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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Manhunt for Child Molester Expands; Eyewitness Accounts From Myanmar

Aired September 30, 2007 - 09:00   ET

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


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: It is Sunday, September 30. Good morning, everybody from CNN World Headquarters here in Atlanta. I'm Betty Nguyen.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: And good morning, I'm Rob Marciano in today for T.J. Holmes once again -- got a couple of weekends off.

NGUYEN: Yeah, glad to have you here with us, Rob.

MARCIANO: Thank, good to be here. He deserves it, as well.

Well, the manhunt has expanded for a case of a little girl molested in that home videotape. There's lots of questions, few answers, but police will learn a lot more if they can track this man down.

NGUYEN: And dramatic new video plus an eyewitness account from the middle of the chaos there in Myanmar. You want to watch that.

MARCIANO: And Mexican, Cuban, Spanish, Chilean, there are different cultures, different people, but all are lumped together in one group. We'll talk about Latin-Americans as we "Uncover America."

NGUYEN: Right now we are uncovering new information this morning about the suspect in a chilling sexual assault case. Authorities are searching for Chester Arthur Stiles -- you see him there -- in connection with a videotaped assault on a girl three years old at the time. That girl has been found, and she's safe with her family. CNN's Kara Finnstrom is in Las Vegas where the search is focused.

And Kara, you have heard from someone who knows the suspect. What clues did that person provide?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Some very interesting information. This is a nationwide manhunt that's continuing and we're getting some new information about the prime suspect, this Chester Stiles.

CNN's Dan Simon spoke with a Las Vegas man by the name of Todd Allen. Todd Allen is smack in the middle of all of this. He tells us he had a relationship with Stiles and saw Stiles just a little over a week ago right before Stiles was officially linked to this crime. Here's what he says his connection is. Todd Allen says that for a while he lived with the little girl that is seen being brutally attack in that videotape with his mother and with his sister, that they were all roommates.

He also says that he's seen the videotapes, the clips that were played on TV, and that he recognizes the place where this girl was attacked as that apartment.

Now, as for his connection to Stiles, that's a little more complicated. He says his mother dated Chester Stiles for about 10 years and that the two of them would often come over to the apartment, and that his mother would sometimes baby-sit. Here's what he said about how Chester Stiles may have gotten time along with this little girl.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TODD ALLEN, SON OF SUSPECT'S EX-GIRLFRIEND: That's the difficult question that we're all trying to come up with. That's what we're trying to figure out amongst our family, is how it actually happened. The only thing I could think of is that he was there while somebody was baby-sitting the children, and he managed to -- either that person fell asleep, took a nap or stepped out and managed to get time alone with her. But I don't see how that would happen. I can't see anybody allowing that to happen. If they were awake it would never...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FINNSTROM: Now, Chester Stiles, again, the man being sought by police as a prime suspect in all of this. We want to give you a look at his rap sheet. I'll give you a little bit more of an idea on the background of this man, quite a bit on it.

Larceny, auto burglary, domestic violence, resisting a police officer, assault with a deadly weapon, and contempt of court and in addition to all of that, the FBI has been looking for him on lewd charges with a minor in connection with a totally unrelated case.

A couple more notes from that interview with Todd Allen. He tells us that he believes this mother was a very good mother to the child. But he says nobody recognized any signs of sexual assault, and that, at this point, he believes this little girl is behaving as an average 7-year-old.

He also tells us that he believes that the suspect in this case, Chester Stiles, carries a weapon with him, usually a knife, and he says that he can be violent. These are the pictures that are being circulated around. Police trying to really get these out because they say they do believe this man is dangerous. They want to get him into custody as soon as they can. And one thing that may be different from this picture that we learned from Todd Allen, is that he says the time he saw Chester Stiles he actually had long hair -- Betty.

NGUYEN: All right, and that provides a lot of good information. One, that Todd Allen says Chester Stiles use to live with the little girl and her mother and two he just spoke with Chester Stiles about a week ago, right before the information of this tape came out and the search for that man in that tape abusing a little girl. Kara Finnstrom, as the searches continue there in Nevada, we appreciate your time. Of course, you'll stay on top of it, as will we. Thank you.

