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CNN Saturday Morning News
U.N. Security Council Scheduled to Meet to Discuss Plan to End Fighting in Middle East; Cyclist Landis Tests Positive for Elevated Testosterone Again; Mel Gibson DUI Arrest Update
Aired August 05, 2006 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Now in the news, Israel and Hezbollah both launch attacks as the Middle East crisis drags into its 25th day. Several Hezbollah rockets did land in Haifa today. Now, Israel mounted a commando attack in Tyre against a suspected rocket launching site in an apartment building. Details on that fighting and late breaking news on a new proposed peace plan.
Well, that is coming up.
In the meantime, Israeli air strikes in Gaza killed at least four Palestinians and wounded four more. Now, Israel says it was targeting Islamic militants.
An angry reception for a U.S. diplomat in Beirut. Anti-American protesters showed up outside the office of Lebanon's prime minister to protest a visit by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch. Most were members of the Lebanese Communist Party and other pro- Hezbollah groups.
Well, there's bad news for American cyclist Floyd Landis. A second doping test has come back and it's positive. Tour de France officials say Landis is no longer considered the winner of the race. Landis, though, says he is going to appeal. We'll have a closer look with CNN medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen. That is coming up.
And two suspects in a series of six Phoenix area killings are being held without bond following a court appearance late last night. Police say 33-year-old Dale Hausner and 30-year-old Samuel Dieteman were responsible for the Serial Shooter killings. They are not believed to have any involvement in a second series of serial slayings.
It is Saturday, August 5th.
Good morning, everybody.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Busy, isn't it?
NGUYEN: Yes. I feel like I say it every single weekend...
NGUYEN: ... but it's been like that lately. Good morning, folks.
A lot to tell you about, obviously.
I'm Betty Nguyen.
HARRIS: And good morning.
I'm Tony Harris.
Thanks for being with us.
We begin with an update on the Middle East crisis. Much to tell you.
The U.S. and France have reached an agreement on a draft U.N. resolution aimed at ending the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. The draft is now being circulated to other Security Council members.
Israel says its commandos jumped out of helicopters to carry out a raid on an apartment building in Tyre, Lebanon. Israel says the commandos killed several Hezbollah members who were using the building to launch rockets.
Meanwhile, more Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel. Israeli ambulance services say at least three people were killed.
CNN has reporters all across the region, bringing you the latest on the fighting and diplomatic efforts to end it. Plus, our colleagues at the International Desk are monitoring Arab media. So we are plugged in at all angles to keep you on top of the major developments.
The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to meet at 3:00 p.m. to discuss a plan to end the fighting in the Middle East. A breakthrough on that plan was announced less than an hour ago, after long negotiations between the U.S. and France.
CNN's senior United Nations correspondent, Richard Roth, joins us by phone with the latest -- Richard, good morning.
RICHARD ROTH, SENIOR UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony.
Look, we have not seen the actual text and the devil, as they like to cliche say, is will be in the details, as always.
The hope of diplomats is that this resolution, if it is agreed to by the U.N. Security Council is a matter of days, would pave the way for an opening, for diplomacy to get in there, to have a temporary cessation of hostilities, hopefully eventually permanently, but to allow for more troops to be on the ground, to have the guns go silent while a more overall political/diplomatic framework is put into place.
But that may be easier said than done. The Security Council will have closed door consultations in four hours. Between now and then, other members of the Security Council other than France and the United States, which have worked out their disagreements on this proposed resolution, other countries are now looking at the text. Israel, Lebanon are being told about it. Calls are being made from New York and Washington to Beirut and Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The Security Council has been in a bit of limbo for days, as France and the United States, behind closed doors amid phone calls and cables between Paris and Washington, have worked over a resolution that calls for a cessation of hostilities and for troops to go in at some point, to get in between Israel and Lebanon on a much more robust means than a current U.N. peacekeeping operation that is there mostly as an observer force -- Tony.
And once again, Richard, the closed door session begins at 3:00 p.m. Eastern?
ROTH: It's the first time the full 15 members of the Council go over this agreed to text resolution.
HARRIS: Right. OK.
Senate Republicans United Nations correspondent Richard Roth for us.
Richard, thank you.
NGUYEN: Well, that's the latest on the diplomacy.
Let's get right to the war zone now.
Rockets raining down on Israel. They fly right over CNN's John Roberts.
Take a listen.
JOHN ROBERTS, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've got a rocket coming in here. We've got a rocket coming in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's a ...
NGUYEN: Well, that was less than two hours ago.
John Roberts is OK.
He is embedded with Israeli troops in Southern Lebanon and he joins us by phone -- boy, that was a hot zone just a little while ago, John.
What have you seen as of late?
ROBERTS: It's just a little tiny bit cooler right now, Carol. The unit that I'm with, this reserve unit from the Israeli Army, just got its supplies. We walked in all night last night, a seven hour hike up hills, down hills, rocky ground, very slippery underfoot. Of course, the commanders of the unit say it was a pretty easy walk compared to what they usually do, but if that was an easy walk, I wouldn't want to see a difficult one.
