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Slain Insurgent Leader; LAPD Conduct Review; Reagan's Diaries; College 529 Plans

Aired May 03, 2007 - 10:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: It is Thursday, May 3rd, and you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Some 200,000 people in north Texas are waking up without electricity this morning after another day of deadly storms. This is what it looked like in downtown Ft. Worth. Wow. This i-Report video capturing a scene from the 18th floor of a high-rise. Trees toppled in 85 mile-an-hour winds. Roads filled with flood water. Two people struck by lightning in Texas over the past two days. Another woman died when her car became submerged.

And Chad Myers has been talking about those lightning strikes and how many we had, I think it was yesterday, like 3,800 of them?


COLLINS: And, check this out. I'm sure you've probably seen it. But you are now looking at a tornado near the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Look at that. It's one of two tornadoes spotted near the range yesterday. We're told it kicked up sand and tumble weed, but there are no reports of damage or any injuries. White Sands is a major facility that develops and tests missiles for the military.

In Iraq, the fog of war shrouds the face of death. Who is this man said to have been killed by coalition forces? There's a bit of confusion between U.S. and Iraqi officials, but they agree on one thing. He was a top leader of the insurgency. Here to sort it out, the best that we can, is CNN's Arwa Damon. She's joining us now live from Baghdad.

Good morning to you, Arwa.


And the one thing that the Iraqis and the Americans do agree on is that his name is Muharib al-Juburi. Now the U.S. military believe that he is the minister of information, a senior minister of information within the Islamic state of Iraq. An umbrella group that encompasses al Qaeda in Iraq. They also believe that he is responsible for a number of high-profile kidnappings.


MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ: As a result of that operation, that is when we, in fact, did kill the senior minister of information for al Qaeda in Iraq. Muharib Abdulatif was, in fact, killed on a target set on the first of May at about 2:00 a.m. in the morning. Based on multiple detainee debriefings, we know that he was responsible for the transportation and movement of Jill Carroll from her various hiding places. Again, from multiple detainee debriefings, we know he was responsible for the propaganda and ransom videos from the Jill Carroll kidnapping. Muharib was also the last one known to have had personal custody of Tom Fox before his death.


DAMON: Now, once the U.S. military concluded their DNA testing, they released al-Juburi's body into the custody of some of his tribal members. They, according to General Caldwell, they were traveling through Baghdad when they were stopped at a checkpoint run by the Iraqi security forces. At that point in time, the Iraqis realized that this was the body of a high-value target and took him into their custody.


COLLINS: OK. So then, Arwa, who do the Iraqis think he is?

DAMON: Well, Heidi, the Iraqis think that al-Juburi is, in fact, a man known as Omar al-Baghdadi. Omar al-Baghdadi is the head of the Islamic state in Iraq. Again, that umbrella group that was pretty much formed by al Qaeda in Iraq.

And they are basing this on voice analysis. What they did was they brought down, brought in a number of Iraqis that knew who al- Juburi was. They confirmed that the body was, in fact, the body of al-Juburi. And then they had these Iraqis listening to an audio recording that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi had put out and were going forward basing their confirmation that he is al-Baghdadi on voice recognition. But they have not done any sort of DNA testing.


COLLINS: Now is that planned, Arwa?

DAMON: Well, we're kind of unclear on that right now. I mean the Iraqis do tend to change their stories as information does come through. Remember, they said that they had the body of al-Masri, that they had been receiving that information from the tribes. So at this point, I mean, they're basing it on voice recognition. They have come out quite animatedly saying that they are certain that al-Juburi is al-Baghdadi.

COLLINS: And, real quickly, before we let you go, you mentioned al-Masri. Any confirmation on that yet?

DAMON: No, Heidi, not just yet. In fact, the Iraqis are still basing their information on its original source. And that is the tribes. And they were the ones that had originally told the Iraqi security forces that they had the body of al-Masri in their custody. The Iraqis still have not seen this body, have not -- do not have it in their custody. And the U.S. military has also come forward to say that they have absolutely no confirmation and no information on the whereabouts or the status of al-Masri.

COLLINS: Wow. It's certainly a lot to sort out. Arwa Damon coming to us live from Baghdad today.

Arwa, thank you.

