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Tornado Shocker in Pensacola; Pedophile Suspect Arrest; At Least 136 Dead, Almost 400 Wounded in Pakistan Blast
Aired October 19, 2007 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning again, everyone. You're with CNN. You're informed.
I'm Tony Harris.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody.
I'm Heidi Collins.
Developments keep coming in to the CNN NEWSROOM on Friday, the 19th of October.
Here's what's on the rundown now.
Isolated tornadoes, powerful thunderstorms, there is a chance they'll fire up again today. Do you live in the danger zone?
HARRIS: Assassination attempt. Did Benazir Bhutto see it coming? Live this hour, a veteran journalist and the chilling e-mail he got.
COLLINS: Rapper T.I. in court right now on weapons charges.
Gunning for bail, in the NEWSROOM.
First up this hour, thousands of people on edge today after tornadoes tore through several states. This is the scene in Missouri: homes absolutely demolished. One mobile home was tossed into the air, killing the two people inside.
In Michigan, at least as one or as many as four tornadoes touched down. It hasn't been determined yet, but we do know one man was killed when strong winds tore down his house and trapped him inside. Several other homes were damaged.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house just kind of like -- everything just kind of shook and the wind just came, and my husband said a branch just fell on the house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The situation on the roads really wasn't any better. A semi truck reportedly flipped over, and thousands of people are still without power. Pensacola, Florida, also in a state of shock after a tornado ripped through that town.
We want to get straight to CNN's Sean Callebs. He's standing by live in Pensacola with the very latest.
Sean, how are things looking there now?
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the chaos and the rain are both subsiding after yesterday. Boy, the punishing rain really hammered this area last night. Very anxious evening for people who live here, thunder, lightning.
Over my left shoulder you can see some work going on the roof of the Greater Little Rock Baptist Church. Now, that is an area that was really hammered hard by the tornado that blew through west Pensacola. And think about the anxious parents. They have children who attend a daycare center operated by this church, and they arrived panicked, worried that their children could have been injured.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just give me my son. Just get me to my son!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay right there. Stay right there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your baby is OK. Your baby is OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CALLEBS: Boy, quite emotional. You heard in the background an employee saying, "Your baby is OK. Your baby is OK."
Indeed, all the children operated by the daycare center were fine. There were four injuries, but none at the daycare center.
I want to show you some other great pictures, too. These were taken by a dash cam by a sheriff's deputy from Escambia County as he was actually following the funnel cloud.
His job was to monitor this, see where it was going, alert the dispatcher, and she would try to keep traffic away from certain areas and also prepare other areas for the oncoming damage. It was really a mess here, Heidi.
You can see cleanup is going to take some time. This area is used to hurricanes, but not tornadoes, something that just comes in, basically implodes the area. A very short, very violent burst that this area is going to be picking up from.
COLLINS: Yes. Certainly a good thing though, Sean, even though we listened to some of those just really, really terrified screams from the parents going into that daycare center, that the warning system was in good place. We talked to the mayor a little bit earlier of Pensacola.
I'm sorry. It looks like we've lost Sean.
Sean, thanks so much. Coming to us from Pensacola, Florida, this morning.
HARRIS: And new this morning, an international manhunt ends. A suspected pedophile in custody. Christopher Paul Neil accused of abusing young boys in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and posting the photos on the Internet.
Matthew Chance reports.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the police here are calling it a triumph of cooperation between law enforcement agencies because this truly was an international manhunt that ended today with the arrest of Christopher Paul Neil, the 32- year-old Canadian national suspected of being a very prolific pedophile not just here in Thailand, but also in other Asian countries as you mentioned, like Vietnam and Cambodia as well.
The Thai police were so pleased with their work, with the progress they made in just eight days since he was photographed entering the country, that they called a press conference in the center of the Thai capital, Bangkok. They paraded Christopher Neil in front of the television cameras.
He were wearing a blue T-shirt, covering his head at first. He didn't want to show his face. But then in front of the reporters in the press conference, he took that T-shirt off. He kept on a pair of dark sunglasses throughout the whole press conference for which he was there for. He stared in front of him, he didn't say a word, refusing to answering any questions before finally he was led away by the police in handcuffs.
