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Bush Immigration Plan; Anti-American Demonstration in Najaf; Snow for Easter
Aired April 09, 2007 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. You're with CNN. You're informed.
I'm Tony Harris.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And hi, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.
HARRIS: Developments keep coming in to the NEWSROOM on this Monday, April 9th.
Here's what's on the rundown.
COLLINS: Thousands of Iraqis answer a firebrand cleric call to protest against the U.S. And the American military says it's fine by them.
HARRIS: It is April on the calendar but December on the ground. Parts of the East stuck in a deep freeze. Is relief on the way?
COLLINS: And fighting the fear of food. How kids with eating disorders learn to step up to the plate.
We'll tell you about it in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: At the top this hour, immigration. The volatile issue divides Washington and a controversial fence now rises along the U.S.- Mexican border. Today, President Bush comes face to face with both. He will use the border fence as the backdrop to a much awaited, anticipated speech pushing his immigration reform plan.
CNN's Kathleen Koch is at the White House for us this morning with a preview.
And Kathleen, what is the president hoping to accomplish with this visit?
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tony, the president is trying to refocus attention on an issue that's very important to him personally, but where he has so far had very little success. And it was just last May that President Bush visited this very same stretch of the southern border, met with members of the Border Patrol, announced a proposal to send some 6,000 National Guard members down to help patrol the border.
And what he'll see that is different there today is a fence going up that he approved funding of this fall, near the city of Yuma, Arizona, this particular stretch. But conservatives right now continue to balk at other aspects of his immigration reform plan. In particular, the guest worker plan, saying that it's tantamount to amnesty.
So, the White House has come up with a more restrictive proposal. They've been previewing it to key lawmakers on the Hill. CNN has gotten a PowerPoint of some of the main aspects of the plan to keep principals.
First of all, securing U.S. borders, beefing up security there, requiring employers to verify work status. New, incoming workers could apply for a temporary, two-year so-called Y-visas. Then illegal workers already in the U.S. would have to pay fines, and then they could apply for indefinitely renewable Z-visas. English and civics training would be required of illegal immigrants, or incoming immigrants, and all policies would be "simple, efficient and workable."
And Tony, that may be the toughest requirement of all.
HARRIS: Yes. Yes.
Hey, Kathleen, what kind of a reception is the president's plan getting on Capitol Hill? We understand that he might actually get more support from Democrats.
KOCH: Actually, both parties, Tony, have some issues with the president's new ideas. There were even some protests this weekend in California about some aspects of them.
Democrats are concerned about this plan for the short visas for the new guest workers, where they would come in for two years, but then they would have to leave -- leave for six months while they renewed it for another two years, come back in, and then leave the country for six months. It makes it very cumbersome for workers, also for anyone who might want to hire them.
Then these Z-visas for the illegal immigrants who are already here, those will cost $3,500, though they are renewable on an indefinite basis. Very expensive.
KOCH: Republicans, of course, conservatives say, we just -- we want to see more security, and they're concerned that this could be tantamount to rewarding lawbreakers, giving them a fast track to citizenship.
HARRIS: CNN's Kathleen Koch at the White House for us.
KOCH: You bet.
HARRIS: And CNN will have live coverage of President Bush's speech in Yuma, Arizona. It is scheduled to get under way at 1:25 Eastern. That is 10:25 Pacific, right here in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: The fall of Baghdad four years later. Stepped-up security is in place as that milestone is marked in the Iraqi capital. Then south of Baghdad, an anti-American demonstration in the holy city of Najaf. The protest called for by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al- Sadr.
To Baghdad now, where CNN's Kyra Phillips is keeping track of all the latest developments.
Kyra, from what we've seen so far, demonstration is peaceful, right?
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And it has remained peaceful all throughout the day, Heidi. And that's what's pretty amazing about what you see here.
Previously, when Muqtada al-Sadr has called for rallies like this, there has been violence, there has been bombing. You've seen a lot of signs, anti-U.S. troop signs, a lot of pictures of Muqtada al- Sadr. A lot of support for him.
