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Possible Link Between Finnish School Shooter and Pennsylvania Teen; Florida Police Search for Armored Truck Thieves; Ship Accident Dumps Oil in San Francisco Bay; F-15s Grounded as Crash Investigated; Study Reveals How Super Bug Works

Aired November 12, 2007 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CO-HOST: He may have been an outcast, alienated from the society he came to hate, but the teen who shot up his high school in Finland may have found a kindred spirit online. We'll tell you who and where and the fixation they may have shared.
Would you call this storm a Norwester? Whatever you call it, it's a lot of wind, a lot of rain, and unless you're high up in the cascades, it's snow. Our Jacqui Jeras is watching from the severe weather center.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. Don lemon is away.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Two troubled teens, two different continents. One committed a massacre in a high school in Finland. The other is accused of plotting one outside Philadelphia. Now we're hearing they might have found common ground online.

CNN's Jim Acosta is in Philadelphia with the latest.

Hi, Jim.


Prosecutors here in Pennsylvania plan to launch their own investigation into this possible link. If there is a connection it could offer a new insight into the mind of a potential school shooter.


ACOSTA (voice-over): Before he gunned down eight people at a Finland school...


ACOSTA: ... and before he left this cryptic YouTube warning of his campus attack, Finnish authorities suspect Pekka-Eric Auvinen was a visitor to this MySpace page glorifying the Columbine massacre. It was there, investigators in Finland say, where Auvinen may have chatted with a 14-year-old Pennsylvania boy named Dillon Cossey, who police say planned his own school shooting outside Philadelphia last month. BRUCE CASTOR, MONTGOMERY COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: It's very sketchy. The Finnish authorities have said that there might be this connection, but they don't cite what makes them think that.

ACOSTA: The district attorney handling Cossey's case says he just learned of the alleged connection in an article that appeared in the "Times of London" newspaper. The story quotes Finnish authorities saying the Pennsylvania teen may have used a previously unknown screen name, Shadow19462, to visit that MySpace page dedicated to Columbine killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.

CASTOR: We have a special unit of forensic detectives that deal with just computer cases, and I asked them to tear down the computer and check for this other screen name.

J. DAVIDE FARRELL, COSSEY'S ATTORNEY: Knowing my client as I've gotten to know him I would be very surprised if he were engaged in any true planning or encouraging behavior to an individual in Finland who was planning some sort of school attack.

ACOSTA: Cossey's attorney says any connection between his client and the Finnish school shooter should serve as a wake-up call to parents that troubled teens may be socializing on Web sites that lionize campus killers.

FARRELL: Surely, it's disturbing that online there is this hero worship of two killers.

ACOSTA (on camera): And is that poisoning the minds of some of these kids out there?

FARRELL: I would say it reinforces their alienation and feeds into their violent fantasies. Absolutely it's poisoning them.


ACOSTA: And police in Finland have told CNN all they're saying at this point is that they're investigating this possible link. They're not saying more than that, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Jim, we'll follow the investigation. That's for sure. Appreciate it.

Let's get straight to the newsroom now, T.J. Holmes working details now on a developing story out of Davie, Florida, I'm told.

What do you have, T.J.?

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. We've got an armored truck robbery happening there. And forgive me here, but I've been going back and forth, trying to check out affiliates and what they're reporting there.

But what we know, this is in Davie, Florida. But apparently, an armored truck driver, at least one person has been shot. Now, what you're seeing here is what we believe is the suspect vehicle. This is an affiliate picture coming us to from WSVN. I'm just getting a look at it with you myself right now as we're viewing -- and Kyra, as we're looking at this.

But suspects approached an armored car that was stopped at a gas station. One person, an armored -- the armored truck driver was shot. We don't exactly know the condition. We don't know how much money was gotten away with. But apparently, the suspects took off in that silver vehicle you saw there, with that Dodge vehicle, stolen vehicle, and got away in that vehicle.

That, as we believe now, is that vehicle that has been found. But we do not know about the location of the suspects. Local affiliates reporting that at least two suspects are being sought and possibly a third.

But again, that is the armored truck we're looking at there. And we do believe at least one guard has been shot. Again, not clear how much money they might have gotten away with and not clear right now the location of the suspects.

This is a developing story that we certainly are following and, certainly, depending on our affiliates there to collect a lot of this information on the ground for us, but certainly some developments here. We're on it. We'll get to you as soon as we know more, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Sounds good. T.J., thanks.

