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Prosecutor Purge; Georgia Boy Missing; Cops to Be Charged?; Historian Discusses Second Presidential Term Curse; Senior Citizens Learning Self-Defense

Aired March 14, 2007 - 14:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kiran Chetry, in for Kyra Phillips today.

He's headed for the Hill with his job on the line. The Justice Department says Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will face lawmakers' questions over the so-called prosecutor purge.

LEMON: Well, we'll take you live to Brunswick, Georgia, where a grim search continues for 6-year-old Christopher Barrios. Four suspects in custody, including a sex offender who lives near the missing boy.

CHETRY: Plus, the bears are still out on Wall Street, but can cagey investors still find silver linings? We'll talk about that, bring you the latest numbers.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

And some new developments in the case of that missing 6-year-old boy from Georgia. We are learning there are now four suspects that police believe had something to do with the disappearance of little Christopher Barrios. We are going to get a live report from Brunswick, Georgia, coming up in just a few minutes.

LEMON: Eight U.S. attorneys fired and their former -- is their former boss next? Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wants to keep the status quo, but his job status remains in question. The former federal prosecutors say they were pink-slipped over politics. And even President Bush can't escape the fallout south of the border.

Our Elaine Quijano is there, and we'll join her in just a moment.

But first, here's what Gonzales told CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING".


ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I think that I did makes some mistakes, and we're going to -- we're going to take steps to ensure that that doesn't happen again. But ultimately, I work for the American people and I serve at the pleasure of the president of the United States. And he'll decide whether or not I continue to serve as the attorney general. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, while the president heads home, CNN's Elaine Quijano remains in Merida, Mexico, where he just wrapped up a news conference.

What did he have to say about this issue?


It's interesting to note that President Bush was already facing a skeptical audience here in Mexico about his political clout back in Washington, and specifically on the issue of whether or not he can push through an immigration deal in the United States Congress. Well, today he found himself in the awkward position here in Mexico of having to answer questions about this domestic issue, this controversy involving the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales. And in particular, how the United States Justice Department handled the dismissals of these U.S. attorneys in question.

Well, here in Mexico, President Bush was asked whether he has confidence in his attorney general.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do have confidence in Attorney General Al Gonzales. I talked to him this morning, and we talked about his need to go up to Capitol Hill and make it very clear to members in both political parties why the Justice Department made the decisions it made, make it very clear about the facts.

And he's right, mistakes were made. And I'm frankly not happy about them, because there is a lot of confusion over what really has been a customary practice by the presidents -- U.S. attorneys and others serve at the pleasure of the president.


QUIJANO: Now, the White House continues to insist that these dismissals were made based on performance and managerial issues. Nevertheless, in a sign of just how concerned the White House is about this, last night, putting out the White House counselor, Dan Bartlett, here in Mexico to answer questions from reporters on this issue. No doubt we will be hearing about this.

President Bush returning to Washington later today -- Don.

LEMON: Elaine Quijano, thank you so much.

CHETRY: So will the attorney general keep digging in his heels? Or will he succumb to the mounting pressure to step down?

We go now to our senior national correspondent, John Roberts, who joins us to talk more about whether or not Al Gonzales is going to be able to survive this.

Hi, John.


I wouldn't bet on Alberto Gonzales stepping down any time soon. In fact, when I talked to Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, in this very place on Sunday, he said the fact that people like Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, were calling for Gonzales to step down would probably just ensure that he doesn't resign.

And this morning he came out there on CNN and the other morning shows to say, look it, I made a mistake, which is really a non-apology type of apology. It's almost, without being too glib, sort of the politicians' version of a celebrity going into rehab. You say, mistakes were made, now let's move on.

And he said he serves at the pleasure of the president, but Alberto Gonzales goes so far back with President Bush, that I don't think President Bush is about to pull the trigger on him. He'd really have to do something wrong.

But when you look at this idea of saying, mistakes were made, this has a long history in American politics. President Reagan was the one who first made it famous in the wake of the Iran-Contra scandal in the State of the Union back in 1987 when he said, "We did not achieve what we wished, and serious mistakes were made in trying to do so."

President Bush, this President Bush, himself, uttered those words back on January 10th in the Oval Office address he gave on Iraq, saying, "Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me."

