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Man Throws Children, Self Off Hotel Balcony; Pope Visits Poland

Aired May 28, 2006 - 09:00   ET


OFCR. BOBBY HERNANDEZ, MIAMI BEACH POLICE: This individual, selfishly had issues with his wife and unfortunately took his two children's life along with his.


MELISSA LONG, CNN ANCHOR: What a story to share with you this morning. A 10 year wedding anniversary trip turns to tragedy in Miami. Police say a man tossed his children off a hotel balcony and followed them to his death. We will cover that story more in depth for you later in the morning. Good morning to you from the CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm Melissa Long I this morning for Betty Nguyen.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone, I'm Tony Harris. More on those children killed in just a moment, but first a first look at some other stories making stories right now.

The crisis in Indonesia persists. The number dead from this latest earthquake approaches 4,000. Survivors dig through the rubble looking for clothing, food, anything. Overnight, survivors slept outdoors in any space available. Hundreds of aftershocks rattled the region. We'll have a live update from the U.S. ambassador to Indonesia in 30 minutes.

LONG: In Israel, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has being moved to a long-term care placidity in Tel Aviv. He has been at the hospital, as you know, since suffering a massive stroke in early January. Doctors say treating the 78-year-old will be a long and difficult process.

In Poland, Pope Benedict is wrapping up the visit four-day visit to the country with a mass in Krakow and a visit to the former concentration camp at Auschwitz. At 20 minutes past the hour we'll have live pictures of the pope's visit.

HARRIS: If a picture is worth a thousand words, the picture of a new baby of these two Hollywood stars is worth more than a million dollars. Brangelina had a baby girl last night in Namibia. Photographers are swarming trying to get the first baby pic. We'll have a live report from Africa, later this hour. And remember, for complete coverage of breaking new and today's top stories, stay with CNN, the most trusted name in news. A tough story this hour. Shock, horror, confusion, anger in South Florida. Emotions run high for an Illinois woman following the deaths of her two young boys at the hands of their father. Vanessa Ruiz of CNN affiliate WSVN has the inexplicable story in Miami Beach.


VANESSA RUIZ, WSVN MIAMI CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What was supposed to be a holiday weekend celebrating 10 years of marriage ended in a shocking tragedy nobody could have imagined. An Illinois couple along with their two young children in town celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary. They were staying here in the posh hotel Loews hotel in South Beach, which is full with Memorial Day vacationers. It was around 8:30 when the mother heard one of her children screaming from an adjacent hotel room on the 15th floor. When she walked into the room she saw her husband going over the balcony. It was then she looked over the railing and saw the bodies of her two young sons, ages four and eight, and that of her husband lying on the mezzanine roof.

HERNANDEZ: This individual selfishly had issues with his wife and unfortunately took his two children's life along with his.

RUIZ: According to Miami Beech police, the woman told them they had been having marital problems for the past six months.

HERNANDEZ: We have checked with the hotel rooms and the ones immediately next door and on Friday they heard maybe any screaming, any arguments, any disturbances before the incident and everybody said no, they only think they heard was mother screaming after she discovered husband and two sons dead on the mezzanine level of the hotel.

RUIZ: The woman did not suffer physical injuries and told the police she doesn't know why her husband did something like this. Now all that remains is a tragic ending, a family shattered, and one question, why.


HARRIS: And again, that was Vanessa Ruiz of CNN affiliate WSVN in Miami. Miami police say no suicide note was found in the hotel room and that police were searching the couple's Illinois home for a possible note.

LONG: Now to New England, a pleasure boat ride ends with some tense moments. The Coast Guard rescued five people last night About 250 miles from Nantucket Island. Their 36-foot boat was battered by rough seas three days into their cruise. A Coast Guard helicopter picked up the crew after the captain issued a May Day.


PETTY OFFICER CHRISTOPHER EVANSON, U.S. COAST GUARD: The major thing in this case that they were 250 miles east of Nantucket. They were very isolated. The Coast Guard lunch launched an A-25 Falcon airplane to provide cover until the HA-60 helicopter our Air Station Cape Code and a C-130 were to arrive on scene. And that took roughly a few hours for them to get out there. So the falcon provided cover and then once the helo arrived, they carried out a hoist and rescued all five individuals from the sail vessel.


LONG: Coast Guard officials tell us all of those rescued are OK this morning.

