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CNN Sunday Morning

Missing Cruise Ship Passengers Found Alive; E-mail Etiquette

Aired March 25, 2007 - 09:00   ET


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, it is Sunday, March 25th, good morning everybody from the CNN Center here in Atlanta. I'm Betty Nguyen.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning to you all, I'm T.J. Holmes, glad you can be here with us. We'll start this morning telling you about two cruise ship passengers who went overboard, stranded in the Gulf of Mexico for several hours and yes they have indeed been found alive. The developing story you've been watching only on CNN this morning.

NGUYEN: Also waking up to water in parts of the Midwest. Look at this, homes, yards, roads, all submerged. Sandbagging efforts are under way but for some it is already too late.

And something everybody needs to learn this morning, e-mail etiquette. We will tell you the three things you should never, ever, ever, ever, Betty, include in a work e-mail.

NGUYEN: Can I just tell you I have my pen and paper ready for this one. Don't hit send until you see this report it is ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.

HOLMES: The dramatic rescue in the Gulf of Mexico. We've been following it all morning, but in case you're just getting up grabbing that coffee (AUDIO DROP OUTS). We want to bring you an update. The Coast Guard said passengers who fell overboard have been pulled from the water. Their ship was sailing from Texas to Cozumel in Mexico. The passengers who are described as a male and female in their 20s were on board the Grand Princess when they apparently fell off the balcony of a cabin. Now less than two hours ago we did get word that the two had been found alive. I talked with another passenger who was on board that ship, Kevan Shaw, who described what he saw.


KEVAN SHAW: The woman was brought out as they say about 25 minutes to, it would be 25 minutes to 6:00 Texas time. She was a little cold, bundled up, had her head down as they took her off the rescue craft on the seventh deck I guess that would be and brought her into an elevator and while they were bringing that boat up, T.J., on the side of the cruise ship the rescue craft we actually saw the man in the water as well and we're yelling at the rescue boats to get over there along with the Coast Guard helicopter that was on scene. And right then, they pulled him from the water as well. As I say, he was naked at the time but he was yelling and waving to us in the water and when he did come off the rescue craft on the seventh floor, as I say, he was in a wheelchair and he looked to be in better shape. But as you know I'm not a medical expert, neither are you. We just don't know the condition of these two at the moment. They are being looked at no doubt in the hospital here on the ship.


HOLMES: We've got no details yet on exactly how the two went overboard. So many people got their own guess and some speculation out there. We'll bring you however any new information as we get it. And then a little later this hour, our Rick Sanchez shows us just how the search and rescues tend to take place.

NGUYEN: In other news, the U.N. tries to up the pressure on Iran and the standoff over the nuclear program. The Security Council votes unanimously to slap new sanctions on Iran and the country's foreign minister immediately rejected those sanctions calling them unlawful, unjust and unnecessary. But, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. says the vote puts Iran on notice.


ALEJANDRO WOLFF, ACTING U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: The unanimous passage today of resolution 1747 sends a clear and unambiguous message to Iran. The regime's continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, in violation of its treaty obligations, as well as its obligations as a member state of the United Nations, will only further isolate Iran and make it less, not more, secure.


NGUYEN: Now Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, not weapons. The Iranian president had been scheduled to speak to the Security Council before the sanctions vote. He says his flight crew didn't get their U.S. visas in time. The U.S. says the visas were issued promptly.

There's another showdown looming with Iran that we want to tell you about, this one with the British government and European Union. Both are demanding the release of 15 British sailors and marines picked up in the Persian Gulf. Our European political editor Robin Oakley joins us now live from London with the latest on this. Where does it stand at this hour?

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN EUROPEAN POLITICAL EDITOR: Well Betty we have a classic diplomatic standoff here. The Iranian authorities are saying that the 14 men and one woman who were on two boats carrying out anti-smuggling patrols in the Persian Gulf were in blatant violation of Iranian territorial waters. They say it was an aggressive act and that the sailors and marines have been arrested for these actions. Of course, the British authorities are saying no way. These sailors were all in Iraqi waters, doing their job under U.N. instructions, and that there is no question of them violating Iranian territory, but there are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the whole situation. We don't know the British authorities don't know where these men are being held, whether they are still in the hands of the revolutionary guard, naval patrol, whether they've been handed over to the government, whether they're at the military establishment or in Tehran, and nor indeed, do we know whether the Iranian claims by a senior military official to Iranian news authorities that the men have confessed to being in Iranian waters, whether there can be any truth in that at all because the British Ministry of Defense has no access to the men. Betty?

