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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Powerball Winners Step Forward; Port Deal Raises Concerns; White House Press Briefing
Aired February 22, 2006 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: It's the top of the hour. This is CNN, and we're listening in, in Lincoln, Nebraska. These are the eight winners of the Powerball jackpot, the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
Let's continue to listen to the eight lucky winners.
CHASITY RUTJENS, LOTTERY WINNER: So now we can step back and see what we want to do.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) or is still a blur?
RUTJENS: It's still a blur. And we're still thinking we're going to wake up from a dream or something and it's not all true. Or trying to grasp the fact that we're millionaires now. So...
RUTJENS: Some of us I think will.
QUESTION: Are you from Lincoln?
RUTJENS: Yes, I grew up here.
QUESTION: How much has this been a dream of yours to be rich?
RUTJENS: A big dream, of course. I always think about, jeez, it would be nice not to have to work anymore and think about what I would do. But it's a lot different when it happens. So we'll see how it works out.
QUESTION: Were you friends before and are you still friends?
RUTJENS: What was that?
QUESTION: Were any of you friends? And are you still friends?
RUTJENS: We have all been working together for a long time. So we all know each other really well.
QUESTION: What (INAUDIBLE)? I presume that's past tense.
QUESTION: What will you do now?
RUTJENS: I was a packaging superintendent on second shift. And again, I don't know what I'm going to do yet.
QUESTION: How long have you worked there?
RUTJENS: Nine and a half years.
QUESTION: Did you work in (INAUDIBLE)?
RUTJENS: Not many.
QUESTION: What kind? What sort of things did you do before you got this job?
RUTJENS: A lot of temporary work.
QUESTION: If it's not too personal, can you just characterize your financial situation before this happened.
RUTJENS: I was comfortable. I'm not in a lot of debt. I try to stay debt-free. So, it's...
QUESTION: Are you married?
RUTJENS: No. It's all mine.
QUESTION: Have you gotten any proposals yet?
QUESTION: Are your parents in town?
RUTJENS: They're in the surrounding community.
QUESTION: What did they say?
RUTJENS: I haven't really been able to talk to a whole lot of people. We've just been busy. And they're very excited and very happy, of course.
QUESTION: Has there been any friction with the group over whether you should take the cash pay-out...
RUTJENS: We were all in agreement right away. We all wanted the lump sum. And we really have gotten along really well. We haven't had a lot of disagreements. We just discuss everything as a group.
And we haven't really had a hard time agreeing on anything. It's just take it step by step is what we've done. QUESTION: Where did you go to high school?
RUTJENS: I'm sorry. I didn't hear you.
QUESTION: We have been hearing a lot about you. (INAUDIBLE) ninth person who went in on the pool of tickets. They were out of town? Is that true?
RUTJENS: I am not -- I'm not familiar with that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
QUESTION: Do you have any concerns with winning this amount of money? (INAUDIBLE)?
RUTJENS: No, I just want to make sure that it lasts me the rest of my life so that I don't have to return to work at 50 because I'm broke now or something. So just managing it right.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) school or dreams or anything that's ever been out there that you thought, I want to do that if I had the resources?
RUTJENS: Well, I've considered the fact I'll probably be bored in a little bit. And I don't know what I'll do to occupy my time. So...
QUESTION: Will you travel?
RUTJENS: I'll travel a little bit.
QUESTION: Do any of you want to buy a convenience store?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any other questions for Chasity or anybody else on the stage?
QUESTION: Can we talk to Michael?
You were the first person out. How was it to walk out here in all of this?
MICHAEL TERPSTRA, LOTTERY WINNER: Nerve-wracking. This is different than anything I have ever experienced before in my life. It will take me a few minutes to digest just this meeting.
QUESTION: What did you did at the plant?
TERPSTRA: I was a third shift plant superintendent. My main concern was sanitation, getting the equipment ready for the pre-op by the USDA so that we could actually run the next day.
QUESTION: How much did you like your job? And how much are you going to miss working, the routine?
TERPSTRA: I must have liked my job, because I kept going back to it. And I enjoyed working with the people that I worked with. That was great. I'm talking from upper management, all the way down to the hourly employees.
I don't know if I'll miss the stress that went along with making sure the plant opened up. Because if it didn't open up, it affected a lot of people. And, I mean, it affected their paychecks. But I'm going to enjoy my time off, I hope.
QUESTION: Michael, what are the hours of the third shift?
TERPSTRA: My hours were basically 10:00 to 7:00 in the morning.
TERPSTRA: I actually have not had much problem sleeping. I've been able to sleep. I can't eat.
TERPSTRA: No, I'm not at this time.
QUESTION: Do you have family in the area?
TERPSTRA: Yes, I have some brothers and sisters in Lincoln.
QUESTION: Are they excited for you?
TERPSTRA: They actually seem to be more excited than I was. Of course they're eating.
QUESTION: Besides food, any thoughts of what you're going to do with the money?
TERPSTRA: I'm just trying to get through the day. It will come to me later. I have no idea when. But like I say, this is a completely new experience.
When I first got called in, I was one of the last ones they contacted. I didn't even bother to look at my ticks to see if we had a winner. And they told me. I thought they were playing a joke on me. And then just some of the things in the background of the phone, it was, like, "Maybe I ought to check this out."
KAGAN: We have been listening in to this new conference form Lincoln, Nebraska. The eight winners of the $365 million Powerball jackpot, the largest jackpot in U.S. history for the lottery. When you break it down between the eight members and taking the lump sum and after taxes, each one will get about $15.5 million. Not a -- not a bad day at the meat processing plant where all these people say they used to work.
A little bit of financial advice. Let's welcome in Michael Boone. He's a certified financial planner with Boon and Associates, been listening in -- Michael.
MICHAEL BOONE, BOONE & ASSOCIATES: Hi, Daryn.
KAGAN: This would be a fun job to have, to plan this people's windfall.
Oh, how exciting, huh? Just so thrilling to watch them and the excitement that they're having, even though there's a little bit of nervousness many times behind their voice and their comments.
KAGAN: As exciting as it is, the last woman -- the one woman in the group sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders, because she's a young woman and she's already looking ahead, and she says, you know, "I want to plan this so that I don't run out of money when I'm 50 and have to go back to work."
$15.5 million, a lovely sum of money, and yet you could blow through that very easily, couldn't you?
BOONE: Very, very easy. It's very surprising to people how quickly that money can go. It's more money than they've ever imagined, but when you start spending the principle down, then what happens is you have less money to generate interest. And it's kind of a compounding effect. And as you know, many -- many people run into big problems.
KAGAN: So what would be a good setup for somebody like this?
BOONE: Well, one of the first things that they need to do is understand that any institution that you put that money into, you're going to be way, way over their insurance limits. And so you need to be careful about where you put the money.
If you put this in a small bank, for instance, if all of these people did this, $125 million is a huge amount of money for a small institution to handle.
KAGAN: So spread it out.
BOONE: Exactly. Spread it out. And soon after you get it in, start buying U.S. government treasury bills. They're full faith and credit of the U.S. government, you get a decent interest rate. And most importantly, they're safe and they're liquid.
KAGAN: If you had $15.5 million and invested it conservatively, what would be a realistic amount of interest you could expect to receive every year?
BOONE: Well, if you took out five to seven percent a year, you could be in the $750,000 to $1 million a year income range.
KAGAN: Not too bad. You can get kind of comfortable on that, I think.
BOONE: Not bad. And you -- that's an income you can't outlive, either.
KAGAN: And finally, they say money can't buy happiness. We have seen in the past big lottery winners have tragedy and despair come into their lives instead of ultimate joy.
BOONE: Very, very true. It can be blessing if it's handled properly. And it can also be a curse. But what we have found is, for people who can somehow hold on to their values, and despite of all the money, not identify themselves by their finances, they're the ones who can succeed and do really well.
KAGAN: Michael Boone. Thank you. Stay with us. We're going to listen to more of this news conference from Lincoln, Nebraska.
TERPSTRA: It will fluctuate. People go from second shift to first shift. Somebody comes up from first shift. Usually there was at least a core of five of us. But like I say, it fluctuated.
QUESTION: Is there anybody else that you feel a need to divide this with? Maybe (INAUDIBLE)?
TERPSTRA: Not at the moment.
QUESTION: What would you say to the people who didn't get on this pool, the people that sometimes do here and there? What do you say to them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry.
TERPSTRA: Sorry, you should have been at work.
QUESTION: Do you have any kids?
TERPSTRA: No, I do not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's scared of kids.
TERPSTRA: Yes, I'm scared of kids.
QUESTION: Are you a Lincoln native? Where are you from?
TERPSTRA: I was actually born in Iowa, but I grew up in York, Nebraska. And I moved back -- moved to Lincoln in 1976.
