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Church Shooter Hated Liberals; Female Suicide Bombers Kill 70 in Iraq; Israeli Newspaper Publishes Obama's Western Wall Prayer

Aired July 28, 2008 - 13:00   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Why would anybody shoot up a church during a children's show? Police in Tennessee say the suspect barred -- bared his soul before he opened fire.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Deadly floods in the desert southwest. A former hurricane makes its mark on New Mexico.

PHILLIPS: And it's a lifeline for some, a safety net for others, a boondoggle to critics in Congress. It's a colossal housing rescue package that will soon be the law of the land. We'll see what it means for you.

Hello, everyone. I'm Kyra Phillips, live in New York.

LEMON: I'm Don Lemon, live here at the CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta.

You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

PHILLIPS: Out of work and filled with hate. Motives cited by police for yesterday's rampage that left two people dead at a church in Knoxville, Tennessee. The suspect is this man, Jim Adkisson. He's charged with first-degree murder.

Our Rusty Dornin has the latest.


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: investigators say it was a four-page letter discovered in the suspect's car that has given them the biggest clues as to the motive in this shooting. Apparently, Jim Adkisson wrote the letter describing his anger towards the liberal movement, angry about the fact that he had not had a job and been looking for the last two years.

CHIEF STERLING OWEN, KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE, POLICE: it appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement. We have recovered a four-page letter in which he describes his feelings and his -- the reason that he claims that he committed these offenses.

DORNIN (voice-over): The church is well-known in this community for its liberal views. On its Web site it describes itself as a community dedicated to social change since the '50s: desegregation, women's rights, and gay rights. Police say 76 shells were discovered at the church, and that the suspect fired three rounds. In that letter, apparently, the suspect talks about the fact that he thought he'd never get out of that church alive.

OWEN: He indicated also in that letter that he expected to be in there shooting people until the police arrived, and he fully expected to be killed by the responding police.

DORNIN: Jim Adkisson remains jailed on a $1 million bond. So far there's one count of first-degree murder, but more charges are expected. The FBI is also investigating whether to file charges of violation of civil rights for a hate crime.

(on camera) Adkisson is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, August 5.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, Knoxville, Tennessee.


PHILLIPS: Now, one of the victims is being hailed a hero. Survivors say 60-year-old Greg McKendry stood in front of the gunman to shield others. McKendry was a long-time church member and usher.

Also killed was 61-year-old Linda Kraeger. She was a member of another Unitarian Church that came to this one for the children's performance. Of the seven people hurt, at least three are still in critical condition.

LEMON: On the move and out of control. We are closely watching this wildfire near Yosemite National Park. More than 26,000 acres and a dozen homes have already burned. Another 2,000 families are packing up. There's a lot of dry timber in this area which hasn't burned in the last 100 years.

In Southern New Mexico the body of one person reportedly has been found. Two others are still missing. Both had been swept away by rushing waters. Up to 9 inches of rain fell over the weekend in Rio Ruidoso from the remnants of Hurricane Dolly. The campgrounds and bridges are closed there. About 800 people, many of them vacationers, they had to evacuate.

Floods, fires, plus the threat of tornadoes. A very busy day for our Chad Myers. He's in the CNN severe weather center with the very latest for us -- Chad.


And still raining very close to Rio Ruidoso, in New Mexico, as well. The remnants, just the moisture, just the muck still left over from Dolly hanging around in the heat of the day. That air goes up, and you get showers and thunderstorms. Had a bunch of storms across Missouri yesterday, a lot of damage, even some flooding there. And now right now the typical Florida showers are popping up. Also southern Georgia, parts of Mississippi, and Alabama today, as well. A hot day in Dallas and Kansas City and all through Arkansas. Temperatures above 100 degrees in most spots across Texas. Houston, you'll get a shower or two. That will keep you down to 96. Also a little bit of a flow off of the Gulf of Mexico, and that keeps you cool. Galveston will be much cooler, though, if you get down there. If you want to get away from the heat, just head down to the shore. Shouldn't be too bad there.

But this -- look at this, this heat. Heat advisories, heat warnings and watches all the way from Oklahoma City right on back down to New Orleans, as well. I know it's supposed to be hot and humid, but this, Don, this is pretty hot even for summertime standards.

LEMON: OK. Thank you, and if you don't have the shore, then I guess head for a pool or...

MYERS: The movie theater. The 99-cent movies.

LEMON: There you go, and suck up that air conditioning.

MYERS: That's right.

LEMON: All right, Chad. We'll check back with you. Thank you very much for that.

