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CNN NEWSROOM

Russian Troops Cross Georgia; Bush Express Support of Georgia; NYC to Increase Security; Military Subject to Extra Bag Charges on Airplanes' Four Day School Weeks Could Be in the Future?

Aired August 13, 2008 - 13:00   ET

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


BRIANNA KEILAR, CO-HOST: On the move, but where are they going? Russian forces rumbling through the Georgian heartland, a day after both nations pledged to stop fighting. We'll hear from CNN correspondents on the ground.
DON LEMON, CO-HOST: And U.S. forces who fly commercial learn to travel light or they have to pay up. Military advocates say it is an outrage.

KEILAR: And new data confirm what many troops' families already knew. War can drive warriors to drink and drink a lot. CNN's medical unit has the facts and the figures.

Hi, there. I'm Brianna Keilar at CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon, live here at the international desk.

It is a big breaking news day for international news. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And right off the top, we start with this cease fire. Well, it certainly doesn't look like a cease fire. That's what they're saying there. Though we haven't heard any of the shots fired today in the Black Sea nation of Georgia. I want to give you the very latest right now.

Take a look at this. President Bush, speaking today at the White House, says he is skeptical about Russia's claim that yesterday's cease-fire agreement is being honored.

Also, the president announced a humanitarian aid mission is already up and running to help the Georgian people. At least one military cargo plane loaded with supplies is in the air right now.

And earlier today, Russian troops and tanks moved out of the Georgian city of Gori towards Tbilisi, the capital, but then turned away. A CNN correspondent is riding with that convoy. We'll check in with that correspondent, just as soon as we can.

And we're covering Georgia today from the ground and from the political heights also. We are doing it from cyberspace. We have a team of correspondents who are stationed for you. First of all, Matthew Chance is in Georgia. Our Kate Baldwin is at the White House. And Josh Levs watching the blogs and the news coverage, of course, all around the world.

We're going to begin, though, with our man on the ground, and that is Matthew Chance. He joins us now, live from Tbilisi.

Tell us what you're seeing there, Matthew.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's pretty calm in Tbilisi this evening, but just about 30 miles outside of Georgia's capital, that column of Russian troops with armored personnel carriers and perhaps several hundred soldiers has set up a camp, you know, really in Georgia property.

They broke out from the main conflict zone, South Ossetia, earlier in the day in a very unexpected incursion into Georgian territory. Moved along the road towards the east, towards the Georgian capital, sparking all kinds of rumors and concerns that they may be actually taking a first step in a move on the Georgian capital.

As you mentioned, that didn't happen, though. They turned off after traveling for about 20 kilometers, about 15 miles or so, into Georgian territory. We don't really know what the reason they've come out of that conflict zone is. But they seem to be skirting around the territory of South Ossetia, perhaps establishing some kind of buffer zone between Georgian territory and the territory of South Ossetia, where these hostilities over the past week or so have been focused -- Don.

LEMON: Matthew, I have to ask you. I've been watching a couple -- a couple of your reports. And you seem to be pretty close to some of the troops there. Have you been speaking with them? And if so, what are they saying to you?

CHANCE: Yes, we have been close to the troops. We actually ran into them on the road on the way to the town of Gori very unexpectedly. So it was a little kind of concerning at first. But you know, they weren't hostile towards us at all. In fact, they simply waved at us as they drove past.

I managed to speak to some of the officers in that military column as they slowed down to turn off the road from Tbilisi. They wouldn't tell me what their mission was, but one of the officers said, "We're here with the knowledge of the people of Georgia." And so, you know, there seems to be some sense in which this wasn't an unexpected incursion for the Georgians. They may have been notified in advance, it seems, at the Russian military column.

Now, more evidence of that is, of course, there was no resistance whatsoever from the point of view of the Georgians. Not a shot was fired as this column of Russian armored personnel carriers and trucks and troops rolled into Georgia.

LEMON: All right. Our Matthew Chance joining us from Tbilisi. We appreciate your reporting -- Brian.

KEILAR: Well, let's head over to Kate Baldwin. She's at the White House, where President Bush a short time ago addressed the situation in Georgia.

Kate, what did he say?

KATE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, there was a lot that came out of his statement in the Rose Garden. One thing that -- one thing that definitely came out of the president said the U.S. is stepping in and getting more involved in the situation on the ground in Georgia.

During the statement in the Rose Garden, the president announced what he calls steps to demonstrate U.S. solidarity with the Georgian people. And he really explained that. Listen here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to France, where she will confer with President Sarkozy. She will then travel to Tbilisi, where she will be personally convey America's unwavering support for Georgia's Democratic government. On this trip, she will continue our efforts to rally the free world in the defense of a free Georgia.

