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Aired April 2, 2003 - 00:00   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Daryn Kagan live in Kuwait City. Here is what is happening at this hour.
The latest bombing of Baghdad. It dealt punishing blows to the targets in the Iraqi capital. Taking a hit, a presidential palace and a regime complex that houses the Iraqi National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth. Both were operated by Saddam's son, Uday.

The sights and sounds of nighttime warfare in Iraq. This recent video released by the Pentagon which said that U.S.-led forces will go after divisions of the elite Republican Guard one or two at a time before entering Baghdad.

There is great jubilance tonight at the Lynch home in Palestine, West Virginia, as members celebrate the rescue of Army soldier Jessica Lynch. The 19-year-old was snatched from an Iraqi hospital during a dramatic rescue operation by Marine Special Forces. Her family and friends have been throwing a huge street party.

The lights are back on in the Iraqi Port of Umm Qasr. British and U.S. engineers fired up generators and flooded 75 percent of the city with electricity. This is a major step in reopening this major sea port so desperately needed humanitarian supplies will be better able to get to Iraqi civilians.

To other news now. A hoax about the killer disease SARS. It caused a scare in Hong Kong. People in surgical masks began panic buying, and the financial markets in Asia took a big hit. SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, has killed at least 63 people so far, mostly in Asia.

Those are the headlines at this hour.

Back to Aaron with more on the war in Iraq.

Aaron, good morning from Kuwait City.

AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Daryn. We'll get to the morning papers out there in a while. I was just looking at some of the morning papers that had come in here.

And the Jessica Lynch story is played prominently, as you would imagine. That is one of the main stories of the day. There are others for those of you just joining us. Here's a broad overview of how the day went.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BROWN (voice-over): It was the middle of the night in the Persian Gulf, but good news can't wait. A prisoner of war had been rescued.

GEN. VINCENT BROOKS, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Coalition forces have conducted a successful rescue mission of a U.S. Army prisoner of war held captive in Iraq. The soldier has been returned to a coalition- controlled area. More details will be released as soon as possible.

BROWN: It was her family who identified her. She is a West Virginian, 19-year-old Jessica Lynch. And her family says she is in good shape.

Meantime, the American bombing campaign in Baghdad went on. A large explosion tonight in the center of the city.

In some cities, on the approaches to Baghdad, Karbala, for instance, there was intense fighting, critical because the city is only 50 miles from the Iraqi capital.

And far to the south, CNN's Jason Bellini described a major nighttime assault against Iraqi positions in Nasiriya.

JASON BELLINI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This offensive operation began just a few hours ago. This was an offensive operation, and it involved tanks, Apache helicopter gunships, large number of troops moving into the city itself south of the Euphrates River.

BROWN: And around Baghdad, American units continue to push forward. They were said to be facing Iraqi troops, which had been moved south to face them as reinforcements.

In Baghdad, Iraq's information minister read a speech on behalf of Saddam Hussein urging Iraqis to wage a holy war, a jihad, against the coalition forces. "They are aggressors," he said, "evil, a curse by God." The fact that Saddam himself did not appear on state television was termed interesting by the Pentagon.

There was a glimpse today of ordinary life in Baghdad. These pictures were taken by the children's relief agency UNICEF.

And to a sound track of mournful music, these images by Iraqi state television of what they said was bomb damage in the capital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we found here is approximately 400 to 600 rounds of high explosive mortar rounds.

BROWN: British units meantime took down the Iraqi flag from this schoolhouse in southern Iraq. Inside was an enormous cache of weapons. Officers said it has been used as a staging base for the militia group called the Fedayeen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a classic example.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say it's an outstanding example of what Special Forces trained for in the United States, unconventional warfare, working with an indigenous force to add to their capabilities and add assistance and advice where we can.

BROWN: To the north, American Special Forces troops applauded what commanders said was a big success, the capture of a stronghold they had long sought near the Iranian border. It was a mosque used as a headquarters by the group Ansar al-Islam, a group linked by the Pentagon to al Qaeda.

Kurdish fighters also joined American troops in collecting hundreds of Iraqi mines and watching as American air power pummeled Iraqi positions near the City of Kirkuk.

