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Major Development in Myanmar; Barack Obama's Possible Choices for VP; Tornado Leaving Devastation in Northern Colorado; John McCain Releasing his Medical Records; FLDS Mom Breaks her Silence

Aired May 23, 2008 - 09:00   ET


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

HARRIS: You will see events come into the NEWSROOM live on Friday, May 23rd.

Here's what's on the rundown.

WHITFIELD: John McCain -- we're finding out what's in his medical records today. Plus, fallout after McCain rejects the (INAUDIBLE) from two evangelical preachers.

HARRIS: That's the ticket? Sources telling CNN the Obama and Clinton campaigns are talking today about Clinton for VP.

WHITFIELD: A monster tornado rips northern Colorado. Homeowners looking at damage and telling stories of terror, in the NEWSROOM

HARRIS: OK. Let's get going. A very busy morning shaping up for you. Off the top -- politics.

John McCain trying to show he's fit to be president. Next hour CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta gets a look at McCain's medical records. But some details are coming out already. Sanjay joins us live now from Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Sanjay, good morning to you. What have you learned?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, first of all, there's about 1,200 pages almost of medical records over the last eight years so a lot to go through as you might imagine, Tony.

But the thing that we thought would be of greatest concern is, and that is his skin history, this melanoma history, that's been pretty well documented. We know, in fact, that melanoma was 2.2 millimeters deep. That's relevant because the size matters and the depth matters when it comes to melanoma.

We also know that just this past February, just a few months ago, he had another cancerous lesion, a squamous cell carcinoma removed from his skin as well and has had many precancerous lesions removed. So, you know, this is something doctors are really focused on, the health of his skin, especially given this cancer history. He's had some benign polyps removed from his colon as well. That was in March.

That's what we're starting to learn -- piece together regarding his cancer history.

Now, Tony, as you might imagine with regards to a 17-year-old man, you know, his heart history is also going to be of importance. We hear, for example, that his cholesterol is good but not optimal. We hear that he can go 10 minutes on a treadmill, which is very good. That's the gold standard, sort of, when it comes to testing someone's heart health.

Now we also know that he's complained in the past of episodes of dizziness. When he goes from sitting to standing he had dizziness. Doctors checked that out and they thought this was something known as vertigo. That is a condition of the inner ear that can cause dizziness.

What I didn't see, Tony, and I'm going to be looking for, are specific numbers with regards to his heart health. Blood pressure readings, his cholesterol readings, specifically. There was also really no mention of his mental health. Something that he did talk about back in '99 the last time these records were released.

HARRIS: OK. And Sanjay, I suspect you'll also want to know what medications John McCain -- what's he taking these days? I would imagine that would be something of importance to you.

GUPTA: Yes. We're hearing a couple of things about that. We've heard that he used to be on a medication known as Vytorin. And Tony, you will remember you and I had conversations about some of the problems that Vytorin was having.


GUPTA: His doctors switched him over to a medication known as Simvastatin, which is also a medication to lower cholesterol. We also hear they take some baby aspirin. Again, both of those medications to control heart health. But you know, if there's other medications that are in his history, I'm certainly going to look for those and report them to you.

HARRIS: OK. All right. So, Sanjay, whenever you get any information that you deem important, just give us a heads up and we'll get right back to you.

Appreciate it, Sanjay. Thank you.

GUPTA: All right, Tony. Thanks. You got it.

HARRIS: And a reminder, you can see more of Dr. Gupta this weekend. He has a special where he explores the health demands of being commander in chief. It is a special one-hour edition called "First Patient" this weekend on CNN.

WHITFIELD: A presidential candidate repudiating comments from a controversial pastor. This time the candidate is John McCain. Mary Snow live from Fountain Hills, Arizona, just outside Phoenix.

Mary, Senator McCain rejected two endorsements as we understand, right?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he did, Fredricka. And the first one was John Hagee, as you just mentioned. That was the story broken here on CNN by Brian Todd. And this happened when Reverend Hagee's comments surfaced. These are comments made in the late 1990s, saying that Adolph Hitler had been sent by God to force the Jews to come back to the land of Israel.

And when contacted, Senator McCain said he was unaware of those comments, calling them crazy and unacceptable. And then he rejected Reverend Hagee's endorsement.