They've just armed up with toe missiles, those tank busting American missiles. They won't be using them on tanks, though. They'll be using them against Hezbollah positions. They just got supplied with food and water and they'll be ready to head out onto the battlefield.
But I showed one of the top ranking officers of this unit, just a few seconds ago, the news that the United States and France have reached agreement on the draft of a U.N. resolution. And this officer said to me, "Well, what does that really mean? If the resolution is adopted and an end to hostilities is declared, does that mean that Hezbollah will stop firing those Katyusha rockets? And if they don't, then what do Israeli forces do?"
And it's obvious, as well, that Hezbollah is well dug in and, as committed to the fight, as it has been, will likely engage in skirmishes with the Israeli troops, who will remain here until, at the very least, that expanded U.N. force can come in and that perhaps as long as until that 15,000 to 20,000 member international stabilization force will come in.
There's also a sense with this unit that I'm with that they are now really running against the clock. If a U.N. resolution is to be voted on and perhaps passed as early as Monday, perhaps as late as Wednesday, they have very little time to try to clear out what Hezbollah positions they can find.
And there are a lot of them around here, because, as you saw when you played that little piece of tape from the report I did a couple of hours ago, they are still firing those Katyusha rockets. And I've got to say to you, Carol, that Katyusha rocket came from not too far away from where we are here.
So Hezbollah is still very much dug in, in this area and still has quite a capability to fire those rockets into northern Israel.
NGUYEN: Well, John, it's Betty here.
And what I wanted to ask you is, yes, we're seeing the missiles come in. We heard them fly right over you. But ground to ground, are you seeing the Hezbollah fighters there?
Because I know that you've been coming into the area, at least you traveled a great distance overnight.
What have you seen? Tell us about the terrain and the guerrillas that you may have faced on the ground?
ROBERTS: The terrain is very hilly, very rocky. There are towns every mile or so. There's a lot of area, a lot of terrain in a lot of urban area for Hezbollah to dig itself in. We actually haven't seen any Hezbollah fighters. We have seen the evidence that they are out there, because an area just a little way away from where I am came under military attack maybe a half an hour ago.
We have heard gunfire, but mostly what that is, is covering fire going out from the Israeli side as they give cover to those armored personnel carriers that have been taking in the supplies to arm up this battalion that I'm with.
But according to the senior officers and the commander of this unit, Hezbollah forces are out there. You just can't see them, because they're so well dug in. But now they're going to go out and start to hunt them down and try to degrade their capability even more before the U.N. declares a halt to hostilities.
HARRIS: And, John, Tony Harris with Betty.
Just a quick question for you.
I can't believe that there is a single Israeli soldier that you are with right now who believes that Hezbollah will respect any U.N. brokered cease-fire, that they would only use any -- any break in the action to rearm and reposition.
ROBERTS: Well, they're very skeptical. But here's the thing. Remember when Israel declared that 48-hour partial pause in the air campaign?
ROBERTS: Hezbollah did not fire any rockets. There were some mortars that were fired on several towns and villages that are very close to the border. But they didn't fire any rockets. It seemed, at the time, that Hezbollah was willing to honor Israel's declaration for a cease-fire.
And from the political standpoint, all Hassan Nasrallah has to do, after an end to hostilities, is declared, is walk out of the bunker and say I fought Israel and I'm still here...
ROBERTS: And he becomes a hero in the Muslim world.
So it's quite likely that if a cease-fire or an end to hostilities is negotiated and voted on at the United Nations, that Hezbollah may, in fact, cease those rocket attacks on northern Israel.
HARRIS: That's very good.
NGUYEN: Well, let me ask you about this, quickly, though, John.
You talk about this window of opportunity closing with this resolution and the fact that it's being felt there on the ground.
Are you seeing that play out on the ground? Is movement picking up where you are?
ROBERTS: Well, this unit that I'm with has been waiting most of the day for resupply because the zone was so hot. They were hoping...
HARRIS: Oh, we thought that might happen.
NGUYEN: Yes, we just lost him.
HARRIS: You appreciate the time you have with them, because you know that at any moment you can lose the connection.
That was, well, John Roberts in a hot zone, embedded with Israeli soldiers, actually, across the border in Lebanon.
NGUYEN: Well, Tyre, Lebanon is another hot spot.
And our Ben Wedeman joins us live from the embattled city -- Ben, you've seen a number of things happen today, including many of those rockets leave from Tyre headed to Israel.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's correct, Betty.
We heard one rocket fired about a quarter of a mile to the east of here. Afterward, we heard in the distance more rockets come -- being fired in the direction of Israel. And we've also seen a fair amount of bombardment from Israeli warships out at sea and also some incoming artillery.
