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CNN NEWSROOM

Romney Backing McCain; Health Officials Say FEMA Trailers Pose Health Threat; The House is Pressured With FISA

Aired February 14, 2008 - 14:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Fredricka Whitfield, in for Kyra Phillips.

New developments in the battle for the White House. Sources tell us that Mitt Romney is getting ready to endorse his former rival, Republican front-runner John McCain. An official announcement is expected about an hour and a half from now from Boston.

Our Dana Bash broke the story, and she joins us now from Burlington, Vermont -- Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fredricka. Well, you certainly gave the headline there. And it is a big headline, an important headline, that the most bitter rivals right now are coming together -- at least Mitt Romney is coming behind John McCain, and it will happen just outside Mitt Romney's former headquarters for his presidential campaign in Boston.

And, you know, this is something that has been sort of making its way towards fruition for -- really for a few days now, since Mitt Romney formally stemmed aside last week. But we're told that Romney made his decision this morning, had his top campaign aide call over to John McCain's campaign manager and let him know that he did want to make this formal.

You see I'm in Burlington, Vermont. That's because John McCain was already in New England today, so that kind of makes it an easy stop for John McCain to go and do this. Now, what we're told by a source familiar with this decision is that Governor Romney decided that he wanted to do this "in the interests of healing" and that because he wants McCain to move faster to "secure the nomination" and unite the party for the general election against Democrats for November.

Now, what we're also told by a source familiar with this decision is that Romney will encourage the delegates that he's accumulated over the past several months during this primary and caucus season, about 286 delegates, he will encourage them to get behind McCain. We're trying to figure out the math and the rules inside the Republican Party to see just what the reality is of doing that now versus doing that at a later date.

But in terms of the perception and in terms of the message that Romney is trying to send, obviously this is like manna from the political heavens for John McCain right now, because what he has been trying to do is to convince conservatives to get behind him. Well, to have somebody like Mitt Romney, who was out pounding away at John McCain when he was a candidate for president, saying that John McCain is too liberal to be the Republican nominee, for Mitt Romney to get behind him and say that he still -- he now thinks that it's important for the whole party to get behind John McCain, is really a crucial message to those conservatives.

But, you know, it's important to note, Fredricka, there is a subplot going on here. And in a way, this is, in some respects, as much about Governor Romney as it is about John McCain. Because we're told by one of Governor Romney's former aides that this is also a decision in order to try to send a message to Governor Huckabee that Governor Huckabee is "being a pest" and that Governor Romney wants to show that he is "a foot soldier" in the McCain revolution there. A little bit of a pun on what McCain always says, is that he's a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution.

So, you see a bit of a subplot going on between Governor Huckabee and Mike -- excuse me, Governor Huckabee and Governor Romney, thinking ahead to their own viability. Governor Huckabee has made it pretty clear that he thinks in order to stay a player in the Republican Party, he wants to stay in the race and show that he can still get votes.

Well, Governor Huckabee -- Governor Romney, by making this formal endorsement of McCain today, he's making it clear that his best shot of viability in the future is to show that he's a good soldier and he's party person, and that's why he's getting behind his former rival -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: A party animal, as they say.

So, Dana, we've been taking folks all across New England, or at least we will this afternoon. You're there in Burlington, Vermont. We were showing some live picture of a McCain event, because he's in Rhode Island, right there, of course.

And it's hard to know, I guess, Dana, whether, in fact, John McCain, once he were to take to the Mike, whether he would preempt Mitt Romney's address or official announcement coming out of Boston.

BASH: My guess -- maybe this is a bit of an informed and educated guess -- my guess is it would be, no, that he probably won't do that. That he's probably going to give his stump speech.

My guess is it would be similar to what we heard him do here in Burlington, talk about the fact that he respects Governor Huckabee staying in the race, but really, really going after the Democrats. My guess is he'll stick to that. But you know, John McCain likes to surprise us. You never know.

WHITFIELD: Right. One never knows, do one, as they say?

All right, Dana Bash. Thanks so much from Burlington, Vermont. BASH: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Of course, you will be hearing from John McCain this evening when he visits "LARRY KING LIVE" tonight for an exclusive interview with the Republican presidential front-runner there. That's 9:00 Eastern, and it's something you will only see on CNN.

