Return to Transcripts main page
When Candidates Collide; Back to Baghdad: Iraqi Refugees Head Home; Operation Youssif
Aired November 29, 2007 - 08:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Tony Harris.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody.
I'm Heidi Collins.
Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on this Thursday morning. It's November 29th.
Here's what's on the rundown.
Jibs, jabs and jive. The CNN/YouTube debate -- did the Republicans make an election connection?
HARRIS: "Baby Grace" case. Robert sawyers and his mother live this hour. He says the child brutally beaten to death is his daughter Riley Ann.
COLLINS: This woman thrown to the floor and tasered. Then police get the shocking news she's pregnant.
In the NEWSROOM.
When candidates collide. Republicans in the race for president taking your questions, trying to win your support. The CNN/YouTube debate, the day after.
Chief National Correspondent John King live from St. Petersburg, Florida.
Hi there, John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Heidi.
A bit feisty last night, and there's reasons for that. These eight Republican candidates have significant disagreements on several of the big issues that are defining this campaign -- immigration, for one. That's one of the reasons.
Another big reason, the Iowa caucuses are five weeks from today.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KING (voice over): Up first, immigration. From the get-go, crackling.
RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And the reality is that New York City was not a sanctuary city.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The mayor actually brought a suit to maintain its sanctuary city status.
GIULIANI: In his case there were six sanctuary cities. He did nothing about them. There was even a sanctuary mansion. At his own home, illegal immigrants were being employed.
KING: The Romney-Giuliani face-off on immigration, one of many raw moments.
Another, when Romney refused to say whether he considered waterboarding terrorism suspects to be torture.
ROMNEY: I don't think it's wise for us to describe specifically which measures we would and would not use.
JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a defining issue and, clearly, we should be able, if we want to be commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces, to take a definite and positive position.
KING: The unique format meant unique questions.
This one from Joseph in Dallas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe every word of this book?
KING: "The Book of Mormon" defines Romney's faith.
ROMNEY: I might interpret the word differently than you interpret the word, but I read the bible and I believe the bible is the word of God.
KING: Faith factored as well in a death penalty question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would Jesus do?
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you grant your vice president as much power and influence as I've had?
KING: That colorful entry brought a rare Republican debate criticism of President Bush.
MCCAIN: And he did not have as much national security experience as I do, so he had to rely more on the vice president of the United States, and that is obvious.
KING: Just back from Iraq, McCain was assertive again when Ron Paul called for bringing the troops home.
MCCAIN: The message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is, let us win.
KING: Each candidate allowed a 30-second video, and the struggling Fred Thompson used his to attack two rivals causing him fits by drawing conservative support.
ROMNEY: I believe that abortion should be save and legal in this country.
On abortion, I was wrong, and I changed my mind as the governor.
KING: When it was over, a momentary truce. It won't last. The first votes in Iowa are just five weeks away.
KING: And the pointed rhetoric resuming first thing this morning. Immigration already the subject of more debate, Heidi. And I can tell you this, as the candidates move on. They're going to miss the warm air in St. Petersburg, Florida. Iowa caucuses very cold, New Hampshire very cold. The candidates back on the trail, the rhetoric certain to get even more feisty -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Yes, I think you're right about that.
John, I do want to ask you about something -- some of your reporting that came out last night regarding Giuliani and some of his security detail, the expenses for that, and for some travel expenses, $34,000 that were apparently then charged to various departments that he oversaw. This was combined with some other questions about his family life, the association with Bernard Kerik.
Do these things become electability issues for him?
KING: Well, they certainly become credibility questions and good government questions, and the Giuliani campaign says it needs to get some better answers to explain just how this happened.
The main issue is this: you had security charges for the mayor's security detail. And he received, as did his predecessor and successor, 24/7 police coverage. That is not a question in dispute, but what happened here was tens of thousands of dollars for those costs, the police detail, their travel, their gas charges when they are driving with the mayor, were billed to very obscure city offices like the Office of People with Disabilities, like the New York Loft Board which regulates loft apartments in places like Tribeca and Soho.
So people are asking, why are these costs being billed to these obscure city agencies? Was the mayor trying to hide something?
