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RICK'S LIST

Primary Day Arrives; American Hiker Freed By Iran; Friend to Martin Luther King Jr. Revealed As FBI Agent; Eiffel Tower Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat

Aired September 14, 2010 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICK SANCHEZ, "RICK'S LIST" HOST: All right, before we do anything election, I want to bring you up to date on what appears to be a developing story that's just now starting to take place and from where we're just starting to get information.

Now, I understand there has been a huge explosion, this one taking place at what is being described as a flare factory, apparently where they make some kind of military flares -- military flares that are often used to signal some type of distress.

Now, this is the area where this is happening. It's at the area right there you see around the area that's called Kilgore Corporation -- Kilgore Corporation. The city of -- itself is -- what is that, Andreas (ph)? Let me check over here, because a lot of this information is just coming in to us right now. and I want to make sure that we're right, yes, that they do make military flares.

Here's what we're getting right now. OK? This is from the Memphis hospital where apparently some folks have been taken to. They have apparently three people from that explosion. Their conditions are undetermined. Officials there who have spoken to our people say they don't know the nature of the injuries.

Two of the patients were flown in, choppered in, and apparently the others were driven. We know we have got some pics coming in now from some of our affiliates there, because we see chopper shots of them on the way to this location to get -- to get some aerials of what it looks like.

There -- there you see it right there. There's the live picture of one of the helicopters that's going to the scene now. That's WMC that's providing those pictures for them, one of our affiliates. And we want to thank them for that.

We're told by hospital officials not that they're -- now that they're not expecting any other patients at this time. But, you know, beyond that, it's kind of hard to tell exactly what has happened.

Here's what else we have that we can add to this information as we look at these pictures. Emergency officials are now responding to an apparent explosion this afternoon at the Kilgore Flares Company. This is in Toone, Tennessee, spelled like -- or pronounced like cartoon, but it's spelled T-O-O-N-E -- Toone, Tennessee. This is apparently just halfway between Nashville and Memphis, in the middle as the crow flies, as they say. Sources are saying that multiple ambulances, four medical helicopters, four medical helicopters have now been sent to the scene of the explosion.

You can only imagine -- I mean, the flares in and of themselves are combustible. So, the idea that they would have an explosion, followed by a fire, followed by more of these flares going off, and then the possibility that they could start other fires is what officials, I imagine, are most concerned with right now.

Here -- here's -- wait, here's a spokesperson now for Kilgore telling Action News 5 there that the company is not able to comment at this time. The Web site says Kilgore is the world's foremost supplier of airborne expendable I.R. decoy flares, serves as a sole source of I.R. decoy flare supplier for some of the world's most sophisticated and advanced airborne platforms.

All right, here is -- here is WMC reporter Jason Miles. We follow people who tweet, obviously. We often get a lot of great news leads by following these tweets, and we got one coming in from JMilesWMC. He's a correspondent, a reporter there.

He says: "Medical chopper -- chopper arriving at the MED" -- hold on, let me get around my camera guy here -- "from plant explosion in Toone, Tennessee. I'm told it is last of three dispatched" -- "the last of three dispatched."

So -- well, there you go.

Hey, Chad, are you watching this thing? I know, oftentimes, when I do breaking news, I like to bring Chad into this. I know he's considered a weather guy, meteorologist. But oftentimes he has as much information and knows as much -- as much about a lot of these stories as anything else.

You got your -- you got your ears up there, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Rick, I'm -- I'm here.

SANCHEZ: I'm just trying to figure out, this area, geographically speaking, difficult to get to?

MYERS: Well, sure. This is a helicopter ride, I think, probably for anyone critically injured. Anyone going to ICU would definitely have to come out here.

This is -- this is Toone, Tennessee, the little circle right above the word breaking news, Kilgore Corporation. And, now, There is also a Kilgore test tunnel. And I don't know what that is, other than, of course, they're making flares, so they probably want to test them.

SANCHEZ: Hmm.

MYERS: And, so, I'm going to slide this over real quick and I'm going to kind of highlight the test tunnel. That's kind of on a different part of the map, right here.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

MYERS: And, you know, it -- the -- the -- the fire, the flare problem could have been either at the test tunnel or at the corporation where they make them. We just don't know yet.

And we're literally waiting for WMC's chopper to get closer and closer. And it appears, as I'm looking at it, that there may be some kind of smoke on the horizon that they're seeing on the -- on the helicopter shot. So, we are --

(LAUGHTER)

MYERS: -- we're still -- we're -- I'm -- I'm doing as much as I can back here. And I know --

SANCHEZ: No, no --

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS: Literally, I know as much as you do.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: No.

Look, I --

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: -- I get it. The story just broke. We just wanted to make people aware of it. The only other thing I think we could add to this situation now is, we did just get a picture -- this is a Twitpic -- that --

MYERS: Yes, good.

