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British Troops Home; Votes Count, But So Does Cash

Aired April 05, 2007 - 09:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: At the top this hour, finally free and back on British soil. Fifteen sailors and marines taken captive by Iran are back home. Their plane landed at London's Heathrow airport about two hours ago. The British troops were held by Iran for almost two weeks. Before the surprise announcement yesterday they were free to leave, Britain says diplomacy, not deal-making led to their release.
After a brief photo-op at the airport, the sailors and marines boarded helicopters for a flight to the Royal Air Force base in southwestern England. They're expected to arrive this hour. They will be debriefed and reunited with family.

Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed the return of the British troops.

CNN's Robin Oakley is outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, and he joins us live.

Robin, what did the prime minister have to say?

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, they're back in uniform and they're back on British soil. And Tony Blair was happy to greet their arrival, but he made it a somber occasion, linking the relief and happiness that they're getting back to Britain with the deaths of more British soldiers in Iraq today, and a warning that Iran was still a sponsor of terrorism. But above all else, Tony Blair wanted today to justify the negotiating stand that he had taken and the tactics he had used.


TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think that what has actually happened is that we have managed to secure the releels of our personnel, I think more quickly than many people anticipated, and have done so, incidentally, and I want to make this very, very clear, without any deal, without any negotiation, without any side agreement of any nature whatever. We made it clear at the outset we weren't going to do that, and we held firm to that position throughout.


OAKLEY: He'd done it, he said, by bringing international pressure to bear on Iran, as well as by talking directly to Iran, though insistent that, of course, it was not negotiating, it was just conversations they had had with Iran. Now, the message of that was that Iran's president, Ahmadinejad, had been trying to say, look, talk to us directly and you will get results, a message addressed perhaps to the United States over the uranium enrichment question as much as anything else. Tony Blair saying, no with Iran, because it is a sponsor of terrorism and needs to change its ways, you've got to wave the big stick of international pressure, as well as talking to them directly -- Tony.

HARRIS: So, joy, obviously, at the return of the service personnel, but then it seems, Robin, almost back to many of the talking points we heard before this crisis.

OAKLEY: Kind of back to business as usual in a way, yes.


OAKLEY: Because Tony Blair knows it's been something of a propaganda coup for President Ahmadinejad in the Middle East. He's faced up to a major world power, Britain, over the period of a fortnight, and then he's rounded it off by showing himself to be a magnanimous and generous man releasing the captives. And that has gone down well for him in a part of the world where Iran wants to walk tall.

And Tony Blair wanted to counter that by saying, well, hang on a minute, he's not this cuddly figure joking with the captives in their new Iranian suits. This is a guy who is sponsoring terrorism elsewhere in the world. And Iran is going to change if we're going to continue to use those new channels of communication and bring it back into the world community -- Tony.

HARRIS: CNN's Robin Oakley for us just outside of Number 10 Downing street in England.

Robin, thank you.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Well, also in England, our Paula Hancocks. She was at Heathrow airport when the British troops arrived. Right now she's headed to the base in southwest England, where the family reunions will be taking place.

Joining us by phone right now, Paula Hancocks -- Paula.


Well, the helicopters carrying those 15 British military personnel is probably likely to land in about 10 minutes' time. Now, obviously going by road will be a little bit longer. We don't have that kind of luxury.

But what we are expecting when they do touch down is they will be once again whisked away to meet their families, finally, after such a long time in captivity, almost two weeks that their families have been worried about them. And also to have that physical, to make sure that they are OK, and to have an extensive debrief. Now, certainly, they looked to be in very good spirits when we saw them in Heathrow when they first touched down on to British soil. We were probably around 30 meters from them, and they had the time to wander over, looking very relaxed and wandering over very slowly.

They stood in a line so that photographers could all get their shots for tomorrow's newspapers. And then they split up and headed into two different helicopters.

Now, we know also on board they had a foreign office official. This is what we're hearing from a senior military official who is on the ground, and also other military officials. Whether or not the debrief will start in the helicopter is unsure. But certainly what the military is trying to do is keep them away from the media and the public until, A, they've had a chance to see their loved ones, and, also, B, until they've actually had a chance to tell the military exactly what they know.

