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American Morning

Freed British Sailors Back in England; America Votes: Campaign Driven by Cash; Three People to be Charged in Connection With London Bombings

Aired April 05, 2007 - 08:00   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this morning. Those 15 British sailors and marines held captive by Iran for almost two weeks back home this morning.
Good morning to you, Thursday, April 5th.

I'm Miles O'Brien.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kiran Chetry, in today for Soledad.

A busy morning, but a joyous morning for the families of those sailors and marines.

O'BRIEN: Yes. It's a fun story to cover when it turns out this way.

A sight for sore eyes it was. Fifteen Royal Marines and sailors lined up, grinning for the cameras there, back on British soil at Heathrow airport after that harrowing ordeal of nearly two weeks. They are on their way now to their base in southwest England. That helicopter ride will take them a little more time, about 90 minutes in all.

Let's go, meanwhile, to Paula Hancocks, who is at Heathrow and watched the whole drama unfold in real time there.

Hello, Paula.


Well, the helicopters and the plane was just about 50 feete meters from us, so we could see the expressions on the 15 faces as they were walked in front of the cameras, stopping for just a moment to allow some of the photographers to get good some shots for tomorrow's newspapers, and then escorted on to the helicopters. Now, they all looked to be in good shape. They looked to be in good humor.

And we know that now they've left about a half an hour ago, 40 minutes ago. And it will be probably about the same amount of time. Another 45 minutes until they touch down at RAF Base, the Royal Air Force Base in southwest England.

Now, we know that also on board with them was a couple of foreign office ministers, and also a couple of other military officials, obviously all wanting to find out exactly what happened. Now, whether the official debrief starts on those helicopters or not, I can't -- I can't tell. Probably too loud, I should imagine.

But as soon as they touch down, there will be three things happening -- an extensive debrief to find out whether or not they were coerced when making those videotaped confessions. And then also they will be wanting to find out whether they had the logistics, whether they had the exact coordinates of where they were. Was it Iraqi waters? Was it Iranian waters?

Also, they'll have a physical. Looking at them as they were walking past us, they looked to be in very good shape and very good spirits. But they will have a physical.

And then the all-important thing for these 15 British military personnel, they will finally meet their families.

O'BRIEN: Boy, that is -- oh, to be a fly on the wall as that happens. We can only imagine what that's like. Just then I'm sure they were all gathered around the televisions watching that scene, as you watched it. You can only imagine what they were doing, just kind of focusing in and trying to see their loved one.

What an amazing event.

Paula Hancocks at Heathrow.

Thank you very much -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Yes. And as you said, to be a fly on the wall. Especially, what was going on in Iran at the time? What made the regime turn on a dime and decide to release those sailors? And what role did the president of Iran play in that as well?

To find out more, we are going to talk to Aneesh Raman. He has talked with President Ahmadinejad before. And he joins us live from Amman Jordan, today.

Hi, Aneesh.


This was vintage Ahmadinejad, precision P.R. yesterday, with the Iranian president front and center.


RAMAN (voice over): It was a moment made for TV. One by one, the pardoned British military personnel voicing gratitude to a man often vilified by their government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to thank yourself and the Iranian people.

RAMAN: For his part, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seemed to relish the moment, and a final chapter of a sophisticated P.R. campaign.

MARK FITZPATRICK, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS EXPERT: President Ahmadinejad and the country he represents comes off today as rationale, reasonable, someone you can deal with. A smiling man. And I think Iran was rationale all along, but many of the statements by President Ahmadinejad were not rationale or reasonable at all.

RAMAN: From the very beginning, Iran used the media to its advantage. First, broadcasting this video of the seized British military personnel just days after their capture, showing them in what appeared to be good condition on an Arabic language state-run channel.

DAN PLESCH, DIRECTOR, CENTER OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES & DIPLOMACY: In terms of Arab and domestic opinion, they come out looking quite good because they have taken 15 military personnel from, you know, the former imperial power, tweaked the lion's tail.

FAYE TURNEY, BRITISH SAILOR: They explained to us why we have been arrested.

RAMAN: From Britain, though, came anger over the staged confessions shown on television, first of Faye Turney, then of others. It prompted a warning from British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We have had, if you like, two very clear tracks on this. One is to try and settle this by way of peaceful and calm negotiation, to get our people back as quickly as possible. The other is to make it clear that if that's not possible, then we have to take an increasingly tougher position.

