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Georgia Signs Cease-Fire Agreement with Concessions to Moscow; Life in Prison, or Death? Convicted Killer's Fate in Question; Olympic Memories

Aired August 15, 2008 - 14:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: A week after Russia went to war with its Black Sea neighbor, Georgia, the Georgian president signs a deal to end it. But he's not exactly celebrating.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: And 60 years after Marvelous Mal Whitfield struck gold at the London Olympics, he's off to Beijing. But first, he and his daughter, our very own Fredricka Whitfield, will stop by the NEWSROOM to talk about old times and some timeless ideals.

I can't wait for that.


LEMON: Yes, that's going to be great.

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

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

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: President Bush accuses Russia of bullying neighbor Georgia. He spoke today amid growing concern that Russia invaded Georgia because of its strengthening ties with the West, the United States in particular.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Unfortunately, Russia has tended to view the expansion of freedom and democracy as a threat to its interests. The opposite is true. Free and prosperous societies on Russia's borders will advance Russia's interests by serving as sources of stability and economic opportunity.


LEMON: Well, the president spoke before he left for his Texas ranch. He delayed the start of his vacation to respond to the crisis in Georgia.

KEILAR: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Georgia right now, where she's won agreement on a cease-fire. This deal includes concessions to Moscow on the issue of Russian troops in separatist regions of Georgia. With Rice at his side, Georgia's president lashed out at the West for failing to heed warnings about the Russian invasion. He said the West has behaved in ways that invited Russia's aggression.

LEMON: Well, in a moment, we'll go live to Moscow, where Russia's president is also expected to sign the cease-fire. Our Jill Dougherty is there for us.

First, though, to CNN's Frederik Pleitgen in the Georgian capital of Tbilsi.

What's the latest, Frederik?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, of course the Georgian president today signed tat -cease fire agreement with Condoleezza Rice present. One thing he said, he said, yes, he's going to sign the cease-fire agreement, but, no, he is not happy about it.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was very emotional during that press conference. He blamed European nations in particular, who he said were looking on as this crisis was developing. He said he had warned them many times, but he also said the West had done nothing.

Let's listen in to what Mikheil Saakashvili had to say.


PRES. MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI, GEORGIA: And no European country said anything about it. So who and why did it trouble here? Who and why is this arrogance here? Who and why are these innocent deaths? Who is not only those people who perpetrate it are responsible, but also those people who failed to stop them.


PLEITGEN: Now let's go straight to the situation on the ground then, Don, because that's, of course, a very important factor in all this is, which is the question, when will the Russian forces pull out of Georgia, if in fact that is what they have intend to do?

Now, if you look at the city of Gori, that, of course, a strategically important city. And the reports that we're hearing from there is that Russian forces are still firmly in control of that town. They're not in the city center, but they are on the outskirts of town. They control all of the roads leading into that town.

Further west, near the province of Abkhazia, that other breakaway province, there is a substantial number of Russian forces in the town of Senaki, holding their positions there. And they often start incursions deeper into Georgian territory.

Now, we've heard from Condoleezza Rice. She was saying Russians must pull out their forces out of Georgia immediately. We'll wait to see in the next couple of days if that is going to happen -- Don.

LEMON: Frederick Pleitgen in Tbilisi.

Thank you, Frederik.

KEILAR: Let's head now to Jill Dougherty in Moscow.

Jill, is Secretary Rice likely to influence Russia one way or the other here?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a little hard to hear there, Brianna. We're having some interference. But I think you were asking about Secretary Rice. What they are -- what she is saying is that she believes that the Russians will sign this agreement.

Now, the plan was worked out and it was signed already by the leaders of those two breakaway regions. Then it went to the president of Georgia. And now it's coming back to Moscow. Unclear exactly how it will come back.

So, in that sense, it looks as if there may be some progress. However, the other part of this is a longer-term thing, which is the relations between the U.S. and Russia, which are very tense. And you've heard a lot of very, very hot rhetoric today coming from many of the -- from both sides.




KEILAR: All right. Obviously, we're having some technical difficulty with our connection with Jill Dougherty in Moscow. But we're going to continue to cover the conflict between Russia and Georgia, and we'll try to see if perhaps we can bring Jill back.

