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CNN NEWSROOM

South of England Hit by Worst Flooding in 60 Years; CNN/YouTube Presidential Debate; Colorado Resort Area Buried by Mud

Aired July 23, 2007 - 08:00   ET

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


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

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi there, everybody. I'm Heidi Collins.

Watch events come into the NEWSROOM live on this Monday morning. It's July 23rd.

Here's what's on the rundown.

Towns under water. Rivers still rising. England having its worst flooding in six decades.

HARRIS: Also, wired debate. Democratic candidates take the questions from Web-savvy voters.

A look ahead to tonight's CNN/YouTube debate.

COLLINS: And baby grabbed at gun point. A 5-month-old girl is found safe, but her biological mother could face kidnapping charges.

You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: And at the top this hour, tens of thousands of people stranded by floodwaters this morning in southern England. Rooftop rescues for some folks stuck in the waterlogged homes. Things are bad right now but they may even getting worse.

ITN Tim Rogers joins us from waterlogged Tewkesbury, England.

Tim, good morning to you.

TIM ROGERS, REPORTER, ITN: Good morning, Tony.

Just look at it here. This is a town that is, in effect, marooned. It is surrounded by water and it's never been any worse here.

They are familiar with flooding in this area, but these guys behind me from the Severn Rescue Association have been working flat- out since the rain poured on Friday. And they've been working very hard since then.

And Keith, you have been rescuing people from their homes and taking them out of windows and so on, haven't you?

KEITH HADLEY, SEVERN RESCUE AREA ASSN.: Yes. Over quite a large area. Not only in Tewkesbury, but in Gloucester as well. And been involved with this type of flooding for the last 20 years. This is by far the worst I have ever seen.

ROGERS: I mean, just how bad is it? We're talking to CNN at the moment. I mean, just give the rest of the world some impression of just how bad it is here.

HADLEY: Well, in my memory, it's the worst. People do say it is the worst in living memory. It is unprecedented when you actually see the scale of the damage and the devastation and the misery and hardships it causes people. It is over such a large area. And it's not finished yet.

ROGERS: And you've been taking people out of their homes.

HADLEY: Out of their homes, yes.

ROGERS: And how have they been? Very emotional, very upset?

HADLEY: No. Surprisingly resilient, actually.

We thought there would be a lot more -- a lot more tears, but we took a couple out this morning and they were laughing and joking. But they were very upbeat about it and just glad to be all right. And, you know, we took them ashore (INAUDIBLE) and go back to the house when the flood subsided.

ROGERS: It's been very difficult for you, and you still have got a lot of work ahead of you.

HADLEY: Oh, yes. I think this will be ongoing for the next few days yet, and hopefully we won't get any more rain. But the area has never been saturated by boats from all different organizations from all over the country.

ROGERS: OK.

HADLEY: But we were like the one of the first...

ROGERS: OK. Keith, thank you very much, indeed.

Well, one of the problems here, of course, has been the shortage of clean water that people are able to drink. And that's caused panic buying in some of the stores in this area. And I spoke to a manager there earlier this morning who said that he was finding it difficult to keep it under control.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have never had floods like this down here before. Never. The streets down there, but not this part. We have never, ever flooded.

ROGERS: So, beyond you up here, that would normally be dry land, but now it's even getting covered with water?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. It's -- even since -- I think my grandmother said in 1947, when they had the great floods of Gloucestershire, it wasn't flooded down there then.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROGERS: What you can see behind me is the 12th century Tewkesbury Abbey. That is on a narrow parcel of dry land, but all the land around it is covered with water, five to six feet deep. And the weather forecast is that this is going to get worse. This water is going to rise. And this is a community that is facing a lot worse to come.

Back to you.

HARRIS: My goodness. All right.

ITN's Tim Rogers for us.

Tim, appreciate it. Thank you.

COLLINS: A chance to dry out, that's what thousands of people in Texas are hoping for right now. Rescue teams pulled dozens of people to safety after creeks and rivers spilled their banks.

Torrents of rain trapping people in their homes and cars. The most serious flooding in south and central Texas. Almost a foot and a half fell in some areas over the weekend. So far, no word of any serious injuries.

That, of course, is the good news in all of this. But boy, two areas in the world, as we should say, really, really having a hard time with Mother Nature.

Jacqui Jeras joins us today.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. And, you know, Texas, itself, too, by the way, guys, you know, got hit really hard over the weekend, especially around the San Antonio area. More than 50 water rescues, but the Lone Star State overall has been dealing with flooding issues for well over a month.

The showers and thunderstorms much more widely scattered today. So not everybody is going to get in on the action. But we are seeing some very heavy showers and some thunderstorms right now around Corpus Christi. You can see much drier weather up there in the northern and western parts of Texas. But flood warnings remain in effect for dozens of counties because those rivers are going to take a while to get back within their banks.