You might remember back in the 2000 election campaign, when Vice President Al Gore was questioned about going to that Buddhist temple for a fund-raiser, he told "The New York Times" in an interview, "I made a mistake going to that Buddhist temple. I made a mistake making telephone calls from my office. And I have learned from those mistakes..."

President Clinton also said it. "Where mistakes have been made, we try to correct them. We'll continue to do that."

And perhaps the most definitive version of the mistakes were made -- statement was made by George Bush's father, Bush 41, talking about John Sununu, who was his chief of staff, who eventually had to resign because of personal use of government aircraft, when he said -- in defending John, he said, "I think that" -- Sununu said -- "If mistakes were made, I made them. What more can a man be asked to say? And so I'd like to see this matter laid to rest."

So the White House certainly, Kiran, is hoping that by saying mistakes were made, we're going to look into it, we're going to make sure it doesn't happen again, they could move past all of this. But there's now tremendous momentum among Democrats on Capitol Hill to try to get another pound of flesh out of this administration by having Gonzales resign.

Even some conservatives are really unhappy with the way that he handled things, thinking of his response yesterday was wimpy, he should have come out and said, "Yes, absolutely, we have the right to fire these U.S. attorneys. Maybe a couple things went wrong with this particular one, but we're fully within our purview here."

Nobody sees to be happy with what's going on in terms of Alberto Gonzales these days. So he's definitely skating on some thin ice, Kiran. Wouldn't want to be him today.

CHETRY: Right. Well, as long as he has the support of the White House, it looks like he will be OK. But there have been some reports about maybe some cracks in that support.

ROBERTS: Well, there's no "You're doing a great job" moment just yet. And as I said, President Bush and Alberto Gonzales go back so long. You know, he was the top legal dog in Texas, he was the president's personal attorney.

There is so much history there that, I mean, he'd have to be put in jail or something, I think, before the president ever cut him loose. And that's not going to happen in this case.

So I just -- I just can't see the president ever asking for his resignation. I mean, if the heat really came down and Gonzales decided I'm a liability for this administration, I have to offer my resignation, he might tender it. As to whether or not the president would accept it, I can't say right now, but I wouldn't think he would.

CHETRY: Wow. In one short year you go on the short list to the Supreme Court to, you know, some of the controversy brewing now.

ROBERTS: Life comes at you fast.

CHETRY: Yes, it does.

John Roberts, thanks so much.

LEMON: Day six of a frustrating and heartbreaking missing child case in rural south Georgia. Christopher Barrios, 6 years old, his whereabouts unknown, but developments today. Police believe at least one person they have in custody does know.

Straight to Brunswick, Georgia, Glynn County, as a matter of fact. An update from WJXT's Emily Pantelides.

Emily, what do you know?

EMILY PANTELIDES, REPORTER, WJXT: Well, right now here in Brunswick, we do have four suspects in custody in connection with the disappearance of little 6-year-old Christopher Barrios. The first suspect was arrested yesterday. George Edenfield. You may have heard about him. He was the sexual offender police say lived right across the street from where little Christopher lived. Now, he was arrested for violating his probation. He told police he had unsupervised visits with Christopher on Friday night, then police arrested his mother, Peggy Edenfield, after they say she gave conflicting stories every time they talked to her about this case.

Then fast forward to today, this morning, where we have two new suspects in custody, David Edenfield, who is George Edenfield's father, also in custody for giving conflicting statements to police, and a family friend, Donald Dale, also in custody.

Now, right now, I do believe we have video for you of ground crews searching. It's about five miles from where I'm standing. We were told by police early this morning the two new suspects they had led them to this certain area.

Now, I don't know if you're very familiar with the lay of this land here, but there's some very thick, dense woods in this area. That's where police are right now searching an area that one of these suspects told them Christopher Barrios was in. So far, I just talked to the police chief. He told me no new leads at this point.

Here's more from the police chief.


CHIEF MATT DOERING, GLYNN COUNTY, GEORGIA, POLICE: So that led us to the names of a friend, a Donald Dale, that we picked up, asked him to come in for questioning. We questioned him, and then he gave us a statement as to having personal knowledge about his involvement in the disappearance of Christopher.

That then let to not only do we have personal knowledge of it, but we actually know where he is. And he told us to look back here. That's what's going on now. Last night -- we would expect to find Christopher back here buried.


