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Obama to Receive Nobel Peace Prize; Florida Nurse Allegedly Endangered Patients by Reusing Sterile Items; Armed Soccer Mom, Husband Found Dead; Storm Chaser Explains Specially-Designed Car
Aired October 9, 2009 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Don, thanks so much.
If they gave a prize for stunning and controversial accolades, the Nobel committee would win hands down today. The 2009 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize says he's humbled to be honored less than a year after taking office. We'll hear from the rest of the world.
We'll also get the back story on one of two wars: mock battles in a real battlefield.
And recycling is one thing; reusing, something else entirely. We're pushing forward on a nurse accused of stretching hospital resources and risking lives.
Hello, everyone, I'm Kyra Phillips, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Other presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize: three to be exact, two sitting. Other honorees have caught the world by surprise, but almost no one expected the 2009 award to go to a president who took office just 12 days before the deadline for nominations. President Obama sees his selection this way: not as a recognition of past achievements, but as a call to action for peace, justice, and dignity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some of the work confronting us will not be completed during my presidency. Some, like the elimination of nuclear weapons, may not be completed in my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met. So long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.
This award is not simply about the efforts of my administration. It's about the courageous efforts of people around the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Now, for what it's worth, President Obama has already visited more countries in his first year than any of his predecessors. Sixteen, including last week's failed mission to Denmark to try to bring the Olympics to Chicago. Next month he'll pad his record with trips to China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. And we can't forget his December date in Oslo. Presidents can't go anywhere without making speeches, and following a president seen by much of the world as hostile and disengaged, President Obama's words have electrified audiences abroad. In one case, before he was even elected. Remember this?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christians and Muslims and Jews cannot stand! These now are the walls we must tear down.
So, let me say this as clearly as I can: the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam.
So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Now, back to Mr. Obama's predecessors as Nobel Peace laureates. Teddy Roosevelt was recognized in 1906 as one who favored arbitration, mediation over war. He was not only the first American president to win, but the first American.
And Woodrow Wilson won in 1919 for creating the League of Nations in the ashes of World War I. Jimmy Carter had been out of office for more than 20 years when he was honored in 2002 for his dedicates of diplomatic and social work. He says the Nobel for President Obama is a bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment to peace.
So, what does the world think? We've got eyes and ears everywhere. Here's some of what we heard in two world capitals on two continents: Nairobi, Kenya, and Berlin, Germany.
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Diana Magnay in Berlin.
Now, here in Germany, people say they are surprised that President Obama should have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at this stage in his presidential career.
He is, of course, an extremely popular figure here in Germany. He drew enormous crowds when he came to speak here before he was elected, and the Germans are very much behind him on such issues as climate change, the closure of Guantanamo, and his attempts to mediate peace in the Middle East.
That said, the presence of German troops in Afghanistan is extremely unpopular, and America and President Obama are very much seen as the leaders of that initiative.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David McKenzie in Nairobi, Kenya.
We've come here to the streets of Nairobi to tell people and ask people what they think about President Barack Obama winning the peace prize. There are certainly diverse opinions, but it is a proud day for many Kenyans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a prize for all the world. I mean, he came with a platter -- on a platter of peace for the world, and during his campaigns, he was this guy who came out strongly wanting peace in the world. So, he's really something for all peace lovers, and for those people who are out to make people suffer with war, hey, Barack has won, you can't win. What has won? Peace wins.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I think it's very exciting for myself as a Kenyan, and also for Americans all over the world and for him as a black man. I'm happy about it. And I think it's -- it's interesting times for us as Kenyans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has revolutionized Africa and Kenya, and he has put Kenya to a world map, so they -- now the world -- the world knows that Kenya gives back to leaders of the world.
MCKENZIE: Kenya, of course, has its very own Nobel Peace Prize winner in Wangari Maathai, who won it for environmental activism some years ago. But still, they call President Obama their favorite son. So, a lot of excitement here in Nairobi.
PHILLIPS: On the home front, excitement is only part of the story. And maybe not even the biggest part.
Critics of the Nobel decision and of the president are indignant, even appalled. Listen to three (sic) words from Republican Party chairman Michael Steele: "The real question Americans are asking is, what has President Obama actually accomplished? It is unfortunate that the president's star payer -- or star power, rather, has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working toward peace and human rights.
"One thing is certain: President Obama won't be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility for backing up rhetoric with concrete action."
CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley joins me on the phone now to talk about this potential Nobel backlash.
