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CNN Sunday Morning

Thailand Plane Crash; Arrest O.J. Simpson Case; Southern California Wildfire; Attorney General Frontrunner; CNN Hero Mohammed Mamdani; Conviction Overturned; Dallas Stabbing; Mississippi Medical Clinic Explosion; Mexico Bus Crash; New Hampshire Implosion Accident; Alan Greenspan Book; Batman Fan; Fashion Color Controversy

Aired September 16, 2007 - 09:00   ET


T.J. HOLMES, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: The airline says there were 123 people onboard, those were passengers, and seven crew members were onboard the One-Two-Go flight, that's the name of the airline. It was headed from Bangkok to Phuket.
was on a plane that landed just before the jet that crashed. He joins again here live on the phone.

And if you can for us, William, again, set the scene of what you saw after you had landed, after you had gotten off your plane, what you saw on that runway behind you.

WILLIAM HARDING, PASSENGER: Well, we actually saw the plane that had crashed as we were leaving the airport. There's a road that runs parallel to the runways. And the plane was basically intact. It looked like it had probably landed and skidded off the runway and kind of smashed into a hill. I don't know if you're seeing pictures of it where it is now, but the wings are still there, the tail was collapsed and the inside of the plane was all aflame and plumes of smoke coming up off the plane.

HOLMES: And William, we were hearing about just how tough the weather conditions were there. Heavy rain, heavy wind, as well. You described for us earlier that even your plane, it was kind of a bumpy landing. So, describe for us the weather conditions and kind of what you were going through on your flight when you were landing as well.

HARDING: The -- I was with my producer, Adam, and we both had done some traveling and as we were coming in to land, it was the weirdest kind of roughest approach and landing that either of us had experienced. Really low visibility, the wind was kind of tossing us about and our captain had to accelerate and decelerate and kind of dip and rise unexpectedly.

It was just real rough. The landing was rough, and here in Phuket when you get off the plane, you come down the stairs they wheel up to the plane and even walking down off the plane and getting on the bus to go to the terminal was hard. The wind was blowing so hard, and the rain is coming down so hard that it about knocked you over.

HOLMES: William --

HARDING: It was real, real rough weather. HOLMES: Give us your thoughts now on your coming in, you were, like you were describing there, a little nervous, it wasn't exactly a smooth landing. Heavy rain conditions, wind conditions. We've all been on flights kind of in scary times, with scary landings. To land in that and knowing you were OK, then to have another flight come in behind you in those same weather conditions and this to happen right behind you after you had just gone through that type of landing, what, I guess, is on your mind? What are you going through right now and dealing with in terms of just this whole catastrophe now?

HARDING: Well, you know, these days there's two airports in Bangkok. One is a new one and an old one. And Adam and I just chose to go to the new one. Had we chosen to have go on to the old one, we would have been on that flight. And from a subjective, personal standpoint I'm grateful to still be here.

I only -- you know, somebody asked me earlier about did I think planes should be landing or not, and I don't know. I mean, they weren't the worst weather conditions, I guess, that I've ever seen when planes were landing. And it was only after the fact that I even thought about it, you know, having this happen. I'm glad to be here. I hope that the reports of people surviving that crash, maybe they're underestimates, maybe more survived than they know right now.

HOLMES: Well, we certainly all hope for that right now. William Harding, who has been on the -- helping us out this morning, a witness to this crash. He was a passenger on a flight that arrived just before the one that did crash there at the Phuket Airport. William, once again we appreciate your time this morning.

And folks, again, want to let you know, setting this scene the in fact, the scenes or the pictures you are seeing here is the aftermath of a plane crash. According to the Thailand officials there have been several deaths reported by the officials there. Some 130 people on board, that includes the passengers and the crew. But we do know there are some survivors, at least 43 now being reported, have been taken to hospitals in this story. We are following these breaking developments, we will continue to follow this story and bring you all the new developments as they happen.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: In the meantime back here in the states, this is new for you this morning. We are hearing that there may be an arrest in the O.J. Simpson theft case in Las Vegas. CNN's Ted Rowlands is following these developments, and he joins us now by phone. Have you gotten identification as to who was arrested?

TED ROWLANDS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Oh, we haven't, Betty. It's early here after 6:00 a.m. in Nevada and what we're hearing in the Las Vegas review is reporting is an arrest was made in the case, but it was not Simpson. We know that. And the individual was arrested for conspiracy to commit armed robbery, so one could conjecture that its bad news for O.J. Simpson because if one of his associates has been arrested after being interviewed by police, one would think that the chances that he may have that same fate would increase dramatically. Because basically what we're saying -- what we're talking about here is the same story. O.J. and all of -- the people there, basically have the same story about what happened. So, if police pulled the trigger and arrested one individual, if this is correct, then this could be bad news for O.J. Simpson.

But clearly, what's happening is the Las Vegas police is moving forward with this, they're taking it very seriously, and it appears now they may have made an arrest in this case.