PANTELIDES: And so now at this point, a very tense atmosphere here in Brunswick, six days into the search. No search of missing -- or no sign, rather, of Christopher Barrios. Everyone in this neighborhood hoping for his safe return.

Don, back to you.

LEMON: All right. Emily Pantelides, thank you so much for that report.

CHETRY: Well, this shooting back in November caused quite an uproar. Twenty-three-year-old Sean Bell, he was partying the night before his wedding and he was killed by New York police. Fifty shots in all were fired. Bell was unarmed, but police said that he tried to use his vehicle as a weapon.

Now the city is taking steps to avoid another uproar as it awaits a grand jury's ruling on the charging of the five officers involved.

CNN's Jim Acosta is right outside of the Queens district attorney's office and he joins us now with the very latest.



Yes, the grand jury is meeting right now try trying to decide whether to indict the five New York police officers who shot and killed Sean Bell. He's the 23-year-old who was shot to death on the night of his bachelor party, just hours before he was supposed to get married.

The detectives in this case fired their weapons a combined 50 times, a fact that has raised tensions between civil rights leaders and the police department. It happened last November outside of a strip club in Queens that was under investigation by police.

The officers say as they tried to stop Bell and his friends, Bell rammed one of the detectives where his car, triggering the gunfire. One of those detectives firing his weapon 31 of those 50 times that shots were fired on that night.

Now, if there is no indictment in this case, New York City leaders, the mayor says that the city will be ready just in case there is some outrage in the community. But at this point, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is predicting that no matter what happens in this case, that he thinks there will be no unrest, thinking that cooler heads will prevail.

Just in case, police will have 1,700 police officers standing by on the lookout for any problems just in case there are some disturbances out in the community after this decision comes down. But for now, the mayor is trying to defuse tensions, meeting with members of the community here, trying to keep a lid on what may become a simmering situation.


MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (R), NEW YORK: Somebody said, will people -- would there be outrage and dissension in the streets? And I said, one you think you can rest assured is we have a community, with the exception of probably a handful of hot heads. We understand we all have to work together, live together, and we're going to make this work.


ACOSTA: And now, the mayor's words may not be enough for some in the civil rights community here. The Reverend Al Sharpton has stayed in close contact with Bell's fiancee, Nicole, saying and demanding that the officers in this case be charged with some sort of crime. We're hearing that there may be some kind of decision from the grand jury late this afternoon, but it also could come sometime early tomorrow -- Kiran. CHETRY: All right. Jim Acosta live for us there in Queens.

Thank you.

LEMON: OK. Punks beware. When you see this story you'll understand why I'm saying that. The next little old lady you pick on, well, she may be ready to rumble.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you can't make it the other way, then you've got to fight. We've got feet, we've got fingers, and we've got teeth. Use them.


LEMON: Ahead in the NEWSROOM, a granny with gumption. Boy, is that an understatement. Not to mention, a mean left hook.

You don't want to be...

CHETRY: And she's so well-dressed for the gym on top of it all.

LEMON: Look at her. Oh my god.

CHETRY: There she goes. I wouldn't want to rumble with her.

Well, don't know the difference between Buddha and a boudoir? Think that Charlton Heston really is the one who parted the Red Sea? Well, kids and maybe even some adults, we all may need some remedial religion.

We'll explain.

Also, a new book. This is it. They have it. They have a pop quiz for us as well.

True or false, the phrase "God helps those who helps themselves" is part of the Ten Commandments? Is it? Yes or no?

We have the answer to that, plus more on America's religious illiteracy, right after a break.



CHETRY: Well, as the Sam Cooke song goes, "Don't know much about history," the same could be said about religion. In a nation where the majority of people say they believe in God, most of us don't know the specifics, it seems, about religion.

According to the new book "Religious Literacy," Americans are shockingly ignorant about the bible, or any other holy book, for that matter. Its author says that one out of 10 Americans thinks that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife. So -- that was only one out of 10 -- all right.

So, did -- we did our own test. We wanted to see if anyone knew who wrote the gospels.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael, maybe? Right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I know then, but I just can't name them all.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that's what I meant, like gospel writers... don't know.


CHETRY: Delia Gallagher is CNN's faith and values correspondent.

Now, I thought that one was pretty easy. For the record, tell us.


For the record, they're Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but surprisingly it was the question that most people had difficulty with, Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. So what were some of the other findings, Delia, about -- because the vast majority of people asked say they are religious, and many Christians don't necessarily know the specifics of the bible.