MARCIANO: New this morning out of Long Island, New York, a noose has been found hanging at a police headquarters and right now there's an investigation underway.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COREY PEGUES, NATL ORG OF BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT EXECS: In this day and time, 2007, we're not going to just stand by, because today it's a noose, and tomorrow they're trying to put somebody head in it.

NOEL LEADER, 100 BLACKS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT WHO CARE: We want that person punished. They should no longer be a member of this agency. Their employment and they are connection to this agency should be terminated immediately in order to send the proper signal that we will not tolerate a noose nowhere, no way, at no times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: The police chief says the noose was found inside a locker room on Friday. About half of the police officers in the department are minorities, and officially recently took place in a county-wide effort to recruit more minorities and women.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CROWD: Free the Jena-Six!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Echoes of the Jena-Six case there in New York and in Connecticut, too. Protesters marched yesterday in Hartford to support the Jena-Six. They're the six African-Americans students accused of beating a White classmate in a small Louisiana town. Well, none of the young men are in jail anymore, but they still face charges.

MARCIANO: And the Duke lacrosse players got a big apology from the university, yesterday. The university president told a room full of students he regretted never reaching out to the families during the rape case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD BRODHEAD, PRES, DUKE UNIVERSITY: Given the complexities of this case, getting the communication right would never have been easy, but the fact is that we did not get it right causing the families to feel abandoned when they were in most need of suspect. This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it and I apologize for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: Last year when David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann were wrongly accused of rape they canceled the season and ousted the coach. The three lacrosse players were then vindicated, and the prosecutor was disbarred on ethics violations. NGUYEN: Well, halfway across the world, a diplomatic attempt at peace is taking place in Myanmar, today. The streets of the country, take a look, of the biggest city there in that country. Well, those streets are relatively quite, today. But, behind the scenes a U.N. envoy has been very busy meeting separately, this morning, with both government leaders and a key voice for the pro-democracy movement.

Noble Prize recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest, that is who the envoy has been meeting with.

Also today, Japan's deputy foreign minister is expected to meet with government leaders to discuss this week's shooting death of a Japanese journalist the we see here in this video. That person was killed in an increasingly violent crackdown by Myanmar's military.

MARCIANO: And new details are emerging today about the crackdown in Myanmar, the country also known as Burma. A closer look is coming from someone who is there in the middle of the mayhem. CNN's Dan Rivers reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A volley of shots echoes across the street. This was the first day of the crackdown in central Yangon last Wednesday. An injured protester is carried away, but the troops keep firing. This was the same incident in which a Japanese photo journalist was shot dead.

Now, for the first time, an eyewitness at the shooting has managed to escape the country to explain what he saw.

(on camera): And you saw the man being shot?

ONG (PH): Yeah. He down.

RIVERS: He fell down?

ONG: He fell down.

RIVERS (voice-over): Ong (ph) ran for his life and has just arrived in neighboring Thailand. He's been wandering the streets of back Bangkok, homeless. He only has possessions he could bring are clutched under his arm in a plastic bag. As we walk, he tells me how he lost his I.D. while scrambling to avoid the bullets. The police later found it.

(on camera): And what did they do?

ONG: And then they follow me.

RIVERS: They followed you to your house?

(voice-over): Over 36 terrifying hours, Ong traveled to the Thai border and waded across the river to safety. But when you Thai police caught him, they stole all his money. He spent his first night of freedom sleeping in a railway station in Bangkok. I lent him my phone so he can call his parents. They're OK, but say the police have been around several times looking for him. Now, he's alone in this big city, a refugee without money, I.D. or shelter.

He visits the local Buddhist temple. All he has left now is his faith. It helps him cope with the awful images of bloodshed in Yangon, still swimming around in his head.

He prays he'll be able to go home soon, but unless the regime there falls, it's likely he'll have to remain a refugee for the rest of his life.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Bangkok.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: A story that we will definitely stay on top of for you.

MARCIANO: Turning to weather now, Bonnie Schneider tracking some tropical activity. 'Tis the season, but anything coming close to us?

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Not really, Rob. Anytime something seems to get going, we see the wind sheer out in the Atlantic tear it down.

(WEATHER REPORT)

NGUYEN: So much for a Sunday in the sun. OK, thank you Bonnie.

MARCIANO: Well, speaking the Florida, you know, they tried to move the space shuttle, had to delay it because of weather. Looks pretty good right now. You're looking at live pictures as they slowly move "Discovery" to the launch pad for a launch coming up next month.

