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CNN Saturday Morning News

Congressman Mark Foley Resigns Over Alleged Explicit Message Sent To Teen Boy; Democrats Cautiously Optimistic About Regaining Majority In Congress; Bob Woodward's Latest Book Making Headlines

Aired September 30, 2006 - 09:00   ET


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: A stunning resignation rocks Capitol Hill and could impact the balance of power and mid term elections.
From the CNN Center in Atlanta, good morning, everybody. We will tell you much more about that story. Good morning. I'm Betty Nguyen.


More on Florida Congressman Mark Foley's announcement and the repercussions of the result. That straight ahead.

Before we do that though, let's get right into the headlines.

NGUYEN: Now in the news, a Brazilian airline confirms it is missing a 737 and that was spotted in the Amazon rainforest. At least 145 people were on board. Officials have backed away though from earlier speculation that the jet may have collided with a smaller plane. We will keep on top of the story.

SANCHEZ: Also, the U.S. military believes that an alleged al Qaeda attack inside Baghdad's protected green zone has been foiled. The military says the alleged plot leader was an al Qaeda member who worked as a guard for a prominent Sunni politician. The guard was arrested just yesterday.

Condemnation from the Afghan president to a deadly suicide bombing today in Kabul. This is the fifth such attack this month in the capital. According to the Afghan police, the bomb targeted a crowded shopping area. At least 13 people were killed, including women and children.

NGUYEN: Well, stunning accusations by India. It says Pakistan's military spy agency was behind July's deadly train bombings in Mumbai. Mumbai's police commissioner says the investigation has found the spy agency planned those attacks and that attack, as you recall, killed 209 people. He said 15 people in India have been arrested. Pakistan, though, denies the allegations.

SANCHEZ: You are looking at new video out of Atlanta, and we can watch this together. There it goes. That's what our producers call one heck of an implosion. Crews leveled a nearly half century old building; it took only 20 seconds to bring down. It was a 12-story building, folks. Look what's left of it. Can we rewrap it and see it again?

NGUYEN: Why not?

SANCHEZ: So-called mixed-use community it is going to be built on the site near Atlanta's famed Fox Theater. Obviously the building that was there is there no more.

Over to Reynolds Wolf now. We can tell what the weather is in Atlanta, certainly not windy or that smoke would have been going around but it's sitting right there.


SANCHEZ: Thank you, Reynolds. We run down the top stories right here for you every 15 minutes on Saturday morning, in-depth coverage, of course, when necessary all morning long. Your next check of the headlines is coming up at 9:15 Eastern.

NGUYEN: Well, shock waves on Capitol Hill over a congressman's sudden resignation. Mark Foley of Florida stepped down over explicit text messages allegedly sent to a teenage boy, and new this morning we have learned the House has vote to investigate this matter and Republicans, well, they are trying to minimize the damage.

We get the details now from CNN's John Zarrella.


JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Six term Republican Congressman Mark Foley called it quits as word began spreading of an e-mail correspondence he had with a former male page. Late today, Foley issued a statement announcing his resignation and apologized. The statement concluded, "I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida. I have had the privilege to represent."

A spokesman for the congressman, who is single, has maintained the e-mail was taken out of context in an attempt to smear Foley and there was nothing inappropriate about it. The e-mail was reportedly sent from Foley in August 2005 to the former congressional page who was then 16 years old. The teenager was no longer in Washington when the correspondence took place.

According to ABC News, the teen called the e-mail, "sick, sick, sick." House speaker Dennis Hastert said the matter will be looked at carefully.

REP. DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), HOUSE SPEAKER: As of now, he's done the right thing. I have asked John Shimkus, who is the head of the page board, to look into this issue regarding Congressman Foley. We want to make sure that all our pages are safe in the page system is safe. So ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How disturbing is all of this?

HASTERT: None of us are very happy about it.

ZARRELLA: Foley, whose district includes West Palm Beach, was considered a virtual lock for re-election. He was running against Democrat Tim Mahoney, a political newcomer. Foley's office is charging Mahoney with leaking the e-mails, an accusation denied by Mahoney who had this to say about his now former opponent.

TIM MAHONEY (D), FLORIDA CANDIDATE: The challenges facing Congressman Foley will make this a difficult time for the people of this district. The families of all those involved -- the families of all those involved are in our thoughts and in our prayers.

