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CNN NEWSROOM

Anthrax Suspect Commits Suicide; Battleground Florida; Crackdown on Paparazzi in L.A.

Aired August 1, 2008 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: A grim twist in a ghastly case. The main suspect in the post-9/11 anthrax mailings takes his own life before the feds can take him in. We're learning more by the hour.
Also, the pros and cons of learn to earn. Do students study harder, learn more, test better when they get paid? You may be surprised.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, live in New York. And you're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

A former Army scientist described as the main suspect in the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks is dead. Sources say Bruce Ivins committed suicide after learning that prosecutors were ready to indict him.

CNN justice correspondent Kelli Arena has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We have a comment from Bruce Ivins' lawyer. The statement says that Ivins was innocent, that his legal team would have established that at trial. It also says they are disappointed that they won't have the opportunity to defend his good name and reputation in a court of law.

Now, the way our sources tell it, Ivins knew that he was going to be indicted, that he may have known he was likely to face the death penalty, and so he committed suicide. CNN also learned that there was a temporary restraining order filed against Ivins. The document says that he threatened violence, that he was harassing and stalking an individual.

It also shows the individual told police and that Ivins had spent time in a mental health facility. Now, Ivins was a top Army microbiologist. he was actually developing a vaccine against anthrax. He worked at an Army lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland. And sources tell us that the FBI traced the anthrax that was used in the attacks back to that lab.

At least three sources have said that the FBI is now going to move to close the anthrax case, but there are skeptics, including one anthrax survivor that we spoke to earlier today, who think that the killer is still on the loose. And the critics say the FBI was derailed for a long time focusing on Steven Hatfill. And you may remember him. He was called a person of interest. He sued the government and then recently settled the case. The critics contend that, if the FBI got wrong then, then maybe Ivins isn't the guy either.

Kelli Arena, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: And just a short time ago, the government confirmed that it has made substantial progress in the anthrax case. The Justice Department says it can't release any more information now, but hopes to in the near future.

CNN's Brian Todd has been trying to find out more about Bruce Ivins.

What have you learned, Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kyra, we're getting a portrait of a man who was unassuming, kind of shy, a little bit awkward, but very much into his work.

We're told that Bruce Ivins volunteered with a local Red Cross branch, that he also played keyboard at his local church. There are friends and neighbors around here who simply can't believe that he is accused of doing something like this. We talked to one of his former colleagues, Norman Covert.

I spoke with him earlier today. He was a former spokesman at Fort Detrick. Here's what he had to say about Bruce Ivins.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORMAN COVERT, FORMER COLLEAGUE OF BRUCE IVINS: I know Bruce. And I don't think he would have done that.

TODD: Why?

COVERT: I don't know that he would have had an opportunity to do that.

TODD: Why?

COVERT: Because he was so busy doing his...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: And Mr. Covert, has said that he doesn't believe that Mr. Ivins would have had time necessarily in his off time to do anything like this.

Neighbors have come around and told us that he was a very kind and gentle man who actually would come and help a neighbor. This one lady down who lived down the street said that he came one time and helped her cut down a tree and had all this equipment with it, very much into what he was doing, kind of an intense guy in almost everything he did. But there was a side to him that seemed to at least have been a little bit tortured. And he was very troubled in the final months of his life. I spoke with another doctor who had worked with him at Fort Detrick, who said he believes that this investigation had kind of broken Bruce Ivins.

This doctor told us that he had heard from others that Mr. Ivins was escorted from his work by authorities and that he had been -- as Kelli Arena reported, had to be treated for mental health problems. You heard Kelli talk about the restraining order that was out against him. We have that order right here, this woman accusing him of stalking her, making threats over the past 30 days.

And according to this restraining, this woman says that she has a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury in the case today, August 1. So, that's a little bit more detail on the restraining order. But, Kyra, some very conflicting portraits of this man coming out right now. A lot of people around here are saying they just can't believe it's the same guy. But we do have this information about the restraining order and how he was at least in his mind a little bit mentally tortured in the final months of his life.