COLLINS: Right. KING: And part of this gets -- the critics are asking more questions because some of the charges in question, when he took trips out of the city to see his then girlfriend, now his third wife, Judith Nathan. So the mayor's office says these are all appropriate, they say they weren't trying to hide anything, but they also do say they want to get some better answers as to why these obscure city offices were paying things that you would think you would find in the police department budget.
COLLINS: All right.
CNN's John King coming to us one day after the debate in St. Petersburg -- sunny, warm St. Petersburg, Florida.
Thank you, John.
HARRIS: Well, questions raised about a question posed during the CNN/YouTube Republican debate. It came from a retired general who served 43 years in the military before publicly acknowledging he is gay.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIG. GEN. KEITH KERR, U.S. ARMY (RET.): My name is Keith Kerr from Santa Rosa, California. I'm a retired brigadier general with 43 years of service and I'm a graduate of the Special Forces Officer Course, the Command and General Staff Course, and the Army War College. And I'm an openly gay man.
I want to know why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Well, it turns out Kerr was listed as a member of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's steering committee for gay and lesbian supporters. CNN did not learn that until after the debate.
Our John Roberts talked with Kerr about the controversy on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: And we found that have you not made any campaign contributions to any candidate.
Does that still stand?
KERR: That's correct.
ROBERTS: OK. Well, let me ask you about your position on this steering committee. What does that entail? And have you, in fact, done any work for Hillary Clinton's campaign?
KERR: I have not done any work. Several friends asked me if I would allow my name to be listed and I agreed, because she is such a strong advocate of gay and lesbian rights.
ROBERTS: So this really hasn't required anything on your part, other than lending your name to it?
ROBERTS: Now, did anyone from Hillary Clinton's campaign or from the steering committee, or anyone else associated with a political organization put you up to the idea of asking this question?
KERR: Absolutely not. This was a private initiative on my own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: And this response from CNN's senior vice president and debate executive producer, David Bohrman: "We regret this incident. CNN would not have used the general's question had we known that he was connected to any presidential candidate."
All right. If you want the most up-to-the-minute political news anywhere available and a behind-the-scenes look at the debate, CNNPolitics.com is your one-stop shop. It is the Internet's premier destination for political news -- CNNPolitics.com.
COLLINS: Disturbing new details in the death of "Baby Grace." Minutes from now, we will be talking to the father and grandmother of Riley Ann Sawyers. She is believed to be that unidentified little girl whose body washed ashore in Texas. And we are hearing now about the 2-year-old's final hours.
The details coming from Riley's mother, according to her attorney. He says Kimberly Trenor and her husband beat and tortured Riley because she failed to say "please" and "sir." The attorney says Trenor's husband, Royce Zeigler, stayed home from work to enforce the discipline and became enraged when his orders were not followed. An attorney for Zeigler denies that.
Riley's grandmother in Ohio alerted the police when she saw the sketch of "Baby Grace." She said the child resembled her granddaughter. DNA tests are expected to confirm they are indeed the same child.
At the bottom of the hour we're going to be hearing from Riley's grandmother and her father.
HARRIS: A college student with a double life, did it lead to her disappearance? Emily Sander was last seen leaving a bar in El Dorado, Kansas, Friday. Police say she met a man there. They fear she may be a victim of foul play.
Friends and family members say Sander led a double life, appearing nude on an adult Web site. Police now confirming that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF TOM BOREN, EL DORADO, KANSAS, POLICE: Investigators are aware that Ms. Sander was apparently involved in a Web site situation. Allegations that this may factor in her disappearance are being thoroughly investigated, as these and over 75 other leads have been actively pursued.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Police say that the man who left the bar with Sander, Israel Morales (ph), has not been seen since. Investigators found his hotel room in a mess with a large quantity of blood.
Overture. Hit the lights. The strike is over and it is curtains up tonight on Broadway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLOTTE ST. MARTIN, LEAGUE OF AMERICAN THEATERS & PRODUCERS: Broadway lights will, once again, be shining brightly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: OK. Stagehands and producers finally came to a tentative agreement last night. The 19-day strike shut down major shows over the lucrative Thanksgiving holiday. Some shows are wooing audience back with discounted tickets for tonight's performances.