We think most of them should be there, we think, by Wednesday. So improvement is on the way, and that's some good news. This week is looking a lot drier than what they saw over the weekend and late last weekend. The northeastern corridor, though, getting in on some heavy showers and thundershowers. It's becoming a mess at some of the area airports. Delays of over an hour at LaGuardia right now.

This is a mostly going to be one-day event, though, for you across the Northeast. That low pressure storm system should be pulling out by tomorrow.

Also, a lot of heat in the West and fire danger across the Intermountain West.

Back to you.

COLLINS: All right, Jacqui. Thanks for that. We'll check in with you a little bit later on.

HARRIS: Take a listen to this next story.

The biological mother of a baby abducted at gunpoint faces kidnapping charges. Police say 5-month-old Madison Ericson (ph) was snatched from her adoptive mother during a home invasion in Mississippi. She was later found unharmed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Under arrest, Jamie Kiefer, the girl's biological mother, and the baby's aunt, Rikki Swann. Authorities are looking for a third woman and a man they say took part in the kidnapping.

COLLINS: Tragedy on the baseball diamond. A minor league coach killed by a foul ball.

It happened in North Little Rock, Arkansas, last night. Mike Coolbaugh of the Tulsa Drillers was standing in the first base coaches' box. A hard-hit ball struck him in the head. He was given CPR but later died.

Coolbaugh had a brief major league career. He was just 35 years old. He's survived by two young sons and his wife, expecting their third child in October.

HARRIS: Four bomb blasts, at least 16 people killed in Baghdad today, 40 others were injured in the car bomb attacks. Iraqi officials say the blast went off in the mostly Shiite district of Karada. Two striking a popular shopping area and a government facility where I.D. cards are issued. The casualties include both civilians and Iraqi police.

COLLINS: Well, it's just hours away, Democratic candidates feeling questions from the Internet. The forum hosted by CNN and YouTube. The candidates such as Barack Obama trying to harness the power of the Web.

Our chief national correspondent John King explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He made his mark as a grassroots organizer the old fashioned way, clipboards and shoe leather. Note the typewriter in this photo from a Chicago voter registration drive back in 1992.

But fast forward to campaign 2008. No typewriters here, the architects of barackobama.com working constantly to spread the word...

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For the cost of war...

KING: ... on YouTube, MySpace, Flickr, not to mention the official campaign Web site, where a click or two finds the next event in a town near you or perhaps just a new ring tone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (SINGING): Obama, oh. Go! Go! Go!

KING: Four years ago, Howard Dean put Internet fund-raising on the map, but failed to turn his on-line money and buzz into enough votes. One reason the Dean campaign veteran who runs the Obama Web operation puts so much emphasis on helping supporters organize.

JOE ROSPARS, OBAMA DIRECTOR OF NEW MEDIA: Folks are forming their own grassroots volunteer groups. There's over 5,000 across the country. Each one of the tools is a piece of the campaign that an individual supporter can own and use to evangelize to their friends.

KING: Every campaign has an Internet presence these days. John Edwards put a premium on social networking sites from Facebook to MySpace to Bebo. Hillary Clinton likewise gets high marks from Web watchers for a creative site, an attention-grabbing videos.

One key target of all the campaign is younger voters. Among all Americans, 15 percent said they relied most on the Internet for political news in the 2006 cycle, double the number from 2002. But among those under the age of 36 who have broadband connections, 35 percent say the Internet is their main source of political news.

JOHN WALSH, FMR. PATRICK CAMPAIGN MGR.: Maybe you're not going to meet them at the chicken dinner or the political meeting but they're instinct lively going to the Web for their information and so you catch them there.

KING: John Walsh helped Duval Patrick go from underdog to governor of Massachusetts in 2006, in part, through Internet organizing he jokes, took some time to learn and to trust.

WALSH: The first heard "blog" was in this campaign. I described my technical expertise this way, I don't know how they put the little people in my TV set, but I know how to use the clicker.

CHRIS HUGHES, FACEBOOK: if I click on Nevada, for instance, to see who my friends are, who are supporting the campaign there.

KING: Chris Hughes is among the founders of Facebook and now among the 20-something's looking to prove the power of Internet organizing. Almost 20,000 people so far have downloaded a special Facebook application to help Obama supporters lobby their friends in early primary and caucus states.

HUGHES: The idea is that I'm reaching out to people I know. I know all of these people I went to high school from her, I knew him from college. We chose to launch and offer a tool set that is more focused on organizing rather than not necessarily having an enjoyable time on the Web site.

