Skip to main content
Search
Services


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Give Speeches in Selma

Aired March 4, 2007 - 16:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stephen Grant, our number one suspect, the only suspect in this particular case, is now in custody for the murder and mutilation of his wife, Tara Lynn Grant.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: A gruesome murder leads to a manhunt and now the husband is behind bars. We have the chilling details.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA: I'm here because somebody marched.

HILLARY CLINTON: Nobody told me that the road would be easy.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: A historic face off in Selma, Alabama. Hello and welcome to the CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Fredricka Whitfield. First this hour, the family tragedy outside Detroit, a woman is dead, her body found dismembered. Her husband is under arrest and the couple's two children at last word unaware of the horrible loss they have suffered. Early this morning, authorities in northern Michigan arrested 37-year- old Stephen Grant on charges of murder, disinterment and mutilation. On Friday Grant fled suburban Detroit and ended up driving more than 200 miles after authorities served a warrant to search the family's home. In the Grant's garage, investigators found a human torso, apparently that of Tara Lynn Grant missing since February 9th. Other body parts were found in a nearby park. They, too, are believed to belong to the victim.

A barefoot Stephen Grant was captured around dawn as he fled on foot through a snowy state park. The news announced by the Macomb County sheriff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHERIFF MARK HACKEL, MACOMB COUNTY, MICHIGAN: For the most part, he was not in a condition to run any more or obviously to flee. However, we do understand that there was quite a bit of walking this took place in this park area and near the end of it that he did attempt to jog for the past couple of hours. So up until the time they actually apprehended him or captured him, he was still on the move. There were a couple occasions where apparently he did lay down and try to find shelter or warmth throughout the evening. But for the most part, he is now obviously in police custody.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Reports out of Detroit say Stephen and Tara Grant had argued about her demanding job which kept her in Puerto Rico throughout the workweek. But neighbors say the Grants were great parents. We have this report from Michael Grosenfeld of CNN affiliate WXYZ.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN MASKO, NEIGHBOR: It's just too close, it's just too close.

MICHAEL GROSENFELD: The next door neighbors Dan and Diane Masko reeling after learning what was found just outside their window in the Grants' garage.

DIANE MASKO, NEIGHBOR: The only thing I can think of is he had to have gone - he had to have snapped because that's not the person I know. Something had to cause him to go off the edge.

GROSENFELD: The Maskos knew the Grants well, describing Tara as someone who made the au pairs were trained well for the couple's two children. And Stephen as a doting father.

DIANE MASKO: They played with them and played ball and taught the little boy to ride the bike, taught the girl to ride the bike. He took the girl to dance lessons. And he took both of the children to swimming lessons. He was Mr. Mom that I have to say. Tara traveled a lot with her job and she was gone a lot.

GROSENFELD: The Maskos watched as investigators searched the Grant home and made the gruesome discovery of Tara Grant's torso inside the family's garage. Crime scene units collected evidence for hours and impounded Tara's white Isuzu Trooper, Stephen's Jeep Cherokee and a Mazda sedan.

DIANE MASKO: Tara gave us stuff from her garden and they liked to grow fresh veggies he said and they liked to cook together and barbecue as a family.

(END OF VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: The Grants' children are a girl age 6, and a boy age 4. They are reportedly in the care of their paternal aunt and uncle. The uncle is quoted in the "Detroit Free Press" as saying, "The children are not aware of anything that has happened in the last 24 hours. He says the children will learn of their mother's death in the presence of family and professional counselors." As for murder suspect Stephen Grant, he has been taken to a hospital not far from where he was captured.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. JOHN BEDNAR, HOSPITAL CHIEF OF STAFF: He was brought here to Northern Michigan Hospital where he is being treated for hypothermia and possible frostbite to his feet. He is of course under continuous police supervision. His condition has been upgraded from serious to stable as his body temperature has already improved. He is awake, alert and cooperative with hospital staff.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Authorities in suburban Detroit say it may be several days until Grant is returned to face charges.