WHITFIELD: And Paula, you have to wonder what it felt like at that airport, particularly how about all the other travelers who were pressed up against the windows there in Heathrow taking a look at the soldiers who were transporting themselves from one aircraft to another? And even, I understand, throughout the pubs in downtown London. Many of them were just spilling over with people who were all celebrating the release of these armed service people.

HANCOCKS: Well, certainly there is a very happy mood that these 15 people, the 14 men and one woman, have been released safely. They seem to be in very good spirits, and there has been no bloodshed and no military action to try and get them back. It appears this has been done completely in a diplomatic fashion, so there's certainly a sense of relief in Britain at that as well.

Now, we know that these particular 15 and the personnel who were escorting them were all put into business class. We know that a couple of people who were traveling in business class downgraded, saying they didn't mind. One Iranian businessmen saying he was delighted it had turned out this way.

WHITFIELD: That is so nice. What a nice ending to the story. Well, the story actually still continuing as they head their way to southwest England, as are you.

Paula Hancocks, thanks so much for pulling over and giving us a chat.

HARRIS: Well, the coastal town of Hayle, England, is where the British trips set sail. It is also the scene of family members jubilant over their release.

CNN's Alphonso Van Marsh joins us live from Hayle.

Alphonso, good morning to you.

Set that scene in that town for us, if you would this morning. ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tony, there are a lot of smiles here in Hayle. Of course, this is the hometown of one of those 15 British service members, Nathan Summers, a 21-year-old member of the Royal Navy.

He was held, as you mentioned, against his will with his other British service members. We spent some time here with Nathan's family.

They are unduly excited, extremely excited to know that their son and brother is on his way home. Last night, they were popping champagne bottles open. They say that's just the pre-party, if you will. Nathan's mother telling me that once Nathan not only gets into this town, but gets into her arms, that's when they're really going to celebrate -- Tony.

HARRIS: Alphonso, didn't you have an opportunity -- correct me here -- to talk to Nathan's brother? Was it Nick, last week? I wonder if you've had an opportunity to talk to him again. I believe you've mentioned that you had an opportunity to talk to his mom.

VAN MARSH: That's correct. This is a return visit for CNN.

We were down here as this diplomatic -- international diplomatic crisis unfolded. Nick, that is Nathan's older brother by just 18 months, also in the Royal Navy, spoke to CNN, talking about his concern and shock and even relief, relief in the sense that when those alleged confessional videotapes were released by Iranian authorities, when they saw Nathan, they felt relieved that that was the Nathan they knew, a man of very few words.

Now, when we talk to Nick, the brother, and to Tracy (ph), Nathan's mather, they are just so excited. We spent some time with them last night as they were at the local pub where Nathan used to work before he joined the Royal Navy. They say if that was a party last night, just wait until Nathan walks into that pub after his debriefing -- Tony.

HARRIS: Yes. Alphonso, how soon before the choppers land and we begin to see some pictures?

VAN MARSH: Well, that's a bit of a mystery. Nathan's mother telling me last night that British military officials had warned it might not be an instantaneous family reunion.

Of course, officials here want to debrief these British service members. What did they see, where were they held, under what circumstances did they make those videotapes? And, of course, they want to check on their psychological and physical well-being. Nick's mother saying, "We understand that that is paramount," but she can't wait to get Nathan in her arms -- Tony.

HARRIS: All right. Alphonso Van Marsh for us.

And I understand we're expecting to hear from an air marshal from the location where these choppers will land shortly. When we get that statement, then we will of course bring it to you live right here in the NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: A U.S. helicopter down south of Baghdad. The military says nine passengers and crew were on board. Four were injured. The incident is under investigation. No word of hostile fire.

Meantime, let's check in with...

HARRIS: Rob Marciano.


HARRIS: Any moment now -- well, I don't know. I shouldn't say any moment now. It could take a while. Right?

WHITFIELD: Well, we're at the edge of our seats.

