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Iran in a Spectacular Show of Force; Jesse Jackson Apologized to Senator Obama; Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Attending a Breakfast Fund-Raiser in New York City; The Dark Side of Black Gold; Glacier in Argentina Cracks Sending Ice Tumbling Into a Lake
Aired July 10, 2008 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: It's just about to cross the top of the hour. And we are following breaking news right now. Tensions in the Middle East running high again this morning after Iran pulls the trigger yet again. Test firing medium and long-range missiles during military exercises. Some of those missiles can travel far enough to make them capable of hitting Israel.
Iran's dramatic show of force comes after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned that the United States won't back down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: We are also sending a message to Iran that we will defend American interests and defend the interests of our lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Our State Department Correspondent Zain Verjee is watching all of these latest developments out of Iran and the American reaction. She joins us live from Washington.
Zain, what else has the State Department had to say on this?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, just a short while ago, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told CNN echoing some of those words from Secretary Rice that Iran poses multiple threats to the entire region. The U.S., he said, is working with allies around the world to confront that threat and the U.S. will make it clear to Iran that the U.S. will defend its interests, as well as those of their friends in the region.
ROBERTS: And how close does the United States believe that Iran is to having nuclear weapons and also there was this story that was out there. David Albright, the former U.N. weapons inspector suggested that plans for a nuclear bomb small enough to fit on one of the missiles, the type that Iran has, had been floating around out there, not knowing whether or not Iran actually acquired those plans?
VERJEE: Well, there's a lot of questions and a lot still is unclear. But the Intelligence community will generally tell you that if everything goes according to Iran's plan, they would get nuclear bomb by the year, between 2010 and 2015.
Right now, Iran can only enrich uranium that is not weapons grade. So they still need to work on that to be effective in any kind of way. That's David Albright and the rest of the world is worried about.
ROBERTS: All right. Zain Verjee for us this morning from Washington. Zain, thanks so much.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And the Pentagon is also monitoring Iran's new missile test this morning. We're learning of the U.S. Navy recently held a missile defense test checking out its communications network across the Middle East.
Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr joins us live with more details on that.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kiran. As you would expect, the U.S. military watching those long-range missiles test by Iran very carefully, but also, Kiran, a series of Iranian exercises inside the Persian Gulf.
Naval Iranian exercises being conducted by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. Now, the U.S. military believes all of this is essentially a lot of saber rattling by Iran. But yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates went to great pains to tell the world to take a deep breath about all of this. Listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The reality is that there is a lot of signalling going on, but -- but I think everybody recognizes what the consequences of any kind of a conflict would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: So one of the fundamental bottom line questions here, referencing what Secretary Gates is really talking about, is could/would Iran make a move to shut down the oil flow through the Strait of Hormuz.
Now, the U.S. believes Iran has no intention of doing that at this point. Do they have a capability, yes. They could shut it down for a while. But it is a matter of U.S. policy that the U.S. military would move in very quickly to reopen the Strait of Hormuz. Would not allow that to happen.
How could the U.S. military reopen it? They could begin escorting oil tanker ships, fly combat air patrols, even take out some of those Iranian air defenses. So there's a lot of signaling going on even by the U.S.
CHETRY: All right. Barbara Starr for us this morning from the Pentagon. Thank you.
ROBERTS: Senator John McCain commenting on Iran's aggressive military tests, saying that it's a, quote, "serious escalation." He warns that effective sanctions against Tehran are needed and needed now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESUMPTIVE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE: But the time has now come for effective sanctions on Iran which will then, I believe, can have a modifying affect on their very aggressive behavior, not only rhetorically but in their pursuit of nuclear weapons as well as this latest missile test. So lines of communication are fine. Action is what's necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Barack Obama has said that the U.S. needs to open up direct channels of communication with Tehran if Washington wants Iran to stop its disputed nuclear program.
Jesse Jackson apologizing for some comments that he made about Senator Obama. Jackson called the remarks, quote, "crude and hurtful." But he thought his microphone was off when he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER & PRESIDENT, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: See, Barack been talking down to the black people on this faith base. I want to cut his (BLEEP) off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Earlier on AMERICAN MORNING, I spoke to Jesse Jackson about his comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACKSON: It's ugly and unnecessary. That's why I was really quick to apologize because Barack and I are friends. I am a passionate supporter of his campaign, longstanding and currently and will continue to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Jackson said his real problem is with faith-based programs which he says do not do enough to help people.
