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CNN NEWSROOM

Seized by Iran; Walking Around Baghdad; The Last Supper

Aired April 2, 2007 - 09:00   ET

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


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

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Betty Nguyen, in for Heidi Collins today.

HARRIS: Watch events come in to the NEWSROOM live. It is Monday, April 2nd.

Here's what's on the rundown.

NGUYEN: Iran shows more video of detained British sailors and marines, claiming all 15 now admit to trespassing in Iranian waters.

HARRIS: A South Pacific archipelago rocked by undersea quakes and a tsunami. One witnesses describes two-story-high waves in the Solomon Islands.

NGUYEN: Well, who is up? Who is down? There is a new report card on the airlines, and it finds some rising turbulence for flyers, frayed and delayed.

We have it all here in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: And at the top of this hour, 15 British troops held in Iran, anger in the U.K. over another video of what Iran calls confessions. Some of those captured British troops again in front of cameras. The British government demanding their release, but looking for a diplomatic solution.

CNN's Jim Boulden joins us live from London.

Jim, good morning to you.

What is the latest U.K. reaction to this latest video?

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the U.K. -- yes, Tony, the U.K. continues to condemn what it says is a staged, managed appearance of its sailors and marines on Iranian television. We've had two videos, one showing all 15 of the detainees. That video came out just a few hours ago.

Now, they're not showing the 15 confessing, as the Iranians say, but the Iranians say they do have on tape all 15 confessing. But they don't want to show that. They say that's because they think there may be some movement within the U.K. that could lead to a diplomatic solution. So, a bit of a carrot there from Iran.

But, last night, Sunday night, they did release a video of two of their sailors in front of maps, maps showing the disputed waters between Iraq and Iran, and they said those two sailors were confessing. We've seen -- we've heard some of that, possibly what the U.K. of course would say is a coerced confession. So, we're really no closer to the two sides even agreeing on the dispute itself, and certainly not getting any closer to a resolution -- Tony.

HARRIS: Well, but, Jim, there has to be some kind of movement. I'm hoping there's some kind of movement on the diplomatic front to resolve this. Anything to report?

BOULDEN: Nothing overt. We do have, I would have to say, some calmer diplomatic language coming out of the U.K. over the weekend.

We just -- we had the foreign secretary and the defense secretary both talking about hoping to resolve this issue in a diplomatic way. However, the president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, came out, and he said that the British were being "arrogant" for not apologizing for being in Iranian waters. Of course, the U.K. says there's nothing to apologize for -- Tony.

HARRIS: All right. CNN's Jim Boulden for us live in London.

Jim, thank you.

NGUYEN: A tiny island nation in the South Pacific struck by a massive tragedy. At least 13 deaths are reported after the Solomon Islands were slammed by two powerful earthquakes, and then a tsunami. As searchers comb through the rubble, the death toll, well, that is expected to climb.

These scenes now are video of the Solomon Islands before the quakes, an island chain with more than 200 islands and a population of more than half a million people. Well, when the tsunami rolled ashore, entire villages were swallowed by the sea. And according to reports, waves were more than 30 feet high in some areas.

HARRIS: And let's check in with Chad Myers now.

(WEATHER REPORT)

HARRIS: Death and chaos in the streets of Iraq again today. More than 100 people dead or wounded in one attack.

A truck bomb exploded outside a police station. It happened in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Police say at least five people were killed there, 116 others were wounded.

And word just this morning that the death toll from last week's suicide truck bombing in Tal Afar was much higher than originally reported -- 152 people killed. That makes it the deadliest single attack since the start of the war. And this from the U.S. military -- six American soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device detonated southwest of Baghdad over the weekend. That raises the death roll of American troops to 3,253.

NGUYEN: Senator John McCain is visiting Iraq, and he faced questions about his recent comments that there are areas of the Iraqi capital where Americans could just walk around freely.

CNN's Kyra Phillips shows us what it's really like to walk through one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is one of the most dangerous places in Baghdad.

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, CMDR. MULTINATIONAL FORCES, IRAQ: The Dora area is one in which there has been clearly a death squad, as you heard that activity has declined dramatically since the units started the Baghdad security plan but we think they're still there and so they do have to root them out.