NGUYEN: Yeah, blast off for the International Space Station on October 23, but today's mission is more of a slow crawl, as Rob mentioned, and in preparation for the launch. It'll take, get this, six hours for it to reach the pad, which is just less than four miles away. And there's no traffic.

MARCIANO: That's less than a mile an hour. Yeah, no traffic. They just cleared the way for that. They definitely have a couple of escorts.

All right, well a war of words between former President Bill Clinton and Democratic hopeful Barack Obama. Our "Trail Mix" is straight ahead.

Also:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel frustrated because I want my passport. I don't have it. And I can't travel. I can't go nowhere without my passport.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: She doesn't have her passport. Are you still waiting for your passport? Well, starting tomorrow the travel worlds will change yet again, and you might be forced to cancel a trip. We'll explain.

MARCIANO: It's one of the most e-mailed storied on cnn.com. Elizabeth Cohen reports on a New York dad who encourages underage drinking. His argument? Just saying yes at home discouraging binge drinking away from home.

NGUYEN: All right, so we want to know what you think. Is moderate, underage drinking at home a good idea? E-mail us, the address is weekends@cnn.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: Topping our campaign "Trail Mix" this morning, Newt is not running. Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich hinted just days ago that he would make a run for president, but Gingrich says he can't legally run his political action committee and from a presidential exploratory committee at the same time. Gingrich has not run for political office since he resigned from Congress in 1999.

MARCIANO: And some verbal sparring between Senator Barack Obama and former President Clinton. It's all about experience. In a TV interview Clinton was asked to compare questions about Obama's experience to similar questions he faced back in 1992.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON (D), FMR U.S. PRESIDENT: I was, in terms of experience, was closer to senator Obama, I suppose, in 1988 when I came within a day of announcing because most of the governors were for me and I had been a governor for six years. And I really didn't think I knew enough and had served enough and done enough to run. That doesn't mean that he shouldn't. That's his decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: OK, in a statement Obama responded with Clinton's own words. He said, "I remember what was said years ago by a candidate running for president. He said 'The same old experience is not relevant. You can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience.' Well, that candidate was Bill Clinton, and I think he was absolutely right."

NGUYEN: In the money race, tomorrow is the deadline for disclosures third quarter fund-raising totals. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is expected to announce that she's raised between 17 and $20 million. Obama is expected to report between 18 to 19 million.

MARCIANO: Let's talk more about these topics now. We'll bring in an expert Amy Walter, she's a CNN political contributor and she's also editor-in-chief of "The Hotline."

Good morning, Amy. Let's talk money -- 17, $20 million for Hillary, Barack, 18 and $19 million. How do the other candidates stack up after the second quarter, now the third quarter is wrapping up as well?

AMY WALTER, "THE HOTLINE": That's right. Well, I think what we'll find is that much like the second quarter, Democrats are going to continue to lead the way, and Republicans are going to be lagging behind. There's a lot of talk now about the fact Mitt Romney, who had been raising a great deal of money in the first and second quarters, but had been contributing his own money is going to dip in again into his own personal fortune. Remember he's worth something like $150 million or so.

So, what we're going to see now is, I think, what's more important for this next quarter is they got to start spending it now. They've been spending a lot of time raising it. But remember, November, December, January the very beginning will be the first primaries and caucuses so they're going to start now putting that money to work. That's going to be the most interesting part, I think, because all the money in the world, you can raise it all. But if you don't have a message that's working, it's not really going to matter.

MARCIANO: Trust me we in the TV business want them to spend that money.

WALTER: Exactly. There are a lot of people in your same shoes in Iowa and New Hampshire who are quite happy with the spending levels, absolutely.

MARCIANO: That certainly helps pay the bills. Did you hear the little sparring match we just recast between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton? Which one won out of that deal?

WALTER: Well, you know, look, I think that this has really been the question all along for Barack Obama, was he wanted to make this race a contrast between change and experience. Now, the problem for Barack Obama, right now, is Hillary Clinton is actually leading him by a bigger margin on the experience question and isn't trailing him that far on the change question.

So, voters see her not necessarily as purely status quo, and they definite see his need for experience as a real issue. Now, I think that when you're getting in a battle with President Clinton, who is very popular among the base, that's usually going to help the former president in that he has a lot of support, people that know him very, very well.