SANCHEZ: -- came into us a little while ago.

Go -- go -- let's go ahead and get a shot of it, if we possibly can, and we will see what we're talking about. There is one -- one of the three helicopters that was flown into the area. Now, this was sent in by Jason Miles. Again, he's one of the correspondents who is working that for one of our affiliates.

So, once again, just to underscore what we know, apparently, several helicopters going to the scene, three people from the explosion sent to the hospital. Two of them were choppered in. The other one was driven there. Still don't know the extent of their conditions, expecting additional patients at this time.

When -- when --

MYERS: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: When they say flares, what -- what -- they say I.R. flares used by the military. Do you know what that is?

MYERS: Sure. You -- you have rocket-held grenades --

SANCHEZ: Right.

MYERS: -- heat-seeking grenades trying to shoot down aircraft.

SANCHEZ: Right.

MYERS: You have a flare that can come out of the back of an airplane, of a helicopter, of any basically advanced aerial platform.

So, when the area and when the radar of this helicopter, of this plane picks up that something is coming at it, it will shoot the flares out the back that -- flares are hotter than the jet engines. So, the -- the heat-seeking grenade, the heat-seeking --

SANCHEZ: Ah, got it.

MYERS: -- flare, the heat-seeking --

SANCHEZ: Got it. Got it.

MYERS: -- rocket will go toward this flare --

SANCHEZ: Right.

MYERS: -- because the flare is literally hotter than the --

SANCHEZ: It's like a --

MYERS: -- jet.

SANCHEZ: It's like a -- it's like a -- it's like a decoy.

MYERS: It is exactly a decoy.

SANCHEZ: Right.

MYERS: And, so, the intercept happens on the flare, where the intercept doesn't happen on the aircraft.

SANCHEZ: So, this is not the same as the sticks that you and I have on our boats that we use in case of an emergency when we're out --

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS: Same idea.

SANCHEZ: Same idea. But it's a different --

(CROSSTALK) MYERS: Sure, a very, very hot spark and ignite.

And, so, you -- we don't know how -- what the explosion was or was it a fire, because you -- you -- you start putting people in the hospital with flares, you are thinking burn injuries.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

MYERS: You know, and, so, that's what --

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: Combustible, flammable --

(CROSSTALK)

SANCHEZ: -- all the things that go with it.

MYERS: Right.

SANCHEZ: Good stuff, Chad. Thanks for catching us up on that.

MYERS: We will be here.

SANCHEZ: We will keep an eye on this. If there's any more information, obviously, we will bring it to you right away.

OK, here's what else we have got, extremely, very busy day today. We're going to have the latest -- the latest on the American hiker. In fact, we were planning on starting this newscast with that, and everything got moved along because of this breaking story that we're getting now out of Tennessee. We will have the latest on that. There's a feed coming in from Iran.

She has been freed, officially, but hefty price, $500,000. We're going to take you through that and bring you the latest pictures.

Also, huge day in politics. Primary voters right now are heading to the polls in New York, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Hampshire. And there's much more. Will the Tea Party movement once again flex its muscles in this case?

How about Charlie Rangel? Charlie Rangel is up for election in -- in this primary in New York. Is he going to get another chance to represent New York? He's got some folks going up against him who are big names up there. He's battling ethics charges while he's in this race, so we're going to be all over that as well.

Stay with us. This is RICK'S LIST. We're going to be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: All right, now to that story that we had planned to start the newscast with. By the way, if anything else comes out of Toone, we're going to bring you that story on this flare explosion that's taken place -- taken place -- these military flares, as Chad just described to us a little while ago that are made there.

Now to this: Iran hiker Sarah Shourd is out of Iran. Shourd was smiling when handed over to Swiss authorities today. We have got some video coming out. Here it is. This is her as she was getting on a plane. Iranian media says that she was released on a $500,000 bail, after being jailed for 14 months for allegedly straying across an unmarked border into Iran while hiking in Iraq.

The Iranian judge decided to release Shourd on bail because of her medical condition. Her lawyer says she has a preexisting gynecological problem, and her family says she now has a lump on her breast, to boot.

Shourd spoke before getting on the plane, expressing her gratitude for her release. Here that is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH SHOURD, FREED AMERICAN HIKER: I want to really offer my thanks to everyone in the world, all of the governments, all of the people that have been involved.

And I especially and particularly want to address President Ahmadinejad and all of the Iranian officials and the religious leaders and thank them for this humanitarian gesture. It's -- I'm grateful and I'm very humbled by this moment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Tehran accused Shourd and two other Americans of spying for the United States, but American authorities deny that they are spies. Shourd's companions, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, they remain in prison in Iran.