PHILLIPS: Rooting out al Qaeda and demolishing torture chambers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we've got three battalions, Iraqi battalions that I've partnered with, two national police and one Iraqi Army.

PHILLIPS: The commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus Gets briefed because today, we're going there. Destruction from extremists riddles the Dora market. It's still not safe.

(on camera): You talk about the al Qaeda threat here and yet you're wearing your soft cap. Interesting message you're trying to send.

PETRAEUS: Yeah. I'm very comfortable with these guys. They have got plenty of security around here. We'll be fine. You're not wearing a Kevlar ...

PHILLIPS: Well, if you're comfortable, I'm comfortable.

PETRAEUS: Ruin your hairdo, wont it? It ruins the image.

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Joking aside, because of the death squad that operates here, the area is flooded with security.

LT. SAMIR KHALEL HASSAN (through translator): People were scared of militias in here.

PHILLIPS: Iraqi Army Lieutenant Samir Khalel Hassan tells Petraeus the militias have been brutal but locals are starting to have faith.

(on camera): Does he want to take over the areas and U.S. troops go home?

(voice-over): The lieutenant tells me we're looking for the day that we take over and provide complete security here and do it on their own. Petraeus has these Iraqi forces going through a warrior leader course. They're going to need it.

PETRAEUS: The challenge, then, frankly, will be even suicide vest bombs. This is an enemy that will stop at nothing and we have seen demonstrations of that in recent days.

PHILLIPS: Another tactic insurgents are using to make life unbearable, another tactic Iraqi Lieutenant Colonel Najn Talid Mutlaf (ph) will have to fight in the battle for security.

(on camera): How does he think his men are doing?

(voice-over): The colonel tells me, "We're learning how to execute raids, carry out searches and conduct patrols."

One hundred twenty shops have reopened in the Dora market. There used to be 600. We still need more security, the shop owner tells us then we'll do even better. I just opened today, just get going started getting going.

Petraeus says U.S. troops can't leave Iraq until areas like Dora are secure and self-reliant.

PETRAEUS: We can study language and culture all we want, we are never going to have the feel for it than what a lieutenant colonel like that has right here.

PHILLIPS (on camera): And lieutenant colonel, what does it mean to have General Petraeus here in this market?

(voice-over): "This market was dead in the past and we brought back life," the colonel tells me. "The general is seeing that for himself."

Bringing back life, for now, but like everything in Iraq, the question is, will it last?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: And CNN's Kyra Phillips joins us now live from Baghdad.

Kyra, I want to ask you about this, because there has been a lot of debate surrounding Senate John McCain and a state of security in Baghdad. What can you tell us about the senator's experience on the streets? Because yesterday we heard that they were shopping in one of the local markets and it really wasn't a problem.

PHILLIPS: All right, let's just lay it out.

NGUYEN: OK.

PHILLIPS: I go into an area with General Petraeus, an area known to be haunted by a death squad, and we have massive security, inner, outer, perimeter security, guns, Humvees, helicopters. OK, we're talking about an area that's haunted by a death squad.

Senator McCain had the chance to go rug shopping. Guess what? He has inner, outer, perimeter security. He's got helicopters, he's got Humvees.

Bottom line, when you travel with the main man, the commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq, you have intense security. Bottom line.

NGUYEN: Yes, there is a big difference.

Hey, I understand that there is a new security threat inside the Green Zone. What do you know about that?

PHILLIPS: Well, that was something that General Petraeus was telling me about even in the Dora district, an area that they feel is getting a little bit of life again. The newest threat, vest bombs. And that's exactly what happened to the Iraqi deputy prime minister.

It was a vest bomber that got into his compound and tried to assassinate him. Now they're seeing this more throughout Iraq, and most recently, some of the disturbing news to come out of the Green Zone, the fortified Green Zone, is they discovered two suicide vests, not individuals, just the vests themselves. So, it goes to show, no matter where you are, whether in the Green Zone, or outside of the Green Zone, on the outskirts of Baghdad, the threat is getting more intense. Car bombs now to vest bombs.

NGUYEN: CNN's Kyra Phillips joining us live in Baghdad.

