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Gunman Kills 4 Worshippers; Vick Dogfighting Conspiracy Sentencing; Will Winfrey's Weekend of Campaigning for Obama Translate Into Votes?

Aired December 10, 2007 - 09:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everybody. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Heidi Collins.

Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on Monday, December 10th.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Are deadly shootings at a church and missionary center linked? Colorado police are trying to find out.

Al Gore picks up his Nobel Peace Prize just a short time ago. He has a message for the next U.S. president.

And cold air, warm moisture. The two add up to a wintry mess from Texas to the Northeast.

Icy day -- in the NEWSROOM.

Thousands of you waking up this morning to an icy mess. Drivers, homeowners, firefighters all feeling the effects of an ice storm heading from the plains to the Northeast.

An early morning fire at a high school in Jones, Oklahoma, causing more problems than usual for fire crews. The storm knocked out power, so the fire hydrants and sprinklers are not working.

More than 130,000 customers in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Kansas are now without electricity. This morning's commute expected to be tough in the same areas because of slick roads. At least 10 people died in traffic accidents in Oklahoma.

And if you're flying, get ready to wait. More than 400 flights canceled at Chicago's O'Hare airport yesterday. You can blame it on bad weather and poor visibility.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not all that bad. But when it happens time after time, it becomes a bit aggravating.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I fly a lot. And I'm back to Europe at least four or five times a year, and Asia, Middle East a couple of times a year, and it's -- I'm always late from America and I'm never delayed from Europe. And I always wonder why I can't really get it together here.


COLLINS: Faith and fury in Colorado. Four worshipers killed in two shooting sprees, one in Colorado Springs, the other near Denver. Did a lone gunman carry out both attacks? That is the question this morning. A morning news conference though may provide some answers for us.

And CNN's Ed Lavandera is joining us now from Colorado Springs.

Ed, good morning to you.


Well, here officials at the New Life Church here in Colorado Springs have an early morning press conference about 9:00 am Mountain Time. Police will hold another press conference later on in the day.

They are still not saying definitively if the same man is responsible for both shootings, in a shooting that turned a quiet Sunday afternoon into a nightmare.


LAVANDERA (voice over): It's just after midnight Sunday morning, when police say a man who looks to be about 20 years old, wearing dark clothing, enters the Youth With a Mission Center in the Denver suburb of Arvada. He asks for a place to spend the night, but it is turned down. The man then starts shooting at a group of people inside who had been cleaning up after a banquet. Two mission center workers are killed, two others wounded.

SUSAN MEDINA, ARVADA POLICE SPOKESWOMAN: He may have a beard or mustache, he may be wearing glasses. And we believe he might be wearing a dark colored skullcap, or beanie, as it's known.

LAVANDERA: The gunman escapes. Police search dogs can't hunt the killer down in the snowy darkness.

Then almost 13 hours later and about 80 miles to the south in Colorado Springs, another attack. A gunman who fits the same general description opens fire on worshipers leaving Sunday morning services at the New Life megachurch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's go. Come on. Let's go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He shot me in the arm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just hear screaming and people running through the cafe eating area. And so some of us go out to see what's going on because it kind of sounded like there was a fight. And then we just hear gunshots and then you're just like, oh, my gosh, what do I do next? LAVANDERA: But the shooter didn't get way. A New Life Church security guard takes control, shooting and killing the attacker. But authorities still aren't saying if the same man is responsible for the deadly rampage.

CHIEF DON WICK, ARVADA POLICE: We are not at a place to confirm any information about any possible similarities to these incidence being widely reported throughout the media. And I'm asking that all of our communities be vigilant until we determine who is responsible for these crimes.


LAVANDERA: Now, witnesses of both shootings describe the gunman as looking very similar. However, the gunman used two different guns, a handgun in the shooting near Denver, and a rifle here. Not to say that the same gunman couldn't use two different guns, but that is one of the things, the discrepancies that investigators are looking into, and perhaps one of the reasons why they're not able to say at this point if it was, indeed, the same person -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, understood, Ed. And as we've been telling people, we've got this news conference coming up 11:00 Eastern Time.