Some of the day's most important news, though, wasn't even in Iraq. Units of the American 4th Infantry Division finally arrived in Kuwait City. At rest for the time being. But soon, it seems, headed for Baghdad.


BROWN: That's the big picture of the day.

We'll check at the Pentagon. We'll give you more on how Jessica Lynch was rescued and a little bit more on who Jessica Lynch is. You're going to be hearing and reading and hopefully seeing a lot about her in the days ahead.

But Scott Nelson, who is a reporter with "The Boston Globe," has called in, and we want to get to him before he gets away.

Scott, give us a sense of where you are and what's going on around you.

SCOTT NELSON, "THE BOSTON GLOBE": Well, I'm south of Baghdad along the Tigris River now.

The Marines I'm with had been hugging the Euphrates River for the most of the advance up until now. And, yesterday, they received some intelligence that some Republican Guard units were massing along the Tigris River. So they essentially cut across the fertile plains south of Baghdad and across what's known around here as the Saddam Canal.

And then there was a relatively fierce fire fight, about 45 minutes, to get across the bridge on the canal. They did that. I saw scores of Iraqi dead. It was a fairly brutal scene.

And then this morning before dawn, the battle started again with artillery and tanks moving through, and the Marines here feel like the battle for Baghdad has begun. The beginning of the end is at hand. And they hear that the Army is engaging the Republican Guard over by Karbala.

So there's a real sense that we're almost done with this thing. That's the attitude the Marines are taking here as they -- they're taking the fight to the Republican Guard.

BROWN: Are they impressed, unimpressed with the Iraqi soldiers?

NELSON: There's, certainly, a number of Iraqi soldiers who are fighting hard, but they're clearly outgunned and outmanned.

When we came across the canal yesterday, like I said, they had this 45-minute fire fight at a bridge, and there were a couple of companies of Iraqi soldiers, which would be between 200 and 300 people, and, from what I saw coming through -- not in the initial unit, but shortly thereafter, the Americans just wreaked havoc on the Iraqis. The Cobra attack helicopters from above. The tanks from below. The Americans just have the technology and fire power that it's very difficult for the Iraqis to match.

Now, today, they have-- they're gearing up for a tank-on-tank fight here. Now that might be a different story. These are the Republican Guard elite tank unit, and they might put up more of a fight. So we'll see how that goes as the day progresses.

BROWN: There were 200 or 300 Iraqis on that side. And are you allowed to give us a sense of how many Marines were on the other side?

NELSON: Well, essentially, it was an entire regiment of Marines coming through, so significantly more than 200 to 300. We're talking in the thousands here. But you're in a bottleneck on a bridge, so you're not going to bring all 6,000 to 7,000 men to bear at once in a bottleneck situation like that.

But what happens is the American air power and the air dominance takes the day in a situation like that, and the attack helicopters come in, and the planes come in, and I saw a lot of Iraqi vehicles looked like they'd been bombed out trying to leave the area. They had turned and headed east from where we are, and that's when they were hit from above.

BROWN: Scott, thank you.

Scott Nelson, reporter with "The Boston Globe," joining us on the telephone.

To the Pentagon next. Chris Plante has the duty tonight.

Chris, I think the -- to the extent that you know detail on how this rescue of this 19-year-old Private First Class Jessica Lynch took place, why don't you start there and we'll work from there.

CHRIS PLANTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it turns out that Special-Operations forces in the region had been looking for Chemical Ali, who's a senior Iraqi leader, a cousin of Saddam Hussein, and, during the course of this, they learned that Jessica Lynch was in the area.

The plan we're told had been in the works for several days, and, at sunset last night, Special-Operations forces from the Marine Corps and the Army and the Navy, we are told, went into the hospital, raided the hospital in a classic sort of kick-down-the-door-style raid, discovered Jessica Lynch there.

She had been shot several times, apparently, by Iraqis, not during the raid, but previous to the raid, and she was evacuated medically and removed to a hospital in the rear. She's apparently in reasonably good shape under the circumstances and expected to recover fully -- Aaron.