NGUYEN: Now is O.J. remaining in town there in Las Vegas, or will he soon be leaving the area as he was only in town there for a wedding, which is what we originally understood?

ROWLANDS: Well, he has told us in numerous phone conversations that he plans on staying and sticking this through. He's very confident that he is not going to be arrested. He's very confident that this was a situation that was blown out of proportion. So he says -- at least this is what he tells us -- that he is going to cooperate completely and stay in Las Vegas until this is ironed out. Now, that could change as things change in the case. But that's what O.J. has told us on numerous -- during numerous phone conversations.

NGUYEN: Well Ted, on the issue of this being blown out of proportion, we were reporting a little earlier that there was a conversation between Simpson and the alleged victim in that they had agreed that all of this was just being blown out of proportion.

ROWLANDS: Yeah, and that's you know, basically, the situation here is that this armed robbery, or reported armed robbery, took place between O.J. Simpson, four men allegedly, and the two guys that were robbed were really associates of Simpson dating back 15 years in the memorabilia business. They weren't close friends by in stretch of the imagination, but they knew each other and they did business.

O.J. Simpson told me on the phone that when he was leaving the hotel room -- he says this is proof there was no armed robbery -- that one of the alleged victims said, "Hey, O.J. Are we good on this?" And seemed to indicate he wanted to continue to be buddies with O.J.

So, that's the one that has now come forward and said -- this is Al Beardsley we're talking about -- this is the one victim who has come forward and said the other victim is telling a different story, and that's Bruce Fromong, who we interviewed yesterday. He says he wants to press charges and absolutely, yeah, he knew O.J. but he had a gunpointed in his face and he's not backing down.

So, its murky, but this arrest definitely leads one to believe that the Las Vegas police are leaning more towards pulling the trigger and making arrests in this case, which include O.J. Simpson.

NGUYEN: Well, it is kind of murky because in this conversation with Al Beardsley didn't he also say as well that despite the fact that he and O.J. had thought that this was all blown out of proportion. He claims that some of his items were stolen in that "armed robbery?" ROWLANDS: Yeah, and he claims that there were guns used. And maybe in Vegas in hotel rooms that's how you get things done between friends, but that's against the law and that's what the Las Vegas police are working on is these statements after the incident. So, if a guy says O.J. came in with friends and pulled guns, put them in our face and stole our stuff, well, that's a crime no matter what kind of relationship you later start to have with the alleged attacker.

So, I think that whatever Beardsley and O.J. work out in terms of them being OK, I don't think the Las Vegas police necessarily are OK with this and I think we're seeing indications of that with the arrest -- the apparent arrest last night.

NGUYEN: Absolutely. One arrest so far in this case. Although we don't have an identity as to who that person is as to this point. But of course, CNN's Ted Rowlands will be following this very closely. Ted, we appreciate your time today, thank you.

ROWLANDS: You got it.

HOLMES: And happening right now, an out of control wildfire in southern California chasing thousands of people from their homes. Fire officials say the fire near Big Bear Lake has been running and gunning all day. Since Friday it's scorched about 18,000 acres fanned by gusting winds through dry brush. A state of emergency is in effect for San Bernardino County.

Further south another fire broke out yesterday in San Diego county near the historic mining camp of Julienne, California. It quickly grew to 500 acres prompting the evacuation of a subdivision.

NGUYEN: So, is the weather cooperate today in trying to get that fire under control? For that we are going to toss to CNN's Reynolds Wolf who joins us from the Weather Center. What do you know so far about that -- Reynolds.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, I hate being the bearer of bad news, but that's pretty much the situation we're dealing with this morning. I mean it does not look favorable for firefighters. We've got dry conditions, not only that but it's going to be very windy today with some gusts through the San Bernardino Valley that are going to range anywhere between 20 to 30, so possibly up to 40 miles-an-hour.

Let's also show you the area where they're doing some working. We're going to go right to our Google Earth and we take this, we're going to just zoom in on a couple of locations. You can see the critical fire danger. The one area that we're really concerned about, of course, would be Big Bear Lake. A beautiful community just to the east of Los Angeles, and the terrain is, well, it's rugged, to say the very least. In fact, that would be an understatement.

One thing that we're dealing with up there in these high mountain passes, not only the windy conditions but you have a lot of scrub up there. You've got a lot of fuel for this fire to continue to burn. And think of like a blacksmith with those big bellows pushing the air and heating up the fire. That's pretty much what happened. You have the strong winds that go through these mountain passes, kind of like whenever you watch hurricane coverage you see journalists that's out between some buildings along the coast. What will happen is the wind really funnels throughout those buildings, and in this case through these mountain passes which really, really accentuates it, really gets it to pick up.

So, a normal gust, say at 30 miles-an-hour may roar up to 50 in a situation like this. The problem is the weather doesn't look like it's going to cooperate, not just today, but over the next couple of days. So, they are certainly going to have their work cut out for them. It is going to be something they're going to have to chip away day after day, easily, I would imagine, a week or so before they really have a good handle on this fire.

