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CNN Saturday Morning News

E. coli Found in Bagged Spinach; Prisoner Interrogation Debate

Aired September 16, 2006 - 07:00   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Right now in the news, new details about the E. coli outbreak linked to bad spinach. Officials have traced it to a California company, but they still have not isolated the bacteria in the company's products. The outbreak has now spread to 19 states, with more than 90 confirmed cases and one death.
More information coming up on this in just about two minutes.

Also, a distracted driver is a story that we're going to be following for you throughout the day. The gathering of the non- aligned nations ends today in Havana, Cuba. It's primarily been a forum for criticizing U.S. policy with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez leading the charge.

Cuban leader Fidel Castro is still recovering from surgery and has not made an appearance.

Another gruesome discovery in Iraq. Police are saying they found almost 50 bullet riddled bodies around Baghdad in the past 24 hours. Most showed signs of being tortured and were apparent victims of sectarian violence. A live report from Baghdad on this is coming up straight ahead.

SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN ANCHOR: And comments made by the pope about the Prophet Muhammad continue to draw criticism from the Muslim world. Today on the West Bank, two churches were firebombed. The Associated Press reports a group claiming responsibility says it was done to protest the pope's remarks.

And now to Bonnie Schneider for a quick check of our weather -- Bonnie.


We're watching three tropical systems. And one of these, Lane, is likely to affect the U.S. mainland. I'll tell you all about that. Plus, a look at wintry weather. That's coming up for the Rockies in just a bit.


Thanks, Bonnie.

We run-down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 7:15 Eastern.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators have connected the E. coli outbreak to spinach products packaged by a California-based company -- Natural Selections Foods Earthbound Farms.


SANCHEZ: Dozens of people sick from E. coli poisoning in 19 states, one dead and we have new information.

From the CNN Center, this is CNN SATURDAY MORNING.

It is September 16th and hello everyone.

I'm Rick Sanchez.

ROESGEN: And I'm Susan Roesgen filling in this morning for Betty Nguyen.

I'm about to lose my voice because of a bad cold, so bear with me. And we do thank you for waking up with us this morning.

SANCHEZ: We've got your back.


SANCHEZ: Well, if you're just waking up this morning, we want to update you on this E. coli outbreak linked to bagged spinach.

Let's go straight to CNN's Jonathan Freed.


JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Investigators have connected the E. coli outbreak to spinach products packaged by a California-based company -- Natural Selections Foods Earthbound Farms. The Food and Drug Administration says the company has implemented a voluntary recall of its spinach products. The FDA traced the problem to the company through interviews with people who became sick.

In Wisconsin, health officials have confirmed a 77-year-old Manitowa County woman died last week as a result of an E. coli infection. Officials say her death at a Green Bay hospital from kidney filature is linked to the E. coli outbreak that spread to at least 19 states. But they don't yet know if the woman ate raw spinach.

New York is the latest state with confirmed cases of E. coli illnesses, seven of them, connected to bacteria in bagged spinach.

The map has become cluttered with cases stretching from coast to coast, with as many as 11 in Utah and 30 in Wisconsin, including the one death.

Wisconsin's governor says the state was the first to identify the strain and made the genetic information available to other states. GOV. JIM DOYLE (D), WISCONSIN: When officials in eight other states matched the genetic marker with the Wisconsin strain, we determined that this was a nationwide epidemic with a single source.

FREED: At least 17 of the Wisconsin victims are hospitalized and at least four of them are in what Milwaukee officials call a crisis situation, with possible kidney failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're being very prudent in our caution to say that perhaps boiling, frying or sauteeing may, may lessen the likelihood of infection, but it does not completely take away the likelihood of infection. And for that reason, I would say abstain from consumption.

FREED: On the streets of Manitowa, even before it was known the death touched this community, there was concern.

(on camera): So both you and your young son ate spinach in a sandwich yesterday.

And today how are you feeling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually, I do have a little bit of stomach cramping, but I'm thinking maybe it's a mind over matter type thing. I don't -- I'm not concerned at this point. I just think, OK, well, you know, all this scare is in me now and oh -- and my stomach hurts. But I think I'm OK. My son is doing great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm actually afraid to eat it because there's already been one death.

FREED (voice-over): At a cooking store in town, worries about a favorite ingredient.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll buy it again. It's just going to take a little time until they find out the problem.

FREED (on camera): The FDA says it's still investigating whether or not other bagged products have been affected.

Jonathan Freed, CNN, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


ROESGEN: The company linked to that outbreak sells products under dozens of different brand names. So you can find a complete list of the brands of that spinach on our Web site at

SANCHEZ: In Washington, a standoff between President Bush and Senate Republicans shows no sign of progress. At issue -- rules for interrogating and prosecuting suspected terrorists.

CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux filed this story.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE) SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Bush came out swinging, offering an aggressive defense of his plan for tougher interrogations of detainees under U.S. custody, making no apologies for his request to clarify the Geneva Conventions, the international treaty which defines how prisoners of war are to be treated.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're trying to clarify law. We're trying to set high standards not ambiguous standards.

