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Twister Hits Outside New Orleans; Winter Blast: Midwest to East Coast Affected; North Korea Nukes

Aired February 13, 2007 - 08:00   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody, Tuesday, February 13th.
I'm Soledad O'Brien.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Miles O'Brien. We're glad you're with us.

We begin with breaking news out of Louisiana. A tornado touching down this morning in the town of Westwego. That's just west of New Orleans. We're getting reports of damage, and so far at least three injuries.

CNN's Susan Roesgen is live with more -- Susan.


This tornado did come through a path about four blocks wide and about a mile long, from the Mississippi River, on up toward New Orleans. Now, you can see the damage behind me.

In the distance behind the flashing lights is a motel, a small, two-story motel. I just finished speaking to a guy who was in that motel, who was on the top floor with three friends who had come down from Detroit to celebrate Mardi Gras here in New Orleans, when he said the entire roof blew off. He said the whole thing took about three minutes.

So of course, you know, Miles, when you're in the middle of something like that, it can feel like an eternity.

So far, I can give you the number of injuries. It has gone from three now to seven. All minor injuries. No life-threatening. But one man is in the hospital, suffering from shock and apparently some kind of head injury.

I just spoke to the fire department personnel. They said that they are still doing search and rescues in this area. They are going door to door. They were waiting for the power to be shut off in this area to the few remaining places that have it so that they can be sure that their guys would be safe when they went door to door looking for search and rescue.

The main thing that everybody is saying out here, Miles, is they cannot believe that nobody was killed by this. Again, it came at 3:00 in the morning, really not much warning for everybody. We knew that bad weather was coming through, but we expected most of it to be above Lake Pontchartrain, not down here south of the lake and above the Mississippi River -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Susan, as I understand it, a lot of the people affected by this were people who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

ROESGEN: Yes. I'm told that most of the people in the motel behind me were displaced Katrina evacuees still looking for someplace to live here in New Orleans. And then those four guys who had come down from Detroit to celebrate Mardi Gras, which is next Tuesday. So they have a story to tell when they get back to Detroit that has nothing to do with parades here -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Susan Roesgen in Westwego -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: All right. Well, that tornado connected, of course, to a massive storm system that's bringing snow and ice into the heartland right now. We've got team coverage for you this morning.

CNN's Keith Oppenheim is in Peoria, Illinois, and Allan Chernoff is in Indianapolis for us this morning.

Let's start with Keith.

Good morning.


It's cold and snowy here in Peoria. We've already got a couple inches on the ground. You can see traffic is moving, although pretty slick conditions.

Walk with me, because you can see we've got some snowdrifts over this bank here in this plaza. I'll plop down. And these snowdrifts are just filled with this very light, powdery stuff.

And we are expecting winds today getting to maybe 30 miles per hour. And when this stuff blows, it makes it a lot harder to see where you're going. So last night we found a lot of folks who were going to the grocery store and hardware stores, including some concerned parents, concerned about being shut in today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's always scary for me. I have teenagers, and I don't like to have them driving when there is snow just because they're not as experienced as an older driver. But you hate to be caught at home when there's an emergency.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got two kids, so I'm a little worried about them as far as getting them to school and that kind of stuff. But, you know, they don't live too far away from school, so we should be OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP) OPPENHEIM: Soledad, keep in mind, on the first of December here, there was a huge ice storm. There were a lot of people who were without power. It doesn't look like it's going to be nearly as bad today, but still a significant snowfall, and certainly some folks in Peoria have the jitters because of the previous storm.

Back to you.

S. O'BRIEN: They're getting hit. All right. Thanks.

Keith Oppenheim for us. He's in Peoria, Illinois, this morning -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: After years of bluster, brinkmanship and ominous testing, an apparent breakthrough. It appears North Korea is ready to make a deal that would end its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The deal finalized in Beijing overnight.

John Vause is there.

John, what's the latest?

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, this agreement should end North Korea's nuclear program. However, there is still no specific time frame on dealing with the existing stockpile of nuclear weapons.


VAUSE (voice over): Finally, they did it. More than three years since these on again, off again talks began, a deal which should see North Korea's Kim Jong-il give up his nuclear program, much to the relief of America's top negotiators.

CHRISTOPHER HILL, CHIEF U.S. NEGOTIATOR: It's not an easy process, no question about it. But I think this is a good first step. And our hope -- in fact, we insist that this step be followed up by other steps.

VAUSE: Under the plan, North Korea has 60 days to shut down its main plutonium production facility in return for desperately needed energy. Initially, 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil, another 950,000 tons will be delivered when the reactor is completely disabled. The North has also agreed to allow the return of international inspectors.

