Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

California Freeway Gun Battle; Teen Pregnancy Pact?; Saudi Oil Output Pledge; Tsvangirai Fears for his Life in Zimbabwe

Aired June 23, 2008 - 11:00   ET

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


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Right off the top of the hour here want to get you the story coming out of Anaheim, California, where there was a police shooting yesterday morning. An officer was wounded in the leg after he went out on a call of indecent exposure. As a matter of fact, at a motel near Disneyland.
Apparently the suspect was exposing himself to children. The officer was shot by the suspect. The suspect got away, and then a chase ensued. And this is the aftermath now this morning.

Anaheim police say, according to Sergeant Tim Schmidt, that there was a gun battle that took place on the Riverside Freeway. These are the pictures from there. The suspect has been shot and killed.

There were a couple of other officers who were exchanging fire with him on the freeway right there, and unfortunately another woman who is actually going to be OK, we did hear from the sergeant, she caught a stray bullet in the middle of all of this. You can just imagine what the scene was like there on the freeway this morning, smack dab in the middle of rush hour.

Another Google map there to show you exactly where we're talking about. But that is the very latest as we know it, and we will follow that story if it should continue to develop. Right now, though, quite a traffic tie up along the Riverside Freeway, Anaheim, California.

A big scandal in a small town. At least 17 teenagers expecting babies at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts. The mayor is scheduled to meet right now with school health officials to talk about the situation. She says there is no evidence to back reports the girls made a pact to get pregnant. The school's principal told "TIME" magazine some of the girls agreed to have the babies and raise their children together.

Once again, that meeting taking place right now.

CNN's Randi Kaye has some background now on the story.

High school is hard enough. Why would a group of girls outside of Boston chose to get pregnant? In all, 17 girls are having baby, some as young as 15. Not one of them is married.

It's profoundly disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: High School is hard enough, so why would a group of girls from Gloucester, Massachusetts, a fishing village outside Boston, choose to get pregnant? In all, 17 girls are having babies; some as young as 15. Not one of them is married.

SUPT. CHRISTOPHER FARMER, GLOUCESTER SCHOOL DISTRICT: It's profoundly disturbing.

KAYE: High School administrators are reeling after learning there may have been some sort of pregnancy pact. Even more shocking, the superintendent believes at least one girl had sex with a 24-year- old homeless man just to be part of the group.

The pact is so secretive, we couldn't even find out the girl's names. This man told us the girls tried to convince his stepdaughter to get pregnant too.

TED SORENSON, STEPFATHER OF GLOUCESTER TEEN: There was a tremendous amount of peer pressure, negative peer pressure for as many girls as possible to join in this pact. And luckily my stepdaughter was smart enough or scared enough to say no.

KAYE: School officials first began to take notice last October when so many girls started showing up at the nurse's office to find out if they were pregnant. The nurse reportedly gave as many as 150 pregnancy tests.

The superintendent says the girls went back over and over, until they got the results they wanted.

FARMER: There's some talk of high fives and that kind of thing.

KAYE: Amanda Ireland, who just graduated from Gloucester High, had a baby her freshman year. She knows one of girls in the alleged pregnancy pact.

AMANDA IRELAND: I asked her if she was keeping the baby and she said yes.

KAYE: The superintendent says a handful of the girls have already delivered. Ireland can't understand why anyone would choose to get pregnant so young.

IRELAND: It's definitely not all peaches and cream.

KAYE: The superintendent says the men who fathered the children are not students. They're older, in their 20s. If the girls agree to name them, he says, they could face statutory rape charges.

And there's more. The school's doctor has resigned after coming under fire for handing out contraceptives. It's against district policy.

DR. BRIAN ORR, CLINIC'S MEDICAL DIRECTOR: We were on our way to try to do things that any parent, any adult, any community would want, decreasing the initiation of having sex and decreasing the number of sexual partners.

KAYE: Sex education is only taught freshman year.

Why isn't it offered beyond that?

FARMER: We are very poorly funded by the state of Massachusetts.

KAYE: Plus, with the economy so weak here and parents scrambling to make money, this mother of five says children may not be getting enough attention at home.

SHEILA HORGAN, GLOUCESTER RESIDENT: I think parents are so busy trying to make money to survive in this economy that they're not focused on their children.

