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Madeleine McCann's Mother a 'Formal Suspect' in Disappearance Case; Mother's Sacrifice; Search Area Expanded in Effort to Find Steve Fossett

Aired September 07, 2007 - 10:59   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: OK. We're at the top of the hour.
Welcome back, everyone, to the CNN NEWSROOM.

But take a look at this. This is interesting. Kate McCann leaving the police station this morning, or this afternoon, certainly, in Portugal, local time there.

There was some question as to whether or not she would be held. As you no doubt know at this point, she is, by all reports, a formal suspect -- a formal suspect in the disappearance of her daughter Maddie. And just a short time ago we saw her husband Gerry walk in through that same door to face some questioning as well.

So, an interesting set of developments right now. There are the pictures from a short time ago of Gerry McCann walking in to face the authorities there in Portugal and answer some questions. And we've been learning throughout the course of the day, as the investigation has continued on down the line here, that there are reports from a family friend of a breakthrough in the case, that blood has been found matching Maddie's blood, DNA evidence, forensic evidence, in a car rented by the family, by the McCanns.

That blood found in the car three weeks -- a full three weeks after Maddie was reported missing. So kind of shocking new developments really in the search for Madeleine McCann.

Let's bring in our Paula Hancocks and get the very latest information on this story.

Paula, just sort of at least tried there to summarize what we know at this point.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, yes, it's all coming in slowly. But we do know that Kate McCann has just left in the past five minutes or so.

She was inside this police station in southern Portugal for around five hours. And just about 20 minutes before she left, her husband, Gerry McCann, arrived.

Now, we understand from the spokesperson for the family itself that he's coming in to be questioned as a witness. We understand from that same spokesperson that Kate McCann is currently a formal suspect. Now, you outlined a little bit of the evidence that they believe they have. The Portuguese police believe they do have some evidence that would suggest that she could be a suspect in this particular case.

Now, there was blood found in that rental car, and as you say, though, bizarrely, 25 days later it was rented -- 25 days after the first reporting of Madeleine being missing. And also, the lawyer for the family has said that there was blood found on an item of clothing of Kate McCann's. It was the same as that in the car, and that had been handed in to police about a month ago.

So at this point, Portuguese police believe they have enough evidence to at least suspect Kate McCann in the disappearance of her daughter.

HARRIS: So, Paula, I have to ask you, are we a bit surprised to look at these pictures given the evidence that we believe the authorities have in their possession right now? Are we a bit surprised to see these pictures of Kate McCann actually leaving?

HANCOCKS: Well, we had heard from her lawyer earlier. Now, this is all from the family side. None of this is being substantiated by Portuguese police. We have to remember that. But the lawyer from the McCann family did say that it was possible she would be taken into custody this evening.

So, certainly not a huge surprise. But at this point, the Portuguese police really giving nothing away. It's an ongoing criminal investigation. They've certainly been criticized at the beginning of this investigation, so they want to make sure they are doing everything by the book now.

HARRIS: Paula Hancocks following developments in this story for us.

Paula, appreciate it. Thank you.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Let's look into this a little bit more and give you a time line of the Madeleine McCann case.

May 3rd, her parents report her missing. And the next day the local police are criticized for slow response.

Several days later, police say they've investigated 350 suspicious incidents and they say none have generated leads in the search.

Well, one week later, police identify a suspect, but they say there is not enough evidence to file charges.

August 10th, Gerry and Kate McCann say they won't leave Portugal until their daughter is found.

And that brings us to yesterday. Madeleine's mother faces 11 hours of police questioning. HARRIS: Just minutes ago, we heard from a friend of the McCann family. John Corner is the godfather of Maddie's twin brothers. He spoke to us from Liverpool.


JOHN CORNER, MCCANN FAMILY FRIEND: You know, Kate and Gerry were interviewed at some length in that first few days, interviewed extensively. And that's good -- that's due -- that's good practice. You know, all police forces do that.

You look, you interview the parents, you clear them and you move on. And we get out there and find Madeleine. And for this to come full circle after four months is dreadful.


