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The Situation Room

Another Massive Recall of Products Made in China; Suicide Truck Bombs Kill up to 175 in Iraq; Crews Tunnel to Trapped Miners

Aired August 14, 2007 - 19:00   ET


SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, your child could be in danger from a favorite toy. Another massive recall of products made in China.
Tonight, who is at risk and who's to blame?

Also this hour, Dan Rather's complaint. Does the former anchor think successor Katie Couric is tarting up the news? I'll ask Rather about comments some have called sexist.

And a state of emergency in Hawaii. Hurricane Flossie closes in on the big island, already shaken by a big earthquake and aftershocks.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux.


Tonight, more than 20 million hazardous toys are being yanked from store shelves and out of the hands of children around the world. Almost half of those toys are right here in the United States. All were made in China. Words that now create fear in the minds of many people.

CNN's Joe Johns covering the story.

Popular toys, a famous toy maker under harsh scrutiny. What are we learning today, Joe?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, here we go again. Another massive recall of products made in China, and the company is none other than the world's largest toy maker, a household name, Mattel.


JOHNS (voice over): Nine million toys recalled in the U.S. because of hazards to children. Toys with harmless-sounding names -- Doggie Daycare set, Barbie and Tanner play sets, Batman and one-piece magnetic action figures, Sarge toys that look like army jeeps.

Mattel is in full-throttle damage control, posting information on its Web site today, featuring this video with the CEO.

BOB ECKERT, MATTEL CEO: I know these recalls have been upsetting, and I want you to know that I'm as upset and disappointed as anyone.

JOHNS: Of those nine million toys, seven million are Polly Pocket dolls and accessories, produced between 2003 and 2006, which contain small magnets that can come off the toy, magnets which, if swallowed, can make holes in a child's internal tissues. That, says the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is an old-fashioned design flaw, suggesting the problem may have started on the drawing board, not necessarily in China's factories.

NANCY NORD, CPSC: We have been working with the toy industry generally to insist that toys that have magnets in them be designed in such a way that those magnets cannot come loose.

JOHNS: But that doesn't take China off the hook, not by a long shot. Some of the other toys had lead paint on them, which is an absolute no-no. Somebody apparently decided to bend the rules, and Mattel claims that somebody did it without their knowledge.

RACHEL WEINTRAUB, CONSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA: What this incident shows is that there are major gaps in safety in our supply chain.

JOHNS (on camera): Why? They caught it.

WEINTRAUB: Way too late. I mean, they caught it when these unsafe products are already in the hands of potentially mouths of babies. I don't see that as a victory.


JOHNS: The recalls are also shining a spotlight on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is now defending itself against charges that it doesn't have enough people and resources to keep American consumers safe.

More on that tonight on "AC 360".

MALVEAUX: Joe Johns, thank you so much.

Obviously a big concern to a lot of people. And with this recall, how worried should you be?

Let's turn to our CNN medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, how often do kids get lead poisoning from toys?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know what, Suzanne? It's not known exactly how often kids get lead poisoning from toys, because you can get lead poisoning in a variety of ways. But what experts do know is that lead poisoning is a serious health problem. Nearly 500,000 children in the U.S. have lead levels in their blood that are so high that they have irreversible damage.


COHEN (voice-over): A parent might be panicked to hear it -- toys could be hurting your child.

So how do you know if these toys have harmed your child?

There are two problems -- lead in paint and these magnets, which are a much more acute concern. Already, three children have had surgery.

NORD: This agency has been warning about the dangers of small magnets for more than a year. If more than one magnet is swallowed, they can attract inside the body, causing intestinal perforations, infections and blockages.

COHEN: The Consumer Product Safety Commission says if your child has flu-like symptoms, is vomiting, lethargic and you think they might have swallowed magnets like these, take them to the doctor.

And as for the lead paint on toys like these, most of the time there are no symptoms. If you're worried, ask your pediatrician for a lead test. It's done with a simple finger prick.

Experts we talked to said if your child occasionally has had a toy like this in his mouth, chances are he's taken in very little lead. But since it's hard to know exactly how much time a child has spent mouthing a toy and since too much lead can cause loss of I.Q. developmental delays and even mental retardation, if you're worried, it's always best to pay a visit to the pediatrician.


