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Surprising New Mammogram Advice; Why China Trip Matters to U.S.; Escaped Sex Slave Tells Horror Story

Aired November 17, 2009 - 12:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's get started.

New government guidelines for mammograms causing shock and confusion today. An influential task force now says most women in their 40s don't need breast cancer screenings. That has many people wondering if the recommendations place a premium on saving money instead of lives.

Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, weighs in.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, it's safe to say that these new recommendations have caused some shock waves in the medical community. A lot of people having strong voices and strong opinions on this particular issue.

Look, in many ways, this represents the friction that we often see between public health issues and individual risk. From a public health standpoint, what screening tests work best? What screening tests are less likely to cause anxiety and worry and possibly biopsies that are not necessary? And on the individual side, obviously, you want to try to find cancers early, and that's really an age-old debate when it comes to screening tests overall.

What's interesting, though, is that this is the same data overall that this particular organization looked at several years ago. At that time, several years ago, they came to the conclusion that women should get mammograms every year or two starting around the age of 40. That's what we've heard for some time.

Now what they're saying specifically is that the task force recommends against routine screening mammography in women aged 40 to 49. So, there you have two things that are sort of opposing in terms of their viewpoints.

The key word they will say is the "routine" word, this idea that you should talk to your doctor ahead of time, figure out what those potential risks are of having a false positive, for example, versus the possible benefits. Part of the problem is I'm a doctor, I've talked to a lot of doctors about this particular study, and most doctors are saying, look, I'm probably not going to change what I recommend based on any of this new guidance, because I still would recommend women get mammograms starting around age 40.

There's no doubt that we need to do a better job as a medical community, sort of figuring out who is most at risk, what test they should get and when. But still, lots of strong viewpoints on this.

The American Cancer Society saying, "With its new recommendations, the task force is essentially telling women that mammograms at age 40 to 49 save lives, just not enough of them."

What a powerful statement that is, especially when you keep in mind that 15 percent of breast cancers out there, women who have breast cancer right now, found those breast cancers because of routine mammograms.

Also, another organization, the American College of Radiology, breast imaging, they say, "These new recommendations seem to reflect a conscious decision to ration care." An even more powerful statement there.

As far as what this all means for you, again, I think in the hearts and minds of a lot of doctors out there, the recommendations probably aren't going to change. As far as insurance goes and coverage, we talked to the trade organization called AHIP that oversees insurance companies. They say that right now, they don't foresee a change in what is covered and what is not.

Of course, it's hard to predict what six months, a year, a couple years down the road might look like. So, Tony, stay tuned for that. A lot more to come.

Back to you.


HARRIS: Sanjay, appreciate it. Thank you.

We will get more from the American Cancer Society later this hour. You will hear from the group's chief medical officer, Dr. Otis Brawley.

Checking the wire and the day's other big stories.

New poll numbers out today on health care reform as we wait for Senate Democrats' bill. The poll shows Americans are divided over the reform bill passed by the House.

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, 46 percent favor the bill, while 49 percent are opposed. About a third say they oppose the bill because it is too liberal. But one in 10 say it's not liberal enough.

Senior political analyst Gloria Borger will have more on the poll results later this hour.

President Obama credits China with helping the U.S. recover from the great recession. He discussed the economy and trade during a meeting today with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Despite differences on some issues, President Obama says both nations benefit from their relationship.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So far, China's partnership has proved critical in our effort to pull ourselves out of the worst recession in generations. Going forward, we agreed to advance the pledge made at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh and pursue a strategy of more balanced economic growth. A strategy where America saves more, spends less, reduces our long-term debt, and where China makes adjustments across a broad range of policies to rebalance its economy and spur domestic demand.


HARRIS: CNN's Ed Henry will have a one-on-one interview with President Obama, and you can see it beginning tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. on "AMERICAN MORNING."

The weak American economy is helping keep inflation in check. The Labor Department says wholesale prizes rose just .3 of a percent in October. Little or no inflation means the Fed will be able to keep interest rates near zero. Over the last 12 months, prices on the wholesale level are down almost two percent, and the government reports on consumer retail prices tomorrow.