Stay safe. We appreciate it.

HARRIS: Still to come in the NEWSROOM this morning, the speaker of the House talking to Syria when the U.S. president won't.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Well, we think it's a good idea to establish the facts, to hopefully build some confidence between us. We have no illusions, but we have great hope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Nancy Pelosi's mission in the Middle East and criticism from the White House. A live report coming up in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: Also, new numbers this morning on air travel, and they don't look good. Yes, well, we're going to tell you who is flying high and who's actually getting marked down.

That's ahead here in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Think that rebate offer is money in your pocket?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If instructions tell you to fill out the form with your left hand and address the envelope with your right hand, do it, because one little slip-up can invalidate your claim.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Trouble redeeming that rebate. See the rebate runaround in the NEWSROOM.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Atika Shubert. And all this week, we'll be following the last steps of Jesus. And I'll be bringing a report live from the room of the Last Supper in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: It is Holy Week, a solemn time for Christians marking the last days of Jesus, including the Last Supper.

Our Atika Shubert is live in Jerusalem with more on that.

Good morning.

SHUBERT: Good morning, Betty.

This -- just behind this door here is where religious tradition says the room of the Last Supper actually took place. And every year thousands of Christian pilgrims come here to honor this sacred site. But, in fact, historians and archaeologists have a very different view of this room.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT (voice over): Where did the Last Supper take place? The gospels describe it only as a large upper room in Jerusalem.

STEPHEN PFANN, PRESIDENT, HOLY LAND UNIVERSITY: Wherever it is, it doesn't exist today.

SHUBERT: Archaeologists say the general area is confirmed, but all buildings from Jesus' time no longer remain.

This was built during the Crusades, but underneath, archaeologists discovered the remains of an early Christian church dating back to a little more than 100 years after the death of Jesus, indicating the holy significance of this place to the earliest Christians. Excavations confirmed the customs described in the gospels of the Last Supper.

PFANN: They would have one cup among every 10 to 20 people, and they would all share a meal after they had the cup and the bread.

SHUBERT: The Last Supper lives on today in the Christian tradition of Holy Communion, the reenactment of Jesus' instructions to partake of his body and blood as symbolized by the bread and wine. It has inspired masterpieces, yet biblical scholars say many depictions aren't accurate. For example, they don't show Jesus' following among women.

REV. JEROME MURPHY O'CONNOR, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR: Areas where women participated, they were rubbed out of the story and only the men remained. And the picture of, say, Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper," only men.

SHUBERT: This is likely not the place where Jesus shared his last meal. Still, it is sacred to those pilgrims who come to remember Jesus' last days.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Now, groups have been coming here throughout the day from as far away as Nigeria, Russia, the United States, coming here to sing and pray. So, even though this may not be the exact room of the Last Supper, clearly this is still a holy place for many people -- Betty.

NGUYEN: And a holy week for many people.

Thank you so much.

Atika Shubert, joining us live from Jerusalem.

HARRIS: Remembering Pope John Paul II. The Vatican reaches a milestone as it marks the passing of a beloved pope.

A live report just ahead in the NEWSROOM.

CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Carrie Lee in New York. A major record company is selling digital music online without anti- copying software starting today.

That story is coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: All right. You've seen the offers -- buy this product and get a big rebate. It sounds great, right? But sometimes it is just too good to be true. You've heard that before.

Here's CNN's Gary Nurenberg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A little rebate exaggeration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About $4 million we're going to get. Maybe $4.5 million. Plus a new car.

NURENBERG: Not likely, and not likely all the consumers lured by those mail-in rebate offers in the newspaper and online will actually collect on the promised reward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just can't remember the receipt. I can't remember where to mail it. Nothing ever comes together.

NURENBERG: She's not alone. One study found 45 percent of 2006 rebate offers were not redeemed.

GREG MCBRIDE, BANKRATE.COM ANALYST: Some rebate offers have hoops you have to jump through to reduce the odds that you'll actually claim it.

NURENBERG (on camera): Those hoops are good business. Every dollar not paid in rebates is a dollar the company gets to keep. All that red tape causes some customers to just give up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just dropped it because it wasn't worth figuring it out.

