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CNN NEWSROOM

Soldier's Body Found; Record Gas Prices

Aired May 24, 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: And I'm Heidi Collins.

Good morning, everybody.

Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on Thursday morning. It's May 24th.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Search over for one missing U.S. soldier in Iraq. A body now identified as Private Joseph Anzack. Troops still trying to find two of his ambushed comrades.

HARRIS: Record-high gas prices. Some drivers now pumping ethanol. We'll explain why your wallet may complain.

COLLINS: It helps with headaches and heart attacks. And now a study says it can significantly cut your risk of colon cancer. New clout for the lonely aspirin in the NEWSROOM.

U.S. troops on the search for missing comrades. Today, the hunt narrows to two. One of the missing men confirmed dead.

CNN Baghdad Bureau Chief Cal Perry is in the capital now.

Cal, tell us about the process of locating and identifying that body.

CAL PERRY, CNN BAGHDAD BUREAU CHIEF: Well, this soldier, Private First Class Joseph J. Anzack, from California, was originally found yesterday about 11:00 a.m. in a canal near the town of Hillah by Iraqi police. Iraqi police extracted him from that riverbed, handed him over to U.S. military personnel. And late last night, they made that identification and notified the family in California.

As you said, there are still two U.S. soldiers missing out there. We know that search is continuing. Some 4,000 U.S. troops still sweeping through an area known as the Triangle of Death.

So, a bit of relief for this unit that they have found one of the bodies of their missing comrades, but, of course, grief at the same time that he was not alive. That search will continue -- Heidi. COLLINS: Let's talk about that search for just a moment, Cal. And you mentioned the Triangle of Death. Tell us a little bit more about the area, why it is so difficult to search there.

PERRY: It is an incredibly dangerous area. It's just to the south of Baghdad. It's nicknamed the Triangle of Death because it's well known as an al Qaeda stronghold.

This is an area in which thousands of canals run into the Euphrates River, making it very difficult to search for any evidence, any evidence at all leading to these troops. There is also very, very thick brush that runs along these canals. And U.S. troops in this area have taken heavy casualties throughout this war.

In fact, the unit that was in place before this unit, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, took some of the heaviest casualties of any unit in this war. It is an exceptionally difficult area to search, to find clues.

They have drained canals. They have talked to locals. They have received literally thousands of tips. And one of the things that is very difficult is sifting through those tips, trying to sort out which ones are legitimate, which ones are not.

But I can tell you for sure they will not stop this search until they have found these other two soldiers. For U.S. troops, their mantra is "We will leave no man behind" -- Heidi.

COLLINS: It certainly is.

CNN's Baghdad bureau chief, Cal Perry, for us

Cal, thank you.

HARRIS: And still in Iraq, even a funeral procession is a target. The latest proof in the volatile city of Falluja.

A parked car explodes, dozens of funeral mourners are killed and wounded. The latest casualty figures, 28 dead, 52 injured.

Elsewhere, in Anbar province, the military says two more U.S. soldiers have been killed in combat. That pushes the U.S. death toll in May to 84.

COLLINS: Dollars without deadlines. The House votes today on a war spending bill. It gives President Bush what he wants. It gives Democrats a dilemma.

The president gets the money he wants for the war in Iraq through September, but no timetable for withdrawal. Democrats dropped that demand because of one veto and a second veto threat.

That puts them at odds with anti-war constituents. On the other hand, a vote against the bill could delay money for military operations. That would leave Democrats open to charges they are not supporting U.S. troops. HARRIS: Death from a dust cloud. For the first time ever, New York links a woman's death to dust from the World Trade Center attack on 9/11.

Felicia Dunn Jones (ph) was engulfed by the toxic cloud as she ran from her office a block away from the Trade Center tower. She developed a serious cold and breathing problems. Jones died five months later.

The city's medical examiner has ruled, "beyond a reasonable doubt," that the 9/11 dust contributed to her death. Her name will be added to the official list of World Trade Center victims.

COLLINS: If you happen to be traveling in some parts of Kansas today, plan on a little extra time. Parts of central Kansas still under water this morning. Thunderstorms caused flash flooding and forced the closing of several highways and streets.

No injuries, no property damage has been reported, but the heavy rain caught a lot of drivers by surprise. Firefighters were kept busy rescuing people on the road and people trapped inside their homes.

HARRIS: Dave Hennen, share with us, if you would, the weather story for the Plains today.

DAVE HENNEN, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, not good, Tony, Heidi.

