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Utah's Biggest Blaze; Congress and White House Battle Over Executive Privilege; Possible No-Confidence Vote for Nuri al-Maliki

Aired July 9, 2007 - 09:00   ET


TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Tony Harris.

BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, good morning, everybody. I'm Betty Nguyen, in for Heidi Collins today.

And you can watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on this Monday morning. It is July 9th.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Southwestern Utah seared by an out-of-control wildfire. It covers land about half the size of Rhode Island.

HARRIS: U.S. troops in Iraq. Congress considering fresh options on withdrawal this week. Could the president beat them to the punch?

NGUYEN: Antidepressants now the most prescribed drugs in the U.S.

Prescription boom, that's in the NEWSROOM.

Let's start with this, that growing wildfire out in Utah. An elite federal firefighting team now in place this morning, set to start battling the biggest fire in state history.

Now, just to put the Milford Flat fire in perspective for you, it is 442 square miles and growing. That is an area bigger than the cities of Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington all combined.

Our Kara Finnstrom is there live this morning.

And when we talked to folks over the weekend, Kara, none of it had been contained. Any progress today?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. Still zero percent containment. But the hope is that's going to change.

You mentioned a new firefighting force coming into place. Until now, this has been a state operation. Well, it's now becoming a federal operation.

That means we are going to go from about 100 firefighters, mostly volunteer firefighters, local firefighters from around here, to 500 that are being called in here. Also, more resources coming in, more air tankers and other resources to try and get this battle under control. Until now, they have largely been in a defensive mode, just trying to keep it back away from homes and families, but today they're going to start aggressively attacking it.


FINNSTROM (voice over): A seemingly never-ending fire line now stretching across Utah.

(on camera): It is hot, it is dry, and this fire is continuing to find unburned areas to flare up in, charring acre after acre.

(voice over): Utah's veteran firefighters tell us they have never seen wildfires as intense and swift as the six burning their state right now. They say forest parched by little rainfall and snow, the scorching summer sun and violent wind gusts have created the perfect wildfire season. And this isn't just happening in Utah.

Fires are raging all across the American West. Major fires in Washington, Nevada and California.

KENT TRAVELER, FIREFIGHTER: What we are witnessing here are just extreme fire conditions.

FINNSTROM: Evidence of that, the fire tornadoes popping up, spewing out and scattering fire.

TRAVELER: So those are a very bad omen for firefighters.

FINNSTROM: It's disheartening for Utah families like the Taylors, who took pictures just one week ago of a gift store, now nothing more than ash.

MICHAEL RUTHERFORD, BUSINESS DESTROYED BY FIRE: The fire came around over these -- that hill with the wind blowing, and we had about 30 seconds to get out of here.

FINNSTROM: Not enough time to save anything from this ravaging fire.

RUTHERFORD: Nothing's going to be salvageable except for memories. And I had a lot of good memories.


FINNSTROM: And about 300 homes, we're told, remain threatened today. Firefighters will be keeping a close watch on areas that are close to the fire. But for the most part, this fire burning in wilderness areas, which is good news for the families around here. But there is some concern about the wildlife, Betty, because a lot of food for wildlife, and also for livestock, because there are a lot of ranches around here, has just been consumed by this fire.

NGUYEN: It has really been out of control, Kara. And hopefully they will be able to make some progress in getting that under containment today.

Thank you.

HARRIS: Wildfires are burning right now in more than a dozen states. Here are some of the hot spots.

Mandatory evacuations are in effect in the areas of two separate wildfires in California. The largest has destroyed 34,000 acres. Several structures were destroyed.

Fires killed one person in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Twenty-seven homes have been destroyed there. Authorities say the person who died had gone back into his home to retrieve some personal possessions.

And in southern Arizona, fires are threatening a major mountain observatory, but fire officials are hopeful they can head off those advancing flames. What a scene.

NGUYEN: Yes, it really is, and hopefully the weather can help out.


NGUYEN: Let's talk now about the debate over Iraq. It faces a new milestone this week in Congress.

Senate Democrats will mount a new challenge to the White House's war strategy, and they're going to make the proposals as the Senate considers a Pentagon spending bill. One Democratic amendment is likely to call for most U.S. troops to be out of Iraq before spring.

Now, the challenge comes as the White House faces more Republican defections. Over the past two weeks, at least three Republicans have broken ranks with the Bush administration. In fact, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has canceled a planned trip to Latin America. He'll focus instead on a much anticipated progress report on the war, and that report is to be given to Congress by this weekend.

