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Teen Missing a Year Found in Closet; The TB Problem: Millions Infected Worldwide; Missing Kansas Teen Found Dead

Aired June 07, 2007 - 06:59   ET


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): Tragic end. Overnight, an arrest in the kidnapping and murder of a Kansas teenager.

JOHN DOUGLASS, OVERLAND PARK POLICE CHIEF: When we saw the videotape, it was apparent that he came in right behind her.

CHETRY: Ahead, the suspect, the store surveillance pictures, and the young woman's cell phone signal. Was it a lifeline missed by police?

Plus, storm front. Funnel clouds in the plains, wildfires out west, and a new round of extreme weather rolling in on this AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: And welcome back. Thanks so much for being with us.

It is -- what is today? June -- this is -- 7th.


CHETRY: Seventh -- 7th. Thank you. It takes a village sometimes.

I'm Kiran Chetry, here in New York.

ROBERTS: And I'm John Roberts as well. Thanks very much for joining us this morning.

Stories "On Our Radar" this morning.


CHETRY: In the meantime, our top story right now. It's still developing this morning out of Kansas.

Police announcing an arrest overnight in the case of missing 18- year-old Kelsey Smith. Now, the video first put this case in the national spotlight. It was captured on a Target store surveillance tape four days ago. It shows her shopping, paying for checkout items, and then walking to her car, where she is abducted.

Smith's body was found yesterday near a shallow creek across state lines in Missouri. Police say that cell phone signals known as pings led them there. And that's about 20 miles east of that Target store where she was last seen alive.

The suspect under arrest is 26-year-old Edwin Hall. Investigators say he also was captured by the store's security cameras. Police located the pickup truck seen on that surveillance video. They say they don't know why Smith was targeted or if Hall acted alone, but they are calling the arrest a big break for the family.

ROBERTS: Meantime, police in...


DOUGLASS: ... express my condolences to the Smith family. I realize that this is not the preferred conclusion. While we cannot give them their daughter back, we can at least give them justice.


CHETRY: And Kelsey graduated high school just two weeks ago. Her father described her as being "scrubbed with sunshine".

ROBERTS: Meantime, police in Connecticut find a girl who had been missing for more than a year. She had -- the 15-year-old was hidden in a closet under a staircase in a home in West Hartford, discovered by police who were serving a search warrant.

CNN's Jason Carroll has got more on this story.

Hey, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, three of the suspects are going to be arraigned this morning in a Connecticut superior court. And you know what's interesting? Police had actually interviewed one of the suspects several times in the past, asking him about the disappearance of this teen girl. And each time he said he had no idea where she was.

Well, after what they discovered in his home, he's going to have a tough time denying that anymore.


CARROLL(voice-over): Initially, police believed she had run away, again. Danielle Cramer went missing about a year ago. She was troubled and had done it before.

Then investigators began to suspect foul play, so they questioned Adam Gault several times. Gault was a business associate of Cramer's family, and police say he had a history of having inappropriate relationships with young girls. Police thought the worst had happened to Cramer.

Finally, this morning, while serving a search warrant at Gault's home, everything they had thought suddenly changed. CAPTAIN JEFFREY BLATTER, BLOOMFIELD, CONNECTICUT, POLICE DEPARTMENT: One of the investigators moved a large bookcase and found a concealed room that had been secured and locked, and found the juvenile inside.

CARROLL: The hidden room was beneath a staircase. Detectives say it did not appear Cramer had been living in the room.

Police arrested Gault, his common law wife, Ann Murphy, and another woman, Kimberly Cray. Investigators said little about how the teenager seemed after being missing for a year.

BLATTER: I don't want to get into the specifics of her demeanor. To judge how she is right now, under these circumstances, would be unfair. She's 14 years old, under the influence of a 40-year-old.

CARROLL: A neighbor who lives across the street from Gault says he never saw a girl at the home, but was suspicious of the man who lived there.

VLADIMIR ROZVADOVSKY, NEIGHBOR OF ADAM GAULT: The guy, he was really weird. Whenever he walked, he -- he would keep to himself. And he would be like slouched over.

