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American Morning

Obama Toughens Tone on Iran; Obama Sending Ambassador Back to Syria; New Details on the Mysterious Whereabouts of South Carolina's Governor; Another Trillion for Health Care?; Technology Helping Tehran Track Its Citizens; Torching Cars for Insurance Cash

Aired June 24, 2009 - 07:00   ET


ROBERTS: Good morning. Thanks very much for being with us.

It is Wednesday. It's the twenty-fourth of June. You're watching the Most News in the Morning. I'm John Roberts.

CHETRY: And I'm Kiran Chetry. Glad you're with us.

We're coming up on 7:00 here in New York.

Here's what's on the agenda. These are the big stories we're going to be braking down for you in the next 15 minutes.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is making his first public appearance in Iran since the violent crackdown when all the protest broke out. President Ahmadinejad has appeared in Russia since the controversial election.

Here in the U.S., President Obama is now lashing out at the Islamic Republic saying that he's appalled and outrage by the post-election violence.

The mystery of South Carolina's missing governor is growing this morning. CNN track down a state SUV that we believed Governor Mark Sanford was using at the airport in Columbia, South Carolina. But we're also getting reports, another state vehicle tied to Sanford is at the airport in Atlanta.

CHETRY: And we'll be looking at that more this morning.

Also, are your kids going to need federal loans for college? For a lot of us, the answer is yes. For a lot of us here, the answer is yes.

Well, the mountain of paperwork to apply that was about to get a lot smaller. The Department of Education is getting set to unveil a new and much shorter form later today. This is designed to make it easier.

These fixes include dropping of obscure questions or just making the mind-numbing language a bit easier to understand.

ROBERTS: We begin this morning with the crisis and violent clashes in Iran. We are monitoring all of the latest developments coming out of Iran from our correspondents around the world and on all the social networks all morning. And this morning we are hearing the strongest condemnation yet from President Obama on the bloody crackdown.

For the very first time, he addressed the shocking video of an Iranian girl, who apparently was shot and died in someone's arms in the streets. The woman named Neda has become a powerful symbol of the uprising.

The president spoke directly to our Suzanne Malveaux about this, and Suzanne joins us now. So, there were so many people who are criticizing him, Suzanne, for the past week saying he just wasn't being strong enough. Lindsey Graham came out quite strongly in criticizing him on Sunday, and now we see this change of tone a couple of days later.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, you're absolutely right. He definitely hardened his position, his language against the Iranian regime. The president laughed, however, at the suggestion that it was a reaction to conservatives who had been criticizing him. Aides say that they saw, what they saw on the ground in Iran definitely provoked a response. I had a chance to ask him about when it came to that young woman who died on the street, Neda, as well.


MALVEAUX (voice-over): Tough new language from President Obama on Iran's crackdown on demonstrators.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions.

MALVEAUX: The president denied that his remarks were any different, following criticism from some Republicans who accused him of being soft on the Iranian regime.

OBAMA: We've been very consistent the first day, and we're going to continue to be consistent in saying this is not an issue about the United States.

MALVEAUX: Mr. Obama specifically dismissed criticism from his former presidential challenger, John McCain.

OBAMA: I think that all of us share a belief that we want justice to prevail. But only I'm the president of the United States.

MALVEAUX: And as president, Mr. Obama did weigh in on Iran's elections.

OBAMA: There is significant questions about the legitimacy of the election.

MALVEAUX: Mr. Obama also got emotional over the video of Neda, a demonstrator apparently killed on the street, who has become a symbol of the Iranian protest movement.

(on camera): Have you seen this video?

OBAMA: I have.

MALVEAUX: What's your reaction?

OBAMA: It's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking and I think that anybody who sees it knows that there's something fundamentally unjust about that.


MALVEAUX: John, the president also admitted essentially that talks with Iran over nuclear threat or any kind of other issues essentially are on hold until they figure out what is happening on the ground with this election. So one senior administration official put it their essentially on ice -- John.

ROBERTS: Suzanne Malveaux for us from the White House this morning. Suzanne, thanks so much for that.

CHETRY: Also new this morning, for the first time in four years, President Obama is sending an ambassador back to Syria. That announcement is expected later this week.

The country has been accused of assassinating popular Lebanese leader. It also borders Iraq, has a strategic alliance with Iran. One senior administration official telling CNN it's in our interest to have someone there to engage. Our Jill Dougherty is live at the State Department this morning with more on really what this could mean in the broader picture.

Hi there, Jill.


You know, it's a really interesting development. We did talk with the Syrian ambassador to the United States. He said that they haven't been formally notified, but he thinks it would be very good. Good for the U.S., good for Syria, and good for the region.

Now the U.S. official who spoke with CNN said that they really need somebody back in Damascus. They have a lot more contact. George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy for Middle East peace was just there two weeks ago, talking with the president, Hafez al-Assad. And there are a lot of other things. He's in contact back and forth with U.S. officials going to Damascus.

Now why does the United States want better relations with Damascus? They figure that Syria can be very helpful on a number of fronts. One would be Mideast peace, certainly with Israel.

