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Floods Strike Central Texas; Firefighters Continue to Battle Lake Tahoe Blaze; Iraqi Troops Still Not Ready to Stand Up?; Subpoenas Served on White House, Vice President for Warrantless Wiretap Program

Aired June 27, 2007 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Fire and floods, wind and rain. South Lake Tahoe and Central Texas.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Homes and in danger. People are stranded on rooftops. Don't even ask about Oklahoma City. It's raining there for a record 15th day in a row.

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

PHILLIPS: And I'm Kyra Phillips. And you're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: Happening right now, the results of more than a foot and a half of rain, pounding parts of Central Texas since midnight. People are scrambling for high ground anywhere they can find it: the tops of cars, roofs, even trees.

They were caught in the storm and some were caught off-guard. Here's what one Texan told us earlier.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last night about midnight, I heard the rain, and I woke up. And actually, my fiancee told me, you know, something's going on outside, you know. We have a newborn, and I walked outside. And I saw the lawnmowers floating down the driveway, the barbecue pit, and the water was actually up to the door on the porch.

And so I told her, "We need to get everything loaded up, put the baby in the car and get out of here."

And so we loaded the baby up and I sent her on her way to a motel, you know, for cover. And I had to go back and get the dog and put the dog in the truck. And the creek washed my truck down and, luckily, my buddy was right around the corner, so he came and picked me up.

And I went back over there today, and everything is just a mess. The house is in the back yard. All of the furniture inside is just covered in mud, dirt. All of the clothes and -- you know, clothes and all the -- she had a birth certificate, you know, with the baby's footprints on it, and it's demolished. And, you know, stuff like that that you can't replace. And we did have homeowner's insurance, but it didn't cover flood. And the house has been there for 22 years and never seen anything like this and didn't think we needed it. You know, we're so young, we couldn't afford it. So we had what we could afford, and it got us at the end.


LEMON: Well, the situation is so bad there, the National Guard is out in force, helping to rescue people. But the wind and the rain were so bad earlier that some helicopters had to turn back. We'll have a live report in just a few minutes.

PHILLIPS: Now rain and flooding in Texas, but gusty winds are the big concern for Lake Tahoe firefighters. Let's check in again with meteorologist Bonnie Schneider. She's at the CNN weather center monitoring all of it.

Hey, Bonnie.


LEMON: Thank you, Bonnie.

PHILLIPS: Well, firefighters worried that they're going to breathe new life into a blaze that's already destroyed more than 275 homes and buildings. Many more homes are now in danger.

CNN's Kara Finnstrom is standing by with the latest. She's in Meyers, California.

What's it look like, Kara?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, firefighters are describing this right now as the calm before the storm. You can see some firefighters behind me. They're going street by street, doing what they call mop-up, making sure that any of the remaining hotspots are completely put out.

But they tell us that around 1 p.m. this afternoon, they expect to be redeployed.

We have a red flag warning in effect for today. Winds are expected to reach up to 30 miles per hour. And yesterday we saw the effect of much less fierce winds, actually, causing the fire to jump over the fire lines and start burning in some other areas.

Our crews did take some pictures of some mandatory evacuations that were enforced yesterday, with people going door to door, knocking and making sure residents in South Lake Tahoe left their homes.

These firefighters tell me they feel for the most part they have kind of tackled that area that was of concern yesterday. But the concern is for today, what's going to happen around 1 p.m. this afternoon. And they say they will be on full alert, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Kara Finnstrom, thanks so much.

And just a quick reminder: in just a little while, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to tour some of the areas damaged by the Lake Tahoe fire, and around 3 p.m. Eastern, we expect him to hold a briefing with reporters. We do plan live coverage of that as soon as it happens.

LEMON: If the U.S. were to stand down in Iraq right now, could Iraqis step up? Not likely says a House panel in a just released report. Despite everything the U.S. has done and all of the money it has spent, the report says Iraqi forces are still in bad shape. And the Pentagon isn't holding them accountable.

Let's go straight to the Pentagon and CNN's Barbara Starr -- Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, you know, if you say the old phrase we used to hear a lot about was, "as the Iraqis stand up, the U.S. troops will stand down."