TERPSTRA: Other than the smoking ban, I like Lincoln.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anybody else you'd like to talk to?
QUANG DAO, LOTTERY WINNER: Thank you, everybody, coming today. I'm very happy. And I talk a little bit. Not too much. Not too slow, OK?
QUESTION: How long have been in the United States?
DAO: Yes, I've been in the United States (INAUDIBLE) 16 years. Yes.
QUESTION: Do you know you're the one with the biggest smile up there?
QUESTION: Are you married?
QUESTION: Do you have children?
DAO: Four sons and one daughter.
QUESTION: What do you hope for your family? What do you hope for your family? What do you want this money to do...
DAO: Oh, right now, I don't know, because I don't have money in the pocket.
DAO: Thank you, everybody.
QUESTION: Do you plan to continue to work?
DAO: Maybe I retire a couple of more years. And I work again for my business. Maybe, I don't know.
QUESTION: How long did you work at the plant?
DAO: How long I work for (INAUDIBLE)?
DAO: About 15 years.
QUESTION: Fifteen years? And what did you do?
QUESTION: What shift?
DAO: Third shift.
QUESTION: What did you say you do? I'm sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sanitation.
DAO: Yes, Sanitation.
QUESTION: So maybe in a few years you'll (INAUDIBLE)?
DAO: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: You said maybe after (INAUDIBLE) few years you would like to start up...
DAO: Because I'll -- before 1975 too much work (INAUDIBLE). And before I have surgery a lot of -- a lot of times. And maybe I stop for a couple of years and maybe I work again. I don't know what's going on with my future. I don't know.
QUESTION: You came here from Vietnam?
QUESTION: How did you end up in Nebraska? How did you end up in Nebraska?
DAO: Oh, I feel (INAUDIBLE) good for me. And I like (INAUDIBLE) because (INAUDIBLE) five minutes, not too far. Not too much money, but easy to go to work.
QUESTION: Do you have family in Vietnam?
QUESTION: Have you talked to them?
DAO: Yes, they're very happy.
QUESTION: You're live on CNN now, and our translator is in place if you would like to say a few words in Vietnamese.
DAO (through translator): Today, I hit the lottery. And I would like to help my family and relatives at home. My wife, I hope -- how I can own the money to help out for their sake.
QUESTION: Do you like change?
DAO: Yes, I like change. QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)
DAO (through translator): After I hit the lottery, it changed my relatives' life also in Vietnam.
DAO: Yes, maybe family.
QUESTION: Would you like to go back and visit?
DAO: Yes, I go back and visit and I come back over here (INAUDIBLE).
QUESTION: Think this makes it easier?
QUESTION: Can you tell us how you came to be in this country originally, when that was?
DAO: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: When did you first came to the U.S. and why did you come here?
DAO: I come here to be free. And I leave my country October 1988. I come (INAUDIBLE) October 1988. And I come to United States April, 1990.
QUESTION: You said you came be free. Did you expect to be rich?
DAO: Yes, free.
QUESTION: Did you expect to have so much money?
QUESTION: Is this a great country or what?
DAO: It's a great country.
QUESTION: How does it feel to be only 26 and have all of this money?
ALAIN MABOUSSOU, LOTTERY WINNER: I'm so excited. Yes, I don't know. I mean, it's just a bunch of money. So I don't know. I'm just excited. I'm excited.
QUESTION: Can you pronounce your name for us and tell us where you're from?
MABOUSSOU: I'm a Alain Maboussou. And I'm from (INAUDIBLE). It's in Central Africa.
QUESTION: How long have you been here, and why did you -- and how did you end up in Nebraska?
MABOUSSOU: How did I end up in Nebraska? My dad got (INAUDIBLE) to here as a refugee. So we all came over here in '99, September 20th of 1999, yes.
QUESTION: Is your family excited for you?
MABOUSSOU: Part of them, yes. Yes.
QUESTION: Did you say part of them?
MABOUSSOU: Yes, part of them, because my sisters, I haven't talked to them. So I don't know. Nobody knows actually. They probably know because they see me on TV now.
QUESTION: Has it been hard to keep it secret from family members and friends?
MABOUSSOU: Yes, because we've got a lot of hiding and chasing. So we're hiding. (INAUDIBLE) I didn't talk to anybody.
QUESTION: Are you married?
MABOUSSOU: Yes. And I got one kid.
MABOUSSOU: What's that?
QUESTION: When did you come to the U.S.?
MABOUSSOU: I came to the U.S. in September 20th of '99.
QUESTION: How old is your child?
MABOUSSOU: Three months old.
MABOUSSOU: Yes. And her name is Katherine (ph).
QUESTION: What do you hope for Katherine (ph)?
MABOUSSOU: She's going to happy for the rest of her life. Yes.
QUESTION: How about you? What are you going to do with the money?
MABOUSSOU: Oh, for now, I don't know yet. But just, you know, I already just -- it's too early for me to retire, but I did four days ago. Yes.
I'm going to be working for myself now, though.
QUESTION: What would you like to do?
QUESTION: Can we see with a show of hands, how many of you have quit your jobs already up there?
MABOUSSOU: Actually, I did.
QUESTION: Only three of you have quit your jobs?
MABOUSSOU: I officially quit. Yes, I did. I officially quit.
QUESTION: How many of you are going to quit your job?
QUESTION: What did you do at the plant?
MABOUSSOU: I was a maintenance on second shift, mechanic.
MABOUSSOU: Waiting for cars and just getting busy in the shop. You know? We cover production while it runs (ph). So when the machine is down, we go and fix it.
QUESTION: You said that your family (INAUDIBLE). What situation (INAUDIBLE)?
MABOUSSOU: I can't hear you. Sorry?
QUESTION: You said your family came here as refugees.
QUESTION: What was the problem in your hometown? What were you trying to escape?
MABOUSSOU: They've got a civil war back home, and my dad was -- I don't know want to say on TV, but, you know, he was a very important person in the country. So we got out of the country.
QUESTION: Is there any chance that you would go back, or is that not a safe situation?
MABOUSSOU: Yes, actually right now they've got peace back home. So I don't know. I've got a family here, too, so I'll go back one of these days.
QUESTION: What do you want to do? (INAUDIBLE)
MABOUSSOU: Yes, actually, I might go back, because it's been a struggle for me going back to school because of the money and, you know, working 70 hours a week, 75. So hopefully now that I'm stable and I'll go back to school and finish up. Yes.
QUESTION: You said you wanted to work for yourself. What are you going back to school to finish? And what would you like to do?
MABOUSSOU: I'm going to finish up in business administration, majoring in accounting. And I'm going to open something. Because all of the money, I mean, it's just -- I don't know, it's a bunch of money. So I've got to sit down with friends and parents and try to figure things out.
MABOUSSOU: Yes, that one right there in the yellow sweater.
QUESTION: What would you tell your friends and co-workers, what's your take on that? You've got a lot of friends back at the plant that are probably excited, jealous. What's your take -- what would you tell them?
MABOUSSOU: Oh, I don't think they have a reason to be jealous, you know, because when it's the pool day, we ask everybody to put, like, $5 in. So if you weren't there, or you didn't put the $5 in, sorry. You know? You don't have any reason to be jealous. You know?
QUESTION: How did you tell your wife?
MABOUSSOU: Actually, it's kind of funny, because last Wednesday, I almost -- I hurt my elbow at work because we play. And then my co- worker, he came up to me and gave me, like -- actually, he got a look at my ticket earlier and he wrote down my numbers.
Well, he wrote five numbers down. So -- and then he came up and said, "We already checked the ticket already. So these are the numbers, the winning numbers."
So the winning numbers -- so I went to look at the numbers. I got five numbers. I was like, "Whoa." And it (INAUDIBLE) jump over my friend and we both fell on the floor, and I hurt my elbow.
MABOUSSOU: And he came up to me and he said, "No, they are wrong numbers." Yes, so, Sunday night -- I mean, Sunday morning, around 7:00, I was watching a movie and I fell asleep on the couch in the living room. And my wife came up to me and said, "Are you supposed to work today?"
I was, like, "Is it Monday or what?" Because I don't work on Sundays.
So -- "Because work (ph) has been calling your phone -- they called like 20 times." I was, like, "What us does he want me for?"
And I call him back. He was, like, "Man, we hit the jackpot." I said, "Man, stop (INAUDIBLE)."
He was like, "No, I'm serious. We hit the jackpot."
I was, like -- I told my wife, "Those guys like to play games." And (INAUDIBLE), so I've got to go ad check it out over there.
So I started driving, keep calling, Rob (ph). "I'm serious. Are you sure? You want me to come up to work?"
(INAUDIBLE) I don't want to work on Sunday. He's, like, "No, come up." So I said, "OK, I'm on my way."
And I came over there. I saw Chasity, Rob (ph), and everybody was there.
