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Barry Bonds: Legend or Liar?; Sin City Showdown; Handpicked Government: Pakistan's Political Crisis

Aired November 16, 2007 - 09:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning. Good Friday, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Tony Harris.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody.

I'm Heidi Collins.

Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on Friday morning, November 16th.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Legend or liar? Homerun king Barry Bonds indicted in a steroids investigation. Our guest on his legal troubles and implications for Major League Baseball.

HARRIS: Fight night in Vegas. Democrats go for a knockout in the CNN presidential debate. The front-runner punches back.

COLLINS: A common cold virus mutates into an uncommon killer. New worries during sneezing season in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: And at the top of this hour, Barry Bonds, he sits atop the throne of baseball's top sluggers. Today he is perched on a hot seat. The homerun king faces a federal indictment. He is accused of lying in a steroids investigation.

CNN's Kara Finnstrom is in Bonds' hometown of San Francisco.

Kara, good morning to you.

What are the people in the Bay area saying about all this this morning?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some of them quite disturbed. This is where his fan base is. And as much of America was watching Bonds chase that homerun record, it appears now that prosecutors were quietly and consistently putting together this case against him.

Right behind me you can see AT&T Park. This is where Bonds slugged out many of those homers. The claim of prosecutors is that he boosted that powerful arm by using enhancement drugs, performance enhancement drugs, and that he then lied to a federal grand jury about doing so, a grand jury that was investigating the use of such drugs by professional athletes.

Now, the charges that he is facing, perjury and obstruction of justice, could carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. So what is the evidence against him? Well, prosecutors have released a 10-page indictment, and in it they say they have evidence that he tested positive for these performance-enhancing drugs.

There has also been some talk that perhaps Greg Anderson, the personal trainer that he used, for a year refused to answer questions about Bonds and was in prison for a time but has been released, might flip and testify. But we did hear from his attorney who spoke to the "L.A. Times" and said that, no, that's not the case, that Anderson will remain quiet.

His attorneys not saying much, the attorneys for Bonds. But they did say late yesterday that they don't think the evidence is there to support these charges.


MICHAEL RAINS, ATTORNEY FOR BONDS: Now that their biased allegations must finally, finally be presented in open court, they won't be able to hide from their unethical misconduct any longer. The public is going to get the whole truth, not just selectively leaked fabrications from anonymous sources.


FINNSTROM: And Bonds will first appear in a courtroom on this on December 7th. This is a particularly difficult time to be facing these legal troubles. He didn't resign with the Giants, so he has been looking for a new park to call home -- Tony.

HARRIS: Boy. All right. Kara, we're going to be talking about this a lot this morning, so let's leave it there for right now.

Kara Finnstrom for us in the Bay area.

You know, we want to give you a closer look at the time frame of the Barry Bonds scandal. He has been dogged by whispers of steroids since his physical transformation began to Hulk out in the late 1990s, at the same time his power at the plate absolutely surged.

The indictment says investigators found so-called doping calendars. They were marked "bb" and were dated 2001.

The indictment accuses Bonds of lying during a 2003 investigation into steroids. Steroids suspicions hung over Bonds as he chase the homerun record, one of the most sacred titles in all of sports.

On August 7th, he hammered number 756 and eclipsed Hank Aaron's long-standing homerun record. Barry Bonds, a terror at the plate, a target in the courtroom.

At the bottom of the hour, a sports attorney lays out the case. COLLINS: A no holds barred showdown in Sin City. Front-runner Hillary Clinton battles back. Her top rivals take aim in the latest Democratic debate.

Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley is joining us now from Las Vegas, the morning after.

All right. So, Candy, any surprises from last night?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think you've mentioned what the surprise was. I didn't hear much in the substance of it that we hadn't heard before, at least those of us on the campaign trail. But what was different this time was the dynamic.


CROWLEY (voice over): No laid back, above-the-fray front-runner stuff this time.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am happy to be here tonight, and this pantsuit is asbestos tonight.

CROWLEY: This time she wasn't going to get burned

CLINTON: I don't mind taking hits on my record, on issues. But when somebody starts throwing mud, at least we can hope that it's both accurate and not right out of the Republican playbook.

