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American Morning

Kansas Teen's Body Found, Suspect Arrested; Missing Teen Found in Closet; President Bush Tries to Calm Frayed Nerves Over Missile Shield; Separation Process Under Way for Conjoined Twins; Senator Lieberman Points to Progress in Iraq; Police Use Cell Phone to Find Murder Victim; African Woman's Safehouse Helps Children Affected by HIV/AIDS

Aired June 07, 2007 - 07:59   ET


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

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

Some stories "On Our Radar" this morning.


CHETRY: Meanwhile, we begin, though, with developments overnight in the case of a missing teen in Kansas. Police announcing the arrest of 26-year-old Edwin Hall. They say that they found surveillance video showing him at a Target store where 18-year-old Kelsey Smith was kidnapped. Her body was found about 20 miles away in Missouri, thanks to signals from her cell phone.

For more on the story, we go to Robb Yagmin of our affiliate KNBC.


ROBB YAGMIN, REPORTER, KNBC: A major development in the murder case of Kelsey Smith. Less than 12 hours after the 18-year-old's body was, in fact, found, an arrest has been made.

Edwin Hall, a 26-year-old from a suburb of Kansas City, will be arraigned actually here and face charges at the Johnson County, Kansas, courthouse sometime this morning. He, in fact, is the man that police have been calling a person of interest.

Target surveillance video showed him walking out of the Target store in a suburb of Kansas City soon after Kelsey Smith did on Saturday. He was interviewed, we're being told, along with a number of other people yesterday afternoon. After that mid-afternoon interview, he was charged early yesterday evening.

He's a 26-year-old man. We do not know much about him. But we are being told that he did not know Kelsey Smith personally. It must be a random situation. The investigation is still continuing as far as the investigation goes, still continuing. And we're not too sure exactly if he did, in fact, act alone.

They were led to her body yesterday afternoon about 1:30 Central by pings on her telephone, on her cell phone. Not too sure. At least the investigators are not telling us whether or not those pings were from her making calls from the cell phone, but four pings around the Longview Lake area, which is in Missouri, and that is also why the FBI's involved, because the kidnapping crossed state lines.

Now, at a news conference about 11:30 last night, district attorney in Kansas Phil Kline spoke about what she meant to the community.

PHIL KLINE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: This community has lost a vibrant and promising life. And the family has suffered an unimaginable tragedy. And I'm certain your prayers, as ours and our thoughts, remain with them.

YAGMIN: District Attorney Phil Kline also said a number of things at that press conference last night. That murder charge goes from 25 to life, the kidnapping charge, more than 12 years. Of course, Mr. Hall is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He will once again be facing charges here at the Johnson County, Kansas, courthouse. We're being told once again that he and Kelsey Smith did not know each other. And they're asking for a $5 million bond.

Stay tuned to CNN for the very latest on this story.

Robb Yagmin reporting for CNN.


ROBERTS: And while a tragic end to events in Kansas, police in Connecticut found a girl who had been missing for nearly a year. They say 15-year-old Danielle Erica Cramer was hidden in a closet under a staircase. Police served a search warrant and discovered her.

Earlier, I asked a police captain investigating the case if the girl was held against her will.


CAPT. JEFFREY BLATTER, BLOOMFIELD, CONNECTICUT, POLICE DEPT.: 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 it the professionals.


ROBERTS: The police arrested three suspects in the case, including the man who may have done business deals with the girl's family. For more on this story, we bring in CNN's Jason Carroll, who is there in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

And Jason, what do we expect to happen in court today?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, today at the Connecticut Superior Court, the three suspects -- you have Adam Gault, you have Ann Murphy, you have Kimberly Kimberly Cray. These three people will be arraigned here in court today.

They face several charges, John, including reckless endangerment, as well as unlawful restraint. But they could be facing even more charges.

We're still in the very early stages of this investigation. So it might be very likely that these three suspects could be facing even more charges in the coming days -- John.

ROBERTS: You know, as we asked the police captain there whether or not she was held against her will, he didn't really know, although he suggested that the people who were holding her certainly wielded influence over her.

What do we know about this complex relationship between her, her stepfather, and her stepfather and the guy who was allegedly holding her?

CARROLL: It is somewhat complex. What police are basically saying is that this young girl's stepfather had some sort of a business relationship with Adam Gault. And perhaps that's how Gault came to know this young girl. But you also, John, have to look into this young girl's history, into her past.