HARRIS: Corner says that Kate McCann is convinced that the Portuguese police believe Maddie is dead.

NGUYEN: Well, want to tell you about some other news happening right now in North Carolina.

He accused three Duke lacrosse players of rape, and now former Durham County D.A. Mike Nifong is turning himself in.

He'll spend 24 hours in jail. His sentence for a contempt conviction. A judge ruled Nifong willfully made false statements about evidence provided to the defense.

Nifong, as you'll recall, resigned and was disbarred a little bit earlier this year. Well, the lacrosse players, they were cleared of charges, even declared innocent. The Associated Press reports the players are now seeking a $30 million settlement and promises of legal reforms from Durham.

HARRIS: Seven more U.S. troops killed in Iraq. The military announcing this morning four marines killed during combat operations in Anbar province. To the north, three soldiers died in an explosion near their vehicle in Ninevah province. That makes 18 U.S. military deaths in Iraq this month.

NGUYEN: Reports this morning the top U.S. general in Iraq may call for troops to start coming home next spring. The pullouts would depend on conditions on the ground.

General David Petraeus issued a letter on those conditions today and he describes "tactical momentum" and U.S.-led forces taking the initiative in many areas. Still, though, he says the progress has been uneven. Petraeus delivers his much-anticipated progress report to Congress on Monday.

HARRIS: A mother defending her child from a vicious attack. A sacrifice to save her son.

Jonathan Bloom of affiliate KRON has more. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm being attacked and I'm just looking for a place to put my son because he would have killed him in a second. So I found the garbage can and I placed my son in the garbage can. And I hit the panic button on my keys so that it would draw attention to us.

JONATHAN BLOOM, REPORTER, KRON (voice over): But that was only the beginning. This is the bite mark the 130-pound pit bull left on Angela Silva's (ph) trash can while her baby son was inside. He was unharmed, but the 32-year-old mother was not.

There was flesh and meat and bone just hanging off my arms.

BLOOM: Injuries so great, Silva (ph) says she can't even move her fingers and will need extensive medical treatment because of her efforts to keep the dog away from her baby boy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I blocked him by getting down on my knees, and I put my arms up so that the dog would continue to attack me rather than go for my son.

BLOOM: A worker across the street heard the commotion and ran to help.

WILSON WANG, RESCUER: I heard -- why are they screaming? The lady, "Help! Help!" So I say that's wrong, maybe the dog attacked somebody.

BLOOM: He had just fought off the same dog when it tried to bite him a minute earlier. The dog belongs to Silva's (ph) next-door neighbor, who had to put up a fence and warning sign just four months ago when the dog attacked a man down the street. The city of Freemont classified it as a potentially dangerous animal but gave it back to the owners despite neighbors' protests.

DIANA JARVIS, NEIGHBOR: I just feel like it's not safe in the neighborhood. We have little kids that go around this neighborhood. And there is no way they could defend themselves against a pit bull like that.

BLOOM: Police asked for the dog but the owners claimed it ran away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's how they can apologize to me. I want them to know that. They want to be sorry? Put their dog down. It hurts me to know it's still alive.


HARRIS: Well, an update now on the story. The owner has reportedly turned the dog in and it will likely be put down.

NGUYEN: Well, running from the law. Then running out of steam. Look at this. This red pickup truck tried to get away from 18 police cars in Houston. The driver, suspected of trying to buy drugs, took officers on a high-speed chase for a half-hour on a major highway. The pursuit ended when the suspect's tires were blown out with road spikes. That chase caused a massive track traffic backup, but fortunately, no one was hurt.

HARRIS: What do they think at times like that? The officers have...

NGUYEN: You always wonder.


NGUYEN: Do you really think that you're going to outrun the cops?

HARRIS: Man, they have guns. What are you thinking?

NGUYEN: And stakes that can blow out your tires.

HARRIS: Yes. Yes. All right.


HARRIS: What do you say we get a check of weather now?

NGUYEN: Let's do that.


HARRIS: Boosting spirits at Virginia Tech.


HARRIS: Yes, we like this guy. He puts on a great show, doesn't he?