COHEN: Now, if the pediatrician finds that your child, indeed, does have high lead levels, there's a therapy called chelation therapy that can help children with extremely high levels -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: So, Elizabeth, are there other things besides toys that parents should be concerned about?

COHEN: Yes, parents should talk to their pediatrician about lead in water and lead in their house from lead paint. And usually this is -- both of those are issues with older homes.

MALVEAUX: Good advice, Elizabeth Cohen.

And toys are just a fraction of the story. If you want to know it all, go to for a special report, "Made in China". You won't believe what you see.

That address,

Now, turning now to northern Iraq, where one of the worst attacks in the war has devastated an Iraqi town. Iraqi authorities say suicide truck bombs hit residential areas in a town west of Mosul. The death count ranges up to 175, as many as 200 are wounded.

Let's go live to CNN's Arwa Damon in Baghdad.

Arwa, what are we learning at this hour? ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, as you just mentioned, there is some discrepancy in the reporting, but anywhere from three to four suicide bombers drove trucks laden with explosives into residential areas in that town, a predominantly Yazidi town. It's called Qahtaniya, some 62 miles west of Mosul.

The death toll ranging from 120 to 175. Hundreds more wounded. The U.S. military, according to Iraqi police, involved in the effort to try to evacuate the injured to a nearby hospital, pleads across local television stations for Iraqis to come forward and donate their blood. We do know that the U.S. military is also helping to move via helicopter medics and supplies into the area to try to help.

These simultaneous bombings took place at about 8:00 p.m., at a time when residents would have been outdoors just trying to enjoy what time they could in the evening -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And Arwa, I know it's fairly early, but do we have any sense of who is responsible for these bombings or has anybody claimed responsibility?

DAMON: There's been no official claim of responsibility, but this corner of northwestern Iraq is right up against the Syrian border. It is a very vast terrain and sparsely populated with U.S. troops, boots on the ground. They're stretched very thin.

And it's been a known battleground between U.S. forces and Al Qaeda in Iraq. We've also seen strikes by Sunni extremists, specifically against the Yazidi population. So no claim of responsibility just yet, but this does remain a very dangerous area with known movement and activity from al Qaeda and other groups -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Arwa Damon, thank you so much. Be safe.

The U.S. military suffered another tough blow today in Iraq. Five soldiers died when a helicopter went down near Falluja in Anbar province. The military says the CH-47 Chinook crashed during a routine test flight. The crash is being investigated.

Jack Cafferty now joining us from New York.

Jack, what are you looking at, at this hour?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: This isn't exactly news to anyone. We have a fat problem in this country.

Two-thirds of U.S. adults aged 20 and older are overweight, two- thirds. And almost one-third are considered obese, which is even fatter than just fat. All this according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Dieting, of course, has become a national pastime, and the diet industry is raking it in. A new book, "She Loses, He Loses: The Truth About Men, Women and Weight Loss," takes a look at how men and women diet differently. Author and chief science officer of Weight Watchers, Karen Miller-Kovach, says that men tend to take a more pragmatic approach to dieting, cutting things out of their diet completely, like the mayonnaise or beer. They want results and they want to get results quickly.

Women, on the other hand, negotiate when they diet and make smaller changes. For example, instead of leaving the mayo completely off the sandwich, they negotiate with themselves and have the light mayo instead.

Men are also more likely to hit the gym in order to lose weight, while women prefer modifying their diets and are less likely to consider exercise as a part of a weight loss program.

So here's the question. Why do you think men and women diet differently?

E-mail or go to -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Jack, I bet you'll get a lot of responses for that. Thanks, Jack.

CAFFERTY: Well, we'll see.

MALVEAUX: Dan Rather on his replacement, Katie Couric.


MALVEAUX: Do you stand by that, the statement you made before, "dumbing it down, tarting it up"?

DAN RATHER, "DAN RATHER REPORTS": Absolutely. I've been saying it for 10 years.


MALVEAUX: The former anchor talks about his old network and his own new investigation of electronic voting machines. Find out why he says the next election is at risk.

Plus, taxing bottled water. A look at why some cities want you to start hitting the tap.

