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Searching for Terrorists From the Sky; Record Fine for Microsoft and Record Sales for iTunes; Overturned School Bus; Jolted Awake in Britain
Aired February 27, 2008 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Heidi Collins.
Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on Wednesday morning, February 27th. Here's what's on the rundown.
Hillary Clinton, did the Ohio debate win her new voters? Our guest, an insider on Ohio politics.
Will the Fed keep cutting interest rates now that inflation is surging? The Fed chairman live on Capitol Hill deciphered in the NEWSROOM.
And our Kyra Phillips on assignment in Iraq inside a top secret plane. Spy in the sky, in the NEWSROOM.
Back on the campaign trail today after clashing in Cleveland last night. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama trying to drum up votes in Ohio, crucial primaries there, and in Texas. Now less than a week away.
In the debate at Cleveland State University Clinton and Obama sparred over health care, free trade and campaign tactics. Clinton accused Obama of misrepresenting her position.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have a great deal of respect for Senator Obama, but we have differences, and in the last several days some of those differences in tactics and the choices that Senator Obama's campaign has made regarding fliers and mailers and other information that has been put out about my health care plan and my position on NAFTA have been very disturbing to me.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Clinton has -- her campaign at least has constantly sent out negative attacks on us. E-mail, robo-calls, fliers, television ads, radio calls, and, you know, we haven't whined about it, because I understand that's the nature of these campaigns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Obama leads Clinton in the delegate race 1360 to 1269. That's according to CNN estimates. Next week's primaries are seen as make or break for Clinton. A war of words in the Republican race. John McCain under fire again from some conservatives. McCain distanced himself from remarks by a radio talk show host critical of Barack Obama. Now the host, Bill Cunningham, says he won't support McCain.
Our Dana Bash will have more on this story in a live report just a few minutes from now.
Today fresh concerns over your money and the health of the U.S. economy, next hour. You'll hear from the nation's top economist, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. He's on Capitol Hill to confront a toxic mix of trouble -- a deepening mortgage crisis, rising inflation and soaring energy prices.
In fact, oil, at an all-time high yesterday. Almost $101 a barrel. Gas prices are following, too. AAA says regular is selling at a nationwide average of $3.14. That's up almost 80 cents from one year ago.
Some people fear we could see gas at $4 a gallon come in the spring. And the value of the dollar is also taking new hits. Europe's main currency, the euro, hit an all-time high today. Its value topped $1.50. The British standard, the (INAUDIBLE) pound, is approaching the $2 mark.
Senior business correspondent Ali Velshi is joining us now from Goliad, Texas. He is touring the state on CNN's Election Express talking to voters about the economy.
So the U.S. dollar, as we said, in a record low against the euro, Ali. Economic numbers zapping world confidence in America's currency. So how big of a deal is all this especially for today when Ben Bernanke is going to be on Capitol Hill?
ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's huge and for the folks who live out here, they've been feeling it for a long time. They get it.
Now look at this, when the dollar is weak against other currencies, for a country like America that imports so much more than it exports, we have to pay another currency. So it makes those goods more expensive to us. Then you've got oil that goes into everything we do. I've been talking to ranchers out here. They use diesel to power their ranch equipment, their farm equipment. We use trucks -- we know this is one of the major ports into Mexico we were in yesterday. Laredo, they use diesel in those engines, $3.50.
Well, that gets passed on to people who buy goods at the store. So those are the things causing inflation.
On the other side, Heidi, we know that the economy is slowing down. So we've got that problem. When you have a combination of inflation and a slow economy, that produces something called stagflation, which is very, very difficult to get out of.
Why is that a problem? Because the Fed's tool is to raise or lower interest rates. When they lower rates, as they've been doing for months now, it makes money cheaper to borrow for people and for businesses. So they spend more. They borrow more, and they spend more, but that causes more inflation.
So we are in a pickle at the moment and we're expecting to hear questions to Ben Bernanke about how you deal with this? Is the Fed going to cut rates more or are they not?
You talked about the dollar. Look at this. I mean more than $1.50 to buy a euro. That's the lowest the dollar has ever been against the euro. The -- the dollar has been weaker against the pound in the past but still $1.99 for a pound, even the peso has strengthened against the dollar. The Canadian dollar, once again costing you more than $1 U.S.
Oil, you said, closed above $100 yesterday. $100.88 for the first time and then overnight, $101, $102. It's now pulled back a little bit, but still over $101. This is going to feel -- you're going to feel that pinch in your gas tank.
