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Astronaut Accused of Attempted Kidnapping Involving Love Triangle; Arctic Cold Stretches From Dakotas to New England; Friendly Fire Incident Cockpit Video Released

Aired February 06, 2007 - 09:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Tony Harris.


For the next three hours, watch events as they come in to the NEWSROOM, live on Tuesday, February 6th.

Here's what's on the rundown.

A shuttle astronaut in court at this hour, accused in a kidnap plot. It allegedly involves mace, a wig, and adult diapers.

HARRIS: Friendly fire. A classified tape shows up on a British tabloid's Web site. U.S. fighter jets apparently hitting British troops in Iraq.

COLLINS: Cities across the Midwest struggling for zero. Dr. Sanjay Gupta has cold weather health concerns.

Bundle up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: At the top this morning, NASA, we have a problem. A space shuttle astronaut due in court right about now, facing serious charges in what police are calling a bizarre love triangle.

CNN's Miles O'Brien has the story.


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Lisa Nowak, astronaut in training. Lisa Nowak, suspects facing some serious charges.

Police in Orlando say it's all about a high-flying love triangle. They say Nowak, a Navy captain who flew for the first time on the shuttle Discovery in July, drove 900 miles from Houston to Orlando to confront Colleen Shipman at the airport. Authorities say both women were romantically linked to astronaut Bill Oefelein, the pilot on the last shuttle mission in December.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a fairly elaborate plan. And we believe that she was probably going to try to kidnap the victim and, you know, possibly do serious bodily harm.

O'BRIEN: Police say Nowak, married with three children, wore a trenchcoat and wig, and waited for Shipman in the parking lot at the airport when she arrived on a flight from Houston. They say Nowak pepper-sprayed Shipman as she sat in her car.

But there is more. Police say Nowak was armed with a knife, a BB gun, and a steel mallet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a really, really sad, sad case that, you know, somebody of that stature, of that success in her professional career, ends up finding herself on the other side of the law, facing some very serious charges.


HARRIS: Miles, Miles, Miles. Miles O'Brien join us from New York this morning.

OK, Miles. Where do we begin on this one?

Did Oefelein and Nowak, did they over fly together?

O'BRIEN: No, they never flew together, but, of course, they're of the same vintage of astronaut. And so they would have trained significant amounts of time together through the course of their training.

It's many years from the point which an astronaut is selected until the time that astronaut flies. She's been with NASA since 1996 and first flew this summer.

So, while Oefelein first flew on his first mission in December, she flew back in July. Separate missions, but, of course, it's a close community.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Hey, Miles, is there any psychological testing for astronauts?

O'BRIEN: Well, I mean, if you think of the hurdles you've got to fly over, I mean, it's not too far from what you saw in "The Right Stuff" with the ink blots. Obviously it's moved along a little since then.


O'BRIEN: But, nevertheless, they try too vet these people in a very significant way in order to make sure they'd be good for close-quarter missions, long-duration missions, adverse conditions. Clearly, they want people who are psychologically sound.

HARRIS: Yes. You know, this feels bizarre for a couple of reasons. But I'm wondering, has there ever been an active astronaut arrested before?

O'BRIEN: Not that we know of. Of course, back in the heady days of "The Right Stuff," back when the Mercury 7 astronauts were involved in some of their shenanigans, I'm sure there were a lot of cases where they could have been and people looked the other way.


O'BRIEN: In this case though, this is the only occasion we can remember any sort of charges of this magnitude for an active astronaut.

HARRIS: Yes. And you're right, they're serious charges.

Miles O'Brien for us in New York.

Miles, thank you.

O'BRIEN: You're welcome.

COLLINS: Water pipes frozen solid, cars that won't start, homeless shelters packed. From the Dakotas to New England, a deadly blast of arctic air is causing a lot of problems. In some places, it's not just below zone, it is way below. Right now at least six deaths are blamed on the frigid weather.

CNN's Keith Oppenheim is braving the cold in Chicago.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Freezing! Way too cold!

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): From the Midwest to the Northeast, the weather has been so cold, it's dangerous to go outside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just stepped out here maybe 10, 15 minutes ago and I'm already half frozen.

OPPENHEIM: And treacherous to drive.

In central Ohio, motorists got stuck in deep snow. Winds whipped up chills that felt as cold as 25 below zero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've really got to keep your hands and your extremities covered up because they feel like they could freeze off out here.

OPPENHEIM: In Michigan, whiteout conditions closed many schools. Similar story in northern Indiana, where icy roads caused accidents and injuries.

Farther south, the Indianapolis Colts, returning from the Super Bowl in Miami, got a warm reception from fans, who braved temperatures in the single digits as the players and cheerleaders took part in an outdoor victory parade.