NGUYEN: You're calling it a classic standoff Robin, but at the same time, the British government is wanting to move on this. What do you think they're going to be doing in order to get their people released?

OAKLEY: Well, they're going in for quiet and practical diplomacy and getting all the support they can. You mentioned the European Union, Javier Solana there, a high representative on international affairs, he's called for the British sailors and marines to be released. So has Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, with Germany currently holding the presidency of the European Union. But what the British ministers are doing is playing it very quiet at the moment. They're not going in for big declarations in the way that some of the Iranians have been doing. They're saying this is a practical technical matter and it can be sorted out like a similar episode back in 2004, when some sailors were seized and handed back after three days. They're going for low-style diplomacy, quiet background chats, trying to get the whole thing sorted out at that level, but a lot of uncertainty remains about just how long that process is going to take. Betty?

NGUYEN: This is true and we'll be watching. Robin Oakley joining us live, thank you.

HOLMES: A powerful earthquake rocks the northern coast of central Japan. At least one person was killed today, scores others injured in the quake with a magnitude of 6.7. Knocked down buildings, cut power and triggered a small tsunami. Now people are having to deal with those aftershocks. Also, two strong quakes hit the pacific island nation of Vanuatu today. The quake set a magnitude of 7.2 and 6.0. No reports of damage or injuries and police say a tsunami alert passed without incident. U.S. data indicates the quakes were centered several miles below the earth's surface.

NGUYEN: Well, under water in central Indiana. Take a look at this, more rain than the ground can handle. Creeks there already overflowing and there is the chance of more rain today, not what they need. Lynsay Clutter of CNN affiliate WTHR joins us now live from Hamilton County, Indiana, with the latest on the weather there. Give us an update, Lynsay.

LYNSAY CLUTTER, WTHR: Well welcome to spring weather here in central Indiana. What looks like we might be drying out here this morning, which is good news. No rain in the forecast for today but we could have some rain throughout the week. Now you can take a look here behind me. We're on Allisonville Road which is just north of Indianapolis. And this road is one of the 12 roads in Hamilton County alone that's closed because of flooding and high water. But I can tell you we're out here yesterday and it looked much worse there. Now, a lot of these creeks are overflowing, and then they flow into the White River, and it poured its banks, causing major flooding in several counties. You can see in Madison County, many homes are surrounded by water. Residents spent all day yesterday sandbagging to protect their homes and we captured some cars submerged under water, quite incredible pictures from our helicopter.

But in fact, no evacuations in any of these counties are planned. They're just closing many of the roads and so people are going to have to plan some alternate routes. But the residents, they're in these flood prone areas, they've been through this before and they said we're just going to wait it out, we know what to do. The good news here this morning is that the White River is actually dropping. It crested at about 3:00 a.m. early this morning and now it's down a foot, so as it slowly goes back down, people are just going to plan their alternate routes and hopefully get those sandbags into their homes and expect better conditions for the rest of the week. So hopefully, you know spring weather here in Central Indiana. You never know, but hopefully the rain won't be as bad for the following week to come. Betty, back to you.

NGUYEN: All right, thanks for that report, we appreciate it, Lynsay.


HOLMES: Paying a premium for your pet's food. Coming up next how a massive recall could change the buying habits of some pet owners.

NGUYEN: Plus, the lessons to be learned from the scandal surrounding the firing of those U.S. attorneys. Coming up in 10 minutes, the pitfalls, offline office communication. Actually it's more online. We'll teach you how not to send an e-mail until you know what to and not to do. Stay with us.


NGUYEN: We want to get you more now on that massive pet food recall because officials still are trying to figure out exactly how rat poison got into the products and so far, the tainted food has been linked to at least 15 animal deaths and now, the scare may be fueling an attitude adjustment for many pet owners. CNN's Jim Acosta has that story.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You won't find people panicking over the pet food scare at The Barking Zoo in New York City.

JAY ENGLISH, THE BARKING ZOO: I'm surprised that it took this scare to make the public aware of how poorly made a lot of these foods are.