COLLINS: Yes. There's no question about it. In fact, you know, I've been reading quite a few things about Bernanke's testimony today and what is expected. There are some analysts who are out there saying that, you know, this is the most important testimony that he will give ever since he became Fed chairman.
Is there anything he could say, Ali, about the state of the economy today and tomorrow, two-day meeting, that can make people feel better?
VELSHI: Well, what is he going to say that everybody doesn't already know? Right?
VELSHI: We know there's inflation. In fact, the trouble thing -- the troubling thing for most Americans, Heidi, is that they've seen when they go buy groceries. They've seen wheat hit a record price again this week. Most major commodities have hit record prices. We know there's inflation, we know the economy is flowing.
What he can tell us is what the Fed is planning to do. Are they planning to cut rates more? What are they going to do to stimulate the economy? We'll be listening and we'll be back with you to let you know what's going on and the impact it's going to have.
In the meantime, I'm going to be talking to people here in Goliad and getting their views on the economy -- Heidi?
COLLINS: All right. Very good. We will check in a little bit later on.
Ali, thank you.
The Exxon Valdez oil spill, two decades later. Should Exxon pay the victims billions of dollars. A Supreme Court hears the case this morning.
Our Kelli Arena is outside the high courts this morning for us.
Kelli, tell us a little bit more about the legal arguments that we can expect to hear today.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Heidi, the plaintiffs in this case are the 33,000 fishermen, cannery workers, native Alaskans who say that they were hurt in some way by that oil spill.
Actually back in 1994, Exxon was actually ordered to pay $5 billion to those people. That was appealed, it was cut in half to $2.5 billion and just now, Heidi, that case is making its way to the Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs argued that they suffered a great deal as a result of that 11 million gallon spill. They say that they lost jobs, their livelihoods, that there were health risks. They also say that there's still oil that the situation has not been resolved and that $2.5 billion is a drop in the bucket for a company like Exxon.
But Exxon argues, wait a minute. We've paid $3.5 billion to clean up that mess and they also argue that as part of the -- this type of an accident should fall under something called the Clean Water Act, and that personal punitive damages don't even come into play under that act itself.
So, Heidi, right here at the Supreme Court, what the situation today is that Samuel Alito, the Justice Sam Alito actually owned some Exxon stock. He has recused himself from this whole procedure so that leaves eight justices. It could be a split. If there is...
ARENA: ...those plaintiffs will get their money finally after all this time. Nearly two decades later, Heidi.
COLLINS: Well, yes. And that's one of the points that could actually affect things and the way that this case is carried out's. Is it not? I mean this happened back in 1989 a long time ago?
ARENA: Exactly. That's right. Very, very hard to create, re- create the climate that existed then. The sense of catastrophe that existed when we first saw and heard about that oil spill, you remember the pictures of those birds covered in oil and so and so.
And the plaintiffs know that and they have actually been very aggressive. They held a vigil last night. They held a press conference. You don't usually see things like that surrounding a Supreme Court argument and case. People usually are more private than that. But the plaintiffs know what they're up against so they're using all they have to try to get that back into, you know, to re- create that atmosphere as best they can.
COLLINS: Yes, makes sense. All right. CNN's Kelli Arena, outside the Supreme Court this morning. We will keep our eye on that story.
Kelli, thank you.
And this morning, we are waiting for the jury sentencing decision in the case of Bobby Cutts. He is the ex-police officer found guilty of killing his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn baby. Today a jury in Ohio could decide if Cutts will get the death penalty.
Prosecutors say Cutts killed Jesse Davis over child support. But the defense says it was an accident and that it happened during an argument.
Cutts and Davis have a toddler son together.
If you're in Florida, you've got to be appreciating your TV and air conditioning this morning. Electricity is back on one day after a massive outage knocked out power for up to three million people from Daytona Beach through the Keys. Traffic signals went dead, businesses closed, and a nuclear power plant was shut down.
The outage was traced to a substation malfunction and fire. Investigators don't know exactly what happened but they don't think it was criminal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARLOS ALVAREZ, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: There's absolutely no indication or evidence that there's any foul play.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Another question authorities are asking today: why did a backup system fail? Probably a good question.
Meanwhile, Jacqui Jeras is standing by now at the Weather Center with some stormy weather to talk about in the same state, South Florida, again, huh?
COLLINS: OK. Well, we will keep our eye on that as well.
Jacqui Jeras, in severe Weather Center, thank you, Jackie.
Quickly I want to get you to this story coming to us on a Riverdale, Maryland and our affiliate there bringing these pictures.