NURENBERG (voice over): Figuring it out carefully is the key.

MCBRIDE: If the instructions tell you to fill out the form with your left hand and address the envelope with your right hand, do it, because one little slip-up can invalidate your claim.

NURENBERG: For retailers, rebates bring both profit and problems.

STEPHEN GOLD, PRESIDENT, ABERDEEN GROUP: It has been historically one of the most prolific forms of customer complaints.

NURENBERG: So, some big retailers like Best Buy are moving from mail-in rebates and toward immediate rebates in the store or rebates online. That allows customers to track their claim.

But don't expect retailers to give up rebates completely.

GOLD: Rebates are perhaps one of the most effective ways to induce individuals to make decisions to purchase products or perhaps to up-sell to a more expensive product.

NURENBERG: So, expect the rebate runaround to remain.

Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: iTunes customers can now download a lot more music. Record giant EMI just announced a deal with Apple, making its music titles available online.

Carrie Lee in for Ali Velshi this morning, "Minding Your Business".

Carrie, great to see you.

LEE: Great to see you as well, Tony.

HARRIS: Hey, what is the significance of this EMI deal? LEE: Well, you know EMI is one of the largest record companies. They work with iTunes, a lot of other digital music places. Well, now, starting today, EMI is making its digital download available without anti-piracy software.

So you know how it works. Before today, you'd buy a song on iTunes, download it, you can only use it on the iPod.

HARRIS: That's right.

LEE: Well, that's no longer the case. So they're basically freeing up the music across all devices and platforms, so this is going to be great for consumers.

HARRIS: That's great.

LEE: And Apple says they should have done this all along, that it's good for sales as well, because that lock is going to make -- encourage people to buy music.

HARRIS: Well, that's great. That's great news. I'm sorry. You were about to say?

LEE: I was going to say there is a bit of a catch here, though. Now, they're saying that the sound quality of these new downloads is going to be better, twice the sound quality, whatever that means, and this means the songs are going to cost a bit more, $1.29 per download in this new format, Tony, versus 99 cents. If you already have the 99 cent version, then you can pay the difference for the upgrade. Album prices will stay the same, though.

HARRIS: Well, it is great that EMI is going to make the Beastie Boys more available to us. What we really -- what we really care about is the Beatles catalog.

LEE: Right. Right.

HARRIS: Are we going to get our hands on the Beatles catalogue...

(CROSSTALK)

LEE: You know, we haven't heard anything about that. There was a lot of speculation that EMI would talk about that...

HARRIS: Yes.

LEE: ... because EMI own the rights to the Beatles music. You know Beatles have not been available online at all. Well, a lot of people would like to see that.

They've had that -- remember that trademark dispute about Apple and then Apple Core, which is the company that owns the Beatles music, or their sort of umbrella company?

HARRIS: Sure. LEE: Well, now that they have that trademark dispute cleared up, a lot of people thought, well, that clears the way for getting the Beatles online. But haven't heard anything about that, at least not yet.

HARRIS: Hey, Carrie, what are you watching for this week in terms of the markets?

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

HARRIS: Carrie Lee in New York.

Carrie, great to see you.

LEE: You too.

NGUYEN: Well, we're keeping a watch of this, because seized British troops are on Iranian television, and there is outrage in London. Will Iran's latest move damage diplomatic moves to free the detainees?

That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: A tsunami hits the Solomon Islands, sending shock waves through other parts of the region.

The story coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Give patience a chance. That's the position of the British government right now in its diplomatic standoff with Iran. And there may be some movement this morning.

Iranian media saying videos of what Iran calls confessions by detained British troops will no longer be televised. Iran citing a change in British policies.

Those 15 British sailors and marines have been held since March 23rd, over a week now. Iran accuses them of entering Iranian waters. British officials say the troops stayed in Iraqi waters and are demanding their immediate release.

HARRIS: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi going against the wishes of the White House in going to Syria. The Democratic leader plans to be in Damascus tomorrow to meet Wednesday with the Syrian president.

Today, Pelosi is in Beirut.