QUESTION: Where was that?
QUESTION: On Sunday...
MABOUSSOU: Yes, we went there. Yes.
QUESTION: What did you wife say?
MABOUSSOU: What's that?
QUESTION: What did your wife say?
MABOUSSOU: And then she called me and she said, "Is it true?"
MABOUSSOU: I was like, "Yeah, I think it is, because I don't know why they're here. So I think it is. It's true." So...
QUESTION: To the group, Long John Silver's would like to make one of you or all of you our national spokesman for Lobster Bites. Fly you in the company plane. If you have any interest, just let us know. (INAUDIBLE)
MABOUSSOU: What was the question?
QUESTION: You said you worked 70 to 75 hours a week?
MABOUSSOU: Yes, ma'am.
QUESTION: What about the rest of you? Is that typical?
MABOUSSOU: Yes, actually, this guy right here, 75 hours, probably 65.
Yes, it was typical (INAUDIBLE). So we worked 11 hours a day.
QUESTION: How were you doing financially? I mean, were you doing all right?
MABOUSSOU: I don't want to say I was comfortable. But I was all right, though. You know? I wasn't complaining.
QUESTION: Not complaining now? MABOUSSOU: Not anymore. If I was complaining, I'm not complaining anymore.
QUESTION: We haven't heard from David yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: David?
KAGAN: We have been listening in. Eight lucky -- I guess you could say formers worker at the ConAgra ham processing plant in Lincoln, Nebraska, they hold the winning ticket of the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history with $365 million. They took the lump sum.
When you divide among eight and you take out taxes, about $15.5 million per person. Most of them saying they retired from that plant four days ago.
One final question to our financial adviser that we were talking to, certified financial planner Michael Boone, who's been listening in with us.
Michael, they took the lump sum, not the payments over several years. Do you think that was the right move?
BOONE: I think in their case, they felt like it was the right move. They kind of b it as a group, they made the decision as a group to take the lump sum.
You know, if they invest it wisely, they can do very well with the lump sum. But it is also obviously more dangerous in that if you spend down that principle, again, as I mentioned before, the interest generationability (ph) is gone. And once the money goes, it goes.
So, sometimes it can kind of be an insurance policy, in essence, to take the 30 payments.
KAGAN: I guess it depends on the person, but they say as a group they were pretty much in agreement of what they wanted to do. A good problem to have.
KAGAN: Michael Boone, thank you for your advice and your input today.
BOONE: You bet. Thank you.
KAGAN: And we'll continue to listen in a little bit to the news conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, but we also have other news of the day.
In about five minutes, we expect the daily White House briefing to begin, and we do expect there to be questions about this new report that's out. It's called "he Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned."
Our Suzanne Malveaux has an advance look at what is in that report.
Suzanne, any shockers?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No bombshells. White House aides tell us this is something the president is going to do tomorrow. He's going to basically release this detailed report. He's going to gather his cabinet members together.
He is going to talk about the need for accountability. He is also, of course, going to explain what mistakes were made, the challenges ahead, what has been fixed and how to move forward, mentioning that it will be three months or so until the next hurricane season.
We also expect that Homeland Security adviser Fran Townsend will be outlining some of the details in a 10:30 briefing.
What we expect from this is that there will be no bombshells, no calls for resignations of Michael Chertoff, who's the head of Homeland Security, or any other senior administration officials, that they will stay on board. We are also told not to expect a call for FEMA to be removed from the Homeland Security Department.
What we do expect in this report called "The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned," are about 125 recommendations under 17 different categories laid out. And a couple of the highlights here, a call for the military to take a greater role when it comes to a catastrophic event when state and local first responders are overwhelmed.
Secondly, a call to restructure how the federal government will deal with something like a hurricane of this magnitude, trying to strike a balance here between all those different federal agencies and how they weigh in -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Suzanne, I thought it was interesting in this report that these different cabinet members weren't only asked, what do you suggest for changes, but also asked, OK, how do you plan to implement those changes so that it's not just a bunch of wasted paper.
MALVEAUX: Well, sure. And part of that, of course, is figuring out how does, for instance, the Health and Human Services weigh in when it comes to some sort of outbreak or threat of disease? How is it that Hud weighs in on the housing needs or the Coast Guard on search and rescue? How do each of these departments coordinate together so they each have a piece of this rescue effort, of dealing with a catastrophic event of that kind?
KAGAN: Suzanne Malveaux, live at the White House.
We do expect that news briefing to begin in a matter of moments. When it does, you'll see it live right here on CNN.
Right now we fit in a quick break. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KAGAN: I'm Daryn Kagan. We're standing by waiting for the beginning of the White House news briefing. When that begins, we will go to that live.
Meanwhile, let's check other headlines happening here and around the world.
Sectarian tensions are on the rise after the bombing after one of Iraq's most famous Shiite shrines. Authorities say a group of men dressed as a Iraqi police commandos entered the Golden Mosque in Samarra and set off explosives. The blast sent protesters into streets and triggered attacks on Sunni targets, and it's drawing strong condemnation from Iraqi and American officials.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ZALMAY KHALIZAD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: We denounce in the strongest terms that terrorist destruction of the Golden Mosque, the shrine of the Askari imams. This hideous crime is a deliberate attempt to a ferment sectarian strife in Iraq and the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAGAN: Politicians and the powerful Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah al Sistani, are calling for a mourning period. And we do expect to hear questions about that at the White House briefing that is set to begin any moment right now.
Well, here in U.S., for the first time since mid-October, some of the FEMA mobile homes sitting empty in Arkansas are headed for south Louisiana. FEMA says about 300 of the 11,000 mobile homes are going to Baton Rouge. They'll replace units that have been moved into hurricane-damaged areas, including St. Bernard Parish in New Orleans.
Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu is jumping into the race for mayor of New Orleans. He plans to announce his candidacy this afternoon. Landrieu is Senator Mary Landrieu's brother and the son of former Mayor Moon Landrieu. He'll be one of about dozen candidates hoping to unseat Ray Nagin in April. Nagin was considered a shoo-in before Hurricane Katrina.
You have probably seen pictures of a vicious videotaped beating. Last month, security cameras captured the baseball bat beatings of three homeless. One of them died. Today, the three teens accused of murder appeared in court and pleaded not guilty. The attorney for one of the teams spoke after the hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY KROLL, ATTORNEY FOR BRIAN HOOKS: I think this whole entire community is troubled by what happened in early January, and I think Brian is a part of this community. He's included in that. I think it's a period of great reflection for him, and he's obviously disturbed by what's happened. (END VIDEO CLIP)
KAGAN: Authorities say that 45-year-old Norris Gaynor was killed in last month's attack. Police are investigating whether the suspects were involved in other assaults on homeless people.
In California, a Death Row execution postponed -- been postponed a second time in less than 24 hours, and now may not happen for months, if at all. At issue, the constitutionality of lethal injections. Michael Morales is condemned for the 1981 rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl. He originally was scheduled to die overnight on Monday, and then again last night. The refusal of doctors to participate in the death sentence forced the delays. Prison officials now say they are unable to carry out a judge's order that the lethal injection be administered by a licensed medical professional.
The quarterback of Navy's 2005 football team has been charged with rape. Lamar Owens is accused of raping a female midshipman in her dorm room last month. Since the alleged incident happened on campus, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service is handling the problem. An Academy statement said Owens is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
One of the most closely watched battles over abortion is being fought right now on the state level. The outcome could reverberate across the country. Today senators in South Dakota are preparing to vote on legislation that would ban almost all abortions in this state. If approved, the measure would almost immediately be challenged in court, and that's exactly the what the bill supporters want. They say they hope a Supreme Court fight over the ban could lead to an overturning of the Roe versus Wade.
A small plane crashed in Maryland today, killing two people. Police say the pilot and one passenger lost their lives. A third victim, a woman, walked away from the wreckage. The Cessna was trying to land in near-zero visibility.
KAGAN: We're going hear from one of the eight Powerball winners in just a moment. And we're also standing by waiting for the White House press briefing to begin. First a quick break.
KAGAN: Once again, we're standing by waiting for the White House briefing to begin. We will go to that live. We do expect one of the questions to be about port security. And if the major concern about this port agreement is security, then, experts say there are already gaps in existing systems. But if the concern is about foreign management, well, actually that's not a new concept.
Homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve has a reality check about protecting the nation's ports.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Though ports are the major arteries of the American economy, the vast majority of their facilities are already operated by foreigners.
In Los Angeles, for instance, the nation's busiest port, all seven container terminals are leased to companies from China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and Denmark. But most experts don't lose sleep over that.
STEWART VERDERY, ADJUNCT FELLOW, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM: Remember, no matter who owns the port, whether it's a foreign government, a foreign company, a U.S. company, or U.S. government, it is Customs and Border Protection, federal agents, who do the inspections. It's the Coast Guard, federal agents, who do the patrolling of the -- of the -- of the waterways. It's the FBI and the rest of our apparatus that does criminal and terrorist investigations.