We're going to have more on your forecast coming up throughout the morning. Of course, we're going to keep it right here in the Weather Center. Back to you.

HOLMES: A week or so?

WOLF: I would imagine. I mean, I could -- you know, they're going to be working like crazy. They're some of the most dedicated people, those firefighters, they're going to do everything they can, but they've got certainly the deck stacked against them.

HOLMES: All right, well we appreciate the honesty and appreciate you keeping an eye on it for us.

WOLF: You got it.

HOLMES: Appreciate you, Reynolds.

NGUYEN: And we are still following that breaking news out of Thailand for you today.

HOLMES: Yeah, a deadly plane crash. Rescue efforts happening right now. We'll bring you the latest details.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kathleen Koch in Washington. A frontrunner has emerged to possibly replace outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. I'll give you his name, after this.


NGUYEN: Well, today is the last day for outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The going away party was actually held on Friday at the Justice Department. Gonzales leaves under a cloud of controversy after two and a half years. Now, questions over the dismissal of several U.S. attorneys led to calls for his resignation.

HOLMES: OK, of course, the question now, who will replace Gonzales? A new name has come to the forefront. CNN's Kathleen Koch is live in Washington.

We've got the drum roll ready. Let us have the name. Who is the new frontrunner now -- Kathleen.

KOCH: Well, I'll have to end the suspense. The leading candidate who has emerged, according to two sources familiar with the search, is a retired federal judge whose named Michael Mukasey. He's 66 and was nominated to the bench in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.

Mukasey was chief justice until September 2006 for the southern district of New York. Now, that is one of the nation's busiest and most high-profile U.S. court district. While there, Mukasey provided over several terrorism-related cases.

Now, his has come up before as impossibly Supreme Court nominee. And at the time the liberal groups called him a consensus choice. Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer also has listed Mukasey in a letter to President Bush as someone who would consider an acceptable Supreme Court choice.

So, one can certainly assume that if Mukasey were to be named to replace outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales there would not be vocal opposition to the choice. Now certainly, of course, the Senate would have to approve Mukasey's nomination. Back to you.

HOLMES: All right, well. OK, we hear he's the frontrunner from different sources and whatnot. Is the White House saying anything?

KOCH: No, not much at all. And that's how they've been, as the search has gone on. When CNN actually ran Mukasey's name by White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, last night, in and e-mail exchange, she replied the White House would not discuss the names of potential candidates. But Perino did add that the president would be making his choice sometime soon.

HOLMES: Hmmm, Mukasey. Who's Mukasey she says? All right, Kathleen Koch for us this morning. Thank you so much.

KOCH: You bet.

NGUYEN: Coming up, helping young Muslims in Britain be themselves.


MOHAMMED MAMDANI, MUSLIM YOUTH HELPLINE: There's a conflict between trying to be all British as well as being all Muslim at the same time.


NGUYEN: One man on a mission to provide understanding, and he is today's CNN's hero. You're going to meet him right after the break.

HOLMES: And of course we're following breaking news out of Thailand after a plane crashes upon landing with 130 passengers onboard. Crews rush to the scene to find fire, smoke, and in fact death, but they also do find survivors. Many of them have been rushed to the area hospitals. New developments coming in to CNN, we will continue to bring those to you.


NGUYEN: In Great Britain some Muslim youth find themselves alienated. They are caught between conservative Muslim communities and Western societies, and one young Muslim is working to give them what so many so desperately need, and that is understanding. Mohammed Mamdani is today's CNN Hero.


MOHAMMED MAMDANI, MUSLIM YOUTH HELPLINE: Many young Muslims feel they're leading double lives because they have to behave a particular way within the Muslim community. And there is a conflict between trying to be all British as well as being all Muslim at the same time.


In a 2005 survey, 60 percent of Muslim students in the U.K. and Ireland said their religion isolated them from their classmates.

Source: FOSIS Muslim Students Survey


At the age of 17 I became more aware of the fact that so many of my Muslim peers were experiencing issues related to drugs, relationship problems with their families, mental health issues. These are common social problems, yet for the Muslim community they are very much no-go areas.

I felt I had to take a responsibility for the situation and there began the story of Muslim Youth Helpline.


MOHAMMED MAMDANI "Community Crusader"


My father installed a telephone line in by bedroom. It would ring at all times of the day, sometimes in the middle of the night.

Muslin Youth Helpline obviously became my life. Six years on, we take thousands of calls related to depression, self-harm, suicidal feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, we're completely confidential.

We're sensitive to their faith and their culture. At the same time we're nonjudgmental.

No, you're not crazy at all.

So it helps just having a Muslim on the other end of the phone that can understand and relate to these issues.

ANNOUNCER: Yesterday the people of London suffered a terrible heart break together.

MANDANI: After the London bombing, I decided to set up a new project which aimed to deal with young people face-to-face.

Come on, do that flip again. Come on, let's see that flip.