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), NEW MEXICO: The reality is that North Korea will not be able to harvest any nuclear plutonium. The next step has to be, get them to dismantle all of their nuclear weapons. But this is an important step.

VAUSE: There is also a commitment to work towards improving relations between Washington and Pyongyang and removing North Korea from the U.S. list of states sponsors of terrorism.

The North Koreans announced a successful test of a nuclear device last October. Since then, some reports put their stockpile of nuclear weapons as high as 12. And in this deal, no word when Kim Jong-il will be forced to give up the nuclear weapons he already has.

JOHN BOLTON, FMR. U.S. AMB. TO U.N.: It sends exactly the wrong signal to would-be proliferators around the world -- if you hold out long enough and wear down the State Department negotiators, eventually you get rewarded.


VAUSE: These six-party talks have been down this road before. About a year and a half ago there was a breakthrough deal, but that fell apart just days later -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, what are the chances that could happen again, John? Or does this one seem a little more firm?

VAUSE: Well, it does seem a lot firmer because the North Koreans came back to the table. The Americans threatened to walk out of all of this over the weekend. The North Koreans realized that they were serious. They're in desperate need for that energy aid, and the role that China has played in this is also significant.

China brought North Korea back to the table. If the North Koreans walk out on this deal, they'll be poking an eye -- they'll be poking their fingers, rather, into the eye of China, and that could spell big trouble for Kim Jong-il.

M. O'BRIEN: John Vause in Beijing.

Thanks -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Now to those dramatic developments overnight in downtown Salt Lake City. Police and witnesses say a young man with a shotgun stormed the Trolley Square Mall, started firing. Reports this morning say an off-duty police officer in the mall returned fire. Six people, including the gunman himself, have been killed.

Dozens of shoppers were diving for cover, hiding in store closets and bathrooms, and described their terror to John Hollenhorst. He's with our affiliate KSL.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we heard the gunshots. They were pretty loud. And then one of my employees came back and said that there were gunshots there.

JOHN HOLLENHORST, REPORTER, KSL (voice over): The terror seemed to begin in the parking lot near the Williams-Sonoma store. Two brothers leaving the mall saw a wounded youth taking shelter in a car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We pulled the boy out, and so I said, "Well, let's pray for him." So we started praying for him, and all these laws started pulling up and this guy is still in there shooting. So they said, "We'll throw a coat on this boy because we've got to stop this killer."

HOLLENHORST: The gunman entered the mall and started blasting away with a shotgun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just working and all of a sudden, I heard a long shot, and I saw security run by. And I didn't really know what was going on. And I just saw everyone start running.

HOLLENHORST: Fear and confusion spread. Police arrived within a few minutes. Hundreds of shoppers and workers took cover, hiding wherever they could. Some heard the final confrontation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard the policeman yell, "Drop your weapon! Police, drop your weapon!" And then we heard a lot of gunshots.

HOLLENHORST: Witnesses reported dozens of shots, perhaps 40 or 50. And then silence. As some were cleared to leave by police, they saw the gunman's shotgun shells scattered around in front of shops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we were running towards the north side of the building, we looked to our left and there was glass shattered all over the floor next to the escalators. And maybe -- jeez, it was so quick, but maybe 10 bodies laying on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were rushed out pretty quickly. We saw a bunch of bodies like heaped on the floor, and there was like glass everywhere and a pretty gory sight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was really just scary. I wanted to get out of there.


S. O'BRIEN: That was John Hollenhorst with our affiliate KSL.

Police have not yet identified the gunman who was killed. Four people were also hurt in that shootout that happened in Salt Lake.

Another shootout to tell you about last night. This one was in Philadelphia. It happened at a business meeting in an office complex at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Three people were killed there. A fourth person is in critical condition. The gunman shot himself after a shootout with police. Police think it all started with a fight over money.


S. O'BRIEN: Let's talk about what's coming up this morning.

M. O'BRIEN: Coming up, Mitt Romney's faith and his race for the White House. Does it matter that he's a Mormon?

Plus, choppers down. A look at the disturbing trend in Iraq and the soldiers who depend on helicopters to do their jobs. How they're trying to stay safe.

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning right here.


M. O'BRIEN: The most news in the morning right here on CNN.

Gunfire and death at a Salt Lake City mall. Police still trying to understand why a man went on a shooting spree, killing five last night. Police shot and killed the gunman eventually.

And the top man in uniform in this country is skeptical about evidence linking Iran to Shiite insurgents in Iraq. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, raising doubts about those claims, according to "The Washington Post."

About quarter past the hour. Chad Myers in the weather center watching a big storm that is moving through Mississippi right now.


S. O'BRIEN: We now want to get to the late details on that dramatic shootout at a mall in downtown Salt Lake City last night. Police and witnesses say a young gunman walked in, started firing, killed five people.

