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Protesters Clash with Police over summit in Germany. Democrats Attend Hall of Fame Dinner in Iowa

Aired June 02, 2007 - 17:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: No one had warned them about Andrew Speaker.
We'll take a closer look at this. This is kind of a he said-they said that's going on right now between Andrew Speaker and the CDC.

But first, details about a terror plot. Federal officials say it targeted JFK Airport. The accused, fundamentalist extremists, but they're not from the Middle East.

And hello again, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez. Joining me here in B Control Room, where we expect some developments to this story. As we begin this newscast, we are actually expecting to get some updates on what is, by the very definition of the word "terror," the terrorist plan, the plan to terrorize Americans by attacking one of the country's most well-known transportation landmarks.

Ambitious in scope and in reach, this plan was to be allegedly carried out by a retired JFK worker from Brooklyn and then three other men who had connections to Guyana and Trinidad.

Here's what we know at this point. Three of the suspects are in custody, one of them here in the states, suspect Russell Defreitas. He's the one you see with the beard. The others are in Trinidad. A fourth man, Abdel Nur of Guyana is still being sought.

Federal authorities are calling the plot chilling, their words. But they say that it really never got out of the planning stages. And there is no imminent danger, they say, at this point here.

CNN's Jason Carroll has been following this story all day long from New York. And he's joining us now. He's live at JFK to bring us up to date on what he's learned over the last several hours.

Start us off, if you would, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's first tell you a little bit more about some of these suspects that you mentioned. The ring leader of the group, a man by the name of Russell Defreitas, he is a former JFK worker. He was arraigned in a Brooklyn court just a little earlier this afternoon. He is a U.S. citizen and a native of Guyana. He was arrested in Brooklyn yesterday. The plot was his vision and he was the one who was really instrumental in finding the other suspects.

Let's talk about them. Abdul Kadir, is a citizen of Guyana who served as a member actually of the Guyanese parliament.

We also have Kareem Ibrahim. He is a citizen of Trinidad.

And the only man, at this point, who is outstanding, is Abdel Nur. He's also a citizen of Guyana. Federal officials are looking for him right now.

A little earlier today they held a press conference where they really characterized what this group was all about.


MARK MERSHON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI, NEW YORK: This is a very determined group that engaged in precise and extensive surveillance, surveillance that included physical surveillance, photographic surveillance, video surveillance, even the use of the internet to obtain satellite photographs of the JFK facility. They engaged in extensive conversation and international travel, furthering and refining their conspiracy.


CARROLL: Chilling was one of the words that was used during the press conference. Part of the reason for that is, when you see the transcripts from the audio taped conversations between Defreitas and another man.

There is one quote that's particularly chilling. It says, "Any time you hit Kennedy," he says, "it is the most hurtful thing to do to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow. They love John F. Kennedy like he's the man. If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It's like you can kill the man twice."

He then goes on to say, "Even the Twin Towers can't touch this. This can destroy the economy of America for some time."

Now Abdul Kadir, one of the other suspects who was involved in this alleged plot, had stressed, apparently, to some of the others the goal of causing economic damage and wanting to minimize any sort of -- minimize killing innocents -- is what he called men and children and women, as well.

And if you get a chance to read through the complaint, that's why they said they wanted this plot to carry out some time early in the morning when there would be less people here at JFK.

Chilling, very, very chilling plot when you get a chance to read through much of the complaint.

SANCHEZ: You can't help but be struck by a lot of the information that's been coming out from the feds and joint task force there in New York.

But I think one of the things that surprised many of us, as we were watching this report, is where these folks originated from, placed like Trinidad and Guyana. Last time Guyana was in the news was the famous Jim Jones story. So it starts to make us think as to whether or not we keep thinking of fundamentalist extremists out there in the Middle East, these guys weren't from the Middle East, were they?

CARROLL: Absolutely. You have to really broaden your outlook when you think of terrorists. Trying to think of a terrorist in this day and age of just being from the Middle East is limiting obviously.

In fact, New York City Commissioner Ray Kelly said, with regard to that, "Looking at the Caribbean with growing concern." He goes on to say that this is an area that requires new focus.

SANCHEZ: Is there any information about operational details at this point? Had they yet purchased any of the explosives that they were going to use? Do we know exactly where they were hoping to perpetrate this crime at the airport? Are any of those details coming out at this point?

