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American Morning

Report on Iraq: What's Happening on the Ground; Terror Threat: Al Qaeda Inside the U.S.?; Trouble for McCain Campaign

Aired July 13, 2007 - 06:59   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): Face-off.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: The bill is passed.

ROBERTS: Democrats draw a new line on Iraq. The White House ready to return fire.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think Congress ought to be running the war. I think they ought to be funding our troops.

ROBERTS: What happens now?

Plus, fire and rain, flooding and a typhoon. Extreme weather around the world on this AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: And good morning to you. It is Friday, the 13th of July. Be careful what you do today.

I'm John Roberts, along with Kiran Chetry. Good to have you with us today.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: I dropped a mirror in the green room.


CHETRY: It didn't break. It did not break. It would have been a bad day.


CHETRY: Well, while Congress debates and looks over the president's report on Iraq, what is the situation on the ground there?

CNN's Michael Ware is live in Baghdad.

And I know it must drive you crazy. You hear all these politicians here in the states weighing in on both sides of the issue.

You're there. What are you seeing?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's always good to hear from the armchair generals, that's true, Kiran.

Well, put it this way: if America wants to withdrawal by April 2008 -- and I can understand the publicly mood for that -- moms and dads are sick of having to send their children to this war, and they're even more mortified of having to receive them home in worst conditions than what they sent them to Iraq in. Nonetheless, if America wants to withdraw, certainly by 2008, then it must be ready for the history books to record that as an ignominious defeat in the war in Iraq.

Plus, America must be prepared to shoulder international blame for what will follow. Indeed, even before all U.S. troops are out of this country, as a phased withdrawal were to unfold in the current environment, once you drop American forces from the 160,000 in Iraq currently now to anything less than 100,000, 80,000, that means essentially their going to be restricted to their bases, unable to do anything but protect themselves.

And honestly, that could mean the blood would be flowing right outside the razor wire. If America is prepared to pay the prices like that, and the emboldening of Iran and al Qaeda, then, sure, America can pull out.

CHETRY: Interesting, though, because you talk about being ready to bear international blame. What about international responsibility as well? I mean, there's been talk and there's been suggestions, including, I believe, in that Iraq Study Group report, about getting some of these other countries in the fold to help make sure that doesn't happen.

WARE: Yes. Well, right now, it's almost in no one's interest to assist America in this regard.

The situation in Iraq has become such that I would imagine it would be very, very difficult for any politician to sell to his domestic audience, be it in Europe or be it elsewhere, involvement in what would essentially be the stain of Iraq. Plus, if you start chipping in now to this effort, you're really chipping in at the wrong end.

Remember, there was a whole coalition of the willing in the beginning of this war. And we saw, one by one, they fall away as attacks intensified on their forces in this country, no matter how large or how small their contingents were. And you saw the public reaction back home.

I'm afraid we're past the point where anyone is going to be sticking up their hands to help.

CHETRY: Michael Ware for us in Baghdad.

Thank you.

We're also going to talk more about Iraq with two congressional leaders this morning. Rahm Emanuel, he's the House Democratic Caucus leader. He's going to be joining us later this hour. And so will Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell. He'll be with us in the 8:00 hour.

ROBERTS: More details are emerging from a leaked classified intelligence report about the strength of al Qaeda. Sources tell CNN the report shows that al Qaeda has increased efforts to get terrorists inside the United States and has nearly all of the needs to make it happen.

So just how real is the threat?

CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen joins us now from Washington.

Peter, what do you say about how real it is?

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I mean, the threat from al Qaeda has been real, you know, for over a decade now, John. Certainly, it's no surprise that they have a strong interest in continuing to try to attack the United States. They certainly regrouped along the Afghan-Pakistan border. They can certainly attack, as you know, in London, on July 7th, 2005, killing 52 people. They can -- they tried to bring down 10 American airliners in the summer of 2006.

I don't think they're at the point where they were in on September 11, 2001, where they essentially controlled the whole country, Afghanistan. They had thousands of people in their training camps, and they were able to pull off 9/11. But they're certainly back at the point where they were, I think, in perhaps late 2000, where, John, you may remember the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, where they killed 17 American sailors.

The London attack on July 7, 2005 looked similar to me to the Cole attack in the sense that it took about a year to plan, it was thousands of miles from their base on the Afghan-Pakistan border, and it was a success.

ROBERTS: All right, Peter. You'll join us in the half hour and we will talk more about this?


