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American Morning

Immigration Speech; Child Porn Arrest; Toxic Trailers; Minding Your Business

Aired May 16, 2006 - 07:30   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you. I'm Miles O'Brien.

President Bush adding a new job for the National Guard. Planning to send as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to back up the southern border patrol. Listen.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is important for Americans to know that we have enough guard forces to win the war on terror, to respond to natural disasters, and to help secure our border.


S. O'BRIEN: Michael Chertoff is the Homeland Security secretary. He's in front of the White House this morning.

Nice to see you, sir. Thanks for talking with us.


S. O'BRIEN: There are certainly many critics who would say 6,000 troops just not enough. If you do the math, 2,000 miles of border we're talking about, not enough people.

CHERTOFF: Well, the answer here, of course, is to leverage the people with technology, and that's why the president talked about doing things like getting more unmanned aerial vehicles, sensors, infrared detectors because with these kinds of tools you can use what will ultimately be over 18,000 border patrol to do the entire boarder in a way that is cost effective and also effective in terms of mission completion.

S. O'BRIEN: Other people have said -- who are critical will say, you're stretching the National Guard when, in fact, you take National Guard troops and put them in this capacity. Here's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California. He would sort of know. Let's listen to what he said.


GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, (R) CALIFORNIA: We have thousands of National Guards in Iraq. So we are already stretching and really at -- on the tremendous stress the way things are right now because we have a shortage of National Guards here in California.


S. O'BRIEN: Is he wrong? Is there not a shortage of National Guard troops in California?

CHERTOFF: Well, I actually spoke to the governor yesterday and what we need to make clear is, first of all, the total number of National Guardsmen is about 450,000. So this is less than 2 percent of the total guard that we would talk about cycling into the border over the next year to two years. Secondly; they wouldn't all come from California. They would come from National Guardsmen who have training obligations, annual training obligations that would perform those obligations on the border instead of elsewhere.

S. O'BRIEN: More border patrol help would essentially mean you have more people being arrested and you're not really, in the very short term, adding to the detention facilities, are you?

CHERTOFF: Well, actually, the president's proposal would add 4,000 beds virtually immediately and get us up to between 27,000 and 28,000 beds by the end of the next year. So we would have additional beds to handle the people we apprehend. But a critical part of this issue is, cutting the amount of time it takes just to get those people back home and we've cut that by almost two thirds in the last eight months.

S. O'BRIEN: You know, we haven't talked -- I mean you've listed a number of things the president has proposed from last night but really haven't mentioned the cost of all this. Who's going to pay for it? And can we afford to pay for it?

CHERTOFF: Well, obviously, it's an important mission for the American people and that means we do have to make an investment in our border security. Now the Senate passed a supplemental appropriation in the last week or so which has a little under $2 billion for border security. And I think the theory is, one could allocate that money in a way that would help meet these goals and get the job done.

S. O'BRIEN: How do you balance what I think a lot of Americans citizens have said? You know, you hear all the talk and the end promise is a whole other thing. Back in 2004, as you well know, there was an act called the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act and the president signed that into law in 2004. And that called for 2,000 border agents to be added starting in 2006, 2,000 each year for four years. It wasn't 2,000 added in 2006. It was 210 that finally were the ones that were requested from the White House. So people would say, well see, even when it's already legislated, we don't see it.

CHERTOFF: Well, actually it was 1,500 that was added in the past year and this would add 2,500 this coming year, 3,000 the following year, and then an additional 500 to get us up to over 18,000, which would double the total number of border patrol as against the number that we had when the president came in, in 2001.

S. O'BRIEN: The president has talked about technology. He's talked about upgrading all these things on the border. Many people on the northern border would say, we have issues here as well. And other people would say, the truth is, if we're talking about national security, which is really how the president started his speech, how come we're not talking about port security? How come we're not talking about protecting the subways? Why are we focused on Mexico and Mexicans?

CHERTOFF: Well, actually, Soledad, you know, we're doing all of these things and the problem is you can only speak about one of them at a time. We actually have done an enormous amount on the ports. Congress is about to pass a very helpful port bill that's going to give us additional money and additional authorities. But by the end of the next year, we're going to have radiation portal detectors that are going to screen virtually every container that comes into this country. So we've done an awful lot already to increase port security. We're putting hundreds of millions of dollars into other kinds of transit security. We've unrolled our port security workers identification program. And we're working all across the spectrum to raise American security every day.