MESERVE: More worrisome to security experts are the nine million cargo containers that arrive in U.S. ports every year. Eighty percent of cargo is screened in foreign ports before shipment to the U.S., but the quality of the screening is inconsistent.
The cargo manifests of all ships are analyzed at the National Targeting Center to determine which containers should be opened or X- rayed, typically around 6 or 7 percent.
But nobody, including the former commandant of the Coast Guard, thinks the system is failsafe.
ADMIRAL JAMES LOY (RET.), U.S. COAST GUARD: I certainly cannot sit here and assure you that all the information we think we need to lock up the notion of security of our ports is now being flowing -- is now flowing day after day after day into the National Targeting Center for its use. So, that -- that is work still to be finished.
MESERVE: Technology that could detect cargo tampering is still in the development phase, as is an electronic card system to verify the identities of the thousands of people who work at ports or drive through them.
VERDERY: There has been a lot of in-fighting about whether these should be centrally produced or locally produced. Should they have biometrics, these kind of things? And it seems it has fallen off the radar screen.
MESERVE: And though the Coast Guard has seen increases in its budget, few experts think it has what it needs to track threats and respond to them over, on, or under the water. LOY: I will never be a commandant, ex or otherwise, that sits and tells you that -- that that terrific service has everything that it needs. It does not.
MESERVE: But some think the current fury could refocus attention and resources on security questions above and beyond who owns the real estate.
Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.
KAGAN: As energy prices soar, a huge new natural gas pipeline linking Alaska and the Midwest is a step closer to construction. Alaska officials and three oil companies, ExxonMobil, BP and Conoco Phillips, have reached a deal on a pipeline that would run along the Alaska highway from Canada. Ultimately most of the gas would end up in Chicago to be distributed from there. The plan and a proposed tax deal for the companies still has to e clear the Alaska legislature, and there are also some technical hurdles to overcome. But if the plan gets the final go-ahead, construction would still be several years away.
We will keep you posted on that. And to the president's energy initiative. There seems to be a broad departure from policies of the past. So we thought we would take a look at the record.
Here now are the facts.
QUESTION: Does the president believes we need to correct our lifestyles?
ARI FLEISCHER, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY.: That's big no. The president believes that's the American way of life, and that should be the goal of policymakers to protect the American of way of life.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That was 2001.
But hear what President Bush to say now.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRES. OF THE UNITED STATES: I know it came as a shock to some, to hear a Texan stand up there in front of the country and say, we've got a real problem -- America is addicted to oil.
WHITFIELD: So what's the administration doing to wean America from oil? Here's a look at the numbers. The president has talked about increasing the commitment to new energy sources. In the president's budget, he's calling for $150 million for research into biofuels. That is a $59 million increase over the current budget, but it's $50 million less than was designated for biofuels research in 2005 Energy Policy Act. The president's 2007 budget request for the Office of Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy is $1.2 billion. That's .2 percent more than last year.
Be also in the president's budget, an allowance for oil companies to drill on federal property without paying royalties, royalties that would total about $7 billion.
KAGAN: And we're getting closer to the daily White House briefing beginning at the White House. We are going to go there live. A number of topics we expect to come up, including port security. We just heard that piece by Jeanne Meserve, as well as this new report that is out today. It's the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. It is called "Lessons Learned." It's supposed to include about 125 recommendations which fall under 17 different categories.
The White House went to each of the cabinets secretaries and said you need to go back and look at how you responded to Hurricane Katrina and say how you would do it differently. And interestingly, in this report, not only are the suggestions asked for, but also implementation phase -- how are you going to go ahead and make those changes that you are suggesting so that it's not just a bunch of talk on paper.
We do have an advanced copy of the report, and there are apparently no big bombshells, no calling for any cabinet secretaries to resign, no calls for any movement toward Secretary Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Defense Secretary, that has come under fire, especially from former FEMA director, Michael Brown, as he testified in Congress a couple of weeks ago.
Here now is Scott McClellan, the White House spokesperson.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Good afternoon, everyone. I've got a couple of things to begin with, and then I'll go to your questions.
Tomorrow, the president is going to be holding a Cabinet meeting at 8:45 in the morning to discuss the results and recommendations of the Hurricane Katrina lessons-learned review process that has been led by his homeland security adviser, Fran Townsend. There'll be press coverage of that at the end in the Cabinet Room. There'll be pool coverage.
As you all will recall, the president was not satisfied with the response from the federal government. And at the September 6th Cabinet meeting, the president ordered this review.
The president's most solemn obligation is the safety and security of the American people. And this lessons-learned review has identified 125 recommendations in 17 general categories where we can improve the federal government's capability to respond to a catastrophic event like Hurricane Katrina or a future terrorist attack.
The president has also made a commitment to the citizens of the Gulf Coast that we will be a full partner in the rebuilding and recovery effort. And that process continues to move forward.
But tomorrow is going to be focused more on preparing for the next event. And with hurricane season just a little over three months away, it is time for that action to be under way. We have already taken a number of steps, and we need to continue to move forward on these recommendations.
And following the Cabinet meeting, the president's homeland security adviser will be conducting a briefing here at approximately 11:00 tomorrow morning in the briefing room. And the reports are going to be released about 9 a.m. tomorrow.
Now, I have one additional update on the president's schedule.
The president will host Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi at the White House on February 28th.
Italy is one of America's closest allies and is making extraordinary contributions to peace and security. Under Prime Minister Berlusconi's leadership, Italy has provided vital assistance in building secure and prosperous societies in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.
The president appreciates Prime Minister Berlusconi's deep commitment to spreading freedom and democracy around the world.
The president and Prime Minister Berlusconi will discuss a range of issues on the trans-Atlantic agenda, including peace and security in the Middle East region, energy security, and assistance to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
And then one final statement.
Just a short time ago, this statement was released by the president on behalf of the American people.
"I extend my deepest condolences to the people of Iraq for the brutal bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam.
"The terrorists in Iraq have again proven that they are enemies of all faiths and of all humanity. The world must stand united against them and steadfast behind the people of Iraq. This senseless crime is an affront to people of faith throughout the world. The United States condemns this cowardly act in the strongest possible terms.
"I ask all Iraqis to exercise restraint in the wake of this tragedy and to pursuit justice in accordance with the laws and constitution of Iraq. Violence will only contribute to what the terrorists sought to achieve by this act.
"The United States stands ready to do all in its power to assist the government of Iraq to identify and bring to justice those responsible for this terrible act. And the American people pledge to work with the people of Iraq to rebuild and restore the Golden Mosque of Samarra to its former glory."
And that, again, is a statement by the president.
And with that, I'll be glad to go to your questions.
QUESTION: Scott, you said this morning the president wasn't made aware of this ports decision until the last several days, until after the decision had been made. Does the president wish that he had been brought into the deliberation sooner, that he knew about it before it became a big political controversy?
MCCLELLAN: Let me mention a couple of things.
First of all, there's a congressionally mandated review process that is put in place for transactions like this.
It is a national security review process. It's called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the CFIUS process, that oversees such transactions. And you have some 12 departments and agencies that are involved in thoroughly reviewing such transactions and closely scrutinizing these transactions to make sure that it meets all national security concerns, to make sure that there is no national security threat.
So this was a transaction that was closely scrutinized by the experts -- by the counterterrorism experts, by the intelligence community, and those who are responsible for protecting the American people. No one in those departments objected to this transaction going forward.
Now, we have seen some concerns expressed by some members of Congress and others, and that's understandable given that they have seen some coverage that has seemed to suggest that this company, an Arab company, would be in control of our ports. And that is a false impression. That's why it's important that we continue to talk with members and others about the facts and that they understand the safeguards that are in place and they understand how closely scrutinized this was. And that's what we will continue to do.
I mean, in hindsight, when you look at this and the coverage it has received and the false impression that is left with some, we probably should have briefed members of Congress about it sooner. And we are talking with members of Congress about it.
There were some briefings last week. I know there's some additional briefings occurring today. And there will be some additional briefings in the days going forward so that they can have a full understanding of the facts. Because when you look at the facts, we believe it should be clear to people that all the national security issues were addressed during this review process that was mandated by Congress. That is our top concern, the safety and security of the American people. And that's why it goes through a process like this.
QUESTION: But does the president think he should have known about it sooner in the process?
MCCLELLAN: Well, one thing the president did -- one thing the president did, and even after all this press coverage of this transaction, was go back to every Cabinet member whose department is involved in this process and ask them: Are you comfortable with this transaction going forward?
And each and every one expressed that they were comfortable with this transaction going forward.
We are confident in the congressional process that was put in place, because it looks at all of these security issues relating to a transaction like this.
