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CNN NEWSROOM

President Bush Lobbying GOP Senators for Immigration Reforms; Rescuers Working to Bring Injured Hiker Down From Colorado Mountain; State Department Releases Annual Report on Human Trafficking

Aired June 12, 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: And good morning, everyone. You're with CNN. You're informed.
I'm Tony Harris.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Heidi Collins.

Developments keep coming into the NEWSROOM on this Tuesday, June 12th.

Here is what's on the rundown.

Rescue mission right now. Crews trying to bring an injured hiker out of a Colorado canyon.

HARRIS: A coming out event for the space station. Solar panels deployed. Our Miles O'Brien checks it out.

COLLINS: And the 82nd Airborne all deployed. What does that mean for the U.S. military around the world?

In the NEWSROOM.

Want to take you straight to Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado, as we begin to show you more of the rescue mission that is under way, coming our way from our affiliate there, KUSA 9 News in Denver, Colorado.

You are looking at a gentleman who hurt himself on a hike with two other buddies. Apparently, he tripped and sprained his ankle and then could not continue.

This happened yesterday. So, unfortunately, his two buddies had to go on without him because it was getting dark and they needed to get help.

So they left him with, we understand, a couple of sandwiches, a lighter, and a disposable camera. Left him, and then got help. And now this morning, the rescue mission began there about 6:00 a.m. At first light, I would imagine.

And we are watching several different crews here from the Golden Fire Department, West Metro Fire Rescue and Alpine Rescue. Have quite a bit of experience, as you would imagine, living in such a mountainous region. So they will continue to try and get him down. But boy, oh, boy, it is quite a drop there, quite -- quite a vertical. So they are trying to do that as safely as possible.

And I understand -- say it one more time, sir -- that we are awaiting a live report or some type of press conference that's going to be coming our way relatively quickly. And we, of course, will monitor that and bring you any new information, should we get it.

HARRIS: The D.A. moves to the other side of the courtroom in North Carolina. He's the defendant, not the prosecutor.

A trial under way at this hour for Mike Nifong, the Durham County district attorney. He is the man who prosecuted members of the Duke University lacrosse team on rape charges. Those charges later dropped. The North Carolina Bar has charged Nifong with ethics violations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHERINE JEAN, PROSECUTOR: When Mr. Nifong saw that this case existed, he immediately recognized that this case would likely garner significant media attention and decided to handle it himself, instead of having the case handled by the assistant in his office, who would ordinarily handle such cases.

Mr. Nifong called the Durham Police Department, notified the Durham Police Department he would be handling the case himself, and instructed the Durham Police Department to go through him for any directions on the factual investigation of the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: If convicted, Nifong could be disbarred.

COLLINS: President Bush breaking bread and twisting arms. A short time from now, he heads to Capitol Hill for lunch with Republican senators. On the menu, lobbying support for his immigration reform.

CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill.

And Dana, it's going to be pretty hard for the president to revive the immigration bill, isn't it, at least from everything we've been hearing?

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly will be. You know, I was talking to a Republican senator this morning who is generally in favor of this immigration compromise. He said he thinks whether or not immigration can be resurrected will really be decided by this visit from the president.

Now, it is certainly going to be very, very hard, because the hard, cold fact, Heidi, as you know, is that the president just doesn't have the same kind of influence that he once had here on Capitol Hill with his fellow Republicans, especially on this issue of immigration, where the conservatives in his base really just think he's flat wrong on what he wants to do, which is with this bill, give legal status, even citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.

Listen to what a Republican senator, a chief opponent of this bill said earlier this morning on "AMERICAN MORNING".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: I think the president is wrong to push this piece of legislation so hard after we've demonstrated the flaws that are in it. He needs to back off. He needs to help us write a better bill and not push a bill that so many of us can't support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BASH: There you hear, again, it certainly is an ardent opponent of this legislation. But to hear a senator like Jeff Sessions from probably the reddest state in the country, Alabama, saying that the president, his president, should back off really is telling, Heidi, as to what the political dynamic President Bush is facing here in general, but especially on this issue of immigration.