Carroll: A few of the details. As far as the explosives go, they were really in the preliminary stages of trying to access that. Some of the information federal investigators are holding back, for obvious reasons.

In terms of some of the locations, in terms of where they wanted to plant some of these explosives, they do have some information about what the men were looking at, what the suspects were looking at, some of the gas stations in the area, where that gas pipeline follows from. It's 41 miles. It extends from New Jersey through several of the boroughs here in New York, right out here to JFK.

So there are definitely targeted areas that they do know about where they were going to carry this out.

SANCHEZ: I guess what I'm -- I guess, Jason, what I'm trying to get at, probably what a lot of folks are wondering as well, were these guys past the talking stage?

CARROLL: What do you mean by "past the talking stage"?

SANCHEZ: In other words, were they just...

CARROLL: They were definitely talking about it.

SANCHEZ: It's one thing to sit and talk and plan what you're going to do, it is another to actually begin the execution part by buying materials, implementing part of your action. Were they into that yet or do we not know?

CARROLL: In terms of buying materials and that type of information, again, federal officials are holding some of that information back. But they made it very, very clear they were actively trying to explore and actively trying to purchase some of these explosive materials that would be used to try to do damage to a pipeline and to gas tanks here at JFK. SANCHEZ: Wow. Jason Carroll doing a great job. You've been on the story all day, uncovering new information. We thank you, once again, for being on the spot there for us.

A little more than 90 minutes ago though, the White House released a statement regarding this terror arrest.

It reads, quote, "The president has been briefed and updated regularly on the progress of the investigation. And this case is an example of the international counterterrorism cooperation."

CNN's Kathleen Koch also reporting earlier today that, nationwide, there are 800,000 workers with access to secure areas at some of our airports. So today's news raises some serious questions about that as well.

With us now -- we are joined by a guest -- matter of fact, let's do this. Let's take him on the back end.

Let's go to a break. When we come back, Rafi Ron, who led the changes to security at Boston's Logan Airport. We'll be right back.


SANCHEZ: What we're trying to do for you is dig deep into the -- what could be some of the operational details of this alleged terrorist plot at JFK. It could also affect other airports around the country, presumably around the world.

Rafi Ron, who led the changes to security at Boston's Logan Airport, joins us now. He did that work after 9/11. Before that -- this is impressive -- he was the head of security at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, widely considered one of the safest airports in the entire world. He is good enough to join us now.

Rafi Ron, thanks so much for being with us.


SANCHEZ: I guess the question I have, and a lot of other folks who are watching this development carefully today, are wondering about is could these guys have pulled this off? Is it possible? What can you tell us about these fuel farms at airports and about these fuel lines that oftentimes run to airports?

RON: Well, the fuel system is a lot of the central systems at the airport. And it consists of fuel farm as well as a whole network of pipelines that mostly go underground, into the trauma carrier.

But there are certain rules of planning that lead to the fact that the most sensitive part of it -- which was the fuel farm -- is usually located in an area that will not cause a wreck, damage, either to aircraft or to populated area in case of a fire or even an explosion. And...

SANCHEZ: So your best bet, as an expert, would it have been possible for these guys to do what they seemingly were planning to do?

RON: Well, they could have done it in terms of the part of the system, but I think the damage would not have been nearly as catastrophic as many people would tend to believe.

SANCHEZ: Why not? Why not?

RON: First of all, in terms of the power of the explosion, you have to keep in mind that, when we speak about the jet fuel, unlike gasoline that we pump into our cars, jet fuel is not that easily exploding, and probably the most case would be a relatively limited explosion, but with a lot of fire and a lot of smoke. And...

SANCHEZ: So unlike the fuel we use in our cars, jet fuel, for a very specific reason, is less flammable, less combustible, correct?

RON: Exactly. But I think the main damage would have been economic in terms of the kind of preventing fuel to flow into where it should flow and create a major disturbance to the airport operation, not to mention the fact that the large smoke amount that would come out of such a fire, and on the political and media attention to the event, would certainly lead to the terrorists to be smiling.

SANCHEZ: That would have been enough though. I mean you know terrorism, working in Israel, as well as anybody else. It's really all about terrorizing a population. It's about frightening them. It is about affecting their economy.