Here's a look at another tremendous force of nature. Water rushing through Taipei, Taiwan, as a typhoon crashed ashore. Its winds were close to Hurricane Dolly strength. And so far Typhoon Fung-Wong has dumped up to three feet of rain, and it's not done yet. It's due to hit southeastern China overnight.

PHILLIPS: In Iraq at least 70 people are dead in attacks by female suicide bombers in two cities. CNN's Morgan Neill joins us now live from Baghdad with the latest.

Not the first time we've seen this, Morgan. They're getting more and more creative.

MORGAN NEILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Kyra. What I can tell you about today on the attack here in Baghdad, an official with the interior ministry says three female suicide bombers set off their explosives within 30 minutes of one another in what appeared to have been a coordinated attack targeting Shia pilgrims headed to the Kadhimiya shrine.

In those bombings, we are told that at least 32 people were killed, another 102 wounded, most of them believed to be Shia pilgrims.

Now, Iraqi security forces had stepped up measures ahead of this pilgrimage hoping to stop just this sort of attack, but primarily those measures were in Kadhimiya itself, where there was a vehicle ban. People were not allowed to bring in cell phones or bags. But in -- in this neighborhood of Karradah, just to the south, these attackers were able to slip through. Now, to the north, in Kirkuk, another female suicide bomber attacked today. This one left at least 38 people dead, another 178 wounded. Police there say what happened was this female suicide bomber managed to get into a group of Kurds who were protesting against a proposed electoral law. She set off her explosives there.

Now, they have instituted a curfew in Kirkuk, but of course, it's too late to stop this attack, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Now, Morgan, we've seen so many efforts by Iraqis and U.S. military to try to stop this. Female suicide bombers, the insurgents are getting so creative. They pretend they're pregnant, but there's really bombs in there. They pretend they're holding a baby, but it's really a bomb. They're even bringing in female Iraqis to try and help curb this problem.

What about the U.S. military? Anything new? Anything else to try and deal with this?

NEILL: Well, absolutely, you're right. This is a problem that is on the rise. We've seen more than two dozen attacks by female suicide bombers in year compared to just eight last year.

Now, the U.S. military is doing things to try and stop, in particular those recruiting female suicide bombers. We've seen this specifically in Diyala province, where this has been a real issue. What they say is these women who are recruited to carry out these attacks often come from families in all kinds of financial difficulties. And many are widows. Those who have been killed, sometimes widows of men associated with al Qaeda itself, Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Morgan Neill, live from Baghdad. Morgan, thanks.

LEMON: Now to Turkey where at least 17 people are dead after two bombings minutes apart in Istanbul. More than 150 people are dead.





LEMON: I should say 150 people are wounded.

The blast occurred in a crowded square yesterday. Witnesses say many people were killed and wounded in the second blast, after they rushed to help the injured from the first. Istanbul's mayor calls the bombings an act of terrorism. No one has claimed responsibility.

PHILLIPS: More trouble for Qantas Airways. A Qantas jet on flight from L.A. to Melbourne, Australia, today was forced to return to the airport. The airline says that a landing gear door failed to close. The plane landed safely at Adelaide Airport. And officials may be closer, meanwhile, to knowing what put a car-sized hole in the fuselage of this Qantas 747. They found fragments that appear to bolster the theory that the oxygen tank exploded onboard, forcing the jet to make an emergency landing in the Philippines. No one among the 365 people onboard was hurt.

LEMON: Of course, the economy is issue No. 1 and President Bush is set to sign a landmark housing bill today. It offers up to $300 billion in federally-guaranteed loans for people facing foreclosure.

President Bush had objected to parts of the bill, which gives money to states to buy foreclosed properties, but he agreed to sign it because he also included a rescue plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Gerri Willis explains what the bill means for us a little bit later on in the hour.

Well, the next administration will face a sea of red ink. I'm talking about $490 billion. That's the latest forecast for the Bush administration for the fiscal year starting in October. We expect to hear details in a briefing scheduled a little bit later on this hour.

And the new figure is about $80 billion more than the previous forecast and still doesn't include the cost of the wars.

PHILLIPS: They're under new ownership, but your money is still yours. The First National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank reopened today as Mutual of Omaha Bank. The failed banks operated in California, Nevada and Arizona and were shut down Friday by federal regulators. The bank of Nevada also operated as the First National Bank of Arizona.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation says that every penny of customers' money is safe and accessible, even if it exceeds FDIC insurance limits.

