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American Morning

"Kamber and May" Discuss Supreme Court Nominee; Chilling Words of Support of London Bombings

Aired July 20, 2005 - 08:30   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Britain is planning to beef up anti-terrorism legislation, in response to the bombings in London. British Home Secretary Charles Clarke announced the proposed changes before the parliament just in the past hour. Meanwhile, police have removed one of the mangled train carriages from London's underground. The wreckage was wrapped in blue plastic and taken in for more testing.
Pakistan says it's cracking down on some extremist groups. Raids were launched Tuesday on the orders of President Pervez Musharraf. A government official says more than 200 people have been detained throughout the country, but police say the arrests had nothing to do with the London attacks.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Africa for a week-long visit that includes stops in the Middle East. The secretary arriving in Senegal earlier today for an African trade summit. She will head next to Sudan to visit a refugee camp in the war-ravaged region of Darfur. Rice is planning to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials also this weekend.

The chemical company Dupont has been slapped with a $5 billion class action lawsuit. The suit alleges that chemical in teflon could cause cancer. The plaintiffs want the company to impose a teflon warning label and set up funds to pay for medical monitoring and research. Dupont says its products are safe.

And winds and rain are lashing at Texas' South Padre Island. Hurricane Emily moved onshore in the past hour. The American Red Cross says about 4,000 people have taken refuge in shelters in South Texas. There are reports of some power outages, but no major problems at this hour. We'll check in with Chad Myers in a little bit.

Back to you, Carol and Miles.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thank you very much, Fred. Appreciate it.

The battle lines already being drawn over President Bush's nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. How tough a fight over Roberts' nomination should we expect on Capitol Hill? They do play hardball there, after all.

Joining us from Washington, a couple of hardball players themselves. Democratic consultant Victor Kamber and former RNC Communications Director Clifford May. Vic and Cliff, good to have you with us this morning.



O'BRIEN: You know, there's a big pile of money somewhere there in Washington with all these interest groups. They've been spoiling for a fight for so long. It's almost inevitable, isn't it? Cliff, you start.

MAY: It's absolutely inevitable. I don't see that they're going to turn the money back over to the various donors. But I think Bush made a clever choice here for a number of reasons. For one, though the interest groups are probably right now looking for something in this guy's record to harm him with, the fact of the matter is, just two years ago, he was overwhelmingly confirmed with Democratic support in a Congress that was more Democratic than the current one is.

This guy appears to be an originalist, somebody who doesn't believe it's his job to make the law or to make policy. It's his job to interpret the laws that exist, the constitution, which is a contract between the American people and its government. So, yes, the interest groups will do their stuff, but this is going to be a tough one to beat.

O'BRIEN: And I suppose the American people would say, great, we want somebody who has a strict interpretation of the constitution. Right, Vic?

KAMBER: Well, I think some Americans want that. I think some Americans want a jurist with a heart who can look at the problems out there and make decisions based upon what's in the best interest of the people and the cases involved. I'm less concerned about the special interest groups. I think they have an obligation to promote what they believe and educate the American public, and that's one of the best ways to educate. But unless there's a scandal here, my belief is that their impact will not have a great impact on the decision-making process.

O'BRIEN: So you think it's a done deal? It's just a matter of what...

KAMBER: No, I didn't mean that. No, no. I -- what I'm saying is, I don't see many senators changing their vote because there were six ads going one way or the other. I think Bush, I mean, the president, frankly, made a mistake in that he could have used this opportunity to really create a legacy, to appoint somebody that -- diverse, a person of color, a woman, an Asian, somebody -- I mean, there are plenty of conservatives. None of us ever believed he wasn't go to conservative...

O'BRIEN: There's certainly a lot of white male conservatives out there, Cliff. You being among them. Let's -- why wouldn't he have chosen -- maybe not taken an opportunity here to at least have a woman replace a woman? MAY: I think most people expected that's what he would do. I think what probably happened at the end of the day is he thought about it and he said, you know what, in 10, 20 years, I want to be very proud of my choice. Let me go for quality. Let me pick the person that I think is...


O'BRIEN: Women and Latinos don't give you quality? What do you mean by that?

MAY: I think he picked the individual without regard to race, creed, color, gender. The individual he thought was most qualified rather than going on to a politically correct choice.