ROBERTS: See you soon? All right.



ROBERTS: The man at the center of a tuberculosis scare is now in the middle of a class action suit.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta watching that.

Good morning, Sanjay.


And there is a class action lawsuit. One of the people in the class action lawsuit that's filing the suit, a 72-year-old Canadian who actually tested positive for TB as well. And that's confusing things a little bit more. It's hard to say whether or not he actually got tuberculosis from Andrew Speaker, which is the question.

I'll tell you a couple of things. We've talked to lots of researchers in the TB community. They say that's highly unlikely simply because of timing.

His positive TB test was just six days after the flight with Andrew Speaker. Many people say that is simply too early. And it's also -- I'm going to explain these TB tests and whether or not he actually has active tuberculosis at all.

I'll explain all that to you in about a half an hour.

ROBERTS: Sanjay, we'll see you then. Thanks very much.

The Dow opens this morning with its biggest point gain in nearly five years.

Ali Velshi on that.

A good Friday the 13th for investors, but is this going to be a day of profit-taking, do you think?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, interesting. It might have been.

The futures were looking a little lower, but right now we just got earnings in from General Electric, the second biggest company in America. Exxon Mobil being the first. General Electric's earnings are up about nine percent, and that's one of the things the market was looking for. So we might have another good day.

Unless you're under a rock, you know that the Dow was up 283 points or something, the biggest point gain in almost five years, the biggest percentage gain in almost three years, the 50th record close in nine months. A fantastic day across the board.

S&P at a new record, Dow at a new record. But what you want to do is get into work this morning, check your portfolio and see if it looks like this.

This is the year-to-date return on the Dow, the S&P and the Nasdaq -- 11.2 percent on the Dow, 9.1 percent on the S&P 500, 11.8 on the Nasdaq. John, those are better returns than the entire stock market has done in some years. Much better in some cases.

So look at that, see if your portfolio is doing as well as it is, and consider taking, as you say, some profits.

ROBERTS: Yes, but, you know, a few bad days can wipe that all out.

VELSHI: That's absolutely right.

ROBERTS: Ali, thanks very much.

What do they say? A bull market never lets you in and a bear market never lets you out -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, there's some new trouble for Senator John McCain and his campaign. CNN confirming that his campaign only has $250,000 left in the bank.

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for the one- time Republican frontrunner, this news: his Florida campaign co-chair charged with soliciting sex from a male undercover police officer.

So what does John McCain do? Well, he heads to New Hampshire, and that's where we find CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley. She is live in Concord for us this morning.

Candy, good to see you.


CHETRY: What is McCain's survival strategy at this point?

CROWLEY: Well, his survival strategy is to narrow his presidential bid down to three states: New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina. It's also to go back to those issues that were so successful for him, at least in the short term, in 2000, when he made that challenge actually here in New Hampshire to President Bush. So, matters of reform, of shaping up the government.

So he will return to those issues and try to kind of winnow down the states that he pays attention to.

CHETRY: You know, it really made headlines, though, $250,000. I mean, when -- is all they have left in the campaign. When do they get an infusion of money?

CROWLEY: Well, I mean, that's really the problem, because money sort of begets other money. So when you start out with not very much, it is hard to attract donors, because if they're looking at a campaign and they're thinking, OK, this is a downward spiral, they may not want to put $2,300 into the McCain campaign. So they're going to have to work very, very hard to get this thing back on track.

CHETRY: Let's switch topics, talk a little bit about the Bill and Hillary show.

You'll be on the road with them. The duo was very successful in Iowa. Can we expect that Bill Clinton, the former president, will be traveling around the country with his wife?

CROWLEY: I think they're going to use him judiciously. They have done one trip to Iowa last week on July 4th. They're doing this one day here in New Hampshire together.

They have to be careful here in the Clinton campaign. They don't want him to overshadow her. They don't want -- want it to look as though she leans on him for his popularity to draw the crowds in.

So, yes, they're going to use him, but they're not going to use him constantly. He is, in fact, back to his business of the day when he gets finished here today in New Hampshire.

CHETRY: All right.

Candy Crowley, thanks so much.





ROBERTS: All were invited but not all attended. The NAACP hosted a forum in Detroit on Thursday in non-debate format, featuring all of the Democratic candidates, but only one Republican showed up.

Joining us now is CNN contributor Roland Martin. He is the host of "The Roland Martin Radio Show". This segment being simulcast on WVON Radio.

