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Giuliani Defends McCain Op-Ed; Another Jerusalem Bulldozer Attack; Obama to Speak in Jordan This Morning

Aired July 22, 2008 - 07:00   ET


STAFF SGT. DAVID BELLAVIA, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Can we bring those guys home in sixteen months with their equipment, refit them and send what? Tanks to Afghanistan? It's preposterous.
STAFF SGT. BRIAN MCGOUGH, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Why is it that we can send them back to Iraq within -- sometimes within six, seven months and not send them to Afghanistan?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Obama's overseas trip unfolds, the veterans also see another political battle being waged over campaign images and talking points.

BELLAVIA: He needs to acknowledge what's happening on the ground.

ACOSTA (on camera): He's not doing that in your mind at this point?

BELLAVIA: Well, of course not. What have you seen from Iraq so far in Afghanistan? Silent video. I saw him shoot some three- pointers. I'm not seeing him walking the streets.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Which led Peter Granato to argue John McCain's recent trips to Iraq have also had a campaign feel.

ACOSTA (on camera): Are you comfortable with John McCain as your commander in chief?

STAFF SGT. PETER GRANATO, U.S. ARMY RESERVE (RET.): No, I don't think he's changed since -- I mean, he's still arguing GOP talking points from 2006. Stay the course.


ACOSTA: There's one thing these vets could agree on. That it's unrealistic for president Obama or McCain to keep troop levels where they are in Iraq and dramatically increase forces in Afghanistan. For these vets a draw down in Iraq is not a question of if, but when -- John and Kiran.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Jim Acosta for us. Thank you.

Well, it is 7:01 here in New York. Some of the top stories this morning.

Barack Obama on his way to Jordan right now. He's expected to land in Amman in the next hour, and we'll be meeting with King Abdullah later. Obama, of course, also visited Iraq where he says Iraqis want "an aspirational timeline with a clear date for the departure of U.S. combat forces."

The so-called butcher of Bosnia is under arrest this morning and in custody. Radovan Karadzic is accused of orchestrating genocide including the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslims. He's been on the run for more than 10 years.

And we're closely watching the gulf coast this morning as hurricane warnings up and down Texas and Mexico beaches. Tropical Storm Dolly churning in the warm waters and is expected to dump 10 to 20 inches of rain when it makes land fall sometime Wednesday. We're tracking with Jacqui Jeras (INAUDIBLE) -- Jacqui.

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Kiran, Dolly is getting stronger and will likely continue to do so throughout the day today. Love that red, by the way, Kiran. Looking great.

And speaking of colors, check out all the colors on our satellite picture here today. A big blossom as this thing is ramping up 60 miles per hour winds. So it's still a tropical storm. You have to get up to 74 for it to be considered a hurricane. That will likely happen before it makes land fall.

But at this time, our thinking is that it will not become a major hurricane, what we would consider a Category Three or more.

Here are the warnings which are in effect. Basically what this means is that hurricane conditions could be expected in the red area within 24 hours or less and tropical storm conditions expected in those yellow areas. So you need to rush to complete all of your preparations and people have been doing that along the Texas coast and into northern parts of Mexico over the last couple of days.

Showers and thundershowers already starting to make their way into the coastal areas, and this will become more widespread and more numerous throughout the day. So be aware if you're traveling along I- 10 or you have flight plans maybe into Houston today.

Forecast track, even though it's moving westward now, brings it a little farther on up to the north. There you can see that cone of uncertainty. Brownsville could see some very big impacts from this storm with the heavy rain surge and strong winds -- Kiran.

CHETRY: All right, Jacqui. Thanks.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: It's (OFF-MIKE) after the hour now. Breaking news this morning.

Senator Barack Obama on his way to Amman, Jordan, right now. He's expected to land there in about an hour leaving Baghdad with some new political clout after Iraq's prime minister backs his plans to have U.S. combat forces out by the year 2010.

Hala Gorani is live in Amman waiting for the candidate to arrive this morning. Suzanne Malveaux is standing by in Washington on the politics of Obama's overseas trip.

First to Hala live in Jordan. Hala, you've had a chance to talk with some people there, ask their opinion of the senator. What are you hearing today?

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, John. When you ask people, ordinary Jordanians on the streets of the capital here, Amman, what they think of Barack Obama, the most common answer so far has been, who's Barack Obama? He's not a household name in the Middle East.

Just a few weeks ago I was in France. Barack Obama there has reached, and I think it's safe to say, rock star status in Europe. Here according to a recent poll, a vast majority of respondents say that no matter who's elected in November and who enters the Oval Office in January, that really U.S. foreign policy won't change much.

There isn't that level of interest that you experience in other parts of the world. Though it will be interesting though to see after a news conference scheduled in about three hours if people's opinions of Barack Obama will change -- John.

ROBERTS: Hala Gorani for us live in Amman, Jordan, this morning. Hala, thanks so much.

CHETRY: And covering the politics here at home is Suzanne Malveaux. She joins us live from Washington this morning.

