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Rescue Efforts Arriving in Samoan Island; President Obama Pushes for Chicago to Host 2016 Olympics; U.S. Meets With Iran in Geneva for Historic Nuclear Talks; Another Earthquake Rocks Indonesia; American Dad Jailed in Japan Charged With Abducting Own Kids; Richest Americans; Big Rig Battle Over Cab Computers; Couture for a Cure; Band's Battles Behind the Scenes; Al Qaeda's New Hideout

Aired October 1, 2009 - 06:00   ET


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome. Glad you're with us on this Thursday, October 1st. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts. Thanks for joining us on the Most News in the Morning. Here are the big stories we'll be breaking down for you in the next 15 minutes here.

Supplies and relief workers now on the ground in American Samoa. Help arriving more than a day after a massive earthquake triggered four 15 to 20-foot high tsunami waves that reached up a mile inland, sweeping cars, boats and people back out to sea, leveling homes along the way. We're going to go live to our Ted Rowlands who just arrived there this morning.

CHETRY: A high-stakes nuclear showdown is unfolding this morning between Iran, the United States, and its allies. Tehran is being pressured to reveal its intentions and to allow inspections or possibly face tough sanctions. In a moment, we'll take you live to Geneva.

ROBERTS: An American dream team converging on Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. They're hoping that President Obama's presence will be a game changer, but will there be diplomatic fallout from the trip. A live report from Copenhagen just ahead.

CHETRY: But we begin with the major disaster in American Samoa. And this morning for the first time, CNN has a team on the ground. Our Ted Rowlands traveling overnight to the Pacific island chain where the losses are simply staggering after Tuesday night's killer tsunami. Officials say at least 149 people were killed and hundreds of families are still searching, hoping their loved ones will be found alive.

Ted joins us now on the phone. And, Ted, just describe the situation there right now.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, Kiran, the reality here as you mentioned, there is the hope that the loved ones that are missing will be found. But it was every hour, of course, that hope is fading. The good news is that the federal government has sent numerous planes into the area and two C-130s already landed. The C-17s has landed as well with supplies with medical personnel to help those that are injured. And what is basically happened in pockets around the island, Pago Pago was the hardest hit. And in areas, another spot on the western side, Leone and then Samoa, these were specific pockets that the tsunami had just completely devastated.

Homes completely wiped out. People washed -- taken out to sea. Many dead, many missing still and presumed dead. But the search goes on and that people -- they're trying to stay positive and trying to continue the search. And now with some extra help, that job will be a little bit easier.

As I mentioned, there are supplies coming in. Flights are starting to swarm in here. And personnel -- personnel including medical personnel and communication personnel and others. Unfortunately, there are also some mortuary personnel from the U.S. government to help with the sad reality of the dead that is also something that needs to be dealt with here.

The bottom line is, 11:00 p.m., tonight, it was pitch black. There is electricity out across the island and much of the searching has stopped for the rest of the evening. But it will resume again at daylight.

CHETRY: And, Ted, we also got word of another earthquake hitting near the Samoan islands. This one a 5.5 magnitude striking there according to the U.S. Geological Surveys. Are there worries about continuing quakes and aftershocks in this already ravaged area?

ROWLANDS: Well, we were just talking to a local about that. And the quakes here are fairly common. And even a large earthquake today (ph) that triggered the tsunami was not devastating to infrastructure here. It was that tsunami. And the, of course, when the large (INAUDIBLE) you had people started to head to the hills because they knew it was a possibility.

So the quake -- (INAUDIBLE) it was that tsunami and it really did pack a punch. And then it just devastated villages around the island. Some of the villages still cut off, apparently. Cars and roadways washed out, places where even the locals haven't gotten into yet. So a lot to do here in the reinforcement. Much needed and welcome as they arrive.

CHETRY: Yes, absolutely. And yet, as you point out this last quake that happened did not trigger a tsunami warning, luckily. That's the last thing that they need there right now.

And Ted Rowlands, again, on the ground. For the first time, CNN has a team on the ground and will be bringing you more pictures as the rescue efforts continue in American Samoa. Ted, thanks.

ROBERTS: Also this morning, President Obama preparing for a high-stakes mission overseas. The goal, to bring the 2016 Summer Olympic Games home to his hometown of Chicago. The president will join the first lady and Oprah Winfrey in Copenhagen for an all-out charm offensive to persuade the International Olympic Committee which votes on Friday.

Chicago has got some big time competition, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. The unprecedented hard sell not without risk for the White House. What if it fails? Our senior White House correspondent Ed Henry live in Copenhagen for us this morning.

Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, John. You're right. A bold gamble indeed for the American president. No U.S. president has ever made such a direct appeal for the Olympics before. So the question now is, what if he goes for the gold and winds up with the silver or even the bronze?


HENRY: If there was any doubt about whether President Obama will do anything to bring home the Olympics to Chicago in 2016, Mr. Obama pretty much put those doubts to rest last month when he played with a light saber on the South Lawn.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: He should have seen the president in there fencing. It was -- it was pathetic.

HENRY: White House aides are hoping his diplomatic skills are better than his fencing, as he and first lady Michelle Obama embark on an unprecedented joint diplomatic mission to beat out Madrid, Rio and Tokyo.