Good morning to you, Roland.


ROBERTS: Big moment for Obama yesterday?

MARTIN: Oh, huge. His camp was extremely pleased.

He came out very passionate, he really responded to the crowd. A far cry, of course, from the debate at Howard University, where many people were very critical of his performance, including myself, because he really did not connect with the audience.

A whole different story on yesterday. And it also marks in essence a turning point, because many people, African-Americans, were really saying, well, wait a minute, you know, he is being so careful. And I think you're going to see a different Obama on the campaign trail because, although he has, you know, raised a lot of money, he still -- you know, turns (ph) behind in the polls. So he knows that he also has to take chances and step out there a little bit more.

ROBERTS: In fact, let's take a quick look at the poll. He still lags way behind Hillary Clinton, 52 to 36 percent, which is why he's really trying to appeal to African-American -- an African-American audience. That's registered black Democrats, by the way, who were asked this question.

Take a quick listen to what he said yesterday and let me get your reaction to it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When millions of children start off in the race of life so far behind, only because of race, only because of plans, that is a betrayal of our ideals. That's not just an African-American problem, that is an American problem.


ROBERTS: So, Roland, African-Americans have been somewhat skeptical of Obama because he doesn't exactly share the typical background. His father was Kenyan, his mother is white. They don't necessarily know that he reflects the upbringing they had.

Is he closing that gap?

MARTIN: Well, he is closing the gap, because the polls were even wider, frankly, back in February.

Again, the difference is Senator Hillary Clinton. She has been on the national stage since 1992, a 15-year span. Whereas, Obama has been on the national stage really since his speech in 2004, but, frankly, only for about six to nine months. And so African-Americans across the country are getting to know his story, who he is.

And so, what his goal, is to say, look, this is what I have done as a state senator, as someone who's a grassroots activist, as a civil rights attorney. That's what he is trying to do. That's why I think you're seeing an increase in his numbers.

ROBERTS: There was only one Republican candidate that showed up. That was Tom Tancredo of Colorado.

Here is what he said when he hit the stage.


REP. TOM TANCREDO (R), COLORADO: Do you think we should wait a few minutes to see if these other guys showed up?


ROBERTS: And nobody else showed up, even though Rudy Giuliani was in the state.

Now, President Bush has only addressed the NAACP convention once. But what do you make of this idea that nine of the 10 Republican candidates took a pass on this convention?

MARTIN: Of course, conservatives won't like this, but the bottom line is, the GOP, they're scared of black folks. I mean, it's as if they can't even talk to them.

Now, although Bush has only spoken to the NAACP once since he's been president, he has spoken to the National Urban League on several occasions. And even they are having a difficult time trying to get the Republicans to commit coming to their conference in St. Louis later this month.

I thought this was a perfect opportunity for a candidate like Mitt Romney. Rudy Giuliani, he has a terrible history with black folks in New York, so there was no doubt he was going to ignore the NAACP. But Romney's more of a moderate.

ROBERTS: Hey, Roland, let me just play devil's advocate here. They are afraid of African-Americans, or do they just think that the NAACP has been sort of historically hostile to Republicans?

MARTIN: No, no, because over time, when you look at Republicans in terms of the ability to reach out to African-Americans, that is sort of this apprehension there. Of course there's history there.

The whole southern strategy, Richard Nixon in terms of trying to ignore black voters, appeal to white voters in the South. And so that was part of their strategy. Ken Mehlman, when he ran the RNC, he apologized for it.

Not only that. One of the reasons they recruited George W. Bush in 2000 was because his whole notion on the compassionate conservative.

The reason they lost in 1998 the midterm election is because namely white female voters in the suburbs did not like the hard line by Newt Gingrich and his supporters. And so they said we want a softer candidate. So that's one of the reasons why you have the compassionate conservative.

Republicans have always had a difficulty in trying to speak to African-Americans. And let me tell you, John, issues like immigration, which Republicans are against, nine out of 10 of my callers will be absolutely against it.

The issue of education, the issue of gay marriage, there are issues there the Republicans can dialogue on. But you can't continue to say, well, we want to reach out to black voters, we don't want them simply voting Democrat, but then you never talk to them.

So you have to cross that line. And so, frankly, not talking to them makes no sense. That was an opportunity that they lost.

ROBERTS: Right. Well, it was interesting to see Tancredo on the stage. He had the forum to himself.

MARTIN: Well, again -- absolutely.