Another would be a very immediate thing -- stopping those foreign fighters who are going over the border from Syria into Iraq. And that already, apparently is improving because General Odierno, who is the commander of all the troops in Iraq, said that Syrians already are being helpful on that. They can be helpful on Hamas.

And very interestingly, they could play a role with Iran because after all, the U.S. has felt that if you engage strategically with Syria, it could help wean them away from their close relationship with Iran. So lots of changes in the neighborhood, Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. Very, very interesting stuff and keep an eye on that for us. Jill Dougherty for us this morning at the State Department, thanks.

Meanwhile, it seems like the mystery of South Carolina's missing governor, Mark Sanford, was solved. But this morning, there seemed to be some more questions about exactly what's going on here.

His staff said that he's hiking the Appalachian Trail and is expected back at work today. But late last night, our Dave Mattingly tracked down a black SUV that we believe the governor used at the airport in Columbia, South Carolina. Inside that car there was a duffle bag, there was a sleeping bag, some shorts, some shoes, even sunscreen and a ball cap, plus a parking permit for his kids' school on the windshield.

Meanwhile, CNN affiliate WYYF is reporting that they tracked down another missing state vehicle. These are state vehicles at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and there are reports that Sanford's cell phone signal was last picked up in Atlanta late last week.

So we caught up with Sanford's wife, asked if she knew where he was. And here's what she said. "I'm being a mom today. I've not heard from my husband. I'm taking care of my children."

ROBERTS: Now one would assume that he could only drive one vehicle. The two of them ended up out there.

CHETRY: Yes, confusing stuff. But also the cell phone signal, it was on for a while apparently, and then there were no signals coming off of the mobile phone.

But the other thing is, yesterday, his staff said they did not realize there was going to be such, you know, an uproar about him leaving and being out of pocket as they put it for a few days and so that he was returning to the office. So we'll see.

ROBERTS: Don't forget we're about to go into a very hotly-contested election season in South Carolina. And there, you know, a couple of people who at the very least who are vying for his position. I think some people would sort of like to make an issue of this.

CHETRY: Yes. They'll latch on anything they can get.

ROBERTS: So we'll see. We'll see where all of this goes.

New information this morning on the deadliest accident in the history of D.C.'s metro train system. Washington's mayor system says a retired commanding general who ordered jets over the capitol during the September 11th terror attacks was one of nine victims of the rush hour crash.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly has a book deal. According to "The Associated Press," the book, worth at least $2 million, is expected in the spring of 2011, a few months after former President George W. Bush's book comes out. Cheney is quoted as saying, "There are a lot of interesting stories that ought to be told."

And as the president gets set for his town hall health care pitch to America tonight, the battle over the price of it is intensifying. So what's another trillion dollars, right? We'll talk to former New York governor, lieutenant governor, rather, Betsy McCaughey, now a health care expert, who is dead set against the public health care option. She was 15 years ago and she still is.

It's eight minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the "Most News in the Morning." When it comes to Iran, mobile technology has played a huge role as we've seen in telling the story. But while lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding Iran's government, our Brian Todd discovered that that very same technology is also helping Iranian officials track their opposition, their calls, their texts, and their movements, all in real-time.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It might someday be called the cell phone revolution, Iranian protesters transmitting unforgettable images from the streets through their mobile networks. We've counted on these pictures and on cell phone calls, but so have Iranian authorities.

A European firm, Nokia Siemens, confirmed that late last year it sold the Iranian government some of the technology to monitor and control local cell and landline calls. And experts believe right now, Iranian intelligence and law enforcement agencies are putting it in overdrive.

Ira Winkler is a former NSA analyst who has written several books on cyber security.

(on camera): You're sitting here at the monitoring center (ph). What are you doing?

IRA WINKLER, FORMER NSA ANALYST: They would have their monitoring station, which goes ahead and will list the source and the destination of every cell phone call that happens to be going on. Also that would probably include text messages as well.

TODD (voice-over): He says with the technology the Iranian government bought, officials can double-click on any phone numbers that come up on their monitors and in real-time listen to calls and look at texts.

A Nokia Siemens spokesman tells CNN the company sold Iran the same technology that U.S. telecom companies are legally required to have for lawful intercepts by U.S. authorities. And the spokesman says the technology doesn't allow the Iranian government to filter or censor Internet content. But Winkler says Iranian authorities can block these phone calls and monitor the dramatic cell phone video we've all seen.

(on camera): I'm a protester. You're taking some video of me. You want to send it to YouTube. How do they know that you're doing that?

WINKLER: They'll see a lot of transmission going in and out of my phone here. And basically, the volume of transmission, how long it takes, the fact that I'm doing more sending than receiving, that's an indication it's what's called traffic analysis to say this phone is sending an awful lot of data in one direction.

(voice-over): Winkler says Iranian authorities cannot see the video in real-time but they can tell that the video is going out. And since every phone is the equivalent of a GPS locator, they can also see where the video is being sent from. In addition, they'll be able to view the video later when it's posted.