ACOSTA: That's because nearly all of its products are organic or natural foods for dogs and cats. As store owner, Jay English asked us, ever see a dog food label that looks like this?

ENGLISH: The first four ingredients here is turkey, chicken and then turkey meal and chicken meal.

ACOSTA: Sales of organic and natural pet foods have soared to an estimated $400 million a year, thanks to dog owners like Mike Bryan, who wouldn't have it any other way.

MIKE BRYAN, ORGANIC PET FOOD SHOPPER: If you're going to put something into your body, a dog feels the same way you do, thinks the same you do, why wouldn't you feed your dog the same thing you're going to feed yourselves?

ACOSTA: Now the industry is expected to get a boost after the scores of horror stories from pet owners this week. Anita Bacci says she lost her two dogs to the tainted food.

ANITA BACCI: They mean everything. They are our family.

ACOSTA (on camera): And it's not just pet owners who are outraged. Investors may soon be howling over how some well-known brand names are managing this public relations crisis.

MARC BABEJ, PARTNER, REASON INC.: Pet food is different from any other product in that if something goes wrong, it's not like I'm going to do you much good by refunding you the price of your cat or dog.

ACOSTA: Dog owner and marketing strategist Marc Babej says the big pet food companies impacted by the scare have a short window of opportunity to repair the damage.

BABEJ: Where I would place the emphasis would be to come out, to be the first brand to come out with some kind of policy that is going to prevent such a thing from happening in the future.

ACOSTA: At least one of the companies says it's already looking at ways to improve quality controls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No dog food scare here.

ACOSTA: Something organic pet food shoppers say they don't worry about. Jim Acosta, CNN, New York.


NGUYEN: We want to tell you about this because CNN reported yesterday that a bull mastiff died after eating IAMS brand dog food. Well that dog Princess in fact had eaten Nutro brand dog food. CNN does regret the error. In a statement the CEO of Nutro Products tells CNN that he is sincerely sorry for the family's loss. Pete owners who are concerned that a Nutro product could have contributed to their pet's illness of death, should contact the company. Here's the number, it's 1-800-833-5330. The company says it is preparing to implement additional guidelines to ensure quality control measures are strengthened. TJ? HOLMES: All right, Betty, supporting the troops or undermining them? That is how the discussion is playing out in Washington, and now, Vice President Dick Cheney reacts to the House's call for troop withdrawal from Iraq in 2008. We'll tell you what he said, in 15 minutes.

And sender beware, there is no such thing as a personal e-mail at work, our guest is an expert on this topic and he's going to help you manage your e-mail. But first we're going to test your e-mail etiquette here. When you see "NTN" in an e-mail, what does that mean? We'll give you a moment to think about that and have the answer when we come back here on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.



ALBERTO GONZALES, US ATTORNEY GENERAL: I acknowledge that mistakes were made here. I think that I did make some mistakes.

BUSH: Al was right mistakes were made. He's right, mistakes were made. Mistakes were made.

GONZALES: Mistakes were made.


HOLMES: I think mistakes may have been made. When it comes to the firing of those eight U.S. attorneys, both Attorney General Gonzales and the president both admitting that, but was it another mistake to discuss the details of those firings through e-mail? Mike Song is the co-author of "The Hamster Revolution," how to manage your e-mail before it manages you or maybe just gets you into trouble. Good morning Mr. Song, everybody is itching to hear what you, the expert have to say on this. Because I can tell you some inappropriate e-mails are flying through this place. But let's start by this, are people making a mistake to assume that a work e-mail is secure, confidential and safe?

MIKE SONG, AUTHOR, "THE HAMSTER REVOLUTION": They absolutely are. You know your work e-mail is really owned by the organization that you work with and one of the astounding things that we found in researching the book that people were oblivious to that. They thought if they send one message to one person it was going to stick with that one person. The reality is not only can your company look at that message but the person you send it to could forward it to five people who could forward it to 500 more. So be very judicious in what you send to your co-workers, your colleagues and your family through your work e-mail because it really can go public very fast as unfortunately the attorney general has found out.