In Maryland an expert on Russian intelligence and an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin is now recovering from a critical gunshot wound. Paul Joyal was shot in the driveway of his suburban Washington home on Thursday. It happened just days after he accused the Russian government in the poisoning death of former Soviet spy Alexander Litvinenko last fall. Joyal spoke out on NBC's "Dateline" last Sunday. He also accused Moscow of targeting its critics. Putin has repeatedly denied involvement in the Litvinenko case. Officials say the shooting appears to have been random. Joyal's condition is said to be improving.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter is getting into a lot of heat for comments she made at a conference of conservatives in Washington. The right wing author used an anti-gay slur when talking about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. CNN's Rick Sanchez has that story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Yeah, we know and you probably know, too. Ann Coulter gets a lot of attention and a lot of air time by being outrageous. Being a name caller. Being Ann Coulter.

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Gore and Hollywood are now telling us that --

SANCHEZ: Coulter is known for comments about liberals. But Friday night in front of a friendly crowd of fellow conservatives, Coulter by many definitions went too far.

COULTER: I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards. But it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word "faggot." So I'm kind of at an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards, so I think I'll just conclude here.

SANCHEZ: Is it politics or provocation? And if it is provocation, is this a new low for a self-described pot stirrer who has aimed low before? Even against 9/11 widows when she wrote, "I have never seen someone enjoying their husband's death so much." That led to this on the "Today" show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So why can't they make their points --

COULTER: Look, you're getting testy with me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I think it is your dramatic statement.

COULTER: He is literally the man at our embassies who made sure the plumbing was working.

She's not qualified for the position. This isn't like, you know, best employee of the month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you didn't make that objection with every other of George Bush's appointments.

COULTER: It never occurred to us that he'd nominate, as you say, the cleaning lady! We thought this was clear.

SANCHEZ: The target of her insult this time, candidate John Edwards, is running with it, making political hay and political money.

COULTER: You have to go into rehab if you use the word "faggot."

SANCHEZ: He's posted her comments on his website uncensored and using it to solicit campaign donations to quote, "Fight back against the politics of bigotry."

(END OF VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Ann Coulter told "The New York Times" she was just joking. CNN has placed several calls to Coulter to get her response. We have not heard back from her as of yet. But we have heard from others. Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean said, "While Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the issues, we should all be able to agree that this kind of vile rhetoric is out bounds." Republican Senator John McCain called the comments "wildly inappropriate." For all the top political stories and the big headlines of the day, tune in to CNN at 10:00 eastern. Rick Sanchez will be in the NEWSROOM with the latest breaking stories.

And 42 years after the bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama, the Edmund Pettis Bridge takes center stage in what could be a pivotal point in the Democratic race for the White House. Recognizing how that struggle, a peak moment during the civil rights movement, paved the way for opportunities for them, two presidential hopeful powerhouses are sharing the Selma spotlight. Earlier, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama delivered similar messages in churches just yards apart.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I'm not coming home when I come to Selma, Alabama. I'm here because somebody marched for our freedom. I'm here because yall sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of that.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The voting rights act gave more Americans from every corner of our nation the chance to live out their dreams. And it is the gift that keeps on giving. Today it is giving Senator Obama the chance to run for president of the United States. And by its logic and spirit, it is giving the same chance to Governor Bill Richardson, a Hispanic. And, yes, it is giving me that chance, too.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Senators Clinton and Obama are now both taking part in a ceremonial march across the famous Pettis Bridge. CNN's Mary Snow is there and joins us live by phone. Mary, what's taking place right now?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Fredricka they are just a short distance away from crossing that bridge. We're looking out and seeing something we haven't seen before in this campaign. Former President Bill Clinton also joining that march, he is arm and arm with his wife Senator Hillary Clinton. Also on that same front line, Senator Barack Obama. Senator Obama and Senator Clinton did come face to face a short time ago at a rally ahead of this march, both greeting each other with a handshake and getting to the podium saying nice things about one another. And then a crowd and crush of reporters, photographers, following along the march route and they are just -- a short distance away from crossing that bridge. Today both calling for unity and remembering, as you just pointed out, the civil rights march and the voting rights act that was as a result of the marches 42 years ago. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: And so Mary, by these two presidential hopeful powerhouses being in this march, sharing that frontline, as we look at a live picture now on the opposite end of the bridge which will be the side of the Pettis Bridge that they will all be eventually entering into once they reach that overpass, are the two senators coming across during this march more as friends and less that of adversaries?

