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Firefighter Chopper Crash; McCain's One-Two Punch; Gitmo Trial Sentencing

Aired August 7, 2008 - 11:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning again, everyone. You're informed with CNN.
I'm Tony Harris.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.

Developments keep coming into the CNN NEWSROOM on this Thursday, August 7th.

Here's what's on the rundown.

One Los Angeles hospital accused of dumping patients on skid row. Others accused of recruiting the homeless to cheat Medicare.

HARRIS: Crews trying to recover the remains of eight firefighters and their pilot. They're feared dead in a chopper crash.

COLLINS: John McCain live and unfiltered this hour, battleground Ohio.

Fight for the White House -- in the NEWSROOM.

Quickly, some breaking news to get to you out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where yesterday we told you the driver for Osama bin Laden received a mixed sentence. Today that sentencing phase is taking place and playing out in the courtroom.

Hamdan actually addressed the courtroom in an unsworn statement. He said several things -- talked about a working relationship with the al Qaeda leader and talked about how he respected him, and had the relationship between the two of them, and categorized it as normal. He also, just as a reminder, was convicted of providing material support to al Qaeda but cleared of terrorism conspiracy charges.

So not exactly sure how fast the sentencing phase will wrap up, but we do have Jamie McIntyre, our senior Pentagon correspondent, there in Guantanamo Bay. And he will be reporting into us just as soon as that sentence is complete.

HARRIS: And this story also just in, the embattled mayor of Detroit ordered to jail. A judge ruling Kwame Kilpatrick violated the terms of his bond by going to Canada without telling the court. Kilpatrick is awaiting trial on perjury and other criminal charges. Kilpatrick has denied those charges. COLLINS: A remote California forest, a search for bodies and answers this morning. Eight firefighters and a pilot are believed dead. Their helicopter crashed while shuttling crews back and forth to fight a wildfire.

CNN's Dan Simon is in northern California now, in the town of Weaverville.

Dan, good morning to you.


Well, authorities have done extensive search around perimeter of the crash site, and they have found no additional survivors. So we are expecting authorities to announce that nine people did, in fact, die in this crash, eight firefighters and a co-pilot. This crash occurred just as those firefighters had completed their shift.


SIMON (voice-over): The chopper had just picked up a group of firefighters from a clearing in a rugged California forest. It crashed in thick woods about 200 miles northwest of Sacramento, then caught fire. Other firefighters waiting to be picked up rushed to the scene.

Thirteen people were aboard the chopper. Just four were pulled from the wreckage. They're the only survivors. The others are believed to have died in the fire that destroyed the helicopter.

Rescuers say just getting to the crash site was a treacherous effort.

SHARON HEYWOOD, U.S. FOREST SERVICE: This area is very difficult terrain. It is steep, remote, rugged, and very difficult to access.

SIMON: The helicopter that went down is a Sikorsky S61N chopper, widely used to shuttle crews to and from remote firelines. Officials from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff reacted to news of the crash.

MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: This country owes a great debt to the firefighters and everybody else who was out there protecting us. We hope this season, which looks to be a tough season, will not cost us any more brave lives.


SIMON: Of the four survivors, three of them are firefighters, one of them a co-pilot. All of them in serious condition with very serious burns.

The NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board, is investigating the cause of this crash, but at this point, we can tell you that the helicopter and the pilot and the co-pilot were both experienced. They had made several trips over to that area prior to that crash. At this point, we really have no idea what happened here -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Oh boy. It's just an awful story, Dan. We appreciate your reporting on it, though, Weaverville, California, this morning.

HARRIS: You know, one surprising element of this story, most of the firefighters worked for a private company. The firefighting contractor Grayback Forestry has been around almost 30 years and works for government agencies such as the Forestry Service and private interests like lumber companies and landowners. Grayback's crews not only fight fires, but also conduct controlled burns to reduce fire risks.

COLLINS: Let's update you on those western fires now.

