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Woman, Two Daughters Found Dead in Home Outside Atlanta; Anti- Piracy Crackdown; People in Baghdad Lack Basic Necessities

Aired August 1, 2007 - 13:59   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, a new gig for her, a new co- host for them, a familiar face to all of us. It all played out this morning on ABC's "The View". Barbara Walters confirmed rumors that comedienne Whoopi Goldberg will co-host the daytime gabfest starting next month.
Goldberg was on set for the big announcement.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, "THE VIEW": I love this show. I love coming on it and I love hanging out with you guys. So this is -- this is a big old thrill for me.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK, "THE VIEW": It's a thrill for us.

GOLDBERG: And, you know, but it was -- oh my god. People were going crazy. They were calling up. I had to take the phone off the hook.

JOY BEHAR, "THE VIEW": Your mother?

GOLDBERG: My mother's like, "Is it true?" I was like, "I don't know what you mean."

The thing I'm looking forward to the most is just the hot topics. The hot topics thrill me.

BEHAR: It's the best part.

GOLDBERG: I just love it. I love it. And the thing that I'm looking forward to the least is trying to get in between all -- everyone talking at one time.


PHILLIPS: That was a little sly hint.

A spot was left open when Rosie O'Donnell left that show. And our own A.J. Hammer of Headline Prime's "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" had a ring side seat for today's event. He was backstage, and he joins us live from New York in the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM, which starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Shooting the game is one thing. Gaming the system quite another. PHILLIPS: From New York to Hawaii, the feds are taking aim at illegal chips and gadgets that left video game consoles play pirated software. There's billions of dollars at stake.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips in the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

It is 2:00 p.m. Eastern. We start with a developing story. And for that, we head straight to the newsroom now.

Fredricka Whitfield working that story for us.

What do you have?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Don, police are investigating a triple homicide outside of Atlanta in West Cobb County, a placid neighborhood. This is the home now at the center of an intense mystery there.

Police say a widow and her two daughters, one of whom is an adult, were found dead in this residence. Powder Springs detective Kelly Gobely says this is what led them to this address.


KELLY GOBELY, POWDER SPRINGS, GA., POLICE: It was a friend that had made this call. She had tried to call the residence that evening. However, didn't -- didn't make contact. And so she arrived at the house this morning.

WHITFIELD: Is this a case of a home invasion? Are you able to draw any conclusions on a preliminary basis as to how all of this happened?

GOBELY: It does not appear to be a home invasion. Like I said, right now we have a triple homicide on our hands. Like I said, there's an active investigation that we are currently trying to investigate to find out the details of what happened.


WHITFIELD: So, again, three bodies found inside this home, a mother and her two daughters. Also found, according to the detective I spoke to, two young boys. Both found unconscious in this house.

They were taken to nearby hospitals. We don't know how they are doing right now. One was medevaced, one was transported by ground.

And it's still unclear, the cause of the death of those three people. The investigation still in the early stages. We continue to follow it.

LEMON: All right, Fredricka. Thank you.


PHILLIPS: Well, a high-tech crackdown against high-tech thieves. The government is targeting technology pirates in 16 states right now.

Let's get to Washington. Jeanne Meserve has been following this for us -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, it seems sometimes like every household has one, an Xbox, the Wii, PlayStation, Nintendo. And now it appears a lot of them also have something called a mod chip -- that's short for modified chip -- that when it is installed in a gaming console, overrides the anti-piracy features that are built in. That means you can play illegally downloaded or counterfeit games.

You can find these so-called mod chips on the Internet for between $20 and $80. They are manufactured overseas and imported illegally into the United States.

Today, Immigration and Customs Enforcement executed 32 federal search warrants in 16 states, cracking down on people who import, distribute and sell the chips. It's being characterized as the largest enforcement action of its kind targeting this kind of activity.

PHILLIPS: Sorry about that. We were actually -- thought we had another story we were going to go to, Jeanne. So forgive me.

As I was listening to this crackdown, why is it happening now?

MESERVE: Well, it's part of an overall stepped-up effort by ICE to crack down on the theft of intellectual property. And the chips result in big losses for the entertainment software industry, companies like Sony and Microsoft, because they make their big profits on the sale of the games, not the sale of the consoles -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Where do those chips come from?

MESERVE: A lot come from China. Some from Canada. And it is illegal to import them.