I've also directed Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military. This mission will be vigorous and ongoing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Vigorous and ongoing. Now we hear from White House spokesperson Dana Perino in the briefing today. She says that Secretary Rice will leave for this trip overseas this evening.

And during this trip, we are also finding out that the secretary will stop in Brussels to meet with NATO members, obviously, on this issue of Georgia.

Throughout the president's comments, Brianna, the president offered, really, it was pretty much a thinly veiled warning to Russia, saying not only has Russian damaged its relations with the U.S., but also says that Russia's aspirations to join international institutions, that is at risk, as well.

And senior administration officials have said that they are in talks, the U.S., as well as world leaders, talking about how to punish Russia for its actions. But in the president's comment, there was no specific punishment that was discussed.

KEILAR: Kate Baldwin for us at the White House. Thanks, Kate -- Don.

LEMON: All right, Brianna, and to understand this conflict better. It helps to see where Russia and Georgia, where they lie on the map and how they relate to each other. I want to bring in our Josh Levs now, who has been following this story, to give us some historical context about this, Josh. Tell us what you've been finding out. JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. We need to see this so we understand what's going on on both sides today of the conflict.

Let's close in on this map right here. This is a map we have up at CNN.com. It's been very helpful throughout the day. This is Russia. This is Georgia. This right here, South Ossetia, where this whole conflict began.

Now, what we heard this morning was that Russian troops were moving eastward out of Gori, and the capital is Tbilisi, which is looked like they might have been going toward, from Gori to Tbilisi. Russia then came forward and said, "We are not heading to the capital."

Here's what we understand Russia actually was doing. To resolve this conflict, Russia is saying, "No Georgian troops in here," and Russia wants to create a de-militarized zone all along the outside of South Ossetia. So today you have Russian troops going along that area to basically get rid of Georgian military installations for what they say is a process of demilitarization. And that's what they're pushing for. That's why they say their troops are in that region, outside of South Ossetia, but moving around there.

Now I'm going to bring you to one slightly more confusing map, but it'll help us a little bit. Let's zoom back in. I'm going to go to this map here from ReliefWeb.INT. It's confusing, but ignore everything except what I point to.

This is South Ossetia. Now, there are two cities we were just looking at. Gori right here and Tbilisi over here, the capital. Look at the thick red line that connects the two, and also this black line with the little vertical markets on it. That's a major highway and a major railroad.

Here's why this is critical and President Bush was talking about it today. To travel east-west in Georgia, you have to go that way. There aren't lines all over the country. This is the east-west route. As the A.P. puts it, they say the only significant route between east and west, which means the entire economy and, Don, the entire political scene, that nation's function relies on the ability to move east, west right along there. Right now, Russia has part of it.

President Bush is saying that's part of Russia's strategy. Russia says it won't be there forever, but that's what we're relying on.

LEMON: And real quickly, between Gori and Tbilisi, that's not very far.

LEVS: Between Gori and Tbilisi, it's not very far. I believe it's about 40 to 50 miles, so it's not that far. They could make it there quickly if they were to go there.

LEMON: Our Josh Levs. We appreciate. Thank you, Josh -- Brianna. KEILAR: Well, it wouldn't be a fortress, but police in New York are proposing a special security zone for Ground Zero, complete with checkpoints and heightened screening for cars and trucks.

Our Mary Snow is in New York with details.

Mary, what's this all about?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, it is a plan not just for Ground Zero but also expanding to the rest of Manhattan being compared to London's security, known as the Ring of Steel. But New York officials say they are taking it to a new level not done anywhere else.

A big part of this program calls to photograph vehicles coming into the city. That would be scanning license plates and storing those images for 30 days.

Now, there are nearly two dozen bridges and tunnels that funnel into the island of Manhattan. The plan would be that those tracking systems would be placed at all of them. Now radiation detective systems are another addition, planned addition. The plan is to have rings of radiation detection equipment placed around the city.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAYMOND KELLY, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: Let's say we have a hit with a -- radiation material is coming in to the city several miles away. It will be registered in our command center, our coordination center. Everyone in the system will know about it, will be given information about it. We have also distributed thousands of radiation detectors for our own personnel and for personnel in these other agencies in the region.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: Now, the commissioner says all of this will take years to implement. But some of this is already in place. And starting next month, the city expects to have a command center up and running in downtown Manhattan that will be keeping tabs on thousands of surveillance cameras in lower Manhattan that will all be feeding into one source -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Very interesting. Mary Snow for us in New York, thanks.

LEMON: A small town in Arkansas is expanding its controversial fight against violence crime.

Last night, the Helena-West Helena City Council voted unanimously to broaden a 24-hour curfew for minors. The no-go zone is expanding from the current 10 blocks to other parts of the city. The mayor says drastic measures are needed because of drug-related shootings and other crime.

But the American Civil Liberties Union, well, it says the curfew tramples citizens' rights. Officials are undeterred. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOLLY DICKSON, ARKANSAS ACLU: They feel they have a right and they do intend to continue to saturate and question everyone who happens to be in an area. But that is the unconstitutional nature of it.

MAYOR JAMES VALLEY, HELENA-WEST HELENA, ARKANSAS: With that we're not particularly concerned about the ACLU's approach, because we're trying to do a lawful job of making people safe, and it's a difficult job to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The mayor says the issue will be taken up again next month. The first three days netted more than 30 arrests in a town of 15,000.

KEILAR: And Don, there's a similar story in Hartford, Connecticut, where an emergency curfew for minors starts tomorrow. This one was prompted in part by a shooting that left one person dead and six children hurt over the weekend. One of the victims was a 7- year-old girl shot in the head.

Here, too, the ACLU calling the curfew illegal, but Hartford's mayor says he's only trying to protect children.

LEMON: John McCain has taken his message back to Michigan after a fundraiser just a short time ago. Republican presidential candidate will tour an aerospace and defense company next hour. His Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, is still on vacation in Hawaii, and no public events are planned. Obama spent much of his childhood in the 50th state.

On CNN, Saturday night, John McCain and Barack Obama on the same stage for the first time, back-to-back in live -- in a live forum moderated by Pastor Rick Warren. Be sure to catch it live on CNN, Saturday night at 8 p.m. Eastern.

KEILAR: Twelve days before the Democratic convention, the Obama campaign has named the keynote speaker. He is former Virginia governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Mark Warner. Warner will speak on the convention's second night, Tuesday, August 26. That is the same night that Hillary Clinton gives her same prime time speech.

Now, you may recall a young up-and-comer named Barack Obama was keynote speaker at the Dems' convention back in 2004.

LEMON: Conflict in the caucuses. We'll take an in-depth look at what's behind the six-day crisis involving Russia and Georgia. Why is it happening, and what's Russian really -- what's the real aim there?

KEILAR: American troops coming home and hitting the bottle. We'll fill you in on a troubling new study about troops and alcohol.

LEMON: And a family held captive in their filthy home for three years. Police say no one knew about it except this man. We'll tell you who he is and what he's charged with.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: A heavy burden. Some U.S. airways are charging baggage fees to soldiers heading off to war. Now, outrage is growing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The Catholic archdiocese of Chicago is paying more than $12 million to 16 victims of sexual abuse by priests. Not only that: Cardinal Francis George is apologizing to each victim in private and in public.

Victims say the public admission means more to them than the money does. But will it bring closure? One abused survivor says no.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB BRANCATO, ABUSE SURVIVOR: You never get over this. You get used to this. It is a part of who I am. It is a part of a journey I have to take. Is there closure? In a sense I feel stronger. Do I feel like it's over? No. It will never be over for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The cardinal says he hopes the settlement helps survivors and their families heal.

KEILAR: Keeping our eyes on some stormy skies across the south. Let's head right to our severe weather expert, Chad Myers.

What do you see there, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Brianna, we're seeing storms come out of the north, roll right on down with a cold front, all the way down to Florida, and now new watches down across parts of Florida.

Pretty nice day across the northeast, although showers are popping up and the airports are slowing down a little bit. Newark and JFK down about 30 minutes. But no real big delays at this point. I think those delays are going to be down here across the southeast.

Atlanta, you're in the clear for now. More showers could pop up, but the brunt of this weather will be northern Florida, also the low country of South Carolina, and back down to New Orleans. And this box right there, that is a tornado watch box that was just issued for northern Florida, parts of southern Georgia. That means the tornado is possible there in any of these storms that could be rotating.

We watched kind of a rotating storm yesterday, didn't find too much yesterday, but we did find something today. They canceled all the flights out there. Not taking these hurricane hunter flights out. But now we're seeing kind of a little bit of a flare-up there, and we'll watch that as the rest of the night goes in.

This dry air has kind of entrained itself for a while. See this brown stuff. That's dry air in the tropics. But now that dry air's going away from this flare-up here. And there's Puerto Rico. There's the BBI (ph) and basically all of the U.S. continent still far, for away. At least five or ten days away. We'll see if this turns into Fay, F-A-Y -- Don.

KEILAR: All right, Chad.

MYERS: Brianna, OK, there we go.

KEILAR: I'll answer to anything. Thanks, Chad.

LEMON: People get us confused all the time. It's not that...

MYERS: All right.

LEMON: All right. Well, dude, there's got to be a better way to celebrate your birthday. Well, this, I guess you can call him clean freak -- you can't really see it because it's all fuzzed out, and his photographer are no longer employed after their unappetizing video hit the Web. Yes, he's taking a bath in the fast food restaurant's kitchen sink.

It happened at a Xenia, Ohio, Burger King. Wow. Appropriate (ph) officials say the people involved no longer work there. And they point out the sink and all utensils have been sanitized or replaced.

KEILAR: A literal house of horrors uncovered in rural Georgia. You won't believe who police say held a family hostage in filth and terror.

LEMON: And proof that father doesn't always know best, as an 8- year-old boy survives a terrible bear attack. We will explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Time now for issue No. 1: the nation's economy and your money. And if you bought your home in the last five years, there's really a decent chance that you're now upside-down on your mortgage.

According to zillow.com, which tracks home sales, nearly a third of newer owners now owe more than their homes are worth. California, especially, hit hard here. In nine metro areas, more than 80 percent of homeowners are saddled with negative equity. These numbers forcing more and more people, of course, into foreclosure.

LEMON: And for about a month now, gas prices have been sliding. And today, the national average is down to $3.79. That's according to AAA.

And American car buyers have certainly taken notice of that. On the site Edmonds.com has been a recent bump -- have seen a recent bump in people researching small crossover SUVs. That coincides with a slump in searches for exact and hybrids. For the year, though, small cars, the sales there, they're still up about 11 percent.

KEILAR: And on Wall Street, there are new signs that shoppers are continuing to scale back. And one company is betting the shift to cheaper brands will be permanent.

Susan Lisovicz on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with details.

Susan, what's going on?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're not spending, and that's always important, because consumer spending accounts for about 2/3 of economic activity in the U.S.

What the government tells us is that spending in July dropped .1 percent. That was the weakest read in five months, a big drag on the overall picture. Auto sales, gasoline sales actually were a big winner, not because we wanted to buy so much gasoline. It's because gas prices were so high last month. That's when we hit a record high of $4.11 a gallon.

Just to add a little bit more fuel to the fire, Macy's, the biggest department store operator in the nation, posted a quarterly loss and brought down its forecast for the entire year. And so that, obviously, is dismal, too. And retail -- retail stocks are selling off today. Not surprisingly, Brianna.

KEILAR: But it's back-to-school season. Kids need their new outfits, their new backpacks. How are retailers coping right now?

LISOVICZ: Yes, it's second -- back to school, Brianna, second only to the Christmas holiday. So it's very important to retailers.

And what, I think, a lot of folks are expecting to see is a highly promotional back to school. That is, retailers emphasizing value. And vacation points is limited, too, which a lot of our viewers have seen in many of the malls across the country. They're converting their stores to its Justice brand, which is -- also caters to tweens. They both cater to tweens. But Justice is up to 25 percent cheaper. The "Wall Street Journal" says executives there say there is a change in the psyche of the American consumer.

So, consumers pulling back and so are investors today. We're seeing another day triple-digit losses. The Dow is down 141 points. The NASDAQ is only down 1, but we're seeing a big rise in oil prices. Oil's up nearly $4 right now. And because of a weak inventory report, much worse than expected.

Brianna, in the next hour we're going to be talking about how we Americans are coping with gas prices.

KEILAR: All right. We'll look forward to that. See you next hour, Susan, thanks.

LEMON: All right. How about this? Some people finding this kind of outrageous. Go to war and pay the freight? Well, it seems those new and higher airline baggage fees apply to -- get this -- soldiers, too, even troops en route to Iraq or Afghanistan.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick has the story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Are U.S. soldiers setting off for war paying extra just to take their kit with them? One staff sergeant leaving San Antonio for Camp Bowie in Ft. Worth was charged $100 for checking a third bag.

And the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization is worried the practice will spread now airlines are feeling the pinch.

JOE DAVIS, VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS: What we want to do is to nip this in the bud by exempting the military personnel who are traveling under orders from having to pay a fee on their third bag.

FEYERICK: Joe Davis says soldiers don't have the time or money to be worried about claiming baggage expenses.

DAVIS: You have a family at home, and you stand at that airline counter and you have three bags in your hand. They say you can't get on board unless you pay $100 up front right now. What are you going to do? These young troops are going to war. There's a lot more on their mind than have to worry or try to remember to get $100 reimbursement when they get into a war zone.

FEYERICK: Veterans of Foreign Wars sent a letter to the aviation industry, asking that U.S. troops be exempt from any extra baggage fees.

American Airlines and others reached by CNN defend the practice, saying troops are allowed heavier and bigger bags and can check two for free, unlike commercial travelers. An American Airlines spokesman tells CNN troops are allowed 190 pounds each free of charge and that, quote, "If they pay, they get reimbursed. So at the end, they don't pay a dime."

Vouchers authorizing extra baggage are usually issued by the military prior to a flight. And the reimbursement is likely pending approval. As with any business expense, it is not guaranteed.

The group representing airlines says it supports the troops, but that baggage policy is, quote, "made independently by the individual airlines." It has no plans to ask for an across-the-board waiver for U.S. service members.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: Russia and Georgia tangled in a messy border conflict. What's the goal? What about the cease fire? And what about the people of Georgia caught in the middle of all this? We're live in the capital of Tbilisi next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: It is half passed the hour and here are some of the stories we're working on for you in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Mixed reports about the cease-fire in Georgia. President Bush expresses skepticism that Russian forces are actually pulling back. We'll have multiple live reports in just a moment.

And checking the economy, retail sales showed their weakest performance in five months during July. Sales dropped a tenth of a percent last month as people turned away from buying big ticket items like cars and trucks.

The presidential hopefuls are taking time out to raise cash. Republican John McCain has three fundraisers today in Michigan. Democrat Barack Obama held a fundraiser last night in Hawaii, that brought in more than $1 million.

LEMON: All right. Want to get you up to speed now on that conflict going on in Georgia. Back to that story.

Russian troops and Russian tanks still deep inside Georgia today. A spokesman for Kremlin says, they're demilitarizing the fringes of a breakaway Georgian province. Now the U.S. is involved in a humanitarian role. The U.S. cargo plane filled with medical supplies just arrived in the Georgian capital and more are coming we are told.

And President Bush today says he is concerned that reports that Russian forces have taken up positions in several parts of Georgia. He is demanding an end to all Russian military missions across the border. Departing Washington this evening for diplomatic duty, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. First stop, France, then it's on to Georgia's capital.

The last we heard a line of Russian tanks and vehicles had stopped advancing towards Tbilisi. A Russian government spokesperson says the convoy never intended to enter that city. That cease-fire brokered yesterday by the president of France, well, it appears to be holding only because nobody is shooting.

Now straight to Tbilisi right now. Live with CNN's Frederik Pleitgen and let's also bring in our Jill Dougherty, CNN former long time Moscow bureau chief.

I'm going to start with you.

What are you seeing in Moscow, Jill? We'll start with you. What are you seeing there and are you hearing what's going on inside the Kremlin?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say exactly what's going on in the Kremlin. But I can tell you that they do have a consistent message. Maybe not as emotionally delivered as the message that is coming out of Tbilisi, and President Saakashvili.

But, what the Russians are saying is they are intent on honoring this cease-fire. In the same voice they would say that the Georgians are the ones who are not honoring it. They want the Georgians to return to their barracks and then the Russians say they actually have ceased as of yesterday, Tuesday, military operations in that South Ossetia region. And say that they're in the planning stages of pulling back their troops to Russia. But, they claim that the Georgians are not upholding their part of the bargain.

LEMON: The Georgian President, Frederik is claiming that there is no cease-fire, that the fighting is still going on.

From your vantage point, have you seen fighting? Is the president correct in that?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I haven't seen fighting myself, but certainly some of our correspondents have seen those tank columns move out of the town of Gori, and then towards the Tbilisi, on that highway. They report they turned off and went off to a small town there.

And what the Georgian government really is saying, Don, is they're saying they believe it was the Russian side who has broken that cease-fire deal that's supposed to be in effect between the Russians and the Georgians. And they're saying that column of armored vehicles and troop personnel carriers that today for a very short time, made its way down the highway that leads towards Tbilisi, is the reason why they believe the Russians broke that cease-fire.

Now remember, the cease-fire plan that was ironed out French President Sarkozy, with the leaders of Russia and also of Georgia, calls for both sides to end hostilities and also to not to move from their current positions. And the Georgians of course, are saying that this what they've seen today, it does constitute moving from those positions.

Now, we have heard in the last couple of minutes that the Russian troops have gone back to Gori, that they've left that forward position that they established earlier today. Are now on their way back into the town of Gori. But certainly, the move it's very tense here in Georgia, Don.

LEMON: Frederik, I want to cover a lot of topics with you guys.

And I want to go back to Jill now and ask, Jill, can you just cut through all the rhetoric for us and tell us, again, why is Russia doing this?

DOUGHERTY: OK. Well, do -- you mean going into South Ossetia -- yes?

LEMON: Going into South Ossetia because I think the viewer here really needs to realize why they're doing it -- this. And of course as we talked about on Friday, again, you and I talked about this. What this means for the United States.

But again, why is Russia doing this?

DOUGHERTY: OK. Well, here's Georgia, independent country. It has two break away regions. And the one that we've been paying the most attention to is South Ossetia. Right on the border with Russia -- OK?