HARRIS: The heated debate over the Iraq war reportedly is now simmering inside the White House. "The New York Times" reports that inside the administration debate is intensifying over a gradual troop withdrawal.

The paper says some insiders believe pulling troops from high casualty areas could curb more Republican defections. According to "The Times," some administration officials believe narrowing the U.S. mission would allow for a staged pullback. As recently as December, Mr. Bush denounced such a move, saying it was a recipe for defeat.

NGUYEN: Well, a series of attacks ushers in a new week in Iraq. Two roadside becomes exploded near a crowded bus station in central Baghdad this morning. Look at this video. Four people were killed. Nearly two dozen wounded.

Also today, at least four Iraqis were killed in a bombing elsewhere in the city. Another four were shot to death in a separate attack.

The latest violence comeless after a deadly weekend on top of all of that. Since Saturday, nearly 200 Iraqis have been killed in a series of attacks, and the U.S. death toll in Iraq, well, it is climbing once again.

A suicide bomber struck a military patrol yesterday outside the capital. One U.S. soldier was killed, three others wounded.

The U.S. death toll just for July alone -- we're only, what, nine days into this month?

HARRIS: Yes. Yes.

NGUYEN: The death toll stands at 29.

Meanwhile, Iraq's embattled prime minister may be facing his toughest political test. Sometime this week, Iraqi lawmakers could hold a no-confidence vote on Nuri al-Maliki. Iraq's national security adviser says if the vote triggers a collapse of the government, a fallout would be disastrous.

HARRIS: A showdown between Congress and the White House heating up next hour. It is all about those fired federal prosecutors.

Live to White House Correspondent Ed Henry.

Ed, good morning to you.

What do we expect to hear from the executive branch, if anything, this morning?

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, CNN has learned that the White House counsel, Fred Fielding, in about the next hour, is going to be sending a letter up to Capitol Hill refusing once again to comply with the subpoena for documents related to the U.S. attorney case. Specifically, Democrats had set a deadline of 10:00 a.m. this morning for Fred Fielding to do two things. Basically come up with further justification for why the president on June 28th had asserted executive privilege to protect this information. And secondly, Democrats want a log of exactly what documents the White House is withholding.

A senior administration official tells CNN that Fred Fielding will refuse on both accounts, basically saying, first of all, that they had already explained all this on June 28th. They don't need further justification. And secondly, they're not going to turn over a log of what documents they're withholding.

A senior administration official saying, "We have shown an extraordinary amount of accommodation. It is clear to us what the Democrats want is a confrontation."

Now, what Democrats are likely to do now, press for contempt of Congress, charges against the White House. This could very well wind up in the courts as a constitutional showdown. The big question, of course, will be whether this will be decided before the president leaves office. A lot of Democrats charging that what the White House is trying to do is run out the clock -- Tony.

HARRIS: White House Correspondent Ed Henry for us.

Ed, thank you.

HENRY: Thank you.



HARRIS: He is Washington's point man in Iraq. He may become a political fall guy for Iraqi lawmakers. We're talking about Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki facing a major test.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is in the capital.

Frederik, a possible no-confidence vote in the Iraqi parliament. How did we get here?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tony, you're absolutely right, Nuri al-Maliki is certainly standing on very, very shaky feet at this point.

Now, concerning that no-confidence vote, really only minutes ago the Iraqi vice president told CNN that there's nothing to these rumors and there certainly won't be a vote of no confidence against Nuri al- Maliki. Now, the vice president is a Sunni, and he certainly isn't a friend of Nuri al-Maliki. But he says certainly there's not going to be a no-confidence vote from the Sunni bloc.

Now, nevertheless, this government is in a lot of trouble. A large part of the Sunni bloc has effectively walked out of the legislative process. So has a large part of the Shiite bloc, especially that bloc that is loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. So certainly there's not much legislation happening in this government right now -- Tony.

HARRIS: Frederik, what are the implications? OK, so maybe we won't get that vote this week, but this is clearly, as you mentioned, a shaky government at best.

What are the implications for the Iraqi people of a government that can't seem to get much of anything done?

PLEITGEN: Yes, you're absolutely right, Tony. There's massive implications by this weak government. One of the things is obviously security, and that security situation in this country is so dire that some politicians have actually called on the regular people, on civilians, to arm themselves and take security into their own hands.

Now, members of the government, especially the national security adviser to Nuri al-Maliki, said there really isn't any alternative and that getting rid of Maliki would be a big mistake.

Here's what he had to say.