Here's a little bit of what he had to say yesterday on the campaign trail.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just think that the statement is crazy. I would reject the endorsement in an expression of those kinds of views.


SNOW: And Hagee, by the way, also withdrew his endorsement of John McCain. That was an endorsement McCain had sought.

Now shortly after that, a second rejection came when this -- involving Rod Parsley. He is a preacher in Ohio. He has been known to make anti-Islamic comments, saying that the religion itself is inherently violent. And Senator McCain also distancing himself.

There have been some talk about, of course, Senator Obama's controversy with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And McCain has been trying to set some divisions there, saying, pointing out yesterday to reporters that he had not been a member of Parsley's church as reverend -- as Senator Obama had been a member of Jeremiah Wright's church.

So he's still trying to keep that controversy in the headlines. But these are two fairly influential televangelists that McCain found himself -- distancing himself very quickly from yesterday.

WHITFIELD: And Mary...

SNOW: Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: ... all of this taking place just as he is about to embark himself on a social gathering, meet and greet with potential vice presidential candidates this weekend in his home.

SNOW: That's right. And, you know, he really has played this down. You know we just heard from Sanjay Gupta about the medical records being released today, all that focus. Meanwhile, Senator McCain is out of the public eye today. He's at his home in Sedona and that he has invited about 10 couples. He says it's a social gathering. But certainly there are a lot of speculation because of the guest list.

And on that guest list are three men seen as potential running mates. And that is -- sorry about that. That's Mitt Romney, former presidential rival of Senator McCain, he's also the former Massachusetts governor, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and also Charlie Crist of Florida.

The campaign says this is not a formal vetting process but, of course, we'll see what happens on this weekend.

WHITFIELD: All right, Mary Snow, thanks so much in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

And of course, you can find out more about the candidates at, your source for everything political.

HARRIS: And also making news this morning, a state of emergency now in place in parts of Colorado, the result of a large and powerful tornado.

CNN's Sean Callebs is getting a look at the damage in Windsor, Colorado this morning.

Sean, good to see you. If you would, give us an idea of what you've been able to witness there.

SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's -- the devastation is pretty wide spread. This was a huge, huge storm that blew through the plains area here. And if you saw that big black cloud bearing down on this area, you can only imagine what it was like for the 20,000 or so people here in Windsor who had to endure that.

If you look behind me, you can just see some of the remnants of a trucking company just simply tossed around. And in the distance you see a lot of homes. The roofs have been peeled back, a lot of damage, windows blown out. That's just a pretty good microcosm of what this whole area has had to deal with.

Right over here, this is probably one of the more amazing stories of survival. That is a day care. 140 children in there when the tornado hit. Windows blew out. Debris began flying around. Listen to what the assistant director says.


SHARNA BRUNTZ, DAYCARE WORKER: It felt like forever but it was probably maybe five minutes, I guess. You know, you -- we have -- in this big gymnasium we have like toys and stuff and they were kind of blowing around and the dirt was blown around. The glass had shattered in on us. And we had all the kids up against the wall and covering them and...

(END VIDEO CLIP) CALLEBS: Boy, they followed the disaster preparedness training to a tee. They got all the children against the wall. No one was injured. But after the storm came through they began to smell natural gas coming through from some of the pipes so they took all 140 kids out with the permanent records so they could make sure everyone was there, took them to a neighboring bank.

They even had to put some infants in cribs and wheel them over. Despite all this, Tony, the only injury -- one instructor suffered a minor cut from a piece of glass.

But this storm did leave its mark on this area. We know at least one person died, 13 people treated for injuries, perhaps more. Authorities are just now going back to these neighborhoods but trying to keep the media out because they're concerned about power lines being down, people going into buildings that aren't structurally sound.

So that's the reason we're kind of on the outside...


CALLEBS: ... looking in on this -- what's become a very sunny, blue sky today.

HARRIS: Oh boy, the calm after a storm. But boy, don't you love when a plan really works and then smart people improve upon the plan, getting those kids to the bank and getting them out of harm's way and get -- that's a great story.

Sean Callebs for us this morning. Sean, appreciate it. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: I think, Tony, we can call this the spring of the tornado.