OPPENHEIM: In Minnesota, where cold weather is part of the culture, firefighters were worried about exposure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crews get wet with the water, then they come outside. You know, they're exposed to the elements.

OPPENHEIM: In Chicago, some tourists got a lot more winter than they bargained for.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from San Diego. So this is hell.

OPPENHEIM: But at least some of the locals took the frigid conditions in stride, knowing that it can always get worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was minus 11 when I got out of the train this morning. So -- and it's been -- in 11 years of working down here, it's been a lot colder.


COLLINS: Keith Oppenheim joining us now live now.

You know, Keith, a lot of people have just never felt temperatures like that. When is it expected to warm up for them?

OPPENHEIM: Well, perhaps by Thursday we'll get to a balmy 17 degrees in Chicago. And that might sound like, you know, incredibly cold. But everything is relative.

Right now, I have my portable thermometer, and it's been hovering right around zero all morning. When it stays like this with the wind- chill, you just can't be outside for much longer than a live shot. Other than that, you've got to get inside.

COLLINS: Yes. Hey, Keith, are you standing on a frozen river?

OPPENHEIM: Right behind me is -- let's take a look at the very frozen Chicago River. It is filled with ice chunks. And you don't often see this. But we are having what we've been told is the longest stretch of cold weather in Chicago since 1996, for 11 years now. So this is really incredible.

COLLINS: It's very slow moving, that's for sure.

On a serious note, though, when we have temperatures like this, you have to think about the homeless people. What are they doing there in Chicago, as far as taking care of themselves?

OPPENHEIM: It's interesting you ask that question because this morning, I was talking to a homeless man inside a Starbucks. And I asked him if he had stayed in a shelter last night, and he said no, which is really extraordinary. And it's not really uncommon for homeless people not to want to stay in shelters, because they often feel they don't have control of their own possessions.

But still, at the same time, for anyone to brave conditions overnight in weather like this is hard to imagine. Still, the city has shelters, has warming centers for the elderly. And we are hearing from emergency managers that they are getting a higher number of calls, in terms of heating problems or broken pipes and things like that. But for the most part, surprisingly, the city is functioning.

COLLINS: All right. Keith Oppenheim, coming to us live from Chicago this morning.

Thank you, Keith.

HARRIS: Sort of want to put that same question to Chad Myers this morning. When might we get some kind of warm-up?

Chad, good morning.


Good morning, Tony. Good morning, Heidi.


COLLINS: Coming up in a few minutes, too, we want to let you know we're going to be talking about bundling up against the cold. If you don't protect yourself, you could be in big trouble health-wise. Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the dangers of frigid weather, coming up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: The fog of war and a friendly fire accident captured in brutal clarity. A British tabloid has released this cockpit video from the first weeks of the Iraq war. It shows two U.S. fighter jets opening fire on an apparent enemy convoy.

The vehicles and the men British. One soldier killed, four others wounded. And sobering questions on how the investigation has been handled.

CNN's European political editor, Robin Oakley, is following this story for us.

Robin, good morning.

I guess one of the questions at the top here is could the American pilots involved in this be brought in to testify at the coroner's inquest?


I don't think there's any question of any punitive action against the American pilots. I think there's an acceptance among British authorities, as there is among U.S. authorities, that these are honest mistakes made when you're having to take instant decisions in the fog of war. But rarely have we had the chance to see a cockpit video of this kind which illustrates so dramatically the difficulties involved in a situation like that.

And these two U.S. pilots, we go through the process of how they see some orange objects on the top of the vehicles, which eventually they attack. Now, the orange panels normally denote a friendly vehicle that should not be attacked. But the pilots convince themselves that these are actually orange-colored rocket launchers and they urge each other on into the attack.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I want to get that first one before he gets into town then.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him. Get him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. We got rocket launchers. It looks like Number 2 is rolling in from the south to the North, and 2's in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm off your west.



OAKLEY: "Good hits," they say, but alas, good hits on the wrong side. And very quickly, there was confirmation from the ground controllers that it was in fact a British convoy which they had hit, which leads to pretty immediate responses from the two pilots, very deeply remorseful.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, POPOV, be advised that in the 3122 and 3222 group box, you have friendly armor in the area. Yellow, small-armored tanks. So just be advised.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got a -- got a smoke.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, POPOV34, abort your mission. You got a -- it looks like we may have a blue on blue situation.




OAKLEY: A blue on blue situation, which, of course, means friendly fire. They have attacked a convoy on their own side. One pilot is sick in the cockpit and another pilot says to his colleague, "Hey, dude, we're in jail here," recognizing the enormity of the mistake they've made -- Tony.