CNN Beirut Bureau Chief Brent Sadler has more on the trip.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRENT SADLER, CNN BEIRUT BUREAU CHIEF: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Middle East shuffle with a bipartisan delegation has drawn fire from the George Bush Republican White House because the speaker, who presides over a Democratic majority in Congress, plans to meet later this week with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, a stopover that the White House calls, quote, a bad decision, because the Bush administration considers Syria a supporter of terrorism.

Pelosi's visit to Lebanon comes amid escalating political tension in Beirut, where Hezbollah-led opponents of the western-backed government, supported by Syria and Iran have virtually paralyzed the city center by camping out on the prime minister's doorstep. Pelosi said solutions to some of Lebanon's problems, including crucial agreements on an international court to try suspects in the murder two years ago of former five-time Prime Minister Rafid Hariri (ph) lie on the road to Damascus. She made no apology for putting Syria on her agenda, but made it clear Syrian behavior needs to change.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: Of course, the role of Syria and Iraq, the role of Syria supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, the role of Syria and so many respects that we think there could be a vast improvement. Therefore, we think it's a good idea to establish the facts, to hopefully build some confidence between us. We have no illusions, but we have great hope.

SADLER: But Lebanon's anti-Syrian leaders are wary of rapprochement between Syria and the west fearing it could occur at Lebanon's expense and weaken their efforts to end Syrian interference in the country. Brent Sadler, CNN, Beirut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: A tiny island nation in the South Pacific has been struck by a massive tragedy. At least 13 deaths are reported after the Solomon Islands were slammed by two powerful earthquakes and then a tsunami. As searchers comb through the rubble, the death toll, well, that is expected to climb. These scenes now are video of the Solomon Islands before the quake. It looks beautiful there. an island chain with more than 200 islands and a population of more than half a million. When that tsunami rolled ashore, entire villages just were swallowed by the sea. And according to reports, waves were more than 30 feet high in some areas.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Well, a familiar scene in southern California, a wall of flames racing across tender dry brush land, heavy smoke blocking the sun. This blaze near San Bernardino has scorched more than 4,000 acres but this morning a turn for the better. Lighter winds and cooler temperatures have helped firefighters get a handle on the blaze. Right now it's about 95 percent contained. Full containment is expected by this afternoon. Good news there.

NGUYEN: Let's get a check of the weather today. They could use a little help in that area and many other areas could use help, too, Chad.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A little bit of wind still blowing in that area now this morning, although as we get farther into the north into the Pacific Northwest, we're actually seeing some snow not all that far above Seattle, even down to Seattle seeing some light snow this morning, even along some of the roadsides we're getting reports of snow in some the grassy areas. But if you get up to (INAUDIBLE) pass, it is slowing heavily there.

A little bit farther to the east, it is warmer, warmer in Albany and New York, not quite warmer in Boston today. You are north of a stationary front and this boundary is separating the cold in Boston from the fairly warm in New York all the way to 64 in New York City, 75 in DC, plenty of sunshine in Raleigh and Atlanta as well, potential for some strong weather across the plains. I'm also thinking there's the potential for strong weather although the severe weather prediction center not talking about it. I think there's even a potential for some strong weather across Texas today. It moves into the Ohio River valley for tomorrow as well, all the way down to Tennessee, even toward Memphis for tomorrow and then that cold weather stays in the west and also in the northwest. Cherry blossom festival for today, sunshine, partly cloudy skies, 78 downtown DC. How about that for the cherry blossoms, huh?

NGUYEN: That's the place to be today. Thanks, Chad.

MYERS: You're welcome.

NGUYEN: Want to get to a check of the markets as we listen to the opening bell run by the good folks at Kraft Foods. It's opening at 12,354 and so far we're going to look at the numbers here, not a bad Monday. Check that out, 21 points in the positive territory there for the Dow. The Nasdaq also in positive territory, up three points so far. So maybe it will be a good day for those investors on Wall Street.

