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U.S. Ally Killed; The Fight For Iraq; Warrenton Oil Fire; Hurricane Humberto; Gerri's Top Tips
Aired September 13, 2007 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Tony Harris is off today.
Stay informed all day in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's on the rundown.
Breaking this morning. Now he turned against al Qaeda and joined forces with U.S. troops. The Iraqi sheikh pays with his life today.
Also, surprise hurricane. Humberto raking Texas and Louisiana with driving wind and rain right now.
And the New England Patriots accused of cheating. Did they videotape the opposing team's sidelines signals? Our guest on NFL spy games this Thursday, September 13th. You're in the NEWSROOM.
Break news this morning out of Iraq. A major U.S. ally lost to a roadside bombing. His death, a major blow as President Bush prepares to convince the nation political process is being made. CNN's Aneesh Raman is in Baghdad for us this morning with more unfolding details.
Aneesh, what's the latest?
ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Heidi, just hours before President Bush addresses the nation, a key, if not instrumental, ally for the U.S. in turning the Sunni population in that western al Anbar province against al Qaeda, assassinated today. Just about two hours ago Sheikh Sattar Abu Risha, 39-year-old, was returning home west of the city of Ramadi when an improvised explosive device detonated. He was killed. At least two of his body guards also killed in the attack.
Now this man was the central figure in turning the tide not just there but in spreading a notion to other areas that the people could rise up against al Qaeda. He has been shown, as you see there, on Iraqi state run television. Often described as strong man. The man that stood up to al Qaeda. He is seen in that area really as the key figure that made this all happen.
Just yesterday, Heidi, on the Arabic language network al Arabiya, on a program they were airing, he was heard. And this is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEIKH SATTAR ABU RISHA, (through translator): No to terrorism after today. No to the radicalism. The only alternative is the army and the police and implementing the law and order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAMAN: For a Sunni sheikh to come out and say that has taken time and it is enormously consequential, as will be this news. A couple of key questions, Heidi. First, in the immediate time frame, what was his security. This man was a highly public figure, clearly a target for any number of groups. What was his security as he was returning home?
But in a broader sense, in terms of the U.S. military strategy, one of two things could really happen. In that western al Anbar area, in other areas where the U.S. military is trying to mimic that same framework, will this further embolden the people to rise against al Qaeda, further divide them against al Qaeda in their areas, give them another reason to stand up and fight or will it trickle down the renewed sense of fear?
You have areas where I've been just last week south of Baghdad where the U.S. military is just making inroads with Sunni sheikhs there. Will they now feel more trepidation to come forward and work with the Americans? It's a key question in terms of the stability of the success that General Petraeus talked about in his report on the surge in U.S. forces.
COLLINS: Yes, it certainly is.
All right, Aneesh Raman, thanks so much for that, live from Baghdad this morning. I know you're going to continue to follow this one for us and the impact of it.
Meanwhile, President Bush already facing a skeptical audience in tonight's prime-time address. CNN White House correspondent Elaine Quijano is setting the stage for us this morning.
Tell us more, Elaine, about what we expect to hear from the president tonight. A lot we are already speculating about, the possible troop draw down.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. And you can expect President Bush to essentially reiterate some familiar themes, Heidi. A senior Bush administration official says that the president will once more try to make the case that success in Iraq is linked to security of the United States. And at the same time the president is looking to recap some of the security gains that have been made in the al Anbar province of Iraq.
Now on the heels of that congressional testimony by his top commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the president, tonight, is expected to go through and sign off on those recommendations by General Petraeus. They include, of course, potentially drawing down to pre-surge levels the number of U.S. forces in Iraq to 130,000, depending on conditions on the ground. Democrats, however, charge that that does not amount to any kind of change in policy or change in strategy. They note that the surge was slated to come to an end anyway because of limits on troop rotation. The White House, however, insists that it is a change and they say it reflects the success of the surge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You don't have the same country you had in 2006. You're assuming that nothing has changed. The whole -- what General Petraeus is saying is, that you're able to move forces out as a result of success. Not simply -- this is not an exercise to get to a number.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUIJANO: Now Bush aides say that the president is also expected to discuss the U.S. mission in Iraq over time transitioning to more of a partnership with Iraqi forces. And, Heidi, that's not something new. We've heard that before. But what is different now, the administration now believes it has evidence that it can point to that its strategy in Iraq is working.
