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Gunmen Open Fire Outside U.S. Consulate in Istanbul; Iran Engaging in War Games; Iraq Calls for Timeline in U.S. Troop Withdrawal; U.S. Battlefield Trucks Break Down; T. Boone Pickens Speak Out on His Plan to End Oil Dependence; Congress to Question Four Companies That Manufactured Toxic Trailers; Can You Really Make Popcorn with a Ringing Cell Phone

Aired July 9, 2008 - 06:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: The showdown over a deadlock. Iraq insists on a withdrawal date for U.S. troops. This morning the debate in Washington and on the campaign trail.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm going to bring this war to an end.


ROBERTS: An Obama family affair.




ROBERTS: The rare close up on the candidate's kids.

Plus, breaking the addiction. An oil tycoon's plan to save America billions on this AMERICAN MORNING.

Good morning, and thanks very much for joining us. It's Wednesday the 9th of July. And we've got an action packed show this morning with all kinds of great guests coming along.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: We sure do. And we're also bringing you breaking news this morning out of Turkey. Just about an hour and a half ago a shoot out happened. It happened outside of the U.S. Consulate of Istanbul. At least six people have been killed including three police officers. Police say that gunmen pulled up in a white car and opened fire on a police checkpoint outside of the consulate.

This is video that was shot shortly after that attack. Police fired back killing three attackers. Two other police officers were wounded. No one inside the consulate was hurt, but there were people that were waiting in line for visas. We'll be following this breaking story throughout the morning. Also, breaking overnight. War games in Iran. Tehran test firing nine medium and long range missiles in the Persian Gulf. State TV reporting those missile tests were in response to fears of a U.S. or Israeli attack. The White House condemning these tests.

CNN's Elaine Quijano has been traveling with the president and joins us now live in Hokkaido, Japan. Good morning, Elaine.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Kiran. And the White House says that Iran's development of ballistic missiles is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, saying that the Iranian regime only further isolates the Iranian people with this kind of activity. And he called on Iran to refrain from further missile tests if leaders really want to gain the trust of the world.

Now, at a time when the U.S. has been trying to work diplomatically to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, Gordon Johndroe adding that the Iranians should stop the development of ballistic missiles which he noted could be used as a delivery vehicle for a nuclear weapon -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Yes, and it's interesting to note as well the timing of these tests, Elaine.

QUIJANO: Yes. It's very interesting. This news is coming just one day after the U.S. took a step forward in its plans for a missile defense system for Eastern Europe. A system that the U.S. says it intended to defend against possible attacks from countries like Iran. It was just yesterday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed a treaty with the Czech Republic allowing for a radar system to be installed in that country. And at the time in her comment, she said that the U.S. and its allies, which of course includes Israel, face a growing missile threat, she said, from Iran, a country she said that had an unchecked appetite for nuclear technology -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Elaine Quijano reporting for us from Hokkaido, Japan this morning. Thank you.

ROBERTS: Iraq again ratcheting up the calls this morning for a timetable on U.S. troop withdrawal. An Iraqi government spokesman says a pullout within three to five years is possible.

Frederik Pleitgen is live in Baghdad for us this morning. Frederik, does the strong rhetoric that we're hearing from Iraqi officials match the reality on the ground there?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. No. It certainly doesn't seem to match the reality that we see on the ground here in Iraq. You know, there's no doubt that over the past year the security situation here in Baghdad and other cities all over Iraq has gotten a whole lot better. But nevertheless, the violence levels that we still do see here would be something that would be unacceptable basically in any other country in the world.

Still, the sectarian rifts remain within the Iraqi security forces. And there is something that the Iraqi government also told us when we talked to them. They say of course we have to make this dependent on how well our security forces are equipped and how ready they are -- John.

ROBERTS: Frederik, of course, all of this is taking place in the context of these talks in a long term security arrangement between Iraq and the United States. Those talks are scheduled to end on the 31st of this month. What state are they in at this point? How close are they to any kind of an agreement?

PLEITGEN: Well, certainly the Iraqis that we're talking to aren't really very confident about reaching agreement by the 31st. We talked to the spokesperson for the Iraqi government yesterday, and he says there are still some very fundamental differences on a lot of very basic issues. Of course, the timetable is one of those issues.

Also, how much authority would U.S. forces have doing operations here in Iraq? Should they be able to -- should they be allowed to detain Iraqi citizens without asking the Iraqi government? Those are some of the issues that the Iraqis are very adamant about and that they really are going to take a very hard line about. And they say they are not confident that there is going to be an agreement by the end of this month, John.

ROBERTS: Frederik Pleitgen for us this morning in Baghdad. Frederik, thanks very much.

Meantime, the presidential candidates are reacting to Iraq's demands for a troop withdrawal time table. During a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, John McCain said he's still confident Prime Minister al- Maliki would ask U.S. troops to leave only if the military situation warranted it.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It will be directly related to the situation on the ground just as I've always said. And since we are succeeding, then I am convinced as I have said before, we can withdraw and withdraw with honor, not according to a set timetable. And I'm confident that's what Prime Minister Maliki is talking about. He's told me that during many meetings we've had.


