Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Authorities Examine New Clues in Texas Polygamist Case; Army Dad Exposes Substandard Living Conditions; Climbing Everest: Olympic Torch Challenge

Aired April 30, 2008 - 15:00   ET

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


DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Action from the Fed, reaction from the markets, a key interest rate now down a quarter of a point. And it might be the last cut we will see for a while.
MELISSA LONG, CNN ANCHOR: And what does it mean now, and where will it take us down the road? It is the economy, and of course it is issue number one today.

Hello. I'm Melissa Long at the CNN Center in Atlanta, in today for Kyra Phillips.

LEMON: And I'm Don Lemon. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Right off the top, we want you to tell you the Fed has cut its key interest rate by a quarter-point, briefly sending the Dow industrials above the 13000 level.

(BUSINESS REPORT)

LONG: A full month now after the presidential elections, some new numbers to share with you out of Zimbabwe. The only problem, they may not be actually official. And the opposition is rejecting the new figures.

The top official in President Robert Mugabe's party that says his boss took 43 percent of the vote, to challenger Morgan Tsvangirai's 47 percent. Well, that would mean a runoff since, looking at the numbers, no one actually took a majority. However, the official wouldn't say if the numbers came from the electoral commission. The opposition party says the tally bogus. So, Tsvangirai simply will not participate in any runoff that would be held.

Now, look at these pictures and decide, would you want your child living in conditions like these? You see busted pipes, overflowing sewage, ceiling falling apart in other pictures, toilets falling apart. The father of a combat soldier at Fort Bragg in North Carolina simply did not like the conditions either. He did something about it, captured it on tape and there you can see it ended up on YouTube.

CNN's Rusty Dornin has been looking into what the Army now admits are appalling and simply unacceptable conditions.

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right.

And even the generals are saying that they wouldn't want their soldiers, their sons or daughters living in those kinds of conditions either. There's been a flurry of tours and meetings at the Pentagon and that sort of thing, and they are fixing some of those things that we have been looking at, those clogged drains, the backed-up sewage, the broken toilet seats, things like that.

Now, these pictures we're going to show you now are the things that have been repaired at these very same barracks since these tours. Now, apparently the repairs were under way when the 82nd Airborne was coming back. But the things had not been repaired.

Now, what you're looking at right now is that drain you saw that soldier before looking at that was all backed up, that sort of thing. So now they're saying the repairs are under way, but it's kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.

Let's listen to General Cody.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GENERAL RICHARD CODY, U.S. ARMY VICE CHIEF OF STAFF: For the last six years, we have been repairing these barracks and keeping what I call triage on them, so that they're safe, clean and livable.

But they're certainly not the barracks we want these great soldiers to live in. And that's why we're spending almost $66 billion since 2005, all the way to 2013, to repair and put up brand-new barracks that are worthy of these great soldiers that are serving and defending this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DORNIN: Now, apparently about 80 percent of the soldiers are living in these brand-new barracks. There's about $330 million worth of construction going on.

But Ed Frawley's son, Sergeant Jeff Frawley, was living in the old barracks and that his company will continue to stay there at least for another year.

LONG: OK, so, Sergeant Frawley, you just mentioned him. How is he handling all this? Have there been any criticism because of it?

DORNIN: Well, unbeknownst to him, his father took these pictures, and his father had actually seen the barracks for the last four years, and not done anything about it, but he just felt when they came from Afghanistan, he couldn't take it anymore.

It turns out some of the members of his company have actually thanked his father and said, really glad you did this. We wouldn't have done it on our own. They made jokes about it, that sort of thing, but they did not want to go to their superiors and complain about it. And the funny thing is those barracks had had over $1 million of repairs worth done just two years ago.

(CROSSTALK)

LONG: Two years ago.

DORNIN: Just two years ago.

LONG: Wow.

DORNIN: But they're so old that there are just ongoing problems in maintaining these 50-, 60-year-old buildings.

LONG: Got it, all right, and Congress getting involved in making some real action as well.

DORNIN: That's right.

LONG: Rusty Dornin, thank you.

LEMON: We want to tell you now about a six-alarm fire at the Prince of Peace Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

Black smoke blanketed part of the city while the church was consumed. No injuries reported, but it took firefighters about an hour-and-a-half to get things under control. Another fire, this one in Los Angeles, a major fire, what locals like to call the most famous intersection in the most famous neighborhood in town.

