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On to New Hampshire; Georgia Officers Shot; Free at Last: Man Jailed for Rape He Did Not Commit

Aired January 4, 2008 - 11:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: You're with CNN. Hi there, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.
Developments keep coming in to the CNN NEWSROOM on Friday, the 4th day of January.

Here is what's on the rundown now.

National newcomers. Big winners in Iowa. Today, on to New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton trying to bounce back from a third place finish. Our guests break it all down.

What's wrong with Britney Spears? Paramedics rush the singer to the hospital after a custody standoff blows up.

He fell off a Manhattan skyscraper and lived to talk about it. The incredible 47-story plunge.


Iowa in the rearview mirror, New Hampshire in the crosshairs. The road to the White House winds through New England today.

Before the sun came up, candidates' planes began touching down. New Hampshire holds its primary on Tuesday.

Here is a look at the new front-runners now.

Barack Obama finished first among the Democrats in Iowa. He finished well ahead -- there's the numbers -- of John Edwards. And Hillary Clinton was a close third.

Meanwhile, in the Republican race, Mike Huckabee won big over the big budget campaign of Mitt Romney. Fred Thompson, John McCain tied for a distant third.

So Iowa can be a springboard or a graveyard. Democrat Christopher Dodd is calling it quits, as is fellow senator Joe Biden. Both campaigns pulled the plug after dismal showings in Iowa.

For the other candidates, next stop, New Hampshire. The clock counts down to Tuesday's primary.

The leading candidates are already there, and so is our Dan Lothian. He's in Manchester, New Hampshire, for us this morning.

So, Dan, do you think New Hampshire voters will follow what Iowa voters did?

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the big question, but, you know, when you talk to the voters out on the street, what they will tell you is that they're very independent-minded voters here, that they won't necessarily rubberstamp what happened in Iowa. So don't expect to sort of see a replay of what happened there.

On the other side though, you cannot discount what momentum can do for these candidates like Senator Obama and Governor Huckabee coming in here with such huge wins in Iowa. People always tend to take a second look at a candidate when they see them sort of blow out the competition and to do better than expectations.

Now, let's break it down here on the Republican and Democratic side, starting with Republicans.

Governor Huckabee looking to really build on the momentum. He is currently on the ground here in New Hampshire. He was asked on "AMERICAN MORNING" this morning what was behind this major victory. Here is what he had to say.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it was about the message. It's a refreshing thing, and I think a lot of people around America are looking at that race and saying, isn't it nice to know that a person can be elected president not because he has more money, but because he has more of a message that connects with everyday Americans who are out there struggling to put food on their table and making sure their children have a better life.


LOTHIAN: Of course, he does still face some challenges here. One of them being that his biggest support in Iowa were evangelical voters, and he will not see that same number of evangelical voters here in New Hampshire. So he will be tweaking his message somewhat.

He also has to face a couple of other big contenders here who are leading in the polls, and that would be Governor Romney and also Senator McCain, who are either tied, or McCain leading in some of the polling here. McCain is seen as perhaps getting some wind from a Huckabee win in Iowa because it took some of the wind out of the sails of Governor Romney.

So he will have the challenges of McCain here. And in fact, he's sort of trying to perhaps play the expectation game, already talking on the flight in here of how he expects Senator McCain to win here in New Hampshire.

Now, over on the Democratic side, also Senator Barack Obama coming off a big win in Iowa, hoping to build on that momentum here in New Hampshire, to reach out to the Independent voters, a large number of Independent voters here in New Hampshire. Senator Clinton looking to make up some ground, to rebound after that defeat in Iowa. Out on the campaign trial this morning, she was accompanied by her husband, former President Clinton, and also her daughter. And she seemed to be tweaking her message as well, reaching out to some of the younger voters, some of those voters that we saw going towards Barack Obama in Iowa. She realizes that she does have a big challenge here, but she says she's up for that challenge.

Here is what she had to say.


SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's a short period of time, but it's enough time. Time for people to say, wait a minute, number one, who will be the best president for our country on day one walking into the Oval Office, after you're sworn in on January 20, 2009? And who will be able to withstand the Republican attack machine to get elected in the first place, to go into the White House?


LOTHIAN: You know, all of the candidates over time have talked about how a president campaign is really about a marathon, not a sprint. But when we're talking about the New Hampshire primary coming up on Tuesday, it's a mad sprint to win that here -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Is that all you have, Dan? Come on? Isn't there any more information to give?

Just kidding.


COLLINS: It's a lot to talk about, that's for sure.

LOTHIAN: That's right.

COLLINS: And a whole lot going on in the political arena.

Dan Lothian, thanks so much. Great job from Manchester, New Hampshire, this morning.

And if you would like to see all the Iowa results for yourself, you can go to It is your one-stop shop for the New Hampshire primary as well.

Meanwhile, want to get you back to this story that's happening in Atlanta. Gwinnett County, to be specific -- Suwanee, Georgia. This is one of the largest counties in the state.

There is sort of a standoff that has been going on for several hours. Want to get some new information coming up now.

And on the line we have with us Illana Spellman. She is with the Gwinnett County Police Department. Illana, if you could, update us on the situation beginning with what happened last night as these officers tried to serve the arrest warrant to this particular individual inside this home.

ILLANA SPELLMAN, GWINETT COUNTY, GEORGIA, POLICE: Yes, that's correct. And during that attempt to serve the warrant, we had two officers that were shot.

Both officers were transported to the hospital. One officer underwent surgery overnight. He's now out of surgery and in ICU. Both officers are in stable condition.

COLLINS: All right. What can you tell us about this individual? We are looking at some video, just so you know -- I'm not sure if you can see it or not, but some new video coming in from our affiliate there, WSB, again, in Gwinnett County.

After hearing that these two police officers were shot, I know that there was a pretty lengthy standoff with the person inside of the home. Any new information on him or her?

SPELLMAN: Well, the new information is that we just discovered about 15, 20 minutes now ago that the suspect is now deceased. I don't know how or the manner in which he died, so this will just launch our preliminary investigation.

COLLINS: OK. And we have some reporting here that says that there were shots heard from inside the home very early, around 6:00 a.m. today. But you have no verification of that?

SPELLMAN: Yes, I can't confirm if those shots were fired. And if so, if that's the cause of the suspect's death at this time.

COLLINS: OK. Well, for people who may not be familiar with the area, give us an idea, if you would. I know that one of the elementary schools which is very nearby the scene of all of this has been shut down because of some safety concerns obviously.

SPELLMAN: Well, yes. The one particular one, an elementary school that was closed today, it is in close proximity. I would guess about -- within a mile of the incident location. So just to be safe and keep everyone safe, we decided to tell the schools to close that particular school down today.

COLLINS: OK. Well, we appreciate the updated information.

And just a reminder to our viewers here, we have been talking about this for a little while now, happening in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The Riverside Elementary school has been shut down because of the standoff that happened overnight.

We are just now learning that the suspect who was inside the home that you are seeing there has now been found dead inside of that home, and the two police officers, one of them went through surgery, is in ICU, and the other in stable condition.

We certainly appreciate the information. Gwinnett County Police, Illana Spellman.

Thanks so much for that.


COLLINS: Trying to halt the escalating crisis in Kenya, a top U.S. diplomat due to arrive today in the capital of Nairobi. This is the scene today in a devastated shantytown. Officials say at least 300 people have been killed, 100,000 displaced since last week's disputed presidential election.

Machete-wielding gangs have been setting fires, looting, and attacking rival tribes. The opposition party is now demanding a new election to settle the disputed vote. They say the president rigged his reelection. No response yet from the president to that opposition demand.

British anti-terror experts arrive in Pakistan. They'll help investigate the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Today, the forensic team heads to the spot where Bhutto was killed, but crucial evidence may have been lost. The area was quickly hosed down after the attack.

Absolutely astonishing, that's how doctors are describing the case of Alcidas Moreno (ph). The 37-year-old window washer fell 47 stories from the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper after his platform gave way.

Not only did Moreno (ph) survive the December 7th accident, but on Christmas Day he regained consciousness and began talking and moving. Doctors expect him to walk again. Moreno's (ph)) brother though also fell that day but did not survive.

As for Moreno's (ph) future, doctors say they're expecting a substantial, long-term recovery, and his wife says her husband's window washing days are officially over.

The political road ahead. Our insiders' take on Iowa and what it means for the next race.


COLLINS: The winners from Iowa trying to keep the momentum going in New Hampshire. Barack Obama campaigning in Portsmouth this morning. Mike Huckabee hit the campaign trail in Manchester.

So, what's next for the winners and all the rest?

Joining us to talk more about it, Republican political strategist Cheri Jacobus in Washington.

Cheri, nice to see you.


COLLINS: And -- good morning. And CNN contributor and syndicated columnist Roland Martin joining us from New York.

Roland, good morning to you as well.


COLLINS: So the big headline if you talk about the Democrats first, other than the obvious win for Barack Obama, is, of course, that Hillary Clinton finished third.

Roland, how much do you think this will hurt her?

MARTIN: Well, it forces her to really reconsider what her message is. I mean, she's tried to talk about change. She's tried to talk about experience. She's trying to focus on electability. And so, frankly, I think the voter is confused as to what they're getting from Senator Hillary Clinton.

So she now has to recalibrate and figure out where she fits in. And so I think what she needs to do is stop messing around and say, look, this is who I am. Stick to one message, one slogan, and try to (INAUDIBLE). But she can't try to play to everybody because clearly that's not successful.

COLLINS: Yes. In fact, we learned already this morning from some of our correspondents that she will likely go back to that message of experience.

Cherri, what's the reaction to what happened in Iowa from the Republican side of things?

JACOBUS: Well, with regard to Hillary Clinton, quite frankly, I think she's going to get a little bit of a reprieve now from the attacks because everybody is going to be looking at Barack Obama, and it's going to be -- she's going to be in a position to at least have her surrogates start attacking him. So she does have the opportunity now to be the comeback kid, just like her husband was.

So this could be a good thing for her if she plays it right. And, of course, she's going to have to count on Barack Obama stumbling.

A lot of this has to do with how John McCain is going to handle things in New Hampshire. He's got two fronts that he's fighting on.

He's got Mitt Romney, of course. He's in a neck and neck battle with him in the polls in New Hampshire, but he also has to fight Barack Obama for those all-important Independent votes, those crossovers, because that's who is going to be voting and making the difference in New Hampshire. But it is a perfect storm for McCain, but again, Hillary has to kind of watch what McCain is doing to see if he can get those Independents, which can help her in New Hampshire.

So there's a whole lot going on here. It's very fascinating.

COLLINS: Yes. And we would be remiss, Cheri, if we did not talk about Mike Huckabee and the big win last night.


MARTIN: Of course.

COLLINS: His message now going to sort of center around the economy and hoping that people will really sort of come together and listen to what he has to say about his plans for the economy.

JACOBUS: And it's going to be a little bit difficult for him because his base and what really launched him in Iowa was the evangelical community.


JACOBUS: And I don't think he's going to have that strength in New Hampshire. So by talking about the economy, he's obviously making a play for those same all-important Independent voters, as well as hold on to the conservative Republican base in New Hampshire.

Again, New Hampshire is so different from Iowa. To be honest, and this is certainly not to take anything away from Governor Huckabee's win in Iowa last night, but I think the two big winners last night were, of course, Barack Obama and John McCain.


MARTIN: Now, Heidi, here's something that's very interesting. What you're also going to see with Huckabee, he's going to take a page out of the book of George W. Bush in 2000.

Bush was, as a compassionate conservative, was trying to appeal to those suburban voters, those suburban women. I think Huckabee is going to do the exact same thing.

And so he's going to -- he's going to tweak his faith message. He will not be as overt as he was in Iowa, but he will begin to expand that in other areas as well.

It's going to be an uphill battle for him, but here's the key -- Huckabee needs to simply try to come in third place in New Hampshire. But he is really banking on going back to his faith message when he gets to South Carolina.

JACOBUS: I agree.

MARTIN: That's really what he wants to do. So he's not sweating trying to win New Hampshire. He wants to maintain but then get to South Carolina.

JACOBUS: That's right. I think that a third place -- a third place win for Huckabee in New Hampshire would be very good and launch him very well into South Carolina. But you know, Roland, you noted that you think he should take a page out of George W. Bush's playbook. You have to remember in 2000 John McCain beat George W. Bush in New Hampshire. So... MARTIN: No, I understand that, but what my whole point is, those women, George W. Bush was appealing to them because he represented morals, values, compassion as a conservative. Even when Huckabee talks about abortion, he's not as hard core as some other evangelicals are. So he comes across a lot nicer. That's what I mean by the whole compassionate conservative.

JACOBUS: Yes, but I don't think that in the Republican side that we're going to find that perfect conservative. I think so far during this caucus...

MARTIN: Of course not.

JACOBUS: ... and primary season, we found that there isn't one. So Republicans have to make a choice, do they want to be purists and get the closest thing to a Ronald Reagan conservatives that they can find and maybe fall on their swords and lose, or do we look at electability, which I think is important, and look at the strength of those candidates that hold a number of good conservative Republican values and on the issue that matter today on Iraq and things like that? And that's where Republicans might really have to, for lack of a better phrase, grow up a little bit.

COLLINS: Well...

JACOBUS: Do we want to win or do we want to be right?

COLLINS: It certainly always comes down to electability. And whoever that person is, is going to end up being the one in the Oval Office, obviously.

But when we talk about some of these other candidates, quickly before we have to go here, Mitt Romney, obviously we know he spent a lot of money, poured a lot of resources in Iowa. Did not get the win that he wanted.

How much pressure is he under now? It seems like a considerable amount in New Hampshire -- Roland.

MARTIN: Well, he's under huge pressure because, again, he has to win New Hampshire. It's a neighbor of Massachusetts, but also Giuliani's out there lurking.

He has a large state strategy. So Romney needs to have a win to give him some kind of chance going into Super Tuesday dealing with Florida. And so again -- so New Hampshire is absolutely important for him. He has to win it.

He cannot finish lower than second. If so, it's over for Mitt Romney.

COLLINS: Yes. And forgive me for jumping around, but you mentioned Giuliani. I want to read you a comment that he made last night with regard to Florida. He said this: "We spent 37 days in Florida in 2007 because, remember, it is Florida that saved this country for the Republican Party in 2000." Cheri, what do you think?

MARTIN: The Supreme Court actually did, but go ahead.


Cheri, what do you think?

JACOBUS: You know, I think that the Romney strategy to go hard in Florida worked for Romney. That's what's so fascinating about this election year.

You know, we don't have a sitting vice president who is running for election. It's wide open, and it's fascinating to watch.

I mean, I think conventional wisdom, and we can already say this, is out the window for this whole election. And they each have different strategies. And I think, you know, Giuliani knows that he's got to come in -- his wins are going to come late, so he's going to come late and he's going to come strong. And Florida -- you know, Florida is the way to go for him.

So, that's what's working for him, sure. There was also a lot of New Yorkers that then moved to Florida, so that could help Giuliani as well.

COLLINS: Last word, Roland. Make it quick.

MARTIN: Heidi, when I talked to Cheri in the green room one day she said Obama has no shot. I wonder how she feels now.

Do you remember the conversation we had, Cheri?

JACOBUS: Oh, wasn't that back in March?

MARTIN: Yes. I tried to tell you, Cheri.

JACOBUS: We're a long way from seeing this guy in the White House.

MARTIN: I understand.

JACOBUS: Iowa -- a win in Iowa does not always make a president. We know that, but is he a serious candidate? Absolutely. We'll see...


MARTIN: I got you. I just wanted to remind you of that conversation.

COLLINS: You like to stoke the fire, don't you there?

Roland Martin...

JACOBUS: He's keeping notes on conversations. MARTIN: Stir it up. Stir it up.

COLLINS: Roland Martin, Cheri Jacobus.

Guys, thanks so much. Appreciate that.

MARTIN: Thank you.

COLLINS: Twenty-seven years behind bars, but he was an innocent man. How a judge helped champion the case of Charles Chapman.


COLLINS: The San Francisco Zoo reopens with makeshift memorials to a dead tiger and the teenager she mauled too death on Christmas Day. Visitors showed up with flowers, stuffed animals and photos. One note read, "For two beautiful lives lost to all of us."

A Texas man spent almost 27 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. Today he is a free man, exonerated by DNA.

The story now from Gary Reaves of Dallas affiliate WFAA.


GARY REAVES, REPORTER, WFAA (voice over): Emotions soared as this family waited patiently, as they have for 27 years, for the court to declare what the family knew all along, Charles Chatman is no rapist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did he miss?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything. He missed everything.

REAVES: Just ask Judge John Creuzot. He repeatedly pushed to have the DNA test done and made the first phone call so Chatman could tell his family.

JUDGE JOHN CREUZOT, CRIMINAL DISTRICT JUDGE: When I gave the cell phone to Mr. Chatman, he didn't know what it was. He didn't know what to do with it.

REAVES: But today the state tried to make amends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I apologize on behalf of the district attorney's office (INAUDIBLE).

CREUZOT: Congratulations. Sorry it's taken so long.

REAVES: And with that, it was time for hugs, time to touch the aunts and nieces so long separated by visiting room walls, and finally a chance to be heard.

CHARLES CHATMAN, MAN WRONGLY CONVICTED: I was convicted because I'm a black man, committed a crime against a white woman -- a white lady, excuse me. And I was (INAUDIBLE).

REAVES: And that, says Innocence Project attorney Jeff Blackburn, is similar to most of the 15 Dallas cases overturned so far.

JEFF BLACKBURN, INNOCENCE PROJECT: A quick conviction by a largely white jury. This is the pattern that happened in Dallas over and over again.

REAVES: Chatman believes he would have been paroled years ago if he just admitted he committed the crime, but he refused.

CHATMAN: I had too much family that loved me, and I trusted in them. I wanted to keep them -- make them proud.

ETHEL BRADLEY, AUNT: Just to be holding his hand, and I'm so glad I live in the United States.

REEVES: Chapman finally headed out for some home cooking and a fresh start. Justice denied for almost three decades has finally arrived. Gary Reeves, Channel 8 News.


COLLINS: Good morning once again, everybody. 11:30 Eastern time now. With the rain and snow comes the high winds. Meteorologist Jacqui Jeras has a look at just how windy it will get. We are talking about California. Hi there, Jacqui.


COLLINS: Staying in California, Jay Leno back on the air and writing his own jokes, but striking writers aren't laughing.


COLLINS: Oil prices hovering around $100 a barrel. Could a more stable Iraq help bring those prices down? CNN's Alphonso Van Marsh reports.


ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Iraq, which sits on top at least six percent of the world's oil could have helped slow down the dramatic rise of oil to $100 a barrel. But the lack of security and a post-Saddam Hussein power struggle over who controls vast oil fields in northern Iraq has instead, analysts say, contributed to the record price.

MANOURCHER TAKIN, CENTRE FOR GLOBAL ENERGY STUDIES: When the military invasion took place and people assumed that within a few months when the problems are over, with the new government, they will go back and Iraqi production would be again more than 3 million barrels per day. Whereas unfortunately, it has been less than two -- gross (ph) than 2 million for more than a year, two or three years now, but in the last few months it has improved. VAN MARSH: Iraqi and U.S. officials say in the last few months the so-called troop surge, citizen policing, and reconstruction money has seen the number of violent attacks plummet. But not enough, it appears, to effect oil markets. Tensions between Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, and Turkmen are still making investors nervous.

Of particular concern is the jostling over who should control the region around Kirkuk. The U.S. Secretary of State, on a visit to Kirkuk last month, said Washington is helping bring ethnic rivalries down to a simmer.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States is very interested in the future of this very important province. Kirkuk is very critical.

VAN MARSH: Also adding to the speculation over oil prices December, Turkish attacks against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. Turkey says it's acting against terrorists with the help of U.S. intelligence. Iraqi officials are condemning what they call incursions into Iraqi soil, and all of this adding to the perception that the stability needed to bring more barrels of oil out of northern Iraq, well that might be harder to achieve than it seems.

Alphonso Van Marsh, CNN, Baghdad.


COLLINS: Anti-missile devices coming soon to passenger planes. You may be flying on one by this spring in fact. USA Today says it's part of a new $29 million government test to prevent terrorists from hitting passenger planes with shoulder-fired missiles. Three American Airlines jets will be fitted with the jammer device mounted on the belly of the plane.

The device is designed to detect a heat-seeking missile and shoot a laser to send is off course. Officials stress no missiles will be fired at the planes as part of the tests.

The jokes keep coming. Jay Leno is back on the air delivering his monologue despite an uproar from striking writers. Leno is a member of the Writers Guild, and they say he violated union rules by writing and delivering his own punchlines. NBC fired back saying material written by the person who delivers it is okay. The Writers Guild compliance committee is studying the matter.