So it's been a very busy day. And that day really started before the sun-came up. At about 3:30 this morning, I was woken by intense noise, helicopters swarming overhead and Israeli jets flying very low, bombing targets not far from this hotel.
What was going on was they were providing cover for a commando raid, a naval commando raid by the Israelis on the northern edge of the city. There, they were targeting a building where they believe several senior Hezbollah military commanders were staying.
These, apparently, these men apparently, according to the Israelis, were involved in the planning and the execution of these long-range missile attacks on northern Israel, including, in fact, the town of Hadera, which is the furthest point inside Israel hit by Katyusha rockets. And that was yesterday.
Now, according to the Israeli Defense Forces, they said that this mission here in Tyre was a success. One officer said that it was -- that everything, everyone we wanted to kill, we killed.
But in the meantime, eight Israeli commandos were wounded, two of them apparently seriously. Hezbollah is claiming that they killed one of those commandos and wounded three. And also during that fight, the Lebanese Army was involved. And one Lebanese soldier was killed when his armored personnel carrier was hit by an Israel rocket -- Betty.
NGUYEN: CNN's Ben Wedeman in Tyre, Lebanon, as mentioned, just another hot area, as the fighting continues today. Ben, thank you for that -- Tony.
HARRIS: A new CNN poll on the Middle East crisis shows that Americans overwhelming side with Israel. Sixty-eight percent said their sympathies are with the Israelis, while only 6 percent favored Hezbollah and 14 percent said neither. Despite President Bush's support for Israel, reaction to his handling of the Middle East crisis is divided. Forty-six percent said they disapprove. Forty-three percent said they approved.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got higher marks. Fifty-nine percent of those questioned said they are confident of her ability to handle the Middle East.
The poll was conducted for CNN by the Opinion Research Corporation.
And we're just getting a bulletin in on the latest condition...
ANNOUNCER: CNN breaking news.
HARRIS: Breaking news now into CNN that Fidel Castro is said to be recovering satisfactorily. That is according to Cuba's vice president, who says, in Bolivia, that the Cuban president is recovering satisfactorily. We learned on Monday evening that Fidel Castro was turning over power temporarily to his brother, Raul, while he underwent intestinal surgery. And the word today -- we've been waiting for any kind of indication on the record as to...
NGUYEN: Yes, there's been so much speculation that he may have already died, so...
HARRIS: Absolutely. So...
NGUYEN: ... there is word today that he is improving.
HARRIS: And in satisfactory condition. That is coming from the vice president and that was according to Reuters News Service.
So we'll continue to follow developments out of Cuba, as well, this morning.
NGUYEN: Did we tell you?
It's a busy day, folks.
And next we do go live to the Middle East, where we will hear what people over there think of the polls that we just told you about.
Plus, the impact the Mideast crisis is having on efforts to bring Arab and Israeli young people together in peace.
HARRIS: And the Mel Gibson case -- is there enough evidence to send the star to jail?
All ahead this hour on CNN SATURDAY MORNING. We'll be right back.
NGUYEN: Take a listen now to U.S. ambassador John Bolton talking about this new U.N. resolution.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: So we're prepared to move as quickly as other members of the Council want to move. And I'm not very good at predictions of reactions, so we'll have to see. But once we circulate it today, our assumption is that members will want to refer to capitals and get reactions.
But we're prepared to move as quickly as we can.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NGUYEN: All right, you were listening to U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, talking about this new resolution drafted between the U.S. and France to end the violence in the Middle East.
This is going to be circulated today. The full 15-member Security Council is going to be looking at it. And is expected to be passed within the next couple of days. And just another little side note to this. We're already getting reaction from leaders around the world to this possible end to the violence in the Middle East.
Prime Minister Tony Blair says that the U.N.-Lebanon resolution is a vital first step in ending the crisis.
Now, we're still waiting to hear all the details of this resolution. But what we know so far is that it calls for a cessation of violence so that they can discuss the parameters for a full and complete cease-fire. And, again, this has been agreed upon between France and the United States.
They are going to present it to the U.N. Security Council. And, of course, after that, if passed, it has to be approved by the two major parties in this conflict, being Israel and Lebanon, especially Hezbollah, in that case.
So we will see how all of this plays out. But it is a vital first step, as British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said. And, of course, we're going to be getting lots or reaction for this or on this throughout the day.
HARRIS: Day 25 of the Middle East crisis.
Here's what we know.
The U.S. and France, as Betty just mentioned, have agreed on a Security Council resolution aimed at ending the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. The full Council will meet later today, 3:00 p.m. Eastern, to look at the deal. The Israeli Defense Forces say at least 45 Hezbollah rockets hit northern Israel so far today. Ambulance services in Galilee say three people were killed and several injured. Injuries from rocket attacks also are reported in Haifa and Kiryat Shmona.
And Israel warplanes are pounding the Lebanese city of Tyre. And on the ground, the Israeli military says its commandos destroyed a Hezbollah rocket launching operation in a five-story apartment building.