GALLAGHER: Yes. Well, you know, a lot of people will say they believe, and they are Christian, and they are practicing, but when it comes to really knowing your bible or even knowing about other religions, we found that a lot of people don't have a great breadth of knowledge about their history and their religious history.

So, for example, one of the things that I found was interesting in our little non-scientific survey, we should say, from some of those people that you saw there was that they did know about Islam's holy book, the Koran. So, you know, you can see that some of this is seeping through in terms of what's happening in today's world, but they don't necessarily know about Jewish and Christian scriptures in the bible.

CHETRY: All right. So why do we need to know this stuff?

GALLAGHER: Well, you know, it's -- religious history is history in general, so, of course, there is some value to knowing about history, and it's about the history of the Jewish and the Christian people. And then, of course, you have cultural references from today that refer back to the bible and presidents and pop songs, and all kinds of different references that a lot of people are sort of familiar with, but they don't really know where it all comes from.

CHETRY: Hey, does this sort of reopen the debate about whether we should be teaching religion in schools?

GALLAGHER: Well, this is part of the point that the author makes in his book. He blames the fact that were are religiously illiterate on the fact that in our schools we do not teach the bible either as history or as literature in any way.

The problem, of course, with that, as he points out, is that people are afraid to do this, because you will find yourself in court if you try to teach it, but not preach it. You know, there's a fine line between those two. And in our public school system, that is something that the schools are really afraid to get into, and one of the reasons why kids today and adults aren't getting any kind of bible history.

CHETRY: You know, and the interesting thing, I mean, all of us -- I mean, even when we were little and went to church, or went to temple, or whatever your religion is, you know, sometimes you nodded off and didn't listen like you were supposed to.

So we're going to give you a quiz, because it's your job, so you do have to know some of this stuff. But let's ask a few of the other things that were on our little quiz here.

Let's see it.

Are you ready for us?

GALLAGHER: I'm ready for you.

CHETRY: OK. This was one that a lot of people were not able to answer.

What religion is the Dalai Lama?

GALLAGHER: Well, I thought that was interesting, because the Dalai Lama is such a popular figure, everybody recognizes that name, that title, the Dalai Lama, but they didn't really know what he represented. And of course he represents Buddhists, Tibetan Buddhists, in particular, but we were just going for a general answer, and it stumped a lot of people.

CHETRY: All right. How about this one? You asked people to name the holy book of Islam. And as you said, it's been in the news a lot lately.

GALLAGHER: That's right. And so it was interesting that while people couldn't name the gospel writers, they could name the holy book of Islam.

So I think it goes to show you that, you know, sometimes people are paying attention to these things when we talk a lot about it in the media, but when it comes to the gospel writers or anything in their own bible, they may not be as familiar with it.

CHETRY: All right. And Don is furiously writing down the answers right next to me. You guys have 100 percent A-pluses, so far.

But it was interesting -- "God helps those who helps themselves," people did think that was possibly one of the commandments. It's not even in the bible.

This is a bonus, Delia. To put you on the spot, do you know who said it?

GALLAGHER: No. I think it's just a saying that's come up culturally popular. I don't think it's attributed to any one person.

Does don have it?

CHETRY: Well, I don't know.

LEMON: Well, I just looked it up.

CHETRY: If Google is right -- go ahead.

LEMON: Yes, if Google is right, it's Ben Franklin. But we're not exactly sure. Who knows? That could be wrong.

But it says it was quoted by Ben Franklin at one point. So -- and then it just became the gospel, so to speak.


CHETRY: But very interesting findings, Delia. And maybe it will shame some people into brushing up on their history, religious or otherwise.

Thanks so much.

GALLAGHER: Thank you.

LEMON: All right. She's very smart. She got them all right.

CHETRY: She is.

LEMON: Well, what is it with Washington and lame duck presidents? That's a big question. A little perspective on second- rate second terms coming up straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


LEMON:, one best Web sites in the business, we're watching the stocks. Stock watch. We're keeping an eye on Wall Street as the Dow industrials add to yesterday's big decline.

Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange with the latest numbers and details of what's worrying investors today. (STOCK MARKET REPORT)

LEMON: We'll be back in just a moment.