COLLINS: And we have heard from the president a lot over the course of the last couple of months in the run-up, if you will, to General Petraeus' report. What particularly is at stake for the president now tonight?
QUIJANO: Well, bottom line, the White House knows it's the Republican support that's at stake. While they may be able to hold Republican in line in the short-term, they know that as the months go on, unless there is some indication of movement at the very top levels in Baghdad of political reconciliation, national reconciliation, then it's going to be very hard for Republicans to continue supporting President Bush on his Iraq policy. That's why tonight we're going to hear President Bush lay out what he calls bottom-up progress on the political front, namely in the al Anbar province with Sunni sheikhs turning against al Qaeda. The president believe that that is success that can be replicated in other parts of the country.
But, of course, Heidi, the president's critics say that's a different situation in the al Anbar province. That the sectarian divisions run so deep throughout the rest of Iraq that no amount of U.S. forces, they say, can force the Iraqis to come together.
COLLINS: Yes, certainly not. All right, Elaine Quijano live outside the White House for us this morning.
And also, count on CNN to bring you the most comprehensive coverage of the presidential address tonight. Join the best political team on television for a special two-hour "Situation Room." It beginning at 7:00 Eastern. That will be followed by a special edition of "Larry King Live" following the president's address. That's all tonight right here on CNN.
We are keeping an eye for you on this massive fire that we've been showing you picture of. It's happening at an oil company in Warren County, Missouri. Smoke billowing high into the air above a Warrenton Oil Company warehouse. No injuries reported. No evacuations. But firefighters have been warned there are items inside that could explode. Traffic being diverted from the area around the fire now. The blaze started before 6:00 this morning. The cause not yet known.
Want to try to get a little bit more information now as we continue to look at these pictures. Joining me by phone from the scene of the blaze, Scott Avery. He's with the Warrenton Fire Department.
Scott, tell us what you're seeing now in front of you. We're looking at video coming in, not quite sure of how long ago the scene looked like this, which is pretty out of control.
SCOTT AVERY, WARRENTON FIRE DEPARTMENT: Sure, Heidi. We've actually got a little bit of -- we've gained a little bit on the fire. The shots from this morning with the large billow of black smoke, we've actually got white smoke coming from the building now.
But units arrived on the scene between 5:00 and 5:30 this morning. They already had the fire through the roof. The initial attack crews, when they started to make entry into the building, there were several small explosions inside the building.
Warrenton Oil Company owns a chain of convenience stores, gas stations, throughout the St. Louis metro area. And this is their supply warehouse. So basically anything you would see inside of a gas station convenience store is what was inside this building.
It's been a really hot fire. It's a large, metal building, so the heat stayed inside. And we're starting to make headway now. And it looks like we're going to have it under control here in the next couple hours.
COLLINS: About how many people do you have working on this thing, Scott?
AVERY: Right now we have units from St. Louis County, St. Charles County and Warren County and Lincoln County. There's probably between 40 and 45 pieces of apparatus on the scene. Probably well over 100 firefighters.
COLLINS: Wow. That seems to be quite a bit.
Tell us a little bit about conditions there. I'm trying to get a sense of what the wind is like. Obviously it's pretty difficult to fight something like this when you've got wind blowing around too. AVERY: Right. Exactly. And, you know, the good thing about the wind is it's blowing all the smoke to the area where we wouldn't be able to set up the fire trucks. So it's actually working with us.
But right now what we're trying is, like I said, we're trying to get this under control. We're trying to keep the firefighters safe, of course. And then there's a worry, you know, the cleaning chemicals and the petroleum chemicals inside the building that are leaking out of the building as the water runoff happens. And our hazmat teams are on the scene here trying to control that runoff to make sure those chemicals don't escape us. It's a lot of work ahead of us, but, you know, that's what we do for a living.