According to police, she was a troubled teenager, she had a history of running away, a history of drug abuse. And what they were basically theorizing is that Gault, this 40-year-old man, saw that this young girl was vulnerable, found a way to exploit that vulnerability, and somehow struck some sort of inappropriate relationship with this young girl.

ROBERTS: And police at this point also telling us, Jason, that they are not sure if the girl even wants to home. But she's in the custody of Child Protective Services right now.

All right, Jason. We'll keep checking back with you to get the latest on this case.


CHETRY: And coming up in the next hour, President Bush is going to be meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. They're at the G8 summit in Germany.

President Bush trying to calm some frayed nerves over U.S. plans to build a missile shield on Russia's doorstep. It's led to some rhetoric between both sides. We heard from the president on this earlier this morning.

Take a listen.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia is not a threat. They're not a military threat. They're not something that we ought to be, you know, hyperventilating about. What we ought to be doing is figuring out ways to work together.


CHETRY: Well, CNN's Ed Henry is outside of the summit site in Rostock, Germany. He joins us with more.

That's really what -- there's a lot of anticipation about, let's say, that, the meeting between Vladimir Putin and our president.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Good morning, Kiran.

You know, the stakes could not be any higher. As you noted, in the buildup to this summit, we heard Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening Europe, basically, and saying that he would aim nuclear weapons at Europe if President Bush did not back down on this missile defense program. So what we've seen President Bush do in the last couple of days is try to calm all of this down, not just here, but on July 1st, as sort of a post mini summit, President Bush has invited Vladimir Putin to the family compound, the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Clearly, the U.S. has been stunned by Mr. Putin's rhetorical blast just in the last few days. And it got so extraordinary yesterday, that President Bush decided to take this step of denying that the U.S. was about to go to war with Russia, denying that we would have to respond militarily if Russia pointed those nuclear weapons at Europe. This is certainly not what Mr. Bush wanted to be talking about at this summit -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Yes. And actually, I mean, it seems like this Bush- Putin tension is overshadowing a lot of other very important topics that they're set to discuss, including aid to Africa.

HENRY: That's right. In fact, I had an exclusive video yesterday with the rock star Bono. As you know, he's been here at previous summits, he's here again. He's lobbying President Bush and other world leaders for more aid for Africa. And he told me yesterday he's very, very frustrated at the fact that all this talk about Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin is really overshadowing his anti-poverty agenda that Mr. Bush and others say that they're on board for.

Take a listen to Bono.


BONO, MUSICIAN/ACTIVIST: This is not sort of rosy-tinted glasses, believe it or not. In fact, I felt like smashing my glasses today. I just want to...

HENRY: Why? What happened?

BONO: It's just because they are not keeping their promise. They are not keeping their promises.

Your country, the United States, is actually doing very well, but it under-promised (ph), it's over-delivering. Great. But other countries are not.


HENRY: Now, Bono was referring to the fact that two years ago at the G8 summit in Scotland, many of these world leaders promised to sharply increase aid to Africa. And they're not stepping up now.

But Bono did make clear, as you hear at the end there, he thinks that President Bush has stepped up, he thinks Tony Blair has stepped up. But he pointed the finger at Canada, and also at Russia, saying that Mr. Putin is not stepping up. And if you can't get all eight world leaders on board, that aid is not going to be increased. So he has until Friday to try to get everyone to step up -- Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. And he certainly wants, I'm sure, the U.S. to put some pressure on those countries as well, on that issue, as opposed to the missile shield controversy.

Ed Henry, thanks so much.

Also, more on a developing story we've been ul following for you.

North Korea test-firing several missiles this morning. Military officials in South Korea are saying that they were short-range missiles able to travel from 90 to 500 miles. Not clear right now on how many were fired. And they're also saying it's not unusual for North Korea to test short-range missiles. It would be actually the second such test in the last three weeks.

ROBERTS: For the first time, we're hearing the recorded conversations between the man infected with tuberculosis and county health officials in Atlanta. Andrew Speaker insists that he was never told not to fly and that the audiotapes prove it.

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.