WJLA, there has been a school bus accident. Not sure exactly what happened here. But apparently that school bus with children onboard turned over this morning. It was near the intersection of Riverdale Road just in case you know this area in Prince George's County, Maryland. We have been able to confirm through police and again through our affiliates there on the ground that there were students and the bus driver as well that were injured in all of this. Not sure of the nature of their injuries at this time but you see all the people gathered there. Seemingly trying to provide help in any way that they can. Once again, Prince George's County, Maryland a school bus overturned and apparently there are some injuries to the driver and students who were onboard, making their way to school today.
You see it there on the right-hand side of your screen where it flipped over.
We're going to try to get more information, of course, for you and bring it to you as soon as we learn more.
Searching for terrorists from the skies.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the first time you'll go inside an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operation with an Iraqi mission commander.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: CNN's Kiran Phillips on a mission with the Iraqi air force right here in the NEWSROOM.
ANNOUNCER: CNN NEWSROOM brought to you by...
COLLINS: Welcome back, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
So have you kept your resolution to exercise? Yes, we thought so. How to get back in the zone? Dr. Sanjay Gupta stops by just a moment.
ANNOUNCER: Live breaking news, unfolding developments, see for yourself in the CNN NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Want to get you back to Prince George's County, Maryland. Now some live shots coming in from our affiliate there, WJLA, Riverdale, Maryland to be specific.
You see the aftermath of a school bus that overturned apparently on the way to school this morning. And we have been trying to get more information for you about injuries, but we have heard from our affiliate there that apparently the driver and some of the students onboard have been injured. You see some stretcher and several rescue workers there seemingly trying to offer their assistance to the people on the ground.
We, of course, are watching this one for you. There again, some new video from a different angle of that school bus. Just flipped on the side there but it's pretty disturbing shot. We have absolutely no indication as to what may have happened. But we -- of course, we'll continue to watch this for you and bring the new information when we get it.
John McCain under fire from a conservative radio talk show host. It all started with Bill Cunningham's remarks about Barack Obama at a McCain event on Monday night. McCain repudiated those remarks the next day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CUNNINGHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, my fellow Americans, now we have a hack Chicago-style daily politician who's picturing himself as change, when he gets done with you all you're going to have in your pocket is change. At some point in the near future the media is going to peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama. That day will come, then you'll know the truth about his business dealings with Rezko, when he got sweetheart deals in Chicago, and the illegal loans that he received. At some point, the media will quit taking sides in this thing and maybe start covering Barack Hussein Obama.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whatever suggestion was made that was in any way disparaging to integrity, character, honesty of either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton was wrong, and I condemn it and if I have any, any responsibility, I will take responsibility and I apologize for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Dana Bash this morning with the McCain campaign in Tyler, Texas.
So Dan, I kind of didn't really think very much of McCain's apology that's for sure. Is the senator possibly right back where he started with conservative talk show hosts?
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's entirely possible, Heidi. It is going to be fascinating to see what these -- what are the talk show hosts especially those with the biggest megaphones like Rush Limbaugh say about these things because, as you said, you know, in a perfect world that would have been ideal for John McCain to have somebody like Bill Cunningham, who is a local celebrity in Ohio, come out and talk about John McCain and say that the -- the good things he said about John McCain, but obviously, it went awry big time for Senator McCain.
And you know, what his campaign says is they understand full well that this was a big oops. That this is something that could put him back in the doghouse with these conservative radio hosts. I mean you heard Bill Cunningham on CNN last night, making the case that he's still upset, that he is going to vote for Clinton.. That's the kind of thing that some other conservatives has said about John McCain.
Now McCain's aides say, Heidi, is that, you know, they felt that the did the right thing, that he had to come out and say what he said, even though he didn't actually hear what Bill Cunningham said. Senator McCain was in his bus on his way to the hall there in Ohio. So we didn't actually a news brief about it from his age afterwards.
But you know, without missing a beat, Senator McCain came out. He didn't even wait to be asked about reporters. He said he had repudiated Bill Cunningham said and what his aides are saying today is that back they're going to take heat from conservatives. They know that. But what they're tying to turn into is an appeal to independent, to show that this is the kind of campaign that he does intent to run, something that is less than, you now, intense and it's not betrayolic like some past campaigns are going to be.
You know, it's going to be interesting to see if they can turn that around because the big problem he does have, and has had is, of course, with those conservatives especially on the radio.
