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Highway Under Construction Collapses in California; Police Searching Grounds of Maryland Woman's House after Four Infants Found Dead; Chief Justice Recovers from Unexplained Seizure; Army Offers Incentives to Swell Ranks; Tropical Storm Churns Off East Coast

Aired July 31, 2007 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Out of the hospital, back to his summer home. John Roberts, chief justice of the United States, dealing with an unexplained seizure.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And how much would it take for you to join the U.S. Army? Five grand, ten maybe? Well, Uncle Sam wants you, and he's willing to dig deep.

Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

PHILLIPS: And I'm Kyra Phillips. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: First, happening right now, a highway nightmare in Northern California -- California. Take a look.

A bridge under construction -- you're looking at live pictures right now; it's in Oroville -- collapsed, raining huge metal beams and other debris onto the road below. You can see them searching now. We believe they're searching for a FedEx driver. One beam fell onto a FedEx truck, trapping that driver inside. And rescuers say he is alive, and they're trying to get him out.

As we look at these pictures now, joining us now is Mark Dinger. He is the spokesman for the California Transportation Department.

Tell us what we're looking at and what's going on right now, sir.

MARK DINGER, SPOKESMAN, CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT: Well, Don, I'm not seeing what you're seeing. Obviously, I'm out on the scene here just a few hundred yards away from what happened here today.

But what we're seeing right now is emergency equipment. As you said, the driver of that delivery truck has been stabilized. We are working to extricate that driver right now. In fact, a helicopter is above me, standing by, waiting to transport that driver to the hospital just as soon as we can get them out of here.

It was the bridge false work that collapsed last night, not the bridge itself. There is no bridge as of yet. We were just in the process to starting to begin work to build the bridge's superstructure around the bridge columns which were actually poured last year. LEMON: OK, and Mr. Dinger, you said there were -- as we look at the pictures, they've gotten him out. And we're looking at them extricating that driver now and taking him, obviously, to a hospital. We don't know the extent of his injuries, but we know at least he is alive, and we're hoping that he's OK.

I didn't hear -- you say it wasn't the bridge itself. It was the bridge what?

DINGER: It's the bridge false work.


DINGER: And that's the scaffolding that's used to construct the bridge itself. What we were constructing here was the new highway interchange at the junctions of state highways 149 and 70 here in Oroville.

LEMON: OK. Now here is a question. If you are now -- your -- traffic is being diverted and being directed around, diverted around this area. Why wasn't this done before?

Did you feel -- obviously, you felt it was safe enough for you to have traffic go through here and then it turned out not to be so. But why was traffic allowed through this area in the first place?

DINGER: Well, Don, last night, we actually had this highway closed while we were erecting this false work. It was reopened at around 6 a.m. this morning. At 7:15 is when the -- the false work actually collapsed.

One of the workers from our contractor was actually on top of that structure and rode it 50 feet down all the way to the roadway.

So the road was closed when we were actually working on the false work. It had just been reopened a little over an hour when this mishap occurred.

LEMON: One of your workers rode this debris 50 feet down?

DINGER: That's correct.

LEMON: That doesn't sound like it's doable to me. But if you say so, then.

DINGER: It doesn't sound doable. I'm having a hard time believing it myself, Don, but that's what we're hearing from reports here at the scene.

LEMON: OK. This is the only injury we know about, correct?

DINGER: Actually, two -- there's been three injuries, two with the false work collapse itself. We also had a driver injured when they ran into one of the Caltrans vehicles that was helping the California Highway Patrol with traffic control around the scene of this mishap this morning. LEMON: OK. Hang on one second, Mr. Dinger.


LEMON: We just want to remind our viewers, if you're just tuning in, we're looking at a driver being extricated there, taken -- about to be taken to the hospital. This is a bridge collapse, happened in Northern California, in Oroville. A place called Oroville, California.

This is state highway 70 and state route 49 -- 149. This is where they join. Similar to, I would imagine, a number of intersections in what we call Spaghetti Junction here in the Atlanta area.

But it looks to be, Mr. Dinger -- we have Mr. Dinger, Mark Dinger, who's from the California Transportation Department, on the phone. It looks to be where a number of highways and bridges come together.

DINGER: That's correct. We were just in the process of constructing a new four-lane expressway between the growing towns of Chico and Oroville here in Northern California. This is a $105 million project. We began last year. Scheduled for completion in 2009.

Part of the work here involved new interchanges from -- at highways 70 in Oroville and also highway 99 in Chico. We're at the scene of the future Oroville interchange with highway 149.

LEMON: OK. And just -- we've got a lot going on here. You said there's a total of three or four injuries?

DINGER: A total of three injuries that we know of so far, two with the false work collapse -- two associated with the false work collapse. And then a driver of a vehicle was injured as they tried to make their way around the traffic control associated with this accident last -- or this morning.

LEMON: OK. Mark Dinger from the California Transportation Department. Again, thank you for joining us.

We're looking at live pictures now, happening in California, a man being extricated from a bridge collapse that happened earlier this morning. We're going to continue to update you on this story in the CNN NEWSROOM throughout the day.

PHILLIPS: Investigators in Maryland are literally digging for clues in a grizzly case. The remains of four pre-term babies have been found at the home of this woman, Christy Freeman.

Kathleen Koch is in Ocean City.

Kathleen, investigators are combing through her yard right now, correct? KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They are, yes. You can't see, but behind me is Freeman's home. But just to the east of the home, police have set up three tents. And inside those tents they have these giant boxes and scrims, and they are actually sifting through the dirt.

Now, they restarted this search early this morning, just at dawn. Police actually walking through a lot that is just again to the east of Freeman's home with prods. A long line of police, looking for evidence and potentially the bodies of more infants.

There were some cadaver dogs that were brought in here over the weekend Saturday and Sunday. And police told us they got a couple of hits on a couple of locations. So they're really carefully sifting through the property.

And obviously, all of this starting last week, Thursday and Friday, when police, after Ms. Freeman reported to the hospital with bleeding, with cramping, and then admitted she had given birth to the baby, but the baby -- the baby was missing. Police came here and made the grisly discovery of a tiny infant, pre-term infant underneath the sink in her bathroom, two more in a trunk in her bedroom and then one more inside a Winnebago in the driveway.

Now, police say tests are underway right now to determine just who, indeed, was the mother of the four infants. They believe, certainly, Freeman is the mother of the first infant found under the sink. And also to determine how they died. They say this could be quite a long process.


CHIEF BERNADETTE DIPINO, OCEAN CITY POLICE: It's going to take time to develop all of that through our forensics research, through the medical examiner's office to determine exactly the cause of death, the ages of all the children. So this investigation is quite early in its stages, and it's going to take us a while to be able to determine all those facts.


KOCH: Freeman right now is being held in the county jail, charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and manslaughter in the death, again, of the first infant that examiners now say they believe was about 26 weeks old and was, indeed, stillborn -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Meanwhile, she's a mother of four. Right? You told us about that yesterday. Did you find out anything more about where those kids are or what they're saying? How old they are?

KOCH: Nothing much more. Again, ranging in age from about 5 to 15, we were told by neighbors and that they are staying with family.

Now, Ms. Freeman shared this home behind us with her boyfriend, Ray Godman, father of those four children. Obviously, DNA tests are going to be conducted to see if he was the father of these other preterm infants and if she was, indeed the mother, Freeman was, of all of them.

But again, other charges could, indeed, be filed if it were -- if the infants were found to have been, in some way, killed or forced to have been -- been preterm. But again, going to be quite a while before they determine that.

PHILLIPS: All right. Kathleen Koch, we'll follow up. Thank you.

Autopsies are scheduled today on the bodies of two young children found wrapped in trash bags under an apartment sink near Charleston, South Carolina.

Police say that their mother had left her 1-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son in her car while she was at work. Temperatures in Charleston hit 88 degrees yesterday, and detectives say the mother is distraught. She was taken to a hospital after supposedly talking about hurting herself.

LEMON: Well, it's not constitutional, not legal; the pressing issue facing the chief justice of the United States is personal. John Roberts left a Maine hospital late this morning after a series of tests following a seizure and fall at his summer home.

CNN's Allan Chernoff is in Rockport, Maine, with the very latest.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Justice Roberts walked out of the hospital at 11:20 this morning, 20 hours after arriving in an ambulance.

Yesterday afternoon, he suffered a seizure. It happened on a dock on an island off the coast of Maine where he has a vacation home. He was treated for bruises suffered when he fell after the seizure and then brought over here.

Neurologists did a brain scan. They found no reason for the seizure. They call it an idiopathic benign seizure, apparently, not uncommon among seizures.

The Supreme Court said there was no reason for worry; no cause for concern at all, according to the Supreme Court.

Nonetheless, Justice Roberts was held here overnight as a precaution. The docs checked him this morning, and he was released. We should note this is at least the second seizure that Justice Roberts has had. We know he had one in 1993 when he was 38 years old.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, Rockport, Maine.


LEMON: All right, Allan. Well, we know when the president has a colonoscopy. We know when the vice president has a heart procedure, but we often don't know what ails the nation's top judges. Should we? We'll explore that later on this hour in the CNN NEWSROOM.