CHETRY: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are attending a breakfast fund-raiser right now in New York City at this hour. In fact, we have some live pictures. There you see it.
This is a joint appearance at a Women for Obama Finance Reception in New York. Meanwhile, in an event last night, Barack Obama nearly forgot to ask his donors to help Hillary Clinton pay off her part of her campaign debt. He'd already finished speaking and then he came back on stage to make the appeal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE: Senator Clinton still has some debt. And I could have had some debt if I hadn't won, so I know the drill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Obama told the crowd giving money to Clinton is one of the best ways to ensure the party will be unified in the fall campaign.
And freed hostage Ingrid Betancourt spoke exclusive to Larry King last night describing how she was tortured, blindfolded and forced to wear chains during her more than six years of captivity in a Colombian jungle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INGRID BETANCOURT, RESCUED HOSTAGE: It was hell. It was hell for the body. It was hell for the soul. It was hell for the mind. Everything was so horrible. I mean, every -- we had all kind of pains. Little pains, big pains.
LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: You were physically tortured as well as mentally tortured?
BETANCOURT: We all were. We all were.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: Betancourt also said that death was her, quote, "everyday companion in the jungle." Betancourt and 14 other hostages were rescued last week. Those are the pictures when they were told on that helicopter, you are free. And she describes the joy that she felt and the screams that she said came right from her stomach after learning that she was, indeed, finally free.
Well, coming up on the "Most News in the Morning," turning sand into oil. New energy sources or an environmental disaster? The dark side of black gold. CNN's Ali Velshi on the hot button issue.
ROBERTS: Also ahead, Obama's Caribbean music connection. Around the world, the power and influence of Calypso on your vote.
CHETRY: Also, the latest on this morning's breaking news and that's Iran's second day of missile tests. Continuing coverage all morning long on the "Most News in the Morning."
ROBERTS: Well, fewer people living in those little pink houses these days. June was another rough month for the housing industry. RealtyTrac, the company that tracks home foreclosures says they dropped 3 percent in June but we're still up 53 percent from a year earlier. A quarter of a million foreclosure notices went out last month. Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rates.
What is the fastest growing big city in the country? It's New Orleans, according to the census bureau. The city's population jumped nearly 14 percent between July of 2006 and July of 2007. But that is still well below what it was before Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans's current population is now between 315 and 320,000 people.
CHETRY: And Ali Velshi joins us now. He's been covering ways to find new sources of fuel and energy. And one has been a trip up to Canada. The third installation now of your visit to the oil sands. You're talking about the environmental impact.
ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And thankfully since we've run this earlier this morning, the hate mail has stopped from those of you who thought we forgot to cover the environmental aspect of this. It is the third and final installment of our series on Canada's oil sands, which today pumped 1.5 million barrels of oil into the United States everyday.
Now, as long as oil prices stay high, even above 50 bucks a barrel, there's a lot more oil that can come from Northern Canada. But some say, it's a win-win situation. Canada gets money for this oil. The U.S. gets as much oil as it wants to from Canada. But others say that the cost to the environment is too high.
VELSHI (voice-over): Robert Cree lives on an Indian Reserve in Canada. He's worried about the future of his ancestral land. His home sits on top of the oil sands, the world's largest known reserve of oil.
(on-camera): This is oil sand. It's basically little grains of sand with a little bit of water in it and bitumen, which is -- yet, it sort of smells and feels a little like tar but it's not actually tar.
Now, what you do is you separate the bitumen from the water and the sand. And when you purify it, it sort of comes out like this. It looks like molasses. It's very thick and heavy.
(voice-over): That heavy stuff is then upgraded into usable like crude oil. 1.5 million barrels of it per day and growing fast. Most of it U.S. bound. So what's the problem?
Critics say the upgrading process emits three times as much carbon dioxide as drilling for conventional oil and transporting it to market. Shell, one of the major operators in the area, disputes that saying it's only twice as polluting.
Still, the oil sands are responsible for three percent of Canada's total greenhouse gas emission. And then there's the land. The oil sands are under 54,000 square miles. An area the size of Florida. And some of that area woodland has to be clear cut to be surface mined, creating the largest industrial zone on earth. Robert Cree says cutting the forest down could bring environmental disaster.
