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Michael Vick Pleads Guilty to Federal Dogfighting Charges; Alberto Gonzales Resigns; Fatal Fire Fallout

Aired August 27, 2007 - 14:00   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 world headquarters in Atlanta.
Don Lemon is off.

And you're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Michael Vick says it's all his fault. The fallen star of the NFL pleaded guilty today in Richmond, Virginia, to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges. Sentencing is set for December 10th.

After the brief court hearing, Vick came clean. He admitted misleading the NFL and his team, the Atlanta Falcons. He apologized to his fans. He said dogfighting is wrong. And he vowed to seek redemption.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL VICK, SUSPENDED NFL QUARTERBACK: So I ask for forgiveness and understanding as I move forward to bettering Michael Vick, the person, not the football player. I take full responsibility for my actions. For one second -- not for one second will I sit right here and point the finger and try to blame anybody else for my actions or what I've done. I'm solely responsible, and those things just didn't have to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Rusty Dornin was in the courtroom this morning. She's live with us now from Richmond -- Rusty.

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, as you know, Michael Vick didn't really have the opportunity to tell the judge, Henry Hudson, what he told reporters later. He was limited to one or two sentences, "No, sir," "Yes, sir."

When he was asked if he knew what the maximum penalty was, he said "Yes, your honor. It's five years." The judge also telling him that he wasn't bound by any kind of deal the prosecutors may have suggested to Vick that he will only get 12 to 18 months in prison, that there is that maximum of five years that's possible, and it is up to the judge. The judge spending just about 20 minutes, making sure Michael Vick understood the consequences of this plea agreement.

After Vick exited the courtroom to cheers and jeers by supporters and protesters, he walked about two blocks away to a hotel, where he proceeded to tell reporters and the nation that he was sorry.

Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICK: Dogfighting is a terrible thing, and I do reject it. I'm upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation, I found Jesus, and I asked him for forgiveness and have turned my life over to God. I think that's the right thing to do as of right now.

And like I say, for this entire situation, I never pointed the finger at anybody else. I accepted responsibility for my actions and what I did. And now I have to pay the consequences for it. But in a sense, I think it will help, you know, me as a person. I've got a lot to think about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DORNIN: Now, the judge, of course, is looking for that, for Michael Vick to be contrite and to say that he's accepted responsibility. Those things he's also going to be considering over the next couple months when he decides just what sentence Michael Vick will finally get.

Of course, the Atlanta Falcons having a press conference later, and they're saying they're not cutting him from the team, that legally they can't really do that yet, but that they did send him a letter asking him to return the money from his signing bonus, the $22 million. So it remains to be seen what's going to happen and what Michael Vick's future is with the Falcons, if any. But Arthur Blank, the owner of the Falcons, did say that, you know, there's a possibility that Michael Vick may end up playing for the NFL someday again -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Rusty Dornin live from Richmond.

Thanks, Rusty.

And just a short time ago, Atlanta Falcons board member and former baseball homerun king Hank Aaron gave his reaction to Vick's statement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANK AARON, BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER: I would just tell him that it depends on his friends again. I think that that's the whole thing. You know, the association is what brings on a lot of this thing.

You know, you can be as good as you want to be, but you associate yourself with bad apples, and you're eventually going to be bad yourself. So, the only thing I can do is just tell him that I think you don't need friends (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: At the same event, former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young says he's counseling Vick. He says Vick got in over his head.

Now, the nation's top prosecutor benched. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigning after months of intense criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. Much of it centers on the firings of several U.S. attorneys, along with some of the Justice Department's anti-terror tactics right after 9/11.

Gonzales took no questions in announcing his departure effective September 17th, and neither did his boss in defending him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have lived the American dream. Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father's best days. Public service is honorable and noble. And I am profoundly grateful to President Bush for his friendship and for the many opportunities he has given me to serve the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeded from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Well, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say that Gonzales is the one playing politics. Some of his most intense criticism and questioning has come from Capitol Hill.