HOLMES: All right.

PHILLIPS: Closed beaches, dead birds and San Francisco's glittery bay an oily, stinking mess right now.

CNN's Dan Simon is on the scene of a disaster that some officials are now calling a possible crime -- Dan.


Let me set the scene for you. The San Francisco Bay area looks a lot different today. At least 20 beaches have been closed, including this one. You can see some of the containment booms that have been set up here to prevent the oil from getting onto the sand.

Meanwhile, questions, so many questions continue to swirl about how this accident took place, how did this cargo ship strike the Oakland Bay Bridge, spilling 58,000 gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay?

Also, a lot of questions about why it took the Coast Guard some four hours to notify the public about the magnitude of the spill. At first, the Coast Guard was under the impression that only 140 gallons have spilled into the bay and then learned that it was 58,000 gallons. It took four hours to tell the city and the folks here what was going on. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who of course, represents this area. She was here today. She took a tour of the site. And she had a tongue lashing for the Coast Guard. Take a look.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There are many questions that have been raised. I think we can only get to the bottom of them all and get the answers by having independent hearings of the situation. It's not just about this, but it's about preventing what will happen in the future.


SIMON: A criminal investigation has opened up against the ship and the crew to determine what, if any, negligence to be place. That criminal investigation is being led by the NTSB as well as the U.S. attorney's office here in San Francisco.

Kyra, also a massive wild life effect here. Some 200 birds have died as a result of this spill. Hundreds more have been rescued, and that wildlife currently being treated -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: And Dan, what we heard from the head of the Coast Guard, Thad Allen, who spoke on CNN today, was that visibility was really tough once they got airborne. It was foggy. It was hard to see the effects of the oil, how much was spilled. There were bad estimations coming from the ground, and it was hard to see from the sea.

And then after, they realized how bad it was, once it cleared out, they were able to respond appropriately. Does it sound like that is jiving with everybody there on the scene?

SIMON: Right. And that's why these, you know, ships have navigation instruments to prevent catastrophes like this from happening.

But, you know, when the spill first took place the Coast Guard says it immediately deployed a lot of resources here. They say it really doesn't matter in terms of how long it took to notify the public. The result would have been the same in terms of the amount of resources there.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others concerned that because you have so many people who come to these beaches, they bring their kids out here, obviously, every day a lot of people here on these beaches. And four hours went by before anybody was told what really took place, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: We'll definitely follow up on the investigation. It will be interesting to hear the calls (ph), too among all the ships. Dan Simon, thanks so much.

High waves, high winds, high drama in the Black Sea. Three sailors are dead; more than a dozen are missing. As many as ten vessels have sunk or run aground in a fierce storm. One, an oil tanker, split in half, spilling more than half spilling half a million gallons of oil. The fear now a monumental environmental disaster. Major cleanups underway in the strait connecting the Black Sea and the Azov Sea.

The winds are really howling in the northwest, too, just as you've been predicting, Jacqui Jeras.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. It's wicked. Really nasty weather that got started really late last night, and we're getting towards the peak of the worst winds pulling into the area.

We've got a live picture here to show you from KIRO-TV out of Seattle. And look at the lousy conditions. The rain is coming down. Visibility is very, very poor. And you can kind of see that little shake going there on our camera, indicating those strong winds gusting around 24 miles per hour in Seattle.

But you get out on the coast, and that's where the winds are really picking up. We're talking beyond hurricane force.

Let's show you the satellite picture and you can really see how wrapped up this storm is, very tightly. When you see that kind of a signature, you know the winds are very powerful in the storm, and that's going to be the greatest impact.

In fact, thousands of people in Washington state are already without power.

Wind warnings in effect here along the coastal areas in Orange, and then you get down into, say, Portland and then into Eugene. That's where we have advisories, where the winds will be a little bit lesser.

Still pretty extreme at this time, though. Look at the sustained winds in Seattle: 45 miles per hour in our most recent report. Portland, this is out at the National Weather Service. So not in town, but a little bit on the north side of town: 32 miles per hour in Port Angeles at 55. Those are sustained winds, not to mention the gusts.

And look at some of the reports from this morning. Bellingham, 97 miles per hour. That's the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane. Just incredible winds and the kind of damage that it can produce. Vail, 79 miles per hour and there you can see the rain all coming down associated with it.