MOWAFFAK AL-RUBAIE, IRAQI NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I can tell you one thing, that after Maliki, there is going to be the hurricane in Iraq. This is an extremely important point to make across to the Western audience and to the Arab audience, as well as the larger Muslim audience.


PLEITGEN: Now, some would obviously say that that hurricane is obviously already happening here in Iraq. And one thing that's also clear is that this would have massive implications for U.S. troops here.

Remember that President Bush sent many more Americans into the combat zone here to try to improve security to buy time for this Maliki government to get some sort of legislation going. And right now that just doesn't seem to be happening -- Tony.

HARRIS: CNN's Fredrik Pleitgen for us in Baghdad.

Frederik, thank you.

NGUYEN: Well, the top drug prescribed by doctors not a painkiller or heart medicine.

Our medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, joins us with this new information.

OK. So, Elizabeth, what type of drugs are the most prescribed? Because I think a lot of people may be surprised here.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. When I first heard about this study, I thought, oh, it must be a blood pressure medicine, it must be an anti -- a cholesterol-lowering medicine. But it's not.

So let's take a look. We're going to give you a little quiz and see if maybe you can guess what the most commonly prescribed medicine is.


COHEN: And the choices are -- was it arthritis drugs, was it high blood pressure drugs, antidepressants or headache drugs?

NGUYEN: I would say high blood pressure.

HARRIS: I would go with arthritis.

COHEN: You are both wrong. And the answer is antidepressants. Antidepressants were the most prescribed... NGUYEN: That makes me so depressed.

COHEN: It is very depressing in many ways -- were the most prescribed drugs, according to this CDC survey. More than any of those other types of drugs. People need antidepressants apparently more than they needed headache drugs or hypertension drugs.

NGUYEN: You know, I was so -- just looking at this, baffled, because I didn't know depression was so rampant in the U.S.

COHEN: Well, apparently it is. And the concern is, is that people -- is that doctors are overdiagnosing it.


COHEN: Now, depression, when it's severe, when it makes people want to commit suicide, for example, is obviously something that needs to be treated. The concern among some experts is that people are seeing ads on television, they're walking into their family doctor, because it's family doctors, not psychiatrists, who prescribe this most of the time, and saying, I'm feeling a little down, I broke up with my boyfriend, I saw an ad, can you give it to me? And then the doctor, who is pressed for time, and who also doesn't do therapy -- I mean, this is the family doctor who just checks someone for strep throat -- is handing over a prescription because he figures that's all he can do and it will make this patient happy.

So, the concern here is not that truly depressed people don't need antidepressants. Obviously they do. But that maybe doctors are overdiagnosing mild depression. That maybe they should just say, you know what?

NGUYEN: Get over it, yes.

COHEN: Take some time, get over it.


COHEN: Exercise helps. Get enough sleep. Eat right. Come back and see me in a while, but maybe...

NGUYEN: Get a new boyfriend. This too shall pass.

COHEN: ... you don't need a drug right now. Right, so that, too, right.

NGUYEN: OK. But, you know, there are those black box warnings for young people.

What is the latest with that?

COHEN: The latest with that is when people are prescribed antidepressants, there's some things they need to be careful about. Now, obviously antidepressants have saved countless lives. But for a small percentage of people, it can make them actually think about committing suicide. So what the experts say, including the Food and Drug Administration, is when someone in your family is prescribed an antidepressant, keep an eye on them for the first couple of weeks, because that's when they would show this kind of suicidal behavior. And if they're given an increase in the dosage of their antidepressant, also keep an eye on them.

They say this is very important because these drugs which are such a wonder for so many people can be bad news for a very small percentage of people.

NGUYEN: Well, and we're talking about doctors who are over- prescribing, and you're putting the onus on the doctor. But the same time, as the patient, you need to go in, and when you're prescribed these antidepressants, shouldn't you be asking some questions?

COHEN: Yes. I have a friend who went in because she was actually having a hard time with her boyfriend and wanted to talk to her doctor. And she said before she could finish her sentence, he handed her a prescription for an antidepressant.

And se said, "No. That's not why I'm here. Can you talk to me about other things that I can do to try to feel better? Can we talk about other things besides drugs?"

And she really herself put a stop to it.

Ask your doctor about what else you can do. There's a lot of science out there that says that eating right, that exercising, that talking to someone might be the answer. And if that doesn't work, then maybe you need to try drugs.

NGUYEN: Well, because I've always been told, if you don't really need the medication, why take it? So if there's anything you can to do not to take medicine, that's probably the best way to go.