O'BRIEN: Vic, you can knock that one out of the park if you want. Go ahead.

KAMBER: Well, I mean, I just -- there were so many qualified conservatives that fit the diversity issue. I just think it was a chance for him to hit that one out of the ballpark and stuff. But let me also say, I -- you know, we're going to have to know a lot more about this nominee. He looks bright, clean, you know, is a Washington establishment attorney.

But what sits in my craw a little bit, and it's not a case that's ever going to keep him from the judgeship, in my judgment, is, you know, he made the decision within the last two years with the french fry case, I call it, which made a lot of news here in Washington. A 12-year-old girl was arrested for eating a french fry on the subway or the Metro system here and it went to court. She was arrested, handcuffed. Her shoe laces taken off, in detention, you know, mugged, fingerprinted, you know, detention for three hours. For eating a french fry. He upheld that case.

O'BRIEN: Do you think the french fry will be a big issue before the committee?

KAMBER: Well, no. I'm just saying -- I would...


KAMBER: It's an issue for me because the guy doesn't have a heart.

MAY: OK, let me just say this.

O'BRIEN: Let's respond.

MAY: On something like that, and I don't really know this case, often what that means is the laws are wrong. He doesn't get to change the law. He says, Congress, you change the law. This is a guy who is uniquely qualified. He has argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court.

KAMBER: Only won 25.

MAY: That's right. Not all of them has he won.

O'BRIEN: That will get you into the Hall of Fame. What are you talking about?

MAY: Arguing in the Supreme Court is not as hard as arguing against you and me, Vic. But it's still pretty impressive. And he's been on the appellate court. This guy has a great career.

O'BRIEN: All right, gents, I don't think we settled that one. But we're just getting started, aren't we?

Democratic consultant Victor Kamber, former RNC Communications Director Cliff May, thank you both.

KAMBER: Thank you.

MAY: Thanks, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Carol?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: In London today, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke urged the House of Commons to beef up Britain's anti-terror laws. Investigators still combing the wreckage from the July 7th transit system bombings. On Tuesday, police removed a subway car from the Edgware Road station where six people, plus a bomber, were killed. The mangled car was wrapped in plastic and taken to an undisclosed location for more tests.

In the meantime, in Egypt, chilling words of support for the London attacks are heard from the father of a terrorist who flew the first plane into the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Correspondent Chris Burns reports from Cairo.


CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was in a Cairo neighborhood not far from the great pyramids that September 11 ringleader and pilot Mohammed Atta grew up. Today we've come here to the building where Atta lived with his family, not in poverty but in a relatively middle-class surrounding. His father, an attorney.

When we spoke to his father, however, the reaction to the attacks in London was as extreme as it gets. He praised the London attacks and said he hoped for more.

(on camera): Atta's father told CNN that the 9/11 and London attacks were only the beginning. He refused an on-camera interview unless we paid him $5,000. That, he said, would be enough to pay for another bombing in London.

(voice-over): It's hard to know how many people here share Atta's father's views. A couple of students we spoke to near their Cairo campus did not express hostility.

MOHAMMED IMAM, STUDENT: Because it gives us a bad figure. Plus, we don't need to have another negative stereotype about the Arabs.

BURNS: Some here see extremism as an outgrowth of anger over hard-line, one-party rule here, and high unemployment, estimated at 25 percent.

IBRAHIM MINA, STUDENT: I think it's social problems reflects on the society. Some people don't have work, don't have jobs. They have -- their minds are empty and nothing to do. They begin to go for to religion. They think of religion wrong.

BURNS (on camera): How do you stop this from continuing?

MINA: Education. First, first, education.

BURNS (voice-over): Mohammed Atta's father told us, there will be many more Mohammed Attas. It may take a lot of education to fight the breakdown of civil society here in one of the cradles of civilization.

Chris Burns, CNN, Cairo.


COSTELLO: Atta's father also told CNN the attacks in the United States and London were the start of a 50-year religious war to be waged by attackers like his son.

Officials in Aruba have ordered three suspects in the Natalee Holloway case to submit DNA samples. At the same time, investigators are testing some blond hair stuck to a piece of duct tape to learn if it came from the 18-year-old Alabama student.