HARRIS: And still to come this morning in the NEWSROOM, remembering Pope John Paul II. The Vatican reaches a key milestone as it marks the passing of a beloved pope. A live report ahead in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: Sharing the beaches in Florida, tourists and sharks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: The second time the shark bit me. I'm like, dad, dad, a shark bit me in the leg!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Twice bitten and not shy to talk about it. That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Thousands are gathering this morning to remember Pope John Paul II. It is the second anniversary of his death today, prayers and vigils and for many, hope for a speedy sainthood. Our faith and values correspondent Delia Gallagher joins us from New York. Delia, great to see you. What is the significance of today's ceremonies? DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tony, what they're doing is the kind of culmination of the first part of this sainthood process. They have spent the last two years collecting testimony from people that knew John Paul II looking over all of his writings, looking for that miracle that could make him a saint. They put this all together in thousands and thousands of pages of documentation. They bring it to this church in Rome called St. John Latteran (ph). They put it in these black trunks and seal it with a red seal, like a secret. And this is the official handling-over ceremony. They're giving it now to these cardinals at the Vatican and these guys are going to have to sit down now in the next few months, sift through it all and decide is there enough here to convince us that this man was a saint. I mean, I've talked to these cardinals before and he's a shoo-in, of course. But nonetheless, there is this procedure that the Vatican has in place for making saints. And that is what they're doing today.

HARRIS: Delia, part of the case for Pope John Paul II's sainthood is a miracle he is said to have performed. What can you tell us about that?

GALLAGHER: Well, this was a big secret for some time because, of course, during this whole process, they had to find somebody who claimed to have been miraculously cured by him. They found this French nun who says that she had suffered from Parkinson's disease, the same disease that the pope had suffered from and after he died -- two months to the day after he died, she and her congregation of nuns and friends were praying for her healing and she said she woke up one morning and sge was completely free of her shaking and of her symptoms. So her medical doctor sort of wrote down all these events and they are presenting this to the cardinals as the official miracle. There were some 100 claims of different miracles, but they're presenting this one as the official one to make him what they call blessed and then they'll need another miracle in order to make him a saint.

HARRIS: Quite a process. We know it. I know you will, Delia Gallagher in New York for us. Delia, thank you.

GALLAGHER: Thanks, Tony.

NGUYEN: There is a new report card on the airlines. So which one is flying on time and which ones are behind the clock and delayed in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: The government calls them fugitive aliens. Are they dangerous criminals or innocent victims, a closer look. Stay right here in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: And we're tracking that money race, Democratic candidates give us a look inside their campaign war chest. You can peek into right here in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Presidential politics, two toms adding their names to the Republican roster. Political veterans Thompson and Tancredo ready to run in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Hey, Betty, you podcasting with me today?

NGUYEN: I am.

HARRIS: All right. Here we go. You know you can catch us weekday mornings 9 a.m. until noon Eastern. Now you can take us anywhere on your iPod. We're talking about the CNN newsroom podcast, available 24/7, right there on your iPod.

NGUYEN: Take us anywhere. That could be frightening.

HARRIS: Yeah.

NGUYEN: We won't know it, though. Want to talk about this now though, those captured British troops again in front of television cameras. Iranian television reports all 15 have confessed to entering Iranian waters. CNN's Matthew Chance has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iranian television with another propaganda exclusive, fresh footage of captured British sailors and Marines being held at a secret location. Verbal confessions, too, possibly coerced about illegally entering Iranian waters. British foreign office says these displays are unacceptable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We left the coalition warship Oxford (ph) 99. Our boat (INAUDIBLE) was around here. And approximately about 10:00 in the morning we received apparently at this point here from their maps, from the GPS that's shown us which is inside of Iranian territorial waters. (INAUDIBLE) I operate out of foxtrot 99 using two C-boats (INAUDIBLE) and we were arrested in this location here. I'd like to say to the Iranian people, I can understand why you were so angry about our intrusions into your waters.

CHANCE: That anger has spilled out onto Tehran streets with chants of death to the Britons, protesters throw rocks and fireworks at the British embassy in Tehran earlier demanding the expulsion of the British ambassador. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been characteristically hard lined. British occupier forces did trespass our water, he said. Our border guards detained them with skill and bravery. But arrogant powers, because of their arrogant and selfish spirit, are claiming otherwise. There have been words of support from Britain's allies, not least, President Bush, who voiced his condemnation from Camp David.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 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.