CROWLEY: If he did not back off, John Edwards at least felt the need to explain.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do believe, however, that voters need to know that we have choices. There's nothing personal about this. I think...

CROWLEY: They pretty much began where they left off, the Bickertons.

CLINTON: ... a lot reaching universal health care.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Hold on. One at a time.

CROWLEY: But then there was a slap-down.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let's get to it, folks. The American people don't give a darn about any of this stuff that is going on up here.

CROWLEY: And the noticeably pro-Clinton audience was prone to hiss at some of the stuff tough.

OBAMA: And, you know, this is the kind of thing that I would expect from Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani, where we start playing with numbers -- we start playing with numbers in order to try to make a point.

EDWARDS: Senator Clinton defends the system, takes money from lobbyists, does all of those things. And my point is simply that people have -- no, wait a minute.

CROWLEY: So, for the most part, things settled down. They discussed energy, Iran, trade agreements, and whether sometimes, as it seems in Pakistan, U.S. national security trumps human rights concerns.

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D-NM), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We forgot our principles. Our principles that we said to Musharraf, you know, Musharraf, security is more important than human rights. If I'm president, it's the other way around.

CROWLEY: Big issues were mostly discussed without major disagreement. Exception, Dennis Kucinich, who took everybody to task for switching positions on the war, the Patriot Act and trade with China.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just imagine what it will be like to have a president of the United States who is right the first time.

CROWLEY: As the front-runner, Clinton got most of the attention, whether from her critics or the audience.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you prefer diamonds or pearls?

CROWLEY: For the record, Hillary Clinton prefers both.


CROWLEY: You know, the Clinton campaign loved that question, Heidi, because it allows Clinton to show that softer side. The other campaigns, however, didn't like it so much. They thought it was one of those softballs and, you know, gave her a chance, of course, to show that side of her.

COLLINS: Wow. Well, you know, Candy, I just don't get it it. I mean, you know, when we're talking about the complaining on the attacks and the candidates going after one another, I mean, isn't this what presidential candidates do every four years?

I don't understand why we talk about it so much this time around. They're fighting for a nomination.

CROWLEY: Exactly. Yes, absolutely. And it always happens around this time because, in fact, we're getting close to those January 3rd Iowa caucuses, the first in the nation.

And when you're the front-runner, you're going to get attacked. And she said that in last night's debate. They know that.

I mean, what is interesting to me was just that this audience was sort of like another candidate up there. They were kind of swaying the debate with, you know, their participation and the boos.

So it was -- it is absolutely, as you say, expected at this point, but we always sort of talk about it and people say, oh, we don't like it, we don't like all of that infighting among Democrats or Republicans. But they go ahead and do it. And you know why? Because it works.

COLLINS: Yes. It gets on TV.

All right. CNN's candy Crowley.

CROWLEY: Exactly.

COLLINS: Appreciate it, Candy. Thanks so much.

And just want to remind everybody, you know, you did it once, so now it is time for history to repeat itself. Go to and post your questions for the Republican presidential candidates. The debate will be Wednesday, November 28th. Your voice will be heard on CNN, your home for politics.




HARRIS: Earthquakes rock South America. A strong one rattling a remote region of Ecuador near its border with Peru. The magnitude 6.7 quake didn't cause much damage because it was located some 75 miles underground.

Now, the ground under Chile has really rocked. Three large earthquakes shook a northern desert region in the space of 13 minutes. It happened around this time yesterday. They were all considered aftershocks from that massive 7.7 quake the day before.

Two women were killed in that one. More than 150 people were injured and thousands were left homeless.

COLLINS: Out with the old, in with the new. Pakistan has a new interim government, all allies of president General Pervez Musharraf, and handpicked by him.

Want to go live now to CNN's Zain Verjee. She is in Islamabad this morning.

So, Zain, U.S. Deputy Secretary John Negroponte has just arrived. We know that. We talked about it a couple of days ago, that he would be coming there.

What is he hoping to accomplish during this trip?