BROWN: Are they giving you any of the detail, anything she said, anything they said to her, any of those things that will some day flesh out this moment?

PLANTE: As of this point in time, no. We're not getting anything in the way of detail.

We do know some of the details of the raid. As I said, various branches of the military involved. Classic military style raid. There may have been Delta Force commandos involved, not clear. But it would be a classic Delta hostage rescue situation sort of raid.

They also took some Iraqi prisoners, and it's not clear at this point whether Chemical Ali was among them. They're still sorting through who they are. Sometimes it's difficult to get the identities of people from them. So that's still ongoing also.

It's possible, not out of the question at this point, that this senior leader, Chemical Ali, who is believed to be responsible for the chemical attacks on the Kurds in northern Iraq in 1998 and is now in charge of the Fedayeen and other resistance in the South, may have been captured, but that's not clear right now.

What is clear is that Jessica is alive, she's in U.S. hands, and the rest we're still waiting for details on.

BROWN: Thank you, Chris.

Chris Plante at the Pentagon, and he'll be there overnight tonight.

It is the rescue of this 19-year-old Private First Class Jessica Lynch that will be the talked-about story around the water cooler tomorrow. Earlier tonight, we spoke with her friend and mentor, her former kindergarten teacher, Linda Davies, who last heard from Private First Class Lynch in a letter the week before she disappeared.


BROWN: Linda joins us now by the phone -- from -- on the phone.

It's good to have you with us. Just describe the town right now. It must be bouncing around.

LINDA DAVIES, JESSICA LYNCH'S KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: Oh, it is wild here -- sirens going off, horns honking, people shouting through the streets, and fireworks going off.

BROWN: How big a city is it?

DAVIES: We have around 900 here in Elizabeth. In the whole county, there's around 5,000. BROWN: So, certainly, in Elizabeth, it's one of those towns where everybody knows everybody, and everybody knows the Lynches and probably knew Jessica?

DAVIES: Oh, yes. Yes. And the word spread very quickly this evening. When the family got the word, I would say, within an hour and a half, the whole county knew.

BROWN: And what happened? Everybody literally came out on the streets and...

DAVIES: Yes. Yes. In fact -- well, it was my neighbor that came running over.

She has been in close contact with the Lynches through this whole ordeal and had screened calls for them actually for the last week or so, and she came running over, pounding on my door, screaming, "Jessica's alive! Jessica's alive! Come and go with me!"

So we rushed up to the Lynches' house to watch all the official news come in.

BROWN: And tell me about her parents and how they are and how they -- what they're doing right now.

DAVIES: Well, of course, you know, they're just so excited and looking forward to holding and hugging their little girl again.

BROWN: I imagine so. Let's talk about their little girl. She's 19 years old. She's not -- she actually is -- she's not a big woman, certainly.

DAVIES: Right.

BROWN: And she went into the service because she wanted to get some money to go to college, right?

DAVIES: Right. That's what I understand. She also wanted to do some traveling, and she told me in her last letter I'd gotten from her that she had accomplished that goal, and, of course, her next goal is to become a teacher.

BROWN: In these letters that you would get from her, had she -- do you sense that she's the same kid who left West Virginia to join the Army, or did she seem older, different?

DAVIES: She's pretty much the same Jessica but much more mature, and she knew what she wanted to do. She went out, and -- she set those goals and went out and did them.

BROWN: You must be -- I mean, this would be great news in New York City. It would be great news in any place. I imagine the whole town, though, for the last week and a half has been beside itself with worry. Now to get this news...

DAVIES: Oh, it's -- it's just amazing. There's been, of course, prayers. We've had candlelight vigil here. We had another gathering on Saturday where we put yellow ribbons on the trees in the -- on the courthouse lawn, along with the black ribbons for the POWs and the MIAs, and had a service for her there.

The community has pulled together, and, of course, we have talked to people all over the world, so we know that there were prayers going out for Jessica for this past week, and they've certainly been answered.


BROWN: It's certainly been answered.

General Clark, in the large scheme of things, it doesn't change the outcome of the war or anything else, but, in the small scheme of things, it's about as good as it gets.