This has been an autonomous region, pretty much doing its own thing for a long time. But a tense situation. Fighting breaks out, small, couple, I guess six policemen are killed and the Georgian military moves in. They want to stop that they want -- and ultimately they want to bring that region back into Georgia, into the fold, because the President of Georgia promised to reunite the country.

The Russians say you're attacking our peace keepers, our Russian peace keepers who were in there. You're attacking civilians who have Russian passports, therefore, we must go in and defend those people. And that's when we get into who did what first, et cetera. But that's essentially what the situation is.

LEMON: OK. Who did what first and what have you.

And then we have accusations, Jill, on both sides of ethnic cleansing and so on and so forth. But again, you know, and a lot of it has been rhetoric. Both sides stating, well, this person is doing this, Russia's doing this, Georgia's doing that.

DOUGHERTY: That is true, Don. But you know, it's not just rhetoric. There are absolutely people who dying on the ground. There are horrible things taking place. And that is the difficulty that not everybody can pin it exactly or to investigate at this point to say who exactly is doing it.

And another factor is, you have the Russian forces, you have the peace keepers, you have the Georgian forces and you have militias from South Ossetia and you have other people who are kind of volunteers who wanted to join the fray. So when they say that things are happening, let's say, carried out by the Georgians or by the Russians, it's not always clear who is doing it.

LEMON: OK. Got it. Thank you very much. Jill Dougherty and Frederik Pleitgen. We can talk more about this and go into more detail as to exactly what's going on.

We've certainly heard a lot from the Georgian president and then also from the ambassadors and what have you, in Russia, as well. But, there is kind of a complicated story we're trying to break down for our viewers and we appreciate you helping us do that.

Thank you both.

KEILAR: Breaking news out of Little Rock, Arkansas, into the CNN NEWSROOM. CNN has confirmed three shots fired at the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters.

And according to our Little Rock affiliate KATV, those shots were fired within the office at the Democratic Party headquarters there in Little Rock. The victim, according to KATV, is a white male who police say is in serious condition. Witnesses say that the suspect came in, asked to see the chairman, was taken into the building and then those three shots were heard. The suspect, according to KATV, currently being chased by police in Grant County, Arkansas. But again, CNN has confirmed three shots fired at Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters. We're going to bring you the details as they come into the CNN NEWSROOM.

And a warning that some may find the following story extremely disturbing. Police in northeast Georgia say an entire family was literally held hostage for years in a filthy vermin-infested mobile home. The accused; the family patriarch who is now in jail on charges of rape, child abuse and false imprisonment.

Reporter Mandy Gaither, from CNN affiliate WYFF has the sorted details from Lavonia, Georgia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MANDY GAITHER, WYFF REPORTER (voice-over): For Alma Medine, there are no words to describe what she experienced firsthand. As property manager of the Beaver Dam Mobile Home Park she took video of what she found inside this trailer while trying to evict Raymond Daniel Therman, the man who lived here. Hundreds of bugs crawling everywhere, trash piled up in every room. Including the kitchen where even human hair was found on the floor.

ALMA MEDINE, PROPERTY MANAGER: The first thing you put your first foot inside that trailer, the smells, everything you see is like knock you out.

GAITHER: But Medine had no idea just how bad it was. Police say Therman wasn't living here alone. In fact, he has a wife and four children between the ages of 9 and 14, who were forced to stay inside since they moved in three years ago.

Even next door neighbors had no idea a family lived here.

(on camera): Toys and drawings like these can be found all over the home. Police say the children weren't even allowed to go to school. All were underweight staying in these deplorable conditions out of fear.

CHIEF BRUCE CARLISLE, LAVONIA, GEORGIA POLICE: And It's all about control.

GAITHER (voice-over): Lavonia Police Chief Bruce Carlisle believes the mother didn't get help sooner because she was suffering from battered women syndrome. Only brave enough to leave when he says Thurman started having an affair, which got him out of the home.

CARLISLE: If it had not been for her doing that, who knows what might have happened.

GAITHER: Medine says they're planning to keep the mobile home, but will have to replace floors, walls, carpet, and insulation among other things. Meanwhile, the family is at a safe house while Thurmon has a new place to stay, jail.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: Thurmon is facing four counts of first degree child abuse, five counts of false imprisonment and one count of rape.