The gunman was killed in the shootout, but many questions remain this morning. Who was he and why did he do it?

Detective Robin Snyder of the Salt Lake City Police Department joins us this morning.

Thanks for being with us. Appreciate it, Detective.

First and foremost, have you identified this person? Reports have him as 18 years old, described as wearing a trench coat as he went through the mall opening fire.

DET. ROBIN SNYDER, SALT LAKE CITY POLICE: We have identified him. An 18-year-old, he resides here in Salt Lake City. However, we're not releasing his identity as of yet. We haven't notified next of kin.

S. O'BRIEN: Is he someone that you would describe as known to police? I mean, had he been in trouble with the law before?

SNYDER: You know, I haven't looked at his history as of yet. Hopefully, we'll have those details a little later on today. So I don't know what kind of history he has with the police. He is only 18 years old, though.

S. O'BRIEN: What about a motivation? Some people described him just kind of very calmly walking through, almost in kind of blaze fashion, opening fire on people.

SNYDER: Yes. And right now we're investigating the scene now to try to figure out what the motive was in this. We had victims that were scattered out throughout the mall area. So it wasn't like he was targeting one specific area in the mall. So that's something we're going to try and determine today and tomorrow, is what the actual motive was in this incident.

S. O'BRIEN: We know about this shotgun. Were there any other weapons involved?

SNYDER: He had a shotgun. He also had a handgun. And then a bunch of ammunition with him as well.

S. O'BRIEN: And is there indication that in fact he used both the handgun and the shotgun?

SNYDER: We're not quite sure yet. Witnesses indicated that he was using the shotgun. We're looking to see whether or not the handgun was used as well.

S. O'BRIEN: The description -- and as you pointed out, it almost sounds like he went through the whole mall as he, you know, kind of was shooting people. Tell me a little bit about the distance that he traveled and the final confrontation, which I understand was with an off-duty police officer.

SNYDER: Right. It sounds like he went through most of the area of this mall. This mall contains -- it's two levels. It contains 45 to 60 stores. I'm not quite sure on that number. So it's not a large mall, but it's a pretty good size.

The off-duty officer was from Ogden Police Department, and we had some officers arrive on the scene three minutes after we heard the incident of the live gunman, and they all entered in -- they entered in and were able to confront this male, as well as the Ogden Police Officer who was in the area at the same time. And there was a confrontation between them and the gunman.

Some shots were exchanged, and that's when the gunman was shot. And the Ogden police officer was also involved in this, the off-duty officer.

S. O'BRIEN: Did he say anything, the suspect, before he was shot? Was he confrontational?

SNYDER: You know, I don't know the answer to that question right now. That's part of the investigation that they'll try and determine what exactly happened.

S. O'BRIEN: Detective Robin Snyder of the Salt Lake City Police Department.

As we said, in some ways, many more questions than answers this morning.

Thanks for talking with us. We appreciate your time -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, the price of flying about to go up on one major airline. If you want to check more than one bag, you might have to open your wallet a little wider than you think.

And beating the tax rap. Remember this guy, Vanilla Ice? He's trying to re-ignite his 15 minutes of fame and get some extra cash from Uncle Sam.

We'll explain, ahead on AMERICAN MORNING.


S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. The most news in the morning is right here on CNN.

Republicans are about to have a new presidential candidate. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is announcing his bid for the White House. It's going to happen in just about 30 minutes.

And some new pictures of snow to show you just in from Indianapolis. Snow and ice expected from Nebraska to New England. And from that same storm system, tornado warnings across the Gulf Coast -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: I wonder if they race the snow plows in Indy. You know, they like racing there.

Anyway, if you're flying British Airways, you'd best pack light. The airline says it's going to start charging for a second checked bag, regardless of the weight issues.

Sixty bucks on domestic flights in Europe and Great Britain, and $230 for long-haul destinations. The program starts in September. It does not apply right now to flights to or from the U.S., so long as both bags are still under the weight limit. So this is if you're traveling from points overseas.

An old face is back to remind you to do your taxes. It's not Ali Velshi.

You're back anyway. Twenty-five minutes past the hour.

How are you?

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right. Old face, Vanilla Ice.

Remember Vanilla Ice? "Ice Ice Baby? I mean, unbelievable. I haven't heard about Vanilla Ice forever, but -- there you go. You'll remember.

S. O'BRIEN: Want me to do the soundtrack for you?

M. O'BRIEN: Can I shoot you now?

VELSHI: We can't hear him, but that's right, Vanilla Ice is back.

S. O'BRIEN: I can do it. VELSHI: TurboTax, because it's tax time, has decided to set out a contest, and you're to submit your own rap that you make at home about taxes. And to kick off the contest, Vanilla Ice is their guy.

