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CNN NEWSROOM

2007 Hurricane Season; White House Counsel Dan Bartlett Resigns; Troop Buildup in Iraq

Aired June 1, 2007 - 10:59   ET

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


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: You're with CNN. You're informed.
Good morning, everyone.

I'm Tony Harris.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen.

Heidi Collins is off today.

Developments keep coming into the CNN NEWSROOM on this Friday, the 1st day of June.

Here's what's on the rundown.

A top presidential adviser announces he is leaving the White House. Dan Bartlett's departure and what it means for President Bush.

HARRIS: Eight years behind bars. Dr. Jack Kevorkian walked out of prison last hour a free man. No more assisted suicides, he pledges.

NGUYEN: Hurricane season blowing in today. Are coastal communities ready for scenes like this?

The fierce forecast, in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Dr. Jack Kevorkian, once known as "Dr. Death," now a free man. He walked out of a Michigan prison a short while ago. Kevorkian served more than eight years for the death of a 52-year-old man suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. He had little to say to reporters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK KEVORKIAN, SERVED 8-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE: One of the high points in life. Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you all very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS: Kevorkian says he helped more than 130 people end their lives during the 1990s. He's promised he won't help anyone else die. Instead -- that's Mike Wallace.

NGUYEN: That's Mike Wallace.

HARRIS: OK. Instead, he says he will work to legalize assisted suicide.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian talks to "LARRY KING LIVE" Monday night, June 4th, 9:00 Eastern on CNN.

NGUYEN: Well, a big departure at the White House. Dan Bartlett says he will leave the administration in about a month. He is the longest-serving aide to the president and is considered one of his most trusted advisers.

President Bush issued a statement on this announcement, and it said, in part, "Since coming to work for me 14 years ago as I prepared to run for governor, Dan has become a husband and a father. I understand his decision to make his young family his first priority."

HARRIS: It is that time of year. Hurricane season starts today. It is expected to be an active one. Are vulnerable communities ready?

CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf, there he is live on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

And Reynolds, as I recall, the Outer Banks, the real issue is getting out once the tough weather starts to roll in.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, you're absolutely right, Tony. No question about that. That is always a big fear, because on those barrier islands, I mean, there's only a few ways on and a few ways off.

Now, I'm coming to you from the northern end of Hatteras Island. And as you know, the Outer Banks have been a hotbed of hurricane activity throughout the years. And with the busy season expected in the Atlantic Basin, many people are worried.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN BURRUS, DARE COUNTY COMMISSIONER: This starts it out, this picture right here. It's 1866.

WOLF (voice over): The Burrus family store in Hatteras has weathered all the storms, including Isabel in 2003.

BURRUS: And Isabel didn't last long, but it had a lot of wind shear in it.

WOLF: But Isabel is a distant memory for most tourists who come here seeking their own slice of heaven.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A touch of paradise, yes. The Garden of Eden. Yes. In fact, we'd like to settle in this area when we retire.

WOLF: Brian Moore's (ph) not alone. During the peak summer months, the population swells to more than 300,000. That's a lot of people who have to leave quickly should another storm threaten North Carolina's 170-mile-long Outer Banks, creating a traffic nightmare.

TRICIA BARKER, TOURIST: Oh, it's constant. I mean, it might take you two and a half hours to get to the bridge. If you're fortunate.

WOLF: County officials say they can evacuate the North Carolina coast in 18 hours if everyone leaves when ordered. But if the population grows as expected over the next decade along the Outer Banks, that time could exceed 24 hours.

There are two big problems -- a two-lane road along the northern Cape, and Bonner Bridge, which links Hatteras to the rest of the Cape.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One wreck could tie up traffic and back it up for hours.

WOLF: So far, the bridge hasn't caused problems during storms, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation says it's safe. Still, many locals feel it's too old, falling apart and needs to be replaced.

BURRUS: If sections of bridge fall down, you're probably six months or longer getting access in and out of here. And that's our biggest problem, our biggest concern.

