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CNN NEWSROOM

Severe Weather in the Midwest; British-Iranian Standoff; Texas Love Triangle

Aired March 31, 2007 - 17:00   ET

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


JACQUI JERAS, ATS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, absolutely. That's a hotbed of activity at this hour, Rick.
And, really, conditions have gone downhill. We've got a number of tornado warnings in effect right now, in addition to the watch area, which basically covers the entire state.

We've been watching this line of severe storms here, getting close toward Cedar Rapids, and then also this line developing here.

And, ironically, it's the I-80 corridor right now where all of the warnings are taking place. This is a storm that's just pushing up to the north right here. A tornado warning now in effect for Benton County. This is a storm moving up to the north, a Doppler radar indicated tornado, and should be heading on up to the north toward the Vinton area.

So no ground truth to this right now, but we're probably going to see a lot of hail coming out of it, as well.

You can see the orange boxes over here, up toward Iowa Falls and just to the east of Marshalltown. Those are severe thunderstorm warnings, which means damaging winds and large hail is a good possibility here.

We also have tornado warnings in effect for Calhoun and Webster Counties. We think this is going to stay just to the west of the Fort Dodge area. That one also moving northward.

And then over here for Guthrie and Audubon Counties, tornado warnings in effect. These are all Doppler radar indicated tornadoes, but a tornado could touch down at any given time.

This is a very serious situation developing across central parts of Iowa. And it's really these two lines that we're going to be most concerned with over the next couple of hours. This is a very slow moving storm system and that's a lot of the reason why we had so much flooding across the Lone Star State yesterday.

We've still been dealing with some flooding rains down here along the Gulf Coast, but most of it has moved eastward into Louisiana. Heavy rain coming down in Jackson and New Orleans. We've got a live picture for you. You've seen some occasional showers here, but the heavy rain is probably about maybe a half an hour to an hour away.

Once it arrives, it's going to be pretty steady and consistent. Expect to see a lot of whitening and maybe some flash flooding.

So if you're thinking about heading out to the French Quarter tonight, going out, maybe going out for dinner, keep this in mind, that we could see some pretty strong thunderstorms. And you certainly don't want to leave without your umbrella.

So a big storm system, Rick, that will be continuing to affect everybody from Minnesota down to Louisiana throughout the evening.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and this is what it is right now, right, Jacqui?

I mean this is what you do best. You're warning people there's a system there. We don't know what it's going to turn into and we don't know what kind of damage it will do.

But it could do some damage?

JERAS: Absolutely. And we're very concerned about that tornado threat across Iowa through the evening hours.

SANCHEZ: So let us know. I mean if you hear anything else on it, we'll just get back to you right away throughout the newscast.

JERAS: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much.

Well, let's bring you up to date now on the other big story that we've been following, and this has to do, of course, with the situation with Iran and those captured British marines and sailors.

The president spoke just moments ago and he had no qualms in backing Prime Minister Blair, talking about exactly what he thinks that the British are doing right at this point.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Iranian issue is a serious issue. It's serious because -- the British hostages issue is a serious issue because the Iranians took these people out of Iraqi water. And it's inexcusable behavior. And I strongly support the Blair government's attempts to resolve this peacefully. And I support the prime minister when he made it clear there were no quid pro quos.

The Iranians must give back the hostages. They're innocent. They were doing nothing wrong and they were summarily plucked out of water and it is, as I say, it's inexcusable behavior.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: All right, once again, that's the president talking. We turned that around for you, what he had said on his trip to Brazil just, really, moments ago, minutes ago. We were watching it and we decided we wanted you to hear that before you hear this next report, which also is a part of this story, this having to do, of course, with the other side, you might say.

A swipe today at London. This is coming from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A Iran still holding more than a dozen British troops that are captive, Ahmadinejad denounced Britain for not coming forward and apologizing -- which is what he says he wants -- for allegedly entering what he calls Iranian waters.

Now, obviously this is disputed. Britain is straining to try and keep the lid on the crisis but moving behind the scenes to try and deepen Iran's isolation, as well.

And it gets very complicated when you try and figure out who's actually holding them. Is it Ahmadinejad's side or is it the hard- line Khamenei side?

From London now, here's CNN's Matthew Chance.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Facing continued uncertainty, the 15 British military personnel held in Iran remain at the center of a bitter stand-off.

The British foreign minister confirms there's been an exchange of letters between London and Teheran, but no one is talking about progress toward a release.

