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Bush Signs Legislation to Continue Funding Iraq War; Inner Mongolia Goes Green; Mugabe Remains in Control of Zimbabwe; CT Scans Causing Cancer Concerns

Aired June 30, 2008 - 10:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning once again, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Tony has the day off today.
Stay informed all day right here in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's the on the rundown.

The bears are growling, but stocks have been fighting back this morning despite pressure from record oil and gas prices.

A magazine article says the Bush administration is stepping up cross border off into Iran. Prelude to a military strike?

Zapping your body with mega doses of radiation. What's the cancer risk of a CAT scan? New findings to consider today, Monday, June 30.

You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Taking aim at Iran, the U.S. may be working to undermine the government in Tehran with secret missions from Iraq and Afghanistan. CNN's senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, live from Washington now with more on this.

Hi there, Jamie.


Well, one thing is clear. The U.S. is doing more in Iran that it is admitting publicly. And today, we're getting just a little peek underneath a veil of secrecy.


MCINTYRE (voice-over): The allegation that U.S. special ops commandos have been conducting covert operations into Iran from southern Iraq drew a quick and unequivocal denial from the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad.

RYAN CROCKER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: I can tell you flatly that U.S. forces are not operating across the Iraqi border into Iran, in the south or anywhere else.

MCINTYRE: But the investigative reporter Seymour Hersh whose "New Yorker" magazine article claims the efforts are part of a $400 million covert campaign to destabilize Iran's government argues the operations are so super secret, Ambassador Crocker might be out of the loop.

SEYMOUR HERSH, "NEW YORKER MAGAZINE": He may not know the extent to which we're operating deeply but commandos are not so much but with our special forces inside Iran. So it's possible because he's not somebody, he'll spin it but he's not somebody who won't say he doesn't believe.

MCINTYRE: It's not the first time that Hersh has reported the U.S. has spies inside Iran and senior Pentagon officials have hinted to CNN that CIA and other highly classified operations are conducted from time to time in the Islamic republic but they have never confirmed it.

In a statement, the CIA said "as a rule it does not comment on allegations regarding covert operations." But some members of Congress were not so quick to dismiss the idea of the U.S. working secretly in Iran to stop its meddling in Iraq.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: I think we should be doing whatever we can to let the Iranians know they can't continue this and not expect us to take some action against them on this basis.

MCINTYRE: Hersh says some of the U.S. forces operating in Iran maybe coming from the other border, Afghanistan. And he suggests their mission is in part to gather intelligence about Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program, possibly to lay the groundwork for a military strike.


MCINTYRE: Heidi, Pentagon officials who speak to CNN only on condition of anonymity because of the highly classified nature of these kinds of efforts suggest it's not so much about gathering intelligence for military strike but more about doing to Iran what Iran is doing to the United States in Iraq. That is supporting people who are opponents of the government, to try to destabilize the regime.

Consequently, one of the things that the U.S. accuses Iran of doing, of course, the U.S. goes further in accusing Iran of specifically backing people who are killing Americans in Iraq. And that's one of the reasons why the U.S. would feel free to sort of operate in this covert way inside Iran -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes. And I have to ask, and I mean, just a general point of just talking about this. How often do the CIA really have to discuss what they're doing covertly? I mean, we say under the veil of secrecy and so forth. Isn't that the way they're supposed to be doing.

MCINTYRE: Well, it is. And again, just because it's covert doesn't mean that it's something that's illegal or can't be done. But the problem that the CIA always has is that because they operate so much in secret and can't talk about things, nobody knows what to believe.

So, for instance, when they put out a statement that simply says we don't talk about covert operations, they are in a position where there's a blatantly false report, they often don't feel they can dispute that because if they start pointing out which reports are not accurate, then as soon as they report that has some accuracy comes out, then by implication that is confirmed. So they've got to maintain that and it really sort of undermines the CIA's credibility.

COLLINS: It does.

MCINTYRE: Nobody knows what to believe when you hear a statement from the CIA.

COLLINS: All right. Well, CNN's Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre for us.

Jamie, thank you.

Another secret plan to talk about, this one to take out Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda. The "New York Times" reporting details of the plan which it says was drafted late last year. According to the "Times," the plan would have made it easier for U.S. special forces to go into tribal Pakistan. That's where military commanders think Bin Laden has been hiding. But the proposal said to have been drawn up in secret remains just a paper document.