RAMAN: The standoff finally ended on Wednesday, with a very public presidential pardon. And from a man known for his provocative statements, a hint of humor.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): So a kind of compulsory trip that you were on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I wouldn't look at it like that, but you could call it that.


RAMAN: Some awkward laughter there.

The message from Iran, from the president, diplomacy works. A not-so-subtle hint, Kiran, as to how Iran thinks the nuclear dispute with the West should be resolved. But from the world there is a sense still that diplomacy doesn't work without international pressure -- Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Aneesh Raman, thanks so much.


CHETRY: And there are some surprising numbers out in the fund- raising race for the White House. It looks like Barack Obama is leading in one key category. The Illinois senator had 100,000 individual contributors so far. That's double Hillary Clinton's number. And Obama raised $25 million, compared with Hillary's $26 million.

Candy Crowley joins this morning from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to tell us what all of these numbers mean.

Hi, Candy.


One of the things that's really interesting looking at these numbers is, as you pointed out, the number of donors that Obama has versus the number of donors that obviously Clinton has.

So, what do we make of that? We make of that, first of all, that Obama has made great use of the Internet, because about half of his donors were on the internet. We also make of it that these are small donors. They said that a lot of these are people who gave $100 or less, which means that Obama can go back to those donors since the limit is $2,300 -- Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. So we are taking a look at that. And what does that mean? What will those numbers mean for him in terms of how much money he has been able to raise for being a relative newcomer?

CROWLEY: Well, what it means is that we have a real race on our hands. What it means for Obama is, look, money begets other money.

So, if you show yourself to be a power player, somebody that can attract big money, that only brings other money in. The second quarter is key.

The first quarter is what we call low-hanging fruit, the people that are prone to want to give to you any way. So, the second quarter becomes a lot tougher, particularly because some of those donors have already given $2,300, they can't give any more during the primary season.

The other thing that's interesting about these figures, we don't know quite yet how much of Hillary Clinton's money was for the general election and how much was for the primary election. But we are led to believe that in the end, Barack Obama has raised more money for the primary than Hillary Clinton did.

CHETRY: Wow. So, if you look at the numbers from the top candidates on either side, all of them over $10 million. Some of them double that and beyond. So, if you're Bill Richardson, bringing in $6 million, or if you're Joe Biden, under $2 million, I mean, is it over?

CROWLEY: No, it's not over. And here's why. Two words -- Iowa and New Hampshire.

Those are early states where money helps, but it isn't everything. Those are what we call retail politics, door to door, hand to hand. So, some of those candidates who don't have as much money can spend a lot of time in these states.

I mean, think Howard Dean. Early on he didn't attract a lot of money.

His big success was when the buzz got going. "You know who I like? This Howard Dean guy. He's been here. I've seen him six times." Or whatever it happens to be.

So, some of these people that aren't raising a lot of money still have some foot power left. They can go into these states, they can plant themselves in those states, and they can make a name for themselves. And once you do that, the money follows.

CHETRY: You know, and it's just unbelievable. All the headlines have talked about the record-breaking amounts of money that have been raised in this campaign season with these various candidates.

Why are we seeing so much money this year?

CROWLEY: Well, we are seeing so much money because it costs a lot of money to run. What they need is money for advertising, money for the staff, money to travel around the country. All of that has gotten more expensive.

And the fact of the matter is that most of these candidates, if not all of them, particularly those who can get these enormous sums, will probably raise their money outside the federal financing system. They don't think the money is adequate enough.

I mean, even though we have said, listen, some of these candidates can go into Iowa and New Hampshire and make a name for themselves, money really helps. And these candidates know that the person who has the most money does have a distinct advantage.

CHETRY: It's so funny, though, because we do -- we talk so much about campaign finance reform. And, of course, this year it's record breaking, the amount of money everyone is pulling in.

CROWLEY: Well, one of the things that the authors of campaign finance reform -- John McCain being one of them -- will tell you is that the law was never intended really to cut down the amount of money that goes into the system. It was intended to cut down the influence. That is, the influence of donors who give.

So, what they have taken out of the system is, first of all, corporate contributions. And second of all, those huge $50,000, $100,000 contributions from individuals, because now everyone is limited to that $2,300.