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Well, we understand that he is going to have a tough new message for General Musharraf. According to U.S. officials, he is going to warn Musharraf that his power base is beginning to erode and that he has got to lift the state of emergency.

Another message that he's going to have for Musharraf is that he has got to work with opposition leaders, including Benazir Bhutto (AUDIO GAP) any of that. There are going to be major problems and we're going to start looking at other options.

Meanwhile, State Department officials have told us that what Negroponte is also going to try to do here is find a way to help Musharraf to climb down from the situation that he appears to have backed himself in. U.S. officials say (AUDIO GAP) losing patience with General Musharraf, with the state of emergency, which is effectively martial law that he has declared in this country that has really taken Pakistan a step backward -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. CNN's Zain Verjee coming to us live, via broadband today from Islamabad.

Zain, thank you.

HARRIS: Thousands gather in Washington to demand protection from hate, saying Justice is blind to the crime.


HARRIS: A call to rally inflamed by an upsurge of nooses strung out across the country. Right now busloads of civil rights activists are arriving in Washington to demand a crackdown on hate crimes.

Our Justice Department correspondent, Kelli Arena, explains how it all got started.


KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The hanging of nooses from a schoolyard tree in Jena, Louisiana, devastated the African-American community there. Especially when it wasn't prosecuted as a federal hate crime.

AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: When you have students hangman noose in direct response to black students sitting under a tree for the first time, you can't reduce that to a prank.

ARENA: Sharpton and other critics say the Justice Department is turning a blind eye to hate crimes and are demanding more federal action. They point to the fact that the department charged just 22 people with hate crimes last year. That compares with 76 10 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That says to me we either need stronger laws or we need a more aggressive commitment from the Department of Justice. The numbers weren't great in the Reno years. They're outright abysmal now.

ARENA: Justice officials contend there are several hate crime investigations under way, including probes into noose hangings at Columbia University in New York City and in Alexandria, Louisiana. As for Jena, Justice says it did not prosecute because the nooses were hung by juveniles under the age of 18.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was impossible, under federal law, as written today, for us to go after these particular juveniles.

ARENA: Prosecutors say there is a high bar to reach to file federal hate crime charges. They must prove two things.

First, that the crime was motivated by race, religion or ethnicity. And that it interfered with federally protected right. In plain English, that means someone can threaten or hurt you in or near your home, while you're voting, or trying to get to school or work.


HARRIS: And Kelli Arena joins us now from the site of today's march against hate crimes.

Kelli, great to see you.

What is the Justice Department saying about all this?

ARENA: Well, the Justice Department would not put anybody on camera for that report, or today so far. We'll see what happens later on, Tony.

But basically, they said, look, we remain committed to civil rights. We have lawyers here that have been here for decades, that have devoted their lives to hate crimes and other civil rights violations.

They say actually reports of hate crimes are down, which is why prosecutions are down. But of course, you know, Tony, you've heard from the critics. They say, wait a minute, you know, we're very visibly seeing an increase in bigotry and hate, and we think that the Justice Department needs to be much more aggressive in its prosecution and looking for ways to prosecute -- Tony.

HARRIS: All right. CNN's Kelli Arena for us this morning.

Kelli, thank you.


COLLINS: Violence is down in Iraq. But so, too, is Washington's confidence in the Iraqi government.

Here now with the story is CNN's Jamie McIntyre.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The numbers don't lie. By all accounts, things are better in Baghdad, according to U.S. commanders on the front lines.

COL. JEFFREY BANNISTER, U.S. ARMY: Since the peak of the surge operations in July, there has been a steady decrease of attacks that have occurred with October having the lowest number of attacks.

MCINTYRE: The number of attacks in the Iraqi capital has dropped to three or four a day compared to a dozen or more when the surge began. But U.S. commanders fear it may all be for nothing, that the failure of the Iraqi government to make progress on political reconciliation is wasting an opportunity as "The Washington Post" put it.

"It's unclear how long that window is going to be open, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno told the paper, saying if a break- through doesn't happen by summer, "we're going to have to review our strategy."

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI), ARMED SERVICES CHAIRMAN: They shouldn't wait until next summer. That's the only disagreement I have. These commitments were supposed to have been carried out a year ago, carried out a year ago.