HARRIS: And Robin, I think everyone can accept that this was clearly an accident, but I'm just sort of curious as to the family's role, the family of the dead soldier. Are they asking for greater clarity as to how something like this could happen?

OAKLEY: Absolutely. And not only are the family asking for that greater clarity, but so is Harriet Harman, the British constitutional affairs minister.

She's making it plain that she's been pushing the U.S. authorities to put more into the public domain here for the sake of the families. She says of course tragic accidents happen, but people need to know the circumstances to get some kind of closure after these affairs.

And clearly, there's a feeling that the U.S. authorities could have done more to help the coroner, the judge who's investigating the death of Lance Corporal Hull here. So I think a little bit of tension between the U.S. and British governments over this, but there's no question of there being any criminal proceeding ever against the pilots.


Robin Oakley following this tragedy for us from London.

Robin, thank you.

COLLINS: Want to give you the very latest now on a story that we have been following this morning, a pretty bizarre story regarding some NASA astronauts. This is new video coming in to us, some court proceedings here.

This is Lisa Nowak, and this is what she is accused of -- an apparent love triangle. It took a pretty strange twist yesterday when she was arrested.

She was apparently trying to subdue her romantic rival -- that person's name, Colleen Shipman -- with pepper spray, kidnap her from a parking lot at Orlando International Airport because of this conflict, if you will. Two people apparently in love with the same person -- a William Oefelein, another astronaut.

Today she is charged with battery, attempted kidnapping, attempted burglary, and destruction of evidence. They're recommending that she be held without bond.

So we will continue to follow this strange story, as she makes her initial appearance in court today.

His undercover work is done but he is not out of danger.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the threat included threats to, like, find and torture my daughter.


COLLINS: From the Hells Angels to meeting an angel. We'll tell you his story in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: A Kentucky house fire and a startling death toll. Ten dead, dozens of questions -- in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Marching orders on Capitol Hill. The administration's top defense officials take a stand on funding the Iraq war. Hear what they had to say in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Go ahead, add it up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's some 29 -- 2,900 quadmillion (ph).


COLLINS: Quadmillion (ph)?

HARRIS: Try it again, I dare you. Our Jeanne Moos hands out the budget quiz in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: Want to quickly show you these pictures once again coming in to us here at CNN, a developing story and a strange one at that today.

This is Lisa Marie Nowak. She's a NASA astronaut in court today for a really odd story. Here's the deal.

She's 43. She's been charged now with battery, attempted kidnapping, attempted burglary, destruction of evidence in a love triangle. According to the person that she attacked, another NASA astronaut, Colleen Shipman, these two people were both involved with -- pardon me, Colleen Shipman not another NASA astronaut, but the Navy commander they apparently were both involved with was a NASA astronaut, Bill Oefelein.

This victim tells police that she got to the airport, had to wait for her bags for a while. When she got her bags, she went out to the bus, took the bus to the car, but noticed a woman wearing a trenchcoat following her. Got afraid, got into her car, and then heard footsteps behind her.

Apparently, this woman was trying to confront her. When she did confront her, she was sprayed with pepper spray. Again, this is all according to the evidence. And now she's being charged with all these things.

So we're going to continue to follow her first court appearance and bring you the very latest.

HARRIS: Deadly fire sweeps through a home. It happened in the early morning hours in the central Kentucky town of Bardstown. Authorities say 10 people are dead, two others hospitalized. It is not clear what started the fire, nor do we know the relationship of the victims. COLLINS: Cold weather is dangerous and even deadly. So how do you protect yourself? With me now, CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Good morning to you.


COLLINS: Tell us first -- I mean, everybody talks about frostbite like they all really know what it is.

GUPTA: Right. Right.

COLLINS: But I'm not sure most of us have really even had frostbite

GUPTA: Yes. It's a very serious condition if you actually develop frostbite. It's different than frostnip, first of all.

Frostnip is just the sort of outer layers of your skin. You can still feel your fingers or your toes. Frostbite is when it gets much more serious.

You actually get a white or grayish yellow skin tone. The skin feels firm or waxy. It also feels hard instead of soft. With frostnip your skin still feels soft. The frostbite, it gets literally frozen.

Oftentimes, it's numb. So you don't really have pain with frostbite. That's a big characteristic that's different from other things.

COLLINS: And that's what makes it so dangerous, because you have no idea that you're really getting. You just have to be very aware of the environment around you?

GUPTA: And the warning signs. So if you start to get those pins and needles sort of sensation in your fingers, you need to get out of the cold as quickly as possible.

