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CNN NEWSROOM

Eight Killed in Iraqi Parliament Bombing; Prosecutors Say Financial Trouble Led Pastor's Wife to Kill Husband; Still Few Answers in Tainted Pet Food; Civil Rights Leaders Meet with CBS Head Over Imus Remarks; New Orleans Woman Murdered in Front of Husband, Son.

Aired April 12, 2007 - 13:00   ET

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


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... CNN USA, Fredricka Whitfield and Don Lemon.
DON LEMON, CO-HOST: New video in just from Iraq of that deadly blast. Hello, I'm Don Lemon in the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. That bomb struck the heart of an already troubled Iraqi government today. A suicide attacker managed to carry a bomb past layers of security right into the Green Zone.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CO-HOST: And then that bomb was detonated right there where many lawmakers were convening for lunch. Two lawmakers were killed. They were among the eight in all killed, 20 injured. And then after the bomb blast, what was also discovered were other undetonated explosives.

LEMON: And that's right. This new video is just in to CNN.

Let's go to Baghdad now. Kyra Phillips is on the ground there.

Kyra, tell us what happened. Describe this new video for us.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, yes, you probably don't even want to get out those pictures, because it's absolutely amazing that that was captured on videotape. We were trying to figure out, who was in there, who was able to get anything on video.

As you can see, there was an interview that was happened there inside the convention center, and they just happened to be rolling when that explosion took place.

This is what we know. It's unprecedented. A suicide bomber made his way through possibly up to six checkpoints into the fortified Green Zone into the convention center where the Iraqi parliament had just finished session. They had left their session. They had moved into the cafeteria to have lunch.

And that's when the explosion took place. You can see it there in the videotape. You can hear the sounds. You can see the smoke. You can see how people are trying just to move out of that area, trying to figure out where there was an exit point.

As you said, two lawmakers killed, a Sunni lawmaker and a Shiite lawmaker. There were six other people that were -- that were killed in addition to about 20 people that were injured. The ceiling was blown apart, according to someone from the inside. And I just had a chance to talk to Major General William Caldwell on the phone, the top spokesman here in Iraq. And I asked him, how could this happen? Who is claiming responsibility? And this is what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCES IN IRAQ: It is very, very challenging to stop somebody who's willing to get their life trying to take somebody else's life. And you know, there are stringent security requirements out there. Obviously, we're going go back and redouble our efforts and relook at how that is being done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: And the general told me, Kyra, this is what we're up against. This shows the challenges that we are up against now, even in one of the most safest places, supposedly, here in Iraq. They are murderers, and they'll do anything possible to try and break down any type of progress within the government system.

So, now, all of the members of parliament have been detained for questioning, trying to figure out how exactly this individual was able to get in, get through all those checkpoints and blow himself up.

Right now, the general telling me, I asked him specifically who do you think is involved with this? Who is claiming responsibility? He believes at this moment, Don, that it's Al Qaeda.

LEMON: Exactly, Kyra. "TIME" magazine also reporting that Al Qaeda is reporting this on their web site. And also in that parliament building, "TIME" magazine also reporting, Kyra, that the metal detectors may not have been working that day? Are you hearing anything about that?

PHILLIPS: No, we haven't been able to confirm that right at this point. But I can tell you whether those metal detectors were working or not, this individual could have gone through six possible checkpoints. I've gone that route. I have gone through all those checkpoints. I've made myself into the -- worked my way into the convention center.

And here's what's interesting, is that the U.S. military is not controlling these checkpoints any longer. The very first one that you go through once you pass all the blast walls kind of on the outskirts of the Green Zone, you may see one or two U.S. troops. Then you show them your I.D. They check you out. You move your way through.

But then it's Iraqi police, Iraqi military and Triple Canopy, another organization, a security organization that's been hired with workers from Peru. So now, Major General Caldwell telling me we're going have to take a look at security. We're going to have to really reevaluate what exactly we're doing at those checkpoints. Because what happened today is unprecedented. LEMON: So you're saying that Iraqi police, U.S. police, and Triple Canopy, those are the folks responsible for the security in that area, correct, Kyra?

PHILLIPS: That is right. And that's where the questions are.