VALERIE JARRETT, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: What a dynamic duo they will be. I think it will be high impact. I think their presentation will be both very personal, given that they know and love Chicago so well.

HENRY: But what if they fly all the way to Denmark and enlist the help of Oprah Winfrey and still fail to collect the gold medal?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he goes and does not bring home the Olympics, it's going to be kind of a blow for him on the international stage.

HENRY: Republican Party Chair Michael Steele questioned whether the president should take on yet another challenge amid debates over health reform and whether to send more troops to Afghanistan.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Who's he rooting for? Is he hoping to hop a plane to Brazil and catch the Olympics in Rio?

HENRY: White House officials privately say they had little choice but to raise the stakes with competitors, Brazil, Japan and Spain, all sending their heads of state to Copenhagen, leading Mr. Obama to become the first U.S. president to ever make such a direct pitch for an American city. Though dating back to his days as a senator from Illinois, he's also made no bones about his personal interest too.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I only live two blocks away from where the Olympics are going to kick off in 2016. And I also, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to let you know that in 2016, I'll be wrapping up my second term as president.


HENRY: Now back at the White House a couple of days ago, I was at a roundtable discussion a couple of days ago with First Lady Michelle Obama, and I asked her whether she's worried about her husband taking a political hit if they fail. She said, look, darned if you do, darned if you don't in terms of going for this. People are going to criticize you either way. But the first couple decided they would give it their all and let the chips fall where they may, sort of like the Olympics, John.

ROBERTS: These IOC representatives can very often be very hard to read. Any idea what the inside track is for Chicago?

HENRY: A lot of people who've been studying this very closely who have just been on the ground here for a couple of hours are suggesting that Rio has the inside track, and that they've been in the lead for quite sometime, in large part because South America has not gotten the Olympics before. But there's a sense that President Obama has such a presence on the international stage that this could be what puts it over the top for Chicago, but that is not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination. He's got to do a lot of one-on-one lobbying.

He's only going to be on the ground here on Friday for about four or five hours. So, it's going to be a very interesting diplomatic mission if you will, John.

ROBERTS: And I'll be looking forward to that vote tomorrow. Ed Henry for us in Copenhagen this morning. Ed, thanks so much.

CHETRY: Also unfolding this morning -- history in Geneva. As we speak, right now, the U.S. and Iran holding talks at issue, Iran's cat and mouse game with the United Nations and the West over its disputed nuclear program.

Iran insists it's for peaceful purposes. But after Iran was called out over a second secret nuclear facility, suspicions over the program have heightened to say the least.

This morning, we're tapping into the global resources of CNN. Our senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is live in Geneva, Switzerland.

And, Matthew, as we talk about these high-level talks taking place, the first time in three decades, what does the U.S. hope to get out of this in the meeting with Iranians today?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a big gamble by the United States. Again, it's a big shift in policy engaging the Iranians like this from the Bush administration to the Obama administration.

But what they want in these talks as you say is the first time the U.S. has sat down face-to-face with the Iranians to talk about the nuclear issue. They want some concrete guarantees from Tehran that their nuclear program, which is very controversial, is for exclusively peaceful purposes, not some kind of front to build a nuclear bomb, which is what many people, including many in the United States actually believe.

And so they're looking for concrete steps in the Iranians. They want immediate access being granted to the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, to this new uranium enrichment facility, this secret facility that was revealed last week by the Iranians. They want immediate access to that. They also want other confidence-building measures to show that Iran in the future isn't going to be deceitful. It's going to be transparent about its nuclear program.

Now, whether or not they'll get that is a big question. People are quite doubtful even amongst the U.S. officials that I've spoken to here in Geneva. If they don't get it, there is an alternative strategy and that involves calls for tougher sanctions, possibly even other measures in the future, Kiran.

CHETRY: Still questions as to whether Russia would be onboard with that, though. They've said some different things over the past couple of days when it comes to that. We'll have to see how it goes.

Matthew Chance in Geneva. We'll check in with you again. Thank you.

Also, stay with us. Coming up this morning, 6:30 Eastern Time, in just about 20 minutes, is today's meeting with Iran just for show or can we expect real change? We're going to speak with Eliot Cohen, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins Schools of Advance International Studies. Also, a former counselor in the State Department.

ROBERTS: It is 10 minutes after the hour. Brand new this morning. Breaking news out of Indonesia. Another major earthquake rocking the island early this morning. This one a 6.6.

It comes hard on the heels of yesterday's 7.6 magnitude quake. More than 460 people were killed, hundreds more are feared dead. The government says thousands of people may be trapped under collapsed buildings and homes. Right now, no power and no phone service there.

CHETRY: More arrests are reportedly expected in the alleged bombing plot possibly targeting a major New York transportation hub. According to the Associated Press, officials say that a handful of men are being watched right now. So far, only one person has been arrested. That's 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi. He's being held without bail after pleading not guilty to a terrorism charge. Officials say the possible conspirators are no longer considered a threat because that plot was disrupted.

ROBERTS: And a closer look at today's stay-at-home moms. Just released census bureau statistics find most of them in the country tend to be younger and less educated than mothers who are in the workforce.

The report says about 27 percent of them are Hispanic, 34 percent are foreign-born. They're also more likely than other mothers to have an infant or a preschooler in the house. The researchers say there are more than 5 1/2 million stay-at-home moms in the United States.

CHETRY: Well, yesterday, we had a chance to speak to the current wife of Chris Savoie. He's the man who's now being detained in Japan. He went there to try to get his kids back in a major custody battle. His ex-wife took the kids to Japan.

He's now sitting in jail there. And he speaks exclusively to our Kyung Lah about what's it been like for him and whether or not he thinks he will ever see his children again.

It's 12 minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back. Right now, you're going to hear a story that you're only going to hear here on CNN and AMERICAN MORNING. It's about a global custody battle that's landed an American father in a Chinese -- in a Japanese jail cell. Christopher Savoie, he was arrested trying to get his two children back after his ex-wife defied a court order here in the U.S. and took them back to her native country without telling him.

Our Kyung Lah got an exclusive interview with Christopher, and she's live right now in Japan with more on the situation.

So you had a chance to go in there. They didn't allow cameras but you were able to take notes. Tell us about what it was like to see him and what he told you about his ordeal?

KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he looked very tired, Kiran. He's certainly is going through an ordeal. He was wearing a Nashville School of Law T-shirt, really a tie to where he is from, Nashville, Tennessee. He said he was scared and very, very sad. Despite that, he said he wanted to share his story because for parents like him, he said, international law needs to change.


LAH (voice-over): In a second-floor interrogation room, we waited for Christopher Savoie on our side of the glass. Police gave us 15 minutes, a stopwatch running in the corner. He took our electronic devices - no cameras, no tape recorders. And then, an emotional Christopher Savoie entered the room.

"I'm so scared," he said, carefully choosing his words and speaking in Japanese, as required by police during a jail visit. "I don't know how long I'll be in here. I want Americans to know what's happening to me. I didn't do anything wrong. Children have the right to see both parents. It's very important for my children to know both parents."

Police have charged him with kidnapping his two children as they walked to their school here in Yanagawa, Japan. Savoie drove 8-year- old Isaac and 6-year-old Rebecca to the U.S. Consulate, but Japanese police arrested him just steps from the front gate. Under U.S. law, Savoie has sole custody, but in Japan, ex-wife Nariko, who abducted the children from the U.S., is the recognized guardian.

"Japanese people think she's the victim here," Savoie told me, "In the states, my ex-wife is the one who's in the wrong."

In this rural town in southern Japan, those who heard about the case side with the mother, even knowing the U.S. courts awarded custody to the American father.


LAH: "They belong with their real mother," says this woman. That cultural divide is what Savoie's attorney says is difficult to fight. He says Japanese law clearly sees Savoie as the criminal.


LAH: "He technically may have committed a crime according to Japanese law," says his attorney, "but he shouldn't be indicted. He did it for the love of his children."

Savoie wanted us to get this message to his children. "I love you Isaac, Rebecca. Your daddy loves you forever. I'll be patient and strong until the day comes that I can see you both again. I am very sorry that I can't be with you."


LAH (on camera): I also asked him if he had a message for his wife, Amy, who is in Nashville, Tennessee. I asked him the question in English, and he blurted out in English, "I love her." Police at that point almost stopped the interview, but they did allow us to continue, but certainly, Kiran, he wants that message to get to his wife, Amy.

CHETRY: Yes. She's a real mess right now. I mean, we talked to her yesterday. She's just heartbroken about this, hasn't slept as well. I mean, you can understand the strain that this has put everyone under.

When you spoke to his attorney, because you - you did have a chance to talk to him, what are the chances that, A, he's going to get out of jail any time soon, and, number two, whether or not he's going to be able to see his kids?

LAH: I asked him if there was any chance - any bet that he had on whether or not he'll be getting out soon. He said he just didn't know because this is such a rare case in Japan for him (ph), at least. He said he's hopeful, he really thinks that he deserves to get out. As far as the issue of the kids, that is an entirely different ball of wax. That is a very difficult situation on whether or not he'll be able to see them again. But getting him out of jail is step one.

CHETRY: All right. Kyung Lah, great job. I'm glad that you had a chance to give us a perspective about what he's going through right now. Thank you so much - John.

ROBERTS: Eighteen minutes now after hour. So the economy is really taking a bite out of a lot of people's pocketbook, and even the super rich are not immune. In fact, there are one-fifth fewer billionaires in America this year because of the bad economy. Christine Romans is running down the richest Americans for us, coming right up. Stay with us.


ROBERTS: Christine Romans, minding your business this morning, and, as we said, the economy taking a bite out of a lot of people's wallets. How would you like to lose $7 billion in worth over the course of one year? Like more money than most of us would ever make in 1,000 or 10,000 lifetimes.

CHETRY: I know. But if you have $40 billion left...


CHETRY: ... it's not (ph) the end of the world.

ROMANS: Nobody is crying for the billionaires who've lost money. But the billionaires have been hit hard. The Forbes 400 is a list of 400 billionaires, and there aren't 400 on the list anymore. There's only 391 billionaires in America now because the list has shrunk - shrunk $300 billion - $300 billion in total wealth...

ROBERTS: (INAUDIBLE) that little finger when you're doing that.

ROMANS: ... to $1.27 trillion. What I think is so important for all of us to take away from the Forbes List of Billionaires is that 274 of these billionaires are entirely self-made. There is hope for all of us. Two hundred seventy-four people on this list are entirely self-made. The average age of these people, about 65 years old.

Who is on the top of the list? Bill Gates, again.

ROBERTS: Still, huh?

ROMANS: His wealth, $50 billion, but he lost a cool $7 billion in the last year. Other richest American is, Warren Buffet. He lost about $10 billion. Larry Ellison - believe it or not, he didn't lose any money. He's pretty much steady over the past year.

ROBERTS: That's the Oracle guy, right?

ROMANS: Yes. Bravo to Oracle. Christy Walton and family - she is a descendant of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. Jim Walton - he's also on this list.

But you've got the Cowboys owner on this list, you've got the Walton heirs, you've got real estate hedge fund managers. There's one hedge fund manager who bought Bank of America shares at $3, but now it's at $17, so he popped up the list. The...

ROBERTS: How many shares did he buy?

ROMANS: I'm not sure. Well, a lot of shares, I'm sure, but - So a couple of players (ph) from hedge fund managers in there. Some people have inherited their wealth, but mostly - 274 of the 391 are self-made. I love that.

CHETRY: Yes. And speaking of Bank of America, yesterday you talked about Ken Lewis. He's stepping down now, right?

ROMANS: I know. That's right. He will retire at the end of the year, after...

CHETRY: Because of the YouTube rant?

ROMANS: I don't think the YouTube rant - I think the YouTube rant was a rant with a - just a small thing in a year of trouble for Bank of America.

ROBERTS: One woman who wouldn't pay her credit card interest at 30 percent.

CHETRY: And he said, "I'm out of here."

ROMANS: That's right. No, we'll talk a little bit about that later too.

CHETRY: I think it's the straw that breaks the camel's back.

ROMANS: Exactly.

CHETRY: Sorry (ph). Well, you have a "Roman's Numeral" for us this morning?

ROMANS: I do. It's 140, and it has to do with how rich Bill Gates is.

CHETRY: His wealth is that of 140 countries put together?

ROMANS: (INAUDIBLE) - his wealth is bigger than 140 different - the GDP of 140 different countries. Think of that. He could just - I mean, talk about buying a private island, he could buy a private country.

ROBERTS: He could buy a small country and carpet it.

ROMANS: I know. Isn't that something? I mean, I love this country where you can start with nothing and then just become, like, uber, super rich.

ROBERTS: Yes, but...

ROMANS: You have (ph) something cool. ROBERTS: Also, though, what about the people who still have nothing?

ROMANS: Well - And of course, two days ago I told you the story about how the rich are getting richer and the poor - or the rich are getting less rich but the poor are getting poorer faster than the rich are getting less rich. What that means is the income gap is...

CHETRY: The income gap (ph).

ROMANS: ... widening.

CHETRY: All right. But hey, there's still hope. That's the...

ROMANS: We can dream of being a billionaire just for a couple of minutes.

ROBERTS: Yes. Hope springs eternal. Thanks, Christine.


CHETRY: When we talked about texting and driving, being distracted on the road because a lot of those hand held devices, what about for truckers? They have big computers in their cab. They use them to communicate, to find out information about routes, get to their destinations faster. Will those have to go by the wayside too? Jason Carroll joins us. Twenty-five minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: We're back with the Most News in the Morning. It's an ongoing battle for truckers on the American roads - meeting tight delivery schedules while keeping themselves - and you on the road - safe.

CHETRY: OK. Well, now the high-tech tools have become a trucker's eyes and ears and they may have to be turned off. Our Jason Carroll is following this for you. I laugh because when I'm coming in at 3:00 in the morning, man, these truckers are aggressive!

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. One of them blows by you, your car shakes - you really feel it. You know, this - this whole debate taking place at a distracted driving summit taking place in Washington, D.C. The Trucking Union says the electronic devices in question help to save precious minutes on the road. Safety groups point that studies would show using it while driving increases a trucker's chances of crashing and they say it should be banned.


CARROLL (voice-over): Traveling interstates, highways, freeways - these days, it seems nearly impossible to avoid big rigs on the road. Last year, nearly 3 million registered semi-trucks on American highways. Now concern many of those truck drivers may be distracted, putting you at risk. JACKIE GILLAN, ADVOCATES FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY AND AUTO SAFETY: If you're driving down the road and you have 80,000 pounds of freight and you take your eyes off of the road and your hands off of the wheel for even a few seconds, that can have catastrophic consequences.

CARROLL: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is just one of many safety groups attending a summit this week on distracted driving in Washington, D.C. The group says trucker CB radios may be part of the problem and want the government to conduct research into whether they should be banned.

BURT REYNOLDS, ACTOR: Breaker one - breaker one...

CARROLL: You may remember CBs, once popularized in the movie "Smokey and the Bandit." But it's not just CBs the group is after. They say an on-board computer called Qualcomm, which helps navigation and communication with dispatchers, is also distracting truckers. But the Truckers' Union says using it is safer than the alternative.

TIM LYNCH, AMERICAN TRUCKERS ASSOCIATION: Rather than a driver fumbling, say, with a map to get directions, you know, they're getting a digital screen that will show them, you know, turn left, turn right, what have you. So I don't think there will be a ban.

CARROLL: Truckers say a ban would slow deliveries and make what they call a tedious job worse.

TODD MALCOMSON, TRUCKER: You got to have - you have to have - we're - we're in the 21st century. We're not in the Stone Age.

JOHN GOTBERG: It would affect us as far as, you know, being a pain in the butt and getting - and we get a lot of information on it.

CARROLL: But victims of distracted drivers speaking out at the summit - not convinced.

NAYHA DIXIT, SISTER KILLED BY DISTRACTED DRIVER: We need to think is - are doing these tasks, is checking that text message more important than that life in that next car?


CARROLL (on camera): Well, safety groups say they want to be clear they only want to ban the use of the device while the trucker is driving. They say if the truckers insist on using Qualcomm, they should do it when they pull over and they're at a full stop.

And some of the truckers that we spoke to say they already do that. When they use it, they pull over. But, you know, the safety groups say that there shouldn't be an option, it should be mandatory, otherwise, it should be banned.

CHETRY: Well, I mean, they're driving huge vehicles that, you know, that can take out many cars on the road.

CARROLL: It's true. Yes, that is very true. CHETRY: And they're trying to get to their destinations and get the goods dropped off. So...

CARROLL: Well, we'll see what happens. You know, what the results are after this summit. We'll see if they make any headway with any of the legislators that are there.

CHETRY: All right. Thanks, Jason.

ROBERTS: Crossing the half hour now. It's 6:30 Eastern Time, a time to take a look at our top stories. Another earthquake hitting near the already devastated Samoa Islands. But the 5.5 quake did not trigger a tsunami warning this time. 150 people were killed after Tuesday's deadly tsunami. The U.S. military has brought in relief workers and supplies, a U.S. Navy ship is also on the way.

CHETRY: Well, as we just mentioned with Christine, the CEO of the nation's biggest bank is stepping down. Ken Lewis announcing he'll be leaving Bank of America by the end of the year. Lewis has been under fire of the controversial acquisition of Merrill-Lynch during the financial meltdown a year ago. He was stripped of his chairman title back in April. Lewis will also step down from the company's board.

ROBERTS: It may be weeks before President Obama makes his next move in Afghanistan. According to the Associated Press, administration officials are still divided on a war plan to beef up or scale back U.S. troops there. That word coming after the president met with his top security team for three hours yesterday to re-assess the nearly eight-year-old war.

This morning, as we speak, critical talks concerning Iran's nuclear program are under way in Geneva. The skeptical U.S. and its allies are hoping to convince Tehran to come clean on its nuclear secrets. But what if Iran refuses?

Joining me now is Eliot Cohen. He is a professor of strategic studies at John Hopkins School of Advance International Studies. Also a former counselor in the State Department.

ELIOT COHEN, PROFESSOR OF STRATEGIC STUDIES, JOHNS HOPKINS SCHOOL OF ADVANCE INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Eliot, good to see you this morning. How do you expect that these meetings are going to go today following the disclosure last week of this nuclear facility that Iran had been keeping secret for so many years?

Well, I think if the past talks are a pattern, there will be essentially frustration. The Iranians may try to dangle something to protract this and make it easier for the Russians and the Chinese to block any real sanctions. I think the bottom line is this will yield nothing.

The Iranians have made it very, very clear and putting in statements as recently as two days ago that they will not give up their nuclear program. And all the evidence that we have indicates that they're going to hang on so we have to expect that sooner or later the Iranians are going to have nuclear weapons.

ROBERTS: You wrote a very provocative editorial in the "Wall Street Journal" earlier this week, in which you said, quote, "There are only two choices left on Iran. An Israeli or U.S. military strike now or a nuclear Tehran soon."

Does it really come down to those choices?

COHEN: I'm afraid it does. You know, we've been trying for years and years to persuade, cajole, lure the Iranians into giving up the nuclear option. But all of the evidence that we have conclude that the repeated statements of all of the Iranian leadership is they're not going to give it up. And the truth is, from their point of view, it makes a lot of sense. That the nuclear weapons are high prestige, particularly in that part of the world. I think they feel that it will allow them to extend their influence. They're not going to give them up.

ROBERTS: The secretary of defense reiterated again last weekend that there are no good military options when it comes to Iran.

COHEN: Well, look, military options very rarely look good. But the United States could certainly do set the program back for several years. What the Israelis can do is a matter of dispute.

But, of course, whenever you use force, there are second and third order consequences. And I'm sure that one of the things that you think about is, what kinds of retaliation would you have? Can there be attacks in the Persian Gulf and the broader Middle East? So it's not a very appealing prospect.

The point of the piece is that it's very important that we not fool ourselves. Both of those paths ahead, the military attack or living with Iranian nuclear weapons, are both deeply troubling.

ROBERTS: But you suggest there is a potential solution toward the end of your editorial, in which you say that the best way to address the situation for the United States is to, quote, "break with past policy and actively seek the overthrow of the Islamic Republic through every instrument of U.S. power, soft more than hard."

The former administration, the Bush administration was trying that. Didn't get very far.

COHEN: No, we were not trying that, actually, John. That's not correct. American policy, believe it or not, was -- and we repeatedly said this, but people didn't believe us -- was not to pursue the overthrow of the Iranian regime.

ROBERTS: But wasn't the Bush administration supporting opposition groups in Iraq?

COHEN: The Bush administration was doing very little. And certainly, if you look at our declared policy, we really, we're not supporting the overthrow of the regime. Look, I think the thing to remember is this is a very unpopular regime. The United States on its own is not going to overthrow, and for certain not going to invade, and nor would I recommend that. But the kind of model that I think is worth thinking about is the way we stood with the polish people in the 1980s. The way we supported solidarity as a movement that would help bring down that system. And I think there's a lot to be said here.

The first step really has to be doing something this administration did not do, which is stand for the protesters in Tehran, who are putting their lives on the line. They're the ones who will eventually bring down this regime.

The other point I would make is, you know, Iran is not just a problem because of nuclear power. Iranian operatives, Iranian technology, Iranian tactics, has killed hundreds, if not thousands of Americans. And this goes back not just to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they are active today, but the things like the attacks on our barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1996 and even earlier in Lebanon. It's a very dangerous regime.

ROBERTS: And you also say that the stakes are very high for President Obama here. Quote, "If as he's most likely, President Obama presides over the emergence of a nuclear Iran, he had best prepare for storms that will make the squawks of protest against his health care plans look like the merest showers on a sunny day.

Just how much is at stake for him here with Iran?

COHEN: Well, look, the issue is not going to be a direct U.S.- Iranian standoff at least initially. But we have to think about two consequences that will come from the Iranians possessing nuclear weapons.

The first is that they will clearly feel emboldened to do even more mischievous and destructive things than they have already done. But perhaps even more important, they are already triggering a nuclear arms race in the area around them. As soon as we have Iranian nuclear weapons, I think in very short order, you're going to see Saudi, Turkish, other countries acquiring nuclear weapons.

The other thing is the Iranians really made it clear that they would like to see Israel wiped off of the map. Everybody believes that the Israelis have nuclear weapons. They are literally an extensible threat. And it is not at all inconceivable that you could end up with a nuclear exchange between the two nuclear powers in Middle East, one of which denies right of the other to exist.

ROBERTS: Eliot Cohen for us this morning.

Eliot, thanks for coming in. Good to hear from you.

CHETRY: All right. Well, still ahead, we are going to be talking about a very, very interesting way that some companies are trying to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research, design a pair of jeans. We're going to show you my efforts as well as some of the others.

That's not mine. That's pretty creative. I wish I thought of that. All right, we'll be right back.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

It is the very first day of October. And October, of course, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

CHETRY: That's right. And this year, I was asked to take part in a little fashionable fundraising effort to help women in the fight against breast cancer.

Take a look.


CHETRY (on camera): This is so exciting.

(voice-over): Call it couture for a cure.

This may look like regular jeans, but when I'm done decorating them, they'll be part of the fight against breast cancer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love that butterfly. It's so cute.


CHETRY: I'm trying to tap in to my artistic side as part of a fundraiser called Blue Jeans in Pink. In honor of breast cancer awareness month, clothing company Coldwater Creek is giving away 16 pairs of jeans all designed by celebrities including actress Andie MacDowell and Susan Lucci and country superstar Faith Hill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to glue them on.

CHETRY: One hundred percent of all the donations made in October will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the company will match donations up to $100,000. Their vice president, Lyn Walther, says it's a stylish way to help fight a disease that strikes nearly 200,000 women each year.

LYN WALTHER, COLDWATER CREEK, DIVISIONAL VICE PRESIDENT: So Blue Jeans in Pink is something that is passionate for us, obviously fashion -- combining fashion with our passion for helping the cause.

CHETRY: Celebrity stylist Sam Saboura got involved in the campaign after watching his mother deal with the breast cancer scare.

SAM SABOURA, CELEBRITY STYLIST: This cause is personal to me because my mother went through a breast cancer scare a couple of years ago. And it was completely out of the blue and nothing that we had expected. And, you know, it was shocking. CHETRY: Well, we've made a lot of gains in detecting and treating the disease, still, one in eight women get breast cancer in their lifetime. And more than 40,000 women will die from the disease this year alone. Medical advances are vital. But many like shopper Rochelle Behar thinks events like these that raise awareness and increase education are also key.

ROCHELLE BEHAR, SHOPPER: Being able to do your annual mammograms and catch breast cancer early on is imperative in the treatment and survival rate. And this creates that awareness. You see the jeans, you're going to think breast cancer. You're going to think when did I last get my mammogram.


CHETRY: That's true, because a lot of the breast cancers are detected from people just, you know, doing a self-test at home.

ROBERTS: Exactly.

CHETRY: And it's something that in October and a lot -- I mean, you can't miss it, right? They're talking about breast cancer and breast cancer awareness for the entire month. It's because of foundations like this. So any way, this is the almost finished product.