MALVEAUX: It's all part of the president's recent strategy to get voters to focus on national security, a Republican strength, and off of focusing on the unpopular Iraq war. With the midterm elections now just seven weeks away, Mr. Bush is trying to push tough anti- terrorism measures through Congress, banking on the belief that Americans will back him.

DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: They have calculated if he puts more heat on the Congress, he's more likely to get his own way. And, secondly, that if they -- that if he's justified as belligerent, he will actually help his own standing with the public and in turn help Republicans in the fall campaign.

MALVEAUX: But what the president didn't count on was a revolt from top members of his own party, like possible 2008 presidential candidate John McCain, over just how far he could go in asserting his executive power to spy on, imprison and interrogate terrorism suspects. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell broke his loyal silence, saying altering the Geneva Conventions would throw the moral basis of the U.S.'s war on terror in doubt.

BUSH: It's flawed -- flawed logic. I just -- I just -- I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists.

MALVEAUX: Senior administration officials insist the split within the party is just a bump in the road. They say history shows the American people back the tough talk on terror. So that's what the president dolled out in his hour long news conference -- tough talk on the search for Osama bin Laden.

BUSH: We have been on the hunt and we'll stay on the hunt until we bring him to justice.

MALVEAUX: And on his refusal to sit down with Iran's president, although the two men will be at the U.N. next week.

BUSH: No, I'm not going to meet with him.

MALVEAUX (on camera): It's unclear whether or not this strategy will work for the president. But as one GOP strategist put it to me this way, he said every day the president is focusing on the war on terror, as controversial as it may be, instead of the Iraq war, is a good day for this White House. Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, the White House.


ROESGEN: And this just in to CNN.

President Bush will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York this coming Wednesday to talk about Mideast peace efforts. That's according to wire reports. And we'll get more from our Elaine Quijano at the White House a little later this morning.

Now to the war zone in Iraq. Three people killed, two dozen others wounded in car bombings. Trying to stop those kinds of attacks, Iraq's government is talking about a new kind of security precaution.

CNN's Cal Perry is live for us in Baghdad -- Cal.


Good morning to you, Susan.

A major insurgent attack striking the capital once again this morning. Two major car bombs to tell you about. The first at 10:00 a.m. Two Iraqi Army police officers were investigating a dead body that they found in a car. They found -- they went to that car. That car then proceeded to explode, killing both of those officers.

About an hour later, in southern Baghdad, a joint Iraqi Army-U.S. military patrol was hit by a U.S. car bomb. One dead there, another 22 wounded. We do understand from both Iraqi officials and U.S. officials no military personnel on either side hurt in that attack. All of the casualties civilians.

Also, the sectarian violence continuing here in Iraq. Forty- seven bodies found overnight by Baghdad police. That brings the total since Tuesday to more than 150 bodies found -- Susan.

ROESGEN: Well, Cal, we're hearing about this plan that the Iraqi government is talking about to do something like dig a trench around the city of Baghdad to try to stop at least the car bombings.

Have you heard anything about that?

PERRY: Interestingly enough, this morning, officials seemed to be backing off, stating that really this is only a proposal at this point, that this is something they put forward to the senior security officers around the capital, amongst other proposals.

So as of right now, this is something just on paper, not necessarily something that's going to be implemented.

It is important to note, however, that this is not exactly a new idea in Iraq. They did similar things in Mosul and Talafar. They built berns, that is to say, five to eight feet walls of dirt to try to funnel any car bombers through a number of checkpoints. In Baghdad, if they were to do this, if they were to implement these trenches, what they would try to do is to get any insurgents, anyone carrying explosives through any one of 28 checkpoints, to try to funnel that traffic through and find those explosives -- Susan.

ROESGEN: Well, do you think it would work?

I mean it sounds like it might help.

What's the thinking from the U.S. military and from you there on the ground?

PERRY: Well, as I said, they are sort of taking a step back, saying at this point really only a proposal.

In Mosul and Talafar, to be totally honest, it really didn't work. Violence there did continue.

There's also a concern here when you talk to Iraqis on the ground -- I spoke to an Iraqi friend of mine that said traffic is bad enough as it is. If you can imagine 28 more checkpoints in and around the city and only 28 roads feeding into the capital, certainly logistics on the ground, traffic patterns would be affected.

So there's a bit of a mixed reaction here on the ground to this plan.


It makes sense.

Thank you, Cal Perry, reporting for us live there in Baghdad this morning.

Now, take a good look at this big bundle of joy. The mother of a super sized newborn will have to do some heavy lifting.

How heavy?

We'll have the story when we go Across America in about eight minutes.

SANCHEZ: Also, some virus approved for the use of your food.

What's up with that?

Well, we're going to tell you what's up with that in about 20 minutes.

ROESGEN: Plus, a guy who's digging for oil in his front yard. You'll meet a wildcatter who is trying something different to ease at least his pain at the gas pump. That's in about 20 minutes, right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING.