The "Times" says policy disagreements and battles among American counter-terrorism agencies have stymied the plan. Also a problem, missteps in Washington's relations with Pakistan. The "Times" says senior department officials who says there is "mounting frustration at the Pentagon."

Let's go ahead and talk with CNN's Elaine Quijano at the White House with more on this.

So, has this all been verified, has this been confirmed that, yes, there is trouble and that this plan never really went into action?

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you right now, Heidi, the White House certainly isn't talking about specifics that are contained within this article. But on a broader point, Dana Perino, the White House Press Secretary, a short time ago told reporters that she simply doesn't see anything new in this article. She said that these are the same things that have been raised in the past and in the gaggle, she said that President Bush had an overarching commitment to track down and bring down Osama bin Laden.

She says there's been a lot of success in finding second and third level people. She says that the U.S. is up against a moving enemy and they are continuing to work with the government of Pakistan. But as you know, the article quite harsh in some of the assertions that the division inside the administration according to the article have resulted in the impediment of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda officials.

Dana Perino says if there are disagreements, it is not rising to the level of preventing the U.S. from getting Osama bin Laden. She says that there might be different ideas on how to go about that, but President Bush certainly welcomes that. She says that she doesn't know of anything dramatic in that regard. Now, on this assertion that President Bush perhaps has not been -- had not been as forceful as he should have been, some critics might say, in putting the pressure on General Pervez Musharraf, the leader of Pakistan.

Well, Dana Perino disputes that saying that certainly the President knows how much pressure has to be applied. She said he has good relationships with Musharraf and that there is good military to military cooperation, of course noting there's been a change of leadership in Pakistan and the fight is going to continue. The hunt will continue. She says that the Pakistanis know full well that there's a problem in the region and that idea that there is a threat there is not lost on anyone. Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, CNN's Elaine Quijano in front of the White House for on us that one.

Thanks so much, Elaine.

Last week as you well know was a very rough one on Wall Street. Oil prices soared. Stocks tanked. Let's get over to Susan Lisovicz now, at the New York Stock Exchange and see if things are looking any better this week.

I'm trying to look at the big board but I can tell by your face.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE: More of the same, Heidi. The bulls tried to rally, but couldn't even hold modest gains. Stocks are now to the down side on the final day of trading in the worst June since the Great Depression. The Dow has lost 10 percent or 1,300 points this month.

Thirty-eight minutes in to trading, check it out, the blue chips now down 48 points. That's near half a percent. The Nasdaq meanwhile down 12 or half a percent. The Dow industrial was up just back into fair market territory today. Only one economic report out today. it came about 20 minutes ago go on business activity in the midwest. It showed fractional improvement.

Another record for oil though, certainly not good for sentiment. Oil trading above $143 a barrel. Gas prices are also at a record for the first time in two weeks. AAA says $4.09 a gallon. The dollar is dropping against the euro. And an Iranian report says if Iran attack, Tehran will respond by barraging Israel with missiles. The weak dollar pushing oil higher, but so has geopolitical concerns -- Heidi.

COLLINS: We've got it all, don't we?


COLLINS: CNN's Susan Lisovicz. Appreciate that.

Thank you, Susan.

LISOVICZ: You're welcome.

COLLINS: Free gas. Got your attention? Well, now you can get a few gallons with the purchase of everything from cars to drugs to sex. We're back in a moment.


COLLINS: Welcome back everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Airlines crack down on carry-on luggage. Oh, yes, you're going to pay.


COLLINS: Skyrocketing oil prices and supply worries on the agenda at the World Petroleum Conference in Spain this week. OPEC ministers meeting with major oil company officials, the focus, how to stabilize the market. The international energy agency will release its oil market forecast tomorrow. Record oil prices are feeling a run up at the gas price. AAA reporting another record today. The average price for a gallon of regular now almost $4.09. The lure of free gas. Some companies look to cash in on your pain at the pump.

CNN's Allan Chernoff has the story.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a lousy economy, you've got to motivate consumers. And the motivator of the year is free gas. The promise of free fuel is how businesses are selling everything, from candy bars to cars.

VINCENT TEPEDINO, BAY RIDGE CHRYSLER: It brought a lot of customers in that may not otherwise have bought our product.

FRED AUSTIN, CHRYSLER CUSTOMER: This is a good bargain. This is a good deal. We as Americans, we all are looking for a deal.