That's not a phrase you hear very much anymore. Because of course, exactly the opposite is happening. There are more and more U.S. troops in the country now, working those combat operations.

This new report from the House Armed Services Committee warns that, even with all the work that has been done, the capability of these Iraqi forces still remains in doubt.

Let's consider just a couple of points made in this congressional report. Nineteen billion dollars spent so far by the U.S. on Iraqi security forces. How many? Three hundred and fifty-thousand Iraqis trained and equipped.

But mixed progress. How good are they? What can they really do? Can they really make a difference?

Just listen to one of the congressmen who spoke about this report a little while ago.


REP. MARTY MEEHAN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The situation that is very concerning for all of us, you know, we have different views about -- about what we ought to be doing in Iraq and how we meet the challenge that we face. But I think it lays out very clearly the difficulty with actually getting Iraqi security forces so they're trained and independent. And -- and the police situation is -- is even worse.


STARR: You know, Don, many U.S. commanders are now openly saying that there are some -- some very significant issues in getting these Iraqi forces really to be able to operate as a coherent combat force across the country, to be able to move into areas, to really stay there and conduct long-term security operations.

And, finally, the report also warns that some Iraqi security forces are still involved in that sectarian violence -- Don.

LEMON: CNN's Barbara Starr. Thank you, Barbara.

PHILLIPS: They're not setting deadlines or threatening funding, but another Republican Senator has broken ranks with the Bush administration over Iraq. The second Republican Senator in two days.

Ohio's George Voinovich said that the U.S. should start planning now for what he calls a responsible military disengagement.


GEORGE VOINOVICH (R-OH): We're running out of time. And I don't think it's fair to the next administration to say, "Hey, by the way, we're leaving this baby for you guys to figure out."

And I don't think the American people are going to put up with it. I think everybody knows that -- that we fumbled the ball right from the beginning on this.

And I think that one way that they can make up for it is to say we're going to do this disengagement in a comprehensive way, involve the world community, make sure that that area is stabilized and that we don't end up with chaos and a civil war.


PHILLIPS: Now earlier, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana said the current troop buildup isn't getting results.

He and Voinovich still oppose attempts by some Democrats to set a firm pullout timeline.

Now support for the war in Iraq has never been lower, or so says the newest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll. Only 30 percent of Americans say they favor the war; 67 percent say they're opposed.

Support for the war has plummeted from 72 percent in March 2003 to 47 percent in 2005 to 30 percent now. Now for the first time, a majority, 54 percent, say the war is not normally justified; 42 percent say it is.

LEMON: We go back now to our top story. Climbing on a car, scrambling up a roof, even scurrying up a tree. People in central Texas are doing anything they can to escape flash floods caused by a foot and a half of rain. Rescuers are out in force, but in some cases, even they can't fight the elements.

Reporter Amy Hadley of our affiliate News 8 Austin is in the community of Marble Falls -- Amy.

AMY HADLEY, NEWS 8 CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don. I'm in Marble Falls, which is about 90 miles west of Austin. And this is where we've been camped out for about three hours.

This is Backbone Creek, and when we first pulled up -- I don't know if you can see that light pole over there. That was downed by the water, as you can tell. It was completely underwater. We couldn't see that light pole when we first pulled up.

So this creek, we understand, is usually two or three feet high. You can almost walk across it. And certainly today, folks have seen a very different sight.

In fact this is the hot spot in town. You can see people coming up, taking a look at the water. Everybody has got their phones out, their cameras out, their video cameras to see what nobody I talked to has ever seen before.

Nineteen and a half inches fell in 11 hours. Of course, severe flooding. We've got some folks here that -- you guys ended up OK, right? You stayed dry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. We stayed dry.

HADLEY: But you have some friends or you've seen some people who had a harder time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We -- we saw this car in a water crossing, and they started drifting off the road. And then we saw the fire department come, and right as they were lowering the basket down to get them, the car floated away, right before they grabbed them, and that's all I saw. But it was really scary, yes.

HADLEY: What have you seen as you've driven around town? I know some roads are washed out. I don't know what this one will look like once the water's gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I was going to take her to daycare, there was a lot of the A.C. units all in the middle of the road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trash everywhere.

