Return to Transcripts main page
Wild Fires Raging In and Around Yosemite National Park; Former CIA Agent Takes a Closer Look at Car Bombs; Tennessee Church Member Who Tackled Gunman Shares His Story
Aired July 29, 2008 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROB MARCIANO, CNN, METEOROLOGIST: Good news for the folks out west, it won't be extraordinary heat. It's not going to be necessarily cool where those fires are but it could certainly be a lot worse. Winds will be gusty at times, especially this little weather is just going to cruise across the northwest that will switch the winds a little bit and then bring them up a bit.
Relative humidities will be on the low side but not dramatically low. There's the front that wants to kick you across Medford into the northern Sierra. But the critical fire danger is across extreme northeastern parts of California. Speaking of the heat, checking out, heat advisory is in effect for a good chunk of the deep south or the mid south today. Dallas had some serious records yesterday. Right now they're at 82. They got all the way down to 81 degrees. Can you imagine that for a morning low? That is miserable and that's where they are right now.
WFAA, thanks. It's our shot there. You've got temperatures now in the lower 80s and you'll get up into the 90s again. Dare I say, up and over 100 again. Here are some of the records. Wichita Falls, Texas, 110, Lawton, Oklahoma, 109. Dallas hit a record of 105, Oklahoma City got into the act as in Austin with at 102. and the list goes on. Yes. 111, Hearne, Texas. Altus, Oklahoma, 10. Abilene 106, and Fort Smith, Arkansas, Louisiana getting into it as well.
Speaking of Louisiana, here's the Big Easy, New Orleans. A little bit of a rotation or kind of wants to get on the way there. That has the National Hurricane Center looking at this. But it's so close to land, it think it's going to drift inland. But it shouldn't be too much of an issue but it will bring some showers and thunderstorms into the Mississippi Delta into New Orleans.
Here it is in satellite imagery. You have a flare up there. If that were to sit and kind of pester a little bit more, maybe a little bit closer to the central Gulf of Mexico, we would be more concerned but at this point, it shouldn't be too much of a terrible issue. A lot of people sweating today and that will be the larger story, I think.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Boy, it sounds like it. Certainly. All right. Rob, thank you.
Meanwhile, another weather story to tell you about, the body of a man missing in the New Mexico floods has been found. At least one other person is still missing. Heavy rains from the storms that used to be Hurricane Dolly dumped around 9 inches on Ruidoso in southern New Mexico. Incredible video here. It shows flood waters carrying a house away. Look at that. As many as 500 homes and other building were damaged in the flooding. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has declared the county a disaster area.
Your money, your concerns in the latest headlines affecting your wallet. Just last hour, more evidence the housing slump is getting worse. Home prices fell almost 16 percent from May of '07 to May of this year. Oil prices slumping around a bit today, down for now despite supply fears spark by attacks on oil pipelines in Nigeria.
Gas prices continue to slide and the national average has dropped more than 1.5 pennies since yesterday. Today's price, $3.94 a gallon. It's almost 14 cents less than one month ago. And dare we take a look at the big board. There you go. Now, whoa, lovely, we like that. To the positive three digits. How about that? About 108 points up. The Dow Jones Industrial average is resting around 11,238 or so. We'll watch the numbers for you.
On the trail with fewer than 100 days to go until the election, Barack Obama heads to the hill. He meets house democrats today. The economy and his overseas trip expected to be discussed. John McCain, heating things up in sparks Nevada. He's holding a town hall meeting there. McCain also has a couple of fund-raisers planned.
Barack Obama hits the ground running moving past his overseas trip focusing on the struggling economy.
CNN's senior political correspondent Candy Crowley has that.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not the wall in Jerusalem, the Elysee Palace in Paris or 10 Downing Street in London, but this picture is where the voters are. This is Barack Obama, flexing his economic muscle, or as an aid puts it, a demonstration to voters on who will be advising him on the economy. It's a room full of brain power from businessman Paul O'Neal who served as George Bush's first term Treasury Secretary, to Labor leader John Sweeney, to former Fed chairman Paul Volcker.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... so that the market is thriving. So that hard work is rewarded.
CROWLEY: It's a meeting to help Obama pivot from a trip designed to show his agility on the world stage to the home front where he needs to show a steady hand to steward a flailing economy.
OBAMA: And this is an emergency that you feel not only just from reading the "Wall Street Journal," but from traveling across Ohio, and Michigan, New Mexico and Nevada where you meet people day after day who are one foreclosure notice or one illness or one pink slip away from economic disaster.
CROWLEY: Every state mentioned is a fall battleground. With polls continuing to show voters trust Obama more than John McCain on the economy, the McCain campaign welcomed Obama home, trying to rough him up. Advisers called the Obama meeting just another photo-op while the candidate toured an oil field and slammed Obama for refusing to support the kind of things that will address one of the major issues troubling voters, the cost of energy.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So Senator Obama opposes off-shore drilling. He opposes reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. He opposes storage of spent nuclear fuel, and so he is the Dr. No of the America's energy future.
CROWLEY: Even before Obama left Europe at his final press conference in front of 10 Downing Street, he knew this trip might seem off point back home.
OBAMA: We've been out of the country for a week. People are worried about gas prices, they're worried about home foreclosures.
CROWLEY: It's hard to top pictures with the city of Aman in the background or the 200,000 Europeans in the foreground, but Monday, a standard Washington photo-op did just fine. Candy Crowley, CNN, Chicago.
COLLINS: John McCain talking a time table for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq. He supported withdrawal by 2010. He told CNN's Larry King live yes, but --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: I said it has to be based on conditions on the ground. Senator Obama said it's a hard and firm date. That's why the chairman of joint chiefs of staff said it has to be condition based and said he would be very, very dangerous. The way the question was asked, why not 16 months? The fact is, it has to be condition based and we are withdrawing. The last brigade from the surge is coming home the end of this month or early next month and we will be having further withdrawals based on conditions. Now, whether that fits into 16 months or not or one month or whatever, the point is, it has to be conditioned based and that's the point General Petraeus is trying to get over as we go into this political season.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Barack Obama has been calling for a phased withdrawal over 16 months. Both candidates have recently claimed their opponent was moving closer to their position on Iraq.
A new assault on insurgents under way right now in Iraq. The goal is to get Al Qaeda forces out of safe havens in the Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. The very latest now with our senior correspondent Jamie McIntyre.
Jamie, tell us a little bit more about this offensive.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well this is not a first offensive in Diyala province, an area that has been notorious for insurgents and Al Qaeda forces. But it is being led by Iraqi forces backed by U.S. troops. Diyala was an area where the U.S. surge troops last year in an effort to get violence under control. This is evidence that Al Qaeda while on the beaten back a little bit in Iraq. It certainly have not defeated. It's something that U.S. commanders have conceded and also evident that Iraqi forces are going to continue the fight.
While the violence levels for U.S. troops have been down, the number of Iraqi civilians killed in suicide attacks, both in Diyala province and also in Kirkuk and Baghdad in the last day or so province in the last day or so, has been dozens in single attack and its been hundreds over the month. But the number of U.S. casualties has dropped dramatically in July. Take a look at the numbers that show the trends just over the last couple of months.
Back in May when we hit a high of - I'm sorry, in April, we hit a high of 52. And then it dropped down to 19 in May, 29 in June and then only nine U.S. deaths in Iraq so far in July. That is the lowest since the war began in March 2003, by far.
In fact, there hasn't been another month in which there have been only single digit U.S. deaths. Now we still have a couple of days to go, but a dramatic drop in U.S. casualties. And it is expected that General David Petraeus based on that will be able to recommend additional troop withdrawals. But the level of violence overall again measured against Iraqi citizens and the number of suicide bombers, particularly female suicide bombers has continued to be an ominous and dangerous trend. Heidi.
COLLINS: Yes, certainly. Jamie, just quickly, back to those numbers, clearly, the commanders are attributing that to the surge, correct?
MCINTYRE: Well, they are, but there's a whole number of factors, including the fact that the Mehdi Army has stood down. The fact that these awakening councils, the ones that are targeted by some of the suicide bombers have also been a big factor, the Sunnis, sort of joining the fight. There have been a whole number of things that have converged to bring the overall level of violence down. But again, it depends sometimes on how you measure it. If you're the average Iraqi, if you were in Kirkuk or Baghdad yesterday, it didn't look like a very peaceful place.
COLLINS: It certainly not. All right. CNN's senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre. Jamie, thank you.
A one-time militia leader accused of rape, torture and murder in Haiti, convicted in the U.S. of mortgage fraud. We're talking to him today.
COLLINS: How to get rich in a rotten economy? There are ways. We're going to show you right here, "Issue number one" on CNN.
COLLINS: A Haitian accused of raping and killing his political rival. Now behind bars in the U.S. for mortgage fraud. Jason Carroll has the CNN exclusive interview now with Emmanuel Constant. Hi there, Jason. Boy, this is very bizarre.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is, Heidi. And as you know, this is a man we've wanted to talk to for quite some time. This is a man who human rights groups wanted to see behind bars, and he is, as you said, but not for the most heinous crimes he's accused of.
CARROLL (voice-over): To some, he was the most feared man in Haiti. But Emmanuel Constant says that's a reputation he doesn't deserve.
EMMANUEL CONSTANT, FMR. HAITIAN PARAMILITARY LEADER: I was a political leader fighting for a cause and the cause is still action, it still exists.
CARROLL: In the cause of, what, democracy?
CONSTANT: Democracy, the right for people to have a better life.
CARROLL: A better life? Jennie Green, senior attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights which successfully represented Haitian rape victims in a civil suit against Constant says taking lives is more accurate.
JENNIE GREEN, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: There has to be some penalty for what he did and how he destroyed that many lives.
CARROLL: Constant is accused of atrocities against his own people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a challenging time for Haiti.
CARROLL: After the fall of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in the early '90s, Constant formed a powerful paramilitary group called FRAPH, they're Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti. The U.S. State Department called it a brutal organization.
It says here, not my words, FRAPH'S hired thugs often acted violently in supporting the repressive activities.
CONSTANT: No, no, understand, I've seen those documents. I've seen them. But like I said, they're all -
CARROLL: Constant says allegations he approved rape, torture, killings of perhaps thousands of Haitians is hearsay, too. State Department documents, from it's own investigation of FRAPH's activities indicate otherwise. They registered 52 cases of politically-motivated rape. And they say, FRAPH is responsible for these, some of the victims as young as 12 or 13. You say no? CONSTANT: Why rape? Why rape? Why would they use rape in intimidating communities? Who exactly was were?
CARROLL: Anyone who is against FRAPH, anyone who spoke out against FRAPH, anyone who spoke out against you or the government
CONSTANT: I don't think anybody was talking about anybody.
CARROLL: Constant entered the United State in '94. And the new Haitian government issued a warrant for his arrest, but the U.S. government did not deport him. Sources told CNN several years ago that Constant had, for a time, provided intelligence to the C.I.A..
CONSTANT: I'm like the person that every woman loves going to bed with, but they don't want show themselves in public with her.
CARROLL: For now, Constant sits in jail, not for torture, not for murder, but mortgage fraud.
CONSTANT: I think I made a bad choice in a way, but I'm not that guilty.
CARROLL: What do you mean not that guilty? I mean, either you're guilty or you're not, right?
CONSTANT: I think that's a very sensitive area where I should not maybe make my statement.
CARROLL: So, for years, the U.S. government protected a man accused of despicable crimes by allowing him to live freely in New York where he was convicted last week of defrauding banks using inflated home appraisals.
GREEN: I hope that if he has to serve a sentence for New York for mortgage fraud, that will be something which, you know, hinders his any attempt to return to power.
CARROLL: Despite his legal troubles, that's exactly what Constant wants to do, return to power in Haiti.
CONSTANT: I miss Haiti very much. I miss the people there. Haiti's not really far and I'm not really far either.
CARROLL: Well, human rights organizations want Constant to spend the next several years in jail. During that time, they hope Haiti's justice system will become stable enough so he can then be deported to face the trial on those human rights violations.
COLLINS: Well, Jason, is there some sort of statute of limitations to talk about here and Haiti? I mean, if he does stay in jail for whatever that sentence is, a mortgage fraud here, what are the chances that he goes back to Haiti at some point and then can't be prosecuted? CARROLL: Well, the statute of limitations wouldn't apply to Haiti. The key point here is how stable Heidi, will the Haitian government be during that time? Will he be stable enough to hold some sort of a trial to make sure that he can stand justice? Those are some of the questions that humans rights groups are still waiting to see, how that sort of plays out.
COLLINS: All right. He says he's not ready for Haiti and the people of Haiti are not ready for him. So I guess we'll have to see this one out. Great story. Jason Carroll for us live from New York this morning. Thanks, Jason.
Harsh words and a stern warning for the world's most powerful countries made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It happened at the nonaligned meeting in Tehran. Ahmadinejad accused what he calls the world's big powers of manipulating the United Nations Security Council and trying to stop his plans for a peaceful nuclear energy plan. Ahmadinejad calls it unfair and bias. And he says those major world powers are on the losing side of history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD (through translator): We all know that the status quo cannot last for long. And we have to set this behind us. And we have to step between - and we see the signs of these changes, of these developments. Great powers, their days are numbered. Their influence is waning. They have come to the end of their time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Member countries of the nonaligned movement have previously supported Iran's plans to build a nuclear plant for peaceful purposes.
Struggling to make ends meet? Gerri Willis tells you how a little money could go a long way in building wealth even in difficult times.
COLLINS: All right. Let's take a look at the big board, because we like it. 115 points to the positive, that's a nice little rally. Hopefully it will stay that way until the end of the trading day. Right now, Dow Jones Industrial average is resting at 11,245 or so. Nasdaq also to the positive by about 41 points. So we are watching those numbers for you as well as many others throughout the day as we get the key economic factors in this week.
Meanwhile, making money, saving money and growing money. Sounds good, right? Big challenges in a tough economy. Here now with advice on building wealth, CNN's personal finance editor, Gerri Willis. All right. So it's an easy question, Gerri, how do we get rich?
GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Well, hi there, Heidi. Let's talk about building wealth over time, OK? I think that's a better place to go. You know what, there's a big sale going on in the stock market. I know stocks are up today, but over the last few months, they've been way, way down. Since stock are cheap right now, it's a good way to make money. The Dow Jones is down 16 percent from the beginning of the year and the best way to make money is to keep investing when everybody else is pulling their money out of the market. Consider buying when stocks are cheap, obviously. And stocks generally rebound before the economy gets higher.
COLLINS: Buy low, sell high, right? So how exactly should you invest if you're getting ready to do that?
WILLIS: Well, one of the best low cost ways to get through the market is through index funder or exchange traded funds or ETFs. ETFs are best because of stocks that are brought and sold much like mutual funds. And index fund aims to replicate the movement of an index of a specific financial market. Now, since nobody is picking the stocks or timing the markets, it's cheaper to buy these thing. Even active fund managers have a hard time beating the long-term returns of index funds. And listen to this. This is surprising. I didn't know it. We just found out this morning. Five of the nine recessions saw the S&P 500 index increase during the down turn.
What's the average return of stocks during recessions during that time? Three percent. They don't lose money. They're actually positive. I think most people think just the opposite. Here are some index funds from morning stars, picks from Morning Star, Vanguard's total index fund, Fidelity Spartan Total Market Index and Vanguard Total International Stock Index. You can go to vanguard.com or fidelity.com to get more information, but the idea here, buy broadly and don't take specific bets.
COLLINS: Yes, absolutely. And then investing in a mutual fund, if you're interested in doing that, how do you go about it?
WILLIS: Well, if you're shopping for a fund, you want to make sure your returns aren't being eaten up by the fees. You want to choose a mutual fund that has a low, what they call expense ratio. So what does that mean for bond funds? Don't pay an expense ratio more than 0.5 a percentage point. For stock funds, don't pay more than one percentage point in fees. You can check out the report card of a mutual fund you're interested in by going to we mentioned it before, morningstar.com.
You want to make sure you compare the fund's performance to its benchmark. Typically an index like the S&P 500. Think carefully though before investing in a particular fund. If the fund is run by a manager and the manager is new or there's been a lot of manager turnover, you also want to invest in funds that have a lot of good return on a consistent basis. And don't invest in funds that have great results followed by lousy performance.
Of course, if you have any questions about this or any other money topics, send them to us at CNN.com. We love hearing from you and we answer those questions right here every Friday. COLLINS: All right. Very good. I'm sure you're getting a lot of questions, too. Gerri Willis, I appreciate that.
WILLIS: My pleasure.
COLLINS: And In fact, we do want to hear from you. Are you a millionaire in the making because of your financial habits? Well, boy, share your story with us. We would love to hear it. Your advise to at ireport.com/millionaire. You can also learn the secrets catapulting your fellow viewers into that little elite club who share some of their feedback, later in the NEWSROOM.
Things change fast during fire season.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We ran to town to do some shopping and came back like half an hour later and there were police cars going up and down saying, time to get out, you have ten minutes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: California crews trying to keep fire from 4,000 homes today.
COLLINS: Welcome back, everybody. 10:30 Eastern time now. I'm Heidi Collins.
4,000 homes in danger. Firefighters in northern California are trying to get ahead of a fast-moving wildfire. The fire near Yosemite National Park has destroyed 25 homes now. It continues to grow. Now up to 47 square miles. That is about the size of San Francisco. Firefighters are holding the lines with the high temps and rough terrains certainly aren't helping.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH GIBSON, CAL FIRE: We're using those words cautiously optimistic. What we have is we have a lot of fire line built in several long stretches of the fire. But where we need to connect those fire lines, there's steep terrain. Again, so we're just trying to make sure that when we bring those lines together, that they're in a good position to, you know, combat or hold the fire as needed and they're in really tough spots. Amazingly steep drainages. I was really impressed with some of the work I saw yesterday.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Yes. Some very difficult work there for firefighters.
Fire officials are hoping an expected change in the weather could help their efforts. Crews were called in, in fact, from all over the state to battle the fire that's now grown to the size, as we said, of San Francisco. More now from Justin Willis, of affiliate KSEE.
JUSTIN WILLIS, KSEE REPORTER (voice-over): The (INAUDIBLE) of that fire here in Meriposa County is now at nearly 30,000 acres and still sweeping through Meriposa County.
At this point, 25 homes have been lost. That's in addition to the 27 out buildings. Now, thousands more are being affected by it and hundreds have been forced into evacuation. Now, mandatory evacuations have been issued for various roads between Meriposa, Midpines and Greeley Hill. An evacuation warning sent to communities in those areas and to Coulterville and Briceburg. Now, Highway 140 was closed Monday afternoon near Briceburg. But Yosemite remains open. Officials saying, Highway 41, the best option to get there.
Now last night, a community meeting was held at Mariposa High School, overflowing with people looking for answers and wondering when they can return to their homes. There was talk of re-entry for firefighters to double check the areas that had already burned. But, no word on when exactly residents can return to their homes. Cal fire officials saying only that it would be a few days.
Firefighters continue to struggle with the fire, still at 10 percent containment, battling at steep terrain, high temperatures and low humidity. And with no real history of fire in the telegraph area, there's lots of dry brush that continues to fuel it. Though at this point, the fire has burned in the Merced River drainage on both sides. And fire behavior is being observed in all directions, primarily on the south and east flanks.
Now again, nearly 30,000 acres gone here in Mariposa County. The sad part there, 25 homes lost in this telegraph fire. We're in Mariposa and I'm Justin Willis for CNN.
COLLINS: Rob Marciano joining me now to talk a little bit more about this. You know, one of the things that's come up certainly, is that this particular area really hasn't seen any sort of fire like this in something like 100 years.
ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know, when these big fires erupt like they do, we often hear that sort of theme. You know, it's a combination of not having natural fire there, fire suppression and not having fire management. And that's one of the reasons that some of these fires have grown so big over the years. And obviously, the heat and low humidity not helping either. But it could be worse. I mean, we could see some seriously bad heat there like we're seeing in the central part of the country, so. Weather, not helping, but certainly could be a lot worse.
COLLINS: You're right.
(WEATHER REPORT) COLLINS: This morning, we are trying to help you get rich. How's that sound? How can you do that, though, when gas and oil prices are so much higher than they were one year ago?
CNNMoney.com's Poppy Harlow has our Energy Fix from New York.
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: Hey there, Heidi.
Well, for all of you out there who want to get rich, I'm not sure it's going to happen quick in this economy. But, if you feel like all your money is going to the big oil companies, here's an Energy Fix for you. If you can't beat them, join them. That's right. Get a job working for an energy company.
"Fortune's" most recent list of the fastest 100 growing companies shows 37 of those are energy companies. An consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says, a combination of baby boomers retiring and a new emphasis on oil exploration, research and development, makes the energy sector a great place to look for a high- paying job. The opportunities, keep in mind, could be even greater if Congress does open up more land for drilling or invest more money in alternative energy, Heidi.
So, there's a fix for you.
COLLINS: Yes. But it seems like you need some sort of a high- tech degree to work in that area, yes?
HARLOW: It can help, but it's not necessary.
I think this is pretty interesting. If you're young, you can get one of those degrees, that's a good idea. Pretty safe bet there. But, there are a lot of opportunities in the sector that are not just in traditional energy companies.
There are actually expected to be 40 million new green collar jobs by 2030, or over a million a year for the next 12 years. That's a lot of jobs. And while some direct jobs, like engineers and architects, while some are those jobs. The industry is also expected to create demand for plenty of indirection jobs like, accountants and truck drivers, et cetera.
And also, that consulting firm that I mentioned. It points out that non-energy companies may have energy related jobs. Listen to this: Wal-Mart, for instance, has an initiative to go green. They've recently posted a new job opening -- a few of them -- for a sustainability director, or an energy compliance officer. So, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get into this business of creating energy fixes.
We're all about money here at CNNMoney.com. Log on for more ways to save, to invest, to grow your money. And coming up right after the break, Susan Lisovicz has the latest on another loss for the world's largest brokerage firm. That's straight ahead in the NEWSROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COLLINS: So, so far, we have no snacks, no lunch, no car washes and no manicures. This is fun, right? Get smart, get rich, get advice. Your money is issue number one here at CNN. And growing your money is probably a top priority.
So, we're going to turn to an expert now on a timely topic. Bargain hunting for stocks in a bear market.
Terry Savage is an expert on personal financial and is a national syndicated columnist for the "Chicago Sun-Times."
Terry, nice to see you again. Thanks for being here.
You say there are three questions investors worried about investing, need to ask themselves. So, let's go ahead and go through them.
TERRY SAVAGE, COLUMNIST, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": Absolutely.
COLLINS: So sorry. First has to do with the future of America, right?
SAVAGE: Yes. This is a big picture question because you can't be invested in the Stock Market if you don't believe in the future of the America. So, do you believe in the future?
Now, it's easy to get scared. There's all kind of things wrong. We have huge debt. We have inflation on the horizon. We have the possibility of higher taxes coming up. All those kind of bad things for investors. But if you look back in history, there have been other scary times and anyone who ever gave up on America, was sorry.
I mean, think back only to '73, '74, the OPEC oil crisis. The first one, when the DOW went from over 1,000 to below 600. Think if you'd sold out then and didn't believe America could make it. Same thing in '80 when the prime rate was 21 percent. Or in 2001, September 11th. So, you've got to believe in the long-term future. You're investing in America.
COLLINS: Yes. And clearly, we've heard it time and time again. We really need to be thinking long-term, but it's tough to do when you're looking at you know, your own little wallet, however shrinking it may be.
You also say it's important in a slumping economy to ask yourself what your investment time horizon is.
SAVAGE: Absolutely. Because it is difficult if you are getting closer to retirement, to think in that longer term.
After all, while you're longer, in you're 20s, 30s, 40s, you continue to invest every week, every month in your 401(k). So that $300 buys more shares of stock at a lower price if the market's down. Now you're getting close to, oops, this is all I have. How much risk can I take?
And as you get into your 50s and 60s, you do get more conservative. But, you never give up on stocks because stocks over the long run have proved to be a very sound investment and you're probably going to be withdrawing from that retirement account, you hope, well into your 80s.
COLLINS: Yes, yes. Certainly. Risk tolerance, when you talk about that, though, is key because selling out of emotion is like the worst possible thing you could do.
SAVAGE: Well, you know it and yet we make headlines and we say the market's down and people call their brokers.
Look, here's a fact. There's never been a 20-year period, going back to 1926, when you would have lost money in a diversified portfolio of large company stocks with dividends reinvested. Even adjusted for inflation.
So you do need a hunk of your money over the long run in stocks. As you get a little older, maybe what you do, and I always suggest have some chicken money on the side, conservative money markets. So you know that you have money to tie you over the medium term, when the market could go down sharply. But you have also money growing to beat inflation over the long run, which is a serious problem.
COLLINS: Absolutely. Personal finance expert and syndicated columnist, Terry Savage.
Nice to see you, as always, Terry. Thank you.
SAVAGE: Thank you.
COLLINS: To this story now, witness to horror. Tennessee church rampage. We'll talk with the man who kicked the gun away.
COLLINS: A glimmer of hope from that church shooting in Tennessee. Three of the wounded upgraded now, from critical to serious condition this morning. Yesterday, more than 1,000 people poured into a church next door. They remembered the two worshipers who were killed and tried to make sense of the senseless, as the church president said. Suspect Jim Adkisson, jailed on one count of murder for now. More charges, though, are expected.
Let me take a moment to bring in a man who was at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universeless Church during that terrible shooting. Eric Dixon was there and he is on the phone with us now, from Knoxville.
Mr. Dixon, thanks for being with us.
Why don't we begin by what you saw in that church. Tell us what happened.
ERIC DIXON, TACKLED CHURCH SHOOTER: Well, we were watching a play. My daughter was in the play and it was "Annie." And all of the sudden we heard a loud boom and looked up at my daughter on the stage and she was looking up at the lights and I figured a light blew up or something. And I looked up and then the second shot happened. And I got more of a bearing as to where that came from. And I looked over to my left to -- and I saw -- I could see through the glass at that time.
One of the cast members that was back in that area, swinging his arm over the man's head. It was the gunman's head. And at that time, you know, everybody -- somebody yelled, duck, get down. And I started to get down but then I was like, well, what good is that going to do?
So I jumped over the pew in front of me and I ran in that direction and by the time I got there, there were two or three people already on top of him. He was pinned to the ground. And the gun was laying there and he was -- I can't remember if his hand was actually holding it still by the (INAUDIBLE), or if it was close to it. But I kicked it and I didn't kick it far, I just kind of kicked it with my heel.
And then I ran around to where his face was and I could only see, you know, maybe about four inches of his face. But I was screaming at him, why, why did you do this? And then one of the men on top, one of the real heroes in this who was on top of him, was screaming, get the gun away, get the gun away. And somebody else came and grabbed the shotgun and pulled it away. I don't know who that was. And...
COLLINS: Yes. Did he say anything to you, Mr. Dixon?
DIXON: No. He didn't speak. He didn't say anything. And the gunman didn't say anything.
But I thought when he was -- when the man on top of him was yelling, get the gun away, I thought he meant he might have had another gun. So I started reaching in and grabbing and I grabbed a -- like a satchel kind of a thing that he had that -- and pulled on that and it was like a -- almost like a leather bucket. Kind of hard, rigid kind of thing that was open on top. And when I pulled on it, shotgun shells just strewed out all over the floor.
And I looked in there and there wasn't any other gun in there. So at that point, I decided, you know, that he was subdued and I would go and find my daughter. And so I got up and ran to the stage and couldn't find my daughter. And ran behind the building and they had been brought up the hill and were hiding behind some bushes.
COLLINS: Oh, thank God.
DIXON: And so I went up there and found her and, you know, she was safe. But, you know, there were a lot of heroic actions from the church.
COLLINS: Right. What made you do what you did, though? DIXON: Just -- I didn't think about it.
I just -- I did know somewhere inside that if this guy didn't stop, then we were all dead. And -- but I didn't get there in time. I wouldn't have gotten there in time. If the people that did get there hadn't gotten there, I just would have gotten there in time to get a bullet in the chest.
COLLINS: Well, we're certainly very, very thankful that that did not happen. And we are also thankful for you sharing your story of being there and those terrifying moments.
Eric Dixon, inside the church when all of this happened on Sunday.
Again, we appreciate it.
COLLINS: A ravenous wildfire churning near Yosemite National Park. Destroying homes and lives.
COLLINS: A weapon of fear. A former CIA agent taking a closer look at car bombs.
Here is CNN international security correspondent Paula Newton.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Car bomb is the candid testimonial of former American spy, Bob Baer. A man who admits the CIA taught him to construct car bombs so he'd know first hand of their power.
ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA AGENT: This is the film of how the century of the car turned into the century of the car bomb.
NEWTON: In his documentary, Bear says, we've been told weapons of mass destruction would shape this century.
BAER: But that's a lie. The real terrorist threat has always been the car bomb.
NEWTON: With Lebanon as its centerpiece, Baer, a CIA veteran of the civil war there, catalogs the carnage of such a powerful and callous weapon. Including the 1983 truck bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people, including six of Baer's CIA colleagues.
BAER: It works, the car bomb. And it's easy to make and it's unstoppable. You and I can go out and by tomorrow morning, we have a very nice car bomb that could close London or Manhattan.
NEWTON: A point so vividly made in Britain last year, when a vehicle laden with explosives slammed into Glasgow Airport last summer, just hours after two car bombs failed to detonate in the heart of London.
(on camera): As authorities towed the car bomb away, many here in London, didn't need reminding what a powerful weapon of terror a car bomb could be.
(voice-over): 1992, the IRA bombing of the Baltic Exchange building in London's financial district, killed three and caused colossal damage executed by a white truck packed with more than 1,000 pounds of explosives.
JEFFREY BLUM, IRA BOMBING SURVIVOR: It exploded behind me. And I was thrown in the air for -- I have no idea how long or how high. But long enough and high enough for the seven-story building next door to collapse and I came down on its rubble. So the first thing that hit the ground was my head and my skull was cracked open.
NEWTON: Blum's survival was unlikely. He lost most of his blood, there were several surgeries. But after months of recovery, he was back here and still is reflecting. His opinion, car bombs are not an equal threat to weapons of mass destruction.
BLUM: But yes. The nature of the word terrorism means that you are striking terror, as in fear, into an awful lot of people.
NEWTON: "Car Bomb," the documentary, argues the weapon's influence can go much further than that. We could just be one car bomb away from changing the direction of war, politics, from changing history.
Paula Newton, CNN, London.
COLLINS: You are with CNN. I'm Heidi Collins. Tony Harris is back tomorrow.