And now to Washington, a power struggle playing out between the Justice Department and Congress. At issue, an FBI raid on a Congressman's office it has lead to a revolt by law makers of both parties and threat for threat by three top justice officials to resign. Live now to the White House and correspondent, Ed Henry -- Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Melissa. That's right, really amazing drama here all sparked by last Saturday night's unprecedented raid of democratic Congressman William Jefferson's Congressional office in connection with a bribery investigation. Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert was furious about this, charging it was an abuse of executive power, that it was unconstitutional. He was lobbying President Bush directly all last week saying he wanted these seized documents from Jefferson's office turned back to Congress. But now CNN has learned that three top officials, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; FBI director, Robert Mueller; and the deputy attorney general, Paul McNulty all threatened late last week to resign in protest if President Bush decided to turn these documents back to the Congress. Despite wrangling, all the anger back and forth. Legal analysts, though, say they believe this search was lawful.


AVERY FRIEDMAN, LAW PROFESSOR: The evidence is likely to be legal because No. 1 the search warrant was executed. Remember, that Mr. Jefferson ignored a subpoena. There had been efforts for the past eight months to have him produce documents. Once they weren't, a federal district judge approved a search warrant.


HENRY: Now, President Bush was able to stave off these potential resignations at least for now, late last week, by ordering this 45 day freeze on the documents while all of the legal and constitutional challenges are sorted out. Obviously this has now shifted the focus to some republican infighting instead of what it was originally about a democratic investigation of corruption. But I suspect the focus is going to shift back eventually. Let's not forget, Congressman Jefferson allegedly had some $90,000 in cash in his freezer. He has denied wrong doing, but certainly has a lot of explaining to do -- Melissa.

LONG: Ed Henry, live in Washington. Of course, that's a story we'll continuing to follow throughout the day and throughout the week. HARRIS: Drama.

LONG: Yeah, a lot of drama there in Washington.

Well, This weekend, of course, America is remembering the brave men and women who serve in the military. One couple shared with us the tragedy of losing their son in Afghanistan last June. Their stories coming up in about 25 minutes.

HARRIS: Plus a tracking device on your teenagers' car? Is that going a bit too far? We put that question to a child behavior expert. And Reynolds, maybe it's something we might consider down the road, oh 18 years from now?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Maybe so. Thank heavens my parents didn't have that kind of technology when I was a kid. Scary stuff, to say the very least.



LONG: Good morning to you on this Memorial Day weekend. We would love to hear your thoughts this weekend on who are you honoring the Memorial Day? The e-mail address to reach us:

Want to take a moment to share one of the responses we've received. "I am honoring my dad, Lawrence Young of Oakland, Maine who served for 22 years in the military, including Korea and Vietnam." Laurie Emerson goes on to say, "I'm also honoring my husband, Arnold Emerson, who served for 25 years and my son Peter who served for eight years in the Army and has just returned home safely from Afghanistan."

Laurie Emerson, thank you so much for writing us this morning. What wonderful news to hear about your son. We'll be back.


HARRIS: And let's get you up to speed on this morning's top stories. In Miami Beach, investigators are trying to figure out why a man would kill his children then himself while on a trip celebrating his tenth wedding anniversary. It happened yesterday. Police say he threw his four and eight year old sons to their deaths from a hotel balcony then jumped behind them.

Pope Benedict leading mass in Poland this morning. Later he'll visit the Auschwitz concentration camp. Then it's back to Rome, the pontiff spent the last four days visiting with believers encouraging them to honor the late John Paul's memory by being beacons of faith for all of Europe.

Back in the U.S., it's official, the Edmonton Oilers are in the Stanley Cup finals -- a little sports for you this morning -- they beat Anaheim Mighty Ducks 2-1. It will be the Oilers first shot of the cup in 16 years. LONG: Graduation night, prom night or just about any night, can be a nightmare for parents of teenage drivers. Worrying about them driving events, teen parties, or who else knows where. As we here from Betty Nguyen, one Atlanta mom had solved some of that worry.


PAM DAVIS, MOTHER: Well, it first started as a safety issue. Carjacking was always one of my worst fears for her. I'm sure she wasn't pleased with it in the beginning; she thought it was more of a spy issue. I'm sure she wasn't real pleased with it in the beginning because she thought it was more of a spy issue.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: The startling statistics are out there. In 2004, nearly 6,000 16 to 20-year-olds are killed in car wrecks. But now you may be able to lower the stress over where your child is with a little high tech help. There are a number of products now on the market to help you keep tabs on teens. All of the devices use GPS, Global Position Satellite. They can track a car minute by minute to within a few feet of its current location.

