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Court Struggles with Child Custody Case in Texas; Clinton Campaign Fights On; Barack Obama Looks Ahead to Indiana; Gen. Petraeus to Head CENTCOM

Aired April 23, 2008 - 15:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Running for president is a full-time job, but senators have to work, too -- well, sometimes. A rare appearance on Capitol Hill today by both Democratic contenders, one of whom is walking a little taller after Pennsylvania.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And this is the mother of all child custody cases, a court in Texas struggling to sort out parentage and foster care for hundreds of children from a polygamist sect, some of whom are mothers themselves. We are live at the courthouse.

Hi there. I'm Brianna Keilar at CNN Center in Atlanta.

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

KEILAR: What is the best environment for 437 boys and girls in Texas, foster care or with their mothers on a polygamist ranch where officials believe they're in danger of sexual abuse? A meeting about the kids is going on this hour.

And let's get now to San Angelo, Texas, and CNN's Susan Roesgen.

It seems a bit of a catch-22, Susan.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, it really does.

For a lot of these parents especially, they say that they want to be with their children, but they have been told that they can't be with their children because they might be suspects in the abuse of their children, Brianna. It is a very tricky case, and right now at that court meeting, the state, the state child protective services agency is meeting with the judge in the case to let her know, OK, this is exactly where the kids are. These are the group homes, 16 different group homes around the state of Texas. Here is who is where.

That's what the state has to tell the judge. And we assume that some of the attorneys who have been fighting to let the mothers of the very young children, those under the age of two, those attorneys who have been fighting to try to keep the mothers with those young babies may also be at the courthouse.

We have a CNN crew there right now to see what the attorneys are saying. We know that the judge has not ruled on a temporary restraining order trying to stop the separation. So, the separation has begun. Yesterday, we saw the first of the buses leaving here, leaving the Coliseum behind me, sending the first 110 children away from this Coliseum, where they had been sleeping on cots, to group homes, 16 different group homes all across the state.

Now, there have been samples collected from all 437 children who were in the Coliseum initially. The state has done that, and the state has said, once that process was over, the state would start moving the children out. So, we do expect to see more buses here leaving today, taking more of the children to group homes.

Now, the state of Texas says it's got to do this because the state believes that there's sufficient evidence to prove that there was a pattern of child sexual abuse at the ranch. But the parents and the attorneys for the parents say that this is simply a case of the state of Texas tearing children away from the parents.


ROB PARKER, FLDS ATTORNEY: The Child Protective Services Department of Texas is afraid of due process. They would lose in a fair fight in this case. And that is why you're seeing them move so quickly, and that is why you're seeing them move unilaterally, because they do not want to have a fair fight with these parents on a level playing field.


KEILAR: Now, we don't know what the children think about this, of course, because of privacy issues. As we have talked about all week we're not allowed to get close to the children.

Some say that this will be good for the children. It will introduce them to the whole new world, the world that they have been isolated from on that ranch. And of course, others say there's bound to be children who will be missing their parents and who will be very frightened -- Brianna.

KEILAR: And, Susan, this is such a confusing case, because it seems like from what we're hearing, just because one of the children calls someone mother or father, it doesn't mean that necessarily biologically that is their mother or father. You mentioned the kids having DNA testing. What's the status of the parents' DNA testing?

ROESGEN: Well, there were about 75 women who -- mothers -- who were in the Coliseum behind me, Brianna, with the children. They have also had their DNA samples collected.

And then we understand that fewer than 60, between 55 and 60 other parents went to Eldorado, about 40 miles from here, near the ranch to be tested as well. So, that brings us to about 130 adults whom we believe have been tested now. But we also believe that there were about 175 adults on the ranch during the raid.

And we don't know how many of the men have been tested. We see all these women voluntarily saying, yes, I want to be tested because I want to stay with my children. But the very crux of this case, Brianna, is, were the men, were older men marrying underage girls and fathering children with underage girls?

And if that's true, then you can be sure that those men are nowhere around the guys in the lab coats. They're not going to give a DNA sample, because that could be used against them in a child abuse case.

KEILAR: Sure. Sure.

Susan Roesgen for us there in San Angelo, Texas, thank you.

