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Russia Plane Crash Probe; Obama's Nuclear Security Summit; GOP Rallies The Troops; China Rising Makes Impact On America

Aired April 12, 2010 - 08:00   ET



KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: Good Monday morning to you. Glad you're with us. It is April 12th today. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts. Thanks so much for being with us.

Here are the big stories we'll be telling you about coming up in the next 15 minutes.

What went wrong? Investigators in Russia are trying to determine the cause of a weekend plane crash that killed Poland's president and more than 90 other people. Why did the pilot tried to land in heavy fog? A live report from the crash site in western Russia is just ahead.

CHETRY: An unprecedented summit taking place in Washington. Leaders from across the globe meeting to make sure terrorists never get their hands on nuclear weapons. It's one of the biggest international gatherings on U.S. soil ever. We're live at the White House with new details this morning.

ROBERTS: And Republicans rallying the troops this weekend in the Big Easy, as they try to get past the crisis in leadership and focus on future goals: taking back Congress and after that, the White House. A live report is just ahead.

And, of course, the amFIX blog is up and running. Join the live conversation right now. We'd like to hear from you about what's in the news this morning. Just go to We'll be reading some of your comments in the next hour.

CHETRY: We begin, though, with the nation's grief. Poland is observing seven days of national mourning after the death of its president, Lech Kaczynski. He was killed along with 95 other people in a plane crash that happened over the weekend in western Russia.

What caused the president's plane to go down in thick fog? Well, senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, is live at the scene of the crash.

And investigators aren't making obviously any final rulings. But it seems to me they are pointing toward some signs of pilot error this morning?


That's certainly seems to be the case. That's what we've been hearing from the Russian Emergency Ministry, that the pilots didn't listen properly to the air traffic controllers.

If you look over my shoulder here, you can see some of the recovery operation going on in the distance there. A crane has been brought in to lift some of the heavy parts of the aircraft, the fuselage. They're having to build a road because it crashed in a very swampy area. They need to get something for the crane to be able to drive along.

But today is all about the recovery and searching for more evidence and information about what caused the crash. Yesterday, however, there was a very somber and solemn scene here and at the air base where the Polish president's body was sent on its final journey back to Poland.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Slow, solemn and somber moments before President Lech Kaczynski's casket is loaded aboard a flight home to Poland. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is heading the investigation into the crash, standing side-by-side with Poland's ambassador to Moscow.

(on camera): This is beginning to close the first chapter in this very painful episode, standing together on the runway now. A lot is at stake over how the investigation develops in the coming days.

(voice-over): In the nearby woods, that investigation is still under way. Experts are searching through the wreckage; aircraft parts littering the ground that crashed in heavy fog 24 hours earlier.

(on camera): They're looking at the black box. They're looking and reexamining what the air traffic controllers talked about, the warning that they gave the aircraft, that it was low, moving too wide.

But clearly, this point where we're standing down here, where the plane came down, half a mile short of the runway that's down through the trees there.

(voice-over): Already, investigators say the black box data recorder shows the plane had no mechanical faults. Poland's ambassador cautions against jumping to judgment against the pilots.

JERZY BAHR, POLAND'S AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Many people think that this is, you know, some think these pilots did wrong, but it must be investigated.

ROBERTSON: He had come to say good-bye to his president but warns relatives of others killed in the crash. They may have to wait to get their loved ones back.

BAHR: Many people are in Moscow and maybe they expect that they will -- they could take corpses with them soon, but it depends on specialists.

ROBERTSON (on camera): On the investigation, it depends.

BAHR: Yes.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Polish and Russian investigators are working closely. According to officials of both countries, the tragedy, they say, has brought the two nations closer than they've been in years.


ROBERTSON: And what you can see here at the base here is a very symbolic, if you will, indication of just how close the two nations are coming together. Russians have been bringing their floral tributes for the loss of those Polish leaders aboard that aircraft and all around the base here, wherever you have been able to see fragments of aircraft and people. Local people have come up close, they've been laying flowers, putting big wreaths out -- really, a very, very big outpouring of emotion and support by Russians around this airbase for all the Poles who are killed aboard that aircraft -- Kiran.

CHETRY: It's just such a shock for the nation, no doubt.

Nic Robertson for us this morning -- thank you.

