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CNN Sunday Morning

Sniper Shoots Three, Hides in Church; Search for 3 Missing U.S. Soldiers in Iraq Continues

Aired May 20, 2007 - 09:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. It is Sunday, May 20. Good morning from the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. I'm T.J. Holmes.
VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Veronica De La Cruz. Good morning to you. I'm sitting in for Betty Nguyen this morning.

Well, if you are just getting up, we are following breaking news out of Idaho, where three people have been shot by a suspected sniper. We'll have a live report straight ahead.

Also --


WENDY LUZON, JIMENEZ FAMILY FRIEND: It is just a possibility, but when are you in a situation like this, you wait for the best news.


HOLMES: Hope for the families of those missing U.S. soldiers in Iraq. At least two of them may still be alive, according to the U.S. military. They are operating under the thought that at least all three of them are still alive. That's the thought they are operating under.

However, we'll have a live report and get all of the details from Baghdad, straight ahead.

DE LA CRUZ: Plus, men looking for love, women looking for a better life. And the huge international market for Asian mail-order brides.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just on joking around, I said, you know, it's lottery law, you get that last one on the roll, you have to buy that one, too.


DE LA CRUZ: This woman has $1 million good reasons to be glad that she didn't follow the lottery law. Getting lucky and getting rich, this is one story you don't want to miss.

HOLMES: The story we are going to start with is the breaking story out of Moscow, Idaho this morning. Three people shot, two of them police officers. The shooter, or shooters, appear to be holed up in a church in the middle of the town.

As many as 75 shots were fired out of the church. Police have not returned any fire. The assistant police chief says he believes the victims were just random targets. They're conditions not known, at this time.

Meanwhile, Police have sealed off the area. At least 50 heavily armed officers are standing by. Police say they expect to move in once all of their tactical teams are ready to go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I talked with the Sheriff, Sheriff Rauch, he told me his dispatch center took somewhere between 30 to 40 rounds. And he believes at that time of the shooting, it came from the parking lot and not the building. We have information that we have brass out in the parking lot, which would indicate where he was shooting from.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you tell us where the suspect is located right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have any positive identification or intelligence on where the suspect is. We're taking the position that he is in the Presbyterian Church. That was where -- the area of the last shot fired, came from.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any indication that you might be dealing with two shooters? Or are you still -- you feeling that it might be one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't make that assumption at this point. We're taking it that we don't know how many people we have in the church. And we'll go from there on -- if we do make entry and decide the best way is to go in -- they'll take it that everybody in there is considered a suspect.


HOLMES: We want to get more now from Evan Ellis, who has been updating us from this morning from station KQQQ, there in Moscow, on the scene for us.

Evan, first, can you tell us, we understand the last time a shot was fired was around 1:00 a.m., but do we have any indication, any sign, signal at all, any movement in that church and to know that this person is still milling about in the church?

EVAN ELLIS, REPORTER, KQQQ RADIO: Not to this point. There has been no activity or movement out of that church since 1 o'clock this morning. And, in fact, at the time, when that single gunshot was heard, over the -- as we were listening to the police scanner at that time -- it was interesting to note that the officers around had noted that it was a single shot and that it was a muffled shot and that it sounded different than the previous gunshots that were coming from the church.

Now, what you can draw from that I have no idea. But at that point, that's the last type of activity of any kind. From what we've been told, and what we hear, we've been standing here now for several hours, haven't heard anything. Certainly we can't see the church, but no sounds coming from that direction in terms of gunfire.

HOLMES: And police came out and said, yes, we're getting things in place and we're going in. Are they still saying that to you? Is that still the plan?

ELLIS: Well, they are still staging. And, you know, it was a few hours ago when the word from the Moscow Police Department was that they would be moving on this building and neutralizing the situation within 10 to 12 hours, depending on what was most advantage for law enforcement.

We're now three to four hours past that stage, and they are still indicating at some point they'll be moving in here. And there are a lot of officers here in Moscow from all over the region, and several tactical teams.

HOLMES: What else have we been able to find out about those victims? Understand that now it's three people shot. Two of those are officers, law enforcement officers, one a civilian. Give us the best, the latest information have you on their conditions?

ELLIS: We're down to three. We don't have a condition on the two officers yet, nor do we have an identification. One, a Moscow police officer, with the city department here. One, a deputy with the sheriff's office, out of the courthouse where this whole thing began. The first shots fired at the courthouse. No indication on what their status is.