ROBERTS: Earlier, I spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci from the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He testified at the Senate hearing on the TB threat yesterday. He said that the Speaker case is nothing compared to all of the TB patients worldwide.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: One-third of the entire world, two billion out of the six billion people, are infected with tuberculosis. They're not sick with tuberculosis, but they have the microbe in them.


ROBERTS: Fauci said 1.6 million people die each and every year from tuberculosis.

CHETRY: Well, there is a risky and potentially life-saving surgery under way right now at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, where surgeons are in the process now of trying to separate 3-year-old conjoined twins, Tatiana and Anastasia Dogaru. They were joined at the head, as you can see from these pictures. And the first in a series of high-risk surgeries started yesterday.

Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us from Atlanta now with a progress report.

And as we've seen with other cases, I mean, there is just so much involved in the prep time before you can even begin to take on a risky surgery like this.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, that's right. Surgeons have a lot to do before these twins are actually separated.

As you said, 3-year-old twins. They're called craniopagus twins because they're joined at the head. As you can imagine, this is the most difficult kinded of conjoined twin surgery to do.

You see them there. The larger twin there is Anastasia. She's sort of the more dominant twin. She sort of sometimes walks around and it looks like her sister is following her. And these twins are from Romania and they have come to have the surgery in Cleveland.

Unfortunately, there is not a great success rate with this surgery. The odds, unfortunately, are higher, of course, than the family would like, that they will not survive or that they'll have some sort of brain surgery. But they survived the surgery that they had yesterday, although we have not had an update from the hospital about their condition -- Kiran.

CHETRY: And that's because, of course, where it's conjoined, as you said. Do they share the same brain?

COHEN: They share brain matter. That's probably the best way to take it. We're going to show some images where you can see that it's two different brains, but they share some of the matter together.

Now, what's also something that surgeons are going to have to contend with is that they share a circulatory system. They share a renal system.

And so when they separate -- so you can see there that they share some brain matter. And so when they separate them, they have to make sure that each girl has what she needs. Also, what they're going to have to look for is to make sure that they guard against infection, which can often happen in a surgery like this.

CHETRY: And why do they decide, you know, how long to wait? I mean, you know, the age, they're 3 now. I mean, what makes them decide when to do it?

COHEN: Right. We've seen many times with conjoined twins is they get separated at different ages. Sometimes that has to do with the family, about when they want to undertake this kind of risk. But sometimes it has to do with medical issues, so that the doctors can sometimes for years watch them. And based on their rate of growth, based on what systems they're sharing and not sharing, they can make a decision about when to do the separation.

CHETRY: Well, we're all saying our prayers for those two girls, Tatiana and Anastasia.

Please keep us posted on how their operation's going.

COHEN: Absolutely.

CHETRY: Elizabeth, thank you.

COHEN: Thanks.

ROBERTS: Coming up to 14 minutes after the hour now.

They are putting the war to the voters in our "Quick Hits" now.




CHETRY: Well, as the G8 summit gets down to business in Germany, there may be a diplomatic clash between President Bush and Russia's president, Vladimir Putin. The two leaders are scheduled to meet face to face within the hour.

CNN's Jill Dougherty is live in Washington for us.

Thanks so much. And, of course, much has been made over the saber rattling between the two over this proposed missile shield for Europe and Vladimir Putin's reaction to it.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. I mean, a lot of rhetoric. It's quite astounding when you have the president of the United States saying, don't worry, the Cold War is not back. But the rhetoric has been very strong, and it's coming from -- a lot of it is coming from President Putin.

And, in fact, now you have President Bush saying this is nothing to hyperventilate over. And it is not that serious. But I think the United States really was caught aback by the statements by President Putin. Not so much -- well, some of it, what he said, but the way he said it was extremely strong.

But you know, the Russians are really feeling this very strongly. They say that the United States didn't really consult with them about this anti-missile shield enough.

So, in effect, they're trying to get the attention. The aide to the president, Putin, said that it's a very sensitive subject and you have to use strong language. But it gets -- it's almost out of hand at this point. And I think they're trying to pull it back.

CHETRY: Yes. In fact, adding to that, some of Vladimir Putin's supporters, including the former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, let's listen to what he said yesterday about the issue.


MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, FMR. SOVIET PRESIDENT (through translator): The U.S. administration should be thinking about how to rev up its period in office on a peaceful note rather than intimidating over and over.


CHETRY: He said rather by intimidating over and over.