KAYE: Others blame Hollywood movies like "Juno" that glamorize teen pregnancy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "JUNO")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're pregnant?

ELLEN PAGE, ACTRESS: I'm sorry. I'm sorry. And if it is any consolation, I have heartburn that is radiating in my kneecaps. And...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't even know you were sexually active.

(END VIDEO CLIP, "JUNO")

HORGAN: It ruins their whole lives. It affects these children. Who's going to take care of these children? You know? Who is going to be responsible for these children the rest of their lives?

KAYE: It's a question many here wish the girls in the pregnancy pact had asked themselves nine months ago.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Gloucester, Massachusetts.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Once again, just a quick reminder. The mayor is meeting right now as we speak with school and health officials to talk about this information. We'll follow that for you and bring you any new information should we learn it here.

Soaring energy prices. So who is to blame? The finger often pointed at energy traders. Critics say speculation has overshadowed the realities of supply and demand.

Congress now wading into that debate. Right now on Capitol Hill, a House subcommittee is demanding answers. Called to testify, oil analysts, executives and investment experts. Some lawmakers, including Barack Obama, think more regulation is needed.

We're going to keep our eyes opened, and if things get heated up, we of course will bring you those fireworks.

The world's largest oil producer says it will increase its output to the highest level in decades. Sounds like pretty good news, but not so fast.

CNN's Stephanie Elam is in New York now with the very latest.

And Stephanie...

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Saudi Arabia is looking to boost their oil production yet again. You may remember in May, the kingdom came out and said that they were boosting production by 300,000 barrels. And last week we heard about 200,000 barrels being added to the system a day. And then over the weekend, they're saying they're adding another 200,000 barrels of oil to the system a day.

Now, they are increasing their daily oil production from nine million barrels to 9.7 million barrels by July. And they are saying they're trying to counter the sharp drop in oil prices that we've seen simply because they think that if we get to a tipping point where people are not using oil as much, it will actually hurt them in the end.

And this will actually be Saudi Arabia's highest production rate since 1981. And Saudi Arabia says as it moves forward, it's going to work on investing in oil projects that will help it reach the capacity to produce 12.5 million barrels a day by the end of next year.

Oil has been trading around at a high today of $137.50 a barrel. You may think that's counterintuitive, and that's because of the fact that there were some attacks on Nigerian oilfields, and that will take 300,000 barrels of oil out of production a day. So even with this addition, there's still a big loss somewhere else in the world.

That's the latest from here.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Parts of the Midwest still on edge this morning, hoping they can hold off flooding from the Mississippi River. But some lost that battle against the river. Levees couldn't hold back the floodwaters, and that forced thousands of people from their now waterlogged homes.

The river is expected to crest today along more parts of the Illinois/Missouri border. Here's a look now from the air of St. Charles County, Missouri, this morning. Up river, the waters have started to recede, but downstream some communities may still see the water rise 10 feet over flood stage.

Only their sandbags walls can hold. Hopefully that will be the case. But as the floodwaters begin to recede, what's left behind is another nightmare for communities -- the cleanup. It's going to take some time.

CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this morning.

Good morning once again, Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Heidi.

Well, as you walk the streets of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, here, especially in this area, where just a few days ago there was (AUDIO GAP) now given way to just kind of a -- almost a city street landfill, if you will. But all of this has to be moved. And while city officials are saying they hope to have this first wave of cleanup picked up in about 30 days, the question is, where are they going to put it all?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 1900 is when it was built. So it's 108 years old now.

LAVANDERA (voice over): Floodwaters destroyed the first floor and basement of Dan Pierce's (ph) home. More than 100 years of family history now sits on the curb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The waterline is about halfway up my first floor. So every room, every room was just packed to the brim with stuff. Underneath this pile someplace is my grandmother's sewing machine that she used in the '30s.

LAVANDERA: Drive the streets of Cedar Rapids and it's an endless stream of trash, block after block of flood debris piling up. There's so much stuff that officials are worried it will completely fill up the city's landfills. Early estimates are that there's one million cubic yards of debris that needs to be removed. That would fill about four football fields stacked 60 feet high.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were pretty shocked when we heard the number. It's certainly going to challenge the local facilities.

LAVANDERA: Landfill officials say this newly-opened garbage pit was supposed to last the city 20 years, but all of the flood debris will likely fill it up in just a few months.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously people want to get it out and want it disposed of. You know, for the safety of everyone, we want to manage it as quickly as possible.