COLLINS: OK. So what's it going to take to get it done, Dana? I mean, what are Republicans actually saying about what they want to hear, what they don't want to hear from the president today?

BASH: Well, you know, Republicans are really trying to lower expectations as to what the president can accomplish. Even the top Republican, Mitch McConnell, made clear to reporters, he doesn't think that the president is going to really have much sway, because there really aren't very many undecided senators here when it comes to this particular issue of immigration.

And part of the problem is that there is sort of a procedural fight that he's wading into over how many chances opponents have to actually amend the bill. And that's what, in the end, sunk this last week.

So that is, in many ways, up to Republicans. Many of the Republican opponents of this have a slew of amendments.

What the Senate majority leader has said is he won't bring this up unless the president can promise that he has Republican votes. And that will mean trying to convince these opponents, who really for the most part want to kill this bill, will agree to limit the number of chances that they have to change it. That is going to be very, very tough for the president to actually accomplish when he comes here.

COLLINS: Yes. And as we look at some video there of Harry Reid, Dana, he's kind of trying to put the onus on the president here.

How important is it for Dems to get this done?

BASH: That's a really good question. You know, it is important for Democrats. Democrats, we of course can't forget, actually run Congress now. And they, too, need some accomplishments.

They really haven't had many, particularly on the domestic side, since they've been in the majority for about six months now. But the tactical decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democrats has been to try to put the onus on President Bush, because they know full well that this is something that has been near and dear to President Bush since day one of his presidency.

Since he came in, he said immigration reform has really been something that he wants to accomplish by the time he gets done. And so that's why Democrats are trying to put the onus on President Bush.

But the reality is, you're right, Democrats do need some kind of positive thing, and some kind of accomplishment. So that is a potential source that could backfire against Democrats if this actually does at the end of the day die, immigration dies in Congress.

COLLINS: Well, everybody better snap it up. We've been talking about this for a long time.

All right.

BASH: I have a feeling we will be for a lot longer, Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, I think you're probably right.

Dana Bash, thank you.

HARRIS: A roadside bombing targets a busy market in central Baghdad. The Interior Ministry says two civilians are dead and two others are wounded.

Meanwhile, in Samarra, north of Baghdad, police say the mayor's convoy was hit by a roadside bomb. The mayor wasn't injured, but seven bodyguards were wounded.

The latest violence plays out as the deputy secretary of state makes a visit to Baghdad. John Negroponte met with the Iraqi's prime minister today. The meeting is part of a Bush administration push for political reforms in Iraq.

COLLINS: Quickly want to take you back to Clear Creek Canyon in Colorado, where we have been watching some pretty amazing video of a rescue that's going on, a hiker who hurt himself.

And we want to take you directly to Jamie Kim of KUSA 9 News there in Denver.

Hi Jamie. Tell us what you know from where you are.

JAMIE KIM, REPORTER, KUSA: Heidi, rescuers are still working to bring that injured hiker down.

His name is Dave Seal (ph). Dave and his brother and his friend were all hiking yesterday afternoon when Dave jumped off a small ledge and twisted his ankle.

Now, he tried to get down the mountain by himself, but his ankle continued to get worse. So his brother and his friend came down the mountain. It took them several hours, and they when the to call for help.

Now, all three of them are from Topeka, Kansas. They were here in Colorado visiting, thought they would go for a short hike, and that short hike has turned into an adventure that they did not anticipate.

Now, we can take a look now at some copter video that we shot earlier this morning. And it shows the fact that the rescuers are having a difficult time getting Dave Seal (ph) down the mountain.

They have to lower this basket down a zip line system, 600 feet down to the bottom. And those firefighters have to guide that basket carefully down themselves. And what's made the rescue even more complicated is the fact that it was raining earlier this morning. So those rocks, that rough terrain is quite slippery, quite treacherous for those firefighters. It could take them quite some time to get Dave Seal (ph) down to the bottom.