PHILLIPS: Yes, either way, had to have been difficult.

Brian Todd, appreciate it.

Well, a judge handling the remaining Jena 6 case is now off the case. An appeals court in Louisiana removed Judge J.P. Mauffray Jr. Defense lawyers had claimed that Mauffray already thought defendants were guilty and said so on numerous occasions. And an appeals court judge decided there was something to those claims and recused Mauffray.

The Jena 6, all African-American, were accused of beating a white student during a school fight in late 2008.

The intense hunt for a killer in Wisconsin ended with a suspect dressed in camouflage coming out of the woods, laying down his weapon, and surrendering. Authorities believe that 38-year-old Scott Johnson the one who opened fire on a group of young people last night on a riverbank. Three kills were killed, a 20-year-old wounded.

And, earlier, I talked with Eric Burmeister. He's with the Marinette County EMS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC BURMEISTER, MARINETTE COUNTY EMS: At this point, he's in custody in the Marinette County jail. The investigation is continuing. The district attorney, Brent DeBord, has been here at the scene. He's currently out at the scene with our chief deputy, Jerry Sauve. So, the case now or the investigation now moves to his office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Well, right now, there is no word on a possible motive. The sheriff said that there was no communication between the shooter and the victims.

Minneapolis is remembering the victims of the Interstate 35 West bridge collapse. Today is the one-year anniversary of that tragedy. This was one of several memorial services planned in the area today. A moment of silence was planned at 6:05 p.m. Central time to mark the exact time the bridge fell into the Mississippi River. Thirteen people were killed in that collapse. Scores more were hurt.

That bridge put the health of America's infrastructure in the headlines for months.

News now that impacts your bottom line. The unemployment rate is at a four-year high -- 51,000 jobs were lost in July, driving the unemployment rate to 5.7 percent. Industries hit hardest by the housing, credit and mortgage meltdown saw the biggest losses.

And staggering losses for a Motor City icon. General Motors lost $15.5 billion in the second quarter, one of its biggest losses ever. Some of it comes from buyout costs for almost 19,000 U.S. workers at plants that are being shut down due largely to plummeting truck and SUV sales. GM says that another round of blue-collar buyouts and early retirement offers could be ahead.

And if you're going to be flying on Northwest Airlines, prepare to dig a little deeper for a ticket. Northwest is adding new fuel surcharges to many domestic round-trip flights. The fees could go as high as $80. The new charges begin January 10. Northwest says it's simply matching competitors' fees.

And that free cup of joe has to go. Today's the day that U.S. Airways starts charging a buck or two for coffee and other nonalcoholic beverages. It's the first major airline to do so. U.S. Airways is imposing the charge in hopes of offsetting high fuel costs. Some passengers may not have to pay, though. Union leaders say flight attendants are trained to keep the peace and any traveler who complains may get a freebie.

The Friday political spotlight is on Florida. Barack Obama and John McCain are campaigning there all day long. Obama held a town hall this morning in St. Petersburg, where he mixed it up a little with hecklers in the audience. McCain began his day in Orlando, where he addressed the National Urban League. Florida is shaping up once again as a battleground state.

And a Quinnipiac poll yesterday showed Obama leading McCain 46 percent to 44 percent.

We're going to hear from both John McCain and Barack Obama later this hour. We will have extended remarks from McCain's Urban League speech and Obama's town hall meeting.

Well, have you ever wanted to know what a real holy warrior looks like? One guy you're going to meet has written a book where fight meets faith. He's been in a lot of fights and he's got a heck of a lot of faith.

Plus, students paid to learn, they're trying it in Georgia. So, did it work?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: NASA no longer guessing about whether there is water on Mars. Today, they saw they took a taste. The Phoenix spacecraft is up there digging on the Martian surface right now. And scientists thawed out ice they found, tested it, and, hey, it's really water. Next, they are going to try to see whether it can support life.

(BUSINESS REPORT)

PHILLIPS: Well, paying students to learn, a school system in Georgia tried it. Did it work?