COLLINS: Protest in Pakistan as the president gets a new term in office. Pervez Musharraf taking the oath for a third time today, but this will be his first term as a civilian. The inauguration one day after Mr. Musharraf ended a four-decade military career. The opposition and world leaders had demanded that. He has yet to agree to calls for an end to Pakistan's state of emergency though.
Some 200 lawyers took the streets of Lahore protesting inauguration. Police say four lawyers and three officers were injured.
COLLINS: The last thing you'd expect at a five-star hotel, an armored personnel carrier ramming the entrance. This was the scene overnight in the Philippines capital of Manila. It played out on live TV as military troops and S.W.A.T. teams stormed the hotel where rebels were holed up.
The dissidents had walked out of their coup trial and were demanding the resignation of the Philippine president. Police evacuated hotel guests. The rebels eventually surrendered after troops fired tear gas into the hotel.
HARRIS: The details of this story so horrible -- doused with gas, disfigured by fire. An Iraqi boy back in the operating room this morning.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta fills us in ahead in the NEWSROOM.
COLLINS: Better back home? Many Iraqi refugees are risking the return trip from Syria.
CNN's Brent Sadler reports.
BRENT SADLER, CNN BEIRUT BUREAU CHIEF (voice over): A chaotic start to a long and uncertain journey to Baghdad. Hundreds of Iraqi refugees in Syria jam their worldly possessions into overloaded buses.
For the first time in more than two years, a tide of 1.5 million refugees arriving in Damascus have started to turn. Twenty-six-year- old Ammar Jassem Ali is head of his small and long-suffering family. They are Muslim Shiites who were driven from a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad a year ago. Victims, they say, of bomb blasts, kidnapping and violent intimidation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this was in the house in Baghdad?
SADLER: Ammar shows a picture of his sister Adlam (ph), kidnapped and missing, presumed dead. But now surviving relatives want them back to live in safer areas. And the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is luring returnees with hundreds of dollars in support of their move.
"It's hopefully safer," says Ammar. "That's what was on TV thanks to Maliki. And, God willing, we'll go back."
(on camera): The crucial cash incentive and free transport encourages many refugees to weigh their options, but these life-and- death decisions to gamble on going back to Iraq seem to be more about ending their hopeless limbo here than any real expectation of a smooth and safe return home.
(voice over): In less than a year, Ammar's already impoverished family run out of funds. Syria restricted visas, and brother-in-law Saad (ph) overcome with emotion when he recalls that he was forced to leave his wife and child behind.
An agonizing dilemma faces them all. "If they come for me again," explains Ammar, "I won't do anything. Let them kill me in my own country."
This largest organized return of refugees from Syria comes as the Iraqi government faces intense pressure to show progress after months of political deadlock.
SYBELLA WILKES, UNHCR: We, of course, would love to see a day when Iraqis can go back. We're just not sure that today is the day that the majority of the Iraqis can feel they can go back.
SADLER: Casting doubt on the scale of any dramatic moves.
For the refugees, their trip is arduous, the roads in Iraq dangerous for homesick families sharing the same calculated risk.
Brent Sadler, CNN, Damascus. (END VIDEOTAPE)
HARRIS: A little Iraqi boy doused with gasoline, set on fire. Can you believe this? Only to survive, disfigured.
Youssif has another important surgery today at the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks, California. The surgery is happening because of you.
How about what you've done here? Our viewers donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Youssif through CNN's Impact Your World initiative.
CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here following Youssif's progress.
Wow! Great to see you. And we will talk about the viewers in just a moment and the work you did to make this happen.
But talk to us about today's surgery and how important today's procedure is.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's very important. You know, burn surgery is one of those things that takes a while to develop, so people expect sort of dramatic results right away. That's not the way it happens typically.
GUPTA: It takes months, it takes lots of different operations. You have all the scarring tissue and it takes -- you know, first they inject it with steroids to sort of soften that up. This may be more than some people want to know, but, you know, the state-of-the-art burn surgery.
You see him there. I saw him just a few weeks ago. He has these bulges that are kind of obvious.
GUPTA: Those are tissue expanders, Tony. And what that means is they take healthy skin and they expand it with this idea that you might be able to take that healthy skin and cover up the obviously burned areas as you see there, over his nose, around his nose, on the cheek.