COLLINS: Yes, I know you do. Real quickly, before we let you go, Scott, you talk about the hazmat crews and the obvious, dangerous cargo, if you will, inside the building. As I look at this picture, is this an industrial area or do we have homes in the area too?
AVERY: No, this is Warrenton's industrial park. It's all industrial businesses over here. And the closest homes would be across the highway. So we did have the smoke blowing that way, but we did not feel -- the hazmat's been monitoring the air the entire fire and we didn't feel it was necessary to evacuate anybody.
COLLINS: All right. Well, we appreciate the information very much. And good luck to everybody out there trying to get this thing under control. Scott Avery with the Warrenton Fire Department.
Thanks so much.
The unexpected hurricane. Humberto blows up and blows into southeastern Texas. The intensity catching forecasters and local officials by surprise. Humberto made landfall just north of Galveston overnight with 85-miles-an-hour winds. It could dump more than a foot of rain over parts of Texas and Louisiana. Texas already soggy from one of the wettest summers on record. Louisiana under a state of emergency right now as Humberto moves through. The warning area includes a parish hit by Hurricane Rita just two years ago.
Rob Marciano joining me now to talk a little bit more about this.
You know, I always say, it's the last thing that they need. Of course, nobody would want it, but they have been here before.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: They have. And you mentioned just two years ago Hurricane Rita came ashore right around this area from a different direction and certainly a different strength. But nonetheless, this thing fired up to be a hurricane last night and came ashore as a category one.
Here's the good news for Texas. Your rain is done. There is the border. And this thing has moved all the way into Louisiana now. So the center of it right about there. And it's moving off towards the northeast at about 20 miles an hour. So that's the good news for folks who live in Texas. And the folks who live in Louisiana, well, you still have a long morning and afternoon ahead of you. Cameron Parish, which is right in through here. This is where Rita came ashore. You're done as well. But there will still be some minor surge through eastern Cameron and Vermillion Parishes over the next few hours.
The eye wall, what's left of it, really just the northern part of the eye wall heading into Bowlregar (ph) Parish. That is where you're seeing the nastiest weather right now. Heavy rain and downpours and likely the rain blowing sideways with wind gusts potentially up and over hurricane strength.
We do have the threat for seeing tornados in this watch box, at least for the next hour or two. That may be extended. And then heavy rain in this area. Some of the rainfall rates earlier between two and four inches an hour. Probably not at that point right now. But, nonetheless, rainfall heavy across the Capelia (ph) Basin. And the issue with this is that you go east of Lafayette and you're talking about an area that could use the rain. So, you know, a little bit of encouragement there.
Look for this decrease in intensity within the hour, Heidi. We'll get our next update from the National Hurricane Center. And they'll likely drop this down to tropical storm force. But because it blew up as it came ashore, it's been holding on to that hurricane status for much of the morning. And right now officially at 80 mile- an-hour winds, so likely a little bit less than that. But nonetheless, our first land falling hurricane since Wilma in 2005. And these folks just saw Rita in 2005.
COLLINS: Yes. Obviously, I'm sure very tired of it.
Rob Marciano, thanks so much for watching that. We will check back later.
And if you happen to be getting soaked by Humberto or know someone who is, send us an i-Report if you would. Go to cnn.com and click on i-Report or type email@example.com into your cell phone and share your photos and video with us that way. Remember, of course, your safety comes first. Try to avoid any dangerous storm situations.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ed Lavandera in Beaumont, Texas. I'll have the latest on this overnight surprise that was Hurricane Humberto.
COLLINS: And a massive blame game on Capitol Hill over China's dangerous toys. More details coming your way straight ahead.
Plus, an Iraqi boy scarred in a devastating attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Youssif is reluctant. Perhaps haunted by the pain he suffered in Baghdad's hospitals. But the little man was brave.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COLLINS: Youssif finding hope and help in America. The long road to healing.
We're also following this story for you now just in. Looking at these pictures outside of Detroit Metro Airport. The main airport there in Detroit. Apparently the Northwest Airlines terminal has been shut down for an unknown reason. We are hearing a possible suspicious package. We will continue to follow it for you. Once again, those live pictures coming in from our affiliate WDIV. We'll get the latest right after a quick break.