The Thai authorities though said that so far all they have had from him in their questioning is confirmation of his name, Christopher Paul Neil, the 32-year-old Canadian national. They have not had any admission as yet of guilt from him for the abuses that he's alleged to have carried out against a range of about a dozen underage boys. As I say, in those countries in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.
Their investigations are continuing. We understand that at least three Thai people, Thai boys, underage boys, still, have stepped forward to the authorities and they have identified Christopher Neil as a man who abused them in Thailand in the past. And so what the Thai authorities are now doing is trying to build a case against this suspected pedophile so they can bring charges against him and perhaps get him to face trial in a Thai court.
Christopher Paul Neil now faces days of intense police questioning to try and establish what abuses he may have carried out. It's not clear where he will eventually face trial, whether here in Thailand, or in his home country of Canada, which has strict anti- pedophile laws. But for now, at least, one of the world's most hunted suspected sex offenders is no longer at large.
Matthew Chance, CNN, Bangkok.
COLLINS: The long arm of the law reaches halfway around the world to bring back a fugitive. Kenneth John Freeman (ph) is accused of raping a 13-year-old and posting video of it on the Internet. Freeman (ph) appears in court in Spokane, Washington, this morning.
He fled the country a year and a half ago, living for most of that time in China. He was arrested in Hong Kong in May and brought back to the U.S. yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE KLINE, U.S. MARSHAL: This is one of those cases that absolutely everything happened the way it should happen from the start. A very complicated case, a very large international case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Chinese authorities tracked Freeman (ph) and they let U.S. officials know when he traveled to Hong Kong.
HARRIS: In Pakistan, assassination attempt. And some experts are already blaming al Qaeda. The target, a symbol of democracy, former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto. She spoke a short time after the killer struck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENAZIR BHUTTO, FMR. PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: They're saying that peace-loving people (INAUDIBLE) stay together. The only people who stay together (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: A crisis now unfolding in Pakistan, a key ally in the war on terror.
CNN's Dan Rivers was on the scene, and we caution you, some of the images in his report are graphic.
DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A flash of fire explodes through the crowd and Benazir Bhutto's homecoming has been turned into a bloodbath. Witnesses say two blasts engulfed hundreds of people around her motorcade. An apparent assassination attempt caught in graphic detail by local TV crews.
Her party scrambles from the top of the bus as crowds flee in panic. Benazir Bhutto herself escaped without major injury. Photos show her being hurriedly being taken from the vehicle.
We arrived soon afterwards to horrendous scenes. The dead and injured are still being recovered. The mangled wreckage of the car is still burning. Dazed onlookers unable to take in the sights of appalling carnage.
(on camera): The blast seemed to have been centered on this vehicle which has also damaged one of the police pickup trucks which was riding alongside Benazir Bhutto's convoy. The bus itself is over there, and you can see on the side it sustained quite a bit of blast damage.
Luckily, Benazir Bhutto herself was on the top and seems to have escaped most of the force of this blast, but at the moment now there's still the smell of high explosives in the air, a really caustic smell. And all across this floor here, horrific scenes with body parts and dead bodies still strewn all around the area.
(voice over): At a nearby hospital, a steady stream of injured people arrive. The floor is soaked with blood and littered with mutilated survivors. There had been warnings from extremists that they would target Benazir Bhutto as soon as she arrived. Now there are questions about the wisdom of conducting a 12-hour procession at walking pace through the streets of Karachi.
It started as a celebration with noble hopes of democracy and peace, suddenly and viciously cut short, plunging Pakistan once again into crisis.
Dan Rivers, CNN, Karachi.
COLLINS: And a bit of background now on Benazir Bhutto.
The 54-year-old went into the political scene in 1986. She led the party founded by her father, a prime minister who was executed.
In 1988, she won her first of two terms as prime minister, becoming the first woman to lead a Muslim nation. Her administration dogged by allegations of corruption though.
Bhutto was thrown out of office in 1996. She was convicted of corruption in 1999 while she was out of country.
The conviction was overturned, but she didn't come back until getting an amnesty deal with Pakistani president, General Pervez Musharraf. Like Mr. Musharraf, Bhutto supports the U.S.-led war on terror.
