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24 Killed in Iraq Election-Day Attacks; YouTube Acts Tackle 'We Are the World'; Hollywood Readies for Academy Awards

Aired March 7, 2010 - 06:00   ET


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It's March 7, the first Sunday of the month.


NGUYEN: Good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen.

LUI: Yes, hope you're having a great Sunday. Hello to you, Betty.

NGUYEN: Hey, Richard. Glad to have you back here again.

LUI: Yes. Thanks for having me. Filling in for T.J. Holmes, as he's on his honeymoon. And hope you're having a great time, T.J.

NGUYEN: Yes, absolutely.

LUI: Six a.m. right here in Atlanta; 5 a.m. in Kansas City, if you're there; and 3 a.m. in Portland. Thanks for starting your day with us.

It is the symbol of democracy. Iraqis dipping their fingers in ink to cast their vote. After delays because of political disagreements, Iraqis here now head to the polls to elect a 325-member parliament.

NGUYEN: And this historic election isn't marked without violence. Insurgents vowed to disrupt the election. At least 24 have been killed. We have that full story straight ahead.

LUI: Plus, a gay-sex scandal involving the Vatican. We have the racy documents and the wiretaps as well.

NGUYEN: But before we get to that, here are the stories that you'll be hearing more about today.

Flashback: 45 years ago. The location: Selma, Alabama. The year is 1965. Civil-rights leaders will board a bus shortly after - not too long from now, this morning, at the King Center, to take part in an afternoon march at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Now, one of our APJs - all-platform journalists - is making that trip, we'll be talking with her in just a bit. In the meantime though, three million Cablevision subscribers in New York could end up losing at the Oscars. Yes, that's because they may not be able to watch the show tonight on ABC.

Disney pulled the signal broadcasting the local channel to Cablevision viewers at midnight because of a fee dispute. Now, they want Cablevision to pay for the right to broadcast the channel. But Cablevision says they shouldn't have to pay for programming that ABC Disney already gives away for free.

LUI: Seven suspected terrorists are dead after an assault by Philippine troops. This happened in the southwest part of the country. Officials think the suspects have ties to an Islamic militant group linked to al-Qaida. That group has been blamed for several terrorist attacks in the Philippines, including a deadly ferry bombing in 2004.

And now to one of our top stories. Despite mortar attacks and bombings from threats - and threats, rather, from militants, Iraqis voting today in an election that will determine their future after NATO troops leave the country. Iraq is eight hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time. Polls there close in three hours. We are watching that, and our Arwa Damon has more on today's critical voting there.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is one thing to be said for the resilience of the Iraqis, who are determined to go out to vote.

We're at one of the polling centers here in central Baghdad. And as we were walking in, we were speaking with women lining up to vote, asking them if they were concerned about the violence. And they said of course they were, but that they were determined to vote because that was they were going to stand up to the insurgency.

These, of course, are very critical elections.

Now, just to give you an idea of how the process all works out, people come to the polling center, and then they enter inside one of these polling stations. This is a school for elementary-age students, actually. People come here, they register their names, they sign. It authorizes the fact that they have actually been here.

They receive one of these ballots, which are the size of a small newspaper. Here, they can vote for a political block. But then there's also the open (INAUDIBLE) system. First time for Iraq on a national level where they can vote for a specific candidate.

The voting itself, of course, happening in one of these booths. Then the ballots end up inside a box that will be sealed until the polls officially close later on today.

We also have observers from various political blocks that are here monitoring this entire process. There was a fair amount of violence though this morning, with at least 30 mortar rounds raining down on Baghdad. Two residential buildings were, in fact, partially destroyed, and at least 12 people were killed. And separately, in another attack, there was a roadside bomb that went off. And also, another building was destroyed by insurgents.

Remember, the Islamic State of Iraq, that umbrella organization with al-Qaida at its head, has vowed to derail these elections, and went so far, in fact, as to issue a curfew on this day that was supposed to begin at 6 a.m. to last until 6 p.m., warning people to stay inside, or else they would be facing the consequences.


NGUYEN: That was Arwa Damon reporting.

And the election is all about Iraq. But voting is also happening right here in the U.S. Thousands of Iraqi citizens live in this country. All weekend long, they've been traveling to polling places in major U.S. cities to take part in Iraq's election.

Now, these voters you see here are in California. And they're - they very much want to have a say in Iraq's future.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not me who has made the rules.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. No, no, no, no, no. If I have a proof I am born in Iraq...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need - you need to ...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need to go in there and vote.


NGUYEN: The United Nations estimates as many as 750,000 Iraqis who live outside Iraq are eligible to vote.

LUI: Well, Betty, it's Sunday. Folks are looking forward to the workweek ahead.


LUI: They might be concerned about the weather perhaps.

NGUYEN: Oh yes, absolutely. Always concerned about that.

Reynolds Wolf is joining us now. He's taking a look at the map, and he will have the latest for that and on that, too.

Plus, a little bit of this - take a listen:



NGUYEN: And putting the pros to shame. Really? Do you think so? Amateurs get together on YouTube. Take a listen. Are they better than the remake?

LUI: They sound good, that's for sure.






NGUYEN: There is much more to come right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.



NGUYEN: They're really singing there, even though their lips aren't moving with the words in exact tune. We'll try to get that fixed for you.

But we did bring you this story yesterday, and your responses - they've been phenomenal.

LUI: Yes, absolutely. The amazing voices that came out on YouTube.

Josh Levs is covering that. It's all about how a group of YouTube stars came together to try to help Haiti through music.


LUI: We've heard the stars' version. Their version quite different.

NGUYEN: Yes, and these are complete amateurs, although they don't sound like it.

LUI: Right.

LEVS: Yes, and they have lives on YouTube. And it's kind of this whirl into this YouTube singing that a lot of people don't' even realize exists in the first place.

LUI: Right. Right.

LEVS: And guys, I'm getting more tweets and Facebook messages about this than about almost anything else we've gotten lately. Here's what we'll do: We'll take a look at a clip, and I'm pretty the sound will match the mouths this time. And then I'm going to talk with the creator about where it all comes from.

Take a look.




LEVS: Here's what happened: They pulled together 57 YouTube singers from all over the world, a whole bunch of nationalities. And the woman who put this together is one of the singers you just saw, Lisa Lavie, who is in and of herself a YouTube star. Her singing online, her - her videos have had 33 million views.