Let's get straight to congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin for more -- Jessica.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, Democrats here on Capitol Hill are cheering this news, saying this resignation is long overdue, and they are unanimous in their condemnation of Gonzales' tenure at the Justice Department. Senator Reid said he lacked independence, judgment and spine. Senator Kennedy said he presided over one disastrous policy over another.

But Senator Chuck Schumer, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, had perhaps the most scathing criticism of all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Under this attorney general, sadly, the Department of Justice had less credibility than even FEMA. Under Alberto Gonzales, the Department of Justice was a sinking ship. The president now has an opportunity to right the ship and chart a new course.

(END VIDEO CLIP) YELLIN: And there you heard that reference to FEMA, perhaps a veiled dig at Michael Chertoff, who runs the Department of Homeland Security. He's been floated or there is talk of him as a possible replacement for Alberto Gonzales, but all sides here are looking ahead to the confirmation battle and what comes next.

Republican Senator John Cornyn, who was a friend of Gonzales' from Texas, had this to say: "Now the question is, once the president chooses a new nominee, will they (the Democrats) conduct a fair confirmation process, or will they continue the partisanship and endless investigations that have been the hallmark of this Congress?"

Now, Republicans are saying privately that in some ways this is a relief to see Alberto Gonzales go. It takes a punching bag away from the Democrats. But at the same time, they're concerned about this confirmation process.

They are urging privately the White House, they tell us, to name either a senator or a former senator, someone who will get deference from some of the senators up here. And they also caution that if the president chooses someone who is currently serving in this administration, Democrats are likely to, as one Republican aide put it, use this as a chance to run through another evisceration of administration policies" -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Jessica Yellin live from the Hill.

Thanks, Jessica.

Well, he was fired, now he's firing back. Former U.S. attorney David Iglesias joins me live to talk about his former boss, Alberto Gonzales. That's at 3:00 Eastern right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

A blaze at an abandoned building near Ground Zero cost two firefighters their lives. Now it may cost three firefighters their jobs. Big fallout today from what many people are calling the Deutsche Bank fire, even though company had long left the building.

Jason Carroll is sorting through all the details there in New York -- Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, first things first.

We now have confirmation the fire at the former Deutsche Bank building which claimed the lives of two firefighters two weekends ago was caused by "careless smoking of workers" at the building. So many mistakes made at that site.

Since the fire, critics of the department and the developer wanted answers and accountability. Today comes the announcement three fire officials have been demoted -- Deputy Chief Richard Fuerch, Battalion Chief John McDonald, and Captain Peter Bosco -- Bosco was a captain at the local firehouse that was in charge of inspections at the building, inspections which apparently stopped last year. New York City's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and fire officials held a press conference a short while ago to talk about their investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: I'm not interested in finger-pointing. I simply want to fix what is broken. And that's why we've spent a lot of time over the past 10 days trying to account for those failures, trying to determine what specifically the obligations of this government were, and to take steps necessary to protect these failures from occurring again.

We have many questions. Unfortunately, we don't have all the answers. But we will not stop until we get them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARROLL: Well, actually, they do have a few answers, Kyra. City officials say there was no fire plan in place for the former bank building located on the southern edge of Ground Zero. The two firefighters were killed while battling a blaze on the 14th floor. Both men ran out of air.

Since the fire, editorials have called for the fire commissioner to resign. There's been a lot of frustration surrounding this building, Kyra.

We are almost six years to the anniversary of 9/11, and the building still has not been demolished. It has had a number of problems, a construction accident last week. Remains are still being found there, asbestos causing problems there as well.

In many ways, Kyra, it has become a symbol for everything that seems to be wrong with the effort to rebuild down there at Ground Zero. The city says it has learned from its mistakes made at the site and has ordered more intensive inspections of buildings under demolition, including make sure a fire plan is in place -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Well, we'll follow the outcome and also the investigation.

Jason Carroll, thanks so much.

They admit it's a long shot, but it may be the best shot left. Rescuers dropped a robotic camera through a hole in Utah's Crandall Canyon coal mine trying to find some sign of those six missing miners. The images should come back sometime today.

