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Girl Rescued From Well in India; Violence Spikes in Iraq; Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Urges Wall Street Oversight
Aired March 26, 2008 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Twenty-one years after Baby Jessica, two- year-old Vandana falls into a life-and-death drama in India -- 27 hours, at the bottom of a well.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: What's up with the ice at the bottom of the world? Well, it's not what it used to be. You're going to see amazing pictures of a changing climate. And you're going to meet one of the photographers.
Hi there. I'm Brianna Keilar, in today for Kyra Phillips at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.
LEMON: It's amazing to look at those pictures.
KEILAR: It is.
LEMON: I'd like to see what's going on.
And I am Don Lemon.
You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
KEILAR: Back to our top story. If you're looking to head between New York and Philadelphia on either Amtrak or New Jersey Transit today, well, you may run into a bit of a problem. According to an affiliate report out of WABC in New York, and also The Associated Press, all Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains are idled between New York and Philadelphia.
This is a really big deal, because Amtrak -- the Northeast Corridor, which is between Washington and Boston, it is the busiest railroad in North America. And what do you have between Washington and Boston? Well, you've got Philadelphia and New York.
So, at this point, there appears to be a voltage drop there along the Northeast Corridor. A New Jersey Transit spokesman says at this point that some trains are being held at stations, and workers are still trying to pinpoint the source of this problem.
We're going to be following this issue on the Northeast Corridor between New York and Pennsylvania. We'll bring you updates as soon as we have them.
LEMON: Well, this one is a sad (ph) story really half a story away. Elation in the shadow of the Taj Mahal. A short time ago, a two-year-old girl was rescued after more than a day at the bottom of a narrow well. It was just outside of New Delhi, India.
The big moment aired live on our sister network, CNN-IBN. The child named Vandana, well, seems relatively unhurt. Rescue workers had lowered water and food to her while they dug a hole parallel to the well and tunneled across to reach her. The girl's parents are also with her now at the hospital where she is being checked out.
And just moments after that rescue, we spoke with our Divya Ayer, with our sister station, CNN-IBN.
And here's what she had to say.
LEMON: Divya, amazing picture, amazing rescue live right here on the news.
DIVYA AYER, IBN REPORTER: Absolutely. It's been more than a 27- hour rescue operation, and the two-year-old has been inside the 45- feet-deep well for over an entire day. So, it was extremely traumatic.
The applause that was there when the little one came out of that well, that was something that was stunning to see. The entire village, the neighboring villages, everyone had gathered to see that miracle of a child who has been only surviving on glucose and biscuits and water and nothing else. But it's truly a dramatic time, a dramatic moment, when the army people rescued the little Vandana.
LEMON: Hey, real quickly, talk to us about -- you said -- what has she been surviving on? Tell us how they were feeding her and keeping her healthy while she was trapped in there.
AYER: They were trying to provide here constantly with throw biscuits with glucose and water since that was essential. That was going through.
The oxygen was being pumped in. It was going through pipes.
The well was just one and a half feet in diameter, so it was actually a very small space for a two-year-old to be. It was very cramped, it was dank and claustrophobic. But still, they tried to give her some biscuits, some fruits and milk so that her nutrition at all times is kept at the level (ph). Which is why I guess even after 27 hours, she was able to respond.
She wanted more food. She was able to ask for it, and (INAUDIBLE) was broken. She was still responding even after all these hours.
LEMON: Were her parents and her family there at the scene? Have you heard anything from them, Divya?
AYER: They were there throughout. The mother never left the house. She was inside doing prayers with the rest of the women from the village. She did not want to come to speak to the child in case she broke down, and that would have been emotionally traumatic for the little kid. But the father was there throughout trying to speak to her, give her a pep talk, ensure that she was aware that the father was there at all times. It actually helped the child.
LEMON: Hey, Divya, real quickly, because we've got to move on -- we've got lots of news here today, but I want to find out -- obvious an accident. I mean, that's obvious. But do we know the circumstances surrounding this, how she fell into this well, into this hole, why was it there?
AYER: (INAUDIBLE) directly outside -- it's like a courtyard. It's right outside the house. She was playing there and she fell into it. Just like an eye opening, a small mouth opening.