I got on Skype with her, and I talked to her about how she put this together.



LISA LAVIE, CREATOR, YOUTUBE "WE ARE THE WORLD": There - there were people that were recording in their bathrooms, in their kitchens. Some without mikes, some with mikes. So it was really hard muffling (ph) out all the voices.

And, of course, compiling the video - we spent, like, three days, one sleepless night on this video. But it - it all came out really well. So we're really proud of it.


LAVIE: I was expecting, like, let's say 35,000 views. And within 24 hours, it was, like, on 120, 'Oh my God, 120,000 views, that's awesome.' And then it just started a snowball effect; it just became a viral video. It's awesome. It's so exciting.


LEVS: And when people watch it online, it also links you to ways that you can give money to Haiti. And now the official YouTube channel of the celebrity remake is actually posting that video right there.

It also has a really cool technology embedded in it, and I want to zoom in on the screen for a second. I want you all to see how this works.

This is the video running from YouTube. And as you're watching it on YouTube, at any point, when you're seeing it, you can just click on whoever you're seeing, and it brings you to their YouTube page at which you see all the music that they've put together. So you're getting to know all these 57 different artists as well. We have linked the whole thing for you up online, and let's show everyone my screen, where we've got it going for you. It's at our blog, Also Facebook and Twitter, joshlevsCNN.

By the way, while we're looking at that, I'm just going to mention, I got to say, I'm already getting all these posts about Betty today. Facebook and Twitter, people writing how much they're going to miss you, B. And we'll be sharing some of those later.

NGUYEN: It's been a tough day. It's been six years. (ph)

LUI: It's her last day here.

LEVS: It's her last day.

LUI: Yes.

NGUYEN: Yes, and I love all of you guys. So, look, don't have me crying right now, OK?

LEVS: No, we got a couple of hours. And I'm going to be along - I'm just telling everyone, you're - you're sending all these posts to her, and I'm going to be reading some of them late on. I'm definitely going to get some in for you, B. I want everyone to know that we're going to get them...

NGUYEN: Thank you, Josh.

LEVS: today, B.

NGUYEN: That was incredible video though.

LEVS: Beautiful. So happy for them (ph).

NGUYEN: I mean, back to this. I mean, just - I mean, these - again, I'm kind of floored by the fact that they are amateurs, and they're from all around the world.

LEVS: Look at those skills. (INAUDIBLE)

NGUYEN: They've come together for this collaboration. And like you said yesterday, Richard, they truly are the world, and the world has come together to put this amazing YouTube video on - on the Internet.

Very cool. Thank you, Josh.

LEVS: It's awesome. (INAUDIBLE)

NGUYEN: OK. So we are just hours from a California gold rush.

LEVS: And we mean gold because we're taking the wraps off of Oscar and the coming attractions of Hollywood's biggest night.


LUI: Well, Toyota says it can prove its electronic system is not responsible for the acceleration problem that we've been reporting on.

Tomorrow, the car maker plans to hold a simulation aimed at debunking allegations made by a professor during last week's congressional hearing. Toyota says it will show the professor's claims are completely unrealistic, and that the same thing can happen to cars made by other manufacturers.

NGUYEN: Well, a Catholic preschool in Colorado has banned a student from coming back next year because his parents are homosexuals. The Denver archdiocese says the relationship violates the school's policies and beliefs.

The parents of other students at the school are outraged over the decision, and some are threatening to pull their kids from the program.

LUI: Seven days ago, a lot of folks were not familiar with Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning. That changed this week, when his decision to block a bill to extend jobless benefits put him in a political firestorm.

He held the bill up for days, pushing the Senate to come up with a way to pay for it that did not add to the deficit. It was the execution that turned him into a political pariah, resorting to obscene language, gestures and a politically incorrect way of dealing with the media, including our own Dana Bash.

Take a listen.


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, what - what is the issue? Are you concerned people who are unemployed?

SEN. JIM BUNNING (R), KENTUCKY: Excuse me. I've got to go to the floor.

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Senator, could you just explain to us why you're holding this up? I'm sure you have an explanation (INAUDIBLE)

BUNNING: Excuse me.

KARL: OK. Are - are you concerned about those that - that - that are going to lose their benefits?

I guess we have our answer.

BASH: I have really just a couple of easy questions for you to answer.

BUNNING: I bet you do.

BASH: No, sir. Just specifically, on the fact that I understand your point. I understand your point that you're making about the need to pay for these benefits. But what Democrats are asking, I think, is a fair question, is, Why not? Why not before?

BUNNING: Well, it has been (ph).

BASH: Why haven't you called ...

BUNNING: I have been.

BASH: What - what has changed? What has changed? Why are you now calling for things to be paid for?


LUI: The political and public backlash apparently took a toll on Bunning. He eventually backed down from his filibuster.

NGUYEN: Quite an exchange there though.

LUI: That's right. Not wanting to answer many questions along the way.

NGUYEN: Mm-mm. Not at all.

LUI: Sticking to his guns at that time.

NGUYEN: Yes, definitely.

LUI: Yes.

NGUYEN: OK, Well, we want to change to this story, too - something that might be interested in: a gay-sex scandal involving the Vatican.

LUI: The racy documents and the wiretaps. We've got them.


NGUYEN: Well, we are just hours away from one of Hollywood's biggest nights. Of course, I am talking about the Oscars.

Check out this video sent to us by one of our I-Reporters. She was there as workers sent up the giant gold statue on the red carpet.

Well, you know, the battles...

LUI: Yes.

NGUYEN: the Oscars are usually reserved for the nominee.

LUI: But this year, the hosts are getting into the act. All in good fun, of course.

CNN's entertainment correspondent Brooke Anderson explains for us.



ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: I can't believe I'm saying this to the great Gavin Velour (ph), but Liz Lemon is too good for you.


BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They've battled on television...


BALDWIN: Give me the brush.

STEVE MARTIN, ACTOR: You stay back. I swear I will paint you.


ANDERSON: Tangled in theaters.


MARTIN: Ooh, pretty tense, big fella.


ANDERSON: Now, their fracas moves to Hollywood's biggest stage...

MARTIN: Who's going to win?

ANDERSON: ... the Academy Awards: Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, co-hosts and comedic rivals.

MARTIN: Gee, you're so strong.

ANDERSON: And Hollywood's elite is eager to catch the confrontation.

GABOUREY SIDIBE, ACTRESS: I'm really excited that this show will be hosted by Jack Donaghy and The Jerk. It's going to be awesome.