(on camera): The other end of that source, the Nokia Siemens' spokesman says his company is one of the main reasons we can see these pictures in the first place. He says they expanded their service inside Iran last year, giving millions more people access to their networks and the images they can transmit.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


ROBERTS: We will continue to monitor all of the developments coming out today from Iran here on CNN, the "Most News in the Morning."

Meantime, to another one of the president's priorities -- health care. So what's another trillion dollars?

President Obama standing firm on the public option for health care. In spite of that possible price tag, which is a staggering one, private health insurance groups are saying say they do not like the idea of competing with the government.

Former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey is a long-time expert in public health and is currently the chairwoman of an advocacy group for patient safety. And she joins us this morning.

Good morning to you. How are you?


ROBERTS: So we should point out that you were opposed to the Clinton health care plan back in 1993. You are opposed to a public option this time around. Are you just opposed to the government getting involved in providing health insurance for people?

MCCAUGHEY: No, I've read the Kennedy Bill through three times and I'm worried because I'm a patient advocate. I spend the first 80 hours of the week preventing hospital infections, and this bill will mean fewer choices for patients. Basically the bill pushes everyone into an HMO- style plan with restrictions on your access to specialists and diagnostic tests. You'll have to go through what they call a medical home, which is this decade's term for an HMO gate-keeper.

Doctors will be paid based on incentives to reduce care and save money rather than being paid every time you get a service or you visit the doctor.

The one outrage of this bill, more than any other, is that members of Congress exempt themselves from this limit on choices. They're members of a federal health plan, with many, many choices. Fee for service plans, high deductible plans, as well as HMOs and plans with many more choices of doctors.

ROBERTS: But there is a clause in there that says that federal employees are not eligible. I've got it right here. But they are just one of a number of groups that aren't eligible and --

MCCAUGHEY: Not eligible, they're not being pushed into this. Otherwise, most Americans will have no option --

ROBERTS: So if you're not eligible for coverage --

MCCAUGHEY: That's right, page 114. But most Americans will have no options.

When they file their taxes, they're going to have to staple a proof like a W-2, that they've enrolled in one of these qualified health plans with the limits of choice, limits of choices of doctors, limits of choices of when you can see a specialist, when you can have a diagnostic test. And for seriously-ill people, this just isn't good enough. If it were good enough, members of Congress would agree to it as well.

ROBERTS: Well, as I said, the bill is written here. It says that these people are not eligible as opposed to saying, hey, we're going to give you access. It would suggest you've already got -- you've already got --

MCCAUGHEY: This isn't a question of choice. You have to do it. If you don't do it, on page 104, there is a hefty penalty.

ROBERTS: But this would suggest that federal employees already have health care, they don't need this system.

MCCAUGHEY: But other Americans who already have health care still have to do this. Let me make that clear. This is not optional.

It's also a serious problem for people who are seriously ill because the government has said they're going to slow the flow of dollars into the health care system. That's going to mean cuts in hospital budgets, fewer nurses spread even thinner, fewer diagnostic tests. So it means longer waits for treatment. ROBERTS: Do you think that a health care plan is even going to see the light of day? There seems to have been a strategic blunder made in sending out this bill to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring. It came back a trillion dollars over 10 years. Senator Dianne Feinstein said we don't know if we've got the votes to pass this.

MCCAUGHEY: The issue for me is the patient advocate isn't just the cost. It's the limits on patient choice. Washington is talking about shifting dollars from treating the seriously ill to prevention. That would make sense if all diseases were preventable. But if your family is dealing with cerebral palsy, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or many forms of cancer --

ROBERTS: But there are studies that show, though, that prevention on the whole can lower health care costs. If you keep people healthier, you don't wait until they get sick before they go in to see a doctor, you can reduce costs.

MCCAUGHEY: That's what many, many diseases are related to genetics or other unknown causes. And shifting the dollars away from treating the sick will be bad news for families coping with these illnesses.

ROBERTS: I mean, is there anything in there that says if you've got cancer, we're not going to treat you?

MCCAUGHEY: There is in this bill, efforts to reduce the flow of money into the hospital. And when you're sick and in the hospital and you push that buzzer in the middle of the night and you have to wait longer for a nurse, that is trouble for you.

ROBERTS: Betsy McCaughey, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks for stopping by.


CHETRY: Thanks so much. Coming up, we're going to be talking about the whole issue of teens in cyberspace, teens and their cell phones. A shocking number of teens say that cyberbullies can strike much more easily because of technologies that are out there. But really what can we all do about it?

We're going to be talking about a summit that's taking place in Washington. We're going to be joined by John Walsh, child safety advocate soon, just about 15 minutes to tell us more about what we can do. Are there any laws that can protect our children better? Still ahead.


CHETRY: Welcome, Pittsburg. This is coming to us courtesy of WPXI. This morning, it's 60 degrees and clear. A little bit later it's going to be 85 and clear, so a beautiful day in the Iron City.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Do you think it's the weather here. CHETRY: Maybe they can fit.

ELAM: I know.

CHETRY: What did your producer say? He wanted a refund on June.

ELAM: My producer, Jen Eickland (ph), said that she wants a refund on June because the weather was so bad here.