Is that going to be the main question, you think, Ed? I mean, you think that they will be ready at that point to tell what they know? Because I'm assuming they have been able to get some information from this person who is in custody.

LAVANDERA: Well, from what we understand, that 11:00 am presser will involve mostly the church officials here in Colorado Springs. Whether or not they'll be able to answer, I'm sure they'll be asked, but I'm not sure if they'll be able to answer it.

We also have been told that investigators will be getting together later on this morning, about the same time, to discuss the latest information in this case. And it will probably be after that when we're given an additional update.

COLLINS: OK, understood. All right.

From Colorado Springs this morning, CNN's Ed Lavandera.

Thank you, Ed.

Also want to take a moment to get a closer look at the two sites that were attacked now. New Life Church is a nondenominational evangelical congregation. It's a so-called megachurch. More than 10,000 people worship there.

It was founded by disgraced minister Ted Haggard. He resigned over allegations he carried on a three-year relationship with a male prostitute.

The other target, the Youth With a Mission Center, it has a small office on the campus of New Life Church. The center, which is located outside Denver, trains about 300 people a year. They undergoing a 12- week course to prepare for missionary work.

And as we've been mentioning, a reminder that there will be a news conference. It could provide some answers for us. It's scheduled for 11:00 Eastern, and you can see it live on our Web site,

Suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick in court this morning. He'll hear his sentence in a dog fighting case.

CNN's Larry Smith is at the federal courthouse now in Richmond, Virginia, this morning.

So, Larry, how soon will Michael Vick know how much time he's actually going to be looking at?

LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, possibly by lunchtime, is what they're telling us right now. This hearing will begin at 10:00 this morning here Eastern Time in Richmond, Virginia, in the building behind me. But they say two to four hours for the hearing, but we're actually hearing now -- we are being told that it won't be that long. It's expected to take four hours.

Now, the big piece that we're all kind of wanting to hear more about is the psychiatric report that the defense filed on Vick's behalf last week. Now, those -- that report was sealed, and so we really don't really know exactly what is in that. And we won't know what effect that will have on the sentencing.

The protesters were out very early this morning before 8:00 in the morning. And the line to get inside the courthouse began about 5:00 in the morning, and, again, it begins here at 10:00.

Michael Vick, by the way -- the sentencing guidelines of this dog fighting charge call for 12 to 18 months. Will he get that or even more? Two of his three co-defendants have already been sentenced to 18 months and 21 months respectively.

The key thing here is both of those sentenced exceeded the recommendations. And so Michael Vick, considering that he is seen as the money man behind this operation, he also has the marijuana -- failed test for marijuana back in September that violated the agreement of his plea agreements, that violated the deals of his plea agreement. We will see now what happens to him today and how long he will be behind bars on this dog fighting charge -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes. And if any of those things have any bearing on what that sentence will be.

All right. CNN's Larry Smith live for us this morning from Richmond, Virginia.

Thank you, Larry.

Here, in fact, is what Michael Vick admitted to. He says he financed the dog fighting operation on his Virginia property and gave money to others to bet on the dog fights. He also admitted helping kill six to eight of the dogs.

Oprah and Obama firing up the campaign trail this weekend. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey stumping with her favorite presidential candidate, Barack Obama. Tens of thousands of people came out to see them.

And CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reports now on the biggest event in Columbia, South Carolina.


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Whether you saw it as Oprahloosa or Obamamania, it was contagious.


MALVEAUX: The talk show diva and billionaire businesswoman Oprah Winfrey throwing all her star power behind him.

WINFREY: That moment is now.

MALVEAUX: It was the largest crowd ever for Barack Obama, 29,000 in this South Carolina stadium.

The pull?

TERRI BRANDON, MOTHER: I came for Oprah, hoping to hear something good from Obama. And I think I did.

MALVEAUX: And that's just fine with the Obama campaign. Oprah fans Terri Brandon and Jamie Dees (ph) were like many in the audience, Obama's aides say, first-timers, voters who had never been to an Obama event, nor voted in a primary, who came out of curious.

Beverly and James Murphy drove two hours to attend the rally and heard just what they needed to go for Obama.

