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Police Trying to Determine if Body Found May be Nailah Franklin; 'Jena 6' Defendant; Search Continues for Man and Girl Seen in Explicit Video

Aired September 27, 2007 - 10:59   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning again, everyone. You're with CNN, the most trusted name in news.
I'm Tony Harris.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody.

I'm Heidi Collins.

Developments keep coming into the CNN NEWSROOM on this 27th of September.

Here's what's on the rundown now.

Police trying to identify a body found today outside Chicago. Is it Nailah Franklin missing for eight days now?

Top Republicans skipping tonight's forum dealing with black and Hispanic concerns. Is the GOP ignoring minority voters? Our guests discuss the no-shows.

COLLINS: A chartered boat adrift and empty. Now claims pirates tossed the crew overboard.

Mystery on the Joe Cool, in the NEWSROOM.

Happening now, we're getting reports out of suburban Chicago. A body has been found.

Our Fredricka Whitfield is following this developing story.

Fred, tell us what we know at this point.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the mystery continues to surround 28-year-old Nailah Franklin, missing since September 18th. Days ago, her abandoned vehicle was located, and now this morning a body has been found in a wooded forest preserve area located not far from where Franklin's abandoned vehicle was located. No official link has been made between the body and Franklin, but her family has been notified of this find.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have Dwayne Johnson, who is the uncle of Nailah Franklin, who has been missing for nearly two weeks. And we're just trying to find out exactly what he knows.

What have you been told this morning?

DWAYNE JOHNSON, UNCLE OF NAILAH FRANKLIN: We were just told that there was a body that was found out here in Calumet City, and that was it. So I'm jetting out here as quick as possible to find out if that's my niece. But if it is not my niece, there's somebody out there that needs some prayer. Somebody's family is getting ready to go through some sorrow, so we need to pray for that family, whoever it is, because that's somebody's loved one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you feel the fact that she was last seen two miles from here at the Outback Steakhouse and this is so close to where she was last seen? Does that give you some concern?

JOHNSON: I mean -- I mean, when you say concerned, I mean I'm concerned about it, but there's nothing right now that I can even try to consider right now. There is a lot of other concerns right now that I'm really worried about, and that is, is that Nailah? Because I don't know. But I do know that somebody's over there and, you know, my heart goes out to that family, whoever that is.

So, I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And your family has arrived as well, more family.

JOHNSON: Yes, more family is on its way. Our family that has not arrived, I mean, they're in prayer right now. We're all in -- we're still in prayer because we don't know. And we're still keeping up hope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are the -- what are the police telling you right now? You came to the scene. I saw you talking to some of the officers.

JOHNSON: Right. Well, they're just telling us that they're not confirming or denying anything. So, I mean, they're still investigating. They'll be with me shortly. So I have to -- I've got to let them do this. You know...


WHITFIELD: All right. And I continue to look here at some wire copy, because The Associated Press has information that is simply confirming that indeed this unidentified body has been located, but still no connection being made between Nailah Franklin and that body.

So still a lot of questions unanswered at this juncture. Still early on in the investigation -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes. OK, Fred. Thanks for following that one for us.

HARRIS: Unfolding this morning, his case stays in juvenile court. Will Jena 6 defendant Mychal Bell stay behind bars or get out on bond? Sean Callebs live from Jena, Louisiana.

Sean, quick question for you. Does the decision by prosecutor Reed Walters not to re-file these charges against Mychal Bell in adult court, does that represent real movement in the aftermath of last week's protest?

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's difficult to say if it represents real movement or if indeed the D.A. ever was going to go through with those charges or believed he could once again get a conviction of Bell as an adult. What we can tell you is that Bell's defense counsel, they filed a couple of motions with the appellate court.

Firstly, they want to see the 17-year-old released on bond, have some kind of bail. Secondly, if that doesn't happen, they want to see Bell, who is currently being held in an adult correction facility in another part of LaSalle Parish, they want to see him held in a juvenile facility.

Now, really since all the attention broke surrounding the Jena 6, front and center has been Mychal Bell. He's the only one gone to court, he's the only one convicted, and the only one who has been incarcerated.