COLLINS: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Heidi Collins.
Cheating from a classy organization? A videotaping flap suggests the New England Patriots may not be playing on a level field. We go behind the headlines with former NFL star Eddie George.
COLLINS: Want to get right back to this story that we told you about just a few moments ago. As you see a plane take off, a Northwest plane in fact, taking off live from Detroit Metro Airport. This is a pretty big hub for Northwest Airlines.
We are understanding, according to our affiliate there, WDIV in Detroit, that Northwest has closed down its terminal because apparently a suspicious package was found. We have no information yet on where exactly that was found or what could possibly be inside or what's being done to find out what's inside.
But that is what we know at this point. You can see quite a few people standing around and just a moment ago we saw a picture of some security folks outside the airport.
So, once again, Northwest Airlines has shut down its terminal in the Detroit metro area because of an a parent suspicious package that was found. Live pictures as we look outside the airport from our aerial view there, WDIV, our affiliate in Detroit. We will continue to follow this one and try and get more information for you and bring it to you just as soon as we can.
Hurricane Humberto knocked the lights out in Beaumont, Texas, when it plowed through overnight. Want to go live to Beaumont right now and our CNN Ed Lavandera who is there.
So no power there, Ed?
LAVANDERA: Well, things are starting to look a lot better here in Beaumont. As Rob mentioned a little while ago, the worst of this storm is long gone. But there were several intense hours overnight where we saw intense rain and strong winds blowing through here as Hurricane Humberto roared ashore here.
It I called it earlier, an overnight surprise. Many people knew this storm was out there but I think many people were surprised by just how quickly and how much this storm intensified.
About 100,000 people around this area had lost power. Much of that is coming back on. But there are still some people who don't have power back on yet.
And I spoke with some sheriff's official here in Beaumont just a short while ago and they said the worst of the damage that they had seen was two mobile homes that had been flipped over. An elderly woman had to be rescued out of one of those homes.
And what we've seen around here in Beaumont over this morning is in many intersections, maybe a foot or so of water kind of slowing down and hampering traffic moving a little bit. But official here are confident that since this storm moved through here relatively quickly, that those water levels will start to go down and everything will return to normal.
But nonetheless, they do have teams and emergency crews and high- water rescue teams out in the surrounding areas making sure that everyone is still OK. And they will continue to do that here for the next several hours.
COLLINS: All right, CNN's Ed Lavandera from Beaumont, Texas, for us.
Ed, thank you for that.
And, meanwhile, four strong earthquakes, dozens of big aftershocks rattling Indonesia in the past 24 hours. The seismic shakedown began with a deadly 8.4 magnitude quake triggering tsunami warnings and watches in countries across the Indian Ocean. At least nine people reported dead in Indonesia. Several buildings collapsed, sparking horrifying memories of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in that region.
GERRI WILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Gerri Willis.
The Federal Reserve meets next week. We'll tell you what that means for homeowners. That's next on "Top Tips" in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Want to give you a look at this now. Check it out. The Dow Jones Industrial averages are up. Right now anyway. About 117, 119 points. We could just stay on this and hopefully watch it just go right through the roof. Sitting here right now at 13,406. Yesterday things closed to the negative, but only by 16 points or so. Obviously today this story is the cost of oil. Expected the stocks to trade a little bit lower today, but it doesn't look like anyway. At least early on. But that's happening. So we'll check in with Susan Lisovicz a little bit later on and try to make sense of it for you.
All eyes on the Federal Reserve. Will it cut interest rates? How to play the Fed's decision in your favor, no matter what happens. Here's CNN personal finance editor Gerri Willis with us this morning.
Gerri, good morning to you.
WILLIS: Good morning, Heidi.
COLLINS: Everybody is waiting for Tuesday.
WILLIS: That's right. That's right. Let me tell you what investors are expecting. They see the central bank lowering rates by at least a quarter percentage point and some are hoping for as much as half a percentage point. Now for his part, Fed Chief Ben Bernanke has indicated the central bank is prepared to make rate cuts to protect the economy from the impact of a global credit crunch. But you really got to wait and see.