But the question for Barack Obama is can he put these two things, he's been trying very hard to do this, put the terms "judgment" and "experience" and make them synonymous. And that's what he's been trying to do a little more subtly. Again, let's see what happens when he starts spending the money in paid advertising to try to make this case and will voters start to really pick up on that? MARCIANO: Given somewhat of a struggle he's going through, a little bit, allegedly, I guess I should say, what would you say -- I mean, what's the word on the street as far as the one-two punch of Clinton/Obama running in a year and a half.

WALTER: Running as a ticket?

MARCIANO: Yes.

WALTER: Yeah. Personally, I just -- I'm very, very skeptical that would happen. Remember when you're the president or you're running -- when you're the nominee, you want a vice president who, I think, first takes the Hippocratic oath, do no harm, and the second is don't overshadow the No. 1 person and I think that it would be a constant battle about who's overshadowing whom, and whoever the nominee is, they're going to want somebody who can help out, but really, I look at it like a wedding, right? Where you just don't overshadow the bride. The vice president's the groom. Just show up, don't trip. Do what you need to do.

MARCIANO: That's good advice all the way around. Newt Gingrich, all right, he likes to be in the news. We thought he was going to run. Now he's not gong run. Now he's not. Why not? And hat it mean for the GOP?

WALTER: Well, the fact he was thinking about it and pondering and even talking about getting in this late in the game says a lot about the Republican field, and the fact that, especially among conservatives, they feel like they don't have a choice that they're very happy with. I mean, even far back as, you know, the very beginning of this race they were upset, and now we're here getting very close to the first primaries and they still don't feel confident with their choices.

Newt Gingrich, I was at an event last week in Michigan last weekend where he was there. He's treated like a rock star everywhere he goes, everywhere he goes. I can understand why he was attracted to the idea of running. That people are still coming up to him and saying: We don't like what they have. But the fact of the matter is, raising that kind of money in the short period of time he needs to do it and putting the campaign together is still very tough. He says legally he can't be both the head of this political action committee and a presidential candidate. He likes being, in my many ways, for the gadfly for the Republican Party and being sort of the emeritus professor for the party -- remember he is a history professor by trade.

MARCIANO: Well, I'm sure, given all this, he'll probably not shy away from the TV cameras?

WALTER: You don't think?

MARCIANO: No, I don't think.

WALTER: Yeah, I suspect to see him there.

MARCIANO: Amy Walter, thanks for your insight this morning. Editor-in-chief of "The Hotline," thanks Amy.

NGUYEN: And coming up on LATE EDITION, presidential politics and the Latino vote. Wolf Blitzer will take a closer look at the efforts candidates are making to reach out to the Hispanic voters. That is at 11:00 Eastern only on CNN.

MARCIANO: And new clues and a renewed search for an adventure. That's just ahead. The latest on the efforts to find Steve Fossett, but first:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we don't keep them busy and have something for them to do, well then we haven't accomplished anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: From the boxing ring to the dusty streets where she grew up, one woman's fight for the future of her hometown. That's straight ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NGUYEN: When the tragic death of a loved one happens, some people find it hard to keep going, but today's CNN Hero came out swinging and she's using her boxing talent to breathe life and a future into her drug-ravaged community. Monica Lovato is today's CNN Hero.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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

MONICA LOVATO, FOUNDER ESPANOLA BOXING CLUB: 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 of the bad things, that kind of representation. It is negative and it hurts the kids, it hurts the kids to hear that and to think that, you know, that's all there is.

My name is Monica Lovato, and I started a boxing program last year in 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 Concono (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 mine off things, forget about Leroy and forget about what happened, I started boxing. It's really changing my life around.

ANNOUNCER: The winner and the new IBA woman's boxing bantamweight 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 would volunteer my time to start an 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 yourselves, 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.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: You can go to cnn.com/heroes to check out a day in the life of Monica Lovato and see footage of her recent fight for the world champion title belt. Hey, while you're there, you can also nominate a hero that you know, but you better hurry because today is the last day to get your nomination in.

MARCIANO: Nice work there.

NGUYEN: Yeah, really good stuff.