BEVERLY MURPHY, VOTER: She said now is the time. She said now is the time.

JAMES MURPHY, VOTER: We also said, you know (INAUDIBLE), I'm going to do it.

MALVEAUX: These are the voters Obama and his closest rival, Senator Hillary Clinton, are fighting over. In Iowa, the greatest competition is over white women over 50. In South Carolina, it's young African-American women, like Tonya Thompson, a registered Democrat who came undecided and left undecided.

TONYA THOMPSON, UNDECIDED VOTER: Think I know Hillary a little bit more. You know, she's been around for a long time, so, you know, I know more about her and what she stands for and, you know, her ideals. And so with Barack, he's a new, fresh face.


COLLINS: Our Suzanne Malveaux is joining us now live from Columbia, South Carolina.

Suzanne, everybody wants to know, what is the effect that Oprah could have on voters here?

MALVEAUX: Sure. That's a big question here, because obviously, Oprah's star power comes from the fact that she talks to nine million viewers a day, 75 percent of them are women. So that really is a big question.

And even Oprah was joking yesterday before these audiences that she wasn't giving away free TVs or refrigerators like she does on her show. But she was giving away free advice, and that was take a listen to Obama, see what you think of him. A lot of the people I talked to, that's exactly what they did this weekend, but some of them said, you know, they're not quite sure. They're not yet ready to commit to voting for him.

COLLINS: Well, Obama actually wasn't the only one showing star power, too. I mean, Hillary had some as well.

MALVEAUX: Oh, she certainly did. I mean, it was really interesting to see, especially in South Carolina over the weekend.

Bill Clinton was out in full force. He was in Charleston. He was before an African-American church, speaking up about his wife.

Also, you saw on the campaign trail now Chelsea, her daughter, her mother, Dorothy Rodham, traveling with her, campaigning with her, own kind of high-powered women, if you will. So, both sides really stepping up the pressure here, the heat, to try to go after that group that is really valuable to them. And that is women -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes. Well, the question probably is can the former president really bring it like Oprah can? I think we'll all be watching this one very closely.

All right. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.

Thanks so much, Suzanne.

Also a reminder now. Two big presidential debates this week, beginning with the Republican Iowa face-off. That's Wednesday, December 12th, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern, live, right here on CNN.

And the Democratic candidates face off the following day, Thursday, December 13th. Their Iowa debate also from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern, live, right here on CNN.

If you want the most up-to-the-minute political news anywhere available, just go to It's your one-stop shop. And it's the Internet's premiere destination for political news.

So what do Al Gore and Jerry Lewis have in common?

Miles O'Brien makes the connection live from Oslo and the Nobel ceremonies.


COLLINS: She's baking 96,000 cookies and hoping to save her son's life.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is not a time when one of my children doesn't hold my hand or say my name, or ask for a kiss that I don't appreciate it.


COLLINS: Putting a rare cancer on your radar. We'll tell you the story in just a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, Al Gore on the world stage this morning. He accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo about an hour ago.

And our Miles O'Brien is in Norway, where he discovered the former vice president has something in common with comedian Jerry Lewis.


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's a long way from Oslo to Peoria. And Al Gore is sure playing better over there...

OLE DANBOLT MJOS, NOBEL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: One of the world's leading environmentalist politicians...

O'BRIEN: Than he is here.

CHRIS HORNER, COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INST.: Al Gore is the embodiment of wretched excess.

O'BRIEN: That's global warming skeptic Chris Horner. He is no fan of Gore, that's for sure.

HORNER: He clearly is more popular there than here, but as you open, so is Jerry Lewis.

JERRY LEWIS, ACTOR, "THE NUTTY PROFESSOR": I do have some very essential matters that I must take care of.

O'BRIEN: Jerry Lewis? Could Al Gore share something in common with "The Nutty Professor," loved mostly overseas? Well, it all comes down to politics. And many Americans view the Nobel Prize through a political prism.

So says CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: A lot of sophisticated Americans and certainly a lot of people in Washington understand that there's a lot of politics in the Nobel prize, particularly the Nobel Peace Prize.