And coming up in just a few minutes, we're going to talk more about this and what it all means. We're going to listen to a man who tells us he received a chilling e-mail from Benazir Bhutto. He says she not only predicted the assassination attempt, but told investigators who their first suspects should be.
You'll want to stay tuned for that.
COLLINS: A deafening explosion and a key ally in the war on terror plunges deeper into crisis. You see the pictures now. The suicide bomber failed to kill former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Our next guest did receive an alarming e-mail though from Bhutto just hours before the attack. Arnaud de Borchgrave Is a veteran journalist. He's now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Mr. De Borchgrave, thanks for being with us today.
My pleasure, Heidi.
COLLINS: Tell us more about this e-mail. How well do you know Benazir Bhutto?
DE BORCHGRAVE: Oh, I have known her for 20 years. She came to my house for dinner about three weeks ago. She invited me to be with her on the flight, also with your own Wolf Blitzer. And then about a week before she took off, she sent me a message saying that I could still come, but she would advise strongly against it as she thought it might be too dangerous. And she wasn't -- she didn't dare about exposing herself, but she cared about exposing others.
So, literally eight hours before she took off, I got this e-mail from her. "I have been informed that Baitul Masood, an Afghan, Hamza bin Laden, an Arab, and a Red Mosque militant have been sent to kill me. I have told Pervez Musharraf about this and I want these three held responsible. I have also left a copy of the letter if something happens to me."
So there's no question in my mind that these are the Islamic extremists. After all, they do control the government of two of Pakistanis four provinces.
She also got a long report from one of her trusted intelligence contacts inside Pakistan about the deteriorating situation along the Afghan border, where the message said al Qaeda and Taliban are in complete control and the army is fed up, having taken too many casualties.
COLLINS: But Mr. de Borchgrave, it begs the question then, does it not, did she -- because she seemed so well-informed that her life was in danger, this ride from the airport to where she was going, the tomb that I am sure you are well aware of, is a 10-mile route. It usually takes about 15 minutes to get there.
We understand the attack happened nine hours in. There were so many people there. Understanding that she wanted to see the Pakistanis who love her, but wasn't it a bit irresponsible knowing that she could also put those same people in danger? DE BORCHGRAVE: In my judgment, that was not a very wise decision, but I think she was overcome with the opportunity that this offered after eight years of exile. A million people turning out to greet her, and she didn't want to disappoint them. And, of course, a suicide bomber could move along and decide when he was going to blow himself up. Fortunately, he missed her, but it could have -- she could have been killed quite easily if the man had been six feet to his left.
COLLINS: But nearly 140 Pakistani people were killed.
DE BORCHGRAVE: That is correct. She didn't expect that to happen. She just expected an assassination attempt against herself, obviously not with 140 people killed and hundreds wounded.
COLLINS: Have you had an opportunity to speak with her since this attack?
DE BORCHGRAVE: No, I have not, but a very close friend I talked to was going to see her in about an hour's time. That is about noon our time, and I'm supposed to call him back after lunch today.
COLLINS: We have heard her come to the microphones and talk about this attack, and we understand that she is worried, but yet she still says that the Pakistani people will ban together and overcome extremists.
There have been some other things written saying that this is definitely a conspiracy against democracy. Your thoughts on that?
DE BORCHGRAVE: Oh, I'm convinced it's a conspiracy against democracy. About half the country object to the fact that a woman can become prime minister.
Again, two of Pakistan's four provinces are governed by people who are pro-al Qaeda and pro-Taliban. That's called the MMA coalition of six political religious parties made up of extremists. I know several of their leaders, and they have told me how much they admire Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader.
COLLINS: Remind our viewers, if you would, how important this is to the people of the United States, and that relationship in the war on terror, the ally between Pakistan and the United States.
DE BORCHGRAVE: Well, obviously it's very important in terms of what kind of a country Pakistan is. It's one of eight nuclear powers in the world, and it is riddled with extremists. And that message that she got to before taking off from Dubai about the situation in the seven tribal agencies is very alarming.