LEMON: Hello, I'm Don Lemon live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

CHETRY: And I'm Kiran Chetry in for Kyra Phillips today.

Well, they say love may be better the second time around, but not the White House. The historical precedence, of lame-duck presidents -- is there a second-term curse? You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

He has some explaining to do and he plans to do it. The fallout over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys keeps on growing today. And CNN has learned the man at the center of the controversy, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, is headed to Capitol Hill. He's going to go later this week and next week to further explain the firings. He's facing calls from congressional Democrats to resign. They also want to know just how involved the White House was and they're threatening to subpoena top presidential aides, including Karl Rove.

Meantime, questions over the controversy followed President Bush to Mexico today, here's what he had to say, and then we're going to hear what Attorney General Al Gonzales told "AMERICAN MORNING" and Miles O'Brien.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.: I do have confidence in Attorney General Al Gonzales. I talked to him this morning. And we talked about his need to go up to Capitol Hill and make it very clear to members in both political parties why the Justice Department made the decisions it made -- make it very clear about the facts and he's right, mistakes were made, and I'm frankly not happy about them, because there is a lot of confusion over what really has been a customary practice by the presidents. U.S. attorneys and others serve at the pleasure of the president.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Do you feel it's time for you to step down?

ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: That will be a decision for the president of the United States to make. I think if you look at the record of the department


O'BRIEN: Should you offer your resignation? Is it time for you to offer your resignation?

GONZALES: That is a decision for the president of the United States to make. I'm going to be focused on identifying what went wrong here, correcting those mistakes and focusing on working for the American people.

O'BRIEN: But the decision on whether to offer your resignation is yours, is it not?

GONZALES: I'm focused on doing my job.


CHETRY: The fired prosecutors say they were sacked for political reasons, even though Gonzales insists it was just part of an evaluation process.

LEMON: Well that prosecutor purge certainly isn't the only problem that President Bush is facing these days. And that leads us to ask a key question -- does the second term always mean huge problems for a presidency? It certainly seems that way for Mr. Bush and plenty of his predecessors.


WILLIAM CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

RONALD REGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: I'm not going to comment on that.

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT: I'm not a crook. I earned everything I've got.


LEMON: Well, so how do we explain this so-called second-term curse? Let's ask historian Richard Shenkman, I saw you looking at those sound bites and kind of smiling a little bit. It is interesting to see that, isn't it?

RICHARD SHENKMAN, HISTORIAN: It is. And you know you could pick out a sound bite like that from virtually every second-term president in American history. And if they had television in the day of George Washington, you could have had a couple of sound bites like that from George Washington.

LEMON: Yes, Richard, here's what I want to ask you, though, and this is the reason we are asking this and talking about this today. Just in the past couple of months, we've had Scooter Libby, we've had Dick Cheney, we've had Rumsfeld resign, we've had Alberto Gonzales just recently, Peter Pace yesterday, Walter Reed just, you know, in the last couple of weeks. Is this unusual?

SHENKMAN: It's not unusual. It's referred to by historians as the second-term jinx. And it's for good reason that we talk about that. It's because every second-term president runs into this. And there are a couple factors. One is simply that over the course of a number of years, if you stay in office long enough, your enemies build up, every year you get more enemies and usually fewer friends, and eventually they're all coming after you. And after the reelection you're a lame duck under the constitution, so what happens is, they feel free to go after you without worrying that you are really going to have enough clout to go back after them.

LEMON: OK, but you know what Richard? It seems like, you know Nixon had Watergate, then there was Iran/Contra during the Regan years, but then it seems like there was one big issue. This seems like a couple big issues all happening in sequence, one right after the other, right after the other.

SHENKMAN: Well, what's also going on here is that you have the Democrats taking control of Congress. For six years the president basically got a free ride from the Congress, because it was for most of that time it was in Republican hands, and this is also true of presidents. Most presidents come in with both houses of Congress being from their own party, and somewhere along the way they wind of losing one or both houses. And that changes the dynamics. President Bush has lost both houses. That changes the dynamic.

LEMON: Alright, maybe I am missing something. I sort of understand what you're saying, but because there's a Democratic Congress, what does that have to do with the administration and corruption or lack of taking care of troops who are sick? What does that have to do with the Democrats? I don't understand that part.

SHENKMAN: Well, if the Democrats weren't in power right now on all of these scandals that have erupted over the last few months, you wouldn't be hearing very much about them. The Walter Reed scandal, certainly this attorney general scandal, the Republicans would have been able to shove under the carpet and basically make go away because you wouldn't have officials being subpoenaed, brought up to Capitol Hill, made to answer questions --

LEMON: Got it. You're talking about people holding their feet to the fire, and keeping them honest, as we say here on CNN. What about falling so close to the president himself, all of these issues seem to be, you know, falling really close, not just the administration, but really close to the president himself. Is that unusual?

SHENKMAN: Well, go back to Watergate, very close to Richard Nixon, the Ram Contra (ph), very close to Ronald Reagan, the impeachment of Bill Clinton, can't get any closer than that. No, they always do tend to come close to the president. If they're not close to them, then you know what, you don't hear too much about them.

LEMON: Yes, so discipline as well. So, I would expect that we would see many more to come so, to you, you're say saying, you know what? Hey listen, this is just the second-term jinx that always happens once you're a president. It doesn't have to happen, but it somehow seems to, don't know why.

SHENKMAN: Well, we do know why, and for some of the reasons I already outlined. Also, in addition, there's a couple of other reasons. One is that when presidents get re-elected, they tend to have what I call hubris, presidential hubris. And what that does is it forces them or leads them, inclines them to over-reach. President Bush over-reached with Social Security. He got slammed hard by the country, and that weakened him politically, making him more susceptible to further attacks.

LEMON: Yes, I see your point, kind of, as usual thank you so much, you always do a great job. Thank you so much, Richard Shenkman.

SHENKMAN: Alright, thank you.

CHETRY: Well, punks, bullies, all of you beware, because the next little old lady you try to pick on may be ready to rumble.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you can't make it the other other way, then you've got to fight. We've got feet, we've got fingers, we've got teeth, use them.


CHETRY: She was talking smack, too, on top of that.

LEMON: Yes, a lot of trash.

CHETRY: How about that? Well, ahead in the the NEWSROOM, a granny with some gumption, not to mention a mean left hook.


CHETRY: Now they said they wanted more kids and they said it would happen soon. And sure enough, the Brangelina brood is expanding once more. So who is that lucky kid?

Well, CNN Entertainment Correspondent Sibila Vargas, congratulations -- oh no, you're just telling us about it, you weren't actually adopted.

SIBILA VARGAS, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: No, I know, we should all be that lucky. One lucky kid indeed.

Now, we told you yesterday, Kiran, that Angelina was in the process of adopting a child from Vietnam. And now she's one step closer to taking her bundle home. Jolie is in Vietnam and might be able to take the three-year-old boy back to the U.S. with her as soon as this weekend.

That's according to the Associated Press which quoted local officials as saying that the official adoption ceremony would be held in Ho Chi Minh City some time in the next 11 hours or so. The child will still need to get an American passport from the consulate, but that's not expected to take a long time. So the latest addition to the family could be joining his three new siblings back at home in the next couple of days, Kiran, and what a gorgeous family that's turning out to be.

CHETRY: Yes, they make all of us sick, don't they? They are so pretty. She's going to need to adopt a couple more baby-sitters, too, because they're always traveling around the world. And now she's got four little ones.

VARGAS: Exactly. I wonder if she has four nannies.

CHETRY: Probably. Alright, well, it's nice to hear that uplifting story about a Hollywood family.

There is another star out there though, with her family back in the headlines.

VARGAS: That's right. Lindsay Lohan is the star that you're talking about. And the headline is that her father is now a free man. Michael Lohan has been in prison for almost two years, for several incidents, including driving under the influence and an attempted assault on his brother-in-law.

The elder Lohan says that he wants to repair his relationship with his daughter, which has been rocky at best. And as he was getting out of jail, his daughter was dealing with her old nemesis, the paparazzi last night.

Lindsay Lohan got behind the wheel of a car and sped away from a New York City nightclub amidst the usual swirl of paparazzi. Now in her wake, one lensman is accusing her of hitting him and injuring his knee.

The reported damage is just a bruised knee, but it's not the kind of publicity that Lohan needs right now, and certainly not going to help her career.


CHETRY: That's true too. And there's also some news about the death of a comedian, Richard Jeni. A lot of us remember his face, we didn't necessarily all know it was him. But, some sad news about him.