COLLINS: Yes, no question about that, unfortunately, as people bite every single one of their nails off their fingers.
COLLINS: How can you play the market, though, if you happen to be, you know, somebody who doesn't have very good timing and you're looking for a new mortgage?
WILLIS: Well, if you're looking for a new mortgage right now, one thing you can do is play both sides. You can always lock in a rate with one lender and have your mortgage broker float you with another bank. That means if rates don't come down dramatically, you can always stick with the first deal. Now keep in mind too that if you're looking for a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage you'll have an easier time finding banks to back your loan.
COLLINS: Well, there are those people though, too, that have these longer term adjustable rate mortgages. What should they be thinking? How should they play it?
WILLIS: Well, now, this is trickier. You have to evaluate your situation. Decide how long you want to stay in your house and figure out how much time you have before that rate adjusts. If you have less than one year left, it is time to refinance. The process of refinancing takes at least 60 days. Now if you have two years left and good mortgage terms, it may be worth your while to wait because banks may loosen their lending standards in coming months and that would be good news for you.
COLLINS: Well, what if housing prices in your area have actually gone down a bit. Do you still need to consider refinancing?
WILLIS: Well, look, if you're facing a rate adjustment and housing prices are down a bit, you may want to refinance sooner rather than later. That's because it's likely prices could fall further. Earlier this week, a survey came out indicating that home prices are up just 2.6 percent. The weakest gain in over a decade. Plus, credit standards are only getting tougher. It's not just the Fed game you're going to have to play here, it is the credit game. And that is tricky. COLLINS: Yes, very, very tricky. And all of us trying to anticipate these decisions coming in.
Hey, Gerri, it's Thursday. What's happening on Saturday?
WILLIS: That's right. Well, "Open House," 9:30 a.m. right here on CNN. We're going to be talking about what states are doing to help struggling homeowners in the mortgage meltdown. And how to find that perfect laptop that won't break your budget.
COLLINS: Sounds good. All right, Gerri, we'll be watching "Open House" on Saturday. Thank you.
WILLIS: Thank you.
COLLINS: A reporter stands up to Hurricane Humberto. The surprise storm and a flood-filled forecast. We'll go live to the CNN hurricane center in just a moment.
Website spat. Fred Thompson's campaign points the finger at Mitt Romney's team over a fake website. Romney says, "it wasn't me."
And cheating from a classy organization? A videotaping flab suggests the New England Patriots may be not playing on a level field. We'll go behind the headlines with former NFL star Eddie George.
COLLINS: Good morning once again, everybody. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Heidi Collins. Tony Harris is off today.
Tracking Humberto. The category-one hurricane surprised forecasters when it slammed into southeastern Texas overnight.
A reporter from our affiliate KTRK was in the thick of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WAYNE DOLCEFINO, KTRK REPORTER: We think this is ground zero, Gilchrist, just between Crystal Beach and High Island. The worst wind and rain we've seen. The power is out. The only light, our floodlight shining on me as I try is to stand just off Highway 87. The wind and the rain, the rain really started to sting as it comes ashore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Humberto quickly grew into a category-one hurricane. It made landfall near High Island. That's just north of Galveston. Early this morning, the storm could dump more than a foot of rain over parts of already soggy parts of Texas and Louisiana. Humberto's heavy rain soaking Lake Charles, Louisiana. The governor has actually declared a state of emergency now. Some areas in Humberto's path were devastated by Hurricane Rita in 2005. With more from Lake Charles now, here's reporter Travers Mackel of our affiliate WDSU.
TRAVERS MACKEL, WDSU REPORTER (voice-over): Hurricane Humberto turning out to be quite a major rain event for southwestern Louisiana. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco declaring a state of emergency just as a precaution at this point for most of the southwestern part of the state.
You'll recall just two years ago Hurricane Rita ripped through this area. A lot of people still trying to recover; 1,500 people still living in FEMA trailers, or still trying to patch up their homes. Throughout the course of the night emergency shelters were opened up. Just about 30 people used those emergency shelters. A lot of people here battle-tested when it comes to hurricanes and tropical storms. Standing by the stance of it is better to be safe than sorry. Emergency leaders planning for some minor street flooding. It didn't really happen as of this time. Just some minor patchwork water on the sides of the road, but no major flooding at this point.