But this, if you look at it, it looks like this is what it's supposed to be all about in Iraq, about a peaceful protest. You just see Iraqi flags, thousands of demonstrators wrapped in the Iraqi flag. It looks like unity, it looks like everybody is one. But underneath this, it's not the case.
This rally was called by Muqtada al-Sadr, the most powerful Shiite cleric, and also somebody who allegedly is hiding out in Iran because of those that want to get to him. So, in a way, it's sort of a nose up at the prime minister here in Iraq, Nuri al-Maliki, and the U.S. government and U.S. troops, saying look how much power I have, look at what I can put together, no matter where I am.
COLLINS: Well, expand on that a little bit if you could, Kyra. So, I mean, it appears that al-Sadr is still just as powerful. He says, hey, let's hold this protest, people go out, hold a protest.
PHILLIPS: Very much so. I mean, this goes back to his family, his father, the roots in this country. He has always been able to rally support like this among Iraqis. And even at the onset of the war, this was a man that U.S. military officials talked about. They wanted to understand him, get to know him, understand his family because of the power that he holds.
Now, why is he hiding out in Iran? There, of course, has been talk about the relationship between Muqtada al-Sadr and Iran, and the fact that Iran continues to support the extremists here in this country, contribute to the violence and bring in weapons and bring in all types of different support for the extremists here.
So, yes, does Iran need Muqtada al-Sadr, does Muqtada al-Sadr need Iran? Those that know him well say this is a man who operates on his own and this is the kind of power that he holds.
COLLINS: All right. CNN's Kyra Phillips, coming to us live from Baghdad today.
Kyra, thank you.
Meanwhile, four National Guard units going back into Iraq a second time later this year or early 2008. And now we know the names of those units.
They are the 45th Infantry Brigade in Oklahoma City; the 39th Infantry Combat Team based in Little Rock; the 37th Infantry Combat Team in Columbus, Ohio; and the 76th Infantry Combat Team in Indianapolis. The brigades with 12,000 troops are replacing those leaving Iraq.
HARRIS: Iran announcing this morning another bold step toward becoming a nuclear power. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran has begun industrial-scale production of enriched uranium. Enriched uranium is the fuel necessary for operating nuclear reactors.
This latest step comes despite U.N.-imposed sanctions on Iran. The U.S. and its allies fear Iran is moving toward building nuclear weapons.
President Ahmadinejad says Iran has an undeniable right to nuclear energy. Just minutes ago, a U.S. State Department spokesman said -- quoting here -- "This is another signal that Iran is defying the international community."
COLLINS: Dreaming of a white Easter? Well, that's what many people got in Ohio. Look at this.
It made the Easter egg hunts a little more challenging. You know, it's kind of hard to pick up eggs with mittens.
CNN's Reggie Aqui is live now in Chardon, Ohio, just a few miles northeast of Cleveland.
Yes, the Easter bunny seems to just sort of blend in to all that snow, right?
REGGIE AQUI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, at least the Easter bunny was I guess dressed warmly under all those clothes. For once he wasn't sweating under that costume.
I want to show you something else, Heidi, right behind me. You can tell who's not originally from this area.
See that red Jeep back there covered in snow? On top of it is a Florida license plate. Apparently, he's a transplant from Florida. He owns a business right there. And I guess he just didn't have time to clear off the top of that Jeep.
So, later on today, someone is going to get a whole lot of snow in their face as they drive down the road. And that is scene all day long here as it continues to snow in this part of Ohio. They've received upwards of two and a half feet in just three days. And you can see all the snow covering the town square here. This is sort of your idyllic Midwestern American town, where you've got the gazebo and you've got the courthouse back here. And usually this would be a beautiful scene if it were Christmas. But we're talking about Easter here.
They actually had an Easter egg hunt yesterday out here on the lawn -- or I guess the lawn is somewhere underneath here. And what they did is they just threw the eggs into the snow and had the kids go for it. And apparently 150 kids that participated loved it.
But I'll tell you the game that is not going on today, or it could go on today but it didn't go on this weekend. We're talking about the Cleveland Indians.
