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AMERICAN MORNING

State of Emergency in Effect in Mongolia; Three People Dead After a Man Plowed a Bulldozer Into Bus and Several Cars in Jerusalem; John McCain in Colombia This Morning; Barack Obama Starting a New Campaign to Attract Voters of Faith; Astounding Losses for Many U.S. Automakers; Punishment for Purchases

Aired July 2, 2008 - 08:00   ET

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


JILL HAZELBAKER, MCCAIN CAMPPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: This is about Barack Obama. And let's drop the pretense that Barack Obama is going to race the dialogue and elevate the debate in this election.
If Barack Obama really wanted to do that, he would get Wesley Clark off the airways attacking John McCain's long record and legacy of service to the American people.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: But again, he's not attacking his record of service. He's just saying that doesn't qualify him to be commander- in-chief. He has said, he believes he's a war hero, he looks up to him.

HAZELBAKER: John, let's be clear. This is not about Wesley Clark. This is about Barack Obama. He talks about changing this country and yet his surrogates are attacking John McCain on a daily basis.

This is a pattern of going at John McCain's strength, which is his military service and his long legacy of leadership in this country. And if Barack Obama wants to really let us believe that there is truth behind his words, he would stop his surrogates from attacking John McCain.

Jill Hazelbaker, thanks for coming on this morning. We'll see you again soon.

HAZELBAKER: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Appreciate it.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: We're crossing the top of the hour and following breaking news right now. A state of emergency in effect in Mongolia. Five people killed and 220 wounded after a post-election political rally turned violent. Police detained more than 500 people. The country's president suspended most TV broadcasts and imposed an overnight curfew. Officials at the U.S. Embassy say that they're, quote, "deeply concerned" about the violence.

And more breaking news in Jerusalem. Police say at least three people are dead after a man plowed a bulldozer into a bus and several cars. At least 30 others were hurt. An off-duty Israeli soldier jumped into the cab and shot the driver dead. Police say the driver was Palestinian and they're treating the incident as a terrorist attack. John McCain is in Colombia this morning. CNN's Juan Carlos Lopez spoke with him just a short time ago and joins us live this morning from Washington.

What did the presumptive Republican candidate for president tell you this morning, Juan Carlos?

JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We spoke about the Hispanic vote, Kiran, and how this trip might play into this electorate. Now, the latest numbers show that Barack Obama has 59 percent. This is a Gallup poll. And Senator McCain has 29 percent. And he believes that here's where he wants to be with the Hispanic vote, and he believes he'll do well with that electorate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think my support is going to be good. I come from a Western state. I come from a border state. I received 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in my last re-election. I understand the issues and the challenges and I'm confident of significant support.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LOPEZ: And it's a very important trip, probably the first time the presumptive nominee travels to Latin America. And very strong message not only to the region but to Hispanics in the United States about his commitment to the region and to Hispanic issues in this country.

CHETRY: All right, Juan Carlos Lopez getting a chance to talk to John McCain this morning. Thank you.

ROBERTS: Barack Obama is starting a new campaign to attract voters of faith. His campaign is holding small so-called values parties to show religious voters that he shares their beliefs. Our Jessica Yellin takes a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Barack Obama is fighting to bolster what was one of his great assets -- his ability to connect with people of faith.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We know that faith and values can be a source of strength in our own lives. That's what it's been to me.

YELLIN: This year, somewhere between Pastor Jeremiah Wright's rantings and the false "Obama is a Muslim" whisper campaign, the candidate's faith message got drowned out. Now, he's trying to bring it back with an aggressive new campaign, one part damage control, one part outreach.

OBAMA: The fact is leaders in both parties have recognized the value of a partnership between the White House and faith-based groups. YELLIN: Today, Obama ripped a page from the Bush playbook, a pledge to dramatically expand the President's partnership with religious organizations. And at the same time under the radar --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dear Lord, please be with us here tonight.

YELLIN: Obama's campaign is holding so-called values parties, wooing undecided religious voters at small gatherings like this one in Cincinnati.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My kids can look at him and think, you know, it's good to be Catholic, it's good to be Christian, it's good to be open about what you are. And it doesn't --

(CROSSTALK)

YELLIN: The message -- Obama's Democratic Party welcomes believers, and Republicans don't have a monopoly on God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People love God in the blue states; they love God in the red states.

YELLIN: Joshua Dubois directs Obama's faith outreach.

JOSHUA DUBOIS, DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Too often, Democrats have ceded the language of faith and morality to other folks. And what we're here to say is that Senator Obama is a committed Christian and he believes that people of all faiths and backgrounds have a role in public life.

YELLIN: Did you catch that? Obama is a committed Christian. Another big theme of these meetings, are reminders, like this video, that the candidate is no Muslim.

OBAMA: I've never been ashamed to talk about my Christian faith.

YELLIN: Winning over religious voters has been an uphill climb for Democrats. And Obama thinks he can break the mold.

