Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


Family and Friends of Anna Nicole Smith View Body; FDA Warns of ADHD Drug Risk

Aired February 21, 2007 - 15:00   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Well, the next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon, live in the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

WHITFIELD: And I'm Fredricka Whitfield, in for Kyra Phillips.

It's a dilemma for parents everywhere. Should children diagnosed with ADHD go on medication? New FDA guidelines only seem to further complicate the question.

LEMON: Well, everyone made it out alive, but now the U.S. military says it probably wasn't a hard landing that brought down their chopper in Iraq. Evidence points to enemy fire.

WHITFIELD: And sickening pictures from a place that's supposed to heal wounded soldiers. The grim reality of Building 18, that's straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: It is the top of the hour, and we start with new details in the Anna Nicole case.

A Florida judge presiding over the tug of war over Anna Nicole Smith's body says he will make a decision soon. In the meantime, more emotional testimony, and family and friends took a look at Anna Nicole's body not long ago.

CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti has the latest from Fort Lauderdale -- Susan.


During the lunchtime recess, they saw her remains, possibly for the last time. They include Anna Nicole Smith's mother and the two men who claim to be the father of her daughter, Dannielynn, in the Bahamas. That would be Howard K. Stern, and ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead.

From start to finish, they spent about 45 minutes at the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office -- this visit made possible by the judge, the probate judge, in this case. Under normal circumstances, families are not allowed in the same room as the body. They must watch through a window or on a camera monitor.

We don't know exactly how the visit went this time. No one is saying, and no statement from the medical examiner's office.

Now, for two hours this morning, Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, testified that, in her view, her daughter should belong to her to go back to Texas to be buried. She wants to hear nothing about her daughter going back to the Bahamas, where Howard Stern says Smith wanted to be buried, next to her son, Daniel.

And then she became very emotional, when she talked about the loss of her grandson, Daniel, and how she feels about Howard K. Stern.


VIRGIE ARTHUR, MOTHER OF ANNA NICOLE SMITH: My grandson did not overdose. Howard was there when he died. And Howard was there when my daughter died.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your Honor, I would move to strike this as being nonresponsive.

ARTHUR: And he has my granddaughter now, and it's not even his child. And I'm afraid for her life as well.


CANDIOTTI: Any time now, testimony will resume -- Howard K. Stern expected to take the stand again, before flying back to the Bahamas.

And, as you indicated, Don, the judge has said he expects to reveal his decision on Friday about who gets final custody of Anna Nicole Smith's remains -- back to you.

LEMON: And you know what, Susan? It's going to be very interesting to watch that testimony, after they have just left the morgue viewing her body, both the mother and Howard K. Stern. So, it's probably going to be some interesting developments a little bit later on.

CANDIOTTI: Indeed, yes. And they were described as being visibly upset when they left the medical examiner's office, understandably so, of course, described as holding their faces in their hands as they sat in their vehicles when they left the M.E.'s office -- Don.

LEMON: All right, Susan Candiotti, thank you so much for that.

And we want to remind you that CNN's Pipeline service is streaming those proceedings in Florida live. Just go to to start watching.

WHITFIELD: And now a developing story -- it involves the use of some popular medications used to treat ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Our medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, is here with a little bit more on that. Pretty alarming.


But you have -- when you look at the numbers, it's not quite as alarming as it sounds.


COHEN: But we really are talking about some very, very popular drugs that millions of people take, drugs like Ritalin, Adderall, Strattera.

What the FDA has found is that a number of deaths and illnesses have been linked -- or have been possibly linked -- they're not saying 100 percent, but have been possibly linked to these drugs.

Let's look at these 27 sudden deaths reported among children and teens, and that one in 1,000 patients develops serious psychiatric problems. Those are two separate problems. The psychiatric problems, they're talking about people who became manic, talking about people who became very suspicious.

When we talk about the 27 sudden deaths, those were sudden deaths due to cardiovascular issues. And about half of those people had problems already.

So, these -- this is the numbers they're spelling out. What's important to remember is that millions of people take these drugs. So, while they are concerned enough to put out warnings -- they're going to be in pamphlets when you go to the pharmacy to get the drugs -- it's still a relatively small number, compared to the millions of people who take them.

WHITFIELD: So, what do you do if you are taking any one of these drugs or you know someone who is?