SNOW: Absolutely. And you know, if you recall a couple of weeks ago there had been a (INAUDIBLE) between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp and certainly there was a lot of curiosity about what would happen today as they came face to face with one another. This has not happened so far since both of them have decided or announced that they were running, seeking the Democratic nomination. As you mentioned, even before in their speeches when they simultaneously spoke at churches, Senator Clinton mentioned Senator Barack Obama and they had kind words for each other right before this rally. They are not marching side by side. They are in a line of marchers but today certainly many here saying that they are torn between picking between these two candidates.

WHITFIELD: All right, a historic moment indeed today. Not only marking the anniversary of bloody Sunday there at the Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama, but of course with the two leading Democrats, speaking of how they both have made such great gains as a result of the sacrifices so many made during the civil rights movement. Thanks so much Mary Snow there at the Selma Pettis Bridge.

On the GOP side of things now, Mitt Romney, the surprise winner in a poll at a major conservative conference in Washington. Twenty one percent of the people attending said they support the former Massachusetts governor for the 2008 Republican nomination. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was second in the group's straw poll. Senator Sam Brownback came in third and Senator John McCain who chose not to appear at the conference finished fifth with 12 percent.

Former Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton died today according to the office of the current state Senator Claire McCaskill. He was 77. Eagleton occupies an interesting part of American history. Nominated in 1972 as George McGovern's running mate, he resigned days later amid reports that he had twice received electroshock therapy for depression. Democrat McGovern was later trounced by incumbent Richard Nixon. Eagleton held his Missouri Senate seat until 1987. He recently told the "Associated Press" he hasn't suffered depression for years and didn't think it was "all that big a deal."

Possible new findings in the investigation into the Atlanta bus tragedy. The NTSB will be holding a news conference shortly. We will bring that to you as soon as it happens. You're in the NEWSROOM.

Plus, Americus, Georgia, tornado disaster zone. A survivor story coming your way.

And cause of death? Infection from a toothache. Wait until you hear this story in about 23 minutes from now. You're in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Happening right now, Democratic Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama both running for president and both in Selma, Alabama taking part in the commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the civil rights march. The march that turned into bloody Sunday right here on the Edmond Pettis Bridge. They're on the opposite side of this live shot. Of course when they come at the riser there and they make their way to the end of this bridge we'll be able to bring you other live pictures throughout the evening.

Meantime, now to the latest on that deadly charter bus crash in Atlanta. Federal investigators say highway design flaws may have contributed to the accident which killed six people on Friday. The rare left-hand exit ramp off of I-75 has been the site of numerous accidents. NTSB officials suspect the bus driver was unaware that he had left the interstate. There's no indication he tried to stop the bus before it plowed through the intersection and off over the overpass.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KITTY HIGGINS, NTSB BOARD MEMBER: Unfortunately, the bus was not equipped with an event data recorder. So we will not have as much data as we had hoped. We will continue to examine the bus for any other electronic data devices that might give us additional information. We will be looking for electronic data that might be provided by the engine and also the transmission.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Family members of the victims are making a difficult journey home today. Relatives of the four students who died in the crash are returning to Toledo, Ohio aboard a special chartered flight. So are the families of injured students and those who survived the crash that are -- are they well enough to travel? Well, there will be some emotional days ahead for two brothers who survived the crash. They will undoubtedly wrestle with survivor's guilt and the loss of their friends. Right now they are reflecting on the crash and thankful that they have each other.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE RAMTHUN, BUS CRASH SURVIVOR: I just got so scared. When he came around that corner and I saw him all beat up and I knew that he was walking, so, I was so happy.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Our Nicole Lapin brings us more of the Ramthun family's reunion at the hospital.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

A.J. RAMTHUN, BUS CRASH SURVIVOR: I asked questions "why not me?" I was closer to the window. I was in a more vulnerable spot. Why did it not happen to me? And yet, I'm thankful that it didn't.

NICOLE LAPIN, CNN INTERNET REPORTER (voice-over): A.J. Ramthun was sitting right next to Cody Holp on the bus, one of his best friends, one of the four players who died.

RAMTHUN: I'm very confused. I lost one of my best friends, I lost four of my best friends, four of my teammates. But yet, my brother and I survived. The rest of my teammates are as far as I know alive, we're all walking but it's horrible. I don't know how to feel.