We are looking at again another round of showers and thunderstorms and some more heavy rain. In fact, even at this hour, look at this line of thunderstorms that extends all the way from Iowa, clear down through much of Kansas and into Oklahoma, back down into north Texas.

We had severe weather here earlier, especially yesterday, numerous reports. In fact, 150 severe weather reports yesterday. We showed you the flooding. There were also tornado reports as well yesterday.

Let's show you some live pictures now out of our Kansas City affiliate, and showing you the rain which is just beginning in Kansas City. We have a line of thunderstorms that is moving through the area, and the storms will move in through the Kansas City area in the next half hour or so.

Here's the line of storms to the west of the greater Kansas City area right now. They'll bring heavy rain, frequent lightning.

We were just looking at some of the lightning numbers along the line of thunderstorms. Over 18,000 lightning strikes lined up along this line of thunderstorms, not only for Kansas City and much of Missouri, but further to the south, too, back around Oklahoma City. You're seeing the showers and storms now toward Norman, back towards Chickasha, and northward up into the Tulsa area. Showers and thunderstorms producing a lot of lightning here, a lot of heavy rain which they don't need through much of the area. And our computer forecast, it's like the calculator where the computer model adds up the amount of expected precipitation over the next couple of days. And especially in the purple here, back into west Texas, heavy rainfall, another additional six to eight inches of rain on top of what has already fallen.

Anywhere you see the yellow, that's over two inches of rain. That extends all the way up into Missouri and Iowa. So the flooding situation expected to get worse over the next couple of days. Already flash flood watches in effect for much of Iowa today. We expect that to be more widespread later on today.

And looking for another round of severe weather later this afternoon through parts of the upper Plains, near the Chicago area. West Texas, too, under the gun later on this afternoon for more in the way of showers and thunderstorms.

So not a good situation.

HARRIS: No.

HENNEN: We could sure use some of this rain in the Southeast, but not...

HARRIS: And those folks don't need it.

COLLINS: Yes.

HENNEN: Exactly. They don't.

COLLINS: That's true. We need some of it here, possibly.

All right. Dave, we'll check back with you a little bit later on.

Wildfire on the Georgia-Florida border. Smoke spreading as far as Mississippi. We'll take you high above this record-setting monster inside a Black Hawk for a rare look, a little bit later, coming up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: A blunt warning about the dangers of not wearing a seat belt from a man who should know. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine uses his near fatal car crash to promote seat belt use. He appears in a new public service announcement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JON CORZINE (D), NEW JERSEY: I'm New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead.

On April 12th, I was critically injured in a car accident, where I lost over half my blood and broke 15 bones in 18 places. I spent 18 days in intensive care where a ventilator was breathing for me. It took a remarkable team of doctors and a series of miracles to save my life, when all I needed was a seat belt.

I have to live with my mistake. You don't. Buckle up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: That's strong. The SUV Corzine was traveling in crashed on the Garden State Parkway. Authorities say the vehicle was going 91 miles per hour. The release of the PSA coincides with the Memorial Day holiday and a national campaign enforcing seat belt use.

COLLINS: New concerns about a nuclear Iran. U.S. and British diplomats planning to push for more U.N. sanctions. A response to new U.N. report findings that Tehran is not only ignoring demands to halt its nuclear work, but is also expanding its uranium enrichment program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency report also warns its knowledge of Iran's activities is shrinking. Iran's defiant president dismisses the threat of new sanctions. He vows to push ahead with his country's nuclear program. He insists it is for electricity, not bombs.

HARRIS: Soldiers and slots, a dangerous mix.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The military has this culture of taking care of their own, but it seems like when it comes to this they just -- you know, they profited from his addiction and then threw him away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Gambling in the military. One soldier's story in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Also, an aspirin a day keeps colon cancer away? Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta with a new study live right here in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: It's cheaper than gasoline, but is it better? Filling up with ethanol. The lowdown straight ahead.

And nature's spectacular show. Aloha Mt. Kilauea.

You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Welcome back, everybody.

I'm Heidi Collins. And you're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Daytime soap. TV tempers flare. Differing views on the Iraq War prompting passion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK, "THE VIEW": No, no, no. Do not -- do not call me a coward because, number one, I sit here every single day and open my heart and tell people exactly what I believe.

ROSIE O'DONNELL, "THE VIEW": So do I.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Ouch. The view from the sidelines in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Well, I just never expect it. I don't know -- oh, I guess I need to know whenever we're doing a gas segment, just to expect -- and everything else.

All right. Let's talk about it.

