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AMERICAN MORNING

Captured Sailors: Iran Releases New Video; McCain in Iraq: Is Security Really Better?; Congressional Recess

Aired April 2, 2007 - 07:59   ET

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


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back, everybody. It's Monday, April 2nd.
I'm Soledad O'Brien.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm T.J. Holmes, sitting in today for Miles O'Brien.

So glad you all could be here.

Up first this hour, Iranian TV showing new video this morning. A montage showing all 15 of the captured sailors. There was word earlier this morning that Iran was not going to air it.

This is the fourth tape to surface since the sailors were captured. Iran insists they were in Iranian territory.

CNN's Jim Boulden joins us now live from London with the very latest.

Jim, hello.

JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, T.J.

There is a subtle difference, however. Iran said this morning that it would not air the confessions of all 15 of the detainees. They have aired four of the confessions so far. Confessions, according to the Iranians.

What they showed us is a montage of all the 15 British personnel who were captured 11 days ago, but Iran not showing their confessions. The thought is that maybe that is a diplomatic gesture to the U.K.

The U.K. continuing to say that these "stage, managed appearances" are not helping the situation. We had the British over the weekend trying to use some decent diplomatic language, some calm diplomatic language. They're trying to get this solved, they're trying to get the 15 back, but they have said all along that all 15 should be released unconditionally, and released immediately.

Britain still has no access, no consular access to these 15 -- T.J.

HOLMES: And Jim, you said Great Britain at least trying to use some calm, diplomatic language, but President Bush actually used the word "hostage". Now, is that something the British would rather the U.S. stay away from?

BOULDEN: We have not heard the word "hostage" at all from the prime minister on down. Mr. Bush made that comment at a press conference on another issue at Camp David. Maybe it was off the top of his head, but certainly here the word "hostage" is not being used.

They're being called detainees or captives. And the president of Iran has even said that Britain is not -- is continuing to be "arrogant" when it comes to this issue for not apologizing for what he says was a stray into Iranian waters. So, we are seeing some stronger language, but certainly not the word "hostage".

HOLMES: All right. Jim Boulden for us this morning in London.

Jim, thank you so much.

O'BRIEN: Now to the search that's under way for survivors after that deadly tsunami in the South Pacific. An 8.0 earthquake triggered a 20-foot tsunami that wiped out some villages in the Solomon Islands.

Take a look at the map there. You can see where they're marked.

Some file pictures of the islands northeast of Australia. At least 13 people are now confirmed dead.

That number, though, is expected to rise. There are reports of bodies that are floating in the ocean.

Tsunami warnings and watches in the region went up for several hours. Australia closed its beaches as a precaution.

Severe weather expert Chad Myers is following the story for us from the CNN weather center.

(WEATHER REPORT)

(NEWSBREAK)

O'BRIEN: Two car bombs in Iraq to tell you about this morning. Eight people killed in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq. Three killed in Baghdad.

Roadside bombs killed six American soldiers over the weekend. The attack appears to be coordinated. The first bomb killed two soldiers, and then, as we've seen before, the troops responded to the scene. A second bomb then went off and killed four more troops.

3,253 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since the war began in March of 2003.

Senator John McCain is leading a Republican delegation in Iraq right now. He says Americans aren't getting the full picture of what's happening there. Senator McCain visited a Baghdad market yesterday. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, he was surrounded by heavy security. He says, though, that U.S. troops are making progress and that he feels safer now than on any of his earlier visits. CNN's Michael Ware is following the delegation's movements in Baghdad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is the Republican delegation here in Iraq. Essentially, they're here to view the impact of the surge, or the Baghdad security plan, and, essentially, to sell its merits, to say that, yes, it is having an impact, and to take that message home to American people desperate to hear of signs of progress. Unfortunately, they chose a very poor way of displaying those signs of change and the signs of progress.