And Hurricane Flossie barrels towards Hawaii, and there's also Tropical Storm Dean.



MALVEAUX: They are bracing for a big storm on the big island of Hawaii, where a state of emergency is in effect. Hurricane Flossie is closing in with strong winds and surf and potentially flooding rains.


MALVEAUX: While Flossie is having its way in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Dean is taking shape in the Atlantic. The system is on a path toward the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico. It's expected to become the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2007 season by Friday. It is too early for forecasters to tell if Dean will pose a threat to the United States.

Now, rescue officials in Utah say the third hole they are drilling to try to find six trapped coal miners could be done by tomorrow night. Amid the frustration over slow progress, there is more new video, this time of the painstaking tunneling operation within the mine.

Our CNN's Brian Todd is in Huntington.

And Brian, what does the new video actually show us or tell us?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, it tells us that this rescue effort is moving inch by inch. And when progress is made, the rescued miners have to make sure that the main tunnel of this mine doesn't cave in on them.


TODD (voice over): Rescue miners dig furiously as their boss narrates.

BOB MURRAY, CEO, MURRAY ENERGY CORP.: You see the jack moving up now against the roof.


MURRAY: Now, once they get the jack against the roof, they seal it.

TODD: In a video his crew shot from the mine, Robert Murray shows how slow and dangerous this work is.

MURRAY: You are here right now, right at the furthest point that we have driven towards the trapped miners -- a distance of about 700 feet from where we started.

TODD: Seven hundred feet in, just over a third of the distance to the area underground where the six missing miners were believed to be when the cave-in struck nearly nine days ago. Since then, there have been no signs of life, but all hope is not lost. Other miners have survived longer underground, according to the U.S. Mine Rescue Association.

Spring, 2006, two miners last two weeks in an Australian mine before being rescued. November, 2005, a Chinese miner is rescued after 11 days. He tells journalists he drank his own urine.

LEE MCELPRANG, FMR. MINER: Nobody knows what these guys went through. TODD: Lee McElprang mined these hills for 34 years, but not at Crandall Canyon. He says he crawled out after one collapse that killed one of his buddies and injured two others.

MCELPRANG: You've got to wait until the dust settles. You could get on your knees and run out of air. You could stand up and be in air.

TODD: When you get to the highest point you can, he says, breathe what air you can. Ration out your food. And as for the water in the mine...

MCELPRANG: Yes, that water -- that water's potable. They tell me you can go 10 days without eating as long as you got water to drink.


TODD: McElprang says the trapped miners should also try to find what they call bleeder tunnels that are designed to let dangerous gases escape, and this is all in the event that the miners are not injured or in shell shock. Lee McElprang says there is no way to describe to outsiders just how fast these mines can cave in, and how devastating that first concussion can be -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: And Brian, as a journalist, we know we have to be critical, skeptical as well. Within your tour did you get a sense that you were getting the real picture here of that effort, or do you think that there were things that were done particularly for the media or for the cameras?

TODD: Well, we pressed Robert Murray on that. You know, I asked him specifically, is he doing this to try to, you know, paint the best picture here possible or to try to alleviate any criticism that he's gotten here? And he was a bit testy in his answer and he said, "No, I wanted to be as transparent to the miners' families as possible," and to give us the best indication possible of just how slowly this is going.

I think they get a sense that, when they talk about how slow this is going and how safe they have to be, every inch, you know, fortifying these mines, that the people aren't getting a sense of it. So they wanted to show us.

MALVEAUX: OK. Brian, thank you so much.

And if you are looking for a way to impact your world and make a difference for the miners' families, you can help. Impact your world by logging on to to learn how you can become part of the solution. We've posted information about the Crandall Canyon family support fund to help the families of the six missing men. Impacting your world is now a click away at

And the White House takes on Hillary Clinton. Find out why they're calling her new ad on health care absurd and unconscionable.

And "GQ" magazine names Condoleezza Rice Washington's most powerful person.



MALVEAUX: She said many times that NFL commissioner would be her dream job, but for now, Condoleezza Rice is secretary of state. According to "Gentlemen's Quarterly," it's a post that has made her a true mover and shaker.