More drama for Britney Spears the pop singer is in a hospital this morning. She was wheeled out of her home on a stretcher last night. Police say there were called to her home to mediate a custody dispute involving her two young boys. Spears was taken to Cedars- Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Police say she will undergo testing to see if she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as a psychological evaluation. The children were returned to their father, Kevin Federline. He has primary legal custody of the two boys.

Flames consuming an Ohio home. An anonymous hero swoops in and saves the day. A story right out of a movie script, but it's true.


COLLINS: They're both winners. Beyond that, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee share other similarities. Senior political analyst Bill Schneider talked about it on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING."


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk a little bit about the winners, because even though they come from -- represent different parties and seem to be ideologically different, they do actually seem to share a lot of things in common as well.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: They certainly do. And one of them is that they're both running against the party establishment. They're both trying to be candidates of change. Now, the top quality for Democrats in Iowa was change, and among those who cited it, Barack Obama clearly won a majority of those voters. Hillary Clinton just 19 percent. She said she was the candidate of change. The Democrats really didn't believe it. And Mike Huckabee also said he was running against the establishment of the Republican party.

Who's the establishment candidate he's running against? Could be Mitt Romney if he ends up winning New Hampshire. Could be John McCain or Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani, we just don't know yet. But it's going to be an establishment -- anti-establishment race.

CHETRY: That's interesting, and also more about their personal demeanor and also how they carry themselves on the trail. Some similarities there as well.

SCHNEIDER: There certainly is. They both talk -- do not talk like typical politicians. They talk like ordinary Americans. They don't use a harsh divisive partisan rhetoric.

Here says what he believes, that was one of the top qualities Republicans were looking for in Iowa. That is Mike Huckabee, 33 percent. Thompson, McCain followed him. Romney not even close. People did not say -- Republicans said he does not say what he believes. This is a very important quality because Americans are looking for someone who can reach across that red/blue divide.

Barack Obama tries to do that with his language of hope and inspiration. Mike Huckabee, of course, is a Baptist preacher. He talks about hope and about aspirations. They -- neither guy talks like a typical politician. Voters in this country are looking for someone who can reach across that divide, and Obama and Huckabee both sound like politicians who can.

CHETRY: And is that enough? This is the question going into New Hampshire. When you talk about the issues, a lot of people put the war in Iraq and terrorism high up there. Yet neither one of these two are getting super high marks for their foreign policy experience. SCHNEIDER: That's interesting and important because in Iowa, foreign policy really wasn't a major issue. Now, John McCain is counting on foreign policy to deliver votes for him in New Hampshire. He runs on the war in Iraq, which he's embraced Bush's surge policy, on the terrorism issue, where he says he'll stand up for America, national security.

That's not Huckabee, that's not Obama. That's not their strength. If international affairs suddenly emerges as a major issue, watch for John McCain to start collecting votes.


COLLINS: Job growth in America virtually ground to a halt last month. Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange now with all the details.

Susan, is this something we really want to hear?


COLLINS: We are about 10 minutes away now from the start of CNN's "YOUR WORLD TODAY." Jim Clancy is standing by to talk a little bit more about what they'll be working on.

Hi there, Jim.


You know, we're just like you today. We're worried about the markets. We'll be watching that, but we're also going to be taking a good, close look at what happened in Iowa. You know, it surprised a lot of people inside the U.S. and outside the U.S. Colleen McEdwards will join us. She'll be co-anchoring out of beautiful downtown Des Moines. We're going to be following all of the action on that front.

Also, we're going to take you to Kenya where the U.S. has dispatched some diplomatic help to try to get the country back on political balance. Former archbishop Desmond Tutu there from South Africa trying to put a lid on the vicious ethnic violence that exploded amid the fight for Kenya's presidency.

Plus, is individualism an endangered concept in Saudi Arabia? A blogger is in jail, and as President Bush gets ready to travel there next week, we're going to listen to what another Saudi Arabian Internet writer says about freedom of speech in the kingdom.

Join Colleen McEdwards and me, top of the hour, "YOUR WORLD TODAY," Heidi.

COLLINS: All right Jim, a lot to cover there. Thanks so much. We'll check in a little bit later on with you.

Meanwhile, he just wanted to keep his pig warm. That's when things heated up and got way out of hand.



JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm Jacqui Jeras with today's cold and flu report. We've seen a significant increase in the numbers of cold and flu across the West and Southwest. Four states are now reporting regional activity, and that is one away from the highest level. So Texas, Colorado, Arizona and also Hawaii, reporting that regionalized location of the cold and flu. Now, across the mid- Atlantic states, a little bit of an increase here. Local activity reported from New Jersey to Virginia.


COLLINS: We've been telling you how cold it's been in Florida. Well, in St. John's County, one man lost his home trying to keep his pig warm. Look here, the owner put his pig on the porch next to a space heater, but the pig apparently knocked it over starting a fire that burned down the house. There he is. The pig did not make it. Everyone else in the house escaped though, unharmed.

He had everything but the cape. A good samaritan in Ohio saved a family from this ferocious house fire. Officials say the man saw the home in flames, then banged on the door waking up a woman and her two young children. The man gave one of the kids his shirt to keep warm, then left without identifying himself. The father, who wasn't home at the time, says he hopes the mystery hero will come forward.


ROBERT CLEAVENGEN, FIRE VICTIM: Whoever the guy (ph) who knocked on my door to tell my family the house is on fire, you know I owe you a beer or two, maybe a twelve-pack of the good stuff, Heineken. Just get a hold of me. I'll get it for you.


COLLINS: Wow. The family's home was burned to the ground. Investigators believe an electrical problem started the fire.

A spunky boy reels in a 550-pound shark.


AIDAN MEDLEY, FISHERMAN: For about maybe 20 minutes it was complete agonizing fighting. Then after that you just completely lose feeling in your body.

TONY RIZZO, CHARTER CAPTAIN: Most people give up. He didn't give up. He just stuck with it. He's a great little boy.


COLLINS: Is the haul a record? Find out, in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: A 12-year-old boy returns home to Connecticut with two reasons to glow. A Florida suntan and a place in the record books. You won't believe his shark tale. Details from now from reporter Meredith McDonough, with CNN affiliate, WPBF, in West Palm.


MEREDITH MCDONOUGH, WPBF REPORTER: 12-year-old Aidan Medley is no stranger to the waters of south Florida. He's been fishing here since he was 5 years old.

MEDLEY: It's my favorite sport.

MCDONOUGH: On Tuesday, Captain Rizzo took Aidan and his family on the Thumper (ph). Little did they know, it would be a good day at sea.

MEDLEY: When they weighed it, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how much it weighed.

MCDONOUGH: Aidan caught this 551 pound bull shark, just north of the Palm Beach inlay. The shark was more than nine feet long and about 3.5 feet wide. Aidan says he was determined to catch the shark because it kept eating all the fish he was trying to catch.

MEDLEY: The thing that really mattered to me is I wanted revenge on this shark. For about maybe 20 minutes, it was complete agonizing fighting. Then after that, you just completely lose feeling in your body.

MCDONOUGH: Even the captain had never seen anything like it.

RIZZO: The fish was great. But that young man was just tenacious, spectacular. I've never seen somebody do that. Most people give up. He didn't give up. He stuck with it. He's a great little boy.

MCDONOUGH: Aidan broke the state record and is making big waves for such a big catch.

MEDLEY: I actually am pretty happy that I broke the record. I never -- I really didn't believe it at first.

MAUREEN MURRAY, AIDAN'S MOM: Aidan is amazingly strong for his size, and he -- this shark really has been -- it was in a losing fight. I'm very proud of all the accomplishments he's had over the years, including this one.


COLLINS: If confirmed by the state, Aidan's catch will beat the old record by more than 30 pounds. That record has held since 1981.

Let's check in now with Betty Nguyen and CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're on the campaign trail as it shifts from Iowa to New Hampshire. What will it take to persuade the independent voters in the granite state and how will candidates change their strategies? We'll have the latest.

Plus, camouflage to designer gowns. Yes, one young woman goes from army sergeant to beauty queen. Find out how Miss Utah is breaking down stereotypes.

And you probably wouldn't be able to see the mountain tops around Lake Tahoe this weekend. Meteorologist, Reynolds Wolf, has the latest on this huge winter storm. T.J. Holmes joins me for CNN SATURDAY and SUNDAY MORNING, beginning tomorrow at 7:00 Eastern.

COLLINS: CNN NEWSROOM continues one hour from now. YOUR WORLD TODAY is next with news happening across the globe and right here at home. Thanks for watching everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Have a great weekend.