The penalties for a first offense, five years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine. It is also, I should mention, illegal to install one of these chips in your machine -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Do you have one of the PlayStations? Do the kids have one of these getups?

MESERVE: There is a PlayStation indeed in my home.

PHILLIPS: All right. I can just imagine. It's like...

MESERVE: There is not a chip, however.

PHILLIPS: Yes, OK. Just checking. All right.

Jeanne, thanks a lot.

MESERVE: You bet.

LEMON: Pat Tillman, gunned down by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004. Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld under the gun about Tillman's death. Why didn't Tillman's family and the rest of us know the truth until weeks after Tillman was killed?

A House panel grilled Rumsfeld today, with some lawmakers accusing him and other top brass of covering up the circumstances.


REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You actually covered up the Tillman case for a while. You covered up the Jessica Lynch case. You covered up Abu Ghraib. So something was working for you.

Was there a strategy to do it, Mr. Rumsfeld?

DONALD RUMSFELD, FMR. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, Congressman, the implication that you said "You covered up," that's just false. You have nothing to base that on. You have not a scrap of evidence or a piece of evidence or a witness that would attest to that.

I have not been involved in any cover-up whatsoever, and I don't believe there's an individual at this table who I know well and observed in close quarters in very difficult situations who had any role in a cover-up on this matter.


LEMON: This hearing comes a day after the Army blamed the military's response to Tillman's death largely on retired General Philip Kensinger. Now, he led Army Special Operations after 9/11.

Six deadly attacked in Baghdad today, and this was the worst. Fifty people killed when a fuel tanker rigged with bombs went off near a gas station. Overall, 73 deaths are blamed on a wave of attacks. Dozens of people are hurt. Insurgents used car bomb, roadside bombs and guns.

They threatened to do it last week. Now, well, they've made good on that threat.

Iraq's biggest Sunni political bloc says it's pulling out of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's embattled government. A serious blow to the national reconciliation efforts.

Now, the Sunnis say they are tired of being marginalized by the mostly Shiite coalition. They accuse the al-Maliki government of arrogance.

PHILLIPS: Well, it's precious, it's coveted, it's ice. And in Baghdad, even the most basic necessities can't be taken for granted.

Here's CNN's Arwa Damon.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The frenzy here is for something precious, but not your usual luxury. It's for ice.

Victorious, this disabled man emerges from the crowd with his prize. Fifty blocks like this one disappear in minutes, cut into pieces that sell for about $2. Expensive in today's Iraq.

Securing what he could afford is Mohammed Abu Jasan's (ph) first priority of the day. With temperatures soaring over 130, his family can't wait for him to get home.

"The fridge is not working, the freezer is not working, there's no power," Abu Jasan (ph) says. "The tap link to the city's water supply is dry."

His daughter-in-law Manad (ph) chops the ice into chunks. It's the family's drinking water. Her 5-year-old sneaks a piece when his mother isn't looking.

When the family is able to draw water, it's for here, or in a tank that is connected to this facet. Dirty dishes pile up. Only the essentials are washed.

"My kids are developing a heat rash," Manad (ph) says. "Look at my daughter. I don't know what to do about it. I try to cool her down with water, but it's so scarce."

Entrepreneurial water truck drivers fill their tanks with any supply handy, selling it to a desperate public.

"People have to use it for washing, drinking, cleaning," this driver says. "There is no other option."

Government officials say the water shortage in the capital is largely linked to the power shortage, an endemic problem.

At Ahaim's (ph) house, a small block of ice is stored as a top shelf item. "I work for Baghdad's Department of Water, and I know we have dirty water in the main pipes," Ahaim (ph) says. "I know it's filled with dirt and germs."

Still, his family stores it in countless bottles, even though they know it will make the kids sick. It's the only way to survive.

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


LEMON: Wheeling and dealing from one end of the globe to the other. Rupert Murdoch, how he got where he is, that's ahead in the NEWSROOM. PHILLIPS: And it's supposed to be a safety net for farmers, tax dollars used to seed farms. But you might not believe who is getting those government checks.

LEMON: An ordinary produce sticker turns into a nightmare for one family.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is something that I never would have thought of. And as a parent, sometimes you have to learn these things by trial and error.


LEMON: Why you will want to peel these stickers off your fruit every time you take a bite. That's ahead in the NEWSROOM.