MARCIANO: A celebration of culture and Hispanic heritage, starting with this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The misnomer is we all come from Mexico or that we all come from Central America or South America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: We'll take a closer look at what it means to be Latino in America.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN.DOT DESK: I'm Veronica de la Cruz at the Dot-Com Desk. CNN.com has asked you and boy have you answered. Straight ahead, what you have to say about being Hispanic in America today. I'll be reading some of those e-mails when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues.

MARCIANO: Mexican, Cuban, Spanish, Chilean, a quick look at the globe highlights the vast diversity of Latino cultures around the world and the difficulty of defining a race by just checking a little box. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez sorts it all out for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What are Latinos? What do they look like? You may be surprised. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We go from black to white, so we have mestizo, we have indigenous, we have Arab.

GUTIERREZ (on camera): And some of us are Asian. I'm Chinese and Mexican. But contrary to what most people think, Latino is not a race and it's not a particular ethnic group.

PROF. PETE LOPEZ, VALLEY COLLEGE: We transcend race. We're not one racial, monolithic group, and that's the biggest misnomer.

GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Pete Lopez teaches Chicano studies in Los Angeles. He says politicians and marketing executives target the Latino market, but usually miss their mark.

LOPEZ: They think if they put on a cultural base, tons of celebrations, and then talk immigration, we'll all come (ph). The misnomer is that we all come from Mexico or that we all come from Central America or South America.

GUTIERREZ: Latinos share a tie to Latin America somewhere in their family. My grandfather migrated from China to Mexico, where he married my grandmother and started a family. Several generations and many interracial marriages later, this is the outcome. Different ethnic backgrounds tied at least in part, by the Spanish language and the Mexican culture.

LOPEZ: The Latino is a person who understands that he or she comes from this community. If you feel that you were raised, have been raised in a Latino household, you'll know that. You'll feel that. It's almost visceral, it's almost firmer (ph) -- something that you feel, you sense.

MARCELLA ORTIZ SARDANIS, VALLEY COLLEGE: My name is Marcello Ortiz Sardanas. I'm French, Spanish, and Mexican. I'm Latina.

The stereotype is that all -- we all speak with accents, that we all do not want to embrace the culture here, that we are all are dark skinned, black-eyed, and we have one look, and we absolutely do not.

DOUG MARRIOTT: I'm Doug Marriott. I'm Canadian and Mexican, and I'm Latino.

I remember somebody saying that if you have access to two languages, it's like having two souls. And I thought that was kind of true, because when you dream in Spanish or feel things in Spanish, you feel things differently.

GUTIERREZ: Latinos can be multi-racial, multi-religious and multi- ethnic. At 44 million and counting, the U.S. Census Bureau projects Latinos will exceed 100 million by the year 2050.

Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: All right, so there's lots of talk about immigration reform in this country, and it's creating quite a divide. So, let's bring in Lionel Sosa of Mexicans and Americans Thinking Together. He says what we need to do is think about each other first.

And Lionel, we thank you for being here. But, you know, the biggest question here is how do you do that?

LIONEL SOSA, EXEC DIR MATT: Well, you know, our Web site, matt.org is a think tank, and it's designed to bring people together whether they're Latino or not, whether they're in the U.S. or Mexico or in Central America, to come together to give a solution to the problem that is might be affecting both our countries. And we really want the prosperity of both countries. We're very dependent on each other, and we have a 2,000-mile border with Mexico. And you know, that's a good thing, but immigration is a problem that's keeping us apart and it shouldn't.

NGUYEN: You know, I'm looking at what you really say are your specific goals with this organization. I want to run through them, because they're very interesting. No. 1, you want to help create jobs in Mexico. Tell me, why do you want to do that, and how are you going to do that?

SOSA: Well, we do it through micro-loans. If you go to our Web site, matt.org, you will find, there is a place for micro-loans. And you, as an individual, can go in there and lend $50, $100, $200 to an entrepreneur in Mexico that wants to maybe go from a taco stand to a restaurant, therefore employing a couple more people. It only takes about $400 to create a new job in Mexico.

Think about it. If us, as citizens, make these micro-loans there would be so many people that could be employed in Mexico that it would stem the tide of a lot of people having to come to the U.S. They don't really want to come, but the only reason they come is because we, as Americans, offer them jobs.

NGUYEN: But you know what? Lionel, critics will say, well why is it incumbent upon Americans to try to create jobs in Mexico so that immigrants don't cress the border?