Last year -- I think in any given year there are some 50 to 300 transactions that go through this national security review process. And this process is designed with one thing in mind: to make sure there are no national security concerns.
Last year, there were some 65 transactions that went through this process. This was a matter that was reported in the press going back to, I think, late October; the financial press was covering this possible transaction.
And, you know, despite the fact that it's been covered in the press and that there are some 65 transactions that go through this process every year, we feel like Congress probably should have been briefed on this matter sooner, particularly in light of some of the false impressions that have been left in the minds of members of Congress.
QUESTION: But, Scott, you talk about false impressions in that the coverage, the media coverage, somehow drove that.
The reality is you had members of Congress, like Peter King of New York and others, who are familiar with the process, who knew about this, who didn't necessarily sound misinformed, who nevertheless still object to the deal.
So was it a case of leaving a false impression, or the fact that you just have people who are opposed to this?
MCCLELLAN: Well, I think it could be both. But, clearly, there are some that have been left with a false impression because you have some people that have gone out there and said that this Arab company would be in control of our ports and be in control of security of our ports. That's not the case. This is not about control of our ports. This is not about the security of our ports.
And let me be very clear: One thing we will never do is outsource to anyone the control and security of our ports, whether that's Dubai or any other entity that operates terminals at our ports.
And let's put this in a different perspective. If this transaction were blocked, this would not change port security one iota. The Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Patrol remain in charge of our security.
The Coast Guard remains in charge of physical security. The Customs and Border Patrol remain in charge of cargo security.
MCCLELLAN: And there are a number of safeguards and security measures that we have put in place to make sure that cargo is screened before it reaches our shores.
QUESTION: There's bipartisan consensus that monitoring the seaports is very difficult and it's a vulnerable area of our homeland security strategy. Karl Rove said, memorably, recently that the Democrats have a pre-9/11 have a view of the world; Republicans and this president have a post-9/11 view of the world. So a lot of people wonder, on both sides of the aisle: How is it the president could allow a sale like this to go through with a country that has clear ties to terrorism?
MCCLELLAN: The president doesn't view it as a political issue. The president views it as the right principle and the right policy. We should not be holding a country from the Middle East or a company from the Middle East to a different standard from a company from Great Britain.
And the president believes very strongly that all these issues were addressed during the review process. That's why he checked with his Cabinet secretaries on all the national security issues.
So it's a matter of principle. It's a principled position that the president is taking.
We also have to take into account the broader foreign policy implications something like this could have. The United Arab Emirates is a strong ally and partner in the global war on terrorism.
General Pace, just yesterday, talked about how the UAE is providing superb military-to-military cooperation and how they are a very solid partner in the global war on terrorism.
They provide access to their ports for our aircraft carriers. They provide access for our Air Force planes over their air space and at their airports.
The UAE is someone we have worked very carefully with to crack down on terrorist financing. They work very closely with us in sharing important intelligence. And so I think you have to also look at it in that context. But the principle...
QUESTION: So, if we don't through on this, they could retaliate in some fashion or that relationship could be harmed? MCCLELLAN: I don't want to describe it that way. I mean, first of all, this is about a principle and the principle is that we shouldn't be holding a Middle Eastern company to a different standard than a British company.
They went through a very thorough review process before this transaction was allowed to proceed forward.
And let me also mention that, when it comes to Dubai Ports, there are security safeguards in the agreement that they signed with us. They committed to enforcing security standards under the Container Security Initiative and under the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
MCCLELLAN: Now, let me mention what those are.
The Container Security Initiative allows for the Customs and Border Patrol to inspect 100 percent of all high-risk containers at foreign ports before they are loaded onto vessels and headed into the United States.
The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is a public- private partnership with some 7,000 legitimate companies that do regular business with the United States. And what they must do is increase their security to prevent terrorists from compromising their shipments; not only the company that's shipping this cargo, but the company that is providing the services as well.
And I would also point out that Dubai Ports was the first Middle Eastern entity to join the Container Security Initiative. So the Customs and Border Patrol works very closely with Dubai customs to screen containers that are coming to the United States. And this is a company that operates in many countries around the world. It's a company that we are very familiar with.
QUESTION: Scott, one more about the review process, then I want to ask you about lessons learned.
But out of the 65 or so similar transactions that were reviewed last year, how often is one turned down?
MCCLELLAN: Well, I think you could probably direct that to the treasury, since they are the chair of that process at this time.
QUESTION: But it's not very often, is it?
MCCLELLAN: No, I think it's not often, but there are some that are denied. And I think you should direct that to the Treasury Department. They can probably provide you additional information on that.
QUESTION: Follow-up on the lessons learned: How effective can a review be of the administration when it's conducted by somebody who's a member of the administration?
MCCLELLAN: You'll see how thorough it is tomorrow. It is a very comprehensive review. Every Cabinet department and agency was involved in this review.
QUESTION: But how objective could someone be?
MCCLELLAN: Everybody had to designate this.
And what we want to do is take a close look at what worked and what didn't work and then apply those lessons to the future.
The number one priority for this president is the safety and security of the American people. That's why this lessons-learned review is so important.
There was some great work done by many people in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Coast Guard comes immediately to mind. They were sitting there rescuing people off rooftops and rescuing people in the floods. They saved some 33,000 people, and they should be commended for that. But there are other areas where all levels of government fell short: the federal, the state and the local. And what the president wanted to make sure happened was that we take a very close look at this and that we learn the lessons so that we can apply those to future responses and do a better job in the future.
This was a hurricane of unprecedented scope and magnitude. It covered some 90,000 square miles. The devastation was enormous, not only to property, but to the people. And a number of people lost their lives.
QUESTION: Well, why can't someone in-house do that, as opposed to...
MCCLELLAN: It's her responsibility.
Well, there are two things.
One, we've worked closely with Congress also on their investigations and provided them all the information they need to be able to do their job and so that -- we'll take a look at the Congress' review as well and their recommendations.
But it's important that we move forward and apply these lessons learned.
And I think you will see tomorrow that this is a very comprehensive review that has been conducted and the recommendations are very sound recommendations. So I think if you look at the report, it will stand on its own.
QUESTION: Scott, when did the president actually learn of this transaction? And why don't we control and run our own ports? Isn't that more in terms of security?
MCCLELLAN: We do. We do. That's not correct. We do control our ports.
QUESTION: Why is the port...
MCCLELLAN: We do control our ports. And we do oversee security for our ports.
QUESTION: I don't think many people knew that the British were running our ports.
MCCLELLAN: Now, this is what I'm talking about. Some people have been left with the wrong impression and that's why it's so important to understand the facts and understand that there is a process in place.
QUESTION: You found out through news coverage? Is that what you're saying? How did you find out about it?
MCCLELLAN: Yes, I think initially, Steve, this was becoming more -- it was getting more press coverage. That's how he found out about it. That's correct.
QUESTION: You know, top Republicans turned on the administration.
WHITFIELD: Security, Katrina, Iraq. White House spokesman Scott McClellan covering a wide range of topics in today's White House briefing.
Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, in for Kyra Phillips, who's on assignment.
Sink or swim. That's the question in our "Security Watch" today. Powerful members of Congress want to capsize a deal that would allow an Arab-based company to run six big U.S. ports. The Bush administration wants to keep the deal afloat, and neither side is backing down. Here's the White House press secretary just minutes ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCLELLAN: ... and closely scrutinizing these transactions to make sure that it meets all national security concerns. To make sure that there is no national security threat.
So this was a transaction that was closely scrutinized by the experts, by the counterterrorism experts, by the intelligence community, and those who have -- are responsible for protect the American people. No one in those departments objected to this transaction going forward.
Now we have seen some concerns expressed by some members of Congress and some others, and that's understandable, given that they have seen some coverage that has seemed to suggest that this company, an Arab company, would be in control of our ports, and that is a false impression.
That's why it's important that we continue to talk with members and others about the facts and that they understand the safeguards that are in place and they understand how closely scrutinized this was. And that's what -- that's what we will continue to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: And from the halls of Congress to the nation's editorial pages, the proposed transfer of ports management has divided public opinion. Two of the nation's largest newspapers see the issue very differently.
A "Washington Post" editorial criticizes politicians for what it calls, quote, "huffing and puffing." Even more disturbing, the paper writes, quote, "is the apparent difficulty of members of Congress in distinguishing between Arab countries." Quote, "We'd like to remind them, as they've apparently forgotten, that the United Arab Emirates is a U.S. ally that has cooperated extensively with U.S. security operations in the war on terrorism," end quote. New York lawmakers in both parties are leading the opposition to the deal. And "The New York Times" is on board, saying, quote, "The United Arab Emirates is an ally." The "Times" editorial board continues to write, quote, "but its record in the war on terror is mixed. It is not irrational for the United States to resist putting port operations, perhaps the most vulnerable part of the security infrastructure, under that country's control," end quote.