HADLEY: Wow. A lot of debris?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Ryan (ph) Automotive, their whole entire parking lot was just destroyed. Cars piled on top of each other.

HADLEY: Yes, describe that limo. I've heard about that scene from a number of people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. We were just driving down the highway and, like, right on the highway there was a telephone pole and the big white limo was just pinned up against it and it was all beat up. The garage doors at the body shop were all bent upwards and stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And on this road right here, if you go further down, there's a big hole in the road. You can't even...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Totally washed the road out from underneath it. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trains washed off the tracks. Really scary.

HADLEY: Powerful water out here.

Another water issue they're facing here in Marble Falls is the fact that the water intake system is down in the city. So there are a number of places that are without water, like some of the fast food restaurants, we understand, are closed, because they don't have any running water.

Mostly people have low water pressure, but we do understand that there are some trucks heading into town with bottled water to deliver to the grocery stores -- Don.

LEMON: Amy Hadley, thank you.

PHILLIPS: Just getting word in now, this is coming to us that a Senate committee has subpoenaed the White House and the office of Vice President Dick Cheney for documents related to President Bush's warrantless wire tapping program.

You'll know this has been a controversial issue since 9/11, the fact that the president wanted to put forward the wire tapping program in order to track phone calls and communications, allegedly against terrorists from the U.S. and overseas. There's been controversy to whether that has been against civil rights.

Now, we're getting word that a Senate committee has subpoenaed the White House and the office of Vice President Dick Cheney for documents related to that program. We'll be working the story and get more information to you as we get it.

Well, it's a question that invites heated debate. Is being gay a matter of choice or a matter of biology? One study says home movies hold the answer.

LEMON: And in Denver, arresting images from a wild police chase.

PHILLIPS: And piecing together a bizarre story. We're going to have the latest on wrestler Chris Benoit and a shocking case of murder-suicide. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.


LEMON: Seventeen past the hour. Here are three of the stories we're working on for you right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Rescuers are out in force in Central Texas in the wake of -- sometimes in the middle of the damaging floods. They're plucking people from rooftops, cars, even trees.

More than 18 inches of rain fell in some areas around Austin.

A Coast Guard search for a fighter pilot ends in tragedy. The pilot's body is found off the Oregon coast, a day after his F-15 crashed on a training run. An investigation is under way with that.

Boosting America's image in the Arab world tops President Bush's agenda today at a Washington mosque. Mr. Bush said he plans to appoint a special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference, a huge coalition of Muslim nations.

PHILLIPS: More now on the subpoenas that we've been telling you about that are circling around the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney.

We're learning that a Senate panel probing the National Security Agency's domestic wire tapping program has authorized subpoenas for the Justice Department to give up documents that show the Bush administration's justification for the secret surveillance.

The panel is reviewing whether the White House properly developed a legal basis for the classified eavesdropping on international phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists.

This happened after 9/11 when the president had implemented this program. It allows the monitoring of a court order of communication in or out of the U.S. of parties suspected of having ties to al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations.

It's been a very controversial program. Many people have come forward, claiming that it works against the civil rights of those involved and possibly those phone calls or e-mails.

The president stepped forward and said he had the authority as commander in chief to authorize the eavesdropping program like this.

Now we're being told that the Senate committee has subpoenaed the White House and the office of the vice president for documents related to the warrantless wire tapping program. So we will follow it and see what happens and what comes of this story throughout the day.

LEMON: And so far to Texas. Eighteen inches of rain fell overnight, causing some massive flooding there. The National Guard has been put out there to help folks who are in need. They've also been searching by helicopter. It's been a tragic situation.

Joining us now from Texas is Chief Gonda Moncada of the National Guard.

Tell us what's the very latest, sir.


LEMON: I'm good. How are you? I thought you were a sir.

MONCADA: Well, I hope you like me anyway.

LEMON: Yes, I do, actually. So can you tell me what's happening, ma'am?

MONCADA: Yes. It's -- it's pretty wet down here in Texas, and the governor, Governor Rick Perry, has activated us. The Division of Emergency Management has called for our assistance.