And so our youth project is like a youth organization. It's a very friendly environment; it's a very brotherly environment. It teaches them the skills to reconnect with their Muslim identity while it's also learning to integrate better into British society.


Since August 2001, the Muslin Youth Helpline has answered more than 17,000 calls.

More than 350 kids have joined the Ansar youth Project. Mamdani hopes this program will become a model throughout the U.K.

Source: Muslim Youth Helpline


I wouldn't say the work that I do is necessarily heroic. It's just something that's needed in society. My aim is to help young Muslims just be themselves.


Do you know a hero?



NGUYEN: And you can go to to check out more about Mohammed Mamdani's work, and while you're there, you can also nominate a hero of your own. Remember, you only have until September 30 to get your nominations in. Selected winners will be honored during a live global broadcast on December 6 hosted by our own Anderson Cooper.

JOSH LEVS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, everybody. Josh at the Breaking News Desk. You know, all morning we've been following this breaking news about a plane crash that happened in Phuket, Thailand, about 130 people onboard including people from around the world. We're told a large number of foreign tourists on there. We're gathering all the information we can for you. So be sure to stay with CNN for the latest on this developing story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOLMES: Also, this morning his conviction was overturned, but a suspect in a racially charged case in Louisiana still sits in jail this morning. We're minutes away from a live report from Jena with what's next for Mychal bell.

NGUYEN: Plus, take a look at this video from Canada. A tractor trailer burst into flames and the driver is pulled from the fiery cab. That is next on CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


KENNY LEON, ARTISTIC DIR, TRUE COLORS THEATRE COMPANY: I have a gift to lead actors and to tell stories and to tell stories for the world and for the community.

ANNOUNCER: The spotlight is on Kenny Leon, the actor, producer, and director is best known for his work on Broadway and in regional theater. In 1988, Leon became one of the few African-American to head a notable nonprofit theater company. He later co-founded True Colors Theater, which has locations in Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and New York City.

LEON: I think a key ingredient for any kind of idea is one with vision and you have to have an idea of what you're trying to do and you must be able to articulate that to people and you must be able to get people to follow that vision.

ANNOUNCER: Next, Leon hopes to do a feature film and test his drektsing skills outside the country.


HOLMES: And updating you now on the breaking news out of Thailand. A plane with at least 128 people onboard crashes after landing during heavy rain in southern Thailand. This happened at the airport in the tourist area of Phuket.

NGUYEN: Now, these are the latest pictures from the scene that we're going to be showing you momentarily. So far no confirmation yet on the number of fatalities. But just look at that wreckage there. And we are just getting word this morning that the main hospital is treating 28 patients injured in that crash, five of them in critical condition. The One-Two-Go airline's flight was headed from Bangkok to Phuket.

HOLMES: And, as we have seen often when breaking news happens, sometimes some of the quickest information you can grab, a lot of information immediately goes on the Web. Our Josh Levs has been piecing through a lot of that stuff, looking through a lot of it, a lot of photos, a lot of information you've been getting there.

Josh, what do you have?

LEVS: OK, let's start off with what you were talking about, the nationalities. Because the other people -- the 28 who are at the major hospital, right there. I want you all to know because, obviously there's a lot of our viewers right now concerned are there Americans being treated.

Well, we have hospital officials at the main hospital right there, in Phuket, 28 people total who are being treated at that hospital. That's all we're saying, 28 people being treated at that hospital, among them no Americans: Australians, Austrian, British, German, Iranian, Irish, Italian and some Thais. No Americans being treated, right there. That doesn't mean anything in the full picture, but it's a piece of this I want you to know about.

Obviously, you're seeing pictures here, we've been showing you photos throughout the morning. What I want to do now is show you that online -- and we found this at the dot-com desk, if our producer, Glen can get this -- you can see the official word from the Thai government. It's at ETNA, this is the official word, in English, from the Thai government to be updated during the day. If you every want to go there during the day, keep seeing what the government has as it gets new developments, go there, it's ETNA, you've be able to find it that way, just Google it that way.

One more thing, there is actually a great blog that we found this morning and it has some updated pictures there from the scene as well as live reports from the scene or quickly updated blog reports from the scene. This is easy to find, it's It's a block that has a lot of updates going on about what's going on on the ground right there. You can hear from people on the scene, and guys, they're giving a lot of details about what it's like, what's like to see the crash, what witnesses are saying and what local officials are saying as it comes in. So, obviously we're going to keep chasing those kinds of things.

NGUYEN: Well, and when you hear that 28 people at the main hospital, none of them Americans. The information that we can give you, if you do have relatives or friends that may have been on that flight, we have more detailed information on the particular flight and it was flight 269, again One-Two-Go Airlines, flight 269, that left back Bangkok at 2:30 p.m. Local Time and set to arrive at Phuket at 3:50 p.m. Local Time. So, that may provide you with a little more information if you're still trying to figure out whether your family or friends were on that flight.