So, is Russia's impression of this that the United States is trying to intimidate it?

DOUGHERTY: It is, Kiran. Actually, you know, the Russians -- and Mr. Gorbachev is a pretty mild-mannered person, you'd have to say, and he feels that, too.

The mood in Moscow is very much that, the United States has basically been dictating to Russia, criticizing it, criticizing it on human rights, et cetera. And the Russians are throwing that back at the United States.

And they've even come down to saying, you know, human rights, look at Abu Ghraib, look at Guantanamo, et cetera. Don't lecture to us. And part of it is they feel that they can do this now. They have more oil money. They can strut on the world stage more effectively.

CHETRY: So how will this G8 summit, this face-to-face meeting, change anything, if at all?

DOUGHERTY: Well, I don't think it will change much of anything. You'll probably get some pulling back on that rhetoric, but the Russians are pretty serious about this.

It's not that they feel that the United States is going to use this really against Russia, especially now, but that missile shield, they're saying, in the future, we don't know where it's heading. And besides, it's right on our border. And it makes them very nervous.

CHETRY: All right. Well, we'll see how it goes today. We'll all be listening, for sure.

Jill Dougherty, thanks for joining us.

And we're going to take a quick break.

When we come back, we're going to be speaking with Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman in just a few minutes.


CHETRY (voice over): Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (SINGING): Sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time.

CHETRY: She was discovered on YouTube by Justin Timberlake. Are you next? Why artists are searching the Web for the hottest talent next on AMERICAN MORNING.




ROBERTS: Twenty-six minutes after the hour. Carrie Lee here "Minding Your Business".

To lease or own -- not talking about cars, talking about something else.

CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. You can lease or own a house, a car, so why not a set-top box, a cable box? Well, this is what the FCC wants to see.

So, starting July 1, they're imposing a deadline on the cable industry. And it would basically force cable companies to give customers set-top boxes with a cable card, and that cable card would be interchangeable with different boxes. So the upside here, to give customers the option of buying a set-top box and then getting just the card from the cable company.

Now, let's see if this is worth it.

If you break it down in terms of price, a standard cable box renting costs about $5 a month. With DVR recording capabilities, it costs about $7 a month.

Well, as it stands now, a standard cable box, no recording, would cost $130. One with recording capabilities, such as one offered by TiVo, would cost about $700.

Now, of course that's very expensive. Why would you want to pay $700, when you can just rent for a few dollars a month? Well, the FCC thinks that this new rule will open up the market. So more players will come in, more set-top boxes will be made, and so prices will come down.

Although, some cable companies like LG Electronics and Panasonic haven't been so keen to actually make this kind of set-top box. So we'll see if this market comes about after July 1, when the rule takes place.

The winners, though, could be names like TiVo, which already manufactures this type of thing. So we'll see how this all shakes out.

CHETRY: Well, you know you're doing well as a business when you turn into a verb. I mean, people say "I TiVo'd it."

LEE: Exactly. Exactly.

CHETRY: Whether they're talking about a TiVo or not.

LEE: Yes, the company's had some trouble spots in the past, but this could be exactly what they need to move forward.

ROBERTS: All right. Carrie, thanks very much.

LEE: Sure.

ROBERTS: North Korea testifiers missiles. It's one of the top stories on this morning and one of your "Quick Hits" today.



KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST: And welcome back. It is Thursday, June 7. I'm Kiran Chetry.

JOHN ROBERTS, CO-HOST: Good morning to you. I'm John Roberts.

CHETRY: And we have a lot of stories on our radar this morning. But first we want to begin with the latest developments in the kidnap and murder of a teenager in Kansas. Police arrested 26-year-old Edwin Hall, who they think is the man caught on this surveillance video at a Target store parking lot. It's where Kelsey Smith was kidnapped. Smith's body was found 20 miles away across state lines in Missouri.

In Connecticut, police found 15-year-old Danielle Cramer alive. She had been missing for a year. Police found her in a room that was under the stairs of a home in West Hartford, Connecticut, a three-foot by four-foot room. Three suspects are arrested. They're going to be appearing in court this morning. Danielle Cramer is said to be doing OK.

ROBERTS: The number of Americans killed in Iraq has topped the 3,500 mark. Twenty-six soldiers have been killed this month alone.