CHETRY: I hear you. It certainly didn't feel like summer around this place. Well, one thing you could have done to wile the hours away while it was raining is try to fill out one of these federal financial aid forms for college. Even the education secretary said you need a PhD to figure this thing out.

ELAM: Yes, it's out of control. For a lot of people who've been looking at these applications, they know exactly what you're talking about here.

Well, it's getting a bit of a makeover and we're talking about the FAFSA, and that stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Well, it's maybe free but it's long. I have to do it, and it took a lot of people a lot of time to do it.

So a new shorter version coming out today. They're going to cut out about a quarter of the questions. On the online version, it's going to go from 30 screens to ten screens, which is making a big difference there for a lot of people. And tax data will be downloadable in an agreement with the IRS, and you could dump it right into those forms. So a lot of those questions you won't have to answer because you have it right from the government anyway putting it in there.

They're also going to get rid of a lot of those questions that only apply to a special subset of people and a lot of the language, which is just really verbose. Instead of just saying, you know, are you homeless, for example. Instead of just saying that, the questions right now are really, really long and it sounds like an LSAT or LSAT question.

And so they're going to try to change it, just make it more logical because a lot of people they are finding were not applying for these loans simply because it was just so hard to answer the questions that they were paying for more in going to the private sector to do that.

So their hope here is to get people in, get more people who can get these loans and get to education because Arne Duncan, who's, you know, heading up the Department of Education saying it would be so much better for people in this economy to be able to get back out there and work, and getting the education will help them do that. However, for all those people who are going to school in the fall and they're hoping to get this, not so much. It's not going to be ready for the 2011, 2011.

CHETRY: All right. Well, here's the flip side. Maybe, you know, in prepping for college, you have to be able to sort of field through this stuff. So you have to know new stuff. So maybe, you know, it's helping in a way.

ELAM: Yes. Maybe if you're prepping for grad school and maybe if you're prepping for your PhD when you're 17 and about to go to college, sure.

CHETRY: All right. Well, they're making the form easier so they'll apply.

ELAM: They're going to -- they're going to unveil it today. We'll hear about it today.

CHETRY: Thanks, Steph.

ROBERTS: Well, it's a staple of mob movies and television series. You torch your business because you're about to go out of business.

Well, the torching thing does seem to be taking hold in the real world. Find out what people are torching these days because they can't afford it. Oh, we gave it away.

Twenty-three minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: It looks like a lovely day in the Windy City. Partly cloudy now, 77 degrees. It is going to be hot, hot, hot, though. Partly cloudy and a high of 93 on the shores of Lake Michigan.

But tough times can drive people to do desperate things and faced with car payments that they can no longer afford, more and more people are choosing to get rid of their cars, and they're doing it in a dramatic new way, fire and fraud. Jason Carroll here now with that for us this morning.

Good morning, Jason.


You know, with the economy the way that it is, and with gas prices going up, this is probably a problem that isn't going away any time soon. At least that's what some of the experts are saying.

It's happening in Florida, California and Texas. More and more burned cars are turning up in tow yards. These are cars reported stolen from their owners, but detectives don't have to look far to find the real thief.


CARROLL (voice-over): Watch the upper part of your screen. Surveillance video shows a man setting a car on fire. It's the type of crime happening across the country. Prosecutors say the supposed victims turn out to be the perpetrators.

PAULA DOW, ESSEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Ordinary people are hiring others to torch their vehicles. CARROLL: Why? And who's doing it? Prosecutors in Newark, New Jersey have some answers.

MICHAEL MORRIS, ESSEX COUNTY ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR: There are all types. But it really is Jane and John Q. Citizen.

CARROLL: Like this convicted elementary school principal, or this Dallas chiropractor and this businessman who both pled guilty to attempted insurance fraud, driven, investigators say, by economic desperation, to commit owner give-ups. That's when an owner reports their vehicle stolen, but actually stages the theft, torches the car to collect the insurance money.


CARROLL: Don't take Dallas sheriff's detective Tom Reilly's word. Listen to the owners themselves. This is John McCreery, that chiropractor.

JOHN MCCREERY, CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTED INSURANCE FRAUD: I made a lot of mistakes. (INAUDIBLE) but it's affecting me financially.

CARROLL: And that businessman?


CARROLL: Reilly says the owners agreed to be videotaped as part of their plea agreement. He uses the tapes for a public awareness campaign.

REILLY: What better way than hear the words from people that committed fraud.

CARROLL (on camera): What we have here in Newark, New Jersey, a visit to a tow yard with a detective who showed us more signs of the problem.

DET. MARLIN BULLOCKS, ESSEX COUNTY ARSON TASK FORCE: These are aluminum wheels. They're still present. The tires are still present.

CARROLL: So again, why would the car thief leave such expensive tires on the car?

BULLOCKS: Exactly.

CARROLL (voice-over): The latest numbers here disturbing. Exclude Essex County where Newark is located, and New Jersey only prosecuted about 25 vehicle arson cases in 2007. Include Essex County, that number more than tripled for the same period.

(on camera): What do you do to try -- to try to combat it?