WHITFIELD: Because it wasn't just there but we're talking even further west. A California Highway Patrol officer said that he saw a tornado topple boxcars on train tracks. A truck driver had to be cut out of his tractor trailer when winds turned that vehicle over. The same weather system brought drenching rain, hail and a dusting of snow to other parts of Southern California.

Several tornadoes moved through western Kansas last night as well. Check out the formation of this funnel cloud. Very ominous. Very scary.


WHITFIELD: At the same time, an eerie beauty about it, too. Wouldn't you think?


WHITFIELD: Several homes were also damaged but there were no reports of deaths or injuries. No serious injuries, thankfully.


Let's get to Reynolds Wolf in this morning for Rob Marciano, who is in New York in AMERICAN MORNING.

Reynolds, good to see you. What are you following today?


HARRIS: Sounds like it.


WOLF: Yes.

WHITFIELD: It really is. All right. Thanks so much, Reynolds.

Well, of course, when weather becomes the news, remember to send us your iReports. Go to and click on iReport or type into your cell phone.

Remember, we want you to be safe.

HARRIS: What do you say we give you a quick update on the wildfire in northern California? Weather officials are predicting milder winds and higher humidity in the Santa Cruz Mountains today. Great news there. That's where a hundred of firefighters have been battling a wind-driven fire since early yesterday. We brought you the first pictures right here in the NEWSROOM --Fred.


HARRIS: Yes. More than 3,000 acres have burned. Hundreds of residents ordered to leave. So far the fire is only about 15 percent contained.

WHITFIELD: And this straight ahead, mothers win, Texas loses. Surprise twist in a custody battle over children taken from a polygamist ranch. We're on the story.

ANNOUNCER: CNN NEWSROOM brought to you by...


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

A soldier killed in Iraq, now a father, 18 months after his death. We will talk with his widow and the mother of his child.


WHITFIELD: No proof of abuse. A Texas appeals court says the state had no right to remove children from that polygamist compound last month. CNN's Ed Lavandera is on the case in San Angelo, Texas.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It is a scathing opinion issued by the Texas Court of Appeals. The nine-page decision blasts fellow judges and the Department of Family and Protective Services, ruling there was no evidence children would be subjected to sexual or physical abuse, that there was no evidence they were in urgent danger, and no evidence that required their immediate removal from the compound.

The appeal was brought by 38 mothers whose children were removed from the Yearning for Zion compound. The ruling only affects their children. But outside the courthouse a lawyer representing the mothers said the reasoning would apply to all of the children.

JULIE BALOVICH, LEGAL AID, TEXAS RIO GRANDE: The Third Court of Appeals has stood up for the legal rights of these families and given the mothers hope that their families will be brought back together very soon.

LAVANDERA: The opinion also throws out the earlier order granting temporary custody of the children to the state.

This historic custody battle began in early April. Acting on phone calls, whose authenticity is now being doubted by the court, authorities raided the ranch and removed more than 460 children.

The FLDS denies allegation of sexual or physical abuse and says they are being persecuted for their religious beliefs.

Responding to the appellate court's opinion, a spokesman for the Department of Family and Protective Services released a statement saying, "We just received this information from the court of appeals and it is being reviewed. We are trying to assess the impact this may have on our case and what our next steps will be."

Kids are living in shelters across the state and will remain there for at least the next 10 days. That's how long the state has to appeal this court ruling or return the children to their mothers.


WHITFIELD: And Ed Lavandera joins us now from San Angelo.

So, Ed, attorneys for the children say the state's case is dismantling in other ways as well.

LAVANDERA: Right. They point to a couple of things. Remember that throughout the week there have been these child custody hearings going on here in San Angelo. And remember early on the state said that what they found inside that compound when they raided it in early April was this wide spread of abuse, that that's what they had seen. And they based that on several things. First of all they had said that there were some 31 underage women that were found inside the compound. In the recent weeks that number has now dwindled to five. So that's one of the things they point to. The second thing is, in case after case this week here in San Angelo, case workers have been testifying in each of the individual child custody hearings.

They're repeatedly asked, "What kind of evidence of abuse have you found?"