LAVANDERA: And the trash just keeps piling up. West Side Sewing (ph) has been a downtown Cedar Rapids fixture for 83 years. The storefront reduced to slush and grime.

DAVID PEREZ, CEDAR RAPIDS RESIDENT: I walk around the corner, I mean, my mouth just drops open. I'm so shocked. It's unbelievable. You can see so much on TV. You know, you've been seeing it day after day. But until you get down inside of it and see what's happening, you really can't imagine looking at the television screen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAVANDERA: Young volunteers from a local church getting a firsthand glimpse of what it's like to have to clean up all of this. There's people lining up and cleaning all the debris out of that home over there. They're essentially doing what everyone else is doing, putting all the debris here on the curbs.

The city says they will dispatch some 120 dump trucks throughout these city streets to clean up this mess, and they hope to have it done relatively quickly.

COLLINS: Boy, it's just the first step, too. So, boy, we wish them the very best. It's going to be a long, hard road.

We appreciate it.

Ed Lavandera for us in Cedar Rapids this morning.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COLLINS: Want to get back to this flooding story, too. The Midwest under water, as you know, but what happened to the levees?

We're going to talk to one flood expert and author about controlling the mighty Mississippi. Is it the best thing to do?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Some breaking news in Zimbabwe now. The leading opposition leader in the country has now taken refuge from some of his own countrymen.

CNN correspondent Nkpile Mabuse is joining us now live from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Nkpile, I imagine he is very afraid for his life.

NKPILE MABUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Morgan Tsvangirai definitely afraid for his life. Why he chose the Dutch Embassy we don't know yet. The embassy saying very little, but what we know is that since yesterday, since he made that announcement on Sunday that he was withdrawing from this crucial run-off that was scheduled for June 27, he has sought refuge at the Dutch Embassy, obviously feeling that would be a safe place for him to be right now. But we know in the past Robert Mugabe's regime has not respected diplomatic ties with any nation and has actually attacked U.S. Embassy officials.

COLLINS: So we know that this all came about after, as you said, Tsvangirai pulled out of the presidential run-off that was originally set for Friday. What happens next? Is this election still going to take place? MABUSE: Well, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says unless they get a formal letter from Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader in that country, that he's withdrawing, they are going streaming ahead. They are going to have this election on June 27. Zanu-PF, which is Robert Mugabe, the incumbent's party, also that says that the run-off is going ahead, but we understand from the MDC that lawyers are busy drafting that formal letter to notify the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that he's pulling out.

COLLINS: All right. CNN's Nkpile Mabuse.

We appreciate you following the situation for us. I'm sure there's a lot more to come. Live this morning from Johannesburg, South Africa.

We'll keep our eye on that situation for you.

Back to the United States now.

Mark Twain once said, "The Mississippi River will always have its own way. No engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise." That quote more than a century old, but it's still poignant today given what we've seen in the Midwest this month. Boy, that's for sure.

Flood and levee expert John Barry is the author of "Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America."

Boy, you are the guy to have on today, that's for sure.

He's joining us from New Orleans this morning.

John, do us a favor and give us a quick sort of 30-second history lesson on how it came to be that the Mississippi is actually a controlled waterway now.

JOHN BARRY, AUTHOR, "RISING TIDE": Well, levees in the U.S. go back about 300 years. In New Orleans, where I'm talking to you from, is really where they started.

If you want to develop land and make money out of it, you're going to have to protect it from the river. And this is certainly true in the upper part of the river, where the problems are now , as well as the lower part, and it's also true along the tributaries. And a lot of the best farmland is often bottomland, and it's called bottomland for a reason, because that's where the natural reservoirs were where rivers would overflow and sit there and deposit silt, very fertile land. But again, to get at that stuff, you had to build levees.

COLLINS: Right. But decades ago, I mean, there were these two guys, right?

BARRY: Yes.

COLLINS: Two engineers. One of them...

BARRY: Well, going back...

COLLINS: ... pretty well connected, one not. And the guy who was well connected politically pretty much won out.

BARRY: Exactly. As I put it in the book, one had power, the other had genius. And the one with power, obviously won -- or not surprisingly, won that fight. But neither of them disagreed about the need for some levee protection. And both of them were pro- development.