The building at Hollywood and Vine is home to the Basque Nightclub. It's popular with celebs, such as Kanye West and Lindsay Lohan. The club was closed when it burned and we have heard no reports of injuries there.

LONG: Austrian police say the so-called incest dad is no longer cooperating with them. Josef Fritzl has stopped answering their questions. And it was days now after officers reported a blockbuster confession.

CNN's Alessio Vinci got some interesting insight into Fritzl's mental state from the lawyer who will try to defend him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN ROME BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Josef Fritzl remains in police custody accused of shocking crimes. The warden of the prison says he's under constant watch.

GUENTHER MOERWALD, PRISON WARDEN: He's in a room with a second person, but he's not in a room with more persons, because we will have to look for his safety.

VINCI: Coming out of prison after meeting with his client, Fritzl's lawyer described his state of mind.

RUDOLF MAYER, ATTORNEY FOR JOSEF FRITZL: He's very quiet. He's emotionally broken and he regret what he had done.

VINCI (on-camera): He has regretted it?

MAYER: Yes. VINCI (voice-over): Police say Fritzl confessed to holding his own daughter captive for more than two decades. Police say he raped her repeatedly and fathered seven children with her. Fritzl's lawyer says his client is undergoing a psychological evaluation.

MAYER: It is important because, in Austria, it is necessary to look what has happened. And the second is, it is necessary to look, because the level, how much he is guilty or not, is important for the punishment he will get.

VINCI: Some say the intense media coverage raises the question of whether Fritzl can get a fair trial. But city officials say everyone is entitled to a fair treatment under the law, even the man who authorities say committed the country's worst crime.

The question of possible conviction and punishment is a major issue in this community.

HERMAN GRUBER, AMSTETTEN TOWN SPOKESMAN: If he isn't a murderer, that isn't possible to stay so long in prison.

VINCI: Prosecutors say they're also investigating whether Fritzl can be charged with murder through failure to act, in connection with the death of a baby police say he conceived with his daughter. According to police, Fritzl said he burned the baby's body in an oven.

Fritzl's lawyer says he has been criticized for representing a man many here call a monster.

MAYER: At first, no man is a monster. This is the first. And the second this, everybody must be defended and has a right to be defended.

VINCI (on-camera): Fritzl is waiting here in this jail to see what comes next. Now facing charges many wonder, if convicted, will he face a sentence longer than the 24 years police say he kept part of his family imprisoned?

Alessio Vinci, Saint Polten, Austria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: Alessio.

Extreme fire danger, fighting wind and flames near the Grand Canyon. Help arrives today on the ground and in the air.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Well, there are new clues in the case of alleged mass child abuse at a polygamist compound in Texas. Authorities say dozens of children show signs of past injuries.

We get the latest now from reporter Heidi Zhou from our affiliate there, News 8 Austin.

Hello, Heidi.

HEIDI ZHOU, NEWS 8 AUSTIN REPORTER: Hi, Don.

We had heard that the state has found allegations that now further supports its decision in removing those children from the polygamist compound. We're told that they found past diagnoses of at least 41 children claiming that they had broken bones. And some of those children were very young. And some of those children also suffered from multiple fractures.

The state also says it's following up on stories of child sexual abuse, in particular in some very young boys. We tried to ask the commissioner who was testifying in front of the Texas Senate today for more details, but he actually dodged out before we could get to him.

LEMON: OK. Well, then, you know what, Heidi, tell us, what was the purpose of that meeting that they had today?

ZHOU: Well, really, it was the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Child Safety, that was trying to defend its action in taking these children into custody. And that hearing is going on all day and it's still going on right now.

LEMON: It's going on.

So, Heidi, we understand, as we said, a number of children have had some past injuries there, and they're involved in this case. And it's still in dispute, right?

ZHOU: That's right.

Actually, still, the number of children in custody is still changing every day. Just today, that number crept up to 464. And, if you will remember, that's actually one more than yesterday, because we're told one of those minor mothers who is in custody actually gave birth just yesterday.

LEMON: All right. Any idea of when this might be resolved, Heidi?

ZHOU: Well, the state obviously says its goal is to find some state of permanency for these children as soon as possible. And they're assigning only 15 children to each caseworker in order to reach to that goal.