CARROLL: Cramer lived about 10 miles away. No one answered the door at her family home. Authorities say they're just relieved that they found Cramer and found her alive.


CARROLL: And each suspect is being held on $1 million bond. Cramer, who is now 15, will obviously have to undergo a psychological, as well as a physical, examination -- John.

ROBERTS: I would think so.

Jason Carroll for us live in Bloomfield, Connecticut, this morning.

In Germany, the G8 leaders made progress on a climate control deal today. After a morning meeting, leaders said they are close to agreement on "substantial cuts in greenhouse emissions". They will stop short at setting numerical targets favored by some, though.

Meanwhile, President Bush and Russia's Vladimir Putin are playing down recent tensions in advance of a private meeting that they will have in just two hours' time.

Outside the summit, protesters took their demonstrations to the water today. Police had to chase boats from Greenpeace out of an area where boat traffic had been banned.

CHETRY: A developing story we're following this morning.

North Korea apparently test-firing several missiles this morning. It is not clear how many or what kind. But there are reports that the missiles were short-range missiles. They have a range of about 90 to 500 miles. It's not unusual for North Korea to test short-range missiles. In fact, this would be the second such test in the last three weeks.

Well, overnight it was a crucial vote in the immigration bill. And it could derail it altogether.

It was an amendment that passed by just one vote, just after midnight, that ends the guest worker program after five years. Well, now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other backers of the bill are trying to hold on. They're holding a vote tonight to cut off any more amendments. A final vote on that bill is expected tomorrow.

ROBERTS: House Democrats are gearing up for a new fight with the White House over stem cells. This morning they expect to follow the Senate and pass a bill that funds research on stem cells donated from fertility clinics.

Don't expect scientists to see those tax dollars any time soon, though. President Bush promises to veto the bill. He vetoed a similar one. And right now it appears that Congress doesn't have enough votes to override that veto.

Meantime, a major advance in science could one day take the moral equation out of stem-cell research. Three teams of scientists just created the equivalent of embryonic stem cells out of skin cells from mice. They still have to replicate the procedure in human cells. Right now, embryonic stem cells are created by destroying a human embryo, and that is what makes stem-cell research so controversial.

CHETRY: Well, for the first time we are hearing recorded conversations between the man infected with that extremely drug- resistant form of tuberculosis and the county health officials in Atlanta. This conversation taking place before the man headed off to Europe. Andrew Speaker insists he was never told not to fly and that he said he had the audiotapes to prove it. Well, he did, apparently, because he played those tapes exclusively for Larry King last night.


LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": In that meeting, you insist you were told you were not contagious. Now, let's hear part of the tape that starts with your father asking about a stay at that Denver hospital.


TED SPEAKER, ANDREW SPEAKER'S FATHER: And where does he stay? Physically at the hospital?

ANDREW SPEAKER, TB PATIENT: Like, for three weeks am I just sitting in a hospital bed?

DR. ERIC BENNING: Now, that I don't know. But because of the fact that you actually are not contagious, I mean, there's no reason for you to be sequestered. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: You can see some of the confusion there in exactly what his case entailed and where he needed to be. Speaker also telling Anderson Cooper that he never would have risked the health of his wife and daughter, as well as other passengers, had he known the severity of his condition.


A. SPEAKER: Well, there's a big difference between you're slightly contagious and you're not contagious. The difference is you either go around your daughter and your wife or you don't. And long before I would have gotten on a plane with a stranger, I wouldn't have taken the chance of getting my daughter, my 8-year-old daughter, TB, that she wouldn't be able to survive even if I can't.


CHETRY: Coming up in just a few minutes, we're going to speaking with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who says that the Speaker case is actually minor compared to the millions of people worldwide who have TB.

ROBERTS: An amazing story of survival out of northern California this morning. Sixty-six-year-old Al Hill used a pocket knife to cut off his own leg. He had been cutting down trees when one of them fell on him. He was trapped for 11 hours before he was finally able to free himself.

A neighbor found him. The neighbor didn't want to be identified, but he had this to say about the rescue...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was in a position where he could not move four inches. I mean, he was stuck. Capital letters.