CNN State Department Correspondent Zain Verjee joining us now.

Zain, what's "GQ" saying about Condoleezza Rice?

VERJEE: Well, Suzanne, it says in Washington you're either a person with power or a person who acts like you have power. "GQ" says its list separates the contenders from the pretenders.


VERJEE (voice over): Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is flying high. She's number one on "GQ" magazine's list of the 50 most powerful people in Washington.

SEAN MCCORMACK, STATE OF DEPT. SPOKESMAN: I guess "GQ" feels that she can sell a few magazines.

VERJEE: Glenn Kessler, author of the new book, "The Confidante," says Rice has the power because she has the president's ear.

GLENN KESSLER, "WASHINGTON POST": The president is counting on her to help turn things around on the foreign policy end before they leave office.

VERJEE: That relationship gives Rice the clout to make major decisions, jump-start diplomacy with Iran, and clinch a deal with North Korea. "GQ" says Rice was the ultimate yes-woman as national security adviser but is now a much-needed check on Vice President Dick Cheney, who takes a much harder line on foreign policy.

KESSLER: It looks like the vice president is on the losing end of those -- of those battles.

VERJEE: "GQ" says, "Whatever hope we have of not going to war with Iran before the end of Bush's term rests largely with her."

A CNN Opinion Research poll shows Rice is very popular among Americans. While many of the top names in the president's inner circle have left him, Rice is staying put.

MCCORMACK: She has a lot that she wants to accomplish.

VERJEE: But the jury is still out as to whether she can claim any success in Iraq, Iran or North Korea before leaving office.

KESSLER: At the moment, there are lots of balls in the air, she's doing a lot of juggling. Some of them have dropped on the ground, certainly in terms of Iraq.


VERJEE: Rice isn't the only one at the State Department that made the cut of GQ's most powerful list. Her point man on Iran, Nick Burns, was on it, and so was her Arabic interpreter, Gamal Halel -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: So, Zain, was it a tough cut there? What are some other familiar names?

VERJEE: Well, Hillary Clinton was on that list. She came in at number eight. But, you know, "GQ" cautioned, "Mess with her at your own peril."

MALVEAUX: She is a tough cookie, I know.

VERJEE: You just interviewed her.

Barack Obama came in at number 20, and, you know, take it as you will, but it says, "He looks pretty good in a bathing suit. The kid's got a future" -- Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Interesting criteria there for different people -- power and bathing suits. OK. We'll take that.

Thanks, Zain.

And Dan Rather takes on the "CBS Evening News".


RATHER: I've never been critical of Ms. Couric. I did offer some criticism of the CBS program in the beginning of her tenure there. Les Moonves runs CBS, and that they decided that they wanted to bring portions of "The Today Show" to the broadcast, and it didn't work.


MALVEAUX: Hear what the former anchor says about his old network and its new show.

Plus, dumping bottled water. Find out why some cities want to you start drinking from the tap.




Happening now, an alarming link between colon cancer and red meat. Researchers say colon cancer survivors who eat a lot of red meat and fatty foods are more than three times as likely to suffer a recurrence from the disease or even die from it. High stress on the job. A State Department internal study finds up to 17 percent of U.S. diplomats serving as dangerous posts around the world like Iraq and Afghanistan may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The State Department says it's focusing on getting counseling and support to staff who need it.

And Nokia warns up to 46 million batteries in some of its cell phones could overheat. The batteries were made by Matsushita between December 2005 and November 2006.

Wolf Blitzer's off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Well is America ready for the next election? A new investigation raises fresh concern about electronic voting systems. Behind that investigation, former CBS news anchor Dan Rather, now HDNET global correspondent for "DAN RATHER REPORTS."

Dan Rather, thank you so much for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM. We watched your program, you talk about the voting machines, the fact that we are not ready for the primaries that are coming up here, the fact that there are touch screens that are not working, that there is improper maintenance of these machines. How did this happen?

DAN RATHER, HDNET GLOBAL CORRESPONDENT, DAN RATHER REPORTS: Well, there are a lot of things went into it, but among the things are that we've allowed the outsourcing of the manufacture of these machines and outsource overseas that some of the touch screens have been made in the Philippines, with components coming from, among other places, mainland China and an overarching company that's rooted in Venezuela. You begin right there.