NGUYEN: He does.

HARRIS: Rocker Dave Matthews headlining a free concert at the campus for student, faculty and staff. Matthews -- we like this guy, too -- organized the event just days after the mass shootings in April. He performed for two hours. John Mayer, there he is. He and pop artist Naj (ph) and country singer Phil Vassar are also taking part in the concert.

NGUYEN: Want to get a look at the markets today. We're going to be talking with Susan Lisovicz very soon on that.

Not looking so good. These numbers have just continued to fall.


NGUYEN: It's now down, the Dow, at 204.

Stay tuned for much more on the markets.

HARRIS: And the most wanted man in the world, Osama bin Laden. Another video message from the al Qaeda leader expected soon.

And some interesting new poll numbers.

NGUYEN: Also, athletes always looking for an edge. Well, the latest, a tiny energy strip that dissolves on the tongue. Yes, going to give it a test run with our Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

HARRIS: Rolling over, playing dead. Come on. This dog is way beyond that. But his trick isn't legal, and now his owner is playing the price.

NGUYEN: Uh-oh.


NGUYEN: They're expanding the search area. Day five in the hunt for Steve Fossett. Crews are looking for the missing aviator to return to the skies over the vast Nevada desert.

And CNN's Kara Finnstrom joins us live from Nevada with the latest on the search.

What do you know, Kara?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're coming to you from the airport where the search is being coordinated. Right now, there are about 30 different aircraft taking part, and the area that they're canvassing is very rugged terrain. So it's a very difficult, painstaking, time-consuming search.

They're actually scouring over areas that have high mountain peaks, clumps of sagebrush and trees, and some very narrow canyons. So, very difficult in some of these areas to actually spot a plane. It could actually be hidden there.

Now, one of the tools that they'll be using is a high-tech computer imaging tool called an archer. And it can actually spot just 10 percent of the object that they are looking for because they input kind of the size of it, the color of it, all the specifications. Then flag that area, they'll fly back over and hopefully be able to spot the plane.

The biggest concern right now is time, and that's because if he is badly injured, they could need to reach him sooner. Also, they don't know if he has any food and water. And there are some thoughts right now that the only thing he may have with him is a power bar. So, some big concerns about that.

Now, the last report we got from rescuers, they told us that they are following a number of leads. And here's what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAJ. CYNTHIA RYAN, CIVIL AIR PATROL: We have four credible leads. Not one of them in and of itself is actually panning out to be anything, but should we get other leads, we're going to compare them against the four that we have that are credible and see if we can develop some sort of a pattern.


FINNSTROM: Now, one of the troubling signs so far has been that there has been no radio communication from the pilot. There has been no pickup of signals from the locator that's actually in that plane's wing, or from a wristwatch that Fossett was said to be wearing that had a locator in it.

But searchers say they could be down in a canyon or in an area with a lot of rocks where those signals simply couldn't bounce out. So that's one possible explanation. They're hoping that as they get up there today, that the winds will stay down, they'll be able to fly low and hopefully will get some luck with their search efforts -- Betty.

NGUYEN: All right. CNN's Kara Finnstrom joining us live from Nevada today.

Thank you, Kara.

HARRIS: And how about this -- a missing little girl and a shocking new development. A spokeswoman for Madeleine McCann's family says the mother has been named as a suspect. We just got word that she has not -- has not been charged. Now, under Portuguese law, someone named as a suspect has the right to certain legal protections not extended to a witness.

An even bigger shock may be a forensic discovery. The 4-year- old's blood reportedly found in a rental car.

Now, according to the family spokeswoman, that car rented by Madeleine's parents more than three weeks after her disappearance. Madeleine McCann vanished in May during a family vacation to Portugal. Her parents had left her alone with her 2-year-old siblings while they went out to dinner.

The family's plight has seized international attention. Her parents met with Pope Benedict at the Vatican and have enlisted the support of celebrities. A short time ago, Madeleine's father arrived for his questioning by police.

NGUYEN: So there's been a lot of developments in this case today. We want to get you some perspective by this.

And joining us by phone is Pat Brown, a criminal profiler.