ROBERTS: We have breaking news from northern Italy: a train derailment killing 11 people and injuring at least 25 others. A landslide reportedly caused by a broken irrigation pipe triggered the accident. It was near the northern city of Bolzano. That's about a two-hour drive north of Venice, near the border with Austria.

Washington is under a blanket of heavy security this morning as President Obama welcomes leaders from 46 different countries. The goal of this major gathering: keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, something that President Obama calls the biggest threat to American security.

Our Suzanne Malveaux is live at the White House for us this morning.

And, Suzanne, give us the low-down. What can we expect from the summit today?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, obviously, there's a lot of work ahead. The summit is going to start in about two hours or so officially at the Convention Center. It's not far here from the White House.

The president has already been hosting one-on-one meetings with some of these critical allies, these leaders who have arrived. It is going to be a big occasion and a big deal, because the president is trying to emphasize a sense of urgency here.

He is making the case that the threat is no longer about nuclear war. At the time of the Cold War where states and countries had nuclear weapons, it is now the threat of nuclear terrorism, the possibility that terrorists could get their hands on nuclear materials like al Qaeda, like criminal gangs and put together a nuclear weapon and attack the United States or other countries, that this is something that is an imminent threat and must be dealt with.

This is how the president put it yesterday in kicking off the summit.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The single biggest threat to U.S. security -- both short-term, medium-term, and long-term -- would be the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon. This is something that could have changed the security landscape in this country and around the world for years to come. If there was ever a detonation in New York City or London or Johannesburg, the ramifications economically, politically and from a security perspective would be devastating.


MALVEAUX: John, the goal of the summit, very specific, very targeted -- that is to have these nations come up with an agreement, a document that essentially says that they are going to be securing, trying to secure all of the nuclear materials, vulnerable nuclear materials around the world within four years; that they endorse President Obama's plan to move forward with this; that they recognize that nuclear terrorism is a significant threat; and that they will make their own pledges towards the effort to make sure that these nuclear materials don't get in the hands of terrorists.

That is what we're going to see develop over the next 24 to 48 hours, these world leaders coming together and saying, "This is what we are willing to do to confront this problem and this potential danger" -- John.

ROBERTS: All right, looking forward to your reporting on that throughout the day today. Suzanne Malveaux for us live at the White House -- thanks.

CHETRY: Eight minutes past the hour.

Other stories new this morning: West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin is calling for a moment of silence at 3:30 this afternoon to remember the victims of last week's deadly mine explosion. That tribute will mark a week since 29 miners died at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal. Dangerous levels of toxic gas prevented crews from recovering the last of the miners' bodies.

ROBERTS: Actress Dixie Carter has died. She was best known for her role as the steely Southerner Julia Sugarbaker in the hit television sitcom "Designing Women." Carter's publicist says the 70- year-old actress died from complications of endometrial cancer. She is survived by her husband, actor Hal Holbrook, and two daughters.

CHETRY: Well, the weight of the world on his shoulders and Tiger Woods on his tail, but that didn't stop Phil Mickelson from winning the Masters yesterday, his third green jacket, and no doubt the sweetest. Phil's wife Amy, and his mom, Mary, both battling breast cancer and both of them right there with him behind the 18th green cheering him home.


PHIL MICKELSON, 2010 MASTERS CHAMPION: I really want to recognize my family. My wife has been -- we've been through a lot this year, and it means a lot to share some joy together.



CHETRY: Tiger Woods also making his first appearance since the sex scandal sidelined him five months ago. He finished five shots back in fourth place.

ROBERTS: Coming up now at 10 minutes aft hour, Rob Marciano tracking the forecast across the country. He's here with the quick look.

Good morning, Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: There was something going on in Augusta this weekend? I wasn't aware of that.

Yes, gorgeous stuff over the weekend and beautiful morning today for sure. And, you know, one problem that this has all created is an unusual amount of pollen across much of the country. And if you are suffering, you are not alone.

No relief in sight across much of the eastern half of the country, because it's going to be pretty dry. The only exception would be western Great Lakes, Northern Plains. And then the west coast just a mess right now with rainfall, wind, high elevations, snows. If you're traveling out there, bring winter gear basically and some patience as well because there'll probably be some delays at Los Angeles, San Francisco and also Seattle.