HOLMES: Ok, let's talk about the attorney general right quick here, that case. Did that leave you just scratching your head that something this sensitive, somebody decided to discuss the details in an e-mail, did that leave you just shaking your head? SONG: Yes, it did because many of the things that were discussed really cast a negative light I think on the Department of Justice. These things could have been easily left out of the e-mail messages and they could have focused on the business at hand. And I think these little things that tend to be inflammatory, little digs on political opponents and people that we're working with, they can tend to snowball into these larger issues, personnel issues, they can be turned into public scandals and litigation. That's one reason why a lot of our corporate training clients reach out to us to try to calm that down and it can really be damaging to your own reputation and your personal career.

HOLMES: All right Mr. Song, this is a big one here everybody wanted to know, the three things you should never include in a work e- mail, by all means, we've all got our pens ready to take the notes. What are those three things?

SONG: I think the first thing is misinformation, anything that's not accurate, anything that's not true, I would leave out of a message. I think it's really important not to forward on rumor, innuendo, exaggerations and we did see that in the Department of Justice messages. One thing that you should always do is fact check anything that you get that you're not sure of the content and there are great fact-checking websites on the internet. We actually offer a free guide to seven of the best ones at The second thing is intense emotional content. If you're angry, biter, sarcastic, mad, wait 24 hours, please wait and reconsider that message. You'll send a much more professional message and it won't snowball into some type of a litigation. And then finally, what I call gray area content. Anything that you think is an illegal, professional, judgmental gray area, pull back from that message, really ask yourself, maybe this shouldn't be something I send through e-mail, which becomes a permanent legally discoverable document that can be damaging to your reputation.

HOLMES: Now who can see your e-mails before and after you hit delete. I mean we know that, you send it to somebody and you have to just assume that maybe they won't forward it on. But even if they don't forward it on and you actually hit delete, can someone else or who else can see that e-mail?

SONG: Well, e-mail is backed up on tapes at these large backup facilities by most organizations. Certainly big organizations in the government backup their e-mails, part of the way the system works. So that is always recoverable. Sometimes for decades after you send a message.

HOLMES: Oh my goodness.

SONG: So you could send two messages completely unrelated and they could be discovered five years apart and look like a pattern when in fact you're pretty innocent and you maybe misstated something.

HOLMES: Ok Mike, let me hit on a couple of quick things. First, you know people have the instant messaging in the office. We have a top line here, just the internal sending those quick messages, instant messages. What about those and also something you call we mail or me- mail or something, what is that?

SONG: Well instant messages are also legally discoverable, they're also permanent. They seem very much like they pass and after you turn your computer off they go away. But the Mark Foley scandal told us no, instant messaging lasts forever too. So we are really being watched and you need to be judicious, you need to be careful. We-mail is what we call, when you're doing your e-mail very fast and you're in that really quick mode, we call that me-mail. In other words you're thinking, how can I empty out my inbox and just get this done. You're not think about your recipient, you're not thinking about your organization and you're not thinking about your professional reputation, you're just trying to whip through those 100 e-mail messages, we've all been there. But what we tell people in our corporate training classes in our book, be cautious, be careful because you could send a message that could hurt your career.

HOLMES: Ooh, my goodness. Mike Song you have just scared me half to death! Thank you for your tips, man. We could talk to you here for awhile. We have a lot of questions we'd like to ask you, but Mike Song, again, the co-author of "The Hamster Revolution: How to Manage your E-mail before it Manages You". Sir thank you so much for the work that you do. Thanks for stopping by with us.

SONG: Pleasure being here.

HOLMES: All right, let's see what we've learned here. We didn't talk about this but I learned a lot. But we asked earlier, what NTN means in an e-mail message? Well that answer is, "no thanks needed." Here is another one that can help you manage that inbox, what does NRN mean, that means "no reply needed."

NGUYEN: You know I like that one because so many times you send an e-mail and they'll write back "will do", "thanks." That's not even necessary. But by the way, we're not judgmental, we say T.J. learned a lesson. In fact I just started deleting all of your e-mails to help you out my friend.

HOLMES: I appreciate it.

NGUYEN: Funny stuff. If you only knew.

Remember this, we want to hear from you about your e-mail nightmares. Send us your stories to

But first --


CHENEY: When members of Congress pursue an anti-war strategy that's been called slow bleed, they're not supporting the troops, they're undermining them.