ROBERT CREE, GREGOIRE LAKE RESERVE: I call the Boreal Forest lungs of the earth. And if the Boreal Forest were depleted to a point and what's going to happen?
VELSHI: And then there's the water taken from the local river used to wash the oil from the sand. The used water is then left to evaporate in huge lined ponds required by law to ensure it doesn't leak back into the earth.
After it's gone, a fine sand blows across a vast, surreal, devastated landscape. Locals have reported deformed fish, discolored meat in the wildlife, and a local health Ford study says there's been a spike in illnesses. Cree Chief George Poitras wants new oil sands production to stop until the dangers are clearly established.
CHIEF GEORGE POITRAS, MIKISEW CREE FIRST NATION: And like any kind of resource boom anywhere in the world, people will come and exploit and then they'll leave. And we'll be here with land that is decimated.
VELSHI: The oil companies are required to replant the land that they displace. They show off this former mine complete with bison as an example of what the land can look like once it's reclaimed. It's a process that can take up to 50 years.
VELSHI: Well, the environmental concerns have spread to the United States. Some U.S. mayors are urging major American cities to ban the use of gas that's made from oil sands in municipal vehicles. Although, experts say it's virtually impossible to trace the origins of any given gasoline to where it starts because it all kind of get mixed in and sent to refineries.
ROBERTS: This huge collision between the energy needs of the world and an environmental need.
VELSHI: That's exactly what it is.
ROBERTS: I haven't figured it all out.
VELSHI: Well, taken a lot to sort of get all the aspects of the story out, but one thing we want to do is hear from you. So for those of you who have opinions on this or other ideas about where else we can look for energy. Call in today from 11:00 to 12:00 Eastern on "Issue #1" radio. The number is 877-266-4189. And you see we've evolved into clearer names for the radio show.
CHETRY: "The Ali Velshi Show," where did you think of that?
VELSHI: Well, it's better than it's not just "The Gas." ROBERTS: And maybe some of your callers will be as colorful as your e-mail.
VELSHI: Oh, I have some colorful e-mails, but we welcome it. We want to hear what you think about it. That's what we're here for.
ROBERTS: Looking forward to it. Thanks, Ali.
Live pictures from New York City where Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are about to make a joint appearance together. We're going to take you there live when it happens.
Plus, breaking news from Iran. A second day of missile tests. Missiles capable of hitting Israel. The breaking details, ahead.
CHETRY: Also, a glacier in Argentina cracks sending ice tumbling into a lake. Now, this usually happens only in the summer. But it's winter there now and that has some people pointing the finger at global warming.
And it's called the Dungeon. One of the worst labs in the country for chimpanzees. But now, these animals are being rescued.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's your turn. You guys are next.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHETRY: The new island home for the chimps to spend the rest of their lives in paradise.
ROBERTS: We are continuing to watch the breaking news out of Iran this morning. The country test firing another round of medium and long-range missiles. It's the second straight day of launches. State television said the missiles have, quote, "special capabilities." But Tehran didn't go into detail about that.
On Tuesday, the nation test fired at least nine missiles including some with the capability of the hitting Israel.
CHETRY: Well, extreme weather now. A huge glacier in Argentina cracks. Now, this does happen every few years, usually though in the summer. And right now, it's winter in South America. Scientists were debating if global warming is responsible.
Also, check out this. It's a funnel cloud spotted over Emporia, Kansas. Sirens went off to alert people about the storm. Luckily, though, no injuries or damages were reported.
Also, wildfires burning in California forced thousands of people from their home. Thousands of residents of the Sierra Nevada Foothills told to evacuate. Nearly 3,000 firefighters on the scene and could face difficulty from hot weather and stronger winds. At 19 past the hour, Jacqui Jeras in the CNN weather center, keeping track of the fire danger.
You know, a lot of it depends on the weather. And unfortunately, it's been dry and hot and windy over the past few days, Jacqui.
ROBERTS: 21 minutes after the hour. Iran in a spectacular show of force test firing a number of missiles overnight. Weapons capable of reaching Israel. We're following the breaking news on that today.
And police take down a group of terrorists that China says was plotting to sabotage the summer Olympics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now have pretty irrefutable DNA evidence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: 24 minutes after the hour now. Iran test fires more medium and long-range missiles overnight. The second straight day of launches comes as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warns Iran that the United States will watch out for its allies and its interest in the region.
CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour is watching these new developments this morning. She joins us live on the phone from France.