So it's a very ugly day in the Pacific Northwest, Kyra. And we've got more storms lined up out in the Pacific. It's going to be a very wet and windy week.

PHILLIPS: All right, Jacqui, thanks.

Kanye West wanted the world to know what his mother meant to him. Well, today the hip-hop superstar is mourning his mother's sudden death. Donda West died unexpectedly Saturday in Las Angeles after a cosmetic procedure. That's about all her publicist will tell us.

The 58-year-old West was a major influence in her son's life. She was his mom, manager and role model. Earlier this year the former English professor published a book called "Raising Kanye."

Americans paused to honor the nation's men and women of uniform. Today is a federal holiday marking Veterans Day, and ceremonies are taking place across the country. These are live pictures now from the World War II Memorial in the nation's capital.

As Americans mark the day, the most visited monument in Washington reaches a milestone. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, known as The Wall, is 25 years old. The black granite memorial includes the names of more than 58,000 American troops who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

A disturbed teen goes on a killing spree at a school in Finland. Was he linked through the Internet with an American teen accused of plotting a similar attack? Police are checking it out.

Pakistan is still under a state of emergency. But with the media muzzled, some journalists are still finding ways to get the news out.

And researchers are keying in on the MRSA super bug. We're going to have more on what they've learned.

You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


PHILLIPS: One-fourteen Eastern Time. Here are some of the stories that we're working on in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Did the shooter in last week's Finland school massacre have an American soul mate? Police now are probing a report that the gunman may have chatted online with an American teen on Web sites glorifying the Columbine killers. The U.S. teen is accused of plotting a Philadelphia-area school shooting.

The head of the Coast Guard says human error probably played a role in last week's huge oil spill in San Francisco. A criminal investigation is now under way into why a cargo ship hit part of the bay bridge, spilling 58,000 gallons of oil.

And we're now hearing that Benedict XVI will make his first U.S. visit as pope in April. He'll make stops in Washington and New York.

America's F-15 fighter jets don't have much in common with the car that you drove to work today. Your car is probably a whole lot newer, with more sophisticated technology.

Stateside F-15s are grounded, and those in Iraq and Afghanistan flown only in emergencies, while investigators try to figure out whether they all need to be retired. CNN's Chris Lawrence investigates from Portland, Oregon.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The F-15 has been a workhouse for three decades, but the Air Force is trying to figure out when it will be safe for hundreds of its premiere fighter jets to fly again. The entire fleet was grounded after one F-15 disintegrated on a routine training mission over Missouri. That plane was built in 1980.

LT. COL. CLAY GARRISON, F-15 WING COMMANDER: It's pretty old. All of the airplanes are pretty old. You probably didn't drive up here in a 30-year-old car.

LAWRENCE: Lieutenant Colonel Clay Garrison is piloting one of the F-16s, re-assigned to pick up the slack from the grounded jets. He says, in some older models, engineers are trying to pipe 21st century data through a system built to the 1970s.

GARRISON: From my perspective flying this airplane, an F-15, I just look at what's possible. And then I look at what we're doing, and from that aspect, it's frustrating.

LAWRENCE: As a replacement, Congress authorized the Air Force to buy about 180 F-22s, but the Air Force says it really needs more than twice that amount. Keeping an old plane in operation means mechanics buildup experience, but...

MAJ. JOE HARRIS, F-15 MAINTAINER: The cost per flying an hour of maintaining a jet continues to rise. I've seen it double in my time with the F-15.

LAWRENCE: One thing that continues to be updated is the plane's emergency system.

(on camera) So if a pilot has to eject there's a stabilizer in the chair that will guide him during his freefall. So he's not tumbling end over end.

There's also a barometer that sends in the air pressure, so it will fire the parachute at a certain safe altitude.

(voice-over) The ejection seat saved that pilot in Missouri when his F-15 crashed. Now the engineers are trying to figure out what caused the crash in the first place.

COL. STEVE GREGG, F-15 WING COMMANDER: Once they identify the cause then they'll give us some type of inspection to find out if whatever they find is happening in other airplanes.

LAWRENCE: If it's just faulty maintenance, the F-15s could be cleared to fly again soon. If it's a structural problem, the fix could be long and expensive.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, Portland. (END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: The Columbine massacre and the two young gunmen behind it, remembered, admired and even worshipped by other teens. We're going to take you into a disturbing online community.