LEMON: All right. We have a developing story out of Miami, Florida.

Twice in this case a jury has been deadlocked, and I'm talking about the so-called Liberty Seven, now Liberty Six, because one of the men has been acquitted. But according to federal prosecutors -- and this is according to the Associated Press, I should point out.

The federal prosecutors say that they were deadlocked twice and they're going to try again, a third attempt to convict six men accused of scheming with al Qaeda to topple Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI offices.

Prosecutors here contend that the ringleader -- you see the ringleader there -- Narseal Batiste, and the other defendants hoped to conduct terrorist attacks that would start a broader anti-government insurrection. Each of the men faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted of four terrorism-related conspiracy charges. The government is going to try for a third time to try and convict these six men.

KEILAR: Going, going, going, a race that won't end and candidates that won't quit.

It is late in the Democratic presidential primary season, but the fiercest battles could be yet to come. Hillary Clinton has gotten a much-needed double-digit win over Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary, of course, the biggest remaining contest on the Democratic calendar. And the season is picking up next month in Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, Oregon, and Kentucky.

And, of course, do not forget Guam. Finally, there in June, Puerto Rico, Montana, and South Dakota head to the polls. More than 400 delegates remain at stake.

So, let's take a look now at the latest count -- 158 delegates were up for grabs in Pennsylvania yesterday. Clinton won more than Obama did. We don't know yet the final split. But, overall, so far, Obama has 1,719 delegates on his side. Clinton has 1,586. And 2,025, that is the number needed to win the nomination.

LEMON: Well, her win in Pennsylvania notwithstanding, Clinton still trails her Democratic rival in the nationwide popular vote, in the numbers of states won, and in what may be the most important category here, fund-raising. She alluded to as much in her victory speech. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I need your help to continue this journey. This is your campaign, and this is your victory tonight.


CLINTON: Your support has meant the difference between winning and losing. Now, we can only keep winning if we can keep competing with an opponent who outspends us so massively.


LEMON: Barack Obama had already moved on to Indiana by the time the Pennsylvania results were coming in. Polls show the race is tight in the next major contests on the Democratic calendar.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now it's up to you, Indiana. You can decide...


OBAMA: You can decide whether we're going to travel the same worn path or whether we will chart a new course that offers real hope for the future. During the course of this campaign, we have all learned what my wife reminds me all the time, that I'm not a perfect man. I will not be a perfect president.

And so, while I will always listen to you and be honest with you and fight for you every single day for the next four or eight years.


LEMON: All the latest campaign news is at your fingertips. Just go to We also have analysis from the best political team on television. It is all there at

Well, the Pennsylvania primary was just held yesterday and we have some breaking news coming out of Pennsylvania. Specifically, it is Yeadon, which is just outside of the city Philadelphia, very close there.

But here is what we're being told. We're told that two people were shot. One of them is a constable and a maintenance worker shot in the 2200 block of Alfred Avenue, if you're in that location. They believe the location is an apartment complex. Live pictures now from our affiliate WPVI in Yeadon. And you see police officers there on the scene.

This shooting happened around 2:00 p.m. Eastern. And authorities tell PVI, WPVI, an eviction notice was being served here. And also new information just coming in -- let me read this now coming off the wires. This one is according to the Associated Press and WPVI mentioned here as well.

A constable and an apartment manager have been shot in an apartment complex in Yeadon. It's in Delaware County. An emergency dispatcher confirms that police responded to that report, and a spokesman at the hospital at the University of Pennsylvania, which is in Philadelphia, says two people were brought into the hospital with gunshot wounds. She says they are in guarded, but stable condition -- two people shot, Yeadon, Pennsylvania, suburb of Philadelphia, details to come in the CNN NEWSROOM -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Now here's our two cents about gas prices. AAA says the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded tops $3.53. That is two cents higher than yesterday's record, yes, another record yesterday.

Just a year ago, the national average was $2.85 a gallon. And of course, we all thought that was high. Well, your heart's not all that you will leave in San Francisco these days. If you have to buy gas, expect to leave an arm and a leg, too. I think maybe you would appreciate my corny joke if it weren't so serious, if you weren't paying so much for gas.