Looking at the fact that the mother is now considered a suspect, but she has left the police station -- we're looking at video of that now -- when you look at the situation and the details that have been released today, what is your take on this? PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, I do think that they're finally taking a look at the parents that they maybe should have taken a long time ago. And that's always because you always take a look at the parents in a situation like this just to make sure that you have covered all your bases, that you've got their alibis, their stories, that you know where they were and what they've done, and you get that all laid out within the first 24, 48 hours, just in case you need to look at them further.

NGUYEN: Well, you're saying that you should always take a look at the parents, but these parents have really been out there in the public eye trying to keep this case aleve. Do you think if indeed they were the suspects in this case and they were responsible for the disappearance of their daughter, would they keep putting that in the public eye?

BROWN: Well, that's a good question. I mean, they are acting like parents who are obviously terribly grieving over their child's death. And even -- and to some extent, if it was an accidental death and they were responsible for her death, they could be grieving anyway. And so those aren't feelings that would be unreasonable.

But -- so they've done what they should be doing. But that doesn't mean that they could not be also covering something up. And that's something the police have to look at.

I mean, just because we feel sorry for parents doesn't mean you don't have to look at the whole situation. There's -- you know, at this point, up until we find out what the evidence is that the police have, they may be more speculating than anything else.

They may have found some concerning maybe e-mails between people from the friends, they may have had some concerning timeline problems. They may have heard of some concerned behavior prior to the -- you know, that perhaps that the parents gave their children medication to make them sleep or something like that. That's a concerning thing.

They might not have proof, but they might be trying to essentially force their hand to -- by making them suspects to see if they can gain something from that. That doesn't mean necessarily that they did it. It may mean that, still, somebody else abducted Madeleine.

NGUYEN: Well, let's look at what we know though.

So far, Madeleine's mother has undergone 11 hours of questioning. She has been deemed a suspect by the police there. But when we hear from a family friend who says this all centers around the DNA that was found in a rental vehicle that both of them had rented, the father is not yet a suspect.

Does that raise some questions for you?

BROWN: Right. Well, that -- the rental vehicle would be the most concerning of all. You'd say, how in the world would evidence like that show up here? So that is a problem. If any evidence -- you know, sometimes when people are worried about being suspects, I always say, look, if you didn't do anything to the person or the child or whatever, you are not going to have any evidence in your home or in your car, any place connected with you that would have to do with a homicide. However, if you are guilty, then that evidence may show up.

So if there is something in the rental car they were driving, the question is, what kind of evidence are we talking about? Is there some kind of evidence that could have been transferred just from a toy or from something else? You know, is it an innocent piece of evidence, or are we talking about something that really shouldn't be there? And that's something police have not released, so we frankly don't know.

NGUYEN: Well, another thing, too, though, Pat, is this evidence was discovered in a rental vehicle some three weeks after Madeleine was reported missing. That seems a little odd.

BROWN: That's extremely odd. I mean, one of the thoughts I had, if the parents had anything to do with this, that something went wrong that night, and they found that Madeleine had expired either through an act of anger or through being given some overdose of medicine. It's possible they might have removed her to the boot of the car at that time because they didn't have much time to work with.

So they go back to the party, then find out their daughter is missing, and then the police will be looking for the person who abducted her. And then when there is a down time, that's when somebody could sneak away and remove her body to another location.

It is also possible that after that was done, they could have gone back to that location and moved the body again. People have done that.

So, I'm not saying any of this happened. I'm saying this is just a possible scenario that maybe the police are looking at as one of their many scenarios. And if they have evidence to start backing something like that, they're going to look at it even more strongly.

NGUYEN: And very quickly, Pat, Tony spoke a little bit earlier with a family friend and really brought up an interesting point about the fact that Madeleine was left alone with twin 2-year-olds. And then that's something that many parents would never do. And when people look at this case they may be scratching their head over exactly, one, why was that done in the first place?

BROWN: Exactly. I mean, unfortunately, parents' behavior -- anybody's behavior may come back to bite them in the butt eventually.