The Obama team is unveiling a new financial fraud task force. Attorney General Eric Holder will head up the unit. Investigators will come from the Departments of Justice, Treasury and Housing.

OK, live pictures now of the news conference.

According to "The New York Times," the task force is charged with prosecuting crimes leading up to and following last year's financial collapse. Investigators will also keep an eye out for new financial shenanigans.

President Obama hopes his visit to China will lead to more jobs here in the United States. A key issue is trade.

CNN's Ines Ferre explains why the China trip matters to the U.S. economy.


INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama hopes to return from his trip to Asia with good news for American workers. In Shanghai, he spoke about trade between the U.S. and China.

OBAMA: This trade could create even more jobs on both sides of the Pacific, while allowing our people to enjoy a better quality of life. And as demand becomes more balanced, it can lead to even broader prosperity.

FERRE: Obama hopes to convince China to buy more American products, creating more U.S. jobs as unemployment hovers just over 10 percent. ROBERT SCOTT, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: What President Obama needs to do is to convince his Chinese partners that it's time for them to become a responsible trading partner. And that means becoming a much more open economy and also ending this manipulation of their currency.

FERRE: The U.S. believes Beijing keeps its currency artificially low, making Chinese goods cheaper here and American products more expensive in China. Since 2000, the U.S. has lost some five million manufacturing jobs, many of them to Asia.

PETER MORICI, ECONOMIST: China undervalues its currency and subsidizes its exports. That's costing manufacturing jobs, as it is sends us a lot of products that really could be made right here more effectively. That increases employment in China, but it costs us a lot of jobs in the United States.

FERRE: Even though China is the biggest foreign holder of U.S. debt, some say Beijing is just as dependent on the U.S.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA": In 2008, 93 percent of China's overall trade surplus related to sales to the United States. They have an export-dominated economy, which means their economy and their political system is dependent on selling us things. And, you know, that especially gives us a lot of leverage, because their trade practices are not compliant with their World Trade Organization obligations.

FERRE: U.S. trade deficit with China in September rose to its highest level in almost a year to $22 billion.

Ines Ferre, CNN, New York.


HARRIS: You may have noticed that prices for your prescription drugs are going up. Is the push for health care reform to blame?


HARRIS: The fight against breast cancer just got very confusing for many women. An influential government task force is out with new guidelines for mammograms, and they go against everything women have been told about early detection.

CNN's Kiran Chetry explains.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold your breath for me. Don't breathe or move.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is made up of 16 health care experts. Their recommendations influence coverage of screening tests by Medicare and many insurance companies. Here's what they said...

For women in their 40s, no more routine mammograms. The task force previously recommended screenings every year or two. And for women 50 and over, the new guidelines call for mammograms every other year instead of once a year.

As for self-exams, the government says they don't help and most women can stop doing them. The group points to false positives, anxiety and unnecessary biopsies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Race for the Cure now officially begins.

CHETRY: The new guidelines already being rejected by Susan G. Komen for the cure. It's the world's largest grassroots breast cancer network.

JENNIFER LURAY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE: Komen is sticking with our guidelines and our recommendations, which is that women ages 40 and above should continue to get an annual mammogram.

CHETRY: Dr. Freya Schnabel is director of breast surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. She says the new guidelines simply don't apply to some women.

DR. FREYA SCHNABEL, DIRECTOR OF BREAST SURGERY, NYU LANGONE MED. CTR: Because the recommendations from the task force are not directed at high-risk women. So number one, anybody with family history or high risk conditions should not really think that these guidelines apply to them and that's an important consideration.

CHETRY: Also questioning the new guidelines, the American Cancer Society. They issued this statement: "With its new recommendations, the task force is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives, just not enough of them."

But there are some numbers no one can question. In 2005, more than 186,000 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 41,000 died.

Kiran Chetry, CNN, New York.


HARRIS: You know, there are women being sold into slavery as we speak. One woman who became a victim of the slave trade tells her story. That's next.


HARRIS: As we mentioned a moment ago, the fight against breast cancer just got very confusing for many women, as an influential government task force is out with new guidelines for mammograms.