Some of the Pakistani soldiers have actually -- who were captured recently by Taliban fighters actually have joined Taliban now. That's the 245 who surrendered without a fight. A hundred have been released, but several others who have stayed behind have joined Taliban. So that is a very alarming situation because the future of Afghanistan is dependent on that as well. COLLINS: Absolutely. And we will continue to watch this, I'm sure, for the days, weeks and months to come. We would love to have you back again as we watch Pakistan try to move forward and try to come closer to the stability in that country.
DE BORCHGRAVE: Thank you.
COLLINS: Arnaud de Borchgrave.
We appreciate your time again. Thanks.
HARRIS: An undercover investigation now. Checking security at several high-profile U.S. airports, the results troubling.
CNN's Susan Roesgen and the bottom line.
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the security lines at Chicago's O'Hare airport, undercover government investigators say they were able to sneak through with fake bombs and bomb parts 60 percent of the times they tried. In Los Angeles, the rate was 75 percent. And in San Francisco, the screeners were better, but were still fooled 20 percent of the time.
CLARK KENT ERVIN, FMR. DHS INSPECTOR GENERAL: It is absolutely not acceptable all these many years after 9/11, all these many years after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.
ROESGEN: Critics like former homeland security inspector general Clark Kent Ervin say there's no excuse for contraband making it past Transportation Security Administration screeners. Surprisingly, however, some passengers are more sympathetic.
DAVID CASEK, PASSENGER: I mean, I can imagine sitting at one of those monitors and looking at just image after image after image going across the screen. It has got to be a little numbing after a while. Maybe they could, you know, do something to rotate those people in and out a little more quickly to give them more breaks, you know, to keep them fresh and keep them alert.
ROESGEN: In fact, the TSA says the screening procedures are better now than during the year-long investigation that ended late last year, and the TSA says that because bombs don't look like this anymore, the TSA's own tests are intentionally difficult for screeners to pass.
ELLEN HOWE, TSA SPOKESWOMAN: We expect a significant failure rate because if the tests were easy, everybody would be passing. We want the tests to be hard. We want the tests to replicate the real world scenario.
ROESGEN: The TSA also claims that every airport carry-on lane in the country is tested for security breaches every day.
(on camera): The Transportation Security Administration says better technology is on the way, but critics say that humans still run the machines, and that leaves the potential for human error.
Susan Roesgen, CNN, Chicago.
COLLINS: New warning labels on the way for popular impotence drugs. What men need to know.
HARRIS: A police camera catches the tornado terror. Look at that. The Eastern Seaboard on guard against stormy weather today.
Live soon to the CNN severe weather center.
COLLINS: Men taking drugs for impotence will soon see a new warning on the label.
More on that from our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, the FDA has announced some new labeling changes specifically for these medications that we're talking about here, impotence medications such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, saying specifically that they may cause sudden hearing loss.
Now, we want to put this in perspective a little bit.
First of all, the class of medications that we're talking about here, they're something known as phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors. You don't need to remember that, but you should know that there have been 29 adverse effects since 1996. Yes, that's a very small number. What they talked about specifically was hearing loss, vertigo, or dizziness. Vertigo and dizziness are sort of similar things there.
About two-thirds of the time the hearing loss seemed to be ongoing. About a third of the time it seemed to be temporarily. Now they're not exactly sure why this would happen. It could be some problem related to the blood flow to the ear, it might be some mechanism where these medications actually somehow impede that blood flow, but it's unclear. We did talk to the makers of these medications or at least one of them -- Pfizer. Here's what they had to say.
It is not possible to determine whether these reported events are directly related to the use of pde5 inhibitors, that's a class of drugs, or other factors such as the patient's underlying medical conditions, risk factors for hearing loss, or other factors.
The makers of Levitra went on to say that the number of patients affected is very small and the hearing loss in patients taking Levitra were temporary. Again, not sure why this is happening. It's very rare, as you can tell. There is another medication that does fall under this class as well-known as Ravatio. That's a drug for pulmonary hypertension. This is something they're going to be looking at as well.
A message here now, if you are taking that medication don't stop it suddenly. It has a lot of effects that you need to be taking it for, but certainly talk to your doctor. This story will be developing and we'll bring you new details as they develop. Back to you for now.
COLLINS: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM, everybody, on this Friday morning. Boy, a lot to talk about in the weather.