Memorial Day weekend, the kickoff for summer driving, it is just around the corner. And today, gas prices inch to another new high, almost $3.23 a gallon. Some drivers are opting for cheaper, cleaner- burning ethanol, but is it better?

CNN Consumer Reporter Greg Hunter reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As gas prices keep climbing, should you be looking at a flex fuel vehicle that could run on a blend of ethanol and gasoline? It's called E85, a biofeel produced in the U.S. from corn. Some consider it one of the most promising alternatives to petroleum, but will you actually save money?

DAVID CHAMPION, SR. DIR., AUTOMOTIVE TESTING: You could just watch the gas gauge going down.

HUNTER: David Champion of Consumer Reports oversaw a flex fuel vehicle test last fall. They used a new Chevy Tahoe fueled with E85. They tested it the same way they do all vehicles, using special meters on a predetermined track.

They're findings, a whopping 27 percent reduction in fuel economy with E-58. In other words, you get fewer miles on the same amount of fuel.

CHAMPION: The amount of energy in a gallon of E85 is substantially less than the energy in a gallon of gasoline. It's just sheer chemistry.

HUNTER (on camera): So you get less gas mileage.

CHAMPION: So you get less gas mileage.

HUNTER (voice over): The Environmental Protection Agency's numbers almost mirror the Consumer Reports findings. It shows an average 26 percent drop for vehicles fueled with E85. The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition estimates that fuel economy loss is closer to 15 to 17 percent, and says, "This loss depends on many factors; aggressive driving habits can result in a 20 percent loss, and low tire pressure can reduce mileage by six percent."

General Motors, a major manufacturer of flex fuel vehicles, also weighed in and says, "Producing E85 is one part of GM's strategy to help reduce the use of petroleum and also reduce vehicle emissions."

Even though it does burn cleaner and can be almost 60 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline, Champion says it's just not a good deal for the consumer.

CHAMPION: Your gas mileage is going to drop by a third. So it's still going to cost you more.

HUNTER (on camera): The math is not good for ethanol.

CHAMPION: No.

HUNTER: About the only real way to tell the difference between a flex fuel vehicle and any other vehicle is to take a look at the gas cap. If it burns E85, the cap will be yellow. The same color as corn.

Greg Hunter, CNN, East Haddam, Connecticut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Aspirin, a small pill, but a big punch. Studies show it can have a big impact, in fact, for strokes, heart attacks, and now colon cancer. Why? Aspirin works.

For the answers to that, our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, with some new findings here.

So, probably, I would imagine, people have heard about the blood thinning capabilities of aspirin with strokes and heart attacks.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right.

COLLINS: Trying to stave them off a bit. But colon cancer.

GUPTA: Yes. It's, you know, one of those amazing things.

Aspirin is considered this wonder drug, if you will, because of the strokes and the heart attacks, but they also started to see something interesting a few years ago, several years ago, that it actually seemed to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Doctors never knew why until now. Now they have a pretty good idea.

It turns out there's two types of colon cancers, ones that make this molecule known as COX-2, and ones that don't. And if the colon cancer that you're at risk for is actually -- could make this COX-2, aspirin really seems to interfere with that process, greatly reducing your risk of colon cancer.

It's very interesting. And people, again, have known for some time that there's a benefit, but they also noted that it didn't seem to work for everyone. And now they have a pretty good idea as to why. COLLINS: Yes. And because the tumors are different.

What about the people who have -- who don't have tumors that actually produce that COX-2 chemical?

GUPTA: Yes. It really seems like they're not going to get much of a benefit from this. The aspirin really seems to interfere with this one mechanism.

And it's so rare that we actually can find a medication that has one specific mechanism as far as preventing cancer, but that's exactly what we're seeing here with aspirin. So, you know, it can be a pretty significant benefit if you do have the COX-2 molecule. Reduce your risk by over a third.

COLLINS: Wow.

GUPTA: Thirty-six percent fewer cases of colon cancer.

What's so interesting to me, as well, Heidi, I mean, you can envision a day when you go to get a colonoscopy, they find a polyp, they test it for this COX-2, and if it comes back positive? What do they tell you?

COLLINS: Aspirin.

GUPTA: Take two aspirin and call me in the morning, quite literally.

COLLINS: Yes.

GUPTA: I mean, aspirin could be almost a chemo-type agent in these types of colon cancers.

COLLINS: That's incredible, especially because when you compare chemo and the side-effects and everything that you have to go through to aspirin, I mean, there is no comparison.

But you mentioned take two aspirin and call me -- what are we talking about? How many aspirin do you take? And is it different for everybody?