PHILLIPS: And you can thank him every time you take off your shoes at the airport. Richard Reid, a.k.a. the shoe bomber, is locked away in one of America's tightest prisons. But he's convicted (ph) that he'll get out. What he wrote, coming up.

LEMON: SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A new test could factor out the sudden part and help predict which babies may be at risk.

PHILLIPS: Plus, the Atlantic Ocean says hello to No. 3. Tropical Storm Chantal, the third storm worthy of a name this season.

Also, an update on that highway nightmare in Northern California. A bridge that was under construction in Oroville collapses, the truck driver is rescued. We'll have more on that, straight ahead.


LEMON: Fourteen past the hour. Three of the stories we're working on for you right here in the CNN NEWSROOM at this hour.

Rescuers have just freed a truck driver caught under the debris of a massive bridge collapse in Northern California. At least one person was reported injured. The bridge was under construction when it fell, sending huge steel beams onto the road below.

Ocean City, Maryland. Bulldozers are digging around the home of Christy Freeman right now. Police earlier found four dead preterm babies on her property. She's being held without bail.

John Roberts, walking, waving, and smiling. The chief justice of the United States is now out of a Maine hospital after suffering a seizure at his vacation home yesterday. Doctors have been unable to pinpoint a cause for the seizure.

PHILLIPS: Security in Iraq is not great, but it's better than it was. That assessment from Admiral Michael Mullen, President Bush's choice to head the joint chiefs of staff. He's being grilled today by the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has to approve his nomination.


ADMIRAL MICHAEL MULLEN, NOMINEE FOR CHAIRMAN OF JOINT CHIEFS: Security is critical to providing the government of Iraq the breathing space it needs to work toward political, national reconciliation and economic growth, which are themselves critical to a stable Iraq. Barring that, no amount of troops in no amount of time will make much of a difference.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PHILLIPS: Well, the admiral added there's no doubt U.S. forces in Iraq, particularly the ground troops, are stretched thin, but morale, in his view, is high.

LEMON: About 20,000 U.S. troops are scheduled to ship out to Iraq, starting in December. That's part of the regular rotation of forces and not related to the troop buildup plan. The replacement forces will come from Camp Pendleton, California, and Fort Hood, Texas. Right now, there are about 159,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

PHILLIPS: The Army is looking for a few good recruits -- make that a lot of recruits -- and it's offering a lot of dough to boost its rolls. But there's a catch. You pretty much have to be packed and ready to go.

Reporter Dave Wagner of CNN affiliate WLWT has the story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking for individuals from 17 to 42.

DAVE WAGNER, WLWT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are the men and women in the trenches of tri-state Army recruiting.

SGT. ROB TALLY, STATION COMMANDER: We're staying busy, staying busy processing people that want to enlist, but we also stay busy trying to find new enlistees.

WAGNER: With a war overseas, keeping an Army strong is a challenge.

MAJ. MCKINLEY CUNNINGHAM, U.S. ARMY: We're recruiting, because America still needs a standing Army.

WAGNER: The head of tri-state Army recruiting told us three weeks ago that local recruiters are unlikely to meet their goals this year, in part because of concern about the dangers of serving in Iraq.

(on camera) What is the No. 1 question you get from potential recruits?

TALLY: Will I go? We just say yes.

WAGNER (voice-over): Now Army recruiters have a new tool to attract people: a $20,000 Q.S. bonus. "Q.S." stands for "quick shipper", recruits willing to ship out for training in 30 days.

At Boon County High School, students we talked with say the money may be sweet music to their ears but not enough to convince them to join.

JARED SNOW, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I don't think for that reason to go over to Iraq, I don't think that would be worth it to me. But it would appeal to me.

WAGNER: The Army is doing what it can to help with public perception: parachute drops into Great American Ballpark and cosponsoring the Reds Legends baseball camp this week.

With a war overseas, Congress has approved up to 35,000 new Army positions. Finding those people is a challenge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people are dissuaded because of our current situation and the current world situation. And as this draws down, whenever it does, I'm sure that we will see a pick-up in recruiting.


PHILLIPS: So what do you think about this latest Army recruiting tool? We want to hear from you. Twenty-thousand dollars if you're ready to, quote, "quick ship." Will it work? Send us your thoughts. The address: We'll read some of your responses later right here in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: More than three years after the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, the Army brass is expected to hand down punishments in the cover-up that followed. A news conference is scheduled at the Pentagon for 3 p.m. Eastern.

You may recall it took the military five weeks to admit that the football star turned soldier died at the hands of his own comrades. Well, today's action comes a day before the House Oversight Committee begins a hearing on who knew what and when.

Former defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, tops the list of invited witnesses.

PHILLIPS: Churning off the East Coast, Tropical Storm Chantal. What will it mean for your weather?


LEMON: A few storms churning in the Atlantic, and the man with all the answers about that, Chad Myers.

Should we be worried, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Not really, no. It will be pretty good, Don.


MYERS: Although if you're in Newfoundland, that's a different story. You're in a different time zone. It's kind of under half a time zone.

But this storm is going to make a run up there, maybe 50 or 60 miles per hour. And they're used to these big coastal lows heading up.

But this storm finally got a name today. It is Chantal with a "C", C-H-A-N-T-A-L. There you go. And the winds are 50 miles per hour. Out here, north of Bermuda, not going to affect Bermuda. Now, if you're on a cruise from New York City to Bermuda, the waves are going to be a little bit bigger than they probably would have been. But other than that, this storm heads up to Iceland.

What just happened there? Dave, Dave? My computer just went black. You got that? OK. It's crashed. I'm doing a perfectly good show, and it goes to black. Well, there you go.

LEMON: Oh, Chad. Well, you know, there's nothing wrong with black.

MYERS: Dude, don't even go there.

I will -- I will give this thing a kick start and see where it goes.

LEMON: All right. Let's hope it works out. You want a do-over?

MYERS: No. This is a different computer that just popped up behind me, because I have all these buttons. I can choose a bunch of different things.

LEMON: All right. OK. So we're going to come back with you. But I'm being told to wrap. But Chantal doesn't sound like it does much damage. Sounds like "Chanel."

MYERS: You know, but -- you know, right. There is a Dean. There is going to be a Dean out there in the Atlantic. We'll talk about that.

LEMON: All right. We'll check back. Thank you, Chad.

MYERS: You're welcome.

LEMON: Sorry about the computer.

PHILLIPS: Well, now to a story that we've been following for nearly three months: Rupert Murdoch's $5 billion for the publisher of the "Wall Street Journal" may be within hours of a resolution. Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange with all the details.

Susan, it's something we've been talking about for a couple weeks now.


Rupert Murdoch and News Corp reportedly poised to take over publisher Dow Jones, "The Wall Street Journal", says the Bancroft family, which controls the majority of Dow Jones voting stock, now has enough votes to approve the deal.

The takeover has been the subject of a bitter debate within the family since Murdoch made his stunning offer on May 1. Family members who oppose the deal say they were concerned that Murdoch would exert too much influence over the "Wall Street Journal", a business publication that has long been lauded for its integrity and independence.

The "Journal" is the second most widely-read paper in the country, only behind "USA Today". But like all newspapers in this digital age, it's subject to a lot of pressure. A lot of advertising is going online, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Well, any idea when we'll get final word?

LISOVICZ: Dow Jones, Kyra, tells us that the company's board of directors will meet later today after the market closes. Reports saying News Corp's board also plans to meet. So a final announcement could come today.

If the deal goes through, it will give Murdoch's new FOX Business Channel, set to launch in October, invaluable support and content from the "Journal", which currently has a relationship with a rival cable channel, CNBC.

Investors seem to think this deal will happen: the company shares right now surging nearly 12 percent.

By the way, Dow Jones also owns the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which we watch so closely every day.


LISOVICZ: Coming up in the next hour, it lost $3.5 billion in just three months last year, but now there are signs of hope for GM. And I'll have that story.

Don and Kyra, back to you.

PHILLIPS: All right. See you in a little bit, Susan.

LEMON: Wall Street in the black at the moment. Chad's computer did the same thing earlier. Let's hope it's not doing that, though.

Chad, you want to update us on those storms in the Atlantic?

MYERS: Yes. I kind of want to talk about what will probably be Dean over the weekend. Now, right now, it's just an area of low pressure, guys (ph), and this is just kind of spinning out there. I mean, the Leeward Islands, I mean, you're talking very far out in the Atlantic.

The aircraft hurricane hunters, they're not going to fly out this far to know whether it's actually spinning or not.

This is that QuickScat satellite that they use to figure out whether it is spinning or not. Right now, just an area of interest. The computer models are running on it. We'll see what happens there.

But a couple of the new computer models, especially the Canadian model, which actually runs quicker, actually has it into about the Yucatan Peninsula in about six days. As soon as the American models run, I'll let you know what's going on there. Rain showers across Florida. Rain across parts of Texas all the way to New Orleans. It is going to be a fairly dry day across the southeast here, Don, until about 4 p.m., and then showers pop up rather rapidly all the way from New Orleans to Pensacola, Panama City, even into Florida, as well.

LEMON: Is it thunder bumpers, as you guys say?

MYERS: I try not to.

LEMON: All right. Thank you. We'll check back.

MYERS: All right, Don. See you.

PHILLIPS: Well, we got rid of the hospital gown, but is John Roberts ready to don his robes again? We're going to take a closer look at the chief justice and his health, straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


PHILLIPS: Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon.

Supreme Court justices. Their robes can also cloak health issues that you never know about.

PHILLIPS: Our legal expert weighs in on some supreme secrets, coming up.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: Right now, at the bottom of the hour, a developing story happening in California. There's been a bridge collapse that happened this morning about 7:15, 7:30 California time.

We're told that three people were injured in this. One of them you're looking at right there. A FedEx truck driver had to be extricated after a beam went through the truck. We're told that he has major injuries, but he is on the way to the hospital.

Another person injured -- injured in this is a construction worker, who we were told just moments ago in the NEWSROOM by a representative from the highway department that he rode this collapse 50 feet down to the ground. He also suffered injuries.

And then another person injured in a car accident that happened near this construction site.

This bridge has been under construction for a while. A multimillion dollar bridge construction enhancement project there in the California area. We'll continue to update you on the conditions of the victims. PHILLIPS: Well, he's used to hearings from lawyers, but these days John Roberts is listening to doctors. Just hours ago, the chief justice of United States walked out of the Maine hospital where he was taken less than a day ago after suffering a seizure at his vacation home. He smiled and waved when he left, but questions about his health and how much we should know about it, still linger.

Let's bring in our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Jeffrey, I've been listening to you all day yesterday and today. You said a lot of interesting things, and I never realized how private the health is for the justices. Because, I mean, we know about President Bush way before he was going to get his colonoscopy.

So you would think that somehow we'd be more in touch with the supreme decision makers.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, it is completely up to each individual justice, and they all have different approaches, and some have been outright deceptive about their health.

And even the ones that have made disclosures have sometimes really gilded the lily and said things that turned out to be overly optimistic.

So it's a very catch as catch can system, and you know, we can only hope for the best. And it looks like Chief Justice Roberts is going to be fine. But certainly, there's no system in place.

PHILLIPS: Well, let me ask you about then -- ask you about that, then. Especially you bringing up the point that justices in the past have been dishonest and then we've found -- well, first of all, let me ask you: who's been dishonest?

TOOBIN: Well, William O. Douglas in the '70s suffered a series of strokes and was basically incapacitated on the court and said nothing.

In the early '80s, William Rehnquist, before he became chief justice, when he was just Justice Rehnquist, had not only a serious addiction to a very powerful drug called Placidyl; he was having hallucinations in the hospital. And nothing was said about that to the public.

So it's often -- it's often a matter of withholding information, rather than actively lying, but the -- the justices sometimes just don't want their private business or what they consider private business in public, and they choose not to disclose things.

PHILLIPS: Well, wouldn't we all love that? We all can't stand having our dirty laundry or our secrets being aired in public. It is, it's a painful process.

But these are individuals that are making decisions that affect all of us, that affect our nation, major decisions. And so shouldn't there be -- maybe this will push the edge of the envelope -- some sort of system put in place?

I mean, what would it take to have a system put in place where you have to be honest, and if you're not, you're out?

TOOBIN: Well, it's a tricky system. Because you have -- any time Congress, which would be the obvious place to look to establish some sort of rules, it's very tricky for Congress to impose rules on the judicial branch of government, because the Constitution mandates a separation of powers.

So yes, Congress sets salaries, sets certain financial disclosure requirements, but they don't really have authority to tell the judges what to do.

It really is kind of the honor system. And I don't want to give you the impression that, you know, all of the justices lie or anything like that. But it really is up to the individual justices.

For example, I was struck yesterday by the fact that the Supreme Court put out a statement that said there was nothing to be concerned about and that he -- and that the chief justice was fully recovered after only a couple of hours. How could anyone even know that?

I mean, it seemed to me that a more cautious response might have been called for. And I don't fault the court information officers. I just think that the justices themselves might be a little more sensitive to say, "Hey, we'll look into this. It's probably nothing, but we don't know for sure."

Again, it's just up to how they want to handle it.

PHILLIPS: I still can't get past Rehnquist being addicted to drugs and having hallucinations. That's sort of...

TOOBIN: You know...

PHILLIPS: ... I'm freaked out about that.

TOOBIN: This only came out after he died...


TOOBIN: ... when his FBI came out.

I mean, all of us who follow the court closely knew that he had had problems with his back, but none of us had any idea that he was really in such desperate shape for a relatively brief period of time, but he was on the court during all of that.

PHILLIPS: All right, final question, then, with John Roberts. And the fact that, you know, he's probably going to be on medication for the -- these procedures (ph). We obviously know that he has them.

Is there going to be a concern? Should we be concerned about his decision-making process and the fact that he could have these seizures? And could he work out of the home? Would that be safer? TOOBIN: Well, you know, I think we should operate on the premise of innocent until proven guilty. I mean, if he thinks that he can handle this and there will be no meaningful change in his work, I think that's probably good enough.

He will appear in public. You know, these justices appear. They're not on television, but they're in court starting on the first Monday in October. They ask questions. You can see how sharp they are. It will be pretty clear whether he's lost -- he's lost a step.

If he thinks he can do it and there's no evidence to the contrary, that's probably good enough for now. But, you know, we just have to trust them. And that's not a system we usually rely on in a democracy that, you know, just trust us.

PHILLIPS: Well, it will be interesting. Isn't that the truth? It will be interesting to follow this. Jeffrey Toobin, thanks a lot.

TOOBIN: See you, Kyra.

LEMON: Cases of wine stored in the Alaska home of Ted Stevens. Those bottles reportedly got a lot of attention from federal agents searching the house yesterday. Stevens is under federal investigation for his ties to an oil services contractor recently convicted of bribing lawmakers.

That contractor oversaw the renovations of Stevens' home in 2000, a project that more than doubled the size of the house.

In response to the search, the Republican senator released this statement, which reads in part, "I continue to believe this investigation should proceed to its conclusion without any appearance that I have attempted to influence its outcome. For over 50 years, I have worked hard for Alaskans as part of our territorial, state and federal governments, and I will continue to do all I can to assure that government meets our people's unique needs."

The secretaries of state and defense visited an Egyptian resort today, but it was no vacation. Condoleezza Rice and Roberts Gates kicked off two days of meetings with envoys from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Persian Gulf allies.

The focus? Security in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflact (sic) -- conflict and arms deals.

Later, Rice and Gates left Sharm el-Sheikh for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where they'll meet tonight with King Abdullah. From there, it's on to Jerusalem and the West Bank.

PHILLIPS: Well, could a simple hearing test silence Sudden Infant Death Syndrome? We'll have that story, coming up.

Also, finding a cause for autism. Is there a pesticide link? What doctors are saying about a new study.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PHILLIPS: Well, many of you wake up to her every morning. And this morning Robin Roberts told you a bit of bad news. The anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America" announced that she has breast cancer. She also remembered one-time "GMA" movie critic Joel Siegel, who died of colon cancer just last month.


ROBIN ROBERTS, ANCHOR, ABC'S "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": I have breast cancer, as my family here knows and my family at home knows, and I'm very, very blessed and thankful that I found it early. And I detected it.

Ironically, the day that we did the tribute show for our dear friend Joel Siegel, and I happened to do a piece on the show about his courageous battle and how early detection is key. And that very night I found a lump.

Normally, I would have not done anything, because I'm healthy, right?

DIANE SAWYER, CO-HOST, ABC'S "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": Healthy? You are the model for all of us.

ROBERTS: Oh, please. Yes. So you think that, and I would not have acted upon it, but Joel was resonating in my heart. And so I called the doctor and made an appointment. I was in the middle of a vacation. I remember, I e-mailed you and said, "Do you happen to know a good doctor?"

And -- and it's the early stages. I will have surgery on Friday, begin treatment, and move forward as millions of people do when they hear this.

But still, hearing the words and saying it, and saying it's -- it's surreal.


PHILLIPS: Well, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, an estimated 178,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2007.

Well, today, Robert Daniels loses a lung. The 27-year-old Russian immigrant has drug-resistant tuberculosis. He was quarantined for almost a year in an Arizona hospital jail ward for refusing to wear a mask in public. He also reportedly failed to take his medicine consistently.

Daniels says that he caught TB in a Russian prison while serving time for marijuana possession. Doctors in Colorado are expected to remove his entire left lung.

LEMON: Keeping the drug, take the risk. Well, that's the finding of the FDA advisory panel on the popular diabetes drug Avandia. The panel says Avandia should stay on the market, even though a recent study says it could boost the risk of heart attacks. Now, while acknowledging the risk and suggesting strong new label warnings, a panel says there's not enough evidence to pull the drug.

Its maker, GlaxoSmithKline, says Avandia is no riskier than other diabetes drugs. The FDA doesn't have to follow panel recommendations, but it usually does that.

A baby not even a year old dying in the crib. It's a tragedy to parents; it's a mystery to doctors; and it's something that happens thousands of times a year.

But new research could mean new hope in preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

Let's bring in our medical correspondent now, Judy Fortin, to tell us all about that new study. It's very interesting.

JUDY FORTIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New study. It would be great if it were so easy to get an answer this way, Don. But it's too early to call this a breakthrough.

However, this may offer hope for millions of parents who are worried about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, otherwise known as SIDS.

SIDS is the leading cause of death in the U.S. among infants under 12 months of age. About 2,500 cases of SIDS are reported each year. Most of them are under six months old, and the cause for SIDS is still unknown.

In this new study that we're talking about, researchers were looking for a way to predict if a child is in danger of dying from SIDS. So they compared hearing tests of 31 babies in Rhode Island -- a state that keeps great records on this issue-- they died of SIDS, with hearing tests, and they compared them with healthy babies.

Well, the doctors found a big difference between the data from the two groups of babies. Those who died of SIDS had lower test scores for three different sound frequencies in the right ear. The inner ear contains tiny hairs that are involved in both hearing and the transmission of information to the brain that affects breathing.

Dr. Daniel Rubens, the study's lead author, suggests that the inner ear is susceptible to injury during birth and that injury can affect the baby's breathing later on and could predispose infants to SIDS.

Now, right before I sat down with you, we heard from the American Academy of Pediatrics on this. They say it's interesting, but really too preliminary, and more studies need to be done.

LEMON: OK. So they compared hearing tests, right? So that begs the question: should all infants have hearing tests?

FORTIN: Well, I wondered this too, as a parent of two children. I wondered what really was happening. And it turns out that it's routine in the U.S. to screen infants for birth -- for hearing problems at birth.

The tests are quick. They're less than ten minutes and painless. But there are two different types of tests, and only one of the tests will pick up the deficiency. It's a test where a small probe is put just inside the ear canal to measure response to sound.

Now, the study authors suggest that looking at the results of these tests would allow for preventative measures against SIDS to be taken right away. So the parents would know right away if they needed to do things to protect their babies.

LEMON: OK. So these preventive measures you just mentioned, are they making a difference?

FORTIN: Apparently they are. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting a 50 percent drop in SIDS cases in the U.S. in the last 17 years, due in part to the Back to Sleep campaign. You've probably heard about this.

Parents are reminded to always place your baby on the back during naps and regular sleep times, make sure you place your baby on a firm sleep surface and keep any soft bedding like blankets away from your baby's face.

And most importantly, Don, don't smoke in the presence of a baby, especially one who is sleeping.

LEMON: If it turns out that this study is correct and it has something to do with that and there are signs, this could make a world of difference.

FORTIN: It definitely could. But it's only one part of the whole puzzle here.

LEMON: Judy Fortin, thank you.

FORTIN: You're welcome.

PHILLIPS: Well, the mysteries of autism. A new study may provide a clue into one possible cause.

CNN's Mary Snow has more.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Health officials say it could provide hope in unraveling the mystery behind the rising cases of autism.

The California Department of Public Health found pregnant women who live closest to fields where certain pesticides were used had a greater risk of having a child with a neurological disorder.

DR. MARK HORTON, CALIFORNIA HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Their likelihood of having a child with autism seemed to be six times what it would have been expected in the general population.

SNOW: Health officials caution, though, they can't make a definite link between pesticides and autism, because the study was too small. But they say with an estimated 1 in 150 children diagnosed with autism, the possibility of a link is worth exploring.

HORTON: We're at a very early stage, but once again we have a -- we have a substantive hypothesis to -- on which to base further research.

SNOW: The pesticides in question are organochlorine pesticides. They're used to control mites, particular in cotton crops. Officials say their use has been dwindling in recent years.

Some autism experts are taking note, even though the research is preliminary.

DR. MARTHA HERBERT, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: Every time we get a little bit more information, we're groping less in the dark and we're getting a little bit more light at the end of the tunnel.

SNOW: And some experts say the final answer may reveal that there is a combination of factors leading to autism. Many experts point to genetics and the environment as the possible culprits, and they say, with so many parents desperate for answers, there is no stone worth leaving unturned.

(on camera) Other factors that have been looked at as possible culprits include vaccinations and exposure to chemicals and viruses. Some doctors say, though, they don't expect one smoking gun, so to speak, to be the cause of autism.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


LEMON: Ready to start college? A teen and his brother are instead about to be expelled from the country. Details on their deportation fight, straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


PHILLIPS: They asked for a pay raise; they paid with their lives. Fury and finances prove a fatal mix for two employees. That story is coming up.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: Happening right now, massive steel beams raining onto a road. You're looking at Oroville in Northern California, where a bridge under construction collapsed.

At least three people were hurt, including the driver of a FedEx truck that was partially crushed by a beam. Rescuers managed to cut the man free. We wanted to know why the road was open in the fist place. Here's what the state transportation spokesman told us just a short time ago.


MARK DINGER, CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT: Well, Don, last night we actually had this highway closed while we were erecting this false work. It was reopened at around 6 a.m. this morning. At 7:15 is when the -- the false work actually collapsed.