Jessica Yellin, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHETRY: And the election now just months away and there's still a major question left to be answered. That's who will John McCain and Barack Obama choose as their running mates? We're going to talk with one man who is ranking the possible contenders. Any surprises? He'll give us the VP buzz.

ROBERTS: Shocking video from the ER waiting room. A woman ignored to death and a hospital staff paying for making her wait 24 hours for help.

It's a revolutionary new swimsuit, that according to one athlete. It makes you feel like you're swimming downhill, but the suit is also dividing the swimming world. We'll explain. CHETRY: And Boy George cancels his U.S. tour after the U.S. says he can't have a visa because of some legal troubles overseas. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Eight minutes now after the hour. More details on our breaking news out of Jerusalem today. Police say at least three people are dead after a man plows a bulldozer into a bus and several cars. CNN's Ben Wedeman is standing by live at the scene in Jerusalem on Jaffa Street.

Ben, police and officials there have any further idea of what caused this man to go on this rampage?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I just spoke with one of the spokesmen for Jerusalem police, and he said that as far as they're investigating but there is no obvious political affiliations or activities connected with this man, who's a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem, who was a construction worker and apparently was supposed to be driving that bulldozer.

But beyond that, they don't really have that much to go on at this point. It only happened about three hours and 20 minutes ago, so the investigation is really just beginning.

Now this spot right here is where the first car was hit when this happened at just 10 minutes before 12:00. Now the Israeli -- the municipality of Jerusalem has gone very good. They've already cleaned it up -- all the cars. There were two buses hit.

As far as I could tell, at least three cars, if not four. They've all been removed. Now they're just cleaning up the street to get things again. Because, John, let's remember, this is a very busy street in a very busy part of Jerusalem in the middle of the day.

So, there were lots of people out here, and I was -- it happened just below our bureau. When I came down, it was utter pandemonium. Hundreds of people in the street not knowing what was going on. And I just arrived at the bulldozer at the moment when the Israeli police climbed up on to the cab of that bulldozer and shot point-blank the driver. John?

ROBERTS: Ben, have officials or have you had an opportunity to talk with any of his co-workers to find out if he was troubled, if he had shown any signs toward violent tendencies prior to this?

WEDEMAN: I haven't had that opportunity, but the police said that they don't have anything on that; that as far as they know they're describing it as a spontaneous incident, a spontaneous attack. But they are describing it, John, as a terrorist attack. They feel that it was in some way politically motivated but the details they just don't have at this point, John.

ROBERTS: Ben Wedeman out there on Jaffa Street, Jerusalem for us. Ben, thanks very much. CHETRY: Right now, Ali Velshi joins us. He's talking about auto sales up from June to June. Some astounding losses for many of the U.S. automakers.

ALI VELSHI, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: We, you know, we sort of look at these trends, compare one month to the previous months, the previous year same month, in auto sales. We have seen over the last several years a decline in auto sales in the United States. It's a very mature market.

Pretty much everybody who needs a car has one in the United States. And we're seeing declines. But the declines are pretty incredible. Now, take a look at the declines from General Motors. 18 percent in June compared to last June. Ford, even worst, 28 percent. Chrysler worse than that, 36 percent. Toyota had a drop of 21 percent. Nissan, 18 percent. The only gainer of the major automakers was Honda with an increase of one percent.

But the story is told when you dig a little deeper and you see what sorts of cars people were, or in this case, weren't buying in June. There is a drop of eight percent in cars. And I'll tell you, people wanted more fuel-efficient cars, but the ones that they wanted, the more fuel-efficient and the Hybrids, in many cases were not available or were on waiting lists.

Crossovers, which are car-based vehicles that are sort of cross between a car and an SUV, more fuel-efficient. SUVs were down 17 percent. Light trucks, including pickup trucks, were down 28 percent. And SUVs had the biggest drop down 38 percent. And in some of the cases of the automakers, it was much more than that as a proportion of their sales.

There has been a big shift from more fuel -- from those cars that are not fuel efficient over to fuel-efficient cars combined with a general drop in the sales of cars because we have a lot of cars in the United States. We haven't seen increases over the years and the economy.

CHETRY: Another interesting phenomenon that some in the auto industry said they haven't seen before. Dealers don't want you to trade in your SUVs or your trucks because they can't resell that.

VELSHI: The value of those, if you try and trade it in now, you are going to get a substantially lower value than you would have. Now, there are some arguments that there has been a big rush to get rid of these SUVs. And as people adjust to these prices, it may be easier to sell it.

But those big, big cars at dealerships and, by the way, at car rentals. A lot of people are getting free upgrades right now. They'll tell you -- we'll bump you two or three classes up and you think you are getting a nice deal for the same money, but they can't rent these big cars out anymore, because people don't want to fill up the gas.