Tissue expander in the cheek there, and then another one -- a little bit hard to see there, but underneath his neck. All that, what's being done right now, probably this morning, is they are going to expand a lot of that tissue to cover up those areas of his face. And that's sort of the transition from one to the other.
HARRIS: You know what I think as I look at these pictures? The skin on the face is one thing. Our lips are something totally different. How successful do you think the doctor is going to be at repairing, making, forming new lips? GUPTA: You ask a very important question because it's one of the most cosmetically difficult areas of the face, according to the plastic surgeons I spoke to.
Think about your lips. You go from normal skin to essentially this border, and then you go into your lips. Sort of just crafting that border again cosmetically is a challenge, especially in one that's been so badly burned and so much scar. But Dr. Peter Grossman, who is doing the operation at Sherman Oaks, believes that he's going to be able to create new lips and you're going to see a dramatic transformation over the next couple of weeks.
HARRIS: Well, look, we mentioned at the top here you, the viewers, have been tremendous in responding to Youssif's plight.
Remind us again of that effort and how much money has been raised through the efforts of viewers to make this happen.
GUPTA: This was a feel-good story .
GUPTA: This was taking something bad and -- Arwa Damon, who is a war correspondent in Iraq, first told the story. And she did an incredible job. And you saw some of those reports.
GUPTA: And it obviously resonated with lots of viewers. Thirteen thousand people sent in money. That's a lot of viewers sending in money, over $300,000.
HARRIS: That's tremendous.
GUPTA: Enough to not only pay for his entire care -- you can see the images of him from before, burned, to right now. Not only to pay for his care, but also for his family to stay in the United States, and to also start bringing some other children possibly in the future to the Children's Burn Foundation.
GUPTA: Incredible stuff -- 13,000 donations and over $300,000.
HARRIS: So we can't thank the viewers -- can't thank you enough for helping us out on this.
But I know that there is something more extensive that we're doing in following the story, and it's a special coming up soon. And I know you're heavily involved, as is Arwa.
GUPTA: Yes, absolutely. It's December 15th and 16th. It's going to be at 10:00 p.m. Want to make sure as many people as possible can see this.
HARRIS: That's terrific. Good. Good. GUPTA: It really tells the story.
HARRIS: Sanjay, great to see you. Thanks for your time.
GUPTA: Thanks, Tony. Thanks for having me.
COLLINS: Tasered and pregnant. A case in Ohio triggers an FBI investigation.
Jill Del Greco of affiliate WHIO reports now from Trotwood, Ohio.
JILL DEL GRECO, REPORTER, WHIO (voice over): Just outside, past the front doors, that's the officer on the right, the pregnant mother and her baby on the left. Police say the woman wanted to give police her child but the officer wanted, first, to talk.
MICHAEL ETTER, TROTWOOD, OHIO, PUBLIC SAFETY DIR.: Attempted to obtain information on both the mother and the child, at which time the mother refused to give any information and became very agitated.
DEL GRECO: The pregnant woman then tries to leave with the boy and the officer tries to stop her. Police get a hold of the child, then try to detain the mother, but she resists. That's when the officer forces her to the ground flat on her stomach. He gets out a taser and uses it on her neck.
But the police chief says that during the struggle here, his officer had no idea the woman was pregnant.
ETTER: She did not disclose to us at any time, even after she was arrested, that she was pregnant. And she was wearing a heavy winter coat and holding the child on her lap when the officer arrived.
DEL GRECO: Now, because of this incident, the FBI is investigating. There is also an internal Trotwood investigation, though the officer is still on duty.
ETTER: I think the main issue at this point wasn't -- and at least in my point of view, whether or not the officer had the right to detain her, but whether appropriate force was used for the amount of resistance. And that's what we're looking into.
DEL GRECO: This Trotwood resident sees the need for Tasers but also thinks they should be used very carefully.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, you have to make sure that the person is not going to try to hurt you or anything, but you also have to take into consideration that you don't know everybody's condition. You know? Sometimes it's a good thing and sometimes it's a bad thing, especially with a pregnant woman.
COLLINS: We will be talking with the police official you saw in that piece coming up live next hour.
HARRIS: Fair tax. Huh? Well, it is the in new buzzword from presidential candidates. What is it? And can it work?
HARRIS: What exactly is this fair tax -- hey, Ali, "Minding Your Business" -- Ali, what is this fair tax that had the folks there roaring last night in St. Petersburg?
ALI VELSHI, CNN SR. BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I was watching that. When I watched it, I thought to myself, you know, Huckabee is going to make me talk about taxes all day today. And absolutely -- look at that response he got.
And I think there are two things to this. First of all -- and my head hurts. I mean, this is my tax work all morning.
VELSHI: I've been trying to figure out fair tax. OK?
Here is the problem. The tax code, I'm going to get one because we keep talking about this. It's like a couple of phone books. It is massive.
Nobody wants to do their taxes. Nobody understands their taxes. The fair tax is a proposal that, number one, would eliminate all of those taxes that are taken off your paycheck.
Take a look of the things what would come off. You wouldn't pay income tax. There would be no corporate tax, no Medicare, no AMT, no payroll taxes, no estate taxes, no gift taxes, no capital gains taxes, no Social Security.
If you earn $40,000, you'll get, you know, your every 26-week installment of your paycheck. And then everything you buy will have a built-in tax which will be equivalent to 23 percent of the total price you buy.
It will be 30 percent more expensive than it is right now. So something today that costs $20, it should cost you about $24.60. But your tax is only at the end. So it's a tax on what you consume.
If you want to save taxes, Tony, under the fair tax system, don't buy stuff. That is why it appeals to people.
There's no forms to fill out. Huckabee talks about getting rid of the IRS. It appeals to people. I don't have to worry about the tax system, that's what the biggest appeal of this tax is.
HARRIS: Boy. All right. Would this abolish the IRS as we know it? VELSHI: No, because a bunch of state collects state taxes. You still have to pay those. And those states that don't have sales taxes or state taxes...
VELSHI: ... the federal government is going to have to administrator those taxes. So it's going to be a department of the -- I don't know, the IRS or the Department of Treasury, the building will be there and it will change names.
VELSHI: It's very appealing. I have a lot of work to do to tell you whether or not this is a good idea just yet.
VELSHI: But thanks to Mike Huckabee, I'm going to be kept busy.
HARRIS: Well, good. When you figure it out, because you're the man, will you let us know?
VELSHI: I should. And I should tell you, by the way, other than Thompson, Giuliani and Mitt Romney, all of those other candidates on the stage last night all support the fair tax. Look at that -- Tancredo, Hunter, McCain and Ron Paul all like some version of that fair tax.
HARRIS: All right. So there must be something in it.
HARRIS: Let's figure it out. All right, Ali. Good to see you.
HARRIS: Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business."
COLLINS: "Baby Grace" and the grisly death of Riley Ann Sawyers, new details and new insights now. We're going to be hearing from the woman who helped police connect the cases, her grandmother, in the NEWSROOM.
ANNOUNCER: Live in the CNN NEWSROOM, Tony Harris and Heidi Collins.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Hi there everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning everyone. Tony Harris here. Let's get to you the New York Stock Exchange opening bell just moments ago. All right. So let's get the business day start started. Boy, I told you yesterday. You can't beat the NYSE for action. Look at this. The Dow picked up 331 points yesterday to close at 13,289. What fueled that? What fuels that, the Dow's biggest two day gain in five years? So we get started today and immediately down 43 points. What does the day hold in store for us? We're checking the markets all morning long in the NEWSROOM with Susan Lisovicz.
COLLINS: Gruesome new details in the death of Riley Ann Sawyers. She's the little girl believed to be Baby Grace whose body washed ashore in Texas. An attorney for Riley's mother says the woman's husband beat and tortured the little girl to teach her manners. DNA tests are expected to confirm that Baby Grace's body is indeed that of little Riley. Riley's grandmother first made the connection.
She contacted police after seeing the composite sketch. And with Sheryl Sawyers is her attorney, Laura Depledge, who we have spoken with before on the program. We told you Riley's biological father would actually be joining them as well. Unfortunately, he changed his mind at the last moment. There had been some earlier interviews that very emotional for him. So we will continue this morning with Sheryl Sawyers. Sheryl, I wonder tell us, if you would, a little bit about Riley and what type of little girl that she was?