One of the workers from our contractor was actually on top of that structure and rode it 50 feet down all the way to the roadway.

So the road was closed when we were actually working on the false work. It had just been reopened a little over an hour when this mishap occurred.

LEMON: One of your workers rode this debris 50 feet down?

DINGER: That's correct.

LEMON: That -- doesn't sound like it's doable to me, but if you say so, then...

DINGER: It doesn't sound doable. I'm having a hard time believing it myself, Don, but that's what we're hearing from reports here at the scene.

LEMON: OK. This is the only injury we know about, correct?

DINGER: Actually, two -- there have been three injuries: two with the false work collapse itself. We also had a driver injured when they ran into one of the Caltrans vehicles that was helping the California Highway Patrol with traffic control around the scene of this mishap this morning.


LEMON: That FedEx driver reportedly suffered major injuries. No word on his condition.

PHILLIPS: On edge in Montana. Wildfires are burning thousands of acres from southeast of Missoula all the way to Glacier National Park. No homes have burned, but dozens of families are being urged to clear out.

As you can see in this photo, smoke from the fires can be seen for miles. I-Reporter Adam Brooks says he's seen quite a few fires, but this one, just north of Helena, is the most dramatic yet.

LEMON: The prospect for working for Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. Well, it's out there. Check out YouTube and send a resume. Kyra already sent hers in. We'll update you on...

PHILLIPS: How does he pay? That's what I want to know. How does he pay?

LEMON: That, straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

PHILLIPS: And we're going to talk to our very own Larry King about his interview with Vice President Dick Cheney in the next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM.



LEMON: Was that a dance move, Scottie?

OK. Scott is our director, by the way.

You want to work for Diddy? You've been on YouTube lately, you may -- you may know Sean "Diddy" Combs is looking for a personal assistant, and the competition is fierce.

You hear that finger snap there?

CNN's Jeanne Moos checks it out for us.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If you want to work for this guy, better get his name straight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know I could help you, Sean "Diddy" Combs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's going on, Diddy?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diddy, Diddy, Diddy. What does Diddy want?

MOOS: What Diddy wants is a personal assistant, but when he went on YouTube asking for online submissions...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what better job than that, to have me scream at you?

MOOS: ... he says he got 10,000 inquiries and more than 6,000 videos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, yes. Scared you, huh? Anyway, this is your boy, Eto Fundaway (ph), a.k.a Diddy's next assistant.

SEAN "DIDDY" COMBS, RAP MOGUL: Oh, my God. What have I started?

MOOS: So Diddy laid down some minimum requirements.

COMBS: Know how to read. You got to know how to write. You got to know how to count. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can also count in three, maybe four languages.

COMBS: Even requiring a college degree didn't slow the flow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diddy, I'll look after your interests.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry, Mrs. Combs, he's in a meeting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Diddy only drinks Fiji water. (expletive deleted)

MOOS: And then there was the pair offering two for one look- alikes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trust us, we won't let you down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We won't let you down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So pick us. Please!

MOOS: Now, it might be tough working for a guy who calls his line of perfume Unforgivable. That didn't scare this woman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I began my career as a correctional officer in the women's state penitentiary in Texas. So no, Diddy, I will not curl up in a ball and start crying if you raise your voice to give orders.

MOOS: And then she really learned to take orders.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I became a waitress at Red Lobster.

MOOS: There was plenty of this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been sucking up to your shoes (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got to find that twinkle in my eye. Diddy, I love you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't like your music, and I would never carry your (expletive deleted) umbrella.

MOOS (on camera): Yes, well, before you insult the idea of holding Diddy's umbrella, consider what it did for one personal assistant who carried it.

(voice-over) After this picture went worldwide, man servant Fansworth Bentley parlayed it into his own music career.

One applicant headlined her video, "Give me Da Dam Job Diddy!"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I'm not signing for welfare because they don't give enough money.

MOOS: YouTubers will vote for the finalists. Then Diddy will make his pick.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It touched me so much. And if I'm your P.A., you can touch me whenever you want.

MOOS: Apparently, she's an assistant producer for a British radio show...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to do a dance for you now.

MOOS: ... trying to pull Diddy's leg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My back! My back!

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


LEMON: You know, I come with a very beautiful redhead, Diddy.


LEMON: Two for one.

PHILLIPS: I'm not dancing for you, sorry.

The next hour of NEWSROOM starts right now.

LEMON: He is a star student, a football player and all-American kid, except for one key detail. Now the feds want to send Juan Gomez to Colombia. And they don't mean the university.

PHILLIPS: They say Juan's parents overstayed their visa. Juan's friends say there ought to be a law, and a South Florida lawmaker agrees.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips from the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.