COHEN: Right. And obviously if you're suicidal...

NGUYEN: Oh my goodness.

COHEN: ... you probably need the medicine...

NGUYEN: Very quickly.

COHEN: Right, very quickly.


COHEN: And these medicines have saved lives. But there's a big difference between people who are suicidal and people who just have a mild depression.

NGUYEN: Got you.

COHEN: A huge difference.

NGUYEN: All right. Again, widespread. Very rampant here in the U.S.

COHEN: Widespread, absolutely.

NGUYEN: Thank you, Elizabeth.

COHEN: OK, thanks.

NGUYEN: And still to come this morning, an unusual funeral, not for a person, but for a racial slur. The NAACP steps out in the battle against the n-word.


HARRIS: A new generation of air travel. Boeing, man, rolling out the Dreamliner.

CNN's Richard -- who else?

NGUYEN: Richard Quest.

HARRIS: Richard Quest takes a look.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): With as much fanfare as Boeing could muster, the 787 Dreamliner was shown for the first time. This is a medium-sized plane with big ambitions, designed to carry up to 250 people.

It will fly long routes. For instance, Los Angeles to Sydney, or London to Singapore. It is a plane that carries the future of Boeing along with it.

JIM MCNERNEY, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT, CEO, BOEING: To make the world a smaller place, and in so doing bringing all of us closer together.

QUEST: The Dreamliner is a different type of aircraft made mainly from composite materials, not metal. It means it's very light and gives airlines a great fuel efficiency. Up to 20 percent better than current aircraft.

SCOTT CARSON, EXECUTIVE V.P., BOEING: We knew that we had to design a product with the deep appreciation and concern for the environment and for airport communities.

QUEST: From the start, airlines have voted in favor for this aircraft. Forty-seven carriers shave bought the plane. And the best part of 700 planes are now on order, so it's the most successful rollout ever. Singapore Airlines has bought 20 planes, with an option on 20 more.

CHEW CHOON SENG, CEO, SINGAPORE AIRLINES: Well, if it delivers on all it's designed habits and what Boeing promises, it will be a game changer. QUEST: The plane will now go into eight months of intense flight testing. The first commercial model will be delivered in May. This is an extremely ambitious time scale for an aircraft that has so much new technology.

MIKE BLAIR, EXECUTIVE V.P., BOEING: We know how to lay out flight test problems. We have done a lot of risk reduction testing already in the program to eliminate things that typically happen to you in flight tests. We understand how we have structured the program. We have got a lot of confidence that we are going to get this thing done, and done on time.

QUEST: Boeing are keen to ensure the Dreamliner doesn't suffer the fate of the A380, where delays have soured the project.

(on camera): The battle between Boeing and Airbus will continue for many years to come. But as the long list of airline logos on this plane shows, the future of Boeing is resting on the wings of this plane. And for the time being, at least, the Dreamliner has made Boeing's dreams come true.

Richard Quest, CNN, at the Boeing factory outside Seattle.


NGUYEN: Well, from making dreams come true to just shattering them, going up in flames. A massive wildfire cutting through Utah this morning. The biggest in state history.

We are going to talk live with one fire official.

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm Reynolds Wolf, coming to you live from Washington, D.C., where highs are expected to reach the mid to upper 90s.

Coming up, I'll bring you the very latest on the NEWSROOM.



BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: I want to tell you a little bit about business this week. You may be excited about this, Tony, because PlayStation 3, prices are dropping.

TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it doesn't help me now. I already own it, but I paid the higher price.

NGUYEN: Well --

HARRIS: Can I get a rebate of some kind?

NGUYEN: I don't think so. But for those --

HARRIS: Probably not.

NGUYEN: -- for those of you who didn't stand in line and get it, it is --

HARRIS: Yes --

NGUYEN: going to be about $100 cheaper. So there you go. Save a little money today and buy a PS 3.

HARRIS: I could have used that 100 bucks.

NGUYEN: Well, good morning, Tony.

How are you doing?

HARRIS: Good morning, Betty.

Good to see you.

NGUYEN: Apparently you had a great weekend. You're all energized, ready to go.

HARRIS: Well, and you're, too, for someone who has been working like 20 days in a row.

NGUYEN: It's crazy, isn't it?

HARRIS: Hello, everyone.

NGUYEN: Well, good morning, everybody.

I'm here. I'm ready to go. Hope you're, too.

I'm Betty Nguyen here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: And welcome back.

Good morning, everyone.

