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AMERICAN MORNING

Enemy of My Enemy: The U.S. Working With Sunni Insurgents; Wave of Violence Sweeping Pakistan; CNN/YouTube Debate: Americans Ask the Candidates

Aired July 20, 2007 - 07:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): High emotion.

SEN. ROBERT BYRD (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Shame, shame, shame! How inhumane. How dastardly.

ROBERTS: Near tears on the floor of the Senate, raging about the horrors of dog fighting.

ROBERTS: Barbaric! Let that word resound from hill to hill and from mountain to mountain.

ROBERTS: Outrage over one of the NFL's star players. Should he keep his job and lucrative endorsements while fighting horrific charges?

On this AMERICAN MORNING.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: A lot to get to this morning.

And welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. Thanks very much for joining us.

It's Friday, the 20th of July.

I'm John Roberts.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kiran Chetry.

And we begin with a possible new deadline to show progress in Iraq.

America's number two commander in Iraq now says that perhaps November, not September, would be a better time to assess whether the president's troop buildup is having any effect in Iraq.

General Ray Odierno briefed senators in Washington using a video conference, and then also spoke in a news conference after that.

Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LT. GEN. RAY ODIERNO, DEPUTY U.S. COMMANDER IN IRAQ: As we give our assessment in September, it's important that we have a bit more time so we can do an evaluation of this progress. And I think it's important that we're allowed to do that, because we want to be honest and forthright. We don't want -- we want to make sure that we provide accurate assessments to everyone out there, and it's important to us that we do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Well, that certainly met with not any ringing endorsement at all in the Senate. Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, including Biden, Hagel, Kerry and Lugar, all warned that that was not going to work, that time is running out in Iraq. Lugar says the focus needs to be on political solutions, as well as regional diplomacy.

ROBERTS: CNN's Michael Ware is in Baghdad.

Michael, there's also word of a shift in strategy there. You did a tremendous piece on this yesterday that aired on "AC 360," that the U.S. military is working with Sunni insurgents to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq. But this thing all looks like it's getting a little bit unseemly at times.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, this has been going on for quite some time, honestly. It's suddenly being treated as new, though it's quite a well-developed program here. The talks with the insurgents that I personally know of began back in 2004. The first U.S.-backed Sunni militias took to the street in the middle to the beginning of last year, so this is what we're seeing.

Now, does it have some ugly edges? Yes. And American commanders knew this when they commissioned this project.

I mean, these are Ba'athist insurgents in their home turf. As one U.S. official said to me, "When these guys go about the business, they go about the business in their way." This is the ugly side of this war.

I mean, these guys are going out, they're the only ones who know where al Qaeda are, and they're not asking the police come nicely. They are executing them, they're putting the fear into al Qaeda. And that's why we're seeing such an enormous change in the attacks in Al Anbar province, that dropped right down -- John.

ROBERTS: But at the same time, Michael, this is causing a lot of concern among the Shiite-led government.

WARE: Oh, absolutely. The Shia government is dead against this.

Despite whatever lip service the prime minister is paying to reconciliation in general and the welcoming of what everyone euphemistically calls the Anbar sheikhs or the tribal sheikhs -- because really what they are talking about is the Ba'athist insurgency -- the government's never wanted to deal with these people. These people are opposed to the government America created. And now America is backing these groups.

Now, they're doing it principally because these guys are taking out al Qaeda. They are also reclaiming their neighborhoods and stopping the government death squads from coming in. So that's helping with security, too. But there is also a second level effect.

The government fears that these Sunni militias are being used as a counterbalance to their own Shia militias which, of course, are backed by Iran. It might not be a concern that's wrongly held. Indeed, they do provide a useful political counterbalance that I'm sure the Americans are not unaware of -- John.

ROBERTS: Well, I'm wondering about that, Michael. Is that by designer on the part of the U.S. military?

WARE: Put it this way: I speak to a lot of these military folks who deal with a lot of these sensitive areas, and these people are not fools. They know what's going on.

ROBERTS: Michael Ware for us this morning from Baghdad.

Michael, as always, good to see you. Thanks.

CHETRY: A suicide car bomber left four people dead in a brutal attack in Pakistan. Six others, including three children, were wounded. The bomber rammed a paramilitary checkpoint in the latest attack in a wave of violence sweeping Pakistan, and much of it seems to be concentrated in one area.