LEMON: And President Bush just raised the stakes in a national security showdown with House Democrats. Mr. Bush says he'll put off an overseas trip to pressure, to pressure the House to renew an eavesdropping bill to the president's liking.

Standing by live at the White House now, CNN's Kathleen Koch.

Hello, Kathleen.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, this is most unusual for the president to offer to delay, not just any domestic trip, but an international, six-day, five-nation trip to Africa, in order to settle this issue.

Now, just about an hour ago, the president, on the south lawn, reiterated the demand he made in the Oval Office yesterday, that the House permanently approve this government eavesdropping program, allowing them to wiretap basically phone calls, conversations, any kind of communications with -- between suspected terrorists. The Senate approved the measure. And what they did is they always granted telecommunications companies immunity from prosecution for cooperating in such wiretapping after 9/11.

That's something the White House insisted on. But the House has not included that. It wanted three more weeks to debate the issues.

House Republicans said no. The president wouldn't give an extension.

Right now, the law expires at midnight on Saturday, as the Congress leaves on recess. And the president says that would be a mistake.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I urge congressional leaders to let the will of the House and the American people prevail and vote on the Senate bill before adjourning for their recess. Failure to act would harm our ability to monitor new terrorist activities and could reopen dangerous gaps in our intelligence. Failure to act would also make the private sector less willing to help us protect the country, and this is unacceptable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOCH: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had an angry response for the president, saying that even if the law expires, he has everything he needs to protect the country in the interim. She said, 'He has nothing to offer but fear. I'm afraid his fear mongering on this bill is not constructive."

And Pelosi went on to say if there were any adverse national consequences, which she does not expect or hope for, but she said that the president and the Republicans would not support any extension. "Bear the responsibility."

Don.

LEMON: All right. Kathleen Koch at the White House.

Thank you very much for that, Kathleen.

KOCH: You bet.

LEMON: And you saw the GOP walkout right here live in the CNN NEWSROOM. We're going to have more from Brianna Keilar on Capitol Hill. She's going to get the Democratic side of and it how they're responding coming up right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: Meantime, it is the newest chapter in what has become a horror story for people who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. Trailers designed to serve as temporary housing are still home to thousands of people. Well, now, the U.S. government is telling people that those same trailers could be hazardous to their health.

Our Sean Callebs is following this story for us from New Orleans -- Sean.

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, it has been an ongoing concern here for some time. Actually, going back to March of 2006.

The concern is formaldehyde in travel trailers, as well as mobile homes. The concern is, this formaldehyde, it could be at high levels and cause breathing problems, especially among the elderly, the sick, and children as well.

So, FEMA asked the Centers for Disease Control to do a study, a long-term study, looking at the potential risk. They held a news conference here just a short while ago and said, yes, there are concerns about formaldehyde in especially the travel trailers.

So, what they are trying to do is get people out of these trailers as quickly as possible. Some 38,000 families are still living in the trailers.

Here's what FEMA Director David Paulison had to say...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. DAVID PAULISON, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: As a result of these preliminary findings, FEMA's going to continue our aggressive action to provide for the safety and well-being of the residents of these travel trailers by finding them alternative housing. Since November, we have moved out -- over 15,000 families have moved out of these travel trailers into some other housing. We're not going to wait for the final results, but we're going to work to continue or expand our actions with the residents that need to be relocated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CALLEBS: And clearly, it raises a lot of concerns for people who have been living in these trailers for the past two and a half years. And there are a number of critics, especially on Capitol Hill.

We had a chance to speak earlier this morning with Congressman Brad Miller. He is the chairman of the Technology and Science Committee. He is highly critical of the way FEMA has handled this entire affair.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BRAD MILLER (D), NORTH CAROLINA: What's troubling to me, and what I think we should continue to look at, is why we didn't hear about it before and whether FEMA really acted with the kind of urgency that they should have acted with, based on the information that was available to them and whether they consciously closed their eyes to the information out of concern about public embarrassment or legal liability.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CALLEBS: Well, FEMA has said they acted with the best information, as quickly as they could. But getting some 100,000 people, 38,000 homes out of trailers, into some other kind of housing in this area, Fredricka, is going to be difficult.

Anybody that lives here knows there are not a wealth of apartments floating around out there, there are not a lot of hotels. For example, the NBA all-star game is here this week, so hotels are at a premium.

So what they are possibly looking at is moving people into mobile home trailers that have been tested for formaldehyde. It's not a popular issue with people down in this area, a real sore point. So what they are trying to do is get them out as quickly as possible.