Of course he was charged as an adult by D.A. Reed Walters, but that conviction was tossed out a couple of weeks ago by the appellate court. Well, now we have word from the state's governor, no less, that Walters is not going to pursue charges against Mychal Bell as an adult.


GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO (D), LOUISIANA: Late this afternoon he gave me a call and informed me that he had rendered his decision and he thought that the case would best be served in the juvenile system. Of course, I thanked him profusely and I know that's a very wise decision that he has made.


CALLEBS: Now, the governor of course standing there with Reverend Al Sharpton, who has been front and center on this case the past several months as well.

We know that Reed Walters has scheduled a news conference, Tony, in about three hours. So we hope to hear more about his next move in all of this, or if, indeed, Bell has the possibility of being released anytime soon.

One final note. We know that the governor didn't make the statement off the cuff. She called the D.A. ahead of time to make sure he was comfortable with her making that announcement last night -- Tony.

HARRIS: Hey, Sean, what did he say about -- Reed Walters, again, what did he say about the case? He wrote an editorial that appeared in "The New York Times" yesterday. What did he have to say?

CALLEBS: Exactly. He hasn't said a great deal publicly about this, in part because his hands have been tied by a gag order. But he talked firstly about, did he make any mistakes, would he do anything differently.

He said the only thing he would do differently is go back and make his case to the public a little more clear. I want to read to you exactly what he said.

He said, "I would have done a better job of explaining the offenses of December 4, 2006." That's the time that the Jena 6 attacked Justin Barker. That "... did not stem from a schoolyard fight, as it has been commonly described by the news media and by critics."

What Walters says is Barker walked out of this school and was simply coldcocked by Mychal Bell, knocked unconscious. And then the other members of the Jena 6 allegedly started kicking Barker at that time, and that is the reason the D.A. initially filed second degree murder charges -- attempted murder charges against this group, because he thought the attack was simply so vicious.

Also, want to quickly point out that Walters also talked about the nooses that were hung from the tree at the Jena High School. He said that he investigated, was there any wrongdoing, was there any criminal wrongdoing? In his words, no.

To have a hate crime, it has to be connected with another kind of crime. You can't just hang a noose and say, well, that's a hate crime. If someone would have hung a noose and slugged somebody, that would have been the cause and effect, and then the D.A. could have pursued hate crime charges.

And we know also the state police and the sheriff's office are offering protection for members of the Jena 6. Earlier, we had said that the LaSalle Parish Sheriff's Office was not offering any kind of protection -- Tony.

HARRIS: Sean Callebs for you in Jena, Louisiana.

Sean, good to see you. Thanks.

COLLINS: At this moment, want to show you some of these live pictures now. A Miami judge is issuing a key ruling in a heart- wrenching custody case.

At the center of it, a 5-year-old girl born in Cuba, living now in the U.S. Her Cuban father wants to take her home. A judge must decide whether he abandoned her and is unfit to raise her.

The girl's mother brought the girl and her half-brother to the U.S. The mother later attempted suicide. This all happened in 2005, and the children went to live with foster parents.

Those Cuban-American foster parents are now fighting to keep her. The state of Florida is on their side.

The girl's mother, by the way, wants to return to Cuba as well.

CNN's Susan Candiotti is monitoring the courtroom. She's going to bring you the ruling when it is delivered.

HARRIS: Recall alert, more than 500,000 toys made in China. The problem again is the lead paint.

The list is long but some of the toys include TOBY & ME jewelry sets; Floor Puppet Theater, sold at specialty stores and gift shops, and various Thomas and Friends wooden railway toys sold nationwide.

Now, for a complete list of recalled toys, go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site,

COLLINS: And another alert to tell you about here by way of recalls. Parents of babies and toddlers, listen to this now.

A recall was just announced for some 425,000 playpens. You're looking at them.

This recall involves 12 models of Playard brand playpens manufactured by Kolcraft Enterprises. The recall following the death of a 10-month-old child.