DOW: We are aggressively prosecuting the wrongdoers here. We will prosecute those who hire, as well as those who set the fire. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CARROLL: Well, a lot of these owners are shocked when they find out the penalty for committing this type of crime. Basically what they're looking at is up to ten years in prison, if convicted.

And we know what the experts say, they also point out, look, when you're thinking about doing this, think about this. You've got that steep jail time that you're looking at. Your credit is going to be ruined, anyway. So you're going to ruin credit and you're going to have, you know, a record in terms of crime so why do it? You know, it's just not worth the risk.

ROBERTS: I guess some people feel like they've got no other option.

CARROLL: They're not thinking.

ROBERTS: But it's a crime. It's called fraud.


ROBERTS: Thanks, Jason.

CARROLL: You bet.

CHETRY: Jason, thanks.

Well, it's 29 minutes past the hour right now. We check our top stories and things are tense on the ground this morning in Iran. The ayatollah is saying that Iran will not give in to forceful demands, saying law and order must be maintained.

Meantime, people living there are saying that they're even afraid to use their phones and that Internet coverage is not reliable. We're waiting to see if protesters take to the streets today.

ROBERTS: Citigroup which got a $45 billion bailout is boosting salaries this year. Reports say some employees will see their base paychecks jump as much as 50 percent. But Citi says it's an effort to make up for shrinking bonuses and to hang on to key employees. Other shops including Morgan Stanley and UBS are doing the same thing.

CHETRY: Well, during President Obama's news conference, talk turned to health care and eventually to the president's bad habit -- smoking.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've said before that as a former smoker I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes.

Am I a daily smoker? A constant smoker? No. I don't do it in front of my kids. I don't do it in front of my family. And, you know, I would say that I am 95 percent cured. But there are times where -- there are times where I mess up.


CHETRY: The president went on to compare his struggle to that of recovering alcoholics, adding that one reason he feels that health care legislation is so important is because of his own habit.

Well, it's known as sexting. It's shockingly common teens sending or receiving sexually explicit photos over their cell phones, in many cases, photos they've taken of themselves. And it's going to be a topic that Washington is trying to tackle today. In fact, they're going to be holding a child summit, a teen summit on sexting, as well as cyberbullying and other online risks for teens. And child safety advocate and host of "America's Most Wanted" John Walsh is going to be leading that summit today. And he joins me from D.C. with details. Thanks so much for being with us.

You know, one of the first things that really struck me. I'm a parent, my kids are too young right now to worry about this. But I see what my friends are going through. The kids know more about the technology even than the parents. So in many cases you think you're setting up guidelines on the computer. Maybe you're blocking certain sites, maybe you're saying that you want access to who your child calls on the cell phone. But really, kids are figuring out ways to get around it.

JOHN WALSH, HOST, "AMERICA'S MOST WANTED": Oh, absolutely. This is the fifth year that Cox Communications has sponsored this teen summit and it includes tweens also here in Washington, D.C.. We go to Capitol Hill this afternoon to talk to legislators about safety on the internet. But you're absolutely right. If any parent thinks that they're smarter than their kids, who grew up with iPhones and Blackberries and computers and texting and sexting and instant messaging and twittering and all of that stuff, then they're wrong.

This whole summit is about a survey that they release, saying that one in five kids are sexting, one in three kids bully or are being bullied over the internet. And I think parents have to realize, you've got to sit down and talk to your kids about the consequences of this behavior. And tell them - hey, it's OK to tell somebody. Most kids say, I don't want to tell mom or dad, if I've received inappropriate images or I'm being solicited to meet someone at the mall or somebody sending me pictures, because I'll be grounded or my computer time will be taken away. That's not the way to deal with it. Just say to your kids, hey, I believe you. We'll do something about it.

CHETRY: Right.

WALSH: Come and tell me.

CHETRY: Well, you've mentioned that poll. This was a Harris Interactive poll, this survey. And I want to just put up some of the numbers because they really are shocking when you stop and think about it. 72 percent of teens have some sort of profile on these social networking sites. You know, nearly three-quarters of teens are already on these sites. And 81 percent of them think that it's easier to bully and it's easier to get away with it online, which we've seen happen in many cases, in one case of Megan Meyer, she actually hung herself after a cruel cyber hoax. That was in 2006.

And then as you said, 20 percent engage in texting. Is this a matter of more laws? I mean, what can we do in terms of laws that would help this situation? Or is it really more of what you do in the home in communicating with your own child?

WALSH: I think it's more about educating. I think knowledge is power. And I think for example, kids who participated in this survey said that sexting was OK. I don't think anybody has ever sat down and said, when a 14-year-old girl sends nude pictures of herself to her 16-year-old boyfriend, and he sends them to 50 other boys, they've ruined her reputation but she can be charged with distributing child pornography and he can be charged with distributing child pornography. There are consequences. And I think it's mostly education. And those picture are in cyberspace forever.