We saw a lot of people filling up sandbags, buying the supplies necessary, like water and food. Once again, just taking all precautions. But at this time, Hurricane Humberto, for the southwestern part of Louisiana, nothing more than a major rain event.
In Lake Charles, I'm Travers Mackel. Now back to you.
COLLINS: OK, so that is the situation in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
COLLINS: Meanwhile, General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, he spoke to Congress, then he spoke to CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After a national press conference and two days of congressional testimony, a visibly tired General David Petraeus sat down with CNN to discuss not just the war, but how the troops are doing and how much more combat they can take.
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, CMDR., MULTINATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ: Well, it's a tough call, Barbara. And candidly -- I know I'm not carrying a rucksack these days, but I mean, I have actually been deployed on I think it is coming up on about four of the last six years, so my family is familiar with certainly at least the separation piece of this. We're particularly concerned, frankly, about the younger members of the force.
STARR: As he routinely travels and meets troops in Iraq, he gets their views firsthand.
PETRAEUS: No one has been happy about the 15-month tour, and they make no bones about it. I don't make any bones about it.
STARR: In fact, he says, the stress of the long tour is part of the reason he has recommend sending some of the surge troops home.
But he doesn't waiver from the view the U.S. can't let Iraq become a terrorist safe haven.
PETRAEUS: Certainly that's one of those areas in which we'd have enormous concern were our objectives not achieved in that country. Also concerns about potential Iranian influence, a humanitarian disaster of enormous proportions.
STARR: He says there have been recent communications from senior al Qaeda leaders to al Qaeda members in Iraq, and Iran remains a threat.
PETRAEUS: We have no question whatsoever about Iranian weapons being used to kill our soldiers. In fact, we have the remnants of a 240-millimeter rocket that hit one of our camps yesterday and caused a number of -- caused wounds of a number of our soldiers.
STARR: And, Heidi, while General Petreaus says he does see progress in Iraq, he also says the situation remains very fragile and that Iraq, he says, could still crack apart -- Heidi.
COLLINS: That's frightening to hear those words obviously. But I'm curious, too, when you have an interview like that, Barbara, with someone like General Petreaus, what do you learn about the man? I think a lot of people don't realize that there is the military person, and then there is the real person, the man, who has the family and goes about his business every day like the rest of us.
STARR: Well, I thought it was interesting that he talked a bit about his own family, and that he's been separated from them, too, much of the last five or six years. His son just graduated from Army jump school and most likely will be serving a tour of duty in Iraq. And we learned something about his dad. His dad is in his 90s, still doing pretty good. His father was a Dutch merchant seaman who ran convoys in the North Atlantic against the Nazis in World War II. So combat and what it does to people is something that General Petreaus is very familiar with. He said his father often talks about his own experiences in those days in World War II -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Boy, what a history in his own family, too. All right, CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. Great interview, Barbara. Thank you.
COLLINS: Count on CNN now to bring you the most comprehensive coverage of something many people will be watching tonight, the presidential address. You can join the best political team on television for a special two-hour situation room. It starts at 7:00 Eastern. We'll also bring you a special edition of "LARRY KING LIVE" following the president's address. That's all tonight right here on CNN.
Cheating from a classy organization? A videotaping flap suggests the New England Patriots did just that. We go behind the headlines with former NFL star Eddie George.
There he is. Wave, Eddie.
And massive blame game on Capitol Hill, over China's dangerous toys. We've been talking about it for weeks now. More details straight ahead.
COLLINS: Quickly want to update you as fast as we can here about the situation at Detroit Metro Airport that we've been telling you about. Apparently, Northwest Airlines terminal has been shut down because of a suspicious package.
New right now, the airline is saying this, their statement reads, the Northwest terminal at Detroit Metro Airport was closed this morning due to an unattended package which is being investigated by authorities. No further details are known at this time.
We're also learning from our affiliate there, WMJ, it's actually one of our radio affiliates, that pretty much all incoming traffic -- you see some shots here now of that -- just can't get into that portion of the airport because everything is basically closed down, as you might imagine.