As the summer months come and the heat builds up, the big concern is getting those trailers hot and not very well ventilated. And so people -- the elderly, sick, children, especially those with breathing trouble -- could be in for a difficult summer unless FEMA can get those people out of the trailers and into some other kind of housing quickly.

WHITFIELD: Well, this entire experience for a lot of these folks displaced from Katrina, living in the trailers, this is entrenched distrust from the government. And now to hear this, I have to imagine when you talk to a number of people who have been staying in these trailers right now, they have to be angry.

CALLEBS: Well, they are. I mean, that's the bottom line.

They feel they lost their homes in this disaster. Their argument is FEMA was just horribly unprepared for this entire disaster. The people living in the Gulf Coast area knew the potential was there to wipe out tends of thousands of homes if the big one came, if levees were breached, or further down in Mississippi, a storm surge coming in. Their big concern is, why wasn't there more testing ahead of time? Why wasn't there a better plan to get some kind of affordable housing up quickly?

And they basically believed the government, saying this is where we want you to live, and they presumed it was safe. And now they're finding out different.

WHITFIELD: Oh, boy.

All right. Sean Callebs, thanks so much for that update.

LEMON: It's up there in space somewhere, but not for long. A dead satellite with a dead computer and no controls, it's falling back to Earth and is expected to hit early next month.

A senior military official said today one option being considered is to shoot it down. Shoot down the satellite with a missile from a Navy cruiser.

There's a few reasons why. One, is that -- to make sure that the space junk hits the Earth in a safe place, rather than an unsafe place. And, two, it's a secret spy satellite, and whatever on board is, of course, a secret.

We're expecting a news conference at the bottom of the hour. The Pentagon and NASA expected to speak. We'll bring that to you live.

And we'll speak with our very own Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon after a very quick break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

WHITFIELD: Meantime, there's a hunk of junk up in space. Top- secret spy junk, that is, that won't be up there for too much longer. A dead satellite expected to fall to Earth early in next month. We learned today that the U.S. military may have a say in where and how it comes down.

CNN's senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, is with me now.

How in the world do they do that?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Pentagon is about to announce within the next few minutes that they're going to probably take a shot at taking this spy satellite out of the orbit before it hits the ground by launching a sea-based missile from a ship at the satellite in order to try to destroy it before it hits the ground. They say they want to do this because of the hazard the satellite poses to the Earth -- in particular, some fuel, a thousand pounds of fuel that are on board, that can pose an environmental hazard.

However, usually satellites are just allowed to crash to Earth. And you may recall, of course, that the U.S. was highly critical when the Chinese government shot down a defunct weather satellite last year, because that left about 150,000 pieces of space junk in the air.

The Pentagon's going to explain how and why they're going to do this in just a few minutes. Presumably, you'd have to also think that the Pentagon's also worried about the technology perhaps falling in the wrong hands. This was a brand-new spy satellite that malfunctioned when it was launched back in December of 2006. It's never worked right.

It's got some thrusters on it to help guide it around, but they have not been able to control it. And it's going to crash back to Earth sometime in March. The Pentagon will tell us in a few minutes when and how they'll take a shot at knocking it out of the sky first -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Jamie. Thanks so much.

And we're going to monitor that and, of course, bring you the latest developments as that happens -- Don.

LEMON: A nightmare scenario, Fredricka, for Democrats. Will the winner of the popular vote lose out again?

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(BUSINESS REPORT)

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LEMON: All right. Well, we're looking at live picture on the left at NASA. And, of course, they're talking about that whole satellite that has no computer, no controls, falling to Earth. They don't know where it's going to fall. So, the government may have to shoot it down.

And so we're waiting to hear what they're going to say -- actually at the Pentagon, a Pentagon press conference, to see if the Pentagon is going to shoot it down and what NASA -- what they're both going to do about this satellite that is just sort of out there.

WHITFIELD: To shoot or not to shoot? That is the question.

LEMON: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: All right. We'll be covering that live. It looks like folks are already streaming in to perhaps take their positions. Of course, when there is information, we'll bring that to you.

Meantime also in Washington, a house GOP walkout. A president who says he may delay his plans to Africa as a result of what's taking place in Congress, in the House of Representatives, in particular. Our Brianna Keilar is on Capitol Hill to help straighten out exactly where the House stands now on this Protect America Act, or many have casually called it the spy act.