MARGARET BECKETT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: What we want is a way out of it. We want it peacefully and we want it as soon as possible. We would like to be told where our personnel are. We would like to be given access to them. But we want it resolved.

CHANCE: And the sense of diplomatic urgency has only heightened since Iran chose to broadcast this purported confession by one of the captured sailors, possibly made under duress.

NATHAN SUMMERS: I'm grateful no harm has come to us. I just -- I'd like to apologize for our entering your waters without any permission.

CHANCE: Letters handwritten by the only female captive, Faye Turney, have been released, too. British officials say their anti- British and U.S. tone also appears to have been coerced.

On the streets of the Iranian capital, where Islamic Republic Day is being celebrated, there appears to be some support for the way the Iranian government is handling the stand-off.

REZA MOHEBI, TEHERAN RESIDENT (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The fact that that United Kingdom or America are great powers does not force us to free these soldiers. They may even be spies.

KAMRAN FARIDI, TEHERAN RESIDENT (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): It would be better if Iran were to free the female British sailor because it is a positive move. But the United Kingdom also must respond positively after her release. CHANCE: But for the moment, Britain it trying to step up the diplomatic pressure on the Islamic Republic. At a gathering of E.U. foreign ministers, it's looking to its European allies to adopt strong measures to encourage Iran to back down.

(on camera): Already, the European Union, which is the biggest trading partner of Iran, has expressed its strong support for the British position in this escalating stand-off. It could now choose to impose punitive measures against the Islamic Republic if the British sailors aren't released soon. Without some kind of solution, it seems Iran may be facing ever deeper isolation.

Matthew Chance, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

SANCHEZ: All right, let's go next door now from the Iran crisis to the Iraq crisis.

The Democrats are saying that they believe the American people want the war ended and that's what they are trying to do.

President Bush, for his part, used his weekly radio address to try and address Democratic lawmakers. Mr. Bush says that the Democrats "should be ashamed" -- his words -- for trying to impose a timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq and weighing down the latest war funding bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Democrats loaded up their bills with billions of dollars in domestic spending completely unrelated to the war, including $3.5 million for visitors to tour the Capitol; $6.4 million for the House of Representatives' salaries and expenses account; and $74 million for secure peanut storage.

I like peanuts as much as the next guy, but I believe the security of our troops should come before the security of our peanut crop.

For all these reasons, that is why I made it clear to the Democrats in Congress I will veto the bill.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: President Bush went on again to attack what he called the Democrats' arbitrary deadline to pull the U.S. troops from Iraq.

Now, the Senate passed bills that calls for a March 2008 exit from Iraq. The House version is urging a pullout that's six months later than that.

But just how realistic is the time frame?

Let's go to CNN's Tom Foreman, who's looked at the logistics. (BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meeting a deadline for withdrawing from Iraq would be a monumental task and the numbers tell the tale -- 143,000 U.S. troops are there right now, soon to be 160,000. And they don't travel light. The military has tens of thousands of airplanes, tanks, helicopters, Strykers and other vehicles. There are an estimated 14,000 armored Humvees in Iraq alone.

(on camera): And all of these forces, all of this equipment, are spread all over the country. True, there are concentrations, for the Army in Baghdad, for the Marines out in Anbar Province. But American troops in some number are still everywhere.

So how would the military leave all this territory?

Analysts say in all likelihood, some of the troops would fly directly out of Baghdad's main airport. But most of them would come out the way they went in -- traveling south to Kuwait and then getting on to ships.

(voice-over): The American military, working with Iraqi troops, would establish heavily guarded areas around the exit routes. But it would be perilous. Just as it happened in Vietnam, some military analysts say even if withdrawal is desired, a publicly acknowledged date would permit the enemy to dog the departure and stack up American casualties every step of the way.

MAJ. GEN. DON SHEPPERD, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET.): I have seen this movie before. I can't think of anything dumber than announcing ahead of time to the enemy what you're going to do. It provides them with the opportunity to -- to basically control the situation.

FOREMAN: It is not clear what will happen to the bases or the endless tons of equipment that will certainly be left behind -- too worn out to be brought back. Even with the deadline, however, the Pentagon suggests leaving Iraq would take not days or weeks, but months.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

SANCHEZ: So a lot of Americans are left with the question, who will bend first, the president or Congress?

Is it getting safer in Iraq?

Is time running out for Iran?

These are just a few of the topics that John Roberts is going to be touching upon in "THIS WEEK AT WAR." That's tonight, 7:00 Eastern and tomorrow at 1:00 Eastern. It's right here, of course, on CNN.