They were supposed to have their opening day game on Friday. And the headline you can see in the paper today says "Spring's Wild Pitch." That's because the field is covered in snow.
This is not one of your rooftop stadiums. So they don't have that option. For three days they've had to postpone the game. They're going to try again this afternoon.
We understand they're optimistic. But as you can maybe see, the snow continues to fall. And they have a lot to clear off.
So, Heidi, they're hoping that that spring game finally comes to fruition. A lot of folks here are hoping they're not going to have to dig out for another few more weeks.
COLLINS: Boy, that's for sure. You're going to have to bring bleacher warmers, too, maybe. We'll have to see.
COLLINS: You know they have those.
All right. Thanks so much, Reggie.
HARRIS: Will he stay or will he go? Radio host Don Imus in trouble over some racially-charged comments. What the I-Man is saying today. That is ahead in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: A 10-year-old boy afraid to eat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was so far beyond being picky. It was -- it was psychological, physical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: So how did Patrick Kay's parents finally break through? We'll tell you the story ahead in the NEWSROOM. HARRIS: In the Middle East, an offer of freedom -- an Israeli army corporal for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
Details coming up in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Want to bring you this story that we are just learning about now in Troy, Michigan. This is about 15 miles north of Detroit. There's been a workplace shooting, according to our affiliate there, WDIV, on the ground in Detroit.
Apparently, police from Troy are at the scene of that building there. It is on Long Lake Road, by any chance, if you know the area.
The police got a call, some sort of tip saying that there was a shooting at the building. A lot of emergency crews on the scene. Don't see too many flashing lights, but you see people -- now this is video shot a little bit earlier -- going in and out of the building.
Not sure what happened. But we do have confirmed from the police there in Troy, again, according to WDIV, that there was a workplace shooting. We are also now learning from WDIV that there are some employees who have barricaded themselves inside of that building. Do not have a name of what type of workplace this is.
Looking for a sign in that video. I don't see that either.
But again, just now getting some word from our affiliate WDIV that apparently some of the employees of that building have now barricaded themselves inside the building. Not sure where the reported gunman is at this time. But we do see emergency crews on the scene. And, of course, we're going to monitor this for you.
Also do know that there are some injuries reported. We just don't know the extent or how many people may have been injured.
So, again, we'll be watching this one for you.
HARRIS: And still to come this morning, driving on the green side of the road. More carmakers now showing off their environmentally-friendly alternatives. We will take a closer look, coming up in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Want to get you straight back to the story we were telling you about here, about 15 miles north of Detroit. This is Troy, Michigan.
There has apparently been a workplace shooting inside this building. We are now looking at new video coming to us from our affiliate there, WDIV, of people basically running out of that building.
We have also been learning from our affiliate there that apparently three people have been shot. We don't know the extent of those injuries, other than the fact that they have been shot.
According to WDIV, they are learning that information from the Troy police, who have told our affiliate that there are some employees barricaded inside the building. Not sure if that situation has now changed because of what we just showed you, folks running out of the building.
But again, this is on Long Lake Road, if you happen to know the area very well. And police did get a call from someone saying that there had been a shooting inside.
So, once again, new information here now that apparently three people have been shot, according to WDIV.
We will continue to follow this story and bring you confirmation just as soon as possible.
HARRIS: Let's turn our attention to a pocketbook issue now. Gas prices going up. The latest Lundberg Survey shows prices are up 18 cents over the past two weeks. That's 60 cents above what we were paying less than three months ago. That fact fueling even more interest in hybrids, but as CNN's Jim Acosta found out, it is not just about saving gas.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We definitely want you to come on over, check out this concept vehicle that I'm standing next to.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Nearly ever concept car at this year's New York Auto Show is a mean machine that's green. Jaws are still dropping at the site of Chevy's plug-in sports hybrid, the Volt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of options right now. And some of those options are driven by what the market is looking for.