HARRIS: Good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris. Want to get you to Reynolds Wolf in the severe weather center, and as we do, first of all, take a look at these pictures from last evening. We have been telling you all about the severe lines of storms moving through Michigan, through much of the plains, the Midwest.
We have been reporting two confirmed deaths in the state of Michigan. Now word of a third confirmed death. That coming from the sheriff's office in Kalkaska County. A person killed after a tornado passed through the county last night about 7:45 p.m. local time there. Reynolds Wolf, just more devastation wrought by that severe line of storms (inaudible) tornadoes that you have been telling us about all day.
COLLINS: Want to get you back to this story that we were telling you about quite a bit earlier in the morning regarding David Copperfield. Our Katharine Barrett is on the scene now to tell us a little more about this. Katherine, what is going on here? We know there's been some sort of search that's taking place in Seattle, and we know that the FBI is also involved.
KATHARINE BARRETT: That's right. It is the Seattle FBI office, which is said to be leading this. The search, as we understand it, took place in Las Vegas in the Copperfield warehouse, but I did just speak with the Seattle Police Department, and their media relations office told me they did take what they call a courtesy report from an alleged victim back in mid-summer, in late June or July.
The police told me the incident, the alleged incident, took place in the Bahamas, so it was out of Seattle police jurisdiction, which is why that was only what they call a courtesy report, but they told me the alleged victim lives in Seattle and due to the -- what they called the seriousness of the alleged incident, we documented it.
I'm working on getting a copy of that report, but, again, they described it as a serious incident which would probably explain why they perhaps pass it along to the FBI. Heidi?
COLLINS: But when we say incident and we were talking about a victim, we still at this point have no idea -- I know they have been very tight-lipped, have no idea what happened, correct? BARRETT: We do not. If I can get a copy of that report we may have a better idea.
COLLINS: Yes, absolutely. Again, all right CNN's Katherine Barrett.
BARRETT: But it is a documented complaint at least, if you will, in the hands of the Seattle police who seem to have passed it along to the FBI.
COLLINS: CNN's Katharine Barrett, just spoke with the Seattle Police Department regarding David Copperfield and some of the video that we are looking at here of this search that took place in Las Vegas. So we're going to continue to stay on this one, try to figure out what happened here as she looks at that report a little bit later on. Thank you, Katherine.
HARRIS: And this next bit of breaking news, not quite sure what this might become, but we thought we would bring it to you and put it on your radar. It's certainly on ours. Baltimore police are searching for a stolen tanker truck taken at gunpoint from a gas station in the city's Curtis Bay neighborhood. That's a mix of residential and an industrial area of the city.
Now, the driver told police that he was fuelling at the gas station. He got back in the truck and that's when the driver says a man in a blue jumpsuit confronted him with a semi-automatic handgun and forced him out. So the search is on right now for this stolen tanker truck. Don't want to get much more ahead of it than that. We are making calls and certainly checking into this story. We will bring you details as soon as we get more additional informs here in the Newsroom.
COLLINS: For the first time, oil shoots past the $90 a barrel mark. Get ready to pay. Tell you about it in just a moment.
COLLINS: Singer Amy Winehouse arrested for marijuana possession in Norway. Police also took her husband and another person in custody. The singer was fined $714...
COLLINS: Singer Amy Winehouse arrested for marijuana possession in Norway. Police also took her husband and another person in custody. The singer was fined $714 and released by police. Winehouse has publicly battled drug addiction. She is known for a string of R&B hits, including this song, "Rehab."
HARRIS: Spreading the word about breast cancer. A couple of Kansas teens doing that with colorful T-shirts and a baseball metaphor. But their shirts are sticking out with school officials.
The story now from Tracy Crockett with affiliate KWCH. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
TRACY CROCKETT (voice-over): Each year, seniors here at Salina Central High School choose a service project. This year, Jessica Sheahon and Haley Wenthe decided to raise money for breast cancer research.
JESSICA SHEAHON, PROHIBITED FROM SELING SHIRTS: It really hits close to home. Both of our mothers had breast cancer, and we just wanted a way that -- we just wanted to pick an issue that is really prevalent today.
HALEY WENTHE, PROHIBITED FROM SELLING SHIRTS: To me, it's just something in honor of her memory and that I know she would be extremely proud of.