So we'll continue to follow this and let you know just as soon as we do what actually was inside that unattended package as soon as it's available.
Next now, NFL sideline spying? A marquee franchise's legacy may be on the line. Take you back to Sunday's game now between the New England Patriots and New York Jets. The NFL investigating whether a Patriots' assistant taped the Jets' coaches as they signaled players.
ESPN.com reports Commissioner Roger Goodell has determined the Patriots broke league rules. Goodell now considering severe sanctions against the team, according to ESPN.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick issued a non-specific apology. It reads like this, "Videotaping procedure during last Sunday's game and my interpretation of the rules," he continued, "Although it remains a league matter, I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected."
So what does that mean? Well, joining to us talk more about this case this morning, former NFL star and current Fox sports analyst Eddie George.
Eddie, thanks for being here this morning. Were you surprised when you heard about this?
EDDIE GEORGE, FORMER NFL PLAYER: No, no, I wasn't surprised at all. In fact, it's something that goes on in the NFL quite a bit. But the New England Patriots got caught for it. And it's been speculation coming out of that organization for years that there has been espionage going on behind their doors.
And in terms of getting new information, but it's just so amazing to me that it was so blatantly obvious on the sidelines against the Jets, of all teams, on Sunday.
COLLINS: So -- doesn't only happen with this particular team. I mean, doesn't this happen all the time?
GEORGE: Well, you know, teams are always looking for information, any way they can get it, whether that's taping the sidelines for information to get from the head coaches, when giving in signals, or if you're taping linemen getting -- micing the linemen up to get signals from the quarterback, to get audibles for the next game, so ...
COLLINS: It's cheating! Eddie ...
GEORGE: It happens a lot.
COLLINS: ...it's cheating!
GEORGE: Well, yes, no question, it is cheating. Absolutely it is cheating. I mean, there's no question about it, but it's a fact of getting caught ...
GEORGE: ...and it happens a lot. You know, if a coach is going to get a playbook from an opposing team, guess what? That's going to happen. Those things happen. But the Patriots got caught for it. And unfortunately, for Belichick and his coaching staff, they're going to have to pay a heavy price for that.
COLLINS: Yes, you know, usually you see them putting up the clipboards and everything when they're giving the signals.
COLLINS: I guess that doesn't always work?
GEORGE: Well, it does work, that's why you see -- actually, there's been some people that have hired people who read lips and when they're sending in their signals, or their calls, and making plays, they're reading their lips. So that's why you see a lot of the coaches put up cards over their mouths as they're calling the plays, because that happens. And believe it or not, whether that helps them on a particular play, that one play can make a difference.
COLLINS: Sure. GEORGE: But the coaches are always looking for that competitive edge. But you have to understand the guidelines of sportsmanship and cheating. And it was just funny actually to see Belichick and the Patriots beating up on the Jets trying to get their defensive calls. I don't think it would have made a world of difference if they knew or not.
COLLINS: Yes, you know -- you just wouldn't see this kind of thing happening in golf, would you? Golf etiquette ...
COLLINS: Of course, I don't know what ...
GEORGE: I don't think you could -- I don't think you'll see Tiger Woods looking at somebody else's swing or I don't see how you can cheat in golf.
COLLINS: No signals really. But listen, here's a big question for you. I mean, this is a very successful team.
COLLINS: Why would they really need to be even doing this in the first place if in fact, it's true?
GEORGE: Well, it makes you wonder a little bit, how long had they been doing this. Since they had what -- four rings in three years or three rings in four years, had they always been cheating? You know? It just makes you wonder. But that team is very successful and Bill Belichick runs a tight camp.
But you know, again, this is something that every team in the league has done or will do. They're not the first team to do it and they certainly won't be the last. And on some levels, it does taint their legacy a bit, but you know, it's the timing of it as well.
You look at what Roger Goodell has to deal with with the league in terms of the players acting out on and off the field, some coaches acting out, and now Bill Belichick, it's -- he's trying to re- establish the value of the brand and the ethics behind behind the NFL shield.