GUPTA: Well, a lot of people blow off aspirin because, you know, everyone has it in their medicine cabinet. They think it's just aspirin.

They found the numbers do seem to matter here. First of all, we're talking about adult aspirin, so that's 325 milligrams.

COLLINS: Oh.

GUPTA: Fewer than two tablets a week didn't seem to have any benefit at all in terms of warding off your risk of colon cancer. More seemed to be better.

So, two to 14 tablets a week, which, you know, 14 is up to two a day, really seemed to give you the best decrease in terms of colon cancer risk. But you bring up an important point.

I mean, there are risks to taking aspirin. The risk, benefits always have to be sort of weighed with regards to aspirin. There's a risk of potential bleeding in the brain, kidney failure. And the big one that people talk about, intestinal bleeding as well.

Those are potential risks as well.

There are certain people for whom aspirin is not going to of any benefit, and, you know, you get a sense -- you don't want to get yourself those risks without any benefits.

COLLINS: Yes. All right. Well, interesting. Certainly worth checking out.

GUPTA: Yes. And colon cancer is so preventable, as well. You know, you get the screening and you can never worry about this in the first place.

COLLINS: That's the key, right? Screening.

GUPTA: Absolutely.

COLLINS: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COLLINS: Nice to see you.

HARRIS: You know, we haven't heard from him in a while. Cuban president Fidel Castro on the state of his health.

CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The House passes its second bill in as many days to combat raising energy prices.

We'll have that story coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: An admission that she made mistakes in a count of an awkward conversation about those fired prosecutors, just some of the developments from former Justice Department staffer Monica Goodling's testimony. Goodling admitted to a House committee that she screened job applicants based on political affiliation. She says she "crossed the line" and regrets those mistakes.

She also recalled a conversation with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about the fired prosecutors. Goodling says Gonzales laid out his general recollection of the firings, but the Justice Department denies he tried to influence or shape her testimony.

COLLINS: Letter from Cuba. Ailing president Fidel Castro out with a written statement.

He says he's getting better 10 months of intestinal surgery. The 80-year-old writes he had a series of operations and some did not go well. That prolonged his recuperation.

The Cuban leader says he's eating solid food again after months of intravenous feeding. He didn't say when he might return to work.

HARRIS: In the wake of the record gas prices we've been seeing, Congress is trying to do something to make sure they don't go unnecessarily high.

Carrie Lee joins us from New York.

Carrie, good morning to you.

LEE: Hi, Tony. Good morning to you.

HARRIS: What does this legislation reflect here? Is it the thought of Democrats that gas prices right now are artificially high?

LEE: Well, let's start with the gas price number for today, shall we?

HARRIS: OK.

LEE: First of all, AAA reporting gas prices on average in this country $3.23 a gallon, so the 12th straight day of record hikes, the longest on record in terms of gas, over $3 in AAA's history. And you can see this compared to last month and last year when prices were below $3. Tony.

So, basically, this is the House coming out and saying we want to make sure gas prices aren't going excessively high, that they don't want to see gouging. So, they passed the second bill in as many days to prevent this, preventing gas stations specifically from running up prices to the point where they harm consumers. And you can see here the fines are pretty stiff, up to 10 years in prison, $2 million fine for individuals, $150 million, Tony, for corporations.

HARRIS: What are the prospects for this legislation in the Senate?

LEE: You know, Senate, tough to say. They could be talking about this next month, but the chance of it becoming law very slim, because the White House has said it will veto this bill.

That's what they said with the House's bill earlier this week. The House at that point voted to let the government sue OPEC members for price manipulation. The Bush administration says on both fronts that these could pinch supplies and potentially moving gas prices even higher.

Other critics of this bill, Republicans of this House price gouging bill, say it's too vague. You know, how do you determine...

HARRIS: Yes.

LEE: ... what's excessive and not? And that this is essentially a solution in search of a problem, because after all, Tony, there's no evidence that price gouging is widespread.

HARRIS: Right. A lot of us believe it, but you've got to do more than believe it. You've got to be able to prove it.

LEE: Exactly.

HARRIS: Carrie Lee...

LEE: There were some instances post-Katrina, but lately we haven't heard much about that.

HARRIS: Yes. Carrie Lee watching, keeping an eye on the bottom line for us.

Carrie, thank you.

LEE: Sure.

COLLINS: Want to let you know we are just learning here at CNN that President Bush will be holding a press conference. That will be coming our way at just after 11:00, 11:01 to be exact. And he's pretty much always on time, isn't he?