Oil prices going up again amid fears about a possible disruption in supply. Militants in Nigeria attacked two oil pipelines belonging to Shell Petroleum today, and there was more nuclear saber rattling by Iran. This past weekend Iran's president upped the ante and intentions, announcing his country possessed 6,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment. That's double the amount that Iran previously said it was operating.

LEMON: Barack Obama's private prayer to God. Should a note the Democratic candidate left at Jerusalem's Western Wall have been taken and published? The issue is raising a lot of fuss, and we've got a report. We'll hear what some of you are saying about it.

PHILLIPS: In California a woman probably owes her life to rescue workers after a terrifying accident. We're going to tell you what happened.


LEMON: Well, the race for the White House is back on U.S. soil. Barack Obama is back in the U.S. after his tour of the Middle East and Europe. Today he has a series of meetings in Washington, most of them on the economy.

Money is Republican John McCain's focus today. He is spending much of his day in California, where he has two fundraisers on his schedule. McCain is also sitting down for an exclusive interview with our Larry King. That airs tonight at 9 Eastern.

PHILLIPS: Leading our political ticker, a widening lead for Barack Obama in our national poll of polls. Forty-five percent of registered voters say they support the Democratic candidate. Thirty- nine percent back Republican John McCain. Sixteen percent haven't made up their minds.

Obama had a 3-percentage-point lead on Friday. The poll of polls is an average of three national surveys.

In Idaho an unlikely political pairing. Check this out: Barack Obama and Republican Senator Larry Craig on the same campaign button. Whoops, wrong Larry. Beside Obama the button was supposed to show Senate candidate Larry Larocco. The manufacturer has yanked the buttons from its Web site.

LEMON: Whoops. All right. Well, candidates for president know that nothing they say or do is private, but a note to God, how about that? Well, the note Barack Obama left in Jerusalem's Western Wall was apparently -- it apparently ended up in an Israeli newspaper.

CNN's Paula Hancocks has a full story for us.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A predawn visit by Barack Obama to Jerusalem's Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site. A public event with media in tow, but the prayer he wrote and placed in the cracks of the wall was meant to be private.

An Israeli newspaper has published what it claims is Obama's prayer, saying a Jewish seminary student took it from the wall after the U.S. presidential candidate left.

JONATHAN ROSENBLUM, ORTHODOX AM EHAD THINK TANK: Anybody who goes to the Western Wall and places a note there does so under the assumption that that's a private communication between him and God and, therefore, once he has the presumption of confidentiality, there are rabbinic decrees against reading anybody else's private communications.

HANCOCKS: CNN is not reporting the contents of the private note. The Obama camp says, "We haven't confirmed or denied that it's his." An aide, adding that when Obama was told of it, he, quote, "wasn't angry so much as bewildered. Kind of shrugged and shook his head."

But the senior rabbi at the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz, says the incident is sacrilegious. He says, "Notes which are placed in the Western Wall are between the person and his maker. Heaven forbid that one should read them or use them in any way."

(on camera) Up to 7 million people visited the Western Wall last year, both tourists and locals who pray here regularly. Now, that translates into millions of prayers placed in between the stones of this wall. Tradition has it that any request placed in between these holy stones will be granted.

(voice-over) The late Pope John Paul II placed a prayer at the Western Wall while visiting Jerusalem in 2000, but he requested that his words be made public.

The Western or Wailing Wall is a relic of the second temple, destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years ago. Prayers left here are considered sacred and are cleared away twice a year to be buried in a cemetery, none of them meant to be read or published.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Jerusalem.


LEMON: And you, our viewers, have a lot to say about Obama's prayer note being taken and published.

Andrea writes -- here's what she says -- "The newspaper should not have published it. Even a public figure deserves a private moment at the Wailing Wall."

PHILLIPS: This came from Lou: "The young man who are retrieved the note is so typical of so many people today, willing to violate certain sanctities in order to get a quick buck or make a name for themselves."

LEMON: And from Susan: "I'm outraged by the sinful actions of the individual who stole Obama's note. I visited the Wailing Wall and felt that my note was between God and myself."

PHILLIPS: And Terry writes, "Sneak a mike into the confessional. Maybe you'll find some juicy stories there also. Unbelievable! No respectable news organization should publish the contents of his personal prayer."

LEMON: Here's what Chris writes. He says, "The press has gotten too involved with every little mundane detail of Barack Obama's trip. How much does leaving a note at the Wailing Wall have to do with how -- how he will facilitate this country?"