A newly surfaced memo is adding questions about the government's truthfulness in explaining the death in Afghanistan of Corporal Pat Tillman, the former NFL football star that took it upon to leave the NFL and a million dollar contract and go to Afghanistan to fight for his country.

It shows, the report does, that while officials were insisting Tillman died in an ambush, it was actually not that at all. A general sent a memo up the chain of command warning that Tillman was probably killed by friendly fire.

And the Associated Press is now saying that the purpose of the memo was to tip officials as high as President Bush not to risk the embarrassment of getting the story wrong in public. It's unclear whether the warning reached the White House. A White House spokesman is saying at this point that there's no indication that it did.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Jerusalem, first stop on a week- long trip in the Middle East. Her delegation's planned stop in Syria has irritated the White House. A spokesperson there is calling it a really bad idea.

More now from CNN's Elaine Quijano.

She's following the story from the White House -- what did -- what exactly did the White House say when they were asked about Pelosi going over there...

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well...

SANCHEZ: And if they had sanctioned it in any way?

QUIJANO: Well, you know, exactly what you just said -- they think it's a really bad idea, Rick.

And the White House view on this is quite simply that others have visited Syria before and it hasn't done any good.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE: I think if the White House is saying publicly this is a bad trip, it is a fundamental disservice to the United States of America for Speaker Pelosi to go to Syria. And, furthermore, a San Francisco liberal sitting down with a dictator strikes me as the worst possible negotiating position.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUIJANO: And, of course, that was Newt Gingrich -- apologies -- commenting, weighing in on this.

But what we have heard, certainly, from the White House, is that it is counter-productive for people to go to Syria. It has been done in the past. It hasn't produced any results. Now others have certainly tried to send the Syrians a tough message, Rick. And what they say is that they simply haven't responded.

Now, as for Speaker Pelosi, a spokesman says that her trip certainly is a bipartisan one. There is a Republican going with her. And they point out that this is actually one of the recommendations by the Iraq Study Group, to sit down and talk to Syria -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And we should mention that Newt Gingrich is a really smart guy and extremely capable, but he does not speak for the White House, obviously enough.

QUIJANO: No.

SANCHEZ: I guess what I'm left wondering is did anybody at the White House know that she had either planned or was planning or was going to go?

Did they have any indication this was happening or were they just blind-sided by this?

QUIJANO: Yes, not blind-sided. I actually talked to a senior White House official who said that people over at State Department actually briefed Speaker Pelosi before she left, briefing her on the U.S. position.

They asked her not to go. They say that she insisted on going anyway. And they urged her to really make clear the U.S.'s position so, as this official put it, the U.S. would be speaking with one voice -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Elaine Quijano following things there for us at the White House.

We thank you so much for bringing us up to date on this.

Here's another story we're following, and this is the one we had told you about earlier when I was out here talking to Fred.

A lot of people are talking about this.

A Texas man shoots his wife's lover. But the wife, not the husband, is the one who's now facing the charges. Try and figure that one out. We're going to work it out for you right here. It's a Texas love triangle straight ahead from THE NEWSROOM.

Also, a close call for passengers of a Greyhound bus today. We're going to have the details on that one in just four minutes. It's a tragic story.

And then, imagine spending more than 20 years in prison for a crime that you did not commit because evidence was lost two decades ago. It's an amazing story. It's coming up in just 10 minutes. It'll be right here in THE NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Happening now in the news, we're keeping a close eye, as we told you at the beginning of this newscast, on that storm system that seems to be going through parts of the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley. That means everything from Louisiana to Iowa, folks. It already caused some flooding in Texas.

CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras, she's monitoring the latest storm watches and warnings in the Severe Weather Center for us.

Should anything happen, she'll be on the air right away, lickety- split, telling you what's going on.

Also, police in Montgomery, Alabama say that a woman driving the wrong way on Interstate 85 hit a Greyhound bus head-on early this morning. It is an ugly picture.

The young woman driving the car was killed instantly. Twenty passengers on the bus were also shaken up quite a bit. They're hurt.

More worries this weekend for pet owners. Another food recall. It seems to be widening. Purina is now recalling all sizes and varieties of Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy -- Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy.

Again, that's one of those wet dog foods, but not just wet. It's the stuff where you pour it out and the stuff is like in chunks and then there's a gravy in it. The product believed to be tainted with wheat gluten and it contains a toxic substance and the company just wants to be sure that nobody loses their pet as a result of it, so they're being proactive.

Flashback -- 1985. Ronald Reagan is sworn in for the second term. "We Are The World" is recorded in Hollywood. And in Buffalo, New York, a man is convicted of two rapes that he did not commit.