SOSA: Well, it's up to the Mexican government first, that's for sure. But, you know, if we can do something, why not? Why not help our neighbors across the border with the little bit that we can to have a little bit better life?

NGUYEN: You also want to help people who decide to stay in the U.S., as well. This is your working together portion. Now, how do you plan on doing that?

SOSA: Well, we are partnering with my good friend Henry (INAUDIBLE), and he has this fabulous idea called "Our Pledge." And what happens is that Latino makes a pledge to this country that they will be a full participating citizen, that they were learn English, that they will know how to, you know, navigate the systems of this country, the financial systems, the health care systems, that they will teach their children to be better than they were, that they can achieve more than they themselves can so that they can be part of the American dream and a full participating citizen. We're extremely excited about that.

NGUYEN: All right. Lionel Sosa, executive direct of Americans and Mexicans Thinking Together. We appreciate your time.

SOSA: Thank you so much.

MARCIANO: Well, we are "Uncovering America" this morning as part of our Hispanic History Month.

NGUYEN: Yes and our Veronica de la Cruz is here to show you how you can get some surprising information about a huge segment of this population.

What have you found -- Veronica?

DE LA CRUZ: Well, it's all online at cnn.com. We've this special report and I wanted to show it to you. Cnn.com/hispanicheritage, there you can find a timeline of various moments in Hispanic history, also photos of notables of Hispanic- Americans and a map of the changing face of America.

No, the number of Hispanics has changed dramatically in the U.S. since the 2000 census and if you click on the map, you see exactly how. This is one of my favorite things. This is the part where we share your stories. A lot of e-mails have come in. I'm going to read a couple of them.

This is from Al Martinez in Miami, Florida who says: "I was born in Houston, Texas, into a Colombian family. I was raised partly here in the U.S. and partly in Colombia, and consider myself a very Americanized Hispanic. I am proud of my ethnic and cultural heritage, but firmly believe that Hispanics in the U.S. should also ascribe to mainstream American culture and values without losing pride for their Hispanic roots."

And this next one from Celia Garcia in Jackson, Mississippi who says: "I was born in what was a small town in Texas, the daughter of migrant parents. I grew up picking cotton for 50 cents a pound. We worked for the bare minimum and made enough money to survive buying only the stables. It was always the grower who profited from our labor.

I grew up feeling demeaned because starting school in late November meant we were way behind in school work. All the students looked down on us and made fun of us..."

But she goes on to say that she was able to graduate, get her GED and now she has a degree, a Bachelors in business administration, so some good news there. Check out cnn.com/specialreport on the Hispanic experience, today. You can find out more about one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S., all you have to do is log onto cnn.com/hispanicheritage, Rob and Betty.

NGUYEN: All right, Veronica, we do appreciate it. Thank you.

MARCIANO: When was the last time you went on a big trip -- oh, you just came back from Africa, so I assume you have a passport.

NGUYEN: But that wasn't really vacation, that was work. But yeah, I have my passport. But the thing is though, a lot of people not only need that application so they can get the first one, but get more pages for it as their passport if they travel a lot.

MARCIANO: It's complicated. I guess we're going to have answers. We're going to talk more about that. If you're getting ready to go to the Caribbean, Canada, well things have changed and the deadline is just hours away. What many people are still having problems with their passports. Details on that, straight ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got sips and stuff when we were like 12, probably starting then, but then we would get a little glass or wine or like a beer when we were probably 16.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: Uh, yeah. You heard right. She was 16 years old, and instead of sneaking beers she was drinking with her dad. But is that a good idea? Is moderate, underage drinking at home a good idea? E- mail us your thoughts, the address is your screen weekends@cnn.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's fast, strong, and elusive. Atlanta Falcon's running back, Warrick Dunn is a force to be reckoned with. Now in his 11th season with the NFL, Dunn has overcome his share of obstacles.

WARRICK DUNN, PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE: I had to prove to people I could play at the highest level and just because I wasn't six-foot tall, 230, that I could still play with the big boys. And for me it was all about out conditioning guys, being quicker than guys, trying to be faster than guys and really studying the game.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dunn has also made a name for himself off the field. With the Warrick Dunn Foundation he helps single mothers purchase their first home.

DUNN: When I was younger someone said, hey, if I help you, you need to help someone else in the future or help some other -- some young kid down the road. And for me, I've stuck with that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MARCIANO: Well, before you pack your bags for a little weekend get-away to Mexico, Canada, or maybe the Caribbean, you better be sure to pack your passport. The rules have changed. That's straight ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARCIANO: Well, they're not in college anymore, but Michigan lawmakers pulled off an all-nighter racing against the clock to head off a partial government shutdown. The state legislature is working to come up with a budget for the new fiscal year which starts at midnight.

They're considering measures that involve a higher income tax and expanded sales tax and government restructuring. The governor was already told 35,000 of the state's nonessential workers not to report to work tomorrow if no deal is reached, and a shutdown occurs.

NGUYEN: All right, so before you fire up that grill this afternoon, you need to know about a major ground beef recall that just got even bigger. Topps Meat Company expanding its earlier recall of frozen hamburger patties from 330,000 pounds to nearly 22 million pounds. A positive e.coli test in New York caused the recall. Now the government is looking into 25 possible cases of e.coli sickness in eight states.

The meat is sold under 11 different brand names, and it has a sell by date between September 2007 and September 2008. So, for a complete list, what you want to do is go to cnn.com.

Here's another warning for you, especially for you travelers out there, because starting tomorrow, if you're go to Canada, Mexico, even the Caribbean, you had better have to your passport in hand.

MARCIANO: And don't bother trying to get on a plane. Allan Chernoff got more on this, all the deadlines. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for calling the National Passport Information Center.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Texan, Sandra Vazquez, calls the passport information center to check on the application she filed back in April.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not telling you to call back. I'm saying that it might make sense to because the computer is just not working.

CHERNOFF: Only to learn that the center's computer system is down. Already, she has had to cancel a summer trip to Costa Rica and now fears she won't be able to go in October.

SANDRA VAZQUEZ, PASSPORT DELAYED: I feel frustrated because I want my pass-a-port. I don't have it, and I can't travel, I can't go nowhere without my pass-a-port.

CHERNOFF: Earlier this year, Sandra's situation was common. Tens of thousands of passport applicants were frustrated by unprecedented delays, waits of three months or even long to her get their documents. The State Department was overwhelmed with a record number of applications. (on camera): Today the State Department says Sandra's case is an exception. The department maintains it has caught up with all of its applications, partly as a result of hiring 400 extra workers since the end of the May, calling retirees back to work and even pressing foreign service staffers into passport duty.

(voice-over): The department also opened a new processing center in Arkansas and suspended a rule introduced in January requiring passports for air travel to the Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico.

COLIN WALLE, PRES, NFFE LOCAL 1998: It truly has been a mound of application, carts of applications taking over some of break rooms, teetering over employees. So, just the sheer volume of work itself has been grossly intimidating.

CHERNOFF: Passport officials say the normal waiting times are back, six to eight weeks and a standard application, three weeks for expedited service, which costs an extra $60.

So, as of Monday morning, the tighter security regulations are back on. Americans need passports to fly to the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.

Next summer, security for American travelers will get even tighter. Passports will be required for driving back into the country. Anticipating another onslaught the passport requests, the State Department is continues to add more employees, so people like Sandra Vazquez won't have to cancel oversea trips.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NGUYEN: I want to tell you about this, a renewed search in Death Valley for an adventurer. What's being done differently, though, this time around in the search to find Steve Fossett.

MARCIANO: And does moderate underage drinking at home discourage binge drinking when you grown children leave home? E-mail us your thought. The address is weekend@cnn.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARCIANO: Live shot of the atrium here at CNN headquarters in Atlanta.

Well, Iran's parliament is condemning the CIA and the U.S. Army. Iran's lawmakers issued a statement today calling the agency and the military, quoting here, "trained terrorists." The statement also criticized the U.S. for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The action comes just days after a U.S. Senate resolution seeking a terrorist designation for Iran's revolutionary guards.

NGUYEN: Well, a renewed search today for Death Valley for missing aviator, Steve Fossett. Teams both in the air and on the ground are combing a section of the desolate landscape. Fossett, as you remember, a world famous adventurer, was last seen taking off from a Nevada ranch of a small plane on Labor Day.

And new satellite imaging of the area has turned up possible crash sites which has led to searches yesterday and more today once there's first light.

MARCIANO: Well now it's time to check in with Howard Kurtz in Washington to see what's ahead on CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES.

Hello Howard.

HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES: Good morning, Rob. Coming up, the war of words over Bill O'Reilly's remarks about visiting a Harlem restaurant. Was he ritually insensitive or are the critics smearing him?

As Hillary Clinton blitzes the talk show's "GQ" magazine kills a critical piece under pressure from her campaign and Bill is the reason.

NPR turns down an interview with President Bush. What's the frequency on that one? All that plus a football coaches' tirade against an Oklahoma columnist, ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES.

MARCIANO: Less than 10 minutes away. We'll see you then, Howard, thanks.

DE LA CRUZ: Good morning. I'm Veronica de la Cruz, at the Dot- Com Desk, a psychologist in New York says it's fine to let your kids drink at home in moderation. He talks about it in his new book, it's called "Addiction-Proof Your Children." And we've been asking you this morning: Is moderate, underage drinking at home a good idea? Go ahead and send us your thoughts, e-mail us at weekend@cnn.com. I'll be reading some of those e-mails when CNN SUNDAY MORNING returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARCIANO: Well, earlier we told you about an interesting family out of New York.

NGUYEN: Yes, where the father lets his 19-year-old daughter drink at home. He says he's teaching his children to be responsible drinkers and to stay away from binge drinking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You served a glass of wine to your kids when they were just 16?

STANTON PEELE, "ADDICTION-PROOF YOUR CHILD": We taught them to drink in a civilized fashion like a civilized human being.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: So, what do you think? Veronica de la Cruz with the Dot-Com Desk here to go through some of the e-mails. I'm sure there's some interesting ones. DE LA CRUZ: Lots of e-mails. Yeah, lots of e-mails. Let's go ahead and get straight to them. We're going to start with the first one from Dan who says, "Peele has an excellent idea. Alcohol is a drug, it exists and burying your head in the sand is not the way to tackle this issue, nor is using the current ridiculous age limit. How can you be old enough to vote, to fight for your country, but be unable to have a beer?"

And Peggy Edwards from North Carolina says: "I am 72 years old. When I was a child I was allowed wine on special occasions with meals. My father taught me never to drink without food. I taught my children the same. We are all free from drinking problems."

And this next one from Rose in Pennsylvania who says: "How ridiculous. Has he ever heard of the genetic link? If we are predisposed to heart disease, do we encourage our children to eat fat? How about diabetes? Do we say it's OK to have sugar? Why would we say if there's alcoholism in the family it's OK to drink...not to mention it's against the law to drink under [the age of] 21..."

And finally this one from Randy in West Virginia who says: "I'm a college sophomore at Marshall University. I do believe that exposing kids to underage drinking, while being monitored, is a great thing. I see college students all the time binge drinking and getting totally obliterated! In my opinion, it is a smart and ultimately a healthy thing to do."

And one more, this was interesting, it just came into from Tim who says: "We started giving our son an occasional beer the summer before he started college, and not the cheap stuff, either. Now he's there and his tastes are too sophisticated for stuff that they serve at all college..."

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

MARCIANO: That's a good point, you know my dad would feed us a little bit of beer and wine, but it was always the cheap stuff...

Bonnie, a little sipping when you were a kid?

SCHNEIDER: You know, I spent a summer abroad in France and it was so common, lunch, dinner and everybody drank a little wine.

DE LA CRUZ: You know, it's definitely a European thing. I had so many e-mails people saying, you know, I'm from an Italian family or a Jewish family or I'm from a French family, so it definitely is a European thing, but you know, should we try to integrate that into the American culture?

MARCIANO: Just maybe not for breakfast.

NGUYEN: Exactly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, I'm with you, Rob. CRUZ Although, a bloody Mary every now and then, not too bad.

NGUYEN: Yeah, a mimosa. You know? Hey you know what? We're going to turn to a guy who hasn't had sip, so far today. Talking about Howie Kurtz of RELIABLE SOURCES is up next. On today's show, though is Bill O'Reilly really racist? And continuing our "Uncovering America" series, Hispanics and their issues with the media.

Then on LATE EDITION with Wolf Blitzer, a closer look at the protests at Myanmar and the crisis in Sudan. The country's foreign minister speaks out.

MARCIANO: But first, a check of this morning's top developments.

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