The fact that Senator McCain and a delegation can drive from the airport and walk around parts of Baghdad wrapped in a heavy security envelope is not new. Generals and American representatives have been doing such things throughout the war. Indeed, it's the old reinvented as new, and is in no way a sign of the real progress of the surge, which the senators should be talking about.

O'BRIEN: Let me ask you a question. There was a report that said you were heckling and you were laughing during the senator's press conference.

Is that true?

WARE: Well, let's bear in mind that this is a report that was leaked by an unnamed official of some kind to a blog to somewhere on the Internet. No one is going to put their name forward. We certainly haven't heard Senator McCain say anything about it, or any of his staff have come forward to say anything about it.

I did not heckle the senator. Indeed, I didn't say a word. I didn't even ask a question. In fact, when I raised my hand to ask a question, the press conference abruptly ended.

So, what I would suggest is that anyone who has any queries about whether I heckled, watch the videotape of the press conference.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Beirut this morning. It's the latest stop on a Middle East trip that is about to go somewhere the White House won't go. She is leading a delegation of U.S. lawmakers tomorrow, and she will travel to Syria to meet with President Bashar al-Assad.

Pelosi spoke in Jerusalem last night, telling Israeli lawmakers that she will press al-Assad for information about three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah and Hamas. Pelosi is the highest ranking American to meet the Syrian president since Bill Clinton. The Bush administration has refused to deal with Damascus.

Thousands gathering today in Vatican City to mark the second anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II. This morning, at a brief prayer service, many are using the occasion to promote his case for sainthood as well. Later today, the current pope, Benedict XVI, will hold a memorial mass.

O'BRIEN: A major music deal will reportedly make it easier for you to download your music. Record label EMI is expected to strike a deal with Apple to sell most of its music on iTunes without anti- copying software. You might remember that the Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, called on all music labels to do this very thing.

Without anti-copying software, you can take music downloaded on iTunes and then use it on a different music player. Currently if you do that right now, it's only playable with an iPod.

Out this morning, a new report on airline quality to share with you. It's called the "Airline Quality Rating Report," and here's a little bit of what it says.

If you want to get where you are going on time, you want to take Hawaiian Airlines. Hawaiian Airlines has the best ratings. It's going to take you to Hawaii, which is an added plus.

HOLMES: Best destination as well.

O'BRIEN: The worst on-time rating is Atlantic Southeast Airlines.

Now, Southwest Airlines has the fewest number of consumer complaints.

United, US Airways are in a tie for the dubious honor of most complained about airlines.

So, we've got a little bit of detail on that report for you.

HOLMES: I'm flying Delta. I think I'm OK today.

O'BRIEN: You'll be all right.

HOLMES: Coming up, fear, frustration and anger among dog and cat owners. We have more pet food recalls to tell you about.

Also, a synagogue is caught (ph) on fire, and its congregation is suspicious. Does it have anything to do with their friendly visit to Iran?

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: New this morning, southern California is quickly becoming prime ground for devastating wildfires. There's a new report from the National Weather Service out this morning and it says Los Angeles is on track to experience its longest dry spell since records started being kept back in 1877.

Only 2.5 inches of rain have fallen in L.A. since July. The city should have seen six times that amount. Forecasters worry the dry weather could fuel a spike in wildfires.

And here it is now at 8:12. We're going to check in with Chad Myers at the CNN weather center.

(WEATHER REPORT)

O'BRIEN: Millions are pouring into the race for president, including a record race by Senator Hillary Clinton. Twenty-six million dollars in the first three months of the year. She added $10 million from her Senate campaign account. So now she has a total of $36 million in the bank. If you break that down for each day of the quarter, she raised $288,888 each and every day.

Now, former Senator John Edwards announced his campaign raised about $14 million ever since New Year's Day. And Governor Bill Richardson reported $6 million. Senator Chris Dodd, $4 million.

We're still waiting for reports from Barack Obama and some of the Republican candidates as well. April 15th is that deadline. That's when they have to say how much money they've raised.

