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Colorado Socked by Snow; Flights Delayed in London by Fog; Part of New Orleans Floods; Charges to be Announced for Haditha Murders; Test Might Detect Alzheimer's; Rosie Feuds with The Donald
Aired December 21, 2006 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Kyra Phillips live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm T.J. Holmes, sitting in today for Don Lemon.
Socked in, blizzard of 2006. Coloradans going nowhere. Airports closed, roads wiped out. Our Reynolds Wolf tracks the storm.
PHILLIPS: And tornado warnings in New Orleans. The Crescent City can't catch a break. Can it handle the extreme weather?
HOLMES: And it's a celebrity death match. Rosie O'Donnell takes on Donald Trump. You're seeing neither one of them there. We swear we're going to show them to you. And we're going to tell you what they're going to be saying next.
You are live in the NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: Well, blame it on the blizzard. The worst to hit Denver in almost four years. Thousands of holiday travelers snow bound, nearly 5,000 stuck at Denver International Airport. No flights coming in or going out since last night. And none will for probably another 24 hours.
Forget about taking to the roads. Most of them are closed, too, including the interstates. Now as for any motorists stranded by the storm, it's been the National Guard to the rescue.
The storm's putting a crimp in Christmas shopping, too, and the shipping. Stores and post offices all closed for a second day. The postal service is considering rare Sunday deliveries.
Patti Logan has been out in the snow and the cold since before dawn today.
Patti, are conditions getting any better?
PATTI LOGAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kyra. Yes, I'm happy to report they actually are.
We're seeing much lighter snow. The winds are pretty much gone. So it's -- it really doesn't feel like a blizzard anymore. We're just getting a few light flurries. So it looks like maybe we are at least getting out of the woods on that part of it. It's not accumulating any more.
We're also getting a lot more action in the streets here. We've just had some plows come through. And that's the first pavement we've seen all day, since yesterday, as a matter of fact, yesterday morning.
So things are definitely improving. We're starting to see more than just four wheel drive vehicles out here, too. So people are braving the roads.
Unfortunately, though, there are still an awful lot of cars that are stranded up I-25. We just had a crew that went up north. And he said for every car that he saw on the road driving there was at least one in the ditch.
He also saw a couple of FedEx trucks that were blocking the road that were stuck, some RTV buses, tractor trailers. It's -- you know, all kinds of vehicles are out there, and they're stuck.
So people are trying to dig out from that. Saw a lot of people with shovels just trying to get rid of those stranded cars and stranded vehicles. But we are starting to see at least some improvement in the weather. And that should mean some slow improvement in our travel here.
PHILLIPS: Now Patti, I remember early this morning, I want to say it might have been in the 6 a.m. Eastern hour. I saw you interviewing a woman who had plans, I think, to fly to Sacramento. And she hopped a bus, tried to catch a train.
Anyway, you were talking to her this morning. She had clothes on from the airport, because she didn't know where her bags were. I'm curious what happened to her. And are you seeing more people with those types of stories that can't fly?
LOGAN: She's gone. She is very happily gone. Her train left about an hour ago. She took the California Zephyr and was heading off to Sacramento. So one train full of quite a lot of people who were stranded at DIA and managed to get here early on yesterday. Did get out of here. So some people are on their way.
The trains are slowly coming in and going out. They aren't -- they are mostly delayed, though. But we are getting some folks out of Denver. So that's really good news. And we're hearing a lot of stories just like hers.
PHILLIPS: Patti Logan, we'll keep checking in, thanks.
HOLMES: As she said, they're not quite blizzard anymore. But still people got the blizzard blues. How long is that going to last? And who else may be -- may be in for a white Christmas?
Reynolds Wolf, you know, you had a tough day yesterday. You were working hard yesterday. We commend you, kind sir. Update for us?
HOLMES: Thank you so much. We're going to see you plenty throughout the afternoon.
Well, just about the only thing happening in London's Heathrow Airport this hour, confusion. A big blanket of fog isn't lifting, and neither are hundreds of flights. This is day three now, and the forecast looks pretty much the same into the weekend.
Moving ahead now to CNN's Paula Newton, who's in London for us now live.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, T.J.