MIKE: We had to train over 900 Iraqis in combat. But we would like to do this work with fewer American lives at risk.

Pretty much you have to drive everywhere in Iraq. We did probably several hundred convoys in these thin skin pickup trucks. In the time I was there, we had a half dozen killed and 43 wounded. Unmanned convoys would reduce casualties entirely, but we still have a long ways to go, particularly when it comes to convoys and IED defects.


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): IEDs, or improvised explosive devices, have been blamed for more than 900 U.S. military deaths in Iraq.

What if we could put robots in harm's way instead?

(voice-over): Scott Myers is an executive with General Dynamics, a company that specializes in unmanned warfare.

SCOTT MYERS, GENERAL DYNAMICS: I believe that the way we operate right now for the military, it will be completely different 15 years from now due to provided technology.

O'BRIEN: Right now, the unmanned vehicle is not entirely autonomous. It uses censors as well as commands from a manned lead vehicle to avoid obstacles and navigate rugged terrain. But if all goes well, Myers says this could one day lead to completely unmanned convoys. But don't look for robotic soldiers any time soon.

MYERS: We consider these robots as really co-combatants and not that we're replacing the soldiers, but they can be more effective and do their job safely.



ROESGEN: Now in the news, a California company is the suspected source of that E. coli outbreak linked to bagged spinach. But investigators say they have not isolated the bacteria in products from that company. Natural Selections Foods Earthbound Farms is the name of it.

The outbreak has spread to 19 states, with almost 100 confirmed cases and one death.

In New Hampshire, two men who had never met donate kidneys to each other's wives. A complex four way surgical swap performed this week at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The wives and their husbands are all said to be doing well after the surgery.

Comments made by the pope about the Prophet Muhammad continue to draw criticism from the Muslim world. Today on the West Bank, two churches were firebombed and the Associated Press is reporting tonight that a group claims responsibility for it, saying it was done to protest the pope's remarks.

SANCHEZ: There appear to be no signs of Fidel Castro at the non- aligned movement summit in Havana. The aging Cuban leader is still recovering from surgery.

Now, the gathering of 118 nations this year has largely become a forum for nations that are in disagreement with U.S. policies worldwide. It concludes today.

Hurricane Lane is now a category three storm and it's churning toward Mexico's Baja Peninsula with winds near 115 miles an hour. We're going to be updating you on this throughout the course of our newscast this morning. In fact, we're going to have one in just a couple of minutes.

We run-down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long for you.

Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 7:30 Eastern.

ROESGEN: And we just mentioned the weather headlines so let's go straight to Bonnie Schneider and find out what's happening with Hurricane Helene -- Bonnie.

SCHNEIDER: That's right, Susan.

We're going to check out Lane first. This is a very powerful hurricane that will make landfall somewhere on the Pacific coast of Mexico-later today.

What's happened is the storm has intensified. It's working its way over some very warm water.

Here's the Gulf of California. We've got really warm water temperatures there and the storm is working its way toward that area. Right now it's 185 miles to the east of Cabo San Lucas. So it's not taking the same track as John, which is good news.

But it's bad news for Mexico, because we are looking at some very, very heavy downpours there in terms of flooding.

Let's take a walk over here now and I'll show you the track and what we're looking at across the area.

You can see, the movement is to the north at about 10 miles per hour. And it's a slow movement. That's very important to note, because when you have a slow moving storm, it's likely to bring about just devastating amounts of heavy rain and that's exactly what we're looking at for Lane, as it works its say up into Mexico. It'll also enhance precipitation into parts of Texas, as well. Now, looking across the Atlantic, we also have two storms to tell you about. The good news is both of these not really affecting the U.S. mainland. You can see the first one we're talking about is Hurricane Gordon, right now just barely a category one. But eventually that will recurve out into the Atlantic, so some good news there.

There's also a tropical storm, Tropical Storm Helene, and we can show you that, as well. The track takes it very close to Bermuda. That's something we'll be watching in the days to come.

But, again, this storm is expected to curve out to sea, as well.

So, so far the Atlantic season hasn't brought us too many storms. But it's still early to say. Remember, hurricane season runs through November 30th. And we'll be watching it for you -- back to you.

SANCHEZ: You know, the great thing so far this year?

I mean, as a whole, the storms have really loved water and not land this year, which is somewhat remarkable, isn't it?

SCHNEIDER: It is, but it has to do with our weather pattern right now and that el nino pattern, with the high pressure out in the Atlantic. It kind of follows that pattern and then recurves the storm back out into the ocean.


SCHNEIDER: So, fortunate for the U.S. mainland.

SANCHEZ: Well, whatever it is, it's a real good thing.


SANCHEZ: And we're very appreciative of it.

ROESGEN: Even though you don't control it, Bonnie. We know that.



ROESGEN: Thanks, Bonnie.


SANCHEZ: Kudos going out to el nino this year.