That's the strap there. Apparently, those playpens include that changing table restraint strap. The Consumer Product safety Commission says that strap is the strangulation hazard. Consumers are being asked to either cut off the restraint and contact the company for a repair kit, or maybe just not use it.

The company's Web site is The phone number, 888-655-8484.

HARRIS: Suspect in a sexual assault tape and his young victim both sought by Nevada authorities. They say the little girl is likely to be in danger.

A short time ago we spoke with Jon Lieberman, national correspondent with "America's Most Wanted."


HARRIS: You talked to the sheriff's department. How were they describing the nature of this case, the nature of the attack on this young girl?

JON LIEBERMAN, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": You know, I've got to tell you, Tony, they say it's the most despicable, disgusting, animal- like act that they've ever seen taken out on an innocent 4-or-5-year- old girl by somebody, quite frankly, six or seven times her age. That's why police are saying she's in such grave danger, just by what is depicted on the videotape.

And time really is of the essence. We need to find out who this guy is and we need to find out who this poor, innocent little blonde girl is.

HARRIS: Who is this clown that they -- I hope they still have him in custody, this Darren Tuck, who claims to have found the videotape in the desert but certainly didn't turn it over to police right away. Did he?

LIEBERMAN: Well, let me be clear. Number one, his story doesn't add up completely. Number two, this Darren Tuck has been charged with possessing child pornography and passing it around.

HARRIS: Good. Good.

LIEBERMAN: Here's what happened.

A guy goes to police, he says that he viewed a tape, an absolutely sickening tape. They then track it to this Tuck guy. And he says, oh, I found it in the desert five months ago. In the meantime...

HARRIS: Five months ago.

LIEBERMAN: Yes. In the meantime, it appears he had been showing it around to his friends. That's sickening in and of itself.

Now, police do say it is definitely not Tuck on the tape performing these acts on the little girl. However, they do believe he knows more than he's saying right now.

And the state's attorney there is questioning Tuck again and again, trying to get any sort of information out of this guy. Because Tony, the VHS cassette was in pretty good condition. If it was in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the summer, you would have seen some deterioration.

HARRIS: Yes. Well, it sounds like the information has to come from this Tuck guy. Do the authorities believe he could be the photographer?

LIEBERMAN: You know, they don't. You know, they really don't think that he's intimately linked with the tape, except they do believe that at some point he received it.

But you know, cops are telling us that this little girl and this suspect could be anywhere nationwide. They're not married to the theory that these guys are somewhere, you know, right in Nevada. And that's why it's so important that we get it out there nationally.

HARRIS: Well, perhaps there is someone else who could be of some help here. There was another girl on the tape who we understand was not attacked in the same way. What can you tell us about this young woman? And can she be of some help?

LIEBERMAN: Yes, this adds another wrinkle to it, Tony. This other 11-or-12-year-old girl was featured in the videotape almost like in a peep show, like the camera was sort of spying on her like voyeur stuff. HARRIS: Yes.

LIEBERMAN: But police aren't sure that that video was taken with the same camera as the video where it's depicted, the animal-like behavior, on the other girl. They've talked to this 12-year-old, they've identified her. But at this point, unfortunately, they don't think she can help them find the little girl. And she apparently is unsure of who even took the videotape of her.


HARRIS: If you have any information about the girl or the man in the video, you're asked to contact the Nye County Sheriff's Office. E-mail or call 775-751-7500. You can also contact "America's Most Wanted" with tips on the case. Go online,, or give them a call a the 1-800-CRIMETV.

COLLINS: Still ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM, they're fighting for the Republican nomination, but these presidential candidates are making news for the forums that they are not attending. Are minority voters being ignored?

HARRIS: Also, New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas on defense in a highly-charged sexual harassment suit.

COLLINS: Piracy on the high seas or a tall tale to cover up a crime? A charter boat passenger tells his story about what happened to the crew.

HARRIS: And a mother and her piglets taking up residence in a lady's front yard.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my god! There's a bull coming down on our lawn. My lawn is a total disaster.


HARRIS: The country hogs become city pigs.

A mess for you, in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: A debate over debates. At issue, leading Republican presidential candidates, they're skipping a forum tonight. The focus is on issues important to African-Americans and Hispanics.