COLLINS: Yes. There's no messing around with that.

How do you treat it, then, once you kind of figure out that, yes, in fact, you do have frostbite?

GUPTA: Yes. This gets a little tricky, because a lot of people give you different advice on treating frostbite.

One thing you don't want to do is you don't want to immerse your hands in hot water, because you can't feel them and it might be too hot. Get yourself out of the cold, warm your hands the best way that you can, just putting them underneath your arms, putting -- wrapping them up, something like that. And don't rub the area.

COLLINS: Really?

GUPTA: Your skin is so fragile at that point, you can actually rub some of the skin right off. If there's any chance that you might be refreezing it, then don't thaw it out at the time. You hear this a lot from mountain climbing studies. You don't thaw it out at the time.

But before you start thinking about anything else, call 911 or get emergency medical help so you can actually get to the hospital or something first.


How cold is too cold? How do you know that, hey, I've got to get out, it's way too cold for my fingers?

GUPTA: It can be hard to say. And I was watching Keith Oppenheim out there.

COLLINS: I know.

GUPTA: Zero degrees. It's difficult to say. I'll give you a couple of examples here.

The National Weather Service has a thing on their Web site that actually tells you when you're at risk for developing frostbite. For example, air temperature of negative 10 degrees, wind speed of 30 miles an hour, you can get frostbite in 10 minutes.

I think Keith is in zero degree temperature right now. I'm not sure what the wind is around him, but if it was around 30 miles an hour, he only has about 30 minutes out there before he starts to be at risk of getting frostbite.

COLLINS: Is it at all different for everybody, or are those just the cold, hard facts, for lack of a better term?

GUPTA: That's sort of the general facts. Some people appear to be a little bit more resilient to it. But obviously this is only talking about affected skin, as well, exposed skin. So the more that you're wrapped up, a face mask, something like that, is going to obviously provide a lot of benefit.

COLLINS: Yes. What about breathing the air like that into your body?

GUPTA: It's a good point, and I'm glad you brought that up, because there is an additional strain that's put on the heart during times of significant cold. And you hear about this a lot. We hear about it as physicians, because people out there shoveling their snow in really cold conditions...

COLLINS: Breathing hard, yes.

GUPTA: ... breathing hard, having that additional strain, that risk of frostbite. But also at risk of having problems with their heart.

So, for the first time people are out there exercising under this additional strenuous condition, and it's something to think about. I'm glad you brought that up.

COLLINS: All right. Well, very good. Good warning signs, too, to give us today. Thanks.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COLLINS: Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

GUPTA: Any time. Thank you.

HARRIS: All right.

Right now we're going to take you back to the Orlando courtroom where we're seeing a first court appearance for astronaut Lisa Nowak. Want to quickly got you there and listen to her attorney.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... posted, that she will return to Houston and the Johnson Space Center. They are quite supportive in this circumstance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you want to present any testimony, or are you just leaving it to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I leave it to you, Judge.

Colonel Lindsey (ph), would you indicate to the judge which gentleman you are?

I've just proffer of what he would tell you. He's quite familiar with her. They were in space together. He is her supervisor and commanding officer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only question that I have for him -- and we'll place him under oath -- is I want to know whether or not there is any reason for your client to have any contact with Ms. Shipman at any point in time in the near future. And so can you swear the witness in?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you raise your hand?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here, I'll swear you in if you can't hear.

OK. Raise your right hand. Do you swear the information you're about to provide is true and correct?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.

Can you state your full name for the record, please?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Steven Lindsey (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And your position with NASA?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm currently the chief of the astronaut office -- the base's (ph) direct supervisor. I was also (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With regard to the named victim in this case, Colleen Shipman, is there any reason over the next couple of months that Ms. Nowak and Ms. Shipman would have any contact with regard to their professional activities?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, there isn't. And, in fact, because Lisa is a naval officer, we've also issued a -- what's called a No Contact Order so that through the military, she is not allowed contact at all with this person in any way, shape or form.

The intent is that she goes back to probably Houston and, you know, stay there, you know, until she needs to come to trial and address all those things. So I don't think there's any reason to believe she would come into contact. We will be in contact with both the Air Force and Navy regarding this matter because the other person is an Air Force officer as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With regard to Ms. Nowak, is there any reason that she would be on Kennedy Space Center property or the Patrick Air Force Base property at any time in the near future?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's -- if you (INAUDIBLE) want us to not have her at Kennedy Space Center, what we'll deal with today if she's released is getting her back to Houston and do our best to get her back. And we're sorting through that right now.