But where some see a bad situation getting worse, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman sees significant progress in Iraq. He has just returned from a trip to Baghdad. And Senator Lieberman joins us now from Capitol Hill.

Good to see you, Senator. Thanks for being with us.

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: Thanks, John. Good to be with you.

ROBERTS: What is the progress that you saw?

LIEBERMAN: I want to be real clear about this. This is a tough situation. We're in a war against al Qaeda and agents of Iran in Iraq today. And it's hell. And the losses of American lives, the casualties, are tragic and heartbreaking.

But what was the progress I saw? I was last there six months ago. I couldn't walk outside the Green Zone in Baghdad. This time I went out there, walked through a market. There's a lot of activity.

Sectarian deaths are down in Baghdad by 50 percent.

I was over in Anbar province to the west. Last time I was there, they wouldn't let John McCain and me go into Ramadi. This time I went in and met with people again, walked through a market feeling very safe.

The fact is that we are making progress in a difficult war. And all I would say to my colleagues is let's give our military -- which is doing extraordinary work, not just militarily but in reconstructing Iraq -- let's give them the time to see if this can make this work because we have so much on the line there.

ROBERTS: But Senator Lieberman, how do you square your claim of significant progress with the fact that May was the deadliest month in at least a couple of years? Twenty-six U.S. service members have died so far this month, just the month of June alone. And the fact that sectarian deaths apparently are on the increase again?

LIEBERMAN: Well, two parts. One, the sectarian -- here's the point. We're in a war. The surge strategy, which is just beginning to be fully implemented, has worked. It has reduced sectarian deaths, particularly in Baghdad where we're focused.

They ticked back up in the last month. Why did they do that? Because our enemies, the insurgents and al Qaeda, insurgents particularly supported by Iran, see us winning, and they're doing desperate things. More of them are prepared to blow themselves up to kill Iraqis or American soldiers.

Second, the heartbreaking tragedy for all of us as Americans is that the number of American casualties in Iraq has gone up in the last month. Part of that is because of the enemy desperately striking out.

Part of it is because our soldiers courageously are now living and working side by side with the Iraqis in cities like Baghdad. You cannot do that without increasing the peril.

Is it worth it? I say yes, because the alternative, which many are arguing for, is to pull out. And to me that means a tremendous victory for al Qaeda, which is our No. 1 enemy there now, and Iran, our second enemy there. And if they win there, watch out throughout the rest of the Middle East and right here at home in the USA.

ROBERTS: As part of your trip, you met with some soldiers and Marines. One of the people you met with was Specialist Will Hedin. Leila Fadel of McClatchy News Service spoke with Hedin just before he talked to you, and she wrote this in a recent article.

She says, "'We're not making any progress,' according to Hedin, as he recalled a comrade who was shot by a sniper last week. 'It just seems like we drive around and wait to get shot at.' But as he waited two chairs down from where Lieberman would sit, Hedin said he would never voice his true feelings to the senator."

Senator Lieberman, are you getting the real picture there?

LIEBERMAN: You know, I tell you, I saw that article, John, and I was really upset about it. Because I sat at a table with a bunch of our soldiers there. I did it four or five times during the week. And I was asking them to speak to me from their heart.

As a matter of fact, one of them spoke very directly about the fact that he wondered whether we were succeeding there. He said, nonetheless, that he believed -- he actually wondered whether we should have gone into Iraq. But nonetheless, he told me how much he was committed to service in the Army and he wanted to re-enlist and stay there for the rest of his career.

I also spoke to a couple of soldiers at that table. These are folks from -- soldiers from Connecticut. One of them said to me, when they hear the criticism of -- and the calls for us to withdraw, it says to them that what they're doing is not worth it.


LIEBERMAN: And they believe it is worth it. Another one says, "If we pull out of here, the Iraqi police that I'm working side by side with every day are going to get killed. And so are their families. And who would ever trust the United States again in the world? Certainly not in the Middle East."

So I'm sorry he didn't say that to me directly, and I certainly would have respected that. It's a tough, tough haul for our soldiers there. But I tell you, they're the best in the world. And they're working their hearts out to make this work for us in Iraq.

ROBERTS: Well, the one thing that I find every time I go to Iraq is that, despite the challenges, all the U.S. service members have their head totally in the game.

LIEBERMAN: Absolutely.