HARRIS: We are, because we're expecting some time in the hour that the two choppers carrying the 15 sailors and marines will land at the Royal Air Force Base in Devon, England. When that happens, we expect to have all kinds of live pictures, as we did this morning when the British Airways plane brought those sailors and marines into Heathrow International Airport.

When it happens here at the Royal Air Force Base in Devon, England -- as you can see, we're keeping an eye on the skies.

WHITFIELD: And I will not be surprised if they are kissing the ground when they get off...

HARRIS: That's right. We will bring you those pictures.

WHITFIELD: ... on to the tarmac. All right.

Well, who's up, who's down, who's holding steady? GOP presidential contenders and poll positions in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Was Jesus buried here? A live report from the Garden Tomb straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: And when we say everything must go and it's free, well, everything went, indeed. But the ad, it turns out it was bogus.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the ad, it said, "Come and take what you want. Everything is free."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Please help yourself to anything on the property."


WHITFIELD: That doesn't make any sense, does it?

HARRIS: No. WHITFIELD: When cleaning house is a crime. That's straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.



WHITFIELD: So, following the campaign trail through New Hampshire, a new look at how things are shaping up for the Republican contenders in the Granite State. A new CNN-WMUR presidential primary poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire shows John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in a dead heat, 29 percent a piece. Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney follows with 17 percent.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich coming in with two percent. For the record, Gingrich has yet to announce he's even in the race.

New Hampshire is home to the first in the nation primary set for next January.

HARRIS: In the race for White House, votes count, but so does the cash. Senator Barack Obama sending a clear message with his campaign contributions.

Here's CNN's senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, part of the best political team on television.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bottom line, $25 million or, as the Obama campaign puts it, at least $25 million raised in the first quarter of the year. Not bad -- a bit of a wow.

DAN BALZ, "WASHINGTON POST": To raise around $25 million having not even seriously thought about being a candidate until sometime last year, is impressive, and I thought that the fact that they've got 100,000 donors is also very impressive at this early stage.

CROWLEY: In fact, Obama had twice as many donors as Hillary Clinton but she's got more money, 26 million to his 25 million and Obama doesn't have much money left over from his Senate campaign to drive the numbers up. Clinton had 10 million from a virtually uncontested Senate race, which brings her grand total for the presidential campaign 36 million.

But the gap is less important than the message of $25 million. Obama is a heavyweight contender, his fund-raising success all the more impressive because Clinton's fundraising machinery is a proven entity much of it inherited from one of the most successful fund- raisers in modern politics, but until this day Obama's organization was untested at the presidential level. Now, all he has to do is find the ground support to match those big bucks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the challenge for him is to figure out how to bottle up this enthusiasm and turn it into something that can sustain him for a much longer period.

CROWLEY: Twenty-five and 26 million in three months are mind- boggling amounts breaking every record of modern politics putting Clinton and Obama in a tier all by themselves and sending everybody else in the race scrambling. Critics say it all speaks volumes about the system.

SHEILA KRUMHOLZ, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS: Well, what it says is that it's highly dependent on money. You can have great skills, a good organization but if you don't have the money, you don't have a campaign.

CROWLEY: All told, Republicans and Democrats, presidential candidates, raised $130 million in three months. That's more than $1 million day.

(on camera): The Clinton campaign is taking a "What, me worry?" approach. And aides said they still believe Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, because they say she has the best ideas and the most experience. Nobody, said the aide, is rattled.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


WHITFIELD: And school is out for these Baghdad children. But it's nothing like play time. It's work in a garbage dump.

That's straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And we are looking into Wal-Mart, which might have been looking into you. At least if you were an employee, a critic, or maybe even a shareholder.

I'll have more on that when we come back right here in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: A lot of movie fans will be mourning today. Film director Robert Clark and his son are dead. Police say they were killed last night in a head-on crash with a drunken driver in Los Angeles. Clark may be best known for the 1983 holiday classic "A Christmas Story". He also directed "Porky's" and "Porky's 2".

HARRIS: Wal-Mart feels the heat over revelations that it spied on employees and stockholders, among others.

Ali Velshi is "Minding Your Business" this morning.

Ali, great to see you again. You've had a few days away from us. It's great to have you back.