I know you're thinking fog in London, how strange, but really, it's a bit like what's going on in Denver. Sure, they're used to fog here but not hour after hour, day after day of it with absolutely no break.
What is happening here is that is stranding a lot of the flights. Really, the airport's only operating at about half its capacity, and that means a lot of disappointed travelers. As like you say, on day three and more of this to come.
The airport authority here is telling us that they're going to try and keep the airport open all night.
NEWTON (voice-over): Dense freezing fog, common in London, but this year it's turned Christmas into chaos for thousands of stranded passengers. Hundreds of flights are canceled. Many more delayed. Half of all flights from Heathrow, especially to British and European destinations, are canceled or delayed. And even long-haul flights are also experiencing long waits.
And as the fog gets thicker, patience on the ground is getting thinner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... family in Holland and they really want to see their grandson. So we're -- you know, we are concerned. It's not -- it's not great fun being in the airport.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seems like we're not going to spend Christmas with family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, there's nothing you can do. It's bad weather. It's tough luck.
NEWTON: With just a few days to go to Christmas, the fog stubbornly refuses to lift.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are doing everything we can over at Heathrow to make a difficult situation as smooth as possible for passengers.
NEWTON: There's little comfort in the weather forecast. British Airways has already canceled all domestic flights for Friday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: High pressure is going to stay with us right through the next few days, right across Christmas, and beyond that as well. At the moment, it's difficult to say when we're going to see any improvement.
NEWTON: In this kind of weather, planes land on auto pilot. For safety reasons, only half as many are allowed to land or take off as usual.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You absolutely land. You're trusting the equipment totally. You have three auto pilots on most airplanes. And you just sit there and monitor what's happening and hope that the thing comes out well in the end.
NEWTON: Of course, this is for safety reasons that they're doing this, T.J. The thing to keep in mind here, it's unfortunate news. The busiest travel day of the year here is tomorrow. And they're expecting more dense fog tomorrow.
If you're from the states and you're traveling into the Heathrow or out of Heathrow, you won't have a canceled flight, which is good news, but be prepared for a delay, anywhere from two to four hours.
The problem becomes if you have relatives connecting from Europe to Heathrow and then into the United States, or if you're going in the other direction. Expect to come to Heathrow and perhaps be stranded in London one, maybe even two nights.
I spoke with one family that was on its way to Rome. Most likely not going to get there until at least tomorrow or the day after. They've done a lot of sightseeing here already -- T.J.
HOLMES: What else to do but sightsee, hanging out in the fog? Paula Newton for us in London. Thank you so much, Paula.
PHILLIPS: For survivors of hurricane Katrina, an unwelcome flashback. Heavy rains have flooded streets in New Orleans area. Jill Hezeau of CNN affiliate WWL joins us live.
Jill, that city just can't catch a break.
JILL HEZEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right about that. But good afternoon.
It's not as bad as -- as it usually is here. Actually, let me just give a little bit of background. We're in the old Jefferson area. We're actually in Jefferson Parish, which borders Orleans Parish. And this area is pretty used to having drainage problems when there's constant heavy rains. And that's what we got a dose of this morning. The rain just kept coming. And it was harder for the area to drain off.
And what happened then is we had a lot of cars stalling in the area. Right now, what you're looking at is one of our major thoroughfares. This is Clearview.
And at Earhart (ph), another one of our major thoroughfares, we had a four- to five-car pileup, which was causing traffic problems, as you might imagine, and causing some of the main thoroughfares to be shut off. But however, now the situation has cleared up. That roadway is now open.
And we've had a break in some of those heavy rains. So it has been a little bit easier for state police to get to the accidents if there are any. But we have not had any reports of any home flooding, just various streets flooding in the area.
And police just warn motorists when that happens to remember to slow down, to keep enough distance between the car in front of you.
Reporting from Jefferson Parish, Jill Hezeau, Channel 4 Eyewitness News.
PHILLIPS: All right, Jill Hezeau, thanks so much.
When weather becomes the news, you can become a CNN correspondent. If you see severe weather happening, you can send us an i-report. Just go to CNN.com and click on i-report. Or type in ireport@CNN.com on your cell phone. And you can share your photos and/or your video with us.
HOLMES: And you want to talk about sticker shock. The price of war may be going up by almost $100 billion. Associated Press reports that the Pentagon is asking for an extra $99.7 billion to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan this year.