Sixty-two degrees in Los Angeles, also, the potential for flash flooding at burn areas out there; 81 in Memphis; and 66 degrees in New York City. Another beautiful spring day for the Big Apple, surprised to see you both here. I thought somebody would be playing hooky, hanging out in Central Park. But --

CHETRY: Hey, you must have just read our minds. We're here, yes, but we're looking at this beautiful shot of Central Park. I think they're popping up right there.

ROBERTS: Take a look at this. Isn't that nice?

CHETRY: Gorgeous.

MARCIANO: Oh, yes. But, you know --

ROBERTS: Leaves are out in the trees, the sun is shining, that park would be jam-packed today, with people -- if not playing hooky, at least just getting a few minutes out there in the sunshine.

MARCIANO: We'll try to stay with us through the end of program, guys.

CHETRY: We're with you.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Rob.

CHETRY: Well, coming up, the GOP leadership conference. Finding a front-runner, but who really is flirting with the presidential spotlight in 2012? We'll talk about it coming up.



TINA FEY, ACTRESS (as Sarah Palin): You'll find we aim for the heartland with Sarah Palin Network original movies like -- "My Daughter Only Sprained Her Ankle, You Can't Seriously Be Considering Euthanizing Her."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How's my little angel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have some bad news: the Obamacare death panel just issued a ruling. I'm afraid the cost of setting your daughter's ankle is considered prohibitive. We're going to have to put her down.




FEY: Oh, that one has got a hidden message.



CHETRY: Well, Tina Fey, reprising a role as Sarah Palin. But the real Sarah Palin, one of the marquee names in the Republican Party, who is firing up the faithful to win back Congress in the midterm elections and perhaps looking to 2012 as well. At a leadership conference that took place in New Orleans, GOP leaders tried to get past some of the internal issues and get back to dashing the Democrats. Jim Acosta is following that for us. He is live in Washington. It is so exciting to talk about the next new star of the GOP, the new Ron Paul, 74 congressman of Texas. He came within one vote of winning this straw poll.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I wish we could continue talking about the Tina Fey/Sarah Palin network. That was just comedy magic there. But, no, you are right. Ron Paul, apparently is doing quite well at these Republican leadership conferences. You will remember the CPAC Conference that just happened here in Washington a couple of months ago, where he won a straw poll there. He almost won this straw poll down at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference down in New Orleans.

He lost to Mitt Romney by one vote. They essentially tied in the straw poll down there. This is despite the fact that Ron Paul said at this conference that Obama is not a socialist. He was booed when he said that.

So, Ron Paul, he has a lot of fervent supporters out there. When they have these straw polls, his supporters really get out there. They work those rooms. They work those votes. And they do quite well in these events. That's why you have some Republicans grumbling that these straw polls don't mean a whole lot, Kiran.

CHETRY: And you know, the other interesting thing was these two mixed messages. Newt Gingrich saying, listen, we have to be the party of yes. Every time you talk, you have to explain what you are for. And Sarah Palin said it is not bad to be the party of no if the answer to no is to things we don't believe in.

ACOSTA: That's right. And you know, Sarah Palin did fairly well in the straw poll. She finished third, 18 percent of the vote.

But, you know, the one Republican that seemed to fire up the crowd at this event almost more than any other was Haley Barbour, the Mississippi Governor, former Chairman of the RNC. A lot of folks looking to Haley Barbour these days as sort of the de facto leader of the Republican Party in some sense in that Michael Steele, the Chairman of the RNC, has come under so much controversy.

Haley Barbour told that crowd down there in New Orleans, to be careful not to let distractions at the RNC, some of the divisions that are inside the conservative movement right now between Republicans and Tea Party Activists. He was warning not to let those divisions split the party in two.


GOV. HALEY BARBOUR, (R) MISSISSIPPI: The Democrats' fondest hope is to see Tea Party or other conservatives split off and have a third party to split the conservative vote. I'll tell you, Barack Obama has worn out three sets of knee pads down on his knees praying for the conservative vote to be split in 2010. And we can't let that happen. We can't let that happen. We've got to stay unified.


ACOSTA: Haley Barbour wasn't even in that straw poll. So you know, that is another reason why some folks feel that those results were a bit skewed, Kiran.

CHETRY: But he said he did not want to be in it because he says he is not running in 2012, right?

ACOSTA: He says he is not running but he keeps talking like a candidate in many of these functions and he is talked about at these events. There are a lot of Republicans who would like to see him get into 2012. But, a lot of folks saying, this is all about 2010. They want to take back the Congress and put off a lot of talk about 2012, at lease for the time being.