Headlines Across America this morning.

Police in Las Cruces, New Mexico-are saying that someone is threatening to shoot people at random unless the city pays a ransom. Two threatening letters have been received thus far. Police urge residents to be cautious. In Miami, an elderly woman is sentenced to 31 years and six months in prison. She was found guilty of killing a 13-year-old boy 30 years ago. The sentence represents the time between the boy's death and the woman's arrest back in April.

A Connecticut woman gives birth to a bouncing 14 pound, 13 ounce boy. That broke an 18-year-old record for the biggest baby born at the hospital. Take a look at this guy. The new mom says her son is already wearing clothes meant for a 6-month-old.

ROESGEN: That's as big as a Butterball turkey. He's cute, though.

SANCHEZ: Isn't he, though? And he doesn't seem to have a care in the world.

ROESGEN: No, no, no. His mom does.

You know, NFL teams need their fans, but the question is how much do they need the fans? How loyal are they and how does it translate into success for the teams? How important it is for the business?

Rick Horrow will have the answers when we go "Beyond The Game" after the break.

SANCHEZ: Also, in about 15 minutes here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, with all the talk about E. coli and bagged spinach, how about virus and your food which keep you healthy instead of make you sick?

We'll talk about that part of the story. The details are coming up.


SANCHEZ: You know, it's easy to be a fan when your team wins. But what about long-term loyalty among fans?

Well, we find some answers in a just released survey of NFL cities.

Where will you find the most fervent fans in football, for example?

Let's break it down now for you as we go "Beyond The Game" with the author of "When the Game Is On the Line."

Rick Horrow is joining us now from West Palm Beach, Florida. And he's good enough to talk to us about this -- so what's the survey say? For example, who are the best fans in the United States?

RICK HORROW, CNN SPORTS BUSINESS ANALYST: Well, the "Sports Business Journal," "The American Business Journal" newspaper, has it pretty clearly. Cleveland, number one. They lost the Browns. They got them back.

Second on the list is Kansas City. A regional franchise. Everybody goes from 200 miles away.

Third, you've got the Philadelphia Eagles. This Rocky Specter (ph) Lincoln Functional. It is one of the biggest sports towns, despite Terrell Owens.

Number four, the Green Bay Packers. We all know Brett Favre. They're not playing too well now, but it's the old glory days of Vince Lombardi, number four.

Number five, the Dallas Cowboys, the Americas team. We don't need to say anymore.

Six is Buffalo, western New York. Everybody's along for the ride at Syracuse and even Toronto.

Number seven, Houston. They lost the Oilers, got the Texans back, because Houston is a football town. You know, Betty knows that.

Denver, John Elway, the Super Bowls, that's a big deal at number eight.

Number nine is Baltimore. They lost Johnny Unitas. They got the Ravens back.

Finally, Rick, number 10, the Washington Redskins. They're worth $1.4 billion, largely because of loyalty.

The other teams, the fans are very loyal. But that's the top 10.

SANCHEZ: Yes, those -- in fact, some of those teams' tickets are literally handed down through generations and people will wait decades sometimes just to be able to have a ticket in places like Green Bay.

Well, if you have a place like that, Rick, where people are that loyal, what's expected of them? What do they pay to go to a game, for example? And do owners realize that loyalty and then jack up the prices?

HORROW: Well, what's expected of them is they'll pay a reasonable amount, and maybe even more, to go to the games. You know, the average ticket price is now up 7 percent higher than it used to be. It's at about $62. And, as you might expect, because of that loyalty, the Redskins led the way with a 17 percent increase last year.

Double digit increases also include the Seattle Sea Hawks, the Bears, the Carolina Panthers all doing well last year. The Arizona Cardinals because they got a new stadium. The San Diego Chargers because they want a new stadium. I don't know if that's the best move.

But the New England Patriots are at $91 a ticket on average. That's a pretty good experience.

And, by the way, it's also parking. So about $25 on average. And if you want to bring your R.V. to a stadium, it's going to cost you an extra $100.

SANCHEZ: Yes, I have a tough time driving that big thing, though.

HORROW: It's bad.

SANCHEZ: We do a segment here every Saturday with Rick.

It's called fair ball and foul ball, the good and the bad.

We start with a foul ball.

What is it this week?

HORROW: Yes, it's pretty bad. You know, Northern Colorado punter Mitch Cozad hired somebody -- maybe he did it himself -- to stab the starting punter, Rafael Mendoza, in the leg and in the buttocks before the game. It's shades of Nancy Kerrigan.

Now, that starting punter is going to miss the game against Texas State and the backup punter was arrested. But it just tells you how competitive it is for all of college football.

SANCHEZ: That's crazy.

HORROW: Yes, well...

SANCHEZ: Let's try a fair ball now.

HORROW: Well, the fair ball is a little better.

NASCAR is starting its 10 race play-off championship in New Hampshire this week -- $1.5 billion net worth for NASCAR 10 years ago. The ratings are up. A $3 billion TV deal. So it's not surprising, therefore, that it's a $10 billion network business.