State Department correspondent Zain Verjee is live in Washington with more for us.

Hi, Zain.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kiran.

Well, that area in Pakistan has become a hotbed of extremism. And if it's not dealt with swiftly, the U.S. says America could be in danger.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VERJEE (voice over): Militants take revenge on Pakistan's president, hitting back after Pervez Musharraf ordered an attack on the pro-Taliban Red Mosque. So they tore up a truce and declared war. Now, Pakistan is in flames.

(on camera): Just to give you a sense of the crisis, the attacks happened hours apart from each other on Thursday around Karachi and in the oil-rich south. Hundreds of miles away, close to the Afghan border, a mountainous area known as Waziristan.

Now, this is the problem area. It's a tribal region, it's lawless, and it's very remote. And it's here that U.S. intelligence officials say that al Qaeda and the Taliban have regrouped, and it's become a safe haven. (voice over): Pakistani troops are going in to rout extremists out. They failed the last time. Experts say to win, the president has to make a choice.

TERESITA SCHAFFER, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Will Musharraf take this as a signal that he needs to reactivate his kind of double-barreled policy of keeping the militants quiet, but not putting them out of business, or whether he is really going to take them on?

VERJEE: A senior State Department official says the U.S. is beefing up Pakistani troops, providing equipment, border security, and intelligence. Remember, U.S. and NATO troops are right next door in Afghanistan.

That official acknowledges the bloodshed is likely to worsen and Pakistan will be a mess for a while.

Musharraf himself is a target. The U.S. backs him, an important ally since 9/11.

RICHARD BOUCHER, ASST. SECRETARY OF STATE: He has shown the determination and the authority and the ability to deal with some of these very difficult situations.

VERJEE: Washington says Musharraf is the man to bring democracy to Pakistan, but critics wonder if he's committed.

SCHAFFER: Musharraf has really treated the civilian secular parties as his real enemy, and he has treated the religious parties as potential allies.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VERJEE: And remember, Kiran, that everything that's happening in Pakistan right now has extra significance, and there is a lot more amplified because it's an election year and President Musharraf wants to preserve himself -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Those considerations weigh in no matter what country you're in.

Thanks, Zain.

(NEWSBREAK)

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

CHETRY: Concerns this morning about airborne asbestos contamination after a steam pipe explosion here in New York City.

Alina Cho is working this one today.

A lot of questions about whether it's safe to be in that area.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And you'll recall, Kiran, that air samples in the area tested negative for asbestos, but some of that dust and debris tested positive. So one of the biggest questions now is, why weren't first responders and cleanup crews required to wear respirators?

Now, we were there yesterday and saw for ourselves that there is simply no protocol. Some police officers had respirators, others did not. Same for the firefighters. And we didn't see a single Con Ed worker wearing one. Fewer first responders had them.

Now, CNN reached out to six different state, federal and local agencies. Some did not get back to us. But the ones that did said the use of protective gear is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Now, you'll recall, just after 9/11, the EPA said the air was safe. Well, it turns out that was not the case, and now thousands of rescue workers are sick. But the city's health commissioner says you can't compare Wednesday' explosion to 9/11. He says that's because the content of the plume on 9/11 was pulverized concrete. He says on Wednesday, the bulk of the cloud was steam, water, in other words, and that helped suppress any asbestos-ladened particles.

But the big challenge going forward, Kiran, is that the asbestos that was found in the dust and debris doesn't get airborne once it dries out. So we're going to have to hope for calm winds going forward.

CHETRY: All right.

Alina Cho, thanks so much.

Incidentally, we're going to be speaking with New York City's health commissioner coming up in just a few minutes to get some clarity on that situation as well.

(WEATHER REPORT)

ROBERTS: The presidential contenders will soon be converging on South Carolina for Monday's CNN/YouTube debate. It's the first of its kind and presents a whole new set of challenges for the candidates.

Our senior political correspondent Candy Crowley is down in Charleston, standing by for us now live.

Candy, good morning to you.

Who has got the edge in this kind of debate?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Whoever can reach out and kind of touch these people who have sent in these videos. I've watched quite a few of them, as I know you have, John. And what really strikes you is how personal they are.

It is one thing to have a moderator who says, "Senator, what do you think you can do for people who have chronic diseases?" It's an entirely different thing for them to be confronted with a video that says, "My father has diabetes. We can't get health care insurance. We can't afford the medication. What can you do?"