ACOSTA: Brian Moody of car review site edmunds.com says what the market is looking for is environmental buzz. The industry is blowing past the image of the penny-pinching Prius hybrid. Toyota is offering some green bling in its hybrid Lexus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's hard to know what their motives are, but it's clear that Lexus buyers, if they want a hybrid, they don't want to give anything up.
ACOSTA: GM is betting on its yellow corn-based, ethanol-powered pickups. But these trucks come with a big hitch. The fuel is hard to find.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd have to drive to San Diego, which is probably a two-hour drive for me, to get gas. That's not reasonable.
ACOSTA (on camera): These days there are almost as many fuel alternatives as there are options for your car. First there was buying green, then there was going yellow. Now, if you can believe it, there's such a thing as driving blue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the blue tech diesel, which is in their E-class.
ACOSTA (voice over): This Mercedes diesel engine runs cleaner thanks to a new blue liquid additive that works as a filter for the car's exhaust. But there's a catch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the car doesn't have the liquid in it, it will be dirty.
ACOSTA (on camera): So what are we looking at now?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, right now this is BMW's hydrogen- powered 7 Series.
ACOSTA (voice over): But this BMW still faces a few practical roadblocks, like the massive tank in the trunk.
(on camera): But if you're a BMW owners, where's the room for the golf clubs?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it looks like they made it for maybe a par 3 course. You know, something like that.
It's really important for consumers to do their research now.
ACOSTA (voice over): If all of this sounds like the days of Beta versus VHS, consider what was offered at the Big Apple's very first auto show, back in 1900.
MARK SCHIENBERG, GREATER NY AUTO DEALERS ASSN.: Twenty percent of the cars that they were showing were electric, 20 percent of the cars they were showing were steam. So I guess we're sort of coming around to that alternate fuel vehicles back in 2007.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we see as a suitable sports car for the 21st century?
ACOSTA: It's all enough to give a car buyer whiplash.
Jim Acosta, CNN, New York.
COLLINS: Want to quickly take you back to the area known as Troy, Michigan. This is apparently 15 miles north of Detroit or so.
We have on the line with us, regarding a workplace shooting there, and our affiliate, which has been giving us some reports here, WDIV -- actually, we were going to speak with Lieutenant Jerry Scherling. Not available for us at this time.
But just to update you on what we have been learning from our affiliate, apparently inside that building, there have been three people shot. Once again, according to WDIV, also some employees possibly still barricaded inside the building.
Not sure what type of work goes on inside that building, because we haven't gotten a name yet. But once again, apparently three people shot there in a workplace shooting.
We do now have Lieutenant Jerry Scherling on the phone of the Troy Police Department.
And Lieutenant, I'm just going to let you, if you wouldn't mind, update us on exactly what has happened here and what building this is.
LT. JERRY SCHERLING, TROY, MICHIGAN, POLICE: Basically, this is an office building in Troy, Michigan, in the area of Long Lake and Northfield Parkway (ph). We had a single suspect, a male, enter the building some time ago, shot three individuals.
We're not releasing their condition at this time. We are searching the building (INAUDIBLE).
COLLINS: You know, unfortunately, Lieutenant, if you can hang with me, that would be great. But we have got another line coming through at the same time that you are talking. Hopefully you can still hear me.
If you can, I think I heard you say that you are still searching the building, you're still searching for the suspect inside the building. Is that correct?
It appears we have lost him. Hopefully we can get him back in just a few minutes here. But I believe that that is what I heard.
And he did confirm for us, as you heard, three people have been shot inside this building, Long Lake area. Lieutenant Jerry Scherling of the Troy Police Department.
A workplace shooting has taken place here. Three people have been shot.
Was trying to hear from him and trying to learn more about the suspect. But he did say just one person that they know of at this time that they are trying to apprehend.
And as we try to get him back on the line here, we will continue to monitor those pictures. Hopefully make sure that everybody is going to be OK in this one.
HARRIS: Other stories we're following this morning.
Authorities say she had something to hide and it is coming back to haunt her. Fatal fire charges. We will outline them for you coming up in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: So we all know about eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, but what about an actual fear of food?
CNN's Allan Chernoff takes a look.