And I guess our next update will be on June 5, when they're scheduled to once again testify before the Senate committee.

LEMON: All right, very comprehensive report there from Heidi Zhou from CNN affiliate News 8 Austin.

Thank you, Heidi.

A similar investigation is under way in New Mexico. It involves a sect known as the Lord Our Righteousness Church. State police have taken three girls and one boy from a church compound in Union County over allegations church leader Wayne Bent, who claims to be the messiah, had improper contact with them.

Bent's son Jeff says the charges are not true.

LONG: China is forging ahead with plans to take the Olympic torch to the top of the world. There is politics involved, even at the summit of Mount Everest. We're going to preview this historic climb coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Look at that. You can see the smoke from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, but that's as close as the so-called X-Fire has gotten. Winds are picking up, though, and more firefighters and equipment are headed that way to keep the flames in check. So far, about 2,000 acres have burned south of Grand Canyon National Park.

LONG: The shock has now worn off, but emotions are still high in Suffolk, Virginia, devastated by that tornado on Monday. Hundreds of people are waiting for a chance to see what may be left of their homes, their neighborhoods.

Some of those people have been allowed to get back, but they have been upset that they were really only given 10 minutes to look around. Emergency crews say they want to make sure they have found all the damaged power lines and the natural gas mains first, precautions echoed by the governor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: The danger, immediate danger, has passed. There are still some significant safety concerns, though, that are important. In the days ahead, it will be very important that we stay together to try to work to lift the burden as much as we can off the families who have suffered loss of property.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LONG: At least 140 buildings, mostly homes, were destroyed. The good news, if there can be good news out of this story, no one was killed.

Let's bring in meteorologist Chad Myers.

And, Chad, the weather teams will go and study the damage and then pinpoint how strong that storm was. What exactly are they studying?

(CROSSTALK)

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, they study on how much damage was done, not so much on the wind speed scale, but how much damage was done. And then they translate the damage to a wind speed, because there's probably not really a wind meter that either withstood that kind of wind anyway.

So, if the roof is gone, you're probably talking about an F-2. If the roof and the walls are gone, you're talking about an F-3. And we're certainly into that category. If all of the walls are knocked down, but it still looks like a house, where you can still tell that it was there, then we're talking about an F-4.

And if everything is completely gone and all you have left is a slab and you can't even find the house, that's where we get to the F- 5. And there are wind speeds associated with all of those things. So, that's what they're out there looking at. They looked at it yesterday. They said EF-3 is what we're thinking. That's about 168 miles per hour on the highest event. I think it could be a little bit higher than that. They will continue to look at it as the day goes on.

(WEATHER UPDATE)

LEMON: All right, a little less to worry about in the U.S. oil supply. New government numbers show crude supplies are up and record oil prices are edging down.

Meantime, oil companies are again posting record profits while gas prices post record highs. Oil industry chiefs are rejecting calls to tax their windfall, saying that won't ease soaring fuel costs. They say the problem is production, not profits.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN HOFMEISTER, PRESIDENT, SHELL OIL COMPANY: I think the president brings up a good point in that we could. We have the available domestic supplies off the coast of Alaska, as well as ANWR. Shell has won $2 billion worth of high bids for the Chukchi Sea. That's a few years off before we could begin production.

But let's remember that there's more than 100 billion barrels of untouched oil and gas in this country that is subject to a 30-year moratorium. Now, there's only one body in this country that can set a 30-year moratorium, and that's the U.S. government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, critics say the oil supply in Alaska is not enough to justify the potential environmental damage. Instead, they say the U.S. should invest more in alternative fuels. For the record, Shell posted a record $9.1 billion profit for the first quarter.

LONG: Gas prices are high. Yes, I know, it's not news, but this is something that might be news to you.

One top analyst is saying, in a worst-case scenario, again, a worst-case scenario, prices at U.S. pumps could hit $10 a gallon, again, worst case, like a war with Iran, terrorist destruction of the Saudi oil fields, and other catastrophic factors. But even a more realistic scenario is cause for concern today. Here's what analyst Sean Broderick told interviewer Glenn Beck.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEAN BRODERICK, MONEYANDMARKETS.COM: Well, I think that many consumers have hit a certain threshold of pain. But I don't think they'll be changing their driving habits any time soon.

