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CNN Sunday Morning

American Security Workers Held in Connection With Baghdad Murder; New Details on Disappearance of Air France Flight; Interview With EPA Director Lisa Jackson

Aired June 07, 2009 - 08:00   ET


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, this is CNN SUNDAY MORNING, June 7th.

How are you doing today, T.J.?

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: I am really good. I got my good rest. I am feeling great.

NGUYEN: Fantastic. I'm Betty Nguyen, everybody.

HOLMES: I'm the great-feeling T.J. Holmes over here.


HOLMES: It is now 8:00 a.m. here in Atlanta, despite it saying 7:00 a.m. in the script that hasn't been updated by someone.

NGUYEN: Yes, that's what we deal with every now and then.


HOLMES: OK. But thank you all for being here with us.

We do need to start to a breaking story we've been getting out of Baghdad this morning, where five American security workers are being held in connection with the killing of an American contractor. The victim was found bound and blindfolded last month inside the highly secure Green Zone.

Our Phil Black has been following the breaking details of this story for us this morning.

Phil, once again, I got to start from the top here. What do we know about these five security workers?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, T.J. Yes, well, we can tell you these five security workers are all connected or worked for a security company called CTU or Corporate Training Unlimited. We can show you images of the men. These still images are being provided by an Iraqi security source and they show the five men being held in an Iraqi jail inside the Green Zone.

The five men are: Donald Feeney, he is the founder and CEO of CTU, his son, also Donald Feeney, Michael Milligan (ph) and Mark Bridges (ph) and Jason Morton (ph). They are the five men that were detained early Friday morning here in a raid in the Green Zone, and they have been arrested in connection with the murder of an American, James Kitterman, who was found bound and stabbed in a vehicle inside the Green Zone just last month.

Mr. Kitterman was a construction company owner here and his death has been something of a mystery. We have been told by Iraqi security sources that the FBI has been involved in this investigation. The five men were picked up early Friday morning and they have been visited by U.S. embassy officials here who are providing consular assistance, T.J.

HOLMES: And big question now -- right now, Phil, is what is going to happen to these men? Are they going to have to stand trial in Iraq?

BLACK: There's a reason why these men are now being held in Iraqi jail and not in a U.S. facility. And that's because the terms of an agreement signed by the U.S. government that started at the beginning of this year say that private security contractors now fall under Iraqi jurisdiction. They can now potentially be prosecuted here should they be charged.

We don't know if that's going to happen. They have not been charged as of yet. But we understand from Iraqi sources that negotiations are under way between U.S. State Department officials and the Iraqi government to decide just what will happen to these men next, T.J.

HOLMES: All right. Phil Black for us on this breaking story. Phil, we appreciate you today.

NGUYEN: We also have new details emerging on that Air France plane that disappeared over the Atlantic last week. Brazilian search crews have recovered two bodies and they are been taken ashore for identification. Now, the U.S. Navy is assisting the search for the voice and data recorders in an area roughly the size of Nebraska. So, you can see what is ahead of them.

Well, CNN international correspondent, Karl Penhaul, has the latest now from Brazil.


KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a joint press conference by the Brazilian air force and Brazilian navy, authorities have confirming to us that they have recovered two male bodies from the Atlantic Ocean, in the area where the Air France Flight is presumed to have gone down.

In addition to the corpses, authorities say they have also recovered items of luggage. They say that they found a suitcase. They say they found a backpack with a laptop computer inside. And they've also found a leather briefcase. Inside that leather briefcase, an Air France ticket on it and the name of the passenger that was listed on the doomed Air France flight. In addition to that, authorities say that they have found a blue seat. They are now confirming the serial number on that seat to details provided by Air France, to confirm if that seat was from the Air France flight.

Now, the location of where this discovery was made is about 670 miles off the Brazilian mainland, about 450 miles north of that Brazilian island Fernando de Noronha.

What the authorities are saying now is that the search is divided into two teams. One team which is scouring the area where the bodies and luggage were found, to see if they can find more debris and more human remains; they also say that the second team is continuing to search other areas of the ocean, because they see, they know, that given the time that has transpired, and the ocean's current in that area, that the debris could be scattered far and wide across parts of the Atlantic Ocean.

Karl Penhaul, CNN, Recife, Brazil.


NGUYEN: Well, three more children have died from a day care center fire in Hermosillo, Mexico. And that brings the death toll now to 38 -- all of the kids were under the age of 5 years old. Now, the cause, that's still unknown, but investigators say the fire started in the warehouse next door.

About two dozen children are hospitalized, many of them in critical condition. Two are being treated at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento.

HOLMES: The sale of Chrysler to Fiat could be delayed. Three Indiana pension funds filed papers with the Supreme Court early this morning in Washington asking for a stay of that sale. They say the deal unfairly favors the interest of Chrysler's unsecured stakeholders ahead of secured debt-holders, such as themselves.

Chrysler wants to sell most of its assets to Fiat, as part of the plan to emerge from bankruptcy. A federal appeals court approved that sale on Friday.