That would boost the total fiscal 2007 war budget to $170 billion, making this the costliest year since the fighting began.
About $10 billion of the sum would go for body armor and other protective equipment. Another $2.5 billion would be for defenses against roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices.
So far, neither the White House nor Congress has signed on to the request.
Meanwhile, an alleged civilian massacre, now possible criminal charges against a group of U.S. Marines. From the Pentagon now, CNN's Barbara Starr has word of a possible step forward in the Haditha probe -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good afternoon to you, T.J.
Well, this, of course is one of the grimmest episodes of the U.S. military operation in Iraq. This dates from November 2005 of last year, when 24 Iraqi civilians were alleged to have been killed by a group of Marines in the town of Haditha, Iraq.
What is happening is later today at Camp Pendleton, in California, criminal charges will be filed and made public against some of the Marines involved in this incident from last November. It is said that some of the charges may involve murder, may involve manslaughter. Both enlisted Marines and officers said to have been involved in this incident.
One of the most disturbing things to the military about this incident is it is alleged that the Marines may have entered some of the Iraqi homes in Haditha and shot some of these civilians at close range.
And the very disturbing other part of this story is that it was never made public exactly what did happen initially. The initial reports had indicated, in fact, that many of the Iraqi civilians had died in some sort of roadside bomb, roadside blast incident. Weeks, months later, it came to light that apparently, allegedly, the Marines were actually involved in the killing of these Iraqi civilians.
This has all been a matter of a criminal investigation for many, many months. And now, later today, we will get the -- finally, the criminal charges that will be filed against some of the Marines alleged to have been involved in this incident -- T.J.
HOLMES: All right. And do we have a good idea what time, Barbara, when we're standing by waiting to get that word?
STARR: Right. It will be somewhere around 4 p.m., out on the West Coast. There is a press conference scheduled at Camp Pendleton. The Marines are being very public, coming out, and they will detail this for the news media.
HOLMES: All right, Barbara Starr, for us, from the Pentagon. Barbara, thank you so much.
Straight ahead, pictures of progress, new technology may let doctors see Alzheimer's decease before it harms the brain. What that means to you, next in the NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: And you want to talk about your steel cage death match? Those two going at it. This one isn't playing out in the wrestling ring. It probably should. This is the latest on a celebrity war of words. You might want to send the kids out of the room for this one. Stick around.
PHILLIPS: And sing "Let it Snow" at your own risk out west, where the distress is piled at least two feet high. New video just in to CNN, trapped drivers and the wind is only making things worse. More updates on your forecast straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: A cholesterol test can be an early warning for heart disease. Now researchers are working on a new test that could do the same for Alzheimer's.
Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen here now with this intriguing development, can we call it? ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, you can call it that. If this actually comes to fruition, if they manage to make this into something that you can get from your doctor, this could be very exciting, an early diagnosis and perhaps early treatment for Alzheimer's Disease.
This has to do with seeing the brains of people who have Alzheimer's Disease. What these researchers at UCLA managed to do is to actually see what are called plaques and tangles, to actually see what happens to the brains of people with Alzheimer's.
Take a look at the far right one. You see all that yellow and that red? Those are the plaques and tangles, the actual growths, if you will, that are on the brains of people who have Alzheimer's Disease. The ones on the far left, that's a healthy person. You don't see that yellow; you don't see that red.
Now, the really interesting part here is the one in the middle. You see a little bit of that yellow. You see that it's starting perhaps to turn into the brain of someone who has Alzheimer's.
The people in the middle, they have what's called mild cognitive impairment. They have trouble, for example, remembering a list of numbers. They have trouble with memory. They have trouble with all sorts of things. But they function, overall, pretty well.
Could that person with that brain be on his or her way to be getting Alzheimer's Disease? That's what doctors think might be the case. In a couple of years, they'll know for sure. And then perhaps, this will mean that people who are on their way to getting Alzheimer's will know that's where they're headed, that they're not just having a few senior moments, that it's something more serious.
HOLMES: OK. So is that going to kind of -- is that going to freak people out a little bit? If they do feel a little forgetful, are they going to run right out? Do they need to run right out to the doctor?