Speaking of money, Congress is trying to come up with a war spending bill that the president will sign. The president, of course, has promised to veto that bill as long as it's attached to a deadline to bring troops home. So, instead of working on it, Congress went on vacation, Easter break.

Democratic Representative Charlie Rangel of New York is the author of "And I Haven't Had a Bad Day Since". It's his memoir.

We're going to talk about the book, but first, the war spending bill.

Nice to see you, Congressman. As always...

REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: Good to be back.

O'BRIEN: ... such a pleasure.

Listen, here you have this big bill, and everybody goes off on vacation. And if you're a member of the American public, as I am, I say, hey, why isn't everybody working on what people have said is an important bill that needs to somehow come to some fruition?

RANGEL: Let me make it clear, coming back to your home district is not a vacation. I would rather spend the time in Washington. And people are just waiting for you, and you tell people, "Wait until I get to spring break and I'll take care of it." So, it's not a vacation.

Second, it is the House that appropriates the fund. We have three branches of government. And the president just doesn't get it.

The Democrats won. And he has to work with us. And so, if he doesn't want to sign the bill, he has the right to veto it. We don't have the votes to override the veto. O'BRIEN: But the bill's not done yet. I mean, you've got to bring these two versions together. So, you could theoretically -- and I get it, you guys are not, like, water skiing on your vacation, you're working. But for a lot of people watching, would say, why aren't you hashing out the final version, as opposed to going on whatever kind of break?

RANGEL: A lot of people believe we shouldn't have a final version. A lot of people believe, which includes, we think, the public, in sending another 20,000, 30,000 people over there. A lot of people think that our National Guard and reservists have had enough. And somehow on the reports we don't hear anything about Saddam Hussein or weapons of mass destruction or 9/11. Now we need a surge to bring peace in the area.

O'BRIEN: OK. Then, why doesn't the Congress say, 'You know what? No money -- sorry, Mr. President, we control the purse strings and you get no money"?

RANGEL: Because politically we don't have the votes to do it. All of the Republicans are going to walk lockstep against us. And then among the diversity that we have among Democrats, some are going to believe that we're not going to go far enough. Others believe that we're going too far. And so in this bill we brought enough people together to pass the bill, and just to pass it.

It's very difficult. I am so emotionally against this war. I'm so angry with the churches and the synagogues for their silence.

I go to the funerals and it's so difficult to tell the parents what they died for. And I know only a select group of people in America which are really making the sacrifice. Not the wealthy, not those kids that are going to college. And so, it's very sad what's going on in this part of history.

O'BRIEN: The Pentagon has said if there's not some version by April 15th, that they're going to have to go into their emergency funding. I mean, that's their problem. You're not back until the 16th. So right there they're saying -- the Pentagon saying, you guys are back a day late already.

RANGEL: The Pentagon said it will take two or three days and we'd be out of there. The Pentagon said they would be throwing roses four years ago at our feet.

The Pentagon is so political. The president is so political. The FBI is so political, that even we in the Congress don't believe the politicians anymore.

It's sad what's happening to this country.

O'BRIEN: You've got a couple big things to reconcile. The House wants August 31st of 2008 as a deadline for troop withdrawal. The Senate, as you well know, wants March 31st of 2008 as a troop pullout deadline.

How do you bring -- I mean, those are much bigger than just five months apart.

RANGEL: You know, more than the dates, it's the signal that you're sending to the White House. And that signal is that, Mr. President, no president can successfully wage a war when the American people are not supporting you.

Those dates don't mean anything. They're merely political dates to tell the president that we got reigns on what you can do. And we're scared to death he may just go into Iran.

He thinks because he's at war that commander in chief means that you can do anything that you want and the Constitution is not worth the paper it's written on. So, with all of this, the most important thing that comes out of it is not that he's going to veto it, but the fact that the people have spoken through the Congress, saying enough is enough.

O'BRIEN: Let me ask you a question about your book before I let you go. It's called "And I Haven't Had a Bad Day Since" -- nice picture on the cover, by the way. I know you say you feel a little weird being an author.