WOLF: New bridge advocates say the state has been considering solutions for 16 years. And even with its recent recommendation to replace Bonner Bridge, that's at least six years away.

(on camera): I mean, knowing that this could happen, you know, every couple of years, why do you put up with it?

BURRUS: Well, have you ever been here when the sun rises on a pretty day or sets on a beautiful afternoon? You can't run from anything. You just have to endure it and do the best you can to get through it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOLF: Hey, Tony, try this on for size. Since 1871, they've been keeping track of these storms right along parts of the Outer Banks. And on average, every two and a half years they're either brushed by or taking a direct hit from either a tropical storm or a hurricane.

HARRIS: Yes.

WOLF: So, this is nothing new to people out here. I mean, it's something they unfortunately have learned to live with. So they -- all they can really do is sit back and wait, watch and hope for the best.

HARRIS: Yes. Hey, Reynolds, I'm curious -- walk us through, talk us through the controversy over the proposed new bridge.

WOLF: Well, great question. You know, they had two options.

One option was actually to take a 17-mile bridge over the sound back over to the mainland. That was one option. But the option they're most likely to go with is going to be another bridge that's going to be constructed right along the Bonner Bridge that you see here behind me that's going to just go right along, back over towards -- towards the other parts of the Outer Banks.

The problem with that is, that raises quite a bit of environmental concerns because you're right here near a wetland. That's something that they don't want to disturb.

But even more disturbing than that, Tony, if they do go with either of those options, we're looking at 2013 before this thing is going to get started, and possibly even longer than that before it's done. And so it's kind of like a game of roulette.

HARRIS: Yes.

WOLF: I mean, you're, again, a hotbed of that kind of activity, and they're just kind of -- you know, again -- I'm sorry, but 2013, that's a long time. That's a long time to wait.

HARRIS: Well, you know, there will be storms in 2013 and 2014, 2015. Maybe they just -- OK. Reynolds Wolf for us.

WOLF: Absolutely.

HARRIS: Yes. Reynolds, appreciate it. Thank you.

NGUYEN: I guess you'd call that a silver lining.

HARRIS: Whenever you get it done. Yes.

NGUYEN: All right. Let's talk to Bonnie Schneider now.

(WEATHER REPORT)

HARRIS: Take a look at this, Kansas, where a fierce hailstorm near Norton made driving pretty treacherous.

Stringer (ph) Andy Fabell recorded it all as golf ball-sized pelted his car. We should just listen to that for a second.

Also in Norton, a funnel cloud hovers above an open field. Bonnie is predicting more rain and bad weather today for parts of the state.

NGUYEN: "They told me I wasn't contagious and I wasn't dangerous." Those words this morning from an Atlanta lawyer infected with a dangerous form of tuberculosis.

In an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Andrew Speaker apologized to fellow air travelers he may have exposed to TB. He says health officials told him he was not at risk to anyone. Now, Speaker's father accuses the media of exaggerating the situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED SPEAKER, TB PATIENT'S FATHER: The way he's being shown and spoken about on TV, it's like a terrorist traveling around the world, escaping authorities. This is blown out of proportion immensely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Well, alerts have been issued, his passport flagged, but a TB patient got into the country anyway. So what does this say about homeland security?

We're going to take a closer look in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Tanks unleashed. Boy, that will get your attention. Lebanon renews its assault on al Qaeda ideologues.

See it in the NEWSROOM.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Elaine Quijano, live at the White House, where one of the members of the president's trusted inner circle has announced he's leaving soon.

I'll have details coming up.

NGUYEN: And check this out. The National Spelling Bee crowns a new champ. No, not this kid. And not that kid either.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Melioidosis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Meli -- what?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: I'd say the same thing. You talking to me?

Hey, you try to spell, it all right? The letter-perfect winner, wait until you see him later in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: And good morning again, everyone.

Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Tony Harris.

Making its mark, a rare and colorful crustacean. Someone painted that doggoned lobster. Come on now. It is a story with two sides.

NGUYEN: That's amazing.