O'BRIEN: In Europe, not so much.

PETER KELLNER, PRESIDENT, YOUGOV: No, I can't think of an occasion when anybody has said that the Nobel Committee is up to no good.

O'BRIEN: British pollster Peter Kellner also says Europeans are less likely to question science and scientists. And 90 percent of Europeans believe global warming is a clear and present danger. Americans are split down the middle.

Oh, and speaking of that, there's one more factor to throw into the mix.

HORNER: It's those northern Europeans doing what northern European politicians want to do, and that is engage in anti-Bush symbolism.

O'BRIEN: Bush's approval rating in Europe? About 12 to 15 percent. Al Gore may be "The Nutty Professor," but whichever side of the ocean he is on, he is still faring better than the man who beat him seven years ago.


COLLINS: Miles O'Brien joining us now from the streets of Oslo, Norway.

Miles, nice to see you.

So, what's the deal? I mean, is it really fair to say that Europeans are that much more concerned about global warming than Americans?

O'BRIEN: I think so, Heidi. I mean, I think what you have in the United States is kind of a perfect storm. You have, especially in conservative circles, a lot of skepticism about the scientific process and science.

It's viewed as almost a political arm of the liberal side of things, whereas here in Europe, they see scientists as something from the ivory tower, something very different. Couple that with the fact that in the U.S., the oil and gas industry was -- has been successful over the years in muddying the waters on the science and, of course, you've got a former oil man in the Oval Office.

All that, kind of a perfect storm in the U.S., whereas here, none of those factors were in play. And as a result, there's -- Al Gore really, as he is here, is preaching to the choir.

COLLINS: Yes, preaching to a choir who really wants to see him as much as possible. In fact, we've heard rock star status.

What have you seen and heard about his reception there? O'BRIEN: I haven't heard a single person offer a critical word of Al Gore. That's a far cry from what you would get on the streets of New York City or Atlanta.

Take a look at these papers, for example.

This is what passes muster for criticism today in the newspapers. They're talking about Al Gore there making a lot of money off "An Inconvenient Truth."

Most of the coverage is like this. This is just a huge excerpt inside this newspaper of the book version of "An Inconvenient Truth." Here is how it goes. And, of course, the ubiquitous polar bear on the melting iceberg there.

So, the kind of coverage he's getting there, I'd put it in the fawning category. As I say, he's preaching to the choir and he is the man of the moment. This city has embraced him in every way.

COLLINS: All right.

CNN's Miles O'Brien reporting live for us this morning from Oslo, Norway.

Thank you, Miles.

Also want everybody to stick around this morning for a two-hour special on the Nobel Peace Prize. Our Jonathan Mann will be talking with Al Gore. You an see all of this beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN. And, if you can't be in front of a television at that time for the interview, you can also watch it live on

The tale of the tapes. One presidential candidate wants a special prosecutor to check out the CIA's story and what the White House knew about it.


COLLINS: CIA interrogation tapes destroyed. Now a Democratic presidential candidate wants a special prosecutor to look into it.

Here now, CNN's Ed Henry.


ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Senator Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, is now demanding Attorney General Michael Mukasey appoint a special prosecutor to find out why the CIA in 2005 destroyed videotapes of interrogation techniques being used on terror suspects.

SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It appears as though there may be an obstruction of justice charge here, and tampering with evidence and destroying evidence.

HENRY: House Republican leader John Boehner says a special counsel is not needed because Mukasey has already launched a preliminary investigation. Boehner backs that Justice Department probe, as well as aggressive reviews by the CIA and Congress.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), MINORITY LEADER: I'm troubled by what's been revealed. When the CIA director is unaware of this, the president is unaware of it, I think we need to get to the bottom of what were these tapes, what happened?

HENRY: The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said a special counsel is not needed, in part because he plans on Tuesday to haul CIA Director Michael Hayden up to Capitol Hill for answers.

SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D), INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: Were there things on those tapes that they didn't want to have seen, that didn't conform to what the attorney general would allow them to do?

HENRY: But a Senate Republican leader cautioned that while the investigations are necessary, a crime was not necessarily committed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It may not have been a good idea, but that's different from a crime.