But we're told he is cold, he is tired, he' sore. But otherwise OK, aside from the sprained ankle -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, Jamie. And I understand it's probably difficult to see from where are you what their progress has been. But what I'm reading here is apparently they began this rescue at about 6:00 a.m. this morning, and it could take anywhere from four to six hours.

Do you have an idea, has anyone been able to update you on how much progress they have made and how much longer they have to go?

KIM: Heidi, they have not let us know how long this will take. We do know that he is attached to that zip line, he is in that basket.

They are in the process of lowering him down. But again, that 600 feet is extremely rough and steep terrain. So it could take quite some time to get him down to the bottom.

They are taking their time, they tell me, because is he not seriously injured, because he just has a sprained ankle. They have the luxury of time to get him down to the bottom.

COLLINS: Sure. All right. Very good. Well, that definitely works for their side of the rescue.

Jamie Kim, we appreciate the update, coming to us from KUSA 9 News in Denver.

HARRIS: Let's get you a check of weather now. Jacqui Jeras is in the severe weather center.

(WEATHER REPORT)

HARRIS: And very quickly, this just in to CNN. We've been telling you all morning that President Bush will be on the Hill today having lunch, pushing for immigration reform, and trying to rally the Republican troops. He will be meeting with Senate Republicans, and we understand that after that lunch meeting, the president will make a statement.

Learned that just moments ago. Wanted to share that with you. When the president does make that statement, we will of course bring it to you right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

It is called modern day slavery. The victims are often women and children. The State Department releasing its annual report on human trafficking.

Our State Department correspondent, Zain Vergee, is with us now.

Zain, great to see you.

What are you finding? We will see you in just a second here, Zain. What are you finding in that report?

There you are.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Well, trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery. That's really the message coming this day from the State Department.

They issued their report today. It covers 164 countries. Now, essentially, the goal of this report is to raise awareness and also get governments to take some real substantive action to combat human trafficking.

I want us to take a look at some numbers here that came out of this report.

The State Department is estimating that as many as 800,000 men, women and children are trafficked across borders against their will. Eighty percent of them are female, most of them are forced into prostitution, sweat shops and domestic labor. Millions are trafficked inside their own countries.

And this, Tony, was an interesting thing, because many people in the U.S. wouldn't even think this. But as many as 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States each year.

Now, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. is committed to combat trafficking, and she says that she hopes that the awareness will lead to prevention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: We hope this report encourages responsible nations across the globe to stand together, to speak with one voice, and to say that freedom and security are non- negotiable demands of human dignity. And to say, as President Bush has, no one is fit to be a master and no one deserves to be a slave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VERJEE: The Bush administration has been paying a lot more attention to the problems of human trafficking over the past few years. Really, it's considered part of the fight to bring human rights in different parts of the world by this administration, especially in the Middle East. And this is a crucial part of the Bush foreign policy agenda -- Tony.

HARRIS: Hey, Zain, does the report outline which countries are the worst offenders of this human trafficking, this human smuggling?

VERJEE: Yes, it does. There is a black list, and there are a number of countries on this list. It's long.

It's described as those who don't fully comply with the minimum standards as designated by U.S. law. And they are not really making significant efforts to do so.

Here you see a long list of them. Some of them are U.S. allies.

Among them, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Also, you see countries like Cuba, Iran, Malaysia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria.

Now, these countries on this list have 90 days to take action, otherwise they face sanctions by the U.S.

And Tony, this one is a sore one. You know, India, it is actually missing from this list. It's been put on a watch list for a fourth year in a row.

The report says that it's failed to tackle the problem. There have been inadequate efforts to punish traffickers.

And U.S. officials have told CNN that there was a really spirited debate in the State Department about India, who's a close ally of the U.S. The deputy secretary of state, John Negroponte, wanted to put India on this black list, but he was overruled by Secretary Rice, who really didn't want to alienate India in all of this, but says, look, if India doesn't pull its socks up in the next six months, then it will be on that black list -- Tony.

HARRIS: That's always a telling report.

Zain Verjee for us.

Zain, great to se you. Thanks.

COLLINS: Paratroopers from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division all off to war. What will it mean for the Army?