M. O'BRIEN: Obviously, it was a low-budget deal.

VELSHI: Well, look at this. Take a look at Vanilla Ice's tax rap.


M. O'BRIEN: Oh man. So they found him at a Holiday Inn somewhere?

VELSHI: That cost about $42 to make.

Now, I did my -- I did -- I've just written up my own little tax rap.

Want to hear it?

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, please. We'd love to here it.

VELSHI: All right. All right.

S. O'BRIEN: My head hurts.

VELSHI: You've got to file your taxes, in person, you can't send faxes, but you can use software to prepare it, so when you make a mistake, you don't have to tear it -- up. So stop sending pennies in a cup and file your return, and get back some of that money you worked so hard to earn.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. The day job is going to stay right there front and center for you, right?

VELSHI: I just wrote that in the last few minutes.

S. O'BRIEN: Stunningly. Stunningly.

VELSHI: Given a little more time, it would have been better.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes. Yes.

VELSHI: What an excellent thing. I got to rap and use Vanilla Ice.

M. O'BRIEN: Excellent, excellent. Big-tent journalism, as always.

VELSHI: Big-tent journalism.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. Thank you, Ali.

The top stories of the morning are coming up next.

A tornado warning in Mississippi. The same storm line bringing snow and ice from the heartland to New England. That's a big storm.

Also, former governor Mitt Romney is about to make his presidential ambitions official in the next half hour. And we're taking a closer look at him and how his religion might be a political problem for him.

A violent rampage inside a Salt Lake City shopping mall. Six people killed, four hurt. We'll have the latest ahead on that as well.

You're watching AMERICAN MORNING, the most news in the morning.


M. O'BRIEN: Breaking news. The military now confirming a missile took down the latest American helicopter in a crash in Iraq, and there is video to prove it.

S. O'BRIEN: On the stand. Columnist Robert Novak and lots of other journalists testifying in the Lewis Libby trial. Naming names of just who in the White House blew the cover of a CIA agent.

M. O'BRIEN: Plus, the possible consequences of Mitt Romney's Mormon faith as he kicks off his run for president on this AMERICAN MORNING.

Good morning to you, Tuesday, February 13th. I'm Miles O'Brien.

S. O'BRIEN: I'm Soledad O'Brien.

Thanks for being with us.

Here's what's happening this morning.

Some new details coming in about that shootout in a mall in downtown Salt Lake City. Witnesses say a young man walked in, firing a shotgun as shoppers dove for cover. Police shot and killed the 18- year-old gunman. We just heard a few minutes ago from Salt Lake City police. They say they know who the gunman is, they're not releasing his name yet. Four other people were also shot.

In Philadelphia, police say a fight over money that prompted a shooting at an office in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Three people were killed, a fourth person was critically wounded. The gunman took his own life after a shoot-out with police.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales travels to New Orleans today. He's expected to announce more money is coming to the city in the form of federal grants to help fight crime. There is no word on whether he's going to visit those areas that were hit by those tornadoes.

And a blast of dangerous winter weather is bearing down on the Heartland right now. Snow and ice stretching from Omaha to Pittsburgh, all heading east -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: The Pentagon now saying the most recent chopper crash in Iraq was in fact a shootdown. Now a half dozen crashes of helicopters in just the past three weeks. Chopper pilots there are changing their tactics as best they can. Arwa Damon went up with some pilots for a story you'll see only on CNN.


ARWA DAMON, CNN IRAQ CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Against an increasingly sophisticated insurgency on the ground, the U.S. military's biggest advantage is in the air.

(On camera): The troops here are gearing up for an air assault mission, but the U.S. military uses its Blackhawk helicopters for a number of purposes -- to transport passengers it can take up to 11, plus four crewmembers; and equipment, and also to transport casualties off the battlefield.

(Voice over): America's aircraft keep its troops safe, but since January 20th, six crashed. Most of them brought down by enemy gunfire.

This insurgent video shows what U.S. military intelligence increasingly believes was most likely a missile, knocking a Marine Chinook out of the sky on February 7th. A group called the Islamic State of Iraq claimed responsibility.

Regardless, the possibility of new tactics and techniques is not lost on the troops that fly these birds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The enemy is ever-evolving and changing, and we are evolving and changing to meet that threat on a daily basis. I assure you, we look at it very seriously, and we look at it in great detail.

DAMON: Chief Warrant Officer Williams, and his crew, are part of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. They operate in central Iraq. Often their missions take them through the Sunni insurgent heartland.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, 30 seconds. Down, go, go, go!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of choppers going down, I'm not going to lie and say that -- you know, it doesn't make things a little bit more uncomfortable.