So those kind of specifics.

These candidates are going to have to be very specific, but they also have to show their humanity, the reaching out to these people who are really putting their personal lives out there.

ROBERTS: Who is really good at doing that? I mean, Edwards was a trial lawyer. He is used to speaking in front of a jury.

Barack Obama connects with people very well on stage.

Hillary is great in one-on-one settings. Some people say perhaps not so great in a larger setting.

Who do you think has got the edge here?

CROWLEY: Well, you know, it's interesting, John. I mean, you're right, the trial lawyer in John Edwards leads you to believe that this will be something that he can do very well. But we've also seen Barack Obama in town hall meetings, when you also are confronted with these issues on a personal level. And he has done very well.

I wouldn't count on Hillary Clinton. As you know, every time we have one of thee debates people say she is terrific at this, but this is a wholly different kind of debate. So it will be interesting to see who steps up to the plate.

ROBERTS: Speaking of Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Edwards took a shot at her the other day, saying that she thought that her husband John Edwards was a much better advocate for women than Hillary Clinton because Hillary, in essence, is acting too much like a man. That forced Bill Clinton out the other day on "Good Morning America" to say, hey, I think she is a tremendous advocate of women's rights.

You don't normally see the spouses going at each other like this.

CROWLEY: You don't. I mean, it's the battle of the spouses, which is really interesting.

I think we thought that the spouse who would take center stage would be Bill Clinton. We didn't exactly think it would be Elizabeth Edwards. But I think the days of the spouse sitting in a chair, looking adoringly at the candidate, are over. Michelle Obama has also been out there talking about women's issues.

What this battle, this specific battle tells you is that the women's vote is very important within the Democratic Party.

ROBERTS: Right.

CROWLEY: Right now, Hillary Clinton support is very much with women. Over 50 percent of her support is female. She gets about 45 percent of the Democratic female vote.

ROBERTS: And what do you think Elizabeth Edwards is up to here? She has been very outspoken recently.

CROWLEY: I think she is out there battling it out for her husband. I mean, I think there is -- she is a sympathetic figure, obviously facing an incurable cancer. So she has been very out front with that. And she is now -- she is a very smart woman, as you know, a lawyer, and she is out battling for her husband and battling for that female vote.

ROBERTS: All right.

Candy Crowley for us this morning live from Charleston, South Carolina.

And don't forget, that CNN/YouTube debate coming up on Monday begins at 7:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, some worries and questions this morning about potentially toxic dust left behind after that steam pipe explosion earlier in the week in New York. Should people who are at the scene like rescue workers and police be wearing protective masks? And what is the risk to people who live there?

New York's health commissioner joins us next on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

CHETRY: Well, a hospital in Denver where Andrew Speaker, the TB patient who gained international attention, is being treated has now welcomed another TB patient. Now, you may have heard of this guy as well. He's an Arizona man who has been locked up in a hospital in Maricopa County for a year now. Well, he is now at the National Jewish Medical Center.

Thelma Gutierrez is live there in Denver with more on this patient.

Hi, Thelma.

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kiran.

Well, I can tell you that Robert Daniels arrived here yesterday. He was flown on a private plane from Phoenix to Denver, and then he was placed in isolation here at the hospital.

I spoke to him last night on the phone because he is not allowed to have visitors right now. And he told me that he is very relieved to finally be in a hospital and not a jail ward for his treatment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUTIERREZ (voice over): For the first time in nearly a year, Robert Daniels will see the sunrise from his hospital window.

ROBERT DANIELS, TUBERCULOSIS PATIENT: It's like, the first impression was hopeful, how the light looks like, finally. I can finally see far. I can finally see trees. I can finally, just, you know, see the colors of the world.

GUTIERREZ: Since last August, this 27-year-old from Arizona who was diagnosed with an extremely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis had been kept in isolation in a cell within the jail ward of a county hospital in Phoenix, with no view to the outside world, no shower and no visitors.

DANIELS: I'm really mentally being killed here.

GUTIERREZ: Daniels was placed in the custody of the Maricopa County sheriff because he repeatedly went out in public without a mask. At the time, he was contagious. And though he was never charged with a crime, he says he was treated like a prisoner.

DANIELS: Even if I did make a mistake, it doesn't -- it doesn't give them the right to, you know, torture me like this.