So, should you start worrying now about a foreign company running a U.S. port? Well, guess what? You're too late. The shipping business went global more than a decade ago. Foreigners already operate most U.S. port facilities.
Take Los Angeles, for example, the nation's busiest port. Foreign based companies hold the leases on all the major container terminals, plus most of the top ship terminal operators are foreign based. That means most of the cargo sent to the U.S. leaves from terminals operated by foreign governments or companies.
But no matter who owns or operates a port in the U.S., Americans are the chief enforcers. U.S. customs and border agents do port inspections. The U.S. Coast Guard patrols the waterways, and the FBI and other agencies take the lead on criminal or terror probes.
Is Iraq a step closer to full blown civil war? Iraqis may be asking themselves that very question today. A major Shiite mosque was bombed in the latest act of sectarian violence. Outraged Shiites have launched deadly retaliatory strikes on Sunni mosques.
CNN's Aneesh Raman is in Baghdad -- Aneesh.
ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, good afternoon.
The divide between the Shias and Sunnis in Iraq deepened today after an attack on one of Shia Islam's most sacred shrines, the Askariya mosque.
The attack took place this morning in the city of Samarra. Men dressed as Iraqi police commandos stormed the mosque. They bound the guards that were on duty. We don't know how many were actually there at the time. They then detonated explosives that brought down the golden dome that's been on top of this mosque for a century, really defined it. Its importance to the Shia people, you saw there, a before and after picture.
It unleashed fury on the streets of Iraq. Thousands upon thousands of Shia protesting what happened this morning. In Samarra itself, two protests, one to the mayor's office, another at the shrine. Two Iraqi police commandos were wounded as protesters threw stones at them.
In Najaf, protesters there called for revenge. And also in the capital, in Kadhimiya, thousands upon thousands pouring out on to the streets. That area neighbors Sadr City, where hundreds of Medhi militia, those loyal to the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, took up arms, took to the streets. Tension is incredibly high at the moment. Iraq's prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jafari, has called for calm. In addition to calling for protests to show outrage over this incident, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the top Shia cleric in Iraq, who hasn't been seen publicly for over a year and a half, made a television appearance today. In a separate statement, as well, calling for calm.
But it's a very tough sell to a people, a Shia community that are enraged, Fredricka, tonight over what happened this morning.
WHITFIELD: And Aneesh, in addition to calling for calm, they're calling for mourning period, as well. So you have to wonder, is the expectation that Iraqis are on the brink of a civil war right now as a result of this?
RAMAN: Well, the big question, of course, is why hasn't it happened? The reason being that the Shia community, who bear the brunt of insurgent attacks, Sunni-dominated insurgency attacking the Shia population, have not responded with large-scale violence of their own. They have the most to gain from stability, from a political government that they have the most seats in.
The fear, though, is that this may be a tipping point. Reprisal attacks already got under away within hours. So 30 -- up to 30 Sunni mosques in the capital alone came under fire. It varies, the extent of damage. Three Sunni imams were killed.
And in the southern city of Basra, amid massive protests there, Shia militia and Sunni politicians engaged in a gun battle.
So as we head into the days ahead that is the key question, whether the Shia will respond with violence. That could determine whether Iraq falls apart or continues to try and hold itself together -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: All right. Aneesh Raman from Baghdad, thanks so much for that update.
Meantime, a plot to kill American forces overseas is uncovered right here in the U.S. That's according to prosecutors who charged three men, all from the Middle East, with conspiring to recruit and train terrorists to attack U.S. troops in Iraq. One of the men is also accused of a chilling threat in the U.S.
We get details now from CNN's Alina Cho.
ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The three suspects allegedly began plotting the attacks 15 months ago.
ALBERTO GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The folks had the motivation, and I think that they demonstrated that they had the means.
CHO: One of the men, 26-year-old Mohammad Zaki Amawi, is accused of verbally threatening to kill or injure President Bush. His younger brother, who spoke to CNN in silhouette, said Amawi was all talk, that he wasn't against the president, just U.S. foreign policy in Iraq.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said he doesn't like, you know, the war, and he was against the war. You know, that's why he say that.
CHO: The federal indictment, unsealed Tuesday, said Amawi and two others, Marwan Othman El-Hindi and Wassim Mazloum, had detailed plans to enter Iraq to wage a holy war against U.S. forces there.
The men allegedly tried to set up terrorist training camps. The indictment said Amawi conducted target practice at a Toledo indoor shooting range, that the men downloaded videos like this one, showing how to make and use suicide bomb vests, that they discussed how to build improvised explosive devices, that they even talked with an informant about practicing setting off explosives on July 4 when fireworks would mask the noise.
All three men lived in Toledo, Ohio, within the past year. One of them allegedly used his Toledo car business as a cover to travel in and out of Iraq.
The three suspects pleaded not guilty in Ohio courtrooms Tuesday. A lawyer for one of the men, El-Hindi, said his client has never been a part of anything to undermine the U.S. at home or abroad.
Amawi's family says he left for Amman, Jordan, seven months ago to set up an Internet cafe and find a wife. They called Amawi a nice guy who cries at movies and wouldn't hurt a bird.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He probably talks too much. Maybe that's what the problem is, you know?
CHO (on camera): The government would not say how long these men were allegedly were in the planning the attacks or whether an attack was imminent, only that in a post-9/11 world, authorities must remain vigilant in the war on terror.
Alina Cho, CNN, Toledo, Ohio.
WHITFIELD: And stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.
Still to come on LIVE FROM, somebody's crazy rich in Nebraska. Quite a few people, in fact. The giant checks, the big smiles. Can you say "show me the money"? They can. The luck of the Powerball lottery times eight, ahead on LIVE FROM.
WHITFIELD: The quarterback for last year's Naval Academy football team has been charged with raping a female midshipman in her room. It's the latest allegation of sexual assault to hit the service academies in recent years. CNN's Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon with more -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Fred.
Well, this man, Senior Midshipman Lamar Owens, now charged with rape and other counts -- rape against a female midshipman in her dorm room at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, according to a statement issued by the academy.
There are additional charges pending against Midshipman Owens.
At this point, what is going to happen is there will be, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a pretrial investigation by U.S. military authorities and then a decision on how to proceed, whether he is found not guilty of the charges, found guilty, whether he will then proceed to a general court martial or have some sort of administration punishment.
Now this case, according to U.S. military officials, represents one of the first real times there has been a change implemented in these types of matters. The female midshipman has been given a personal advocate, someone who is monitoring her case, who is helping protect her privacy. That she is continuing to attend classes, as is Midshipman Owens. They are clearly being kept away from each other.
All of this, we are told, the reflection of the military's effort in these types of matters, when they do occur, to be more protective of the victim's rights and assure their privacy is maintained. All of this coming, we are told, after an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, Navy investigators. The charges now proceeding to the next step, a full military pretrial investigation -- Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: So Barbara, you mentioned a couple things that really ring a bell here. When you talk about U.S. military authorities looking over the case and possibly this going to general court- martial. Does that mean that this is the kind of case that could also end up in a civilian court? Is that still a possibility?
STARR: Well first, let me make sure I emphasize these are allegations, these are charges. The midshipman has, obviously, not been found guilty of any of them.
STARR: He has the presumption of innocence, under the military justice system, just like in the civilian system.
It would be most likely, though this matter would be dealt with at least within the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He is a midshipman at the Naval Academy, as is the victim. And when you attend a military academy, even though you have not yet graduated, even though you are not yet on active duty, you do fall under the military justice system, Fred.
WHITFIELD: All right, Barbara Starr, thanks so much.
STARR: Sure. WHITFIELD: Picking that up out of the Pentagon.
Not guilty. That is the plea of three Florida teenagers charged in the beating death of a homeless man and two other heinous attacks they were involved in. The stakes are highest for two suspects who could face the possibility of death if convicted.
Joining us from Fort Lauderdale, CNN's John Zarrella.
And John, first off, what do we know about these teenagers?
JOHN ZARRELLA, ANN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, first off, let me say that they were arraigned this morning on the charges of first degree murder in that beating death. And also -- also attempted murder for the two of the homeless men that did not die, who survived. And they all pled, through their attorneys, not guilty. They did not speak during the hearing.
It's interesting, the question of what we know, because when you talk to people, and we did some -- some extensive leg work, tracking down people who knew them. It's like so many of these stories, Fredricka. Everybody you talks to you says, "I can't believe they did this; it doesn't fit anything."
They like to ride skate boards. They like to wind -- to surf boarding, they like to go fishing. They seemed, for the most part, at least outwardly, just 17-year-old and 18-year-old teenage guys who, you know, were having a normal good time, until this.
WHITFIELD: And then during the arraignment today, any way of telling what the state of mind of these teenagers might have been?
