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CNN NEWSROOM

U.K. Terror Investigation Expands; Doctors Say U.S. Patient Has Less Severe Form of Tuberculosis

Aired July 3, 2007 - 15:00   ET

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


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Don Lemon.

It's TB all right, but XDR? The CDC says yes. Doctors in Denver say no.

PHILLIPS: The man whose illness became an international incident may not be as bad off as first thought. We're about to hear a lot more in a live news conference.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Yet another twist in the health of the world's most famous TB patient -- Andrew Speaker set off an international health scare when he set off overseas with a dangerous form of tuberculosis.

Now doctors are reclassifying the type of TB that he has, though they still don't all agree.

Our medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here to explain what it all means.

I cannot believe everything that he's been through, all the coverage that we did, thinking this was such a toxic situation.

(CROSSTALK)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is still not a great situation. He still has multiply-drug-resistant -- multiply- drug resistant tuberculosis. It is still not a disease you want to have.

PHILLIPS: But could he have infected so many people, the way we thought previously?

E. COHEN: Possibly. No matter what kind of TB you have, it's still infectious.

PHILLIPS: OK.

E. COHEN: One kind is not more infectious than another. He could still have given it to people on that airplane when he went on airplanes to and from Europe. However, when we want to speak about Andrew Speaker himself and his health, this is definitely good news. He had been told by the CDC and by doctors here in Atlanta that he had XDR, extensively-drug- resistant tuberculosis. That has a very high mortality rate. It's resistant to almost every antibiotic that's out there, and you have to use these horribly toxic antibiotics to try and treat it.

Now he's being told by his doctors in Denver he has multi-drug- resistant tuberculosis, meaning that it's resistant to some of the drugs used to treat tuberculosis. As a matter of fact, Denver Jewish, the hospital that he is at now, says that it appears that his disease is susceptible to Cipro. You may remember that from anthrax, rather.

Cipro is a class of drugs that doctors sometimes use. And they say Cipro appears to be working. So, that's great news for him. His disease, in other words, is not nearly as severe as doctors once thought.

PHILLIPS: Well, Cipro is what we take when we go overseas on assignment...

E. COHEN: Right. Sure.

PHILLIPS: ... in case we get sick.

E. COHEN: Sure.

PHILLIPS: OK. The CDC did tests, and his doctors in Denver did tests. So, how do you know -- I mean, is one better than another? Or why did they come up with conflicting tests?

E. COHEN: Right. Here's where it gets a little bit confusing.

The CDC and the hospital here in Atlanta together did a test on his actual lung tissue. They did a bronchoscopy, got some of his tissue, and they found evidence of XDR.

What they did, apparently -- according to the CDC, what they did, apparently, in Denver is, they did sputum tests. They did tests on his sputum, and they found that he did not have XDR.

Now, some infectious disease experts will tell you that looking at the lung tissue is really a more exact way of diagnosing it. However, the doctors at Denver, who are experts in this, who really are the best in the country at treating tuberculosis, they have done several different tests on them, and they say that it's not nearly bad as thought -- as it was previously thought, and that several antibiotics that were thought to be ineffective actually are going to work.

PHILLIPS: So, once we heard the discrepancy today, we all were asking the question, did he end up having that surgery to take out part of his lung? They ended up not doing the surgery, right?

E. COHEN: And they may never do it. They had told us last month, you know what? We think we're going to have to do surgery on Mr. Speaker, because his disease is so bad.

But now they're saying, you know what? It's not nearly as bad as we thought. We may not have to do surgery.

Now, one thing that I think is important to stress here is that, no matter what kind of TB Mr. Speaker had, doctors at the CDC say, look, the standard operating procedure is, no matter what kind of TB you have, you should not get on an airplane from Atlanta to Paris.

They say that TB patients -- standard operating procedure to tell TB patients, do not get in an enclosed space with lots of people. You could be on an airplane from Atlanta to Paris with someone who has HIV, and you could make them really sick. Maybe you are an airplane with someone who is having chemo for cancer. Their immune system is a mess, and you could make them sick.

So, in a way, this doesn't really change some of the public health questions we're talking about. Standard operating procedure is to tell patients with TB, do not get in an enclosed area for long periods of time.

PHILLIPS: We still don't know when he will be released, right?

E. COHEN: Right. No, we still don't know that. That's right. They have to figure out -- they have to treat him long enough to know that he would not get other people sick.

PHILLIPS: OK. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so much.

We're waiting for that live news conference from the hospital.