The one civilian that we now know -- just one civilian -- caught in the gunfire. A few hours ago we were told that that individual was undergoing, or had undergone, surgery at a hospital here in Moscow. So at that time, obviously, the indication was that individual is still alive.

HOLMES: And finally here, giving people an idea who most folks have never been to Moscow, Idaho, who are listening to us now. The courthouse on a weekend, give us an idea of who would be in there, how many people? And also just that downtown area? Are we lucky here that maybe not as many people are out and about at that time at night? And that's a good thing?

ELLIS: I tell you what, the first thing I was thinking when I was getting on scene here, about half hour, 45 minutes after the shots initially rang out, was I'm going past main street and there are probably a half a dozen bars on Main Street in Moscow. Moscow is a college town. The University of Idaho located right here in Moscow.

Now, the campus on the other side of town, well away from this location. But as I was driving through, I'm thinking, midnight Saturday night, there will be a lot of people on coming onto Main Street. Luckily, officers were able to keep college students and other patrons of the bar here on Main Street -- which is literally four blocks away from the church -- able to keep those folks away from the church area.

And it was actually surprising that for a Saturday night, there weren't more people out on Main Street. Normally you would see more. It seemed like there were fewer last night, which ended up being a very good thing. But this whole situation going down four blocks from the heart of Moscow, the business district, right four blocks away from Main Street.

HOLMES: All right, Evan Ellis from station there, KQQQ. Thank you so much this morning for all of the help you are giving us and updating us on this story. And certainly if we have more developments, we want to get back with you. Thank you so much, Evan.

DE LA CRUZ: And updating another major story right now. The U.S. military believes three soldiers abducted eight days ago in Iraq could still be alive. For more on the stepped up efforts to find them, CNN's Hugh Riminton joins us now live from Baghdad.

Good morning, Hugh.


They do keep up this search. They follow up every lead and every tip. One of them was a piece of information that they were getting from more than one source, so we understand. Indicating that two severed heads had been found in a canal about seven miles away from where these three soldiers were abducted.

They have now drained that canal over the last few hours. This is a major undertaking and found absolutely no evidence of anything there. And it just shows you how difficult this is. They must follow these leads, sometimes the news appears to lead them to something positive, sometimes toward something negative.

In following them all, you know, often they are quite happy to get no results, as was the case this time when there were hints of severed heads.

Now, they also have brought in hundreds of people in the course of this continued search over the last week. They do believe they have tracked down some of the information about how this was conducted. They believe this was an ambush for cash. It was commissioned by Al Qaeda, but they paid local insurgents to do the job; to launch the initial attack and to abduct the three surviving soldiers.

They still believe that at least two of those soldiers are still alive, from evidence they've got, from the fact that no deaths have been claimed by Al Qaeda through its usual website outlets. So they are proceeding with that, keeping the morale up as much as they can for the soldiers, who have been out in over 100 degrees, with all of the body armor on day after day, for hour after hour. A very, very tough job, Veronica.

DE LA CRUZ: What types of evidence does the military have at this point? RIMINTON: Well, they -- in these times they don't say everything as to where they get their intelligence from, but plainly they are shaking down everybody that they can find who can get some information. And they say they are getting great deal of help from the Iraqi army. There are 2,000 Iraqi soldiers also involved in the search.

Most of the detainees, in fact, wind up in the custody of the Iraqi army. They've got, obviously, the people with the language skills, with the intimate local knowledge, to ask the questions that might lead out key pieces of information.

On what do they base the belief that there are probably still two alive, possibly all three? They are being quite deliberately vague about the intelligence they've got we have to take them at their word. We obviously don't know for certain and General Petraeus, right from the top, has admitted himself, that he doesn't know for certain.

DE LA CRUZ: Hugh Riminton in Baghdad. Hugh, we appreciate it. Thanks.

HOLMES: And news that missing soldiers may still be alive, provides a ray of hope for anxious family members. A friend of one of the soldier's family says they are clinging to that hope as they wait for word.


WENDY LUZON, JIMENEZ FAMILY FRIEND: It's just a possibility, but when are you in a situation like this, you wait for the best news.


HOLMES: And as the search continues, the father of Specialist Alex Jimenez is a Fort Drum, where soldiers are based. We're waiting for a news conference there.

Meanwhile, coming up in just a few minutes, going to get some insight on the search for missing soldiers from our military analyst Brigadier General James "Spider" Marks. Stick around, always good to hear his insights.