CHETRY: All right. Candy Crowley, live for us this morning.

Thanks so much.

And, of course, you can find all the day's political news available any time, day or night, O'BRIEN: Still ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, will your headrest save you from a serious pain in the neck? Brand new crash test results are in. And it turns out a more expensive car may not offer you more protection.

We'll show you about that.

And it's the happy ending everyone has been waiting for, of course. Those 15 British sailors and marines now choppering their way across the English countryside. Their families counting the minutes.

How was the deal done, though?

You are watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning right here.



CHETRY: Well, we have been following breaking news all morning. Those 15 British sailors and marines that were held captive for Iran for two weeks are back home this morning.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair came out of 10 Downing Street to speak about how all of this happened, his thoughts on the release of the hostages. He also talked a little bit about Iraq, too.

Let's listen.


TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What has actually happened is that we have managed to secure the release of our personnel I think more quickly than many people anticipated, and have done so, incidentally, and I want to make this very, very clear, without any deal, without any negotiation, without any side agreement of any nature whatever. We made it clear at the outset we weren't going to do that, and we held firm to that position throughout.


CHETRY: That was something that Tony Blair made sure to note.

CNN's Robin Oakley is live in front of 10 Downing this morning in London for us.

And there was no apology that came from the British government either, which is one of Iran's at least initial demands.

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well, indeed. And if you are going to score this event, really, you would have to call it a score draw in soccer terms and football terms.

Iran has had most of the play, partly because it held the 15 captives. And there was a limited amount that Tony Blair could do about that. But at the end of the day, Tony Blair has secured their release, which was the prime objective of the British government, getting them safe and sound back on British soil. He's got that release without having to make an apology.

He's aware, though, that in the process there's been a big propaganda coup in Middle East terms for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has been able to present himself as a generous, magnanimous man, releasing the captives, and also showing that he has been able to defy Britain, a major power, over the course of a fortnight. So, Tony Blair wanted to hit back at that today when he came out, and was linking the latest British deaths in Iraq with Iran sponsorship of terrorism across the world, reminding people, look, he's not just the cuddly nice guy you have seen joking with the captives in their Iranian suits. This is still a state that is sponsoring terrorism elsewhere in the world -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Yes. And another time that it came back to Iraq, I mean, he talked about the unconditional release, yet there have been some rumblings of the possibility of some sort of exchange with some prisoners, Iranian prisoners that were in U.S. custody in Iraq, and what happened with them.

OAKLEY: Well, indeed. I asked him specifically about that, and he was denying any linkage with the five Iranians held by the U.S. in Iraq, or, indeed, with the release of one Iranian diplomat who has been released already by the Iraqi authorities.

To be fair, the Iranians said from the start of this affair when they took the captives that there wasn't any linkage with any other event, whether it was the wider politics of the U.N. Security Council sanctions against Iran over its uranium enrichment program, or the captives held in Iraq. But, you know, linkage does not have to be explicit always. And, OK, if there wasn't a deal, if there weren't any actual negotiations, you can get a better climate of understanding and the kind of informal talks that started, at least from Tuesday evening -- Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Robin, thanks so much for the latest on that.

O'BRIEN: Some more breaking news for you this morning, also coming in from London on a story entirely separate.

Police say three people will in fact be charged in connection with the July 7, 2005 London bombings which focused on the subways and buses there. You will recall these scenes, of course.

Fifty-two people were killed, more than 700 were injured when three bombs went off on underground trains, as well as an attempted bombing. A bomber blew himself up on a double-decker bus, as well, as you see those pictures there. That was the final explosion in the trio there.

Once again, police say that three people will be charged in connection with the London bombings. We don't have any further details on it. As soon as that comes in, we will bring it to you and shed some more light on that for you.

In the meantime, we -- it's been about a half an hour now since those helicopters took off from Heathrow airport on their way, on the last leg of an incredibly emotional journey for the 14 marines and sailors on board, and for their loved ones at the other end of that journey.

CNN's Matthew Chance joining us from our London bureau. He has been looking into these men and one woman, and have -- has a little more understanding of what they and their families are all about this morning -- Matthew.


And certainly the overriding sentiment amongst these families is one of absolute relief. This has been a very stressful period for the families of the 15 sailors and marines that were held captive in Iran for the past nearly two weeks. And the minutes are now literally ticking down until they finally are reunited with them after that very stressful wait.