If you look at the -- at the numbers that came in last week, while the price at the pump was up quite a lot year over year, actually, we saw demand increase at the same time. So the high prices we've seen already haven't decreased demand. I think we'll see a lot more resiliency in demand, much more than people actually think there will be.

GLENN BECK, HOST, "GLENN BECK": What is that -- what is that number? I remember when we were $2 a gallon. People were like, Oh, $2 a gallon, I'll stop driving. I'm going to ride a unicycle.

And then it was $3, and now we're approaching $4. And you just said that demand is still up here in the United States. So what is that number?

BRODERICK: Well, if you look at our friends to the north in Canada they're playing the equivalent of like $4.92 per gallon, and they aren't changing their driving habits. I think we could easily support that. I think we could support $5 a gallon, $6 a gallon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LONG: And we should point out the woes of drivers and truckers may really be a windfall for railroads. Broderick says they are hauling in big money, because a lot more good are being shipped now by train.

LEMON: Your credit card company would have to tell you more and tell you a lot sooner under tough new legislation from Senate Democrats. They're pushing a bill that could make credit card companies give you 45 days, 45 days' warning of an interest rate hike. They say companies are now allowed to drag customers into staggering amounts of debt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHRISTOPHER DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: U.S. credit card -- U.S. credit card debt is now approaching $1 trillion. That amounts to some $9,000 per household for those households that have a balance.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, big banks are opposed. They say customers are free to pick and choose the best credit terms for them.

LONG: And, again, is the third time the charm for the Liberty Six prosecutors, or are they just wasting taxpayer money? Our Special Investigations Unit correspondent, Drew Griffin, will take an in-depth look for you.

LEMON: And why are cameras always around when you're trying to kick your way out of a cop car? This guy is spitting mad, and we will tell you why.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

LONG: And I'm Melissa Long, in today for Kyra Phillips. And you are in the CNN NEWSROOM. And I'm getting ready for my upcoming interview.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: All right, we want to tell you about some stories we're working on for you right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

A 2,000-acre fire is raging near the Grand Canyon. The smoke column is visible from the canyon's south rim. It's one of several wildfires burning across the Southwest.

The Federal Reserve cuts interest rates again. The federal funds rate will fall a quarter of a point to 2 percent. It is the seventh cut since August and it could be the last one for a while.

LEMON: The electricity is back on after a 14-hour power outage at the Memphis Airport. The airport switched to an emergency generator, but more than 40 flights had to be canceled and other flights were delayed.

LONG: All right. This is the story I was getting ready for a moment ago.

LEMON: OK. Let's see.

LONG: One hundred days and counting until the Summer Games in Beijing. The Torch has arrived in China after a world tour marred by protests. And we've covered every one for you now.

It got a red carpet welcome, however, in Hong Kong, wrapping up its 29-day relay across five continents. Officials seemed determined to keep the relay protest-free while on Chinese soil. Police are out in force and at least seven activists were deported even before the Torch arrived.

Now, the Torch's biggest challenge to date could come, actually, later in the week -- at 29,000 feet above sea level. What a spectacular picture. Right now, a climbing team is on Mt. Everest, preparing to take a special version of the Olympic Torch to the top.

Now, did you know that winds at the summit can top 100 miles an hour and oxygen levels are a third of what we consider normal?

What is it really like in those conditions?

Well, the perfect person to ask is a veteran Everest climber and filmmaker of an upcoming piece, a documentary, "Storm of Everest," David Breashears. Thank you so much, David, for joining us.

DAVID BREASHEARS, FILMMAKER, "STORM OVER EVEREST," VETERAN EVEREST CLIMBER: Happy to be here.

LONG: So tell us about those conditions and just how treacherous they can be. The weather is extremely unpredictable up there.

BREASHEARS: Yes, Everest is not only a very high place with very thin air, it is, as you mentioned, often a very windy place -- winds of over 100 miles an hour, ambient air temperature minus 40 and very fast-moving storms can appear out of nowhere. So it's a place where it can be sunny one day and you can be fighting for your life 24 hours later in a blizzard.

LONG: Well, and that is what happened to you on one of your expeditions in 1996. It was a story that so many people followed, when eight climbers were killed. Tell us about your experience with that. And, of course, this really ties into your upcoming film.