CNN's Josh Levs is here with a look.

You have been following this, Josh, and you have got a pretty interesting outcome.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I do. You remember this story.

PHILLIPS: I sure do.

LEVS: Remember, you anchored a debate about this here in the NEWSROOM. And it was really interesting and very controversial. You know the story going way back. It was right south of Georgia -- right south of Atlanta, in Fairburn, Georgia.

Students, I will remind you all, were paid $8 an hour to be tutored in math and science four hours a week for 14 weeks. This was not based on grades. It was just to show up. The money came from a private foundation. And now for the first time, we have the official results of that.

And here they are, folks. In math, students' grades went down in the program. But the other students who were similar, but were not in the program, their grades went down even more. So, maybe the program helped there.

In science, students in the program, their grades actually went up. And the other students' grades went down. And this official report that I got, this independent analysis says that while the financial incentives served to attract students to the program, the rewards associated with success and positive support from others were more important in keeping them engaged in it.

So, basically, they're saying in the end, to so many of these students, Kyra, it was not just about the money.

PHILLIPS: Well, yes. And there was a lot of argument back and forth about, OK, kids are supposed to learn, they're supposed to study, they shouldn't get paid for that. But then other people said, look, they're going to get paid to do a good job in their careers anyway. So, why not pay them to get good grades. So, what do you think this says about the controversy?

LEVS: Right, exactly. That's what the sides were.

And what's really important to keep in mind here is that these results do not refute those biggest complaints. The big complaints, like she was saying, first of all, that it was unfair to students who aren't paid. That's one thing you aren't heard. Also, as one expert kept saying to us, it could make them less interested in learning later on when they're not being paid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALFIE KOHN, AUTHOR/EDUCATOR: Rewards aren't just ineffective. They're counterproductive. And we have seen this over and over again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEVS: But there was a student in the program I spoke to who told me the money helped get him more interested in learning overall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAILYN BROWN, EIGHT GRADER: It helps. It do help. It motivates me to come, and the drive to learn. That's part of it. And the other part is my motivation to want to learn and then show then my good grades. So, that's why I come. But I would do it if money wasn't involved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEVS: And, Kyra, we're going to follow up on that on both these parts. Because we will be able to tell next year, are these kids following learning? Do they have that same drive to learn even without the money? That will give us even more answers than these initial results we're getting right now.

PHILLIPS: Look forward to it. Josh, thanks so much for following up.

LEVS: You got it. Thanks, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Heckling the candidate on the campaign trail. You can watch as Barack Obama takes on a critic at a Florida town hall.

And scrambled or over easy? Everybody in Cuba is clucking about the world's largest chicken egg.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BUSINESS REPORT)

PHILLIPS: All right, we're working hard to help you make an informed choice in the White House race. And we're playing more of what the candidates are saying in their own words.

Today in Florida, Barack Obama faced several hecklers in a town hall meeting in St. Petersburg. Here's a look at what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we also have to remember is that some of the problems in our economy don't just have to do with the business cycle, don't just have to do with the revolution in communications. They have to do with very specific failures in Washington and on Wall Street. They're due to irresponsible decisions that were made by our leaders.

In recent years we've learned that basic truth that you can't have a thriving Wall Street if you don't have a thriving Main Street and we've had somebody in office who doesn't seem to care what's going on, on Main Street.

When wages are flat and prices are rising, and more Americans get mired in debt, eventually everybody suffers. When a reckless few game the system -- as we've seen in the housing crisis, predatory lenders able to come in and sell people a bill of goods -- everybody suffers.

When special interests put their thumbs on the scales and distort the free market and work their -- get tax loopholes and tax havens in the tax code, then everybody suffers.

And when our government fails -- hold on a second. What's happening? Hold on a second. And when our -- and when our -- that's all right. That's all right.

Listen. Hey, excuse me. And when our -- hey -- hold on a second.