Let's get the view of those new recommendations from the American Cancer Society. I spoke last hour to the group's chief medical officer to try to clarify conflicting recommendations.


DR. OTIS BRAWLEY, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: The task force did find that screening women in their 40s does save lives. It reduces the relative risk of death by 15 percent.

They went on to do some calculations, calculations, which, by the way, we disagree with, and estimate that you have to screen 1,900 women in their 40s to save one life and 1,340 women in their 50s to save one life. It leads me to say, what's the number between 1,340 and 1,900 in which mammography screening is no longer beneficial and no longer useful and should not be recommended?


Doctor, what do you make -- why this about-face? What are we missing here?

BRAWLEY: Well, there's a broad screening community, and there are some people who are very conservative, there are some people who are very liberal. Some people say if the test finds cancer, it ought to be done. The very conservative people believe that that is a waste of resources.

And there are some harms associated with screenings. You're going to give anxiety to people, unnecessary surgeries, unnecessary anesthesia. You may even cause some deaths.

If you do too much screening and find things that are false positives -- we call them -- they're actually false alarms. So you have to be careful with your screening. I like to think of myself as a moderate. I do criticize people who waste resources and screen in areas where we ought not screen.

In age groups we ought not screen for diseases where the screen tests have not been proven to save lives. But this is one instance where I actually think we ought to be screening. I am convinced that we save lives for women in their 40s by screening every year.


HARRIS: I've got to tell you, there are cancer specialists out there who support the government panel's recommendations. We heard earlier from Dr. Amy Abernathy, associate director of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.


DR. AMY ABERNATHY, DUKE COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER: The government task force has the responsibility of taking the evidence, putting it together or synthesizing it, and providing us advice about what that synthesized evidence should mean for women. And specifically, in this case, it's for the woman in her 40s with an average risk. And their recommendations, based on that review of the evidence, including new information that came out in 2008, is that this doesn't make sense for the average woman.


HARRIS: Suppose this point -- the best advice is for women to discuss the risks with their doctors and decide on an individual basis what screening plan works best for them.

Top stories now.

President Obama met with China's president this morning for two hours. The two promised a joint effort to tackle climate change and nuclear disarmament. The leaders also talked about moving beyond the divisiveness over human rights and trade.

Space Shuttle Atlantis is on its first full day of orbit. The crew of six is due to arrive at the International Space Center to deliver key spare parts.

And the woman accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart, along with her former husband seven years ago, is set to plead guilty in federal court today. Wanda Barzee is also charged with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Smart was held in captivity for nine months.

We'll get another check of our top stories in 20 minutes.

A woman leaves her impoverished Indonesian village for a better life. Instead, she fell into a 15-year nightmare, unknowingly sold into the sex trade.

CNN International correspondent Arwa Damon spoke with the woman trying to overcome her past in Jakarta.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sunarsi (ph) is not this woman's real name. And no one, not even her family, knows what happened to her.

"My family was poor. I had to drop out of school," she tells us. "I met many successful migrant workers, and their stories enticed me."

To break out of her impoverished existence in the village, she decided to look for a job overseas as domestic help. At 17, Sunarsi (ph) went to what she thought was a legitimate company. There, she says she was handpicked by a Saudi man who wanted a tall, brown- skinned, virgin maid.

"It was a dream for someone like me," she remembers. "I was so proud. My friends told me how lucky I was to be chosen that quick."

She was expected to care for the man's disabled father. Two weeks after she arrived, the horrors began.

"He asked me to give him a massage every night, using a vibrator on his privates," she says. "Of course, the first time, I refused to do it. But then he threatened me. He insisted and got very angry and said he wouldn't pay my salary." She says his nine sons also molested her.

She tells us how she eventually ran away and ended up in a shelter in Saudi Arabia run by Indonesians. She thought she'd been saved.

"They promised to get me a job that would get me more money than before," she says. "They told me to dress up because the employer was a foreigner." Instead, she says, she was sold to a pimp for about $1,300. A sex slave.

For more than a year, her life would be living hell. She says she was violently raped and sodomized.