KING: In other words, talking blog, and swap videos all you want, but don't lose sight of the basics and the bottom line.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: John King is joining us now live from Charleston, South Carolina, this morning. Of course, the site of tonight's YouTube debate.

John, I mean, it's pretty incredible how the Internet is really playing a role. And this event groundbreaking.

What kind of questions have you seen?

KING: Heidi, they run the gamut. More than 3,000 submissions for the debate tonight. Maybe 30 or 40 of them will actually get asked in the two hours of the debate. But they run all across the issue spectrum -- "When will you get the troops home from Iraq?" "Isn't there a risk if you pull the troops out too early?"

"How will you repair the U.S. image around the world that has been battered somewhat by the Iraq war?" "What will you do about global climate change?" "Should gays be allowed to serve in the military?" "Should gays be allowed to marry?" "What about social security, college costs, health care?"

Some very powerful personal stories from people dealing with their own health care challenges like cancer. Powerful stories from parents who feel an economic squeeze and wonder how they can send their kids to college.

So, the questions run the issue -- the gamut of all the issues. They come from all over America, some coming from around the world. It is a groundbreaking format and really an unprecedented debate.

We're very excited about it.

COLLINS: How much time do we have again if they're going to answer all those questions?

John, thanks so much.

And want to remind everybody Anderson Cooper his hosting tonight's first-of-its kind debate live and interactive on TV and online. The CNN/YouTube Democratic debate, that's tonight, 7:00 p.m. Eastern. And of course, you can see the Republican candidates debate on Monday September 17th. HARRIS: And still ahead this morning, people thought he was attacking her, but he was trying to save her life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The door opened. He was hanging on to the car, and she went speeding up the block. And she was definitely trying to throw him off because she was zigzagging all the way up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: A friend trying to stop a friend from driving drunk is dragged to his death.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Rob Marciano in the Colorado Rockies, where water runs down hill in a hurry. This past weekend, heavy rains brought land down hill and buried an entire town in mud.

A complete report coming up in the NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Also, roadway runway. A World War II-era plane forces modern motorists to slam on the brakes.

No flying around this traffic hazard.

HARRIS: And he pinched the chips and flew the coop. Brazen bird. A brazen bird with the munchies caught on tape here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Wanted to give you some information that we are just getting here in the CNN NEWSROOM regarding a shooting in the Atlanta area. Southeast Atlanta to be specific.

We have, in fact, learned three people are dead and three others injured. This is according to Atlanta police.

It happened about 7:00 this morning. A single story home. And about a half mile east of I-75, if you, in fact, know the area. Once again, that's southeast Atlanta.

No details on what may have led to this shooting or on any of the victims. But once again, three people dead and three people injured at this time.

We're going to follow this one for you and bring you any information that we can possibly gather on it.

HARRIS: So wildfires are causing some big problems out West. Right now, a big blaze in central Utah is still spreading.

Spotty rain giving firefighters there a bit of relief. But it is not nearly enough to put out the flames. Blazing heat over the weekend helped the fire grow to almost 30 square miles. It is about 15 percent contained.

In California, Santa Barbara County, crews are making some progress against a weeks-old blaze in the Los Padres National Forest. It has scorched almost 50 square miles. Right now it is about half contained.

COLLINS: A resort area buried by thick, gooey mud. Dozens of people around Alpine, Colorado, out of their homes this morning after heavy rains triggered mudslides.

CNN's Rob Marciano is there.

Rob, tell us what you have seen so far this morning.

MARCIANO: Well, Heidi, they're not letting residents back to their homes, not just yet today. And they're certainly not letting the media.

We are about two -- about two miles downstream from where that mudslide actually happened. Down the canyon, there's a number of these streams that rolled through. We are very close to the Continental Divide which splits the U.S. pretty much. And on the eastern flank, which we are at, the water goes from the Continental Divide and tries, at least, to flow to the Gulf of Mexico.

Heavy rains Saturday night, thunderstorms brought rain on top of saturated soil. And then dramatic landscape. Rugged terrain here in Colorado, and now that the sun has come up, you really see it.

Check out these cliffs here. These are called the chalk cliffs on this canyon. They're 10,000, 11,000 feet high. Not made of chalk, but they certainly look that way.

They are soft in soil because of the hot springs that bubble up beneath them. So the National Weather Service calls this terrain very flashy, meaning susceptible to flashfloods, susceptible to mudslides. And that's exactly what we saw here Saturday night. And here's how one man on the scene describes it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHIEF JIM WINGERT, CHAFFEE COUNTY FIRE DEPT.: More of the intense rain was actually up in the mountains that you can actually see up behind us if you look up high. I think that's where most of the intense rain was, and then it just channeled and came down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIANO: I should say that thousands of people die from flashfloods and mudslides across the world every year. We are lucky that this incident did not take anybody's lives. Actually, it didn't -- nobody -- nobody got hurt.