PHILLIPS: School-aged kids are worried. They want to know how they can avoid the sometimes deadly MRSA super bug.

Our medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, is here to fill us in on what scientists are learning. It's sort of been an ongoing learning experience since you first broke the story a year ago.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We talked about a kid who had MRSA more than a year ago. This was a kid who was not in the hospital. He was just out and about, and he contracted MRSA and nearly died, because the doctors just didn't catch it.

When a doctor sees an infection they don't think MRSA because it's so unusual. Instead they're thinking of regular bugs, and MRSA doesn't respond to the antibiotics you would give regular bugs.

An exciting study in the journal called "Nature Medicine" that explains why MRSA is so tough. What they basically found is that, when MRSA -- when MRSA bacteria meet up with the germ-fighting cells in your body, the germ-fighting cell is supposed to attack the MRSA, but kind of the opposite happens.

MRSA meets up with these germ fighting cells, and the germ fighting cells explode. And then so it makes them -- they can't work. They can't fight the MRSA. And this helps explain why MRSA does so much damage and why most antibiotics are useless against it.

PHILLIPS: So how do you avoid it? Because a lot of schools are saying, OK, wash your hands more and clean up the locker rooms. But that doesn't work. That's not...

COHEN: All of those things are important.


COHEN: It's important to do those things. To avoid MRSA you really need to keep two things in mind. MRSA gets into your body, often through a cut or a scrape on your skin. So keep that in mind if you have a cut or a scrape.

And the second thing to keep in mind is you can get it through someone else through skin to skin contact. Therefore, do not borrow a razor from someone. Bad idea. Don't share towels. Keep cuts covered. If you have a cut, put a bandage over it.

And shower immediately after contact sports so that if you've been tackled by someone who has MRSA and it got into your skin, at least you can get it off as quickly as possible. PHILLIPS: I'm sure, like your friends, I have friends that are doctors, as well. And they've said they have so many phone calls from parents: "I think my kid has MRSA." So if you think you might have it, how do you know you might have it? And then what do you do?

COHEN: The only way that you could know is if the doctor actually takes a sample and cultures it, kind of like getting a throat culture. You can get a sample of the infection that's on your skin.

Other than that, there's really not a very good way of knowing.

So first of all, you should know that chances are it's not MRSA. Chances are, if you have some kind of infection on your skin it's not MRSA. But if you're really worried, you can just say to your doctor, "You know what? Could this be MRSA? And is it worth culturing?"

Because once they find out and culture that it is, they can immediately give you vancomycin (ph), which is the antibiotic that treats it. And so they don't kind of monkey around with all the other antibiotics that aren't going work.

PHILLIPS: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, appreciate it.

COHEN: Thanks.

PHILLIPS: Drink your milk. How many times did you hear that as a kid? My mom still says it. And the orange juice and everything else. But it's a different story these days.

A new study shows more kids are actually allergic to milk, and for years, parents were told that kids typically outgrow that allergy by the time that they turn 4. Now researchers find that 80 percent are still allergic at that age and more than half, we're told, at age 8.

Well, if you're a General Motors worker, you could win yourself a new vehicle, but don't get sick. Stephanie Elam at the New York Stock Exchange to tell us on how this new incentive plan works.

Hey, Stephanie.


Yes, when General Motors reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers union, it included attendance-related rewards and also penalties. So this is how it's going to work. Employees who make it a year with perfect attendance will be entered into a contest. Five winners will get $15,000 toward a new GM car or truck.

Of course, the idea here is to keep people at work. Absenteeism can be expensive, and GM, as well as the other U.S. automakers, are very much in cost-cutting mode.

Absenteeism can also lead to more mistakes when experienced workers are replaced by people who aren't as used to a particular job. So there's also a quality control factor in here, as well, Kyra. PHILLIPS: All right. Stephanie Elam live from the New York Stock Exchange. You want to check on the numbers real quickly before we head back to you.?

ELAM: Yes, I can tell you right now that we're averaging a little bit of rally here. People are taking a chance to do some bottom feeding of the stocks that have been beat down. And they're also just feeling better because oil prices are retreating a bit today. Taking a look at the Dow on the upside by 7 points, 13,115. So we'll keep our eyes on it, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right, Stephanie Elam. Thank you so much.

Straight ahead, on the ground but still -- or on the air. Sorry. Pakistani journalists -- talking about broadcasters -- apologize about that -- defy the government's media muzzling.