"I felt like I was dying. It would have been better for me to commit suicide," she remembers. "I was humiliated. They treated me like an animal."

She says she only managed to escape when Saudi police raided the operation. She was detained for six months and deported.

UNICEF estimates that around 100,000 women and children are trafficked yearly as sex slaves, both within and outside of Indonesia. The more reputable agencies are equipping their migrants with the basics of self-defense, along with the skills they'll need to be high- quality domestic help.

(on camera): These women are all undergoing their final examination. If they pass, they'll travel sometime in the next two weeks. But as familiar as they may become with these types of day-to- day tasks, they're still going to a foreign land, leaving their families and their support system behind.

(voice-over): The majority will be successful. Others will see their lives and happiness stolen from them.

As she breaks her silence of 15 years, Sunarsi (ph) says, "I'm nearly 40 and I've never known true happiness."

Arwa Damon, CNN, Jakarta.



HARRIS: I'm just looking at the headline at "15 Million May Owe the IRS Because of the Stimulus." The making work -- making -- well, I can't remember it. I'll ask Susan in a second here.

As always, for the best analysis on today's financial news, just go to

Let's swing us over now to the Big Board and New York Stock Exchange. Just about three hours into the trading day, as you can see. Wow. Hey, we've reversed losses. We're in positive territory, up -- let's call it flat.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is warning the recovery will be slow, but steady. He sees little improvement on the jobs front next year.


BEN BERNANKE, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: Jobs are likely to remain scarce for some time, keeping households cautious about their spending. As the recovery becomes established, however, payroll should begin to grow again at a pace that increases over time. Nevertheless, as net gains of roughly 100,000 jobs per month are needed just to absorb new entrance into the labor force, the unemployment rate likely will decline only slowly as economic growth remains moderate, as I expect.


HARRIS: OK. To the New York Stock Exchange now and CNN's Susan Lisovicz.

OK, Susan, I've got it right now, it's the Making Work Pay Credit. I don't know what the heck I was thinking.

All right. Good to see you, lady.

And look, we want to talk jobs right now -- 10.2 percent is where we are right now. You know, the president is holding a jobs forum. December 3rd is, I believe, the date. And what are the best minds in business telling you about the overall jobs picture?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, they've been saying it for some time, and what's particularly striking, Tony, is the consistency of the message from everybody, which is that it's going to be a long, painful recovery, and that it won't feel significantly better for millions of us. It actually could feel worse, because unemployment -- which is already at a 26-year high -- is likely to rise.

I mean, look, the vast majority of Americans are working. But there are 25 million-plus Americans who are either unemployed...

HARRIS: Underemployed?

LISOVICZ: ... or underemployed, and that's a problem.


What the heck really happened here? When we take a big giant step back, you know, what really happened here?

Clearly, the bubble burst. And, you know, all of us who were buying homes that we couldn't afford, and businesses that were buying other businesses that they couldn't afford, the bill is coming due. And pop.

LISOVICZ: Well, yes. I mean, this -- you know, bubbles occur. And big -- we're coming off of a big, big bubble, where we were living beyond our means.

And what's happening now is a real sea change in our behavior, Tony. No question about it. That's one of the reasons why it's called a great recession, because we're changing our lifestyle.

HARRIS: Oh, yes.

LISOVICZ: I mean, just today, the National Retail Federation said one in four of us are going to pay for our holiday presents in cash. You know, we're not paying in credit. What that's telling us is something very good in many ways, which is that we're living within our means.


LISOVICZ: But it's one of the reasons why this recovery is going to be slow, because we're reining it back in. A lot of us have learned a very painful lesson, and just like with the recession, where millions of people from that generation saved for a rainy day -- they never forgot that....

HARRIS: Oh, yes.

LISOVICZ: ... this may be the lesson going forward. That's not an entirely a bad lesson, but it's one of the reasons why it's going to be a slow recovery -- Tony.

HARRIS: Hey, Susan, what sectors, if any, are hiring right now?

LISOVICZ: Well, there are a lot of companies that are hiring, Tony. I'm just going to rattle off a few for you.