CHETRY: Let's get back to Michael Steele, because last week it was not an easy week for him as we know, with some of the scandals, some of the talk about money used for inappropriate things. Is he safe now? He has gotten the support of key GOPers.

ACOSTA: That's right. He lined up fifty-eight RNC members to come out and publicly support him. That is essentially making it mathematically impossible for him to be removed. There are 168 members. So, he has got more than a third, and you need two-thirds to vote out an RNC Chairman. He spent a lot of this conference behind closed doors, working a lot of these members, personally pressing the flesh and making sure that his base of support is still there.

He apparently has it. He also spoke to the crowd there at the conference on Saturday. Despite the fact that the ballroom was only half full, he delivered real fiery message to those Republicans down there saying that the founding fathers were fearful first. They were afraid of unchecked power in government, and so are we. But he did spend some time offering up a maybe a couple for some of the problems he has had lately as Chairman of the RNC.


MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN: I am the first chair to admit, I have made mistakes. It has been incumbent on me to take responsibility, shoulder that burden, make the necessary changes and move on. We have all had to do that from time to time. But the one mistake, the one mistake we cannot make this November is to lose.


ACOSTA: And despite that fiery speech that he gave down there in New Orleans, there were some Republicans still grumbling about them. As Sarah Palin put it, just a few days ago, his term is up in January. So what point really is there in having a huge squabble inside the RNC when he is going to be out of there in less than a year, Kiran?

CHETRY: All right. Jim Acosta for us from Washington. Thanks so much --

ACOSTA: You bet. CHETRY: -- John.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: A mother from Tennessee cannot deal with her adopted son, a son that she adopted from Russia. What does she do? She sends him back, triggering an international incident. The State Department rings in on that coming right up. It is 22 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Twenty-four minutes after hour. It's time for "Minding Your Business" this morning. The jobs are going to come very slowly this year. That's what a new economic survey from the Associated Press is predicting. Leading economists say that the unemployment rate will only inch down to 9.3 percent by the end of this year. It has been 9.7 percent since January.

CHETRY: And gas prices meanwhile are going up. According to the National Lumburg (ph) survey, the average for a gallon of gas nationwide is now $2.85. It's up more than three cents over the past three weeks.

ROBERTS: And the comedy power couple Steve Carrel and Tina Faye striking gold with "Date Night." It finished in a virtual tie with last week's winner at the box office "Clash of the Titans." Both made about $27 million over the last couple of days.

CHETRY: Well, China, our huge market, out biggest importer, our biggest lender, but also a potential adversary. Coming up, our special report "China Rising," is it good or bad for America? Twenty- five minutes past the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Top stories coming your way in just about two-and-a-half minutes. But, first, an "A.M. Original", something that you will see only in AMERICAN MORNING. Before the turn of the century, you had to be in China. For U.S. businesses it was considered a no-brainer.

CHETRY: Yes, and now fast forward to where we are now. Ten years and you have to ask the question, has China been good or bad for America? Christine Romans joins us now kicking off a week long special report "China Rising: Opportunity or Threat." And it is so fascinating for a country that we are so inexplicably linked with, yet so far away and have such a different, I guess, foundation. And we started asking ourselves after a lot of the talk about being on with the unsafe toys, the lead, but it goes so much deeper than that.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is a complicated relationship. It is deep and incredibly important for both nations. And the diplomacy on both sides has been fascinating to watch. Because these are two economic systems that are very, very different and completely melded together. The question then is, nine years after China was admitted to the World Trade Organization and officially welcomed to the world economy, has China's rise been good or bad for America?


ROMANS: Meet Stephen Udden, husband, father of two daughters and a trade statistic.

STEPHEN UDDEN, AMERICAN WORKER: I felt like a baseball player that got traded from a team that he loved playing for and loved the fans. I loved my customers, my co-workers were like second family to me.

ROMANS: His job as a Telecom Projects Manager went overseas to China when his factory moved there. Classified by the U.S. Government as a casualty of foreign trade qualifies him for a stipend and money for retraining, unemployment benefits and cobra health insurance helped fill the gap.

UDDEN: We are keeping it level and steady and holding the line. And right now we are okay.

