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Missing Soldiers in Iraq; Immigration Deal; Deputies Killed in Line of Duty; Senate Will Begin Immigration Debate Monday

Aired May 18, 2007 - 10:59   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning again, everyone. You're with CNN. You're informed.
I'm Tony Harris.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Heidi Collins is on assignment.

Developments keep coming in to the CNN NEWSROOM this Friday, May 18th.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Sergeant Anthony Schober identified now as the fourth soldier killed in that Iraq ambush. The search for three soldiers he fought alongside still going on now.

HARRIS: Scene of the crime. A routine call ends in death for two Texas deputies. A suspect dressed in military fatigues takes a pair of bullets, but he lives.

WHITFIELD: And it's on to Plan B now on a California river. A pair of wayward whales can't seem to go with the flow.

Stuck upstream -- in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: And at the top this hour, almost a week after the ambush we now know the identity of the fourth American soldier killed in Iraq. He is 23-year-old Sergeant Anthony Schober. His identification clears up any confusion over the names of three missing soldiers.

CNN's Arwa Damon is embedded with the military teams looking for those men. She is southwest of Baghdad in Yusufiya.

Arwa, if you would, give us an update on the search.

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, the search is still ongoing in just about all of its intensity. It has not yet led to the whereabouts of the missing soldiers. But as you just mentioned, the fourth has been identified.

And in fact, yesterday we spent some time with the men of Delta Company. That is the company that the victims of the attack and the missing are from.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SGT. SHANE SANDERS, U.S. ARMY: And I didn't imagine that this would happen, no. When we first came up, all I saw was -- I saw bits of equipment and uniforms, and I saw the shotgun fire. And it just progressively got worse, you know, as you get closer.

DAMON (voice over): Sergeant Shane Sanders is a medic, one of the first at the scene.

SANDERS: And the night before I was watching TV with these guys, you know, joking with them. And now to see them like that...

DAMON: The killed and missing from Saturday's ambush lived here. This area, less than a mile from where the attack took place, is not friendly to U.S. forces.

(on camera): The vegetation is so thick in some of these places, you can barely see through it, providing the insurgents with perfect cover to carry out their attacks or plant roadside bombs, and making it even more difficult for the Americans to find their missing men.

CHAPLAIN JEFF BRYAN, U.S. ARMY: We've dealt with losses of our soldiers before, and I tend to find that these soldiers are not ready to quit, they're ready to just keep going.

PFC. SAMUEL RHODES, U.S. ARMY: We depend a lot on each other right now. Our heart was broken. But it's our will and our strength that drives us to keep going for our guys.

I'm sorry for their loss. I'm sorry that their kids didn't -- aren't coming home in the way that they want them to. They're all heroes. They all did their job.


DAMON: Tony, as you can see, these are unspeakably difficult times for those men. They do, however, continue to go out every day and try to find their missing three soldiers -- Tony.

HARRIS: Boy, that is heartbreaking.

All right, Arwa. Let me ask you a question about hope here with this search. But let's get there this way. Are there any concerns being voiced to you that good leads are drying up and that the trail is growing cold?

DAMON: No, Tony, not at this stage. In fact, on any given day, at any given moment, the military says that just about four or five missions are going out. Some of those are routine searches.

They are going through, combing the same fields and farmlands, searching the same homes. Some of those are intelligence-driven. And much of that intelligence is in fact coming from detainees.

And the military is saying that every single time they actually step outside the gate there is that hope that they will be the one that they will finally be finding their missing men. But it is incredibly difficult, especially as time goes by -- Tony.

HARRIS: CNN's Arwa Damon for us.

Arwa, thank you.

WHITFIELD: Tony, also out of Iraq we're following the deaths of two journalists. They were Iraqi employees of ABC News, a photographer and his colleague, a sound man. The network says gunmen ambushed the men as they returned home from ABC's Baghdad bureau.

More than 100 journalists are reported to have been killed in Iraq since this war began.

HARRIS: Benchmarks with consequences, that's what Democrats are pushing for in a high-stakes money meeting on the Iraq War. It is going on right now on Capitol Hill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will finish the war spending bill before the Memorial Day recess. She and other congressional leaders are meeting with top White House aides.