For his part, the mine's co-owner is ordering the drilling of a seventh bore hole after saying the sixth would be the last. The mine collapsed three weeks ago.

Alberto Gonzales bows out and the Bush administration loses another big name. What do recent resignations say about the president and his party? Plus, Owen Wilson goes in the hospital and Hollywood goes into speculation overdrive. What really happened?

And hey, Indiana, who's your Hoosier Powerball winner? We know the lucky ticket was sold at this convenience store, but who bought it?

You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: 2:13 Eastern Time. Here are some of the stories we're working on in the CNN NEWSROOM.

For now, Michael Vick isn't cut from the Atlanta Falcons even though he's pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge. The team does plan to pursue his $22 million in bonus money, though. Shortly after pleading, Vick apologized for his actions and says he's found Jesus.

The embattled attorney general gives up the fight. Alberto Gonzales resigns after months of Democratic and Republican criticism over his leadership. President Bush says Gonzales was unfairly run out of office for political reasons.

A major highway bridge over the Mississippi River is shut down until at least tomorrow. The reason? One of its piers settled several inches. Construction has been under way next to the bridge between Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee, since last week.

People in Illinois are finally getting a chance to dry out and clean up. The state took a beating last week when storms hit the Midwest one right after another. Since then, many eyes have been on the swollen Des Plaines River.

Here's CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: The Des Plaines River, just northwest of Chicago, in the suburbs, still above flood stage, but remarkably lower compared to where it was Saturday afternoon. It crested at nine feet. Ever since then, it's been receding.

If it had crested at 10 or 11 feet, like it was forecast to, it not only would have broken a record, but likely thousands of homes, including downtown Des Plaines, would have been flooded out.

Dry weather in the forecast here for northwest suburbs of Chicago. This is not the only spot across the Midwest that has seen a tremendous amount of rainfall.

Iowa, Ohio, all flooded out the past five to seven days. In Wisconsin, just upriver from here, they saw a number of records broken over the weekend and last week. Nine records on Friday alone. And Madison, the month of August, the wettest calendar month on record. And this morning, through this afternoon, the threat for thunderstorms exist just north of here, but all in all, for the most part, the weather pattern has shifted such that the stifling heat, the drought across the southeast getting a little bit of relief today. And certainly here, just northwest of Chicago, sunshine and dry weather helping the folks here who have to clean up after the floods last week.

Rob Marciano, CNN, Des Plaines, Illinois.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Well, it's not often that you hear a governor tell tourists to stay away, but that's what Idaho's governor is saying because of a wildfire. Lightning provided the first spark more than a week ago near Idaho's ski resorts. Sun Valley is actually using its snow machine to help fend off the flames. The fire has covered more than 50 square miles, forced about a thousand families to leave their homes, and closed some schools.

A nagging wildfire has burned parts of the Golden State to a crisp, and some fear lightning might spark another fire any time now. The fire in southern California's Los Padres National Forest has been burning for about seven weeks now. Firefighters said that last week they hoped to have it fully contained in another couple of weeks, but they're not getting much help from the weather. Not much rain in the forecast, but there is that threat of lightning.

Straight ahead, a huge Powerball payout. Jim Acosta waiting for the winner to show up and maybe give them a little something.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, who won the big Powerball jackpot? I have a clue -- it wasn't me.

This is Jim Acosta reporting in Richmond, Indiana. The story coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Well, somebody won Saturday's giant Powerball jackpot worth a whopping $314 million. The lucky ticket was sold right there in Richmond, Indiana, and that's where we find our Jim Acosta.

Jim, any sign of a winner?

ACOSTA: No sign of a winner, and that's probably because that person who won big on Saturday night has not surfaced just yet, and perhaps it's because they're getting their ducks in a row. That's what they say, every time one of these big drawings happens, when it gets as high as this one was, $314 million, if that you have winning ticket and you don't have a lawyer or a financial adviser, you could be in a world of hurt.

So, it's better to do those things.

And while we don't know who sold that winning ticket -- or who purchased that winning ticket, we do know who sold it, or at least we think we know who sold it.