GUTIERREZ: The ACLU agreed and filed a federal lawsuit against Maricopa County officials, alleging his civil rights were being violated. But before his case could be heard, Arizona officials transferred Daniels to the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, the same hospital where TB patient Andrew Speaker is being treated.

Within the first hours of being admitted here, Daniels' medical treatment was changed, his diagnosis upgraded. And now he's learned he's a likely candidate for a life-saving surgery.

DANIELS: This is amazing that I'm going to have it, I'm going to get out -- get out of this hell alive.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GUTIERREZ: Robert Daniels told us when he left Arizona, that sheriff's officials put plastic restraints on his wrists and his legs. But when he arrived here in Colorado, that he traded those plastic restraints in for just simply a plastic I.D. band on his wrist signifying that he is, indeed, a patient, and he was very relieved about that.

Kiran, back to you.

CHETRY: And Thelma, could you clarify just to clear up for us what happened in the first place? Was he put in that jail in Maricopa County as a punitive measure, or because they didn't know what to do with him and they wanted to make sure that others were not exposed to TB?

GUTIERREZ: Well, all along, the ACLU had been arguing that, indeed, it was punitive, the way that he was being treated was punitive. Nobody was ever arguing, including Robert Daniels, that he should have been isolated. Everyone agreed he should be there.

But he was put there because he had been warned repeatedly by county officials in Arizona not to go out into the public without a mask, because at the time he was very contagious and he could endanger many people. Robert Daniels even admitted to us that he did not listen. He went out in public, and that caused a problem.

That is the reason that he was placed in that jail ward.

CHETRY: All right. Thelma Gutierrez, thanks so much.

So, did the actions of the sheriff who locked up the TB patient lead to his deteriorating health? We're going to be speaking with the sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, coming up in our next hour.

ROBERTS: The images are horrific. And the debate around it heated. NFL star Michael Vick in trouble for allegedly taking part in dog fighting.

Our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and CNN contributor Roland Martin join that debate coming up here on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Well, there seems to be some confusion still this morning about any possible dangers of breathing in asbestos after Wednesday's steam pipe explosion here in New York City. Workers at the scene are required to wear protective gear, but some are saying that the equipment wasn't ready.

Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're supposed to get the protective gear before you go on to the spot where you need it at. Not when you're there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Well, here to help us answer some of the questions is New York City health commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden.

It's great to have you with us. Thank you for being here.

First of all, can you just clear up for us what it is they found in terms of the asbestos threat?

DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, NYC HEALTH COMMISSIONER: When there was an explosion, we know that some of the insulation of the piping had asbestos in it. That means that the air that went up may have had some debris and may have had some asbestos fibers.

We've done testing, the Department of Environmental Protection, as well as Con Ed, and we haven't found any asbestos in any of the air samples that were taken starting Wednesday evening. What we also have done is tested a lot of the debris that was found around the area, and some of those samples have found traces of asbestos, and two of them have found significant amounts of asbestos, which is not unexpected, because what happens is the material that was around the pipe was essentially blown up through a several-block radius.

What needs to be done is to carefully remove it, carefully clean it without disturbing it and sending it back up into the air.

CHETRY: OK. So we have a picture right now that sort of illustrates, I think, the confusion, because it's a shot of, I think, a police officer, and he is wearing that mask, the respirator that you see. And there is one shot of it. But then he is talking to, I assume, a resident or a passerby who is not wearing it.

So, is there a uniform policy? What is the recommendation from the New York City Health Department about whether or not you should be wearing a protective mask if you're there?

FRIEDEN: What is happening now is that there is a frozen zone, and we are gradually shrinking the frozen zone as we clean the outside avenues inward. In that area, there are some people who are in an area where we're not allowing people to come. We're allowing only pedestrians and no cars. But it's not an area where we're requiring respirators.

What we're looking at is, especially the area around 41st and Lexington, which is right where the crater is, that area is still very strictly requiring respirators. But you're not seeing media get in there, because it's frozen.

CHETRY: OK. So the police officers, rescue workers, anyone that's part of the cleanup, they are required to wear these masks in that area?

FRIEDEN: If they're in that area, absolutely.

CHETRY: OK. Is there a risk to the residents that live in that area right now?