Democrats want the bill to include benchmarks and penalties if the Iraqis don't show progress. President Bush wants a bill with no strings. But he says he is open to some benchmarks. He hasn't detailed consequences if Iraq doesn't meet them.

WHITFIELD: Well, it's not a done deal yet, but key Democrats and Republicans have reached a deal to overhaul immigration laws.

CNN Congressional Correspondent Andrea Koppel reports.


ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The compromise would give millions of illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens, a big victory for Democrats.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Politics is the art of the possible, and the agreement we just reached is the best possible chance we will have in years to secure our borders, bring millions of people out of the shadows, and into the sunshine of America.

KOPPEL: But as part of the compromise illegal immigrants would also have to pay thousands of dollars in fines, and to appease anti- amnesty conservatives like Georgia's Saxby Chambliss, who voted against the bill last year. Heads of households would still have to return to their home countries to apply for a green card.

SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R), GEORGIA: One major difference is there is no guaranteed pathway to citizenship for anybody in this bill.

KOPPEL: Conservatives also succeeded in getting more agents and fencing to beef up border enforcement, ensuring more illegals won't slip in. A point highlighted by Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who can't afford to alienate his party's conservative base. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But it will also enhance interior enforcement and put employers on notice that the practice of hiring illegal workers will no longer be tolerated.

KOPPEL: Also under the compromise, 400,000 temporary workers would be allowed in each year, but only for two years at a time. Even though negotiations brought together the most liberal and conservative members of the Senate, both sides acknowledge this deal is a fragile.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Please, please, please, don't let the good be -- the perfect be the enemy of the good.

KOPPEL: Already in the House, Republicans strongly opposed to offering what they call amnesty to illegal immigrants said they'd vote against it.

REP. BRIAN BILBRAY (R), CALIFORNIA: Around the world people are packing their bags to come to America illegally because the Senate has just announced they're going to reward illegal immigration.

KOPPEL (on camera): The first real test of this bill's staying power could come as soon as Monday, when it gets to the Senate floor. Over in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hopes to get a bill done before the August recess.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, Capitol Hill.


HARRIS: World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz headed for the door this morning. Wolfowitz agreeing to resign effective at the end of June. This follows weeks of questions about his handling of a pay package for his girlfriend.

In announcing the decision, the bank said mistakes were made by -- quoting here -- "a number of individuals." The White House says Presidential Bush will announce a replacement for Wolfowitz soon.

WHITFIELD: Well, fears this morning that a huge wildfire along the Georgia-Florida line could spread. Brisk winds and rising temperatures are in the forecast.

The National Weather Service issued a dense smoke advisory in the northeastern part of Florida. A fire near Lake City covers more than 120,000 acres and is now 70 percent contained. But there are new red flag warnings of more high winds.

North of Interstate 10, more than 700 homes have been evacuated. The fire, which started in southeast Georgia, well, has burned more than 500 square miles in all. Several aircraft have been dropping water and retardant on the flames.

HARRIS: For at least a month now, right?



WHITFIELD: All right. Well, in Texas, dozens of deputies descend on a crime scene, but too late to save their comrade.

Killed in the line of duty. That is coming up.

HARRIS: Preying upon the prayerful. This is church.

WHITFIELD: It's terrible. It's disgusting.

HARRIS: An attack caught on surveillance tape. You've got to see it and hear the story behind it. It is disgusting.

WHITFIELD: And big brother was watching, spying on hip-hop entertainers before the 2004 Republican national convention.

That's straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: Attacked in of all places a sacred place. Check out the surveillance video from a Middletown, New York, church.

A man approaches this woman in a pew, reaches into her shirt and grabs her chest.


WHITFIELD: But she fights back. Surprises him with a pen stab or two.

The woman runs for an alarm, the man runs for the door. He's captured on another surveillance video camera as he does get away, but perhaps not for long, because local media report that police have a person in custody. And they're holding a news conference this hour. We'll bring you the details as we get them.

HARRIS: Sheriff's deputies gunned down in the line of duty. A first-hand account from an angry and emotional witness.

Gary Reaves of our affiliate WFAA has the story.


GARY REAVES, REPORTER, WFAA (voice over): Dozens of deputies flocked to the scene, but it was already too late. Two of the first Henderson County deputies to answer this domestic violence call were gunned down as they exited their squad cars.