CHERNOFF: There are deals at the ballpark. $25 of gas if you buy four tickets to the San Francisco Giants. Free gas for less wholesome entertainment in Nevada. Women of the Shady Lady Ranch offer a $150 gas card for those who indulge in three hours of pleasure. Free gas promotions are in the supermarket, too. The shop right chain is offering $25 gas cards to shoppers who buy $75 worth of major brand named products. So you can fight gingivitis and get free gas at the same time.

For these pharmacists, gas is also a lure to take business from competitors. Transfer prescriptions to Rite Aid and a pharmacy will enter in you to a weekly drawing for a year's worth of fuel.

MIKE POIRIER, RITE AID PHARMACIST: The more prescriptions they transfer with that coupon, the more chances they have to win.

CHERNOFF: And free gas is motivating good deeds. Connecticut's Red Cross enters blood donors in free gas raffles.

PAUL SULLIVAN, AMERICAN RED CROSS: The gas card these days are highly valued. So we're finding it to be a successful promotion.

CHERNOFF: The more you spend, the more gas you get. Mike Holloway's best driver, get it and you'll have a full tank to get to the golf course.

CHARLES RHEE, NEW YORK GOLF CENTER: This is the FTI which is their square driver, also a composite head and this one is $500 and gets a $100 gas card rebate.

CHERNOFF: Or if you can afford it in this economy, rent a yacht for $20,000 and get $500 of gas. Let's not even think of how much gas that yacht is burning.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.


COLLINS: You're already being nickelled and dimed by new airline fees. Now they're eying your carry-on. No more jamming those bulky bags in the overhead bin. Officials say they'll be sticklers on size requirements and that will cost you. Several airlines have started charging $15 for your first checked bag. Southwest Airlines, one of the few to allow free checked bags.

Don't let your mutual fund bleed you dry. Gerri Willis drops by with tips for hanging on to your money.


COLLINS: OK. So we're going to take a look at the big board there. Dow Jones industrial averages down about 30 points, 45 minutes in to the trading day. So we are watching those numbers as well on the Nasdaq also down by about eight points or so. And I'm sure you remember Friday's close being down nearly 107 points. So we are watching all of that, everybody on edge as we hear those words bear market.

Your mutual fund takes a beating and then you get clobbered with fees. But help is on the way. Gerri Willis has tips for holding on to your money.

Thank goodness, Gerri, because everybody keeps coming on this show giving us all kinds of bad news. You're going to give us some help with this.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: That's right. Well, you know, the first thing you really want to do, Heidi, is really calculate the impact of fees. The reality is fees can be the difference between making money and not making money with your mutual fund. That's why you really got to pay attention to what the fees are. Let's take a look at this example.

If you have a balance of $25,000, say, in a mutual fund, and over the next 35 years, your fund returns about seven percent and your fees are half a percent, you'll end up with $227,000. That's pretty great, right? On the other hand, if your fees are higher every, say 1.5 percent, your balance will only grow to $163,000. That's a $64,000 difference. And listen to this, a one percent difference in fees and expenses would reduce your account balance at retirement by 28 percent. So it could make a very big difference to you.

COLLINS: Yes. Absolutely. Those numbers are huge.

What kind of fees are we talking about here when you show us that category? I don't know exactly I'm paying for.

WILLIS: Well, if you want to know what fees the fund charges, look for what they call the expense ratio. It tells you exactly how much of your investment you'll pay each year for everything from picking investments to administrative costs like printing and postage, and then there's something called loads. This is simply a fails charge that comes with the price of the mutual fund to compensate the broker or financial adviser who sells it to you and the load, of course, immediately trims your investment return.

If you're in an index fund that means a fund with no active management, you should be paying bargain basement prices of no more than 0.25 percent. As a general rule, you should get below 1 percent for a stock fund and below 0.075 percent for a bond fund -- Heidi.

COLLINS: So, where do we find these fees?

WILLIS: Well, your fund's prospectus should spell it all out but you could also check out, just type in the fund you're interested in. And you'll be able to get an outline of the expense ratio and what they call the load amount, which we've explained. Plus you'll be able to get info on the fund's return, information on managers, all kinds of great details there.

And if you have a question you'd like to have us answer, send it to us, And if you missed anything, check out our blog at for all those details.

COLLINS: I bet that blog is busy, busy lately. And I know are you busy lately. "ISSUE #1," coming up today at noon.