It's going to be happening in the Rose Garden. Not sure what the topic is, but we will bring that to you and monitor it as well.

Meanwhile, a family hears the worst news possible. The body of a missing soldier identified. That's coming up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: The gloves come off and the tempers flare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'DONNELL: ... take this opportunity, like I'm 6.

HASSELBECK: Because you are an adult, and I am certainly not going to be...

O'DONNELL: So are you.

HASSELBECK: ... the person for you to explain your thoughts. They're your thoughts. Defend your own insinuations.

O'DONNELL: I defend them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Wow. Different view, didn't views in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: And just about the bottom of the hour. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris.

COLLINS: And I'm Heidi Collins.

Just a quick reminder. We are awaiting President Bush coming to the podium at the Rose Garden today. We just learned that he will be having a press conference at 11:01. We will bring that to you live when it happens.

The search in Iraq and a grim find that is unfolding today. U.S. military officials confirm the identity of a body pulled from the Euphrates River. As feared, it is one of three American soldiers who vanished May 12th.

Private First Class Joseph Anzack is from Torrance, California. A militant group linked to al Qaeda has boasted it kidnapped Anzack and his comrades after an ambush. That claim cannot be verified.

HARRIS: Clamping down. Israel rounds up more than 30 top Hamas members, some of them prominent Palestinian politicians. This came hours after another round of Israeli air strikes on Gaza.

Israel says the targets were business issues to channel and funnel money to militant groups. A Palestinian report says six people were wounded. The air strikes began last week. They're in retaliation for rocket attacks on Israeli border towns.

COLLINS: Iran's nukes cause for more concern. The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog warns Tehran is expanding its uranium enrichment program in defiance of the international community. Washington now wants more sanctions against Iran.

But Iran's president remains defiant, vowing this morning to push ahead with his country's nuclear program.

CNN's Aneesh Rahman is the only U.S. TV reporter in Iran.

He gets reaction from people there.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

(CHANTING)

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Iran, when talk turns nuclear, crowds come out in droves. Leaders speak of national pride and over and over again they voice unwavering resolve to push ahead.

PRES. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRAN (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): We will not give in to the pressure they are trying to exert on us. Countries pursuing a policy of hegemonism must yield to the iron will of our peoples. We will be victorious.

RAMAN: In the past year, as the IAEA repeatedly scolded Iran for noncompliance, as the U.N. Security Council pushed two rounds of sanctions, Iran's pushed back, expanding its program to industrial scale enrichment, holding a national nuclear day in early April to celebrate the country's achievements and putting a nuclear symbol on a new currency note. In short, as the third round of sanctions loom, don't expect the Islamic Republic to blink first.

(on camera): With the government showing no sign it is willing to halt or suspend its nuclear program, for the people here, they're largely tuning out of this entire ordeal. In fact, here, Tehran's largest market, everyone was either unconcerned or unaware that the IAEA was even issuing a report.

(voice-over): Patriotism weighs heavier these days on the Iranian mind than I've ever seen. Times are tense and people are more careful than ever of what they say to me. When they do talk on camera, they exude allegiance.

"The people support the government fully," says shop owner America, "and if sanctions keep coming, we are happy to do everything ourselves."

"Sanctions are just documents," says Mahmoud. "In practice, the situation is something else. Countries that agree to sanctions still work with us and none of the sanctions affect the people."

In part, he's right. So far, U.N. sanctions have been targeted and haven't directly hit the streets. But off camera, almost everyone told me that the new sanctions are starting to have an effect. Prices are creeping higher and Sadeq Samii, an Iranian publisher, says it could just be the beginning.

SADEQ SAMII, PUBLISHER: The biting of that sanction hasn't started and we haven't -- we have not felt it until a few -- two months ago.

RAMAN: A few months later, things aren't looking so good. Haleh Esfandiari, An Iranian-American scholar, now awaits trial for working against the regime. and three other Iranian Americans are allegedly being detained in the country.

Meantime, nine more U.S. warships are en route to the Persian Gulf, a sign of American resolve. And even though the U.S. and Iran are set next week to talk to Iraq, even though among Iranians there is still strong support, in public and private, for their country's right to nuclear energy, this standoff's long-term reality, people say, is starting to sink in.

Aneesh Raman, CNN, Tehran.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

HARRIS: U.S. troops remain on the search for the missing soldiers and the militants who took them.

CNN's Arwa Damon is embedded with those American forces.

She joins us via broadband -- Arwa, good to see you this morning.

A question for you -- how are the troops you've been with dealing with the news of the death of one of the soldiers they've been searching for?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, everyone here has been deeply impacted by the death of Private Joseph Anzack. That was announced earlier this morning. But the mission here does continue.

And I am joined by the battalion commander here, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Infanti.

He is the commander of the 4th battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment.

Sir, you were out with your soldiers earlier this morning.

How are they coping and dealing with the news and how are they dealing with the news of Private Anzack's death?

LT. COL. MICHAEL INFANTI, U.S. ARMY: They're -- they're dealing with it hard, as could be expected. It was confirmed. They still have a quiet determination. The laughter is somewhat subdued, but they're -- they're continuing to get on after it. They're going after it and they're going to keep hunting these guys down.

DAMON: And in terms of the operational tempo, has this news impacted that at all? Has it impacted the way you will be conducting this mission moving forward?

INFANTI: I can tell you that for the soldiers in this battalion, we're supposed to have about five months left in this tour. If we get extended again, we'll just -- we're going to do this every day until the day we leave. We're going to keep going after them.

DAMON: And do you now have any better idea specifically who was behind this attack?

What are you doing to try to find those that were responsible for the killing and kidnapping of your men?

INFANTI: What we did is we're getting a lot of tips. Some of the detainees are giving us information. Based on that, we were able to go after one of the number two men for the local Al Qaeda leader in our area.

He was sleeping in what he thought was a safe house and we hunted him down and got him last night.

DAMON: And you -- we've been hearing that -- from you on a number of occasions -- that the individual who is carried this out, the insurgents that carried out this attack, made a big mistake.

Why is that?

INFANTI: I think they -- what they did by taking our soldiers is -- and, also, the other mistake was killing the Iraqi soldier -- they've now got more of the local populace behind the Iraqi Army. The Iraqi Army is energized and getting after them more. And we have gotten assets to assist us in this search, to go into an area that they considered safe. And it's not safe for them anymore.

DAMON: And for the families of those who were killed and those who are still kidnapped, do you have anything that you would like to say to them from you and from all of your troops who are here?

INFANTI: Number one, that we're sorry at what happened, and we're going to get after them. And we're staying after them. And we're running them to ground and we're not stopping. They just -- we're not stopping at all. It's not about revenge. It's not about hate. This is going to be a reckoning, is what it's going to be.

DAMON: Thank you very much, sir -- Tony, it has been an incredibly trying time ever since the day that these soldiers were killed -- that the others were kidnapped -- for all these men.

But what we have seen across the board is that very same determination to find the two remaining kidnapped soldiers and to bring those that carried out this attack to justice -- Tony.

HARRIS: Arwa, I'm going to -- I'm going to ask you to stay with me for just a second.

If the -- if the colonel is there, just a quick question.

DAMON: Sure.

HARRIS: When the colonel mentioned just a moment ago that they were able to track down an Al Qaeda member, he said that they got him.

What does he mean by that?

Were they able to capture him for intelligence or -- or the other option?

DAMON: Colonel, I'm being asked to ask you, when you referenced getting an Al Qaeda member, did you capture him for intelligence purposes?

Was he killed in that attack?

What are you hoping to extract from his -- from what happened there?

INFANTI: What we're tracking on this guy is he's like the number two guy in the local area, that encompasses not just my area but other areas. He's alive and he'll give us what we want because the folks that turned him in gave us enough information and the Iraqis want him bad. But right now he's under questioning. He's in a safe location. But he's alive. He wasn't wounded or anything. He was sleeping in bed. Like I said the other day, when they go to sleep, they'd better check, because we're coming. I don't care what time of day it is.

DAMON: Tony.

HARRIS: Arwa, appreciate it.

I love that.

All right, Arwa Damon for us this morning.

Arwa, thank you.

COLLINS: Let's get a check now of the weather situation.

Dave Hennen is in the Weather Center for us -- Dave, so nice to see you.

Do you have anything good to say about the weather?

DAVE HENNEN, METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's going to be a nice Memorial Day weekend in many areas...

COLLINS: OK.

HENNEN: ... if you're on both coasts. It's kind of in the middle where we expect to see problems.

(WEATHER REPORT)

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

HARRIS: Hey, Michael, let's see that shot of the White House.

Coming up at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, President Bush holding a news conference from the Rose Garden.

We're expecting plenty of questions on the legislation to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Will he sign the bill that is making its way now through the chambers of Congress and to his desk?