Sometimes we do things innocently, but sometimes we do things that are simply a sign of our way of thinking, and perhaps that we are neglectful parents, or perhaps we do worry more about our own fun than we do the safety of our children. I personally think it was an egregious act to leave those children alone in a hotel room. I think it's insane. You know, I don't care -- you know, it's one thing to run down to your mailbox, but it's another thing to leave your children alone for an hour or more without even checking on them. And anything could happen within an hour.

Tiny little tots like that. And it just boggles the mind, in my opinion. So I consider that a pretty egregious act.

So that's something that they do, and they did it more than once. So it wasn't one moment of stupidity. They did this repeatedly. The question then bears, you know, thinking about, what else might they be willing to do to ensure they have some down time or time alone or have their fun evening out?

Perhaps they like to medicate their children so they don't have to worry about them waking up, and, therefore, they can just go out and say, hey, the kids are going to sleep, they'll never wake up. Well, you know, sometimes it's an overdose in that situation, so it's a dangerous game to play.

NGUYEN: Well, there are indeed a lot of questions in this case, Pat. And a lot of us looking very closely to see how it turns out.

BROWN: Right.

NGUYEN: But what we know so far is that the mother has been deemed a suspect in the case. And we'll be watching it very closely.

Pat Brown, criminal profiler.

We thank you for your time.

HARRIS: And still to come in the NEWSROOM, registering to vote. Well, it can be a breeze. How easy?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is so lax that my dog could vote. Ooh, why don't I register the dog?


HARRIS: It seemed like a good idea at the time. A Washington woman makes her point, then takes her punishment.


NGUYEN: Well, amateur athletes, they are getting pumped up over another alternative to sports drinks -- tiny strips loaded with electrolytes. They dissolve on the tip of your tongue.

And our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has your "Daily Dose".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people ask the question as they're exercising and stuff, how do you best replace a lot of those electrolytes that you're losing as you're running or doing some sort of exercise?

Lots of different products out there, quite frankly. There's one product out here called Enlyten. These are actually these little strips. They look like the breath strips that you put on your tongue.

One of these things. You actually stick it right on your tongue. You're supposed to take six of these before, six during and six after your exercise. And it's designed to try and replace the electrolytes that you might lose during some sort of activity.

One of these strips, incidentally, is equivalent to about a cup -- or, I'm sorry, an ounce or so of some sort of sports drink. So that gives you a little bit of a sense of how much of the electrolytes that you're replacing.

Well, again, Betty, lots of different products out there, but the goal is trying to replace some of these things before, during, and after your exercise routines.

NGUYEN: But come on, Sanjay. Do these things really work? I mean, we're talking about a little strip, when people could drink this much of a sports drink and get the fluids they that they need.


GUPTA: Tony is like "Yes!"

The question really becomes, you know, you're not getting the fluids.

NGUYEN: Right.

GUPTA: You're obviously just taking the strips. So that's obviously -- you're losing something there.

But I take it even one step further than that. I would say for the vast majority of people who exercise, myself included, you really probably don't need any kind of electrolyte replacement. The body is actually pretty good at replacing this thing themselves.

We acclimate, we sort of divert sodium and potassium to where it's most needed most. About one in five athletes, according to some of our investigations, might actually benefit from sort of an electrolyte replacement.

And you're absolutely right, again, you still need to get the fluids. This is just replacing the electrolytes. Not sure that's going to be very effective for most people.


NGUYEN: And Dr. Gupta says there are going to be several versions of electrolyte strips, including one for babies, another to help with those morning-after hangovers. Didn't you could use a strip for that, but guess you can.

To get your Daily Dose of health news online, all you have to do is go to our Web site. You'll find the latest medical news, a health library and information on diet and fitness. The address is

HARRIS: And We have breaking news in to CNN. We have just learned that the U.S. government has a copy of a Osama bin Laden videotape. Again, the U.S. government has obtained a copy of a Osama bin Laden videotape, and we understand the government officials there and the government right now are analyzing it.

Our justice correspondent Kelli Arena is following this story. We will talk to her in a couple of moments right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

NGUYEN: Well, good morning, everybody. On this Friday, welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Betty Nguyen.