You tell a great story about that title and how it got there. And I'll set it up kind of.

You're in a black outfit within a white division in the military, June 1950. You've basically been abandoned by your white officers, who have choppered out of Korea.

What happens?

RANGEL: Well, there were thousands of us surrounded by the Chinese. None of us had any idea that after we had beaten back the North Koreans to the Chinese border that the Chinese would actually come in. We -- hordes of Chinese came with trumpets and horses, and we had -- I could see my buddies being captured and shot and killed.

O'BRIEN: You make a deal with your maker.

RANGEL: Well, I didn't think he was listening, but I said if he got me out of that, that he would have no problems with Charlie Rangel for life. And somehow I thought someone said, "You better get out of that hole," if you want.

I got out of the hole. I was wounded. I brought out about 43 guys with me.

I got medals, I got everything else. But the most important thing that I got is I never revisited that day in my life, and I haven't had a bad day since.

O'BRIEN: And you haven't had a bad day since.

It's a great book. I've only read about half of it. It's really -- it's fantastic.

RANGEL: I think everyone has got a good book in them.

O'BRIEN: At least one, right?

RANGEL: Yes.

O'BRIEN: Charlie Rangel, always nice to so you, sir.

RANGEL: Good to see you again.

O'BRIEN: Thanks for coming in to talk to us about both things. We appreciate your time.

RANGEL: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: T.J.

HOLMES: All right.

Well, coming up, Holy Week and a poignant anniversary at the Vatican. Pope John Paul II died two years ago today. And this morning there's a push to make him a saint.

We'll explain that next.

Stay here on AMERICAN MORNING, the most news in the morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: Well, thousands gathering today at Vatican City to mark the second anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II. His successor, Pope Benedict XVI, will hold a memorial mass later today.

And of course we all remember that scene, the sea of people who came to say goodbye at Pope John Paul II's funeral. Many urging that he should have sainthood now, right now. And, well, he may be getting closer to it. This morning, a celebration marking what has already been the first milestone in his elevation to sainthood.

AMERICAN MORNING'S faith and values correspondent, Delia Gallagher, is here.

And please, do tell us what exactly is happening this morning and what does that mean in this whole process?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're having kind of two things, obviously. Since it's the second anniversary of his death, they're having a sort of special mass of commemoration. And on top of that, they're sort of commemorating this closure of the first part of his path to sainthood, as it were.

You know, they have to kind of put all of these documents together. I mean, thousands of pages of documents that they have to gather.

Not the Vatican. These are other priests that have to do this on behalf of John Paul II. Then they give it to the Vatican and they say, you know, here is his entire life in a big binder, and here are the people who say that they have been cured by his intercession. And they put all of these kinds of things together, and then the Vatican looks at it and says, is this enough to make him a saint or not?

HOLMES: OK. It sounds strange to have the pope's life in a big binder.

GALLAGHER: Yes.

HOLMES: But that's the way it works.

GALLAGHER: That is literally the way it is. There are actually paper binders.

HOLMES: Wow.

GALLAGHER: It's on paper, still. And there are binders also for people who say no, for people who say that we don't think he should be a saint.

So, they present all this evidence.

HOLMES: And they have a guest of honor there today, actually, because the nun who claims that she was cured of her Parkinson's because of John Paul, she is the guest of honor.

GALLAGHER: Yes. Yes. Well, there were sort of 100 -- they kind of narrowed it down to 100 people who claimed that they had been miraculously healed or cured by praying to John Paul II after he died.

And this nun says she was cured of Parkinson's Disease. Two months after he died, she woke up one morning and was completely free of the symptoms of Parkinson's that she had had for about four years. And her medical doctors say, we couldn't explain it medically, so it will be up to the Vatican to say whether or not it's a true miracle. And if it is, then they can say -- you know, they can beatify John Paul II.

And then they have to go find another one to make him a saint.