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SR. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Eight weeks ago, Patrick Kay was afraid to eat nearly all foods. This is Patrick now, after two months of feeding therapy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's unbelievable.
CHERNOFF: It's nothing less than a miracle for Patrick's parents, Anne and Tim. For the first time in their son's life, he's getting all the nutrition he needs by eating.
TIM KAY, PATRICK'S FATHER: We're pinching ourselves. We just can't believe it.
CHERNOFF: Patrick's lifeline was a feeding tube that delivered liquid nutrition directly to his stomach. He would wear a backpack holding a pump to keep formula flowing all day.
Patrick was born with an esophagus that didn't connect to his stomach and a small intestine that wouldn't properly digest nutrients. Scars on his stomach are reminders of surgeries during his first days of life that corrected the problems, but Patrick still wouldn't eat.
Developmentally, he was normal. Yet, even after entering grade school, Patrick would eat only morsels of a select few foods like chicken nuggets.
T. KAY: It was so far beyond being picky. It was -- it was psychological, physical.
CHERNOFF: Two months ago, Patrick and his mom traveled from their home near Detroit to Baltimore's Kennedy Krieger Institute, which has the nation's foremost program for pediatric feeding disorders.
(on camera): Most parents might assume that eating is instinctive. But it's not. It's actually a learned process. And here at the feeding rooms of the Kennedy Krieger Institute, therapists teach children how to eat by rewarding them for every bite they take.
(voice over): The typical patient here is a toddler who may get rewarded with a toy for taking a bite.
Patrick earned time on a Playstation.
BRIAN DUDLEY, FEEDING THERAPIST: We said, well, we're going to give you 20 minutes of play on your Playstation if you just take one bite of green bean or one bite of carrot.
CHERNOFF: The incentive worked. One bite eventually led to a full meal. DR. CHARLES GULOTTA, DIR., PEDIATRIC FEEDING PROGRAM: And what our program ends up trying to do is getting the child basically to trust food again and recognize that food is a good thing and not a bad thing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who's turn is it?
CHERNOFF: Kennedy Krieger believes three percent of all toddlers who are otherwise normal have a feeding disorder, either refusing to eat or selecting from an extremely limited menu.
Behavioral psychologist Charles Gulotta says the cause of a feeding disorder can be a complex combination of early physical trauma and severe acid reflux, making it painful to eat, which in turn can lead to a psychological block. A child will see eating as something to fear.
GULOTTA: You actually have a child that winds up learning that food is not a good thing, is not a pleasurable thing. It's actually a painful experience.
CHERNOFF: Now, at age 10, Patrick has learned eating isn't all that bad.
PATRICK KAY, KENNEDY KRIEGER PATIENT: I like oranges, apples, peaches, green beans.
CHERNOFF: If Patrick keeps eating properly, doctors will soon remove his feeding tube. That's another big incentive for baseball player Patrick, because that will allow him to slide head first into second base. One of his little league dreams.
Allan Chernoff, CNN, Baltimore.
HARRIS: And to get your "Daily Dose" of health news online, log on to our Web site. You will find the latest in medical news, a health library, and information on diet and fitness there for you. The address, cnn.com/health.
ANNOUNCER: Live in the CNN NEWSROOM, Tony Harris and Heidi Collins.
HARRIS: And good morning, again, everyone. welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.
COLLINS: And I'm Heidi Collins.
We want to update you for just a moment here on the story that we've been telling you about of Troy, Michigan. It's about 15 miles north of Detroit, still looking at a live picture here. Don't have a ton of information, but we have learned a workplace shooting has taken place inside that building. This is along Lake Road, if you happen to know the area. Three people shot, according to the police department. We were able to have a lieutenant on the line from the police department for just a moment or two. And what I believe I gathered from him is that at that time, which was not too long ago, they were searching for the subject -- suspect, I should say, inside the building. We also learned from our affiliate on the ground, WDIV, apparently some employees had barricaded themselves inside that office building. We're now looking at, again, that live shot. People still appear to be running out of the building to safety there behind one of those rescue crew trucks.