MCINTYRE: On the Senate Armed Services Committee there is bipartisan agreement that the government of Nuri al-Maliki has failed miserably to deliver on the promises made as a condition of the surge.

SEN. JOHN WARNER (R), VIRGINIA: I think we do have to review the strategy in the light of the inability of this government of Iraq to have fulfilled what I believe to have been a commitment they made to the president.

MCINTYRE: At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is not willing to admit defeat.

ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We would like to see more progress. But there have been positive developments in other ways. So I don't think that the efforts of our troops have been squandered in Iraq. They have been taken advantage of in ways that we didn't anticipate originally.

MCINTYRE (on camera): The decrease in violence in Iraq has come at a heavy price for the U.S. military. This has been the deadliest year of the war so far. And now with the surge showing signs of progress, the fear is that the operation may be a success but the patient may still be dying.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


HARRIS: Has Barry Bonds broken his bonds with baseball fans? The homerun champ indicted in a steroids investigation.


COLLINS: Good morning once again, everybody. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: Yes, good Friday to you, everyone.

I'm Tony Harris.

Let's check out the Big Board and New York Stock Exchange right now.

OK. Happy faces. Can happy faces lead us to an up day today? Wouldn't that be nice? I say it all the time. This is the best reality show on television right now. We're following the roller coaster with the markets all day and with Susan. The Dow dropped 120 points yesterday after a nice start to the day yesterday. But it seems more and more here these issues, you have to pay close attention to the last 30 minutes of the trading session where we're seeing so much volatility at least recently. We're watching the markets today with Susan Lisovicz right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Is there no joy in -- plenty of jeers. There's new tarnish on the crown of baseball's new home run king. Barry Bonds faces a federal indictment, accused of lying in a government investigation into steroids abuse. Bonds repeatedly denied knowingly that he took banned substances. That was during his testimony. If convicted, he could face 30 years in prison. Steroid rumors have long chased Bonds who has added dozens of pounds of muscle over the last decade and has been despised by many fans and even teammates. Bonds attorney says his unpopularity made him an easy target by the feds.


MICHAEL RAINS, ATTORNEY FOR BONDS: All you need to know about the government's case is that it leaked an official indictment to every media outlet in the nation and withheld it from Barry, his lawyer, and everyone else who could read it and who could defend him.


HARRIS: Barry Bonds on deck and not yet on the docket. If his case does indeed go to trial, what should we expect? Joining us is sports attorney Ryan Smith. Ryan, good morning. He is also a co-host of the show "My Two Cents," on the BET Network. Ryan, what was your reaction yesterday when you heard this news?

RYAN SMITH, BET TALK SHOW HOST: Well I was surprised at the timing.

HARRIS: Well, tell me about the timing. I've heard that from a couple of folks who seem not to be surprised that Bonds is indicted but surprised by the timing. Why so?

SMITH: It sort of comes out of left field.

HARRIS: He a left fielder and now comes out of left field? You need to stop that this morning. Tell me why you're surprised.

SMITH: It just comes out, like I said, it comes -- they've been investigating him for two years for this. And they've been building a case slowly, but surely. It was hard to tell when they might have an indictment. A lot of people thought there might not be an indictment to come. But I'll tell you what. They have been serious about building this for two years. A year ago, the prosecution came out and said or about the U.S. attorney came out and said we are investigating him, talked about the investigation, that is highly unusual for a U.S. attorney. There maybe some issues here that caused it to take this much time. They wanted to build as strong a case as possible. We have some political issues so now it's finally coming to light.

HARRIS: The government has evidence, including positive tests for the presence of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances? Hello! Huh? When did the feds get this and where did they get this evidence?

SMITH: That's what we're hearing right now. It is surprising. It is surprising. After all this time people have been saying Bonds has never failed a test and all of his supporters have been saying that is the reason why we support him. But perhaps there were some documents they uncovered, perhaps there are some extra witnesses we don't know about.