HOLMES: My goodness. A heck of a process. And again, it sounds crazy, the big binder of Pope John Paul.

GALLAGHER: Yes. All on paper.

HOLMES: All right.

Our faith and values correspondent, Delia Gallagher.

Thank you so much.

GALLAGHER: You're welcome.

HOLMES: Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Twenty-six minutes past the hour. It's time for business news. And Carrie Lee is "Minding Your Business".

Wine making -- the ancient skill of winemaking suddenly embracing high technology to get away from the fraud.

CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That's right. There's big money here.

Remember a couple of weeks ago prosecutors issued subpoenas to wine sellers because there has been a problem with fraud. You know, you spend thousands of dollars in some cases for a bottle of wine that turns out to be fake.

So, some wineries in California, especially smaller wineries that make limited quantity and so very expensive wines, are taking the defense. One of them, Colgan (ph) Sellers, has adopted new technology from Kodak. It's called Kodak's traceless system.

Now, this is marketed as an anti-counterfeit solution to the drug industry, but it can also be used in the wine industry, as well. And it basically uses invisible markers that can be mixed with print inks or paper, and then attached and detectable only with certain readers. So, you really can avoid this problem by having this all imprinted on the wine label.

Another company called Harlan Estate, also California, starting with 2004 bottles, they're going to have wax caps that are tamperproof. Every bottle is going to be numbered.

And then there's even a company called Verify Wine (ph). It was started three and a half years ago. A Verify Wine (ph) seal was placed on every bottle. It contains tamperproof DNA tags, if you can believe this, a hologram, and a unique alphanumeric code. So, they're really fighting back on this.

O'BRIEN: I never realized it was such a huge problem.

LEE: Well, I guess it has been. And, you know, we're just finding out about this since the prosecutors have gotten involved, since private federal prosecutors. But, you know, people spend so much money for wine, and it makes sense. A lot of times you're not even opening it.

So, if it's fake, sometimes you don't even know it.

O'BRIEN: Right. You won't know until way too late.

LEE: Right.

O'BRIEN: Carrie Lee for us this morning.

Thanks, Carrie.

LEE: Sure.

O'BRIEN: Ahead this morning, more pet food is removed from store shelves, and there's a new clue this morning as to the source of the contamination. We'll tell you what you need to know.

And a dire warning if you're planning on swimming off the Florida coast. Beware of sharks. We'll tell you where and how often they're biting.

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning is right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

HOLMES: A pet food recall. Three more pet food makers have joined that recall. Hills (ph) Pet Nutrition, Nestle (ph) Purina Pet Care, which also makes Alpo, and Del Monte pet products. The FDA is tracking food that may contain contaminated wheat gluten. Where did the tainted wheat gluten come from? Possibly China, according to the FDA, which issued an import warning for a company from China.

Here now, CNN's Sumi Das.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUMI DAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): The pet food scare is causing fear, frustration and anger among dog and cat owners nationwide. Two weeks after pets began mysteriously dying, there are still few answers as to what's causing this.

ELIZABETH HENDRICKSON, PET OWNER: I'm afraid that now they're going to turn around and say, oops, it was in the dry food too.

DAN WILCOX, PET OWNER: It seemed like there was a lot of kind of stop/start, you know, false information.

DAS: As the list of tainted pelt food grows and confusion spreads about what is and isn't safe for animals, many pet owners are simply being overly cautious and the uncertainty is causing headaches for pet supply owners.

Todd Warner of Tailwaggers says the FDA isn't doing enough and should require pet food manufacturers to use independent, third party testing.

TODD WARNER, TAILWAGGERS: You start to wonder, OK, now it's this being affected and now it's the dry food and now it's more dates and it makes you wonder, how far does this go?

DAS: Since Menu Foods has yet to name the company which supplied the original, tainted ingredient, store keepers and pet owners can only guess what might be next.

PAUL HENDERSON, CEO, MENU FOODS: The important point today is that that source of the wheat -- the source of that adulteration has been identified and removed from our system.