ROBERTS: Last, last time I rented a car, I asked for a Hybrid. They said, we don't have any. VELSHI: Yes. But now, they used to pay extra for an SUV, now you can bump into an SUV very easily. I just spoke to the CEO of Hertz. They've ordered 3,800 new Toyota Priuses for the United States. They were saying fuel-efficient cars are about 40 percent of their business.

CHETRY: Then keep waiting, though, because they're not be able to make them that fast, right?

VELSHI: They are the biggest purchaser of Toyotas in the world. So they have some advantage over you and me trying to get a Prius, but even they have to wait for them.

CHETRY: Ali, thank you.

Well, punish for purchases? Companies looking at what you're buying to determine if you're creditworthy? Our Gerri Willis has details.

Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING -- Boy George banned.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would love to hear him play.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: He did his time, so what's holding him up?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any problems I had in America, I've addressed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Lola, looks at why he's not being allowed back in the U.S. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: It's quarter past the hour now. Rob Marciano is in the CNN weather center for us. And he is tracking tropical storm activity. Any of this looking like it could turn into a hurricane?

(WEATHER REPORT)

ROBERTS: So Rob, what were you saying that this storm coming off of the coast of Africa might turn out to be a fish storm, was it?

ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A fish if it stays out there in the middle of Atlantic, then it wouldn't bother anybody but the fishes. And that would be an ideal scenario.

ROBERTS: Good for everybody.

MARCIANO: If all the storms this year would be fish storms that would be a good deal. ROBERTS: Yes. Good for everybody, except the fish out there.

CHETRY: Everybody except the poor fish. Thanks, Rob.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Rob.

Paying bills late, it could damage your credit. But did you know that using a credit card at a bar can also have a negative effect on your credit rating? Our personal finance editor Gerri Willis will be up to explain.

Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING -- the political gene. New proof that DNA could be driving your politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are finding surprisingly strong results.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: Elizabeth Cohen looks at why you vote. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's called 20-20. A project that partners Brown University with Wal-Mart in Providence, Rhode Island. For the summer, selected students are paid $10 an hour to head to low-income areas of the city.

ERIK DUHAIME, BROWN UNIVERSITY STUDENT: We're actually running a bit ahead of schedule so we can be there in about ten minutes if that's all right.

MYERS: Erik replaces incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent or CFL bulbs. Residents like Alma Ryan had never heard of CFLs.

ALMA RYAN, PROVIDENCE RESIDENT: I didn't know about it. They're energy efficient. It cuts your light bill. So I think that is just wonderful.

MYERS: CFL costs more initially but lasts longer than incandescents, reducing carbon emissions as well as electric bill.

DUHAIME: It is the first job I ever had where after I go into a house, people will get really excited. You explain, you know, you're saving them $200 a year and I genuinely, as corny as it sounds, I genuinely feel like I'm making some sort of a difference.

LIBBY KIMZEY, BROWN UNIVERSITY STUDENT: I'm learning a lot more about Providence, just about getting around different neighborhoods.

JANICE LOUNGO, DIRECTOR, MARY HOUSE: Brown and Wal-Mart? It's like, wow. I'm happy they are connected. MYERS: Janice runs a church-based food program and said they couldn't afford to replace all the bulbs at the parish. But now that it is done, the monthly savings will be a blessing.

STEVE HAMBURG, DIRECTOR, PROJECT 20/20: It's a win-win for everybody.

MYERS: Environmental studies professor Steve Hamburg came up with this bright idea.

HAMBURG: And so, it is really a grass-roots involvement. How can we make these kinds of technological transformations that are going to reduce our carbon impact?

MYERS: Chad Myers, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Well, you know, theme from "Sex and the City." Everybody wants to buy something, right? Well, where you use your credit card may be as important as whether you pay on time. The Federal Trade Commission is suing the company CompuCredit alleging that they cut credit lines if consumers use their plastic at certain places.

CNN's personal finance editor Gerri Willis joins us with the details. And what is this all about?

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Exactly. I think you're going to be ticked off about this. When, John, listen to this. So you know that you can get penalized by your credit card issuer if you pay late, that makes sense. They don't get their money, they're mad. Guess what? It depends on where you spend.

They are now starting to penalize borrowers for where they spend. If you use your credit card say in a billiard hall. Let say you're using it in a massage parlor, a bar, even marriage counselors, they can cut your credit line. That's what this suit with CompuCredit is all about.

And now other credit card issuers also penalizing folks for where they live. If they live in the heart of the mortgage meltdown, say in California or other areas where there are lots and lots of foreclosures. If you are in the housing construction trades or in real estate, finance, yes, the credit card companies are reeling in what they're willing to lend to people.

You know, we got so used to having free and easy credit in this country, it is happening no more. You've really got to, you know, pay attention to what your credit line is out there because you know you can get a fee if you go over your credit limit.

ROBERTS: So what's the idea? That if you buy in certain places, you are a credit risk?

WILLIS: Exactly. Here's what happened with CompuCredit, which is separate from the issue of where you live or what you do for a living. CompuCredit issue credit cards to folks who were maybe at the margins -- margin subprime borrowers.