And we currently have approximately 150 soldiers and some 50 vehicles out anywhere in Texas. Ask me a town and I can tell you, we are there.

But without kidding, we are from Mexico to almost near the Oklahoma border. We are supporting incident commanders, such as the police, the local fire chiefs. We are assisting them with getting folks out of their homes, if they need a ride, because most of our vehicles are the high-profile vehicles, meaning that they can go into areas that are flooded, where other vehicles might not be able to move into.

So we have been going to houses and making sure that the folks there are OK or whether they need a ride to the shelter. We have been helping the police in the areas where the -- the floodgates are being posted, so people don't accidentally drive into a road where they're going to get stuck.

So we have been in -- in many, many areas in Texas. Here locally near Austin, we have been in Cedar Park and Liberty Hill and Marble Falls, where they are -- where they are seeing the largest areas of the flooding.

LEMON: So, Chief, the concern here has been the folks who may be trapped in this weather now. What do we have in terms of people who are injured or possibly who may have perished from this?

MONCADA: I have no data yet as of now as to -- I don't have any data that anybody has been injured, so that's the good news. And later on this afternoon, my ground force packages that are out there are going to report back to us and give us some numbers. In other words, you know, we have been in these areas, and this is what we've been doing.

But so far, we have no reports of injuries or deaths, which is the good news.

LEMON: Tell us some of the problems that you're facing. Because obviously, when you have this much water come through that quickly, it's tough to get around, even with the vehicles that you have that are made to get through that type of water and flooding?

MONCADA: Yes, it's becoming increasingly difficult because of the rain. It's been raining here in Texas off and on for weeks now, and the ground is saturated.

So any rain that accumulates is just going to -- it's not going to have any runoff. And that's what's creating the problems for the folks, because, you know, if you look at your yard and the ground is already saturated and the water starts rising, that's where the major problems are.

So that's where we assist. We go in. We help folks evacuate out of areas. If they have waited maybe a little too long to evacuate, then we can go in and help them out. LEMON: All right. Texas National Guard, Chief Gonda Moncada. Thank you for joining us today.

MONCADA: You're welcome.

PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, disturbing details about the deaths of pro wrestler Chris Benoit and his family. Police say it was a murder- suicide that took several days to carry out. We'll bring you the latest on the investigation, straight ahead.


PHILLIPS: Well, there's an exciting new wireless product on the market this week, and, no, it's not the iPhone, even though we've been talking about that constantly with Susan Lisovicz. She joins us live from the New York Stock Exchange to tell us about the other technology.

What do you think?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's sort of like Paris Hilton this week: you can't get away from it. Right, Kyra?

PHILLIPS: Exactly. Unfortunately.

LISOVICZ: You've got to go there. We're not sure if people will sleep on the streets for this one, Kyra, but wireless carrier T-Mobile is hoping to put another nail in the coffin of the landline telephone business.

You may have seen T-Mobile WiFi hotspots in places like airports and cafes. Now T-Mobile is offering a hotspot, which is a wireless Internet connection, for your home. The service comes with a phone capable of making calls wherever WiFi is available.

With the service, any call that begins in a hotspot is free, even if you later walk around and switch to cellar service.

A growing number of people, of course, have already dropped their home land line and use cell phones exclusively, and services like this could accelerate that trend -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: All right. Meanwhile, there are critics weighing in on the iPhone right now. Right?

LISOVICZ: Yes. And what some of them are saying is that the hype actually -- reality lives up to the hype. You know, we're seeing folks lining up at the Apple store here in New York for the first chance to buy an iPhone.

But there are reviewers who've already tried it out. Writers from "The Wall Street Journal", "The New York Times" and "USA Today" give the phone high marks. Amazing but not perfect is how the "New York Times" reviewer puts it. He says it goes where no phone has gone before.

His few criticism included no ability to voice dial and too many steps to place a call.

The "Journal" said that, despite some flaws, the iPhone, quote, "is a beautiful and breakthrough hand-held computer."

And "USA Today" says with few exceptions, quote, "This expensive, glitzy wunderkind is indeed worth lusting after." And yes, I looked up wunderkind, and it's a prodigy.

PHILLIPS: That's exactly what I was going to ask you. Could you please tell me what that means?