NGUYEN: Why the vice president is lashing out once again at Democrats on the hill. We have a live report from the White House in five minutes.

HOLMES: And also a couple survives falling from a cruise ship into the Gulf of Mexico. Coming up next, our Rick Sanchez takes an in- depth look at what is done to help those lost at sea. Don't go away. We'll be right back after I clean out my inbox.


HOLMES: Well, hello again and welcome back to this CNN SUNDAY MORNING, I'm T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: Good morning everyone, I'm Betty Nguyen been.

We want to get you more on the lost and found at sea story that we've been following for you this morning. Two cruise ship passengers have been rescued at sea after falling overboard from the Grand Princess, which you see in the file pictures right here.

The passengers were a male and female in their 20s, in fact the man was 22-years-old, the woman just 20-years-old and we have learned from a statement from the Grand Princess that they had fallen overboard from one of the passenger cabins, a balcony, there.

So, what happened was the ship stopped, it initiated an emergency search operation. And I fact, rescue boats were launched from the Grand Princess and the Coast Guard was notified. And after searching for four hours they were able to rescue the female passenger at 5:30 a.m. Central Time, this morning, and then the male passenger was rescued shortly after that at 6:00 a.m.

And so these are the details that we've learned. But here's something that's really interesting. Just take in mind that these two people were in the water for four hours. The ship was on its way from Galveston, Texas to Cozumel, Mexico -- waters fairly well-known for sharks.

Veronica de la Cruz of has been searching the web for shark information and joins us now. What have you found?

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN.COM DESK: Well Betty, like you just mentioned the two were in the water for about four or five hours out in the open sea. Temperature only 71-72 degrees so fortuitous the accident didn't happen in the water -- or in the winter, rather. The issue, though that crossed our minds, like you just mentioned, the sharks, what was lurking below as these two were treading water for several hours. Let's and take a look at this website, this is a website dedicated to ichthyology, which is a form of zoology that concentrates on fish.

And this is an international shark attach file, thanks to the FLMNH Web site, that is Florida Museum of Natural History. If you scroll down, this is the Gulf Coast and these are the states that border this body of water, and if you look at Florida, Florida has the highest incident of shark attacks, 544 total attacks. That cruise ship, Betty, was headed from Texas to Mexico and if you look at Texas, 33 total attacks, the last fatality happening in 1962, with a total of only three fatal attacks-- not very high in comparison to the 13 attacks that have occurred in Florida.

Again that Web address is That is the largest international registry that records these types of attacks. Now, even though text ranks sixth when it comes to shark attacks. It doesn't mean that an couldn't have attack couldn't happened. These two are really lucky.

NGUYEN: Yeah they are, I guess another piece of good news too, as I'm learning from the news release here from Princess Cruise Lines it was about 150 miles off the coast of Galveston when these two people were found overboard, so that may have helped, too. As you talk about those shark infested waters. Thank you, Veronica.

HOLMES: Well, they were lost at sea in some shark-infested waters, but a lot of people get lost at sea in some pretty rough waters and it's not actually impossible to survive. You can survive until help survives. And CNN's Rick Sanchez road along with the Coast Guard to find out what a search and rescue mission is like. Here's what he found.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a visual, starboard bow. Coming down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a heaving line ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming right. Coming to starboard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got him on the radar. Got him on the radar.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. Coast Guard demonstrating their precision. A boat, or boater is lost at sea. Their job is to search and rescue.

As they peer toward the horizon, they know that somewhere out there someone is desperately hoping to be found.

MICHAEL GERVISS, U.S. COAST GUARD: We're sent on the scene to respond to a man in the water where a vessel went down. We had got on scene to the last known position. We didn't find him. At that point, we commenced what's called a Victor Sierra Search.

SANCHEZ: Victor Sierra is a search conducted using a series of calculations. Factors like when the boater left, where he was last seen, the wind and current conditions. It is an inexact science that relies as much on persistence and experience as on any particular instrument. And there's no guarantee of success.

(on camera): What's the most difficult thing with your particular job?

MIGUEL SANTOYA, U.S. COAST GUARD: Not being able to save somebody.

SANCHEZ: Not being able to get to them, then finding out that they've perished?

SANTOYA: Or finding them after they perished and being the one that found them.

SANCHEZ: Do you feel guilty?