LT. PAT MCWILLIAMS, HENDERSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT.: From inside the house he then took up his high-powered rifle, and as other officers were arriving as they got out of their cars he shot them.

REAVES: Neighbor Gerald Nicholson says he watched as the suspect, Randall Mayes (ph), pretended to surrender then opened fire. GERALD NICHOLSON, NEIGHBOR: And he acted like he was fixing to give up, and the next thing I know shots were fired. And I had seen one officer fall to the ground. And, I mean, it wasn't very -- wasn't a very good sight, you know.

MCWILLIAMS: Nicholson, raising two kids right next door, has had multiple run-ins with Mayes (ph) over the last ten years. He says he's been shot at and then later Mayes (ph) would apologize.

NICHOLSON: It's like he's got two different personalities. I mean, he's like, "Oh, I'm sorry." You know, he was even apologizing to the officers after he killed two officers. He's like, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

And then he's sitting there hollering, "Where's he at? I'll drop another one."

REAVES: Mayes (ph) allegedly shot a third officer who was rushed to a hospital in Tyler. The suspect was shot as well, but he survived. Neighbors say that's just not fair.

NICHOLSON: I hate to see, you know, officers go down like that. I feel sorry for the families. I pray for them.

I hate to say it, but I wish they'd have been able to kill him. I mean, that's an unchristian thing to be. I'm a Christian man. But, you know, some people just don't deserve to be on the face of this earth.


HARRIS: Strong.

Our affiliate, WFAA, says police records indicate Mayes (ph) had a criminal record. Convictions for fleeing from police, driving under the influence of drugs, and criminal mischief.

WHITFIELD: The presidency of the United States, it would make for quite a pay cut for many of those seeking the office. Here's a quick look at the financial disclosure statements required by the Federal Election Commission.

Several candidates have been granted extensions, but among the Republicans who did file, Rudy Giuliani leads the pack. His assets anywhere between $18 million and $70 million.

He's followed by Sam Brownback, Ron Paul, and Duncan Hunter. Rounding out the list, Tom Tancredo and Mike Huckabee.

John Edwards is tops among the Democrats, with assets totaling more than $29 million. He's followed by Bill Richardson and Christopher Dodd. And at the bottom of the list, Barack Obama, Mike Gravel, and Joseph Biden.

Big Brother was watching, spying on hip-hop entertainers before the 2004 Republican national convention. That story ahead in the NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: And more people with diabetes. And spending on treatments going up, way up. Just how much, however, that is straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: In our "Daily Dose" of health news this morning, diabetes medications. A new report predicts a 70 percent jump in spending for diabetes treatments through 2009. The report points to a growing diabetes epidemic and more aggressive treatments with combination drug therapies.

And the risk of stroke. We know it's affected by how you live. Well, now we're learning where you live also factors in.

According to a government report, strokes are most common in Mississippi and other southern states. They're least common in Connecticut.

It's the first state-by-state study of its kind. Strokes, by the way, are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

And to get your "Daily Dose" of health news online, log on to our Web site. You'll find the latest medical news, a health library, and information on diet and fitness.

The address is

HARRIS: He is the king of the interview, but he has other talents, of course. Our Larry King strutted his stuff on last night's "LARRY KING LIVE" with judges from "Dancing With the Stars".


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": I should have entered. I should have entered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can next season.

KING: Jerry Springer can do it better.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, three, cha-cha-cha.

KING: I didn't know this was a cha-cha song.


KING: Like that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's pretty good.

KING: Is that allowed in cha-cha to twirl?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes, of course. OK.

KING: I like this. I invented this move.

I'm suddenly with it and I have no idea what I'm doing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have a lot of talent, Larry.

KING: I'm in broadcasting. You have to fake it.

You are great.



HARRIS: Oh, man, is he smooth.

WHITFIELD: Yes. I'm impressed.

HARRIS: Am I green with envy?

WHITFIELD: A little. A little, yes. Wipe off the scowl and...


WHITFIELD: OK. There you go.


WHITFIELD: I thought he had some good moves there.

HARRIS: Man, that was great.

WHITFIELD: He was, you know, very relaxed.

HARRIS: Comfortable with it.

WHITFIELD: He was grooving.

Go, Larry.

HARRIS: So the judges -- yes. The judges, of course, gave him a 10, a 10, and a 50.