AUDIENCE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

OBAMA: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on, everybody. Excuse me, young man. There's going to be a question and answer session, so you can ask a question later. Let me make my statement. Why don't you all sit down? Then you can ask a question. That's why we're having a town hall meeting. Sit down. You'll have -- you'll have a chance to answer your question, but you don't want to disrupt the whole meeting.

Just be courteous, that's all. All you've got to do is be courteous, that's all. Just be courteous and you'll have a chance to make your statement. Just relax, that's all. Just relax. You'll have a chance. All right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Well, a little later, one of the hecklers did get a chance to ask a question. He asked Barack Obama why he hasn't been more outspoken on issues such as police misconduct, the Jena 6, and Hurricane Katrina. Obama replied that he has been outspoken on those and other issues, but when he to him later, Obama's questionnaire was not -- or questioner, rather, was not convinced.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DIOP OLUGBALA, AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm not going to vote for him, because he has not shown me any evidence that he's going to do anything to benefit my community.

But, more than that, in response to this thing about we can vote for someone else, I don't see any difference between him and McCain. I don't see any difference between him and Hillary Clinton. All the policies that Obama is putting forth mirror that which McCain is discussing, and, in some ways, it's even further to the right of what McCain is putting out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Well, coming up in the next few minutes, we are going to hear what John McCain had to say in his speech to the National Urban League.

Well, he commanded the army's elite Delta Force and led daring hostage rescue missions in Iran and Panama. Outspoken and sometimes controversial retired General Jerry Boykin will join me live to talk about his fights, his faith, and his new book.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, live in New York. And you're in the CNN NEWSROOM, 3:29 Eastern time. Here are some of the stories we're working for you in the CNN right now.

Seven years after a series of deadly anthrax attacks shocked America, a former Army scientist has committed suicide. Sources say that Bruce Ivins was a suspect in the attacks and was about to be indicted.

And a court appearance in Canada for a 22-year-old man accused of savagely attacking another passenger on a Greyhound bus and decapitating him. The prosecutor asked the judge to order a psychiatric assessment, but the judge said the suspect needs to get a lawyer first.

And a Louisiana judge has been removed from the Jena 6 case after calling the defendants troublemakers. The racially charged case originally involved six African-American teenagers charged with attempted murder. Five of the six still face trial on reduced charges.

Two bombings in Eastern Afghanistan today killed five soldiers in the NATO-led force and one civilian. We don't know the nationalities of those killed. But many troops in those areas are Americans. The bombs went off in the Kunar and Khost Provinces, on the rugged border with Pakistan. Fighting between NATO forces and the Taliban has picked up and increased in recent months.

Lieutenant General William Jerry Boykin has been called the holy warrior because he's been involved in just about every major American military operation in recent history, from the Iranian hostage crisis to tracking down drug lord Pablo Escobar to the disastrous Black Hawk down mission in Somalia to the standoff against the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas to even the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's called holy because he's made no bones about the fact that he's an Evangelical Christian who turns to God for every major decision in his life.

And once again, he's laying out details about his faith and his fight in his new book, "Never Surrender: A Soldier's Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom."

Retired General Boykin joins me now live from our Washington newsroom.

General, it's great to see you. Thank you very much.

LT. GEN. WILLIAM BOYKIN, U.S. ARMY (RET.): Thank you very much, Kyra. I'm glad to be with you this afternoon.

PHILLIPS: Well, I want to start out, sir, if you don't mind -- you know, we are in a time where religion and race is such a sensitive issue. And you've been criticized for how you've come out and preached and taught with regard to your Christian beliefs and your values.

Why do you continue to be so outspoken about God and your relationship to Christ, particularly when you were active in the military?

BOYKIN: Well, first of all, you need to put my remarks in the proper context. And I spoke when invited by Christian groups to come and speak to them and help them to understand the war. And I was very anxious to do that. And I did so. And I did so very openly. And I think that we have a constitutional right to speak about our faith. I don't think that extends necessarily in the military to proselytizing. But I think we have a constitutional right to tell people, in the proper setting, about our faith. And that's where I was speaking.