LAPIN: His brother, Mike, still in the hospital. The bus literally landed on his leg. Not only that, he didn't even know if A.J. made it out.

MIKE RAMTHUN: I was so scared. He came around that corner and I saw him all beat up and I'm here. And he was walking. I was so happy and I just gave him a big hug. And I just said -- we're going to be all right.

LAPIN: One family, the Ramthuns, two kids on the same team. One in the hospital, one walked away with cuts and bruises. Both are going to be ok. And yet, it's a bittersweet celebration for the kids and for their parents.

GREG RAMTHUN, MIKE AND A.J.'S FATHER: I drove home thinking oh man, how bad is this and then you know, your mind wanders and -- are my kids ok, are they dead? I was scared to death. I cried all the way home.

MIKE RAMTHUN: I was laying there, it was dark, couldn't see a whole lot. The first thing I saw was, you know, where's A.J. and I need to get a hold of my family right away. And tell them that, you know, we were in a wreck because I figured it would be on TV. That bad of a wreck and just tell them I was ok.

LAPIN (on camera): Well that family is going to be ok but there were other families that weren't so lucky. After all, these are boys, these are athletes. They are taught not to cry. And as you just saw, it finally hit them. Nicole Lapin, CNN, Atlanta.

(END OF VIDEOTAPE)

(WEATHER REPORT)

WHITFIELD: Meantime we're going to focus on some weather when we come back. Winter trouble in Utah. Bonnie Schneider has more on that. Bonnie?

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: That's right Fredricka. Parts of Utah are under avalanche danger for today. Advisories are in place. I'll tell you why. Plus, we have some great pictures to show you from our iReporters of the eclipse last night. That's all straight ahead on the NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: All right, we look forward to that. Thanks a lot Bonnie. Also coming up, surviving a tornado, facing the disaster. A survivor's story from Americus, Georgia. That's coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Live pictures right now retracing steps of civil rights forefathers on this 42nd anniversary of bloody Sunday. Two leading Democratic presidential candidates, Senators Obama and Clinton, along with former president Bill Clinton are helping to lead the crowds over the Edmund Pettis Bridge there in Selma. Our Mary Snow is there and she'll be joining us soon with a live report.

(WEATHER REPORT)

WHITFIELD: Well you watched and listened to both Senators Obama and Clinton here on CNN. But you didn't see Clinton's husband, the former president. Well, he is on the trail with her and apparently walking across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma. So what is his role? And Gary Nurenberg joins us with maybe one of the saddest stories of the day. Gary?

GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, it's the story of a 12-year-old boy who died because he couldn't get access to dental care. We'll tell you about Diamante Driver in just a few minutes.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Dueling Democrats, Senator Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama speak in Selma, 42 years after the historic Civil Rights march there.

And how did a toothache lead to the death of a 12-year-old boy? Parents, you need to stick around for this story.

Welcome back to THE NEWSROOM, I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Some new video for you right now out of northern Michigan, showing the end of the manhunt for a murder suspect Stephen Grant. The pictures are a bit blurry but you can make out Grant being hoisted from the ground to a Coast Guard helicopter there in those grainy images. The 37-year-old had been on the run since Friday when police served a warrant to search his home. Officers later found a torso of Grant's missing wife, Terra hidden in the garage.

Now to some political news. Former President Bill Clinton is being honored at a major battleground of the Civil Rights Movement. Clinton is in Selma, Alabama, where he's been inducted into the city's Voting Rights Hall of Fame. It comes during this month's 42nd anniversary of the bloody clash between voting rights demonstrators and police at the Edmund Pettis Bridge. With Clinton, his wife, Senator and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, all of them to be walking over the Edmund Pettis Bridge. These live pictures you are seeing right now in a commemorative march.

As we have mentioned, also in Selma today, both leading Democratic presidential candidates Senator Clinton as well as Senator Barack Obama. Obama and Clinton are going head to head in a bid to win the African-American vote. Joining us in our Washington studio to talk about all of this, John Mercurio of the National Journals "The Hotline." We are going to focus however John, on really what it means that the president is also now campaigning with Senator Clinton, Selma being the first place that we have now seen the former president out shaking hands, making his face known, sending a message while he campaigns with the senator. What does this mean to you?