FRIEDEN: As far as we know, there is no residential building within the frozen zone. We've heard rumors there's a residential building, but none of them appear to be residential at this point. If people work there or live there, but more to the point, if there are buildings around the area, we ask people, put their air-conditioners on recirculation of air, close their windows, in case there is -- are more things coming up into the air.

CHETRY: I think people are more jittery about this situation because of what happened after 9/11, when the EPA gave the all-clear, and then we've seen the illnesses, the respiratory illnesses, and in some cases death of the rescue workers who were down there.

Is it fair to make that comparison?

FRIEDEN: It's absolutely understandable that people are nervous about it. An explosion in a heavily-populated area of Manhattan with a plume of something is a very concerning event, and it's understandable for all New Yorkers, and particularly anyone who was caught in that to be concerned about it. In addition, the people who were in that may have had their clothes soiled or have dirt or asbestos fibers on them.

So, what we're saying is, if you were in that plume and your clothes became dirty, bag them, thrown them out. You can bring them in to Con Ed, which will reimburse them for you right there in Midtown. Or, if you're just concerned about them and they're not visibly soiled, you can wash them separately and reuse them.

There's a world of difference between 9/11 and this in terms of the amount of dust, in terms of what was in the dust. In 9/11, it was pulverized concrete and building materials. Here, it was mostly steam, which was clean, as well as some asbestos, which is concerning, but a very different level of risk.

CHETRY: All right.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, New York City health commissioner.

Thanks for joining us to talk more about this and clear up some of the confusion.

FRIEDEN: Thank you.

CHETRY: John.

ROBERTS: Coming up, the latest on the Michael Vick dogfighting case. As of now he still has his job with the Falcons. CNN's Jeffrey Toobin and Roland Martin will join us next with a closer look at the growing outrage around this case on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

ROBERTS: Michael Vick will be in court next Thursday to answer federal charges related to a dog-fighting operation. It is the same day that his team, the Atlanta Falcons, begin training camp. So far the NFL and the falcons have been mum on any starting for the quarterback. Nike, meanwhile, has delayed its new Michael Vick sneaker.

Joining us to talk more about this big case is senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin who is here with me in New York, and CNN contributor Roland Martin, at a McDonald's somewhere in Chicago, simulcasting this segment on the Roland Martin show.

Good morning to both of you.

Roland, what about this growing outrage surrounding Michael Vick and the dog-fighting operation?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's not surprising when you look at the actual allegations being leveled. But, again, the most important thing, he is innocent until proven guilty. And so some folks want him kicked out of the NFL, want all of the sponsors to drop him. I disagree wit that. I think we have to give someone benefit of the doubt, these charges are very disconcerting for people, especially those who are animal-rights lovers.

ROBERTS: Yes, let me come back to that point in just a second. But, Jeffrey, let me ask you, first of all, maximum sentence that he faces for this is what?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Six years.

ROBERTS: Why.

TOOBIN: He is in a real rock-and-hard-place situation here, because, clearly, the smart thing from a legal perspective for him to do is work out some sort of plea bargain that doesn't involve jailtime, because often in dog-fighting cases, probation is the sentence.

But as soon as he pleads guilty to anything, the NFL is going to want to throw him out, or there is going to be a lot of pressure for them to throw them out. So he's got two audiences to deal with -- he's got his legal problems, and he's got his NFL issues. And there might be a lot of conflict between his obligations.

ROBERTS: Many people are asking the question, though, only six years for the allegations against him? Shouldn't the penalties be greater than that?

TOOBIN: Well, I mean, he is not charged with running the whole operation. It took place on his property. He's going to have a very tough time. The property in Virginia, he has a brick house, a very nice house, and then behind it, less than a hundred feet away, are these black painted houses that you can't see at night. I mean, the idea that he didn't know what was going on there, that's going to be a tough sell, I think.

ROBERTS: Roland, here's what the "L.A. Times" is saying in an editorial here. It's saying, "The NFL needs to immediately suspend Vick with pay until his legal problems are resolved. By thus far refusing to do so, the leaders of our national pastime have shown little connection with our national conscience."

What they're saying is, is that the NFL just doesn't get it. But yet you're in the NFL's camp on this?

MARTIN: Well, I disagree with that. First and foremost, when you talk about -- you look at pressure. Now, granted, Roger Goodell, he has stepped out and gone after some of the athletes.