VELSHI: It's been a little while. Good to see you, Tony.

HARRIS: Well, let me ask you something. This sounds like shades -- are we talking about Wal-Mart or are we talking about HP all over again?

VELSHI: Very similar threat here.

Some weeks ago, you'll recall we reported that Wal-Mart fired a few employees for intercepting a "New York Times" reporter's phone calls. Now, it turns out the fired workers might not have been the rogues that Wal-Mart made them out to be back then.

The fired workers worked for a department at Wal-Mart called the Threat Research and Analysis Group, and one of them spoke to "The Wall Street Journal," sort of spilling the beans and saying that the company's sophisticated research and surveillance operation didn't just target reporters, but, as you said, Tony, also employees and groups that were critical of the company, and some activist shareholders.

Now, this employee admitted that he recorded "The New York Times" reporter's phone calls on his own because he wanted to stem some embarrassing leaks, but he also said that most of the spying was done with Wal-Mart's knowledge and approval. He gave some examples.

He said last year, Wal-Mart sent an employee with a wireless microphone to infiltrate an anti-Wal-Mart organization. And an internal memo shows that Wal-Mart asked this team to conduct what it called in quotes a "threat assessment" of certain mutual funds that were proposing things that Wal-Mart didn't like.

Now, Tony, Wal-Mart has apologized, saying that "threat assessment" was a poor choice of words. The company says it doesn't really consider the funds mentioned in the memo to be a threat.

But that's just the external stuff. There's also stuff to do with the employees.

HARRIS: Well, what's that stuff?

VELSHI: Well, Wal-Mart says that its employees are told to have no expectation of privacy when using computer...


VELSHI: ... you know, company computers and networks. And their e-mails and Web surfing is tracked and reported to managers. That actually is not entirely uncommon.

HARRIS: Right.

VELSHI: But this fired employee says the company was working on technology to track e-mails that were received and sent from private accounts, like a Hotmail account or a Google account, if it was done through a Wal-Mart computer or the computer network.

HARRIS: Well, and I think this is part of the brave new world that we're in right now.

VELSHI: Right. HARRIS: You just work for your company and you just need to assume...

VELSHI: That somebody's checking.

And unlike -- you know, we talked about HP. While there are shades of it, one of the things that HP was determined to have done was illegal, that pretexting.

HARRIS: Right.

VELSHI: It's not entirely clear that anything here is illegal. It's just something, you know, we should all be conscious of.

HARRIS: Well, it makes you feel like, you know, OK, a little uncomfortable, a little squeamish. All right.

VELSHI: S, just delete that e-mail I sent you about Heidi.


Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business" this morning.

Ali, thank you. Good to see you, man.

And still to come in the NEWSROOM, a tense drama staged to perfection. A look at how Iran handled the standoff with Great Britain.

That is coming up in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: Hey, Fred, what do you say we show folks these wonderful pictures?


HARRIS: It's a great sight.

WHITFIELD: Let's take a look.


WHITFIELD: You know, the countryside of England never looked so good for these 15 British marines and sailors on their way back home there to the southwest portion of the country.

HARRIS: Oh, coming in, too. Great.


HARRIS: Maybe we just stay with this for a minute.

Landing in minutes, perhaps, at the Royal Marine base near Devon, England. And we have had a ringside seat to watch this unfold over the course of the last two days, at least over the last 24 hours here in the NEWSROOM.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Yes. It's been pretty remarkable. And once they left Tehran early this morning, they were on board a British Airways commercial jet flying business class before landing at Heathrow. And then they were transferred to these helicopters, military helicopters, before making their way now back to home base where it's going to be interesting to see what kind of greeting they get because, you know, it is kind of touch and go. Yes, they're very excited and happy to have been released from Iran. We don't know what kind of diplomacy it took in order to win this release. But at the same time, we heard from Tony Blair earlier trying to kind of cushion the excitement.


WHITFIELD: Of their release with the fact that, you know, people have died and the Iraq war has caused a number of casualties, and so it is a bittersweet ending to this.