College admissions directors and employers look at kids' myspace pages, they look at their Facebook pages. Those cyber pictures are out therefore ever. Predators look at that information. We always tell kids, be careful of what you put on the internet. It will be out there forever. Or it could get you in big trouble. Really legislators are petty tuned in to this. We're going to talk to some this afternoon. I think it's mostly about sitting down with your kids and say, look, these are the challenges, these are the dangers of the internet. I know you use it every day. Many kids use it as an educational tool. But you've got to make your kids aware. I still believe knowledge is power. You've got to sit down with your kids. Not in a punitive way.

This survey and Cox has said it for years, you don't tell your kids you're going to be reprimanded, we're going to take away your privileges. You sit down and say, here are the dangers, let's discuss this together.

CHETRY: Right. And you know, it's a whole new world out there for parents really, when you think about it, really, when you try to do so much to protect your children. But it seems like you're losing more and more control as the kids are out there at these very young ages, with access to the internet but also communicating in ways they don't have to say a word. You don't have to overhear anything in the house, they can be texting.

When you talk about ruining your reputation and when you talk about being bullied, all of those things are extremely important. But what about the threat, stranger danger. Is this making our kids more vulnerable to being kidnapped, being abused, in a worst-case scenario, being killed by a stranger?

WALSH: Well, I think people are a little more savvy than they used to be about the predators that are out there. Certainly you know, states are starting to look at these problems. In Florida, there was an operation about three weeks ago called Operation Orange Tree, where the U.S. marshals, the Florida governor, Charlie Crist, and Bill McCollum, the attorney general combined with sheriffs and local cops to have a sting and a predator sweep. They arrested 77 men that were either - CHETRY: Wow.

WALSH: You know, using or distributing child pornography, or were sex offenders working over the internet. So the laws have gotten tougher. But law enforcement is much more sophisticated. I think it goes back to the parents saying hey, when that person says to you, wants to know more information about where your school is, what you're doing, they'd like to meet you at the mall.

Again it's all about education. And now we have identity theft. People say, hey, I'll download for you, for free the latest Jonas Brothers song on your i-Tunes, if you give me your parents' social security number or credit card, there's all kinds of dangers on the internet.

CHETRY: Got to talk to your kids. Don't give out your password to anybody even if you think they're your best friend. You never know what's going to happen. All right. Well, good luck at this summit today. A lot of really, really important issues that you guys are going to be tackling. John Walsh, host of "America's Most Wanted," always great to talk to you. Thanks.

WALSH: Thank you for having me.

CHETRY: And for more on these threats that teens are facing online, check out our blog,

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: It's come up now at 37 minutes after the hour.

Of course, over the years we've gotten some very interesting looks inside the Nixon White House because of the elaborate taping system that the former president had installed in the oval office. Well, now we're getting some more. Such as Richard Nixon saying that abortion might be OK in some cases and his thoughts about women political candidates. Our Elaine Quijano breaks it all down for us, coming up next.


ROBERTS: He may be the most controversial president in history. And today, we are getting a new look inside the head of former president, Richard Nixon. His library has just released a huge collection of memos and tape recordings, including more conversations on Watergate and his thoughts on abortion, just after the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade back in 1973. Our Elaine Quijano breaking it all down from Washington this morning.


ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the heels of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, President Nixon agrees with top aide Charles Colson, legalizing abortion could lead to sexual permissiveness.

But in some cases -- RICHARD NIXON, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know. When you have a black and a white.

COLSON: Or a rape.

NIXON: A rape.

QUIJANO: Also included in the 30,000 documents and 150-plus hours of tapes, the president ordering the FBI keep secret logs of national security advisor, Henry Kissinger's phone call.

NIXON: I want it no his private phone too. We can get that, can't we?

COLSON: I think we can.

NIXON: Sure. Goddammit, we get it through the FBI.

COLSON: Oh yes, yes sorry, yeah, yeah, OK.

NIXON: The FBI is to get, to keep the log, on his phone. That's all we want to know, who the hell he calls..

QUIJANO: He also talks politics with then-Republican National Committee chairman, and future president, George H.W. Bush.

NIXON: George, nothing of uh, great importance.

QUIJANO: Looking to boost the republican party, he recounts a recent visit to the South Carolina state legislature.

NIXON: I noticed a couple of very attractive women, both of them Republicans, in the legislature.

QUIJANO: Nixon expresses surprise at the republican women's political success in a southern state and then tells Bush to recruit good- looking women to run as republicans.

NIXON: I want you to be sure to emphasize to our people, God, let's look for some... understand I don't do it because I'm for women, but I do it because I think maybe a woman might win someplace where a man might now... So have you got that in mind?

BUSH: I will certainly keep that in mind, sir.


QUIJANO: The director of the Nixon presidential library said the tapes give you something we normally don't get from American presidents - the innermost story. John, Kiran?

ROBERTS: Elaine Quijano for us this morning. Elaine, thanks so much. Boy, I tell you, those tapes. The gift that keeps on giving.

CHETRY: I know. Exactly. All right. Well, still ahead, you know, Elizabeth Hasselbeck? She is the host of "The View." Well, now one author is claiming, I sent her a book as a courtesy. She said she had to weed allergy, I have a weed allergy, I have celiac disease and now she's putting out a book. She is accusing her of plagiarism. We'll find out what's going on. 42 minutes past the hour.