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), FORMER NATO SUPREME COMMANDER: It is great news. It's great news for all of her family and friends in the community.

But, Aaron, it's another point, too, because this is the American military that takes care of its own, and we all have to be very, very proud that we've got Jessica Lynch back, that our troops got in there, that we found her, we got her evacuated, and we pray for her full recovery.

BROWN: Will this news quickly make its way through the troops in the field? Will, in a day or so, everyone know about this?

CLARK: It will make it through the troops, except for those that are directly engaged in combat.

Those guys down at the tip of the spear are not getting anything but move right, move left, call for fire, you know, get me more fuel, and so forth. They're not listening to this.

But the ones that are resting and recovering, yes, the word will get out.

BROWN: And does it change the mood? Does it make everybody more -- I don't know -- confident or something to know that, yes, if I go down, they'll come and get me?

CLARK: I think it's that. But I think it's also a confirmation. It's a confirmation of the skill and the professionalism of the American armed forces, and our men and women know that. But confirmation is always welcome.

BROWN: You're about to get away from us, so let's leave on a big picture thought. The battle for Baghdad is on. We heard Scott Nelson say the Marines certainly believe that he's with that they are at the beginning of the end game now. And you seem to believe that, too?

CLARK: I do, Aaron, but I think it's unpredictable in the sense that -- what we found in fighting the service, for example, in Kosovo was that they had divisions, they had formations, but we consistently underestimated how many people were actually there.

And my guess is these Republican Guard Divisions that we were saying we've taken down by 50 percent -- I'll bet you they've got a lot of reinforcements in there. This is not a country that's poor in manpower. They've got an army of 400,000. He's got a million counting his reserves. He's got the Fedayeen. He's got the Baath Party. He's going to throw the works at us.

So we can expect some pretty tough fighting. These are the main defensive positions. Doctrinally, they should have mine fields and concertina wire and artillery poised in there. So we're going to go in there, and -- this is war. We've got the superiority. We're going to do well. But the American people should be prepared for some tough fighting.

BROWN: All right. General Clark, on that note, we'll say good night to you, and we'll talk to you again tomorrow. Thank you, sir.

General Wesley Clark. We benefit enormously by his experience and perspective every night.

On to Basra in the South still, a city in play tonight with British forces trying to tip the balance in a variety of ways.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour spent a good time in and around Basra. I guess more around than in. Christiane -- she joins us tonight from Kuwait.

Good to see you.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, indeed, the British are not yet in Basra. They have consolidated for now two weeks on the western flank and also now for the last few days on the South.

Overnight, there was quite a spectacular flash, though, over the city, and we don't yet know exactly what that was. Was it to light up some kind of operation that was going on? As I say, we're waiting to hear details about that.

But we do know that the British called in air power over the last 24 hours, we're told, to take out one of the Iraqi intelligence buildings. They have consistently tried to degrade the political structure there, the Baath Party, the ruling Iraqi party, and the irregulars, and anytime they think they see a group gathering of Fedayeen or others, they try to target that either from the air or, if they can, by what they call aggressive in-and-out hit-and-run patrols into the city.

Meanwhile, we talked for the first time to the commanding general of British land forces in southern Iraq, General Robin Brims, and he said that he felt that at this point they were making fairly good progress.


GEN. ROBIN BRIMS, BRITISH LAND FORCES COMMANDER: I'm confident that we can deal with every aspect of the resistance we're meeting.

Right now, British troops are engaged in imposing their will over the Iraqi forces by conventional forces. We're attending to the irregular forces who at times have been venomous in their resistance. We've changed that. And we're also attending to peace-support operations.

We can do all three of those things. We're trained for it.


AMANPOUR; Now General Brims also responded to the increasing questions about why there hasn't been the kind of uprising that both U.S. and British politicians had expected and had predicted, even before the war had started.


BRIMS: They've lived under a regime that they don't like, and I think that, until we have removed that regime, we're on probation, and the message to Iraqi people is that we're staying here, we're going to get the job done, and I'm a patient man.