TONY LEE, GEOSOLUTION,COM: They're heading on 23 going in this direction, according to this map. And it'll tell you the coordinates of their position, and it'll tell you the speed they're traveling, which is 44 miles per hour, and also it will give you an address range of where they were at this point.

NGUYEN: And the best part, you can hide it inside any vehicle. Alerts are sent to your computer, e-mail, cell phone or pager. offers instant mapping of the teen's vehicle location and speed. It tracks anywhere in the U.S. and Canada and even Mexico and it can set boundaries, like an electronic invisible fence, and alert you if your child crosses those boundaries. The Land, Air, Sea 3100 unit can accurately track travel with proof of exact date, time, speed and location as puts it, it's like having your own private investigator for a fraction of a cost.

BROOKE DAVIS, TEEN DRIVER: I do drive my friends a lot and their parents love that I have it. They love that my mom knows where I am and then they know that their kids are safe with me.


LONG: So, would you keep track of your kids with a GPS device? Would you tell them about it? Let's talk about some privacy issues. Our guest, you may recognize from the syndicated PBS program, "Let's Talk," she is Dr. Gail Gross, noted expert, author, lecturer, on juvenile education and behavior. Gail Gross joins us live from Houston this morning.

Thanks so much for your time.

GAIL GROSS, "LET'S TALK" HOST: Good morning, thank you.

LONG: Let me, just -- first off, good, bad idea? GROSS: Well, like everything, there's good and there's bad. It's good in that if your children agree to it and they're involved in the conversation, you're connecting with them, you're teaching them how to be responsible, then it becomes a consequence, responsibility issue, they're invested in the consequences and you're teaching them maturity.

LONG: So, you're saying talk to them about it?.

GROSS: Talk to them about it.

LONG: Because the story alludes to the fact that you can tuck that technology in the car and he or she wouldn't even know about it.

GROSS: Well, that's spying and surveillance. Then you're teaching them something else, you're teaching them not to trust themselves, not to trust you, not to trust others. As a result, what happens from that is, they learn how to cheat, they believe everybody is cheating. So, you don't want to do that. You want them to be grow up, be self-monitoring. You want them to, in a sense, develop a self- actualized intrinsic reward for doing the right thing. You know, these surveillance techniques are not gatekeepers. They're not -- they have their flaws. Children can outrun them, outsmart them, even on the web, all those things that we do to protect our children, children they do -- undo. They are very savvy and they are very involved with their peer group and they can stop that car, go with somebody else in another car. So, you want to bring them into the conversation because that is a relationship issue.

LONG: Well, Dr. Gross, let's talk about that conversation. I know you have a grown son now, but let's go back a few years in time. Put yourself at the kitchen table with him. How would you talk to the teen about putting this technology in the car and why you're doing it.

GROSS: Great Melissa, because we had that conversation. You know, when you -- your child has more opportunity to do more things, if they, and my son in particular, was worthy of that trust. When they show you they're doing the right thing, you can give them more trust and ultimately they mature and self-actualize. That's individualization, that's what you want from a child. And the most important, you have that connection with your child. That you have that connection with their conscious. You're developing that intrinsic conscious.

LONG: We're almost out of time, but I just want to wrap up with talking about independence. Because when you're a teen, you, of course, want you dependence --- independence. You want that journal that you know mom or dad isn't looking in and that really parleys into this. You have to give the kid -- you have to give this young adult some room.

GROSS: That's right. You know, adolescence is the time -- a most dangerous time of your life and it's a time of experimentation. The child is testing himself against his environment. You want to be counted on to be the guide and be there if they misstep and get into trouble. If you don't connect, if you don't talk, then you won't be called if they need you. And the point is, surveillance, who's surveilling the people doing the surveillance. Some of them have records, some -- you know, some of them do things that aren't exactly right and your children really can be open to predators as well, because they can get a hold of these technologies also.

LONG: Dr. Gail Gross, thanks so much for joining us on this Memorial Day weekend.

GROSS: Thank you, Melissa. No substitute for parenting.

LONG: Thank you. Tony, you would know a lot about that.

HARRIS: Yeah, well. Try and do the best I can each and every day. Good morning everyone. Still ahead, a stunning site in Poland, this morning, an estimated 800,000 gathering to hear Pope Benedict. His next stop could be his most emotional yet. A live report from Poland is next.