LEMON: OK. Kyra Phillips, thank you so much for your report there. Reporting live from Baghdad. Kyra, your information has been invaluable in reporting all of this. Thank you so much for that.

We stand with the Iraqi government, those words from President Bush, responding to the violence today in Baghdad. He says the bombing shows the depths of the insurgents' determination.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First of all, I strongly condemn the action. It reminds us, though, that there is an enemy willing to bomb innocent people in a symbol of democracy.

The assembly is a place where people have come to represent the 12 million people who voted. There's a type of person that will walk in that building and kill innocent life. And that is the same type of person that is willing to come and kill innocent Americans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And that's the president responding just moments ago in that video you saw just into CNN of that bombing of the parliament building there. Make sure you stay with CNN. We'll speak live with the Iraqi ambassador to the United States in just a few minutes.

WHITFIELD: A minister's wife, a mother of three, on trial today for killing her husband. Mary Winkler has admitted shooting him, her husband. The mystery is why.

CNN's Thomas Roberts is at the courthouse in Selmer, Tennessee.

And Thomas, what are attorneys on each side able to say, especially since Mary Winkler is admitting to the crime? So is there a plea of insanity involved here, as well?

THOMAS ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, we're waiting to find out exactly the strategy, but things are becoming a lot more clear since the opening statements that took place this morning.

The prosecution first up to talk about what they believe the motive was behind this where Mary Winkler actually shot her husband in the back with the family shotgun, killing him. They say that the marriage was falling apart because of finances and all because of Mary Winkler having fallen prey to some type of check cashing scam out of Nigeria and that the family finances were just a mess and that she had been depositing different checks at banks all around the Selmer, Tennessee, area, bank accounts that actually had her husband's name on them. So when the bank called her to say, "You know what, Mary? You need to come in here and we need to take care of this. You've got to bring in Matthew." They wanted him to be present because his names were on the accounts. She wanted to know how much time she had.

And they said you have to come in by March 23. The day that he was shot was March 22. Take a listen to what prosecutors have to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALT FREELAND, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The state's proof will be that it informed her mind and formed the intent that she had after her sleepless night on March 21, knowing that that next day, Matthew and she had to go to the bank and get her problems straightened out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: So, they're trying to put out the facts here, saying that the marriage was in turmoil because of finances. But privately, Mary held all of the cards, because Matthew didn't know.

Now the defense, on the other hand, is saying, that's not true. This marriage was in trouble right from the start because of problems on Matthew's side, that he was very controlling. He actually put Mary in charge of all of the finances, and he put her in charge of the finances for one purpose only. And that was just so she could fail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE FARESE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: He didn't like the way she talked. She (sic) didn't like the way she walked. He didn't like it because she was too fat. He would tell her she couldn't eat lunch because she was too fat. She wasn't perfect, and she had to be perfect to be a preacher's wife. And not only did she have to be perfect, her children had to be perfect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: So the defense is saying that this was a marriage in trouble and in trouble because Matthew was not the best husband, that he was very strict on his wife, saying that she wasn't living up to what she needed to be to be a preacher's wife.

This was his first big job. He had been a youth minister for many years but at the age of 31 got his first pulpit here in Selmer, Tennessee. He's a fourth generation minister in his family.

And currently on the stand, if we can take you live inside the courtroom here, is his father. This is Charles Daniel Winkler, 55 years old. He's been on the stand roughly for the past 15 or 20 minutes or so talking about his first reaction when he found out about his son's death.

He actually went straight to the courthouse in Alabama, where Mary Winkler had been detained and went to give her a hug and to let her know that he loved her. He didn't know all the details of this just yet.

But Fredricka, one thing that we learned was that on March 22, the day that Matthew Winkler was shot and killed, that's the same day as his father's birthday.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Sad story all the way around. So many people's lives impacted from this. Thomas Roberts, thanks so much from Selmer, Tennessee.

ROBERTS: Certainly.

WHITFIELD: In U.S. custody, a man believed to be a friend to Al Qaeda and facing terrorism charges. Believe it or not, it's all right here on American soil.