ROBERTS: McCain opposes the scheduling of troop withdrawal.

Barack Obama says the Iraqi government's demand for a withdrawal timetable is in line with his own policy toward Iraq, and a rejection of John McCain's argument that links deadlines with defeat.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I hear John McCain saying we can't surrender, we can't wave the white flag. Nobody's talking about surrender. We're talking about common sense.

We cannot be there forever. We can't be there for 50 years. We can't afford it. Our military families can't bear that burden.


ROBERTS: Obama has repeatedly pledged to remove U.S. troops within 16 months of taking office.

CHETRY: New this morning, polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is in a Las Vegas hospital right now under armed guards. He was taken from an Arizona jail overnight for an unspecified medical problem. Now, he's awaiting trial on charges of having sex with underage girls. Jeffs was convicted by a Utah jury last year on two counts of first degree felony rape as an accomplice.

Also happening overnight, yet another climber has scaled the 52-story headquarters of the "New York Times" building in midtown Manhattan. The NYPD says this man is a 29-year-old from Connecticut.

It's the third time in six weeks that someone has attempted to scale the building. Two men were arrested last month. This latest person was arrested and apparently taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.

A new contract this morning for some Hollywood actors. Members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artist or AFTRA ratified a three-year contract with Hollywood Studios after it had a little more than 62 percent of voting members approved its prime time TV contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The actors guild, Screen Actors Guild, saying the deal is inadequate and urging its members who belong to AFTRA as well to vote no.

ROBERTS: Some high profile family time for Senator Barack Obama. The entertainment TV show "Access Hollywood" landing the first interview with the entire Obama family putting the couples' young children in the campaign spotlight. It happened over the Fourth of July weekend while the family was vacationing in Montana. Here is some of what 10- year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha said.


MALIA OBAMA, BARACK OBAMA'S DAUGHTER: I read the "People" magazines and everything and they always have those sections with, you know, how much people's dresses cost. And so, I saw that magazine. It's like, oh mommy, you're in this because I've never seen mommy in that.


M. OBAMA: It was pretty cool because I usually see people like Angelina Jolie.

MICHELLE OBAMA, BARACK OBAMA'S WIFE: The real important people.

M. OBAMA: The real important -- no offense.

MICHELLE OBAMA: I've always loved clothes, he knows that. I think it's funny that he's involved in this fashion icon stuff because these pants he's had for probably about 10 years.


M. OBAMA: And that belt. That belt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The belt is a little worn too actually now that I look at it.

MICHELLE OBAMA: And don't pan down to the shoes because we talked about getting new shoes for him. So I think --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, I don't know. I think they got you here. I mean, I don't want to jump on the bandwagon or anything.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, look, listen. Listen, the --

MICHELLE OBAMA: Just don't look too closely.

OBAMA: I'm baffled by this whole thing myself because I hate to shop.


ROBERTS: Malia Obama says the thing that she is looking forward to the most if her dad wins in November is decorating her room in the White House, and of course, that puppy that he's promised them.

CHETRY: That's right. I think they pretty much are -- they know they're getting a puppy. They just have to figure out which one. But now, we're moving on to room decorating. That's exciting for a little girl.

ROBERTS: Absolutely, absolutely.

CHETRY: Very cute kids.

Well, oil reserves, crude prices moving back up this morning after tumbling $5 a barrel earlier in the week. A lot of questions still going on about how we can curb our dependence on oil. There are a lot of proposals out there. Which ones make sense?

Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING, breakdown. Life saving vehicles sitting in the shop.


JOHN YOUNG, DIRECTOR DEFENSE RESEARCH & ENGINEERING: The Defense Department is accepting risk here.


CHETRY: How a rush to production left the army waiting for parts. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."



ROBERTS: Accurate description for what's happening with the price of oil.


CHETRY: It dipped what? $5 this weekend.

VELSHI: It got knocked down.

CHETRY: It climbs back up again.

VELSHI: And it's coming -- it's coming up again. All right.

Well, that's exactly the story. We have the price of a barrel of oil. I brought the barrel to sort of illustrate this for you.

While I was out of town the other day I saw this price. This is where it hit on Thursday. $145.85. Last night oil settled at $136.04. So a knockdown of $9.81. Except, and I get up again, oil is now up by about $1.68 from that to $137.72. Still a relative bargain considering where it's going.

And I think this is what was interesting here is we've seemed to have broken a trend upward to what seemed to be $150 for sure. Again, a couple days doesn't make a trend but we'll continue to follow what's going on.

Later on in the show yr going to be talking to T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oilman who has a plan. He's introduced a plan and he sort of laid down a challenge to the presidential candidates to come up with an emergency plan within the first 100 days in office. He said he's not supporting one candidate or the other. He'll talk to them both together until one of them becomes president.

But his plan is to reduce oil consumption by 38 percent by building wind farms. He's building the biggest one in the world in Pampa, Texas. That's west Texas. He's going to use that wind farms or he wants to develop those wind farms to take off electricity from generation stations that were using natural gas.