COLLINS: So when you look at the situation now and you think back to then, should the waterway be controlled at all? Is it just too controlled? I mean, obviously from what I have read here in some of your comments, you're saying some of this flooding can actually be a good for thing for the farmland.

BARRY: Well, I mean, that's clearly true. But, you know, we need to make -- you said the key thing, for the farmland. You know, around the world they are having food riots because of rising food prices.

COLLINS: Yes.

BARRY: A lot of this land under water now is the most productive land in the world. The real thing that we need to do is rationalize the flood protection system.

Nobody actually ever looked at the system as a system and made any conscious decision as to where it's best to develop, where you might want a natural reservoir and let the river out, how much protection.

COLLINS: There's nobody in charge. There's not one regulatory body.

BARRY: That's correct on the upper river. It's different on the lower from Carroll (ph), Illinois, south. On the lower part of the Mississippi River, the Corps of Engineers is in charge. But on the upper river, and the tributaries, primarily, the Iowa River and so forth, which -- and the Cedar River, which devastated Cedar Rapids, there's no real single entity that looks at that stuff.

In fact, we don't even have information about those levees. We don't know how high they are or...

COLLINS: That's amazing.

BARRY: It is amazing. And people around the world who, of course, all deal with river systems, they are astounded at how primitive the United States is in its water policy.

COLLINS: Well, especially since 1993. I mean, that's quite a bit of time from when the 1993 floods happened to now. You would think, would you not, and is it fair to say, that some of this central authority may have come about, or some of the changes would have taken place? BARRY: You're absolutely right. And there was a very good report written after the 1993 flood that made numerous recommendations, and almost none of those recommendations were followed up on.

Nothing happened on them. And we have the same disaster today. Fortunately, not quite as bad as '93, and hopefully somebody will learn. But, you know, eventually...

COLLINS: Yes. I mean, I guess the question would be, if you live in that area, you lose, you know, your entire farm, your income with the crops, or, god forbid, your home, and god forbid even further, a loved one.

Do people there have any recourse because of that '93 report that came out and then none of these improvements were made?

BARRY: No, I don't think so. I mean, the issue is a political will.

In Holland, for example, they protect against river floods beginning at a one in 250 chance of any given year and going up to more than one in 1,000 chance. Here we're struggling to protect against a one in 100 chance.

COLLINS: Yes.

BARRY: And many of the levees that failed were considerably less than they were supposed to protect against a 30, 40, 50-year flood. And that's an extraordinarily low standard of protection.

COLLINS: Wow. All right.

Well, we appreciate you having you. I could talk to you all day.

John Barry is the author of "Rising Tide." It's such a timely book.

And we will learn more as we go through that and possibly have you on again as we look at this cleanup situation now that's going to be happening for I'm sure many, many months.

John Barry, thanks so much.

BARRY: Thank you.

COLLINS: Eat a big breakfast, lose a lot of weight. Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen drops by to explain.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: How's this for a diet plan -- eat bigger, live smaller. A new study compared sedentary, obese women trying to lose weight. One group packed on the carbs and lean protein at breakfast. The other stuck to a low-carb morning meal. At the end of eight months, women eating a hefty breakfast lost an average of almost 40 pounds. The low-carb eaters lost just nine. And I bet they weren't very happy about it.

Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is here now to explain.

So what are we talking about with a big breakfast? Like, what does that really mean?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: OK, I have a big breakfast next to me. So let's look at what a big breakfast would be according to this study.

The folks on the big breakfast plan had three slices of cheese, three slices of turkey, chicken or roast beef, two slices of bread, and some butter, a pat of butter for their bread.

COLLINS: It looks like lunch.

COHEN: It looks -- yes, it looks like almost dinner to me.

And then here you have the sort of -- well, they didn't call it this, but the measly breakfast that the other folks had to eat, three slice of bacon, one egg, and some butter for cooking the egg. And they had one little glass of milk and some coffee. The big breakfast folks, they got more than -- they got two big glasses of milk and coffee with cream in it. Yum.

So, the folks who ate this big breakfast, they lost more weight than the folks who were eating the smaller breakfast, and they were all supposed to eat the same thing for the rest of the day. So it theoretically doesn't have to do with the rest of the day...

COLLINS: Right.