HARRIS: No, no, no. At this point, someone gave the federal prosecutors the information. What do you think really happened here? Is this a case where his former trainer, best friend, Greg Anderson gets out of prison because he has flipped? Has he supplied information to someone else who got it to the federal prosecutors? Is this a case that now that Barry Bonds is out of a Giants uniform, they have information that they're now slipping to prosecutors? What is going on here, Ryan?

SMITH: That's a real good question. I don't think it's Greg Anderson. First of all, his lawyer came out and said it's not him, we didn't cooperate. I believe that part of it. The other thing people talk about Greg Anderson was released a couple of hours earlier. The thing with that is if they didn't need him to build their case they really don't have a legal basis to hold him so no reason why he shouldn't be released. What I think really happened here is they took their time to compile every single bit of evidence they needed in order to get him to go. Don't forget about the fact we have a new attorney general a high profile case.

HARRIS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn't knowingly, unless you're telling me that Mike Mukasey is interested in baseball and steroids. I did not knowingly use steroids. How do you get over that hurdle if you are the federal prosecutors handling this case?

SMITH: You know, you have to compile everything that you have.

HARRIS: No. Ryan, you know what I'm getting at here. Do they have a witness will say I shot him up? Do they have a witness who will turn over -- you see what I'm getting at here?

SMITH: I do see what you're getting at. That's a high likelihood they have a witness. Is it Greg Anderson? I don't think so. At least from what we know right now. Just because Greg Anderson is released from prison doesn't mean it's him. They need witnesses and they need documents. The thing is they can prove this case without necessarily having seven to nine witnesses.

HARRIS: Tell me how quickly because I'm running out of time and I'm long in the segment. Give me one way you see this happening for the prosecution.

SMITH: By somehow leaking -- by somehow linking.

HARRIS: You did say leaking, didn't you?

SMITH: Linking. By linking the reference and documents to b to Barry Bonds has come up in the records that Anderson and Conte from BALCO.

HARRIS: Victor Conte is saying I don't know about a program for Barry Bonds and on the record for saying that. I'm crazy long here, Ryan. Good to see you. We'll book you for the weekend shows and we'll talk about it more. You better be around when I call. Thanks.

SMITH: Will do, Tony.

COLLINS: A killer cyclone barrels into Bangladesh. Hundreds are dead and tens of thousands are homeless. Dan Rivers is on the phone with us from the capital Dhaka. Dan we just want to know how some of those recovery efforts going this morning.

DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We understand the U.S. is sending three warships to help with the relief effort with U.S. marines on board and, of course, the authorities here have got their hands full trying to just simply trying to get down there. Actually, much of the area that has been hit is still completely cut off, both communication and by road. Three districts in particular were really badly hit. And we haven't heard much out of them yet. The phones are down. The electricity is down. In fact, the entire national grid of Bangladesh has been knocked out. Even in the capital here in Dhaka, all of the buildings are dark, other than those that have their own generators. So it's a pretty tricky situation for the authorities. The figures we have at the moment are that at least 500 are dead and 600,000 have been evacuated, but, frankly, that death toll is almost certain to rise.

COLLINS: Boy. It is just unbelievable. We're looking at some pretty incredible pictures right now, too. Once again, Dan Rivers coming to us today from the area hit very hard, Dhaka. Boy, oh, boy. That's an unbelievable situation. 500 people dead, you heard Dan say. 600,000 have been evacuated. Again, this is a developing story that we of course are watching here. So likely those numbers will change. Unfortunately. Electricity is out.

Reynolds Wolf is with us now. Boy, oh, boy it makes it so much more difficult when you're trying to pick things up in all of these relief efforts.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No question about it and a terrifying prospect what they're seeing there in parts of southern Asia.


HARRIS: The reason I want you to stick around is maybe help us with wind speeds and wind directions, Santa Ana's in this case. Eagle Rock, California on house on a hill that is essentially gone right now. Firefighters on the ground getting as close as they can with their hoses to put this out and really trying to contain it at this point. There is another home nearby. We don't know if that has been impacted yet by embers. But a lot of trees. You're right about that. Clearly, this house is a total loss right now but just incredible pictures framed by the early morning sky there in southern California. The pictures from our affiliate KTLA. We will keep an eye on the situation. No reports of any injuries.