Don't laugh. It's pretty fun, actually.

ROBERTS: So are you a budding Isaac Mizrahi or Diane von Furstenberg...

CHETRY: Well, I have a new appreciation for what they do. I mean, because, you know, we were -- my friend Stella and I worked meticulously gluing this little Swarovski crystals on the back.

If you can...

ROBERTS: Very nice.

CHETRY: And it took a while. I mean, this, you know, it did -- (INAUDIBLE).

So those are the crystals on the back.

ROBERTS: It's a lovely butterfly that your daughter put on there as well.

CHETRY: No. We had to distract her by letting her just half of the paint, and have fun on something else besides the jeans.

So, anyway, I'm just going to do a couple freehand flowers down here with some glitter and boom.

ROBERTS: Very good. They look like the comfy jeans, too.

CHETRY: Well, they do look comfy. Actually, they're all size 4. And you can go to any of the Coldwater Creeks. They have 350 stores. Or you can go online at their Web site and make a donation. You don't have to make a donation, but you can if you want to. And you're automatically signed up. So you could win, you know, Faith Hill's jeans that she designed. Maybe Barbara -- what's her name -- sorry, Susan Lucci.

ROBERTS: Susan Lucci.

CHETRY: They said Susan Lucci was meticulous that she actually sewed the sequins on herself.

ROBERTS: Really? My goodness.

How you would sew one of those crystals on.

Good job.

CHETRY: Thanks.

ROBERTS: A great thing, too, for breast cancer awareness month.

Barbara Starr is coming right up. She's got a report on where al Qaeda might be hiding these days. Something you'll want to see here on the Most News in the Morning.

Forty-four minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. A live look at New York City where right now it's just 49 degrees. Not going to be very warm today either going up to a high of only 63. It should be mostly sunny, though, and there is some warmer air moving in to the area for the weekend. It will be in the low 70s for the weekend.

Time to fast forward through the stories that are going to be making news later on today. It's 7:00 p.m. Eastern, President Obama departs for Copenhagen, Denmark, to join team USA in support of Chicago's bid for the 2016 summer Olympic games. The President will spend only four hours in Denmark. But he hopes that in that time, his personal pitch will bring home the gold for Chicago.

At 8:30 Eastern, we are going to get another look at the national employment picture. The labor department releases initial jobless claims for the week ending September 26. And beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, CNN will begin revealing the top ten heroes of 2009 with Anderson Cooper. You can also meet all ten heroes tonight during the special edition of Anderson Cooper 360 at 11:00 p.m. Eastern. Kiran?

CHETRY: We are going to talk to a hero a little bit later on the show as well. So that should be great. When you're on the road, almost -- not half of the year, getting home sick is almost guaranteed. Country music start Miranda Lambert is no exception. Take a look at how she tries to re-create home on the tour bus in this week's "Road Warriors."


MIRANDA LAMBERT, COUNTRY MUSIC ARTIST: Hello. My name is Miranda Lambert. I'm a country music artist. And I'm on the road approximately 150 days a year. When I'm on the bus, this is like my home. I wake up and drink coffee, walk my dogs. These everything you do at your own house. I have a cute cowboy hat (ph) and simple lamp shades. We put pictures up, you know, on our little cork boards to make it as homey as possible.

Things I have to have on the road would be my iPod, lip gloss, and my cell phone. I'm a jeans girl, so I always have at least two or three pairs of jeans in my suitcase. I'm dating a fellow country singer, Blake Shelton. We try not to go more than two weeks without seeing each other. We both have stories that happen on the road. That we can share with each other.

Thank you so much for taking a look into my life and my world on the road. We'll see you next time.


ROBERTS: There you go. Miranda on the road.

CHETRY: Making the tour bus feel like home. So like the CNN express bus.

ROBERTS: Not quite. Although that is a rather nice bus.

The drummer, Stewart Copeland, he was man who created the police along with Sting and Andy Summers. He's got a brand new book out. It's a little bit of an autobiography. He talks a lot about the fierce battles that he used to have with The Police bass player. Do you right there. It got very incendiary at times. Well here coming right up. Forty-nine minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Classic songs by The Police as we see there. John's been pulling double duty, doing some night shows as well as the morning. And last night, you had a chance to catch up with the rock legend.

ROBERTS: Yes. Stewart Copeland, the founding member and drummer of The Police. I first interviewed him back in 1980 along with Sting and Andy Summers when The Police first came through Toronto, Ontario playing to about 100 people at this little, tiny club. That was a great show case for new music. And of course, not long after that, they exploded on the world scene.

They were just really getting going that and updated millions and millions of people. They recently did a reunion tour as well. Stewart Copeland has a brand new book out called "Strange Things Might Happen in my Life with the Police, Polo, and the pygmies." And I spoke to him about the infamies and fierce battles that he and sting used to have with each other. Listen.


I guess it's going to be 35 years now between you and Sting. And there's an incident that you recount at the show in Turin where was his birthday, you bought him a tuba for his birthday. He was all happy about and you stayed by the end of the night and the two of you were right each other's throats.

STEWART COPELAND, MUSICIAN: That's right. We did not see naked to each other's throats because our handlers are very careful. They could see the signs. Actually, they keep us apart from each other. Even though, they understand the people who are close to the band that when we're shouting and screaming, that's when the stuff happens. That's when we burned the house down.

ROBERTS: Let me take you back 25 years to monsterette (ph). You're at air studios. You're in this idyllic setting, cutting "Every Breath You Take." And that was just about the worst of times for The Police, wasn't it?

COPELAND: It was pretty miserable. You know, being in The Police is not a comfortable experience. You know, U2, they get along really well. They grew up together. You hang out with those guys, and you sense the warmth within all the different guys in the band. Not like that in The Police. You know, A Police rehearsal is like bathing in sharp diamonds, toweling down with the rose bush, and putting on a Prada hair suit. It's beautiful. Absolutely wonderfully artistically beautiful, but there is blunt.

ROBERTS: But when you're recording that album. It was an album back that I don't think we had CDs back then, I mean, you weren't even in the control room. They had your drums set up upstairs. The control room was downstairs. And I know you're getting a big sound like John Bonham did for Led zeppelin for when they were recording at Headley Grange. But how bad were the tensions could the two of you really not be in the control room at the same time?

COPELAND: I was actually in the next building as far away as possible. Yes, the tensions were severe. But you know, it's sort of -- we don't give each other -- we don't cut each other slack. You got to be man enough to be in The Police. And we give it to each other and we get it from each other. I suppose we've come to realize -- we didn't understand this back in the day which is why we're so angry all the time. But we understand it now that we kind of -- we need that tension. We need that dichotomy. It doesn't stop us getting real mad occasionally. And occasionally, the hands are going for the throat, but we -- at least we understand what it's all about. And really there's a deep, deep bond. And admiration and love for each other.


ROBERTS: Family members fight from time to time.

CHETRY: They do. They sound more like brothers.

ROBERTS: Yeah. People might also be surprised to learn in the book that his father was a CIA agent. His father was a spy. They were living in Beirut. They had to get out of dodge very quickly when his cover was blown. And we talked about lot of interesting things. But I remember interviewing Sting in 1985. And he said that he needs to have crisis in his life to write a song. And if he doesn't have crisis, he'll precipitate a crisis just to get those creative juices (ph) flowing. Stewart Copeland -- he drove us nuts with that.

CHETRY: Pretty cool. We're glad to have a chance to talk to him.

ROBERTS: Yeah. New book. Strange things happen. The life with The Police, polo, and pygmies. Interesting read.

CHETRY: That's really is.

All right. It's now 56 minutes past the hour. When we come back, we are going to talk with Ted Rollins. He's on the ground in American Samoa. They are dealing with a major disaster there. Help on the way. And they're hoping that they are going to be able to pick up the pieces there. But right now, it's just an absolute mess in the wake of that deadly tsunami.


CHETRY: Three minutes before the top of the hour. Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. U.S. operatives are dealing with major progress in al Qaeda trying to slip into their ranks, taking out some of the top terrorists. But the problem now, the officials in Washington say they believe that the terror network has found a new place to hide. Our Barbara Starr is working her sources at the Pentagon. She joins us this morning with more on this story. Hi, Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Kiran. Even as we have learned that spies have infiltrated al Qaeda, we are also learning that al Qaeda, as always, is making new plans.


STARR (voice-over): Recent U.S. efforts to infiltrate al Qaeda have paid off. A top U.N. counter terrorism official says...

RICHARD BARRETT, UNITED NATIONS TALIBAN MONITORING: I think that there's still a big, big problem for al Qaeda in its loss of credibility, its loss of relevance, its loss of legitimacy, and, indeed, in its loss of operational capability.

STARR: But even with that success, the nation's top law enforcement officer says his priority is unchanged.

ROBERT MUELLER, FBI DIRECTOR: My greatest concern still is the ability of al Qaeda to use Western Pakistan and Afghanistan as a sanctuary.

STARR: The U.S. landed a crucial blow here -- Taliban leader Vitula Massoud was assassinated in a missile strike after the U.S. was tipped off. When and where to find him? An administration official tells CNN. Thousands of miles away in Somalia, the U.S. also found operatives willing to help. Last month, in a covert mission, U.S. commandos killed this high-ranking al Qaeda member wanted for attacks in East Africa.

U.S. officials say locals told them where to find Neban (ph). For all that success, a disturbing development in neighboring Yemen where the government is not in full control. General David Petraeus says al Qaeda has re-established operations here with little resistance.

GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: This is a concern. It's a country that faces a hooky threat in the North. Southern secessionists in the South.

STARR: The U.N.'s Richard Barrett says that it's in Yemen that I think that everybody is most worried about the situation.

BARRETT: The most of the Saudi Arabian al Qaeda supports if they're active have moved to Yemen. And it's in Yemen that I think that everybody is most worried about the situation.

STARR: Most worried indeed, Kiran, about Yemen. The attempted assassination earlier this summer of a government official in Saudi Arabia next door is now said to have been carried out by an al Qaeda operative who came to Saudi Arabia from Yemen. Most concern now focusing there -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Barbara Starr for us this morning. Thank you.