Also, tonight, at 10:00, a new diagnosis for the TB patient that set off this international scare. Andrew Speaker and his wife are going to sit down with Anderson Cooper for an interview tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern time.

LEMON: All right. We told you about another doctor being named in that U.K. terror threat that happened, all the potential bombings that have been going on in the U.K.

This is another doctor. And this is a photo of him at the scene. This was the Glasgow Airport this weekend. His name is Khalid Ahmed. He is a doctor, just like the other three doctors who have been arrested for this. He's being treated for serious burns in the Alexandra Hospital.

But this is believed to be one of the men who drove the fuel- laden jeep into the Glasgow Airport this weekend. And these are pictures of authorities subduing him on the scene. Again, he is in the hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, being treated for very serious burns, in critical condition.

But this is another picture of one of the suspects there. Very interesting that there have been a number of doctors named in this probe, which is something new. But, again, we're also hearing that doctors are being targeted, because they have so much information about chemicals and medicines.

Let's talk about what U.S. officials tell CNN today. They tell us the men allegedly behind the failed attacks in England and Scotland have links to al Qaeda in Iraq. In Britain, meanwhile -- meanwhile, two more people under arrest on terror charges, though police can't say whether those two are linked to the car bombs in London and Glasgow.

And, as I said, in another twist, at least six of the suspects or detainees are doctors, including one in Australia.

International security correspondent Paula Newton is in Scotland Yard, in London, with the very latest on this, Paula. And we're awaiting a press conference, so, if we cut you short here, please, our apologies early on.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: By all means.

That -- those other two arrests that you speak of, they surround gas cylinders. And, at this point, they don't know if the cases are related. And they don't know if these people will be released without charge or eventually charged -- as you can imagine, people really on high alert, jittery.

And when two deliveries of gas canisters went to what was essentially an industrial park in that area of England, they decided to call in authorities. This has been a very fast-moving investigation. Sources here at Scotland Yard say everyone continues to be very gratified with the pace of the investigation and the fact that they have so many leads now and so many arrests. And, as we have been saying for quite some time, they felt that the core of this group was already in custody.

What's emerging now, though, Don, is a picture certainly of a network of medical professionals, but now more than that. It does seem, authorities tell us, that at least one, if not two, of those doctors would have had direct contact with al Qaeda, and would have perhaps come here and then tried to recruit and radicalize other medical professionals -- Don.

LEMON: So, Paula, we're going to talk about that -- that possible link to al Qaeda with our justice correspondent, Kelli Arena, in just a minute.

But you're talking to investigators there on the scene. What are they saying about it?

And, again, we're looking at the picture again of this doctor that they have just identified in this. What are they saying about this doctor connection? Six of the suspects or detainees are doctors in this?

NEWTON: Most definitely. And, of course, as we have spoken of, they're usually above suspicion. And, more than that, they know for a fact that these are the kinds of people, the kind of people, that really al Qaeda seeks for, hunts for. They know that they will be under the radar. They know that they're normally going to be good at these operations.

And it is a very classic sleeper cell structure, in the sense that no one has any clues to any of this until it actually happens. In a lot of sense, it mirrors a lot more of what happened during 9/11, as opposed to some of the homegrown terror threats that have emerged here in Britain in the last few years -- Don.

LEMON: All right, CNN's Paula Newton at Scotland Yard, thank you for your report.

Now let's talk more about that possible link now to al Qaeda. Here's justice correspondent Kelli Arena in Washington.

Kelli, we spoke to several people, one who was a former Scotland Yard chief. And he said, you know what? This was so amateurish, that he doesn't believe that there's a link to a terror group. But, apparently, now you're saying there is a possible link?

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes.

And U.S. officials have told us that -- that there is a link between that group and al Qaeda's arm that's operating in Iraq. At least one, if not more, of the people who were recruited were recruited by al Qaeda, and then, of course, were sent off to go do what they did.

You know, there's a lot of discussion about, you know, how amateurish it was and, if it had been successful, how much damage it would have most undoubtedly caused.

And, you know, as one official put to it me, he said, you know, you can say it's amateurish until it kills your mother, and then you really don't care how skilled people were in blowing things up or not.

So, they don't want to take away from the seriousness of what they're seeing.

You know, Don, there's a lot of discussion about this group being doctors. And, you know, al Qaeda is -- is looking for exactly those types of people. They are looking for people, one, that can move easily within the Western world. They're looking for people who can slide under the radar screen, and they're looking for people who are -- who are skilled in areas where they need expertise.