WOLF: Right now, Tony, we don't have any reports of any severe wind conditions at this point. However, I got to tell you, give you a heads-up that early next week into Monday, late Monday, into Tuesday, we may see the Santa Ana winds crank up once again but at this point winds don't appear to be the culprit in this situation.

COLLINS: When something like that starts you get the winds and you never know what it can grow into. Obviously, a tenuous situation there.

Thank you, Reynolds. We will be nicer next time.

WOLF: Promises, promises.

COLLINS: It is decision day for Georgia's water crisis. The U.S. official wildlife will give its verdict on whether endangered mussels can survive with less water from a key reservoir outside of Atlanta. The Army Corps of Engineers releases billions of gallons of water everyday from Lake Lanier and flows downstream to Florida to make sure the federally protected species survive. Cutting the water flow will mean more drinking water. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, federal and state officials agree the reservoir has only about 78 days left of drinking water.

HARRIS: A cold that kills? Dr. Sanjay Gupta with a warning about a rare form of a common virus.


COLLINS: Nothing common about this cold. Health experts say at least ten people have died from a new strain of the cold virus. Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here now. Obviously, this sounds very scary. How concerned should we be about this strain?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's one of the things where I think the vast majority of people have this will have a few miserable days but nothing more than that but a virus you probably heard about because it killed a 12-day-old in New York. It also led to the death of a 19-year-old person at the air force base in Texas. This is something we've been talking about for some time but it has a name that is adenovirus 14. The name is not that important. That's a picture of it. Keep in mind, there are lots of different viruses that cause the cold and flu but sometimes they mutate and sometimes change and when that happens they can change into something awfully nasty. One of the hall marks of some of these viruses they cause not only the respiratory stuff but the GI and conjunctivitis which is sort of the stuff in your eyes. It gets your eyes all red and it can be very miserable. It's around the country as you mentioned. Ten people have died. Take a look at where the folks are. Oregon was the first state to identify some of these cases, 31 cases. They've had the most deaths, seven. Texas has had the most cases, 106 cases and one death and it's also been in Washington and it's been in New York. In fact that 12-day-old I mentioned was out of New York. It's a nasty bug, no question.

COLLINS: I'm sure everyone is going to be wondering how do I know I don't have a common cold and I could possibly have something much worse like this?

GUPTA: Right. I think it does raise a lot of flags for people. The only way to know for sure is get tested where they take some of the sputum, if you will, which is kind of gross but they take that and figure out the DNA testing on it to figure out if it is the adenovirus 14. Mostly for most people if you're getting sick and it seems to not just be going away, it may be something you want to get checked out early with your doctor, rather than later.

COLLINS: Once you find out you do have it, you test positive for it, how is it treated? Can you kick this thing?

GUPTA: What happens often is in some cases, antivirals which are medications that kill viruses they can work on a lot of viruses but not so well with this particular one. A lot of times people will get bacteria infections along with the virus so you may take medications from your doctor. Make sure your husband doesn't give it to you and you don't give it to your son so hand washing is most important so the virus doesn't stick around and recontaminate you again.

COLLINS: Is this something where if you get it and you possibly don't know you have it because you haven't been test you have days or hours or it lingers for a long time?

GUPTA: It can last on surfaces like door knobs and things like that for a couple of days. So 48 hours. If someone is sick in the house you got to make sure everything they are touching gets clean. Everything that they are touching needs to be cleaned as well.

COLLINS: All right. Well we'll be watching this one for sure.

GUPTA: Can I point out the color of my tie here?

COLLINS: Lordy. Here we go. Michigan game.

GUPTA: The game! As they say, it's not in ever falling but rising every time you do fall, go blue. That's all I got.

COLLINS: Wow. I went to the University of Maryland and they are the Terps. They're nowhere near as good as Michigan! All right. Sanjay, thank you.

GUPTA: Thanks, guys.

HARRIS: This is an outrage!