HARRIS: Absolutely. You make a very good point, that this is happening on a day when Tony Blair came out this morning out of his offices there at Number 10 Downing Street to announce the good news, of course, that the sailors and Marines were back on British soil, but also the sad news that four British soldiers had been killed in the southern Iraqi city of Masra. So as you mentioned Fred, just a day of mixed emotions for the people of Great Britain.

WHITFIELD: Yeah, it really is. And look at this view right here.

HARRIS: Isn't that something? There you go.

WHITFIELD: Looks like a good number -- trying to count but I don't think that's 15, but a good number of them. One, two, three, four -- five maybe of those who are part of the 15 now being --

HARRIS: And here we go.

WHITFIELD: There we go, being joined by the others who were on the neighboring chopper there, landing there in southwest England. And then I understand just from some information I read prior to going to air that there will be a process.

HARRIS: The whole process.

WHITFIELD: There is some debriefing.


WHITFIELD: That must take place before, perhaps, they are reunited with their family members?

HARRIS: Apparently a couple of steps here. First of all, as you can see there, along with the sailors and Marines there were members of the military, military personnel as well traveling with them. Perhaps the beginning stages of a debriefing process taking place on those choppers on the trip to the Royal Marine base near Devlin or Devon, England. And then what we understand that what is going to play out over the next couple of hours is that there will be more debriefing that will take place. There will be a physical for all of the sailors and Marines and then we understand there will be an opportunity at that point after all of that sort of official processing takes place for all of them, the 14 sailors and Marines and of course the lone female in that group, Faye Turney (ph), to be reunited with family members and of course that is the event, that's the moment that we can't wait to see.

WHITFIELD: We probably learned most about her of all the 15 because she is the one woman, because it was made clear that she was the first one to be paraded in front of Iranian television and it was -- it was underscored, the fact that she's the mother of a small child, a-three-year-old daughter. But we haven't learned enough about really the others and, you know, the families that they have at home.

HARRIS: Outside of Nathan Summers (ph).

WHITFIELD: We got a chance to talk to a relative of, so, it will be interesting to hear a little bit more about all of the 15 and what they went through.

HARRIS: And mentioning Faye Turney, just to pick up on that for just a second, Fred, we learned so much about her because she was one of -- obviously one of the service personnel, the British say paraded out on video for all of us to see, sure. Sampson, bring that on up, paraded out for everyone to see. And this videotape, that was available for all kinds of public consumption. That created a bit of a stir and some outrage in Great Britain and actually around the world. But initially, along this road that we traveled here together with all of them as to getting to this day of this release, there was the thought early on that she would be released, that in terms of good- will gestures, this would be the first one.

WHITFIELD: Right. Some sympathy.

HARRIS: Yeah. And that, of course, didn't happen as the language started to ratchet up just a bit, but ultimately here we are on this day when all of the sailors and Marines are now back, obviously, on British soil, and about to go through a bit more of a debriefing process and then eventually here we expect for the next couple of hours to be reunited with their families. Oh, happy day.

WHITFIELD: We're glad to be able to bring these live pictures, however, but we're going to continue to watch the developments there.

HARRIS: A bit more on this story now Fred. The whole world watched. Iran had British troops captive and a captive global audience. CNN's Aneesh Raman now with more.


ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a moment made for TV, one by one, the parting British military personnel voicing gratitude to a man often vilified by their government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to thank yourself and the Iranian people.

RAMAN: For his part, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seemed to relish the moment in the final chapter of a sophisticated PR campaign.

MARK FITZPATRICK, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS EXPERT: President Ahmadinejad and the country he represents comes off today as rationale, reasonable, someone you can deal with, a smiling man. And I think Iran was rational all along, but many of the statements by President Ahmadinejad were not rational or reasonable at all.

RAMAN: From the very beginning, Iran used the media to its advantage, first broadcasting this video of the seized British military personnel just days after their capture, showing them in what appeared to be good condition on an Arabic language state-run channel.

DAN PLESCH, DIR, CTR OF INTNL STUDIES & DIPLOMACY: In Plespin terms of Arab and domestic opinion, they come out looking quite good because they've taken 15 military personnel from, you know, the great former imperial power, tweaked the lion's tail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They explained to us why we've been arrested.