NGUYEN: Well, after almost a week overseas, President Obama returns today to concentrate on a polarizing domestic issue -- that being health care reform. He left Paris earlier today after months of insisting that he would leave the details up to Congress. Well, he's decided to take charge of a major push to have a health care reform bill drafted by fall.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES: Simply put, the status quo is broken. We cannot continue this way. If we do nothing, everyone's health care will be put in jeopardy.

Within a decade, we'll spend one dollar out of every five we earn on health care -- and we'll keep getting less for our money. That's why fixing what's wrong with our health care system is no longer a luxury we hope to achieve. It's a necessity we cannot postpone any longer.


NGUYEN: During his election campaign last year, President Obama promised to provide health care for all Americans, and it's estimated about 45 million Americans are uninsured.

Well, the president will be back in Washington this afternoon. The first lady and her mother, as well as two Obama daughters, are expected to return to the states tomorrow. They were able to mix a little sightseeing with business. Earlier today, they dropped by Pompidou Center in Paris. The center is one of the country's most popular and art culture facilities.

HOLMES: That's pretty cool. They're going back home, they're going back to work.

NGUYEN: Yes. We're going to stay and play for a little bit.

HOLMES: Let's stick around in Paris.

NGUYEN: I love it.

HOLMES: Reynolds Wolf, we're going to join him over in the weather center, keeping an eye on things. We're talking about Miami.

Hello there. Good to see you, sir.


HOLMES: We're talking about Miami in the past couple of days, not for the right reasons really.

WOLF: Yes, I know. Miami has just been a mess up and down South Beach -- plenty of rainfall, some places up to a foot of water that really piled up in many of the streets. They've been anywhere from seven to nine inches of rain. We have that much rain that falls that quickly, run off doesn't happen that well.

And I'll tell you, rough times down there. They've had all kinds of clean up. They're still going to be cleaning up today.

And right now, a live shot out of Miami shows we've got fairly decent conditions. I mean, the rain is not coming down in buckets right now, but later this afternoon, we may see a bit more and something they certainly don't need to be dealing with.

Let's go right back to the weather computer. As we do so, we're going to make our way into the Midwest. Heavy rain this morning north of Kansas City and just to southeast of Burlington, just due west of Bloomington and Springfield.

One particular cell that's pretty ominous this time, not severe, but could have some rumbles of thunder later on today, and perhaps even for Chicago and back over to Rockford. Chicago, skies are going to become increasingly cloudy and then into afternoon, you might be dealing with that rumble of thunder.

Now, it looks like the best chance of severe weather is going to take place today across parts of the Midwest and back into the Central Plains. It's going to be the moisture coming in from the gulf, your daytime heating that could make for a very unstable atmosphere. Tornadoes are not likely, they could happen. It looks like the biggest threat though is going to be the potential for some flash flooding, maybe some small hail and some wind damage.

But back into the Rockies, we're talking about some snow. This is actually an amazing thing to see. I mean, it's not unheard of, it's not a record-breaker, but I will tell you that parts of North Dakota yesterday got snowfall -- the latest they've dealt with snow in the last 60 years. Hard to believe, but there you go. That's where you have in today's weather.

Something else you're going to be having today -- 65 degrees in the Twin Cities, 72 in Chicago, 83 in our nation's capital, 85 in Atlanta, 94 in Dallas, and Houston 90. That's warm, no question, but when you pile on the humidity, it's going to feel much warmer. You may get to 100 degrees in San Antonio later today.

So, if you're taking that walk down by, say, the Riverwalk, good times for you. But when you out on the street, up to the Alamo, it's going to be very warm for you.

Sixty-nine in L.A., 69 in Portland, 70 in Seattle, and 64 in Salt Lake City.

That is your forecast -- actually, a weather story. Let's kick it back to you, guys.


NGUYEN: It's really that time of year though when things start to heat up outside.

WOLF: It really is. So, snow on one side of the country, and a few thousand miles away, you're dealing with extreme heat. Go figure.


WOLF: Always kooky.

NGUYEN: Thank you, Reynolds.

HOLMES: Thanks, Reynolds.

And coming up here, what happens when Google's high tech applications fall into the wrong hands? Well, America's nuclear power plants -- some are saying -- could be at risk.

NGUYEN: And we'll show you how the first lady style translates to European audiences. She drew a crowd almost everywhere she went.


HOLMES: All right. You missed it live yesterday, right, Betty?

NGUYEN: Yes. Sure, did.

HOLMES: But you're still interested, we could have had a Triple Crown winner yesterday but not the horse.

NGUYEN: I was going to say, key word, though, "could."

HOLMES: Could have, yes. So, we kind of gave it away there. But check it out.


ANNOUNCER: And here is Summer Bird and here is Summer Bird to win the Belmont Stakes!


HOLMES: If you weren't paying close enough attention, you might have been confused if you hear bird and the name of the horse but it was Summer Bird and not Mine That Bird that actually won the race. Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby and was being ridden by Calvin Borel. He had a chance to be the first jockey to win a Triple Crown on different horses. He won Rachel Alexandra, who's on that horse for the Preakness.