The bottom line here, though, Heidi, as you know, Colorado gets into what's called a monsoon flow. And the next month and a half, maybe even two months, they'll get these afternoon thunderstorms that bubble up. And if you get a heavy amount of rain in, you know, an area that has that steep of cliff, gravity eventually takes over. But we certainly hope that this situation doesn't repeat itself.

Back to you.

COLLINS: Yes, certainly not. All right. Rob Marciano, we'll check back in with you a little bit later on today.

Thanks, Rob.

HARRIS: Still to come, perp caught on tape.

Hey, someone stop that bird, that wing nut. Chip heist at the beach.

COLLINS: A helping hand for the homeless. Desperate families offered a second chance away from L.A.'s skid row.

ALI VELSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Ali Velshi, "Minding Your Business" in New York.

You want to know why I'm dressed this way? Because I'm trying to get a promotion. I'll tell you all about it when we come back in the NEWSROOM in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Surviving a predator. Shark attack in Hawaii.

Harvey Miller was snorkeling 150 yards off a beach in Oahu when a tiger shark sunk its teeth into his left leg. The attorney from Ohio says he punched the shark twice and scared it away. His screams answered by a good Samaritan who helped him to shore.

Reporters asked Miller what he was thinking when the shark hit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARVEY MILLER, SHARK BITE VICTIM: I just remember saying, "Oh god, not like this. No way."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: The attack at that particular beach was the first in almost 50 years.

HARRIS: Here's a question for you. Do you spend a lot of late nights at the office thinking it will help you score that big promotion? Maybe not.

It could be just as much about what you wear at the office. Oh, come on.

Ali Velshi is here "Minding Your Business".

You can't judge a book by the cover, Ali Velshi. COLLINS: Wow.

VELSHI: Apparently you can. Or at least a book jacket.

HARRIS: Yes. A book jacket.

VELSHI: According to study by Syracuse University and an organization called Total Executive -- they interviewed CEOs, recruiters and directors of personnel -- how you dress is the third most important thing in getting a promotion after communication and presentation skills. Notice that how much you work or how good you are doesn't figure on this list anywhere.

So I was looking this up, and another -- a previous study by a group called theladders.com -- it's a Web site for people looking for high-paying jobs -- says that employees who dress casually at work are -- tend to be seen as more creative and fun, but those same employees risk being taken less seriously. So a bit of a problem here.

You want to be -- you want to be presentable, but you also want to be thought of as casual and fun. So the advice from some people here is, dress for the job that you want. Dress for the position to which you aspire.

HARRIS: Oh, I like that.

VELSHI: I got the hair cut of the guy whose position I aspire.

HARRIS: How about that? You and me both.

Hey, but I'm curious to know -- is it a bit of a trick bag? You know, there are a lot of office spaces where they say, hey, be casual, be loosey-goosey. We're not stiff and uptight.

VELSHI: Right.

HARRIS: And if you do that, you feel like now you run the risk, you're telling us, of being overlooked for the next opportunity.

VELSHI: Yes. Basically, you should find -- you should find the baseline.

HARRIS: Yes.

VELSHI: And you don't want to be going below that baseline.

HARRIS: Got you.

VELSHI: So, if it's casual, you don't want to be going more casual. You probably want to err a little bit on the side of caution. But you're right, you don't want to be seen as rigid and stiff. That's, you know, one of the problems that the studies point out.

One of the pieces of advice again is, be consistent. Once you have figured out your style, one of the things that sort of throws your employers off is if you're all over the place with the hairstyles or the earrings or the clothes. You know, offer sort of a consistent impression of who you are. It tends to make you get taken a little more seriously.

HARRIS: All right. Stay where you are, Ali. A two-shot here. Let's take a look at Ms. Heidi Collins.

COLLINS: Oh, yes.

What do you think?

VELSHI: One of the two of you is dressing like the other.

COLLINS: Yes, exactly.

VELSHI: One of you wants the other one's job.

HARRIS: There you go. All right. Enough of that.

VELSHI: But she always looks beautiful.

COLLINS: Ah, aren't you nice.

HARRIS: How about that? Oh, man.

VELSHI: And Tony, your hair, spectacular.

COLLINS: It's spectacular, isn't it? Yes.

HARRIS: Ali Velshi "Minding Your Business".

COLLINS: Now I'm scared.

Ali, nice to see you.

VELSHI: Always a pleasure.

COLLINS: On the lookout for a suspicious character. It looks something like that.

Description, short with white wings, little yellow beak, likes to hang out on ledges near the beach, and he's got a yen for Doritos. Take a look.