You know, Candy, I want to ask you. Putting just aside the Democrat/Republican rivalry and looking at how big this award is, I mean, shouldn't everybody come forward and just all take pride in what a big deal this is and just push politics aside just for a moment?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Well, I'll tell you, the Nobel Prize committee gets to pick whoever they want, and everybody gets to say whatever they want, I think is the bottom line for that. I mean, you are -- what you're seeing is -- is, to me, in some ways what happened when we saw the president lose the bid for the Olympics in Chicago, and it's sort of the upside-down version of that, and that is that you saw his critics saying, "Well, he shouldn't have taken that much time, and now this just goes to show you he doesn't have that much prestige on the international stage." And now it's sort of flipped.
So, you are seeing, basically, the undertone of what the politics are, at least through the Michael Steele statement. I think we have to be careful. He is head of the Republican National Committee. I have not seen any elected officials at this point come out with a big public statement. They may have since I last checked, Kyra.
But the fact of the matter is, I think Republicans do risk, at some point, overplaying their hand. Because the question was already out there. Holy cow, what did he get this for? Even the president seemed surprised.
And so, you are seeing sort of one of the themes of the Republicans, which is, well, what's he actually done? And this, of course, was an ongoing theme in Hillary Clinton's campaign against President Obama during the primary campaign. And it is now the Republican theme, which is, sure, they love him overseas and they think he's wonderful, but what's he actually accomplished? And I think thematically that's what you're seeing.
And whether people should all come together and say, "Isn't this wonderful?" Certainly that's what you're going to hear and what you're already hearing from Democrats, saying, "Listen, they're overplaying their hand. This is ridiculous. Why can't they just be happy?"
So, you're seeing both sides play this out politically as well as substantively.
PHILLIPS: Candy Crowley, good to talk to you.
Our other top story: you may have exposed to HIV or hepatitis in the hospital. Nearly 2,000 people now getting that warning. Why? Well, a south Florida hospital got an anonymous tip: one of your nurses is reusing IV tubes and saline bags.
What's even more outrageous: this might have been going on for nearly five years. One of her patients isn't holding back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY, PATIENT AT BROWARD COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER: The only thing I can tell you is I hope to God nothing's there. I'd like to wring her neck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: Joining me now on the phone, James Thaw. He's the CEO of Broward General Medical Center. And from Nashville, Dr. William Shaffner. He's actually been called in by the hospital to investigate.
Mr. Thaw, let's start with you. Just putting aside the fact that this nurse, allegedly, did this for five years, possibly even more, I guess the bigger question here is, how come it went on so long? Where was the monitoring in the hospital to try and prevent this in the first place?
JAMES THAW, CEO, BROWARD GENERAL MEDICAL CENTER (via phone): Well, we -- we have to remind ourselves that this is the act of one individual, who, in our opinion, blatantly violated basic infection control principles.
This is a procedure that is done in a patient-sensitive environment, both for confidentiality reasons and their comfort environment. And while that is very, very foremost and up front in our mind, it is a very private procedure.
But we go back to the same point, that this is the act of one individual who blatantly violated standard infection-control principles that are paramount to basic clinical care that all of us are aware of and know and practice on a daily basis.
PHILLIPS: And I understand one individual, but one individual that could cause something pretty darn horrible for 1,500 people, possibly more: HIV, hepatitis. Once again, what was happening with the monitoring system, and what have you done now to make sure that this cannot happen again?
THAW: Well, we have taken some immediate actions, just to assure our patients of the trust that they have given us for so many years. We have -- we are preparing all intravenous administration sets in their presence, in advance of the patient. This is a change in our protocol, where apparently the IV was hung in advance.
We have assessed all outpatient procedural areas, intravenous infusion for infection-control practices and are proud to say we're in compliance across our whole facility.
We are preparing and taking an active approach at education and re-education of all our practitioners in the most basic and fundamental practices of health-care delivery, universal precautions or protocols that have been in place for -- for a long, long time.
And it distresses us beyond words how this one individual has chosen to blatantly violate such basic infection-control principles that it has put these people in potential harm. And we cannot express enough remorse to our patients who count on us every day, as their safety-net hospital and their provider of choice.
PHILLIPS: Dr. Shaffner, you've been called in to investigate. Where was the oversight?
DR. WILLIAMS SHAFFNER, INVESTIGATING ALLEGED VIOLATIONS: Well, the -- this is, as Mr. Thaw said, a nurse who did something with patients in a very private environment, and so was not under regular supervision, visual supervision, by other health-care personnel. And as soon as someone noticed this, they notified the authorities within the hospital.
PHILLIPS: But it took five years. That's a long time, Dr. Shaffner.
SHAFFNER: Kyra, there are healthcare workers in hospitals all across the country who operate semi-autonomously on the basis of our best training. And as Mr. Thaw said, we all have that responsibility to maintain infection control. Of course, we appreciate the appropriate supervision, but we don't expect to be watched every minute, every day that something is going on.
PHILLIPS: But, Doctor Shaffner...
SHAFFNER: The important...
PHILLIPS: ... why would she do this? Did she have a heavy workload, as you've investigated? Did this save the hospital lots of money by doing this?
SHAFFNER: It's inexplicable. And this refers to this nurse and to other circumstances that have been reported across the country from time to time. There's no clear reason.
The nurse was aware that what she was doing was inappropriate, yet did it. And when asked specifically why she did it, she remained silent. So, we have no insight there.
The important thing is that the hospital has -- their response has been a model of what hospitals need to do whenever something like this happens. They've been forthright, direct, compassionate and are offering testing and counseling to their patients. And they're working their way through this, asking for the patients' trust in their area.
PHILLIPS: So, Dr. Shaffner, let me ask you, and I have a saline bag here, and the saline bag is actually in its packaged condition. So, let's say I'm a patient. I'm going in. And I'm concerned about the IV tubing. I'm afraid -- or I'm concerned about the saline bag and if, indeed, I'm getting a fresh one, a new one. What are my rights? What should I look for?
I know that I should look and see if the bag is full. If the bag is not full, then I know there's a problem with that. I know that usually they're taken out of these bags in the first place, but what else can I do to make sure I'm getting clean equipment?
SHAFFNER: Patients should be empowered and free to ask, in an appropriate fashion, of course, not a hostile fashion, their healthcare workers to explain what's going on. And if they're getting an IV, they're entitled to know that this is a new bag, that it's a new tubing, it's a new needle.
They ought to make sure that their health-care providers are washing their hands appropriately. You could even ask them, in this time of year, have you had your flu shot? All of that's quite appropriate. PHILLIPS: And before I let you go, Mr. Thaw, has anybody come forward to be tested and turned up positive with HIV or hepatitis?
THAW: We have been in the midst of conducting testing with our partner, and as of this morning, we've received 230 patient results. We do have a team of epidemiologists and infection-control experts that are in the process of reviewing every result that comes in. They come in at any time and evaluating those results as they are reported.
PHILLIPS: Has anybody tested positive for HIV or hepatitis so far?
THAW: We don't have any information at this point in time.
PHILLIPS: We'll definitely follow up. CEO James Thaw, and also Dr. William Shaffner, who's the independent consultant hired to investigate what happened at the hospital. We will follow up, and appreciate you both for coming in. Thank you.
THAW: Thank you.
SHAFFNER: Thank you.
PHILLIPS: Well, the nurse at the center of this case has not been charged with a crime. We called her attorney, who gave us this statement: "Miss Qui Lan has been a registered nurse for more than 37 years, providing excellent medical care for all of her patients. She has an excellent reputation in the medical community due to her professionalism and ethical manner. We are confident that once the facts surrounding this incident are revealed, Miss Qui Lan will continue to be seen in the same light."
So, when you go to the doctor, what do you do? Just flat-out ask: "Hey, that syringe that you're about to stick me with, it's new, right?" Heck, yes. Just do that. The head of New York City's health department says you can put it this way: "I read in the paper that some doctors are reusing syringes. I can't imagine anybody would do that. Do you?"
Angry funnel clouds chewing up and spitting out everything in their way. What nut would chase after this? Well, you're going to meet him. Plus he's got some toys.
PHILLIPS: Remember this from last year? A soccer mom packing heat at her daughter's game. Little did we know her 15 minutes of fame were not up.
PHILLIPS: A Pennsylvania mom first made news last year when she wore a certain accessory to her daughter's soccer game: a loaded and legal handgun on her hip for all to see.
Now she's back in the news, and so is her husband. The bodies of both found shot in their home.
Here's CNN national correspondent, Susan Candiotti.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Melanie Hain first made headlines wearing a loaded gun on her waistband to her daughter's soccer game. Back then, she said...
MELANIE HAIN, ARMED SOCCER MOM: A lot of people think I'm looking for attention. I want the attention on the issue.
CANDIOTTI: At issue in Pennsylvania and 41 other states, it's legal to openly carry a gun.
MATTHEW WEISBERG, HAIN'S ATTORNEY: People were asking me, initially, is she crazy? Contrary to what the facts sound like, she was just normal, friendly, and nice.
CANDIOTTI: But wearing a gun to a soccer game made some people nervous. The sheriff took away Hain's concealed weapons license. In court, she won it back.
HAIN: It's just the Second Amendment. And I tell people this all the time, you know, it's not just about gun rights. It's about every right that we have.
CANDIOTTI: Mrs. Hain sued the sheriff for violation of her constitutional and civil rights to the tune of $1 million. A few months ago, Mrs. Hain told her lawyer she and her husband were separating and that she wanted a protective order. But a court tells us she has none on file, and police say the couple was living together.
Wednesday night, something went wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard, like, a ba-boom. And I hear, you know, kids screaming.
CANDIOTTI: Two guns were fired. Police are investigating which one was used to kill, the other to commit suicide.
WEISBERG: It's a true tragedy. The irony is that it appears her life was taken by that, maybe, very right for which she was fighting for.
CANDIOTTI: Gun rights advocates call it a sad case of domestic violence. But gun control advocates see it very differently.
PAUL HELMKE, BRADY CAMPAIGN TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE: The danger came from within her own household from her own husband. That's ironic, but it's all too true that guns really create these risks, create these dangers, and we see too much of that in this country.
CANDIOTTI (on camera): It's an ongoing debate. Melanie Hain believed in the right to wear her gun in the open. Forty-two states allow it. Seven do not.
As far as the investigation, police still have not said whether one of the two guns fired was the one Melanie Hain used to wear at her side.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.
PHILLIPS: And we're trying to push this story forward. Next hour police in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, expected to talk about autopsy results. We'll let you know what they say.
Top stories now. When the FBI comes calling, asking questions about a potential terror attack, better tell the truth. But the father of suspected bomb plotter, Najibullah Zazi, is now formally accused of lying to the feds. Mohammed Zazi is due in court this afternoon in Denver. His son sits in jail after pleading not guilty to plotting to set off homemade bombs in New York City.
Chunks of blasted metal scattered across a crowded market in Peshawar, Pakistan. A suicide bomber blew up his car, killing at least 49 people. Dozens more are hurt. Now the government says it has no other option but to attack an insurgent stronghold along the Afghan border.
Jumpstarting the Middle East peace process a top priority in Jerusalem today. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. envoy George Mitchell, and the two plan to keep talking in the coming days. Mitchell will sit down with Palestinian leaders over the weekend.
Hold onto your hat and hunker down. Can you imagine staring down this tornado? No way you'll catch me doing it. But, hey, we'll meet the guys who say, yes, it's all in a day's work.
PHILLIPS: Well, when storm clouds are brewing, I run for cover and wait until the end. You probably do, too. So, who the heck would run straight into the twister?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's right here!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I'm filming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I can get to this road, I can go east.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPS: That's who. The crew of "Storm Chasers" on the Discovery Channel, tracking down tornadoes, running toward the storm, and recording the rush. So, are these guys nuts? Well, let's find out.
Chad Myers has been hanging out with them all day. He's outside with Reid Timmer, host of "Storm Chasers."
So Chad, I bet you're hearing some pretty great stories.
CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, just the one where he said, "We just lost sight of the tornado vortex. We couldn't see where the tornado was, and then it was 30 feet away." That was a good one. That's a start.
PHILLIPS: All right, guys, explain to me this phenomenon, please. I mean, you know, I hope you get a lot of hazard pay, my friend.
MYERS: It's adrenaline. That's exactly what they run on. Reid Timmer here from "Storm Chasers" on Discovery Channel. On October 18, a brand-new episode, Sunday night, 10 p.m.
Here's your vehicle, man. You know what? To me this looks like -- I don't know -- some kind of mistake from "Mad Max."
REID TIMMER, "STORM CHASERS": Yes, and it's called the Dominator, but as you can see in the show, we were dominated by a few tornadoes, actually. This is all bullet-proof glass. This is Lexan and 16-gauge steel, and some makeshift headlights on here.
MYERS: Yes. These don't look like they work very well.
TIMMER: Yes. They don't work too well.
MYERS: You can't see through that.
TIMMER: It's not easy to drive at night; that's for sure.
Then this rubber sheath right here. We can actually drop the whole vehicle to the ground so no wind can get underneath, so when a tornado is about to hit us, we'll drop the whole thing down.
MYERS: You know what, though? I'm not convinced that that's going to work. Maybe you've got to go talk to Jack Rauch (ph), and you can put some flaps on your roof or something like a NASCAR car.
TIMMER: I need to make it more aerodynamic.
MYERS: This thing weighs 8,000 pounds.
MYERS: And do you know what? I know GM is doing that 60-day, money-back guarantee, but, Reid, would you pop that door?
TIMMER: Sure, definitely.
MYERS: I don't think it's going to work on this vehicle.
TIMMER: It's not easy. It doesn't work the first time always. There it is.
MYERS: It was -- is -- a Tahoe under there. What did you do?
TIMMER: You can see there's a roll cage, an external roll cage. That's just in case things go really bad. That will add some extra protection.
MYERS: Has this thing been in a tornado?
TIMMER: Yes, we've had this in three or four. And you'll see on "Storm Chasers," actually, we had this rear window get blown out, because we have these bulletproof windows here that are made of Lexan.
MYERS: They go up?
TIMMER: But we have to reach out and flip these up. But a little rock got caught in the groove, and I couldn't get it up. So we're struggling to lift up the glass. And then this little mini vortex around the front of the vehicle slammed us with 150-mile-an- hour winds and blew out this window, and it hit me in the face and hit Chris on the other side of the vehicle.
MYERS: So does Brinks ever call you and ask you to deliver money?
MYERS: Because that's what it looks like.
All right, he's going to put it down on the ground for us. He's going to show you what this thing does. If a tornado gets close, Kyra, they don't want wind under the vehicle, because it would be likely to flip over. Although I'm not sure this is actually going to work. We'll see. He said he's been in a tornado.
Go ahead, put it down, Reid.
TIMMER: That's all we do is hit the parking brake here, and then there's a switch in the middle.
TIMMER: And then when the tornado is about to hit us, we flip this switch, and the whole thing drops to the ground.
MYERS: When the tornado is about to hit us, Kyra.
TIMMER: OK, here we go.
MYERS: And that's on purpose. When we tell you to go on in the garage and go in the basement and get away this thing, he's running toward it.
We're going to be back here at 2 p.m., as well. We've got a lot more to tell you, a lot more to show you, including the bubble on the top. That is where the camera goes. This is where the gas goes. PHILLIPS: All right. So wait a minute. Wait a minute. You definitely want to protect the gas.
MYERS: Reid will talk to us about it.
Thank you very much, buddy. See you in one hour.
TIMMER: Thank you.
MYERS: All right.
PHILLIPS: So Chad -- Chad, in no way, shape, or form that thing will never leave the ground? Is that what you're telling me?
MYERS: I don't -- I don't believe it for a minute. But he does, and he's the driver.
PHILLIPS: Really. Reid doesn't have an IFB in, does he?
MYERS: Yes, he does.
PHILLIPS: Oh, he does?
PHILLIPS: Reid, seriously, that thing -- you really believe that will never lift off the ground as you drive into a tornado?
TIMMER: Well, it very easily could, because an F-4 or F-5 tornado we don't want to mess with. But this year we measured 155 miles per hour with a roof anemometer. And I thought it was going to roll a few times. I mean, the whole thing was shaking back and forth, and our ears were popping, and I thought it was going to roll.
PHILLIPS: Are you nuts, Reed? I'm just wondering.
TIMMER: Yes, I think we probably have a few screws loose, but...
TIMMER: ... I'm just so obsessed with storm chasing. You know, we drive from Mexico to Canada every year, and I think you have to have a screw loose to do that.
PHILLIPS: Well, I think we all have a screw loose in this business. That's what makes great television, guys.
MYERS: You know what? Kyra, there's a lot of screws in this thing. So, one is not going to be a problem. It's just when they all come out.
PHILLIPS: And I'm screwing my producer right now by going on way too long. We'll see you next hour. Bye, guys.
MYERS: See you in one hour.
Well, could there really be a moon river? NASA gave the moon a double whammy this morning to find out. A rocket and a satellite acted as bombs, striking into the lunar surface in search of hidden ice. Here we see the moon actually getting closer and closer. But for pictures of the actual hit, well, the camera cut out right before impact. But NASA says more pictures may be on the way.
Hard-hitting Iraqi soldiers, fighting an enemy inside their own borders and in their own backyards. The training, the busts, the arrests you'll only see right here on CNN.
PHILLIPS: Tracking down the enemy near Baghdad. Iraqi soldiers in lockstep with U.S. Green Berets, searching, busting, arresting. You'll only see it right here on CNN, as our Cal Perry was there with Iraqi troops, battling it out in their own backyards.
CAL PERRY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are Iraq's special forces. Today, they're training. A simple exercise in how to clear a house, searching for a hostage.
(on camera): When the U.S. military talks about a shift in mission to training and advising, this is exactly what we're talking about. Iraqi special forces learning close-quarter combat. Now, while all of this is going on, American Special Forces, Green Berets, watched it all from above. That way, when the exercise is over, they can do a debrief, talk about what they did well, what they did poorly and what they can do better in the future.
(voice-over): For two and a half months, these Green Berets have been working with this group. They say they're making progress.