HENRY: Republican Chuck Hagel, a frequent critic of the president, says he doubts the official explanation that former White House aide Harriet Miers told the CIA not to destroy the tapes, but never informed the president or other senior officials about the matter.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: Burning tapes, destroying evidence -- I don't know how deep this goes. Could there be obstruction of justice? Yes. How far does this go up into the White House?

HENRY (on camera): White House officials stand behind their account that the president did not learn about the destruction of these tapes until last week. And they say if the Justice Department and others move forward with a full investigation, they'll embrace it, because White House officials insist they want to get to the bottom of this as well.

Ed Henry, CNN, Washington.


COLLINS: On ice. The slippery forecast that stretches from Texas to Connecticut, we'll tell you the story just ahead.

Meantime, we are getting some great weather photos from our I- Reporters. Take a look at some of these now.

This one from Van Bidler (ph). He's in Jefferson City, Missouri. And it looks like whatever he was growing in that garden -- yes, now it's frozen. He says he could hear trees cracking in the distance from the weight of the ice.

And also from the ice to snow, this beautiful shot taken by I- Reporter Mark Testerino (ph) in Crestline, California. This is the view from his front porch.

Nice. See, I think that's beautiful.

And this shot is from Shawn Manard (ph) from New Brunswick, Canada. Also beautiful, in my opinion.

So thanks to all of our I-Reporters for sending these photos into us today.

Just as a reminder, when weather does become the news, you can see it here on CNN. If it's happening outside your window, send us your video or photos. Just go to and click on "I-Report" or type right into your cell phone. But remember, stay safe when doing so.

A violent day at a church.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I kind of had this overwhelming sense of sad. You know, I feel really bad for this guy. Has someone hurt him bad enough that he wanted to come and kill people?


COLLINS: Who was the gunman and where does the investigation stand now?


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Good morning to you, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Tony Harris has the day off. Let me give you the opening bell now, happening just a couple of minutes ago. Tell you about Friday, of course, the Dow Jones industrial averages went up about 6 points or so, ending the day at 13.625. So, today, we understanding that we could have a bit of a game. Slight game is what is being talk about. Right now, up 43 points resting at 13668.

The big question and the big talk of the day, is actually about tomorrow, when the Fed will meet and decide whether or not, they will lower interest rates for a second time. So, we will be watching those stories for you, a little bit later in the broadcast.

Meanwhile, thousands of you waking up this morning to an icy mess. Driver, homeowners, even firefighters all feeling the effect of an ice storm heading from the planes to the northeast. An early morning fire at a high school in Jones, Oklahoma, causing more problems than usual for fire crews. The storm knocked out power. So hydrants and sprinklers aren't actually working. More than 130,000 customers in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Kansas are without electricity.

This morning's commute expected to be tough in the same areas because of slick roads. In fact, at least ten people died in traffic accidents in Oklahoma. And if you're flying, get ready to wait. More than 400 flights canceled at Chicago's O'Hare airport yesterday. Blame it on bad weather and poor visibility. Jim Wagner of our affiliate CLTV reports on Sunday's slowdowns and cancellations at O'Hare. Take a look.


JIM WAGNER (ph), CLTV AFFILIATE: Inside O'Hare Airport's American Airlines terminal, passengers are stranded. And they say, it's not the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not all that bad. But when it happens time after time, it becomes a bit aggravating.

WAGNER: Aggravating, because passengers say it takes so little weather wise to have so big of an impact at O'Hare. As of 6:00 pm Sunday, more than 400 flights at O'Hare were canceled because of the weather and delays running rampant along with that. The weather is not expected to get any better any time soon. Which means at O'Hare, a delay in travel headaches is highly unlikely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I fly a lot. And I'm back to Europe at least four or five times a year, and Asia, Middle East a couple of times a year. And I'm always delayed from America and I'm never delayed from Europe, and I always wonder why we can't really get it together here.


COLLINS: A lot of people wonder that.