And, as you know, you know, most doctors have some sort of background in chemical and biological capabilities. They have access to radiological materials and hospitals. And it is -- it is believed that those types of materials could be used in future attacks.

You know, they're looking for people who are not going to necessarily bring up extremist views at a cocktail party, people who are sophisticated enough to understand that they have to really fly below the radar, assimilate as well as they can, and be ideal sleeper cells.

LEMON: Yes, but you know what? There's also the common wisdom that says someone who is a doctor and has that level of intelligence would not be easily persuaded or brainwashed, so to speak, into joining some sort of radical group.

ARENA: Well, you know, I mean, look, al-Zawahri, al Qaeda's number two, is an ophthalmologist. You know, we -- you know, a lot of people have this misimpression that, you know, al Qaeda is a bunch of, you know, really uneducated, you know, people living in caves.

That is not the case. You have -- you have computer experts. You have engineers. You have doctors. You have -- you have some very well -- there's no secret about Osama bin Laden's lineage and his family. So, I mean, these are -- these are, you know, to some extent, very educated people, many who have spent time in the United States and were educated here.

So, you know, that is -- that is a misimpression that we have to get over, that, hopefully, law enforcement is over. You know, they -- they are looking. And this extremist movement, you know, is not limited. It is global. And it does -- it does, you know, grab hold of people from all walks of life.

LEMON: Mm-hmm. And, as you said, investigators are learning that, and the public learning that, as well, after this latest round of attacks.

Kelli Arena, justice correspondent -- thank you, Kelli.

ARENA: You're welcome.

PHILLIPS: A young Iraqi girl raped and murdered, her family killed, it was a shocking crime. And, today, we learned that U.S. prosecutors plan to seek the ultimate penalty for the man accused, former U.S. soldier Steven Green.

CNN's Jamie McIntyre following that story from the Pentagon -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, according to the Associated Press, federal prosecutors have said that they will seek the death penalty in the case of former Army Private Steven Green, who, as you said, is accused of being basically the ringleader of one of the most horrific crimes conducted during the Iraq war.

According to an FBI affidavit filed in conjunction with the case, Steven Green was among a group of soldiers -- in fact, the leader of the group -- that stalked a young 14-year-old Iraqi girl for more than a week, went to her house, killed the members of her family, and then raped and killed her as well.

Three soldiers have already faced a court-martial on this case, but Steven Green is facing charges in a civilian court, because he had already been discharged from the Army about two months after this incident took place, and was a civilian. So, he is facing the charges in a civilian court, a federal court in Louisville, Kentucky.

And now we learned, again, that prosecutors are going to seek the death penalty. Again, not really a surprise, given the severity of the charges and the premeditated nature of the attack.

According, again, to that FBI affidavit, not only did they follow this woman to her house, but they -- the soldiers drank alcohol, changed clothes to avoid detection. They carried out the attack, and then they attempted to burn the bodies to cover them up as well, again, according to the evidence cited in the case.

Steven Green will be going to trial on this case, again, in civilian court. And, at this point, his public defender has had no comment -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Jamie, do we know anything more about Steven Green, his background, the fact that -- I mean, when you're in the military, you're in a tight group. Did -- no one caught on to his behavior or what was wrong?

MCINTYRE: Well, in fact, he had been discharged from the Army after just 11 months in Iraq for what was cited as a personality disorder. So, some people clearly thought that he had some sort of emotional problems when he was discharged.

But nobody knew at that point that he had been implicated in this serious crime two months before.

PHILLIPS: That's an absolute shame.

Jamie McIntyre from the Pentagon -- appreciate it, Jamie.

LEMON: No credible threats, but U.S. security officials decide to play it safer anyway -- ahead in the NEWSROOM, details on TSA VIPR teams and where you might see them.

PHILLIPS: It was one of the worst stories that followed Hurricane Katrina, patients at a New Orleans hospital allegedly given overdoses on purpose by the desperate staff -- straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, an update on the case against two nurses.

LEMON: Also an update, and hopefully a live one, here in the CNN NEWSROOM -- we're awaiting a press conference from the hospital where TB patient Andrew Speaker is being treated. They have reclassified the type of tuberculosis they believe he has. What does this mean? We will tell you in a live report coming up from the hospital.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Three seventeen Eastern time, and here are three of the stories that we're working on in the CNN NEWSROOM this hour.

We're expecting to hear some surprising news any minute from doctors in Denver, where tuberculosis patient Andrew Speaker is being treated. They will say he suffers from a less serious form of TB, not the more dangerous type he was initially diagnosed with. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control say they stand by their initial diagnosis, though. Speaker set off a global health scare this year by traveling on two international flights.

The U.K. terror probe has widened today. The investigation is spreading to Australia, where authorities are questioning two doctors who were recently recruited from England. U.K. authorities have detained -- or are questioning, at least, seven foreign-born doctors as part of this probe now.

And a slimy mess in flood-ravaged Kansas -- the flooding caused thousands of gallons of crude oil to spill from Coffeyville refinery. Now the slick is headed now for an Oklahoma lake that supplies all the drinking water.

LEMON: Well, it's too wet there and too hot in some places. You can't beat a pool for staying cool. From Las Vegas to Phoenix, millions of folks are doing what they can to beat the heat this week. Temperatures are expected to hit dangerous levels. Many communities are opening cooling centers for those who don't have air-conditioning or fans in their homes.

This is not the time to not have air-conditioning or fans in the home.

So, we're going to get to Rob Marciano in just a little bit.

We are going to get to that press conference.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

WILLIAM ALLSTETTER, DIRECTOR OF MEDIA EXTERNAL RELATIONS, DENVER NATIONAL JEWISH MEDICAL & RESEARCH CENTER: ... not just at Denver Hospital.

We're about to have a press conference here. Let me lay it out for you. I'm William Allstetter. I'm the director of media external relations.

First on the podium will be Charles Daley. He's the head of our infectious disease division here at National Jewish. And, then, by phone, it will be Mitchell Cohen from the Centers for Disease Control. And then I will have a short statement afterwards from Andrew Speaker. And then we will open it up to question and answers, first here in the room, and then we will take answers from the phone lines.

So, without further adieu, here is Dr. Daley.

DR. CHARLES DALEY, NATIONAL JEWISH MEDICAL & RESEARCH CENTER: Thank you.

Well, welcome back to National Jewish. We called today's press conference because we have some news that we would like to share with you regarding Mr. Speaker's case.

Based on extensive testing of multiple isolates of the organisms that we have cultured from Mr. Speaker, we have been able to demonstrate that he does not have XDR TB, or extensively-drug- resistant TB. He does have multidrug-resistant TB. However, this distinction is very important, for two reasons.

Number one, it allows us to change the way we treat him. In that regard, we have put surgery on hold for the time being, while we try to build a strong treatment regimen with drugs that we did not initially think we would have available for use.

I think the second and very important point here is that, if someone has become infected by Mr. Speaker -- we hope that has not happened, but, if it was to happen, we now have some drugs available to try to treat them and prevent them from developing TB.

So, this implication -- there are two implications here. One is for Mr. Speaker and our ability to treat him. And second are, for any potential contacts who could have become infected, we now have a regimen or regimens available to also treat them.

I think that it's very important for us to think about how this could impact those people who would have been or could have been infected. So, I want to say a couple of things about that. Many of the people who were out there and may have been exposed to Mr. Speaker have been hearing that there are no drugs available; there's nothing that we can do for them.

And I think this is a very important finding, is, in fact, we do have something now that we can do for them. We can potentially treat them with oral antibiotics that are potent antibiotics to prevent them from progressing to disease.

So, I'm hoping that those who have been in contact are hearing me, and know that there are some things that we can do for them, if, in fact, they did become infected.

And then, finally, to reiterate that, for Mr. Speaker, we now have a regimen that is more potent. And, therefore, we believe his prognosis is better. And we will now revisit the issue of whether or not he does indeed need surgery or not. And that will take us a little bit longer. I don't know when that decision will be made, but we will be continuing to revisit that over time.

So, I would like to stop there and let my colleagues at the CDC comment.

ALLSTETTER OK. And, from the phone lines, can we bring on Dr. -- Dr. Cohen?

DR. MITCHELL COHEN, COORDINATING CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASES DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: Well, thank you.

And thank you, Dr. Daley.

I'm Mitch Cohen. I'm the director of the Coordinating Center For Infectious Diseases at CDC. On behalf of CDC's director, Dr. Julie Gerberding, who is away this week and could not be here, I would like to thank Dr. Daley and the National Jewish Medical and Research Center for inviting us to participate with them today.

CDC really values its partnership with Dr. Daley and his colleagues, who are committed, as we are, to finding better ways to diagnose, treat and control this serious, but often underestimated infectious disease.