SANTOYA: I feel like I failed.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): This boat was lost at sea. It took the Coast Guard more than three days to find it. It drifted aimlessly for 120 miles, from the southern tip of the state all the way to Jupiter, Florida. Using patrol boats and helicopters, the three men onboard were finally rescued, taken on to a passing U.S. Naval vessel and eventually on to dry land, where they were reunited with family, some of whom thought they would never see their loved ones again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was the happiest day of my life.

SANCHEZ: Amid the tears and joy, these men now understand they were extremely lucky. They gave Coast Guard officials almost nothing to go on. They did not leave a general indication of their route or destination. They had no radio to call for help. Their safety equipment wasn't up to date. And they had no flares, a combination of missteps that made finding them almost impossible.

SANTOYA: Sometimes the information is not accurate. Sometimes we'll get a search where the communications get cut off before we get all the details and we don't know what we're looking for or where we're looking for it.

SANCHEZ (on camera): And then it's really like finding a needle in a haystack?


SANCHEZ (voice-over): And the odds get worse, if they are looking not for a boat but for a person. We experienced it firsthand by going out about a mile offshore and jumping overboard with nothing more than a life vest.

(on camera): It's amazing when you get here, your line of sight is literally covered or obstructed by most of these waves. You can't see what is on the other side of the waves. And unfortunately, in a rescue situation, it's harder for them to see you, as well.

SANTOYA: The rougher it is, the harder it is to spot it, especially because if it is choppy up here you may think you saw something for a second and it gets behind a wave you may not see it again for another five minutes.

SANCHEZ (voice-over): That is why it is important to wear a life vest approved by the Coast Guard: bright reflective colors like orange that stand out against the blue-green surface of the water.

Experts also advise that you conserve your energy. Don't splash. Try to keep both arms folded and legs crossed. (on camera): The longer you are out here the more you increase the chances of dehydration, hypothermia and exhaustion. Together those three things make it more difficult for you to be able to help yourself while the Coast Guard are trying to find you.

(voice-over): As planned, the 41-footer has spotted me in the water and is in the process of executing a rescue operation.

Because we're out so far from shore, I'm figuring they couldn't get to me soon enough.

(on camera): As a human being, once you are in the water for a long period of time you start to realize you have dropped to the very bottom of the food chain. There's about a thousand feet of water under you and who knows what kind of animals.

(voice-over): For us and Coast Guard officials, it is a worthwhile exercise that can save lives. For people who've actually lived through this ordeal, it is a moment frozen in time.

"It was like going to hell and back," the words used by boater Daniel Gibbs to describe his three days lost as sea.

Rick Sanchez, CNN, off the coast of Florida.


NGUYEN: Well, in other news, we have some hot issues on the Hill this week to tell you about. The debate over dollars and deadlines in the Iraq war moves to the forefront again. Tomorrow the Senate is expected to begin debate on a supplemental spending bill. It requires U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq by March of 2008. Republicans say they'll fight to strip out the deadline provisions.

And on Thursday, the former chief of staff, our Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifies before a Senate committee. He's going to be questioned about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys.

Well, President Bush returns to the White House today for what could be a very tough week ahead. But the president is not backing down. He is standing firmly behind his attorney general under fire in the controversy over those fired prosecutors. Let's take to you the White House and correspondent Ed Henry who joins us with the latest on this which continues on and on and on -- Ed.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, good morning, Betty. The president once again standing by his man yesterday in the weekly radio address. The president offering at least the fourth vote of confidence in the last week and a half or so for Alberto Gonzales, amid fresh ammunition for the attorney general's critics, newly released Justice Department documents on Friday night, show that about 10 days before these U.S. attorneys were fired, late last year, the attorney general attended a one-hour meeting to discuss what a Justice Department spokeswoman says were the general outlines of this plan to dismiss the U.S. attorneys. That seems to contradict a bit what the attorney general himself said at a press conference earlier this month that he "never had a discussion about where things stood on this matter." the attorney general has maintained, all along, that he left the details to his chief of staff, as you noted, Kyle Sampson, who has since resigned from the Justice Department and will voluntarily testify on Capitol Hill, Thursday.