In Columbus, Ohio, the FBI says 43-year-old Christopher Paul provided material support to Al Qaeda and was planning to take part in several attacks in the U.S. and overseas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM HUNT, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE: Mr. Paul was arrested yesterday here in Columbus without incident. He is appearing this morning before a U.S. magistrate judge for his initial appearance. He has counsel, and we're not going to comment any further on the course of the criminal process which will take place.

These are accusations in the indictment. Mr. Paul is certainly entitled to a fair and an impartial trial here in the U.S. district court in Columbus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Federal authorities say they've been watching Christopher Paul since as far back as the late 1980s and that he helped to train and equip groups intending to attack tourist resorts in Europe.

LEMON: Well, there's more fallout from the Don Imus controversy. Right now, a rally is being held in New York City at the headquarters of CBS. You're looking at the Reverend Jesse Jackson speaking. Also at that rally, the Reverend Al Sharpton. Of course, they have called for Don Imus' firing.

We'll have more on this story, including our correspondent, Allan Chernoff, who's standing by outside of the CBS building with a live report for us, coming up in just a bit.

It was a shocking crime, even in a city used to shocks. Ahead in the NEWSROOM, a New Orleans doctor speaks of his wife's murder and how he took three bullets himself trying to save his son.

WHITFIELD: And a women choking, a caller pleading for help from the 911 operator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you do the Heimlich maneuver?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, ma'am. I don't know what that is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: What happened next may leave you outraged. Details straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: And counting up the political casualties of war, ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM. Which presidential candidates seem to be on the wrong side of public opinion?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Now 14 minutes after the hour, here's some of the stories we're working on in the NEWSROOM.

Opening statements at the trial of a Tennessee preacher's wife accused of gunning down her husband. The defendant's lawyer says Mary Winkler was an abused wife.

Insurgents strike deep in the heart of Iraq's heavily fortified Green Zone. A suicide bomber kills eight people in the Iraqi parliament building.

And a grand jury indicts an Ohio man on terror charges. Christopher Paul is accused of joining Al Qaeda and conspiring to bomb U.S. facilities overseas.

LEMON: Take a look at this, a snowy skid off the runway. This one is in Traverse City, Michigan. None of the 53 people aboard the Pinnacle Airlines jet was hurt.

Airport officials say the landing gear may have collapsed. Wow.

No word on why the private plane overran the runway in Wheeling, Illinois, other than it's snowing really hard there. All five people onboard, though, are OK. That is definitely good news.

Stormy times across the midsection of the country. Furious winds, large hail, and possibly tornadoes in central Indiana damaged at least five homes and a church. The winds were clocked at 80 miles an hour. Funnel clouds were spotted there late yesterday and even more across central Alabama. National Weather Service is working to confirm all of that.

And there are more stormy days to come, I'm hearing, for many of us. CNN's Rob Marciano has a clearer picture, we hope, from the weather center -- Rob.

(WEATHER REPORT)

LEMON: Yes, you've got everything there, Rob. You've got rain, you've got snow, you've got blizzards, you've got tornadoes.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: April will do that. It's definitely this transitional month. It gets the atmosphere agitated.

LEMON: Juiced as you said earlier.

MARCIANO: Yes.

LEMON: A smorgasbord.

All right. Rob Marciano, thank you.

MARCIANO: You bet.

WHITFIELD: Well, it's a shocking crime, even in a city that is used to shocks. Straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, a New Orleans doctor speaks of his wife's murder and how he took three bullets himself trying to save his son.

LEMON: A frantic call for help, a failed response. Outrage, an investigation is under way. We'll explain why in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: With millions of Americans worried about their pets, Congress is holding a hearing this afternoon. A Senate subcommittee is discussing the recent massive pet food recall. CNN's Chris Lawrence says weeks after reports of sick pets began coming in, many questions remain unanswered.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With so much tainted food taken off the shelves, the Nevada Animal Disease and Food Safety Lab says the worst is over for thousands of pet owners.

DR. ANNETTE RINK, NEVADA ANIMAL DISEASE AND FOOD SAFETY LAB: If they're not sick yet, they're probably not going to get sick.

LAWRENCE: But just this week, the FDA added 12 new brands of cat food to the recall, and pets like Neisha (ph) are still wasting away.

BERNI HUBER, CAT OWNER: She's got less than two weeks to live.

LAWRENCE: Berni Huber says his cat dropped a third of her body weight and barely moves.