Still to come in the NEWSROOM this morning, granny goes to the hoop. Get that mess out of here! Seniors sinking shots in a new league. Wait until you see how they shoot the three-pointer! Still ahead in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: Once again we want to show dramatic pictures out of southern California, Los Angeles area; Eagle Rock, California to be more specific. Look at this from our affiliate KTLA. The latest video into us here at the CNN NEWSROOM. This is of a house fire where all floors, three floors, I believe, in total, fully engulfed. Bye- bye, house there. It looks like at least three other structures, yeah, three separate buildings on this property also engaged by fire right now. Again, this is Eagle Rock, California, northeast Los Angeles. No word yet of any injuries associated with this fire. Firefighters trying to do the best they can to put this out right now but, again, a dramatic picture of a house fire that seems to have engulfed at least three other buildings at that same location. We will keep an eye on the situation for you.

COLLINS: A league of their own. Some may think older women should be weaving basket but this group is scoring them instead. John Garcia of affiliated WLS reports.


JOHN GARCIA, WLS: They are grandmothers and great grandmothers. Some have played organized basketball.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a little rusty but it will come back.

GARCIA: Others not so much but they're all here to try out for teams in the granny all-star league.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shoot! We got one! Whoa!

GARCIA: The only qualification -- they have to be older than 50. What do your friends and family say when you tell them you're doing this?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I told friends and family, you know what the first thing they did? Laugh! Ha ha!

GARCIA: The league will play six on six basketball based on a league that started a decade ago in Iowa. Barbara Lee Cohen got the idea after seeing a story about the league.

BARBARA LEE COHEN, LEAGUE FOUNDER: They were 50 to a hundred years of age so I went ahead and decided to find out who they were.

GARCIA: At the time, she was thinking it would be good halftime entertainment for a Bulls game. Instead, now she is starting a league. One of the coaches, 53-year-old Mary Kay Monaghan had a brief basketball career in 1978. The skill level here just a little bit different.

MARY KAY MONAGHAN, COACH: There's some women that are here that have no idea, never played basketball, or touched a basketball.

GARCIA: The term granny ball is not actually a reference to the age of the players, but to the style of shooting. See in granny ball, you get two points for shooting it overhand, but three points for shooting it underhand. Granny style. The turnout on this, the second day of tryouts, is encouraging to organizers. They had no idea what to expect. But it turns out there are plenty of women, senior citizens, anxious to get out and play.

COHEN: To me, this is wonderful. This is what I dreamed of.

GARCIA: John Garcia, ABC 7 News.


HARRIS: But are you steroid free? That's terrible, isn't it? Everything is terrible. Everything now has a cloud on it.

In baseball, the mighty Casey struck out and real life home run king, Barry Bonds faces a full court, a full count, yeah, and federal indictment. The windup. The pitch, in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: It is a banner time for college football players. Senior day marking the last chance to play before the home crowd. Ali Velshi has the story of one man who waited more than three decades for his senior season. It's this week's "Life After Work."


ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's game time at Sul Ross State University and number 49, Mike Flynt is in blocking for the kicker but this backup linebacker isn't your typical player. You see, Mike Flynt is 59 years old.

MIKE FLYNT, LINEBACKER, SUL ROSS STATE UNIVERSITY: I played 37 years ago as a junior and came back my senior season, got into a physical altercation and was kicked off the team. This past summer, we had a reunion. One of the former players mentioned to me that I might still have some eligibility. I told him I still felt like I could play.

VELSHI: Since Flynt never played a senior season, he had a year of athletic eligibility left. He decided to try out and made the team primarily due to the great shape he is in. After graduating in 1972, he worked as a strength coach for various university athletic programs and later on invented an exercise product but part of him felt unfulfilled.

FLYNT: No more than years than I can remember, I regretted not only not being able to play my senior year but I felt like I let my teammates down and so this was an opportunity for me to come back and make up for those guys I let down so many years ago.

VELSHI: So Flynt is out there playing against kids that are his grandchildren's age for a coach that is eight years younger than him and despite some minor injuries, he is playing in games and looking ahead to his next challenge.

FLYNT: Well, we got the NFL draft -- no. Ha ha.

VELSHI: Ali Velshi, CNN.