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Heroic Rescue Effort in New York; Condoleezza Rice Holds Joint Conference With Georgian President
Aired August 15, 2008 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning once again, everybody.
I'm Heidi Collins.
Welcome to the 11:00 hour Eastern Time here if the CNN NEWSROOM.
Developments keep coming in on this 15th day of August. Here's what's on the rundown.
Hit by a van, run over by a bus. Onlookers lift that bus off the victim, a pregnant traffic officer.
Inside a Georgian port town, Russian troops make sure Georgia's navy is a few boats short. A CNN exclusive.
And he's got six Olympic gold medals now. Perhaps more impressive, Michael Phelps' 10,000 calorie-a-day diet. Golden appetite -- in the NEWSROOM.
Want to get started with a big disturbance brewing in the tropics with the potential to get a lot bigger in the hours ahead.
COLLINS: On to this story now, a heroic effort, rescue effort in New York. Sadly, it was not enough to save the life of a pregnant woman, but her unborn baby did survive. The woman, a New York City traffic officer, was hit by a van and run over by a school bus. That's when everyday heroes took action.
And Josh Levs is joining us now with more details on this story.
Hey there, Josh.
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, hey. And obviously we care a lot about this.
I have been glued to my BlackBerry this morning just waiting for updates on this child. The last one I had was about an hour ago.
And a hospital rep told me that there are signs of hope for the child, but still in critical condition, 3 pounds, 6 ounces. His mother was pronounced dead right after he was born by C-section.
This is one of the top stories coming out of New York today. Let's look at the screen here and I'll show you what we've been seeing all morning.
This is our affiliate, New York 1, leading with this story. Over here we have "The New York Post" if I can get there. There you go, "30 Men and a Baby," one of their major headlines this morning. I'll explain to you what that's all about.
And this, "The New York Daily News," "Tragedy's Child."
Clearly, a gripping story for a lot of people. Here is the basic idea.
Danette Sanz (ph) was a traffic officer in the Bronx area. Apparently, she was heading off to lunch when a van came along and hit her by mistake, and she was in the middle of the street and it was too late for a bus to stop. So a bus ended up going on top of her.
We have some video from the crime scene here. Let's go in there. And from this point on, you're going to hear what happened from an eyewitness who actually took part in her rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GARY BURGESS, PULLS WOMAN FROM UNDER BUS: I had seen that somebody was trapped under that bus there. Now, we didn't know the person or, you know, at that moment I didn't know what it was.
All we knew, that somebody was under there and they was bent forward. I could see her feet, but she was under there. And you could see she was, like, bent over.
So what we did, there's a garage right here, there's a car garage right here. And the guy went to get his pump jack. But we knew somebody was saying it was a lady, it was a lady. So what we did, there was like 30 to 40 of us. We actually lifted that bus off of her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEVS: They actually managed to lift it off, even without a jack. Just adrenaline and human strength.
Now, I'll tell you that the driver of the van who hit her, a 72- year-old, has been arrested on charges of criminally negligent homicide and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
And Mayor Michael Bloomberg has weighed in. Let me show you that here. On CNN.com we have the story.
Mike Bloomberg offering condolences to Sanz' husband and saying he hopes as the child grows up he will come to understand his mother gave her life serving the city. And that right now would really be the best-case scenario. We're all hoping this child makes it and does grow up -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Boy, you said it. All right.
Josh Levs, we know you'll stay on top of it. Thank you.
LEVS: All right. Thanks.
COLLINS: A man convicted of sex crimes against children walks out of prison today a free man after 33 years behind bars. And some residents in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, are outraged about it.
George Fagely (ph) won't have to check in with police or wear a tracking device. He won't be on parole. And earlier, I talked with a concerned Harrisburg resident about Fagely's victims and about concern that he won't have to register as a sex offender.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNETTE ANTOUN, CONCERNED RESIDENT: I was outraged. Frankly, I'm not sure that that's sealed in stone.
The federal statute -- I think it's Jacob Wiloby (ph) statute -- says that if they abuse children upon release -- it doesn't say anything about when the crime was committed -- it says upon release they must register. Because I think the jury's out on this.
They have scars that they say will never go away, and that they have trouble relating to men, they have trouble relating to women, they have trouble relating to anybody. And they're frightened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Authorities say Fagely is the founder of a religious sect that advocates using children for sexual gratification.