As Dr. Daley just described, recent laboratory test results from National Jewish Hospital, and confirmed at CDC's laboratory, show that MDR TB is the predominant bacteria in this patient. This is a positive development, as was mentioned by Dr. Daley, for the patient, suggesting that some of the second-line TB medications may effectively treat this disease.

However, MDR TB remains difficult to treat and will require approximately two years of medication and relatively toxic drug regimens to achieve the desired outcome. It's very different from drug-susceptible TB.

When different specimens from a patient are tested for their drug susceptibility and the results are mixed, a treatment regimen is chosen that is most likely to be effective on the most prominent TB bacteria.

And, in this patient, the prominent bacteria appears to be MDR TB. His physician must take all of this information together and decide what is the best course for treating the individual patient.

Now, Dr. Daley has described the importance of these test results for the patient's medical care. I would like to just briefly talk a little bit about the public health implications of the additional test results. There is a tendency to want to think about XDR TB and MDR TB as two different illnesses. In fact, they're only describing a level of drug resistance found in the bacteria attained from the patient's specimens.

It's important to remember that a patient has multidrug-resistant TB, which is a significant public health concern. MDR TB is a rare version of TB, and is resistant to the most commonly used drug therapies. It is a serious illness that can be transmitted to others, and, thus, put others at risk for getting a difficult-to-treat disease.

Therefore, regardless of the revision of the patient's drug susceptibility at this time, the public health actions that the CDC took in this case and are continuing to case -- to take are sound and appropriate.

After all, the public health response to drug-resistant TB infections, whether MDR TB or XDR TB, is the same under the World Health Organization's TB and airline travel guidelines that were published in 2005. CDC took public action when we were notified that the patient had drug-resistant tuberculosis and had traveled on a transatlantic commercial air flight. Without question, people with these infections should not be flying on commercial airlines. And, if they do, an effort should be made to notify and evaluate passengers who were seated near them.

Therefore, CDC continues to recommend the follow-up and retesting of passengers and crew who traveled on the transatlantic flights with this patient. CDC will continue to ensure the well-being of patients who may have been exposed and infected by this patient.

Just a few words about the CDC laboratory and the particular tests that were we're talking about. In CDC's national TB Reference Laboratory, drug susceptibility testing of mycobacteria in tuberculosis is performed using a method that's called the agar proportion method, a method which is...

PHILLIPS: We have been watching a joint news conference between the Centers for Disease Control and the Denver doctors that are treating Andrew Speaker, the TB patient in Denver, Colorado, because, pretty much, a big bombshell broke today that he has been diagnosed -- well, actually, the CDC is saying one thing. His doctors in Denver are saying another.

We're being told he doesn't have that extreme form of TB that we initially thought. It's a different form of TB, a less dangerous form of TB.

Elizabeth Cohen has been following the news for us all afternoon.

And I even hesitated to say less dangerous, because you were even saying any form of TB is not a good thing.

E. COHEN: Right.

PHILLIPS: So, what does this mean? And who is right, the CDC or the doctors in Denver?

E. COHEN: Well, it appears that now they actually, to at least some extent, have come into an agreement.

When you heard Dr. Mitchell Cohen at the CDC, he said, the predominant strain that Andrew Speaker has is multidrug-resistant. It's resistant to a lot of drugs. A lot of drugs aren't going to work on it, but there are some that will. This is terrific news for Mr. Speaker, who you see here.

It means he likely won't -- or perhaps won't have to have surgery. It seems relatively likely he wouldn't have to have it. And, also, if he infected anyone on those airplanes, there are drugs that can probably help those people.

But, as Dr. Cohen at the CDC said, it's still not a good thing to have multidrug-resistant TB. People have to be on relatively toxic antibiotics, sometimes for several years. This is still a terrible disease to have.

However, the kind of TB he has now, compared to the kind of TB they thought he had, this is a lot easier to treat.

PHILLIPS: Good. So, what does this mean now from this point on? Will he be released sooner? Or -- they were talking about all the different form of medication. They feel good about what they can give him now, so -- like, the antibiotics.

E. COHEN: Right.

For example, now they think they can give him Cipro, which is a fluoroquinolone type of drug. They thought that they couldn't give him Cipro before. They thought it wouldn't work, but now they think he could.

So, it would be reasonable to say perhaps he could go home earlier than they thought. Perhaps he could be in home isolation, rather than being isolated at the hospital. The doctors weren't very specific about that. But, certainly, it's easier to treat.

And, of course, let's not forget about the hundreds of people who were on airplanes with this man. Now, if they -- if it turns out that they were also infected with TB, again, not a good thing, but the doctors in Denver were very clear: At least we can offer those people something, rather than throwing up your hands, and saying, gosh, the chances that nothing is going to work are pretty good.

PHILLIPS: Thanks for following the story for us.

E. COHEN: Thanks.

PHILLIPS: All right.

LEMON: No credible threat, but U.S. security officials decide to play it safe anyway -- ahead in the NEWSROOM, details on TSA VIPR teams and where you might see them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon.

We may be getting the day off tomorrow, but a lot of security workers sure won't.

PHILLIPS: It's all part of the plan to make sure that the only Fourth of July fireworks you see are the ones you expect.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: The feds here in America are stepping up security at airports and ground transportation centers in eight cities.

Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve is in Washington with late details on that -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Don, U.S. officials continue to say they know of no specific credible threat against the U.S., but precautions are being taken to protect big gatherings on the Fourth of July. Because of the large numbers of people likely to be traveling to celebrations on mass transit, the Transportation Security Administration is deploying what it cause VIPR teams on systems coast to coast, in New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco. They are also deploying them to some airports, concentrating their efforts on some of the most densely-populated cities in the country.

The teams can have various combinations, but basically they consist of K-9 explosive detection units, air marshals, transportation inspectors, and specialists in behavior analysis. And all of these people work together with local and transit police.

Law enforcement is encouraging the public to get out and enjoy the holiday, including the big concert and fireworks display on the National Mall here in Washington, where more than 20 law enforcement agencies are working with the U.S. Park Police to provide security.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF DWIGHT PETTIFORD, U.S. PARK POLICE: At this time we don't have any credible threats towards this event. We realize that this is one of the greatest events and the largest events in America tomorrow. So we are preparing our plan as if something's going to come up and we can address it. But at this time we don't have any credible threats.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MESERVE: Authorities are asking members of the public to do more than enjoy themselves. They also are asking them to stay alert to anything unusual or suspicious and report to it authorities as the authorities review the bigger-threat picture and work to connect the dots.

But as I said, Don, as yet, they haven't come up with any big threats that we should be worried about.

LEMON: No big threats here, but again, just because of what's happening in the U.K., correct?

MESERVE: Absolutely.

LEMON: All right. Thanks, Jeanne Meserve.

MESERVE: You bet.

PHILLIPS: Medical doctors as terrorists? Well, that unlikely question is now part of the British terror organization.

Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance has more from central England.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): They're dedicated to saving lives, not taking them. All the more incredible, then, doctors appear at the core of Britain's latest terrorist threat.

Doctors like Bilal Abdulla, of Iraqi origin, subdued by police after escaping the burning SUV that rammed into Glasgow airport. It's understood he worked at a local hospital with two other medics now in custody as well.

Another doctor who has emerged as a leading suspect in the Glasgow attack and the two failed car bombings in London last week is Mohammed Asha, a medic in his late 20s, arrested with his wife in the Britain Midlands. As police swept his home for evidence, his father made a desperate appeal from Jordan.

"I'm sure he's no links to any of this," he says. "Since he was born, he's never undertaken this kind of activity."

But there are other doctors now under suspicion, too. Near Liverpool's most famous street, police are scouring two locations in search of evidence.

A 26-year-old Asian man now confirmed by hospital sources as a doctor was detained in the city on Saturday night. And the police have now sealed off the home of another doctor in the English county of Staffordshire. He's believed to be a colleague of Jordanian Mohammed Asha, but police say they won't confirm that he's a suspect.

(on camera): Of the figures now formally under arrest, at least six are known to work in the medical profession, including a man named as Mohammed Haneef, arrested by Australian police in the city of Brisbane.

The idea people in such positions of trust could some way be involved in a conspiracy to commit mass murder is a bizarre and a shocking twist.

Matthew Chance, CNN, in central England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: We've been following developing news here in the CNN NEWSROOM on Andrew speaker, the TB patients. Just moments ago, the hospital that was treating him released some information about the new type of TB that they believe he has. Not the old one that was deemed much less treatable by drugs. And just moments ago, also, they released a statement from him.

Let's take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is true that at times the government must act to protect the public's welfare and balance personal liberties with public safety. But a popular quote says it well that, "With great power comes great responsibility."

In the future, I hope they realize the terribly chilling effect they can have when they come after someone and their family on a personal level. They can, in a few days, destroy an entire family's reputation, ability to make a living, and good name.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Doctors in Denver, Colorado, reading a statement from TB patient Andrew Speaker.

Again, the much less treatable form of tuberculosis, he does not have that. He has one that they believe now that they can treat with drugs.

Tonight at 10:00, Andrew Speaker and his wife sit down with Anderson Cooper for a "360" exclusive. That's tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.

(WEATHER REPORT)

LEMON: OK. It was one of the worst stories that followed Hurricane Katrina patients at a New Orleans hospital, allegedly given overdoses on purpose by the desperate staff.

Ahead in the NEWSROOM, an update on the case against two nurses.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Well, all this year, CNN is bringing you the stories of some remarkable people, people dedicating their lives to improving the lives of others. We saw them CNN Heroes. And in Canada, a remarkable 16-year-old has been saving the lives of children all over the world by giving them their most basic necessity -- clean water. And he's been doing it since he was 6.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please stand by. Go ahead, please.

RYAN HRELJAC, CNN HERO: Every day 6,000 children die because they don't have access to clean water. That's like 20 full jumbo jets crashing every day of the year. I feel like we shouldn't live in a world like that.

I was 6 years old and I was in my grade one classroom. My teacher said there were people who have to walk 10 kilometers to get to a dirty mud hole, and I decided to do something about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan told me he has been saving money to put up a well in Africa and he said he wanted in a school.

The well which Ryan built was the first clean water they ever had.

HRELJAC: I went to Uganda when I was 10. I was pretty excited to go see what the impact was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You read it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan's well, funded by Ryan H.

(SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up to that moment, maybe Ryan never knew how much this means. The little boy who had this big dream, now look where he is not only doing one well, but so many wells. The clean water has reached far and wide.

HRELJAC: When a well is built in a community, the health, it skyrockets. And smiles light up on people's faces because they have clean water to drink. It's great it see the impact.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan has changed many, many lives out here. So he is a hero. He is a warrior who made it happen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Well, we're not the only ones who are impressed with Ryan's work. Just last week the actor Matt Damon, through his nonprofit organization H2O Africa, agreed to partner with Ryan's foundation to bring even more clean water to people around the world.

If you'd like to make your own contribution to Ryan's foundation or nominate your hero for special recognition later this year, you'll find more information on our Web site at cnn.com/heroes.

LEMON: Apart from Scooter Libby, is anyone happy about the president commuting his sentence? Well, not if you read the Internet blogs. Anger on the left and the right straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Well, the emotional and physical pain apparently was too much for a young hate crime victim. Eighteen-year-old David Ritcheson jumped from a Carnival cruise ship to his death Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last year near Houston, attackers had beaten the Mexican-American teen unconscious and sodomized him with a plastic pole. One attacker shouting, "White power!"

Ritcheson seemed to be making a full recovery, and earlier this year he even testified before Congress in support of a hate crime bill. Well, at a Houston news conference earlier today, Ritcheson was remembered for who he was and how he could have helped others.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN KOMINSKY, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: In our opportunity to get to meet David, we know that his life was a courageous one. We were with him through many of the travails that he had. But in the end, I think he wanted to be remembered not as a victim of hate, but a courageous rescuer that would help other people be able to fight hate and bigotry and would protect other victims of hate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: One of Ritcheson's attackers got life in prison. Another got 90 years. The hate crime bill pamsed in the House in April and is pending in the Senate.

LEMON: He was convicted, he was sentenced, but Lewis "Scooter" Libby won't spend a day behind bars. President Bush has commuted Libby's 30-month prison term which was supposed to be his punishment for lying to investigators in the CIA leak probe.

The president's decision came just hours after a court ruled that Libby could not stay free while appealing his conviction. The president is not ruling out an eventual full pardon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had to make a very difficult decision. I weighed this decision carefully. I thought that the jury verdict should stand. I felt the punishment was severe.

So, I made a decision that would commute his sentence, but leave in place a serious fine, a probation -- and probation. As to the future, I am -- you know, rule nothing in and nothing out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, Democrats are outraged, but some Republicans are pushing for a pardon.

Did President Bush go too far? Or did he fall short? The answer depends on what blog you look on to or you log on to.

Here's our Internet correspondent, Jacki Schechner.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT: There is no shortage of reaction to the decision by President Bush to commute the sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby. As you might imagine, a tremendous amount of outrage on the left. Liberal bloggers like Jeralyn Merritt over at talkleft.com saying, "Hypocrisy, thy name is Bush."