DAMON: The crews not only take care of themselves, but they carry the responsibility of the lives in the back of the aircraft, because on the roads, the playing field is more level. There are thousands of flights a day. Despite the recent attacks, America still retains air supremacy.

But if the insurgents have obtained the technology to more easily shoot down choppers that would drastically alter the battlefield.


DAMON: There has been an on-going effort by the insurgents to continuously try to target American aircraft ever since the U.S. arrived here. But with at least six attacks in the last three weeks, the U.S. military's now acknowledging that the insurgents' tactics are just becoming more effective -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Arwa Damon in Baghdad, thank you.


S. O'BRIEN: In just about 20 minutes or so, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is going to be formally announcing that he is running for president. Some say Romney faces an uphill battle for the Republican nomination, partly because of his religion. AMERICAN MORNING's Faith and Values Correspondent Delia Gallagher talks to us about that this morning.

Good morning.


S. O'BRIEN: Do you think potentially it's a big problem that he's a Mormon?

GALLAGHER: Well, the fact that he's a Mormon works in his favor insofar with conservative Christians, that is because they share similarities and value issues -- abortion, same-sex marriage, and so on.

However -- excuse me -- there is a debate within Christian circles about what -- who are Mormons, and what exactly do they believe? Because although they share some values and they believe in the Bible, they also have this other belief, which is this Book of Mormon, they call it.

And it says here, it's another Testament of Jesus Christ. So you can imagine, this is problematic for Christians, who believe that the Bible is sort of the final testament of Jesus Christ. So this is, in addition to other beliefs and practices -- you know, a lot of people associate Mormonism with polygamy, for example. That is something that the church has banned since the 19th century. They don't associate themselves anymore with people who practice that.

But there are other practices, other beliefs. They believe their president is a prophet, for example. They believe Jesus will come back here in the United States, for in fact the Second Coming of Jesus. So there are lots of sort of areas where they differ with other Christian denominations, and that may be problematic for some Christian voters.

S. O'BRIEN: Does the Mormon Church have a strong history in politics?

GALLAGHER: There are Mormon politicians even now. Harry Reid, Orrin Hatch, who are both opposite sides of the aisle, a Democrat and a Republican. And if you talk to representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints -- which is the formal title and the way they like to be called -- they will use them as an example to say, we don't get involved in political choices, and in our politicians' lives.

They are free to be members of our church and they are also free to make political decisions based on the constituencies that they represent. That is what they will tell you. And they will use those gentlemen as examples of the wide political spectrum that Mormons represent.

S. O'BRIEN: They might use Mitt Romney too, down the road as well.


S. O'BRIEN: All right. Delia Gallagher, thank you.

Let's get right back to Miles with some breaking news.

M. O'BRIEN: All morning long we've been telling you about a huge, huge storm that is causing all kinds of winter-related trouble throughout the middle part of the nation, but also some violent storms and tornadoes. Chad has more on that.

CHAD MYERS, CNN SEVERE WEATHER EXPERT: Yeah. And we've had a lot of Doppler indicator reported tornadoes this morning. And obviously one that did touchdown near New Orleans, but another one now that is touching down on the I-10, right there near Van Cleve, near Mile Marker No. 56, in Mississippi.

Here's the storm itself. There's Godia (ph), and there's the storm right there that is rotating. If it continues to spin and continues to move in a straight line, it will be very close to Mobile, Alabama in about 45 minutes. Usually they don't last that long, but the one in Mississippi and Alabama, earlier today, and the one in New Orleans did.

So we're going to keep you up to date as this storm continues to be on the ground in Mississippi -- guys.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, thank you, Chad.

MYERS: Sure, Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: A lot of sources spilled on the stand at the Scooter Libby trial. His lawyers calling journalist after journalist, who named names, people who told them the name of the CIA agent, Valerie Plame. Possible leakers? Karl Rove, Richard Armitage and Ari Fleischer, all of them, at one time or another, big players in the Bush administration. None of them of them are on trial, however. AMERICAN MORNING's Bob Franken now with the latest from Washington.

Good morning, Bob.


And the one that they say was not their leaker, this parade of reporters, is Scooter Libby, the man who is on trial. We have seen a parade of reporters. Some of them seem larger than their stories -- or maybe not. One of them was the guy who started all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FRANKEN (voice over): The prime source for his now infamous July, 2003 column was Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of State, who first told him that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA, and that she was the wife of Joseph Wilson.

That conversation took place after Wilson returned from a government inspection trip to Africa. And later accused the administration of misrepresenting Iraq's weapons program. Novak said confirmation about Plame came from the president's political guru, Karl Rove.

BOB NOVAK, COLUMNIST: It's pretty much the same story. I've wrote in a column some time ago.