Now, after 22 years, Anthony Capozzi is finally going home. What a story.

Here's CNN's Jim Acosta with more on the DNA evidence that has set him free.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're free. They realized that you didn't do any of those things. You're free, Anth.

MARY CAPOZZI, MOTHER OF ANTHONY CAPOZZI: They made a mistake.

M. CAPOZZI: They made a mistake.

ANTHONY CAPOZZI: All right. It sounds good to me.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Capozzi family has been waiting 22 years to say those words.

ALBERT CAPOZZI, FATHER OF ANTHONY CAPOZZI: We're going to have you home pretty soon.

ANTHONY CAPOZZI: Where in Buffalo?

ALBERT CAPOZZI: You know it. ACOSTA: In prison since 1985, Anthony Capozzi was convicted of raping two women in the suburbs of Buffalo, a verdict that was based mostly on the testimony of rape victims who thought they had identified the right man in a police lineup.

FRANK CLARK, BUFFALO, NEW YORK DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The victims certainly believed wholeheartedly that they were identifying the right person.

ACOSTA: It was a stunning discovery of DNA evidence that will set Capozzi free. A long lost genetic sample, investigators say, that points to a different man. The evidence had been tucked away for years and was only recently discovered among hundreds of pathology slides at the Erie County Medical Center.

As it turns out, those slides contained DNA linked to Altemio Sanchez, who was arrested and charged in January with being Buffalo's alleged bike path rapist.

CLARK: I am sorry -- I'm sure not nearly as sorry as the Capozzi family -- that the existence of these slides wasn't found earlier.

ACOSTA: Capozzi, who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, has always maintained his innocence, standing by his story during a total of five parole hearings, even when an admission of guilt could have set him free years ago.

THOMAS D'AGOSTINO, CAPOZZI'S ATTORNEY: He's known what it meant to say I didn't do it. He could have said I did it just to get out. But he never did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just kept to his -- his story and always said I don't know why I'm here. I didn't do anything to hurt anybody. I would never hurt anybody. I have sisters of my own and I love them.

ACOSTA: While overjoyed with the recent news about his son, Capozzi's father says the system's mistake was devastating for his family.

ALBERT CAPOZZI: The defamation of what's happened to my son, the shame that we went through, the degradation of all of that, is something that you live with every day.

ACOSTA: The attorney for the now 50-year-old Capozzi is making formal arrangements to have his client officially released from prison within the next two weeks, making this family whole again.

M. CAPOZZI: We're a family now.

MARY CAPOZZI: We waited so long for this, but I knew some day it would come.

ACOSTA: After spending nearly half of his life behind bars for a crime he never committed, Anthony Capozzi is almost home.

Jim Acosta, CNN, New York. (END VIDEO TAPE)

SANCHEZ: Police say that the husband pulled the trigger.

So why is the man facing manslaughter -- pardon me. Why is the wife facing manslaughter charges?

This one even confuses me.

A strange twist in a Texas love triangle. We've got more than just the story here. We're going to be taking it apart with a lawyer.

And we're keeping track of possible tornadoes, flash floods and severe storms from Minnesota to Louisiana. And we have it all covered for you.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: And here we go back in B Control now.

I told you about this story just a little while ago when I was talking to Fred. The video is amazing. But the facts, as they've now changed somewhat, are really amazing.

A Texas man who shot and killed his wife's lover not being charged with a crime. She, the wife, is.

Now, here are the facts.

The woman was with her lover when her husband got home from work. He discovered, when he got home from work, that she was with another man, so he shot and killed the guy. But the Texas grand jury is saying that he only did so because his wife told him at the time, honey, I'm being raped. That's what she said, that she -- that this man was a rapist, not her lover. And there doesn't seem to be anybody refuting that at this point.

Well, Darrell Roberson was originally charged by police when they got to the scene. But when the grand jury looked at the facts in this case, they decided to charge the wife instead. So she is now charged with manslaughter.

An amazing story, isn't it?

All right, what's the right call in this case?

Let's check in now with somebody who does this for a living.

Criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor B.J. Bernstein is good enough to join us.

She's in New York.

B.J. how are you? B.J. BERNSTEIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I'm doing great. But I think this is going to give the folks at "Law and Order" another episode to work on soon.

SANCHEZ: It's an amazing story.

Now, do you think he should be charged?

BERNSTEIN: You know, I can see why the grand jury didn't necessarily want to charge him, because you can be exonerated if you were defending someone else, if you were protecting someone else from physical bodily injury.