WHITFIELD: The very thing you want to do is talk to your doctor.

And you want to make sure of one thing in the beginning. Do not go off these drugs immediately. That would be a big mistake. You could actually cause more problems. So, don't go off of them immediately.

Ask your doctor to screen you for heart problems. If they find an underlying heart problem you didn't know about, which -- which could happen, you really want to seriously think twice about taking these drugs. Also, use the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time.

Some people stay on these for years and years, and maybe they don't need to. And maybe they can lower their dose. Also, ask doctors about alternatives. For some people whose ADD is not terribly severe, they can do things like, for example, write out a schedule for themselves every day.


COHEN: And that could go a long way. Things like that can go a long way towards helping.

But, if your disease is really horrible, and you have ADHD so badly that you're having problems functioning...


COHEN: ... you may be willing to take these risks, because it gives you your life.


Bottom line, still consult your doctor...

COHEN: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: ... just to make sure you're doing all the right things.

COHEN: Do not go off these drugs, right.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks a lot, Elizabeth.

COHEN: OK. Thanks.

WHITFIELD: Well, something else that might be making a lot of people sick, tainted peanut butter. And now, apparently, it has also claimed a life.

A Pennsylvania family is suing ConAgra Foods, make -- the maker of Peter Pan peanut butter, claiming a family member died after eating it. Well, federal officials have linked the peanut butter to a salmonella outbreak nationwide. The family's lawyer says they bought four jars of Peter Pan last fall, and he says the mother became violently ill and died last month. Her husband and daughter were also sickened. ConAgra has issued a recall.

LEMON: Another U.S. military helicopter is apparently shot down in Iraq. The UH-60 Black Hawk, with nine people on board, went down today in what a general calls a tough area. All on board survived, and are safe. The general tells CNN all indications point to small- arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades fired from the ground. This makes eight U.S. helicopters downed in Iraq since January 20.

The Pentagon is promising some intensive care, amid embarrassing reports about appalling conditions at an outpatient facility at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

CNN senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre got an exclusive interview this morning with Walter Reed's commanding general.

He joins us now live -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, the Pentagon's response to these embarrassing disclosures about substandard housing at outpatient facilities at Walter Reed is to promise a quick fix and to quickly admit their failures.

In fact, two separate Army generals today took full responsibility for the mess.

But I sat down with the top commander at Walter Reed, and he insists, the buck stops with him.


MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE WEIGHTMAN, COMMANDING GENERAL, WALTER REED MEDICAL CENTER: Jamie, 100 percent of it falls on me. I'm responsible for everything that does happen or does not happen here at Walter Reed. And it was obviously a failure on my part to reach down and touch those soldiers and find out directly from them.

MCINTYRE: Do you understand the outrage that people felt when they began to hear about what was going on in some of these buildings?

WEIGHTMAN: Oh, I absolutely do. And I felt that same outrage because we take our care for wounded warriors very seriously here, and we have a reputation at Walter Reed for being a world-class medical center. And then these allegations that we were not taking care of that hurt us all, as far as that reputation goes.

MCINTYRE: Is this a resource problem? Is it a bureaucracy problem? Is it simply that you're overwhelmed? What explains it?

WEIGHTMAN: Well, I think it's not a resource problem. I think, now that we are aware of the problem, we have the resources both within Walter Reed and made available to us from the Department of the Army to fix that. I think the issue is that we had to identify those problems earlier, and we didn't.


MCINTYRE: And that, the general says, is a failure of leadership.

One of the things the Army is doing at Walter Reed is, they're putting more senior commanders in charge of this Building 18 that's had some of the problems, as well as some other facilities.

But they -- again, you heard, they insist it's not a question of money. It's a question of -- of making the living conditions for wounded veterans the top priority that it should be -- Don.

LEMON: OK, Jamie, that's what they're doing at Walter Reed. And, you know, sometimes this will lead to investigations and changes at other facilities.

What about other military facilities or hospitals?

MCINTYRE: Well, the main place where wounded veterans are treated are both at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital. They are going to get the initial scrutiny.

But it is true the military has facilities in other places, in fact, around the world. And now the Army is going to take a look at all of those to see what the living conditions are there. They don't want to face another series of embarrassing disclosures, having, you know, perhaps correcting a problem at Walter Reed, only to discover they have got another situation someplace else.

So, they're going to take a look at everything.