ROBERTS: Roland, always good to see you. Thanks.

MARTIN: All right. Thanks, John. I appreciate it.



(NEWSBREAK) ROBERTS: Well, Miss New Jersey, the blackmailed beauty queen, decides to make some private photos public. And then our Jeanne Moos took them around town. She has more on beauty and the blackmailer.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Uh-oh. Another beauty queen photo scandal.

Exhibit A.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a girl having fun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doesn't look good. At all.

MOOS: But this pageant scandal had a twist.

AMY POLUMBO: I'm presently the victim of blackmail and possible extortion.

MOOS: Someone sent private photos of Miss New Jersey to pageant officials and Miss New Jersey, herself, Amy Polumbo. Saying she should surrender her crown or the photos would be make public.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not a big deal. And only in America would we make a scandal out of such nonsense.

MOOS: Miss New Jersey had originally posted the nonsense on her private Facebook page. Next thing you know, she's on the Today Show calling the blackmailers bluff by tearfully going public with the pictures.

POLUMBO: I feel sick to my stomach. I really do.

MOOS: She described the photos at silly college fun.

Her friends were kidding her that she's flat. So she's playing with these pumpkins. And was the leggy one, taken in a limo.

MOOS: For all we know, though, she's just falling back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know about Jersey girls.

MOOS: What's that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know about Jersey girls.

MOOS: This is actually the worst. That's her boyfriend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one here, because it's actually, you know, something is in the mouth. That is probably where I would draw the line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't need anymore Nicole Ritchies or Paris Hiltons. We need people that are going to be respectable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anyway, I don't think the crown should be taken away for things this foolish.

MOOS: Do you have pictures like at home?


MOOS: Not too personal for this woman, who says she has pictures of what she calls, her twins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know, I have to introduce America to the twins.

MOOS: Twin peaks aside, in order to compete for the Miss America title, Amy Polumbo needed to keep her Miss New Jersey crown. And the pageant board had to decide, based on these photos. Not these photos, these were published by the "New York Daily News," but they got the wrong girl.

The one they circled was a friend of Miss New Jersey's. Hours after the Today Show first broadcast the real pictures, New Jersey pageant officials made their ruling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amy Polumbo should continue her reign as Miss New Jersey.

MOOS: Miss New Jersey apologized for the trouble the photos had caused. As for the ruling...

POLUMBO: It was absolutely relieving. I feel like I've been crowned again.

MOOS: And just so you don't miss anything about Miss New Jersey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think it's that bad.

MOOS: Better put on your glasses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not good.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CHETRY: Everything looks better when you don't have your glasses on, right?

But you know the other interesting thing? We talk about these as being private photos. She had uploaded them on to Facebook, which is one of those sharing sites. Only your friend supposedly can get on, but you see what happens.

ROBERTS: Yes. Only your friends can read your e-mail, too. We all know about that. Oops.

A lesson for the future.

A secret intelligence report says al Qaeda is stepping up efforts to get terrorists inside the United States. How real is that threat?

CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen joins us next coming up on AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: A beautiful shot this morning. That is a WFAA shot of Dallas/Fort Worth. Doesn't it look gorgeous there, John? It's 80 degrees right now.

ROBERTS: It's a lovely kind of partially cloudy sky there. The sun starting to come up. What is the high going to be today?

CHETRY: Uh, 87, so only going up seven degrees. It's a dry heat.

ROBERTS: It's a dry heat. That's the good thing about it.

Good morning to you. It's Friday the 13th of July. I'm John Roberts, along with Kiran Chetry.

CHETRY: You know the word of the day, our producer, Alex, e- mailed us this morning. And said the word of the day is -- and how do you pronounce that?

ROBERTS: Paraskevidekatriaphopia.

CHETRY: That is a fear of the day, Friday the 13th. He was just sending out a friendly little warning for those of us, you know, be aware. Today's the day. If you're scared of this, don't leave the house.

ROBERTS: Now, if you can't remember paraskevidekatriaphobia --

CHETRY: The word I pronounced it, para-skeva - deka -tera.


ROBERTS: Paraska -- Paraska vidicka - triaphopia. Oh, whatever. You can also call it phrigadiskadecaphopia (ph), or just triskadecaphobia (ph).

CHETRY: That is just the fear of number 13.


CHETRY: If you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't have it!



CHETRY: Right.