PHILLIPS: Things could heat up again tomorrow in Pakistan. The government says it won't allow opposition leader Benazir Bhutto to lead a protest march from Lahore to Islamabad. Government sources tell CNN that security, already pretty tight, has been beefed up around the former prime minister's home.

Yesterday in his first news conference since declaring a state of emergency the previous weekend, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said parliamentary elections will take place before January 9, but he said the state of emergency will stay in place indefinitely.

Under that emergency declaration, Musharraf shut down independent media. He said they were spreading untruths and making heroes of terrorists, so some journalists determined to stay on the air went underground.

CNN's Dan Rivers reports from Islamabad.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: GoTV (ph) is literally on the front line of a media war in Pakistan. In March their newsroom was raided by police. According to the station, part of a concerted government campaign to silence this privately-owned independent news channel.

The most recent raid was just three days ago, police looking for satellite equipment to stop one of Pakistan's best-known anchors from broadcasting his show.

HAMID MIR, JOURNALIST: One government minister told me just a few days ago, the Mr. Mir, please behave. Otherwise, you can be killed in a small road accident.

RIVERS: The government spokesman told CNN he was unaware of any such threat. Still Hamid Mir goes to extraordinary lengths to get his show on air. MIR: We go for a secret location from where we have set up our satellite system, and then we transfer our recorded program to our Dubai office. And then from Dubai it is aired all over the world.

And I'm also changing my sleeping place every night. I'm not sleeping at my home.

RIVERS: The show must go on, even though it's being taped in a safe house. Most Pakistanis can't see it. Cable transmissions are being blocked by the government. This show was taped with the opposition politician Imran Khan (ph), who is in hiding. Hamid Mir is used to taking risks. He was one of the first journalists into the remote swamp valley after insurgents took control of some areas last month. And he managed to get an interview with Osama bin Laden after 9/11. Now he's taking a risk just visiting his own newsroom. Conscious that at any moment the police could burst through the door.

(On Camera): Journalists like Hamid Mir are normally challenging emergency law in their broadcasts, bringing their defiance out onto the streets. The black flags to mourn the end of freedom of speech.

(Voice-over): Hamid Mir has united rival anchors, writers and academics in his defense of independent journalism. Successive governments have tried and failed to silence him.

MIR: When Benazir Bhutto started fighting with media, our government was finished. (INAUDIBLE) started fighting with media, his government was also finished. Now Pervez Musharraf who is fighting with media like enemy and I think his days are numbered.

RIVERS: And Hamid Mir is determined he'll be there to report it, even if he has to abandon his studio for a secret location. Dan Rivers, CNN, Islamabad.


PHILLIPS: They were separated by geography and culture, but did two troubled teens find common ground on the internet? Police are probing a reported online link between this 18-year-old school shooter in Finland and a 14-year-old accused of plotting to storm a school near Philadelphia. The Associated Press now quotes the American teen's lawyer as confirming a report that broke in "The Times of London," specifically that the pair chatted on websites glorifying the Columbine massacre. The Finnish teen gunned down eight people at a high school before killing himself last week. The U.S. teen was arrested last month.

Websites that idolize the Columbine killers, well they're a lot more popular than you probably think. Veronica de la Cruz from our desk has been taking a closer look. She joins us now from New York. Veronica, what you found goes far beyond the two teens that we've been talking about, right?

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN'S AMERICAN MORNING: Yeah, both high schoolers Kyra were reportedly regulars on various websites including Myspace that glorified Columbine and idolized killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. We're going to start now with Myspace. These are some of the pages and it's apparent that these two were not alone. If you go to and you type in Columbine, Kyra, more than 48,000 items appear. Users have put together photo montages of the 911 calls and the surveillance video from the Columbine shooting. But what we found really disturbing are some of the comments that have been posted. Take a look at this. This is from one 16 year old Myspace user who writes, "You know I can't really say anything that would justify what they did... and as wrong as it sounds I will say this, they stood up for what they believed was right." On a different site dedicated to Columbine, a 15-year-old Myspace user writes, "I think they are the most awesome people. I mean, they actually did what they wanted. They will never be forgotten, rest in peace Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris."

PHILLIPS: Wow! Veronica, these groups also exist in other websites, right?