From Texas to Pennsylvania, ice is covering much of the country. So, now we'll check in with meteorologist Jacqui Jeras now from the severe weather center and maybe you can tell us all, how to handle all this, Jacqui.


COLLINS: To this story now. Faith and fury. Nine worshipers shot at two different sites in Colorado. Is a lone gunman responsible for both attacks? That is the question. The first shooting at a missionary training center near Denver. Witnesses say, a young man was told he couldn't spend the night there and pulled out a handgun. He shot and killed a man and woman and wounded two others. All of the victims worked there.

Then, about 12 hours later, a gunman opened fire at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, that's about 80 miles away. Two people died. Three were wounded. One churchgoer described the scene.


EVAN SCHUBARTH, WITNESS AT CHURCH SHOOTING: I saw everyone ducking down, and I just heard them. And I just followed everybody out. We all ran to the back of the sanctuary, then exited to the outside. So, I just kind of followed everybody's lead, did the best I could, tried to help other people, make sure no one was tripping, falling. At the same time, trying to get myself out.


COLLINS: A security guard at the church shot and killed the gunman.

A morning news conference may provide some answers for everyone. It is now scheduled for 11:00 Eastern. You can see it live on our web site,

Michael Vick in court this morning. Sentencing in his federal dog fighting case begins in about 30 minutes from now. The suspended NFL star admitted financing dog fighting operation at his Virginia home and putting up money for gambling. Also, helping kill some of the dogs. He could get up to five years in prison. A sentencing guidelines call for 12 to 18 months. Two of Vick's co-defendants were sentenced last month. One got 18 months, the other 21. Vick has already spent about three weeks in jail after turning himself in early. It's unknown if that will play a part in the judge's decision today. Vick also has an April trial date set on state dog fighting charges.

Troubled NBA star Jamaal Tinsley has some explaining to do. He is meeting with Indiana Pacers management today. They've got some questions about a weekend shooting. Cars owned by the Pacers' guards were hit by bullet fired from an assault rival. Tinsley wasn't injured but the teams equipment manager was hit in both arms. Police say, Tinsley's group had been in a confrontation at a nightclub a little bit earlier. It's Tinsley's third late-night incident in a little more than a year. He faces a trial next month on charges from a bar fight back in February.

A faulty gene leaves some women at higher risk for breast cancer. Now, doctors may know why.


COLLINS: How about this? No launch until next year. NASA is scrubbing its planned liftoff of Atlantis because of trouble with space shuttle's fuel sensor. Experts are trying to fix the problem of course, but there's only a few days left in the launch window. So, NASA decided to postpone the mission until January.

Promising news this morning about breast cancer. For years, scientists have known a mutated gene raises women's risks for the disease. Well, now, researchers think they actually know why. CNN correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here now with exciting new research. Boy, this is potentially very exciting.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is potentially exciting. Because that why, why does that gene make women more prone to get breast cancer is hugely important. Because once you know the why, you can start making drugs based on it.

COLLINS: Exactly. COHEN: So, what they figure out here is there's this BRCA1 gene that they've known about for more than a decade. And what scientists did, is they could actually get in and observe and watch it derail the body's own natural cancer-fighting abilities. They could see exactly what it did.

COLLINS: This is huge.

COHEN: It's huge, and it's huge, not just for the women who have this mutated BRCA1 gene, which is a pretty small number, relatively speaking. But it's huge because it helps them learn about how breast cancer works.

COLLINS: So, what's next? What happens now?

COHEN: What happens now is that they tried to figure out how they could use this to make drugs. And that's going to take years. But that's the next step.

COLLINS: All right. Wow. We'll we will be certainly watching this one very, very closely. And I know you'll follow up on it too.

Thank you so much. CNN medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, thanks.

And we'll be back in a moment right here on CNN, right here.


COLLINS: How long will he spend behind bars? The disgraced NFL star learns his prison sentence today. Live coverage at the top of the hour, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Three people dead in Northern Virginia and a suspect behind bars this hour. Police in Pennsylvania arrested a 39-year-old man yesterday. Just hours after a shooting at a house in Prince William County, Virginia. Police believe Anastacio Sanchez Miranda killed two men, a woman and wounded two others. A relative of two of the victims believes the shooting stemmed from jealousy over a woman staying in the house. That woman is the mother of the suspect's children. Police believe she was the intended target and the incident began with a domestic dispute. The woman was not injured.