ROBERTS: And new problems for Andrew Speaker today. The young attorney with tuberculosis who sparked that worldwide health alert, people who flew on the same plane as Speaker, are now filing lawsuits against him.

CHETRY: Even though none of them came down with TB. Very confusing. We will talk about that later with Sanjay Gupta.

In the meantime, our top story this morning, the Democratic- controlled House has voted to withdrawal U.S. combat troops by next spring. A showdown with the president who says Congress should stick to funding the war, not managing it. The bill passed last night, mostly along party lines, in the House and requires troops to begin withdrawing within four months and have that withdrawal be complete by April 1, 2008.

The House bill is unlikely to survive a Republican filibuster in the Senate. And even if it does, President Bush has promised a veto. What now? We're going to talk with leaders of both parties. Congressman Rahm Emmanuel and as well as Senator Mitch McConnell, both of them coming up a little bit later.

We have a follow up for you now. Homeland Security says that a passenger that was pulled off of an American Airlines flight yesterday never posed an actual threat. A flight attendant thought the passenger bypassed security by riding an employee bus to the plane. Although security footage then confirmed from LAX he had passed through all of the required checkpoints.

A typhoon is hitting Japan right now. Check out this amazing iReport video. It's just in, and coming to us from Okinawa. Violent winds and heavy rain flipped over trucks and knocked down trees and power lines. Hundreds of flights grounded.

Remembering Lady Bird Johnson, the former first lady will lie in repose this morning at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas. A private funeral will be held for Mrs. Johnson tomorrow. Laura and Barbara Bush will both attend.

Now new worries about the threat of Al Qaeda here at home. A leaked classified intelligence report shows Al Qaeda has increased efforts to get terrorists inside the United States, and now has nearly all that it needs to make it happen. The head of homeland security that said -- has said he has a gut feeling there could be an attack this summer. What does it all mean? Peter Bergen joins us from Washington.

Should we be surprised at this estimate?

PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: I don't think so. I think a lot of the information in the estimate, or supposed to be in the estimate, has been out there a long time. I think the beginning of July 7, 2005 the attack in London within about a month it was clear that Al Qaeda had some involvement and become clearer over time that Al Qaeda directed the operation.

And I think that anybody paying attention to it is -- saw that attack which killed people as pretty good evidence that Al Qaeda had regrouped to the point where it could reach out many thousands of miles from its base on the Afghan/Pakistan events and the events in Afghanistan where you see the rise in suicide attacks and IED attacks, the events in Iraq, where Al Qaeda in Iraq continues to play an important role, and other indicators of Al Qaeda sort of regrouping.

People within the government and outside the government have been following -- have certainly felt that Al Qaeda was regrouping.

ROBERTS: What you've cited there are episodes of bombing attacks. What is Al Qaeda capable of here? The NIE says they are still trying to get chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons.

BERGEN: Well, they've been wanting to do that for a long time, John. I mean, it's one thing for terrorists to want to get nuclear weapons, but it's quite another to get them. I mean, states like Iran and Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, spent years and 100s of millions of dollars trying to get nuclear weapons, hitherto without success. So for a terrorist group to get nuclear weapons is improbable, at least in the near term.

Chemical, biological weapons are much more plausible. Could Al Qaeda deploy those weapons in the United States? They have to get the people into the United States with those weapons to either bring them in or assemble them here. And that's, you know, that's a high bar still. It's very hard to get into the country relative to the period before 9/11. And I'm not convinced there are Al Qaeda sleeper cells here in this country. If they exist, they're so asleep they're effectively dead. They've done nothing for the past six years.

ROBERTS: Peter, according to the Associated Press, the NIE says here is the reason why Al Qaeda has been able to regroup. It says the terror group has been able to restore three of the four key tools that it would need to launch an attack on the U.S.

A safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas, operational lieutenants, and senior leaders. How critical is this safe haven that the NIE talks about in Pakistan?

BERGEN: I think it's absolutely critical, John. I mean, without -- if you look in the pre-9/11 era without Afghanistan a safe haven and a training camp Al Qaeda could not have really accomplished what it did on 9/11.

Similarly, the tribal areas of Pakistan are a safe haven. It's not quite the same as they had in the pre-9/11 era, in Afghanistan. They don't have training camps with thousands of people going through them, but they certainly have training camps where 20 people are training. The kinds of training camps that the London plotters of July 7, 2005 trained in.

So, the fact that they have this safe haven, that is, to me is the absolute critical element. And that safe haven I don't think is going away any time soon.