What are you guys going to be talking about?

WILLIS: We have a jampacked show. Remember those housing bills that were supposed to help folks going through foreclosure? Well, we'll tell you where all that stands and why you should buy your airline ticket right now.

COLLINS: Yes. You're right about that. OK. All right. Gerri Willis, nice to see you. I'll wait for you to come back at noon. Thank you.

WILLIS: Thank you, Heidi.

COLLINS: Paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last hour, President Bush signed legislation that includes $162 billion to help pay for fighting both wars into early next year.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A few moments ago go, I signed legislation that funds our troops who are in harm's way. Our nation has no greater responsibility than supporting our men and women in uniform. Especially since we're at war.


COLLINS: The bill also provides a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits, doubling of the G.I. bill, and more than $2 billion in emergency flood relief for the Midwest.

Violence is down and security is improving in Iraq. The latest security reports submitted to Congress this month shows major violence is down 40 percent to 80 percent from levels seen before the so-called surge. And total security incidence have fallen to the lowest level in more than four years. The report goes on to say coalition and Iraqi forces have reduced al Qaeda and Iraq's ability to launch attack, but the report points out the group still pose as major threat.

Let's take a look at where the presidential candidates stand on Iraq. Now, Democrat Barack Obama opposed the use of military force in Iraq. He voted for a war spending bill that would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March of this year. He supports a phased redeployment of U.S. combat troops at a pace of one or two brigades a month. He also opposes President Bush's plan to send additional troops to Iraq.

Republican John McCain voted for the use of military force in Iraq and was an early proponent of sending additional American troops to Iraq. He also supported President Bush's veto of a war spending bill would have withdrawn most U.S. troops by March of this year. The Iraq war five years and counting. This morning President Bush as we just said signed that legislation paying for the war into early next year when a new president takes over. The big focus, driving a lot of our coverage today on CNN. With updates on violence, the funding and the troops. We'll stay on top of it for you.

Meanwhile, hungry for energy, China's search from the wind to the willows.


COLLINS: Welcome back once again, everybody.

I want to show you these pictures coming out of Crown King, Arizona, our affiliate there KTVK, we appreciate that. Boy, it's a pretty fast moving fire that we're looking at. Approximately 500 acres or so. We've got about 120 people evacuated. It's a small town of about 400, but the homes are very scattered. A lot of them are actually summer cabins.

So we are looking at this fire as I said, pretty fast moving, as well. Some very heavily forested area as can you probably tell whenever the smoke clears there, you get an idea of just how many trees and how dense it is. Also, there has been huge bark beetle infestation in that area, so we're talking about a lot of dead, dried out trees, and I'm sure that is just igniting with the snap of a finger.

Our Rob Marciano is watching all of this alongside us, and, boy, it's just another dry spot that we're talking about in the West.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know it's been a dry spring for the most part. They're getting in to monsoon season now, which brings in thunderstorms, not all of which bring in rain and that's been one of the main problems especially in California that we've seen with dry thunderstorms, sparking fires and then not bringing any of the needed moisture.

And there you see those flames climbing up the rugged terrain there in that part of Arizona. And it looks like it's spotting, Heidi, where you've got different spots flaring up. The embers getting caught up in the wind and then getting tossed in the other areas. So hopefully they will get on hold of that.

Heat is the forecast, no rain, and that's not going to help them all that much. Winds shouldn't be terrible there, but certainly when you're talking about the sun which is the strong as it gets, right now, and the combined effect of low humidity and pretty high temperatures, that's where we have the issues there. So just north of Phoenix is where this particular fire is burning. We've got a thousand fires burning in California, mostly in northern California. There's a threat to see more dry lightning in that area today.

All right, we mentioned the record heat. Check out some of these numbers out. In central and eastern Washington, 104 LaCrosse, Wenatchee 101, even Idaho getting in to the act at 96 -- Dulles, Oregon had 107 yesterday. Seattle, Washington also had a record high, so the west for the most part is certainly turning up the furnace. Those fires that you're seeing in California and Arizona not helping matters either.

Today's critical fire dangers northeastern California to northwestern parts of Nevada, even southeastern parts of Oregon. These are all east of the Cascades and the Sisques (ph) and the Sierra Nevada, so this is dry country to begin with, and so sort of thunderstorm activity that pops up is probably not going to have a whole lot of moisture.