ZARRELLA: According to Congressional sources, Foley decided not to seek re-election because there may be other politically damaging e- mails out there. The Republicans will be able to replace Foley with a new candidate, but it's too late to get that person's name on the ballot. The only way to vote for the new candidate is to cast a ballot for Foley.

John Zarrella, CNN, Miami.


SANCHEZ: We should also tell you that Foley submitted his letter of resignation to Florida Governor Jeb Bush. The governor had little to say when asked about the e-mails Foley allegedly sent to a congressional page. He says he's waiting for more information before commenting further.


GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: I don't have any details. I read an A.P. story that suggests some inappropriate e-mails. Beyond that I don't have any information. But, you know, my heart goes out to his family, but more importantly; I'm really disappointed if these allegations are true.


SANCHEZ: Of course, one of the questions being asked is, should there have been something done earlier? Congressman Foley's resignation throws another wild card into the high stakes November election. Republicans are fighting to hold onto control of the Congress. Democrats are battling to take it away.

Senior political analyst Bill Schneider surveys the landscape less than six weeks before America votes.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Democrats are cautiously optimistic about regaining the majority in the House of Representatives, and increasingly hopeful of winning control of the Senate. Right now CNN estimates that 22 House seats could change parties, all in the same direction.

STUART ROTHENBERG, ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT: If you look at the most vulnerable 15, 20, 25 congressional districts in the country that are most competitive that could turn, each and everyone is a Republican.

SCHNEIDER: "National Journal" ranks order House seats according to how vulnerable they are to changing parties. You have to go all the way down the list to the 24th most vulnerable House seat before you find one currently held by a Democrat. Democrats need a net gain of 15 seats to win a majority in the House. Fifteen out of 22 sounds tough.

But it looks increasingly doable. Republicans are in serious trouble in the suburbs, homeland of moderate voters, like the New York suburbs of Connecticut, the Philadelphia suburbs and the suburbs of Denver and Tucson. The Senate looks tougher for Democrats.

ROTHENBERG: I think the Republicans are still narrow favorites to hold the Senate, but there's been a fundamental shift in the way, I think, I and the way I view the race.

SCHNEIDER: Right now seven Republican Senate seats are at risk Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island, Mike DeWine in Ohio, Jim Talent in Missouri, Conrad Burns in Montana, George Allen in Virginia, and the Tennessee seat now held by retiring majority leader, Bill Frist.

The democrats need to win six of those seven seats to control the Senate. That's tough. Five of those seven states voted to reelect President Bush in 2004, that's tougher. Democrats cannot afford to lose the one-Senate seat they hold that may be in trouble: New Jersey. They say a week is a long time in politics.

ROTHENBERG: Three weeks from now, we could decide that the Democrats have a better chance in the Senate than the House. Things are shifting. It's -- there are a lot of unknowns.

SCHNEIDER (on camera): What is known is that national conditions favor Democrats. Republicans are borrowing a bit of wisdom from a Democrat, the late House Speaker Tip O'Neill, who said "all politics is local." Which is true, except when it isn't true. Maybe, Democrats hope, this year.

Bill Schneider, CNN, Washington.


SANCHEZ: And, of course, when you consider the fact that Foley has had to resign, there is now a seat in Florida that can shift to the Dems because according to Florida law it would be difficult right now for the Republicans to change the name on the ballot during the election, which would likely still be Foley's name.

CNN is your election 2006 campaign headquarters with the political team in television. Now you can click on as well for the best political coverage on line. The political ticker will track the latest political developments, stories and polls that you will want to follow. The address is

NGUYEN: Well, Bob Woodward's latest book hasn't even hit store shelves yet but it is sure making headlines. The book is called "State of Denial" and one of its claims, there is plenty of support in the White House to fire Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Another claim Woodward tells "60 Minutes" deals with how forth coming the White House has been.


BOB WOODWARD, AUTHOR, "STATE OF DENIAL:" In public, you have the president and you had the Pentagon saying, oh, no, things are going to get better. Now, there's public, and then there's private. But what did they do with the private? They stamp it secret.


NGUYEN: And Woodward drops more of his shocking new allegations about the war in Iraq, the White House and the upcoming election. That's on "Larry King Live," Monday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. You don't want to miss a new "CNN Presents" documentary as well, Rumsfeld, man of war. That airs tonight and tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.

SANCHEZ: It also talks a lot in the book apparently about the friction between Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice.


SANCHEZ: Something that hadn't been fully discussed in the past.