COLLINS: All right. CNN's Dana Bash watching the story for us from the McCain campaign in Tyler, Texas.
Dana, thank you.
Now I want to get to your health. In January, I'm sure you promised to exercise more. But now it's February, are you spending more time on the couch than the treadmill?
CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote about the psychology of exercise in his column in this week's "TIME" magazine. It's a good one, too.
So Sanjay, why can't we seem to stick to an exercise routine?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, it's interesting, there may be a muscle known as the self- control muscle, which means they exercise or may be kind of exhausted.
COLLINS: I don't think I have that.
GUPTA: You know, it's interesting because, you know, when we started writing the column, there's this that about 60 percent of people in the country don't exercise regularly and a significant portion of people don't exercise at all. They simply don't exercise.
They all agree that exercise is good for them. So what's the disconnect? That was sort of the question that we are trying to answer in this. And I want -- they sort of arrived at this idea that, look, self-control is like a muscle. They can become exhausted. So for example, if you're dealing with a willful toddler all day or a demanding boss, by the end of the day or when it comes time to make a decision about exercise, you just may not have the self control.
The flipside of that argument, Heidi, which I thought was the more optimistic side...
GUPTA: ...is that you can build up muscles, make them strong so that if you practice self-control in different ways, practice sitting up straight or just little things that you do all day long, eventually become better at self-control overall. You may want to come to the exercise. You sit up very serious by the way.
COLLINS: Yes, it's completely natural.
Well, what is it about? You know, you mentioned the toddler, so having children, maybe going to college, marriage, you know, major transitions in your life, that seems to sort of knock out the exercise routine.
GUPTA: Yes. We are not born this way. You know, as I was writing this column, it's funny. My little daughter Sage was making revolutions around the house, and I was watching her. She was in constant motion. It's something happens as we get older, like constant motion that we're born with somehow goes away.
Transition periods seem to be the biggest culprits. In fact, if you look at freshmen in college, they oftentimes exercise significantly less than just the year before in high school. You can blame it on exams, any social situations, all that, but a major transition makes us -- let exercise fall off the mat. Marriage, same thing. First year anniversary photos, as a general rule, often the bride and the groom, often a lot plumper than they were during those wedding photos...
GUPTA: ...they get exercise falling off the mat. Yes, you know, kids as we both know, can do that as well.
It obviously takes more time to do those transitions. But how can you somehow incorporate exercise into your life still? That's what this research is all about.
COLLINS: Well, and not everybody can afford this, obviously, but a personal trainer, somebody who can meet you at the gym and beat you with a stick and make sure that you are actually doing this exercise? Does that work?
GUPTA: It does, but as we looked into this, there was something that was sort of counterintuitive. While trainers or a workout buddy may help you get over the initial inertia. What we found is that ultimately, unless you have some sort of self-reliance, once you have some sort of reliance only on yourself, it's not going to work in the long term.
COLLINS: The motivation, I'm sure.
GUPTA: Right. Insure motivation because the trainer is going to go away. The workout buddy may go away eventually. You got to make sure you're doing it for your self and making specific plans.
COLLINS: Yes. Well, I hope this helps. All right.
GUPTA: You look great by the way. Are you keeping your resolutions?
COLLINS: No -- thanks. Absolutely. I didn't make any so I'm safe.
COLLINS: All right. CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. Thanks, Sanjay.
GUPTA: Thank you.
COLLINS: Quickly I want to take you back now to Prince George's County to get more information on this bus that overturned. Unfortunately, it was full of kids, and the driver and some of those kids we are hearing and seeing from this live pictures coming in from the affiliate, WJLA, there at Prince George's County, that people are injured.
Want to get a little bit more information from Corporal Clinton Copeland. He's on the telephone with us right now, Prince George's Police Department. What can you tell us about what's happened here, corporal?
CORPORAL CLINTON COPELAND, THE PRINCE GEORGE'S POLICE DEPARTMENT: Right now we've had an accident involving a school bus apparently as you can see from the video...
COPELAND: We don't know how many students were actually on the bus. From what we are hearing and speaking with as far as the fire department is concerned, a lot of the kids on the bus were no major injuries but they are being looked over for precautionary purposes. As far as the bus driver, we're still trying to determine exactly the injuries there. They're making notifications to parents to let -- from the school system to advise them what happened.
This call went out around 8:48 this morning and the address that's carrying is 61st place in Riverdale Road in Riverdale, Maryland.
COLLINS: Just for people who may be watching here and know this area very well, what school are we talking about? Can you tell us that much?
COPELAND: Right now we're still trying to get that information. Like I say, a lot of this is still going on and our main concern right now is the safety of the kids.
COPELAND: A lot of this information we'll be filtering out and we'll be able to update and advise it as we get it, but again, this is still an active situation going on right now.
COLLINS: Yes. You know, it's not very frequent that we get pictures like this coming in of people, you know, being treated on the ground there. Pretty upsetting video, especially to see in the background there that school bus completely flipped on its side. I'm looking at the road and I certainly don't want you to speculate, but it looks like the roads are dry. Just wondering about possible weather conditions this morning?
COPELAND: Right now that's a little too early to tell. We're still trying to determine if this was a single vehicle accident in terms of the bus or this is involving another vehicle. Again, like I said, a very active and fluid situation and I'm pretty sure that's the recent things that will be changing as we get information.
COLLINS: Yes, we're also looking at that bend, that very, very sharp turn in the road. That's just point -- I don't even know which direction the bus was traveling, but it certainly does look like a sharp turn there. As we watch these pictures coming in, again, from affiliate WJLA, Riverdale, Maryland, as people are being treated on the scene after this school bus turned on its side.
Corporal Clinton Copeland from the Prince George's Police Department, well, we certainly appreciate your information. We'll continue to follow this story and try and get more information for you.
Meanwhile now, oil prices shooting up, and that means gas is now sharply higher. Hear what people in Texas are saying about their wallet woes.
Ali Velshi, live from the CNN Election Express, right here in the NEWSROOM.
ANNOUNCER: Live in the CNN NEWSROOM, Heidi Collins.
COLLINS: Welcome back, everybody. 9:30 Eastern Time now. Our own Ali Velshi is in Goliad, Texas today. He is touring the state on CNN's Election Express, meeting voters and listening to what they had to say about the economy ahead of next Tuesday's crucial primary.
So, Ali, what are people in Texas telling you and are they taking a New York guy in a huge hat like that seriously?
VELSHI: They say I'm fitting right in. I got to tell you.
VELSHI: I come back to New York, I wear this hat, people last laughed at me. They told me I'm a dime store cowboy. But down here I seem to be fitting right in.
Let me tell you, they're telling everything that the economic reports tell me after the fact. We hear reports about the rate of inflation last year being above 7 percent. They all know that from what they buy. This area of Texas -- in south Texas that I'm in is dependent on agriculture and oil. If you're in the oil business, you're probably doing OK. You're in the agriculture business you're a rancher -- I guess that's the bell right now that we're hearing. Glad to see what that market does.
If you're in the ranching business, you have farm equipment that uses diesel. Now around here they got something called Red Diesel, it's being tax exempt version of the diesel. But even then, the cost of the commodity is increasing.
So I spoke to people this morning and last night about what the cost of fuel is doing to both the industry and how it's transporting into other parts of the economy here in Goliad. Here's what they told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM HARPERING, TEXAS RANCHER: Red diesel is a diesel that has a red dye in it that's used strictly for farm and ranching uses, as far as in tractors and different conveniences on the ranches. And when it goes up at the cost, it's going up every day. That definitely has a domino effect for all the products it produces. Be it cattle, grain, any of the other byproducts from those resources.
HILARY HAYES, TEXAS SHOPOWNER: Now it's affecting the prices. We're fixing to go up on prices because of cost of gas. It's causing our delivery costs to go up. So we're having to raise all of our prices on that and it's really affecting that in our business. We're seeing less people coming in. On the weekends, it's been slower. So, none of us are making as much money as we were.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELSHI: Now, that young woman, Hilary, we just spoke to, her parents own the restaurant where we just had some breakfast. I was listening, you talking to Sanjay, by the way, my self-control muscles apparently all broken down if you saw what I ordered.
But Hilary's two weeks away from being 18 years old. She's going to miss the primary, but she's going to vote in the election. But she was telling you, that this place, Goliad, which has about 2,000 people who live within the city limits permanently, depends on people coming in here. Either for day trips or on vacation or snow birds. When prices of gas go up, it not only affects their costs but it slows the traffic down into a place like this, because it just gets expensive. Everybody around here has to drive.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, absolutely. No question about it. Boy, well, we appreciate that. People of Texas have spoken and spoken to you. Thank you, Ali. We'll check back a little later on.
Unfolding this hour on Capitol Hill, sports and drugs. The House Committee hears from all the major sports league, coming up shortly. CNN's Kathleen Koch is on Capitol Hill this morning.