Christiane, these back-to-back missile tests, what do you think is going on?
ON THE PHONE: CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, on the one hand they have routine military exercises in the Persian Gulf. And they have tested some of these before. On the other hand, of course, it comes at a time of heightened tension in that region. Particularly, Iran has been saying that it will defend itself if attacked by Israel or the United States. If the nuclear facilities are attacked.
This, of course, comes right at the time when the United States and Europe are presenting or has presented Iran with a new proposal to resolve the impasse on the nuclear negotiations. And Iran has said to be considering it and Europe has said to be considering Iran's response.
In Iran, itself, I've heard from officials that they do not want to be seen to be negotiating on anything that could be perceived as a sign of weakness. They don't want any flexibility on their part to be misconstrued as a sign of weakness.
So this potentially could be muscle flexing in that regard. In addition to muscle flexing, in response to what they consider provocations or rhetoric that suggests attacks on its territory by Israel or the United States. But you also have mixed signals because in the United States the chief of the -- the joint chief of staff, the chairman had said that any attack on Iran would be a high-risk operation that would destabilize that region, which is really not an endorsement of an attack on Iran.
And in Iran, itself, very high-level official close to the leader -- Ayatollah Khomeini had said that if it seems that the United States and Israel are trying to draw Iran into war, we must make sure we don't get drawn into war and we sort out our difficulties through negotiations.
For instance, the nuclear impact between Iran and the rest of the world. So there are all sorts of conflicting signals coming out about the current state of tensions.
ROBERTS: Christiane, last month we saw Israel conducting an exercise in the Mediterranean Sea that was about the precise distances it was from Israel to the Nathan's (ph) nuclear production site there in Tehran.
Certainly, Israel trying to send a signal that we can hit Iran if we want. Is this test firing, particularly of these Shahab-3 missiles that have a range of some 1200 miles? Is this Iran saying back to Israel, you can hit us, but here's a reminder, we can hit you as well?
AMANPOUR: Well, potentially. I mean, experts have basically said that they don't know how accurate these Iranian missiles are. But nonetheless, you know, they're fierce in things and anybody within range would be afraid.
There are different opinions, as I said, where these missiles could go. But also, of how directly Israel could reach the locations of the Iranian nuclear sites. Some have suggested that they are quite far and would require perhaps some U.S. facilitation in terms of in- air fuelling, perhaps U.S. facilitation because they might have to go over Iraq.
There are all sorts of different opinions militarily on just how far and how long range any of these strikes could be. Now, Israel did conduct those military exercises and they were deemed to be very intense and large scale. Also, don't forget, Israel struck a Syrian facility in September. And that then was widely considered to be as much to take that out as to send a message to Iran to beware.
So there is a lot of muscle flexing going on over this nuclear program that Iran has. Iran continues to insist that its civilian. Others continue to insist that it's not. And as I say, quite unusually, there has been a greater and more public debate in Iran over the last week or so, with very top officials calling for constructive and positive interaction with the West, and calling for diplomacy rather than the military solution.
ROBERTS: Well, people on both sides sort of upping the ante here today. Christiane Amanpour for us on the phone from France. Christiane, thanks for the analysis.
CHETRY: We have more breaking news this morning as well. Four suspects now under arrest in Turkey in connection with the attack outside of a U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. That's according to a Turkish news agency. We first brought you the pictures of the shooting yesterday that left six people dead.
Also new this morning, Chinese police claim they have broken up five terrorist rings accused of planning to sabotage the Olympic Games. State run media reported that 82 suspects were detained and a part of China that is home to a Sunni Muslim minority.
Investigators in Colorado still don't know who killed Jonbenet Ramsey. But they say they know who didn't do it. New DNA evidence has cleared Jonbenet's parents and her brother. The family's lived under a cloud of suspicion since the 6-year-old beauty queen was murdered 12 years ago.
CNN's Mary Snow looks at their extraordinary ordeal and vindication.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT John, Kiran, a Colorado prosecutor wrote a letter to John Ramsey explaining that new DNA samples in the case point to an unexplained third party.
SNOW (voice-over): Nearly 12 years after Jonbenet Ramsey's murder, prosecutors are now clearing the little girl's family of suspects. And the Boulder County District Attorney is apologizing, acknowledging that, quote, "on going living hell that suspicions about the Ramseys created."