NGUYEN: Filly, yes.

HOLMES: Well, that filly. Yes, but Summer Bird 11-1 odds.

NGUYEN: Close though. I mean, this was a close race.

HOLMES: Yes. Calvin Borel and Mine that Bird appeared to be in the lead ...

NGUYEN: Right.

HOLMES: ... coming down the stretch and could have won this thing. But Summer Bird came out of nowhere and won the race. So, now, we're done. No Triple Crown. We'll wait until next year.

NGUYEN: Not this year. Yes, exactly.

All right. Much more coming up here, including first lady, Michelle Obama -- she has charmed Europe, especially that first visit. So, is she still a style star during this latest overseas trip?

HOLMES: We've been talking about this yesterday. Noticing that she and Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, had on similar outfits.

NGUYEN: Yes. You would think that they would talk, you know?

HOLMES: Do women just hate that?

NGUYEN: What are you wearing? What are you wearing?

HOLMES: Do you all hate that when you show up somewhere and someone had ...

NGUYEN: Same outfit? Oh, yes.


HOLMES: All right. Also coming up, generations of Jewish tradition gets a fresh new look this weekend. Meet the rabbi who's making history.


HOLMES: All right. Take a look at this video we have of Sarah Palin doing her thing, drawing a crowd still, a huge crowd, 20,000 people lining the streets to see the former Republican vice presidential candidate lead a parade through the streets of downtown Auburn, New York. Why? Well, she signed a proclamation honoring William Seward, an Auburn native. And Seward is 19th century secretary of state and negotiated the $7.2 million deal with Russia to buy Alaska.

OK. That's kind of a stretch, but you see the connection there a little bit. Well, later on, Palin spoke to several hundred people at a private fund-raiser where she reportedly criticized the Obama administration's policy on national security and the economy.

NGUYEN: Well, the first lady is also drawing a crowd across Europe, and the fashion industry is watching her every move. We invited celebrity stylist, Jeanne Yang, to join us this morning, to sort up what kind of impact Michelle Obama is having on style.

And, Jean, T.J. and I were just talking -- you know, when you show up at events, especially for the ladies, and you find somebody else there that's wearing pretty much what you're wearing, that's kind one of those things that you're like, I wish I would have known! Well, yesterday, at the D-Day commemorations, you saw the first lady as well as the French first lady kind of dressed alike.

Surprised by that?


NGUYEN: Really?

YANG: I think it's an incredible demonstration of the fact that --

NGUYEN: Great minds think alike?

YANG: Exactly. Absolutely. American and French fashion are really on par with each other and I'd like to think that our two ladies or our two first ladies -- the two first ladies really demonstrated what's really hot right now, which is white.

NGUYEN: Yes, definitely -- and belted, of course. And, you know, all this talk, though, of these dueling fashionistas when it comes to Michelle Obama and the French first lady. I mean, is that much to do about nothing really, or is there really an impact that the first ladies can make with their fashion?

YANG: I think that the first ladies can actually make a huge impact. And the fact is, is that I think there's been a real elevation of style. I mean, for the most part, jeans and a t-shirt just really won't do. It's nice to see that really classic, elegant fashion is coming back.

NGUYEN: Yes, you say jeans and a t-shirt won't do, but I want you to take a look at Michelle Obama yesterday -- not yesterday -- yes, a little bit earlier yesterday, before the D-Day commemorations, at the Eiffel Tower. She was dressed down -- I think we have a picture of it -- in some jeans, her hair was pulled back, very relax- looking. How does that translate in Europe?

YANG: Well, you know, what I loved about the fact she took the trip with her -- I mean, she had her children come out, and from I understand, it was Sasha's birthday. The fact is that she a mom and that is really important to her more than anything, even probably more than being a first lady.

So, because of that, it's really amazing to me that she keeps her style, her sense of style with a little bit of color in areas of leisure. Yes, she is dressed down, but she's really stylish. She's got that really wonderful -- you know, the splash of color that she's always known for with a little scarf.


YANG: You know, I think she always has that -- she almost has -- there's a French word, I think, soigne, which is looking as if you're just elegant without ever having tried much.

NGUYEN: Yes. We can't find that picture for you, but I wanted to show our audience. But, you know, many times, though -- this was on a date night where she was all dressed up, clammed down -- but many times, you'll see the first lady, you know, dressed appropriately when it comes to outings. She's not one that's going to go over the top if she's just on a sight-seeing tour and that really says a lot about her personality, that she's going to keep it real, if you will.

YANG: Absolutely. And, you know, it's funny. Ironically, she's actually, totally in fashion as well, because one of the big things with fashion right now is high/low. High/low basically is wearing something like the Gap.

You know, recently, she met with Nancy Reagan and she was wearing a $10, I think, it was on sale $10 striped Gap t-shirt with Gap floral cardigan, and then she was wearing a beautiful, elegant Michael Kors skirt. So, really, she does keep it real, which I think is important. She wears a lot of American designers, which I think is incredibly important.

NGUYEN: I was just going to mention that. Is she making a statement with that?