ROBERTS: The neighbor her to hike two miles to get a cell phone signal in order to call for help. Hill was eventually airlifted to a hospital, where they completed the amputation.

CHETRY: And looks like an early warning was given to Fort Dix. It tops our "Quick Hits" now.



CHETRY: Some "Quick Hits" now.


(WEATHER REPORT) ROBERTS: People have called 31-year-old Andrew Speaker just about every name in the book for getting on one flight after another with an extremely tough to treat form of tuberculosis. But is Speaker's case minor compared to the millions of more severe cases worldwide?

Dr. Anthony Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Washington. He was among the medical experts testifying before a Senate subcommittee yesterday, and he joins us now from our Washington bureau.

Tony, good to see you again.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: Good to be here, John.

ROBERTS: How contagious do you understand Andrew Speaker to be?

FAUCI: Well, according to the reports, that he had three consecutive sputum spears. Mainly, you take some material from the sputum and you put it on a slide and look at it. If you can't see the microbe there -- we know it's there because it's been cultured. But the fact that you can't see it for three consecutive sputums means that he has a very low infectivity.

Not zero, by any means. But very low.

ROBERTS: Right. Tony, when I was working at the White House as a White House correspondent, I saw you come in very often to talk about infectious diseases, plans to prevent outbreaks, that sort of thing. We had Dr. Julie Gerberding, the head of the CDC, on a couple of weeks ago. Here's what she told us when she was -- about following this whole case and how he got back into the country.

Take a quick listen.


DR. JULIE GERBERDING, CDC DIRECTOR: It was a holiday weekend here and in Europe, so it took some time to get all the pieces together. I think everyone was working very hard.

We haven't been in this situation for 40 years. So we kind of had to make up a plan as we went along.


ROBERTS: Do you find it surprising, Dr. Fauci, that she said we haven't had this for 40 years, we made up a plan as we went along? Kind of like they were taken by surprise by all of this.

What about all of that planning for bioterrorism, infectious diseases, SARS, all of those other diseases? Is it troubling to hear her say that?

FAUCI: No, she was talking about invoking the strict quarantine; namely, something that related. And when she was talking about 40- plus years, she was talking about the last one was in the early 1960s, vis-a-vis smallpox. But to be sure, there's a considerable degree of capability and preparedness.

The amount of attention that's been brought to this case was because of the very unusual circumstances of interpretation or misinterpretation of whether or not one was or is infective and what he thought in his own mind. But as I said so many times, this really takes away from the bigger picture of what tuberculosis is in the world.

I mean, this is a serious issue for this individual patient. And that should be taken very seriously as an individual patient.

ROBERTS: You said yesterday in testimony that as many as one- third of people in the world are infected with tuberculosis?

FAUCI: John, that is correct. One-third of the entire world, two billion out of the six billion people, are infected with tuberculosis. They are not sick with tuberculosis, but they have the microbe in them, having gotten infected. The vast, vast majority of people are containing it in their own -- by their own immune system, so that it isn't making them sick and it isn't spreading.


FAUCI: But once you have it in you, if there's something that weakens your immune system, it gives that microbe the opportunity to reactivate itself and to make you very sick to the point where 1.6 million people a year die of tuberculosis.


FAUCI: And there's a great connection, an unfortunate connection between HIV disease and tuberculosis. Because HIV is one of those diseases that does diminish your body's ability to protect itself.

ROBERTS: And how soon before this extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis becomes totally drug-resistant tuberculosis because of people not treating it correctly?

FAUCI: Well, see, that is a very good question. And that's the reason why there's that tension and balance, as it were, between getting new drugs into the pipeline that can replace e the drugs that are no longer usable because of the resistance.

Unfortunately, since tuberculosis has been essentially off people's radar screen because it's incorrectly thought of as an ancient disease that is of no consequence -- so, in some respects, if there's any good that has come out of this particular episode with Mr. Speaker, is a focusing on -- of the world on the attention of something that is really a very serious disease.