And Suzanne, by all accounts, Senator Obama hasn't made any political mistakes on his trip so far. Will this help silence his critics who questioned his foreign policy experience?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kiran, if anything, he seems to have gained support for his goal of pulling out U.S. troops in 16 months after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. An Iraqi spokesman said that their government would like to see those troops out by 2010.

And Obama also released a statement saying that the Iraqi leaders want an aspirational timeline with a clear date. There are some critics, however, and some political pundits who believe that Obama has crossed a line here by appearing to negotiate with Iraqis over troop levels, you know, kind of as if he was already president. Well, Obama's aides say that the candidate fully recognizes that in their words there is only one president at a time, but that these are useful in substantive meetings -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Things haven't been as rosy for John McCain. He, of course, had his "New York Times" editorial rejected. His opinion piece rejected. And then on top of that, he's really suffered from lack of press because Barack Obama's the lead story?

MALVEAUX: That's a problem for them because the McCain campaign knows they have to keep their candidate in the spotlight, take some of the shine off of Obama. They are generating some buzz, Kiran, about McCain potentially selecting his running mate as early as this week. We saw McCain with the first president, George Bush, yesterday saying Obama is someone who has no military experience whatsoever. Today he's holding a town hall meeting in New Hampshire to continue to promote his energy policy. But clearly, Kiran, they are trying to keep him in the spotlight here and it has been really difficult this week.

CHETRY: Suzanne Malveaux in Washington, thanks -- John.

Well, after John McCain went after Barack Obama's war policy from Kennebunkport, Maine, the First President Bush was by his side at a news conference when McCain said that we would have lost in Iraq if we listened to Obama in the first place.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The major point here is, Senator Obama could not have gone to Iraq as he did because he opposed the surge. It was the surge that succeeded. It was the surge that -- that is winning this war. He opposed it.


CHETRY: Former President Bush didn't really dive into political territory, but he did say that he did give John McCain his views on a vice presidential pick.

ROBERTS: We turn now to news across the nation. The FDA finally closer to finding the cause of a coast to coast salmonella outbreak. Investigators found the same strain of the disease in a jalapeno pepper in a Texas distribution plant. The pepper came from Mexico.

As the investigation continues, the FDA is warning consumers to avoid fresh jalapenos. And people at high risk should also bypass Serrano peppers as well, just as a precaution.

Federal officials getting a failing grade in math. FEMA announcing that the value of relief supplies given away earlier this year was $18.5 million not $85 million as previously reported. The goods were originally meant for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

A CNN investigation already uncovered that the supplies were never given out and instead sat in warehouses unused.

Disgraced U.S. Olympian Marion Jones is asking President Bush to commute her six-month jail sentence. The former sprinter was sentenced for lying to the Feds about her use of steroids and a check fraud scheme. Jones, who was stripped of her five Olympic medals has been behind bars since March 7th in Fort Worth, Texas.

CHETRY: Well, the long national nightmare known as "Nipplegate" is now officially over. The federal appeals court tossed out a $550,000 fine against CBS for Janet Jackson's world famous wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. That three judge panel ruled that the FCC "acted arbitrarily and capriciously." The incident lasted one-sixteenth of a second on the TV screen during the most watched event of the year, and it became the ultimate water cooler topic the next day.

ROBERTS: Eight minutes after the hour. And here's what we're working on for you this morning.

They are not even up yet and they're causing quite a stir. A new ad campaign promoting Islam. Catching more heat not for its message but who's behind the ads.

CHETRY: Also, one of America's biggest cities trying to make prostitution legal. We'll tell you which one in 10 minutes.

ROBERTS: And we're going to continue to track Tropical Storm Dolly's latest moves. It's expected to become a hurricane today. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


ROBERTS: Eleven minutes after the hour. Ali Velshi is up chasing Caribou in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It's Gerri Willis sitting in today.

Some disturbing numbers on women in the work force.

GERRI WILLIS, PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Exactly. You know, we've seen women participation in the labor force rise over time. But now, guess what? This decade those numbers are going down. Let's take a look at some of these details.

In fact, we're seeing 72.7 percent of women working -- back in 2000, at the height of the boom, as you can see here, with 74.9 percent. And this is sort of surprising because we've seen women participation in the labor force grow over time. As doors opened, women became more involved. Not so much anymore.

And I want to show you a reason that they might not be participating so much. Pay differentials here. Their pay has gone down over the last three years. 2004, 2007 is the actual comparison here. You can see they've lost ground in terms of what they're getting paid per hour.

So the incentive seems to be less. Women are staying home. And, you know, we used to think this was because women were staying home to raise kids. Maybe not so much. We hear a lot of women talking about this pay problem.

CHETRY: Yes. And you still have to pay the baby-sitter a lot of money. And so, sometimes people are wondering between the commute and everything else, is it worth it?

WILLIS: Right. Exactly.