CONAN O'BRIEN, HOST "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN": Elizabeth Hasselbeck of "The View" is denying claims, denying claims that she plagiarized her recent book. Yup. Hasselbeck says she plans to refute these charges in her upcoming memoir, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X."


CHETRY: Well, Conan O'Brien having a little bit of fun on "Late Night" with the plagiarism law suit that was filed against "The View" co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck. It's a Massachusetts author by the name of Susan Hassett who says that she sent Hasselbeck a copy of her book, entitled "Living with Celiac Disease" after learning that Elizabeth had the illness. It's an auto immune disorder. Your body has problems digesting anything that has wheat gluten in it. And the lawsuit said that Hasselbeck lifted "word for word" from the book, her own best selling book on gluten free diet. Hasselbeck's publisher is responding saying "Miss Hasselbeck worked diligently and tirelessly on her book and is disappointed in this attempt to discredit her work and her ability to bring this important message to the public." So there you have it.

ROBERTS: The G-3 diet, it's called.

CHETRY: Yes, I believe it's called that. But, you know, on a totally unrelated topic, if your kid has allergies and you try to get gluten of the diet, it's not easy.

ROBERTS: Yes. A lot of restaurants and some grocery stores are certainly trying to help. But I know, Heidi Collins has been a real champion of this for long, long time. She's got the same thing as Elizabeth does, but real tough out there for people who suffer from this allergy.

CHETRY: It is.

ROBERTS: But in terms of the book and the lawsuit. We'll watch where this all go. 47 minutes after the hour. Watching our weather across the nation is Rob Marciano, who is at the weather center in Atlanta this morning. And Rob, we got a real heat wave across part of the country today.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: It is and if I could add to the celiac issue. Budweiser has a fantastic gluten-free beer.

CHETRY: No way, what's it called?

MARCIANO: I forget. I don't know. It's a red label, but I had it at a celiac event and it's really good, actually.

ROBERTS: Trust, Rob, for that little bit of information.

MARCIANO: I just had a little. I was just curious.

CHETRY: And you know, if all else fails, can't you go to vodka, that's potato, right?

MARCIANO: You could. But things will just go downhill from there. Less calories, I guess. All right. Off the wagon we go or on the wagon to St. Louis where I had the coldest Budweiser last year during a heat wave and they're in one right now.

From Kansas City to St. Louis, all the way down to Dallas, it's just smoking hot. These are pictures out of Dallas yesterday. That's not a cloud in the sky. And yes, get the umbrella out. I mean, just any way you can shade yourself. Portable shade. And certainly want to keep yourself hydrated. So heat advisory still in effect. Check out some of these high temperatures yesterday, 103 in Austin, Texas. 102 in Alexandria, Louisiana and 101 in Houston. Even Green Bay, Wisconsin getting into the act.

Today's daytime high expected to be 102 in Dallas. And a beautiful 77 degrees in New York. Back over to you. Heidi's telling me it's Red Bridge. It's the name of the beer.

CHETRY: Red Bridge?

MARCIANO: Red Bridge. It's fantastic.

ROBERTS: And a lot of vodkas are actually made with wheat, so you've got to make sure you get the potato vodka.

CHETRY: They have potato and they make them with grapes now, too. Iced grapes.

MARCIANO: Bloody Marys all around, good morning.

ROBERTS: It's 10 minutes to 8:00 in the morning.

CHETRY: You're right. We usually don't start worrying about drinking until 9:01 a.m. Sorry about that. Rob, thanks.

ROBERTS: At the very earliest.

All right. So flight 1549, the miracle on the Hudson, right. Everybody walks away happy? But they're alive. But everybody is not necessarily happy about some of the things that the airline is doing. Our Mary Snow checks in next to tell us all about that. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: It was an unforgettable landing known as the miracle on the Hudson. But some passengers say they cannot stop reliving the terror they felt in the seconds before and after the plane came down. After all the good will, after all the publicity they are angry at the airline. Mary Snow is with us now for more on that. What exactly are they angry about?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I want to first say that this case is a little set apart from the others because it involves two children, this one family. A family here in New York says the relief of surviving the landing in the Hudson hasn't erased their trauma and they were stunned when the airlines insurer balked at some of their claims.


SNOW (voice-over): It's been five months but Tess Sosa relives the day U.S. Airways flight 1549 miraculously landed in the Hudson as if it just happened.

TESS SOSA, PASSENGER FLIGHT 1549: We're now floating in and the water's coming in and the gracious seatmate I had braced my son for impact and I hear my son crying.

SNOW: Tess says she climbed over seats while holding nine-month-old Damian, seen here on the cover of "People" magazine with the flight's captain "Sully" Sullenberger. The image that haunts her she says is turning toward the back of the plane where her husband and four-year- old daughter sat.

SOSA: I saw my husband in shock with my daughter being held up high. The water coming in and hoping they would see me. I can't even hold on to him anymore.

SNOW: Dealing with the trauma that followed, Tess says, hasn't come cheaply. She says medical claims sent to the insurer for U.S. Airways are being rejected. She was told only three therapy sessions were covered.