Of course, we saw Faye Turney, the only female captive amongst those -- those 15 service personnel, coming off the British Airways flight from Tehran, boarding that helicopter. She wasn't wearing a headscarf this time. She has got a 3-year-old daughter, Molly, who we expect will be waiting for her at that marine base in southwestern England, where the troops are expected to arrive within the next hour.

Adam Sperry amongst them as well, one of the marines we saw broadcast on Iranian television. He was a Royal Marine -- or is a Royal Marine. He's a former Royal Marines boxer.

His parents have been quoted as saying that this so-called "gift" of their release made by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is the best Easter present they've ever received. We have spoken to other families as well.

The family of Captain Chris Air, is the senior most of the British captives, his family saying that when they saw the footage of Captain Air -- and you may remember this, him sort of apologizing and admitting to British forces trespassing in Iranian waters, in what we believe were coerced confessions, his mother Sally (ph) saying that she watched these pictures on Iranian state television and she just couldn't imagine what might be happening to them to say these things.

And so, it will be the first time, as I say, in two weeks that they will actually have physical contact with their sons and daughters and their loved ones.

O'BRIEN: You know, it must have been excruciating for them, Matthew, for them to watch those pictures. On the one hand, great to see their loved ones alive. On the other hand, to have them obviously under duress, say things which they don't mean or believe.

CHANCE: Absolutely. And there's been a bit of grumbling in the British press about why it was that these people did so apparently easily stand before the cameras and, you know, kind of contradict the official British line.

What happened to name, rank and serial number? I think the general understanding is that they're not at war with Iran. Britain is not at war with Iran. This was not a war situation. And so the rules of war don't perhaps apply in this -- in this case.

And certainly, we don't know what kind of emotional pressure these people were placed under. There's no indication they were touched physically in any way. There's no suggestion there was physical pressure put on them. But it must have been quite a psychological ordeal that these people had to endure during their period of captivity.

O'BRIEN: I think those who criticize should try walking a mile in their shoes some time and see what that is like.

Matthew Chance in London.

Thank you.

Still ahead on AMERICAN MORNING, before you settle in behind the wheel, hear what Greg Hunter found from new crash test results -- Greg.

GREG HUNTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Will your new car save your neck if you're rear-ended? And how you can get the best performance and be the safest in your car no matter how well it's rated?

I'll tell you when we come back on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: Breaking news this morning. We've just heard from Scotland Yard that police there say three people will in fact be charged for those July 7, 2005 bombings aimed at the London transit system.

CNN's Paula Newton joining us live now from London at Scotland Yard with more -- Paula.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Miles, we have just learned that these three suspects who were arrested at the end of March will now be charged. And the charges are quite serious.

The police here allege that they conspired to do reconnaissance and planning. They are officially charged with unlawfully and maliciously conspiring with the four suicide bombers that were responsible for those attacks in July 2005. But we can kind of put this in perspective for you here, Miles.

At the time, it was assumed by a lot of the victims families and a lot of victims themselves that these four had some kind of a suicide pact going and that they had possibly acted alone. People assumed that maybe accomplices on the outside were not materially involved to a grand extent.

As this investigation has continued for the last 22 months, police are finding a very different picture and assuming now that this cell was much larger than first imagined. This is obviously of a concern, because it means that al Qaeda operatives are still here in Britain. In fact, the head of counterterrorism here said that he is assuming, and he says he knows for a fact there are other people who are involved in this plot, other people who have information about this plot that are refusing to come forward. He even hinted that some of them were being intimidated, and that's why they wouldn't come forward with information.

Another thing I want to point, Mile,s you know, these attacks occurred on the London transport system. Including in the charge sheet, though, is that they conspired to actually cause explosions and/or on tourist attractions in London. And, Miles, for many people who have been to London, that calls into question exactly what kind of evidence police found here, in terms of were they planning an explosion at Big Ben? Were they planning an explosion at the London Eye?

As police told us here, because of the legal restrictions here in Britain, they're not allowed to actually give any details of that unfortunately. But this opens up a whole new facet to those July 7th attacks, and what else possibly was being planned on that day -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: So you have to wonder, it begs the question, if there's this whole sense of a much wider conspiracy, with so many people involved, is it likely we'll see additional arrests anytime soon?