AMANPOUR: So the message they're trying to deliver is done by PSYOPS, as well as by the military action. They're trying to put in leaflets and radio messages and all sorts of confidence-building measures that they hope will work to convince the Iraqi people -- in this case, the people of Basra -- that they are here to stay and that they will finish the job.

In addition, the British say, they have picked up word that -- word from Baghdad is coming to the people on whatever radio or television links that still exist -- Baghdad saying that they are in negotiations with the allies, that some kind of end game is at hand.

And the British feel that that's what's causing the people to not rise up because they're not sure who is actually going to win, and, if there's a negotiated settlement, as Baghdad is claiming, then they don't want to cast their lot yet with the U.S. or the U.K. -- Aaron.

BROWN: That is -- that's the first I've heard that there are messages from Baghdad going out that there is some sort of negotiation going on.

AMANPOUR: Yes, the British...

BROWN: Go ahead.

AMANPOUR: The British were telling us this over the last few days, and that's why they were trying, as well as anything else, to get rid of the links that provide the -- either television or radio from Baghdad. They had heard that there was that kind of message being sent and that they were trying to, you know, try to get rid of that message. BROWN: Christiane, thank you.

Christiane Amanpour.

That is a -- on the same day the secretary of defense said nothing short of unconditional surrender, the Iraqis are sending a message that is quite different.

We'll take a break. We'll look at the phenomenon of blogging when we come back.


BROWN: We're all so used to e-mail at this point, it's easy to forget how amazing it really is.

There's one mother who does not need reminding. She found out in her inbox that her daughter was safe soon after a missile attack on her base in Kuwait.

E-mail, as we know it, didn't exist during the first Gulf War. One part of the Web technology that has re-invented how Americans are experiencing this war.

Here's CNN's Jeff Greenfield.


EDWARD R. MURROW, REPORTER: Hello, America. This is Edward Murrow speaking from London.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST (voice-over): In World War II, it was radio that brought it into our homes. It was television that made Vietnam the living room war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The skies over Baghdad have been illuminated.

GREENFIELD: The first Gulf War showed the impact of a worldwide 24-hour news source, CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are F-16s here.

GREENFIELD: In this war with Iraq, much of the focus has been on the realtime live-from-the-front television footage, and, with this new tool, the cable news outlets have drawn big numbers.

Last week, a total of 10-million viewers turned into the cable news nets during primetime, 5.7 million more than they were averaging just before the war.

But the real break-through in this war has come not just from this screen but from this screen where the power of the World Wide Web has come into its own. Millions have turned to the major Web sites for the latest information. Last week, the CNN, MSNBC, and Yahoo sites drew more than 15-million hits.

But an even newer phenomenon are the bloggers.

JEFF JARVIS, BUZZMACHINE.COM: A blogger is anybody who can now with easy tools publish on the Web, and what they publish is links to interesting things and what they have to say about it.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE). Maybe with a flash box.

GREENFIELD: From just about anyplace -- here, he's in New York's Bryant Park -- and at any time of the day or night, Jarvis can surf the Web, and, when he finds an interesting item, he can throw it onto his Web site almost instantly.

(on camera): So how do you do this?

JARVIS: It's so easy. Even we old guys can do it.

GREENFIELD: All right.

JARVIS: You're just surfing like anybody is surfing. This is the "Guardian" in London. Hans Blix stepping down today. They've got an interview with Blix. Looking for quotes from Blix. Oh, here we go.

If I want to blog that, I can copy that quote. The quote is there. Boom. Now the only thing I have to do now is I have to put in the link, all right, so people can find the story.

GREENFIELD (voice-over): And there's the revolution. If journalist Andrew Sullivan wants to slam the BBC for biased coverage, he'll link his opinion to the BBC site so you can read the transcript for yourself.

Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Reynolds, whose InstaPundit Web site has become one of the most visited, runs an electronic town hall, and here again, if he or a reader wants to praise or damn a viewpoint, you get to see exactly what they're talking about. And blogger's sources can range from TV broadcasts to newspapers from one end of the world to the other.

GLENN REYNOLDS, FOUNDER, INSTAPUNDIT.COM: And they can judge for themselves, which is key. They're judging for themselves. This gives that power on both ends, reader and publisher, to the people.

