ngyuen, in for Kyra Phillips today.
A predictable end? Well, maybe. Still, though, there's plenty of curiosity about what killed Anna Nicole Smith. And we may find out more very soon.
We're going to take you to a news conference at 3:00 Eastern with the medical examiner. Here's a live look at it now.
You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
LEMON: New developments now. We're waiting on a live press conference to happen at the top of the hour. It's going to happen in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from the medical examiner in Broward County. He's going to talk about the autopsy of Anna Nicole Smith. As soon as that happens, we'll bring it to you live right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: Now, the on again/off again talks on a nuclear-free North Korea. They're on again with no results just yet. But the six parties may be a little bit closer. With the latest now, let's go to State Department correspond CNN's Zain Verjee.
What have you heard?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Betty, the chief U.S. negotiator at the six-party talks is cautiously optimistic about making a deal with North Korea. Chris Hill says just as you are nailing down a floorboard, something else pops up. So they're dealing with all the issues -- the U.S., Russia, China, South Korea and Japan all trying to get North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program.
Now, there's a plan that the Chinese are circulating that's being discussed. Betty, we don't really know the specifics, but reports say that the plan is basically for North Korea to suspend its activities at its nuclear plant in about two months in exchange for aid.
That essentially would be the first step toward dismantlement, though there are a lot of tough issues to be sorted out and still disagreements. There's a lot of pressure on North Korea to accept a deal, especially after its nuclear test in October of last year.
So these talks are important. They are entering a crucial phase. The U.S. hopes to use the September 19th, 2005 agreement as basically a starting point, a basis for progress. Back then North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear program in return for aid as well as security guarantees.
So we'll see what happens. But we can't speak too soon about these talks -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Well, Zain, as we wait to see what happens, talk to us about the sticking points. What are they?
VERJEE: Well, one of the main issues that's caused a big problem for North Korea and the United States is the issue of financial sanctions. That's caused a massive row between the two countries. The U.S. is essentially accusing North Korea of counterfeiting, of money laundering, and it froze $24 million of North Korea's accounts at a bank in Macao.
And North Korea was really irritated by this. They basically deny that they've done anything wrong. What they're asking for, Betty, is for the U.S. to drop the financial sanctions so that they can make progress in the talks on nuclear disarmament. And they also say, "Look, if you do that, it's going to create more goodwill on the part of the U.S. and will create a better atmosphere for talks."
NGUYEN: And besides that, what else does North Korea want?
VERJEE: They want respect. They want the U.S. to treat them as an equal. They definitely don't want abnormal relations with the United States. Kim Jong-Il and his father before him, no matter what the issues have been, have always sought normal relations with the United States. They also want security guarantees. They look around and see what happened to Saddam Hussein, as being part of the so- called Axis of Evil. And they don't want to be targeted. They don't want to be next.
North Korea is also an extremely poor country. It relies on food aid and energy aid from China, from South Korea. And so they're looking for economic aid and any kind of agreement, as well as dropping those financial sanctions.
NGUYEN: We'll see how it plays out.
State Department correspondent Zain Verjee, nice to see you.
LEMON: And the Anna Nicole tragedy is playing out on two coasts. An emergency hearing this morning in Los Angles and now a press conference to happen at the top of the hour in Florida to talk about the autopsy of the former Anna Nicole Smith.
She was blonde, busty and breathy. It's no secret Anna Nicole Smith wanted to be just like Marilyn Monroe. Now her story has really the same sad ending. Parallels and contradictions straight ahead right here in the NEWSROOM.
NGUYEN: Taking another live look there in Ft. Lauderdale as we're waiting on a news conference to start at the top of the hour from the Broward County medical examiner to detail the autopsy that was performed on Anna Nicole Smith. So as soon as that happens, we'll take it to you live.
LEMON: It is obvious from the response that we've gotten from the story that everyone knows Anna Nicole Smith. Let's talk about some of the men in her life, names you'll hear a lot as the final acts of this drama play out. Now, there was J. Howard Marshall. He's the 89 year-old oil tycoon who married Smith and died one year later. That gave rise to a bruising fight with Marshall's son E. Pierce Marshall over the billion-dollar estate. Last year the son died, too, but his family is continuing that court fight.
Now, there's also Howard K. Stern. He's Smith's attorney and her most recent companion. Smith called Stern her husband, but it's unclear whether they were legally married. Stern is listed on the birth certificate as the father of Smith's baby daughter, Dannielynn. But that, too, is under dispute.
Smith's ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead claims he's the father. He's demanding a paternity test and trying to persuade a judge in L.A. to accommodate him.
Now, Smith also had a son from a teenage, pre-celebrity marriage. You may remember Daniel Smith died suddenly in September, reportedly of a combination of methadone and anti-depressants. Friends say Smith never got over Daniel's death.
NGUYEN: Well, she was platinum blonde with dangerous curves and with a personal life that could mildly be called stormy, many would say. Similarities though between Anna Nicole Smith and Marilyn Monroe are simply unavoidable, even in death.
CNN entertainment correspondent Sibila Vargas looks at the parallel paths.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH: It's wonderful.
MARILYN MONROE: (INAUDIBLE). I do feel silly.
SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Both breathy and blonde, and larger than life, the physical similarities were obvious. And not at all accidental. The shimmy, the wiggles, the sex kitten kisses, Anna Nicole Smith created a modern-day Marilyn Monroe persona and launched a career.
SMITH: A lot of people give me presents that have Marilyn Monroe on them because they know that I really like her. Because I have pictures everywhere in my home.
LARRY KING, "LARRY KING LIVE": In many ways she wanted to emulate Marilyn Monroe. The blonde hair, the beautiful body, the up and down love lives, the addictions.
VARGAS: Like Monroe, Smith would eventually become famous as a "Playboy" model. Like Monroe, she would die before she was 40. Anna Nicole was found dead Thursday at age 39 alone in a hotel room. Marilyn died at age 36 from a drug overdose alone at home in 1962. The lives lived by one girl born Vicki Lynn Hogan in Texas, and another named Norma Jean Baker, born four decades earlier in California, in retrospect seemed tragically parallel.
SMITH: She's been my idol for many, many years. I just love her. She's wonderful.
VARGAS: Both girls grew up lonely, never knowing their fathers, raised by their single mothers. Both married first as teenagers and posed for cheesecake photos before making it big in "Playboy." Marilyn famously in 1953, Anna Nicole in 1992.
SMITH: She's a wonderful actress. She's funny. I love all her movies. I have everything you can imagine of hers at my home.
VARGAS: And it seemed Anna Nicole took note on Marilyn's screen siren shtick. She channeled Monroe's famous "Seven Year Itch" pose publicly more than once and emulated Marilyn's iconic number "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" as witnessed in this add for PETA.
Another of Marilyn's classic films that perhaps Anna Nicole watched closely, "How To Marry A Millionaire." In her own life at 26, Smith married 89-year-old Texas billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall III and found herself in one of the most widely publicized marriages of her time.
Just like her idol, whose marriage in 1954 to Joe DiMaggio seemed to trap her in the spotlight. Monroe and Smith, Hollywood beauties from distinctly different eras, whose lives were cut short by tragedy. Sibila Vargas, CNN, Los Angeles.
LEMON: Look at that.
NGUYEN: You can see the parallels there.
LEMON: Yes, you can see it.
NGUYEN: Well Anna Nicole Smith was a favorite of photographers and not just professionals. Some of our own viewers have been sending us iReport photos that they took.
LEMON: Yes, this is from Tom Andrews. Tom lives in Los Angeles. He saw Smith in an event that she was judging. She came outside to pose and to shake hands. And, obviously, he took this picture of her.
NGUYEN: That's quite a pose there.
And Ross Mar of Los Angeles saw Anna Nicole at a local bar in June 2005. His friend took this snapshot. Now whenever you have news photos or video to share, remember, you can go to CNN.com and click on iReport.
LEMON: Looks like they were having a good time there.
NGUYEN: Yes, they did.
Well straight to the newsroom now and Fredricka Whitfield with details on this developing story that we want to bring you now, Fred.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Betty, continued fallout from that ad campaign that virtually shut down the city of Boston a couple of weeks back. It was an electronic battery operated electronic board as part of a Cartoon Network ad campaign placed in various parts across the city, bridges, on roadways, et cetera, meaning that a lot of roads were closed down. Traffic was gridlocked. It even impacted ambulance service.
Well now we are learning that Jim Samples, who is the head of the Cartoon Network, vice president of Turner, has now offered his resignation as a result. The city of Boston had immediately expressed a lot of disappointment in this ad campaign approach and criticisms initially coming from the city of Boston saying not only did it cost them a lot of hardship and cost them a lot of money, responding to this ad campaign, but the city of Boston was dissatisfied with the way in which Turner Cartoon Network handled the whole ad campaign.
That they didn't quickly, more quickly, reveal themselves or reveal this ad campaign to the city of Boston and then apologize. It cost quite a few tens of millions of dollars was the allegation from the city of Boston. So once again, the vice president of Turner, the head of the Cartoon Network, Jim Samples, has offered his resignation in connection with this ad campaign that went bust.
NGUYEN: All right, Fred, thank you for that update. We appreciate it -- Don?
LEMON: The White House has already flown to Nancy Pelosi's defense. Now the House sergeant at arms is backing the House Speaker's claim that she never asked for a bigger airplane to ferry her home to California.
Pelosi spoke out yesterday against House Republicans and others who have criticized a plan to let her use a bigger Air Force jet than her predecessor did. Military flights were mandated for the speaker for security reasons since 9/11, since that post is second in line to the presidency.
Sergeant in Arms Bill Livingood says Pelosi's long flight requires a bigger and, yes, more expensive plane than the one Dennis Hastert used to fly home to Illinois. Livingood says, quote, "The face that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making nonstop flights for security purposes."
The president's spokesman calls criticism of Pelosi and her plane, quote, "silly," but some House Republicans insist the bigger jet is extravagant and too expensive.