All eyes, of course, will be on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sampson will be testifying under oath and a lot of people will be wondering whether he contradicts the recollection of the attorney general, also does Kyle Sampson implicate White House aides, does he suggest that Karl Rove and other White House aides maybe were more involved as the White House has suggested?

As you know, the other key part of this showdown is the fact that the president so far has refused to make Karl Rove and other White House aides available to testify under oath, to even have a transcript of what they're going to tell Congress, instead hoping that this testimony just be given behind closed doors, Betty. So far Congress saying they're not going along with that, Democrats threatening subpoenas. This obviously could go all the way to the Supreme Court -- Betty.

NGUYEN: Well, while the president is standing by the attorney general, I want to ask you about the vice president, because in fact, he had some very harsh woods yesterday to say about Congress and the situation in Iraq.

HENRY: That's right, his speech in Florida and the vice president taking aim at Democrats in the House, who as you know on Friday narrowly passed this emergency funding request for the war in Iraq, but with some key conditions, of course the most important being that most combat troops would be out of Iraq by the middle of 2008, the White House taking aim at that. You know, the president's already threatened to veto that if the Senate goes along with the bill this week. Take a listen to what the vice president had to say.


DICK CHENEY, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: When members of Congress pursue an anti-war strategy that's been called "slow bleed," they're not supporting the troops, they're undermining them. And when members of Congress speak not of victory, but of time limits, deadlines or other arbitrary measures, they're telling the enemy simply to run out the clock and wait us out.


HENRY: Now, if president ends up vetoing this legislation though, that would put him in the awkward position of vetoing money for troops in the field. Of course the White House is going to try to turn it around on Democrats and say that because of these conditions, that's why the money is not getting out to the troops in the field, but obviously this showdown just beginning -- Betty.

NGUYEN: Oh, yes it is, Ed Henry from the White House, thank you for that. We appreciate it.

HENRY: Thank you.

HOLMES: Yesterday tornadoes. Today, floods. People trying to keep rising waters from their homes, we'll tell you about that and who's likely to get more rain.

NGUYEN: Plus call it the YouTube effect. A whole new front for political campaigns, and they are going online. RELIABLE SOURCES goes in-depth at the top of the hour.


HOLMES: A wild weekend of weather for New Mexico and Indiana. More than a dozen twisters hit New Mexico late Friday, destroying homes and taking out power. But right now in central Indiana some creeks are over their banks, several roads are under water and there's a chance of more rain today.

NGUYEN: So, let's talk about that. And we want to get to Bonnie Schneider with a look at how much rain is headed into certain areas that really don't need it.


NGUYEN: Thank you, bonnie.

HOLMES: Well, a salacious murder trial in Georgia is over. A former 911 operator found guilty of murdering her boyfriend by poisoning him with antifreeze. She was convicted in 2004 for killing her police officer husband in the same way. The jury returns tomorrow to get to consider whether to impose a death sentence.

NGUYEN: Well, it is a real live case of "CSI" in Florida. Investigators trying to identify the skeletal remains of eight people found in some woods in Ft. Myers. Search dogs, they are back at the site are looking for more clues. The bodies may have been there for years. Police are handling these deaths as homicides.

HOLMES: And man, grim reminder here for one man in Florida, he was convicted of vehicular homicide. His sentence? He's been ordered to display a large picture of his victim in his home after he served two years in prison, now along with that picture will be the caption that says "I'm sorry I killed you."

NGUYEN: Well, the House is making a pullout date for U.S. troops in Iraq mandatory. Will the Senate do the same this week? Coming up on LATE EDITION at 11:00 Eastern, Wolf Blitzer talks with two powerful senators about the potential battle over a withdrawal date.

And have you learned your lesson before hitting that "send" button? Your e-mail horror stories, that's coming up next in THE NEWSROOM.

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NGUYEN: This just in, we are getting more information on those 15 British sailors and marines who were taken by the Iranian navy. The Iranian navy saying they were in Iranian water, there, is while London is saying that those British sailors and marines were in fact in Iraqi water.

Well, today as the standoff conditions between those two countries, we are hearing from British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Here are some of the statements he's been making today. First off he says U.K. has no doubt that all personnel taken from within Iraqi waters, this is very important, because the Iranian navy says indeed those British sailors and marines were in Iranian water, not Iraqi water.

