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American Morning

Bonds Indictment?; Bear Attack; Possible Pilots' Strike; Moussaoui Defense

Aired April 14, 2006 - 06:00   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Say it isn't so, Barry. Did Barry Bonds lie under oath when asked if he used steroids?

A grand jury investigation may be under way, and this is serious stuff. If convicted, Bonds could spend some time in jail.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm meteorologist Chad Myers.

Seventeen separate reports of tornado damage in Iowa overnight and the storms are still moving to the east. Details coming up.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: And it's going to be a tense weekend for Delta Air Lines. Will its pilots walk off the job? And if they do, could Delta go out of business? A key ruling expected soon.

And the Duke University rape investigation, charges could come on Monday. A police officer is now describing just how he found the alleged victim.

And this,...

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Beatles are finally going digital. I'm Paula Newton on Abbey Road in London. I'll tell you when you will be able to start downloading those Beatles tunes coming up.

S. O'BRIEN: Good morning. Welcome, everybody. I'm Soledad O'Brien.

M. O'BRIEN: And I'm Miles O'Brien. Welcome to Friday.

We begin with what could be a legal curve ball for Barry Bonds. Even as the slugger homes in on the all-time home run record, a grand jury apparently weighing evidence he lied under oath when asked if he knowingly used steroids. Multiple sources telling CNN Bonds could face perjury charges for insisting he was clean when he appeared before another grand jury probing steroid use back in December of '03.

Carol Costello in the newsroom with more.

Good morning, Carol.

COSTELLO: Good morning, Miles. Good morning to all of you. This is very serious stuff. If Bonds is found guilty of perjury, he could serve five years in jail. Now here's the deal, sources close to the investigation tell us for more than a month a federal grand jury has been hearing evidence about whether Bonds lied in a different grand jury about taking steroids.

"The San Francisco Chronicle" has reported Bonds testified before that grand jury that he never took steroids. He did say his trainer, Greg Anderson, supplied him with flaxseed oil and a sort of balm, things which describe two undetectable performance-enhancing drugs made by the bay area company Balco.

Last night, after the Giants game in Houston, Bonds was hounded by reporters shouting questions at him. Let's go to that video now, actually. They were shouting questions at him, telling him to come clean.


BARRY BONDS, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: We've got a baseball game from there.

QUESTION: Barry, what do you want to tell the fans?

BONDS: Love them.


COSTELLO: Well if you didn't hear that, the reporters were asking him to come clean, tell your fans what's up. And Bonds turned around and said you know I love my fans.

Bonds' attorneys have long maintained the government is after bonds.


MICHAEL RAINS, BARRY BONDS' ATTORNEY: Look no further than Martha Stewart. The trap is perjury. The trap is, as they did with Martha, you get him in there, you offer him immunity, then you ask him the questions, and then you get him for 18 U.S.C. 1,001 (ph) lying to federal officers, exactly what they got Martha for. That's the trap.


COSTELLO: You heard Victor Conte's name mentioned. He founded Balco, and he went to jail for supplying steroids to athletes. That's a picture of him.

Bonds' longtime friend and trainer, Greg Anderson, there he is, he also went to jail for steroid distribution.

Of course this story is not over and nothing may happen for months, but it should get interesting in the short term Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Carol Costello in the newsroom, thank you.

More on this in a bit. We'll be joined by our CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and Shauna Sale (ph) of "ESPN" the magazine. We'll ask them how much trouble Bonds faces with the law and with fans Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: At least one person is dead after several twisters swept across eastern Iowa. The tornadoes damaged homes, knocked out power to thousands of people. Much of that damage, in fact, done in Iowa City and at the University of Iowa. Take a look at this picture. I mean that's just remarkable. Wow! Classes there are canceled today.

More on the storms now with Chad. He is our severe weather expert and there's lots of severe weather to talk about.

Hey, Chad, good morning.

MYERS: Hi, Soledad.