COHEN: ... but the folks who ate the bigger breakfast still lost more weight.

COLLINS: All right. So then why does eating more in the morning help you lose weight overall?

COHEN: No one knows for sure, but there is a theory that when you eat calories in the morning, your body uses them more efficiently. Your body is just better at using them. And also, if you don't eat in the morning, you're going to get ravenous and start to eat whatever you can find later in the day.

Now, I have to say that not everyone loves this study. Some people think it wasn't perhaps conducted in just the right way.

The Atkins folks, for example, don't like this study because...

COLLINS: No, they hate it.

COHEN: Well, it's telling obese people with insulin problems to eat a fair amount of carbs in the morning. So they're not crazy about it.

But I think that there is sort of a general agreement that a big breakfast of some kind is a good thing. You've got to eat something. And not something little. You've got to have something pretty substantial in the morning.

COLLINS: Yes. Lucky Charms alone are just not going to do it.

COHEN: Right.

COLLINS: Right.

COHEN: Right, but whether or not you need to eat that breakfast, that's questionable.

COLLINS: Yes. Exactly.

All right. I'm sticking with the grapes and the hardboiled eggs.

COHEN: There you go.

COLLINS: Thank you, Elizabeth.

COHEN: OK. Thanks.

COLLINS: Appreciate it.

Troubled diva Amy Winehouse, her father says she has emphysema and could die. Can she reverse the damage?

Elizabeth is going to be back for more on that in just a little while.

To get your "Daily Dose" of health news online, you can log on to our Web site. You'll find the latest medical news, a health library, and information on diet and fitness. That address, CNN.com/health.

Coming up on the half hour, 11:30 Eastern Time now.

In southern California, a gun battle on a crowded highway. Police shot and killed a gunman on the Riverside Freeway early this morning. They say the man was wanted in the Sunday shooting of a police officer. Today, a deadly shootout began when officers spotted the suspect behind the wheel of a car.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. TIM SCHMIDT, ANAHEIM, CALIF., POLICE: The officers attempted to get him to pull over, and at that point he (INAUDIBLE), and a police pursuit ensued. He drove down obviously here on the freeway, as you're watching, and at a high speed.

The freeway started to back up, the people that were in front of him, because of congestion. Well, he collided with a vehicle in front of him, and his vehicle became disabled. At that point he jumped out of his car with a handgun, and instead of running and trying to hide and get away from police, he was looking for a position of cover and started hiding around vehicles that were also stopped. And then he started firing at the officers.

So we at that point started shooting back, rounds were exchanged between him and the officers. And ultimately he was killed right here on the freeway late last night.

There was an innocent bystander who was in a car next to this, a different lane in her car, and was struck by the gunfire. And she's been since taken to a local hospital and -- where her injuries are not life-threatening, and she should be released sometime later today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: All right. So quickly there, the police officer who was shot in the leg seems to be doing OK and the innocent bystander also seems to be doing OK.

Police say it's not clear who shot the motorist and we'll keep our eye on that situation. It's a pretty complicated story all happening right there on the freeway in Anaheim, California.

And he was a comedic genius who constantly pushed the envelope. Seven words you can say on TV about George Carlin. The comedian died late Sunday of heart failure. He was 71.

Carlin did standard material early in his career, and later turned to controversial topics. His "Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV" got him arrested with a routine ultimately leading to a free speech ruling by the Supreme Court.

Even beyond flu language, Carlin always had a way with words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE CARLIN, COMEDIAN: People like to sound important. Weatherman on television talk about shower activity. Sounds more important than showers. I even heard one guy on CNN talk about a rain event. I swear to God. He said, "Louisiana is expecting a rain event."

I thought, holy, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I hope I can get tickets to that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: The Kennedy Center announced last week Carlin would receive the 11th Annual Mark Twain Prize for American humor this fall.

High water rolls down the Mississippi. More homes go under water today. We'll be live from the flood zone coming up in the NEWSROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: Extreme weather taking its toll in the west and Midwest. Here is some new video now shot from a helicopter over St. Charles County Missouri, that's just north of St. Lewis.

In many areas, levees could not hold back the Mississippi River. The river is expected to crest in some of those areas in Missouri and Illinois today bringing some much-needed relief.