We go to Salt Lake City, which will see, likely, some temperatures that could touch records today. They're building a lot there -- all those construction cranes. KSL, thanks for your shot there. We're looking at high temperatures today in SLC to get at least 100 degrees. Could even be a little bit warmer than that.

So try to stay cool out there. We're just getting into the fire season, so we'll see what happens with that Arizona fire. No rain in the forecast for today.

COLLINS: OK. Bummer. All right. Long, long summer that's for sure.

Rob Marciano, thank you.


COLLINS: You've been hearing this a lot lately, hold to your wallet. Oil and gas prices have hit new records this morning, and one possible solution to the crisis may be a painful one.'s Poppy Harlow has our "Energy Fix" from New York.

Hey there, Poppy.

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Good morning, Heidi.

Well let's start with the hard numbers here. Oil prices climbing above $143 a barrel this morning. That's a new record high. A lot of the same culprits we've been talking about putting upward pressure on the price of oil and what you're seeing at the pump. We have a weak U.S. dollar compared to the other major currencies. Mounting tension in Iran and some fears of surging worldwide demand.

Today's price leap has shown a rise of nearly 50 percent in terms of oil prices since just the beginning of this year and since almost all of us use oil in one way or another, it's a burden for all of us. Gas prices, meantime, are rising not as sharply. They are up 38 percent from a year ago. Still, the price of gas -- AAA says hitting a new record high today, $4.09 a gallon. And, of course, Heidi, further increases are expected.

Right now, 33 states and the District of Columbia now pay more than $4 a gallon on average, Heidi. So a rough awakening this Monday morning certainly.

COLLINS: Yes, I was telling Ali that I filled my own tank over the weekend and it was brutal. Very brutal.

HARLOW: It is.

COLLINS: It's tough. We keep looking for answers to the crisis, mostly because we feel sort of helpless in all this. And the producers are telling me you have answers.

HARLOW: Yes, we have some answers.

We keep pressing the point that there are no easy fixes. It has to do a lot with conservation. One scenario also that could likely bring down prices, it's not really a pretty one, it's a huge global slow down. We talk so much about surging demand, so a slow down in the U.S. and in other countries.

There's an organization in Switzerland, it's basically like the supreme central bank. What it does is it oversees our Federal Reserve and similar banks around the world. And it says that we may now be near what they're calling a tipping point, where the rising prices would cause a global economic slow down, meaning people wouldn't drive as much, they wouldn't heat their homes as much, they wouldn't fly as much and that would mean consumption would fall. That would bring down prices. But again, it's a rough economic scenario. It's a rough environment. People out there right now just have to conserve. And right now on our Web site, a new story just went up, all about easy energy fixes, ways to conserve, because that looks like that's what's happening for Americans right now. That's what they have to do.

COLLINS: All right.'s Poppy Harlow. Thank you, Poppy.


COLLINS: China, hungry for energy and doing everything it can to get it. That includes going green in Inner Mongolia.

Here now is CNN's John Vause.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Call it China's great wind rush, sprouting up almost everywhere here on the flat plains of Inner Mongolia -- thousands of these towering turbines. Here, the wind blows strong and constant. On average, between 16 and 20 miles an hour, perfect for keeping the blades turning, the electricity humming.

"It's like music, it makes me feel good when I hear it," says Wang Yong, a local official responsible for wooing energy companies to these breezy grasslands.

Like these wind towers (ph), Wang's job didn't exist four years ago. But with soaring prices for oil and coal, wind power is booming. Right now, though, it still provides less than 1 percent of China's electricity, but output doubled last year and expectations are for much more within the next decade.

"If development goes well, the installed capacity would be around 5 to 8 percent of total capacity, making this a genuine alternative energy," says Qin Haiyan, head of China's Wind Power Association.

(on camera): Out here, the mega winds mean megawatts. And there's lots of wide open spaces. Inner Mongolia is about the same size as South Africa but with a relatively small population. And that means there's plenty of cheap land to build a lot more of these giant wind turbines.

(voice-over): China, say the experts, has no other choice. To keep its economy powering along, it needs as much energy it can get. Right now it relies heavily on coal, but that won't last and has caused huge environmental damage. So the Chinese are investing in alternatives -- hydro and solar, nuclear and biofuels.

CHRISTOPHER FLAVIN, PRES., WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE: If China does not fully embrace and develop the potential for renewable energy, its own economic future is going to be sacrificed.

VAUSE: Three years ago, the government passed a law requiring power operators to buy from alternative energy providers, both big and small. Like Li Jinglu and his biomass power company on the edge of the Inner Mongolian desert, fueled by sand willows, the same hearty trees people here once planted to try to stop the spread of the desert.

"When the desert turns green," Li says, "we harvest large amounts of biomass, which can be used just like coal. This is the excavation of a green coal mine."

When his small plant fires up in August, it should produce 200 million kilowatt hours a year -- renewable, carbon mutual electricity, enough to power about 20,000 average American homes. It's not much in a country of more than a billion, but may be just part of the solution as China searches for a reliable alternative energy, looking everywhere from the wind to the willows.

John Vause, CNN, Inner Mongolia.


COLLINS: Troubling new studies. CT scans and cancer risks. Elizabeth Cohen drops by with important questions for your doctor.


COLLINS: The NTSB joining the investigation now into that collision of two medical helicopters. It happened yesterday. And Mike Watkiss, of affiliate KTBK, is joining us now from Flagstaff, Arizona with the very latest on this.

Boy, what an awful event that happened here.

MIKE WATKISS, KTBK REPORTER: Yes, a terrible tragedy here in Arizona's high country yesterday, Heidi.

We're in a parking lot literally across the street from the big medical facility where these two choppers were inbound yesterday. Not literally across the street -- you can see behind me on that ridge is in essence the crash scene where these two big choppers came down yesterday just before 4:00. Now surrounded by red tape -- in essence the investigative scene. Still some plumes of --

COLLINS: Darn it, it looks like we lost our reporter there coming to from KTBK. Mike Watkiss was telling us what was happening with all of this.

But I can update you quickly. What we have learned is that the Go Team, a specialized group of investigators, has left Washington, D.C. where the NTSB had its headquarters of course. And particularly the Go Team will go out and try to learn more about how this may have happened. Mike started telling us about how six people were killed. There's another in critical condition. These two medical helicopters had a midair collision yesterday. It was very near the actual hospital facility, you can see sort of the wreckage there.

So once again, the Go Team heading out there to try and learn more about what could have gone wrong. Really, really a tragedy there. We'll continue to follow that story for you.

Before exposing your child or yourself to a cat scan, here's something you should know. Recent studies link multiple scans to an increased cancer risk. Elizabeth Cohen is back now, joining us with more on this.

When people hear that -- because, CT scans are pretty common -- they get worried.


And here's the bottom line that you need to know. CT scans are incredible technology that have saved live. But they do include radiation, in fact, quite a bit of radiation, that will increase your cancer risk by a small amount.

Let's take a look actually at results of a study that Heidi referred to. What they found was that the patients in the study, just randomly selected patients who came to the ER, when they looked at them, they had received an average of 40 mSvs of radiation.

MSV is just the unit of measurement, you don't have to worry about that.

But 40, and when you think about the fact that your average chest x-ray is only .02 mSvs, that's a the lot radiation, the difference between .02 and 40. And most of that 40 was coming from CT scans. So when a doctor recommends one, you want to think -- there is a risk to that test you're getting. Maybe a very tiny risk, but there's a risk.

COLLINS: So then you also have to think, well do I really need this? I guess that's something you have to discuss with your doctor, or if there's something else with you do.

COHEN: Exactly. And too many people don't do that. Too many people say, the doctor recommended a CT scan, I guess I need one. No, there are questions that you should ask your doctor first because there's a lot of criticism that doctors are overdoing this new fabulous -- relatively new, fabulous technology.

So let's take a look at three questions that you can ask your doctor. First of all, ask: Is there an alternative? Could I have, for example, an ultrasound, instead? Also, ask: Have I had this CT scan already?

I know that sounds silly, but CT scans sometimes have already been done at another hospital or by another doctor and it's such a pain to get it transferred from doctor to doctor, that they're like, let's just do a new one. Make sure that doesn't happen to you. It's worth the effort to get the old one.

Also, make sure that your child is getting a child's sized dose of radiation. This one is extremely important. Sometimes kids get an adult size of radiation. And that still, even though they've been hammering away at this, this that is not a good thing.

COLLINS: Well how do you make sure? Just -- before you go in --

COHEN: You ask. You ask the question, or you ask before. When the doctor recommends it, you ask before. You have to be really an empowered patient and advocate for yourself. We talk all the time on your show about this. And -- we have all sorts of hints about how to advocate for yourself. This is one area, when it comes to CT scans, you really want to step in and ask the right questions.