And later we're off to Africa in search of Brad and Angelina's new baby, right here on CNN Sunday morning.


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LONG (singing): It's a wonderful day.

HARRIS: Yeah, yeah, it is.

LONG: I feel like singing. Winter Wonderland.

HARRIS: This is a late season surprise for all you boogie borders and stuff.

LONG: Yeah, a little snowy surprise for the campers in the California Mountains. A late spring storm dumped almost half a foot of snow in the Sierra. And diehard skiers, snowboarders are cheering, of course while making the final runs of the season at Squaw Valley. We have skiers in the newsroom.

HARRIS: Yeah, what is that? It's outrageous. Keep it down to a whisper, please. Maybe a roar.

Let's say we get a check of the Memorial Day forecast for the nation. Reynolds Wolf upstairs for us, in the CNN Weather Center. Reynolds, good morning.

LONG: Morning.

WOLF: Good morning. You know, one great thing about one of these big holiday weekends, you have time to catch up with family and friends, remember, of course, the reason for the holiday. But at the same time, a lot of you like to get out there and do some yard work.


HARRIS: Reynolds, thank you.

WOLF: You betcha.

HARRIS: Pope Benedict XVI has been in Poland for the past four days paying homage to his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. He's marking the day with a mass in Krakow and in a couple of hours he will visit Auschwitz concentration camp before returning to Rome. Correspondent Hanna Smoktunowicz joins us from Krakow.

And Hanna, let me first ask you to describe the scene for us, of this massive mass. One estimate put the number of believers at one million. It must have been quite a scene.

HANNA SMOKTUNOWICZ, POLSAT REPORTER: Yes, exactly. Tony. I mean, this last day of Pope Benedict's journey to Poland started off with this mass celebrated in Krakow's Blonia Park, one of the places so dear to the late Pope John Paul II. It was a time, it was attended, as you said, very massive crowds of people, it's estimated over a million people were there listening to the pope's words. So, imagine that. And those were words of encouragement for the Poles to stay faithful to their beliefs, to keep the faith in god no matter what, despite hardship they may endure. I mean, this is a country the rate of unemployment is around 20 percent. And there words of gratitude, beautifully uttered, thank you for the way the people here greeted them. Pope Benedict cited Karol Wojtyla, who said to them, "Before I leave, let me once again look from here at Krakow, let me look at Poland." And after citing those words, Pope Benedict went on to cite, clearly moved by the crowd's cheering, "Karol Wojtyla and John Paul II's Krakow is now also my Krakow."

So, a very beautiful way of saying thanks and a moving farewell to all of the people who came to see him this morning -- Tony.

HARRIS: And Hanna, the trip later to Auschwitz. What's the purpose of this particular visit?

SMOKTUNOWICZ: Well, the visit to the former German Nazi concentration camp will surly be an extremely demanding one in emotional terms, and a very symbolic one. The pope will go there as head of a Catholic Church, a church accused of being passive during the war. And he will go there as a German national, a next member of the Hitler youth, and organization he was incorporated in against his will during the war. But still, he was part of it. We don't know what he will say, but we think we know what language he will be using. It is planned that in Auschwitz for the first time during this journey to Poland, he'll be speaking in his mother tongue. So, a very symbolic act after 61 years. German will once again be spoken and heard in Auschwitz, but this time through the loud speakers, prayer will go out to the world, a prayer for peace. And well, where else could it be heard louder and clearer than from here -- Tony.

HARRIS: Boy, that should be something. Hanna Smoktunowicz for us in Krakow, Poland, Hanna, we appreciate it. Thank you.

And this program, holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel will be a guest tonight on CNN, that's at 10:00 Eastern.

LONG: Coming up on this Memorial Day weekend.

HARRIS: An American soldier died in Afghanistan, along with 15 other servicemen. His mother and father bring the story of their soldier son and those who bravely served with him. That is coming up on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


LONG: This Memorial Day, we pause to reflect on those who have made the supreme sacrifice. What you see here, video from last July when a massive search was launched in the Afghan Mountains for the missing Chinook helicopter with 16 aboard. That chopper was on its way to rescue a four man reconnaissance team when it was shot down. Among the 16 special forces who died in the crash, Lieutenant Commander Eric Kristensen. And joining us this morning are his parents, retired Rear Admiral Edward Kristensen and Susanne Kristensen.

