Return to Transcripts main page


What's in Your Drinking Water?; Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Look Ahead to Mississippi for Tomorrow's Presidential Primary

Aired March 10, 2008 - 09:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Another caught on camera, in the NEWSROOM.
What is in your drinking water? The Associated Press investigated and turned up traces of some powerful medications in everyday tap water.

Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here now to sort it out for us because a lot of people are talking about this already this morning.

Why is this so dangerous? What exactly has been found?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't actually know how dangerous it is but it's certainly shocking. No one had really thought about this before. You remember about lead in water and all sorts of other big, bad things but pharmaceuticals? I mean drugs in drinking water?

COLLINS: Yes, weird. Yes.

COHEN: It's weird. And after we go through some of the facts I'll tell you how it gets in there because it's not such a pretty story. But let's go through it first and see what the Associated Press found out.

They looked at various municipal water testings and they found, for example, here in Atlanta traces of antibiotics and of an -- a blood pressure. In Cincinnati found traces of a cholesterol drug and also traces of estrogen, which is women, of course, use pharmaceutically. And also New York City, traces of seizure drug and an and anti-anxiety drug.

Now these are just examples. To get a feeling for the big picture, take look at this. In Philadelphia, they found traces of 56 different drugs.

COLLINS: Holy cow.

COHEN: I know. Holy cow is right. New York City, 16 drugs, and northern New Jersey, 13 drugs.

And now, we do have to answer the question, how in the world do drugs get into drinking water?

COLLINS: Yes. COHEN: The answer is, we all take drugs and you think your body absorbs it all. But really it doesn't. Some it is -- goes through your body, ends up in sewage, sewage is then treated. Some of that, ends up -- I know, it's awful.

COLLINS: You're right, it's not -- it's not a pretty story.

COHEN: But you know, and we thought of just not getting into it but you have to explain.


COHEN: You have to explain how it -- people aren't dumping pills.

COLLINS: No, no.

COHEN: That's not the issue here.


COHEN: The issue is that we are sort of serving as filters if you will.

COLLINS: All right.

COHEN: But again, we're talking traces. And so it's not clear. Is it a problem if you drink tiny amounts of an anti-anxiety drug every day? Who knows?

COLLINS: Yes. Yes. Wow. But the EPA regulates water. So what are they having to say?

COHEN: Well, it's interesting. They didn't totally discount this. You know, we thought they might say, oh it's traces, oh the study was done wrong, or whatever. But that wasn't what they said at all. What they said was, "We're taking this very seriously. We recognize there's a growing concern about the presence of pharmaceuticals in our water. We're evaluating the potential health effects of contaminants at low levels when they occur and how best to remove them."

But remember, this is the very beginning. All the things that that spokesman named...


COHEN: ...when they occur, how best to remove them, I mean, that stuff that takes years really to work out.

COLLINS: Yes, no question about it. So a lot of people already are drinking bottled water. We've had lots of discussions about do you really even need to drink bottled water because tap water is safe. Do we go back to the bottled water now?

COHEN: Well, no, not really, because bottled water is often just repackaged tap water.


COHEN: So you're getting the same stuff and filters weren't really designed to filter out pharmaceuticals. They're designed to filter out metals and other kinds of things. So you really have no idea if the bottled water is any better, and even if you called the company, there's a good chance they don't even test...


COHEN: ...for presence of pharmaceuticals.


COHEN: So you would really have no way of knowing.

COLLINS: All right. Well, thanks for keeping it in perspective, though, because I just really don't know how dangerous it is.

COHEN: Right.

COLLINS: I imagine there'll be more studies on this. You can come back and tell us.

COHEN: Yes. Oh, yes.

COLLINS: If what we're swallowing really is dangerous.

COHEN: Right.

COLLINS: All right. Thanks so much, medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: The road to the White House, just like the mighty Mississippi, just keeps on rolling.

Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look ahead to Mississippi for tomorrow's presidential primary. Thirty-three delegates will be up for grabs. Obama's looking to rebuild his momentum over the weekend. He won Wyoming's caucuses. That gives him another seven delegates, while Clinton picked up at least four according to CNN estimates.

Obama leads in the overall delegate count by about a hundred and it could be another couple of months before we see the final results of the Texas caucuses. Clinton narrowly won the primary there. But the caucuses are leaning towards Obama. Keep in mind only 41 percent of the precincts are reporting.