So Kathleen, well, today's hearings sparked by Roger Clemens' testimony there, earlier this month, it was pretty dramatic? KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was very dramatic, yes, Heidi, just last week. And this isn't the part of a series of hearings that they've been holding here on Capitol Hill. Really since 2005 looking into the problem of drugs in sports, but a committee aide whom I spoke with a few minutes ago, with committee holding the hearing today and that's the House Subcommittee on Commerce Trade and Consumer Protection said it's merely a coincidence.
And as you mention, this is really going to be a who's who of management when it comes to sports. They're going to be hearing from the commissioners, the four major professional leagues. These representatives of all of the players' unions, as well as the heads of the NCAA, the U.S. Olympic Committee.
And again an aide for the committee tells us that this is not going to be like some of these player focused hearings that look to the past. Who did, what, when and why? The committee aide tells me this is really much more broadly focused. They're going to be looking at the future and what really, what the chairman of the subcommittee, his name is Bobby Rush, a Congressman from Illinois. What he wants to do is come up with legislation in the months after this hearing.
So what he wants to do is look at, today, how extensive is the problem, how pervasive is it in all of these different sports. What's the best way to address it comprehensively? Rush has said he may want to include some of the recommendations of the Mitchell Report, but again he's going to be folding it a lot of what they learn on the hearing today.
COLLINS: Well, has Congress decided whether to ask Justice Department to actually investigate whether Roger Clemens or his trainer for that matter, made false statements while they were under oath last week?
KOCH: The committee is still deciding on that, Heidi. They hope to have a decision by the end of the week. They did meet yesterday to discuss the issue, and I was just on the phone with someone from one of the committees a few minutes ago. He's going to get back to me. But they're trying to decide, because clearly, Clemens said he never use steroids. He never use human growth hormone. His trainer Brian McNamee said, yes, he did. So one of them isn't telling the truth.
COLLINS: Yes, boy, and that's kind of what they said in the very beginning of this whole thing last week. All right. CNN's Kathleen Koch for us this morning. Thank you, Kathleen.
KOCH: You bet.
COLLINS: Searching for terrorists from the sky.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the first time they'll go inside an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operation with an Iraqi mission commander.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: CNN's Kyra Phillips on a mission with the Iraqi Air Force.
COLLINS: Defense Secretary Robert Gates setting a timeline for a troop withdrawal from Iraq. But he's not talking about U.S. troops. He's talking about Turkish forces. Gates had to anchor us today to discuss last Thursday's incursion. He's in Northern Iraq. He says Turkey must be mindful of Iraqi sovereignty and he gives the Turks a week or two to withdraw. Turkish troops are targeting Kurdish separatist rebels who has launched cross border attacks into Turkey.
Protecting pipe lines and power. The Iraqi Air Force taking on terrorists. Our Kyra Phillips went on one Intelligence on reconnaissance mission. She's joining us now from Baghdad this morning.
So, Kyra, do you do the same type of mission with the U.S. military? During the beginning of the war?
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I sure did. Yes, I did. At the beginning of the war, Heidi, I actually flew in a P-3 with the navy and the marines and I had the chance to watch this real-time intelligence circulated to the troop on the ground. They had this equipment where they could talk to troops. They could see the threats, whether it was al Qaeda or other insurgents and they could warn the troops about this threat.
Well, I remember on that flight, the guys said to me, hopefully one day the Iraqis will be able to do this. Well, here we are, five years later and we actually went on the same type of flight, however, who was in charge? An Iraqi mission commander. And you'll see it, a look inside the mission for the first time. Definitely a sign of progress.
PHILLIPS (voice-over): A lot has changed for Iraqi Air Force Captain Tehr Hussein (ph). Once a MiG pilot under Saddam Hussein, Tare (ph) says he give up the thrill of a jet any day to take on this new mission.
TEHR HUSSEIN, PILOT (ph): Before, we flew for Saddam, just an order. A mission that it's not really useful for our people. But now, it's a reconnaissance mission. It's just saving our precious things, tower, pipelines, or sometimes even lives.
PHILLIPS: It's the first time you'll go inside an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operation with an Iraqi mission commander.
This Cessna 208 is equipped with the most advanced surveillance technology. This is the MX-15. A camera, so clear, you can see license plates. Captain Hubbub (ph) is the mission system's operator. He's the eyes in the sky.
CAPTAIN HUBBUB: But tell me what we're going to be looking forward today and what we're going to be monitoring today.
We're going to just looking for anything suspicious on the pipeline. Fire pipeline from Beijing goes back to Kirkuk.
PHILLIPS: Or as they call it, black gold. The terrorists love to destroy it. Protecting Iraq's oil and its pipeline is crucial for economic stability. So is the power.
This power line station goes how far across Iraq?
HUBBUB: It goes from here to Baghdad.
PHILLIPS: This is how we get our power in Baghdad?
PHILLIPS: And what do you look for specifically around the power lines?
HUBBUB: If there's any terror activity and if there is any attack on it. The power line is very important to Baghdad in the night, because, you know, where the dark is, all the rats is.
PHILLIPS: Where the dark is all the rats are?
HUBBUB: Oh, yes.
PHILLIPS: You can see the destruction of history as well. Remember this holy shrine in Sammara? This is what it looks like now, after al Qaeda bombed it.
HUBBUB: Can you see all the damage over it?
PHILLIPS: Does it make you sad when you see these ancient places get blown up?
HUBBUB: Oh, yes. My tribe is from here Sammara.
PHILLIPS: So when you see that mosque blown up it breaks your heart?
PHILLIPS: Within minutes, Tehran Hubbard (ph) noticed something suspicious.
So you're following that car in that tower. What's wrong?
HUBBUB: This tower shouldn't be on the ground. This should be, you know, standing. This is not right.
PHILLIPS: It looks like it's been blown up?
HUBBUB: I don't know. There's no burned or ash around it. This is (INAUDIBLE).
PHILLIPS: They're telling Hubbub (ph) to take a closer look.
(on camera): So we're about an hour and a half into the flight and Hubbub (ph) did find something. He noticed that a guard tower had been knocked down, so he zoomed in on it and, Tehran (ph), noticed that it was right next to oil pipeline. Now, he didn't see any evidence of smoke. So it could have happened early on but they're going to report it as possible terror activity.
(voice-over): So whether it's high-value target susceptible to sabotage or providing vital intelligence about threats to troops on the ground, Tehran (ph) says this admirable duty comes at a very high price. As an Iraqi pilot, you're a living target 24/7.
HUBBUB: It's kind of, you know, wearing mask all the time. You don't tell anyone that you're a pilot. My son is 6 years old. He's keeping say that, why do we have to lie? I tell him, it's not lying. It's just keeping us safe. It's kind of price you pay for, you know, the democracy, our freedom.
PHILLIPS: What's the price you pay?
HUBBUB: Staying in the shadow, that's my price.
PHILLIPS: And his price, as he mentioned, he has to protect his identity, because he's a living target, Heidi, every day doing what he does. Now, it's been less than a year, and the Iraqi Air Force started off doing these missions, 30 sorties a week. Now, they're up to 300 sorties a week. So you can see the progress in just a short period of time.
COLLINS: Yes. That's a lot of sorties. All right. CNN's Kyra Phillips from the skies. Thanks so much. We'll check in a little later on, Kyra. Thank you.
Meanwhile, we want to take you over to the weather center now. Jacqui Jeras is standing by. We've got some more snow in the northeast, which I'm sure folks are welcoming with open arms.
COLLINS: The EU is coming down hard on Microsoft. Slapping the company with a record fine. Veronica de la Cruz tells us just how much the software giant had to cough up. And what they think about it all. Coming up next.
COLLINS: A record fine for Microsoft and record sales for iTunes. Veronica de la Cruz has those stories and whole lot more. Good morning to you, Veronica.
VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Heidi. We're talking about a pretty big fine here. The European Union fining Microsoft a record $1.3 billion, that's $899 million euros. The news just coming in this morning
European regulators say Microsoft failed to obey an antitrust order to make its operating systems more accessible to competitors. They say the software giant charged unreasonable prices to software developers who wanted to make products compatible with Windows. The fine is the largest ever for a single company. So a $1.3 billion, pretty big fine.
COLLINS: Yes. Any response from Microsoft? Will they even -- I mean, it's a huge company. Will they even feel a fine like that?
DE LA CRUZ: Good question. I mean -- here's the thing, Heidi. They knew that this fine was coming. It was a long time coming. They're quick to point out that this whopping penalty involved past issues that they say have been resolved. They say they are now working under new principles. But in total, Heidi, Microsoft has been fined roughly $2.5 billion by the EU alone in this long running antitrust dispute. So, it's something that, you know, has been going on for quite a while now.
COLLINS: Yes. That's for sure. You also have some good news, though, from Microsoft's competitor?
DE LA CRUZ: Yes. Good news for its competitors which kind of been around, about way means more bad news for Microsoft, especially in the music arena, which, you know, they kind of struggled with. We're talking about Apple here and Apple's iTunes. There store is now the second largest U.S. music retailer, that's behind Wal-Mart.
Now, according to tracking from MPD, iTunes has surpassed Best Buy, also Target, and legal music downloads now count for 10 percent of music acquired in the country. Apple says it now has 50 million customers and has sold more than 4 billion songs.
COLLINS: Wow. So how close is iTunes to surpassing Wal-Mart?
DE LA CRUZ: Well, that same research group we are just talking about, MPD. They also found out that about a million people, Heidi, stop buying CD's all together in 2007. And then according to CNET, digital music sales were also up 50 percent. So if that trend continues and probably it's not going to take long. You know?
COLLINS: Yes, probably.
DE LA CRUZ: And listen, I've got one more story to tell you about. You might like this one. I think that you might be a "Desperate Housewives" fan.
COLLINS: Yes. DE LA CRUZ: And a "Lost" fan maybe. And ABC has announced that these shows, "Lost," the one that you see here. Also is "Desperate Housewives," will soon be available on demand for free. But there is a catch, Heidi. There will be commercials and you will not be able to fast forward through them. Now, ABC does say commercial time will be less than during a regular broadcast.
But I have to tell you, Heidi, as I'm looking at the blogs, critics are definitely bagging this idea. And here's why? This is what I think. I mean, why not just turn on your TiVo, maybe your DVR? You, tape record those shows and then you fast forward through the commercials?
COLLINS: That's why they gave that technology to us, I thought. It's not good for the advertisers, but, yes. I hear you on that. All right, Veronica, thank you. Veronica de la Cruz, appreciate it.
We want to get back now to Prince George's County, because we have been following this story. This overturned school bus. It happened this morning on the way to school. Unfortunately, there were kids inside that bus, and the bus driver we've seen. Many people being treated nearby on the ground there by rescuers who had come in.
Now, we see that that scene has cleared. We want to try to get some more information if we can from John White. He's on the phone for us this morning. Spokesman for the Prince George's County School System.
So, John, if you can hear me OK, tell us what you know, at this point, about what happened and maybe even what school this bus was headed towards?
JOHN WHITE, PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTRY SCHOOL SYSTEM: Absolutely. Bus number 1156 on route 306 was transporting students to William Wirt Middle School this morning. The accident occurred at 61st Place in Riverdale Roads. William Wirt is located at 62nd Place. So it's very close to the school. And the school was beginning at 9:00 a.m. this morning.
So, it's right before school started. We know, at this point, that the driver and 11 students were transported to a local hospital.
COLLINS: Wow. 11 students, huh? Any idea of the nature of their injuries at this point? We have been watching. It's a pretty upsetting video, just because we had seen the kids on ground there and rescuers, possibly paramedics there treating them.
WHITE: Absolutely. And as a precaution, many times, we will transport many students, if not all, to be checked out at the local hospital. So we don't have a report on the extent of injuries, but it is normal to at least take them to the hospital as a precaution.
COLLINS: Yes. That makes sense. Any idea at this point? Are police telling you anything about what happened?
WHITE: That's the information we're trying to gather at the scene. However, I would remind you that school buses, although, it looks very dramatic, have proven to be some of the safest vehicles on road. So we're very pleased that the scene of those, a lot of the injuries are minor.
COLLINS: Yes. Well, we certainly hope that's the case this morning, as we move forward here and continue to look at these live pictures coming in from WJLA. Our Prince George's County, Riverdale. Maryland, to be specific. All right, John, thanks so much.
John White is the spokesman for the Prince George's County School System. Giving us a little bit more information about the driver and apparently 11 students that were taken to be treated or at least evaluated at the hospital. This accident happened on the way to William Wirt Middle School just before school started. Very, very close to the actual campus. So we'll keep our eye on that for you as usual.
Imagine, the middle of the night and your furniture starts rattling or a chimney crashes on to your bed. A big shake-up in the U.K.
COLLINS: Jolted awake in Britain. The country was rocked earlier today by its biggest earthquake in 24 years. The magnitude 5.3 quake was centered about 125 miles north of London. It was felt, though, across much of England and in Southern Scotland. Just minor damage reported but one person was hurt when a chimney crashed to the roof and on to his bed.
A slowing economy with a dash of inflation. The Fed chairman stews over your money and his next move. He's live at the top of the hour.
COLLINS: Good morning, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Coming up right here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's on the rundown.
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