And so when the wife calls out, "rape!," of course that's the most -- one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed on a woman...

SANCHEZ: And let's not forget...

BERNSTEIN: ... and so his reaction could be reasonable.

SANCHEZ: Well, reaction is the key there, right?

You're an attorney. I'm sure you've seen cases like this. There would be a difference if he had to walk a mile to get a gun or even go in his house, pull in a drawer, take out a gun or a weapon of some sort. But he happened to have the weapon on him. So couldn't you say that his reaction was what you often call a crime of passion, where it was instantaneous reaction?

BERNSTEIN: Exactly. And it sounds like that's what Texas -- not to load up on Texas' reputation, but we do have a man here apparently just already toting a gun, ready to go, and react. And that grand jury, it sounds like, took that Texas style notion of justice and said let's not go after the man, but unusually, went after the wife.

SANCHEZ: You know, you just mentioned the Texas style of justice. Interestingly enough, we looked up on this and we did a little homework. Here's what we found.

Roger, put this up, if you can.

This is the assistant district attorney. His name is Sean Colston. And what he's saying is look, in Texas, somebody can shoot someone if -- and here we go -- he has a "reasonable belief that his actions are necessary even though what they believe at the time turns out to be not true."

In other words, if he perceived at the time, right, that what he was doing was to save his wife, to really get a bad guy out of the way, then that's what matters, not reality, but perception.

BERNSTEIN: Exactly. And -- but you've got to remember, it's not just fantasy reality. I mean she was apparently in a sex act and screams "Rape!"

I mean that's a pretty dramatic thing and it's a stranger to him.

So his reaction, you know, could be what, you know, any ordinary man possibly could do when they find that their wife was being raped.

SANCHEZ: Do you think he should be charged with anything, by the way?

Because there is an argument that he didn't do it right away. It took him a while to get the gun out, the guy was starting to drive away in the pickup truck. But there was some time that elapsed.

BERNSTEIN: Yes, but...

SANCHEZ: Is that a big deal? Does that matter?

BERNSTEIN: The time elapse concerns me. You know, having been a prosecutor, that's where you say well, time could intervene. And you can't just get vengeance on someone for going after someone. You're supposed to protect them or try to stabilize the situation.

But once a grand jury says no, you know, we're not going to indict you, that's going to be it for him.

She's the one now in big trouble.

SANCHEZ: Yes, let's talk about her for just a minute.

Do you think this is going to be a difficult case to defend?

Put yourself as her lawyer.

Would you be able to defend this or would you have a tough time with it?

BERNSTEIN: Well...

SANCHEZ: Given what she's on -- given what she's on the record saying, by the way. Let me help you there. Let me help our viewers.

A, she originally called her lover over and said, "I want to be with you." In fact, it's in the form of an e-mail.

That's not good, is it?

BERNSTEIN: No. But it sets up a perfect conviction for false report of a crime, here the stretch -- and I'm going to use Texas size stretch, again -- is that she should fit for manslaughter. Usually manslaughter happens two ways -- you accidentally kill someone -- well, obviously that's not an accident here.

SANCHEZ: Right.

BERNSTEIN: ... or you commit a negligent act, but there's some sense of foreseeability that your negligent act would cause the death of someone. And although it is not right to scream "Rape!" when you are having an affair with your lover, I do think it's a stretch to say therefore you would know that your husband would then pull out a gun and shoot the man and kill him.

SANCHEZ: Unless -- well, but hold on. Unless you know -- if he comes up and she visualized the gun in her hand. Here's my husband, he has a gun in his hand. Here's my lover. Oh my god let me tell him that he's raping me, you know, that's a logical conclusion, isn't it, B.J.?

BERNSTEIN: Well, but you're putting a lot of thought in a short period of time.

SANCHEZ: Yes, you're right. You're right.

BERNSTEIN: And remember...

SANCHEZ: We don't know. We don't know that...

BERNSTEIN: ... we don't know the exact details.

SANCHEZ: Yes. That's fair.

BERNSTEIN: But you're bringing up great points about how this trial could eventually unfold. This is not going to be a case that she would probably race to plead a manslaughter. It's a serious offense, it carries one to 20 years in prison.

And again, she didn't commit a violent act, she committed adultery, which happens. She tried to cover her tracks, which Lord knows a large part of people who commit adultery tried to cover her tracks. She just didn't see what was going to happen next.