LEVS: And just so you know, if you are trying to do that right now, 4:00 their time, comes out to is 5:00 a.m. Eastern. So, if you had friends or relatives, anyone you're concerned about, who is due to land and on a plane in Phuket at about 5:00 a.m. Eastern today, then this could be the plane that you're talking about, not necessarily it.

Also, anyone who's traveling should know that according to the government all planes in and out of that airport are now completely shut down. So, there's no flights at all, nothing's happening at that airport, but investigators are surrounding it...

NGUYEN: Well, there's a lot of debris around the airport and there's going to be a lot of people piecing through what exactly what happened.

Josh, we appreciate that, and we do have more information coming up.

HOLMES: All right, and of course, we were talking about the weather conditions. That's a big part of the story. It certainly appears it may have played a role, a significant role, right now, in this.

Our Reynolds Wolf is keeping an eye -- has been watching and figuring out what exactly was going on there weather-wise in phuket when this plane was trying to land.

Reynolds, what have you been able to find out?

WOLF: Well, really it's no tremendous mystery. I mean it's very similar, the type of climate that you have there in Phuket is very similar to what you have say in central Florida. I mean, how many have gone to central Florida, to Disneyworld or someplace like that, and then in the late afternoon you have these showers and storms. But the climate in this part of the world is very similar to what you have in parts of Florida.

Let's go right to our Google Earth, we're going to zoom in and show you exactly where Phuket is located. And as we do zoom in, you can see, there it is, right on a peninsula, very, very easy to see. And you've got two big bodies of the water. You've got the Gulf of Thailand on one side, you've got the Andaman Sea on the other.

And what happens is during the day, as you get to the mid-day hours, this big peninsula tends to heat up. So, you've got a lot of rising air and you have the sea breeze that comes in from both the east and west and as it comes together, clashes and then all that moisture condenses and that's where you get those big showers and storms right over that peninsula. And you get those usually in the late afternoon hours between the hours of 2:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00.

Now, this accident, if I'm not mistaken, took place right around 4:00 or so. So certainly, not out of the realm of comprehension to have some of these big severe thunderstorms develop. Some of these storms collapsing and producing some of those strong cross winds and certainly cause some issues with the aircraft.

But really, no big mystery and no big surprise to see this kind of activity happen in this part of the world and certainly maybe one of the culprits of this disaster. Let's send it back to you.

NGUYEN: All right Reynolds, we do appreciate that. Thank you.

HOLMES: We'll turn now to another story getting a lot of attention these days, the past couple days. Now we can tell you there may be an arrest in the case, the case of O.J. Simpson that possible theft investigation out there in Las Vegas.

NGUYEN: Yes, the "Las Vegas Review Journal" reporting this morning police arrested one man, but that it's not O.J. Simpson. The paper says charges include conspiracy to commit robbery. And police are also looking into the role Simpson may have played in the alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia at a Las Vegas casino hotel.

Now, Simpson tells our Ted Rowlands that he believes the incident has been blown out of proportion. Simpson is expected to give his full statement to police, tomorrow.

HOLMES: A young man's conviction in a racially charged Louisiana case was thrown out. Tomorrow attorneys for one of the so-called "Jena Six" will try to get the client out of jail. CNN's Keith Oppenheim joins us not from Jena, Louisiana with details on the latest development and community reaction, there.

Good morning to you, Keith.

KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, T.J. and on Thursday that was supposed to be the day, here at the courthouse in Jena, where there would be a sentencing for Mychal Bell. That's not going to happen, now. His conviction has been overturned. And a big rally led by the Reverend Al Sharpton, on Thursday is still set to take place, a protests, which some say really highlights what they feel is unfair treatment between Black and White students.

Of course, there are some people here in Jena who really feel that accusation is unfair, and they are tired of media coverage of this story.


(voice-over): At a neighborhood fair in Jena, a mostly White crowd didn't want to talk about the "Jena Six," but some are clear. They believe protestors and the media are creating friction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If they hadn't blowed it out of proportion, it would have been settled a long time ago.

OPPENHEIM: Last year at Jena High School, tensions flared when Black students asked school officials if they could sit under a tree, which was a traditional gathering spot for White students. Next day, three nooses appeared hanging from the tree. Later three White students were suspended for that incident.

Then in December, six Black students were charged with a brutal attack with of a White student. At first all were charged as adults with a attempted murder. For most, the charges were reduced. In June Mychal Bell was convicted of aggravated battery and stayed in jail awaiting sentencing.

MELISSA BELL, MYCHAL BELL'S MOTHER: He had a long time to sit around and think about what he wanted out of life and you know, it can be taken away from him.

OPPENHEIM: After nationwide outcry, this past Friday an appeals court overturned the conviction, saying because Bell was 16 at the time of the attack he should have been tried in juvenile court. Reaction in Jena has been mixed.

ROBIN TATUM, JENA RESIDENT: Because a 16-year-old should not charged with attempted murder for fighting.