As you might imagine, liberal bloggers calling for action at this point. Over at Eschaton, Duncan Black writing, "President Bush engages in ongoing obstruction of justice by commuting Scooter Libby sentence, and all the wise men of Washington cheered."

The reaction on the right is a little more mixed than it is on the left. The conservatives who have been unhappy with President Bush for some time now saying this might put him back in his good graces just for a moment. For example, K.J. Lopez over at The Corner saying, "I've been diagnosed with Bush Estrangement Syndrome in recent weeks. I feel a little less estranged tonight."

Over at Captain's Quarters blog, another conservative online, he's saying this might be splitting the baby for President Bush. That he either should have pardoned Scooter Libby entirely or he should have done nothing at all. He's not sure that this is going to actually make that big of a difference.

We've seen conservative bloggers unhappy with President Bush in recent weeks because of the immigration issue. It's going to be interesting to see if this does anything to lift his numbers and to lift his support online.

Now, the Scooter Libby trial has been a big one for bloggers on both sides of the aisle. They were actually credentialed to cover the trial. This was a big step for them. So, we've been getting little nuggets of information every step of the way, every little detail. You better believe that they're not letting this one go.

I'm Jacki Schechner for CNN in New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Home at last. Atlantis arrives back at the Kennedy Space Center, atop a modified 747. The shuttle had to land in California last month because of bad weather in Florida. That's something NASA tries to avoid. It costs $1.5 million to shuttle the shuttle from one coast to the other.

LEMON: I guess you can call that a piggyback ride, right?

Well, yes, he is a champ on the green, we know that. But how is he doing in the nursery? Hear from new dad Tiger Woods, just ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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LEMON: Tiger Woods is back, and he's giving back to the sport that made him a very wealthy man. Woods, AT&T and the PGA Tour are behind a new tournament that begins Thursday in Bethesda, Maryland.

Woods is a host of the AT&T National. It benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. It will be Tiger's first tournament since the birth of his daughter Sam Alexis last month.

That is a cute baby. A cute dog, too.

At a news conference today, Woods talked about how his late father inspired the name for the baby.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIGER WOODS, PRO GOLFER: We wanted to have a name that would be meaningful to either side of the family, either my side or Elin's side. And because she was born basically an extension of Father's Day, it just happened to fit that my father had always called me Sam since the day I was born.

It's weird that he really never called me Tiger. I would ask him, you know, "Why don't you ever call me Tiger?" He says, "Well, you look more like a Sam."

LEMON: Earl Woods died last year.

PHILLIPS: Well, expect the unexpected when Robin Williams comes to visit. Just ask Larry King and his crew. At one point during their interview, the entertainer took off for the control room and sort of took over.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR: OK. Go tight on Larry. Just real tight, if you can.

That's tight? Just try and cut the suspenders, because I wore those first.

OK. Larry, we've got an interview with one of your sperm. It's in assisted living in Miami. So we're hoping to see it. It's been there for a couple years, and I don't know.

Bob, cut to the sperm. OK, back to Larry.

OK, Larry, we've got -- give me the shot of Britney. Pan up. OK.

Oh, not yet. Keep the two of them in. Keep the producers in wondering how we're going to air this.

OK. Now we've got Mel Gibson and a rabbi. Let's see what happens.

He's doing a production of "Fiddler on the Roof" in Orange County. It's really fun, though.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Remember the show where he wore the suspenders?

LEMON: Oh, my gosh, yes. I do. I do.

PHILLIPS: Do you remember?

LEMON: Yes.

PHILLIPS: What was it?

LEMON: Oh, you mean "Mork & Mindy"?

PHILLIPS: Yes.

LEMON: Yes, of course I do.

PHILLIPS: And the little special handshake.

LEMON: Nanu-nanu, baby.

PHILLIPS: Eventually Robin Williams does go back to the set. He talks to Larry about his remarkable career.

And you can catch every word, every antic tonight at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

You don't want to miss it.

LEMON: What was Mindy's real name?

PHILLIPS: What was her real name?

LEMON: I don't know. We'll figure it out. She has a brother that's very famous.

The dogs are cooked, the buns are fluffy -- what am I talking about? The champ ready for more gut-wrenching glory, despite reports that he's not 100 percent.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is the width that he can open his jaw right now. He had a wisdom tooth extracted, and he is still recovering.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, if Kobayashi comes up a few dogs short tomorrow on Coney Island, that's why. Blame the wisdom tooth. The sultan of snarf, the guru of gorge is going for the seventh straight win at the annual Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

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