HARRIS: And it's coming up for you in the NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Well, a change at the White House. One of President Bush's most trusted advisers stepping down. Dan Bartlett says his last day is about a month away.

CNN White House Correspondent Elaine Quijano is at her post.

And Elaine, how did this resignation come about?

QUIJANO: Well, it's interesting.

Dan Bartlett spoke to reporters, Betty, just a short time ago here in the briefing room off camera, someone who has served this president even before he was president. Of course, it would have been 14 years in October had he remained in his position. This, of course, stretching back to Mr. Bush's time in Texas.

Well, Bartlett said that he spoke to President Bush about his decision to leave about two weeks or so ago, a couple of weeks ago, he said, and that Mr. Bush expressed disappointment because they have, as he put it, traveled certainly a long road together. But ultimately, President Bush understood the demands of family.

President Bush, of course, being a father of twins himself. Dan Bartlett, the father of twins. In fact, he has three young sons under the age of 4 years old.

In a statement released by President Bush, a written statement, certainly reflecting the understanding of family obligations. In that statement, the president said, "Since coming to work for me 14 years ago as I prepared to run for governor, Dan has become a husband and a father. I understand his decision to make his young family his first priority. His most important job is to be a loving husband and father of three young sons. We wish him all the best."

Now, Bartlett's departure, though, is coming at a time when there certainly is a lot on the Bush administration's plate. A lot on the agenda. Iraq, of course, first and foremost.

Also trying to push through an immigration bill. That's been a deeply divisive issue for Republicans.

Bartlett announcing that it's looking as though July 4th is the date that he'll likely stay until. Although he said that's a little bit fluid. But looking ahead, Bartlett saying that despite the relationship, sort of a unique relationship that he has come to develop with President Bush, that the president, he believes, is surrounded by many capable, talented people.

And we are told from Deputy White House Press Secretary Dana Perino that before Bartlett leaves, there will be someone in place. Expect that to happen. So, an interesting development, but it's certainly not uncommon at this point in a second term.

NGUYEN: Well, let me ask you this. He says he's going to spend time with his family. But any idea as to the private sector, any opportunities for him there?

QUIJANO: Yes, that's a good question. It's interesting. Bartlett would not really talk about what else he might be looking at seriously, and said, you know, when you're in this job, when you're working in the West Wing, it's difficult, quite frankly, to understand what opportunities might exist out there.

So for now, no immediate word on what his plans might be. He did rule out, though, campaigning and hitting the trail for the '08 campaign, something that he said he certainly decided to hang his spurs up on, I think is the phrase he used -- Betty.

NGUYEN: Those Texas roots. OK. Thank you.

Elaine Quijano.

HARRIS: Still to come this morning, the troop buildup in Iraq. A done deal, but will it decrease casualties? We' will talk about it with our military analyst coming up for you in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: And a new hurricane season starts. Are they ready though for the danger zone? A surprising answer for you, that's ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Well, a new wave of attacks in northern Lebanon today. That definitely gets your attention.

Lebanon's army unleashed heavy fire on Islamic militants holed up inside a Palestinian refugee camp north of Tripoli. It's part of a campaign to root out militants said to be linked to al Qaeda. Now, most of the 30,000 refugees who once lived in the camp have fled. The Red Cross says about 10,000 remain, and dozens of people, including about 30 soldiers, have been killed since the fighting broke out on May 20th.

HARRIS: More boots on the ground, reduced casualties in Iraq. That was the plan. Is that the reality?

I talked about that earlier with CNN military analyst retired Brigadier General James "Spider" Marks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIG. GEN. JAMES MARKS (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: We all have to acknowledge that there will be a level of violence that will exist in Iraq for quite some time. And any time you put an increased presence on the ground and you get into areas where previously you have not been, in the same type of precision and in the same type of numbers, you will anticipate -- you should anticipate and you will see increased violence.

In other words, you're pushing the enemy and he's going to push back on you. So that's number one. Now, what you have to realize is that with the increase, you have to be able to deliver. The soldiers on the ground must deliver a level of security day after day. And sadly, what that takes is a little bit of time.