DAS: Equally cryptic, the FDA, which can't confirm whether the human food chain may have been contaminated.

DR. STEPHEN SUNDLOF, DIR, FDA CENTER FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE: We can't say within 100 percent certainty at this point, but we have no indication that any of that material did go into human food.

DAS: Leaving pet owners and possibly others waiting nervously for some type of answer.

Sumi Das, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

And AMERICAN MORNING has repeatedly invited both Menu Foods and the FDA to appear here, and so far those requests have been turned down.

You can find more information on the pet food recall at our Web site, CNN.com, and it includes the full list of recalled pet foods, and the numbers to call if you have a question all right there at CNN.com.

O'BRIEN: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is preparing to going against the wishes of the White House by going into Syria. Speaker Pelosi arrived this morning in Beirut. Tomorrow she's going to be meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, a man who the Bush administration has refused to deal with.

Let's get the very latest from CNN's Brent Sadler. He's live in Beirut for us.

Hey, Brent. Good morning.

BRENT SADLER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad.

Nancy Pelosi's visit here has drawn considerable fire from the White House, saying that the Pelosi visit to Syria later this week is really, quote, "a bad decision." Now Speaker Pelosi has shrugged away that criticism, saying that just 24 hours ago a Republican three- person delegation also past through Syria and met Syria's President Bashar al-Asad, which this delegation, headed by Pelosi, should do by Tuesday, as you say, or Wednesday.

Now many of Lebanon's problems were pro- and anti-Syrian political camps basically at each other's throats in this city, lie -- the solutions to those problems, she said, lie on the road to Damascus.

Also many other problems in the Middle East which Syria can help change, providing, she says, it changes its behavior on a variety of issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: Of course, the role of Syria in Iraq, the role of Syria supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, the role of Syria in so many respects that we think there could be a vast improvement. So, therefore, we think it is 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)

SADLER: It is going to be a very high-profile visit inside Syria, Soledad, not least because it's one of the highest levels of delegation meetings with the Syrian president for quite some time. And, already, the Syrian press is calling it a momentous event with the arrival of the Pelosi delegation, a bipartisan delegation, Tuesday night, meeting with the Syrian leadership Wednesday, we understand -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Interesting. So how do you think the Syrians will react to it? It sounds like the Syrian press is embracing it?

SADLER: Absolutely, yes. Government newspapers talking about this being the possibility of -- quote -- "a rebalancing of relations between Syria and the United States." Let's not forget, Soledad, that the U.S. ambassador to Syria was recalled not long after the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri some two years ago. An international court into that Hariri assassination. Many Lebanese accuse Syria of having a hand really. It's also another critical issue that Pelosi will discuss with Syria's president, Bashar Al-Assad. Also I understand Syria's foreign minister, Walid Muwalan (ph), as well as the vice president Farouk Al-Sharaf (ph), so a very important meeting over there -- Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Brent Sadler for us this morning. Thank you, Brent.

(NEWSBREAK)

HOLMES: Still to come this morning, teenagers turned heroes. Going to show you video here. Check it out. It's a car that's underneath all that water. For a little while, a 2-year-old was trapped inside that car. We'll tell you what the teens did to help save that little boy.

And a new clue in one of America's greatest mysteries. The disappearance of Amelia Earhart. You are watching AMERICAN MORNING, the most news in the morning, right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOLMES: It is still one of the biggest mysteries ever -- what happened to Amelia Earhart. Seventy years have passed since she disappeared while attempting to fly around the world. The clues are still turning up, including a recently discovered diary. Joining me now live from Wilmington, Delaware is Ric Gillespie. He's author of the book "Finding Amelia: The True Story About the Earhart Disappearance."

Sir, thank you for being here.

Seventy years later, are we really any closer to knowing definitively what happened to her, and how much closer does this new clue get us?

RIC GILLESPIE, AUTHOR, "FINDING AMELIA": I think we're a lot closer to knowing what really happened to Amelia Earhart, and this new clue gives us perspectives and new information that we've never had before.