LEMON: Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre, thank you so much.

Drawdown in Iraq -- many British troops may soon be coming home. Is Prime Minister Tony Blair reexamining his commitment to the war and to President Bush? That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: Some love it. They say it gives urban America a voice. Others really, really hate it and claim it's ruining kids' lives.

Ahead in the NEWSROOM: the hullabaloo over hip-hop.


LEMON: All right. You don't want to miss this one tonight on "PAULA ZAHN."

The lyrics can be shocking, the images even more so. Love it or hate it, hip-hop is huge. And it's hugely controversial. Is it art, or is it poison?

Well, CNN's Paula Zahn is focusing on that tonight in a prime- time special report. And she joins me now with a preview.

And you know what? It's certainly very controversial, Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: It's very controversial, because, when you pose that question, I think it's really hard for anybody to honestly answer that, one way or the other. And you will hear that from some of our guests tonight.

As you know, Don, hip-hop is everywhere, and it's much more than rap music. For some, it's an entire lifestyle. They say it's reality that we're listening to. And there are a lot of concerns about how hip-hop treats women.

I think anybody with a teenage daughter, as I have, and any of you out there with kids, period, are not at all crazy about the portrayal of women, women used in videos solely as sex objects.

So, we have taken an extensive look at this issue. And asked we Jason Carroll to bring it out in the open for us tonight.

We warn you, some of these images, you might find offensive.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Since she was 5 years old, Celestina Henry dreamed of being a serious dancer. But her professional debut came in a hip-hop video with 50 Cent. It involved a lot of exposure.

CELESTINA HENRY, ACTRESS: I never had aspirations to be in a video. I had aspirations to be a dancer, aspirations to be an actress. And I thought about different ways of getting exposure.

CARROLL: Celestina changed her name to Celestine Rae after her performance, which was mild by the standards of some hip-hop videos. Critics say these portray a negative image of black women, even calling it porn for beginners.

JERMAINE DUPRI, RAPPER-PRODUCER: If people don't like it, and they think that it's -- you can always turn it off. You know what I mean? So, people act like they can't turn it off. And you -- you don't got to watch the booty videos. But the people that talk about it, they're so intrigued, they want to see it.


LEMON: Well, Paula, just, you know, riveted, watching this now. We just heard one rapper say -- quote -- "If you don't like rap music today, you can just turn it off."

But there are some -- some pretty big hip-hop stars who say the music and the lyrics and the videos, well, they're -- they're ruining black culture.

ZAHN: And we will be talking to probably the most prominent voice just -- saying just, Chuck D, who was around when hip-hop was in its infancy.

And he looks back at the early days with such great fondness, because he felt there was a real message and a real rawness that was -- was -- that was being conveyed through the music. And what he is outraged about today is not only how women are portrayed -- and you just saw in that video, although I'm sure that dancer made a tremendous amount of money, and that was her choice to make that video -- that is how women are commonly portrayed.

He's also very angry about how gays are portrayed, finds much of the music homophobic, and is very concerned about these studies that show, in some cases, listening to this music and seeing these kind of images of gangster life actually inspire violence.

And, so, he thinks that there is a responsibility by the recording industry to stop doing this kind of music. But, Don, as you and I both know, we're talking about a multibillion-dollar industry here.


ZAHN: And it is primarily supported by whites. Eighty percent of the consumers are -- are white folks.

So, you know, who -- who knows where...


ZAHN: ... this controversy goes from here.

LEMON: And you know what, Paula, the interesting thing -- because people who defended, say, you know, the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra and those guys, talked about, really, the same thing, about women and drinking and money. But, you know, they didn't use quite the lyrics.

ZAHN: Right.

LEMON: This is going to be very interesting, to watch that report tonight...


ZAHN: Yes. And...


ZAHN: But Frank Sinatra, you know, wasn't around in the era of videos, where you saw...

LEMON: Right.

ZAHN: ... men swiping credit cards across the naked rear end of women.

LEMON: Absolutely.

ZAHN: So, they might have talked about...


ZAHN: ... the objectification of -- of women, but it certainly wasn't conveyed...


ZAHN: ... the way it is today in hip-hop.

LEMON: Paula Zahn, can't wait to see it. Thank you so much for joining us.