LISOVICZ: Well, one of our colleagues is actually -- has duel citizenship, and so she gave us the correct pronunciation.

PHILLIPS: OK, I'll remember that. There you go.

LISOVICZ: For our international audience.


LISOVICZ: Coming up in the next hour, if you or someone you know is planning to fly this holiday weekend, you'll want to know which airline has been canceling flights. I'll tell you about it in the next hour of NEWSROOM.

Kyra and Don, who I hope was listening in on that, back to you.

PHILLIPS: He's always listening to the new technology reports.

LEMON: I'm not a wunderkind, but I'm a wonder kid.

LISOVICZ: You're a wonderful guy.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh, Susan. We're going to get in trouble one of these days, me and you up here.

LISOVICZ: So what?

LEMON: All right. Yes. Absolutely, she's right.

Thank you, Susan.

Central Texas hit hard by high water. A new round of flooding sends people scurrying to roofs and treetops. It's happening now, and we're on it. Of course we're on top of it. We'll have all of it, straight ahead, right here on the CNN NEWSROOM.


PHILLIPS: I'm Kyra Phillips, life from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon. A foot and a half so far and the water is still rising in Texas.

PHILLIPS: An update on flash floods, an ongoing rescues just ahead. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: Happening right now, the results of more than a foot and a half of rain pounding parts of central Texas since midnight. People are scrambling for high ground anywhere they can find it, the tops of cars, roofs, even trees. They were caught in the storm, and some were caught off guard. The National Guard is out in force helping to rescue people, but the wind and rain were so bad earlier that some helicopters had to turn back.

We'll have a live report for you in just a few minutes.

Sometimes the worst dangers surface after a flood. Here is what you should know. Keep in mind that floodwaters may be tainted by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Also the waters could be electrically charged from downed power lines and always be aware of areas where floodwaters have gone down. They could have weakened roads which can collapse under your car.

Stay away from downed power lines and make sure to report them to the power company. Also service your damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are a big health hazard. Speaking of hazards, watch out for snakes, rats and other creepy crawlers that tend to come out after a flood.

PHILLIPS: I want to update you on a story that we've been following. CNN has confirmed that a Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's office for documents relating to President Bush's warrant free eavesdropping program. Also named in the subpoenas we're told, the Justice Department and the National Security Council.

Now, the committee wants documents that might shed light on internal squabbles within the administration over the legality of this program. You'll remember that this program provided eavesdropping capabilities on international phone calls and e-mails of suspected terrorists. The question is, the panel is reviewing whether the White House properly developed this program on a legal basis. We're being told the documents from Vice President Dick Cheney's office have been subpoenaed.

It could be weeks before investigators learn the toxicology results on pro wrestler Chris Benoit, his wife and young son. The discovery of anabolic steroids and what one officer called a lot of prescription medication in the family home just outside of Atlanta, has raised speculation that drugs may have played a role in the deaths.

Police say that Benoit strangled his wife sometime Friday. Sometime Saturday they say he suffocated his son and later hanged himself on a weight machine in his basement gym. The Benoit case is focusing new attention on what critics might call the dark side of pro wrestling.

Long hours and nearly nonstop travel are just part of the physically demanding spectacle that draws millions of TV viewers. A wrestler who knew Chris Benoit tells CNN's Anderson Cooper that Benoit was constantly working to get bigger and better.


BRIAN CHRISTOPHER, PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER: Wrestling had consumed his life. And I think it was a little to do with his size. He was really really concerned about his size. He wanted to always -- you know, he wasn't the tallest of individuals so he would always want to bulk up and be the size guy that could compete in the main event type of matches.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police say they found steroids and a lot of prescription drugs in his home. Do you think that drug use, that desire to bulk up, had anything to do with his death or did it affect his lifestyle?

CHRISTOPHER: Also now, I can also say you need to check those bottles and see the expiration date. You know, because recently, they have -- they have cracked down. I can personally tell you that they have cracked down on steroid use, drug use of all types. Last time I went to an event, I'm not currently under contract with any major wrestling organization right now, but last time I went to an event, a lot of wrestlers came running up to me and saying, oh, man we get random drug tested worse than you hear about baseball and football players nowadays.