HARRIS: Bottom of the hour. Good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris.

A missing little girl and a shocking new development. A spokeswoman for Madeleine McCann's family says the mother has been named as a suspect. We just got word that she has not, however, been charged. Under Portuguese law someone named as a suspect has the right to certain legal protections not extended to a witness.

An even bigger shock may be a forensic discovery; the 4-year- old's blood reportedly found in a rental car. According to the family spokeswoman, that car rented by Madeleine's parents more than three weeks after her disappearance. Madeleine McCann vanished in may during a family vacation in Portugal. Her parents had left her alone with her 2-year-old siblings while they went out to dinner. The family's plight has seized international attention. Her parents met with Pope Benedict, you may recall, at the Vatican, and have enlisted the support of several celebrities. A short time ago Madeleine's father arrived for his questioning by police.

NGUYEN: All right, let's take a bigger look at the time line here in the Madeleine McCann case. May 3rd, her parents reported her missing. Now the next day the local police are criticized for slow response. Several days later police say they've investigated 350 suspicious incidents, and they say none has generated leads in the search. And one week later, police identify a suspect, but they say there is not enough evidence to file charges. On August 10th Gerry and Kate McCann say they won't leave Portugal until their daughter is found, and that brings us to yesterday. Madeleine's mother faces 11 hours of police questioning.

HARRIS: Shocking video. The driver of a minivan races a train. She beats it to the crossing, but never saw what was coming next.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: I'm Barbara Starr. Here at the Pentagon. Everyone getting ready to pause and remember the 9/11 attacks. I'll have that next.


NGUYEN: Let's get to more on that breaking news right now. We do understand the U.S. government is analyzing a tape that appears to have Osama bin Laden on it. They are vetting that right now.

And we want to take you straight to CNN's justice correspondent Kelli Arena, who is looking into this story as well.

And I guess the big question, Kelli, is whether this tape, indeed, Osama is on it, and two, whether it's a new tape or old one.

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We haven't gotten too much from U.S. officials, who do say that they are looking hard at that tape. It does appear to be Osama bin Laden, but the official that CNN spoke to said that they're just looking to make sure that it actually is him. No indication on how long that tape was or what the message on that tape is, and we'll be getting more of that information obviously as the day goes along. You know this is -- if it is him, Betty, this would be the first time that we've seen Osama bin Laden since 2004.

So it's been a long time that his followers have actually seen him. Lots of speculation about what condition he was in health wise. Why haven't we seen him. There have been audio messages from bin Laden. Just as recently as last year. So we have heard messages. And it's not uncommon, actually, to get a message around the anniversary of the September 11th attacks from al Qaeda.

You may remember last year we did a lot of reporting on the martyr messages from the 9/11 hijackers that came out on the fifth anniversary. So not uncommon to get a message like this.

But again, not a lot of details yet on if it actually is him, and if it is, what he's got to say.

Yes, and the timing is also suspect. Do you have any idea how long it's going to take for those government officials to mull over this tape and decide if it is, indeed, Osama bin Laden?

ARENA: You know, that's always a question. It depends on the quality of the tape, and you know, this is something that sometimes could take days. I mean, they could tell pretty quickly though, I would assume, by the end of the day, whether or not they have -- you know, they're dealing with the real thing here.

As you saw, I mean if the image of him looks like the image that was advertised with a much darker beard, he looks very different than he has looked in the past. I mean when he was very gray and kind of haggard looking. If that is what he looks like, he's looking pretty good. And that would be something that would be used to rally the troops, so to speak.

I mean, these tapes are largely a propaganda effort by al Qaeda, you know, something that helps, at least according to the experts, helps with recruiting, helps with rallying the troops, getting the message out. And of course, you know, this is a man who still is very much embodying the inspiration for this terror organization. There's been a lot of discussion about how important he is. Is he still relevant? You know the fact is that yes, there are followers who would be very buoyed by seeing him and hearing a message, you know, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. So it would be very significant, at least according to people who follow these things very closely.