DE LA CRUZ: Yeah, it's not just Myspace Kyra. I mean if you go to Youtube, if you go to Yahoo groups, starting with Youtube, you get close to 900 pages there alone. Numerous videos paying tribute to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. We're looking at this one, it's called Columbine, dead celebrities.

Kyra, while there are plenty of users on these sites that do express their disgust for these killers, it's really scary to see how many young people write about how they relate to them even describing them as heroes or as godlike.

PHILLIPS: Where are the parents? That's what I want to know.

DE LA CRUZ: It really truly is the big question here. I mean parents really should be responsible for policing their children's internet activities.

PHILLIPS: Veronica de la Cruz, appreciate it.

The cleanup is going strong as the dust up intensifies over the mess in San Francisco Bay. Now a federal criminal probe is under way to find out how it happened. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is taking heat for the time it took to react and for initially reporting the spill was just 140 gallons, not 58,000 gallons. Here's Admiral Thad Allen's response.


ADM. THAD ALLEN, U.S. COAST GUARD: This accident should have never occurred. The response that took place was in accordance with the area contingency plan, which is a pre-planned set of actions that take place when there is a spill in the San Francisco Bay. And that is conducted in advance by the Coast Guard and all the stakeholders. That response was set into play within an hour of the event itself. Where there was confusion later on in the day when we revised the oil spill estimate on the discharge that was not passed in a timely manner. I don't want to confuse the inability to pass that information on with the fact that the response was mounted properly. What happened was the event occurred early in the morning when there was a lot of fog, poor visibility. We couldn't get a helicopter up to do an accurate assessment. We had to move the vessel to an anchorage. We weren't able to sound the tanks because of the damage to the tanks. It took until about 4:00 in the afternoon to ascertain the exact amount that had been released. In the meantime there was an eyeball estimate made, there was 140 gallons. That probably shouldn't have even have been released because it's very, very difficult to assess how much oil has been spilled once it's on the water. But that did not slow the response. We had skimming equipment and booms out there right away.


PHILLIPS: California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor agrees that the spill should never have happened, but she wants to focus on the cleanup.


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, (D) CALIFORNIA: Right now the action should be concentrated on getting the stuff off the beaches, off the rocks, preventing it from infiltrating into the soil and into the water as much as possible.


PHILLIPS: Federal law forbids, rather, the pilot and crew from leaving the ship.

Killed in the line of duty last week, remembered and laid to rest today. A funeral in Florida this afternoon for 76-year-old Broward County sheriff's deputy Paul Rein. He was shot on Wednesday allegedly by a man he was transporting to court to face robbery charges. Rein's family says the former mailman didn't get into law enforcement until much later in life, but they say his badge, uniform and his role as a protector meant everything to him.

The deputy's alleged killer Michael Mazza is back in custody thanks in large part to a homeless man who alerted police. Mark Spradley doesn't have a home, but he does have a car and the alleged killer flagged him down. Spradley later recognized Mazza from a TV in a pawn shop.


MARK SPRADLEY, HELPED CAPTURE SUSPECT: My main demeanor was to not trigger him off, not make him panic. Just to keep him occupied, keep him comfortable and keep his mind on that I'm in the store trying to buy some stereo speakers or try to buy a speaker box. Just show him no kind of indication that something else was going to happen.


PHILLIPS: Spradley might not have to pawn anything in the future. He's already gotten several thousand dollars for what he did and he may be eligible for a $25,000 reward from crime stoppers. (END OF VIDEO CLIP)

PHILLIPS: Hard to believe this Washington landmark has stood in stoic silence for a quarter century, reflections on the Vietnam Wall 25 years later.


PHILLIPS: Veterans Day 2007 marks the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. You probably know the black granite monument known as the wall. Senior pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre looks at its origins and its impact.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For 25 years, this black granite edifice has been a testament to how a memorial can be more than merely a monument. The wall, as it quickly became known, is the center piece of a Vietnam veterans memorial and changed the way we think about honoring our war dead. Born in controversy, the radically simple design was originally a school project by a Yale architecture student, 21-year-old Chinese American Maya Lin. A professional who lost to Lin in the design competition, turned her crude drawing into this vision. Still the critics wailed an ugly gash on the National Mall, a gravestone, an attempt to bury the war. But that's not how it turned out. The wall, with its highly polished surface, became both a mirror and a window, a touchstone to the past. Reflections, a classic painting by artist Lee Teeter, perfectly captures the emotion.