Also, Blair says that he hopes that Iran understands how fundamental the issue is to the United Kingdom. He also says Iran's detention of British personnel is a very serious situation, and of course they're still waiting to determine exactly what happens to those 15 British personnel who were taken by the Iranian navy.

So, as soon as we learn more information on this, we'll bring that to you. But again, British Prime Minister Tony Blair issuing his first statements on this issue, which is a standoff right now between the two countries.

All right and also this morning, we've been talking to expert about e-mails and what you should and shouldn't do at the office, and we've been asking you about some of your e-mail horror stories.

CRUZ: We sure have. Have you learned any lessons?


HOLMES: Yes, we have.

NGUYEN: Quite a few.

CRUZ: Take a listen to this. We're going to share some of your e-mails now, starting with this one. This comes from Guy and says, "lessons learned -- lock your computer when you leave your workspace. I have sent many e-mails when I haven't been at my computer -- such as vacation requests" maybe be even doing things like, "volunteering for things like extra on-call and notes to my boss. Lock your computer, Blackberry or Treo."

How many times have you made a phone call on accident?

NGUYEN: With the Blackberry it's easy if you don't lock it.

CRUZ: All the time. So, I think that was probably the best lesson. The next e-mail comes from Elaine. And she says that, "I work in the human resources department and years ago e-mails were going back and forth between my director and my controller regarding salary budgets and employee cutbacks" so sensitive information, "during the course of these e-mails I had an innocent request from my controller regarding the temperature in her office and she forwarded that e-mail to her maintenance department, not thinking about the history that was in that e-mail."

NGUYEN: Oh, no.

HOLMES: Oh, no.

CRUZ: So, she says that her face was red, but they got over it and 23 years later she still has a job. Good for you, Elaine.

NGUYEN: In fact, I got an e-mail the other day it was someone's paycheck that was sent to me.

CRUZ: Oh, no.

NGUYEN: I know, I didn't look at it, I will tell that, but yeah. I promise you, because you had to have the password for it.

HOLMES: Oh, that's why.

NGO: Not that I would have. I'm getting myself into so much trouble up here.

CRUZ: Time for one more e-mail here? No? Yeah? OK.

HOLMES: We do.

CRUZ: And our final e-mail, and I think this one might take the cake. This comes from the Reverend Jim Johnson. He says, "Having both mine and my wife's cell phones on my person at a funeral of a lady who hated cell phones, one started ringing, I tried to answer right in the middle of the message with the chapel at the cemetery full of people." Tries to answer the phone? Drops it on the floor, grabs the right one, "I felt like holding it up and saying does anyone want to talk to the sister who had passed away?"

Reverend, what are you thinking?

NGUYEN: Oh, that is terrible. CRUZ: So, a lot of great e-mails. Thank you so much for sending yours in.

HOLMES: Oh, thank you.

NGUYEN: We'll e-mail you later.

HOLMES: Well, March madness winding down. It's just March sadness for a lot of folks, just a few teams left.

NGUYEN: My Longhorns.

HOLMES: Yes, the Longhorns. A lot of people, and even me, expect they might be playing in the regional final. I didn't expect my Razor Backs to be there. Sorry.

NGUYEN: Well, you were hoping. You can always hope. You never know.

HOLMES: But, for the Longhorns, USC...

NGUYEN: Do you have to say that?

HOLMES: Kind of messed things up a bit, left a lot of fans, including our dear Betty here, who's not quite the orange today, wondering why all this happened.


HOLMES: And I think maybe the folks over at "Saturday Night Live" may have figured this out.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, Ted you called it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chris, I have said all year that USC played a great track in defense, the very type of defense that would give Texas fits and it did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Um-hm, Mandy you picked Texas to lose as well. What was your thinking?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Um, well, first of all Texas uniforms are orange, so right there, Texas and I have a big problem.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not a tough call.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Texas, if you're listening, we do tangerine, we do coral, but I'm sorry, we do not do orange. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: That's so wrong. Burnt orange is beautiful.

HOLMES: To some.

NGUYEN: Although I'm not wearing it today.

HOLMES: Well, we got RELIABLE SOURCES up next. Just had to mess with Betty a little bit this morning. LATE EDITION begins with Wolf Blitzer at 11:00 Eastern, he'll have a couple of senators Orin Hatch and Bill Nelson, among them on that.