Tornadoes in the dark are the most scary, for one thing. And they're the hardest for spotters to spot in order to get other warnings out that there actually are tornadoes out there. That's a lot of times the first thing you hear about is actually damage, because you never get that bright light, that flash of lightening behind it to see it. Otherwise, sometimes they're even wrapped in rain and you can't see the tornado at all. It just looks like a rain shaft.


Back to you guys.

S. O'BRIEN: What a mess. All right, Chad, thank you.

MYERS: You're welcome.

S. O'BRIEN: Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Happening in America this morning, a horrible crash in Colorado. Six dead after their SUV hit by a train. A car full of migrant workers on their way to Denver at the time. The 15-year-old driver is the sole survivor in critical condition. No one on board the train was hurt. There are railroad signs at that crossing but no lights or gates.

Police in Baltimore had to surround one of their own precincts after a suspect took a clerical worker hostage. The suspect had overpowered an officer and locked himself and his female hostage in a room for three hours before surrendering. The hostage was not hurt.

In New Mexico, a fast-moving wildfire has forced the evacuation of several small towns. Two state parks northeast of Santa Fe are also closed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: And I'm asking all New Mexicans, please be careful. This one was caused by human error. And we've already got a drought that is serious and it's going to be a bad year for fires.


M. O'BRIEN: The fire has destroyed more than 12,000 acres and a couple of buildings so far. Officials say it is still 0 percent contained.

A killer black bear is on the loose in a national forest in Tennessee. Wildlife officials are looking for the bear after it attacked a family, killing a 6-year-old girl, seriously injuring her mother and 2-year-old brother.

We get more from Jessica Morris of our affiliate WTVC in the Cherokee National Forest.


JESSICA MORRIS, WTVC-TV REPORTER (voice-over): Call for the black bear at Benton Falls. When some campers saw the trouble, they called for help and carried the mom and her 2-year-old boy to safety.

Her other child, a 6-year-old girl, ran off. Polk County search and rescue later found the child about 100 yards from the falls dead. They also spotted the bear and shot it, but it escaped into the woods. Wildlife workers say they are surprised by this attack.

MONTE WILLIAMS, FOREST RANGER: A pretty rare thing. Black bears generally don't attack people. I can't think of any time other than you know just really rare circumstances.

ANDY GASTON, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: The last time I can remember any instance like this was in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in the late 1990s. Bears are very -- black bears are very common in the Cherokee National Forest. It's not unusual to have contact with them on an almost weekly basis from our visitors.

MORRIS: But he says black bears usually don't attack. Now forest rangers are asking campers to leave the area until TWRA officers hunt down the predator.

WILLIAMS: Once something like this has happened, they will put the bear down.


M. O'BRIEN: That report from Jessica Morris of our affiliate WTVC in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Coming up later on AMERICAN MORNING, we will talk with a Tennessee wildlife official. We'll get an update on the hunt for that bear Soledad. S. O'BRIEN: Well a pilots' strike may be looming at Delta Air Lines while negotiations between the airline and a pilots union are ongoing in New York. An arbitration panel is expected to rule tomorrow on Delta's request to void the current contract and that could lead to a strike by Monday.

Let's go right to CNN's Sumi Das. She's live for us in Washington this morning.

Hey, Sumi, good morning.

SUMI DAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Soledad.

Well flights for the third largest airline in the country may soon be grounded if it can't settle on a deal with its pilots. As many prepare for Easter weekend travel, the prospect has some passengers very nervous.


DAS (voice-over): Despite stepped up and ongoing negotiations, Delta Air Lines and its pilots have yet to reach an agreement. An arbitration panel has until Saturday to decide if Delta can throw out the current pilots' contract and impose more than $300 million in pay and benefits cuts. It's a move that's led pilots to threaten a strike which has some travelers wary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been delaying booking flights. I've got a number of trips out to the West Coast and I've been delaying them basically in contingency of if they do go on strike.

DAS: But an airline spokesman said quote "There has been no disruption in service due to union activity, and the traveling public can continue to book on Delta with confidence."

Not all Delta workers favor a walkout. In a letter to Delta pilots posted online, a reservations agent called the threat to strike self-serving. "I hope you will take into consideration that there are 41,000 of us out here that your decisions will impact."