GREENFIELD: Blogging is a work in progress. Nobody's making any money off this yet, and audiences are still very small. But says Jeff Jarvis...

JARVIS: This is just the beginning stage. I've been playing with doing video on blogging and trying to replace you in it.

GREENFIELD (on camera): Back off, Jarvis.

JARVIS: I'm...

GREENFIELD: ... Jeff Greenfield, CNN, New York.


BROWN: More now on how this war is being communicated online through blogging and other means as well.

In Knoxville, Tennessee, Glen Reynolds. He's the founder of He's also a professor of law at the University of Tennessee.

And, in Los Angeles tonight, Elizabeth Osder She's visiting professor at USC School of Journalism and an expert on Internet journalism.

And it's nice to have you both here.

Mr. -- Professor Reynolds, why don't we start with you. Why does this -- given the amount of material that's out there, who's editing this?

GLENN REYNOLDS, FOUNDER, INSTAPUNDIT.COM: Well, I think that with blogs, the readers are the editors in a sense, and the group of blogs together works almost like a hive mind. People sort of gather information, put it together, and make sense out of it on the fly.

For example, Robert Fisk, the British journalist, was waving around what he said was a piece of a Tomahawk missile in Baghdad.

BROWN: Right.

REYNOLDS: He held up the serial number. Tim Blair posted it. Some of Tim Blair's readers said, no, it's a HARM missile, an anti- radar missile, speculated that the Iraqis actually lured it into striking the marketplace with a radio transmitter, and the command post and other blogs says Robert Fisk has identified an Iraqi war crime.

All that happened in the space of a couple of hours, and almost all the work was done by sort of a distributed intelligence of a lot of different people who knew a lot of different things.

BROWN: The problem -- and maybe this, Professor Osder, is that I'm just old-fashioned, and I will cop to that, I suppose -- is, by the time you get to the truth, it's very possible that a lot of people, hundreds of people or thousands of people, have heard and have come to believe something that is not true.

ELIZABETH OSDER, INTERNET JOURNALISM EXPERT: Well, certainly, there's a lot of questions about where truth is on the Internet, but as many as things that come up on blogs are really...

I'm sorry. I lost my train of thought.

The Internet really is a place where you have to be your own editor as a user in a lot of ways. What is truth is very, very difficult to determine, but what is credible is where a lot of people do come together and point in the direction of something that holds true, that's verified by a number of bloggers that are out there. So really I don't think that there's that much problem with news on the Internet being pushed forward by bloggers. I just think that it's one of the many places where you can get information and news on the Net.

BROWN: Professor Reynolds, is it largely young people who are using this, and young people under 30 let's say that?

REYNOLDS: I think there's a pretty wide range of ages in the Bloggosphere.

BROWN: In the Bloggosphere?

REYNOLDS: The Bloggosphere as we call it, yes. Bill Quick (ph) coined that term. I think that it's not at all just a Generation-Y thing or anything like that. I think it does sort of attract people who have quick minds and are fast readers and fast typists. But I think it covers a wide spectrum of people, and I think that's one of the things you really learn when you have a blog and you get a lot of e-mails. You learn how many smart people there are out there, who are maybe in jobs that don't have the classic smart people credentials, but who are every bit as smart as anybody you're going to find at a university or a major news outlet.

BROWN: Is it people who are pushing a point of view, or is it people who are just seeking a lot of broad information?

REYNOLDS: I think it's some of both, but I think it's people who want to try to make sense out of a lot of very complicated and hard to assimilate information, and are willing to work with other people to do it.

BROWN: Professor Osder, where does all this go do you think?

OSDER: Well, I mean the net is just full of a variety of news and information sources. It's an infinite array of voices. I think one of the most interesting things that you have on the net, is the fact that you have a global view of information; that you can get the voices of individuals, you can get the voices of blogs, you can get the voices of news media outlets around the world. And for once, we just don't have one perspective, which is what's on the front page of the "New York Times", or the "Wall Street Journal", or at the BBC. You can look at different kinds of things.