LEMON: A tough new stance on the war on terror today from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. He says if he's elected he will redeploy U.S. troops to Afghanistan and Pakistan.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is time to turn the page. When I am president, we will wage the war that has to be won with a comprehensive strategy with five elements: getting out of Iraq and on the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan; developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world's most deadly weapons; engaging the world to dry up support for terrorists and extremism; restoring our values and securing a more resilient homeland.


LEMON: And Obama's speech comes just days after Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton blasted Obama for his foreign policy stance. Clinton called Obama naive for saying he would be willing to meet with the leaders of Cuba and North Korea and also Iran.

And with the new polls showing Hillary Clinton increasing her lead in the Democratic presidential race and her top rival, Barack Obama, speaking out today, is this a coincidence?

Well, let's ask our senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

Bill, Obama took a more aggressive stance today. What is he trying to accomplish with all of this?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, he's trying to send the message very clearly that the war in Iraq is the wrong war. We are fighting the wrong people at the wrong place. And he wants to refocus the efforts of the United States on what he calls the real enemy of the United States, al Qaeda, those who have killed Americans, where they are, including Iraq.

He says he would leave some forces in Iraq, targeted specifically at al Qaeda, but also, he says quite clearly, I will not hesitate to use military force to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to America. And in that he talks about Afghanistan and Pakistan specifically.

LEMON: And Bill, something else he said today. Let's take a listen.


OBAMA: It's time to turn the page on the diplomacy of tough talk and no action. It's time to turn the page on Washington's conventional wisdom that an agreement must be reached before you meet. That talking to other countries is some kind of reward and that presidents can only meet with people who will tell them what they want to hear.


LEMON: That was meant for Hillary Clinton?

SCHNEIDER: Yes. Clearly, it was an effort to strike back at her criticism of him that he was naive and irresponsible in his view that you could meet with the leaders of unfriendly dictatorships from other countries.

He is saying that that's the diplomacy of the past. He wants a new approach to diplomacy, very different from George Bush and Dick Cheney.

In fact, he last week referred to Bush/Cheney-lite as a criticism of Hillary Clinton's style of diplomacy. He called that the diplomacy of the past.

What he's talking about is a tough, aggressive stand, a new multilateralism in America's approach to the war on terror. Rejecting both Iraq and the idea that we won't talk to our enemies. He calls those the past, the status quo, and the clear implication is, that's what Hillary Clinton wants to do.

LEMON: Hey, Bill, I want to talk to you about a new poll. But real quick, he sort of said the speech was going to be groundbreaking. Is that so?

SCHNEIDER: Well, for those who think that Barack Obama is some kind of a dove, I think he lay that's issue to rest. He says he will be tough, he will be aggressive, he will fight the war against the real enemies that we have, which are not in Iraq, but mostly in other parts of the Middle East -- Afghanistan and Pakistan. But I think this is meant to essentially quell the criticism that by opposing the war in Iraq and saying we have to get out by March of next year, that somehow he's weak and dovish.

LEMON: What about this maybe enhancing his status in the polls? Because Hillary Clinton is gaining ground.

SCHNEIDER: Well, in the latest "Wall Street Journal" poll you see here, Hillary Clinton is leading Obama by about two to one. Again, this is a national poll. There's no national primary, but it does indicate that she continues to arrive very high among Democrats in the national polls.

He needs to do something to dethrone her as the frontrunner, at least to challenge her frontrunner position. The speech today was a real effort in doing that by defining a very tough and aggressive posture in the war on terror.

LEMON: Senior political analyst Bill Schneider.

Always appreciate your perspective. Thank you, sir.


LEMON: And you can see all of the day's political news any time of day or night at We are constantly updating it for you with the latest from the campaign trail.

PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, violent storms catch many off guard in Arizona, and rescuers can't even reach everyone.

We'll have more on that story straight ahead from the CNN NEWSROOM.


PHILLIPS: Dow industrials up three points. And we are talking about a billionaire businessman and a media mogul from down under. That can describe only one man, of course, Rupert Murdoch, who has just expanded his empire with a prize he's wanted for decades, "The Wall Street Journal".

CNN's Phil Black takes a look at how Murdoch became so powerful.


PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When Rupert Murdoch appeared on "The Simpsons" playing himself, he introduced himself as the billionaire tyrant. People who have worked with Murdoch say that was a candid statement.

ANDREW NEIL, FMR. EDITOR, "SUNDAY TIMES": And there is an element of tyranny to it. And as I called it, telephone terror.