SHERYL SAWYERS, RILEY ANN SAWYERS GRANDMOTHER: Well, she was a very wonderful child. She loved to sing. She loved to dance. Watch movies. Her favorite was "Cars." You know, she liked to sit and read books. You know, or just sit with you in a chair, snuggled up. Loved to be outside. When it was nice out, she wanted to be outside. Didn't want to come back in the house. But, yeah, I mean, she was -- she was the light of my life.
COLLINS: When was the last time that you saw Riley?
SAWYERS: May 25th.
COLLINS: I know it had been some time after that where you had not seen her, in fact, a couple of months. What were you thinking in that time? Were you worried about her?
SAWYERS: Yeah. I was worried about where she was. We couldn't locate her. We couldn't locate her mother. And that we had visitation that was set up, my son, you know, and we'd go to pick the child up, she was never there. You know, we didn't know where she was. Of course, her family was not helpful in us finding where she was.
COLLINS: Was there any way you could of contacted authorities or that Robert could of contacted authorities? Because if those visitation rights were court-ordered, it would seem like those alert flags were up, yes?
SAWYERS: Well, it would seem that way, wouldn't it? But, I mean, authorities, we did at one point tried to file a missing persons report. Because he is the non-custodial parent, you know, it causes all kinds of problems. I mean, she has the rights. We have to go through the court system in that, as you know, the court system sometimes takes a little time.
COLLINS: Let's talk for a minute, if we could Sheryl, about that composite sketch. I had spoken several times with Major Tuttoilmondo who I'm sure you are familiar with, the person who has seemed very emotionally connected with this case, the sheriff deputy and investigator and so forth in Galveston, Texas where Baby Grace's body, we should let everyone know the DNA tests have not been confirmed yet but they do suspect it is Riley Ann. How did you come to know him? How did it all come together where you finally said, oh, my gosh, the sketch that I'm looking at seems to be my granddaughter?
SAWYERS: When I first saw the sketch, you know on the internet and I looked at it, you know, that is what kind of first drew it to me is the little blond haired girl that kind of resembles my granddaughter. As I read through the story and realized it was a toddler who was found in Texas, which we found out the end of August finally that Kimberly was in Texas, I just, you know, I didn't want to believe it could be her, but you know, we've had no contact from her since May and, you know, it was going on five months. So I called to have them -- I gave them the address that I had. I asked could somebody please go out there, check. It resembles my granddaughter. I don't know if it is, but could they check to make sure she is at the address with her mother and that she is okay? And, of course, we find out that she's not.
COLLINS: How well did you know Royce Zeigler?
SAWYERS: I did not know Royce Ziegler at all.
COLLINS: Did Robert know him?
SAWYERS: No, the first time my son or I, either one of us, laid eyes on him is when his mug shot came up on the television.
COLLINS: What about Kimberly? Did you ever think Kimberly would have been capable of something like this?
SAWYERS: No, no, I never did. She lived with me for two years. She called me mom. You know? I mean, I thought of her as my daughter. I never, never thought that she could do this to her child.
COLLINS: She lived with you for two years?
SAWYERS: Yes, she did.
COLLINS: Tell me more about her.
SAWYERS: She was quiet. You know? Not one to show her emotions a lot. You know? But, yeah, I mean, never a problem, you know? That, you know, that --
COLLINS: What was the nature of the relationship between her and her daughter Riley?
SAWYERS: You know, it was a good relationship. She loved Riley. You know? She did. You know, but she was, of course, when she had her, she was 16 years old, she was a teenager, you know? So, I mean, they don't come with instructions, so, you know, but I was there, you know, to help out in that, so.
COLLINS: I know there are some charges of domestic violence regarding Robert.
COLLINS: Can you tell us a little bit about his side of the story on that?
SAWYERS: Right. And that was, you know, an awful occurrence that happened. And let me make clear.
COLLINS: What happened?
SAWYERS: Well, you know, it was over a stupid parking space to begin with. You know, I mean he never hit her. And the domestic violence was pled down to a disorderly conduct because I mean he did not strike her, he never struck, you know, the child. She basically, you know -- he had never struck her before and he didn't hit her at that time, you know? It was just an unfortunate situation that happened.
COLLINS: Was this something, though, Sheryl, that came up when the custody dispute took place in the court system?