COHEN: They don't need to run right out to the doctor. First of all, right now, you doctor can't do this. This is all experimental. They're only doing this at UCLA and only in terms of an experiment. So you can't get this from your doctor.
But the scenario might be that if someone is feel like they're seriously getting forgetful, not just a little bit, but if they're really having problems remembering things, that they could go to the doctor, could get a brain scan, and the brain scan could say, you know what? It really looks like you might be headed to Alzheimer's.
Now, some people might choose not to know that, but some people might want to know that, because there are drugs that could slow down the progression of Alzheimer's Disease.
HOLMES: So you might want to know. I mean, even if technology does get to the point where you will know if you have -- or you're going towards Alzheimer's, what good does that do you? COHEN: It does you good because then you can possibly prepare for it. I mean, some people feel if they've been warned, they can actually prepare for it. They could, for example, design a house that would be a house that would be better for someone with Alzheimer's Disease to live in.
And also again, those drugs. They could start taking the drugs that could help someone put the brakes on Alzheimer's.
Some people might choose not to know. Some people would rather not know if they're headed to Alzheimer's. That it would just sort of put a panic on the rest of your life.
HOLMES: Would you want to know that?
COHEN: That's a tough one.
HOLMES: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much.
PHILLIPS: A security screeners' snit in Toronto lets thousands through to their planes unchecked. Buckle your seatbelts. We're about to take off on this one.
PHILLIPS: Rosie O'Donnell. On Tuesday, Donald Trump held a news conference where he gave Miss USA, Tara Conner, a second chance. Well, Rosie used her spot as co-host of "The View" to poke a little fun at Trump. Take a listen.
ROSIE O'DONNELL, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": Apparently, this young girl, Tara Conner -- how old is she, 20?
JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": Twenty-one.
O'DONNELL: Twenty-one. She went out, and she was partying. She's from Kentucky. She went to New York, and she was hanging out at all the parties, doing what Paris and Lindsay do, you know, dancing, whatever.
And so he held a press conference to announce whether or not she was going to retain her crown. And then she started to cry, going, "I just want to thank Donald, who's giving me a second chance."
BEHAR: I thought it was brilliant.
O'DONNELL: Here he is, hair looping, going "Everyone -- everyone deserves a second chance, and I'm going to give her a second chance."
BEHAR: Your hair is perfect for that.
O'DONNELL: He annoys me on a multitude of levels. He's the moral authority? Left the first wife, had an affair, left the second wife, had an affair, had kids both times, but he's the moral campus for 20-year-olds in America. Donald, sit and spin, my friend.
I don't enjoy it, no. He inherited a lot of money -- wait a minute, and he's been bankrupt so many times where he didn't have to pay -- he didn't pay off the people he owed.
Here comes the lawsuit, get ready. This is going to be good.
BEHAR: ... payment plan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He sues, you know. He's a big suer.
O'DONNELL: He's going to sue me but he'll be bankrupt by that time so I won't have to worry. But I don't know, I just think that this man is sort of like one of those, you know, snake-oil salesman in "Little House on the Prairie."
DONALD TRUMP, REAL ESTATE MOGUL: Rosie O'Donnell is disgusting, I mean, both inside and out. You take a look at her, she's a slob. She talks like a -- like a truck driver. She doesn't have her facts. She'll say anything that comes to her mind.
And you know, her show failed when it was a talk show. She failed on that. The ratings went very, very low and very bad, and she got essentially thrown off television.
Her magazine was a total catastrophe. She got sued. And I mean, she's basically a disaster.
Well, she called me a snake oil salesman. And you know, coming from Rosie, that's pretty low. Because when you look at her, and you see the mind, the mind is weak.
I don't see it. I don't get it. I never understood, how does she even get on television?
I'll probably sue Rosie, because she doesn't tell the facts. As an example, I'm worth many billions of dollars. Now, it's not to brag about, I'm worth many billions of dollars. It's very simple. She said I was bankrupt.
Now, I never went bankrupt. She said I filed bankruptcy three times. I never filed bankruptcy. I never went bankrupt. But she said I went bankrupt.
So probably I'll sue her because it would be fun. I'd like to take some money out of her fat-ass pockets.