ROBERTS: Senator Joe Lieberman from Capitol Hill. Thanks very much.

LIEBERMAN: Thanks, John.

CHETRY: "ANDERSON COOPER 360" airs weeknights at 10 Eastern. Here is Anderson with a look at what's coming up on his program tonight.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Kiran, tonight Americans held by terrorists in a jungle hideout. In Washington, the trial of one of their comrades begins. Fears grow that if he's found guilty, the Americans may die. He's on trial; their lives are on the line. 360 tonight, 10 p.m. Eastern -- Kiran.


CHETRY: We'll be watching. Thanks, Anderson.

Well, they're opting out of Iowa, and they're topping our "Quick Hits". GOP presidential candidates John McCain and Rudy Giuliani will not be in the Iowa straw poll in August. They say it simply costs too much to compete in it. But they will be in the Iowa caucuses.

Well, the NYPD going high tech in the fight against terror. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says that police helicopters will soon be mounted with cameras that can read license plates. And officers will carry backpacks designed to help detect dirty bombs.

A chilling scene inside of a fast food restaurant overseas, a young child held hostage with a knife to her throat. We're going to show you how all of that ended.

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning, here on CNN. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: An appeals court in Miami looking into whether that county's school board can ban a book on Cuba. The board pulled the book, titled "Vamos a Cuba", last year because they say that it doesn't mention the harsh realities of life under Fidel Castro. The ACLU argues that yes, it does. They say the book focuses on geography, not politics.

Well, an update now. Five high school grads in Illinois will get their diplomas after all. Galesburg High had held back the diplomas because the kids' families cheered during the graduation ceremony. That was against the rules. In fact, kids were made to sign pledges about it. But the school apparently giving in because of all the publicity.

And cooler temperatures and calmer winds are helping firefighters battle a massive wildfire in Northern California, 65 mile-an-hour winds pushing the flames across more than 600 acres in the Sierra, Nevada. More than 200 residents are now being allowed to return home.

Forty-two past the hour. Now we head over to Chad Myers for a look at the weather picture.

They could use the rain. Florida also facing doubt conditions. They did get some.


CHETRY: All right. Some good news there. Chad, thanks.


ROBERTS: An amazing rescue at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Shanghai, China. A 3-year-old girl was held at knifepoint for more than six hours. The girl's mother says the man took her baby hostage when she stepped away to buy food.

Police shot and killed the suspect after hours of negotiations failed. The little girl is doing just fine.

Developments overnight in the case of a missing teen in Kansas. Police announced the arrest of 26-year-old Edwin Hall of Olathe, Kansas. They say surveillance video shows him at the Target store where 18-year-old Kelsey Smith was kidnapped.

Police found Smith's body about 20 miles away in Missouri, thanks to signals from her cell phone.

To help explain the technology behind that, we bring in our Jacki Schechner now. She's down in our technology center there in Washington.

So what -- what are they looking for, Jacki?

JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Big screen makes it the tech center. You know, John, Kelsey Smith wasn't making calls out, but she was getting calls from friends and family. And as her phone was getting those calls, it was sending out what are called pings. And this is how the cell phone communicates with the cell phone network. It happens while your phone is on. It will happen often while you're not getting calls either.

But if you're on the move, your phone will then ping different cell phone towers along the way. And authorities can narrow down a location by a process they call triangulation. Exactly what it sounds like, using three different towers to hone in on where a signal is coming from.

Now newer phones have global positioning systems that narrow down the locale even further. But in the case of Kelsey's phone, reports are saying that police were just tracking routine pings and then the pings when people called her.

Now the big question remains, John, is why did it take so long for authorities to find her, to be able to hone in on exactly where she was located? And that's something that only the authorities in this case are going to be able to tell us. We do have calls in to the district attorney at this hour.

ROBERTS: Are there any other notable cases in which we've seen this kind of technology used in the past, Jacki?

SCHECHNER: There is, John. You actually might remember the case of James Kim. He and his family went missing in Oregon -- yes, back last winter. And what happened was there was a cell phone ping that went out when they received a couple of text messages.

And there was a technology expert in the area, a cell phone expert, who was able to track that ping and then use some other technology. He knew the Oregon wilderness. And they were able to narrow it down and find the family.

Unfortunately, you might remember, James Kim went out to get help, and he didn't make it, John.