Those questions and more coming up in a news conference with the president 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

See it here in THE NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Soldiers and slots -- a dangerous mix.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARRIE WALSH, WIDOW: The military has this culture of taking care of their own. But it seems like when it comes to this, they just, you know, they profited from his addiction and then threw him away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Gambling in the military -- one soldier's story, in THE NEWSROOM.

COMMERCIAL

HARRIS: Soldiers put their lives on the line daily. But does that inherent risk taking make them vulnerable to becoming gambling addicts?

CNN's drew Griffin explores it.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She never saw it coming. Kerri Walsh's husband was an Apache helicopter pilot for the Army. But years ago, Aaron Walsh started playing the slot machines on military posts. He became a gambling addict. At 34, with his life in a tailspin, Aaron Walsh walked into the Maine woods, put a gun to his head and killed himself.

WALSH: The military has this culture of taking care of their own. But it seems like when it comes to this they just -- you know, they profited from his addiction and then threw him away.

GRIFFIN: The military has operated slot machines at overseas posts since the 1980s. The Army alone has 3,000 of them. And they bring $130 million in revenue every year.

CNN could not get updated figures from the Air Force or Navy, which run their own gaming operations. The Department of Defense would not allow CNN to take any pictures of them, but this photo appeared in "Stars and Stripes" just last year.

After years of study, University of Illinois Business Professor John Kindt says the profits on these machines are huge.

PROF. JOHN KINDT, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS: Because it's all about the buck. And in our military, it should be about service to our country. It shouldn't be about exploiting our service personnel and putting their families and their children at risk.

GRIFFIN (on camera): The Pentagon's response to those charges have been by e-mail and phone calls -- no interviews. But we were told the Department of Defense needs the revenue from gambling operations to finance its overseas morale, welfare and recreation programs.

(voice-over): The slot machine money goes to things like bowling alleys and concerts, even to attract businesses like Starbucks to overseas posts -- things that make living overseas more enjoyable for members of the military.

Undersecretary of Defense Leslye Arsht, in a statement to CNN, said: "Gambling on bases and posts provides a controlled alternative to unmonitored post-station gambling venues and offers a higher payment percentage, making it more entertainment oriented than that found at typical casinos."

Kindt says the idea of offering a safer, more gambling friendly environment than what is found off base is ridiculous.

KINDT: And we don't need this. As a matter of fact, it hurts our military readiness. We're already seeing double the addiction rates in the military that we're seeing in the general population.

GRIFFIN: The Pentagon's own studies suggests the rate is similar to gambling among civilians, but Kindt says people drawn to military life are predisposed to becoming gambling addicts.

They're generally young. They take risks. And they're trapped on lonely outposts in front of slot machines.

WALSH: And he was top of his class in everything.

GRIFFIN: Aaron Walsh had already gone through one marriage and a suicide attempt, after getting hooked on the slots at a post in Germany.

After he married Kerry, they were sent to South Korea. Again, Aaron Walsh was lured by the slot machines on base. In 10 months, this father and husband tore through his military paychecks, maxed out his credit cards, even stopped eating to pay for his addiction.

When he got into trouble for missing work and was grounded, Kerri Walsh had enough. She left Korea and Aaron.

Kindt says the military's gambling operations were reviewed by Congress seven years ago. What Congress got, he said, was this...

KINDT: A 13-page report, a real whitewash by the military.

Now why would they be doing that?

It's because there's something that they don't want the public to know, something that they don't want Congress to know.

GRIFFIN: The report dismissed the notion that the slot machines fed gambling addictions among the troops. The military did run an addictive gamblers treatment program at Camp Pendleton and, for a time, Aaron Walsh was sent there, but he went AWOL.

The "New York Times" profiled Aaron Walsh in the fall of 2005. He was alive, addicted to gambling and homeless in Las Vegas.

A few months after being forced to leave the military because of his addiction problems, Walsh turned up in Maine.

WALSH: Yes. He was really, really sad. He knew that -- that he'd lost everything and that, you know, he'd messed up. And he believed that he was going to get better.

GRIFFIN (on camera): And you thought he was going to get better?

WALSH: Yes.

GRIFFIN: But even rural Maine couldn't protect Aaron Walsh from his own addiction. Just an hour north here in Bangor, Maine was opening its first casino, The Hollywood Slots. And it's here, Kerri Walsh says, her husband would place his last bet -- the one on his life. WALSH: I think he had been doing really well staying away from it. And then I think that he went and had like a gambling binge and then realized what he had done and decided he wasn't ever going to get better.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Earlier this year, the Pentagon shut down its program at Camp Pendleton -- the only inpatient facility for gambling addiction, leaving soldiers like Aaron Walsh to fend for themselves.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Bangor, Maine.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

HARRIS: Still to come in THE NEWSROOM this morning, twins. Man, a challenge for any parent. But one new mom has double trouble -- two babies and time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think to myself, oh my god, I'm 60?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: Yes, you heard it right -- twins at 60, in THE NEWSROOM.