SAWYERS: No. Because, no, we didn't, you know, Kimberly was still living me with at that time. You know? Because that happened the end of march. My son Robert moved out in April and that and Kimberly continued to live with me until the beginning of May. So, I mean, the custody thing -- it wasn't actually a custody. It was a child visitation and that didn't come up until it was set up until the end of May.
COLLINS: Okay. Let's move forward just a bit here and talk about what happens next.
COLLINS: Obviously, both Kimberly and Royce Zeigler are in jail at this time. The bond at $350,000 each.
COLLINS: When this trial goes forward, assuming there will be one, will you testify? Will Robert testify?
SAWYERS: I don't know that we'll testify but we will definitely be there. Which is, why you know, why -- we do have -- I want to let everybody know that there is a fund that is set up, the Riley Sawyers memorial fund at ...
COLLINS: First Merit Bank.
SAWYERS: First Merit Bank, my mind is jumbled. COLLINS: Understood.
SAWYERS: There is some confusion with that fund that people are calling the bank thinking that the fund that is set up for Kimberly's defense. That is not a defense fund. That is for Riley and our family, you know, for anything that we may need and also for travel expenses because, I mean, when the trial starts, I want to be there. I want to make sure these people are held accountable.
COLLINS: Understand. We certainly appreciate your time today. Sheryl Sawyers, who is the grandmother of Baby Grace, again, still waiting for the DNA tests to confirm whether or not that baby is Riley Ann Sawyers. Thank you so much, Sheryl, and to your attorney, Laura Depledge.
SAWYERS: Thank you.
HARRIS: Some breaking news into the CNN NEWSROOM. I understand that CNN has confirmed this just moments ago that former Illinois congressman, there he is, Henry Hyde has died. The information first coming from the office of house republican leader John Boehner and now confirmed by CNN. A man as you will recall who was central to the impeachment process of President Clinton. As a matter of fact, he was one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1998 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton as chair of the house judiciary committee. The news just into CNN. Former Illinois congressman Henry Hyde has died. We are working all of our sources to get more information. Don't know the cause of death at this point. Do recall, it seems to me, that he had been in poor health recently, but we are working to confirm the details of the passing of former Illinois congressman Henry Hyde. Once we get more information, we will bring that to you, of course, in the NEWSROOM.
A little Iraqi boy doused with gasoline, set on fire, and disfigured. Youssif is back in surgery today at the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks, California. Our Arwa Damon is following his progress, as she has from the very beginning. Good to see you, Arwa. Is our little man in surgery just yet?
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He actually just went in, Tony, about a half an hour ago and Dr. Peter Grossman, who is performing the surgery, along with his father, also just entered the operating room. What they are doing today is removing the tissue expanders. That is the large swelling that you see in the images underneath his chin and in his right cheek. Those tissue expanders were inserted about two months ago. And since then, the doctors have been inflating them with a saline solution. The surgery is expected to last at least three hours and it's fairly extensive.
The doctors are optimistic. However, there are risks involved. This is a very difficult procedure. There is the risk of blood loss, of muscle damage, or of underlying nerve damage. Now this is the third time in as many months little Youssif has gone into surgery and although he is very aware of what is happening, he has a great understanding of what he is going through, especially for a little 5- year-old. Still in those final moments, before he went into the operating room, he really lost that brave face he was trying to put on. He began crying. He was naturally very frightened saying that he was a little bit scared right before the doctors were able to put him to sleep. As I just mentioned, everyone here is very optimistic and Youssif's main hope is that he will be able to fully open his mouth and eat and smile like a normal child.
HARRIS: This is an important debriefing for us. So many of our viewers have such a stake in this young man's recovery and the surgeries and how he is doing and holding up. Mentally, emotionally. If you would, take us back. Show us some pictures, I guess we've got a couple. I saw them earlier, of this little boy. Talk to us about his life before all of this happened to him.
DAMON: Well, Tony, his life in Iraq, before you came to America, was really unimaginable. There is no such thing as a childhood today in Iraq. All Youssif knows is war. He was seven months old when this war began and he has grown up with the explosions, with the gunfire, with the fear and the anxiety. He has grown up watching his parents living in this state of anxiety and then suffered the unimaginable. Can you just imagine being a 5-year-old boy standing in front of your home that is meant to be your sanctuary, your safe place? And then have men douse you in gasoline and set you on fire?