A military viewpoint coming up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Fighting a guerrilla war. U.S. forces battle fatigue and insurgents in Baquba. This is a very intriguing look.

Details coming ahead in the NEWSROOM. COLLINS: As if they didn't have enough to deal with, Hurricane Katrina victims and serious sleep issues long after the storm. What's the link?

We'll tell you all about it in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Catch of the day, or of a lifetime? True blue lobster. Your eyes are not deceiving you. You've got to eat.

In the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Want to give you an update on a story we've been following here in the CNN NEWSROOM since March now.

Former Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer, it is being reported now, died of natural causes and not as a murder, as was initially suspected. That information just a short time ago.

Police initially said Woolmer was strangled when he was found unconscious in his Kingston, Jamaica, hotel room March 18th, after his team lost in the Cricket World Cup.

Comments moments ago from the police commissioner, Lucious Thomas, in Kingston.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUCIOUS THOMAS, POLICE COMMISSIONER: The reports provided by Professor Martin and Dr. Holinan (ph) both concur with Dr. Kerry's (ph) view that Mr. Woolmer died of natural causes.

In addition to the provision of the three independent views of the pathologists, we also said that we would await the outcome of toxicology tests. The toxicology tests have now been completed, and no substance was found to indicate that Bob Woolmer was poisoned or in any other way (INAUDIBLE).

The Jamaica (INAUDIBLE) force accepts these findings and has now closed this investigation into the death of Mr. Bob Woolmer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: So, all the results are in, and the new conclusion is that Bob Woolmer died of natural causes. And as you just heard, the case has now been closed.

We'll continue to follow developments as we get them here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: The 82nd Airborne, for only the second time since World War II, all of the division's combat infantry brigades are at war.

Here to talk about the significance of it is CNN military analyst, retired Major General Don Shepperd. General Shepperd, thanks for being with us.

Quickly, before we go on here, let's tell people just in case they're not familiar what the 82nd Airborne is and what their overall mission is.

MAJ. GEN. Don SHEPPERD (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, Heidi, think of the 82nd Airborne m as our paratroopers, if you will. We used to have several Airborne divisions, and now we have just the 82nd Airborne of conventional paratroopers.

We have the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy, and you do have some Rangers and you do have Special Forces that are jump qualified. You have the 101st Airborne, but that is an air mobile, not air assault division -- helicopter borne. So all of our conventional paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne are now in combat in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

COLLINS: OK. And we know that the last time that happened it was Operation Desert Storm back in 1990.

How significant is it then that the entire 82nd Airborne has been deployed?

SHEPPERD: Well, it's not alarming, but it is a sign that our military is stressed. Now, we all know that.

The 82nd is made up of six brigades. It's about 18,000 people in the division of brigades of about 3,000 to 3,500.

You have four Airborne infantry brigades, an aviation brigade, and a support brigade. And all of those are deployed now in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

Normally you leave at least one brigade home so you can continue training and receive new recruits. Now all of these people are gone. So it's -- again, some of these people are on their third, even fourth rotations. It's an indication of how stressed we are in a war that has gone on longer than World War II and looks like it's going to go on even longer.

COLLINS: Sure. What does it mean then in terms of the U.S. military's ability to send in paratroopers if a situation, of course, in another part of the world really demands that?

SHEPPERD: Well, if you need an entire Airborne division of paratroopers, you wouldn't have them. But on the other hand, very seldom do you use that.

The last time these people were used in a real jump, although, was in Iraq, where they basically jumped into Bashur (ph) in northern Iraq and opened the northern front, if you will. This was the Vicenza, the 173rd out of Vicenza that did that. So you don't have a division of paratroopers if you need it in another conflict, although you have many other soldiers that you could deploy if we ended up in another conflict. COLLINS: OK. Well, the division, we know, recently had to drop one of their distinct missions, and that was the division ready brigade. I'm sure you're very familiar with that, which kept actually a brigade, of course, at the ready to be bound for service anywhere in the world within about 18 hours of notice.

How big of a deal is it to lose that type of service?