S. O'BRIEN: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff joining us this morning. Thank you, sir. Appreciate your time this morning.

CHERTOFF: Great. Good to be here.

S. O'BRIEN: Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: No relief in the forecast for flood ravaged New England. More rain expected today. Heavy downfalls expected in towns like Peabody, Massachusetts, north of Boston where the water's already knee high. This is the worst flooding in New England in 70 years. Fifteen hundred people out of their homes this morning. Roads and bridges washed out.

Let's check the weather. Jacqui Jeras, have any help for that golden retriever that was trying to get through the water there?


S. O'BRIEN: You will remember that early last month we reported on Justin Berry, that 19-year-old who went to Capitol Hill to tell the story of how he was a victim of pedophiles on the Internet. Well now one of the men that he faced in his testimony in Congress is behind bars. Allan Chernoff has our report this morning from Detroit.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Ken Gourlay was arrested Monday in Detroit on 10 counts of felony child abuse. Justin Berry and Michigan authorities claim Gourlay molested Berry starting when Berry was 14 years old. They also claim that in a series of encounters, Gourlay introduced Berry to the world of online prostitution. MIKE COX, MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: We allege that during the course of these meetings, Kenneth Gourlay got Justin to prostitute himself.

CHERNOFF: If convicted, Gourlay could face more than 100 years in prison. Gourlay's lawyer refused to comment on the charges against his client saying he looks forward to trying the case in court. Barry's case gained national attention last month when he testified before Congress on Internet predators.

JUSTIN BERRY, ALLEGED VICTIM: I hope the web-cam would help me meet other teenagers online and hopefully a few girls my age. That never happened. No teenager outside of the web-cam pornography business ever contacted me. But I did hear from many child predators.

CHERTOFF: According to Berry's attorney, his client is grateful to Michigan authorities for apprehended Gourlay. Gourlay is now being held on half a million dollars bond.

Allen Chernoff, CNN, New York.


S. O'BRIEN: Ken Gourlay's expected to be back in court later this month. He is one of the 1,500 people alleged to have taken part in Justin's online pornography service.


M. O'BRIEN: Happening in America now.

Authorities from New York City taking aim at out-of-state gun shops. The city filing suit to halt the illegal sale of firearms in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. The mayor of New York said many weapons involved in New York City crimes come from those offending suppliers there.

West Nile Virus may be mack. Health officials in Houston say 11 mosquitoes tested positive for the virus. This is the first report of West Nile for this year, but too early to determine whether there will be a major outbreak. A spraying program is set.

And in Oakley, Idaho, Buster the dog and Mercedes, the girl, doing just fine, thank you very much. Buster got the attention of folks at a feed lot and led the way to the girl who was injured. She had fallen from a horse. Buster is a Rottweiler. As you can see, there's the horse. There's Mercedes. She was purchased as a companion to Mercedes. Wise purchase, we say. Her grandmother said, I think the dog was sent to us from heaven. And we say, amen to that.

S. O'BRIEN: Best money ever spent.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, that's cute.

S. O'BRIEN: What a cute dog. Cute girl, too.

M. O'BRIEN: We're happy everybody's OK.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes.

Andy Serwer's "Minding Your Business" this morning.

What are you looking at now?

ANDY SERWER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I could use a dog like that sometimes, I think, right?

M. O'BRIEN: You need a dog.

S. O'BRIEN: In your apartment?

M. O'BRIEN: You need a hound, I think.

SERWER: Yes. Oh, we'll get to that in a little bit.

The Supreme Court smacks down patent trolls. That's some good news.

Plus, Apple Computer gets hit by another lawsuit. That's what happens in our society these days. Stay tuned to AMERICAN MORNING coming up.


S. O'BRIEN: First it was a struggle just to get a FEMA trailer after Hurricane Katrina. Well now there are 100,000 FEMA trailers out there and a new problem. Those trailers that were supposed to be helping people rebuild their lives might just be making them sick.


PAUL STEWART, LIVED IN FEMA TRAILER: Moving home's a big deal.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, (voice over): Paul and Melody Stewart's home became just another headache when they were forced to abandon their trailer because they say the fumes were overwhelming.

MELODY STEWART, LIVED IN FEMA TRAILER: You would wake up. You could feel -- like a weight on your chest. I mean, you could feel that you couldn't breathe.

PAUL STEWART: We went on the Internet and I started looking up health issues, campers, so forth and came across a lot of threads and a lot of, you know, talk about formaldehyde inside.

S. O'BRIEN: Paul reported his suspicions to a FEMA maintenance subcontractor twice. He says he got no response. So he did his own test on the air in his camper and he was shocked by what he found. A formaldehyde concentration of 0.22 parts per million in the air. That's more than twice the concentration several federal agencies say is unsafe. The EPA saying anything over 0.1 parts per million can harm the respiratory system and may even cause cancer.

MELODY STEWART: I don't know how we were going to do it, but we knew we had to get out.

S. O'BRIEN: FEMA believes the Stewart's problem is an isolated case in an otherwise successful half a billion dollar trailer program that gave 100,000 families a place to live in record time.

DAVID PASSEY, FEMA SPOKESMAN: This is absolutely the largest disaster the United States has ever faced. With that has come the largest emergency housing mission and I this is it is safe to assume that there will be a number of families who will be staying in these travel trailers longer than in previous disasters.

S. O'BRIEN: Displaced residents are living in trailers made for camping. They're often built with particle board, with contains formaldehyde, for the bedding and the seats and the counters. CNN conducted air tests on two other FEMA trailers. Four children live in this one which tested 80 percent higher than federal recommendations. This one tested 50 percent higher. We tagged along with the Stewarts and some local environmentalists as they testing 31 FEMA trailers. Twenty-nine tested above the federal standard. FEMA says it hands out fliers to warn people to ventilate their new trailers. No one we spoke to said they'd gotten a flier.

SUSAN SAUNDERS, LIVES IN FEMA TRAILER: Oh, my eyes just ran a lot more and I had that hacking like everybody's got around here. Just that hacking cough.

S. O'BRIEN: At this FEMA trailer camp, at least a dozen people told us they have complained to FEMA about the irritating fumes. Darlene Bullock's trailer tested 30 percent above the federal standard.

DARLENE BULLOCK, LIVES IN FEMA TRAILER: They had to take the bed and mattress because of the plywood.

S. O'BRIEN: The Cavalier trailers are manufactured by Gulf Stream. The company says they received no complaints of illnesses and that they use "low formaldehyde emission building materials." Gulf Stream also says that "especially under closed and/or stored conditions formaldehyde from a variety of common building products may be present," but that levels will "dissipate when the space is ventilated." Dick Lemen was the nation's assistant surgeon general under two administrations.

DICK LEMEN, AIR QUALITY EXPERT: General knowledge was adequately available about the issues concerning formaldehyde, their irritant effects and should have been addressed in buying the trailers.

S. O'BRIEN: FEMA says they've used these vary trailers to house thousands of people after disasters for years.

PASSEY: I would question whether they are unsafe or whether this is for a few people a nuisance. We've not found formaldehyde to be an issue in the past, but we remain concerned.

S. O'BRIEN: FEMA offered Paul and Melody Stewart a new trailer after he complained. The Stewarts claim the replacement was infested with bugs. They took out a second mortgage on the nonexistent home and have bought their own trailer.

MELODY STEWART: If you haven't gotten one of these campers yet, the ones that FEMA gave us, thank God.


S. O'BRIEN: That was a look at how the situation is there for those who are dealing with that issue. You know, I think it's kind of an interesting problem when you think about it because on one hand they're so grateful for having any kind of, you know, housing at all. Many of these people are still living in sort of makeshift ways. But they're concerned about their health on a lot of fronts.


M. O'BRIEN: Well given all that has happened to them. It's like being shot and complaining about lead poisoning. I mean -- you know what I mean, there's so many other issues that they've had to contend with, you know?

S. O'BRIEN: Or you could say being shot and having lead poisoning, too, and so you're compromised even more every second (ph).

SERWER: I mean if these places are toxic, they're toxic, right? I mean if they're dangerous to live in, that's a problem.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, you're right. You're right.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, it's just tough all over. But you're right.