PHILLIPS: Wow. Well, the show's executive producer, Barbara Walters, called in from vacation to try and smooth things over a bit. She said, quote, 'Both Rosie and Donald are high-spirited, opinionated people. We cherish them both and hope the new year brings calm and peace." HOLMES: And just to be clear, Kyra, I'm worth several hundred dollars myself, actually.
PHILLIPS: I want to make it clear...
HOLMES: Several hundred.
PHILLIPS: ... I do not look like a truck driver.
HOLMES: Yes. Well, we got two big names. One big bellower. What is your take? Please keep your language cleaner than Donald did. We're going to be talking about this. Send us your e-mail. Address is CNNnewsroom@CNN.com. Again, that's CNNnewsroom@CNN.com. And we will read some of your clean, spirited responses throughout the afternoon.
PHILLIPS: Wonder if we can get them on our show? What do you think?
HOLMES: I don't want to talk to them.
PHILLIPS: A.J. Hammer just wrapped up an interview with Donald Trump, I'm told. He's going to join us just a little later in the NEWSROOM. And the word is, if you thought that sound bite that we just ran was pretty bad, well, wait until you hear what he said to A.J.
And tune in to CNN tonight to hear the Donald say more about the brouhaha with Rosie O'Donnell and the Miss USA controversy. He's Larry's guest tonight. That's at 9 p.m. Eastern.
All right. Then we got to get Rosie on. That's what we got to do, T.J.
HOLMES: All right.
PHILLIPS: We're going to take you live now to Cambridge, Mass. We're getting live pictures in via one of our affiliates WCVB. This is actually in the Charles -- there we go, OK, not live pictures; this is tape. I apologize.
This is the Charles River. What happened was there was a car accident and both cars ended up in the water there. But civilians and police got to the scene and actually rescued the people out of those cars. Two people were rescued, I'm being told. They've been taking to the hospital. Non-threatening injuries, that's good news. They pulled out the first car. These are the live pictures via the same affiliate that got us the videotape. They're working on pulling out the second car now.
The good news is they got people out of there, thanks to civilians that stopped, jumped in, also some police rescue-types. They're now at the hospital, non-threatening injuries. Cambridge, Mass, Charles River. We'll keep bringing you info just in case anybody else is there in those cars. I believe they've all been cleared.
HOLMES: The popular holiday song "Let It Snow," sing it at your own risk out west where the distress is piled at least two feet high, and the wind is only making things worse. An update and latest forecast just ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.
PHILLIPS: Live pictures out of Cambridge, Mass. You can see the car being pulled out of the river.
A couple of facts to fix here. Initially we thought two cars went in the water. That's not the case. Just this one car had gone into the river after apparently getting in some type of car accident. There was one person in that car. That person has been rescued, taken to the hospital, non-threatening injuries. You can see rescue crews pulling the car out. So it looks like everything just turned out all right with this minor accident there in Cambridge, Mass.
HOLMES: Well, blame it on the blizzard, the worst to hit Denver in almost four years. Thousands of holiday travelers snow bound. Nearly 5,000 stuck at Denver International Airport. No flights coming in or going out since last night, and none will probably for another 24 hours. You can forget about taking the roads as well. Most of them closed, including the interstates. As for any motorists stranded by the storm, it's been the National Guard to the rescue. The storm putting a crimp on the Christmas shopping and the Christmas shipping. Stores and post offices all closed for a second day, and the Postal Service is now considering rare Sunday deliveries.
HOLMES: We'll continue to talk a little bit about I-report and that news as you saw it. From wicked weather and wildfires to Mother Nature's true fury, the news as it happens, on-line and on-air. Don't miss CNN's special we're going to have for you -- I=report for CNN: The Year as you Saw It.
PHILLIPS: Well, it sounds like a terrorist dream come true. A quarter of a million people allowed to board planes at the Toronto Airport without proper screening.
Ron Charles of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation reports.
RON CHARLES, CBC REPORTER (voice-over): Airline passengers heading into one of the busiest travel seasons of the year remain ever mindful of security.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't want to be on the plane knowing that someone's brought something they shouldn't have on there.
CHARLES: And yet CBC News has learned that soon after the last busy travel season, for almost four days following Thanksgiving, security took a back seat to expediency at Toronto's Pearson Airport. Airport screeners working for the private security company Garda were on a work to rule campaign, hand searching all carry-on luggage, creating long lineups of passengers.