ROBERTS: Well, it's certainly back on the radar screen now.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Good to see you. Thanks for joining us.

FAUCI: Good to be here.

CHETRY: Well, another TB scare topping our "Quick Hits" now.



ROBERTS: Twenty-four after the hour now.

Your summer plan force Disney World are safe. "Quick Hits" for you.


CHETRY: Twenty-five past the hour. Carrie Lee is "Minding Your Business".

Good to see you again.

CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, too. Thanks.

Well, we're talking about Avandia, GlaxoSmithKline's drug for diabetes. It's been on the market since 1999, and now the drug is going to contain a black box warning, basically strengthening existing warnings about potential heart problems.

Now, this all stems from an article that came out in "The New England Journal of Medicine" in May, about a month ago. And that story, that article basically said that there was an increased warning for heart attack risk, 43 percent increase.

Well, after that article came out, the FDA then issued a safety warning about Avandia. Well, members of Congress basically want to know, why didn't the FDA come out sooner with a warning?

So, an FDA commissioner was on -- basically being grilled yesterday, testifying to members of Congress about this. He says that post-market, since the drug came out, that they did take a look at the drug, but that they weren't focusing on heart attack risks specifically. People with diabetes do have to be careful about heart attack risks.

So the upshot here, Kiran and John, there is now a black box warning for this, as well as a competing drug from Taylor Pharmaceuticals. If you have diabetes, you have to be careful about this.

CHETRY: All right. Thanks, Carrie.

LEE: Sure.

CHETRY: Well, the passengers fought to the death, and now their families are fighting for the land they consider hollow ground. A new controversy over the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We're going to have more on that coming up.

You are watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning is on CNN.


CHETRY: And welcome back. It's Thursday, June 7th.

I'm Kiran Chetry.

ROBERTS: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts.

Some stories "On Our Radar" this morning.


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR, AMERICAN MORNING: And an obesity expert says she is worried for her safety. Apparently she's been getting death threats after she called "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks the vision of unhealthiness. We talked to the woman and will hear her side of the story coming up.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCOR, AMERICAN MORNING: And we start with a developing story as Kansas police announced an arrest overnight in the case of missing 18-year-old Kelsey Smith. Here is the video that put this case into the national spotlight. Security cameras at a Target store picked up the pictures of Smith shopping. It was four days ago. She paid for some items at a check out, then walked to her car and that's where she was abducted. Her body found yesterday near a shallow creek across state lines in Missouri, some 20 miles away from that Target store. Police say it was cell phone signals that led them there. The suspect under arrest is 26-year-old Edwin Hall. Investigators say he is the one pictured here captured by the store's cameras. Police also located the pick-up truck seen on that surveillance video. They say they don't know why Smith was targeted. They don't know if they knew each other or if he acted alone. But they are calling the arrest a break for the family.


JOHN DOUGLASS, OVERLAND PARK POLICE CHIEF: I want to, again, express my condolences to the Smith family. I realize that this is not the preferred conclusion. While we cannot give them their daughter back, we can at least give them justice.


CHETRY: Kelsey graduated high school just two weeks ago, her father describing her as being scrubbed with sunshine.

ROBERTS: Three people are under arrest this morning in Connecticut after a teenage girl, missing for nearly a year, incredibly turns up alive. Danielle Erica Cramer, now 15, was found locked in a hidden room under a staircase in a house in West Hartford. The homeowner, his wife and another woman have been arrested and charged. Police captain Jeffrey Blatter joins us now from Bloomfield, Connecticut to talk more about the investigation. Captain Blatter, how did you trace the girl to this home?

CAPT. JEFFREY BLATTER, BLOOMFIELD POLICE DEPT: During the initial stages of the investigation, we had done some search warrants for cell phone records, financial records and we tied Adam Gault (ph) to this juvenile. Further investigation and interviews led our detectives to believe that there was a strong possibility he was involved with her disappearance.

ROBERTS: What kind of ties did he have to her? Can you elaborate on that?

BLATTER: We don't want to give away too much as the investigation is ongoing. However, there was an inordinate amount of contact via cellular phone and then during follow ups, there was a lot of other circumstances that led us to believe there was an inappropriate relationship.

ROBERTS: I understand that there was some sort of potential business relationship between the girl's father and Gault?

BLATTER: Yeah. Adam Gault and the girl's stepfather were involved with animal training and did, in fact, have some type of business relationship a few years ago.

ROBERTS: So can you describe for us Captain, the conditions that you found her in?

BLATTER: The home was deplorable. It was in disarray. The room she was in was actually off of a bedroom behind a large dresser. When an officer moved the dresser looking for items of evidence, he found a small door. When he opened it up, he found the juvenile inside it, a very small room she was in, about maybe four feet by two feet.

ROBERTS: So what kind of existence do you think she's been living for almost the last year.

BLATTER: We are investigating that now. We are continually interviewing her. We have some mixed signals at this point. There was some speculation she actually has been out of the house, possibly out of state a number of times, but it has clearly been a very interesting lifestyle from what we have seen so far and definitely not very healthy.

ROBERTS: So was she held against her will? Have you established that?

BLATTER: We are trying to identify that. Right now, you know, she's in a state of confusion. She's a 14-year-old under the influence of a 40-year-old. So to speculate what her true state of mind was, we're going to have to leave to the professionals. But right now, we are of the belief that she was under an undue influence of this 40-year-old. ROBERTS: She has been described as a multiple runaway, a young woman who has a difficult relationship with her parents, step parents, whatever they may be. Does she want to go back home?

BLATTER: We are still trying to determine that ourselves. We are trying to withhold a little bit of that information, allow the family to get through this period on their own. Right now she is still in the custody of state welfare. That is probably going to remain that way for some time while we further investigate that.

ROBERTS: Captain Jeff Blatter from the Bloomfield, Connecticut police department, thanks very much. We appreciate whatever you can do to help shine some light on this case.

BLATTER: Thank you.

CHETRY: Vice President Dick Cheney is accused of playing dirty politics in your quick hits now. James Comey (ph), the former number two man at the Department of Justice is claiming that Vice President Cheney blocked a promotion for his top aide because the aide opposed the White House's warrantless wiretap program.

There is some talk that the vice president's wife, Lynne Cheney, could become a senator. Political blogs are saying Lynne Cheney might replace the late Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming. Wyoming's governor will decide on a replacement in the next three weeks.

And a fight over the land where flight 93 crashed on September 11th. We're going to hear from the land owner and also from the families who say the land owner is essentially holding them hostage. That's next on AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning is on CNN.


ROBERTS: Thirty eight minutes now after the hour. A battle over a banned book tops our quick hits this morning. An appeals court in Miami is looking into whether that county's school board can ban a book on Cuba. The board pulled the book titles "Vamos a Cuba" (ph) last year because they say it doesn't mention the harsh realities of life under Fidel Castro. The ACLU argues that the book focuses on geography, not politics.

An update now for you, five high school graduates in Illinois will get their diplomas after all. You might remember Galesburg (ph) High held back their diplomas because the kids' families cheered during the graduation ceremonies. That's against the rules but the school is giving in because of all the publicity.

And they will be seeing double at tomorrow's graduation at Red Buff Union High eight times over. Eight sets of twins are graduating. Three are identical twins and five of them, fraternal.

There's certainly no double for Chad Myers. He is unique, the only one. He joins us now from the weather center in Atlanta with a look at extreme weather across the country. Good morning Chad. CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm an only child. My parents looked at me and said no more of that.

ROBERTS: Oh come on, they looked at you and said that's it, we hit the holy grail. Why try again?

MYERS: You're very nice this morning. Good morning Fargo, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, Duluth, Minneapolis right on into Milwaukee, Chicago. You are under the gun for a big-time severe weather event today. There were many tornados yesterday. There will be more of them today. They'll just be farther to the east. They were in the Dakotas and Nebraska yesterday and they will be focused farther to the north. This is not atypical for a June day. This is very typical for where the severe weather events should occur during June. The jet stream moves to the north and so does the severe weather following.