COMMERCIAL

COLLINS: Maybe if we ran that really catchy gas music...

HARRIS: Yes?

COLLINS: ... the drums?

HARRIS: Yes.

WALSH: ... people would take to the pod cast.

Although, they're actually -- they've taken to it.

What am I saying?

I'm crazy.

HARRIS: What are you saying?

COLLINS: You already know to catch us weekday mornings from 9:00 until 12:00 Eastern.

But did you know you can catch us anywhere on your iPod?

They know.

HARRIS: Yes.

COLLINS: they know. The CNN NEWSROOM pod cast available 24-7 right on your iPod.

HARRIS: I've got to tell you, it doesn't get much better than this.

Check out Hawaii's Mount Kilauea in all its splendor. Man, look at that video. Spectacular. Glowing lava flowing from one of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea, has been continually erupting now for 24 years.

COLLINS: Hmmm.

Daytime soap -- TV tempers flare. Differing views on the Iraq War prompting passion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE VIEW," COURTESY ABC)

ELIZABETH HASSELBECK: No, no, no. That is not...

ROSIE O'DONNELL: Nothing, Elizabeth.

HASSELBECK: Do not -- do not call me a coward, because, number one, I sit here every single day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: The view from the sidelines and more, in THE NEWSROOM.

COMMERCIAL

COLLINS: President Bush calling a snap news conference for 11:00 Eastern this morning.

You will see the give and take with reporters live coming up, here in THE NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: You know, as we age, it is time to start changing our eating habits. And it is not just about controlling weight.

Here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with today's 30, 40, 50.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four years ago, Loretta Beggs would have never been on skates. Back then, she weighed almost 200 pounds and had a tough time getting off the couch, let alone getting on the ice.

But now, after dropping 80 pounds, she's perfecting her figure eights.

LORETTA BEGGS, DIETER: I hadn't always been fat. And I gained a bunch of weight in my 20s, actually.

GUPTA: Beggs' dietitian, Katherine Tallmadge, says the 39-year- old is at an age that nutrition is crucial. That's because as we get older, our bodies crave certain nutrients that we didn't need when we were kids.

In our 30s, eat protein. It builds up muscle and bone mass, something we begin to lose after we hit the big 3-0. Keep the protein lean by eating fish and chicken, but not all in one sitting.

KATHERINE TALLMADGE, AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION: Because if you have too much in one meal, your body can't metabolize it or use it anyway.

GUPTA: Add some high calcium and Vitamin D fortified foods, such as skim or soy milk, to boost bone structure.

In our 40s, metabolism begins to slow down and we need to change from junk food like chips and candies to low-calorie snacks like fruits, veggies and yogurt. Start thinking about heart health and eat foods such as oats, small amounts of nuts, cocoa, wine or purple grape juice, even green tea. Switch from butter or margin to healthy oils, such as olive and canola.

In our 50s, eat greens three times a week. They're good for the eyes.

TALLMADGE: Spinach, kale, they're loaded with a nutrient called lutein and studies are confirming that lutein is important for prevention of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness as we age, but also cataracts and other eye diseases.

GUPTA: Add tomato products regularly for prostate and heart health. Snap up more fiber, like whole grains and beans for healthier digestion, as the digestive tract slow downs. And exercising and eating well will reduce the risk for heart disease and cancer well beyond your 50s.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.

COMMERCIAL

COLLINS: Good morning, everybody.

I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: And in the House.

Stay informed all day in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Here's what's on the run down.

Three U.S. soldiers missing in Iraq. The search for one now over. The body of Private Joseph Anzack identified.

COLLINS: President Bush calling reporters to the Rose Garden. His news conference one hour from now.

A live shot there. Funding the war, immigration reform, the hard sell topics.

See it live in THE NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Record pump prices driving many people to hybrids. Sure, you save MPGs, but are you stuck with an IOU in the long run?

We run the numbers on Thursday, May 24th.

You are in THE NEWSROOM.

Just another reminder for you. In just about an hour, President Bush will hold a Rose Garden news conference. We are expecting a five minute opening statement from the president on the war funding bill and immigration reform, and then plenty of Q&A.

We will bring it to you right here, live in THE NEWSROOM.

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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