ROBERTS: What about men? How does it compare? WILLIS: Well, I think the story with men is also very interesting. You know, I think Ali has reported on your show before that men have lost a lot of jobs in this current economic recession that's going on. And that's because construction payrolls have declined so dramatically.

But I got to tell you labor participation, if you look at it over time, it peaked, this is such esoteric (ph), so much fun. 1953, 96 percent of men worked. Now, it's 86.4 percent today. And they've also seen some -- some backing off in wages as well.

But big story here is women participating less in the work force and not good news for a lot of families who rely on that wage to make it.

ROBERTS: Definitely not with so many, you know, families where both parents are working, too.

WILLIS: That's right.

ROBERTS: All right.

WILLIS: That's right.

ROBERTS: Gerri, thanks for that.

CHETRY: Thanks, Gerri.

WILLIS: My pleasure.

ROBERTS: John McCain says we would be losing in Iraq if we listened to Senator Barack Obama. Now, he is giving up a little ground on the surge. Should Obama admit that he was wrong? We'll ask Obama supporter Bill Richardson.

CHETRY: Subway sales job.


IMAM SIRAJ WAHHAJ, AL-TAQWA MOSQUE: Not that all of the FBI are terrorists or the CIA are terrorists. But there are some elements in there.


CHETRY: A controversial imam targets commuters in what they're calling the "jihad train." You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


CHETRY: Top videos right now on The most popular, a diner becomes a drive through, unfortunately. This is from surveillance tape from Hillsborough, North Carolina. It's a restaurant showing a car crashing right through a wall, knocking a diner out of the booth and literally pinning him against the counter. 51-year-old Kenneth Anderson said, I got shot in Vietnam, jumped out of a plane, but I've never had anything like this happen. He is OK.

San Francisco debating a bill that would legalize prostitution. Backers of the bill say the city needs to devote its limited resources to more serious offenses. The city rejected a similar bill back in 2006.

And we caught up with Maroon 5. The band gearing up for the upcoming tour headlining with Counting Crows. That tour kicks off July 25th in Virginia Beach. See behind the scene interviews only on And that's what's most popular this Tuesday.

You're watching the "Most News in the Morning" and we're back in 90 seconds.


ROBERTS: It's 18 minutes after the hour. Let's fast forward to stories making headlines later on today.

In the next hour, we're watching for Senator Barack Obama's arrival in Amman, Jordan. He is expected to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah. He will speak at Amman at 10:00 Eastern. CNN, of course, will have live coverage. You can also catch that speech at

Also coming up at our next hour, Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson is going to be in New York City for a two-day visit to Wall Street. He's expected to address the continuing housing crisis among other things at this morning's speech at the New York Public Library.

Later on this afternoon, a grand jury in Texas is going to hear from polygamist leader Warren Jeffs' now 16-year-old daughter. The "Houston Chronicle" is reporting Jeffs married off his own daughter one day after her 15th birthday to the 34-year-old son of his chief deputy.

And at 11:15 this morning, we are going to hear from House members who went to Alaska for an energy tour of ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where our Ali Velshi is this week.

And that's what we're following this morning -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, it's not the message but the messenger that's causing quite a debate over a new ad campaign that's set to go up here in New York City's subways. The posters will try to fight negative stereotypes about Islam during the morning commute. But it's the man behind the idea that's raising some eyebrows.

Mary Snow has more on the plan to educate city commuters that could go off the rails -- Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Kiran, a group promoting Islam is trying something new. It's targeting New York's roughly five million daily subway riders with ads. But it's the face promoting those ads that's prompting discussion that organizers are trying to erase.


SNOW (voice-over): Q: Head scarf? Q: Islam?

These subway ads are designed to battle negative images of Islam. They aren't even put up yet but they've already sparked this "New York Post" headline "Jihad Train." "The Post" story focuses not so much on the message as the messenger, an imam who's now promoting the project to spread awareness about Islam to millions of subway riders.


IMAM SIRAJ WAHHAJ, AL-TAQWA MOSQUE: Imagine them seeing the word Muhammad. Imagine them seeing the word Islam. Imagine them seeing the word hijab.


SNOW: Imam Siraj Wahhaj draws attention because he's among 170 unindicted co-conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case. And he served as a character witness to the man convicted of being the mastermind of that bombing, Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman (ph).

IMAM SIRAJ WAHHAJ, AL-TAQWA MOSQUE: The context of me being a character witness for Sheikh Abdel-Rahman (ph) is what we knew about him before the incident.

SNOW: A former U.S. prosecutor in the case says while Wahhaj was on a list of unindicted co-conspirators, he was never charged.

ANDREW MCCARTHY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR (ON THE PHONE): I think the list is probably an interesting footnote to people. I get asked about it every couple of years when some story or another about Wahhaj comes up. But I, you know, I think it's -- the list is a tempest in a teapot.

SNOW: Wahhaj says while he may be a controversial figure, he was also the first Muslim to lead a prayer before the session of the House of Representatives in 1991. But he admits there are things he said he regrets, such as calling the FBI and CIA terrorists.