She will certainly have no reason to be on Patrick. And we can certainly keep her off of Kennedy Space Center if that's what the court wants us to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not saying that's what I'm going to yet, but I just want to understand what the parameters are as far as -- about whether there's a chance that they'd have contact in their both professional activities?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, certainly not, not any professional activities. Again, I can assure you that we will make sure that does not happen. And she won't be back here for that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a device that the court can order people to wear to make sure that they don't go within certain areas. It's a GPS device. It's about the size of a cell phone that would go on someone's ankle.

Would that kind of device interfere with Ms. Nowak's professional responsibilities with NASA?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe that it would if that's what the court decides to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Litvak (ph), did you have any questions of the witness?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't have any, Judge. Well, actually, to your knowledge, Colonel, prior to this episode, Ms. Nowak and Ms. Shipman were strangers to each other, isn't that your understanding?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: According to my understanding as prior to this incident, that is true, based on what I know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They did not work together. Ms. Shipman is not part of the NASA effort, is she?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct. My understanding is Ms. Shipman actually works in another area of Patrick and not associated with the shuttle mission that we are with NASA. So my understanding, they do not work together in any way, shape or form, and didn't know each other prior to this incident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything else, Mr. Litvak (ph)?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Cowan (ph), did you have any questions?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Judge, the state's position is that the allegations...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With regard to this witness here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, sir. I don't have any questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me push the button so you can leave that little room there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, Ms. Cowan (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Judge, the state's position is that the allegations (INAUDIBLE) at first appearance. The charge, which is punishable by life, burglary of a conveyance with a battery therein, the allegations are clear that this defendant purposefully thought through her contact with the victim.

The court has not heard from the victim. At this time, the state, even with commanding officers appearing here, would ask the court to hold her at no bond. If the court is not inclined to do that, I think that the GPS idea is also a good thing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The charges here that are listed on the police report, would you agree none of those charges are punishable by life?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir, I would agree with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. And the state hasn't filed a motion for pretrial detention, is that correct?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sir. That is correct. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, so you would agree that that she's entitled to a pretrial release, it's just about what are the appropriate conditions based upon what the charges are here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, sir. I am arguing that on the corners of the charging affidavit provide probable cause for punishable by life charge and asking the court to hold her at no bond, based on that. If the court is not inclined to do that, based on the charges that are actually listed, the GPS idea is a good one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now the determination of probable cause is a non- adversarial determination made by the court, although I always welcome attorneys to get involved in that.

But the destruction of evidence charge from the police report, doesn't it indicate that the officer saw her, if everything in the report is true, saw her drop the items into the garbage can? It didn't appear it's in response to the officer being there, it just appears that the officer saw her do that, would that...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would agree with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you all asking for additional time on that particular charge?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Likovach (ph), do you have anything more argument as far as conditions of release?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well your honor, I want to point out the salient facts here are basically contained in the last two paragraphs of page two. And from the last two paragraphs of page two, I fail to see any attempt to kidnap.

What those facts do give rise to is a battery and an attempt to speak to someone at their vehicle. But nothing more than that. A battery being a misdemeanor.

In the imaginations of the police officers, they extend these facts out into areas where the facts are unsupported. And so, you know, I don't see any PC facts here upon which the more serious of the charges that they have made, their allegation, arise, they're just not there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Likovach (ph), with regard to your client, is there any reason, other than the court proceedings that she's going to be having involving this case, is there any reason for her to be either in Orlando, over by Patrick Air Force Base, which is where the address is listed for Ms. Shipman or the Kennedy Space Center? Other than this case, is there any reason for her here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's nodding her head, there is not, judge. And that is my understanding.

Her family lives outside the state of Florida. Her immediate family lives in Texas. Her job is in Texas. She's on active duty in the United States Navy, so she's subject to all orders, as a naval officer, and I don't think a GPS monitor is at all necessary in this case, because these people were strangers prior to the night before last.

And there's no likelihood they'll come into further contact with each other. Her position in Texas, I think, is sufficient to ensure that she's going to remain in Texas, except perhaps to come to Orlando to consult with me, or to make an appearance in this case.

That would be it. You know, we have somebody here who's 43 years of age, has an exemplary record of commitment to her career and to this country. At times like this, judge, one's good works must count for something. And it accounts for, in this case, the trust that she is going to return to court and that she is going to obey your order and that of her command to stay away from Shipman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anything further from the state?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Judge, if you want to hear any further about probable cause, I'd be glad to do that but I think the court's already made their decision.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't make my decision until I hear from everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Mr. Likovach's (ph) categorization of the imagination of the investigating officer is not supported by the post- Miranda statement of the defendant, which is on page three of four and does indicate a very well thought out plan to kidnap and perhaps injure the victim.