ROBERTS: And quickly, Peter. Even if it did, is it already too late?

BERGEN: Well, it might be. It's hard to tell, John. ROBERTS: All right. Peter Bergen for us this morning in Washington. Peter, thanks.

BERGEN: Thank you.

CHETRY: The man at the center of a TB scare has a whole new set of problems this morning, at least possibly.

ROBERTS: Yes, absolutely. First of all, he got picked up, right? He got thrown in isolation and people were wonder was he going to launch a lawsuit against the CDC? The tables are turned. He is being sued by people who say he put their safety at risk. Doctor Sanjay Gupta joins us now with more.

What is this all about, Sanjay?

CHETRY: There's a class action lawsuit going on, basically filed against Andrew Speaker, the man at the heart of all this. Out of those eight people, one person, a 72-year-old Canadian actually does have a positive TV test now as well. The question is did Andrew Speaker give him tuberculosis?

We've been investigating this; doing some homework on this.

The answer seems to be very, very unlikely that Andrew Speaker gave him the TB. For one critical reason, that critical reason is timing. I just want to quickly tell you that the flight in question was on May 24th into Montreal. This man, who had his test, it was done on May 30th, that's just six days later.

Typically -- and this is important -- it takes at least two weeks for a test to become positive after an exposure. So it is very possible this man had previous exposure sometime. He's had a TV test that's positive now because of that, it has no relation to Andrew Speaker. So this seems unlikely that this man got TB from Andrew Speaker.

CHETRY: Yes, so the other question is, what about the others. Even if this one person does, can you sign onto a lawsuit and sue somebody for something along these lines, when you don't actually have the illness?

GUPTA: Yeah, you know, I mean, we've looked at the lawsuit as well. Some of it is based on some of the psychological trauma people had to endure in terms of getting tests and worrying about this. We may not know for sometime whether any of these people have contracted TB. And, if so, if it was from Andrew Speaker.

Typically, you know, I mentioned the two weeks -- in terms of, for a test to turn positive. Usually at about two months or so you'll know if the tests are still negative that in fact there was no exposure. So, it will take a little bit of time, but we're coming up on two months pretty quickly here.

ROBERTS: This is an interesting case to watch because of course, Andrew Speaker and his father, both personal injury attorneys. So they know the ins and outs of this type of suit.

Doctor Gupta, thanks. We'll see you back a little later on this morning.

GUPTA: All right.

CHETRY: A lot of coincidence as his father-in-law also worked for the CDC.

ROBERTS: Yes, it's sort of the story that keeps on giving.

ROBERTS: Hey, the House votes to pull troops out of Iraq. The bill faces uphill climb in the Senate. Where do we go from here? We are talking with the chairman of the Democratic Caucus next on AMERICAN MORNING.


CHETRY: A new legal fight nearly six years after the 9/11 attacks, your "Quick Hits" now. The first of 41 cases heads to court in September. Most involved people who turn down compensation from the 9/11 victims fund.

Well, it will take a serious verbal threat to get arrested from now on at a Canadian airport. Transportation Safety officials want screeners to use more discretion when alerting police about threatening remarks.

In the meantime, police in Britain letting crime fighters -- crime fighting, rather go to their heads. Officers will be outfitted with a head-mounted video camera and they'll be able to capture evidence from things like accidents to arrests. The officers will be required to wear a sign that says, "I am video recording you." Just to be clear.

ROBERTS: It's 43 minutes after the hour. Chad Myers looking after the extreme weather now.


CHETRY: Raising the stakes on Iraq. The House has voted to pull U.S. troops out by next April. It comes as President Bush says that Congress should stick to funding the war, not running it.

Illinois Congressman Rahm Emmanuel chairs the Democratic Caucus, and he joins us now from Capitol Hill.

Thanks for being with us, Congressman.


CHETRY: So, the bill was passed mostly along party lines and the president has threatened a veto. Did it accomplish anything in your mind?

EMANUEL: Yes. First of all, look. We've gone basically four and a half years of a war effort without any congressional oversight. And even the benchmarks that you evaluated yesterday were because Congress imposed some kind of grid on the president and said are we making progress, and meeting any of the needs?

The president's remarks yesterday, all Congress should do is write a blank check. We've tried that for four and a half years, and now we got the results in Iraq. And Congress is doing its job in this effort, setting clear markers, and clear timelines so the administration will start achieving what we need to achieve. And our goal is to redeploy from Iraq and focus on fighting Al Qaeda, rather than policing a civil war between Sunni and Shia.