ROBIN CRAIG, JENA RESIDENT: I think juvenile sentencing would be best for him, but he is a repeat offender, and I don't like that. You know, he's had violent acts before.

OPPENHEIM: There's keen awareness here that a rally, led by the Reverend Al Sharpton, will come here to Jena on Thursday. Some say it will make tensions worse. Ellen Buckner disagrees.

ELLEN BUCKNER, JENA RESIDENT: It shows they care for those boys, that they're behind them and they care about Jena. They want Jena happy (ph) and just.


OPPENHEIM: Estimates for Thursday's rally range between 5,000 to 30,000. We really don't know how many will be coming here, but whatever it is, with just 2,900 people who live in this community, the rally could well be larger than the entire population of Jena, Louisiana itself.

And T.J., I'll just leave it at that the district attorney has two weeks to appeal this overturned conviction to the Louisiana Supreme Court. What we're hearing is that's what the district attorney plans to do. Another option for him would be to recharge Mychal Bell as a juvenile. So, we're waiting to see how this plays out. Back to you.

HOLMES: Going to be an interesting week there in Jena. Keith Oppenheim there for us there in Jena, Louisiana. Thanks so much.

And Martin Luther King, III and Bernice King will be among those marching in Jena this week. And our Suzanne Malveaux will talk with them tonight at 10:00 Eastern in our SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT.

NGUYEN: Three people are found stabbed to death at a home in Dallas. And this morning the search is on for a suspect. Police say the victims are a woman and two boys. They've issued a capital murder warrant for a suspect by the name of Robert Sparks. Here's his picture right here. Authorities say two teenage girls were found alive in that house both bound and gagged.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My understanding is they are OK. I'm not going to release what hospital they're at at this point, but they've been taken to a hospital, but they were bound and gagged in the closet. We certainly need to get him off the street. He is considered armed and dangerous at this moment.


NGUYEN: Now, police say the suspect is believed to be related to those victims.

HOLMES: A community, this weekend, trying to come to grips with a horrifying case. Authorities say a Black women was held captive for more than a week in a trailer. They say they were tortured, sexually assaulted and forced to eat animal droppings. Six suspects are now in custody. People in the community looking for some answers here.


EUNICE HAIRSTON, LOGIN COUNTY, WV RESIDENT: Well, I came basically to make sure and to get a little more understanding on how the situation was going to be handled.

REV GILL FORD, NAACP REGIONAL DIR: So there is tragedy, no doubt about it. But what our hope is that out of the tragedy something better will grow to bring this community closer together.


HOLMES: Civil rights leaders met with members of the community at a church yesterday. They urged them to have patience with the legal process and to pray for the victim.

NGUYEN: Take a look at this. It is all that is left of a medical clinic in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Authorities there say there the destruction was caused by a natural gas explosion. Nine people were injured, but none seriously. Witnesses say they were told a contractor hit the gasoline and it blast shattered windows in nearby businesses, even caused one roof to collapse.

HOLMES: At least 17 are dead this morning after a bus crash in western Mexico. Some of them may be American tourists. As many as 14 other people were injured. A local official says the bus fell more than 700 feet into a ravine after the driver lost control.

The bus was carrying passengers from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara, A spokesman for the bus company tell the "Associated Press" that up to half the passengers had arrived aboard a flight from Phoenix. That flight was supposed to land in Guadalajara, but was rerouted because of a fire at the airport.

Well, two customs officers hailed has heroes, this morning. They pulled a driver from this fiery truck crash. The driver now in critical condition. The wreck happened on the Canadian side of the Peace Bridge near Buffalo, New York. Officials say the truck was going too fast in a cars-only lane when it flipped over.

NGUYEN: Check this out. An implosion accident in Berlin, New Hampshire to tell me you about. Crews were supposed to take down three smokestacks at an old paper plant. And you hear them there, you're eventually going to see the damage, though, because only two came down without a problem, but the third brought some trouble. Two attempts to bring it down failed and worker getting out the blowtorches to work on it when it finally came down the wrong way.

At least seven people were injured and taken to the local hospital. Debris damaged some homes, even some cars in the area.

HOLMES: Another American soldier has been killed in Iraq. The military announced yesterday that a soldier from the Army's Task Force (INAUDIBLE) was killed Friday when a bomb exploded near his foot patrol. Four others were wounded; 3,081 U.S. service members have died if Iraq since this war began.

NGUYEN: Former Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, is taking aim at President Bush and many fellow Republicans in a book being released tomorrow. Greenspan says Mr. Bush should have vetoed some of the spending bills passed by the Republican Congress.

Now, in another passage he praises former Presidents Nixon and Clinton, writing that they were by far the smartest presidents he worked with. Greenspan is also critical of the war of Iraq saying he believes it was started over oil.

Well, there is another controversy brewing in the fashion industry this season, and it is all about color.


TERI AGINS, WALL STREET JOURNAL: This is the only industry in America where you can legally discriminate against people based on color. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NGUYEN: All right, so take a look at this. What's missing from the coverage's of magazines on store shelves?

Our Brooke Anderson takes a closer look.

HOLMES: Also, it's OK to be a fan, but you don't have to be this big of a fan. One New Mexico man has gone battie or maybe you can call him nutty for Batman. We'll take another look at his tribute to the caped crusader. That's a little later on this CNN SUNDAY MORNING.


HOLMES: Well, we are still gathering information on that plane crash in Thailand. Our i-Reporter sending us their stuff. Josh Levs been going through a lot of the stuff on the Internet, which of course, a lot of that stuff come in fast and furious. When these big, breaking news stories happen and some of the fastest reporters on the scene and some that ultimately really help us out in a major way are right there online.

NGUYEN: Look at the new pictures that we have coming in.

LEVS: This is our first i-Reporter on the scene tonight from this major story over in Phuket, Thailand. And his name is Munosh Rana (ph).

He went to the scene, there. He says he lives in the area. He took his camera with him. He's aware of our i-Reporter system, so he went there and he was able to get close enough. He said he went on the forest side of the airport and was able to take pictures of the wreckage. And we have a few to show you, here. You can see little bits of the plane. If you look in the distance. Here, you're seeing some while its still in flames, and you can tell there was a large group of fire engines and firefighters. We're also told local crews and even volunteers got involved here and tried to put out those flames, obviously the hope being the faster put out the flames the more people could be saved from inside.

And remember, based on what we're told this plane split. And as you look in these pictures, you can actually see parts of the plane in different areas. He had only this one perspective, but on some of the pictures, I think we have one more to show you, you can see the rear section of the plane separated. There you go. It's kind of facing downward in the back.

Now, we're getting more and more i-Reports throughout the day. And anyone out there who is going be seeing this on CNN International or wants to know how to get us pictures, it's easy. Go to, the story about it is right out there, you just click i-Report. It'll tell you everything you need to know. You can send us your pictures. We take a good look before we stick them on the air. We don't just stick them straight on the air, we make sure we can show them to you. And then we do.

And obviously, these will be our best way of day for the day of bringing you to that scene and showing you the impact of this crash. And guys, you can tell the devastation and how powerful it is.

NGUYEN: Oh yeah, you can see all the rescue crews on the scene, and something that's so telling too, is all the debris that was just scattered here and there as that plane came to a crashing halt. So, we'll stay on that story through much of the day as we're trying to get some numbers -- official numbers as to the death toll as well as those injured. Thank you, Josh.

HOLMES: All right, thank you Josh.

Another major story we're following, today, a story that is in Las Vegas now. It's the top of the headlines for the past couple of days concerning O.J. Simpson and the alleged armed robbery out there in Las Vegas.

NGUYEN: And our Ted Rowlands joins us now live from Nevada and wondering if you're got any more information as to who this person is who was arrested?

ROWLANDS: We don't know who it is, Betty. Apparently one person connected to this case was arrested, arrested last night. That person identified as being one of the people with O.J. Simpson who went into the room for this alleged armed robbery and that person is facing conspiracy to commit armed robbery, which has to be bad news for O.J. because if one of the people that he was with is now in jail, one would think that this story is going to be fairly similar.

Because, what's happened here is that it's not as if O.J. has denied he was involved in this or the people who are involved on the victim's side and on the accused side are saying that this didn't happen. What O.J. is saying is there were no guns involved and that's been the sticking point.

But if Las Vegas police have made an arrest saying that one of these guys is guilty of conspiracy to commit alleged armed robbery, well then, one would think that this can't be good news for O.J. Simpson.

So, we'll find out more as the day goes on here. We're expecting more from the police department. It's still before 7:00 here, but as the day goes on, I'm sure we'll learn more.

NGUYEN: And we're expecting more tomorrow as well, Ted, because I think we were reporting just a few minutes ago that O.J. Simpson will be interviewed by police tomorrow. So we'll stay on top of this.

Thank you, Ted Rowlands, joining us live.

In the meantime, crews still working to extinguish the flames of a downed passenger jet in Thailand.

HOLMES: Yeah, the plane crashed a few hours ago near the Phuket Airport. New information continues to come in to us on this story. You can stay with us for the very latest.

NGUYEN: And we want you to take a look at this cool car. Check that out. Yeah, it's the Bat Mobile and it's owned by a man who also has a Bat Cave. Yes, it is an obsession, or is he just an enthusiasmist?

HOLMES: Crazy. Oh, I thought you were going to say crazy.

NGUYEN: Well, maybe that, too. A crazed enthusiast. We're going to let you decide.


HOLMES: Well, color of course always a hot topic when it comes to fashion. It's quite natural. But, this season the discussion about color, not about the clothes.

NGUYEN: Not about the clothes at all. That's right, it's about the models. Entertainment correspondent, Brooke Anderson explains.


BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Fashion week in New York City. The models are strutting. And the stylists are buzzing. This season's most talked about trend? Color. Or lack of it.