HOLMES: And, again, this new clue we're talking about is a diary. Tell us exactly who this diary belonged to, and why this is significant.

GILLESPIE: The diary belonged to a man named James W. Kerry (ph). He was the Associated Press reporter aboard the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, that was on station at Howland Island, waiting to greet Amelia Earhart when she concluded her flight. Of course, she never showed up. What Kerry's diary tells us -- and nobody one knew that Kerry was keeping a diary. But what his diary now tells us is the attitudes of the men aboard the Itasca toward Earhart, and their actions from his very personal human perspective, after she failed to arrive, and how the decisions were made about how to search for her and how the information was put out about what they'd heard. Tremendous amount of information we've never had before.

HOLMES: But does that information really get us any closer, just learning about their feelings and how they might have felt about Amelia Earhart. Does it give us anything definitive about, they heard this information come in, we saw this, or anything like that?

GILLESPIE: It doesn't help us prove what happened after they lost contact with her, no. What it does do is help explain why she didn't arrive. For example, we now know from the Kerry Diary that she did, indeed, say that she was experiencing overcast sky conditions as she was approaching the island. That's important because that would keep her navigator from getting sightings of the stars that he needed to navigate.

HOLMES: And tell us here -- we've got a couple theories. There's a working theory, I guess the one that's accepted by everybody, about what happened to her, which is that she went down in the waters, and plane never found, and then there is another theory, which is yours. What is your theory, and how do you think this diary is now going to help you possibly prove what you think happened to her?

GILLESPIE: Well, actually, it's not my theory. It is the original first theory that the U.S. Navy came up with in 1937. And that theory is that she did make it to another island, landed safely enough to send radio distress calls for a number of days after she disappeared. This was accepted as proven information by the Navy in 1937. But when they didn't find her, they then said that they had checked out all those messages and found them to be hoaxes and misunderstandings. That turns out to be not quite true.

As a matter of fact, those distress calls were almost certainly true. And, therefore, the official explanation that she crashed at sea cannot be correct because the airplane could not send radio calls if it was in the water. HOLMES: All right. And so you are working now to prove that theory. I know you've got another expedition or two you're trying to put together and possibly (INAUDIBLE), find some real evidence, real proof, hardcore (ph). So good luck to you, and congratulations on finding that diary. Clues keep coming in after all these years.

Ric Gillespie, author of "Finding Amelia Earhart: The True Story of Her Disappearance." Thank you so much for being with us, sir.

GILLESPIE: My pleasure.

(WEATHER REPORT)

O'BRIEN: Did you hear this story? Quick action by two teenagers helped a man save his grandson. Six-year-old Braden Webb (ph) was sitting in the front seat of the car, wearing his seat belt, while his grandfather went to grab the car keys. The car, with the parking brake engaged, rolled right into a lake in Olympia, Washington. The grandfather sees it happen, comes running behind. The two teenagers hand the grandfather a shovel, and he's able to sue that shovel to force the door open, found his grandson barely conscious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE STOUFFER, GRANDFATHER: The feeling when I got him out and he was totally limp, and I pushed him up to the top of the water, and when I got up there and I heard him choke, you know, it was the greatest feeling when I heard him choke like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'BRIEN: Oh, my goodness. How horrifying. The keys weren't in the car. Parking brake is engaged. So, it's unclear exactly how the car was able to roll right in the lake. Maybe it was on a very steep hill, and that, you know, that would explain it.

HOLMES: A really steep hill, but that's good news there.

And "CNN NEWSROOM" just a couple minutes away ask Tony Harris at the CNN center at a look at what's ahead.

good morning, Tone.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Good to see you, doctor.

T.J. Holmes in New York City handling his business. We have got these stories on the "NEWSROOM" rundown for you this morning, everyone.

Bumped, delayed, sans Samsonite -- new stats on the airline industry show the hassles of flying or taking off. We look at the best and the worst airlines.