CROCKETT: That's the reason the two started telling T-shirts.
SHEAHON: We thought that that would be a great way to market to kids and to get them thinking about breast cancer.
CROCKETT: However, the school disagreed. They were told they couldn't sell them or wear them on campus.
PRINCIPAL STAN VAUGHN, SALINA CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL: The T-shirt in question included a sexual innuendo that we felt was inappropriate for school. It was not a message that we wanted to convey in school.
CROCKETT: Principal Stan Vaughn says the school supports what the students are doing, however it cannot endorse the T-shirt. But some students disagree.
JENNIFER LASH ELLE, SUPPORTS BANNED T-SHIRTS: I think that if girls can wear shirts that imply sexual messages, they should be able to wear breast cancer shirts. They're trying to do it for a good cause.
CASSIE WERNER, SUPPORTS BANNED T-SHIRTS: I think it's a great idea, it promotes a great cause in a light-hearted way rather than putting this many women die a year from breast cancer.
ELLIOT SCHRADER, SUPPORTS BANNED T-SHIRTS: I think it's just kind of sad that the administration has neglected to see how important it is and how the T-shirts are kind of just a useful tool to get the word out.
CROCKETT (on camera): Despite not being able to sell the shirts at Friday night's football game, these shirts are selling like hot cakes. Just after school, the girls got home and found 400 orders waiting on their e-mail account. Now, the girls are trying to keep up with all the orders.
HARRIS: Well, the idea for the shirts is an original. It's the trademark of a Pennsylvania group named for a mother who died from breast cancer last year.
COLLINS: Bill Cosby, he outraged many people when he said some problems plaguing the African-American community cannot be blamed on racism. He says there are problems created by African-Americans themselves. He cited problems like teen pregnancy and juvenile crime.
Last night, he spoke to CNN's Larry King.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL COSBY, ENTERTAINER/AUTHOR: I've sat here with you over the decades and we've talked about racism and the problems there. Now, given that, we then look at problems going on in the home. We look at the way a child will behave without a father, the way a child will behave without character corrections, the way parents will behave without character corrections. And there's generational problems going on.
So, there's no way that I ever said this doesn't exist. What I have said is that if we strengthen ourselves with the same tools that every successful group of people have used, then we will succeed.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Was he unfairly criticized, Dr. Poussaint? There's a lot of uproar.
ALVIN POUSSAINT, JUDGE BAKER CHILDREN'S CENTER: I think he was unfairly criticized because I think he -- Bill has always recognized racism. He speaks about it, he's always spoken to me about it. He's been involved in civil rights, contributed -- you know, that's very clear.
So I think people are trying to set him up by saying, well, he's letting society off the hook. He doesn't believe that there's any racism and all the blame is on black people for the conditions that they suffer today. I don't think he was saying that. I think he was saying, yes, we've got to -- we're in a tough situation, but our struggle has always been about being and getting by and succeeding against the odds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The men are releasing a new bock entitled "Come On, People." They say it offers a vital message to restore hope and save lives.
SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange where we're seeing a sharp sell-off, but it's still nothing compared to what we saw 20 years ago on this day when the DOW plunged more than 22 percent in one session. Could black Monday happen again? We'll talk about it, next.
You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
COLLINS: Just into the CNN NEWSROOM now, want to give you more information about a story that we have been following for quite some time, the end of August, actually, when this event happened.
We have been told here that four Air Force officers, including at least one colonel, have now been relieved of their duty in connection with that mistaken flight of nuclear warheads where they were taken by B-52 from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base, and the crew did not know that they were carrying nuclear weapons.
You may remember those nukes were to be taken from Minot to Barksdale to be decommissioned, but unfortunately, the warhead was left on. That was the flagrant mistake.
So, once again, four Air Force officers, including one colonel, have now been relieved of duty in connection with that flight. We will continue to follow this one for you and let you know what else could happen here.
HARRIS: To business news now. What is going on? The DOW industrials are tumbling, talk about 200 points. Boy, but that is nothing compared to what happened -- OK, 198, compared to what happened 20 years ago today.
Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange, the epicenter of that fateful day. Susan, good morning to you.