We're already getting tweets about her release. As a matter of fact, here's a Middle Eastern analyst who has been giving us his perspective on this. Meir Javedanfar writes for "The Guardian," and he tweets to us: "Shourd's release shows how Iran has changed since '79 embassy hostage crisis. It is now more susceptible," he opines, "to international pressure and money."

So, let -- let's also do this. Let's go to CNN's Mary slow -- Mary Snow -- pardon me. She's been following this story and brings us up to date on what the latest diplomatic reaction is from New York.

Mary, what you got?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, you know, after Sarah Shourd made those comments that you just showed in Tehran, she flew on a chartered plane to Oman. And she is there. CNN has been able to confirm that she has landed there and that her mother and uncle were in Oman. Now, in terms of these bittersweet feelings for the family, of course, they're working to get Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer out, but, you know, the question of that bail had come up, this $500,000 bail. And the U.S. had made it clear that it did not pay that money.

But what we are learning from our Elise Labott at the State Department, she has spoken to a senior administration official who says that the funds came from Oman and that Oman has been working for -- behind the scenes for some time in working on this release.

And the White House and State Department came out earlier with a statement also thanking Oman, and, of course, the Swiss because the U.S. doesn't have diplomatic relations with Iran.

SANCHEZ: Hmm.

SNOW: They work with the Swiss in Tehran.

So, that was one of the other developments that -- that came through in the past couple of hours. And, you know, as far as the families go, I mean, as you said, these -- these three Americans have been held for more than 13 months. They have been working around the clock just to secure their freedom.

And Sarah Shourd's mother, Nora, had released a statement earlier today. I want to put it up. She said, you know: "I have hoped and prayed for this moment for 410 days. I cannot wait to wrap Sarah in my arms and hold her close when we finally are together again."

And she added, "I urgently appeal to Iran not to delay granting Shane and Josh's families the same joy and relief that I now have in knowing Sarah is finally free."

And in terms of what happens now to those two Americans, the Islamic Republic News Agency had quoted the prosecutor in Iran as saying that the detention for them had been extended for two months -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: All right, Mary, good job filling us up -- filling us -- filling out the details for us on that story. Let us know if you get any new information.

Mary Snow reporting to us from New York.

Meanwhile, take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REX RYAN, HEAD COACH, NEW YORK JETS: We never want anyone, you know, around our team to be uncomfortable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: And notice he used the words "uncomfortable."

And the word uncomfortable was the one that was used by the reporter who was here on RICK'S LIST yesterday, telling us, taking us through what happened when she was at the Jets' training facility.

There's a big brouhaha about this. It's a story you heard first right here with my interview with Azteca reporter Ines Sainz, allegations of sexual harassment. Well, now the head coach of the Jets last night was asked about it. And you just heard part of his response. You will hear the rest in just a little bit when Max Kellerman joins me in the next hour.

Also, Republican Senate hopefuls battle in Delaware. It's another test of the Palin factor. And Jessica Yellin is there. That is next. It's a big day for primaries, the last big event before the midterm elections. And we here at CNN on RICK'S LIST have you covered.

Yes, we do. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: All right. Before we start into politics -- and it's going to be a very interesting political day -- let me show you aerials that we're getting in now from WMC.

This is in Toone, Tennessee -- Toone, Tennessee -- where, as we understand it, there's a plant that makes flares, military flares. There's been an explosion there. And, as a result, there have been some -- some injuries. Some folks were taken to the hospital. Some were taken, I understand, on helicopters. The other was driven there.

I mean, I'm looking at these shots here with you now. I don't see --

MYERS: Yes.

SANCHEZ: Let me -- let me pull my chair over here and make sure I'm looking at this as well as you do.

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS: I have been looking at it now for -- for 15 minutes.

SANCHEZ: I don't see anything --

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS: The company is now calling it a flash fire. They're saying that what they make, those -- those pieces and those chemicals they make are flammable, but not explosive.

SANCHEZ: Oh, OK.

MYERS: And, so, therefore -- as soon as the helicopter arrived on scene, they -- they showed what looked like a big hole in the top of a roof --

SANCHEZ: Hmm.

MYERS: -- a big dark spot.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

MYERS: As the -- as the airport -- as the helicopter got closer and closer, it turns out it was just basically rust on a roof, and it looked dirty --

SANCHEZ: Well, and --

MYERS: -- looked dark.

SANCHEZ: Maybe our expectations have been heightened by what --

MYERS: I --

SANCHEZ: -- we saw in San Bruno last week.

MYERS: I believe you're correct.

SANCHEZ: When we hear about a big explosion, we start to --

(LAUGHTER)

MYERS: I hope for the best for those three injured people --

(CROSSTALK)

MYERS: -- but I think we're OK.

SANCHEZ: Yes. It doesn't look like that big a deal, but I'm glad we got it anyway.

MYERS: Yes.

SANCHEZ: And, hopefully, everything will be OK.