And these play-off systems, Rick, as you know, are now in women's golf, men's golf, tennis, marathons, Hot Rod Association International...

SANCHEZ: But not...

HORROW: ... and the National Thoroughbred Association.

SANCHEZ: But they're not doing it in collegiate football still. And, boy, that's another argument we could have that could go for days, couldn't it?

HORROW: Another argument we could have for days. I'm going to the Ryder Cup. We'll do it live for the Ryder Cup next week.

When Bonnie says these storms are going out to Atlantic and curving back, please tell her to tell them not to hit Ireland, OK?

SANCHEZ: Oh. I've got my marching orders.

Rick Horrow, as usual, a pleasure talking to you.


SANCHEZ: Thanks so much.

HORROW: All right.

SANCHEZ: Susan, back over to you.

ROESGEN: In about 20 minutes, Veronica de la Cruz will show us some hot topics online.

She joins us now with a preview -- Veronica.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Susan, good morning to you.

We're going to be telling you what users are clicking on this morning at, like this video, which has been getting some attention. Caught on tape. Find out why one council member in North Charleston is in hot water today. We'll have the details next from the Dot-Com Desk.


SANCHEZ: Right now in the news, new details about that E. coli outbreak linked to bad spinach. Officials have traced it to a California company but they still have not isolated the bacteria in the company's products. The outbreak has spread to 19 states, worth more than 90 confirmed cases and one death in Wisconsin. That's why we are hoping to speak soon to the governor of Wisconsin about what he's doing in his state about this situation.

Meanwhile, priests summoned by their cardinals got an earful. It happened outside Philadelphia. Hundreds priests heard victims describe how they were molested by priests when they were children. The cardinal says it's important for priests to hear victims' stories and to hear them firsthand.

Illegal immigration deaths along the U.S.-Mexican border have nearly doubled since the late 1990s. The General Accounting Office reports 472 deaths. That's last year. Most died in the Arizona desert either from dehydration or from heat exhaustion -- Susan.

ROESGEN: Iran is asking the U.N. Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, for help in getting U.S. visas so Iranian leaders can attend next week's general assembly in New York. Iran's interior minister wasn't able to attend a recent U.N. meeting. A U.S. official says the interior minister didn't meet the qualifications.

Now, we're taking a look at the weather.

SCHNEIDER: Well, a major hurricane is about to bear down on Mexico. This is Hurricane Lane, a category three storm. We're watching two other systems in the Atlantic. Plus, for Utah, get ready for your first snow of the season. We're expecting heavy snow today in the higher elevations of the mountains around Salt Lake City. We'll be watching that very closely.

ROESGEN: All right, Bonnie, thank you.

We run-down the top stories every 15 minutes here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, with in-depth coverage all morning long.

Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 7:45 Eastern.

And welcome again.

I'm Susan Roesgen with a little sore throat this morning. I'm sounding a little scratchy, but sitting in for Betty Nguyen.

SANCHEZ: You are doing just fine.

And I'm Rick Sanchez.

Thanks so much for waking up with us this morning.

More now on that E. coli outbreak linked to bad spinach. As we mentioned, the outbreak has spread to 19 states, worth more than 90 confirmed cases and one death. This is a 77-year-old woman in Green Bay, Wisconsin, died of kidney failure related to the E. coli situation last week.

The governor of Wisconsin is Jim Doyle and he's good enough to join us now from Madison to talk about what he's doing in his particular state.

Governor, thanks so much for being with us this morning, sir.

DOYLE: Sure thing.

SANCHEZ: What is the situation?

I know people must be concerned, since there was a death, that there might possibly be others.

DOYLE: Oh, people are very concerned in Wisconsin. There is, of course, the tragic death. We've had 30 confirmed cases and we suspect that that number will increase a fair number as we move along.

We are really calling on people to get rid of any fresh bagged spinach, not to think that they can wash it or cook it, but just get rid of it.

SANCHEZ: And are the people in Wisconsin responding so far?

Do you think, you know, this is kind of a tough thing, as a weekend approaches, to get a story like this out. You know, we know in the media sometimes that people are watching other things.

So what are you doing to make sure that people get that message so that, you know, we don't have another fatality?

DOYLE: Well, I'm getting up early in the morning and making sure that I'm getting the message out. And we have had -- our public health officials are doing it, as well.

The grocers in Wisconsin have been tremendously cooperative and have just cleared it immediately off the shelves.

So I think we've got most of it, I hope all of it, that it isn't even being sold right now. And we just are pushing it in every way we can, to get that simple message.

You know, in some ways, it cuts against our usual message, which is to try to have people eat more fresh vegetables.


DOYLE: And particularly to eat spinach. But in this case, fresh bagged spinach is something that people should throw away.

SANCHEZ: Are you worried at all about any kind of cross- contamination, that even though you get rid of the spinach, whatever other products were near the spinach could also have possibly been affected?