RAMAN: From Britain though came anger over the staged confessions shown on television, first of Faye Turney, then of others. It prompted a warning from British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We've had, if you like, two very clear tracks on this. One is to try and settle this by way of a peaceful and calm negotiation to get our people back as quickly as possible. The other is to make it clear that if that's not possible, then we have to take an increasingly tougher position.

RAMAN: The standoff finally ended on Wednesday with a very public presidential pardon and from a man known for his provocative statements a hint of humor.

TRANSLATOR: A kind of compulsory trip you are on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could call it that.

RAMAN: There are many theories as to why this all played out as it did. One possibility, Ahmadinejad wanted to show that diplomacy breeds rewards from Tehran, a not so subtle sign, perhaps, that dialogue, not confrontation, is the best solution to Iran's nuclear defiance. Aneesh Raman, CNN, Ahmad.


WHITFIELD: And we're going to continue to watch the developments as the 15 Marines and sailors are now making their way through the processing of medical check-ups as well as debriefing there in southwest England. You're looking at the live aerial shots right now after they've gotten off the helicopters that transported them from Heathrow airport. Meantime, at their home port in the town of Hale, England, where the "HMS Cornwall" originally left from, our Alphonso van Marsh is there and we understand Alphonso people in that town, in their home port city of Hayle are ecstatic. They are excited about the return of these sailors and Marines but at the same time, it will be interesting to hear from these armed service people exactly what they went through while they were being held for 13 days in Iran.

ALPHONSO VAN HARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That's right. This is the hometown of one of those 15 British service members, of course, Nathan Summers, the 21-year-old member of the Royal Navy. His family is here -- his brother, his mother, his grandmother, a whole lot of folks. We met most of them last night, in fact. As you mentioned, yes, these 15 British service members of course coming from the "HMS Cornwall." that ship is stationed in the Plymouth area, but here specifically in Hayle, that is the hometown of one of those British service members Nathan Summers, his family very very much anticipating the chances of bringing him back here.

It is unclear at this point how many, if any of Nathan's direct relatives are at that military base that we saw those live pictures from earlier on. The British authorities saying that they were trying to make arrangements for some members of the families of those British service members to actually have a kind of mini reunion as it is, but Nathan Summers' family, they told us that British officials have told them it might be a short while before there can be a reunion here in Hayle simply because military authorities want to have that debrief that you referred to before, a chance to check them psychologically and physically, to talk to them about what they've seen, who talked to them, under what circumstances those alleged videotaped confessions were made. So, it might be a little while before we see Nathan Summers come back to this town, but certainly these pictures are something that almost everybody here are watching very closely.

WHITFIELD: Alphonso van Marsh, thanks so much. We're going to check back with you from Hayle in about 20 minutes from now.

HARRIS: Fred, what do you say we take everyone to the New York Stock Exchange. Can we do that right now? We missed it live, sorry. We had breaking news and great pictures to show you. Just a short time ago, the New York Stock Exchange basketball team ringing the bell. You think any competition for the national champs from Florida, the gators?

WHITFIELD: How tall? How tall?

HARRIS: Joking Noah (ph) tall, I can tell you that. Let's look at the opening numbers, just a couple of minutes into the trading day. The Dow down 23 points. Not sure where the Nasdaq is. We will check all of the day's business headlines with Susan Liscovicz right here throughout the morning in the NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: And Tony, we hope this never happens to you or anyone else. A home owner coming home to a nightmare, ripped off and vandalized after a web site listing. You've got to hear all about this coming up in the NEWSROOM.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Atika Shubert at the garden tomb where some Christians believe Jesus was buried. But when we come back, I'll tell you why there's not just one, but three locations vying for the title tomb of Jesus when we come back.


HARRIS: Fred, you podcasting today?


HARRIS: Yeah. Good times, huh?

WHITFIELD: Yes, yes.

HARRIS: OK. No, really. Join us for this.

WHITFIELD: So convenient.

HARRIS: How about that. You already know to catch us weekday mornings 9:00 a.m. to noon Eastern right here in the NEWSROOM. But now you can take us with you anywhere on your iPod. Make us a part of your daily chores, whatever you're doing.