Across the border now to Israel, at least a half dozen Hezbollah rockets hit Haifa today.
Our Fionnuala Sweeney is there and she joins us live -- Fionnuala, good to see you.
FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Tony.
As you reported, 170 rockets hitting Israel so far today across the Lebanese border. Three people killed. In all, on average, there's been about 200 rockets being launched by Hezbollah each and every day over the last three days here. And that's been around the highest number ever since this conflict began three-and-a-half weeks.
Earlier, I spoke to Israeli government spokesperson Avi Pazner. And I asked him about what was taking place on the other side of the border in Lebanon and who was responsible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AVI PAZNER, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: I think that the people of Lebanon understand very well that the man who has caused this destruction and these deaths is Nasrallah, who has caused the destruction of Lebanon and now is running away from the south.
I think that deep inside they know that. They know that Israel has nothing, not against Lebanon, not against the people of Lebanon. We don't want to conquer. We don't want to occupy. We just want the Hezbollah out of our sight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SWEENEY: That was Avi Pazner, the Israeli government spokesperson.
You're looking at pictures coming to you from Kiryat Shmona. It is a town right along the Lebanese border. It has been the scene of fierce fighting today in terms of Hezbollah rockets being launched from Lebanon. It has been targeted quite seriously over the last number of days.
Of course, the big fear in Israel is that a city like Tel Aviv might be hit. Last night, Hadera, which is just 40 kilometers north of Tel Aviv, was hit by rockets. And that's the furthest that any rockets have gone into Israel so far. Of course, Hassan Nasrallah issuing a threat on Thursday that if Tel Aviv -- that if Israel, rather, kept attacking Lebanon and Beirut in particular, that he would attack Tel Aviv.
So the fear -- and everybody bracing themselves here for a possible rocket attack on Tel Aviv -- Tony.
HARRIS: CNN's Fionnuala Sweeney for us in Haifa.
Fionnuala, thank you.
And this just in.
The IDF, the Israeli Defense Force, is planning a news conference, we understand, at noon today, one would think, to respond to this new that we have been reporting for the last hour or so of a draft resolution between the United States and France to bring about a cease-fire. That draft resolution being circulated among all of the 15 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
They will go behind closed doors to meet on that resolution at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time this afternoon.
HARRIS: And, of course, we'll be following developments and reaction to that throughout the day.
NGUYEN: Which, we've already gotten some reaction...
HARRIS: Yes, yes.
NGUYEN: ... from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, along with the French president. Of course, France involved in drafting that resolution with the U.S. which, again, has to be approved by the U.N. Security Council and then you have to get both sides who are playing the roles in this conflict to agree to that, as well.
So there are still many steps that have to be taken. But this, as Prime Minister Tony Blair says, is a vital...
HARRIS: An important, vital, that's right.
NGUYEN: ... in ending the crisis in the Middle East.
And as the situation continues, of course, we're going to stay on top of every development.
HARRIS: A question for you -- how are Arab and Israeli children viewing this current conflict?
NGUYEN: That's a good question.
And, also, new this morning, Floyd Landis' second testosterone test, well, that comes back positive.
We will explain what these tests are and what they mean.
HARRIS: I don't know about that Irish board (ph).
Are we going to do that this hour?
I hope so.
The highly anticipated results from Floyd Landis' second urine test are finally in. And things are not looking good for the Tour de France champion. The International Cycling Union says the second test confirms Landis had high levels of testosterone in his body and the Tour de France director says Landis is no longer -- wow -- considered the winner.
Landis had this to say in response: "I have never," quote now, "I have never taken any banned substance, including testosterone. I was the strongest man in the Tour de France and that is why I am the champion. Landis says he will fight the charges and that it is now his goal to clear his name and restore what he worked so hard to achieve." Now end quote.
Landis says he plans to appeal the procedures used by the International Cycling Union in hopes of overturning the test results.
CNN's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here right now.
I've got a deck of cards and sometimes the deck is just kind of stacked against you. And if you're Landis, it looks like two tests.
I mean what do you want here? He's done, isn't he?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly doesn't look good. It certainly doesn't look good.
The way that it works is when someone gives a urine sample, they separate it into two samples, an A and a B.
COHEN: So they tested the A and high testosterone levels, not just kind of high, not just sort of high, but nearly three times as high as the allowable level. It's called the testosterone -- epitestosterone ratio. It was 11 to 1. I asked a slew of experts. They said you can't get that naturally. That doesn't just happen. That's the result of someone doping, if that turns out to be true.
Well, so you test the B sample to see if maybe something was kind of wrong with the A sample. And while what they found, apparently, according to the announcement today, is it confirmed the A sample, that, indeed, that testosterone level was high.
They didn't release any specific numbers for this one, so we don't know what it is.
Now, there is another, more sophisticated test that they can do.