Holloway family attorney Vinda de Sousa joins us from Palm Beach, Aruba. Good morning.


COSTELLO: These DNA samples were taken from Joran Van Der Sloot and the Kalpoe boys. How did that go down, do you know?

SOUSA: Well, first of all, as is the case in the United States, I hear, the prosecution needs to file a motion with the judge with the instruction to allow blood samples and DNA materials to be collected from suspects.

COSTELLO: So they were blood samples taken from these three suspects?

SOUSA: Yes, blood samples and swabs.

COSTELLO: And where did they send them?

SOUSA: They will be sent to Holland, to the Dutch Forensic Laboratory in the Netherlands...

COSTELLO: And I understand... SOUSA: ... as well as -- go ahead.

COSTELLO: Go ahead, I was just going to say as well as to Quantico, the FBI there. The laboratory there, I should say.

SOUSA: Yes, correct.

COSTELLO: That will take time to come back though, won't it?

SOUSA: Yes, my guess is that will take a week, a week and a half.

COSTELLO: Do you think that this is all connected to that piece of duct tape that was found with the blond hair?

DE SOUSA: Yes, I think so. Obviously, first of all, they want to establish if that hair is indeed human. And if it's human, if it's Natalee Holloway's hair. And furthermore, they want to see if there are other DNA or evidence that could link this piece of duct tape to the three suspects or one of them, for that matter, anybody else.

COSTELLO: There's something that I found curious. If they took DNA tests from the Kalpoe brothers, they released them. So why then did they release the Kalpoe brothers and not Joran Van Der Sloot?

DE SOUSA: They released the Kalpoe brothers, but they remain suspects. As I've explained before, every time that a defense is prolonged that a person is kept longer in preventive arrest, the threshold for keeping that person or that suspect for that matter becomes higher. So you need probable cause. And every time that the prosecution wants to keep a person or a suspect longer in detention, the burden of proof becomes heavier.

The three-judge panel decided that the fact that Joran Van Der Sloot had been lying consistently and continuously and that the fact that he was seen last with Natalee Holloway gave them enough probable cause to ascertain that most probably a crime had been committed and that he could be linked to a possible crime.

COSTELLO: Final question. Dave Holloway, Natalee Holloway's father, wanted to speak to Joran Van Der Sloot. He ended up speaking to the father. Do you know what was said?

DE SOUSA: Well, from what Dave Holloway told myself, yes, (INAUDIBLE). He wanted to speak to Joran Van Der Sloot, and he asked the father why Joran would not speak to him. The father said that in this phase of the investigation, he didn't think it was proper or advisable for his son to speak with Dave Holloway. But after the investigation, his son would speak to him. Furthermore, he told Dave -- as I understand, Dave told -- Mr. Van Der Sloot, that he just wanted to speak to the last person, as far as he knows, the last person to see his daughter alive.

COSTELLO: Vinda, thank you for joining us this morning Holloway family attorney.

DE SOUSA: You're welcome.


Up next on the program, some important tips on keeping your cool in the sweltering heat. Don't breathe? No, you've got to keep breathing. The early-warning signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion will be on the agenda.

Plus, "Minding Your Business," not enough time in the day to get everything done? Tips on squeezing some extra personal time-out of your busy workday. That's just ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


COSTELLO: Dr. Gupta is off today. In our medical segment this morning, we're looking for the best way to cope with the heat. A serious heatwave grips most of the country. That's why we're exploring this issue. Dozens of deaths have already been reported. And it's not just the elderly who are at risk. Everyone faces the possibility of heat exhaustion.

Dr. Kristen Harkin practices at the Albert Einstein Hospital here in New York, and she's a spokeswoman for the American College of Emergency Physicians.

So you probably see a lot of this.

DR. KRISTEN HARKIN, ALBERT EINSTEIN UNIV. HOSPITAL: It was a very busy day yesterday working Montefure (ph). I saw a number of patients with heat-related illnesses, and the sad thing is it really is preventable.

COSTELLO: It certainly is. I don't think people realize how much water they actually need. But before we get into that, tell me what the difference is between heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

HARKIN: Usually heat exhaustion occurs first, and that's where people actually begin to sweat profusely, have muscle cramps, fatigue or nausea. And if they continue to ignore those symptoms, it'll progress into heat stroke, and that's a very entity, because 15 percent of people die from heat stroke.

COSTELLO: So what happens to your body in heat stroke?

HARKIN: Basically the body's ability to sweat is impaired, so that they'll have cool -- or warm, dry skin, and they're not able to sweat and evaporate what a person with heat exhaustion can, and they'll have mental status changes. They can go into seizures. And it truly is fatal.

COSTELLO: So let's say you just have heat exhaustion, the symptoms you described, I mean, they could be anything.

HARKIN: Exactly.

COSTELLO: So how do you know that it's heat exhaustion? HARKIN: Well, it's really difficult. Any feeling that -- blah, for example, just feeling uneasy, feeling fatigued, and really recognizing it's probably because you're in the heat, many people ignore it, and they go on and continue whatever activity they're doing, so it's not an easy thing, unless they're really being aware of what their environment is.

COSTELLO: Who's most at risk?

HARKIN: Great question. Because the elderly are really reluctant to sensing a change in the heat. Also infants and children, because their ability to complain is impaired. So those two populations in particular are at particular risk.

COSTELLO: OK, let's talk about coping with the record temperatures. Replenish liquids, salts and minerals. And again, I don't think many people realize just how much water you really do need to ward off heat exhaustion.


COSTELLO: At least two to four glasses an hour of either water or sport drink. But that really has to happen every hour, even when they're in a normal temperature.

COSTELLO: And then salts and minerals. Where do you get that from?

HARKIN: Many sports drinks. But, you know, even making a salt solution at home with a teaspoon of salt to a liter of water, but many of the sport drinks, they are just fine.

COSTELLO: So some nice Gatorade would be perfect. OK, wear light-colored, loose clothing.

HARKIN: That's very important actually, because if a person wear as tight outfit or one that's dark that just helps to absorb the sun, and that will trap their heat. So truthfully if you're wearing light clothing, you're better able to sweat, and perspire and dissipate some of that heat.

COSTELLO: And you also say to limit outdoor activities.

HARKIN: Yes, that really is key. Many people really need to adjust their schedules. If you're going to continue doing whatever you have planned for the day, move it to later in the day when it's cooler, or first thing in the morning. And people who are working out in the sun who are always out in the environment also need to check on each other, have a buddy, make sure that you're really keeping up with that fluid intake, and if not even so increasing it from two to four glasses an hour.

COSTELLO: Because truly, it can sneak up...

... or first thing in the morning. And people who are working out in the sun, who are always out in the environment, also need to check on each other. Have a buddy. Make sure that you're really keeping up with that fluid intake and if not, even so, increasing it from two to four glasses an hour.

COSTELLO: Because, truly, it can sneak up on you and you could just collapse and not even know what happened.

HARKIN: That's the whole problem, that many people don't recognize it and it really is preventable.

COSTELLO: Thank you for being with us this morning. We appreciate it. Dr. Kristin Harkin.

HARKIN: Thank you.


O'BRIEN: Still to come in the program, for most of us, there's always too much to do, not enough time to do it. Not to worry, though. Up next, we got some tips on how to squeeze extra personal time out of your workday. Stay with us for more AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: New survey says workers waste up to two hours a day at work. Not me, boss, no, no, no.


O'BRIEN: You can't prove a thing, all right? That's all I'm gonna say.

COSTELLO: Now, I find this -- Gerri has discovered ways that you can squeeze personal time into your workday, but I think we're all champions at that already.

O'BRIEN: I think we all have our ways.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm going to heighten your game here, I'm going to take it to another level.

O'BRIEN: OK, good good.

WILLIS: I know you've been looking to squeeze more time out of your day. And let me tell you, I've never seen a producer work as hard as my producer did today -- Todd Bonnin (ph) -- on this segment.

First of all, harness your e-mail power. Now, you know you can put your e-mail on a timer so that if you want to leave at 5:00 and you really need to be there until 5:30 or 6:00, you can have that last e-mail of the day go out after you leave.

O'BRIEN: That's a great idea.

WILLIS: Find the option button on your software program.

O'BRIEN: You're on the beach and the e-mails are going out.

WILLIS: Perfection.

O'BRIEN: I'm busy. I like that idea. OK.

WILLIS: But you got to keep that e-mail program open, by the way.

O'BRIEN: Which has a risk, a downside, potentially.

WILLIS: Yes, it has a downside, potentially. To get more e- mails and be outed as a person who is not actually in the office.

COSTELLO: Use your cell.

WILLIS: Use your cell phone. OK. Now, let's say that what you really want to do is sleep a little later and convince the boss that you're stuck in traffic. OK. Now, we can get some software...


WILLIS: It is, isn't it? I'm not proud of this, I have to say. But you can get software that will make it sound like you are stuck in traffic. It has traffic noise...

O'BRIEN: Traffic noise? Really?

WILLIS: Or even coughing so it makes you sound like you're sick.

O'BRIEN: Or how about like an emergency room with people, you know, putting on the paddles and stuff. I'm really sick! Clear! You know, that kind of stuff? That would be good.

COSTELLO: You're in the back of an ambulance going to the hospital.

WILLIS: This is really -- this is worse than I thought. OK. You guys are going to teach me how to do this, rather me...

O'BRIEN: I think we've taken the game even higher here.

WILLIS: Right, exactly.

O'BRIEN: All right, go ahead.

WILLIS: OK, let's talk about disguising your PC. Now, there's a software program called Nap and Coffee that we wanted to show to you... O'BRIEN: Nap and coffee.

WILLIS: But we were blocked. Apparently, Time Warner is on to us. We could not download this software program. And what it does -- it looks like this -- it makes it look like you're doing something on your P.C. when you're not. It looks like it's some complicated program running. It's totally fake.

O'BRIEN: So in case they peer over your shoulder electronically...

WILLIS: Or you leave, because...

COSTELLO: Which means that Time Warner must be doing that, otherwise why would they care about that program?

O'BRIEN: They're watching us.

WILLIS: What can I say? Tweak your Blackberry, too. I just want to say. Because people can tell when you're out of the office. Now, in our business it doesn't matter so much, but some people want to look like they're always in the office. There's always a little signature at the bottom that says "set for my Blackberry"...

O'BRIEN: Oh, yes, don't do that.

WILLIS: You can change that.

O'BRIEN: I'd get rid of that thing, yes. I'll show you how to do that.

COSTELLO: You've already done that?

O'BRIEN: Oh, yes, I've done that already, big time, yes.

WILLIS: Professionals, here.

O'BRIEN: You haven't told me anything I didn't know, Gerri. That's all I can say.

WILLIS: Maybe we helped somebody out there.

COSTELLO: I'm sure. You're such a good person, Gerri.

O'BRIEN: OK, we'll erase this tape later. Thank you very much, Gerri, for coming by. Appreciate it.

White House today. We've been talking about dress code at the White House a lot.

COSTELLO: Oh, the flip-flop flap.

O'BRIEN: The flip-flop flap. And there's another chapter to tell you about. The Baylor Women's Basketball Team came there this morning and our crack investigative team, a team with, I might say, a lot of soul, decided to focus -- they laughed at my joke there, perfect timing. Did you hear that? That was good. All right, so, now let's get a close-up of the footwear among the team there. And we'll tell you, nary a flip-flop in sight, I think. I think perhaps the word got out. I don't know, so far so good.

COSTELLO: The girl in the green looks like she's wearing Birkenstocks.

O'BRIEN: Well...

COSTELLO: Does that count as a flip flop?

O'BRIEN: What does that count?

COSTELLO: Oh, no, she's not. I apologize, girl in the green.

O'BRIEN: That's actually nice -- that's nice stuff. That's perfectly acceptable.

COSTELLO: They're slides, Miles.

O'BRIEN: Now, here -- this is interesting, because we've seen all manner of dress code. Last night, John Roberts gets announced. And you saw his son, four years old, in seersucker shorts, seersucker suit, with saddle shoes. Did he have that shot still? So the bottom line is, the White House, being the people's house, represents a cross section of America and you're gonna see all kinds in there.

COSTELLO: Bring up the music, boys.

O'BRIEN: All right.

COSTELLO: I have a tear in my eye.

O'BRIEN: Congratulations to the Baylor team for dressing appropriately. And we'll be back with more in a moment.