The second thing, there's been no transparency. There's too much secrecy about who makes the machines, where, by whom, why they make them, what the profits are, and there's been no accountability. So we do move into the 2008 election cycle, with many of the same problems that we had going all the way back to 2000 and the fiasco in Florida.

MALVEAUX: You had a demonstration in the program that actually shows when you touch the screen, you choose one selection, but there is another candidate's name that pops up. Is that correct?

RATHER: That is correct. A very experienced election official in Florida was pointing out, was demonstrating for us what the problems he had seen and that is, you take the stylus and put what you think is your preferred candidate's name, but if you don't put it just exactly right, it may register the candidate below yours, and other problems are, sometimes it doesn't, seems not to register at all, and therefore, you have these many thousands of votes in which people appear not to have voted for a president or in the most important race in their precincts.

MALVEAUX: I want to you respond to the company that took a look at the program and are taking issue with the results there. This from the Elections Systems and Software Inc., they go on to say and they say that your program specifically apparently includes a demonstration of a voting terminal that was deliberately mis-calibrated, solely for the purposes of a television story. Do you care to respond?

RATHER: Well, I haven't seen that response, and in a way, I'm happy to see them respond at all. The program is as accurate as we could possibly make it. I suggest that people watch it and make their minds up for themselves.

Let me point out to you for a moment that we have, for a very long time, been trying to get companies, including ES&S, to provide an executive of the company and/or, preferably both, someone who has actually worked the machines. They've absolutely stonewalled us and wait until they haven't even seen the program that naturally they attack us.

As you know as a journalist, that goes with the territory but my hope is that anyone who sees the program, they may or may not like it but I think they'll come away saying to themselves, we need to make some changes in the way we have this voting process, because we went from punch cards to touch screens, and now they're trying to go to something called in many places optical scan, and there are problems with all of these. We aren't picking on these companies. We're just saying some of the equipment doesn't work according to the workers who built it, and according to the election officials who use it.

MALVEAUX: So what kind of confidence should voters have in the upcoming election here? Clearly you're pointing out the case the equipment is faulty, doesn't work. What is the solution?

RATHER: Well, the solution is first of all to have some transparency about who makes the machines, where, by whom, why, what their profits are, how they put the machines together. The other is accountability. There's far too much secrecy in the buying and selling of these machines and making of these machines. So you start with transparency and accountability.

Look, it's not a partisan issue. It's not Democrat, Republican, or independent or Mugwump, it's about the integrity of the very heart and soul of the democratic system, and that is a free person voting with a secret ballot and the ballot gets counted. It's not an opinion. It's a fact, not everywhere, but many votes don't get counted and some votes are counted wrong.

MALVEAUX: And obviously you've covered politics for a very long time. When you look at the field of candidates now, who has the best shot at the White House?

RATHER: Who? You know when it comes to making predictions my crystal ball is permanently in the hock shop. I would only point out that overnight's a long time in politics. A week is forever. I don't have any idea whom the two major parties will put up this time.

Clearly Senator Hillary Clinton has a substantial lead as a democrat. That could evaporate quickly. On the republican side, on a national basis, Rudy Giuliani clearly has a lead. There are a lot of "x" factors on the republican side, such as does Fred Thompson get in or not.

MALVEAUX: I want to change the subject very quickly. You've been outspoken as Katie Couric and her helm as the first female anchor of a major nightly news cast on CBS. I want to quickly play what it is that you said prior.

RATHER: I'm glad you asked that because I've never been critical of Miss Couric. I did fault some criticism of the CBS program in the beginning of her tenure there. Les Moonves runs CBS. They decided they wanted to bring portions of "THE TODAY SHOW" to the broadcast and it didn't work. That's what I said, all I said and I did say that.


RATHER: I've never been critical of her.

MALVEAUX: Let's take a quick listen to that bite.

RATHER: You know, the trend line continues of, as I say, dummy it down, tarting it up, going to celebrity coverage, rather than war coverage.

MALVEAUX: Do you stand by that, the statement you made before, dumbing it down, tarting it up?