Remember, Jamal Lewis was a running back for the Baltimore Ravens. He was participating in a drug deal for a friend. He actually served time in a federal prison and then came back to the NFL. He was actually convicted. Michael Vick, he hasn't been convicted. He is innocent until proven guilty. And so, again, I think you have to give him the benefit of the doubt as well.

ROBERTS: Right.

MARTIN: The NFL is monitoring this, but I disagree trying to suggest they're out of touch. No, this commissioner has been very tough with athletes who have walked across the line and who have done wrong.

ROBERTS: But, Roland, what other job could you keep while you were facing these charges? If you were facing these charges, would you still be on the air? I wouldn't.

MARTIN: Well, first of all, it also depends on who your owner is and exactly what the charges are. Again, they are charges. That's the most important thing. And granted, they are heinous, in terms of as how described them. But again, we have to give the person the benefit of the doubt because, again, there have been people who have been charged before and found not guilty.

ROBERTS: Jeff Toobin, what can the club legally do and that point? Let me read a quote from Falcons owner Arthur Blank. He says, quote, "We must consider all of our customers in making decisions. Given the differing perspectives and strong feelings around this issue, we probably won't make everyone happy, but we're committed to doing the right thing."

So what can they do?

MARTIN: A lot of discretion here is in the hands of the NFL commissioner. Roger Goodell, as Roland said, has gotten a lot tougher now. The Cincinnati Bengals have been, like, a one-team crime wave over the last couple of years, and a lot of people are upset about that. So Vick has the bad luck to having his problem, unlike Ray Lewis who the Baltimore Ravens of several years ago, when there weren't as many players in trouble, there wasn't as much pressure, now you have a lot of NFL players in trouble, and Michael Vick has these particularly grizzly, awful accusations in a nation of dog lovers.

ROBERTS: A lot of pressure. A lot of outrage. Ron, we'll see what impact it has on the club.

Jeffrey Toobin, Roland Martin, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

We're just a few days away now from a landmark presidential debate where you get to ask the questions. So hurry up and get your questions in to YouTube, and we'll explain how the questions are going to be chosen, next on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Well, an already volatile situation in Pakistan may have just gotten more unstable. The country's supreme court has made a ruling that reverses a decision made by President Pervez Musharraf. We get the latest now from CNN's Nic Robertson in London.

Nic, explain for us about this reinstatement of a judge.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this has been perhaps one of the biggest political tests President Musharraf. In March He called for the chief justice to be removed. The chief justice contested it. He was being removed over accusations of getting a government job for his son, for fiddling his fuel expenses on his vehicle. This reinstatement of the chief justice goes against the wishes of President Musharraf of Pakistan. This is very likely to be played that way as a back-tracking of President Musharraf inside Pakistan, inside the local media.

However, in the medium term, this takes the heat partially out of a very volatile situation for President Musharraf. The radical Islamists have started a massive campaign of violence even in the cities of Pakistan. There has been blood spilled and people killed in demonstrations over this issue of the reinstatement of the chief justice. So it takes some volatility out of a situation.

It will be an embarrassment for President Musharraf, but the lawyers supporting the chief justice have said that this case has been a test of democracy inside Pakistan. The fact that the chief justice is being reinstated is an indication for the lawyers that democracy is at work in Pakistan, and very likely for President Musharraf on the international platform, if you will, of the United States, for Britain and other European countries looking for President Musharraf. This will be a positive step for the country.

CHETRY: And, Nic, I hear we're just getting video right now of some celebrations taking place. Apparently people getting word of this decision and then celebrating, as you can see there. Tell us more about that.

ROBERTSON: There's been a lot of volatility since President Musharraf demanded that the chief justice come to his house in early March, demanded that the chief justice resign, demanded that the chief justice shouldn't leave his house, made him stay in the president's houses, it's become a very, very volatile issue. While we were outside the Supreme Court where this decision has been made today we witnessed one of the hearings in this case. People were being beaten with canes. We saw a man get his arm broken. Such has been the volatility. There have been public demonstrations for and against the chief justice, where dozens of people have been killed. More than 40 people were killed in demonstrations in the big port city of Karachi, in the south of Pakistan about a month or so ago.

It's been hugely volatile. The middle class has really seen this as a test of democracy in Pakistan, and that's what we're seeing in these pictures now. The -- a lot of lawyers who threatened to go on strike in the country are now coming out and celebrating because they say that this is a positive step for democracy in the country -- Kiran.