ROBERTS: Right. Well, we'd certainly like to ask the authorities there in Kansas why it took four days for them to finally triangulate in on the cell phone location. Jacki...

SCHECHNER: We're trying to reach someone. As soon as we get it, John, we'll bring it to you.

ROBERTS: All right, thanks. Get back to us. Jacki Schechner in Washington. Jacki, thanks.

CHETRY: CNN NEWSROOM is just minutes away. And Tony Harris is at the CNN center with a look at what's ahead.

Good morning, Tony.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Kiran, good morning to you. We have got the stories of the NEWSROOM rundown for you this morning.

Just two weeks ago, her family celebrated her graduation. Today they mourn her death. A suspect faces murder charges in the killing of a Kansas teen. A different ending in Connecticut. A girl missing for almost a year was found alive. Police serving search warrants found her in a tiny hidden room.

And seeing double eight times. A small high school has a big thing for twins.

Heidi is with me in the NEWSROOM. We get started at the top of the hour right here on CNN.

Kiran, back to you.

CHETRY: All right. We'll be watching, Tony. Thanks so much.


CHETRY: A controversial decision topping our "Quick Hits" now.

A judge in Brevard County, Florida, under fire for freeing a man who was seen here punching an undercover cop during a sting. The man had faced up to 15 years behind bars. The jury found him guilty, but the judge reduced that sentence and gave him time served. He's now free.

An 81-year-old woman in Oregon drove through a police barricade onto a street that was blocked off for a parade. A police officer, as well as someone who was selling ice cream barely got out of the way. Police say she was angry that the road was closed.


CHETRY (voice-over): Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING...

ESMEE DENTERS, DISCOVERED ON YOUTUBE (singing): Sitting on the dock of the bay waiting for the tide...

CHETRY: She was discovered on YouTube by Justin Timberlake. Are you next? Why artists are searching the Web for the hottest talent, next on AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: Is "Knocked Up" a knockoff? Your "Quick Hits" now.

A Canadian author is suing Universal Pictures and director Judd Apatow. She says the new movie is a rip-off of her book by the same name. The movie's producers deny it, though.

Nicole Richie says she's hoping that she won't land in jail like her former best friend, Paris Hilton, did. She told David Letterman that she's scared but also willing to face whatever consequences come her way. She could face jail time for getting two DUI charges within 10 years.

And actor Rob Lowe puts a new spin on hitting a birdie while golfing. Lowe was playing in a tournament in Iowa this week when one of his shots hit and killed a goldfinch, Iowa's state bird. Lowe could only look surprised and say, that's unbelievable.

CHETRY: It is, wow.

A little music news now. There are two new up and coming artists that are getting a lot of attention. One is hip-hop artist Lil Mama, whose single "Lip Gloss" is getting a lot of radio play. It actually hit stores today.

And also Esmee Denters, 20 million hits on YouTube. And that got her a record deal with Justin Timberlake.

AMERICAN MORNING's Lola Ogunnaike is here to talk more about this -- this new phenomenon that people can actually become YouTube stars and parlay that into box office and sometimes, here, record success.

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's so interesting, because before you had to toil on the concert circuit, hook up with the right A&R man at the record label. People are bypassing that, uploading their music online, and it's working for them.

Esmee Denters, 20 million hits on YouTube. Justin Timberlake signs her. She's his first artist on his new label, Tenman.

CHETRY: That's what it's called? All right. So what did he say about finding her here? How did he -- someone brought it to his attention?

OGUNNAIKE: He thinks she's amazing. She's giving you blue-eyed soul. Watch out Christina Aguilera. Watch out Joss Stone. Esmee Denters, she's a Dutch artist, but she might be over here soon enough to take those girls on.

CHETRY: It's pretty interesting, because a lot of the stars that we're watching moving up the charts are from reality shows, or in this case...

OGUNNAIKE: Absolutely.

CHETRY: ... user generated. All the people on "American Idol".

OGUNNAIKE: That's such a good point. People are bypassing the record labels, in fact. And they're deciding there's all these other, alternative ways to become stars. And you don't need to go through the system any more. You can create your own system and become a star.

CHETRY: And you actually had an interesting article here. It's actually in today's "New York Times".


CHETRY: About another up-and-comer, Lola, this little girl, Lil Mama.


CHETRY: Tell us about her.