ROMANS: He is the face of the increasingly strained relations between the U.S. and China. One think tank estimates 2.4 million manufacturing jobs went to China between 2001 and 2008. And with China's explosive rise comes a nation that is now a key player in America's domestic and foreign policy. Take its currency. Anything made in china is cheaper than made in the U.S.A. Why?

DAN SLANE, U.S.-CHINA ECONOMIC AND SECURITY REVIEW COMMITTEE: They arbitrarily control the value of their currency and they do not allow it to float like most other currencies in which supply and demand for the currency set the value of it.

ROMANS: That means one dollar is always equal to about 6.83 Yuan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The manipulation of their currency gives them a 40 percent advantage and puts our exporters at an enormous disadvantage.

ROMANS: The treasury secretary abruptly postponed releasing a report this week that could have listed China as a manipulating their currency, opting for backroom diplomacy and a closed-door meeting in Beijing. This just before China's president, Hu Jintao, comes to Washington for nuclear talks.

ROBERT KAPP, CHINA BUSINESS CONSULTANT: That's good. We are not going to hang him out to dry while he is here, which would be politically disastrous.

ROMANS: And then there is this -- pressuring China is tricky. China is America's banker, the world's factory floor. It's building its military, buying more of the world's natural resource to fuel its growth, and it doesn't like Americans telling it what to do.

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA": The Chinese showing a new assertiveness and aggressiveness that took many Americans by surprise. I think it is partly because they are starting to listen to what we say about this being China's century. Then they are starting to internalize it, saying if this is our century, we should determine what goes on.

ROMANS: At the same time, the U.S. needs China's influence with emerging nuclear threats in North Korea and Iran.

KAPP: Thus far the United States and China have clearly not been of one mind. The Chinese have emphasized over and over again, do it diplomatically and let's negotiate. And the Americans have got more and more impatient and tried to move the world in the direction of difficult sanctions.

ROMANS: As the temperature rises, the American people wonder, is China an opportunity or a threat?

CHANG: It's going to be both. The question is, on balance, is it better or worse?

ROMANS: A question unanswered for Steve Udine. He is still out of work in Foxborough, Massachusetts. His job is now somewhere in China. His outlook, quintessential American.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am completely optimistic and believe in the marrow of my bones that I am going to find something that's good for me and my wife and children.


ROMANS: Publicly, the Chinese dismissed the Obama's administration to let its currency rise, and Chinese officials insist the U.S. is using Beijing as a scapegoat for American economic troubles.

The Premier Wynn Jabow in public comments recently scolded the United States and called America's attitude protectionist and said the U.S. has too many problems of its own to interfere in how China chooses to do business.

But privately there are hopes that there could be narrowing of differences in this meeting this week, even some narrowing of differences what to do with the Chinese currency that certainly wouldn't solve all of the problems in this trade relationship, but many say could help prevent a mass exodus of more factory jobs.

ROBERTS: Still, this whole thing of China rising is going to be an issue for decades to come when they are the economic powerhouse they are and when they own a substantial portion of U.S. debt.

ROMANS: Absolutely right.

CHETRY: And the other fascinating thing, we interviewed that author of "A year without "Made in China." She tried to go a year without buying something that eventually led back to China. It's much more difficult than you think. ROMANS: And tomorrow we are going to really detail how the American consumer touches Chinese manufacturing, the globalization miracle that has lowered so many prices for us but at the same time has also meant there are other challenges, like almost 10 percent unemployment. How do those things go together? You pay less for something but do you pay more eventually? We will see tomorrow.

ROBERTS: Looking forward to it. Good series, thanks, Christine.

CHETRY: Right now, it's 33 minutes past the hour. A look at our top stories.

Poland now in a state of national mourning after the death of its president, Lech Kaczynski, in a plane crash in western Russia. He and his wife, two of the 96 victims to died in this crash, many of them polish leaders. Investigators found no mechanical problems with the plane. They are now focusing on pilot error as a possible call.

ROBERTS: A moment of silence at 3:30 this afternoon will mark a week since 29 coalminers died in West Virginia. Dangerous levels of toxic gas are preventing crews from recovering any more of the miners. They are drilling another hole to try to ventilate the mine.

CHETRY: Mississippi's Republican governor Haley Barbour getting some heat for some comment he made right here on "STATE OF THE UNION" yesterday. He said it was no big deal that his colleague, Bob McDonnell, in Virginia left out any mention of slavery in a proclamation for Confederate history month.