U.S. GREEN BERET OPERATOR: The biggest area where they've made the most progress is when it comes to values and professionalism. Teaching a guy how to clear a room or how to drive a humvee, that's very basic stuff. Teaching a guy not to grab something when he's going through a house looking for evidence or not to take bribes, that's the hard part.
PERRY: Just a few days later, the U.S. Green Berets put four Black Hawk helicopters into play, going after four individuals south of Baghdad. The Iraqi special force troops ride into battle, their trainers alongside.
The choppers have landed at what was believed to be the target building, but it was not. So, a night foot patrol begins, Iraqis up front in the lead. At one point during the patrol, the soldiers come across men with weapons. Turns out they're Iraqi police. The patrol moves on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep moving. Keep moving. Keep moving. PERRY: By the time the unit gets to the target, it's clear that emotions are running high. The U.S. military tells CNN the treatment of this detainee at the hands of an Iraqi operator will trigger an automatic investigation. Regardless, both sides believe the joint mission was a success.
(on camera): They believe they have rolled up their main target of this operation. It was supposed to be a lightning-quick Black Hawk strike, but what it turned out was a mile-and-a-half, two-mile march. The entire time, the Green Berets, U.S. Special Forces, let the Iraqis take the lead. They believe that they've led them to this suspected insurgent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Awesome. One over there and two here. Yes. It's going to be crowded on the helicopter, but it makes for a long walk, worthwhile.
PERRY (voice-over): Cal Perry, CNN, embedded with U.S. and Iraqi Special Forces.
PHILLIPS: Now, Cal Perry will tell you, there was plenty of false starts and dead ends before that big bust.
Next hour, he actually turns the camera around to show you the training, the cold trails, even some of the eventual wins. It's a battle zone "Backstory" that you've got to see.
All right, you're coughing, you're achy, you're all stuffed up. What do you do? Find out with just the click of a mouse.
PHILLIPS: It's official. We're in flu season and tragically, you are the youngest among us. The CDC says that there have been 10 child deaths this week alone linked to H1N1 or swine flu, 76 kids this year already. Thirty-seven states are now considered to have widespread outbreaks of the H1N1 virus.
So, you think you got swine flu? Don't just go to the doctor just yet. First, check out flu.gov and then listen to CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, who's bringing us the Dr. Mom of the digital age -- Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. You know, it's digital triage. That's how we have to think of it, or a digital mom. You can think of it that way, too.
How do you know when you or your child is sick enough that you should go to the doctor? Well, the government as well as a private organization has devised a quiz online that you can take. Here's one of them. And this one's at flu.gov.
And they ask you a series of questions. For example, if you think you have the flu, they'll say how many days do you feel like you've had the flu? Or they might also ask you, has your temperature been higher than 100.4? And sometimes they might tell you, you know, look, we think you're OK. Don't worry too much about it.
But if you answer the questions a certain way, they might say, holy smokes, based on your answers, you probably do have the flu, and you might be very sick. Call your doctor now. Now, Kyra, I thought it was interesting that I know many doctors who have pleaded with me, please tell people if they think they have H1N1, we don't want to see them. Pretty much unless they're at death's door, we don't want to see them, because they're going to get other patients sick, and there's not much we can do for them anyhow. This assessment sends you to a doctor I think a lot more quickly than the doctor might like, but, well, there you go.
PHILLIPS: So, where can people find this quiz?
COHEN: Well, this one is at flu.gov/evaluations, so that's one place you can go. The other one is H1N1ResponseCenter.com. They're pretty much the same quiz. They're very similar.
PHILLIPS: All right. Now, are there symptoms that we already know are red flags?
COHEN: Right. If you just have garden-variety flu, you do not necessarily need on go to the doctor. But if you do start having certain symptoms, you need to run, not walk, to the doctor, or get someone to run you over there.
So, let's take a look at these symptoms. If you're having difficulty breathing, that's a sign that you need to go to the doctor. It sounds obvious, but it's certainly worth repeating. Fast breathing also.
Also, if you can't keep down any fluids, if you're throwing everything up, get to the doctor. If you or your child turn blue or gray, another sign that things have become more serious. Also, if you get better and then you feel worse, another sign you should go to the doctor.
Again, it bears repeating -- the vast majority of cases of the flu are not a huge deal. People get over it in a couple of days. But sometimes -- and, you know, you talked about the pediatric deaths so far -- the flu does kill. And so, you need to know when to go to the doctor.
PHILLIPS: All right. Elizabeth, thanks.
PHILLIPS: Top stories now. Recycling doesn't always pay. A nurse in south Florida could face criminal charges for allegedly reusing IV bags and exposing hundreds of patients to hepatitis or HIV over five years. Make that thousands of patients. She's off the job now, and her patients are being told to get tested.
Sorry, Charlie, everyone has got to pay their taxes. New York Congressman Charles Rangel should know. Heck, he chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. But the House Ethics Committee is expanding its investigation into Rangel's so-called tardiness in disclosing his true financial records.
It was called LCROSS but they should have named it the SS Alice Kramden. NASA went bang, zoom to the moon this morning with a pair of satellites smashing into the lunar south pole in search of water. Both Ralph Kramden and Leonard Nimoy would have been pretty proud.
Well, zebras are some of Mother Nature's coolest-looking creatures, really something to see. Check out how fascinated these little kids are. Sadly, it's not a zebra. We'll explain in just a sec.
PHILLIPS: Well, we showed it to you yesterday, revealing the ugly truths in the beauty industry. A Ralph Lauren model Photoshopped basically into a stick figure. Shocked a lot of people. It grossed me out. And the backlash shocked the company a bit, too. Its only response for over a week to hit a blog that posted the pic for copyright infringement.
Well, right after our show yesterday, we got this statement from Ralph Lauren. Here's what it says: "For over 42 years, we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we've learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman's body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately."
Glad to hear it, and very glad to hear your thoughts on our beauty segment.
Politicalcynic sends us this tweet: "I stopped buying fashion mags in high school. I was a size 12, and none of the women reflected me at all. The industry needs to wake up." Erintiesman, she comments on a German magazine that's going to stop using models: "A great step in the right direction for women and girls. Women want to relate. If we can't relate to models, why use them?"
And from Ragnr: "Seeing this Dove video transform a real girl into a model, my first thought was, 'I gotta get that software.' And I'm a dude!" If you guys missed the Dove spot he's talking about, it's up on our blog right now, CNN.com/kyra.
We owe them so much for the work that they do and our name and on our behalf. So, how is it, why is it, that many of our brave servicemembers live in more dangerous conditions than our prison inmates?
And a telling bit of info about don't ask, don't tell. It seems it affects one sex more than another.
All right, you know a lot of our "What the...?"'s are pretty quirky. This one just made me really sad. Take a look at these Palestinian kids visiting a zoo in Gaza, really excited to see their first zebras.
Only they're not zebras. The people running the zoo decided to paint up some donkeys black and white because they're not able to get any real zebras into the territory. Israel's still got its Hamas embargo in place, and it would have cost $40,000 to bring a zebra in through smugglers tunnels.
This is no walk in the park. And covering it isn't easy, either. We're going to go straight to the front lines to bring you our backstory.
PHILLIPS: Covering the war in Afghanistan not as grueling as fighting it, but it's no walk in the park either. Michael Holmes of CNN INTERNATIONAL joins us now with the "Backstory" from the front lines.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, "BACKSTORY": Yes. Good to see you again.
PHILLIPS: Pretty good behind -- good to see you, too. And you know, you and I, we've been in Iraq, we've been in Afghanistan, we've seen the behind the scenes with U.S. troops. Every now and then, you get to mingle with international troops.
HOLMES: Doesn't happen very often, does it?
PHILLIPS: Right, right.
HOLMES: Yes, yes. We've been with the British I think in Gaza. We went down there a couple of times in Iraq. But this is the first time -- I don't know if we've done this before.
What happened was, Fred Pleitgen, who of course is our Berlin correspondent, he arranged to get embedded with the German military, because the German military is over there doing training of Afghan troops. And he and his photographer, Claudia Otto, went over there with German -- they've been with the Germans the whole time, haven't even gone near the U.S. military.
It's very unusual to see that, and boy, did they hit the countryside as well. And when you look at this, just think, Fred is 6-4. He's my height and bigger.
PHILLIPS: He's a little -- Fred's a little more built than you.
HOLMES: He is built.
PHILLIPS: He's a stocky German guy.
HOLMES: Porkier (ph), as we say in Australia. Porkier (ph). But Claudia, I mean, Claudia -- I don't know if you've ever met Claudia. I mean, you could put her in your pocket. I mean, she's like this big. And you wait and see who wins the battle of the fitness (ph) here. Let's have a look at these (INAUDIBLE).
PHILLIPS: All right.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, so today we're going to be accompanying a -- the Afghan army as they train. And now I want to introduce you to someone who's going to be having a terrible day today. This is Claudia, and she's going to have to run for several miles with this camera.
And there's actually some major issues with all of it. First of all, as you can see, the equipment is pretty heavy, and second of all, we have to watch out a little because some of the areas that we're actually going to be running through are actually still mine-infested. They have mines there from when the Russians were here. So, we hope it will be OK.
Are you looking forward to it?