WHITFIELD: That's right. No excuse. You got to be informed.

HARRIS: Come on.

WHITFIELD: We make it easy.

HARRIS: Podcast 24/7 right on your iPod absolutely.


Well, it is a holy week, everyone knows that. Christians around the world focusing on the final days of Jesus, many converging on sites like this one, the garden tomb. Is it the tomb of Jesus? All week, we've been taking you to sacred sites. Our Atika Shubert joins us live in Jerusalem with more on the garden tomb. Atika?

SHUBERT: Fredricka, you can probably see behind me and hear perhaps some of the singing that's going on here. These are some of the Christian pilgrims that have been pouring into the garden tomb. Thousands come here every year and they come in order to see what they believe is to be the burial place of Jesus. However, archaeologists have a different view.


SHUBERT (voice-over): The garden tomb stands under a skull- shaped hill, beside a tranquil garden with a number of ancient tombs, just as the bible describes the tomb of Jesus, but historians and archaeologists say something is amiss.

FATHER JEROME MURPHY O'CONNOR, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR: Nobody believes that it has any authenticity as a historical site.

SHUBERT: These tombs date hundreds of years before the time of Jesus. Because the book of John says that Jesus' tomb was newly made, it can't be the older tombs found here. In fact, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is widely believed to be the most likely location of Jesus' tomb. Why then is the garden tomb so popular, especially with Protestants?

O'CONNOR: A lot of Protestants believe in the garden tomb precisely because the Christian groups who own the Holy Sepulcher won't let them pray there.

SHUBERT: The garden tomb is not the only alternative. A new documentary by American film maker James Cameron argues that a recently discovered tomb with the inscription Jesus, son of Joseph is the right place. Archaeologists point out that Jesus was such a common name, there are multiple tombs with the name Jesus.

STEPHEN PFANN, HOLY LAND UNIVERSITY: Seventy five percent of the population had either one or another of the 16 names that we're talking about right now. This simply is no great consequence to find a Jesus son of Joseph.


SHUBERT: Now, this garden tomb here remains very popular with many Christian pilgrims and guides here point out the bible says that Jesus was resurrected. Perhaps it isn't as important to find the exact location of his tomb. And in fact many visitors here say the garden tomb helps them to understand a little bit better what Jesus tomb may have looked like and it certainly offers a tranquil place for spiritual reflection, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: So Atika, do these visitors, are they aware of this argument or debate? Do they even care?

SHUBERT: Oh, they're certain aware of it. The guides here are very clear about the archaeological and historical origins of this tomb. Of course, the debate around the new tomb, the (INAUDIBLE) tomb in the Jerusalem suburb is a little bit more controversial, particularly because the remains are still in that tomb, and of course for Christians who believe that Jesus was resurrected, that is very controversial.

WHITFIELD: When I asked do they care, I really mean that in a sense of has it kind of redirected where they spend time, what they want to visit, and you know, with whom they speak and the kind of literature that may be passed around to, you know, teach or re-teach some of the visitors?

SHUBERT: It hasn't really. It's interesting. A lot of people that come here, they hold prayer services here. This is really still thought of as a very sacred place. And actually the foundations here were an early church. Some of the first Christians actually set up a church here, so it's still a very sacred place for many people.

WHITFIELD: Atika Shubert, thanks so much from Jerusalem.

HARRIS: Friendly fire or enemy action? The army investigates the deaths of two U.S. soldiers. Stay with us in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: An ad on a website said come and get it and they did. Trouble is, the homeowner didn't know anything about it. Trisha Manning Smith of our Seattle affiliate KING has details.


TRISHA MANNING SMITH, KING CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The outside of her home is trashed. The inside is nearly gutted and covered in graffiti. Laurie Ray is devastated.

LAURIE RAYE, HOMEOWNER: But it hurts. I was attached to this home because it used to be my mom's.

SMITH: A phone caller alerted ray to the destruction. She walked through her garbage-strewn front yard to find her house dismantled.

RAYE: Including the front door. This used to be a nice vinyl window here.