Here you go. This is Florida right now. Look where it was yesterday, covered up in rain, Kissimmee, all the way back down even to Lake Okeechobee. That is some good news for a very dry Florida. We may even spread some rain up into Atlanta today, into Orlando and back into Tampa. This is the next 48 hours. You notice, a lot of the country here. So it's not widespread five-inch rainfall, but a lot of some very dry areas here going to pick up some rain in the next couple of days, Kiran?

CHETRY: Chad Myers, thank you very much.

There's a bitter controversy going on right now over a piece of hallowed ground. On 9/11, the passengers of flight 93 overpowered their hijackers and brought down a jet that was bound for Washington. It crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Now the victims' families are fighting with one of the owners over a piece of land where the permanent memorial is supposed to be. Ed Root lost his own cousin that day. He is now the president of the Families of Flight 93 and he joins us to talk more about this battle going on. Ed, thanks for being with us.


CHETRY: The person who owns the amount of acreage in dispute, it's about 273 acres, is a man by the name of Mike Swanovich (ph) and we are going to hear what he say right now about this whole controversy. Let's listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've made no demands to the families or attorney White or the Park Service. The way the process works is it doesn't matter what I demand or what I estimate for the property. The Park Service is required under their rules to evaluate the property, develop a value and that's what they're allowed to present to me.


CHETRY: What do you have to say for what he is saying right now, which is that he's not making any demands on your organization or the Park Service?

ROOT: Well, what he said in the technical sense is true as far as the process goes. But the Park Service has already made one offer to him previously, which he rejected. And the family organization has made what we consider to be a more than fair offer for his property. And he rejected that also. He wouldn't even really talk to us about it.

CHETRY: $550,000 is what you offered, which is in accordance with the fair market value, about 1,000 to $2,000 an acre.

ROOT: That's correct and so our offer was actually on the high end of that range for value. So I think Mr. Swanovich has to ask himself the question, is he valuing this land as land that if 9/11 never happened or is he valuing this land as historic land from what happened on September 11th and flight 93 crashing there? If he's frankly valuing it from that perspective, all the treasure in the world could not buy that land. The blood and sweat of the passengers and crew and the tears of a grateful nation have valued that land far beyond any monetary value.

CHETRY: You know, one of the other things that is making people very upset is that he's apparently put up a collection box at the site. We were out there actually this morning. Our Alina Cho was out there and she said there's since been a bag placed over that collection box by the National Park Service. But this has outraged many people. Let's hear why he says it is there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I could afford to do it without requesting for help, I would continue to do so. But because I could not do that, I had no choice.


CHETRY: He says he needs to collect money for security. Do you agree?

ROOT: Absolutely not. The Federal funding for security had run out in February. And in the five years that the Federal government had provided security, there were no incidents there. There was no crime. There was no vandalism. The National Park Service has a licensing agreement which covers the area of the temporary memorial so they responsible for any liability there. He was told that we didn't feel that security was necessary. So he went out on his own hook, so to speak, and he's created his own dilemma.

CHETRY: So where do you see this going? Do you think he's going to refuse to sell this land to you?

ROOT: Thus far he seems to be holding out for some great deal in the sky that I don't know where he expects the money to come from or how we would possibly pay for it. Unfortunately, he owns this sacred land and he knows it. The American people, the families, United States Congress created this park unanimously in 2002. I'm sure Congress never envisioned that by creating a legislation for willing sellers, that someone would take advantage of them and us. He's frankly holding us all hostage.

CHETRY: What -- let's show a quick picture f we can, of what the permanent memorial to honor those brave men and women including your cousin is supposed to look like. This is where you need to start being able to break ground sometime soon. You want to have this up by 2010. Hopefully this will be resolved.

ROOT: It needs to be resolved very, very quickly. Time is of the essence. It of course could impact our fund-raising. We need the land more than anything, even if we had all the funds. If we don't have the land, we have nothing.

CHETRY: Keep us updated on how this goes and good luck to you, Ed Root, president of Families of Flight 93. Thanks for being with us.