SOSA: They have gone to incredible measures to get all of our belongings back, dry them out. However, I think in doing so, there was this huge oversight and let's take care of these passengers.

SNOW: U.S. Airways hired a firm to restore and return thousands of personal items to passengers from boarding tickets to suitcases.


SNOW: U.S. Airways also says it paid the 155 passengers $5,000 each saying it went above and beyond what was required since the airline isn't liable. The airline's insurer, AIU Holdings, a unit of AIG, says it owes those passengers nothing, adding its obligation is to pay valid claims on behalf of U.S. Airways as a result of its legal liability. Bob Hartwig represents AIU --

BOB HARTWIG, INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE: Where we have a flock of birds flying into jet engines for a perfectly well functioning aircraft and a crew that exhibited extraordinary professionalism in this particular incident, this is very important to recognize, that again the liability is simply does not exist.


SNOW: Now all of it is little comfort to Tess Sosa who says she and her daughter continue to see a therapist. As their private insurance has a $3,000 deductible, these payments are all out of pocket.

ROBERTS: So the airline offered to pay for three sessions?

SNOW: The insurers said it would pay for three but after that it would be up to her.

ROBERTS: Three doesn't even scratch the surface.

SNOW: That is her biggest complaint. That the airline and insurer says we gave all the passengers $5,000 right after this happened.

ROBERTS: But that was for everything, right?

SNOW: For everything.

ROBERTS: Not just medical bills.

SNOW: For any kind of expenses that they needed right after this happened.

CHETRY: It all seems to boil down to their argument that it wasn't their fault. Negligence -- there was nothing wrong with the plane, there was nothing wrong with anything anybody did. It was an act of god, I guess? The geese?

SNOW: The geese, exactly. They're saying this was an odd situation and the airline technically wasn't responsible and the airline and the insurer has said we went above and beyond what we were obligated to pay out. But Tess Sosa is saying, look, I'm still dealing with this and I have a four-year-old daughter. I want to make sure that she's able to recover from this.

ROBERTS: So if you're in a car accident and it wasn't your fault, you have a passenger in the back seat who needs some sort of care, whether it be medical or whether it be psychological, do you think your insurance company would say, sorry, it was an act of god that the car went off the road or whatever, we're not paying you?

SNOW: Very good question.

ROBERTS: Well, we'll chase that one down, won't we? Mary, thanks very much. Good report this morning.

CHETRY: We are also following the latest developments out of Iran this morning. New pictures of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an American traveling in Iran joins us live to talk about what it was like to be there. She was detained for a time. She attended protests. She gives us her first hand account still ahead.


CHETRY: Well, we're coming up on two minutes before the top of the hour. Welcome back to the most news in the morning. And this morning, welcome news for the families of two American journalists sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea. A Swedish ambassador has been allowed to visit Euna Lee and Laura Ling. It happened yesterday. And Alina Cho joins us now with some details on that meeting.

Hey, Alina.

ALINA CHO, CNN, CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, guys. Good morning. You know, welcome news certainly. The big question is will this help them win their release. You know, nobody knows that just yet. Good morning, everybody.

You know, this was the first meeting between the Swedish ambassador and Laura Ling and Euna Lee since the two women were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor earlier this month. It was the fourth meeting overall. The last time was back on June 1st. Now the U.S. government isn't saying much about these latest developments but here's what a state department spokesman Ian Kelly said late Tuesday.


IAN KELLY, STATE DEPT. SPOKESPERSON: This meeting just happened really just a few hours ago. I don't have any more details except I know it happened in Pyongyang. We haven't gotten a full report on it from the Swedish ambassador. But I want to just lay out the caveat that even if we did have full details, I wouldn't be able to share them with you because of privacy concerns.


CHO: The State Department went on to say that the release of the two journalists is a top priority and that the U.S. is pursuing many different avenues. But not surprisingly, no other details. Now the families of Ling and Lee released a statement to CNN saying "the families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee are grateful to the North Korean government for allowing the Swedish ambassador to visit Laura and Euna. We continue to appeal for their release on humanitarian grounds."

Now the family has spoken to Ling and Lee only once since they were detained back in March for what the state-run North Korean news agency call the grave crime they committed against the Korean nation, and they're illegal border crossing. They're accused of spying. And as many people know, the two reporters were on assignment for current TV. That's Al Gore's media venture. Earlier this month after the women were sentenced, family members spoke out to CNN. Here's what they said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LISA LING, LAURA LING'S SISTER: We just hope given the fact that we know the girls have apologized profusely, that they will let the girls come home to us. It's been three months and that's been too long for us.


CHO: A lot of people asking why the Swedish ambassador, guys. That's because the Swedish ambassador is in charge of protecting U.S. interests there, the key liaison. Of course we're watching this story very closely.

CHETRY: All right. We hope we hear more and we hope that this turns out well for them.

CHO: We all do. We all do.

CHETRY: All right. Alina, thank you so much.

Well for more on the two Americans jailed in North Korea, head to our blog,