SHEPPERD: Well, you put somebody else on alert. So, you do have some flexibility to do it. But it is -- it's a big deal. And again, it's an indicator of, we are a smaller military, and now we're engaged in a big and a very long war.

The combat ready brigade was indeed, as you said, a brigade of about 3,500 people, ready to deploy on 18 hours' notice anywhere in the world. And now from the 82nd Airborne, at least, it's not there.

Others have been alerted. And so you could deploy other forces if needed. And you also have, of course, air power, that you can react immediately with air power in another conflict.

So we're not in any kind of emergency situation. But if another situation took place, for instance, in North Korea, Iran, et cetera, we would be really stressed.

COLLINS: Yes, definitely. It sounds like everything you're saying, the real big headline here is just sort of more about the overall state of deployment and the overall state of how the military is stretched right now. We've also seen a little bit of reporting that we did here today on some recruitment goals that are not being reached.

All together, when you look at this information, your feeling is what?

SHEPPERD: Yes, well, it's no secret that when you have a conflict, it's harder to recruit during a conflict than it is when you're in peace time. People join the military for all sorts of things.

They join for education, for jobs, et cetera. But when you're in the middle of a conflict, it's harder to recruit.

Now, you have to balance recruiting, retention and budgets. Again, we're not in any kind of emergency situation, but it is harder to recruit. I think we're going to be missing recruiting goals, at least for the active duty, probably for the foreseeable future.

The National Guard, interestingly enough, right now on the Army side is doing very well in meeting their recruiting goals. So it's a balancing act. We have to watch it. Again, we're not in any kind of emergency situation.

COLLINS: All right.

General Don Shepperd, we appreciate your thoughts here today, as always. Thank you.

SHEPPERD: You bet.

HARRIS: And still to come this morning, kids could be more than cranky after nights with no sleep. New research points to a possible ADHD link.

That story coming up for you in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Trouble sleeping? More than 70 million Americans have some kind of sleep disorder. Experts are taking up the issue this week. One of the headlines involves people who lived through Hurricane Katrina.

We are joined now by CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, it's not going to surprise anyone that people living through something as traumatic as Hurricane Katrina might experience some sleep problems. But here's the thing. This report is interesting, because it points out some disparities between men and women.

What gives there?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It was extremely surprising finding there, Tony, because usually when people have sleep problems, it's the women who go for help. However, in this case, in Katrina, it was the men who went for help.

Now, doctors aren't quite sure why. They have one theory, which is that men, perhaps, were more involved in the cleanup of Hurricane Katrina, so, therefore, were more traumatized as part of that activity. But really, they're not quite sure. But there was a difference.

HARRIS: Well, how do you know when you're just sort of responding normally to a traumatic situation and you cross the line and now you need some professional help?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is a line there. Being traumatized for a couple of days, for a couple of weeks, even a month or two is normal, whether you're recovering from a natural disaster, from a divorce, from losing your job. But if it goes on for many months, you might be suffering from depression or post traumatic stress disorder. In that case, you really need to go get some professional help.

HARRIS: It's not just adults who are having sleep problems. We know, I know, you know that kids have sleep problems as well. Anything helpful in the report?

COHEN: Yes, there was an interesting report there about sleep and ADHD because those two, some studies have linked them. What they did, it was really fascinating actually, what the researchers did, is they looked at -- they took kids and they told the parents don't let them sleep enough. We want sleep deprived kids. For seven nights, these kids didn't get enough sleep. And I'm sure you're shocked to learn these kids had trouble focusing the next day. That's shocking. So they found out what parents know already. But the interesting part was that what they did is that they actually looked at these kids' brain waves. What they found was that they had abnormal brainwaves in the area that has to do with attention. So lack of sleep leads to abnormal brainwaves

HARRIS: Hello.

COHEN: Hello! And so that makes some doctors think maybe some of these kids don't actually have ADD. Maybe they are just sleep deprived. Maybe they don't need drugs. Maybe they just need a good night's sleep.

HARRIS: Well, let's work from that premise. How do we go about as parents making sure our kids get the sleep they need? Let's test the theory.

