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Senator Kennedy Hospitalized

Aired May 18, 2008 - 14:00   ET

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


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Right now in the NEWSROOM, Florida on fire. Smoke and flames from the Everglades to the beach as dozens of fires cover the state. Also, just a week away from the Memorial Day holiday, and gas prices hit another new record. How soon before we hit $4.00 a gallon on average? It's issue number one.
Plus, Indiana comes to France. A movie hero makes a comeback in Cannes and we'll take you back stage for the buzz. Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin in Florida where at least four major wildfires are burning right now from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast to Lake Okeechobee and the everglades. The worst of the four fires is in the everglades. Wins there are bringing the blaze closer to populated areas such as in Miami Dade County, authorities say 33,000 acres of the Everglades National Park is on fire. The National Weather Service has issued a smoke advisory for the county warning that haze could pose health and driving hazards.

The fire threatens private property and the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow. Let's check in with Jacqui Jeras in the weather center and something tells me it's been very dry down there for these fires to continue on like this in what usually is a very wet South Florida.

JACQUI JERAS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Actually, we're getting some moisture starting to move in now. We have kind of a decaying cold front kind of straddled across Central Florida right now and that's kind of focusing in with the showers and thundershowers. We're hoping this moisture pool will get down to South Florida, but you can see that it's really very limited right now.

So at least the humidity is up a little bit even though we're not getting a lot of rain in this area, but the winds are a factor today, as well. They're not extremely strong, but we're still seeing winds in the teens for sustained with gusts could be approaching 20 plus miles per hour. And that's enough to really force and drive that fire and continue to keep it advancing unfortunately.

Now let me show you the areas that are being impacted here. First of all, where the fires are, we have one north of Apalachicola, we've got the Palm Bay one that we've been dealing with for about a week and a half now, the Lake Okeechobee fire here and then down some to the Everglades area.

Winds today's predominantly, you can kind of see the flow as you look at the radar here, see how everything's moving from the southwest up to the north and east? It shows you that the winds are coming in mostly from the southwest and that's why, for example, the Miami area has been really sick with smoke the last couple of days. This is a picture here from NOAA and it shows you the smoke dispersion and here you can see the fire in the Everglades, the red here, that's where the real hot spots are and there you can see the smoke. And look at this, this goes all the way out to the Bahamas, by the way.

So those folks are probably smelling that smoke from these fires, too. And then you can see the Lake Okeechobee, the real thick stuff is actually staying over the lake because it's the southwest side where the fires are burning. Let's check in and see how things are doing in Miami right now.

It was a lot thicker earlier this morning, but as you take a look at these pictures, can you see that light haze and you can see it a lot better on that one from WPLG right there. We do think as the winds calm down this evening and into the overnight tonight through early tomorrow morning, that this will get much thicker. So we'll start to see some visibility issues and we could see visibility less than a mile at times. So be aware that those condition are going to be going downhill late tonight and early tomorrow morning. We're expecting a chance of rain tomorrow once again, but much drier by the middle of the week.

Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: OK. Well, that's encouraging. All right. Thanks so much, Jackie.

All right, Senator Ted Kennedy is having tests at a Boston hospital right now. Doctors are trying to figure out still what caused his seizure yesterday. CNN's Deborah Feyerick is standing by with the very latest. So what is the latest on all of these tests, examination, etc?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we can tell you is that the senator has been under observation clearly since he arrived at the hospital yesterday, but still no word on what may have triggered this particular seizure. Doctors are trying to figure that out today. The 76-year-old senator remains in serious condition. His wife Vicki returned to the hospital early this morning. She'd been with him all day yesterday. The main doctor for Senator Kennedy says that it does not appear that Kennedy suffered a stroke according to preliminary tests, but clearly a lot more tests have to be done. That's what's happening right now. A spokesperson says that he will likely be here for a couple of days still.

Remember, seven months ago go, he underwent surgery to clear a blockage in an artery in his neck and that was in order to prevent a stroke. Now, we are told by a spokesperson made the senator got a very good night's sleep, that right now it's a quiet day, he has been resting. Yesterday we're told he watched the Red Sox game. There is another game going on today, so we can presume he's watching that, as well. The senator was supposed to host a charity event yesterday. One that's hosted by the Kennedy family. That event did go on without him. Now the senator is comfortable. He is resting to the extent possible. He is in serious condition, but no imminent danger according to his doctor. Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: All right, Deborah. And then, of course, on the campaign trail, we heard from a number of the candidates yesterday all sending their prayers and their best thoughts. What more do we know about the kind of, I guess, reaction that this has provoked?

FEYERICK: There was a huge outpouring. I think when people first heard about this, initially people feared the worst as to why he might have been helicoptered here to this particular hospital. Again, everybody made a comment wishing his best health, speedy recovery. You have to keep in mind that Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, Senator McCain, all of them are really his colleagues in the senate who he's had a lot of dealings with.

So it took on a very personal nature, not just a political nature, but they all did send their best wishes.

WHITFIELD: Deborah, thanks so much for that update out of Boston out of Mass General Hospital there.

Well, when Senator Kennedy was hospitalized, there were fears that he had suffered a stroke. Well, yesterday I spoke with Dr. Wendy Wright of Emory University Hospital and this is what she had to say about very similar symptoms.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. WENDY WRIGHT, EMORY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Any type the brain is going to react, the brain is only limited in its capability, so a seizure, a stroke, even a brain tumor can all act very similarly. You just look at how the symptoms present, whether they're sudden or come on slowly and you look and see how the brain recovers and that's a lot of times what the doctors will do to try to figure out what is the cause, if it's a seizure or a stroke.

WHITFIELD: And you're not his doctor, but we know public record is he had some plaque in an artery in his neck, he had surgery for that last fall. Might what he experienced today be in any way related to what happened then?

WRIGHT: That certainly can be the case. The blood vessels of the heart, the neck, the brain, they're all very similar, so you build up plaques in different ways and it is possible, one cause of seizure is stroke or even what we call transient ischemic attack, a stroke that's in development but then the body can clear a blood vessel blockage. So it is difficult to tell. But it certainly is possible that a stroke can cause a seizure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. Dr. Wendy Wright there of Emory University Hospital. Well, the White House is also keeping up with Senator Kennedy's condition. A spokesman says the president, quote, "wishes Senator Kennedy a return to good health. His thoughts are with the senator and his family." Unquote. Those remarks from the president.

A more terrifying aftershock and a death toll that just keeps rising. Quake devastated central China announced three days of national mourning to begin tomorrow with a moment of silence. The official number of dead has risen past 32,000. And so far, some 68 organizations from 13 nations are helping China cope with the aftermath of Monday's quake. The first U.S. military planes carrying relief supplies were allowed to land today. The Olympic torch relay across China, well, that has been suspended during the period of mourning. All public recreational activities will also be haltered temporarily.

Well, for many Chinese, sadness has turned to anger. Hundreds of children were buried when their schools collapsed in the quake and the parents blame unsafe construction. John Vause reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first thing you notice about the small town of Wufu (ph) is that every building is still standing except one. The primary school.

As many as 200 children were killed here, crushed to death when three stories of cement came crashing down.

At the school gate, some parents have left their children's I.D. card, others sting cling to them. Like Bi Kaiwei who came rushing from the nearby factory where he worked and started digging with his bear hands.

"We tried to save as many children as we could, he says, but these concrete slabs were too heavy, we couldn't move them."

Five hours later, he found his little girl, Yu Weiching (pH) near the building's only exit. "They were so innocent," he says.

"The scene was like a slaughterhouse," says his wife, "the children were in piles. They were all bodies."

He and his wife says all the parents here believe their children weren't killed by the earthquake, but, rather, by a building which was a death trap made of cheap, shoddy material and unsafe construction.

"If this was a decent building, my daughter wouldn't have died," this woman says.

(on camera): This is all that's left of part of the cement building above one of the classrooms. This is the steel rod holding it together. It's incredibly thin. Almost like wire. You can bend it with your bare hands.

And the general rule is the less steel there is in a building, the less strength it has. So when it shakes, it breaks.

(voice-over): According to state media, almost 7,000 school buildings collapsed during the earthquake and government officials have promised to find out why that number is so high and they say the guilty will be severely punished, perhaps when the schools are rebuilt, they'll meet the same construction standard as this government building just a few miles away from Wufu's primary school and virtually untouched by the quake.

John Vause, CNN, Wufu, China.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And a dire warning today about conditions in Myanmar. Aid agencies there say thousands could die of starvation and disease in the weeks ahead if Myanmar's military leaders do not allow more food and other aid into the country soon.

It's been two weeks since the devastating cyclone slammed in to the country and the death toll has already reached 78,000. For apparently the first time Myanmar's junta leader today visited survivors in a relief camp. His visit comes amid rising criticism that the military has remained indifferent to the suffering of the people.

And we know you may want to help, so at cnn.com, we have a special page on the devastation in Myanmar and in China complete will links to aid agencies offering help for the region. It's a chance for you to impact your world.

Potential buyers, take a tour of foreclosed homes, deal or no deal. In the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. President Bush is heading home from his Middle East mission with hopeful words, but not much to show for his efforts. The president left Egypt this morning after a five day tour. While he's still outwardly optimistic about the prospects of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, he admits that it's going to be a demanding task.

CNN Middle East correspondent Aneesh Raman reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What began in Israel continued in Egypt with President Bush reaffirming his hope for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians soon.

GEORGE W. BUSH, U.S. PRESIDENT: And I firmly believe that with leadership and courage, we can reach that peace agreement this year.

RAMAN: But on this trip, President Bush never visited the Palestinian areas, leading many in the Arab world to suggest he's siding with Israel. On Saturday, Bush was eager to prove them wrong after meeting the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

BUSH: It breaks my heart to see the vast potential of the Palestinian people really wasted. These are good, smart, capable people that when begin a chance will build a thriving homeland. RAMAN: As usual, on the trip, there was no lack of meetings with key players in the peace process, from Israel's prime minister and president in Jerusalem to the king of Saudi Arabia it, to the Jordanian king and president of Egypt in Sharm el Sheikh.

And while White House officials say that tangible progress has been made in what they describe as intensive negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, they gave no specifics, citing a need for confidentiality.

On the ground, prospects seem slim at best. Bush is in his final year as president. The Israeli prime minister is facing calls for resignation amid a bribery scandal and President Abbas faces political uncertainty with the Palestinians still divided over his leadership.

To close the trip, President Bush used a major address to the World Economic Forum to challenge Arab countries to open up economically, politically, and confront the growing threat from Iran. But it was telling that it wasn't until midway through the speech that he mentioned his hope for a Palestinian state by year's end.

BUSH: I strongly support a two state solution.

RAMAN (on camera): White House officials say President Bush is contemplating returning to the region this fall, hoping still to secure what's been elusive for dick aids, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Aneesh Raman, CNN, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: And across America now, a hazmat team is cleaning up in Lafayette, Louisiana. Thousands of people there were evacuated yesterday after derailed train cars began leaking hydrochloric acid. A toxic cloud spread over the city and residents still don't know when they'll be allowed to return to their homes there.

And a chemical reaction sparked an explosion at a thermal spa factory in Wallingford, Connecticut yesterday. The contamination is now contained and a hazardous waste team is cleaning up. Six people were treated for reactions to those chemicals.

And Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown cruised to victory at the Preakness yesterday. Excited racing fans are thinking Triple Crown. Big Brown will get his chance to join the race for royalty three weeks from now at New York's Belmont Stakes.

A Chicago based company is recalling ground beef that may be tainted with e. coli. The meat was distributed in 11 states in the East and Midwest, from Florida to Nebraska, the beef under the name Morreale Meat was produced by JSM Meat Holdings. Federal officials say no illnesses have actually been reported.

And it's just two days until the Kentucky and Oregon primaries, and the Democrats are on the trail and John McCain is -- well, he's cracking jokes. We are live with the best political team on television in the NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAPT. STEVEN RUIZ, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: He gave his child, his young child, a kiss on the cheek, proceeded to remove the weapon, and take aim at the mother of the child.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh. A child custody dispute erupted in to gunfire yesterday at a church festival in Los Angeles. Police say Fernando Diaz opened fire on his ex-wife, wounding her in the arm and two other people were shot before bystanders grabbed Diaz and held him until police arrived.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He went to pick up his bag and so I just started chasing after him and went around by the slides, and then I just tackled him and everybody else just piled on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that all you can do? Is that all you can do? Basically taunting us, kicking, thrashing. At one point I thought he was looking maybe for another weapon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: One man was shot in the chest and remains in critical condition. Diaz is in custody facing attempted murder charges.

All right, if you filled up your gas tank yesterday, good for you. Because according to AAA, gas prices increased again overnight. In fact, this is the 12th straight day gas price increases. The average cost of a gallon right now is $3.79. It's a bargain in two state, however. The average price for a gallon of gas in Alaska and Connecticut now over $4.00.

Well, it is indeed a sink or swim economy for many and nowhere is that more clear than in the home foreclosure mess. If you have the cash or perhaps you have the credit, you can you jump on board the latest craze, the home foreclosure bus tour. Kate Bolduan reports one family's loss is someone else's bargain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CRISTIN PATTI, REALTOR: As of right now, nobody's purchased these homes.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two and a half hours, eight home, 20 potential home buyers and one unique way to sell a house. On a bus.

PATTI: We will make an offer. There's definitely room to negotiate.

BOLDUAN: It's called a foreclosure bus tour, a first for this Virginia realtor in response to the flood of foreclosures.

PATTI: Foreclosures happen every day. Properties are still being sold on the courthouse steps. They're still being sold on the auction block. Right now we're just making the process more organized.

BOLDUAN: While the potential home buyers have very different ideas of what they're looking for, all have one thing in common.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a great opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe that this is perfect opportunity.

CHAD HESPELL, PROSPECTIVE HOME BUYER: I feel like we have an opportunity now to get a good bargain out there.

BOLDUAN: Like many people on the tour, Chad Hespell is looking to buy his first home.

HESPELL: I kind of look at it like buying a pair of jeans. I could go to a designer store and buy the jeans or go to a Filene's Basement. So I kind of think of the bus tour as going to the Filene's Basement to get the best bargain for the same house.

BOLDUAN: Others say they're looking for the perfect investment.

YAMILEE DAMBREVILLE, INVESTOR: I've invested in other things and I'm looking for that gold mine.

BOLDUAN: A gold mine, that remains to be seen. Long & Foster says the open house on wheels resulted in one sale and more homes in negotiation.

DAMBREVILLE: Unfortunately with foreclosure, people are losing their homes and it's unfortunate, but the reality is this is an opportunity for us as investors to look into it.

BOLDUAN (on camera): The realtors here say they're already planning more foreclosure tours because they've received so many requests. They now want to tailor the tours to specific customer need, certain neighborhoods or tours just for investors and others just for first time home buyers. Kate Bolduan, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. Being paid $8.00 an hour just to show up?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My math grade was like a 30 something. Now it's As.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: OK. A program that pays students to attend class. Some call it successful, some are simply outraged. We'll tell what you students are saying. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Checking stories now in the news. Florida battles wildfires. A smoke advisory has been issued for the Miami Dade area as some 33,000 acres of Everglades National Park burns. It's one of four major blazes firefighters are battling across Florida. And President Bush is heading home after his Middle East trip. He says he believes it is possible that a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians can be reached this year.

And Senator Ted Kennedy remains in a Boston hospital as doctors try to find out what caused his seizure. His doctor says he didn't suffer a stroke.

More now on those Florida wildfires. At least four major fires are now burning from the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast to Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. The worst of the four fires is in Everglades. Winds there are bringing the blaze closer to populated areas. In Miami-Dade County. And authorities say 33,000 acres of the Everglades National Park is on fire. The National Weather service has issued a smoke advisory for the county warning that haze could pose health and driving hazards. And the fire threatens private property and the endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow.

Jacqui Jeras is in the weather center keeping a close watch on this. Earlier you showed the images. The haze is pretty remarkable.

JERAS: It really is. In fact, our meteorologist over at CNN International, Maria Ramos (ph), if you know her, I just got off the phone with her, she's from Miami. She's visiting her parents there this weekend and she's near the airport and says there were literally pieces of ash as big as four inches just literally falling from the sky. So she says it's very thick, it is very miserable, it hurts your throat and makes you very uncomfortable and as long as we continue to have this southwest flow going on, you're going to continue to get that smoke into Miami Dade County. We also have red flag warnings in affect there. The good news is that we do have some moisture beginning to move in. Most of it is across Central Florida, you've got a front kind of stalling out, kind of dying a little bit here. But it's enough that it's kind of starting to trigger in some moisture and also popping up a couple of showers and thunderstorms.

The wind speeds still a little stronger than I'd like it to be, but not terrible. In the teens. 18 miles per hour, 17 miles per hour in Miami. You can see predominantly the winds are from the southwest, but they're veering a little bit occasionally from the south at times.

There are those red flag warnings from Palm Beach County down towards Miami-Dade County also including Broward County for you there as well.

And to show you this really spans the entire state from the Panhandle just north of Apalachicola, to the Palm Bay fire, that's about 75 percent contained now. We still have one over Lake Okeechobee and then down in it to the Everglades. So this is going to be an on going thing. Temperatures hot in Florida, in the 90s there today. We've got a lot of heat still on going across parts of the West. We had a number of record highs yesterday and temperatures today, we're looking at 20 degrees above average for parts of the inner Mountain West. This heat will start to sink down to the Southwest into the four corners region on that for Monday and into Tuesday, so we have a lot of heat advisories and heat watches in effect for that. We're also keeping our eye on the flooding situation in the Pacific Northwest because we have such a great snow pack, like twice what it should be for this time of the year. And it's all melting down with these extreme temperatures. So in the dark green areas here that's why we have the flood warnings. A lot of these rivers starting to come out of their banks. And then flood watches in effect into the lighter green. This goes all the way into parts of Montana.

So we've got a lot of extreme weather going on. No tornados at least not yet. I don't want to jinx it. We've got a slight risk up towards the Delmarva Region, so it's an active day across the country even though we're not having a lot of extreme severe weather breaking out.

WHITFIELD: I don't want to jinx it either but finally a weekend without a tornado. Giving the entire country a break. That is nice.

JERAS: Knock on wood.

WHITFIELD: Yeah, knock on wood. I got it right up here. Thanks a lot, Jacqui.

All right. On to presidential politics now. Even though the pundits say the race is already decided, the campaign for the presidential Democratic campaign continues this weekend. Hillary Clinton hopes to win the Kentucky primary Tuesday, but Barack Obama hopes to emerge as the winner of the Oregon primary that same day. Our Jim Acosta is with the Obama campaign in Oregon and we have Suzanne Malveaux covering the Clinton campaign in Kentucky. She's on the CNN Election Express Bus. Right now she is outside of the bus. But from Frankfort, Suzanne, how are you?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm great, Fred.

Don't tell Hillary Clinton that the race is over. She is conducting a series of rallies across the state this weekend in Kentucky. We've heard some very similar themes. She's said don't think of this as a personal decision, but one who would you hire. She also talked about the person who was ready on day one, the fact that 35 generals have endorsed her, all the kinds of things that we've heard in the past, saying that she'll work her heart out for the voters and really a direct plea to them, saying on Tuesday, come out, vote for me. She talks about her economic plan, she talks about her tax break. The gas tax break. All of this really looking forward to with a she sees as a win in Kentucky.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I really know that many of you are committed to making sure your vote counts on Tuesday. And I am happy that Kentucky is going to help pick a president and we're going look forward to Election Day. If we get everybody turned out, it's going to send a great message to our country that you don't stop democracy in its tracks. You don't tell some states that they can't vote and other states that have already had the opportunity that they're somehow more important. I don't believe that. I want everybody to vote and everybody to help pick our next president. I am proud to be campaigning in Kentucky. Now, my opponent said the other day he wasn't coming back, so I've got the whole state to myself. What a treat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Well, Fred, the numbers are not looking in her favor, but is he certainly is looks quite optimistic, at least defiant. But there was something rather telling. She said at one point when she was talking about giving voters the break that tax break on gas for the summer, she said, and I'm quoting here, "If I were president, that's what I would do." If I were, using the past tense, not if I am president or if I would become president. So you've got to take a look at that, see if there's some sort of realization that perhaps it is not going to happen for her. But she clearly campaigning, campaigning very, very hard, looking forward to Tuesday. Specifically looking for support in Kentucky.

WHITFIELD: Not as definitive as we've heard her in the past when she'll say when I am president. In the mean time, just listen to her voice. Clearly this is very fatiguing. Her energy level seems pretty high up even though her competitor is not in that state, as well. How does she seem to be holding up given that this is just nonstop?

MALVEAUX: She seems to be holding up rather well. We've seen at times from time to time she loses her voice or she loses her way, but she really looks very focused, very direct here, very energized by these crowds here. And she also, too, has -- the rhetoric has changed somewhat. She did go after Obama when it came to that difference in the tax break their for gas prices, but we have not heard the fiery rhetoric these two opponents against each other.

She really has saved a lot of that for John McCain and President Bush. So there really is a lot more discussion from these two candidates at least about being united when it comes to the party.

WHITFIELD: And does that, perhaps just looking at the crystal ball, does that say anything about how these two campaigns might want to come together?

I know there's a "Washington Post" article today which talks about the fund-raising campaigns of Clinton and Obama trying to have meetings kind of behind closed doors so to speak. What does that say about the campaigns in general as to what the two will be coming together?

MALVEAUX: Well, Fred, we've already seen the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean has put all kind of this joint effort fund- raising for both of these candidates to really try to show people that, look, now is the time that we have to think about the party, not necessarily about specific candidates. And insiders on both camps here looking very much at the future here, how do we bring these two camps together whoever becomes the nominee, they're going to have to unite. They realize they have a lot of leg work to do in a very short period of time, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Suzanne Malveaux there in Frankfort, Kentucky. Thanks so much. And now let's take a journey halfway across the country. Barack Obama addressing a rally in Portland, Oregon momentarily. CNN's Jim Acosta is there and he joins us live. Jim?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Fredricka. I don't know if Suzanne mentioned this, but it's been sort of a laid back campaign weekend for Barack Obama. After all the drama yesterday surrounding the health of Senator Kennedy, things sort of settled down out here in Oregon. Barack Obama making a few campaign stops that were essentially off the cuff, meeting and greetings with voters, more of these personal one-on-one type of outings that we've seen from the candidate over the last several weeks.

He hit a street festival in Kaiser, Oregon earlier this morning, also stopped for ice cream in Eugene, Oregon. And I'm standing out on the river front in Portland, Oregon where Barack Obama will be speaking to a rally of people who are also going to be attending sort of an outdoor music event. So this has sort of the feeling of an Obamapalooza out here if you will.

As for the campaign trail, the candidates have been spending a lot less time talking about each other. We've noticed that to Barack Obama. He's directing more of his attention towards John McCain and he said at an event earlier this morning, speaking with seniors in Gresham, Oregon, that's very by here to Portland, he suggested that Senator McCain has not received the type of scrutiny that he has received, that Obama has received, throughout the course of this campaign so far and that he expects Senator McCain to receive more scrutiny over the coming months before the general election.

The last time, Fredricka, I should also note that this state mattered very much was way back in 1968, 40 years ago, when Robert Kennedy was campaigning for the Democratic nomination and some of the local stations here this morning playing footage of RFJ Jr. (ph) on the back of a train making whistle stop campaign event appearances throughout Oregon back in 1968. Sort of interesting to see that flashback in time, but Barack Obama after he's here in Portland, he heads off to Montana which holds one of the last contests coming up on June the 3rd.

WHITFIELD: Yesterday, Jim, I talked with a columnist with "The Oregonian" yesterday and he talked about how Oregonians as a whole love the fact that they really do matter because it's been a long time since they felt that they have in this primary season. All right. Thanks so much, Jim Acosta.

And of course we'll have much more on the presidential campaign late other this afternoon. CNN's BALLOT BOWL begins in less than 90 minutes. 4:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00 p.m. Pacific.

Fighting for Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, despite a week old cease fire agreement. At least four people died and 38 others were wounded in battles between Shiite militants and U.S backed Iraqi troops. The two sides blame each other for the violence, but a spokesman for the militants says the cease fire remains in place despite the fighting.

Severely wounded in the war, now recovered and ready to return. Not as a soldier, but as a journalist. CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier tells her story of survival in "Breathing the Fire." I talked with her recently about surviving the bombing that took the lives of her crew.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIMBERLY DOZIER, JOURNALIST: Within a couple months of bombing, I stopped having the nightmares, I had a version of flashbacks those first two months. I could feel the blast going on again in the hospital bed. But that all stopped. I am one of the lucky ones. This is the path that worked for me. I'm hoping other people out there who hear about this will consider maybe that's a way that might work for them.

WHITFIELD: There was moment perhaps a really long moment where you felt guilty because you were the lone survivor here. And had it not been for a colleague at ABC, Bob Woodruff, who went through something very similar in Iraq, he said something to you which helped you remove some of that guilt. What was it?

DOZIER: Well, he knew Paul and James, and he said, your guy, they didn't get told what to do. No one told them where to go. They were at the top of their game, professionals who loved their job, they chose to there been that day. If you take that choice away from them, you dishonor their memory. You've got respect who they were and what they chose to do. From then on, that's what I held on to. Every time I felt a twinge of guilt and I realized I needed to honor them and the way they did their jobs and lived their lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: Dozier also told me that she hopes the book will help shed light on what thousands of soldiers and marines are experiencing right now as they struggle to recover.

All right. Movies straight ahead. Indiana Jones whipping in to action. Who doesn't love Indy? His newest action adventure and the search for lost treasure in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. According to the Indiana Jones Web site, we're three days and just over nine hours away from the release of the "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Unless, of course, you have of you happen to be in town for the world's most famous film festival and that's where, of course, our CNN's Brooke Anderson is and she nabbed an interview with Indy himself, Harrison Ford.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After a nearly two decade wait, Indiana Jones is returning to the silver screen here at the Cannes Film Festival. I caught up to Harrison Ford who opened up to me about being an older Indy this time around.

How does it feel to be back as Indiana Jones?

HARRISON FORD, ACTOR: It's a great pleasure. It's a great pleasure because the experience was a wonderful experience. It was a pleasure to be part of the kind of film that brings so much to an audience, to be able to make another film after this 20 year period.

ANDERSON: You're a more mature Indiana Jones.

FORD: No, I'm not more mature, I'm 20 years older.

ANDERSON: Were there challenges because of the 20 year ...

FORD: No, no, not really. I mean, I always tried to be as fit as possible to mitigate against injury. And I wanted to be, you know -- remain injury free during this one, so I did get as fit as I could.

ANDERSON: And you were injury free?

FORD: Yeah. I haven't been hurt by anything. Waiting for the reviews, but we'll see.

ANDERSON: Do you think Indiana Jones, because it has such an incredible appeal, will be bullet proof regardless of ...

FORD: Nothing is bullet proof. People take shots at the pope. No, there's nothing bullet proof. And that's why you don't have this, you know, expectation that what you're producing is going to be wildly admired.

But when you make it for people and you understand how the machinery of it all works as Stephen and George do, I hope I have some understanding of it, you reach for the best of your professional capacity. We're storytellers. People don't want to hear us tell a story badly, you know? And so we all, all of us, feel the obligation to work at our highest levels.

ANDERSON: Are you proud of the film?

FORD: I am. I am damn proud of it.

Put your hands down, will you? You're embarrassing us.

ANDERSON: Director Steven Spielberg told me he's a business anxious about showing the film, but he, too, is very proud of it. Reporting from the 61st Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, Brooke Anderson, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: All right. What do you think about this idea? Incentive, as in money to study? A controversial program in Georgia that pays students to study is coming to an end this week. CNN's Josh Levs looks at how the program worked and if money is the answer to better grades.

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JOSH LEVS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A celebration for kids under a national microscope. They've completed a 15 week program created by former House speaker Newt Gingrich who sends a video.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: You're now part of history.

LEVS: And controversy. A private foundation paid these students in Fairburn, Georgia near Atlanta $8.00 an hour to show up for four hours of tutoring a week in math and science. The program was aimed at low income families. Some area parents wrote to the "Atlanta Journal- Constitution" condemning the program. One called it "unfair to kids who work hard to begin with."

Some experts worry it could make kids less interested in learning if they're not paid.

ALFIE KOHN, AUTHOR, "PUNISHED BY REWARDS": Rewards aren't just ineffective, they're counterproductive and we've seen this over and over again.

LEVS: The school says the learn and earn program brought --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of academic growth.

LEVS: Junior Camille Meeks (ph) was failing math. She says it worked.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I've passed each one of my last Georgia graduation (inaudible).

LEVS: As for the money, she tells us later.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I use it to for my hair like accessories and all.

LEVS: Fourteen-year-old Jailyn Brown signed up partly to help his mom pay bills, but she says now ...

JAILYN BROWN, STUDENT: I would do it for money wasn't involved.

LEVS: His mother, Alanna Taylor wants him to continue without being paid.

ALANNA TAYLOR, JAILYN BROWN'S MOTHER: He's motivated by the learning now.

LEVS: Determining the program's success could prove tricky since some students like Alexis Yarger say they never cared about the money and just wanted good tutoring.

ALEXIS YARGER, STUDENT: My math grade was like 30 something. Now it's As.

LEVS: Of the 40 students selected for the program, school officials say 34 stuck with it. One moved away. Five quit.

JIM EMSHOFF, "LEARN AND EARN" EVALUATOR: And the ones that dropped out, we know anecdotally that the ones that dropped out simply felt like there wasn't enough money for the a work they were doing. One teacher says the program is a sign of the times. He is says parents are busier than when he was in school and society more materialistic.

DAVID MACKEY, TEACHER, BEAR CREEK MIDDLE SCHOOL: We're looking for alternative measures to try to save the children, try to invest in the children, just try to give them that extra edge.

LEVS (on camera): The school plans to have an official report this summer analyzing how the program affected the kids' grades and how important the money was over all. School officials say if the program is declare add big success, they may expand on it and encourage other schools to follow.

Josh Levs, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Right back to presidential politics.

In a moment, John McCain taking swipes at the Democrats, but in a not so serious way. A late Saturday night for the presidential candidate in the NEWSROOM.

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(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to give you this piece of advice. Democrats, I have to urge you, do not under any circumstances pick a candidate too soon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, so you don't think Hillary should drop out?

MCCAIN: Absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I told you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cool it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You cool it.

MCCAIN: That's right, fight amongst yourselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you say?

MCCAIN: Nothing.

But what I want to say to the Democrats is this, you have two incredibly talented candidates. Why not take every possible second to weigh each of their pros and cons? For all you know, there are a bunch of cons you don't even know about yet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, Senator John McCain, following in the footsteps of his political rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton making an appearance on the late night comedy show "Saturday Night Live" as well as taking shots at the Clinton-Obama battle. The presumptive Republican nominee poked a little fun at his age.

All right. Well, we have other campaign laughs for you. Barack Obama taking some heat, the Obama girl trying to beat the heat, and a guy with a Hillary Clinton tattoo. Our Jeanne Moos gets to cover all those major stories on the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So, ladies, would you mind if Senator Barack Obama said this to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, how are you going to help the American auto worker?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hold on one second, sweetie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't mind if anyone calls me sweetie.

MOOS: From Senator Obama's sweetie apology ...

OBAMA: It's a bad habit of mine.

MOOS: To the Hillary tattoo.

So I hear you have Hillary Clinton on your thigh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.

MOOS: To the Obama girl deodorant commercial?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I try to be a little sexy, but this is not the way.

MOOS: Some of these campaign stories are the pit, but somebody has to cover them. Barack Obama blew off a reporter for CNN Detroit affiliate WXYZ and then ended up leaving an apology on the reporter's voice mail.

OBAMA: A bad habit of mine before do I it sometimes with all kinds of people. I mean no disrespect and so I'm duly chastened on that front.

MOOS: Would you mind if Barack Obama called you sweetie?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He could call me sweetie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would prefer darling.

MOOS: How sweet does this retired doctor get with nurses?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I worked with them, I didn't call them sweetie. Now that I'm retired, I call them sweetie and they think it's just fine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I call everybody honey because i don't remember their name.

MOOS: I'll call my cameraman darling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't.

MOOS: "Baby" is what Obama girl call her favorite senator. Well, now she's pedaling the best deodorant.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had a problem of excess perspiration before I started using Certain Dry (ph).

MOOS: Gee, we never noticed her excess perspiration before.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pretty sexy, huh?

MOOS: Actually, not so much. Now this, is sexy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm pretty sure the other guy in the world with a Hillary tattoo.

MOOS: Louis Delgado is a tattoo artist in Philadelphia. Another artist by the name of Buffalo Bill gave him this Hillary tattoo as a tribute to the wannabe first female president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's awesome. I'm in love with the tattoo.

MOOS: It took about three hours to do.

You're not worry that had she may end up being kind after loser and you're stuck with a loser on your thigh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, in my eyes Hillary could never be a loser.

MOOS: She's certainly gotten under his skin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that make Hillary a Dermocrat?

MOOS: By the way, if you want to see Louis' view of Hillary, it's upside down, but with a leg up on the race. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Oh, that Jeanne. So clever. All right, YOUR MONEY is coming up next, then don't miss BALLOT BOWL, 4:00. Both the Democratic candidates are pushing toward Tuesday's primary, and pushing hard. First, a look at today's headlines. We'll be right back.

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