JOHN MERCURIO, NATIONAL JOURNALS "THE HOTLINE:" It is one of the biggest challenges that she face in this campaign, trying to convince voters that she's running on her own as her own political entity. I think that was one of the biggest challenges we saw in her speech this morning which was just sort of address these voters and address this African-American church that she spoke to and say look I am my own person and I'm actually a product of the march on Selma, much as Barack Obama and Governor Bill Richardson are. I think it was a unique challenge that she faced and I think Barack Obama faces his own challenges.

But the simularities between the two of them I think are what are really interesting, both of them trying to make the connection between Selma, the Selma march and their own presidential campaign.

WHITFIELD: You think that was fairly courageous for the senator to even mention Obama, to mention Richardson as she was making that speech, saying that they, and I, have all gained from what our civil rights forefathers did right here in Selma 42 years ago?

MERCURIO: I think what she was trying to do is obviously set a specific tone. We saw a just a couple of weeks ago that the Clinton campaign and the Obama campaign were sniping with this nasty exchange over a Hollywood fundraiser. I think when you are seeing today is that we are talking about conciliation and we are talking about civil rights and we are talking about the ability to sort of cross racial divides and get along. Not necessarily racial divides but political divides.

What she was trying to do and what I think Senator Obama is trying to do is to sort of, you know, extend that olive branch, if you will, and especially in a place of worship to sort of you know, pay tribute to his campaign and her campaign.

WHITFIELD: Was this a different Senator Clinton than what we have seen?

MERCURIO: I think to some extent it was. Obviously, any time any politician speaks in a black church, there's a certain challenge that they face. Barack Obama rose to that challenge he is a very gifted orator. Hillary Clinton has a lot of talent, maybe speaking publicly may not be one of the top talents that she has. I think she was giving it a little bit more firepower, fire and brimstone she may usually give. I think to some extent it worked.

WHITFIELD: We didn't see President Clinton in the church with Senator Clinton but we know that he was in town and he is being inducted into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame. What do you make of this strategy, bringing out the big guns now, so early on into the race as opposed to waiting, allowing Senator Clinton to continue to establish herself before bringing out her husband?

MERCURIO: Well, I talked to some Clinton campaign advisers over the weekend and I think what it really came down to is this is just an event that Former President Clinton was not going to be able to miss. It would have been, I think, a larger debate within the political community if Senator Clinton had appeared alone and not with her husband. Her husband is that bridge to the African-American community. It is why she still has very, very strong support in that community. It is because of all the work that her husband did in Arkansas and as president in the White House. So I think for him to have missed this event would have stuck out more, I think, than the idea of bringing him along.

WHITFIELD: While we are talking about that, we are receiving, John, new pictures now showing Senator Obama and showing President Clinton and Senator Clinton all kind of, you know, alongside one another in the crowd there. We know historically that President Clinton has done very well in the African-American vote. Many African- Americans have really embraced him throughout his presidency and thereafter.

So while President Clinton or while Senator Clinton may want to enjoy that kind of popularity her husband brings, at the same time everyone knows African-Americans don't vote as one monolith, nor do they, nor do women vote as a monolith either. Are you going to see that Senator Clinton might try to reshape her campaign so that she can appeal to both, which are vital in the voting public?

MERCURIO: Well, I think what you saw this morning and in the speech that she gave was that she was trying to say look, the march on Selma and the entire Civil Rights Movement was about more than African-Americans. It was about she said if you follow the logic and the sort of meaning of the Civil Rights Movement it was about Hispanics being able to advance politically and it was about women being able to advance politically. Women of all race. So I think what she was trying to do in the speech and, you know in this entire event, this entire visit is to say that she much like Obama is part and a beneficiary of the Civil Rights Movement.

WHITFIELD: John Mercurio, thanks so much for your time.

MERCURIO: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: And of course coming up in THE NEWSROOM we are going to talk more about Senators Clinton and Obama. Very similar messages coming from Selma, but their style very different as well. Joining us will be a Democratic strategist, Morris Reid.