MARTIN: See that? "Be somebody!"

ANDERSON: Martin's two previous hosting stints give him the upper hand, and he's putting the rookie in his place.

MARTIN: Co-host is really a misnomer. Host and this person.

BALDWIN: "Associate host."

MARTIN: Associate host.

BALDWIN: Steve and his sidekick (ph).

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Alec, would you get me some coffee? You know, when I first started...

ANDERSON: Kidding aside, the pair will take the job seriously.

BALDWIN: As I said to Steve, I'd rather it be more to err on the side of it being more dignified than funny, because you realize this is a -- this evening is very important to the people who are there.

ANDERSON: But they're still expected to provide a few laughs.

MARTIN: Thank you, Academy, for nothing.

ANDERSON: In Hollywood, I'm Brooke Anderson.


LUI: For nothing, he said.

NGUYEN: Thanks for nothing.

LUI: I got nothing out of that one. It's going to be fun.

NGUYEN: Oh yes. It always is. I always enjoy watching it.

LUI: Yes.

NGUYEN: Do you watch it every year?

LUI: Not every year, but when I can. If I can get some sleep.

NGUYEN: No Oscar parties? No red carpet?

LUI: Sometimes. Sometimes. You know how our schedule can be.

NGUYEN: Exactly.

LUI: All right.

NGUYEN: You do have to go to bed pretty early tonight...

LUI: Yes, ma'am.

NGUYEN: ...(INAUDIBLE). But you've been a trooper, getting up early with us.

And you may be staying up late if you're watching the Oscars tonight. But "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" hosts A.J. Hammer and Brooke Anderson will be live from the red carpet starting at 7:00 this evening for "The Road to Gold."

Then, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT''s live coverage tonight at 11 Eastern on HLN.

LUI: All right. I think we're going to look at some weather right now, right? It's a Sunday; you want to see how it's going. You're getting ready for the week ahead. And I have to be working this time. Is that what (INAUDIBLE)?

NGUYEN: Yes, and what does that mean, when you look it up?

LUI: That's right. Interruptal feedback (ph).

NGUYEN: There you go.


NGUYEN: We're all geeked up about this, Reynolds.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Woo hoo! You look excited.

NGUYEN: Yes, you can hear us. Stop playing.

WOLF: Yes, I can. I can hear you. I'm just giving you a hard time.



WOLF: Someone back there in Audio is like, 'Oh my gosh! What's going on?'




NGUYEN: Look at that beautiful shot of Atlanta, Georgia, as the sun comes up on this Sunday morning.

Hey, I hear it's going to be up in the 60s today. Now, that is not bad for March.

LUI: Betty, that is a reason to get out of bed, no matter where you're at, if you get in the 60s. With the...

NGUYEN: Oh yes.

LUI: ...cold weather we've had across the country over the last bunch of weeks...

NGUYEN: We welcome it.

LUI: Oh yes.

Good morning.

NGUYEN: And we - yes, good morning to you. And we welcome back you back. Thanks for being here with us this morning. I'm Betty Nguyen.

LUI: And I'm Richard Lui in for T.J. Holmes on this day.

We're going to begin this hour - this half hour with a quick look at several top stories for you.

A national mourning period has now started in Chile. For the next three days, every house is authorized to hang the national flag in memory of earthquake victims. Hundreds died in that massive earthquake a week ago.

NGUYEN: Philippines Marines killed seven suspected terrorists in two offensives today. It happened in the southwest part of the country.

Now, officials think the suspects have ties to an Islamic militant group linked to al-Qaida. That group has been blamed for several terrorist attacks in the Philippines, including a deadly ferry bombing in 2004.

LUI: Well, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has a message for his own party, no scare tactics. Steele says the GOP should focus instead on issues like jobs and education. He's launching an internal review right now into a PowerPoint presentation to Republican fundraisers, that is depicted President Obama as the Joker from "Batman."

NGUYEN: An historic vote is underway in Iraq, and the country's citizens are choosing who will be in power as the U.S. military draws down its presence there. Militants, though, have been carrying out their threat upset the voting firing mortars and setting off bombs in several neighborhoods; at least 24 people have been killed. The polls, they close in about two and a half hours. We'll take you live now to Arwa Damon, who is in Baghdad.

Arwa, not much time left in the vote, so how is voter turnout looking so far?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Well, Betty, one really has to admire the Iraqis for their resilience and for their courage. Despite that violence earlier this morning, despite the fact that at least 30 mortar rounds rained down on Baghdad in various different neighborhoods, we have been seeing people turning out to vote. We have seen entire families coming. I met a little boy who is just five years old. Who said that after he heard the attacks this morning, he is the one who turned around and told his mom she had to go vote because it was her duty.

Now let's give you a quick look at the process. At every single voting center, there's a voting station, a room like this one. People come in, they have their identities checked, if they find their name, if they don't know how to write, they stamp their thumbprint. Then you get the ballot itself. It is very large. And then one can cast their vote for a political block, or if they choose to do so, a candidate within that block.

This is the open list system. It is the first time it is being implemented in Iraq on a national level. Once the vote is cast, then the ballot then ends up in a box like this, sealed, not to be opened until the process is finished.

We also have observers here from the various political parties. We have international observers as well. This has been a very difficult time for Iraqis, though, many did really have to undertake a lot of challenges, even just to get to the polling station. The city was under curfew. Many people came, and walked, and there's still this ongoing threat of violence. The Islamic State of Iraq has vowed to derail these elections, Betty.

NGUYEN: Let's look at the big picture right now. Give us an indication of how critical this election truly is.

DAMON: Well, this election is being called the most decisive moment in Iraq since 2003 and arguably the time period afterwards is going to be even more critical and even more challenging, as the various political blocks that have come out on top begin jockeying and cutting deals, forming their alliances, to eventually form a government. Remember, in 2005 it took five or six months for the government to be seated. This is not a country that can afford a significant amount of time without any real governance. People are still waiting for things like electricity, water, gasoline. And, of course, at the forefront of everyone's mind, is security.

The way the alliances end up forming will literally determine if Iraq stays on the path of democracy, of that is what you want to call it, moving toward being a more secular nation, or if it shifts toward being a more conservative and religious state. But the eyes of the world are definitely watching what happens here today.