NGUYEN: Well, we'll be watching. Kelli Arena, we appreciate your time. Thank you.

ARENA: You're welcome.

HARRIS: Paying tribute to 9/11 victims. Family members this morning getting a firsthand look at a Pentagon memorial construction site. Live now to CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.

Barbara, good morning.

STARR: Good morning, Tony. How extraordinary we are about to talk about the 9/11 memorial here at the Pentagon, even as the world is watching to see if there is yet another tape from Osama bin Laden.

But today it's all about beginning one more time to remember the 184 victims who died at this place on 9/11.

The memorial is under construction just outside where we are at the attack site. And today they showed the families and some of the news media the progress they are making in building this $22 million memorial. They already have $14 million in hand. The family members were there looking at the 184 benches, memorial pools and trees under construction.

We spoke to James Laychak, who is the head of the Pentagon Memorial Fund. He lost his brother here on that day, and he and his family are remembering.


JAMES LAYCHAK, PRES., PENTAGON MEMORIAL FUND: My sister-in-law said that after the Pentagon was rebuilt in year, she goes I wish the hole in my heart could be rebuilt that quickly.

And when I think about what she's gone through and the things that she's done with those kids, I look back on the memorial and think this is going to be a great place for her, for my family, for all the families.


STARR: You know, Tony, it just makes clear, six years really doesn't ease the pain for so many of the families and the survivors.

And they are continuing to raise money for the memorial. They hope to have it absolutely formally open one year from now. Some of the contributors, it's quite a list. Everything from the Anheuser- Busch company to the government of Taiwan, and many people will never know this -- but former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his wife have given $300,000 of their own private money for building the memorial. It's a project that remains very close of course to Mr. Rumsfeld's heart.

HARRIS: That's terrific. OK.

Barbara, let's make a bit of a turn here if we could. We understand General David Petraeus is on the eve of delivering, well, let's say it, possibly the biggest report of his military career. But he's far away from Washington today, isn't he?

STARR: He is indeed, Tony. General Petraeus came back to the United States from Iraq a couple day ago, but today, for him, by all accounts, it's family business. He is down in Ft. Benning, Georgia attending his son's graduation from a military school there, and is expected to give some very brief public remarks to the military people and the military families assembled down there at Ft. Benning. We're told he won't be making any policy statements, but he wants to be on hand for the family occasion.

Come Monday, however, all back to business. He will be here in Washington and giving his recommendations publicly, we are told, to the American people from Capitol Hill about what he sees as the way ahead in Iraq -- Tony.

HARRIS; We love that he is mindful of the need of some balance in this life. Barbara Starr at the Pentagon forums. Barbara, thank you.

STARR: Sure thing.

NGUYEN: I want you to take a look at this shocking video out of Hammond, Indiana, and we're not joking. Look at this. Police say the driver of this minivan was racing to a train crossing, her four kids buckled inside. Now she did beat the eastbound train, but never saw the one heading west, and it slammed into the car, killing her two daughters. The driver an her two sons are hospitalized.


HARRIS: "YOUR WORLD TODAY" coming up at the top of the hour, oh, about 15 minutes away from right now. Jim Clancy standing by with a preview. Jim, good morning.

JIM CLANCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Betty and Tony. Well, you know, we're going to also be following this bin Laden thing, but we also want to say that we're going to be looking at the surprising twist in the case of that missing 4-year-old British girl. Now Madeleine McCann's mother now has been questioned for second time. A family spokesman for the family says she may be named as a suspect. The evidence shaping up in this case to make it look like an episode of "CSI."

While in Germany the hunt goes on. Police do not believe they have everyone in custody in a plot to attack U.S. installations and U.S. citizens in that country. We're going to have a report, live report from Germany.

Plus, the defenders of human rights. A closer look at those who risk imprisonment and death threats in defense of the most vulnerable among us, former President Jimmy Carter joins us to go behind the headlines to the front lines of the fight for human rights. Betty and Tony, that's all coming up at the top of the hour. Back to you.

NGUYEN: Some good stuff. We'll be watching. Thank you, Jim.