And while we talk this morning, his parents have requested that also remember the others who died along with their son.

Edward, Suzanne, thank you so much for your time especially on this weekend. We appreciate it.


LONG: Please tell us, this is the first Memorial Day since your son's death. What does this Memorial Day mean to you?

SUZANNE KRISTENSEN, SON KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: Well, it's a little more pointed than it used to be. It means the same, it's just more intense.

LONG: When you think of Eric this weekend or any day. What first comes to mind? Tell me about your son? S. KRISTENSEN: Well, he was a very, varied person in his personality. He was very humorous, very laid back, very literate, but yet he was a Navy Seal. So there were many sides to Eric and the ones we knew and loved with his humor, mostly, and his laid back attitude to the point of not getting up to go on vacation until the cab arrived at his house, including he had not even packed. But, he was -- that was Eric.

E. KRISTENSEN: He was a very dedicated individual to what he believed in and that's the way he lived his life.

LONG: I know this is a very difficult time for you, and a very difficult interview, so we do appreciate your comments. And I'm curious about what it was like that day, you got the news of the mission, this rescue mission, and your son's fate.

E. KRISTENSEN: Well, we had heard that the Chinook had gone down, I believe it was Tuesday, And we were going to Norfolk to A friend's retirement, and so we continued on down, and went to Norfolk, because -- and we had other friends that assured us that Eric would not have gone on that mission and so on and so forth. But then, Wednesday evening, we got the phone call, that in fact Eric was on the helo that had been shot down. And having been involved in aircraft accidents before, as far as several and rescue is concerned, I knew that aircraft accidents are not friendly happenings, and so at that point, I think we understood that we had lost him.

LONG: You are a military family, and of course you know the honor, but you also know the risks. So, I'm curious what it was like when your son came to you and said "I want to be in the Navy."

E. KRISTENSEN: Well, he actually never came to us and said "I want to be in the Navy." He had grown up in the Navy, in the naval academy when I was stationed there for two-an-a-half years during his high school years. He saw the (INAUDIBLE) decor amongst my classmates and my teammates, and I think that's what he was looking for and he found that, and especially found that in the Seal community.

S. KRISTENSEN: And he made his sown decisions and he never really -- he would listen to advice, he might ask for it, but you always knew that whatever he did was going to be his decision and you really had no long-lasting influence. He was very independent.

LONG: I'm curious about how both of you, individually, and also as a couple, as a mom and dad have dealt with this loss as your only son.

S. KRISTENSEN: Well, it's not easy. I wouldn't wish this on anybody, this feeling. But we have great support, not only our Navy family, but our own family, of course. And all of his friends, he had a variety of friends, and wonderful friends and they're all with us all of the time. Both visiting and by phone and e-mail, and they're now all of our kids and so they give us a great deal of support and strength.

LONG: Mr. Kristensen? E. KRISTENSEN: I think that, Suzanne I handled it -- have handled it different ways, together and in our own moments and I think we're doing as best as we can.

LONG: Before we close, I wanted to ask you, this is a pivotal day for you, obviously, for so many families who have lost their loved ones, who have sons or daughters serving overseas. And for others, they can't relate. Memorial Day is perhaps even just a day off for a chance to kick back and relax. So, for them, tell them what they need to know about the importance of this Memorial Day weekend.

E. KRISTENSEN: Well, I think that Memorial Day is a time to remember those that given so much for what we take, a lot of us take for granted and I think it's appropriate that people stop for a moment, a second, whatever, and remember those people that have done that.

S. KRISTENSEN: Well, my thoughts are, as I watched a few days ago where Caroline Kennedy was giving out this year's Profiles in Courage Awards. And I think all of those young men who go to war deserve a Profiles in Courage Award. To me they're courageous and they're brave and they're our youth and they're our future. And I hope everybody would remember. That Mr. Kristensen, Mrs. Kristensen. Thank you for sharing your son's story and sharing your own deep personal sorrow. We appreciate it this morning.

S. KRISTENSEN: Thank you, have a great weekend.

LONG: Thank you.

S. KRISTENSEN: Thank you. Bye-bye.

HARRIS: And that brings us to today's e-mail question. Who are you honoring this Memorial Day? Our e-mail address,

And this from Robert J. DeVitto. U.S. Navy veteran, 1943 to 1946, "I would like to honor my late uncle George V. Manzi who was killed in WWII when he was a Japanese prisoner in the Philippines. He was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps."