He was declared dead five years ago. Today, a British man walks into court, accused of fraud. His wife is also being held. CNN's Owens Thomas reports.


OWEN THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anne Darwin, now in custody. She flew in from Atlanta to U.K. on Saturday morning. Police investigating accusations of fraud have been stressing how they wanted to speak to her, after John Darwin apparently came back from the dead. She'll be question about press interviews she's given over the past few days, where it was claimed, she and her husband had secretly been living together for the past three years. Apparently, unbeknown to anyone, including their grown-up sons.

It's a case that continues to grip Britain. John Darwin, a former prison officer, disappeared in what appeared to be a canoeing accident closed to his home in the northeast of England back in 2002. Within 24 hours, the oars were found and two months later, the canoe itself was washed up. Despite a big air and sea rescue operation, no body was ever found. He was officially declared dead a year later. But there was astonishment last Saturday when he walked into a police station, claiming amnesia, that he had no idea of the events of the past five years.

Detectives investigated his story, felt there were some inconsistencies and arrested him. On Saturday, he was charged with two offenses but he lied to obtain a passport, unless he obtained a money transfer by deception. Anne Darwin, a former doctor's receptionist, returned to Britain by the States from Panama. Now, she will be able to give the police her side of the story. A decision will be made in due course as to whether she has any charges to answer.


COLLINS: Hop scotching from one war zone to the other, Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, right now in Afghanistan. He is there to meet with President Hamid Karzai, and to review British forces working Dado (ph). Brown is fresh from a visit to Iraq. He thanked his troops for their courage and announced they will hand over security control of Basra to the Iraqis in the coming weeks. Britain plans to begin to pull out of troops from Iraq, currently 5,000 strong.

Cookies for a cause. Parents coming together to raise money and help their children fight a deadly disease.


COLLINS: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Heidi Collins. A guard dog in a tight jam. Would rescue crews get there in time?


COLLINS: Stick around this morning for a two-hour special on the Nobel Peace Prize. Our Jonathan Mann will be talking with Al Gore. It begins at 11:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN. But if you can't be in front of a television for that interview, all is not lost. You can watch it live on

Violent crime down in some cities. But often others, including the nation's capital. Here is CNN's Gary Nurenberg.


GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police were called to this neighborhood in Woodbridge, Virginia, Sunday morning.

SGT. KIM CHINN, PRINCE WILLIAMS COUNTY POLICE: They found three adults deceased and two more had been shot.

NURENBERG: The police executive research forum says violent crime in 2007 is up in some cities, down in others.

JAMES FOX, CRIMINOLOGIST NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY: This is not an epidemic, but it could grow into one.

NURENBERG: When police said they had confessions in the murder of football player Sean Taylor, it appeared to highlight one trend.

FOX: This is 2002, the number of murders committed by young black males with guns has increased over 70 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lose so many great people here in D.C. It's absolutely horrible.

NURENBERG: Violent crime just hit home at Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, where the manager, Nizam Ali, stands in front of cook, Timothy Spicer's picture.

NIZAM ALI, MANAGER BEN'S CHILI BOWL: He had aspirations to go further and do a lot with his life.

NURENBERG: Timothy Spicer loves his car. He was murdered last month by carjackers near this subway station.

JAMES GOLD, COOK, BEN'S CHILI BOWL: Whoever killed our boy is like he took part of us.

NURENBERG: Spicer's was city's 169th homicide of 2007. The murder rate in Washington was up 22 percent at the beginning of this weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got, like 300 recruits out here.

NURENBERG: D.C. police chief, Cathy Lanier, ordered all of the city's police officers to patrol over the weekend and all hands on deck.

CHIEF CATHY LANIER, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: All hands, my hands included.

NURENBERG: Lanier says the biggest driver of the rise in violent crime is guns.

LANIER: We're really focusing on targeting those guns now on the street, trying to take as many as we can off the street.