Delta pilots have received a $10 million pledge from the Airline Pilots Association to fund a strike.

CAPT. MIKE PINHO, DELTA PILOT: This is our company and we're willing, again, to help our company in times of need. It needs to be a fair, equitable agreement. And Delta management's current demands that they have on the table are outrageous.


DAS: Delta declared bankruptcy last September. In court documents, the airline said a pilots' strike would put it out of business Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Sumi Das for us this morning.

Sumi, thanks.

Well a government audit of hundreds of travel accounts is now raising concerns about fraud and waste and abuse of airline travel at the U.S. State Department. The audit found 32,000 premium class airline tickets were purchased at a cost of almost $140 million. That's between the dates of April 2003 and September 2004.

Now the report found that about 67 percent of the travel wasn't properly authorized, wasn't properly justified or maybe both. And some of the tickets went unused. The State Department is defending its travel policies Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Well it ought to be a real fun weekend for a lot of last-minute tax filers, not. The deadline for returning that 1040, midnight, Monday, April 17. If you live in the northeast, you have a 24-hour bonus session.

S. O'BRIEN: Only on your federal taxes, not on your state taxes.

M. O'BRIEN: That's correct, unless you're in Massachusetts, because it's Patriot's Day in which and we're confusing people. The regional tax center for the northeast is in Massachusetts. They have Patriot's Day which gives you another day, Tuesday night, at midnight.

Anyway, areas hard hit by Hurricane Katrina, they get an automatic extension to August 28. If you just can't get it together, there is always Form 4868, which happens to be one of my favorites. That's the...

S. O'BRIEN: And I'm personally well familiar with it as well.

M. O'BRIEN: ... application for the automatic extension. Know it and love it.

You can bet this group of 13 Missouri state employees will be paying more taxes next year, but they probably won't mind. These are the winners of that $224 million Powerball jackpot. Eleven of the winners each pitched in about $5 and will be taking home nearly $8.5 million before taxes.

S. O'BRIEN: That's a good investment.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, I would say that's a wise investment plan. I'm going to take all of my 401(k) money now and buy lottery tickets.

The other two put in less money for the ticket, so they'll split their share, apparently.

S. O'BRIEN: Why do we never win? We do this all the time. We put in lottery tickets.

M. O'BRIEN: We haven't done one in a while.

S. O'BRIEN: We share money.

M. O'BRIEN: Anyway, you've got to play to win, so they say. S. O'BRIEN: But anyway, yes, yes.

Still to come this morning, some new information to tell you about in the Duke rape case from one of the officers who was first on the scene. We'll find out what he had to say about the alleged victim in the case. That's straight ahead.

M. O'BRIEN: Also ahead, Zacarias Moussaoui, he terrorizes a courtroom with words that bring new meaning to the term hateful.

S. O'BRIEN: Than a little bit later this morning, after fighting a good fight, the Beatles have decided to let it be and come together with the online music world. We're live on Abbey Road this morning.

First, though, a look at what's making news this Friday morning.


S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Fourteen minutes past the hour, a quick look at our top stories this morning.

Sources are telling CNN that San Francisco Giants superstar Barry Bonds could be facing perjury charges. Those sources say a federal grand jury has been hearing evidence about whether he lied about steroid use.

At least one person is dead after tornadoes tore through eastern Iowa last night. The power is out still in several areas and classes at the University of Iowa have been canceled.

And Monday is the deadline for most Americans to file their tax returns. You can always file an extension. I know that from personal experience. But if you want to get them done, get busy Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Meeting this morning trying to patch up the ugly racial divide in the wake of those rape allegations at Duke University, officials representing the city and the university have a sit down in a couple of hours. Lawyers for Duke lacrosse players accused of rape believe indictments could be handed up as soon as Monday.

Police have now released the call from the officer who first found the accuser. He thinks she is drunk and gives that code to the dispatcher. Listen.