TERI AGINS, WALL STREET JOURNAL: This is the only industry in America where you can legally discriminate against people based on color.

ANDERSON: This trend is not about the clothes that hang off the models, but about the models themselves and the people who make the clothes and decide what's fashionable.

AGINS: I heard people say, well they're not using Black girls this season.

ANDERSON: It's about allegations concerning a lack of diversity and discrimination all in high fashion's ranks from the catwalk to the conference room. Fashionistas like Naomi Campbell are speaking up what's happen.

"Black models are being sidelined by the major modeling agencies," Campbell told reporters in Africa last month. "Only White models, some of whom are not as prominent as I am, are put on the front pages," she added.

CNN surveyed is the September newsstand. White celebrity faces front "Vogue," "Elle," "Bazaar," "Allure," "Marie Claire," "W." Of 11 fashion magazines we found zero African-Americans on the covers. And it's not just magazines.

AGINS: Here we are, 2007, and you see the odd Black model in the shows, but it's usually no more than one or two and in many cases none.

ANDERSON: One designer agreed.

KIMORA LEE SIMMONS, DESIGNER: Never see it at the other shows.

ANDERSON: Designer, Kimora Lee Simmons says she's unique in using mostly African-American women on the runway for her Baby Phat line.

SIMMONS: I embrace women of color because that's what I am.

ANDERSON: And it's not just models. Of more than 75 shows at New York's Bryant Park this season, Simmons and designer Tracy Reese are the only two black designers.

GARY LAMPLEY, BLACK RETAIL ACTION GROUP: People of color have achieved notable levels of success in other industries. But yet, we still lag behind, the numbers don't lie as relates to the fashion industry.

ANDERSON: Professor Gary Lampley, Black Retail Action Group, cites a 2004 survey of fashion executives ranks.

The study found African-Americans accounted for just five percent of design executives and as low as two percent in categories like merchandising or buying.

LAMPLEY: Once you have a presence at that level, you'll find that there will be people of color used as models.

ANDERSON: Meantime, it seems in fashion, Black is out.

Brooke Anderson, CNN, New York.


HOLMES: Protestors, you're looking at, outside the Washington home of Black Entertainment television CEO. Demonstrators called on Deborah Lee and her network to stop portraying Blacks in a negative way. Organizers of the campaign called Enough is Enough say BET's programming often represents Black men as gangsters and pimps and Black women as sex objects. A BET spokeswoman says the leader of the demonstrators has refused to meet with network representatives in person.

NGUYEN: Well now, it's time to check in with Howard Kurtz in Washington to see what is ahead on CNN'S RELIABLE SOURCES.

Hello Howard.

HOWARD KURTZ, RELIABLE SOURCES: Hello Betty. Coming up, General Petraeus leads the administration's P.R. offensive this week. Have the media fallen for the spin or challenge the upbeat assessment on Iraq.

O.J., back to center stage over an alleged robbery attempt. Is this becoming yet another media frenzy?

And a New Orleans prostitute says Senator David Vitter was a client. Is the press downplaying these charges because of her ties to Larry Flynt.


NGUYEN: Be watching, thank you.

HOLMES: And of course, folks we are following develops in that breaking news out of Thailand.

NGUYEN: Yes, we're going to have more on the deadly crash of a jetliner in the resort city of Phuket. That's in a few minutes. In the meantime, stay right here.


HOLMES: Again, one more time, folks. Here, we want to update you on this story out of Phuket, Thailand where the plane has gone down. Went down a couple of hours ago now. We are getting word from the "A.P." that at least 60 people have been killed in this crash. Went down in pretty heavy, heavy rain, heavy wind there in Thailand. Several people have been taken to the hospital. We understand at least 28 have been taken to local hospitals, so there are some survivors. This the story that's going to be developing all day as we get more information, we certainly will continue to bring that to you.

NGUYEN: In the meantime, though, batty about Batman. You have to check this out. This is the Bat Cave in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And it doubles as the garage.

HOLMES: Yeah, the pride and joy here of a Batman fan. His name is Michael Esch, of course, he has a Batman tattoo, he drives a Bat Mobile, and he has a Bat Girl, his girlfriend. He says he gets a lot of stares when he drive the Bat Mobile around town.

Where's his Robin?

I don't know about Robin. He probably can't find anybody as crazy as he is to dress up as Robin. But he does have a wife, right?

That's his Bat Girl, so let's just clear that up, just a wife, a Bat Wife, here, dressed up like Cat Woman sometimes, to ride along. Boy, that's an interesting household. But the price tag for the working replica, the Bat Mobile, try $38,000.

HOLMES: In Bat Bucks. All right, folks. You stay with CNN here, for continuous updates on that -- this horrible story, that deadly plane crash in Thailand.

NGUYEN: But first, Howard Kurtz takes a closer look at the impact of the media on General David Petraeus' Capitol Hill testimony, that's in minutes. Stay here for the top of the hour.