The Russian invasion of Georgia, the guns are mostly silent this morning, but the concerns are growing loudly. Russian troops are still blocking entry into the strategic Georgian city of Gori. That is fueling more doubts about Russia's commitment to a cease-fire and a pullback.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Georgia with a new cease-fire proposal in hand. It would require Russia to immediately withdraw its combat troops.
And new official numbers now on the humanitarian crisis. The United Nations says nearly 120,000 Georgians have been displaced by the fighting.
In fact, we want to take you to the region. And we've been waiting to hear from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, alongside Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. I understand they are now at the microphones. Let's go ahead and listen in for a moment.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
PRES. MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI, GEORGIA: ... were dislocated to move closer to the capital and halfway between Gori and Tbilisi. While I still -- before focusing on today's cease-fire agreement, I still would like to draw your attention to the events that preceded the whole invasion and occupation.
Well, when in April, in Bucharest, Georgia was denied membership action plan by some members of NATO, I warned western media at that stage that it was asking for trouble. Not only they denied us membership action plan, but they specifically told the world that they are denying Georgia membership action plan because of existing territorial conflicts in Georgia, basically inviting the trouble. And I told the world, this is the worst thing one could say to the Russians, that there will be no NATO until there is conflict. And the more there are conflict, less there will be of the NATO.
And immediately after April, immediately after Bucharest -- and I can tell you now that the Russians perceive Bucharest -- and I mentioned it, and then some of the western commentators made fun of me saying that, oh, this hot-headed Saakashvili says this rubbish again. I told them, Russia perceives it as new Munich.
Bucharest was perceived by them as new Munich. And what happened was that, immediately, they started to build up the infrastructure in Abkhazia. Immediately, they started to bring in railway troops to build railways in populated ethnically-cleansed areas of Abkhazia, cynically claiming that they're doing this for humanitarian purposes.
And I shouted to the world, this is to bring in tanks. They build tank bases all over Abkhazia, and in South Ossetia, in the place of Java (ph), without bringing in tanks yet. We told the world, this is about starting an invasion.
They started to bring in lots of military specialists, reconnaissance. They brought in paratroopers.
Again, we scream to the world, stop it! And there were some statements from Washington, but I have to tell you that for most of the European countries, with some noticeable (ph) remarkable exceptions, there was pretty muted and quiet reaction to all this.
And Russians were carefully watching this reaction. They were doing step by step. First some infrastructure, then some additional troops. Then little acts, then again infrastructure, again some intrusion. And watching carefully what Europeans have to say, watching carefully, what would be the counter-reaction of the international community?
And it really did not follow.
And Madame Secretary, as we were standing here last time, a few weeks ago, there was an intrusion of Russian planes into Georgian airspace. Just exactly in the lines of self-position (ph).
And you remember as well as I do that we don't believe it. I don't believe it myself. I said, well, they are here just to solute Secretary Rice.
And normally in the past, Russians would deny that. But this time they said, yes, this is us. We flew there, implying that there was an intent to bob against Georgians. And again, they watched the European reactions. No European country said anything about this.
So who invited the trouble here? Who invited this arrogance here? Who invited these innocent deaths here? Who is -- not only those people who perpetrate them are responsible, but also those people who failed to stop it.
And who is trying now to look for every excuse, saying, oh, you know, Georgians might have started it? Excuse me. Twelve hundred tanks came into Georgia within a few hours. There is no way you can mobilize those tanks in such a (INAUDIBLE) unless you were ready.
There were Russian pensioners (ph) taken off the streets of Moscow to fly the planes several days before the invasion. There was no way they were not preparing an invasion. Why would they call back the pensioners (ph)? There were all those moments on the ground all around the place.
You know when this all started, I want the world to know I was gone for a holiday. My defense minister was gone for a holiday. When the thing started, I had to rush back, cut my holiday short, when the tensions started to raise. I had to summon back our defense minister.
But most of our officials were gone. Most of the decision-makers I tried to reach were gone for vacations. It was brilliantly selected timing for this intervention.
And unfortunately, today we are looking evil directly in the eye. And today this evil is very strong, very nasty, and very dangerous for everybody, not only for us.
That is what we learned. But together, this could be and will be only the first chapter. Let us write the next chapters together and write this historic new chapter of the world -- for the world.
We will rebuild. We want them out. I want the world to know, never, ever will Georgia reconcile with occupation of even one square kilometer of its sovereign territory. Never, ever.
There is a strong force led by former KGB warriors. Those tanks that were taken out of Afghanistan, of Eastern Europe, now are rolling back again into other countries.
Georgia was the first one to take their hit, but they are on the roll. They are euphoric. They are arrogant. They will not stop.
But I can tell you, never, ever my small nation of Georgia, that has already gone for 70 years of subjugation by these barbarian, or 20th century then and 21st century now, in exactly the similar circumstances. In 1921, Russia claimed Georgia attacked one of its minorities, entered Georgia from the east and occupied Georgia for 70 years. We were in 70 years of communist mud (ph) slavery and humiliation.
I grew up with the idea that this should never happen again. I wept when Berlin Wall came down. I thought that people like former KGB people were gone for good. Well, on that one I was wrong. But on one I was never wrong, and I will never be wrong. And I will be very strong on that one, together with my people.
You saw a huge rally in downtown Tbilisi two days ago. Never, ever Georgia will succumb to their pressures. Never, ever we will surrender. Never, ever we will give our freedom and independence.
Never, ever give any piece of our territory. And freedom will go to every part of Georgia, to every ethnic group, to every community in Georgia. And we will definitely get rid of these invaders for good. I'm totally convinced on that one.
Troops must leave today. Today I signed the cease-fire agreement. I have to specify, this is a cease-fire agreement, this is not a final settlement.
We are under Russian invasion and Russian occupation right now. And we want to end Russian invasion and occupation. This is a cease- fire agreement between us and Russia, facilitated by France and the United States.
We will -- and we certainly should move from this temporary arrangement to genuine international peacekeeping force on the ground to replace the occupiers and people who are up to trouble. Wherever are these people there is trouble.
I have to specify, today there is new report by Human Rights Watch saying that Russia used cluster bombs against civilians, killing lots of local civilians, as well as a journalist. This is an inhuman weapon.
Two days ago, they used weapons of massive destruction. We saw SS-21. This is an upgraded version of SS-20 that were withdrawn from Europe under Reagan/Gorbachev agreement. They are now using them again against their neighboring countries. They've used it against pipelines and residential areas in Georgia.
They -- there continues instances of massive looting and ethnic cleansing, and there continuous Russian war propaganda machines rolling, today, already. And I accuse those people who write these articles in some newspapers, some of them might be genuine, but there are lots of people on Russian payroll willing to say just anything and justify just anything Russia is doing.
There were such people before Second World War. There were people who would justify anything Stalin did in terms of gulag. There were people willing to justify anything Hitler would do in Europe. There are still such people.
But I think predominantly, international opinion is absolutely clear. It's (INAUDIBLE) hesitations about what's really going on.
It's an unprovoked, brutal invasion and attack to kill Georgian democracy and to end the independence of Georgia. And we together will deter it. And I think the last thing I want to say, Madame Secretary, we have a good agreement on rebuilding Georgia infrastructure, economy. We have got lots of solidarity from all around the world.
We will increase western economic and other presence here, infrastructure projects. I want my country to shine and go back on its feet as never before.
I want to know -- I know that there are other things, but I want you to know this is not some shattered country, failed state. It was a failed state a few years ago, and Russia was perfectly comfortable with us until we were failed.
This is a country that has the lowest corruption rate in the region according to the World Bank. This is a country which has the highest per capita FDI (ph) rate in region. This is the highest growth rate country among all known economists in the world.
This is the country which moved from 140th-something place in terms of business environment, where we were on par with Nigeria and our neighbor Russia, to being number 17, ahead of the U.K., Germany, Netherlands, and some other leading world economies. That's what we have achieved.
This is a country which had been bombed with cluster bombs, which has been robbed, looted. And still, the police function, the lights were on. Doctors were in place. Supply lines never stopped. And people never got desperate and never ran away and never succumbed to this pressure.
That's what we managed to build. Russia has lots of tanks, but Russia -- no tank is enough to crush the will of the free people, because freedom's light will never die here, because 1921 will never repeat itself here.
Peace will never die, and nor will liberty, democracy, and independence of Georgia.
Thank you, Madame Secretary.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: Thank you, Mr. President.
Mr. President, as President Bush noted in his statement a couple of days ago, he has sent me here to show the solidarity of the United States with Georgia and its people in this moment of crisis.
We support Georgia's sovereignty. We support its independence. We support its territorial integrity. We support its democracy and its democratically-elected government.
That is America's position. And in my discussions with my European colleagues, it is the positions of the Europeans as well.
The Russian attack on Georgia had profound implications and will have profound implications for Russia's relations with its neighbors and with the world. But our most urgent task today is the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia.
France has brokered a six-part cease-fire accord that will achieve that result if it is indeed honored. President Saakashvili, as he has said, has signed this document after I have been able to offer some clarifications from President Sarkozy about the meaning of certain terms.
The president has signed it, and now, with the signature of the Georgian president on this cease-fire accord, all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them must leave immediately. This is the understanding that I had with President Sarkozy yesterday, which is that when President Saakashvili signed this cease-fire accord, there would be an immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgian territory. With the signature of this cease-fire accord by Georgia, this must take place and take place now.
Now, in order to stabilize the situation in Georgia, we need international observers on the scene fast. And eventually we need a more robust and impartial peacekeeping international force that would follow those monitors.
Finnish Foreign Minister Stubb, who is chairman in office of the OSCE, has told us that the monitors could come to Georgia in a matter of days. I count on Russian cooperation in getting those monitors in.
The United States and others are already providing humanitarian assistance to the Georgian people. Access must be immediate and unimpeded for those humanitarian efforts. When the security situation in Georgia is stabilized, we will turn immediately to reconstruction, and people who are displaced from their homes must be allowed to return and to live in security.
I want to reiterate again what the president said. He directed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military. That mission will be vigorous and ongoing, and I believe, Mr. President, that that mission is now well under way.
We've started work with the Georgian government and have engaged the G-7, the IMF, and other international financial institutions to rapidly develop an economic support package for the Georgian economy to build on its demonstrated track record and to resume its rapid growth. We anticipate that this package will include various multilateral and bilateral mechanisms. The package should restore Georgia's economy and reinforce investor confidence as Georgia returns to its position as a leading economy in the region.
Georgia has been attacked. Russian forces need to leave Georgia at once. The world needs to help Georgia maintain its sovereignty, its territorial integrity, and its independence.
This is no longer 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, when a great power invaded a small neighbor and overthrew its government. The free world will now have to wrestle with the profound implications of this Russian attack on its neighbor for security in the region and beyond. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
SAAKASHVILI: Thank you, Madame Secretary.
RICE: We'll be taking two questions a side.
QUESTION: Dr. Rice, (INAUDIBLE). I will ask the question in Georgian.
RICE: Well, first things first.
This agreement is a cease-fire agreement. It doesn't prejudice future arrangements. It is a cease-fire agreement.
It does include a return to the status quo ante for military forces. Georgian forces will deploy back, and Russian forces, except for the forces that were there prior to peacekeeping forces that were there prior to August 6th, will also leave. Russian forces are to leave Georgian territory outside the zone of conflict.
Now, the president has received some clarifications on what was in the document known as Point Five, which is what temporary measures can be in place until there are international monitors in place. And I have been talking -- or we have been talking with Foreign Minister -- Finnish Foreign Minister Stubb about getting those monitors in place very quickly.
There will have to be an international discussion, which is also prefigured, expected in this agreement, about future arrangements for the zones of conflict. I might note that there have been international discussions for more than a decade now. Hopefully they will come to some fruition.
And at that point, we will have to have measures that can assure stability and security in the zones of conflict. And it is the position of the United States that that will have to -- that will require international peacekeeping forces that are neutral in the conflict. But that will have to be a part of further discussions.
I want to emphasize what the president said. This is a cease- fire agreement. This is not about the future of these conflict regions. This is a cease-fire agreement.
SAAKASHVILI: Well, I have to underline to make it very clear on that one that Georgia -- there is only one sovereignty in Georgia. There is only one sovereignty in Abkhazia, there is only one sovereignty in the Tskhinvali region, and this is sovereignty of the government of Georgia, of the people of Georgia, multiethnic people of Georgia.
There is no other actor in the region that can say we will not accept international -- we will accept. Only the government of Georgia has legitimate right to tolerate or not to tolerate the presence of any other foreign force in this territory.
We are willing -- we agreed to a cease-fire. We need to end this thing, and we need to end killing, and we need to end this (INAUDIBLE) here. However, we will only agree to durable solutions if it includes really impartial force that will be there to peace the building, peace reconstruction, and not just pretend that they are there to the peacekeeping and they're basically keeping the territories away from the rest of the country.
We need genuine reconciliation, we need long-term process, we need negotiations. Generous (ph) autonomy arrangements have always been out there, but Russia has always precluded in discussing them, even getting close to the negotiating format, because it was -- first of all, it was never only about those territories. It was all about taking over the rest of the country. And it was always leverage.
And second, even when it came to those territories, no negotiated settlement or solution was welcome.
But, you know, there is no compromise on territories. Like there is no 1939 (INAUDIBLE) to give up to appease Stalin, or Czechoslovakia had to give up (INAUDIBLE), or other countries had to give up a piece of their territory and (INAUDIBLE) other different facts, or (INAUDIBLE), et cetera.
There is no way today anybody can impose on such solutions on international community. Certainly, the United States is not going for it. No European nation will ever go for it. The Security Council of the U.N. I hope never will even compromise, come close to compromising on it.
And that's why we need -- of course, we need negotiating solutions. But there can be no negotiating (INAUDIBLE) of smaller countries by bigger ones.
I think that's gone. And anything else will be just international criminal activity. And I hope the whole world reacts to international criminal activity in proper way, better than before this whole thing happened.
QUESTION: Secretary of State...
RICE: I think we're going to take...
Sean (ph), are we going to take -- Reuters?
QUESTION: President Saakashvili, are you satisfied that this agreement fully protects Georgian interests? And are you happy with the level of support you've had from Western allies during this crisis?
And also, Secretary Rice, we realize that you've been focused on a cease-fire agreement and humanitarian issues, but looking forward, what will the U.S. do to ensure, or to reassure, European allies that this sort of action by Russia will not be tolerated in the future?
SAAKASHVILI: Well, I mean, first of all, going to this question, I think I'm not satisfied with one fact that all of this could have been prevented. We were screaming, shouting to the world that Russia was going to do this. I told to a number of European leaders Russia was going to do this. And they usually told me that I was overplaying the threat, overestimating it, that Russians were not capable of doing such things. But Russians apparently are capable of doing things much worse than even I had imagined.
And the point here, look at -- go and ask -- talk to the villagers, to people on whom they've dropped (ph) cluster bombs, whom they mocked (ph), whose family members they've killed -- what they are capable of doing. These are 21st century barbarians. Of course you are a civilized nation, you don't believe it. Now -- but civilization is all about opening your eyes as well as seeing what is really happening. And I think that could have been avoided. Russia has been all the time very carefully testing reaction of the West. Step by step, establishing new lines, making reinforcements (INAUDIBLE) and then again new lines, then again new lines. And finally, we got where we got, when there were no lines left and there was only this brutal aggression.
So what I'm saying -- I'm worried about now is that unless there is some durable mechanism to deter it again in the future, it's going to replicate itself in Georgia and elsewhere. Now you're dealing with extremely arrogant and euphoric forces that thinks that they're back again and they can do things. And you know what? This is not a done deal yet. We need to do our utmost to deter such behavior in the future. Just first of all, stop what's happening, to deter it in the future.
I don't think anybody in Europe would be, or elsewhere around here, will be safe from this moment on. Nobody will be safe. And that's -- I'm not trying to scare anybody, I'm just scared for them myself because we are -- we can see what's at stake here. I think there should be much more durable, strong institutional response to this rather than -- we are having a talk (ph) response now with regards to this agreement. This is about cease-fire. This is getting this fox (ph) off the streets of my towns and roads and of my seaports, our seaports, and starting (INAUDIBLE) the international process.
Of course, in long regard (ph), there is no way we can reconcile with the fact that in Abkhasia, where population was almost 600,000 people, less than 80,000 are left because of continuous Russians actions over the years. Of course we'll never reconcile with the fact that -- for the last few years, in upper Abkhazia, to show (ph) the contracts, and some of the journalists have seen it, we build schools, hospitals, you know, wonderful kindergartens, roads. This is all gone now. This is all destroyed by barbarians.
In South Ossetia, we build amusement park, we build (INAUDIBLE) film theater, we build concert hall, we build Olympic-sized pool. We build schools and hospitals. And they went in and burned and destroyed all of this and shattered all of this. Everything that is nice and new makes them sick. You are dealing with the people who despise everything human, everything nice, everything modern, everything -- European -- everything civilized. That's what they're up to.
I remember -- we've been building these concert halls, we've been bringing the famous rock groups from the West to tell them, you know, this is -- this is all about you. Let's open the roadblocks. Come over. Dance with your compatriots, enjoy life. Why do we have to sit in the trenches? Put aside (INAUDIBLE). These are all things I have said loudly. And, you know, that's how they responded. They decided to kill our music sounds with their tanks and artillery and air bombs. They leveled city of Tskhinvali with carpet bombardments (ph) and came around and blamed Georgians for that. Read the Human Rights Watch reports -- who leveled Tskhinvali, how they behave, how Georgian troops behaved and how these barbarians are behaving right now as we speak.
I want international verification of what has happened exactly, who did what, how did it happen. Because we know exactly the truth and we know that we are dealing with people who have tried their best to mislead the world, to cheat, to lie, to deceive, and to repeat this over and over again and maybe also in other places.
Sorry for these emotions, but I feel emotions.
RICE: I think on the issue of looking forward, the United States will be with its allies, of course, in the North Atlantic Council of NATO on Tuesday. I'm certain that there will be a confirmation of NATO's Trans-Atlantic vision for Georgia, as well as for Ukraine, of NATO's insistence that it will remain open to European democracies that meet its standards.
But we will also have to begin a discussion of, as I said, the consequences of what Russia has done. President Bush put it best when he said that the Russians have sought integration into political, diplomatic, economic fora (ph), and that this calls into question what role Russia really intends to play in international politics. Because one thing is certain, you can't on the one hand participate in, and be a responsible member of, institutions that are democratic and that underscore democratic values, and on the other hand act in this way toward one of your neighbors.
So that's a discussion that's going to be ongoing. But the president and I have spent most of the time today making certain that Georgia's interests are protected in this cease-fire agreement. And --
COLLINS: There you have the two players, at least at the current time in this moment and in this crisis for Georgia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili. A lengthy press conference there and certainly, even as the Georgian president admitted himself, a very, very passionate one.
I want to get to Elaine Quijano, our White House correspondent, to talk a little bit more about this.
So Elaine, the Georgian president has now signed this six-point agreement, but it required clarification from Secretary of State Rice.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly right. And that is the key point, Heidi. You're exactly right.
That was a big question, whether or not this loophole that existed in the original agreement that was hammered out, along with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, was going to be closed. That loophole basically amounted to one phrase that would have allowed Russia to -- quote, unquote -- "implement additional security measures until international security could be implemented."
Now, the thinking was that perhaps Russia might interpret that particular phrase, "additional security measures," as a green light to go ahead and continue a military occupation deep inside Georgia, away from the original zone of conflict in South Ossetia. Now we are hearing from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that that key point has now been addressed. She says that with this agreement, all Russian troops, and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them, must leave immediately -- must leave immediately.
Now Secretary Rice going on to say that certainly the need is there for more impartial peacekeepers. Of course, it's Russian peacekeepers. But this coming on the heels of President Bush's very strong statement this morning, again decrying Russia's moves here. President Bush saying that Russia has engaged in bullying and intimidation.
We should tell you Air Force One touched down in Texas just a short time ago. President Bush due to be briefed at his Crawford Ranch by Secretary Rice tomorrow morning, we understand about 9:00 a.m. Eastern time -- Heidi.
COLLINS: All right. Yes, Condoleezza Rice will go there to brief him.
All right, very good. White House correspondent Elaine Quijano for us. Thank you, Elaine.
We want to do a couple of things here now. We want to get to the State Department. Our correspondent, Zain Verjee, is standing by to talk more about this. And also, our special correspondent Frank Sesno in Washington with more on this very, very interesting press conference that just took place and is still ongoing as a matter of fact on the heels of a four-hour meeting regarding the situation and the crisis in Georgia.
We're back in a moment here on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICE: And now, with the signature of the Georgian president on this cease-fire accord, all Russian troops, and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them, must leave immediately. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: All right. We have been watching this press conference, aired most of it for you. I am looking at it in the monitor, still ongoing, between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili.
Want to take a moment and get to Zain Verjee at the State Department, our correspondent there, to talk a little bit more about this because there was quite a bit of work, it seems, Zain, done by Condoleezza Rice on the diplomatic front in order to get the Georgian president to sign the six-point agreement.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice here really seizing the diplomatic initiative. Before that, she spent time in France with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and had the French go back and clarify certain question marks and certain loopholes in that cease- fire agreement. Obviously it took some time, much longer than expected, in those meetings where there were clearly obstacles. But ultimately, Secretary Rice did what she intended to do and she got President Saakashvili to sign that cease-fire agreement, essentially, he said, to get the thugs out of his country -- Heidi.
COLLINS: All right. So does that mean then that Russia is in agreement? There weren't changes that were made, there were just simply clarifications?
VERJEE: Secretary Rice is saying that the Russians are going to sign, or have already signed, the exact same document. So she's saying, as what President Bush said, that the Russians really need to honor their word, they need to get out of Georgia immediately, she said. Rice also added that aid now needs to come in unimpeded and the Russians need to help out with that. She also added too that the international community would come to Georgia's aid and that they would help rebuild what the Russians have destroyed. International peacekeepers and monitors, she said, too, will be on the ground.
But the United States is making it very clear, and the President Saakashvili said the same thing, too, that South Ossetia and Abkhasia are part of Georgia. Now, the Russians are saying today that it really depends on what those provinces want. And they are pro-Russian, they want to be part of Russia. So any cease-fire that is signed by both sides will still be very fragile -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Yes, no question about that.
All right, Zain Verjee from the State Department today. Thank you so much, Zain.
We want to take a moment now to get to our special correspondent, Frank Sesno, in Washington about more on this.
You know, Frank, there are so many interesting things to talk about here, even if we just spoke about the passion that the Georgian president showed in that press conference. But particularly, he said, you know, what I want to understand is why this happened in the first place. My country was screaming and yelling that Russia was going to do this. He says the rest of the world didn't listen.
FRANK SESNO, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well that's what he says, and I think one of the things that's so striking about that news conference we just saw is the raw emotion from the Georgia president up against the rather calm and deliberate but nonetheless clearly limited demeanor from Condoleezza Rice, reflecting the limited options that the West has right here. Because they're not going to war, they're not going to go to war over Georgia.
The Russians, of course, have a different view, and that is that they've been provoked in a sense, that they've endured these abuses in Ossetia and Abkhasia and they're responding to that.
These are some of the things that are going to have to be worked out. And this is what makes this so difficult. Clearly the Russian behavior is not something that NATO or the West or the United States can, or likely will, stand. This is not, as the president pointed out, sort of the way you operate in a 21st century world. And the Russians have been spending a lot of time over the last year signing onto these rules, dealing with the G-8, eight industrialized nations, working closely as part of European institutions, even NATO to some degree. So this is a real mess and it's going to be very difficult for both sides to get out of it.
COLLINS: Yes, and to the point that the Georgian president made, Condoleezza Rice then followed up by talking a little bit about consequences to the Russians. What will those consequences, if any, end up being? Ones that make sense.
SESNO: Well there will be -- it's quite likely that there will -- first of all, there will be political consequences. Those have already taken place. Just the whole tenor has taken changed. Listen to words of the Defense Secretary Bob Gates yesterday when he said, "Russia's behavior over the past week has called into question the entire premise of the dialogue." I mean, that's a soup to nuts kind of thing. And remember that both Gates and Condi Rice were in the first Bush administration as Kremlin experts. So they're well versed in Kremlin politics and in the Cold War. And so this is very dicey business. So the first thing is going to be a political fallout, a diplomatic fallout.
There could well be economic fallout if the Russians are pushed out or marginalized in the Group of 8. But there's cost on the other side, too. She's talking about how NATO, the alliance, is going to take up where this goes. Are Western nations prepared to pay for some kind of return to a costly military confrontation with the Russians? I doubt it.
COLLINS: Yes and Secretary Gates saying those exact words live in the CNN NEWSROOM just yesterday. We heard him here.
All right, special correspondent Frank Sesno, sure do appreciate it. Thank you. SESNO: Thanks.
COLLINS: On to a different topic now. It takes a whole lot of fuel to power a fast moving vessel. Golden guy Michael Phelps' Olympic-sized feast. Check it out. And this is just breakfast.
COLLINS: Six gold medals and counting. He is sweeping his swimming events and cleaning up in the dining hall. But, there's more to Michael Phelps than carb-loading. Our Elizabeth Cohen is here now with a look at Phelps' fuel and physique.
I cannot believe what is laid out in front of me.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I know. This is a Phelps breakfast. That's what NBC's Bob Costa said that he says -- that Phelps says in says in his autobiography. I don't think I could eat this in a day, Heidi. But this is apparently a typical breakfast -- six cheese and egg sandwiches, an omelet, a serving of grits, a serving of French toast --that's a big serving of French toast.
COHEN: And three chocolate-chip pancakes.
So NBC says that when you add it up, that he was told, Phelps was told, he needed to have 8,000 to 10,000 calories per day. Now, most men his size, his age, they're having 2,500 calories per day. So that is -- you can see that is a huge, huge difference.
COLLINS: That is a huge -- I'm not going to even talk about all the gluten that is sitting here in front of me. That's another story.
So what about his body? How does he take all this in? Obviously he's a very active person so does it just fall off of him as far as the calories that are burned?
COHEN: Right, he is burning up thousands of calories in one workout. So he uses it.
But let's talk about his body and specifically what it is about his body that makes him such a great swimmer. Take a look at these feet, they are huge. They're a size 14.
COLLINS: They're flippers.
COHEN: They're flippers, and he uses them like flippers. And they're especially useful during those killer turns that he makes.
And also, take a look at this. He has a very, very long torso in proportion to his legs and that is helpful to him because he's got these really long back muscles that can make for extra strong strokes.
COLLINS: All right. So what about his head? Does he have a big head? COHEN: No, no, no. Not so much the size of his head, it's not the size of his head, it's what's going on inside that brain. Not only does he hate to lose, but I'm told by experts that he is incredibly focused and systematic in the way that he trains. It's not enough to have that competitive spirit, theoretically all athletes should have that, but the way that he trains is systematic and very, very focused.
COLLINS: Yes, and we even see every time he goes off from the blocks, he does that three slaps on the back every single time.
COHEN: Right, right, right. Same thing over and over.
COLLINS: It's very ritualistic, if you will.
All right. Well, hey, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty hungry.
COHEN: I'm getting hungry too. I think this could be -- we could share this for lunch and probably not finish it.
COLLINS: Like for a couple of days.
COHEN: Right, for several days.
COLLINS: All right. Elizabeth, thank you.
And don't miss Michael Phelps live this Tuesday on CNN.com. You can go to ireport.com right now and submit your own video question for him. Michael Phelps live Tuesday morning, 8:30 Eastern, only at CNN.com/live.
Politics and religion, the presidential candidates come together tomorrow night sharing the stage for the first time.
COLLINS: Presidential politics. Barack Obama says aloha to vacation. It is good-bye Hawaii, hello Chicago. Getting back in the game as Democrats gear up for their convention in Denver. Republican John McCain spending the day in Colorado meeting with top advisers. Both candidates likely narrowing down their VP options.
They'll also be mixing politics and religion this weekend. Barack Obama hoping to make inroads among evangelical voters, who overwhelmingly favor Republicans. Take a look now, CNN Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows white, born-again, or evangelical voters favor John McCain over Obama, 67 to 24 percent. In 2004, 78 percent of evangelicals supported President Bush.
Tomorrow night Obama and McCain will bid for evangelical voters at a live forum hosted by Pastor Rick Warren. Warren is one of the founders of Saddleback Church. Its 23,000 members make it one of the country's largest. Earlier, Warren told CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING" what he'll look for in the candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REV. RICK WARREN, CIVIL FORUM MODERATOR: We're going to look at four different segments. One is a segment on leadership, what is the personal character, competence, experience of each of these guys. One section will be on what I call stewardship, which is on the role and responsibility of the presidency, what they believe about the Constitution, about the role of America. We're going to look at a section on world view, which is all of those minefield questions that no matter how you answer them, somebody's not going to like it. And then we're going to look at America's role internationally, how we've been a blessed nation and how we should bless others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: You can watch that forum live tomorrow night right here on CNN. John McCain and Barack Obama together on stage for the first time, Saturday 8:00 Eastern.
COLLINS: Quickly to Reynolds Wolf now to continue following these tropical disturbances that we've been talking about -- Reynolds.
REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: That's right. We're watching this area of disturbed weather moving through parts of the Caribbean right now, through parts of Puerto Rico. This is not a tropical depression, it's not a tropical storm or even a hurricane, but there is the potential as we get close to the weekend, this could be a named storm.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers will have the very latest on this coming up throughout the rest of the afternoon and, of course, I'll be here throughout the weekend with Jacqui Jeras.
Let's send it back to you.
COLLINS: All right, very good. We know you're watching it. Thank you, Reynolds.
WOLF: You bet.
COLLINS: CNN NEWSROOM continues one hour from now.
I'm Heidi Collins. Have a great weekend, everybody.