The D.A. says new DNA evidence points to a male but doesn't belong to anyone in the Ramsey Family. Jonbenet's father, John, Mother, Patsy, who died in 2006, or Burke, the little girl's brother. John Ramsey spoke to KUSA.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN RAMSEY, JONBENET RAMSEY'S FATHER: The most significant thing to me was the fact that we now have pretty irrefutable DNA evidence according to the D.A.'s office. And that's the most significant thing to me. Certainly we are grateful that they acknowledge that we, you know, based on that, certainly could not have been involved.
SNOW: John Ramsey found his daughter's body on the morning of December 26th, 1996. Patsy had found a ransom note. They say that an intruder had entered their house. But Boulder County police at one point said the couple was under an umbrella of suspicion. Ramsey was asked by KUSA about the on-going doubts as the family maintained their innocence.
RAMSEY: I think people don't want to - they want an answer to that horrendous a crime. It's hard for people to accept, I think, that someone would come into a home and murder a child from their bed. And we were perhaps an answer.
SNOW: The Boulder County D.A. Mary Lacy told the Ramsey family that investigators used a new DNA technique that scraped items of clothing which did not show tracings of DNA but which JonBenet's attacker had touched. The tests were done on leggings that went over the little girl's underwear. The D.A. also apologized to the Ramseys saying, "to the extent that this office has added to the distress suffered by the Ramsey family at any time or to any degree, I offer my deepest apology."
SNOW (on camera): An attorney for the family told CNN that Patsy Ramsey's death was one of the sad notes of the news, because she isn't here to celebrate the vindication of her family. Patsy Ramsey died of cancer in 2006. Mary Snow, CNN, New York.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN, ANCHOR: And the case has been going on for 11 1/2 years. Here's a look back in an "A.M. Extra." December 26th, 1996, that's when JonBenet was found dead in her Colorado basement by her dad. In April of 1997, the district attorney says the Ramseys are under, "an umbrella of suspicion." Then two weeks later the Ramseys are formally interviewed in September of 1998, a grand jury gets the case. A year later the D.A. announces there won't be any indictments. And in August of 2006, John Mark Karr is arrested in Thailand after claiming that he was with JonBenet when she died. Prosecutors then dropped the case against him two weeks later based on DNA evidence.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN, ANCHOR: Another apology this morning from the Reverend Jesse Jackson for what he admits were hurtful comments about Senator Barack Obama. Jackson was caught on a live Fox News microphone over the weekend saying he wanted to cut off a very sensitive part of Obama's anatomy. He claimed that Obama, "talks down to black people." Earlier this morning we asked Reverend Jackson if he really thinks that's true. Here's how he responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER & PRES. RAINBOW COALITION: No, my concern was the limited focus on responsibility. We all must share the value of responsibility. But I submit to you that with jobs and investment leaving and drugs guns coming, however responsible you are, you need a government support mechanism. I'm glad that he responded quickly. I was quick to respond because I think this campaign represent a redemption of our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Jackson also responded to harsh criticism from his son about the comments. Jackson told us, "he is my congressman, I am his father, ultimately we get along."
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are attending a breakfast fund- raiser in New York at this hour. We're looking for some live pictures of the event. It's a Women for Obama Finance reception in Manhattan. Two New York fund-raisers yesterday for Obama and Clinton raised more than $5 million. Obama asked his donors to help Clinton pay off about $2 million of her campaign debt. Interesting to note that he forgot to do it in his initial address and had to come back and say, one thing I forgot, please help, send money.
CHETRY: Better late than never. At least he did.
Alina Cho here now with some other stories new this morning. Hi, Alina.
ALINA CHO, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, guys. Good morning again. Good morning, everybody. And new this morning, the largest measles outbreak in more than an decade has sickened 127 people in 15 states. No region of the country is spared. Washington, D.C. included as well. As are the west, mid west, south and the east. Health officials are calling it the biggest measles outbreak in the U.S. since 1997. Most of those who got sick had not been vaccinated.
The Salmonella probe is expanding not just tomatoes, investigators are now looking at jalapeno peppers and fresh cilantro as possible culprits. More than 1,000 people have gotten sick in 41 states and Canada. Now the country's largest food borne outbreak in a decade. Officials say the investigation is difficult because victims are having a hard time remembering where they may have eaten the tainted food. The tomato industry estimates losses at $100 million so far.
That time of year again, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. And so far today, at least seven people including a 31-year- old American have been injured. Some were trampled. A couple of gored. This is the fourth day of the annual event. The total number of people hurt so far this year, 27.
CHETRY: Notice, there's no women running with the bulls.
CHO: No, women, just men. Three days left though.
And Britain's Prince William taking part in a disaster relief drill in the Caribbean. I guess you have to do it, if you have to do it the Caribbean is not a bad place. In training with the Royal Navy. The drill simulated a bus crash during a category five hurricane in an active volcano region, just to make things a little more difficult. Last week William took part in a drug bust operation near Barbados with the U.S Coast Guard. His ship helped confiscate $100 million worth of drugs. Of course, all a drill.
ROBERTS: We want to quickly go back - thanks for that - to this event with Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. Women for Obama fund-raising event this morning. They're just up there on stage. Will be speaking in just a second. Greeting the crowd. Let's listen in here.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good morning, New York! Thank you all. Thank you so much. Thank you and - thank you for being here with all of us this morning. That is such a great - a great way to start a day. And I want to thank Maya for that wonderful introduction. As she said, she actually taught here in New York City on the lower east side for a number of years. She continues teaching now in Hawaii. And it was a real special treat to have her with us for this amazing women's breakfast. I'm grateful to all of you who have come together on behalf of Senator Obama's campaign, on behalf of unity in the democratic party, on behalf of winning the election in November.
One of the challenges of being in such a packed ballroom is that they have these bright lights which are in our eyes, and I can't see anybody who is out there but I - I know you're there and I know you'll be there in November as we take back the White House. And I was told before I came out that amidst this great crowd are a number of elected officials, all of whom we welcome, including the speaker, Chris Quinn from New York City. And the First Lady of New York, Michelle Patterson.
Barack and I were talking before we came out about the rigors of the campaign trail which are many. But it is such an extraordinary privilege to have done what both of us have the honor of doing over the last many months. To travel this country on behalf of the values and ideals that we share and to see day after day the resilience and resourcefulness, the goodness and greatness of the American people. Now, there are some differences.
For example, Barack said, well, you look kind of rested. I say well, kind of is the right descriptor but I'm actually if you don't tell anybody, you know, trying to exercise a little bit, which I'm told does wonders for a person. Because during the campaign, you, I'm sure, read that Barack would get up faithfully every morning and go to the gym. I would get up and have my hair done. It's one of those Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire things that are a part of our lives. But we shared this remarkable journey. And I could not be prouder to have this opportunity in front of so many of my friends and supporters to express my confidence in his candidacy and my commitment to ensuring that he will take the oath of office come next January 2009.
Now, I have had countless conversations with many people since the end of my campaign, and I know how difficult it is for people who have invested their time, their energy, their money, their emotion, their just entire being into any candidate, into any campaign, into any cause, that it really is an extraordinarily personal experience. And I think it's one of the great opportunities that we offer to ourselves because of our political system that really does depend upon thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people coming together to support someone like Barack or me who decides to step into the public arena. And when it is over, I know how difficult that is.
I have been in winning and losing campaigns for a very long time. And I've been in primary campaigns here in our democratic party. And I understand how challenging it is to turn on a dime to say, OK, close that chapter, now we're on to the next chapter. And it is a process and it does take time for people to just take a deep breath to go forward. But, of course, those who supported me, for whom I am forever grateful, knew that we were on this journey together because we believed so strongly in the kind of country that we want to see again. And anyone who voted for me has so much in common with those who voted for Barack.
And it is - it is critical that we join forces because the democratic party is a family. You know, sometimes a dysfunctional family, but it's a family, and we care about what's going to happen to the economy and health care and education, what's going to happen in Iraq and Afghanistan and to our young men and women in uniform, what's going to happen with our energy policy and whether we ever take on climate change in a meaningful way. We know that all of these concerns are ones that we get up in the morning with, we worry about, we go to bed at night still wondering, will we ever start acting like Americans again? Will we roll up our sleeves collectively and start tackling these problems? There is nothing beyond us, once we make up our minds that this is the work we will do. And that work cannot be done if we do not have a democratic president in the White House next year.
Now, the stakes in this election are high for everyone. Not just here in our country, but around the world. We have seen in a very painful way what happens when an American president leads us in the wrong direction, making decisions not premised on our values and who we really are, and we have seen the impact and many of us have witnessed it firsthand, traveling around the world, the quizzical, even angry looks and words that come from those who just can't understand what's happened to America.