CHANCE: At a church service in the hometown of the only female captive, Faye Turney, there were prayers for the safe return of all the British personnel. European leaders have also been calling for an early end to the standoff. But as this crisis enters a new week, diplomacy has yet to deliver. Matthew Chance, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: A sad ending to a long search. Search teams have found the bodies of two young brothers who disappeared on an Indian reservation in northern Minnesota. The boys, who were two and four years old, went missing more than four months ago. Their bodies were found in a lake encased in ice about a half-mile from their home. An investigation is under way.

NGUYEN: Living in America -- illegally. Immigration authorities say they have a long list of names, but should everyone on that list actually be on it? CNN's Joe Johns takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the Lebid family. They own their own home, have jobs and pay taxes, seem like nice people but the Lebid family was arrested in February for living in the United States illegally. The Federal government calls the Lebids and hundreds of thousands of other people living here fugitive aliens and has made a priority to get rid of them. A new report by the Department of Homeland Security says the number of fugitive aliens in the U.S. has almost doubled since 2001.

JAMES TAYLOR, DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Despite the efforts of fugitive operation teams, the backlog of fugitive apprehensions has actually increased, from over 330,000 in September of 2001 to over 620,000 as of August 2006.

JOHNS: But keeping them honest are these fugitive aliens dangerous criminals?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fugitive aliens. What the heck is that?

JOHNS: Immigrations and customs enforcement, ICE for short, says they are non-U.S. citizens who were supposed to leave the country and haven't or they just haven't responded to a letter from the department telling them to report in, or their names just never got deleted from the computer. Even ICE says there are a lot of names lumped together in that 620,000 number and some of them probably don't belong them there.

JOHN TORRES, DIR OF DEPORTATION, ICE: That number applies to every single person in our old database, which is 25 years old. That may include somebody who has died. That may include somebody that is sitting in a county jail that we need to arrest and transfer to our custody.

JOHNS: OK, so does anybody really know how many so-called bona fide fugitive aliens there are in this country? Not really, at least not yet. ICE says it's working on updating its 25-year-old computer program, but the real question is how many of those on the government list to do you really have to worry about, desperados versus working families and others that have a status problem. BENJAMIN JOHNSON, AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAW FOUNDATION: One of my biggest concerns is that we don't know how many of these people, these 600,000 they're talking about, how many are really people who pose a threat and how many might be people who simply stayed longer on a visitor visa than they were supposed to?

JOHNS: For example, the Lebid family. They came here from Ukraine, do not have criminal records and say three lawyers dropped the ball on their asylum applications. Immigrations officers kept father Alexander and son Marchum (ph), but release mother Marina (ph) and daughter Daria.

DARIA LEBID, ILLEGAL ALIEN: There's eight cars that pulled up to the house, flashlights. You know, my mom was at the door, flashlights in the face. They didn't really identify themselves. They just showed my mom a badge and just came in the house pretty much. They didn't give my mom a choice. They didn't have like any sorts of warrant for arrest or anything.

JOHNS: Rounding up people who aren't hiding or dangerous is the kind of thing that gives immigration officers a real image problem.

REP. SAM FARR (D) CALIFORNIA: The local -- talk about your department is that you're the gringo Gestapos.

JOHNS: It hardly seems fair to the Federal agents who are just enforcing laws, waiting for technology to catch up. The Immigrations and Customs service says their database improvements should be up and running sometime next year. Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: Security in Iraq, CNN's Kyra Phillips and the top U.S. general in Iraq walk through one of the capital's most dangerous areas. Find out what Kyra learned ahead in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: Also, forcing registered sex offender from their homes. One New York county moves ahead with a tough new law, child safety zones, back in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: A new report card on the airlines, which ones flying on time, which ones behind the clock. Delayed in the NEWSROOM.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN.COM: It's that time again when we select a few of the best I-report videos that you have sent in. You'll find these ones and much more at cnn.com.

Sergio Cesario sent in this video of fire at a construction site in New York City. He said he was walking nearby when he heard an explosion, grabbed his camera and began taping.

And spring is in the air, conjuring up images of warmer weather and blooming flowers, but in Branford, New Jersey, I-reporter Renato Reyes sends us a very different image. This is video of his son skating on their sleet-covered front lawn. And spring for these monarch butterflies in the mountains of Mexico means migration north to the United States and Canada. Bill Toone captured this video of their amazing journey.