But then, all of a sudden, there was this amazing turn of events. His parents still think they are living a dream and we've seen this remarkable transformation. Not in Youssif's mental state, but also in his parents' state. It's almost as if they were living under this dark cloud and that, to a certain degree, has been lifted, especially when they hear Youssif smile and shriek. They can't help but smile themselves. Just before coming into surgery, just before checking into the hospital yesterday, Youssif was having his final meal and he was trying to spoon food into his mouth and that is really very difficult for him. He said to his mother, he said, mommy, after the surgery, am I going to be able to open my mouth and she said to him, yes, you are. He said, you know what? It's okay.
HARRIS: All right. We've got a stake, all of the viewers who have donated and hoping the best for this young man. We have a stake in this, Arwa. As you get additional information, please give us a shout and pass it on. Thank you, Arwa.
DAMON: Absolutely. Thanks.
COLLINS: Unfortunately, we gave you the news just a few moments ago about the death of Henry Hyde. He was an Illinois congressman, representative. He was born back in 1924. We have learned today that Representative Henry Hyde has passed. I'm looking at a biography here. Obviously, he has held all kinds of different offices. Majority leader, on and on. I could go on and on. But once again, the information today from here CNN has confirmed Henry Hyde has passed.
COLLINS: The killing of NFL star Sean Taylor, new details now. Miami police saying Taylor was shot during a random burglary, not a targeted attack. Police say they are following a number of leads, but still need your help. Taylor died after confronting the intruder. A single bullet ripped through the femoral artery in his leg.
A deadly fire in Canada burns a hole in your pocket. Oil prices this morning jumped more than $4 a barrel. The reason? A fire at a pipeline that funnels crude oil from Canada to Chicago area and carries about 1.5 million barrels a day. Two workers who are repairing a leak in the line were killed.
HARRIS: And once again, breaking news this hour. The news that former Illinois congressman Henry Hyde has died; that information initially coming from the office of republican leader John Boehner. Henry Hyde spent 32 years in congress, that career highlighted by his opposition to abortion and his key role in the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton in 1998. More on the passing of Henry Hyde after a break.
HARRIS: Cervical cancer affects more than 11,000 women every year. How you treat it may depend on your age. Here is CNN's Judy Fortin.
JUDY FORTIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Millions of women head to the OB-GYN each year for their pap test but Allison Hick's doctor had some bad news for her.
ALLISON HICKS, CERVICAL CANCER SURVIVOR: I can tell you this is cancer. I can see tumors all over your cervix.
FORTIN: Allison's cancer was one that affects more than 11,000 American women every year. It was so advanced her doctor had to perform a radical hysterectomy, a surgery removing her reproductive organs.
HICKS: I was thinking I'm 29 years old and I've had a hysterectomy and who is there to talk to? I'm going through menopause. I'm having hot flashes. I have to take estrogen therapy. I'm in mourning of losing the ability to be a birth mother which has been a dream my whole life.
FORTIN: Cervical cancer is often caused by the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus or HPV that can cause normal cells in the lining of the cervix to gradual develop changes that eventually lead to cervical cancer, a diagnosis that impacts women differently as they age.
DR. SUJATHA REDDY, EMORY UNIVERSITY: For younger women, fertility may be an issue. If they haven't had children, trying to preserve that ability is going to be very important to them and they may choose more conservative option. FORTIN: Women in their 30s and young women in early stages of cancer may opt for more conservative treatment, such as radiation or less invasive surgery. For women moving beyond their reproductive years, doctors say the decision may be more clear.
REDDY: I think older women, hysterectomy becomes an easier decision and easier to make that decision if you're done having your children and already in menopause.
FORTIN: According to the American Cancer Society, half of all new cervical cancer cases each year occur in women between ages 35 and 55. So getting checked early is critical.
REDDY: Prevention at every age is going to be early detection and finding the precancerous changes and the best way to do that is going to be with a pap smear.
FORTIN: A lesson Allison now gladly shares with other women through her foundation, freepap.org.
HICKS: Surviving starts with knowing. The only way to beat this cancer is know about it and not get it.
FORTIN: Judy Fortin, CNN, reporting.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com