About one and a half months back, this was sanctioned by the local (INAUDIBLE) who wanted a well experiment done. But the contractor had forgotten or (INAUDIBLE).
LEMON: OK. All right.
Divya Ayer from our sister station in India, CNN-IBN.
We appreciate your reporting. Thank you.
LEMON: And those images are eerily similar to what many of us remember. Remember Baby Jessica's rescue in 1987? Jessica McClure was the 18-month-old toddler who fell down a well in Midland, Texas, and for the next 58 hours, well, her rescue transfixed the nation.
Jessica survived but lost a toe and had to undergo more than a dozen operations afterwards. She is now 22-years-old and says she cannot remember anything about that ordeal.
KEILAR: Street fighting today all over Iraq -- in Baghdad, also in Basra, in Kut and Tikrit. U.S. forces are involved in some of it, but mostly it's Iraqi forces against so-called rogue elements and members of a Shiite militia.
Let's get straight now to Baghdad and Kyra Phillips for the very latest on this.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Brianna.
And you're right, we're not just talking about Basra now, but this fight has serious implications for the stability of the entire country of Iraq. The battle is among Iraqi forces, hard-line Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi army militia, rogue forces supported by Iran, and criminal gangs. And now my sources within the military tell me that the mortar and rocket attacks that struck the international zone, already killing one person, are directly related to the fighting in Basra. The attacks, my sources tell me, a message to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to pull his Iraqi forces out of Basra.
Well, why is this battle in Basra spreading? Because Basra, specifically, is an oil-rich city that everyone wants a piece of. Oil means money for a war-torn country, and they will do whatever it takes to get that money.
And Major General Kevin Bergner wanted to drive home the point that this is not a U.S. military campaign, it's strictly Iraqi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJ. GEN. KEVIN BERGNER, MULTINATIONAL FORCES, IRAQ: Prime Minister Maliki specifically said that he took these actions because, "The lawlessness is going on under religious or political cover, along with smuggling of oil, weapons and drugs."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Al-Maliki has now given militants a 72-hour deadline to surrender their weapons or face prosecution -- Brianna.
KEILAR: And Kyra, I know last hour you took us on this really fascinating tour of Saddam Hussein's prison cell, but you also went on a tour, right, of Saddam Hussein's prison garden?
PHILLIPS: It's all actually connected. It's something you will only see on CNN, an exclusive report that we'll have for you tomorrow.
You know, the last time the world saw Saddam Hussein alive was in court when he learned that he would be hanged for his crimes against humanity. Now, for the first time, you're going to see how this fallen dictator lived out his final days -- from his cell, to his garden, to his journal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJ. GEN. DOUG STONE, U.S. MARINE CORPS: So this then is...
PHILLIPS: It's the garden.
STONE: ... his garden area, yes. This was probably his favorite area. Again, not particularly too elaborate. But --
PHILLIPS: Did you find that odd that he wanted a garden, or did you suggest that?
STONE: No, no, no. He wanted a garden. He wanted to have a little planting over here. And it's sort of somewhat interesting that nothing he ever planted grew very well. And I don't know why that is other than, you know, you can see there are still some plants left there that kind of grew up, but the kind of flowering he was hoping for, I guess didn't flower.
This is where he really sat most of the time. This is a table where he kind of kept his cigars on. This, more than anything, was where he smoked his cigars. This is kind of interesting. I know this is just a regular lawn chair, but he was a little uncomfortable in his arms, often times trying to write, sort of resting his arms. Couldn't rest it up on here. So this got built up and Duct-taped so that at the right level he could kind of continue to keep writing or holding his cigar, or doing that sort of thing without having to, you know, keep bumping around.
PHILLIPS: Let me ask you about the poetry. He writes this one poem talking about Baghdad. He says, "The nights are darker after the sunset, but the smoke and the burning overwhelms the city. You will feel suffocated under its skies."
"My days are now nights. No stars, no moon, but lots of screams."
He was writing about something he couldn't see.
STONE: Yes, it's fascinating. Even where we are located now, he would have heard things, and probably could have sensed hues (ph) and that sort of thing, but he was seeing a very different battlefield than what he physically could see or even experience at the moment. He is writing about a reality that he believes is there that he is not experiencing personally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: And you will see my full report tomorrow. However, next hour, it was one of his own buildings that years later would become his cell. From decadent to bare bones, for the first time, Brianna, you will see where Saddam Hussein spent his final night and last moment before his execution.
KEILAR: And I'm sure that it will be a really intriguing report by what we have seen so far.
Kyra Philips there for us in Baghdad.
LEMON: All right. We want to update now our breaking story. It's concerning Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, and this is just coming in just seconds ago.
We're being told by New Jersey Transit and also by Amtrak that the trains are now up and running as of about 10 minutes ago. Trains were stopped for about an hour and 45 minutes due to low voltage on the lines from New York City to Philadelphia.
They stopped the trains as a precautionary measure. That is according to Cliff Cole (ph) from Amtrak. And the New Jersey Transit is saying they confirm that the trains are back up and running. Still efforting more detail about exactly what happened, but apparently we are being told that the voltage dropped from 12,000 volts, which is normal, to about 9,000 volts. And that caused some problems, and as a precautionary measure, they kept some of the trains in the station, I'm sure frustrating many passengers there. We will try to get to the bottom of it and bring you more information as it comes in.
Let's talk about airplanes now. From trains to airplanes. Two hundred flights canceled. That is the word today from American Airlines. The nation's largest carrier is re-inspecting wiring on its MD-80 aircraft.
About 10 percent of American's flights are affected. Airlines overall are giving their safety procedures a second look after what happened recently at Southwest Airlines. You will recall Southwest was fined $10 million for flying planes that were overdue for inspections.
KEILAR: The big boys on Wall Street, well, they're not going to get something for nothing. That is the message coming from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who is calling for more federal oversight of major investment houses.
And let's break this all down with our senior correspondent, Allan Chernoff.
What's going on here, Allan?
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, there's been a lot of outrage that the federal government, using our taxpayer money, orchestrated the buyout of Bear Stearns, putting $30 billion of our money at risk in the deal. The Federal Reserve also is letting securities firms borrow cheap money from the central bank, a right that only more heavily-regulated commercial banks usually have.
Today, Treasury Secretary Paulson said the securities firms are not going to get something for nothing, meaning the cheap money from the fed. He's saying they should be subject to more regulation.
He is also arguing that the government needs better access to the financials of securities firms, some of which are engaged in very complicated billion-dollar transactions that can hide the true nature of the risk that they have taken on. Hardly anyone realized just how enmeshed in the subprime mortgage mess the major Wall Street firms had gotten. The treasury secretary also is warning that the cheap money the Fed is offering to securities firms will not last forever. It's only temporary -- Brianna.
KEILAR: All right. Allan Chernoff for us there in New York.
LEMON: Back now to Greensboro, North Carolina. Barack Obama taking questions now, talking about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. (JOINED IN PROGRESS)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... to our daily lives. And people's struggles with illness and families and finances and all of things that people normally talk about.
My pastor did say -- my former pastor said some very objectionable things when I wasn't in church on those particular days. And I have condemned those outright.
I do have to remind people though that this is somebody who was preaching three sermons at least a week for 30 years and got boiled down in the -- they found five or six of his most offensive statements, boiled that down into a half an hour sound clip -- or a half-minute sound clip, and just played it over and over and over again, partly because it spoke to the racial divisions that we have in this country and had tapped into some of those divisions. I hope people don't get distracted by that.
Because, as I said in my speech -- as I said in my speech last week on Tuesday, we can't afford to be distracted.
You and I, we are both Christians. We come from different backgrounds. We come from different faiths. And there are misunderstandings on both sides. But we are both Christians, and even if you are not a Christian, we are both Americans. And we cannot solve the problems of America if every time somebody somewhere says something stupid, that everybody gets up in arms and we forget about the war in Iraq or we forget about the economy.
Or we forget about the things that are going to make a difference in our children's lives. I don't want that kind of politics. I want a politics that gets stuff done.
All right? OK.
The young lady right here who was angry with me that I didn't call on her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good afternoon, and welcome to Greensboro. Certainly hope you had a great vacation.
OBAMA: Thank you. Well, can I say this? Two and a half days is not a vacation. Two and a half days is a long weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
OBAMA: Which is what I had. And it was wonderful. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. I'm B.J. Heathington (ph), and my question is, you have and all of the various candidates have continued to speak on health care, but one of the issues that we fail to forget is that the elderly care and persons with disabilities needs a special connection in this country that we are continuing forget.
Do you at this present time have a plan where you look to focus for the government to change some of these issues so that these persons can be recognized with dignity, as good servants to the community, and as taxpayers?
OBAMA: Well, let me talk about seniors. You know, the issue of elder care and seniors generally.
It starts with making sure that Social Security is here. That it was here yesterday, that it's here today, and it's here tomorrow. So, making sure that Social Security is stable is absolutely critical. There was a report recently that came out showing that Medicare will run out of money effectively...
LEMON: OK. Barack Obama in Greensboro, North Carolina, right now talking about Medicare and healthcare in the United States. But he has mentioned something that has dogged him for the last couple of weeks, and that is what he referred to -- and he made sure he referred to him as his "former pastor" -- the Reverend Jeremiah Wright of Trinity Church in Chicago, saying that he did three sermons a week for 30 years, and essentially what the media did was take five or six, or the most offensive statements, and boil them down to like a half- minute, 30-second clips. And he said, "I hope you don't get distracted by that," talking to the people there.
And also, someone asking him, "I hope you enjoyed your vacation." He was in the Virgin Islands, of course. CNN got exclusive pictures of Barack Obama on his vacation.
Do we have that? In the Virgin Islands, and so he referred to that. And he said two or three days is not a vacation.
So there you go, Barack Obama speaking there. But also, the reason we wanted to get you that is because he is talking about that controversy, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
KEILAR: Breaking the ice in Antarctica. A giant chunk gives way and now another is virtually hanging by a thread. We're going to be looking at the cause and the effect.
KEILAR: A fight over money between Wal-Mart and the family of a former employee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM SHANK, SUED BY WAL-MART: My idea of a win-win, you keep the paperwork that says you won and let us keep the money so I can take care of my wife.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: A husband fighting a mega store over his wife's staggering medical bills.
KEILAR: Hi, there, I'm Brianna Keilar live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.
LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon.
You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Every family has problems, but not like the Shanks of Missouri. If all they had to deal with were a debilitating accident, life- threatening disease, loss of companionship, loss of a child and financial ruin, well they would probably be relieved. Instead, they carry all those burdens plus a six-figure legal judgment won by Wal- Mart, and Wal-Mart wants its money.
CNN's Randi Kaye reports.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Debbie Shank remembers accounts in German, but she has no idea what she had for breakfast or what my name minutes after meeting me. Debbie has no short term memory.
In May of 2000, a semi truck plowed into her minivan on this Missouri highway. Debbie's brain took the brunt of it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It came through her window and probably hit her head.
DEBBIE SHANK, INJURED IN AUTO ACCIDENT: I don't remember.
KAYE: Today, she lives in a nursing home. Jim Shank works two jobs to help pay the bills and his bank account may soon take another hit.
(on-camera): Eight years ago, when she started stocking shelves at Wal-Mart near her home, Debbie signed up for the company's health and benefits plan, so she was covered and her family says that bills were paid promptly.
What Debbie didn't notice, her husband says, is a tiny clause in the plan's paperwork that says Wal-Mart has the right to recoup medical expenses if the employee also collects damages in a lawsuit.
(voice-over): In 2002, the Shanks settled with the trucking company. After legal fees, $417,000 was put in a trust for Mrs. Shank's care. The family's lawyer says he told Wal-Mart about the settlement. Then in 2005, Wal-Mart's health plan asked for its money back, and sued the Shanks for about $470,000, money it had paid to cover Debbie's medical bills. The court ruled in Wal-Mart's favor.
(on-camera): The fact is is that Wal-Mart isn't doing anything wrong here. It is their legal right to recoup this money.
J. SHANK: They are quite within their rights, but I just wonder if they need it that bad?
KAYE (voice-over): We tried to ask Wal-Mart -- why go after the money. The company's net sales third quarter of 2007 were $90 billion.
A Wal-Mart spokesman who called Mrs. Shank's case "unbelievably sad" told us, "Wal-Mart's plan is bound by very specific rules. We wish it could be more flexible in Mrs. Shank's case, since her circumstances are clearly extraordinary. But this is done out of fairness to all associates who contribute to and benefit from the plan."
(on-camera): Do you think that Wal-Mart should make an exception for your family?
J. SHANK: My idea of a win-win -- you keep the paperwork that says you won and let us keep the money so I can take care of my wife.
KAYE (voice-over): If Wal-Mart's health plan gets the money back, Jim says he won't be able to pay for his wife's care, or his own. He is recovering from prostate cancer. He may lose his car and won't be able to send his son to college.
J. SHANK: Who needs the money more? A disabled lady in a wheelchair with no future whatsoever -- does she need it or does Wal- Mart need $90 billion plus $200,000?
KAYE: The Shanks' lawyer says Wal-Mart is entitled to only about $100,000, right now about $277,000 remains in the trust, far short of what Wal-Mart wants back.
J. SHANK: That is what I should have gotten you for Christmas.
KAYE: Last year, Jim divorced Debbie so she could get more money from Medicaid.
KAYE (on-camera): The trauma to Debbie's brain was so severe Jim says she won't remember we were here visiting her. In fact, she doesn't even remember the accident that put her here. She is in private room for now due to severe mood swings and a tendency to scream, all related to injuries. But she may not be able to afford her own room much longer.
(voice-over): Last summer, the Shanks appealed the ruling in Wal-Mart's favor, and lost.
One week later, another terrible loss. Their son, 18-year-old Jeremy, in Iraq just two weeks, was killed. Debbie went to the funeral, but doesn't remember her son is dead.
D. SHANK: What?
KAYE: When reminded, it was as if she was hearing for it the first time.
One final push is under way. Jim is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Debbie's case. What is left of Debbie's trust will remain frozen as the battle rages on.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Jackson, Missouri.
KEILAR: Surgeons in Florida doing the unthinkable, they took out six organs, removed a tumor, then put the organs back. We're going to have the ground breaking surgery that saved a woman's life.
LEMON: But first, one group of Bali fishermen used eco fishing to save underwater reefs and here is CNN's Arwa Damon.
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the tiny village of Ness (ph), Nengah Arsan begins his morning by preparing to go fishing. It has been in his family for generations. They specialize in ornamental fish, the ones that grace many living room aquariums.
NENGAH ARSAN, FISHERMAN (through translator): When I was young, the reef was beautiful, there were lots of fish around.
DAMON: But that memory came dangerously close to being something his son would never know.
ARSAN (through translator): I became a destroyer.
DAMON: Arsan and his family used potassium cyanide to stun the fish, making them easier to catch. But about 30 percent of the fish died in the process. And it is not just about the fish, potassium cyanide -- one deadly squirt can kill two to three square kilometers of coral in about a month.
In just a decade, this reef became a haunted version of its former beauty.
Cipto Aji Gunawan is part of a national NGO that trying to introduce eco fishing.
CIPTO AJI GUNAWAN, TELAPAK: Actually, this situation at the moment is very critical. Thirty-three percent of fish live and depend on the reef.
DAMON: But not off of the shores of Ness anymore. These days, Arsan heads out not with cyanide, but with nets.
It is absolutely amazing. It is hard to believe that this is the reef just six years after the men stopped using cyanide. Arsan carefully spreads his net underwater, when he sees a fish he wants, it is chased into net. And once caught, the fish are put into what is called the decompression bucket.
At first, Arsan and the other fishermen didn't believe that they could catch enough fish using the nets to financially survive. But they have actually tripled their income.
Arwa Damon, CNN, Bali, Indonesia.
KEILAR: It really is amazing what medical science can do these days. Just ask Brooke Zepp. After being diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumor, this Florida woman was given just six months to live. Well, that was ten months and one incredible operation ago.
CNN Chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has the story.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): The images you are about to see is of an operation that has never been done before. The doctors were presented with this woman who -- who said, look -- she had this tumor deep in the abdomen, in what was noted to be an inoperable location.
The doctors basically said the only way to really get there is to take several organs out of the abdomen, remove the tumor and then put those organs back. Sort of think about it like taking the engine out of the car, fixing it, and then putting it back -- the whole time, the car has to continue to running, so you have to keep allowing the organs sort of running even as you are doing this operation. A remarkable thing.
The type of tumor that we are talking about here is a leiomyosarcoma. The name is not that important, but this is an incredibly rare tumor. And as these doctors actually sort of approached this, they had to remove the pancreas; they had to remove the intestines; they had to remove the liver. They actually put those organs on a side table and then removed the tumor and then quickly put the organs back.
Now the most important organ that I just mentioned there, in terms of survival, was the liver. And in fact, the liver was actually only out of this patient's body for about 90 minutes.
If you think about medicine, you think about surgery, a lot of it is sort of building on the knowledge of previous operations. We have previously reported on a heart being removed so that tumors could be taken out of the heart and then the heart being placed back into the patient. This sort of takes this idea of transplanting organs from one patient to the same patient to a whole new level. Now whether or not this will become something that is done more commonly -- hard the say. This woman still -- she looks great, she looks like she is doing very well. But her survival is going to dependent on the next several months and whether or not this tumor comes back. We will keep tabs on that -- back to you for now.
KEILAR: Grab your calendars and write this in it -- a week from tomorrow is World Autism Awareness Day. CNN is going to bring you a special report on autism at noon Eastern on April 2.
And this weekend, CNN's "House Call" with Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- it's also exploring the issue. He's going to go one-on-one with the CDC and ask whether childhood vaccines are safe. That is Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, only on CNN.
LEMON: Like much of this broadcast, and many of the broadcasts on CNN, we have been devoting it to the unrest happening in China about Tibet. Our Ed Henry joins us from the White House lawn to talk to us about a phone call between President Bush and the Chinese leader.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That is right, Don.
In fact, the White House officials say that earlier today, President Bush called the President Hu Jintao of China to raise his concerns about that violence in Tibet, significant because it's the first time the president has really weighted in directly, calling his counterpart in China to express the concern.
We have previously heard Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, for example, express the U.S.s concerns about all of this -- the unrest, the violence, the crackdown.
The White House saying, also, that President Bush pushed the Chinese government to open up a dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama, obviously that is very controversial, something the Chinese government has not wanted to do. But President Bush pushing his counterpart on that.
And what is very interesting when you look down the road is that Mr. Bush is scheduled to attended the Olympics in Beijing in August. The White House has heard critics say that Mr. Bush should not be doing that. The president, himself has said, look, he is going as a sports fan, he is interested in athletics, this is not a political statement. But obviously, as we get closer and closer to those Olympic Games, the pressure on the White House over the president's attendance at those games is obviously going to get more intense, Don.
LEMON: Let's move on and talk about the president's trip to -- his NATO trip, rather, is expanding, adding Russia to the trip?
HENRY: That's right. We have just heard and confirmed, CNN has, in the last couple of moments, White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, saying President Bush has decided to add a stop at the end of this trip to Bucharest. He's ending -- adding a stop to Russia at the very end after this NATO summit -- gives him a chance to sit down with the outgoing Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
As you know, there is a new president coming in, Mr. Medvedev. And so he is going to be inaugurated soon. There is a lot on the plate between U.S. and Russia, specifically missile defense right now. Very controversial issue, the U.S. wanting to set up a missile defense shield in eastern Europe; Russia does not want to go for that. It's something that Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin will be talking about face to face, Don.
LEMON: All right. Absolutely.
Ed Henry, thank you so much for that.
HENRY: Thank you.
KEILAR: Breaking the ice in Antarctica, a giant chunk gives way, another barely hanging on by a thread. We're going to look at the cause and the effect.
LEMON: All right, look at that. There's no sound with this, right? Is this pictures? Is that right? Just pictures, no sound with this. But look at that, that is a giant chunk of an Antarctic ice shelf that has broken away, and an even bigger piece is at risk. Scientists spotted the event in progress via satellite and were able to capture photos and video.
Now, groups that monitor the glacial ice, well, they blame global warming for this meltdown and just last week, the U.N.'s environment program reported record ice losses over the past few years.
Documenting the changes, the changing face of the world's glaciers, a group called the Extreme Ice Survey, and James Balog is the founder and the director and he joins us now from Denver.
OK, I'm going to play devil's advocate here. There are people who are saying this is naturally occurring and it would be happening anyway if there wasn't this so-called global warming thing that everyone's talking about.