So based on that, the state would say that there is probable cause for attempted kidnapping. And as far as her position in the Navy, ensuring her compliance with court order, it did not prevent her from committing what's alleged that she did commit. So that would be the state's argument at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, thank you.

I'm going to find probable cause for counts one, two and four, the attempting kidnapping, the attempted vehicle burglary with the battery and the battery, I'm going to not find probable cause for the destruction of evidence.

The bond on count two will be $10,000, no contact with the victim, $5,000 on count one, no contact with the victim. Also going to order GPS monitoring through the court program incorporated. That's the GPS device.

And what's going to happen is I'm going to order that you not go east of Orange County, Florida, while this case is pending and you have that device on you, unless you have first approval from the court. That will allow you to fly to Orlando from Houston, to attend all your court proceedings.

The device won't prevent you from coming here. But I understand from where Ms. Shipman works, it's obviously east of Orange County. The GPS device will be set up so that if you were to go east of Orange County, an alarm goes off on the device and the company contacts the court and then what would happen is you'd end up having a warrant for your arrest and you'd end up in jail until you had court proceedings. It's the way to make sure the victim is protected.

I understand your lawyer's position with regard to what the facts are here. That's one way to interpret the facts. The other way to interpret the facts is it could have been a lot worse than it was. So therefore, I believe this is the appropriate bond on count four, any battery is going to be just $500, no contact with the victim. Ms. Nowak, do you understand?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bond, judge, as I understand are $5,000, $10,000, and $500?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, and an ROR on the destruction of evidence.

Ms. Nowak, I need to just explain to you and I do this to everyone about what no contact means. No contact means no good contact or bad contact. You will not even be allowed, not that you would want to do this, but you wouldn't even be allowed to send flowers to say I'm sorry. You couldn't be able to tell a friend to let her know that I'm sorry. Not that you would ever do that. But it just means that would be contact, that would be direct or indirect contact. And you can't do it at all.

And I just want to make sure, and I'm sure if your lawyer hasn't already told you, he would go into greater detail about what no contact means. But I just want to make sure there's no misunderstanding. It doesn't matter what the reason is, it's contact either directly or indirectly, can't send e-mails, can't send birthday cards, nothing at all. Do you understand?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The GPS, judge, are they set up to...

COLLINS: So we have just been watching some of the proceedings taking place here. You are looking at Lisa Marie Nowak. She is a Navy captain and she has been accused of sort of a bizarre story, a love triangle, if you will.

Apparently she attacked a woman, Colleen Shipman, because they say they were both in a relationship with Navy commander Bill Oefelein. Both Nowak and Oefelein are NASA astronauts. And so we are watching what has happened. The bizarre part is all about how...

HARRIS: ... initially.

COLLINS: This came about. HARRIS: Well and the interesting thing -- this whole proceeding that we've been watching this morning, this was all about whether or not she would be granted bond and would be released on bond and bond, we understand, has been set at $15,000. So if she can post whatever percentage of that is necessary.

COLLINS: But she drove from Houston to Orlando, they found a pair of -- they found directions in her car, she wore diapers along the way so that she wouldn't have to stop, so she could get there immediately. This other woman, Colleen Shipman, was at the airport trying to drive home. There were also directions to her home found in Nowak's car, attacked her with pepper spray.

HARRIS: And seems to illustrate a pretty elaborate plot, yet, the question this morning is whether or not because of the details that you've just laid out, Heidi, whether or not this woman is still a risk to Colleen Shipman, was she a risk to harm herself?

But the judge deciding, after hearing testimony from both sides of this, that he would set bond at $15,000 for Lisa Nowak.

COLLINS: Right, and you may have heard those audio hits in the beginning. We just want to let you know in an effort to bring in all of the news from around the world, we were watching that on the NASA Web site. So that also means that we'll have Miles O'Brien, our space correspondent, coming up to talk a little bit about it. Questions too, as Barbara Starr works from the Pentagon, about the military careers not only of Captain Nowak, but also of Navy commander Bill Oefelein. There could be fraternization charges. Who knows? So we will continue to watch all of this.

HARRIS: And still ahead in the NEWSROOM, marching orders on Capitol Hill? The administration's top defense officials take a stand on funding the Iraq war. A live picture there now. Hear what they have to say in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: And this, a Kentucky house fire and startling death toll. Ten dead and dozens of questions, coming up in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: We are following developments in a deadly house fire in Kentucky. Ten people died in that fire. Two others are hospitalized. We have fire chief Anthony Mattingly of the Bardstown, Kentucky Fire Department on the phone with us.

Chief, thanks for your time this morning.