RATHER: Yes, absolutely. I've been saying it for ten years. Long before Miss Couric came to the evening news, I was saying exactly the same thing about where we are in American journalism, particularly television journal. I do not exclude myself from that criticism.

MALVEAUX: Les Moonves says it's a sexist comment. Do you agree?

RATHER: No and he knows that isn't true. I understand he was playing a mighty defense. Let me point out after he said that he turned it over to some of his underlings to go on the attack. But we all understand that and I think the public understands and I'm willing to live by their judgment.

MALVEAUX: Dan Rather, thank you for joining us in THE SITUATION ROOM.

RATHER: Thank you very much Suzanne.

MALVEAUX: Thank you.

We heard Dan Rather say demonstrations in Florida show that touch screens can record a vote for a candidate other than the one you may intend to choose. But an election official in the county where the demonstration took place says Rather got it wrong and I'm quoting here, it says, "I have very serious concerns about the way in which issues and facts related to the running of elections in Lee County, Florida, are distorted and misrepresented in the HDNET Dan Rather reports piece. Our position is not accurately conveyed in the story. I flat out reject any suggestion that our touch screen system is not reliable." That from supervisor of elections in Lee County, Florida, Sharon Harrington. And Americans drank more than eight billion gallons of bottled water last year. Now one big city says that's wasting a lot of money in resources, and he wants to put a tax on your bottled water. Would you swap your fancy bottled water for plain old tap water?

And Hillary Clinton blasts President Bush in her first ad of the 2008 campaign season. Now the White House is firing back, calling her statements outrageous and absurd. Find out what set off the fireworks.


MALVEAUX: We are getting new pictures in now from KTLA. This is a fire that is in Griffith Park, near the Griffith Observatory. It is getting very, very close to that observatory. It's close to Los Angeles. There is a mandatory evacuation that is taking place there. This is according to the KTLA. It was made famous, as you know, this is where they shot "Rebel Without a Cause." Right now we don't have a sense of the damages but we do know that right now there say mandatory evacuation that is underway as that fire seems to be quickly spreading. As we get more information about that fire, then we will bring that to you.

Let's first listen in here to the local affiliate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: City fire still staging at Griffith Park. They actually do have a couple of ladder trucks there for structure protection as well as helping a lot of the people in Griffith Park evacuate. Scott Fye's (ph) got your traffic watch.

MALVEAUX: And again, we'll be bringing you more pictures and more information as that story develops.

Americans pay taxes on everything from alcohol to cigarettes to gasoline. Now, we could start seeing taxes on bottled water. CNN's Deborah Feyerick is in New York with the details.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, taxing water bottles is not only a good way to raise money for cities but supporters say it gets people thinking about the environment and the choices they make every time they take a drink.

Americans love their bottled water. So much so, they drank more than eight gallons of the stuff, shelling out $11 billion in the process. So why is Chicago thinking about slapping consumers with a tax as much as 25 cents per bottle of water?

GEORGE CARDENAS, CHICAGO ALDERMAN: It's a way of maybe hitting people over the head with this and saying hey listen, we have to be more prudent in how we use our resources.

FEYERICK: Chicago is the latest example of cities and consumers concerned about the environmental consequences, everything from making and disposing of the bottles to depleting water resources by companies selling the water.

Trendy restaurants such as Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, now only serve tap water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our aqua is terrific.

FEYERICK: Mayors of New York, San Francisco and other cities say they won't buy any more bottled water. They praise the quality of city tap as does Chicago Alderman Cardenas.

CARDENAS: It's great tasting water. People don't realize that.

FEYERICK: But would the constituents stay with bottled water even if it were taxed? Our sample in Chicago was all but unanimous.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd buy bigger bottles so I wouldn't have to hurt the environment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd still buy, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a convenience.

FEYERICK: The bottled water industry says there's plenty of room for bottled and tap water. As Alderman Cardenas' taxing idea --

JOSEPH DOSS, INTERNATIONAL BOTTLED WATER ASSN.: Bottled water is a safe healthy refreshing beverage that consumers use to stay hydrated and any action such as this tax that would discourage consumers from drinking a healthy beverage are not in the public interest.