Where do we stand?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, the FISA act. And, this is basically a showdown over the legislation that governs how U.S. intelligence agencies oversees some communications of suspected terrorists. Now, this is happening in the House with the backdrop of something else that's happening here in the House.

House Democrats brought a contempt vote against former White House Counsel, Harriet Miers and current White House Chief of Staff, Josh Bolten. This is completely -- for something completely separate. Basically for what they say is a failure to cooperate in the scandal environment -- pardon me, involving the firings of U.S. attorneys.

Now, as you saw, House Republicans walked off the floor, they say, because this is a waste of time to be dealing with this contempt vote when the House should be dealing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and that by allowing this legislation to expire, as it is set to on Saturday, that basically this is putting the homeland security of the United States at risk.

On the flip side, Democrats are saying, you know, this really isn't going to make the U.S. more vulnerable and this contempt vote is important. It's basically us fulfilling a constitutional duty to check executive power. Let's listen to some of what House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of message do you think is sent? What point are they trying to make?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: Well, why don't you ask them what their point is. But our point is that we take an oath of office, every one of us, to protect and defend the Constitution. And that Constitution calls for a separation of powers and -- congressional oversight to make sure there's no abuse of power of the executive branch.

We believe there has been. We have, on many occasions, invited the administration in by -- by invitation, by subpoena. They have refused to come to Congress with the information, and the people that we want to have before Congress. If this were a -- Democratic administration, and they acted in this way, I would support a contempt of Congress resolution. This isn't about Democrats or Republicans, as Nicki Edwards (ph) said. This is about the people's Congress and our Constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: Now, Republicans and President Bush are saying, if FISA legislation is allowed to expire, then lives are at stake. But we heard Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, say a short time ago that that claim is basically disingenuous, because he says even if the legislation expires, as it looks like it's going to on Saturday, the program that it governs will still be in place in its entirety for a year, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: OK. Meantime, what's taking place just a few blocks away from Capitol Hill, from the White House, we heard the president say earlier this afternoon that because of this dispute on the Hill, he's willing to suspend, or at least cancel, his trip to Africa, which is planned for tomorrow to go to Benin, Liberia and other places to help reinforce a U.S. commitment to help propose and -- propose some stability and peace in some of those troubled nations. So, when might we hear what the president would want to do here?

KEILAR: Well, basically what you see the president doing there is really bringing awareness. Because when he says he's going to postpone his trip to Africa, people listen and they take note. And when you see House Republicans walking out of Congress, really an amazing photo opportunity, you take note.

And so, because of that, you see this full-court press by President Bush, by House Republicans, trying to bring awareness to what they think is an important act. And certainly it's catching the attention of people here on Capitol Hill, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, it is, indeed. Brianna Keilar, thanks so much, from Capitol Hill -- Don.

LEMON: We have new developments in the battle for the White House. Sources tell us Mitt Romney is throwing his support to Republican front-runner, John McCain. An official announcement is expected a little later on this afternoon in Boston. It was scheduled at 3:30. We think it was rescheduled now for 4:00 Eastern in Boston.

Romney, who suspended his campaign after Super Tuesday, picked up a lot of support from conservatives before he suspended his campaign. Right now, McCain has a commanding lead in the race for Republican delegates, with Romney in second place and Mike Huckabee in third. Reports say Romney is expected to ask his delegates to switch their support to John McCain.

Now, with their battle for delegates so close, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, well, they're hoping for breakaway wins in the upcoming primaries and caucuses. Clinton is counting on some big states to push her to the top of the delegate count again. So, how important are the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4th?

CNN's political contributor, James Carville, who helped Bill Clinton win -- win the White House, says, if Senator Clinton doesn't win Texas and Ohio, she is in deep trouble. Carville, who supports Hillary Clinton, was on CNN's "LARRY KING" live, last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Certainly would be preferable for her to win Wisconsin, but I don't put it in the same category as I would put Texas and Ohio on March the 4th.

LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: James, if Hillary loses Texas or Ohio, is it over? CARVILLE: Yes.

KING: Simply put.

CARVILLE: Yes. She has to win Texas and Ohio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, you want to tune into "LARRY KING LIVE" tonight for an exclusive interview with Republican front-runner, John McCain. That's at 9:00 Eastern only here on CNN.