YANG: Definitely. I mean, the fact is, that she is the first lady of the United States of America, and I appreciate very much the fact that she's wearing American designers. I think a lot of people do. With the economy the way it is, it's important that we support them. And, in fact, actually, I think the American designers are really amazing and super-hot right now.

NGUYEN: And, quickly, last thing, how would you describe her style? I mean, is she going to go down in history, say, with the likes of Jackie O.?

YANG: Oh, absolutely. I think that her style -- because of the fact that she's really young and she has this really fun sense of style from wearing like avant-garde designers, like Junya Watanabe, to wearing those really fun, funky, Lanvin sneakers or, you know, she will wear some French designers. She's worn Azzedine Alaia, someone who is known in the fashion world to be, you know, one of the coolest, hippest designers.

But then really makes it a huge point of wearing some J. Crew and Gap. I think it's really a demonstration of a woman who has style rather than someone who's just wearing, you know, one designer.

NGUYEN: And not to mention as the president has said, she has the right to bear arms -- as we've seen in these sleeveless dresses and tops. So, definitely making statements there, too.

Jeanne, thanks so much for your time today.

YANG: You're welcome.


HOLMES: I understood about every other word y'all said.


HOLMES: She reeled off a couple -- I have never heard!


HOLMES: I heard Gap!

NGUYEN: J. Crew.

HOLMES: J. Crew, that's common with me.

NGUYEN: Yes, Michael Kors.

HOLMES: Michael Kors, not so much.


HOLMES: All right. I learn a lot, Betty. Thank you for that.

Well, the president is heading back to D.C., as we speak. Well, his wife and her arms and her outfits won't be awaiting him. They are sticking around ...

NGUYEN: In Paris.

HOLMES: ... and the kids in Paris. But ...

NGUYEN: They're shopping maybe.

HOLMES: Shopping, of course! But what is waiting for him when he gets back?

NGUYEN: That's true. We're going to be talking about that. And health care, you know, is one of the big issues. John King is going to be delving into all of this coming up next.


NGUYEN: John King is joining us at the top of hour with "STATE OF THE UNION." In fact, he joins us right now with a preview.

And, John, we've been talking a lot about the president's trip overseas. He's headed back to the U.S. right now. But, was it politically successful? Because some are criticizing it as his apology tour.

JOHN KING, HOST, "STATE OF THE UNION": Some critics do call it the apology tour. And in "STATE OF THE UNION," we're going to ask his senior adviser, David Axelrod, about that criticism.

The White House believes this has been a successful trip, T.J. and Betty, in part because they think it was important to try to create a new beginning with the Arab and Muslim world. They believe the president's speech will begin that process. They seem realistic knowing that a speech is not going to change things and that now comes the hard part.

And the hardest part in the short term is the special enjoy, Senator George Mitchell, is off to the Middle East to try to get the Israelis and Palestinians just back at the table, because people often talk about peace process. Let's be honest -- there is not one at the moment. They have not sat down and actually negotiated over a peace deal in quite some time. So, that's challenge number one. The president will be judged in the long term by the actions and not just the big speech.

HOLMES: Well, we talk about the actions and big speech, but some of those actions and big speech seem to be directed towards the Muslim world, but there are many American-Muslims who think he should be paying more attention to what's going on here at home. Is that something we -- that's getting a little more attraction at least because he was criticized during the campaign for kind of staying away from the Muslim community when they really wanted him to embrace them?

KING: Well, it certainly was. If you look at this speech, he talked about his father's heritage, hearing the call to prayer when he was growing up in Indonesia -- he certainly talked a lot about his own knowledge of Islam and his relationship with Islam and with Muslims more in this speech than he did the entire campaign. Some say that was a political calculation back in the campaign.

But to your point about Muslims in America, T.J., I think they have here is an opening to say, "Mr. President, we like your speech, we like your call to the world. Now that you've been more open about these things, remember us."

And so, when you give a speech like this and you set such a high bar, then everybody you mentioned, everybody you included under that umbrella has the right to raise their hand and say, "Listen to me."

NGUYEN: As you mentioned, the president is headed back to D.C. and when he does get back this week, a lot of focus is going to be on health care reform?

KING: It may not be long, Betty, before he wants to get back on the plane!


KING: He's got a very busy agenda back here. You know, the unemployment rate went up to 9.4 percent last month. That's a very serious subject, obviously. They think there are some signs the economy is coming back, but, you know, when you have so many Americans without jobs, the president gets held politically in time.

Health care reform -- I covered the White House when Bill Clinton tried this back in 1993 and '94, it is a huge lift, as the president would use the term. Where are you coming up with the billions of dollars, the hundreds of billions dollars to pay for this? How will people adjust to -- should we have a government option? Meaning: a government-run portion of the plan.

Republicans don't like some of this. There's a fight over Democrats about just how much to do. If this is going to happen, this year, as the president insists, he is going to have to spend some of his political capital. He has a lot. We're going to see over the next several weeks how much he's willing to spend and you'll see him all over the country making his pitch.