At that point, it frees up natural gas which can then be used as a car fuel even though we don't have cars in the United States in mass production that use natural gas but they are made. He wants that to happen. And that then frees up all that oil that was used for those cars. He says that you can save 38 percent of the imports into the United States.

So we'll be talking to him about that later. Also, Nancy Pelosi --

ROBERTS: What's like to talk about now after that? What his favorite movie is?

VELSHI: No, no, no. He's got to listen. Let me tell you.

ROBERTS: If you leave me -- VELSHI: Boone Pickens has a lot to talk about. He will tell you --

CHETRY: It's fascinating. He's taking billions of his own money.

VELSHI: Right. His money --

CHETRY: He's calling on other --

VELSHI: How does he think this is going to happen? I mean, his investing a lot of money, but who else is going to invest?

CHETRY: Right.

VELSHI: Where are you going to fill up these natural gas cars exactly? Who's going to build them? I mean, there's lots -- Boone can talk to you for about two hours if you've got the time.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker the House, has called on the White House to release oil, the 700 million barrels plus from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The White House has responded by saying, you know, they stopped filling it this month actually and it had no effect on the price of oil. In fact the day they announced it, they were going to stop filling the petroleum reserve.

Oil prices actually went up.

CHETRY: What are we talking in terms of how much? I mean --

VELSHI: Seven hundred million barrels is 33 days of U.S. consumption. And the White House said, look, this is for emergency. This is in case something happens.

We shouldn't be going into that. But she's saying we need to break on oil prices. So release some oil. It will show the world we're serious about bringing oil prices down. So lots to talk about with oil.

ROBERTS: We should also mention too, every time you try out this barrel we got like five --

VELSHI: I know, I know.

ROBERTS: We got like five e-mails from people who say it's not a real oil barrel. We know. It's a prop.

VELSHI: Yes, it's a prop.

ROBERTS: Get over it.

VELSHI: It's a pretend barrel.

ROBERTS: It's a pretend oil barrel. It just serves as a template to put numbers on.

VELSHI: But it -- yes, right. It's a sign.

CHETRY: And Ali is not a real business correspondent?

VELSHI: I'm an avatar. I'm an avatar.

CHETRY: Great. Ali, thank you.

VELSHI: See you in a bit.

CHETRY: Lots to talk about today when it relates to oil.

Well, a Supreme Court justice, Stephen Breyer, victimized by a security breach. It happened on a computer site that many of us use to download music. We'll explain.

We also have our Rob Marciano watching extreme weather for us including keeping an eye on the fire danger out west. Hey there, Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hey, Kiran. Yes, a lot of red on the map today. That's not good for the folks in California as fires continue to burn there. Volcanoes continue to erupt in Hawaii and Bertha continues to churn in the Atlantic. Complete weather coming up when AMERICAN MORNING comes right back.


ROBERTS: Some amazing pictures to share with you this morning from literally inside a wildfire that's burning right now in rural Butte County, California. Take a look at this.

A crew from CNN affiliate KOVR in Sacramento drove through the fire with one of the California fire fighting teams. Fire on both sides of the road there looking almost right up to where the vehicle is traveling.

You can imagine how hot it is in there as well. It shows the intensity firsthand, up close and personal and what those firefighters are facing on a daily basis there in California.

CHETRY: Certainly is amazing. It's 17 past the hour.

We have Rob Marciano in the weather center for us. I worked in Sacramento for a couple years and every photographer has that same story when one moment they're really not that close to the flames and the next minute they feel like they're surrounded. It's amazing how quickly the fire can spread and change direction.

MARCIANO: Yes, it doesn't take a whole lot. And with the heat that's been building the past 24 hours and will continue to build today, things aren't getting any better. A lot of red and yellow on the map today. It means watches, warnings and advisories for heat.

In effect, Sacramento got up in over 105 yesterday and broke some records there. So the reds indicate where we have excessive heat warnings, watches and advisories in the inland valleys as well. And because of the low levels of humidity and because of the heat, red flag warnings posted as well. So fire danger very, very high with the exception of Los Angeles down to San Diego. And then just plain old heat as you get towards Las Vegas.

Speaking of heat, how about a little lava for you? Take you to the killer whale volcano out there in Hawaii where a lot of activity happening the past couple of days. Actually a bit of a change in direction.

Some folks scared out there in the Royal Garden subdivision where that plume took a little bit of a detour. But now, it since has slowed down just a little bit. That, my friends, is an amazing, cool sight especially at night.

All right, from the Pacific we go to the Atlantic. Here's Hurricane Bertha, a minimal hurricane now 75-mile-an-hour winds. Cat one has diminished. Yesterday Cateran (ph) has some dry air, some upper level winds that aren't that favorable.

Now, looks like it's strengthening a little bit and may strengthen a little bit over the next day or two over some juicy waters. But forecast is for it to remain well offshore. Might even miss Bermuda. We'll watch that very closely as we go on through time. Still, the hurricane in the Atlantic.

John and Kiran, back up to you.

ROBERTS: It keeps us on our toes, if anything. Rob, thanks very much.

MARCIANO: All right.

ROBERTS: A legendary Texas oilman pushing the bold plan to end America's dependence on foreign oil. T. Boone Pickens says the answer is blowing in the wind. We'll talk with the billionaire just ahead.