CHETRY: But what good does it do if it doesn't get out of the House.

EMANUEL: Well, it can get out of the House.

CHETRY: What I'm asking is -- well, the Senate is going to filibuster it, so it is not going to move any further than that. Why not try to do something maybe a little more bipartisan, like it appears the Senate is at least trying to do by bringing some GOP into the fold about timelines?

EMANUEL: First of all, a lot of Republicans have talked about, the time has come, for an end to this war, for redeploying from Iraq. This sets clear goals to that. We're going to come back next week with something to deal with -- no permanent basis, or the following week.

Every week, we're going to be clear about making sure there are some benchmarks, some timelines, specifically, and altering the policy. Because every day we spend in Iraq, remember, we've been at this for four and a half years. And 3600 American lives; $500 billion, and 25,000 Americans lost their lives. The president yesterday said we're at the starting line. If that's the price to get to the starting line, then what is the price to get to the finish line?

CHETRY: I want you to listen to Brigadier General Jim Huggins, he's a top commander on the field and he spoke with us yesterday about the surge. Let's listen.


BRIG. GEN. JIM HUGGINS, DEPUTY COMMANDING GEN., IRAQ: The surge began on 15 June, in full earnest. I believe we need a few more months to determine the effectiveness of that surge. It's too early to tell, but it's also too early to say it won't work.


CHETRY: He's saying give it a chance, June 15.

EMANUEL: Well, first of all, as I know you know, this is the fourth escalation we've had, not the first. Each of them have met with the same -- not only increased violence, but the lack of political adhesion in Iraq. In fact, Sunni and Shiite are continuing to do what they're doing. We are not dealing with Al Qaeda. We are policing a civil war. That does not strengthen us.

At the very time we've been bogged down in Iraq we then get a report that Al Qaeda is stronger than ever in the Afghan/Pakistan border. That means that our focus, our energy, and our resources are not doing what they're supposed to do to fight the war on terror. And that is the complaint we have, which is let's redeploy from Iraq and fight Al Qaeda where we have to do. And bring both stability and security to the overall Middle East rather than draining our resources into a civil war that has been going on and making America weaker, not stronger, in the effort to fight terrorism.

CHETRY: It doesn't seem many have come up to a plan. Do the Democrats have one with what happens what is left behind in Iraq when and -- well, pretty much when -- the U.S. leaves?

EMANUEL: Right. Well, first of all, I appreciate that point. Because, look, staying longer has consequences and it debilitates America. Leaving also has consequences. Nobody is saying these are cost-free. President Kennedy used to say, "To govern is to choose between bad and worse". Realizing there are all consequences here.

The question you have to ask yourself, knowing full well that if you leave there are consequences, staying, what are the cons? Weighing that, those of us believe we should redeploy and leave a force that fights Al Qaeda but redirect America's efforts in that region for a diplomatic effort that brings both stability and focuses our efforts on fighting terrorism.

We are being pulled into a civil war. And as long as we are there, at that level, between Sunni and Shiite and the battles they are having, they have not made any progress on the political front. Remember the entire effort here was to -- on the escalation -- was to create a space for a political combination between the two parties. And none of that -- if you look at the benchmarks -- was achieved.

CHETRY: All right, we're --

EMANUEL: So the question is, how long do you want to continue to do that after four and half years, where no progress has been made on political combination and, in fact, the goal looks farther rather than nearer in accomplishment?

CHETRY: Congressman Rahm Emanuel, thank you for your point of view this morning.

EMANUEL: Thanks.

CHETRY: Also in our next hour we're going to hear the other side. We'll be talking with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a few minutes.

ROBERTS: Coming up now on 50 minutes after the house. All those winnings from the stock market maybe going to pay for higher house payments. Mortgage rates on the rise again. More on that coming up next on AMERICAN MORNING.


Free music tops our "Quick Hits" now. If you happen to be in London this weekend you can pick up the new Prince CD for free. Or at least the cost of a Sunday paper. The full-length CD will be given away with each copy of the "Daily Mail" which costs just a few bucks.

Teen sex topping our "Quick Hits" now. It's good news. It's a report saying that fewer teens are having sex, and when they are, more of them are using condoms. Health officials say the teen birth rate has hit a record low. They've also seen a drop in sexually transmitted diseases. And they say more teens are completing high school.