Are Republicans sending the wrong message? The moderator says the answer is obvious.


TAVIS SMILEY, MODERATOR, PRESIDENTIAL FORUM: When you say no to every black and brown request you receive, is that a scheduling problem or is that a pattern? And I think it's pretty clear that it's a pattern. And why that pattern exists, you have so ask them. But one cannot deny that they are trying to go, these front-runners, these Republican front-runners, trying to go through this entire primary process and never have to address voters of color and never be queried by journalists of color. And I think in the most multicultural, multiracial, multiethnic America ever, that, quite frankly, is unacceptable.


COLLINS: Is that really happening?

Our guests are on opposite sides of this issue. Michelle Bernard is with the Independent Women's Forum.

Michelle, hello to you.


COLLINS: And Joe Hicks is with Project 21, an African-American leadership group.

Joe, good morning to you as well.

JOE HICKS, PROJECT 21: Good morning.

COLLINS: OK. So we know at least Newt Gingrich and Jack Kemp, two Republicans that are actually criticizing this move in that the Republican candidates, front-runners, are not going to the forum.

What do you think is really behind this decision? I'll start with you, Michelle.

BERNARD: You know, I really can't fathom what is behind the decision. All I can say is that it really is a very unintelligent decision on the part of the top four candidates.

You know, people have speculated that the top four believe, for example, that if they go before an audience of Hispanics or African- Americans or anyone else -- or other sort of dedicated voting blocs, that they'll be booed. And, you know, my response to that is that we're not talking about people who are barbarians. These are people like any other American in the United States that want to know how the policy perspectives of the various candidates are going to impact their lives.

COLLINS: Joe, we have heard that the reason for this is because of scheduling conflicts.

HICKS: Well, first of all, we've got to understand, we're right at the end of the fund-raising season here. These folks are scrambling to raise money, get in under the wire, get matching funds, and be set to do battle to the end of this whole process here to determine who the candidate is.

You know, what's interesting here is how Tavis Smiley and Bob Herbert of "The New York Times" and others are trying to utilize this as a way to sort of bash these candidates as some sort of bigots or racists, which I just find, frankly, laughable. Listen, last week all these same candidates, Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, took a pass on the Family Research -- the Family Research Council's value voters forum that is a key conservative core-base Republican Party.

They took a pass. Why? Because they're trying -- they're out there stumping, trying to raise money. I think it is laughable. Also...

BERNARD: Joe, I mean, the other side of that is maybe they took a pass on that because they don't want to say what their platform is on reproductive rights and abortion rights.

COLLINS: Well, let's -- guys, let's try to stick with the issue here today before we get into all of that. Forgive me.

But we have said -- we have heard that the Republicans say they've got scheduling conflicts. I understand where we with are the fund-raising efforts and the process of the election coming up in November. However, Democrats were able to find time to be there.

Michelle, are their schedules that different?

BERNARD: Well, that's a very good question, Heidi.

Look, here's the bottom line. If they're going to have scheduling conflicts that make it that they're unable to attend the debate, they better hope that the millions -- or I should say the thousands of black voters, Democrats, Republicans and Independents who voted for George Bush in Ohio, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania in 2004, they should hope that those people don't have scheduling conflicts on Election Day in 2008.

It is a -- it is a colossal mistake to ignore the fact that the policy perspectives of African-Americans have changed. This is not the black America of the 1960s, and people want to talk about Social Security, health care reform, education reform. And all of the candidates, Democratic and Republican, should not take any vote for granted. And they should definitely not give the impression that the votes of black Americans don't matter.

It's a huge, huge mistake. Newt Gingrich, Ken Mehlman, they're correct.

COLLINS: Joe, is that what Republicans are saying here? Or could it possibly be a matter of resources? I mean, when you look at some of these numbers, it's true, less than 10 percent of African- Americans are registered Republicans.

HICKS: Well, hold on. FOX News and the Congressional Black Caucus scheduled a forum for Democrats, and all the top-tier Democrats -- in fact, all Democrats simply refused to come. Now, were they dissing the black voters?