On the other hand of the spectrum, though, this, fire emergency in northern California. Lightning strikes started more than 600 fires there over the weekend. The largest is in California wine country Napa Valley. That fire has burned almost six square miles. Evacuations have been ordered and firefighters are trying to contain the wildfires all the way from around San Francisco to the Oregon border.

Danger down river. Communities along the Mississippi bracing for more flooding. The river -- not done rising.

CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf is in Grafton, Illinois now with the very latest from there.

What do you have there, Reynolds?

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Just taking it easy, Heidi. You know it's a beautiful day here. The skies are as blue as can be. You know this could be any other is early summer day. Conditions couldn't be better. But it isn't any other day.

In fact, take a look at the front page of the "St. Louis Post Dispatch." I'll hold it up here so you can read one of the headlines. It says, "You do what you have to do. We did it in '93."

And speaking of '93, check out the sign on the building behind me. That's the water mark from 1993 where it got up to 38.2 feet. This certainly isn't a flood of that magnitude but there's no question that this flood has certainly ripped right through the American landscape and certainly people are left kind of water-logged for hundreds of miles up and down this river.

Certainly the case here in Grafton where we're expecting the water to rise about another 11.5 inches. So we're not done yet in terms of the flooding.

Certainly a rough situation in many places. You see some homes here right behind me, also some businesses. At this point you can see, especially this particular restaurant is closed for business. Don't bother to call and make any reservations. No one is there except, say, for a few fish and a line of Mississippi flood waters.

We do anticipate its rise, that is, unless some of the levees farther north tend to fail. If those levees fail, it actually will be beneficial for places like Grafton where the water won't be quite as high.

But at this time, if those levees are -- falls down, well, then we can expect that rise that is in the forecast.

At this time, though, as far as you can see, right along the river banks, it continues to see (INAUDIBLE). You see a car wash behind me. A little bit farther down, you can see parts of a parking lot. You can see some stop signs, obviously, closer to the riverfront where the water is deeper.

In some places, possibly up to nine, even 10 feet. But from our present location, not quite as bad.

That is the story that we have here under the cobalt blue skies of Illinois. We're dealing with murky conditions here from the ground.

COLLINS: Yes.

WOLF: Let's take it back to you in the studio.

COLLINS: Boy, even though it's not as bad as '93, it looks pretty bad. A long, long cleanup for those folks, though. We certainly wish them the best.

Grafton, Illinois, Reynolds Wolf for us this morning -- thank you, Reynolds.

And Rob Marciano is standing by now to give us a little bit more of perspective with the cresting that's going to be happening today along the Mississippi -- Rob.

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, even with those blue skies, Heidi, the water has to get downhill and it's trying to do that in a speedy and orderly fashion. The orderly part of it is a little bit questionable.

All right, this is the time north of where it crested, probably north from where Reynolds is and then where it is going to crest this afternoon in Clarksville, and then really tomorrow late into Wednesday morning across St. Louis. And then it'll kind of hang out there probably until Friday or so before things begin to recede finally. But it's been a slow go.

You know, I want to show you a couple of iReports, interesting shots coming in from Canton, Missouri. This was a flooded field. Some deer just trying to get across the other side and find some dry terrafirma where they could scoop up -- and porridge a little bit. They -- has managed to scare up a fish. That's a big one. See that large mouths there trying to get across to the other side. So that's a cool shot.

And then this guy couldn't be happier than to be on the other side of that field where it's a little drier. You could start digging on the town.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COLLINS: Sounds awful. All right, thank you, Rob.

MARCIANO: All right.

COLLINS: We'll check back later on. Appreciate it.

To the Philippines now. A race against time and the ocean. The Princess of the Stars ferry capsized on Saturday during a typhoon about a mile off one of the country's southern islands. On board, 749 people. This is what it looks like this morning.

Rough seas have stalled efforts to get inside the hall. It's believed there could be survivors in air pockets. Rescuers have found at least 33 survivors and at least six dead. A U.S. Navy ship is joining the search and rescue effort.

U.S. forces under fire in Iraq and the person who shot at them today is an Iraqi city council member. That's what Iraqi government officials are telling us. There are conflicting reports on a number of casualties in the incident outside Baghdad.

Iraqi officials say at least three soldiers were killed but the U.S. military says one coalition soldier was killed and five others injured. The U.S. forces returned fire killing a city council member. That is according to Interior Ministry officials.

