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American Morning

Reckless Justice; Supply Shortage After Indonesia Quake; Journalist Casualties

Aired May 30, 2006 - 06:30   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Happening this morning, a bombing in Athens, Greece. The bomb exploded near the home of the Greek cultural minister. Nobody was hurt.
Mt. St. Helens is rumbling. The volcano shot up steam and ash on Monday following a large rock fall in its crater. Scientists say there is no evidence of an explosion.

And The Associated Press is reporting that Democratic Senator Harry Reid accepted free fight tickets from Nevada boxing officials between 2003 and 2005.

On the left of your screen there, left edge, you can see him right there sitting with Republican Senator John McCain. Senator McCain apparently paid for his own ticket. Reid was pushing for more federal regulation of the sport at the time.

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

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Miles O'Brien. Thanks for being with us.

On Capitol Hill, they're calling it reckless justice. We're talking about that FBI raid on Congressman William Jefferson's office. A House panel holds a hearing today to see if the FBI crossed a constitutional line.

Dana Bash with more.


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Congress is not in session this week. Most lawmakers are back in their home states for Memorial Day recess. But that's not stopping the House Judiciary Committee from holding a hearing later this morning to look into the constitutional questions raised in the unprecedented FBI raid on a lawmaker's congressional office more than a week ago.

Chairman James Sensenbrenner called constitutional experts to testify, not anyone from the Bush administration. Yet, his position is clear. The hearing is entitled "Reckless Justice." Did the Saturday night raid of Congress trample the Constitution? And the fact that he is even holding this hearing is fodder for Democrats, who see hypocrisy in the GOP outcry over the raid on its turf after years of the president's broad use of executive powers without much, if any, opposition from Republican congressional leaders. Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.


S. O'BRIEN: CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier is in critical condition, wounded by a car bomb in Iraq. She's been flown to the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, this morning. She's got some serious injuries to her lower body. Shrapnel has been removed from her head.

Her cameraman, Paul Douglas, was killed in the explosion. He was 48 years old. Her soundman, James Brolan, also died. He was 42 years old.

Between 1994 and 2005, 100 journalists and staff have been killed in the Iraq war.

A growing shortage of medical supplies for victims of Saturday's big earthquake in Indonesia. The death toll stands at more than 5,400, with thousands more injured and tens of thousands left homeless.

CNN's Dan Rivers in Yogyakarta now.


DAN RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is day four after this disaster now, four days of the survivors having to be camped out in the ruins of their homes. The big aid effort is now beginning to get under way. The airport has reopened in Yogyakarta, meaning that a lot of the supplies can be flown directly into the disaster zone, which will no doubt help the aid agencies and the Indonesian government get food and supplies out to the people that need it most.

The World Food Program tell us that they are setting up a two- month feeding program. They estimate that there is a hard core of about 20,000 people who really desperately need help immediately. And then they are hoping to feed up to 80,000 people in the first month, and scaling that back to 50,000 people in the second month. And they're hoping that after two months, they will have been able to get most people in this area back on their feet and back able to fend for themselves.

One other big area of concern is the hospitals. They have been completely unable to cope with the number of people coming in for treatment. We'd been up there yesterday, and there are people who have been waiting for days for treatment. There are no basic medical supplies, a shortage of basic painkillers, of antibiotics and bandages and stretchers.

So they are appealing for more medical aid. They're appealing for any doctors in the region that can come in and help them to come here and help treat the thousands of injured that are now pouring into the hospitals.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (END VIDEOTAPE)

M. O'BRIEN: Happening "In America" right now, in Richmond, Virginia, a deadly fire at a nursing home. Two elderly women died yesterday. Witnesses heard a loud boom before the fire broke out. An investigation under way. It's the third fatal fire at that nursing home in the past 28 years.