Crews are manning firelines across several states. According to the U.S. Forestry Service, most of the fires are clustered in northern California. You can see it on the map there. At least 11 are burning there.

More fires, though, burning in Idaho, Montana and Washington. In Wyoming, cooler temperatures and lighter winds have slowed a wildfire east of Yellowstone National Park.

And in just a few minutes we are going to be joined by meteorologist Reynolds Wolf for all of the very latest on those fire threats.

John McCain on the trail in a key swing state. He holds a town hall meeting a little bit later this hour in Ohio.

Ed Henry with the McCain campaign, joining us now from Lima, Ohio.

Good morning once again, Ed.


Excitement building already. They had a band playing here a short while ago. I thought a football game was going to break out, Ohio State and Michigan, or something like that.

Instead, we have got a clash of the Obama/McCain camps. There are a lot of people lined up. They've been lined up for a couple of hours now around this corner, trying to get in to see John McCain for that town hall.

We also have some Obama supporters here standing out there, holding up their own signs, going after John McCain. But the bottom line is that John McCain's message is basically that Barack Obama is billing himself as the candidate of change, McCain is insisting he's actually that guy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HENRY (voice-over): A new one-two punch from John McCain.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The cost of everything is going up. And in the face of this, Washington is on vacation.

HENRY: First, McCain is on the attack, charging government is broken and Barack Obama is too inexperienced to fix it.

MCCAIN: My opponent, Senator Obama, opposes both storage and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. He opposes offshore drilling immediately. And he's out of touch.

HENRY: At the same time, McCain is trying to present a positive agenda, making the case he has better plans to improve the economy and solve the energy problem.

MCCAIN: We need to crack down on those who have abused our credit market and caused this housing decline. And we need to take action to support American businesses so that we can stop jobs from going overseas.

HENRY: A tricky balancing act for McCain, who may come across as too negative. He's walking that same fine line in a new ad that again charges Obama is a celebrity, but with a forward-looking twist.

CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama!

NARRATOR: Is the biggest celebrity in the world ready to help your family? The real Obama promises higher taxes, more government spending. So, fewer jobs.

Renewable energy to transform our economy, create jobs and energy independence, that's John McCain.

HENRY: This ad is toned down. No images of Paris Hilton that were in last week's ad and prompted so much outrage in the Obama camp.


HENRY: Now, I talked to a lot of voters lined up here behind me, and they were very clear that they want to hear John McCain talk about two issues: the economy and high gas prices. It's what we're hearing all around the country, obviously, but especially in this battleground state of Ohio -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, sure not a surprise there.

All right. Ed Henry from Lima, Ohio, this morning.

Thank you.

HARRIS: On the trail but out of the spotlight, Barack Obama gearing up for some downtime. Obama returns to Chicago, but has no official public appearances scheduled today. He plans to travel to Hawaii this weekend for a little vacation and to visit family before the Democratic convention at the end of the month.

COLLINS: Quickly want to get back to some of that news that we've been telling you about coming out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Our Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre is there and has more information regarding the sentencing phase now of Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: You know, we don't see or hear much from Salim Hamdan, although we see him sitting in the courtroom during these proceedings. But today an unusual day, as the jury is considering the sentence to pronounce for him now that he's been convicted of material support for terrorism.

He actually testified on his own behalf. It was an unsworn statement. He was not under oath. But nevertheless, the jury is allowed to consider what he had to say.

And what he had to say was that his relationship with Osama bin Laden was, as he described it, as a low-level employee to the company director. He insisted that he was not aware of all the activities that Osama bin Laden was up to, and that when he learned true nature of the September 11th attacks, he was "shocked."

Now, all of this obviously is a plea for leniency from the military commission, which will decide whether he should get the maximum, which he faces up to life in prison, or whether he could serve what he's essentially served already. The judge has given him credit for five of the seven years that he's been in prison as time served.

But even if he is given a light sentence and is technically eligible for release, he's still being held as an enemy combatant, something that his lawyers will also be challenging in court. This case, Heidi, by the way, could eventually make its way back to the Supreme Court -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Right. And Jamie, I just wonder, quickly, does it matter really at all what he says in front of that court, especially because it's unsworn? Why an unsworn statement?

MCINTYRE: Well, you know, they had -- first of all, some of his testimony was also in secret because the government said it was getting into classified areas. You know, the unsworn statement was basically because it gives him a chance to just speak freely, without consulting with his attorneys, without having to carefully measure everything he said. It's just a chance for him to sort of appeal directly to the jury.

What effect it will have, we don't know. It's interesting to hear it in his own words, although we have see in the course of this trial, is interrogations as they were recorded on videotape. And of course, Hamdan comes across as sort of a likable, congenial guy.

He's polite to everyone. He started out by thanking the commissioners for taking his case. But the government says that's all just a ruse that he's put on in order to try to escape justice. COLLINS: All right. CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre.

Jamie, you'll let us know when that sentence comes down. Thanks so much.

HARRIS: You know, last hour we told you that Kwame Kilpatrick, the embattled mayor of Detroit, is heading to county jail. We have got some pictures of the mayor in court this morning, where he essentially pleaded with the judge not to send him to jail.

Here's the story here.

The judge in the case ruled that Kwame Kilpatrick violated the terms of his bond by going to Canada. Yes, taking a trip to Canada without telling the court.

And earlier today, Kilpatrick waived a preliminary examination. As you know, he is facing a perjury charge, criminal charges, and that trial to come later.

During these moments in court this morning, Kwame Kilpatrick appealing to this judge, District Court Judge Ronald Giles (ph), said, "Look, I've been living in an incredible state of pressure and scrutiny." And so the judge, hearing that, said, look, I can't treat you any differently than any other defendant before this court. And the judge sent Kwame Kilpatrick to jail.

Don't know if he's arrived at this moment, don't know for how long. But this is the scene in court in Detroit this morning as the judge has ruled that Kwame Kilpatrick violated the terms of his bond and must go to jail for taking a trip to Canada without informing the court.

More on this as we get additional information.

COLLINS: A production years in the making. It's almost showtime in Beijing. An Olympics preview for you coming up.


COLLINS: Passionate protests, tight security, heavy smog. Just hours to the opening ceremonies in the Beijing Olympic games.

CNN's Emily Chang takes us there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have come here today to speak out against the human rights abuses of the Chinese government.

EMILY CHANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Activists cry out in Tiananmen Square.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we're here to speak out for the woman that are forced to undergo abortions. CHANG: Officials blocked the cameras with an umbrella.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're being dragged away.

CHANG: One photographer is knocked over as the protesters are shuffled away.

It's the latest in a series of demonstrations, small but successful, covering issues from Tibet, to the Falun Gong spiritual movement, to house eviction. And the games haven't even begun, but China still seems determined to stifle as much dissent as possible, revoking visas last minute, and security is getting tighter and tighter.

(on camera): We're pulling up to my hotel here at the front gate. All vehicles are scanned inside-out and underneath.

At the front door, there's another security check. Every time I come in, the staff immediately scan me up and down and check my bags. Then at the elevator there's another guy who checks my key.

(voice-over): Outside, thick smog continues to hang stubbornly over the city, cloaking the venues in Olympic gloom, raising fresh concerns about the health of athletes, spectators and residents. But locals remain uncritical. This man praising Beijing, despite wearing a protective mask.

"I think the atmosphere is great, and I hope all the athletes achieve great success," he says.

"I feel as if Beijing is filled with sunshine," says another woman. "Everyone has been waiting for this day, showing that China is stronger."

The Olympic torch paraded across the Great Wall before cheering crowds and colorful performers. In Beijing, the city buzzes with anticipation as people wonder, who will light the Olympic cauldron, will protests disrupt the opening ceremony, and will the air clear with just hours to go?

Emily Chang, CNN, Beijing.


HARRIS: You know, the truth is, the Olympics can be a magnet for dissent, even among athletes.

Josh Levs is with us now.

Hey, Josh, what if Olympic athletes decide to make some kind of political statement? I know there is a lot of language on this.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's a lot of language on it, Tony. I've been following this angle for months, and now it's showtime. If one of the athletes uses the eye of the world to launch some sort of protest about political or religious freedom, what will Beijing authorities do? What will Olympic authorities do?

I'm going to start off with you right here. This is the Olympic Charter. Everyone involved in the Olympics, including the Olympians, the athletes, are responsible to follow it. And let's go to a graphic that shows you the key quote from it. It says, "No kind of demonstration or political, religious or propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas."

Then the Olympic committee put out a letter making this clear. They say, "The conduct of participants at all sites, areas and venues includes all actions, reactions, attitudes or manifestations of any kind by a person or group of persons, including but not limited to, their look, external appearance, clothing, gestures, and written or oral statements."

In this last graphic, we show you what they go on to say. "As in all Olympic games, such conduct must also, of course, comply with the laws of the host state."

Now, here's the thing. Olympic officials have also said that they recognize that there is a value to freedom of expression. The athletes will also have freedom of expression. But at the same time, for months they've been saying there's good reasons to follow this rule.


JACQUES ROGGE, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: If we let athletes or coaches or officials use the opening or the closing ceremony or the podium ceremony as a way to express these divides, this will be the end of the spirit of the Olympic games.


LEVS: This is what we're going to keep an eye out for, starting as they take off, which is tomorrow.

Now, I want to show you two things on the screen behind me. First of all, "The Washington Post" has an interesting article about this, talking about religious freedom.

What if some people win a race, win, let's say, a gold medal, want to fall to their knees and praise God? Does this violate this? What will officials do there?

And also, Tony, something you and I have talked about in the past, historical perspective here.

HARRIS: Oh yes.

LEVS: Back to the 1968 Olympics -- let's close in on the city right here.

HARRIS: Mexico City, yes.

LEVS: The most famous protest at an Olympics in modern times. Thomas Smithand John Carlos when they did that black power salute back in '68.

And Tony, as you know, at the time they were suspended from their teams, stripped of their medals, expelled from the athletes' village. It was controversial then.

This time, we're talking about it taking place in China, under Chinese law and the Olympic Charter. What will happen? That's what we're watching for.

HARRIS: Yes. The personal lives, the professional lives suffered as a result of that statement.

LEVS: That's right.

HARRIS: Boy, it's good to be reminded of 1968 and Mexico City.

Josh, appreciate it. Thank you.

LEVS: You got it. Thanks.

COLLINS: How to have a baby. No, not instructions. Just a little advice to help nature along.


COLLINS: And now, how to have a baby. Well, if that isn't breaking news, I don't know what is.

Sometimes the birds and the bees do need a little help from science though. So what are the steps you can take to help nature along? That is the topic of this week's "Empowered Patient" report.

CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here now to help us navigate the world of fertility.

A lot of people talking about this.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: In the old days, it used to be easy to get pregnant, right? You just did it the old- fashioned way, and if it didn't work, well, you were unfortunately out of luck.


COHEN: But these days, there are so many different procedures you can try, there are so many different doctors you can go to, that many people feel lost in the fertility maze. So here's some tips in this week's "Empowered Patient" for how to get yourself unlost.

First of all, don't wait too long to get help. Some couples try for years before going to a fertility specialist. That is a bad idea. And did you know you can go on the Internet to get the success rates for the clinics near you. They'll tell you how many babies they've actually produced.

Also, stay healthy. And that goes for men and women. Your chances of conceiving are better if you're healthy.

And here's a tip specifically for dad: Stay out of hot tubs. High temperatures, bad for sperm production. A lot of men don't know that.

COLLINS: Yes. Yes. Really? OK.

When you say, don't wait too long to get help, though, what is too long?

COHEN: Right. There are very specific times that people ought to know about.

First, it depends on your age and it depends on your health status. So, first, if you're over 35, after six months of trying, get help. Do not wait any longer than that. If you're under 35, get help after a year of trying.

Now, those times are even shorter if you have any health problems, endometriosis -- there's a couple of other ones -- you should get help even sooner, because you may really need that help.

COLLINS: Yes, absolutely.

You say that you should stay healthy. And that's always good advice for everybody. But anything in particular you should do to increase the odds of actually having a baby?

COHEN: Yes, there are some specific things that both men and women need to do.

First of all, you've got to cut out the heavy drinking. Heavy drinking can have an effect on both men and women's fertility.

Don't smoke. And if you're overweight, lose weight. Studies have shown that being overweight will make you less fertile, whether you're a man or a woman.

COLLINS: All right. Elizabeth, thank you. Sure do appreciate it.

And a quick remainder, too. For Elizabeth's full column, you can get your "Daily Dose" as well online. Just log on to our Web site. You'll find the latest medical news, a health library, and information on diet and fitness.

That address:



COLLINS: Good morning once again, everybody. 11:30 Eastern time now.

I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris.

Detroit mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, has been ordered to county jail after being found in violation of terms of his bond on perjury charges. Here's the judge, Ronald Giles, just moments ago.


JUDGE RONALD GILES, MICHIGAN 36TH DISTRICT COURT: Because you have violated your conditions of bond the court is, one, revoking your bond. The court is going to order that you -- that all travel be suspended. And, two, that you be remanded to the Wayne County jail for processing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge would (ph) you stay the order pending an appeal please?

GILES: Am I going to stay the order?


GILES: No. No. You have the right to file an immediate appeal. But, like I said, if it was anybody else sitting in that chair, that's exactly what would happen. I believe that's how I have to proceed.


HARRIS: Well, here's what's at work here. The mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, apologized to the judge and to the court for leaving the country for a trip to Canada without informing the court. He apologized, asked for forgiveness. But as you heard just there, the judge unmoved. Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, going to jail.

COLLINS: Cashing in on the homeless and helpless. The owner of a hospital in California and another man arrested in Los Angeles. They are accused of picking people up from Skid Row and providing them with unnecessary health services in order to defraud Medicare and Medical. Federal agents raided three medical centers in the Los Angeles area. They allege the hospitals used the homeless as human pawns to pose as patients. A lawsuit alleges hospital officials submitted phony bills for thousands of homeless patients, including drug addicts and the mentally ill.


ROCKY DELGADILLO, LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEY: We believe this scheme happened over a period of years. Thousands of individuals were victimized by these efforts, and we hope today that we have put a stop to those activities.


COLLINS: The mistreatment of homeless people is a practice we have reported on in the past. CNN's Randi Kaye first helped uncover this problem. She filed this piece in July of 2007.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's Jose Gonzalez struggling to get out of a cab on L.A.'s Skid Row. He's homeless and the focus of the latest investigation into hospital patient dumping.

(on camera): Do you believe you were dumped on Skid Row?

JOSE GONZALEZ, HOMELESS: I believe I was dumped. I believe I was just discarded.

KAYE (voice-over): Discarded, he says, by Kaiser Permanente Hospital and dumped more than 20 miles away in downtown L.A., curbside, in front of Union Rescue Mission.

GONZALEZ: Why would they send me an hour away? What were they trying to hide?

KAYE: The Mission's surveillance cameras, installed to catch patient dumping, tell his story. Gonzalez spent two weeks at Kaiser being treated for back pain. Then, he says, two Kaiser social workers told him he was being sent to another facility for physical rehabilitation.

The hospital says it couldn't have happened that way, that rehab would have required a doctor's referral.

Gonzalez says they put him in a cab bound for this shelter, not exactly rehab. He says since the shelter couldn't treat his back pain, it turned him away. The shelter says that's true. The cabbie, paid for by the hospital, then brought him here to Union Rescue Mission.

The Mission's Andy Bale says Gonzalez is just one of nearly 100 patients dumped at his front door in the last two years.

(on camera): What are these people doing being released?

ANDY BALES, PRES., UNION RESCUE MISSION: They're not -- that's the big thing. Hospitals will say, well there's nowhere else for them to go for recuperative care. But in most cases we're not talking about recuperative care. We're talking about people who still need hospitalization.

KAYE (voice-over): Kaiser Hospital refused to go on camera, but told us Gonzalez, "... Agreed to those arrangements in writing and we confirmed that he was transported safely."

(on camera): The hospital says that you signed a discharge form, that you knew where you were going. Is that true?

GONZALEZ: I don't recall signing a form. Like I said, I was under medication. I don't recall signing any form.

KAYE (voice-over): We came to Skid Row to investigate one of the fist cases of patient dumping. Today, we're still "Keeping Them Honest."

L.A. city Attorney, Rocky Delgadillo, has already settled one case with Kaiser after this woman was found wandering Skid Row in just her hospital gown. He's now filed civil complaints against two more hospitals.

The most disturbing case? Hollywood Presbyterian's alleged dumping of a paraplegic man last year. He was left in the gutter near Midnight Mission, carrying his belongings in his teeth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was disoriented. He had a colostomy bag which had apparently broken open inside of the van and he was covered in his own human waste. He was paralyzed from the waste down.

KAYE (on camera): They're being treated like trash.

ORLANDO WARD, MIDNIGHT MISSION: Discardable. Discardable. That to me is more than an injustice. It's a crime.

KAYE (voice-over): Hollywood Presbyterian released this statement, saying the man, "... told the van driver to drop him off at a sidewalk location. She complied. Unfortunately, this was in violation of hospital policy and something we would never condone."

Methodist Hospital, also facing a complaint, told CNN it complies with federal discharge requirements.

DELGADILLO: The victims here might be the perfect victims because they might be suffering from mental dementia, they might have drug or alcohol abuse problems. They don't have a home. They're not the best witnesses if we're trying to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a hospital did something wrong here.


KAYE: An update now. We mentioned in that story that the L.A. city attorney had filed civil suits against two hospitals, that would be Hollywood Presbyterian and Methodist. Well just this year in June, just a couple of months, they actually settled with those hospitals. The hospitals agreed to change their policies and they promised to verify that patients know where they're going and have a place to go from now on.

COLLINS: How bad is the dumping problem there? What have you actually been able to see?

KAYE: Well I spent a few weeks, actually, on Skid Row over the years and I found people with IVs still on them from hospitals, they were still wearing their hospital bracelets, they were handcuffed some of them, they were drugged out. Patients were wandering around, even wearing their colostomy bags even from the hospital in one case. This is a place where there are services for these people, the missions provide beds and meals, just like they would get at a hospital. So it is the perfect place for them to go when they have nowhere else to go.

COLLINS: You just kind of can't believe that something is happening. I'm assuming there are laws to protect these people.

KAYE: There actually weren't. There was not a law on the books for quite some time. Now there is a law on the books, a new L.A. ordinance requires hospitals to obtain written permission from patients before moving them anywhere other than their homes.

The hospitals, though, they are very worried. If they're convicted of violating this law, their facilities could be left out of federal health programs and they're also very concerned that they just can't afford to keep these homeless patients in their beds because the homeless patients stay, on average about four-and-a-half days longer than the average patient at a hospital. So it's much more expensive for them to keep them there.

COLLINS: Sure. Yes, wow.

Any idea how often this is actually happening?

KAYE: It's pretty often. There are several cases still under investigation. They're looking into at least seven hospitals, the L.A. city attorney and they have 55 active cases that they're investigating.

COLLINS: Right now?

KAYE: Yes.

COLLINS: Wow. Randi, we're going to be looking for the follow- up on this one. I'm sure many people will appreciate it.

CNN's Randi Kaye, thank you.

KAYE: Thank you.

HARRIS: OK. We've been telling you throughout the morning of yesterday and then again today of the proceeding there at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Salim Hamdan found guilty yesterday, kind of a split decision. We've been awaiting the sentence, the recommendation of a sentence. We now have that, according to the "Associated Press."

Guantanamo prosecutors recommending the sentence of at least 30 years for Osama bin Laden's driver. Again, Guantanamo prosecutors recommending a sentence of 30 years for Salim Hamdan. We will check in, perhaps in just a couple of minutes, with Jamie McIntyre for more on the sentence.

COLLINS: They're like that Energizer Bunny, they keep buzzing about energy. The presidential candidates, what they're saying unfiltered. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: CNN bringing you more of what the presidential candidates are saying in their own words, part of their commitment to help you make an informed choice on Election Day. Here is Barack Obama talking to supporters in Elkhart, Indiana, about the nation's energy crisis.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you need one more example of what's wrong with our energy policy, or George Bush's policies in general, there's a new report today, some of you may have read it in the newspaper. Iraq has been getting a windfall because of rising oil prices. They have a $79 billion budget surplus. At a time when we're spending $10 billion a month in Iraq, they've got almost $80 billion that's not being invested in services for suffering Iraqis or reconstruction. Some of this money is sitting in American banks in New York on Wall Street, collecting interest while you, the taxpayer, are paying for reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

That's why we've got to bring about the fundamental change, because if we're going to solve the problems of the American people, then we've got to have somebody in Washington who is fighting for the American people and listening to the voice of the American people, and that's why I'm running for president of the United States of America.


I know that Senator McCain likes to call himself a maverick, and the fact is there have been times where, in the past, he did show some independence. But the price he paid for his party's nomination has been to reverse himself on position after position, and now he embraces the failed Bush policies of the last eight years, the politics that helped break Washington in the first place.

While we're on the subject of Senator McCain contradicting himself, a few days ago somebody asked me what they could do personally to help America save energy. So I said something that some of you have heard, which is all of us could get better gas mileage and save oil in the process just by keeping our tires inflating. Turns out the experts agreed. Turns out that we could save 3 to 4 percent on our total oil consumption just by keeping our cars tuned up, inflating our tires. Senator McCain and the Republican National Committee, though, mocked the idea. They've been going around sending tire gauges to reporters saying Barack Obama's energy plan.


Well, that sounded clever, except last night after all that, Senator McCain actually said he agreed that keeping our tires inflated was a good idea.


HARRIS: Barack Obama in his own words. COLLINS: John McCain also speaking out about energy and the economy. Here's the senator in his own words talking to supporters in Jackson, Ohio.


MCCAIN: Energy prices are too high, we're losing jobs, our housing market is on the decline, and the cost of everything is going up. And in the face of this, Washington is on vacation. In the face of the severe energy crisis, the Congress decides to go on a five-week vacation. When I'm president of the United States, I will call the Congress back into session and tell them to act and not to leave town, to take their vacation or their pay raise, until they address this energy crisis.

And now is the time for action. We need an all of the above plan to address our energy crisis with alternative energy, drilling, and nuclear power. That means drilling here, drilling now, in the United States of America and off the United States of America's coast. Everybody knows that drilling is a very vital part of bridging our gap between our dependence on foreign oil, which is transferring $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much, and -- we have the resources to be explored and exploited, and we could obtain some of the benefit of that within months.

My opponent, Senator Obama, opposes both storage and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, he opposes offshore drilling immediately, and he's out of touch. We need to take action to support American businesses so that we can stop jobs from going overseas and create more jobs here at home.

America has the second highest business rate in the entire world. It's any wonder that jobs are moving overseas when we're taxing them out of the country. Unfortunately, Senator Obama's plans would raise taxes on businesses even more. He's promised tax increases on income, tax increases on investment, tax increases on small businesses. That's exactly, exactly, the wrong strategy. Raising taxes in a bad economy is about the worst thing you can do because it will kill even more jobs when what we need are policies that create jobs.

What we need today is an economic surge. Our surge has succeed in Iraq militarily. Now we need an economic surge to keep jobs here at home and create new ones. We need to reduce the tax burden on businesses that choose to make their home in the United States of America. We need to open new markets to U.S. products, and we need to reduce the cost of health care and we need to end the out of control spending in Washington that's putting our debt on the backs of our children.

Now is the time for action, and when I'm president we are going to get it done.


COLLINS: John McCain on the trail in Jackson, Ohio. We do expect to hear from him today in Lima, Ohio and we're going to bring that to you when it happens.

HARRIS: What's up on Wall Street? Certainly not the Dow. We're talking triple digit declines. We will talk you there.

CNN, the most trusted name in news.


HARRIS: Shafer Vineyards is a Napa Valley leader in sustainable wine making.

Here's Rob Marciano.


ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At Shafer Vineyards, one of Napa's premiere wineries, grape growing just isn't what it used to be.

DOUG SHAFER, OWNER OF SHAFER VINEYARDS: Back then, the idea of a beautiful vineyard was nothing but dirt and just flat as a pool table.

MARCIANO: Doug Shafer enjoys showing off the overgrown vine rows. The dead and dry remnants of the winter's cover crops. You see, instead of herbicides, Shafer plants clover, oats, peas and mustard as a natural way to control weeds. These plants also become a natural fertilizer, helping add essential nutrients to the soil.

SHAFER: We're making a more natural product here and we're making better wines.

MARCIANO: And to control the population of rodents attracted to the cover crops, well, Shafer has a chemical-free solution. He enlists the help from hawks and barn owls.

SHAFER: And it was the matter of just putting up perches in the vineyard and they would eat these gophers and moles.

MARCIANO: But one of the most striking features of the vineyard is the vast array of solar panels, covering the many roofs and hills that helped Shafer reduce its energy consumption.

SHAFER: We used to pay maybe $40,000 or $50,000 a year on power. And basically we pay $1,500 now.

MARCIANO: And on very sunny days, the meter even runs backwards.

SHAFER: This arrow here means we're producing more than we're using. So, anything extra is going out to the grid.

MARCIANO: Reducing the vineyard's carbon footprint by farming sustainibly, has its benefit. Shafer says his wines have improved and his customers appreciate it. And that is good for business.

Rob Marciano, CNN.



COLLINS: Sorry about that, but we do have breaking news that we want to get to.

Our senior pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre is standing by Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with more on the sentencing of Salim Hamdan. You remember him to be Osama bin Laden's former driver.

Jamie, what do we know about the sentence, now?

MCINTYRE: Well, the hearing is winding down and right now Hamdan's attorneys are making an impassion plea for the military jurists to believe his version of events. That he was just a lowly driver. They say his actions were totally consistent with somebody who was just trying to living and not necessarily an al-Qaeda sympathizer.

Now, later today this case will go to the jury for sentencing and we'll find out if he gets a light sentence or the maximum, a possible life in prison -- Heidi.

COLLINS: So, Jamie, what we are hearing from the "Associated Press" regarding what prosecutors are recommending, which is that sentence of at least 30 years, we do not have an answer on that just yet?

MCINTYRE: The prosecution is -- they make their recommendation. The defense will also recommend what they think is an appropriate sentence when they wrap up their arguments here. And, of course, it'll be up for the commissioners to decide.

We could get a decision as early as today. Earlier today, Hamdan spoke in his own defense claiming that he did not know that al-Qaeda was behind the bombing of the USS Cole. And that when he learned the full nature of the attacks on September 11th, he was quote, "shocked."

COLLINS: All right. CNN's Jamie McIntyre working this story for us from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Jamie, thank you.

HARRIS: And John McCain in Lima, Ohio, for a campaign stop. A town hall meeting. Live coverage shortly.


COLLINS: CNN NEWSROOM continues just one hour from now.

HARRIS: "ISSUE #1" with Christine Romans and Ali Velshi starts right now.