LAVANDERA: And none of these case workers were able to specifically cite any allegations of abuse or any evidence of abuse in each of those cases.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And there were never any charges imposed against any of the men who would have allegedly carried out some of these abuses.

So meantime -- now what about how this started in the first place. There was a phone call that came in. What about that person? That person was charged early on in the investigation but where is that investigation?

LAVANDERA: Right. It was a Colorado woman from Colorado Springs. That case -- it was a misdemeanor charge. She was bonded and released. So it is largely believed to have been a hoax. In fact, it came up during one of the child custody hearings of this week. And no one around here seems to believe that it was ever a credible call.

WHITFIELD: Hmm, interesting. All right. Ed Lavandera, thanks so much. We know this case is far from over.



HARRIS: And making her mark this week, a China earthquake rescue responder. This 29-year-old officer was called to emergency duty when the quake struck May 12th. She is the mother of a 6-month-old boy and was ready to help other children breastfeeding up to nine babies at one time. She calls it simply a mother's reaction and says all the attention is unnecessary.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: "I think what I did was normal," she says. "In a quake zone, many people do things for others. This was a small thing not worth mentioning."


HARRIS: Well, one Chinese newspaper dubbed her in a front page headline, "China's Mother Number One." WHITFIELD: And that would be an understatement...


WHITFIELD: ...after doing all that.

All right. Canceling holiday trips. It might be you. You can guess exactly what is keeping so many people at home this holiday weekend.

ANNOUNCER: "Making Their Mark" is sponsored by...


HARRIS: Gas jumps more than four cents a gallon nationwide in one day. Sky-high prices showing more ripple effects.

Stephanie Elam "Minding Your Business" this morning.

That ripple is becoming a full-own wave and a big one at that, Stephanie.



ELAM: I need to change beats or something, Tony, because all I do is tell everyone about the doom and gloom of going out to the gas pump. That's all I talk about lately.

HARRIS: Well, invite me there with you. Boy.

ELAM: Yes. Well, let me tell you the latest. All right. So here we had yesterday, $3.83 a gallon, right? Today $3.87. Nice little jump overnight. That's a big one. This is a 17th straight increase and this is also the 16th record that we've had in a row.

Now, you may be wondering why this is happening. Well, keep in mind oil is over right now $133. And so it spiked in the last few days. It does take a while for those oil prices to then affect gas. So that lag time starting to factor in here.

And speaking of oil, take a look at this. Yesterday a new intraday high -- high of trading during the session, $135.09. But then it closed at $130.81 so it did go down some yesterday.

But oil, as I was saying in the early hours here...


ELAM: ... it is trading back above $133.

So this all makes us think then, Tony, gasoline?

HARRIS: Yes. ELAM: $4 a gallon.


ELAM: Guess what? It's the average in seven states. Let's take a look at this. This is -- a lot of people who are now -- that's the average across their state. Connecticut, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Alaska, Hawaii and California. Of course, it's probably not surprising to some of those states. But as you can see it's wide spread across the country.

HARRIS: Well, not surprising in a state like California. If I recall correctly here, you're from California.

ELAM: That's true.

HARRIS: What's the gas going for in your home state?

ELAM: It's expensive. I've seen some signs saying $5. But in the Bay Area where I grew up it's actually -- I've seen some, like, $4.30. Obviously I'm spared because I'm here. The biggest issue that everyone is watching is the fire right now and what that can do.


ELAM: And the fire is actually in the southern part of the county I grew up in. It's in Santa Clara County. And if you look at some of those shots, it's...


ELAM: ... it is pretty, you know, wild terrain. But there are some families' homes over there. And I was looking it's near Gilroy but some 12 miles away. But Gilroy is the garlic capital of the world. You've got artichokes growing over there. There's a lot of agriculture and these flames were to get over there, it could have a big impact on that state. But that -- I think you said it was 15 percent contained.


ELAM: Hopefully it stays that way because I'm getting married very near to that fire in August.

HARRIS: Oh, that's right. Congratulations.

ELAM: Thank you. So let's keep our fingers crossed.

HARRIS: You're getting married near the garlic capital of the world.

ELAM: I am indeed.

HARRIS: Yes, you are.

ELAM: And I've been to the garlic festival. It's quite tasty. HARRIS: Well, OK. Stephanie, good to see you. Have a great weekend.