ZAHN: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: And, again, it is "PAULA ZAHN NOW," "Out in the Open" special report, "Hip-Hop: Art or Poison?" tonight at 8:00 Eastern.

And you can vote on that very question on our Web site. Just go to WHITFIELD: Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a movement. And his name still inspires reference. So, why are many streets named in King's honor now magnets for crime and poverty? We will explore the disconnect -- straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: Well, this new video -- new video just makes you say, aww.

This tiny little baby, now four months old, 15-and-a-half inches long, and weighing just four-and-a-half pounds, and that is progress, ladies and gentlemen, because the baby was born just 21 weeks in the womb, and born just 10 ounces, the size of your hand, or the size of a can of coke, or even a pen. So, now the baby's going back home with the family. And there's the mama.

SONJA TAYLOR, MOTHER: ... say thank you for all the doctors and nurses, the R.T.s, P.T.s, social work.

And thank you to Baptist Children's Hospital for such wonderful care with Amillia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got the word early this morning?

S. TAYLOR: Yes. They called me first thing this morning to let me know -- that was my wakeup call -- she's coming home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, you said hurry, Eddie. Hurry.

S. TAYLOR: Yes, yes.


S. TAYLOR: I said, let me hang up and call them right now.

So, yes, we're delighted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eddie, what do you have to -- what do you have to do when you get home? Do you have oxygen and breathing monitors?

EDDIE TAYLOR, FATHER: Got all that ready.



WHITFIELD: So, a very, very happy parent there, Sonja and Eddie Taylor, glad to now be able to take their 4-month-old baby, Amillia, home for the first time after the baby has been under incredible care there at the hospital in South Florida, after being born so premature.

Congratulations to all of them.

So, this woman plays a doctor on TV, but now it's ABC that's doing the surgery. The network is prepping "Grey's Anatomy" for a transplant. What's that all about?

Susan Lisovicz is in the New York Stock Exchange with details on that, changes in Hollywood.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, yes, changes in Hollywood and a lot of money for ABC, if it works, Fredricka -- ABC surgically removing part of "Grey's Anatomy" to see if it can survive on its own.

It's a bold move, but it could bring in millions of top-drawer prime-time ad dollars, if the spinoff is successful. The idea is for the character Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd -- she is McDreamy's ex- wife -- to get a show of her own.

"Grey"'s creator has agreed to write a two-hour pilot for the new series. It's expected to air in May, enough time for the network to decide if it wants to pick it up in the fall.

Fred, do you watch "Grey's Anatomy"?

WHITFIELD: Sorry, I don't.



WHITFIELD: I know I'm probably one of very few that doesn't watch it.


LISOVICZ: Well, I watch it, I think, because of a certain male doctor.


LISOVICZ: Oh, yes.


WHITFIELD: That was the hint.


LISOVICZ: But then there's McSteamy, too, you know, and she's sort of -- Dr. Montgomery Ward has -- she's had relationships with both, and she's kind of through with both of them. So, it's a good time.

WHITFIELD: Oh, listen to you.



WHITFIELD: Giving us the details.

LISOVICZ: I can analyze this. It's a good time for her to move on.


WHITFIELD: I'm seeing it. I'm hearing it.


LEMON: Susan, you're shvitzing. Look at you.


LISOVICZ: I'm blushing.

WHITFIELD: I love it.

LISOVICZ: And it's not cosmetics here.


WHITFIELD: Well, maybe he's watching and will give you a call.


LISOVICZ: I don't think so.

WHITFIELD: All right.

LISOVICZ: He's happily married, I hear, in real life.

WHITFIELD: Yes, I think with a new baby, too. I think I heard that.

LISOVICZ: That's right, yes.

WHITFIELD: All right.

Well, let's talk about, you know, the track record of these spinoffs. How well do they usually do?

LISOVICZ: Well -- well, you know, there have been lots of them over the years. And there have been lots of successes, and some very notable failures.

Some of TV's most popular shows have been spinoffs, including :The Jeffersons" and "Maude," both spawned from "All in the Family" in the mid-'70s. And "Frasier" was spun off from "Cheers" when that show ended in 1993.

But "Joey," one of the six roommates from "Friends," only lasted two seasons, definitely not must-see TV, when NBC put it up against FOX's "American Idol." So, that was a tough, tough comparison, obviously, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Wow. Well, yes. And it's -- it's tough out there.