All right, thanks, Chad.

MYERS: Sure.

MYERS: Always appreciate you coming over and helping us out.

All right, at the top of our political follow-up list on this day: The Tea Party trying to make inroads once again, this time in Delaware. After helping push through the candidacy of Joe Miller -- this is in Alaska -- the Tea Party Express has now turned their attention to Joe Biden's old Senate seat.

You see, the Tea Party says that Congressman Mike Castle is not conservative enough. So, they're putting their financial might behind Christine O'Donnell in the Republican primary. But the Delaware State GOP has decided to not just sit around and watch their preferred candidate go down without a fight.

Jessica Yellin is all over this primary for us.

Jessica, it's unusual to see a party go after really one of its own supporters like this, right?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is big- time unusual, Rick. This is a true internal fight within the Republican Party.

We are seeing something that I think I haven't seen before, which is, the Republican Party in this state launched a robocall to voters today against one of their own candidates. That's right. The Delaware Republican Party sent a telephone call out to likely Republican voters in Delaware featuring a woman who says she used to be a campaign manager for one of the candidates, Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell, and the woman says: Don't vote for her for the following reasons.

Let -- let -- let's play just a bit of it.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

KRISTIN MURRAY, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR DELAWARE SENATORIAL CANDIDATE CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: You see, this is her third Senate race in five years.

As O'Donnell's manager, I found out that she was living on campaign donations, using them for rent and personal expenses, while leaving her workers unpaid and piling up thousands in debt. She wasn't concerned about conservative causes. O'Donnell just wanted to make a buck.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Hmm.

YELLIN: Now, that, Rick, is harsh.

And not only that -- the O'Donnell campaign has picked a fight with the establishment Republicans, her opponent, Mike Castle, who is a longtime Republican congressman, and with the "Weekly Standard" magazine, which features -- it's edited by Bill Kristol, a big luminary in the Republican Party.

Her campaign attacked him, so Bill Kristol gave CNN a statement, saying -- because she's endorsed by Sarah Palin -- saying that: "I know Sarah Palin. I like Sarah Palin. And Christine O'Donnell is no Sarah Palin."

(LAUGHTER)

YELLIN: This is mean, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: There we go, a line made famous in debates.

Now, but -- but let's go back to what they're saying. They're -- these folks who work for her apparently in the past are coming out now and saying that she's a perennial candidate. She runs for office, collects a lot of money, and then lives off that -- those campaign funds, pays her -- pays her rent, buys her clothes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And she doesn't pay her staff, they also go on to say. That's a heck of a charge.

I imagine she's denying that, right?

YELLIN: She denies -- she denies it all. She says, not only that, but it's a sign of the desperation on the other side; it has nothing to do with this campaign.

Sarah Palin jumped in on that message and taped a robocall herself, saying that these are part of desperate, sad attacks by the establishment that she, Sarah Palin, can relate to --

SANCHEZ: But you know what is interesting?

YELLIN: -- the -- the politics of personal destruction.

SANCHEZ: You -- you know what is interesting about this? What you told us a little while ago is that the Republican Party is now having to come in and fuel people like Mike Castle.

When I say fuel, I mean, you know, provides funds, so that they can run their campaign, but they're depleting part of their treasury running against people who are also conservative, I mean, running against Tea Party candidates, when they should be saving that reserve for the Dems, right?

YELLIN: Right.

And Mike Castle has plenty of money himself, but he's having to hemorrhage money on this primary. The national party is a presence here also, when they would rather be elsewhere.

SANCHEZ: Hmm.

YELLIN: And Mike Castle himself says, look, this is about a fight over the future of the Republican Party. We talked to him. He says he -- he didn't appreciate Sarah Palin endorsing his opponent, and he -- he's worried about the future of the party.

If we have a minute, we can play you that sound.

SANCHEZ: Yes, go ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MIKE CASTLE (R-DE), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: On a personal level, obviously, I do not appreciate it. I really don't know what she is up to, if she is trying to build some sort of a conservative movement to run for president or just trying to keep her name in front of the -- the public.

This particular campaign has become a bit of a test of can, you know, the -- the very conservative elements of the Republican Party take out an incumbent with which -- with whom they do not always agree. So, that's part of what we are dealing with here. It's a little bit beyond just Delaware.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: You know, this -- this is another interesting test, because I know Sarah Palin would sell in some parts of the country, mostly the Deep South, certainly in Alaska and other places. But Delaware is not a place where you would think a Sarah Palin endorsement would serve you well, maybe in a primary, but certainly not in a general election.

YELLIN: Right. Right.

But it -- it could be helpful in the primary. And that's exactly, Rick, big picture, why this race matters to the whole nation, because about 40,000 primary voters today could decide if Christine O'Donnell wins.