BLACK: Andrew Neil was the editor at Murdoch's "Sunday Times" in London, worked at Sky News and FOX News. He knows the Murdoch style of management well.

NEIL: I describe it as a course of the Sun King, and the king is in the middle and the courtiers are all around. And power comes from your closeness to him. When he rates you, you are very powerful. More powerful than people who have got bigger titles than you. When he doesn't or when he's finished with you, you might as well be in Siberia.

BLACK: Murdoch the Sun King has come a long way in 55 years since inheriting a small Australian newspaper from his father. He now owns a global media empire, with dozens of pages in Australia, Britain and the United States.

ANNOUNCER: This is Sky News.

BLACK: Television interests including Sky in Britain, FOX in the United States, and Star in Asia. His online stable includes MySpace, the social networking site.

It is the sort of success that has attracted many critics. This former editor of "The Sun" isn't one of them.

KELVIN MACKENZIE, FMR. EDITOR, "THE SUN": Because he's so clever, instinctively clever, everybody has to paint him as a demon because they couldn't embrace him in any other way. Otherwise, they would say he was a god, and they certainly don't want to do that.

BLACK: God or demon, former employees say Murdoch's move on "The Wall Street Journal" was no surprise because he's always wanted to own a prestigious business newspaper.

(on camera): At the other end of the spectrum is Murdoch's "The Sun," Britain's biggest-selling newspaper. It is proudly tabloid, with screaming headlines, trashy stories and topless page three girls. So what does the hands-on owner of this publication now have planned for "The Wall Street Journal"?

(voice over): Here are two predictions.

MACKENZIE: The reality is that "The Wall Street Journal" is going to go bursting out of its American heartland and it's going all over the world. This is great news for journalists and great news for journalism.

NEIL: The value of The Journal lies in the integrity of its journalism and the idea that it is independent. He knows that, and so he will not be hands-on on a day-to-day basis, or maybe even a week- by-week basis. But there will be times when he just can't stop himself from interfering. It's in his DNA.

BLACK: But Murdoch's bid for the paper included a promise not to influence its news judgment. He now has a chance to keep his word.

Phil Black, CNN, London.


PHILLIPS: Well, the recent volatility in the financial markets has led many people to reconsider their investments. But a new study reinforces the idea that holding steady is the key. Susan Lisovicz at the New York Stock Exchange with the details.


LEMON: It's supposed to be a safety net for farmers, tax dollars used to seed farms. But you might not believe who is getting government checks.


PHILLIPS: Hello everyone, I'm Kyra Phillips live at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon. It's supposed to be money to help farmers in need. Instead are the rich just getting richer?

PHILLIPS: You might be surprised to hear who's getting those government checks here live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

It's 2:31 right now on the east coast. Here are some of the stories we're working on from the CNN NEWSROOM. No word on a suspect or cause of death. Police are investigating a triple homicide at a home outside of Atlanta. The victims are a widowed mom and two daughters. Two boys were also found unconscious.

Barack Obama take a hard line in a Washington speech today. The Democratic presidential contender says he would send troops into Pakistan to root out terrorists without that country's permission. The tough talk follows a spat with rival Hillary Clinton who suggested Obama is naive when it comes to foreign policy.

Rupert Murdoch living up to his title as media tycoon, after three months of trying the News Corporation chief, well he's finally sealed a deal to buy Dow Jones and Company, the publisher of "The Wall Street Journal." The deal is valued at $5.6 billion.

LEMON: Sudden, swift and sometimes deadly monsoon rains in southern Arizona quickly fill up washes, catch some drivers off guard. Emergency crews rescued at least 10 people in Scottsdale today. And in Tucson a man died when his SUV was swept under a flooded train trestle and flipped.

Well so much for covered parking. This underground deck in Scottsdale, Arizona is under water after most recent monsoon rains. More than two inches fell in three hours last night at this luxury condominium complex. You can only hope the cars were insured. You can hear the alarms going off there.

From too much water to not nearly enough. The drought in the southeast has left many fields parched and barely empty. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared most of Georgia a drought disaster area. That means farmers can apply for federal aid there.


PHILLIPS: Cash for crops from Uncle Sam. Farming is a vital but risky occupation, so farmers get millions of dollars in government subsidies. Many couldn't survive otherwise, others may not fit your definition though of farmer. Here's CNN's Dan Simon.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Montna, rice farming is good business right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's great rewards in growing crops, especially crops like rice.

SIMON: So you would think the third generation family farmer wouldn't get government handouts, right? Wrong. Over three years from 2003 to 2005 he and his children received more than $900,000 in federal subsidies. Montna says that kind of money provides a vital safety net for farmers.

MONTNA: Agriculture is an investment in our national security and the well being of this country.

SIMON: That argument has been used for decades to justify the billions spent every year on subsidies for crops like rice, corn and wheat. But to critics --

PROF. DAN SUMNER, UNIV. OF CALIFORNIA-DAVIS: I think it's hard to see a legitimate reason why we're still subsidizing these industries.

SIMON: Professor Dan Sumner says the government's policy, a product of the great depression, deserves an F.

SUMNER: As taxpayers, we're spending a bunch of money to hand to individuals who are relatively wealthy people.

SIMON: Some very wealthy. Keeping them honest, we looked to see how else has been getting your tax dollars.

Basketball star Scottie Pippen got $289,000 for his farm in Arkansas. David Letterman, $8,000 for farming on his Montana ranch. The list from an environmental watchdog reads like a who's who. Billionaire David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, the founder of this network. Even members of Congress got in on the game. There are also wealthy people you have never heard of, like 88-year-old widow Constance Bowles, whose family has a cotton farm in California.

(On camera): Miss Bowles lives here in one of San Francisco's most prestigious neighborhoods called presidio heights. Anyone who lives here hardly needs government subsidies to get by. Yet from 2003 to 2005, her family farm business received more than $1.2 million in government subsidies.

(Voice-over): Miss Bowles told CNN, we could do without it. How could this happen? It's simple. Farmers apply for subsidies based on their acreage. The largest farms get the most of your tax dollars.

JIM LYONS, OXFAM: Ten percent of the producers get 75 percent of the benefits from subsidies. So there's no doubt that wealthy farmers continue to profit at a considerably higher rate than other farmers.

SIMON: It's not just rich people getting payments. Turns out dead people are, too. The Government Accountability Office says between 1999 and 2005 more than $1 billion went to the deceased. Some payments went on for a decade. David Harrison III died five years ago. His estate got $140,000 of your tax dollars, even as it gave tens of millions to the University of Virginia. The UVA football field was named for Harrison.

KEN COOK, ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP: They really ought to make sure that when someone is getting farm subsidy checks, they deserve it.

SIMON: Rice grower Al Montna thinks most of the money goes to honest and hard-working farmers. He also points out the government outlay is just a drop in the bucket compared to other programs.

MONTNA: When you look at defense and you look at all of the other issues, I mean it doesn't even make a line.

SIMON: As long as the government continues to write the checks, he'll gladly accept. Dan Simon, CNN, Yuba City, California.


PHILLIPS: A farm bill, generous subsidies intact, passed the House last week and it has plenty of critics both for the subsidies and a perspective new tax. Republican congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona is among those critics. He joins us from Capitol Hill. Good to see you, congressman. Just sort of set the scene for our viewers, you grew up on a farm. You know what it's like to deal with these types of actions, good and bad financially.

REP. JEFF FLAKE, (R) ARIZONA: I did, in Snowflake, Arizona. I do have a farm background. But it's simply out of control. It's an old program that seems to get worse every time we reauthorize it.

PHILLIPS: Does your family still own and work on this farm?

FLAKE: Yes, family and extended family. But I should say, I should point out, we are not among those that receive subsidies. Unless you're farming a good amount of corn or cotton or soybeans or rice or wheat, you're not receiving much of a subsidy. It's those favored commodities where the bulk of the money goes.

PHILLIPS: Why is that? Why are the rich getting richer when there are so many farmers that are struggling that could use that money so much more? I mean Scottie Pippen, David Letterman, Ted Turner, a number of these other people mentioned, they don't need the money.

FLAKE: You're exactly right. And that's the biggest misnomer of all, is this is cast as helping the family farmer when most of the overwhelming amount of the subsidies go to wealthy farmers. In fact the farm bill sought to get control of that by limiting the subsidies, the direct payments, to those who were receiving just -- I'm sorry, who were making $1 million in adjusted gross income. Having grown up on a farm, you can write quite a bit off. But when you and your spouse can both claim $1 million in adjusted gross income and still receive subsidies, then there's something wrong.

PHILLIPS: So how is this hurting the farmers that are just getting by? How could a change help those farmers that are just getting by?

FLAKE: Well I can tell you how it really hurts, is we're really putting our farmers at risk because we're exposing them to suits from our international trade partners. The other big problem with the farm bill, it's not just a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars, but it's going to make it very difficult for us to continue with our international trade obligations to find new markets. If we can't find new markets for our agriculture produce, we're sunk. And so this is really bad on so many fronts.

PHILLIPS: So is there any way that a change could be made? What's your alternative idea? What could happen next to change this in any way?

FLAKE: In order to get past the House, they had to add a lot more money. Both in terms of increased subsidies, for as bad as the sugar program, for example, is, we made it worse with this bill. But in order to do that and also to give more to conservation groups and nutrition groups, in order to get the bill passed, they had to pass the tax increase. So that likely isn't going anywhere in the senate. Certainly the president will veto it. So we're likely to be right back at square one, and hopefully we can actually reform the bill and reform these subsidies as we go forward. So it's not done yet.

PHILLIPS: We're going to follow it, too. Congressman Jeff Flake, thanks for your time.

FLAKE: Thank you.

LEMON: Lucky to be alive. A delivery driver caught under a collapsing bridge now talking to CNN about the unreal ordeal.


LEMON: An incredible story, every parent of a young child will want to hear. Six year old Josie Dressendorfer is once again healthy and playing with her friends after a two-year illness caused by accidentally eating the sticker from a piece of fruit.


SARAH DRESSENDORFER, JOSIE'S MOTHER: I was so scared that it was something serious, like, you know, god forbid cancer or a cyst or something that we couldn't do anything about.


LEMON: Somehow the produce sticker got in Josie's lungs and her body rejected it. That caused an infection and a mucous buildup. Once doctors saw the sticker on x-rays, they operated and they removed it. Josie is healthy again and says she will always peel those stickers off her fruit.

PHILLIPS: Cal Trans is aiming to reopen this highway overpass sometime today, barely a day after it collapsed just north of Sacramento. A construction worker is still in serious condition and a FedEx truck driver is recovering. His injuries are remarkably minor. Robert Sylvester was trapped for 2 1/2 hours. Here's what he had to say on CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING."


ROBERT SYLVESTER, RESCUED TRUCK DRIVER: The firefighters were great. They kept talking to me and calming me down. I wasn't calm the entire time. In those situations, there's not much I could do but put myself in their hands, between the doctors and nurses and paramedics and firefighters, you know, they saved me. First you think it's the worst thing that can happen and I'm alive and hardly even injured. It was a miraculous day, really.


PHILLIPS: Sylvester escaped with a sprained ankle and a few minor cuts. His wife said they have gone from thinking he was absolutely the unluckiest man alive to the luckiest.

LEMON: Ok, would you change your name for $15 million?

PHILLIPS: I don't know.

LEMON: You don't know about that.

PHILLIPS: I'm happy with my name.

LEMON: You're happy with your name. $50 million, I don't know, I might change it. It doesn't mean, you know, you can call me by my old name, I'll just change my name. Well sports arenas do it, museums do it, even universities slap rich alumni's names on anything that they paid for. But, the University of Iowa is considering renaming its whole college of public health after Wal-Mart Blue Cross Blue Shield. If it happens, we think it will be the first time a public university has named a college after a company. Critics fear the corporate ties might compromise research projects among other things. Others point out universities are under increasing pressure to raise money and there is only so many private donations to go around. Well this whole business of corporations sponsoring colleges got us to thinking about what might happen if the idea really took off.

PHILLIPS: What if big time schools went after big-time sponsorships? We came up with a few dream teams. What do you think of this? What if for Penn State, great school, right, reached out to say an oil company? The school could then be called Pennzoil University with free oil changes for students on the dean's list.

LEMON: How about Rice University. What if Kraft foods wanted to sponsor that school, then we might end up with this, Minute Rice University. We're not sure whether the folks in Houston would have a problem with that one or not, not sure.

PHILLIPS: But in College Station, Texas, the administrators at Texas A&M might work out a sweet sponsorship deal with a candy maker and then we'd get Texas M & M's, melts in your mouth, not on your dissertation. We repeat, these are not real deals, just us pondering the what ifs. And I'd love to take credit for them, but that Sonya Houston, our brilliant segment producer who came up with this idea.

LEMON: That was pretty funny.

PHILLIPS: You ought to hire her actually as an advertising consultant. Well out of a coma and into her favorite fast food joint on a daily basis. Did I mention she's 93? She's an inspirational story from a memorable senior home. Straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.

A.J. HAMMER: I'm A.J. Hammer in New York. The hosts of "The View" welcome their newest moderator today. I'm going to tell you who is joining the popular talk show. And we will get her first reaction right from the set of "The View" next in the NEWSROOM.


LEMON: Everybody's been waiting for this one. The ladies of "The View" welcomed in a new host today. And "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT's" A.J. Hammer was there. Tell us who this new host is. That was a coup for you to get to see this, man.

HAMMER: It was, it was actually pretty cool to be on hand for the big announcement. But I'm not going to tell you Don because Barbara Walters was just so excited to introduce the newest moderator on "The View." I'll just let her tell you who it is.


BARBARA WALTERS: You're about to meet the new moderator of "The View" and we are thrilled. She is brilliant, she's funny, she's an enormous talent, she's an Oscar winning actress, a Broadway superstar and we have here. Please join us in welcoming Whoopi Goldberg!


HAMMER: Oh yeah, great choice. I can't say it was exactly shocking news. This whole idea of using Whoopi as the new moderator has been rumbling around for months, beginning just after Rosie O'Donnell left the show back in April. O'Donnell, by the way, had nothing but praise for her replacement in a statement from her spokeswoman, Rosie said "Whoopi is perfect for the job and fantastic in every way." And I couldn't agree more. Whoopi told me that Rosie encouraged her to take the job, telling her even while she was still on the show she said, "If Rosie ever left, Whoopi, I want you to take the show if I'm gone." So, it worked out Don.

LEMON: So you got to talk to Whoopi backstage and that's what she told you? HAMMER: Yeah, Whoopi told me that and Barbara told me that. Whoopi also told me that she thinks the timing is exactly right for her to be joining the show right now.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: It's I guess a great time for me to be doing this. Not just for all of the ladies, because I love them, but it's also a great next year or so. You know what I mean? There's a lot happening in the world. And it's nice to be able to talk out instead of at the television.


HAMMER: She was speaking very specifically about the upcoming presidential election. Now Whoopi is going to have her very first day on "The View" on September 4th, which of course is the day after Labor Day. And as you saw the audience definitely looks Don like they're ready to welcome her with open arms. I think it is a great choice.

LEMON: They're still down one, right? It's supposed to be five of them?

HAMMER: Yes, I actually thought they were going to announce -- right, because she essentially is replacing Rosie, who replaced Meredith Vieira. Of course, the Star Jones seat remains unfilled. We actually thought there was a chance that was going to be announced today as well. So we will find out. I'm guessing they're going to hold off on that until September when they fire the show back up.

LEMON: Rosie created a lot of controversy. Are they concerned about Whoopi? Whoopi is not quite as controversial as Rosie?

HAMMER: Not really. Co-host and executive producer Barbara Walters did tell me that they are looking for Whoopi to bring her well-known edge to the show but not necessarily controversy. Walters told me that she doesn't think "The View" actually needs to have all of the controversial stories floating around that they had over the last year in order to keep their ratings up. Because the ratings really did spike with Rosie there. Barbara does feel very lucky to get Whoopi and Barbara says they learned in the course of hiring her, Whoopi is one of the most recognizable celebrities on the planet. My coverage from the set of "The View" is going to continue tonight on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," including my candid conversations with all of the ladies of "The View." I'll talk to Elisabeth, I'll talk to Joy. I have to tell you, not everybody is thrilled with the choice. What's going on with that? Well I'll have an explosive debate about whether Whoopi really is the right choice to replace Rosie. Regardless of what I think, make sure you join us for TV's most provocative entertainment news show, it's "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." We'll look forward to you being with us at 11:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on "HEADLINE PRIME."

LEMON: That's the only hint you're going to give us after all that, come on, explosive?

HAMMER: Yeah, that's why you have to watch.

LEMON: No hint at all.

HAMMER: That's why it's called a tease Don.

LEMON: All right, A.J. Thank you.

HAMMER: Consider yourself teased.

LEMON: All right, thank you. We will be watching.

PHILLIPS: We have been reporting on an earthquake in the island nation of Vanuatu. Don't know much about geography? Don't worry. Chad Myers has a lesson for us straight ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.