M. O'BRIEN: Andy Serwer is here with other matters on his mind.

SERWER: I am here and I've got other matters to discuss, including patent trolls. A big defeat yesterday for patent trolls. The Supreme Court handing down a ruling that suggests that patent trolls -- let me explain what patent trolls are.

S. O'BRIEN: I was going to say, what's a patent troll?

SERWER: Patent trolls are companies that sue . . .

M. O'BRIEN: Think Blackberry here, right?

SERWER: Right. It's a small company that would sue a bigger company over a technology, but the smaller company doesn't actually make anything. It just holds patents and goes after and sues other businesses.

M. O'BRIEN: It's a living.

SERWER: This is a company called Merk Exchange that sued eBay and, in fact, it did win a $5.5 million award over this button on eBay where you could link to a fixed price. It was a way of conducting business on eBay. And they won $5.5 million, which is fine. But they also sought an injunction to shut down eBay.

S. O'BRIEN: That would certainly raise the money they'd get.

SERWER: And what happens here is that common sense prevailed. And the Supreme Court ruled that this simply just didn't make sense in terms of conducting commerce in America. That if you have a situation where another patent is held by a company like this, yes, it's true, we'll make an award, but we're not going to let a small company shut a big company down like this.

S. O'BRIEN: It's sort of like blackmail to some degree.

SERWER: It really is. And, you know, there's another case, and just quickly mention here, where Apple is being sued by a company called Creative Technology over the iPod music player. In this instance, this company actually does make a competing product. This is a very small company. So that's the distinction. You actually have to make a product.

M. O'BRIEN: So green mail is OK, blackmail is not is what the Supreme Court is saying essentially?

SERWER: Something like that.

M. O'BRIEN: Something like that.

SERWER: Something like that.

M. O'BRIEN: OK. All right. Thank you very much, Andy Serwer.

SERWER: Thank you.

M. O'BRIEN: Coming up, the vice president's daughter splits with the White House on the subject of gay marriage. We'll tell you about Mary Cheney's personal and political dilemma. Stay with us.


S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

We're going to devote much of our 9:00 hour, so that's one hour from now, to our special series. It's called "30, 40, 50." And today we're talking about careers. Whether you need to change jobs or you have to change a job or you want to change your job, we're going to talk to a pioneer in the personal coaching field. Also the head, the guy who runs one of the world's largest recruiting firms.

M. O'BRIEN: So if you're sick of your boss, you're sick of your job . . .

S. O'BRIEN: Never. Never.

M. O'BRIEN: You feel unappreciated. Don't go postal. There are other options you can do. You can get another job. And we'll give you some tips on how to do just that.

Also, maybe improve your lot at your job. Balancing your life a little bit better. And perhaps improving your lot by getting maybe a better raise. Something like that.

S. O'BRIEN: What do you think is the number one mistake people make in a job interview? Anybody? Anybody? Biggest mistake you make in a job interview?

M. O'BRIEN: They say they want to be a tree. What kind of tree would you be, right, and you say, I . . .

S. O'BRIEN: I just think that would -- you wouldn't even get to the end of your interview.

M. O'BRIEN: No. I don't know. What's the biggest mistake?

S. O'BRIEN: Talk too much. Don't talk too much. We've got those kind of tips. Much more just ahead this morning. Here's the information you need on the screen. 1-877-AM6-1300 is the phone number. Don't call us for one hour yet because that's when the phone lines will open up. Send us an e-mail right now, though. That's AM@CNN.COM.

M. O'BRIEN: And remember, the advice is catered to 30s, 40s and 50s. So we've got it earmarked. Specific. It's custom tailored to you.

S. O'BRIEN: Life changes dramatically in those decades.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, it does.

S. O'BRIEN: Top stories ahead this morning.

We're going to take a closer look at plans to put troops on the border with Mexico. Reaction from the mayor of a U.S. border town that could be affected.

The Associated Press is reporting that Washington's archbishop, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, has resigned.

The third suspect indicted in the Duke rape case is going public with his side of the story.

And closing arguments begin this morning in the Enron trial.

Plus, New England facing its worst flooding in 70 years. We've got these dramatic pictures and much more just ahead. Stay with us.