One big question facing the Democrats, whether voters in Michigan and Florida will have a say in choosing the nominee. The national party stripped the states of their convention delegates for holding their primaries too early, but those delegates, more than 350 in all, could be essential in giving one candidate a decisive win. One consensus may have emerged over the weekend. Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean says voters in those states could cast their ballots by mail. Some lawmakers are supporting the idea, but also unresolved who would pay for the new primaries.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, Republican John McCain has a very different mission -- fighting to stay in the national spotlight. McCain clinched the GOP nomination last week, but that creates new challenges. The Democrats now have one candidate to target. And over the weekend, the national Democratic Party attacked McCain for his support of the Iraq war. And with both Clinton and Obama seemingly deadlocked, the Republicans can't concentrate their fire on a single opponent.

The Democrats court delegates. The Republicans confronted dilemma. Looking at the strategies from Clinton to McCain to Obama, what we see now will decide your choices in November.

That's coming up in a few minutes.

HARRIS: In court today, an Iraq war vet charged with killing 18- year-old Lauren Burk. She's the Auburn University freshman who was killed on Tuesday. Now 23-year-old Courtney Lockhart is facing capital murder charges for her abduction and death over the weekend. Lockhart's mom made a tearful apology.


CATHERINE WILLIAMS, SUSPECT'S MOTHER: I'm sorry for their family. I'm sorry -- I'm just sorry. I don't have nothing else to say. I'm just sorry for the loss of that family.


HARRIS: Catherine Williams says her son has not confessed anything to her, but she says he's been different since he returned from Iraq. Still, she never saw anything like this coming.


WILLIAMS: I never -- I never thought he would do this. I never -- never thought.


HARRIS: Lauren Burk was laid to rest yesterday in an Atlanta suburb where she grew up. A rabbi asked hundreds of people to turn their anger into something positive and to pray for justice. Today Auburn University is holding a memorial service.

COLLINS: In North Carolina today police are investigating whether a second person may have been involved in the killing of Eve Carson. She is the University of North Carolina's student shot dead on Wednesday.

This morning, the "News & Observer" newspaper is reporting that police are taking a second look at this photo. You can look very closely here. It does show a man using Carson's ATM card. And now check out that shadow behind the driver's seat. The paper says police think that may be an accomplice. Police have previously said they think the car in that photo may be Carson's. If the second person is involved it could explain the getaway.

HARRIS: OK. Digging out, cleaning up from Ohio to New England. People are trying to get back on track after a major weekend storms in Ohio. Students are out of school today after record snowfall. Twenty inches fell in the Columbus area. Side streets and sidewalks are still buried in the piles of snow in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The lights are back on. Utility companies say they've restored power to a majority of people affected by extreme thunderstorms. Crews are still trying to clear downed power lines and tree limbs.

And look at this. A pretty scary scene. An icy overpass and -- downtown Charleston, West Virginia. Freezing rain, sleet, blamed for a series...


HARRIS: ...of crashes.

COLLINS: It looks like one of those car commercials where they're...


COLLINS: ...testing the tires or something.

Hey, look who's back. Rob Marciano. Hi.


COLLINS: Have any weather like that in Colorado, did you?

MARCIANO: No. It's...

COLLINS: Nice to see you, Rob.

MARCIANO: ...mostly white, fluffy pow-pow (ph)...


MARCIANO: ...the bluebird skies.

COLLINS: Yes, I thought you're going to say.

HARRIS: You're a crazy man.

MARCIANO: I asked to be treated quite well. Thanks for asking. That was what we call a T-bone, right, where that cars...

COLLINS: Absolutely.

MARCIANO: My goodness, that was nasty. Good morning, guys. Tony, nice to have you back on Monday.

HARRIS: Yes, good to see you.


COLLINS: Love that.

HARRIS: That is nice.

COLLINS: Very cool. All right, Rob. Thank you.


COLLINS: And good to see you, too. Later.

MARCIANO: Thanks. See you.

COLLINS: Surviving a trip to the grocery store.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just amazing that they were that brazen. So that's what's scary. They didn't care.


COLLINS: A bold abduction attempt stopped in its tracks.


COLLINS: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Heidi Collins.

Could it happen in your community?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the people who perpetrated this are absolutely monstrous.


COLLINS: Thousands of people at risk and there could be more. Health scare in Las Vegas.


HARRIS: On the presidential campaigns, the Democrats are in a deadlock and Republican John McCain faces a new mission.

So what now?

Joining us here two Washington insider, well versed in politics, that's the reason they're on the program.

Robert Traynham is a former Republican strategist. He most recently served as an adviser to Senator Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Today he is the Washington bureau chief for CNB, the Comcast Network.

Robert, good to see you. Thanks for your time this morning.


HARRIS: And Mary Frances Berry served on the Civil Rights Commissions under two Democrats, Presidents Carter and Clinton. She is now professor of American history and policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mary Frances, great to see you as well.


HARRIS: Well, let's start with Bill Clinton in Mississippi over the weekend talking about the idea of a Clinton -- notice Clinton at top of the ticket, Clinton/Obama ticket, and then a question.



BILL CLINTON, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: I know that she's always been open to it because she believes that if you can unite the energy and the new people that he's brought in and you can -- and the people, and these vast swathes of small towns in rural America that she's carried overwhelmingly, if had those two things together, she thinks it would be hard to beat.


HARRIS: All right. May Frances, what's at work? Sounds like a couple of things. First of all, Clinton/Obama is the order of the ticket, and then the idea that, if you can bring these folks together, African-Americans, look, we know that you've been supporting Barack Obama, anywhere from 85 to 95 percent. If you help me win the nomination, you will get Barack Obama, and in a few years, you will get an opportunity to vote for your first African-American president.

BERRY: Absolutely. And Tony, you didn't expect them to say Obama should be at the top of the ticket?

HARRIS: No, no.

BERRY: So he was Bill Clinton talking. And what this is doing is, the polls show that a majority of Democrats would like both of them to be on the ticket somehow. They're not sure how.


BERRY: Some think one or the other. So I think he's trying to respond to that and put a positive spin on it, and say that wherever we end up, we're all going to be, you know, family, and we'll be together. Obviously, the Obama people shot back with Tom Daschle yesterday saying, well, yes. Obama will be at the top of the ticket...

HARRIS: Right.

BERRY: ...and we might consider her. What struck me was the warmth with which Bill Clinton presented the idea and Hillary Clinton did, too, the other day and the sort of cold way that Daschle sort of said, well, you know, she might be considered. But he's trying to respond to that desire on the part of people in the party to say we're all going to end up...


BERRY: happy family in the end.

HARRIS: Hey, Robert, when Bill Clinton says Barack wins in the urban areas and Hillary Clinton wins in some of those traditional rural areas that were seated over to Ronald Reagan, isn't that pretty good analysis, that this would -- if you were able to bring all these forces together would be a pretty unstoppable ticket?

TRAYNHAM: There's no question about it, Tony, that a Clinton/Obama, Obama/Clinton ticket would be a force to be reckoned with.

Look, what Bill Clinton was speaking to -- who were they speaking to the other week? He was speaking to superdelegates. He was speaking and called to those folks by saying, look, this is the dream ticket here. My wife is open to this idea. You should be open to this idea going into the Denver convention at late of August.

The point is, is that they recognize that they are literally joined at the hip, literally and figuratively, and they have to do something in order to unvarnish or undo the stalemate.


Well, Robert, can -- now, Mary Frances, let me take this one up with you.


HARRIS: Can egos, can egos be put aside? If we can sort of offer up this kind of thoughts and insights and analysis on this situation, if Bill Clinton can offer up this kind of incite and analysis, certainly the two respective candidates have looked at this option.

Is there a real possibility of putting egos aside and doing what makes sense for the party and perhaps, perhaps, the country?

BERRY: Nobody is going to do anything yet, until after these primaries are over...

HARRIS: Yes. BERRY: ...and after the do-over in Florida and Michigan, because each one of them wants to be on the top.

HARRIS: Absolutely.

BERRY: But at the end of the day, when all the primaries are finished and all the questions are answered, I think some of the party leaders will talk to them and try to get them together, depending on how close they are. If Clinton wins the popular vote and Obama has the delegates, then they'll try to bring them together. If Obama has both delegates and popular vote, then they don't need to bring everybody together.

HARRIS: Right. Right.

BERRY: So I think they're all going to wait, but in the end, I think, the party will try to come together and they may try to submerge egos and move on.

HARRIS: Hey, Robert, Mary Frances mentioned do-overs in Michigan and Florida. Is that how you see it playing out?

TRAYNHAM: Appears that way. Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, has openly said that we should do a do-over in Florida. Jennifer (INAUDIBLE), the Democratic governor of Michigan, has said pretty much the same thing, although she's a little bit lukewarm about it.

The real question is, Tony, is how do you do it? How do you pay for it, number one? But also, number, two, from a logistical standpoint, how do you educate all the voters in Michigan and Florida that -- to vote again when they actually voted three months.


TRAYNHAM: So the real question is whether or not the DNC, which candidly speaking as the most relevant party along with this along with the Obama and Clinton campaigns, that's something that they're going to be open to.

BERRY: I don't...

HARRIS: Mary -- yes, go ahead.

BERRY: I don't think -- Tony, I don't think the money is the issue. After listening to everybody over the weekend, and with Corzine in New Jersey and Rendell in Pennsylvania saying they'll help to raise half the money and what Debbie Dingell said to me the other night about money not being a problem, I think the money could be raised. The question is figuring out how to do it and how to have primaries...

HARRIS: Right.

BERRY: both places and having both campaigns comfortable. I do not believe, and I may be wrong about this, that the Obama people really want a do-over. I think they would rather just leave these votes out and go ahead, but they don't want to say that publicly because it sounds undemocratic.

HARRIS: What do you want to say here?

TRAYNHAM: Well, Tony, that's actually a very good point, because the Clinton campaign, they actually -- they probably do not want to do a do-over as well. And the reason why is because they won those states, although legally speaking, they...


TRAYNHAM: Those delegates cannot be seated at the convention right now...

HARRIS: But that will work itself out down the road here. I got -- let me get a couple of quick ones in here. You know there is a debate, Robert, over whether or not this protracted process on the Democratic side is good for the party or not. I'm wondering if it's good to see this battle playing out on the Democratic side for another couple of months, is it good for John McCain?

TRAYNHAM: Well, it's -- yes and no. I mean it's good for John McCain because he can raise a lot of money, he can, obviously, travel around the country and do his thing, and that literally is trying to coalesce around the social conservatives out there, that still have a raised eyebrow about this candidacy.

It's bad thing, Tony, to a certain degree with the John McCain campaign because he's not relevant right now from a news perspective. He is on page B2 as opposed to A1. And the McCain folks know that. They recognize it. They have to remain relevant throughout this whole process when the Democrats.


TRAYNHAM: ...literally duke it out.

HARRIS: And Mary Frances, let me give you the last word on this. What do you think about this? John McCain trying to find a way to be relevant, in Robert's words, and staying in the news cycle.

BERRY: I think that raising money is important, making speeches, talking, but he has an opportunity here to try to go out and make hay quietly with Latinos because of his leadership on immigration, to get a head start to try to put California in play, for example.

I think California could be in play, because he was with Kennedy leading on the immigration fight, and they like him a lot. And Asian- Americans in California do. So if I were him I would be quietly trying to put some of these states in play and raising money and from time to time make some statement to get out there in public.


BERRY: But otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it until the end. HARRIS: Robert Traynham and Mary Frances Berry, thanks for your time this morning. That was fun. Appreciate it.

BERRY: OK. Thanks, Tony.

TRAYNHAM: Thank you. Good to see you.

HARRIS: And stay with CNN for unmatched political coverage throughout the day. We have much more on the candidates and what happens next. Join us for the "CNN BALLOT BOWL." That is today at noon, Eastern. And if you're a political junkie, is the place for you.

Check out our new interactive delegate counter game, wow, where you can play real time, what-if scenarios with delegates and superdelegates.

That and much more at

COLLINS: Subprime fallout. Were crimes committed? Sources telling CNN the FBI is on the case. More than a dozen companies under investigation including the nation's largest mortgage lender.


COLLINS: More trouble this morning for the nation's largest mortgage company. A government official telling CNN the FBI will start says it will start investigating Countrywide Financial. What does it mean for the company that writes one out of every five American mortgages? Unbelievable.

CNN's personal finance editor Gerri Willis has the answer this morning.

Gerri, what is this investigation all about?


This is allegations of fraud at Countrywide that the FBI is investigating. At issue here: did Countrywide misrepresent its loans, the quality if those loans it was making and the company status in financial filings.

Now as you mentioned before, there are at least 16 other investigations into mortgage banks and companies cross the nation. Three of them, attorney general investigations, are of Countrywide itself, California, Illinois and Florida. So as you can see, there's a lot of competition out there. And Countrywide, of course, is not talking about it what the FBI is doing. Tried to reach them over the weekend. They did not return our calls.

COLLINS: Well, we know that the CEO of Countrywide that is testifying in front of Congress pretty recently. Was that then related to this investigation? WILLIS: Yes, that's right. Just last week Angelo Mozilo, the founder of Countrywide and chief executive defending his CEO pay in front of a congressional committee. Listen to this.


ANGELO MOZILO, CEO, COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: I'd like to address specific questions related to both my compensation and the exaggerated reports concerning my severance. I am receiving no severance or change of control payments whatsoever. I waived any and all severance in addition canceled the consulting agreement included in my contract.


WILLIS: So, Heidi, Mozilo there defending his pay and saying that he's been misunderstood on what he's done with severance pay. It is absolutely true that he returned more than $30 million in severance pay but people are actually looking at a different part of his pay package. And that is his stock. In fact he sold as much as $132 million worth of stock.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is in investigating that, as you know the SEC deeply cares about how cheap executives sell their stock because it can be a clue to insider trading.


WILLIS: What he was doing, he was doing pre-arranged selling. This is a normal that chief executives do, but he changed the rules of the game twice that -- so that he can sell more stock. And as you know, Countrywide shares have fallen dramatically in the last 52 weeks. Now trading at about $5 and change.


WILLIS: So big questions there about Mozilo, How he sold his stock? Was it the right way to do it? I'm sure we'll be hearing more of this in coming days.

COLLINS: Yes. I have sneaking suspicion you are going to be right about that.

CNN's Personal finance editor Gerri Willis this morning. Thanks, Gerri.

WILLIS: My pleasure.

HARRIS: So did you gas up over the weekend? No fun, huh? Feeling those higher prices at the pump. Gasoline, more than nine cents up in just the past two weeks according to the Lundberg survey. The national average is now about $3.20 for a gallon of self-serve regular. Drivers in San Francisco paying the most at $3.58. In Cheyenne, Wyoming, it's a deal, relatively speaking, at $2.99 a gallon.

(INAUDIBLE), Lundberg warns price are likely to go up again. And pass some states could see $4 a gallon within the next few months.

COLLINS: Getting back to business.

Need a new suit? Interior decorating. Expo in Baghdad.


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Bottom of the hour. Welcome back, everyone, to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to you.


COLLINS: Seven months without the great Tony Harris on a Monday.

HARRIS: I'm happy to have my weekends back. I didn't know quite what to do this first weekend back. I'm sending everyone on the team --

COLLINS: Have a party or something?

HARRIS: No. Like a -- sending everyone on the team notes. What are you guys doing? It was sad. I'll ramp up. Trust me.

COLLINS: All right. Because Monday mornings are fun.

HARRIS: There you go.

Hey, you know what we want to do right at the top here is take a look at the big board. Opening bell just happened a little while ago on March 10th. My little boy's birthday, in fact. Maybe the stock market will react to Riley's birthday. What do you think?

HARRIS: Positive territory.

COLLINS: Good index, because, Friday, nasty. Really nasty. Look! We're to the positive. There you go. On Friday, as everybody saw and knows by now, of course, down 140-some points for the Dow Jones industrial averages. We're going to be talking more about the business headline a little bit later in the show.

The CDC calls it the largest medical alert in U.S. history. Thousands at risk for deadly infections, all because a clinic re-used syringes. CNN's Chris Lawrence has details.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A Nevada health scare that put 40,000 people at risk of hepatitis and HIV may have caused even more infections than first believed. Some people treated at this out- patient surgery center were left off the first alert and health inspectors have now turned up violations at other clinics.

LISA JONES, STATE LICENSING BUREAU: In some places we're seeing re-use of medication vials and in some cases issues with how syringes used.

LAWRENCE: Investigators have promised to inspect all 50 of the state's centers. Five nurses have volunteered to give up licenses and the doctors could be next.

PAM: He ruined a lot of lives and mine are one of them.

LAWRENCE: We're concealing this patient's identity to protect her family's privacy. Pam is a married mother of five who says she went in for hernia treatment and came out infected with hepatitis C.

PAM: I can't believe that me, me, how could it happen to me?

LAWRENCE: Pam recently got one of the 40,000 letters sent to patients at risk.

Is there any way you could have had hepatitis C before you went to this clinic?

PAM: Never. There's no way.

LAWRENCE: Hepatitis C is typically transmitted through blood or semen. It attacks the liver and kills as many as 10,000 Americans every year.

SUSAN GERHARDT, NEVADA STATE ASSEMBLY: I think that the people who perpetrated this are absolutely monstrous.

LAWRENCE: At least six cases of hepatitis have been traced to this clinic and five of those patients were treated on the same day. The owner has agreed to stop practicing medicine until the investigation is complete but he says the problems have been corrected and the chances of contracting an infection are extremely low.

There's no proof Pam was infected here, but she seems sure of it.

What's your biggest worry, your biggest fear?

PAM: Leaving my babies alone without a mom, and it could have been prevented. It could have been.

LAWRENCE: It's too late for patients like Pam, but this week the CDC is sending several experts to Nevada and calls the crisis of tip of the iceberg of a potential national problem.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Las Vegas.


COLLINS: A really sad story out of Oregon this morning. A young boy swept out to sea dies and another boy is feared dead. Rescue teams responded to reports of a young swimmer struggling in the water on Saturday. They managed to pull the 11-year-old out but he later died. Police say a 16-year-old boy who tried to save the other boy went missing in high waves, and has not yet been found. HARRIS: You can see the rough waters, the high surf in those pictures. Rob, tell us a little bit more about this system in the west.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's pretty big. It's still really far off shore. That area, by the way Tony and Heidi, Depo Bay, it's kind of an area where beginner surfers go. You know usually the surf is a little more tranquil. Up and down the coast though yesterday we had big time waves, eight to ten-foot breakers coming in and rip tides in some areas. So that's what happens this time of year and you've got the beginnings of a pretty big storm that's already making in-roads across Seattle, south towards Long View and across Columbia. This will begin to fill in going through time. This onshore flow continues to push that water up and on top of the coastline. We could see 19-foot combined feet later on tonight.

Look at this swirl in the atmosphere. That is a monster storm right there, the bulk of which is going to go up into British Columbia but the tail end of it is going to create a pretty good chunk of wind across the Washington and Oregon coastline. We could see 50, 60 mile- an-hour winds but that thank good is not heading directly to the U.S. but folks who live in say Victoria or other parts of British Columbia are going to get hammered with that one.

All right. Speaking of getting hammered, the Ohio state has certainly seen its fair share of winter weather over the weekend; record-breaking snowfall, a little bit of wintry precipitation falling here but just really some gray clouds. Gray clouds and some wet, wet rain heading across Austin, in through San Antonio. The lone star state is certainly getting a little bit of action today, and going back to this area, but looks like that's where we are.

So we're watching Seattle. We're watching Portland. We're watching parts of Ohio. Big winds across the northeast yesterday. But we had wind and snow ...

COLLINS: I know.

MARCIANO: As far south as Atlanta and Georgia over the weekend.

COLLINS: It was wild. You know my parents are here from Minnesota. Used to the snow. Not so much down here.

MARCIANO: Apparently they brought it with them.

COLLINS: Apparently they did.

MARCIANO: Maybe they should go home. Kidding.

COLLINS: Thank you, Rob.

MARCIANO: All right.

HARRIS: Women, on the attack in Iraq. Police say a female suicide bomber killed three people this morning. It happened in the volatile Diyala province north of Baghdad. Police say the woman blew herself up outside the home of a tribal sheik who had turned against al Qaeda. The sheik, his 5-year-old niece and a guard all died. The attack reflects growing trends in the war. Female attacker, the attacks that target, ex-Sunni insurgents, those former insurgents are backed by the United States.

COLLINS: It is the first of its kind since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a business expo in Baghdad. CNN's Arwa Damon has the report.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the typical bustle of a business expo in a not so ordinary place, Baghdad, and organizers literally risked and lost their lives to finally make it happen. Raad Ommar, CEO of the Iraqi/American Chamber of Commerce was kidnapped along with at least a dozen coworkers and held for five days.

RAAD OMMAR, IRAQI-AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: I was handcuffed and blindfolded the whole time. I didn't eat for like five days, because I was scared to eat something and then I would get sick. Some people I could hear were holes drilled into their head.

DAMON: But Ommar says, worth the risk. The motto at this three- day event, buy Iraqi first, and the message, Baghdad is open for business, billions of dollars up for grabs.

This expo is significant not only because it is the first of its kind to take place here since the fall of Saddam Hussein, but also perhaps more importantly, because as the owners of this company tell us, it's opening doors that were closed to them.

Take Ali Al-Sarraj's interior decorating firm, for example. By 2007, he says he wasn't getting any work in Baghdad.

ALI AL-SARRAJ, INTERIOR DECORATOR: The government and the Americans, exhibit here in the green zone and we are outside, right there. We are the manufacturers. We are the -- the traders. But we are in Baghdad, not in the green zone.

DAMON: And if you're not badged, you're not in. Even here. The 260 companies were hand-picked. The location, a heavily secured area that was part of the green zone.

OMMAR: Some simple things like being able to get a badge, to be able to get to a base, to be able to talk with an officer, to go to the contracting office and collect their money. These are all things that are simple, but for the typical Iraq companies, you might as well say impossible. So only a few companies always learn the ropes.

DAMON: Learning the ropes in Baghdad is tricky, to say the least. This man a construction company, established in 2004, learned that lesson the hard way.

ZEINA TARIK, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER: We have some financial problems. We are making slow progress. Getting a government contract is all about who you know and which political party you belong to.

DAMON: Unreliable and considered corrupt by many, the Iraqi government is not the most desired customer.

OMMAR: The problem there, which is kind of very sad, really, is often Iraqi companies don't want to do business with the government. Because, and I'm learning this the hard way, it is that the government drags their feet. They don't pay on time.

DAMON: At the end of the day, these companies don't face security and political obstacles. They still face them. Hoping the contacts they make here will make for better business and a better Iraq.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


HARRIS: A donation that shocked workers at the secondhand store.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A few 50s but it was mostly 100 dollar bills. A total $30,000, and we stacked them in bundled of $5,000 each.

HARRIS: Are you kidding me? Big bucks found. Why the woman who stashed the cash won't be getting it back.

COLLINS: But first, college tuition costs are up about 6 percent this year.

In this week's run on your money, Christine Romans has some tips to keep you from pulling an all-nighter with researching financial aid.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A higher education is more expensive than ever and getting help to pay for college may seem nearly impossible.

ROBERT FRANEK, "THE PRINCETON REVIEW": Parents and students should absolutely embrace the financial aid process. It can be a scary process, because it's a many-headed beast, but it can be the process that is going to make your student bloom when they are in college.

ROMANS: When your student is ready to enroll, Robert Franek recommends asking plenty of questions.

FRANEK: What are the general scholarship dollars that school will give out? Is there an average of debt for the student after they graduate from the school? Have students default and loans from that school? Are there any performance-based scholarships, in music, athletics? Are there scholarships for that?

ROMANS: Become familiar with forms like the EFC, expected family contribution, and FASFA, free application for federal student aid and never eliminate a school because of price.

FRANEK: Don't cross it off your list. The truth is, many schools will be aggressive about turning that down to a viable number.

ROMANS: Christine Romans, CNN, New York.



COLLINS: Going after illegal immigrants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact is that illegal aliens do commit crimes. They do have a negative impact on our schools. They do have a negative impact on our hospitals and other social services.

COLLINS: Pulling the welcome mat in a Washington suburb, that's ahead right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: The countdown is on. The shuttle "Endeavour" set to launch overnight 2:28 eastern Tuesday. The 16th mission will be NASA's longest trip to the international space station. The seven astronauts will deliver the first section of a Japanese-built kibo laboratory. Kibo, in case you're wondering, means hope. The "Endeavour" crew will also deliver Dexter, the Canadian space agency's two-armed robotic instrument, designed to do maintenance space walks without the astronauts having to gear's four the cumbersome jobs.

A thrift store worker finds a nice chunk of change in a box of discarded clothes. Finders keepers? Her story might have you wondering what you would do. Jennifer Sabih with our California KCAL checked it out.


JENNIFER SABIH, KCAL REPORTER: The veterans' thrift store is built on the premise that one man's trash is another man's treasure. One employee found, what she found Tuesday sorting through donations was treasure disguised as trash.

SUSAN GAMEZ, THRIFT STORE MANAGER: She opened a box and in it was small boxes. She opened them and it had an envelope. It was in a yellow envelope and once she slit the envelope, there was several envelopes inside, small, white envelopes.

SABIH: Nunez nearly threw them all away. After all, what passes through here from the yellow sneakers to the gold coin belts are items owners no longer want, but something told her to open the envelopes, and in them --

GAMEZ: A few 50s, but it was mostly 100 dollar bills that totaled to $30,000 when we stacked them and bundled up $5,000 each.

SABIH: Nunez quickly showed her supervisors and they tracked down the envelope's owner. Turns out the box with $30,000 was donated by the family of an 80-year-old woman who'd recently died. Her relatives had no idea she'd stashed so much cash away.

IRMA ROMERO, THRIFT STORE MANAGER: I believe the lady just did, like, baby-sitting job, cleaning houses. She saved I guess all her life.

SABIH: Nunez returned the money, received a reward and the admiration of her coworkers.

ROMERO: It's good to know that there's tree people like her around and of course it feels special she works for us.

SABIH: At the veterans' thrift store you can find striped shirts $2.98. Yellow sneakers $9.98. Employee Nunez, priceless.

Jennifer Sabih, KCAL News.

HARRIS: See that coming, Heidi?

COLLINS: Miles away.

HARRIS: All right. Here's a look at some of the most click and videos at this morning.

In North Carolina, a grandmother who got stuck in the closet for more than 20 hours smashes through a wall, makes a hole and squeezes her way out. She had actually taken cover in the closet after hearing tornado warnings.

Nevada health officials say, more patients may have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV through infected syringes. Inspectors have found violations at other clinics in addition to the one investigated. At least 40,000 people may be affected in Nevada.

And hoping to repair its image as a polluted place, Mexico City finds new ways to go green.

For more of your favorite video, just go to and don't forget to download the daily podcast available to you 24/7 right on your iPod.

COLLINS: Surviving a trip to Wal-Mart.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just amazing they were that brazen. That was scary. They didn't care.

COLLINS: A bold abduction attempt stopped in its tracks.


HARRIS: How about this? A simple trip to the grocery store for an Oklahoma woman becoming a fight possibly for her life? Amanda Guerra of affiliate KOCO has the story.

SONDRA FLEMING, FOUGHT OFF ABDUCTOR: It happened so fast. I mean of course, you knew instantly something was wrong.

AMANDA GUERRA, KOCO REPORTER: It was just a matter of seconds for Sondra. One minute she was loading groceries. The next --

FLEMING: This guy comes around and grabs me here and here from behind me, and spins me around, and when he does, he jerks me and I fall, and then he drags me to the car and I'm yelling, help, help, and he has me part way in the car and this little lady comes and helps me.

GUERRA: Together the two caused so much commotion, the man had no choice but to drive away. But not before taking Sondra's purse and leaving her with some serious injuries.

FLEMING: Both shoulders are badly bruised. This arm is really badly bruised and hand and my wrist is fractured.

GUERRA: Her wounds will heal. Something she can't get over is how it happened, while grocery shopping in the middle of a busy parking lot.

FLEMING: It's just amazing that they were that brazen. That's what's so scary. They didn't care.


HARRIS: All right. Sondra Fleming told police there were two other men were in the car. Police now trying to identify and find those men.

COLLINS: Two girls missing from their families. Why is only one of them in the headlines?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's not deny it. There is something gone wrong. Why is this not in the spotlight?

COLLINS: Missing in the media.

And now pulling the welcome mat. A Washington suburb is targeting illegal immigrants.

CNN's Kate Bolduan reports.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Manassas, Virginia, is a long way from any border, but the Washington suburb is now on the front lines of the immigration debate. Prince William County lawmakers taking on illegal immigration by giving police authority to check an individual's legal status for minor offenses. In many parts of the country, a federal crime must be committed for local police to report an illegal immigrant to federal officials. Communities in Oklahoma and Arizona have passed similar ordinances.

COREY STEWART, BOARD SUPV., PRINCE WILLIAM CO., VA.: It's incumbent upon us as public officials, those elected, to enforce all the laws, U.S. law, state law and local law, in order to protect the community, and that's exactly what we're doing.

BOLDUAN: Supporter, want to discourage illegals from living in county saying they're a public drain on public resources.

STEWART: The fact is that illegal aliens do commit crimes. They do have a negative impact on our schools. They do have a negative impact on our hospitals and other social services.

BOLDUAN: Immigrant advocates say that's not the case and warn this policy could lead to racial profiling.

NANCY LYALL, IMMIGRANT ADVOCATE: We believe that this is a way, a political move to target the immigrant community and make them feel unwelcome here in Prince William County, and basically force them and drive them out of the county.

BOLDUAN: Some residents say this is more than an immigrate issue. It's economic issue as well. The owner of this Latino market says business is down last to 60 percent since word has spread about this policy.

MARCO BLACUTT, LATINO BUSINESS OWNER: I remember people that used to come in every week, shopping carts full. Now those people don't even come anymore.

BOLDUAN: Marco Blacutt says dangerous criminals should be prosecuted but he worries the policy is driving away customers. One of those, an undocumented worker, agrees.

(through translator): I have a lot of family and friends who have moved to Maryland out of fear, he says.

BOLDUAN: Blacutt now fears the new rule will soon drive him out of business.

BLACUTT: I clean. I set up the produce. I stock the shelves and I'm the owner. I mean, if it continues like this, there's nowhere I can take paycuts. I can't fire myself.

BOLDUAN: Kate Bolduan, CNN, Manassas, Virginia.


HARRIS: And then there's this, a bar owner promotes wetback Wednesday specials and wonders, what's all the fuss about?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd seen the white trash Wednesdays and also the trailer park Tuesdays and they hadn't received any type of bottom.


HARRIS: OK. Just trying to sell beers? College students weren't buying.


HARRIS: Soccer smack down South American style -- ready? Have some, buddy! Take that cracked nose and that black eye home to the people who love you. Explain that to your kids. A heated argument on the soccer field in Colombia, Saturday. By the time it was almost over, well, it didn't end for a while. As you can see, virtually the entire stadium crowd was brawling. Police had to bring out the tear gas to get things back under control. At least 80 people hurt. 18 of them treated at the hospital for stab wounds. The whole incident started with a disputed call by a referee. Have some!

COLLINS: That's excellent sportsmanship. Isn't it?

Good morning everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris.

Stay informed all day in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's on the rundown.

Mississippi turning, we have our attention on tomorrow's Democratic primary. This hour we go live to a Barack Obama rally.