So as we desperately try and get more information on this, that is what we know at this point. We'll continue to monitor it and bring you anything we learn just as soon as we get it.
HARRIS: Forget the spring blooms. These Easter egg hunts were covered by a blanket of white. We are knee deep in the snow, ahead in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: Want to just take a moment to show you the latest pictures that we have here into CNN of this developing story in Troy, Michigan, just outside of Detroit this morning. Troy police now telling our affiliate on the ground there, WDIV, that three people have been shot, and that information confirmed just moments ago in a conversation Heidi had with a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department. We have seen pictures of people hurrying out of building, in some cases, flat-out running out of that building.
Police say a single male suspect is responsible, and that The suspect entered the building and shot three individuals. Police were responding to a tip of the shooting. This is at Long Lake Road. If you are remotely familiar with that area and as you can see, several emergency teams, crews, vehicles, have responded to that scene. Unclear at this point if the suspect is still on the premises. Police proceeding as if he is. We don't know the extent of the injuries. Just moments ago, this report from the helicopter pilot from our affiliate WDIV.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV REPORTER: This is 1301 Long Lake Crossings. That's the name of this apartment -- excuse me, office building here. What you're looking at right now, live. These are some more workers inside the building that are being removed. The police are removing people from the building in stages. I believe this is because they are securing the building a section at a time. Let me explain to you how this all happened. When we arrived here, we got word of a shooting at Long Lake Crossing building. We came here. The scene seemed pretty docile. And then all of a sudden, they brought out several stretchers. We saw three people being brought out on stretchers, two of which I could tell were awake and alert. So then we thought, OK, there's been a few people that have been shot inside. After that, we started seeing the police bring people out, maybe a dozen or so at a time, as you just witnessed there, out of the building.
Then we started police showing up and getting behind their police cars with shotguns, and then it became clear someone was still inside the building at that time.
And at this time now as I'm talking to you, the gunman, at least the police believe, is still inside the building. So that's about 15 minutes ago, about 10 members of his SWAT team, with full body armor, stormed inside the building. They have not come out yet, but I have seen about five other police officers since that time enter the building again. I've seen three groups of workers come out of the building. Let me zoom out here for you a little bit.
You'll see that this Long Lake Crossing building is quite large. There could easily have been 100 people-plus inside the building today. Not that many have come out at this time. We do not know the condition of the gunman at this time, if anyone else has been shot. Again, it looks to be, though, that at least three people have been hurt. We've been told at least somebody's been shot inside this building right now. The people that have been removed -- the other workers inside the building that have been removed have not left. They've been taken them to other buildings here around the complex. I'll zoom out again for you and show you. They have been taking a lot of people to this bulling, to get them out of harm's way, into some police cars. So clearly there's a lot of information that the police still want from the people that were inside of this building.
Now obviously, guys, this story is still developing, still breaking here, and we will keep following it for everyone.
HARRIS: Take a look at this. Pictures now just into CNN of more workers, making their way out of that building. Pretty big complex there as you could tell from the wider shot. And, again, at various times we have seen folks seemingly completely under control of the situation, and certainly of themselves, just walking out of the building as you see here. At other times, we have seen video of folks hurrying out, and other times folks flat out running out of the building. As you heard from the report from the helicopter pilot from our affiliate WDIV, the search for the shooter continues. At this time, confirmed, three people shot. We do not know the extent of the injuries. But of course this is a scene we will continue to follow for you right here in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: The security situation across Iraq, what is the U.S. military saying four years after the fall of Baghdad? Earlier in the NEWSROOM, I spoke with U.S. military spokesman Major General William Caldwell, who's in the Iraqi capital.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, U.S. ARMY: I was just down in Baghdad two days ago walking through the city, and I can tell the difference from two months ago to today in terms of the environment. You can just sense and feel there is a difference... COLLINS: How exactly, sir?
CALDWELL: ... among the people in how they see things.
COLLINS: How exactly? What is that change, general, that we might notice if we were talk walk there, in the pictures we see when we look at them every day here?