NURENBERG: She says police alone are not the answer.

LANIER: Unemployment, recreation, education. Just getting resources out there. There are families in need of help. And help, a lot of ways. That, when they don't get that help, it leads to this persistent cycle of crime.

NURENBERG: Fox, the Northeastern University criminologist says it is a simple choice.

FOX: Really, choices are easy. Help these programs now or pray for the victims later.

NURENBERG: Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Washington.


COLLINS: Cries for help. Best friend in a bind. It just breaks your heart, doesn't it? This is Sydney, Australia. A guard dog trapped between two buildings. He turned upside down, trying to wiggle out of the jam. Fire and ambulance crews came to the rescue. It took about 90 minutes, though. And a jackhammer to get the German shepherd out. There he is. You see him coming out there. He didn't seem too worse for the wear, either. Good story.

Well, it's a childhood cancer, so rare that big pharmaceutical companies aren't really in a hurry to develop new drugs. So, parents are now turning to a tried and true method to save their kids. Take a look at this story from CNN's Mary Snow.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Liam Witt is engine one, ladder 24's smallest firefighter. But the toddler is up against the health equivalent of a four-alarm fire. And it came with little warning.

DR. NAI-KONG CHEUNG, MEMORIAL SLOAN-KETTERING CANCER CENTER: Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that affects children and infants. It can be silent and it can be quite devastating.

SNOW: Liam was diagnosed nine months ago with advanced neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system. The 3-year-old has had surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation to rid his body of the cancer. He now receives antibody treatments called 3F8 at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to prevent it from coming back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, I know you don't like these. But let's do it really fast.

SNOW: Defeating neuroblastoma is difficult. Only 30 percent of children with high risk cases survived. The threat of relapse is high. And the funding for new treatments is low. Dr. Nikon Cheung is head of the neuroblastoma program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

CHEUNG: Neuroblastoma is an often disease. It's approximately 600 to 700 new cases a year in the U.S., and with that small number, there's very little interest from the pharmaceutical company to make new drugs.

SNOW: That's why the unique antibody treatment Liam receives is entirely funded by philanthropy. But, this holiday season, hope for Liam and other kids with neuroblastoma comes in three unlikely flavors. Chocolate chip, Citrus Shortbread, and Snickerdoodle.

GRETCHEN WITT, LIAM'S MOM: We are in the process of baking 96,000 cookies.

SNOW: Liam's mom, Gretchen Witt, is running a massive bake sale. Her goal, raised $250, 000 toward a new and more advance of 3F8. The treatment Liam currently receives. It's all part of a larger effort by group of neuroblastoma parents. They are determined to raise the $2 million needed to get the new 3F8 treatment into the early stages of production and testing. It's a fight Witt says changes everything.

WITT: There is not a time when one of my children doesn't hold my hand, say my name or ask for a kiss that I don't appreciate it and recognize it in the moment.

Ready, set...


SNOW: This holiday season, Gretchen Witt is baking not just for fun or to feed others, but for life itself. A life her son is fighting for with every growing moment.


SNOW: Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: They look like some of the tastiest cookies you could ever eat too. We know some of you may want to find out how you can help, of course. So, please check out to place your cookie orders or to find out another way to help and impact your world.

We'll take time to look now at the most watched videos on Identical twins separated at birth as part of a psychological study are reunited as adults. They knew they were adopted, but they did not know the other existed.

And two men in Arizona decided to go shopping in the nude. This surveillance video shows them in store, buying candy and soda. Who needs clothes?

And the 111-year-old man can hear a little better now. A hearing aid company donated the advice to Walter Bruney (ph) of Montana. For more of that story and others, go to and when you get there, be sure to download the CNN NEWSROOM daily podcast. Very cool.

Good morning once again, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. You'll stay informed all day right here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's on the rundown.

An icy blast puts a slippery glaze on the plains and Midwest. Thousands of you, spend a cold day without electricity. Also, our guest on travel delays too.

And a follow on NFL star learns his prison sentence. This hour, the Michael Vick dog fighting case in depth. And two shootings, one gunman? However, the police get ready to update us today, Monday, December 10th. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.