NGUYEN: All right. CNN's Arwa Damon is joining us live today. As there is just a little over two hours left in the vote there in Iraq. A crucial and critical vote taking place right now. Thank you, Arwa.

LUI: And now to new developments this morning from Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai and U.S. General Stanley McChrystal made a stop in Marjah today in Helmand Province. Their visit comes as life is returning there after an Allied offensive to oust militants around Marjah. Our Ben Wedeman has been embedded with NATO forces and he want out to check on conditions.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (On camera): We are in the main square, so to speak, of Marjah. As you can see the markets are open, people are going around, bakeries are working selling bread. Townspeople say that they are relieved that the situation has calmed down, military operations have ended

Now, just up the street from here, in a little while, President Hamid Karzai is due to visit Marjah and meet with townspeople. It is his first visit here for quite some time. Interestingly, though, a lot of people we spoke to here said they are staying away. They don't particularly care, they say, for the government that's based in Kabul.

Some of them say, for instance, that under the Taliban corruption, at least, was not a problem. Now what they are asking for is security, they are asking for jobs. They are asking, for instance, that this road be paved, because, as you can see, it is really just a dirt track.

There are a lot of to things people here are asking for. The question is, is the Afghan government going to stay in place, and actually live up to the promises its made to the people of Marjah? I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.


NGUYEN: We'll continue to follow the situations both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

LUI: Right.

NGUYEN: But in the meantime, one of Pope Benedict's elite ushers, a former choir boy, and the alleged sex scandal that has rocked the Vatican, that is next.


LUI: Another sex scandal for the Roman Catholic Church. Two men with ties to the Vatican are accused of taking place in a gay prostitution ring. CNN's Randi Kaye has more on that.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A Vatican choir singer now at the center of a scandal; accused of running a gay sex network, providing male prostitutes to one of Pope Benedict's ushers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): My god, nothing surprises me anymore the way things are today.

KAYE: This is the man who allegedly paid for sex, Angelo Balducci, one of Pope Benedict's elite ushers, a gentleman of his holiness; one of a group of ceremonial ushers who bring dignitaries to meet the pope.

(On camera): Balducci, who is married, is a member of the Italian government and a high-ranking public works official. He was jailed last month during a corruption probe accused of accepting favors, such as sex or money, for construction projects. The alleged gay prostitution ring came to light through wiretapping related to that corruption investigation.

(voice over): Documents obtained by CNN don't include any details about money exchanged, but do have excerpts from nearly two years of wiretaps. April 22nd, 2008: Thomas Chinedu Eheim, the choir singer: "If you are free, three or four situations that can be good, very, very good. Two black Cuban men, really tall, tall, tall. So if you are free, we can try to organize right away. I saw both of them, Angelo, they could be two excellent options." And an on August 21st, 2008, Balducci: "Which are the better ones?" And then the choir singer: "The better ones are the ones I just told you about. One from Bologna, and the other from Rome."

Balducci: "All right, then let's do it for 3:30."

Eheim, who has been dismissed from his choir duties by the Vatican, told the Italian magazine "Panorama" that he provided Balducci with men from Italy and abroad, including rugby players, actors, models, even seminarians. He said Balducci never met the men on Vatican grounds. The Vatican isn't commenting.

(On camera): The choir singer told the magazine that Balducci had asked him for sex too, but he refused. He arranged for the other men, he said, because he needed money and Balducci paid him for his help. Balducci, he said, told him he was married and it had to be a secret, and that sometimes Balducci requested two men a day.

(Voice over): Earlier this week, even before details of the wiretaps were released, Balducci's lawyer told reporters, "It is shameful that things unrelated to the corruption investigation have been published." He refused to answer questions about personal matters. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


NGUYEN: Well, that is quite a story. And here's one, too. It is a crime that almost was impossible to comprehend.

LUI: Yes, right.

NGUYEN: Parents under arrest and starving their infant daughter.

LUI: Surprising information. What police say they were doing instead of taking care of their child.


NGUYEN: All right. Let's get you up to speed because here are a few stories that you will be hearing more about today. We'll take you back, for just a second, to 1965 when a civil rights March turned into what we now call Bloody Sunday. Civil rights leaders will board a bus shortly at the King Center in Atlanta. They are traveling to Selma for an afternoon march at the Edmond Pettis Bridge. One of our staffers is making that trip, and we'll talk to her live in just a bit. >

You see this little boy here, he's just in fourth grade, but being hailed a young hero this morning. This 11-year-old kept his wits about him in a bad bus accident Friday, in Arizona. You might remember that. That wreck left six people dead. When rescue workers arrived to help survivors, he stepped in, and acted as a translator for paramedics who couldn't speak Spanish. Way to go.

NGUYEN: Wow, yeah. And the annual Iditarod race is underway. Check it out, 71 teams are taking part this year. They will run 1100 miles from Anchorage to Nome. That's an old gold rush town on the West Coast of Alaska. Now, the fastest team ever to finish this grueling trek did it in eight days, 22 hours, and 46 minutes. Cold all the way. We are back in a minute.

LUI: That's on my bucket list.

NGUYEN: That happened actually back in 2002. I think some folks up north, Reynolds, may have an idea of what they are feeling right now. Because they been dealing with blizzard conditions over the last few weeks.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: But not being pulled around by dogs.


WOLF: No, question, I can take cover the two blizzards in D.C., and then working up in New York, and what now. I mean, trust me, folks, America has the finest-CNN has the finest technology, but a dog sled may have been used. I mean, seriously. I mean, definitely.


LUI: A South Korean couple accused of a mind-boggling crime.

NGUYEN: You have got to see this. What police say the Internet addicted parents allowed to happen to their baby girl.


NGUYEN: You know, some of the most troubling tragedies include the death of a child, but could the parents have actually been to blame in one particular incident in South Korea?

LUI: We go to Rosemary Church who reports on a crime that has stunned that country, one with alleged neglect, and a high-tech twist as well.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The charges are shocking. Police say a Korean couple allowed their three- month-old daughter to starve to death. South Korean media quote police as saying the couple ignored their dying child while raising a virtual child online. The virtual girl was named Anema, a character in an online role-playing game.