These were folks that they wanted to keep a very tight eye on, and guess what? The FTC says this is not legal, this practice. All this coming out in a lawsuit that was filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

ROBERTS: So what can people do to protect themselves other than not using plastic at a massage parlor?

WILLIS: Well, you can pay cash. If you think there is going to be questions about where you're spending. You can also shop around for a credit card. These credit cards that are issued directly to subprime candidates, those are the ones I think where people are really looking at how people spent.

You know, we thought for a long time, as consumer advocates that maybe these credit card companies were looking at where you spent, but they never talked about it. It is only because of this lawsuit that we are starting to look inside this business and seeing the kinds of things they're doing to us that we may have had no idea about.

ROBERTS: Wow, another land mine out there. Gerri, thanks so much.

WILLIS: My pleasure.

ROBERTS: Don't forget, Gerri is going to be back here at noon for "ISSUE #1."

Kiran?

CHETRY: All right, thanks. 2008 election in full swing. And we know who the candidates are, of course. But we are still waiting to see who will be each man's second in command. Our next guest ranks the vice presidential contenders, gives us some picks and a few dark horses, in just a few minutes.

Also, a disturbing story -- ignored to death. A woman literally falls off of her chair to the ground in an ER. People who work there simply walk by, letting her lay there. We're going to find out what happened next. And are there big changes in store for the way that people are treated at some of these hospitals. You're watching the "Most News in the Morning."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I think my support is going to be good. I come from a Western state. I come from a border state. I receive 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in my last re-election. I understand the issues and the challenges and I'm confident of significant support.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHETRY: Senator John McCain talking about his support among Hispanic voters. And right now, he's in Colombia where he says that free trade will help U.S. workers and restart the U.S. economy. Later, he is heading to Mexico.

Well, the first big decision the presidential candidates will have to make is who will be their running mate. Our next guest, Jason Wright, runs the Web site politicalderby.com. And the site ranks the vice presidential contenders based on Internet buzz and other news stories, as well as some scuttlebutt that's usually out there in Washington.

Jason joins us now from our bureau in D.C.

Good to see you this morning, Jason.

JASON WRIGHT, FOUNDER, POLTICALDERBY.COM: Good morning.

CHETRY: Let's take a look at the -- let's start with the Democrats. And we'll run down the top three contenders according to your Web site. We have Senator Evan Bayh in the number one and two spot. And then former Senator Sam Nunn in number three. First of all, Evan Bayh, twice. Why?

WRIGHT: That's how much we like this senator. He is so popular at home in Indiana when he was governor. He had approval ratings as high as 88 percent, almost unheard of even in the heartland. He's incredibly popular. He's very, very good on the stump. He's moderate and he's young. And I think that that might be something that would be appealing, sort of a youth ticket on the Democratic side.

CHETRY: We were hearing some jokes among our political reporters that Sam Nunn is perhaps the Susan Lucci of vice presidential picks. Always mentioned, doesn't always win. Doesn't always actually get the nod.

WRIGHT: Yes. You know, he's also a good moderate choice, I think. Maybe a little bit more of a dark horse, but more and more I hear buzz around his name. Maybe as being somebody that fits somewhat the insider mold, and that he does have many years in Washington, D.C. earlier in his career. But in the ten years he's been out, he's sort of re-invented himself a little bit and maybe could come in as a bit of an outsider, voice of the people.

CHETRY: Why isn't Hillary Clinton on the list?

WRIGHT: Because I think that Hillary brings too much baggage. He's like 6'4", used to be president of the United States. I think that's a big problem for Senator Clinton. I think maybe in the back of Barack's mind, he wouldn't mind having Hillary on the ticket. Sort of that whole unity factor they talked about.

The problem is, Bill Clinton, that close to the White House, that close to the press pool, I think that creates real problems for a President Obama.

CHETRY: All right. Let's move on to the Republicans right now, and we'll take a look at the top three picks. You have at number one, Governor Mark Sanford out of South Carolina. Mitt Romney, number two. And Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Let's talk about Mark Sanford. He's not necessarily well-known on the national stage, but you said he has strong conservative credentials.

WRIGHT: Absolutely. Maybe the strongest conservative credentials of anyone that even ran for the top of the ticket. This guy is incredibly popular with the conservative grassroots. He's the name that we hear most often at politicalderby.com, as someone that the run of the mill, grassroots conservatives around the country would like to see in the number two spot.

In fact, a lot of folks really wanted to see him run for the number one spot. So I think he would be the best pick if Senator McCain wants to sort of appease maybe the grassroots to the party.

CHETRY: Let's talk about Mitt Romney. How successful usually is somebody in a vice presidential bid, when they really couldn't get their own campaign off the ground in the primary?

WRIGHT: Yes, that's a very, very good question. History hasn't always been kind to the number two picks when they ran and lost. Sometimes they look a little bit like a loser. There is a little bit of that. A stain, maybe, on the brand.