LEMON: Yes. As a matter of fact, we have another story to tell you about now. It's a really harrowing story from Georgia.

Imagine this: A Turkish broadcast crew under sustained rifle fire. Just listen in.

LEMON: Oh. You can hardly imagine that.

Well, Turkey's NTV says the incident happened last Sunday as a crew entered South Ossetia, the scene of brutal fighting. NTV says the crew was apprehended by Russians, taken into southern Russia, interrogated and released after negotiations. None of the crew was seriously wounded in that.

KEILAR: Remember last month's scare back aboard Barack Obama's campaign jet, that hat unscheduled landing in St. Louis? Well, at the time, Midwest Airlines said there was not an emergency. But now we hear the pilot felt otherwise. FAA tapes released to ABC News revealed conversations between the flight crew and the tower.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, at this time, we'd like to declare this an emergency, and also have CFR standing by in St. Louis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will show that. And would you -- do you have a preference on runways? Would you like runway 3-0 right or runway 3-0 left?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, which one is the longest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Runway 3-0 left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we'd like 3-9 left. And just for informational purposes, we have Senator Obama on board the aircraft and his campaign.



KEILAR: The crew was having trouble controlling the aircraft's pitch, but they did land safely. An FAA spokeswoman tells CNN that preliminary information is often incomplete or incorrect. And the National Transcription Safety Board said last month it found no evidence of tampering with the plane.

LEMON: A Pennsylvania man who gets out of prison today is having a hard time finding a welcome mat. He's George Feigley. And today's release day, after 33 years served for child molestation.

But this is where residents of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, have a problem. Because of the timing of his conviction in the 1970s, Feigley is not required to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. People who live in his old neighborhood want him to settle somewhere -- anywhere else.

KEILAR: A sentencing hearing under way in Idaho will determine life in prison or death for Joseph Edward Duncan III, who confessed to kidnapping a young brother and sister and killing the boy.

Here's Shane Johnson from our affiliate KIVI. And a warning, this report contains some very graphic and violent language.


SHANE JOHNSON, KIVI REPORTER (voice-over): It was an opening statement like few others. Jurors visibly upset as U.S. attorney Tom Moss described in detail the horrific crimes of murderer Joseph Duncan -- the killings here at Shasta and Dylan Groene's north Idaho home, and what happened to the children in several different remote campsites, where at one point he told them about every crime he'd ever committed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He told them what he'd done to their mother and how he killed her. And he did this because he apparently thought he was going to kill them too, and that he had nothing to lose. JOHNSON: Prosecutors say Duncan described all of the children he targeted as "flowers." His journal as one point reads, "Saw a pretty flower, tried to pick it, but it got away."

Duncan, who's acting as his own attorney, spoke for less than a minute, an opening statement in which he called the government's case fear and accurate up to the point of what occurred at the campground. Much of what happened in opening was to try and prepare the jury for more disturbing details still to come. They'll have to watch three videos that will last more than a half hour, they say, show Duncan sadistically sexually abusing Dylan while he's crying out in pain.

Moss told the court, "This is a little boy whose last days on earth were filled with experiences that no child should have to endure." Duncan then showed the videos to Shasta and would eventually shoot Dylan in the head, right in front of his sister. She would later tell police her brother's head exploded.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What Shasta went through was clearly unimaginable. And she's the only one who survived.


KEILAR: Johnson has pleaded guilty to federal charges of murder and kidnapping and sexually assaulting the children. He also pleaded guilty to state charges for which he'll be sentenced separately.

LEMON: Well, so many of us are excited about the Olympic games. But it's always a family affair for CNN's anchors, at least one of them. And she makes it a family affair for all of us.

Our Fredricka Whitfield's father is an Olympian. Father and daughter headed to Beijing this week. We'll talk to them both about that experience.


LEMON: You know what? Today's best athletes aren't the only ones in Beijing for the 2008 games. Among the millions descending on the Chinese capital, Olympians of yesteryear. And among them, the father of one of our own, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield, and her dad.

Take a look.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me reintroduce you to my dad, Mal Whitfield, 1948 and '52 Olympic medalist -- gold, silver bronze. I first introduced you to "Marvelous Mal" a few years back when London became the host of the 2012 games.

Were you euphoric?

MAL WHITFIELD, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Oh yes, I was quite pleased that the committee chose London.

F. WHITFIELD: Well, now, it's you and me off to Beijing. Are you ready?

M. WHITFIELD: Oh, have I been ready. I haven't had a good night's sleep. I'll sleep on the plane.

F. WHITFIELD (voice-over): Clearly, we're both over-the-top thrilled as we pack our bags for China. One reason?

M. WHITFIELD: What happens in the Olympic games, it becomes a family of people, people meeting people from all over the world.

F. WHITFIELD: Together to celebrate and witness greatness. The other big reason for our excitement? You're looking at him.

M. WHITFIELD: For me, going to Beijing will be the most exciting experience I've ever had in my life. Why? Because, personally, I'm almost 84 years old. The limited time I've spent in sport since I was eight years old, so I wanted to be an Olympian.

F. WHITFIELD: And after so many years, seeing other Olympians of his day.

He doesn't know for sure who will be there, but hopes on Olympians like bronze long jumper Herb Douglas; Harrison Dillard, the only man to win gold as a 100-meter sprinter and hurdler; gold medal diver, Dr. Sammy Lee, still both a cutup and pinup despite recent back surgery.

SAMUEL LEE, 1948 OLYMPIAN: Mal and I, both being from Los Angeles, it's funny.

F. WHITFIELD: And still vividly reflective at age 88.

LEE: So-called experts who say that you're the wrong color, the wrong size, it inspires you to be tougher, and you're more dedicated.

F. WHITFIELD: Despite discrimination, segregation, the Depression and military draft during World War II and the Korean War, they stayed on course to make Olympic history. Dr. Lee, winning two golds in the 10-meter platform in 1948 and '52, and a bronze on springboard. In the same back-to-back games, dad collectively winning three golds, a silver and a bronze.

M. WHITFIELD: I ran three events: 800 meters, the 400 meters, and the 400-meter relays. I just overdid it, but it was all worth it.

F. WHITFIELD: A fighter then, and a fighter now, who says the constant shooting pain in his joints is already feeling healing powers from this surprised-filled journey to Beijing.

His only fear? Old friends don't recognize him.

M. WHITFIELD: As ugly as I am, they will remember the face and my laugh.

F. WHITFIELD: Weeks after his spinal surgery...

LEE: I'm recuperating and the goal of going to Beijing is stimulating me to get healed fast.

F. WHITFIELD: And the prospect of these octogenarian Olympians meeting at the 20th Olympiad inspires me.

Let the games and our adventure begin.

Fredricka Whitfield, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: Well, you know what? The adventure is just beginning. And it starts right here at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

"Marvelous Mal" Whitfield is in our studio right now with our very own Fredricka Whitfield. The rest of their story coming up in the NEWSROOM.


LEMON: I've got to tell you, I'm a little bit -- I'm a little nervous. You know his daughter. And before the break, we told you about his amazing Olympic story. And we have a very special guest, former U.S. Olympian, Mal Whitfield. "Marvelous Mal" and his daughter, of course, our very own Fredricka Whitfield.

Thank you, sir. It's a pleasure to finally meet you.

M. WHITFIELD: Thank you very much.

LEMON: Sixty years. Are you excited?

M. WHITFIELD: Yes. I didn't think I was going to make it this long.

LEMON: Oh, really?

M. WHITFIELD: Well, you know, I've lived an unusual life...


M. WHITFIELD: ... in athletics. And, of course, in the military.

LEMON: You won all of these medals while you were in the military. Tell us how you did that. How did you do it?

M. WHITFIELD: Well, it was a childhood dream in the very beginning, 8 years old. I saw the Los Angeles Coliseum Olympic games. That was my first. Didn't know what I was doing, along with my other friends from the local field, sharecroppers down in Watts, California.


M. WHITFIELD: Then four years later, I was energized by this great man called Jesse Owens. This guy I have pinned on my shirt here. LEMON: He was one of your heroes?