COHEN: First of all, you need to be watching your kid and see, does my kid need more sleep? Sometimes kids need more sleep than other kids first of all. Second of all, what you want to do is routine, routine, routine. You want to do the same thing every single night. We put our pajamas on, we brush our teeth, we read a book, we sing a song, we go to bed. Kids love routine and they will respond to that. But the second thing sounds like a real no duh, but you'd be surprised how many parents do this. Don't give your kids caffeinated beverages at dinnertime or thereafter. You'll be surprised how many parents will give their kids a soda at dinner and there's caffeine in that.

HARRIS: I've been guilty a time or two. Heidi as well?

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Rum.

COHEN: That'll help them sleep.

HARRIS: Elizabeth, good to see you. Thank you, good information.

To get your daily dose of health news online, log on to our website, you'll find the latest medical news, a health library and information on diet and fitness. The address is cnn.com/health.

HARRIS: Welcome back everyone to the CNN NEWSROOM. Good morning, I'm Tony Harris.

COLLINS: And I'm Heidi Collins. Hi, everybody.

President Bush back in Washington and back on the stump. Today (INAUDIBLE), he merely travels down the street to Capitol Hill, but he faces a world of resistance from his own party. He's having lunch with Republican senators so he can lobby support for his immigration reforms. The measure is considered one of the president's top priorities but it stalled last week amid stiff opposition from fellow Republicans. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY (sic): What they didn't like last week was that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted to cut off debate so that a number of Republicans who had amendments they wanted to propose didn't get to have their hearing before the United States Senate. It's possible to kind of over interpret what happened in that cloture vote. What now is going to happen we think is that Senate Republicans are going to get together on a series of amendments. They're going to present them to Harry Reid who has given us the belief, if he'll go ahead and permit that debate after they finish debating an energy bill that comes up today and if that's the case, we're confident it's going to pass.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Some key Republicans sharply oppose the measure because they say it provides amnesty to immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.

HARRIS: Spreading its wings and preparing to spread out. A big step for the space station. That story, straight ahead for you in the NEWSROOM.

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Karl Penhaul, live in Baquba where we're out on patrol with U.S. soldiers hunting al Qaeda militants, coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Developing story that we've been following here this morning. CNN now confirming Bob Woolmer (ph), you may remember him as the Pakistan cricket coach who originally was said by Jamaican police to have been murdered back in March today it was announced that he did indeed die of natural causes. Once again, you may remember, that initial report came out from Jamaican police back in March after he was found unconscious in his hotel room and after his highly rated team actually lost to a team not very many people knew about in this sport, from Ireland. This was in the cricket world cup. So once again, new information coming in about the Pakistan cricket coach who initially people had thought he had been murdered. Today we learn that he did indeed die of natural causes.

HARRIS: Counterinsurgency, that is the word on the ground in Baquba and that al Qaeda stronghold coalition forces fight a daily battle, door to door. Here's our Karl Penhaul.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PENHAUL voice-over): They've done this a thousand times before. But it doesn't seem to get any easier.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't see no Ali Baba running around the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. PENHAUL: The same question as always, but few clear answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just doing a routine check here homey.

PENHAUL: It's around dawn and these U.S. soldiers have been scouring old Baquba's twisted alleys for hours, their target, al Qaeda militants. Iraqi soldiers are out with the Americans. Today at least some of the soldiers feel the Iraqis aren't pulling their weight. Midmorning, fatigue sets in. And so far, the platoon has come up with nothing, neither guns nor gunmen.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: It's hit or miss. Some days we find a lot, some days we don't.

PENHAUL: Then the rattle of gunfire. Insurgents pop up close to a mosque and open fire on another platoon.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: We get four or five guys on different rooftops, pop a few shots at us. If we can't get them pinpointed, they keep it up. We get them pinpointed, they start hopping rooftops.

PENHAUL: Striker fighting vehicles maneuver down in the street below. A radio crackles the bad news.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: (INAUDIBLE) the new reporter. One guy in the shoulder (INAUDIBLE) .