HOLMES: Well, if we hear next week, they announce he's taking another trip, we're going to roll ...


HOLMES: We're going to roll this clip of you predicting that he wants to get out of here.

NGUYEN: Exactly.

HOLMES: We only have short time with you left -- I wish we could talk to you all morning, of course. But tell us what you got coming up, "STATE OF THE UNION," at the top of the hour?

KING: Well, David Axelrod will talk not only about the trip and the big speech to the Muslim world, but the challenges ahead here at home, health care and the economy among them. And then we're going to go out in America and talk to three mayors who are in towns where General Motors delivered the bad news this past week, saying we're shutting down your factory. Thousands more jobs are being lost. We want to ask the people who have to pay for the schools, pay for the cops, pay for the firefighters, how they are dealing with this.

So, we'll also show you a fascinating look at the foreclosure crisis out in Las Vegas, Nevada. We go out to Fredericksburg, Virginia, that's one of those towns losing its G.M. plant for a nice diner segment. You know, the best part about this show is I get to leave Washington and meet some nice people ...


KING: ... and have a good meal every week.

NGUYEN: The perks of this job, right?

All right. Thank you, John.

KING: Thank you, guys.

NGUYEN: John King with "STATE OF THE UNION" at the top of the hour. You don't want to miss it.

HOLMES: And there is that face. We always have to get that in there. You can't ever see enough of John King, can you?

NGUYEN: Yes, never!

HOLME: We got another face we're going to introduce to you -- coming up next: The newest face of the Jewish faith.


HOLMES: Hello there. Welcome back to CNN SUNDAY MORNING for this June 7th. I'm T.J. Holmes.

NGUYEN: Yes, good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen. Thanks so much for joining us today.

We want to give you a look at the top stories that we are working on for you. We're following breaking news, in fact, out of Baghdad. Five American security workers are being held in connection with the killing of an American contractor. The victim found bound and blindfolded last month inside the highly secured Green Zone.

Well, among those held are Don Feeny, founder of CTU which is Corporate Training Unlimited and his son, also a company employee. The men have not been charged but are being detained by a Iraqi security. CTU is based in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Finally, after searching for several days there are signs of that Air France flight that disappeared over the Atlantic on Monday. The Brazilian military says it found two bodies and some luggage from Flight 447. It's been confirmed that they were passengers aboard the plane that was en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. Searchers are now looking in an area about the size of Nebraska.

And the sale of Chrysler to Fiat is in the hands of the Supreme Court this morning. Three Indiana pension and construction funds have filed papers asking the high court to block the deal. A Federal Appeals Court in New York approved the sale on Friday but gave opponents until tomorrow to appeal. Well, Chrysler wants to sell most of its assets to Fiat as part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy.

An African-American woman is the new face of religious diversity. She was ordained as a Rabbi yesterday. Her name is Alysa Stanton and she was ordained, along with 14 new Rabbis, in Cincinnati's Palm Street Temple. She is now the first female African-American Rabbi in the world.


ALYSA STANTON, FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE RABBI: I think, you know, painting new grass, putting new ground or a new path always brings some attention, but, hopefully, it won't be a story. I'm not -- I'm a Rabbi who happens to be an African-American woman and not an African-American woman who happens to be a Rabbi.

And as I said from the beginning, if I was the 50,000 African- American person doing this, I would still be on this journey. It so happens that I'm one of the first and I'm honored.


HOLMES: And she will begin serving as Rabbi for a predominantly white congregation in Greenville, North Carolina in August.

Well, 14-year-old Emily Blake of suburban Atlanta is a bit different from most of your teenagers. While many of her peers are concerned video games and shopping, Emily wants to do a little something different. She wants to do something substantial with her time and efforts and her leap of faith is helping empower an African village.


HOLMES: Women from this village are celebrating the arrival of a visitor who has given them an incredible gift.

EMILY BLAKE, COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL SPONSOR: They are just dancing and singing and they grabbed us and brought us in and gave us a very warm welcome. HOLMES: Emily Blake's remarkable journey from the suburbs of Atlanta to this remote village from Kenya began when she was 12 years old.

BLAKE: I went to a summer camp a couple of years ago. And the pastor told us not to just be good kids but do great things for God. And one of the things that he challenged us to do was to raise money for African mothers and their babies.

HOLMES: He told a group an average of 28,000 children in Africa die daily from preventable causes. That call to action struck a chord with Emily.

BLAKE: And so we took the next step and tried to find how we could do this through Compassion.

HOLMES: Compassion meaning Compassion International. It's a faith-based child advocacy group that has been helping impoverished children around the world since 1952.

MARK HANLON, SENIOR VP COMPASSION INTL., USA: It's a Christian holistic child development program -- it really starts very early in age. Even before birth.

HOLMES: Compassion's child survival program would be a perfect fit. In this project, women within a village get prenatal and child development help; but Emily was unable to obtain assistance from her church. She wasn't deterred.

STEPHANIE VON ROSENBERG, EMILY BLAKE'S MOTHER: So we needed to start with explanation of -- what it is that she wanted to do. And so we started with that and then we called Compassion and said, you know, can she have a project? You know? I wasn't even sure they would give her a project, she's just a kid.

HOLMES: Compassion did find Emily a project in Embu, Kenya a remote village with 75 mothers but the project came with a price tag, $40,000.

BLAKE: I just kept on praying about it and I still thought that that was something that I needed to do and so as a family, we got down and together and said, you know, how can we make this happen.

HOLMES: They began writing letters, they did car washes, they did a bowlathon, a benefit concert, they raised $12,000 but that was barely half of what she needed. Then came an anonymous phone call.

ROSENBERG: If somebody heard about what Emily was doing and wanted to give to that and they gave a check for $30,000 and I was like you got to be kidding me.

HANLON: We believe that it will motivate other people to find ways to be creative and really to follow God's leading in their heart as to what can I do as it relates to children in poverty.

HOLMES: Emily's first visit to Africa was to her sponsored village of Embu, Kenya.

BLAKE: Even if it's only sponsoring a child, you can change the world by changing the life of one child.


HOLMES: So Emily wants to continue being an advocate for Compassion International to help change the lives of children. She says her visit to Africa has inspired her to become a missionary nurse or a doctor.

Learn more about how you can impact your world by going to

Betty, what were you doing at 14?

NGUYEN: Definitely not something that important. Boy, what a story.


NGUYEN: If we all would have got a jump-start on something like that when we were just teenagers. Can you imagine the change we would have made in this world?

Well, hey, up next someone else who is making some change. Carl is here and he's bringing us the count-down with him. The top stories that have moved, inspired even engaged a nation of teenagers.

Stick with us for that.


NGUYEN: A little "Extra Credit" for your Sunday. And just to say it isn't so, but it is.

HOLMES: It's so.

NGUYEN: It's Carl Azuz's last day with us because you're going off on summer vacation?

CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS: I am and I appreciate you guys acting sad about it.

HOLMES: We thought you were fired.

AZUZ: No I'm still -- they want to keep me around to harass you. That what's going on.

NGUYEN: I don't know, does your badge still work in the building?

AZUZ: That got me in.

NGUYEN: You might want to try it again.

HOLMES: Well, good morning to you, sir. Good morning. The kids are on a summer break so you get a summer break as well.

AZUZ: They are, we are taking the next couple of months off. CNN Student News is still going to be around and going to be working on projects and getting ready for the New Year coming up in August.

Our first day back will be Monday, August 17th. And we've got a very important anniversary we're preparing for. This year, CNN Student News turns 20.

NGUYEN: Really?

AZUZ: No, T.J., I have not been on it that long. We are officially 20 years old...


AZUZ: ...and weren't always known by CNN Student News, we used to be Newsroom...


AZUZ: ...which of course, now another show.

But, yes, we're getting ready for that. That's a really big -- big moment for us and it was started by Ted Turner 20 years ago, commercial-free news for the classroom and we remain that today.

HOLMES: Well, congratulations on the anniversary coming up.


HOLMES: And we're wrapping up the school year.

AZUZ: Yes.

HOLMES: A lot of topics you've been telling us about students are talking about. What were the top stories, though?

AZUZ: We asked them to write them -- we said, put these together and tell us what you guys think...

HOLMES: All right.

AZUZ: ...are the top five and here we have them in order from five to one.

Number five, texting while driving -- a lot of students concerned about the impact and dangers of that now, I want to underscore this are student opinions. So if you don't agree, you can blame your kids.

Number four, the Michael Phelps controversy -- he's a hero to a lot of them.


AZUZ: They have a lot of things to say about that. Number three, of course, the economy. No surprise there.

Number two, lots of coverage all over the world was the Presidential election.

HOLMES: Wow, what was number one then if the election is the...

AZUZ: Number one was -- the best job in the world. It got filled. I show it to you. It's the island caretaker off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

NGUYEN: What was it?

HOLMES: Really.

AZUZ: And it has been filled -- the British man who got it says, he hopes that he can fulfill everyone's expectations and I hope so, too, because I wanted that job.

NGUYEN: Yes, well can he give it up any time soon? Maybe they'll have another position available?

HOLMES: And I think he's holding on tight. So I don't blame him.

NGUYEN: Yes, this is only for a quite a while.

HOLMES: That was their favorite story of the year?

AZUZ: That was what they felt was -- that had the most votes at

NGUYEN: Right above the presidential election.

All right, well, so you're going off to summer break. And I get it, all that.

AZUZ: Yes.

NGUYEN: But you're still kind of working, though. And we want to make sure that people know.

AZUZ: I'll have summer school.

NGUYEN: Yes, so how can people stay in touch with you during the break?

AZUZ: We have our blog at I brought you guys a lot of comments from the blog. If you go to that Web site there, or you could type just -- all one word in your browser and you will find us online. You can talk to us on our blog; we'll be trying to answer some comments there.

And of course, on Facebook, our Facebook page has been showing, you could see the graphic right there which is great.

NGUYEN: I think, again, we look like your groupies. It's so funny.