ZARRELLA: Yes, you know, we talked to the attorneys about this. And attorneys have told us that -- one of the attorneys said that a lot of this may have been peer pressure. A lot of this, when it finally comes out, may be related to drugs and alcohol.
The attorneys also told us that their feeling was that they would have psychological testing. And in fact, the attorneys have had some psychological testing already for their clients.
WHITFIELD: And what about their parents? Were they there during the arraignment? Did you get a chance to see them or does anyone know what kind of reaction they were eliciting?
ZARRELLA: Yes, the parents for two of the three, for William Ammons and for Thomas Daugherty, were in the courtroom today. And at one point when Williams Ammons came in -- he's one of the 18-year-olds -- he waved to his mother, said, "Hi, Mom." And at that point, his mother broke down and had to be consoled.
Clearly, you know, for so, so many people involved, the homeless men involved, their families, and these teenagers, so many lives now impacted in a negative way by what -- what has transpired.
WHITFIELD: You speak about the homeless men who are involved here. The 45-year-old homeless man who died after this alleged assault, were his family members anywhere nearby?
ZARRELLA: No, they weren't. That was Norris Gaynor. And Mr. Gaynor -- as a matter of fact, he has a sister who lives in Atlanta. And his parents, I believe, in the Panhandle of Florida. They were down here shortly after his beating death and buried him here in South Florida and were very outspoken at the time about these -- the crime against their son and how they wanted justice. But they were not here for today's arraignment.
WHITFIELD: All right. Sad case all the way around.
ZARRELLA: Yes, it is.
WHITFIELD: John Zarrella, in Fort Lauderdale, thank you so much.
The human death toll rises, and hospitals in at least two countries keep watch over other possible cases of bird flu now.
First to Indonesia, where a 27-year-old woman in Jakarta has become the country's 19th reported bird flu fatality. Health officials believe the woman had contact with chickens before she fell ill. The World Health Organization is still running tests. But if bird flu is confirmed, this would be the 93rd known human victim out of 171 known human infections overall.
Meanwhile, a dozen people with flu-like symptoms lie in quarantine at a hospital in western India while officials await bird flu test results. And in Malaysia, the health minister reports that five people hospitalized after a bird flu outbreak have been declared free of the disease. Testing is under way on two others.
More on bird flu later on, LIVE FROM.
Ever wonder what a record pile of Powerball winnings looks like? Well, apparently it looks like these oversized checks and lots of smiling faces on the Nebraska Eight. Their lives are a bit different now, since lady lottery luck smiled on them. And they have lots of thoughts about it all, too. You'll hear some of them, coming up on LIVE FROM.
WHITFIELD: Want to know what it's like to hold a check like that? It is the nation's largest ever lottery money pile, and even cut up eight ways it's huge. A big, fat payday today.
One of the eight winners of the record Powerball says he's been retired for about four days. They're all co-workers -- make that were all co-workers at a Nebraska meat processing plant. And they're now divvying up the lump sum payout of about $124 million after taxes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL TERPSTRA, WINNER OF RECORD LOTTERY: Everybody has dreams. I mean, you ever bought a lottery ticket? You know, hey, I hope this wins. Did I really believe it? No, not really. It was just something we did. You know, it was kind of fun. Gave us something to talk about: when the big jackpot would be up, what are you going to do? Oh, I'm going to buy an island. You know, I'm going to buy an airplane. Reality -- not a fan of flying, don't really like water. I have no idea what I'm going to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: The very funny and very honest words of a very new wealthy person. CNN's Jonathan Freed is in Lincoln, where the question of who won has answered. And Jonathan, what a fun group. I mean, not only very calm, but comical.
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A really terrific group. When something like this happens, you're never quite sure whether the people are going to be ill at ease in front of the camera. Not the case today. A couple of them took a little while to warm up, as you might expect. These were otherwise private citizens until today.
But Fredricka, you know, I'm ready to answer a question for you now. You said off the top, wonder what it's like to hold that big check? Wait a minute, wait, it's kind of heavy. It's big.
WHITFIELD: Oh, man. If only you could take it home, right?
FREED: Three-hundred and sixty-five million. Don't worry, there won't be -- that's right. That's it. That's what it's like to hold a $365 million check.
Here's how the numbers break down, OK. They took it as a lump sum, so that's $177 million. Not bad. Factor taxes in, it comes come down to $124 million. And when you split it eight ways, after taxes, it's a cool $15.5 million each. Really not bad for, you know, a $5 quick-pick ticket a bunch of them went in on together as a group, as they've been doing.
And we want to show you a little bit more from that news conference. Let's listen to one gentleman who told us what it was like when he got a phone call at 1:00 in the morning from one of his friends in the group telling him that they had won.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAIN MABOUSSOU, 1/8 WINNER OF RECORD LOTTERY: He was like, man, we hit the jackpot. I said, man, stop playing, man. My (INAUDIBLE) was still hurt right now, you know. He was like, no, I'm serious, we hit jackpot. I was like I tell my wife, you know, them guys like to play games. I'm not going to believe anything they say. I got to go and check it out. So I start driving. keep calling Rob on my way, I'm serious, are you sure? I mean, you want me to come up to work to (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE) because I'm on the team, and I don't want to work on Sunday. He said no, come on, we hit it. So I was like, OK, on my way so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FREED: OK. Now, we asked a number as well how they felt their life had changed since this happened to them. Let's listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC ZORNES, 1/8 WINNER OF RECORD LOTTERY: Oh, I just feel excited. I mean, that's about all I can say. What can you do with that kind of money?
QUESTION: What do you think you'll do? How's your life going to change? Do you still work at the plant?
I've been retired for about four days now.
CHASTITY RUTJENS, 1/8 WINNER OF RECORD LOTTERY: We haven't had much time really to think about what we wanted to do. We've only been thinking about getting that ticket turned in. So now we can step back and see what we want to do.
QUESTION: Does anything come to mind yet, or is this still a blur?
RUTJENS: It's still a blur. And we're still thinking we're going to wake up from a dream or something and it's not all true. We're try to grasp the fact that we're millionaires now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FREED: Now, Fredricka, we were struck here by how humble so many of them were. One gentleman in particular, saying, when asked, you know did you quit your job, he kind of paused, looked down and said, no I haven't. When asked why, he said, well, he's one of only a few people at the meat processing plant that does the job that he does, and he said that they really respect their employer, and they really didn't feel they could just leave him in a lurch like that.
WHITFIELD: How considerate.
FREED: He said -- absolutely. And he said, you know what, I have to go back to work at 10:00 tonight, so if you'll excuse me, I've got to go get some sleep.
WHITFIELD: Wow. Wow. Well, it is pretty remarkable, that wasn't it three of them actually did go to work overnight, who had the overnight shift, got off of work at 6:30 this morning, you know, were able to get cleaned up so they can make it in time for this press conference. So they certainly were thinking about, you know, their obligations at work. And clearly, they like their jobs.
FREED: Absolutely, they do. And you didn't get the sense that it really, really set in yet. You could see the gears turning when they were asked, what are you going to do with it? And it's only natural. Could you imagine you're life being turned completely upside down, and backward and forwards over this thing. It's probably going to take a while to settle in.
WHITFIELD: Right. But I wouldn't mind trying out that problem.
FREED: It's not bad at all. I've got to tell you in my case, holding up that check is probably the closest I'm ever going to get to $365 million.
WHITFIELD: I know. Well maybe one day I'll ask what's it's like to deposit a check like that into your bank account.
FREED: Well, technically, I think you could. I think you could. I they have to take it.
WHITFIELD: All right, Jonathan Freed, thanks so much, out Of Lincoln, Nebraska.
WHITFIELD: Well, here's a worrisome prediction about the future of health care costs. The government says within a decade one of every five dollars we spend will go to health care.
WHITFIELD: Well, this story we're watching, the proposed deal that would allow a united Arab emirates company to manage six U.S. ports is now possibly getting the support of a pretty high-profile Republican, who's a former senator, and who's also a former presidential candidate.
Our Andrea Koppel has more on that story -- Andrea.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fredricka.
With each day that goes by, we've seen a growing number of both Democrats and some pretty senior Republicans speaking out against this deal, including the Senate majority leader and the House speaker.
Now CNN has learned that former Senator Bob Dole has been retained by Dubai Ports World to help lobby on their behalf. As you mentioned, Senator Dole is not only a former president candidate, he's also a former Republican Senate majority leader. He's a man who has a tremendous amount of clout in this town and is highly recorded by both sides of the aisle.
Senator Dole, for the last year or so, has been working for the Washington law firm -- it's actually based all over the country, but has an office here known as Alston and Bird. They have hundreds of attorneys all over the country. They represent both domestic and international clients. Senator Dole is the only -- the most senior member of the firm who has been tasked with trying to stem the tide of bipartisan outrage over this deal.