They help others in times of need and now they need help themselves. Red Cross in the red.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Mixed news on the cost of gasoline. Let's begin with the positive. The national average (INAUDIBLE) a tenth of a penny overnight. It now stands at a little more than $4.07 a gallon.

But the rest of the story, that's an increase of more than 16 cents compared to one month ago and compared to a year ago, prices have jumped more than $1.09 a gallon.

Slow economy hitting the bottom line, and an organization that helps people out of tough times.

CNN's Kate Bolduan reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Like so many homes in Iowa, Josh Clemann's home was under water.

The downstairs is pretty much a complete lost. Our kitchen ceilings collapsed.

BOLDUAN: Now Clemann begins the painstaking cleanup, thankful for the food and supplies the American Red Cross has offered.

JOSH CLEMANN, HOME DAMAGED BY FLOOD: They've already been (INAUDIBLE) this morning already and they've been out doing whatever they can to help.

BOLDUAN: But that very organization needs help itself.

Red Cross officials say they are out of cash and working on borrowed money.

SUZY DEFRANCIS, RED CROSS SPOKESWOMAN: We started with tornadoes throughout the central U.S. We had wildfires on the coast and now we're having this very significant flooding and the important point is, it's only June.

BOLDUAN: Red Cross spokeswoman Suzy DeFrancis says this is only the second time in its 125-year history the Red Cross has need a loan to cover operations.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you need a cleanup kit. You need a shovel and a rake.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, that'd be great.

BOLDUAN: 3,500 personnel on the ground in the Midwest and about 2,000 people coordinating everything from its Washington headquarters.

(on camera): This is the nerve center of Red Cross disaster operations with daily conference calls like this one to get the latest information from the hardest-hit areas.

Now when all is said and done, they estimate their efforts in the Midwest alone will cost $15 million.

(voice-over): Red Cross said the struggling economy is also to blame for sluggish donations.

DEFRANCIS: This is a difficult time for people with gas prices and food prices going up. And so they have less disposable income.

BOLDUAN: But critics say this may be more about credibility than tough, economic times. They point to rapid turnover at the top of the Red Cross which has had five CEOs in just six years.

PAUL C. LIGHT, PROF., NEW YORK UNIV.: Americans have lost confidence in the Red Cross to spend their money wisely so they are holding off until the next disaster until they can actually see where their money is going.

BOLDUAN: Red Cross officials know that they face a long and threatening hurricane season ahead. Image problem or not, they just hope their financial forecast improves quickly.

Kate Bolduan, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: If you would like to help the Red Cross get back in the black, you can go to redcross.org in order to donate.

Americans gave a record amount to charities last year, in fact, but it's not all good news.

Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange now to help explain that.

Hi there, Susan.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Heidi.

Well, we continue to prove that Americans are, by far, the most generous people on earth. We gave more than $300 billion to charities last year and that was a record high, according to Giving USA Foundation.

Big increases in giving to things like human services, charities, arts, culture, international affairs and organizations.

But our rate of giving is slowing. In 2007, charitable giving increased by about 4 percent. If you adjust that by inflation, it's about 1 percent. Compare that to the two previous years when giving jumped double digit percentages -- Heidi.

COLLINS: I was going to ask you if these were international groups that people were contributing to or if they were just domestic but you already answered the question. World charities.

So is this another effect, do you think, of the slowing economy?

LISOVICZ: I think there's no question about it. A nonprofit consultant group said that the start of the year was good but most people do their giving at the end of the year. When you think about it...

COLLINS: Christmas.

LISOVICZ: ... the economy -- that's right. You know you're thinking about how lucky you are, how fortunate, and it's all about giving back for a lot of people.

Well, the economy really started to take a downturn six months into the year last year and this year -- well, at least some analysts say it's hard for us to see any forward movement at all.

Stocks -- we're not seeing any forward movement. Financial stocks getting hard hit. Citigroup reports that it will cut 10 percent of its investment banking jobs and Citi is still down 3.5 percent.

Oftentimes investors respond to tough measures in a favorable way. But guess what, oil is up two bucks, despite Saudi Arabia's pledge to increase production by another 200,000 barrels.

So a tough start to the week and we're coming off a tough start. But the losses are modest right now, Heidi.

COLLINS: Let's hope they stay that way, huh?