The screeners say their managers took over to clear the lines, allowing about a quarter of a million passengers to rush through with minimal or no screening.
In a letter to Transport Canada obtained by CBC News, several workers quote their managers asking, why are you searching bags? Their complaint went on to say, managers wanted us to rush through the screening procedures.
An investigation by Transport Canada confirmed this. The resulting report concludes the security screening process was circumvented. In some cases, it was abandoned altogether.
For example, October 10. No bags were searched and X-ray images were ignored. October 11th, strollers were allowed through the screening point without being searched. It goes on to say that managers speeding up lines constituted a gross violation of pertinent legislation and severely compromised the traveling public.
All of this, in spite of regulations that stipulate at least 25 percent of carry-on luggage must be hand-searched. Officials from Garda declined to comment. This security expert says it was only by chance a disaster was averted.
JAMES LEWIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: If terrorists had known that in those three days their baggage wasn't going to be searched, that would have been bad. But fortunately it looks like people lucked out and no one happened to be testing the system right at that moment.
CHARLES (on camera): A spokeswoman for the Canadian air Transport Security Authority, the federal organization that oversees airport screening, maintaining that all passenger luggage was properly screened during that October work slowdown.
However, she does say that she has never seen the Transport Canada report. Sources say Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon is aware of the situation. But he, too, is not commenting.
Ron Charles, CBC News, Toronto.
PHILLIPS: All right, stay tuned day and night of course for the most reliable news about your security.
Now, we are getting word in about the -- we've been talking about the murder charges out of Haditah. The U.S. Marine that was facing murder charges, possibly other Marines as well for allegations of killing civilians without cause.
We're now getting word that a Marine sergeant has been charged with 13 counts of murder in the killings of those unarmed civilians in Haditah, Iraq. This is according to one of the defense lawyers, Mark Zaid, an attorney for Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich has come forward and said the charges served against his client do not allege premeditated murder and carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Zaid went on to say that some of the other marines being investigated in this case have yet to receive word from the military on any possible charges.
Once again, this was a story we've been covering in the past year about those Iraqi civilians that were killed in Haditah, Iraq. This is videotape we had first aired from a human rights association when we had gotten word about this story.
You actually see these civilians being carried out by other people in the neighborhood, other friends and family. When this video came forward, an investigation was launched. Other people had come forward and testified against some of these Marines.
And now we are being told the word is one Marine does face murder charges in these Haditah killings. We'll of course get more from the Pentagon as we get new information.
HOLMES: We also hope to -- in just a little bit, get more word from our Thelma Gutierrez who is at Camp Pendleton, where the official announcement -- we were expecting a little later from the Marines who are scheduling a press conference to inform the media about what was going on with these charges. Our Thelma Gutierrez is there, hoping to get more from her, so we will check in with her when we can.
Moving on here now, the official search of course ends for two men and the medical report is released on the third man. We'll have an update from Mt. Hood. That is next.
HOLMES: We've been telling you about the mess going on in Denver airport, pretty much closed, no flights going in or out. hey have about 4,700 people stranded there. And one of those people stranded is a gentleman by the name of John Cochran. He is trying to make his way to Fort Wayne, Indiana or rather to Indiana, I believe, Indianapolis. Sir, are you with me?
JOHN COCHRAN, STRANDED TRAVELER: Yes, I am.
HOLMES: Well, tell me, how is your day going?
COCHRAN: Well, just trying to make do with what we've got to work with here.
HOLMES: How long have you been there?
COCHRAN: I landed at 9:30 yesterday morning. Apparently on a -- just waiting. I got me a flight Sunday morning out of here at 10:30. So I got three more days delayed.
HOLMES: What was supposed to be your flight time leaving Denver?
COCHRAN: I should have left yesterday morning at 10:30.
HOLMES And you are coming from San Diego, do I have that right? You've been working in San Diego?
COCHRAN: Yes, I have.
HOLMES: What was the weather like in San Diego before you left?
COCHRAN: It was beautiful when I left there actually?
HOLMES: Tell me, how are you -- what's the mood like in there? And kind of how are you making do? You're stuck at the airport. You don't have a choice, do you?