And frankly, it's very difficult when you have a D.C. clock that tends to be ticking a heck of a lot quicker than the Baghdad clock. Yet, the issues and the challenges are in Baghdad. So you have to reconcile those two.

HARRIS: Yes. We want -- what we want is return on investment. We are investing lives and treasure of all kinds here.

MARKS: It's the most precious investment you can make.

HARRIS: And so far, do you believe we're seeing the return on the investment from this buildup?

MARKS: Well, Tony, the buildup has just now occurred. Bear in mind that over the course of the last few months, five brigades, an increase of 20,000 soldiers, have arrived in the Baghdad area, some Marines and some soldiers off to the west in al Anbar. So, the point is, you have to be able to assess goodness and progress on the ground over the course of time.

HARRIS: As we talk about all of the troops connected to the buildup being on the ground now in Iraq, isn't this more -- honestly speaking, isn't this more now about a battle to separate the sides, to quell the sectarian violence, and less about combating al Qaeda?

MARKS: It's -- I would say it's not less about battling al Qaeda. Look, al Qaeda needs to go away. There are a lot of bad guys that need to die.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

MARKS: And U.S. soldiers and Marines are doing their damnedest to get those guys off the face of the earth. But what has to happen is you have to be able to make deals. You've got to strike deals with some bad guys that primarily are Shia and Sunni who have created this sectarian violence and are targeting both U.S. and Shia or Sunni, depending upon who you are. So, you've got to make deals with those guys.

HARRIS: Well, wait a minute.

MARKS: You've got to achieve some cease-fires, and you've got to -- you've got to absolutely make deals with bad people.

HARRIS: All right. As I often do with you, and I love it, the give and take that we have, let me push you on this. So, now the United States military is in the business of making deals with the IED makers, with the leaders of these militia groups, the folks that are out there killing civilians, the groups that are bombing the mosques?

MARKS: Very precisely and very cautiously you strike these deals, Tony. This is not a horse blanket that you throw over a large area or one particular group and you say, ally, ally, in come free, everybody's safe. You very precisely go after the guys that come forward and say, look, yes, I may have been a bad guy, and I may be a bad guy today, but I'll be your friend tomorrow if we can kind of reach some type of accommodation.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: All right. That said, let's take a look at the numbers.

May, a deadly month for U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. Iraqi government officials report 1,949 civilians were killed last month, up 30 percent from April. U.S. figures show 122 American troops were killed in May.

HARRIS: You see them at the office, in malls, just about everywhere, private security guards. Here's a question. How well are they trained? You'd be surprised.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They protect some of the country's most important buildings, from high-rise offices to shopping malls, even government facilities. They are security guards, independent contractors. They wear uniforms, usually carry no weapons, and most of them have never worked in law enforcement.

CLARENCE WILLIAMS, SECURITY: I can't say I feel 100 percent prepared, no.

FEYERICK: Clarence Williams was a train conductor for more than 30 years before switching to security work. He got a few hours of training and a full background check by his company. A spokesman for the National Association of Security Officers says that's not good enough. And says without stricter standards, it opens up the entire system to criminals or terrorists.

JOSEPH RICCI, NATIONAL ASSOC. SECURITY COMPANIES: They've got the authority or the keys to the building. And they can then help others perpetrate crimes or terrorist activity or do it themselves.

FEYERICK: In the post-9/11 world, it remains a very real vulnerability, something security guards themselves acknowledge.

(on camera): Do you see how a person may want to do something bad might decide to work security?

BERNARD CRUSTSHANT, SECURITY OFFICER: Yes.

FEYERICK: So you see this vulnerability?

CRUSTSHANT: Yes. As long as they have a clean record and they're just mad at something, they could get in. FEYERICK (voice-over): And clean records don't always stay that way. Dale Matthews runs the Miami office for DSI Security, one of the largest firms in the southeast.

DALE MATTHEWS, DSI SECURITY: You might hire somebody, everything is fine. You have no idea six months down the road, you know, that they might be involved in something or have broken a law.