SMITH: From the light fixtures to the hot water heater, everything is gone, including the kitchen sink. Her neighbors later reported seeing strangers hauling stuff away from her home, seemingly looking for salvage material.

RAYE: Because in the ad it said come and take what you want. Everything is free.

SMITH: This is the ad posted on Craig's list last weekend.

DET. GRETCHEN ELLIS, TACOMA POLICE: Please help yourself to anything on the property.

SMITH: An off-duty Tacoma police officer noticed the Craig's list ad last week inviting people to enter the unlocked house and take whatever they wanted. Later that same officer noticed the ad was flagged and canceled after a reported burglary at the house.

ELLIS: We get a lot of scans off of Craig's list. We have prostitution things happen. We've had rental scams, fraudulent activity, that type of thing. In this case, it appears that items were just being given away which they were not.

RAYE: This could happen to anybody but look what happened to me.

SMITH: Raye believes the unknown person who posted the added carries a personal grudge against her, but that person also conned unsuspecting people into taking part.

RAYE: The instigator that published this ad invited the public to come in and vandalize me.


HARRIS: Do you believe that?

WHITFIELD: That is outrageous. No. That is outrageous.

HARRIS: Here's the thing.

WHITFIELD: Where have we come? I mean, what place have we arrived that something like that would happen?

HARRIS: So the homeowner was able to get in touch with Craigs list. She was told the web site could not release information about who posted the ad without a subpoena or a search warrant.

WHITFIELD: But you can put my address in that location and invite everyone. Oh, boy, I'm so outraged for her.

HARRIS: Order up, subpoena.

WHITFIELD: All right. Well, you get hit in the rear, here's something else that could be potentially outrageous, but it's your neck that takes the blow. Cars rated for whiplash protection. The findings in the NEWSROOM. You need this information.

HARRIS: Yeah. Round and round it goes. Yeah, you try riding this thing without letting out one of those old-fashioned sort of blood-curdling screams.

WHITFIELD: You're going to hear me a town away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no noise allowed on this ride. You can't scream, can't make any noise at all. Please cover your mouth tightly, like this.


HARRIS: We're calling it silent fear here in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: You know, as we get older, our health concerns seem to multiply. Hypertension is one condition that is exacerbated by age. Elizabeth Cohen takes a look at the things we need to do over the years to keep it at bay.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sintanya Summerville (ph) is a tough lady to catch. She's a recreational director who's always on the move.

SINTANYA SUMMERVILLE: I was used to moving, slowed down a little when I became a mom.

COHEN: But as she's gotten older, she's seen changes in her health. Now 47, she takes medication for hypertension. As we get older, our circulatory system begins to build up plaque on the inside of the artery walls. Those arteries begin to narrow, which can cause high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and other problems. Any of these conditions can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or even death. Genetics, bad diet, smoking and obesity serve only to speed up the process.

In your 30s, staying fit is key. The American Heart Association says exercise, don't smoke and tell your doctor if you have a family history of heart disease. Also, know your personal heart health numbers, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.

DR. PATRICIA DAVIDSON, WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CTR: When you're 30, that's when all of these things begin to deteriorate because your metabolic rate begins to decline, your weight starts going up, your blood pressure starts going up. Your arteries now have been stiffened.

COHEN: In your 40s, you have to be even more vigilant about diet and exercise.

DAVIDSON: It's very critical that you begin to exercise if you're not already and try to do it at least five to seven times a week.

COHEN: In your 50s, exercise is just as important. You should also keep tabs on the way your body is changing. You may be a candidate for something called the metabolic syndrome, a combination of high cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose along with excess weight concentrated in the abdomen.

DR. GEORGE RUIZ, CARDIOLOGIST, WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CTR: Something that we should aggressively go after because folks that have the metabolic syndrome it's clear are increased risk for having bad cardiovascular outcomes.

COHEN: And that could be alleviated with diet, exercise and certain medications. In order to curb her hypertension, Sintanya she's given up burgers which she loves and added more fruits and vegetables to her diet. She's exercising more and hopes her high blood pressure can be kept in check. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN.