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China Evacuations: Fears Two Lakes Could Burst; Battle Lines Drawn: Unpleasantries Over 'Appeasement'; Tiny Car, Big Results; When the Big One Hits: How Ready are U.S. Cities?; Cannes Do: 'Indiana Jones' Premieres Tomorrow; Man Survives Grizzly Bear Attack
Aired May 17, 2008 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave the place at once. Run.
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ALINA CHO, CNN ANCHOR: A CNN reporter just one of the many people told to head for higher ground. Thirty thousand people at risk from yet another potential catastrophe in China.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm concerned that, yes, it's going to happen. And have we done everything we can do? No.
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T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: That is not what you want to hear if you live in an earthquake zone. See what needs to be done to keep you and your family safe.
From the CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM. It is Saturday, May 17th.
Good morning to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes.
CHO: Hey, good morning to you, T.J.
Good morning, everybody.
I'm Alina Cho. Betty has the weekend off.
10:00 a.m. here in Atlanta, 10:00 p.m. in Beijing.
We have journalists all over the globe to bring you the news this morning.
HOLMES: And let's get to that news out of China.
There's growing fear this morning that two lakes near the epicenter of this week's massive quake are about to burst. Thousands of people have been evacuated from nearly a dozen towns and villages. Search and rescue efforts now abandoned there. Before those evacuations were ordered, a German tourist was rescued from under the rubble. And yesterday, more than 160 people were pulled out alive. So some good news coming out of this devastation.
Still, the devastation caused by the quake is just staggering and shocking. Almost 29,000 people killed. That's the latest official count, but the death toll can climb to as many as 50,000. Nearly 200,000 people have been injured.
Many of the buildings that collapsed were schools. And this morning China's government is promising to look into and punish anyone responsible for shoddy construction.
We'll now get the latest on those evacuations we were telling you about today.
CHO: Yes. Our John Vause is in Chengdu. That's near the epicenter of Monday's devastating quake. It's not far from where the water levels are rising very quickly right now.
John, good evening to you there. I know you're not in the evacuation zone, but tell us what is happening in that zone right now. I heard it is utter chaos.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was a good deal of panic earlier today when word came through that quite possibly, there was a wall of water heading to some of these communities. That is not the case. But what has happened -- and we saw it ourselves when we were up there earlier this week -- when the earthquake happened, it forced down huge amounts of earth and soil into the rivers and the lakes below.
That formed natural dams. And so over the last couple of days, the water has slowly been rising in those areas. And now it's at that point where that natural dam could break or the water could flow over the dirt which was piled in there. In some places, that dirt was about 100 feet tall.
So what the Chinese authorities are now looking at doing is having controlled explosions to try and get that water out of there safely. The concern though is that obviously that it might burst its banks and then flood those low-lying areas, so that's why more than 30,000 people have been evacuated, including in Beichuan County.
Now, the real problem, the immediate problem is, that while everyone had to leave, including the rescue workers and the army and the search and rescue teams, then the rubble -- no one is searching the rubble. No one is looking for any survivors beneath the debris. And that is the immediate problem.
There have been some rescues, people who have survived for more than 110 hours...
VAUSE: ... under the debris.
CHO: And John, let me ask you...
VAUSE: But obviously with no one looking for them, then this is a time-crucial part.
CHO: It most certainly is. This is such a critical time to try to get those people out. I know rescuers are still hoping for miracles there.
There was one. A 52-year-old German tourist was taken from the rubble after being trapped for more than 100 hours. Just incredible.
But tell me where you are right now. I know you're near the epicenter of the quake. You were one of the first reporters to arrive there on the scene after the quake hit. What is the most critical need right now?
VAUSE: Well, there are so many needs right now. At the moment, it is still a search and rescue. That's what the Chinese authorities are saying. But they've been pouring a massive amount of resource into this area, and the Chinese government is now saying it needs food, it needs medicine, it needs engineering equipment, it needs communications equipment as well. So obviously all those supplies are starting to run low.
The Chinese government also says that they need money to try and continue to fund this operation. Some of it has been forthcoming. The United States has sent two C-17s packed with generators and blankets to China. And they're also sending in some of these -- from other countries, from Japan and Taiwan, these specialist recovery teams as well.
That's the first time that these specialists have ever been allowed into China for this kind of emergency. That gives you an idea of just how great the challenge is now for the Chinese government.
Moving ahead, the big problem will be what to do with the millions of people who are now homeless and are living in makeshift refugee camps and in soccer stadiums, and living just beside the road as well under (INAUDIBLE) and tents -- Alina.
CHO: Well, I know that this is a departure, an unprecedented departure, from diplomatic practice there in China to allow aid in from long-time rivals like Japan, other countries like Russia. Even Taiwan getting involved in such a critical time. Twenty-nine thousand people officially dead, but that death toll could climb to 50,000.
John Vause on the ground there near epicenter.
John, thank you.
And all week long we have been getting dramatic pictures from CNN iReporters in the earthquake-damaged regions of China; iReporter Ben Geisler sent us these pictures from Chengdu. That's where John Vause is, and you can see people living outside in tent cities really to avoid returning to damaged buildings.
The infrastructure there just a big question, how strong those buildings are. Lots of concerns about collapse. Stacks of water, other supplies have been piling up to help people cope with the emergency. There are military trucks bringing water and other supplies to quake victim, thankfully.
And you can see many more of the photos and videos on CNN's award-winning Web site, ireport.com -- T.J.
HOLMES: Well, the feelings of despair in China felt here in the U.S. as well. And as CNN's Ted Rowlands, tells us, people are trying to find ways they can help.
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The seemingly endless stream of heartbreaking images out of China is moving people around the world. Seeing entire towns reduced to rubble and watching parents double over in grief is having a profound effect on people in places like San Francisco's Chinatown, where a banner asking for aid hangs over the street and Chinese language newspapers and television update people on the devastating earthquake.
Lily Cheong owns a restaurant here. She doesn't know anyone personally affected by the quake, yet she says she's been so moved by the horrific images of suffering that she's been literally crying for days.
LILY CHEONG, RESTAURANT OWNER: I'm really not happy. I cannot sleep for a few days.
ROWLANDS: Meanwhile, in Seattle, a group of Chinese exchange students say they're desperately trying to keep in be contact with family affected by the quake
RENYU CHEN, STUDENT: My mother was just surfing the Internet, and my father was sleeping. And suddenly they just felt things shaking. My father grabbed my mother's hand and they just run away all the way downstairs.
ROWLANDS: As the days go on and the situation in China continues to look more and more desperate, more and more people are looking for ways to help.
MING QI, LOS ANGELES RESIDENT: It's really terrible. So all, you know, the American-Chinese try to find some way to support them.
ROWLANDS: There are fund-raisers scheduled in cities across the United States, and Los Angeles plans to donate proceeds from a concert announced Friday. And groups were putting together medical supplies to send to China.
In Phoenix, a sister city of hard-hit Chengdu, people are donating money.
CHARLIE TSUI, PHOENIX SISTER CITIES COMMITTEE: For people in Phoenix, this is more personal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All we can do is at least try to help.
ROWLANDS: As the search for victims continues in China, people halfway around the world are watching and looking for ways to help.
Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles
HOLMES: And coming your way in 20 minutes, we'll talk with a disaster recovery expert who has important tips on what to do in the event of an earthquake -- Alina.
CHO: T.J., a natural disaster being made into a manmade catastrophe. Those are the words from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today, blasting Myanmar's strict military junta for its poor response to that devastating cyclone.
The junta has accepted aid, but is barring international aid workers from entering the country. That order is prompting concerns that supplies are being diverted to the government from those in direct need.
Aid groups put the death toll, we should mention, at 128,000, and say that number will quickly grow unless more help arrives. State-run media puts that figure much lower, at 78,000 people killed in the disaster.
President Bush has long said he is hoping to get some sort of Middle East peace agreement before he leaves office, and he moved one step closer toward that goal. He is in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, right now, a seaside resort for a weekend of meetings with Arab leaders. The President and Mrs. Bush had made a previous stop isn't Israel this week, and his talks with Israeli leaders there getting a lot of attention
And an unannounced visit to Iraq today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi making a surprise visit in Baghdad this morning. The House speaker, an outspoken critic of President Bush's Iraq policies, and her arrivals there comes just two days after the House defeated a $160 billion Iraq spending bill.
Now, Pelosi was meeting today with Iraq's prime minister. She is also meeting with U.S. officials. She was leading a congressal delegation to Israel before making that detour -- T.J.
Alina, also in Iraq, the prime minister there is offering amnesty to gunmen in the northern province of Nineveh. Mosul is the capital of that province. The prime minister there, Nuri al-Maliki, says the government will pay fighters who turn in their medium and heavy weapons to security forces and tribal leaders. The gunmen who turn in their opens would also avoid jail time.
A kidnapped Pakistani diplomat has been freed. Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan was abducted in Pakistan's tribal region. The Foreign Ministry said today he was released after three months of captivity. He was last seen a month ago when video was released of him pleading for the Pakistani government to negotiate his release.
CHO: Hey, T.J., it's wedding day at Windsor Castle today. Take a listen to this.
The nuptials now less than hour away. Princess Anne's son -- that's Peter Phillips -- is marrying a Canadian management consultant named Autumn Kelly.
That's some hat. They do it up right in England, over there. That's not a wedding photo, by the way. It's just a photo of the happy couple. And it was at Easter, I'm told.
And Peter Phillips, by the way, is also the grandson of Queen Elizabeth. Now, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles are both on the guest list. Of course they're there. It's the first wedding for any of Queen Elizabeth's grandchildren.
Peter Phillips, we should mention, T.J., is 11th in line to the throne, so he's not going to be king anytime soon. But he is the cousin of Princes William and Harry.
HOLMES: Eleventh in line.
CHO: That's right.
HOLMES: She could have done better. I'm sorry.
HOLMES: We have a he said/he said to tell you about. This battle over appeasement is getting louder and louder. John McCain and Barack Obama trading barbs, a new emphasis for both candidates.
We're live on the campaign trail.
CHO: Yes. So where is Hillary Clinton? We'll answer that question.
CHO: Plus, a sequel we've been waiting almost 20 years for. Indiana Jones taking Cannes by a storm.
We're going to take you to the famous French festival ahead in the NEWSROOM.
CHO: To politics now.
The emphasis has moved away from the Democratic race just for the moment.
HOLMES: Yes. Instead, we're talking about a battle of words between Barack Obama and John McCain.
CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser with the CNN Election Express in Frankfort, Kentucky, this morning.
We were talking about this he said/he said. There is no she said really in this. Hillary Clinton pretty much left out of this most recent stirrup, so telling us what's going on.
PAUL STEINHAUSER, CNN DEPUTY POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Yes. You know, it's really fascinating.
You know, there's still another two and a half weeks left in the primaries. Barack Obama is the frontrunner, but he's not taking anything for granted. But this bitter battle between him and John McCain in the White House, it really seems like one of the first real fights of the general election.
And one other thing that's interesting, the economy. It's issue #1 on the campaign trail, but for the last couple of days, international affairs has taken center stage.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is good to be back in Oregon. I love this state.
STEINHAUSER (voice over): Barack Obama campaigning across Oregon this weekend and involved in a firefight with President Bush and John McCain.
OBAMA: If George Bush and John McCain want to have a debate about protecting the United States of America, that is a debate that I'm happy to have any time, any place, and that is a debate that I will win, because George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for.
STEINHAUSER: Obama struck back after President Bush, in front of the Israeli parliament, made what was viewed as a veiled slap at Obama, criticizing those who would talk with Iran and other nations hostile to the U.S. The fight over talking with Iran and Hamas now rages between Obama and McCain
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A have some news for Senator Obama. Talking, not even with soaring rhetoric, unconditional, in unconditional meetings with the man who calls Israel a stinking corpse, and arms terrorists who kill Americans, will not convince Iran to give up its nuclear program. Is it reckless.
OBAMA: John McCain has repeated this notion that I'm prepared to negotiate with terrorists. I have never said that. I have been adamant about not negotiating with Hamas.
STEINHAUSER: Hillary Clinton is on the sidelines in this battle and out of the political spotlight. She's also taking on President Bush, who failed Friday to convince Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production. SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I were president, I wouldn't be holding hands with the Saudis or having tea with them. I would be trying to deal with our immediate problem and then try to deal with our longer term.
STEINHAUSER: This weekend, she campaigns in Kentucky.
CLINTON: Kentucky always picks the president. And I know that.
STEINHAUSER: Recent polls here in this state of Kentucky have Hillary Clinton up by about 25 points. Out in Oregon, the polls, if you believe them, have Barack Obama as the favorite. So we could have a split decision come Tuesday when both these States vote.
HOLMES: Well, that sounds about right. And what do you mean if the polls, you if you believe them? Of course they haven't let us down before, Paul.
STEINHAUSER: You know, listen, people have been criticizing the polls, you know, but we'll see what happens.
HOLMES: Yes, your laugh told the story anyway.
Paul Steinhauser for us there in Kentucky.
We appreciate you.
And be sure to tune in today for your chance to go beyond those 20-second sound bites of the politicians. It's CNN's "BALLOT BOWL," coming your way 3:00 p.m. Eastern.
CHO: Look forward to that.
And these cars -- you know a lot about these little cars, small.
CHO: Yes. I love them.
HOLMES: And they're meant to save a lot of gas.
CHO: Yes. They're affordable, too. You know, we're talking about the Smart Car. But are they really strong enough to take a hit?
It doesn't matter how the car looks at the end of the crash test, it's all about how the dummy fared. And some of those cute little Smart Cars, they get the dummy test. Well, how did it fare? We'll have the answer when we come back.
CHO: Welcome back.
It's called a breadbox on wheels, a glorified golf cart. T.J. couldn't fit in it. But Smart Cars aren't just tiny and affordable. They're safe, too. Those itty-bitty Smart Cars hold up surprisingly well in crash tests.
CHO (voice over): In a 40-mile-an-hour crash, the lightweight Smart Car spins around, but the dummy inside stays relatively intact. The Smart Car Fortwo got the highest rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's front crash test
ADRIAN LUND, INSURANCE INST. FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY: The Smart engineers have done a good job of getting as much safety as they can into a small package.
CHO: Larger cars like this Ford Fusion have a bigger crush zone to protect passengers in a frontal crash, but researchers believe the Smart Car's design compensates in other ways.
LUND: The seatbelt and airbag inside has to do much more work to protect the occupant from hitting something very hard in the vehicle.
CHO: The Smart Car also got high marks for side crash protection, and was rated acceptable in preventing whiplash in rear crashes.
Still, bigger cars tend to be safer.
LUND: Larger and heavier cars, given the same safety features, can protect you better than smaller, lightweight cars.
CHO: Proving that when it comes to safety, smart design makes all the difference.
CHO: So how much does it cost?
CHO: Do you know how much it costs?
HOLMES: A breadbox on wheels? I don't know, probably pretty inexpensive.
CHO: Well, about $13,000 to $17,000, depending on the model.
CHO: So it's really affordable. You know, it gets 40 miles to the gallon on the highway. So it's not quite a hybrid, but it does pretty well. But good luck getting one if you want one. You can't fit it in, but I can.
You know, 30,000 cars on back order. And there's a waiting list of a year.
HOLMES: But you said depending on the model. Do they have like a suped-up GT version or something?
CHO: Well, they do. They have -- it's like everything else. You know, there is a suped-up model. And that's going to cost you a little bit more.
HOLMES: With big 20-inch wheels and all that?
CHO: But $17,000 for the suped up. Not bad.
HOLMES: But still, is it OK if you pull up to your date's house in that? What is she going to say to you?
CHO: I think it's OK.
HOLMES: It's OK?
CHO: But something we should point out very quickly. It's never safer. A larger car is always going to be safer, but this one packs a lot of punch in a little tiny car.
HOLMES: Well, that's nice to know anyway. All right. Thank you, Alina.
Well, also, you might be trying to take a trip. Maybe not in a Smart Car, but the perfect trip may only be a click away. And our Veronica De La Cruz takes a look at the latest travel Web site to get you on the go.
VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN INTERNET CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Many people turn to the Internet to find some of the best travel deals. Web sites like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity can usually get you going for less. But now there's a new Web site out there -- InsideTrip.com.
ERIK TORKELS, BUDGET TRAVEL: Most booking agents focus primarily on price. InsideTrip.com takes into consideration the other factors that make a flight appealing, such as leg room, aircraft age, and security wait time. And other information including whether or not you have to take a bus or a train to the gate.
DE LA CRUZ: Only a year old, and still a work in progress, the Web site tries to help you keep score when planning your trip.
TORKELS: You enter the dates and airports, and InsideTrip assigns each flight that comes up an overall score out of a possible 100. Anything over the mid-80s is considered worthwhile.
DE LA CRUZ: But when it's time to book, you'll have to go to one of the other travel Web sites or book directly with the airline.
CHO: Coming up, America's building codes. Will your city be ready for the next big earthquake? HOLMES: And what the U.S. can learn from the devastation in China.
CHO: Breaking news here in the NEWSROOM. More terrifying moments in China.
It's feared that two lakes near the epicenter of Monday's deadly earthquake could overflow at any moment in a wall of water. Tens of thousands of people in 10 nearby villages and townships have been forced to evacuate the area. And all search and rescue efforts there have been called off.
While thousands of Chinese families and communities grieve...
HOLMES: Yes, the quake is now raising some questions about how prepared we are in this country for a big earthquake.
CNN's Dan Simon reports now from San Francisco.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everything we take for granted -- water, power, communication -- it will all likely disappear if the big one hits San Francisco.
LUCY JONES, SEISMOLOGIST: We are going to be seeing hundreds of thousands of homeless. There will be no power for traffic lights. Water is going to be not in the taps for days and maybe weeks and months.
SIMON: The U.S. Geological Survey says there is a 99 percent chance a significant earthquake will strike California within the next 30 years. The odds of a massive earthquake like in China, nearly 50 percent. City managers are blunt.
VICKI HENNESSY, S.F. EMERGENCY SERVICES: I'm concerned that, yes, it's going to happen, and have we done everything we can do? No.
SIMON: The last strong one here was in 1989. Fires razed through the upscale Marina district and a section of the Bay Bridge collapsed. Four thousand people injured, 63 dead. More than $6 billion in property damage.
But to put things in perspective, the China quake was 30 times stronger in magnitude. So how prepared is the Bay Area today? County inspectors say chemical plants now meet requirements to withstand massive quakes. The state has spent billions of dollars to bolster freeway overpasses. All but two of the areas eight major bridges, including the Golden Gate, have been upgraded since '89. And the newer improved Bay Bridge is currently under construction.
BART NEY, CALIF. DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION: This particular bridge, the new Bay Bridge, is designed to withstand the largest potential earthquake that would happen in a 1500-year return period. SIMON: But the water system is still years from being safe. The whole Bay Area could be without it for several days. Hundreds of hospital buildings are at risk, and tens of thousands of homes built on shaky soil could crumble. A reality that can only be fixed at the homeowners' expense.
As for the infrastructure, the city says only money and motivation will improve things further.
HENNESSY: Is there a lack of funding and desire? I don't think that's the case. I think we're moving as quickly as we can on a number of fronts.
SIMON (on camera): The bottom line is to be prepared for the absolute worst. As former Governor Pete Wilson put it, California is America's disaster theme park.
Dan Simon, CNN, San Francisco.
HOLMES: I'm joined now by Mary Comerio out in San Francisco right now, recognized really around the world as an expert in earthquake zones and is recognized around the world in disaster recovery.
Ma'am, we appreciate you being here with us.
We just listened to Dan Simon's report. Kind of some scary stuff in there. The money and motivation not there, would you say? What is San Francisco going to look like if we could imagine that a quake the magnitude of the one we saw in China hit it, some 7.8, 7.9?
PROF. MARY COMERIO, UNIVERSITY OF CALIF. BERKELEY: Oh, we would see extensive devastation, particularly on the western edge, but really throughout many of the neighborhoods in the city. A quake of that size is going to take down even wood frame housing. It will be -- it will impact concrete buildings that are mid-rise, like the ones we've seen in China. We will see a lot of people homeless and a lot of property damage.
HOLMES: Now, is that -- would that be something unique? I mean, a quake that strong is going to do extensive damage, but more so in San Francisco with some of the issues it has with some of those older buildings and some of those homes?
COMERIO: Well, in San Francisco in particular, we have a lot of houses built over garages, both single-family houses that are above garages, as well as apartment buildings that are over kind of what engineers call the soft first story. And those are very prone to collapse. And so that's a unique building type, but you know, throughout the Bay Area and throughout the United States, we have earthquake risks, and those are not insignificant.
HOLMES: Yes. Tell me about that, because a lot of people think earthquakes, and they often think automatically California, and rightfully so. But we saw an earthquake not just a month or so again in the Midwest, Indiana, Illinois. Places like that got shook by a 5.4, I believe it was. But just right quick, there are several zones around the country that are susceptible to and prone to having earthquakes because of these fault lines.
COMERIO: Yes, it it's true. It's not only California. The Pacific Northwest is very vulnerable. Utah, there's the Wasatch fault, the New Madrid fault in Missouri and Tennessee. There are fault zones on the East Coast, in Boston, New York, Charleston, South Carolina.
COMERIO: So, we are not isolated here in California with this problem.
HOLMES: So tell people now what they need to be concerned with, with their homes. I guess a lot of homes are built under current codes and whatnot like that, so they might be able to withstand some things. But for a homeowner out there, the simplest things you can do, and what you need to make sure your home, how it is built. What do they need to do and what do they need to know?
COMERIO: Well, you know, it's true that the American homes are largely wood, and so they're safer. But it's important to make sure your home is bolted to the foundation, that's the most primary thing.
We didn't used to do that with older houses. And so only the more contemporary ones built in the last 20 years or so have that feature.
To check for brick chimneys. They should be either anchored or removed, because a brick chimney can come down through your roof and into your bedrooms. You want to make sure your hot water heater is strapped.
So those are the things that can be done and can be paid attention to.
HOLMES: And of course people need to have disaster plans and have kits with water and food and supplies and things like that. But finally here, and something we saw in China -- and just a terrifying thought for so many people who work in high-rises, big buildings, downtown areas, worried about buildings collapsing and things like that, what can people do? What do they need to know?
How can they even possibly prepare for something like that? If you're in some high-rise building in the middle of downtown somewhere in the U.S., there's a decent size or major earthquake, how can you possibly increase your chances of surviving something like that?
COMERIO: Well, I think it's important know what kind of building you're in. I think tenants, business tenants, should talk to their landlords about the safety of their buildings. Many of them have reports on them. The mid-rise concrete buildings are more vulnerable, especially the older ones. The steel buildings are less prone to collapse, but, you know, you have to think about your evacuation route, you have to think about how you're going to exit that building. And plan for that, just like you do for a fire drill.
HOLMES: A lot of people don't keep in mind around the country, you need to have an earthquake plan, as well as that fire plan we all practice. But earthquake drills are important as well.
Mary Comerio, again, an expert in this field. Been doing this for a long time.
Ma'am, we appreciate you being with us this morning and getting up early for us there in San Francisco. Thank you.
COMERIO: My pleasure.
HOLMES: All right.
CHO: T.J., thanks.
A shock theft solved. Rings stolen from an a dead woman's finger at the hospital. The rings have been returned to her husband. Find out how he got them back. You're going to hear from him.
Plus, the return of "Indiana Jones." The action hero taking Cannes by the storm. A look at the premiere preparations and the glitzy red carpet, ahead in the NEWSROOM.
CHO: Well, it's the world's most famous place for a premiere. We're of course talking about the Cannes Film Festival.
Why aren't we there covering it?
HOLMES: Well, I know why I'm not. I don't know why you aren't. That sounds up something right up your alley.
CHO: It's right up my alley.
HOLMES: This year, the buzz there in Alina's alley is "Indiana Jones," we're talking about here. It's set to premiere tomorrow.
And CNN Entertainment Correspondent, the oh so lucky, Brooke Anderson, takes a look.
CHO: That's right.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing here on the French Riviera with parties, premieres and world famous celebrities.
Now, the drama "Blindness" starring Julianne Moore and Danny Glover opened the 11-day frenzy festival. This is Glover's fifth time here at Cannes, and he told me the event is chaotic and also a lot of hard work.
DANNY GLOVER, ACTOR: It's kind of what you say organized chaos, to some extent, you know. And the thing about it, it is work. There's no doubt about it. I'm not going to pretend that it's not, it's all this and everything else.
And sometimes you fall in bed -- you know, maybe 10 years I would have fallen in bed at 3:00. Now I have to fall in bed at 1:00 -- by 1:00.
ANDERSON: But the most anticipated film here at Cannes is of course the fourth "Indiana Jones." It's been nearly 20 years since Indiana Jones donned the fedora and cracked his whip, and now he is back on the big screen, and what better place to premiere than here at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival?
(voice over): Everywhere you turn in Cannes, it's Indy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just exciting.
ANDERSON: "Indiana Jones" is on everybody's lips.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Indiana Jones" is as cool as it gets. Come on. Harrison Ford, he's as cool as it gets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Of course I've seen all the others, so I'm waiting for this one.
ANDERSON (on camera): Posters, banners, an archway at the entrance, even the famed Carlton Hotel has been transformed into one big "Indiana Jones" promotion.
(voice over): It's been nearly two decades since the famed archaeologist appeared on screen in hot pursuit of the Holy Grail. Now a more mature Indy is back in "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," premiering here at the Cannes Film Festival this weekend.
(on camera): How highly anticipated is this film here at Cannes?
LEAH ROZEN, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE FILM CRITIC: Very. This is the big movie at Cannes. It's going to be a mob scene.
ANDERSON: The franchise which began in 1981 has enjoyed astronomical success.
PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, PRESIDENT, MEDIA BY NUMBERS: The franchise worldwide just in terms of theatrical box office, not counting DVD sales or anything like that, $1.2 billion unadjusted. You for adjust that for inflation, it's probably double that.
ANDERSON: There are risks to premiering in Cannes. Two years ago, another eagerly anticipated film, "The Da Vinci Code," was attacked by critics. "Indiana Jones" isn't taking any chances.
ROZEN: "The Da Vinci Code" screened on the first night at Cannes, everyone was still jetlagged. Then they showed this two and a half hour movie that wasn't that good, and people were vicious.
So, the "Indiana Jones" people have learned. They're showing it several days into Cannes. Everyone is over jetlag. They're showing it in the middle of the afternoon, and I think they're hoping for a better result.
HARRISON FORD, ACTOR, "INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL": Damn, I thought that was closer.
ANDERSON: A few negative reviews have already leaped after select U.S. screening, but "People" magazine film critic Leah Rozen believes "Indiana Jones" is bulletproof at the box office.
ROZEN: Everyone wants to see it, no matter their age, no matter whether man or woman. I mean, this is the must-see film of the summer, and it won't matter a wit what critics say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This ain't going to be easy.
FORD: Not as easy as it used to be.
ANDERSON (on camera): "Indiana Jones" opens in theaters in the U.S. on May 22nd.
Reporting from the 61st Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, Brooke Anderson, CNN.
HOLMES: One of the nation's oldest civil rights organizations has a new president this morning. After eight hours of debate, the NAACP's board of directors selected 35-year-old Ben Jealous to lead that organization. Jealous is a former news executive and lifelong civil rights activist. He is the youngest person chosen as president of the NAACP in its 99-year history.
CHO: Well, if you're a wine drinker, you no doubt know the name Robert Mondavi. But now the end of an era.
Robert Mondavi has died. He put California wine on the map. Mondavi made Napa Valley a must-see for wine lovers. He opened his vineyards back in the 1960s, when California really was only known for cheap wine.
Robert Mondavi was 94 years old.
HOLMES: Well, a lot of you would probably agree with this, that the woods may be one of the scariest places you could get stuck alone CHO: Well, you know I like to call myself an indoor girl. But guess what? Every backwoods camper knows, you never know when unexpected company might show up and think you're lunch. Ouch.
There's a reason most people don't live in the wilderness.
CHO: Welcome back. We have some breaking news to tell you about.
It's happening about three hours west of New Orleans in Lafayette, Louisiana, along I-10 there. Extremely dangerous situation. Google Earth there showing you the location.
Six train cars containing hydrochloric acid apparently derailed overnight. Two of those cars apparently are leaking.
There's a one-mile stretch, the radius in which they are evacuating people. This is going on right now, and those evacuations, we should mention, do involve a nursing home. There is also a hospital located on the fringe of that one-mile radius.
Again, a dangerous train derailment happening in Lafayette, Louisiana. Happening right now.
We're watching this story very closely, waiting for the first pictures. We'll keep you posted.
HOLMES: And we'll turn to another story that will make you a bit uneasy maybe this morning. There's a reason most people don't live in the wilderness. Wild animals might have a lot to do with it.
CHO: Yes. It's uncomfortable, too. But yes, we're talking about large, carnivorous animals.
And Josh Levs has a case in point that just came to our attention this morning.
So what's this about?
JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, I know you guys saw some of the images just now. Right. This just popped into the NEWSROOM.
I've got to warn you, it does contain some images, as you may know, that aren't exactly appetizing, but it tells a dramatic survival story.
Here now, Peter Grainger with CTV.
BRENT CASE, ATTACKED BY GRIZZLY BEAR: He was trying to grab me and get a taste of me.
PETER GRAINGER, REPORTER, CTV (voice over): Brent Case seems almost nonchalant about it now...
He went right into the muscle and right through the arm.
GRAINGER: ... as he shows the wounds left by a savage attack by a grizzly bear.
CASE: Come on, Sammy (ph).
GRAINGER: Last week, the 53-year-old surveyor was alone in the bush east of Belacula (ph). He was taking photos for an engineering job when he realized he wasn't alone.
CASE: I had a feeling somebody was watching me or something was watching me. And the hair on this side of my head started to go up. And that doesn't happen very often.
GRAINGER: The next thing he knew, he was on the ground. A 900- pound bear was stomping on his body.
CASE: And I said, "Oh!" And I just said, "This isn't happening. This isn't happening." And I just -- I put my head down like this, and I said, "He's coming at me."
And I had my ax. And I said, "Oh, I can't hit him because he's too close and he has an agenda." So I threw my ax down and I said, "The best thing I can do is play dead."
GRAINGER: That's probably what saved his life, although that didn't stop the grizzly from biting him numerous times and gnawing the scalp on the back of his head.
CASE: I was saying, "He's eating my brain. I can feel it. I know it's happening." And I said, "God, I hope he gets it over soon."
And then I just said when I was down there -- and I was just down and I was shaking so bad. And I was bleeding, and the sounds and everything were just unbelievable. I just said, "I'm too young to die."
GRAINGER: Case has a lot to live for. His family is number one. So his will to live took over.
Being bear savvy by playing dead, the bear lost interest and lumbered away. So did Case.
CASE: And I got down in a crouch and I just started running in a crouch. And I just kept on running. I said, "I've got to go because I'm going to go into shock here pretty quick, I'm sure."
GRAINGER: Despite deep gashes and bites and being blinded by blood, Case got to his truck and drove 25 kilometers to the nearest gas station. An ambulance came to the rescue but...
CASE: A bumpy ride, I must say. That road needs to be fixed. And Gordon Campbell should be fixing the roads. One road he should fix is (INAUDIBLE). I thought I was going to die a few times. GRAINGER: His recovery will take time, but the seasoned outdoorsman isn't afraid of going back to the bush. Case says he can hardly wait, and says if he ever meets another hungry grizzly, he's prepared to play dead again.
Peter Grainger, CTV News.
LEVS: And we understand that he's thanking his love for his family for giving him the strength to survive that attack.
So, guys, case in point, I guess the thing to remember is, if you are for any reason ever attacked by a grizzly bear, play dead, and it helps.
HOLMES: I'll keep that in mind.
LEVS: Yes, the next time it happens to one of us while we're in the middle of the woods in Canada.
CHO: It won't happen to me.
HOLMES: Kind of an indoor guy myself.
LEVS: Yes, all of us over here, but we do appreciate those of you who...
CHO: Firmly planted on the set. Yes, we are.
Josh, thank you.
LEVS: Thanks, guys.
CHO: Still to come in the CNN NEWSROOM, postings on a popular Web site lead to a young woman's death. Now a neighbor is facing charges.
How did this all happen? Our legal team has the answers.
HOLMES: Also next hour, a special report from inside the earthquake zone. It's a powerful piece from National Public Radio. You have got to hear and see this story.
CHO: Welcome back.
When Katherine Armstrong was killed about two weeks ago in a car crash here in Atlanta, it was only the beginning of a terrible sequence of events.
HOLMES: When her husband went to the hospital to collect her personal effects, her wedding rings were gone. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
ALAN ARMSTRONG, WIFE'S RINGS RETURNED: It's great. I mean, this is something that's I think I'm going to -- I think I'm going to keep them close to me for a while. I think I'll probably put them on a chain. And I don't even own a wedding ring, and I'll just wear them, and I'm going to hold on to them for my boys.
HOLMES (voice over): Alan Armstrong just wanted to give his little boys deeply personal keepsakes to remember their mother by. The engagement and wedding rings she designed would have been perfect. The problem was they disappeared after Katherine Armstrong was taken to Atlanta's Grady Hospital after a car crash two weeks ago.
Who would do such a thing? Police have now identified a suspect, a 54-year-old hospital employee.
Police say security video shows Takuma Jawara (ph) with a property bag containing the rings, and that he eventually cooperated, providing information through his attorney about where the rings were taken. Police say they then recovered those rings at an Atlanta pawn shop, where they allegedly were taken by a family member. On Friday, police returned the rings to Armstrong.
ARMSTRONG: I only had these in my hands one other time, and that's when I put them on her -- you know, her finger. And, you know, I know that she would be -- these were so special to her. And she would just be mortified to think that they're sitting in some pawnshop somewhere and that some scum had taken them from her finger. So, you know, I think it's a great thing for the boys to have.
HOLMES: While Armstrong is relieved to have the rings back, he still harbors a lot of anger toward Grady Hospital.
ARMSTRONG: Grady had just been completely inept. They weren't responsive. They just wanted to focus on the monetary recovery (ph).
HOLMES: Grady Hospital's CEO issues this statement: "We are pleased that the rings have been recovered and returned to Mr. Armstrong. While we regret that this incident ever occurred, we want to acknowledge the hard work and diligence of our health system investigators, the cooperative effort with Atlanta Police and Grady Administration's commitment to locating the missing rings and the person responsible for their disappearance. In a health system that has around 900,000 patient encounters per year, there were a total of 260 theft reports in 2007, and each was thoroughly investigated."
I spoke with Alan Armstrong about the theft, the hospital's efforts to recover them, and why he was insisting he'd get them back. Here's what he said
ARMSTRONG: I knew that there's -- put it this way, I knew there was 0.0 chance I'd get them back if I didn't push hard. And so that's all I could do. And my wife would have expected me to do that.
HOLMES (on camera): What do you want to do with those rings now? You said it's something you wanted your boys to have.
ARMSTRONG: Yes, absolutely. I mean, these rings were -- for a lot of reasons I talked about before, they were very, very special to my wife.
She designed them. She was a very artistic, creative person. And you know, like I was, she would have been incensed to know that, you know, some scum took them from when she was at her most vulnerable and they were sitting in some pawnshop. And, you know, it's something I think my boys will cherish, and they will know that these were very important to her and she wore them every day.
CHO: Just about 11:00 in the morning. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM.
The news unfolding live on this Saturday, the 17th of May.
Good morning, everybody. I'm Alina Cho. Betty has the weekend off.
HOLMES: And good morning to you all. I'm T.J. Holmes, coming to you right now from the international desk, where we have several major international stories that our editors and producers are keeping an eye on, including what's happening in China, the devastation there.
With all we've seen after the earthquake, would you believe that there are flood fears now? A major flood fear that has sparked a mass exodus has thousands heading for higher ground.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The excavator works its way through the pile of debris that is just devastating to look at.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: The heart-wrenching search for missing family members in China. We're with one couple as they desperately try to find their young son.
CHO: And we have more on that breaking news now.
Even as the China earthquake death toll continues to rise, there are fears of a huge new disaster.