ELAM: You, too. Thanks.

WHITFIELD: All right. Well, take to the road or stick to home? Soaring gas prices, as Stephanie was just underscoring, forcing a lot of you to rethink that Memorial Day trip.

Senior correspondent Allan Chernoff is on the road at a gas station in Ridgeville, New Jersey.

So gas prices are ugly, I know. But how ugly?

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hey, we're feeling the pain over here. But I have to tell you, Fredricka, here in New Jersey, the pain not quite as severe as around the country. They've just raised the price at this station off the New Jersey turnpike, $3.72 a gallon.

They raised it by eight cents a gallon if you can believe it. But they only changed the prices here on the Jersey turnpike once a week. And keep in mind that $3.72 -- that's 15 cents cheaper than the average that Stephanie just told us about.

Nonetheless, it still is affecting Memorial Day travel plans for many people in this region. We have one motorist right over here, Carlton Washington.

Carlton, where do -- what are your plans for this weekend?

CARLTON PORTER, MOTORIST: This weekend we're going to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania.

CHERNOFF: Sounds nice. Were you originally planning to go even further?



PORTER: South Carolina.

CHERNOFF: That's a big change. The change because of gas?

PORTER: Yes, sir.

CHERNOFF: Certainly has been pretty painful, pretty steep?

PORTER: To the pockets.

CHERNOFF: OK. So decided to just bring the kids to Hershey Park and enjoy there?

PORTER: Yes. Yes.

CHERNOFF: All right. Well, have a wonderful weekend.

PORTER: Thank you.

CHERNOFF: All right. And as you can see, not only Carlton, many people around the country doing exactly the same thing.

In fact, a survey from Deloitte & Touche out this morning is saying that one quarter of Americans have actually changed their plans for the Memorial Day weekend, either canceling them or staying closer to home.

A separate survey from AAA says nearly 32 million American will be traveling by road more than 50 miles this coming weekend, a decline of only 1 percent. However, AAA did that survey about a month ago when gas prices were close to $3.50 a gallon.

So between then and now, things have gotten a lot worse. People are curtailing those Memorial Day travel plans.


CHERNOFF: Fredricka?

WHITFIELD: So now like 30 to 40 cent difference in just that short amount of time. But like that gentleman would say...

CHERNOFF: It's astounding.

WHITFIELD: Yes, it really is. You don't want to disappoint the kids. The kids want to go to Hershey Park, that's where he's going even if it's going to cost him.

CHERNOFF: Hershey Park is a great -- place to keep the kids happy. I took my kids there last year. Will probably do it again this summer as well.

WHITFIELD: Oh, neat. OK. Well, thanks so much. Thanks for softening the blow on bad news.

Allan Chernoff, appreciate it.

And of course, keep watching CNN. Our money team has your covered on all the issues affecting your wallet. Join us for a special report called ""ISSUE #1, THE ECONOMY" today noon, Eastern, only on CNN.

ANNOUNCER: Live breaking news, unfolding developments, see for yourself in the CNN NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: Hello, again, everyone. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

HARRIS: And good morning. I'm Tony Harris.

Relief at last. The U.N. says Myanmar's military rulers will now allow international aid workers into the country. This is a big deal. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met today with Myanmar's junta.

Ban says the Yangon airport will used to distribute aid. But the government is still keeping foreign boats and helicopters out of the country.

Myanmar has been criticized for limiting global aid since the devastating cyclone.

Our correspondent in Myanmar is available to us, I believe, right now on the phone. And this sounds like a major development. Big news indeed that international aid and aid workers will be permitted inside the country to do the work that is so desperately needed at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Well, Tony, it certainly does sound like a major development and a very positive one for the people that are down in that most effected area called the Irrawaddy River Delta.

And you know, I've been traveling that area for the past couple of days. And I can tell you there are not many people down there who have actually received aid so far. We went through many villages in that area. Went down rivers that still have a lot of dead bodies in them, where children are playing in the rivers next to the dead body. And went to a lot of villages that were really just told me they have not received any sort of aid at all in the past three weeks.