FEYERICK: Starting pay for security guards is often as low as $7 an hour, about the same as fast food workers and less than many other workers with less serious responsibilities.

(on camera): You have a janitor who may be working in a building making $17 an hour with benefits and the man that is charged with protecting that person, the security guard, is making half that with no benefits.

CHRISTOPHER PETERS, YANKEE SECURITY: That's correct.

FEYERICK: That's ironic.

PETERS: Yeah, it's sad. It's more than ironic, it's sad.

FEYERICK (voice-over): There are no federal laws regulating the private security industry, and laws vary from state to state. Critics say that leads to spotty training and little focus on anti-terror tactics.

MICHELLE BROWN, SECURITY OFFICER: Most people aren't trained. They just pretty much throw you in the building and you learn as you're in there.

FEYERICK: Alarming when you consider that if something really bad happens, most security guards are simply told to call the police.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Alerts have been issued, his passport was flagged. But a TB patient got into the country anyway.

So what does this say about homeland security? We're going to take a close look in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: An Iraqi city wrestled from insurgents, now facing a new threat from its own fledgling government. Success in peril, ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Friday, bottom of the hour. Welcome back everyone to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: And I'm Betty Nguyen in for Heidi Collins. An apology this morning from a tuberculosis patient who may have put other air travelers at risk. Atlanta lawyer Andrew Speaker tells ABC's "Good Morning America," he hopes the other passengers can forgive him, but he says he was told that he was not a danger before leaving for his wedding in Europe. He says quote, I truly believe there is a misunderstanding of how we entered into all of this. It was conveyed to me that my family, my wife, my daughter, that no one was at risk and that I was not contagious.

HARRIS: He was a wanted man, on the no-fly list, his passport flagged, still, Andrew Speaker managed to enter the country undetected. CNN's homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve explains how that could happen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Andrew Speaker and his wife arrived at the Champlain, New York boarding crossing on Thursday, May 24th. According to a homeland security official, at 6:17 p.m., a customs and border protection officer swiped Speaker's passport through an electronic reader. And an alert displayed on the officer's computer screen, but Speaker was not stopped. In less than two minutes he was waved across the border.

MICHAEL CUTLER, FMR INS AGENT: If this guy could get through, the question is who might also be able to get through, whether it's someone with a communicable disease, whether it's somebody who's wanted because of being a suspected terrorist. The system has holes in it.

MESERVE: The Centers for Disease Control had informed customs and border protection on May 22nd, two days earlier that Speaker should be stopped, isolated and public health authorities notified. The information had been put out to all ports of entry, including Champlain. And the lookout for Speaker showed up on the front line officer's computer screen instantaneously and in an obvious way, according to a homeland official. Even the finest and most well- regarded law enforcement agencies in the world will experience human error, says the official. Our personnel understand they have to be right 100 percent of the time.

The Champlain port of entry is one of the five busiest on the U.S./Canadian border, processing about 5,500 people every day. And some believe the pressure on border officers to move people and products quickly could have been a factor in this incident. Senator Charles Schumer says the incident shows that border officers are understaffed and overworked along the northern border. Although investigations into exactly what went wrong and why have reached no firm conclusions. In the meantime, the officer who cleared Speaker into the country has been moved to administrative duties. Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Well, learning from past mistakes, apparently not the case in many coastal communities. Hurricane season begins today. That's right. And two years ago after the devastation of Katrina and Rita, many people, well, they're still not prepared. Here's CNN's John Zarrella.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): September 2005, with hurricane Rita bearing down on Houston, millions of people tried to get out of town all at the same time. The airport was a mad scramble. The interstates were a sea of vehicles not moving anywhere. Like Groundhog Day, this scene seems to repeat itself some place nearly every year. And nearly every year there's a new survey, showing that people are no better prepared than in years past, troubling and inexplicable to former hurricane center director, Max Mayfield.

MAX MAYFIELD, FMR DIR., NATL HURRICANE CENTER: I'm deeply concerned about this lack of public preparedness.