SANCHEZ: It's fascinating, not only discussing it with you, but a lot of people in THE NEWSROOM. We've all been talking about this case throughout the day and different people take different sides of this. And it doesn't always have to do with sex, by the way. I mean, what sex you come from.

BERNSTEIN: No, no, no. I mean, today, just walking around, you know, the hair salon talk today was about this case, to be honest. And everybody was talking about, what should you do? What should you say? It's definitely going to continue to be colorful as it goes through the courts.

SANCHEZ: B.J. Always good to talk to you. You look good.

BERNSTEIN: Good to see you, Rick.

SANCHEZ: All right. Thanks so much.

BERNSTEIN: Bye.

SANCHEZ: We want to hear about what you have to say about this case. Everyone else seems to have an opinion. Who do you think is really to blame? Who should be charged? Her, him or both? E-mail us. Weekends at dot com - weekends@cnn.com. Pardon me. I misspoke.

We're going to read some of your replies right here later in this program.

Let's do this now. Let's go over to Jacqui, she is standing by in the Weather Center with an update on the story we've been following for you about everything -- this is a whole stretch of the United States.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah.

SANCHEZ: From Minnesota to Louisiana. So what's being affected?

JERAS: Well, the biggest focus right now, Rick, is in central Iowa.

(WEATHER REPORT)

SANCHEZ: Look forward to it, Jacqui. Thanks so much.

Also, from foe to friend, insurgents fighting side by side with U.S. troops in Iraq. And we will examine the sudden change. It is ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: We welcome you back to B control. Boy, we have been talking about all this weather affecting so many parts of the United States. Let's get over to Jacqui now and find out what's going on with this system. Jacqui?

(WEATHER REPORT)

JERAS: Send us those photos, but make sure you stay safe, Rick.

SANCHEZ: No, you're right.

I've covered many a story where people have died from electrocution because they've gone into those big puddles after an electrical storm and there was something else like a live electricorder (ph) line that literally caused them to perish.

Sometimes there's nothing you can do, if you're in your flood, you've got to get out of your car and walk out, you've got to take a chance.

JERAS: Right, you want to get out, definitely.

SANCHEZ: But if you can avoid it, avoid it. Good advice, Jacqui.

JERAS: Thanks.

SANCHEZ: We want to hear from you again about this case we were discussing just a little while ago with B.J. Bernstein. Who do you think should be blamed in this case? The wife, the husband or both?

Remember, again, he came home from work, found her with a lover and shot the lover because the wife told him that the lover was really a rapist. Think about it. E-mail us right here at weekends@cnn.com. We're going to read some of your replies right here later in the program.

SANCHEZ: Today in his weekly radio address, President Bush slammed congressional Democrats for a proposed timetable to pull troops from Iraq and for some additions to the war funding bills.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT: The Democrats loaded up their bills with spending completely unrelated to the war, including $3.5 million for visitors to tour the Capitol, $6.4 million for the House of Representatives salaries and expenses account and $74 million for secure peanut storage.

I like peanuts as much as the next guy, but I believe the security of our troops should come before the security of our peanut crop. For all these reasons, that is why I made it clear to the Democrats in Congress, I will veto the bill.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Meanwhile on the ground in Iraq today there is no let up in the latest violent surge there. Three car bombings killed 11 people, left 53 wounded. Deadliest explosion happening in front of a hospital in Baghdad's slum of Sadr City.

Police are saying five civilians died there during that mishap. Other bombs going of in Hila (ph) and in Tuzh (ph) and in Karmatou (ph).

More than 500 people have been killed this week alone in Iraq, including the 85 victims of Tuesday's Tal Afar truck bombing.

Once the enemies of U.S. troops now, in many cases, they're actually allies. That's what makes this so complex, so confusing, so frustrating. Some former Iraqi insurgents are now joining the fight against al Qaeda. CNN's Michael Ware reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He looks like an insurgent. He's actually a U.S. ally, the new face of America's fight against al Qaeda. "Al Qaeda slaughtered our sheikhs, our children," he says, "and we will terminate them."

By "we," me he means men like these in Iraq's western Anbar Province manning this checkpoint which, though unofficial, is supported by the U.S. military. The men drawn from tribes or their umbrella network, the Anbar Salvation Council.

Police vehicles pass through without question, but the tribes have split their forces. Some to the police who intone tribal chants before operations.

While others are kept as private paramilitaries. Hit squads, assault teams sanctioned by the Iraqi government. Their loyalty remaining with their tribal sheikhs. All of which suits an America desperate to crush al Qaeda.