COCHRAN: We don't have a choice. What we've done is there's four or five of us that have been waiting in lines just for information. And we've also adopted a gentleman that -- a handicap guy that needs help. So we're -- four or five of us hanging out together. Just trying to make the time go by, you know.
HOLMES: Do you see more -- do you see frustration or more of -- like you're saying, people saying, you know you're stuck and you're just kind of helping each other out and helping ...
COCHRAN: I haven't seen any real angry people or anything. Everybody's kind of real -- attitudes are pretty decent. You know, they're frustrated but there's nothing we can do so...
HOLMES: How are you all -- I guess I have to ask about staying -- I guess you're using the restrooms and brushing your teeth and trying to stay clean around there as well?
COCHRAN: Yes, yes. They got -- the Red Cross came through, gave us toiletry bags so we've got shampoo, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste. And there's just -- it's just long days, you know.
HOLMES: Where are you -- how are you passing the time during the day actually? You've got 24 hours a day. You got to be in airport just sitting around. What do you do?
COCHRAN: We're playing cards, walking around, talking to people. Just -- took a couple naps already today. Now I'm getting a little lunch and -- we're not sure what we're going to do the rest of the day.
HOLMES: All right. And before we let you go, I guess you're -- I assume you're trying to get home or get somewhere for Christmas. Are you confident you're going to make it? And tell me who you have to go see.
COCHRAN: Well, I've got a wife, three daughters and a grandson I'm waiting to see. I haven't been home in a month. I'm just dying to get home. HOLMES: All right, well, John Cochran, man, we certainly wish you the best, certainly hope you do get home in time. And you're all doing a good thing, adopting each other and taking care of folks, other folks there in the airport. That's good to hear. Sir, good luck to you and merry Christmas.
COCHRAN: Thank you very much.
HOLMES: All right.
PHILLIPS: All quiet today atop Mt. Hood. As of yesterday, the aerial search for two missing climbers is over, and the local sheriff concedes it's extremely unlikely that either Brian Hall and Jerry Cooke will ever be found alive. Sheriff Joe Wampler says he'll try to find the bodies when the weather improves, and that may be in the spring.
The state coroner's office reports that climber Kelly James probably died shortly after his cellphone call to his family December 10. That was the last word heard from the party which embarked up that mountain nearly two weeks ago.
HOLMES: NASA nerves are on edge. The shuttle needs to land, but weather is the problem at both of the prime landing sites. Ahead in the NEWSROOM, we'll look at options for bringing Discovery down safely.
PHILLIPS: Seems nothing is easy for NASA these days. The latest case, the landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery. It's set for tomorrow at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but the weather's iffy. Discovery could land at Edwards Air Force Base in California as it has in the past, but crosswinds could present a problem there.
The third option, White Sands, New Mexico. The weather looks OK there, but it's not really equipped for the shuttle. Hear what the astronauts have to say all about this. They're going to be talking to us later in the NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: Right now in the NEWSROOM, I know we got something a lot of people have been waiting to hear. Have you been waiting to hear this, Harry Potter?
PHILLIPS: I remember the story of where she was sitting in a coffee shop, jotting down some ideas and now look.
HOLMES: Now, a few billion dollars later, J.K. Rowling has now announced the name of the seventh and final Harry Potter book. We're about to unveil it to you now. It is "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." It will be the last book. No idea just yet when it's going to be released, when it's going to be done and when you can order that thing on Amazon and set another record possibly for Scholastic, the publisher.
But, yes, the final book -- the seventh and final for the boy wizard is going to be coming out, a lot of people hoping maybe by sometime early next summer, but not sure there. But, yes, this is something that has made, of course, we know, her, a billionaire. So there you have it.
PHILLIPS: Next the movie, right?
HOLMES: And then the movie I'm sure. They've got -- what, four so far?
PHILLIPS: And then all the publicity. Yes, there you go.
HOLMES: But yes, there you have it, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."
PHILLIPS: Well, you talk about a steel cage death match. We've been talking about this throughout the day.
PHILLIPS: Even though this one isn't playing out in a wrestling ring, it sure ought to. The latest on a slurry, a war of words. A.J. Hammer just got the interview with Donald Trump. We'll hear that straight ahead in the NEWSROOM, and you might want to send the kids out of the room for this one.
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