Some of those speaking events were videotaped and elements of them were taken out of context and sound bites. And that ultimately caused a media problem.

PHILLIPS: Well, I want to ask you about back in 1978, when you were going through the intense training and tryout for the Delta Force. And I was reading that a psychologist -- an Army psychologist actually said to you that you relied too much on your faith and not enough on yourself. So he wanted to recommend that the elite Delta Force not take you.

What happened and how did you deal with that?

BOYKIN: Well, he did say exactly what you just quoted, that I was not self-reliant enough. And, of course, my view was my self- reliance really goes back to the -- to my fundamental faith. And I obviously challenged him on that. But in the end, I was accepted, obviously.

But I think that he didn't understand the connection between my faith and self-reliance.

PHILLIPS: All right.

And now let's take it to Somalia, Black Hawk Down. We've seen the movie. It was a powerful movie. It was a horrible situation for you and the men that were involved. We'll never forget about it. You actually said that the biggest test to your faith was during that time. Why? What happened?

BOYKIN: Kyra, on the morning of the 4th of October, as we finished the fight and brought our wounded and dead back into our base on the air field in Mogadishu, my most vivid memory of that day was a five ton truck -- when the tailgate dropped with dead bodies on the bottom and wounded on top and the blood poured out the back of it. And I looked in horror realizing that those were my people and I was responsible and I was accountable for those deaths and injuries.

And it broke my heart. And I began to question God's existence. And this was after 23 years of professing a faith in Christ. I actually wrote and said there is no God.

Now, I quickly, you know, recall that we go through difficult times that challenge our faith. And I soon recovered from that. But I had a complete collapse of my Christian faith.

PHILLIPS: What brought you back?

BOYKIN: Well, I actually went back to the most fundamental thing that we have as Christians, and that was the word of God. And when I opened my bible and began to read, the first thing I read was Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not into thine own understanding."

There are things we can't understand as humans.

PHILLIPS: A final thought. You know, you were involved in some of the most intense and horrific missions in military history.

How did you, as a Christian, justify the fact that you had to kill?

BOYKIN: Well, I think there's no inconsistency. I believe that when you look at the foundations of this nation, religious freedom and First Amendment rights were very much a centerpiece of the early creation of America. I do believe that it is a justifiable thing for Christians, people of faith, people any of faith, to help defend our nation. Now, Christ even said to his disciples before he ascended, if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. What he was saying was you won't build my kingdom with a sword, but you'll fight battles as followers of me. I don't think that has changed.

PHILLIPS: The book is "Never Surrender: A Soldier's Journey to the Crossroads of Faith and Freedom."

General Jerry Boykin, always a pleasure to talk to you, sir.

BOYKIN: Thank you very much, Kyra.

And it's been a pleasure being with you.

PHILLIPS: Thank you.

We're following more now on that disaster in Central Turkey. A three story dormitory at a girls' school collapsed after a mysterious explosion early this morning. At least 17 girls are dead, 27 more are hurt. Rescuers still hope to find more survivors and officials believe that a gas canister somewhere in that building had blown up.

And fire fully engulfing a passenger train car in Southern India. At least 32 people couldn't get out in time and were killed. The fire broke out in a sleeper car and witnesses say it spread to four other coaches, which also burned. It was past midnight when it happened. Investigators say faulty wiring may have been the cause.

Tremors in China today in the same area hammered by an enormous earthquake in May. The aftershocks since then have been relatively light. Today, though, registered a magnitude of 5.8. Nobody reported killed, but we're hearing a lot about landslides and some injuries. The May quake killed about 70,000 people, you may remember.

Presidential politics -- we're committed to bringing you more of what the candidates are saying in their own words. Earlier today, Republican John McCain addressed the National Urban League Conference. He talked about the economy, energy prices and education. He also worked in reference to his Democratic rival, Barack Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE: You'll hear from my opponent, Senator Obama, tomorrow. And if there's one thing he always delivers, it's a great speech. But I hope you'll listen carefully because his ideas are not always as impressive as his rhetoric. And this is especially true in the case of the Urban League's agenda of opportunity.