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ: Beyond Baghdad and moreover a number of tribes in Anbar province have in recent months finally said enough and begun to link arms against extremist operatives who have killed their sheikhs and sought to poison their young people's minds.

WARE: Here in Anbar Province, America cannot defeat al Qaeda with the troops it has. So it's turned to the tribes, Baathists and nationalist insurgents of the Salvation Council, virtually contracting out parts of the battle against al Qaeda to tribal fighters.

The deal is simple. America gives local leaders free reign as long as they root out and kill al Qaeda.

Iraqis like villager Abu Miriam (ph) have tired of al Qaeda. He says his people began fighting U.S. forces but foreigners infiltrated their ranks. "If you talk against them, they let you go at first, then come back and behead you later," he says.

These tensions provoke the tribes' Salvation Council to work alongside U.S. Marines and soldiers. Its members carry weapons, launch operations against targets they select, make arrests and conduct interrogations. All with American acquiescence.

In a September 2006 U.S. intelligence briefing, it appeared the tribes had been given a license to kill. "The tribes effectively sought out and killed on a repeated basis elements infiltrating from Syria as well as local elements trying to re-establish," a U.S. official said.

Asked if this was really an assassination program backed by U.S. forces, Zalmay Khalilzad answered:

ZALMAY KHALILZAD, U.S. AMBASSADOR: We lose no sleep over the struggle against al Qaeda and the killing of al Qaeda people.

WARE: The Salvation Council says the U.S. has given them rifle ammunition, a claim the U.S. military does not dispute. And the Iraqi government has given them 30 vehicles.

"We are not looking for bloodshed. We minimize it," this senior council member says. "If a suspect is peaceful, we arrest and hand him to the authorities, but if he resists, there will be no other way than to shoot him."

Coordinating the tribe's operations with the Americans, says the sheikh, is discreet. "When we meet a government minister, sometimes we see an American sitting in."

Discussions Ambassador Khalilzad has listened to himself.

KHALILZAD: I have hosted here the embassy meeting between the minister of defense, minister of interior, other senior officials and Anbaris who have come.

WARE: Anbaris who represent insurgents. And in his final press conference, the ambassador goes further still.

KHALILZAD: Coalition commanders have been able to engage some insurgents to explore ways to collaborate in fighting the terrorists.

WARE: The Salvation Council doesn't hide its insurgent past. "Most of us carried weapons against the occupiers at the beginning," says the sheikh. "Then we dropped them and started a dialogue, but that doesn't mean we accept the occupation."

Al Qaeda has hit back at the tribes, hard, sending chlorine bombs, car bombs and suicide bombers in explosive chest vests against their leaders. Asked what would become of him if al Qaeda knew he was talking, Abu Miriam replied, "I will be killed. In fact, slaughtered, slaughtered with a knife."

But not if these police and tribal paramilitaries can help it. For they are America's new frontline against al Qaeda. Michael Ware, CNN, Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: And as most Americans would say, what a mess.

Meanwhile, we're following videos coming in from all over the world, all over the country. In fact, this is where we do it. This is the epic center (ph) you see behind us here. We pluck some of those videos and often share them with you.

Here are a couple of them we'll be talking about. First an oil man refuses to give up after a string of dry holes. You'll never guess where he finally hits pay-dirt. We'll bring it to you.

You are in THE NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the number one network for African- American...

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN HOST (voice-over): It's Vicky Rideout's job to keep an eye on advertising that can affect our health, especially children. And she's not happy with what she's seeing.

VICKY RIDEOUT, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: Kids of all ages in this country are exposed to what I think by anybody's standards would be a large amount of food advertising on television every day. Thousands of ads a year.

GUPTA: Rideout is a vice president with the Kaiser Family Foundation. This week the foundation released its largest study ever on TV food advertising for kids. Of the thousands of ads studied, 34 percent were for candy and snacks, 28 percent for cereal, and 10 percent for fast food. Get this -- not one advertised fruits or vegetables.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All laziness is suspended until further notice.

GUPTA: And only 15 percent of the ads showed children in some type of physical activity.

RIDEOUT: I guess I would say that's a relatively small proportion of the ads that include physical activity now.

GUPTA: And the issue isn't even new. In a report by the Institute of Medicine back in 2005, research showed that there was a direct connection between food ads for kids and childhood obesity. The report recommended advertising companies push healthier products and show physical activity in their ads. So far, change has been slow.

MIKE MCGINNIS, INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE : I think companies are clearly getting it. I think they're not sure what to do yet, but there's no question that they're concerned, as they should be, about the public concern over the increase in childhood obesity.