CHETRY: Plus a fleet of powerful vehicles meant to keep troops safe in Iraq breaking down on the battlefield, waiting for parts in a war zone. And why the Pentagon can't keep up. It's next on the "Most News in the Morning."


ROBERTS: More now on that breaking news that we're following right now. A deadly gun battle outside the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. At least six people are dead including three police officers.

Officers returned fire killing three of the gunmen after a vehicle pulled up just outside the 15-foot walls of the heavily fortified consulate. It's built atop a hillside overlooking the area. So far no one has any idea why these people opened fire. But apparently this car pulled up outside the consulate, windows rolled down and the doors open and they started exchanging gunfire.

Stay with CNN for the latest on this breaking story. We hope to have a live report for you from Istanbul coming up in a few minutes time -- Kiran.

CHETRY: Well, the military's toughest trucks are meant to keep troops safe in Iraq but they're breaking down and the Pentagon can't keep up with repairs. CNN's Barbara Starr takes a closer look.


BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the best protection for soldiers against roadside bombs. The mine resistant ambush protected vehicle or MRAV. It's kept thousands of U.S. troops safe. But in the last several weeks, as many as one in five of the blast resistant vehicles in Iraq has been out of commission. There haven't been enough spare parts to keep the fleet in working order.

Several military officials tell CNN. Commanders insist it's not a crisis, at least not yet. The problem? As U.S. fatalities rose from roadside bombs last year, the Pentagon began rushing more than 5,000 vehicles to Iraq but the supply chain for spare parts couldn't keep up.

LT. COL. DAKOTA WOOD (RET.), MARINE CORPS IRAQ VETERAN: You went from a production base of just a handful per month to several hundred in a very quick order of time. One of the limiting factors in this rush into production was the availability of heavy duty transmissions and engines and axles and tires.

STARR: Soldiers are now using armored Humvees or waiting for MRAVs to be fixed. The Pentagon predicted much of this last year.

JOHN YOUNG, DIRECTOR DEFENSE RESEARCH & ENGINEERING: This is an extremely aggressive program, and the Defense Department is accepting risk here.

STARR: There are other problems. These three Army Special Forces soldiers drowned in Afghanistan last month when their vehicle rolled into a river. Investigators found the heavyweight and high center of gravity made the vehicle vulnerable to catastrophic rollovers. The Pentagon still plans to spend $22 billion to eventually put 12,000 MRAVs on the front lines.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


ROBERTS: It's just about 24 minutes after the hour. He is the legendary billionaire oilman. Now, T. Boone Pickens says wind and natural gas is the answer to ending our dependence on foreign oil. But will birds foil his big plan? We're talking with him coming up next.

CHETRY: Boomtown.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Traffic is terrible. You know, pollution. It stinks.


CHETRY: Where the push for oil is pushing prices sky high. And where a mobile home goes for half a mill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what, for $50 an hour, I'll deal with it.


CHETRY: You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the "Most News in the Morning." It's being touted as a bold plan to deal with the nation's dependence on foreign oil with sources like wind power and natural gas. And it's being pushed by a legendary Texas oilman, billionaire T. Boone Pickens.


T. BOONE PICKENS, TEXAS OIL & GAS EXECUTIVE: We don't need anymore talk. We need action and we need a plan. And it's got to be the top priority of the next president and the next Congress. I'm T. Boone Pickens. I've been an oilman my whole life, but this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of.


ROBERTS: That ad is helping to launch an energy plan unveiled by Pickens yesterday. But is it the right medicine for a problem that needs fixing now?

T. Boone Pickens joins me now to talk more about this. Welcome to you.


ROBERTS: You say in the ad, Boone, that we can't drill our way out of this problem. A lot of people would like to think that the Republican Party is trying to do just that by wanting to open up more offshore oil leases. Explain what you mean by, we can't drill our way out of this process.

PICKENS: The problem is so huge from the standpoint we're importing almost 70 percent of our oil. That's 15 million barrels a day. Tell me, where are we going to drill to get 15 million barrels a day?

ROBERTS: So even if we open up offshore drilling, even if we open the Arctic Wildlife National Refuge, you still say you can't meet the demand?

PICKENS: Well, remember, Alaska pipeline is constrained by two million barrels a day, is all that pipeline will carry from Prudhoe (ph) Bay down to Valdez (ph). So it's got 700,000 barrels in it now. So if ANWR was the biggest, you can only get another 1,300,000 barrels in the pipeline.

So let's get it. Let's just give that and say you've got two million barrels there. Now, we got to find another 10 million barrels offshore. And very, very unlikely.

ROBERTS: So you just -- you do the math and it just doesn't add up. So you got to go from --


PICKENS: It doesn't mean don't do it. I mean, I'm ready to do anything to reduce foreign oil. I mean, we're totally -- there's a stranglehold right around our neck because with 70 -- almost 70 percent, we were importing 24 percent in 1970. In 1990, we're importing 42 percent. And now, we're coming up on 70 percent.

ROBERTS: So let's get to your plan here. You are developing the biggest wind farm in North America in west Texas.

PICKENS: In the world.

ROBERTS: In the world. Should start to come online 2010, 2011?

PICKENS: 2011, late 2011 we'll have the first thousand megawatts on it.

ROBERTS: And you're also proposing that you do that through the central corridor of the country from the Canadian border all the way down into west Texas where the wind blows almost constantly. How much of an effect could that have on America's energy needs?

PICKENS: Well, what I want to do is start to develop that. It's a huge resource the country has, but we've always had cheap oil. So nothing's been really done.

But our Shell and tax (ph) here doing a wind farm 125 miles southwest of us -- 3,000 megawatts. And there's 2,000 megawatts in Sweetwater, Texas. So it's not something that hasn't been heard of or people are doing.

ROBERTS: But how much of the energy needs of the country could you service?

PICKENS: Well, you've got 987,000 megawatts of power in the country. That's your power generation facilities. I'm saying add 200,000 megawatts here which is exactly what the Department of Energy said.


PICKENS: Which would be 20 percent of your power generation for the country would come from wind.

ROBERTS: And you could free up as a result of that you see natural gas to power vehicles. But what about the infrastructure? You know, we don't have the -- we --

PICKENS: The infrastructure for what?

ROBERTS: Natural gas powered vehicles. We don't have too many of them. There aren't the gas stations out there. Where does all that coming in and how long would it take to get --

PICKENS: Well, look at the total of natural gas powered vehicles and it's 8 million today. We only have 142,000 in the United States. You know, we've done nothing for ourselves. We've sat here, sat here, and drifted, drifted, drifted. And we're in horrible shape as far as energy is concerned.

Now, how quickly could you do it? You look at the -- you look at the -- Aubrey McClendon plan, Chesapeake's plan, he says do 25,000 islands in existing stations and have --

ROBERTS: But that's going to take time. There's one other question T-Boone because we're running out of time here that I have for this grand wind plan, you know. Fierce opponents of improperly, they say, cited wind turbines as the Autobahn society because they believe --

PICKENS: We don't have any problems.

ROBERTS: It harms birds. Although, where do you plan? Let me just bring up a graphic here. Where you plan to put this line of wind turbines is exactly along one of the major north south migratory rights. The Central Flyway there. Can you see that you might run into a problem with some opposition with Autobahn, if you wanted to do this nationwide?

PICKENS: John, I don't know. Maybe. But you got to do something. We have to move. We're sitting here. Where are we going to be? If we're going to be screwing around with migratory birds coming south, from the north to the south and the south to the north, you know, my God, we're sitting here. We're going to be 80 percent dependent on foreign oil in another ten years. And you know, somebody has got to say we've got to move.

ROBERTS: All right. T. Boone Pickens. You're the man saying we've got to move. We'll keep following this story. Thanks for being with us.


ROBERTS: Good to see you. Thanks.

PICKENS: Thanks.


KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: We're following breaking news right now out of Turkey. A shoot out near the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. At least six people killed including three police officers. Now, this happened just about two hours ago. And according to the Associated Press, a Turkish prosecutor is describing this attack as a terrorist attack.

Police say that attackers opened fire on a check point outside of a fortified building. Istanbul's governor says police returned fire killing three of the gunmen.

Joining me now on the phone from Istanbul is NPR recorder Ivan Watson. Ivan, thanks for joining us. Describe the scene for us right now.

VOICE OF IVAN WATSON, NPR: Kiran, Turkish police have set up a cord around the entrance for the U.S. Consulate. They have been conducting an investigation, looking at the bodies of the attackers, they say. Three attackers who were killed in the gun battle that took place around 10:30 this morning local time.

We've seen what I believe to be -- what appears to have been the bodies of the attackers loaded into the back of ambulances that still have not been removed from the scene so far. The governor of Istanbul says that the attack began when four men in a car, armed men, just outside the entrance to the consulate, and opened fire on Turkish police there.

An eyewitness says two police officers were immediately hit in the ensuing gun battle. Three of the attackers were killed. And then the Istanbul government says that the driver of the car actually escaped the scene. And we do not know that man's whereabouts right now.

CHETRY: As we understand it, Ivan, no reports of casualties among American Consulate employees? What else do you know about who was injured and killed in this?

WATSON: The Turkish police bore the brunt of this attack. Three Turkish police were killed. A fourth is in treatment -- four Turkish police officer is in treatment at a local hospital. I spoke with diplomats at the U.S. Consulate. They're extending their condolences to the police who are the first line of defense around this, very heavily fortified U.S. consulate here.

It's protected by 15 foot high walls. That's just the outer perimeter. Then the consulate's offices are built on a high hill overlooking this area behind another set of walls. The U.S. diplomats say that no U.S. officials were threatened or hurt in this attack.

CHETRY: All right. Ivan Watson for us of NPR. Thanks for joining us with an update on that. He was talking about how fortified that building was. That was after 2003 when there were two different attacks -- one on a synagogue there and one on the British Consulate in Istanbul killing 58 people.

Relatively quiet since then. But again, this attack today leaving six people killed outside the American embassy in Istanbul.

ROBERTS: Congress is going to question four companies today that manufacture toxic trailers used by Hurricane Katrina victims.

CNN's Sean Callebs takes a look at one woman who was told that her temporary home could give her cancer. He joins us now with that.


SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John and Kiran. FEMA tells us there are about 18,000 travel trailers and mobile homes still being used by Gulf Coast residents after Katrina. While people here who say they have been victimized by formaldehyde say they've heard from the Centers for Disease Control and they have heard from FEMA. Well, today an important day. Congress is set to grill the manufacturers.


CALLEBS (voice-over): 60-year-old Carolyn Salez waited about a year for her FEMA trailer after Katrina. After living in it for about a year, the agency told her it had a dangerously high level of formaldehyde which could lead to cancer. Then she couldn't wait to get out.

CAROLYN SALEZ, KATRINA VICTIM: When I heard the word cancer, you know, everybody feels about cancer. It was just, you know, you kind of get that little sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because that's scary.

CALLEBS: Formaldehyde is a substance used in processing wood, plastics, and other products in manufacturing trailers. Salez says the time in the trailer made her asthma more severe and left her with a chronic cough, sinus problems and the possibility she could one day get cancer.

The Centers for Disease Control has advised trailer residents they can reduce the level of formaldehyde gas by cracking the window. Salez has one question for trailer manufacturers.

SALEZ: I'd like to know why they would put out a product that is going to harm somebody who's already gone -- anybody, especially people who already going through a traumatic, you know, event in their life.

CALLEBS: Today, a congressional subcommittee is set to question officials from four manufacturers whose trailers according to the CDC have significantly higher levels of formaldehyde than other brands.

REP. NICK LAMPSON (D), TEXAS: Did they know the problems? Did they do it for greed? Did they just have shoddy workmanship? What's the purpose that led us to doing something as untoward as this to the citizens of the United States of America and someone needs to pay.

CALLEBS: Makers of the trailers voice frustration saying after the storm they were rushing to meet a desperate need. And before Katrina, there was no government standard for formaldehyde in trailers. Not nearly good enough says Salez.

SALEZ: I don't like the fact that someone gave me a place to live, that could cause me to have cancer.


CALLEBS: Historic flooding in the Midwest, fires ravaging Northern California, FEMA once again is going to have to provide temporary housing for people in those regions. With that in mind, people in the Gulf say, if these congressional hearings can help avert another disaster, then they'd be worthwhile. John and Kiran?

CHETRY: All right. Well, pop goes the secret. We're going to find out what's really behind those viral videos that show people making popcorn with their ringing cell phones.

Built on oil.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm making over $100,000 a year and I'm 22 years old.


CHETRY: How the big boom made a house here in the middle of nowhere worth as much as one here in San Francisco. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


CHETRY: Let the good times roll. You know, most of us are feeling the pinch of the high gas prices but there are some in very unique circles who were benefiting wildly. And I'm not just talking about the oil companies.

Ali Velshi joins us now and he's kicking off CNN's "Energy Hunt." The first stop is this boomtown that expanded because of the crazy gas and oil prices north of the border.

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Never in my travels have I seen such a place that describes a boomtown as you would thought about it. You would have thought about it. It turns that we're on an energy hunt and the first stop was Fort McMurray, Canada.

The town that sits on top of the world's largest reserve of oil known as the oil sands. Now, we are doing three stories on this. The first one was yesterday. And judging from some of the hateful e-mails I got from some of you, you may have missed the fact that I will be doing the story on the environmental impact of the oil sands. That's tomorrow.

However, today, I want to show you one of the consequences of this oil boom.


VELSHI (voice-over): This once sleepy little town in Northern Alberta, Canada is surrounded by forests, pristine lakes, with lots of mosquitoes.

(on camera): You don't seem nearly as bothered by the bugs as my people are. Hey, there's one on you right there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably not. Oh, no, that's friendly little critters. VELSHI: Friendly little critters till they bite you.

(voice-over): But what sets this place apart is what's beneath it. Fort McMurray, Canada, population growing fast toward 100,000. It's the rapidly beating heart of the oil sands, the largest known oil deposit in the world. It is a bona fide boomtown.

It has a major highway with traffic jams that would shame a city ten times its size. These people are all headed for work in the oil sands, 24/7, and almost everyone works the maximum allowed overtime. It's tough work, long hours, but for really good pay.

JESSE BRETHER, OIL WORKER: You can say all the bad things you want about this town. The traffic is terrible. You know, pollution. It stinks. You know what, for $50 an hour? I'll deal with it. I'll deal with being stuck in traffic for an hour. I can take it. I'm making over $100,000 a year and I'm 22 years old.

VELSHI: His story is typical. And with so many workers it's hard to find a place to live. The median price for a single family home is just under $700,000, roughly the same as San Francisco. Just buying a little piece of land and dropping a mobile home on it will set you back half a million bucks. Although plenty of people are doing it.

So what do you do with it?

Robert Cree was the chief of a local band of native Canadians whose people once thrived on the abundance of natural resources here -- hunting, fishing, trapping.

ROBERT CREE, GREGOIRE LAKE RESERVE RESIDENT: There's so much development happening. There's a shortage of housing. There's the medical, the health situation is right to the brink.