So the stakes are high for everyone, literally around the world. But I would argue they're particularly high for women. It matters greatly who our president is. Whether or not we will pay attention to the needs of the women who work in this hotel who served this breakfast, who got up before the crack of dawn and came here hoping against hope that children they left behind a locked door or dropped off at day care would be safe. And wondering whether their work will be rewarded fairly or whether they'll still be discriminated against. Equal pay for equal work because then, in our laws for more than 40 years, but it's not yet the reality. And it's going to take an American president who understands, as (Maya) was saying, how hard it still is for so many women to keep body and soul together, to make it clear that fairness is an American value and fairness in the workplace to women will be the law of the land that is enforced once and for all when finally we have a democrat back in the Oval Office.
You know, women making the minimum wage and most minimum wage workers are well, who finally got a raise after 10 years, have seen that minimum raise in the minimum wage eaten up by the high cost of groceries and gas, the increasing problems of being able to afford all that comes with raising a family and making a life. And we're not going to raise the minimum wage again until we have a democratic president who makes it a priority. And we know very well that when it comes to health care, women make most of the decisions, not only for ourselves but also for our families, and the health care system is not equal and not fair.
Among those 47 million Americans without insurance, the majority are women working at low-wage jobs that don't provide insurance and certainly don't pay enough that you can afford it on your own. We've got to have a democratic president so that the dream many of us share that we will finally have quality, affordable health care for every single American is realized.
CHETRY: And we've been listening to Hillary Clinton speaking at a Women for Obama fund-raiser. We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, you're going to hear from Barack Obama. Stay with us.
CHETRY: And welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. We have breaking news, for the second day in a row, Iran test fires a slew of missiles some with enough range to reach Israel. Iran says it's in response to threats against his nuclear program. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice signed a preliminary agreement to install missile defense radars in the Czech Republic to defend against Iran. Russia though is now threatening a military response if that deal goes forward.
ROBERTS: At 49 minutes after the hour, I want to take you back to the Hilton towers here in New York where Hillary Clinton continues to speak at this joint appearance with Senator Barack Obama. It's a fund-raiser. Of course a lot of the money is going to go to Barack Obama but he helping her to retire more than $20 million worth of debt. Hillary Clinton said just a couple of minutes ago that this party has to be united. It is a somewhat dysfunctional party from time to time, echoing the old will Rogers missive that I belong to no organized party, I'm a democrat, but she said people who voted for her have a lot in common with Barack Obama and she's urging them to now support him. Let's go back and listen in for a little while.
CLINTON: - who is going to end the war in Iraq and win the war in Afghanistan once and for all.
So I want you to think about how our country will look a year from today. After the new president has been in office for a number of months, what will be happening here in America and around the world? Will we be seeing progress again, or not? Will we be seeing a Supreme Court that is finally stopped in its right word turn by a president who understands what is at stake for all of us? Will we see a return to supporting family planning around the world and here at home and protecting a woman's right to choose? Will America once again be respected? Will diplomacy be our preferred tool for furthering our interests and pursuing peace in the world? The answers to these and so many questions are literally within our hands.
I think our hard-fought primary was good for the democratic party. I think it brought our people, to the polls and energized millions, and it was an opportunity for so many who had never been involved in politics or even cared about it, to show up and be counted. Now we've got to add to those numbers. Barack and I brought out more voters than anyone ever have, and we need to build on that base and bring even more people into the democratic party because it's not just bringing them into our party, it is bringing them into a better future. So I ask for your help.
ROBERTS: There's more of Hillary Clinton this morning at this joint appearance with Senator Barack Obama. We expect that we'll be hearing from the Senator very shortly. We'll keep monitoring this.
Meantime, we got some other business to bring you. Every Thursday around this time, Dr. Sanjay Gupta digs into his medical mail bag to answer some of your questions and he's here now with us in New York. Great to see you.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks.
CHETRY: Nice to have you in person. You've been traveling around the world.
GUPTA: Yes, it's great to be here. And you know people watch these segments and actually and actually send in lots of questions. They're great.
CHETRY: Yes. We'll try to get some answered. Gladys writes in from your home state of Michigan, by the way, and she asks, well first of all, she said "thank you for reporting on the side effects of Cipro. I'm experiencing the tendon reaction you described. Now, what should I do now?