COLLINS: Managing your own health care. Very important.

COHEN: There you go -- participating.

COLLINS: All right. We appreciate that. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks so very much.

COHEN: Thank you.

COLLINS: Questionable results in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe the overwhelming victor in the presidential runoff. Leaders of other African nations divided over how to react.


COLLINS: Quick results in Zimbabwe's runoff. President Robert Mugabe stays in power.

CNN's David McKenzie looks at the controversial election.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Once again they predictably gathered to crown their president. After nearly three decades ruling this country, the 84-year-old sole presidential candidate, Robert Mugabe, took the stage to start another five years at the helm.

PRES. ROBERT MUGABE, ZIMBABWE: I, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, do swear that I will well and truly serve Zimbabwe in the office of president. So help me God.

MCKENZIE: It's the law, the opposition and international communities say, Mugabe disregarded with impunity to win this election. Pre-election violence swept the country and forced the opposition to pull out. Human rights groups and observers reported widespread intimidation, torture camps and murders.

On election day, many opposition supporters dared not to vote, despite accounts of armed gangs forcing people to the polls. Those who did vote often managed to take a small stand, thousands of votes spoiled.

It took five long weeks to release the first round of March presidential election results. This time, the counting took just two days. African observers quickly condemned the vote.

DIANNE KOHLER BARNARD, SO. AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY: As I sit here, Robert Mugabe is being sworn in as the president of Zimbabwe after this bizarre situation in Zimbabwe that -- no one could possibly call it an election. It really was nothing but a war against defenseless Zimbabweans.

MCKENZIE: But Robert Mugabe has long defied his critics, saying only God can remove him from office. Even after an election that was called a sham, he talked of compromise.

MUGABE: Indeed it is my hope that sooner rather than later, we shall, as diverse political parties, (INAUDIBLE) towards such serious dialogue as will minimizing our differences and enhance the area of unity and cooperation between us.

MCKENZIE: The MDC responded that Mugabe talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION LEADER: This is not an extension of the head. He is, in that circumstance (ph) -- he has no option but to negotiate with the opposition.

MCKENZIE: World leaders say Robert Mugabe is isolated.

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: There will come a time when he will realize that the rest of Africa, leaders that he's worked with over the years, are no longer prepared to support the brutality and the violence and the oppression of his regime.

MCKENZIE: And the international community making it clear it will help rebuild Zimbabwe only if democracy is restored in the country.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


COLLINS: A meal fit for a queen and a prince charming to serve it all up, complete with a smile and tiaras.


COLLINS: The Iraq War, five years and counting. This morning President Bush signed legislation paying for the war into early next year when a new president takes over. It is a big focus driving a lot of our coverage today on CNN with updates on the violence, the funding and the troops.

In fact, we are asking you for your thoughts on Iraq. Our Veronica De La Cruz is joining us now with a few we have gotten so far.

Hi there, Veronica.


Kevin Garafalo (ph), he sent us this I-Report I wanted to show you, Heidi. He believes that U.S. troops should stay in the country. He sent us this image of something he drew, and he says, if we don't follow through with our actions, we will have accomplished nothing. We can't just back out because suddenly the war has become inconvenient. There are people over there counting on us.

Heidi, he goes on to say, if we don't stick around, there will be far more violence than there is today. I wouldn't rule out seeing a larger civil war, and perhaps even a genocide.

Another one we received, Heidi, this is from Captain Carlito Flores. He just returned home from Iraq on Saturday. He's been there working as a military transition team adviser for an Iraqi battalion. And he says, the next president needs to know it's going to be a really long haul if he decides to continue with this course of action," and believes there is increased stability within a lot of the major cities and that the majority of the AQI (ph) has them pushed out.

He says, for nation building and counter insurgency, this is a big investment for the U.S. and is time consuming. He says U.S. presence in the country should be ultimately reduced and believes that troops could serve new rotations like they do in maybe Egypt, the Balkans, or Germany.

And then on a personal note, here is he with his aunt and uncle, where he says he's happy to be home, he's anxious to be spending some time with his family. And get this, Heidi, today he is shopping for a ring for his girlfriend because he will be proposing.

COLLINS: Excellent.

DE LA CRUZ: So some good news.