HUBER: Before she ate this nasty stuff, she was a playful cat.

LAWRENCE: Huber says the vet discovered damage to her kidneys and liver.

(on camera) Ultimately, who do you hold responsible? Where does the buck stop?

HUBER: My biggest blame right now is two-fold, one with the FDA and ChemNutra.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): The FDA discovered the chemical melamine in wheat gluten used to make the pet food. Huber believes they should have caught it sooner.

Menu Foods bought the wheat gluten from ChemNutra, which imported it from China. So we tried to get answers at the supplier's headquarters in Las Vegas.

(on camera) My name's Chris Lawrence from CNN. I was hoping to speak to someone from ChemNutra.

(voice-over) A spokesman told me ChemNutra immediately stopped shipping the wheat gluten when the problem was discovered. They're cooperating with the FDA in conducting their own internal test.

But Dr. Annette Rink doubts melamine is the answer everyone has been looking for.

RINK: We don't really know what the toxic component is in any of the recalled pet food.

LAWRENCE: She says some owners may be attributing natural deaths to the pet food scare.

Berni Huber looks at his once healthy cat and can't help but disagree.

HUBER: It's OK. It's OK.

LAWRENCE: Chris Lawrence, CNN, Las Vegas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: A top executive at Menu Foods says it's not what you think. The chief financial officer at Menu Foods sold about half of his shares in the pet food company on February 26 and 27. That was about the time the company began getting calls about sick pets and three weeks before it announced a massive product recall.

The CFO says the timing of his stock sale was just a coincidence and that he did not know about the sick pets when he sold the shares.

LEMON: Well, this weekend a bout of winter weather damaged crops from West Virginia down to Texas. The quick damage estimates were in the millions, now some official numbers are coming in.

Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us just how bad it is.

It's probably not good, Susan.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's terrible. And there's more cold temperatures, I think Rob was talking about, is on the way for the southeast.

Peach, strawberry, apple, blueberry crops, all have been devastated. South Carolina officials say at least 90 percent of the peach crop was decimated. That's a $40 million a year business.

South Carolina's agricultural commissioner says the damage is comparable to a hurricane.

And Kentucky preliminary members show 90 percent of that state's peach and apple crops destroyed.

Many states are now planning to ask for federal aid. And these problems are going to show up, of course, on grocery store shelves. Supplies will be low. Grocers may need to import more fruit, and we will pay more -- Don.

LEMON: And that's for the crops and the fruits and vegetables and that kind of thing. But this seems to be a theme here, these higher food prices. You've been warning us about the possibility of higher beef prices. Is that in the forecast, as well?

LISOVICZ: Yes, it's not just a warning anymore. You know, your next barbecue, Don, it's going to be BYOB. Not bring your own bottle. It's going to be...

LEMON: Bring your own barbecue.

LISOVICZ: Bring your own barbecued beef.

The Agriculture Department says wholesale beef prices are now at a 3 1/2 year high, $1.71 a pound. That means you'll have to pay more for steaks, fillets, and hamburgers.

And the timing, of course, couldn't be worse. Even though you can't tell by the temperatures outside today, in many areas, including New York, spring is here. And families are preparing to fire up the grill for cookouts and picnics. Strong demand combined with higher beef prices, that is corn for all that ethanol, the reason for the jump.

(STOCK REPORT)

LISOVICZ: A record number of homes are on the auction block. You won't believe how easily it happens. Make sure it doesn't happen to you. Watch our report tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on "PAULA ZAHN NOW".

Don, Fred, back to you.

LEMON: Yes. Paula's been doing very good in-depth reporting on that whole mortgage thing.

LISOVICZ: Big, long series.

LEMON: Oh, man. It is incredible.

I have to go back to your BYOB, though. That's great.

LISOVICZ: I'll be there.

LEMON: You coined that. Yes, I'm coming to your -- but you know, you're going to have to provide your own beef.

LISOVICZ: You got it. The most expensive items.

LEMON: Thank you, Susan. We'll check back with you.

A happy couple. Their union shadowed by gunfire. The husband and police want to know why. Murder in New Orleans, an exclusive CNN report, straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Hello. I'm Don Lemon live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

WHITFIELD: And I'm Fredricka Whitfield, in for Kyra Phillips, on assignment in Baghdad, ground zero for today's top story, in fact.

Checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint, a suicide attacker penetrates the Green Zone with deadly consequences.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: It is the bottom of the hour, and it's a developing story. Explosions rattled Baghdad today. That's not unusual. A quiet day in the capital, well, it's rare. But the targets were, to say the least, ambitious.

One suicide bomber managed to breach tight Green Zone security and detonate it inside the Iraqi parliament building. At least eight people are dead, a Sunni and a Shiite lawmaker among them.

We checked in with CNN's Kyra Phillips in Baghdad just a few minutes ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, yes, you probably don't even want to get out those pictures, because it's absolutely amazing that that was captured on videotape. We were trying to figure out who was in there, who was able to get anything on video.

As you can see, there was an interview that was happening there inside the convention center, and they just happened to be rolling when that explosion took place.

This is what we know. It's unprecedented. A suicide bomber made his way through possibly up to six checkpoints into the fortified Green Zone into the convention center where the Iraqi parliament had just finished session. They had left their session. They had moved into the cafeteria to have lunch.

And that's when the explosion took place. You can see it there in the videotape. You can hear the sounds. You can see the smoke. You can see how people are trying just to move out of that area, trying to figure out where there was an exit point.

As you said, two lawmakers killed, a Sunni lawmaker and a Shiite lawmaker. There were six other people that were -- that were killed in addition to about 20 people that were injured.

The ceiling was blown apart, according to someone from the inside. And I just had a chance to talk to Major General William Caldwell on the phone, the top spokesman here in Iraq. And I asked him, how could this happen? Who is claiming responsibility? And this is what he told me.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCES IN IRAQ: It is very, very challenging to stop somebody who's willing to get their life trying to take somebody else's life. And you know, there are stringent security requirements out there. Obviously, we're going go back and redouble our efforts and relook at how that is being done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: And the general told me, "Kyra, this is what we're up against. This shows the challenges that we are up against now, even in one of the most safest places, supposedly, here in Iraq. They are murderers, and they'll do anything possible to try and break down any type of progress within the government system."

So, now, all of the members of parliament have been detained for questioning, trying to figure out how exactly this individual was able to get in, get through all those checkpoints and blow himself up.

Right now, the general telling me, I asked him specifically who do you think is involved with this? Who is claiming responsibility? He believes at this moment, Don, that it's Al Qaeda.

LEMON: Exactly, Kyra. "TIME" magazine also reporting that Al Qaeda is reporting this on their web site. And also in that parliament building, "TIME" magazine also reporting, Kyra, that the metal detectors may not have been working that day? Are you hearing anything about that?

PHILLIPS: No, we haven't been able to confirm that right at this point. But I can tell you whether those metal detectors were working or not, this individual could have gone through six possible checkpoints. I've gone that route. I have gone through all those checkpoints. I've made myself into the -- worked my way into the convention center.

And here's what's interesting, is that the U.S. military is not controlling these checkpoints any longer. The very first one that you go through once you pass all the blast walls kind of on the outskirts of the Green Zone, you may see one or two U.S. troops. Then you show them your I.D. They check you out. You move your way through.

But then it's Iraqi police, Iraqi military and Triple Canopy, another organization, a security organization that's been hired with workers from Peru.

So now, Major General Caldwell telling me we're going have to take a look at security. We're going to have to really reevaluate what exactly we're doing at those checkpoints. Because what happened today is unprecedented.

LEMON: So you're saying that Iraqi police, U.S. police, and Triple Canopy, those are the folks responsible for the security in that area, correct, Kyra?

PHILLIPS: That is right. And that's where the questions are.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: That was our Kyra Phillips in Baghdad, on the ground there, just moments ago.

Just hours earlier, a bomber in a truck blew himself up on a major bridge that spans the Tigris River. The blast sent cars flying into the river, killing at least 10 people and collapsing two large sections of an iron bridge, one on the city's -- one of the city's oldest.

WHITFIELD: Don Imus has one more radio show until he begins a two-week suspension. But as of this morning, his TV career has been canceled. Last night, MSNBC dropped the Imus simulcast, and critics say he should lose the radio show, as well.

Our Allan Chernoff is standing by outside CBS headquarters. Allan, what is happening right now outside CBS?

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just minutes ago, more than a half dozen African-American leaders came out of the building after meeting with the president and chief executive officer of CBS, Les Moonves. They had a conversation calling on CBS to fire Don Imus.

Les Moonves did not make that commitment. But Jesse Jackson did say that he believes Moonves will be making a decision on that shortly on that very issue.

Then they broadened the conversation, the African-American leaders calling on them to prevent any further bigoted comments from being made on the air.

They also called on CBS to make the airways more inclusive, to have more African-Americans on the air, more blacks hosting programs.

Now, the Reverend Al Sharpton left early, left the meeting earlier, saying that there's nothing to discuss with CBS beyond firing Don Imus. Even though when he entered the meeting, he said this is not just about firing Don Imus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We cannot have the airways used to call our children hard core hos, nappy-headed hos, sugarboos and wannabes. This is absurd.

Yes, many of us in private and maybe public have said things that we wish we hadn't. But none of us has the right to use the public airwaves as employees and hosts to express our bigotry. Secondly, Saturday's rally will be the beginning. We will go to those advertisers that don't join the advertising list, and we will march on them as we mobilize thousands, just a couple of months ago around there (ph) -- we will build and build until we do that in this issue if we have to.

We hope CBS does not have a blind eye with that dot in the middle. We hope we can open up their eye with that dot, because it's not about taking Imus down. It's about lifting decency up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHERNOFF: There's now tremendous pressure on CBS to fire Don Imus, who is the host of a radio station here that is syndicated around the nation.

Now, of course, CBS has said that they are putting Mr. Imus on an unpaid suspension beginning on Monday. CBS has not exactly given a vote of confidence. They are not saying that he will be back on the air after that two-week suspension. Rather, they say, they're going to monitor the situation very closely.

And already, at least one member of the board here at CBS has called for Mr. Imus to be fired.

Back to you.

WHITFIELD: And so, Allan, also at the center here is revenue. I mean, clearly, the Imus show brings CBS Radio a lot of money, even with its syndication. So how important -- how vital is the Imus show to the CBS Radio programming?

CHERNOFF: Certainly significant. The local station WFAN, where Don Imus hosts his program, is one of the top ten billing stations in the nation. And Don Imus is the biggest star of that station by far.

As we mentioned, that show also syndicated around the nation through Westwood One, and CBS owns a chunk of Westwood One.

So certainly, there are some serious dollars are at stake here. But of course, also, the reputation at CBS at stake, as well. They want to be sure that they are fair on both sides of this very important issue.

And, of course, only yesterday NBC announced that Mr. Imus' program is no longer being simulcast on MSNBC.

WHITFIELD: Allan Chernoff, thanks so much, in New York outside CBS studios there.

LEMON: Uneasy in the Big Easy. Already this year, there have been close to 60 murders in New Orleans. And keep in mind, the population is half of what it used to be. It's believed a lot of the killings are in retaliation for other murders.

But the case of Helen Hill, a wife and mother living in New Orleans, well, that one has police stumped.

And CNN's Randi Kaye joins us live from New Orleans with an exclusive interview about this story. It's just really, really sad, Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So heartbreaking, Don.

Helen Hill was murdered in January. As you mentioned, she was a filmmaker. She was married with a little boy named Francis. But for some reason, an intruder who is still on the run gunned her down in her own home.

Her husband and son were also at home at the time. Her husband called 911 after he had been shot three times, himself. This is the first time her husband, Paul Gailunas, has agreed to be interviewed on national television about the final moments of his wife's life.

I spoke with him earlier this week. And here is just a portion of the interview that you'll see tonight on "ANDERSON COOPER 360".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL GAILUNAS, WIFE WAS MURDERED: I woke to the sound of her voice struggling and screaming, "Don't. Get out. Don't hurt my child. Get away from my child. Get away from my baby." I saw that she was lying next to the front door and there was blood next to her head and she wasn't moving.

KAYE: So when you got to Helen, were you too late?

GAILUNAS: As I understand it, she died instantly, within a few seconds. A man walked towards me through the house, and I saw him walk through the kitchen holding a gun towards me.

And he stopped about four feet away or so from me and -- and there were about three gunshots. And I had no idea where I was shot, but I knew my hand started to hurt and felt blood pouring on the ground beside us.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE: Helen's husband, Paul, was hiding in the back bathroom with his son, clutching him from the gun fire. Little Francis was not hurt. Paul was hit in the arm, his hand and even his face. A bullet actually skimmed his cheek. He told me he played dead and just hoped the killer did not reload.

Paul and his son have since left New Orleans, Don, and are now living in Canada.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh, Randi. Just really awful. Is this -- I've got to ask you this because I grew up in the area. Is this considered a bad neighborhood? What neighborhood is this?

KAYE: It's not considered a bad neighborhood at all, actually. It's not far from downtown New Orleans. It's on Rampart Street. LEMON: Yes.

KAYE: If you're familiar with that area. And certainly a mixed neighborhood.

LEMON: Yes.

KAYE: But they think that this guy actually came from somewhere down the street, because police were in the area. They arrived very quickly when Paul called for them. And they were investigating, apparently, an attempted armed robbery in the neighborhood.

And they think that guy may be the same guy who actually murdered Helen, and he's still on the run. So there's no way of knowing for sure.

LEMON: OK. Well, how is -- how are they coping? How is he coping with this now? You said he's in Canada, but how is he doing?

KAYE: He's not doing very well. You can see even in his speech, he's very halting. He's certainly grieving very much. He and his son are both getting some therapy.

He said that his son is doing rather well. He's really focused on his son right now and probably not getting as much therapy as he probably could use.

But each night when he tucks his son into bed, he shows him some pictures of his mom and of Helen. And he said that his son actually kisses the pictures good night. And he believes he understands that his mom is in heaven. That's what he's been told.

LEMON: Oh, Randi, man, just terrible. I'll be watching tonight. Thank you so much for that report. I can't -- I can't wait to see it. It's a terrible thing, but I can't wait to see what -- your report and what's going be done about this.

And you can see Randi's report tonight on CNN only on "ANDERSON COOPER 360". That's at 10 p.m. Eastern.

And check out Anderson Coopers' new podcast. Watch high-speed highlights on world news and more and see why people have made it the No. 1 news podcast on iTunes. Go to CNN.com/AC360podcast to download it now.

WHITFIELD: Counting up the political casualties of war. Straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, which presidential candidates seem to be on the wrong side of public opinion?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: New pictures. Still, it's very hard to believe how a suicide bomber could penetrate the Green Zone. These pictures out of Baghdad. New images now of the aftermath of what took place after a suicide bomber detonated a bomb there.

Ten people -- eight, sorry -- people were killed, including two lawmakers, one Shia, one Sunni. And 20 people were injured.

You can look and see from these images the kind of chaos that ensued after that bomb blast went off. People really shocked and unclear as to how a bomb blast like this could happen after people generally have to go through six layers of security in order to get into the central part of this Green Zone.

This taking place, the explosion, that is, in the cafeteria there in the parliament building.

LEMON: Continuing coverage of this story throughout the day right here on CNN.

Meantime, it was a virtual town hall that ended with an online straw poll. And it could be a cause for concern inside the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The liberal activist group MoveOn.org hosted the event featuring some of the Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Senator Clinton.

And our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider, is standing by for us in Washington. Bill, what's the news out of MoveOn.org, this new straw poll?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it was actually a vote among those members of MoveOn.org who chose to participate. And the winner of the vote on who has the best policy to get the United States out of Iraq was Barack Obama but by a very narrow margin. You see 28 percent preferred Obama's position on Iraq. Very closely following him, John Edwards at 25 percent. Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson.

Where was Hillary Clinton in this? She came out at just 11 percent support, fifth in this vote. A lot of MoveOn members, a lot of anti-Iraq war voters have been critical of her in the past. She has not apologized for her initial vote to authorize the war in 2002, which John Edwards did do.

But keep in mind that there was a big spread. That is no one came out as a decisive winner in all this. All seven Democrats participated in this virtual town hall forum. They invited the Republicans. None of them did, which suggests that the war is likely to be a defining difference between the parties in the next campaign.

LEMON: OK, Hillary Clinton, I was looking at that thing going, where is Hillary Clinton? Second page, five.

How much of an impact, though -- I mean, how much does this poll really mean in the whole scheme of things, Bill?

SCHNEIDER: She's not the favorite of anti-Iraq war voters, is what it says.

But on the other hand, I interviewed the Washington director of MoveOn.org, who made the point that, essentially all of the seven Democrats who are running for president, including Senator Clinton, are in favor of getting the United States out of Iraq. They have different plans for doing so.

Her plan does not appear to be the most popular. But he suggested that all of them participated and all of them in the end would probably be acceptable to this constituency.

LEMON: OK, Bill. Real quick, want to get this one in. "L.A. Times"/Bloomberg poll out. What -- is there a surprise in that one?

SCHNEIDER: McCain came in with just 12 percent support among Republican primary voters nationwide. That put him in third place. Although the difference between him and Fred Thompson, not yet a candidate, is not statistically meaningful, but it does suggest that McCain is faltering among his fellow Republicans.

This poll was taken before he spoke yesterday.

LEMON: So then, Bill, what's harming him the most here?

SCHNEIDER: Interesting, the Iraq issue seems to be harming him, even though 70 percent of Republicans in the country support the war in Iraq. Well, why could it be hurting him if he embraces the war?

Well, look at this poll result. The Democratic and Republican primary voters around the country were asked what the top issue was in the presidential campaign: 63 percent of Democrats said the top issue was Iraq. Republicans, just 37 percent named Iraq as the top issue.

What that suggests is that, while they may agree with McCain on the war, they don't want to talk about the war. They want to talk about other issues. They realize it's not a winning issue for them.

LEMON: OK. Bill Schneider, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you so much.

WHITFIELD: And this just in, if you are an animal lover these new images are going to be quite heart-wrenching for you. This is a horse that is stuck in mud, deep mud.

And you can see this team of folks who are trying -- trying really hard to get the horse out. This taking place in Dawson, Texas, which is about 65 miles south of Dallas. And the owners of this horse -- all right, are we seeing the horse now being freed?

LEMON: Up on its feet.

WHITFIELD: Oh, wow. That's really incredible. They're actually using a backhoe, which you can't see. But at the top of the picture, they're using a backhoe and those straps to help pull the horse out.

The owners of the horse had been really concerned because this horse by the name of Champ has been quite fatigued, you know, obviously, carrying a few tons of weight there and then being stuck now, lodged in this heavy mud. It was difficult for the horse to use his own weight and those, you know, spindly legs to get himself out. So he's exhausted. And so you're looking at the rescue efforts now which we hope are bringing about some positive results. Rescue efforts of this horse named Champ.

LEMON: He was almost up on his feet though, right?

WHITFIELD: Yes. For a moment, it looked pretty encouraging. But I don't know what's going on here. We'll try to find out. More on that as we get it.

Meantime, globe trotting to find the fountain of youth. Researchers head to blue zones to unlock the secret of a long and healthy life. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes a look straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, Don, listen up. Five days and counting. Get busy, tax deadline.

LEMON: Have you done yours?

WHITFIELD: No. No, but it felt good to put it on somebody else.

LEMON: I haven't either.

WHITFIELD: I'm not alone.

LEMON: I'm listening.

WHITFIELD: Well, the deadline is Tuesday, April 17.

In today's "Tax Time Made Easier", how you can get credit for being friendly toward the environment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A question many taxpayers have is: "Can I save money on my taxes by saving energy"? Well, yes, you can.

This year, the federal government is giving incentives to people who use energy-saving products at home. You can get up to $500 in tax credits if you add skylights, metal roofs, storm doors, or better insulation.

And if you bought a solar water heater, you can deduct 30 percent of the price, up to $2,000.

It's not tax deductible, though, if you bought that for a pool or a hot tub.

And make sure you can prove you've installed any energy-saving items. Keep your receipts, any manufacturers' labels or certificates to show that the items qualify for the credits.

If you buy a new car or SUV that's a hybrid, you can also save money on your tax bill. On top of feeling like you're making a difference, you can get up to $3,000 in tax credits. The IRS web site has a full list of the models and how much you can deduct.

For tax time made easier, I'm Jennifer Westhoven.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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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