Even if it wouldn't have made a lot of damage to the airport or taken many lives, as you seem to say it wouldn't have done, the impact still would have been great.

RON: Yes, it is true. I think that the impact would have been great, because one of the things, as you just said, is to mobilize the media, to multiply the effect of your action.

Airports have developed a certain sensitivity as far as the public is concerned. Any event that happens at an airport draws much more attention than an event that happens at shopping malls or whatever.

SANCHEZ: We're down to 30 seconds, but I've just got to get this in. Just to get a feel for what type of credentials, what type of security status do you need to be able to have access, for example, to the fuel farms or some of these fuel lines that we had in this case. And how has it changed post-9/11?

RON: Well, it has changed since 9/11, because before 9/11, the whole system of protecting this part of the airport was very, very relaxed. It has increased substantially.

And suddenly, during the last six months, there's been a special effort by TSA to elevate the level of security in the protected areas as a result of an event -- an incident that took place at the Orlando airport about six months ago where a duffle bag full of weapons -- actually 40 different weapons in that bag -- made their way to a flight. They planned it later on in San Juan, Puerto Rico. That was happened by people who carried badges and were allow access to the aircraft.

SANCHEZ: It is good to hear some of the changes have been taking place.

Rafi Ron, we thank you for taking time to talk with us and explain, in detail, some of the changes that are going on and what the damage likely would have been in the scenario we've been talking about.

A real riot has been taking place. This is in Rostock, Germany.

Police clashing with demonstrators protesting the upcoming group of the G-8 summit in Germany. Officials say nearly 150 officers were injured, 25 seriously. And about 50 protestors were arrested.

More from Harry Smith of ITV News.


HARRY SMITH, ITV NEWS REPORTER (voice-over): It was a huge and, until this moment, largely peaceful demonstration that suddenly erupted into violence.

Masked near the harbor area of this Baltic port, protestors rained down bottles and sticks on riot police. An overturned car became a makeshift barricade.

Police counter-charged arresting some of what they described as a hard-core of 500, bent on confrontation.

Some demonstrators were seen ripping up cobblestones to use as ammunition. Many were injured. These are being treated by first aid teams formed by the March organizers.

Police said there were injuries, too, among the 13,000 officers who have been drafted in to deal with expected trouble.

The demonstration appeared to be a broad coalition of groups, such as communists, anarchists, environmentalists and others demanding action on third world poverty.

There were protests today in all the G-8 countries.

In London, thousands lined the banks of the Thames near Parliament to make themselves heard with three minutes of noise.

This was intended as a family day, a peaceful demonstration, and that's what it was.

There was disappointment as news filtered through of the violence in Rostock. But these two seasoned campaigners, who plan to travel to the German city tomorrow, say they won't be put off.

LIZ TAYLOR, ANTI-POVERTY CAMPAIGNER: There's often been violence at the G-8, unfortunately, because it does send a track for main message. But the main message we have to get across is we want more and better aid.

SMITH: G-8 has become synonymous with violent protests. And with three days to go before this summit's opening session, today's clashes are an ominous sign.

Harry Smith, ITV News.


SANCHEZ: When President Bush and other G-8 leaders arrive in Germany for the summit next week, they're going to hold talks primarily on trade. They say, though, that they're also going to try and hash out ways to fight climate change, poverty and AIDS in Africa.

Presidential hopefuls, both Democrats and Republicans, are going to be telling voters where they stand on critical issues during two separate debates right here on CNN.

Tomorrow night the Democrats are going to be going head-to-head at 7:00 eastern. Tuesday night it is the Republicans' turn in the spotlight. Two must-see political debates, right here on CNN.

Several top Democrats are spending the day in a state with a lot of political clout. Iowa, which holds the nation's very first caucuses in January, much different type of political event is the focus there tonight. The Democrats Hall of Fame dinner.

CNN's Dana Bash is at the dinner in Cedar Rapids.

What's this event all about, Dana?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is a chance for the party here in Iowa, Democratic Party, to raise money in toward put those caucuses on in January.

But it is also a chance for people here in Iowa, Democrats especially, volunteers who work for the candidates' campaigns, to remind people in New Hampshire and around the country that they actually do come first. The Iowa caucuses come before any other event or contest when it comes to the 2008 election.

There is a carnival atmosphere behind me, as you can tell, Rick.

First we have Chris Dodd's campaign. They've got their signs out. They came here in a school bus.

Next to them, John Edwards. They raised their banner with an actual crane.

In Hillary Clinton's campaign, they drove in their sign on a flatbed truck.

It just shows you some of what they're trying to do here to really get their volunteers riled up.

Something earlier today that you have to check out, in the ballroom where this dinner is going to take place, they actually had what they called sign wars.

One of the Democratic officials here blew a whistle and they opened the doors and they told these volunteers to come on in and to plaster the walls, Rick, with signs from their campaigns.

That is essentially, as I said, to really get the activists, aids, volunteers, mostly young people riled up for particular event.

But it's also to try to show their strength to the people who are going to be in the ballroom tonight, Rick. Those people are going to be about 1,000 of the most influential activists that these candidates really need in order to do well in these caucuses in January.

SANCHEZ: Certainly, you said carnival-like atmosphere, pomp and circumstance, but what about the issues? What is the one thing that people are talking about? And who's the person talking about it the best, as far as some of the Hawkeye staters there are concerned?

BASH: They're talking about the issues that we hear about all over the country. They're talking about immigration. They're talking, particularly, when you talk about Democrats, they're talking about health care.

In terms of who is doing best, you can easily say John Edwards. Is he somebody who still leads in the polls here among Democrats. He is somebody who came in second in 2004. So pretty much everybody thinks that he's got to win here in order to continue to do well as he goes forward and other contests take place in 2008.

Hillary Clinton is coming up on his heels. You remember there was some controversy which might come back to bite her at this event, because an internal memo became public that suggested perhaps she should skip Iowa all together.

Since then, she has been back here. She's had several town hall meetings and re-stated her commitment to this state.

But it has had some controversial effects when it comes to her candidacy here, because there was some concern, has been some concern, inside the Clinton camp that, if she doesn't do well, or at least if she doesn't win in Iowa, it could send the wrong signal, as she puts things forward. But right now she is going to compete here.

There is, as you can see, a lot of energy for Iowa because they understand that there are a lot of states who have moved up their primaries and caucuses. They want to make clear, especially with this dinner tonight, that they still consider themselves the most important caucuses, at least, certainly the first.

SANCHEZ: And certainly the loudest, at this point. Dana Bash, thanks so much for bringing us up to date. Politics in America, folks. Tomorrow night, right here on CNN, Democratic heavy-hitters are going to take aim at each other. It's a debate from New Hampshire.

Pre-debate coverage will begin at 5:00 p.m. eastern with Lou Dobbs. Then at 7:00, the sparring begins. For the first time, the candidates are going to take questions from the voters.

Afterward, the candidates are going to join moderator Wolf Blitzer, Larry King, Anderson Cooper and John Roberts for a post- debate breakdown. Then we'll have it on, ourselves, right here at 11:00 p.m.

And you can bet the situation in Iraq is going to be a hot topic at both presidential battles coming up.

Still ahead, we take you live to the New Hampshire area for a preview of just how the candidates' stance on the war could help them win or lose the debate.

Also, expect more on the developing story about this terror plot we've been telling you about at JFK Airport. More information continues to come in to us. We're going to share it with you. For example, could the plan have actually played out? We're going to take a look at the possibilities.

And this...


ANDREW SPEAKER, TUBERCULOSIS PATIENT: I don't expect those people to ever forgive me. I just hope they understand that I truly never meant to put them in harm.


SANCHEZ: An apology from the man who got on the plane knowing that he was suffering from tuberculosis.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez, bringing you the news in B Control.

Now the latest on the air traveler who triggered an international health scare. Andrew Speaker may be confined to a Denver hospital for two months, we understand. He is in isolation with a potentially deadly drug-resistant strain of TB.

He says that his recent marriage in Greece is valid, though the mayor of Santorini, Greece, disputes that, saying that Speaker never arranged any type of civil ceremony there.

But Speaker's family gave CNN this wedding photo. They say it is proof that the couple took their vows there regardless of what the mayor might say. While apologizing for exposing dozens of people on this transatlantic flight to TB, Speaker is defending his movements.


SPEAKER: I don't expect those people to ever forgive me. I just hope they understand that I truly never meant to put them in harm. I never meant to hurt their families or them. And I just hope they can find a way to forgive me for putting them in harm because I didn't mean to.


SANCHEZ: He essentially is saying that he was afraid that he was going to get stuck in Italy without being able to get the medical care he needs, which he expected would only be in Denver.

Based on what he has told, he says he didn't think that he was a danger to any other fellow passengers, either.


SPEAKER: I said, "What's changed? When I left I was told I wasn't a threat to anyone. When I left, I was told I wasn't contagious. What's changed? Why are you abandoning me like this and expecting me to turn myself over for an indefinite time? What has changed?" And they didn't have an answer to that.


SANCHEZ: Preliminary results for two passengers on Speaker's flights have, so far, come back negative. Others are anxiously, as you might imagine, awaiting results of their TB tests as well.

There is plenty of conflicting information on this story. A veritable he-said-they-said concerning Speaker and the CDC.

Our Gary Tuchman examines Speaker's trip timeline, looking for some answers.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Air France has one flight a day from Atlanta to Paris. And on May 12, the passengers who took the nearly nine-hour flight had no reason to think about the man in seat 30H. No one had warned them about Andrew Speaker.

But what was said to the 31-year-old man with a dangerous string of tuberculosis before he got on that plane?

Health officials in Fulton County, Georgia, said they ordered him not to travel.

ERIC BENNING, PHYSICIAN, FULTON COUNTRY, GA, HEALTH DEPARTMENT: We are not a police authority, but we did tell him, in no uncertain terms, that he should not travel. And we told him the reasons why. TUCHMAN: But through an open records request, CNN has obtained a copy of a letter that the health department wrote to Andrew Speaker. It specifically says, "It is strongly recommended that you postpone your travel."

As it turned out, Speaker never got the letter. It was mailed on May 11. Health officials thinking he was planning on flying to Paris on May 14, but instead he left a day after the letter was mailed.

Officials say they learned that when they also attempted to hand- deliver the letter hours after he left.

Speaker was adamant when he told ABC News why he felt it was OK to fly.

SPEAKER: I had no symptoms. I was smear negative. And I was told that you are not contagious and you are not a threat. That's why we went on.

TUCHMAN: Speaker has known since January that he's had TB. But the county health department says it learned that fact on April 23, from his private physician.

On May 10, health department officials determined it was a multi- drug resistant strain.

Six days later, after his plane flight, they determined it was worse, the extremely drug-resistant variety of TB.

BENNING: At that point, we certainly wanted to make sure we notified the patient.

TUCHMAN: But it wasn't until well after Speaker was in Europe, specifically in Rome, that the Centers for Disease Control was able to reach him by phone.

MICHAEL LEONARD, PHYSICIAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Public health officials were in contact with him and trying to come up with the safest way back to the U.S. And he chose an alternative route.

TUCHMAN: But Speaker says he wasn't offered any transportation. So he flew to Canada, and then drove across the border into New York State. Earlier that same day the CDC says it recommended he be put on a no-fly list, but he got through anyway. Now he is emotionally apologizing to the passengers that flew with him.

A. SPEAKER: I just hope they understand that I truly never meant to put them at harm.

TUCHMAN: Speaking from a Denver hospital under federal order of isolation. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


SANCHEZ: Certainly one of the big stories we're going to be following for you here.

But the big story of the day is this terror plot on JFK Airport in New York. Up next here in THE NEWSROOM we examine the unthinkable. Could the four men have actually destroyed fuel tanks and pipelines and if so, how and to what effect?

A live report is coming up next.

And then later a preview of what could be a slugfest or a lovefest. CNN's political analyst Bill Schneider is going to join us live from New Hampshire with a look at the upcoming Democratic debate.


SANCHEZ: We welcome you back to B control. I'm Rick Sanchez recapping what's our top story.

Federal officials are saying that they have snuffed out a terror plot to blow up New York's JFK Airport, or at least a portion of it. Here's what we know. Three suspects have been arrested. Authorities are still looking for the fourth.

Federal officials called the plotters a determined group but say there was no imminent danger because they were on to them early. A U.S. attorney describing the plot as "chilling."


ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, U.S. ATTORNEY: The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable. The charges that were filed today give you a window into how these plots come about, how these plots are developed, how these plots have international connections, how this particular one spread from the United States, Brooklyn, New York, through Queens, JFK Airport, abroad into Guyana and Trinidad.


SANCHEZ: A complaint filed in federal court describes the alleged plot. The four men are charged with conspiring to try and blow up fuel tanks and pipelines at JFK, creating what federal officials said would be unthinkable destruction.

But could the alleged plotters actually have been able to pull something like this off? We're going to put that question now to CNN homeland security correspondent who has been following this story, Jeanne Meserve who is good enough to join us.

Jeanne, what do you know?

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rick, opinions are mixed as to whether the plotters could have executed this plan to cause massive destruction at JFK. One government official says security around the fuel tank farms at JFK has been a concern, but experts say breaching the one-inch thick steel side of a tank would take several pounds of high quality explosives. According to the criminal complaint the plotters only talked about using dynamite.


JAKE MAGISH, SIGAM ENGINEERING: They're successful in making a tank fail and you get thousands of tons of jet fuel gushing out and you are able to ignite it, you're going to have typically an atmospheric fire. It is emotional, it's dramatic, but the tank next to the tank that's gushing and spilling fuel isn't going to fail.


MESERVE: JFK has a system of underground pipes carrying fuel directly to gates and to aircraft. One government aviation official says those pipes sometimes contain vapor and an explosion at a fuel tank could cause a chain reaction spreading destruction throughout the airport, perhaps even to aircraft at the gate.

But John Goglia, who investigated the fuel tank explosion that brought down TWA Flight 800 says it would be almost impossible to create conditions that would lead to fire and explosions in those pipelines.


JOHN GOGLIA, FORMER NTSB MEMBER: Let's not forget that these pipes are thick wall-of-steel pipes anyway and they are buried underneath at least a couple of feet of concrete so they aren't going to really blow up the asphalt and blow up the runway. They may burst the pipe if you could get it to blow up but it wouldn't blow the asphalt on the tarmac up and cause additional damage on the airport.


MESERVE: So on one hand you have a government official saying if this had succeeded it could have crippled one of the nation's biggest airports but on the other side you have a counterterrorism officials describing to us as the plot not being technically feasible and one expert calling it a mission impossible scenario.

Rick, back to you.

SANCHEZ: Hey, Jeanne, how about access? Don't you have to have specialized security clearance even to be able to get to where these tanks or these fuel lines are?

MESERVE: Well, yes, you do. Of course they're in secure areas of airports but the problem is how good is that security? And that's been a big question. As I mentioned, we spoke to one government official today who said that specifically the security around these fuel tanks farms is something that's been discussed and has been worrisome.

SANCHEZ: Wow. Jeanne Meserve. Thanks so much for bringing us up to date on that. Good information. Stay with CNN for continuing coverage of the JFK terror plot. We're going to have a complete wrap- up of the day's developments on CNN NEWSROOM. In fact, we're going to be working several angles of this story right here at 10:00 Eastern, including talking to some of the experts.

Coming up, a man takes environmental awareness to new heights.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When I first climbed Mt. Everest, it was full of garbage. Especially Japanese garbage stood out. Many Europeans alternists (ph) reproached me saying "you Japanese have bad manners." I really felt terrible. It was obviously Japanese garbage.


SANCHEZ: Yeah, beats being sent to your room to clean it, right? When we come back, the unsung hero with a great attitude and even greater altitude. You are not going to want to miss this story.

And then look at this temper tantrum. No, it's not a three-year- old child, though sometimes if you watch baseball games you might think some of the - well, I'll let you decide. This is a baseball manager completely losing it. The story is coming up in the NEWSROOM.


SANCHEZ: We welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez. Talk about climbing high for a cause, we're talking about today's CNN hero. All this year we're going to be introducing you to some unbelievable people.

They are people who try and make a difference in this world in some pretty amazing ways. Well, you're going to meet a young mountain climber now. He is from Japan. He's making sure that some of the world's most beautiful summits stay that way.


KEN NOGUCHI, ALPINIST AND CNN HERO (through translator): Before I was known for being the youngest one to climb the highest peaks.

But recently people say, oh, it's the garbage guy.

I started picking up trash on Everest eight years ago.

(not through translator): My name is Ken Noguchi, and I am alpinist, and also clean the mountain.

(through translator): When I first climbed Mount Everest, it was full of garbage, especially Japanese garbage stood out.

Many European alpinists reproached me saying, "You Japanese have bad manners."

I really felt terrible. It's obviously Japanese garbage. Anyone can see that. So, I thought, if it's so obvious, we should clean it up.

Cleaning Everest is especially tough. Many times I thought I would quit, because it was so hard. But if I stop, all I've endured loses its meaning.

On Mount Fuji we clean year-round. First we teach the volunteers how to separate for recycling. But then, the important thing is to explain to them why we are picking up the garbage.

When I find this dangerous garbage, I feel the sense of crisis first hand. I do this because it's my social responsibility.

With such a mission, rather than doing it quietly, it is better to advertise. So, if I become a hero and lots of people start coming, them being a hero is a good thing, isn't it.


SANCHEZ: Here you go, Mr. Noguchi, you are now an environmental hero. If you'd like to learn more about helping Ken Noguchi and cleaning up some of the world's most famous summits, or even just around your backyard, and you want to nominate somebody you think deserves a special recognition for CNN Hero award, you find all of the details and answers at

Hurricane season is upon us. Did you know? And so far, so good. Right, Reynolds?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. Barry continues to spin in parts of the Southeast United States but it is bringing some beneficial rainfall to parts of South Georgia and North Florida. Coming up, I'll give you an idea where this thing is headed. Is it good or is it bad? I'll tell you. Back to you.

SANCHEZ: Now some places that might need a little bit of help. We'll find out about it.

Well, start your clocks, folks, the countdown is on to the New Hampshire debate. This is going done a good one. We are headed live to Manchester next for a preview.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back to B Control. We've got a development now in the story we've been following since the beginning of this newscast and better part of several hours now.

Kathleen Koch is joining us now live. I understand this might have to do with one of th e suspects, Kathleen?

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does indeed and that is Russell Defreitas. He is the one suspect who is in custody in the United States right now. We have learned his age. He's 63 years old. He came to the United States from Guyana in the late '60s. We are told it was believed to be around 1967. He quickly became a naturalized U.S. citizen just about a year after he arrived in the United States. Now at JFK Airport he apparently worked for Evergreen Eagle, as well as another company, both of them at the same time at the airport, working off-loading cargo from aircraft.

Sources tell CNN they describe him as, quote, "a very angry Muslim extremist." In a complaint released today Defreitas is quoted as boasting he learned bomb-making in Guyana and that when he worked at the airport he would just in his spare time think about using a bomb to quote "blow this place up."

Now it is unclear how Defreitas met the other three men who are charged in this alleged plot. Abdul Kadir (ph), a former member of the Guyana parliament and Kareem Ibrihim (ph), a citizen of Trinidad.

As we reported earlier in the hour, Kadir and Ibrihim are in custody in Trinidad while a fourth suspect, Adel Nur (ph) of Guyana is still at large. Back to you.

SANCHEZ: Do we know, Kathleen, whether Russell or any of the other suspects still had any kind of security clearance at the airport? I mean to this day, actively?

KOCH: Rick, that is unclear. That was not discussed, at least from what I've seen, in the complaint. Certainly these airport companies, companies that service the airliners and cargo carriers at the airport, it would be standard practice when one retires or leaves a company that you'd turn in your security badge. Now whether that happens in every security case or not, that's unclear.

SANCHEZ: Kathleen Koch with the very latest on this investigation that we're going to be continuing to follow for you throughout the course of the evening. Thanks so much, Kathleen.

KOCH: Thanks, Rick.

SANCHEZ: Let's go over to Reynolds Wolf now. Because every once in a while you get a situation where you got to tell people, look, folks, you got to watch out because there is a tropical storm, out there turns into a tropical depression, could become a hurricane.

WOLF: Absolutely.

SANCHEZ: And you need to be worried. However -- there is the other part that says, this is a good thing. Right?

WOLF: Right. Definitely. This could not happen really at a better spot. Rick, we've been watching the situation in South Georgia, MMorth Florida, even Central Florida and that situation has been a drought. They've been desperate for some rainfall. Thankfully with this system, Barry, which is now just a depression, it is giving us some of that beneficial rainfall.

Wind is not much of an issue, but rain continues to fall into south and central Georgia at this time. In fact it is moving into the Carolinas as well. We go north from Jacksonville, the center is now moving just near the Florida Georgia state line from Columbia back over to Myrtle Beach, even into Charleston, the parade ground at the Citadel, the rain continues to fall.

Now let's give you hard numbers. Some of the numbers pretty impressive. For Melbourne, Florida, five inches of rainfall. Right at five on the button for Flagler Beach. Then it drops considerably as you get to St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and down to Tampa around three inches.

So where is this system headed? That's a good question. The answer is going to be that it appears this is going to continue the meandering course back up into the Carolinas. By the time we get to Monday, winds right around 45 miles per hour and moving offshore. But still, the rain, that's some wonderful, wonderful news.

Back to you.

SANCHEZ: So that fire over near Okefenokee Park or Swamp might finally be dissipated?

WOLF: It certainly appears that way. Let's think about this, three, four, possibly five inches of rainfall had certainly helps matters. No question.

SANCHEZ: Wow. Good job.

The war in Iraq could provide fireworks during the upcoming presidential debates. Next in THE NEWSROOM, a preview of just how the often-emotional subject could affect the tone of discussions.


SANCHEZ: Race for the White House. It's about to get interesting. Tomorrow the Democrats are going to face off in a debate that you're going to see right here on CNN. A lot's happened since last debate as you may know. As we hear from our CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider, the Iraq War will still be the hot topic.


BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): In the month since the Democrats last debated, Congress voted to continue funding the troops in Iraq without a time line for withdrawal. Senate leaders announced the bipartisan compromise on immigration. Two new biographies of Hillary Clinton have appeared. Barack Obama has offered a health care plan. Stories have come out about John Edwards' investments. All of those subjects are likely to come up in Sunday's debate. But one issue continues to dominate the Democratic race -- Iraq. Democrats in Congress split over the Iraq funding bill. Seven of the eight Democrats running for president oppose the bill, including the front-runners. Clinton and Obama voted against it.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I understand why my colleagues had a tough time on it, but I couldn't in good conscience say we are just going to continue on a course that is not working.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because the president will not change course and so we are doing everything we can to persuade him to do that.

SCHNEIDER: Edwards denounced it.

JOHN EDWARDS (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They shouldn't have backed down on this one.

SCHNEIDER: No Democrat wants to appear less anti-war than the others, not even the one who voted to continue funding.

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you think by us cutting off funding he's going to withdraw troops?

SCHNEIDER: Has anything changed in the Democratic race? In five national polls of Democrats taken in April before the last debate, Clinton led the field. Obama was running second and Edwards third. The other declared candidates were all in single digits. In five national polls taken since the debate, the standings were unchanged. Clinton first by a slightly wider margin, Obama second, Edwards third, others in single digits. A lot's happened, but nothing changed.

(on camera): The Democratic race looks pretty stable so far, and Senator Clinton wants to keep it that way. All the other Democrats hope to debate on Sunday will shake things up. Bill Schneider, CNN, Manchester, New Hampshire.


SANCHEZ: And of course you can join the best political team on television for the Democratic presidential debate beginning at 5:00 Eastern tomorrow, we're going to have a pre-game lineup of the players and who is expected to shine, the candidates square off at 7:00.

Then at 9:00, you're going to join Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, John Roberts and the Democratic candidates themselves live for the "Raw Politics" and post-debate breakdown.

That we are going to have a special town hall meeting for you right here at 11:00 as soon as they're done. Then of course Tuesday the Republicans are up to bat at 7:00 p.m. astern. Our prime-time coverage begins at 6:00.


SANCHEZ: Have you ever had one of those days where you're just angry? Look at this guy. He's a manager with the Mississippi Braves. This is minor leagues, of course. He is really angry at the umpire so he starts just -- really just going nuts. That's him grabbing third base, then he takes it and he throws it out into center field.

Before that you saw him, he was covering up home plate. Now he gets into this crawl, like a Jaguar sneaking up on the resin bag. Then he takes the resin bag and pretends that it's a grenade, pulls it and tries to throw it over at the umpire. The umpire is looking at him like, Do I need this?

Then he does this kind of thing. We can't actually find a word to describe that. Then he chooses to go ahead and throw the umpire out of the game and after taking third base he decides he's also going to do an assault on second base so he grabs it, takes third base, continues walking out, now he's going out to where the pitchers warm up and he gives his famous salute to the fans, and he's on his way.

That is one angry dude. Good Lord. Lou Dobbs coming up next.

Thanks so much for being with us. The latest on the terrorist plot coming up tonight at 11:00.