LISOVICZ: Fear and Company is recalling nearly 500 workers. Caterpillar is recalling 550. Cisco says it plans to hire. Boeing says it's going to hire nearly 6,000 workers. Kia, the Korean automaker, up to 1,500 more production staff in Georgia. JP Morgan is hiring.

Lots of seasonal jobs in retail right now. Seasonal meaning temporary. Toys 'r' Us, Macy's Blockbuster, Radio Shack. But the problem is, Tony, is that we've had more than 7 million -- 7.2 million jobs lost since December '07, you know, when the recession officially began and that just doesn't put a dent in that. That's the problem.

HARRIS: So circling back -- yes, circling back to this December 3rd jobs forum summit, whatever the administration is calling it. I'm wondering what the administration expects to hear.

And I guess the broader question is, how much can the government really do to create jobs? Anyone giving you a take on the minds that you talked to on the effectiveness of the stimulus?

LISOVICZ: Well, you know, the government can do a lot. I mean it's become the mortgage broker of last resort. The automaker of last resort. The banker of last resort.

And clearly what both the Bush administration and the Obama administration decided to do was to stabilize the financial industry and to stabilize these companies that were deemed too big to fail. History will debate that for years to come.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

LISOVICZ: But the government has created jobs. I mean if you just look at The Depression, there was the CCC, there was the WPA. You know, you go into just about any community in the country and you'll see a public building, a road, a library, something that was built by them.

And, in fact, I just got off the phone with my dad, Ed Lisovicz, who worked -- he was a teenager and he was in the CCC. And he told me, I just got off the phone, he said, $30. He got $30 a month. He was in New Mexico. $24 of it had to go back to the family to help them out.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes. Well, tell Ed we said hello.

LISOVICZ: Well, he watches religiously. He is a very bright mind. Very bright.

HARRIS: I love it. I love it.

LISOVICZ: He always tells me -- he always tells me how I can say something or do something better when it comes to business news.

HARRIS: Well, that's the way dads do. All right, Susan, good to see you. Thanks.

LISOVICZ: Thank you.

HARRIS: Have you noticed the price of your prescription drugs lately? Costs for name brands actually skyrocketing right now. As CNN's Alina Cho reports, critics say the increase comes at a convenient time for the industry.


You may have heard that drug makers have struck a deal with the White House and Congress on health care reform. They've agreed to cut $80 billion over 10 years from the nation's drug bill. That's $8 billion a year.

All of that sounds really good, but what many people don't know is while everyone is talking about lowering costs, prescription drug prices are skyrocketing.


CHO (voice-over): At this pharmacy in New York City, the rising costs of prescription drugs is forcing some folks to make tough choices.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you have the choice between paying your rent or getting your medications, the choice is obvious. You're going to pay for your shelter first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have to make choices. I have to pick and choose things that I have to do without to get this medication.

CHO: The nation is in the worst recession in decades, but as Americans have less money to spend, brand name drug prices are up, way up.

DR. SIDNEY WOLFE, PUBLIC CITIZEN: There's no question that the public has been bamboozled. The White House has been bamboozled and the U.S. Congress has been bamboozled by this ever successful industry.

CHO: According to a new study for the AARP, the cost of brand name prescription drugs is up more than 9 percent, adding on average $200 a year to the price of a once daily pill and the jump comes just as the drug industry is promising to shave $80 billion in drug costs over 10 years.

PROF. STEPHEN SCHONDELMEYER, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: Just a 10 percent increase this year may amount to $20 to $25 billion increase in drug spend. That kind of overwhelms an $8 billion a year savings.

CHO: Consumer advocates say they've seen it all before, higher prices every time the government is about to initiate major change.

WOLFE: We see how ghoulish this industry is and it's almost taunting everyone, as long as you're not going to control our prices, we're going to raise them as much as we want.

CHO: Pharma, the leading drug industry lobby would not go on camera, but issued a statement calling the argument tying drug price increases to health care reform a flawed assumption and adding, price increases are the natural result of market forces and unfortunately medicines are always looked at as a cost and never seen as a savings.