Your Opportunity Compact speaks of the urgent need to reform our public schools, create jobs and help small businesses grow. You understand that persistent problems of failing schools and economic stagnation cannot be solved with the same tired ideas and pandering to special interests that have failed us time and time again. And you know how much the challenges of change for those who champion the cause of equal opportunity in America.

Equal access to public education has been gained.

But what -- tell me what is the value of access to a failing school?

Equal employment opportunity is set firmly down in law. But with jobs becoming scarcer and more than 400,000 Americans thrown out of work just this year, that can amount to an equal share of diminished opportunity.

For years, business ownership by African-Americans has been growing rapidly. This is all for the good. That hopeful trend is threatened in a struggling economy.

And the cost of energy, health care and just about everything else rising sharply.

As in other challenges, African-Americans have overcome these problems, required clarity of purpose and they require -- they require the solidarity of groups like the Urban League. And at times -- at times they require a willingness to break from conventional thinking.

Nowhere are the limitations of conventional thinking any more apparent than in education policy in America today. After decades of hearing the same big promises from the public education establishment and seeing the same poor results, it's surely time to shake off old ways and demand new reforms. That isn't just my opinion. It's the conviction of parents in poor neighborhoods across in nation who want better lives for their children.

Just ask the names New Orleans, who will soon have the chance to remove their sons and daughters from failing schools and enroll them instead in School Choice Scholarship Program. That program in Louisiana was proposed by Democratic state legislators and signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal.

Just three weeks after Katrina, they're bringing real hope to poor neighborhoods and showing how much can be achieved when both parties work together for real reform.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: And that was John McCain in his own words at the National Urban League conference today in Florida.

And a quick reminder. John McCain is expected to hold a news conference next hour. Watch it live on "THE SIT ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer right here on CNN.

Straight ahead, who is this man and what's he doing in this hotel?

Police say the same thing he was doing in other hotels.

And Lindsay's gone, Britney's dressed, Paris is out of town. A possible legal crackdown -- it is tough out there for a paparazzo.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Husband and wife competition -- we've all heard of it. But this couple used their competitive spirit to lose 190 pounds.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chris Balgobin was a fairly active kid. But he quickly realized that he liked books better than sports. CHRIS BALGOBIN, LOST 120 POUNDS: Growing up as a kid, I was an eager kid determined to be a doctor since I was six years old. So studying was more important to me than activities.

GUPTA: And over time, a healthy appetite led to husky clothes and an unhealthy self-esteem.

C. BALGOBIN: Life was difficult. You just didn't feel good. I used to shop in the big and tall, even though I'm not tall. I was big.

GUPTA: Despite the hardships, Chris reached his goal of becoming doctor, married his high school sweetheart Mia and had two beautiful children. He had everything -- except for a slim physique. And even that was about to change.

C. BALGOBIN: My big turning point is being a physician and seeing diabetes, seeing high blood pressure all the time. A patient of mine said I'm going to change my life. And when I saw him back for the follow-up, he lost 30 pounds. I'm like wow! If this guy can do this, why can't I do this?

GUPTA: Chris and Mia started their weight loss journeys together. Less than two years later and 190 pounds lighter, I met up with them at our Fit Nation event in Minneapolis.

(on camera): I think the biggest question people are going to ask you is how did you do it? 190 pounds between the two of you -- what's the secret?

C. BALGOBIN: The secret is counting calories and activity, you know, watching what you're eating, keeping accountable to yourself and to your spouse and to -- for me, it was my patients and activity.

MIA BALGOBIN, LOST 70 POUNDS: And he would be like OK, I did numbers -- distance six on the treadmill today. So I'd try to do it a little bit higher.

GUPTA: You could call it a healthy dose of husband and wife competition and a much healthier future for this young family.

M. AND C. BALGOBIN, LOST 70 POUNDS: (INAUDIBLE). And we lost 190 pounds together.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Well, L.A. city officials are talking about a crackdown on aggressive paparazzi, hoping they'll get the picture and calm their hungry cameras.

