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Two Missing Girls, One Found Dead, One Found Alive, But Both Lead To Arrests Of Two Men; Paris Hilton Reassigned To House Arrest Due To Medical Conditions, But Privacy Laws Prohibit L.A. County Authorities From Revealing Details

Aired June 07, 2007 - 10:00   ET


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: Good morning, everyone. I'm Heidi Collins.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: And I'm Tony Harris. Stay informed all day in the CNN NEWSROOM. Here's what's on the rundown.

Missing for almost a year, now found alive, police discover a teenage girl in a Connecticut man's home. This hour, he's in court.

COLLINS: Allies and friends, will President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair also find common ground on global warming?

HARRIS: And he was a person of interest, now he faces murder charges. A late-night arrest in the death of a missing teen. It's Thursday, June the 7th, you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Just minutes from now, a court hearing in the case of a missing girl found alive. Police say she was locked in a hidden room in a Connecticut home. Three people who live in the house are facing charges. This is new video of one of the suspects. The girl had been missing for almost a year, and police were fearing the worst. CNN National Correspondent Jason Carroll is in Hartford.

Jason, tell us more about how police made the connection between one of the suspects, Adam Gault, and the young girl.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Certainly. And Heidi, I can tell you that the video we were showing there, is of the suspect, Adam Gault as he was arriving here at Connecticut Superior Court.

According to police, they had some of his cell phone records, that's what helped them lead this man to this young girl. In addition to that, they also said, quote, "other circumstances". They did not elaborate in terms of what these circumstances were, but they said "other circumstances" also led them to believe he was having some sort of inappropriate relationship with this 15-year-old girl, who was then 14 at the time.

In addition to Gault being arrested. They also arrested Ann Murphy, his common-law wife. In addition to that, they also arrested another woman, Kimberly Cray (ph). All three of them now here at Connecticut Superior Court awaiting their arraignment -- Heidi. COLLINS: Jason, do we know anything about the girl's family yet? Has been there been any reaction, or have they been reunited? What's the story behind that?

CARROLL: It is somewhat of a cloudy, sort of a murky story in terms of what this girl's family is all about. I can tell you that at one point that Adam Gault worked as an animal trainer, apparently, he worked with this girl's stepfather at some point. And that's how he came in contact with the young girl. I do know that the girl's mother and the stepfather have seen the young girl, at this point, but they have not come forward and expressed how their feeling at this particular time.

COLLINS: OK. Jason, do we know any more about what she was doing in the year that she was missing?

CARROLL: Well, you know she did have a MySpace page that was up and running. It was taken down, inactive, shortly before her disappearance. We also know that, according to police, Heidi, she herself was somewhat troubled. She was a, quote, "habitual runaway," this according to police. According to police, she also had a history of drug abuse, but they're not saying any more than that.

But suffice it to say they believe this guy, Adam Gault, saw that this young girl was vulnerable in some way and sought to take advantage of that vulnerability -- Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. Jason Carroll following the story for us, and it is an incredible one, in Hartford, Connecticut this morning. Jason, thank you.

HARRIS: And in Kansas an arrest is made in the case of a missing teenaged girl. Searchers found the body of 18-year-old Kelsey Smith at a lake near Grand View, Missouri. Police focused on the area after tracing signals from the girl's cell phone. When loved ones called her cell phone, it made contact with nearby towers.

Authorities aren't saying how she was killed. Smith was abducted from a parking of a Target store on Saturday. It's hard to make out, but police say this surveillance tape showed her being forced into her own car and driven away.

A 26-year-old man is in custody and is expected to be charged today with her kidnapping and murder.

COLLINS: Immigration deal in doubt. A late-night Senate vote could put the compromise bill in jeopardy. Now supporters are scrambling to try to save it. Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash is on Capitol Hill this morning.

Dana, where do thing stand right now in the Senate immigration debate?

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Heidi, it is really nail-biting time. In the next couple of hours, we could know whether or not immigration will live or die in the Senate. Here's why. Right now, in the 11th hour, there is a procedural vote scheduled essentially a chance for the Democratic leader to say, OK, we're going to limit the number of amendments in order to have a final vote on immigration tomorrow.

Well, many senators, mostly Republicans, say we don't like this, because we want to have unlimited chances to change what we don't like in this very controversial immigration bill.

Right now it's unclear what will happen. It's very possible, even probable, that procedural vote could go down. As we speak, Heidi, senators, Democrats and Republicans, are scrambling to figure out a procedural way around that, perhaps a way to have another vote later today. Because the Senate majority leader could be in a position, where if they can't continue with this debate, he might have to pull the bill altogether from the Senate floor.