I'm joined by Gerald Fraley, who is the district manager for Speedway gas station here in eastern Indiana.

Do we know which of your employees actually sold this ticket? I guess we don't. We just know it's this gas station.

GERALD FRALEY, SPEEDWAY'S EASTERN INDIANA MANAGER: That's right. We don't know yet.

A lot of excitement generated, of course. Each one, I'm sure, is thinking, "Did I sell it?" And right now we're holding that, because we don't know for sure. And we do have a team effort. And right now that's what they're all reminded of, A, it's a team effort. But that's in the back of their minds, and I'm sure we will find that out a little later and let them know.

ACOSTA: And what's it been like here at the gas station? I'm sure this has been the talk of the town, people coming in and asking you and your employees all day long who won this Powerball jackpot.

FRALEY: Yes. It's great. I mean, it's like lightning striking twice.

You know, it hit on the other side about nine years ago at the store on the west side, and there's three stores here in town. And now the excitement's on this side. And like I said, it's like lightning striking two times.

ACOSTA: Tell us what that means. There's another Speedway gas station on the other side of town where a Powerball ticket was sold that came up big?

FRALEY: Yes, it came up $200 and some million, and that was in '98. And so, the effects of that, I think, rippled for some time, and now that this is hitting Richmond again, a lot of excitement in town.

I mean, not just the ticket winners that even get the small amounts, but it's everyone who's buying tickets of lottery, they're just all hyped. And so it's great.

ACOSTA: That's terrific. That's terrific.

And what we can say with confidence at this point is that neither Gerald or I won the winning ticket last Saturday night. So, that's why we're still here right now and not on a beach somewhere warm, right?

FRALEY: That's correct. Exactly.

ACOSTA: All right.

Kyra, back to you.

PHILLIPS: Great, Jim. We'll be waiting to find out who that lucky person is, or persons. Jim Acosta, thanks.

Well, as the summer driving season draws to a close, gas prices are falling.

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

PHILLIPS: Did Alberto Gonzales hit the eject button in a bid to salvage the president's legacy? And if so, will it work?

Straight ahead, our Candy Crowley joins us with the political implications of Gonzales' resignation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

What's with the breeze coming off the revolving door at the White House? Two short weeks, two big resignations. Today, it's Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Our Candy Crowley will have more on what it all means to the Bush legacy.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

He's been accused of playing politics, but his boss says politics drove him out. One of our top stories today, the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. President Bush is still defending his longtime Texas friend, saying Gonzales' good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.

Let's bring in our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley.

Candy, always good to see you.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: So, what do you think? A lot of people are talking about the fate of the Republican Party, it just can't get much worse.

CROWLEY: Well, the Republicans looking ahead to 2008 know they're in trouble. This is not going to come as news to them. They believe that the big drag at this point is Iraq. But remember, a number of Republicans thought after 2006 that corruption and malfeasance in office of the Duke Cunningham sort, at least, was partially to blame for the drubbing that Republicans got in 2006.

Insofar as this leads into the thought that the Bush administration was responsible for incompetence of the Justice Department, or malfeasance or, you know, the incorrect firings of these prosecutors. That obviously could play into 2008. Certainly, the Democrats could use it.

PHILLIPS: Let's just talk about the turnover for a minute with regard to the change in staff, the resignations. Specifically, in the past year, a number of them. Can you even compare that to other administrations? Is this one of the worst or no? Is this business as usual?

CROWLEY: At this point in a presidential term, some of this is business as usual. And that is Ronald Reagan lost some of the California kitchen cabinet at this point when people are looking forward, what are they going to do next. A lot of them are fatigued at this point. A lot of them looking forward to whatever the next job is and wanting and to parlay where they are now into the next job. It happened in the Clinton administration where a lot of his confidants also left at about this point.

So, there is a tendency for those who have been at the White House for a long time to leave at this point in the cycle. However, these are major resignations here, and these are all big punching bags. I mean, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Gonzales, all of these people were headliners. So, I think that's what grabs our attention at this point.