You know, I find it a leap here to assume that they're somehow trying to avoid the black voter when clearly there is no need to do that. They clearly want every vote they can get, every single vote is precious. So the assumption that they're trying to dodge black voters or black forums I think is ridiculous.

Secondly, you've got to understand, tonight is a candidate's forum. It is not a presidential debate. And I think we have to understand the difference.

They're going to go before some people, ask them, you know, the same kind of question, what are you going to do for black votes? I mean, it's not exactly of the highest priority if you're trying to survive and battle through the end of this so you can be the one last standing candidate to be the presidential nominee.

COLLINS: I wonder, too, is it possible Barack Obama, who will -- of course is part of the candidacy here for the Democrats -- he's going to be at the forum tonight. Does that really change anything for Republicans being that he is African-American, Michelle?

BERNARD: No, it doesn't change anything at all. I mean, we are really in a race where, you know, everyone's mantra should be may the best man or -- excuse me -- or best woman win. And, you know, just as Hillary Clinton isn't necessarily going to get all of the women's vote, neither is Barack Obama.

I mean, the bottom line is -- and I'm not saying that the Republican candidates are ignoring black voters, but what I am saying is they have made a mistake in not realizing that there has been a very dramatic increase in the number of African-Americans who are Republicans, Independents and Democrats who have begun to go out and actually vote for Republicans. And given that, and given the very small margin of error -- the small margin of votes between Kerry and Bush in the last election, none of those votes should be taken for granted.

COLLINS: Joe, I'm going to give you the last word here. I just wonder if we'll hear from -- if we'll be hearing from candidates on this at all? Are we going to hear from what the Republicans say?

HICKS: But why was it not disrespectful for Hillary and Obama and Edwards to disrespect the Black Caucus and not attend their forum that they set out? Again, we are trying to I think take something and make it into a racial issue here, as usual.


COLLINS: Are we going to hear from the candidates though, Joe, on what they think?

HICKS: Pardon?

COLLINS: No offense to you guys, but will we hear from the candidates at all, the Republicans, about their decision?

BERNARD: Probably not.

HICKS: I don't know if we're going to hear -- you mean on why they're not there tonight?

COLLINS: Exactly.

BERNARD: Well, I don't know...

BERNARD: They told us it's a scheduling conflict.

COLLINS: Let me hear from Joe. OK?

BERNARD: They've already made their comment. They said it's a scheduling conflict.

Everybody who's on the inside of these campaigns knows these guys are just feverish about trying to raise money. And tonight was not the priority, given it's a forum and not a presidential debate at all, which seems to be the way it is being presented (ph).

COLLINS: All right, guys. We're going to have to end it there, unfortunately.

Thanks to the both of you, Michelle Bernard and Joe Hicks.

Thank you very much.

HARRIS: And still ahead in the NEWSROOM this morning, do childhood vaccines interfere with brain development? Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta has some new findings.


COLLINS: A new study adding to the debate over a vaccine preservative. It's called Thimerosal. Does it affect neurological development in children?

I talked earlier with our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, about the study.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Some of it's reassuring with regards to several different neurological problems. But not autism, which is the question that a lot of people have. Autism wasn't specifically looked at in this study. And those results are expected out in about a year or so.

But they tried to figure out whether Thimerosal, which is this mercury preservative that used to be found in a lot of childhood vaccines, was related to about 42 neurological disorders, and the answer seemed to come back no. About a thousand children were studied over a period of time looking at specifically at mercury levels, looking specifically for some of these things -- speech, language skill problems, motor coordination, intelligence problems. And besides one interesting finding, all of these seem to be negative.

They did seem to find that boys who had higher levels of mercury were more likely to have problems with tic disorders, where they might have motor problems or some sort of speech disorder with a tic type thing. But besides that, it seemed to be pretty reassuring.

COLLINS: Well, that's good. But isn't Thimerosal an ingredient that used to be in vaccines? I mean, can kids still be exposed to it now?

GUPTA: Well, it used to be. And it was taken out right around in 2001 in most childhood vaccines.