LISOVICZ: Yes.

COLLINS: Thank you, Susan.

LISOVICZ: You're welcome.

COLLINS: Your money, your concerns. "ISSUE #1" -- today at noon, we are following the latest economic news in the NEWSROOM. Be sure to check out our Web site, too, for in-depth coverage and analysis. That address, CNN.com/money.

Singer Amy Winehouse facing choices. Her father and her publicist say she has emphysema and her father says she'll die if she doesn't change her ways.

Can she reverse the damage?

Elizabeth Cohen weighs in.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Troubled diva. Singer Amy Winehouse's father and her publicist say she has early-stage emphysema.

Mitch Winehouse tells Britain's "Sunday Mirror" she damaged her lungs with cigarettes and crack cocaine. He says if his daughter goes back to smoking drugs, it will kill her.

Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is joining us now (INAUDIBLE).

So can anyone this young really have like full-blown emphysema? It says early stage. So maybe there's a distinction there?

COHEN: There definitely is a distinction there. But someone even at the age of 24 can indeed have emphysema. I spoke with doctors who treat heavy smokers, who treat drug addicts, and they said yes, we have seen it.

Now they said that likely she's not feeling it right now. She's performed, she's sung in concert, even in the past couple of months. You can't sing like that if you have full-blown emphysema.

So probably what the case is, according to the doctors I've talked to, is that they can see signs of emphysema in MRIs and CAT scans. And certainly if she continues it will progress to full-blown emphysema. The speed at which it will progress will depend on several things including her genetics will be one factor.

COLLINS: OK. So is it reversible?

COHEN: The doctors who I talked to said no. What damage is done now is done. One of them said you cannot grow a new long. But they said that if she can stop smoking, she can halt the progression of the disease. And that is huge. So if she's not feeling signs of emphysema now, she may never feel them if she stops smoking right now.

COLLINS: And what about smoking crack? I mean, that's different, is it not, I mean, obviously, from smoking cigarettes?

COHEN: It is different. It is different. I was actually surprised to hear this. This is from the chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. He said, you know what, that emphysema is caused by cigarette smoking. Crack smoking -- they don't think that actually causes emphysema. It can aggravate it but they said that the emphysema is from the cigarette smoking.

Of course, smoking crack is a bad thing to do for all sorts of other health reasons but they said it probably does not actually cause emphysema.

COLLINS: OK. Well, we'll be following this one, I think, for a while here.

COHEN: Thanks. (INAUDIBLE)

COLLINS: Thanks so much, Elizabeth Cohen. Appreciate it.

Some of the most popular videos on CNN.com coming up in a moment. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: The familiar clang, clang, clang of the street car -- I think, it's a trolley, though, but anyway -- has returned to New Orleans' west side. The reopening of the final segment of the famed streetcar line took place on Sunday.

Businesses along the route are hoping that will mean more free- spending tourists. The car line section had to close since Hurricane Katrina hit the city in the summer of 2005.

Time to take a look now at some of the most clicked-on videos on CNN.com.

One condo complex in Florida is embracing the birthday suit. It's introducing a clothing optional option but nudity will be allowed only at one of the complex's pools.

At CNN.com, viewers are looking back at George Carlin's most memorable and controversial bit. His "Seven Dirty Words" act sparked a national profanity debate and Supreme Court decision back in the 1970s.

And getting paid to stop smoking. Some smokers in Dundee, Scotland could soon get paid 150 pounds -- that's about 300 bucks -- to kick the habit.

For more of your favorite videos, just go to CNN.com/mostpopular, and, of course, we are available 24/7 with the CNN podcast also on CNN.com.

Replacing Tim Russert. NBC says Tom Brokaw will moderate "Meet the Press" to fill the vacancy created when Tim Russert died. He will host the program through the November presidential election. He begins on Sunday.

Brokaw anchored "NBC Nightly News" for 20 years.

Fashion designer Donatella Versace likes Barack Obama's style, in fact, she's dedicating her latest collection to him. She calls Obama the man of the moment. She says her latest fashions are for, quote, "a relaxed man who doesn't need to flex muscles to show he has power."

Versace is also offering Obama a tip -- lose the tie.

CNN NEWSROOM continues just one hour from now.

"ISSUE #1" with Gerri Willis starts right now.

Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2013 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.