FEYERICK: And corporate America is taking note. One company says it plans to market reusable beverage containers. Another company says it's going to come out with a lightweight version of the bottle so that they would use less plastic.


MALVEAUX: Deborah, thank you.

We bring our viewers back to the breaking news story, KTLA bringing us the latest pictures of what is happening there, a fire that is spreading very rapidly. This is in Griffith Park near the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. There is a mandatory evacuation that is taking place there. It may be a familiar site to some. It was made famous by, this is where they shot the movie "Rebel Without a cause."

I want to take a quick listen in.

Well, KTLA stopped talking there, but we can see some of the pictures here. It's very dramatic footage, as you can see, a lot of the smoke over the mountain and the countryside there. It is getting very, very close to Griffith Observatory. Let's go ahead and take a listen. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of here at Griffith Park, there is fire protection going on. So there wasn't a formal evacuation but there is concern the fire may advance. Right now the winds are such that they are not threatening the Griffith Park Observatory. This is an area just to the west in a canyon that wasn't burned earlier this year, but the firefighters seem to be making headway and making, actually getting the upper hand on this fire right now.

MALVEAUX: Sounds like it's good news coming out of there. Obviously very dramatic pictures but from those on the ground, it sounds like it is something the firefighters are trying to get under control at this moment and as we get more information on that we will bring it to you.

Coming up, the White House takes on Hillary Clinton over a new campaign ad, and the battle of the bulge and the sexes, men and women diet differently, but who does it better? Jack Cafferty has your e- mail. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


MALVEAUX: Tonight the Bush White House is firing back at Senator Hillary Clinton, calling her first presidential campaign ad outrageous. In the ad, the democratic front-runner accuses President Bush of seeing right through U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and many Americans in need. Listen to this.

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D) NEW YORK: You know, if you're a family that is struggling and you don't have health care, well, you are inadvisable to this president. If you're a single mom trying to find affordable child care so you can go to work, well, you're invisible, too.

MALVEAUX: CNN's Brianna Keilar is with the president in Crawford, Texas.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino at first said she was going to refer questions about the ad to the Republican National Committee but called Clinton's assertions "outrageous" and went on to say, "This is a president who first and foremost has helped millions of seniors have access to prescription drugs at a much lower cost," and she also said, "And as to whether or not our troops are invisible to this president, I think that is absurd and that is unconscionable that a member of Congress would say such a thing." Well, Hillary Clinton quickly responded to Perino's statement with one of her own before hundreds in Dubuque, Iowa.

CLINTON: The White House just attacked me a few minutes ago saying how dare I say that Americans weren't invisible to the president. Well, not only have I said it, and am saying it now, I will keep saying it, because I happen to believe it.

KEILAR: Engaging with the Bush Administration is something that Hillary Clinton's campaign is clearly going for of late. Last month, Clinton got into it with a civilian leader at the pentagon, following her request for a U.S. plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq, and then over this past weekend, Clinton asked President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to clarify the administration's stance on the military draft, after the president's war czar, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute called it "an option on the table" and political analysts point out that Clinton is trying to position herself as a front- runner, taking on the Bush Administration and not just her democratic rivals.


MALVEAUX: Brianna, thank you so much. We'll see you soon in Crawford.

Jack Cafferty joins us now from New York. Jack, you must have a lot of responses to that question.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We got some Suzanne. The question this hour, is why do you think men and women diet differently?

Steven writes from California, "Men go to the gym instead of changing their diet because of the pressure to fit into a very specific male role. Diet something seen as feminine. Eating meat is seen as manly. Also the main reason behind dieting is appearance among younger men and women. Men would rather be fat yet appear strong than be less fat and still appear somewhat weak."

Kathryn writes "As a psychologist in private practice, I see this all the time. Women could learn from their male counterparts and just get on with the behavior changes necessary to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Emotions effect one's eating and need to be dealt with of course but get going with behavior change simultaneously. Diet and exercise non-negotiable when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle."

Bernard in St. Louis, Missouri, "How we endlessly strut and fret over the mindless work and needless fat everything in our modern society conspires to enslave us with, sitting at computers in cars, stuffing ourselves with chips and Mars bars while half of the world lives less than $1 a day, if they survive at all. Who cares why men and women diet differently? That they have to do it at all is a crying shame."