DE LA CRUZ: Unusually harsh criticism from a former president of the sitting president. Former President Jimmy Carter telling an Arkansas newspapers that the Bush White House is quote, "The worst in history in international relations." Carter was taking aim at what he considers the White House's policy of a preemptive war in Iraq and Middle East diplomacy.

HOLMES: And we'll get back to that story about the missing soldiers in Iraq. Our Arwa Damon is embedded with the 10th Mountain Division. They are searching that rugged terrain, tough territory, dangerous territory, for those soldiers. She's embedded with them, we have a report from her. Going to bring that to you.

DE LA CRUZ: Also a great story. On top of the world and into the record books. A California teen summits Mt. Everest. CNN SUNDAY MORNING continues in a moment.


DE LA CRUZ: This just in to us at the CNN Center, we're learning right now, that a bus has crashed in Pennsylvania, killing two people and injuring 31. Among the victims, six of them are in critical condition. And they range in age from a toddler to a 50-year old. Again, two people have been killed, 31 injured. Not too sure at this time what caused that bus crash. We'll continue to stay on top of that story and bring you more as we get it.

HOLMES: Of course, an intense search going on in Iraq for those missing American soldiers. We get to Arwa Damon, who is embedded with the troops, carrying out that search.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is the Janabi (ph) Run Canal, that runs from the Euphrates River, to the Janabi (ph) village, a former Sunni insurgent strong hold. It is the second canal that the U.S. military has drained in this area, following tips that the bodies of three missing soldiers may have been dumped here.

Now, this company has been searching the canal line and the reed line running alongside it, trying to look for clues. They also found a shell casing from a Dragunov sniper rifle. Further down U.S. military found what they initially thought may have been an American boot. But it wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to find the clues, because you want so badly to return soldiers to their families. But on the same token, you don't want it to be that boot, because then it could mean other things. So I'm not sure if I'm relieved or happy right now, or sad. I don't know.

DAMON: This area is about seven or eight miles away from the site of the attack, but it is significant, because back in October, this very same company found the flak jacket belonging to one of the 101st soldiers that were killed and kidnapped about a year ago. That flak jacket found along the southern reed line.

This is all part of the U.S. military says it's promised that it will leave no stone unturned to find its missing men. Arwa Damon, CNN, near Yusufiya, Iraq.


HOLMES: We're going to get more on how this search is being conducted. We're joined now by CNN military analyst, retired Brigadier General James "Spider' Marks.

Sir, always good to have you.

BRIG. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.): Good morning, T.J. HOLMES: Let's start first with the information the military is giving out. Help us understand why give out the information, they are giving? We believe two are alive, possibly one is killed. We're working on the assumption that all are alive. Kind of some confusion, here. I'm sure they're giving the families better updates than they are giving the media. But why the information as we're getting it?

MARKS: Well, T.J., it's very, very important because of the availability of information to keep everybody informed as best you can. Now, certainly -- and you realize -- there is a lot of information and intelligence that's not being revealed, because it would compromise the search in some way.

So it's important to notify the families, to notify the unit that progress is being made. That's absolutely essential. However, absent that, the search will continue until there is absolute proof on the condition of these soldiers.

HOLMES: Should we read anything into the fact that we have not seen soldiers show up in any kind of video from these insurgents, that have paraded them out, to say look, look what we've got. We've got your guys? Should we read anything into that?

MARKS: Well, T.J., that's a really good question. If past is prologue, which you would expect in this case, the insurgents would, within a very quick turn, demonstrate what they have done with these soldiers or what the condition is with these soldiers. They have done that in the past, we'd expect that now.

We haven't seen that. So, I think there is either some hesitation or a part that insurgents are trying to figure out how these soldiers are going to play. So, yeah, I think the way to look at that right now, T.J. is to acknowledge that we must presume they are alive, and we must act accordingly.

HOLMES: How vulnerable are the soldiers who are doing the searching? They are in a particular area that's dangerous anyway. Insurgents know they will be in that area, they know what they are going to be doing. Is this some pretty dangerous work for them?

MARKS: Clearly work like this and all operations in Iraq have incredible elements of danger to them. But in this case, this is a very focused, man power intensive operation. So the insurgents, frankly, should be more afraid than the U.S. soldiers or Marines are that are assisting in this endeavor.