CANDY CROWLEY, HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": There is the sort of feeling that it is insensitive. You clearly don't agree.

GOV. HALEY BARBOUR, (R) MISSISSIPPI: To me, it is the sort of feeling that it is a myth, that it is not significant, just trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn't amount to a diddly.


CHETRY: Barbour also pointed out that his state celebrates a Confederate memorial day that has been maintained by both Democratic and Republican governors. Governor McDonnell apologized for leaving out the reference to slavery in that proclamation and since put it back in.

ROBERTS: This morning many questions still surrounding a Tennessee mother's decision to send her adopted seven-year-old son back to Russia on a plane by himself. It has put all adoptions from Russia to America on hold for the moment, leaving so many children in limbo right now.

CHETRY: Ambassador, Michael Kirby joins us live from the State Department. Thanks for being with us, Mr. Ambassador.


ROBERTS: Mr. Ambassador, I want to read a portion of a letter that this adopted mother, Torre Hanson, wrote to the Russian ministry of education regarding her son, who goes by the name of Justin. She wrote, quote, "After giving my best to which child, I am sorry to say that for the safety of my family, friends, and myself I no longer wish to parent this child."

She says her child was violent, has severe psychopathic issues. She was lied to and misled by Russian orphanage workers. The Russian president Medvedev called his return "a monstrous act." How big could all of this become?

KIRBY: We were certainly shocked, as was everybody, about the return of the child. We are hoping to work with the Russians to continue the adoptions of children. We have had over 50,000 children adopted from Russia. The vast majority are doing great here in the United States.

CHETRY: Well, Russian authorities are outraged, obviously, at what happened. What they are saying is that the license of this agency that coordinated this boy's adoption has been suspended. But they are calling a halt to all adoptions by Americans.

As you head to Russia this week, what will you say to officials there to reassure them that this process of adoption between the two countries should continue?

KIRBY: Well, we have to talk about how we can follow up after the children are adopted. First, are the parents properly screened in the process? Are the agencies that are screening them doing all that they could do to ensure that they are prepared to be new parents?

I'm a parent. Being a new parent is difficult. And we have to work with the Russians to make sure that the children themselves are also fully understanding what is going to happen to them as they move to a new country in a strange place.

ROBERTS: At the same time, Mr. Ambassador, we have seen other cases that are, as this one was described, the child may have fetal alcohol syndrome or some other psychological or emotional problems, becomes very, very difficult to deal with.

What can be done in the adoption process to ensure that parents are more fully informed before they take on one of these children?

KIRBY: Well, I think the adoption agencies, the ones going through the process and screening the parents, have to talk straight out with them, that children come in all kinds. Some are easier to cope with and others are more difficult.

They should make them aware of the fact that fetal alcohol syndrome is a potentially serious issue with some children adopted from Russia and from other countries, and that they should prepare them as well as they possibly can prepare them. Next, I think that we should follow up with -- the adoption agency should follow up with the parents to make sure that the process is going as well as it can after the adoption and after they bring the child back to the United States.

CHETRY: So if the parent ends up in this position of feeling unable to have the tools needed to deal with children who are either emotionally disturbed or have some sort of psychological issues, what is the recourse?

Obviously most people agree in that situation that sending the child back with a note saying "thanks but no thanks" isn't the right thing to do. She was also parentally reportedly scared to send the child back to the adoption agency because she had concerns, the child claimed that he was abused there.

But, also, working with the adoption agency here in the United States, they felt they were sort of, their concerns were falling on deaf ears. So what do you do as a parent in that situation?

KIRBY: All states have agencies that you can turn to when you have difficulty with your child. The parents should be aware they can turn to that. They can turn to health care providers and their doctor. They can turn to the state agencies involved.

We have that in the United States. And Parents should be aware that they can reach out and go to those people in the United States for help. Social workers are there to help.

ROBERTS: Do we know, Mr. Ambassador, what's going to happen to young Artyim (ph)? Do you think he would spend the rest of his life in an orphanage?

KIRBY: There are plenty of Russian families that might be willing to adopt. There is also the possibility he is an American citizen, coming back here and being adopted here by another family. So I think there is a potentially good future for him. He just has to find the right family and it has to work out for him.