HARRIS: And turning now to diplomacy in the Middle East. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Egypt for talks with stabilizing Iraq. The two-day conference opened with Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, calling on all countries to forgive Baghdad's debts. That call is backed by the U.S.

All of this possibly overshadowed by another development. Syria's foreign minister tells CNN he will meet with Rice in the first high-level meeting between the countries in years. The Associated Press reporting the meeting is now underway.

COLLINS: Taking it to the streets. A call for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to step down goes public today. The massive rally set to begin just hours from now in Tel Aviv. Israelis are angry over their leader's handling of last summer's war against Hezbollah in Lebanon. They view it as a failure because it did not result in the return of two kidnapped Israeli soldiers and it did not crush Hezbollah. A newly released report on the war blames Olmert for, "severe failures." But the beleaguered leader is refusing to step down. He says he wants to be the one to fix the mistakes.

HARRIS: The LAPD under fire and under scrutiny this morning. The city's police chief says he wants to get to the bottom of why some officers used aggressive tactics, including rubber bullets, to break up an immigration protest. CNN's Ted Rowlands follows the fallout.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): The images are disturbing. Families and other innocent bystanders caught in the line of fire as L.A. police, in riot gear, shoot rubber bullets and hit people with batons.

JOHN MACK, LOS ANGELES POLICE COMMISSION: This was not a pretty picture. This incident raises serious concerns regarding the use of force by some individual offices.

ROWLANDS: Police say the chaos started when this group, blocking traffic, refused to get out of the streets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trying to diffuse the situation.

ROWLANDS: Eventually the group started taunting the officers. And, as you can see here, throwing objects, including a full can of what looks like soda. Then, some sort of large stick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get those sticks out of here now!

ROWLANDS: Police also say they were hit by rocks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course there's insults thrown. We're used to that. But the rocks and bottles were another factor.

ROWLANDS: A few minutes after the objects were thrown, police started shooting and rolling over anyone in their way. For most people, including the ones responsible for the trouble, getting away was easy. But for others, like people selling food, it was difficult. Watch as this woman tries to get her cooler. She's pulled to safety by someone in the crowd. A policeman kicks her cooler over as he passes. Members of the news media were also caught in the crossfire. This reporter went down, appearing to have been hit by a police baton. These anchors for the Spanish language networks, Telemundo, were actually on the air when they were stampeded by a crowd being pushed by police. Three members of the media ended up in the hospital. Many people were left with large welts from the rubber bullets shot by police.


ROWLANDS: This woman, who was there with her five-year-old son, says she got this bruise from a police baton.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just started hitting us because they wanted to hit us. Suddenly there were bullets flying everywhere and it was like we were in a war zone.

ROWLANDS: Police say officers fired approximately 240 rounds, yet they made no arrests during the episode, leaving many people even more frustrated that the people who allegedly started the trouble got away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They even used fire like this, like they think they're Robo Cop or something, just shooting, you know, at women and children.

ROWLANDS: Several groups are expressing outrage and lawsuits are expected. Even L.A.'s police chief says he's upset with what he's seen and will investigate.

CHIEF WILLIAM BRATTON, LOS ANGELES POLICE: Believe me that the events of yesterday are not going to be treated lightly. Two hundred forty rounds with no arrests as part of that action is of great concern to me. Great, great concern.

ROWLANDS: The police chief says he's instructed investigators in his department to pour over news footage and surveillance videos and to look for any of his officers that may have acted inappropriately. He is vowing to the city of Los Angeles that he will have answers sooner than later.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


COLLINS: Ronald Reagan writes his own script. His words, his handwriting, his time. The Reagan diaries, in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Joan Baez, forever the protestor. Was she banned by the army? Echos from Vietnam, ahead from the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: China's progress comes at a price. Environmental experts say the world will pay. Startling statistics in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: And good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

With 10 at the table, is there room to move? GOP presidential candidates may have a tough time separating themselves at tonight's debate.

COLLINS: And I'm Heidi Collins.