Police say while the couple was spending stretches of up to 12 hours at Internet cafes, their real-life child was at home dying. Authorities say in between visits to the cafe, they bottle fed their daughter once a day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wish that she hasn't gotten sick and will live well in heaven forever. As the father, I'm sorry. CHURCH: Police say the two were unemployed and apparently had lost the will to live a normal life. The 41-year-old man and his 25- year-old wife were arrested and are now in hiding. While the crime shocked South Korea, the story of Internet addiction surprises no one. South Korea is one of the most connected countries on Earth. At least 90 percent of home have access to high-speed Internet. And almost one-third of adolescents are considered to be at risk for Internet addiction. The government has built a network of Internet addiction treatment centers to fight the epidemic; an epidemic that may have claimed more victims. Rosemary Church, CNN, Atlanta.


NGUYEN: That just floors me. Online, while their child was starving at home.

LUI: Raising an online baby.

NGUYEN: Right. I wonder how well fed the online baby was?

LUI: Unbelievable stuff.

NGUYEN: My goodness!

LUI: Also very interesting is what you did, you were down in Florida.

NGUYEN: Yeah, let's talk about something maybe is a little more peaceful.

LUI: Yes, exactly right.

NGUYEN: Or that brings you some inner guidance, shall we? The Dalai Lama, I got a chance to meet his holiness, and we talked about a whole different number of topics. Including how to deal in an ailing economy; how to find that inner peace.

LU: Right.

NGUYEN: And he is a man who is also just fascinated by science, so I asked him to weigh in on the stem cell research debate. You'll be surprised to hear his answer.


NGUYEN: Good morning. Welcome back.

Well, most of you know the Dalai Lama has a man of faith, but to that spiritual leader, he is also very aware of the changing world around him. I recently caught up with his holiness to discuss a variety of issues, including stem cell research, and how to find inner peace in an ailing economy.


NGUYEN (On camera): Your holiness, as you travel around the U.S. and to colleges like Nova Southeastern University, what's your main message to Americans?

DALAI LAMA, EXILED TIBETAN SPIRITUAL LEADER: Of course, everybody wants a happy life. Sometimes, the people, in order to achieve a happy life, successful life, entirely relying on external means, money, power, or some other things; I think that's a mistake. Ultimately, this source of happiness, or joyfulness, is very much within ourselves. Once our mind is more calm, more joyful, then our handle of sort of activities, also can be more effective because it can be more realistic.

NGUYEN: Many have lost their jobs, they have lost their homes, there's a lot of worry in them. So how do you find that peace, that happiness when you have all of this to deal with?

DALAI LAMA: The internal value, there is no limitation. If you make effort, there is development continuously, and very stable. The material value, even someone whose owns the whole world may be still discontented.

NGUYEN: Right.

DALAI LAMA: So there's a limitation. In any case, so, I think America perhaps, I think, you take for granted all of your sort of better facilities. So, then all of a sudden something happens, and too much disturbances. I think the American people, of course, they are the richest country, so sometimes maybe your lifestyle might be a little too much luxurious sort of life.

NGUYEN: Too much excess?

DALAI LAMA: Too much excess. So, that is why, you see, too-of course, the basic requirement is highly necessary, but then beyond that, I think it is better to live-

NGUYEN: Simplify.

DALAI LAMA: Yes, simplify. Simplify life.

NGUYEN: Your holiness, let me the ask you this, do you think you will ever go back to a free Tibet?

DALAI LAMA: Oh, yes, certain. Everybody, all Tibetans, we believe things will changes.

NGUYEN: What do you think about stem cell research, when it comes to that, and religion?

DALAI LAMA: Basically, it is OK. The solo intention is some help, or some benefit to humanity. Then from the Buddhist viewpoint, any human action ultimately will depend on their motivation and goal. Goal is something beneficial? And motivation is very sincere? Then, that's different sort of methods, that's OK, from the Buddhist viewpoint.

(END VIDEOTAPE) NGUYEN: So, I find that really fascinating. You know, a lot of his words just kind of broke down complex issues, difficult situations, into simple terminology. Into just a simple thought on it, which I find refreshing.

LUI: Yes.

NGUYEN: You know, a lot of religious leaders will tell you, the debate between stem cell research and religion, a lot of people will say, look, it is playing God and you cannot do that. There's a big debate going on with that, but when you talk to the Dalai Lama he says, look, as long as the intention is well-meant, and it is for the benefit of humans. Why not?

LUI: In your interview, when you asked him about it, he said, "It's OK." That his first couple words out of his mouth, so very simple language, it seems in the interview.

NGUYEN: Yes, this what I just found so comforting in meeting with him. But get this, he could be the last Dalai Lama.

LUI: The last Dalai Lama?

NGUYEN: The last one-given the situation in Tibet.

LUI: Yes.

NGUYEN: And whether or not he wants to be reincarnated, with the political climate and whatnot.

LUI: Right, right, right.

NGUYEN: So I asked him about that. You'll hear that answer coming up in our 8:00 o'clock hour.

But now from the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING. It is March 7th, the first Sunday of the month. I can't believe we are already into March. Boy, it is going by fast. Good morning, everybody. Thank you for being with us. I'm Betty Nguyen.

LUI: Two months down, but we are going to have a good start to March, right here. I'm Richard Lui in for T.J. Holmes. It is 7:00 a.m. right here in Atlanta, 6:00 a.m. in Chicago, 4:00 a.m. in Seattle. Thank you for starting your day here with us here on a Sunday. We'll get to your top news.

This is the symbol of democracy. Iraqi dipping their fingers into ink to cast their vote. And after delays because of political disagreements, Iraqis head to the polls to elect a 325-member parliament.

NGUYEN: But this historic election isn't happening without violence. Insurgents vowed to disrupt the election. You're looking at some video of that right now. At least 24 people have been killed. We have the full story -- straight ahead. LUI: All right. Now to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who as a message for his own party: no scare tactics. Steele says the GOP should focus instead on issues like jobs and education. He is launching an internal review into a PowerPoint presentation to Republican fundraisers that depicted President Obama as the Joker from "Batman."

NGUYEN: Well, Philippine marines killed seven suspected terrorists in two offensives today. It happened in the southwest part of the country. Officials think the suspects have ties to an Islamic militant group linked to al Qaeda. That group has been blamed for several terrorist attacks in the Philippines, including a deadly ferry bombing in 2004.

LUI: If you want to watch the Oscars and you're a Cable Vision subscriber, you could be one of 3 million in New York that could end up losing at the Oscars, actually, that's because they may not be able to watch the show. You may not be able to watch it as well, not tonight on ABC. Disney is pulling the signal broadcasting the local channel to Cable Vision viewers at midnight because of a feed dispute that's ongoing. They want Cable Vision to pay for the right to broadcast that channel, but Cable Vision says it should not have the to pay for programming that ABC/Disney already gives away for free.