There's about 14 different vaccines that children might receive, and Thimerosal is not found in those anymore. It is found in some of the flu shots, though, still.

Now, you may remember, Heidi, you and I talked about the fact that the flu nasal mist is actually approved now for children under the age of 2 as well. That doesn't have Thimerosal in it. So they have options as far as not getting the mercury preservative if the parents don't want them to have it.


COLLINS: Again, the verdict still not in on Thimerosal and autism. That report is the connection to autism. That report is not due out for another year.

Good morning once again, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: I'm Tony Harris.


HARRIS: An Israeli soldier's wife challenges the leader of Iran.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the wife of Goldwasser that was kidnapped by Hezbollah to Lebanon more than a year, and you are responsible for this by your support.


HARRIS: News conference shocker, in the NEWSROOM.



HARRIS: A kidnapped soldier's wife face to face with the man she sees as her abductor's sponsor.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick reports.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The question during the Iranian president's press conference took many by surprise. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the wife of Goldwasser that was kidnapped by Hezbollah to Lebanon more than a year, and you are responsible for this by your support. I'm asking how come you're not allowing the Red Cross to go in to visit them. How come you're not sending us a sign of life more than a year? How come you're not answering me?

FEYERICK: Thirty-one-year-old Karnit Goldwasser sitting in the first row directly in front of President Ahmadinejad said she knew she had one chance to ask him to step in and help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have nothing to lose. I lost already my husband.

FEYERICK: Ehud Goldwasser and another soldier Eldad Regev were kidnapped last summer inside Israel while patrolling the border. The abduction by what the U.S. says is an Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia triggered a two-month assault against Lebanon by Israeli forces.


FEYERICK: Since then Karnit Goldwasser has done everything possible to talk to prime ministers, presidents, and anyone she thinks might be able to reach out to Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah so she can get some sign her husband is still alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ahmadinejad is in charge of Hezbollah (INAUDIBLE), the head of Hezbollah, the one that kidnapped my husband, so I want him to be involved and also say to Nasrallah, give them a sign of life. Give them -- let the Red Cross go to see them.

FEYERICK: The Iranian consult to the U.N. tells CNN Iran has no official comment on the issue of the kidnapped soldier.


FEYERICK: The distraught wife, a non-journalist who is part of the Israeli delegation, was cut off by reporters in the room who later indicated she was out of line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know that it wasn't right what I did, but I promise him years ago -- I said if something happened to you, I will bring the moon to you, and I will do whatever it needs me to do and to go to bring you back.

FEYERICK: The wife of the kidnapped Israeli says she hopes when Ahmadinejad returns to Iran, if he's a humanitarian like he says, he will reach out to Hezbollah, and maybe her husband and his friend will finally come home, if they're still alive.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.


HARRIS: I loved that. I would bring the moon to you. That...

COLLINS: Very sweet.


COLLINS: Check this out -- hog wild in Connecticut. They're kind of cute. Until they see some of these other pictures coming up. Misguided porkers on the run.


COLLINS: Want to quickly give you some information we've just gotten in here to CNN. According to the Associated Press, and our affiliate WFLD, we have been telling you all morning long about the missing woman in the suburban area of Chicago. Her name is Nailah Franklin. We are learning apparently from her uncle -- you may have seen him earlier today, Dwayne Johnson -- he is telling our affiliates there that authorities have confirmed his niece, 28-year-old Nailah Franklin, is dead. The body that we told you about a little bit earlier today that had been located not far from where her abandoned vehicle was found is apparently that of the young lady that you are seeing on your screen now, 28-year-old Nailah Franklin.

That is the very latest. We have been trying to learn more about the identification of that body that was found. And now according to her uncle, again his name Dwayne Johnson, yes, indeed, it was the body of 28-year-old Nailah Franklin.

HARRIS: "YOUR WORLD TODAY" coming up at the top of the hour, about 15 minutes from right now.

Jonathan Mann standing by with a preview for us. Jonathan, good to see you.

