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CNN Live At Daybreak

Election Day; Pete Rose Jr. Drug Case; Riots in France

Aired November 08, 2005 - 05:00   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: It is Tuesday, November 8. In Paris and elsewhere in France, a story marked by flames and fear as rioting has been reported in 226 French towns. Another night of fire on the streets, another night of anger.
Also, battling insurgents in western Iraq. This time with a twist. Insurgents disguising themselves as women.

And a Rose is a Rose. And this one fines himself thrown out at home plate. Ooh.

ANNOUNCER: From the Time Warner Center in New York, this is DAYBREAK with Carol Costello.

COSTELLO: And good morning to you. We'll have more on the France riots just ahead.

Also ahead, arrests in Sydney and Melbourne stop a terror attack. What did the Australian authorities find?

And a supermodel becomes super obese. What she found out undercover may or may not surprise you.

But first, "Now in the News."

Voters across the country will be casting ballots today in off- year elections. High on the radar, the close governor races in New Jersey and Virginia. Plus a number of mayoral votes and gay-related issues. We'll have more on this in just a minute.

Recaptured death row fugitive Charles Victor Thompson now back behind bars at the ver same Texas jail where he escaped from last week. Thompson was captured outside a Louisiana liquor store on Sunday. He waived his right to counsel and extradition.

Americans in France are being warned to avoid areas have occurred in nearly 300 towns. Rioters burned a bus and hundreds of cars last night. The government plans to impose curfews under a state of emergency law and to call up police reservists.

To the forecast center and Jacqui Jeras.

Good morning.

JAQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good morning, Carol. Welcome back.

COSTELLO: Thank you.

JERAS: Missed you yesterday.

COSTELLO: I know. I missed DAYBREAK, too.

JERAS: Yes, you missed it while your eyes were closed and sleeping a few hours, I'm sure, weren't you?


COSTELLO: Thank you, Jacqui.

We begin this morning with a reminder. It is Election Day on this glorious day in some parts of the nation. No national officer in play, but there are still many important races to watch today. One of those in New York City.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg faces the challenge of the Democrat, Fernand Ferrer. The candidates spread out across the city to try and secure some last-minute votes, but a late poll has Bloomberg leading by as many as 38 points over Ferrer.

In San Diego, a former surf shop owner is trying to become that city's next mayor. Democrat Donna Frye is taking on Republican Jerry Sanders. They're fighting for the top spot vacated by the former mayor, Dick Murphy, who resigned in disgrace last July. Frye lost to Murphy last November.

The governorship up for grabs in New Jersey. Current Democratic Senator Jon Corzine faces Republican Doug Forrester. Forrester lost his own bid for the Senate in 2002. The pair combined to spend more than $30 million on TV ads alone.

And in Virginia, it's Republican Jerry Kilgore and Democrat Tim Kaine facing off for governor. Kilgore hoped for a push following a last-minute visit from President Bush, but current Lieutenant Governor Kaine may have the inside track due to the popularity of outgoing Governor Mark Warner.

Voters in Detroit and Atlanta also head to the polls today to choose mayors. There are also important ballot measures being decided in several states from Maine to California.

Out West, Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger may face defeat on some of his issues. Among them, a spending cap bill that gives him more power to cut the budget.

In Texas, voters will decide whether to ban gay marriage. The state constitutional amendment is expected to pass.

And in Maine, they're trying to decide whether to eliminate a law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. That one is expected to fail.

Now back to the New Jersey's governor race, where one of those political ads has stirred up quite a bit of controversy. The ad highlights comments from Democratic Senator Jon Corzine's ex-wife.

She says, "When I saw the campaign ad where Andrea Forrester said, 'Doug never let his family down, and he won't let New Jersey down,' all I could think was, Jon let his family down, and he'll probably let down New Jersey, too."

That's the ad, Jacqui.

JERAS: Nice.

COSTELLO: So, isn't that nasty?

JERAS: Like she's going to say something good?


JERAS: Would you expect an ex-spouse to say something nice?