PHILLIPS: Well, longtime journalist Robert Novak is suffering from a brain tumor. We found out the 77-year-old Washington columnist made that announcement this morning. He said he will soon begin treatment at a Boston hospital. It's not known if the tumor is malignant, pending results of a biopsy.

And just last week, you may remember, Novak was cited for failure to yield the right-of-way after he hit a pedestrian with his car. You may remember Novak as a regular on CNN's "CROSSFIRE."

LEMON: Lawmakers working double time to help end the housing crisis. What will it mean for you?

PHILLIPS: And water, water everywhere, but it can't save a famous seaside pier from a spectacular fire.


PHILLIPS: Well, it's pronounced "cool," spelled Cuil. You can Google it, but the people at Cuil don't want you to. It's a new Internet search engine, the brain-child of an ex-Google engineer, by the way, and it was started by taking requests today in its bid to rival Google and Yahoo!'s dominance.

Cuil claims to cover more than 120 billion Web pages and offers more comprehensive search results. But it's hitting a few bumps on the way. Many users report getting a temporary error message that says "We'll be back soon."

LEMON: Profit plunges for one leading food company but soars for another, but ultimately they both mean the same for your grocery bill. That is the sad news.

Our Susan Lisovicz is on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with the very latest.

OK. It's Monday. Susan, we're starting off with bad news already.

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, in so many ways. And lingering concerns about other things, Don.

But the case in point that we're going to talk about is Tyson Foods, whose profits plunged 90 percent in the last quarter. Tyson is the world's biggest meat products company, and it blames higher costs for chicken feed. Chicken, of course, being one of its big products. It says the skyrocketing cost of grain and other things will add an extra $1 billion in costs this year, Don.

LEMON: But many companies, unfortunately, they're simply passing along those higher costs to consumers, right?

LISOVICZ: That's right. Energy and food, huge areas of inflation in the last year, and we've seen it with Kraft. Kraft is a huge food company, as well. It raised prices on almost all of its products this spring. And Kraft also is reporting quarterly earnings that exceeded estimates.

It -- it's charging more for, for instance, Ritz and other crackers, cookie brands, to blunt those higher energy prices. Also did a lot more advertising for Maxwell house coffee, Jell-O pudding, and microwaveable bagels, which, frankly, are not popular in New York. People are very discriminating here about their bagels.

Kraft shares are up 4.5 percent, but Tyson Foods shares are down by about 6 percent.

And yes, you mentioned a sell-off. Yes, it accelerated late morning. We're looking at the Dow right now down 179 points. NASDAQ, meanwhile, is down 30 points. Oil is pretty flat right now. Not doing -- not doing a whole lot of anything. Financial stocks under particular pressure again. Two regional banks failed over the weekend, and there are lingering -- lingering credit concerns, Don.

LEMON: All right, Susan. We'll check back with you a little bit later on. Thank you.

LISOVICZ: You're welcome.

PHILLIPS: Billionaire businessman Richard Branson says that he can't wait to go into space, and he plans to lift off in his very own space ship, which by the way, is designed to take other people, too, but for a price.

Earlier this year, Branson unveiled small models of the mother ship and the space craft. Today he lifts the curtain on the real thing, and he tells CNN about 250 astronaut wannabes have paid $200,000 each to climb aboard.


RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, VIRGIN GROUP: I'm going up myself, and I'm sure my stomach is going to turn. My children, my parents are going up. So, you know, of course, there's going to be an element of nervousness, but it will be, I think, the journey of a lifetime. It will be the one thing in my life that I'll remember more -- above everything else.

So, you know -- so you've got to have a little bit of nervousness. It's natural.


PHILLIPS: Well, nervousness and also about 50 test flights. Branson says that if all goes well and the flights take off, don't see -- well, be surprised to see a galactic stewardess on board, as he puts it.

LEMON: All right. Well, lots of opinions in America about CNN's "Black in America" documentary. I don't remember anything we put on the air getting this much reaction. It's unbelievable. Well, some college students get their say.


LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon live here at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta.

PHILLIPS: And I'm Kyra Phillips in New York. You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

LEMON: And it's time now to tell you some of the stories we're working on for you today right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.

Here's a question: what sparked yesterday's deadly shooting rampage at a Unitarian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee? Police now say the suspected gunman was angry at being out of work and hated what he called the liberal movement. Unitarians support gay rights, and this church founded an ACLU chapter.

Panic on the streets of two Iraqi cities today. Female suicide bombers attacked Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and Kurdish protesters in Kirkuk, killing at least 70 people and wounding more than 280.