COLLINS: Wow. Last night the Senate debate -- I mean, it went really late and very lively, too.

BASH: Very late. They had votes until after midnight last, and that was a way from the Democratic leader's, the Senate majority leader's, point of view to show try to some goodwill. That he is allowing a lot of different amendments, a lot of different chances by senators to change the bill.

One of those amendments was from Senator Barack Obama, an it was an amendment to do away, after five years, with a new point system for immigrants to get green cards. That led to a very lively exchange between Senator Obama and one of the Republican authors of this compromise, Lindsey Graham, take a listen.


SEN. LINDSAY GRAHAM (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: When you're out there on the campaign trail, you're trying to bring us all together; you're trying to make America better. Why can't we work together? This is why we can't work together -- because some people, when it comes to the tough decisions back away, because when you talk about bipartisanship, some Americans on the left and the right consider it heresy.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It simply says we should examine after five years whether the program is working. The notion that somehow that guts the bill or destroys the bill is simply disingenuous. And it's engaging in the sort of histrionics that is entirely inappropriate for this debate.


BASH: So there you saw the 2008 presidential campaign spilling right onto the Senate floor, because Senator Lindsey Graham is a staunch supporter of Republican John McCain and was taking a jab at Senator Obama, for talking on the campaign trail about the need for compromise and bipartisanship, because Senator Graham thought that what. Barack Obama was trying to do was trying to rip apart with this amendment this very fragile compromise. So, they had that exchange. That particular amendment, I should say, went down. But there was one, Heidi, that did pass that could threaten this, if it actually gets to a final vote, and that was to do away after five years with a guest worker program. That is something that's very important to many Republicans who support this, particularly those trying to advocate for businesses. Because they say this is a big part of why we want immigration reform. Do we want to give the ability for businesses to have temporary workers to come in from other countries to fill jobs that businesses say Americans won't fill -- Heidi.

COLLINS: Yeah, Now I know why it went so late last night, a lot of talking in circles. Huh?

BASH: Welcome to the Senate.

COLLINS: Yeah. Dana Bash, thank you.

HARRIS: Missile defense dispute, Cold War style rhetoric, the backdrop in talks this morning between President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, meeting on the sidelines of the G8 Summit in Germany.

Let's go there live now, CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry is nearby in Rostock.

Ed, great to see you this morning, I'm just wondering the two presidents got together about an hour ago, pretty much on time. Here's the question, are they still in the room, talking to one another?

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: As far as we know, they still are. It's been over an hour, as you noted. And it's going to be very interesting when they come out of that meeting, we're expecting to get some pictures of Mr. Putin and Mr. Bush together.

Everybody will be reading the body language, but also wondering whether or not they take questions from reporters. That gives you an idea of whether it was relaxed behind closed doors, or whether it got very tense. For example, earlier today, Mr. Bush met for the final time at a G8 Summit, with outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair, of course, they're close friends and close allies.

They came out afterwards, took a couple questions from reporters, and it was lively, and they obviously had very warm relations. If Mr. Putin and Mr. Bush come out and don't take any questions and just make some very brief comments, and walk off, that would obviously be a sign that perhaps things didn't go well. So everyone will be reading the body language and their remarks very, very closely.

What Mr. Bush has been doing ahead of the meeting is really trying to tamp down the rhetoric, calm everyone down. On the eve of this summit, Mr. Putin made some rather dramatic comments, warning or retaliation if the U.S. does not back off this missile defense program in Europe. Saying that, in fact, Russia would then point nuclear weapons at Europe potentially that threat put out there. That's because while the U.S. insists this missile defense system would just be protective, would protect Europe against potential attacks from Iran and other rogue nations, Russia is very concerned the system would be at their door step and could be turned from defensive missile into offensive weapons. That's why the heated rhetoric.

That's why Mr. Bush, yesterday in advance of this meeting, had to make a rather extraordinary statement, telling reporters the U.S. has no plans to go to war with Russia. When you think about how this relationship has changed in the last decade, all the detente that we've seen, for the U.S. president to now have to assure reporters, we're not planning any sort of war with Russia. That is pretty dramatic, Tony.

HARRIS: Well, Ed, this missile defense plan wasn't supposed to dominate discussion here at the G8 Summit. We were supposed to be talking about global warming and aid to Africa. Has this riff, this tiff, between the two presidents trumped the real agenda of the G8?

HENRY: Absolutely, it has. You often see that at G8 Summits, where going in everyone is talking about two or three issues that they think will dominate and something else comes out of left field and dominates. Last year, for example, I was at the G8 in St. Petersburg, Russia, people were talking about climate change, and helping fight poverty around the world.

But instead you'll remember that war in Lebanon had broken out, and instead the G8 leaders were consumed at that summit, last year in Russia, dealing with the war in Lebanon, trying to deal with that and trying to find some way out, find some peace to that. And now, it's bubbling up yet again in Lebanon.

This year, absolutely the U.S./Russian conflict has overshadowed much of the rest of the agenda. In fact, as you know, I interviewed the rock star Bono yesterday, and he's very outspoken in saying he's frustrated that a lot of these G8 leaders are not stepping up and following through on their commitment to fight poverty around the world. Because, in part, it's overshadowed by this U.S./Russian tension -- Tony.

HARRIS: Boy, Ed Henry with the president in Rostock, Germany, at the G8 Summit. Good to see you. Thank you.

COLLINS: Certainly some severe weather to be talking about today. Chad Myers is joining us now.


HARRIS: Heidi, call off the hunger strikes and the angry street marches. Paris Hilton -- look at this. There's the video. There's proof positive a free woman once again, according to the web site TMZ.

It says the party girl, debutante walked out of the LA lockup this morning after a mere three days behind bars. She had originally been sentenced, as you know, to 45 days for violating probation. That was later reduced to 23. Are we still going to get a news conference this morning?

COLLINS: Oh, you bet you're --



HARRIS: Coming up.

COLLINS: No, wait -- quickly, do you think she knew all along she would just going to spend a couple days in jail?

HARRIS: I think it severely traumatized her.


HARRIS: And I think what follows this next statement -- you think? I think there were mental issues once she was inside. All together now -- you think? OK. You asked and there's my answer.

COLLINS: All right. We will monitor that story. Yes, we will.

Moving on now though, advise and dissent. This Army general a high-profile skeptic of the troop built up in Iraq. Now in line to be the president's top war adviser. A closer look coming up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: Diana controversy, a documentary details the death of the princess. Well, it airs despite royal protest. What Londoners are saying now. That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a tail coming down. Look at it! It's coming down! It's coming down!


COLLINS: Wow, South Dakota twister on tape. We'll tell you about the aftermath, coming up in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: And folks might be doing a double-take at a high school graduation tonight -- twins galore. What was in the water 18 years ago? CNN NEWSROOM doing an analysis.


COLLINS: You know, we really don't like to make promises and not keep them. So, here you go. We are following the Paris Hilton story. As you probably know by now, she is out of jail already. Let's go ahead and listen into L.A. County Sheriff's Department Spokesperson Steve Whitmore, with some reasoning.


STEVE WHITMORE, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT.: After extensive consultation with medical personnel, including doctors here at CRDF, it was determined that Paris Hilton would be reassigned to our community based alternatives to custody electronic monitoring program.

What that means is this: She has been fitted with an ankle bracelet and she has been sent home, and she will be confined to her home for the next 40 days, because she has agreed to this through her attorney, her sentence is now back up to 45 days. She has served already five days, so that's 40 days. She will now be under the supervision of the L.A. County Probation Department.


COLLINS: All right. Now I want to bring you straight to this. Live news conference going through some questions from reporters. Let's listen in.


WHITMORE: Is that you have a CRDF designation, which is the Century Regional Detention Facility. Then you have the Century Regional Detention Facility, CRDF 2. The CRDF-2 is the reassignment.

QUESTION: So, you're saying she already got credit for five days?

WHITMORE: Correct. When she was booked in that was Sunday, Monday, Sunday she gets credit --

QUESTION: It was Sunday night.

WHITEMORE: Well, I understand what you're going to say. You are going to say, well, is that long enough time to get credit for a day? I know, all questions are fair. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and since she was reassigned early this morning, she gets five days of being incarcerated behind bars.


WHITMORE: She's remanded immediately to the court and I am assuming -- you have to court about that, about the custody. Now, the judge made it clear that would be an automatic bump-up to 90 days. The C-back program nearly doubles her sentence, because she's now confined to her home with the ankle bracelet.

QUESTION: What was her spirit when she left?

WHITEMORE: Please, one at a time.

QUESTION: What was her spirit when she left?

WHITEMORE: She was focused, let's just put it that way.


WHITEMORE: It's a speculative question, but I will tell you this, this is certainly not unprecedented. This happens from time to time, absolutely.

QUESTION: (OFF MIC) discrepancy between jail and Paris Hilton's home, which is a multimillion place.

WHITEMORE: It's a fair question. I guess the honest answer is that, we as the sheriff's department, have to take into the whole situation and the component and hopefully reasonable minds make the right decision. This is an individual who violated a probation for driving on a suspended license. And as I said, with extensive consultation with medical personnel, it was decided that this reassignment was what should be done, so we did it.

QUESTION: Steve, how long would she have served under the normal conditions, had she not been reassigned?

WHITEMORE: She was -- 23 days behind bars, because of the good time/work time situation, which is a state mandate.

QUESTION: Steve, what sort of burden has this put on this facility, of the media here (OFF MIC).

WHITEMORE: What's interesting about, once again, that's a good question. IS that the burden is not so much a burden, but the challenge is this component. If you look around, right now, what we're doing is we're discussing this while behind me you have the busiest sheriff's station in L.A. County, which serves this city. Then you've got the jail itself, the Century Regional Detention Facility, that houses female inmates. Then you've got a county school, you have probation officers. I mean, this is an active situation.

So our challenge was this component right here. Now, there's also the internal component, people taking unauthorized photographs -- and as far as we know, none of that happened -- but that's kind of what we do. And I know that's not very eloquent to use the phrase, "kind of". But it's what we do.

This is the component that's been challenged, but I will say this, is my experience with this is all of the members, here and some of them, there are derogatory terms used about some members, you have been very helpful. You have been cooperative, and the sheriff's department thanks you for that. Anyways --

QUESTION: You could have avoided this entire challenge with one pretty simple thing, you keep her in cell. If she's a little bent out of shape psychologically, who cares? She's like 25,000 other inmates in the County of Los Angeles. Was that taken into account?

WHITEMORE: I'm sorry, the question here is?

QUESTION: The question, literally is why not just leave her in here?

WHITEMORE: That's a very good question, which I can't answer. Because this was done after extensive consultation.

QUESTION: Was the sheriff involved in the consultation? WHITEMORE: Absolutely. Yes, the sheriff was involved. Everybody was involved. It didn't just happened -- Sorry I'm just looking at Peter because he's such a handsome fellow. Everybody was involved in the conversation.

Wait, hold on for a second, I just want to make sure, does that satisfy your question?

QUESTION: Basically, yeah, it does to some extent. But still, you have an awful lot of people who are going to basically say that will say she was cut a break.

WHITEMORE: Let me, if I may, address that. It's a fair statement. I don't know if there's any way really to address that, other than to say with this component here, if we take into account what we've said and that hopefully the reasonable minds of people looking at the situation, fully aware of this criticism, or this kind of statement, this action was taken.

QUESTION: Steve, what's your comment to people who say she played you like a puppet on a string? She came in here, didn't like it. It was hard and she got out.

WHITEMORE: Once again, I just think that's a different way of saying it only the language is certainly is a little more -- liquid. I would just simply say that I understand that.

QUESTION: Which house is she confined to, her house or her parents' house?

WHITEMORE: Hold on for a second.

QUESTION: (OFF MIC) Did that come up, did you say to each other, OK, you have a chance for her to serve 23 days, for which you come out looking great, now we're going to come out looking soft.

WHITEMORE: That's an interesting -- it doesn't matter how we look, really. We just hopefully do our job, and do it professionally with a sense of humanity and a sense of -- once again, reasonable people who are schooled and disciplined in this type of decision. And they make it aware that there may be a public opinion outcry, but does that override the decision? The decision must be rooted in what are we doing here? What is the content of our action?

QUESTION: You're behind the eight ball by not telling us why you let her out.

WHITEMORE: The problem with that is there are medical laws. I cannot -- for privacy issues I cannot address it. It's not because I don't want to, or shouldn't, but there are privacy issues that prohibit me, by law, to do that.

QUESTION: Did the judge involved in the --


WHITEMORE: No. No, I just can't go there, because then you're getting into the specifics.

QUESTION: Steve, the judge that was originally involved in the decision, have any input on this at all?

WHITEMORE: He was consulted and he was advised.

QUESTION: Is he still good with what happen here?

WHITEMORE: What I recommend you do is talk to the judge. I don't want to speak for other people, but he was included in these consultations and I recommend that you please talk to him.

QUESTION: Is he part of the group that was consulted --



WHITEMORE: Oh, yes, this is not something that's just done for an individual. These assessments are made daily about -- there's medical services here on all inmates. I can't address who was on -- because it wasn't a panel, it was a series of people involved in the ongoing discussions.

QUESTION: Was she released to her house or her parents' house?

WHITEMORE: No, it is my understanding she was released to her home.

QUESTION: After the 40 days does another assessment have to be made?

WHITEMORE: No, no, then she has fulfilled her obligation. She has paid her debt to society.

QUESTION: Would somebody watch that bracelet?

WHITEMORE: Absolutely, yes.

QUESTION: Steve, would somebody else with the same medical condition also be allowed to serve at home?

WHITEMORE: Absolutely.


WHITEMORE: I don't remember that. I do know it's not unprecedented, from time to time, this does occur.

QUESTION: Steve, did overcrowding have anything to do with it?



WHITEMORE: She was continually -- the medical services staff was continually examining this, talking about it, yes.

QUESTION: Steve there was a point where Martha Stewart was allowed to leave for business. Paris' business is going to parties and events. Will she be allowed to leave her home?

WHITEMORE: That's a good question, but it's a question for L.A. County Probation. But here's my understanding, there are some things -- because now it shifts to another organization, but my understanding is, is she's confined to her home with an ankle bracelet. She cannot leave that facility.

QUESTION: So, she can't attend events like, say, the MTV Movie Awards?

WHITEMORE: Absolutely not. That's my understanding, but please talk to the L.A. County Probation Department. But I will speak in terms of my understanding of this, she will fulfill the remainder of her time, confined to her home.

QUESTION: Is there anything else she can do, like meet with her probation office (OFF MIC)

WHITEMORE: I think you need to talk to probation about that, but I think you're right. Yes.

QUESTION: Did she have any contact with the general population with the special needs housing unit.

WHITEMORE: She had contact with people within her -- the special needs housing unit.

QUESTION: But not the general population?

WHITEMORE: No, as far as I know, no.

QUESTION: Steve, is this something she might have picked up here?

WHITEMORE: I'm not going to get into the medical condition, other than the fact that the jail -- there was no staph infection, or anything like that, no.

QUESTION: She doesn't have a staph infection?

WHITEMORE: No, she does not.


WHITEMORE: I don't want to get into the characterization of any of that, because once again it gets into the medical reality and I'm prohibited by law. I know it sounds like I'm stonewalling, but please understand, any question, as you guys know, you're all smarter than I am, leads to -- oh, that's what that is -- so I just, I can't do that.

QUESTION: Steve, who ultimately approved this plan?

WHITEMORE: The ultimate responsibility is the sheriff of Los Angeles County.

QUESTION: Steve, is there anything else we're missing here?

WHITEMORE: I don't think so.

QUESTION: Thank you.

WHITEMORE: You're welcome, sir.


QUESTION: There was a report she wasn't eating --

WHITEMORE: I don't want to get -- once again, I'm not going to discuss any kind of medical environment or what she went through.


COLLINS: All right. Bear with me, because I am taking copious notes and trying to keep up with this. We have been listening to the public information officer, Steve Whitmore from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department on this news of Paris Hilton being out of jail.

I am so thrilled to bring in Brooke Anderson from our New York bureau, now, to help us out with this.

Brooke, all right, so we know she didn't have a staph infection. That was good. I was worried about that, but certainly medical considerations, apparently played a part in her early release, certainly not preferential treatment.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN HOLLYWOOD CORRESPONDENT: Of course, well, according to Steve Whitmore, the spokesman for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, it is not preferential treatment, that after extensive consultation with medical personnel, they did decide to reassign Paris Hilton, as he puts it, to house arrest, basically.

So, she's going to serve out the remainder of her sentence in the comfort of her own home with an ankle bracelet on and she'll be monitored by the L.A. County Probation Department.

The funny thing here is, everyone said, oh, she's only served three days in jail which, yes, three full days, but it's counted as five days. She checked in shortly before midnight on Sunday and that counts as a day. She was released shortly after midnight, this morning, and that counts as a day. So she has 40 days of house arrest, because she's not serving the entire sentence in jail, it goes back up to the original 45-day sentence instead of what it was cut down to, which is 23 days.

COLLINS: I have so many questions for you, but I'm just afraid it will put you in a position you're trying to defend anything.

HARRIS: Heidi, go for it. Go for it.

ANDERSON: Fire away, Heidi. Fire away. COLLINS: I don't want to do that. But I'm just wondering if this has ever happened for any other individual in the entire history of the world?

ANDERSON: Well, you know, it has happened with celebrities we do know of in the past -- Michelle Rodriguez.

HARRIS: Oh, celebrities.


ANDERSON: Yes, well, and I'm sure with other people as well, but high-profile cases, sure, Michelle Rodriguez served about half a day in jail for her punishment.

So it does happen, we're not shocked, but everyone that I spoke to today is in a bit of disbelief that, you know, that the Sheriff's Department, everyone had said for so long, she will serve about 23 days in jail, but then once she checked in over the past couple of days, we've been getting word that she hasn't adjusted so well to her time in jail, that she has been crying, that she has been saying that her cell is too cold, that it's too bright, that she hasn't been sleeping, she hasn't been eating, that she's had a visit from her psychiatrist, so you know, I had a feeling something like this might happen.

COLLINS: Quite well orchestrated. Well, let me ask you this then. We have seen this happen before, you say obviously, I just haven't really kept track, I guess. What happens next? I mean, she's going to go and she's going to have this ankle bracelet on, she will then be monitored by the L.A. County Probation Department, correct?

ANDERSON: That's correct, and according to Steve Whitmore (ph), from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, that ankle bracelet has a range of about 300 to 400,000 feet, so she can't -- 300 to 400,000 square feet, sorry, so she can't go very far. She didn't miss a weekend, she was only in jail you know, during the week days, but we probably won't see her back out at the clubs this evening.

COLLINS: Can people -- can people come to her house for the party?

ANDERSON: I guess so, if they wanted to. I think the point is that she can't leave her home, but of course, you know, he didn't say anything about people not being able to visit her. I don't think visitation hours are the same as they were for her in jail.

COLLINS: And who -- what designer will craft the ankle bracelet for her?

ANDERSON: I don't know. I don't know who she's going to ask to do that, but then, I think it wouldn't be a smart move, it would get her in a whole lot more hot water.

COLLINS: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

Brooke Anderson, I'm so glad that you're there for us on this. It's just -- it's entertainment, that is for sure.

Also want to let people know, in case you are still interested in watching more of that press conference coming out of L.A., you can do that.

HARRIS: Well, I am, where is it?

COLLINS: It's running live on Pipeline. Tony is going to be the first one on.

HARRIS: Yes, I'm logging on right now.

COLLINS: Once again, Paris Hilton out of jail after serving three days.

GERRI WILLIS, PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: I'm Gerri Willis, are you sweating already? Just wait until you get your electricity bill this summer. We'll tell you how to cut your costs. That's next on Top Tips in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: I want to take a quick check of the big board. DOW Jones Industrial averages down about eight, nine points there, resting at 13,456. Yesterday though, down 129 points, ended the day at 13,465. NASDAQ down today about five.

So, a couple of headlines here that we are continuing to follow and watch their effect on the market. The Turkish invasion yesterday of Iraq, chasing some Kurds up in the north, and Cyclone Gonu that we have heard Chad talk about disrupting some oil exports. So, we'll see what that has to do with everything as we continue to follow business stories a little later in the show.

HARRIS: So, the temperatures rising and so are home energy bills. Yes, electricity rates are up and are expected to continue climbing. In today's Top Tips, we will give you ways you can keep cool while saving some money. There she is, Gerri Willis.

WILLIS: Hey, good to see you, Tony.

HARRIS: Good to see you, Gerri.

Key here, get the AC -- you've got to get it right, don't you?

WILLIS: That's right. That's right, you know air conditioning takes up even more energy than your fridge, so it's really important you get the right size. Remember, bigger is not always better. Measure the space you're trying to cool. If your room is 250 to 300 square feet, you'll need an AC that's 7,000 BTU.

HARRIS: Really?

WILLIS: Now, I know you're wondering, what is BTU?

HARRIS: Yes. WILLIS: It's the cooling capacity of an air conditioner. You also want to consider an air conditioner's energy efficiency ratio, that's what's called EER. The higher the number is, the less it will cost you to operate.

HARRIS: Got you.

What is the -- I want to ask you about the old refrigerators, what is it that we should do, because we know that they probably use more energy than the newer models.

WILLIS: Oh, they are energy hogs.


WILLIS: Look, if you have a refrigerator that was manufactured before '93, you could be paying hundreds more than you need to every year. To see how much your refrigerator is costing you, the Department of Energy's got a great Web site. They have a retirement savings calculator for the refrigerator at energystar -- can you believe that -- .gov.

You can also make your refrigerator more efficient by cleaning the condenser. To do this, remove the cover plate and vacuum all around the bottom of your fridge, you want to do that a few times a year, and if you can, keep the refrigerator away from windows, stoves, ovens, you know, the heat from the sun and cooking appliances can cause that fridge to work harder to keep cool.

HARRIS: The condenser, right. All right.

WILLIS: Right. The condenser -- you got that?

HARRIS: Yes, no. All right, Gerri, when is the best time, the absolute best time to do your laundry?

WILLIS: Well, you know, regularly, of course, right?


WILLIS: But, you want to wash and dry clothes when it's cooler outside. So, you know, don't forget you don't need to use hot water, either. People are still addicted to hot water. By saving and moving to cold, you can save 63 dollars a year. Look (ph), detergents are formulated for cold water to get clothes just as clean, so you know, break the addiction to hot water for clothes.

HARRIS: Yes, and what do you mean when you tell us to keep the humidity out?

WILLIS: Well, make sure all that cool air inside doesn't get out.

HARRIS: Yes, that's right.

WILLIS: Keep your house closed tight in the daytime. Close the blinds, the curtains, the shutters, to block out those intense summer rays and you'll save yourself some energy because it'll cost less to cool your place down, and of course, Tony, you know what's going on this weekend.

HARRIS: Oh, come on, Gerri, tell us about the big "OPEN HOUSE" show.

WILLIS: The big "OPEN HOUSE" show, we're talking more about saving money on energy. We're talking about fixing your driveway, concrete solutions, and, get this, hidden pet dangers.

HARRIS: I love it. See you this weekend.

WILLIS: Absolutely.

HARRIS: See you then, and then on Headline News?

WILLIS: Headline News 5:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. If you can't get up early, that's where you go.

HARRIS: Have a great day, Gerri.

WILLIS: You too.

BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I'm Barbara Starr at the Pentagon. President Bush's new military adviser on Iraq on Capitol Hill trying to get confirmed by the Senate. I'll have that coming up next in the NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: He broke ranks with the administration. Now, he's in line to manage the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lieutenant General Douglas Lute in a confirmation hearing today. Part of the focus, his doubts about the troop build-up in Iraq.

CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr has more on this.

Now, Barbara, what kind of reception is General Lute getting this morning?

STARR: Well, you know, Heidi, as this hearing goes on, General Lute is getting a very friendly reception from the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is a general who is very well-known in Washington, he is very highly respected. It's not the case that the senators so much have a beef with him, but the question is, what about this new job that he's going to be filling, which is what this confirmation hearing's all about.

Why does there have to now, five years into the war on terrorism or more, have to be a coordinator for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why is nobody already having the job of coordinating those wars? That seems to be a hanging question in the air. General Lute himself is talking about all of that, saying that, you know, he will report to the president directly every day, he will brief the president and that he will function mainly as a coordinator carrying out the president's wishes.

Here's a little bit of what General Lute had to say about his own views right now about the war in Iraq.


LT. GEN. DOUGLAS LUTE, JOINT STAFF DIR. OF OPERATIONS: Where are we today? Not where any of us would like, especially in Iraq, progress has been too little and too slow.


STARR: Now, what General Lute is referring to there is, of course, he is on the record in his current job as director of operations here in the Pentagon as having expressed some skepticism about the so-called "troop surge." That of course is the administration's name for the troop build-up that's been going on.

General Lute has very much over time been one of the military officers who says you can build up the military side of the situation in Iraq, you can put more troops on the ground, but you've got to get progress from the Iraqi government, you have to have more diplomatic and political progress. So, he has been somewhat skeptical of people who focus just on a military solution for Iraq.

The chairman started off the hearing, you know, Heidi, right off the bat. Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, expressing his own concern about this very question -- what is the job that General Lute is trying to fill? Have a listen.


SEN. CARL LEVIN, (D-MI) ARMED SERVICES CHAIRMAN: You've been nominated for an unenviable position. He'll be responsible for bringing coherence to an incoherent policy, a policy that is still floundering after more than four years of war in Iraq.


STARR: And you know, that's really what this political hearing seems to all be about today, Heidi. Why this job? Why does the administration so many years into the war think it suddenly has to have a coordinator? Why is nobody already doing that -- Heidi.

COLLINS: And also I wonder, Barbara, with the shift that General Lute will take -- and I know you know him very well, from Director of Ops, to War Czar, knowing that he's been on record with some concerns about the troop surge, how will he then make that jump and use those concerns in his decision-making in this new position?

STARR: Well, you know, I think we should take people a little bit behind the scenes. If you look at the war in Iraq right now, this is a group of generals who have all known each other for many years, have worked together over the last, maybe five years or so in a variety of jobs. Doug Lute is someone who is very well-known. He was a top official under General Abizaid who previously, of course, headed the Central Command, a general who is essentially mentored by Abizaid. These are guys who all know each other.

Now, maybe that's good, maybe that's bad. To the good side, they work well together, they know each other. There's not going to be a lot of controversy in the inner councils, if you will. I think the question that General Lute is going to have to deal with is whether he can make that leap to this diplomatic side. As a three-star general, can he call up the State Department and say, get busy, do more on reconstruction, do more on the diplomatic front. That may wind up being his ultimate challenge in this big bureaucracy, Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, well, we will certainly by watching intensely. All right, thank you. Barbara Starr, live from the Pentagon this morning.

HARRIS: And to business news now, April showers may bring May flowers, but were they able to -- I don't know, retailers able to bundle them up in beautiful bouqets in May?

Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange with the numbers. Good morning, Susan.


COLLINS: Kids and cars, disturbing findings in a new survey. How about this? Some parents saying it's OK for young kids to decide whether they should use a seat belt. More coming up in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: OK, you already know to catch us weekday mornings 9:00 a.m. until noon right here in the CNN NEWSROOM, but we want you to take us with us wherever you go. Did you know that you can take us really, with you everywhere. Make us a part of your summer -- trips to the beach, trips to the pool. It's called the CNN Daily Podcast, available to you 24/7, right there on your iPod. Download us today.

COLLINS: If you're going to go, visit Paris at her house ...

HARRIS: I was planning on that.

COLLINS: can take the iPod with you there, too.

HARRIS: Party.

COLLINS: In fact, call off the hunger strikes and anger -- angry street marches, Paris Hilton is a free woman once again. The party girl debutante left the L.A. lockup this morning after a mere five days behind bars, according to the Sheriff's Department, some interesting math there.

It's quite a reduction though, from her original sentence, remember 45 days for violating probation? Here's the official explanation just minutes ago.


STEVE WHITMORE, LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT.: First of all, she did serve time in jail. And second of all, when it becomes to medical issues, which I can't discuss specifically, because I'm prohibited by law, that supercedes many of this.

QUESTION: What was the cause of the medical issues?

WHITMORE: There are -- all I can say is, is that -- as I said, this is what's difficult, and I will understand your frustration. I can't specifically talk about the medical situation other than to say that that, yes, played a part in this.


COLLINS: OK, so here's the scoop if you're wondering about the math. Apparently, the Sheriff's Department's saying that she served five days, because she arrived, checked in before midnight on one day, and checked out after midnight the day that she left, served three days actually in the facility, so three plus one plus one is five.

HARRIS: Is that L.A. math?

COLLINS: Yes, L.A. math.

HARRIS: Is that L.A. math? OK.

COLLINS: L.A. math.

Now, Hilton isn't entirely off the hook, we should say. She will be under house arrest for the next 40 days and she will wear an electronic bracelet so she can be monitored.

HARRIS: Well, I guess we can move on. All right.

Kids and cars, we know it's an often fatal mix. Accidents on the highway, in parking lots and the family driveway, are parents paying attention? That's the question. The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety just released its first Parents Report this hour.

Listen to this. It is a survey of parents of children age 12 and under, 12 and under mind you. Thirteen percent of them say most parents in their area stop holding their kids' hands in parking lots at age five. Most agree that by age eight, parents no longer keep a grip on their kids.

Here's a real shocker. A lot of parents apparently allow their kids to decide whether to wear a seat belt, the kids make the decision. The survey suggests 10-year-olds are most likely to get that life-threatening privilege.

One more thing, when are kids old enough to supervise younger children without an adult present? Well, we used to call it baby- sitting. The top response, age 12. COLLINS: A Kansas teen, a Missouri murder scene, a suspect phasing charges. We'll have the latest, coming up in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: And good morning, everyone, you're with CNN, you're informed. I'm Tony Harris.

COLLINS: And I'm Heidi Collins.

Developments keep coming into the CNN NEWSROOM on this Thursday, June 7th. Here's what's on the rundown. Two missing teens, one story ends tragically, the other has hope for the future. Now, suspects face serious charges.

HARRIS: Severe weather, this is a tornado touching down. We are checking to see if more storms are on the way.

COLLINS: And Paris Hilton has a new accessory, a bracelet for her ankle.