And keep in mind, we do want to hear from you. If you are directly affected by the war in Iraq, or you have a loved one who is serving: What would you say to the next U.S. president?

You can go ahead and send us an I-Report by logging on to -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. Very good. Thanks so much -- Veronica De La Cruz this morning.

Well, it may not do much for a man's ego, but it sure is making the ladies happy.

CNN's Kyung Lah reports on a Tokyo restaurant serving up prince charming for its customers.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And they lived happily ever after, just like the fairy tale says, right?

Not always.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, my princess has just -- LAH: But dream life meets real life at the Butler's Cafe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every princess needs --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're special tiara.

LAH: Yes, those are tiaras gracing the heads of giddy customers. Or ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My princesses --

LAH: ... as they're called here.

They're served sweets and tea, surrounded by flowers from a dashing man on bended knee. And not just any man, all of the servers are Western men. Innocent fun, nothing more, they say, here at your beck and call.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Yes, my princess.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you sell these?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please enjoy, my princess.

THOR HELGASON, BUTLER'S CAFE: I thought it was English teaching or nothing, but no, apparently there is other work for us out here.

LAH (on camera): The owner came up with the concept by walking through streets of Sebula (ph). She spoke to 200 woman who all told her the same thing -- they wanted a cafe where the waiters were male, good looking, would treat them nice, but most importantly, were Western.

(voice-over): "Being a gentleman is embarrassing for Japanese men," says cafe owner, Yuki Hirohata. "Our culture isn't like that."

Hirohata says women are exhausted by the rules of Japanese society, unyielding in its expectations of a woman's role in maintaining a career, home, husband and family.

"We're tired from our daily lives," says this customer. "These guys are different than Japanese men. They're smoother and make me feel special."

CHRISPEN DEVERILL, BUTLER'S CAFE: I think maybe just for the princesses, it's refreshing to see. This guy -- he's comforting, he's like, hey how are you? And --

LAH (on camera): Prince charming.

DEVERILL: Yes, maybe prince charming.

LAH (voice-over): Brendan Reed, a native of Chicago, Illinois doesn't mind being the object of their affection.

BRENDAN REED, BUTLER'S CAFE: You have bars for men; you have bars for women. You have Hooters. You have -- you have a lot of places where you're going into kind of a special place, or a special area, where the rules are a little different.

HELGASON: Something I haven't told anybody about back home yet, but --

LAH (on camera): I think the cat is out of the bag.

HELGASON: I guess I'm going to have to now.

LAH (voice-over): Campy, silly? Perhaps. But for just one lunch, these ladies say, their story book becomes (ph) a life.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.


COLLINS: I like it.

You know what they say -- when you've got go, you've got to go. Check out this outhouse race in Georgetown, Minnesota. Eight teams of three people each, and just two rules. A chance to see who has the fastest toilet in town.

The winners, the Intrepid Flying Buttresses, say team spirit carried them to victory.


ASHLIE DALEN, THE FLYING BUTTRESSES: It was all a team, collective effort and just -- the funniness of having an outhouse race, that's really community spirit right there.


COLLINS: That's going to bring back remnants of (INAUDIBLE).

This is the first year of the race, in fact. The Flying Buttresses get to defend their thrown next year.

A day at an air show proves fatal. A five-year-old was killed, 12 other people injured, when strong winds blew across an air show crowd in northern Alabama. The "Huntsville Times" newspaper quotes witnesses saying a generator fell on the child. Winds were clocked at close 50 miles an hour.

Severe weather in New Jersey, as well. Several trees were uprooted and officials are trying to determine now if a tornado swept through South Brunswick. No reports of injuries there, though.

And in Omaha, Nebraska power still out for about 24,000 customers after a storm on Friday. No tornado, but the National Weather Service estimates that winds reached 115 miles an hour. We'll have the very latest from Rob Marciano straight ahead.

You're with CNN everybody. I'm Heidi Collins. Tony has the day off today.

Developments keep coming into the NEWSROOM on Monday, June 30. Here's what's on the rundown.

Is the U.S. setting the stage for a military strike on Iran? A magazine article claims commandos are carrying out covert ops now.

June misfortune -- stocks down 10 percent this month. So far, a yo-yo morning on Wall Street.

Federal crash investigators arriving in Arizona this hour, medical helicopters collide, killing six people. A news conference, live, in the NEWSROOM.