They said they're very low on food, have no clean drinking water. And also, of course, no medication. Now, the big question that everyone here on the ground is asking, is how much access will these international aid workers actually get? Will they be able to get into the most devastated areas and really reach everyone so badly in need?

And the other big question is will ships like the American Navy ship that's currently cruising off the coast of Myanmar be allowed into the waters of Myanmar to deliver badly needed aid to that country.


HARRIS: I guess the other question is, do we have any idea how it's come to pass that Ban Ki-Moon has been able to succeed, where up until this point it didn't look like there was anyway that the military government would allow international workers in? Some aid but certainly not international workers.

Do we have any idea what message he brought that change a thing?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: That's a very good question, Tony, as to why this comes at this point in time. I mean, some people do believe that the mounting international pressure may have played a role. You know, this has been in the news for a very long time. A lot of countries have showed themselves very outraged at the way that the Myanmar government was conducting itself.

And on the other hand, this was a very difficult mission for Ban Ki-Moon because he was going to these countries, military leaders, and telling them, listen, you need aid. Your people need aid. As the military leaders were going on TV here in Myanmar themselves saying we brought aid to everybody.

Now clearly on the ground we have seen, that does not seem to be the case because there are still so many areas that are badly in need of help. But certainly this is a very, very big diplomatic achievement for Ban Ki-Moon here in this country.


HARRIS: You do wonder and you've been there quite a while now, how many lives could have been saved if this government had decided, made the decision that is making now a week -- two weeks ago our correspondent on the ground in Myanmar with what feels like a major development at last in the effort to get international aid and workers into that country.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: And more staggering numbers out of China. The death toll from that earthquake rising again, plus more financial aid pouring in. Here's what we know.

China now says 55,740 people were killed in the May 12th quake. That's about how many people live in Cheyenne, Wyoming. More than 292,000 are injured and almost 25,000 still missing. The International Community responding with money, donations have reached $3.6 billion with an estimated 5 million people homeless. The need for housing is overwhelming. About 400,000 tents have been sent to quake areas. But the government says it still needs about 3 million.

And of course, you can help at We have a special page on the devastation in China and Myanmar, plus links to aid agencies that are organizing help for the region. It's a chance for you to impact your world so let us be your guide.

HARRIS: A CNN I-reporter capturing the terror of the Colorado tornado.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow! Oh, my God! Oh, my God! That's a tornado right there. Here it comes.


HARRIS: More of the damage, in the NEWSROOM.


WHITFIELD: He is closing in on the nomination. What's he looking for in a running mate? We'll look at Barack Obama's possible choices in minutes in the NEWSROOM.

HARRIS: What do you say we get the business day started for a Friday. You need a really good day. The Dow is up yesterday, about 25 points. Breaking two straight down sessions.

You know the NASDAQ and S&P futures were down, indicating that we would get, you know, kind of a slow start. And this is where we are. We're down 50 points on the DOW inside the first couple of minutes of the trading morning. There's still plenty of time for turn around. And the NASDAQ down 11 as well.

We are checking the markets. Susan Lisovicz leading our money team with our market check throughout the morning right here in the NEWSROOM.

WHITFIELD: Among our top stories this morning. A tornado leaving devastation in its wake in Northern Colorado. Dozens of homes, businesses and farms have been damaged or destroyed. One person was killed and 13 others injured.

The twister bounced through several towns on its way through the area yesterday. The same storm system also pounded the region with golf ball size hail. Wind swept cars and trucks off the roads and pushed railcars over. There's a real mess. The governor has declared a local state of emergency. Damage staff teams are going into the hardest hit area today.

HARRIS: Talk about a few more hard-hit areas and what's on tap for today. The man is there, Reynolds Wolf in the CNN weather center.


HARRIS: If you see weather developing in your neighborhood, you can really help us with an I-report. We have the pictures a short time ago of tornado in Colorado. An I-reporter captured those images for us. Really helps us tell the story. What you need to do is just go to and you can type in I-report right into your cell phone. As always we remind you to be safe.

WHITFIELD: Roadside bombs. U.S. troops respond, but did they kill militants or civilians.


WHITFIELD: His aides raising questions about his health. John McCain releasing his medical records. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in Arizona to take a look and we'll ask him about what he's going to be looking for exactly as he goes through those many pages of the health report of John McCain, straight ahead in the next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM.

Meantime, Barack Obama edging closer to the nomination. But is he closer to choosing a running mate? Here now is CNN's Jessica Yellin.


JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's said it over.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I still have to win the nomination.

YELLIN: And over -- OBAMA: It would be presumptuous of me to pretend like I've already won and start talking about who my vice president is going to be. I still got some work to do.

YELLIN: And over again.

OBAMA: Until I'm the nominee, I don't want to speculate on running mates.

YELLIN: But now Barack Obama is quietly beginning to search for a running mate. Obama's campaign isn't commenting, but sources say helping in the hunt is Jim Johnson. A long-time Washington insider who performed the same role for John Kerry and Walter Mondale.

CNN has learned that top considerations for the vice presidential slot are likely to be age, since Obama is only 46, and national security experience. The question on everyone's mind, will Obama look to his rival for the number two job?

OBAMA: Senator Clinton has shown herself to be an extraordinary candidate. She's tireless, she's smart, she's capable, and so obviously she would be on anybody's short list to be a potential vice presidential candidate.

YELLIN: Or he could pick a major Clinton backer, such as Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland or Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell who could help deliver key swing states. Then there's John Edwards who dropped out of the race and endorsed Obama this month.

OBAMA: John Edwards is obviously somebody who would be on anybody's short list, but it is premature.

YELLIN: But Edwards was John Kerry's running mate and says he's not interested. Other possibilities, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. His resume is long on foreign policy experience and he would appeal to Latino voters. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius would help with the women's vote. But insiders say the overriding consideration is national security experience.

On that front, Senator Joe Biden, Former Senator Sam Nunn or retired General Wesley Clark are all contenders.

(on camera): Then there are unconventional options. Former Senator Tom Daschle, an Obama campaign adviser, could help with the senator's small town America appeal. Or Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican, would make the ticket bipartisan.

Ultimately, the real challenge for Obama will be finding a running mate who brings him Washington experience but can still run on a change ticket. Jessica Yellin, CNN, Boca Raton, Florida.


WHITFIELD: And John McCain rejects a key endorsement. Find out more on the candidate's, your source for everything political.

HARRIS: Speaking out about her time in state custody.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're dealing with our lives and they've treated us like animals. I can't trust a single person now.


HARRIS: An FLDS mom breaks her silence in the NEWSROOM.


HARRIS: Iraqi deaths at the hands of U.S. forces. The U.S. military says militants were targeted. Others say innocent civilians were killed. CNN's Arwa Damon spoke with the relatives of one of those killed.


ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I thought you would bury me. I never thought I would bury you. Hasan (ph) sobs. His last words of farewell to his 20-year-old son.

He used to tell me that he wished the explosions would end, Hasan tells us. He wanted to open his own restaurant and get married. I leave relatives gathered at the Baghdad morgue, tell us, that he was killed by U.S. forces in eastern Baghdad as he was on his way home from work.

He is with his uncle, Kasam (ph), and 16-year-old cousin, both wounded in the attack. His cousin is in critical condition, shot twice in the back and hand. Kasam says they were crossing the road when gunfire broke out.

They kept shooting and we fell immediately, he tells us. We were shot and fell to the ground.

(on camera): The U.S. military said that it did engage militants in the same area, killing 11, but that every single targeted individual was positively identified and emphasized that U.S. troops do not target civilians.

(voice-over): But here, anger against the Americans is only increasing. If he had anything to do with the militias or terrorism, then let the Americans kill him. But he had nothing to do with that, Alice (ph) relative says angrily.

His mother curses the Americans. Drive out to the Americans and behead them, she says.

Also killed in the fighting on the same day in the same area was Wisam Ali Ouda, a cameraman for AFAQ TV. An Iraqi station affiliated with the prime minister. They ran a black banner in the left-hand corner and said their cameraman was one of 11 killed by a, quote, "spiteful U.S. sniper."

Arwa Damon, CNN, Baghdad.


WHITFIELD: Flying a warplane half a world away from the battlefield. Unmanned aerial vehicles taking a more prominent role in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. CNN's Jamie McIntyre has an exclusive look now at what some are calling The Reaper.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (on camera): We've heard a lot in recent years about the use of unmanned spy planes armed with missiles to launch attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Predator is the most common one. But now, the U.S. Air Force is fielding a soup up version called The Reaper, essentially a predator on steroids. And we've got the first pictures.

MCINTYRE (voice-over): This video seen first here on CNN shows a 500 pound bomb hitting a suspected Taliban bunker in southern Afghanistan earlier this year. It's among several videos declassified at CNN's request. They are the first to be released from the Air Force's newest remote controlled killing machine. A heavily armed, unmanned war plane with the grim moniker, The Reaper.

LT. GEN. NORMAN SEIP, COMMANDER, 12TH AIR FORCE: It flies higher. Flies faster. Carries more of a weapons load. The airplanes are flying. They're flying long. They're flying hard and they are making a big impact.

MCINTYRE: The U.S. military says this strike in Afghanistan shows two insurgents who appear to be making a clean get away on a motorcycle until The Reaper cuts off their escape with another 500 pound bomb. And the pilot pulling the trigger? Half a world away at Creech Air Force Base in the Nevada desert.

The Air Force says there's now an insatiable demand for unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs on the front lines. And industry is constantly rolling out new improved models. This version called a Scan Eagle was recently demonstrated at the marine base in Quantico.

(on camera): If you know just where to look, you can see the UAV in the sky. It's very small and very quiet. There was a time when these unmanned spy planes were just eyes in the sky but they're becoming a lot more.

(voice-over): The addition of hell fire missiles to the original predator spy drone just after September 11 gave it the ability to live up to its name. In this engagement in Baghdad last month, the Predator hunts and kills a group of Iraqis armed with grenade launchers and mortars.


HARRIS: His age, raising questions about his health. John McCain releasing his medical records. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Arizona to take a look.


HARRIS: She claims she's 18 and she says she told Texas authorities just that. Now, the young wife and mother taken from the polygamist ranch shares her story exclusively with CNN and our correspondent David Mattingly.


DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anyone can see Pamela Jessop is young. And when Texas investigators raided the FLDS compound in April, she says they immediately asked her questions.

PAMELA JESSOP, FLDS MOTHER: I was honest. I showed them my birth certificate and they acknowledged it, that I was 18.

MATTINGLY: A case worker signed a statement saying Jessop provided her age as 18. Her birth certificate says so. So does the bishop's list, the sects own records collected as evidence. But the adult on paper became a child in the eyes of state investigators and was sent to foster care. Jessop says she thinks she knows why.

JESSOP: They kept me all this time just to get my little baby.

MATTINGLY: There was no doubt that Jessop was pregnant. She first became a mom when she was 16. Her husband was 20. And at the raid, she was just weeks from having her second baby.

JESSOP: It was supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life.

MATTINGLY: And what kind of day did it turn out to be?

JESSOP: One of the worst. One of the most stressful. I'm feeling like (INAUDIBLE) are all around me trying to snatch my baby the minute I shut my eyes or lay him down.

MATTINGLY: Jessop was kept in foster care. Her age was disputed until she delivered a baby boy. Jessop says foster care workers were in the delivery room with her. Shortly after, the baby was legally placed in state custody, but under Jessop's care.

JESSOP: They're dealing with our lives and they've treated us like animals. I can't trust a single person now.

MATTINGLY: Pamela Jessop's attorney says they see a pattern among their FLDS clients.

ANDREA SLOAN, ATTORNEY: They put them on that list so that they could continue to have them in custody so that they could continue to either question them in connection with their investigation without their attorneys present or, in the cases of the young women who are going to deliver their babies while in state custody, so they can get the babies. MATTINGLY (on camera): Keeping them honest, we contacted Texas Child Protective Services and heard a very different story about Pamela Jessop. We were told that Jessop never showed investigators her birth certificate proving that she was 18. We are also told that she was actually happy to go on to foster care so that she could be close to her one-year-old son and at no time did she ever request to leave.

How many times did you ask them, why are you keeping.

JESSOP: A hundred times.

MATTINGLY: Is this something you ask everyday.

JESSOP: Oh, yes.

MATTINGLY: The state says any disputed minor who proves they are an adult is release. But Pamela Jessop stands by her story.