COSTELLO: No. But I wouldn't expect my political opponent to use the words of my ex-wife either in a campaign.


COSTELLO: I mean, that's just downright nasty.

JERAS: I don't know if it will be helpful.

COSTELLO: Well, maybe. It depends on who will win. I mean, maybe that will bring voters out to vote against, you know...

JERAS: Perhaps.

COSTELLO: ... the tainted man, so to speak.

JERAS: Well, yes. Maybe.

COSTELLO: I don't know. You know, in Virginia, there was an interesting campaign ad, too. It brought into question Adolph Hitler, because the Democratic candidate doesn't believe in the death penalty. The Republican candidate said that he wouldn't even have given the death penalty to Adolph Hitler.

And that brought about a lot of controversy.

JERAS: Yes. That's not a name you usually want to bring up in politics, do you?

COSTELLO: No. No, and I was...

JERAS: Whether it's -- yes.

COSTELLO: But you remember how nasty the presidential election was the last time around, right? And we thought it couldn't get any nastier than that.

JERAS: It could. Well, we want to know what you think. And we want your answer. Here's the "Question of the Day." Political ads: what should be off limits? Anything? Everything?

Let us know your answer,

COSTELLO: Should ex-spouses be banned from campaign ads? That's what we want to know.

In other news "Across America" this morning, crews in Eastbrook, Indiana, expect to finish draining a pond today where four bodies were found following Sunday's deadly tornado. This is the last area that still needs to be searched. Twenty-two people were killed in the twister and more than 200 others injured. Most of the victims lived in a mobile home park near the pond.

An antiwar sermon that also criticized President Bush's tax cuts but cost a liberal California church its tax exempt status. The pastor at Pasadena's All Saints Episcopal Church says he received a letter from the IRS saying it's investigating the sermon delivered just before the 2004 presidential election. The pastor insists the sermon did not urge parishioners to vote for or against any candidate.

Police plan to have extra security today at a Maryland school where an armed man was spotted. Arrowhead Elementary School in Montgomery County was locked down for most of Monday. An officer on a routine patrol saw the gunman and confronted him, but the guy got away.

And former NFL defensive back Daryl Lamont Lewis (ph) was arrested following a televised chase in California. It started when he was reportedly seen committing a carpool violation. Yes, a carpool violation.

And it ended when he stopped outside his parents' home in the San Gabriel Valley. Five cops wrestled him to the ground. Maybe you'll see it here. And the real reason he was running, maybe -- who knows -- police reportedly found drug paraphernalia and evidence of methamphetamines.

There you see them tackling -- that's so embarrassing, isn't it? Anyway, he's in trouble this morning.

We've all heard the adage "The Apple doesn't fall too far from the tree." And that may now be the case for Pete Rose Jr.

No, he isn't making headlines for his play on the field, but for his appearance in court. CNN's Brian Todd has it all for you.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Federal authorities tell CNN Pete Rose Jr. confessed that he trafficked in a sometimes deadly illegal drug while playing for the minor league Chattanooga Lookouts. Agents tell us Rose, who pleaded guilty in federal court in Nashville, is a small player in a much larger operation. DOUG COLEMAN, DEA SPECIAL AGENT: Mr. Rose's role was to -- he was a customer, essentially, and a smalltime dealer to several members of his baseball team, the Chattanooga Lookouts.

TODD: Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration say the substance is called gamma butyrolactone, or GBL. Once users take it, agents say, they often go into a coma-like state and can become vulnerable to sexual assault. That's why it's also known as the date rape drug.

But in Rose's case, DEA officials tell CNN he said teammates would take the drug to wind down after games. Officials say it's sometimes used as an alternative to steroids.

COLEMAN: It puts a bodybuilder into a very deep sleep, which may -- when they wake up, they may feel refreshed and maybe have more energy towards their workout and stuff like that. I don't believe there's any medical evidence that actually says that it does help in muscle building, like steroids do.

TODD: Rose, a 36-year-old infielder who moved on to another team, has not been part of the Chattanooga Lookouts for at least three years. And team officials say they have no knowledge of those activities.

Rose's attorney spoke briefly about the case.

JEFFREY BRODY, PETE ROSE JR.'S ATTORNEY: It's used as a sleep aid by many people in sports. It was legal, and he got caught in a time warp, because it was legal up until 2000.

TODD: But DEA officials say Rose was trafficking in the drug in 2002 and confronted by authorities in June of this year. Pete Rose Jr.'s arrest is another very public setback for a family once considered one of the most glamorous in sports.

His father, baseball's all-time leader in hits, admitted last year to betting on baseball while managing the Cincinnati Reds. Pete Rose Sr. remains suspended from the game for life, ineligible for the Hall of Fame. He also once served five months in prison for tax evasion.

(on camera): Contacted by CNN, a representative for Pete Rose Sr. said the former star would not comment on his son's arrest. A U.S. attorney's office official tells us under sentencing guidelines Pete Rose Jr. could get as much as 27 months in prison and as much as $1 million in fines when he is sentenced in February.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


COSTELLO: Now to the battle zone in Iraq. Operation Steel Curtain enters its fourth day. U.S. and Iraqi troops are trying to flush out insurgents along the Syrian border. According to the military, at least 36 insurgents have been killed, including three men disguised as women. The assault began Saturday.

The Pentagon releases a new troop rotation plan for Iraq. It calls for at least 92,000 U.S. soldiers to head to Iraq between mid 2006 and 2008. And that number is expected to rise even more.

There are now about 160,000 troops in Iraq. No word on how many troops will be coming home, or when. U.S. officials say it all depends on how soon Iraqi security forces can handle the job on their own.

Four more American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. The military says they were killed on Monday when a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle at a checkpoint south of Baghdad. The soldiers were assigned to the Army's Task Force Baghdad. Two thousand fifty-two U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq since the war began.

And there are new allegations this morning of American troops abusing Iraqi detainees. The military says five Army Rangers are accused of kicking and punching Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad as they were awaiting to be transferred to a detention facility. The alleged incident happened back in September. The military says the soldiers were charged with assault, maltreatment and dereliction of duty.

They call it the City of Lights, but for the 12th night the light has come from fires in the streets. Violence consumes Paris again when we come back.

Plus, they don't put this in the commercials. Pirates attack a cruise ship, and now we're learning more about how the ship's crew managed to fend them off.

And she's one of the most beautiful women in the world, although you wouldn't know it from these pictures. Oh, I hope you see her. There you see the back of her, at least. A social experiment -- there she is. That's Tyra Banks. Anyway, we'll tell you why she's doing that.

But first, here's a look at what else is making news this Tuesday.


COSTELLO: It is a beautiful day, although the international markets are a bit mixed this morning.

Tokyo's Nikkei down 24 points. The London FTSE up 13. The German DAX gaining 10 points.

In futures trading, let's talk oil, because it's lower again. It'd down 24 cents this morning to $59.23 a barrel.

Your news, money, weather and sports. It's 5:15 Eastern. Here's what's all new this morning. In Australia, more than 600 police are involved in rounding up terror suspects. Seventeen people have been arrested on terrorism charges in Melbourne and Sydney.

Authorities in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, are draining a pond where the bodies of four people were found after a tornado tore through the region Sunday. That tornado killed 22.

In money news, an Internet file-sharing software provider has called it quits. Grokster shut down its service as part of a settlement agreement with the recording industry. The move comes four months after the Supreme Court ruled that Grokster could be sued for Internet piracy.

In culture, the 20006 Polar Music Prize is going to hard rock legends Led Zeppelin and classical conductor Valery Gergiev. The award was established by the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, with the financial backing of the former manager of the band ABBA.

In sports, wide receiver Terrell Owens will probably never play for the Eagles again. I think that's most assuredly. Eagles coach Andy Reid suspended Owens after his latest critical comments about the team. The NFL Players Union says it will file a grievance against the Eagles.

And Jacqui, this is going to cost him big time. He's going to be suspended for I think the next three games, which will cost him $800,000. And then, because he has to sit out the rest of his contract, it will cost the Eagles $1 million.

JERAS: Oh, jeez.

COSTELLO: But Terrell Owens probably will never suit up in a little green outfit again.

JERAS: It's probably just a drop in the bucket for them, huh? No big deal.

COSTELLO: Well, to get rid of him, man, I don't think they care. He's a troublemaker, Jacqui.

JERAS: I think you're probably right. Got to get rid of those troublemakers.

All right.


COSTELLO: All right. Thank you, Jacqui.

A curfew imposed under a state of emergency is the next plan of action across France. The government is struggling to stop rioting that has raged for 12 straight nights now. Police reserves are being called up. Plus, officials are being forced to confront rage that's been building for decades among the French-born children of Arab and African immigrants. If you're thinking of going to France, the State Department is advising you to avoid areas where riots have occurred and to stay up to date on the situation while you're over there. But officials are not advising against traveling to France. Other governments, though, are issuing similar warnings.

So far, there is no end in sight to the violence there. It started in a Paris suburb and has spread to nearly 300 cities across the country -- 300 cities. Some of the hardest-hit areas include Toulouse in the -- in the south, the famous city of Cannes -- or Cannes, or however you like to pronounce it. And you can see all of the cities this encompasses, and even cities in the far north.

"Newsweek" Paris bureau chief Christopher Dickey has written about the rage fueling the fires, and he joins us now live from Paris.

Good morning.


COSTELLO: Tell us first about this curfew that has been put in place and why the French government waited so long to put that curfew into place.

DICKEY: Well, as I understand it, the way the French law was structured they basically have to go back to a law that was employed during the Algeria war in 1955 to do this kind of thing. It just runs against French principles to say we're going to shut down a town or a neighborhood and say nobody can come out after a certain hour.

But they decided that that kind of measure would be a good step to take right now. Maybe they should have taken it a few days earlier, but to help this thing sort of wind out and burn itself out. At least that's what they're hoping will happen.

COSTELLO: You know, it's difficult to get your mind around that rioting like this could have spread to 300 cities across France. What's at the root of this?

DICKEY: Well, first of all, when they're talking about it spreading to 300 cities, what they're really talking about is spreading to these disadvantaged neighborhoods that are all over France. The French government has counted about 750 of these sensitive urban zones, as they call them, and that's essentially where we're seeing these problems.

What we're looking at is neighborhoods where there's huge unemployment, about 38 to 40 percent among men under 25. They don't see any possibilities. They feel excluded from French society, but they don't necessarily feel connected to any roots of their immigrant parents and grandparents.

So, they're angry. Sometimes they're desperate. They've got a lot of time on their hands. And that's why we see this kind of violence. COSTELLO: You've written a very interesting article for "Newsweek" magazine. I just want to read a quote that kind of goes to what you're saying.

You say, "Disconnected from their past in the Muslim world and uncertain about their future in Europe, they've come to see themselves as citizens of nothing but 'Neuf-trois,' 93, the postal code for the outer edges of the Paris urban area."

Help us understand why the young men in these neighborhoods can't get jobs, good jobs, why many of the young people aren't going on to university.

DICKEY: Well, they'll tell you it's racism. They'll say officially this is a colorblind society and a colorblind state. In fact, you know, in the census in France they're not allowed to ask about your religious background or your racial or ethnic background.

I think for Americans it's very hard to understand. Certainly for the French it's very hard to understand when they fill out American forms that ask all those questions.

So, it's supposedly colorblind. But, in fact, the society is not colorblind. There's a lot of racism in this society.

These kids feel it. They feel that they are -- basically the moment that they are seen for a job interview, the moment they put down their address that's in the "Neuf-trois," people say, no, we don't really want you. Any time they write down their last name, and the last name is from Africa or from the Arab world, people say, no, we don't want you.

That's the way they feel, anyway. And it would seem that the statistics for unemployment bear that out.

COSTELLO: And unemployment rate is really high. It's 50 percent in some neighborhoods.

DICKEY: Yes. The average is 38 percent. In those 750 neighborhoods that I talked about, the average unemployment is 38 to 40 percent for young men -- for men under 25. And it's in the 30 to 40 range for practically everybody, and that's the average.

So, in fact, you can guess that in some of these neighborhoods the unemployment rate is much higher than 50 percent.

COSTELLO: Christopher Dickey, "Newsweek" correspondent. Thank you for trying to help us understand what's going on in France this morning.

Christopher Dickey.

Want to take a short break. We'll be back with much more on DAYBREAK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COSTELLO: In entertainment headlines for you this morning, Howard Stern's fans won't find him live on the radio today. That's because Infinity Broadcasting has suspended him for just one day. Too much raunchy sex talk? No.

They actually did it for his promoting of his upcoming movie -- upcoming move, rather, to Sirius Satellite Radio. Stern leaves his long-running radio show next month.

The well-publicized memorial service of Hunter S. Thompson is coming to the big screen. The movie "When I Die" follows the construction of the 15-story tower that was built to fire Thompson's ashes into the air. Thompson committed suicide in February. The movie debuts this weekend at the Denver International Film Festival.

Actress Kate Hudson plans to sue over an eating disorder allegation. She says pictures and stories accusing of her being too thin scared her family and friends. Hudson's suit names the "National Enquirer," as well as the British magazine "Heat" and the "Daily Mail" newspaper.

Speaking of weight, here's a story you might want to see. A thin, gorgeous model puts on a fat suit to learn a powerful lesson about how overweight people are treated.

CNN showbiz correspondent Sibila Vargas details it for you.


SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Recognize this woman? How about now? Lots of people didn't recognize super hot supermodel Tyra Banks as a 350-pound woman.

TYRA BANKS, MODEL: As soon as I steps off the bus, I saw three people turn and laugh right in my face. I was stunned.

VARGAS: That's right. The first African-American model to grace "Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition," host of "America's Next Top Model" and one of "People" magazine's 50 most beautiful people in the world was treated like anything but beautiful.

(on camera): You said it was a heartbreaking experience.

BANKS: Uh-huh.

You're going to make me tear up. It just was heartbreaking because it was so in your face. You know it was so in my face. And I'm like, I couldn't believe it.

VARGAS (voice-over): Banks said she decided to put on the hefty fat suit and prosthetics and feel what it's like to be overweight.

BANKS: The most important thing for this to work was that the suit had to be me, only bigger, 200 pounds bigger.

Just when he started putting the neck on, I got emotional. I got emotional. And it wasn't that I got emotional like looking in the mirror and seeing myself and oh, that's not so attractive. It wasn't that. It was almost like a precursor. I knew. I had a feeling about what was going to happen that day.

VARGAS: Hidden cameras captured her experience for the "Tyra Banks Show" as she hit two trendy L.A. spots.

BANKS: The first door I walked into was a popular celebrity boutique. Walking in, I felt a bit uncomfortable. As I walked through the store, I felt the cold stares. And I even heard snickering from some people shopping.

VARGAS: And watch what happens as she meets one of three blind dates.

BANKS: I'm not sitting here desperate, but as you can imagine, I'm a big girl and I have to live this life being a big girl.

Oh, you don't have to imagine? What do you mean you don't have to imagine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can see. I have eyes.

BANKS: Yeah. Well, that wasn't nice.

The first guy had to take a shot. He sat down, he immediately ordered a drink and told me he had to take a shot to get through it.

VARGAS: Banks said the experience changed her life forever. And she now has a greater appreciation for what obese people live through.

(on camera): You could take that off.


VARGAS: But another person may not be able to do that.

BANKS: Another person cannot take it off. Not overnight at least not, like I could. Not in the matter of -- it took me a couple of hours to take it off, actually. They can't do that. They can't do that.

VARGAS: Sibila Vargas, CNN, Los Angeles.