PHILLIPS: When you look at those names and you look at those powerful positions. I mean, what are analysts and critics, writers, even journalists like you hearing with regard to is it the president, is it the president himself? Is it the people that are around him, his support staff? I mean, can you even point the finger at one or the other?

CROWLEY: Well, we should say, first of all, that the White House doesn't think that any of these men have done anything wrong. You heard the president say that politics was at play with Alberto Gonzales. So, there is that. But, I mean, anytime you look at a White House -- I don't care if it's the Bush White House or the Clinton White House or the Reagan White House -- you know, it starts with the president. I think every president would tell you that.

PHILLIPS: What about the loyalty factor? I mean, so many of these individuals have been in his camp for decades.

CROWLEY: Absolutely. And it's interesting now because you're seeing a president who has lost all of those who are closest to him. It began really when Karen Hughes, who was a very close adviser to the president, left and went home, came back, went to the State Department, but nonetheless was out of that sort of White House circle.

Joe Allbaugh, another good friend of the president's, went to FEMA and then left entirely. So, he's gradually been losing people. But this is, you know, Karl Rove was a huge blow to the president's inner circle. This is the man that he was closest to at that point. You know, it's a lonely job. It's getting a lot lonelier at this point for the president.

PHILLIPS: Well, and how do you deal with that? I mean, is there a chance that he can renew his reputation, his administration's reputation? Is this something that's just going to be a legacy issue for as long as he lives? CROWLEY: I think what they're trying to do here is to turn the corner. It's September, you know. You may think that the presidential campaign has been going on for some time, but in fact Labor Day is seen as the kickoff. Congress has been out all of August. They'll be coming back after Labor Day. The president has a couple things on his plate, both the fight over the war in Iraq and the Petraeus report, and the budget fight, which will be major this year.

So, this was in some ways a clearing of the decks to get these two big punching bags off the court so that the president can go at Congress for what's going to be two very big fights. So I think they were looking at the short-term legacy because they've only got a little over a year yet to do something. And this is not a White House that wants to do nothing. So I think they were clearing the decks, getting rid of some of these big controversies so they can say, yes, but that's yesterday's news. We're looking forward. Here's what we want to do now.

PHILLIPS: Candy Crowley, always great to talk to you.

CROWLEY: Thanks.

Now a window into the mind of a man considered, in many quarters, to be a major league terrorist. Khaled Mashaal the leader of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group now running Gaza. He lives in hiding in Syria because he's a marked man. Mashaal recently agreed to an interview at a safe house in Damascus, asking the questions, CNN's Nic Robertson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Hamas is becoming increasingly isolated, isolated by the international community, isolated by Israel, even isolated by Fatah. What's your strategy to break out of this isolation?

KHALED MASHAAL, LEADER, HAMAS (through translator): There is a big conspiracy against us, and an attempt to isolate us. But they have tried to isolate us in the past after we won the elections, and actually Israel, since the establishment of Hamas 20 years ago, has been trying to do the same, to destroy us, to weaken us. But it did not succeed. Hamas gets its strength from its people. It comes with democracy, transparency, and honesty. And the way it explains the needs of the Palestinians, which is why there is no force on earth that can isolate Hamas as long as we have our roots spread amongst the Palestinian people.

ROBERTSON: Can these peace talks in November, can they be successful if Hamas is not part of them, if Hamas is not invited?

MASHAAL: (through translator): I think that this conference will fail for many reasons. First of all, because it lacks seriousness from both the Americans and the Israelis.

Second of all, because it's called an international conference, but in reality it's a meeting controlled and directed by Condoleezza Rice. So, it is not an international conference. It's an American conference.

There is no doubt that the outcome will be leaning towards Israel's best interest because Olmert is the stronger side in the negotiations. All these reasons are going to lead to a failure. On top of this the American administration is exempting the most important key players in the region in this conference.

Syria, who is a key player in the Arab/Israeli debate, is also exempted Hamas from its political movement in the region, from one side. And it takes advantage of the Palestinian division.

What they should do is go directly to the core of the real problem in the region. Analyze it truthfully. Then find a true and just solution. After that, they will find many parties in the region that will react positively to the real solution. But a game of this kind will have an adverse, negative effect on both Israel and America more than the region itself.

ROBERTSON: If Condoleezza Rice invited you to this meeting in November, this peace meeting, would you go? Would Hamas go?

MASHAAL (through translator): The American administration is fighting Hamas and working on isolating it. So, do you think we are going to be invited to such a conference? Nevertheless, when the American administration thinks about inviting us, we will clarify our position at that time.

ROBERTSON: What makes you so confident that they will come and talk to you?

MASHAAL (through translator): I am very confident that they will have to deal with us. But I only want to tell them to take the short cut and not waste their efforts. They should go directly to the goal. I believe when they deal with the reality of the Palestinian arena, then the international community will achieve the goal, and will take the short cut, and this will lead to genuine peace in the region and the waterfall of blood will stop.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: That interview with Khaled Mashaal arranged partly through the long-running efforts of CNN's Baghdad Bureau Chief Cal Perry.

Getting word now on some new plane inspections. You may remember the explosion that took place on this Boeing 737. It was China airlines 737 in Japan, last week where 165 people miraculously got off this airplane before it exploded. The video, if we have it -- I don't know if we are able to roll -- we've got generic pictures right now. But you may remember it. It caught on fire, and we heard from passengers that actually got off the plane miraculously once that fire started.

We're now being told federal regulators have ordered inspections of all the wing slats on all the newer Boeing 737 jet liners. Based on the findings that caused the fire that caused the explosion in this plane. Apparently, investigators in Japan found a bolt from a right wing slat that had pierced the fuel tank on the Taiwanese jet liner. And that's what caused the fire after the landing there in Okinawa.

Once again, the 165 people got off safely, but when that video came through, it was amazing to everyone that saw it that there were no deaths. Very, very lucky to be alive now. Those 737 jetliners, all of the newer Boeings, will be going through mandatory inspections.

Hundreds of people gathered in Lexington, Kentucky, for a private memorial honoring the victims of Comair flight 5191. It was one year ago today the plane crashed while trying to take off from the wrong runway at Lexington's Bluegrass Airport. You may remember, 49 people were killed. Only the co-pilot survived.

Yesterday, almost 2,000 people gathered at a church for a public service, and among them, Lexington's mayor and Kentucky's governor.

Caught on tape -- British police record arrests as they happen. The traditional helmet now a new crime fighting tool. We'll have that story straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: We've all seen those police dash cam videos. Now they're trying the same thing in Britain, only without a police car. CNN's Paula Newton takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the car!

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is what we call the Bobby cam. From the drunken brawl that's broken up, to all the arrests that follow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're under arrest for (BLEEP), that's fighting.

NEWTON: The police officer's helmet camera is recording valuable evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get your (BLEEP)!

COLIN PRYCE, CONSTABLE: I can see you in the camera.

NEWTON: Police Constable Colin Pryce helped pilot the head camera project in Plymouth, England.

PRYCE: There's a microphone fitting inside of this.

NEWTON: You'd be amazed at how the cameras have transformed his job.

(on camera): Less paper work, more time on the beat?

PRYCE: Definitely. It makes a big difference. We don't have to document as much.

NEWTON (voice over): We walked the beat with Constable Pryce to see how it all works.

PRYCE: From where I'm standing, I think I can see someone who I know to be wanted.

NEWTON: Off he goes, all of it caught on camera.

PRYCE: You all right? I'm just going to check you on the system. I'm arresting you now on the grounds of that warrant.

NEWTON: Later, he reviews the arrest on a digital recorder that he will then hand in at the end of his shift so the video can be saved for court.

(On camera): While crime prevention is still a goal of this program, it's been very effective in gathering evidence that helps with prosecutions and convictions.

(Voice over): It is this kind of compelling evidence, indisputable in most cases, that police say will lead to more convictions.

BOB SPENCER, ASSISTANT CHIEF CONSTABLE: Absolutely yes, which is great news because that's offense brought to justice, that's victims being satisfied, with a justice outcome, and that's what we want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both of you calm down. Go stand over there while I go and find out what's going on.

SPENCER: You know, if you say someone was violent and aggressive, well, you can say they're violent and aggressive, but if you see the video you say, wow.

NEWTON: Police say the Bobby cam is already busting crime. Violent crime down 8 percent, proof, they say, this is no gimmick. Paula Newton, CNN, Plymouth, England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Well, the faithful now have a wing to go along with their prayers. The Vatican has launched the world's first airline for Catholic pilgrims. It's backing chartered flights for an estimated 150,000 pilgrims a year, taking them to various holy shrines across the globe. The flights are run by an Italian airline, but they have Vatican logos on the seats and flight attendant's uniforms. One passenger called today's inaugural flight from Rome to France, "a spiritual journey".

Hulk Hogan's son hurt, his car crushed in a spectacular high- speed wreck. We'll have more straight ahead.

A.J. HAMMER, CNN ANCHOR, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: I'm A.J. Hammer in New York. A box office star rushed to the hospital. What went wrong and who came to visit. I'll have the shocking details straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: It was a pretty rough weekend for two Hollywood stars, landing both in the hospital. "Show Biz Tonight's" A.J. Hammer joins me now with the late-breaking news.

What are the details?

HAMMER: Two serious reports in the world of entertainment to talk about today, Kyra.

First in Hollywood, actor Owen Wilson has been hospitalized, that following a 911 call made from his home yesterday. Santa Monica police and fire officials tell CNN they responded to a medical assistance call. It was at the 900 block of 23rd Street in Santa Monica shortly after noon on Sunday.

Fire Battalion Chief Jose Torres tells the Associated Press paramedics on the scene transported Wilson to the nearby St. John's Health Center. Torres would not comment specifically on Wilson's injuries or conditions citing medical privacy laws.

The Associated Press says Wilson was later moved to Cedar Sinai medical center in Beverly Hills. While a spokesperson for Cedars says she can't confirm Wilson is a patient there, the You, Me, and Dupree" star's two brothers, actor Luke Wilson and Andrew Wilson, were spotted leaving Cedars just before 9:00 last night, as seen here in video from "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Insider".

Wilson has released the following statement to CNN, quote, "I ask that the media allow me to received care and heal, in private, during this difficult time."

So obviously, there are a lot of questions here, and we'll definitely be keeping an eye on this story and Wilson's condition throughout the day.

PHILLIPS: Sure. Everyone's fighting their own battle. Another celebrity hospitalized over the weekend as well, right?

HAMMER: Yes, this one coming out of Clearwater, Florida, involving the son of pro wrestler and reality TV star Hulk Hogan. CNN has confirmed Nick Bollea, the teenaged son of wrestler Hulk Hogan, has been released from the Bay Front Medical Center following a car crash, yesterday, that sent him and a passenger to the hospital.

Now, according to Clearwater police, the accident happened when the car Bollea was -- at a high rate of speed -- went out of control, crossed a highway median and then struck a palm tree. Both Bollea and his passenger, his friend, John Graziano, were removed from the wreckage by firefighters before they were transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital.

Police say Bollea, who is known mostly as Nick Hogan, to VH1's reality series, "Hogan Knows Best", was not as seriously injured as his passenger, who as of yesterday still listed in critical condition.

Bollea's mother, Linda Hogan, has issued the following statement. We received this just moments ago.

"Nick is currently at the hospital with John and his family, his sole concern is for the well-being of his friend. On behalf of my family, we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with John and his loved ones."

Coming up tonight on "Showbiz Tonight," we, of course will have much more on the very latest of Owen Wilson. Why was the box office star hospitalized and why were police called to the scene? "Showbiz Tonight" has the late breaking details of a shocking Hollywood mystery tonight on TV's most provocative entertainment news show, which of course is "Showbiz Tonight." We'll see you at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on CNN "Headline Prime".

Kyra.

PHILLIPS: So, A.J., did you watch the Miss Teen USA Pageant?

HAMMER: You know, I was in transit and only got to see a couple of highlight clips, but we had the e-mails going back and forth between the "Showbiz Tonight" staff and there were choice moments for sure.

PHILLIPS: It was pretty interesting. How was your geography when you were 18?

HAMMER: It wasn't terrific, but it wasn't terrible. But, you know, I think there probably were questions I couldn't have answered.

PHILLIPS: OK, well, as you know, beauty pageants aren't known for tough questions, right? But one contestant at the Miss Teen USA Pageant Friday night was apparently stumped by hers; 18-year-old Lauren Caitlin, Miss Teen South Carolina, was asked what the host called a thought-provoking final question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so, because some people out there in our nation don't have maps, and I believe that our education, like such as in South Africa and Iraq, everywhere like -- such as, and I believe that they should -- our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. -- or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our futures for us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you very much, South Carolina.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Come on, guys. She's only 18. Cut her some slack, OK? We liked her dress, though. That was really pretty. Upton still didn't do too badly. She was third runner-up. Miss Teen Colorado Hilary Carol Cruz was the winner.

Well, under fire for months, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally jumps ship. Coming up, the latest on a resignation so hush- hush even top-level officials were kept in the dark.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Back to one of our top stories today. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales benched. He's announced that he's resigning after months of criticism over his leadership. Much of it centered on the controversial firings of several U.S. attorneys. Here's CNN's Jim Acosta.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias is still looking for justice. Forced out by the Bush administration, Iglesias wants the nation to know what really prompted his dismissal. He says it was his refusal to go along with White House plans to use federal prosecutors to influence the outcomes of elections.

DAVID IGLESIAS, FMR. U.S. ATTORNEY: In the late summer, early fall of '02, '04, and '06, we got e-mails advising every United States attorney to work with election officials to look for voter fraud and prosecute those cases.

ACOSTA: The problem, Iglesias says, is he was only asked to investigate voter fraud cases involving Democrats, not Republicans.

(On camera): The intent of that is then to do what? If you're only being urged to go after Democrats?

IGLESIAS: Well, it's to affect the outcome of an election. It's to chill the voting rights of people that may have the right to a vote. It's at the minimum inappropriate. It could very well be illegal.

ACOSTA (voice over): That's why Iglesias wants to see Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove tell all they know on the matter. Both men have now stepped down citing other reasons. The White House insists it's fully cooperated with congressional inquiries.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think a bit of a witch-hunt on Capitol Hill, as they keep rolling over rocks hoping they can find something.

ACOSTA: Another dismissed prosecutor, John McKay, told "Newsweek" magazine, Republican operatives in Seattle had asked him to investigate voter fraud and start arresting people right before the 2004 election.

JOHN MCKAY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: There is enough evidence to indicate that something at least very inappropriate occurred here. ACOSTA: Both McKay and Iglesias admit they don't have any hard evidence. Neither says they reported the alleged pressure at the time. The Justice Department says the attorneys were fired for job performance reasons.

We walked with Iglesias to the spot where he says he cheered on President Bush's first inaugural in 2001.

IGLESIAS: I was a loyal Bushie at the time.

ACOSTA (on camera): You were a loyal Bushie?

IGLESIAS: Right, right.

ACOSTA: Are you still a loyal Bushie?

IGLESIAS: I'm loyal to the Constitution first and foremost.

ACOSTA (voice over): A one-time JAG lawyer, who helped inspire the character played by Tom Cruise, in "A Few Good Men".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want the truth!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't handle the truth!

ACOSTA: David Iglesias says the American people can handle the truth. Jim Acosta, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Well, he was fired now he he's firing back. Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, who you just saw in that piece is going to actually join me live to talk about his former boss Alberto Gonzales, that's straight ahead. Next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

His critics say it's about time. His boss says it's a crying shame. Alberto Gonzales says being attorney general was one of his greatest privileges, but enough's enough.

Michael Vick says he's guilty, and sorry, and totally responsible for the dog fighting that got him in trouble. He still doesn't know just how much trouble he's in.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips at the CNN Center in Atlanta. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

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