On the other hand, McCain does need the economic credentials. And Romney, as I like to say, has street cred when it comes to economics. Everyone knows what he's accomplished in the private sector and I think he would bring some balance to the ticket and he can raise a whole lot of cash.

CHETRY: All right. Before we go, let's do a couple of dos and don'ts about picking a VP. Tell us what you recommend the candidates do.

WRIGHT: I think that more than anything else, the candidates have to pick someone they are comfortable with, that they have chemistry with. If you look back at 2004, often when you saw John Kerry and John Edwards on stage together, I felt like it looked like maybe as if John Kerry were having some sort of a painful medical procedure done on his face. He just didn't look very comfortable at Senator Edwards' side.

The other thing I think that's really important is to pick someone that you genuinely would like to spend time with, because you're going to spend a lot of time together over the course of the next several months on the trail.

CHETRY: Yes, you sure will. And you say, don't pick someone because you expect them to carry their state because that doesn't always work. It rarely works.

WRIGHT: That's right.

CHETRY: And also don't pick someone with more star power than you. You don't want to get overshadowed there. WRIGHT: That's right. And for Senator Obama, that's probably not an issue. He'd probably have to pick Hannah Montana to find someone with more star power right now.

But maybe for John McCain, something to consider that he might not want to pick somebody who looks a whole lot better on camera than he does and who reminds voters maybe they'd like to have the number two guy as the number one guy.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN, ANCHOR: You're speaking of Mitt Romney there as well. All right, very interesting. Jason Wright, founder of politicalderby.com. We'll have to wait and see. We'll save the tape and see if your predictions were correct. Thanks.

WRIGHT: Thank you.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN, ANCHOR: Crossing the half hour, breaking news this morning of a deadly bulldozer terror attack. Police in Jerusalem say a Palestinian driver plowed the heavy machine into cars and pedestrians, killing at least three people before an Israeli soldier climbed up beside the cabin and shot the driver dead. At least 44 other people were wounded. Police say they are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.

$4.09. New record high for a gallon of gas today. According to AAA, we were at $2.95 a year ago leading up to the fourth of July weekend.

The price of oil is back up above $142 a barrel today in Asia. And analysts see no quick end to the spikes because of tight supplies and tension in the Middle East.

In an interview with CNN, Saudi's oil minister Ali Al-Naimi says he will not increase production because it's not needed.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES HODSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Can you imagine any circumstances under which Saudi Arabia would increase oil production further? It's said you have a capacity of 11 million barrels a day.

ALI AL-NAIMI, SAUDI OIL MINISTER: Yes. Where is the buyer? Do you have a buyer? We will be very happy to sell him.

HODSON: would you be willing to sell at a discount. That's what some people are saying the market would make a difference.

AL-NAIMI: No, that is not the way the market works.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: And just in this morning, despite a threat by Iran, the U.S. Navy commander in the Persian Gulf says Iran will never be allowed to seal off the Straight of Hormuz, the waterway leading into the Arabian Sea. 40 percent of the world's oil is shipped through that strait.

CHETRY: New this morning a new security agreement between the U.S. and Iraqi forces "almost finalized." That's according to Iraq's foreign minister. As part of that deal, private security contractors will no longer be immune to prosecution under Iraqi law. Earlier I spoke with CNN's Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware about what this means for American contractors in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL WARE, CNN BAGHDAD CORRESPONDENT: What it's going to mean is that any of these former American soldiers, Australian soldiers, British soldiers who are now in these private security firms, when they're operating in Iraq as of next year, they shall be liable to Iraqi law. And there is very little that America can do about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: A community became a sticking point after a deadly shooting involving Blackwater security contractors.

ROBERTS: A shocking scene caught on tape. A woman ignored in a New York emergency room until she dropped dead. She collapsed from her seat almost a day after she came in for help. Hospital staff and security guards saw her but did nothing until it was too late. CNN's Mary Snow has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Kiran, nearly two weeks ago a woman was brought to this hospital, the hospital saying she was suffering from agitation and psychosis. She had to wait nearly 24 hours for a bed. A spokesman for the city's hospital says it's investigating not only what you are about to see on this tape, but a discrepancy in her health records.

SNOW (voice-over): Had it not been for a surveillance camera inside the psychiatric emergency room at Brooklyn's King's County Hospital we may never have known what happened to 49-year-old Esmin Green in the moments before she died. As she struggles on the floor, several people walk by but no one does anything to help her. And it takes nearly an hour before a medical team arrives to treat her. The New York Civil Liberties Union released this videotape showing Green falling to the floor in the emergency room around 5:30 on the morning of June 19th. About 20 minutes later a security guard comes into view.

VOICE OF BETH HAROULES, ATTORNEY, NY CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION: He walks in, he stands there. We actually think there is a television up at the top. We think he's looking at a TV. But he's clearly got the patient in view and he walks away.