GUPTA: It's amazing. We talked about just this week. This was surprising even to me that an antibiotic would cause a toxicity or toxic effect on the tendons, the Achilles tendon. There is some specific advice. First of all, people at risk are people who are typically over the age of 60 or have had a transplant or are on steroids. And this can occur right away. One dose of Cipro and you can start to have this pain. Talk to your doctor about switching to another antibiotic and trying to get that tendon as much rest as possible. The goal now for you, Gladys, is to try and prevent this tendonitis from turning into a rupture.
ROBERTS: Sanjay, we got another question here, it comes from Mary of Ohio who says "I saw the popcorn cell phone story again in AMERICAN MORNING and realized that it was a way to promote bluetooth headsets but are those devices even safe?" Because they do emit a little bit of electromagnetic radiation.
GUPTA: They do, non-ionizing radiation, it's called. Look, if you ask the American Cancer Society, yes, most scientists will say not only are the bluetooths safe, the cell phones are safe as well. That's what the sort of position is. We've done a lot of research, a lot of home work on this. There are some concerns overall about cell phones but the bluetooth has much lower non-ionizing radiation. The biggest concern is here, one, is that you keep it in your ear all day long. At least a lot of people do and two is that people younger age are using it. Best advice, try and take it out of your ear unless you're using it. And you know, kids probably, maybe not the best idea. Maybe they can use a wired ear piece instead.
CHETRY: All right. Good advice there. And also one more question. This is from Papatya in Rhode Island who asks "I'm in my early 30s and was wondering how early I should be worried about bone health?"
GUPTA: You know, it's funny because we don't talk about bone health probably nearly enough and something that we should. It's the entire structure of our bodies. And you really should be worrying about it at all ages. Luckily as kids a lot of us get enough calcium and enough vitamin B in our bodies. But take a look at the requirements as they change over the years. Certainly between the ages of nine and 18, you require about 1300 milligrams a day. You can take it a little bit easy between 19 and 50, still 1,000 milligrams a day. When you get to be 50 plus, 1200 milligram as day. Think about things like osteoporosis certainly worsening as you get older. You can ward off some of those ravages by getting enough calcium in your diet. People think of milk, certainly fortified milk, but also leafy green vegetables, nuts. Those things seem to help as well even a multi-vitamin, which is what I take.
CHETRY: Me, too. Try to listen to your advice.
GUPTA: That's good. Good for you.
ROBERTS: It does keep you healthy. On this shift, you need to take a lot of vitamins.
GUPTA: I know. Designed for morning anchors. Absolutely.
CHETRY: Thanks, Sanjay. Great to see you.
And we want to let people know that we are going to be hearing from Barack Obama. He's in a joint fund-raiser with Hillary Clinton. She's still speaking here. We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back we're going to hear from Barack Obama as well.
CHETRY: Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING. This is Women for Obama fund-raiser. And the senator has taken to the podium. Let's listen.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ...the - as somebody shouted out in New Hampshire when we were there, she rocks. She rocks. I - to the first lady of the state, to the speaker of the city council, to the host committee, the DNC's women's leadership forum, to New York Women for Obama, to all the passionate supporters of Senator Clinton who are here in attendance, thank you to my sister, Mia, who my fund-raiser Jenny Yeager pointed out, Mia is cooler than me. This is true. To everybody who is involved in this, thank you so much for being here. And most of all, thank you to Hillary Rodham Clinton for joining us here today.
I want to start by saying a few words about the woman you just heard from. As someone who took the same historic journey as Senator Clinton, although didn't do it in heels, who shared a stage with her many times over these last 16 months, I know firsthand how tough she is, how passionate she is, and how committed she is to the causes that bring us here today. I know that what drives her today and every day is exactly what drove her to the Children's Defense Fund so many years ago.
It's what led her to work so diligently on school reform in Arkansas and fight for health care as first lady. It's what's made her one of the best senators that New York state has ever seen. It's what's made her a historic candidate for president. It's that unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.
And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in the country, it is because Hillary Clinton is going to be right there, knocking down barriers and making sure it happens. When we finally transform our energy policy, it's going to be because she brings her fierce intelligence to the policy making process. When we lift our children out of poverty, it's going to be building on the work that she's done. When we finally make our economy work for ordinary families again, it's going to be because she helped make it happen.
So I've admired her as a leader, I've learned from her as a candidate...
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning everybody. Heidi Collins and Tony Harris here now.