OFFICER: This is going to wind up being a 24-hour hold. She's 10-56 and unconscious. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

DISPATCHER: 10-4 Do you need a medical truck (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

OFFICER: She's breathing, appears to be fine. She's not in distress. She's just passed-out drunk.

(END VIDEO CLIP) M. O'BRIEN: Now that call eventually led to the rape investigation. We'll bring you any new information from this news conference which is going to happen later on AMERICAN MORNING.

A crime beyond belief in Pennsylvania, a man there being held without bail this morning after admitting to the brutal killings of six family members. Court documents reveal the confession of 21-year- old Jesse Wise. Among the victims found in the basement of the family home in Leola, Pennsylvania were Wise's 63-year-old grandmother and 5- year-old cousin. He's charged with six counts of homicide Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: A very vengeful Zacarias Moussaoui is back in a federal holding cell this morning after keeping a packed courtroom really just hanging on every word he said yesterday. No apologies, no tears, just furiously angry and focused on Americans.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve has a look at the details of Moussaoui's testimony.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The jury has been told to expect to get this case earlier next week rather than later. This, after more than two hours of testimony from Zacarias Moussaoui.

Moussaoui was of course asked about the 9/11 attacks. He told the jury he had no regret, no remorse and that he wished the attacks had happened again on September 12, 13, 14, 15 and so on. "I want to see it every day until we get here to you," he said. "Like they say, no pain, no gain."

Moussaoui was dismissive of the very emotional testimony that we've heard in the courtroom from 9/11 victims and the families of victims. He called one Pentagon survivor pathetic. "I was regretful that he did not die," said Moussaoui.

He talked about hating the U.S. for its economic and military superiority and for its support of Israel. "If I want to destroy Israel, I have to destroy you," he said. "You are the head of the snake for me."

This case is all about whether Moussaoui should die or whether he should get the rest of his life in prison. He was asked if he wanted to die. He said, "no, I want to fight." And he said he would be willing to kill Americans anytime, anywhere.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.


S. O'BRIEN: You want to stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

Brutal testimony for those family members.

M. O'BRIEN: Hard to listen to.

S. O'BRIEN: Awful.

Business news now. Time is running out if you want to get on some really popular mutual funds.


S. O'BRIEN: Why, are they closing the doors on them?

LEE: They're closing the doors April 28 for two of their biggest funds, because, simply, they've gotten too big. And if a mutual fund gets too big, it's hard to keep the investment objective.

So we're talking about Fidelity's Growth Company Fund, Fidelity's number six fund, which has $30 billion in assets, and Fidelity's Mid- Cap Stock Fund. This is number 17 with $12 billion in assets. Both of these funds have outperformed the S&P 500 so far this year. Up 5.5 and up 12.5 or 12.8 percent year to date. So if you want to get in on those funds, get in before April 28.

A couple of stories from Ford. First of all, the company is closing two of its manufacturing plants in Norfolk, Virginia and St. Paul, Minnesota in 2008. The two plants employ about 4,300 hourly and salaried workers.

This is where they make the Ford Ranger and the F-150 pickup. Doesn't mean they're going to stop producing those vehicles, though, because Ford is increasingly turning to what it calls flexible manufacturing. Means that at one plant it can more easily switch from one model to another and build a couple of vehicles on the same production line. So this is the latest in Ford's big restructuring.

And then finally a recall at Ford. They're recalling about 135,000 cars in the U.S., the Mercury Mariner SUVs, also the Escapes. They have a problem with crash tests. These vehicles failed crash tests because of insufficient foam padding on the driver's side.

S. O'BRIEN: That's unusual to recall a car because it's failing the...

LEE: Yes. Yes. Hopefully they're going to work this one out. But a lot of cars, 135,000 or so in the U.S. alone.

S. O'BRIEN: Wow, that's a huge number.

LEE: It is.

S. O'BRIEN: All right, Carrie, thank you.

LEE: Sure.