FRANKEN: Not only did Novak identify Armitage, but "Washington Post" eminence Bob Woodward also testified that Armitage was his leaker. Woodward provided audio tape of Armitage explaining more than a month before the Novak column appeared, why he felt that Wilson was selected to go to Africa in the first place.


RICHARD ARMITAGE, FMR. DEPUTY SECY. OF STATE: His wife works in the agency.

BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Why doesn't that come out? Why does...

ARMITAGE: Everyone knows it.

WOODWARD: ... that have to be a big secret? Everyone knows.


FRANKEN: A knowledgeable source tells CNN that he has not yet been called as a witness, but he acknowledges leaking the information.

ARMITAGE: I had no idea that she was covert. I don't think anybody in my department did.

FRANKEN: Sources tell CNN Rove will not be called to testify. Still unknown is whether the defense will call the most central figures, Libby himself, and his boss, the vice president.


FRANKEN: But in the meantime, it's not only Libby who seems to be on trial here, Miles. It also seems the whole journalistic process is.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes, Bob and I heard a lot of journalists have sort of taking the habit now of destroying their notes routinely. Is that really happening?

FRANKEN: You know, that's a dangerous thing to do, because you know, if it was in connection with some sort of case, there could be obstruction of justice questions. You want the notes because they're good reference points. But the issue, here, really is the question is about sources. And there is no mistake, Miles, that sometimes D.C. is sometimes referred to as the Big Schmoozey.

M. O'BRIEN: The Big Schmoozey, we're seeing it in all it's ugliness, too.

FRANKEN: Indeed, indeed.

M. O'BRIEN: All right, Bob Franken. Thank you.

Well, you've heard of Navy SEALS. How about sea lions -- or even dolphins? The Pentagon is recruiting a few good Flippers to help fight terrorists. This dolphin, named K-Dog, fitted with a pinging device on his right flipper, there to help track him, seen here off the coast of Iraq in this picture. He, or a mammal of his ilk, may soon be patrolling the waters near a naval base near Seattle. The dolphins and some smart sea lions are trained to detect attackers and then alert their human superiors. Holy, mackerel!

S. O'BRIEN: Coming up --


Why? Is all I'll say?

M. O'BRIEN: Sorry.

Coming up, we'll take a look at pot for pain, a new endorsement of medicinal marijuana. Studies show it treats something that no other medicine currently is able to.

And is it time to start packing an alarm clock along with a work lunch? We'll find out why a cat nap at work really could be good for you. You're watching AMERICAN MORNING. The most news in the morning is right here on CNN.


M. O'BRIEN: Let's take a look at some of the feeds we have coming in right now.

Incoming 85: That's a water main break somewhere; we're trying to figure out where that's coming in from. As soon as we get some information for you, we'll bring that to you.

Incoming 86: Look at Chicago. Wow! That looks like the tundra, doesn't it? It's 22 degrees there now, snowy. But don't worry, it will warm up to 25 today.

And let's see, that's something out of Mobile, Alabama. Still trying to work on that as well.

And of course, there we have Chad getting ready for his weathercast. Look at that storm system there. That's huge. That's just a small part of it. He'll bring that to you in just a moment -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: All right. It's 43 minutes past the hour. In fact, let's get right to Chad, who is watching a bunch of tornadoes that are -- I guess what we saw in Mississippi, it was a tornado watch, isn't it, Chad?

CHAD MYERS, CNN SEVERE WEATHER EXPERT: It's actually now a warning. A tornado warning, a tornado on the ground I-10 there now. We saw the storm -- I showed you a half hour ago -- we saw the storm coming onshore itself. We saw it coming across very close to Biloxi, and just points to the east of Biloxi.

But now the storm has moved up the I-10 corridor now. It's right there, Mile Marker 56 and I-10, it was on the ground, moving to the east at about 20 miles per hour.

If it continues to move that direction, it very well may get close to Mobile. Here is the Jackson County. This is Google Maps. There is the I-10 right there. Well, here's Mobile. Not all that far away.

It is forecast to move to the south of Mobile. But we'll keep watching that tornado, because we do know from law enforcement that it is on the ground.


They came, they saw, they measured. The National Weather Service totaling up and official 141 inches of snow in Redfield, New York this morning. Another foot or so, as Chad was just telling you, could be on the ground by tomorrow. CNN's Gary Tuchman kind of is the king of the hill in Redfield this morning.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is the town in New York State that's gotten the most lake-effect snow over the last 10 days than any other town. Redfield, New York, 141 inches.

I am literally on a roof of a house right now, 17 feet above the ground, and this snow permits me to do a demonstration about how much snow there is. If I can safely walk down from the roof, to the ground. There are many towns here in New York State north to northeast of Syracuse that have gotten a lot of snow, but this town has gotten the most.