COHEN: it is unclear to us at this time if they've done it and what the results were. But that test would say whether the testosterone in his body was synthetic or natural. And the International Cycling Union hasn't officially said what those results were yet.
HARRIS: I was dehydrated.
HARRIS: I had been out the night before drinking because I was despondent because I thought I was out of the Tour, I thought I could -- there was no chance I could win. That is why these results have come back the way they've come back.
COHEN: Well, his lawyer did say, earlier this week, he was dehydrated.
COHEN: Maybe that's the reason his testosterone was high. So we ran that theory by several of the nation's leading doping experts. And I could almost hear them laughing over the phone. They said that is not the reason why. Dehydration would not cause testosterone levels to go out of whack. If that were true, then many, many, many athletes would have that problem, because, of course, many athletes get dehydrated.
COHEN: There is no relationship between dehydration and testosterone levels.
HARRIS: All right, let me try this one on you.
The lab, the lab, we can't trust the lab. Someone in the lab, someone somewhere in the food chain spiked my specimen.
COHEN: Right, maybe someone put some testosterone cream on their hands and said hey, how are you? How are you doing? You doing OK? You know, and really got it in there.
HARRIS: I'm feeling better now.
COHEN: That's right.
HARRIS: But, no, that's a long shot, as well?
COHEN: Well, you can argue whatever you want to argue.
COHEN: But when they find that the levels of testosterone are high in your body through not just one, but two different kinds of tests, it then is -- the onus is on the athlete to say oh, well, someone did this to me or someone did that to me or they spiked my sample or someone gave me some water and I drank it and there was testosterone drugs dissolved in it or...
COHEN: ... or a massage therapist gave me a message with a steroid cream, which is what one athlete recently said.
HARRIS: That's right.
COHEN: You have to prove that's true.
HARRIS: Yes, really.
COHEN: That's really, really difficult to do.
NGUYEN: OK, but, but, if he took it the night before -- say he did it, right?
Would it have given him enough power to overcome the hill that he had to climb that day?
HARRIS: What does it do for you?
NGUYEN: I mean would it work just like that?
COHEN: This is the huge question. That is not the way people take steroids. Let me compare it to caffeine. If you're feeling a little tired, you drink a coffee, you immediately...
HARRIS: You get a shot. You get a boost.
COHEN: ... yes, you feel a boost.
COHEN: That's not the way steroids work. If you're going to dope with steroids, what you're going to do is for months before a race do eight to 12 week cycles of steroids to build up your muscles. Steroids work long-term. You don't take it on a Monday so that you'll race better on a Tuesday.
Now, Landis' team says that he was negative, negative, negative, all through this race and then just a couple days before the finish, when he wasn't doing terribly well, all of a sudden that's when his tests became positive. So they're saying ...
NGUYEN: A lot of questions still. COHEN: The doctors I've talked to said why in the world would someone take a steroid the day before -- you know you're going to be tested, first of all, so not the most intelligent thing to do. But why would someone do it just the day before?
NGUYEN: Because it doesn't work like that.
COHEN: Right. And one theory I heard and I'm not saying this happened, but one theory I heard was well, maybe he fooled everyone up to that moment and he just made a mistake that one time. I suppose anything's possible. But he was clean before that one test and he was clean after, very unusual, very strange.
NGUYEN: It is.
HARRIS: It is the talk today. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.
NGUYEN: Thank you, Elizabeth.
Should the Israelis move full-scale into Lebanon? That's a question being asked a lot these days. We have a look at strategies each side is using. Plus this.
HARRIS: We will show you the impact the fighting is having on efforts to bring Arab and Israeli young people together. You are watching CNN SATURDAY MORNING.
NGUYEN: Well, after a long negotiation, the U.S. and France had reached an agreement on a draft resolution, which is aimed at ending the Middle East fighting. Now, the U.N. Security Council is expected to meet at 3:00 p.m. Eastern to consider this proposal. Of course, we'll follow it all the way. In the meantime, Israel says it killed several Hezbollah fighters during a commando raid in Tyre, Lebanon.
Israeli commandos arriving by helicopter stormed an apartment building they say was being used as a site to launch rockets. And ground fighting continues along the Israeli/Lebanon border. An Israeli soldier died in a Hezbollah mortar attack. Hezbollah rocket attacks, meanwhile, killed three people in western Galilee.
And we do want to tell you that in just a few minutes at noon Eastern, we understand that the Israeli defense force will have a news conference. They'll be holding that live. When that happens, of course, we're going to take it live here at CNN.
Obviously, we're looking for any kind of reaction to this draft resolution that is going to be presented to the U.N. and could possibly be a first step in ending the Middle East crisis. In the meantime, though, with so much going on in the Middle East right now, we want to take a moment to get some perspective.
Joining us now from Tucson is CNN military analyst, Retired Major General Don Shepperd. General Shepperd, let me ask you this. Say this resolution does get passed. It's going to take a while for it to reach the troops on the ground, for it to stop, the cease-fire, correct?