PHILLIPS: The World Wrestling Entertainment is disputing the speculation that steroids might have played a role in the Benoit tragedy. On its Web site, the WWE criticizes what it is calling sensationalistic reporting. It also says that Chris Benoit passed his most recent drug test in April. We're going to have more on this issue of steroid use and professional wrestling, later in the NEWSROOM.

Luis Fernando Josa (ph), a senior investigative reporter for "Sports Illustrated" will join us live. He's been investigating a Florida pharmacy that's at the center of a nationwide probe into the sale of illegal steroid that may be connected to Benoit.

LEMON: If young Americans get their way next year, Republicans could be in trouble. In a "New York Times"/CBS-MTV poll just out today, 35 percent said they consider themselves to be Democrats, 23 percent favor the GOP and 36 percent are independent.

Joining us now with his take on this our senior political analyst Bill Schneider.

So Bill, do younger voters tend to stick with that party affiliation as they get older? That's the question.

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a question for me I guess as a younger voter.

LEMON: Twenty-something, right? SCHNEIDER: Right, exactly. I'm in my extremely late 20s. But the research indicates that voters are imprinted in their youth. The political preferences that they acquire when they are young tend to stick with them for their whole lives. That certainly was true of the depression generation that was young in the 1930s. They remained Democrats throughout their entire life cycle. They're very elderly now, but they are still Democrats.

So if this younger generation today is disproportionately Democratic as the poll indicates, that's likely to stay with them for a long time and affect American politics for a long time.

LEMON: Absolutely and you know what, you look young 20s. I never would have guessed, Bill. A majority of young people polled say they are paying attention to the presidential race which I kind of I think unusual to me. I want to get your take on which candidates they express enthusiasm for? Only two candidates were in the double digits, right, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Why are they capturing the young voters' attention?

SCHNEIDER: One is an African-American, Barack Obama, the other is a woman, first woman president, first African-American president, one of them could be. Young people are open to change. And Obama and Hillary Clinton both seem like something very new and very different on the political scene and that's something young voters have always been open to. They want to shake things up a little bit and a woman and an African-American can do that.

LEMON: But they are also getting a lot of attention as well because of that they may be seeing it, once it gets closer to election time that may change. We'll see. Bill, is there anything surprising in this poll to you?

SCHNEIDER: What was surprising to me was that young people are, of course, as you might expect, very anti-war, but they're not particularly more anti-war, anti-Iraq war than older voters. In fact older voters are a little more pessimistic about the war in Iraq. Why isn't there a bigger difference like we saw during the Vietnam period?

I think the answer is, there isn't any draft. If there were a draft now, I think we'd find a lot more anger and a lot more intense opinion among younger voters and in fact 87 percent of young people polled here said they were opposed to reinstating the draft. If there were a draft, you might find a much sharper opinion differences on the war in Iraq.

LEMON: OK. Let's go to social issues now. This poll asks about a couple of social issues, abortion, gay marriage (INAUDIBLE) issues in other presidential elections, big issues. On the abortion question, young people seem to be a bit more conservative it seems, but not so much when it comes to gay marriage. Can you read anything into this, Bill?

SCHNEIDER: Young people -- I was a bit surprised by the views on abortion. They are not particularly different for those of older voters. They are divided as you see here, between the view that it should be generally available under stricter limits or not permitted. That's just about the same way that voters overall in the country feel on the abortion issue. Interestingly, there wasn't much difference.

But there was a big difference on the issue of same-sex marriage. In this poll, voters under 30, 44 percent as you see here, said that they thought same-sex marriage should be allowed. They favored same- sex marriage in our poll taken in May, when we asked pretty much the same question, only 24 percent of Americans across the country favored same-sex marriage. That's a very, very big difference and it indicates that there is a greater tolerance, a greater acceptance of gay rights, of same-sex marriage among younger people than among those older. That was one of the biggest differences by age in this poll.

LEMON: Bill Schneider, always a pleasure and of course young voters like Bill Schneider will be interested to hear this.

Once again, CNN is raising the bar on the presidential debates. On Monday, July 23rd, the Democratic candidates square off on a CNN- YouTube debate. Anderson Cooper hosts this first of its kind event, live and interactive on TV and also online. And you can see the Republican candidates' debate on Monday, September 17th only on your home for politics and that's CNN.

PHILLIPS: Straight or gay? We explore the science of sexuality in the NEWSROOM: Is being gay a matter of biology or behavior? An intriguing inside look. Stay with us.


LEMON: Roll up your sleeves, America. Today is national HIV testing day. Some 30,000 clinics, health centers and businesses across America are encouraging people to get tested. The annual event is designed to encourage the early diagnosis of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Organizers say education remains the most powerful tool in the fight against AIDS.

PHILLIPS: Uncovering America, homosexuality. Is it something a people is born with or is it learned, chosen or somehow acquired along the way?

CNN Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen looking into the scientific debate of nature versus nurture. Interesting video you've come across to support this.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You have got to see these home videos. Northwestern University researchers did some fascinating research looking at home videos of little kids. Look at this little boy and do you think this little boy grows up to be gay or grows up to be straight? Think about it for a little bit and now, look at this little girl? Do you think she grows up to be a lesbian or does she grow up to be straight? No, I'm not joking.

But researchers showed these videos to ordinary people and asked them to guess, and, you know what? People guessed with surprising accuracy. People were able to predict what these kids grew up to be. And this is research that's being done at Northwestern University. And it says something about are we born gay or we are not gay?

PHILLIPS: What does it say about the science of sexuality? You look at the way they hold their hands, run, maneuver themselves?

COHEN: The judgments were made so quickly. They said just look and give us your feeling. Do you think that this kid grew up to be gay or not? Of course the researchers knew the answer. And they said the fact that people were so accurate predicted so well who grew up to be gay and who didn't, what the researchers say that tells you is that are you born with your sexual orientation. They said even at age three, children demonstrate certain behaviors that people would classify as either being gay or not gay. It sort of set off people's gaydar, if you would.

And the researchers say that what they found is that people are born with sexuality and that you start demonstrating it at a very young age. You are born with your orientation. Some people think this is garbage research but a lot of people agree.

PHILLIPS: What are they looking at? Is it their movement?

COHEN: You're shopping, you're in the mall, you see a man, and you think, I think he's gay. You are not looking at him necessarily. It's just intuitively you have that feeling.

PHILLIPS: Interesting, so other researchers out there as well though, not just looking at videotapes.

COHEN: Right. There's another fascinating set of research that another person at Northwestern is doing. They took people who were gay and straight. He put lights all over their bodies, you see it here and he had them walk in the dark. Now why in the world did he do this? He then had people watch these videos and said, just based on the way this person is walking do you think this person is gay or straight.

Again, they think this points to something inborn, that if someone walks a certain way, then -- and it says something about their sexual orientation, that says something about whether you learn to be gay or it's just a part of you in the same way that walking and how you walk is just a part of you.

Now, if you want to learn more about these lit-up people and whether this person is gay or not, you can go to an article that I wrote on It's up there right now and you can look at these lit up people.

PHILLIPS: So now I want to know, who ended up being gay and who ended up being straight? Now we've seen the kids and seen the lit up people.

COHEN: The lit up people, you have to go to to get the answer, but for the home videos we will tell you the answer right now. Let's play this again so we can have a look. This little boy, who we saw right here, he grew up to be straight and observers watching it just like you're watching it now, they predicted that with great accuracy and said, you know what? There's something about this kid, I think he's straight. This little girl grew up to be a lesbian and again, observers were very accurate. They just took a look at her and said, there is something more masculine about her. I think she's grew up to be a lesbian.

PHILLIPS: Interesting, all right, I want to read your article as well. (INAUDIBLE) Thank you, Elizabeth.

CNN is uncovering America. It's an initiative actually that's going to continue tonight on "Paula Zahn Now." She's examining the changing lifestyles of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. It all begins at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

LEMON: When one door closes, another opens. Tony Blair barely clears a front gate at 10 Downing Street before he's got a new job to do. Details straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


LEMON: Changing of the guard in Britain. The Tony Blair era is officially over. After a decade in office, the British prime minister made a final appearance before the House of Commons then tendered his resignation to Queen Elizabeth. Blair was the second longest serving British prime minister in a century. He has been under heavy fire in recent years for his support of the Iraq war. Even on his last day in office, he has even refused to back down.


TONY BLAIR, FMR. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: What is important to emphasize is that, even as we try to deal with this new situation in Iraq, that it's about terrorism visited in very substantial part by outside elements on the country. We should never forget the hundreds of thousands of people that died in Iraq under Saddam, including those who died through the use of chemical weapons nor the one million casualties of the Iran-Iraq war.


LEMON: And this one was expected. The queen immediately invited Blair's treasury chief, Gordon Brown to be the new prime minister. Mr. Brown promised a new government with new priorities.


GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I will try my utmost. This is my promise to all of the people of Britain. And now let the work of change begin. Thank you.


LEMON: As for Blair, he won't be fading away. He's been named an envoy for the so-called Middle East quartet. That's the effort by the U.S. and European Union, the U.N. and Russia to broker Middle East please.

PHILLIPS: Poison pills, secret agreements with mobsters, black mail jobs. That may sound like something out of a lurid spy novel. But it's actually part of the official record contained in newly released CIA documents from the 1950s to the 1970s. It's just a blast from the past or a warning about the future.

CNN Homeland Security Correspondent Jeanne Meserve takes a look.


JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 1960, Cuban President Fidel Castro targeted for assassination. According to newly declassified documents, the CIA recruited two of the nation's most wanted mobsters to take Castro out with six poisoned pills. The plot was eventually scrapped, but one of the mobsters later tried to blackmail the agency. These revelations and more part of the so- called family jewels, 700 pages of CIA documents that show an agency with few limits in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.

THOMAS BLANTON, EXEC. DIR., NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE: Black bag jobs, wiretaps, you name it. All it took was orders from on high. If the president was mad, sic the CIA on these people. If the president wanted to get rid of some obnoxious foreign leader, sic the CIA on them and there didn't seem to be any serious congressional oversight.

MESERVE: According to one memo, Howard Hunt, an ex-CIA agent, called his former contacts at the agency looking for an accomplished lock picker apparently to assist with the Watergate break-in. Other documents revealed the CIA provided a safe house of equipment for Secret Service surveillance of the 1972 Democratic and Republican conventions. Spy satellites and Soviet subs were among the subjects of Michael Getler's reporting in the 1970s. The CIA put him and other journalists under surveillance to uncover their sources.

MICHAEL GETLER, FMR WASHINGTON POST REPORTER: They have no charter to carry out domestic law enforcement which is what they were doing. And they were way out of line in doing it.

MESERVE: Some say CIA abuses like these could not take place today.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, FMR. ACTING CIA DIRECTOR: Today's structure for supervising the CIA is radically different and so I don't think Americans today need to look at these documents and say oh, my God. What are they doing now?

MESERVE: CIA Director Michael Hayden says the agency now protects Americans within a strong framework of law and review. The documents, he said, provide a glimpse of a very different era, a very different agency. Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.


LEMON: First he built it, then he flew it, all the way around the world. In the NEWSROOM, Barrington Irving and his inspirational story, up next.


LEMON: Take a look although that beautiful rainbow. I wonder what does that mean because this is Tony Blair's home district. That's nice. I wonder what that means. A camera man wiping it. Thank you for that.

PHILLIPS: It's actually in Dutchfield (ph), England, but here's what I'm wondering. Does one part of the rainbow start in Dutchfield, England or Sedgefield (ph), England, central England, and then the other part of the rainbow ends in Ireland with a pot of gold and a Leprechaun.

LEMON: Maybe. Tony Blair's last day. We are going to have to look into that. We certainly hope so.

This is very interesting too, talk about the skies and speaking of rainbows, soaring through the clouds to fulfill your wildest dreams. Take a look at this, Barrington Irving did just that. A short while ago, he flew his single-engine plane to a textbook landing. It happened in Florida. It ends a three-month, solo flight all the way around the world. The 23-year old university student built his plane from more than $300,000 in donated parts. His journey took off in March and eventually covered some 27,000 miles. Stops in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, before returning home.


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