LISOVICZ: Good morning to you.
And Tony, on this day in 1987, the DOW industrials plunged more than 22 percent, a free fall that exceeded any of the sell-offs during the 1929 crash, and some observers say it could happen again.
LISOVICZ (voice-over): There is almost nothing in Wall Street history that can compare to the carnage of October 19th, 1987.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I could read number off to you that would make your head spin.
LISOVICZ: The DOW would have to plunge more than 3,000 points today and lose nearly a trillion dollars in market value to duplicate the magnitude of losses of that single day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People walking around like in a zombie-type state, and intransigent. You see like a look of fear in people's faces.
LISOVICZ: There is still no easy answer as to why everything collapsed so quickly. Computer trading, in its infancy, contributed to the sudden stampede, and so did the type of euphoria that comes when the stock market has been going up for five years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL DOUGLAS, ACTOR: I'm not talking about some $400,000-a- year working Wall Street stiff flying first class and being comfortable. I'm talking about liquid. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LISOVICZ: And it was the '80s, a time of recklessness and opulence, immortalized in the movie "Wall Street," which ironically hit theaters in 1987.
NYSE trader Michael Rutigliano had a part in the film. He was also part of the real-life drama on October 19th. I was excess. There was volatility. There was greed. And it all came to an end that day.
MICHAEL RUTIGLIANO, NYSE TRADER: There was excess. There was volatility. There was greed, as Gordon Gecko spoke about, and it all came to an end that day.
LISOVICZ: Some of the elements that unhinged the market in '87 are present in '07. The market is at all-time highs. The dollar is weak. There is instability in the Middle East, and there is the unchanging nature of human psychology.
ART CASHIN, DIR. OF FLOOR OPERATIONS, NYSE: Human emotion is a very, very powerful force, and if there is great concern, people will behave irrationally.
LISOVICZ: And Wall Street got a taste of that this summer, in sell-offs rooted in fears that a financial crisis in the home-lending industry could drag the whole economy into recession. Because of 1987, there are now curbs to slow down and even halt trading. Still, James Maguire says the growing number of high-risk securities could set off another precipitous sell-off. A confidante of value investor Warren Buffett, he says even Black Monday had its virtues.
JAMES MAGUIRE, NYSE TRADER: A great buying opportunity. It's always considered to be one of the prime buying opportunities of a lifetime.
LISOVICZ: And millions of American did buy and become rich. The Dow regained its losses from Black Monday in one year. It was the beginning of the longest bull market in Wall Street history, and investors have learned since then to buy on the dips.
COLLINS: She wants to be prime minister of Pakistan again -- if she can live long enough. Who tried to kill Benazir Bhutto?
COLLINS: Well, the weekend is upon us, but of course the news does not stop. Here now T.J. Holmes and Betty Nguyen with a look ahead.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: This weekend a call to action in the City of Brotherly Love to stop the violence. T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Community leaders are asking for 10,000 men to patrol the streets, but will this work? Are these volunteers even really trained to fight crime. We'll speak with an organizer.
NGUYEN: Plus, tourists slumming it, literally. It is a new trend called "poorism," people actually spending their vacation and their money to tour the world's poorest neighborhood. We want to show what that's all about.
HOLMES: Also taking your workout to a higher level. A new way to boost your body and your faith at the same time.
We've got all the news you need at "CNN SATURDAY" and "SUNDAY MORNING," beginning tomorrow at 7:00 Eastern.
HARRIS: Boy, have you heard this one yet? Nobel laureate biologist Jim Watson suspended for his comments about blacks. Watson issued a statement last night apologizing unreservedly for claiming that blacks are not as intelligent a whites. That claim made to a British newspaper, but word today that the Cold Spring Harbor Lab in New York has suspended him. Watson is listed as chancellor of that particular facility. Watson says he didn't mean to question the intelligence of blacks, adding -- quoting here -- "There his no scientific basis for such a belief.
Watson won the Nobel for medicine in 1962 as the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA.
COLLINS: CNN NEWSROOM continues just one hour from now.
HARRIS: "YOUR WORLD TODAY" is next with news happening across the globe and here at home. I'm Tony Harris.
COLLINS: Have a great weekend, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.
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