CLAUDIA OTTO, CNN PRODUCER: Yes, of course. Yes. Especially for the mines, where you go backwards.
PLEITGEN: Now the important thing here is that they're checking whether these guys really actually have blanks in their weapons so they don't actually really shoot us when we go there, because apparently the Afghan military sometimes tends to put real ammo in their weapons when they have exercises like this one, So we don't want to get shot.
Is that right, sir? Are we sure they only have blanks in their weapons?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, we are sure, yes. I have to look, and we'll check it (INAUDIBLE) the checkpoint (INAUDIBLE). And we'll check again.
PLEITGEN: OK, so everybody has blanks. We don't have to worry?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
Walking down this hill with a camera, a flak vest on, we're about twice as heavy as we usually are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the CNN guy hits (INAUDIBLE).
PLEITGEN: This is fun. All right, so now's when the funds ends in all of this, because left and right, there's still a bunch of mines going on, and we really have to watch out we stay in the right lanes and ways here. We have stay on this path here throughout the mountain. And they said it's really highly recommendable to stay on this path.
How's the walk so far?
OTTO: It's very nice.
PLEITGEN: No land mines.
OTTO: A little bit -- no land mines. A little bit dusty, but OK.
PLEITGEN: Right here we have a piece of artillery right here that was left behind. You can see stuff like this all over the place. It's really old. There's another one down there. So, you can see that they held this position. Now you've got the Afghan army everywhere here, practicing their stuff, and our would-be enemies are over there.
So, you're worried about the shooting?
OTTO: No, I'm not worried. I'm just worried that they don't have the right ammunition.
PLEITGEN: Yes, I'm a little worried about that as well.
OTTO: And they had a hand grenade.
PLEITGEN: Now we have to move. Look at this. Steep, rocky hill. Claudia has to run down with her camera so we get to the forward position. Oh, there's an army guy. Walk in front of his rifle so he doesn't shoot.
The Afghan national army has taken the fictitious hill. So, are you happy?
OTTO: Of course.
PLEITGEN: Was it hard?
OTTO: Yes. No, it was very nice. But we have a wonderful view.
PLEITGEN: We worked hard enough for it.
HOLMES: Is she cool or what?
PHILLIPS: OK, wait a minute -- didn't she just have a baby? And she just ran circles around Fred Pleitgen.
HOLMES: Oh, yes, yes. She has a baby, and Fred looks like he's about to.
HOLMES: I am so much -- I am glad this is on U.S. and not the German, yes.
PHILLIPS: Exactly. We won't tell Fred that we outed him to the whole nation he needs to get on the treadmill. But in all seriousness, you've got an altitude issue there, right?
HOLMES: Afghanistan, absolutely. I mean, you're at 8,000 feet or so. And just even walking around, let alone up and down mountains is hard. I remember when I went there after 9/11, and we were at the hotel in Kabul, the Intercon, as it was named. The elevators didn't work, and so, we were up on, like, the eighth floor, and every time you'd go up there, you were breathing hard. I mean, it's tough just getting around.
PHILLIPS: Did they really have to check and see if they had blanks in those guns?
HOLMES: Yes. Isn't that hilarious?
PHILLIPS: OK, that's a little nerve-racking.
HOLMES: They're saying mistakes have been made in the past, yes.
PHILLIPS: All right, you're going to join us next hour.
PHILLIPS: And a little behind the scenes with Cal Perry? Is that what we're going to do?
HOLMES: This is a very different embed, and you guys want to see this. And it's actually -- this is very cool, too, very unusual because Cal got embedded with U.S. Special Forces, Green Berets. That doesn't happen very often.
PHILLIPS: Right. They never let you in.
HOLMES: Yes. It's all night-vision stuff, very cool as well, so...
PHILLIPS: And they're training Iraqi troops.
HOLMES: Yes, the Iraqi special forces, if you like, training them up to be, you know, very good and very mentally disciplined, too, which is often a problem, yes.
PHILLIPS: Well, the Green Berets are the best ones to be training them.
HOLMES: Oh, yes, very cool.
PHILLIPS: And the Web site, since, of course, your show is on CNN International...
PHILLIPS: But folks here domestically can go online. HOLMES: Absolutely -- www.CNN.com/backstory. And we've actually got a bunch of "Backstories" there, video archives. People can check out all kinds of "Backstories" there. So, that's great. And yes, next hour's going to be fun.
PHILLIPS: Terrific. We'll see you then.
HOLMES: Good to see you.
PHILLIPS: TGIF, my friend.
HOLMES: It is.
PHILLIPS: That's right.
HOLMES: Isn't that awesome?
PHILLIPS: Well, some people think it's TGIF. Boy, let me tell you.