Ah, to honor his 50 years in broadcasting. "LARRY KING LIVE," every night, 9:00 Eastern, right here on CNN.

WHITFIELD: Cutting the rug. We love that.

All right. Well, the hot-button immigration issue boiling right now. New deal, old debate. That's in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: Well, welcome back to the NEWSROOM. It's the bottom of the 11:00 a.m. Eastern hour.

HARRIS: 8:00 a.m. -- 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Yes. WHITFIELD: Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris. Good morning, everyone.

Some pictures, new pictures in to CNN just a short time ago. We want to share those with you.

The body of Yolanda King, the first born child of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. and his wife, Coretta King, these pictures of the body. They returned by plane to Atlanta early this morning, arriving at Fulton County airport, Brown Field.

We can tell you that a memorial service will be held this coming Thursday, next Thursday, May 24th, for Yolanda King, who died Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, where she lived. She was 51 years old. And the cause of death has not been determined.

WHITFIELD: And Tony, new details are now emerging from the site of a deadly ambush in Iraq almost a week ago.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: ...emerging from the site of a deadly ambush in Iraq almost a week ago. The U.S. Army now says Sergeant Anthony J. Schober is the fourth American killed in the insurgent attack. The formal identification takes away any doubt about the names of three other soldiers who vanished from the site. A massive search for them was launched within hours of the ambush. An insurgent group has said that it took the men hostage.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Immigration overhaul. Key Democrats and Republicans cut a deal to change the nation's immigration laws. The plan would clear the way for some 12 million illegal immigrants now in the U.S. to become legal. That's after they pay a $5,000 fine. There is criticism coming from both sides of the aisle. But President Bush likes the plan.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I look forward to a good vote out of the United States Senate as quickly as leader Reid can get the bill moving. And then of course we look forward to working with the House of Representatives to take this first step and convert it into a successful second step. I really am anxious to sign a comprehensive immigration bill as soon as I possibly can.


HARRIS: Congress begins debating the bill on Monday. The most significant changes to immigration law in perhaps four decades.

WHITFIELD: Well, it's a whale of a problem, how to get two injured humpback whales back into the Pacific Ocean. They are stranded up the Sacramento River. Let's go there live right now to reporter Jane Hernandez of CNN affiliate KTVI. Any signs of progress? JANE HERNANDEZ, KTVI CORRESPONDENT: Well, actually, Fredericka, I'm going to step out of the way. We're live at the port of Sacramento and I can show you there are already several boats on the water this morning. In a half hour we're going to be briefed about what's going to happen here today. But as far as we know, marine mammal experts and biologists will continue to use plan A or at least until the end of today. Now, plan A was to use whale sounds, six of them, to lure the mother and her calf from the port to the Pacific Ocean. There have been a few problems, though. The noises bounce off the large U.S. Coast Guard boat first used onto the other ships in the port yesterday causing directional problems they believe for the whales. Today they will emit sounds at different angles to try to help out.

Now, also the sounds used were from Alaskan whales, probably not from the same pod. Today sounds from California, Mexico stock are being sought. We're being told that this is sort of like speaking Chinese or French to an English speaker. So they believe that the whales may not understand what's going on. Now, keep in mind these humpback whales are injured. In fact, the calf's wound may be much more serious than first thought. It may have hit the muscle. The mother's cut is two feet long and six inches deep and it's only in the blubber part of the whale. Plan B will be to use negative noises to force the whales forward. And biologists may not start that until next week if plan A continues to fail. In this meeting in about a half hour here at the port of Sacramento, it will include NOAA fisheries, the director of fish and game and vets from the marine mammal center. The whales have surfaced today but again not as frequently and organizations who are trying to save these whales have said that there's about a 50-50 chance of getting these whales back in the Pacific Ocean. They're worried about fatigue. They're worried that these whales are hungry. But they are doing everything they possibly can to get them back home. Reporting live, back to you, Fredericka.

WHITFIELD: Jane, I wonder to what extent would these marine biologists kick in and say we want to either, A, provide some kind of medical attention for these whales or perhaps try to figure out a way to get them to eat, meaning dump some food, you know, so that these whales can eat?

HERNANDEZ: Fredericka, I'm glad you asked that question, actually, because these wounds, they believed at first would heal themselves if they could actually get them back to the salty ocean water. They know that the fresh water is not really conducive to the healing process. But they thought that they weren't as serious and that if they could get them back down and 90 miles back to the ocean that these whales would be all right. But right now they're just trying to get them moving in the right direction.

WHITFIELD: All right. Jane Hernandez, thanks so much, from the Sacramento River there. Tony?

HARRIS: Gas prices up yet again. AAA says gas prices have hit a record high for the sixth straight day, now averaging more than $3.12 for self-serve unleaded gas up a penny since yesterday. Some analysts blame refineries, saying they don't keep up with demand, in part because they haven't bounced back from shutdowns due to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. CNN's Sean Callebs reports from Norco (ph), Louisiana.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. oil refining industry suffering a hangover in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and hurricane Rita. If you look at this graph, before the hurricanes punished the Gulf coast area the oil refining was operating at about 95 percent capacity. Then look at that huge dip, all the way down to 70 percent capacity when we saw a huge spike in the cost of gasoline. Now, since that time, the U.S. has never fully recovered. Not one time since then have refineries been able to operate at 95 percent refining capacity across the country.

There were lessons learned from the hurricane. There's a tremendous concentration of refineries here in the Gulf coast area, Texas and Louisiana, the number one and number two refining states in the country. But there's very little the U.S. can do. There's very little surplus on hand because the demand is so great and there's very little refineries can do to prepare for a punishing hurricane coming through.

Now, is there any promising news on the horizon, any new refineries? The simple answer is not on the immediate horizon. A lot of refineries are doing limited expansion right now, but really the refining only adds about a drop in the bucket to the U.S. production. A lot of the refineries are hesitant to make the huge kind of investment it would take. There's still the NIMBY argument, the environmental concern, not in my back yard and from an economic standpoint, they wonder if it makes sense. There's a tremendous outcry for new cleaner burning fuels in the future, so refineries are hesitant to spend billions of dollars to build a new facility, wondering what the future holds. Sean Callebs, CNN, in Norco, Louisiana.


SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange. When NEWSROOM returns, I'll have news about Chrysler's pension plan and it is very good news for Chrysler workers. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


WHITFIELD: Bet you didn't know this. When New York hosted the 2004 Republican national convention, officials there wanted to make sure protesters didn't disrupt things. So New York turned to spying. Among the targets, hip-hop entertainers. Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Attention, protesters and peaceniks, anarchists, and Alicia Keyes and all those other artists who came out in 2004 to protest the Grand Old Party's big national convention. These private eyes were watching you. That's right. The New York police department was secretly monitoring these artist protesters and not just at public events.

DONNA LIEBERMAN, EXECUTIVE DIR, ACLU: To participate in meetings, to monitor e-mails, and to act as not police officers but undercover agents in dealing with organizations that are exercising their right to protest raises serious concerns.

FOREMAN: Six hundred pages of secret police files were released to the public as the result of a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union. They reveal that New York's finest began spying on performers like Jay-Z, LL Cool J and others months before they were to perform at a protest rally during the GOP convention. They monitored websites and a guy known for throwing pies. They spied on meetings of billionaires for Bush, who were not for Bush at all. New York police say the surveillance was justified.

COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, NEW YORK POLICE: People wanted to come here to shut down the city, to replicate what happened in Seattle and Montreal and Genoa. We simply didn't let that happen.

FOREMAN: New York has refused to release the documents for three years. The New York Civil Liberties Union went to court to get access to them as part of a lawsuit on behalf of people who were arrested while protesting the GOP convention. While some protesters were self- declared anarchists, most planned performances or marches or theater. One group planned to sing about the war. Lawyers for the protesters say all the spying discourages regular people from exercising their right to free speech.

LIEBERMAN: If the government is monitoring lawful political dissent, then people who -- people are intimidated.

FOREMAN: Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: Workers at Chrysler can sleep a little easier now. Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us about a deal to keep their pensions safe. Whew is what I think they're saying.

LISOVICZ: A huge relief, Fredericka. The Federal agency that ensures private pensions says that Daimler has agreed to pay $1 billion into Chrysler's pension plan if that plan is terminated within five years. As part of the deal, Chrysler will throw in an additional $200 million beyond what it's required to contribute over the next five years. Daimler Chrysler said earlier this week that it would sell an 80 percent stake in Chrysler to private equity group Cerberus Capital Management but there have been concerns over how Cerberus would deal with the company's huge pension obligations once it takes control. And that's maybe one reason why the UAW said that it was actually OK with this deal in the first place. Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right and Susan, speaking of Chrysler, we hear an old familiar symbol is back.

LISOVICZ: Yeah, it's something that we may not have known the name of, but we have certainly seen it over the decades. The pentastar is back at least temporarily. Chrysler has been using its symbol to rally employees. There you see it and get people pumped about this deal with Cerberus. The pentastar was first introduced in the early 1960s. It's built into the top of Chrysler's Michigan headquarters. But it was scrapped as the official corporate logo a few years after Daimler Benz bought the company in the late '90s. Even after the merger, however, that symbol stayed on most dealer signs. It's still required to be placed somewhere in every part made for the company. Chrysler says the final decision hasn't been made about whether the pentastar will make a comeback as the official logo. We'll let you know how it goes.

Turning to the markets, well, shares of Daimler Chrysler adding 1 percent today. So they're a star in the market. As your stocks overall surprise rise in the closely watched index of consumer sentiment, giving a boost to stocks. Yet another rise in oil prices, however, holding back the gains a bit. Crude is now above $65 a barrel. The Dow up 50 points to 13,527. The Nasdaq is up six points, about a quarter of a percent. So we're looking pretty good on this final trading day of the week. Tony and Fred, back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much. On the pentastar what's old is new again.

HARRIS: Isn't that the truth.

It's "Your World Today" coming up in about, oh, 15 minutes at the top of the hour right here on CNN. There he is, Jim Clancy on getaway day Friday with a preview. Good morning Jim.

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to Tony and hello, Fredricka. The U.S. has long made the point you have to support democracy in the Middle East if you want to win the war on terror. Today some people in Egypt are questioning whether the U.S. is abandoning its own principles in that regard. The story of this man, who's now in prison, and why some people think the U.S. has abandoned him in order to support the government so needed for the war in Iraq.

Now, speaking of Iraq, correspondent Nic Robertson is going to be taking us on foot patrol in one of the most dangerous cities in that country. The city is Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, where Marines are fighting for the hearts and the minds of the local population.

Plus, autism. We're going to take a little bit of time here. What do children who suffer from this widely misunderstood condition really need to succeed? We're going to give you a preview of a documentary that's both interesting and incredibly important. All of that and much, much more coming at the top of the hour on "Your World Today." Fredricka, Tony, hope to see you there.

WHITFIELD: Thanks so much. Have a great day.

HARRIS: and still to come this morning in the NEWSROOM, international allies and best friends forever? Jeanne Moos makes the most of the president and the prime minister's swan song. You don't want to miss this in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: A couple steps forward, a couple steps back. On Capitol Hill another war spending bill, perhaps with a compromise. How is that reading on Capitol Hill as well as the White House? Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill with the latest on this. Dana?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, from what we just heard from Democrats right after this meeting this morning with the White House, they are anywhere but at a compromise on how to fund the war. In fact, Democratic leaders, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, just had a press conference and they essentially said that they are going to announce write this bill on their own because what they said is that the White House is simply not allowing them to hold the president accountable. Listen to what the House speaker said.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D) HOUSE SPEAKER: Clear that the difference between the Democrats and the president is the issue of accountability. He will not accept any accountability or responsibility for what is happening there.


BASH: Now, what the Democratic leaders said after this first real meeting with the House leaders, the Senate leaders and the White House about how to fund the war is essentially that they tried to offer the White House some compromises like, for example, Democrats, as you know, Fredricka, want to put a timeline for withdrawal on the troops. They said they offered the president a waiver for that and that the White House rejected it. What Democrats said is that they also offered the president another carrot, if you will, and that is to cut off some of the -- what the White House called extraneous domestic spending on this emergency bill. They said the White House rejected that too.

So you heard the word disappointed several times from these Democratic leaders. These are sort of behind closed door meetings, of course, negotiations. What we're hearing now is probably in large part a public discussion, sort of positioning here, as they really get down to the nitty-gritty of trying to make this work. Certainly is high-stakes positioning because even this House speaker this morning, Fredricka made perfectly hear that she does think it is absolutely necessary to get the president this emergency spending bill by Memorial Day. That's less than a week away. That's probably about a week away.

We're going to hear from the Republicans soon. Just coming over here, talking to some of them coming out of this meeting this morning, they say that Democrats are simply being unreasonable. Republicans say that they are insisting on what Republicans term a surrender date, which is that timeline for troops to come out. And that's why Republicans say we're not going to go for that. Republicans also say that this simply couldn't get through the Senate, the idea of a timeline for withdrawal and so it could end up holding up the war spending bill. We'll see what happens. We're actually going to hear from the White House chief of staff, Josh Bolten, who is in that room, and other Republicans very shortly.

WHITFIELD: Well, already with those kinds of exchanges of words it doesn't sound plausible at all, that just over a week away, there could be some sort of bill that everyone could agree upon.

BASH: Well, you know, it is interesting, as I mentioned, you know, these are behind closed doors. These are very high stakes politically. Because what you have is a White House trying to hold its ground of course, on a war that means everything to the president, and you have a Democratic Congress very, very much trying to flex its muscle. You heard from the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, several times saying that they want to make it clear to the president that Congress has the power, that there's a new Congress in town. So a lot of this certainly is public positioning and making clear to their various constituencies, especially for Democrats, to make clear to a lot of the anti-war left and voters who aren't necessarily so much on the anti-war left but just increasingly opposed to the war, that the Democrats are doing what they think their voters sent them to do, which is to stand up to the president. Part of that is certainly a play here when we hear these public comments coming out of this meeting. But it was all smiles going into the meeting this morning, very different coming out.

WHITFIELD: All right, Dana Bash. Thanks so much for that update.

HARRIS: And still to come this morning, killed in action. The fourth victim of the Iraq ambush identified. The search for his missing comrades still under way. Late details in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: On Capitol Hill the latest war spending bill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing. What's the reaction now from the White House chief of staff, Josh Bolton? Let's listen in.

JOSH BOLTEN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: -- on that kind of language, which I think gives us a path forward. But a path forward that sets an arbitrary timeline for withdrawal is precisely why the president vetoed the bill before and won't provide us a good path forward to get the troops the money they need.

QUESTION: The Democrats say that with the timeline that they offered you a waiver, essentially saying if you felt the timelines were necessary or would not be helpful, then you can waive them. What's difference? First of all, did they offer that to you? And why was the waiver not acceptable?

BOLTEN: The Democratic leaders did talk about having timelines for withdrawal that might be waivable. We consider that to be not a significant distinction. Whether waivable or not, timelines send exactly the wrong signal to our adversaries, to our allies and most importantly to the troops in the field. The president is the one who has the authority to act as commander in chief. He needs to be the one making those decisions, recognizing that the Congress does have the power of the purse and a timeline for withdrawal, whether waivable or not, would be a very counterproductive move while General Petraeus is pursuing a plan with troops in the field at this moment that has some prospect for success. We're saying that General Petraeus's plan should be given an opportunity to succeed, which we agree is what we all want. Setting an arbitrary timeline for withdrawal, whether waivable or not, is going to undermine the prospects of that success and will not be acceptable to the president.

QUESTION: Well, it sounds like the president's willing to accept the Warner amendment? Is that correct, that you guys are willing to accept the Warner amendment --


QUESTION: Mr. Reid the other day called it weak and tepid and not acceptable. So did you really have a reason to think they would accept that today?

BOLTEN: I think we still have reason to hope that we might be able to come around behind something like what -- the Warner amendment that you described, which passed here in the Senate with a bipartisan majority. It's the only proposal in this area of Iraq language that has achieved a bipartisan -- a truly bipartisan majority in either house. So I think the members have already spoken and said that that's a reasonable basis to go forward. The administration did say and I don't want to speak for the Republican leadership leader Boehner, but I think Republicans are in most respects united around a -- an approach that Senator Warner was able to pull together again on a bipartisan basis that involves using benchmarks on the Iraqis, having accountability for those benchmarks and giving the president the obligation to come back and report to the Congress on how we're doing in putting the Iraqis in the kind of situation where everybody agrees we want them to be.

WHITFIELD: Despite a war spending bill that would allow the president to waive any timetable for withdrawal, restrictions. The White House dismissing this latest proposal, in his words, Josh Bolten's words, waivable or not, it's a counterproductive move.

HARRIS: "Your World Today" is next. Have a great weekend, everyone. I'm Tony Harris.