ZARRELLA: The most recent survey sponsored by the National Hurricane Survival Initiative was conducted by Mason Dixon Research. 1,100 residents in coastal communities from Maine to Texas were questioned. More than half, 56 percent, said they do not feel vulnerable to a hurricane or related flood or tornado. Sixty percent do not have a family disaster plan, 68 percent have no hurricane survival kit, 83 percent have not taken steps to reinforce their home and 13 percent said they would not evacuate even if ordered to do so.

MAYFIELD: People who have been through hurricanes, I keep hearing the same message over and over. People who had a hurricane plan did much better than people who did not have a plan.

ZARRELLA: What makes these numbers even more troubling is that the survey was done since the staggering images of death and misery from Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi.

MAYFIELD: You can call this hurricane survival 101 if you'd like. Step number one, know the dangers. That means know your vulnerabilities to the storm surge, the high winds, the heavy rainfall and the tornadoes. Step number two, develop a plan. It's important to do this now if you have not already done so. Number three, secure your home when the hurricane threatens your community. And step number four, if you're told to evacuate, do so immediately.

ZARRELLA: Hurricane forecasters and emergency managers understand that it's human nature, not everyone is going to listen. There is a degree of the it won't happen to me mentality. John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: Making its mark, a rare and colorful crustacean. Oh, it is too close to lunch time for this. It really is.

NGUYEN: Tony.

HARRIS: It is a story with two sides and it's coming up for you in the NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: And you want to handle this with care. Check that out. Wowing them with whale sharks in Georgia. That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: and I'm Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange. When NEWSROOM returns, I'll tell you why you should be very careful if you get an e-mail that claims to be from the IRS. Details next, you're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Targeting al Qaeda in Iraq, more raids over the past 24 hours. The U.S.-led coalition says its forces killed six terrorists and 18 suspected terrorists were arrested. Those raids north of Fallujah in the town of Taji (ph)

HARRIS: Strange bed fellows in politics, even stranger alliances in war. A U.S. colonel joins forces with a former general for Saddam Hussein, a success story for now but danger looms. CNN's Hugh Rimington explains.

HUGH RIMINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iraq optimists love the city of Talafar so two years ago would we be walking down. (INAUDIBLE) In 2005, Talafar, near the Syrian border, was in a fight for its life. Five U.S. battalions were tied down here with the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi had made a mess. The lessons of Talafar, clear the insurgents, hold the ground and rebuild. It's become the core U.S. approach across Iraq.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The example of Talafar gives me confidence in our strategy.

RIMINGTON: This is a novelty across most of Iraq, the ability to walk unmolested through the streets, to go shopping if you want to. It's something that is even more remarkable when you consider the state of this place just two years ago. The question is, how much can the successes of this city be transplanted now across all of Iraq? The key here was the mayor.

NAJIM ABDULLAH AL-JABOURI, TALAFAR MAYOR: If you look at the vegetables, the fruits and everything in the market, this is like a dream come true right now. It looks so simple, but this is a dream come true.

RIMINGTON: Najim al Jabouri was one of Saddam Hussein's generals, a secular Sunni with a loathing for Islamic extremists. He decided the Americans needed advice and found them willing to listen.

AL-JABOURI: You're not my friend. He's my brother. Because in Iraq, in the Middle East, the brother is better than the friend.

RIMINGTON: When the invasion started, did you ever imagine looking ahead, that your best friend in this place and your best partnership would be a former general from Saddam's army? LT. COLONEL MALCOLM FROST, U.S. ARMY: To be honest, I would never have thought that, but I also know that he's a soldier at heart. Soldiers are the same everywhere in the world. Just because it was Saddam's army, does not mean that everyone in the army was like Saddam.

RIMINGTON: But the mayor is worried. The insurgents, he says, are again, trying to isolate Talafar, bombing roads, cutting food and fuel supplies. The people are angry and they're anxious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): It's a crisis here, a crisis of fuel, a crisis of all types of fuel.