I think blogs are bubbling up information that we might not have seen other ways. I think that there's a vast diversity of voices that we hear. So I think, in general more information is better information. And I think your point to what is true information, is something that plays out over time. And trusting it because it's there, because it's published at first may not be the answer. But studying a story over time as it is reported and edited by the community of bloggers or by the world press is where you're going to find your answers, and for the reader of Internet news, you've got to be in control. You've got to be your own editor.

BROWN: Professors. Thank you both for joining us and helping us understand this, and probably someone will be blogging this in about a minute. Thank you both very much. We'll update the day's events. Daryn Kagan in Kuwait City right now.

REYNOLDS: Thank you.

DARYN KAGAN: Checking those latest developments, live from Kuwait City. A U.S. Army Special Forces operation in the works for several days has produced the successful recovery of an American POW. Private First Class Jessica Lynch is now in a coalition hospital. She is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds suffered during the ambush that led her to her capture more than a week ago.

Coalition planes and missiles continue to pound targets in the Iraqi capital. A building that houses an international telephone exchange was among targets hit on Tuesday. Also hit was a building that is home to Iraq' s national Olympic committee and the Ministry of Youth.

Meanwhile, south of Baghdad American ground forces are engaging two divisions of Iraq's Republican Guard. U.S. soldiers are now advancing toward the city of Karbala, after a night of bombardment and ground fighting.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said that coalition bombs are less of a danger to Iraqi civilians than the Iraq regime itself. He says that's so-called death squads are forcing people to become human shields, causing more civilian casualties than the allied air strikes.

And in Washington, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a pair of lawsuits that could determine whether race should play a part in college admissions. The affirmative action cases produced sharp exchanges inside the courtroom, and a large rally outside. Police say between five and 7000 people gathered in the nearby National Mall. Aaron, we'll toss it back to you in Atlanta.

BROWN: And we'll toss it right back to you. Take a look at the morning headlines from Kuwait, Daryn. Somebody sent me a note saying you're getting very good at the morning headlines; you're going to steal this from me.

KAGAN: Oh really? Well, it's not a competition Aaron. Here to serve just via your Kuwait bureau from newspapers. Actually, I have some interesting things to show you this morning, particular headlines from the "Kuwait Times", messenger not master. This is talking or referring to Saddam Hussein. We had word that he was going to give a speech, and instead it was the information minister who came out and did that in his place.

Once again, children are featured on the cover of both papers. This is a picture of a child inside a hospital.

BROWN: Oh my.

KAGAN: Yes. She's on the floor. This is inside the province of Babylon. The subtitle here talking about they're no, not enough beds, so the child's sleeping on the floor. But I think it's really the picture in the next paper, in the "Arab Times", that I know is going to stick with me for a long time. We'll go right past the headline. If you could just zoom in, Chris (ph), and get a look at this picture. This is a picture of an Iraqi POW, the hood is over his head so that he won't be identified, and according to the caption here, they've allowed his young son to stay with him because they didn't want to separate father and child. And this picture of course, taken through the barbed wire, from one side looking inside to the POW who's being held captive. Also, on the front page of this paper Aaron, news of that missile that was fired when I was on the air with you yesterday, the Patriot Missile firing that in Iraqi air space, and SARS, once again making news and concern here in Kuwait.

BROWN: Daryn, thank you. The SARS story and then here the University of Michigan affirmative action story. Either one might have been a lead story were it not for. We've got a number of major stories in play. Ryan Chilcote has one of them. We'll get to that. We need to take a short break first. Our coverage continues.


BROWN: Baghdad on a Wednesday morning now. You see the city. The city was pummeled again overnight, late in the night actually just before dawn, a couple of hours before dawn. And outside of the city in, not very far outside the city perhaps 50 or 60 miles now, there is fierce, serious fighting going on.

This is, it's no longer probes of the Iraqi Republican Guard, but this is the advance into Baghdad that has started. It is underway. It is ferocious from all reports and as General Clark told us just before he left, it will play out in a ferocious way. The Iraqis have many, many soldiers; 400,000 soldiers at least they can throw at this, and some of their best are in place in the Republican Guard, facing some of the best of the American soldiers as well.


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