MAJ. GEN. DONALD SHEPPERD, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, Betty, it's the old cliche, every journey starts with a first step and this is indeed a first step, but it is not a cease-fire. It is an agreement on language to cease hostilities, which is different than a cease-fire. You have to have the cease-fire laid out what it means, who's going to abide by what.
You have to two both sides, Hezbollah and the Israelis, agree to it. Then you have to have an agreement on what the force will look like, both the interim force and the stabilization force from the U.N. What they're going to be comprised of, how they're going to get in, what the rules of engagement are. And then you have to deploy them in. All of that can take up to weeks, maybe even months, Betty ...
NGUYEN: Really, weeks or months to see this play out on the ground? OK, so if you're Israel right now and you see the window of opportunity to root out Hezbollah closing due to this possible resolution that could become passed within the next few days, what do you do as a military person? What's the strategy here?
SHEPPERD: Yes, the problem with this, Betty, is everybody's doing exactly what you would do if you were in their place. Israel is going to continue to push north to get the buffer zone that they need to stop the rockets. They're going to continue to try to kill Hezbollah fighters. They're going to continue to try to isolate a resupply of Hezbollah by bombing roads and bridges.
And Hezbollah is going to continue to try to fire the rockets and exist at the end. Again, you have a very, very difficult situation. Israel trying to push further north, Hezbollah trying to keep fighting and probably Syria trying to continue to resupply Hezbollah, all difficult to stop.
NGUYEN: Something I noticed and I found it very interesting, we're three weeks into this battle and 300 Hezbollah fighters killed so far. Did Israel underestimate the strength of Hezbollah?
SHEPPERD: You know, they say no, very clear to me that of course they did. And a lot of other people underestimated them too. Hezbollah has turned out to be, first of all, better supplied than anybody thought with better war fighting.
Second, better organized and, third, very, very tenacious fighters as we can see going on. So if they didn't underestimate them, then they're the only ones in the world that hasn't underestimated Hezbollah, hasn't been much attention on this, Betty.
NGUYEN: General Shepperd, thank you for your insight.
Well, as Israel and Hezbollah exchange fire, world diplomats are working on a plan they hope will end the fighting. Members of the U.N. Security Council are getting their first look right now, at a draft resolution put together by the U.S. and France. Now, a vote could come early next week. Earlier, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had this to say when asked about the possibility that the measure would call for immediate cease-fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, LIKUD PARTY CHAIRMAN: A resolution is one thing. What happens on the ground is another. There was a U.N. resolution called Resolution 1559 that specifically called for the dismantling -- disarming of Hezbollah after Israel left every square inch of Lebanon. We left, kept our part. They didn't do their part. So you can have a new resolution.
The question is, is it just going to be a lull in the fighting or will it create a permanent end to Hezbollah rocketing attacks on Israel. I don't know where this thing's going to go. I know where it has to end. It has to end with the removal in the main of Hezbollah's ability to rocket Israel cities and its ability to terrorize us and the Lebanese.
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NGUYEN: All right, and this just crossing the wires right now. We understand from Hezbollah cabinet members that Hezbollah guerrillas will continue fighting as long as Israeli troops are in Lebanon. Next hour, we're going to talk with an Israeli official about this.
But now, we are joined by Mohamad Chatah, senior adviser to the Lebanese prime minister. He's here to offer his government's opinions. First of all, let's talk about this possible resolution to end the violence. What is it going to take for Lebanon to agree to this and Hezbollah to agree to this?
MOHAMAD CHATAH, ADVISER TO LEBANESE P.M.: The Lebanese government and the Lebanese people who are taking the brunt of this crazy war, priority is to stop this war and to stop it in a way that makes sense, in a way that makes it a lasting cease-fire and a cease- fire that's penned on a resolution to the elements that brought this conflict about.
We have a plan that we submitted to the international community, elements that we think are absolutely necessary for any Security Council action to have a resolution that not only calls for a cease- fire, but actually results in an actual cease-fire and one that can last and, hopefully, be permanently there for the Lebanese people not to go through this vicious war that we've been enduring for the last three weeks.
NGUYEN: We've seen the damage, but let's clarify, if you could, please, about where the Lebanese government stands in relationship to Hezbollah. Is there some support there? Or are you standing alone?
CHATAH: No, the Lebanese government has a very clear view of where to go from here from a war in which Hezbollah, which is a political party in Lebanon, but also an armed group that is fighting Israel, and Israel is fighting back with a humongous military machine. We have a view of how to end this. We don't want to have Lebanon forever being a battleground ...
NGUYEN: So specifically, doesn't Lebanese prime minister support Hezbollah?
CHATAH: The prime minister clearly has disagreements, political disagreements with Hezbollah. This country was undergoing a serious debate before the war started regarding the arms of Hezbollah. No, there's no unanimity, there's no consensus on Hezbollah remaining an armed group. Actually, we have in our constitution a provision that says no, there will be no more armed groups.