No tremendous problem in this area so far because they're used to having this snow, but they do have a problem getting rid of all these piles. There's really nowhere to put this. They just continue to pile up. They pile up against people's doors and windows. They can't get out of their houses unless they dig a hole, which most of them have to do.

The fact is, here in Redfield, not only have they gotten this amazing amount of snow over the past 10 days, but then more snow on the way. The all-time record for snow in this town for a year is 420 inches. They're already at 287 inches. With more snow on the way there are predictions that they'll break the yearly record and this year, as well as this incredible amount over this nine-day period, of 11 feet, 9 inches. This is Gary Tuchman, CNN, in Redfield, New York.


M. O'BRIEN: "CNN Newsroom" is just moments away. Tony Harris is at the CNN Center with a look ahead.

Hello, Tony.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: Miles, good morning to you. We have got these stories on the NEWSROOM rundown.

Add one more, Republican Mitt Romney formally opening his campaign for the White House, in 15 minutes -- make that 13 minutes. The former Massachusetts governor's announcement live right here in the "Newsroom".

We, too, are on top of the big winter storm that will complicate life for much of the country. Big snow totals from Indiana into New England.

And politics and African-Americans in the 21st century. TV and radio host Tavis Smiley (ph) stops by the "Newsroom".

Heidi Collins with me in the "Newsroom". We get started at the top of the hour. Keep a light on for you right here at CNN.

Miles, back to you.

M. O'BRIEN: Thanks for doing that. We'll be watching.

HARRIS: All right.

M. O'BRIEN: There may be a new benefit to medical marijuana. A new study in the journal "Neurology" finds it can ease foot pain related to complications from HIV. Right now there are no other drugs specifically approved to treat that kind of pain. The White House is slamming the study, though, saying it ignores the risks of smoking marijuana.

And on the job naps may help your heart, that's according to a new study in the "Archives of Internal Medicine". It found people who napped about a half hour in the course of a day, at least three times a week, lowered their risk of heart attack.

Working men in their 50s got the best results. Researchers say naps might help the heart by reducing stress.

S. O'BRIEN: Ahead this morning -- your refrigerator and your health. Alina Cho takes a look beyond the baking soda.

Good morning, Alina.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, there. Good morning, Soledad.

We've all heard the saying, you are what you eat. So what does your fridge say about you? We'll take a look inside and tell you when AMERICAN MORNING continues.


M. O'BRIEN: Most news in the morning here on CNN. New this morning -- the military now saying a shoulder-fired missile took down that U.S. helicopter that crashed in Iraq last week. Seven died there. It is the sixth chopper shot down in Iraq in three weeks time.

And police in Salt Lake City still trying to understand why a gunman opened fire in a crowded mall, killing five last night. Police eventually killed the suspect.

S. O'BRIEN: The twists and turns keep coming in the investigation of the death of Anna Nicole Smith. A friend of Smith's appeared on "Larry King Live" on Monday. She says she is convinced that Howard K. Stern, Smith's boyfriend, who is also sometimes called her husband, at times, had something to do with Smith's death.


JACKIE HATTEN, ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S FRIEND: I have witnessed Howard give her Vicondin (ph), Valium, Venegrin (ph), Morphine, Demerol, shall I go on? It's too much for someone to take over a period of time. That's considered aggravated death, you know what I'm saying? Accumulated effect over the years, whether he gave it to her the last second or not, it's just not acceptable.

She liked him as a person that handled her affairs, so that she did not have to handle them. He kept her so drugged up, she was in bed 24/7, until there was a show. Give her some uppers and get her up for the show so she can make some money. You know? She didn't care for him like that. He used to walk behind us, carrying our bags, OK? Or he would carry our purse.


S. O'BRIEN: OK, then there is the twist on the twist. This guy here, that's Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, and he's filing a paternity suit. He says that he in fact is the father of little baby Dannielynn, Anna Nicole's baby.

Now a number of people who are fighting in this paternity battle. Of course, the money is probably a good part of the reason why.

M. O'BRIEN: You think?

S. O'BRIEN: Zsa Zsa says -- it could be love and caring, but money probably has a lot to do with it. Zsa Zsa says if her husband wins custody, she's going to leave him, not before.

M. O'BRIEN: A little bit of a conundrum there.

S. O'BRIEN: Huh, interesting.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: And of course, there has been a lot of talk about the final sad image of Anna Nicole's refrigerator, filled with methadone and diet drinks, and almost nothing else.

But do you know your own fridge can reveal some clues about you? Alina Cho is in the AMERICAN MORNING break room, right near our fridge.

Hey, Alina, good morning.

CHO: Good morning, Soledad.

We're right outside the studio, and behind me is that famous, or shall we say infamous fridge. We'll take a peek inside here, and tell you more about what's inside a little bit later.

First, we went inside my fridge, and wait until you hear what it says about me.


CHO (voice over): What does your fridge say about you? Is it full or empty? Messy or clean? Some shows have taken fridge voyeurism to a new level.

CASEY MEARS, NASCAR DRIVER: Little bit of Coors light, couple condiments here.

CHO: We decided to analyze my fridge.

ELISA ZEID, AMERICAN DIETECI ASSN: I'm here to raid your refrigerator.

CHO (on camera): Oh, boy. I'm afraid. Very afraid.

(Voice over): Nutritionist Elisa Zeid peered inside. Her first impressions --

ZEID: Pretty sparse, not too bad. My eye is going to the water, which is terrific. That's great. You drink a lot of bottled water?

CHO (On camera): I do, but it's pretty much all I have.

(Voice over): I do have some food, just not a lot. I'm a big humus carrot person, so I do that.

ZEID: That's terrific.

CHO (voice over): The consensus?

ZEID: This is definitely a fridge of somebody who doesn't prepare a lot of her own foods, who is on the go, doesn't have a lot of time to cook. CHO: Or doesn't know how.

ZEID: I saw syrup over here. That's another source of added sugar. But you don't use it, do you?

CHO (On camera): I don't. I have no idea how that got there.

ZEID: Yes.

CHO (voice over): And 13 blocks north and a world away, Elisa's now at Producer Adam Reese's (ph) apartment, a family of four.

ZEID: It is stocked to capacity with lots of kid-friendly packaging.

CHO: Chocolate pudding, yogurt juices, and lots and lots of take-out.

ZEID: You do eat a lot at home, which is good. And family meals mean lower heart disease risk.

CHO As for my situation --

ZEID: The fact that you don't cook upsets me a little bit, because I wish you would take the time to nourish your body.

CHO: Good luck.


CHO: Good luck is right. So let's take a look at what's inside our break room fridge. Don't groan, guys. Here's a look.

All right. So lots of condiments. Let's go over to the top shelf, milk for all the coffee and tea that we drink here. Victoria's Secret bag, not sure what that's about. Bottom shelf, we've got some leftovers. And lookie here, a little bit of Slimfast.

So what does it say about all the people who work here at CNN? I'm going to go out on a limb and I'm going to say, Miles and Soledad, overworked, stressed out, and at least one person who is desperate to lose weight.

S. O'BRIEN: We drink a lot of coffee. That's what I read.

CHO: That's right.

S. O'BRIEN: All right, Alina, thanks.

CHO: Sure.

M. O'BRIEN: Here's a quick look at what "CNN Newsroom" is working on for the top of the hour.

HARRIS: See these stories in the "CNN Newsroom." Republican Mitt Romney formally announcing his 2008 White House bid minutes from now.

North Korea agreeing to begin shutting down its nuclear program for fuel and financial aid.

Blizzard and winter storm warnings stretching from Nebraska to New England. Extreme ice and snow set to slow airport and highway traffic. You're in the NEWSROOM 9:00 a.m. Eastern, 6:00 Pacific.


M. O'BRIEN: Here in New York City, everybody's wild about Harry, a Danby Bin Mont (ph) Terrier owned by Bill Cosby. Who knew, right? But dog guy, I guess. Harry is just one of 2,000 or so hopefuls in this year's Westminster's Kennel Club Dog Show.

He's name for Prince Harry. Harry the dog won the best of breed. A little catch on that, though, he was the only dog in that category. Thus putting him in --

S. O'BRIEN: He's still the winner.

M. O'BRIEN: He still wins. It's legitimate. He's a beauty. I love the eyes. Tonight, they will crown the best in show. If he win, I suppose he gets pudding pops, right? Does he get some pudding pops, from Bill Cosby.

S. O'BRIEN: You wouldn't give that to a dog.

M. O'BRIEN: No, they wouldn't like those? No?

S. O'BRIEN: Not healthy.

That's it. We're out of time. "CNN Newsroom" with Tony Harris and Heidi Collins begins right now.

HARRIS: Good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Tony Harris.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: And I'm Heidi Collins. For the next three hours watch events as they come into the NEWSROOM live on Tuesday, the 13th of February.

Here's what's on the rundown. Let it blow. A major winter snowstorm aiming at a wide slice of the country. Impressive snow totals from the Heartland to New England.

HARRIS: North Korea blinks, it agrees to begin dismantling is nuclear program, the nuts and bolts of the deal.

COLLINS: It's getting crowed out there. Republican Mitt Romney joining 18 or 20 other presidential hopefuls. He's formally announcing his 2008 campaign, in just minutes. You'll see it here in the NEWSROOM.


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