NGUYEN: Coming up, we've got a lot more to tell you about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you need three hand grenades, you can get them in two hours.
HOLMES: And how much?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No more than 25,000 to 30,000 Iraqi dinars, around $20. (END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: That story in the NEWSROOM, don't miss it.
LEMON: New details now on that reported footage of a U.S. helicopter shot down by enemy fire. It's being shown on an insurgent Web site. The Pentagon is responding and Barbara Starr has details for us -- Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well Don, what they're talking about here at the Pentagon is they still believe this helicopter was brought down the day before yesterday due to mechanical failure. But they are looking at this video. Intelligence officials looking at it as we speak.
Here's the key issue for them. The reason they thought it was mechanical is you see the helicopter descend here is originally there was no report of a smoke trail which would have indicated a surface to air missile or rocket-propelled grenade being shot at the helicopter from the ground.
Right there a moment ago you saw what might be a smoke trail. But intelligence officials tell us they are looking at this video, frame by frame to try and see exactly what is on the tape. The pilots that were flying two helicopters alongside said that this helicopter was flying above the range of small arms fire, so it wasn't brought down by that. And they saw no smoke trail from a missile or a rocket- propelled grenade.
So that is the major reason the U.S. military continues to say it believes this helicopter was brought down by mechanical failure. But make no mistake, they are looking at this video now frame by frame to see if they have to change their assessment.
LEMON: Barbara Starr, thank you.
NGUYEN: Well like everything else in Iraq, the economy is a casualty of war. But even in war, even when no other laws seem to apply, you can still count on supply and demand. And if you have a supply of guns or grenades or just about anything else that will kill people, you've got a thriving business. CNN's Michael Holmes played let's make a deal in Baghdad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before we buy a weapon, we always check its quality.
HOLMES (voice-over): In a country where unemployment is rampant, one business is booming, often literally. "This path found me. I didn't choose it. I want to help people defend themselves."
He goes by the name of Abu Hiba. He used to go to university. He's young, smart and for two years now a black market arms dealer in Baghdad, with no shortage of customers.
HIBA: (SPEAKING IN ARABIC)
HOLMES: "Everyone demands. Neighborhoods, militias, Jihadi groups. Everyone demands."
He's a proud salesman and knows his wares. In this case, the heavy duty PKC machine gun.
HIBA: (SPEAKING IN ARABIC)
HOLMES: "This is an effective long range weapon. It's nickname in the army and among militias is the Reaper."
(on camera): Say I wanted to buy some grenades. How long would it take to you get them to me?
HIBA: (SPEAKING IN ARABIC)
HOLMES (voice-over): "If you need three hand grenades, you can get them in two hours."
(on camera): And how much?
HIBA: (SPEAKING IN ARABIC)
HOLMES: "No more than 25,000 to 30,000 Iraqi dinars. Around $20."
(voice-over): A rocket-propelled grenade launcher, around $130. But his biggest seller is the AK-47, the weapon of choice for most Iraqis. On a busy month, maybe 50 pass through his hands and onto the streets, adding to an already unnerving level of fire power in the capital. This a fairly routine sound in the city.
Iraq is a place where every household is entitled to have one AK- 47. That's one of them there our guard is holding. You see, with all the sectarian and criminal violence, ordinary people feel that no one can adequately protect them. Not the police, not the army, not the Americans. So for about $400, they try to protect themselves.
Abu Hiba says those people are his market, not insurgents, although later he does admit to having rockets, hardly a defensive weapon, in his inventory. And with the new Baghdad security plan underway, Abu Hiba says many militiamen are laying low, getting rid of some of their weapons. Abu Hiba's happy. With so many weapons around, prices are low for him. He'll store them until those prices rise.
Meanwhile, he tells us that while militia members supply him, they are often supplied from places within Iran.
HIBA: (SPEAKING IN ARABIC)
HOLMES: "What comes in from Iran is disastrous. Big trucks stacked with mortar bombs, 135 millimeter and 136 millimeter, Iranian- manufactured 120 millimeter mortars stamped 2006."
It's not like there's a shortage of weapons in Iraq. During the invasion, American troops left vast armories unguarded, later to be looted. Only a couple of years ago outdoor arms market thrived. They were shut down and so now the market is black. Underground.
(on camera): Are you ever worried you're going to get caught?
HIBA: (SPEAKING IN ARABIC)
HOLMES (voice-over): We can buy and hide weapons easily. When the Americans come in, they can't find anything and leave. I'm afraid only of God.
Michael Holmes, CNN, Baghdad.
LEMON: A live event expected to happen in just a few minutes from Florida, a press conference to talk about the autopsy of Anna Nicole Smith. We'll carry it for you live here in the CNN NEWSROOM just minutes away.
NGUYEN: Well, as we await that news conference out of Florida on the Anna Nicole Smith autopsy, let's tell you what's coming up next hour.
Anna Nicole had the Supreme Court on her side, but now that she's dead, what happens to the battle over her late husband's billion- dollar estate? We're going to ask a lawyer ahead right here in the NEWSROOM.
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