We'll take a break and we'll come back in a moment.


LONG: Good morning to you on this Sunday. Two strong earthquakes rumbled through the South Pacific today. A 6.2 magnitude quake struck off the coast off Papua, New Guinea and a stronger quake measuring 6.7 hit near Tonga. So far there are no reports of damage or injuries.

In Indonesia, the death toll is climbing from yesterday's quake. Government says at least 3,800 people are dead, about 200,000 survivors, homeless. And there's a desperate need for relief supplies. The World Food Program says it plans to helicopter in 80 tons of food and deliver several teams of doctors along with 5,000 pounds of medicine. Joining me from Washington this morning to talk more about the quake is Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat Indonesia's ambassador to the U.S.

Thank you for joining us.

SUDJADNAN PARNOHADININGRAT, INDONESIAN AMB. TO U.S.: Thank you for giving me the opportunity.

LONG: Our pleasure. Let's first talk about prioritizing needs. What is the first need, and then prioritize the list of what needs to be done in Indonesia.

PARNOHADININGRAT: Yeah. Of course, relief efforts are focused on medicals that are badly needed by those who are wounded. And secondly, would be the equipment to find (INAUDIBLE) under the rubbles, and of course, thirdly, will be a shelter in the future.

LONG: Of course, the country of Indonesia has already been devastated back in 2004 with the tsunami.


LONG: I'm curious whether or not the country's prepared to handle such devastation again.

PARNOHADININGRAT: Well, I was told, and got information from Jakarta that, of course, the government of the United States has already allocated some 2.5 million U.S. dollar, and I also been told the European Union has secured some three million U.S. dollar initially, and of course it's of the government of E.U. members has also pledged to their readiness to work with us or not to leave out those countries from neighborhood, and countries from different regions, Middle East, for instance, that normally come in relief -- give relief assistance to us.

LONG: Ambassador for the viewers watching this morning who want to help out, you mention that there's a desperate need for medical supplies, but what can the viewers do?

PARNOHADININGRAT: Well, of course the viewers can work with us here in the Embassy of Indonesia. We have just set up a -- an account for those who would like to help the causalities and they can contact us, through the Indonesian embassy in Washington, D.D. And we put up a number for those who like to contact us is 202-537-7447.

LONG: That was 202-537-7447.


LONG: Ambassador Parnohadiningrat, thank you so much for your time this morning. We appreciate it immensely.

PARNOHADININGRAT: You're most welcome. Thank you very much.

LONG: And we do want to give one other phone number as well this morning. The Indonesian government is desperately seeking aid, as you an imagine, if you like to donate, here's another number for you, 1- 800-red cross. Or if you happen to be on the computer, go the Web site

HARRIS: And still ahead, the newborn who has the whole world talking. The whole world, Robyn?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, not exactly. It's not as big deal here in southern Africa as you might think. In a few minutes, I'll keep you updated on just how people in the region are reacting to the news.


HARRIS: So, here's the question of the morning. If Brad plus Angelina equals Brangelina, is there baby Brangelita? Brangelita? Well, OK. Of course we have a baby announcement this morning from Namibia. Reporter Robyn Curnow joins us live from nearby Johannesburg. Robyn, good morning to you.

So, are you going to set there in Jo-berg and tell me that there is a move afoot in Namibia to declare a national holiday because of the birth of this baby?

CURNOW: Well, you never know, there was a poll, an informal survey on one of the radio stations in Namibia and 52 percent of the viewers decided that would be a great idea if there was a national holiday on the day Angelina gave birth. Some people even suggested they it Labor Day.

HARRIS: That's good. That's good. That's good. So, OK, put this into some kind of perspective context for us. Tell us why this is such a big deal for Namibia, this country, on the west coast of Africa.

CURNOW: Well, exactly. Put it into perspective. I mean, a lot of Americans probably had never heard about Namibia and if they had, I bet you they couldn't have pinpoint it on a map. So, Namibians are quite happy about the fact that it's put them on the map. The tourist board here -- the tourist board there says they couldn't pay for the publicity that this birth has generated for this African nation. It's a beautiful African nation, it's quite remote, it's got stunning scenery. You know, what more could they want than, you know, some of the most famous people in the world to have their first biological child there.

HARRIS: Yeah. Yeah. So Robyn...

CURNOW: Great publicity in their opinion.

HARRIS: Yeah, why don't we have a picture of the baby yet? And are you telling me the paparazzi there? Come on, the price for this picture, it has to be a million, maybe a little more?