CHETRY: What about other people who are thinking about international adoption? Where does this leave them about whether or not they have concerns that the same thing could happen?

KIRBY: I think they really ought to talk, when you are interested in adoption, just as when you are interested in having your own child. Think through the process. Are you prepared to be a parent? Are you prepared to be a parent with a difficult child?

Every parent goes through stages with their children, whether they are adopted or natural born. They just have to be ready for what comes.

ROBERTS: Ambassador Michael Kirby at the State Department, again, heading to Moscow later this week to try to work this situation out. Thanks so much, Mr. Ambassador. We really appreciate it.

KIRBY: Thank you very much.

CHETRY: We'll take a quick break. When we come back, we are going to check out our live blog, at what the viewers are saying this morning. It is 40 minutes past the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back.

We have a lot of comments coming into our live blog this morning. We threw it up on our magic wall so we can talk about it. A lot of people weighing in about this Russian adoption story that's really shocking.

Onsario writes, "It could have been triggered by an incident that happened at my daughter's school where an adopted kid from Russia came to school with a gun and threatened students. The boy threatened to kill the adopted parents and burn their house down." This happened in Minnesota last week.

ROBERTS: This one comes from Mike. "I'm very suspicious of this Hanson family from Tennessee. For Americans, they seem remarkably reclusive and so far almost nothing about this family, what they do or how or why this adoption occurred in the first place has emerged."

CHETRY: One person wrote "The Russian adoption scandal is a mess. Kids are not merchandise to be traded or refunded. There have to be safeguards to protect the adopt tiff parents and the child, and Russia's posturing is counterproductive."

ROBERTS: And we also had somebody ring in a little earlier today as we go back here on the Masters, John Doe writes, "Tiger has made a mistake or a couple of them, but life goes on. Now with what happened, it is between him and his wife and the rest of us need to leave him alone. The public will forget and forgive. The rest is up to Tiger."

Somebody else saying, hey, it was a great golf match and --


ROBERTS: -- terrific that Phil Mickelson pulled it off in the end.

CHETRY: I was watching it on Saturday and I hear the commentator is saying, "We've never seen anything like this at the Masters. This is an amazing round." And I thought, "I picked a good time to watch golf."

ROBERTS: Yes it is.

CHETRY: I've never seen it before.

ROBERTS: Yes you know Phil had a long history when it came to you know Sunday afternoon, when the pressure was on and he would fold up like a cheap suitcase. He seems to be past that now. CHETRY: There you go.

ROBERTS: So a good round for Phil.

You can join our conversation too right now at Just go to our blog and let us know what you think about things.

A new storm is popping up today out west. Mostly dry though in some areas, warmer temperatures underway particularly in the Northeast. Stay with us. Rob Marciano has got the forecast.


ROBERTS: Cowboy fans reflective. Redskins fans said "good riddance" as Texas Stadium disappeared in a cloud of dust yesterday.




ROBERTS: Wow, great job of that; 3,000 pounds of dynamite leveled the landmark sports arena. The Cowboys won five Super Bowls in the 38 years that they called Texas Stadium home. And now, it's nothing but ten yards and a cloud of dust.

CHETRY: That's right, well even the implosions are bigger in Texas. It looked like it went off without a hitch.

It's now 49 minutes past the hour.

Let's check in with Rob Marciano. It's so precise, you men are so got at, you know, carefully putting all that down just to blow it up. Every guy loves an implosion.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That -- I watch that thing and it was certainly very impressive. But the -- the old Texas Stadium that looked so much smaller in -- relative to the new Texas Stadium, for sure.

And you know, that -- all that dust in the air may very well be contributing to the record amounts of pollen that we're seeing. Extreme pollen across much of the south, even moderate across parts of the western Great Lakes and the northern plains.

We had a combination of a lot of rainfall in the past couple of months and then a kind of a delayed response to the blooming and the blossoming because of the cold. And now, everything is just coming together. We've got heat. And we've got dry conditions that just doesn't seem to want to stop.

So that's contributing to the record amounts of pollen we are seeing.

You're going to see it knocked down from San Francisco down to Los Angeles and San Diego. Some rainfall there today, a higher elevations, as a matter of fact, winter storm warnings are posted and some of that rain in the burn areas, at least for the next six to 12 hours may be dangerous as far as some flooding potential.