Well imagine this a child dying because of a lack of dental care. What seems so improbable became all too real for a 12-year-old boy just last week. But as CNN's Gary Nurenberg reports the pitfalls of substandard or inaccessible dental care confronts millions of American kids every year.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At the end, 12-year-old Dimonte Driver may have known he was dying.

ALYCE DRIVER, MOTHER: His last words to me was mom, make sure you pray for me.

LAURIE NORRIS, PUBLIC JUSTICE CENTER: Dimonte did not complain enough. He had a toothache, but he didn't tell anybody about it.

NURENBERG: He knew his mom couldn't find a dentist to treat his younger brothers six abscessed teeth.

MICHAEL CANNON, CATO INSTITUTE: The bureaucracy involved in treating Medicaid patients is so extreme that a lot of doctors just decide not to treat and Medicaid patients at all.

DRIVER: All he had to do was what kind of insurance you have, no, we don't take that.

NURENBERG: Dimonte began to feel worse and did say something.

DRIVER: He was complaining of headaches.

NURENBERG: So it was a doctor not a dentist that saw him first.

NORRIS: They thought it was a sinus infection. Three days later he started vomiting. At that point they did a cat scan and a spinal tap and they found the raging infection.

NURENBERG: A surgeon said it was not just in his tooth.

DRIVER: They said he has to have surgery; he has pus on his brain.

NURENBERG: Dimonte died from the tooth infection that spread to his brain.

SEN. BEN CARDIN, (D) MARYLAND: You must learn from this appalling failure of our broken health care system and fix it.

NURENBERG: Within days of Dimonte's death, Congress was considering legislation providing $40 million in dental services to the poor, the state legislature in Annapolis is also considering additional funding to make dental care more accessible to indigent children.

DR. RAY RAWSON, DENTIST: It is an epidemic disease and it is preventable. We know how to prevent it if we can get those kids in the office.

NURENBERG: Rawson says states that have trimmed Medicaid red tapes seen more dentists accepting the insurance and more patients using it. That kind of reform may be Dimonte's legacy.

NORRIS: This was not necessary and it can be fixed.

NURENBERG: The family's lawyer Laurie Norris says that among the solutions here are more and better dental hygiene programs in public schools. Having pediatricians do dental screenings when they see kids and in Maryland's case rewriting laws that prevent dental hygienists from providing dental care unless they are under strict supervision of a dentist.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Gary Nurenberg thank you so much.

As we mentioned, this is a historic day in Selma, Alabama, 42 years after demonstrators and police clashed there at the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma. Now you see hundreds, if not thousands of people retracing the steps of Civil Rights leaders in the crowd there, some members of what some might call the old guard, civil rights leaders who were there 42 years ago. Rev. Joseph Lowry, Congressman John Lewis and also among the crowd many who have applauded those civil rights leaders saying that their gains have come about as a result of among them President Bill Clinton, Former President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton a leading Democratic contender as well Senator Obama the other leading the Democratic contender. Both of them took to the polls of today to spread their messages, talking about how they have stood on the shoulders of civil rights leaders who were there that bloody Sunday 42 years ago. Today making history of another sort. Our Mary Snow is in the crowd and she will be joining us later on in THE NEWSROOM.

Mean time, police return dog-napped Yorkie to their families. Their saga coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Marching together in Selma, Alabama 42 years after what has been known as bloody Sunday. The violent clash between demonstrators and the police in Selma, 1942. Well, today, it's a scene of unity, especially as there are two leading Democratic presidential hopefuls among the crowd.

Live pictures right now. One of the reasons why Former President Clinton is in town. Not just to be alongside his Democratic presidential hopeful wife, Senator Clinton. But because he's being inducted into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame, you are looking at live pictures right now of that ceremony-taking place in Selma. That is what is taking place stateside.

Mean time across the seas in Iraq, an al Qaeda linked group posts a grizzly video online. The video showed 18 Iraqi security guards blindfolded in a room. The last part shows them kneeling in a field being shot execution style. CNN has not been able to verify the authenticity of the video but it is posted on Websites that often carry the group's messages and videos.

In central Baghdad, the U.S. military reports of roadside bomb exploded Saturday, killing three American soldiers the soldiers' units and names have not been released.

Civilians again caught in the crossfire in Afghanistan. It happened after a suicide attacker and gunman targeted the coalition convoy wounding one soldier. Afghan authorities and witnesses say emotional American troops, and then shot indiscriminately killing the civilians. A U.S. spokesman says the deaths were "A result of the Taliban extremists cowardly act." The incident is under investigation; hundreds of angry Afghans protested the shooting, throwing rocks at the police and blocking the roads.

Two British soldiers have been killed in southern Afghanistan. The British defense ministry says they died in a rocket attack yesterday.

And here's true puppy love. Back home after being stolen and stuffed in a sack. More in THE NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: A happy conclusion to a bold crime. We love good news when it happens. You are looking at pictures of a home invasion robbery. All that caught on tape. Thanks to the video, four stolen puppies are back in the arms of their owners. But Saray Fadell (ph) with CNN's Los Angeles affiliate KCOW says police still need your help.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAY FADELL (ph), KCOW: It is a reunion Kelly Lee and her family has waited for. They never imagined they would see their little puppies again, the dog breeders held back tears as Los Angeles police handed them 3-year-old Tanja and the other Yorkshire terriers.

KELLY LEE, DOG OWNER: I want to thank you. I just want to thank you.

FADELL (ph): These adorable Yorkies were stolen from their home in Korea town eight days ago two men responded to an ad and robbed the family at gunpoint. Snatching the puppies in garbage bags. Survelience cameras captured the home invasion, police tell us the video ultimately led to an arrest. Hundreds of tips came in from around the country.

DET. LUIS CORONA, LOS ANGELES POLICE: With the cooperation of this individual and his father, we were able to recover the four dogs.

FADELL (ph): It took officers more than 12 hours to find all four dogs. The suspects apparently gave them away as gifts to friends in various cities.

CORONA: My personal feeling is after he realized it was something stupid and to his credit his father was able to convince them to turn himself in.

FADELL (ph): But take a good look at the gunman in the video. Tonight police need your help in finding the second suspect in this robbery.

CORONA: We know him as Troy or T.C. and if he's watching this, it's in his best interest to turn himself in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: The police say one puppy valued at $2,500.00 is still missing.

What in the world is this? This is a story you will not believe. It actually happened, apparently two brothers, one 2 years old and the other 5, are supposedly smoking marijuana there. Allegedly given to them by their 17-year-old uncle and his 18-year-old friend. Both of who are now facing charges.

CHIEF BRUCE URE, WATAUGA POLICE: I have never seen anything like this, it is quite so disturbing. And children are counting on us to protect them. These individuals did everything but protect those children they have scarred them and it is absolutely horrific.

WHITFIELD: Disturbing to say the least. The police chief Bruce Ure says both the children have been turned over, rather, to child protective services.

A Michigan couple got the shock of their lives in two bubble wrapped packages. This is pretty gross, inside a human liver and part of a head. The items are medical specimens from China. They were mistakenly delivered by DHL. The company is red faced about the incident and released the following statement saying, "DHL is currently investigating the facts behind a recent shipment of medical specimens destined for a laboratory facility in Michigan."

Also straight-ahead in THE NEWSROOM more of what's taking place in Selma. On one side of your screen, you are seeing the induction ceremony, President Bill Clinton being inducted into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame. And then on the other side of your screen, you are seeing marcher's kind of reliving the steps of Civil Rights giants from 42 years ago who took part in bloody Sunday. It was to be a peaceful demonstration of civil rights activists but it turned into a bloody one because of the clashes with police. We will take you to Selma coming up.

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider with a look at your cold and flu report for Sunday. As we check out the map you will find much of the country reporting widespread activity. Especially from the northern tier through Texas, in the center of the nation. Otherwise, regional or local activity reported. Pretty much for the entire U.S. That's a look at your cold and flu report for Sunday. I'm meteorologist Bonnie Schneider.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is the gift that keeps on giving. Today it is giving Senator Obama the chance to run for president of the United States.

SENATOR OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm here because you all sacrificed for me.

WHITFIELD: Next in THE NEWSROOM a legendary civil rights battlefield now the site a fight for African American votes.

Plus captured, police catch up to Stephen Grant, wanted for allegedly killing and dismembering his wife.

Hello I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center Headquarters in Atlanta you are in THE NEWSROOM.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

Search
© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines