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CNN NEWSROOM

Highway Collapse Snarls Oakland-San Francisco Commute; D.C. Sex Scandal; Georgia Wildfires

Aired April 30, 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.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm Heidi Collins.

Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on Monday morning, the last day of April.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Bridge to nowhere. A chaotic commute under way in San Francisco as we speak. A fiery crash literally melts an overpass that links several major highways.

HARRIS: She is checking her list. The alleged D.C. madam in court this morning. Some of Washington's most powerful and prominent said to be clientele.

COLLINS: The new Delta. The nation's number three airline leaves bankruptcy behind today. So, what does it mean for travelers? Flying high in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Straight off to northern California. Commuters are waking up to a nightmare, a road of rubble. This has been a vital link between San Francisco and Oakland. The collapse has road crews scrambling to make repairs now. But that job could take months.

CNN's Chris Lawrence is in Oakland this morning.

Chris, dare I ask, how is that commute looking?

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Heidi, it's only 6:00 in the morning. And while some roads are still moving fairly well, others have already started to slow down to a crawl. You know, you could not pick a worse place for this tanker to have crashed. It's where three major highways converge and feed directly into the main bridge which connects Oakland with the city of San Francisco.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE (voice over): This is what it looks like when a tanker crashes and 8,000 gallons of gasoline ignite on a major highway. Flames shoot up 200 feet, and the air boils to nearly 3,000 degrees. Steel beams buckle, and bolts holding up the overpass melt.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger inspected the freeway Sunday night and declared a state of emergency.

SCHWARZENEGGER: No one has to fight over who is going to pay for the first few days. It's all taken care of.

How fast you move people and goods and services, that's economic power. We don't want the economy in the Bay Area to be disrupted, nor the economy of California to be disrupted.

LAWRENCE: The state of California is picking up the tab to provide free public transportation Monday, but the months to come could be a nightmare.

COMMISSIONER MIKE BROWN, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL: I would love to be able to say it's going to be easy, but I don't think it will be.

LAWRENCE: Every day more than 250,000 commuters take the bridge into San Francisco.

ROSEANNE WINCEK, BAY AREA COMMUTER: I live in the city and I work at Berkeley. So I don't want to be here tomorrow when it's going to be insane.

MOSTAFA EL DESOKY, BAY AREA COMMUTER: I think I'm maybe going to have, like, probably at least two or three hours and before I hit (INAUDIBLE). It usually takes me 20 minutes, 25 minutes max.

LAWRENCE: Repair costs could top tens of millions of dollars, and it could cause the worse traffic destruction since the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. To fix the freeways then took about seven years and $2 billion.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAWRENCE: Now, there are some alternate routes that drivers can take, but none of them are very good. They involve getting off, snaking through a maze of side streets, then getting back on the freeway several miles down the road. And officials are encouraging people as best they can to take the public transportation. And if at all possible, even to work from home -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Even though it is only 6:00, Chris, it's looking pretty nasty from the shots we have on the screen right now. I wonder, though, are there any procedures or initiatives in place to help keep the disruption of traffic to a minimum besides just offering of public transportation?

LAWRENCE: Well, after the '94 -- 1994 Northridge earthquake, the state of California instituted a bonus offer to the contractor who was preparing a major freeway in southern California in which for every day that the contractor came in ahead of schedule, they would be paid $10,000 a day. It worked out quite well in that a project that could have taken a year was completed in about three or four months. Right now, I just talked to some of the Cal Transit workers here. They haven't even selected a contractor yet, so that's still a little bit down the road, but he said that is a possibility in this case as well.

COLLINS: Hey, money talks. Doesn't it?

HARRIS: Yes.

COLLINS: All right. Chris Lawrence, thanks so much. We know you'll be keeping an eye on it for us this morning.

HARRIS: The alleged D.C. madam back in court next hour, and a lot of people are wondering, will she name names?

CNN's Jim Acosta is live at the federal courthouse in Washington.

Jim, good morning to you.

What is supposed to actually happen this morning?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, good morning.

Yes, Deborah Palfrey, the alleged D.C. madam, is expected to be back here in federal court in about an hour to request a public defender in this case. She is accused of running a prostitution ring in this town for 13 years.

She claims it was a legal escort service. And unless prosecutors drop this case, Palfrey is threatening to release reams of phone records, 46 pounds worth, that could embarrass scores of public officials in this town.

Last Friday, Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias resigned from his post for personal reasons, he says, after confirming to ABC News that he was one of Palfrey's clients. Now, Tobias claimed that -- or told ABC that he was only receiving massages from Palfrey's service. And in a radio that is now on the Internet, Palfrey says she's willing to drop other big names if this case moves forward.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

DEBORAH JEANE PALFREY, PAMELA MARTIN AND ASSOCIATES: Look, we're going to use some, if not many, of these 10,000 people who used the service for the 13 years as defense witnesses. And many of these people have government clearances, security clearances, high-level individuals. Do you really want this to happen?

(END AUDIO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Now, the judge in this case did try to impose restrictions on those phone records, but that was after she turned them over to ABC -- Tony.

HARRIS: Oh, Jim, I think I have the answer to this next question, but I'll ask it anyway because it's just delicious. Why is this client list such a big deal?

ACOSTA: Well, yes, it is only springtime in Washington, but this has all the makings of a D.C. summer scandal. And we already know two of the big names that have been dropped so far, Randall Tobias, and then earlier this month Harlan Ullman.

Mr. Ullman, who I spoke with over the phone this weekend, continues to maintain that this was delusional on Palfrey's part to release his name, that he is not one of her clients. And he is speculating, along with others in this town, that she is simply trying to pluck away as many Republican and conservative folks from this list of phone records here to see if she can perhaps bring some pressure to bear on the Justice Department to drop this case. Whether or not that's successful, we'll see -- Tony.

HARRIS: And Randall Tobias says just massages, no sex. Correct?

ACOSTA: That is what he told ABC. We have made -- or we have tried to make contact with Mr. Tobias, and I think there have been numerous media outlets staked out in front of his home...

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

ACOSTA: ... which is another Washington tradition when these scandals crop up. And so far, he is not making any other comments as to -- as to those so-called massages -- Tony.

HARRIS: All right. Jim Acosta for us in Washington, D.C.

Jim, thank you.

COLLINS: The longest terror case to wind through British courts. Today, convictions. After a year-long trial, jurors today found five men guilty.

They had planned to bomb targets including a London nightclub, a shopping mall and power plants. Evidence presented secretly show the men had ties to the group that bombed London's transit system two years ago. Who could forget that?

HARRIS: Chad Myers, look who's here, Heidi Collins.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Welcome back.

HARRIS: Back in the air chair.

COLLINS: I'm hoping that the suit will bring the sun.

MYERS: Tell me you were skiing.

COLLINS: No. I was at war training.

MYERS: Oh.

HARRIS: The polar opposite. Right. Right.

COLLINS: I wish.

HARRIS: Well, last week we were talking about flooding in Texas.

COLLINS: Yes. I think... HARRIS: Another week, same story.

COLLINS: Yes, still are.

HARRIS: Yes.

MYERS: Yes.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COLLINS: Chad, thanks so much. We'll check back with you a little bit later on.

MYERS: You bet.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, 100 square miles burned, and the flames are still spreading. Some progress has been made, but that battle goes on this hour in south Georgia, where the state's biggest ever wildfire still burning.

WJXT's Nikki Preede is with us now from Waycross.

Nikki, what's the latest?

NIKKI PREEDE, REPORTER, WJXT: Hey. Good morning, Heidi.

I just got off the phone with emergency management officials who tell me now it's up to 82,000 acres that have been burned in this fire. It started two weeks ago today. It's 78 percent contained. That really is good progress. But in order to get this 100 percent extinguished, firefighters say they're just going to need a lot of help from Mother Nature.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PREEDE (voice over): After two weeks of fighting fires, dealing with road closings, detours, evacuations, the people of Ware County, they're just tired.

SHARON DOWLING, WARE COUNTY RESIDENT: It's like people are lost. And you can see fear in their eyes. For the first time in their lives they actually have something here to be afraid of, because they don't know if they're going to go home, they're going to have a home, or a back yard, or anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to have a problem here until we get sufficient rainfall on these fires.

PREEDE: It is what everyone here in southeast Georgia is praying for, a little bit of help from Mother Nature. So far, no relief. And without rain, we're told firefighters could be battling these fires for several more weeks.

Right now, the largest blaze, the one that's claimed 100 square miles, it's 70 percent contained, but there are more than 20 fires burning in southeast Georgia. And your help is needed to prevent even more.

BYRON HAIRE, GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION: We're encouraging all citizens to be very conscious of their outdoor activities, catalytic converter you put (ph) in to tall grass, you could have a problem there. Cigarettes -- we've had the humidity and the dryness that a lit (ph) cigarette could start one. Anything to do with grilling.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PREEDE: And Heidi, at this point, conditions are just so dry and so ripe that emergency officials, they are just warning everyone in this area to be extremely careful so they are not careless and don't start another fire.

COLLINS: Boy, that's for sure. What about schools, though, Nikki? Are they still closed this week?

PREEDE: You know, actually, Ware County schools were closed for the majority of last week. They are open today, but they're starting about an hour later. And as this fire is moving a little bit more towards the southeast today, Charlton County schools are closed, and that's around the Folkston area, about 10 to 15 miles from where we are here in Waycross.

COLLINS: All right. WJXT's Nikki Preede for us this morning.

Nikki, thank you.

HARRIS: Still to come in the NEWSROOM this morning, for American troops in Iraq, a deadly new milestone for 2007. The U.S. death toll has climbed again.

Details in the NEWSROOM.

George Tenet's take. Three years later, the former CIA director talking tough about his time with President Bush. His memoir out today, ahead in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Born in the USA, but their parents are here illegally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This girl carried a sign saying she'd been separated from her mother for four years.

(UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Children in the middle of the immigration debate.

We'll tell you about that ahead in the NEWSROOM as well.

And the games go on today, but the St. Louis Cardinals will be playing with heavy hearts as they deal with the death of a teammate.

That story ahead, coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Did you hear about this story over the weekend? A crowded mall in Kansas City, a gunman on the loose and firing. It all went down Sunday afternoon at the Ward Parkway Center, a few miles from downtown.

Police say a man shot and wounded an officer at a gas station and then headed for the mall. Once there, he pulled into a parking space, fired at cars on either side of him, killing two people, and then ran inside. Officers went after him, caught up with the man outside of a mall entrance, and then shot him to death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY SANDERS, SPOKESMAN, KANSAS CITY POLICE: Don't have any particulars on him at all. All we know right now is that he did come into the mall. We have hundreds of people that were here on a Sunday afternoon. You can imagine how many people were at the mall, and going to a movie, and shopping, and what have you.

It was a lot of people we have to interview, and there are a lot of witnesses to this incident. And as bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Yes. Police also suspect the man in the death of an elderly woman. Her body found earlier in the day in her home. Police say her missing car matches the one used by the gunman.

COLLINS: Making good on a threat. By tomorrow, President Bush is expected to veto the new war spending bill. The measure, which cleared Congress last week, includes a timetable for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, something the president is against.

As the political wrangling goes on in Washington, more American troops lose their lives in Iraq. The Pentagon says 14 U.S. soldiers and Marines were killed over the weekend in and around Baghdad and in Anbar province. April, with 104 U.S. troop deaths, is now the sixth deadliest month of the war. And total American death totals during the war now 3,351.

Former CIA director George Tenet speaking out on TV and in a new book. Some want to know what took him so long.

CNN White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): George Tenet describes Condoleezza Rice, then national security adviser, as sitting on the sidelines of policy fights over Iraq. In his new book, Tenet blames Rice for a lack of coordination and strong leadership at the National Security Council after the Iraq war began, saying, "What we did not have is an integrated and open process in Washington that was organized to keep the peace. Nor did we have the unity of purpose and resources on the ground. Quite simply, the NSC did not do its job."

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: There were some things that went right and some things that went wrong. And you know what? We'll have a chance to look at that in history, and I'll have a chance to reflect on that when I have a chance to write my book.

QUIJANO: In his book, and on CBS' "60 Minutes," Tenet also sharply criticizes Vice President Dick Cheney and the administration's use of Tenet's infamous "slam dunk" remark that the case for Iraqi WMD was solid.

GEORGE TENET, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: I was a talking point. You know, look what the idiot told us, and we decided to go to war. Well, let's not be so disingenuous.

QUIJANO: The former CIA director says the White House had already made up its mind to go to war and took "slam dunk" out of context, making him a scapegoat after no WMDs were found. The Bush administration denies that.

RICE: It was an intelligence problem worldwide. We all thought, including U.N. inspectors, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. So there's no blame here.

QUIJANO: The backlash has already begun. In a scathing op-ed, the former head of the CIA's bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer, says Tenet, who received a Medal of Freedom from President Bush months after resigning, should have made his views known sooner. "Now he tells us. At this late date, the Bush bashing that Tenet's book will inevitably stir up seems designed to rehabilitate Tenet his first home, the Democratic Party."

And in a blistering letter to Tenet, six former CIA officers ask why if his feelings were so strong he did not resign sooner. They accuse Tenet of being equally culpable as the administration officials he criticizes, saying, "Your silence contributed to the willingness of the public to support the disastrous war in Iraq, which has killed more than 3,300 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis."

(on camera): The letter also urges Tenet to return the Medal of Freedom he received and to give at least half the royalties from his book sales to the soldiers and the families of those killed and wounded in Iraq.

Elaine Quijano, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Hear much more from George Tenet tonight. The ex CIA chief kicks off Larry King's 50 years in broadcasting, a week-long celebration. A live cable exclusive with George Tenet tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. HARRIS: From "American Idol" to arrest. The charges that landed this former top 10 in trouble with the law. That's ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Also, something new at KFC. It may be stamped on your next bucket of chicken.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ali Velshi, "Minding Your Business".

Check what's stamped on your credit card receipt. There might be too much information, information that could let someone steal your identity.

I'll tell you about that when we come back in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Today marks a new chapter in Delta Air Lines' 83-year- old history. The nation's third largest carrier emerging from bankruptcy protection and showing off a new look, too. It's third in the past decade, actually.

Beginning Thursday, shares of new Delta Air Lines stock are to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. All this following changes Delta has already made, including restructuring its fleet, expanding its international service, and cutting costs and jobs.

HARRIS: A recipe for change for KFC. KFC's fried chicken buckets will soon boast zero trans fat. The chain says its restaurants have stopped frying chicken in artery-clogging trans fat. It is switching over to soybean oil, believed less likely to cause heart disease. Sister chain Taco Bell says its restaurants have completely switched to an oil with zero grams of trans fat.

COLLINS: Big retailers are getting sued for printing too much charge card information on their customers' receipts. So, how much is too much?

Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business" this morning.

Nice to see you again, Ali.

You know what? I remember looking at these. There's been a couple of times where I've had credit card receipts where only the last four numbers were on it.

VELSHI: Right. Yes.

COLLINS: And other ones where the whole darn thing is on there. And I would scribble it out myself, thinking that I could really get in trouble if somebody had all that info.

VELSHI: Well, it's good that you actually scribble it out. This is -- most people won't know about this because it only sort of came in in December, this rule that people with the right software -- and that's part of the problem, the rule only applies to retailers who have the right software -- when they use your -- when they swipe your credit card electronically, the receipt that they hand back to you can only have up to the last five numbers on the credit card receipt. It's also not supposed to have the date on it.

Now, this is all up to interpretation, and that's why it's before the courts, because some companies say it's either the expiration date or the number. But, you know, identity theft experts say that that kind of information is more than enough to start a good impression of you.

COLLINS: Sure.

VELSHI: So, check your credit card receipts and see if they have all of the numbers x'd out, expect for the last five. You know, you can sort of see it there, the account number is x'd out, so you can sort of identify which card of yours it is. But somebody else can't emulate that.

COLLINS: Well, yes, because look at that. If the numbers are on there, you've got the numbers. You've got the...

VELSHI: You've got the name.

COLLINS: You've got the name, you've got the signature, of course, too.

VELSHI: Yes. I mean, that's a whole lot of...

COLLINS: I mean, what else do you need? Especially for the Internet, right?

VELSHI: And when you punch that stuff in to the Internet, you can often get a whole lot more information.

So, the idea is that while most identity theft is taking place because larger companies, perhaps your own company, is losing your information, the fact is you're going to have to just start to get safer as much as you can. And one of those things is to make sure that the paper you're carrying around doesn't carry out -- doesn't carry too much information.

So, as you said, Heidi, either scratch it out yourself, rip it up, dispose of it somewhere, shred it, but don't have these little slips of information that, you know, you just throw in the garbage and somebody can -- I'm guilty of that, too. I mean, I just throw them away.

COLLINS: Yes. I try to rip them up. But now I can say I told you so to my friends who thought I was being paranoid.

VELSHI: That's -- identity theft has more "I told you sos" than I think anything else around. People also tell me, you should do this, you should do this, and I'm thinking, yes, forget it. And then you realize that maybe you should have.

COLLINS: Yes. I know. It can be dangerous.

VELSHI: Yes.

COLLINS: All right. Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business" this morning.

Thanks, Ali.

VELSHI: See you, Heidi.

HARRIS: Some sad news to report to you this morning. The St. Louis cardinals will be back on the field today one day after the death of pitcher Josh Hancock.

The 29-year-old died early Sunday morning -- man, look at that -- when his SUV slammed into a tow truck that had stopped on the road. Police say no alcohol was found in the vehicle. Authorities say they may never know exactly what caused the accident.

Last night's game was canceled. Hancock's teammates are expected to attend the funeral in Mississippi Thursday. The Cardinals faced a similar tragedy, you may recall, five years ago when pitcher Darryl Kile was found dead in his hotel room.

New Jersey governor Jon Corzine is expected to leave the hospital this afternoon. Corzine was seriously injured in a car crash a little over two weeks ago.

The 60-year-old governor underwent three operations. Authorities say Corzine was not wearing a seat belt, as required by state law. There is no word on when he will be able to return to work. Corzine says he'll pay all of his medical bills out of his own pocket.

COLLINS: And good morning again.

Heidi Collins...

COLLINS: Hi. I'm Heidi.

HARRIS: I'm just happy to see you, Heidi.

Welcome back, everyone, to the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Good morning to you, everybody.

We want to get straight to this story. The pictures are just unbelievable...

HARRIS: Yes.

COLLINS: ... from what happened in California. Look at this. It's a road to nowhere, wouldn't you say? A traffic nightmare today, and images all too familiar from the 1989 earthquake.

Lessons learned then. The daunting challenges today. A closer look coming up in the NEWSROOM. HARRIS: The alleged D.C. madam in court today, ready to name names in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Born in the USA, but their parents are here illegally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This girl carried a sign saying she'd been separated from her mother for four years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to go back. dri c (END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Children in the middle of the immigration debate, ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We want to get to one of our top stories now this morning. Rush hour around San Francisco Bay a lot less rushing, a lot more than an hour's commute because of that.

The cause of the traffic nightmare?

Yesterday's collapse of a vital link between San Francisco and Oakland. The fiery crash of a gasoline tanker truck literally melted the overpass. Somehow, the driver walked away with only moderate burns and no one else was injured.

Today, more than a quarter of a million commuters, though, are feeling the pain. And California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency and is offering free public transportation today. Well, that's big of him.

Rebuilding the highway, though, will likely take several months.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: The woman accused of running a prostitution ring for the rich and powerful appears in a Washington courtroom this morning and a lot of people are on edge. Deborah Jeane Palfrey says she ran a legal exotic escort service. Hmmm.

She's been indicted on federal racketeering and money laundering charges. Palfrey says she will name some of her 10,000 clients and use them as defense witnesses.

Already, the scandal has cost a top State Department official his job. Randall Tobias resigned on Friday. He says he used Palfrey's escort service for massages, but not sex.

COLLINS: Right.

HARRIS: Yes. This case could turn into an explosive sex scandal in the nation's capital.

Let's talk about it with our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin -- Jeffrey, we get you talking about everything, don't we?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know, did you notice...

HARRIS: You like...

TOOBIN: Did you notice in that little bit of video, everybody's smiling in this story.

HARRIS: That's right.

That's right.

TOOBIN: You're smiling, I'm smiling.

HARRIS: Right.

TOOBIN: You know, what's the problem?

Everybody's happy.

HARRIS: Because it's one of those little cheeky little stories that's just so delicious...

TOOBIN: Exactly.

HARRIS: ... we just love to have a little bit of fun with it.

TOOBIN: Exactly.

HARRIS: But we know that there are some serious implications to all of this.

But I have to ask you right off the top, Jeffrey, this is described as a legal escort service. Define...

COLLINS: Exotic.

HARRIS: Exotic.

Thank you.

Thank you, Heidi.

Legal exotic escort service. So define legal, if you would, for us here.

TOOBIN: It is -- it is not illegal...

HARRIS: Yes?

TOOBIN: It is legal to have women go to people's apartments or hotels or whatever and give massages. If that's all that's going on, that's legal. And Miss. Palfrey apparently is claiming that, as far as she knew, this was just a massage service.

HARRIS: Yes.

TOOBIN: And if some of her employees or independent contractors, these women, shocked her and made deals for sex...

HARRIS: Side deals.

TOOBIN: ... with the clients, as well as massages, well, that was their business, she had no idea and she's just shocked about that.

HARRIS: Where is -- where is the evidence? Is it in the sex, the lies, the videotape?

Ooh, Jeffrey -- the videotape.

How does the prosecution make this case?

TOOBIN: Well, the key witnesses will be the women who were the...

HARRIS: Yes.

TOOBIN: ... the massage artists or sex workers, depending on what you think they really were doing...

HARRIS: Yes.

TOOBIN: ... because they will testify, presumably -- that's why Palfrey was indicted for prostitution, which was this whole massage thing was just a shame. It was a way that she could advertise legally. It was a way that she could sort of organize a rational, you know, a quasi public business. But, in fact, the madam knew, we knew, the customers knew that all this was, was prostitution.

So the key witnesses here will be the women who serviced the clients, however they were serviced.

HARRIS: It seems to me, Jeffrey, a lot of folks in this story are looking for defense attorneys -- the women you just mentioned, the madam, the clients -- the johns.

How do you defend -- let's start with the madam?

TOOBIN: Well, you -- you say that this was a massage service.

HARRIS: Yes?

TOOBIN: That that's it. And that if these women exercised the poor judgment of getting involved in illegal sexual activities for pay, that was not something I authorized or knew about.

HARRIS: Why would...

TOOBIN: That's her defense.

HARRIS: Why would the -- why would the omen -- why would they actually go on record and talk here? Are they actually being charged here?

TOOBIN: Not yet.

HARRIS: Yes.

TOOBIN: I mean, again, this is -- the case is at a somewhat early, early stage. I mean some people -- it's shocking to say this -- actually do tell the truth when police ask them questions.

HARRIS: That's right. That's right.

TOOBIN: That might be one reason why.

HARRIS: Good point.

TOOBIN: Another thing is they may be given immunity by the grand jury in this -- meaning they have to testify, they have no chance, they have no Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify. That's what giving immunity means. And, you know, and in that sense, they realize it's better for them to tell the truth about the sex that went on rather than risk a perjury charge.

HARRIS: Well, if...

TOOBIN: So that's why people tend to tell the truth.

HARRIS: Well, what's going to happen to the clients here? Are they going to...

TOOBIN: Well...

HARRIS: Are they likely to face some charges?

TOOBIN: No. See, that's -- that's the only thing anybody really cares about with this story, which is who were the clients.

HARRIS: Who were the clients?

TOOBIN: And you would already -- you know, this very senior State Department officials, Mr. Tobias, who, you know, this is why it's great to be in the news business. He was responsible, in part, for abstinence education.

HARRIS: Right.

TOOBIN: Well, he wasn't abstaining from massages, apparently. And...

HARRIS: So you get a little bit of hypocrisy here.

TOOBIN: A little bit of hypocrisy...

HARRIS: Yes.

TOOBIN: ... which is always a delicious story. And, you know, the chances are the johns, if that's what they were... HARRIS: Yes?

TOOBIN: ... will not be charged with crimes, but they will be hugely embarrassed. They will have marital problems, one can assume. And, you know, we'll -- everybody will get to have a good chortle about their hypocrisy.

But in most communities, it's very hard, if not impossible, to charge johns with crimes. That's something a lot of people disagree with...

HARRIS: Yes, yes.

TOOBIN: But, in fact, they're -- johns are rarely charged with crimes and there's no -- there's no suggestion that Mr. Tobias is going to be charged with any crimes, although I imagine times are a little tense around the Tobias household these days.

HARRIS: A little?

A little tense.

Our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, for us this morning.

Jeffrey, good to see you.

Thank you, sir.

TOOBIN: All right, Tony.

COLLINS: In Los Angeles, a march for illegal immigrants. The marchers led by children. It's part of a big push on a highly emotional issue.

Here now, CNN's Peter Viles.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On this day in Los Angeles, children had the stage and the streets...

(VIDEO CLIP FROM MARCH)

VILES: In a march partly organized by church groups, they chanted and held signs like this one: "Don't Deport My Parents!"

The American-born children of illegal immigrants are U.S. citizens but their parents can be deported.

DAVID ACEVED, IMMIGRATION REFORM MARCHER: These laws are really wrong. And people -- kids -- their fathers are being taken away from them and that -- that's not good.

VILES: This girl carried a sign saying she had been separated from her mother for four years.

JUDITH MEJIA, MOTHER DEPORTED TO MEXICO: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) go back. She left when she (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

VILES (on camera): Where is your mom right now?

MEJIA: Tijuana.

VILES: And when did she leave?

MEJIA: When I was kind of little.

VILES (voice-over): Advocates for tougher border security say the current law makes sense. Illegal border crossers should be sent back, even if they've had children here.

JACK MARTIN, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM: It creates hardship. There's no doubt about that. But any time that parents have broken the law, the children are going to pay a penalty.

VILES: Further, they say, it is the parents' choice. They can always keep the family together in another country.

ARNE CHANDLER, CITIZEN ACTIVISTS FOR A SECURE AMERICA: If they're here illegally, they should be deported and they would have the option, since they're responsible for their children until adulthood, to take them with them and take care of their children.

VILES: The march was clearly an emotional appeal by adults, as well. It was, after all, the adults who made signs like this, one reads: "Don't Make Them Cry."

(on camera): Now, a year ago, these immigration marches proved controversial, in part, because so many Mexican flags were being flown in American cities. This year, a likely source of controversy is the use of children to make a political point.

Peter Viles for CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COLLINS: "Immigration Nation" -- be sure to tune into CNN tomorrow as we cover all angles of the immigration debate.

CNN correspondents are spread out across the country from coast to coast and along the Mexican border, bringing you complete coverage, the best that we can, only on CNN.

It's going to be an interesting day.

HARRIS: Yes.

What do you say we get back to Chad Myers?

COLLINS: Yes.

HARRIS: Another check of weather across the country this morning -- Chad, good morning to you, doctor.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COLLINS: The dropping dollar bringing a flood of international shoppers to American shores. That's ahead, coming up in THE NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Also, panda procreation. Sometimes it takes a little panda porn to get a bear in the mood, you know?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not just the visuals, but also the sounds of panda loving, that does the job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Instructional videos, sound effects included. They're bringing sexy back, in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Come on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: We want to go ahead and get you straight to a situation that our T.J. Holmes is following for us.

In Philadelphia -- T.J. boy, some sort of threat at a school. But this is not the first day they've been shut down because of it.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is not. We are up to a third or fourth day here now. This is right outside of Philadelphia, the Delaware County Community College system.

It's in two different counties there, Delaware County and Chester County. But they've been shut down since last Thursday of threats that were e-mailed into -- to someone. We don't exactly know who was the recipient of those e-mails, but threatening e-mails that, in fact, made reference to what happened at Virginia Tech that we just saw a week-and-a-half ago, almost two weeks ago now.

But it made specific reference to a deed that will remind you of what happened at Virginia Tech.

Several of these e-mails -- police are right now trying to track down this e-mail account and where these might have come from, look -- going after another search warrant, trying to possibly get information on that.

The FBI is involved. But the Delaware County Community College system, which is compromised of several campuses at several locations in two different counties, Chester and Delaware Counties in Philadelphia, all those campuses have been shut down since last Thursday.

Some 10,000 students are on these campuses day in and day out. The officials at the school thought it was better to err on the side of caution. They are posting their messages up on the Web site, the Delaware County Community College Web site, letting people know that we're sorry for any inconvenience, but in light of the events we've seen in the past couple of weeks, not taking any chances.

Police even saying that had Virginia Tech not happened a couple of weeks ago, they probably wouldn't take this threat the same. But in light of what we did see at Virginia Tech, this is being taken very seriously. And right now, all the campuses, all the classes shut down and officials saying they are not even going to consider reopening until police give them the OK, the thumbs up, the all clear, that they have 100 percent assurances that things are all right.

But not even going to consider reopening those campuses until they get that word -- get that word from police.

But they do believe right now, police, that the person, whoever sent these e-mails, may have some kind of a grudge against the school. Also, they're interviewing different faculty members and staff, trying to figure out if they know of someone who may have been a little disgruntled. But they do believe this person is affiliated in some way, form or fashion with the Delaware County Community College system, so they are taking this very seriously.

We're keeping an eye on this. Certainly a developing story, a scary story. But classes, yes, canceled again, for the fourth day now, and not going to reopen, according to officials there, until they know for sure -- have absolute assurances that things are all right.

COLLINS: Yes.

HOLMES: So they're not taking any chances in light of Virginia Tech...

COLLINS: Yes.

HOLMES: And, again, Heidi, these e-mails, the threatening e- mails made specific reference to what happened at Virginia Tech. So they are taking this very seriously.

COLLINS: Yes, I'm sure it's the only way that they feel that they can handle it.

HOLMES: Yes.

COLLINS: All right, T.J. Holmes, thank you.

HARRIS: From "American Idol" top 10 to charges of battery.

Remember Jessica Sierra?

She's one of the "Idol's" top 10 from 2005.

COLLINS: I remember her.

HARRIS: You remember her?

COLLINS: Yes, I do.

HARRIS: This is the mug shot taken after she was arrested early Sunday. The 21-year-old is out on bail this morning. She is accused of hitting a man on the head with a heavy glass at a Tampa, Florida cafe. Police say she was also charged with possession of cocaine after police found a small amount of the drug while they were searching her.

COLLINS: Emerging from bankruptcy and sporting a new image. The new Delta Airlines -- changes ahead for passengers?

We'll tell you about it in THE NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: The dropping dollar bringing a flood of international shoppers to American shores. That story straight ahead in THE NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Well, this is the time in our program where we like to let us know a little bit about the pod cast that we do every day.

HARRIS: You, you.

COLLINS: Now, it is fascinating, is it not?

HARRIS: It is.

COLLINS: Look, there it is. CNN pod cast. All you've got to do is download it at cnn.com/podcast. You won't believe what you find on that thing.

HARRIS: How about this this morning?

China in the middle of a panda baby boom -- Heidi.

COLLINS: This is a problem.

HARRIS: Apparently made possible by a little panda pornography.

CNN's John Vause explains, quickly.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

VAUSE (voice-over): They're cute, playful, cuddly, but apparently not so passionate. So researchers in China have found a way to get male pandas to put down their bamboo, get out of their trees and get in the mood.

ZHANG HEMIN, DIRECTOR, WOLONG PANDA RESERVE (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We videotape pandas who mate successfully and play that for pandas who don't know how to do it.

VAUSE: Yes, that's right, panda porn. The theory is simple -- show pandas like Lulu how it's done so he can make the most of the three days every year when females are ready to mate. And it's not just the visuals, but also the sounds of panda loving that does the job. And Lulu is raring to go.

Scientists here at China's Wolong research center have found that what's good on tape is even better live, taking pandas who may be a little shy to watch others who aren't.

Pandas also regularly swap panda partners, so each finds that someone special.

(on camera): All of this has led to a panda baby boom, with 20 cubs, including this little guy, who's not so little, called Fido (ph), being born here in the past year alone. And that's more than ever before.

(voice-over): Zhang Hemin, the park's director, boasts his breeding program now has almost 100 percent success rate.

(on camera): And when you look at this, do you feel like a proud father?

HEMIN: Yes. I'm a proud father.

VAUSE (voice-over): But not everything has worked. They tried Viagra once. It proved just too much for your average bear.

HEMIN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): They stayed excited for way too long.

VAUSE: Even so, after teetering on the edge of extinction, the future for the giant panda is looking hopeful and a little bit frisky.

John Vause, CNN, Wolong, China.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COLLINS: Who would have thought, you know?

You have to really help them get in the mood apparently.

HARRIS: You know, this -- this is one of those moments where anything I say gets the e-mails flying.

COLLINS: Smart man. Smart man.

So, fittingly, we'll switch to the D.C. story.

Will her little black book become a Washington must read?

Court date for an alleged madam. We're watching developments in THE NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: And crawling along -- Bay Area drivers facing a nightmarish commute after a bridge collapse. Road to ruin -- you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Good morning, everybody.

I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: And good morning, everyone.

I'm Tony Harris.

Stay informed in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Here's what's on the rundown for you.

She is accused of catering to Washington's power brokers. The alleged D.C. madam in court this hour. We expect to her from her shortly.

Will it be a case of kiss and tell?

COLLINS: Also, San Francisco Bay drivers sneaking to work this morning.

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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