Across parts of South Florida, we are seeing some rainfall; southern drench (ph) there causing some of that action also with the onshore flow. Haiti is going to see a bad amount of rain over the next few days. So that could cause some problems with those folks there who are struggling to survive. East Coast though looks to be dry with a high of about 67 degrees in New York City.

John, Kiran -- back up to you.

ROBERTS: A lovely day up here. Rob, thanks so much.

Well, you know, you've heard us talk about in wartime when a soldier or service member is injured; there is this so-called golden hour. If you can get that person medical treatment, good medical treatment very quickly, you can save their lives.

Well now, there's a new way to do that. It is an E.R. team that can get right up to the front line of battle. Our Chris Lawrence is embedded in Afghanistan this week. And he reports on that coming right up.

Nine minutes now to the top of the hour.


CHETRY: It's 54 minutes past the hour.

You know, it is the M.A.S.H. unit of the modern battlefield, it's an E.R. crammed into a metal box that is with our Marines on the front line every step of the way.

ROBERTS: It is giving military doctors a priceless head start on saving lives. But the technology does not come cheap. Our Chris Lawrence, live from Kabul for us this morning. Good morning, Chris.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John, Kiran. Imagine the peace of mind that it gives to the troop to think, if I get injured right here, just a few hundred yards away, there is an emergency room with ultrasound and the kind of equipment that would be impossible for just one medic to carry.


LAWRENCE (voice-over): An armored emergency room doesn't have to wait for the wounded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Critically injured patient, let's go.

LAWRENCE: It rolls right up to the front line.

LT. CATHERINE VISINTAINER, U.S. NAVY: This is the mobile trauma bay. It is the front line of medical defense for the Marine Corps. And we basically take a patient who would probably die without immediate life-giving care.

We stop bleeding. We secure an airway. We keep them alive long enough to get them into the O.R.

CPL. BRENT LARIMER, U.S. MARINE CORPS: They always talk about that golden hour. You have that hour, if you get help within that first hour; you're pretty much good to go.

VISINTAINER: Unfortunately, in theater, it is not always feasible to get a patient to a hospital within one hour.

Especially if you are dealing with things like weather getting involved. If you can't get your air asset in, you need something that can hold those patients over until you can get the helicopter in.

So our job is to keep them alive for longer than the golden hour and extend that golden hour to an hour and a half, two hours.

CPL. KYLE GREEN, U.S. MARINE CORPS: They are by far probably the greatest mental asset that keeps Marines, like myself and my buddies who go out on these convoys. If we end up getting hit, knowing that it's going to be ok.

LAWRENCE (on camera): But all that means nothing if wounded troops can't in a very short time frame get to the next level of care, like the surgeons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We get somebody here alive, 98 percent of them will leave here alive.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): A collection of tents and trailers is being replaced by a new concrete hospital. And the doctors are already prepping for the big offensive against the Taliban come June.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know the exact date when that is going to occur. We have already made changes in the way we receive casualties. We have increased the number of trauma teams that we have.


LAWRENCE: You know the new hospital is going to increase capacity by a third. Not every unit is going to have the advantage of that mobile E.R. They cost about half a million dollars each and right now, there's only six of them in all of Afghanistan -- John, Kiran.

ROBERTS: Chris Lawrence for us this morning from Kabul. Chris thanks so much.

CHETRY: We are going to take a quick break. It is 57 minutes after hour. We'll be right back.


ROBERTS: Continue the conversation on today's stories. Go to our blog at That will wrap it up for us today. Thanks so much for joining us.

We are going to be back here bright and early tomorrow morning as we always are.

CHETRY: That's right. And we have been doing a special series all week -- well, it's only Monday but it's continuing -- "China Rising". About our unique and very complicated relationship with China.

Tomorrow Christine Romans is going to talk about the consumer end of it and how we've enjoyed being able to buy things pretty cheap but at the same time we end up paying more for it in the end.

ROBERTS: Yes and exactly you know, what does China represent to the United States? Is it an economic partnership? Could it potentially be a strategic partnership or will China become the economic -- the world's economic super power in 5 to 10 years? If there are projections that if China's economy continues at the pace that it's on now, by 2020 it will be the dominant super power economically.

CHETRY: Yes, unbelievable.

All right. Well, you know what? We're going to take a quick break and when we come back, we're going to have "NEWSROOM" with Kyra Phillips.

We'll be right back.