A fast-moving wildfire near California's Yosemite National Park has now burned more than 26,000 acres. The flames have destroyed a dozen homes and forced the evacuation of nearly 200 people.

PHILLIPS: More now on the housing bill and what it could mean for homeowners struggling to meet their mortgages right now. Personal finance editor, Gerri Willis here with the details.

Let's just talk right out of the box about this bill and how it directly helps the homeowners.

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Well, one of the main features of the bill is it allows homeowners in trouble with their mortgages to refinance into a new loan, a fixed loan, a 30-year fixed loan. That's something very good for folks out there who are having trouble.

The bill requires lenders to make major concessions though. They have to write down the value of these loans to 90 percent of their current market value. So in markets where prices have fallen like 20 percent, that's a very big deal. This means they can incur substantial loses. The lender is going to do a new appraisal to see what your home is worth. This is going to require that you have your income statements on hand, bank accounts, job histories, all the usual things when you apply for the loan.

The lenders won't sign off on a work out unless they think they'll lose money on -- on the foreclosure. They're doing a comparison. Foreclosure, workout, which costs us the most? We'll take that option. It's completely optional for these folks. They do not have to do it.

PHILLIPS: How do you qualify?

WILLIS: Well, you have to have been in your house for some period of time. Between January of 2005 and June of 2007 you have to have gotten your mortgage. In addition to that, you have to spend 31 percent of your gross monthly income on mortgage debts to be eligible. You have to prove that you can't keep up with mortgage payments. And you have to be able to afford the new fixed rate loan. You have to also pay off the HELOC home equity line of credit to be able to get this financing, because you can't -- your house can't be encumbered by any other debt.

The other thing that's going on here, that I think is really interesting, is that you can also qualify, if you don't own a home now, for a $7,500 tax credit to buy that new home. Now, you ultimately have to pay that back, but I know some folks have been trying to get into the home market, and now they're getting a little bit of help from the federal government.

PHILLIPS: So what next and when can you actually see this all happen? As we know, we have talked about how HUD doesn't work that fast.

I said that quickly.

WILLIS: No, they do not. The president has got to sign the bill, as always.

PHILLIPS: Of course.

WILLIS: And he's promised to do that sometime this week. Today, tomorrow, sometime early this week. We'll probably see that happen.

But there's a big question about when it's really going to be enacted, when it's going to go into effect, when people can really get this help. Senator Chris Dodd has asked that this happen in October. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, some folks there have been quoted as saying we don't know if we can make October or not. So, the devil is in the details here, how quickly it might happen.

But keep in my mind, a lot of these improvements and changes are really voluntary on the part of the lending establishments out there. So we really have to wait and see how far this goes.

PHILLIPS: And also, you can log on to the -- certain Web sites and call certain phone numbers, right, in order to find out more about this?

WILLIS: Well, if you want to know the basics of the program, it's sort of all over the news right now. And if you want to know more about the Department of Housing and Urban Development and what they have in the works for homeowners, go to their Web site,

We're covering this extensively. You can read a lot about it on We break down how this works, what it means for you, and how to really take advantage of the bill. That's all on CNNMoney.

PHILLIPS: All right, great. Gerri, thank you so much. I know you're coming back, and that will be part two -- is your bank safe?

Gerri is going to come back next hour and talk to us about that. She will have some tips on keeping -- or, actually on keeping your money yours. And it's not just you or your neighbors facing foreclosure worries, as you know. We've talked about this. Even the rich and famous are having a hard time making their mortgage payments. So Gerri is going to come back and talk with us some more.

Thanks, Gerri.

WILLIS: Thank you.

LEMON: Well last week CNN premiered our special, "Black in America." That was one of our special reports. It was two hours looking at the black woman and family and two hours on the black man. Lots of different experiences and issues were covered in those series. And wouldn't you know, there was lots of different opinions on how they were covered and what we covered here at CNN. We wanted to get some opinions not only from older people, which we've heard, and black people, also from some younger people and very frankly, white people as well.

I recently sat down with a group of college students to get their feedback.


LEMON: As a white woman, what did you think of "Black in America"?

MARIA TOWN, PRES. EMORY STUDENT GOVT. ASSN.: I thought that "Black in America" provided a great basis for discussion. There was a wide breadth of issues that were covered. But there wasn't a lot of depth. And hopefully there will be a more in-depth discussion on many of the issues that were brought up.

LEMON: OK. Maria, I should point out -- Maria Town, you are the SJ president at Emory University.

TOWN: Yes.