RIMINGTON: Half the people who fled the fighting two years ago have never returned.

AL-JABOURI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): If the economy of the city does not progress and stays in bad shape and unemployment stays as bad as it is right now, gradually, the city will get back into the hands of the insurgents.

RIMINGTON: Most galling of all, 18 months ago, the government of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki promised $50 million U.S. for reconstruction. The mayor says not a cent has arrived.

FROST: When you look at people like (INAUDIBLE) and you look at the success in Talafar, you know that it can work if we would just commit to it.

RIMINGTON: If this city holds it is because it is still underwritten by the United States.

AL-JABOURI: Not any -- anyone support Talafar, just the God and after that American forces.

RIMINGTON: A city won by blood, endangered now by neglect. Hugh Rimington, CNN, Talafar Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: This just into CNN, take a look at these live pictures. That is a building collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It's at the Arbor Lake shopping complex. According to affiliate KARE, what we understand is that there are several people trapped inside this debris. Not known exactly how many are, the injuries as of now. But we understand that a medical helicopter is on site. Obviously numerous emergency crews are there. What a building, though, to collapse there in the Arbor Lakes shopping center. I'm being told by our producer that at least one person is still trapped, five already taken to a local hospital. The severity of the injuries are unknown at this point. So, again, they were able to rescue five people from this devastating building collapse. Just look at that, all the twisted metal there. But one person, you can see them working right now, as far as we understand it here at CNN, is still trapped underneath that debris. Again, this is in Minneapolis, Minnesota at a shopping complex there called the Arbor Lakes. As soon as we get more information on this -- as you can see right there Tony, this building was under construction.

HARRIS: Part of it just sort of pancaked there.

NGUYEN: It sure did and one person still trapped inside. We'll get as much as we can on the state of the injuries and hopefully they'll be able to free that person soon.

HARRIS: To business news now. It is sure to get your attention, an e-mail that appears to come from the IRS but there's a very good chance that you shouldn't respond. Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange with details on the latest e-mail scam. Susan, what is the IRS telling you?

LISOVICZ: To leave it alone. The IRS says scammers are sending out messages, Tony, containing official-looking IRS logos and information warning the reader that the Federal agency is taking action against them, which obviously is a scary thought for anyone. The e-mails contain a link for more information, that when clicked would launch a malicious program which could paralyze the user's computer hard drive. One e-mail claims to come from the IRS criminal investigation unit. It tells recipients that they're under investigation in connection with the California tax franchise board. The other claims that a complaint has been launched against the reader. Tony?

HARRIS: Susan, what should a person do if they get one of these e-mails? Just delete it or leave it alone? Certainly don't forward it.

LISOVICZ: Yes all of the above. If you see something suspicious in your inbox, first of all, don't open it. If you have already, IRS officials say don't click on any of the hyperlinks in the message. The IRS also encourages anyone who gets one of these messages to forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

Turning quickly to the markets, stocks once again in rally mode after briefly pausing yesterday. Checking the numbers, the Dow is up 34 points. The Nasdaq is up 13 or about half a percent. The S&P 500 should have another record close today if it stays on the plus side. Shares of Dow Jones, the parent of "The Wall Street Journal" surging 14 percent on its own lead story. The Bancroft family which controls the majority of the company's voting power, now says it will meet with media mogul Rupert Murdoch about News Corps's interest in buying the company. The family had previously said it was opposed to selling it. Dow Jones would be a critical get for News Corps. The company has indicated it plans to launch a business news channel this fall. "The Wall Street Journal" obviously, the bible of business news. Tony and Betty back to you.

HARRIS: Susan, have a great weekend.

LISOVICZ: You, too.

HARRIS: Still to come this morning in the NEWSROOM, it's like the Super Bowl for super smart kids. CNN's Jeanne Moos spells it all out straight ahead for you in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Let's take you back live now to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Look at this, still working on this collapsed building where one person is trapped inside. They're looking at that particular area there trying to reach that person. What we do know is that this is in the Arbor Lakes shopping complex, all of this information coming to us per our affiliate KARE.