The bottom of the hour.

A staggering amount of smoke in the air out West this morning. Hundreds of wildfires burning across more than a dozen states. This is the map from the Forest Service. Take a look. And here's what it looks like on the ground. Police dash cam video of the nearly 300,000 acre Milford Flat Fire jumping the highway, making it nearly impossible to see. The fire is blamed for two traffic related fatalities. And the wildfire is also blamed for one death in South Dakota.

At least 27 homes were destroyed in the Black Hills there. Mandatory evacuations ahead of a pair of growing wildfires in Southern California. A firefighting helicopter crashed there. No one was seriously injured.

Let's get more on the massive wildfire in Utah, the biggest in state history, still growing.

Joining me on the phone, Rowdy Muir, who is managing the local firefighters in Kanosh, Utah. Rowdy, good to talk to you.

First of all, my understanding, 442 square miles and growing.

What are you and the firefighters up against today?


You know, we're up against some more unfavorable weather -- more heat, more wind, low relative humidities. We've got quite a little tiger on our hands.


MUIR: But, you know, we're -- we're holding our own and we're going to, you know, go back to basics and anchor the fire and flank it and try to pinch it off at some point.

HARRIS: Yes. Are you going to get some help?

My understanding, initially you had about 100 firefighters.

Perhaps up to 400 more joining the fight today?

MUIR: That's correct. We have about 300 in our camp as of today and we'll see what today brings. But I'm sure we'll climb in numbers and resources.

HARRIS: Rowdy, 442 square miles and growing.

Man, how do you attack that?

How do you set up a perimeter?

Talk us through this process.

MUIR: Well, there was local resources in the beginning. And then they started the anchor point where there's the full end of the fire and then we will start flanking it as at the fire edge cools down. And then, you know, sometime down the road we'll just continue to flank the fire around to the head of it. And, you know, hopefully we'll get a hold of it. Right now, though, it's jumping the and that. You know, we've got resources that are trying to work those parts of the fire.

But basically it's an anchor at the coldest part of the fire and flank around it until we get to the head of it.

HARRIS: How many homes are in danger?

MUIR: Oh, you know, because we don't have a lot of containment on this fire yet and it's so large, it could spread in a lot of directions. So, you know, there could be up to a thousand if it decides to get up and run. But currently, you know, we're down in the hundreds.

HARRIS: Yes. What's the best advice to -- to residents?

MUIR: Our best advice is, you know, clean your homes around from any fuel that's built up around it, water what you can and when the fire comes, just get out of its way.


All right, Rowdy, the best of luck today.

It really does sound like you have a tiger on your hands today.

MUIR: Well, I appreciate it.

HARRIS: The best of luck and we'll check back with you for updates.

Appreciate it.

NGUYEN: We want to take you from wildfires to rising temperatures. East Coast cities just sweating it out today, as a smothering heat wave moves in.

CNN's Reynolds Wolf joins us now from Freedom Plaza in Washington -- and, Reynolds, all they want today is a little freedom from this heat.


NGUYEN: How long is the heat wave expected to last?

WOLF: Oh, Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty. It's going to last, I would say, through tomorrow and then by tomorrow night, we're expecting a front to come through which will bring some scattered showers and certainly some welcome relief, as temperatures are expected to cool down into the mid 80s as we get to the latter half of the week and into the weekend itself.

However, as it stands right now in Freedom Plaza, take a look at the temperature.


WOLF: We're above 100 degrees.


WOLF: Now, if you -- you go out on to the Mall or someplace where there's plenty of grass, it's not going to be that warm.

Look down. Take a look at what we're standing on. We're standing on this -- this nice granite, which, again, it's got a high albedo, meaning that it reflects a lot of the sun's rays.

But, still, those temperatures, man, it cooks out there. We ought to put some bacon, some ham out here and we'll be having a great breakfast in no time.

Jokes aside, though, it is unbearable for people here, because you're going to have temperatures today expected to rise into the mid to upper 90s, possibly getting into the 100 degree range. Then when you factor in the high humidity, it's going to feel much warmer than that.

One welcomed relief, though, that we've, is that we've a little bit of a breeze. You can see the flag poles up here. They're moving just a little bit. So there is some wind, and every single bit helps.

But, still, as I mentioned, you've got a lot of pavement out here, a lot of -- a lot of sidewalks and when you see people here making their way to work, some people going to an early breakfast -- a lot of the tourists aren't out yet, visiting places like the Reagan Building or -- or the Post Office Pavilion or all the way down Pennsylvania Avenue, you can see the nation's Capitol.

But there's a lot of traffic out and things get are going to start getting busy and people are going to have to get out and experience some of this heat.

Now, the thing is, you've got to use common sense in a time like this. You need to keep yourself hydrated. When you can, stay in the shade. You know that umbrellas that -- the umbrella you've been saving for a rainy day?

Well, you can actually use that today, because, you know, any -- any shade you can find will make a world of a difference.

But the biggest thing is you don't want to get out and really exert yourself during the heat of the day, between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00. So if you're looking for an excuse not to go out and cut the grass, this is the perfect excuse for you.

HARRIS: There you go.

WOLF: Now, the City of Washington, D.C. Has set up a bunch of cooling centers around the area. A couple of those places would be -- again, we've got them for you. And let me go through my notes here just to make sure. I don't want to steer anyone to the wrong place. One Judiciary. The other one is at Frank D. Reeves Center. That's about at 14 Mile in Northwest. The King Office Building on MLK Avenue Southeast and the Public Center on M Street Southwest.

Now, Tony, you've spent some time here in Washington, D.C.

HARRIS: You better believe it.

WOLF: You know how hot it can get.


WOLF: Yes. Not a record expected today. But still plenty warm.

HARRIS: But see, I've got to tell you something, we expect stretches like this in -- in the summer. And for the most part, now, there will be some problems -- but we essentially know how to deal with this because it's the mid Atlantic. We understand this.

NGUYEN: That's true.

HARRIS: But you do need to be --

WOLF: It does happen.


NGUYEN: But while you're there, let me ask you about this, Reynolds --

WOLF: Yes.

NGUYEN: aren't you supposed to wear light colored clothing, that kind of thing?

HARRIS: Yes. And look, and --

WOLF: You know, my dad has this great saying of do as I say, not as I do.

HARRIS: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

NGUYEN: And not as I do, apparently.

WOLF: So I'm just following in my dad's footsteps, so to speak --

HARRIS: There you go.

WOLF: -- with these big feet.

NGUYEN: But he has the shorts on, so --

WOLF: So, but, yes.

NGUYEN: He's got a little ventilation there.

HARRIS: And those jacked up sneaks.

All right, Reynolds --


NGUYEN: Thank you, Reynolds.

HARRIS: Good to see you.

Take care, man.

Let's check in now with Chad Myers in the Weather Center -- and, Chad, yes, we go through periods like this in the mid Atlantic. And you know this, as well, where it gets really hot and the humidity is off the charts. CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes.

HARRIS: And then it breaks a bit. But it sounds like we might be in for a bit of a spell here.


NGUYEN: Well, these folks need more than water. They need some rocks in their pockets. They were trapped under a tarp and then, as you watch, the thing starts to take off.

HARRIS: Oh, man.

NGUYEN: Whoo. There it goes.

You see that the guy?


NGUYEN: He was holding onto the back of it and he got drug across the field.

This Colorado Rockies groundskeeper had no way out when a big gust of wind just took control of that tarp. Members of the visiting Philadelphia Phillies, well, they rescued him and helped secure the tarp. A couple of umpires and a Rockies player pitched in.

HARRIS: Over there.

NGUYEN: the rest of the team back at the club. Can -- that is some fierce wind there.

HARRIS: Wait, wait a minute.

But the Phillies were the visiting team --


HARRIS: -- and it was just one member of the Rockies that helped out?

NGUYEN: Yes. That's the way it worked out there.

HARRIS: Well, the --

NGUYEN: He said he might as well go out and help -- help our guys out.

HARRIS: Yes. The Phillies are better citizens than a baseball team. There you go.

NGUYEN: Oh, you just had to say that because of those (INAUDIBLE).

HARRIS: Ten thousand losses as a franchise?

NGUYEN: They're not doing so good this year, but don't rub it in.

HARRIS: Ai-yi-yi (ph).

Yes, that's right. That's so wrong. Cheap shot.

Well, a call to the British people -- take a more active role in the fight against terrorism.

CNN's Alphonso van Marsh has more.


ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- (voice over): Less than 15 days on the job, Britain's new security minister says it could take 15 years to curb this country's terror threat and that the British public needs to lend a hand.

Speaking to the "Sunday Telegraph," Sir Alan West said: Britishness does not normally involve snitching, but in this situation, anyone who's got any information should say something because the people we're talking about are trying to destroy our entire way of life."

The people, West says, are Islamic extremists. And it will take at least 10 years, he warns, to beat them.