What no one anticipated was how so many visitors would leave a piece of themselves behind. Among the flowers and flags, a photograph, framed, a battle worn hat, a baseball mitt, even a stuffed animal from a mother to her son. One recent addition, the stars from a chairman of the joint chiefs, left on the day of his retirement. These are yours, not mine, scrawled Pete Pace, to his long lost platoon mate, 19 year old Guido Faranaro(ph), closure. The word has become a cliche, but it's the ability to bring closure that is the most remarkable quality of this mending wall. A statue was added to assuage the critics, but the memorial's power comes from the names, 58,249 and room for more. All the dead and missing from an entire war. No memorial had ever attempted so complete a commemoration. Now it's the standard. For ensuring the memory of no warrior is left on some distant battlefield. Jamie McIntyre, CNN, Washington.


PHILLIPS: Former secretary of state Colin Powell served as an army officer in Vietnam. The wall has had a profound impact on him. So the retired general spoke at yesterday's ceremonies.


COLIN POWELL, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: There's magic in this wall that has stood here for 25 years. There is magic in that wall. How could two pieces of granite engraved with names and placed in a depression in the earth come to be the most famous memorial in a city endowed with so many monumental tributes to men of honor and to America's wars? How could this grave stone to those who died in America's most controversial and perhaps most unpopular war come to occupy such a wonderful, remarkable place in America's collective heart. How could it have become an altar, a shrine, a temple, a church? Most of the memorials that we see in the mall were built decades after the passing of the man or the end of the conflict. Yet, this wall sprung to life just a few years after the Vietnam War ended. How did this wall expand beyond Vietnam and come to encompass the service and sacrifice of all generations? How has it come to touch so deeply, people who did have not a loved one who served in Vietnam, did not lose anyone in Vietnam? How has it come to touch young people born long after the wall or born after this wall was dedicated?


PHILLIPS: Powell says that the sacrifices made by veterans have helped make the United States a great country. On this Veterans Day a heartfelt song of love from a mother to her son in uniform. Brandon Sebastian has served in Afghanistan for six months. After a leave he returns to duty there in just a few days. His mom Debra sat down and wrote this song as a tribute to Brandon and other American troops. Then she recorded it in her basement. She's one of our CNN i- Reporters and she's sharing her song with us.


PHILLIPS: A former Bush administration official admits that he was foolish to leak the name of a CIA operative, Valerie Plame, but Richard Armitage says he didn't know Plame was a covert agent. Armitage spoke on CNN's "LATE EDITION" with Wolf Blitzer.


WOLF BLITZER: It's now been well known that you were the first administration official to tell Robert Novak, the syndicated columnist about Valerie Plame Wilson's identity as a CIA operative and that started, and in effect you wrote a column after that, a whole chain of events. We all know what happened as a result. I spoke with Valerie Plame Wilson the other day in "THE SITUATION ROOM" and I want you to listen to what she said.


VALERIE PLAME WILSON, FORMER CIA AGENT: Mr. Armitage did a very foolish thing. He's been around Washington for decades. He should know better. He's a senior government official. Whether he knew where exactly I worked in the CIA, he had no right to go talking to a reporter about where I worked. That was strictly off limits.


BLITZER: Those are strong words from Valerie Plame Wilson.

RICHARD ARMITAGE, FMR. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE: They're not words in which I disagree. I think it was extraordinarily foolish of me. There was no ill-intent on my part and never seen ever in 43 years of having a security clearance a covert operative's name in a memo. The only reason I knew a Mrs. Wilson, not Mrs. Plame worked at the agency, was because I saw it in a memo. But I don't disagree with her words.

BLITZER: Normally in memos they don't name covert operatives?

ARMITAGE: I've never seen one named.

BLITZER: So you assumed she was what, just an analyst?

ARMITAGE: I not only assumed it, that's what the message said, and she was publicly chairing a meeting.

BLITZER: So when you told Robert Novak that Joe Wilson, the former U.S. ambassador's wife worked at the CIA and she was involved somehow in getting him this trip to Africa to look for the enriched uranium if there were enriched uranium going to Iraq, you simply assumed that she was not a clandestine officer of the CIA.

ARMITAGE: Even Mr. Novak had said that he used the word operative and misused it, no one ever said operative and I not only assumed it. As I say, I've never seen a covert agent's name in a memo, however that doesn't take away from what Mrs. Plame said it was foolish. Yeah.