But I loved "Frasier." So, that was a good spinoff. LISOVICZ: Mm-hmm. Exactly.

WHITFIELD: All right, let's talk about another popular character who will be getting a little bit of face time.



LISOVICZ: And this one is somebody a lot of us grew up with.


LISOVICZ: I mean, whether -- you didn't have to really necessarily tune into a certain program to know the Maytag repairman -- Maytag holding a casting call for its lonely repairman.


LISOVICZ: You know him. He is the one who has no work because Maytag says its appliances are so dependable.


LISOVICZ: Whirlpool took over the company last year. It says it wants to energize the old ad campaign with the new face of Maytag.

And get this, Fred.


LISOVICZ: The AP says that among the 200 men who auditioned in Chicago yesterday...


LISOVICZ: ... the backup quarterback to Super Bowl hero Peyton Manning...


LISOVICZ: ... who has only missed one play because of injury in his nine-year NFL career.


LISOVICZ: So, this guy -- his name is Jim Sorgi -- he says he could really relate to the boredom associated with the Maytag...


LISOVICZ: This is not a joke. It's actually...

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. Well, it's making me laugh. It's funny. LISOVICZ: He's looking -- he's looking for a little extra work. We don't know if he will make the cut. I think there's going to be another casting call here in New York later this week.


WHITFIELD: Well, I guess, you know, the interpretation is, people feel like there's real job security with that gig.

LISOVICZ: Very short shelf life in television and with professional sports.


LISOVICZ: And in terms -- terms of action on Wall Street, well, not a whole lot of action here on Wall Street either.


LISOVICZ: The Dow industrials are actually off their lows, but still down about 48 points, about a third of a percent. The Nasdaq is flat.

And that is the latest from Wall Street and from prime-time TV. I will have a wrap-up of the trading day in 30 minutes.

You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon, live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

WHITFIELD: And I'm Fredricka Whitfield, in for Kyra Phillips.

Insurgents claim credit. Nowm the U.S. military supports the claim that enemy fire brought down a Blackhawk helicopter. Wolf Blitzer has the story straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.

LEMON: U.S. helicopters shot down in Iraq, eight in 32 days. A short time ago, we learned more about the latest case from earlier today.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer spoke to a U.S. general in Baghdad.

Wolf, what did you find out?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We found out that this was another incident in which the helicopter apparently was shot down. It was forced to make a hard landing west of Baghdad.

Don, everyone on board this U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter apparently OK. But it does raise, once again, renewed concern that the insurgents are finding more sophisticated ways to go after U.S. helicopters.

Here's what Major General William Caldwell told me just a little while ago in an interview in Baghdad.


MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: We initially reported it as making a hard landing. Indications are now -- again, it's preliminary, but the indications are now that it was brought down by small arms fire and RPGs, rocket-propelled grenades.

It did land safely. All nine occupants were transferred to another helicopter, and the helicopter currently is secured and they are assessing the damage.


BLITZER: What General Caldwell also said is there's no doubt right now the insurgents have improved their efforts at going after U.S. helicopters.

And as you know and as our viewers know, helicopters are so important for the U.S. military operation in Iraq right now because travel along the roads is so extremely dangerous, given the roadside bombs, the improvised explosive devices, the lack of ability to deal with some of these explosives. So they usually try to fly over in these helicopters.

It's been relatively safe until a few weeks ago when there was a spate of helicopter attacks and seven or eight now have gone down, most of them due to hostile fire -- Don.

LEMON: And, Wolf, you said they usually fly over. They're able to -- did he talk at all during the interview about the change of tactics for the U.S. military?

BLITZER: No, he didn't get into that. But we do know that one way of avoiding these kinds of small arms fire, the RPGs, is to fly at a higher altitude. The problem then is once you go to a higher altitude, then those shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles, they become more effective so it's almost like a no-win unless you're flying really high, and then very often, you defeat the purpose.

So they have new tactics that they're doing, but it's no simple solution to this increasingly growing problem.

LEMON: Yes. Very interesting stuff.

Wolf, 5:00 p.m. Eastern, right?

BLITZER: The interview will air during our 5:00 p.m. Eastern hour. The "SITUATION ROOM", though, as you and our viewers know, starts in a little while, right at the top of the hour, 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

LEMON: Thank you, Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: Thanjks. WHITFIELD: Well, it's America's biggest ally in the war on terror and the war in Iraq: the United kingdom. British forces in Iraq number more than 7,000. But that's about to change.