CHO: Some patients are able to take generic drugs. And we should point out, the price of generics has actually gone down almost 9 percent according to the study.

But it's also important to note, not every patient can take generics. In fact, brand name drugs account for nearly 80 percent of all prescription drug spending in the United States.

And that means, Tony, that most Americans who are buying prescription drugs right now are paying more for them -- Tony. HARRIS: All right, Alina, appreciate it. Thank you.


HARRIS: The Senate is getting ready to take a final health reform bill to the floor. The public is still weighing in on the version passed by the House. And we are breaking down what you're saying. That's next.

"Twilight" fans out in force, thousands, screaming. Let's listen. Outside the movie theater. For the premiere of "New Moon" in Westwood, California, last night. Some had apparently been on the street for days waiting to see the stars of the vampire series.

Check out this iReport.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're camped out for five days, four nights for a movie premiere, to see the red carpet and the cast members. So worrying about people thinking we're crazy is not really . . .

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it's not even . . .

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A concern for us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long have you guys been out here?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Well, our group's been here since Thursday. So, yes, (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tents are over rated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tents were probably helpful a couple nights in a row, but like we survived. I got my nice bedroom slippers with fur.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How long have you been waiting?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got here Thursday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got here Thursday?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did you find out about it?




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what did it say?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're lining up. It was a call to action. We just sprung in and did what we needed to do.



HARRIS: So the government task force now says most women do not need mammograms until after they turn 50. But the American Cancer Society is sticking to its belief that those screenings should start at age 40.

A yacht once owned by Bernie Madoff is being auctioned off today. Money raised will go to help the victims of his fraud schemes. Two smaller boats and his Mercedes are also up for sale.

President Obama meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao today in Beijing. They talked climate change, Iran's nuclear program and human rights, among other things. The next stop on the president's tour, South Korea.

Taking the pulse of the people in health care reform. We've got some new poll numbers to share with you. Our senior political analyst, Gloria Borger, joining us live from Washington with details.

Gloria, great to see you.


HARRIS: Well, Gloria, let's start here. What do Americans think about the House bill that narrowly passed earlier in month?

BORGER: You know, Tony, according to our poll, they're kind of deeply conflicted about it, as you might well imagine. Our poll shows that 46 percent favor it, and 49 percent oppose it. So, very close on that.

But when you dig deeper into the numbers, Tony, what you find is that one in three Americans think it's just too liberal. And one in 10 Americans think that it's not liberal enough. Which is why you have congressional leaders and the president kind of playing whack a mole here.


BORGER: Because they try and, you know, make one group happy, and then they find that another issue emerges. And that's why the debate's going to be so tricky as you try and navigate health care reform in the Senate.

HARRIS: Yes. And what life tells you is that you can never make everyone happy. So, what do Americans want the Senate to do, Gloria?

BORGER: Well, it's really interesting. When we asked that question, 30 percent said pass this measure with just a few changes. Twenty-two percent said you've got to pass it with major changes. Twenty-eight percent want you to start all over again.


BORGER: And 17 percent saying, OK, enough of all of this.


BORGER: But what I take out of it is that you've got 52 percent, if you add those top two numbers -- and I'm good at math -- you add those top two numbers and you see that 52 percent of the people really do want to get something done. And I think that's very important because it shows you why leaders are so eager to try and pass something.

HARRIS: OK. Do you think, well, what does the poll suggest here? Do Americans expect a health care bill will become law?

BORGER: Well, actually, they do. They think it's going to become law before the midterm election.


BORGER: We asked them that question. Fifty-nine percent said yes, 39 percent said no. And this is a very important number that the Democratic leadership is looking at. Because in many ways, they have to prove that they can be a governing majority. Not just a majority, but they can actually get something done. This has been issue one on the president's agenda, aside from the economy.

And they look back to 1994 when Bill Clinton could not get his health care reform passed through the Congress. And, you know, there was a 52-seat change. And he lost control of the Democratic majority in the House. Clearly they do not want history to repeat itself.

HARRIS: Yes. CNN's senior political analyst, Gloria Borger, for us.

Gloria, great to see you. Thanks.

BORGER: Sure. Good to see you.

HARRIS: Well, this is pretty stunning. More Americans are going hungry. The Agriculture Department is reporting an unprecedented spike in the number of people struggling to put food on the table in America. Felicia Taylor is in the newsroom in New York.

Felicia, some eye-popping numbers here.

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNNMONEY.COM: Yes, they really are, Tony.

You know, we talk a lot about the obesity problem in this country, but here's the flip side. Seventeen million households, accounting for one of every six Americans, had trouble putting food on the table last year. That's up 31 percent from 2007. To the highest levels recorded since the Agricultural Department started counting this information in 1995. More than 500,000 of those households reporting a lack of food had homes with children.

Now, even hunger advocates we talked to were shocked by these numbers. The head of the organization, Bread for the World, told us he knew the situation was bad based on report from food pantries, but he called the official government numbers, quote, "appalling, stunning, and really unbelievable" -- Tony.

HARRIS: Yes. What's the reaction, if any so far, from the Obama administration?

TAYLOR: Well, President Obama called the report naturally unsettling and says that more needs to be done. The first task, of course, is job growth to help alleviate the economic pressure that many American families are facing.

You might remember even on the campaign trail, the president pledged to eradicate childhood hunger in the U.S. by 2015. But some hunger advocates say the president really hasn't done enough about this since taking office.

The stimulus bill included $20 billion for food stamps and hundreds of millions for food banks and school lunch programs. But the real test is going to come next year. That's when Congress is expected to pass a new childhood nutrition program. Advocates that we talked to want to see it expanded to provide more meals for kids during the summer and more school breakfast programs.

We'll see what kind of funding the president actually pushes for. But given the demands on the government's purse strings and the size of the deficit, it could be difficult to get additional funding for these kinds of programs.

For more on this story, check out -- Tony.

HARRIS: Yes, and I hope folks do. It's pretty stunning. All right, Felicia, appreciate it. Thank you.

You are still weighing in on what America's strategy in Afghanistan should be. We will share some of your calls. That's next.


HARRIS: Britain says any military surge into Afghanistan must be accompanied by a political surge. Foreign Minister David Miliband told a NATO meeting, a political surge would have three primary points, bringing most Taliban back into Afghan society, training and overseeing both troops and government officials and providing support to Pakistan. Miliband says President Obama is in the final stages of his deliberations on an Afghanistan strategy, which may include a troop build-up. We are listening to your views on what President Obama should do next in Afghanistan. Here's what some of you are saying.


CALLER: This is B.J. from Houston, and I wanted you to know that I think we need to let the president be the president, and make his decision carefully and meticulously.

CALLER: Yes, we've just got to get out. There's no way to stay. I'm going to be very disappointed if Obama increases the troops substantially, because we need to be just decreasing the troops and getting out of there. It's a total waste of our fine young people and waste of money. We need the people home, and we need the money to spend on infrastructure back here. Thank you.

CALLER: This is Scott from Illinois, and I just got back from Afghanistan, did a tour over there. And the bottom line is, is that they need more troops. They need more help. They can't do it with the numbers that are over there right now. It's common sense, the more troops you can put in the area to occupy, the safer it's going to be.


HARRIS: You to weigh in on the issue as well. Tell us what you think the U.S. should do next in Afghanistan. You can do that by phone or online. Call us at 1-877-742-5760. The number again, 1-877- 742-5760.

And you can also get on camera and tell us your thoughts. Go to We will share both your i-Reports and your phone calls all week here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

A group of U.S. soldiers accused of gunning down four Iraqi prisoners execution-style. They were convicted of premeditated murder, but at least one soldier isn't sorry about it.

In a special investigation on "AC 360" tonight. SIU correspondent, Abbie Boudreau, talks to one sergeant about his actions.


ABBIE BOUDREAU, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The soldier we talked to was one of the last to see the men alive. He describes how his first sergeant decided not to take the four Iraqis they had just captured to a detainee center. He feared they would be released since there was not enough evidence to hold them.

I asked Joshua Hartson what happened before the men were killed.

JOSHUA HARTSON, FORMER PRIVATE FIRST CLASS: My first sergeant comes up to me and pulls me away from everybody. Then he asks me if we take them to the detainee facility, the DEHA (ph), that they're going to be right back on the streets doing the same thing in a matter of weeks. He asked if I had a problem if we took care of them and I told him no.

BOUDREAU: And what do you think he meant by that?

HARTSON: To kill them.

BOUDREAU: How could you be OK with that?

HARTSON: They were bad guys. If we were to let them go or take them in we risk the chance of them getting out and killing us, killing other people.

BOUDREAU: The four Iraqi men were lined up next to the Baghdad Canal and killed. All three sergeants were eventually convicted of premeditated murder.

We take a hard look at the Army's policy for detaining prisoners in our four-part investigation, "KILLINGS AT THE CANAL, THE ARMY TAPES" it begins tonight on "AC360."


HARRIS: Strangers able to find your phone number, home address, and use your personal photos to profit. And it can all be done in just minutes. What you need to know about online safety.


HARRIS: You know, if you think the photos and information you post on sites like FaceBook and Twitter are safe, think again. As CNN's Jeanne Meserve found out, privacy is dead, and what you post, even the innocent stuff, can end up hurting you.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dick Hardt put photos of his Hawaiian wedding on FaceBook to share with close friends. But when he made mention of it on Twitter, he didn't know a link would be attached, giving more than 3,000 followers access to some rather intimate images.

DICK HARDT, PRIVACY WAS EXPLOITED: We didn't think they were offensive in any way, but my wife didn't prefer for everybody to see those photos.

MESERVE: While his case was embarrassing, others are downright dangerous. Sarah Downey was horrified when a picture of her young daughter was hijacked from her Flicker account and used in a sexually suggestive Portuguese-language profile on, a social networking site.

SARAH DOWNEY, PRIVACY WAS EXPLOITED: It broke my heart. It broke my heart.

MESERVE: Downey posted a translation to warn other Flicker users, but then she says total strangers exploited the Internet to find her phone number and, worse, her home address.

DOWNEY: We would go to the grocery store and I'd wonder, has this person seen my daughter? Are they here, you know, trying to find us? Trying to, you know, get close with my daughter?

MESERVE: Since then Downey has tried to protect her private information. Has it worked? With her permission, we gave her name to Steven Rambam, a private investigators who harvests information from the Internet. In less than 90 seconds, he turns up 100 pages of possible links.

STEVEN RAMBAM, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: Frankly, anything you'd want to know about this -- this young lady seems to be available on the web.

MESERVE: On sites like YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace, and Twitter, more and more Americans are making their private information public. Put it together with public documents like newspaper accounts and property records and a portrait emerges. Take Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, using free, publicly available information on the Internet, a Fordham University law school class came up with 15 pages of information, including Scalia's home address and phone number. Even the movies and foods he likes.

JOEL REIDENBERG, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: If we were willing to spend $100 for the project, we would have been able to acquire far more intrusive, far scarier information.

MESERVE: Private investigator Rambam says any time you hit the "send" button, your information is no longer your own. He says your frequent flier program, movie account, book purchases, even some searches can be tracked, stored, and sometimes sold.

RAMBAM: I have a window into your soul. I know what you believe. I know what you think. I know who your family is. I know who your friends are. I know your politics.

MESERVE (on camera): says it has updated its policies and tools to find and remove fake profiles like the one of Sarah Downey's daughter. And Google says it gives customers the tools they need to protect their personal information. Many of us could be more careful. In addition, some privacy experts would like to see standardized and simplified website privacy policies or even government restrictions on secondhand use of private information.

MESERVE (voice-over): Steven Rambam sees a lot of positives to having so much information on the Internet and says the genie is already out of the bottle.

RAMBAM: Ten years from now you're going to have a choice of getting used to minimal privacy or subleasing the unabomber's cabin. That's going to be your two choices. The fact of the matter is, there's nowhere to hide.

MESERVE: As Rambam puts it, privacy is dead. Get over it.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.


HARRIS: And we are pushing forward now with the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM with T.J. Holmes.