NEWTON: They believe there will be other arrests. The words from the counterterrorism chief here were clear, "sooner or later you will be caught and you will be charged." They believe it's just a matter of piecing together more evidence. As they continue to have these suspects in custody and they move toward their judicial proceedings, of course they're hoping that they will turn on other people. Whether or not that happens, we still have to see. Miles, I have to tell you, they continue to collect reams of material evidence here. It takes months to go through this stuff, and they're telling us that they expect more arrests after that.

Not an easy day for the victims, though and the victim's families. Because I think for the longest times they felt that anyone that was involved was not involved to this extent. These charges, with these charges police allege that that is not the case, that this was a much larger conspiracy, and that those people, some of them involved, are still walking free, as these men did, 22 months after the attacks.

O'BRIEN: Paula Newton, at New Scotland Yard, thank you -- Kiran.

CHETRY: And we're following another breaking story in London. Fifteen British sailors and marines back home. They arrived in London just over an hour ago, and they're on a chopper right now, heading for a wonderful reunion with their family. They're also going to be debriefed. We're going to update you next.

Also, a man locked up for having a rare but virulent form of tuberculosis. What's his prognosis? And is he a threat to the public? We're going to hear from him and talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: Breaking news this morning, those 15 British sailors and Marines held captive by Iran for almost two weeks now about an hour away from a joyful reunion with their families.

Good morning to you. It is Thursday, April 5th. I'm Miles O'Brien.

CHETRY: And I'm Kiran Chetry, in for Soledad. Thanks for joining us.

It was a dramatic morning certainly at Heathrow Airport. That's when we got our first look at the 15 British sailors and marines after they had finished with their ordeal in Iran. They set foot on home soil, smiled for the cameras. They were held for 13 days before finally being released. And there's more drama to come. There's going to be some joyful reunions with relieved family members coming up soon.

Alphonso Van Marsh is live in Hale, England, the hometown of sailor Nathan Summers.

I'm sure everybody is thrilled at the news this morning.

ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. There are a lot of smiles going on in this seaside community, in the southwest part of the country. As you mentioned, that is the hometown of Nathan Summers. The 21-year-old, as you mentioned, one of 15 British service members held against their will in Tehran. We've been here for a little while. We were down here in this community when the news first broke that one of those 15 service members was indeed from this town. We were here again last night when members of the community, including Nathan's mother, and father, and stepmother, sister, girlfriend, all were partying away at the local pub where Nathan worked before he joined the Royal Navy, popping champagne bottles. Certainly happy to hear the news.

And his mother says she'll truly be happy not only after her son gets on English soil, but once she has him in her arms. now we understand what's going to be happening next. You referred to choppers. Once those helicopters land at a military base in this part of the country, they'll be debriefed, possibly questioned, checking on their psychological and physical health, and then eventually, we don't know if it's a matter of hours, or perhaps a matter of days, that the service members, including Nathan Summers, will finally have that reunion. And I bet you when they get back here there will be a lot of champagne being opened, a lot of partying going on, a lot of reason to celebrate this holiday weekend -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Now, Nathan's family members that you had a chance to talk to, are they now awaiting his arrival at that base?

VAN MARSH: Well, that's -- there's a bit of a mystery, as it were. Nathan Summers family is one of the few to come out and actually talk to reporters. A lot of the families of these 15 British service members are not talking, perhaps on the advice of the ministry of defense and British officials here. But when I spoke to Nathan's mother last night, she told me about how the ministry of defense gave her a special phone, so when Nathan Summers wanted to give her a ring, once she was in a position that he could pick up the phone, they would have a direct line to have that communication, and for Nathan presumably to let his family know that he's doing just fine.

CHETRY: All right. That's pretty cool. Alfonso Van Marsh, thanks so much.

O'BRIEN: Some brand new crash tests to tell you about. And it could mean a pain in your neck, so to speak. How well does your new car protect you from whiplash? It's all in the seats, and the headrest specifically, and we're learning you don't have to have a top-of-the-line luxury car to get the best protection.

AMERICAN MORNING's Greg Hunter is live in Brooklyn. Greg's never a pain in our neck. Greg, good morning.


Well, I'm at Bay Ridge Nissan, one of the biggest Nissan dealerships in the country. Well, every couple of years the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests car seats. The good news is some seats have gotten better. Nissan had a couple that have gotten better. The bad news is with 80 cars tested, nearly two-thirds probably won't save your neck in a rear-end collision. Here's more.


HUNTER (voice over): It's a painful wreck you never see coming and it costs insurance companies and ultimately consumers more than $8 billion a year for treatment of neck injuries. That's why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests seats.

ADRIAN LUND, INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY: The best way to get automakers to improve their seats is to tell the public that their seats aren't protecting them now. And that's why we're getting better seats.

HUNTER: Ford make a big improvement to its seat design for its new Ford 500. The new one is on the bottom half of your screen. Compare that to its predecessor, the Ford Taurus. Watch the dummy's head in the bottom frame. It's head is cradled in the seat rest and its neck and torso stay aligned. Compare that to the old Taurus seat on top. The dummy's head go over the headrest and the neck and torso are out of alignment. According to the IIHS, if your head and torso don't move together and stay in alignment, you're more likely to have a whiplash injury.

LUND: It's not just that you have to buy an expensive car to get god protection. In fact, there are expensive cars that don't offer good protection.

HUNTER: For example, the Honda Accord, one of Honda's high-line models, rated poor. Compared that with the economical Honda Civic, which rated good, the highest rating. Other high-line models such as the BMW 5 Series, the Acura TSX and the Toyota Avalon, all rated poor. The lowest rating when it came to their seats.

But economy cars, like the Chevrolet Cobalt, the Nissan Sentra and the Kia Optima all rated good. Again, the highest rating. Honda says "the next Accord will have the Ace body structure." In other words, they'll have good-rated seats in its new models this fall. Regarding its Acura TSX model, Honda told us, "we have applied active head restraints on new models. We would definitely look at that result."

Toyota told us, "its important to measure the whole car and not just the seats. Our tests show the Avalon received good ratings and should protect passengers from whiplash." And BMW did not comment.

So when buying a car, remember, a high price tag won't necessarily afford you a high level of seat safety.


HUNTER: Here is another example of how you don't have to buy a top-of-the-line car to get a really top of the line seat. This is a Nissan Sentra, and these seats tested very well, got the highest rating. Good. This is a Nissan Maxima. It is their high-line vehicle, but the seats didn't test quite as well as the Sentra.

So how do you get the most out of your car seat, the most safety, the best chance to survive a rear-end collision without having a top- of-the-line seat? No. 1, always put your seat belt on. It keeps you in the seat and aligned. No. 2, look at this. See this headrest, see how my head goes over the top the headrest. that's bad headrest adjustment. And here's how you do to make you get the most safety you can. Take that headrest and pop it up, and make sure that that headrest no matter how tall or short you are, adjust it so it's in the middle of your head. That way will you have the best chance of getting the most performance out of your seat and the best chance of not getting whiplash if your rear-ended.

Back to you guys in the studio.

O'BRIEN: Well, you know, Greg, the one thing about doing that -- and you're right, that is good advice, but it does somewhat restrict your vision, and creates a little blind spot, doesn't it?

HUNTER: You know what, I don't -- maybe a little bit, but there's not much difference if you're driving this, you know, for this. And for this much room, for that much more protection, Miles, makes a difference. I tell my wife all the time, she's constantly putting her headrest down saying its uncomfortable. I'm constantly pushing it up. So push your headrest up. I always put mine up, put my head right in the center. O'BRIEN: As if you need another reason to argue in the car. Why would do you that? You're already fighting over directions, Greg. Don't get into a headrest deal, all right. All right, thank you, Greg Hunter.

HUNTER: Well, my wife's always right.

O'BRIEN: Well, that's true. Once you get over that, it's all well. But never stop for directions, my son.

Greg Hunter, thank you -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Do I need to give that memo to my husband?

Well, coming up, locked away in solitary confinement, not for breaking the law, but for having tuberculosis. We're going to hear from the patient, next.

Plus, we're live from the Holy Land all this week. We're exploring the truth about Jesus. Today the garden tomb. Is it really where Jesus was placed after his crucifixion?

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING, the most news in the morning, right here on CNN.


CHETRY: All this week we're looking for the truth about Jesus, live from the Holy Land. Each day of this holy week we're visiting a different sacred site in the Holy Land.

This morning CNN's Atika Shubert is joining us from the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem.

Atika, hello.


I'm joining you from the Garden Tomb, were some Christians believe Jesus was buried, and it certainly matches the biblical description. It has ancient tombs. There's also very nearby a hill in the shape of a skull, and there's also these gardens here. But archaeologists and historians say that these tombs actually date from hundreds of years before the death of Jesus. And the book of John and the gospel says that Jesus was buried in a newly made tomb.

And for that reason, biblical scholars don't think that this is the likely tomb. However, it's clearly still a very sacred place for many Christian pilgrims that come here, particularly Protestants. It's very popular, has thousands of visitors every year.

And, as the guides here say because Christians believe that Jesus was resurrected, they say perhaps it's not so important of the exact location where Jesus was buried, but really more about contemplating the meaning of faith, particularly in a tranquil place like this, that certainly shows the way that Jesus tomb may have looked. O'BRIEN: Atika Shubert, thank you very much -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, "CNN NEWSROOM" is minutes away. And Tony Harris is at the CNN Center with a look at what's ahead.

Hi there, Tony.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Kiran, good morning to you.

We have got these stories in the "NEWSROOM" rundown for you. The bubbly flows on the flight from Tehran. Freed British troops return to London, home after almost two weeks in Iranian custody.

Rear-end crashes -- insurance experts say most headrests don't protect you from whiplash. See the cars that are getting good marks and the ones that aren't.

Free for the taking -- an ad posted on Craig's List says everything goes at one home. The problem, the ad was phony. Yes. Phony.

Fred joins me in the "NEWSROOM." We get started at the top of the hour right here on CNN.

Kiran, back to you.

HARRIS: All right, we look forward to it. Tony, thanks.

Coming up, a man infected with a rare, but virulent form of tuberculosis. They locked him up. They say he can't leave. We're going to hear from him, and we're also going to talk to Dr. Sanjay Gupta about TB.

Stay with us on AMERICAN MORNING.


O'BRIEN: Right now those British sailors and marines are on their way to a Royal Air Force Base for joyful reunions with their families. They're chopping over home soil now, due to land in about 45 minutes.

Earlier at Heathrow Airport in London, they boarded those choppers for the last leg of their journey, clearly happy to be home -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Thanks, Miles.

Well, it's a dreaded disease that was very common a century ago, and it's popping up again in modern America. A man is locked up right now in Arizona, with an extremely rare but virulent form of tuberculosis. We're going to hear from him now.

CNN's Thelma Gutierrez has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): In Phoenix, Arizona, Robert Daniels is in custody, in solitary confinement in a hospital prison ward. Not because he's committed a crime, but because he's sick. Very sick.

ROBERT DANIELS, QUARANTINED TB PATIENT: I never thought that this could happen. I'm telling you, I'm sometimes sitting on the bed and I'm just crying because of all the quietness.

GUTIERREZ: We can't see Robert Daniels. We can't meet him. Daniels has tuberculosis. A deadly, drug resistant strain. And he's been quarantined by the state.

DANIELS: I'm not being isolated, I'm being incarcerated.

GUTIERREZ: For the past eight months, the 27-year-old has been confined to his room, equipped with a special ventilation system. His only contact with the outside world is the medical staff who feed and treat him and a telephone.

DANIELS: I don't have nobody to talk to. I have -- my mental health is going down. I'm just slowly dying.

GUTIERREZ: Daniel says he contracted TB while living with his wife and children in Moscow. He returned to the United States for medical treatment. Arizona health officials told Daniels that he was infectious and repeatedly warned him to wear a mask in public. He didn't.


GUTIERREZ: Maricopa County health director says, when the public is at risk, he has no choice.

ENGLAND: It is a very rare individual for whom we need to pursue legal remedies and legally isolate somebody so that they don't expose others.

GUTIERREZ: But some say Daniels' civil rights are being violated because he has not been charged with any crimes.

DANIEL POCHOOA, ARIZONA ACLU: He gets no TV, no phone. He has a light on in his cell 24 hours a day, seven days a week. His phone calls are monitored.

GUTIERREZ: The Maricopa Sheriff's Department says Daniels created his own problem.

JOHN MACINTYRE, MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: I personally would have been perfectly if Mr. Daniels had shown the sense that God gave a goat and kept his mask on.