Some of those teens maybe should head to New York. Because there's this off-Broadway show, "My First Time" and they're giving away free tickets to virgins. A hypnotist will also apparently be on hand to make sure that people are in fact telling the truth when they say that they're virgins.

ALI VELSHI, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Do not segue to me at this point!

CHETRY: And now, Ali Velshi.

VELSHI: Do you have another story in the middle there?

ROBERTS: A brief pause.

VELSHI: Thank you.

ROBERTS: It's 53 minutes after the hour. Ali is here "Minding Your Business". Mortgage rates on the way up to take away some of the profits people are making on the stock market.


On the one side we're looking at these record stock gains, the other side we're looking at a 30-year mortgage rate that is now up to 6.73 percent. Which is just -- 6.74, is the highest it's been all year. This is exactly where mortgage rates were a year ago.

Now, you know, there's all sorts of mortgages, but the 30-year is the benchmark by which we judge these things. That money is coming out of your pocket on the other side, in many cases, if you're refinancing.

We have seen a trend already about people going more toward their credit cards and overdrafts and higher interest. The average credit card is running over 13 percent interest, if you carry a balance.

The question now becomes what kind of debt do you have? Is it good debt or is it bad debt? And how do you judge that? We know that Americans have no savings rate at all, but if you got a mortgage on a home that's appreciating, that's not bad debt. It's tax deductible and you're getting some equity. But what if that house is depreciating in price? What if your money and your is on credit cards and they're going up month by month? And you're not cutting into that debt?

We will have a big discussion about that, this weekend, on the show that I do on Saturday and Sunday. It's called "Your Money." Saturday at 1:00, Sunday at 3:00. It's a big concern for people. Is your debt the right kind of debt? And how do you get out of it?

CHETRY: See, all this time I thought it was "Your S-S-S-S-S".

VELSHI: Or "Your 5 Bucks? Or "Your 5 $"


VELSHI: Call it whatever you like.

CHETRY: No, it' "Your Money". It's a great show, actually, Ali. Thank you. We'll see you in a couple of minutes now.

Well, he's soccer's biggest celebrity and now he's finally here in the U.S. David Beckham and his wife Victoria, also known as Posh Spice, go Hollywood. And Hollywood certainly goes to meet them. A rush of paparazzi all trying to snap the picture of the newly transplanted British royals. We're going to meet them, coming up in the next hour.


ROBERTS: Cooler heads have prevailed in the case of a cow who was ticketed for mooing too loudly. The prosecutor decided not to go after the owner of Wally, a 900-pound cow from Minnesota. The beef started when a neighbor complained about how much Wally was mooing.

An old lady with a lot of cats, a Chinese animal activist is urging Chinese citizens to care for cats. She is using herself as an example. She only has 1200 of them.

And one of India's best known magicians is opening his own version of Hogwart's Academy. P.C. Sourcard, Jr. (ph), says he wants to keep the tradition of Indian magic alive, so he's offering a master's degree in magic, at a private school.

What a get-up.

Among Sourcard's biggest tricks? Making the Taj Mahal disappear.

CHETRY: Good thing he brought it back. One of the new wonders. Can't loose that.

The next hour of AMERICAN MORNING starts right now.


ROBERTS (voice over): Washington showdown.


ROBERTS: Democrats launch a new fight over Iraq and vote to bring the troops home.

REP. RAHM EMANUEL (D) ILLINOIS: Our goal as to redeploy from Iraq and focus on fighting Al Qaeda.

ROBERTS: The White House readies for a fight and another possible veto.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think Congress ought to be running the war. I think they ought to be funding our troops.

ROBERTS: A new front in the battle between the war and politics on this AMERICAN MORNING.


ROBERTS: Good morning to you. Thanks for joining us. It is Friday, the 13th of July. I'm John Roberts along with Kiran Chetry.

CHETRY: Good to see you.

On our radar this morning: America's newest idols they're waking up in California this morning. Boy, what a show. David and Victoria Beckham, you know, he's the huge soccer star in Europe and she is a former Spice Girl. They are officially living in America now. They arrived in L.A. last night amid a crush of paparazzi.

There are a lot of high hopes for David Beckham, that he is actually going to change the face of American soccer.

ROBERTS: But it may be over for him because he is on the cover of "Sports Illustrated" and we all know about that famous "Sports Illustrated" curse.

CHETRY: You're on the cover, boom.

ROBERTS: The career's over.

And it's a rough day for one local television reporter.