I mean, you have a lot of presence, you've got a lot of armament, you have a capability to bring a lot of damage if you have to, during the conduct of this search. So I would tell you, the insurgents are probably laying low and are going to try and ride this thing out. And try to resist as best they can, and not give up information, from their perspective, that would aid the U.S. search.

HOLMES: You mentioned information there. Ultimately, finding these soldiers, is it going to come mainly -- or more so -- going to come from not finding clues, not finding scrap, a piece of uniform, or something like that, but to capture some people who know something about something. It needs to come from intelligence, and that will lead to these soldiers?

MARKS: Truly, this is a human intelligence endeavor, but T.J., you know, you have -- this is a crime scene. The forensics involved, evidence and a whole bunch of different manners, and that's interrogations, that information from folks you can capture and citizens that are trying to be helpful, that might come forward. Now, remember, this is the triangle of death and so getting information out of folks in this area might be a little more difficult.

The U.S. has had a presence down there for quite some time. They know who will speak, they have worked relationships, but clearly you want to have intelligence derived from interrogations, and from folks that live in the area that are willing to give it up. So that type of intelligence is absolutely key.

HOLMES: Before we let you go, we have to ask you about the word that the new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown could possibly reverse course and possibly move too quickly, pull out British troops, which are mainly operating around Basra.

They are certainly nowhere close as many British troops as American troops in Iraq, but still they are playing a significant role, they are a major ally. What do you see as a problem here if Britain, in fact, does pull out all it's troops? What kind of headaches does that cause for the U.S.? Certainly going to causes some problems politically, but also militarily, what kind of headaches does it cause?

MARKS: I think its important to realize that at the tactical level, and that's where I would like to refine, my response. At the tactical level the Brits have 7,000, right now. They've already declared that they are decreasing that to about 5,000, predominantly in the south and in the vicinity of Basra where they've been since the war started back in '03.

So, they have a lot of great intelligence. They own, if you will, that area. So, it would be a significant blow to have Brits depart. But, first of all, there is no declaration that it's going to take place. And there is no concept of operations, there is no description of what that would look like in terms of how much time it's going to take for the Brits to do that.

The U.S. and the Brit relationship, taking it up to a higher level, exists very positively on multiple levels. So this will certainly be a stress at the tactical level, it will withstand the relationship very broadly.

HOLMES: All right. Retired Brigadier General James "Spider" Marks. Sir, always a pleasure. Thank you so much.

MARKS: Thanks, T.J.

HOLMES: And CNN correspondents discuss whether a war manager for Iraq and Afghanistan is really the way to get things under control. That's this afternoon on "This Week At War" at 1:00 Eastern.

DE LA CRUZ: If you are just getting up with us this morning there, is a sniper situation right now in Moscow, Idaho, that we have to tell you about.

It's where the University of Idaho is located, but the incident is taking place at a church near the center of town. Three people have been shot, the area now cordoned off. We're continuing to monitor the story. And we'll bring you updates when we have them.

But first:


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He brought it out in here, but the determination and -- and the -- I'm going to do it -- is coming from Sam.


HOLMES: Determination? I'm determined to buy a car. I'm determined to get a summer job, but to summit Mt. Everest. We'll tell you about this terrific teen. That's still ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And farther back, and is he third, coming up to the finish, Street Side and here is Curlin. Curlin is surging. Street Side is in deep water, too close to call! Too close to call!


DE LA CRUZ: Too close to call. Well, it's going to be another year without a Triple Crown winner in horse racing. Curlin won the Preakness Stakes, beating out Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense by a nose -- or should we say, a hair?

Did you see how close that was?

HOLMES: No problem.

DE LA CRUZ: Curlin had finished third in the derby. It's been nearly 30 years since there has been a Triple Crown winner. Affirmed did it back in 1978. And you're right, just hand me the box of Kleenex, will you?

HOLMES: Look at this. She's an emotional, emotional horse race watcher.

DE LA CRUZ: That was my horse! That was -- Street Sense was my horse.

HOLMES: OK, I'm sorry. We'll get past. We'll try again next year for a Triple Crown. But still Street Sense could win the Belmont. We'll hold on for that.

Well, if you think our video, yesterday, of the tortoise attacking the cat was a bit outrageous, we have a killer rabbit now to show you, taking on a rattlesnake. This video has been making the rounds on YouTube.

DE LA CRUZ: Yes, check this out. The rabbit, just too quick for the snake's strikes. Eventually the snake high tails it right into a tree, believe it or not, with this rabbit in hot pursuit. Look at that? Right into the tree. Right into the tree.