If she wins, most smart people, both Republican and Democrats, in this state think she cannot win in this election. A Democrat would win here. And that means they could retain control of the U.S. Senate.

So, what happens with Christine O'Donnell today could determine who controls the U.S. Senate going forward.

SANCHEZ: It certainly does.

YELLIN: Big race.

SANCHEZ: Good stuff.

Jessica Yellin, all over that for us, my thanks to you. Look forward to spending a lot of time with you tonight, both on our 4:00 hour and then at 8:00, when everything really starts to break. And we will be live just as some of the election results come in.

Depend on us here on CNN to bring you the very latest, certainly during that 8:00 hour and beyond.

There's a fascinating story that we're following for you now. It's a photographer famous for taking iconic pictures of the civil rights movement. Well, guess what? He was taking pictures of Martin Luther King while he was actually spying on Martin Luther King.

That's right. He was a mole for the FBI. Can you believe that? Brand-new information. Wait until you hear what they paid him to do as he covered some of history's most famous moments. We will show you the picture. That's coming up as the LIST scrolls on.

This is RICK'S LIST. We're going to be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: Checking our breakthrough list now: He is known as a civil rights photographer, but a new report reveals that he was spying on the people that he was taking pictures of.

I want to show you an iconic photo. All right? You have -- you have seen this one. There it is. It's a picture of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. It was taken by freelance photographer Ernest C. Withers in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1966 at the Lorraine Motel, the same motel where King was murdered just two years later.

King was there to participate in a black voter registration drive. But an investigative article by a Memphis newspaper, "The Commercial Appeal," reveals that Withers was also known as an informant, informant number ME 338-R, by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.

He was spying on MLK while he was shooting MLK. This is Withers in an interview conducted by CNN's Gary Tuchman in 1998. Withers once said that Dr. King felt comfortable giving him full access since they both grew up together.

He was there when King was murdered by an assassin's bullet in Memphis and shot the photo of the bloody balcony at the Lorraine Motel when King was killed on April 4, 1968. He was able to get past police tape to take that photo that other photographers would not have been able to get. So he had that kind of access.

And now we discover he was using his access to inform, to spy and to give all the information that he could gather on Dr. King to the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover.

Tomorrow we've lined up a guest. I'm going to be speaking to a man who spent time with Withers when he was snapping those famous pics of Martin Luther King Jr. and probably didn't know until much later. Who are we talking to? Andrew Young, that's right, the Andrew Young live tomorrow here on "RICK'S LIST."

I want to ask him questions about this Mr. Withers. That's tomorrow at 3:00 right here. Eastern of course.

The miners trapped a half mile underground in Chile have been given food, medicine, communications devices, just about everything possible to make them comfortable, but they have made one request that has NASA worried. That's ahead.

Also, you know those victory celebrations that athletes make in the end zone or at the goal line. They're always entertaining unless for some reason they take the touchdown away from them because they tried to celebrate too soon. That's next in "Fotos."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Did you see the thing with Larry king last night? I thought that was hilarious. I have to tell you -- we finished the Lady Gaga thing. So Larry is coming on. I said, Larry, would you ever consider wearing a meat suit? If we found you the right tailor, would you -- and he looks at me and he says, did you fall out of your crib when you were little or something?

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: You know that Army motto that says we do more before 9:00 a.m. than most people do all day long? How do they do it? Time for a "Fotos."

This is how they do it, ba ba ba ba. No? I tried. These guys store down and rebuilt this jeep in under four minutes. Now, that's amazing. Their speed was aided by simplicity of design. The jeep got its name from a military acronym just enough essential parts. Isn't that cool? Take it apart and put it together in four minutes, Brooke Baldwin.

There are victory dances and then there are victory dances. He made the shot. They cued the music and he busted a move, several moves. Busted -- oh, my gosh. Check this guy out. Yes! That's how I do it. Can you imagine the agony of having to lose to this guy? The ref doesn't seem too amused, but a win is a win, right?

To Morocco we go. Crime doesn't pay and neither does hubris. This goalie a little too impressed with his own work. He may have blocked the shot but the ball rolled in just moments later. Moral of the story -- you know Yogi Berra's famous words, right? It ain't over till it's over. That's right.

That's "Fotos." you can see it for yourself on CNN.com/ricksanchez.

All right, a mother mission to lock up the medicine cabinet after her son dies from a fatal dose of cough syrup. Wouldn't think that could kill you. She's ahead in the most intriguing list.

And then on our "Trending," singer George Michael is heading to jail. That's interesting. Brooke Baldwin is coming in with more on this now. George Michael, hasn't he had this kind of issue before?

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He has before. George Michael in London. And the Chile miners, lots of tweets. They're getting something that NASA says is a no-no.

SANCHEZ: Really? What do they want to do down there?

BALDWIN: I'm not telling you.