Word from the governor, help is on the way in the California Bay area's traffic nightmare. More about it coming up in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: The front-runners hoping to avoid a misstep, those just behind them looking for a separation from the rest of the pack. Early stages of the Republican presidential campaign. Tonight, 10 hopefuls take part in the party's first debate. It main turn out to be more like a joint news conference. The candidates won't be able to question each other. The event is being held at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. And former First Lady Nancy Reagan expected to attend. The setting is symbolic since the GOP candidates have aligned themselves with Ronald Reagan's legacy.

HARRIS: An actor, an American president, a life in the public eye. Now a glimpse of the private thoughts of Ronald Reagan. Exerts from his diaries published in the June issue of "Vanity Fair." Special correspondent Frank Sesno, who covered the Reagan presidency for CNN, takes a look.



FRANK SESNO, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): The actor turned president started keeping a diary the day of his inauguration in 1981 and almost never skipped a day. The entries ranging from the profound to the mundane. There is humor and emotion throughout. He writes of driving through throngs in New York. "I wore my arm out waving back to them. I pray constantly I won't let them down."

And assassination attempt nearly killed him. The president remembers, "I walked into the emergency room and was hoisted onto a cart where I was stripped of my clothes. It was then we learned I'd been shot and had a bullet in my lung. Getting shot hurts."

The diaries are filled with references to politics and politicians, terrorism and tax cuts. Of the dramatic 1986 summit with Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, when both country's nuclear arsenals were on the table, Reagan writes about his refusal to kill star wars, his dream of a shield against incoming missiles. "I pledged I wouldn't give away SDI and I didn't. But that meant no deal. I was mad. He tried to act jovial, but I acted mad and it showed."

There is much, much more. The diaries reveal riffs with his children. One time his son, Ron, hung up on him. "End of a not perfect day." After his daughter, Patty, screamed about the secret service protection invading her privacy he wrote, "insanity is hereditary" and "you catch it from your kids."

But something else is constant. His devotion to Nancy shines through again and again. This entry from 1981. "Our wedding anniversary. Twenty-nine years of more happiness than any man could rightly deserve."


HARRIS: How nice is that? Until now, the five volumes of Ronald Reagan's diaries have been available only to scholars. The 784-page book coming out this month is only an abridged version. The Reagan Library says an unabridged version of the Reagan diary should be available in about a year.

COLLINS: Echos of America's longest war. More names added to the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, coming up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Cutting a rug for 60 years. They finally make it to the big dance.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we are at our first prom. And happy to be here. We were chocolate sweethearts. And I just wanted to wait for him to come back home.


HARRIS: Sweethearts give new meaning to the phrase senior prom. You will meet them in the NEWSROOM.


Coming up in "Top Tips," we show you how to lighten your load. We have some good news on saving for college. That's next in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: OK. Just a huge rally of late for the Dow. Today we're off to a bit of a slow start. Just an hour inside the trading day. The Dow down 12 points, as you can see. The Nasdaq up three. OK. But a big day for Delta out of bankruptcy protection on Monday. The stock trading today. And at last check, trading at about $21 a share. We will be check that share price throughout the morning and the rest of the business headlines with Susan Lisovicz, right here in the NEWSROOM. COLLINS: Graduation season. Time for parents to fret about college bills. Planning now, though, will pay off later, especially if you know the basics. So guess who knows how to tell you all of the best tips. CNN personal finance editor Gerri Willis is joining us now with more on this.

WILLIS: Hey, Heidi.

COLLINS: Yes, this is something that parents start worrying about like the day the baby is born.

WILLIS: Yes. Even before. I know people who set up funds even before they have kids, which makes a lot of sense. But the good news here is that fees are going down for what they call 529 plans. Those are the state-run saving plans that let you invest for college tax free. Does that sound good? It should. So that is a good news. Fund expenses on their way down.

Check this out. This week American Century cut its program management fee. This after Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and Vanguard cut their annual account and program fees. Experts we talked to said, hey, there's more competition and political pressure to make this affordable.

COLLINS: So what do you need to do if you actually want to go ahead and set up one of these 529s?

WILLIS: Well, start by examining your state's plan because you'll get the tax break for that. Two-thirds of state have a state income tax deduction for 529 college saving plans. And to find out what your state is offering, go to and click on state 529 plans.