DOYLE: Well, we are. And we, you know, we -- our public health system, of which I'm very proud, because we're the ones that took isolated cases in our public health as they were being reported and were able to pull them together and realize they were coming from a single strain of this bacteria.

And so they continue to work on every single aspect of this, interview every single family that's been affected to find the facts and those facts that connect one case to another.

So we're going to continue to see -- to do all we can.

SANCHEZ: Have you asked yourself -- and do you have an answer for this -- why my state? Why Wisconsin?

DOYLE: Well, I think there are one of two explanations. One is -- and maybe this is good news. Maybe we just eat more fresh spinach. I know it's something we work on. But the other, I think, is we probably are just ahead of the curve, that we were the state that discovered it, that pulled the strand that discovered the strain and have identified more cases. And it may be that in the today and in the next few days, you'll see other states with similar kinds of numbers.

It simply may be that we're ahead in having identified this.

SANCHEZ: Governor, we're wrapping things up. But as we do, maybe it would be wise for us to allow you to get your message out one more time.

What exactly is it that you want the people in your state to do regarding this situation?

DOYLE: Well, it's very simple and I thank you for giving me the opportunity. We really are asking everyone not only in Wisconsin, but across the country, to simply get rid of any fresh bagged spinach.

SANCHEZ: All spinach?


SANCHEZ: Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, we thank you so much, sir, for taking the time and for joining us this morning.

DOYLE: Thank you.

Thank you.

SANCHEZ: All right -- Susan.

ROESGEN: OK, so we know that bacteria is bad. But certain virus in food as food additives can actually be good.

CNN's Gary Nurenberg says it won't make you sick, it's just the opposite.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like the New York style hot dogs, but the D.C.'s are just as good.

GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tourists near Washington's National Mall were surprised to hear the Food and Drug Administration has just approved the limited use of viruses as a food additive on meat and poultry products.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we're trying to eat it. Wouldn't you get sick from it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to make you think twice about, you know, I hope that's a good thing.

NURENBERG (on camera): The FDA thinks it is, thinks it's a way to fight a food-borne pathogen that can cause listeriosis, an infection that kills 500 Americans every year and sickens another 2,000.

JOHN VAZZANA, CEO, INTRALYTIX: This is the beginning of a product.

NURENBERG (voice-over): The company getting the FDA approval to use viruses against listeriosis is Intralytix in Baltimore. It has developed a viral spray consisting of several bacteriophages.

VAZZANA: A bacteriophage is a Greek word for bacteria. It attacks only bacteria. It does not attack human cells or plant cells. So it is a -- nature's way of controlling bacteria. ANDREW ZAJAC, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: And it's going to be used on ready to eat meat and poultry products. So these would be lunch meat, deli meats, hot dogs. These are the type of foods that are edible without any further steps or preparation, such as cooking.

NURENBERG: The types of foods where listeria can breed.

VAZZANA: It will not affect the taste of the food, the appearance of the food. All it does is attack that one particular bacteria.

NURENBERG: The president of a company called Biopharma sees eventual use of viruses in humans to fight disease and infections.

CARL MERRIL, CEO, BIOPHARMA, INC.: But we have to recognize that some of these viruses can carry genes that could cause difficulty and even death for humans. So we have to be very careful which ones are selected.

NURENBERG: The FDA says it was careful, taking four years to approve the plan. It says labels will be required.

VAZZANA: We have licensed the product.

NURENBERG: Intralytix says it expects foods treated with the virus to be on the market within six to nine months.

Gary Nurenberg, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: This story just in, a story that we've been following that has caused all sorts of problems all over the world for the Catholic Church. Some comments made by the pope recently. Well, he has now come out, according to wire reports, and said that he is extremely sorry for offending Muslims with the words that he had chosen. So the situation now stands as is, with the pope coming out and offering an apology for his words, when he quoted a 14th century person who had criticized the Muslims for having violent tendencies.

Certainly it's a story that we'll continue to stay on top of for you.

ROESGEN: We will follow that.

And do stay with us because we have much more ahead here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING, including how to crash a car and wind up in the slammer.

That's coming up on the Water Cooler.


ROESGEN: Now in the news, from the Vatican, the pope now says he is extremely upset that his words have offended Muslims around the world. His comments come after widespread protests from the Muslim world. Two churches in the West Bank were firebombed today and according to the Associated Press, a group claiming responsibility says it did it to protest the pope's remarks about the teachings of Muhammad.

A California company is the suspected source of an E. coli outbreak linked to bagged spinach. Investigators say they haven't yet isolated the bacteria in the products. They come from the brand Natural Selections Foods Earthbound Farms. This outbreak has spread to 19 states, with almost 100 confirmed cases and one death.

SANCHEZ: Taking you now to Afghanistan, a major offensive is underway against the Taliban once again. The latest is Operation Mountain Fury. It involves about 4,000 Afghan forces and 3,000 U.S.- led coalition troops.

They're targeting Taliban fighters in five different provinces.