AZUZ: Every time I see it, I love it.

NGUYEN: I'm sure you do.

AZUZ: Great for me. But we have some new videos up there that we would love for you to take look at. They give you a sort of a different of side of us than you see on the show. So it's a fun spot for us as well.

NGUYEN: Wow, we have appreciated it and we have enjoyed having you here on Sunday morning.

HOLMES: Carl, it's been a pleasure.

AZUZ: Thank you so much.

HOLMES: We'll see you when school starts up again. And have a good summer break.

NGUYEN: Yes, and check the badge and make sure you're still allowed in the building.

AZUZ: Yes I will do, if I am, I'll come straight to your office and start bugging you guys.

NGUYEN: All right, and we look forward to it. Thank you Carl.

HOLMES: Carl, we appreciate it.

AZUZ: Thank you so much.

NGUYEN: We'll be right back.


NGUYEN: The Obama administration is pushing for tough new auto emissions standards and the goal is to put more fuel-efficient cars on America's roads and cut the pollution that they generate.

So to find out more, I sat down with Lisa Jackson. She is the director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Take a look.


NGUYEN: Well, the first thing I want to talk to you about is the new emission standards that the Obama administration is really pushing for. And the goal is to reduce pollution by 30 percent by the year 2016. How is that possible?

LISA JACKSON, DIRECTOR, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: Well, it's possible because, actually, car companies have seen this coming for a while. They've known that consumers are looking for cars that are much more fuel-efficient. And it's no secret that the amount of fuel you burn is directly related to the amount of emissions that come out of the end of your tailpipe. What the president was able to announce two weeks ago was actually quite historic, because it was the car CEOs, along with environmentalists, two groups that don't normally get along, then add in the state of California and other states and the unions all saying that they believe that this new emissions plan was not only doable, but would be good for the future of the industry.

NGUYEN: But will these standards truly increase fuel efficiency by 2016 and by how much?

JACKSON: Sure. Well, the country was on course to have 35 miles per gallon; that was going to be the new standard. But it wasn't to become effective until 2020. So what we've done is accelerate the pace of that transition. It's going to save almost 2 billion gallons of oil and most of that is imported oil because we do use a lot of gasoline in this country for our cars. That's a win/win, not only environmentally but economically.

NGUYEN: In order for this to happen it's going to add $1,300 to the cost of a new car. Is that something that's going to hurt the auto industry given the fact that GM is filing for bankruptcy and people are finding it very difficult to make their bills, let alone buy a new car?

JACKSON: What the auto industry is concerned about is competition. They are going to look across and say are we all held to the same standards and the good news about these standards are a couple of things. With you don't say to a car company you can only make these types of cars, you can only make what people want or don't want to buy. We say you can make what you want but you have to reach this average economy of 35 miles per gallon.

In some places the auto industry's already ready to embrace that. Some other ones are going to have to retool a bit but they believe then can do it. And yes, I actually do. I believe that we can get there. I believe that this really is one of those rare win/wins all across the board. There isn't much we can say.

And based on the price of gasoline, if you assume gas at $3.50 gallon pays for itself in about three years. Obviously if gas is a bit lower it might take a bit longer.

NGUYEN: Appreciate it.


NGUYEN: The administration says it has no intention of meddling in the types of car General Motors or any other car company produces.

HOLMES: However, some auto analysts say if the price of gasoline drops, SUV and truck sales could rebound and that could slow progress towards the president's goal. It's just a mess. What do you do?

NGUYEN: Yes. We're just getting started on this one.

What would it take to bring down a nuclear power plant? Would you believe a Google search?

HOLMES: Yes. Security experts show us how it could be the latest tool for terrorists.


HOLMES: Folks use Google all the time; Google this, Google that if you need some information. But there's a disturbing trend now, a downside to the search engine's efficiency.

NGUYEN: Yes. Listen to this. Homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve tells us how information online can become ammunition for terrorists.


SCOTT PORTZLINE, THREE MILE ISLAND ALERT: These are the old satellite images and you can see this nuclear plant. This is quite blurry. This is a newest quality; it's a high quality resolution with different angles where we can see more the 3-D layout of the plant.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Scott Portzline is taking us on a tour of U.S. nuclear power plants on the Internet where high resolution satellite imagery is conveniently linked with even highest resolution aerial photography. It's a tour he is afraid terrorists are taking right now.

PORTZLINE: What we're seeing here is a guard shack. This is a communications device for that nuclear plant.

This particular building is the air intake for the control room. I look at this and just say wow.

MESERVE: How hard was it to find this image on online?

PORTZLINE: I found it in five minutes time.

MESERVE: Some of the images are of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant but officials there say much of their security is not visible and they say they're not concerned.

RALPH DESANTIS, THREE MILE ISLAND SPOKESMAN: Our security programs are designed and tested to defend against a threat that has insider information. Even more information is available on the Internet.

MESERVE: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says old low resolution images were not a concern, but it is reviewing the new, more detailed imagery. We are taking another look because the security of nuclear power plants is something we take very seriously.