Of course, it's sky-high everywhere, but it is really high in the Bay Area, four bucks a gallon.

CNN's Chris Lawrence reports.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): San Francisco drivers are getting past the shock. Now they're changing their lives to live with $4 gas.

DEBBIE JASMIN, CANCELED VACATION: We don't take our Expedition out, usually.

LAWRENCE: People have permanently parked their SUVs. Traffic is down on Bay Area bridges, and the trains has had 7 percent more riders than this time last year.

MARLOWE DOUGLAS, SWITCHED TO RIDING TRAIN: That's why I'm riding BART today because of the price of gas right now.

LAWRENCE: It's also changing when people drive and what. Overall, car and truck sales are down, but hybrids are up almost 40 percent.

SCOTT DOUGLAS, PRIUS DRIVER: I used to have the luxury of not really even worrying about the price, partly because I have got the Prius. But now, $43.

LAWRENCE: Think that's bad?

DOUGLAS: Oh, my God. Wow. LAWRENCE: Scott Douglas just saw what the guy before him paid to fill up.

DOUGLAS: When is the last time you saw $115 spent on gas?

LAWRENCE: Especially for taxi drivers, who buy their own gas.

DIDDY DENNIS, TAXI DRIVER: When I first started, you know, it was like $2 something.

LAWRENCE: Now every press of the pedal eats into his wallet.

(voice-over) Why don't you just raise the rates to make up the difference?

DENNIS: Well, that would be a good thing, if I could. But unfortunately, I haven't any control over it.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): Only the city can raise taxi rates, to keep customers from getting gouged. But it's killing the cabbies and will probably force Diddy Dennis to quit.

DENNIS: It seems like I'm bringing home almost 60 percent less than what I was when I first started.

LAWRENCE: And a lot of Bay Area families say there's no end in sight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think we will be doing any big travels this year, this summer, at least by car.

LAWRENCE (on-camera): Especially when you are paying $60, $70 a pop just to fill up. A lot of folks here have canceled vacations, sold off their big trucks. And some companies in the Bay Area are now running shuttles to pick up and take their employees to work.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, San Francisco.


LEMON: Very good report, Chris Lawrence. Thank you.

She is not quitting. He is not quitting -- new life for Hillary Clinton's campaign, and no end in sight to the Democratic presidential race. We will look ahead with our political roundtable -- coming up.


LEMON: Is it over yet? It's a race that just won't end, two candidates who won't quit. Hillary Clinton scores a much-needed win over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania's presidential primary, but Obama still leads in overall delegates, the popular vote, and maybe, you know, what we have been saying is the most important place, and that's in fund-raising. He's got a lot of cash on hand.

But both, both, are gearing up for what would be their toughest battle yet.

Let's go to our roundtable now. Michael Gordon is a Democratic strategist and former Clinton administration official. Leslie Sanchez is sleepy, I'm sure.


LEMON: She's a Republican strategist and a former Bush administration official.


LEMON: They join me now from New York.

Leslie, I watched you all last night. By the way, you were terrific.


LEMON: I'm not just buttering you up. I think you did a great job last night.


LEMON: Always good to see you.

Michael, as I said, you did OK. Actually, you weren't on.


LEMON: Anyway, but it's good to see both of you.

OK. Leslie, everyone's been saying new life in Hillary Clinton's campaign. Now she's, you know -- this is -- she can breath now and she's got some momentum. Do you agree with this? Because she's behind in really most places.

SANCHEZ: You know, I have said it before. It's going to take the jaws of life to get Hillary Clinton to stop and give up this campaign. And she has good reason to continue the momentum. Had Barack Obama delivered a roundhouse punch and really taken her out or made it more competitive in Pennsylvania, it would have slowed her.

But she has tremendous momentum. She's raised a tremendous amount of money in the last 24 hours. If she does better than expected in North Carolina and wins Indiana, she is really going to sail all the way to Denver. Democrat consultants will not want you to believe that, but I believe it's going to be a deal cut at the convention in Denver. And that is to her advantage.


MICHAEL GORDON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You're right. I don't believe that.

LEMON: OK. Michael, why don't you believe it?

GORDON: Well, I think what is going to happen is, if she wins Indiana, she will go on into June. But as soon as the primary season is over, then the party leaders will insist on all of the superdelegates making their decision.

And once those decisions are made, we will have a nominee. And we will have a nominee by the end of June. And if she doesn't win Indiana, we will have a nominee by the end of May, and the party will coalesce around them and focus on the real target, who is John McCain.


LEMON: OK, Leslie, I know you want to get in here, but we have been talking about, numerically, it's impossible -- it seems impossible for her to win, but you say, not so.

This argument that she has been making about having -- winning the biggest states and winning in the key demographics where it's important to Democratic voters, you think that that argument is going to stick when it comes to the superdelegates?

SANCHEZ: It's a salient issue.

You have to look at superdelegates as the professionals. And they're -- she has a lot to offer these individuals. Not only can she say, I can pick the -- be -- or select the vice presidential candidacy. She is going to control Cabinet posts, different type of appointments, and her husband, in the sense that he has tremendous fund-raising prowess.


SANCHEZ: So, she has a lot to negotiate with when she gets to Denver. And if you listen to the tone of her argument and the spinners around her, they are basically saying, you have to count Florida and Michigan. These folks have invested a lot of money. And any time people have raised over $420 million for these two candidates, that's emotional money. Somebody's going to be upset when they lose.

LEMON: OK. I was going to play these sound bites for you, but I'm just going to paraphrase. She's saying that she has got the most votes because she's counting Michigan and Florida. So, she's saying she's got the most vote.

Barack Obama is saying, well, I have got the most votes, and I'm not sure how Hillary Clinton's campaign, how they're counting these votes.

So, I'm not going to play these sound bits, but, basically, that's what both of them are saying. If indeed it does come down to the superdelegates, don't you think that it would be a backlash worse than the hanging chads of 2000 if all of the sudden Barack Obama has more delegates, he's got more money, and then the superdelegates give it to Hillary Clinton?

GORDON: Yes, I think the superdelegates are going to focus on the pledged delegates. Popular vote, unfortunately, is not a factor in this. It is based on delegates. But regardless of who the nominees, whether it's Clinton or Obama, they're going -- the party is going to coalesce behind the nominee. They're both very strong candidates.

And if the superdelegates think that Clinton should be the candidate, then the party will coalesce behind her. But -- and if it's Obama, they will coalesce behind him.


LEMON: All right, Leslie, go.

SANCHEZ: But the biggest problem with that argument is look at the two groups that have turned out in record numbers. You have a lot of less educated white women, older white women, who have really propelled Hillary Clinton's campaign...


LEMON: And working-class men, right?


LEMON: Exactly -- and tend not to be historically the ones who turn out, and young voters, who are not particularly loyal. If they do not like the fact they have a Hillary Clinton or whatever the situation may be, they're going to recede. They may go with a John McCain. They're not loyal.

So, it changes the dynamic of the general election. She has a strong very argument on electability.


LEMON: Before you go, before we go, I want to get this in real quickly. And we have only got 30 seconds.

This is from "The New York Times" and they're talking about the people loyal to her, and I think they're talking about the pledged delegates, superdelegates here. "If she's ever to have a hope of persuading these most loyal of Democrats to come back to her side, let alone win over the larger body of voters, she has to call off the dogs, meaning the negative campaigning."

Ten seconds to each of you.


GORDON: We have been a party in the wilderness for eight years. We want to win this election no matter who the nominee is.


GORDON: Both of the candidates are building the party and will be very successful nominees.

LEMON: Leslie?

SANCHEZ: Every indicator, it should be a Democratic year, but they have done nothing but raise the negatives for Hillary Clinton, over 50 percent, Barack Obama in the 40s. And even Bill Clinton has higher negatives than he did under Monica Lewinsky. So, you tell me who is in better shape.


LEMON: Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez, Michael Gordon, Democratic strategist, thanks to both of you. Have a great evening. Always good to see you.

Leslie, get some sleep, OK?


LEMON: All the latest campaign news is at your fingertips. Just go to We also have the analysis from the best political team on television. It is all there,

KEILAR: Anger on Capitol Hill over defective flash-bang grenades allegedly relabeled and then sold to the FBI. We have got an update on the case straight from our Special Investigations Unit.



LEMON: All right. Well, check this out. This elephant flipped out and made short work of a temple in India. Wow. How would you have stopped it?

Well, this ends badly, though, for three people. We will have details straight ahead.


LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

KEILAR: And I'm Brianna Keilar in for Kyra Phillips.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: We're working on several developing stories for you here today in the CNN NEWSROOM, including this one. A big promotion for a top commander. General David Petraeus has been chosen to head U.S. Central Command. Petraeus is currently the top U.S. commander in Iraq. He could leave in late summer or early fall.

A hearing this hour in Texas on a massive and confusing child custody case. Lawyers for the hundreds of children seized from that polygamous ranch are questioning how they would all be cared for if they were moved to foster homes. Meantime, lab workers have finished taking DNA samples from the kids, hoping to sort out their family relationships.

Richard Gere is testifying before a Senate panel this afternoon. The issue -- Tibet. China's recent crackdown there has drawn global and sometimes violent protests, especially over Beijing's role as host of the Summer Olympics.

KEILAR: A member of the House Armed Services Committee is not happy with what CNN uncovered about a Georgia company accused of knowingly selling unsafe equipment to the FBI. And he let special investigation's unit Abbie Boudreau know exactly how he feels.

I bet you got an earful.

ABBIE BOUDREAU, SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT: Well, he is not happy. He's very angry. He says he cannot believe the allegations into Pyrotechnic Specialties Incorporated, also known as PSI. A federal indictment alleges the company knew it had produced defective flash bang grenades but chose not to fix the problem.


BOUDREAU (voice-over): Instead, PSI relabeled the defective grenades and sold them to the FBI and to other local law enforcement agencies, claiming they were safe. The indictment also charges that at least three FBI agents suffered "serious injuries when those defective flash bangs went off prematurely."

Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona was outraged over the allegations and today he tells us what happened is unforgivable.

REP. TRENT FRANKS (R-AZ), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: We have a tremendous responsibility to make sure that they are the best equipped and best trained force in the world. And to somehow, for financial gain, to repackage faulty commitment that endangers their lives and their mission is an unthinkable tragedy.


BOUDREAU: We've tried for days to get a response from PSI, but no one from the company is returning our phone calls. These are big, serious allegations that this indictment talks about, so.

KEILAR: Certainly. And there's a whole lot more ahead today because, actually, you can tune in tonight on Lou Dobbs at 7:00 p.m. Eastern and get Abbi's full update on this story. Some really shocking revelations here.

LEMON: All right.

Well, the last time you went shopping, was your bill higher than usual?

Just about everything in your supermarket is more expensive these days -- wheat corn, rice, of course. They're the staples. Prices are through the roof and America, well, we're not alone.


AL GOODMAN, MADRID BUREAU CHIEF: I'm Al Goodman in Madrid, along with Armando de Leon Sartello (ph) and his youngest son, Lucas (ph), who, along with their whole family, are grappling with the rising food prices in Spain. Bread and dairy prices are up 10 percent since last year. The government says tomatoes are much more expensive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And sometimes the price practically can double from, say, one week to the next week.

GOODMAN: If you were buying this same amount of food a year ago, would it have been less?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely. I would say some -- at least 20 percent less.

GOODMAN: The family hasn't reduced its food budget yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are getting unemployed at the same time that prices are going high.




EUNICE YOON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Eunice Yoon at an outdoor food market in Beijing. This is a typical place where Chinese people buy their groceries. And I spoke to one woman named Mai Li (ph) who shops here three times a week. But she says that every trip seems to get more expensive.

Probably the most important stop for Mrs. Mai to visit is the one selling rice. Like most families, the Mais eat rice at almost every single meal. And she's starting to get a little bit worried that the price of rice could rise. For now, though, the government is using price controls to keep the cost of this grain relatively stable.

Families like the Mais spend up to half their income on food. That's the main reason why the government here is using price controls and taking other measures to reign in the country's decade-high inflation.


LEMON: Well, here is a quick perspective for you. A metric ton of rice in parts of Asian is twice as expensive as two months ago. The U.N. blames rising fuel prices, droughts and enormous and growing demand in China, India and elsewhere.

KEILAR: What's in your wallet?

Put your plastic away because cash will save you pennies at the pump.


KEILAR: Two more pennies out of your pocket today because AAA says the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded has topped $3.53. And that is up two cents from yesterday's record -- another record, yes. Just a year ago, the national average was $2.85 a gallon and we all thought that was high.

LEMON: Saving money on gas -- well, some independent stations give you a discount if you pay with cash instead of credit.

Here's Eric Collins with XETV in San Diego.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like $75 on number seven.

ERIC COLLINS, XETV REPORTER (voice-over): Business is booming at this independent gas station in North Park -- a station offering an 8- cent per gallon discount if customers use cash instead of credit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that's good. At these prices, that's very good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eight cents less a gallon on something like my truck, where it takes like 24 gallons just to fill up, it actually makes a little bit of a difference. I mean, a lot of times, $0.02 cents per gallon doesn't make a big difference, but $0.08 cents cheaper, yes, that actually does.

COLLINS: When gas prices soar, more and more stations prefer bills over plastic. Consumer advocate Charles Langley explains why.

CHARLES LANGLEY, UTILITY CONSUMERS ACTION NETWORK: Right now, the credit card companies are making about three percent on a gallon of gas. They're making more money than the dealer. The dealer makes about a nickel. So by getting rid of the credit card company and charging cash, they're able to offer a significant discount.

COLLINS: Many customers are also ditching their debit cards. Some ATM cards only allow a $50 limit at the pump, but $50 won't fill up the tank, so some customers are having to swipe their card again, and that means another surcharge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm having to pay a double surcharge. It's $0.45, $0.50. And at that, that's another $1.00 just for having to fill up a tank of gas when it's already really expensive. I'm not really getting a deal.

COLLINS: Adding insult to injury, some analysts say there's a gasoline surplus right now because drivers are trying to avoid filling up. If demand declines, so should prices -- in theory.

LANGLEY: We're not seeing that right now.

COLLINS: Charles Langley blames oil speculators for creating more pain at the pump.

LANGLEY: These traders are driving the prices higher and higher. And until some type of sanity comes -- returns to the market, we're going to see high gas prices for quite some time.


LEMON: That was Eric Collins with XETV in San Diego.

KEILAR: An apparent carjacking foiled by a TV news crew. We're going to tell you what happened after a reporter and photographer get caught in the middle of an apparent crime scene.


LEMON: All right. Listen to this story. A wild animal trainer suffered a fatal bite from a grizzly bear yesterday in California. He and two other people were working with the 700-pound bear named Rocky, who's appeared in a number of Hollywood productions. In February, his main handler called him the best working bear in the business. Rocky actually had a wrestling scene in Will Ferrell's latest movie, "Semi- Pro".

It's not clear what will happen to him now. A Fish & Game spokesman says county animal control may end up making that decision.

KEILAR: A TV news crew is getting some credit for stopping an apparent kidnapping. It happened in Cleveland while a reporter and photographer with CNN affiliate WOIO were covering a story there. When the driver of an SUV stopped the crew to ask for directions, he signaled there was a gun in the vehicle. The SUV sped off with the news crew following and calling 911 for help.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 9-1-1. Police, fire or ambulance?

SHANNON O'BRIEN, WOIO REPORTER: Hi. This is Shannon O'Brien with Channel 19. We're doing a live shot downtown and I believe that we just ran into somebody -- I think this guy -- kid's been carjacked.

Oh, the guy is getting out and he's running. Oh my gosh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the guy look like they're chasing?

O'BRIEN: No, they -- he didn't. It was the driver, the guy who I think needed help. I think he jumped out of the car to save himself.


KEILAR: Well, after police pulled over the SUV, they arrested the passenger. And the station says he's expected to face kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges.

LEMON: Well, the president has been talking a lot about how to help the economy lately. And now he wants to talk about how to help small business owners. This is Small Business Week. We want to get you now live to the East Room. Today, President Bush met with small business leaders at a 2008 Small Business Summit.

Here's what they discussed -- actions the administration is taking to help small businesses remain competitive.

Now the federal government has taken action to address economic uncertainty in the short-term. But the longer term -- in the longer term, small businesses and workers still face uncertainty about the economic future. Now, some of these sources of uncertainty are beyond anyone's control at -- least that's what the economists are saying. There are some issues that are entirely within the power of the presidency and the administration to resolve. And the president laid out the steps to Congress.

Let's look at the big board now as we wait on the president to come out with some of these small business leaders. The Dow is up 34 points right here -- 34 points. And we just got the minute or so warning from President Bush there in the East Room. But it appears at least the Dow is in the plus category today.

So before we -- we'll wait for the president. If the president comes out, of course, we will just interrupt Chad Myers and tell him, you know what, the president is coming out and he takes precedence, Chad.

When last we saw you, you had a bunch of lightning bolts, as you do now, behind you, because there was severe weather happening.


LEMON: We're still awaiting the president to come out and make remarks about his meeting at a Small Business Summit. It happened moments ago. The president coming out soon. As soon as he does, we'll bring it to you here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

We're back in a moment.


LEMON: Back now live to the East Room of the White House.

And all those people you see sitting there in the East Room, they want to hear what the president is going to say about small businesses and how he's going to help them in these uncertain economic times. And as soon as the president steps up, we will bring it to you -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Better known for working the red carpet, actress Nicole Kidman was working the media at the United Nations to raise awareness about violence against women.

CNN's Richard Roth reports.


RICHARD ROTH, SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another ambassador enters the United Nations press room. More cameras are present than usual. That's because this goodwill ambassador is actress Nicole Kidman. Her mission -- stopping violence against women.

NICOLE KIDMAN, U.N. GOODWILL AMBASSADOR: So much of this is about creating awareness, which is obviously a huge problem with violence against women, because so much of it is -- is shrouded in silence.

ROTH: Kidman hasn't traveled as much as other U.N. goodwill ambassadors. So far, it's been a trip to Kosovo a year-and-a-half ago. She reappeared at the U.N. to promote the U.N.'s Internet campaign, called Say No To Violence Against Women.

KIDMAN: I think women and young girls feeling that there's -- there is no possibility of a solution here, there's no out, so to speak, not aware of their avenues. And, I mean, we're talking one in three women will encounter violence in some way, shape or form against them in their lifetime. That's an extraordinary statistic.

Yet do we ever hear it?

ROTH: Kidman declined to say if any personal experience has caused her to pick this issue to assist the U.N.

KIDMAN: And, obviously, I'm emotionally connected to this. I think it's very important. But at the same time, I'm a mother. I have a child on the way. I have two children in the world. And a lot of it is about creating -- is realizing the things that are wrong and going, once again, what -- how can I contribute and what are the things I can contribute to, to help my children have a better life and to help other children around the world have a better life and other citizens of the world have a better life.

ROTH: Eighty-nine countries have specific laws targeting violence against women. Kidman and the U.N. want more national parliaments to commitment commit to fighting it.

Richard Roth, CNN, New York.


LEMON: To the East Room now and to President Bush.

Let's listen in.

Until the president steps up to the microphone, let's tell you what he's doing here. There may be some introductions beforehand. We're not exactly sure how the program is going to flush out here, Brianna, so we don't know.

But what the president has been doing today is meeting with small business leaders. It's called the 2008 Small Business Summit. And they have been discussing actions that the administration is taking to help small businesses remain competitive, because you know it's tough for everyone out there. And if you're trying to run a business, especially a small business, in this environment, it isn't easy, as they say, Brianna. So apparently there's some introductions. So we -- you know, pardon us, please, that we didn't bring you the president. We're not going to bring you his talk right now because he is not speaking.. But as soon as he steps to the microphone, we're going to bring it to you right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

What is he going to say to help small business owners?

I'm sure everyone is interested in that.


LEMON: Live in the East Room, President Bush's message to small business owners.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you want your economy to grow and if you want the country to be hopeful, it seems like you ought to be celebrating the talent and energy of our small business owners daily. We've decided to do it yearly, with Small Business Week. I presume that's one week out of the year.


BUSH: And so the first thing I've got to do is congratulate all the award winners who are here. Thanks. It's -- owning a business is hard. It's not an easy...


BUSH: It's not an easy experience. It's...


BUSH: I've had the pleasure of getting to meet a lot of small business owners during my time as, first, governor of Texas and then president of the country. And you'd be amazed at how many times people say well, you know, it all started around the kitchen table. You'll also be amazed at how many family members are involved in the creation and operation of a small business. And our fellow citizens wouldn't be amazed that the number of hours required to make sure the business is going is a lot.

But the thing that struck me the most, besides the fact that people are willing to dream and work hard, is how proud the small business owner is of the employees with whom the person works and how caring the owner is to make sure that those who have helped the business succeed are treated well.

I have the pleasure of welcoming and recognizing one Shawn Christopher Boyer, who happens to be the recipient of the Small Business Owner of the Year.

Now, Sean started off by helping a friend search online for an internship and he got an idea for a business right there. Sometimes that happens, you know, it's just like click. And the idea was to create a Web site to help unemployed Americans with job opportunities. And, actually, I asked him to leave a business card, because...


BUSH: seems like I might be looking here after a while. He started his business with just two employees. I bet you a lot of the winners here can say that I started my business with one or two employees. And he has grown it. He's got 100 employees now. His earnings have grown from almost $900,000 in '03 to over $11 million four years later. And I told you, he was named National Small Business Person of the Year.

I met with Sean, the CFO, David Bosher, Danielle (ph), as well as his dad.

And I want to congratulate you, Sean. Welcome to the White House and I really wish you all the very best.


LEMON: All right. The president in the East Room, speaking to small business owners, making a joke there which was really kind of funny. This guy started a Web site to help Americans find job opportunities and the president said I asked him to leave a card because I'm going to be out of a job soon.

So he's congratulating them, apparently. And an awards ceremony took place a little bit earlier there in the White House.

But right now it's time to check in with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

What do you say, Brianna?

KEILAR: Yes. Let's head to "THE SITUATION ROOM".

What's up?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, guys.

Barack Obama gives his first national interview since he lost to Hillary Clinton in the Pennsylvania primary. You're going to hear what he says to those critics who say he simply can't close the deal.

It's been a mystery for months -- did North Korea actually help the Syrians try to build a nuclear reactor?

U.S. intelligence officials heading to Capitol Hill for a top secret briefing with lawmakers. What it means about North Korea and its nuclear program.

And did you notice those guys standing behind Barack Obama last night? Is it advertising or is it coincidence? Jeanne Moos is investigating their scene-setting presence.

All that, guys, coming up right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

LEMON: Jeanne Moos on the case. I can't wait for that.

KEILAR: We are looking forward to it, Wolf.

And the closing bell and a wrap of the action on Wall Street, that's straight ahead.


KEILAR: New and disturbing questions about the extent of North Korea's nuclear ambitions. CIA officials believe North Korea was helping Syria build a nuclear reactor capable of making weapons grade plutonium.

Let's go straight now to the White House and CNN's Ed Henry -- Ed, I understand that you have some new information.


We're expecting tomorrow, in fact, that those intelligence officials that you mentioned will be going up to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers, really, for the first time about this very mysterious incident. North Korea allegedly involved with Syria in trying to build this reactor. It was eventually, as you know, that reactor was wiped out by an Israeli air strike.

Very interesting and curious the timing of this information now coming out and being confirmed, because it's happening at the same time that the White House is inching closer to a deal, a non- proliferation deal with North Korean dictator, Kim Jung Il.

And so there is a lot of intrigue around Washington that maybe conservatives in and around this White House are leaking out some of this information to raise some trust questions about North Korea and maybe scuttle any kind of a deal that may be about to be put together.

And so tomorrow, when these officials go up to the Hill, there's going to be a lot of intrigue about not only what they're saying but why they're saying it now and what effect that may have on those six party talks in North Korea.

There are a lot of outside analysts who think that despite North Korea's involvement in that Syrian nuclear reactor, that the U.S. should still stay at the table and try to get them to verify and dismantle their nuclear weapons program -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Ed Henry at the White House.


LEMON: All right, the closing bell just rang on Wall Street. The Dow, you can see, up 48 points there. That is the latest. And you hear the bell ringing right now. But in the meantime, we're going to turn it over to... KEILAR: Wolf Blitzer.

Let's head to "THE SITUATION ROOM."