LEMON: A Florida family is glad to be able to tell their tale of surviving a bear attack. 8-year-old Evan Pala says he, his brother and father were hiking Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains on Saturday, when the bear attacked him. Evan suffered a dozen cuts that needed some 35 stitches as his dad and brother fought the bear using rocks and sticks. Evan says it's something he will never forget.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVAN PALA, ATTACKED BY BEAR: It was just holding me to the ground and it pushed my teeth straight into the rock. And then my dad pulled him off. I ran again quick and he started tackling me. I didn't want (INAUDIBLE) him because I didn't want to get hurt by a bear. And they just -- he was laughing about it and just said, we're not going to get hurt by it. And what happened?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, guess father doesn't really always know best. Park rangers say they're certain a bear they later shot and killed was the one that attacked little Evan.

KEILAR: Turning to alcohol to drown the horrors of war. Which troops are most at risk? A new study breaks it down.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. This just into the CNN NEWSROOM. CNN has confirmed that there's been a shooting at the Democratic Party headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. Little Rock, Arkansas, and that one person, the shooter, is in custody.

Now, here's what the Associated Press is reporting. The Associated Press is reporting that the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party has been hospitalized and is in critical condition following that shooting. That chairman is Bill Guatny and he has been taken to the hospital, that's according to the Associated Press.

Apparently this all happened a little bitter earlier today. Several shots reportedly fired. The address is 1300 West Capital, at the party headquarters. Witnesses are saying one person was apparently wounded and taken from the scene. Officers said that they were pursuing someone in this case and the rest of the story we are following. But again, a shooting at the Democratic headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. And according to the Associated Press, the party chairman there is in critical condition is in the hospital. We will follow.

KEILAR: From the front lines, new data that may not surprise you, it shows that U.S. troops are trudging home with serious drinking problems.

And our medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, you've been looking at this study.

How big of a problem are we talking about?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a big problem according to this study. This number is huge. Let's take a look at it.

They found that 26 percent of the troops that they studied developed a binge drinking problem. Those are people who regularly would go out and drink five or more drinks all at one time. 1 out of 4. That's a lot.

KEILAR: And I know there are particular groups that were most affected by this.

COHEN: Yes, absolutely. Three different kinds of groups. Folks who saw combat were more likely to develop a drinking problem. Folks in the Guard or the National Reserve were more likely to develop a drinking problem. And a third group is young people, people who were say around under the age of 25. Those young people, seven times more likely to binge drink and five times more likely to have problems because of their alcohol use. So age matters here.

KEILAR: Why the National Guard or the Reserves? That seems strange.

COHEN: It does seem strange. You what it is? Some say that they don't get the same training to deal with the stress of war.

And in addition, these are not career military people. They're sort of plucked out of their jobs and plucked into the battlefield. And so some would say it's harder to deal with that kind of stress under those circumstances.

KEILAR: And are these troops getting the help that they need? I mean, that's been sort of a theme we've seen with other issues.

COHEN: It definitely is. Here is the concern, Brianna.

The concern is that there is a stigma around drinking. And that in the military if you ask for help, there's a very good chance that your immediate supervisor as it were, will find out about it. Will find out that you have asked for help. And so there is a big stigma around getting the kind of counseling that you need.

KEILAR: But there shouldn't be. They need to get this help. Very important.

COHEN: They're shouldn't be, absolutely. When you see 1 out of 4, you know there shouldn't be a stigma.

KEILAR: Definitely.

Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much.

LEMON: All right. How about this? Some of the kids might like it. School four or five days a week. Four days instead of five. Well, heck yeah. Students say so. But what about the faculty? And does it really save that much money? The report card at a Florida college.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The four-day workweek, it is a phenomenon we're seeing more and more with energy costs high and the economy slow. Companies, schools even some governments are giving it a try hoping to save some money.

CNN's John Zarrella has done a series of reports getting people's reactions and looking at the effects of a four-day week. Here, he focuses on a Florida college that found the change a win-win situation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brooke Stile is about to graduate cosmetology school.

BROOKE STILE, STUDENT: The fact that I have that day, just that one day, it is just so much nicer. And I don't have to drive all the way to Cocoa.

BETTY BLASCHAK, COSMETOLOGY PROFESSOR: We seem to be able to get more done.

ZARRELLA: Betty Blaschak teaches the art of a good cut.

BLASCHAK: It was a great thing for me because I became full-time faculty.

ZARRELLA: Brooke saves gas money, Betty has got a job. Both because, facing cuts in state funding, Brevard Community College went to a four-day workweek last summer, four-and-a-half days in the fall and spring.

JAMES DRAKE, PRES. BREVARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE: It's a challenge but the savings and the improvement in overall morale is certainly worth the investment.

ZARRELLA: By simply turning down air conditioning and heating systems on Fridays and giving employees the day off, BCC saved $267,000 in one year, and brought unexpected results.

MILI TORRES, ENROLLMENT SERVICES: Now did you sign into see an adviser there or over here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Over here.