Here's CNN entertainment correspondent Kareen Wynter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some will stop at nothing to get that perfect picture. Swarms of Hollywood paparazzi are paid big bucks for chasing celebrities. Those on the other side of the lens are now becoming the target.

DENNIS ZINE, LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL: They act like a pack of wolves stalking their prey, creating havoc in the streets and are nuisances to innocent bystanders.

WYNTER: Los Angeles City Council officials, local law enforcement, even celebrities are taking shots at aggressive paparazzi with a new proposal -- regulations that would create a personal safety zone or buffer between highly sought after stars and the photographers who pursue them.

NICK STERN, PHOTOGRAPHER: But a safety zone of six feet, I think it's completely unenforceable. Unless every celebrity has a chaperone of a police officer with a six foot tape measure, how are you going to enforce it?

WYNTER: Not all city leaders are pushing for tougher laws against the paparazzi. L.A. Police Chief William Bratton, who called the crackdown unnecessary, raised eyebrows with these comments.

CHIEF WILLIAM BRATTON, LOS ANGELES POLICE: If celebrities behave themselves, that solves about 90 percent of the problem. If you noticed, Britney, in the last couple of days, has started wearing clothes again and basically paparazzi are leaving town because she's not running around without her underwear on.

WYNTER: Bratton also told KNBC Television...

BRATTON: Paris is out of town not bothering anybody anymore, thank God. And evidently, Lindsay Lohan has gone gay. We don't seem to have much of an issue.

WYNTER: But some took issue with Bratton's remarks.

JOHN DURAN, WEST HOLLYWOOD CITY COUNCIL: I was a bit troubled by Chief Bratton's comment this morning about not having to worry about Lindsay Lohan anymore since she turned gay. You know, in West Hollywood, that's kind of a nightly occurrence. So whether someone is gay or not should be irrelevant.

WYNTER: As the growing breed of paparazzi continue to push the limits in this lucrative business, it has it costs to the public. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Police Department reportedly spent $25,000 to transport Britney Spears to the hospital, to shield the pop star against the crush of trailing paparazzi.

Kareen Wynter, CNN, Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, who was that masked man?

Believe it or not, the robber is going to show you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Well, here's a story that might remind you of "Dumb and Dumber." On the surface, it looks like a robbery suspect and his partner carefully planned a holdup. Well, then you won't believe what happened next.

Here's John Klekamp of News 12 New Jersey.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN KLEKAMP, NEWS 12 NEWS JERSEY (voice-over): Keep an eye on this guy. You haven't seen the last of him. Police say he's the lookout for a bold robbery that's all caught on tape. But he's still inside University Liquors as this July 19th holdup goes down -- his partner in crime apparently jumping the gun.

The masked man waves a weapon, demanding money from the cashier, whose identity we're concealing.

(on camera): It looked pretty scary, what she went through.

ANTHONY PAPAIANNI, UNIVERSITY LIQUORS: Yes. Yes, it is. I guess I would be shaken up, too.

KLEKAMP: And how is she doing now after that?

PAPAIANNI: She's doing well. I spoke to her this morning, as a matter of fact and she's doing well.

KLEKAMP: South Orange police have high hopes for these images, especially the ones we're about to show you. Just as the masked gunman is about to leave the store, he blows his cover. It's a gift to investigators.

CAPT. KYLE KROLL, SOUTH ORANGE POLICE: He didn't want to exit the store with a bandanna over his face because it would have drawn more attention to him. So, obviously, he decided to drop his disguise, in this case, the bandanna, right before he exited the store. And that's where the surveillance camera was able to pick it up.

KLEKAMP: The gunman was in and out in less than 20 seconds, forcing the lookout to improvise and carry the customer act a bit further. Feigning concern, he asks the cashier if she's all right. He even pays for a soda. But when she runs to the door with police on the line, she sees both men leave in the same car.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: That's why they're robbing banks, not running the country. Police don't think the suspects are rookies, despite the obvious blunders. Investigators hope someone will recognize the men so their next close-ups will be mug shots.