NGUYEN: Some interesting stuff there.

SANCHEZ: Well, put down that donut and put on your workout gear.

NGUYEN: That's no fun. But look what it can do for you. Look what it can do for the body. Fitness guru Jerry Anderson is in the house with tips on how to get most from your workout.

SANCHEZ: He's got nothing on me.

Next hour, kids and cocaine, a new energy drink that's targeting teens and outraging parents. We will talk to the creator of Cocaine. That's what it's actually called, folks.

Also at the bottom of the hour, this.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN ANCHOR: Coming up at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, "OPEN HOUSE." It was a rough week for the housing market. We will tell you what happened, what happens next and what you might want to do about your house.

Plus, you will learn about trips that can change your life. And find out how to get a raise right now. That's "OPEN HOUSE," 9:30 a.m. Eastern, right here on CNN.


SANCHEZ: A missing 737 has now been found in the Amazon Jungle. It's a story we have been bringing you throughout the morning that now we have confirmation from the Brazilian Airline, it came just in the last 30 minutes or so, that at least 145 people were on board this airliner.

Officials have backed away from earlier speculation that the jet may have collided with a smaller plane. Not known if any Americans were on board the flight, but once again, the headline here is the plane, the crash plane, shall we say, has been found. More information as it comes in.

Meanwhile, also in the news, the U.S. military now believes an alleged al Qaeda attack inside Baghdad's protected green zone has been foiled. The military says the alleged plot leader was an al Qaeda member who worked as a guard for a prominent Sunni politician. The guard was arrested yesterday.

At least 13 people died today in a suicide attack in a crowded market in Kabul, Afghanistan. Authorities say it's the fifth such attack this month in the capital. Afghan President Hamid Karzai denounced the bombing in, quote, the strongest terms.

We will run down the top stories for you every 15 minutes right here on CNN SATURDAY MORNING with in-depth coverage all morning long as well. Your next check of the headlines you should note is coming up at 9:30 Eastern.

NGUYEN: All right. Jerry is jump-starting your fitness routine and you want to know what's your problem, really? What's your problem? Are you working out? Are you getting any results or do you need some motivational muscle to get you off that couch? Our fitness guru Jerry Anderson is here to help and he has some answers to your burning questions. Jerry, look at you, good morning. I like the set behind you; showing off those guns as always.

JERRY ANDERSON, FITNESS EXPERT: A little bit. Good morning. How you doing today?

NGUYEN: I'm doing all right. This is a really good question. It comes from Maria. It's something a lot of women deal with. Her question is, "What is the best method of getting rid of that cellulite? How do the creams and massages work? Do they really work?"

ANDERSON: Right. Amazing, Betty, there is nothing called cellulite?


ANDERSON: On no, that's a name they created to scare women. It's easy, you have lean muscle mass or body fat. There's no cellulite; it's just body fat. What you have to do, Maria, is reduce the fat and then the fat will be closer to the muscle, then you will see the shape of the muscle. Done deal.

NGUYEN: How do you reduce the fat? What are you talking about? Eating the right things or exercising? How do you reduce that fat? ANDERSON: Well here's the key. If you reduce your calorie intake 500 calories every day, every seven days you will lose one pound of fat. Then you will have less fat between the muscle and skin. That's how simple it is. This cream, it actually dehydrates, reduces circumference but it does not reduce body fat. What you are going to do is have a smaller muscle group with more body fat so you still are going to be in the same position, but you just have less money in your wallet.

NGUYEN: Can you ever get rid of those dimples? Will they ever truly go away?

ANDERSON: Definitely. You can do it, you just store body fat. When you lower the fat, you don't want to lower the fat without increasing the lean muscle mass. If you increase the muscle, lower the fat, then it will show all that crazy shape and you will have more shaped curves than the Long Beach grand prix. Buy you have to lower the fat, there's nothing called cellulite. I don't know even know where that word came from. It isn't scientific.

NGUYEN: Well I know what it looks like, I tell you. Not from personal experience, of course. Oh, no.

ANDERSON: Of course.

NGUYEN: Hey, let me ask you this. Ernie from California wants the know, "When you go to the gym and do both cardio and weight training, which should you do first for maximum results?"

ANDERSON: Wow. Ernie, the best thing to do for maximum results are do the weight training first because the reason is because the weight training uses carbohydrates for your energy source, and then come back with your cardiovascular. So most people than, especially ladies, they come in and do the cardio.