ROOT: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Forty five minutes now after the hour. Mandatory HIV tests for mothers to be? Quick hits for you now. Today lawmakers in New Jersey are considering a plan to test all pregnant women for HIV to cut the risk of unborn children getting it.

And the 40-hour work week is just a dream for millions of people around the world. The International Labor Organization says 600 million people work more than 48 hours every week. Peru is the worst for its workers, the U.S. 19th on the list.

They are defending their idol. A critic who says "American Idol" winner Jordin is overweight is now getting death threats. That's ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: Cuba Gooding Junior plays a hero in our quick hits now. The actor came to the aid of a young man who was shot outside of a Los Angeles restaurant. Gooding helped stop the bleeding, flagged down a police car and then waited with the man for the ambulance to arrive.

And from the it's just television folks file, therapists are apparently upset about the most recent episode of "The Sopranos." In it, a group of therapists are shown talking about Dr. Melfi's mob boss patient. Real therapists say they would never reveal who they are treating. Don't worry, one more episode, that's all over.

And Jack is expected to fall this year as the most popular name for boys in England. According to a new study, Mohammed will replace it because more and more young Muslims are having families. While parents can agree on the name Mohammed, spelling apparently is another issue. It's got 14 different spellings on file.

CHETRY: An obesity expert is now saying that she is getting death threats and she made some comments about the winner of "American Idol's" weight, Jordin Sparks, she talked about her weight. MeMe Roth is not backing away though from what she said about 17-year old Sparks. Sparks says that she'll never be a size two. So some controversy today about "American Idol" as it pertains to weight. Lola Ogunnaike from AMERICAN MORNING joins me now to talk more about this. So what exactly did MeMe Roth say that has everybody fired up?

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She said that when you look at Jordin, she sees diabetes. She sees various problems that are associated with being overweight.

CHETRY: She says high cholesterol. That's what is so sad about this. She is not the vision of health. She's the vision of un-health and she's with the national action against obesity. This fired up the blogs.

OGUNNAIKE: Absolutely. Jordin Sparks fans came out in droves. They were coming for MeMe Roth. MeMe Roth by the way is 5'6", 120 pounds, with a BMI of 20. So she's on the thinner side. They have been calling her anorexic. They've been calling her a Nazi. They have been calling her the "B" word and the "C" word and various other words that I cannot repeat in the morning. She says look, I'm not backing down. I'm glad I said this. This is calling attention to an issue that she believes is important and it's obesity.

CHETRY: It is also raising the issue of whether or not the "American Idol" is actually a weight loss show because we have some before and afters. It seems that everybody eventually gets thinner.

OGUNNAIKE: Absolutely.

CHETRY: That's a good thing like in the case of Ruben Studdard (ph). He lost over 100 pounds actually. He went to the Duke University center and lost over 100 pounds. And it seems like all of them, whether or not they're winners or losers, they do end up losing weight.

OGUNNAICKE: Diane (INAUDIBLE) for one. Let's take a look at her.

CHETRY Diane (INAUDIBLE) where is she?

OGUNNAIKE: She got very thin.

CHETRY: Very thin, very thin. It talks about it at length. Carrie Underwood, very thin. There are actually websites dedicated to Carrie Underwood right now that are like, she is too skinny.

OGUNNAIKE: She did lose a lot of weight actually, Jennifer Hudson (INAUDIBLE) as well. She lost weight. Had to gain weight back for her role in "Dream Girls" and then lost the weight again.

CHETRY: And it's the men, too. Taylor Hicks, the winner of "American Idol."

OGUNNAIKE: Taylor Hicks is so skinny now, he's on the beach frolicking, no top on no gut no anything. So it is the guys and the girls.

CHETRY: All right. "American Idol," who knew it was a weight loss show.

OGUNNAIKE: You're not going to have to worry about that (INAUDIBLE)

ROBERTS: Yeah, Kiran, like you need a weight loss show.

A new pet food recall tops your quick hits. The food is manufactured by Doane (ph) pet care and it's sold at Wal-Mart as Old Roy complete nutrition dog food. It may be contaminated with salmonella. The company says consumers should check for a specific code number, that number is 04-0735-1, again 04-0735-1, also, freshness date of April 13, 2008.