HARRIS: Chief, If you would, describe the scene when your firefighters arrived, please?

MATTINGLY: We had a single dwelling with extensive fire, through the front of the structure and attic area, tremendous smoke condition in the rest of the structure. HARRIS: How quickly were you able to assess how many people you had inside? I understand that some people made it out of the fire.

MATTINGLY: Yes, we had two people that egressed the structure. There was conflicting stories on our arrival. But it didn't take us too awful long to determine the total number in the house.

HARRIS: Boy, how cold was it at its coldest overnight?

MATTINGLY: I don't know. I did not get the low temperature. I think it was supposed to go down to around 12 or so degrees.

HARRIS: Did the weather conditions at all hamper efforts to get the fire under control?

MATTINGLY: No, not at all.

HARRIS: All right. At this point, do we have any idea of the extent of the injuries of, I believe, there's at least one or maybe two people taken to the hospital at this time -- any idea of the extent of the injuries? Are we talking smoke inhalation?

MATTINGLY: Yes, we have one of smoke inhalation and burns to the face and then one with just very minor injuries.

HARRIS: Maybe you can clarify this for me -- reports of two different families in that home?

MATTINGLY: Preliminary indications are at least two families.

HARRIS: And do we know if they were related at all, what the relationship might be?

MATTINGLY: We don't know that relationship at this time.

HARRIS: And can you tell us -- boy, I'm just trying to figure out where your firefighters, at what point your firefighters knew they had a real tragedy on their hands? Was it in the early reporting of people that came out of the house or a case where the firefighters are doing their job and they discover the bodies?

MATTINGLY: It was early reports. I was the first firefighter on the scene. The witnesses around were advising that there were several people in the house. We did remove one person from the house, turned him over to the hands of EMS. He did later succumb to his injuries, and then neighbors were just advising us that there were numerous people in the house.

HARRIS: And I know it may be a little early to speculate on a cause, but a cold night, could it be a case where the house is being heated by some other system, a heater or something else that might have contributed to this?

MATTINGLY: At this time, it's too early into the investigation to make any type of determination. We do have the state fire marshal's office, along with the Kentucky State Police, on the scene, assisting in the cause and origin determination, as well as the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office on the scene to help with the body of recovery and identification.

HARRIS: And is that work continuing, even as we speak?

MATTINGLY: Yes, that work has just got under way within the last hour.

HARRIS: OK, Chief Anthony Mattingly with the Bardstown Kentucky Fire Department with us this morning. Chief, thanks for your time.

COLLINS: I want to go ahead and get to another story that is just in to us from CNN. Coming to us from West Virginia, a train derailment.

T.J. Holmes is working this story for us -- T.J.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Heidi, this is in Handley, West Virginia, which is about 25 minutes to the southeast, if you will, of Charleston there, to give you a point of reference.

But what you're looking at here is a train derailment. There was 99 cars on this train, however 16 of them derailed, and 11 of them contained some kind of chemical or gas. We do know that propane gas and chlorine gas among some of the chemicals on this train, and that of course is the big concern right now. Don't know why the train derailed, again, but right now in the area of Handley, some 5,000 or 6,000 residents have been evacuated and are being housed at an elementary school as a precaution.

Crews are trying to, again, clean up the mess. Don't know about a leak just yet, but that is the danger, and threat and the concern right now, is that possibly some of these chemicals could leak, and as it's been put, could make a deadly, or excuse me, an explosive cocktail, if you will, if those things happen to mix.

But trying to get more answer exactly why this derailed and keeping a close eye to make sure that there are no leaks.

But right now, it's a serious situation that folks have been evacuated. So we will keep an eye on that. Do want to let you know that CSX was the company that runs that train. Of course, we saw another one not too long ago, last month, a huge fire in Kentucky, when a CSX train derails, some chemicals mixed, huge explosion there. A lot of people will certainly remember those pictures and those pictures, but keeping an eye on this as well. We'll get the update to you when we have it -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Boy, same train. All right, same train line, I should say.

All right, T.J. Holmes following this one for us. Thanks, T.J.

Want to get to Miles O'Brien now, our space correspondent at CNN, to make a little bit of sense, if we can, from some of these proceedings we have been watching regarding the NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, Miles.

We just saw her first appearance in court. But take us back to why she's in court in the first place.

O'BRIEN: Well, it's an amazing journey from flight suit, NASA flight suit, to prison jumpsuit. There's Lisa Nowak, who first flew the shuttle, probably first and only flight, this past July, on the Space Shuttle Discovery, involved in allegations of a kidnap plot, which was generated out of a love triangle. These are the allegations by the Orlando Police.