Of course, the problems that Lebanon has with Israel in the south, including territorial problems, prisoners, over-flights, and problems like these, have been used to have the conflict continue for years and years and years. We are saying no more armed groups on Lebanese soil. No more problems that ...
NGUYEN: OK, so no more armed groups on Lebanese soil, does that mean you're going to carry out Resolution 1559?
CHATAH: We have actually -- in our own constitution, in the Taif Accord, that made the post-war Lebanon, we have the same provision on the Lebanese legitimate army being the only party that has arms. So yes, the Lebanese people have agreed to this. And the cabinet a few days ago has again endorsed the plan of Prime Minister Siniora that reiterated this as an objective of the government and one that the government is committed to implementing.
NGUYEN: When will you have the strength -- when will the Lebanese government have the strength to root out this Hezbollah as well and end this violence because at some point, Lebanon has to stand on its own.
CHATAH: Lebanon has to stand on its own. But any image of an outside militia fighting this war and the government rooting it out is far from reality. The issue is not rooting out militia. The issue is the government to assert its authority to say we're the only legitimate authority and for Hezbollah to stop being an armed group, Hezbollah will be turning over its military positions ...
NGUYEN: But do you have the power to do that?
CHATAH: Of course we do, but only if we have an agreement, in Lebanon, within Lebanon. Any attempt to end this crisis without a domestic Lebanese agreement is a recipe for continued conflict. We in Lebanon, including Hezbollah, including Hezbollah, which is part of the government, have approved a plan that includes, that includes having the army as the only group with weapons. And that is the central point of our plan to get out of this quickly, but permanently.
NGUYEN: And just very quickly if you would. Do you know the latest on the captured Israeli soldiers, which was a major part of what started this conflict. What is the latest on them. What do you know?
CHATAH: We really know nothing. We know they were abducted but we have no idea where they are or actually who's keeping them. This country has had a very unusual situation for a long time. Not every part of this country has been under government authority for a long time.
It started with the PLO 35 years ago and then civil war and then all kinds of militias. We are ending this state of affairs and we're moving to become a fully sovereign and able government, that's able to protect everyone on Lebanese soil and be able to function as a normal government should.
NGUYEN: So do you think that this resolution that's being floated about is going to be the end of this conflict? Do you think it will work?
CHATAH: Look, this country wants it to work. The Lebanese people are sick and tired of war. They're sick and tired of being a battleground. It doesn't mean that the conflict between Lebanon and Israel will be fully settled before an Arab-Israeli settlement is reached. We are very much part of this region and we hope that the settlement of the Lebanese/Israeli conflict that we're witnessing today to be the gateway, the opening of a real attempt to solve the Arab Israeli problem. The people of the region are tired of being in conflict year after year and decade after decade.
NGUYEN: It's day 25 of this particular conflict. Mohamad Chatah, senior adviser to the Lebanese prime minister, we appreciate your time today, thank you.
And you do want to stay with us next hour, because we are going to talk to the Israeli consul general in New York about the situation. We'll get his response to the news that the U.S. and France have agreed on a U.N. Security Council resolution for the Mideast crisis. In the meantime, missiles hitting northern Israel this morning. It has been a busy day already. The latest developments in the Mideast crisis. That's just ahead.
HARRIS: Plus, boy, hasn't this been the story of the week? Could Mel Gibson end up in jail? I'll be talking to a former Los Angeles district attorney about his case. We'll be right back.
NGUYEN: More blasts and bloodshed as Hezbollah rockets slam into Israel today. Israeli ambulance services in Galilee say three people were killed. And officials in the Israeli town of Haifa and Kiryat Shmona say 11 people were wounded in rocket attacks there.
Major development today in the Middle East crisis. Here's what we know so far. The U.S. and France have reached an agreement on a draft resolution aimed at ending this conflict. The U.N. Security Council plans to meet at 3:00 p.m. Eastern today to consider this proposal.
Meanwhile, Israeli air strikes are pounding Tyre, Lebanon and in a ground offensive, the Israeli military says its commandos killed several Hezbollah fighters during a raid on an apartment building allegedly being used as a site to launch rockets.
Now, Israel today dropped leaflets on the Lebanon city of Sidon urging residents to evacuate. That usually precedes bombardment by Israeli warplanes. And just a quick note and we are waiting, in about 10 minutes from now, the Israeli defense force will hold a press conference on the latest developments in this crisis and we're hoping to hear some response to this U.N. resolution that is being passed about. That will happen at noon Eastern. When it does, we will bring it to you live.
HARRIS: Well, Mel Gibson certainly isn't the first Hollywood celebrity to have his face appear on a police mugshot. Loni Coombs was a district attorney in L.A. for 18 years. She's worked on several high-profile cases involving such stars as Nick Nolte, Kim Delaney, Nicole Richie. She's joining us from LA. Loni, good to see you.