VARGAS: Yes, Jeni died over the weekend from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This morning his family confirmed that Jeni committed suicide.

In a written statement, his family said that earlier this year Jeni was diagnosed with clinical depression and psychotic paranoia, and that is what caused him to commit suicide, not any sort of career worries or physical ailment.

Jeni had appeared in several successful movies such as "The Mask." His family is asking for donations for flowers to the Mental Health America into a fund that is set up in his name.

Well, shipping gears, tonight, on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" from Britney Spears to Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, even Ryan Gosling, these celebrity Hollywood types all share one link. Some are calling it, though, a curse. What is that connection? Find out on TV's most provocative entertainment news show, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," 11:00 p.m. Eastern on "Headline Prime." Back to you Kiran.

CHETRY: Alright, we look forward to it. Sibila Vargas, great to see you, thanks.

VARGAS: Thanks, good to see you too.

LEMON: Well, soon to come, 9/11 made him, but could it also break his chances as a White House candidate? Ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM, why are firefighters smoked at Rudy Giuliani.

And as we go to break, a quick check at the markets. The DOW is up 25 points, more from the New York Stock Exchange in just a moment. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


LEMON: A 3-month-old Georgia boy's recurring breathing problems and a camera catches the reason. Atlanta Police say the boy's father, Michael Charles Calloway (ph), there's a picture of him right there, was seen on camera deliberately covering the infant's mouth and nose.

Doctors had become suspicious when they could find no medical reason for the boy's breathing difficulties, so staffers set up a camera. Calloway is in jail charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to children. The boy's OK and has been released from the hospital.

CHETRY: Well, the nation's first openly gay governor is revising his divorce lawsuit. Jim McGreevey wants custody of his 5-year-old daughter. He also wants child support payments from his estranged wife.

McGreevey resigned as New Jersey governor back in 2004 in a famous press conference where he said I am a gay American. His wife stood by his side as he announced that and also that he had an affair with a male staffer.

LEMON: Well, he is the most wanted man in New York City, and you know why. The reward money to find him is now up to $18,000. A New York City councilman has added $5,000 to the pot for information leading to this man. Take a good look there. Kind of hard to make out.

He's suspected of doing this to two elderly women, then riding off on a pink bicycle. The crimes have outraged a city that usually doesn't flinch. Even a New York state senator says it's time to revisit the law. He wants anyone who assaults a senior, age 70 and older, to be charged with a felony and spend four to seven years behind bars.

Well one of the women the mugger robbed is 101-years-old. She says if she was just a little bit younger, she would have gone after her assailant.

She's not alone. Just ask Lisa Yang from our New York affiliate WABC. She got quite the workout.


LUCY YANG (ph), CORRESPONDENT: Eighty-two-year-old Grace Wilson has had two hip surgeries, but don't ever, ever think she is vulnerable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, give me your money.

GRACE WILSON, 82 YEARS OLD: You have to be prepared for whatever.

YANG: This feisty grandmother watched with outrage last week as a cowardly mugger pounced on 101-year-old Rose Morat as she was heading to church. Grace Wilson believes you can be old and frail, but that doesn't mean you have to be defenseless.

WILSON: You do the best you can. If you can holler, you holler. If not, you make a quick run and get out of there. If you can't make it the other way, then you've got to fight. We've got feet, we've got fingers and we've got teeth. Use them.

YANG: Over in Glen Ridge Queens, the senior center offers free meals and dance lessons, but after the assault, seniors have been begging for self-defense classes which will begin next week.

As for Grace who has been taking tai chi since last year, I learned the hard way not to target her from the front, or the back.

WILSON: You want my bag?

YANG: I do, for all that work.

ARTHUR HENRY, SELF-DEFENSE INSTRUCTOR: Everyone can empower themselves. It's a state of mind.


LEMON: Alright, that was Lucy Yang from New York affiliate WABC reporting. Good for Grace Wilson. There's a footnote here. While some seniors are learning to fight back, the 85-year-old woman attacked last week reportedly still isn't able to sleep or to be alone.

The next hour, the CNN NEWSROOM, starts right now.

Hello, I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

CHETRY: And I'm Kiran Chetry in for Kyra Phillips.

The mortgage meltdown spills over into other parts of the market, but we could see a late-day rebound. We have our eye on the numbers. Plus, raging rains and risky rescues in Texas. And it's not over yet. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.