Then when they get to weight training they are too tired. Get the weight training first, the cardio second; your fat burning percentage will go way up. You will get more curves than the Long Beach grand prix. You will be amazed at what happens.

NGUYEN: More curves than the Long Beach grand prix.


NGUYEN: I like that formula. I really do. OK. So, Pamela from Georgia wants to know, "What is the best way to strengthen the lower back without having to go to the gym?"

ANDERSON: Right. You know, Pamela, the best way to strengthen your lower back without going to the gym is a simple exercise called stiff leg dead lift. I will show you how to do it really quick. What you do is you get a couple hand weights, put it down on the side, you bend down to the middle of your shin and you come up. You just bend down, and you come up. It's very easy. It strengthens your lower back, your bum, and your hams.

NGUYEN: I actually do that exercise. I don't do it for the lower back. I do it for something else.

ANDERSON: The buns, right. It works the buns.

NGUYEN: It works, yes.

ANDERSON: It does work.

NGUYEN: That stuff hurts, let me tell you.

ANDERSON: One of the other keys, if you have a lower back problem it could be a posture deviation, when your pelvis is tilted forward, draw it in. When you view the body from the side it should be a straight line that goes through the body. If you don't have a straight line, then your posture is out of line. Most people work at the computer like this. You have to draw the stomach in, chest high, hands out. It even works your abs. I can feel it working on me right now.

NGUYEN: Hello. Hey, we wanted to ask you about metabolism but we are right of time. You had so much good information. We are going to hold this one for next week. It's a really good question. Also we are going to be talking about more questions that viewers are sending in because you want to know what's our problem, right?

ANDERSON: What's your problem? Send me your problems; I will answer them live on the air. I'm looking forward to it Betty. Remember, your body will change whether or not you choose to change it. You have the choice to choose the direction.

NGUYEN: Yes you want to change it for better. Jerry Anderson, thank you so much for that.


NGUYEN: You are too much. Put that e-mail up one more time because we do want to know, what is your problem? Will you working out and it's not working for you? Ask Jerry, he will have the answers.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much, guys.

A retirement gender gap. Believe it or not, there is one. If you are a woman looking to get out of the workforce, you had better start saving now. That may be the upshot.

Then next hour, should U.S. troops stay or go in Iraq? Well, there's a new poll out and they don't ask Americans, they ask Iraqis. The so-called liberated Iraqis. It seems to indicate the Iraqis want the U.S. out. We're live in Baghdad.

CNN SATURDAY MORNING continues in just a moment.


NGUYEN: Good morning everybody, I'm Betty Nguyen. When thinking of retirement most people picture a secure, relaxed life-style, but many women are discovering these years are anything but golden. Valerie Morris has the story.


VALERIE MORRIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Gabrielle Anmari (ph) is having a tough time facing retirement after raising three children and getting divorced, she entered the workforce for the first time at age 41. Today, despite savings and investments, Anmari now 65 says she can't afford to retire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's scary to think about it, because every year the cost of living goes higher and higher. I will keep on working until I'm 80 years old.

MORRIS: Anmari is not alone. A recent retirement risk study by the Society of Actuaries finds most women will not be able to support themselves over a lifetime.

CINDY HOUNSELL, WOMEN'S INST. FOR SECURE RETIREMENT: Woman earn less. They spend time out of the workforce for care giving, and then the biggest issue is that they live longer.

MORRIS: Despite those obstacles, experts say women need to take an active approach to saving for retirement.

HOUNSELL: You have to think about this early. Live beneath your means. Save as much as you can. You need to know what you have, which is one of the biggest mistakes is people not knowing whether they have a retirement benefit. I think it's never too late to start.

Social Security pays you eight percent a year when you reach the full retirement age, but you don't take your benefit until age 70. So, that's a great way of getting a lot more income. The most important thing is to not throw your hands up in the air and say, I can't do this.

MORRIS: Valerie Morris, CNN.


NGUYEN: Well, is the super hot housing market cooling down? What should you do if it is "OPEN HOUSE" with Gerri Willis is straight ahead.

SANCHEZ: Is there still a way to make money in the market?

Next hour, though, Cocaine for kids. Can you believe, that is an actual name given to this product that children drink, not the scary write powder, but an energy drink marketed to teens? What are they thinking? We will ask the drink's inventor.

You are watching CNN. This is CNN SATURDAY MORNING.