We run-down the top stories every 15 minutes for you right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long.

Your next check of the headlines is coming up right at the top of the hour.

ROESGEN: And we're Going Global now and focusing on the Muslim anger aimed at the pope for what he has said.

SANCHEZ: Yes, this thing is really snowballing.

Our Brenda Bernard is joining us now from the International Desk with reaction to what is considered by many in the world to be controversial comments.

BRENDA BERNARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, indeed. Controversial, indeed, Rick.

And news is just in that the Vatican says Pope Benedict is extremely upset that his words offended Muslims.

This comes amid the growing anger across the Islamic world, from Africa through the Middle East to Asia.

They accuse Pope Benedict of dishonoring the Prophet Muhammad in a speech this week. In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, about 1,000 people turned out for a rally today. They're demanding an apology after Pope Benedict quieted a Medieval text that characterized the teachings of Islam's founder as evil and inhuman.

Demands for an apology also in India. Protesters there taking to the streets across several cities. They burned an effigy of the pope and also threatened to launch a "worldwide agitation if the offensive statements were repeated."

There were also protests in Egypt. The imam at an Egyptian mosque said the pope's remarks show ignorance and could do more harm to relations between Muslims and Christians. And Lebanon's most senior Shiite Muslim cleric is vowing not to accept anything short of a personal apology from the pontiff. He told worshippers a statement from Vatican officials would not suffice.

So, Susan and Rick, it's yet to be seen if this latest Vatican statement will be enough to calm some of that anger.

SANCHEZ: Well, it certainly moves the story, because that's...

BERNARD: It does.

SANCHEZ: ... what's, that's new in this, is the fact that the pope is now addressing it, and seemingly being apologetic about it.

BERNARD: Not addressing it personally, though, directly. So we'll have to see if the Muslims will be satisfied with that.


ROESGEN: And strange, the words from centuries ago inflame people even today.


BERNARD: Oh, yes.

SANCHEZ: Brenda, thank you.

BERNARD: Thank you.

ROESGEN: Now, let's talk gas prices for a minute. You know how high they are. And with the high price of oil, Congress is considering opening more of the Gulf of Mexico-to oil drilling. But one oil man has a homegrown solution. He's in Lake Charles, Louisiana. That's in the southwestern part of the state. That's big oil territory out there. You see a lot of rigs. But this guy has decided to drill for oil in his own front yard.


ROESGEN (voice-over): As front yards go, Steve Jordan's is pretty impressive -- the landscaped lawn, the fountain and about 100 yards from the front door...

(on camera): That's it, huh?

(voice-over): ... a 65-foot oil rig. A seismic study about three years ago showed there might be oil on the property. Back then the price per barrel was about $30, not enough to make digging up the yard worthwhile. But when the price shot past $40, Jordan figured his 60-acre estate had room for the rig. He is the head of his own oil company.

STEVE JORDAN, CEO, JORDAN OIL COMPANY: I mean, this ain't my first rodeo. I mean, I've been involved in hundreds of wells. ROESGEN: The catch is, the oil they hope to find wouldn't be under the rig -- it's half a mile away, in environmentally sensitive wet lands. So to get to it, Jordan is drilling down and under his house, under the living room, the kitchen and out under the patio.

(on camera): Then the pipe keeps going, out here past the pool, down another 50 or 75 yards and under the Calcasieu River.

(voice-over): If they do find oil, Jordan thinks there might be enough to double his million dollar investment, somewhere between 150,00 and 300,000 barrels of oil total, nowhere near the 30 million barrel barrels OPEC puts out each day.

JORDAN: A producer like me is just sort of like a fly in the ointment to them, just a very small producer. But 68 percent of the oil in America is produced by people just like me.

ROESGEN: The question is will he found black gold under the river behind his house?

(on camera): What's your gut tell you? Do you have a gut in this business, Steve?

JORDAN: I think everywhere I'm going to drill I'm going to hit.


ROESGEN: Well, they have drilled that pipe about halfway now to that spot under the river where they hope to find oil. And Jordan won't know if he's got it for another couple of weeks. If he does strike oil, it will be refined right there in Louisiana and sold at gas stations right there in Louisiana. If he doesn't find oil, then he'll just plug the hole, dismantle the rig and set it up some people else.

So I think you can kind of tell that this guy is not Evacuated Clampett. He's a lot more like J.R. Ewing, you know, the front yard -- you talk about a front yard, well, I mean, that's like the estate, like "Dallas" or something.

SANCHEZ: I'm wondering what his wife has to say about this.

ROESGEN: His wife is nervous.

SANCHEZ: Yes, I'll bet.

ROESGEN: But, you know, hey, he knows what he's doing. This isn't his first rodeo, Rick.

SANCHEZ: He's digging up the front yard.

ROESGEN: That's right.

We'll see.

SANCHEZ: Well, the Water Cooler is going to be coming up next. We're going to talk about other things like this one and ask an age old question for you, as well -- what were they thinking?