CURNOW: More, five million have been some of the reports I've been reading. This is got to be a very wealthy paparazzi affair if they do get it. But, either way, there a number of reasons -- initially people are asking, why would Brad and Angelina have their baby in Namibia of all places (INAUDIBLE). But, like I said, the stunning scenery is not conducive to good paparazzi pictures, because you've got miles and miles and kilometers and kilometers of sand dunes, nowhere to hide on those. On the other side of where they're renting this hotel, there's that wild Atlantic coastline. So, not a lot of places to hide for a paparazzi. And the Namibians have been very helpful to the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie extravaganza that's defended on their shores. Namibians are being pretty tight about giving visas and, you know, letting people in. It's --like us, which is why we're sitting (INAUDIBLE) and not in one in Namibia. You know, we're still waiting for our work permits.

HARRIS: Man, $5 million, that -- boy, oh boy. Well, you know, take a chance. It's like hitting the lottery. Robyn, good to see you. Thanks for your time this morning.

CURNOW: You too.

HARRIS: Well, to get an idea of just how intense things can be with the media hot on your trail. Watch "CNN Presents" tonight, it's all about "Chasing Angelina, Paparazzi and Celebrity Obsession."

LONG: More with celebrity obsession of "American Idol." Of course the show is finished, the analysts has begun. Winner Taylor Hicks, Runner up, Kat McPhee and the judge, Randy Jackson, appeared Friday night on CNN's "Larry King Live" with "Idol" host, Ryan Seacrest filling in for Larry. A perfect combination for a conversation to turn up about the role of Judge Simon Cowell.


TAYLOR HICKS, "AMERICAN IDOL" WINNER: I had -- I knew I had an uphill battle and you know, I'll tell you what, if anything that Simon Cowell did the whole season was drive me even more to succeed.



HICKS: It did, it really ticked me off.



LONG: Opinionated, yes, good to see that opinion after the show, of course. Be sure to catch that interview Monday night when it will be replayed in its entirety. And now it is time to check in with Howard Kurtz who joins us from Los Angeles this morning instead of his usual digs in Washington.

So, what's still to come on CNN's "Reliable Sources" -- Howard.

HOWARD KURTZ, "RELIABLE SOURCES": Thanks very much. Well, coming up, a dramatic week for the network's evening newscast as Charlie Gibson tapped to fill Peter Jennings' old job at ABC. Elizabeth Vargas steps aside and Katie Couric heads to the "CBS Evening News," we'll look at the fallout.

Plus, "New York Times," gets a lot of flack for focusing on the Clinton's marriage right there on the front page. And the speaker of the House demands a retraction from ABC News. Did the network hype its story about an investigation involving Dennis Hastert? All ahead on "Reliable Sources."

LONG: Thank you, busy morning coming up. Enjoy Los Angeles, as well.

And that's "Reliable Sources" coming up at 10:00 Eastern, followed by Wolf Blitzer and "Late Edition" at 11:00, and "On the Story" at 1:00 Eastern. Stay tuned to CNN for complete coverage of the day's top stories. CNN, the most trusted name in news.

HARRIS: To our e-mail question of the morning. We're asking you, your thoughts on this question, who are you honoring this Memorial Day?

Matthew from Columbus writes, "I honor my granddad who is still alive, but suffering with cancer. He fought in both the Korean and Vietnam wars as an Air Force officer. I give respect to everyone who fights in war from the revolution to Iraq, today. God bless our troops."

LONG: Lydiah Anne Warfield writes in, "I honor my deceased dad every Memorial Day by saying a little prayer to him for serving in the PA National Guard in High School, at Pearl Harbor as a Marine, in Europe in WWII and yet later in Vietnam."

HARRIS: And this from Tamara who writes, "I honor both my father Thomas Pimentel who serves in the Navy, and my husband Alex Rodriguez who serves in the Marine Corps. With them I also honor all our fallen soldiers who gave all to make this country what it is today."

And thank you, all for your e-mails this morning. Thank you, and man, what a Memorial Day weekend. Let's get you upstairs now to Reynolds Wolf for a final check of the nation's forecast -- Reynolds.


HARRIS: Ditto.

WOLF: You betcha.

HARRIS: We concur. "Reliable Sources" is next followed by "Late Edition" and "On the Story," so don't go anywhere.

LONG: And Fredricka Whitfield will be with you later with live updates.