Now if you state doesn't have a great plan, you can invest in any of the other states plans. Check out these low-cost options, Pennsylvania 529 plan. You should check that one out. The Virginia Education Savings Trust. And finally, the Utah Education Savings Plan Trust. And we've got places you can go on the web to get all the details on each of those. But those are some pretty good ones because they do have low cost an that's really what makes the difference in the long run.

COLLINS: Yes, and this time, instead of seeking professional advice on setting one of these up, it sounds like you should maybe think about doing it on your own?

WILLIS: Yes. Well, look, the advisor sold plans are the ones that have had the high, high fees. They're managed by professional brokers. But if you really look at these plans, a lot of them are just index funds. There's no money management expertise going into that. A good rule of thumb here. If you're looking at a plan and it has fees more than 4 percent, you're going to have a hard time making money because it eats up the tax advantage.

COLLINS: Yes, no question about that. You should know the most that you possibly can, as with anything when you're doing this sort of thing about the plan that you're getting into.

WILLIS: Right. Well, you want to compare and contrast plan fees. To do that go to Here you'll be able to see the fund fees and underlying expenses. You'll also get details like the plan summary and the allocation mix. Another really good resource,

COLLINS: OK. Well, this is great info, Gerri. Thank you so much.

We know that you'll have much more wonderful stuff for the viewers coming up on Saturday.

WILLIS: Saturday morning, 9:30 a.m. right here on CNN, "Open House." We're going to talk about some solutions on the table to the mortgage meltdown. An interesting conversation. Marriage and money. We all know that's a problem, right?


WILLIS: Do I need to say more?

COLLINS: I'm not saying a word. Keep quiet.

WILLIS: And how to -- you know we do marriage and money, and then you also have to talk about complaining the right way. We're doing those together.

COLLINS: Oh, I love it. I hope it will all be very jaded towards the female perspective, correct?

WILLIS: Oh, it will all be from the woman's point of view.

COLLINS: Excellent. As it should be. All right. Gerri Willis, thanks so much. We'll be watch Saturday.

WILLIS: You're welcome.

HARRIS: Shameless.

COLLINS: You're so out numbered.

HARRIS: Still to come in the NEWSROOM this morning. The U.S. secretary of state, the Syrian foreign minister face to face today over Iraq, in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Fired due to complaints. Now Don Imus is doing the complaining. Will a key clause in his contract back him up? Tell you about it in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: Bottom of the hour, everyone. Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

COLLINS: And I'm Heidi Collins. Good morning to you, everybody. Straight to Iraq this morning. Developments on many fronts there. Conflicting reports on this man. Said to have been killed by coalition forces. The U.S. says he's an al Qaeda militant linked to the kidnappings of two Americans. You remember journalist Jill Carroll was eventually released. Christian activist Tom Fox was killed. Iraq says he was also the leader of an insurgent umbrella group.

Regardless, today's announcement is seen as a blow to militants in Iraq. That death comes just days after tribal leaders reported killing this man, Abu Ayyub al Masri (ph). He's the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. U.S. and Iraqi authorities have not confirmed al Masri's death.

Stabilizing Iraq, that's the goal of the diplomatic gathering in Egypt today. CNN has confirmed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has already met with her counterpart from Syria. That marks the first high-level meeting between the two countries in years.

In fact, we want to get more on this now. CNN's Aneesh Raman is standing by with the very latest. Aneesh, this is a pretty big event.

ANEESH RAMAN, MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT: It is, Heidi. You will recall back in 2005 in the aftermath of the assassination of then Lebanese Prime Minister Rafi Hariri (ph). The U.S. recalled the ambassador to Syria, there was a freeze in talks. There was an alliance that then grew between Syria and Iran.

But again, as you mentioned, CNN confirming that a short time ago, Secretary Rice did have bilateral talks with her Syrian counterpart, the Syrian foreign minister. We understand that they discussed not just Iraq but also the situation in Lebanon.

Of course, Syria has influence and has a long history in terms of Lebanese affairs. That country is caught in a political crisis. So they dealt with that. There were no cameras in the room. So we can only say that they met. The other sideshow to this Iraq conference has also been Iran, whether or not the U.S. would meet Iran.

Now earlier today, we understand at a luncheon after this morning's session, Secretary Rice was seated close to the Iranian foreign minister. We understand they exchanged hellos but that's about it, nothing of substance was discussed. We don't know if this is all we'll see in terms of interactions between Secretary Rice and her Iranian counterpart. Perhaps there could be something down the line tonight or into tomorrow.

But it is a Bush administration that has really stayed away from talking to Syria or Iran, showcasing a different tenor in terms of what we're seeing today. The headline, of course, as you mentioned, that Secretary Rice has met her Syrian counterpart -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Aneesh, though -- it's probably fair to say, is it not, that meeting with the Syrian counterpart is one thing, but meeting with the Iranian counterpart might be another. RAMAN: It is a very important point you just brought up. They are different scenarios completely. With Syria, of course, the U.S. agenda is more focused, not just Iraq, Lebanon, the Israeli- Palestinian issue. It's limited in terms of the isolation Syria has had from the U.S. just since 2005 when the ambassador was recalled. But in a broader sense important at a high level that they're talking.

Iran, 30 years of silence between the U.S. and Tehran. For them to even be in the same room and wave causes a great deal of attention. You know, I was in the meeting hall behind me. Earlier, the Iranian foreign minister was walking out and he was just -- descending upon him were hoards of press, everyone asking but one question, will or have you met Secretary Rice. And he simply said I've only met the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Both sides are very cautious in terms where this is headed given that history. But you get a sense of how bad the relationship is between the U.S. and Iran. The mere fact they were in the same room is a headline in itself, Heidi.

COLLINS: Absolutely. All right, CNN's Aneesh Raman coming to us live from Sharmoshake (ph). Aneesh, thanks so much.

HARRIS: Folk singer, long-time anti-war activist Joan Baez in a dust up with the army. She wasn't able to perform in a concert for wounded troops -- the question is why.

CNN's Jamie McIntyre reports.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): John Mellencamp won praise for how at his Friday night concert for wounded troops at Walter Reed he stuck to singing and muzzled his criticism of the Iraq war. But his friend, anti-war activist Joan Baez, has put politics back on center stage with a letter to "The Washington Post" alleging she was banned from appearing at the event at the last minute.

Baez writes that while she stands as firmly against the Iraq War as she did the Vietnam War, she regrets having ignored the needs of returning veterans and realizes now she might have contributed to a better welcome home. And she calls it a "strange irony" that four days before the concert she was not approved by the Army to take part.

The Army insists there's nothing strange about it. They simply didn't know Joan Baez and Dan Rather were also invited to appear until after a contract with HDNetwork, which was broadcasting the concert, had been finalized.

A spokesman for Walter Reed told CNN, "The notion Ms. Baez was 'banned' is certainly not the case. She is welcome here. I don't know of anybody who is banned."

A spokesman for Mellencamp confirmed to CNN that Joan Baez' name was not submitted until the Monday before the Friday concert, but said that's when they had planned to deal with specifics. The Army insisted that was simply too late to change the complicated arrangements.

Joan Baez sings a duet with Mellencamp on his current album, "Freedom's Road". At the concert he simply dedicated that song to his friend Joan without any fanfare.

(on camera): Bob Murlis (ph), Mellencamp's spokesman said there doesn't appear to be any litmus test for getting into Walter Reed. After all, he noted, Mellencamp is against the war and they let him in.

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


COLLINS: Three more names are being added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this week. The first, being engraved this morning in the black granite wall. Army Sergeant Richard Monroe Pruitt (ph) of San Diego. Pruitt was wounded in combat in 1969. The Pentagon says those wounds contributed to his death in 2005. With the additions, the wall's list of veterans killed or missing in action will stand at 58,256.

HARRIS: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert under pressure today, calls for his resignation shift to the streets. A massive rally is said to start just hours from now in Tel Aviv. The Israeli leader has been under fire for his handling of last summer's war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

CNN's Atika Shubert has the word.


SHUBERT (voice-over): Israel's foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, has made it clear. She is asking Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign.

"In my meeting, I expressed my opinion that resignation is the correct thing as far as he is concerned," she said.

That is a major blow to Olmert. She is a popular politician, a leading member of Olmert's Kadima Party and a critical member of his government.

So far, Olmert shows no signs of quitting.

He said: "To those who are eager to take advantage of this report to reap certain political advantage, I suggest slow down."

It would take 61 members of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, to oust the prime minister and dissolve parliament for new elections. That could take a while. But how long can Olmert hold out with his own cabinet and party turning against him?

GERALD STEINBERG, BAR ILLAN UNIVERSITY: The longer he waits the more difficult it's going to be. If he can help to engineer orderly transition, some sort of caretaker status, he can hang on for a few months in that kind of a limbo and things may change. That may be his hope.

SHUBERT (on camera): Olmert has no public support to appeal to. One TV station put his approval ratings at zero percent. And according to newspaper polls, more than 65 percent want him to resign. It could all come to a head on Thursday when tens of thousands are expected to hit the streets, demanding that he step down now.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Jerusalem.


COLLINS: China's progress comes at a price. Environmental experts say the world will pay. Startling statistics in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Armed robbers in armored truck and a cash delivery, delivered into the wrong hands. A dramatic hold-up caught on tape. We told you about it yesterday. Now the pictures and update straight ahead for you in the NEWSROOM.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Susan Lisovicz in the New York Stock Exchange. When NEWSROOM returns, I'll have some news on inflation. Specifically as it relates to college tuition. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


HARRIS: And update now on a story that broke during our show yesterday. You may recall police are still looking for a pair of robbers, and the $1.8 million they took from an armored truck. The truck was delivering money to a Florida check-cashing store. Authorities say shots were fired, but no one was hit. Take a look at the pictures here. Let me slow down a bit. The whole thing, as you can see here -- man -- was caught by the store's surveillance tape.


HARRIS: China's booming economy is overshadowed by a dark cloud, one that experts say blows far beyond its borders.

CNN's John Vause reports.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The thick, heavy smoke seems to never stop spewing from China's 2,000 coal fire stations. No country burns more coal. It's cheap, in good supply, the black gold fueling a burning economy. It's also why, within months, the International Energy Agency predicts China will be the world's No. 1 producer of the greenhouse gasses responsible for global warming.

FAITH BIROL, INTL. ENERGY AGENCY: The numbers coming from China are so huge that if a China would change its policies, it would have implications for China, for Asia, and for the world.

VAUSE: And if nothing changes, within 25 years, China will produce the double carbon emissions coming from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand combined.

And while the government says it wants to reduce emissions, last year China fell well short of even a modest improvement in energy efficiency.

YANG AILUN, GREENPEACE: The fact that China actually fail our last year's target already shows that how far and away China is from really developing in a cleaner way.

VAUSE: Some of China's own scientists are warning of a devastating impact from climate change -- more floods, longer droughts, widespread crop failures. But the government refuses to place a cap on emissions.

LIU JIANCHAO, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: Developed countries should first act responsibly, and then developing countries, including China, will be ready to take specific actions, says this foreign ministry spokesman. Instead, the priority for Beijing, the economy, creating jobs and maintaining social stability.

RUSSELL MOSES, POL. ANALYST: So in any case where there's a confrontation between environmental protection and economic growth, economic growth is always going to win.

VAUSE (on camera): China disputes it will soon be the world's No. 1 carbon gas emitter, and besides, other countries had hundreds of years to develop their economies, and on a per-capita measure, China's greenhouse gasses are just a fraction of the U.S. and Europe.

(voice-over): Regardless of the argument, scientists say unless China is part of the solution, it will be the major cause of the problem.

John Vause, CNN, Beijing.


COLLINS: I want to take you now straight to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. to show you an interesting picture here. We are understanding that there will be three more names added to the wall. Just moments ago, you're looking at, I believe this is James Lee of Colorado's engrave writings. He's expert stoneworker, putting the name of Army Sergeant Richard Monroe Pruett of San Diego, California on to the wall. We told you about this last hour. He is now being added to the wall because he died on February 28th, 2005. And the Department of Defense deemed that this happened as a result of the medical complications he suffered related to his wounding in South Vietnam way back in 1969.

So once again, that name, Army Sergeant Richard Monroe Pruett added to the wall today. Two others will be added a little bit later. That brings the number of names on the wall to 58,256 men and women who were killed or remain missing in action. Everything will become official when those names are read on Monday, May 28th.

HARRIS: Still to come this morning, a pair of seniors who never made it to their prom -- until now. And thanks to other seniors, the high school variety. Oh, high school variety. Senior prom, OK, I get it. A sweetheart deal, coming up for you in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: There was a switcheroo last night on "LARRY KING LIVE." All week long, Larry's been celebrating 50 years of broadcasting, much of it right here at CNN. Well, last night he was booted from his throne. Take a look.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Katie Couric, she's the first woman in broadcasting history to...

KATIE COURIC: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, Larry. Not tonight. My show, my open.

What makes a good guest?

KING: Good question. Four things -- you want passion, an ability to explain what they do very well, a little bit of a chip on their shoulder and a sense of humor, hopefully self-deprecating. If you have a sense of humor, chip on the shoulder, explain what you do very well and passion, you're a great guest, if you're a ballet dancer, or a singer or a president. Sinatra had all four.

COURIC: Let me ask you about your style because I did a little research, and people have used adjectives like conversational, easy going, non-judgmental, but I was curious how you would describe your interviewing style.

KING: I'm intensely curious. I have no agenda. I've never go into an interview saying I'm going to kill this guy or I'm going to praise this guy. I've gone in trying to learn. What I've tried to do is ask short questions. I leave me out of it. I don't use the word "I."

COURIC: In fact, you don't want to be too prepared. I know that if somebody's coming in about a book, you don't want to necessarily read every page of the book, because then you'll know so much more than your viewer, right?

KING: Absolutely. I learned that a long time ago in radio. If I'm ahead of the audience, ahead of the audience, they haven't read the book. So let's you come on, my book, about Katie Couric, my life, Katie on page 103, you said -- they haven't read the 102 pages. I'm already asking you about page 103. I think I lose them.


HARRIS: You can see more of this celebration tonight right here on CNN. This time it's Anderson Cooper's turn. Tune in for a two- hour look at 50 years of pop culture through the eyes of Larry King. The party starts 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

COLLINS: Better late than ever. World War II dashed a couple's plans from prom. But now they rein as king and queen.

Jorge Quiroga from affiliate WCVB explains.


JORGE QUIROGA, WCVB REPORTER (voice-over): High school sweethearts Norm and Norma Baker missed their senior prom back in 1945. The Greatest Generation was busy elsewhere.

NORMAN BAKER, PROM ATTENDEE: I was in the Navy and I was in Okinawa at the time. It was during World War II naturally. I didn't really say that she could go, but I didn't say she couldn't either. So -- but she made up her own mind.

NORMA BAKER, PROM ATTENDEE: We were childhood sweethearts, and I just wanted to wait for him to come back home.

QUIROGA: He made it back. They married, worked, raised a family and never looked back, until this night, with help from the class of 2007, Norm and Norma finally got their prom. This king and queen, seniors among seniors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's wonderful, to tell you the truth. I was so excited to come.

MATT ELLIS, SUTTON HIGH SCHOOL '07: Just a great story. Prom is very special to everyone. And I'm just glad that we can help them.

QUIROGA (on camera): Over six decades later so much has changed, but with the country at war once again, the Baker story bridges the generation gap with the senior class of '07. e CATTLYN SENECAL, SUTTON HIGH SCHOOL '07: If my boyfriend was in Iraq then I would support him, obviously. So it would have been sad, but I would be supporting him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I bet you that there are people in Iraq right now that missed out on their sweetheart's prom. We're generations apart, but they really have something in common here tonight.

NORMA BAKER: Here we are at our first prom. I'm happy to be here.

It's wonderful to see these beautiful young seniors that are coming and waiting on us seniors, and caring for us and seeing that, you know, as we still go on in life.

QUIROGA: A good deed turned into a life lesson.

In Sutton Jorge Quiroga, (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEOTAPE) COLLINS: You know, their names have to be Norman and Norma.

HARRIS: Why is that?

COLLINS: Well, because it just makes it all that much better of a story.

HARRIS: It does. They've got better moves than I do. Boy, what's wrong with me?

Still to come in the NEWSROOM this morning, both say he's a bad guy. They just don't agree on which one. Either way, a terror suspect out of the game, ahead in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Texas takes a thumping. Powerful storms rip the state, and more could be on the way. The forecast coming up in the NEWSROOM.