WAHHAJ: What I was saying is that no, not that all of the FBI are terrorists or the CIA are terrorists. But there are some elements in there. So if you want to accuse some Muslims, OK. These Muslims did that. But don't undermine the entire faith. That's really the message.


SNOW: The group behind the ads, the Islamic Circle of North America, says it welcomes the imam's promotion of their campaign. They say he is often portrayed the same way Islam is portrayed. The ads are slated to go up in 1,000 subway cars in September to coincide with Ramadan -- John and Kiran. CHETRY: All right. That was Mary Snow for us. And again, she says these ads are scheduled to go up in subway cars. The MTA looking to make about $48,000 out of that ad campaign.

ROBERTS: Breaking news this morning from Jerusalem. A man in a tractor goes on a rampage in downtown Jerusalem.

Plus, Barack Obama's delicate balancing act in the Middle East. He's due in Jordan within the hour. Whether he has the right formula for the region, we're going to ask former U.N. ambassador and an Obama supporter, Bill Richardson.

And are the drivers in your city the worst in the country? We're going to take a look at who gets in the most accidents. You might be surprised. Then again, maybe not. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.



JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Well, in political news, there was a huge reception for Barack Obama in the Middle East this past weekend. People were screaming, chasing him, hanging on his every word. And that was just the U.S. press corps. That was unbelievable.


ROBERTS: Jay Leno last night taking a shot at the media coverage of Senator Barack Obama's trip to Iraq. He is expected to land in Amman, Jordan, within the hour on his way there from Iraq, where he met with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the U.S. military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus.

Obama left the country pretty much in agreement with the Iraqi prime minister who said he also wants U.S. combat forces out by the year 2010.

Joining me now from Santa Fe, New Mexico, is Governor Bill Richardson. He is an Obama supporter. We'll put a few questions to him this morning.

Governor, it's great to see you again. Thanks for being with us.

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: Thank you, John. Nice to be with you.

ROBERTS: As you know, Senator Obama opposed the troop increase, the so-called surge last year. And now that it's had an effect in reducing the violence there, the McCain campaign is pointing some fingers at Senator Obama saying that he "would rather see failure in Iraq than concede that he was wrong about the surge. A candidate who places his political ambition ahead of our national interest does not pass the threshold to be commander in chief."

I saw an interview with my former colleague, Terry Moran, of ABC last night in which Senator Obama said that if he had it to do all over again he would still oppose the surge. Is he just wrong on this issue? Is he afraid of admitting that he made a mistake?

RICHARDSON: No. Senator Obama has been consistent in opposing the war. I mean, what he basically said with the surge is it can be judged a success if it brought political reconciliation among the Iraqi parties. That hasn't happened.

His trip to the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, has been a big success. Prime Minister Maliki, you just mentioned, agrees with Senator Obama's timetable for getting out within 16 months. I mean, that's Obama's policy. This is the Iraqis themselves recognizing that the time for America to get its troops out in a responsible way must happen.

So I think Senator McCain is really jealous of the enormously popular acclaim that Senator Obama has received all over the Middle East, in Europe. Europeans, some Middle Easterners in Jordan see Obama as a new fresh hope of American leadership, and they're responding to him.

ROBERTS: We should mention that apparently he has just touched down in Amman. So we'll have some live coverage of that coming up.

Breaking news here on CNN as well. Here's going to be giving an address at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. We'll be carrying that here live as well.

Senator McCain is also arguing, governor, that if U.S. troops had been pulled out last year as Senator Obama wanted, that there would have been dire consequences for the future of Iraq. Let's listen to what he said yesterday.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we had done what Senator Obama wanted to do, we would have lost. And we would have faced a wider war. And we would have had greater problems in Afghanistan and the entire region. And Iran would have increased their influence.


ROBERTS: Is there any question in your mind, governor, that -- that Iraq would be in worse shape now than it is if troops had been pulled out last year?

RICHARDSON: No. That's a false premise, John. I mean, what Senator Obama has said is that he would put two combat brigades in Afghanistan where we really are hurting, where the Taliban and al- Qaeda have gotten stronger.

ROBERTS: No, no. Hang on.

RICHARDSON: That he put so many -- ROBERTS: That's what he's saying now. But he was -- he was part of that Democratic push to get all the troops out of Iraq. So the question is, if they have succeeded in removing all the troops from Iraq, do you think that Iraq would be in as good shape today as it is?

RICHARDSON: Yes. Look, I think that was a sensible policy. To start the pull out, do it in a responsible period, 16 months, and then start diplomacy, John. Get Iran in there. You know, we're barely starting to meet with the Iranians. This should have happened long ago.

Get the Syrians involved. Get a U.N. peace keeping force. Get some kind of a structure for diplomacy that brings stability to the region. Go to the Middle East. Push the Israeli/Palestinian issue.