JAMES BALOG, DIRECTOR, EXTREME ICE SURVEY: Yes, this is absolutely not happening due to natural causes. That's a great fiction that's been perpetrated by people who really don't understand the science very well.
LEMON: Why do you say that?
BALOG: Well, the reality is that the Antarctic peninsula has warmed up more than any place on earth over the past 50 years, almost a degree per decade, five degrees over 50 years. That's being driven by changes in air currents and changes in ocean circulation.
LEMON: OK, so, if I'm sitting at home and I'm watching my kid or I'm putting clothes in the washer and dryer, cooking dinner, what does this -- what does this mean to me?
BALOG: Well, this means to you that here's another canary coming out of another coal mine, saying that big things are happening at a big scale in different places, and you know, it's harder to feel the immediate effects of climate change in Tulsa or in Debuc (ph), but we're going to be feeling it in all of these places. And these events in Antarctica are part of that pattern of the earth changing and part of the harbinger of what we're going to be seeing in our own personal lives as time goes on.
LEMON: And what might (ph), like in Topeka, Debuc, or wherever, what might we be seeing in the coming months or years that would affect us?
BALOG: We're going to see much more extreme weather conditions. In many cases, it's going to be hotter and drier. The areas of the United States that are -- that depend on their water supply from mountain areas are going to be -- having a much harder time as time goes on.
LEMON: OK, and I asked -- I was talking to you during the break and I said was there -- because you document this all the time. Was there a moment for you when, in all of your travels that you had an epiphany and go oh my gosh, things have certainly changed and very quickly.
BALOG: Yes, I've been stunned at what I've seen. I had an assignment in Iceland actually a few years ago and I saw a glacier there that had more ice disappearing on it year after year after year certifiably, measured out, marked out at a volume and a quantity that I never imagined was possible.
And it was when I saw that glacier and the degree to which it had changed in the past 10 years that I realized this whole climate change is very real and very significant and it's happening right now at a blistering pace.
LEMON: OK, and I'm going to be honest with you. We hear it so much, we hear about organic this, green that, our carbon footprint and this sort of thing and then, almost to a point where you sort of become immune to it, sadly, because it's just in the background. But what do you do, how do you change people's minds about this? What do we need to do in order to correct this problem or is it too far gone?
BALOG: No, I don't think it's too far gone and I think we've got a fantastic window of opportunity right now. We are aware of what we need to do economically, we're aware of what we need to do technologically. These -- they're not trivial challenges, they're big challenges. But they're ...
LEMON: You said there were mental challenges?
BALOG: Yes, yes, the big challenge really is a mental challenge. We have to just turn the way we're thinking around, get off the dime, stop denying that we have any responsibility, stop denying that we have a problem and just deal with it, because we can deal with it. We have the tools to deal with it.
LEMON: All right, James Balog, founder and director of the Extreme Ice Survey. Thank you for joining us today, sir.
BALOG: My pleasure. Thank you.
KEILAR: A worldwide sigh of relief as rescuers free a two-year- old girl trapped inside a well for more than a day. We're going to tell you how she's doing.
LEMON: Another crook proves that the line between brazen and stupid, well, it is very, very thin. And he does it all while the cameras roll. Smart guy, huh?
KEILAR: And how do you spell marital bliss? Well, how about U- G-L-Y? What's this? A new study suggests that hot guys, they don't make the hottest husbands.
KEILAR: You know that song, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife? You know it, Don, right?
LEMON: I know it, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life.
KEILAR: Right back at you, guys, because ladies, if you want a happy marriage, get a homely hubby and you -- this is hilarious. A new study suggests the happiest marriages team ugly husbands, ugly ...
KEILAR: ...with beautiful wives. Why is that? Well, researchers at the University of Tennessee say guys whose wives are hotter than they are, they realize that they've got it made, and they're going to be more dedicated husbands.
LEMON: Hang on. Dee (ph), the director, why did you put the camera on me when she started talking about that?
KEILAR: No connection.
LEMON: We can't hear Dee.
KEILAR: No connection.
LEMON: She's not saying anything in my ear, OK.
KEILAR: No, here's the -- the study also showed that hot hubbies tend to have more short term chances to stray, and they try to ride that wave as long as they can. But you know, the bottom line here, ugly is the new handsome.
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