JONATHAN MANN, CNN ANCHOR: Tony, good to see you. Well, it is happening now, bloodshed in Burma, just as everyone feared. The monks in Myanmar and many of its ordinary people, citizens who are out on the streets demanding democracy, are the victims of a crackdown by the government. Several people are known to be dead. We don't have exact numbers, but a very drastic story under way.

Another dramatic story, a nightmare no one took seriously until now. CNN's Jeanne Meserve explains have the U.S. government now fears computer hackers could turn off the power all over this country, simply, essentially almost like flipping a switch. It's a scary possibility, and they are taking it seriously.

And a very different kind of story. They're hot, they're smoking. They're the rapping firefighters of Switzerland and they've got your number. We'll explain coming up on "YOUR WORLD TODAY."

Back to you.

COLLINS: Those Swiss firefighters, Jonathan, I'm telling you.

MANN: They've got the moves.

COLLINS: Yes, they do. They've got the moves. All right. Thanks, Jonathan. We'll be watching.


COLLINS: A Cuban father versus American foster parents. A daughter trapped in an international custody fight. A ruling from that judge. You see the live pictures now coming in, in a Miami courtroom. We will bring it to you just as soon as it is announced.



HARRIS: And very quickly want to tell you about a situation right now at the Eugene Airport in Eugene, Oregon. The TSA has found a suspicious package during a routine baggage check. The package was found in the baggage screening area. No idea at this point who the package may belong to. The terminal, as you can imagine, has been evacuated, and shut down for the time being. The rest of the airport, we understand, is open and operating. Police and the bomb squad are now on the scene investigating.

No real idea as to how long the terminal will be shut down. It all depends on the length of the -- how long the evacuation is in place. And that airport, if you're wondering, services about 29 flights daily nationwide. It's a situation we will keep an eye on and get you more information as we get it here in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: When the tragic death of a loved one happens, many of us might want to just stop living. But today's CNN hero came out swinging. She's using her boxing talent to breathe life and a future into her drug-ravaged community.

Monica Lovato is today's CNN hero.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, so let's start.

MONICA LOVATO, CNN HERO: Espanola is a small community, and the biggest thing out there, they always say, is the drugs and the overdoses and the poverty and all the bad things. That kind of reputation, it is negative and it hurts the kids, it hurts the kids to hear that and to think that that's all there is.

My name is Monica Lovato, and I started a boxing program last year at the city of Espanola so that the kids would have something to do and somewhere to go after school.

When I was younger, there wasn't much to do in Espanola. We just found somebody's house to hang out at and party. Leroy Cantano (ph) was my boyfriend throughout high school. After high school, he got into a car accident on his way home late at night and he was killed in the car accident.

Leroy's death really, really took a toll on me. It felt like a part of me died. To try and get my mind off of things, forget about Leroy and forget about what happened, I started boxing. It's really changed my life around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The winner and the new IBA Women's Welterweight Champion! Monica Lovato!

LOVATO: I just recently won the IBA Bantamweight World Champion title belt. Last year, I made an agreement with the city that I'd volunteer my time to start the Espanola Boxing Club. It's something for the people, something for the community. The most important part of my program is teaching self-discipline and raising their self- esteem.

Those of you who have been slacking on running, you're only hurting yourself. Remember that, OK?

The dream is to build a big community center that's affordable for everybody. If we don't keep them busy and have something for them to do, well, then, we haven't accomplished anything.

I'm not just boxing in the ring, but I'm fighting for my community.


COLLINS: You can go to to check out a day in the life of Monica Lovato. And you can see footage of her recent fight for the World Champion Title Belt.

While you're there, you can also nominate a hero you know. But you only have until Sunday to do so, so get cracking on this, people. Selected winners will be honored during a special live broadcast on December 6th hosted by CNN's Anderson Cooper.

HARRIS: Blood spilled in Myanmar's streets today. Witnesses say soldiers opened fire on anti-government protesters.

"YOUR WORLD TODAY" is just minutes away.


COLLINS: CNN NEWSROOM continues just one hour from now.

HARRIS: "YOUR WORLD TODAY" is next with news happening across the globe and here at home.

I'm Tony Harris.

COLLINS: I'm Heidi Collins. Have a great day, everybody.