ROBERTS: Nic Robertson following the latest on that from London for us. Thank you.

(WEATHER REPORT)

ROBERTS: Now just three days away, Monday night in South Carolina the Democratic presidential candidates will gather for the first-ever CNN YouTube debate. We'd like to say thank you to those of you who submitted video questions for us online. CHETRY: And it's not too late. You still have a chance do it. The deadline is this Sunday.

I'm sure many of you, though, are wondering how will we decide which of the thousands of entries will be picked. Well, good thing we don't have to do it actually. Here to explain that, Tom Foreman.

How are they choosing from these, because a lot of good questions?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I've got to tell you. This is a little bit like the Harry Potter thing. It's really secret, even around here. What we've got is a very small group of people thinking this over. At the head of it senior vice president David Bohrman, who is also our Washington bureau chief, and Sam Feist is our political director. They are very happy with the quantity and quality of questions.

Listen to what they have to say, first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAM FEIST, CNN POL. DIRECTOR: It tells you that people want to connect with the candidates and they want to personalize it a little bit. And I think that's this debate does, it personalizes the questions and personalizes the answers in a way that journalists don't.

DAVID BOHRMAN, CNN SR. VICE PRESIDENT: There may be some Questions that challenge the candidates. There's not going to be a just foolish gotcha question, because we're not out there to do a stunt. We're out there to actually see how people who want to become president think and handle issues and questions and people, and they're slightly outside of their comfort zone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FOREMAN: Now, we were asking them those questions in the secret inner sanctum here. Very exciting.

ROBERTS: The undisclosed location.

CHETRY: It looked like conference Room E.

FOREMAN: Shhh! You can't say that. It's very -- it's one room where there's a tiny group of people, and what they're doing is going through these questions. There's around 2000 about, by the time we get through. They're watching every one of them over and over and over again, and they're discussing them, and they're talking about the content of them, how earnest they are. Sometimes it's production.

Interestingly enough, most of these are not big production numbers, with music and signs and all that. Most of them are just people asking questions, a big broad range of people. And exact criteria for deciding which ones, the 50 or so get into the debate, is still secret, because they really don't want the candidates to have any heads-up. They want the candidates to give unvarnished, unrehearsed answer, so people can really get to things that are -- we all know from political coverage -- very hard to get from candidates.

ROBERTS: I heard that the RNC submitted a question this morning. I'm sure that one I'm going to look up and take a look at.

FOREMAN: Well, you know all the candidates have to be watching all of these questions online, if they're smart, hint -- watch all of these online and be ready, because any one of these could be picked. But there are really some terrific questions. The degree to which people out there -- all of you -- rose up and submitted questions from all across the country, even some from around the world. Spectacular stuff. This is going to be, in my experience, the most unusual debate ever.

CHETRY: We're excited for it, for sure.

FOREMAN: Absolutely. And make sure...

ROBERTS: Thanks, Tom.

By the way, that you join Kiran and I tonight in primetime, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. We're going to be looking the questions submitted on YouTube for the debate so far. We'll also ask what makes a good question? What don't the candidates want to answer? The "YouTube Debate Countdown," tonight at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

CHETRY: Also you can join Anderson Cooper, and that's when the big event is going to be taking place, the main event, Monday night, the Democrats at the CNN YouTube debate live from the Citadel in South Carolina. I'm sure actually some of the Republican candidates are going to be watching this one as well on Monday, because it's coming up for them on the 17th of September, the same thing.

ROBERTS: And after the debate, we still want to hear from you. Send us your post-debate reactions, opinions and thoughts by going to CNN.com and clicking on the iReport link, and we'll put some of those on the air.

CHETRY: All right, well, the Dow hit a record yesterday by just the hair of its chiny chin chin.

We have Ali Velshi down at the New York Stock Exchange. We're going to check in with him and see what we can expect today when the market opens in just a little while.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

The Dow hit a record by the hair of its chiny chin chin. We will check in with Ali Velshi coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: We have new news just in at about eight minutes until the top of the hour here, and Chad, we'd like to bring Chad Myers in, our extreme weather expert. Word of an earthquake, 4.2 magnitude, outside of San Francisco. What else can you tell us about that, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: East of Oakland, right near Holy Names (ph) University. Probably the local stations probably aren't on TV yet, so we want to kind of get this to you; 4.2, not a major earthquake, but certainly enough to rattle nerves and rattle dishes off the shelves. It is east of the warren and east of 13 there. Holy Names University right there. There is Oakland and the Bay Area here. Still being felt in the San Francisco area. A little bit of shaking, but most of the shake was over here in Oakland proper. More on any damage that we get, but don't -- there is not going to be very much with a 4.2. We'll keep you up to date.