CALDWELL: Right. Well, you know, I get the opportunity to go down there all the time. And so where I was walking around, down on the east side of the river on Thursday with my -- one of my Iraqi counterparts, what I found was the stores were open, the people were out.
I mean, we still have challenges. I don't want to minimize that at all, and there's still a long ways to go, and there are still the threats out there. The people are moving on with their lives and they're seeing hope for the first time. So our job is, we have to secure this progress we're starting to see take place and maintain that hope and give that back to the people here.
COLLINS: So if I were to ask you sort of a simplistic question, if you will, give you a scale from one to ten and talk about the security of this country, in particular, Baghdad, and we talked about Anbar province quite a bit as well, from a scale on one to 10, 10 being the most secure, they're completely in charge of their own country, and one being the wild, wild west, which we have heard before, where would you put Baghdad security at this point?
CALDWELL: That's a great question, because every area in Iraq is so very different, which makes this whole situation so complex. But let's take Baghdad itself, and I would tell you we are probably on a scale of four to five two months ago, and we've probably moved up around six or seven at this point, just really in the last two months.
COLLINS: Major General William Caldwell, speaking with me from Baghdad today.
COLLINS: YOUR WORLD TODAY is coming up next, right here on CNN.
Well, let's check in with Rosemary Church for a look at what's coming up at the top of the hour in about 16 minutes from now. Rosemary, good morning.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: OK, Tony and Heidi, hello to you both. And to our viewers. Yes, a big international news day today. Anti-American protests mark the fall of Baghdad four years ago. And a call for change from Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric. We'll have a live report on that.
A message to the international community. Iran has reached the industrial level of uranium enrichment, just one year after it enriched small amounts of uranium. We'll find out what that means exactly, a day that the country president calls "National Technology Day."
And the official start of the French presidential election campaign. Could this woman be the country's first female president? Well, with nearly half of the voters undecided still undecided it's anyone's guess, of course. Amid accusations of sexism, we take a look at her chances and, of course, her competition. All those stories coming up at the top of the hour with "YOUR WORLD TODAY" on CNN International, seen across the United States and the globe.
Back to you, Tony and Heidi.
HARRIS: That's great. Thank you.
COLLINS: Thanks, Rosemary.
Well, a spring surprise. Record-setting lows putting the deep freeze on Easter weekend. In Ohio, more than a foot of snow fell in some places. And pretty forget about opening day baseball in Cleveland -- the entire weekend, snowed out. The cold spell threatening produce farmers in South Carolina. Some of the peach trees look pretty icy. One of the state's biggest growers says he lost at least 5 percent of his crop. Strawberry and apple crops also taking a hit.
COLLINS: As you just mentioned Michigan, we want to take you back there before we go. Here we've been telling you about this story, this workplace shooting that has happened about 50 miles north of Detroit. We've learned from our affiliate there, WDIV, about three people being shot. Apparently we've been listening in. We want to let you do the same. The gunman still inside, best we can tell from what's being reported there. We've also learned, this is the Gordon Adviser's Accounting Building, Long Lakes Crossing, if you happen to know the area. Let's listen in to this live affiliate coverage WDIV just for a moment.
BILL ADGATE, LPL FINANCIAL: ... and they possibly could have other little satellite suites within the building in different locations. A lot of us do that.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: Now just -- about how many people do you have in the building, and how long were you held up in there until you were able to be released?
ADGATE: I'm not released. We're still stuck.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: You're still stuck?
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: We've been told earlier that everybody had been evacuated.
ADGATE: No. We're on the third floor. We're barricaded in.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: We don't want you to give anything else away anymore than that all right, because we don't know if the gunman has any kind of receiver with him where he can monitor TV or radio, so we'll just leave it at that.
ADGATE: Of course. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: In terms of -- you've got a number of people with you, however. Have you been in contact with police, and what have they told you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not in the loop. This is being handled above and beyond our understanding. We have very little communication other than the computers and the news that we're receiving.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: Now, I'm a frequent visitor to your building. And any time I walk in, I don't have to go through any kind of security to get where I'm going, but I don't know that's the case in other wings of the building. Is your wing secure, or are other wings of that buildings secured?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's not a secure building.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: OK. So the offices have their own security perhaps, but that's up to the tenant, not up to the landlord.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I apologize. I was listening to activity outside the window. Excuse me.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: No, that's quite all right.