Here's CNN's European political editor Robin Oakley.


ROBIN OAKLEY, cNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The reduction of British troops in Iraq comes too late for the family and friends of Private Luke Simpson. They buried him Wednesday, the latest British soldier killed in Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Blair says he can pull British troops out now because Iraqi forces are doing more and more.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The actual reduction in forces will be from the present 7,100, itslef down from over 9,000 two years ago and 40,000 at the time of the conflict, to roughly 5,500.

OAKLEY: Blair says the role of remaing British troops will change.

BLAIR: The British forces that remain in Iraq will have the following tasks: training and support to Iraqi forces, securing the Iraqi-Iran border, securing supply routes and above all, the ability to conduct operations against extremist groups and be there in support of the Iraqi army when called upon.

OAKLEY: The move comes as President Bush is sending 21,000 more American troops to Iraq's center to try and stem rising sectarian violence.

The prime minister says more troops are needed for that, but says it isn't the case in Basra in Iraq's south.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: The British have done what is really the plan for the country as a whole, which is to be able to transfer security responsibilities to the Iraqis as conditions permit.

I would just note that the United States -- the deployment of the American forces is in an area in which the circumstances are somewhat different, more complicated, the threats are more complicated. You have an al Qaeda threat in the area in al Anbar province. You, of course, the particular brand of sectarian violence in Baghdad.

OAKLEY: Britain's main opposition backs the withdrawal plan, but raised fears about the safety of remaining British troops.

DAVID CAMERON. CONSERVATICE PARLIAMENT MEMBER: What steps will be taken to ensure that our smaller forces based around Basra Air Station, is able -- are able to protect themselves from encroaching militias?

And will the prime minister confirm once again that all requests for equipment and for protection will be granted? OAKLEY: The prime minister insists the remaining British troops in Iraq will be more than able to protect themselves. Blair said he hopes for more withdrawals, but that British soldiers will remain in Iraq into next year, as required.

(on camera): A prime minister keen to focus on other aspects of his political legacy, northern Ireland, the Middle East peace process, clearly felt he had taken a symbolioic first step with the troop reduction announcement.

But other politicians were suspicious that it owed as much to a forthcoming round of elections in Britain as to the strategic situation on the ground in Iraq.

Robin Oakley, CNN, London.


LEMON: Well, the Brits aren't the first to pull troops out of Iraq and they won't be the last. Here's a check of coalition troops still there.

Since the start of the Iraq war more than four years ago, 17 countries which had troops in or supported operation there ahve pulled out. Of the more than 20 countries remaining in what President Bush calls the coalition of the willing, South Korea has the largest number of troops in Iraq after the United States and Britain. But the South Korean force has shrunk from a high of about 3,600 in 2004 to around 2,300 now. Most are based in Kurdish areas in northern Iraq.

Seven countries supply the majority of the remaining foreign troops in Iraq. Included in that group is Denmark, which now says it will withdraw some or all of its 470 troops. Poland, at 900, has the fourth highest number of troops in Iraq. The Poles are deployed in the south central part of the country. After Poland is Australia, with about 900 troops in southeastern Iraq.

Next is is the former Soviet republic of Georgia, with around 800 troops based in north-central Iraq. Romania has more than 600 troops, also in the southeast. El Salvador and Bulgaria have a total of about 530 troops deployed in the south-central part of the country.

WHITFIELD: Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a movement and his name still inspires reverence. So why are so many streets named in King's honor now magnets for crime and poverty? hwe'll explore the disconnect straight ahead in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: The racial divide is an issue Americans often discuss privately but rarely acknowledge publicly. We're talking about it today as CNN uncovers America. Our T.J. Holmes isn't far from the CNN Center in Atlanta, on the city's west side. He's set to take us on a journey down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive -- TJ?

T.J. HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello there, Fredricka. We're wrapping up.

We've had a day long journey, really, and this is where we're wrapping it up today. We're on MLK Drive in the historic west side neighborhood. This is an area really you walk down the street, and you will find a story and find some history just about on every block.

For example, I can give you one shot here across the street at a center in this building you're looking at over here, this is Pascals (ph), and this is an area actually where many -- a building where many civil rights leaders actually met to plan strategy during the civil rights movement.