All of these issues are linked. You know, at the last minute the Bush administration and Senator McCain are pushing these policies that it's about time. I think the biggest, biggest factor here is the prime minister of Iraq saying he wants to get American troops out within a timetable. And that's been Senator Obama's position.

ROBERTS: Right. But, governor, I don't want to accuse you of avoiding the question. But the question was if they haven't gotten the troops out by now, not looking forward, if they had the troops out now, would Iraq be in as good shape as it is?

RICHARDSON: John, I don't think Iraq necessarily is in terribly good shape. There's still a need for political reconciliation, for breathing room. There's still a need for a division of the oil revenues, for stability. There's still violence there.

I mean, the violence has been reduced mainly because of the heroic efforts of American troops. I think we needed this diplomacy and this timetable a lot sooner.

ROBERTS: Yes. I mean, not saying certainly that things are perfect there, but definitely the violence less than it was 18 months ago.

Senator Obama also in this ABC interview admitted that there are deep concerns among commanders in Iraq about a timetable that does not take into account changing conditions on the ground. So should he be sticking fiercely to this 16-month timetable to get forces out and how much flexibility should he have if General Petraeus or whoever takes over for General Petraeus says, you know, Mr. President, if he's president, we've got to adjust here on the ground. We need more time.

RICHARDSON: Well, ultimately, the decision is up to the president. Hopefully President Obama is commander in chief. But what he is doing is he's listening to his military advisers, to General Petraeus who's enormously respected, and he's going to take their views into account. But you know, his policy hasn't changed. He believes we can safely take our troops out within 16 months, push a regional diplomatic effort, get other countries involved, make sure that combat forces are out. But there's some residual forces left. His policy hasn't changed. But I think being on the ground, talking to the troops, to General Petraeus, there may be some military options there that will enable him to carry out that policy more effectively.

ROBERTS: All right. We'll see. Governor Richardson, it's always good to see you. Thanks for being with us this morning.

RICHARDSON: All right.

ROBERTS: All right. Take care.

RICHARDSON: Thanks, John.

CHETRY: 7:30 here in New York. Some of the top stories we're following for you. Boarding up and buttoning down as tropical storm Dolly gets stronger in the gulf. Hurricane warnings issued along the south Texas coast. And forecasters say it could be a category one storm and making land fall as early as today. Dolly expected to dump four to eight inches of rain on Texas, possibly up to 15 inches in many some areas. Texas Governor Rick Perry has activated 1,200 National Guard troops and other emergency crews.

And the so-called butcher of Bosnia appearing in court this morning. And now it looks like he's on his way to the Hague. Former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic was the most wanted man by the U.N. war crimes tribunal. He as caught after 13 years in hiding and now faces charges including genocide, accused of overseeing the murder of an estimated 100,000 Croats and Muslims during the Bosnian war.

We also have breaking news right now. Another bulldozer attack in Jerusalem. Police there calling it a terror attack. The second this month. An eyewitness telling CNN he saw a bulldozer drive over a number of cars near a hotel in downtown Jerusalem. Ben Wedeman joins us on the phone right now with more details. This happened on one of the busiest streets there, Ben?

VOICE OF BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Kiran. It's right near the King David Hotel where Senator Barack Obama will be checking in later today. According to the Israeli police, one person was moderately wounded and four lightly in this incident in which a bulldozer, very reminiscent of something that happened earlier this month right in front of our office, drove over several cars. He was stopped when a border policeman and a civilian apparently shot and killed him on the spot.

Now, we just received a communique from the Israeli police describing it as a terrorist attack. We don't know anything at this point about the driver of the bulldozer itself. If you'll recall at the beginning of this month, there was a similar incident in which three people were killed and in that instance as well, the bulldozer driver was shot and killed. Kiran.

CHETRY: Very similar circumstances. What was the security like in that area?

WEDEMAN: Well, security is certainly being beefed up. It's in the process of being beefed up in preparation for Senator Obama's visit. And so we can assume that there's heightened security. But there's a lot of construction going on in Jerusalem, and just a moment ago, I'm driving in a car, I was right behind a bulldozer. There are bulldozers driving around the city. So despite the incident earlier this month, there haven't been any restrictions on that sort of equipment driving around the streets. So the police probably were not looking for another bulldozer attack as we saw earlier this month. Kiran.

CHETRY: Ben Wedeman for us this morning with the latest news out of Jerusalem. Yet another incident where a driver of a bulldozer trying to run over cars and carry out a terrorist attack, shot and killed by Israeli police this morning. Thank you, Ben.

ROBERTS: 34 minutes after the hour. Alina Cho here with other stories new this morning. And good morning to you.

ALINA CHO, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, guys. Good morning, good morning, everybody. Good news this morning coming out of Iraq. Attacks by Iraqi insurgents on U.S. troops are down dramatically. Through June there were 93 attacks on about 6,100 convoys. That's a rate of about 1.5 percent during months in late 2006 and early 2007. The attack rate on convoys was as high as 20 percent. Those convoys move materials for the country's reconstruction and they're considered a pillar of the Pentagon's strategy.

In Philadelphia a fired TV news caster has been charged with hacking into the e-mail account of his co-anchor. Federal prosecutor Larry Mendte of CBS affiliate KYW TV broke into the inbox of Alycia Lane from home and from work. And it happened, prosecutors say hundreds of times over two years. Mendte is also accused of leaking details about his colleague's personal life. Lane, you may recall was fired in January after several embarrassing off camera incidents including a scuffle she had with a New York police officer.

Well, plenty of you are about to head to work this morning and you might think you share the road with the worst commuters in the country. Well, believe it or not, the city known for political gridlock has more fender benders than anywhere else in America. A new insurance study shows drivers in Washington, D.C. are 84 percent more likely to be in a crash than others across the nation. John, you're in Virginia, right? The study shows it's the gridlock on the streets causing most of those accidents.

Controversial shock jock Michael Savage is living up to his name. In the past he's attacked minorities and gays. Now he's turned his harsh words on children with autism.


VOICE OF MICHAEL SAVAGE, SHOCK JOCK: Well, you know what autism is. I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out.

What do you mean they scream and are silent? They don't have a father around to tell them don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life like a putz. Straighten up, act like a man, don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot!.


CHO: Well, as you can imagine, the outrage from this has been swift and quite vocal. I'll have a full report on the controversy in the next hour of AMERICAN MORNING.

And for years it's been the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno." But we've just learned that is all changing on Friday, May 29th, 2009. That's next year. And that'll be Leno's last show. He'll step down as the host of the "Late Night" talk show making way for Conan O'Brien to move in the following Monday, June 1st. Former "Saturday Night Live" alum Jimmy Fallen will take over O'Brien's spot. As for Leno, NBC says they'd love to keep them in the NBC family but the late night king is hinting he might head to another network. With the letters ABC. Might happen.

ROBERTS: And then the big question is if they gave him the late night slot, what would they do with "Nightline," which has been quite successful recently?

CHO: Absolutely. Beating some of the late night shows including David Letterman, yes in some cases.

CHETRY: What would Jay Leno possibly do if he didn't work every minute of the day. He's a workaholic. And so he's probably thinking, hey I don't know if I want to leave so soon.

CHO: Well, he's got plenty of motorcycles and cars to play around with. But yes, no. He's made it quite clear he wants to continue working. So, let's see what happens.

ROBERTS: You know, he's got a motorcycle with a helicopter engine in it. Crazy.

CHO: That I didn't know.

ROBERTS: We're tracking the latest moves of Dolly this morning, the tropical storm heading straight for Texas. Our Jacqui Jeras is in the CNN Weather Center with the latest. Hey, Jacqui.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey, guys. Yes, Dolly is ramping up and getting stronger and could become a hurricane before the day is done. We'll talk about the impact on the lone star state coming up with your forecast.


ROBERTS: Tropical storm Dolly churning out there in the Gulf of Mexico. Will it become a hurricane? Let's check in with our Jacqui Jeras. She's at the weather center in Atlanta this morning tracking the extreme weather. Good morning, Jacqui.

JERAS: Hey, good morning, John. I think chances are very good that Dolly will become a hurricane and likely even before the day is done. Winds up there at 60 miles per hour now. You've got to get up to 74 for this to become a hurricane. But Dolly's been moving over some very warm waters. And you can see the color becoming much brighter here. One of those signs that we see on satellite that the storm is strengthening. You can also kind of see this pull off to the west.

But we are expecting it to start to shift a little bit more west- northwesterly and head closer towards the Mexico-U.S. border here and near the town of Brownsville. You're going to be feeling the impact of Dolly already as we head into late afternoon and evening hours when the tropical storm force winds arrive and the showers and thundershowers will become more numerous. Four to eight inches with locally heavier amounts could be expected.

And something else to keep in mind, even if this does make land fall into northern parts of Texas, it's going to likely bring some of the worst conditions into southern parts of the lone star state because you're going to be in that dirty side of the storm guide as we call it where the strongest of winds are and the greatest surges as well. John and Kiran.

ROBERTS: Not the place you want to be, either. Jacqui Jeras for us this morning.

Thanks, Jacqui. We'll keep checking back with you.

Barack Obama just landed in Jordan. Our Hala Gorani standing by at Amman right now -- Hala.

HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, he just landed just a few minutes ago. What is the reaction of the Arab world? I'll have an update coming up.

ROBERTS: Also ahead, he said Barack Obama's trip highlights his inexperience. Today, Rudy Giuliani is here to tell us why he thinks Obama is still wrong on Iraq.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the most news in the morning. We have a sneak preview now of CNN's special report, "Black in America." CNN's Soledad O'Brien has the story of one family's experience with desegregation.


JAMES BUTCH WARREN: Hello. How you doing today? You too. You too, you take care of yourself.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): James Butch Warren is making his daily rounds.

WARREN: What happened here? You got a brand-new school here.

O'BRIEN: As an executive for the Polaski County school district, he overseas 40 schools in Little Rock. Since Little Rock Central High School was integrated 50 years ago, countless black men like Butch Warren have broken through barriers to take the work force by storm. They've watched their power and their incomes grow. O'BRIEN: This is such a pretty campus, isn't it?

WARREN: It really is.

O'BRIEN: After graduating high school, Butch earned a sociology degree at the University of Arkansas. He started his own business in 1976, the Warren Construction Company. 25 years later, he decided to make a career move.

WARREN: Get those leg muscles built up, OK?

O'BRIEN: Today Butch earns six figures as an assistant school superintendent.

WARREN: Keep up the good work. All right.

O'BRIEN: The Warren family is part of a growing black middle class. Since 1990 the percentage of black households earning $100,000 or more has increased by about 50 percent.

WARREN: A lot of people can't wait to get off from their job or they can't wait to go on vacation. I can't wait to go to work.

O'BRIEN: And success has carried over into his home life.

WARREN: As corny as this sounds, but I used to watch my three sons, Andy Griffin. You would see these great father figures, you know, with these kids. And I used to tell my friends all the time I was going to have three sons.

O'BRIEN: Do you think you relied on white role models to be successful in a way?

WARREN: White and black.

O'BRIEN: Everybody.

WARREN: Both. Everybody. I try to take the best from everything I saw and tried to put it together.

O'BRIEN: Butch has his three sons. 21-year-old Justin, a college student and aspiring musician. 32-year-old Jamie, a barber and father of four. And 35-year-old Jonathan, a deputy prosecutor in Arkansas. But this all American family would be tested.


CHETRY: Find out what the challenge is the Warren family faced and how they responded on CNN presents "Black in America." It's a television event that examines the complex issues, successes, and struggles of black men, women and families and it premiers tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

If you'd like to watch preview clips of CNN's ground breaking documentary series or learn more about the special, you can check out You can also send and view i-reports and much more.


ROBERTS (voice-over): Closing in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:: We're ready. Hopefully everybody else gets ready.

ROBERTS: Boarding up and stocking up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want to be those people stuck in line.

ROBERTS: We're tracking Dolly as it heads for the coast. You're watching the most news in the morning.


ROBERTS: Ten minutes now to the top of the hour. And this just in to CNN. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said just a few minutes ago that Britain would likely withdraw some troops from Iraq by 2009 or sometime in 2009. A couple of weeks ago the chief of the British military said that it looked like the way might be clear to withdraw several thousand troops from the Basra area which is where the U.K. has been operating by next year or sometime during next year.

A senior British commander was quoted in some British press saying the last couple of days the way may soon be clear to withdraw all British troops from Iraq. But that is not what Gordon Brown is saying at this point he wanted to get the number down to about 2,500.

But earlier this year, you remember the Shiite militia uprising in the Basra area prevented that. But now that the Iraqi forces have begun to come, at least begun to come on-line in a better way than they were in the past, Britain now feels that it may be able to within the next six to nine months withdraw several thousand troops from the area. We'll have more on this story as we get more information coming to us here.

Federal investigators finally closing in the source of a nationwide Salmonella outbreak. Clues now point to a jalapeno pepper found in a Texas distribution plant which came from Mexico. The contaminated pepper has quickly become a hot topic, if you will, and our medical correspondent, not our Mexican correspondent. Our medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen here now with the latest. What's a hot food lover to do, Elizabeth?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a hot foot lover is to avoid jalapeno peppers and avoid Serrano peppers. At least for now, those are off-limits for everybody and that's because the FDA found the Salmonella St. Paul, this unusual strain, in a jalapeno pepper.

Now, let's talk about some numbers here. More than 1,200 people have been infected by the strain of Salmonella, 229 people hospitalized in 49 states and even with these big numbers they never actually found Salmonella on a single piece of food until now. Until this jalapeno pepper in this now famous jalapeno pepper, where is it from? It was grown in Mexico and it was processed at a plant in Texas. It is unclear exactly in which country it became infected -- John.

ROBERTS: So the FDA had initially said weeks ago the tomatoes were the suspected culprit. Stop eating tomatoes. Tomato growers took a bath on the whole thing. Were tomatoes ever involved?

COHEN: You know, that is unclear, John. It may be that tomatoes never were involved in this outbreak. It may turn out that maybe there were some tomatoes involved. They have never found this Salmonella on a single tomato as of yet. And now the FDA is very clear, tomatoes are no longer a concern. You can tomatoes any kind from anywhere at any time.

ROBERTS: All right, well stay away from the jalapenos though. That's the message.

COHEN: That's right.

ROBERTS: That is a shame. Elizabeth, thanks very much.

Happening right now - Barack Obama landing in Amman, Jordan. We're going to go live for reaction on the streets in the Middle East. You are watching the most news in the morning.