A doggone lovely reunion in Phoenix to tell you about. 80-year- old Lillian Brown finally has her beloved beagle terrier mix back at home. A newspaper reporter tracked down the dog after Lillian wrote a letter explaining how her neighbors had swiped them. Those neighbors are now facing criminal charges.

Are you taking a trip overseas this summer? We hope that you already have your passport. New rules are causing major problems for travelers. Carrie Lee is minding your business and she is coming up next. You are watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning is here on CNN.


CHETRY: It pays to go to Harvard. Many knew that but it also pays more if you're a man. The quick hits now, according to the "Harvard Crimson," the paper there, male students from the class of 2007 will enter the work force earning an average salary of $60,000. Their female classmates will start at 50,000.

I wonder if they counted Bill Gates in that study. The Microsoft founder will give the commencement speech at Harvard today and also receive an honorary degree. Gates dropped out of Harvard to focus on Microsoft, a decision that I think worked out pretty well for him in the end.

An autopsy for an iceman. Testing now confirming that the Neolithic man - check it out -- discovered on a glacier in the Austria/Italy border back in 1991 bled to death. They were able to determine the cause of death. They say it was probably because of a fight with another man. Scientists say x-ray scanners showed an arrowhead tore a hole in an artery beneath his left collarbone and that probably led to a heart attack.

ROBERTS: Fifty seven minutes after the hour now. Carrie Lee is minding your business for you. And passports, you got to have them but they're difficult to get.

CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're harder to get now because you need a passport to travel to Canada, Mexico the Caribbean and Bermuda. Most people know that by now, so it's not just crowded planes and long waits in line that could be a trouble spot for people. The State Department is now recommending that people apply for their passports about 12 weeks before their trip. This is twice as long as the year-ago period. The State Department expected to process 17 million passports this year and that marks a 40 percent increase. The "LA Times" reporting on this story, a lot of people getting really stuck. Their flight is 24 hours away, 48 hours away, they still haven't gotten their passport.

So if you are traveling this summer, make sure you apply earlier than you even think you need to to make sure you get it. There are a couple of other options. You can pay an extra $60 for an expedited service. If you do this, make sure you write expedited on the outside of any mail applications. There are also some third parties that can charge you an extra $100 to $180 to help speed up the process. Also you can check your application status at the State Department website about four weeks after you apply and if your trip is within two weeks, you can e-mail the State Department on their website or call the national passport information center. The bottom line Kiran is make sure you really plan ahead to do this because there are a lot of anecdotal stories of people really getting stuck. They need to go to their plane.

ROBERTS: As long as six weeks.

LEE: And if you don't have the passport, you're not getting on the plane.

CHETRY: We had our fingers crossed when we travel, because now they have new rules where little babies, I didn't know my baby needed a passport. They didn't use to need one and now they do.

LEE: So everyone needs it now.

CHETRY: Everyone needs a passport even as little as six, seven months old.

LEE: So plan ahead.

CHETRY: Carrie Lee, thanks.

ROBERTS: Thanks. Next hour of AMERICAN MORNING starts right now.

CHETRY: This morning a teenager's body found, a family's heartbreaking loss.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are very pleased that the arrest has been made in this case.


CHETRY: Overnight, news of an arrest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we saw the videotape, it was apparently (INAUDIBLE) man right behind her.


CHETRY: Now the questions about the suspect. Who is Edwin Hall and questions about the case. Why did it take days for police to track a cell phone signal?

Plus face-to-face. President Bush set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Will it cool simmering tensions and talk of a cold war comeback on this AMERICAN MORNING.

And thanks so much for being with us. It is Thursday, June 7th. I'm Kiran Chetry.

ROBERTS: Good morning to you, I'm John Roberts.

Some stories on our radar this morning, an incredible turn of events in Connecticut. A teenage girl who had been missing for almost a year turns up alive, found locked in a hidden room about three-feet high under a staircase hidden behind a dresser in a bedroom. More on the case and the suspects coming right up in a live report.