SNOW: Green was in the E.R. waiting for a bed to become available. At one point the woman can be seen struggling to free herself from the chairs. And at another point she appears to make an effort to get up. A copy of her medical records contradicts the tape listing her at the same time as being awake, up and about, even going to the bathroom. At about 6:10 a.m., lawyers say a second security guard enters the room. HAROULES: Here he comes. Into the room. Checks her out. He can't even get himself off his chair. He sits there. And then you'll see him wheel himself away.

SNOW: Finally around 6:30 a.m. medical personnel arrive. Green is later pronounced dead. The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation released this statement, saying we are shocked and distressed by the situation, adding that after it learned of the incident the agency's president "directed the suspension and termination of those involved." The city's mayor says the city will do everything it can to cooperate with the investigation.

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: I was horrified, is much too nice a word, disgusted I think is a better word.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SNOW: This is not the first time a psychiatric unit at King's County Hospital has been targeted. Advocates for the mentally ill filed a lawsuit in 2007 calling this a "shameful place with horrendous conditions." That lawsuit is still active. The city's Health and Hospitals Corporation says it's put into place a number of reforms over the past year and now is putting even more reforms into place, including checking on patients in the psychiatric unit every 15 minutes. John and Kiran.

ROBERTS: Mary Snow with that tragic story from Brooklyn this morning. Mayor Bloomberg seemed awfully hot about it. So, I expect something is going to get done.

CHETRY: It just turns your stomach to see it. Awful.

ROBERTS: Terrible.

The swim suits at this year's Olympics will be more than just a fashion statement. In fact they're actually helping racers shatter one world record after another. They've also sparked an Olympic-sized debate. Some people even calling it technological doping. We'll explain.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING. D.N.A. democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nature in some cases is just as important as nurture.

ROBERTS: Think you're picking the next president? Turns out it could be in your genes. You're watching the most news in the morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Something new for you to chew on in this election year. This morning we are learning it may not be the issues that drive someone to the polls, but rather it is their D.N.A.. It's all according to new research that found people with one type of gene were more likely to vote in a presidential election. CNN's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now from Atlanta with this interesting research. What's this all about?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This study is fascinating, John. It's one of several that says whether you vote and who you vote for may, in part, be determined by your genes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COHEN (voice-over): They look alike. They talk alike. They even vote alike.

JOHN ROBINSON: I probably am pretty liberal.

CHARLES ROBINSON: Yes, you could probably paint us with the same brush.

COHEN: Identical twins John and Charles Robinson say they pretty much voted for the same candidate in every election since 1984. Are their political views so similar because they grew up together in the same household and went to the same schools? For years, that's what political scientists assumed, that our political views are shaped entirely by the world around us. But, now they're finding our political views might be rooted in something much deeper - our D.N.A..

JAMES FOWLER, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: Nature, in some cases, is just as important as nurture when it comes to political behavior.

COHEN: So what's the scientific evidence? First, studies on nearly 20,000 twins found that identical twins who share all their genes tend to share political views much more so than fraternal twins who share only half their genes. Another study, done at New York University and UCLA, showed liberals and conservatives process information differently when playing a computer game, and how our brains work is to some extent governed by our genes.

FOWLER: We are finding surprisingly strong results.

COHEN: And James Fowler at the University of California San Diego has found genes may play a role in whether or not you vote. He's just completed research suggesting that people who vote tend to have a specific variation of two genes, a different variation than folks who don't vote. As for political views, scientists say you'll never find a republican gene or a democrat gene. They say there are probably hundreds of genes, and lots of other factors that influence our political point of view.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COHEN: Now to be fair, there are several - many political scientists and psychologists who say all this genetic stuff is hogwash. They say it is not genes that influence what we think politically but how we grew up and those who are around us. John.

ROBERTS: Well, Elizabeth, why does it matter what shapes our political views? COHEN: Well, some political scientists would say there is a lot of bitterness when it comes to politics, and if people could step back and realize that to some extent your political views are in born, maybe it would take some of the nastiness out of the debate.

ROBERTS: Can't help myself! I got to vote this way! Elizabeth, thanks so much.

COHEN: Thanks.

CHETRY: Well, it's been said that clothes make the man. Can a suit make the swimmer at the Olympics? The debate over a revolutionary new swimsuit.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHETRY: Coming up on AMERICAN MORNING. Boy George, banned.

BOY GEORGE, SINGER: I would love to come and play.

CHETRY: He did his time, so what's holding him up?

BOY GEORGE: I mean problems I had in America I've addressed.

CHETRY: Lola looked at why he's not being allowed back in the U.S.. You're watching the most news in the morning.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Most popular videos right now on cnn.com. A Minnesota man is hit by lightning and lives to tell about it. The bolt struck Kent Lilliard in the head. What saved him? He was wearing three layers of summing wet clothing.

Also making golf carts street legal to save on gas money. The Lockhart city council has one rule though, golf carts can't be driven on roads with a speed limit that's more than 35 miles an hour.