WHITFIELD: All right, to shoot or not to shoot a failed U.S. spy satellite. Right now, briefings taking place at the Pentagon. Right now, General James Cartwright is addressing the press.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEN. JAMES CARTWRIGHT, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF VICE CHAIRMAN: ... the satellite essentially went dead for communications and control very shortly after it attained orbit. It was a nominal launch, nominal insertion into orbit. But then on orbit, within the first few hours, stopped communicating.

A satellite like this -- really all of our satellites, have fuel that is reserved along with redundant systems to ensure that there is propulsion to allow for what we would call a controlled de-orbit -- that the ability to put it, say, in the ocean. But with no communication with this satellite, that's -- that is what is different here, that's what distinguishes this particular activity is we have no way to communicate, to invoke the safety measures that are already on board the bird.

To take it just a little bit further, hydroxene, in this case, normal cases, that, when it's used as rocket fuel, it's in a gaseous state, we bring it up to a liquid state with heaters. This has had no benefit of heaters, because there's no power on the bird, so, this is a frozen state of hydroxene which leaves for us another unknown, how much of it would melt on the re-entry, therefore would be in either a liquid or gaseous phase.

In a worst-case scenario for the hydroxene, it's similar to chlorine or to ammonia in that when you inhale it, it affects your tissues and your lungs. You know it -- it has the burning sensation. If you stay very close to it and inhale a lot of it, it could, in fact, be deadly. But for the most part here, we're talking an area, say, roughly the size of two football fields, that the hydroxene could be dispersed over and you would at least incur something that would make you go to the doctor, OK.

If you stayed inside that zone, if you got very close to it and stayed, you could get to exposures that could be deadly. So, that's a sense of what we're dealing here with -- Columbia, and I'll let the administrator talk to that part of it. But with Columbia, the hydroxene tank came down in Texas in a wooded area, unpopulated, and unlike this, we had the mitigating -- in front of it. They burned most of it, the mission was at its end so it was almost no hydroxene left.

You could walk up very shortly after the event and walk right up to the tank's proximity and it wouldn't have affected you. Now, we didn't handle it that way. We treat it as a toxic. Anybody who should encounter something like this ought to treat it as a toxic. Don't approach things like this. Now, having said that, what we tried to do here at the department was to look at the risks that exist for what we will call a normal re-entry.

This is a normal for this satellite, not having the ability to de-orbit it. It would basically enter the atmosphere, as I said, it would incur the heating. It may break up, and exactly what the pieces look like, all of that, we're not sure. It's very, very unpredictable as to exactly where it would hit the atmosphere. The atmosphere raises and lowers based on heating. But when it encounters the atmosphere, then it would come down, as I said, about 2,500, 2,800 pounds worth of mass.

Those calculations, and that alone, would not be reason to take action. In other words, the likelihood of it hitting the land or a person as a -- hunk of metal or material is relatively low. It's the hydroxene here that is the distinguishing characteristic. I've also, like you -- read the blogs. This is -- there's some question about the classified side of this. That is really not an issue. Once you go through the atmosphere and the heating and the burning, that would not be an issue in this case. It would not justify using a missile to take it and break it up further.

Our objective here was to reduce the risk -- could we reduce the risk to space platforms, to airborne platforms, and to terrestrial platforms, the Earth, cities, people, et cetera. In the first case, one of the first actions that we took together was we believed that the window that we were looking at, to -- to intercept this vehicle, can be accomplished after we bring the shuttle down. So, we're going to bring the shuttle down before we even consider this option.

The second is that we looked at the various capabilities that we as a nation hold, and what -- what held the highest likelihood of success for us was to move to a mobile platform and a tactical weapon, which we had good understanding of the performance of the weapon. That came to the standard missile, a Navy missile that has been in the inventory for several years, has a very solid track record. We understand how to use it and how it works and what it's likelihood of performance would be.

In addition, it has a mobile platform. And the intent in the mobile platform is, what we would like to be able to do, is to intercept this missile at a point at which we could have a high likelihood of bringing it down in an unpopulated area. Second objective is to hit the tank, the hydroxene tank, and rupture it so that we can offgas this hydroxene as early as possible so the least amount of it returns to the Earth, OK. So, those are the two key objectives.

It is looking at the likelihood of mitigating on orbit, in the air, or on the land. On the orbit side, in space, what we're attempting to do here is to intercept this just prior to it hitting the Earth's atmosphere. That does two things for us. It reduces the amount of debris that would be in space. So, in this case what we're looking for is to try to have the debris, over 50 percent of it, within the first two orbits, or the first 10 or 15 hours, would be deorbited.

The second piece here is looking at other unmanned bodies in space and lower orbit and the space station, to make sure that we did not increase the risk to -- to other bodies in space. So, that was a criteria we're trying to understand. Next is when the orbit comes down through the air, is there anything that would increase the risk to normal, general aviation? We have a set of standards, the FAA has a set of standards that it uses to re-vector aviation when there is a hazard in the air. Would we cause a hazard in the air? If we did, could -- would it be predictable enough that we could re-vector around? That was a criteria we had to get through.

And then the last criteria was on Earth. Can we, in any way, help mitigate the opportunity for this to come on land, to land in a populated area?

WHITFIELD: All right, fascinating stuff. Did you get all that? Bottom line from the general there is that this 2,800 pounds of this spy satellite, which has failed, which is floating up there, is quite unpredictable. So, a decision has been made to use a Navy missile in which to shoot it down., despite previous concerns of the Chinese doing the same thing, because of concerns of producing space junk.

So, there are two primary reasons why they want to shoot this spy satellite down. They're concerned about where it might land, posing what harm to whom here on Earth. And secondly, it is a secret spy satellite. So, of course, there are concerns of whose hands in which it would fall. So, we're going to be joined by Jamie McIntyre at 3:00 Eastern, just about 20 minutes from now, to break it all down for us -- Don.

LEMON: All right, we have some new information, Fredricka, on this really bizarre story happening in Manhattan -- Manhattan and also Pennsylvania. A therapist beat to death with a meat cleaver and now there's some new information about that. Jason Carroll working on this from our New York bureau.

Not exactly sure what you have, but why don't you bring us up to date, Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, really a terrible crime. Investigators are questioning a man in connection with a horrible murder here in New York City. One, Don, that has really captured the attention of the people here in the city.

It was on Tuesday, a psychologist, Kathryn Faughey, was found brutally stabbed in her office on Manhattan's upper east side. She had been stabbed multiple times with knives and a meat cleaver. The suspect was actually captured on surveillance tape entering the building, as well as when he was leaving the building following the attack. Another doctor, in Faughey's office, was also hurt when he heard her screams and tried to come to her rescue. He was slashed, but he is recovering at this time. New York City police officers were questioning a man at a police facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. That's about 85 miles from New York City. A Pennsylvania state police spokesman did not identify the man being questioned. He said, New York City investigators had asked state police to provide a location so they could question someone in connection with the murder.

Faughey was described as a hard-working person, someone who really cared about her patients. Her Web site, which I had a chance to take a look at a little earlier, describes her as a warm, clear -- and a person who had a lively approach to treating her patients. The suspect, I want to get this in here also, Don, is described as a white man, in his 40s, pretty generic with a bald spot and a green coat.

Again, police have that surveillance tape that they are able to look at. And, again, it appears, at this time, that they are questioning a man in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, possibly in connection with this terrible, terrible murder.

LEMON: OK. So, that surveillance video that we're looking at, that's from the office on the upper east side, correct, Jason?

CARROLL: That is correct.

LEMON: OK. So, if they are looking at this person in the Lehigh Valley in Bethlehem, do they know what his connection to this therapist? Is he a family member? Was he seeing this therapist possibly? Do we know at this point?

CARROLL: I think those are all possibilities. At this point, the only thing that they are confirming to us is that they are questioning a man in connection to this case. If it's that man there on the surveillance tape, at this point, they are not saying -- Don.

LEMON: All right, Jason Carroll working this story for us in Manhattan. Beaten or stabbed to death, hacked to death, with a meat cleaver, Jason, goodness. All right, thank you, sir.

WHITFIELD: Well, this health matter that may concern a lot of people. A highly contagious disease hitching a ride from Switzerland to Hawaii and possibly beyond? We'll have the latest.

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WHITFIELD: Well, the tragedy deepens for all connected with the sugar refinery plant near Savannah, Georgia. One of the workers badly burned in last week's explosion died early this morning. And a seventh body was recovered from the ruins late yesterday. One worker is still missing. Sixteen patients remain at a burn center in Augusta, 14 of them in critical condition.