M. WHITFIELD: Oh, yes.

LEMON: And now you guys are heroes now. And you're going to go back. And we understand you're going to see at least one of your comrades, so to speak. You were worried that they have wouldn't recognize you.

M. WHITFIELD: Well, really, so much has gone on in between tables (ph). Living in one society, me in another. And then trying to make things happen and enjoying a good life that God gave me.

LEMON: I want to ask Fred some questions. And then we're going to get back to you, Marvelous Mal.

How does this -- Fred, you know, we've talked about this a lot. And growing up, you said you didn't really appreciate or maybe you didn't know the importance of it, but now you get it.

F. WHITFIELD: Well, I appreciate it at a much greater volume now.


F. WHITFIELD: And I think that just comes with maturity.

As a kid, this is my dad. That's how I knew Mal Whitfield. Of course, I knew he was an Olympian. And once an Olympian, always an Olympian.

I got that part. But it's only as an adult...


F. WHITFIELD: ... seeing and understanding the sacrifices that my parents, both of them, made to be who they are, and the sacrifices they made to pave the way for everyone else who would come up behind them, whether it was their kids or anyone else, understand that, you know, my dad was drafted during 1943, during World War II, the start of, and still maintained that hope to be an Olympian, which he was inspired in 1932, as he was saying, at the L.A. Coliseum. And to stay focused.

You know, and our generation and so many generations after us, we think, you know, tough times.


F. WHITFIELD: We think we know what tough times are.

LEMON: Oh, I've got too much on my schedule and my plate.

F. WHITFIELD: We have no idea, right.

LEMON: It's no big deal. F. WHITFIELD: And so to hear about his generation and all that they did, the sacrifices, the hurdles -- and they cleared them all and still became Olympians. And then to medal at that, just too extraordinary. He inspires me all the time.

LEMON: Yes. Inspiration, absolutely.

So tell us a little bit, as much as you can, about your journey. Because I understand there were surprises along the way.


Well, you know, I've always wanted to go to the Beijing games. And I've been trying to plan this for the last year. But it really was only within the past month that I decided to bring my dad in on the scheme, because, you know, A, I just wanted him to be surprised, and I wanted to make sure we had everything in check.

So I reached out to a number of folks who were going to be there and some of whom he knows will be there, and some who he doesn't know.

But we know, Dad, that every Olympic games that you go to since your Olympic games, it's like one big reunion. Seeing old friends, people you've trained with or folks that you have met along the way. So that's what it will be like.

LEMON: It's going to be very interesting.

You guys leave on Monday.

F. WHITFIELD: Yes. I can't wait.

LEMON: And I'm going to see you tonight. You're having a little barbecue at the place, so I'm going to see you again tonight, and I've got my camera all ready. I've brought it out here on the set and have been taking some pictures.

F. WHITFIELD: Yes. But Dad, how excited are you to go?

LEMON: Hey, are you excited? How excited are you? Are you ready for this?

M. WHITFIELD: I'm excited, even more so since the -- seeing it every day. The few days in between, and her organizing this, to see all she has done.

LEMON: "Marvelous Mal" Whitfield and Fredricka Whitfield, we appreciate it.

F. WHITFIELD: And can I just say...


F. WHITFIELD: ... when I see these pictures, you know, of my dad in his day, and I remember him telling me what Wembley Stadium was like. It was a dirt track, nothing like what it was today. Nothing of the sort of Olympians, the tools that they have.

So Dad, what's it like when you see these pictures of yourself up there? Any thoughts come to mind?

M. WHITFIELD: Reflection going back to the early days of it. It was the style, the fad, the "wannabe" and "gonna be." And it took all the want to and going to be businesses together to magnify still something bigger than what you can imagine. And I hadn't been there before, but I was encouraged by so many great athletes.


Well, we appreciate what you've done and the sacrifices that you and your generation made for us.

And that was a handsome guy in that picture. And you still are very handsome.

F. WHITFIELD: I know. And I see my brother there and I see my son in those pictures. It's extraordinary.

LEMON: Thank you, Fred.

Thank you, sir.

M. WHITFIELD: Thank you very much.

LEMON: We'll be with you along the way.

All right -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Well, the tough housing market even hit Ed McMahon. Fortunately, someone came to his rescue. You may not guess who.


KEILAR: "The Donald" comes to the rescue of Johnny Carson's former sidekick. The real estate mogul says he's buying Ed McMahon's Beverly Hills mansion so that McMahon can lease it back and keep living there.

The 85-year-old McMahon ran into money trouble when he broke his neck months ago. And he's since defaulted on his mortgage and was facing foreclosure. Trump says he doesn't know McMahon personally but just wanted to help.

The naming rights to the centerpiece of the Beijing Olympics can be yours if you have just a few hundred million bucks lying around.


LEMON: All right. In the meantime, we have to tell you about a very terrible accident in New York. It is a horrible scene on a New York City street.

A van hits a pregnant traffic officer and throws her under a bus. It took nothing short of a superhuman effort to save her unborn baby's life.


KEILAR: It's just after 2:30 p.m. Eastern. Here are some of the stories we're working on in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Russian forces remain in control of several key cities in Georgia, even as Georgia's president met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. President Mikheil Saakashvili signed a cease-fire agreement and Rice says she has been assured Russia will also sign onto the deal.

A convicted Pennsylvania sex offender has been released from prison, and his potential neighbors are up in arms. George Feigley served more than 30 years for abusing children, but he's not required to register with authorities as a sex offender because he committed those crimes before the state's Megan's Law was passed.

And the Bigfoot legend lives. Three men say they will unveil a Bigfoot corpse at the top of the hour. They claim they found the remains in the north Georgia mountains.

LEMON: An heroic effort in New York City. Sadly, it was not enough to save the life of a pregnant woman, but it did save her baby. Her baby survived in all of this. The woman was a New York City traffic officer. A van hit her and threw her under a school bus. And that's when everyday heroes jumped into action.

CNN's Josh Levs joins us now with the details. And this is really everyday heroes.

JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's incredible what they did. And when you hear this story you'll be amazed.

Let me first tell you the headline. I just got off the phone with doctors at St. Barnabas Hospital. They have raised this child's condition. No longer critical, now in guarded condition. Actually while I was on the phone with them, I brought over our Elizabeth Cohen. She asked all the smart medical questions. So you'll hear from her in just a minute.

First let me tell you what happened. This is a major story today. A lot of people following it. Let's close in on this. This right here is New York 1, our affiliate in New York. They've been leading with this today. Let's switch over to the "Daily News." You'll see what they are saying -- "Heroism Amid Tragedy." People really jumped on this story.

Here's the basic idea behind what happened. This woman was a traffic agent. She was heading out on her lunch break. Apparently a van hit her, which threw her in front of a bus. Too late for the bus to stop. We have video of the crime scene that we'll bring in here. And this was in the Bronx, up near the campus of Fordham University, around 188th Street, for those who know the area.

So this bus is on this woman, 33-year-old Donnette Sanz. And let's hear what happened next.


GARY BURGESS, PULLED WOMAN FROM UNDER BUS: (INAUDIBLE) could see that somebody was trapped under that bus there. Now, we didn't know the person or at that moment, I didn't know what it was. All we knew -- that somebody was under there and they was bent like 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, 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, it was like 30 to 40 of us, we actually lifted that bus off of her.


LEVS: They physically lifted that bus off of this woman -- 30 to 40 people lifted it up, a five-ton bus. That's not just normal human strength. You've got to have some adrenaline running through you as well.

A few more details that we now know about this incident. Let's close in on this screen this is Few things I want you to know, the van's driver, the one who originally hit her, Walter Walker, 72-years-old, and apparently he has now been charged with criminally negligent homicide and driving without a license.

Now we have the Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, saying that Walker had 20 previous suspensions to his driver's license. So obviously there's a lot more questions. And in just minutes, at 3:00, there is going to be a vigil for her just outside St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, Don.

LEMON: And Josh, you're absolutely right. That is nothing but adrenaline. We have heard similar stories like this before and people do super human things when they're under pressure like that.

LEVS: Reminds me of Superman -- one or two -- I think it was one where the little lifts up the car. This is astounding what these people did for this woman and might have saved this child. This child might have a life because of what they did.

LEMON: Josh Levs, we appreciate it.

KEILAR: Let's bring in medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, now for the medical side of this story.

Babies who are this size, three pounds. A lot of us think of that and say, that's pretty small. This baby isn't very old. Is it going to face some difficulties?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. Three pounds, six ounces, you hear that and you think how tiny. But really these days, three pounds six ounces is not so tiny. This baby was 28 weeks gestational age which means -- the mom was about six-and-a-half months pregnant. Those babies have a great survival rate, somewhere around 80 percent, 90 percent. And Brianna, something that's interesting in this case -- they think she was six- and-a-half months pregnant. They're not really sure. I don't know if that means they couldn't talk to her, that she was not able to communicate, they didn't have her medical records. But the doctors told me, we're not really sure how pregnant she was, we think that she was six-and-a-half months pregnant.

KEILAR: Is it pretty extraordinary, in a situation like this, is -- normally what happens? Do mother and child perish? Is it pretty extraordinary that the baby survived?

COHEN: We don't know exactly what this baby went through. I asked the doctors at this hospital a series of questions -- was mom's heart beating when they pulled her out from under the about us? Did they have to intibate her? Did they have to do CPR?

They wouldn't say anything because of HIPAA laws and dad hasn't signed a HIPAA release form yet. But they really sounded quite hopeful. I mean, the baby went up -- he's not longer in critical condition. They really sound hopeful.

Now babies this age are more likely to develop things like eye problems, respiratory problems, developmental disabilities later in life. But often, 28-weekers do just great.

KEILAR: That is good news. Hopefully that is the case here.

Elizabeth Cohen, thanks.

LEMON: How does a four-day workweek sound to you? Some love it, some hate it. We decided to let some of our staff experience it for themselves.


LEMON: Leading our Political Ticker this afternoon, a rare day on the campaign trail. Neither John McCain nor Barack Obama has any public rallies or speeches on their schedules. McCain is in Aspen, Colorado, where he had breakfast this morning with Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens. After that, a private campaign meeting.

Obama is wrapping up his vacation in Hawaii and heading home to Chicago. During his week-long visit to his native state, the Democratic candidate soaked up some sun and there were some tourists (ph) there as well. He caught a few waves and a few sights, including USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

White, born-again or evangelical Christian voters are overwhelming supporting John McCain. In a CNN Opinion Research Corporation Poll, 67 percent say they'll vote for McCain, 24 percent back Barack Obama. Four years ago, almost four out of five voters in that group voted for President Bush over John Kerry. You'll want to be right here on CNN tomorrow night for the McCain/Obama faith forum. Our live coverage begins at 8:00 Eastern. And tonight, you can find out how the running mate race is shaping up. A special report, "Crucial Choice," is coming at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN's "A.C. 360."


LEMON: Well we wrap-up our five-day look at a four-day workweek by putting it into the ultimate test right now here at CNN.

Here's CNN's John Zarrella with the play-by-play.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Erica Henry Sims, Lynn Lamanivong, Scott Thompson -- their responsibility, keeping tabs on what's going on in the Western United States. For a week, instead of working five 8-hour days, they worked a four-10 schedule.

Longer work hours didn't bother Lynn.

LYNN LAMANIVONG, CNN NATIONAL DESK ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: Once you work eight hours, really two more hours doesn't make a difference at all.

ZARRELLA: But it can upset the balance when you have kids.

ERICA HENRY SIMS, CNN SR. ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: Now, it might be a situation where my husband would have to do both the drop-off and the pick-up, or we would have to rely on my mom.

ZARRELLA: Scott found working until 7:00 p.m. meant less time in Atlanta's notorious traffic.

SCOTT THOMPSON, CNN NATIONAL DESK ASSIGNMENT EDITOR: By that time, a lot of the rush-hour traffic will have gone away and it will be clear sailing all the way back up to Cherokee County.

ZARRELLA: All three used their extra day off as quality time.


SIMS: Nobody wants treats?

THOMPSON: The lake (INAUDIBLE). That's good.

SIMS: (INAUDIBLE) take Sydney (ph) home and give Sydney something to eat.

LAMANIVONG: Because I'm going to have the extra day to go do the lunches, to go do the dinners and to go do the things that, you know, I normally wouldn't be able to do.

SIMS: It allows me, while my sons are in camp, to come and get my hair done. THOMPSON: I get to spend it with my family.

ZARRELLA: Only Scott, with the longest commute, seemed to save at the pump.

Lynn lives close to CNN Center.

Erica found she spent more money on gas than if she had just gone to work.

SIMS: But, look at all the stuff that I'm able to do, not only for my kids, but for me too.

ZARRELLA: Erica, Lynn, Scott -- suddenly had the luxury of time for family, friends and themselves.

(on camera): The four-day workweek certainly saved just about everyone on energy costs. But what emerged, just about everywhere we went, was this -- that extra day improved nearly everyone's quality of life.

John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


KEILAR: So the extra day obviously a bit of a plus there, but how does it affect the job? How does it affect the work you do?

Well let's bring in our assignment editor, Erica Henry Sims. And just to give people a sense of what you do, you're in charge of basically the West desk, the intake of all of the news and the distribution of all the news in the Western region of the United States that we bring in here at CNN.

Did it affect the quality of your work being here one less day?

SIMS: It didn't affect the quality of work, but we had two less assignment editors here on any given day. So we still had the same workload. So we found that the other assignment editors that were here had to pick up on the workload because the work doesn't stop, the stories don't stop, and the news don't stop.

KEILAR: And you -- so it's harder in terms of the whole team. But you said personally it was nice, you kind of had a bit of a mommy- and-me day, which is really nice.

But did you feel like you were caught up or did you kind of feel behind? Did you feel like you were having to check in that fifth day when you weren't working?

SIMS: Well we're always connected on our BlackBerrys, and so one of the things that I did find, that even though I was home on that extra day, I was constantly checking my BlackBerry, checking in, seeing what the stories were, to stay current while I was still at home.

KEILAR: Which you do all the time, but --

SIMS: Right.

KEILAR: -- you still had to keep it up on that fifth day.

SIMS: Exactly.

KEILAR: OK. Erica Henry Sims, thanks so much. This is sort of a different perspective for you, being in front of the camera. We appreciate you participating in this little experiment.

SIMS: Thank you.


LEMON: And she looks great, doesn't she?

KEILAR: She looks rested.

LEMON: You look great on TV. Come on, soak up the moment, how often -- look right in the camera and say hi to whoever you want to say hell to.

SIMS: I want to say hi to my three children. So hi, Jamie, hi, Eric, hi, Sydney.

LEMON: Yes. There you go, own the moment. Fantastic.

KEILAR: That's great. I love it.

LEMON: So you think gas prices are out of control? Wait until you hear about the home heating oil when that rolls around this season. We'll take a look at the potential damage in our "Energy Fix," coming up.


LEMON: Well, you know what? It may be the dog days of summer but it's never too early to start worrying about upcoming winter heating bills, especially when those bills are set to jump this year.'s Poppy Harlow has our "Energy Fix" and she joins us from New York today with that.

Hi, Poppy.


See, even a few months out, we keep you informed of what's down the road when it comes to energy.

LEMON: I was told that you couldn't hear me. So we weren't sure. Because we don't want to joke around with you.

How are you?

HARLOW: I'm good. I'm glad we tested it, now that I know why I can hear you, we'll go ahead.

Before folks, before you crank up the thermostat this winter, keep this in mind. Consumers are expected to pay about an average of $1,100 this year to heat their homes. That's up 20 percent from a year ago. And for those of you in the northeast, as we are here, it is even worse. Heating costs in that area expected to near $3,000 this year.

But there is hope. There are government programs out there to help people pay the bill. There is a low income home energy assistance program. There's also the weatherization assistance program. Both of those, you see them right there, help low income families make their homes more efficient.

And that's a good thing, right, Don?

LEMON: That is a good thing. And I want to ask you though. But making it more efficient is more of a permanent way to lower bills.

And it's something we can all do, right?

HARLOW: We can all do it. It might cost more on the front, but, you're going to save a lot in the end.

Start by getting a home energy audit. The Department of Energy's web site. That shows you, you can do it yourself. You don't need an expert to come in. The audit really pinpoints where your home is losing energy and evaluates the efficiency of your current heating system. And believe it or not, older furnaces are only 60 percent efficient. Which means you're losing about 40 percent of the heat, but you're still paying for it. Modern heating systems on the other hand -- they can be about 97 percent efficient. Of course, as I said, upgrading is an investment at first. But, it will save you some money in the end -- Don.

LEMON: You know what? We're in a drought here in the southeast. And a lot of people have gotten used to not warming up you know, the shower and taking very quick showers.

So my question is, what about water and heating? I've noticed that since I've been doing that, my bill has dropped. How does that factor into the bill?

HARLOW: Well, good for you. But this is a huge part of the bill. The government says it's a quarter of your energy bill -- heating your water.

So, considering lowering the water temperature. You probably don't need to have it as hot as it stands. A 10 degree reduction will cut your bill by 5 percent. As for the water heater, if it's warm to the touch, you can actually insulate it. I never heard of this before, but there are pre-cut jackets or blankets. They cost about $20 or some utility companies give them out for free. You can literally put them on the water heater. That should helps things too.

If you have an Energy Fix, tell us. Log onto -- Don.

LEMON: Poppy Harlow. Hey, have a fantastic weekend. And thanks.

HARLOW: You too.

LEMON: All right. Brianna.

KEILAR: She shocked, dared, challenged and yes, sometimes she outraged. Madonna turns 50. And don't expect her to change.


LEMON: All right. So, she gyrated.

KEILAR: You just said gyrated.

LEMON: I know. Through the '80s. I'm going to say sexed up. Sexed up the '90s and she is still in vogue today.

KEILAR: Of course, we're talking about Madonna. She turns 50, can you believe it? The day has come.

CNN's Becky Anderson on a woman who continues to rock and shock.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's the world's most successful female recording artist of all time. But if you thought reaching a half century might slow this show biz icon down, think again. That's not Madonna's style. But this No. 1 hit was:

MADONNA, SINGER (singing): Like a virgin.

ANDERSON: So was this

MADONNA (singing): Come on, get vogue.

ANDERSON: And this.

MADONNA, (SINGING): Just like a prayer, no choice...

LUCY O'BRIEN, BIOGRAPHER: When she emerged in the '80s, women were still very high bound by people's approval and doing the right thing and not being too loud or too -- and she was all those things. I mean, she didn't care what anyone thought. And I think a lot of people -- women found that very liberating.

ANDERSON: For the past 25 years, she's been rocking them and shocking them. The Vatican called her blonde ambition tour in 1990, one of the most satanic shows in the history of humanity. And more than a decade later, the Church of England wasn't too impressed by this.

Away from the stage, life's been anything but conventional. Born into a devout Italian Catholic family, she famously married Hollywood hell raiser Sean Penn, divorced him and later married again.

Reinventing herself to the manor-born with her new husband, Englishman Guy Ritchie. The couple denies that their marriage is on the rocks. But that hasn't stopped the tabloids speculating. And her decision to adopt a young Malawian boy caused outrage around the world.

But just when you think the old Madonna might be passed her sell- by date, another reincarnation.

O'BRIEN: I think what's inspiring about Madonna at the moment is that she's saying, well, I'm 50 and I can still be sexual and I can still look beautiful and I don't care. I get my legs out and I'm not going to wear something age appropriate.

ANDERSON: Inspiring or just a bit icky?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. I do respect her. I think she's done really well for herself. She's a great woman, she's done so much and her music is brilliant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). She should just settle down and be an old woman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 50 -- it's just the next 40, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a bit embarrassing. If she were my mom, I'd be really embarrassed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She should retire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quit while you're ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, she's too old.

ANDERSON: Ouch! Love her or hate her, Madge is a living legend. From gyrating virgin to rhinestone cowboy; sex siren to hippy chick, she's undisputedly the queen of pop. And as Madonna turns 50, she shows no signs of hanging up.

Becky Anderson, CNN, London.