Well, police in Federal Way, Washington say that the man highlighted in the circle is a serial hotel burglar. Take a look at this video. They say that he's been registering at Seattle- area hotels under a false name then breaking into the rooms of other guests. He's allegedly gotten away with more than $10,000 worth of property, including laptops, digital cameras and an iPod.

The closing bell and a wrap of the action on Wall Street is straight ahead with Susan Lisovicz.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PHILLIPS: Hey, pot growers be warned -- this turtle has already brought down one marijuana farmer and you could be next -- eventually. A reptile researcher keeping tabs on a GPS equipped box turtle tracked it into a clearing and found a bumper crop of pot plants growing there. Police can in, busted the man taking care of the marijuana and now they're waiting for their slow moving dope patrol to make another hit. It could take a while.

And something to crow about in Cuba.

Yes, get a load of this huge egg. The Cuban government claims it's the largest egg in the world, breaking a previous record held by a chicken from the Canary Islands. This egg weighs 6.3 ounces, about a third of a pound. I think that would make one heck of an omelet.

The closing bell is about to ring on Wall Street.

Susan Lisovicz is standing by with a final look on the trading day.

And ladies and gentlemen, I thought nobody could keep up with Derek Jeter until I went to a Yankee game with Susan Lisovicz. Oh, yes, she knows exactly how to keep stride with the man in pinstripes.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, I forgot about that picture.

PHILLIPS: Uh-huh. That's right. She took me to my first Yankee game. I got to get my favorite ballplayer's cap, Lou Gehrig and see the back side of Derek Jeter. That was a highlight.

LISOVICZ: Well, you know what, Kyra, you are neglecting some very important information. We were sitting 11th row, just left of home plate, close enough to get wait service. But, no, the beverage selection was not good enough for our favorite anchor. She had to go to the upper tiers to find something more to her liking. I believe it was an import.

(LAUGHTER)

LISOVICZ: Then she disappears into the Yankee gift store while A-Rod hits a home run in the last season at Yankee Stadium.

PHILLIPS: OK. But...

LISOVICZ: It was a real treat to go to the game with you.

PHILLIPS: Let's just make one thing clear. You know, I've tried to drink Bud. But, you know, and I love Little League and I love NASCAR, but I can't do it. I have to have an import. And as for the shopping in the Yankee shop, come on. I had to come away from my first Yankee game with a little gear. And it was actually for one of my best friends. She demanded a Yankee visor.

LISOVICZ: You were on the phone with your friend, who informed you that A-Rod hit the home run. I loved that.

PHILLIPS: That's right.

LISOVICZ: He was close enough to touch with those seats.

PHILLIPS: Can I tell you -- but I'm still -- you know, forget A- Rod. Jeter. Come on. Jeter's the man.

LISOVICZ: He's her boyfriend and he's the captain. And it was a great night in the Bronx. And we've so loved having you in New York. You've conquered -- Kyra has conquered New York.

PHILLIPS: Oh, I had such a great time.

LISOVICZ: We'll miss you.

PHILLIPS: (INAUDIBLE).

LISOVICZ: But I know everybody in Atlanta (INAUDIBLE).

PHILLIPS: Thank you for everything.

LISOVICZ: Yes, my pleasure.

PHILLIPS: (INAUDIBLE) get home.

LISOVICZ: Hey, the best thing I think I introduced you to was my hairdresser, who serves champagne while he cuts hair.

(LAUGHTER)

LISOVICZ: It softens the blow.

PHILLIPS: Did I experience New York or what?

I did Bruce Springsteen with you, the New York Yankees and I got Bob Reese (ph), the hot hairdresser.

What else could I ask for?

LISOVICZ: Yes. There you go.

PHILLIPS: How about the closing bell?

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

LISOVICZ: See you next week from Atlanta, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Sounds great, Susan. Have a great weekend. Let's take it now to "THE SITUATION ROOM" and our man, Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.

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