LONI COOMBS, FORMER LA DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Good to see you Tony.
HARRIS: Let's see that mugshot again. Do we have the mugshot of Nick Nolte? You worked on that case Loni?
COOMBS: I've not worked on that case, I've not seen any of the evidence.
HARRIS: OK. How about the Gibson case? I know you know -- who can forget that ...
COOMBS: I'm sorry, I did the Nick Nolte. I thought you were asking about Mel Gibson. I'm sorry.
HARRIS: I'll get to that.
COOMBS: That's a memorable mugshot, absolutely.
HARRIS: I just wanted an excuse to get the mugshot.
NGUYEN: You just wanted to show the mugshot.
HARRIS: That is so wrong. I apologize. No, I don't, I don't really. You know the deputy that made the arrest in the Gibson case. What do you think of him?
COOMBS: Deputy James Mee is a great deputy. He's worked for the sheriff's department. He is dedicated. He's worked in Malibu for many years. He's very meticulous, very thorough. He really is committed to keeping that Pacific Coast Highway safe.
HARRIS: So is he a by the book guy? Did he make any mistakes at all in this?
COOMBS: Not as far as I can see. He's very by the book. He treats everyone the same, celebrity or not, from the time of the stop, up to getting to the police station. It appeared that he did everything correct.
HARRIS: I understand Loni, I understand the dashboard cameras, often times we get video of traffic stops. But who transcribes what is said in a traffic stop? I've never really heard of that, but I think you're telling me that this happened -- or is at least happening more and more now.
COOMBS: Well, I'll tell you this, I know about Deputy Mee because we used to laugh about his police reports. They were so thorough. We loved them. It was a happy laughter. He could write a book on a traffic stop. He's very thorough.
And he more often than not would audiotape the traffic stop which allows him then, when he goes back to write his report after he's booked the suspect, to actually remember word for word the conversation that he had. That's where you get direct quotes which are extremely helpful to the prosecution of the case.
HARRIS: I understand that, but here's the real question folks want an answer to. Did Mel Gibson get preferential treatment? My goodness, he was driven back to the lot where his car had been towed. That sounds like preferential treatment. If I'd been pulled over, I guess they would have mug-shotted me or whatever they do and then they would have said, go, find your way, walk if you need to.
COOMBS: Oh, Tony, you're a celebrity too but here's the thing that I call -- I call this the celebrity phenomenon. People like to call it preferential treatment. But look John Q. Public, if he gets arrested, isn't going to be mobbed by media when he tries to leave the police station. He's not going to have his police report all over the Internet within six hours of his arrest.
He's not going to have that so attractive mugshot broadcast on every newscast and he's not going to have the media going out and digging up great witnesses for the prosecution, people that he was partying with the night before, people that were taking pictures to show what kind of condition he was in.
John Q. Public doesn't have to deal with that kind of stuff. That's the celebrity phenomenon, so there's good and there's bad that happens. And because of that, because it's not a typical situation, things are done that aren't so typical.
Now, driving someone to their car after a DUI arrest, no, that's not typical. But then if there's a safety factor because they don't feel Mr. Gibson can leave the station safely from all the media there, they may try to make sure that he can leave.
HARRIS: Hey, Loni, good to see you. I think I made up a word, "mug-shotted." That's not a word is it?
NGUYEN: Last time I checked it wasn't.
HARRIS: Loni, good to see you. Thanks for your time this morning.
We're going to take a break and come back with more of CNN SATURDAY MORNING right after this.
NGUYEN: You think a lot is going on now. Just you wait because CNN LIVE SATURDAY is coming up at the top of the hour.
HARRIS: Fredricka Whitfield is here with a preview. Fred.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Very busy morning. It is going to be a very busy afternoon. We're going to be joining John Roberts, who's embedded with the Israeli defense forces. You've been seeing his reports all morning long. We're going to be joining him again. He's on the Israeli/Lebanese border. He's actually on the Lebanese side.
This is also coming -- our report with him also coming with just less than an hour after this U.N. draft resolution. We'll be talking a little bit about the influence of that, as well as the IDF will be having a press conference at the top of the hour. We're going to join that as soon as it happens. And just in case you need reminding, take a look at this man. Who is he?
HARRIS: Oh, I know who that is. I didn't know before this week but I do know. That's Raul.
WHITFIELD: That's right. But a lot of folks, whether it be inside of Cuba or outside are saying, OK, is it live or is it Memorex. Because all we remember of seeing him is on tape. We haven't seen him live as of yet as Fidel passed over the power to him. So we're going to be checking in with our Morgan Neill who is going to explain to us out of Havana just what is going on.
NGUYEN: Where is Raul?
WHITFIELD: At the top of the hour.
NGUYEN: All right, Fred, sounds good. Thank you for that.
As you know, Fred's coming up next so you want to stick around for that. There's much more news to come.
HARRIS: Right after this break.
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