The bills are piling up like the dirt as the FBI keeps digging for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa at that horse farm in Michigan. The second week of digging begins today. The FBI won't say how much they're spending, but more than 40 FBI personnel, plus demolition experts, archaeologists, anthropologists are on the scene. And they'll have to pay for a new barn to replace the one they tore down.

Florida firefighters trying to control a 2,000-acre brushfire in Brevard County. Fog and smoke expected to slow down the morning commute, but the flames are far enough from the road to reopen parts of Interstate 95.

Thousands of people in Orange County, Florida, meanwhile, got an automated phone call on Memorial Day at 5:12 in the morning.

S. O'BRIEN: Ouch.

M. O'BRIEN: Late by our standards. The message was about an attempted break-in at one of the elementary schools. It was supposed to go out to the school administrator only. The district blames human error.

And whatever happened to just getting a certificate for perfect attendance? Oh, those were the days. In Albuquerque, the public school district there held a drawing for a free car. Thirteen students took part.

Mica Livingston (ph) walked away with the car keys. She says, "Forget senior ditch day. This was well worth it."

S. O'BRIEN: What did she win?

M. O'BRIEN: She got a new car.

S. O'BRIEN: I know. What kind of car. Do you know? Can you tell?

M. O'BRIEN: I don't know. It's a new car. It's a new car.

S. O'BRIEN: And she calls her mom.

M. O'BRIEN: Oh, mom, you're not going to believe it. I'm in a new car. And she's like...

S. O'BRIEN: Good for her.

M. O'BRIEN: ... you're grounded. No.

Anyway, fantastic. Perfect attendance. We're glad. But jeez, a car?

I remember the day, Chad, when we walked to school barefoot in the snow. We didn't get new cars for showing up, did we?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Uphill -- uphill both ways.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, all that stuff.


Good morning, everybody.


S. O'BRIEN: Chad, thanks.

MYERS: You're welcome.

S. O'BRIEN: Still to come this morning, much more on CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier's condition. We'll bring you the very latest from Landstuhl Medical Center, as well as some new details about that ambush that killed two of her colleagues at CBS -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Then, is New Orleans really ready? The Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff, will be checking out hurricane -- hurricane plans there firsthand today.

S. O'BRIEN: And we're going to show you how hip-hop superstars the Black Eyed Peas are inspiring youth in Africa.

First, though, a look at what other stories are making news on this Tuesday morning.


M. O'BRIEN: Happening this morning, a House committee will hold a hearing on that FBI raid of Congressman William Jefferson's office. Both Republicans and Democrats have called it unconstitutional.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff headed to New Orleans today. He'll get a look at New Orleans' hurricane evacuation plans. And he'll take a bus tour of the city.

And earthquake rescue efforts are still under way in Indonesia. The death toll from Saturday's disaster now in excess of 5,400 -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Oh, they need so many things there, as well.

Injured CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier has made it from Iraq to the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. Her condition is critical. Her cameraman, Paul Douglas, her soundman, James Brolan, an American soldier and an Iraqi interpreter were all killed by that car bomb that wounded Dozier.

CNN's Kyung Lah is live for us in Washington this morning. Hey, Kyung.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Soledad.

The latest word from the hospital is that Dozier is in ICU, but she is expected to survive. Doctors right now are cautiously optimistic about her prognosis, but they are warning, as you mentioned, Soledad, that her condition is critical.


KIMBERLY DOZIER, CBS NEWS: It looks like what happened here is this civilian convoy got caught in an Iraqi ambush...

LAH (voice over): CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier walked among U.S. troops in Iraq for the last three years. Doctors are now treating her beside them.

CBS News says the 39-year-old Dozier landed in Germany to undergo more surgery at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. CBS News says doctors removed shrapnel from her head but are more concerned about more serious injuries to the lower body.

Dozier and her crew were embedded with American troops and had gotten out of their armored vehicle when a roadside bomb exploded. Killed at the scene, veteran cameraman Paul Douglas, age 48, father of two, and sound tech James Brolan, 42, also the father of two children. CBS says it leaves the entire crew was wearing protective gear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A routine trip that she's probably made 100 times, and today just happened to be her day. Her number was up today. Those things that you think about, that help will never come.

LAH: The blast was among a wave of attacks that left three dozen people dead before noon on Monday. A reality of violence Dozier has said limited her ability to tell the story.

DOZIER: When I first got here, say, a year ago, I could drive into the streets, go into a neighborhood, talk to Iraqis, ask what they thought about something.


LAH: Also killed in the attack, a U.S. soldier and an Iraqi interpreter. The Committee to Protect Journalists says 71 journalists have now been killed covering the war in Iraq -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Kyung Lah for us this morning.

Kyung, thanks.

We're going to take you live to Germany for an update on Kimberly's condition at the top of the next hour -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Still to come on AMERICAN MORNING, time to break out the black gowns. Why you're more likely to see politicians giving graduation speeches this year.

But first, it smells like funk. The Black Eyed Peas inspire a convict to turn his life around. We'll explain how ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


M. O'BRIEN: Black Eyed Peas in South Africa for a free concert on Sunday. The audience too poor to pay to see the hip-hop phenoms. They are there to launch a children's charity and offer some inspiration to others. And apparently they have done just that for one ex-con.

CNN's Alphonso Van Marsh live now from Johannesburg with more.

Hello, Alphonso.


As you mentioned, the Black Eyed Peas are spending their final hours here in South Africa. Their tour included a benefit concert, as you mentioned. It's part of a promise that the Peas made to their fans here in this country. And as I learned, fans that come from some of the most unusual places.


VAN MARSH (voice over): Bruno Majola and guitarist Fistos Kakweve (ph) are aspiring musicians, but they hit their musical stride in one of the more unlikely places, prison.

BRUNO MAJOLA, ASPIRING MUSICIAN: See, I was involved in gangsterism (ph), and we were like terrorizing, you know, robbing people, you know, stuff like that, stealing

VAN MARSH: Bruno just finished a six-year sentence. He says music keeps him on a straight path.

MAJOLA: I just need to take my pen and paper and write maybe. That's what keeps me going actually. So it like distances me from doing bad things.

VAN MARSH: One of Bruno's musical idols, the American group the Black Eyed Peas. And like Bruno, members of the Peas came from rough backgrounds.

(on camera): This is a return trip to South Africa for the Black Eyed Peas. They performed here a few years ago but said that they were surprised to see so few black in the audience.

WILL.I.AM, THE BLACK EYED PEAS: Not that I have -- not that I have a thing about performing in front of white people. I love Switzerland. I didn't think I was going to come to Switzerland in Africa. VAN MARSH (voice over): So this time the band made it a point to meet fans in impoverished Soweto (ph) township, where they handed out tickets to their free concert in Johannesburg. The Peas' aim was to bring South Africans together through music.

FERGIE, THE BLACK EYED PEAS: It would be selfish of us to see all this and not do anything about it, to see the dichotomy of, you know, the richest of the rich living next to the poorest of the poor, and the poorest of the poor not being able to come see our shows.

VAN MARSH: For Bruno, it was a rare chance too meet one of his musical inspirations.

MAJOLA: For me being here actually with them, it really showed me that maybe some other time I'll be there overseas, maybe like them, doing same thing like Black Eyed Peas here.

VAN MARSH: The concert didn't disappoint fans, black and White, as well as a self-described reformed convict-turned-musician, who until recently could only watch the Black Eyed Peas from a prison TV.


VAN MARSH: And that's what we saw there in that video. Some 20,000, perhaps more, fans took in that free concert. Many of them actually SMS (ph) via their cell phones.

The request for the ticket, it cost about $1.50 each. And organizers say all the proceeds are going to children's charities here in South Africa -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: All good causes there.

Bruno -- excuse me. Alphonso, what about Bruno and the possibility of a record contract? Is that in the works?

VAN MARSH: It is absolutely an amazing story. Bruno actually was calling one of the big record producers here from prison, called a number of times to get his attention, to get him to listen to his music. Bruno now has a recording contract.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. A great way to end that story.

Alphonso Van Marsh in Johannesburg.

Thank you very much -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Wow. Now, that's a businessman.


S. O'BRIEN: Andy, can you top that today?

SERWER: I'm going to try, Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: OK. SERWER: We've got some business news coming up for you all. The hottest car market in the world, go to the Volga River and take a left.

And a bright spot for GM in Korea -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: All right, Andy. Thank you very much.

Also ahead this morning, the next time you decide to push a traffic light, you might want to check the corner. Police in one town have figured out a tricky new way to fool red light runners. We'll explain just ahead.

Stay with us.


S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back. Andy Serwer's "Minding Your Business" this morning.

What are we talking about?

SERWER: We are talking about Russia and automakers, giant automakers like Volkswagen and GM, setting up shop there. Why? Well, because the economy is growing, middle class has some disposable income. And plus, the domestic autos, not very good.

M. O'BRIEN: You mean the Volga is not good?

SERWER: Well, you know, it's -- no, it frankly isn't.

M. O'BRIEN: The answer is no.

SERWER: Not suitable for export, let's just start with that.

M. O'BRIEN: Right.

SERWER: GM close to signing a deal to build a big plant there. We're learning this morning they already have a $340 million plant where they build Chevies. Now they're looking to do another one near St. Petersburg.

Volkswagen officially signing on and building a half-billion- dollar facility outside of Moscow, where it hopes to make 150,000 cars a year. Toyota is there, Renault is there, Kia is there. So, you know, this is a market these automakers are really counting on going forward. A big place obviously for growth.

And speaking of GM, how about this, an interesting story. Carrie earlier on talked about the founder and former chairman of Daewoo, the Korean automaker, being sentenced to prison. It turns out that Daewoo is a bright spot for GM.

GM invested $1.2 billion in this bankrupt corrupt automaker in 2001. They've turned it around, and now this company's making 1.1 million cars a year, exporting like crazy to China. And a very successful piece of operations for this company.

They are actually making cars for the European market, as well. And part of the operations, the Chevies that they make, will actually be made in Russia, as well. So it's all tied together, the Korean operations, the Russian operation.

And we talked about overseas, the business overseas being good for GM. It's the North American market that is so bad for them. And they're doing not a great job there.

M. O'BRIEN: The same with Ford, too, right? I mean, the overseas stuff is a strong point, right?

S. O'BRIEN: Right. Right.

SERWER: Strong brand, and the operations seem to be better abroad.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. Thank you, Andy.

SERWER: You're welcome. Thank you.

M. O'BRIEN: Let's check the forecast. Chad here with that.

Hello, Chad.

MYERS: And good morning, Miles.


MYERS: The next hour of AMERICAN MORNING starts right now.

S. O'BRIEN: Chad, thanks.

A television reporter critically wounded in Iraq, two of her comrades killed. An overnight move to Germany for more essential treatment. We're live there with the very latest.

M. O'BRIEN: Possible murder charges for some U.S. Marines, but what really happened in Haditha? We'll have a "Fact Check" for you.

S. O'BRIEN: Critical aid is still needed for thousands of people hurt in an earthquake. Now another one hits Indonesia.

M. O'BRIEN: Severe weather sweeps across the Midwest. Storms flood streets and damages homes. We'll check where those storms may be headed next.

S. O'BRIEN: And a dinosaur found in Utah. Imagine something bigger than an elephant, armored like a tank. We'll show you right here on this AMERICAN MORNING.

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

M. O'BRIEN: And I'm Miles O'Brien. Glad you're with us this morning. S. O'BRIEN: Let's update you on the condition of CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier. She's in critical condition right now. She of course was wounded by a car bomb in Iraq.