NGUYEN: We'll see how that shakes out.

In the meantime, though, despite threats of violence, Iraqis -- they are voting today in a critical national election. They are choosing a new parliament, but the voting is not without danger. Militants are making good on their threat to upset the voting. Attacks have left 24 people dead so far.

And CNN's Arwa Damon joins us now live from Baghdad.

Arwa, the polls close in just two hours, some 19 million people are eligible to vote. But with this violence -- any indication of voter turnout?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Betty, one really has to admire the Iraqis for their resilience and for their bravery, because despite at least 30 mortars raining down on Baghdad in the minutes before the polls were open, we did see people coming out to vote. In fact, we saw entire family, little children dressed in their best clothes.

We met one family with a 5-year-old boy whose mother was saying was the one who, in fact, pulled her, that she should not let the violence disturb her from going out, that it was her obligation to come here on this very critical day.

Now, let's give you a little bit of an idea of the process. At every single voting center (INAUDIBLE). These actually are all school buildings turned into polling sites for election day. A person comes in, registers their name, signs next to it, and then proceed to get a ballot. It is a very large piece of paper. (AUDIO BREAK) (INAUDIBLE) may choose to do a specific candidate (INAUDIBLE). The open political (ph) system is happening for the first time at the national level. The ballot are then place into the ballot boxes and (INAUDIBLE). We also have observers here from the various political parties as well as national observers.

This vote is incredibly important for Iraqis. And one has to say that anyone who has come here on this day to cast their vote is really exhibiting an act of courage. In fact, many of those who we've spoken had said that their coming out to vote is how they are planning on fighting back against the insurgents. That they will not let them deter them. That they will go ahead no matter what happens -- Betty.

NGUYEN: Help us understand the ramifications of this vote. Also, whether it will have any effect on U.S. troop withdrawal in Iraq.

DAMON: Well, Betty, this vote and what happens after that time period while the government is forming is being called the most decisive moment in Iraq since 2003. This government that emerges from these elections will determine if Iraq stays on this democratic path, that's what we want to call it, moving from being a more secular nation or if it shifts towards being more a conservative and religious state.

Now, all sorts of jockeying is going to happen between the winners and there are going to be losers here, who are not going to be happy. The concern is that they could perhaps resort to violence.

The concern also is from some groups who are outside of the political process and they are watching this very closely and they're saying that if the government that emerges, in their point of view, as sectarian as this one, they are going to launch attacks as well. And then, of course, there is the threat from the Islamic State of Iraq, that is the umbrella insurgent group that is headed by al Qaeda that has vowed to derail this entire process.

So, all of this, if there's an increase in violence, could potentially impact the U.S. military's ability to stay on that timeline. So, everyone is watching what happens here very closely.

NGUYEN: No doubt. We will be following it every step of the way. Arwa Damon joining us live -- thank you.

LUI: Well, the election that Arwa is talking about certainly is all about Iraq. But voting is also happening right in the United States. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqi citizens live in the U.S. -- all weekend long, they've been traveling to polling places in major U.S. cities to take part in Iraq's election. The voters you see here are in California and they very much want to have a say in Iraq's future.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not maybe the rules.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, no. If I have proof, I'm born in Iraq. I need to go in there and vote.


LUI: The United Nations estimates that as many as 750,000 Iraqis who live outside Iraq are eligible to vote. Well, Iraq's constitution stipulates a certain percent of parliament must be comprised of women. That means that on more than 325 seats up for vote, 25 percent or 82 seats should go to female candidates.

Each of the political parties had to submit a list showing 25 percent of their nominated candidates are women. Many of the female candidates say a woman's voice is needed on issues such as divorce, child custody and marriage cases as well.

And, Betty, of course, the vote is going on right now. About two hours left --

NGUYEN: Right.

LUI: -- until 5:00 p.m. local time there in Iraq.

NGUYEN: Yes. Nineteen million eligible to vote, even though violence has already started in the country, some 24 people dead overnight. We'll see how voter turnout is and, indeed, what the vote says when all of them are counted, all those ballots are counted.

But, in the meantime, let me ask you this: are you addicted to the Internet?

LUI: Some folks might say, "I am." I mean, we use it fairly regularly.

NGUYEN: I totally am. I check my e-mail when I wake up, you know, texting, tweeting, all that stuff.

LUI: Yes.

NGUYEN: Yes, that's me.

LUI: All right. So, you admitted. I'm sort of like I'm not sure I use it a lot.

NGUYEN: OK. All right.

LUI: I mean, it's necessary. That's really the question though.

Still to come, how the Internet has changed the United States.

NGUYEN: Right.

LUI: Plus, we got Reynolds.

NGUYEN: And he is talking some beautiful weather. Enjoy it while it lasts, right?

REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. Yes, you know, I'm not just prognosticator. You know, I'm just a simple weather guy with horribly exceptional hair. But at the end of this forecast, coming up in mere moments, we're going to have -- if you live along the eastern seaboard, this is going to be your facial expression. That's right.

Coming up: you're going to see what I'm talking about. It's going to be beautiful. See you in a few, right here on CNN.


LUI: Oh, that weather is quite tasty this weekend.

NGUYEN: Tasty.

LUI: It is tasty. I mean, Reynolds Wolf -- he is standing in the studio. A week ago, he was out in the snow. He's got to be liking a little bit more warmth today.

NGUYEN: Yes, not bad.

WOLF: Tasty weather?

LUI: Tasty.

WOLF: Tasty weather? It's magically delicious. That's right.

NGUYEN: It's a little tasty perhaps if you want to go there.

WOLF: It is going to be -- it is going to be cookie delicious for you. It's going to be chocolate weather, so to speak. It's going to be great.

Seriously, along the eastern seaboard, and you're right, Richard, it's just been snow-blasted over the last couple of weeks. We are finally getting a nice break, and today, it's going to be -- the temperatures that are mainly going to be in the 40s and 50s in terms of highs.

Atlanta, 55. But I would not be surprised if Atlanta gets up to around 62 degrees or so with that late afternoon sun. It's going to be just wonderful. Same deal in both Miami and Tampa, back into Dallas, 65 degrees.