SANCHEZ: It's supposed to be a tease.

BALDWIN: Wait for it.

SANCHEZ: We'll be right back. Brooke Baldwin's coming right up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) SANCHEZ: All right. When you -- look who's here, Brooke Baldwin.

BALDWIN: Hi. I'm popping in early.

SANCHEZ: I'm glad you're here. What are we talking about? I think we're talking about Hollywood movies, big stars and the money they make.

BALDWIN: Something like that, kind of. So I got to go to Warner Brothers. This is all part of our solutions series. I got to go to Warner Brothers and we went behind the scenes because you think they're interested in green, right? But it's actually green of a different kind. We get to see the first lead certified sound stage of any major motion studio and also saw how they're using recycled scripts, reusable water bottles. It's amazing. Look at the piece.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Big stars, elaborate sets, and lots of lighting. In Hollywood, making a movie takes money. But at Warner Brothers headquarters, their focus is on green of a different kind.

From the front seat of her solar powered golf cart, Shelley Billik is driving the studio's environmental charge.

SHELLEY BILLIK, V.P. OF ENVIRONMENTALISM, WARNER BROTHERS: You can imagine when you do make television shows and films, you have a lot of material.

BALDWIN: Shelley's job is to look behind the scenes and find ways Warner Brothers, which, like CNN, is owned by Time-Warner can reduce its impact on the environment.

Her latest project, Stage 23. It's believed to be Hollywood's first green south stage, with fly ash in the concrete, sustainably harvested lumber on set, and energy efficient lighting from above.

BILLIK: The perimeter lights, the house lights, the catwalk lights. We have some cooling technology that uses nighttime cooling for the data rooms. So we're really focused on reducing the energy use.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: We face a convergence of crises all of which are a concern for life.

BALDWIN: Sometimes this green message takes center stage on the silver screen in documentaries like Leonardo DiCaprio's "11th Hour" and the movie "Syriana." According to WB, "Syriana" was the first film to be climate neutral by investing in renewable energy.

KYRA SEDGWICK, ACTRESS, "THE CLOSER:: For me I try to have the smallest carbon footprint that I can.

BALDWIN: Even stars like "The Closer's" Kyra Sedgwick are playing lead roles in reducing their environmental impacts. On the set, her crew has barred plastic water bottles, they eat off biodegradable plates, and recycle old strips.

SEDGWICK: These are called sides, and basically there have their lines on them. You can see mine of highlighted. And instead of using fresh, virgin paper for this, what we do is use sides, what we do is use paper that's already been used for scripts.

So we, you know, as you can see, you can read the other lines from, you know, an old script, and it's not -- it's all recycled and used paper, recycled by us.

BARRY MYERS, CEO, WARNER BROTHERS: We think in the long run it is good for business.

BALDWIN: Warner Brothers CEO Barry Myers says green investments pay off long term and advises even the smaller studios to follow suit. Shelly Billik says the challenge is changing a culture, but anyone can help play a part.

Brooke Baldwin, CNN, Burbank, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SANCHEZ: Hey, welcome back. We've got breaking news I want to share with you right now, actually a couple of breaking news items. The first one and one that really takes your breath away when you first hear it because we've heard of this place, it's a world landmark, the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

We're being told now by French authorities they've just had to evacuate it and it's because of a bomb alert. We're monitoring French TV now and we're trying to get a better sense of what exactly the scare is, whether it was called in and in what form and from whom.

Let's see what else I can share with you here. The police press office is saying the alert was treated as a routine occurrence and it was investigated to determine whether the threat was real. So sounds like they're just being overly -- they're being very cautious.

BALDWIN: It's summertime, a lot of tourists, multiple elevators going up there, a restaurant.

SANCHEZ: You've been there?

BALDWIN: I was there six months ago.

SANCHEZ: What was it like?

BALDWIN: It's gorgeous. You've never been?

SANCHEZ: No. Well, bomb scare, we're going to be on top of that.

There's also another story Brooke we're following right now. Apparently this is a developing story having to do with Calabasas, California. You know we've been talking about all the fires in California recently?

BALDWIN: Right.

SANCHEZ: Apparently there's another one now. Here is KCAL, KCBS pictures, I want to thank those guys for sending these to us. There you see the smoke jumpers to make a line to try and contain fires. I've worked with these guys many times, have been on assignment with them. And what they do -- what they do is make sure they keep the fire from going into another direction.

All right, let's go back -- let's do this. CNN International now has apparently a pretty good handle on this Eiffel Tower story. Jim Bitterman is explaining what's going on. Let's take him live if we possibly can.

JIM BITTERMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): On the next-to-highest level alert for several years now and they've taken away all the garbage cans and replaced them with plastic sacks and you see police patrols and all this.