OGUNNAIKE: I happen to write, as well, and I used to be a reporter at "The New York Times". And Lil Mama is going to be a huge star. Also another one who went the alternative route. I love her song. It's about lip gloss. It's a hit. I've got my lip gloss on. You've got yours on, too.

CHETRY: We always have it, right?

OGUNNAIKE: Exactly. And she's a hit. Huge, huge, huge on MySpace also, Nick's Tapes. Another one who went through alternative route. And people are saying move over Lil' Kim. It's all about Lil Mama right now.

CHETRY: It's funny, because you know, a lot of stars have their little -- music stars have their little thing that they pitch. And she claims she has 15 shades at least of just pink lip gloss.

OGUNNAIKE: It's so crazy. You know, Run-DMC had "My Adidas". And Busta Rhymes had Corbusier, the Corbusier.

And she's touting lip gloss. And she's got 15 shades: ultra pink, hot pink, sparkle pink, low pink, light pink, morning pink, night pink. And so -- and that's her thing.

But she's also really clear about being not about the curse words, not about the violence in her lyrics. She wants it to all be positive and fun.

She's only 17 years old. She's from Brooklyn. She's got a little sass, a little attitude, but she's a fun girl.

CHETRY: Very cute. And another one who was, you know, discovered in an unconventional way, as you're putting it.

OGUNNAIKE: Absolutely.

CHETRY: Lola, thanks.

Here's a quick look at what CNN NEWSROOM is working on for the top of the hour.


HARRIS (voice-over): See these stories in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Easing tensions? Presidents Bush and Putin sit down on the sidelines of the G-8 summit.

Trapped under a tree for hours. A man's decision changes his life.

And severe weather may be on the horizon. We're watching.

You're in the NEWSROOM, 9 Eastern, 6 Pacific.



ROBERTS: All this year CNN is introducing you to people making a difference in their communities. We call them "CNN Heroes". Today we want you to meet a young woman from Lesotho, Africa, who has made a big sacrifice to help some of the world's smallest and most forgotten citizens.

Nthabeleng Lephoto is today's "CNN Hero".


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just look at me.

NTHABELENG LEPHOTO, ACTIVIST: Personally, I've had people very close to me dying of HIV/AIDS. This stupid virus is tearing lives apart.

GRAPHIC: In Lesotho, Africa, almost one quarter of the population is HIV positive.

Nearly 100,000 children there have been orphaned due to AIDS. Source: UNICEF

LEPHOTO: My name is Nthabeleng Lephoto, coming from Touching Tiny Lives. We support orphaned and vulnerable infants. Our safehouse is for critically ill or in-need children.

GRAPHIC: Nthabeleng Lephoto, "Medical Marvel"

LEPHOTO: For us, it's -- babies come first. We have to give them medication even if sometimes they have to cry.

No, no, no, no.

But it's not just the medication. They start feeling loved.

I have to go.

Eighty percent of the children we help are in the rural areas.

We go to each individual household. We give them nutrition, like foodstuffs, packages and medication. We want to discuss their own problems where they feel free.

It's HIV/AIDS leaving the children with grandmothers. They shouldn't be doing this, but they have to.

I need to support these people. It's going to go on and on.

GRAPHIC: Since 2004, the Touching Tiny Lives safehouse has cared for 50 children. Its outreach program treats more than 70 children in Lesotho's remote areas. Source: Touching Tiny Lives

LEPHOTO: Believe me, there are times when I really say this is too much, but to see them smile, starting to enjoy life as it comes, makes me want to help more and more and more and more. If there's no Touching Tiny Lives, honestly, all these children that we have helped would have died.



ROBERTS: That's all for us on this AMERICAN MORNING. Thanks for joining us. See you tomorrow.

CHETRY: Right now, CNN NEWSROOM with Tony Harris and Heidi Collins starts.

HARRIS: And good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Heidi Collins. Hi, everybody. Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on this Thursday morning. It is June the 7th, and here's what's on the rundown.

Two missing girls. One story ends happily; the second does not. Suspects facing charges.

HARRIS: Tornado touchdown. Perfectly shaped and caught on tape in South Dakota. Take a look. We're watching for more severe weather today.

COLLINS: And dark clouds at the G-8 summit. Presidents Bush and Putin look for common ground when they meet moments from now.