ZARRELLA: Mili Torres runs enrollment services.

TORRES: Absentisism has actually gone away almost in my department.

ZARRELLA (on camera): No kidding.

TORRES: Yes.

ZARRELLA (voice-over): According to college officials, staff turnover is down 44 percent and employment applications are up 50 percent. With the money saved they hired 10 new full-time faculty positions, including Betty over in cosmetology. And it's not as though the gates are locked on Fridays.

Jay Bottesch still comes in, using the down day for research and conferences.

JAY BOTTESCH, BIOLOGY PROFESSOR: Coming in, that at gives you time to meet with the student.

ZARRELLA: For students, Fridays off means less money spent on gas, time to work an outside job and of course, another day to study. Yes, sure.

(on camera): A year from now, state officials will evaluate this experiment. How were employees affected? How much money was saved? Then they'll decide whether to ditch the program or keep it afloat.

John Zarrella, CNN, on the Great Salt Lake.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: All right, John. So thumbs up to the four-day workweek in Florida.

Next hour, we'll examine Utah, where the state government is experimenting with the same idea. Some employees report unexpected benefits there. Then in our 3:00 p.m. Eastern hour, two working moms with two very different takes on their new schedule.

KEILAR: Breaking news into the CNN NEWSROOM. Let's bring up some live pictures that we have from our affiliate, KATV, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Some live pictures of the crime scene. CNN has confirmed one person shot at the Arkansas Democratic Party Headquarters.

Let's go ahead and bring in Little Rock Police Lieutenant, Terry Hastings.

Lieutenant, the "Associated Press" is reporting the victim is the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party. What can you tell us?

VOICE OF LT. TERRY HASTINGS, LITTLE ROCK POLICE: Right now we're not releasing any names. The investigation is very much ongoing at the minute.

A suspect walked into the headquarters and shot one of the people working in the offices. He is in critical condition. The suspect then fled from here in a vehicle. We -- the Little Rock Police Department, with the help of the Arkansas State Police and the some of the sheriff's office, chased the individual down into Grant County, which is south of Little Rock, where he has been shot. We are on the scene there. We don't know his condition at the minute.

The person, the victim, is in critical condition at a local hospital. But right now the investigation is (AUDIO GAP). As more information becomes available, we'll be releasing it.

KEILAR: OK. So you can't tell us whether or not this "Associated Press" report is correct, that it's the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, Bill Gwatney.

HASTINGS: No, I cannot confirm that.

KEILAR: That's what the "Associated Press" is reporting?

What can you tell us about -- maybe what witnesses have said, what they reporting maybe, what the motive of this suspect was in doing this?

HASTINGS: Right now, we don't know. As you can imagine we have a lot of witnesses. We have them down, we're talking with them. But right now it's a little early in the investigation to make any statements. So we're going to get all that information (AUDIO GAP) and then we'll be releasing that information probably later this afternoon.

KEILAR: Can you tell us a little bit more about the pursuit of the suspect -- if you have any details about physically where the suspect was shot on his body?

HASTINGS: I can't tell you any information about the shooting because it happened just a few minutes ago down in Grant County, which is about 25 miles south of here. The vehicle description was provided to us right after the shooting. Our officers located the vehicle a few blocks from the scene. They chased the vehicle from there in some of the interstates. And with the help of the Arkansas State Police, Grant County Sheriff's Office, we were able to stop (AUDIO GAP) south of here in that town.

We do have investigators on the scene. They'll be informing us of what they have find there here shortly.

KEILAR: OK. Little Rock Police Lieutenant Terry Hastings, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us.

But just to, again, update our viewers, according to the "Associated Press," the Chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, Bill Gwatney, was hospitalized after being shot by a suspect. As we just heard from Little Rock Police, they believe they have their man, actually someone they pursued, who was shot. And we do not know the condition of that victim. We're going to continue to follow this and bring you information as it comes into the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: Meantime, a mother under arrest. Her daughter, young daughter, is missing. Why police say what this woman knows could help solve the mystery.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Well business may be in the toilet, but inventor Robert Smith expects to sniff out the sweet smell of success with his latest enhancement for smelly restrooms. It's called the VIP Odorless Toilet. It's a patented stink removal system for bathrooms, if you will, so folks can breathe a little easier when nature calls.

And guess where he got his inspiration?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERT SMITH, INVENTOR: I decided to go wash up and walked into a bathroom and somebody literally annihilated the bathroom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PHIL NICHOLS, OWNS VIP ODORLESS TOILET: We tried it -- and of course nobody wanted to be the first one to admit it. Wasn't me, by the way. And -- but the feedback was good, that it was doing its job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: The odorless toilet fits on most standard commodes and operates on a 12 volt battery.

The next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.