But when you get a little bit farther to the north, you're going to see the possibility of seeing some scattered showers and maybe even some light snowfall in parts of the upper Midwest. And already, we're seeing that pop up across radar. In fact, just west of Chicago, you got that low that's trekking on through. With that, some scattered showers, a few embedded thunderstorms there, too, but nothing severe.

We are not expecting severe weather today. When you get down a little bit more into the suburbs of Chicago, cloudy skies now, but all this is moving in your direction. So, you're going to see more cloud cover with that and scattered showers.

Meanwhile, off to the west, not scattered rain showers or but rather snow showers across much of the four corners and even just northeast of Phoenix. We are seeing in the highest elevations, some light snow fall there. But in some spots, some peaks may get up to several feet of, again, snowfall -- maybe up to 16 inches or so. Maybe a few places up to 24, but again, that's going to be few and far between.

For the west coast, a pretty nice day for you. When you get north of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, hodgepodge of clouds and sun. Then north of Mount Shasta and Half Moon Bay, all the way to Seattle, it looks like it's going to be raining for you.

Very dry and cool for you in parts of the upper plains. And then back to the southeast, as I mentioned, just pure bliss, folks -- just a beautiful day for you. In Texas, from Austin westward, it looks like you might be seeing some rain. Same deal with Dallas-Fort Worth area and the gulf coast, things will be picture perfect.

And we got some picture perfect things to share with you, of course, coming up here in mere moments on CNN SUNDAY. See you in just a few moments.


NGUYEN: Forty-five years ago, civil rights activists set out to march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery. But they only got about six blocks to the Edmund Pettus Bridge before they were attacked and sent back.

LUI: The day is known as Bloody Sunday. Now, today, civil rights leaders and others will march on that very same bridge.

CNN's all-platform journalist Sarah Hoye is on the phone with us right now. She's traveled with a group from the King Center in Atlanta to that event.

So, Sarah, tell us what you're seeing right now?

SARAH HOYE, CNN ALL-PLATFORM JOURNALIST (via telephone): Yes, that's right. Good morning.

I'm right here in downtown Atlanta in front of the Martin Luther King Center. We have two bus-loads carrying around 115 people from Atlanta to Selma to join the other civil rights activists who are already there to commemorate this 45th anniversary. So, it's about a four-hour ride, and they are about to load the buses now.

NGUYEN: Give us an idea, Sarah, who's on that bus. I believe, I understand King's sister, in fact, has joined for the ride.

HOYE: That is right. Christine King Farris will be joining this caravan leaving from Atlanta. You have everyone from people who were at the march 45 years ago to their grandchildren. There's also a group of students who is coming along for the ride. So, everyone seems to be excited and they are lining up right now.

NGUYEN: Give us an indication of what they are talking about this morning, what are they reflecting upon. And what's the mood?

HOYE: The mood right now is excited. Also, it's pretty quiet. They are getting instructions as to what's going to happen for the day. They are getting itineraries just kind of keep people in order.

Right now, people are kind of swapping stories about where they were on that day or where their aunts or uncle was. So, it's kind of like a little reunion and a little catch-up time before they load up.

LUI: Hey, Sarah, as an all-platform journalist, you use photos, you use stills, you use all sorts of different ways of telling stories. You have just sent in to us a couple pictures that we're showing moments ago. What are in the pictures of those preparations before they got on the bus that you sent to us that we saw on air just a second ago?

HOYE: That's right. They're filling out forms, just making sure that everybody gets on the right buses and no one gets lost or left behind in Selma. You also have some shots, I believe, of the bus and just people lining up and getting ready to head on out.

NGUYEN: And when you get to Selma, what's going to happen? What's the plan of events there?

HOYE: It seems to me as though they're going to be a few -- well, there's going to be a reenactment of the actual march across the bridge where everyone is going to join and walk across. There's also going to be some speeches by some other dignitary there. Right now, the itinerary, I think, is being firmed up and some other speeches at some churches.

NGUYEN: All right. I know you'll keep us posted along the way.

All-platform journalist Sarah Hoye joining us by phone. She also took those pictures as many take a moment today to remember Bloody Sunday.

LUI: All right. Now, as we change subjects, quick -- what's the first thing you did this morning?

NGUYEN: I turned off the alarm and then I checked my BlackBerry. Absolutely.

LUI: Yes. We do that every morning. We get on the Internet. We see what's happening around the world.

Did you do the same thing? Did you go online even before you got your coffee? Well, there's a new survey that looked at how much the Internet has changed all of our lives, Betty's life, my life, yours, too.

NGUYEN: I'm guilty of it. It changed mine.

And our Josh Levs is "On the Lookout." He's going to show us how it, indeed, has effected all of us.


JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So here's where the whole things come from, guys. Did you know it is Yahoo's 15th birthday? Happy birthday, Yahoo!

LUI: I did not know.

LEVS: Yes. You can get a driver's permit pretty soon.

NGUYEN: Do you remember that slogan, "Yahoo!"?

LEVS: I still love that. I know.

LUI: And it worked.

LEVS: I feel funny saying yahoo, because it's like I should be saying -- I don't want to do.

LUI: But it also outdates (ph) us, 15 years?

LEVS: Oh, yes, we've been around.

NGUYEN: We're obviously older than 15, right?


NGUYEN: Barely though. Barely.

LEVS: They are on to us.

So, here's the thing. They commissioned the survey and it has some pretty stunning statistics.

Let's just go straight to these. Our graphics folks had some fun making pictures to go along with it. I'll show you.

So, among the things they asked is: Could you live without email? And 2/3 of the people, this is a legit survey, random phone survey, Internet users around the country, 67 percent couldn't live without e- mail.

The next figure, though, surprises, 50 percent could not live without a social media. They're saying they couldn't live without their Facebook, their Twitter, whatever social media they're using. Forty-one percent check e-mail as soon as they wake up, the first thing they do before they're eating, before they're doing anything else.

When do you ban the Internet in your house? I really like this stat. Twenty-two percent said they actually ban the Internet during meals. And 19 percent, guys, ban it in bed. No bringing the Web into the bed. A lot of people can have a problem with that one.

Yes. NGUYEN: Make sure, because then you would get caught up. And when would you ever go to sleep, right?

LEVS: Right.

NGUYEN: Although, I will say, if somebody pulls out a BlackBerry or something like that and gets on the Internet while we're trying to have a meal, I just find -- I mean, me, I just find that kind of rude.

LEVS: It's annoying. The only way that I use the Internet during meals if I have like music from Pandora going in the background.


NGUYEN: You're such a techie.

LEVS: I know, I am. That's the problem.

All right. I got a couple more for you.


LEVS: This one is actually really bad. I can't believe this, 23 percent of people said they never change their passwords. Like, if you pay any attention to anything we ever say here, change your passwords at least once a year.

LUI: That's not good.

LEVS: Yes, it's not good. Keep changing.

How about more? Eighty-six percent say they're better informed than they are before the Internet. And finally, we can end on this one, 26 percent say they are now more of a procrastinator than they were before the Internet.

LUI: More of procrastinator, I guess, because you can get instant access to information when you want it, so you don't necessarily prepare like you did before.

LEVS: And there's so much to do. I mean, you know, you Google for a piece of information, but you have thousand other things that interest you. All of a sudden, it's been three hours and you forgot to do whatever.

NGUYEN: I know, time goes by so fast when you're on the Internet, doesn't it?

LEVS: Everyone can weigh in here. I'll show everybody how you can weigh in. So, we got do -- we have that -- anyway, Facebook and Twitter, JoshLevsCNN. Let us know what you think.

So, what do you think, guys? Do you think married people take a look at this, changing (ph) a little bit about their passwords and conquer some of that procrastination? NGUYEN: I would hope so. I didn't know that you're supposed to change it every year.

LEVS: I think a good idea.

NGUYEN: I better go change mine right now. I got work to do.


NGUYEN: I can just remember what they are, right?

LUI: No procrastinating either. Don't do it on the Internet.

NGUYEN: Exactly. All right. Thank you, Josh.

LEVS: See you next hour.

NGUYEN: Well, tonight it is best in show, but last night, it was worst on film.

LUI: Yes. Can the worst Actress of the Year turn things around tonight with a Best Actress Oscar win? Talk about your Hollywood ending.


MELISSA DAWN JOHNSON, MORNING MOTIVATIONAL MINUTE: Good morning. This is Melissa Dawn Johnson, your global branding and personal transformation strategist -- and this is your motivational minute.

How many of you get a little frustrated in trying to accomplish your goal? I was talking with a friend on Facebook, and she said, you know what? I'm really frustrated because I don't feel like I'm making positive progression.

Well, I'm here to tell you that the road to success starts with celebrating small victories. So, this week, think about all that you have accomplished. At the end of the day, don't look and get overwhelmed by what you haven't done, celebrate the tasks that you have been able to accomplish and you'll begin to see that you are making positive progression in the right direction.

Until next week, make every single day brandtastic.



NGUYEN: Rich is giving me a hard time about my singing.

All right. Some folks may be singing the blues tonight, depending on whether they win or not at the Oscars. And, of course, there is the razzies. Yes, Hollywood's version of walk of shame where winners are also losers.

The big winner last night, box office flop, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Now, I don't think it was that bad, but it did win for Worst Picture. It also won for Worst Director and Worst Screenplay. Wow. It racked up.

And they made the Worst Actor award a family affair. Yes, all three Jonas Brothers shared the award for "The Jonas Brothers: 3D Concert Experience." I must admit, I missed that one.

But, listen to this, Sandra Bullock could make movie history after winning the worst at those razzies for her role in the flop, "All About Steve." Now, if she wins the Oscar tonight for the "Blindside," she will be the first actress to win both in the same year.

LUI: The worst and the best.

NGUYEN: Yes. Not bad, right?

LUI: Yes.

NGUYEN: Hey, a win is a win.

LUI: A win is a win.

NGUYEN: You should just look at it that way. You know what, it is an honor to be nominated.

LUI: That's right.

NGUYEN: You heard that a lot, too.

Enough about the razzies, though, it's the Oscars that everybody is gearing up for tonight.

LUI: It's like Christmas in Hollywood.


LUI: That's what it is. Ten movies are duking it out for best picture this year, but the stories behind the nominees are almost as juicy as the screenplays. Neil Curry presents an usual preview what to expect on Oscar's big night.

NGUYEN: And we'll take a look at that shortly.

In the meantime, though, "Showbiz Tonight" host A.J. Hammer and Brooke Anderson will be live from the red carpet on CNN tonight at 7:00 Eastern for the road to gold. Then "Showbiz Tonight's" live coverage continues at 11:00 eastern on HLN.

LUI: Lots of Oscars if you like that, absolutely, right here on CNN.

OK. More top stories at the top of the hour when CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues. We'll go to Reynolds Wolf, though, right now, who's taking a look at the weather. WOLF: Let's show you what's happening here. We're taking a look at your forecast, which includes a nice, warm, and a very mild condition along much of the eastern seaboard. We are talking highs that are going to back into the 50s, the 40s in some places, even some 60s when you head farther south to Florida.

In fact, take a look at what we're expecting: 67 degrees in Miami Beach, Tampa with 63, 48 in Boston. Some places around Boston Common may get up into about 51, 52 degrees or so. Atlanta, 55 degrees downtown, but the surrounding areas will easily get into the low 60s. That should be fairly nice for you. Denver with 53, 56 in San Francisco, 77 in Phoenix, and back over to Kansas City, 58 degrees.

Now, it's not going to be pure bliss across much of the country. I mean, we are looking at nice conditions on the eastern seaboard, but into the western half of the Great Lakes and parts of the Ohio Valley, showers and potential thunderstorms -- yes, they could occur especially by the midday hours into the afternoon and evening. We're not expecting any severe, but still, there's a chance we get some rough stuff. And snow showers across much of the four corners.

That is a quick look at your forecast. Let's send it back to you guys at the desk.

NGUYEN: All right, Reynolds. Thank you so much for that.

We got a lot coming up: talking the Oscars.

LUI: That's right.

NGUYEN: We're talking, the Iraqi elections. Now, that is a very important event --

LUI: Certainly.

NGUYEN: -- that's taking place right now. Just about, what, two hours left in that vote.

LUI: Right.

NGUYEN: And it could really change, not only the situation in Iraq, but perhaps, it could have ripple effects throughout the Middle East.

LUI: And you're going to speak with Peter Bergen about that in our next hour, right? Details behind that.

NGUYEN: That coming up. Also talking health care coming up at the top of the hour with Candy Crowley. She's on "STATE OF THE UNION" today.

So, there's a lot more to come right here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

But, first, though, I'll let you know, "SANJAY GUPTA M.D." is about to come your way. That show begins right now.