BLITZER: So you agree with her on that?

ARMITAGE: Absolutely.


PHILLIPS: A federal judge recently dismissed a lawsuit by Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband Joe Wilson. The couple had accused Bush administration officials of leaking her identity as retaliation for Joe Wilson's criticism of the administration.

Remember Greensburg, Kansas? A vicious tornado put it on and nearly wiped it off the map. Now six months later Greensburg is rebuilding with a conscience. CNN's Betty Nguyen has that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you could just hear it ripping the house away. You can hear the roof going. You could hear things hitting the house.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): May 4, 2007, an F-5 tornado nearly wiped Greensburg, Kansas off the map.

PAMELA MUNTZ, TORNADO SURVIVOR: I really felt like we were going to die that night.

NGUYEN: In fact, 11 people did die. The rest are left with this. Painful reminders of what the town used to look like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She lost her job. The church was gone.

NGUYEN: Pamela Muntz has lived here 32 years. She says the only way to heal is to focus on the future and today, part of her future just arrived.

MUNTZ: When it got here today it became reality. It became reality. It's really here. It's going on the foundation. It's reality.

NGUYEN: And it's emotional for you isn't it?

MUNTZ: It is. It is emotional. It is. You don't realize how important your home is. To me, your home is your safe haven and we've not had a safe haven for five months.

NGUYEN: She now finds peace of mind in this customized modular home. It comes already built and is designed to be energy efficient.

MUNTZ: And it's all together, it's one piece now, it's not two pieces.

NGUYEN: That's the beauty of starting over. The tornado wiped the slate clean and now the town is rebuilding with a conscience. The goal is to go green. Create a place that is so environmentally friendly it sets the standard for communities across the nation.

NGUYEN: Where was your basement?


NGUYEN: Steve Hewitt who also lost his home in the tornado is the city administrator helping lead the way.

STEVE HEWITT, GREENSBURG CITY ADMINISTRATOR: By building efficient homes you're seeing less energy wasted and by not wasting energy then you have an opportunity to be friendlier to your environment which is important because we're not building a town. We're not making 10 year decisions. We're making hundred-year decisions. We're building a town for our kids, not just for ourselves.

NGUYEN: Which is why students are taking part in the design. Just listen to some of the ideas on the table.

LEVI SMITH, HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE: Geothermal energy, they're talking about wind energy.

TAYLOR SCHMIDT, HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR: Use of a lot of natural lighting and we're going to have -- we're trying to get -- Kansas has the opportunity to -- is giving schools the opportunity to be wind- powered and if that came through it would just be incredible that we would have our own wind turbine and completely self-reliant, energy wise.

NGUYEN: It's almost ironic how the same element that destroyed the town is being used to rebuild it. But according to city planner Stephen Hardy it just makes sense.

STEPHEN HARDY, BNIM CITY PLANNER: They're really starting to understand that that means money. There is money blowing around in the air, that it's a resource that they can harness.

NGUYEN: While still in its early phases, the plan is already creating a buzz. That's attracted camera crews from The Discovery Channel. Producer Johnny Gold says "Discovery" plans a 13-part documentary called Ecotown.

JOHNNY GOULD, PRODUCER, PILGRIM FILMS: For a lot of these people, green was a color on the wall and now they're learning that building green can be a type of nail or a specific type of siding or a special window that you use that's more energy efficient.

NGUYEN: And that can be more expensive. Part of the challenge is getting people to make the investment now so they'll save later, but when most of the town is still living out of FEMA trailers. There are those who just want their house built the fastest way possible, even if it's not green.

How much of this town is going to be eco-friendly?

HEWITT: Well, our goal is to make everything eco-friendly. Is that a goal we can reach? I don't know. We sure are going to try.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you see it moving?

NGUYEN: Watch!

This grandmother of two is determined to do her part.

MUNTZ: I see this house and I'm so excited, and I'm not even thinking about, you know, starting over. It is a new life and it's going to be good.

NGUYEN: For both her family and a town that's raising the bar on what it means to rebuild responsibly. Betty Nguyen, CNN, Greensburg, Kansas.


PHILLIPS: Talk about risky business. Would you wrestle with an armed robber at your job? We're going to tell you about some brave workers who tangled with the bandit and how it all came out.

Honor among thieves? Not these guys, an elderly victim, a low- down ruse and a heartbreaking theft. We'll tell you about it.