PENHAUL: One U.S. soldier is killed, two others wounded. And down below, a wounded Iraqi calls out for medical help. That's the nature of Iraq's guerrilla war. The American advance bulked down by a handful of insurgent gunmen.

UNIDENTIFIED SOLDIER: It's kind of like a crap shoot. Some days you get lucky, some days you don't.

PENHAUL: An Apache helicopter swoops in and unleashes a hellfire missile. There's no indication it killed the militants. Strikers try to conceal their movements with a curtain of smoke and soldiers scurry across exposed terrain. The longer the U.S. soldiers spend on the ground here, the insurgents remain the martyrs of these streets and alleys, choosing when to fight and when to melt away. Soldiers hole up in an abandon building and wait for dark. But like a thousand times before, the insurgents had slipped away. Tonight was not their night to stand and fight.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: And Karl Penhaul joins us now live from one of Baquba's neighborhoods. Karl, what was that I just heard?

PENHAUL: That was an explosion, Tony, across towards the western section of Baquba. Throughout the day, there have been somewhat sporadic firefights this morning. In fact there was an intense fire fight between U.S. troops who were out on a mission and they came under fire from a cell of about five or six insurgents. They managed to force those insurgents into a building and then Apache helicopters were called in and unleashed hellfire missiles and started to blast away at that house. Since then, throughout the course of the day, we've been hearing explosions like that. That could well, we're told by U.S. soldiers here on this combat outpost have been one of those roadside bombs exploding. We have heard those explode in the course of the day. There have also been numerous rounds fired by suspected al Qaeda insurgent snipers from locations around this combat outpost also Tony.

HARRIS: So Karl, with that backdrop and that information, how would you describe the security situation that you're seeing firsthand during this embed?

PENHAUL: Well, what U.S. military commanders have told us is that Baquba, the city of Baqubah is now one of the most dangerous places in Iraq. That is principally because it has been a stronghold for al Qaeda militants who want to use Baqubah and the surrounding area as one of their capital cities in their plan to set up an Islamic state here in Iraq. According to some sources, there may be upwards of two or 3,000 al Qaeda militants here in parts of Baquba. What we have seen of recent weeks is that some of the nationalist insurgents have flipped. They've changed sides. They've broken ranks with al Qaeda militants and they're are now fighting along side the U.S. forces. But that still hasn't been enough to clear out Baqubah of the al Qaeda insurgents here. And so what U.S. military commanders have told us is that there will be necessary -- a need for greater offensive operations here in Baqubah and they have said that in the course of this month, they will be beefing up forces here and trying to take on al Qaeda and trying to root them out of the city of Baquba, which is about 40 miles north of Baghdad, Tony.

HARRIS: CNN's Karl Penhaul embedded with U.S. troops in Baquba. Karl, thank you.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In New York and I'm watching what's going on on the international space station. Ever hear the word stiction? Well, coming up, I'll define it for you and I'll tell you why it can cause an array of trouble for the astronauts. Stay with us for more NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: The international space station is spreading its wings today, its solar wings. It's a step toward the next phase of construction. Our space correspondent Miles O'Brien joining us now live from New York. Always looking at these cool pictures, I think it's great, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Yes Heidi and we will tell you about this word stiction in just a moment. But let's just see the cool pictures first. Of course, live from space right now, you can see, slowly but surely, this is the object of NASA's attention right now and that is the deployment of that solar array, the beginning of the process. This will take several hours as they do this very slowly.

If you look kind of closely here, you can see it kind of unfolds, actually there's a nice close-up for us. It's almost as if they were listening to me in this case. I appreciate them doing that. Thank you for switching the shot, NASA. As you can see here, it's kind of like a blind, blinds you might put on your window, right? What happens is, if you're not careful in deploying these blinds, they tend to stick together and that can cause kind of a crack the whip type effect down the whole roll here. This is a previous deployment on a previous mission. The idea here is when they did it the first time back in 2000, they just hit the switch and off it went and it caused all kinds of stiction problems, which is --

COLLINS: Sticking.