NGUYEN: Take a look at this, opium harvesting in Afghanistan.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The plants are ready when the flower drops its petals, leaving behind a capsule pregnant with opium. The only tool used is a piece of wood embedded with sharp blades.


NGUYEN: CNN's Anderson Cooper takes us into the fields, straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: But first, NEWSROOM news quiz. Here's a question -- when did the Korean War end. The answer straight ahead.


HARRIS: So Betty, how about this? Folks are e-mailing me, texting me to the e-mail address here with the answer to the news quiz.

NGUYEN: And the thing is ...


NGUYEN: ...that they are smart because their answers are right on the money.

HARRIS: I'm going to read it to you right now. The Korean War, Tony, has never officially ended. How about that? The two sides signed a truce in 1953. So technically, the war is still going on.

NGUYEN: Well, proving a point about voter fraud, a Seattle woman definitely did that with her help and a little dog named Duncan.

Yes, here's the story, Gary Horcher from our affiliate KIRO.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a sweetheart.


GARY HORCHER, KIRO REPORTER (voice-over): For this grandmother- turned-whistle-blower, it's finally time to hug her attorney and celebrate. Her crusade proving even her dog could be a legal voter is over and 66-year-old Jane Balogh will not be going to jail because today, she made a deal with prosecutors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First of all, you understand you're giving up your right to have a trial?


HORCHER (on camera): For the last year, Jane Baylo's made national headlines when voting officials realized they were sending ballot after ballot to her dog named Duncan. Turns out Jane could hardly believe all you really needed to do to register to vote here in King County was to show your name on something like a phone bill.

BALOGH: That is so lax that my dog could vote. Ooh, why don't I register the dog?

HORCHER (voice-over): So she put her dog's name, Duncan M. McDonald on her phone bill, signing a voter registration card with this picture of a paw print. She was hoping officials would laugh at her point: that's it's too easy for someone who doesn't exist to vote. Instead, they threatened to charge her with a felony.

KRISTEN ANDERSON, BALOGH'S ATTORNEY: We were tempted to take this matter to trial. The concern that we had was the risk that Jane would be found guilty of a felony.

HORCHER: In addition to jail, Jane would have lost her right to vote, which is what she was fighting for in the first place. Today, a judge agreed to drop the charges if Jane pays a $240 fine and performs 10 hours of community service.

We asked her if the fight was worth it.

BALOGH: Well -- I'll have to think about that. No, everything I do from now on will be totally legal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So she's going to fight it in legislature. We're going to go and we're going to start talking because that's the only way she's going to get anything accomplished here because no one is really listening.

HORCHER: Next stop: Olympia, and Jane won't stop until the voting system is overhauled.

BALOGH: This is a serious matter because like I say, our democracy is truly at risk.

HORCHER: In Seattle, Gary Horcher, KIRO 7 on Eyewitness News.


HARRIS: That's interesting.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM this morning, he is one lucky lawmaker. Can you believe this? A Wisconsin Congressman wins the lottery -- again!


HARRIS: And get this -- he's already a millionaire, Betty!

NGUYEN: I can't even get three numbers in the lottery.


HARRIS: All right, can you believe this story? A Congressman's lucky streak just keeps on going! He wins the lottery for the third -- the third time. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner is already a millionaire, he's an heir to the Kleenex tissue fortune. Did you know that? In 1997, Sensenbrenner won a $250,000 jackpot in the District of Columbia Lottery. Last spring, he won $1,000 in the Wisconsin Lottery. Then last week, he won another $100,000 in that same lottery. Sensenbrenner recently reported a net worth of $11.6 million.

NGUYEN: So here's my question: you got $11.6 million ...


NGUYEN: ...why are you playing the lottery?

HARRIS: Because it's not enough, Betty.

NGUYEN: It's never enough, right?

HARRIS: It's not enough.

NGUYEN: All right, I'll tell you once I get there. How about that?

CNN NEWSROOM continues one hour from now.

HARRIS: "YOUR WORLD TODAY" is next with news happening across the globe and here at home.

I'm Tony Harris.

NGUYEN: And I'm Betty Nguyen.