It appears that the third level of this structure has collapsed on one end of this multistory building. Again, one person inside. A medical helicopter is on the site. The good news is that five people have already been taken from that area. They were lodged at some point under this building collapse and they've been taken to the hospital. We don't know, though, how bad their injuries are at this time. Obviously the concern right now is getting that one remaining person out of this trapped building. As soon as we get more information on it, of course, we'll bring it straight to you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVAN O'DORNEY: s-e-r-r-e-f-i-n-e, serrefine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are correct. You're the champion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: You are the champion. Spelling success for 13-year-old Evan O'Dorney, this year's national spelling bee champ. But there were as many tears as cheers in the final rounds. CNN's Jeanne Moos spells it all out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Why read a dictionary at a spelling bee when you can read faces. The Scripps national spelling bee features words that make contestants squinch, eye-popping words, words that have kids looking for answers in the back of their heads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Staphalotomy (ph), not stephalotomy (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it ditimus (ph) or is it ditimas (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tilipod (ph) or tilipod (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that English?

MOOS: I guess you don't have to be monogamous to spell stifenogomous (ph). These words stump even spell check. When these talented kids get stumped, they get the dreaded ding. For some, the writing is on the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to ding.

MOOS: For others, the writing is in their imagination.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: B-u-t --

MOOS: They wield invisible pens on their arms, on their hands, on their placards, in the air. There are no real pens allowed. You can actually hear their fingers write what's in their mind's eye. If they could only doodle words like --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: sardoodledom (ph).

MOOS: Even experienced spellers are sometimes taken aback.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Melioidosis (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Meli -- what?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Furfuraceous (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh.

MOOS: No wonder a handful of demonstrators hovered outside the spelling bee, protesting the idiosyncrasies of the English language.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get rid of the "I" friend and spell is like end and fend and lend.

MOOS: When it comes to spelling bee mannerisms, these are a few of our favorites ticks (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: P-o-r-p --

MOOS: Contestants know that once they utter a letter, they can't take it back. Some shield their lips under they're utterly certain and we call this guy, the cougher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: P-t-e --

MOOS: He finally coughed out the word teratology (ph) correctly, a spelling bee sure can sting. And a spelling bee can be sweet as honey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: N-e-g-u-s, negus.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: Let me just tell you, that pressure is serious.

HARRIS: What would you know about that?

NGUYEN: In the third grade I was in the spelling bee, took third place. You know what word I went out on.

HARRIS: What was the word?

NGUYEN: Helicopter. Here we go, helicopter. I -- that's where you ding it. HARRIS: You started with an I?

NGUYEN: I cracked under pressure. Get her off.

HARRIS: Still to come in the NEWSROOM this morning, Betty --

NGUYEN: Ding.

If forecasters are right, Tony, we're in for a lot of things in the weeks and months ahead. Hurricane season opens today. We have extensive live coverage in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: OK some exciting new arrivals this morning at the world's largest aquarium right here in Atlanta. Police cars, look at this, escorting trucks carrying two whale sharks to the Georgia aquarium just before day break. They were flown all the way from Taiwan, some 8,000 miles away. Both whale sharks are young males. Both given Asian names, Hiroko (ph) and Mushan (ph) after a Taiwanese national park and a mountain. All together, five whale sharks will now be on display in the aquarium.

NGUYEN: Well, delicious, delectable and in this case, downright unusual, yes, a lobster, half orange and half brown caught off Rhode Island. Check this thing out, two toned lobsters are rare, obviously, about one in 50 million and because of that genetic rarity, this lobster won't be headed to a pot of boiling water near you, nope. Instead, she'll be a feast for the eyes, living out her days in an aquarium.

HARRIS: Where's the bell? It's lunchtime.

NUGYEN: Stop it.

HARRIS: I'm sorry, sorry.

NGUYEN: CNN NEWSROOM continues one hour from now.

HARRIS: "Your World Today" is next with news happening across the globe and here at home. I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen.

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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