CHETRY: It's interesting, because when you look on the U.S. Geological Survey, they have many earthquakes, most of them are very, very low magnitudes, 1.9, 2.1. But even in this month there's been at least two dozen various bits of seismic activity recorded there.

MYERS: Yes, absolutely. And this one is a little bit of a problem because it was only three miles deep. Remember the big earthquake we had in Japan a couple of days, that was 190 miles deep. So a lot of earth kind of by padding -- a lot of pillows on top of that earthquake. This was on was right up in the surface, so it was felt a little bit stronger than probably 4.2 would be if it was a deeper quake.

ROBERTS: All right, Chad Myers for us this morning on that. Chad, thanks very much.

MYERS: You're welcome.

ROBERTS: Ali Velshi now Minding Your Business, coming up to 54 minutes after the hour. Quite a record yesterday, Ali, though just barely there, huh?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just barely at 14000 for the first time ever for the Dow Jones. You can see that board shifting around, and it didn't make its mind up, but it closed above 14,000 in the end.

Now this is what makes people rich, John and Kiran, and it's not just CEOs of companies who get stock options. The beauty of the system is all of us buy stocks, or all of us can buy stocks. More than half of all Americans do buy stocks.

But last summer, I don't know if you were listening when we talked about 11,000, and then in February, we hit 13,000, and now three months later, 14000. And a whole bunch of people are sitting around, thinking, I should do something about this. What do you do? When do you get in? What do you buy? We're going to talk about this extensively today and for days to come. We'll going to talk about it on the weekend with somebody who specializes with looking at trends in the market and telling you when to get in, Ralph Acampora. He's done this for a living. You can see him on "YOUR MONEY" this weekend on Saturday at 1:00 and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

But this is the question that remains for most investors right now. What do you do? Do you sit on the sidelines? Is it too late to get in? Do you sell your stocks? do you balance out? It's time to pay attention. The milestones as I've always said, 14,000 is no different than 11,000 or 12,262. It's just a number, but it's a reason for you to go into your portfolio and say, does my portfolio look like what the stock market is doing?

ROBERTS: Time to get with the investment counselor. Ali Velshi for us down at the Stock Exchange. Ali, thanks.

You probably check the food you buy at the store, maybe look at the ingredients or the calories, but try to find out where it came from. Ah, that's not so easy. One woman tried to avoid all products from China and found it nearly impossible. Her story coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: Millions are light up to get their hands on the seventh and supposedly last book in the "Harry Potter" series. But some lucky Muggles got their hands on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" before they were supposed to. Supposedly a little bit of a glitch in some online distributors. Well, earlier I spoke with one girl earlier who is thrilled about getting her copy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DANIELLE SANK, GOT HARRY POTTER BOOK EARLY: I ordered it from online deepdiscount.com, and it just said it was supposed to come in next week, and came in on Tuesday, and I was really excited, just tore open the box, and here I am reading it already.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Well, there she is. As she said, halfway through it, Danielle said. I asked her, and she didn't disclose many of the plot details about it. She says she's about -- well, it's 800 pages.

ROBERTS: Well, she didn't want to ruin it for her mom either, who is sitting right next to her, who wants to read the book after she's done with it.

CHETRY: That's right. She was being very sweet about it. By the way, for her doing this, she is getting a $50 gift certificate from the book publisher, as well as a T-shirt, a size small she's requesting, if you happen to be listening. But she said she's not going to do it, that she would not want to ruin it for the other Harry Potter fans.

ROBERTS: I'll tell you, it was an interesting experience just to hold that book in my hands, given all the security and secrecy around the whole thing. I was reading it this close and I've got my contact lenses in, so I really couldn't see it.

CHETRY: And for the rest of the world, if you didn't have a glitch and get it sent to you early, 12:01 tonight into Saturday is when you can get your hands on it.

ROBERTS: A lot of people will be lining up for that.

CHETRY: It's true.

The next hour of AMERICAN MORNING starts right now.

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