Hillary Clinton busting a campaign fund-raising record. She raised -- listen to this -- $26 million in the first quarter of this year, almost triple the old record. Not in my community -- one New York county making it practically impossible for sex offenders to live within its borders.

Betty joins me in the "NEWSROOM" today. We get started at the top of the hour right here on CNN.

T.J., back to you.

HOLMES: Tone, we're all over the place. My regular partner is there with you and I'm here. I'm coming home, though.

HARRIS: We do what we must. All right, man. See you back in Atlanta.

HOLMES: Well, coming up, don't just hand over the cash. How you can teach your kids to be smart about money. Lessons they'll use all their lives.

Stay with us here on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

O'BRIEN: Well, if you've been telling your kids that money doesn't grow on trees, how can parents in their 30s, and their 40s and their 50s, make sure that their kids know the real value of a dollar.

CNN's personal finance editor Gerri Willis has some ideas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GERRI WILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Parents in their 30s can begin their children's financial education while they're still in grade school.

JAYNE PEARL, AUTHOR, "KIDS AND MONEY": The best tool that parents can start with is allowance. But it's more than just throwing money at them, because that just enables whimsical spending.

WILLIS: Should allowance be payment for chores? Jayne Pearl, author of "Kids and Money," says no.

PEARL: I think kids should have chores because they're citizens of the household.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Doing a good job -- whoops, did I get you wet?

WILLIS: Pearl says the point of allowance is to help kids learn money management. But she says it's fine to pay your kids for extra work you might hire someone else to do.

For parents in their 40s with money-hungry teens.

PEARL: One thing is to give them a budget for each shopping trip. When they see something that is either more expensive than budgeted, you say, well, how can I help you? Maybe we can find jeans that are on that rack that are on sale. And if they spend less than that total budget, you can let them keep what's leftover to really give them an incentive to save, and to think about the prices of what they're buying.

WILLIS: Pearl's advice for parents in their 50s with college- aged kids.

PEARL: It's a great idea to help them get a secured credit card before they go to college.

WILLIS: What do you mean by secured?

PEARL: It means that there's an automatic limit, and they can't spend beyond that.

WILLIS: Once they graduate to a real credit card, they should have just one to be used only for emergencies.

PEARL: And, by the way, pizza is not an emergency.

WILLIS: Gerri Willis, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O'BRIEN: That looks so funny. Will Ferrell gliding to the top of the box office. His new figure skating comedy "Blades of Glory" pulled in 33 million bucks this weekend. Ferrell plays half of a male/males pair team, with Jon Heder, who's -- you might remember him from "Napoleon Dynamite." Second place, "Meet the Robinsons," third place, "300," and then after that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," back again. Remember, they were around, what, 15 years ago.

HOLMES: A long time ago.

O'BRIEN: I remember them, not that long ago.

HOLMES: I mean, that was way back, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: And "Wild Hogs" topped out the top five.

HOLMES: Well, U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps is having a golden week in Australia. He's won seven gold medals, and set five world records, and eighth gold medal was derailed when his relay teammate dove in too early, and that disqualified his team, so the eighth was within grasp there. Well, Phelps matches Mark Spitzer's record of seven golds at a major event, which Spitz accomplished at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Phelps is only 21 years old. He hopes to make it seven Olympic golds next year in Beijing.

Man, it's time for the Olympics again already?

O'BRIEN: It is, and it's going to be great to watch. He's doing so well. What a preview of what the Olympics will be like.

HOLMES: Got to cover him in Athens back in '04. That was a good time.

O'BRIEN: Yes, I bet it was.

T.J., thank you for helping us out today. We appreciate it.

HOLMES: Thanks for having me.

O'BRIEN: I know you're heading back to Atlanta.

HOLMES: Already, heading out.

So yes, "CNN NEWSROOM" coming up with some of my comrades down there, Tony Harris and Betty Nguyen, and that starts right now.

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

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