But this has been going on for at least the last three or four years. It's a level of alert that people have learned to live with, and I don't think there's anything different today from what we've seen in previous days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And, Jim, I would like to welcome our domestic viewers who have also joined us for this breaking news out of Paris. We are hearing that the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the surrounding parks around the -- you see the video here -- have been evacuated following a telephone threat which was called in to the police, a threat of a bomb in or near the Eiffel Tower.

And police have evacuated the area. Some reports saying about 25,000 people have been evacuated. It happened a little bit after 9:00. Jim Bittermann is on the line with me from Paris. He's telling me that it was -- it's a nice evening there, a lot of people out in the streets, 25,000 have been evacuated.

Police are saying that they're treating this as a routine occurrence and are investigating it to determine whether the threat is real. But as Jim and I were speaking, he told me that --

SANCHEZ: So, 25,000 people evacuated. That's a big -- you've been there.

BALDWIN: I've been there a couple of times. You have the Eiffel Tower, which is massively tall and huge tourist attraction in Paris. So you have the Eiffel Tower. You have surrounding park areas. And I don't know how far out this 25,000 people --

SANCHEZ: So they've basically drawn a perimeter.

BALDWIN: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: And gotten all of the people out of there, all 25,000. That's a pretty big number. Obviously, we're going to keep an eye on this. Jim Bittermann is going to be joining us in just a little bit to take us through it. And as we get more information we're going to be sharing it with you. In fact, we're told we might be able to use Jim Bittermann if we can borrow him from some of our family members there, our cousins at CNN international.

Let's sneak a break in. When we come back we'll continue with this. Brooke has trending and a lot of other news including the politics of the day here in the states. You national conversation continues here on "RICK'S LIST."

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SANCHEZ: Welcome back. Brooke Baldwin is joining us once again. Let's stay on this just in case it turns into something. I'd like to cross my fingers and hope it's nothing more than a precaution. But when they start throwing out numbers like 25,000 people --

BALDWIN: Evacuated.

SANCHEZ: That's a lot of people to evacuate from something.

Again, you were explaining to us that the Eiffel Tower is -- by the way, I was just told Jim Bitterman will be joining us in a little bit. He's our correspondent covering this story. He's talking on CNN International right now around the world.

It's -- the Eiffel Tower itself is the attraction, but there's also -- there's attractions around it. I imagine blocks -- lines form around the block, et cetera, et cetera.

BALDWIN: I was there in December and I was freezing, freezing cold and there were lines running all around the thing. Imagine right now -- I think he said it's roughly 9:00 local time, beautiful Paris evening. You have the river Seine running past it and parks. It's a popular area of Paris.

When he references perhaps the 25,000 people, obviously that can't be simply contained within the Eiffel Tower. I imagine there would be some kind of maximum and beyond that, like you said, some sort of perimeter where that 25,000 would be encompassed.

SANCHEZ: Take it from there and literally draw it out, get a circumference and say nobody outside of this perimeter can remain here. Everybody else has to move out. And it is a world landmark, so I imagine it's like our statue of liberty in many ways.

BALDWIN: Absolutely. And they're taking total precaution. I think he said it's happened programs more than once. This isn't entirely unusual. But they're taking every precaution because it is an iconic landmark.

SANCHEZ: It's funny because I read this thing -- I have another story that's coming in that I want to bring you up to date. Let me go back to the wording a little while ago. I guess it didn't print. Let me go back to this page.

BALDWIN: The Paris police?

SANCHEZ: Yes, what they said which is interesting. Andreas's note -- "The police press office says this alert was being treated as a routine occurrence."

BALDWIN: There we go, "routine."

SANCHEZ: "But it was being investigated to determine whether the threat was real."

So I guess they must get these threats from time to time. It's a usual occurrence. But how do you determine which one is one that you have evacuate 25,000 people for and which one do you just let it go? Maybe the person who could answer that is Jim Bittermann. He's joining us now on the line.

Hey, Jim, Brooke and I were sitting here and we were wondering what they mean by this and this message where they say -- the press office said this was being treated as a routine occurrence but they're investigating to determine whether the threat was real. How do they separate one from another?

BITTERMAN: That's a good question. I'm not sure I can answer that question. Basically they do get a lot of threats of not only the Eiffel Tower but all the other monuments in Paris. And this is not the first time that the Eiffel Tower has been evacuated.

So it's not like -- it is something that's totally out of the ordinary. But to take this kind of precaution means that they've had some reason to believe that they should do that in order to protect people's lives, and so they've done it.

They basically have evacuated they basically have evacuated a tower and some of the areas around the tower. This area around the tower is a popular area on a nice night like it is tonight, a very popular area for people to go out and have picnics and sit around, have a drink, whatever. It was fairly active this evening because they had this crowd of 25,000, that wouldn't have been anywhere near that number in the Eiffel Tower itself. People go up late at night but the number at any given time isn't anywhere near that, but obviously a lot of people around it.

SANCHEZ: So it's nighttime there, and that's what it would look like. This is a live picture from a web cam, and it gives you an indication of how beautiful this thing is. It's the City of Lights, of course, so the Eiffel Tower is the piece de resistance. It shows off the city more than anyone else. Jim, who's handling this?

BITTERMAN: At the moment, it's the police -- the police around where the Eiffel Tower is located. But by this time they brought in some experts. I noted according to reports we're getting they brought in the sniffer dogs and going through trying to find out if there's any reason to add substance to these threats. And we're -- we understand it, and, again, this is just early in this reporting, but as we understand it, there was a telephone threat that caused them to take this action.

And, I mean, the Eiffel Tower like so many other symbols around the world, like some other symbols here in Paris, is one that is -- it gets struck quite a bit, and they don't take these kinds of precautions or these kinds of reaction on a daily basis. But they have the kind of threats of some sort against the power practically every day.

BALDWIN: Jim, let me jump in. I'm just curious. We keep referencing the telephone threat. Does that mean that someone picked up the phone and made some sort of threat toward either the Eiffel Tower specifically or the surrounding area? Do we have more specifics on that threat?

BITTERMAN: No, not at all. The police are fielding calls, as you can imagine. They basically are not giving out information. The idea that the telephone track is being supported here by the news agencies is not confirmed to CNN.

BALDWIN: Where are you? Are you anywhere near the Eiffel Tower?

BITTERMAN: I'm about a mile away.

BALDWIN: About a mile away. What does it look like from your vantage?

BITTERMAN: I'm not close enough to see anything.

SANCHEZ: This thing looks beautiful, doesn't it?

BALDWIN: It's gorgeous.

SANCHEZ: As you look at this thing, you can see why it attracts so many people. Do you have like a park police like we have here in the United States that handles this?

BITTERMAN: Yes, definitely a park police. There's also a fair number of police in civilian clothes. And I should say the Eiffel Tower is not that far away from the police stations. So the police would have been on the scene, there, I would say in minutes, maybe even seconds, because it's really not that far away from one of the main police stations in the area.

SANCHEZ: We describe it here as a post-9/11 environment we all live it where we're a little more cautious, maybe a little more vigilant, and things we wouldn't react to in the past, we react to with a little bit more of attention and caution than we would have back then.

So would you say the same thing about European cities like Paris?

BITTERMAN: Well, it's not -- I wouldn't say people are edgy, people are edgy. The officials seem to have some concern, though. We've heard in the last two to three months here that, in fact, that the threat level they're feeling, they're sensing, is somewhat elevated, somewhat higher.

Having said that, the threat level in Paris in general has been just right below the highest threat level for several years because of the number of things, the kinds of terrorism we've seen everywhere. France has troops in Afghanistan. There was an incident involving Al Qaeda in North Africa that ended up in the death of a French aid worker a month or so ago.

And so there have been a number of reasons that terrorism experts here have been saying for the latter part of the summer saying that the threat level is elevated. And this may be one of the reasons they have taken the precautions. The threat level they have to take more seriously as the phone calls that have come in to them.

SANCHEZ: Let's go back to the pictures we got a little while ago. It's the first -- the first time we've gotten from the scene there. That was French TV. Jim, what are you seeing there? I imagine you have monitors in the bureau there as well.

BITTERMAN: It's almost 10:00 at night. I'm at home here.

SANCHEZ: How is this being covered? Do you have any indication?

BITTERMAN: Yes. I think the news network here, my sister station BFM has been covered it since the start of it. And they basically -- I think they're maybe the pictures you're looking at, in fact, coming from them. They have what seems to be a web cam or somebody's handi-cam out there taking the pictures that you've been looking at.

But the scene itself is what you would expect, pretty much cleared of people with few police vehicles around, and no sense that the police are searching for anything but in the Eiffel Tower. There does not seem to be indication that they're out searching the grounds of the Eiffel Tower.

SANCHEZ: So it's 10:00 p.m. and you've already gone home.

(LAUGHTER)

BITTERMAN: It's not like CNN, is it?

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: Is that a full day's work, Jim?

BITTERMAN: Well, it started about 8:00 this morning.

(LAUGHTER)

SANCHEZ: Hey, Jim, thanks so much.

BITTERMAN: You bet. SANCHEZ: Look, we're going to stay on top of this as best we can. We'll tell you what's going on. Obviously, anytime you have the evacuation of 25,000 people of what is considered one of the most important in the entire world, it certainly begs our attention. And we're going to do just that.

In the meantime, let's take a little break, figure out what we're going to do, recalibrate, as they say, and we're going to be right back. Brooke and I are here. This is RICK'S LIST. And this is your, today, international conversation.

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