O'BRIEN: Static friction combined to make stiction. And it was a mess. Ultimately, it got deployed, but it was not a pretty sight. You don't want to damage these things because it's $367 million of your hard-earned tax money there. So let's do it right. The idea is to deploy it about halfway, let it bake in the sun and get whatever stiction capability is in there out of it and then do the remainder of the deployment. There you see how it's stopped there and on it goes. These are big solar arrays, stem to stern of the whole thing is about 300 feet when you get both wings out there. And once they're deployed, they will greatly enhance the electrical generating capability of the space station. Hopefully they'll be able to start doing some real science up there as the station gets a little bit more in a complete state. Yesterday, Heidi, the astronauts had a pretty successful space walk. There you see, that's Jim Riley there. You can tell because he's got red stripes on his suit. That's a signal.

COLLINS: I did not know that.

O'BRIEN: Who's who. You have to have a program to know the players, right? And they successfully attached all the electrical connections to this huge truss with all solar arrays on it, so laid the ground work for what we're seeing today. While they were working out there, the word came in that they have a few extra tasks on their to-do list. A space honey-do list. Mission control wants them to fix a torn blanket, which is up in this part of the shuttle. Let's take a look at the tear. You've seen it by now but it's worth pointing out in case you missed it. It's not that big a tear, but it does expose a four inch by six inches, six inches by four inch triangle.

COLLINS: Doesn't look good.

O'BRIEN: No. It doesn't look good. So what they want to do is go out there and tuck in the blanky. Now let me show you this. This is the blanket material. I always have some in my desk in case I need it.

COLLINS: It is thermal, keeps you warm.

O'BRIEN: Yes, it's quilted silica and woven glass and it has a memory. Look how when I turn it up, it stays up.

COLLINS: It's like Tempur-pedic.

O'BRIEN: What's your sleep number is what you might want to know? But the other thing is, when you push it down, it stays down. The theory is it should be a relatively easy fix. Back to live pictures now. So far I haven't seen any signs of that nettlesome stiction, Heidi. But we are watching for it very closely as this deployment continues. Sure is a pretty shot, isn't it?

COLLINS: It is. It's gorgeous. I love watching those. OK, Miles O'Brien, nice to see you, with your (INAUDIBLE) and your thermal blankets and all and stiction, static and friction. At first I just thought it was a painful term, but now I understand.

O'BRIEN: Now that you know.

COLLINS: Thank you, sir, nice to see you.

O'BRIEN: You're welcome.

HARRIS: All this year, CNN is introducing you to people making a difference in their communities. We call them CNN heroes. Today we take to you Kabul, Afghanistan where a world renowned make-up artist has returned home to help the women of his country build a future for themselves. Meet today's CNN hero.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATIN MAULAWIZADA: I wanted to bring a little something back. It's a tiny project but I wanted to really make sure to bring something. The Afghan women, they survived years of war (INAUDIBLE) still they do indeed prevail. So to me, the strength of Afghan women are just remarkable and I wanted to work with them. Widows in particular rely on the mercy of their families so they kind of become servants. I wanted to change that, one person at a time, if I could.

My entire point was to make sure that widows and women be able to proudly work and be proud of their work and work outside their house and provide well for their families. It's just amazing. It sells itself, really. They read and write equivalent of fourth grader now. Mentally, they're prepared to go to work. They know how to take measurements. They know how to do -- to write measurements, once they learn enough, they will basically be businesswomen. And look at the embroidery on this. I'm hoping that I would send them to courses that they could actually manage a business, grow a business. My whole dream is for them to basically have the confidence to see beautiful objects that they're making and know that people are enjoying and appreciating them. They're doing the work. All I'm offering is basically an opportunity for them to show what they have.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIS: If you'd like to learn more about Matin's organization, you'll find all the information you need at cnn.com/heroes.

COLLINS: Talk about a blue plate special. No, you're not seeing things. It's blue. And it's a rare catch, too. Don't worry, nobody's going to eat this guy. Blue lobster, coming up in the NEWSROOM.

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

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