VELSHI: Problems have followed this boomtown. Drugs are readily available. And drinking, lots of drinking. But to the opportunities outweigh the problems?

BRETHER: I come here and every teacher that ever told me -- you don't do good in school, you're never going to make it. I'm making triple what they make.


VELSHI: Don't try that at home just because he's making triple what you make. You should probably finish school, anyway. But, not bad for an old 242 post. Fort McMurray has the highest per capita income in Canada. The highest median home prices in Canada.

In fact, it's commonly referred to as Fort McMoney. The reason these guys they're making so much money is because there is so much work to do in the oil sands, they just can't get enough workers. So they bring those workers in. There's not enough housing for them.

We saw signs outside of A&W, $13.50 to start. We know people are making up to $20 at fast-food restaurants. These folks actually working in the oil fields. $50 dollars or more and everybody works the maximum overtime.

ROBERTS: And half a million dollars for a trailer?

VELSHI: Trailer.

CHETRY: That part I still don't get. Why don't they live somewhere else?

VELSHI: There just isn't enough built. They've got to be close to these oil sands. It's 250 miles from the closest major city. So they've got to live there and they're trying to build houses. The government says they're building affordable houses. The affordable are going to be $400,000.

ROBERTS: Go on Google Earth and look for nowhere. Fort McMurray is right in the middle of it.

VELSHI: If you're looking for work. And that's just the interesting thing. Because wherever there will be oil booms, because oil is so expensive, everybody is going to try and build as much of an infrastructure as they can and get so much out of the ground. This is the kind of thing you will see.

We will see oil booms at 130 bucks a barrel or more for oil.

ROBERTS: Looking forward to the other side of this, the environmental --

VELSHI: There is an environmental impact. Yes, thank you for reminding me. We will bring you that tomorrow -- the environmental impact.

ROBERTS: So just before you hit send.

VELSHI: Before you hit send.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Ali. 44 minutes after the hour. Viral videos, all the rage on the Internet. But can you really make popcorn with a ringing cell phone? We reveal the secret coming up. It's the pop secret.

CHETRY: Also ahead, from swimsuit to lawsuit. A reporter caught on camera in a bikini loses her job and now her entire family is suing a TV station. Not the one that fired her. A very unusual case. The "Most News in the Morning," when we come back.


ROBERTS: So was it magic or was it real? It was an Internet video that had people wondering if they can actually make popcorn by using their cell phones, concentrating the antennas there on a few kernels.

Well, it turns out that the viral videos that popped up last month were all part of a Guerrilla marketing campaign. The company that made them said they would not reveal how they made the popcorn pop. But certainly, a lot of people looked at that and said -- oh my God, if you can pop a kernel of popcorn with a cell phone, what's it doing to my brain?

Well, in an exclusive interview with CNN, the man behind the video let us in on the secret. It's not the phones.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These videos have become a global Internet sensation. Friends making popcorn by simultaneously ringing their cell phones. But it turns out the videos were a hoax and this is the man behind the joke.

ABRAHAM GLEZERMAN, CEO, CARDO SYSTEMS: I'm happy that it surpassed our expectations.

CARROLL: Abraham Glezerman is CEO of Cardo Systems and he says the videos were actually an Internet advertisement for the company's product, Bluetooth headsets. It's what's known as viral advertising. Because when consumers like what they see, they pass them along like a virus.

(on camera): How did you come up with the concept for this?

GLEZERMAN: We sat together and said, how can we create something that's funny, hilarious, and causes people trying to emulate it and eventually, of course, touching on our business.

CARROLL (voice-over): And it worked.


CARROLL: Some posted their own video versions, trying to solve the mystery of how they got those kernels to pop. One went as far as disassembling a microwave.

Finally, for the first time, the real answer.

GLEZERMAN: The real thing is the mixture between a kitchen stove and digital editing.

CARROLL: So you fry the popcorn separately somewhere else, and you just dropped it in there, and then you digitally went in there and removed the kernels?

GLEZERMAN: Absolutely. You got it.

CARROLL: But did it really make the point to buy the company's Bluetooth.

REUBEN HENDELL, CEO, MRM WORLDWIDE: If you kind of get too corky or a little too obtuse with what you're trying to say, people just might miss the whole idea.

ROBERTS: And what about the idea that videos try to scare people who hold cell phones close to their heads?

GLEZERMAN: We really never meant to insinuate any of that. The truth is that it was funny.

CARROLL (on camera): So this wasn't about scaring people?

GLEZERMAN: It wasn't about scaring. It wasn't. If it was, the reactions would have been totally different. People laughed.

CARROLL: How do you top yourself when you've done something like this?

GLEZERMAN: You know, stealth marketing has to maintain a secret. And you don't use an end to world stage to let you know. But stay tuned, the next round is coming.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


ROBERTS: There you go. A mystery no longer. Abraham Glezerman says since the videos were released last month, they have received 15 million hits. The Guerrilla marketing campaign has been so successful that the company's Bluetooth sales shot up 100 percent since the release of that video.

CHETRY: Booming business.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iranians still love America.


CHETRY: From cigarettes to bras to makeup. How can sales be up when the White House is trying to crackdown? You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."


CHETRY: Caught on camera in a bikini and now she wants $1 million. Now, the video may not look shocking. But this is Chicago reporter Amy Jacobson. She was covering the story of missing mother Lisa Stebic. And in this video, she's at the Stebic's family's backyard pool.

When that aired, she lost her job and is suing not the station that fired her, but the rival television station that actually aired that video. So does she have a case?

AMERICAN MORNING's legal analyst Sunny Hostin joins us now with more, with more details on this puzzling case.

SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, yes. I mean, it's really fascinating, Kiran, because usually when you get fired, who do you sue? You sue the company that terminated you clearly for wrongful termination. But she didn't do that. She now has sued the company that she thinks is responsible for her termination. She's suing CBS and everyone that was involved in the story. From the news anchor to the news director, to a commentator like me who talked about the story. And also the person -- the neighbor that actually shot the video.

So she's suing everyone. And she's saying, I lost my livelihood because of this. And she's also alleging that they doctored the tape. That it was a six minute tape. They only showed a little bit of it. Spliced it together to show her -- him without a shirt and her in this bikini top, sort of next to each other. So just working a story.

We spoke to the plaintiff's attorney, her attorney. And her attorney says a jury is not going to condone the actions of CBS in portraying Ms. Jacobson as an adulteress and unethical reporter based upon distorted video, staged scenes and defamatory statements. CBS did not even shoot the video. Their only motive was to destroy a competitor.

And we also of course got a statement from CBS, and CBS says we stand by our reporting. Ms. Jacobson's claims have no merit and we look forward to vigorously defending ourselves in court.

But she is suing, especially in this economy, for losing her job. And let's remember, Kiran, this was an award winning, Emmy award winning journalist, who can't get a job anywhere.

People are telling her that she was toxic in the industry. She wants her livelihood back.

CHETRY: And what was her reasoning for why she was at this person of interest. She was basically covering the story of missing woman, Lisa Stebic, who was still missing. And she was spending time with her husband, Craig Stebic, in this video and her family.

Why did she go there with her children, obviously, in a bathing suit, I guess.

HOSTIN: Well, Kiran, she's saying she was on her way to the pool with her children. The family called her to talk about the case. She had been working the source. She was close to the family. She was a reporter. She went there to cover a story, to get some more information. And she says that is it.

CHETRY: It'll be interesting to see how the story plays out.


CHETRY: Whether or not her route of suing the person who -- the place that aired the video, not the place that fired her, works in court.

HOSTIN: Exactly. We're all going to be looking at it.

CHETRY: Sunny, thank you.

HOSTIN: Thanks.

CHETRY: Well, don't forget to e-mail your questions to Sunny -- legal questions. You can send them to or log on to our Web site,

ROBERTS: Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING -- exit strategy. The debate intensifies as Iraq presses for a pull out date.

Charges of a cover-up. The vice president accused of cutting critical climate change testimony. This morning, the CDC responds.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No one from the department, the White House or any place else in the government has ever put one word in my mouth.




CHETRY: Checking the "Political Ticker" this morning. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants President Bush to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

But the White House says the more than 700 million barrels in the reserve should only be used for a severe disruption in supply. A spokesman said a better way to bring down oil prices would be to drill in Alaska's Arctic Wildlife Refuge and the outer continental shelf.

And former Secretary of State Collin Powell says the U.S. needs to, quote, "speak with a softer voice to the rest of the world." He conceded that America's reputation around the world has been damaged, but he thinks it can be repaired. In a speech at a Washington-based think tank, Powell also declined to endorse a candidate for president.

ROBERTS: There's a new effort to get rid of what critics called taxpayer funded campaigning by the White House. Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman said he's working on a bill that would ban what he says Karl Rove did in the Bush administration's first term.

Democrats have long argued that Rove used his taxpayer-funded position to basically run the 2004 re-election campaign from his office on the second floor in the White House.

Cable network television -- cable network TV One plans extensive coverage of the Democratic convention, but won't cover the Republican convention at all. The network which is seen in 40 million homes and has an audience that is 93 percent African-American says Barack Obama's run for the White House is a huge deal for its audience. The network says it's not a news channel so it's not obligated to cover both events.

And for more up to the minute political news, just head to

CHETRY: Coming up on one minute before 7:00 here on the East Coast. The top stories this morning. Breaking news. At least six people including three police officers are dead this morning after a shoot out at a U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. No Americans or consulate officials were injured or killed. The Associated Press is reporting a Turkish prosecutor describes the shooting as a, quote, "terrorist attack."

And we're also following breaking news out of Iran. That country saying it test fired nine missiles. Iranian State TV says it happened overnight in the Persian Gulf and in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran says the tests were in response to fears of a possible U.S. or Israeli attack. The White House fighting back saying this morning the test is a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and completely inconsistent with Iran's obligations to the world.

ROBERTS: Also new this morning, polygamist leader Warren Jeffs in the hospital this morning. (OFF-MIKE) where he's awaiting trial on several charges of sexual misconduct and incest.