LEMON: Why do you think there wasn't much depth?

TOWN: Well, they provided a lot of statistics, a lot of very accurate statistics, but to me, it didn't seem like there was much beyond the statistics. There were a lot of issues that I was already familiar with. And I'm not sure what the audience is for this program, but I would have liked to know more and really seen the issues hashed out.

LEMON: Did you learn anything about -- what did you learn? Anything about black women from this?

TOWN: No, because I already engage with a lot of black women on a regular basis. But it was kind of refreshing to see this being talked about in the media.

SCOT SEITZ, EMORY UNIVERSITY: I think I learned some things. I would say a lot of it were ideas that I'd already seen before or heard about before. So I appreciated that it does start dialogue, but from the other perspective, I think it could have covered a few more issues that especially white Americans and the society in general don't necessarily know about.

LEMON: Like what?

SEITZ: Well, something -- I feel like, especially the documentary, the black man -- a lot of it was pretty stereotypical. A lot of the stories really were, with a few exceptions. I think every story besides one or two had violence or drugs associated with it.

LEMON: And you don't think that necessarily is the correct representation of black men in America?

SEITZ: I don't think it represents the experience of being black in America. I think it represents one aspect of being black in America.

BRANDON L. DOUGLAS, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE: I think it's important that we kind of distinguish the difference between representation and reality. Being black in America -- or "Black in America" the documentary wasn't actually supposed to show black Americans, or Afro- Americans, what it's like to be black for (ph) we're innately and inherently black, so we kind of live the experience every day.

I think it was actually supposed to show the people who live in society and who are not black what it's like to be black.

LEMON: But they're saying that that's not necessarily what they got. You got it.

DOUGLAS: Well, I didn't get it --

LEMON: You didn't get it?

DOUGLAS: To expect people to actually have a clue or give them a glimpse, it was very unrealistic. So, I kind of share their sentiment, I see where they're coming from.

APRIL CURRY, SPELMAN COLLEGE: If you're going to call a segment, "Black in America," I want to see the experience -- I want to see a wide range of experiences. I'm black and in America, and I didn't see anyone that represented me, my background, or anyone else that I know.


CAMILLE BURNEY, SPELMAN COLLEGE: I don't necessarily agree with that. I'm sorry.

LEMON: No, go ahead.

BURNEY: I don't necessarily agree with that. They did show African-American women who are going to college. You and I are both African-American women going to college and pursuing careers. Not only that, the segment about the young woman who was having unprotected sex with her boyfriend who she did not completely trust. That is a big issue affecting the black American community right now. And that, I felt, did accurately reflect who I was.


LEMON: Just a couple of opinions about our "Black in America" series. And next hour in the CNN NEWSROOM we'll check out what some of you have to say in our i-Reports on "Black in America." Then later, my interview with the president of the National Association of Black Journalists -- what she thinks about objectivity and Barack Obama.

PHILLIPS: Straight ahead, some surprising new findings about what could help patients with Alzheimer's.

LEMON: It's a long way down. A daring rescue from the side of a rugged cliff. You could get dizzy just looking at this video.


LEMON: Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease which affects millions of Americans. We know that. It's terrible. But could common blood pressure drugs and staying fit help sufferers lead fuller, healthier lives? Our medical correspondent, Ms. Elizabeth Cohen, is here with the details about some new research.

It sounds promising.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It really does sound promising. And this is kind of a big deal because really there is not much out there for Alzheimer's patients right now. So there's a big conference going on in Chicago and the big news, as Don said, is blood pressure drugs. They are called angiostatin receptor blockers and they are given to heart failure patients, to blood pressure patients. And what they found is that these drugs actually delayed dementia by two years. And that's quite a bit. So, folks still got dementia, or still got Alzheimer's disease, but there seems to be a delay in the progression by two years.

And Don, there was also an interesting study about an antihistamine of all drugs, that was pretty surprising, but that that also seemed to improve cognitive function.

LEMON: And Alzheimer's -- I mean, if you have ever had to deal with it in your family, it's really awful.

And I'm looking here, you said healthier lives so there's some -- I think it's -- there's some information about exercise and Alzheimer's?

COHEN: Yes. They actually looked at an area of the brain that's very affected, affected very dramatically by Alzheimer called the hippocampus. And what they found was that folks who got exercise, and I mean real cardiovascular exercise that gets your heart going, that those folks had less atrophy of the hippocampus. So, yet another reason why we all ought to exercise, as if we didn't have enough reason before this.

LEMON: Very good. Very good.