S. O'BRIEN: In New York today there's going to be another we've been following this story about this little kitty.

M. O'BRIEN: Little Molly. S. O'BRIEN: This little Molly kitty.

M. O'BRIEN: Molly the kitty.

S. O'BRIEN: Look, these are all the people who are out there trying to help Molly. There's going to be another rescue attempt this morning for little Molly the kitty cat. She's been stuck for two weeks in this really narrow space. You can see it right there between two buildings in Manhattan.

She you can hear her meowing, but they can't actually get to her. They've tried an animal therapist and they've also tried other kittens to see if they can lure Molly out. They can't get through. And you can't just bust through the walls...

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: ... because they're historic buildings, so you can't damage the buildings. So they've got that little tiny space they're trying to access.

LEE: And it's too narrow for the cat to come out on her own?

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, if you can really see well, no, she could come out. She could come out on her own, but no one can go in and get her.

LEE: She's scared.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes.

M. O'BRIEN: She's scared. She could be trapped, too, but she is she apparently there is water in there from the pipes.

LEE: And you saw the can of cat food.

M. O'BRIEN: And plenty of tasty mice. Yes, well, no, that's the cat food that's supposed to lure her out. She hasn't come out yet.

S. O'BRIEN: Right.


S. O'BRIEN: She may not want to come out is what he's suggesting.

M. O'BRIEN: So, anyway, so we're hopeful. We should next time get to hear the meow, so that really gets you those little meows. Yes.

LEE: We'll all go there and try to help out.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes. Yes.

All right, coming up on the program, the amazing operation that saved a young transplant patient's life. Doctors took out her transplanted heart and then restarted her old one. We'll explain this as we go to London in just a little bit.

Plus, Dave Chappelle finally explains why he walked away from his hit TV show and a cool $50 million contract.

Stay with us.


S. O'BRIEN: A look this morning at some of the most popular stories on

Another call for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to step down. Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, now retired, says Secretary Rumsfeld quote "has way too much baggage." Others who are calling for the secretary's resignation include Ret. Maj. Gen. John Batiste, former head of the U.S. Central Command Anthony Zinni and Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton and also Ret. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold.

Plus, in a new interview, Dave Chappelle explains why he has walked away from his popular "Chappelle Show." Among the reasons, he didn't have enough creative freedom. For more on the interview, you want to check out

And "South Park" is now taking aim at Comedy Central after the network banned them from showing an image of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. This week's episode instead features Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush and the American flag.

Time for a check of the forecast. Chad Myers at the Weather Center.

Good morning, Chad.

MYERS: Good morning, Miles.


Back to you.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, Chad.

Watch this one closely coming up here, OK. After nearly vanishing in a cloud of DDT in the '70s,...


M. O'BRIEN: ... take a look at this picture. That's the symbol of America, the Bald Eagle, back in a big way. Wednesday, for the first time in more than 50 years, now look down low, you see the baby there.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes.

M. O'BRIEN: There's the little baby. That's a baby Bald Eagle hatched on Santa Cruz Island off of southern California. DDT almost drove them to extinction. That's the first time they have had a hatchling there, I believe. Isn't that that is so cool. And to think, wasn't it Benjamin Franklin who suggested the national bird should be...

MYERS: The turkey.

M. O'BRIEN: ... the turkey?

S. O'BRIEN: Glad we didn't go with that.

M. O'BRIEN: I am so glad he got overruled. Benjamin Franklin was a smart guy, but that was...


M. O'BRIEN: ... one of his that apple a day thing, good, turkey, bad, OK.

MYERS: Turkeys are beautiful.

M. O'BRIEN: No, no, but I mean, come on.

S. O'BRIEN: They are, but hard to spin the national symbol...

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, I mean when you see that, really, really...

MYERS: I know.

S. O'BRIEN: ... a turkey.


S. O'BRIEN: Gosh, wow.

More on a story a developing story really we've been following on that. You first heard about it on CNN. Excuse me. A grand jury is reportedly considering perjury charges against Barry Bonds. We're going to have the very latest on this story just ahead.

Also, we're going to tell you about the Louisiana parish that could be wiped off the map if there's another major hurricane. We'll tell you why the folks there say they have been abandoned by their government. That's just ahead.