Here's what they say happened. She -- according to this affidavit, because she felt she was being scorned by a lover, a person who she had romantic interest in, a fellow shuttle astronaut, Bill Oefelein, she got in her vehicle, drove from Houston to Orlando in order to meet the flight on which the third member of this triangle was flying, Colleen Shipman, an Air Force captain, who was assigned to Patrick Air Force base, right next to the Kennedy Space Center, and is involved in supporting shuttle missions and other rocket launches, met her, according to the affidavit, as her flight arrived in Orlando, in the wee hours overnight. She was disguised, according to police, with a wig and a trench coat, approached her vehicle, Shipman's vehicle, pepper sprayed Shipman, and then apparently her goal, according to the police, was to kidnap her.

Just heard from her attorney in court, and said that many of these cases are fabrications on the part of the police department. This is all to be a developing tale.

We also are told in the police affidavit that she was wearing a diaper on her ride to Orlando in a hurry to get there, and wore the diaper so she wouldn't have to stop to go to the bathroom. She just -- according to the judge will be released on bail for a total $15,500 on the three charges she faces, kidnapping, and battery, and she...

COLLINS: Attempted burglary, too, yes.

O'BRIEN: She will be fitted with some sort of GPS device, which will not allow her to travel farther east than Orlando, Orange County. And that way, because that is where Captain Shipman lives and works, near the Kennedy Space Center, Patrick Air Force Base, would not come in contact with her, which was the primary concern, and why she was held without bail until this point.

So this is a developing story. We'll see her walk free in just a little bit, as soon as she can post bond. This is the first time, Heidi, that an active astronaut has ever faced charges of this nature by a long shot.

COLLINS: Yes. And you know, some of the interesting things that could come out of this, Miles, as we move forward with the story -- we're going to be talking with Barbara Starr a little bit later from the Pentagon because all three of these people are military officers.

There could be charges that come out of the uniform code of military justice later on in this, not sure yet, but we're going to be talking about that -- conduct unbecoming an officer, fraternization, could be several different things because of this relationship to the military, of course.

Miles O'Brien, thanks so much for the latest on this bizarre story.

HARRIS: The war in Iraq, the budget battle on Capitol Hill. Live pictures now. The Senate Armed Services Committee asking questions about President Bush's funding. The funding request for the Iraq war, also the war in Afghanistan, the administration's top guns, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace there. Secretary Gates as well, testifying this morning. We will bring you just a bit of it, at least monitor the proceedings and bring you a little bit of it here in the NEWSROOM this morning.

COLLINS: And the view from the cockpit, a friendly fire accident in Iraq/ Four years later, new questions come up. A retired combat pilot joins us with a closer look, coming up next.


COLLINS: Following a strange story about a NASA astronaut actually is three people involved in this because apparently, it was a strange love triangle, if you will. Lisa Nowak was in court today on several different charges: attempted kidnapping, battery, and attempted burglary.

She is now -- they have set bond for $15,500, awaiting to see if she can post that bond. She's accused of driving from Houston to Orlando, to go after and possibly try to kidnap a woman who was involve with the same man, that she apparently was. He was a Navy commander, William Oefelein.

So once again, her first court appearance happened today. Those charges, battery, attempted kidnapping and attempted burglary did stand. And that case will move forward and we will continue to follow it for you. You see her on the screen there.

HARRIS: And Heidi, we've got a bit of sound we want to turn around for you from the hearing we just talked about a couple moments ago, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of Joint Chiefs, General Peter Pace testifying this morning before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Just a few moments ago, some news being made, as you hear. Some protesters in the chambers disrupting the hearing. Let's see if we can listen in here.

Let's get to the sound. This is just a couple of moments ago. This is Secretary Gates making a little bit of news this morning, talking about a change in the U.S. military presence in Africa.


ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this opportunity to announce something that is not referenced in my statement that was submitted yesterday, but that I wanted to bring to the committee's attention. The president has decided to stand up a new unified combatant command, Africa Command to oversee security cooperation, building partnership capability, defense support to non-military missions and if directed, military operations on the African continent.

This command will enable us to have a more effective and integrated approach than the current arrangement of dividing Africa between central command and European command, an outdated arrangement left over from the Cold War. This department will consult closely with the Congress and work with our European and African allies to implement this effort.


HARRIS: OK and there you have it. Some news this morning from Secretary Gates announcing that the president will be forming a new unified combatant Africa Command. We will get more details on that and what it all means, perhaps from Barbara Starr next hour here in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: But for now, that biting cold putting fire crews on ice, daily life complicated by unbelievable temperatures. Bone chiller in the NEWSROOM.