GUTIERREZ: For Robert Daniels, there's no end in sight. Doctors say treatment for the type of TB he has could take years.

Thelma Gutierrez, CNN, Phoenix, Arizona.


KIRAN: So how dangerous is this strain of TB? Well, we're paging Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Atlanta.

Hi, Sanjay. Good to see you.


KIRAN: How much of a public threat is Robert Daniels?

GUPTA: Well, you know, tuberculosis is one of the more contagious infectious diseases out there, and he has what is known as XDR, which is extremely drug resistant TB. It basically evades all the antibiotics that we have that are known to treat tuberculosis. None of them work against what he has. So not is it contagious, but if someone were to contract it from him, they could also not have any treatment for it. Thankfully it's very rare as well, Kiran. They talked about that. Basically only 49 cases basically over the last 15 years almost, so very rare in this country. But much more common in parts of Africa, and Asia, and very concomitant as well with HIV, but it's a very tricky thing.

KIRAN: Yes, and we thought we had TB pretty much eradicated. I thought we all got vaccines as kids.

GUPTA: Yes, we do get vaccines as kids. And it's interesting, the vaccine, which is called the BCG vaccine, named after the people who created it, is very effective in young children.

But a couple things happen. One is that you can have different forms of TB, which can become more common, different areas of the lung more affected as you get older. And also the vaccines effectiveness just wanes. You may still be told if you travelled recently, especially to Sub-Saharan Africa, or other parts of the world, to get the vaccine, but it's not absolutely effective, and then that's concern about it.

KIRAN: Oh, wow, so even if you do have the vaccine you could still contract this version that Robert Daniels has.

GUPTA: You could still get it, yes.

KIRAN: How did he get that?

GUPTA: You know, we don't know, and that was part of the investigation as well. He lived in Russia for a while. It's much more rampant in Russia as well. And because it's so contagious, you think about this thing, somebody coughs, the germs just sort of lay in the air for several hours, so you can literally just contract it by being around someone who had the pulmonary version, the lung version, if you will, of this XDR, the extremely drug-resistant TB. So if he was around somebody who had it, traveling with somebody, they could have gotten it as well, but not wearing the mask is sort of the crux of all of this, because you can easily prevent getting other people infected by wearing a mask. He won't do it.

KIRAN: Wow. That's really an unbelievable story. I wonder how long he's going to be there.

GUPTA: yes.

KIRAN: Dr. Gupta, thanks so much.

GUPTA: Thank you, Kiran.

O'BRIEN: Here is a quick look at what "CNN NEWSROOM" is working on for the top of the hour.

HARRIS: See these stories in the "CNN NEWSROOM" -- 15 freed British service members arrive home in London from Iran.

Parts of New England hunkered down for a big spring snowstorm.

Buy or lease? Personal finance editor Gerri Willis weighs the pros and cons before you head to the showroom.

And the amusement park gizmo that's a scream to ride, but no screaming allowed. You're in the NEWSROOM, 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 6:00 Pacific.


O'BRIEN: Tonight on "ANDERSON COOPER 360" a special report, "What is a Christian?" Tonight, focusing on the intersection of sex, spring break and faith. Yes, you heard me right.

Here's John Roberts with a preview.


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The quest for sexual purity, in of all places here. The so-called Devil's Playground, Florida at spring break. Hundreds of young Christians here on a mission to preach abstinence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to stay pure until that day we say I do.

QUESTION: Is it hard so far?


ROBERTS: Then even after marriage, the battle against sexual temptation, as ministries work to keep the faithful on the path to righteousness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pornography is fantasy; it's not real. It doesn't bring you closer with your loved one -- it tears you apart.

ROBERTS: Next we look at homosexuality. In Phoenix, hundreds embrace a highly controversial therapy to cure homosexuality. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy with a homosexual problem does not trust men. When he begins to trust men, his homosexuality disappears.

ROBERTS: Finally, full circle back to Florida, where amid all the talk of sin and guilt a new gospel of sex is flourishing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God created sex, that God is for sex.


O'BRIEN: Lots of things to think about and talk about there, "What is a Christian?," tonight, "AC 360," 10:00 Eastern. We hope you'll join us.

That's all from here on this AMERICAN MORNING.

CHETRY: "CNN NEWSROOM" with Tony Harris and Fredricka Whitfield begins right now.