GUPTA: Corporations are generally motivated by profit. And fatty snacks tend to be popular. Pepsico, which owns Pepsi, Fritolay and Tropicana is trying to market more healthy, yet tasty items.

NANCY GREEN, PEPSICO: All of the products that were advertised were baked that were advertised to children. So it's looking at our healthier products.

GUPTA: The Kaiser Family Foundation hopes impress on advertisers that the childhood obesity problem is not going away until real changes are made.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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SANCHEZ: Welcome back. We're in B control.

This is an amazing story with what's going on with the situation in Texas. We told you about this one, right? Husband gets home from work, finds his wife with her lover. But the husband says -- the wife says to the husband, that's not my lover. He's a rapist. And he's here raping me. He takes out a gun and shoots her (sic). Well, she's charged now, not him. That's why it's a controversy.

We've been wondering what your thoughts are on this. And we asked you to go ahead and e-mail us if you would. That's exactly what you've done. Let me put my old man glasses on so I can read these e- mails that you've sent me and Roger is keeping it way too dark in here. That's my reason. Bernice is the first one who sends us this e-mail and says, "She is at fault. Sounds like a set-up to me."

Then we got this e-mail as well. This is from J.L. We have got it up, right? There it is.

J.L. from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, "I think they both deserve to be charged," she says or he says, pardon me. "Taking a life is wrong and Texas vigilantism is wrong."

And then finally we got this one. This is from Melissa in Quebec, Canada. "She acted instinctively in order to save her life upon seeing her husband holding a gun. Yet another example of how two wrongs do not make a right."

So there's an interesting splattering of some of the opinions that we've been getting so far from some of the folks. By the way, there is something else we would like you to do if you can't e-mail us, or don't want to e-mail call us.

We'll give you the number. And the question, of course, who should be charged? Should it be the wife, the husband or should it be both? Give us a call. It is 1-800-807-2620. 1-800-807-2620. Interesting legal debate. And we would like to engage you in it. So, we will share some of your responses tonight right here at 10:00 pm. We'll have that story.

Meanwhile an oil man with a dream to drill in his own backyard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everywhere I drilled for three years was a dry hole. My kids started to call me Dry Hole Steve. So that kind of hurt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: No longer dry hole Steve. Guess what they're calling him now. They are calling him Husher Steve. It's a real-life "Beverley Hillbillies" story next right here. Ellie Mae Clampett and all. We'll be right back.

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SANCHEZ: Being a husband with a wife and a lot of kids, I can vouch for this. It is not easy sometimes. You take a lot of heat at home, folks. This guy did. He is the oilman his own family made fun of.

And now this Louisiana driller, way to go. May be getting the last laugh. Here is CNN's Susan Roesgen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Only an oil man would put an oil rig in his own front yard. STEVE JORDAN, STRUCK OIL IN HIS YARD: Drill mass is about 65 feet high.

ROESGEN: And that's what Steve Jordan did last fall. Today, the rig is gone, replaced by what they call a Christmas tree, the metal tubing that means the well works.

JORDAN: There was a period of time every well I drilled for three years was a dry hole and my kids started calling me Dry Hole Steve. That kind of hurts.

ROESGEN: Dry Hole Steve is dry no more. In fact, what he has tapped into is such a high grade of oil that it comes out of the ground almost as clear as a nice glass of champagne. To get to it, Jordan had to drill under his house, under the living room and kitchen, even under the pool and a river behind the backyard. Now, the pipes are pulling out 20 barrels of oil a day, and even more natural gas. All together, Steve says it's enough to triple his million dollar investment. Take that OPEC.

JORDAN: And I don't like those guys. Those guys don't like us. So -- well, hey, I'm back.

ROESGEN: Susan Roesgen, CNN, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SANCHEZ: Can't help but feel good for a guy hike that, huh? Well, a lot more ahead here on CNN.

Up next, Lou Dobbs is coming up. He is going to be asking some of the tough questions, of course, regarding immigration policy or lack thereof and a whole lot more right here.

And then at 7:00 Eastern, THIS WEEK AT WAR. Is life getting safer in Iraq? Is time running out for Iran? Those are the questions John Roberts is going to be asking.

And then at 8:00, "The War Within" what drives Muslims to turn to terrorism? CNN's Christiane Amanpour hosting "The War Within."

From CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Rick Sanchez. Thanks so much for being with us. We're going to go put together the next one, which comes on at 10:00 p.m. Obviously if news breaks, we'll come right in and bring you the very latest. Good job, guys. See you then.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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