But at this point you have not been told when you could leave or whether or not it's safe outside the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. We've been told to lock our doors and stay down.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: Now, when you tell me that you barricaded yourself in, are we talking you've been moving around office furniture, or what have you done?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course. Yes, we put a conference table in front of the front door with a bunch of chairs. We've got four entrances -- three entrances to our offices. So we put file cabinets and things of that nature in front of it.
BILL ADGATE, LPL FINANCIAL: We have four entrances, three entrances to our offices. We put file cabinets and things of that nature in front of it.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: OK. Well, Bill, we hope that you are, we certainly believe that you're safe there right now. We are told they have established a good security perimeter inside the building. But we, of course, like everybody else, feel a lot better if you were outside. Have you had a chance to talk to your loved ones?
ADGATE: Of course.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: And everything's cool at home?
ADGATE: Everything is looking good.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: All right. I would imagine that would, that was a pretty difficult call to make.
ADGATE: Well, I didn't want to make any concern where it wasn't need. Yes, we're concerned.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: All right. And I know, nobody's a munition experts here, when you heard these gunshots, did it sound like shotgun blasts or would you have that kind of knowledge?
ADGATE: No, being that far away, we heard it below and far. So we're so far from it, I'm sure that I couldn't indicate what I heard.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: Was it more like a crack or a pop or was it more like a boom?
ADGATE: It was more of a boom.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: Bill Adgate from one of the Long Lakes Crossing building where this take place, just a little over an hour and 40 minutes ago with a gunman going into the building, a disgruntled worker who had been laid off, a man who was known to the employees, Gordon Advisiors. They said that they did change the key cards to the building but there's a receptionist through which he could have gained entry or at least could have threatened that receptionist in order to gain entry to the building. As we know, he has wounded three people. Yes, Bill, I'm sorry.
ADGATE: No, I'm just agreeing with you.
UNIDENTIFIED WDIV ANCHOR: OK, we thank you so much for calling. We'll await your safe exit from that building. Godspeed, OK?
COLLINS: So there you have some of our affiliate reporting live on the air with a person inside, Bill Adgate. The name of the building, the Gordon Advisors Accounting building, this is in Troy, Michigan where a workplace shooting has taken place. Three people injured. Apparently all reports are saying that the gunman is still inside that building, because apparently only the first floor is now secure. Other people still inside. I believe the gentleman said there are several people with him, still on the third floor.
HARRIS: That's right.
COLLINS: So obviously, furiously, trying to diffuse this situation and make sure that everybody is okay. So we'll watch that one for you.
For now, though, a quick break. We'll be back in a moment, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: Quickly, before we go from here, we want to get you back to affiliate WDIV and what's happened there at the Gordon Adviser's Accounting office, at Long Lakes Crossing, 15 miles north of Detroit. Apparently, three people have been shot. Not sure of the extent of their injuries. We have heard from the affiliate on the ground that two of them were apparently taken out on a stretcher. They seem to be alert, not aware of the condition of the third person. Again, that is from the helicopter there at WDIV. Apparently though, the scariest part in all of this, the gunman still inside that building as well as many other people still inside the building, too.
HARRIS: And I think that's it, Heidi. We heard from someone who has been smart, barricaded themselves and he's with other folks, other fellow employees in that building. Barricaded right now. It's the unknown that scares you so much. You just don't know where the gunman is in the building, if in fact the gunman is still in the building, perhaps leaving through another entrance. The police are on the scene, emergency teams are there as well. It is a story we'll continue to follow for you this afternoon, right here in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Yes. Certainly one still developing. That's for sure.
CNN NEWSROOM does continue just one hour from now.
HARRIS: "Your World Today" is next with news happening here at home and across the globe, I'm Tony Harris.
COLLINS: And I'm Heidi Collins, have a great day everybody.
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