CHRIS BELLAMY, SECURITY EXPERT: If anything, that's slightly optimistic if you consider the number of people that we know about in this country who are radicalized and never mind the duration and extent of the threat from abroad.

VAN MARSH: The threat from abroad -- that's what British authorities are looking into as the investigation following the botched car bomb attempts in Glasgow and London spreads. Britain's intelligence agencies are reportedly focusing on the bomb attack suspects' alleged international links. Six suspects are from the Middle East; two others from India.

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: If there was information in one country about the potential recruitment or the actual recruitment of someone to a terrorist group, then that should be information that's flowing to another country. And I want the system, which is the watch list system, where we're trying to expand to Europe a system whereby we know who our potential terrorist suspects, we expand that to other countries in the world.

VAN MARSH: Mr. Brown's call for international cooperation comes the weekend that Britain remembers 52 people killed in the attacks on London's transport system in 2005. The carnage blamed on suicide Islamic extremists.

The former head of Britain's domestic intelligence service recently warned that British authorities are dealing with some 200 groups engaged in, plotting or facilitating terrorist attacks here and overseas. And as Sir Alan West encourages the Britain public to snitch on their neighbors over any perceived suspicious terrorist activity, many Muslims inside the United Kingdom are keen to demonstrate to the public that they, too, are you also united against terrorism.

Alphonso van Marsh, CNN, London.


NGUYEN: Well, there is fading support.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political support for this war is gone. It's eroding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All you hear is an onslaught against the war.


NGUYEN: Republicans divided, Democrats seeing an opening. The war spending debate -- that is heating up.


HARRIS: It's crazy.

Hey, you know, we're pod casting.

Betty, we're pod casting later.

NGUYEN: We are in it to win it today, Tony.

HARRIS: And it's coming together right now. The team is coming -- where's the shot of team cooking it up right now?

NGUYEN: There.

HARRIS: There you go. The team cooking it up right now.

NGUYEN: The international team, that is.

HARRIS: In a couple of hours. Yes, it's --

NGUYEN: Well, they're working on it, as well.


You know to catch us weekday mornings 9:00 a.m. To 12:00 p.m. Right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

But you can take us with you anywhere on your iPod, whether you're taking the kids to camp, you've got some things on your personal itty, you see?

And you decide you need an update on the news. Download the CNN daily pod cast. It's available to you 24/7 right on your iPod. There.

NGUYEN: So essentially we're there when you need us.

HARRIS: Ooh, Betty.

NGUYEN: Dependable.

In the meantime, let's talk to you about this. A funeral for the "N" word. The NAACP says it will symbolically bury the "N" word today. The civil rights organization is holding its convention today in Detroit this week. And today's burial is part of its campaign to abolish derogatory comments aimed at African Americans.


JULIAN BOND, NAACP NATIONAL BOARD CHAIRMAN: I think the Don Imus controversy gave all of us a heightened awareness of how harmful the spoken word can be. And while we're great respecters of the first amendment -- had there not been a First Amendment, this organization would not exist. But we don't believe it's a violation of the first amendment to say to somebody, you ought not talk that way. You ought not denigrate women. You ought not condemn people because of the color of their skin.

So this, we hope, is sending a message to the world, the country, particularly the world, that there are certain words that ought not to be spoken, and the "N" word is one of them.


NGUYEN: Also, delegates plan to march from the convention center to a downtown Detroit plaza, where a eulogy will be given.

HARRIS: A Texas community already getting a jump on the NAACP. It buried the "N" word over the weekend.

CNN's Rick Sanchez reports.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice over): Snoop Dogg reports raps about it.


SNOOP DOGG, RAPPER: Talking like a (OBSCENE WORD OMITTED) get an attitude.


SANCHEZ: "South Park" talked about it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe you said the "N" word on national television. (END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: And last year, comedian Michael Richard's angry rant made headlines about it.





SANCHEZ: Yes, the "N" word is still around nearly 150 years after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery. And the group in Texas thinks it's time to bury it. They gathered Saturday to do just that.

TAMMIE CAMPBELL, EVENT ORGANIZER: I would like for you to take note of the casket. (OBSCENE WORD OMITTED) the first documented use was 1786, which we lay to rest today, 7/7/07.

ROBBIE EVANS, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON: We want positive affirmations from everyone that the "N" word dies with all of this.

SANCHEZ: The message is spreading. Brazoria, Texas is a small industrial city with 2,800 residents. In January, its mayor became did first in the nation to propose an ordinance banning the use of the "N" word.

In March, New York became the first city to pass a resolution.

And in April, music mogul Russell Simmons called on recording artists to stop using it.

Back in Texas, at the "N" word funeral services Saturday, young rapper J Xavier was happy to follow the lead.

J XAVIER, RAPPER: I don't use the "N" word because that's a bad taste in my mouth. So I spit it out. If you feel like me, people wave your hands and shout.

SANCHEZ: Rick Sanchez, CNN, Atlanta.


NGUYEN: President Bush and Congress butting heads over fired federal prosecutors. The White House facing a critical legal deadline this morning.


NGUYEN: The battle for Iraq that is playing out in the halls of Congress. The White House is facing more pressure for a pullout.

CNN's Ed Henry has more.


ED HENRY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: -- (voice over): After a weekend at Camp David, President Bush is facing a Senate showdown this week, with Democrats planning a series of votes on an Iraq exit just as a growing number of Republicans are urging Mr. Bush to pull out most U.S. troops.


SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), INDIANA: I would think the majority of our forces could redeploy by the midpoint of next year, and probably before that time, but by then. And I've advocated a majority to -- to come out of Iraq.


HENRY: Music to the ears of Democrats facing pressure from liberals to end the war.


SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: -- It is time for you -- you Iraqis -- to pull together and work your way out of this civil war.


HENRY: But there are worrisome new signs Iraqi leaders can't stand up on their own, with Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki facing a possible vote of no confidence by the Iraqi parliament that could bring down his entire government.

MOWAFFAK AL RUBAIE, IRAQI NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I can tell you one thing, that after Maliki, there's going to be the hurricane in Iraq. It will be extremely difficult, if nearly impossible, to form a new government after Maliki.

HENRY: U.S. military commanders continue to plead for patience on the security front.


MAJ. GEN. RICK LYNCH, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: So people keep wanting to put a time frame on this. It's just not possible. There are too many conditions that we don't control.


HENRY: But Republicans are divided on whether time has run out.


SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R NB), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: -- The political support for this war is gone. It's eroding.



SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: All you hear an onslaught against the war.

But the question that has to be asked is what do you do if you pull out? What happens then?

HENRY: (on camera): In fact, key Republicans like Senator Lugar are stopping short of embracing Democratic plans to set a firm timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops early next year, raising questions about whether they will back up their criticism with action and actually force a dramatic shift in U.S. policy.

Ed Henry, CNN, Washington.


HARRIS: It rolled over businesses without warning -- Utah's largest wildfire in history.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It came right over these -- that hill with the wind blowing. And we had about 30 seconds to get out of here.


HARRIS: Zero -- that's right, 0 percent contained. A long week ahead for firefighters.

NGUYEN: Also, a sightseer's nightmare -- going down and then coming up wet. We have the rescue for you right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: -- All of the finalists for the new Seven Wonders of the World are well known international landmarks. And many of you have been to these places and you've sent us your photos and videos.

Take a look. This is from Brooklyn Bertels of Illinois. She took this beautiful picture of The Coliseum at night while on vacation in Rome. She says standing inside it, you can sense what it might have been like in its prime.

Annemarie Bain of New York sent us this picture of Machu Picchu in Peru. She says photographs cannot do justice to these unique ruins high in the Andes mountains.

Marcus Pennell of Brighton, England sent us a picture of the Taj Mahal. The Indian landmark was closed on the day he visited back in 2004, so his guide took him around to the back for a view that most tourists don't get to see. Lucky guy.

This is the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. It was taken by Bob Karp in New Jersey. He says it's one of the most stunning things that he has ever seen. David Hunnes of Florida took this picture of the Chichen Itza pyramid in Mexico back in May. He calls the experience "mind blowing."

David Turkel in Virginia says the anticipation builds as you walk through the narrow canyon walls to reach Petra. The scale, he adds, is breathtaking, which you can see by these pictures. Look at David there in the shot.

Finally, this spectacular shot of the Great Wall of China comes to us from Doug Black in Minnesota. He describes walking along the top as a once in a lifetime experience. While the new Seven Wonders voting is over, there is another Seven Wonders campaign that you can still get involved in. This is the Web site -- Unlike the previous contest, these candidates must be natural formations. A good example would be the Grand Canyon or maybe the Great Barrier Reef.

Candidates can be submitted until August 8, 2008, which is 8/8/08. And don't forget, you can end send us your I-Reports at

I'm Veronica de la Cruz for the Dot-Com Desk.