ROESGEN: Missouri may be the show me state, but the police there never expected to see something like this.

SCHNEIDER: I'm CNN meteorologist Bonnie Schneider with a look at your "Allergy Report" for Saturday.

Well, right in the center of the country where the heat continues to soar, that's where we're looking at a high concentration of pollen in the air. But where it's stormy, you may breathe easier. That's in the northern Rockies. We're actually expecting snow in the higher elevations.

And you'll also find a low risk for pollen and air pollution into Florida and parts of Texas for today.

That's a look at your "Allergy Report" for Saturday.

I'm meteorologist Bonnie Schneider.


ROESGEN: And now for something we say is a little different.

It's the CNN Water Cooler.

SANCHEZ: Yes, and this is where we get a chance to share the stories, the people on video that a lot of people would think are, well, just a little bit different, a little bit crazy.

Let's go to the pages now. Here we go. First stop.

ROESGEN: Because they are different and crazy.

Video evidence in Missouri of criminal masterminds at work. The van was deliberately wrecked to collect the insurance money to settle a debt. Videotaping it just proves that the crooks were both greedy and stupid. The tape was recently discovered by a third party and turned over to the police. I wonder who the third party was.

Everyone involved pleaded guilty to insurance fraud.

SANCHEZ: That's kind of like one of those where they say in our business never say anything on with a microphone that you wouldn't want repeated in front of your mother. Well, never record anything that you might think could possibly land you in jail, right? They didn't know that rule.

Here's another one. This is unbelievable but true.

See this guy you're looking at right there?

He's showing you some stuff. They're actually scars. This man really, for all intents and purposes, should be dead. He was, in fact, for just a moment, because a bolt of lightning hit Jason Wagner on this very spot two months ago. And by all accounts, it was fatal. Incredibly, though, Wagner was revived 30 minutes later. He doesn't remember anything. But he does have this gnarly scar that he keeps wanting to show us on his ankle and parts of his neck, as well.

ROESGEN: The scar is kind of cool.

What are the Web surfers checking out this morning on

Well, here to tell us what's clicking with the morning coffee crowd from the Dot-Com Desk is Veronica de la Cruz -- Veronica.

DE LA CRUZ: Good morning, Susan and Rick.

And coffee does sound so good right now.

Millions of people visit on a daily basis. That you know. Here is what people are watching online today. A big bundle of joy for a set of proud parents in Connecticut.

ROESGEN: Oh, he's so cute.

DE LA CRUZ: This bouncing baby boy broke an 18-year record at the hospital where he was born, tipping those scales at 14 pounds, 13 ounces. A whole lot of baby for those parents to love. The previous record was 13 pounds. Already, this newborn can't fit into newborn diapers.

And then this video blog, disappointing for Web fans of Fans were crushed when they found out that Bree, otherwise known as Lonely Girl 15, was a hoax. She was posing as a teenaged girl full of angst, who filed her video diaries online. It turns out that that she is a 19-year-old actress who just moved to Los Angeles from New Zealand. After attracting millions of viewers, creators of Lonely Girl 15 are starting their own Web site.

Something else popular this morning, not something that you want to try at your own place of employment, folks. City official James Bell is accused of keying the car of Councilman Bob King. You just saw it there. We're going to show you again. That incident, unfortunately, was caught on tape.

King apparently has parked in Bell's spot more than once. That's when he noticed that his car had been keyed. Bell is now awaiting trial in October.

Yes, you know, all over a parking spot. I just don't get it. You -- and the other thing is you have to remember that Big Brother is always watching.

ROESGEN: OK, Veronica, thank you.

SANCHEZ: I checked out Lonely Girl, by the way.


SANCHEZ: I didn't get what all the fuss was about.


DE LA CRUZ: Yes, yes, she's still...

SANCHEZ: But utube is a fun-Web site.

DE LA CRUZ: Yes, it's a good one.

SANCHEZ: Thanks a lot. Appreciate it.

ROESGEN: And we'll get back to our top story in just a minute.

SANCHEZ: We have new information this morning on the E. coli scare from that tainted spinach. Stick around. We'll have that and a whole lot more.

ROESGEN: Also including something new on the fashion runways. We've got the skinny on the backlash toward underweight models.

SANCHEZ: That is ahead in our next hour.

First, Gerri Willis with her real estate Tip of the Day.


GERRI WILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The kids are back in class, but does their school get a passing grade for its emergency contingency plan? Should there be a bomb threat, a terrorist attack or natural disaster, you need to know what happens next.

Will children be able to use their cell phones? Who will be in charge?

All of this information should be available to you. It's important that your school district has a plan tailored to its specific locale, layout and population. A plan in the can simply won't cut it. If a crisis contingency plan is not already in place, get a group of parents and teachers together to demand that northeast be drawn up stat.

Two great resources? The U.S. Department of Education at or the National School Safety and Security Services online at

(on camera): I'm Gerri Willis and that's your Tip of the Day.

For more, watch "OPEN HOUSE," today, 9:30 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.