JON STEWART, HOST: Barack Obama taking the gas train to blooper town! Here we go. He's going to - and ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama with one shot has dispelled all rumors of lack of foreign policy experience!


CHETRY: Of course, Jon Stewart goofing on the jump shot heard around Iraq. He's not the only one jabbing Barack Obama's experience. The democratic presidential candidate by the way just landing in Amman, Jordan. The former presidential candidate and New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a McCain supporter, said that Obama's trip highlights his inexperience and he joins me now. Good to see you.

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's extraordinary. It's going to be his first trip on Germany.

CHETRY: That's right.

GIULIANI: His first trip to Germany, he's running for president of the United States.

CHETRY: Although I must say this, are the RNC web site had the countdown clock of how long it's been since he visited Iraq. He hasn't had any missteps so far in any of the countries. GIULIANI: Well, I think he did. The interview I saw last night in which he said that he would vote exactly the same way on the surge now after having gone there. So, what kind of fact-finding trip is this? Just to find the facts that he wants. Reality is that Iraq is now 80 percent safer that it was a year ago before the surge. The fact is that everyone is talking about the fact it's been successful, and the reason we can talk about withdrawal on success rather than withdrawal with loss and ignominy which is what we were talking about earlier is because the surge was successful. It would seem to me he would admit he made a mistake in not supporting the surge.

CHETRY: Then let me ask you this, because the headline really out of it has been it appears that Barack Obama and Iraq's president are on the same page talking about 16 months when we see a majority of U.S. troops out of Iraq.

GIULIANI: Somehow I knew it would be a favorable headline for Barack Obama. How did I guess that? How did I know this was going to result -

CHETRY: Is John McCain also moving his timeline up? Because he previously said the majority of the troops out 2013 if all goes well. Yesterday he seemed to indicate that 2010 may not be out of the realm.

GIULIANI: The extraordinary thing about this is Barack Obama goes to an Iraq that he wanted to pull out a year ago. Declare an American loss, and we have a victory against all of the odds, particularly most of the media predicting it. And John McCain - if we're looking at a president who has the judgment and experience to handle foreign policy and military policy on this major call, John McCain was right, and Barack Obama was completely, absolutely wrong. Had we followed his prescription -

CHETRY: Is Barack Obama right about the 16-month timeline for when we can probably see the majority of the U.S. troops out?

GIULIANI: My view? My view is you never give a timeline for a withdrawal, that it is dangerous for troops to do that.

CHETRY: We got the news early this morning, in fact, that it appears that one of our top allies, the U.K., is giving a timeline as well, saying the majority of their troops could probably be out, especially in the Basra area by 2009.

GIULIANI: First of all, I don't like the idea of timelines for withdrawal in times before, I've never heard of it before where in the middle of the war you say we're going to pull out this date, that date, some other date. You create a tremendous advantage for your enemy. You create a whole focus for knowing how to create disturbance and chaos and the exact right time do it. You have people holding back waiting for you to leave. There area hundred reasons why this is a totally irresponsible position. But if, there is a subtlety to it. If what you're talking about is as we have success we will withdrawal and we will make the determination of when that is, and hopefully that success will continue. It will come in a year, or two years or three years. That's fine. CHETRY: When you say we, is it the United States or is it the Iraqi government who seems to be much more eager?

GIULIANI: We'll work it out together. We may have somewhat different views about it. First we have to establish our view and then we have to negotiate it with them. It would seem to me the President put this best a long time ago when he announced the surge. I liked how he put it. I wish the administration repeated him more this way. He said, we're going to withdraw. We're going to withdraw on success.

And now because of the surge, which Barack Obama opposed strongly and John McCain was the strongest advocate of, because of that surge we can talk about the possibility of withdrawal in a realistic way.

CHETRY: Now, in a draft copy of the op-ed that John McCain submitted to "The New York Times," he talked about that. He talked about the surge situation. I want to ask you -

GIULIANI: Which they wouldn't publish.

CHETRY: I want to ask you about the situation. They wouldn't publish it in the current form. They said it was more of a rebuttal, it was more a bashing of Barack Obama as opposed to specifics about troop withdrawals and timelines. Your yourself have had an op-ed. Is it a back-and-forth process with the "New York Times"? I've never read a reply in which the editor is basically telling you that you have to respond to your opponent. And I'm not happy with what you said. I want you to have timelines. I want you do have dates.

CHETRY: So that's something unusual. "The Times" is saying it's the back and forth that usually happens?

GIULIANI: That's not the back and forth I've had. I've written many op-eds for different newspapers, including "The New York times." You sometimes argue that they say it's too long. It's too short. There's a paragraph or two that doesn't make sense. It's more of an analysis of your composition and your English and does that make sense. What the report back from the "Times" is saying is they want to change the content of it.

CHETRY: And so they want to be more specific. They want to lay out a plan.

GIULIANI: It's precisely the kind of censorship that the "New York Times" rails about, they are trying to impose on John McCain.