This seagull steals a bag of chips from an Aberdeen, Scotland, grocery. It looks like he makes a clean getaway, but he is caught on tape, isn't he?

HARRIS: And still ahead this morning in the NEWSROOM, much of southern England under water right now. Towns completely cut off from the outside world, and the flooding there is expected to get worse.

COLLINS: And politics unusual. Voters post their questions online. Then you can watch the candidates answer them right here on CNN.

Tonight's Democratic YouTube Democratic debate in South Carolina, we'll hear what the state party chairwoman thinks about it.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Good Monday morning to you, everybody.

I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris.

Welcome back, everyone, to the CNN NEWSROOM.

A flooding disaster this morning throughout the south of England. Tens of thousands of people trapped by the rising waters. Many without electricity. And now a shortage of clean drinking water. Flooding has knocked out water treatment facilities.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even since I think my grandmother said in 1947, when they had the great floods of Gloucestershire, it wasn't flooded down there then. So...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So where on earth have you got to retreat to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We haven't been told anything. All they said is just evacuate. And, you know, we have pulled, like different bits from the road outside, but now apparently we have to move those. So we don't know. We're just staying here and hoping for the best.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even since -- I think my grandmother said in 1947 when they had the great floods of Gloucestershire, it wasn't flooded down there then so.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So where on Earth have you got to retreat to?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We haven't been told anything. All they said is just evacuate, you know?

And we pulled like different bits from the road outside. But now apparently we have to move those so we don't know. We're just staying here and hoping for the best.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: People are being protected and people are being given the support they need. This is a problem that is not gone because water is still rising in certain places.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HARRIS: Prime Minister Gordon Brown toured parts of the flood zone by air this morning, promising money to battle the severe floods. He also dropped by a government command center to check on rescue operations.

The worst of the flooding is being seen in cities north and west of London.

COLLINS: A muddy mess in a Colorado mountain town. The alpine area reeling this morning from mud slides triggered by heavy rains. Mud in parts of the region six feet deep. More than two dozen homes reportedly were damaged. Cars smashed. At least 125 people fled their homes and right now there is no word of any injuries. So that's some of the good news. But authorities say it could take weeks to clean up the mess.

HARRIS: Jacqui Jeras following all of this.

Where are you starting, Jacki, the Eastern seaboard there?

(WEATHER REPORT)

COLLINS: Round two now for talks between the U.S. and Iran. Iraq says ambassadors from the two countries will meet in Baghdad tomorrow to discuss Iraq's unrelenting violence. It will be the second official meeting between the two sides in the past two months.

Washington accuses Iran of interfering in Iraq by arming and training Shiite militias. But the worsening security situation pushed the two sides together.

HARRIS: Police and civilians targeted this morning in a string of car bombings across Baghdad. At least 16 people were killed.

Live now to CNN's Frederik Pleitgen there in the Iraqi capital -- and, Frederik, it looks like another deadly start to the week in Iraq.

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tony, you're absolutely right, a very deadly start to the week. A lot of violence here in the morning, really until well into the afternoon hours. As you said, four separate car bombings here in central Baghdad today, killing at least 16 people and wounding at least 40 here in the capital.

Now, one of those car bombs struck a very popular restaurant. This was only about 400 yards away from the Green Zone, the International Zone here in Baghdad. That, of course, where the American Embassy and a lot of other foreign embassies are. And that bomb killed a lot of people right there.

Now, there were separate car bombs in the Karata District (ph). Two bombs went off there almost simultaneously. One of those bombs hit a supermarket and the other bomb hit a government agency that was actually handing out I.D. Cards to the people who live in that neighborhood so that insurgents would not get in.

And all of this violence, Tony, early this morning caused massive chaos in this city. We had a complete traffic meltdown in Baghdad. People waiting in their cars for hours, as a lot of roads blocked off up. And, really, that situation hasn't gotten very much better until now -- Tony.

HARRIS: And, Frederik, if we could, and with the violence as the backdrop, I'm curious -- the parliament, the Iraqi parliament is scheduled to go on recess throughout the month of August.

Any word on whether that will be reduced to perhaps a week or perhaps no time at all?

PLEITGEN: Well, that's really a major issue here in Iraq and here in Baghdad right now. And, of course, the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has been pressuring the Iraqi parliament, really, all throughout the weekend and today, as well, telling them to give up that one month recess, or at least cut it down to no more than two weeks.

Now, so far, the Iraqi legislature hasn't been very responsive to that. Of course, one thing that Maliki is trying to push through -- or two things that he's trying to push through are important legislative gains in the field of a draft oil resolution to share oil wealth in this country among the different groups and also a law to bring members of Saddam Hussein's former Baath Party back into the government.

Now, two legislators, two very influential legislators here in Iraq have both said that they do not see any chance of either of those laws passing before the parliament is due to go into recess.

So, really, there hasn't been much political gain on that front -- Tony.

HARRIS: CNN's Frederik Pleitgen for us in the Iraqi capital.

Frederik, thank you.

COLLINS: One Democratic senator says he's had it with President Bush and he wants Congress to censure the president for his handling of the Iraq War and for what he calls the president's abuse of the constitution.

Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold says he will introduce two censure resolutions. That would stop short of outright impeachment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D), WISCONSIN: I think they may have committed impeachable offenses. My own view is this could be very disruptive to our ability to get our agenda done. The most important thing, getting us out of the war in Iraq. But also domestic issues like health care. And I think a censure resolution is a way to make it very clear to the historical record and to the American people in the future that we understood the gravity of the damage that this administration has done. It has weakened America. And so I think that's the best course. But there is sentiment out there that is so strong that people actually are talking about impeachment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Feingold offered a list of complaints against the president. They range from overstating the case for war against Iraq to instituting the warrantless wiretapping program.

HARRIS: People thought he was attacking her but he was actually trying to save her life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, COURTESY NEWS 12 LONG ISLAND)

NICK MONTANINO, WITNESS: The door opened. He was hanging out of the car and she went speeding up the block. And she was definitely trying to throw him off because she was zigzagging all the way up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARRIS: A friend trying to stop a friend from driving drunk is dragged to his death.

COLLINS: A helping hand for the homeless. Desperate families offered a second chance away from L.A.'s Skid Row.

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Dragged to his death trying to save the woman he loved. A community in shock.

More now from Holly Haerr of affiliate few news 12 Long Island.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

N. MONTANINO: ...into the car and he was hanging somewhat like this here, I guess reaching into the car.

HOLLY HAERR, NEWS 12 CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nick Montanino saw the drama unfold outside his home in Centereach Saturday night -- a man hanging out a car door as the car drove up Tree Road. He and his wife had looked outside when they heard a woman screaming.

IRENE MONTANINO, WITNESS: As I was walking the door, said, Get the phone. Call 911. A guy is beating up a girl."

HAERR: But then Nick says he realized it looked like she was fighting him as he tried to take her keys away.

N. MONTANINO: And he was trying to stop her from driving, yelling, "You're going to get arrested. You're going to get arrested."

HAERR: Then came the fatal ride. You can see the bloodstains next to some of the black skid marks on the road.

N. MONTANINO: When the door opened, he was hanging on to the car and she went speeding up the block. And she was definitely trying to throw him off, because she was zigzagging all the way up.

HAERR (on camera): He apparently fell off by the intersection behind me. That's where the skid marks and the trail of blood begin. They continue down the road and end by that intersection with the tree on the corner.

(voice-over): Suffolk police say the police under the car, 26- year-old Lewis Wiederer, from Westbury, was killed. The driver, apparently his girlfriend, was Jesenia Vega from Carle Place. She's been charged with drunk driving.

Neighbors say the two had been in a block party nearby and after the crash, some say she appeared to be in shock.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was sitting down right there. And she was hysterical. She was crying.

HAERR: Many on this end of the street did not want to speak on camera, but said they'll never forget the sight of him under the car.

In Centereach, Holly Haerr, New 12, Long Island.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: The woman pleaded not guilty. The district attorney will decide whether to file more charges.

HARRIS: Hope Gardens the last hope for desperate families far off the mean streets of L.A.'s Skid Row.

CNN's Kara Finnstrom has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

VERONICA DURAN-RAMIREZ, HOPE GARDENS RESIDENT: This is the kids' room right here. This is -- they have their own bedroom.

Isn't this nice?

KARA FINNSTROM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is no ordinary two bedroom apartment.

RAMIREZ: In shelters, you've got to share -- share a bathroom with everybody and they -- and they cried when they seen the bathroom.

FINNSTROM: For Veronica Duran-Ramirez and her children, this home in the 78-acre Hope Gardens facility, with green hillsides, brooks and a playground, is nothing short of extraordinary.

RAMIREZ: Go ahead Maria, go.

FINNSTROM: It's worlds away from L.A.'s Skid Row, where they slept in cardboard boxes when they couldn't afford bus rides to shelters.

RAMIREZ: Do you feed them or do you -- do you stay the night in the street? And it's a hard decision. And I'm like, well, I've got to buy the 99 cent burgers.

FINNSTROM: Veronica says her family fled to the streets to escape a boyfriend who broke both her legs. For two months, her children were frightened and hungry.

RAMIREZ: I've seen them like with a smile and all dirty, and their little feets all stinky, but they're still smiling and saying, "Hey mom, I love you."

It just made me cry. I thought, oh, I'm the worst mom there could be. And then -- and then right when I was giving up hope, they said that I -- I got into Hope Gardens.

ANDY BALES, UNION RESCUE MISSION: Downtown Skid Row, we're surrounded by violence. We have 400 registered sex offenders around the mission within a few block area. And for years, Union Rescue Mission was looking for places.

FINNSTROM: Places safe for women and their children. Now more than 20 miles away, in the remote hills of Sylmar, the rescue mission has opened this facility, offering child care, job training and counseling.

Its aim?

Help families transition to renting their own places within three years.

BALES: There is a high incidence of alcohol and drug abuse among single men on the streets, but that is not what we find among women and children. Most likely it's caused by abuse or they just don't have the skills to keep up with the housing.

MARIA DURAN-RAMIREZ, HOPE GARDENS RESIDENT: My mom wants to keep the shoe until I grow up for we can remember.

FINNSTROM: Maria's tiny shoe, completely worn down by the fearful need to keep moving on the street -- a reminder of how close Veronica was to losing her children when they all got a new beginning.

RAMIREZ: I was really going to ask the church like is there a family that could take my kids. I was actually thinking, you know what?

I can't have my kids here. I'm on the doing anything. I've been in this situation too long.

And then I got into Hope Gardens and -- and I just cried and cried.

Go ahead.

FINNSTROM: Kara Finnstrom for CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COLLINS: He died in an American uniform trying to become an American.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE MURPHY, MOTHER: He was on that particular convoy that day just to get his fingerprints.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: A new book remembers those killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Hey, you know, we are pod casting a little later today and we want to get you ready for the big CNN/YouTube -- the kids use that YouTube all the time. And they're really into it. So we want to get you ready for the debate tonight.

So what you do is go to cnn.com and you will download the daily NEWSROOM pod cast. It is available to you 24-7. You can download it right to your iPod. But get there today. We'll throw in special reports to get you ready for tonight's debate. Once again, at cnn.com, download the CNN NEWSROOM daily pod cast.

COLLINS: Fallen heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan -- U.S. servicemen and women remembered as more than just numbers in a new book.

CNN's Gary Nuremberg reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "Faces of Freedom" tells the story of men and women from each of the 50 states who died in Iraq or Afghanistan.

REBECCA PEPIN, AUTHOR, "FACES OF FREEDOM": This book is a tribute to all those that paid the ultimate price.

NURENBERG: The little boy is Kendall Frederick. Born in Trinidad, he grew up in Maryland.

MURPHY: He enjoyed being here. He had a lot of friends, so he loved -- he loved being in America.

NURENBERG: So much he enlisted at 17 and struggled with a bureaucracy that stalled his application for formal U.S. citizenship. stationed in Iraq, he needed to submit additional fingerprints for that citizenship paperwork.

MURPHY: He was on that particular convey that day just to get his fingerprints. That's the only reason he was there. And on his way back to camp, that's when an IED hit the vehicle that he was traveling in.

NURENBERG: In an American uniform, he died trying to become an American.

PEPIN: I know that when I took that oath in October of 2006, I was taking it for two people.

NURENBERG:

Rebecca Pepin is a new citizen who compiled "Faces of Freedom" to raise money for Fisher House and the Wounded Warrior --, which helps veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan

But she says there is another purpose.

PEPIN: We want people to know exactly who they were.

MAX VOELZ, HUSBAND: It will just let more people know who she was.

NURENBERG: Max Voelz met his wife Kimberly in training and led bomb squads in Iraq. In the United States, she helped the Secret Service prepare for trips by President Bush and Clinton, for the plane.

In Iraq, an improvised explosive device detonated as she approached to disarm it.

VOLEZ: About the time she came out of surgery is when I was finally able to get to the hospital.

NURENBERG: She died in his arms.

VOLEZ: Obviously, that's the worst thing that's ever happened. I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else.

NURENBERG: They were married only four years and Kendall Frederick, the man who died trying to become an American, he was granted that citizenship on the day he was buried.

Kendal Frederick, Kimberly Voelz -- just two "Faces of Freedom".

Gary Nurenberg,

CNN, Baltimore.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

HARRIS: And still to come, a Colorado town buried by mud.

Dozens of people out of their homes waiting to clean up the Rockies.

COLLINS: And politics unusual -- voters post their questions online then watch candidates answer them on CNN.

Tonight's Democratic YouTube debate in South Carolina -- we'll hear what the state party chairwoman thinks about it.

JACQUI JERAS, ATS METEOROLOGIST: More than 200 fires sparked over the weekend. The fire threat today is critical across the Intermountain West. We'll have the latest on that, with your forecast, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HARRIS: Well, we just want to bring you a bit of an update on the story we've been following this last hour in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Just a short time ago, we were telling you about a shooting in southeast Atlanta.

Some pictures now from affiliate WSB in Atlanta.

We were telling you, a short time ago, that the initial figures were three people killed, two others wounded. The update is now four people, in fact, dead, two wounded.

Again, this is a shooting in southeast Atlanta.

No details on victims or what led to the shooting. And at this point, we don't even know if the gunman is on the loose or among the dead or wounded.

It is a story we will continue to keep an eye on as police investigate. We will track down as much information as we can on this for you and bring you an update at the top of the hour right here in THE NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: Presidential candidates and questions from you, the voters. A first of its kind debate. Questions plucked from the Internet.

So what's it all mean?

Well, Carol Fowler

Chairs the South Carolina Democratic Party.

She is joining us today from South Carolina.

Carol, thanks so much for being with us.

I want to begin just by asking you what you think of the format, if you think possibly it will generate some unique responses from the candidates.

CAROL FOWLER, CHAIRWOMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, I hope it does. I saw a little bit of the format last night when they were rehearsing. The candidates weren't in there, of course. But I think it's going to be exciting for the voters and the people watching tonight to see this different approach.

COLLINS: I also wonder if you think it's possible that people will maybe take away something a little bit different from debates. You know, a lot of times we hear people just didn't watch or didn't get much out of it. FOWLER: Well, I think that does happen. When every debate is like every other debate, pretty soon the candidates' responses start to sound canned. But I don't know how they can responses for this.

COLLINS: Tell us why it's important to have this debate right there in South Carolina.

FOWLER: Oh, it's very important to Democrats in South Carolina and all over the South. We are just thrilled and excited about it.

South Carolina not a large place and Charleston is not a huge city, so people all over this -- all over this area are getting to see the excitement of the debate and the excitement of the campaign.

There are candidates coming in and out of restaurants and stores. And people -- the campaign operatives on the streets putting up signs today. It's very exciting.

COLLINS: Well, let's talk about the issues a little bit, that face the people of South Carolina.

Can you tell us what the three top issues would be?

FOWLER: Well, I believe that health care and education are the most important domestic issues to South Carolina voters. And, of course, we are terribly concerned about the Bush's war in Iraq, as are voters all over the country.

COLLINS: Let's look at a poll, in fact, while we have you with us. This is the latest CNN Opinion Research Corporation poll for South Carolina in particular. The candidates here are lined up, as you can see.

Hillary Clinton leading the Democratic candidates with 39 percent of the vote. Obama is trailing with 25 percent.

How do you explain Clinton's lead in your state?

FOWLER: Well, I think she is much better known than any of the other candidates at this point. And -- but she's very popular here among Democrats in South Carolina. Her husband is still very popular and we all feel like we know her. So South Carolinians are pretty comfortable with her.

But they're getting to know and to like some of the other candidates, too. So I think this race is a long way from over.

COLLINS: Carol, what do you think of the venue, the site choice of the Citadel?

FOWLER: It's a -- it's a great choice. The facilities are good. I've been working down here for several days. The people at the Citadel so cooperative. They're -- they seem delighted to have us here. And it's -- we will be able to accommodate a lot of ticket holders tonight, so lots of people will see the debate live. We are very pleased with it. COLLINS: All right, very good. Chairwoman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Carol Fowler.

Carol, thanks for your time this morning.

FOWLER: Thank you Heidi.

COLLINS: And remember, Anderson Cooper will host tonight's first of its kind debate, live and interactive on TV and online. The CNN/YouTube Democratic debate tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

You will see the Republican candidates debate on Monday, September 17th.

Good morning, once again, everybody.

I'm Heidi Collins.

HARRIS: And I'm Tony Harris.

Stay informed all day in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Here's what's on the rundown.

The search for a kidnapped baby ends hundreds of miles away. The adopted mother relieved, the biological mother detained.

COLLINS: He'll celebrate his 18th body with a vote -- a teen turned on by politics sends in his question for the CNN/YouTube debate.

HARRIS: And too much rainwater, not enough drinking water. Tens of thousands suffering in the south of England this morning.

It is Monday, July 23rd, and you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

COLLINS: We want to take a moment to give you the very latest that we have on the shooting that has happened in southeast Atlanta. We've been telling you about it for a little while now, understanding that, apparently, it happened at about 7:00 this morning.

The update is in the count of fatalities, unfortunately. Four people now dead, two injured.

This all coming in from our affiliates here in Atlanta.

And we are hearing just from police that, as I said, it happened at about 7:00 a.m. just off I-75, if you happen to know the area.

We're trying to get more information about this. And as Tony said earlier, we're not even sure if the suspect is in custody at this point, or not.

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