COLLINS: So ...
GEORGE: And they're going to get paid -- they're going to get hit hard on this one.
COLLINS: And so, what's Goodell going to do? What do you think? What's the penalty going to be?
GEORGE: It's going to be, probably a stiff fine, probably a loss in draft picks, and maybe a loss in games possibly for the head coach. But a statement will be made before the New England Patriots on this.
COLLINS: Yes, well, maybe there'll be a little bit more information than what we already heard.
COLLINS: All right, Eddie George, we appreciate your time here today. And we'll be following this story. Chat with you again hopefully. Thanks so much.
GEORGE: Thank you very much.
COLLINS: Quickly want to get this just in to you now, we have been following all morning long Hurricane Humberto, want to get over to Rob Marciano who is watching it very closely.
What's new here, Rob?
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's been downgraded, that's the latest out of the National Hurricane Center is that it has been downgraded to a tropical storm. But still a strong one, 65 mile an hour tropical storm. It is on the radar scope here now heading just north and east of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Here's the forecast track, it's actually 32 miles north and east of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Gusting to 80 miles an hour in spots very close to the center movement. Northeasterly at 12 miles an hour. Will probably stay at that clip, maybe speed up a little bit as it continues to decrease in intensity.
The main threat with this now going -- actually, 65 mile-an-hour winds will still bring down trees and power lines, so there will be sporadic power outages and some more damage over the next couple of hours but flooding rains central Louisiana and through central Mississippi, which have flash flood watches posted through late tonight will be the next area of concern.
We'll have much more on Tropical Storm Humberto throughout the morning. Heidi, back to you.
COLLINS: OK, we like how it downgraded at least so far. Thanks so much, Rob.
An Iraqi boy scarred in a devastating attack.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Youssif is reluctant, perhaps haunted by the pain he suffered in Baghdad's hospitals. But the little man was brave.
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COLLINS: Youssif, finding hope and help in America. The long road to healing.
COLLINS: Want to get back to story we've been following out of Detroit Metro Airport. Northwest Airlines actually had to shut down its terminal because of a suspicious package that was found in some area called the McNamara Terminal, actually place where deliveries are made.
We want to get to Vickie Thomas. She's on the line with us from WWJ-AM radio there in Detroit.
Vickie, what's the latest? We're hearing a little bit about some of these ramps possibly opening back up?
VICKIE THOMAS, WWJ AM RADIO: Well, yes, I can tell you, Heidi in the last 45 minutes or so out here at metro airport have been total chaos, but I am getting word now that some of the roads around the McNamara Terminal have now been reopened, and travel along those roads is moving freely, although it's a bit congested, as you can imagine.
But at this point people are making their way back into the terminal. This all started about 45 minutes ago when a suspicious box was found, and that forced the evacuation of the entire McNamara Terminal. When I arrived here traffic was jammed up. Police officers were everywhere. They were telling people not to pull over, not to park, just to keep moving and not to enter any of the parking structures. People that worked in those parking structures, they were even evacuated. People were sitting on the embankment, the grassy embankment, just outside the terminal.
And at this point we don't know what the impact on air travel will be, but I'm sure that many flights will be delayed or possibly canceled as a result of this threat that appears to be over.
COLLINS: OK, a suspicious box is what you said. Is that what you are hearing? We usually hear a suspicious package and then we think about it about as a suitcase.
THOMAS: OK, I was told that it was a box. That's what I was told by one of the officers out here. He also told me at one point, because we were trying to find a place to park as members of the media in marked vehicles, and they were telling us we couldn't park in our normal spot. We tried to argue the point, but he said that he was not even going to let TSA through that particular entrance to the McNamara Terminal.
COLLINS: Yes, understandable, at least at this point.
All right, Vickie Thomas, thanks so much for the information from WWJ News Radio. Appreciate that. We'll continue to watch that story for you.
COLLINS: He turned his back on al Qaeda and joined forces with American troops. This Iraqi sheikh killed today in a bomb blast. Breaking news. We'll update you.
And Hurricane Humberto hammers Texas. Driving rain and strong winds. One person says it snuck up us. Find out where it's headed next.
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