And the pool looks very refreshing on a hot day like today.

COHEN: It certainly does.

LEMON: And those ladies look like they're in great shape for their age.

OK, Thank you, Elizabeth.

COHEN: Thanks. PHILLIPS: Frustration, hatred, and a shotgun, a combination police say led to yesterday's rampage at a Knoxville, Tennessee church. Two people are dead, seven injured. And now we're learning new and disturbing details about the suspect. Let's get straight to David Keim, assistant managing editor of the "Knoxville News Sentinel."

David, why don't we just start out with what we know about the shooter at this point?

DAVID KEIM, "KNOXVILLE NEWS SENTINEL": The shooter had hatred of what he called liberals and gays. A long time acquaintance of his said that he basically hated anybody different than himself. He wrote a four-page statement, or manifesto, railing against this that the police have. It's not been released publicly, but they indicated it reflects these beliefs.

We've also been told by an acquaintance of his that his ex-wife attended this church at some point. We don't know exactly how that factors into this yet. Evidently, he was a guy who was a good neighbor and a good friend when he was in good spirits, but that when he turned dark, his dark moods were prolonged and were obviously particularly bad.

PHILLIPS: Did he have any type of relationship with the community? Was he involved in the community at all?

KEIM: He had only lived in his neighborhood in suburban Knoxville for about four years neighbors said. He, after his marriage broke up, drove west on a motorcycle, so he hadn't been here for a period of time. It appears that he grew up in a county just west of here, maybe 30 to 40 miles down the road.

PHILLIPS: And he's in jail now. What's next for him?

KEIM: Well, he has $1 million bond. He has an arraignment tomorrow. Obviously, the evidence here would seem to be absolutely air-tight. It appears he'll have a public defender. We don't know what kind of defense he'll put on.

PHILLIPS: Has Knoxville seen anything like this before?

KEIM: There have certainly been violent crimes. I'm not sure there are many places in the country or the world that have seen a mass church shooting, frankly. It's something the community is grappling with. It's something that the gay and lesbian community is coming to terms with. And obviously, primarily, the church is recovering, grieving. They're holding a candlelight service tonight and the members are trying to get their bearings right now. And I think all parents in the area are trying to figure out how to talk to their children about this.

PHILLIPS: Well, you guys have been doing an incredible job covering the story. We'll continue to stay in touch.

David Keim, assistant managing editor at the "Knoxville News Sentinel." Appreciate it, David.

KEIM: Thank you.

LEMON: Devastating rains, flash floods and ruined vacations. Sharing your i-Reports in the CNN NEWSROOM.


PHILLIPS: A historic pier in western England is reduced to ashes. A raging fire has destroyed the Grand Pier. It's a major tourist spot. It was built back in 1904. No reports of casualties so far, and no word on the cause. The quickly spreading flames sent up a massive column of smoke. About 100 firefighters rushed to the scene to try and save it.

LEMON: Don't look down. Well I guess it's too late now.

A woman is rescued by chopper from the side of a cliff at a San Diego park where she crashed her car early on Sunday. Rescuers hoisted her to safety. She's hurt, but she's expected to recover. A park worker spotted the 28-year-old woman who spent five hours in thick brush yesterday after pulling herself from the wreck. Rescuers say if it weren't for the worker, the woman might have died out there. It's believed her car flipped over a guardrail.

PHILLIPS: Nearly a quarter of the nation's bridges need some kind of fix. That's the finding of a just-released report from a nationwide safety group. It says that nearly one out of four U.S. bridges needs to be modernized or repaired. The price tag, at least $140 billion if repairs started right now, and even more as time goes on. And we're hearing this just days before the first anniversary of this bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Thirteen people died, 144 were injured. That report cautions that the bridges that need to be fixed are still safe to travel over.

LEMON: And Chad Myers has been tracking weather across the country. Lots of heat, but, Chad, I'm hearing you have some very big waves out in the ocean. Should we be concerned about that?


LEMON: Well, from floods to typhoons. When severe weather makes news, well, CNN eye reporters, they help us tell those stories.

And Veronica De La Cruz has been going through your photos and your video and I want to know what struck you most, Veronica.

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we were just listening to Chad there talking about that flooding video from Ruidoso. We received it from Philip Genest. And it's amazing video, it really shows how big of a problem all of that flooding has been. I think Chad was saying, what, eight inches in just a few hours.

This is what it looks like outside of Philip's house, Don. He says the water has been copping right up to the door. And he is lucky, because his home has sustained little damage. Other homes in the area have been completely destroyed. A spokesperson for New Mexico says about 350 homes and structures have been destroyed in these floods, Don. At least two people have been swept away.

And Heidi Collins was able to speak with Philip earlier in the NEWSROOM about all the flooding. And this is what he said.


VOICE OF PHILIP GENEST, RUIDOSO, NEW MEXICO: Our yard, you know, everything was pretty much OK. But what you're seeing now, that's right across the street from us. They had to move their camper trailer. And I mean, they got out as quick as they could and then they couldn't get back because the bridge was completely blocked off.

COLLINS: OK. So, there's a bridge that takes you where?

GENEST: Out of the area we are. What you're looking at right now, to the right of that is the Ruidoso race track. About a good, maybe two blocks away. And again, like I said, that was earlier in the morning, that footage there. But -- and then it got worse quick. And everybody -- a lot of people were trying to you know, get out of there. And it wasn't bad right where I was at, but then our home even got it right up almost to the door.


DE LA CRUZ: So again, Don, that was video there from Philip Genest. And we heard Chad talking about it, eight inches of rain, I think he said in just a few hours.

LEMON: Yes. And you know what? I want to talk to you about Typhoon Fung-Wong in Taiwan. That's also on the iReport radar.

DE LA CRUZ: Yes, it is. Kenneth Koa (ph), he sent us some video from central Taichung City. He says the typhoon slammed into the city with winds close to about 100 miles an hour. And take a look, Don. You can see the damage that it's done to some of the buildings. We were just looking at that high-rise buildings there. Some windows broke in. Kenneth says about 1500 buildings remain without power. And unfortunately, they are bracing for more bad weather tomorrow, Don.

So don't forget, you out there. Do send us your pictures and video, You can log on to We're going to work all day to get those on the air -- Don

LEMON: Absolutely. Veronica De La Cruz, thank you very much.

PHILLIPS: Even if running marathons isn't your cup of tea, there's one race that just might be your mug of beer. Get ready to lace them up and belly up to the bar.


PHILLIPS: Presidential hopeful and senator, Barack Obama, holding a round table in Washington, D.C., with a number of movers and shakers within the economy and decisions that are made on the economy from the government, big companies to universities.

Here's some of what they discussed today just moments ago.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... All right. Thank you, everybody. This is going to be a working meeting. But since I'm running for president, we have to invite the press in initially.

So I want to just make some brief remarks at the front end to help frame how I'm looking at this. And then my hope is, is that we can just open it up and for the next two hours have a wide ranging and hard headed conversation about where the economy needs to go.

I want to appreciate -- first thank everybody first for coming on such short notice. I wanted to meet with all of you today to discuss the deteriorating economic situation that we're in right now. From our automobile manufacturers and our banks, to small business owners and the families sitting around the kitchen table wondering how they're going to pay the bills. The challenges we're facing could not be more critical.

And if we want to meet them, then we can't afford, I believe, to keep doing the same things that we've been doing over the last several years. We need to change course and we're going to have to take some immediate action. It was not an accident of history or a normal part of the business cycle that led us to this situation. There were some irresponsible decisions that were made on Wall Street and in Washington.

In the past few years, I think we've learned an essential proof. That in the long run we can't have a thriving mission on Wall Street if we don't have a thriving Main Street. When wages are flat, prices are rising and more and more Americans are mired in debt, then the economy as a whole suffers. When a few people gain the system, as we've seen in this housing crisis, millions suffer and we're all impacted. When special interests put their buck (ph) and money too heavily on the scale and distort or free markets, then those who compete by the rules come in last. And when government fails to meet basic obligations to provides sensible oversight, and stand on the side of working people and invest in the future, then America plays a heavy price.

So, what I would like to do today is how can we start taking more short term and long-term steps to restore balance in our economy so that entrepreneurship is encouraged so that the market is thriving so that hard work is rewarded. I want to talk now just about how we meet the current challenges of how we build an economy for the 21st century where the broadest number of Americans can share in our prosperity.

I've laid out on economic strategy in this campaign that I think would provide short-term relief and long-term growth. That's a strategy to recognize as many of the crisises that we face are a direct result of putting off tough decisions for too many years. If we had made investments in alternative energy, fuel efficiency, we'd be less vulnerable to price shock. If we had gotten health care costs under control, manufacturers would be in a better position to compete in the global economy. If we had restructured our financial institutions or our oversight institutions to adapt to a changing global financial market, then we might have avoided some of the worst financial turmoil that we're tasting right now.