And how about this? Cement that eats pollution. Streets and sidewalks in Italy are testing it now. Engineers say the chemicals in the cement actually oxidize pollutants into a harmless nitrate.

CHETRY: Well at the Olympic swimming trials in Nebraska, a revolutionary new swimsuit is getting as much attention as the athletes wearing it. Swimmers say it helps shave seconds from their time. Critics though are calling it technological doping. Here's CNN's Chris Lawrence.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John and Kiran, there's tight, they're skintight, and then there is this new suit that took some swimmers up to 40 minutes just to slip on. She's only in high school, but Max Eliot is ready to trade his suit for the Speedo laser.

VOICE OF MAX ELIOT, HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMER: The new ones are ultrasonically bonded so it actually don't have seams. LAWRENCE: Bt these suits are submerged in controversy. Swimmers have set more than 40 world records in the Speedo Laser and it just came out in February. The world record holder says it turns "mediocre" swimmers into Martians. And foreign swimmers are revolting against their own sponsors to get it in time for the Olympics.

JESSICA HARDY, OLYMPIC SWIMMER: I think if they don't wear it they're at a disadvantage, for sure.

LAWRENCE: Olympic swimmer Jessica Hardy broke two records wearing the suit.

HARDY: When I jump in the water like literally the water bounces right off of it.

LAWRENCE: An Italian coach called the laser "technological doping," but the Olympic committee okayed its super light fabric because the suit doesn't provide buoyancy. And some say it is part of an ongoing evolution from Mark Spitz winning gold medals with shaggy hair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the '70s, nobody really thought to shave. If you notice he swam with a mustache and no goggles.

LAWRENCE: When Jason Swartz started training, it was all about the smallest suit possible.

JASON SCHWARZ, L.A. SWIM CLUB: At the time we thought that the skin was the fastest thing against the water. We would shave our legs, we would get the dead skin off. We would get the hair off.

LAWRENCE: Full body suits designed to reduce drag first caused a stir in the 1992 Olympic trials. But the Speedo laser does more. It's core stabilizer helps swimmer maintain a streamline position through the end of the race.

ELIOT: What I'd say it's like 40 percent is technology and 60 percent is really mental. You know, you get one of these suits on, you're like, yes! I'm going to go fast!

LAWRENCE: And if you want to feel what the Olympic swimmers do it will cost you. The laser goes on sale to the public in October. But will cost up to $550. John. Kiran.

ROBERTS: All those parents with a kid on the high school swim team is going to be in the poor house now.

CHETRY: That's right. Between that and the prom, forget it.

ROBERTS: CNN NEWSROOM just minutes away. Now, Heidi Collins is at the CNN Center. She's got a look at what's ahead. Good morning, Heidi.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Hi, good morning to you, John. And good morning, everyone. Coming up today in the NEWSROOM, a suspect in a two-state killing spree due in court this morning. Nicholas Troy Sheley is suspected in eight murders. And Israel says it's a terror attack. A man on a bulldozer rams a bus and cars killing three people.

Plus, stuffing your carry-on to avoid checked baggage fees? Airlines cracking down. Gerri Willis helps you pack for a fourth of July get- away.

And President Bush in the Rose Garden this morning and live right here in the NEWSROOM. We get started at the top of the hour on CNN. John.

ROBERTS: We'll see you then. Heidi, thanks so much.

From the polygamist compound to your closet, the prairie-style clothes worn by the women whose children were seized back in April are now being sold on internet.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOY GEORGE: Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?

CHETRY: Boy George may be doing the crying. He's been denied a U.S. visa. Wait until you hear what he's charged with doing overseas. You're watching the most news in the morning.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JILL LEVINE, MEDICAL MARVEL: Robby was a great kid. He was very athletic. He loves all sports but baseball was really his passion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was standing at first base, Robby ran past me. And then a few seconds later he was laying on home plate and I started to try to do CPR.

LEVINE: When I got to the hospital they walked in and said he died. I started screaming. This is a healthy nine-year-old kid. How in the world could his heart just stop? Robby really could have had a chance if there was a defibrillator. I just knew that we need to do something.

My name is Jill Levine. And I help coach to save lives. My goal is to make these mandatory in youth sports in the same way that you have to wear a batting helmet. In some way, I'm still parenting Robby. I'm still his mom. I feel like I'm helping people because of him, and that helps me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: July's the last month to nominate someone you know as a CNN hero for 2008. Go to cnn.com/heroes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHETRY: It may be nothing personal, but Boy George can't get a U.S. visa, and now he has to cancel his U.S. tour. It turns out the singer is facing some wild charges and allegations overseas. Our Lola Ogunnaike has been looking into it for us. What did he do now?

LOLA OGUNNAIKE, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: What didn't he do? He's actually having a trial in November. And that's why he's been denied his visa. Last year he was arrested for false imprisonment and assault. A 28-year-old male escort alleged that he chained him up - Boy George chained him up in his apartment in London and threatened his life. Boy George has pled not guilty. We'll see what happens in November. But that's the reason he's being denied his visa.

CHETRY: Did he actually talked to you about that?

OGUNNAIKE: Well, he actually talked to "Showbiz Tonight" about it. And here's what he had to say actually.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOY GEORGE: I wouldn't say that I was a threat to national security. I think that, you know, I'm coming to spread love and joy, to do my music and I think I should be allowed to do that. You know, because I have straightened out my life and you know, how can you move on if you're constantly being reminded of what you did in the past?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: We also remember when he was tabloid fodder. I mean the paparazzi just surrounded him as he was doing some community service in Manhattan. He always had something to say.

OGUNNAIKE: Yes, he was sleeping the streets in Manhattan. And that stemmed from him falsely claiming his house was burglarized. So this is not the first time he's been in trouble. Hopefully this upcoming trial will be the last time he's in trouble because he is really talented.

CHETRY: And he's not the first star that's facing trouble when it comes to try to hop the pond.

OGUNNAIKE: Yes, these visa people are being pretty hard on celebrities. Martha Stewart couldn't get into the U.K. because of her conviction on insider trading. Snoop couldn't get to the U.K. too. And Amy Winehouse couldn't even perform at the Grammys here. She was denied a visa because of all her trouble. So.

CHETRY: All right. We'll see what happens to poor Boy George. Lola, great to see you. Thanks.

OGUNNAIKE: Thanks.

CHETRY: John.

ROBERTS: It's 54 and a half minutes after the hour. It turns out that all of the publicity surrounding the polygamous ranch in Texas has created some serious demand for - well, let's call it prairie wear. So much so that the polygamists are now profiting online.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: Well, you know, it might not exactly make the cover of "Vogue," but it is the latest in fundamentalist fashion.

CHETRY: It sure is. Polygamist wives are now selling those distinctive and hand made prairie-looking dresses and other items on the internet. It is the most news in the morning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You know you've seen one too many news stories on that polygamist sect when you stop counting wives and start counting prairie dresses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We hang our dresses.

MOOS: Pastel prairie dresses generally seen flouncing up the courthouse steps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who's talking about their crimes against fashion?

MOOS: Their latest fashion crime, the FLDSdress website, fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, where you can buy a baby dress with bloomers or a girl's nightgown, all handmade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is our sewing room. We sew all of our clothing.

MOOS: The polygamist women hope selling kids' clothes on their own website will bring in some money. They make everything from overalls to underwear, long underwear worn in all seasons for religious reasons.

MOOS (on-camera): These women are all about modesty. All buttoned up, no flashy colors. On their website they quote scripture from the book of Mormon.

MOOS (voice-over): And they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely, though comely is in the eye of the beholder. The teen princess dress will set you back about 60 bucks. As one FLDS member told "The Salt Lake Tribune," this is not about Wal-Mart quality. But on the internet the prairie look is the butt of jokes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even Quaker women think those ladies dress is so 1890s. I think these women are reading the "Queen Victoria Secret" catalogue.

MOOS: Which brings us to comedian Mo Rocca.

MO ROCCA, COMEDIAN: You almost want her to take off the glasses, let her hair down and become Darryl Hannah.

MOOS: Mo got together with fashion guru Tim Gunn from "Project Runway" to critique polygamist style.

TIM GUNN, "PROJECT RUNAWAY": Silhouette, horrible. Proportion, hideous. You think they do their own hair? ROCCA: I think there's one hairdresser in the compound and he is fabulous.

GUNN: Is he the one who doesn't have 14 wives?

MOOS: Actually, their hair, done up in buns and braids, is kept very long because they believe the wives will use their hair to wash Christ's feet or their husband's feet in heaven. It was a feat for Tim Gunn to redefine the prairie look.

GUNN: Take the sleeves off all together. It would be sleeveless. I'd open up the top four buttons. I'd shorten it by a good 12 inches.

MOOS: But beware of making too much fun.

GUNN: Next year, it's on Mark Jacobs' runway.

MOOS: In this age of overexposure it's a shock when underexposure comes out of the closet. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

ROBERTS: It's all very practical though. You show me a Tory Birch skirt that you can run up the courthouse steps in. That's not going to happen.

CHETRY: And almost the same price as designer fashion. $60 for a teen dress.

ROBERTS: There you go.

CHETRY: It's the quality though, right?

ROBERTS: Well, maybe they'll be in Wal-Mart one of these days. That's going to do it for us. We'll see you again bright and early tomorrow morning. Thanks so much for joining us on this AMERICAN MORNING.

CHETRY: You'll catch John in "The Situation Room" this afternoon.

ROBERTS: That's right.

CHETRY: You almost forgot.

ROBERTS: I'll go home and nap.

CHETRY: Six hours of live TV, and this is what happens to you.

Well, "CNN NEWSROOM" with Tony Harris and Heidi Collins begins right now.

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