Steve in Wisconsin, "Many females feel uneasy or embarrassed entering a very social situation such as going to a gym to work out if they feel they are overweight and out of shape where many people can and may observe them."

Seth in Washington, "The reason question is why at a time when all these wonderful media covered diets are so popular are we facing the greatest rate of obesity in recent times, perhaps because they're scams to make money and not good diets at all and perhaps because we as a nation are lazy and poorly nourished by fast food, low income and lousy health care but then maybe I'm just a pessimist."

And Moe in New York writes, "With the entire economy collapsing and our democratic system in peril, the diet differences of the sex's conundrum just doesn't interest me."

And finally, Greg in Nova Scotia, "It has something to do with the fool in the mirror. A 5'4" 145 pound woman sees herself as grossly obese while a 5'6" man weighing in at 320 interprets his physique as stocky."

If you didn't see your e-mail here, go to We post more of them online along with video clips of "The Cafferty File."


MALVEAUX: Jack, thank you.

We take you back to the pictures of that fire that is raging, our affiliate KTLA bringing us the latest pictures of this progress that has already been made in trying to put out that fire. This is, the cause of this obviously under investigation. We want to show you what it looked like just a little while ago. It was very, very dramatic, according to our affiliate. This is a fire that started at 4:15 Pacific time, that one acre had been burning. It's just west of the Griffith Park Observatory in Griffith Park, in Los Angeles.

These are now pictures, the latest pictures here, you can already see, by the smoke, that much of the flames that they were battling before it seems to have been extinguished.

Earlier there were reports there was a mandatory evacuation. We're now learning there is not, that there are no structures threatened, no mandatory at least evacuations that have been ordered but you can see already just within minutes that they've made significant progress on that fire out of Los Angeles.

Let's go right to Rick Sanchez to find out what is coming up next hour on "OUT IN THE OPEN."


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Suzanne, as a matter of fact, we have been watching that fire as well. We're trying to make some phone calls and see if we can hook up with some of our affiliates to continue the coverage on the situation for so many folks out west.

We're also following a lot of other breaking news today. Obviously, the big stories out of Iraq, and the hurricane that seems to be taking aim at Hawaii. We've got a reporter obviously who is going to be talking to us from there and then I'm going to talk to mine president Bob Murray, yes, that Bob Murray. But what we're going to do with him this time is, you know the new pictures coming out of video where they went 1,600 feet under the ground and there's these eerie shots that are just now coming out, we're going to take them apart with him so he can explain to us a lot of the things that many of us don't understand.

Also, what amounts to a don't ask, don't tell policy for illegal immigrants. Lou Dobbs, Rick Sanchez, together again, tonight, right here.

MALVEAUX: Fireworks, potential fireworks, very much looking forward to seeing that. Thanks.

SANCHEZ: Who knows?

MALVEAUX: Thanks, Rick.

President Bush calls Karl Rove "turd blossom." What the president's term of endearment really means.



MALVEAUX: Here's a look at tonight's "Hot Shots."

In India, children running in a slum area wave Indian flags on the eve of the nation's 60th Independence Day.

In Cyprus, a parched water reservoir soaks up nothing but the sun.

In Hungary, a rare Persian leopard bears its teeth for first public outing.

And in Pennsylvania, girl gets a kiss from a family goat as they get ready for judging at a community fair.

That's this hour's "Hot Shots," pictures often worth a thousand words.

And Karl Rove's resignation from the Bush White House is getting a lot of media attention including late night TV. Check out this clip from "THE DAILY SHOW."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For those of us who never got to know Karl Rove mostly because he refused to answer any of the public's questions, who was he?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Bush calls him the architect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been the bogeyman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democrats' Moby Dick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Karl Rove is a giant.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man with the plan.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He calls him "turd blossom."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know that "turd blossom" sounds bad, but amongst turd related nicknames, blossom is about as good as you can do. I guess turd rainbow is maybe the only other one.


MALVEAUX: Well for all of you who are wondering, a turd blossom is a Texas flower that blooms in dung, so it's actually a compliment.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Suzanne Malveaux. Up next, Rick Sanchez with "OUT IN THE OPEN."