BREASHEARS: Yes. Well, we were on the mountain in 1996 when a fast-moving storm overtook three climbing teams high on the mountain. And in the course of 24 hours, five climbers perished. I went back 10 years later to take a look at that story and interviewed the survivors for the PBS series, "Frontline." and it's a program airing May 13, called "Storm Over Everest". And you will see from something like that some of the challenges faced by the mountaineers now waiting on the south side of the mountain, in Nepal, for their turn on the summit and the Chinese climbing team on the north side of the mountain, in Tibet.

LONG: OK, help us to understand that, because that was new to me today. You have summited five times on the south side. They will be traveling the north side. You have traveled the north side, but you've never made it to the top.

BREASHEARS: Yes.

LONG: So tell us about the challenges.

BREASHEARS: Yes, my first trip to Mount Everest in 1981 was through Tibet. Just think of it this way, the border between Tibet, which is considered a part of China, and Nepal runs right over the summit of the mountain. And that -- the north side, the Tibetan side, is approached through Lhasa. And you can drive a truck or a four wheel drive vehicle to base camp at 16,500 feet.

On the south side, which is in Nepal, the route of the first descent by Hillary and Tenzing in May 19 -- May 29, 1953, you have to walk 10 days from the air strip to get to base camp. There is no line of contact between the two base camps. They are miles apart. It's impassable, the terrain between the two base camps. And the route from the north, the route the Chinese are climbing, and the route from the south, on the Nepalese, side have no terrain in common until you're on the top.

LONG: David, you have traveled with Sherpas. The Chinese will not have them?

BREASHEARS: Well, the Sherpas will have Tibetans. Many of the best climbers on that team will be Tibetans. And there are some very experienced Chinese climbers. But think of it this way. The Tibetans have been born and raised on the Tibetan plateau, at 14,000 feet, 15,000 feet, for thousands of years and they are exquisitely adapted to climbing at high elevations.

LONG: Exquisitely adapted.

How do you become exquisitely adapted to these conditions?

BREASHEARS: Because of being born and raised there and coping. And some of the trading passes that the Tibetans take their yaks over are 19,000 feet. Not only that, they're out in the cold. You see shepherds out without a hat, without gloves in the wind at 15,000 feet when it's minus 20. There's no heat in their homes sometimes. And let's just face it, they're very tough, very hardy people.

LONG: David, back to the people that may be waiting to summit right now. For them, it is a life-long dream. But they're kind of on hold because of the provisions set in place by the government rules over there. And I was understanding, also, that some of their gear has been confiscated. Tell me about that.

BREASHEARS: Well, now you're talking about the climbers -- and mostly commercial expeditions -- on the south side of the mountain, at base camp at 17,000 feet. Up to now, they've been allowed to climb up to camp two to acclimatize and carry loads to 21,300 feet.

But now, during the ascent -- the hoped for ascent of the Torch with the Chinese, they've been called back down to base camp. Their satellite phones, their video cameras and their uplink equipment have presumably been confiscated by Nepalese authorities.

But, I mean, that's just a little headache for them. What's really frustrating is during the time when they should be higher on the mountain and acclimatizing -- because that's the key to success on Everest is to be -- have your body adapted to those high elevations when the weather window comes. When the high winds leave the mountain in mid-May to late May, you have to have your high camp stocked and you have to be ready to climb.

LONG: David, I hate to cut you off. We're almost out of time.

BREASHEARS: OK, but...

LONG: One other thing I want to go back to is the Torch. It's expected to reach the summit by May 10th.

Do you have any indication right now where it even may be?

BREASHEARS: We've heard that the Torch has left base camp. I'm sure the Chinese would like to get it up and down in the next three or four days. I think it will be earlier. LONG: OK.

David Breashears, thank you so much. And, of course, we'll be looking for your upcoming film in mid-May, as well, "Storm Over Everest".

David, a pleasure.

Thank you.

BREASHEARS: Thank you very much.

LEMON: Liberty City 6 take three. A third federal trial is set for next January for the half dozen misfits from Miami's Liberty City neighborhood accused of plotting to bomb Chicago's Sears Tower and several FBI offices. After two mistrials, critics say prosecutors are wasting time and money.

CNN's Special Investigations Unit correspondent, Drew Griffin, takes a closer look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Despite their mothers' pleas that it just couldn't be so, at the time of their arrest, June 2006, the capture of the Liberty City 7 was being called a major success of homeland security -- federal and local police working together to infiltrate a real terrorist cell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this case clearly demonstrates our commitment to preventing terrorism.

GRIFFIN: The FBI made tapes showing the mostly homeless men pledging to Al Qaeda and planning to blow up not just the Sears Tower, but also federal buildings in Miami.

The problem -- the scary evidence blew up in court.

JEFF AGRON, FORMER JURY FOREMAN: There was no bombs. There was no bomb making material, books about jihad, books about making bombs, schematics of the Sears Tower or any other building. And when they raided their headquarters, they really found nothing. And that was a concern for a lot of us on the jury, and even for myself.

GRIFFIN: Jeffrey Agron was jury foreman during that first trial. His jury found one defendant not guilty altogether. He says though his jury was hung on all the other counts, the panel favored 8-4 to convict three of the men on count one, providing material aid to a terrorist. But since there was no terrorist being aided and the materials provided were photographs anyone could have taken, he felt the government never proved any danger.

AGRON: I don't think of us on the jury really felt that these guys were really that dangerous or really "terrorists."

GRIFFIN (on-camera): So this is the person who you were?

AGRON: Right.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Now Agron is reading published comments from the second jury foreman, who came to the same conclusion -- no real terrorism threat and a hung jury -- which is why both foremen think they should quit prosecuting the Liberty City 7, who, because of the one acquittal, now number six.

AGRON: It seems to me that they are looking, perhaps, to save face for a case that they made a big deal out of at the time of the arrest and which has not gone their way.

GRIFFIN: The seven men, led by this man, Narseal Batiste, were caught in a sting -- the FBI using paid informants, one posing as an Al Qaeda contact, said they would pay and give them hiking boots if the men would only pledge an oath to al Qaeda and take surveillance photos of buildings Al Qaeda supposedly wanted blown up.

Some of the men did take the oath and did take pictures -- but only after the informant bought them a camera. All sides are under a gag order. But the father of two defends says his sons were homeless, gullible and framed. That pledge to al Qaeda, he said, just stupidity.

PIERRE AUGUSTINE, FATHER OF TWO DEFENDANTS: It's on tape. Yes, it's on tape, but that's nonsense because al Qaeda (INAUDIBLE) my son never traveled anywhere.

How could he get in touch with Al Qaeda?

GRIFFIN (on-camera): Well, they supposedly came to him, right?

AUGUSTINE: Oh, that's...

GRIFFIN: That informant was supposed to be in al Qaeda.

AUGUSTINE: That's nonsense.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Despite spending an estimated $5 million to $8 million on the first two trials, the U.S. attorney's office in Miami announced it will seek a third trial for the remaining six defendants.

Former U.S. attorney, Kendall Coffey, says prosecutors made such a big deal initially, they almost have no choice.

KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: This is considered to be the top priority the Department of Justice has. And whatever the decision is going to be based on, it's not going to be based upon cost-effectiveness considerations.

GRIFFIN: And Coffey says prosecutors may have a chance. He has been in contact with a juror from that second trial, who reports fellow jurors came within one vote of convicting the so-called ringleader and at least one his lieutenants on a single count. Coffey says the government should scale down its case and dismiss some of the defendants.

COFFEY: And the task is to convince a jury that it's a crime to be a wannabe if what you want to be is a terrorist.

GRIFFIN: No one is expecting new evidence or new witnesses in the third trial, which could cost another $1 million.

Drew Griffin, CNN, Miami.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LONG: Here's an interesting scenario. A big chunk of iceberg -- right there -- breaks off right in front of you.

What would you do? Would you run for it, keep safe or keep on shooting?

Well, you're going to see what this chilly CNN I-Reporter did. And you can see, it is caught on camera.

LEMON: Well, combine the passion of politics and the wisdom of age -- then watch out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMEN: We want Hillary!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obama. Obama. You wonderful, wonderful man.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: We want Hillary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Our Jeanne Moos takes a look at the importance of the granny vote.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right. Leading today's Political Ticker, more superdelegates make up their minds. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Bill George is now backing Hillary Clinton. He joins North Carolina Governor Mike Easley and Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton endorsing Clinton this week.

The Barack Obama campaign says Indiana Congressman Baron Hill is endorsing the Illinois senator and Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley is getting ready, too. Also choosing Obama this week, a Democratic National Committee member from Iowa and Congressman Ben Chandler of Kentucky.

Along with a fight for superdelegates, a battle of the airwaves. Obama's campaign has filed a complaint over a pro-Clinton group running ads in Indiana attacking Obama on jobs and the economy. LONG: Republicans are riled over a TV ad attacking John McCain. The Democratic ad uses McCain's comments about a U.S. military presence in Iraq possibly lasting 100 years. The Republican National Committee wants television stations across the U.S. to stop airing it, saying McCain's words are taken out of context.

Now, with the Democratic race still far from settled, here's where the battle for the delegates stands right at this moment. The latest CNN estimate shows Barack Obama with 1,730 total delegates, Hillary Clinton with 1,593. As you know, it takes 2,025 delegates in order to clinch the Democratic nomination.

LEMON: All right, sit down. Rest a moment. Watch television. This is going to...

LONG: OK. Will do.

LEMON: Yes. This is going to be really interesting. You're going to like this. Forget the youth vote.

How about the granny vote? Ladies of a certain age not shy about showing their support.

Here's our Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the babies who get the oohs and ahs. But it's the grannies who can actually vote.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMEN: We want Hillary!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obama. Obama. You wonderful one, wonderful man.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: We want Hillary!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes!

MOOS: Whether singing for Obama in a rocker or dancing for Hillary at a rally -- the battle of the grannies is on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary all the way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: White haired women can speak for themselves for Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMEN: Yes we can.

MOOS: White haired doesn't disqualify you from YouTube.

Check out Grandmas for Obama '08.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I'm feeling like a mother feels for her son.

MOOS: There are groovy grandmas for Clinton.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm groovin' grannie.

MOOS: Groovin' to see a woman president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have lived for 80 years, waited for this to happen.

MOOS: Eighty-two-year-old Jean Weiss (ph) didn't just wait, she addressed Barack Obama in person.

JEAN WEISS, OBAMA SUPPORTER: I thank you, sir. But you'd better be president. You've got to be president.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Oh, I tell you what. Thank you.

MOOS: And it was a woman of a certain age who gave Obama one of his best known chants -- a local councilwoman from South Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fired up!

OBAMA: Fired up!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ready to go.

OBAMA: Ready to go.

MOOS (on-camera): You know, we have all these great video moments of Obama with oldsters. But it's actually Hillary who tends to win the older female vote.

(voice-over): Ninety-one-year-old Jewel Hodges ended up in a Hillary ad with her heartfelt endorsement.

JEWEL HODGES, CLINTON SUPPORTER: And is ready, willing and able to bring America back up to be polished like gold.

MOOS: When it comes to white haired supporters...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMEN: Barack Obama for president.

MOOS: One white head deserves another. That's John McCain kissing his 96-year-old mother.

And how about this 104-year-old Hillary supporter?

It's enough to inflate even your alter ego.

CLINTON: I think this is quite an amazing accomplishment.

MOOS: Older supporters offer wisdom.

WEISS: Don't hit on Hillary. It brings us all down. Let her do that stuff. Leave her alone. You don't need to do that. You're higher than that.

OBAMA: I just want to know, will you be my running mate?

MOOS: And with that offer, she ran down for a kiss.

But who cares about being a running mate? At this age, it's great to still be able to run -- or dance.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LONG: They're not feeling their age, that's for sure.

LEMON: Well, you know what?

When older people -- I should say mature people...

LONG: Well, you're as old as you feel.

LEMON: Yes. You're as old as you feel. But they, you know, have earned the right to say whatever they want. So it's nice to see them do that.

LONG: They always say that, don't they?

LEMON: They have. Yes, they have.

LONG: Or they think they have.

Yes?

LEMON: Will you be my running mate?

Absolutely -- and she runs up there.

LONG: They were cute. Sweet ladies.

LEMON: Yes.

LONG: This next story is about cameras just catching you at the wrong time.

LEMON: Yes.

LONG: Just bad behavior caught on tape.

LEMON: Well, maybe the right time for the cops on this guy.

LONG: True. But the wrong time for this kid and I bet his mom.

LEMON: Yes.

LONG: Yes. We're going to find out more about what has this guy so upset.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, knock it off!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knock it off!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell them to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to get tased?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. You've got some nerve if you spit at a police officer, right?

Caught on camera and caught by San Diego police. Dennis Field, 27 years old, chased down by the cops after witnessing, say -- witnesses say he maced employees at a software shop and swiped a stack of video gapes games. One was the high demand Grand Theft Auto IV.

Hey, did you know it's iceberg season?

Check it out, right there. It's in the Canadian Maritimes. It is and this is what you'll see there. CNN I-Reporter, Bob Strong, staked out this iceberg and waited for it to roll over and break apart. Good hunting, Bob, because it was all caught on camera.

LONG: And made its way to I-Report at CNN's initiative.

LEMON: Yes.

LONG: Well, nominations went out a little while ago now for the Daytime Emmys. They will be awarded June 20. CBS got the majority of the nods -- 56.

Let's check on some of the big categories now. Up for outstanding entertainment talk show, perennial favorite, "Ellen DeGeneres," which has won the past few years, "Rachel Ray" and "The View."

Now, what about best drama?

Well, the choices are "General Hospital," "The Guiding Light," "One Life To Live" and "The Young and the Restless."

And we should point out, as well, the outstanding morning show nominees, our colleagues at CNN's "AMERICAN MORNING" are up against "Good Morning America" and the "Today" show. So props for our colleagues up in New York.

LEMON: The closing bell and a wrap of all the action on Wall Street, straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK),

LONG: Which stories are you finding most intriguing today?

Well, here are the stories that are the most popular.

That is a carcass -- yes, a carcass of a giant squid being examined right now in New Zealand. Scientists say it has eyes the size of soccer balls. That puts a new perspective for you.

Not fit for a man, a beast, certainly not a baby. Florida authorities found a 1-year-old boy living in a filthy home with rotting trash, mold, used condoms and more. And, yes, his 19-year-old mother has been arrested.

And this is what sports should be all about. After Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky hit her first home run ever, her knee gave out. OK, so members of the opposing Central Washington softball team, guess what they did?

They picked her up -- you can see it in the pictures. They carried her around the bases so the run would count, even though -- Don, cut it out.

Even though they lost the game 4-2.

These stories and much more -- God, that's really touching.

LEMON: I'm only doing that because I know that story choked you up.

LONG: All the ladies here loved that story. It's precious.

LEMON: Get up, run. No, I'm kidding.

LONG: No.

LEMON: I'm kidding. Good for them.

LONG: That's teammanship (ph).

LEMON: Very nice. That's teamwork.

LONG: That's sportsmanship.

LEMON: That's teamwork.

That's all, folks. They found the remains of a huge flying pig. Yes, you heard that right. The two story tall -- I'm going to say that again -- two story tall helium-filled pig balloon got away during a Roger Waters concert in the Southern California desert. Two tattered halves turned up in a neighborhood a few miles away, one of them in a driveway, another draped over a plant. Two couples will split a $10,000 reward for finding the pig -- a novel way of bringing home the bacon.

LONG: That is true.

And we want to take you now to the Great Bed Races. It's one of the zany events in the run-up to the Kentucky Derby. Or can I just say it's really the most fun you can outside in your P.J.s. More than 40 teams competed in Louisville yesterday, each vying for the top honors in the category of speed, outrageous costumes and decorations. Proceeds from the event go to the Kentucky Derby Foundation and local charities. It does look like a lot of fun.

LEMON: Yes, I don't know about you. I think I'd want to be the one driving, right?

LONG: Riding. I think it would be fun.

LEMON: That's the one. He's -- the driver gets to ride.

LONG: Oh, OK. I plan...

LEMON: Yes.

LONG: All right. (INAUDIBLE) way, yes.

LEMON: Yes.

LONG: Absolutely. It looks fun.

LEMON: Yes, absolutely fun.

OK, the closing bell is about to ring on Wall Street -- Susan -- she's been busy, don't you think?

LONG: She has, yes.

(STOCK MARKET REPORT)

LONG: See you tomorrow, Susan.

LEMON: All right. Now it's time to turn it over to "THE SITUATION ROOM" and Mr. Wolf Blitzer.

Take it away, Wolf.