And forget the leaves and pine straw. Eddy Haynes in Cookesville (ph), Tennessee shot this video of a tiny bird stealing fur from his sleeping collie Apollo. The tufted titmouse will certainly have a comfortable next and Apollo doesn't seem to mind the grooming. Keep those videos coming and select your favorite at cnn.com/exchange. For the dot com desk, I'm Veronica de la Cruz.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Well, take a look at this, a live news conference is taking place on the quality of airline service. This comes on the heels of a new report that is out this morning and it finds air travel is getting worse. It says delays are on the rise and so are baggage problems. Who rates the best and the worst? Hawaiian Airlines had the fewest delays, on time more than 93 percent of the time. That's pretty good. Atlantic Southeast airlines rated the worst. Hawaiian Airlines also scored highest on baggage handling while, again, Atlantic Southeast showed disappointing results. As for overall complaints, United Airlines and U.S. Airways tied for the most, while Southwest had the fewest.

HARRIS: The race for the White House, the numbers that really count right now, campaign cash and there are some big totals. Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign announced she has raised $26 million during the first quarter of this year. She also transferred $10 million from her Senate war chest bringing her total for the quarter to $36 million. Former Senator John Edwards has raised more than $14 million in the first quarter and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's campaign said it raised $6 million. We are still waiting for announcements from other candidates. The first quarter fundraising numbers are considered a key benchmark to gauge candidates' viability.

NGUYEN: Congressman Tom Tancredo is expected to officially join the ranks of presidential candidates this morning. The Colorado Republican says he has raised a million dollars to finance his campaign. He has been an outspoken critic of illegal immigration and he is expected to use the campaign to raise the profile of the issue among his Republican counterparts.

Add another name to the roster of Republican presidential candidates. Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, he made it official yesterday. Thompson calls himself, a, quote, reliable conservative. He's a former secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bush.

NGUYEN: Congress is on spring break, but all the presidents' men say they should be at the capitol working on funding for the Iraq war. CNN's Bob Franken has that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While President Bush was saying nothing as he returned from Camp David, his designated surrogate was out staying on message, which means no matter who asks what, make the same point. Witness counselor to the president Dan Barton on the Sunday talkies slamming Congress for taking an Easter break after passing an Iraq funding bill unacceptable to the administration.

DAN BARTLETT, WHITE HOUSE COUNSELOR: They go on a two-week break for their Easter recess at a time when our troops need the funding. The president thinks they ought to be here. They should be back in Washington passing a war supplemental bill to make sure that our troops in harm's way get the funding they need.

FRANKEN: When it comes to staying on message, it gets a lot trickier with members of Congress, particularly the Democrats.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D) CALIFORNIA: We may have to make some changes in the allocations of the funding, but there is sufficient funding until the end of July.

BUSH: I will veto if --

FRANKEN: As for the president's veto threat --

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D) NEW YORK: We have the American people, no president can ever successfully conduct a war without the support of the American people.

FRANKEN: Meanwhile, aspiring president Senator John McCain and fellow Republicans were using the break to head to Iraq and argue that the American people are not getting a complete picture of the progress in the war.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R) ARIZONA: I'm not saying that the mission is accomplished or lost throws or a few dead enders. But what we don't read about every day and what is new since the surge began is a lot of the good news.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R) ARMED FORCES CMTE: The president will veto any bill with a deadline. He should.

FRANKEN: Everyone can agree on what happens next.

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D) FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE: You're going to see a little political dance coming up here that relates to a showdown.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Good morning everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen in for Heidi Collins today.

HARRIS: And hello everyone. I'm Tony Harris, stay informed in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's on the rundown.

More scenes of British captives, Iran claiming all 13 sailors and Marines have confessed to crossing into Iranian waters. NGUYEN: Air wars, number crunchers rate the airlines on customer service, so find out which carriers are on time and which ones are behind the clock.

HARRIS: Not in my neighborhood. One New York county making it practically impossible for sex offenders to live within its borders. It is Monday, April 2 and you are in the NEWSROOM.

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