LEMON: An amazing scene overnight in Chicago. Police rescued several people, including children, from a burning apartment in the city's Cabrini-Green housing development. Details are still kind of sketchy here. But the blaze broke out in a fifth-floor apartment around 2:30 this morning. Police got there before firefighters and they rescued several children, not clear at this point how many children.

Amazingly, no one died in this fire. Two people were hospitalized with what are described, at this point, as minor injuries. One police officer says, "We're not heroes, we just happened to be the first ones there."

WHITFIELD: And thank goodness they were.

Well, health alert in Hawaii. Health officials there want to find 250 passengers who shared a San Diego to Honolulu flight last weekend with a baby infected with measles. The baby has been isolated at a military hospital. Measles showed up in San Diego several weeks ago after a child contracted the virus during a visit to Switzerland. Five cases have been confirmed and five more cases suspected.

LEMON: A stunning victory. We're not talking about the candidates, we're talking about ...

WHITFIELD: Oh, cute little poochie!

LEMON: ...an underdog. Just leave that up for an hour and our ratings would go through the roof. A beagle to be precise. Our Jeanne Moos will look for parallels between this pooch -- oh, yes -- and the presidential race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Crazy, cheering for this dog.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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LEMON: Thanks for that, Otis. That is very cute. That is one of the cutest dogs I've ever seen, I have to say.

WHITFIELD: It's definitely the cutest beagle I've ever seen.

LEMON: Yes, it was a stunning triumph by an underdog, a beagle to be accurate. CNN's Jeanne Moos is finding parallels between the pooch's big victory at the Westminster dog show and the presidential race.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's an outsider, his victory was an historic first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, what a dramatic win last night.

MOOS: He's known for his oratory. Not Obama, but Uno. He may not be the first African-American or first woman to run for president, but he is the first beagle to win at Westminster, ever! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May I have the beagle?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beagle!

MOOS: And Uno's story has some uncanny similarities to this year's presidential race. The traditional front-runners ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beautiful, Vickie.

MOOS: ... upset by an underdog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're a first, young man.

MOOS: An underdog that had Madison Square Garden under his spell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have never had a reaction like this in the Garden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Standing ovation for the beagle. Best in show.

MOOS: Showing off with a silver-tongued victory speech. Sure, Barack Obama gets louder chants. But Uno had fans shouting out his name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One last chance to rock 'em.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... wait for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uno.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uno.

MOOS: Even the commentators sounded like they were analyzing the presidential race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why was it the beagle's year?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he's got this presence. He's a rock star he --

MOOS: And like a presidential contender, Uno's got a handler.

(on-camera): Which candidate is Uno most like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow.

MOOS (voice-over): Uno's handler wasn't making any suggestions, but one of his co-owners was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We think we looks like Fred Thompson.

MOOS: Not exactly a dead ringer. But this lowly beagle has something that's the envy of politicians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just a happy dog. I mean, he's the people's dog.

MOOS: Like a presidential candidate, Uno was drawn to the lens of the TV cameras. Uno did interview after interview.

(on-camera): Twelve satellite interviews?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twelve today, yes.

MOOS: And though the human candidates are dog tired from running, at least they don't need steak treats and a yellow ducky to keep them focused during the interviews.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's falling asleep and up here on the table, so we're just trying to do anything to try and keep him settled, yet keep his eyes opened.

MOOS: Barack may have romped, but the beagle has landed, making the rounds on the morning shows.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, buddy.

MOOS: No presidential candidate gets this treatment. Down on your knees for the beagle who's numero uno.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: And guess who we have here in the studio?

WHITFIELD: I was like, really? I didn't know.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Got you. It's Valentine's Day, April fools.

WHITFIELD: That little Uno is a cutie-pie.

LEMON: Yes. He's gorgeous.

WHITFIELD: What a winner. All right.

LEMON: Congratulations too, right, by the way.

WHITFIELD: Yes, it was fun. Thanks, Jeanne, for the little ride and the smooch. OK, we get it. It was on the dog's muzzle.

LEMON: Not me?

WHITFIELD: All right, well, that's one happy dog, but over the past few weeks we've seen quite the dogfight, if you will, in presidential politics -- politics rather. They had some pretty tough words for each other during their battle for the Republican presidential nomination. Well, now, Mitt Romney, apparently, is throwing his support to John McCain.

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