BRIAN JENKINS, RAND CORP: I looked at these. They were extraordinarily impressive.

MESERVE: Terror expert Brian Jenkins does not believe Portzline or CNN is telling terrorists anything they don't already know. They have used online satellite imagery to plan the Mumbai attacks last November, for example. Although the nuclear industry has spent $2 billion improving security since 9/11, Jenkins believes the images of the plant should be blurred.

JENKINS: Mystery is an important component of security. This takes away that uncertainty. If I were on the defending side, I certainly would not want to see anything that detailed available to anyone.

MESERVE (on camera): Chemical plants, national monuments, all kinds of potential targets are also captured on satellite and aerial imagery and can be called up on a computer with just a few clicks of a mouse. And every case raises the question, how do you balance public information against security?

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.


HOLMES: The Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor is getting some unexpected moral support from a man who saw his own political dreams crushed by controversial statements.


NGUYEN: The top Republican on the senate judiciary committee is a little bit worried. Senator Jeff Sessions isn't saying that he'll oppose Sonia Sotomayor as Supreme Court nominee but he is questioning whether she has the ability to be objective. The thing is Sessions himself was caught up in questions of racism 23 years ago and senator congressional correspondent Dana Bash explains.


DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Listen in to what Republican Jeff Sessions told the Democratic president's Supreme Court nominee.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: You will get a fair hearing before this committee.

BASH: He is so emphatic because of his own experience. 23 years ago, Sessions was nominated by Ronald Reagan to be a federal judge but was rejected.

SESSIONS: I am sorry that the senate judiciary committee did not see fit to find me qualified for it.

BASH: He is now the top Republican on that very committee.

SESSIONS: That is a very odd thing. Somebody says it gives new meaning to the word "irony."

BASH: Irony, bringing back memories he tries to forget.

SESSIONS: It was not a pleasant event, I got to tell you. It was really so heartbreaking to me.

BASH: Then a 39-year-old Alabama U.S. Attorney, sessions was accused of racial insensitivity, calling a black lawyer void and a white lawyer a disgrace to his race and civil rights groups like the NAACP un-American. He was pounded by Democrats like Joe Biden.

SESSIONS: They may have take positions I consider to be adverse to the security interests of the United States.

SEN. JOE BIDEN, (D) DELAWARE: Does not make them un-American?

SESSIONS: No, sir, it does not.

BIDEN: Does that make the positions un-American?


BASH: Some Democratic senators Sessions now serves with, called him racist.

SESSIONS: Dana, that was not fair. That was not accurate. Those were false charges and distortions of anything that I did and it really was not. I never had those kind of views and I was caricatured in a way that was not me.

BASH: Sessions went on to win a senate seat in 1996 but the allegations still sting.

SESSIONS: I think it was hard.

BASH: The parallel to today, some Republicans charging Sotomayor as a racist is eerie.

(on camera): When you hear that, you hear Ted Kennedy and other Democrats going through your head saying, Jeff Sessions is a racist?

SESSIONS: You know, that's such a loaded word and I don't think it's appropriate.

BASH (voice-over): Sessions will ask tough questions about deep differences with Sotomayor on judicial philosophy, but also hopes to use her hearing to close the door on a painful part of his past.

Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.


HOLMES: John king is coming up in just a few minutes. He will be talking about Sotomayor and the president's trip to the Middle East; also, the president's trip to France.

A lot coming up.

NGUYEN: A lot on "STATE OF THE UNION" with John King at the top of the hour. HOLMES: We have some exclusive pictures at the CNN here. Five American security contractors in Iraq have been detained in connection with the killing of an American business man. The men are with CTU, Corporate Training Unlimited; among them, the company founder and his son. James Kitterman's was owner of a Houston, Texas construction company. His body was bound and blindfolded last month inside Baghdad's Green Zone.

The president, commemorating the 65th anniversary of D-Day at an American cemetery in Normandy, France yesterday. But he is aboard Air Force One right now and he'll be back in Washington, expected some time this afternoon.

The death toll from a day care center fire in Mexico has now reached 38; more than two dozen children remain hospitalized, many of them in critical condition. The cause of the fire is still not known.

Brazilian military says it has found two bodies and some luggage from Air France Flight 447. It has been confirmed they were passengers aboard the plane that was en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. It disappeared over the Atlantic on Monday.

Searchers are looking for an area about the size of Nebraska. What they are looking for in that area the size of Nebraska is about a four-inch beacon. It's sending out a beacon attached to the black box. A small piece in that huge area of water is what they are looking for. This is a major task they have ahead of them.

Also, we're hearing that the sale of Chrysler to Fiat could be delayed. Three Indiana pension funds filed papers with the Supreme Court this morning asking for them to stay that sale. They say the deal unfairly favors the interests of Chrysler's unsecured stakeholders over secured debt holders such as themselves. A federal appeals court approved the sale of Chrysler to Fiat on Friday but gave opponents until tomorrow to appeal, so showdown coming tomorrow.

Meanwhile, "STATE OF THE UNION" with John King starts right now.