In addition, CNN has learned that Downey McGrath Group -- this is two former senior Congress people, Tom Downey, a Democrat of New York, and Ray McGrath, a Republican of New York -- have also been retained by Dubai Ports World as they try, Fredricka, frantically to stem the tide of this growing outrage by members of the -- of really both Republicans and Democrats.
WHITFIELD: Well, Andrea, you have to wonder what kind of impact this kind of decision might have on Senator Dole's wife, Senator Elizabeth Dole.
KOPPEL: That's right, Senator Dole is -- Elizabeth Dole is on the Hill and has been for the last number of years. But both she and her husband, as Hillary Clinton has also done, have tried to separate what their husbands do now in their private capacity and what, now, both of these women senators do in their public capacity.
So I think at this point of the game, we haven't heard how Senator Elizabeth Dole feels about the Dubai Ports World deal. But you can bet that she's going to have an independent point of view, certainly, from her husband.
WHITFIELD: Well, have we heard anything more specifically from Senator Bob Dole on why he or anyone else should support this deal?
KOPPEL: Not yet. In fact, we've as yet to hear from Senator Dole at all. CNN was able to confirm this information through an aide to the senator. And as things stand right now, it's not common practice for people who are lobbying on behalf of various companies to come out and grandstand about it.
They tend to work behind closed doors, behind the scenes, massaging their colleagues, their former colleagues, and trying to persuade them to their point of view. So it's probably not likely that we're going to hear from Senator Dole.
WHITFIELD: All right, Andrea Koppel, thank you so much.
WHITFIELD: Well, he was supposed to die early yesterday morning, but that was pushed back to last night. For the second time, however, a convicted killer escaped execution in California. Officials say they couldn't find a doctor or nurse willing to inject a lethal drug into Michael Morales. His execution is now postponed indefinitely.
Well, last week, Morales' attorneys argued lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. A judge then ordered the state to make sure Morales didn't feel any pain, but prison officials couldn't comply with the revised procedures. The family of his victim, a 17- year-old girl who was tortured, raped, and killed, is calling the justice system ridiculous.
Well, women seeking abortion in South Dakota may soon be faced with a mission impossible. State lawmakers are voting on a bill today that would ban abortions except when a mother's life is at risk. It would be most sweeping abortion ban approved by any state in more than a decade. CNN's senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joins me now from New York. Good to see you, Jeffrey.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Hi, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Well, what are the chances of this very ambitious plan being passed?
TOOBIN: Well, it certainly seems likely that it could be passed in South Dakota. The question is, how will it fare in the courts? You know, this piece of legislation is an example of how appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court reverberate well beyond the marble confines of the court itself.
What the Republican Party, or many in the Republican Party in South Dakota, have decided is that the Supreme Court, with the addition of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, is now ready to overturn Roe v. Wade.
So they are passing a piece of legislation that they know conflicts with Roe v. Wade in the hope that when it get to the Supreme Court -- if it in fact, gets there -- the court will overturn its precedent and allow this law to stand.
WHITFIELD: So they really are thinking beyond state lines. This is not just about South Dakota.
TOOBIN: By no ...
WHITFIELD: This is a move that is being pushed by other activists who are hoping this is going to be a -- this will become potentially a federal mandate.
TOOBIN: Absolutely. What Roe v. Wade says, as modified by the Casey Decision in 1992, is that in the first trimester of pregnancy, the government may not ban abortion. This law conflicts with that idea. This law says we ban abortion throughout pregnancy, so there's a clear conflict there.
And what the proponents of this law say is that we expect, yes, perhaps this law will be struck down by the lower courts who are bound to follow Supreme Court precedent, but when it gets to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court will use this law to overturn Roe v. Wade and invite states all over the country to start prohibiting abortion in the way that they could before 1973 when Roe v. Wade came ...
WHITFIELD: But what's interesting, too -- if for some reason this, you know, legislation is not passed, there are some, some activists, who say that this really does set the tone for any other state who would want to follow South Dakota's suit. So it would really put up a new obstacle or barrier for any other state who might want to have a very similar ban.
TOOBIN: Well, I'm not sure if South Dakota fails to act that it will have much of an impact anywhere else. Clearly there are several states -- all of them red states -- where abortion restrictions and abortion opponents have been emboldened. And they will start passing, if not outright bans on abortion, greater and greater restrictions.
We saw the Supreme Court yesterday take up a case about restricting abortions later in pregnancy. Those are the kind of restrictions that states are certainly going to be start passing more and more, waiting periods for abortions ...
WHITFIELD: All right, we -- let's -- yes, go ahead.
TOOBIN: I'm sorry -- restrictions on who may be present, you know, time, you know, requirements that doctors be present, limitations on the right that are not necessarily prohibitions.
And that's the direction that I think most of the pro-life forces tend to go, with the ultimate goal of overturning Roe v. Wade and outlawing abortion, but not necessarily doing it all at once the way South Dakota's trying to do.
WHITFIELD: Another hot button issue -- we're talking about the death penalty. This most recently the California case and Morales -- Mr. Michael Morales being able to escape this lethal injection. Let's talk about these circumstances.
How unusual is this? We're now talking about either no anesthesiologists who were willing to oversee this execution or, other officials are saying, no nurse or doctor would be on board to help carry out this lethal injection. How unusual is this?
TOOBIN: The whole situation is extremely unusual, starting with the dysfunctional California legal system which allows a murder in 1981, a death sentence in 1983, not to be resolved a quarter century later. I mean, it is just preposterous that this case is still in the courts at all.
But in terms of the specifics yesterday, it's really the culmination -- or one culmination -- of a struggle that's been going on in this country for more than a century, which is if you're going to have a death penalty, how do you do it in such a way that is humane? We got rid of hanging for this reason. We got rid of electrocutions. We got rid of the firing squad. We got rid of the gas chambers and ...
WHITFIELD: So what's at issue now is what is being used in which to carry out lethal injection, whether it's a cocktail of or whether it's one big dose of something?
TOOBIN: Correct. And part of the cocktail is this drug Pavulon (ph) that has been banned from use by veterinarians in euthanizing pets ...
WHITFIELD: Because of the pain issue.
TOOBIN: Because of the pain issue. And federal judges are starting to say to themselves, wait a second. If this can't be used on pets because it's inhumane, how can we use it on people? And that's the struggle. At the same time, supporters of the death penalty are saying, why are we worrying so much about, you know, a modicum of pain on people who inflicted the ultimate form of pain on their victims?
WHITFIELD: I have a feeling, Jeffrey, we're going to be talking about this again, another day.
TOOBIN: I hope so.
WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much. Jeffrey Toobin, appreciate it.
TOOBIN: See you, Fredricka.
WHITFIELD: Snowboard fans see double. And on the ice, the winners in, the losers out. LIVE FROM has the latest action from the games in Torino coming up.
WHITFIELD: Back in space. That's where James Doohan, otherwise known as Scotty of "Star Trek" and Gordon Cooper, one of the Mercury 7 astronauts, are headed. Their ashes, anyway, along with those of 85 other people. The special rocket, sponsored by Space Services Incorporated, blasts off next month.
A little Olympic news now. All in the family in Torino. Two Swiss snowboarding brothers take gold and silver in the parallel giant slalom. Phillip Schoch -- is that a great athlete's name or what? -- the younger of the two, won the top spot on the podium.
And Peggy Fleming, well, you remember her. She was the top of her sport in 1968, winning gold in Grenoble. Well, every Winter Olympics since then, a U.S. woman has won a medal in figure skating. Well, looks like we're close to being on track. Sasha Cohen hopes to keep that tradition going tomorrow. She's in first place, just barely, heading into the free skate, and teammate Kimmie Meissner is fifth. Emily Hughes seventh.
And the U.S. men's hockey team is battling for a spot on the medal round. It's not going too well. Unbeaten Finland is winning 4- 2 after two periods. And we'll keep you posted on that. And unfortunately we just found out now the U.S. has lost, 4-3.
We'll take a short break. More LIVE FROM when we come right back.
WHITFIELD: We're following a developing story. Let's go to Carol Lin, who's in the newsroom -- Carol.
CAROL LIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, this is in a suburb just outside of Chicago, the Forestview suburb. I-55 southbound lanes have been closed because of a horrible multi-vehicle pile-up there, a car crash there. You're looking at pictures coming just in from our affiliate WFLD.
This is what we know. We don't have any confirmed fatalities right now, but we know that at least three ambulances are on the scene, as well as a Life Star helicopter to respond to this. Look, you can see one of semitrucks twisted up and turned around. Two trucks there, with fire trucks as well and firefighters on the scene.
Fred, we're going to be following this for you.
WHITFIELD: All right, thank you so much, Carol.
And when we come back, we're going to introduce you to a very lucky cat, six months after Katrina.
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