HOLMES: Where do we get this stuff? And in case you missed this, the i-Report from South Africa, we showed you yesterday, a tortoise going after a house cat.

DE LA CRUZ: You can watch all two and a half minutes of the tenacious tortoise and the fraidy cat. It is all on line at I have to say, I did. I actually watched all two minutes. It's just one of those things you can't stop watching.

HOLMES: I know you are from the Dot-com Desk. And you're supposed to --

DE LA CRUZ: OK, fine. So, maybe it's just me. But all two minutes of it, it's just as good.

HOLMES: I think it is just you, Veronica.

Stay with us, folks. We'll move away from fighting pets and animals and things back to that situation out in Idaho. Very serious situation happening there where three people have been shot by a sniper, as it's described. The area cordoned off by police. We'll have an update on that straight ahead.

DE LA CRUZ: But first, gun fights, kidnappings, turf battles. It might look like Iraq, but this is Mexico. We'll take a closer look at the drug war fuelling the violence, straight ahead on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

DE LA CRUZ: We've got some breaking news for you coming out of Iraq. We're learning that six U.S. soldiers, as well as one Iraqi army interpreter have been killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. This, of course, comes as the search continues for three U.S. soldiers still said to be missing. Two of those soldiers are believed to be alive. That is by the military. The military is saying that. In the meantime, we're learning six U.S. soldiers, one Iraqi army interpreter have been killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. More details as we get them.

More details as we get them.

HOLMES: Do want to get you back and update you on that breaking news out of Moscow, Idaho, this morning. Police sealing off the center of town, at least one shooter believed to be holed up in a church there.

Earlier, three people were shot near a courthouse two of those were law enforcement officers. Their condition is not known at this time. Police say the suspect or supports are armed with high-powered long range rifles. As many as 75 shots were fired overnight. There have been no shots for more than six hours, now police are gathering tactical teams together with as many as 50 heavily armed officers on the scene now. A developing story we've been watching closely all morning long and we'll continue to update you.

DE LA CRUZ: In the meantime, hundreds of firefighters on the frontlines in southern California working overnight against a wildfire near Los Angeles. About 3,000 campers forced to flee from the area. The fire 50 percent contained.

HOLMES: Firefighters chasing hot spots along the Florida/Georgia border. Florida officials now saying that wildfire is at least 80 percent contained. Evacuation orders are being lifted for hundreds of people evacuated because of the fire. The "Bugaboo Fire," as it's called, burned around 400 square miles in both states combined.

DE LA CRUZ: And in New Jersey, a wildfire in the central part of the state may be contained as early as today. It's believed the fire was accidentally started by a flare fired by an F-16 on maneuvers in the area. More than 6,000 people were forced from their homes because of that fire.

HOLMES: And what the hail is going on in south Florida? Thunderstorms. Yes.

DE LA CRUZ: What did you just say?

HOLMES: A hail, hail, it's a hail. This is a thunderstorm. And it actually turned severe.

DE LA CRUZ: Got it.

HOLMES: Hail pelted cars, piled up on the ground, and in one neighborhood at least. As you can see here, local forecasters say some of the hail, Veronica, was the size of golf balls.

DE LA CRUZ: One more time, T.J.? Just, you know, for good measure.

HOLMES: Bonnie knew what I was talking about.


HOLMES: I said there was hail going on.

DE LA CRUZ: That's right, it's a hail of a storm. Yeah, we got it.

SCHNEIDER: (WEATHER REPORT) DE LA CRUZ: Hoping for rain, that's for sure.

HOLMES: This is how we start out, we got a long way to go this fire season. Bonnie, thank you so much.

Well, it could be one of the latest casualties in Mexico's drug wars. A police commander in Monterey, Mexico gunned down as he finished his night shift. Mexican media reports the officer was killed by gunmen wielding automatic riffles. In Mexico, such killings have been linked to drug traffickers who target police as well as the military. Refer.

DE LA CRUZ: And this weekend, an appeal to President Bush for more help along the U.S./Mexico border. The governor is asking for help because of escalating violence on the southern side of the border. Mexican drug cartels battling it out for control and as CNN Casey Wian reports, no one is safe.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Just 20 miles south of the Arizona border, the deadliest battle, so far, in Mexico's war against the drug cartels that control much of the country. Twenty-two people in this Sanoran town Cananea are dead after federal troops stormed a ranch Wednesday; 15 drug cartel members, five policemen and two civilians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We find ourselves terrorized.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Very, very bad, it's a very peaceful town. We have never seen this here.

WIAN: But it's happening is throughout Mexico. In the capital Monday, gunmen assassinated Jose Lugo (ph), a top anti-narcotics official in the attorney general's office.

RICARDO NAJERA, MEXICAN ATTY. GENERAL'S OFFICE (through translator): We're working very hard to find out what's caused this violence and we hope to have a quick response to the situation.

WIAN: The Mexican government's response has been to deploy 24,000 federal troops to battle drug traffickers nationwide. Still, violence is escalating. Kidnapping occur regularly, including this week's abduction of a Mexican television news crew.

So far this year more than 1,000 people have been killed by drug cartels, according to Mexican media reports. And the violence is spreading to U.S. border communities. The governors of Arizona and New Mexico wrote President Bush this week demanding more Border Patrol agents.

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D) NEW MEXICO: When there's an open border, with illegal flow of workers, it bleeds other bad people, like drug lords to take advantage of a porous border. And they're violent and they want to get their drug product in. WIAN: The drug violence is even becoming entrenched in Mexican popular culture. Videos like these on YouTube set Nacro Caredo (ph) music to images of drugs, weapons and dead bodies. A celebration of the drug trafficking culture and the drug lord now battling for control of a third of Mexico state.

Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.


DE LA CRUZ: All right, a story that you are definitely looking forward to now. Getting hitched the nontraditional way. Straight ahead, we're going to be closer look at an issue affecting the Asian- American community, it is the issue of mail order brides.

HOLMES: Fascinating story you've been teasing us with, giving us a little bit about it. So, yes looking forward to seeing that.

And also later, how an Ohio mom turned a $10 bit of luck into a whopping big payday. I'm going to learn how to do this, I'm paying close attention when CNN SATURDAY MORNING comes back, this is Sunday, it's Sunday actually. Hey yes. I should pay better attention to the day of the week, as well.


DE LA CRUZ: Looking for love on the World Wide Web. Lots of people do it, sometimes successfully. We decided to look at the growing problem, however, of mail order brides. Many of them from the Philippines found on the Internet. It's all a part of our "Uncovering America Series."


JURIE SCHMIDT, MARRIED AMERICAN: My husband promise me anything, but he never fulfilled it.

DE LA CRUZ (voice-over): Like many women growing up in the impoverished shantytowns that dot the Asian landscape, all Jurie wanted was the promise of happiness.

SCHMIDT: He got a bunch of promises to me and he sent to me e-mail -- through e-mail. And it was -- it's nice to read it.

DE LA CRUZ: They communicated by e-mail, Web cam, the phone. And after corresponding for about a year, he flew to the Philippines to marry her.

SCHMIDT: The first time I met him at the airport, I didn't know that he was so tall. And he was so cute, anyway.

DE LA CRUZ: Gabriela Network estimates that well over 100,000 women around the world are listed on the Internet as available for marriage to Western men. And a recent study showed that out of five catalogs advertising 1,400 Asian women, 70 percent of them were Filipina. ANNALISA ENRILE, PROFESSOR OF SOCIAL WORK, USC: I think what's happening in the Philippines, that there's such a huge economic and political crisis, that very educated young women are leaving en masse any way they can. And this seems like a viable method.

DE LA CRUZ (on camera): Taking a look online, if we do a search for the word "Filipina," this is what we find. We find just over three million Web sites, with all the top searches coming back as sites that advertise Filipina mail-order brides.

Now, if we do a search solely for the word "mail-order brides," we get just over a million hits, taking us to sites like this one,

(voice-over): San Diego, California -- headquarters for

Fred and Joyce Wahl have three children and run the Web site from their home.

FRED WAHL, OWNER, HEART-OF-ASIA.COM: If a man goes to a nightclub and he starts talking to strange women, well, the chances are very good he's going to be rejected. But online, he states very clearly that he's interested and what his situation is. She states very clearly that she's interested and what her situation is.

DE LA CRUZ: Kwon met his wife in Hong Kong.

On his Web site, he advertises why he married an Asian woman: "Women from Asia are feminine. They don't bust your chops when you're home a little late or forget an anniversary. And when it comes to age," he says, "they value maturity."

DE LA CRUZ: An estimated 4,000 to 6,000 women a year come to the U.S. from the Philippines as mail-order brides. Some lead to disappointment; others tragedy. In 1995, Susanna Blackwell was one such case.

ENRILE: He was very physically abusive. You know, her medical chart showed a number of broken bones and internal injuries. And when she got pregnant, she thought that the abuse would stop, but it continued.

DE LA CRUZ (on camera): Was he abusive in any way?

SCHMIDT: Just my heart -- my -- just emotional, not physical.

DE LA CRUZ (voice-over): Six months after coming to America, cooking, cleaning, taking care of his kids, Jurie says she realized broken promises made her a prisoner in her own home. One day she was out on the streets.

SCHMIDT: I prayed that, I said, lord, if my husband -- if my husband still likes me, I'm still in America. I'm still waiting to go back to him. DE LA CRUZ: While the clock runs out on her visa, she works at a Wal-Mart, making $7.35 an hour. And on the Internet, thousands of Asian women still wait, dreaming of finding love and, hopefully, a better life.

Now, one of the reasons I really wanted to do this story is because the consul general here, in Atlanta, of the Philippines, said this was a growing problem, but I do want to remind you some of these relationships do end successfully. You can get even more on line at

HOLMES: We do want to get to another breaking news story we are following this morning out of Baghdad. Where we're getting word of more U.S. soldiers being killed. This, of course, comes at a time where three U.S. Soldiers are missing and an intensive search going on for them. Our Hugh Riminton is in Baghdad for us.

Hugh, tell us about this latest incident we're just getting word or.

RIMINTON: Yeah, dreadful news this happened Saturday. It's getting confirmed by the U.S. military. In western Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded, it brought the death of six U.S. soldiers in that single incident, plus an interpreter working with those U.S. soldiers. So, seven dead in that single roadside bomb in western Baghdad, Saturday.

Also on Saturday, one soldier killed. There were five others injured or wounded two of those were Iraqi army soldiers. That was in the course of searching for those three soldiers still missing to the south of Baghdad. So, seven soldiers from the United States killed just on Saturday. And that followed the day before on Friday another seven U.S. soldiers killed in a range of incidents. The worst of them in Diyala Province to the northeast of Baghdad when three were killed by a roadside bomb, 14 dead in two days -- T.J.

HOMES: Fourteen in two days. Our Hugh Riminton in Baghdad for us with all of the details. Hugh, we thank you so much. And please stay right here with CNN. We're going to take a quick break, we will continue to follow all the breaking stories out of Baghdad, out of Idaho as well, that story we're following. Stay right here, we'll be right back.



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HOLMES: Well, it's now time for to us check in with Howard Kurtz in Washington to see what's ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES.

Good morning to you sir.

HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES: Good morning T.J. Coming up, shock jocks get a shocker as Opie and Anthony are suspended for making jokes about sexually assaulting Condoleezza Rice. Is a post-Imus crackdown underway?

The media declare Rudy Giuliani the winner of this week's best sound bite, but is that how we should be picking presidents at these debates?

Plus the Pentagon has tightened the screws on soldiers' access to blogs and cut off access to YouTube and MySpace.

That's all ahead on RELIABLE SOURCES.

HOLMES: We always look forward to it. We will see you at the top of the hour, Howard, thank you so much.

Meanwhile, a young woman who was hiking back down the world's tallest mountain after an incredible journey.

DE LA CRUZ: Absolutely incredibly. Let's get more from Frank Buckley of affiliate KTLA in Los Angeles.


FRANK BUCKLEY, KTLA REPORTER (voice-over): It was a father- daughter trip that took them to the top of the world. Eighteen-year- old Samantha Larson of Long Beach and her doctor dad, David Larson, were part of a group that summited Mount Everest on Thursday. Samantha's sister, 8-year-old Emma, and Samantha's stepmom, Janet Moore, got the news by satellite phone straight form the summit of Mount Everest.

JANET MOORE, STEPMOTHER: They were at the top.

EMMA LARSON, SISTER: When she got the call, I woke up, and I screamed.

BUCKLEY: Samantha, an honors graduate from Long Beach Polly High School became one of the youngest, and possibly the youngest foreigner ever to climb Mount Everest. At 18, she was also became the youngest person to have concluded the so-called Seven Summits, climbing the highest peaks on each of seven continents, reaching the top of each with her dad.

MOORE: Her dad has brought it out in her, but the determination and the -- the "I'm going to do it" is coming from Sam.

BUCKLEY: Next up for Samantha? College. She'll be a freshman at Stanford next year and it's a good bet, she'll be the only freshman who will be able to say: last year, I climbed Mount Everest.


DE LA CRUZ: Yeah, she's making me feel like a loser.

HOLMES: Well, 19, 20, what were we trying to do? Get into a club we shouldn't have been in?

DE LA CRUZ: Something like that.

HOLMES: Well, up next, we're going to be talking about the lure of the lottery.

DE LA CRUZ: Coming up, the million dollar ticket an Ohio mom almost passed up, but it's a good thing she didn't.


HOLMES: Getting a significant update now on the story out of Moscow, Idaho, where police say they had a sniper surrounded at a church after this sniper had shot at least three people, two of them law enforcement officers. They just went into -- according to police -- that church where they thought the shooter or shooters were holed up. They found two people deceased, one they believe is the gunman. We're listen in to a press conference going on.

ASST CHIEF DAVID DUKE, MOSCOW POLICE: Information I can't confirm, but the weapon was found next to one of the people inside the church.

QUESTION: Were they together?


QUESTION: The security perimeter around the church, NOW obviously that being reduced, the traffic, the folks in those homes, do they feel comfortable obviously they can come out and all that kind of stuff?

DUKE: Yes, we will seal off the area around the church, around the courthouse and around the post office, that is a crime scene, because we have a -- at least a four-block area that we consider part of this. So, we're just asking people to stay away from that area, but we have compressed our perimeter now up to the point where we're keeping it at Washington, to Van Buren, and from Third Street to Sixth.

QUESTION: Are you 100 percent clear you have your gunman?

DUKE: I can't give you 100 percent sure. But there's no one else in the church. We have evidence in the church that shows additional shootings happened in the church after our officers were shot, so this gives us the information that we believe the shooter was inside the church and that was the shot we heard at 1:00.

QUESTION: So, you're saying that you found more casings inside?

DUKE: Casings and bullets.

QUESTION: Why did you go to the church then?

DUKE: Why did we go into the church then?

QUESTION: After a certain amount of time passed and you went into the church to investigate? I want to be clear.

DUKE: No, we believed the shooter was inside the church, and we used three entry teams to make a coordinated entry using three entry teams and then they swept the building and found the victims.

QUESTION: Where did you find the shooter? Was he in a high position where you felt like he was acting as a sniper?

DUKE: Both people were found on the main floor, but in separate rooms.

QUESTION: What sort of weapon did you find inside by the shooter?

DUKE: I know it's an automatic riffle or semi-automatic riffle. Other than that I don't have a description.

QUESTION: And you have no idea where the suspect is from -- identity, a history or why he could have possibly done something like this?

DUKE: No, we just found those individuals 30 minutes ago, took another 30 minutes to clear the rest of the church, it was a big building, three floors, and the investigation now will begin.

QUESTION: How long do you believe they were deceased?

DUKE: I don't have that information.

QUESTION: Is there a note or anything?

DUKE: Not that I know of.

QUESTION: Do you know the approximate age of the men found...

DUKE: No. QUESTION: Can you talk a little bit about the coordinated effort? Was that a lot of representation from a lot of different areas here?

DUKE: The coordinated effort, three teams, one was Idaho State Police, Critical Response Team, we had a Whitman Team and then we had a Lewiston team enter.

QUESTION: ...was it a specific team or combined effort that made entry?

DUKE: All three made entry.

QUESTION: Can you confirm that it was just one gunman?

DUKE: I can't confirm that at this point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officer, I got a statement for you, might help you in your investigation.

DUKE: I'll take that in a minute.

QUESTION: Was there only one gun found?

DUKE: I know that an automatic riffle has been found next to the victim. We also have additional bullets, casings, and at least four magazines outside the church.

HOLMES: All right. As we have been listening in here, it sounds like they have wrapped up this situation in Moscow, Idaho that we've been following all morning, a situation where three people were shot, two of them law enforcement officers, after police described someone as a sniper who was shooting at people randomly. Thought they had that person surrounded and cordoned off in a church. They finally went into that church with tactical teams, where police say they found two people dead. One of them they believe is the shooter. Found them both on the main floor, and they say they are comfortable thinking that they do have the shooter and the shooter is no longer on the loose.

That's the update. You can certainly stay with CNN. We'll follow this story, continue to bring you details.

But for now, we are going to get to Howard Kurtz and "RELIABLE SOURCES."