Not unfortunately, what you'll also notice there is that it's boarded up and a lot of it is not being used right now, unfortunately. That is the case down here on many spots here on MLK Boulevard. A lot of boarded up buildings, places not being used. Not a lot of economic development and things happening.

And that is certainly a sad, sad case for a lot of people who remember what this once was. What it is today, but they also have hope what could be in the future.


ROBERT BULLARD, CLARK ATLANTA UNIVERSITY: This street was called Hunter Street. It was a thriving business corridor. And the neighborhoods surrounding the universities, Atlanta University Center, were basically middle class, black neighborhood homeowners, solid, stable. And then you started to get integration and people moving out and money moving out and people following jobs. And you got that economic decline.

HOLMES: Robert Bullard has studied the mean streets of this area of MLK Boulevard for decades. He teaches at nearby Clark Atlanta University, and has seen the poverty and crime in the west side neighborhood firsthand.

(on camera): Is it unfair, I'm sure you've heard the joke, everybody talks about the Chris Rock joke about talking about MLK Boulevard, if you own one, you'd better run, it's a dangerous place. Is that -- I mean, he was making the joke there, but some might have said he had a good point. Do MLK Boulevards have a bad rep around the country, or was Chris Rock kind of right on?

BULLARD: Well, I don't think MLK Boulevards have any more dangerous elements or any more crime or anything that would be negative that's not associated with urban neighborhoods.

As a matter of fact, I would say that many of the -- most of the MLK Boulevards may be better off than many other major corridors within the African-American community. The simple reason, historically, many of our businesses were located on those major thoroughfares that were given the name MLK.

HOLMES (voice-over): But Bullard contends that even with the success of some of these MLKs, in general, the surrounding neighborhoods still lag behind the economic growth of the more prosperous white areas.

(on camera): Who should be taking responsibility for bringing back an area like this?

BULLARD: Atlanta has one of the largest concentrations of black millionaires per capita of any major city in this country. So it means that there has to be some responsibility for those -- those entrepreneurs who are African-American or whoever to see these neighborhoods as opportunities.

HOLMES (voice-over): But Bullard is afraid this new development won't benefit everyone here.

BULLARD: Unless our communities are -- have the kind of economic development and revitalization that involves the local communities, you're going to get some displacement and gentrification hat I think may have detrimental impacts on these historic neighborhoods.


HOLMES: Well, some of those buildings you saw, old buildings not being used, being run down, actually Bullard believes within a year, two years, three years, they'll be gone and there will be businesses thriving down here.

Why? Partly because of what you see behind me. New development has come in. There's a bank here, a grocery store, some new things coming in, land here for sale and also condos. You see new homes being built, town homes being sold and certainly that is the key to get people back down here.

You get people back down here and living here, they're going to expect certain things and they're going to expect to have shops. They're going to expect to have restaurants. So business owners will want to come here because they'll have a built-in clientele. So Fredricka, even though the area has gone through a downturn, certainly there is reason to have hope that once again the west side neighborhood will be back.

WHITFIELD: So T.J., I have to wonder because we're not talking about a neighborhood that is new. And when we talk about many people in the neighborhood applauding the fact that there's now a bank there, there's now a grocery store there, are some of the residents there speaking about how disappointing it is that it's taken this long to get these kinds of basic services that most neighborhoods get immediately?

HOLMES: You know, that is one of the biggest things we heard. We heard everybody talk about that grocery store right there. Every neighborhood you're in, no matter where you are, you got people living there, everybody needs to have a grocery store, it's a staple of any community.

And that really spoke wonders to us, that everybody we talked to was amazed that that grocery store has only been here two or three years. But it took that long to get that. Some of these things just take time. People just have not been willing to invest in this area.

But slowly but surely, as things come in, people will come in. And those people that come in will bring new things. And it's a cycle of economic development. You know how it goes, and it's just taking a little longer for this community. There's been some frustration, but certainly things are -- people have certainly a new reason to hope down here.

WHITFIELD: T.J. Holmes, thanks so much on MLK Drive in downtown Atlanta.

Well explore other street names for Martin Luther King Jr. on our Web site. It's part of a special interactive online report. Just click on to

LEMON: Well the first presidential primary is 11 months away, but the sniping is already starting. The campaigns for the two leading Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, are trading words today.

The Clinton camp wants Obama to disavow criticism of her by Hollywood exec David Geffen. Now, the comments were first reported in the "New York Times" and Obama's team is refusing.

Now his spokesman in fact notes a comment this week by South Carolina state senator backing Clinton who said Obama can't win the White House because he's black. The man later apologized for that one.

Early front-runner Hillary Clinton is among the eight Democratic presidential hopefuls attending a candidates' forum this hour in Nevada. Now the closest they'll come to debating however is a group photo. Each candidate will take the stage separately over two hours answering questions from a moderator and an audience of union members. The caucuses have moved into a prominent spot on next year's political calendar right after Iowa and just before New Hampshire.

WHITFIELD: Shocking statistics about women in prison. Straight ahead, most of them are mothers. So what's happening to their kids?


LEMON: Well, women make up a tiny fraction of the U.S. prison population, but the female inmate population has exploded since the mid 1970s. Today, more than one million American children have moms behind bars. Documentary filmmaker Shola Lynch went inside prison walls to find the stories behind the statistics. Now here's our second excerpt, "Tamara's Story".


SHOLA LYNCH, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER (voice-over): I met Tamara here outside of Lincoln, Nebraska, where she's serving out a 22 month prison sentence. Her crime? Check fraud and then a parole violation for marijuana use.

TAMARA, INMATE: I came back here when I was two and a half months pregnant.

LYNCH: Tamara gave birth to her son Tameer (ph) while locked up.

(on camera): Somewhere between five and 10,000 women when they are convicted are pregnant. The usual case is a woman has her child, it's taken away and immediately put into foster care or given to a family member.

ANN JACOBS, WOMEN'S PRISON ASSOCIATION: It's tremendously upsetting for mothers to not know where their children are and to not feel like they can play any kind of role in taking care of them.

LYNCH (voice-over): Ann Jacobs is the president of the non- profit Women's Prison Association.

JACOBS: The number of women in prison has increased 757 percent in the period of time between 1977 and 2004. That's a shocking statistic on its own.

And this is not because there's more crime. In fact, a significant part of it is because we've put so much of our energy into this war on drugs.

LYNCH: The biggest losers in this war? The 1.3 million children whose mothers are in prison in this country.

(on camera): How is it affecting their lives and their futures?

We don't know. What we don't want is prison to become a revolving door or to be the answer to the problem.

(voice-over): But here in this small nursery, Nebraska prison officials are trying to invest in the future of these kids and these mothers, just 15 at an a time, hoping to give them both a second chance.

JOHN DAHM, WARDEN, NEB. CORRECTIONAL CTR. FOR WOMEN: Statistics nationally show that a child is more likely to grow up and go to prison if one or both parents have been in prison.

TAMARA: Even though I take classes and I go to meals and thins without him, probably out of a 24 hour period, I spend 22, 21 hours with him. You know, so we have that bond.

LYNCH (on camera): I thought it would be rows of, you know, cribs and bars everywhere. And while it is a prison and the nursery is guarded and locked, when you go through those doors, it feels like day care, it feels like a nursery.

TAMARA: It's as comfortable as it can possibly be for the babies and it really is an environment that's set up for the babies. It's not, you know, for us. You know, we're -- enough for us to even have our babies with us. But it's set up for them.

Without a program like this, I wouldn't be able to learn how to be a mom. You know, hands on. You know, I wouldn't be able to say, "OK, yes, I made mistakes, but I am being an active part in my son's life."

LYNCH (voice-over): That's something John Dahm gets. He's the warden of the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women.

DAHM: It's that litany of failure, failure, failure. And I recognize that we get people, you know, at the bottom end of the funnel. And somehow we've got to break that litany of failure.

TAMARA: I just can't imagine my life without my son. Yes. I can't imagine my life without my son. It's not an option. I can never imagine my baby calling anybody else mommy. And I can never imagine my baby waking up and saying, "Where is mommy?"


LEMON: Well, tonight on "A.C. 360", Shola Lynch looks at the revolving prison door and the challenges convicts face after they're released. That's tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

WHITFIELD: The closing bell and a wrap of the action on Wall Street straight ahead.


WHITFIELD: Closing bell is about to ring on Wall Street.

LEMON: Susan, what do you have for us?


LISOVICZ: Now it's time for the "SITUATION ROOM" and Wolf Blitzer.


© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines